Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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4 KINGS - Introduction

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THE FOURTH BOOK OF KINGS.

INTRODUCTION.

This Book brings us to the conclusion of the kingdom of Israel, (chap. xvii.) and to the captivity of Juda, at Babylon, chap. xxv. We behold some virtuous princes reigning over the two tribes [of Juda and Benjamin], while the ten were uniformly governed by men of perverse morals. (Worthington) --- Yet there were some who adhered to the Lord in both kingdoms. David and his descendants (Haydock) occupy the throne near 480 years; and, after the captivity, continue in some degree of honour till the coming of Christ. (Worthington) --- But various families rule over Israel; some by usurpation, (Haydock) others by God's appointment: who thus chooses to chastise the wicked. He still watches over his Church, and sends his prophets for the instruction of all. (Worthington) --- We have enquired in the preface of the former Book, who composed this. (Haydock) --- The kingdom of Israel subsists about 250, (Worthignton) or 254 years. This Book contains the transactions of 308 years. (Calmet) --- But the chronology is extremely perplexed. To the sixth year of Ezechias, when Israel was led away captive, the kingdom of Juda seems to have lasted 260, and that of Israel only 241 years, though they both commenced at the same period. The errors regard the kings of Isreal, according to Houbigant, who would assign the following years to the respective kings of Juda and of Israel. 1. Of Juda: Solomon, 40; Roboam, 17; Abiam, 3; Asa, 41, Josaphat, 25; Joram, 8; Ochozias, 1; (the same is said to have begun to reign in the preceding year, the 11th of Joram, 4 Kings ix. 29, incorrectly) Athalia, 6; Joas, 40; Amasias, 29p; (he reigns 15 after the death of Joas, king of Isreal) Azarias, 52; Joatham, 16; Achaz, 16; Ezechias, 6; in which year, the three hundredth from the commencement of Solomon's reign, and the two hundred and sixtieth of the kingdom of Juda, Samaria was taken. 2. The kings of Israel: Jeroboam, 22; Nadab, 2; Baasa, 24; Ela, 2; Zambri, 7 days; Amri, 12; Achab, 22; Ochozias, 2; Joram, 12; Jehu, 28; Joachaz, 17; Joas, 16; Jeroboam, 41; Zacharias, 10; (in the text 10 is omitted.; Haydock) Sellum, 1 month; Manahem, 10; Phaceia, 2; Phacee, 30; (in the text, 20.; Haydock) Osee, 9; in all, 261 years, (Houbigant, Chron. Sac.) or 261 years and 7 months. The variation of 19 months, which still appears, may be owing to some of the years being incomplete. (Haydock) --- 3. After a reign of 28 years over Juda, Ezechias is succeeded by Manasses, who reigns 55: Amon, 2; Josias, 31; Joachaz, a few months; Eliacim, or Joakim, 11; Joachin, Conias, or Jechonias, had reigned ten years with his father. After three months and ten days reigning alone, he is led away to Babylon with part of the people. Matthanias, or Sedecias, is appointed in his stead; but proving refractory, is also, after nine years, deprived of his sight, and conducted with 832 of his subjects to Babylon. Nabuchodonosor had already led away 3023, under Joachin. After the death of Godolias, who was left to govern the miserable remains of the people, the year of the world 3417, he made 745 more captives, and thus an end was put to the kingdom of Juda. The scourge had been retarded for some time, by the repentance of Manasses, and the prayers of the prophets. (Calmet)