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* nari10, vitam amisit; occisus in ipso templo quod « dicitur Arasci; quem praecipuo cultu dignabatur; 'quibus ob parricidium a popularibus pulsis et in 'Armenian! fugientibus, Asaracoldas minor filius in 'regnum successit:' Sennacherib, (saith Josephus,) returning from the Egyptian war, found there his army, which he had left under the command of Rabshakeh, destroyed by a pestilence sent from God, the first night that he had begun to assault the town; one hundred fourscore and five thousand of the soldiers being consumed, with their captains and colonels. With which destruction being terrified, and withal afraid what might become of the rest of his army, he made great marches into his kingdom, to his royal city, which is called Ninus, where shortly after, by the treason of two of the eldest of his sons, Adramelech, and Selennar or Sharezer, he lost his life in the temple dedicated to Arasces, or Nesroch, whom he especially worshipped. These his sons being for their parricide chased away by the people, and flying into Armenia", Asaracoldas his younger son succeeded in the kingdom: who in the beginning of his reign sent new troops out of Assyria and Samaria, to fortify the colony therein planted by his grandfather Salmanassar. What this Nesroch was, it is uncertain; Jerome in his Hebrew traditions hath somewhat of him, but nothing positively. It is certain, that Venus Urania was worshipped by the Assyrians; and so was Jupiter Belus, as Dion, Eusebius, and Cyrillus witness. Many fancies there are, what cause his sons had to murder him; but the most likely is, that he had formerly disinherited those two, and conferred the empire on Ezarhaddon. Tobit tells us, That it was fifty-five days after Sennacherib's return, ere he was murdered by his sons; during which time he slew great numbers of the Israelites in Nineveh, till the most just God turned the sword against his own breast.

10 Selennar, otherwise Sharezer, who slew him as he was praying, to Nizroc his god, 2 Kings 19. 112 Kings xix. 97. Esd. 1. c. 4.2.

Sect. III.

Of HezekiaKs sickness and recovery; and of the Babylonian king that congratulated Jiim.

After this marvellous delivery, Hezekiah sickened, and was told by Isaiah, that he must die; but after that he had besought God with tears for his delivery, Isaiah, as he was going from him, returned again, and had warrant from the spirit of God to'

{promise him recovery after three days, and a proongation of his life for fifteen years. But Hezekiah, somewhat doubtful of his exceeding grace, prayeth a sign to confirm him': whereupon, at the prayer of Isaiah, the shadow of the sun cast itself the contrary way, and went back ten degrees upon the dial of Ahaz. The cause that moved Hezekiah to lament, (saith Jerome,) was, because he had as yet no son, and was then in despair that the Messiah should come out of the house of David, or at least of his seed. His disease seemeth to be the pestilence, by the medicine given him by the prophet, to wit, a mass of figs, laid to the blotch or sore.

This wonder, when the wise men of Chaldaea had told to Merodach, king of Babylon, the first of that house, he sent to Hezekiah, to be informed of the cause; at which time Hezekiah shewed him all the treasure he had, both in the court and in the kingdom; for which he was reprehended by the prophet Isaiah, who told him, * The days are at hand, that all * that is in thine house, and whatsoever thy fathers 4 have laid up in store to this day, shall be carried 'to Babylon*; nothing shall be left, saith the Lord*. It may seem strange, how Hezekiah should have got any treasure worth the shewing; for Sennacherib had robbed him of all the year before. But the spoil1 of the same Sennacherib's camp repaid all with ad

1 a Kian 90 9 Is». M.

vantage, and made Hezekiah richer upon the sudden than ever he had been; which unexpected wealth was a strong temptation to boasting. After this time Hezekiah had rest, and, spending without noise that addition which God had made unto his life, he died, having reigned nine and twenty years. Only one offensive war he made, which was against the Philistines with good success. Among his other acts, (shortly remembered in Ecclesiasticus) he devised to bring water'to Jerusalem.

In two respects they say that he offended God; the one, that he rejoiced too much at the destruction and lamentable end of his enemy; the other, that he so much gloried in his riches, as he could not forbear to shew them to strangers. But the reason which moved Hezekiah, (speaking humanly,) to entertain the ambassadors of Merodach in this friendly and familar manner, was, because he came to visit him, and brought him a present, congratulating the recovery of his health; as also, in that Merodach had weakened the house of Sennacherib, his fearful enemy. For Merodach, who was commander and lieutenant under Sennacherib in Babylon, usurped that state himself, in the last year of that king, and held it by strong hand against his son Ezarhaddon, who was not only simple, but impaired in strength, by the molestation of his brothers. This advantage Merodach espied, and remembering, that their ancestor Phul Belochus, had set his own masster Sardanapalus beside the cushion, thought it as lawful for himself to take the opportunity which this king's weakness did offer, as it had been for Belochus to make use of the other's wickedness; and so, finding himself beloved of the Babylonians, and sufficiently powerful, he did put the matter to hazard, and prevailed. The assertion of this history is made by the same arguments that were used in maintaining the common opinion of writers, touching Phul Belochus, which I will not here again rehearse. So of this new race, which cut asunder the line of Ninus, there were only five kings:

Pul Belochus, who reigned 48 years.

Tiglath Pilasser, - 27

Salamanassar, - 10

Sennacherib, - 7

Esarhaddon, - 10 .

But forasmuch as the last year of Salamanassar was also the first of Sennacherib his son, we reckon the time wherein the house of Pul held the Assyrian kingdom, to have been an hundred and one years; of which the last five and twenty were spent with Hezekiah, under Salmanassar, Sennacherib, and Esarhaddon.

Sect. IV.

The kings that were in Media during the reign of Hezekiah. Of the difference found between sundry authors, in rehearsing the Median kings. Other contemporaries of Hezekiah. OfCandaules, Gygest and the kings descendedfrom Hercules.

In the time of Hezekiah, Medidus, and after him Cardiceas, reigned in Media. Whether it were so, that variety of names, by which these kings were called in several histories, hath caused them to seem more than indeed they were; or whether the sons reigning with the fathers have caused not only the names of kings, but the length of time, wherein they governed Media, to exceed the due proportion; or whether' the copies themselves, of Ctesias and Annius's Metasthenes, have been faulty, as neither of these two authors is over-highly commended of trustiness; so it is, that the names, number, and length of reign, are all very diversely reported of these Median kings that follow Arbaces: Therefore it need not seem strange, that I reckon Medidus and Cardi*

Vol. III. B B

ceas as contemporaries with Hezekiah. For to reconcile so great a difference, as is found in those writers that vary from Eusebius, is more than I dare undertake. 1 will only here set down the roll of kings that reigned in Media accordingly as sundry authors have delivered it.

Annius's Metasthenes orders them and their reigns thus:

Arbaces, who reigned 28 years.

Mandanes, - 50

Sosarmon, - 30

Articarmin, - 50

Arbianes, - 22

Artaeus, - 40

Artines, - 22

Astybarus, with his) 2^

son Apanda, )

Apanda alone, - 30

Darius, with Cyrus, 36

Diodorus Siculus following Ctesias, (as perhaps Annius made his Metasthenes follow Diodorus, with some little variation, that he might not seem a borrower,) placeth them thus:

Arbaces, who reigned 28 years.

Mandanes, -

Sosarmus, - 30

Artycas, - 50

Arbianes, •

Arfaeus, 40 .

Artynes, - 22

Artabanus, - 40

Astyabara, ) The continuance of these two he
Astyages, / doth not mention.

Mercator hath laboured with much diligence to reconcile these catalogues, and to make them also

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