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from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed. But he went in, and stood before his master, And Elisha said to him, “ Whence comest thou, Gehazi ?” And he said, “Thy servant went no whither.” And he said to him, “ Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants ? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever.” And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow. a
In a war which the king of Israel carried on against the Syrians, the prophet Elisha made known to the king all that was done in the Syrian camp. Then the king of Syria sent an army to the city Dothan, where the prophet was living, to seize the man of God. The Syrians came in the night and compassed the city. . And when the servant of the man of God had risen early in the morning, behold, a host compassed the city with horses and chariots. And the servant cried out, “ Alas, my master! how shall we do?” And he answered and said, “ Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.” And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw; and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha b.
* 2 Kings iv., v.
6 2 Kings vi. 13-17.
50. THE ASSYRIAN CAPTIVITY. AFTER Ahab, twelve kings reigned over the kingdom of the ten tribes, but their reigns were short. One slew another, and became king in his place. Woe to the land where the rulers are often changed! The Syrians came and plundered the land, and laid it waste. But the people would not take warning. The denunciations of the prophets became more and more serious, but the people sank deeper and deeper into idolatry and wickedness. At last the Assyrians, a warlike and powerful nation, came and subdued the people, and made them pay tribute. The king of Israel, Hoshea, swore allegiance to king Shalmaneser, but afterwards broke his oath to him. Then Shalmaneser came upon Israel with his army, like a desolating storm. He destroyed Samaria, and carried away most of the people of the ten tribes to Armenia, and to other distant parts of his empire. A small portion of the people only were allowed to remain ; and in the place of those who were taken away, Shalmaneser sent people from Syria and Mesopotamia, and other heathen countries, to live in the empty country. And at the beginning of their dwelling there they feared not the Lord. Therefore the Lord sent lions among them which slew some of them. Then they sent to the king of Assyria to inform him of this; and the king commanded that one of the priests whom he had carried away from Samaria should go and dwell there, and teach them how they should fear the Lord. Yet they continued to serve their own gods after the manner of the heathen nations around them.
Thus ended the kingdom of the ten tribes. The
few Israelites who were left, mingled with the heathen who came and settled there; and hence arose the Samaritan nation.
THE PROPHET JONAH.
51. Even to the Assyrians, God sent a prophet out of Israel. Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, was a rich and magnificent city, three days' journey in circumference. And the Lord said to Jonah, “ Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah was disobedient, and went the contrary way, to the sea. He came to Joppa, and finding a ship going to Tarshish, he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. Then the Lord caused a mighty tempest to arise in the sea, so that they feared the ship would be lost. In their distress, they cried every one to his god, and they cast out the goods that were in the ship, to lighten it; but Jonah was below in the ship, and he was asleep. So the shipmaster came and said to him, “What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God.” And they said one to another, “ Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. And he said to them, “ Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea : so shall the sea be calm unto you; for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.” And they prayed to God, and said, “We beseech thee, O Lord, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood.” And they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea ; and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered sacrifices unto the Lord, and made vows.
But the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah, and the Lord preserved him in life. And after three days and three nights, the fish cast him out upon the land.
Then the word of the Lord came unto Jonah a second time, saying, “ Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, and cried out in the streets, “ Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” And the people believed the words of the prophet, and were greatly afraid ; and they fasted and put on sackcloth. The king laid aside his robes, and caused it to be proclaimed that neither man nor beast, herd nor Hock, should taste any thing; and that every one should cry mightily unto God, and turn away from his evil way, if peradventure God might turn away from his fierce anger, that they perish not. And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and he spared the city, and did not bring the destruction
them. But Jonah was displeased with the Divine clemency, and he said, “ It is better for me to die than to live.” And he went out of the city, and made him a booth, and sat under it in the shade, that he might see what would become of the city. And the Lord caused a gourd to grow up in the night, which in the morning formed a refreshing shade over Jonah with its beautiful leaves; and Jonah was exceedingly glad of the gourd. And on the second morning God caused a worm to come,
which smote the gourd ; and when the sun waxed hot, its leaves withered. And the sun beat upon
Jonah's head; and again he wished for death, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” And God said to Jonah, “Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd ?” And he said, “I do well to be angry, even unto death.” And the Lord said, “Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night. And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left land; and also much cattle ?”a
52. AFTER the division of the kingdom, there sat on
a Jonah iv. 6-11.