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DAVID be ignorant? If fo, to how little purpofe was his study in it all the day long? Pf. cxix. 97. Are we to fuppofe Solomon ignorant, to whom GOD faid-Lo, I have given thee a wife and understanding heart, fo that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee fball any arife like unto thee? 1 Kings iii. 12. See 1 Kings iv. 29, &c. Comp. Matt. xii. 42. Luke xi. 31. Such a folution of the matter will more easily prove the ignorance of fuch commentators, than their affertions prove ignorance in the holiest and wifeft men that ever lived under the light of the Old Teftament, where alone GOD's law is to be found, and on the authority of which the whole New Teftament can only * ftand. The kings of Ifrael were exprefsly commanded to write a copy of the law with their own hand; it was to be with them, and they were to read in it daily. Deut. xvii. 18, 19. The Priests and Levites could not be ignorant; for their lips were to keep knowledge, and the people were to feek the law at their mouth. Mal. ii. 7. As for the people, they not only heard the law conftantly, but were commanded to write it
* Ignatius, Epift. ad Philadelph. c. 8. introduces a 7ew fayingἙαν μὴ ἐν Τοῖς ἀρχαίοις ἕυρω ἐν τω Ευαγ Jeλíw 8 715EUW-nifi invenero in antiquis (vaticiniis) Evangelio non credo: which I heartily affent to, thus paraphrafed-"What I do not find in Mofes and the pro"phets, I'll not believe in the gospel." But there is no danger of this, no hazard of being put to fuch a trial; for certainly the New Teftament faith none other things than Mofes and the prophets did say should come to pass. Acts xxvi. 22. See Rom. xv. 4. Luke xxiv. 44, 45.
upon the very door-pofts of their houses. Deut. Whatever elfe, therefore, their polygamy proceeded from, it could not be derived from ignorance. They could not be ignorant of the feventh commandment; and fuppofing that many of them, like their defcendents in later times, loft fight of its spiritual intendment, yet the meaning of its outward letter they could hardly be at a lofs for, especially as they muft obferve its uniform and unvaried ufe throughout the whole of their scriptures. If, therefore, polygamifts finned against the seventh commandment, they did it with their eyes open; and whofoever can believe that fuch men as we have mentioned, could do this without any fcruple before-hand, or sorrow afterwards, or the leaft fign of repentance, must believe more than, for their fakes, and the fake of thousands of GOD's faints (who though not mentioned as polygamifts, doubtlefs were fo) I could wish even to furmise, or than is in the leaft confiftent with the account which we have of them in the holy fcriptures.
I shall only observe farther on this head, of attributing the practice of polygamy by the Old-Teftament faints to ignorance, that we must charge ignorance on GoD's high-priest Jehoiada, who ftands recorded, 2 Kings xii. and 2 Chron. xxiv. as one of the wifeft, best, and greatest characters that ever lived, as likewife one of the most exemplary promoters of GOD's honour, and a chief inftrument of the reformation of religion in Judah, in the reign
of king* Jehoah. If fo, our charge of ignorance will not stop here, but even reach the Spirit of GOD Himself. For He says, that Foafh did right in the fight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest, 2 Chron. xxiv. 2. or (as it is 2 Kings xii. 2.) all his days, wherein Jehoiada the priest inftructed him; and yet we are told, ver. 3. that Jehoiada took for him TWO WIVES, and he begat fons and daughters. On whom shall the commentator fix ignorance? On Jehoiada the high-prieft, for teaching his pupil king Jehoafh to be a polygamist, by taking for him two wives? or on Jeboah, who received them, and cohabited with them? or on the Holy Ghoft, who bears teftimony to the rectitude of king Jehoah's conduct, all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest inftructed him?
The learned Bishop Patrick, on 2 Chron. xxiv. 3. fays, that “ Jehoiada did not take "these two wives for the king, but for him"felf." Suppofing it to be fo, the proof of the lawfulness of polygamy in Jehoiada's opinion is equally ftrong. But this fenfe of the Bishop's will hardly arife from the pofition and conftruction of the Hebrew text: for it does not ftand in the order of our translation -And Jehoiada took for him two wives—so as to make him the relative to Jehoiada; but
Jehoiada him to
tulit Et. Mont.
* Called JOASH alfo, 2 Chron. xxiv.
+ The verb N certainly fignifies to take a wife for
So that the to him-ftands as the relative to the chief fubject of the preceding verfe, which is evidently king Jehoafh, whose hiftory the facred penman is here recording, as a part of which this action of Jehoiada's is
The Bishop is conscious of a difficulty in his interpretation, arifing from a constant tradition of the Jews, that the high-prieft was to have but one wife at a time, which was founded on Lev. xxi. 13, 14. This he endeavours to get rid of by faying-" It is not certain that
Jehoiada was high-prieft, for he is every "where called Jehoiada the priest, and but "once only (ver. 6.) the chief." -But this is no argument at all against his being high-prieft, for Abiathar, who was high-priest, is no where called fo in the Old Teftament, but always the priest; fo his father Abimelech, as the Bishop himself observes on 1 Sam. xxi. 1; fo Eli the priest, 1 Sam. ii. 11; Zadoc the priest, I Kings iv. 2. 1 Chron. xxix. 22; and even Aaron himself, P. xcix. 6. The title of
-the chief, or head, which is given to Jehoiada, ver. 6. fignifies certainly more than
the chief of one of the courses of priests." -His having apparently the conduct and management of every thing * relating to the temple, his anointing king Jehoah (comp.
one's felf-but it also fignifies to take or bring a wife for another. See Ezra ix. 2, 12. Neh. xiii. 25; in which paffages the word is ufed in both these fenses.
* As well as the entire management and command over all the Priests and Levites. See 2 Chron. xxiii. 4-8.
I Kings i. 45.) and many other circumstances related of him, bespeak him plainly to be no lefs than high-priest; and therefore the word w-chief, or head-denotes this here, as it does that Seraiah was high-priest, 2 Kings xxv. 18. For all which reasons it seems clear, that Jehoiada (who had before married Jehofhabeath, the fifter of king Abaziah, 2 Chron. xxii. 11.) took not these two wives for himfelf, but for king Joafh.
These things are too plain not to force conviction on the minds of many; therefore it is that they have faid with the learned author of the "" Hiftorical Library"-" Polygamy, though not exprefsly allowed, is "however tacitly implied in the law of Mofes." This is going farther than those I have mentioned, but yet does not come up to the matFor if it be forbidden by the feventh commandment, or by any other law, it is as contradictory to fcripture to fay, that it was tacitly implied, as that it was expressly allowed. This laft is the truth; it was expressly allowed, and that by GOD Himfelf: a direct proof this, that it was not forbidden by the feventh commandment, or by any other law, unless we can suppose the all-wife GOD to be so inconfiftent with Himself, as to forbid, and yet allow, the fame thing under the fame circumstances.
+ That Seraiah was defcended in a right line from Eleazar the fon of Aaron, appears 1 Chron. vi. 4—14. and of courfe fucceeded to the high-priesthood. As fuch he is registered. Ibid.