As for the rest of the acts of Zimri and the treason he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
1. True religion is pure wisdom.
(1) It is the "wisdom of God" revealed - outwardly, in His word - inwardly, by being written by His Spirit in the heart.
(2) To encourage this is man's highest wisdom. Godliness has promise of this life - of that to come.
2. False religion is supreme folly.
(1) It is in some respects even worse than no religion. It is more than a negation in respect to truth; it is pertinacious antagonism to truth.
(2) It is folly in relation to the highest interests of man. It demoralizes in the proportion of its ascendancy. It forfeits the heaven it professes to seek. It aggravates the hell it professes to avoid.
(3) It expresses itself in vanity. What more vain than the idols of the heathen? The very forms of those idols evince the monstrosity of folly. Witness a monkey or an onion for a God; a fish with a man's head; a satyr; a griffin! (see Deuteronomy 32:21; Isaiah 41:29.)
3. Of such folly was the kingdom of Israel flagrantly guilty.
(1) The calves with which they so deeply sinned were introduced by the kingcraft of Jeroboam.
(2) They are maintained by the kingcraft of all his successors, of whatever dynasty. Even Zimri, who only reigned seven days, and in those days was occupied in exterminating the house of Baasha, yet found time to pronounce himself in their favour.
(3) What a substitute for the Lord God of Israel who brought them up out of the land of Egypt!
1. Witnessed in frequent dynastic changes.
(1) The house of Jeroboam lasted twenty-four years. This gave place to that of Baasha, which lasted twenty-six. Zimri wore the crown seven days. Then came a four years' struggle for it between Omri and Tibni. At length "Tibni died and Omri reigned."
2. These changes represented strong passions.
(1) There was the impatience of the rule of the house of David which resulted in the revolution in favour of Jeroboam. Yet so little did they benefit by the change, that when Baasha destroyed that house they accepted, without a murmur, the rule of the regicide.
(2) But when Zimri treated the house of Baasha as Baasha had treated that of Jeroboam, they did not accept the second regicide. They now evinced some sense of right and wrong; but it was a wayward sense. There was no inquiry after the will of God. The army set up Omri, their general; but the civilians, apparently, chose Tibni. Here was a confusion which lasted until the death of one competitor.
3. These commotions were sanguinary.
(1) The division of the nation into two kingdoms induced civil war.
(2) Civil war also attended the treason of Zimri. For the army was occupied with the siege of Gibbethon when the news of this treason reached them, which determined them to raise the siege and invest Tirzah instead. The capture of Tirzah was not unbloody. A desperate character like Zimri would not tamely yield, when, rather than fall into the hands of Omri, he burnt the palace over his head and perished in the flames.
(3) The competition for the crown between Omri and Tibni protracted the civil war four years. Omri is not said to have resigned until the "thirty-first year of Asa, whereas Zimri's treason occurred in the twenty-seventh year of Asa," upon which Omri was chosen by the army. (Compare vers. 15 and 23.) The difference here is about four years.
1. Foremost under this head is idolatry.
(1) We mentioned this under the head of "folly," but it is not thereby removed from the category of "crime." Idolatry is the grossest and most direct insult to the living God.
(2) Hence no crime is in Scripture more heavily denounced and more signally obnoxious to punishment.
2. Next comes the capital crime of murder.
(1) As idolatry is the highest affront to God, so is murder the greatest offence against man.
(2) The crown of Israel was deeply stained with the blood of murder - with that of the house of Jeroboam; with that of the house of Baasha.
(3) Suicide also disgraced these violent times. And the note is significant that in his suicide Zimri perished "for his sins which he sinned in doing evil in the sight of the Lord, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did to make Israel to sin" (vers. 18, 19). Note: Men with their own hands may punish their sin. What a contrast is the kingdom of God! Its principles are peace, righteousness, and joy. Of this those have the earnest who in heart accept Jesus as their Melchisedec. - J.A.M.
Nevertheless in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet.
1. He was tried, in the first place, by great success. People are inclined to think that success is no trial. They are much mistaken. Nothing is more liable to produce self-confidence, and neglect of Him who bestoweth on the wise their wisdom, and on the strong their strength. Unless a man watches himself very narrowly, pride will insinuate itself even into the midst of his thanksgivings; complacent thoughts of his own foresight underlie his recognition of God's providence; convictions of his own good desert qualify his confessions of sin. Idols had bowed at Asa's word. Profligacy had shrunk abashed from his presence. The appointments of the temple had risen to fresh splendour on his opening the doors of his treasury. The ancient renown of his people had revived under his sway. The borders of his kingdom had been extended by his policy. He had spoken, and cities long dismantled had resumed their coronal of towers. He had led out his armies, and barbarians had fled before him. Whatever he had taken in hand, the Lord had made it to prosper. This was at length too much for him. He dwelt on his wisdom, it became foolishness — on his strength, and it turned to weakness; in a word, he forgot God, who, as He had raised him up, had power to cast him down.
2. But mark a second point in which Asa was tried, and having been tried was found wanting. He was placed in the perilous position of having to guide and instruct others — to provide for their spiritual welfare — to correct whatever tendencies he discovered towards vice or towards idolatry. Now, little as we are accustomed so to view it, this is a great snare to any one. The mother, who teaches her child to pray; the father, who watches over his son's moral progress; the master, who is a strict censor of the behaviour of his servants; the Scripture reader, the district visitor, the nurse of the sick, the almoner of the poor; yea, even the minister of God who has professionally to bring before his people the means of grace and the hopes of glory, the right use of the one, and the sober entertainment of the other; these persons are all of them in danger of neglecting themselves; of placing themselves, as it were, ab extra, to the duties which they have to inculcate; of losing their interest in them as things in which they have a deep personal concernment. Such persons are tempted then in the contemplation of their works, to forget themselves, to abate their self-discipline, and, when the novelty of their employment has passed away, to fall back upon other things; it may be, to end with languor, disgust, or carelessness, if not with utter faithlessness and sin. Gradually, indeed, and very slowly, such lethargy may creep over the soul; as gradually as the fumes of the chafing-dish overpower the senses of the sleeper, or as the deathlike chill of the mountain steals over the weary traveller, and lulls him into a slumber from which there is no awakening — but like these, it is subtle, silent, fatal. It is only sure-walking that is safe-walking. To be sure we must not be secure, we must be careful; carefulness is the earnest of safety; carefulness, whose maxim is, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall"; carefulness, which, in the words of our Litany, petitions the Almighty for deliverance not merely in the "time of tribulation," but in the "time of wealth."
(J. A. Heasey, D. C. L).
PeopleAbiram, Ahab, Arza, Asa, Baasha, Elah, Ethbaal, Ginath, Hanani, Hiel, Israelites, Jehu, Jeroboam, Jezebel, Joram, Joshua, Nebat, Nun, Omri, Segub, Shemer, Sidonians, Tibni, Tirzah, Zidon, Zidonians, Zimri
PlacesBethel, Gibbethon, Jericho, Samaria, Tirzah
TopicsActs, Annals, Aren't, Book, Carried, Chronicles, Conspiracy, Design, History, Kings, Matters, Rebellion, Recorded, Reign, Rest, Secret, Treason, Written, Wrought, Zimri, Zimri's
Outline1. Jehu's prophecy against Baasha
5. Elah succeeds him
8. Zimri, conspiring against Elah, succeeds him
11. Zimri executes Jehu's prophecy
15. Omri, made king by the soldiers, forces Zimri desperately to burn himself
21. The kingdom being divided, Omri prevails against Tibni
23. Omri builds Samaria
25. His wicked reign
27. Ahab succeeds him
29. Ahab's most wicked reign
34. Joshua's curse upon Hiel the builder of Jericho
Dictionary of Bible Themes1 Kings 16:18-19
LibraryWhether the Mode of virtue Falls under the Precept of the Law?
Objection 1: It would seem that the mode of virtue falls under the precept of the law. For the mode of virtue is that deeds of justice should be done justly, that deeds of fortitude should be done bravely, and in like manner as to the other virtues. But it is commanded (Dt. 26:20) that "thou shalt follow justly after that which is just." Therefore the mode of virtue falls under the precept. Objection 2: Further, that which belongs to the intention of the lawgiver comes chiefly under the precept. …
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica
Whether a Man Can be Saved Without Baptism?
Whether There Can be any Suitable Cause for the Sacraments of the Old Law?
Whether a Vow Consists in a Mere Purpose of the Will?
Whether Whoever is Perfect is in the State of Perfection?
Whether after the Resurrection Every one Will Know what Sins He Has Committed?
Sennacherib (705-681 B. C. )
The Assyrian Revival and the Struggle for Syria
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