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Hazael, as if he would read the inmost thoughts of his heart, and when he had looked at him for a little while, the man of God wept.

E. What did he weep for, mamma?

M. His tears fell for his country, for unhappy Israel: he knew that Hazael was a wicked and cruel man, and that he was soon to be king of Syria, and to bring great miseries upon the children of Israel : he saw beforehand all that was to happen, and when Hazael said to him, “Why weepeth my lord ?” his answer was, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong-holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children against the stones."

Hazael was shocked at the words of the prophet, for he was blind to the wickedness of his own heart, and he said, “Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing ?” he then thought it impossible that he should ever be guilty of such brutal crimes; but sin is a deceitful thing; if once it is allowed to dwell in the heart, there is no saying into what enormities of wickedness it may some day break forth. Hazael little thought that all he wanted to make true the prophet's words was the power to perform those great acts of cruelty of which he spoke : and this power he was soon to possess. The only answer which Elisha made to him was, “ The Lord hath showed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.”

And now the wickedness of Hazael began to work in his mind; he departed from Elisha, full of the thought that he was to be the head of that kingdom in which he was now only a servant, and instead of VOL. II.


waiting patiently to see how the words of the prophet were, by God's providence, to be brought to pass, he immediately murdered Benhadad his master with his own hand, whilst he lay still on his sick bed. For he took a thick cloth and dipped it in water, and spread it on the king's face, so that he was smothered, and died. Then Hazael reigned in his stead, and became, as we shall soon see, the minister of Divine justice against the family of Ahab. But here I must not forget to tell you, that immediately after Hazael became king of Syria, Jehu was anointed by the prophet Elisha to be king of Israel ; being expressly told at the same time, that the Lord had placed him on the throne of Israel, that he might smite the house of his master Ahab, that he might avenge the blood of God's servants the prophets, so many of whom had, as you may remember, been put to death by the order of Jezebel, and that he might cause that wicked queen and the whole house of Ahab to perish.

E. Was Jehoram alive then, mamma?

M. He was; and had lately been wounded in a war with Hazael, king of Syria, and had come to Jezreel to be healed of his wounds. And whilst he still lay sick in that very palace of his father Ahab which joined the vineyard of Naboth, he was told that Jehu and a great company were approaching the city, driving very furiously,

Now when Jehoram heard this he was greatly alarmed, for he thought that Jehu could not be come there with any good intention. He arose, however, from his sick bed, made ready his chariot, and went to meet Jehu, hoping to come to some peaceable agreement with him; and he met him in the field of

Naboth. You remember, Edward, the prophecy which Elijah had spoken to Ahab when he met him in the vineyard of Naboth, just as he had gone down to take possession. You remember the awful words which pierced the heart of the wretched king. “Behold, because thou hast set thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord, I will bring evil upon thee, and in the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall dogs eat thy blood, even thine: the dogs also shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.”

You remember how these words came to pass as far as concerned Ahab himself, at the time that the dogs licked his blood out of the chariot in which he had so miserably died. You will now see how exactly they were also fulfilled towards his family.

Jehoram met Jehu, as I said before, in the field of Naboth, in hopes of making peace with him; but the first words Jehu spoke in answer to the king's question, “Is it peace, Jehu ?” were such as to convince Jehoram that he saw before him a bitter enemy. For Jehu asked him how there could be any peace in Israel, so long as his mother Jezebel was allowed to vex the country with her wickedness and idolatry. When the king heard these words, he turned round and fled; but Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, so that he sunk down in his chariot and died. Then his body was thrown to the dogs by the command of Jehu, in the vineyard of Naboth, where he had died ! Nor did the impious Jezebel escape. Jehu, you know, was bound by the command of the Lord to bring the whole of this evil family to ruin, an


M. They are, indeed, my love, and we will not dwell upon them longer than we can help, but it is important that we should notice how the word of God is fulfilled, and his vengeance sure in the end to overtake the wicked. After Jehu had put the whole family of Ahab to death, which was one of the great purposes for which the Almighty had raised him up, he determined to destroy also all the prophets, priests, and servants of Baal. But he did not set about this work in such a manner as God would approve; he acted very deceitfully, and in a way not becoming one who was employed by the most high God, to execute his vengeance against a wicked and idolatrous people.

E. Tell me how he put the prophets of Baal to death, mamma?

M. Instead of telling all the people that he hated idolatry, and that he was obliged by the law of Moses, as well as by the express command of God, to put an end to it to the very utmost of his power, he pretended to be himself a worshipper of Baal, saying before all the people, “ Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him more. Now, therefore, call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests: let none be wanting : for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting he shall not live.” And this Jehu did, as you know deceitfully, just that he might better gather all the worshippers of Baal together to destroy them. Then all the worshippers of Baal throughout all the land of Israel gathered themselves together in the house of Baal; there was not one who was not there: so that the house of Baal was full from one end to

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