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threatenings were soon accomplished; for the bands of the Philistines, Arabians, and Ethiopians, brake into Judah, plundered the palace, and carried away all his wives and children,* except Abaziah his youngest son. A. M. 3116. After this the Lord smote him with an B. C. 888. incurable disease, so that at the end of Joram 12. two years his bowels fell out,t and he died, unregretted by his people. He was succeeded by Ahaziah.

Q. Did Ahaziah fear God?

A. No : he“walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counseller to do wickedly.” When A. M. 3116. he had reigned about a year over Judah, B. C. 888. he went to Jezreel to visit Joram king Joram 12. of Israel, and was there slain by Jehu. A. M. 3117. Q. Who succeeded him ? B. C. 887. ' A. Athaliah his mother seeing that her Jehu 1. son was dead, destroyed all the seed royal of Judah, except Joash, Ahaziah's youngest son, and seized the crown.

Q. How did Joash escape ?

A. Jehoshabeath, sister of Ahaziah, and wife of Jehoiada the priest, concealed him and his nurse in the temple, where he remained six years.

* The children were slain by the Arabs. 2 Chron. xxii. 1. + This seems to be eminently the disease of persecutors.

" Departed without being desired.” 2 Chron. xxi. 20.

Jehoram at thirty-two years of age began to reign, and having reigned eight years, died at forty ; consequently Ahaziah his youngest son was not forty-two, 2 Chron. xxii. 2 but twenty-two years old, 2 Kings viii. 26.

A. M. 3122. Q. What took place the following year? B. C. 882. A. Jehoiada having concerted measures Jehu 6. with several of the nobles, brought Joash into the temple, and having given him the testimony, anointed him king over Judah. Athaliah hearing the music and acclamations by which the ceremony was attended, hurried into the temple, and seeing the king, she cried, Treason ! Treason ! but was immediately seized by the guards, who conducted her forth, and put her to death.

Q. What was the first act of the new government ?

A. Jehoiada caused the king and the people to covenant to be the Lord's. This was followed by a general reformation ; the temple of Baal was demolished, his images and altars destroyed, and the priests of Baal slain before the altar.

Q. Did Joash fear the Lord ?

A. “ He did right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest." And he repaired the temple, which had been much injured by the sons of Athaliah ; and replaced the gold and silver vessels which Athaliah had taken away for the service of the idolatrous temples. Q. What honours were paid to Jehoiada at his death?

They buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both towards God, and towards his house."

Q. What followed this event ?

A. The princes of Judah solicited Joash to re-establish idolatry; and notwithstanding the remonstrances of the

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prophets, he not only complied with their request, but caused Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada his benefactor, to be put to death in the courts of the temple, because he testified against their apostacy: and when Zechariah died " he said, The Lord look upon it, and require it.”.

Q. Did the Lord requite Joash?

A. Yes : he delivered the host of Judah into the hands of a very small band of Syrians, who destroyed all the princes, and returned with great spoil to Syria, After their departure he was confined to his bed by sore disease ; and while in this state, his own servants conspired against him, and slew him, after he had reigned forty years. A. M. 3162. Q. Who succeeded him ? B. C. 842. A. Amaziah his son, whose first care on Joash 4. being established in the kingdom, was to slay the men that had killed his father.

Q. In what war was Amaziah engaged ?

A. In a war with the Edomites. On this occasion he hired one hundred thousand Israelitish troops; but after they had joined his army, he dismissed them by God's command, and sent them home. “ And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people, and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of Seir, ten thousand. And ten thousand alive did the children of Judah carry away captive, and brought them unto the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, that they were broken all in pieces.'

* This revolting instance of inhumanity may be classed with those mentioned in note ( + ) pages 180, 181.

Q. Of what wickedness was Amaziah guilty at the conclusion of this war ?

A. He forsook the Lord, and worshipped the gods of Edom, which he had captured ; and threatened to smite the prophet whom the Lord sent to reprove him.

Q. What was the consequence ?

A. The Israelites whom he had dismissed from his army, having in their way home plundered several of the cities of Judah, Amaziah made war upon Joash their king, but was defeated by him at Bethshemesh. After this victory Joash advanced to Jerusalem, plundered it, and broke down part of the wall ; and after taking hostages from Amaziah, returned to Samaria. A. M. 3188. Q. How long did Amaziah survive this B. C. 816. defeat ? Jerob. II. 15. A. Upwards of fifteen years ; when a conspiracy being formed, " against him in Jerusalem, he fled to Lachish ; bnt they sent to Lachish after bim, and slew him there.” A. M. 3200. Q. Who succeeded him? B. C. 804. A. After an interregnum of eleven years, Jerob. II. 27. all the people of the land made Uzziah (or Azariah) his son, king over Judah.

Q. Did Uzziah fear the Lord ?

A. Yes : "he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God :" and therefore God prospered him, and helped him against the Philistines, the Arabians, the Mehunims, and the Ammonites.

Q. How did he keep the Philistines in subjection :

A. He brake down the walls of Gath, of Jabneh, and of Ashdod, and built cities in their land.

Q. How did he strengthen his own country?

A. He built towers near the gates of Jerusalem ; caused great quantities of armour and warlike weapons to be prepared ; constructed engines to throw arrows and great stones ; and organized an army of three hundred and seven thousand five hundred men, over whom he appointed two thousand six hundred warlike chiefs.

Q. Of what did his wealth consist ?

A. “He had much cattle both in the low country and in the plains;" for the convenience and security of which "he built towers in the desert and digged many wells :" and he had “ husbandmen and vine-dressers in the mountains and in Carmel : for he loved husbandry."

Q. What was the consequence of his prosperity ?

A. “ His heart was lifted up to his destruction ; for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense, notwithstanding the opposition of the high priest and his brethren : wherefore the Lord smote him with a leprosy, and the priests thrust him out of the temple. And he continued a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a separate house :--and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land."

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* Saul was rejected from being king for an offence not very dissimilar to this.--See page 155.

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