What do we gather from the title of the two ensuing books, as to their general contents?
By whom are they supposed to have been written? N.B. We have no certain information; but as they no doubt consist of compilations from more copious records, many learned and judicious critics think they were brought together and arranged in their present order by the prophet Jeremiah; especially as the second book of Kings, and his prophecy, end with the narrative of the same events.
Are they referred to by our Lord and the Apostles, in such a manner as to prove them of equal authority with the other canonical scriptures?
How long a period of time is embraced in the history of these two books? Ans. Four hundred and twenty seven years; the first including one hundred and eighteen, the second three hundred and nine. N. B. The history contained in Kings and Chronicles is for the most part carried on together in the ensuing Questions.
What was David's age at the time this history begins? 1 Chron. 29. 27, 28.
What is said of his infirmities in his old age?
Was the counsel given him by his servants, to be approved of? N.B. The step proposed had an ill appearance, though their design no doubt was, that this damsel should become the real wife of David ; and although the ceremony, perhaps, was not consummated in the usual form, yet Adonijah's subsequent request proves that this was actually the case.
Who was the person procured for this purpose?
Was Adonijah probably the eldest of David's sons now living? 2 Sam. 3. 2—4.
Is it not to be supposed that he was aware of God's appointment of Solomon to succeed his father? 1 Chron. 22. 9, 10.
What aspiring project did he form notwithstanding, and what steps did he take towards carrying it into effect? v. 5, 7.
To what fault in his education is Adonijah's ambition and rebellion to be traced?
What is the ordinary consequence of undue indulgence on the parts of parents towards their children?
Is it to be understood that he and Absalom were sons of the same woman? 1 Chron. 3.2.
What prominent men in the court refused to join the faction?
Whom did Adonijah invite to his entertainment and whom not?
Bid he in this matter follow the example of Absalom before him? 2. Sam. 15. 7—9, 12.
What steps did Nathan the prophet take to crush the rising rebellion?
Relate the circumstances of Bath-sheba's interview with David, v. 15—21.
Who came in while she was speaking to the King, and what conversation ensued. N. B. Bath-sheba seems to have retired during this conversation.
What answer did he give to Bath-sheba, and what orders to Zadok and Nathan?
What is said of their compliance? v. 36—40.
Was Solomon annointed again subsequent to this, and on a more public occasion? 1 Chron.29.25.
How did the news of the coronation in the meantime come to the ears of Adonijah? v. 41—48.
What effect did it produce upon him and his party? v. 49, 50.
Where was the altar at this time? 2 Chron.1.3. 5.
Was this laying hold of the horns of the altar a safe refuge in all cases? Ex. 21. 12—14.
What information was hereupon given to Solomon, and what was his merciful sentence?
Of what far higher event are these things a shadow? Ps. 2.
What charge did David give to Solomon as he drew near to the end of his days?
What other instructions do we elsewhere find that he gave him on this occasion? 1 Chron. 28.
How did he address the congregation of Israel before his death, and what effect had his exhortation upon them? 1 Chron. 29.
What is supposed to have been Solomon's age. at this time? Ans. Not far from twenty.
What directions did he give him as to the manner in which ho should deal with Joab —the sons of Barzillai—and Shimei, the Benjamite?
Were these orders prompted by personal resentment, or by a sacred regard to justice?
Where was David buried, what was the period of his reign, and how is his end characterized in 1 Chron. 29. 28?
Who succeeded him; and with what prospects?
Relate the circumstances that led to the death of Adonijah. v. 13—22.
How did Solomon reply, and what was Adonijah's fate?
Has Solomon been wrongly charged with undue severity and cruelty in this matter? N.B. From Adonijah's false assertion, that the kingdom was originally his, and that the eyes of Israel were upon him for David's successor, it is evident that he had not yet given up his pretensions, but was secretly plotting to get possession of the throne. This Solomon saw, and dealt with him accordingly, as his former pardon had been conditional.
What was Abiathar's sentence, and why was he commanded to go to Anathoth ? Josh .21.18. Jer. 1. 1.
What prediction was fulfilled in this event? 1 Sam. 2. 30, 36.
Who was chosen to the priest's office in his stead? V. 35. N. B. It appears from ch. 4. 4. that although Abiathar was deposed from the high-priesthood, yet he still held the nominal rank of an inferior priest under Zadok, without being allowed to officiate at the sanctuary. Some think, however, that this latter passage refers to the state of things at the very commencement of Solomon's reign, before Abiathar's disgrace occurred. What is related of the fate of Joab, and what are we taught by this righteous judgment? Eccl. 8. 12, 13.
On what conditions did Solomon consent to spare Shimei?
How did the affair terminate with him?
Did Solomon in all this, order his house or kingdom after the pattern proposed by David in the 101st Psalm? N. B. As the reign of Solomon was undoubtedly intended as a type of the millennium, it was introduced with judgments, as we are told that shall be.
With whom did Solomon make affinity, and is it to be thought that he sinned in this? N.B. Compare v. 3. of this ch. with Deut. 23. 8.Moreover there is no evidence that this Egyptian wife tempted him to idolatry, like his other strange wives. Some think tho book of Canticles was penned on this occasions
Where did the people sacrifice before the Temple was erected, and did this probably prove a snare to them? Lev. 17. 3—5. Deut 12. 2—5.
What was commendable and what censurable in Solomon's conduct and character at this time? N. B. It may be remarked that the design of this and the ensuing chapter is to give a general view of the state of the the kingdom during the period that elapsed from Solomon's marriage to the completion of the Temple, and the other buildings executed by him.
Where did he go to offer sacrifices, and what was the number of his burnt-offerings on this occasion?
Why did he resort to Gibeon for this purpose, and by whom was he accompanied? 2 Chron. 1.3.
What peculiar divine manifestation was granted to him here, and what were the particulars? V. 5—14.
What are we taught by this striking incident, as to the proper objects of petition at the throne of grace? Eccl. 2.26.
What did Solomon do after his return to Jerusalem?
What remarkable occurrence is here related illustrative of his great wisdom?
What impression did this incident make upon the nation at large?
Who were some of Solomon's principal officers, both civil and ecclesiastical? v. 1—6,
Had several of them been previously employed by David? 2 Sam. 20. 24.
What proverb of his own did he conform to in this selection? Prov. 27. 10.
How many stewards did he appoint over the royal household, and how did they execute their office?
What is said of the population, general prosperity, and extent of Solomon's kingdom at this time? N. B. It is computed from what we learn of the population in David's reign, that the number of inhabitants could not have been much short of 8,000,000. 2 Sam. 24. 9.
What prophecies were fulfilled in this unexampled prosperity of Solomon's reign? Gen. 15.5. and 22. 17. Ps. 72.
What number of horses and horsemen had he, and how is this to be regarded when viewed in connection with the precept in Deut. 17. 16? N. B. This circumstance, though trivial in itself, was probably one of the first imperceptible steps, which led to that unhappy decline and falling away, that marked the close of Solomon's reign.
What further is said respecting Solomon's intellectual endowments? v. 29—31.
What portion of the sacred writings are from his pen?
Of what other works was he the author which have not come down to us?
What is said of the esteem in which he was generally held? v. 34.
Does this and the preceding chapter strikingly record the fulfilment of God's promise made in ch.3. 11—13?
Of whom was Solomon a type in regard to his wisdom? Col. 2. 3.
Who sent to Solomon to congratulate him on his advancement to the throne, and what was his motive?
What message did Solomon send back to him? V.2—6.
What was Hiram's answer, and what stipulations did they enter into? v. 7—12.
How does the Prophet Isaiah seem to allude to this circumstance in speaking of the building of the gospel-temple in the latter days? Is. 60. 10. 13.
How did Solomon then proceed to collect the timber and stones for the intended edifice? v. 13—18.
Whom did he make bearers of burdens in this work? 2 Chron.2. 17. 18.
Are there many employed about the church who have no interest in its blessings?
How many years elapsed from the departure out of Egypt to the commencement of the building of the Temple? N.B. This period is divided as follows: Forty years in the wilderness under Moses; seventeen under Joshua ; two hundred and ninety-nine under the Judges; eighty under Eli, Samuel, and Saul; forty under David; and four under Solomon.
What were the dimensions of the main building and of the porch? N. B. The porch was about 150 feet higher than the main body of the building, and no doubt suggested the plan of those additions in the front of modern churches which are usually surmounted by a steeple.
How were the rooms and chambers designed for the accommodation of the priests constructed? N. B. The wall of the house in going up was narrowed twice, a cubit at each time, and on the outside narrowings or rests, the beams of the chambers were laid perpendicular to the wall, and so were not wrought into it. These three tiers of chambers surrounded the house on every side except the front side, and it is supposed there was a gallery extending round the chambers as they did around the wall.
On what spot was this edifice erected ? 2 Chron. 3.1.
Where were the materials fitted and prepared, what was peculiar in their putting together, and how does this apply spiritually?
What cheering word came from God to Solomon while employed in this building?
Is it no uncommon thing for the Lord's servants while diligently busied in his service to meet with precious manifestations of the light of his countenance?
Was Solomon taught also by this word that even so pious a work as building a temple would not excuse either himself or the people from obedience to the law?
How was the interior of the house finished, and what spiritual truth is implied in this?
Was the general construction of the house similar to that of the tabernacle? N. B. The length and breadth of the main building of the Temple were just double to that of the Tabernacle; in other respects it was entirely similar, consisting of two apartments, the holy and most holy place; of which the latter is frequently in this history called the Oracle.
What were the dimensions of these two rooms, how were they overlaid, and how separated from each other? 2 Chron. 3. 14. N. B. This veil forming the partition between the "holy" and "most holy" place, was that, which was rent in twain at our Saviour's crucifixion. There were folding doors in addition to the veil.
What was put within the Oracle, and what is the description given of these objects? N.B. These Cherubims are usually considered as emblems of the angels delighting to contemplate the mysteries of redemption. But there is great reason to believe that they were designed as an emblem of the multitude of the redeemed, or the church of God. See an essay on this subject in an Explication of Ezekiels Vision, by the author of these Questions.
What is said of the construction of the inner court?
How long was the Temple in building? Does the splendor and costliness of this edifice afford an argument in favor of magnificent churches at the present day?
Is it important to the right understanding of numerous allusions in the Scripture to have a correct general view of the form and structure of the Temple?
Of what was the Temple a type? Ans. Of the church.
What other buildings did Solomon erect, and how long was he employed in them?
What distinguished artist did he engage to superintend these works?
What was the height of the two pillars which he cast, and what were they called?
How is this account of the height of the pillars to be reconciled with that in 2 Chron. 3. 15?
What was the use of these pillars, and what the meaning of their names? N. B. Jachin-He will establish. Boaz—In him is strength. The precise typical design of them has never been satisfactorily ascertained. It is not unlikely that they correspond in some way with the two olive-trees of Zechariah (ch. 4. 14.) and with the two witnesses of John in the Revelation, (ch. 11. 3, 4.) but the chain of connection yet remains to be developed.
What was the next article constructed, and what the form, dimensions, and position of it?
What was the use, and typical meaning, of the Molten Sea? 2 Chron. 3. 6. Zech. 13. 1.
How many brazen Bases, each bearing a Laver, did he make, and how were they situated in the court? v. 27—39
How were they removed from place to place as convenience might require? v. 30. N.B. The form of these Bases is important, from the fact that they are supposed to afford a clue to the explanation of the imagery of Ezekiels vision (ch. 1, and 10.) which doubtless had the resemblance of a living chariot, the body of which was formed of Cherubims and their expanded wings, resting on four spherical wheels, each being compounded of two at right angles to each other, and so adapted to run in the direction of either of the four faces of the Cherubim without turning out of a straight course. The "firmament" mentioned (Ez. 1.22.) was a splendid crystal-like pavement or flooring, resting on the heads of the Cherubim, and supporting the throne of divine glory. See the "Explication of Ezekiel's Vision."
Where were these things, together with the rest of the brazen vessels, cast?
Mention the principal golden articles which made a part of the Temple furniture.
After the temple was finished, whom did Solomon assemble together, and for what purpose?
What was done with the ancient Tabernacle built by Moses? v.4.
With what religious services were these transactions attended? v.5.
Where was he Ark of the Covenant placed, and what was deposited within it? v. 6—9. N. B. The language of the Apostle (Heb. 9.1—5.) seems to be somewhat at variance with this, but it is probable that all the other articles mentioned by him, besides the two tables of stone, were somehow laid by the side of the Ark, and not within it.
What happened when the Priests came out of the holy place? v. 10.11.
How did Solomon then commence the services of dedication? v. 12—14.
Of what did he remind the people in his introductory address? v. 15—21.
What had God previously assured David should be the distinguishing character of Solomon's reign as contrasted with his own? 1 Chron. 22. 8—10. N.B. This circumstance rendered Solomon's reign a striking type of the Millennium, which is to be a thousand years of rest, or a blessed Sabbatism, like the seventh day after the labors and trials of the six, "for one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
What station did Solomon occupy on this occasion, and what attitude did he assume in prayer? 2 Chron. 6. 12. 13.
With what grateful acknowledgments of past mercies does he begin his prayer, and what plea does he found upon them? v. 23—30.
On what particular occasions does he specially pray that God would listen to the supplications of his people ? V. 31, 33, 35,37,41,44.
What were his intercessions in case the people should for their sins be carried into captivity? V. 46—50.
In what remarkable instance was this prayer answered? Dan. 9.
What considerations does he urge in the conclusion as a powerful plea with the Most High? V.51—53.
What was his closing sentence? 2 Chron. 6.41, 42.
What did Solomon do after concluding his prayer? v. 54, 55.
With what sacrifices was this service followed?
What expedient did he resort to by reason of the brazen altar being too small to receive all the burnt offerings?
How many days were occupied in these dedication services, and with what feelings did the vast congregation return home?
What farther manifestation was made to Solomon, and what was the substance of the Lord's address to him at this time? v. 1—9. N. B. It is remarked by critics that the phrase, "if ye shall at all turn," might more properly be rendered, "if ye altogether turn." It may be noticed also that the address which begins with being directed to Solomon personally, soon glides into a message to the people. A striking parallel to this is to be observed in the Epistles to the seven churches in the beginning of the Revelations.
When were these conditional threatenings remarkably fulfilled? 2 Kings 25. 8—10.
How long was it after the completion of the Temple that Solomon's other buildings were finished?
How did Solomon repay the services of king Hiram, and how was he pleased with them? N. B. It is extremely difficult to determine from the original whether Hiram was dissatisfied with Solomon's gift because it was too small, or whether "it was not right in his eyes" from being too large and liberal. As Hiram is said (2 Chron. 8, 2.) to have given certain cities to Solomon, (for the word is not restored in the original,) it is most probable we think that an exchange of cities was made by the two kings, and the word Cabul has reference to the mutual pledge involved in this transaction, which some of the learned pronounce to be the genuine import of the term. Moreover, it is scarcely possible to suppose any thing approaching to mean or niggardly in Solomon, the most magnanimous of men ; nor can we imagine that Hiram would have given them a name which implied nothing short of a standing reproach upon his royal friend and brother.
What is stated as the reason or occasion of the extensive levies which Solomon raised for several years? v. 15—19.
How did he deal with the remains of the devoted nations? v. 20—22.
What ancient scripture was fulfilled in this? Lev. 25. 44.
How many festivals did Solomon observe annually with great solemnity?
What is said respecting the state of navigation and commerce during his reign?
Has Solomon however directed us to a far better merchandise than this? Prov. 3, 14.
What distinguished personage was attracted by the fame of Solomon to visit Jerusalem, and what was the more special object of the journey?
From whom was Sheba descended? Gen. 25. 3.
What was her equipage, and what is said of her interview with Solomon?
What were the objects that especially excited her wonder, and what was her language on the occasion? v. 4—9.
What presents did she make to Solomon, and how did he in turn evince his munificence?
From what source did Solomon derive his gold, and almug-trees, and to what uses did he apply the latter?
What precious articles were deposited in the house of the forest of Lebanon?
What description is given of Solomon's throne? V. 18—20.
la what esteem was silver held in those days?
What articles were brought by the navy from Tarshish?
What increase to his amazing riches did he derive from other sources? v. 25—21.
Does the excessive wealth and splendor of Solomon's kingdom seem to have gradually led both himself and the people to a criminal extravagance, which finally paved the way for a woeful relapse afterwards?
What is Solomon's own testimony respecting all this pomp? Eccl. 2. 1—11.
Is a state of worldly affluence for the most part peculiarly unfavorable to the spiritual interests of God's people ? N. B. We have before remarked that the reign of Solomon in its general character was designed as a type of the Millennial reign of Christ. And there is great reason to believe that the gradual degeneracy which grew out of the unexampled riches and prosperity of the kingdom of Israel at this time will have its counterpart at the termination of the happy thousand years ; for we are told that subsequent to that period, "Satan is to be loosed a little season."
What melancholy proof of the weakness and depravity of human nature is given in this chapter?
How does Nehemiah, years afterwards, speak of the lamentable fall of Solomon? Neh. 13.26.
To what extent did he multiply his wives?
What precept did he transgress in this? Deut, 17.17.
To what further abominations did his misconduct lead?
Is this on the whole one of the most mournful cases of apostacy to be found in all the records of the Bible?
Should it however lead us to decide unfavorably as to Solomon's piety? N. B. The scripture testimony certainly preponderates in favor of his being a good man, and consequently of his being saved at last. And it is by no means necessary, in order to its being improved as a salutary lesson to us, to suppose his defection to be a final "drawing back unto perdition."
Will any previous degree of wisdom, gifts, or firmness of resolution, secure any man from sin, who presumes upon his own sufficiency, and rushes into temptation?
How did the Lord regard his conduct, and what word did he send unto him?
Were any of the mitigations of the sentence granted for Solomon's own sake?
Is it to be hoped and presumed that this message was the means of bringing him to repentance?
Is it peculiarly unhappy for the cause of religion when an eminent professor falls without afterwards affording clear evidence of repentance? Prov. 25. 26.
What adversary is the Lord said to have "stirred up" against Solomon, and what is to be understood by it? N. B. Simply that the Lord permitted and over-ruled the invasion as a chastisement to Solomon.
What account is given of the previous history of this Hadad? v. 15—22.
What other adversary arose to molest Solomon, and what is said of him? v. 23—25.
Who was the last and most formidable of these troublers of Israel, and what was the occasion of his lifting his hand against the king? v. 26—39.
Did this prediction or declaration of the prophet, coming from God himself, excuse the ambition and rebellion of Jeroboam?
What alleviations of the threatened judgments were promised in Ahijah's prophecy ?
What attempts did Solomon make against Jeroboam, and how were they defeated ? N.B. It does not appear that this was on account of Ahijah's prophecy, but of Jeroboam's subsequent conduct?
How long did Solomon live before Christ? Ans. His era may be fixed at 1000 B. C.
What was the name, and who was the mother of Solomon's only son, his successor? ch. 14.21.
What was his age at the time to which this history refers ? ch. 14. 21.
Did the people seem disposed to recognise his right of succession to the throne, and where. did they convene for this purpose?
Why did they not assemble at Jerusalem, the royal city? N. B. This was no doubt a stroke of policy designed to prevent the tribe of Judah from exercising undue influence in the transaction. A jealousy had long been growing up between them.
Who was called in from abroad by the people on this occasion?
What representation did they make to Rehoboam, and what did they inquire of him?
Does the previous account of Solomon's reign furnish any evidence that this was well founded?
Do they make any complaint of idolatry, or of the low state in which religion was probably left at his death?
Was it highly impolitic in Rehoboam to appear to deliberate in so plain a case, and to propose the delay he did?
With whom did he take counsel, and what advice did they give him?
Ought public rulers, whether sacred or civil, to consider themselves rather the servants than the lords, of their people. N. B. The legitimate design of all governments is, to be organs of the will of the community which is presupposed to accord with the will of God.
Did he follow the counsel of the Elders, to whom did he resort for better, and what advice did they give him?
How did he answer the representatives at the time appointed?
Is Rehoboam, on account of this foolish conduct, in effect said to have been a child, though upwards of forty years of age? 2 Chron. 18. 7.
Does true wisdom, on the other hand, confer the honor of age upon youth itself? Gen.45.8.
What does the sacred writer say was the reason that the king hearkened not to the demands of the people, and how is this to be understood?
What was the consequence of Rehoboam's infatuated counsels?
Was this a rash resolve on the part of the people, and evincing great disregard to the memory of David?
Did Rehoboam on the whole do better than was to have been expected? 2 Chron. 11. 11—17.
Did this fact show to them, as it does to us, the folly, as well as the frequent danger, of precipitate vows and resolutions?
What is this revolt usually called, and how correctly? N. B. That of the ten tribes; although the language is not perfectly correct, as nearly the whole of three tribes, ' Judah, Benjamin, and Simeon, adhered to the house of David. Ephraim and Manasseh after the revolt were usually reckoned as two tribes which made up the ten ; and the name Ephraim sometimes stands for the whole ten, as in the prophecy of Hosea.—Some have supposed that this unhappy rent in the kingdom was typical of the division of the Christian world into various sects and denominations.
To whom did those of the ten tribes dwelling in the cities of Judah, adhere? v. 17.
Was this number speedily increased to a very considerable extent, and from what cause? 2 Chron. 13. 11—17.
What unfortunate event occurred that hastened Rehoboam suddenly back to Jerusalem?
What course did the revolted tribes then pursue, and how does Hosea speak of their proceeding? Hos. 8. 4,
What measures did Rehoboam adopt to recover the remaining tribes, and how was the scheme defeated?
Did he and the people submit to the message in a very becoming manner?
How did Rehoboam proceed to strengthen his kingdom against future invasions? 2 Chron. 11.5—11.
What similar precautions were taken by Jeroboam?
What were Jeroboam's thoughts respecting the possible future defection of his people, and what wicked policy did he adopt to prevent it?
Is it to be supposed that he actually intended the worship of the calves, or of the true God through them? N. B. Probably the latter.; so that his sin consisted more directly in a breach of the second commandment than the first. His residence in Egypt where the Deity was worshipped in the form of an ox, may have suggested this particular form of his idolatry, although some have supposed it might have been in imitation of one of the features or parts of the Cherubims, and if the truth could be known we should not be surprised to find that the idols of Egypt itself originated from the same source; that is, from the traditional records of the Cherubims placed at the gate of the garden of Eden "to keep the way of the tree of life."
Where did he set up this vile idolatry, and how long did it continue? Ans. To the time of the Assyrian captivity.
Had either of these places been made a place of image-worship long before? Judg. 18.30.
Is it always dangerous to seek safety and prosperity by means which God's word condemns ?
Did this step become a great snare to Israel? 2 King 17. 16.
What other measures did Jeroboam adopt in the establishment of his idolatrous worship directly contrary to divine appointment?
What messenger came to Jeroboam as he was officiating at Bethel, and what did he cry against the altar?
How long afterwards was this fulfilled? Ans. Three hundred and fifty-six years. 2 Kings 23.15.
What sign did he proceed to give which immediately came to pass, and what judgment befel the king?
How was he recovered, and how did he feel constrained to reward the prophet?
Did he express any desire to have his sin pardoned, or return any thanks to God for the miraculous cure?
What answer does the prophet make to his proposal? V. 8—10. N. B. This prohibition was probably intended as a testimony of the Lord's detestation of the execrable idolatry of the place. It was also a test of the prophet's obedience, such as we have had occasion to notice in several instances before.
Are we taught by his example to refuse urgent solicitations, when they would interfere with duty?
How did these circumstances come to the ears of the old prophet of Bethel, and what did he do in consequence?
Where did he overtake him, and what conversation ensued?
What were probably his motives in this conduct? N. B. He no doubt either designed to draw the man of God into a snare, and tempt him to transgress, or by treating him well to make a compromise with his own conscience for having neglected the very duty which this prophet had come so far to perform. On either supposition, the language he employed evinced the most horrible depravity.
Did the prophet of Judah weakly and criminally suffer himself to be persuaded?
In what consisted the crime of his compliance? N. B. "He could not be so certain of the countermand sent by another, as he was of the command given to himself; nor had he any ground to think that the command would be recalled, when the reason of it remained in force; he had great reason to suspect the honesty of this old prophet who did not bear witness against the idolatry of the city he lived in ; and at any rate, he should have taken time to beg direction from God, and not have complied so soon." HENRY.
Are good men more frequently liable to be led astray by the plausible arguments or examples of the pretended friends to religion, than by any thing else?
Ought we to be specially on our guard against worldly-minded professors who do not reprove sin in others?
Is it peculiarly perilous to follow any one, or to lead ourselves, in a course where conscience secretly reluctates and misgives us?
Have we as clear a rule of duty in God's word as this prophet had, and one which we are as much bound to be guided by?
What took place as they were sitting at the table?
Was this fearful sentence accordingly executed, and what were the circumstances?
Were some of these circumstances miraculous, and how was the body disposed of?
What inference do we draw from the fact that by far the most guilty party is left unpunished, while the good man dies for one transgression ?
Does this whole history give us a solemn view of God as a "jealous God?"
What does it teach us as to the consequences of the sins of his own people, whatever may have been their former character, services, or standing?
What expressions of grief did the old prophet utter at the funeral, and what charge did he give to his sons respecting his own burial?
Did he in this as well as in several other points resemble Balaam?
Is there any evidence that he was brought to repentance so as to escape in another world that punishment which he did in this?
What memorial was there in honor of the good prophet which distinguished his grave for some ages afterwards? 2 Kings. 23. 17.
Did all these things, instead of working a reformation in Jeroboam, even go to produce a contrary effect, and what evidence is there of it?
What was the final effect of his idolatry?
Does it appear therefore that the setting up of the calves, instead of perpetuating his house, as he intended, was the very means of bringing it sooner to destruction?
What occurrence took place in Jeroboam's family that led him to think of applying to a holy prophet?
What seems to have been the character of Abijah? v. 13.
What scheme did the king devise in order to learn from the prophet the fate of the child?
Did he appear less anxious to know the procuring cause of the judgment, or the means of recovery, than the simple fact whether he would recover?
Have we an account of similar conduct in other instances? 2Kings 1. 2. and 8. 8.
What was her reception at the hands of the the prophet, and what message did he go on to deliver respecting her wicked husband and his house?
Does he plainly predict the captivity which took place two hundred and forty years after?
What did he tell her respecting her child?
Did the word of the prophet respecting the child come to pass accordingly? v. 17. 18.
Was this a sign that the rest of the predictions would be accomplished? 1 Sam. 2. 34.
What was the length of Jeroboam's reign, and wherein were his acts recorded? N. B. The Chronicles here mentioned are not the books of Scripture known by that name, for they were not written at this time, but certain uninspired public records, which have perished in the lapse of time.
Did the consequence of Jeroboam's sin terminate with his own death? v. 16.
Do we learn from this that the wickedness of great men usually involves multitudes of others in its consequences?
How long did Rehoboam reign, and what was the conduct of Judah under his reign? v. 22—24.
What enemy came against him in the fifth year of his reign, and with what success?
What did Rehoboam have fabricated in place of the golden shields, and what use did he put them to? v. 27,28.
What prevented still greater calamities to the people from the hand of Shishak? 2 Chron. 12.5—8.
With whom had Rehoboam war all his days? N. B. This is to be understood rather of defensive, than of offensive war waged for the recovery of the revolted tribes, for this was forbidden him by Shemaiah,ch. 12. 24,
Who was Rehoboam's mother? N. B. Naama signifies, a beauty.
Who succeeded Rehoboam, and what was his general character? v. 1—5.
What is meant by the Lord's "giving him a a lamp in Jerusalem?" Consult the following ing passages: ch. 11. 3G. Ps. 18. 28. Ps.132. 17.
What is related of Abijam's war with Jeroboam? 2Chron. 13.4—17.
By whom was he succeeded, what was his character, and what his pious achievements in effecting a reformation? v. 9—14.
By whom, and how, was he encouraged in this work? 2Chron. 15. 1—S.
What vow, which his father did not live to perform, did he perform for him?
With whom had Asa a long continued war, and by what improper means did he draw a foreign king into a league with him? v. 16—19.
How was he reproved for this, and by whom? 2 Chron. 16. 7—10.
What was the result of this compact, and what else is said of Asa to the time of his death? v. 20-24
Who was Jeroboam's successor, and what became of him and the remnant of his father's house, according to the word of the prophet?
Did Baasha himself prove to be at all a better man?
Who was employed to convey a message from God to Baasha, and what was it? v. 1—4.
What account have we elsewhere of this prophet's father? 2 Chron. 16. 7—10.
Does Jehu appear to have been engaged in his prophetical calling for a long time? 2 Chron.19. 2. and 20. 21 -24.
Did this accordingly happen very much as Ahijah's word had been fulfilled against Jeroboam?
Why is it said that Baasha killed Jeroboam, when in fact he did not die by violence ? N.B. This mode of speech is probably designed to teach us the very intimate relation between a man and his posterity, and may help us in forming a correct view of our federal relation to the first man, of which the Apostle says, "As in Adam all die."
Who succeeded Baasha, and what was his fate? V. 8—10.
What is said of his usurping successor? v. 11—14.
Did his accomplishing the divine denunciation in the least excuse his crime? Is. 10. 6, 7, 2 King 9. 31.
What new rival rose in opposition to Zimri, and what was the consequence? v. 15—20.
Into what two parties did Israel then become divided, and which finally prevailed?
How long did Omri reign, and what noted city did he build, which afterwards became the metropolis of Israel? N. B. This city occasionally gave name to the whole kingdom of the ten tribes.
How did he render himself infamous? v. 25-28.
By whom was he succeeded, and what ac^ count is given of the daring wickedness of this King? v. 29—33.
What ancient prophetic denunciation was fulfilled in this reign?
Who had succeeded to the throne of Judah in the mean time? 3 Chron. 17. 1.
What illustrious Prophet was raised up in Israel during the reign of its most abandoned King? N.B. Elijah died about 900 A. C. and his name signifies, My God is he
By what name is he called in the New Testament and to whom else is that name applie? Luke 4. 25. Mat. 1 1. 13, 14. Mai. 4, 5.
What solemn assurance from the Lord did he give to Ahab? N. B. It is probable that he had before warned the King of his wickedness and its consequences without effect.
Would this fearful drought naturally bring the horrors of famine in its train? ch. 18. 2.
Whither was Elijah commanded to betake himself during the continuance of this judgment?
What allusion do we find to this drought in the New Testament? James 5. 17. Rev. 11.6.
How was he to be sustained in the wilderness, and of what was this circumstance typical? Rev. 12. 6.
Whither did he go from the brook Cherith, and what were the circumstances of his reception and entertainment by the widow woman? V. 8—16.
Was Elijah the first prophet to the Gentiles? Luke 4. 25,26. N. B. It is remarked that Christ never went but once to the Gentiles, and then it was unto these very coasts of Zidon, to which Elijah went. Mat. 15. 21.
How is this incident alluded to by our Lord, and why were his hearers so much enraged at the mention of it? Luke 4. 25—29.
What are we taught by the miraculous preservation of this family in time of famine? Ps.37. 16—19.
Does it often prove a blessing to the pious to be reduced to extremities, and even "to be brought to a crust of bread ? 2 Cor.8. 1—5.
What further affliction happened to this poor woman, and what exclamation did she utter to the prophet? v. 17, 19.
How was her son restored to her, and what effect had the miracle? v. 19—24.
Shall we ever be losers by a generous hospitality, and especially towards the Lord's prophets?
Who received a similar reward for entertaining Christ in the days of his flesh? John 11
What command of the Lord came unto Elijah after many days?
What eminently good man belonged at this time to the court of Ahab, and how had he shown his zeal for the Lord of Hosts?
Does his example teach us that difficult, but useful, stations should be occupied by good men as long as they can do it with a good conscience?
What were the circumstances under which Elijah and Obadiah met, and what conversation had they together? v. 5—16.
With what salutation did Ahab accost Elijah, and how did the prophet answer him?
Has this been of old a common charge against the best and most useful of men? Acts17. 6.
What demand did Elijah then make of the King, and did he accede to it?
What was the Prophet's first address to the people when convened? v. 21.
To whom is this at all times a proper question to be proposed?
How did he then propose to have the matter brought to a fair trial? v. 22—24.
Relate that part of the transaction, v. 25—35.
Does Elijah's example prove that it is occasionally proper to expose vice and irreligion by ridicule?
How was the whole affair concluded ? v. 36—40.
Why did the supernatural fire that consumed the burnt-ofiering, burn up the altar too? Deut. 12. 5, 6.
Were Baal's prophets slain in pursuance of a divine command, so that Elijah is to be exempted from the charge of cruelty? Deut.13. 1—5 and 18. 20—22.
What did Elijah then say to Ahab?
Whither did he go himself, and what circumstances occurred previous to the falling of the shower of rain? v. 41—45.
What do we learn from this in case our prayers are not speedily answered?
Whither did he go from Mt. Carmel, and was not his speed supernatural? N. B. It is probable that both Ahab and Elijah reached Jezreel just in time to escape the shower. The threatening aspect of the heavens would no doubt lead Ahab to drive with all possible rapidity, and yet the prophet ran before him all the way!
How was Jezebel affected by the news of what Elijah had done, and what did her threats induce him to do? v. 1—4.
Does he seem in this to have given way most culpably to his fears?
What did he pray for under the juniper tree, what visitation was granted him, and what did he say?
Whither and for how long a time did he go in the strength of that refreshment, and what word of the Lord came to him there? N.B. The question put to him was no doubt intended as somewhat of rebuke for his flying from the path of duty.
What did he reply, and what was he commanded to do?
What were the circumstances of the remarkable manifestation now made to Him? v. 10 —14.
What are we taught by God's being in the still small voice,and not in the wind, earthquake, or fire?
What new directions were now given him?
What assurance did the Lord give him on this occasion, and where else do we find it referred to? Rom. 11. 4.
To what purpose does the Apostle allude to this fact?
Does the circumstance offer encouragement to pious ministers and others in the darkest and most degenerate times?
Whom did he meet with after departing thence, and what were the circumstances of his call to the prophetic office? v. 19—21. N.B. Elijah's words are not to be understood as a reproach, but as a permission for him to go and bid farewell to his family, inasmuch as he had done nothing to him to constrain him in any way to follow him ; so that if he did finally do it, it would be wholly voluntary; and he would have him count the cost.
How do they seem thenceforth to have employed themselves? Ans. "Not only in privately instructing the people,..but also in founding or superintending schools of prophets in different parts of the land, who might assist them in the work of reformation, and maintain it when they were removed." Scott.
What king at this time laid siege to Samaria, and with how large a force?
What insulting message did he first send to the king of Israel, and what was Ahab's cowardly reply?
Ought we however to be always willing that the Most High should address us in Benhadad's language?
Did the king of Syria hereupon become more insolent, and send another message demanding more than the first? v. 5, 6,
What did Ahab and the elders do in this extremity? v.7—9.
Recite Benhadad's boasting menace, and Ahab's spirited answer, v. 10, 11.
What effect had this on Benhadad?
What encouraging message did the Prophet bring to Ahab, and how did he accordingly order the battle? N. B. The "young men" here mentioned were not the flower of the army, but the servants, footmen, or pages of the princes of the provinces. Being unused to arms, they formed a company very contemptible in the eyes of the enemy, but "mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds."
Relate the circumstances and the issue of the engagement? v. 16—21.
What message did the prophet bring to Ahab respecting preparation for another campaign? N.B. It does not appear that Ahab paid any attention to this command, or took any pains to put himself in a posture of defence.
How did the servants of Benhadad account for the late defeat, and how did they propose to retrieve it in the next invasion?
Where did the two armies meet next season, how did they respectively appear, and what encouraging message came from God to Israel?
What was the issue of the battle, and how was the tone of Benhadad's servants now altered? V. 29—31.
Is it not a false accusation often brought against God's ancient people that they were distinguished for cruelty and blood-thirstiness? N. B. In most of the instances which have subjected them to this charge, they acted as the mere organs or agents of executing the Divine Will; and the Most High himself will take upon Him the responsibility of such proceedings.
To what abject submission did they resort in order to supplicate for their master's life?
Is their language and conduct peculiarly appropriate to returning and repenting sinners?
What did they catch hold of in Ahab's language that they turned to their account? N. B. The phrase in the original rendered "diligently observed," implies a close, subtle, insidious watching like that of a serpent, and strikingly denotes the craft and cunning of these emisaries of Benhadad.
Did their plan succeed, and what took place between the two kings?
Does it behove the people of God to be very careful whom they call brother?
Was Ahab's conduct in this affair extremely foolish as well as criminal? N. B. The whole of the 22d ch. of this book is little else than a record of Benhadad's treachery and what it cost the nation of Israel.
What singular circumstance is related of one of the prophets in this connection, and what is intended by it? N. B. The prophet, prompted by a Divine impulse, wished to be smitten and wounded, in order that he might in this disguise reprove Ahab by a parable for letting Benhadad escape out of his hand. As he required this of his neighbor "in the word of the Lord," or by a Divine command, his refusal to smite him was an act of disobedience and rebellion against God. Probably he could not see the reasonableness of the thing, any more than Cain could of an animal instead of a vegetable sacrifice, and therefore, like thousands in all ages, ventured to disregard a Divine mandate.
Did he afterwards find one more willing to comply with the injunction, and what was the issue? v. 38—43. N.B. Ahab's reply was as much as to say. Thou art condemned out of thine own mouth, or by thine own confession.
Are we often condemning ourselves when we are passing sentence on others ?
What instance have we here of Ahab's covetousness?
How did he propose to obtain the object of his desires, and what was the effect of his disappointment ?
As he proposed an equivalent, wherein consisted his sin? Rom. 7. 9. Co. 3. 5.
How was he at length put in the way of obtaining his object? v. 5—11.
Was this one of the blackest deeds of cruelty ever devised?
Why was a feast proclaimed in connexion with this affair? N. B. She would make it believed by this that some enormous wickedness was lurking undiscovered, or at least punished, and that a feast was necessary to turn away the divine displeasure
Were these bloody orders submissively obeyed, and what followed ? v. 12—16.
Does it appear that any of Naboth's family were put to death at the same time? 2 King9. 26.
Were these elders afterwards equally obsequious to Jehu's orders for the murder of Ahab's sons? 2 Kings 10. 6, 7.
What word of the Lord came unto Elijah, and what message was he commanded to deliver to the King?
How did it appear that Ahab was terrified by this, and what were the grounds of it? v.20—24.
What is the general character given of Ahab, and how were the threatened judgments averted? v. 27, 28.
Was his repentance severe and lasting, or merely external and temporary?
Is it to be feared that similar humiliations in all ages are mistaken by many for " the godly sorrow which worketh life?"
For how long a time was there a cessation of hostilities between Syria and Israel? N.B. Benhadad no doubt threw off all regard to his covenant as soon as he got home, and Went about recruiting his forces, and making ready for war.
From whom did Ahab at this time receive a visit, and what proposition did he make to his guest?
In what manner had the families of Ahab and Jehosaphat become connected? 2 Kings 8.18.
Was Ramoth-Gilead one of the cities which Benhadad had promised to restore? ch. 20.34.
Did Jehosaphat consent, and why did they delay going up immediately ? v. 5.
What was the word of the prophets, and how was Jehosaphat satisfied?
What was Ahab's reply, and what further assurances did they receive from these flattering prophets? v. 8—12. N. B. "Unity is not always the mark of a true church, or a true ministry. Here were 400 men that prophesied with one mind and one mouth, and yet all in an error." — Henry.
What was the messenger's request to Micaiah when he went for him, and what was his reply?
What traits of character are remarkably set in contrast in the conduct of these two men?
What occurred when he came into the presence of the kings, and how is his language to be understood? N. B. This mode of expression is not to be construed as sanctioning or approving the step, but merely as intimating his good wishes, since Ahab was evidently bent upon going. Thus the Most High said to Balaam, "Go with the elders of Moab," when it is evident he disapproved of his conduct. Speeches of this kind are merely God's Providence turned into words. His Providence often does not restrain the froward and perverse, but permits them to go on in their own chosen way.
How did Ahab express his suspicions that the prophet was not sincere, and what clear prediction did he then utter? v. 17.
What did Ahab say to Jehosaphat?
Are men prone to imagine that ministers are not their friends because they tell them the truth?
How does Micaiah then proceed to deliver his message? v. 10—23. N. B. The vision was not designed to reveal the actual state of things in the invisible world, but simply as an allegorical mode of representing the permissive economy of God's holy Providence towards wicked men, whom he frequently suffers to be deceived by events coinciding with their wishes, and thus to rush on to their own destruction. In such case nothing can be brought to shew that He is bound to prevent the catastrophe which he does not prevent.
How did Zedekiah receive this message, and what was Micaiah's meek reply ? v. 24, 25.
What did the king order to be done with the prophet, and what were Micaiah's parting words to Ahab?
What stratagem did Ahab propose to Jehosaphat, and how did the affair terminate? v.29-37
Was Ahab's death a judgment for having suffered Benhadad to escape?
How was Elijah's denunciation fulfilled?
Who succeeded him in the kingdom, and what was his general character?
What is the general character given of Jehosaphat king of Judah?
What is said of his naval expeditions v 4 8 2Chron. 19. 2.
Where did he place judges, for the benefit of his subjects, and what instructions did he give them? 2 Chron. 19. 5—7.
Whom did he appoint with the same view in the city of Jerusalem? v. 8—11.
What remarkable war was Jehosaphat engaged in, and what were the circumstances which decided the victory? 2 Chron. 20. 1—25.
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