2 Kings 17.15. They followed vanity And became vaine & went after the Heathen that were round about them concerning whom the {This} Lord had said that they should not do like them. –– Baâl.

This whole Chapter is spent in describing how the 10 tribes for their abominations were carried into captivity by ye Assyrians & how ye nations wch the Assyrians placed in Samaria {to} in ye roome of ye Iewes captivated Israelites, {illeg} continued \in/ ye abominations of ye Israelites wch was to joyne ye worship of ye true God \in the calves/ wth ye worship of ye Heathen Gods round about. And ye words wch I have chosen to discourse upon are a description part of ye \{second} that is a part of the/ description of ye Idolatry of ye Israelites for wch they were captivated.

– but ye words I have chosen to discourse of are a part of ye description of ye abominations of these Israelites wch these nations imitated. Now the|i|se comprehending both ye worship of Ieraboam's calves wch was a kind of Idolatry almost peculiar to ye Iews \dedicated as I shal show to the true God/, & also ye worship of {ye} \other/ Idols of ye nations round about dedicated to ye Gods of ye nations round about we have here an opportunity to {illeg} consider Idolatry in its full latitude & to discourse of it's nature in general: & for this end I shal propound these three queres ⓧ 1|2| Whether ye Israelites worshipped ye {true God} \true God in the/ Calves as dedicated to ye true God      2|3|dly whether the{illeg}y worshipped other Gods as equal to this God or as his ministers, 3|1| whether ye Israelites worshipped the Images as Gods themselves or as dedicated to other Gods. {illeg} whether the And having determined these Quere's I shall {shew} then proceed to shew you \plainly/ wherein ye nature of Idolatry consists & how its definition is couched in these words, as also in many other places of scripture notwithstanding / And for this end I shal first shew you what kind of Idolatry this was wo\r/ship that of ye calves was, & secondly what kind of worship that was of ye Gods of ye Gentiles. And after this I,


thirdly because it is accounted |  recconnened {sic} as a crime \among the crimes/ of these nations that they made ye lowest of ye people priests to this God: for had this sleight been done to any but ye true God, ye prophet \here/ would {not} have {illeg} reprehended them for it.

By this history it is easy to collect that ye Lord of ye Land wch ye \new/ nations were tought to wp in ye cities of samaria was ye true God & that this same Lord, was worshipped by {illeg} the Kingdom of Israel \even amidst the worst of their Idolatries/ as the God of their Land till ye very captivity. But this though it be plain enough of it self yet I will intend the next time to point at ye particular marks by wch it is put beyond all cavil & not only so but also to shew out of Sacred History that by examples in distant ages \before Ieroboam's times/ that ye Israelites & their forefathers {who} forsook not \absolutely/ ye true God when they fell into Idolatry but only joyned to his wp ye adoration of ye Gods of ye Gentiles as these did since Ieroboam: whence it seems \And this I shall do that it may plain appear that Is:/ to follow \most likely to be true/ that Israel {sic} in ye midst of her during all her abominations from first to last \scarce/ ever forsooke ye true God but only corrupted his worship by {the} mingling their own inventions wth it as too many \of or neighbouring/ Christians dayly do. upon ye account of wch corruptions \if/ they are \at any time/ said to forsake & reject him no more is to be understood by that but only that they forsook & rejected his laws

* & hence I gather before them for in ye 33d vers it is expressly said {illeg} /accord\ that the new nations feared ye Lord & served there own Gods after ye manner of the nations whome they carried away from thence that is after ye manner of Israel. Thus runs or English translation but yet bec: ye original {illeg} is capable of being otherwise translated I shall not lay ye stress upon this place but shew you ye matter of fact from other characters of \in/ ye history. And first whereas it is said that at ye first coming of of {sic} ye new nations to dwell in ye cities of Samaria \they feared not the Lord & therefore/ the Lord sent Lions among them wch slew some of them: because th one may hence infer that ye Lord had been feared in those regions till that time & that he sent in these Lyons becaus his worship began now to cease out of ye land: for \if/ had he|is| sent in those Lyo \had {sic}/ his wp ceased there before yt <3> of Gods people wch are every where in scripture called whoredome {illeg} much be wors then ye abominations of ye heathens wch are never called by that name, God being as he sometimes calls him self, ye Husband of his people, but not of any other nation: & this abomination must because be ye wors because it was done not after ye \upon a/ forgetting of their God, but even while they acknowledged him & pretended to honour him. And reason it should be so because this acknowledgment of him is a testimony agt them that they owned his laws wch they & therefore were more inexcusable for not keeping them. ffor he yt knows his masters will & does it not must be beaten wth many stripes: And this I could wish they would well consider who goe about to extenuate any crimes of Christians for their being committed by Christians: for as Chistia ye profession of Chrstianity exalts every thing yt is good so it aggravates every thing that is evil. No drunkard so bad as a Christian drunkard, no adulterer so bad as a Christian adulterer & so no Idolater so bad as {illeg} \a Christian/ who does those things wch a Heathen cannot do wthout being an Idolater. Nor let any one perswade himself that he is charitable in extenuating any such {illeg} crimes, or yt ye aggravating them is uncharitable \or yt ye aggravating them \as he may suppose/ is unchari/tableness. ff For though To pronounce damnation \universally/ upon any state as ye Papists do upon us or to do it upon any single person \only/ would indeed be great uncharitableness: but for my part I know not what w{illeg} whilst {illeg} he for my part I know not what mercy God may have for both ye best of heathen & ye best of Christian Idolaters such as sin though invincible ignorance & in in {sic} ye meane while labour to know as much of their duty & to live up {sic} their knowledge as they can. And so I {illeg}judge no man's person, but only inquire into ye nature of ye sin abstractedly |R| And where nothing but this is done ye sin I see not what danger or ill consequence there can be in aggravating ye guilt of a thing that is certainly evil, since ye least sins cannot be too much avoy abominated & shunned, but for ye diminishing ym may be of very ill consequence because it will certainly weaken mens aversion from ye sin & may in ye end prove ye me{ans} of many's falling into it. And certainly ye greatest


Prop 3. Hos: 4.15. ~ King 17.21. 1 Kings 14.9.

Here you may see that ye {illeg} Israel performed the retained ye worship of ye law at Bethel & Gilgal the \chief/ places of their transgression, but not exactly: for they offered – – – whereas ye institution was \being/ wthout Leaven Levit. 7.12. Now whereas God upbraid 'em for this, deviation from {illeg} certainly – —       This respects the national worship of ye Ten{t} tribes for ye discouse {sic} begins wth a lamentation against ye h. o. I. for w. they did at B. G. & B. & ends wth threatening them ye the Captivity by ye Assyrians wch happened about {illeg} 3 or 4 score years after.

The first Proposition I laid down to explain these words was that – – – –      & {this} this I proved {illeg} out of ye history of ye captivity set down in this chapter, & conf for further confirmation added a place out of Hosea where they used to tis exprest how upon coming to do their wicked wp at {illeg}Bethel & Gilgal they used to swear Iehovah liveth

Gen. 24.51, 52. (2) . Gen 31.\{illeg}24,/ 29, 49, 50, 53. & 30.23, 24, 27 . Iudges 17.3, 13. 18.5, 6.     2 King    17.

Genes 30 23 Abstulit Elohim opprobrium meum elohim in ver 21 & 22 at Iehovah in vers 24 viz addat Iehova mihi alium filium. Item in vers 27 benedixit mihi Iehova propter te. & Gen {illeg}1.49 \Iehovah/ sed non in 50 est Elohim testis inter me.

Iudges 17.2, 3 Iehovah bis viz benedictus fili mi Iehovah. & sanctificavi argentum Iehovæ. vers 13 Iehovah. ch 18.6 Ante Iehova via vestra

Iudges 2 King 17.28 Quom docens eos quomodo timerant Iehovah. vers 32 erant timentes Iehovah & fuerunt sacerdotes ver 33 Iehovam timentes & Idolis servientes. sic et vers 41.

Gilgal Bethel Bethaven Oes. 10.5.       1 Sam 16. Bethel = ye House of God Beth-aven ye house of iniquity. Amos 4.4. & 5.5

© 2022 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC