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phesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord hath broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish.

Then said Ahaziah the son of Ahab unto Jehoshaphat, Let my servants go with thy servants in the ships. But Jehoshaphat would not.

There was then no king in Edom : a deputy was king.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. It appears that Jehoshaphat still retained a kindness for Ahab's family; and as his alliance with them by the marriage between his son and Ahab's daughter had (we may suppose) been a condition of their promoting each other's interest, this induced him to admit Ahaziah as a partner in the profitable trade which he carried on to Ophir : but as Jehoshaphat was very blameable in this particular, he was reproved and punished for it; and warned, by the breaking of his ships, to break off his alliance with Ahaziah, and it seems he took the warning.

This section affords another instance of the great danger there is in forming connections and alliances with impiors wicked persons.

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SECTION LXII. · THE REIGN OF AHAZIAH KING OF 19RAEL. From 1 Kings, Chap. xxii. 2 Kings, Chap. i.

Anaział the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel.

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And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin :

For he served Baal, and worshipped him, and provoked to anger the Lord God of Israel, according to all that his father had done.

Then Moab rebelled against Israel, after the death of Ahab.

And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick; and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover of this disease.

But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, Go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron ? Now therefore thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And Elijah departed.

And when the messengers turned back unto him, he said unto them, Why are ye now turned back? And they said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel that thou sendest to enquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.

And he said unto them, What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words ? And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt

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with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty, with his fifty. And he went up to him. And behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down.

And Elijah answered, and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and copsumed him and his fifty.

Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty, with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of GOD: thus hath the king said, Come down quickly.

And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from hearen, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of Gon came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.

And he sent again a captain of the third fifty, with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. .

Behold, there came down fire from heaven, and burned up the two captains of the former fifties, with their

fifties ; therefore let my life now, be precious in thy : sight.

And the angel of the Lord said unto Elijah, Go down with him; be 'not afraid of him. And he arose and

went down with him unto the king. . . . · And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baal

zebub zebub the god of Ekron; is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art' gone' up, but shalt surely die... : oi ai 1.!!

So he died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead, becausé Ahaziah had no '808.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS....

We read that king David gained a signal victory over the Móábites : this people continued in subjection to Solomon and Rehoboam ; but after the revole of the ten tribes, they became tributaries to the kings of Israel, though'they had still kings of their own, but these were little better than viceroys. We are 'not told the exact time when they rebelled ; 'but may conclude, that it was at the latter end of Ahaziah's reign, as we read of no battle fought at this period.'

Though Ahaziah was the son of Ahab and Jezebel, and consequently must have had a very bad education"; yet it might have been expected he would have taken warning from the destruction in which his father had been involved, by crèditing the prophets of Baal; but instead of doing so, he followed the wicked' example of his parents ; however, he was soon stopt in his sinful caree's by a fatal accident. Baal-zebub, the name of the idol he sent to consult, signifies the lord of flies'; given him, perhaps, on account of some deliverance the inhabitants of the place had received from a plague of fies, which they foolishlý attributed to the power of this idof.' · It was impossible for Ahaziah to dishonour the Lord JEHOVAH in a greater degree than he did by this action, and we must acknowledge the justice of the Lord in the 0 31

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severe message he sent to him by his propbet ; neither must we overlook the mercy of God in this instance, for there is the greatest reason to suppose, that though Ahaziah was threatened with death for sending to enquire of a dumb idol, yet if he had humbled himself, and sought the living God, the sentence might have been reversed; instead of doing so, he defied the LORD, and sent three different parties of soldiers to seize the prophet by violence, and bring him into his presence.

Ahaziah was well acquainted with the person of. Elijah, and judged, from the description his messengers gave, that it was certainly he who sent them back. The captains who commanded the two first bands, seem to have had the same bad principles with their sovereign ; for instead of addressing Elijah with reverence, they impiously presumed to command the servant of the LORD JEHOVAH to attend their wicked prince : this was such an open defiance of God, as called for imme. diate vengeance. We inust not suppose that Elijah had the command of the elements, and could deal forth de. struction according to his own will and pleasure on all who offended him by personal insults ; neither would so good a man have taken such severe revenge for pri. vate injuries done to himself, because he would in such a case have acted contrary to his duty ; but on this occasion he spake as the Lord inspired him, who caused him to pronounce those words before the judgment was inflicted, in order to prove that he was, as he professed to be, the man or prophet of God, who would not suffer his servants to be persecuted as such with impunity, since forbearance would have given room for idolators to triumph, and would have brought disgrace on true religion. In respect to these judgments, there was no cruelty ; on the contrary, the captain who humbly deprecated the

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