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inflicted upon him and his people by God, are all fully de- | his faithful adherence to truth. The books of Samuel connect scribed. This book consists of three principal divisions, re- the chain of sacred history by detailing the circumstances of ating the triumphs and the troubles of David, and his trans- an interesting period. They describe the reformation and imactions subsequent to his recovery of the throne, whence he provements of the Jewish church established by David: and was driven for a short time by the rebellion of his son as they delineate minutely the life of that monarch, they point Absalom. out his typical relation to Christ. Many heathen authors have borrowed from the books of Samuel, or have collected from other sources, many particulars of those accounts which he gives." In the falls of David we behold the strength and prevalence of human corruption: and in his repentance and recovery, the extent and efficacy of divine grace.

PART 1. The Triumphs of David. (ch. i.—x.)

SECT. 1. His elegant, tender, and pathetic elegy over Saul and Jonathan. (i.)

SECT. 2. His triumph over the house of Saul, and confirmation in the kingdom. (ii.-iv.) SECT. 3. His victories over the Jebusites and Philistines (v.), and the bringing up of the ark to Jerusalem. (vi.) David's prayer to God on that occasion, and the divine promises made to him (vii.); which, though they primarily related to the establishment of the throne in his posterity, yet ultimately prefigured the everlasting kingdom of the Messiah. (Compare vii. 12-16. with Heb. i. 5.) SECT. 4. His victories over the Philistines, Ammonites, and other neighbouring nations. (viii.-x.) PART II. The Troubles of David, and their Cause, together with his Repentance, and subsequent Recovery of the Divine Favour. (ch. xi.-xix.)

SECT. 1. The cause of David's troubles, his first great offence against God,-his sin in the matter of Uriah, and the divine judgments denounced against him on that account. (xi. xii.)

SECT. 2. The punishments in consequence of that sin, first, from domestic troubles in the sin of Amnon (xiii.); and, secondly, public troubles, in the rebellion of Absalom, which, for a short time, exiled David from the throne (xiv.—xvii.) ; the death of Absalom (xviii.) and David's mourning on his account. (xix.)

The two books of Samuel are of very considerable importance for illustrating the book of Psalms, to which they may be considered as a key. Thus, Psalm iii. will derive much light from 2 Sam. xv. 14. et seq.;-Psal. iv. from 1 Sam. xxii. xxiii. xxvi. ;-Psal. vii. from 2 Sam. xvi. 2. 11.;-Psal xxiv. from 2 Sam. vi. 12. et seq. ;-Psal. xxx. from 1 Sam. v. 11. ;-Psal. xxxii. and li. from 2 Sam. xii. ;-Psal. xxxiv. from 2 Sam. xxi. 10-15.;-Psal. xxxv. from 2 Sam. xv.— xvii. ;-Psal. xlii. and xliii. from 2 Sam. xvii. 22-24.;Psal. lii. from 1 Sam. xxii. 9. ;-Psal. liv. from 1 Sam. xxiii. 19. and xxvi. 1.;-Psal. lv. from 2 Sam. xvii. 21, 22.;— Psal. Ivi. from 1 Sam. xxi. 11-15.;-Psal. Ivii. from 1 Sam. xxii. 1. and xxiv. 3. ;-Psal. lix. from 1 Sam. xix. 11.;Psal. Ix. from 2 Sam. viii. 3-13. and x. 15-19.;-Psal. lxiii. from 1 Sam. xxii. 5. and xxiii. 14-16. ;-Psal. lxviii. from 2 Sam. vi. 3-12.;-Psal. lxxxix. from 2 Sam. vii. 12. et seq.; and Psal. exlii. from 1 Sam. xxii. 1. and xxiv. 1.

et seq.

SECTION VI.

ON THE TWO BOOKS OF KINGS.

PART III. David's Restoration to his Throne, and subsequent I. Order and title of these books.-II. Author.-III. ArguTransactions. (ch. xx.-xxiv.)

SECT. 1. David's return to Jerusalem, and the insurrection of
Sheba quelled. (xx.)

ment and synopsis of the first book of Kings.--IV. Argument and synopsis of the second book of Kings.-V. General observations on these books.

SECT. 2. His punishment of the sons of Saul, and successful I. THE two books of Kings are closely connected with battles with the Philistines. (xxi.) those of Samuel. The origin and gradual increase of the SECT. 3. His psalm of praise, on a general review of the mer-united kingdom of Israel under Saul and his successor David, cies of his life, and the many and wonderful deliverances having been described in the latter, the books now under conwhich he had experienced. (xxii.) This divine ode, sideration relate its height of glory under Solomon, its diviwhich contains the noblest images, perhaps, that were eversion into two kingdoms under his son and successor Rehoexpressed in words, also occurs in the book of Psalms boam, the causes of that division, and the consequent decline (Psal. xviii.), with a few variations. We have it here, as of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, until their final suboriginally composed for his own closet and his own harp; version; the ten tribes being carried captive into Assyria by but there we have it as delivered to the chief musician for Shalmaneser, and Judah and Benjamin to Babylon by Nebuthe service of the church, with some amendments. For, chadnezzar. In the most correct and ancient editions of the though primarily calculated for the royal prophet's immedi- Hebrew Bible, the two books of Kings constitute but one, ate use, yet it might indifferently assist the devotion of with a short space or break sometimes between them. Some others, when giving thanks for their deliverances : or, it was of the early fathers of the Christian church seem to have intended that his people should thus join with him in his begun the first book of Kings at the death of David. (ii. 12.) thanksgivings; because, being a public person, his deliver- The more modern copies of the Hebrew Bible have the same ances were to be accounted public blessings, and called for division with our authorized version: though in the time of public acknowledgments. the Masoretes, they certainly formed only one book; as both (like the books of Samuel) are included under one enumeration of sections, versions, &c. in the Masora. They have evidently been divided, at some unknown period, into two parts, for the convenience of reading.

SECT. 4. The last words of David, forming a supplement or conclusion to the preceding sublime hymn (xxiii. 1--7.), which are followed by an enumeration of his mighty men.

(xxiii. 8-39.)

SECT. 5. David's second great offence against God, in numbering the people; its punishment; David's penitential intercession and sacrifice. (xxiv.)

V. This second book of Samuel bears an exact relation to the preceding, and is likewise connected with that which succeeds. We see throughout the effects of that enmity against other nations, which had been implanted in the minds of the -Israelites by the Mosaic law, and which gradually tended to the extirpation of idolatry. "This book, likewise, as well as the former, contains other intrinsic proofs of its verity, By describing without disguise the misconduct of those characters, who were highly reverenced among the people, the sacred writer demonstrates his impartial sincerity: and, by appealing to monuments that attested the veracity of his relations when he wrote, he furnished every possible evidence of

The offence of David seems to have chiefly consisted in his persisting to require a muster of all his subjects able to bear arms, without the divine command, without necessity, in a time of profound peace, to indulge an idle vanity and presumption, as if he put his trust more in the number of his subjects than in the divine protection; and the offence of his people night also have been similar, always elated as they were, and provoking the anger of the Lord in prosperity by their forgetfulness of him. Deut. vi. 10 12. Dr. Hales's Analysis, vol. ii. p. 383.

The titles to these books have been various, though it appears from Origen that they derived their name from the initial words, va-MeLeCH David, Now king David; in the same manner as (we have seen) the book of Genesis does. In the Septuagint Greek version, it is simply termed BAZIAEION of reigns or kingdoms, of which it calls Samuel the first and second, and these two the third and fourth. The Vulgate Latin version entitles it, Liber Regum tertius; secundum Hebræos, Liber Malachim, that is, the third book of Kings; according to the Hebrews, the first book of Maluchim. The old Syriac version has: Here follows the book of the Kings who flourished among the ancient people; and in this are also exhibited the history of the prophets, who flourished in their times. In the Arabic it is thus entitled:In the name of the most merciful and compassionate God; the book of Solomon, the son of David the prophet, whose benedictions be upon us. Amen.3

II. Concerning the author or authors of these books, the sentiments of learned men are extremely divided. Some have been of opinion that David, Solomon, and Hezekiah wrote the history of their own reigns; others, that Nathan, Gad,

Bp. Gray's Key, p. 181.

Dr. A. Clarke's Pref. to 1 Kings, p. 1.

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Isaiah, Jeremiah, and other prophets who flourished in the | to reconcile them. This clearly demonstrates his fidelity, Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, undertook the office of histo- exactness, and integrity. In other places some reflections or iographers. We know that several of the prophets wrote illustrations are inserted, which naturally arise from his subthe lives of those kings who reigned in their times; for the ject; this shows him to have been fully master of the matter names and writings of these prophets are mentioned in seve- he was discussing, and that, being divinely inspired, he was ral places in the books of Kings and Chronicles; which also not afraid of intermixing his own words with those of the cite or refer to the original annals of the kings of Israel and prophets, whose writings lay before him. Judah, of which those books have transmitted to us abridgments or summaries. Thus, in 1 Kings xi. 41. we read of the acts of Solomon, which acts were recorded in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer (2 Chron. ix. 29); which Iddo was employed, in conjunction with Shemaiah the prophet, in writing the acts of Rehoboam. (2 Chron. xii. 15.) We also read of the book of Jehu the prophet, relating the transactions of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. xx. 34. 1 Kings xvi. 1.); and Isaiah the prophet wrote the acts of king Uzziah (2 Chron. xxvi. 22.), and also of Hezekiah (2 Chron. xxxii. 32.); and it is highly probable that he wrote the history of the two intermediate kings Jotham and Ahaz, in whose reigns he lived. (Isa. i. 1.)`

It is evident, therefore, that two descriptions of writers were concerned in the composition of the books of Kings:first, those original, primitive, and contemporary authors, who wrote the annals, journals, and memoirs of their own times, from which the authors of our sacred history subsequently derived their materials. These ancient memoirs have not descended to us; but they unquestionably were in the hands of those sacred penmen, whose writings are in our possession, since they cite them and refer to them. The second class of writers consists of those, by whom the books of Kings were actually composed in the form in which we now have them. The Jews ascribe them to Jeremiah; and their opinion has been adopted by Grotius and other eminent commentators: others again assign them to the prophet Isaiah. But the most probable opinion is, that these books were digested into their present order by Ezra. The following are the grounds on which this opinion is founded and supported:1. The general uniformity of style and manner indicates that these books were written by one person.

2. The author evidently lived after the captivity of Babylon: for, at the end of the second book of Kings, he speaks of the return from the captivity. (2 Kings xxv. 22, &c.)

3. He says that in his time the ten tribes were still captive in Assyria, whither they had been carried as a punishinent for their sins. (2 Kings xvii. 23.)

4. In the seventeenth chapter of the second book of Kings, he introduces some reflections on the calamities of Judah and Israel, which demonstrate that he wrote after those calamities had taken place. Compare 2 Kings xvii. 6-24.

5. He almost every where refers to the ancient memoirs which he had before him, and abridged.

6. There is also every reason to believe, that the author was a PRIEST or a prophet. He studies less to describe acts of heroism, successful battles, conquests, political address, &c. than what regards the temple, religious ceremonies, festivals, the worship of God, the piety of princes, the fidelity of the prophets, the punishment of crimes, the manifestation of God's anger against the wicked, and his regard for the righteous. He every where appears greatly attached to the house of David. He treats on the kings of Israel only incidentally; his principal object being the kingdom of Judah, and its particular affairs.

Now, all these marks correspond with Ezra, a learned priest, who lived both during and subsequently to the captivity, and might have collected numerous documents, which, from the lapse of time and the persecutions of the Jews, are now lost to us. Such are the reasons on which Calmet has ascribed the books of Kings to Ezra, and his opinion is generally received. There are, however, a few circumstances that seem to militate against this hypothesis, which should be noticed, as not agreeing with the time of Ezra. Thus, in 1 Kings viii. 8. the ark of the covenant is represented as being in the temple "to this day:" and in 1 Kings xii. 19. the kingdoms of Israel are mentioned as still subsisting. In 1 Kings vi. 1. 37, 38. the author mentions the months of Zif and Bul, names which were not in use after the captivity. Lastly, the writer expresses himself throughout as a contemporary, and as an author who had been an eye-witness of what he wrote. But these apparent contradictions admit of an easy solution. Ezra generally transcribes verbatim the memoirs which he had in his possession without attempting

The divine authority of these books is attested by the many predictions they contain: they are cited as authentic and canonical by Jesus Christ (Luke iv. 25-27.), and by his apostles (Acts vii. 47. Rom. xi. 2—4. James v. 17, 18.), and they have constantly been received into the sacred canon by the Jewish and Christian churches in every age. Their truth and authenticity also derive additional confirmation from the corresponding testimonies of ancient profane writers.2 III. The FIRST BOOK OF KINGS embraces a period of one hundred and twenty-six years, from the anointing of Solomon and his admission as a partner in the throne with David, A. M. 2989, to the death of Jehoshaphat, A. M. 3115. It relates the latter part of David's life; his death, and the accession of Solomon, whose reign comprehended the most prosperous and glorious period of the Israelitish history; and prefigured the peaceful reign of the Messiah; Solomon's erection and consecration of the temple at Jerusalem (the beauty and perfection of which was a type of the beauty and perfection of the church of God); his awful defection from the true religion; the sudden decay of the Jewish nation after his death, when it was divided into two kingdoms,-under Rehoboam, who reigned over the kingdom of Judah, comprising the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and under Jeroboam, who was sovereign of the other ten tribes that revolted from the house of David, and which in the Sacred Writings are designated as the kingdom of Israel; the reigns of Rehoboam's successors, Abijam, Asa, and Jehoshaphat; and those of Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, Tibni, the wicked Ahab, and Ahaziah (in part), who succeeded Jeroboam in the throne of Israel. For the particular order of succession of these monarchs, and of the prophets who flourished during their respective reigns, the reader is referred to the chronological table inserted in Appendix II. to this volume. The first book of Kings may be divided into two principal parts; containing, 1. The history of the undivided kingdom under Solomon; and, 2. The history of the divided kingdom under Rehoboam and his successors, and Jeroboam and his successors.

PART I. The History of Solomon's Reign (ch. i.—xi.) contains a narrative of,

SECT. 1. The latter days of David; the inauguration of Solomon as his associate in the kingdom, and his designation to be his successor. (i. ii. 1-11.)

SECT. 2. The reign of Solomon from the death of David to his undertaking the erection of the temple. (ii. 12-46 iii. iv.)

SECT. 3. The preparations for building the temple. (v.) SECT. 4. The building of the temple (vi.) and of Solomon's own house, together with the preparation of the vessels and utensils for the temple service. (víi.)

SECT. 5. The dedication of the temple, and the sublime prayer of Solomon on that occasion. (viii.)

SECT. 6. Transactions during the remainder of Solomon's reign:-his commerce; visit from the queen of Sheba; the splendour of his monarchy; his falling into idolatry, and the adversaries by whom he was opposed until his death. (ix. x. xi.)

PART II. The History of the two Kingdoms of Judah and Israel. (ch. xii. xxii.)

SECT. 1. The accession of Rehoboam, and division of the two kingdoms. (xii.)

SECT. 2. The reigns of Rehoboam king of Judah, and of Jeroboam I. king of Israel. (xiii. xiv.)

SECT. 3. The reigns of Abijam and Asa kings of Judah, and

1 The consideration that these books were digested from memoirs, written by different persons who lived in the respective times of which they wrote, will help to reconcile what is said of Hezekiah in 2 Kings xviii. 5. said of Josiali in chap. xxiii. 25. that, like unto him was there no king bethat, after him none was like him of all the kings of Juduh, with what is fore him; for, what is said of Hezekiah was true, till the eighteenth year much is said in the sacred history. Mr. Reeves, Pref. to Books of Kings. of Josiah, when that pious sovereign began the reformation of which so 2 Josephus, Antiq. Jud. lib. viii. c. 2. Eusebius, Prep. Evang. lib. x. Grotius de Veritate, lib. iii. c. 16., and Allix, Reflections upon the Books of the Old Testament, chap. ii. have collected several instances of the confir consult the testimonies given in Vol. I. pp. 69–78. supra. mation of the sacred historians from profane authors. On this subject also

SECTION VIII.

ON THE BOOK OF EZRA.

Title and author.-II. Argument, scope, and synopsis of its contents.-III. Observations on a spurious passage ascribed to Ezra.

I. THE books of Ezra and Nehemiah were anciently them into the first and second books of Ezra. The same direckoned by the Jews as one volume, and were divided by vision is recognised by the Greek and Latin churches: but the third book, assigned to Ezra, and received as canonical by the Greek church, is the same, in substance, as the book which properly bears his name, but interpolated. And the fourth book, which has been attributed to him, is a manifest forgery, in which the marks of falsehood are plainly discerneither by the Greek or by the Latin church, although some ible, and which was never unanimously received as canonical of the fathers have cited it, and the Latin church has borrowed some words out of it. It is not now extant in Greek, and never was extant in Hebrew.

V. Independently of the important moral and religious instruction to be derived from the two books of Chronicles, as illustrating the divine dispensation towards a highly favoured but ungrateful people, the second book is extremely valuable in a critical point of view; not only as it contains some histo- I. rical particulars which are not mentioned in any other part of the Old Testament, but also as it affords us many genuine readings, which, by the inaccuracy of transcribers, are now lost in the older books of the Bible. The discrepancies between the books of Kings and Chronicles, though very numerous, are not of any great moment, and admit of an easy solution, being partly caused by various lections, and partly arising from the nature of the books; which being supplementary to those of Samuel and Kings, omit what is there related more at large, and supply what is there wanting. It should further be recollected, that, after the captivity, the Hebrew language was slightly varied from what it had formerly been; that different places had received new names, or undergone sundry vicissitudes: that certain things were now better known to the returned Jews under other appellations, than under those by which they had formerly been distinguished; and that, from the materials to which the author had access (and which frequently were different from those consulted by the writers of the royal histories), he has selected those passages which appeared to him best adapted to his purpose, and most suitable to the time in which he wrote. It must also be considered, that he often elucidates obscure and ambiguous words in former books by a different mode of spelling them, or by a different order of the words employed, even when he does not use a distinct phraseology of narration, which he sometimes adopts.2

As the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles relate the same histories, they should each be constantly read and collated together; not only for the purpose of obtaining a more comprehensive view of Jewish history, but also in order to illustrate or amend from one book what is obscure in either of the others.

The following table of the more remarkable parallel passages of the books of Chronicles and those of Samuel and Kings will assist the reader in his collation of these books :3

1 Chron. x. 1-12.

1 Chron. xi. 1-9.

1 Chron. xi. 10-41.

1 Chron. xiii. 1-14.

1 Chron. xiv. 1-7.

1 Chron. xvii.

1 Chron. xviii.

1 Chron. xix.

1 Chron. xx. 1-3.

1 Chron. xx. 4-8.

1 Chron. xxi.

2 Chron. i. 3-13.

2 Chron. i. 14—17.

2 Chron. ii.

2 Chron. iii. iv.

2 Chron. v. 2. vii. 10.

2 Chron. vii. 11-22.

2 Chron. viii.

2 Chron. ix. 1-12.

2 Chron. ix. 13-31..

2 Chron. x. 1. xi. 4.

2 Chron. xii. 2-11..

2 Chron. xvi. 1-6.

2 Chron. xviii.

2 Chron. xx. 31-37.

2 Chron. xxi. 6-10.

2 Chron. xxii. 2-6.

2 Chron. xxii. 10. xxiii. 21.

2 Chron. xxiv. 1-14.

2 Chron. xxv. 1-4. 11. 17-24. 27, 28.

2 Chron. xxvi. 1, 2.

2 Chron. xxvii. 1-3.

2 Chron. xxviii. 1-4.

2 Chron. xxix. 1, 2..

2 Chron. xxxii. 9-21.

2 Chron. xxxii. 24-31.

2 Chron. xxxiii. 1-10.

2 Chron. xxxiv. 1, 2. 8-28.

2 Chron. xxxiv. 29-33.

2 Chron. xxxv. 18. 20-25.

2 Chron. Xxxvi. 1.

2 Chron. xxxvi. 2-4.

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It is evident that the author of the book of Ezra was personally present at the transactions recorded in it, the narrative being in the first person. It also bears upon the face of it every character of natural simplicity, and contains more particulars of time, persons, and places, than could have been introduced by any other individual. That the last four chapters of this book were written by Ezra himself there can be no doubt, as he particularly describes himself in the beginning of the seventh chapter, and likewise frequently introduces himself in the subsequent chapters. The Jews, indeed, ascribe the whole of this book to Ezra, and their opinion is adopted by most Christian commentators. But as the writer of the first six chapters appears, from ch. v. 4., to have been at Jerusalem in the reign of Darius Hystaspes, and it is evident from the beginning of the seventh chapter that Ezra did not go thither until the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus (a distance of sixty years), some persons have ascribed the first six chapters to a more ancient author. This, however, does not necessarily follow: and we apprehend it will appear that these chapters were written by Ezra as well as the last

four:

In the first place, from the intimate connection of the sixth chapter with the seventh for the diversity of speech and narration observable in them may readily be accounted for by the circumstance of Ezra's having copied, or extracted from, 2 Sam. xi. 1. xii. 30, et seq. the authentic memoirs, which he found on his arrival at Jeru

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salem, of the transactions that had happened since the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity.

Secondly, the same method of narration prevails in both parts: for, as in the second part (ch. vii. 12-26.), the royal decree is inserted, entire, in the Chaldee dialect; so, in the first part, the edict of Cyrus, the epistle of the Samaritans to the Pseudo-Smerdis, and his reply to them, together with part of the fourth chapter, are also given in Chaldee.

And, lastly, in the third place, it is not likely that a short historical compendium, like the book of Ezra, should be the work of more than one author: nor ought we to assign it to several authors, unless we had either express declarations or internal evidence that they were concerned in it; all these evidences are wanting in the book of Ezra.

This book is written in Chaldee from chapter iv. 8. to 2 Kings xiv. 1-14, 19, 20. chapter vi. 18. and chapter vii. 12-26. As this portion of

2 Kings xiv. 21, 22.

2 Kings xv. 33. 35.

2 Kings xvi. 2-4.

2 Kings xviii. 2, 3.

2 Kings xviii. 17-37

2 Kings xx. 1-19.

2 King's xxi. 1-10.

2 Kings xxii.

2 Kings xxiii. 1-20.
2 Kings xxiii. 22, 23.
2 Kings xxiii. 29, 30.
2 Kings xxiii. 31-34.

1 The above remark will be clearly illustrated by comparing 2 Kings xxiv. 6. with 2 Chron. xxxvi. 6. and Jer. xxxvi. 30.; 1 Kings xv. 2. with 2 Chron. xv. 19.; 1 Kings xxii. 44. with 2 Chron. xvii. 6.; 2 Kings ix. 27. with 2 Chron. xxii. 9. See also Professor Dahler's learned Disquisition "De Librorum Paralipomen auctoritate atque fide historica" (8vo. Argentorati et Lipsiæ, 1819); in which he has instituted a minute collation of the books of Chro nicles with the books of Samuel and of Kings; and has satisfactorily vindicated their genuineness and credibility against the insinuations and objec2 Calmet's Dictionary, article Chronicles, in fine. This table is copied from Prof. Turner's and Mr. Whittingham's translation of Jahn, p. 272. note.

tions of some recent sceptical German critics.

Ezra chiefly consists of letters, conversations, and decrees, expressed in that language, the fidelity of the historian probably induced him to take down the very words which were used. The people, too, having been accustomed to the Chaldee during the captivity, were in all probability better acquainted with it than with the Hebrew; for it appears from Nehemiah's account that they did not all understand the law of Moses as it had been delivered in the original Hebrew tongue.

II. The book of Ezra harmonizes most strictly with the Prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah, which it materially elu cidates. (Compare Ezra v. with Hagg. i. 12. and Zech. iii. iv.) It evinces the paternal care of Jehovah over his chosen people, whose history it relates from the time of the edict issued by Cyrus, to the twentieth year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, a period of about seventy-nine or, according to some chronologers, of one hundred years. This book consists of two principal divisions: the first contains a narrative of the return of the Jews from Babylon under the conduct of Zerub

Isaiah, Jeremiah, and other prophets who flourished in the | to reconcile them. This clearly demonstrates his fidelity, Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, undertook the office of histo- exactness, and integrity. In other places some reflections or iographers. We know that several of the prophets wrote illustrations are inserted, which naturally arise from his subthe lives of those kings who reigned in their times; for the ject; this shows him to have been fully master of the matter names and writings of these prophets are mentioned in seve- he was discussing, and that, being divinely inspired, he was ral places in the books of Kings and Chronicles; which also not afraid of intermixing his own words with those of the cite or refer to the original annals of the kings of Israel and prophets, whose writings lay before him. Judah, of which those books have transmitted to us abridgments or summaries. Thus, in 1 Kings xi. 41. we read of the acts of Solomon, which acts were recorded in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer (2 Chron. ix. 29); which Iddo was employed, in conjunction with Shemaiah the prophet, in writing the acts of Rehoboam. (2 Chron. xii. 15.) We also read of the book of Jehu the prophet, relating the transactions of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. xx. 34. 1 Kings xvi. 1.); and Isaiah the prophet wrote the acts of king Uz-hundred and twenty-six years, from the anointing of Solomon ziah (2 Chron. xxvi. 22.), and also of Hezekiah (2 Chron. xxxii. 32.); and it is highly probable that he wrote the history of the two intermediate kings Jotham and Ahaz, in whose reigns he lived. (Isa. i. 1.)

It is evident, therefore, that two descriptions of writers were concerned in the composition of the books of Kings:first, those original, primitive, and contemporary authors, who wrote the annals, journals, and memoirs of their own times, from which the authors of our sacred history subsequently derived their materials. These ancient memoirs have not descended to us; but they unquestionably were in the hands of those sacred penmen, whose writings are in our possession, since they cite them and refer to them. The second class of writers consists of those, by whom the books of Kings were actually composed in the form in which we now have them. The Jews ascribe them to Jeremiah; and their opinion has been adopted by Grotius and other eminent commentators: others again assign them to the prophet Isaiah. But the most probable opinion is, that these books were digested into their present order by Ezra. The following are the grounds on which this opinion is founded and supported :1. The general uniformity of style and manner indicates that these books were written by one person.

2. The author evidently lived after the captivity of Babylon: for, at the end of the second book of Kings, he speaks of the return from the captivity. (2 Kings xxv. 22, &c.)

3. He says that in his time the ten tribes were still captive in Assyria, whither they had been carried as a punishment for their sins. (2 Kings xvii. 23.)

4. In the seventeenth chapter of the second book of Kings, he introduces some reflections on the calamities of Judah and Israel, which demonstrate that he wrote after those calamities had taken place. Compare 2 Kings xvii. 6-21.

5. He almost every where refers to the ancient memoirs which he had before him, and abridged.

- 6. There is also every reason to believe, that the author was a PRIEST or a prophet. He studies less to describe acts of heroism, successful battles, conquests, political address, &c. than what regards the temple, religious ceremonies, festivals, the worship of God, the piety of princes, the fidelity of the prophets, the punishment of crimes, the manifestation of God's anger against the wicked, and his regard for the righteous. He every where appears greatly attached to the house of David. He treats on the kings of Israel only incidentally; his principal object being the kingdom of Judah, and its particular affairs.

Now, all these marks correspond with Ezra, a learned priest, who lived both during and subsequently to the captivity, and might have collected numerous documents, which, from the lapse of time and the persecutions of the Jews, are now lost to us. Such are the reasons on which Calmet has ascribed the books of Kings to Ezra, and his opinion is generally received. There are, however, a few circumstances that seem to militate against this hypothesis, which should be noticed, as not agreeing with the time of Ezra. Thus, in 1 Kings viii. 8. the ark of the covenant is represented as being in the temple "to this day :" and in 1 Kings xii. 19. the kingdoms of Israel are mentioned as still subsisting. In 1 Kings vi. 1. 37, 38. the author mentions the months of Zif and Bul, names which were not in use after the captivity. Lastly, the writer expresses himself throughout as a contemporary, and as an author who had been an eye-witness of what he wrote. But these apparent contradictions admit of an easy solution. Ezra generally transcribes verbatim the memoirs which he had in his possession without attempting

The divine authority of these books is attested by the many predictions they contain: they are cited as authentic and canonical by Jesus Christ (Luke iv. 25-27.), and by his apostles (Acts vii. 47. Rom. xi. 2-4. James v. 17, 18.), and they have constantly been received into the sacred canon by the Jewish and Christian churches in every age. Their truth and authenticity also derive additional confirmation from the corresponding testimonies of ancient profane writers.2 III. The FIRST BOOK OF KINGS embraces a period of one and his admission as a partner in the throne with David, A. M. 2989, to the death of Jehoshaphat, A. M. 3115. It relates the latter part of David's life; his death, and the accession of Solomon, whose reign comprehended the most prosperous and glorious period of the Israelitish history; and prefigured the peaceful reign of the Messiah; Solomon's erection and consecration of the temple at Jerusalem (the beauty and perfection of which was a type of the beauty and perfection of the church of God); his awful defection from the true religion; the sudden decay of the Jewish nation after his death, when it was divided into two kingdoms,-under Rehoboam, who reigned over the kingdom of Judah, comprising the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and under Jeroboam, who was sovereign of the other ten tribes that revolted from the house of David, and which in the Sacred Writings are designated as the kingdom of Israel; the reigns of Rehoboam's successors, Abijam, Asa, and Jehoshaphat; and those of Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, Tibni, the wicked Ahab, and Ahaziah (in part), who succeeded Jeroboam in the throne of Israel. For the particular order of succession of these monarchs, and of the prophets who flourished during their respective reigns, the reader is referred to the chronological table inserted in Appendix II. to this volume. The first book of Kings may be divided into two principal parts; containing, 1. The history of the undivided kingdom under Solomon; and, 2. The history of the divided kingdom under Rehoboam and his successors, and Jeroboam and his successors.

PART I. The History of Solomon's Reign (ch. i.—xi.) contains a narrative of,

SECT. 1. The latter days of David; the inauguration of Solomon as his associate in the kingdom, and his designation to be his successor. (i. ii. 1-11.)

SECT. 2. The reign of Solomon from the death of David to his undertaking the erection of the temple. (ii. 12-46 iii. iv.)

SECT. 3. The preparations for building the temple. (v.) SECT. 4. The building of the temple (vi.) and of Solomon's own house, together with the preparation of the vessels and utensils for the temple service. (vii.)

SECT. 5. The dedication of the temple, and the sublime prayer of Solomon on that occasion. (viii.)

SECT. 6. Transactions during the remainder of Solomon's reign:-his commerce; visit from the queen of Sheba; the splendour of his monarchy; his falling into idolatry, and the adversaries by whom he was opposed until his death. (ix. x. xi.)

PART II. The History of the two Kingdoms of Judah and Israel. (ch. xii. xxii.)

SECT. 1. The accession of Rehoboam, and division of the two kingdoms. (xii.)

SECT. 2. The reigns of Rehoboam king of Judah, and of Jeroboam I. king of Israel. (xiii. xiv.)

SECT. 3. The reigns of Abijam and Asa kings of Judah, and

1 The consideration that these books were digested from memoirs, writ ten by different persons who lived in the respective times of which they wrote, will help to reconcile what is said of Hezekiah in 2 Kings xviii. 5. said of Josiah in chap. xxiii. 25. that, like unto him was there no king bethat, after him none was like him of all the kings of Judah, with what is fore him; for, what is said of Hezekiah was true, till the eighteenth year of Josiah, when that pious sovereign began the reformation of which so much is said in the sacred history. Mr. Reeves, Pref. to Books of Kings. 2 Josephus, Antiq. Jud. lib. viii. c. 2. Eusebius, Prep. Evang. lib. x. Grotius de Veritate, lib. iii. c. 16., and Allix, Reflections upon the Books of the Old Testament, chap. ii. have collected several instances of the confir consult the testimonies given in Vol. I. pp. 69–78. supra. mation of the sacred historians from profane authors. On this subject also

the contemporary reigns of Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, | mercy; at the same time they mark most clearly the vera Omri, and the commencement of Ahab's reign. (xv. xvi.) city of God, both in his promises and in his threatenings, and SECT. 4. The reign of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and of his show the utter vanity of trusting in an arm of flesh, and the contemporaries Ahab and Ahaziah (in part), during which instability of human kingdoms, from which piety and justice are banished. the prophet Elijah flourished. (xvii.-xxii.)

IV. The SECOND BOOK OF KINGS continues the contemporary history of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, from the death of Jehoshaphat, A. M. 3115, to the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, a. M. 3416, a period of three hundred years. The last three verses of the preceding book have been improperly disjoined from

SECTION VII.

ON THE BOOKS OF CHRONICLES.

the two books of Chronicles.-V. Observations on them.

this. The history of the two kingdoms is interwoven in this I. Title.-II. Author and date.-III. Scope-IV. Analysis of book, and presents a long succession of wicked sovereigns in the kingdom of Israel, from Ahaziah to Hoshea, in whose reign Samaria was captured by Shalmaneser king of Assyria, and the ten tribes were taken captive into that country. In the kingdom of Judah, we find some few pious princes among many who were corrupt. Sixteen sovereigns filled the Jewish throne, from Jehoram to Zedekiah, in whose reign the kingdom of Judah was totally subverted, and the people carried into captivity to Babylon. During this period numerous prophets flourished, as Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Joel, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Daniel, Ezekiel, &c. The second book of Kings comprises twenty-five chapters, which may be divided into two parts; containing, 1. The history of the two monarchies, until the end of the kingdom of Israel; and, 2. The history of Judah alone to its subversion.

PART I. The Contemporary History of the Kingdoms of Israel
and Judah, to the End of the former. (ch. i.-xvii.)
SECT. 1. The contemporary reigns of Jehoshaphat, and of his
associate Jehoram, kings of Judah, and of Ahaziah and
Joram, kings of Israel; the translation of Elijah, and desig-
nation of Elisha to be his successor in the prophetic office;
miracles wrought by him. (i.-viii. 2.)

SECT. 2. The contemporary reigns of Jehoram king of Judah
alone, and his successor Ahaziah, and of Jehoram king of
Israel. (viii. 3-29.)

SECT. 3. Jehu appointed king over Israel; Jehoram put to
death by him; the reign of Jehu; death of Ahaziah king of
Judah, and the usurpation of Athaliah. (ix. x. xi. 1—3.)
SECT. 4. The reign of Jehoash king of Judah, and the con-
temporary reigns of Jehoahaz and his son Jehoash kings of
Israel; the death of the prophet Elisha; and the miracle
performed at his grave. (xi. 4-21. xii. xiii.)
SECT. 5. The reigns of Amaziah, Azariah, or Uzziah, and
Jotham, kings of Judah, and the contemporary reigns of
Jehoash, or Joash, Jeroboam II., Zechariah, Shallum, Mena-
hem, Pekahiah, and Pekah. (xiv. xv.)

I. THE ancient Jews comprised the two books of Chronicles in one book: but in the Hebrew Bibles, now printed for their use, they have adopted the same division which is found in our Bibles, apparently (Calmet thinks) for the purpose of conforming to our mode of reference in concordances, the use of which they borrowed from the Romish church. The Jews entitle these books, DBREY HaJaмIM, that is, The Words of Days, or Annals; probably from the circumstance of their being compiled out of diaries or annals, in which were recorded the various events related in these books. In the Septuagint version they are termed ПАРАЛЕПOMENA (Paraleipomena), the things that were left or omitted; because many things which were omitted in the former part of the sacred history are here not only supplied, but some narratranslators of that version seem to have considered these tions also are enlarged, while others are added. The Greek books as a supplement, either to Samuel and to the books of Kings, or to the whole Bible. The appellation of Chronicles was given to these books by Jerome, because they contain an abstract, in order of time, of the whole of the sacred history, to the time when they were written.2

II. These books were evidently compiled from others, which were written at different times, some before and others after the Babylonish captivity: it is most certain that the books of Chronicles are not the original records or memorials of the transactions of the sovereigns of Israel and Judah, which are so often referred to in the books of Kings. Those ancient registers were much more copious than the books of Chronicles, which contain ample extracts from original documents, to which they very frequently refer.

Concerning the author of these books we have no distinct information. Some have conjectured that he was the same who wrote the books of Kings: but the great difference, Calmet remarks, in the dates, narratives, genealogies, and Proper names,-together with the repetitions of the same things, and frequently in the same words,-strongly militates against this hypothesis. The Hebrews commonly assign the Chronicles to Ezra; who, they say, composed them SECT. 6. The reign of Ahaz king of Judah; interregnum in after the return from the captivity, and was assisted in the kingdom of Israel after the death of Pekah terminated this work by the prophets Zechariah and Haggai, who were by Hoshea the last sovereign, in the ninth year of whose then living. This opinion they endeavour to support, first, reign Samaria his capital was taken by the king of Assyria, from the similarity of style (the last three verses of the sewhither the ten tribes were taken into captivity; the sub-cond book of Chronicles corresponding very nearly with the version of the kingdom of Israel; and the mixture of religion introduced by the Cuthites who were transplanted to Samaria. (xvi. xvii.)

PART II. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Kingdom of Judah. (ch. xviii. xxv.)

SECT. 1. The reign of Hezekiah; his war with the Assyrians;
their army destroyed by a plague; the recovery of Heze-
kiah from a mortal disease; the Babylonish captivity foretold;
his death. (xviii. xix. xx.)

SECT. 2. The reigns of Manasseh and Amon. (xxi.)
SECT. 3. The reign of Josiah. (xxii. xxiii. 1-30.)
SECT. 4. The reigns of Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and
Zedekiah the last king of Judah; Jerusalem taken; the
temple burnt; and the Jews carried into captivity to Baby-
lon. (xxiii. 31-37. xxiv. xxv.)

V. The two books of Kings, particularly the second, abound with impressive and lively narrations; and the strict impartiality with which the author of each book has related events and circumstances dishonourable to his nation, affords a convincing evidence of his fidelity and integrity. They delineate the long-suffering of God towards his people, and his severe chastisements for their iniquitous abuse of his

first three verses of Ezra), from the recapitulations and general reflections which are sometimes made on a long series of events:-secondly, the author lived after the captivity, decree of Cyrus, which granted liberty to the Jews, and he since, in the last chapter of the second book he recites the also continues the genealogy of David to Zerubbabel, the chief of those who returned from the captivity: thirdly, these books contain certain terms and expressions, which they think are peculiar to the person and times of Ezra.

However plausible these observations may be, there are other marks discernible in the books of Chronicles, which tend to prove that Ezra did not compose them. In the first place, the author continues the genealogy of Zerubbabel to the twelfth generation: but Ezra did not live to that time, and, consequently, could not have written the genealogy in question:-secondly, the writer of these books was neither a contemporary nor an original, writer; but compiled and abridged them from ancient memoirs, genealogies, annals, registers, and other works which he frequently quotes, and from which he sometimes gives copious extracts, without

In the first volume of Bishop Watson's Collection of Tracts (pp. 134138.) there are some admirable reflections on the moral causes of the Babylonish captivity, and the propriety of that dispensation, which will ainply repay the trouble of perusal.

2 Calmet's and Dr. Clarke's Prefaces to the two Books of Chronicles

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