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the dial of Ahaz. mathematician about the middle of the sixteenth cen- consider to be a miracle, in the case of the retrogratury, proved that the shadow on a stile in a sundial dation of the shadow on the dial of Ahaz, was the might go backward without a miracle'; which was effect of a mere natural cause, without any thing founded on the following theorem :
miraculous in it. On this subject Dr. Hutton very w In all countries, the zenith of which is situated properly remarks : “ It is very improbable, if the rebetween the equator and the tropic, as long as the trogradation which took place on the dial of that prince sun passes beyond the zenith, towards the apparent had been a natural effect, that it should not have been or elevated pole, he arrives twice before noon at the observed till the prophet announced it to him as the same azimuth ; and the same thing takes place in the sign of his cure ; for in that case it must have always afternoon."
occurred when the sun was between the tropic and * This gave rise to the demonstration that a diál might the zenith.” Hutton's Mathematical Recreations, vol. be constructed for any latitude on which the shadow iii. p. 323. shall retrograde or go backward. · And it is effected To this we may add, 'that if the dial of Ahaz had in the following manner :
been thus constructed, the effect must have been geneIacline a plane turned directly south in such man- rally known; and Hezekiah would never have taken ner that its zenith may fall between the tropic and equa- that for a miracle which he and all his courtiers must tor; and nearly about the middle of the distance between have observed as -an occurrence which at particular these two circles. In the latitude of London, for ex- seasons, took place twice every day. And that the ample, which is fifty-one degrees thirty-one minutes, matter was known publicly to have been a miracle we the plane must make an angle of about thirty-eight de- learn from this circumstance : that Merodach-baladan, grees. In the middle of the plane fix-an upright stile king of Babylon, sent his ambassadors to Jerusalem to of such a length that its shadow shall go beyond the inquire after the wonder that was done in the land, as plane ; and if several angular lines be then drawn from well as after Hezekiah's health : see 2 Chron. xxxii. the bottom of the stile towards the south, about the 31. But the miraculous interposition is so obvious, time of the solstice, the shadow will retrograde twice that infidelity must be driven to pitiful shifts when it in the course of the day, as mentioned above. This is obliged to have recourse to the insinuation of imis evident, since the plane is parallel to the horizontal posture, in a case where the miraculouế interference plane, having its zenith under the same meridian, at of God is so strikingly evident. Besides, such a dial the distance of twelve degrees from the equator towards could not be constructed for the latitude of Jerusalem the north; the shadows of the two stiles must conse- without having the north end elevated twenty degrees quently move in the same manner in both.
seven minutes ; which could not be used for the pur. Of these principles some have endeavoured to make pose which is indicated in the text. See No. 3 of an unholy use, contending that what the Holy Scriptures the preceding observations.
Manasseh fills the
land with idolatry.
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CHAPTER XXI. Manasseh succeeds his father. Hezekiah, reigns fifty-five years, and fills Jerusalem and the whole land with
abominable idolatry and murder, 1-9. God denounces the heaviest judgments against him and the land, 10-15.. Manasseh's acts and death, 16-18. Amon his son succeeds him, and reigns two years ; is equally profligate with his father; is slain by his servants, and buried in the garden of Uzza; and Josiah
his son reigns in his stead, 19-26.. A: M: 3306:3261. MANASSEH a was twelvements, and dealt with familiar
A. M. 3321. Olymp. XX. 3. years old when he began to spirits and wizards : he wrought OL XXIV. 2. -XXXIV. 2.
Creonteu, reign, and reigned fifty and five much wickedness in the sight of
annuo primo. years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name the Lord, to provoke him to anger. was Hephzi-bah.
7 `And he set a graven image B. C. 698-611
A: M.3306-3327. 2 And he did that which was evil in the of the grove that he had made in Olymp: XX. 3.
XXV. 4. sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the house, of which the LORD the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before said to David, and to Solomon his son, the children of Israel.
this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have 3 For he built up again the high places chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put “which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and my name for ever: he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove,
8 Neither will I make the feet of Israel d as did Ahab king of Israel ; and worshipped move any more out of the land which I gave all the host of heaven, and served them. their fathers; only if they will observe to do
4 And 'he built altars in the house of the according to all that I have commanded them, Lord, of which the Lord said, s In Jerusalem and according to all the law that my-servant will I put my name.
Moses commanded them. 5 And he built aliars for all the host of heaven 9 But they hearkened not: and Manasseh in the two courts of the house of the LORD. m seduced them to do more evil than did the
6 h And he made his son pass through the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the fire, and observed i times, and used enchant- children of Israel.
a 2 Chron. xxxiii, Y, &c. 6 Chap. xvi. 3. Chap. xviii. 4. ! Lev. xix. 26, 31; .ch. xvii. 17; Deut. xviii. 10, 11.-_* 2 San. • 1 Kings xvi. 32, 33. Deut. iv. 19; xvii. 3 ; chap. xvii. 16. vii. 13; 1 Kings vííi. 29 ; ix. 3; chap. xxii. 27 ; Psa. cxxxu. 13, Jer. xxxii. 34. -6 2 Sam. vii. 13; 1 Kings viii. 29; ix. 3. 14; Jeremiah xxxii. 31. 1 2 Sam. vii. 10. Proverbs de Lev, xviii. 21; xx.2; chap. xvi. 3; xvii. 17.
NOTES ON CHAP. XXI.
Used enchantments) onji venichesh; he used inVerse 1. Manasseh was twelve years old] He was cantations, spells, and charms. born about three years after his father's miraculous Dealt with familiar spirits]: 31x neyi veasah ob; cure; he was carried captive to Babylon, repented, he was a necromancer; was a raiser of spirits, whom was restored to his kingdom, put down idolatry, and he endeavoured to press into his service; he had a died at the age of sixty-seven years.
See 2 Chron. Python. xxxiii. 1-20.
And wizards] D'Jyr" veyiddeonim ; the knowing Verse 2. Afler the -abominations of the heathen] ones, the white witches, and such like ; see on Lev. He exactly copied the conduct of those nations which xix. 26-31, where most of these terms are particuGod had cast out of that land.
larly explained and illustrated. Verse 3. Made a grove] He made Asherah, the Verse 7. He set a graven image of the grove that Babylonian Melitta or Roman Venus. See chap. xvii. he had made'in the house] Every one may see that 10, and the observations at the end of that chapter; Asherah here must signify an idol, and not a grove; and see here on ver. 7.
and for the proof of this see the observations at the Worshipped all the host of heaven] All the stars end of the chapter. and planets, but particularly the sun and the moon. Verse 8. Neither will I make the feet of Israel]
Verse 4. Built altars] He placed idolatrous altars Had they been faithful to God's testimonies they even in the temple.
never had gone into captivity, and should even at Verse 6. Made his son pass through the fire] Con. this day have been in possession of the promised secrated him to Moloch.
land. Observed times) qui veonen ; he practised divi Verse 9. Seduced them to do more evil] He did nation by the clouds ; by observing their course at all he could to pervert the national character, and particular times, their different kinds, contrary direc- totally destroy the worship of the true God; and he tions, &c., &c.
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26. p Ver. 9.
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10 And the Lord spake by his their enemies; and they shall A M. 3306-3327. Olymp. XX. 3. servants the prophets, saying, become a prey and a spoil to all Olymp. XX. 3. XXV. 4.
XXV. 4. 11 Because Manasseh king their enemies ; of Judah hath done these abominations, and 15 Because they have done that which hath done wickedly above all that the Amo- was evil in my sight, and have provoked rites did, which were before him, and hath me to anger, since the day their fathers made Judah also to sin with his idols : came forth out of Egypt, even unto this
12 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of day. Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon 16 Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth very much, till he had filled Jerusalem u from of it, both ? his ears shall tingle.
one end to another; beside his sin wherewith 13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem 'the he made Judah to sin, in doing that which line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house was evil in the sight of the LORD. of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man 17 Now the rest of the acts A. M.3306-3361. wipeth a dish, * wiping it, and turning it up- of Manasseh, and all that he did, Olymp. XX. 3.
-XXXIV. 2. side down.
and his sin that he sinned, are 14 And I will forsake the remnant of mine they not written in the book of the chronicles inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of of the kings of Judah?. Chap. xxii. 26, 27 ; xxiv. 3, 4; Jer. xv.4. -01 Kings xxi. • Heb. he wipeth and turneth it upon the face thereof:- Chap.
-9 1 Sam. ii. 11; Jer. xix. 3.See Isa. xxiv. 4. u Heb. from mouth io mouth. "2 Chron. xxxiii. xxxiv. 11; Lam. ii. 8; Amos vii. 7, 8.
Verse 10. The Lord spake by-the prophets] The smooth, with which they could rub out what they had prophets were Hosea, Joel, Nahum, Habakkuk, and written, and so smooth the place and spread back the Isaiah. These five following verses contain the sum wax, as to render it capable of receiving any other of what these prophets spoke. , It is said that Isaiah word. Thus the Lord had written down Jerusalem, not only prophesied in those days, but also that he was never intending that its name or its memorial should put to death by Manasseh, being sawn asunder by a be blotted out. It was written down The Holy City, wooden saw.
The City of the Great King ; but now God turns the Verse 12. Both his ears shall tingle.] noben tits- stile and blots this out; and the Holy Jerusalem, the tsalnah ; something expressive of the sound in what City of the Great King, is no longer to be found ! we call, from the same sensation, the tingling of the This double use of the stile is pointed out in this anears. This is the consequence of having the ears cient enigma :suddenly pierced with a loud and shrill noise ; the
De summo planus ; sed non ego planus in imo: ears seem to ring for some time after. · The prophets
Versor utrinque manu, diverso et munere fungor : spoke to them vehemently, so that the sound seemed to be continued even when they had left off speaking. “I am flat at the top, but sharp at the bottom ;
Altera pars revocat, quicquid pars altera fecit. This was a faithful and solemn testimony. Verse 13. The line of Samaria) I will treat Jeru
I turn either end, and perform a double function : salem as I have treated Samaria. Samaria was taken,
One end destroys what the other end has made." pillaged, ruined, and its inhabitants led into captivity; But the idea of emptying out and wiping a dish exJerusalem shall have the same measure.
presses the same meaning equally well. Jerusalem And the plummet of the house of Ahab] The house shall be emptied of all its wealth, and of all its inhabitof Ahab was totally destroyed, and not a man of bis ants, as truly as a dish turned up is emptied of all its race left to sit upon the throne of Israel : so shall it contents; and it shall be turned upside down, never be done to the house or royal family of Judah; they to be filled again. This is true from that time to the shall be all finally destroyed, and not a man of their present hour.. Jerusalem is the dish turned upside race shall any more sit on the throne of Judah ; nor down, the tablet blotted out to the present day! How shall Judah have a throne to sit on. Thus Jerusalem great are God's mercies! and how terrible his judgshall have the same weight as well as the same mea- ments! sure as Samaria, because it has copied all the abomi Verse 14. I will forsake the remnant of mine innations which brought that kingdom to total destruction. heritance] One part (the ten tribes) was already for
I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish] The saken, and carried into captivity ; the remnant (the Vulgate translates this clause as follows: Delebo tribe of Judah) was now about to be forsaken. Jerusalem, sicut deleri solent tabulæ ; " I will blot out Verse 16. Shed innocent blood very much] Like Jerusalem as tablets, are wont to be blotted out.” the deities he worshipped, he was fierce and cruel ; This is a metaphor taken from the ancient method of an unprincipled, merciless tyrant : he slew innocent writing: they traced their letters with a style on people and God's prophets. boards thinly spread over with war; for this purpose Verse 17. Now the rest of the acts) In 2 Chron. one end of the stile was sharp, the other end blunt and xxxiii. 11, &c., we read that the Assyrians took
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Amon succeeds Manasseh,
and reigns wickedly. 18 w And Manasseh slept with fathers, and walked not in the 01. XXXIV. 2. his fathers, and was buried in way of the Lord. Lilli. Regisk ko the garden of his own house, in 23 · And the servants of Amon Ali, Regis ko
the garden of Uzza : and Amon conspired against him, and slew manorum, 32. his son reigned in his stead.
the king in his own house. A. M. 3361-3363.
19 * Amon was twenty and two 24 And the people of the land slew all them years old when he began to reign, that had conspired against King Amon; and
and he reigned two years in Je- the people of the land made Josiah his son king rusalem. And his mother's name was Me-in his stead. shullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 25 Now the rest of the acts of A. M.3361-3363.
20 And he did that which was evil in Amon which he did, are they not OL XXXIV. the sight of the LORD, Y as his father Manas- written in the book of the chroseh did.
nicles of the kings of Judah ? 21 And he walked in all the way that his 26 And he was buried in his Ql. XXXIV. 4. father walked in, and served the idols that his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza : - lilii, Regis Rofather served, and worshipped them :
and b Josiah his son reigned in
manorum, 30. 22 And he : forsook the Lord God of his his stead,
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An. Tulli Hos.
* 2 Chron. xxxiii. 20.-2 Chron. xxxiii. 21-23.
- Verse 2 1 Kings xi. 33.
1 2 Chron. xxxiii. 24, 25. - Matt. i. 10,
אשרה that <<
Manasseh, bound him with fetters, and took him to It is said ver. 3 and 7, that “ Manasseh made å Babylon; that there - he repented, sought God, and grove; and he set a graven image of the grove," &c. was, we are not told how, restored to his kingdom; 70y TØN AW0x7500 nx Ov'i vaiyasem eth pesel hathat he fortified the city of David, destroyed idolatry, asherah, asher asah : “And he put the graven image restored the worship of the true God, and died in peace. of Asherah, which he had made,” into the house.
'In 2. Chron. xxxiii. 18, 19, His prayer unto God Asherah, which we translate grove, is undoubtedly is particularly mentioned. What is called his prayer, the name of an idol ; and probably of one which was is found in the Apocrypha, just before the first book carved out of wood. of the Maccabees. There are some good sentiments R. S. Jarchi, on Gen. xii. 3, says,
« in it; but whether it be that which was made by asherah means a tree which was worshipped by the Manasseh is more than can be proved. Even the Gentiles ;" like as the oak was worshipped by the anRomish Church have not received it among the cano-cient Druids in Britain. nical books,
Custel, in Lex. Hept. sub voce wx, defines 77793 Are they not written] There are several particulars asherah thus, Simulacrum ligneum Astartæ dicatum ; referred to here, and in 2 Chron. chap. xxxiii., which “ A. wooden image dedicated to: Astarte or Venus." are not found in any chronịcles or books which now The Septuagint render the words by ahoog; and remain ; and what the books of the seer's were, men- Flamminius Nobilis,on 2 Kings xxiii. 4, says Rursus tioned in Chronicles, we cannot tell.
notal Theodoretus to aloos esse. Astartem et Venerem, Verse 18. In the garden of his own house] It was et ab aliis interpretibus dictum Ashtaroth ; i. e.“ Again probably a burying-place made for his own family, for Theodoret observes, ałoos is Astarte and Venus; and Amon his son is said to be buried in the same place, by other interpreters called Ashtaroth." ver. 26.
The Targum of Ben Uzziel, on Deut. vii. 5, 077*XI Verse 19. He reigned two years in Jerusalem.) 1991n vaasheyrehem tegaddeun; i. e.,“ Their groves The remark of the rabbins is not wholly without foun- shall ye cut down"-translates the place thus, hoxe dation, that the sons of those kings who were idolaters, psypr 1977'veilaney, sigedeyhon tekatsetsun; and who succeeded their fathers, seldom reigned more * And the oaks of their adoration shall ye cut down." than two years.
So Nadab, the son of Jeroboam, From the above it is pretty evident that idols, not 1 Kings xv. 25 ; Elah, the son of Baasha, 1 Kings groves, are generally intended where i7yx asherah xvi. 8 ; Ahaziah, the son of Ahab, 1 Kings xxii. 51; and its derivatives are used. . and Amon, the son of Manasseh, as mentioned here, Here follow proofs :ver. 19.
In chap. xxiii. 6, it is said that “ Josiah brought Verse 23. The servants of Amon conspired] What out the grove from the house of the Lord.”. This their reason was for slaying their king we cannot tell. translation seems very absurd ; for what grove could It does not seem to have been a popular act, for the there be in the temple ? There was none planted people of the land rose up and slew the regicides. there, nor was there room for any. The plain meanWe hear enough of this man when we hear that he ing of 17in' nan 17080 nx xx' vaiyolse eth haashewas as bad as his father was in the beginning of his rah mibbeyth Yehovah, is, “ And he brought out the reign, but did not copy his father's repentance. (goddess) Asherah from the house of the Lord, and
Verse 26. The garden of Uzza] The family sepul- burnt it,” &c. chre or burying-place.
That this is the true meaning of the place appears
Josiah succeeds Amon,
and repairs the temple. farther from ver. 7, where it is said, “ He broke down' threw down the houses, 2213 dazoine, of the prostithe houses of the sodomites," (o'pipa hakkedeshim, tutes ; and the women who wove garments, Asus of the whoremongers,) “where the women wove
ledechlotho, for the idols which were there." The hangings for the grove" (1908) dina bottim laasherah,
Arabic is exactly the same. “ houses or shrines for Asherah.") Similar perhaps
From the whole it is evident that Asherah was no to those which the silversmiths made for Diana, Acts xix. 24. It is rather absurd to suppose that the other than Venus; the nature of whose worship is
plain enough from the mention of whoremonyers and women were employed in making curtains to encom
prostitutes. pass a grove.
I deny, not that there were groves consecrated to The Syriac and Arabic versions countenance the interpretation I have given above. In ver. 6, the idolatrous worship among the Gentiles, but I am sure
that such are not intended in the above-cited passages ; former says, “ He cast out the idol, Jasuy dechlotho, and the text, in most places, reads better when underfrom the house of the Lord ;" and in ver. 7.; " He stood in this way.
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Josiah succeeds Amon his father, and reigns thirty-one years, 1, 2. He repairs the breaches of the temple,
3–7. Hilkiah finds the book of the law in the temple, 8. It is read by Shaphan the scribe, before the king and his servants, 9, 10. The king, greatly affected, sends to inquire of Huldah the prophetess, 11-13. She delivers an afflictive prophecy concerning the evils that were coming apon the land, 14-17. But promises Josiah that these evils shall not come in his timc, 18-20.
A. M, 3380. B.C:39:5194 JOSIAH : was eight years old | house of the Lord, which the OL. XXXIV; 4. when he began to reign, and keepers of the door have gather- 01. XXXIX: 1. -XLII. 3.
An. Anci Martii, --- he reigned thirty and one years ed of the people
Regis Romanoin Jerusalem. And his mother's name was 5 And let them h deliver it into Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. the hand of the doers of the work, that have
2 And he did that which was right in the the oversight of the house of the LORD : and sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way let them give it to the doers of the work of David his father, and turned not aside to which is in the house of the Lord, to repair the right hand or to the left.
the breaches of the house, A. M. 3380. 3 d And it came to pass in the 6 Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, 01. XXXIX. 1. eighteenth year of King Josiah, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair Regis Romano. that the king sent Shaphan the the house. son of Azaliah, the son of Me 7 Howbeit there was
there was no reckoning made shullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, with them of the money that was delivered saying,
into their hand, because they dealt faithfully. 4 Go.up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he 8 And Hilkiah the high priest said unto may sum the silver which is brought into the Shaphan the scribe, * I have found the book
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a 2 Chron. xxxiv. 1.- Josh. xv. 39. -c Deut. v. 32. lxxxiv. 10. -8 Heb. threshold. - Ch. xii. 11, 12, 14.-i Ch. d 2 Chron. xxxiv. 8, &c. Chap. xii. 4. - Chap. xii. 9; Psa. xii. 15. * Deut. xxxi. 24. &c.; 2 Chron. xxxiv. 14, &c.
NOTES ON CHAP. XXII.
this the autograph of Moses ? It is very probable that Verse 1. Josiah was eight years old] He was one it was, for in the parallel place, 2 Chron. xxxiv. 14, of the best, if not the best, of all the Jewish kings it is said to be the book of the law of the Lord by since the time of David. He began well, continued Moses. It is supposed to be that part of Deuterowell, and ended well.
nomy, (xxviii., xxix., xxx., and xxxi.,) which contains Verse 4. That he may sum the silver] · As Josiah the renewing of the covenant in the plains of Moab, and began to seek the Lord as soon as he began to reign, which contains the most terrible invectives against the we may naturally conclude that the worship of God corrupters of God's word and worship. that was neglected and suppressed by his father, was The rabbins say that Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon immediately restored ; and the people began their ac- endeavoured to destroy all the copies of the law, and customed offerings to the temple. Ten years there this only was saved by having been buried under a fore had elapsed since these offerings began; no one paving-stone. It is scarcely reasonable to suppose that had, as yet, laken account of them; nor were they this was the only copy of the law that was found in applied to the use for which they were given, viz., the Judea ; for even if we grant that Ahaz, Manasseh, repairing the breaches of the temple:
and Amon had endeavoured to destroy all the books Verse 8. I have found the book of the law) Was I of the law, yet they could not have succeeded so as