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separation of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. We must either adopt this mode of solution, or admit that there is a mistake in some of the numbers, probably in the parallel places in Chronicles, but which we have no direct means of correcting.*
1 Kings xvi. 8. "In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son of Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two years.” Baasha began to reign in the third year of Asa, and reigned 24 years; yet he died and was succeeded by Elah in the 26th year of Asa; and, in like manner Elah, who began to reign in the 26th year of Asa, and was killed in the 27th, is said to have reigned two years. Thus it is evident that a part of a year is calculated as a whole year. In the Chinese annals, the whole year in which a king dies is ascribed to his reign, the years of the succeeding king being reckoned only from the beginning of the following year. Jackson's Chr. Ant. vol. II. p. 443.*
1 Kings xvi. 23. "In the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to reign over Israel, twelve years: six years reigned he in Tirzah." As it is stated in verses 10 and 15, that Zimri began to reign in the 27th year of Asa; and as he reigned only seven days, and Omri immediately succeeded him, this could not be in the 31st, but in the 27th year of Asa. Jarchi, from Sedar Olam, reconciles this, by stating that Tibni and Omri began to reign jointly in the 27th year of Asa; and that Tibni dying about five years afterwards, Omri began to reign alone in the 31st year of Asa.*
after the third year,' i. e. Thus when Horace says, to be kept full nine Hence this statement
1 Kings xviii. 1. «And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth." This form of expression, both in Hebrew and Latin, means some time between the third and fourth year. Nonum prematur in annum, he means that it was years,' and not any space between eight and nine. agrees with that of our Lord (Luke 4. 25), and St. James (ch. 5. 17), who say that the drought lasted three years and six months; and the fact itself is attested by Menander, who, as cited by Josephus, says it happened in the time of Ithobalus, the father of Jezebel.*
2 Kings viii. 26. "Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel." In the parallel passage of Chronicles (ch. 22. 2), it is said, ' forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign;' but this is evidently a mistake, as it makes the son two years older than his own father! For, his father began to reign when he was thirty-two years old, and reigned eight years, and so died, being forty years old. See ver. 17. Twenty-two is doubtless then the true reading in Chronicles, and it is supported by several MSS. and Versions.*
* Comprehensive Bible, Note in loco.
2 Kings xxiv. 6. "So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers." As Jehoiakim was buried with the burial of an ass,' (Jer. 22. 18, 19; 36. 30), the expression, slept with his fathers,' can only mean that he died, without determining what became of either body or soul.*
Ibid. "And Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead." As this man reigned only three months, and was a mere vassal of the king of Babylon, his reign is scarcely reckoned; and therefore Jeremiah (ch. 35. 30) says of Jehoiakim, he shall have none to sit upon the throne of David.'*
2 Kings xxiv. 8. “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months." In the parallel place (2 Chr. 36. 9) he is said to be only eight years old; but this must be a mistake, for we find that having reigned only three months, he was carried captive to Babylon, and there had wives; and had he been of such a tender age, it could scarcely have been said that, as a king, ‘he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.'* The Syriac and Arabic in Chronicles agree with the parallel place in Kings, and have eighteen years;' which, as Scaliger observes, is no doubt the genuine reading.*
2 Kings xxv. 19. “And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city." In the parallel place of Jeremiah, (ch. lii. 25.) it is said that he took seven who were men near the king's person: the same number is found in the Arabic in this place; while the Chaldee has no less than fifty: but in Jeremiah, this, as well as all the rest of the Versions, reads seven. Probably they were no more than five at first; or, perhaps, Jeremiah reckoned with the five the officer that was set over the men of war, and the principal scribe of the host, mentioned here, as two with the five; and thus made seven in the whole.*
1 Chron. i. 36. "The sons of Eliphaz; Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam, Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek." Here, according to our present text, Timna is reckoned among the sons of Eliphaz; but it appears from the parallel passage of Genesis, (ch. 36. 12.) that she was the concubine of Eliphaz, and mother of Amalek. Agreeably to this, the Arabic, and the Alexandrine copy of the Septuagint, read here, ‘Timna, also, who was the concubine of Eliphaz, bare him Amalek.'*
1 Chron. xi. 13. "He was with David at Pas-Dammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines." In Samuel it is a piece of ground full of lentiles;' and there is probably a mistake of w, seorim, 'barley,' for owy, ádashim, 'lentiles,' or vice versa. Some, however, think there were both lentiles and barley in the field, which is not unlikely.*
1 Chron. xix. 7.
"So they hired thirty and two thousand chariots, and
the king of Maachah and his people; who came and pitched before Medeba." Thirty-two thousand soldiers, exclusive of the thousand sent by the king of Maachah, are mentioned in the parallel passage, (2 Sa. 10. 6.); but of chariots or cavalry there is no mention; and the number of chariots stated here is prodigious, and beyond all credibility. But as the word, raichev, denotes not only a chariot, but a rider, (see Is. 21. 7.), it ought most probably to be rendered here, in a collective sense, cavalry; and then the number of troops will exactly agree with the passage of Samuel. It is probable, that they were a kind of auxiliary troops who were usually mounted on horses, or in chariots, but who occasionally served as foot soldiers.*
1 Chron. xix. 18. "But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach the captain of the host." Compared with 2 Sam. x. 18. "And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there." On the apparent discrepancy in the numbers of the charioteers, see p. 48, supra. Respecting the 40,000 horsemen in Samuel being termed footmen in Chronicles, it may be observed, that if these troops were, as we have supposed, a kind of dismounted cavalry, the terms footmen and horsemen might be indifferently applied to them.*
1 Chron. xxi. 11, 12. "So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Choose thee either three years' famine," &c. In 2 Sam. 24. 13, it is seven years; but the Septuagint has there rpia εтη, three years, as here; which is, no doubt, the true reading, the letter 1, zayin, seven, being mistaken for 2, gimmel, three.*
1 Chron. xxi. 20. "And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves." The Syriac and Arabic say, 'David saw the angel,' and make no mention of Ornan in this place; but the Septuagint says, Και επέστρεψεν Ορνα, και ειδε τον Βασιλεα, 6 And Orna turned, and saw the king;' and one of Dr. Kennicott's MSS. has an, hammelech, the king,' instead of TM, hammalách, 'the angel.' Houbigant translates it in the same manner; and vindicates his version from the parallel place, (2 Sa. 24. 40.), where it is said he saw David; but not a word is there of his seeing the angel. It is true that the seeing of David is mentioned in ver. 21; but Houbigant supposes that this verse refers to his seeing the king while he was at a distance; and the 21st to his seeing him when he same into his threshing-floor. In the first case, he and his sons were afraid when they saw the king coming, and hid themselves; but when he entered the threshing-floor, they were obliged to appear before him.*
1 Chron. xxiii. 1.
"Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward; and their number by their polls, man by man,
* Comprehensive Bible, Notes in locis.
was thirty and eight thousand." Compared with ver. 24—27. "These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers, even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from the age of twenty years and upward. For David said, The Lord God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever; and also unto the Levites; they shall no more carry the tabernacle, nor any vessels of it for the service thereof. For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above." At first David appointed the Levites to serve from thirty years old and upwards; but considering, probably, that the temple, which was about to be built, with its courts, chambers, &c. would require a more numerous ministry, he fixed this period, by this subsequent regulation, at twenty years and upwards. In the time of Moses, the age was from thirty years to fifty; here this latter period is not mentioned, probably because the service was not so laborious now; for the ark being fixed, they had no longer any burthens to carry; and therefore even an old man might continue to serve.*
2 Chron. iv. 3. “And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast." In the parallel passage of Kings, (1 Kings 7. 24.) instead of op, bekarim, 'oxen,' we have у, pekaîm, 'knops,' in the form of colocynths, which last is supposed by able critics to be the reading which ought to be received here: pa, bekarim, ' oxen,' being a mistake for oyɔ, pekaim, 'knops.' Houbigant, however, contends that the words in both places are right; but that ¬p, bakar, does not signify an ox here, but a large kind of grape, according to its meaning in Arabic. But Dr. A. Clarke states that, bakar, or , bakarat, has no such meaning in Arabic, though the phrase , áino 'lbikri, or 'ox eye,' signifies a species of black grape, very large and of incredible sweetness; that consequently the criticism of this great man is not solid; and that the likeliest method of reconciling the two places is supposing a change in the letters as above.*
1 Chron. iv. 5. "And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths." In the parallel passage (1 Kings 7. 26.) it is said to hold only two thousand baths; which some think may be reconciled by supposing that the quantity of water which was commonly in it was 2000 baths, but that, if filled up to the top, it would hold 3000. But, as the Babylonish cubit was less than that of the ancient Hebrews, it might be the same with measures of capacity; so that 2000 of the ancient Jewish baths might have been equal to 3000 of those used after the captivity. The Targum cuts the knot: 'It received 3000 baths of dry measure, and held 2000 of liquid measure.**
2 Chron. v. 10. "There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt." In the parallel passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews, (ch. 9. 4.), it is expressly stated that in the ark were the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;' but it is evident that the apostle speaks there of the tabernacle erected by Moses, and of the state and contents of that tabernacle in the time of Moses; and in the temple there were several things added, and several left out. *
2 Chron. xxii. 9. The account in the parallel passage (2 Kings x 10-14.) is somewhat different. The current of the story at large is this,' says Dr. Lightfoot, (Works, vol. i. p. 88.), ‘Jehu slayeth Joram in the field of Jezreel, as Ahaziah and Joram were together: Ahaziah seeing this flies, and gets into Samaria, and hides himself there. Jehu marcheth to Jezreel, and makes Jezebel dog's meat: from thence sends to Samaria for the heads of Ahab's children and posterity; which are brought to him by night, and shewed to the people in the morning. Then he marcheth to Samaria, and, by the way, slayeth forty-two of Ahab's kinsmen; and findeth Jehonadab, the father of the Rechabites. Coming into Samaria, he maketh search for Ahaziah: they find him hid, and bring him to Jehu, and he commands to carry him towards Gur, by Ibleam, and there to slay him. They do so: smite him in his chariot, and his charioteer driveth away to Megiddo before he dies.'*
Ezra xi. 11. "All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred." Instead of 5400, the enumeration of the articles in ver. 9, 10, only amounts to 2499; but in the parallel account, Esdras, ch. 2.13,14, the amount is 5469, as will be evident from the following statements:
It is supposed that they actually amounted to 5400, but that only the chief of them were specified, the spoons, &c. being omitted. *
Ezra ii. 64. "The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore." Though the sum total, both here and in Nehemiah, is equal, namely, 42,360, yet the particulars
* Comprehensive Bible, Note in loco.