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FTER years old and upward, in their charges by their courses;
entered into Judah, and encamped against the 18 And to the genealogy of all their little ones, fenced cities, and thought to *win them for hiniself. their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, 2 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was through all the congregation : for in their *set office come, and that the was purposed to fight against they sanctified themselves in holiness :
Jerusalem, 19 Also of the sons of Aaron the priests, which 3 He took counsel with his princes and his were in the fields rof the suburbs of their cities, in mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains every several city, the men that were expressed' by which were without the city: and they did help name sto give portions to all the males among the him. priests, and to all that were reckoned by genealo 4 So there was gathered much people together, gies among the Levites.
who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that fran 20 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, through ihe midst of the land, saying, Why should and wrought that which was good and right and the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? truth, before the Lord his God.
5 Also he strengthened himself, and built up all 21 And in every work that he began in the ser- the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the vice of the house of God, and in the law," and in towers, and another wall without, and repaired the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with Millo din the city of David, and made $darts and all his heart, and prospered."
shields in abundance.
6 And he set captains of war over the people, CHAPTER XXXII.
and gathered them together to him in the street of This chapter continues and concludes the history of the reign of Hezekiah. !. The the gate of the city, and spake 'comfortably to them, sell, his city, and the minds of his people against that enemy,
m. 148. 11. The saying, Insolent blasphemous letters and messages which Sennacherib sent him, . 9-19. 7 Be «strong and courageous, be not afraid nor prayers, in the total rout of the Assyrian
army, to the shame of Sennacherib
, dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the and the honour of Hezekiah, v. 20—23. IV. Hezekiah's sickness, and his reco? multitude that is with him: for there be more with very from that; his sin, and his recovery from that ; with the honours that attended him living and dead, v. 24–33.
us than with him. 91 Chr. 23, 24, 27.
or, trust. r Lev. 25. 34. Num. 35. 2. 8 ver. 12-15. 1, &c. • break them up. t his face was to war. bla. 22. 9, 11. overflowed. 2 Kings 20. 3. John 1. 41. Acts 24. 16. 1 Thes. 2. 10. 3 Jobn 5. 6 Ps. 1. 2, 3. cc. 25. 23. d 2 Sam. 5. 9, 1 Kings 9. 24. or, errorda or weapons. I to their c. 26. 5. Josb. 1. 7,8. Matt. 6. 33. 7. 21–27. a 2 Kings 18. 13, &c. Is. 36. heart, c. 30. 22 e Deot. 31. 6. 6.2. 15. & 2 Kingo 6. 16.
Out of the offerings of the Lord distribution was made, 1. It was well ordered by the Divine Providence, that he did (1.) To the priests in the cities, (v. 15,) who stayed at home not give them this disturbance before the reformation was while their brethren went to Jerusalem, and did good there in finished and established, which might have put a stop to it. teaching the good knowledge of the Lord; the preaching priests 2. Perhaps he intended to chastise Hezekiah for destroying were maintained as well as the sacrificing priests, and they that idolatry to which he himself was devoted; he looked upon that abode by the stuff, as they that warred the warfare. Hezekiah as profane in what he had done, and that he had (2.) To those that entered into the house of the Lord, all the males thrown himself out of the divine protection, and might therefore from three years old and upward; for the male children, even be easily made a prey of. 3. God ordered it at this time, that at that tender age, it seems, were allowed to come into the he might have an opportunity of showing himself strong on the temple with their parents, and shared with them in this distri- behalf of this returning reforming people. He brought this bution, v. 16. (3.) Even the Levites from twenty years old trouble upon them, that he might have the honour, and might and upward had their share, v. 17. (4.) The wives and chil- put on them the honour, of their deliverance. After these things, dren of the priests and Levites had a comfortable maintenance and the establishment thereof, one would expect to hear of noout of those offerings, v. 18. In maintaining ministers, regard thing but perfect peace, and that none durst meddle with a people must be had to their families, that not they only, but theirs, thus qualified for the divine favour; yet the next news we hear, may have food convenient. In some countries where ministers is, that a threatening destroying army enters the country, and have their salary paid them by the state, an addition is made is ready to lay all waste. We may be in the way of our duty, to it upon the birth of a child. (5.) The priests in the country, and yet meet with trouble and danger; God orders it for the that lived in the fields of the suburbs, were not overlooked in trial of our confidence in him, and the manifestation of his care this ministration, v. 19. They also had their share, who were concerning us. The little opposition which Sennacherib met inhabitants of the villages, though they might be supposed to with in entering Judah, possessed his mind with the conceit live at a less expense.
that all was his own. He thought to win all the fenced cities, II. A general character of Hezekiah's services for the support (v. 1.) and purposed to fight against Jerusalem, v, 2. See of religion, v. 20, 21. 1. His pious zeal reached to all the parts of 2 Kings 18. 7, 13. his kingdom, thus he did throughout all Judah; every part of II. The preparation which Hezekiah prudently made against the country, and not those only that lay next him, shared in the this storm that threatened him. He took counsel with his princes good fruits of his government. 2. He sincerely designed to what he should do, what measures he should take; with their please God, and approved himself to himn in all he did: he advice, he provided, 1. That the country should give him a cold wrought that which was good before the Lord his God; all his reception, for he took care that he should find no water in it, care was to do that which should be accepted of God, which (and then his army must perish for thirst,) or, at least, that was right, (that is, agreeable to natural equity,) and truth, there should be a scarcity of water, by which his army would be (that is, agreeable to divine revelation, and his covenant with weakened, and unfitted for service. A powerful army, if it God,) before the Lord; to do according to that law which is want water but a few days, will be but a heap of dry dust. Al holy, just, and good. 3. What he began, he went through hands were set immediately to work, to stop up the fountains, with, prosecuted it with vigour, and did it with all his heart. and the brook that ran through the midst of that land, turning 4. All his good intentions were brought to a good issue; what that it is probable) into the city by pipes under ground. Such ever he did in the service of the house of God, and in the go as this is the policy commonly practised now-a-days of destroyvernment of his kingdom, he prospered in it. What is under-ing the forage before an invading army. 2. That the city should taken with a sincere regard to the glory of God, will succeed to give him a warm reception: in order to this, he repaired the our own honour and comfort at last.
wall, raised towers, and made darts, or, as it is in the margin,
swords or weapons, and shields, in abundance, (v. 5,) and apNOTES TO CHAPTER XXXII.
pointed captains, v. 6. Note, Those that trust God with their V.1-8. Here is,
safety, must yet use proper means for their safety, else they I. The formidable design of Sennacherib against Hezekiah's tempt him, and do not trust him. God will provide, but so musi kingdom, and the vigorous attempt he made upon it. This
we also. Sennacherib was now, as Nebuchadnezzar was afterward, the III. The encouragement which he gave to his people to deterror and scourge and great oppressor of that part of the world, pend upon God in this distress. He gathered them together in that aimed to raise a boundless monarchy for himself upon the a broad open street, and spake comfortably to them, v. 6. He ruins of all his neighbours; his predecessor Shalmaneser had had a good heart on it himself, and was confident it would issue lately made himself master of the kingdom of Israel, and car- well; he was not like his father, who had much guilt to terrify ried the ten tribes captive: Sennacherib thought, in like man- him, and no faith to encourage him ; so that, in a time of public ner, to win Judah for himself. Pride and ambition put men danger, his heart was moved, as the trees of the wood are moved upon grasping at universal dominion; and it is observable with the wind, and then no marvel that the heart of his people thal, just about this time, Rome was built by Romulus, a city was so too, Is. 7.2. With what he said, he put life into his which afterward came to reign more than any other had done people, his captains especially, and spake to their heart, as the over the kings of the earth. Sennacherib invaded Judah imme- word is. 1. He endeavours to keep down their fears. " BC diately* after the reformation of it, and the re-establishment strong and courageous, do not think of surrendering the city or of religion in it; after these things, he entered into Judah, v. 1. capitulating, but resolve to hold it out to the last man: do not
think of losing the city, or of falling into the enemy's hand; * From 2 Kings 18. 13, we learn that it was in the fourteenth there is no danger. Let the soldiers be bold and brave, make year of Hezekiah's reign.-ED.
good their posts, stand to their arms, and fight manfully, and
ls. 37. 1.&c.
& Is. 10.
8 With him is an harm of Aesh; but with us is the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your the Lord our God, to help us, and to fight our God deliver you out of mine hand ? battles. And the people rested themselves upon 16 And his servants spake yet more against the the #words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
LORD God, and against his servant Hezekiah. 9 After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send 17 He wrote also letters "to rail on the Lord God his servants to Jerusalem, (but he himself laid siege of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the against Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto gods of ihe nations of other lands have not delivered Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God were at Jerusalem, saying,
of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand. 10 Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, 18 Then they cried with a loud voice, in the Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the #siege in Jews' speech, unto the people of Jerusalem that Jerusalem?
were on the wall
, to affright "them, and to trouble 11 Doth not Hezekiah persuade you to give over them, that they might take the city. yourselves to die by famine and by thirst, saying, 19 And Pthey spake against the God of JerusaThe LORD our God shall deliver us out of the hand lem as against the gods of the people of the earth, of the king of Assyria.
which were the work of the hands of man. 12 Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his 20 And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and high places and his altars, and commanded Judah the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed' rand and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one cried to heaven. altar, and burn incense upon it?
21 And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off 13 Know ye not what I and my fathers have all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and done 'unto all the people of other lands? were the captains, in the camp of the king of Assyria : so he gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to returned with shame of face to his own land. And deliver their lands out of mine hand?
when he was come into the house of his god, they 14 Who was there among all the gods of those that came forth of his own bowels slew Shim'there nations, that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could with the sword. deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God 22 Thus "the LORD saved Hezekiah and the should be able to deliver you out of mine hand ? inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Senna
15 Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, cherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe other, and 'guided them on every side. him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able 23 And many brought gifts unto the LORD to to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of A Jer. 17.5. 1 c. 13. 12. Rom. 8. 31. 1 John 4.4. • leaned. & Prov. 12, 25. 14. 73. 8-11, 139. 19, 20.
r Ps. 50. 15. 91. 14, 15. I dominion. 1 or, elrong hold. Ile. 10. 14. Dan. 5. 19. m Dan. 3, 15. 16–18. 42. 8. 2 Sam. 24. 16. Ps. 18. 50. Dan. 3. 28. 6. 22. $ made him fall. * 2 Kings 19. 9, &c. o Neh. 6.9. p 1 Sam. 17. 36. Job 15. 25, 23. Ps. 10. 13, u Ps. 37. 39, 40. Hos. I. 7. Ps. 48. 14. 71. 20, 21. Il precious things. let the citizens enconrage them to do so. Be not afraid nor thinks him no more able to deliver his worshippers, than they dismayed for the king of Assyria." The prophet had thus were to deliver theirs, v. 19. As if an infinite and eternal Spirit encouraged them from God, (Is. 10. 24,) Be not afraid of the had no more wisdom and power than a stone or the stock of a iree. Assyrians; and here the king from him. Now it was that the He boasts of his triumphs over the gods of the nations, that they sinners in Zion were afraid, (Is. 33. 14,) but the righteous could none of them protect their people, (v. 13—15,) and thence dwell on high, (v. 15, 16,) and meditated terror so as to conquer infers not only How shall your God deliver you? (v. 14,) but, it, (v. 18,) which refers to what is recorded here. 2. He en as if he were inferior to them all, How much less shall your deavours to keep up their faith, in order to the silencing and God deliver you? As if he were less able to help than any of suppressing of their fears. “He has a multitude with him, and them. Thus did he rail; rail in writing, (which, being more yet there be more with us than with him: for we have God with deliberate, is so much the worse,) on the Lord God of Israel, us, and how many do you reckon for him? With him is an as if he were a cipher and an empty name, like all the rest, arm of flesh, which he trusts to; but with us is the Lord, whose v. 17. Sennacherib, in the instructions he gave, power is irresistible; our God, whose promise is inviolable ; a than enough; but, as if his blasphemies had been too little, his God in covenant with us, to help us, and to fight our battles, not servants, who learned insolence from their master, spake yet only to help us to fight them, but to fight them for us, is he mere than he bade them against the Lord God and his servant pleases:" and so he did here. Note, A believing confidence Hezekiah, v. 16. And God resents, and will reckon for, what in God will raise us above the prevailing fear of man. He that is said against his servants, as well as what is said against ferreth the fury of the oppressor, forgetteth the Lord his Maker, himself. All this was intended to frighten the people from İs. 51, 12, 13. It is probable that Hezekiah said more to this their hope in God; which David's enemies sought to take him purport, and that the people rested themselves upon what he off from, (Ps. 11. 1.-42. 10,) saying, There is no help for him said, not merely upon his word, but on the things he said con- in God, Ps. 3. 2.-71. 11. Thus they hoped to take the city cerning the presence of God with them and his power to relieve by weakening the hands of those that should defend it. Satan, them. The belief of this made them easy. Let the good sub- in his templations, aims to destroy our faith in God's all-suffijects and soldiers of Jesus Christ rest themselves thus upon his ciency; knowing that he gains his point, if he can do that; as word, and boldly say, Since God is for us, inho can be against us? we keep our ground, if our faith fail not, Luke 22. 32.
V. 9-23. This story of the rage and blasphemy of Sen II. The duty and interest of the church's friends : and that nacherib, Hezekiah's prayer, and the deliverance of Jerusalem is, in the day of distress to pray and cry to Heaven. So Heby the destruction of the Assyrian army, we had more at large zekiah did, and the prophet Isaiah, v. 20. It was a happy time, in the book of Kings, 2 Kings 18. 19. It is contracted here, when the king and the prophet joined thus in prayer. Is any yet large enough to show these three things :
troubled? Is any terrified? Let them pray. So we engage I. The impiety and malice of the church's enemies. Sen- God for us, so we encourage ourselves in him. Praying to God nacherib has his hands full in besieging Lachish, (v. 9,) but is here called crying to Heaven, because we are, in prayer, to hears that Hezekiah is fortifying Jerusalem, and encouraging eye him as our Father in heaven, whence he beholds the chilhis people to stand it out; and therefore, before he came in dren of men, and where he has prepared his throne. person to besiege it, he sends messengers to make speeches, III. The power and goodness of the church's God. He is and he himself wri'es letters to frighten Hezekiah and his able both to control his enemies, be they never so high, and to people into a surrender of the city. See, I. His great malice relieve his friends, be they never so low. As the blasphemies of against the king of Judah, in endeavouring to withdraw his his enemies engage him against them, (Deut. 32. 27,) so the subjects from their allegiance to him. He does not treat with prayers of his people engage him for them; they did so here: Hezekiah as a man of honour would have done, nor propose 1. The army of the Assyrians was cut off by the sword of an fair terms to him, but uses mean and base artifices, unbecoming angel, which triumphed particularly in the slaughter of the a crowned head, to terrify the common people, and persuade mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains, who defied them to desert him. He represents Hezekiah as one who de. the sword of any man. God delights to abase the proud and signed to deceive his subjects into their ruin, and betray them secure. The Targum says, The Word of the Lord, (the Eterto famine and thirst, (v. il;) as one who had done them great nal Word,) sent Gabriel to do this execution, and that it was wrong, and exposed them already to the divine displeasure by done with lightning, and in the passover night; that was the taking away the high places and altars, (v. 12 ;) and who, night in which the angel destroyed the first-born of Egypt. But against the common interest of his people, held out against a that was not all; 2. The king of the Assyrians, having received force that would certainly be their ruin, v. 15. 2. His great this disgrace, was cut off by the sword of his own sons. They impiety against the God of Israel; the God of Jerusalem he is that came forth of his own bowels, slew him, v. 21. Thus was called, (v. 19,) because that was the place he had chosen to put he mortified firsi, and then murdered ; shamed first, and then his name there, and because that was the place which was now slain. Evil pursues sinners; and when they escape one misthreatened by the enemy, and which the Divine Providence chief, they run upon another unseen. had under its special protection. This proud blasphemer com Now, by this work of wonder, (1.) God was glorified, as the pares the great Jehovah, the Maker of heaven and earth, with Protector of his people. Thus he saved Jerusalem, not only the dunghill gods of the nations, the work of men's hands, and from the hand of Sennacherib, but from the hand of all other ; VOL. 1,-130
( 1033 )
: so that he was magnified in the sight of all down to the west side of the city of David. And nations from thenceforth.
Hezekiah prospered in all his works. 24 In "those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, 31 Howbeit, in the business of the fambassadors and prayed unto the Lord: and he spake unto him, of the princes of Babylon, who sent junto him to and he *gave him a sign.
inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, 25 But Hezekiah rendered -not again according God left him, to try thim, that he might know all to the benefit done unto him, for his heart was that was in his heart. vlifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, 32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his and upon Judah and Jerusalem.
goodness, behold, they are written in the visions 26 Notwithstanding, Hezekiah humbled himself of Isaiah "the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the for the pride of his heart, (both he cand the inha- book of the kings 'of Judah and Israel. bitants of Jerusalem,) so that bthe wrath of the 33 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they Lord came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. buried him in the "chietest of the sepulchres of the
27 And “Hezekiah had exceeding much riches sons of David; and all Judah and the inhabitants and honour: and he made himsell treasuries for of Jerusalem did him honour kat his death. And silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for Manasseh his son reigned in his stead. spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels;
CHAPTER XXXIII. 28 Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and
In this chapter, we have the history of the reim, I. or Manasseh, who reigoed wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, long. 1. His wretched apostacy from God, and revole to wolatry, and all sick and cotes for flocks.
edness, v. 1-10. 2. His happy retura to God in his affiiction, his repentance,
v. 11-13, his reformation, v. 15-17, and prosperity, v. 14, with the conclusica 29 Moreover, he provided him cities, and pos of his reign, v.820. 11. Of A men, who reignied very wickedly, 1.21-23 sessions of Aocks and herds in abundance ; for
and soon ended his days unhappily, r. 24, 25. God had given him substance very much.
ANASSEH "was twelve years old when he 30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight years in Jerusalem : u 2 Kings 20. 1, ne, Is. 33. 1, c.
s 2 Kings 20. 12. &c. 2 Kings 14.10. a Jer. 26. 18, 19. b 1 Kings 21. 29.
1 2 Kings 18.-20. 1 or, highet.
4 2 King 21. 1,
d Job I. 3, 9. 12. 11. e Is. 22. 9, 11. interpreler
& Prov, 10. 7.
• or, torought a miracle for him. * Ps, 116. 12. y c. 26. 16. Dan. 5. 20, 23. Hab. 2. 4. 2 c. 24. 1S.
| liftin: up.
c Prov. 10. 22. instrumenda of desire.
for such a deliverance as this was an earnest of much mercy in return to God for his favours to him, making even those favours store ;
and he guided them, that is, he guarded them, on every the food and fuel of his pride, v.25, He rendered not again side. God defends his people by directing them, shows them according to the benefit done unto him. Note, It is justly ex. what they should do, and so saves them from what is designed pected that they who have received mercy from God, should or done against them. For this, many brought gifts unto the study to make some suitable returns for the mercies they have Lord, when they saw the great power of God in the defence of received; and if they do not, their ingratitude will certainly be his people. Strangers were thereby induced to supplicate his charged upon them. Though we cannot render an equivalent, favour, and enemies to deprecate his wrath, and both brought or the payment of a debt, we must render the acknowledgment gifts to his temple, in token of their care and desire. (2.) He of a favour; What shall I render, that may be so accepted ? zekiah was magnified as the favourite and particular care of Ps. 116. 12. Heaven; many brought presents to him, (v. 22, 23,) in token of 5. The divine displeasure he was under for this sin; though the honour they had for him, and to make an interest in him. it was but a heart sin, and the overt act seemed not only innoBy the favour of God, enemies are lost, and friends gained. cent, but civil, (the showing of his treasures to a friend,) yet
V.24–33. Here we conclude the story of Hezekiah, with wrath came upon him and his kingdom for it, v. 25. Note, Pride an account of three things concerning him :
is a sin that God hates as much as any other, and particularly I. His sickness, and his recovery from it, v. 24. It is but in his own people. They that exalt themselves, must expect briefly mentioned here; we had a large narrative of it, 2 Kings to be abased, and put under humbling providences. Wrath 20. His disease seemed likely to be mortal. In the extremity came on David for his pride in numbering the people. of it, he prayed, God answered him, and gave him a sign that 6. His repentance for this sin. He humbled himself for the he should recover; the going back of the sun ten degrees. pride of his heart. Note, (1.) Though God may, for wise and
II. His sin, and his repentance for that; this was also more holy ends, suffer his people to fall into sin, yet he will not suffer largely related, 2 Kings 20. 12, &c. yet several things are here them to lie still in it; they shall not be utterly cast down. (2.) observed concerned it, which we had not there.
Heart sins are to be repented of, though they go no further. 1. The occasion of it was the king of Babylon's sending an (3.) Self-humiliation is a necessary branch of repentance. (4.) honourable embassy to him, to congratulate him on his recovery. Pride of heart, by which we have lifted up ourselves, is a sin, But here it is added that they came to inquire of the wonder for which we oughi, in a special manner, to humble ourselves. that was done in the land, (v. 31,) either the destruction of the (5.) People ought to mourn for the sins of their rulers. The Assyrian army, or the going back of the sun. The Assyrians inhabitants of Jerusalem humbled themselves with Hezekiah ; were their enemies, they came to inquire concerning their fall, either because they knew they also had been guilty of the same that they might triumph in it. The sun was their god, they sin, or at least, reared they might share in the punishment. came to inquire concerning the favour he had shown to Hezekiah, When David, in his pride, numbered the people, they all smartthat they might honour him whom their god honoured, v.31. ed for it. These miracles were wrought to alarm and awaken a stupid 7. The reprieve granted thereupon. The wraih came not careless world, and turn them from dumb and lame idols to the in his days; while he lived, there were peace and truth; so living God; and men were startled by them, but not converted much does repentance avail to put by, or, at least, to put off, till a greater wonder was done in that land, in the appearing of the tokens of God's anger. Jesus Christ, Matt, 2. 1, 2.
III. Here is the honour done to Hezekiah : 1. By the provi2. God left him to himself in it, to try him, v. 31. God, by dence of God while he lived. He had crceciling much riches and the power of his almighty grace, could have prevented the sin; honour, (v. 27,) replevished his stores, victualled his camps, but he permitted it for wise and holy ends, that, by this trial and fortified his city, and did all he wished to do; for God had gier his weakness in it, he might know, that is, it might be known, him substance very much, v. 29. A noong his great performances: (an usual Hebraism,) what was in his heart; that he was not his turning the water course of Gibon is mentioned, (v. 30,) so perfect in grace as he thought he was, but had his follies and infirmities as other men.
which was done upon occasion of Sennacherib's invasion, v. 3, 4. God left him to himself, to be proud The waler had come into that which is called the old pool, of his wealth, to keep him from being proud of his holinoss. It (Is. 22. 11,) and the upper pool, (Is. 7. 3,) but he gathered the is good for us to know ourselves, and our own weakness and sinfulness, that we may not be conceited, or self-confident, but called the lower pool, Is. 22. 9. And, in general
, he prospered
waters into a new place, for the greater convenience of the cily, may always think meanly of ourselves, and live in a dependence in all his works, for ihey were good works. %. By the respecte upon divine grace. We know not the corruption of our own paid to his memory when he was dead. (1.) The prophet hearts, nor what we shall do if God leave us to ourselves. Lord, Isaiah wrote his life and reign, (1. 32,) his acts, and his gonado lead us not into temptation, 3. His sin was, that his heart was lifted up, v. 25. He was
ness, or piety, part of the honour of which is to be recorded and proud of the honour God had put upon him in so many instances;
remembered, for example to others. (2.) The people did him the honour his neighbours did him in bringing him presents; sepulchres, made as great burning for him as for Asa ; or, which
honour al his death, (v. 33,) buried him in the chiefest of the and now that the king of Babylon should send an embassy to him to caress and court him, this exalted him above measure.
is a much greater honour, made great lamentation for him, as When Hezekiah had destroyed other idolatries, he began to
for Josiah. See how the honour of serious godliness is maniidolize himself. O what need have great men, and good men, the generality of the people did not heartily comply with the
fested in the consciences of men. Though it is to be feared that their obligations to free grace, that they may never think highly for reformation, and the memory of those kings was blessed and useful men, to study their own infirmities and follies, and reforming kings, yet they could not but praise their endeavours of themselves, and to beg earnestly of God, that he will hide pride from them, and always keep them humble!
among them. It is a debt we owe to those who have been emi. 4. The aggravation of his sin, was, that he made so bad a I when they are out of the reach of flattery, and we have seen
nently useful in their day, to do them honour at their death,
2 But did that which was evil in the sight of the all that I have commanded them, according to the LORD, like unto the babominations of the heathen, whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by whom the Lord had cast out before the children of the hand of Moses. Israel.
9 So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants 3 For he built again the high places which of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heaHezekiah his father Chad broken down, and he rear- then, whom the LORD had destroyed before the ed up altars for Baalim, and made groves,' and children of Israel. worshipped call the host of heaven, and served them. 10 And the Lord spake to Manasseh, and to his
4 Also he built altars in the house of the Lord, people: but they would not hearken. whereof the Lord had said, In Jerusalem shall my ii Wherefore the Lord brought upon them the name be for ever.
captains of the host tof the king of Assyria, which 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him in the two courts of the house of the LORD. with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.
6 And She caused his children to pass through 12 And when he was in affliction, he besought the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also she the LORD his God, and "humbled himself greatly observed times, and used enchantments, and used before the God of his fathers, witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with 13 And prayed unto him: and 'he was entreated wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him LORD, to provoke him to anger.
again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then "Ma7 And he set a carved image, the idol which nasseh knew that the Lord he was God. he had made, in the house of God, of which God 14 Now after this he built a wall without the had said to David, and to Solomon his son, In this city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen be- valley, even to the entering in at the fish-gate, and fore all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very
great height, and put captains of war in all the 8 Neither will I any more remove the foot of fenced cities of Judah. Israel from out of the land which I have appointed 15 And he took away the strange "gods, and for your fathers; so that they will take heed to do the idol out of the house of the Lord, and all the
6 Deut. 18. 9. 12. 2 Chr. 28. 3. • returned and built. 12. d Deut. 16. 21. & Deut. 17. 3. f Ez. 23. 37, 39.
sprich roere the kinga.
cc. 30. 14. 31. 1. 32.
& Deut. 18. 10, 11.
A Lam. 3. 7.
i Ps. 107, 10-14.
* c. 32. 26. 11 Chr. 5. 20. for, the tower, c. 27. 3. n ver. 3,
the end of their conversation. The due payment of this debt called king of Assyria, because he had made himself master of will be an encouragement to others to do likewise.
Assyria, which he would the more easily do, for the defeat of
Sennacherib's army, and its destruction before Jerusalem. He NOTES TO CHAPTER XXXIII.
aimed at the treasures which the ambassadors had seen, and V.1--10. We have here an account of the great wickedness all those precious things; but God sent him to chastise a sinful of Manasseh; it is the same almost word for word with that people, and reduce a straying prince. The captains took which we had, 2 Kings 21.1-9, and took a melancholy view of ; Munasseh among the thorns, in some bush or other, perhaps in it is no such pleasing subject, that we should delighi to dwell his garden, where he had hid himself. Or, it is spoken figura. upon it again. This foolish young prince, in contradiction to lively; he was perplexed in his counsels, and embarrassed in the good example and good education his father gave him, his affairs. He was, as we say, in the briers, and knew not abandoned himself to all impiety ; transcribed the abominations which way to extricate himself, and so became an easy prey 10 of the heathen, (v. 2,) ruined the established religion, and un the Assyrian captains; who, no doubt, plundered his house, and ravelled his father's glorious reformation, (v. 3,) profaned the took away what they pleased, as Isaiah had foretold, 2 Kings 20. house of God with his idolatry, (v. 4, 5,) dedicated his children 17, 18. What was Hezekiah's pride, was their prey. They to Moloch, and made the devil's lying oracles his guides and his bound Manasseh, who had been held before with the cords of counsellors, ». 6. In contempt of the choice God had made of his own iniquity, and carried him prisoner to Babylon. About Zion to be his rest for ever, and Israel to be his covenant people, what time of his reign this was, we are not told; the Jews say (v. 8,) and the fair terms he stood upon with him, he embraced it was in his twenty-second year. other gods, profaned God's chosen temple, and debauched his II. The expressions of his repentance ; (v. 12, 13,) when he chosen people; he made them to err, and do worse than the was in affliction, he had time to bethink himself, and reason heathen, (v. 9,) for if the unclean spirit return, he brings with enough too. He saw what he had brought himself to by his him sever other spirits more wicked than himself. That which sin; he found the gods he had served, unable to help him. He aggravated the sin of Manasseh, was, that God spake to him and knew that repentance was the only way of restoring his affairs, his people, by the prophets, but they would not hearken, v. 10. and therefore to him he returned, from whom he had revolied. We may here admire the grace of God in speaking to them, 1. He was convinced that Jehovah is the one only living and true and their obstinacy in turning a deaf ear to him; that either God. Then he knew, that is, he believed and considered, that their badness did not quite turn away his goodness, but still he the Lord he was God; he might have known it at a less expense, waited to be gracious, or that his goodness did not turn them if he would have given due attendance and credit to the word from their badness, but still they hated to be reformed.
written and preached: but it was better to pay thus dear for Now from this let us learn, 1. That it is no new thing, but a the knowledge of God, than to perish in ignorance and unbelief. very sad thing, for the children of godly parents to turn aside Had he been a prince in the palace of Babylon, it is probable from that good way of God in which they have been trained up. he had been confirmed in his idolatry; but, being a captive in Parents may give many good things to their children, but they the prisons of Babylon, he was convinced of it, and reclaimed cannot give them grace. 2. Corruptions in worship are such from it. 2. He applied himself to him as his God now, rediseases of the church, as even then, when they seem to be nouncing all others, and resolving to cleave to him only; the cured, it is very apt to relapse into again. 3. The god of this God of his fathers, and a God in covenant with him. 3. He world has strangely blinded men's minds, and has a wonderful humbled himself greatly before him; was truly sorry for his sins, power over those that are led captive by him ; else he could not ashamed of them, and afraid of the wrath of God. It becomes draw them from God their best Friend, to depend upon their sinners to humble themselves before the face of that God whom
they have offended. It becomes sufferers to humble themselves V. 11–20. We have seen Manasseh by his wickedness under the hand of that God who corrects them, and to accept the undoing the good that his father had done; here we have him punishment of their iniquity. Our hearts should be humbled by repentance undoing the evil that he himself had done. It is under humbling providences; then we accommodate ourselves to strange that this was not so much as mentioned in the book of them, and answer God's end in them. 4. He prayed to him for the Kings, nor does any thing appear there to the contrary, but pardon or sin, and the return of his favour. Prayer is the relief that he persisted and perished in his sin. But, perhaps, the of penitents, the relief of the afflicted. That is a good prayer, and reason was, because the design of that history was to show the
very pertinent in this case, which we find among the apocryphal wickedness of the nation which brought destruction upon them; books, entitled, The prayer of Manasses, king of Judah, when he and this repentance of Manasseh, and the benefit of it, being was holden captive in Babylon; whether it was his or no, is uncerpersonal only, and not national, it is overlooked there ; yet here tain; if it was, in it he gives glory to God, as the God of their it is fully related, and a memorable instance it is of the riches fathers and their righteous seed: as the Creator of the world, of God's pardoving mercy, and the power of his renewing grace. à God whose anger is insupportable, and yet his merciful Here is,
promise unmeasurable. He pleads that God has promised re1. The occasion of Manasseh's repentance; and that was his pentance and forgiveness to them that have sinned, and has aMictions. In his distress, he did not like that king Ahaz) appointed repentance unto sinners, that they may be saved; not trespass yet more against God, but humbled himself, and re unto the just, as to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but to me, (says turned to God. Sanctified afflictions often prove happy means he,) that am a sinner; for I have sinned above the number of the of conversion. What his distress was, we are here told, v. 11. sands of the sea: so he confesses his sin largely, and aggraGod brought a foreign enemy upon him; the king of Babylon, vates it. Forgive me, O Lord, forgive me, and destroy me not ; that courted his father who faithfully served God, invaded him he pleads, Thou art the God of them that repent, &c. and connow that he was treacherously departed from God. He is here I cludes, Therefore I will praise thee for ever, &c.
o Lev. 7. 12.
Rom. 5. 16.
u Is. 44. 13, c.
Jer. 7. 26.
Gou. 9.6. Num. 35.
altars that he had built in the mount of the house 22 But he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the Lord, as did Manasseh his father; for of the city :
Amon sacrificed unto all the carved images which 16 And he repaired the altar of the Lord, and Manasseh his father had made, and served them; sacrificed thereon peace-offerings, and thank-offer 23 And humbled not himself before the LORD, ings, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord as Manasseh his father had humbled himself: but God of Israel.
Amon ftrespassed more and more. 17 Nevertheless, the people did sacrifice still in 24 And his servants conspired against him, and the high places, yet unto the LORD their God only: slew him in his own house.
18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and 25 But the people of the land slew wall them his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that had conspired against king Amon : and the that spake to him in the name of the Lord God of people of the land made Josiah his son king in his Israel, behold, they are written in the book of the stead. kings of Israel :
CHAPTER XXXIV. 19 His prayer also, and how God was entreated Before we see Judah and Jerusalem ruined, we shall yet see some glorious years, 90f him, and all his sins, and his trespass, and the while good Josiah sits at the helm. By bio pioua endeavours for reformation,
God tried them yet once more, if they had knoun in this their day, ke day of places wherein he built high places, and set up their visitation, the thinge ihal belonged to their peace, and improved the
their ruin, might have been prevented. But, after this reign, they were hid groves and graven images, before he was humbled,
from their eyes, and the next reigns brought an ulter desolation upog them. In behold, they are written among the sayings of the this chapter, we have, I. A general account of Joaiah's character, v. 1, 2. 13.
His zeal to root oot idolatry, v. 37. III. His care to repair the temple, 1.6 seers.
13. IV. The finding of the book of the law, and the good use made of it, v. 1420 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they 28. V. The public reading of the law to the people, and their renewing their
v2 . buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.
COSIAH "was eight years old when he began to 21 Amon was two and twenty years old when reign : and he reigned in Jerusalem one and he began to reign, and reigned two years in Jeru- thirty years. salem.
2 And he did that which was right in the sight p 2 Kings 15. 4. 91 John 1. 9.
. Ps. 119. 67,
1 multiplied trespasa. 71, 75. • or, Hosai. i 2 Kings 21. 19, &c.
31, 33, 42 Kings 22. I, &c. III. God's gracious acceptance of his repentance. God was and warning to others. 2. Of the words of the seems that spake entreated of him, and heard his supplication. Though affliction to him in the name of the Lord, (v. 10,) the reproofs they gave drives us to God, he will not therefore reject us, if in sincerity him for his sin, and their exhortations to repentance. Note, we seek hirn, for afflictions are sent on purpose to bring us to Sinners ought to consider that how little notice soever they take him. As a token of God's favour to him, he made a way for his of them, an account is kept of the words of the seers that speak escape; afflictions are continued no longer than till they have done to them from God, to admonish them of their sins, warn them their work; when Manasseh is brought back to his God and 10 of their danger, and call them to their duty, which will be prohis duty, he shall soon be brought back to his kingdom. See duced against them in the great day. 3. Of his prayer to God, how ready God is to accept and welcome returning sinners, and (that is iwice mentioned, as a remarkable thing,) and how God how swift to show mercy. Let not great simers despair, when was entreated of him. This was written for the generations to Manasseh himself, upon his repentance, found favour with God; come, that the people that should be created, might praise the in him God showed forth a pattern of long-suffering, as 1 Tim. Lord, for his readiness to receive returning prodigals. 1. 16. Is. 1. 18.
Notice is taken of the place of his burial, not in the sepulchres IV. The fruits meet for repentance which he brought forth of the kings, but in his own house ; he was buried privately, and after his return to his own land, v. 15, 16. 1. He turned from nothing of that honour was done him at his death, that was done his sins. He took away the strange gods, the images of them, to his father. Penitents may recover their comfort sooner than and that idol (whatever it was) which he had set up with so their credit. much solemnity in the house of the Lord, as if it had been master V. 21-25. We have little recorded concerning Amon, but of that house; he cast out all the idolatrous altars that were in enough, unless it were better. Here is, the mount of the house and in Jerusalem, as detestable things; 1. His great wickedness. He did as Manasseh had done in now (we hope ) he loathed them as much as ever he had loved the days of his apostacy, v. 22. They who think this an evithem, and said to them, Get ye hence, Is. 30. 22. “What have dence that Manasseh did not truly repent, forget how many I to do any more with idols? I have had enough of them.” good kings had wicked sons. Only, it should seem that Ma2. He returned to his duty; for he repaired the altar of the nasseh was in this defective, that when he cast out the images, Lord, which had either been abused and broken down by some he did not utterly deface and destroy them, according to the law of the idolatrous priests, or, at least, neglected and gone out of which required them to burn the images with fire, Deut. 7.5. repair. He sacrificed thereon peace-offerings to implore God's How necessary that law was, this instance shows; for the savour, and thank-offerings to praise him for his deliverance. carved images being only thrown by, and not burned, Amon knew Nay, he now used his power to reform his people, as before he where to find them, soon set them up, and sacrificed to them. had abused it to corrupt them, He commander Judah to serve It is added, to represent him exceeding sinful, and to justify the Lord God of Israel. Note, Those that truly repent of their God in cutting him off so soon, (1.) That he outdid his father sins, will not only return to God themselves, but will do all they in sinning; he trespassed more and more, v. 23. His father did can to reduce those that have by their example been seduced ill, but he did worse. They that were joined to idols, grew and drawn away from God; else they do not thoroughly (as more and more mad upon them. (2.) That he came short of they ought) undo what they have done amiss, nor make the his father in repenting ; he humbled not himself before the Lord, plaster as wide as the wound. We find that he prevailed to as his father had humbled himself. He fell like him, but did not bring them off from their false gods, but not from their high get up again like him. It is not so much sin, as impenitence places, v. 17. They still sacrificed in them, yet to the Lord their in sin, that ruins men; not so much that they offend, as that God only; Manasseh could not carry the reformation so far as they do not humble themselves for their offences ; not the dishe had carried the corruption. It is an easy thing to debauch ease, but the neglect of the remedy. men's manners, but not so easy to reform them again.
2. His speedy destruction. He reigned but two years, and V. His prosperity, in some measure, after his repentance. then his servants conspired against him and slew him, r. 24. He might plainly see it was sin that ruined him; for when he Perhaps when Amon sinned, as his father did, in the beginning returned to God in a way of duty, God returned to him in a way of his days, he promised himself that he should repen', as his of mercy: and then he built a wall about the city of David, father did, in the latter end of his days. But his case shows (v. 14,) for by sin he had unwalled it, and exposed it to the what a madness it is to presume upon that; if he hoped to reenemy. He also put captains of war in the fenced cities, for pent when he was old, he was wretchedly disappointed; for he the security of his country. Josephus says, that all the rest was cut off when he was young. He rebelled against God, and of his time, he was so changed for the better, that he was his own servants rebelled against him. Herein God was looked upon as a very happy man.
righteous, but they were wicked, and justly did the people of the Lastly, Here is the conclusion of his history. The heads of land put them to death as traitors. The lives of kings are those things for a full narrative of which we are referred to the particularly under the protection of Providence, and the laws other writings that were then extant, are more than of any of the both of God and man. kings, v. 18, 19. A particular account, it seems, was kepi,
NOTES TO CHAPTER XXXIV, 1. Of all his sin, and his trespass, the high places he built, V. 1-7. Concerning Josiah we are told, the groves and images he set up, before he was humbled. Proba. 1. That he came to the crown when he was very young, bnt bly, this was taken from his own confession which he made of eight years old; yet his infancy did not debar him from his his sin, when God gave him repentance, and which he left upon right, and he reigned thirty-one years, (v. 1,) a considerable record, and was inserted in a book, entitled, The words of the time. I fear, however, that in the beginning of his reign, things seers. To those seers that sprke to him, (v. 18,) to reprove went much as they had done in his father's time, because, him for his sin, he sent his confession when he repented, to be being a child, he must have left the management of them to inserted in their memoirs, as a token of his gratitude to them others; so that it was not till his 12th year, which goes far in for their kindness in reproving him. Thus it becomes penitents the number of his years, that he reformation began, v. 3. He to take shame to themselves, to give thanks to their reprovers, I could not, as Hezekiah did, fall about it immediately.