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For all which Provocations, it is faid, the LORD was angry with him. Wherefore the LORD faid unto Solomon, Fora much as this is done of thee, and thou haft not kept my covenant, and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will furely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy fervant. Accordingly, though his Son Rehoboam fucceeded him in Benjamin, Judah, and Jerufalem; yet the other ten Tribes adher'd to Jeroboam, who erected another Kingdom, call'd thenceforward, Ifrael, by way of Distinction from Judah.
But the Kings of Ifrael, being generally wicked, and forfaking the LORD, from Jeroboam, the first, to Hofhea, the nineteenth; being about the Space of two hundred and thirty one Years: In the Reign of the latter, that Kingdom was utterly deftroy'd, and the whole People carried away into Captivity, from whence they never return'd, by Shalmanefer King of Affyria, as has been already noted.
The Kings of Judah were, for the Generality of them, but little better; fo that, after the LORD had born with their In
iquities, to the utmoft Extent of his
divine Mercy, he permitted Nebuchadnezf zar King of Babylon, to prevail over them, to destroy their Temple, City and Nation; and to carry them away Captives to Babylon, for seventy Years. They were in all, from Rehoboam, the first, to Zedekiah the last, twenty: making up, in the Number of Years which they reigned, three hundred and feventy five.
As to the Manner of Succeffion, in both thefe Kingdoms, as, whether it were elective or hereditary, it is not very material to go about to enquire. For, even hereditary Succeffion, is really and truly, at bottom, but elective, fince it never can, nor doth, take Place, without the Concurrence of a Majority of the People. It is therefore a Part of the Conftitution, in all wife Eftablishments, that the Son, without fome notable Impediment, fhall fucceed the Father, to avoid the Hazards and Mischiefs to which formal Elections of this kind must be liable; when the contending Interefts of the Competitors would be apt to bring civil Wars and Defolation upon the Coun trey,
Agreeable to which, the Crown of Judab defcended from Father to Son, in the Houfe of David, from his Time, quite to the Captivity: But not without the folemn Consent and Allowance of the People; as we may perceive by the following Inftances.
We are told that, Rehoboam went to Shexii. 1, &c. chem; for all Ifrael were come to Shechem to make him king. And, all the congregation of Ifrael, (by the Mouth of Jeroboam) came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, Thy father made our yoke grievous: Now, therefore, Make thou the grievous fervice of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will ferve thee. He defir'd Time to confider of it; and after fome Time fpent in Consultation, being misled by the Advice of an ignorant wicked Ministry, and refufing to comply with the reasonable Expectations of his People, ten of the twelve Tribes immediately revolted from him, and chose themfelves another King.
So, when Jeboram died, we read, that 2 Chron. the Inhabitants of Jerufalem made Ahaziah, xxii. I. his youngest fon, king in his ftead. So,
the people, at the Inftigation of Jehoiada --- xxiii, the High-Prieft, depos'd Athaliah, a wick- 10, 11. Red Woman who had ufurp'd the Crown, and brought out Joash the king's fon, from fthis Concealment in the Temple, and put upon him the crown, and gave him the teftimony, and made him king: and Jehoiada and his fons anointed him, and faid, God a fave the king. Which, we may therefore conclude, was the Manner observ'd at all their Coronations. And fo, it is faid, All --- xxvi, the people of Judah, took Uzziah, who was fixteen years old, and made him king, in the room of his father Amaziah. Of the Succeffion of the Kings of Ifrael we shall take no Notice at all, upon this Occafion; as being much more broken and irregular.
After their Return from the Captivity, they were govern'd fometimes by their High-Priefts, as appears from the Apocryphal Writings; one while by Princes, of the Family of the Maccabees, who afterwards took the Title of Kings; and finally, by Governours fent from Rome, of whom we read in the Gospels.
Gg 4 SECT.
Numb. i. 2, &c.
ib. iv. 34.
The PRINCES of TRIBES.
Befide the Conftitution of the twelve Tribes collectively, there was, as we have obferv'd before, a feparate distinct Government in each particular Tribe; where the Affairs relating to that Tribe, were manag'd and conducted, according to peculiar Laws of their own, by the Prince or Head of the Tribe. And these were in Number Twelve, according to the Number of the Tribes.
When God orders Mofes to take the fum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, he says, with you, there shall be a man of every tribe; every one, head of the house of his fathers: And these are all mention'd by Name. After which it is faid; These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Ifrael.
Again; Mofes and Aaron, and the chief of the congregation (meaning these Princes) numbered the fons of the Kohathites. And when