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- 2 Kings
by Robert Hawker
THE SECOND BOOK OF THE KINGS
THE FOURTH BOOK OF THE KINGS
AS this Second Book of the Kings is but a continuation of the same subject as the First; it may not be amiss to remark, that the same general observations, which were proposed to the Reader's consideration in the opening of the former, will be proper to be kept in remembrance at the entrance on this. The Reader of discernment, whose mind is under divine teaching, will discover in this, as in the preceding book of the Kings, many precious things contained in it, beside the history itself: which, to an awakened, and enlightened understanding, will abundantly tend to satisfy him, both of its divine authority, and of the gracious design of the Holy Ghost, in causing it to be written, for the comfort and edification of the church in all ages.
Indeed there is one circumstance, and that of great note, to be attended to, in the perusal of the second book of the Kings, with which the first hath not such immediate connection: namely, that the greater part of the prophets, whose writings are placed at the end of the Bible, ministered to the church in their respective ages, during the period which this second book of the Kings records; that is from the days of Uzziah to the time of the Babylonish captivity. All from Isaiah to Zephaniah (Ezekiel and Daniel excepted) exercised their ministry during the years this second book of the Kings compriseth. It will be a point of no small importance, to the help of the pious Reader to keep this in his recollection, while going over this book of God.
In regard to the period of history contained in the second book of the Kings, it includes somewhat about 340 years; carrying on the history of the church from the death of Ahab, to the death of Jehoiachim which brings down the age of the world to between five and six hundred years before the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. And as, by so much the nearer the circumstances of mankind are seen to approach to that one glorious era, which alone gives importance to the history of man; everything in reference to it, must be found to rise in importance also. I would therefore beg the Reader to have his attention the more awakened as he prosecutes the history, that he may catch here and there, if possible, some precious glimpses of Jesus. For if, from the earliest dawn of revelation, in the days of the patriarchs, the great Covenant Head of his church never left himself without witness, but frequently (as if to manifest how much he longed for the period of his becoming man for the redemption of his people) he showed himself to the faithful; surely, as that period drew nearer, it might be reasonably supposed, that he would now and then give a glance of his lovely Person, or (as the church beautifully expresses it) from behind the wall of our nature look forth at the windows, and show himself through the lattice. In this book, if I mistake not, several instances of the kind occur. Happy will it be, both for Writer and Reader, if their discoveries correspond!
I only, upon the present occasion, as in the former, desire to send forth my poor labours, accompanied with the humblest prayers to him, whose blessing can alone make them profitable, that both to him that writes and him that reads, this sacred book may be blessed. Vouchsafe, gracious God! to instruct both by it, in that knowledge which maketh wise unto salvation, through the faith which is in Christ Jesus. Amen.
the Fifth Week after Easter