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Jezreel to visit him. There he was involved in one common destruction with Joram. Jehu, who had risen up against his master, finding the two kings together, slew them both, B.C. 884.


Athaliah, his detestable mother, then murdered all his children, with the exception of Joash, who was saved by Jehoshabeah, a daughter of king Jehoram, the father of Ahaziah and husband of Athaliah. Jehoshabeah, who had been married to Jehoiada, the priest, concealed Joash in the temple till he was seven years old, during which time Athaliah, the queen mother, reigned over Judah. But, in the ninth year, Jehoiada brought forward Joash to the people, who received him with joy, and Athaliah was put to death.

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Joash thus began his reign, in the 7th year of his age, and reigned 40 years. He acted well during the life of Jehoiada the priest. He repaired the temple, and renewed the worship of God, which had been suspended under the influence of Athaliah and her sons. On the death of Jehoiada the priest, Joash, listening to the suggestions of the princes of Judah, left the house of God and worshipped idols. Prophets were sent to remonstrate with him; but in vain. Among these prophets was Zacharias, the son of the venerable Jehoiada, to whom he owed his life and his kingdom. He stood forward, and declared to the people, that, as they had forsaken the Lord, so he had forsaken them ; on which Joash was so incensed, that he commanded him to be stoned to death, which barbarous command was executed in the court of the temple. Zacharias, when he was dying, said, "the Lord will look on it and require it;" and, accordingly, before the end of the year, the Syrians came up, destroyed all the princes, and left Joash himself dangerously ill, probably from wounds which he had received. When he was in this helpless, condition, two of his own servants, an Ammonite and a Moabite, conspired against him, and murdered him on the bed on which he lay.

Amaziah succeeded Joash, and reigned 29 years. Amaziah raised a great army to make war on the

Edomites, and recover them to his kingdom. In this army he had embodied 100,000 men of the kingdom of Israel, whom he had hired for 100 talents of silver. But a prophet remonstrating with him on the sin and danger of accepting the assistance of a people whom God had forsaken, he sent back the Israelites to their own country. Amaziah then went on his expedition against the Edomites, defeated them, and treated them with great cruelty, as rebels. On his return, however, he brought their idols with him, and set them up and worshipped them. In the mean while, the troops that he had hired from Israel, enraged at being dismissed, came up when he was absent in Edom, and committed great ravages in Judah. This induced Amaziah to challenge the king of Israel to meet him in battle, and the challenge being accepted, a battle was fought, in which Amaziah was defeated, and taken prisoner. The king of Israel then brought him back to Jerusalem, broke down 400 cubits of the wall of the city, seized all the gold and silver that he found, and taking hostages with him, returned to Samaria. After this a conspiracy was formed against Amaziah, on which he fled to Lachish; but was overtaken and slain there, B.C. 810. To Amaziah succeeded his son

Uzziah, in the 16th year of his age, who reigned 52 years. He was a warlike prince, and seems to have reduced war more to system than it ever had been before. He had a standing army of 307,500 men, well armed by himself, that went out to war by bands, according to an enrolment made of them. He fortified the city, and placed engines upon the walls to hurl darts and great stones upon any assailants. He attacked the Philistines and dismantled their principal fortified cities. He also succeeded in an expedition against the Arabians, and brought the Ammonites under tribute, and became celebrated for his military talents and success.

But Uzziah's prosperity proved his destruction. He became proud and self-willed, and insisted on entering into the temple to burn incense according to the custom of the monarchs of other countries, but in direct opposi

tion to the law of God. He was resolutely withstood by a body of priests; and, becoming angry, he was struck with leprosy, and instantly hurried out of the temple to retire to a separate house, in which he lived till his death, B.C. 758.

Jotham, his son, succeeded him, and reigned well for 16 years. He followed up the defensive preparations begun by his father, by erecting forts and fortified cities in the mountains of Judah. He defeated the Ammonites, and brought them under tribute. On his death, B.C. 742—

Ahaz, one of the most profligate princes that ever reigned in Judah, succeeded, and reigned 16 years. He ran headlong into idolatry, with all its accompanying abominations. His dominions were invaded by the king of Syria, who took away a multitude of captives to Damascus. Afterwards Pekah, who had usurped the throne of Israel, defeated him with immense loss; 120,000 men being killed and 200,000 taken prisoners. The prisoners were conducted to Samaria, where it was proposed to make them slaves; but on the remonstrance of the prophet Oded, they were not only set at liberty, but clothed, treated kindly, and sent back to Judah.

After this, Ahaz being distressed by incursions of the Edomites on one side, and Philistines on the other, and also threatened by the king of Syria, applied for help to Tiglathpileser, king of Assyria. This was readily given, as Tiglathpileser was now meditating conquest, and he grasped at the opportunity of intermeddling with the western kingdoms of Asia. He invaded Syria, took Damascus, and killed Rezin the king. But he only harassed Ahaz by exacting gold and silver for his army. Ahaz stripped the temple and the palace of their gold and silver to pay the demand made on him. He even took the vessels out of the temple, shut it up, suspended the worship of God, and raised idolatrous altars in every corner of Jerusalem. At length, after a mischievous and disastrous reign of 16 years, he died, B.C. 726.

Hezekiah, his son, succeeded him, and reigned 29 years. He was an exemplary prince. He restored the worship of God, and made strenuous efforts to reform his kingdom. In his reign Samaria was taken by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, and Hezekiah endeavoured to collect the remnant of the people, and bring them up to Jerusalem, there to worship God in his appointed way. Afterwards Sennacherib, who had succeeded to the throne of Assyria, came up against him with an overpowering army, demanding unconditional submission. Hezekiah having laid the matter before the Lord, the whole army of Sennacherib died in one night. Sennacherib fled, and was afterwards murdered by his

own sons.

We shall here pause in the history of the kingdom of Judah, and look back to the history of other countries during the same period. One reason for this pause is, that several of the great eras in the history of the most famous nations of antiquity, belong to this century, and several of the most important, to the time of Hezekiah. Thus, the era of the building of the city of Rome, A.U.C. was the year B.C. 753. The era of Nabonassar, or rise of the Babylonian empire, was B.C. 747. The dissolution of the kingdom of Israel was B.C. 721. The first Olympiad, from which the Greeks were accustomed to compute their history, was a little earlier in this century, namely, 776 B.C. and the founding of the kingdom of Lydia still earlier, namely, B.C. 797. Besides these more remarkable eras, it may be noticed, that the first Messenian war was begun by Sparta, when Hezekiah was about seven years old, B.C. 743. To all this, it may be added, that about the close of the preceding century, the kingdom of Media, and also that of Macedonia, were founded; the former B.C. 820, the latter, B.C. 814. The young student of history, therefore, should fix in his memory the eighth century, B.C. as that in which the great kingdoms of antiquity began to be organized, and to lay the foundation of their future eminence.

ISRAEL. We have already observed, that ten of the twelve tribes of which the whole nation of the Hebrews consisted, revolted at the commencement of the reign of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, from the family of David, and elected Jeroboam their king.

Jeroboam, finding himself elevated to the sovereign power over the larger proportion of the nation, began to fear that his newly acquired subjects might, if they went up to Jerusalem to worship at the temple, be induced to return to their allegiance to the family of David, and therefore erected two idols, one in Bethel, and the other in Dan. Before these idols he commanded the people to assemble, instead of going up to Jerusalem. This was the introduction of a corruption into that kingdom, from which it never recovered. He was in continual warfare with the kingdom of Judah, and suffered that defeat from Abijah, which has already been mentioned. He reigned 22 years, and died towards the beginning of the reign of Asa, king of Judah. He was succeeded by his son

Nadab. Baasha conspired against Nadab, and murdered him.

Baasha then usurped the kingdom, destroyed the whole family of Jeroboam, and reigned 24 years. There was war between him and Asa all his life, and his kingdom was invaded at the instigation of Asa, by Benhadad, king of Syria. Baasha dying, was succeeded by

Elah, who reigned two years, when his servant, Zimri, conspired against him, and killed him.

Zimri succeeded him, but reigned only seven days; for the people did not approve of him, and called Omri, commander of the army, to the kingdom. Zimri, however, in his short reign, destroyed the whole family of Baasha. Then, Omri came against him to Tirzah, and he, seeing no hope of success or of escape, retired to the palace, set it on fire, and perished in it.

Omri succeeded; but he had a rival, called Tibni, who was followed by half of the people. Omri's party, however, prevailed; so Tibni died, and Omri reigned

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