Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

well the practice of his nation, being an Italian born : Sic qui hodie, saith he, politici vocantur, et propria commoda, præsentesque utilitates sibi tanquam ultimum finem constituunt, causam quam vocant status in capite omnium ponunt : pro ipsa tuenda, promovenda, conservanda, amplianda, nihil non faciendum putant. Si injuria proximo irroganda, si justitiæ honestatisque leges subvertenda, si religio ipsa pessundanda, si denique omnia jura divina et humana violanda, nihil intentatum, nihil per fas nefasque relinquendum censent, cuncta ruant, omnia pereant, nihil ad ipsos, modo id, quod e re sua esse sibi persuadent, obtineant, ac si nullus sit qui talia curet, castigareve possit Deus ; “ So they who are now called politicians, propound6 ing to themselves, as their utmost end and scope, their “ own commodity and present profit, are wont to allege the “ case of state, forsooth, as the principal point to be re“ garded : for the good of the state, for advancing, preserv

ing, or increasing of the state, they think they may do “ any thing. If they mean to oppress their neighbour, to 66 overturn all laws of justice and honesty, if religion itself 6 must go to wreck, yea, if all rights of God and man 6 must be violated, they will try all courses, be it right, be “ it wrong, they will do any thing; let all go to ruin, what 66 care they, so long as they may have what they would; as 66 who should say, there were no God that would offer to 5 meddle in such matters, or had power to correct them."

Indeed this allegation of Raggione del Stato did serve as well to uphold, as at the first it had done to bring in this vile idolatry of the ten tribes. Upon this ground Amazia, the priest of Bethel, counselled the prophet n Amos not to prophesy at Bethel; For, said he, it is the king's court. Upon this ground even o Jehu, that had massacred the priests of Baal in zeal for the Lord, yet would not in any wise depart from that politic sin of Jeroboam the son of p Nebat, which made Israel to sin. It was reason of state that persuaded the last famous French king, Henry the Fourth, to change his religion ; yet the protestants whom he forsook

n Amos vii. 13. • 2 Kings 8. 16. P 2 Kings x. 31.

obeyed him, but some of the papists whom he followed murdered him. So strongly doth the painted vizor of wise proceeding delude even those that know the foul face of impiety lurking under it, and behold the wretched ends that have ever followed it; whereof Jehu and all the kings of Israel had, and were themselves, very great examples.

SECT. II. Of Rehoboam's impiety, for which he was punished by Sesac; of his

end and contemporaries. WHILE Jeroboam was occupied in setting up his new religion, Rehoboam on the other side having now little hope to recover the provinces lost, strengthened the principal places remaining with all endeavour; for he fortified and victualled fifteen cities of 9 Juda and Benjamin : not that he feared Jeroboam alone, but the Egyptians, to whom Jeroboam had not only fastened himself, but withal invited them to invade Judæa; laying perchance before them the incountable riches of David and Salomon, which might now easily be had, seeing ten of the twelve tribes were revolted, and become enemies to the Judæans. So as by those two ways, (of late years often trodden,) to wit, change of religion and invitation of foreign force, Jeroboam hoped to settle himself in the seat of Israel, whom yet the powerful God for his idolatry in a few years after rooted out with all his. Rehoboam also, having, as he thought, by r fortifying divers places assured his estate, forsook the law of the living God, and made high places, and images, and groves on every high hill, and under every green tree.

And therefore in the fifth year of his reign, Sesac, or Shishac, before spoken of, being now king of Egypt, and with whom as well Adad of Idumæa as Jeroboam were familiar, and his instruments, entered s Judæa with twelve thousand chariots and threescore thousand horse, besides footmen, which Josephus numbers at four hundred thousand. This army was compounded of four nations; Egyptians, Lu4 2 Chron. xi.

& 2 Chron. xii. 3. r i Kings xiv. 13. .

+ Joseph. Ant. 8. c. 4.

bæans, Succæans, and Cusites. The Lubæans were Lybæans, the next bordering region to Egypt, on the west side. The Cusites were of Petræa, and of the desert Arabia, which afterwards followed Zerah against "Asa king of Juda. The Succæans, according to Junius's opinion, were of Succoth, which signifieth tents: he doth suppose that they were the Trogloditæ, mentioned often in * Pliny, Ptolemy, and other authors. The Troglodites inhabited not far from the banks of the Red sea, in twenty-two degrees from the line northward, about six hundred English miles from the best and maritimate part of Egypt ; and therefore I do not think that the Succims, or Succæi, were those Trogloditæ, but rather those Arabians which Ptolemy calls Arabes Ægyptii, or Ichthyophagi, which possess that part of Egypt between the mountains called y Alabastrini and the Red sea, far nearer Egypt, and readier to be levied than those removed savages of the Trogloditæ.

With this great and powerful army Sesac invaded Judæa, and (besides many other strong cities) won Jerusalem itself, of which, and of the temple and king's house he took the spoil, carrying away (besides other treasures) the golden shields which Salomon had made, in imitation of those which David recovered from Adadezer in the Syrian war: these Rehoboam supplied with targets of brass, which were fit enough to guard a king of his quality; whom Siracides calleth the foolishness of the people.

From this time forward the kings of Egypt claimed the sovereignty of Judæa, and held the Jews as their tributaries: Sesac, as it seems, rendering up to Rehoboam his places on that condition. So much may be gathered out of the words of God, where promising the deliverance of Juda after their humiliation, he doth notwithstanding leave them under the yoke of Egypt in these words : Nevertheless they (to wit, the Judæans) shall be his servants, that is, the servants of Sesac.

After this overthrow and dishonour, Rehoboam reigned

" 2 Chron. xii. 2. 2 Kings xiv. Plin. 1.6.c.29. Ptol. Asiæ, Tab. 3. Annot. in 12. Chron.

y Cap. 47. V. 23. RALEGH, HIST. WORLD. VOL. II. 00

twelve years, and his losses received by Sesac notwithstanding, he continued the war against Jeroboam all his lifetime. After his death Jeroboam governed Israel four years.

Rehoboam lived fifty-eight years, and reigned seventeen. His story was written at large by Shemeiah and Hiddon the prophets, but the same perished with that of Nathan and the rest.

With Rehoboam, Archippus and Tersippus, the third and fourth archontes or governors for life after Codrus, governed in Athens; Abdastrartus, or Abstrartus, in Tyre; Doristhus, the fifth of the Heraclidæ, in Sparta, according to 2 Eusebius, (others make him the sixth ;) and Priminas the fourth in Corinth. Over the Latins reigned Sylvius Alba and Sylvius Atys, the fourth and fifth of the Sylvii.

About the twelfth of Rehoboam, Abdastrartus, king of Tyre, was murdered by his nurse's sons, or foster-brethren, the elder of which usurped the kingdom twelve years.

Towards his latter times, Periciades, or Pyrithiades, began to govern Assyria, the 34th king thereof : and not long after, Astartus, the son of Baleastartus, recovered the kingdom of Tyre from the usurpers.

- SECT. III. Of the great battle between Jeroboam and Abijah, with a corollary

of the examples of God's judgments. ABIJAH, the son of Rehoboam, inherited his father's kingdom, and his vices. He raised an army of four hundred thousand, with which he invaded Jeroboam, who encountered him with a double number of eight hundred thousand; both armies joined near to the mount Ephraim, where Jeroboam was utterly overthrown, and the strength of Israel broken ; for there fell of that side five hundred thousand, the greatest overthrow that ever was given or received of those nations. Abijah being now master of the field, recovered Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron ; soon after

2 Euseb. Chron.

which discomfiture Jeroboam died; who reigned in all twenty-two years. Abijah, the better to strengthen himself, entered into league with Hesion, the third of the Adads of Syria ; as may be gathered out of 2 Chron. xvi. 23. He reigned but three years, and then died. The particulars of his acts were written by Iddo the prophet, as some part of his father's were.

Here we see how it pleased God to punish the sins of Salomon in his son Rehoboam ; first, by an idolater and a traitor; and then by the successor of that Egyptian, whose daughter Salomon had married, thereby the better to assure his estate, which, while he served God, was by God assured against all and the greatest neighbouring kings, and when he forsook him, it was torn asunder by his meanest vassals: not that the father wanted strength to defend him from the Egyptian Sesac; for the son Abijah was able to levy four hundred thousand men, and with the same number he overthrew eight hundred thousand Israelites, and slew of them five hundred thousand, God giving spirit, courage, and invention, when and where it pleaseth him. And as in those times the causes were expressed, why it pleased God to punish both kings and their people, the same being both before and at the instant delivered by prophets ; so the same just God, who liveth and governeth all things for ever, doth in these our times give victory, courage, and discourage, raise and throw down kings, estates, cities, and nations, for the same offences which were committed of old, and are committed in the present: for which reason, in these and other the afflictions of Israel, always the causes are set down, that they might be as precedents to succeeding ages. They were punished with famine in David's time for three years, a for Saul and his bloody house, &c. And David, towards his latter end, suffered all sorts of afflictions and sorrows in effect, for Uriah. Salomon had ten tribes of twelve torn from his son for his idolatry. Rehoboam was spoiled of his riches and honour by Sesac of Egypt, because the people of Juda made images, high places, and groves, &c. and be

2 Sam. xxi. 1.

« ZurückWeiter »