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occasion, is deservedly accounted one of the most excel lent in sacred history.* A gracious answer was sent by the prophet Jehaziel, and the king and people of Judak soon found, by joyful experience, how safe it was to put their whole trust and confidence in the salvation of the Lord, who certainly would not have permitted these haughty foes to invade His land, when the king was faithful, and the people obedient, if he had not intended to convince them, by a miraculous deliverance, that none should prevail against them if they believed his holy word, and served him with a willing mind.
It is supposed that the combined army was lying in ambush in different parts, to surprise the Israelites, when the LORD struck them with such terror and confusion, that they knew not friends from foes, but destroyed each othert.
It must have been a most transporting sight to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to behold Jehoshaphat and his troops return laden with costly spoils, triuniphantly singing the praises of the Lord!
The honour which the king of Judah had lost in the eyes of the surrounding nations, by joining himself with Ahab and Ahaziah, was now restored, and peace, with all its train of blessings, crowned the end of his days.
Jehoshaphat himself continued stedfast in the service of God, and did every thing in his power to complete the reformation of his people. But though his authority obliged them to attend to the ordinances of religion, and they were on some occasions influenced by his exhortations and example, to turn to the LORD with sinceria ty, piety had not taken deep root in their liearts, or they certainly would have been solicitous to remove the highplaces, and to serve God in a manner perfectly agreeable
to his Divine laws ; as they had not only the Temple to resort to, but, in various places, priests, and Levites to ex. pound the law. :
The good king Jehoshaphat certainly was one of the best monarchs that ever sat on the throne of Judah: he never discovered the least inclination to idolatry, nor do we read of his committing any sin as king of Israel, excepting that of forming alliances with the wicked kings of Israel, into which he seems to have fallen through the want of consideration, or a too ready desire of obliging others ; but the least remonstrance or reproof brought him to a sense of his duty, and he hastened to repent and regain the favour of God. Jehoshaphat's behaviour, in respect to the invasion of the Moabites abounds with instruction worthy of the attention of all the kings of the earth.
NAAMAN, THE SYRIAN GENERAL, CURED OF HIS LE.
PROSY BY ELISHA,
Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable ; because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria : he was also a mighty man in valourr; but he was a leper. . .
. . . And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive, out of the land of Israel a little maid ; and she waited on Naaman's wife...s i · And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.
And one went in and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel. " · And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And Naaman departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.
And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. .
And it came to pass when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.jon v'
. And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes ? det him come now to me, and he shall koow that there as a prophet in Israel. w . ::
$o Naaman came with fuis horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
And Elipha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean."
But Naaman was wroth, and went awaay, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and istand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
Are not Abana and Pharpliar;' rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel ? may I nọt wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a -rage. . And bis servants' camé near, and spake unto him, and
said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldst thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of GOD : and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. . .!... lis.. . i ..And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came and stood before him : and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel : now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. ::. . ::.-:. !:i 7
But he said, As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. · And he urged him to take it ; but he refused.
And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules burden z of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt-offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD. :
In this thing the LORD pardon thy servants that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow, down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.
And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.
But Geházi the servant of Elisha the man of God said, Behold my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
So Gehazi followed after Naaman : and when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well?::::.
And he said, All is well. My master hath gent' me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the pro. phets : give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver and two changes of garments. . . .
And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants, and they bare them before him.
And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house : and he let the men go, and they departed. : But he went in, and stood before his master : and Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. . * And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and men servants, and maid servants ?
The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
Naaman is supposed to have been the general who commanded in that memorable battle in which Ahab king of Israel was slain. The little maid who 'waited upon Naaman's wife, was a servant of the true God; and zealous to make his glory known. Naaman gave a ready ear to his servants relation of the wonderful miracles wrought by the hand of Elisha ; but before he went to seek for a cure in an enemy's country, it was