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spiritual Israel, and his covenant supplies of mercy to them, Jer. xxxi. 20.
Ver. 27. “ And the Lord said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven.”]-Though they had been a wicked, froward, rebellious, people, for which he had said that he would chastise them and deliver them into captivity, yet be bad never said that he would blot out their name from under heaven; for which reason some of the tribes of Israel continue to this day, and will till the restitution of all things.
This may typify the Lord's love to his spiritual Israel, who, through the corruptions of their nature, are guilty and polluted; for which the Lord chastises them with the rod of the covenant; and they are at times in great tribulations and afflictions ; yet he never said that he would "blot out their name from under heaven;" that is, remove them from being his people, his favourites, his jewels, and bis portion; tberefore there is safety in the storm, and security in affliction ; for their names shall never be blotted out of the 6 Lamb's book of life.” See Isaiah liv. 10. and Jer, xxxi. 37.
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In this chapter, 1. The history of two of the kings of Judah is briefly re
corded,' (1.) Of Azariah, otherwise called Uzziah, ver. 1–7 (2.) Of Jotham his son, ver. 32–38. 2. The history of many of the kings of Israel that reigned at the same time, is given us in short, five in successiou, who all of them but one went down slain to the pit, and their murderers were their successors. 1. Zechariah, the last of the house of Jelin, reigned six months, and then was slain, and succeeded by Shallum, ver. 8–12. 2. Shallum reigved one month, and then was slain, and succeeded by Menahem, ver. 13-15. 3. Menahem reigned ten years, or tyrannized rather, such bis barbarous cruelty, ver. 16. and unreasouable exactions, ver. 20. and then died in his bed, and left his son to succeed him first, and then suffer for bim, ver. 16- 22. 4. Pekabiah reigned two years, and then was slain, and succeeded by Pekah, ver. 23-26. 5. Pekah reigned twenty years, and then was slain, and succeeded by Hoshea, the last of all the kings of Israel, ver. 27-31. for towards the final destruction of that kingdom things were now working apace.
VER. 34. “ And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.”]--The Lord honours those in the annals of his word, wbo had through grace honoured bim in their ways; and this bonour is put upon the kings of Judah, and not upon the kings of Israel, who were all wicked kings; for we bave no account of their age, but only of their reign. Jotham was a good king, and is said “to have done that which was right in the sight of the Lord ;" which shews that all his zeal and obedience flowed from a principle of love to God.
This chapter is wholly taken up with the reign of Abaz; and we liave enough
of it, unless it were better. He had a good father, and a better son, and yet was himself one of the worst of the kings of Judah. (1.) He was a notorious idolater, ver. 1--4. (2.) With the treasures of the temple, as well as his own, he hired the king of Assyria to invade Syria and Israel, ver. 5-9. (S.) He took pattern from an idol's altar he saw at Damascus for a new altar in God's temple, ver. 10-16. (4.) He abused and embezzled the furniture of the temple, ver. 17, 18. And so his story ends, ver. 19, 20.
VER. 7. « Come up, and save me out of the band of the king of Syria."]-King Abaz had forsaken the ways of God, and had no heart nor courage in his affliction to ask counsel of God. Thus we see how distressed those are that in the day of their trouble have no God to confide in, and how ready such are to fly to an arm of flesh to save them : and this is the unbappy case of sinners, whose hearts condemn them; for tbey, like Abaz, are apt to trust to a broken reed, rather than to the God of Israel.
This chapter gives us an account of the captivity of the ten tribes, and so
finisheth the history of that kingdom, afler it had continued about two hundred and sixty-tive years from the setting up of Jeroboan, the son of Nebat. In it we have, 1. A short narrative of the destruction, ver. 1-6. 2. Remarks upon it, and the causes of it, for the justifying of God in it, and for warning to otuers, ver. 7-23. 3. An account of the nations which succeeded them in the possession of their land, and the mongrel religion set up among them, ver. 24-41.
VER. 23. “So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria, unto this day.”]-They had rejected the statutes, commandments, and ways of the Lord, re
belled against his word, and despised his prophets, and bad been given to idolatry, and walked after ihe manner of the heathens around them; for they worsbipped the host of heaven, and sacrificed their children to their idol gods; therefore the Lord raised up the king of Assyria, “ as the rod of his anger,” and to shew bis indignation " he gave Israel to the robbers," and removed them, according to his word by his servants the prophets, from their own land, into a land of captivity, for their “ great wickedness :" See 2 Kings xviii. 12.
Ver. 24. “And placed them in the cities of Samaria, instead of the children of Israel.”]-Israel was not only carried away captive, but their return from captivity was prevented by the king of Assyria's placing the inbabitants of his own country in Samaria, and the cities of Israel. Yet we find in their captive state there was a remnant among them, according to the election of grace'; for the apostle James writes to "the twelve tribes scattered abroad," James j. 1. and the apostle Paul speaks of the twelde tribes which "instantly served God day and night,” Acts xxvi. 7. And we never read of their return : for they continued in their rebellion, ver. 34. “ yet the foundation of God standetb sure, baving this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his,” 2 Tim. ii. 19.
Ver. 41. “ So these nations feared the Lord, and served their graven images.”]--This introduced such a corrupt mixture of religion in Samaria, that the Jews, that is, the tribe of Judah, could baye no dealings with the Samaritans, for they were afterwards not called Israelites, but Samaritans.
When the prophet had condemned Ephraim for lies and dcceit, he comforted
bimiself with this, that Judah yet “ ruled with God, and was faithful with the most holy,” Hos. xi. 12. It was a very melancholy view which the last chapter gave us of the desolations of Israel, but this chapter shews us the affairs of Judah in a good posture at the same time, that it may appear God has not quite cast off the seed of Abraham, Rom. xj. 1. Hezekiah is here upon the throne, (1.) Reforming his kingdom, ver. 1-6. (2.) Prospering in all his undertakings, ver.7, 8. and this at the same time wlien the ten tribes were led captive, ver. 8-12. (3.) Yet invaded by Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, ver, 13. His country put under contribution, ver. 11-10. Jerusalem
beseiged, ver. 17. God blasphemed, himself reviled, and his people
VEL. 5. “ Hezekiah trusted in the Lord God of Israel.”]—Tbis shews that great grace was displayed to king Hezekiah; for his father Ahaz was a bad king, and Hezekiah a good king: which shews that whatever good there is in us, is not of nature, but of sovereign distinguishing grace, wbich grafts us into the “ good olive tree, that was wild by nature,” Rom. xi. 24. And we find that Hezekiah's faith wrought by love in a most eminent manner, in destroying the images, and in breaking down the high places and the brazen serpent, which the tribe of Judah idolized and burnt incense to. Hezekiab's pious zeal for the worship of God, and for promoting religion among his subjects, carried him through the great difficulties of reforming a people who had so much degenerated into gross idolatry; but he " trusted in the God of Isracl,” to protect him, strengthen him, and bear bim out in all that he did for his glory. Those that act for God with a single eye to his glory, and with confidence in his all-sufficiency, may expect to prosper. The greatest honour that kings or cbristians can have, is to act with courage and resolution for the cause of the God of heaven.
Jernsalem's great distress we read of in the foregoing chapter, and left it
besieged, insulted, threatened, terrified, and just ready to be swallowed
VER. 1. “And went into the house of the Lord.”)– He was greatly distressed for the blasphemy of Rabshakeb,
and went to spread his case before the Lord, where he found a refuge and rest for his mind in the day of trouble : thus did the psalmist when he was grieved at the pride and prosperity of the wicked, '“ he went into the sanctuary of God, then understood he their end,” Psalm lxxiii. 17. When the church's enemies are bold and blasphemous, the friends of Zion are to leave the cause of God with bimself by prayer.
Ver. 6. " Thus saith the Lord, be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard."]—This strengthened Heze. kiah's faith and trust that God would appear for Judab, and deliver them in their day of distress, and that the words of Rabshakeh were only empty, vain, swelling words of pride. It is the great happiness of the christian in the midst of all troubles to find his faith rest upon, " Thus saith the Lord,” &c.
Ver. 15. " Which dwellest between the cberubims." That is, upon the ark, or the mercy-seat, which was the residence or dwelling of the God of Israel under the law, from whence the beams of his glory shone, bis presence was enjoyed, and the Lord's answers were given; and therefore Hezekiah humbly prays before the Lord for his appearance, protection, power, and deliverance. The Shekinah, or divine presence, between the cherubims under the law, was figurative of God dwelling in the human nature of Christ, who is the true ark, mercy-seat, and propitiation, where he meets his people, and communes with them, and where they receive answers of prayer from him.
Ver. 34. “ For I will defend this city to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.”]-From hence it is evident that the Lord's goodness and mercy to his people, is from his own free grace. Thus the Lord acts in a way of grace in the salvation of his church and people. “ And for David, bis servant's sake," literally meant of king David, but spiritually of Cbrist, who is often in scrip! ture called David, being descended from him: and also the signification of that name is, loving and beloved, and the blessings of the covenant are called “ the sure mercies of David," Isaiah lv. 3.