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ON THE BOOK OF RUTH.

Italy by the Phoenicians : and to mention no more, in the Boaz is represented as the great grandfather of the royal history of Samson and Delilah, we find the original of Nisus Psalmist, it is evident that the date of the history of Ruth and his daughters, who cut off those fatal hairs, upon which cannot be so low as the time of Eli assigned by Josephus, the victory depended.'

nor so high as the time of Shangar: the most probable period,
therefore, is that stated by Bishop Patrick, viz. during the
judicature of Gideon, or about the year of the world 2759,

B. c. 1241.
SECTION IV.

III. Like the book of Judges, Ruth has been ascribed to Hezekiah, and also to Ezra; but the most probable, and, indeed, generally received opinion, is that of the Jews, who

state it to have been written by the prophet Samuel. From 1. Title and argument.-II. Date and chronology.-III. Au- the genealogy recorded in iv. 17–22. it is evident that this thor.-IV. Scope.-V. Synopsis of ils contents. history could not have been reduced into its present form be

fore the time of Samuel. 1. The book of Ruth is generally considered as an appendix to that of Judges, and an introduction to that of Samuel; it alogy of king David through the line of Ruth, a heathen

IV. The Scope of this book is partly to deliver the geneis therefore placed, and with great propriety, between the proselyte to the Jewish religion, and the wife of Boaz, whose books of Judges and Samuel. In the ancient Jewish canon of the Old Testament,2 Judges and Ruth formed but one

adoption into the line of Christ has generally been considered book, because the transactions which it contained happened Christian church. It had been foretold to the Jews that the

as a pre-intimation of the admission of the Gentiles into the in the time of the Judges ; although the modern Jews sepa- Messiah should be of the tribe of Judah, and it was afterrate it from both, and make it the second of the five Megilloth wards further revealed that he should be of the family of Daor volumes which they place together towards the end of the vid: and, therefore, it was necessary, for the full understandOld Testament. It is publicly read by them in the syna-ing of these prophecies, that the history of the family, in that gogues on the feast of weeks or of Pentecost, on account of tribe, should be written before these prophecies were revealed, the harvest being mentioned in it, the first-fruits of which to prevent the least suspicion of fraud'or design. And thus were offered to God on that festival. This book derives its this book, these prophecies, and their accomplishment, serve name from Ruth the Moabitess, whose history it relates, and to illustrate each other. Á further design of this book is to whom the Chaldee paraphrast supposes to have been the evidence the care of Divine Providence over those who sindaughter of Eglon king of Moab; but this conjecture is utterly, unsupported by Scripture; nor is it at all likely that cerely fear God, in raising the pious Ruth from a state of the a king's daughter would abandon her native country, to seek deepest adversity to that of the highest prosperity.

V. The book of Ruth, which consists of four chapters, bread in another land, and marry a siranger.

II. Augustine3 refers the time of this history to the regal may be conveniently divided into three sections ; containing, government of the Israelites; Josephus the Jewish historian, Sect. 1. An account of Naomi, from her departure from Caand some others of later date, to the time of Eli; Molden- naan into Moab, with her husband Elimelech, to her return hawer, after some Jewish writers, assigns it to the time of

thence into the land of Israel with her daughter-in-law Ruth. Ehud; Rabbi Kimchi and other Jewish authors conceive (ch. i.) B. c. 1241—1231. Boaz, who married Ruth, to have been the same person as Sect. 2. The interview of Boaz with Ruth, and their marriage. Ibzan, who judged Israel immediately after Jephthah; Junius, (ii. iii. v. 1.-12.) comparing the book of Ruth with Matt. i., is of opinion, that

Sect. 3. The birth of Obed, the son of Boaz by Ruth, from the events recorded in this history took place in the days of

whom David was descended. (iv. 13—18.) Deborah; and the learned Archbishop Usher, that they hap; pened in the time of Shamgar. As the famine which caused

The whole narrative is written with peculiar simplicity ; Elimelech to leave his country, “ came to pass in the days and the interviews between Boaz and Ruth display the most when the Judges ruled” (Ruth i. 1.), Bishop Patrick has unaffected piety, liberality, and modesty; and their reverent referred the beginning of this history to the judicature of observance of the Mosaic law, as well as of ancient customs, Gideon, about the year of the world 2759, at which time a

is portrayed in very lively and animated colours. famine is related to have happened. (Judg. vi. 3—6.)* Considerable difficulty has arisen in settling the chronology of this book. in consequence of its being mentioned by Saint Matthew (i. 5, 6.),—that Salmon the father of Boaz (who

SECTION V. married Ruth) was married to Rahab (by whom is generally understood Rahab the harlot, who protected the spies when Joshua invaded the land of Canaan): and yet that Boaz was 1. Title.-II. Authors.—III. Argument, scope, and analysis the grandfather of David, who was born about three hundred and sixty years after the siege of Jericho,ma length of time,

of the first book of Samuel.-IV. Argument, scope, ana during which it is difficult to conceive that only three per

analysis of the second book of Samuel.-V. General obsons, Boaz, Obed, and Jesse, should have intervened between

servations on these two books. Rahab and David. But this difficulty may readily be solved, I. In the Jewish canon of Scripture these two books form either by supposing that some intermediate names of little but one, termed in Hebrew the Book of Samuel, probably consequence were omitted in the public genealogies copied because the greater part of the first book was written by that by the evangelist (as we know to have been the case in some prophet, whose history and transactions it relates. The books other instances); or by concluding, with Archbishop Usher, of Samuel appear to have derived their appellation from that the ancestors of David, being men of extraordinary piety, i Chron xxix. 29.: where the transactions of David's reign or designed to be conspicuous because the Messiah was to are said to be written in the book (Heb. words) of Sumuel The descend from them, were blessed with longer life and greater seer. In the Septuagint version they are called the first and strength than ordinarily fell to the lot of men in that age. It second books of Kings, or of the Kingdoms; in the Vulgate is certain that Jesse was accounted an old man when his son they are designated as the first and second books of Kings, David was but a youth (see 1 Sam. xvii. 12.); and, since and, by Jerome, they are termed the books of the Kingdoms; 1 Ovid, Metam. lib. viii. fab. 1. M. de Lavaur in his Conférence de la

as being two of the four books in which the history of the Fable avec l'Histoire Sainte, tom. ii. pp. 1–13., has shown that Samson, kings of Israel and Judah is related. the judge of the Israelites, is the original and essential Hercules of pagan 11. Jahn is of opinion, that the books of Samuel and the mythology, thus furnishing an additional proof how much the heathens two books of Kings were written by one and the same permon occurrence, the reader will find an abridged translation of the pages son, and published about the forty-fourth year of the Babýlocited in Dr. A. Clarke's commentary on Judg. xvi.

nish captivity: and he has endeavoured to support his con• Jerome expressly states that this was the case in his time.- Deinde jecture with much ingenuity, though unsuccessfully, by the quia in diebus Judicum facta ejus narratur' historia. (Prologus Galeatus; uniformity of plan and style which he thinks are discernible Eusebius, when giving Origen's catalogue of the sacred books, confirme in these books. The more prevalent, as well as more proba

ble opinion, is that of the 'Talmudists, which was adopted • Josephus, Ant Jud. lib. 6. c. 9. $ 1. Seder Olam, c. 12. Moldenhawer, by the most learned fathers of the Christian church (who Introd. ad Libros Canonicos Vet. et Nov. Test, p. 43. Kimchi on Ruth, unquestionably had better means of ascertaining this point c. Junius, Annotat, in Ruth i. Bishop Patrick on Ruth i. 1. Leusden, than we have): viz. that the first twenty-four chapters of the Philol. Heb. pp. 18. 86. • Chronologia Sacra, part i. c. 12. pp. 69, 70. ed. Genevæ, 1722, folio.

• Bedford's Scripture Chronology, book v. c. 5.

ON THE TWO BOOKS OF SAMUEL.

Jeroine's account. Eccl. Hist. lib. vi. c. 25.

* De Doct. Christ. lib. ii. c. 8.

first book of Samuel were written by the prophet whose name exalting the poor in spirit or the humble-minded, and abasing they bear; and that the remainder of that book, together with the rich and arrogant; rewarding the righteous, and punishthe whole of the second book, was committed to writing by ing the wicked.”2 the prophets Gad and Nathan, agreeably to the practice of Sect. 2. The call of Samuel, his denunciations against Eli by the prophets who wrote memoirs of the transactions of their the command of God, and his establishment in the prophetic respective times. That all these three persons were writers

office. (iii.) is evident from 1 Chron. xxix. 29.; where it is said : Now Sect. 3. The death of Eli, and the capture of the ark of God the acts of David, first and last, behold they are written in the by the Philistines. (iv.) book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, Part 1l. The History of the Israelites during the Judicature and of Gad the seer : the memoirs of these prophets are here referred to as distinct books : but it would be natural for

of Samuel. Ezra, by whom the canon of Jewish Scripture was completed,

Sect. 1. The destruction of the Philistines' idol Dagon (v.); to throw all their contents into the two books of Samuel.

the chastisement of the Philistines, their restoration of the It is certain that the first book of Samuel was written before ark, and the slaughter of the Bethshemites for profanely the first book of kings; a circumstance related in the former looking into the ark. (vi.) book being referred to in the latter. (1 Sam. ii. 31. with 1 Sect. 2. The reformation of divine worship, and the repentkings ii. 27.)

ance of the Israelites at Mizpeh, with the discomfiture of the The first acts of David declared in 1 Chron. xxix. 29. to Philistines, who were kept under during the remainder of have been recorded by Samuel, were such as happened before Samuel's judicature. (vii.) the death of Samuel; and these end with the twenty-fourth Sect. 3. The Israelites' request for a regal government; the chapter of the first book of Samuel. What parts of the re- destination of Saul to the kingly office (viii. ix.); his inau maining history of David were written by Nathan, and what guration (x.); and victory over the Ammonites. (xi.) by Gad, is at present very difficult to distinguish with exact- Sect. 4. Samuel's resignation of the supreme judicial power ness. Mr. Reeves has conjectured, with great probability, (xii.); though, in a civil and religious capacity, he “judged that as it appears from 1 Sam. xxii. 5. that Gad was then with Israel all the days of his life.” (1 Sam. vii. 15.) David in the hold or place where he kept himself secret from Part III. The History of Saul, and the Transactions during Saul; and since it is thought that Gad, being bred under

his Reign. Samue!, was privy to his having anointed David king, and had, therefore, resolved to accompany him during his trou

Sect. 1. The prosperous part of Saul's reign, comprising his bles; it has, from these circumstances, been supposed that

war with the Philistines, and offering of sacrifice (xiii.), the history of what happened to David, from the death of with his victory over them. (xiv.) Samuel to his being made king at Hebron over all Israel, was

Sect. 2. The rejection of Saul from the kingdom in consepenned by the prophet Gad. He seems the most proper per

quence of his rebellion against the divine command in son for that undertaking, having been an eye-witness to most sparing the king of Amalek, and the best part of the spoil. of the transactions.

(xv.) The first mention of the prophet Nathan occurs in 2 Sam. Sect. 3. The inauguration of David, and the events that took vii. 2. a short time after David was settled at Jerusalem. place before the death of Saul (xvi.—xxviii.); including, Nathan is frequently mentioned in the subsequent part of § i. The anointing of David to be king over Israel (xvi.); bis combat David's reign; and he was one of those who were appointed

and victory over Goliath. (xvii.)

$ ii. The persecutions of David by Saul;-his exile and covenant with by David to assist at the anointing of Solomon.. (1 Kings Jonathan (xviii.); his flight (xix.); friendship with Jonathan (xx.); 1. 32.) As this event took place not long before David's death, his going to Nob, where he and his men ate of the shew.bread, and it is probable Nathan might survive the royal Psalmist; and,

Goliath's sword was delivered to him; his fight, first to the court of

Achish king of Gath, and subsequently into the land of Moab (xxi. as he knew all the transactions of his reign from his settle

xxii. 1—4.); the slaughter of the priesis al Nob, with the exception ment at Jerusalem to his death, it is most likely that he wrote of Abiathar. (xxii. 5--23.) the history of the latter part of David's reign; especially as

$ iii. The liberation of Keilah from the Philistines by David (xxiii. 1

6.); his flight into the wilderness of Ziph and Maon (xxiii. 7-29.); there is no mention of Gad, after the pestilence sent for

Saul's life in David's power at Engedi, who spares il (xxiv.); the in: David's numbering the people, which was about two years human conduct of Nabal (xxv.); Saul's life spared a second time before his death, during which interval Gad might have died.

(xxvi.); David's second flight to Achish king otGath. (xxvii.) Gad must have been advanced in years, and might leave the

Sect. 4. The last acts of Saul to his death; including, continuation of the national memoirs to Nathan. For these

$ i. Saul's consultation of the witch: of Endor. (xxviii.)

$ ii. The encampinent of the Pbilistines at Aphek, who send back reasons, it is probably thought that Nathan wrote all the re

David from their army. (xxix.) maining chapiers of the second book of Samuel, after the first $ ini. David's pursuit and defeat of the Amalekites who had plundered five.!

Ziklag, and from whom he recovers the spoil. (xxx)

$ iv. The suicide of Saul, and total discomfiture of the Israelites. III. The FIRST BOOK of Samuel contains the history of the (xxxi.) Jewish church and polity, from the birth of Samuel, during IV. The seconD BOOK of Samuel contains the history of the judicature of Eli, to the death of Saul, the first king of David, the second king of Israel, during a period of nearly Israel ; a period of nearly eighty years, viz. from the year of forty years, viz. from the year of the world 2948 to 2988; and, the world 2869 to 2949. Its Scope is, first, to continue the by recording the translation of the kingdom from the tribe of history of the Israelites under the two last Judges, Eli and Benjamin to that of Judah, it relates the partial accomplishSamuel, and their first monarch Saul, and the reason why ment of the prediction delivered in Gen. xlix. 10. The victotheir form of government was changed from an aristocracy to ries of David, his wise administration of civil government, a monarchy; thus affording a strong confirmation of the au- his efforts to promote true religion, his grievous sins, and deep thenticity of the Pentateuch, in which we find that this repentance, together with the various troubles and judgments change had been foretold by Moses, in his prophetic declaration to the assembled nation, a short time before his death, 2 Dr. Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ji. book i. and upwards of four hundred years before the actual institu- 3 Few passages on Scripture have been discussed with more warmth tion of the regal government. This book also exhibits the than the relation contained in this 21h chapter of the first book of Samuel : preservation of the church of God amidst all the vicissitudes Pythoness whom Saul consulted; others, that it was a mere visionary of the Israelitish polity; together with signal instances of scene ; Augustine and others, that it was Satan himself who assumed the the divine mercy towards those who feared Jehovah, and of appearance of Samuel; and others, that it was the ghost of Samuel

, raised

All these hypo: judgments inflicted upon his enemies. It consists of three theses, however, contradict the historical fact as related by the author of parts : viz.

this book : for it is evident from the Hebrew original of 1 Sam. xxviii. 14.

more closely translated, and compared throughout with itself, that it was Part I. The Transactions under the Judicature of Eli. (ch. “Samuel himself” whom Saul beheld, and who (or his spirit) was actually i.-iv.)

raised immediately, and before the witch had any time io utter any incan.

tations, by the power of God, in a glorified form, and wearing the appear. Sect. 1. The birth of Samuel (ch. i.), with the thanksgiving ance of the ominous mantle in which was the rent that signified the rend.

and prophetical hymn of his mother Hannah. (ii.) The ing of the kingdom from Saul's family. The reality of Samuel's appearance tenth verse of this chapter is a prediction of the Messiah. Ecclus. xlvi. 20.), and was also thus understood by Josephus, who has not “This admirable hymn excels in simplicity of composition, only translated the original passage correctly, but likewise expressly states closeness of connection, and uniformity of sentiment; breath- thai the soul of Samuel inquired why it was raised. Antiq, Jud. lib. vi. 14. ing the pious effusions of a devout mind, deeply impressed the subject is fully discussed and proved. See also calmnel's

Dissertation with a conviction of God's mercies to herself in particular, sur l'Apparition de Samuel, Commentaire Litteral. tom. ii. pp. 331–336. and of his providential government of the world in general That it was Samuel himself is further evident from the clearness and truth

or the prediction (which could only come from God); for on the morroro," • Mr. Reeves, Preface to 1 Sam.

that is, very shortly after, Saul and his sons were slain.

P.

332.

et

et seq.

ON THE TWO BOOKS OF KINGS.

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 circumftances 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 hy 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 Part 1. The Triumphs of David. (ch. i.—x.)

have borrowed from the books of Samuel, or have collected Sect. 1. His elegant , tender, and pathetic elegy over Saul from other sources, many particulars of those accounts which

he gives." In the falls of David we behold the strength and and Jonathan. (i.) Sect. 2. His triumph over the house of Saul, and confirma prevalence of human corruption: and in his repentance and

recovery, the extent and efficacy of divine grace. tion in the kingdom. (ii.-iv.)

The two books of Samuel are of very considerable imSect. 3. His victories over the Jebusites and Philistines (v.), portance for illustrating the book of Psalms, to which they and the bringing up of the ark to Jerusalem. (vi.) David's may be considered as a key. Thus, Psalm iii. will derive prayer to God on that occasion, and the divine promises much light from 2 Sam. xv. 14. et seq. ;-Psal. iv. from 1 Sam. made to him (vii.); which, though they primarily related xxii. xxiii. xxv. ;-Psal. vii. from 2 Sam. xvi. 2. 11.;—Psal to the establishment of the throne in his posterity, yet ulti- xxiv. from 2 Sam. vi. 12. et seq. ;—Psal. xxx. from 1 Sam. v. mately prefigured the everlasting kingdom of the Messiah. 11.;—Psal. xxxii. and li. from 2 Sam. xii. ;—Psal. xxxiv. (Compare vii. 12–16. with Heb. i. 5.)

from 2 Sam. xxi, 10—15.;—Psal. xxxv. from 2 Sam. xv.Sect. 4. His victories over the Philistines, Ammonites, and xvii.;—Psal. xlii. and xliii. from 2 Sam. xvii. 22–24. ;other neighbouring nations. (viii.-X.)

Psal. lii. from 1 Sam. xxii. 9.;—Psal. liv. from 1 Sam. xxiii. Part II. The Troubles of David, and their Cause, together with 19. and xxvi. 1. ;—Psal. Iv. from 2 Sam. xvii. 21, 22. ;

his Repentance, and subsequent Recovery of the Divine Fa- Psal. lvi. from 1 Sam. xxi. 11--15.;—Psal. Ivii. from 1 Sam. vour. (ch. xi.-xix.)

xxii. 1, and xxiv. 3. ;—Psal. lix. from 1 Sam. xix. 11.;

Psal. lx. from 2 Sam. viii. 3—13. and x. 15—19.;-Psal. Sect. i. The cause of David's troubles,-his first great Ixiii. from 1 Sam. xxii. 5. and xxiii. 14–16. ;–Psal. Ixvii. offence against God,—his sin in the matter of Uriah, and from 2 Sam. vi. 3–12. ;—Psal. Ixxxix. from 2 Sam. vii. 12. the divine judgments denounced against him on that ac

seq.; and Psal. cxlii. from 1 Sam. xxii. 1. and xxiv, 1. count. (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.);

SECTION VI. the death of Absalom (xviii.) and David's mourning on his

account. (xix.) Part III. David's Restoration to his Throne, and subsequent 1. Order and title of these books.-II. Author.—III. ArguTransactions. (ch. xx.—xxiv.)

ment and synopsis of the first book of Kings.--IV. ArguSect. 1. David's return to Jerusalem, and the insurrection of ment and synopsis of the second book of Kings.-V. GeneSheba quelled. (xx.)

ral 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 ever sion 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 Sect. 4. The last words of David, forming a supplement or (like the books of Samuel) are included under one enumera

conclusion to the preceding sublime hymn (xxiii. 1—7.), tion of sections, versions, &c. in the Masora. They have eviwhich are followed by an enumeration of his mighty men.

dently been divided, at some unknown period, into two parts, (xxiii. 8–39.)

for the convenience of reading. Sect. 5. David's second great offence against God, in number

The titles to these books have been various, though it aping the people ; ils punishment; David's penitential inter- pears from Origen that they derived their name from the inicession and sacrifice. (xxiv.)'

tial words 717 7501, va-melech David, Now king David ; in the V. This second book of Samuel bears an exact relation to the Septuagint Greek version, it is simply termed BASMAEINN

same manner as (we have seen) the book of Genesis does. In the preceding, and is likewise connected with that which suc- of reigns or kingdoms, of which it calls Samuel the first and

We see throughout the effects of that enmity against second, and these two the third and fourth. The Vulgate other nations, which had been implanted in the minds of the Latin version entitles it, Liber Regum tertius ; secundum HeIsraelites by the Mosaic law, and which gradually tended to bræos, Liber Malachim, that is, the third book of Kings ; acthe extirpation of idolatry. “ This book,

likewise, as well as cording to the Hebrews, the first book of Malachim. The old the former, contains other intrinsic proofs of its verity: By Syriac version has : Here follows the book of the Kings who describing without disguise the misconduct of those charac- flourished among the ancient people ; and in this are also ters, who were highly reverenced among the people, the exhibited the history of the prophets, who fourished in their sacred writer demonstrates his impartial sincerity: 'and, by times. In the Arabic it is thus entitled :- In the name of the appealing to monuments that attested the veracity of his rela- most merciful and compassionate God; the book of Solomon, the tions when he wrote, he furnished every possible evidence of son of David the prophei, whose benedictions be upon us.Amen.:

1 The offence of David seems to have chiefly consisted in his persisting II. Concerning the author or authors of these books, the to require a muster of all his subjects able to bear arıns, without ihe divine sentiments of learned men are extremely divided. Some have command, without necessity, in a time of profound peace, to indulge an been of opinion that David, Solomon, and Hezekiah wrote his subjects than in the divine protection ; and the offence of his people the history of their own reigns; others, that Nathan, Gad, might also have been siinilar, always elated as they were, and provoking ihe anger of the Lord in prosperity by their forgetfulness of him. Deut. vi. 10

Bp. Gray's Key, p. 181. -12. Dr. Halos's Analysis, vol. ii. p. 383.

; Dr. A. Clarke's Pres. to 1 Kings, p. 1,

ceeds.

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 jographers. 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 abridg- The divine authority of these books is attested by the ments or summaries. Thus, in 1 Kings xi. 41. we read of many predictions they contain: they are cited as authentic the acts of Solomon, which acts were recorded in the book of and "canonical by Jesus Christ (Luke iv. 25–27.), and by Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilom- his apostles (Acts vii. 47. Rom. xi. 2–4. James v. 17, 18.), ite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer (2 Chron. ix. 29.); and they have constantly been received into the sacred canon which Iddo was employed, in conjunction with Shemaiah by the Jewish and Christian churches in every age. Their the prophet, in writing the acts of Rehoboam. (2 Chron. xii. truth and authenticity also derive additional confirmation from 15.) We also read of the book of Jehu the prophet, relating the corresponding testimonies of ancient profane writers.2 the transactions of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. xx. 34. 1 Kings III. The First Book of Kings embraces a period of one xvi. I.); 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. and his admission as a partner in the throne with David, xxxi. 32.); and it is highly probable that he wrote the his- A.M. 2989, to the death of Jehoshaphat, A. M. 3115. It relates tory of the two intermediate kings Jotham and Ahaz, in the latter part of David's life; his death, and the accession whose reigns he lived. (Isa, i. 1.)

of Solomon, whose reign comprehended the most prosperous It is evident, therefore, that two descriptions of writers and glorious period of the Israelitish history; and prefigured were concerned in the composition of the books of Kings :- the peaceful reign of the Messiah ; Solomon's erection and first, those original, primitive, and contemporary authors, consecration of the temple at Jerusalem (the beauty and perwho wrote the annals, journals, and memoirs of their own fection of which was a type of the beauty and perfection of times, from which the authors of our sacred history subse- the church of God); his awful defection from the true reliquently derived their materials. These ancient memoirs have gion; the sudden decay of the Jewish nation after his death, bot descended to us; but they unquestionably were in the when it was divided into two kingdoms,-under Rehoboam, hands of those sacred penmen, whose writings are in our who reigned over the kingdom of Judah, comprising the possession, since they cite them and refer to them. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and under Jeroboam, who was second class of writers consists of those, by whom the books sovereign of the other ten tribes that revolted from the house of kings were actually composed in the form in which we of David, and which in the Sacred Writings are designated now have them. The Jews ascribe them to Jeremiah ; and as the kingdom of Israel; the reigns of Rehoboam's succestheir opinion has been adopted by Grotius and other eminent sors, Abijam, Asa, and Jehoshaphat; and those of Nadab, commentators: others again assign them to the prophet Isaiah. Baasha, Elah, imri, Omri, Tibni, the wicked Ahab, and But the most probable opinion is, that these brooks were di- Ahaziah (in part), who succeeded Jeroboam in the throne gested into their present order by Ezra. The following are of Israel. For the particular order of succession of these ine grounds on which this opinion is founded and supported :- monarchs, and of the prophets who flourished during their

1. The general uniformity of style and manner indicates respective reigns, the reader is referred to the chronological that these books were written by one person.

table inserted in Appendix II. to this volume. The first 2. The author evidently lived after the captivity of Ba- book of Kings may be divided into two principal parts; bylon: for, at the end of the second book of Kings, he containing, 1. The history of the undivided kingdom under speaks of the return from the captivity. (2 Kings xxv. Solomon; and, 2. The history of the divided kingdom un24, &c.)

der Rehoboam and his successors, and Jeroboam and his 3. He says that in his time the ten tribes were still captive successors. in Assyria, whither they had been carried as a punishment Part I. The History of Solomon's Reign (ch. i.-xi.) contains for their sins. (2 Kings xvii. 23.)

a narrative of, 4. In the seventeenth chapter of the second book of Kings, he introduces some reflections on the calamities of Judah and

Sect. 1. The latter days of David; the inauguration of SoloIsrael, which demonstrate that he wrote after those calamities

mon as his associate in the kingdom, and his designation to

be his successor. (i. ii. 1-11.) had taken place. Compare 2 Kings xvii. 6—24.

SECT. 2. The reign of Solomon from the death of David to 5. He alınost every where refers to the ancient memoirs which he had before him, and abridged.

his undertaking the erection of the temple. (ii. 12–46 6. There is also every reason to believe, that the author

iii. iv.) was a Priest or a prophet. He studies less to describe acts

Sect. 3. The preparations for building the temple. (v.) of heroism, successful battles, conquests, political address,

Sect. 4. The building of the temple (vi.) and of Solomon's &c. than what regards the temple, religious ceremonies, fes

own house, together with the preparation of the vessels and tivals, the worship of God, the piety of princes, the fidelity

utensils for the temple service. (vii.) of the prophets, the punishment of crimes, the manifestation

Secr. 5. The dedication of the temple, and the sublime prayer of God's anger against the wicked, and his regard for the

of Solomon on that occasion. (viii.) righteous. He every where appears greatly attached to the Sect. 6. Transactions during the remainder of Solomon's house of David. He treats on the kings of Israel only inci- reign :-his commerce; visit from the queen of Sheba ; the dentally; his principal object being the kingdom of Judah, splendour of his monarchy; his falling into idolatry, and and its particular affairs.

the adversaries by whom he was opposed until his death. Now, all these marks correspond with Ezra, a learned (ix. x. xi.) priest, who lived both during and subsequently to the capti- Part II. The History of the two Kingdoms of Judah and vity, and might have collected numerous documents, which, Israel. (ch. xii. xxii.) from the lapse of time and the persecutions of the Jews, are

Sect. 1. The accession of Rehoboam, and division of the two now lost to us. Such are the reasons on which Calmet has

kingdoms. (xii.) ascribed the books of Kings to Ezra, and his opinion is ge

Sect. 2. The reigns of Rehoboam king of Judah, and of Jeronerally received. There are, however, a few circumstances

boam I. king of Israel. (xiii. xiv.) that seem to militate against this hypothesis, which should be noticed, as not agreeing with the time of Ezra. Thus,

Sect. 3. The reigns of Abijam and Asa kings of Judah, and in 1 Kings viii. 8. the ark of the covenant is represented as 1 The consideration that these books were digested from memoirs, writ. being in the temple “ to this day :” and in 1 Kings xii. 19. ten by different persons who lived in the respective times of which they the kingdoms of Israel are mentioned as still subsisting. In wrote, will help to reconcile what is said of Hezekiah in 2 Kings xviii. .. 1 kings vi. 1. 37, 38. the author mentions the months of Zif said'or Josiah in chap.

xxiii. 25. that, like unto him was there no king be. and Bul, names which were not in use after the captivity. Jore him ; for, what is said of Hezekiah was true, till the eighteenth year Lastly, the writer expresses himself throughout as a contem- of Josiah, when that pious sovereign began the reformation or which so porary, and as an author who had been an eye-witness of muchose said in the sacred history: Mr. Reeves, Pref. to Books of Kings. what he wrote. But these apparent contradictions admit of Grotius de Veritate, lib. iii

. c. 16., and Allix, Reflections upon the Books of an easy solution. Ezra generally transcribes verbatim the the Old Testament, chap. ii. have collected several instances of the confir

mation of the sacred historians from profane authors. On this subject also memoirs which he had in his possession without attempting Iconsult the testimonies given in Vol. 1. pp. 69–78. supra.

ON THE BOOKS OF CHRONICLES.

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 the prophet Elijah flourished. (xvii.—xxii.)

are banished, 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

SECTION VII. 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 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

the two books of Chronicles.—V. Observations on them. reign Samaria was captured by Shalmaneser king of Assyria, 1. The ancient Jews comprised the two books of Chroni. and the ten tribes were taken captive into that country. In cles in one book: but in the Hebrew Bibles, now printed for the kingdom of Judah, we find some few pious princes their use, they have adopted the same division which is found among many who were corrupt. Sixteen sovereigns filled in our Bibles, apparently (Calmet thinks) for the purpose

of the Jewish throne, from Jehoram to Zedekiah, in whose reign conforming to our mode of reference in concordances, the use the kingdom of Judah was totally subverted, and the people of which they borrowed from the Romish church. The carried into captivity to Babylon. During this period nu- Jews entitle these books Didyo 1931, DibreY Hajamim, that is, merous prophets flourished, as Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Joel, The Words of Days, or Annuls ; probably from the circumAmos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, stance of their being compiled out of diaries or annals, in Daniel, Ezekiel, &c. The second book of Kings comprises which were recorded the various events related in these books. twenty-five chapters, which may be divided into two parts; In the Septuagint version they are termed JAPAAEJTIOMENA containing, 1. The history of the two monarchies, until the (Paraleipomena), the things that were left or omitted; because end of the kingdom of Israel; and, 2. The history of Judah many things which were omitted in the former part of the alone to its subversion.

sacred history are here not only supplied, but some narra. Part I. The Contemporary Fistory of the Kingdoms of Israel translators of that version seem to have considered these

tions also are enlarged, while others are added. The Greek and Judah, to the End of the former. (ch. i.-xvii.)

books as a supplement, either to Samuel and to the books of Sect. 1. The contemporary reigns of Jehoshaphat, and of his Kings, or to ihe whole Bible. The appellation of Chroni

associate Jehoram, kings of Judah, and of Ahaziah and cles was given to these books by Jerome, because they conJoram, kings of Israel ; the translation of Elijah, and desig- tain an abstract, in order of time, of the whole of the sacred nation of Elisha to be his successor in the prophetic office; history, to the time when they were written. miracles wrought by him. (i.-viii. 2.)

II. These books were evidently compiled from others, Sect. 2. The contemporary reigns of Jehoram king of Judah which were written at different times, some before and others alone, and his successor Ahaziah, and of Jehoram king of books of Chronicles are not the original records or memorials

after the Babylonish captivity: it is most certain that the Israel. (viii. 3—29.)

of the transactions of the sovereigns of Israel and Judah, Sect. 3. Jehu appointed king over Israel; Jehoram put to which are so often referred to in the books of Kings. Those

death by him; the reign of Jehu ; death of Ahaziah king of ancient registers were much more copious than the books of

Judah, and the usurpation of Athaliah. (ix. x. xi. 1-3.) Chronicles, which contain ample extracts from original docuSect. 4. The reign of Jehoash king of Judah, and the con- ments, to which they very frequently refer.

temporary reigns of Jehoahaz and his son Jehoash kings of Concerning the author of these books we have no distinct Israel; the death of the prophet Elisha ; and the miracle information. Some have conjectured that he was the same performed at his grave. (xi. 4—21. xii. xii.)

who wrote the books of Kings : but the great difference, Sect. 5. The reigns of Amaziah, Azariah, or Uzziah, and Calmet remarks, in the dates, narratives, genealogies, and

Jotham, kings of Judah, and the contemporary reigns of proper names,-together with the repetitions of the same Jehoash, or Joash, Jeroboam II., Zechariah, Shallum, Mena- things, and frequently in the same words,-strongly

militares hem, Pekahiah, and Pekah. (xiv. xv.)

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 first three verses of Ezra), from the recapitulations and geneintroduced by the Cuthites who were transplanted to Sama- ral reflections which are sometimes made on a long series ria. (xvi. xvii.)

of events : secondly, the author lived after the captivity, Part II. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Kingdom decree of Cyrus, which granted liberty to the Jews, and he

since, in the last chapter of the second book he recites the of Judah. (ch. xviii. xxv.)

also continues the genealogy of David to Zerubbabel, the Sect. 1. The reign of Hezekiah; his war with the Assyrians; chief of those who returned from the captivity: thirdly, these

their army destroyed by a plague; the recovery of Heze books contain certain terms and expressions, which they kiah from a mortal disease ; the Babylonish captivity foretold ; think are peculiar to the person and times of Ezra. his death. (xviii. xix. xx.)

However plausible these observations may be, there are Sect. 2. The reigns of Manasseh and Amon. (xxi.)

other marks discernible in the books of Chronicles, which

tend to prove that Ezra did not compose them. In the first Sect. 3. The reign of Josiah. (xxii. xxiii. 1—30.)

place, the author continues the genealogy of Zerubbabel to Sect. 4. The reigns of Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and the twelfth generation : but Ezra did not live to that time,

Zedekiah the last king of Judah; Jerusalem taken ; the and, consequently, could not have written the genealogy in temple burnt; and the Jews carried into captivity to Baby- question :-secondly, the writer of these books was neither a lon. (xxiii. 31-37. xxiv. xxv.)

contemporary nor an original writer; but compiled and V. The two books of. Kings, particularly the second, registers, and other works which he frequently quotes, and

abridged them from ancient memoirs, genealogies, annals, abound with impressive and lively narrations; and the strict from which he sometimes gives copious extracts, without impartiality with which the author of each book has related events and circumstances dishonourable to his nation, affords

1 In the first volume of Bishop Watson's Collection of Tracts (pp. 134a convincing evidence of his fidelity and integrity. They 138.) there are some admirable reflections on the moral causes of the delineate the long-suffering of God towards his people, and Babylonish

captivity, and the propriety of that dispensation, which will amhis severe chastisements for their iniquitous abuse of his ply repay the trouble of perusal.

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

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