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placed at the entrance of the porch, one upon the right hand and the other upon the left.
4. Hiram, also, made all the vessels and instruments which were to be used in the services of the sanctuary; and thus the building became ready for the devotions and offerings of the people. Solomon then caused the ark to be removed to the place which he had prepared for it in the temple, upon which the glory of the Lord filled the house, and the king proceeded to the dedication in a solemn and fervent prayer, in which he implored the divine favor upon the work of his hands, and the services to which it was appropriated. He concluded with a blessing which he pronounced upon the congregation ; and after offering a vast number of sacrifices, and keeping a feast to the Lord seven days, he dismissed the people, who returned to their habitations, rejoicing in the goodness of God, and praising the merits of their king.
5. Not long after the dedication of the temple, the Lord appeared a second time to Solomon, and told him that he had heard and accepted his prayer and supplication, and that his favor should for ever rest upon the house which had been built. He declared, moreover, that the continuance of the government in the family of David would be dependent upon the constancy and fidelity with which the divine laws were observed. At the expiration of twenty years, probably, from the time of Solomon's coronation, a present was made by him to Hiram, king of Tyre, of certain cities, in return for bjs assistance in building the temple, with which the latter was not well pleased ; wherefore, that part of the country was called Cabul, a name denoting dissatisfaction. Solomon then applied himself to the building, repairing, and fortifying of various towns within his dominions ; engaging, also, extensively in commerce, and sending his ships to Ophir for gold.
6. Among the persons who came from distant parts to witness the glory, and to be edified with the wisdom of Solomon, was the queen of Sheba, who resolved to make trial of his understanding by proposing for his solution many difficult questions upon various subjects. The answers of the king not only gave satisfaction to her mind, but filled her
What remuneration did Solomon make Hiram for his aid in build. ing the temple ?
with astonishment and admiration ; and having made him a valuable present of gold and spices, she returned to her own country, with the most exalted opinion of his knowledge and power. With the fame of Solomon, his riches also increased; for his vessels brought him an abundance of gold, insomuch that it was applied to the most common uses, silver being held in no estimation. In short, the richest gifts poured in upon him from every country ; and to obtain his friendship, and to see his face, was the prevailing ambition of the princes and philosophers of the age.
7. But such is the imperfection of the human character, that even Solomon, surrounded as he was with every blessing, and exalted to the highest summit of earthly glory, forsook, at last, the Lord, his benefactor, and went after the gods of the heathen. The close of his life was disgraced by idolatry, to which he was turned by the temptations and artifices of his wives. Thus he provoked the anger of the Almighty, who declared to him, that, as a punishment for his wickedness, the government should, in part, be taken away from his family.
8. In addition to this, enemies were raised up against him, and the remainder of his days was clouded with care and
Among his foes, was one by the name of Jeroboam, who was the son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon. This man had received from the prophet Ahijah, an intimation that he was destined to the throne; in consequence of which, he attempted to alienate the affections of the people from their sovereign. When the king became acquainted with what had taken place, he concerted a plan to destroy Jeroboam, but the latter prevented its execution by fleeing into Egypt, where he remained till the death of Solomon, which happened soon after. He died in the fifty-eighth year of his age, having reigned forty years, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father, in the city of David.
REVOLT OF THE TEN TRIBES.
1. AFTER the death of Solomon, the people assembled at Shechem, to make his son Rehoboam king. They had pre
Who succeeded Solomon?
viously sent to Egypt for Jeroboam, who had returned and was present with them upon the occasion. Before proceeding to the acknowledgment and anointing of the son of Solomon, they determined to ascertain whether he was disposed to release them from the burdens under which they had suffered in the former reign; and to this end, they sent to him a deputation, with Jeroboam at the head of it, to obtain from him a promise that, on his advancement to the throne, he would redress their grievances. Rehoboam immediately summoned a council of old experienced men, to whom he communicated the message he had received, and requested their opinion in regard to the answer which he ought to give. They advised him, without hesitation, to comply with the wishes of the people; but instead of regarding their direction, he referred the subject to the determination of some of his young and thoughtless companions.
2. By these he was told to pay no respect to the complaints or feelings of the people ; but to state to their messengers, that so far from lessening the evils which they represented, he would greatly increase them. This advice, which was agreeable to his own sentiments, he imprudently followed ; in consequence of which, ten tribes immediately revolted from the house of David, and made Jeroboam their king. The nation thus became divided into two parts, of which the one was designated by the name of Israel, and the other by that of Judah. The tribe of Judah retained the adherence of the Benjamites, but there were comparatively so few of the latter, that both families were included under one general appellation.
3. Rehoboam, upon this unexpected defection, sent Adoram, who was over the tribute, to collect from the Israelites their accustomed taxes; but the enraged multitude stoned him to death. IIe then hastened with all speed up to Jerusalem, where he assembled a large force of the men of Judah and Benjamin, and prepared to give battle to Jeroboam, that he might thus bring back the rebel tribes to their allegiance. His intentions were, however, frustrated ; for the word of the Lord came to him by the prophet Shemaiah, for
What caused the Ten Tribes of Israel to revolt from Judah ?-Who became king of Israel ?-Which Tribe continued to adhere to Judah ? -What of importance happened to Jerusalem in the reign of Reho. boam ?
bidding him to take up arms, and declaring that the event which had occurred was according to the divine will.
4. From this time there is but little recorded of the reign of Rehoboam. His subjects became exceedingly vicious and depraved, and abandoned themselves to idolatry and all manner of wickedness; in consequence of which, the king of Egypt was sent against them, who took the city of Jerusalem, and robbed the temple and the palace of their trear sures, and carried away the shields of gold which Solomon had made ; in the place of which the king substituted others of brass. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he continued on the throne seventeen years, at the expiration of which he died, and was buried with his fathers. He was succeeded by his son Abijam.
5. The revolted Israelites under Jeroboam did not exceed their brethren of Judah in virtue and piety.—The king, in order to prevent the people from going up to Jerusalem to sacrifice, which he supposed they would be inclined to do from their former habits, and their reverence for the temple and the ark, made two golden calves, the one of which he placed in Dan, and the other in Bethel, the northern and southern extremities of his dominions. He also established festivals to be observed on the same days with those of Jerusalem, and advanced to the priesthood the lowest of the people, who were not of the house of Levi. In these ways he made Israel to sin, and provoked the severe displeasure of the Lord.
6. On a certain day, as Jeroboam stood by the idol which he had erected at Bethel, impiously executing the office of a priest, by burning incense, a prophet of God came thither from Judah and denounced a heavy wo upon the altar, and upon those who should sacrifice upon it, which he declared should be accomplished in the reign of a future prince by, the name of Josiah ; and to confirm the truth of his prediction, he further said, that the altar should be rent, and the ashes upon it poured out. This speech so incensed Jeroboam, that, stretching out his hand, he ordered his attendants w seize the prophet; but his hand immediately withered away, and the altar became rent so that the ashes fell upon the ground.
What did Jeroboam do to prevent his people from going up to Je rusalem to offer sacrifice ?- What happened to Jeroboam at Bethel ?
7. The king was then convinced of the inspiration of the prophet, and entreated him to pray for the restoration of his hand, which he readily did, and it returned to its former state. Jeroboam then urged the stranger to go home with him and receive some refreshment; but the latter refused the invitation, upon the ground, that the Lord had commanded him neither to eat nor to drink. He then departed from the place, and was followed by an old prophet, who had been informed by his sons, of the transactions at the altar, and who had persuaded him, by a false statement, to return.
8. While they were seated at the table, the word of the Lord came unto the old prophet, and he addressed the man of God who was from Judah, declaring in substance, that in consequence of his disobedience to the command of heaven, he should not be buried in the sepulchre of his fathers. This sentence was soon put in execution ; for immediately after leaving the city, he was attacked by a lion and slain. The prophet of Bethel, when he heard of this calamity, went out and took the body, which had been neither torn nor disfigured, and returning with it, caused it to be buried in his own tomb; at the same time expressing his confidence that the predictions concerning the altar would all be fulfilled, and giving it in charge to his sons, that when he died, they should lay him by the side of the man of God.
ISRAEL'S RETURN FROM EGYPT.
When Israel, of the Lord beloved,
There rose the choral hymn of praise,