Imatges de pàgina

4. Beds in the East are often raised several feet a. bove the floor, in galleries at the corners of rooms, and the ascent to them is by steps.

8. This was the dress of the prophets in general. It was coarse and plain, but there was nothing of peculiar austerity in it. Such a dress John the Baptist wore.

10. This he said, no doubt, from a divine impulse. He seems to have called him a man of God by way of ridicule and insult, and to have commanded him in an insolent manner to attend the king.

11. This second messenger would, no doubt, think that the lightning which destroyed his predecessor had a natural cause, and therefore that he had no reason to be apprehensive of the like fate. He seems to have behaved in a more infolent manner than the former.

13. This third messenger was convinced that there must have been something supernatural in the destruction of the two companies that had preceeded him, and therefore he behaved with becoming fubmillion.

16. What had happened to the two first messengers had, no doubt, alarmed the king ; so that tho' the prophet was now in his power, he did nothing against him.

17. In the eighteenth year of fehosapiat king of Judah, LXX, as in 2 Chron. xiii, 1,

lu order to reconcile the different accounts of the reign of Jehoram the son of Jehofaphat, it is supposed by some that he was made king jointly with his father seven years before his death.

Ch. II. 3. That Elijah was to be taken up into hearen, appears to have been known not only to Elisha, but to the sons of the prophets, and the peopie of thos parts in general. This information must have come from Elijah himself. .: 7. They looked in expectation of seeing the afcent of Elijah.


9. The double portion of the inheritance was the pris vilege of the first born fon. A diftinction fimilar to this was requested by Elisha, and not to be anything more than Elijah himself had been.

10. It was not in the power of Elijah to grant this request ; but he gave him a token by which he might know whether God would grant it or not, and he had his wish. But it does not appear in the history of Elifha, that he was in any respect fuperior to Elijah. Their

miracles were equally great, but Elisha did not act fo i conspicuous a part in public life as Elijah had done.

11. This is a second, and the laft, instance of a perfon translated into another life without dying, thio' it was perhaps the case of Moses. Where these persons, or our Saviour, who was raised from the dead, now are, of how they are employed, is altogether unknown. But az it cannot be supposed that they liave any relation to any other world, or planet, they are, no doubt, in this.

12. What Elisha meant by saying the chariot of Israel and the horsemen, thereof, is uncertain. It was

perhaps to express his high: opinion of him, as the des * fence and guardian of the country ; As chariots and horfemen were reputed to be.

14. This would be a proof to Elifa, that the spirit and

power of Elijah remained with him.
15. Such too was the conclusion which the fons of
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the prophets drew from this miracle, of which they apu pear to have been spectators.

16. They thought he might have been conveyed to some other place, and not into another world, or oltate.

21. The falt would naturally make the water less wholesome, nor could the effect of a little falt, whatever had been its natural tendency, been permanent. The power of God was therefore most apparent in this mi. racle.

23. The word here trandated little children, fometimes figuifies young persons grown to men's estate. Ifaac when he was twenty eight years old is fo called, Gen. xxii, 5-12, and Jofeph when he was thirty. Gen. xli, 12. What they did to infult the prophet was probably at the instigation of the priests of Baal. They had, no doubt, heard of the ascent of Elijah, but would not believe it. Since much hair was admired, bald. ness was reproachful.

2+. This curse was, no doubt, from a divine impuse, previous to the just punishment of these profane young men.

Ch. III. 1. Ahaziah his brother began to reign in the seventeenth year of Jehosaphat; and reigned two years, 1 Kings, xxii, 51; and yet Jehoram began to reign in the eighteenth of Jehosaphat. Part of two years are, therefore, called two years.

3. He did not worship any strange god, but the true God in a forbidden manner.

4. In these times a great part of the wealth of kings arose from their private esates, which their fons and fcrvants managed for them. This is supposed to have heen not an annual tribute, but a fine for some injury received from them.


8. The Edomites were tributary to the kings of Judah, and therefore he could command their alif


9. They had to go round the Southern part of the Dead fea.

11. That is, he was his servant, doing menial offices for him.

12. He was probably at no great distance, and they fhewed their respect by going to him, rather than sending for him to attend them.

15. The mufic, probably accompanied with some sacred bymn, would tend to compose his fpirits, especie ally after the just indignation he had expressed against the king of Israel, and in this state of mind he waited for the divine impulse. he had probably had it at other times when he was thus composed.

17. Rain in the East is often preceded by a brisk wind, as it is when thunder gufts arise in this country.

19. How clear is this prediction, and unlike the re{ponses of the heathen oracles.

20. How this water was produced does not appear. But as there was neither wind nor rain, it must have been from some opening of the earth, or a miraculous production of the water, each of which was equally easy to the author of nature.

21. It might have this appearance from fome opti. cal deception. A 3

25 They 25. They destroyed all the country, demolishing all the fortifications, except those of the royal city, which was exceedingly strong. Is. xvi, 7-11.

27. The facrificing of persons of distinction on ex. traordinary occasions was not uncommon with the hea., thens, who naturally thought that the more valuable the facrifice was, the more acceptable it would be to their gods, especially those that they conceived to be of a savage and cruel nature. The Carthaginians at one time facrificed three hundred young persons of the first families in their city. The Ifraelites were so much Shocked at this fight, that they broke up the fiege, and left the country; having, indeed, taken fufficient re. venge for their rebellion. It does not, however, appear that the Moabites (were ever reduced to their former dependence on the kings of Israel, but rose gradually to considerable power, as an independent nation.

Ch. IV, 1. It is evident that celibacy was not en. joined on those who are called the fons of the prophets, as some of these had wives ; nor is it probable that any rigid observances were required of them. The creditor had a legal right, when the debt could not otherwise be paid, to seize the family of the debtor, and make him his slave, that is, till the year of release.

7. All the miracles wrought by Elisha were of the benevolent kind, resembling those of Jesus afterwards.

8. Shunem was in the road from Carmel, which was not far diftant, to Bethel and Jericho.

13. It appears from this, and from other circum- . sances, that Elina was well known, and respected at the court. His predigion of the late victory over the


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