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was pleased to accept the dedication of the house to his name, by filling it with the cloud of glory, the constituted symbol of his presence. He promised too, that his eye and his heart should be there continually; and that if his people Israel walked in his testimonies, and kept his judgments, they should dwell in the land, and he would dwell in the midst of them.
In this great work we see the accomplishment of prophecies that went immediately before regarding it; but we also see in it a further contribution to the great stream of prophecy, that was speeding its course towards the fulness of the times. The tabernacle represented the person of our Lord, as he sojourned on the earth, moving about from place to place, having no fixed or certain abode. The temple typified the same glorious person, in his state of exaltation at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, where he for ever sat down in ineffable beauty, and excellence, and honour. For it is in Christ Jesus that God condescends to dwell, and manifest himself to his people, and listen to the voice of the afflicted, and send them deliverance from all their troubles. His eye and his heart are upon him continually, for he is “the Lamb in the midst of the throne.” Now if the tabernacle in the wilderness, and the service performed in it, pointed like so many lines to Christ in his humiliation and sufferings; the temple and its splendid worship pointed to Christ glorified; and just as the former was a pledge that he should come in humiliation, so the latter was a pledge that he should reign in glory and peace for ever and ever.
In the days of Solomon, the people of Israel had attained to the full possession of their inheritance; and thus did many prophecies meet their accomplishment. For then, according to the word of the Lord to Abraham, they possessed the gates of their enemies; then too were they in number like the hosts of heaven, as the Lord had promised. Then did their dominion extend to the limits marked out by the promise of God to Abraham, Gen. xv. 18: “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt
unto the great river, the river Euphrates;” for, in the words of the sacred narrative, 1 Kings iv. 20," Judah and Israel were many as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and making merry. And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life.”
We must now pass on to the third and last great division of our subject, namely, The history of the Jews from the building of Solomon's temple to the Captivity; and, though it includes a period of rather more than four hundred years, we must be very
brief. The prosperity which Israel enjoyed, and the glory to which they were exalted, during the reign of Solomon, began to be clouded even in the days of that distinguished prince. For by his connexion with the daughter of the King of Egypt, and with women of other heathen countries, his heart was turned aside from the Lord his God, and he went after the vanities of the heathen. “For Solomon went after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites; and Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord as did David his father.” i Kings xi. 5, 6. In this defection we see the seeds of future calamity; for “sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." And such is the close connection established between rulers and subjects, that, if a prince depart from the Lord, the people suffer from the consequences of his guilt. We accordingly find that, as soon as Solomon was dead, and Rehoboam his son proclaimed king in his stead, the symptoms of discontent and rebellion began to appear. The ten tribes applied to Rehoboam for the redress of grievances, and the removal of burdens, with which they had felt themselves oppressed in the reign of his father. The application, though apparently well founded, was disdainfully refused, and threats held out of an immense increase to their burdens. The ten tribes accordingly revolted, and made Jeroboam the son of Nebat their king,
leaving to the house of David only the tribe of Judah, with which the tribe of Benjamin appears from this time to have been incorporated. An event of such importance to the interests of Israel could not happen without the special arrangement of him whose providence, we have seen, continually watched over that people: and accordingly we find, that it had been the subject of distinct prediction. 1 Kings xi. 9–13: “ And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto 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. How beit, 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.” The person to whom the government of the ten tribes was to be given is expressly pointed out in the following prophecy. i Kings xi. 29: “And it come to pass at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field: And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces; for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee: But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel."
The event completely verified these predictions. For, meeting with the haughty repulse from Reho
boam, to which we have already alluded, the sacred history informs us, that the ten tribes departed unto their tents. “ And so," it continues, 1 Kings xii. 19, “ Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day. And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David but the tribe of Judah only.” We cannot but regard this breach as a grievous calamity; and such it proved from first to last. But see the wonderworking wisdom of God in making the wrath of man to praise him; and overruling that which is calamitous for the furtherance of his gracious designs towards his church. The over-clouding of the bright sunshine which Israel enjoyed in the reign of Solomon was calculated to teach them, that the economy under which they were placed was meant to be temporary. For, no sooner had it reached its zenith than it began to decline: and from that time it gradually waxed fainter and fainter, though with intervals of reviving strength and beauty, until it was completely lost in the splendours of the Sun of righteousness.
The separation of the tribe of Judah from the other tribes was also an important step towards the fulfilment of the great and glorious scheme of prophecy. We have already had occasion more than once to observe, that Messiah, the Prince, was to spring from that tribe, and from the royal family of David. It seemed good to the wisdom of God to set apart that tribe in a peculiar manner to himself; and thereby to make his providential care of it more marked. By this arrangement it was very plainly intimated, that the Jewish state, while it served for the time to witness for God and his truth in the midst of a world that lay in apostasy and wickedness, was mainly designed to subserve the great end of all things, the glory of the Most High in the redemption of his people, by Him who, once in the end of the world, appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Heb. ix. 26.
The dealings of God, also, towards the tribe of Judah, as contrasted with his dispensations to the house of Israel, are very remarkable, and afford a further confirmation of the views which all along we have endeavoured to keep prominently before you. The ten tribes, as we have seen, appointed Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, to rule over them; but no sooner was he exalted to power than, carried away by the policy of this world, he judged it might endanger his kingdom and his crown were he to allow his subjects to go up three times a year to Jerusalem, as the law of the Lord required : because they might thereby be induced to revolt from him and return to their submission to the house of David. He therefore set up two golden calves as objects of worship to Israel, the one at Dan, the other at Bethel. But that which, like many worldly politicians, he thought was to prove the strength and stability of his kingdom, turned out to be the occasion of corrupting, and at last utterly destroying it. For the kingdom of Israel, under a succession of base and wicked princes, and in spite of frequent and solemn warnings by the prophets, became more and more corrupt, until, in the reign of Hoshea, seven hundred and twenty-one years before the birth of Christ, they were carried away captive by Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, and placed in different parts of the Assyrian empire. 2 Kings xvii. 6-18. : But while the house of Israel were thus left to corrupt themselves with idols and to fill up the measure of their iniquity, until they were removed from the land of their inheritance, the Lord visited the house of Judah with his loving kindness. And was this because they were better than the ten tribes ? No: In no wise; but because he had established his covenant with them, and promised that of them, according to the flesh, Christ should come, who is over all, God blessed for ever. We see the faithfulness of God to his covenant most illustriously displayed in preserving the family of David on the throne of Judah. For ofttimes they were brought to the brink of ruin, and