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However much men were disposed to study the Scriptures, most of the Bibles in the community have no chronology noted, and they have no means by which correctly to ascertain it; and others who have the chronology, either have not found leisure or inclination to search it out.
The sacred text will be kept as distinct and as free as possible from original composition; adding nothing, except occasionally as a connecting link between passages which could not be gained harmoniously without; and sometimes a short explanatory note or parenthesis.
That this book may assist in the study and in the understanding of the Holy Scriptures, is the prayer of the author.
THE promise of a Saviour which God made to our first parents, was solemnly ratified in a covenant with Abraham, and confirmed to the sceptre of David. To him God said,
2 SAMUEL, VII.
B. C. 1042.
12 I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee thy throne shall be established for ever.
1 KINGS, II.
B. C. 1014.
10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.
11 And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
1 CHRONICLES, XXIX.
23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
24 And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.
25 And the LORD magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty, as had not been on any king before him in Israel.
2 CHRONICLES, I.
6 And Solomon went up thither to the brazen altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt-offerings upon it.
7 ¶ In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.
8 And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast showed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.
9 Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.
10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people that is so great?
11 And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honor, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king;
12 Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honor, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.
B. C. *992.
1 KINGS, IX.
God's covenant in a vision with Solomon. The mutual presents of Solomon and Hiram. Solomon's yearly sacrifices.
1 And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do,
2 That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon.
3 And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
4 And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments;
5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
6 But if ye shall at all turn from following me, you, or your children, and will not keep my commandments, and my statutes, which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them;
* Mr. Townsend has dated this portion B. C. 1001, which is three years only after the dedication; the date of which, in his book and mind, agree. But Solomon was thirteen years building his own house. Reckoning the first and the last of these, ⚫ after the manner of the Hebrews, the date will agree with the above. I must conclude, therefore, that Townsend's date is erroneous.
7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a by-word among all people:
8 And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?
9 And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil.
1 KINGS, XI.
B. C. 990 to 982. Solomon's wives and concubines, in his old age, draw him to idolatry. God threateneth him. His death.
1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
2 of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.
7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
9 ¶ And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.
11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
12 Notwithstanding, in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.
13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.
The same predictions were made to Jeroboam the ruler of the tribe of Ephraim, by the prophet Ahijah; to which the following additions were made:
B. C. 979.
1 KINGS, XI.
37 And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel.
38 And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.
39 And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever. 42 And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem, over all Israel, was forty years.
43 And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
1 KINGS, XII.
Rehoboam refusing the old men's counsel, ten tribes revolt.
1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.
2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt,)
3 That they sent and called him and Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying,
4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now, therefore, make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.
5 And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.
6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men that stood before Solomon his father, while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise? that I may answer this people.
7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him,
9 And he said unto them, What counsel give ye? that we may answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter.
10 And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins.
11 And now, whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke,