II Chronicles 35

 

 

This chapter of twenty-seven Verses, occupied with the account of Josiah’s

great Passover (vs. 1-19), and his death in the battle of Megiddo, waged

by Necho King of Egypt with Carchemish by Euphrates (vs. 20-27), is

paralleled by the ten verses of II Kings 23:21-30.

 

1 "Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and

they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month."

They killed the Passover on the fourteenth… of the first month; i.e. on the

day appointed originally (Exodus 12:6). It will be remembered that, under

special circumstances, the same day of the second month was authorized by

“Hezekiah and his princes” (ch. 30:2).

 

2 "And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the

service of the house of the LORD,"  Compare ch. 7:6; 31:2; I Chronicles 23:32;

and our notes in those places.

 

3 "And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy

unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the

son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon

your shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, and His people Israel,"

That taught (see ch. 17:7, 9: Deuteronomy 33:8-10). Which were holy (so 23:6).

Put the holy ark…not to you a burden on the shoulder. There is a double

difficulty, though not of a very formidable character, in this portion of the verse.

We can only conjecture why the ark was not in its proper place, probably

having been temporarily removed during Josiah’s own restorations, or possibly

having never been yet replaced from the date of some earlier removal of an

iniquitous character and on the part of an iniquitous king. Secondly, as to

the burden, some would explain the language as a reminiscence of the

general and ever-applicable principle found in I Chronicles 23:26. This,

at any rate, would seem rather more satisfactory than the suggestion

conveyed by the italic type of our Authorized Version. Perhaps the

explanation may rather be that the ark had latterly again and again been

shifted, and Josiah wishes to protest that neither for one reason nor another

shall it be again moved.

 

4 "And prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your

courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and

according to the writing of Solomon his son." According to the writing of

David… and… of Solomon (compare our ch. 8:14 and I Chronicles 9:10-34,

and the other marginal references, I Chronicles chapters 23-26.). It is more than

possible that the fullest tabulation of arrangements of this kind has not come

down to us.

 

5 "And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the

families of the fathers of your brethren the people, and after the

division of the families of the Levites."  In brief, this verse purports to say that,

for this special occasion of the Passover, the Levites shall take special care that,

as stationed in the holy precincts, there shall be a family of themselves ready

to minister to a family… of the people, each to each.

 

6 "So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your

brethren, that they may do according to the word of the LORD by

the hand of Moses." Prepare your brethren; i.e. as betokened by the wording

of the foregoing verse, their brethren, the people. The Levites were to purify

themselves, perform their other duties of killing the victims, and withal to

use their opportunities of instructing the people to the better order and

performance of the whole solemn service.

 

7 "And Josiah gave to the people, of the flock, lambs and kids, all for

the passover offerings, for all that were present, to the number of

thirty thousand, and three thousand bullocks: these were of the

king’s substance."  Lambs… kids… bullocks. The variety of sacrificial

offerings is specifically noticed in our v. 13. While kids (“Ye shall take it out

from the sheep or from the goats, Exodus 12:5) as well as lambs answered

for the Paschal feast, the bullocks served for “burnt” and “peace offerings”

(Numbers 28:16-25).

 

The Preferable Service (vs. 3-7)

 

There is considerable uncertainty as to the meaning of the words (v. 3),

put the holy ark in the house,” etc. (see Exposition). But whatever

interpretation we give them, it is clear that Josiah intended the Levites to

understand that he required them to render a different and a higher service

than that of carrying the ark as a burden on their shoulders; they were to

serve now the Lord their God, and His people Israel;” they were to do this

by “standing in the holy place,” by “killing the Passover,” and thus enable

their brethren to do according to the Word of the Lord.” In other words,

instead of the work of sacred porterage to which they had been

accustomed, they were to render important services in the sanctuary; were

to be instrumental in the keeping of a sacred feast by all their brethren;

were to render valuable assistance in aiding them to carry out the

commandments of the Lord. They were to give up the lower for the higher

service, the mechanical one for that which was more spiritual; one that was

no longer needed for that which was urgent; the comparatively unprofitable

for that which was likely to be fruitful of devotion and piety. We thus judge:

 

  • THAT ALL WORK FOR GOD MAY BE GOOD AND

ACCEPTABLE. Josiah could not have meant that the carrying of the ark

was not “service.” Although the words, as they stand in the third verse,

certainly bear that construction, we conclude that he could not have

intended them to have that significance. No devout Jew would have

questioned the statement that the work of carrying the ark of the covenant

under Divine commandment was an act of sacred service. Indeed, it

matters not how humble or even slight and trivial be the work we do in the

cause of God, so long as it is rendered:

 

Ø      cheerfully, and not of constraint or grudgingly

Ø      faithfully, diligently, taking our part and carrying it out with loyalty

and thoroughness;

Ø      harmoniously, in concert with our fellow-laborers;

Ø      religiously, devoutly, doing what we do as unto Christ, and not only

as unto man;

 

it is then good and sacred and acceptable unto God our Saviour.

 

All works are good, and each is best

      As most it pleases thee;

Each worker pleases when the rest

     He serves in charity;

And neither work nor man unblest

     Wilt thou permit to be.”

 

But there is another side to this truth. There are works which are to be

preferred to others, if they can be rightly undertaken, because they are

intrinsically better. Hence we urge:

 

  • THAT THERE IS WORK WHICH IS TO BE PREFERRED WHEN

THE CHOICE IS OFFERED US.

 

Ø      The spiritual to the mechanical; e.g. leading in prayer or urging to

religious decision or to deeper and fuller devotedness, (to be preferred) to

the work of “the doorkeeper in the house of the Lord”  (Psalm 84:10),

good as that is in its time and way.

 

Ø      The practical to the speculative; e.g. doing some work of rescue or

reformation rather than indulging in speculations as to the employments of

the heavenly country, or trying to read the riddle of the Apocalypse.

 

Ø      The sympathetic to the argumentative. It may be well to demolish the

arguments of the assailant of the faith; it is better to “visit the widow and

the fatherless in their affliction’ (James 1:27); to carry consolation and

hope to those who are ready to faint or to despair. The logical man does

well to argue, but the work of “the man who is a hiding-place from the

wind and a covert from the tempest” (Isaiah 4:6) is of a nobler, a

Christlier kind.

 

Ø      The costly to the costless. No sum is too small for the treasury of the

Lord, no word too simple for the sanctuary; yet is it a better thing to bring

to Jesus Christ that which costs us something (II Samuel 24:24) — the

work which commands and requires our strength, the word on which we

have spent patient and prayerful thought, the feeling which is a real

expenditure of ourselves.

 

8 "And his princes gave willingly unto the people, to the priests, and

to the Levites: Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of

God, gave unto the priests for the passover offerings two thousand and

six hundred small cattle and three hundred oxen.  The princes; i.e. the

three immediately mentioned by name. Jehiel (see Ezra 8:2).

 

9 "Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethaneel, his brethren, and

Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave unto

the Levites for passover offerings five thousand small cattle, and five

hundred oxen."  ConaninhShemaiahJozabad (see ch. 31:12,15).

 

10"So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place,

and the Levites in their courses, according to the king’s commandment."

According to the king’s commandment (see ch. 30:16, where the sanction is

referred further back, “according to the Law of Moses, the man of God”).

 

11 "And they killed the passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood

from their hands, and the Levites flayed them."  Compare ch. 29:34; 30:16;

Leviticus chapters 1., 3., 4.,

 

 

12 "And they removed the burnt offerings, that they might give

according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer

unto the LORD, as it is written in the book of Moses. And so did

they with the oxen.'  Removed; i.e. cut off; the verse purporting that those

who officiated cut off those portions of the animals slain which were of the

nature of burnt offering, that they might be taken by the offering

worshippers to the priests at the altars, there to be entirely consumed. Of

the people; probably better, literally, to the children of the people, i.e. “to

the people” (Leviticus 3:3-16).

 

13 "And they roasted the passover with fire according to the ordinance:

but the other holy offerings sod they in pots, and in caldrons, and

in pans, and divided them speedily among all the people.

14 And afterward they made ready for themselves, and for the priests:

because the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering of

burnt offerings and the fat until night; therefore the Levites

prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron."

Roasted. (For the emphatic and repeated command to roast,

see Exodus 12:8-9; Deuteronomy 16:7.) Sod. The sodden or

boiled offerings, peace offerings, were ordinarily eaten on the days of

unleavened bread, and then particularly on the first and seventh (Leviticus

23:4-8, etc.). Divided them speedily among all the people. The marginal

rendering of the original, and the Revised Version rendering, carried them

quickly, may be noted; nevertheless attention is invited, probably not so

much to the speed or quickness in question, but to the fact that “all the

peoplewere carefully attended to.

 

15 "And the singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to

the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun

the king’s seer; and the porters waited at every gate; they might not

depart from their service; for their brethren the Levites prepared

for them." To the marginal references of I Chronicles chapters 9, 25, 26;

add ibid. ch. 6:33-47.

 

16 "So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep

the passover, and to offer burnt offerings upon the altar of the

LORD, according to the commandment of king Josiah.

17 And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at

that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days."

The same day; literally, that day, as next verse, “at that time.”

No stress belongs to the day as the same day evidently.

 

 

The Service of the Lord (vs. 6-16)

 

From this account of Josiah’s great Passover we may learn:

 

  • THAT RELIGIOUS LIFE INCLUDES A FEW GREAT OCCASIONS.

The religious life of Israel included some special occasions, of which this

was one. Provision was made in the Law for one event of surpassing

solemnity in every year (Leviticus 16.). And the very checkered course the

nation ran provided a few extraordinary scenes which were great and

sacred opportunities. Thus is it with individual lives. During a life of

ordinary length and interest there will occur some few events which are

signal, striking, critical. Much may depend on them; much use should be

made of them. But, after all, it is not by them that our life will be sustained,

and it is not upon them that any wise man will rely. It is:

 

Ø      the regular worship;

Ø      the daily devotion;

Ø      the habitual recognition of God and appeal to Him

 

that determines our spiritual position, that makes us to “live

beforeHim and in Him.

 

  • THAT THE SERVICE OF GOD PROVIDES A VERY WIDE

OPPORTUNITY. How many men, how many classes or orders of men,

contributed to this one service! The king inspired and directed it (v. 1-2);

the Levites “killed the Passover” (vs. 6-11); the priests “sprinkled the

blood (v. 11). The heads of the orders, from the king downwards,

contributed generously of their flocks to supply the people’s need (vs. 7-9).

The singers sang (v. 15); the porters “waited at every gate” (v. 15).

So “all the service of the Lord" was rendered, every one taking his place

and doing his best thereat (v. 16). The Church of Christ is one Body with

many members, and all the members have not the same office; very various

indeed are the offices which are rendered by the disciples of the one Lord.

And as, year by year, Christian life, as well as civilized life, becomes more

complex and intricate, it becomes more decisively and imperatively our

duty to recognize the fact that, while our own particular function has its

importance, it is only one among many others, and that every one of us is

beholden to his fellows for valuable services which it is not in his own

power to render. And it is well also to mark that, in a state so complicated,

with so many posts to be filled, there is the less excuse for any idle

member.

 

  • THAT THE SERVICE OF OTHERS SHOULD PRECEDE

PROVISION FOR OURSELVES. “Afterward they made ready for

themselves(v. 14). In the kingdom of Christ we are not to stand upon

our official rights; we are to claim the supreme honor of serving others,

after the manner of OUR DIVINE LEADER!   He was “among us as one

that serveth (Luke 22:27).  He was here “not to be ministered unto, but

to minister” (Matthew 20:28), and we never stand nearer to Him than when

we abnegate any right we might officially claim, and prefer to wait upon

others’ wants; to minister to their necessities; to make them glad, or to

do them good. Of ourselves we may think and for ourselves we may care,

but afterward, not first.

 

  • THAT WE MAY RENDER AN EXCELLENT SERVICE BY A

REVIVAL OF THE FORGOTTEN. It does not follow that old usages,

though they once had the sanction of Christian custom, should be revived.

Possibly they are better left alone. “The old order changeth,” etc. On the

other hand, the time may come for their revival, if not in the same form, in

a different one. That usage, in some form, deserves to be restored which

promotes devotion, humility, charity.

 

18 "And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days

of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such

a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all

Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of

Jerusalem."  Upon this verse Professor Murphy says, “The Passover in

Hezekiah’s time was great (ch. 30:26), but this was greater.

For it was kept on the proper day in the first month, and was not a mere

supplementary Passover; it was observed with due regularity, and not by

worshippers some of whom were unclean; and if we allow thirteen persons

for each lamb or kid, there were upwards of half a million communicants;

while, so far as we know, there were only seventeen thousand sheep

presented by Hezekiah and his princes (ibid. v. 24), which

would not supply more than half the number of partakers.

 

19 "In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this passover kept."

The date is stamped as ever-memorable, ever-honorable landmark in Josiah’s

reign.

 

 

 

The Great Passover of Josiah (vs. 1-19)

 

  • GREAT IN RESPECT OF ITS CONFORMITY TO THE LAW. To

suppose (De Wette, Thenius, and others) that never before had a Passover

been observed in Israel or Judah since the days of Samuel (v. 18;

I Esdras. 1:20-21) or of the judges (II Kings 23:22), is not only to

extract an unwarrantable inference from the sacred text, but is contradicted

by the fact that Hezekiah, a former King of Judah, celebrated a Passover in

Jerusalem which was not merely a Passover of his own arranging, but the

Passover (ch. 30:1-2) prescribed by the Law of Moses (vs. 16, 18).

That this Passover, however, should have adhered more closely to

the prescriptions of the lawgiver than any former, demands no additional

explanation beyond the fact that it was celebrated in Josiah’s eighteenth

year (v. 19), and after the discovery of the book of the Law (ch. 34:14-15).

The stricter adherence to Mosaic regulation appeared in three things.

 

Ø      The exactness of the date. The solemnity began “on the fourteenth day

of the first month” (v. 1), as the book of the Law commanded (Exodus 12.).

Hezekiah’s festival commenced “in the second month” because of the

difficulty of getting ready for the stipulated time (ch. 30:2-3).

The Passover proper also ended on one day, i.e. all were able to eat the

sacrificial lamb at the appointed time (v. 16), without any requiring to

defer their participation thereof for any reason whatever (Numbers 9:6-12).

 

Ø      The unity of the place. The feast was held in Jerusalem (v. 1) by all its

celebrants. The same was true of Hezekiah’s Passover (ch. 30:1), though

it is doubtful if as much could be said of earlier observances from the

days of the judges or of Samuel.

 

Ø      The completeness of the ritual. Everything was done “in accordance

with the Word of the Lord by the hand of Moses” (v. 6); i.e. the

instructions as to the duties of the priests, Levites, and people; as to the

killing, burning, eating of the victims; and as to the presentation of

mazzoth (A holiday beginning on the 14th of Nisan and traditionally

continuing for eight days, commemorating the exodus of the Hebrews

from Egypt) gifts for the ensuing feast, were faithfully carried out.

 

  • GREAT IN RESPECT OF THE PREPARATIONS FOR ITS

OBSERVANCE. Not greater as to amount of labor than were those made

in connection with Hezekiah’s festival; but still great.

 

Ø      Concerning the priests. These were set in their charges and encouraged

to the service of the house of the Lord (v. 2). Following the example of

Jehoiada (ch. 23:18), Josiah distributed among the divisions

of the priesthood as arranged by David (1 Chronicles 24.) the different

parts of work required by the Law of Moses in the celebration of the

Passover, i.e. he set them “according to their daily courses, Being arrayed

in long garments, in the temple of the Lord’ (1 Esdras 1:2); after which he

strengthened them for their labors by detailed instructions as to their

duties, and by encouraging exhortations to its faithful performance.

 

Ø      Concerning the Levites. These were:

 

o        Defined as to their official work and character; in respect of the former

being called “teachers of all Israel(compare ch. 17:8-9; Nehemiah

8:7, 9), and with reference to the latter being designated

holy unto the Lord” (Numbers 3:12-13) — an epithet applied also

to the priests (ch. 23:6; Leviticus 21:6), and even to the people

(Deuteronomy 7:6); an epithet expressive of outward consecration,

which, however, ought in every instance to reflect an inward

consecration as its ground and justification.

 

o        Directed about the ark, which they were told to “put,” or leave (Keil),

in the house which Solomon the son of David King of Israel did

build(v. 3). The ark, it is supposed, had been removed from the holy

of holies during the idolatrous reigns of Manasseh and Amon By these

kings themselves (Estius, Piscator), or by the priests who wished to

preserve it (A. Clarke), and now was ordered by Josiah to be replaced;

but against this stands the fact that the work of placing the ark in the

holy of holies belonged not to the Levites, but to the priests (v. 7).

It has also been conjectured that the Levites had been accustomed to

carry the ark about the temple courts during the Passover celebration

under the impression that they were required so to do by the Law,

and that Josiah pointed out to them the alteration which had taken

place in this respect since the erection of the temple by Solomon”

(Bertheau); but for this conjecture there is no positive historical

foundation. A third explanation is that, as the Levites were no

longer required to carry the ark about from place to place since it

now had a resting-place in the temple, they should leave it there and

give themselves to such other duties as were now demanded of them

(Keil).

 

o        Commanded relative to themselves — to arrange themselves according

to their fathers’ houses and after their courses according to the writings

of David and Solomon (v. 4); to take up their stations in the holy place

according to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of their lay brethren,

so that one of their divisions should fail to each father’s house of the

laymen (v. 5); to kill the Passover and sanctify themselves, probably

by washing themselves, before handing the blood to the priests to

sprinkle on the altar (Keil), or after they had done so and before they

performed any further duties (Bertheau); and, finally, to prepare, so

the Passover for their brethren the laymen, that they might do

according to the Word of the Lord by the hand of Moses (v. 6).

 

Ø      Concerning the people. These, i.e. such of them as were poor, or had

come from a distance without having brought the necessary sacrificial

animals, were furnished with lambs, kids, and bullocks, or small cattle and

oxen (vs. 7-9), without which they could not have taken part in the

celebration. At least the poor would have been excluded, which would

have marred both the completeness and hilarity of the celebration.

 

  • GREAT IN RESPECT OF ITS ACCOMPANYING LIBERALITY.

 

Ø      On the part of the king. From the royal revenues Josiah contributed for

the Passover offerings:

 

o        largely — thirty thousand lambs and kids and three thousand bullocks

(v. 7), a much larger gift than was presented by Hezekiah (ch. 30:24);

and

 

o        promptly, taking the lead in his good work, and so supplying an

example to his subjects.

 

Ø      On the part of the royal princes. These, copying the action of their

sovereign, likewise made donations:

 

o        freely, or “for a free-will offering”an indispensable quality in all

religious giving (II Corinthians 8:12); and it may be hoped

 

o        largely, though this is not stated. They would hardly fall behind the

princes in the time of Hezekiah (ch. 30:24).

 

Ø      On the part of the rulers of the temple. Hilkiah the high priest (ch. 34:9),

Zechariah, perhaps the next in rank to him, “the second priest” (II Kings

25:18; Jeremiah 52:24), and Jehiel, the chief of the line of Ithamar

(Ezra 8:2), exhibited a similar praiseworthy liberality (v. 8).

 

Ø      On the part of the Levite princes. Six of these whose names are

recordedConaniah, with his two brothers Shemaiah and Nethaneel,

with Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozahad also displayed a high degree of

generosity (v. 9).

 

  • GREAT IN RESPECT OF ITS COOPERATING ACTIVITY. Each

had his part to perform, and each performed it in such a way as not to

hinder, but to accelerate the progress; and not to mar, but to increase the

effect of the whole.

 

Ø      The priests. These:

 

o       stood in their place beside the altars (v. 10; ch. 30:16);

o       sprinkled the blood they received from the Levites (v. 11;

ch. 30:16); and

o       offered burnt offerings and the fat until night (v. 14).

 

Ø      The Levites. These:

 

o       killed the Passover victims (v. 11);

o       flayed or skinned them (v. 11); and

o       removed from their carcases such parts as were designed

to be offered as burnt offerings (v. 12); after which they

o       roasted the Passover with fire, according to the Mosaic

ordinance (v. 13; Exodus 12:8-9);

o       boiled the other offerings in pots, caldrons, and pans (v. 13);

o       divided them as they were ready among the people (v. 13); and

o       prepared the Passover for themselves and for the priests (v. 14).

 

Ø      The singers. These, the sons of Asaph, stood in their places, in the court

of the temple, discoursing music with harps, psalteries, and cymbals

(I Chronicles 25:1), without once leaving their ranks even to eat the

Passover, the Levites preparing for and fetching to them their portion

(v. 15).

 

Ø      The porters. At every gate these watched, never departing from their

service, because the Levites did for them as for the musicians (v. 15).

Thus each contributed his part, and all worked harmoniously towards

the production of the general result.

 

  • GREAT IN RESPECT OF ITS CELEBRATING NUMBERS. The

feast was attended by:

 

Ø      The inhabitants of Jerusalem, including Josiah and his princes,

with the priests and the Levites.

 

Ø      All Judah, meaning the population beyond the metropolis, in the

country districts.

 

Ø      The children of Israel; i.e. the members of the northern kingdom who

had not been carried into exile, and who had come to Jerusalem to be

present at the feast.

 

  • LEARN:

 

Ø      The duty of observing the public ordinances of religion.

Ø      The beauty and value of unity and co-operation in Christian work

and worship.

Ø      The propriety of having special seasons of religious service.

 

 

 

The Moral of the Passover (vs. 17-19)

 

The keeping of this Passover is very particularly described in this chapter, and

we may be sure that it was entered into and enjoyed, as a religious festival, with

exceeding zest. We naturally ask — What was its significance? What did it

mean to those who celebrated it? We reply that in it and by it:

 

  • THEY RECOGNIZED THEIR UNITY AS THE PEOPLE OF GOD.

They went back in thought to the time when they were bound together in

the strong bond of a common sorrow; when they were a suffering people

bent beneath the same yoke, bleeding with the same blows; and they

recognized the fact that they were all the children of their fathers to whom

Moses came as the great prophet and savior. And the lamb of which they

partook, with not a bone of its body broken, was the symbol of the national

unity.

 

  • THEY REJOICED IN A GREAT DIVINE DELIVERANCE — A

DELIVERANCE THROUGH SACRIFICE. The prevailing thought of the

whole institution was God’s merciful and mighty interposition on their

behalf, redeeming them from the land of bondage and misery, bringing

them out into liberty and happiness, and constituting them a nation, holy

unto Himself. And closely connected with the main idea of deliverance was

that of sacrifice; they commemorated the fact that through the sacrifice of

a slain lamb they had been spared and redeemed.

 

  • THEY HAD FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD AND WITH ONE

ANOTHER. The Feast of the Passover and of Unleavened Bread was one

in which they rejoiced together both as families and as a congregated

nation “before the Lord.” Then they had true fellowship with one another,

meeting and greeting one another as members of the same redeemed

nation, whom the Lord had pitied and restored; and while they were thus

gladdened in heart as they associated one with another, they were also

solemnized by the thought that they met together in the city of God, in the

courts of the Lord’s house, in His own presence. Theirs was a sacred union

and communion; it was fellowship with the Supreme.  When we meet, as

Christian men, in ordinary worship, and more particularly when we gather

together at the Lord’s table, we are moved and animated by this same spirit,

by these same convictions and considerations.

 

Ø      We realize our essential unity, our oneness in Jesus Christ. Are we not

all members of that race on which, in all its distance from the home of God,

He had compassion and which He stooped to save? Are we not bound

together, not only as partakers of the same human nature, but as those who

have bowed beneath the same yoke, who have needed the same Divine

Redeemer, who have suffered in the same affliction?

 

Ø      We rejoice together in the same glorious redemption — a redemption

that:

 

o        not only was designed and begun, but was triumphantly completed;

o        a redemption which, in its spiritual character and its everlasting

issues, dwarfs even such a great national deliverance as that

which this Passover commemorated;

o        a redemption which could only be (and was) accomplished through

the sacrifice of the “Lamb of God,” slain from the foundation of

the world  (Revelation 13:8) for the recovery of the world.

 

Ø      We meet to have holy and happy fellowship with one another, and also

hallowed and elevating fellowship with our Father and His Son

Jesus Christ (I John 1:3).

 

20 "After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of

Egypt came up to fight against Charchemish by Euphrates: and

Josiah went out against him."  After all this. A period of about thirteen

years of happy retrospect is now the portion of the good king. This period brings

itself to an unhappy and even fatal termination in the year B.C. 608; when, as it

would appear by the result, King Josiah did wrong, and went out of his

way, in opposing the march of Pharaoh-Necho (who reigned B.C. 611-

595), successor of Psammetichus King of Egypt, against Cyaxares (the

monarch who, with Nabo-polassar, had taken Nineveh, B.C. 625) King of

Assyria (II Kings 23:29), or King of Babylon at Circesium on the River

Phrat, the head-quarters now of the united Assyrian and Babylonian

power. Where the fault or sin of Josiah lay — whether he ran before he

was sent, or whether, according to our following two verses, he set out

against the Divine word by Necho — is certainly a question left in

obscurity. Nothing is said in our history or its parallel to accredit the tale of

Necho, or to discredit the heart and motive of Josiah — nothing except

what silence and the result seem to say. One other element of interest and

of difficulty may be added to the question; for of the thirteen years’

interval, which we have described above as one presumably of happy

retrospect in certain aspects for Josiah, we know nothing from Scripture,

but have every reason to suppose that during it Josiah and his kingdom had

become subject, if only nominally, to Nabopolassar; so that, in offering to

resist Necho of Egypt, he was offering to strengthen so far forth the royal

line which did dishonor to his own country and his country’s God. Upon

this supposition, however, we can lay no stress.

 

21 "But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with

thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but

against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me

to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with

me, that He destroy thee not." Not against thee this day. Possibly the

suggestion couched in these last two words may have been the opposite of

agreeable to King Josiah. For God commanded me to make haste. The

margin reading of the Revised Version seems preferable, both for the

Hebrew text and the connection, hath given command to speed me.

 

22 "Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but

disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not

unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight

in the valley of Megiddo.  23 And the archers shot at king Josiah; and

the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded."

Would not turn his face (so ch. 25:17 and its parallel, II Kings 14:8).

Disguised himself. This is, possibly enough, the intention of the word, but

it is more probable that the simple meaning is fully armed himself. The

Septuagint has strengthened himself. Hearkened not unto the words of Necho

from the mouth of God. Unless these words are intended to convey really their

patent and most natural import, it is tenfold strange that they should find a place

in the compilation of the Chronicles. It is indeed possible that they might purport,

from the pen of the writer of Chronicles, that in point of fact the words of Necho

had been the permitted warning, though not the actually dictated language of God.

The genius of the whole passage strongly reminds us of ch. 25:17, 19-21; and its

parallel in II Kings 14. In the valley of Megiddo; i.e. among those hills which

separate the country of the coast from Esdraelon — a valley as that “of Kishon

(see Stanley’s ‘Sinai and Palestine,’ pp. 356, 339, 347; but see also Conder’s

‘Handbook,’ p. 287, where a different view is taken).

 

24 "His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in

the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem,

and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchers of his fathers.

And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah."  And he died.

If the form of words used in the parallel, II Kings 23:30, be followed, Josiah

was dead before they reached Jerusalem. And allmourned for Josiah. We still

find no note whatever of blame attributed to Josiah, and the general mourning

(Zechariah 12:11) appears to have been most genuine.

 

25 "And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the

singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day,

and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written

in the lamentations."  If Jeremiah’s lamenting on this occasion was one committed

to writing, it has not survived. To this day; i.e. probably anniversary after

anniversary to the time of the writer to whom this statement belongs, the

authority from which our compiler draws his materials. Written in the

lamentations. We have here another glimpse of a work which has not been

handed down to us.

 

 

An Early Sunset (vs. 24-25)

 

That very good men may make very great mistakes we hardly need to be

told; unfortunately, we have all too many illustrations of that fact. The text

provides us with a very melancholy instance. What had Josiah to do with

this contest between the kings of Egypt and Assyria? Was his heart, too,

lifted up,” that he thought himself and his people more than a match for

the disciplined hosts of Egypt? Had he been attacked, and had he cast

himself on God as Hezekiah did when Sennacherib appeared against him,

then he might have hoped confidently for victory. But to contest with a

great world-power on worldly principles was a supreme and a fatal error.

He paid the penalty of his folly with his life. His sun went down while it

was yet day” (Jeremiah 15:9)  So passed, needlessly and unfortunately, one

of the best and boldest spirits that occupied the throne of Judah. Regarding

his death as that of one early removed from the scenes of earthly activity,

we are naturally affected by:

 

  • ITS EXTREME SADNESS. We are not surprised to read of so

demonstrative and so fervent-natured a people as the Jews were, that “all

Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah;” nor that Jeremiah uttered his

prophet’s plaint concerning him. It was a time for profound sorrow; and

even passionate grief might, under such circumstances, be excused. For the

nation had not merely lost its chief; it had lost an invaluable leader, a king

who was leading in the paths of righteousness and therefore of prosperity.

There must come occasions to the country, to the Church, to the city, to

the family, when one man’s death will be felt to be a calamity. Very wise is

that community, sacred or secular, national or domestic, that recognizes

this fact and provides against it; that secures such resources, material or

spiritual, that when such a blow comes everything will not be lost; that

when its best is taken it has still much in reserve; that it is not dependent

for the maintenance of its liberty, or its security, or its vigorous existence

on anything so precarious as one human being’s life.

 

  • ITS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Why did God not interpose to prevent Josiah

from throwing his life away? Why did he let darkness come down at noon,

and put an end to this bright and useful day? Why does He not now

intervene between us and the death we speak of as premature? Why does

He permit the young statesmen to overtax his strength and die in his prime;

the young minister to commit himself to the treacherous tide and be

drowned in the very fullness of his powers and the midst of his usefulness;

the young missionary to expose his life to the savages who pierce him with

the poisoned spear? We ask such questions, wondering, if not complaining,

at the Divine inaction. But we might very justly and more properly ask

ourselves another question — What right have we to expect that God will

give to any man a particular term of earthly life that we may choose for

him? Has He promised to confer any one length of days on His servants? Is

not the gift of every added day a prolongation of His goodness and His

mercy? Ought we not, rather than complain, to bless Him for the number of

years He does bestow — a number which is greater than our deserving?

Would it be really wise or kind of our heavenly Father if He were always

interposing to prevent us from suffering the natural consequences of our

error or our negligence, because we were right at heart with Him? Would

that be the way to discipline, to purify, to perfect His children? No! when

God lets death

 

“Descend in sudden night

On manhood’s middle day,”

 

He is not unrighteous, nor is He really unwise or unkind. Get down far

enough, and we stand on the rock of righteousness and wisdom and love.

We may look at:

 

  • ALLEVIATING ASPECTS OF IT. No doubt, when Josiah found that

he was “sore wounded,” and that he could not recover, he would grieve

more or less, as Hezekiah did. But as he confronted death he would

become reconciled to the will of God, and he would, probably, have some

hope concerning himself for the future, and would entrust his country to

the care of God. But we have a much larger measure of alleviation than

Josiah had. For there has visited us and spoken to us that Divine One who

is the Resurrection and the Life indeed. And in the light of His revealing

truth, and in the hope of His gracious promise, we look upon death as

introducing us into another part of the kingdom of God — another and a

better; a sphere from which sin is shut out; — and not only sin, but

weariness and disappointment and sorrow; a sphere that will be ever

brightening and broadening as added years reveal in us and to us “enlarged

and liberated powers.”

 

26 "Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to

that which was written in the law of the LORD,  27 And his deeds, first and

last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah."

Goodness; Hebrew text, kindnesses. According to that…written in the Law.

This sentence pictures Josiah a careful, loving student of the Word, to the end

that he might become a “doer” of it.

 

 

The Lamentations for Josiah’s Death (vs. 20-27)

 

Some cloud of mystery, but, so far as we can see, none of shame, hangs

over the closing events of Josiah’s reign and life. His determined resolution

to oppose Necho King of Egypt, when he came to Charchemish by

Euphrates,” with the view of engaging in battle with the forces of Babylon

or Assyria, had no doubt some strong motive, It is not at all impossible to

imagine and even to assign some alternative motives as those most

probably at work. One element in the obscurity concerns the question —

What was the operating and determining reason? The larger source of

difficulty, however, lies in the obscurity surrounding the question whether

any blame whatsoever attached to Josiah for his immovable resolution.

That he paid no heed to the representations and remonstrances of the King

of Egypt, as that king made very free use, but by no means necessarily

equally intelligent and religious use, of the name of God, was very natural,

and surely diplomatically justifiable. We can, meantime, find nowhere any

reflection passed on Josiah for neglecting the pretended anxious warning of

Necho, which may be construed to mean all anxiety for himself only. No

condemnation of Josiah’s conduct is written on the page of Scripture,

either before or after his death, in connection with this subject. And, lastly,

the allusions which the writings of the prophets contain (Jeremiah

22:10, 18; 34:5; Zechariah 12:11) are not only equally clear of any

suspicion of reflecting blame upon him, but also are of the most touching,

tender, and sympathetic character. The probability seems to be that, after

the earnest, religious work of Josiah to the date of the Passover, special

and solemn celebration (in “the eighteenth year of his reign,” and

twenty-seventh of his life), with its last effort to bring in the hapless remnant of

Israel also, and after the lapse of another period of some thirteen years, the

doings of which, on the part of Josiah, are nowhere recorded, he is to be

permitted, before the sad plot thickens, to be “taken away from the evil to

come (Isaiah 57:1) and as his life was by no means in the sere and yellow leaf,

the method of his departure shall be ordained mercifully — not one of sickness,

or stricken plague, or ignominious “accident,” but in the honorable risk

and challenge of battle. Occasion may be taken here to consider the

mingled mysteries and mercies that mark the Divine methods of

summoning men from this present life, the methods of Him whose wisdom

is unchallengeable, whose ways are so often a profound deep, but of whom

this may ever be recorded as comforting certainty, “Precious in the sight of

the Lord is the death of his saints.”  (Psalm 116:15)  The phenomenon before

us is that of a good man and a good king, placed at a most remarkable juncture

of history; one, indeed, without the possibility of an exact parallel, who has

served his day and generation and his God with singular fidelity amid

circumstances of singular difficulty. He is the last true king, and the short

following of his descendants and his successors on the throne are not in

any degree the inheritors of his virtues and goodness. He has made one

more, one last protest for his God and against that idolatry of his nation

which has cankered to the very heart its religious and its national health. 

Such a stand he has boldly and for a year successfully made; but he has

been told, and doubtless has seen, that all was too late, and that the tide

could not be turned. He is but thirty-nine years of age. And the appearance

is as of a man rushing on his fate. But there is no appearance of

recklessness or of intemperateness. He does not sport nor gamble away his

life; and if in any partial aspect it looks for a moment like a gratuitous

hazarding, it cannot be said to come of any of the ordinary impulses in any

such cases. It is not for self, for sense, for sin; not for the gratification of

any of these; and, meantime, it is not plain for what it is! It is the parable of

providence — a parable by no means unfamiliar to us; known, indeed, to

many an age, many a nation, many a family, and full of silent, deep, useful

lesson and suggestion. It teaches:

 

  • THAT WHAT WE KNOW AS DEATH IS NOT EXTINCTION OF

LIFE. Let alone whatever else, what it simply and by itself means is the

merging of one cycle of existence in another; the removal of life from one

school of knowledge to another; the shifting of it from one sphere of

activity to another. All the living force and excellence and virtue of Josiah

are not quenched, cannot be merely thrown away; and if in one sense

broken in twain — though all the analogies of sense must here in this very

respect fail — only in one sense. Such a death at such a time of present life,

under such circumstances, is one of the strongest moral persuasives — a

source of moral conviction irresistible as to what death is.

 

  • THE THING CALLED DEATH, IN ITSELF, ASKS ABSOLUTELY

MORE THAN ANY OTHER OF THE FACTS OF LIFE, THE THING

CALLED FAITH. It is itself a fact of life — the last fact of the series

known here. To be understood rightly, and to be used rightly, and to yield

anything like its full fruit of advantage, it demands to be “mixed with faith”

more than any preceding fact of life. Therefore it is that sometimes it

actually gives birth to faith, sometimes greatly strengthens it, or, lastly,

supposing it is absolutely wanting, condemns the forlorn mourner to utter

darkness.

 

  • THE METHODS OF DEATH OFTEN SERVE, EVEN BEYOND

THE FACT ITSELF, TO SURPRISE, TO STARTLE INTO

EXISTENCE A WONDER THAT WILL NOT REST. That irrepressible

and often agonized wonder assists to tear open the eye of flesh and sense,

and operates to find deep within, or deep behind, the dormant but now

struggling germ of other and more real vision. Sorrow, grief, and wonder

are three of the greatest moral forces of our nature, and their agonized

unanswered questions avail to sound some of the deeper depths of that

nature. The mystery of death is one thing, but the mysteries of the methods

of death — the victims of death, the apparently capricious or arbitrary

action of death in those taken — of youth and excellence and usefulness, in

the height of their service to the world, add where heads and hearts are, in

consequence, literally mowed down in widest sweep and circles — are

other things. It is, indeed, sometimes not impossible to imagine the gain to

those who go; but what a wrecked scene for all that is left behind — with

work that must be abandoned, schemes that must be abortive, hopes that

must be dashed to the ground — a widespread field of desolation and

devastation! For the whole scene there is one refuge. It is one which

postulates, for its highest safety, and adequacy, not merely the existence

and presence of faith, but faith of overcoming and dominant quality.

Wanting this, which so uniformly is wanting, it may yet be that faith learns

life, and lifts itself to bud and to begin to unfold its buds.

 

  • THOUGH DEATH IS SUCH A VIGOROUS AND RELENTLESS

BIDDER FOR FAITH, BOTH IN ITSELF AND IN ITS

CIRCUMSTANCE, YET IT DOES ALSO INFER SOME VERY

CERTAIN PRESENT USE AND SIGNIFICANCE. In every case, for

instance, of deep sorrow and sincere expression of it in “lamentation,”

what (comparatively speaking) healthy action of living hearts is betokened,

and what a pure tribute of unharmful and direct honor is rendered to the

vanished goodness! Upon this ancient sorrow, so far removed from

ourselves, of “all Judah and Jerusalem… and of Jeremiah… and of all the

singing men and the singing women” — so that they made “an ordinance of

it in Israel,” and recorded the words of their lamentation in their historical

writings — with what pathetic interest we nevertheless look back! And we

wish there were no sadder end to the history of Judah and her kings

impending, no bitterer tears to flow, no anguished cries to be heard, no

shame to be bowed beneath! So the death of Josiah, and his place after

death yet on earth, in memory, in heart, and in song, are fraught with no

little interest, apart from faith’s higher action, and are charged incentives to

zeal, devotion, pure religion, and sensitiveness of conscience even for

ourselves.

 

 

The Death of Josiah (vs. 20-27)

 

  • JOSIAH’S MILITARY EXPEDITION. (v. 20.) Seemingly the only

expedition in his reign.

 

Ø      When it took place. After all this, when Josiah had prepared the

temple;” i.e. after the eighteenth year of his reign, in point of fact, thirteen

years after (ch. 34:1).

 

Ø      Against whom it was directed. Necho King of Egypt; in Egyptian, Neku,

son of Psammatik I., the illustrious founder of the Saitic or twenty-sixth

dynasty, and grandson of Necho I., of the twenty-fifth or Ethiopian

dynasty, Necho II. ascended the throne of the Pharaohs in B.C. 612, and

reigned sixteen years. A warlike and adventurous prince, he was likewise

devoted to commercial pursuits; he possessed two fleets of Greek-made

triremes (warships), one in the Mediterranean and another in the Red Sea.

In his service Phoenician sailors were the first to circumnavigate Africa

(Herod., 4:44).

 

Ø      For what reason it was projected. To oppose Necho, who was on his

way through Palestine towards Carchemish on the Euphrates, to fight

against the King of Assyria. Whether this sovereign was “King of Assyria

proper” — in which case he would most likely be Esarhaddon II., the last

ruler of Nineveh — or whether he was the Babylonian monarch

Nahopolassar, who seized the empire after the overthrow of the Assyrian

power, cannot be conclusively determined, although the best authorities

favor the latter hypothesis (Ebers, Sayce, Rawlinson). In any ease, Necho,

taking advantage either of the declining power of Nineveh, or of the still

unsettled state of Babylonian affairs, resolved to strike a blow for the

recovery of those Asiatic provinces which had formerly been subject to the

Pharaohs; and Josiah, still regarding himself as a tributary of the Assyrian

crown, and probably under Jeremiah’s teaching (Jeremiah 46:25),

dreading the rise of the Egyptian power, hastened to resist his advance

(B.C. 610).

 

  • JOSIAH’S PROVIDENTIAL WARNING (v. 21.)

 

Ø      The purport of this warning. Before the two armies met, Necho

despatched an embassy to Josiah, requesting him to desist from

offering opposition.

 

o        Because he, Necho, was not seeking to disturb or injure him, Josiah,

but was aiming at Assyria“the house wherewith I have war.”

Compare Joash to Amaziah (ch. 25:18-19).

 

o        Because he, Necho, was acting in accordance with a Divine

commission, so that in opposing him Josiah would be guilty of

resisting God, and would only bring ruin upon himself. In claiming

to act under the impulse of Heaven, Necho probably meant no more

than Pianchi-Mer-Amon of the twenty-fifth dynasty, who, when

marching against Tafnakhth and other rebel chieftains, said, “Thou

knowest what Amon the great god hath commanded us;” and again,

“I am born of the loins, created from the egg, of the deity; the

divine procreation is in me. All hail to him, I have not

acted without his knowing; he ordained that I should act”

(‘Records,’ etc., 2:84, 91).

 

Ø      The author of this warning. Though Necho may have had no other idea

in using the term “god” than that above explained, and though certainly

it cannot be assumed that he understood himself to be the medium of

conveying a Divine warning to the King of Judah, it is nevertheless

clear that the Chronicler beheld in the incident the finger of God.

Whether Jehovah actually put the words into Necho’s mouth, or

only permitted him to speak as he did, the Hebrew historian,

perhaps judging from the fatal issue of the war, regarded the

message of Pharaoh as a clear warning from Heaven which

Josiah should have accepted. There is no need for supposing

either that Necho spoke of Josiah’s God or that Josiah’s God

spoke to Necho.

 

  • JOSIAH’S LAMENTABLE OBSTINACY (v. 22.)

 

Ø      His rejection of the warning. “He hearkened not unto the words of

Necho from the mouth of God.” To assume Josiah knew that Necho was

going against Nabopolassar with the express sanction of Jehovah, and that

Necho’s dissuasive admonition proceeded straight from Heaven, and to

hold moreover that Josiah, cognizant of all this, nevertheless closed his ear

against the voice of the Supreme, is to put the worst construction possible

on Josiah’s conduct; to understand the sacred writer’s language as merely

importing, that Josiah was not disposed to hearken to Necho’s advice, and

so failed to recognize it as “from the mouth of God,” is probably to put

upon the King of Judah’s behavior the best construction it will admit of.

Had Josiah not been bent upon this war, he would have quickly discerned

the prudence of Necho’s counsel.

 

Ø      His determination to fight. “Josiah would not turn his face from him”

(Necho), but pushed on and offered battle in the valley of Megiddo,

Magdol (Herod., 2:159) — the modern Leijun, west of the Plain of

Esdraelon, and near Taanach (Robinson), though a claim has been

advanced for the modern Mujedda, “an important ruin in the Plain of

Beisan, at the foot of Gilbea” (Conder). Here had once stood an old

Canaanitish town, of which the king was conquered by Joshua

(Joshua 12:21), and which, though within the territory of Issachar,

was yet assigned to Manasseh (Joshua 17:11). In later years Solomon

selected it as one of his fortified cities (I Kings 9:15). In Megiddo

Ahaziah sought refuge when mortally wounded by Jehu (II Kings 9:27).

Megiddo had been the scene of a great battle between Thothmes III

and one of the confederations of the small kings and princes of Palestine,

B.C. 1600 (‘Records,’ etc., 2:35). Now on this historic ground the forces

of Josiah and Necho come into collision.

 

  • JOSIAH’S FATAL WOUND (v. 23.)

 

Ø      The ineffectual disguise Like Ahah at Ramoth-Gilead (ch. 18:29),

Josiah resorted to a customary but foolish and, in this case, useless

artifice. Josiah should have ventured upon no campaign which demanded

such an expedient. Had Josiah been sure of the Divine approbation, he

would have needed no protection beyond the invisible shield and buckler of

Jehovah (Psalm 91:4).

 

Ø      The death-winged arrow. No coat of mail can protect a soldier, or

stratagem prolong the days of him whose hour is come. Whether the

Egyptian bowmen penetrated through Josiah’s disguise or not, Jehovah

did. If Necho’s archers shot at random, the almighty and omniscient Archer

(Lamentations 2:4; Job 6:4; Revelation 6:2) did not. Every shaft

that flies from His hand hits. Josiah believed he was only fighting against

Necho; Necho told him he was fighting against God. In this unequal

contest (Isaiah 27:4) Josiah was of course defeated. “The archers shot

at King Josiah; and King Josiah said to his servants, Have me away; for I

am sore wounded.”

 

  • JOSIAH’S UNTIMELY DEATH (v. 24.) It was:

 

Ø      Immediate. The pious but mistaken monarch felt he had received his

death-blow. Obeying his instructions, his soldiers lifted him from his war

chariot, and, placing him “in a second chariot which belonged to him, and

was probably more comfortable for a wounded man” (Keil), conveyed him

to Jerusalem, where he shortly afterwards expired.

 

Ø      Untimely. What Hezekiah feared was about to happen to him in his

thirty-ninth year (Isaiah 38:10), happened in reality to Josiah; he was

deprived of the residue of his years. What another singer prayed against

(Psalm 102:24) befell him, perhaps, notwithstanding his prayers — he

was cut off in the midst of his days. In the language of a Hebrew prophet,

his sun had gone down at noon” (Amos 8:9). Considering his elevated

character, the quality of the work he had already performed, and the

promise of good for his land and people which lay, or seemed to lie, in his

prolonged life, his death could scarcely be pronounced other than

premature; it was all too soon for Jerusalem and Judah. Yet was it not too

soon for God, who best knew the moment in which to fulfill His own

promise (ch. 34:28; Psalm 31:15); or for Josiah, who was thereby removed

from the evil to come (Psalm 12:1; Isaiah 57:1), so that his eyes saw not

the calamities which forthwith began to descend upon his country (ch. 36:3).

 

Ø      Regretted.

 

o        Mourned for by the people. When they buried him in the sepulchres

of his fathers (v. 24), or in his own sepulchre (II Kings 23:30) —

perhaps in one of the chambers of Manasseh’s tomb (ch. 33:20) —

the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem felt that “a prince and a

great man” had been taken from them. They sorrowed for him as

they had never before sorrowed for a sovereign, “lamenting and

grieving on his account many days” (Josephus), with such an

intensity of heartfelt anguish that even after the Captivity

the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon

became a proverbial expression for the deepest and truest

grief (Zechariah 12:11).

 

o        Lamented by Jeremiah. The most plaintive of all the prophets, who

had commenced his ministry in the thirteenth year of the deceased

sovereign’s reign (Jeremiah 1:2), composed a dirge to keep in

memory his death.  Whether that elegiac hymn was recited at his

funeral (Stanley) or not, it was placed in the national collection

of such threnodies (laments), and was long after chanted by the

singing men and singing women who, on fixed days, were

appointed to recall the memory of the good king.

 

  • LESSONS.

 

Ø      The danger of intermeddling with other people’s strife (Proverbs 26:17).

Ø      The folly of rejecting good advice, even though given by an enemy.

Ø      The probability that he who runs into danger unbidden will not escape

unhurt (Psalm 91:11).

Ø      The certainty that death will overtake all, in such an hour as they think

not (Matthew 24:44).

Ø      The loss which a good man’s death is to a community or nation

(II Kings 2:12).

Ø      The propriety of perpetuating the recollection of noble lives

(Proverbs 10:7).

Ø      The fitness of song to express sorrowful emotions (II Samuel 1:17;

Micah 2:4).

 

 

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