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days,” and he was one of the most pious of the descendants of David. During this time many changes had been taking place in the kingdom of Israel. Baasha, who, it will be remembered, had slain the preceding king, and exterminated every member of his family, followed in the same course of idolatry as his predecessors. A prophet was therefore sent to announce a similar fate to his posterity, on account of this sin, and also for the murder of Nadab. He was, however, permitted to reign for the period of twenty-four years, at the end of which time he died, in the year B.C. 931.
He was succeeded by his son Elah, who, to the sin of idolatry, added that of drunkenness. Whilst indulging' in intemperance he was slain, in the second year of his reign, by Zimri, one of the captains of his chariots, who, after doing by the rest of the family of Baasha what the latter had done by the family of Jeroboam, seized upon the reins of government, in the year B.c. 930. His reign was of short duration, as it only lasted seven days. The army was again engaged in the siege of Ġibbethon; and as soon as the soldiers heard of the murder of Elah, they proclaimed Omri king, who was the captain of the host; then raising the siege, they marched against Zimri, who, despairing of success, set fire to his palace, and threw himself into the flames. The choice of the army was not generally approved, and Tibni was set up as a rival to Omri, of whom we know nothing besides his name. For four years the kingdom was disturbed by civil war, at the end of which time the military faction prevailed and slew Tibni; after which Omri reigned undisturbed. He built the city of Samaria, and called it after Shemer, of whom he had purchased the land. Omri exceeded in ungodliness all his predecessors, and he died in the eleventh year of his reign. Ahab, the son of Omri, succeeded him, in the year B.c. 919; and of him it is said, that he did evil “ above all that were before him."
He married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, or Ithobalus, a priest of the Sidonians, who had murdered the king of Sidon, and usurped the throne. Jezebel proved herself worthy of such a father, for she was devoted to idolatry, and she never hesitated to shed blood when it was to gratify her ambition. Her influence caused Ahab to introduce into his kingdom the worship of Baal, to whom he erected a temple in Samaria ; and, on the other hand, he carefully endeavoured to suppress all remaining traces of the worship of the true God.
Four gradations of the progress of the nation into apostacy under the monarchy, may here be noticed. First: The burning of incense in the high places, which, though it was offered to the true God, was contrary to his appointed ordi
This practice had been gaining ground in the reign of Solomon, but David had quite discountenanced it, never having had recourse to it even when deprived of the means of grace. Secondly: The introduction and worship of idols in addition to that of the true God, which was more particularly Solomon's offence. Thirdly : The setting up of idols and ordinances to compete with those of God, with the view of diverting the people from Jerusalem, at the same time that the worship of God was tolerated in those who chose to perform it in their own cities or in high places ; this was the sin of Jeroboam. Fourthly was the climax of all, which was the supplanting the worship of God by idols, with the intent to abolish it altogether, and to persecute those who continued to be faithful to Jehovah. This was accomplished by Ahab and Jezebel.
The greater part of the nation conformed without hesitation to the worship of Baal. Some few, however, remained, who still refused to bow to any other than God; but these were obliged either to suppress and conceal their sentiments at home, or to seek shelter from the storm in caves and retired places.
L. F. B.
WHEN schools were commenced in Prussia for Jewish children, the answers given by the young scholars when examined on passages of the Old Testament, were often both affecting and interesting. When asked of whom the Psalmist or the Prophet spake, in passages which foretold the sufferings of Messiah, they would often reply, “ You say it speaks of Jesus of Nazareth,” or Christians say
it means the Messiah.” A short time since, in an examination of Jewish children on the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, when the question was asked, “ To whom did the Prophet refer in this chapter ?” after a pause, a little girl replied softly, “ To your Saviour, sir !" This reply suggested the following lines, which have been sent us by a friend.
My Saviour, yes my child, but why
Put from thyself the precious name?
For thee He came to bleed and die,
For thee He suffered grief and shame. Yes mine, I would not lose the bliss
Of that appropriating word, For all the fancied happiness
Earth's choicest treasures can afford. My Saviour, but not mine alone,
On Him the sins of all were laid, Oh! limit not the Holy One,
For all He full atonement made.
My Saviour, God and man in one,
Oh! fact mysterious and yet true, Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone, Jesus
Saviour was a Jew. Yes, for His sake a Jew is dear,
In him my Saviour's form I see, Mov'd by this love assembled here,
We Gentiles look with love on thee.
Say not my Saviour, gentle child,
Say rather ours, o'er thee He yearns, Beaming with love and pity mild,
His gracious eye on thee He turns. Hast thou no sins to mar thy rest,
No guilt to bow thy spirit down ? No cares to swell thy youthful breast,
No cause to fear thy Father's frown? But where's thine Altar, where's thy priest,
Thy sacrificial offering—where ? My Saviour clothed in blood-stained vest,
All three in one-behold them here. My Saviour, Christ on Thee I call,
Send forth Thy Spirit from on high, Break down the separating wall,
Pity these lambs, and bring them nigh.
Shepherd of Israel, hear our plea,
Back to the fold thine outcasts bring,
In 'Thee, their long expected King.
ISRAEL AND THE GENTILES.
THE JEWS IN SPAIN UNDER THE CHRISTIANS.*
As formerly in the East by the Resh Olutha, so were the Jews now governed by the Rabbinomayor, an Israelite, usually in favour at court, and appointed by the King. This Jewish Magistrate exercised his right in the King's name, and sealed his decrees, which the King alone could annul, with the Royal arms. He made journeys through the country to take cognisance of all Jewish affairs, and inquire into the disposal of the revenues of the different synagogues.
He had under him a vice Rabbino-mayor, a Chancellor, a Secretary, and several other officers. Two different orders of Rabbins, or Judges, acted under him in the towns and districts of the kingdom.
This order prevailed also in Portugal, which, as well as Castile, had its own prince of the captivity. The title of Don, confined during the Middle Ages to the nobility of rank in Spain, was also applied to distinguished Jews, not only by their own nation, but in public acts and government documents, as we find by the ancient chronicles. Every kind of office was open to them, and they often served in the army. Of this, a
* Da Costa's “ Israel and the Gentiles.”