P o t p o u r r i--J
 
Jezebel:-(from Easton's Bible Dictionary
"This was the first time that a king of Israel (Ahab) had allied himself by marriage with a heathen princess and the alliance was in this case of a peculiarly disastrous kind. Jezebel has stamped her name on history as the representative of all that is designing, crafty, malicious, revengeful and cruel. 
    She is the first great instigator of persecution against the saints of God.
    Guided by no principle, restrained by no fear of either God or man, passionate in her selfish attachment to her heathen (not acknowledging God as Supreme Being) worship, she spared no pains to maintain idolatry around her in all its splendor. Four hundred and fifty prophets ministered under her care to Baal, besides four hundred prophets of the groves (places of idolatrous-worship), which ate at her table -1Kings 18:19. The idolatry, too, was of the most debased and sensual kind."
    Her conduct was in many respects very disastrous to the kingdom both of Israel and Judah -1Kings 21:1-29
    At length she came to an untimely end. As Jehu rode into the gates of Jezreel, she looked out at the window of the palace and said, "Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?" He looked up and called to her chamberlains, who instantly threw her from the window, so that she was dashed in pieces on the street and his horses trod her under their feet. She was immediately consumed by the dogs of the street (2Kings 9:7-37), according to the word of Elijah the Tishbite -1Kings 21:19."

John The Baptist:-Comprised from Easton's Bible Dictionary
    John had the Holy Spirit from birth -Luke 1:15 "For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink-(John may have been a Nazarite from his birth)-and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb."
     John was the "forerunner of our Lord." His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of Abia, and his mother, Elisabeth, was of the daughters of Aaron -Luke 1:5. The mission of John was the subject of prophecy -Matthew 3:3; Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1. His birth, which took place six months before that of Jesus, was foretold by the angel Gabriel -Luke 1:5-25. Zacharias, deprived of the power of speech as a token of God's truth and a reproof of his own incredulity with reference to the birth of his son, had the power of speech restored to him on the occasion of his circumcision -Luke 1:64.
    After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what is mentioned in Luke 1:80. He spent his early years in the mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea -Matthew 3:1-15
   At length he came forth into public life, and great multitudes from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The sum of his preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced the Sadducees and Pharisees as a "generation of vipers," and warned them of the folly of trusting to external privileges -Luke 3:8.
    "As a preacher, John was eminently practical and discriminating. Self love and covetousness were the prevalent causes of inequities of the people at large, as they also are today. On them, therefore, he enjoined charity (old english word for love) and consideration for others. The publicans he cautioned against extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder."
    His doctrine and manner of life roused the entire south of Palestine and the people from all parts flocked to the place where he was, on the banks of the Jordan. There he baptized thousands unto repentance
   The fame of John reached the ears of Jesus in Nazareth (Matthew 3:5) and he came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John, on the special ground that it became him to "fulfil all righteousness" -Matthew 3:15. John's special office ceased with the baptism of Jesus, who must now "increase". He continued, however, for a while to bear testimony to the Messiahship of Jesus. He pointed him out to his disciples, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God."
    His public ministry was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought to a close by his being cast into prison by Herod (Herod the Great, a Roman king of Judea 73 B.C to 4 A.D), whom he had reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his brother Philip -Luke 3:19-(not a wise move). He was shut up in the castle of Machaerus, a fortress on the southern extremity of Peraea, 9 miles east of the Dead Sea and here he was beheaded. His disciples, having consigned the headless body to the grave, went and told Jesus all that had occurred -Matthew 14:3-12. John's death occurred apparently just before the third Passover of our Lord's ministry. Our Lord himself testified regarding him that he was a "burning and a shining light" -John 5:35.

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