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the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said :-“Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.”

But he said :—“As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none.” And he urged him to take it; but he refused.

And Naaman said :-"Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth;* for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord. In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing."

And he said unto him :-"Go in peace.” So he departed from him a little way.

But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said “Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him,

4. Possibly that he might make from this earth an altar for the burnt-offering and sacrifice which he intended thenceforth to dedicate to Jehovah only. 5. i. e. The temple of Rimmon. Rimmon

a deity worshipped by the Syrians of Damascus.

was

and take somewhat of him.” So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said: "Is all well?"

And he said :—“All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold even now there be come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets; give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver and two changes of garments."

And Naaman said :-“Be content, take two talents.”

And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him. And when he came to the hill, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed.

But he went in and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him :-“Whence comest thou, Gehazi?” And he said :-“Thy servant went no whither.”

And he said unto him :-“Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receivė garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants ? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever.” And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

XXVIII

THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM

(II Kings xxiv-xxv) Introductory Note.-About 125 years after the events re.. lated in Selection XXVII., the kingdom of Israel was overthrown by the Assyrians. The kingdom of Judah maintained itself for more than a century longer. In the meantime, the Assyrian empire had fallen and its power in southwestern Asia had passed to the Chaldaeans of Babylon. The kings and people of Judah had the choice of living in peace in their walled hill-tops as tributaries of the Babylonians, but preferred to assert their independence with the result that Jerusalem was taken by storm, its walls overthrown, the temple destroyed, and all the prominent inhabitants removed as captives to Babylon, about 586 B. C.

Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done. In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. And the Lord sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of

Note.-This narrative is inserted here for its historical value, rather than because it contains matter interesting to the young student.

Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord, which He spake by His servants the prophets. Surely at the commandment of the Lord came this upon Judah, to remove them out of His sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; and also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the Lord would not pardon.

Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead. And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushata, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father had done.

At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign. And he car

ried out thence all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said. And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land. And he carried away Jehoaichin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty men of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.

And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah. Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until He had cast them out from His presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all

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