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The prophet' concludes by saying, that whosoever is wise and prudent, that is, all those who are truly religious, and desirous of knowing the ways of the Lord, shall understand these things. Such persons (as the psalmist says ) will observe these things*. They will meditate on the mercies and judgments of God, that they may learn how to obtain the one, and to escape the other. :

' . i i. . ... ;; SECTION LXXXIX. .

'THE REIGN OF JOTHAM KING OF JUDAH. From 2 Kings, Chap. xv. ' 2 Chron. Chap. xxvii. In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel, began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign.

And he did, that which was right in the sight of the Lord: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done, however he entered not into the temple of the Loi in, and the people yet did corruptly.

Howbeit, the high places were not removed : the people sacrificed and burnea incense still on the high places. He built the higher' gate of the house of the Lord, and the wall of Ophel."

Moreover, he built cities in the mountains of Judah and in the forests he built castles and towers. i . * He fought also with the king of Ammonites, and prevail d against them. And the children of Ammon gave him the same year an hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon pay unto him, both the second and third So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his Gop.

* Psalm cvii. 43.

his ways, hand Jadah. years old

(In those days the LORD began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah.)

Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. .

He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. i i And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And Abaz his son reigned in his stead.

· ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.

By Jotham's doing right in the sight of the Lord we can only understand, that he kept from idolatry, and worshipped 'the LORD; for he did not do much towards the reformation of his kingdom, his chief' attention was given to the fortifying it, and subduing his enemies; however in these things he proceeded agreeably, to the will of the Lord; therefore he is ranked among the good kings of Judah. . . . .

SECTION XC. THE BEGINNING OF THE REIGN OF A HAZ KING OF

JUDAH. : From Isaiah, Chap. vii. :- In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Abaż the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.

And it was told the house of David saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. ' And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.

: . " . Thea said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now'to meet Ahaz, thou and Shear-jashub thy son, at the end of the

conduit

conduit of the upper pool in the high way of the fuller's held: . . And say unto him, take heed, and be quiet ; fear notge: neither be faint-hearted for the two tails of the smoking fire-brands, for the fierce anger of Rezin. with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah:

Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, Let us go up.. against Judah and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal :

Thus saith the LORD God, It shall not stand; neither : shall it come to pass. · For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin: and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people. .

And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Riemaliah's son.. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established

Moreover, the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God, ask it either in the depth or in the height above.

But Abaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.

And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David ; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also ?"

Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign : Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear: a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel. : Butter and honey. shall he eat, that he may koow to refuse the evil, and choose the good : for before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good; the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her's kinga.. . .

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The Lord shall bring upon thee and upon thy people and upon thy father's house, days that have not come. from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah, even the king of Assyria.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall hiss, for the Ay, that is in the uttermost part of the · rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is, in the land of Assyria.

And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes. - In the same day, shall the LORD shave with a razor,

that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the ...king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet ; and - it shall also consume the beard. . : :. The Lord spake to me also again, saying, :: Eorasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloh:

that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin, and Remaliah's son-; Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river; strong and many, even the king of. Assyria, and:all his glory: and he shall, came up over. all his channels, and go over all his banks ; "And he shall pass through Judah ; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Emmanuel.

Associate yourselves, 0 ye peopleand ye shall be broken in pieces : and give ear, all ye of far countries; gird yourselves, and ye shall be brokenvin pieces.

Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought : :- speak the word, and it shall not stand; for Gap is, with

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ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS: : - No. king ever had greater incitements to obedience

than Ahaz had, or more opportunities of doing good ; for ht the time of his accession to the throne his kingdom

was.

was in a very flourishing state, and the true religion esta. blished. We have reason to think that he had had a good education, as well as a good example from his father; besides these advantages, Ahaz was particularly encouraged to fear and serve the LORD, by the gracious message sent to him at the beginning of his reign by the prophet Isaiah, when he dreaded the united forces of Israel and Syria.

After the prophet Isaiah had assured Ahaz that the enemies he dreaded should not prevail against him, in order to convince this kin, that the final end of the Jew. ish state was not so 'near as he apprehended ; and at the same time to give a reinarkable prophecy to the world ; the Lord (by the mouth of his prophets, as we may suppose desired Ahaz to ask for a sigo, though ever 80 diffi. cult, and it should be granted. But A haz, whether out of respect, or despondency and unbelief, refusing to ask for a sign, the prophet assured him from the LORD, that before the end of the Jewish -state, Emmanuel (or God with us), the promised SAVIOUR *, should be born, in a miraculous manner, and the kingdom of Ephraim and Assyria destroyed. Hirdiu. !.. sirin

The prophet also foretold the future i desolation of the land of Israel and Judah by the kings of Egypt and Assyria. . The king of Assyria is here stiled the hired razor. This

is a symbolical expres ion, signifying that the LORD would employ this monarch as his instrument to punish the Jews, and allow him to take the spoil of the country as wages for his se vice. The head, feet, and beard, implied the different ranks of people from the highest to the lowes that composed the nation. These God threatened to cut off by the hand of the king of Assyria And the kin is of Jucah 'and Israel were warned that their forming confederacies and alliances with other nations would not

be of advantage to them, but the contrary. " ! sa loob hison sige Matthew i. 29.

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