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    II. The subversion of the Kingdom—when, and for what cause

    Although God promised unconditionally, and by an oath, to perpetuate David’s throne, kingdom, and seed eternally; yet the temporal succession was conditional. “Yet, so that thy children take heed to their way to walk before me as thou hast walked before me.” Again, “If thy children transgress my law,” etc., “then will I visit their transgressions with a rod, and their iniquities with stripes; nevertheless, my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.” The Lord also made the same covenant with Solomon, 1 Kings 9:2-7: “The Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication that thou hast made before me. I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there forever; and mine eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually. And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments; then will I establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel forever, as I promised to David, thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a by-word among all people.” The conditions of this covenant are plain. If Solomon and his children were obedient, his throne should continue, and the premise to David. “There shall never fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.” But if either he, or his children, turned from God’s commandment, “Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given, and Israel shall be a proverb and a by-word among all people.” Solomon violated that covenant, and the kingdom was rent from, his son. 1 Kings 11:6, 9, 13: “And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father. And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared to him twice; and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he kept not that which the Lord commanded. Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding, in thy days I will not do it, for David thy father’s sake; but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. Howbeit, I will not rend away all the kingdom but will give one tribe to thy son, for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen” When the ten tribes were rent from the house of David and given to Jeroboam, it was with this declaration on the part of Jehovah: “And I will afflict the seed of David, but not forever.” 1 Kings 11:39.JUO 9.1

    After Solomon’s death, Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead in Jerusalem. He oppressed the house of Israel, and the ten tribes revolted from him, and left only Judah and part of Benjamin to the house of David. Rehoboam reigned over them in Jerusalem on the throne of David, and Jeroboam reigned over Israel in Samaria. Hoshea was the last king of the ten tribes, and was carried captive by the king of Assyria, B. C. 742. 2 Kings 17:1-6, 13-23. “In the twelfth year of Ahaz, king of Judah, began Hoshea the son of Elah, to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him. Against him came up Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents. And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea, for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year; therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozen, and in the cities of the Medes. Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments, and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Notwithstanding, they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the necks of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them. And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even to calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. Therefore, the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. Also, Judah kept not the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hands of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them. Until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.”JUO 10.1

    The supremacy of Judah was broken, B. C. 677, in the days of Manasseh, king of Judah. 2 Chronicles 33:9-11. “So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel. And the Lord spake to Manasseh, and to his people; but they would not hearken. Wherefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.” This was the first time the whole house of Israel was entirely broken. Judah had previously been afflicted, and Israel remained independent-Israel had been in bondage, and Judah remained independent. But at the time of Manasseh’s captivity, Israel had also been broken, that it was no more a people; and Judah also went into captivity. Manasseh repented, and was reprieved and restored as a tributary to his kingdom. From that time, the house of David never regained its independence. Kings, however, of the house of David, continued to reign on David’s throne in Jerusalem, as tributaries to Assyria and Babylon, until the captivity of Zedekiah, king of Judah. 2 Kings 24:18-20; and 25:1-10. “Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign: and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. And it came to pass, in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth, month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came, he and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about. And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land. And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night, by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king’s garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain. And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him. So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon, to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him. And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon. And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, (which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,) came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem: and he burnt the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man’s house burnt he with fire. And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.”JUO 12.1

    This ended the temporal dynasty of David’s house. When Nebuchadnezzar came up and besieged Jerusalem, and took it, God, by the mouth of Ezekiel, pronounced its doom. Ezekiel 21:25-27. “And thou, profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end; thus saith the Lord God, remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.”JUO 13.1

    It was under this doom Zedekiah was carried away to Babylon: and since then, no king of David’s house has reigned in Jerusalem. The kingdom was subverted under Hezekiah, by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, B. C. 588. The cause of it was God’s indignation at their sins. It was on this account that God gave his people into the hand of the Assyrians, and is thus declared by Jehovah, Isaiah 10:5-7: “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger; and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down as the mire of the streets. Howbeit, he meaneth not so. But it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.” Had it not been for God’s INDIGNATION, the Assyrian and Chaldean could not have prevailed against Israel.JUO 14.1

    Under the Medo-Persians, the government of Israel was restored, but as a tributary government. See Nehemiah 9:32-37.JUO 14.2

    We learn from this passage, that from the times of the kings of Assyria to that day, Israel had been in a state of suffering; and that they were then servants to the kings who were over them. Those kings had dominion over their bodies, and over their cattle, and they were distressed at the pleasure of those kings.JUO 14.3

    This sentiment was uttered when the kings of Persia had, at their own expense, ordered the temple at Jerusalem to be rebuilt, the worship of God restored and maintained, and had granted an order of protection to the Jews in the enjoyment of all their privileges. Yet they were servants in their own land. And they ever after remained tributary to, or dependent on some one of the great Gentile nations, except when in a state of actual rebellion against their enemies to throw off the yoke.JUO 14.4

    When Christ was born, even David’s royal house went up to Bethlehem to be taxed. When he was crucified, the Jews acknowledged no king but Cesar. That they have never regained their liberty since then, is too notorious to need remark.JUO 15.1

    The Church, whether Jewish or Christian, still in bondage.JUO 15.2

    The Christian church is equally in bondage with the Jews. True, Christians have equal privileges with others in the various governments where they live; but they have no political and civil government of their own. Daniel and his companions in Babylon, were exalted to political power next the king; still they were in bondage. When the king made an image, and called on all his subjects to worship it, they could refuse to do so, to be sure, but only on condition that they should go into the burning fiery furnace. They did refuse, and went into the fire. Thus, the Christian is at liberty to obey the law of God in preference to human laws. But life, limb, liberty or property, must pay for his temerity. As long as we, as Christians, can go along with those laws, they are not felt; but let them but come in collision with our conscience and the laws of God, and the iron enters the soul. All Christians are, as Nehemiah was, (under the kings and governments where they reside,) servants;-they have dominion over our bodies and property. If it be said, in our own government, Christians have a controling influence, in consequence of the elective franchise, and can model the government as they please through the ballot-box: it is answered-true, if they could out-vote the world, and were united among themselves-neither of which is true. They are but a moiety of the people. If all Christians could be gathered in one body, they might become independent of the world; but this is not the case; they are scattered all over the earth-“The power of the holy people” is “scattered.” Daniel 12:7. And until Michael begins his reign, they will never be delivered from their dispersion. They must be in political bondage until then. But the Son will then make them free, and they “shall be free indeed.” The Jews, when this sentiment was uttered by the Savior, resented it, saying, “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man! And how sayest thou, the Son shall make you free?” So, in all probability, will many American Christians scorn the thought in the same way. But it is true, nevertheless. It was on this principle that Christ directed Peter to take a fish, find a piece of money in his mouth, and give it to Cesar’s tax-gatherer-“Lest we should offend them.” So should all Christians be good and peaceable subjects of the governments under which they live, so far as they can with a good conscience. When they cannot do that, then do as did the worthies in Babylon, obey God, and suffer the human penalty.JUO 15.3

    Our Sovereign is the rightful heir of all the kingdoms of the world, but is now an exile, and his dominion is in the hand of the usurper. But he will come, and in due time bind the strong man, and cast him out, and then he will spoil his goods, and take possession of his house.JUO 16.1

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