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and rooted out by Baasha, who reigned in his stead; so Nadab lived king but two years.
Baasha the son of Ahijah, the third king after the partition, made war with Asa king of Judah: he seated himself in Thersa, and fortified Rama against Judah, to restrain their excursions. Hereupon Asa entertained Benhadad of Damascus against him, who invaded Nephtalim, and destroyed many places therein: the mean while Asa carried away the materials, with which Baasha intended to fortify Rama, but being an idolater, he was threatened by Jehu the prophet, that it should befall his race as it did to h Jeroboam, which afterward came to pass. He ruled twenty-four years, and died.
To Baasha succeeded Ela his son, who at a feast at his palace of Thersa was in his cups slain by Zambris, after he had reigned two years; and in him the prophecy of Jehu was fulfilled.
Zambris succeeded Ela, and assumed the name of a king seven days: but Ambris, in revenge of the king's murder, set upon i Zambris, or Zimri, and enclosed him in Thersa, and forced him to burn himself.
Ambris, or Homri, succeeded Ela, and transferred the regal seat from Thersa to Samaria, which he bought of Shemer, built, and fortified it. This k Ambris was also an idolater, no less impious than the rest, and therefore subjected to Tabremmon, king of Syria; the father of Benhadad, according to Eusebius, Nicephorus, and Zonaras. But how this should stand, I do not well conceive; seeing Benhadad, the son of Tabremmon, was invited by Asa, king of Judah, to assail Baasha king of Israel, the father of Ela, who forewent Ambris. This Ambris reigned twelve years, six in Thersa and six in Samaria, and left two children, Achab and Athalia.
SECT. III. Of Achab and his successors, with the captivity of the ten tribes. ACHAB, or Ahab, succeeded Omri, who not only upi Kings xv. and xvi. i Kings xvi.
k Ibid. 11 Kings xv.
held the idolatry of Jeroboam, borrowed of the Egyptians, but he married Jezabel the Zidonian ; and as Jeroboam followed the religion of his Egyptian wife, so did Achab of his Zidonian, and erected an altar and a grove to Baal in Samaria. He suffered Jezabel to kill the prophets of the most high God. God sent famine on the land of Israel. Achab met Elias ; Elias prevailed in the trial of the sacrifice, and killeth the false prophets, and afterwards flieth for fear of Jezabel.
Benhadad not long after besieged Samaria, and taken by Achab, was by him set at liberty ; for which the prophet (whom Glycas calleth Michæas) reproveth him : afterwards he causeth Naboth, by a false accusation, to be stoned. Then joining with Josaphat in the war for the recovery of Ramoth, he was slain, as Michæas had foretold him.
He had three sons named in the scripture, Ochozias, Joram, and Joas, besides seventy other sons by sundry wives and concubines.
Ochozias succeeded his father Achab. The Moabites fell from his obedience ; he bruised himself by a fall, and sent for counsel to m Beelzebub, the god of Acharon. Elijah the prophet meeteth the messenger on the way, and misliking that Ochozias sought help from that dead idol, asked the messenger, if there were not a God in Israel. Ochozias sendeth two captains, and with each fifty soldiers, to bring Elijah unto him; both which, with their attendants, were consumed with fire. The third captain besought mercy at Elijah's hands, and he spared him, and went with him to the king, avowing it to the king that he must then die; which came to pass in the second year of his reign.
Joram, the brother of Ochozias by Jezabel, succeeded : he allured Josaphat, king of Judah, and the king of Edom, to assist him against the Moabites, who refused to pay him the tribute of 20,000 sheep. The three kings wanted water for themselves and their horses in the deserts. The prophet Elisha causeth the ditches to flow. The Moabites are overthrown; their king flieth to Kirharaseth; and being besieged, according to some expositors, burnt his son on the walls as a sacrifice, whereat the three kings, moved with compassion, returned and left Moab, wasting and spoiling that region. Others, as it seems, with better reason, understand the text to speak of the son of the king of Edom, whom they suppose in this irruption to have been taken prisoner by the Moabites, and that the king of Moab shewed him over the walls, threatening, unless the siege were dissolved, that he would offer him in sacrifice to his gods. Whereupon the king of Edom besought those of Judah and Israel to break off the siege for the safety of his son; which when the other kings refused to yield unto, and that Moab, according to his former threatening, had burnt the king of Edom's son upon the rampire, that all the assailants might discern it; the king of Edom, being by this sad spectacle enraged, forsook the party of the other kings; for want of whose assistance the siege was broken up.
m Beelzebub was the same with Livy. 2 Kings i. Belus and Pluto, saith Viginere upon 2 Kings iji.
After this the king of Aram sent to Joram, to heal Naaman, the captain of his army, of the leprosy. The answer of Joram was, Am I God to kill, and to give life, that he doth send to heal a man from his leprosy? adding, that the Aramite sought but matter of quarrel against him. Elisha hearing thereof, willed the king to send Naaman to him, promising that he should know that there was a prophet in Israel ; and so Naaman was healed, by washing himself seven times in Jordan. Elisha refused the gifts of Naaman, but his servant Gehazi accepted a part thereof; from whence the sellers of spiritual gifts are called Gehazites, as the buyers are • Simonians, of Simon Magus.
Afterwards Benhadad, king of Aram or Damascus, having heard that this prophet did discover to the king of Israel whatsoever the Aramite consulted in his secretest council, sent a troop of horse to take Elisha: all whom Elisha struck blind, and brought them captives into Samaria. Joram then asking leave of the prophet to slay them,
• 2 Kings i. 5.
Elisha forbade him to harm them, but caused them to be fed and sent back to their own prince in safety.
The king of Aram, notwithstanding these benefits, did again attempt Samaria, and brought the citizens to extreme famine. Joram imputeth the cause thereof to the prophet Elisha. Elisha, by prayer, caused a noise of chariots and armour to sound in the air, whereby the Aramites affrighted fled away and left the siege; an act of great admiration, as the same is written in 2 Kings vii. After this, when Azael obtained the kingdom of Syria by the death of his master, Joram, entering upon his frontier, took Ramoth Gilead ; in which war he received divers wounds, and returned to Jezrael to be cured. But whilst he lay there, Jehu (who commanding the army of Joram in Gilead, was anointed king by one of the children of the prophets sent by Elisha) surprised and slew both him and all that belonged unto him, rooting out the whole posterity of Ahab.
Jehu, who reigned after Jehoram, destroyed not only the race of his foregoers, but also their religion ; for which he received a promise from God, that his seed should occupy the throne unto the fourth generation. Yet he upheld the idolatry of Jeroboam, for which he was plagued with grievous war, wherein he was beaten by Hazael the Aramite, who spoiled all the countries to the east of Jordan ; in which war he was slain, saith Cedrenus, whereof the scriptures are silent. Jelu reigned twenty-eight years.
Joachaz, or Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, succeeded his father, whom Azael and his son Benhadad often invaded, and in the end subjected, leaving him only fifty horse, twenty chariots, and 10,000 foot; and, as it is written in 9 the scriptures, he made them like dust beaten into powder. Joachaz reigned seventeen years.
After Joachaz, Joas his son governed Israel ; who, when he repaired to Elisha the prophet as he lay in his deathbed, the prophet promised him three victories over the Aramites; and first commanded him to lay his hand on his bow; and Elisha covered the king's hands with his, and bade him open the window westward, (which was towards Damascus,) and then shoot an arrow thence-out. He again willed him to beat the ground with his arrows, who smote it thrice, and ceased. The prophet then told him, that he should have smitten five or six times, and then he should have had so many victories over the Aramites as he gave strokes. And so it succeeded with Joas, who overthrew the Aramites in three battles, and recovered the cities and territory from Benhadad the son of Azael, which his father Joachaz had lost. He also overthrew ' Amazią king of Juda, who provoked him to make the war; whereupon he entered Jerusalem, and sacked it with the temple. This Joas reigned sixteen years, and died; in whose time also the prophet Elisha exchanged this life for a better.
9 2 Kings xiii.
Jeroboam, the third from Jehu, followed Joas his father, an idolater, as his predecessors; but he recovered all the rest of the lands belonging to Israel, from Hamath, which is near Libanus, to the Dead sea, and reigned forty-one years.
Zacharias, the fourth and last of the house of Jehu, slain by Shallum his vassal, who reigned in his stead, governed six months. Shallum held the kingdom but one month, being slaughtered by Menahem of the Gadites.
Menahem, who took revenge of Shallum, used great cruelty to those that did not acknowledge him, ripping the bellies of those that were with child. This Menahem being invaded by Phul, s bought his peace with 10,000 talents of silver, which he exacted by a tribute of fifty sheckles from every man of wealth in Israel. Menahem governed twenty years.
Pekahiah, or Phaceia, or, after Zonaras, Phacesia, succeeded; and after he had ruled two years, he was slain by Phaca, or Pekah, the commander of his army, who reigned in his place. In this Pekah's time, Phulassar, or TiglatPhylassar, invaded the kingdom of Israel, and won ljon, Abel-Bethmaaca, Janoach, Kedesh, Hasor, and Gilead, with all the cities of Galilee, carrying them, captives into Assy
r 2 Kings xiv. s 2 Kings xvi. 19. 2 Kings xv. 29.