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Jures out of the house of the LORD. And, in the Reigns of fome of the fucceeding Kings, the Temple had been fo much neglected, that it was miferably out of 2 Chron. repair when Joash came to the Crown; who, being a good and pious Prince, (all the Days of Jehoiada the Priest, whose Counfels he follow'd,) took care to put every thing again in Order.
But, no fooner was Jehoiada dead, than he was perverted by the Perfuafions of the wicked Princes of Judah. And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and ferved groves and idols. And moreover, he commanded Zachariah, the Son of his great Friend and Benefactor Jehoiada, to be fton'd to Death, for offering to remonstrate against his Proceedings. It came to pass therefore, at the end of the year, that the host of Syria came up against bim, and destroyed all the Princes of the people, and fent all the spoil of them unto the King of Damascus. And Joafh's own fervants confpir'd against him, and flew him on his bed.
Those that fucceeded him, cannot be accounted better, particularly Abaz,
2 Chron. who gathered together the veffels of the house of God, and cut them in pieces, and fhut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and made him altars in every corner of Jerufalem: and in every feveral city of Judah, be made High-Places to burn incenfe unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers. Hezekiah indeed was the Reverse of his Father Abaz: He ordered the Priests to cleanfe and prepare the Temple; and restor'd what Abaz had plunder'd it of.
But then Manaffeh, the Son and Succeffor of Hezekiah, inherited none of his Father's Virtues; but during a confiderable Part of his Reign, equall'd in Impiety the very worst of his Predeceffors; and fet a carved image (the idol which be had made) in the house of God. Yet, at laft, repenting of his Folly, he took it away again, and repaired the altar of the LORD. And offer'd fome Atonement for the great Differvice he had done to Religion, by giving the World fo every way deserving a Prince as his Son Jofiah; who made z Kings ample Reparation for all the Damages done to the Cause of God, by his iniquitous Father.
PLACES of WORSHIP.
The City and Temple deftroy'd. But the reft of the Kings, who came after him, continued to provoke the "LORD to fuch a degree, that he suffered Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon to come up and burn their City and Temple, and carry away King and People, Captives into Babylon: where they continued feventy Years in a fervile distress'd Condition, justly punish'd for their incorrigible Iniquities: according to the Prophecy of Hofea; which he had deliver'd concerning them, at least an hundred and fifty Years before their Captivity. The Hof. iii. children of Ifrael fhall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a facrifice, and without an image, and without an Ephod, and without * Teraphim. Afterward shall the children of Ifrael return, and feek the LORD their God. In their Captivity they were to be fo little Mafters of themselves as not to have it in their Power to worship either
* Penates. Houfe Images.
the true God, according as he had commanded them, or falfe ones according to their own deprav'd Inclinations.
Both rebuilt, after the Return.
But when Babylon was taken by Cy rus, King of Perfia, of him the Jews obtain'd a Permiffion to return into their own Country, and to rebuild their City and their Temple: as Ifaiah had prophefied above two hundred Years before. Ifa. xliv. The LORD, That faith of Cyrus, He is my Shepherd, and fhall perform all my pleasure; even saying to Jerufalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the Temple, thy foundation fhall be laid. For Jacob my fervant's fake, and for Ifrael mine elect, I have called thee by thy Name: I have furnam'd thee, though thou haft not known me. How divine à Prophefy! and how compleatly fulfill'd! But of this, Jeremiah the Prophet, likewise, prophefies at large; who, tho' he liv'd to the Time of the Captivity, yet delivers this Prophecy in the Reign of Jehoiakim, at least eleven Years before it:
And, as he must have been about feventy t Years old when they were carried away captive, he could, not without divine Infpiration, afcertain the Duration of their Captivity to juft feventy Years. But hear what he fays. Behold I will fend and Jer. xxv. take all the families of the north, faith the LOR D, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my fervant; and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about; and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hif fing, and perpetual defolations: and thefe nations fhall ferve the king of Babylon seventy Years. And it shall come to pass when Leventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, faith the LORD, for their iniquity. And again; Thus faith the LORD, then ib. xxvi. will I make this house like Shiloh; and will make this city a curfe to all the nations of the earth. And again; For thus faith the ib. xxix. LORD, that after feventy years be accomplish'd at Babylon, I will vifit you and perform my good word towards you to return to this place.