Page images
PDF
EPUB

A. M. 2888. A. C. 1116; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4301. A. C. 1110. 1 SAM. I. TO THE END. pursue him; but his son Jonathan, having private no- utmost compunction, he acknowledged his guilt in thus tice sent him, went to him, and gave him all the comfort persecuting the just ; and from the many escapes which and encouragement that he could; assuring him, that his God had vouchsafed David, concluding assuredly that father's malice would never reach him; that he still hoped he was to succeed in the kingdom, he conjured him, by to see him king of Israel, and himself his second ; and all that was sacred, d not to destroy his family; and with these words, confirming the covenant of friendship having obtained this promise, he returned home : but between them, they embraced and parted.

David, e not daring to trust to his fair word, still kept The people of the wilderness were very officious in send himself close in the fastnesses of the hills. ing Saul intelligence where David was, and, if he would Much about this time f the prophet Samuel died, and supply them with a sufficient force, undertook to betray was buried at Ramah, the place of his habitation, in him into his hands ; but David having taken notice of great solemnity, and 8 with the general lamentation of their intended treachery, retired farther into the desert of Maon, whither Saul pursued him, and pressed him so d But how did David absolve his promise, or keep his oath close, that there was but a valley between the two armies. with Saul, when in 2 Sam. xxi. 8. he slew so many of his sons? David's army was so very small, that Saul was thinking The reply that is usually made to this is,—That this promise or

oath of David's could never be absolute or unconditional, because, of encompassing the mountain, where he encamped, in upon supposition that any of Saul's family had become rebellious order to prevent his escape, when news was brought him they had nevertheless been obnoxious to the sword of justice ; that that the Philistines had invaded the country on the other though David could bind himself with his oath, yet he could not side, so that he was forced to drop his private resent

bind God, to whose will and pleasure all private obligations must

be submitted ; and what is more, that this execution was not ment for the public weal, and divert his arms another done by David's order, but at the desire of the Gibeonites

, to way: but as soon as the Philistines were repulsed, he whom God had promised that satisfaction should be made for Saul's with 3000 choice men, renewed his pursuit of David, bloody, endeavours to destroy them.- Patrick's Commentary, and

Poole's Annotations. who by this time was retired into the strongholds of a

e It is an old saying, and a wise one, 'remember not to be Engedi.

too credulous;' and the advice of the son of Sirach is this, Never As Saul was on his march, he happened to turn into a trust thine enemy; though he humble himself, yet take good cave by the way-side, where David and some of his men heed, and beware of him.”—Ecclus, xii, 10, 11. lay hid. His men, when they saw the king entering before Saul. But by the generality of Christian chronologers;

f The Jews are of opinion, that Samuel died only four months alone, thought it a lucky opportunity that providence he is supposed to have died about two years before the death of had put in their hands, and accordingly instigated David that prince, and in the ninety-eighth year of his age, twenty of to dispatch him. But David rejected the ofter with ab- which had been spent in the government of Israel, (though horrence : 6"God forbid that I should stretch forth my Saul's inauguration, after which he lived about eighteen. He

Sir John Marsham will have it no more than sixteen,) before hand against the Lord's anointed ;' and only, to show

was indeed, while he lived, an excellent governor, and through Saul how much he was in his power, went softly, and his whole administration above vanity, corruption, or any private cut off the skirt of his robe. When Saul was gone out views. Those that attend to his life may observe, that he was of the cave, David called to him at a distance, and show- modest without meanness, mild without weakness, firm without

obstinacy, and severe without harshness; or as the author of Ecing him the skirt of his raiment, declared his innocence clesiasticus has recorded his actions, and consecrated this eulogy in such tender terms, and with such submissive behaviour, to his memory.—Samuel the prophet of the Lord, says he, that he made the king's heart relent. So that with the beloved of the Lord, established a kingdom, and anointed princes

over his people. By the law of the Lord he judged the congrega Engedi (now called Anguedi) in the days of St Jerome, was tion, and the Lord'had respect unto Jacob. By his faithfulness a large village, situated in the deserts, which lay upon the west- he was found a true prophet, and by his word he was known to ern coasts of the Salt or Dead Sea, not very far from the plains be faithful in vision. He called upon the mighty God when his of Jericho: and as the country thereabouts abounded with moun- enemies pressed upon him on every side, when he offered the tains, and these mountains had plenty of vast caves in them, it sucking lamb; and the Lord thundered from heaven, and with was a very commodious place for Dávid to retire to, and conceal a great noise made his voice to be heard. He destroyed the himself in. Eusebius makes it famous for excellent balm, and rulers of the Syrians, and all the princes of the Philistines. Be Solomon, in his Song, for vineyards, which, in all probability, fore his long sleep, he made protestations in the sight of the were planted by his father, during his retirement in this place ; Lord, and his anointed, and after his death he prophesied and and therefore so peculiarly celebrated by the son.-Calmet's Com- showed the king his end.'—Ecclus. xlvi. 13, &c. But besides mentary; Wells' Geography of the old Testament, vol. 3.; and the things that are recorded of this prophet in the first book of The History of King David, by the Author of Revelation Exa- Samuel, there are some other passages concerning him in the mined.

first book of Chronicles; as, that he enriched the tabernacle with 6 This one example of David's, under all the provocations he several spoils which he took from the enemies of Israel during had received from Saul, abundantly shows us, that the persons of his administration, ch. xxv. 28. That he assisted in regulating kings are sacred and inviolable.' " The authority of powerful the distribution of the Levites, which David afterwards prekings is over their own flocks, that of Jove is over kings them- scribed for the service of the temple, ch. ix. 22. And, lastly, selves," - Hor. Od.

That he wrote the history of David, in conjunction with the cIf it be asked, how David could do this without Saul's per- prophets Nathan and Gad. But as he was dead before David ceiving it ? The answer might be, that this possibly might be came to the throne, this can be meant only of the beginning of that some upper loose garments, which Saul might put off, and lay history, which by the other two prophets might be continued aside at some distance from him upon this occasion; and that as and concluded. There is great probability, indeed, that he comthere were several rooms, or particular cells, in these large ca posed the twenty-four first chapters of the first book of Samuel

, verns, which might have secret passages from one to another, Saul, which contain the beginning of David's life, and several histoat the mouth of one of these cells, might lay down his upper gar- rical facts wherein he himself had a large share; but as for the ment, which David perceiving, and knowing all the passages of latter part of it, it was impossible for him to write it, because, the place, might go some secret way, and cut off some small part in the beginning of the 25th chapter, there is mention made of it. Nor could the noise which David's motion might make of his death. be well heard by Saul, because it must have been drowned by a g When they saw the disorders of Saul's reign, they had great much greater noise which Saul's army, waiting for him at the reason to lament their loss of Samuel, and their sin in rejecting mouth of the cave, may be supposed to make.— Poole's Annota- so great a prophet, and so good a magistrate.—Millar's History tions.

of the Church,

d

A. M. 2888. A. C. 1116; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4301. A. C, 1110. I SAM. i. TO THE END. the people : during which time, David took the oppor-| been in, he was so terrified at the thoughts of it, that e tunity to remove from En-gedi, and to retire farther into he turned quite stupid, and in the space of ten days the wilderness of Paran, not far from Maon, where he died: whereupon David sent for his wife and married had been once before.

her, as he did likewise another woman, whose name was In the neighbourhood of this place, there lived a Ahinoam, a Jezreelite; for his first wife, who was Saul's wealthy man, whose name was Nabal, but himself was daughter, by her father's command, was at this time of a surly and morose disposition. While David abode given to another, in this wilderness the time before, he had taken great The Ziphites, as we said before, were always forward care to restrain his men from doing any injury to Nabal's to give Saul information where David and his men were flocks, and now in the time of his sheep-shearing, (which concealed; and therefore, understanding from them, in these countries was always a season of great festivity that he was somewhere about the mountain Hachilah, e and entertainment,) he sent messengers to him, that in he took 3000 men, and went in quest of him. David consideration of the many civilities he had shown him, had intelligence where Saul's army lay encamped; and he would be pleased to send some provisions for the therefore, going first of all privately himself, to reconsupport of his army. But Nabal received the messen- noitre it, he s took with him at night his nephew Abishai, gers very rudely, and with some opprobrious reflections and entering the camp, found Saul and Abner, and all upon David himself, sent them away empty, which so the rest of the host fast asleep, Abishai, would have exasperated David, that in the heat of his resentment, gladly made use of this opportunity to despatch the he vowed to destroy all Nabal's family before next king, but David would by no means permit him, for the morning, and with this resolution he set forward. But same reasons that he had saved his life in the cave; only Abigail, Nabal's wife, who was a very beautiful woman, the 8 spear, and cruise of water, that were at his bed's and in temper the very reverse of her husband, being informed by her servant of what had passed, took this c The words in the original are, he became a stone;' but our expedient to divert bis ire.

translation has wisely supplied the particle as, which should alShe ordered her servants immediately to pack up two ways be done, when the Scripture affirms something of another hundred loaves of bread, a two bottles of wine, five however, that this manner of expression is very common among

that is not absolutely of the same nature. We may observe sheep ready dressed, five measures of parched corn, an profane authors. Thus Ovid brings in Ariadne expressing her hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of griefs and astonishment at the loss of Theseus, who had left her figs; and with this present she made haste to meet David. in the island Dia: “Cold and wan I sat on a rock, gazing on the

sea, and as much as the stone was my seat so much was I myself David was marching with all speed, to put in execution a stone.”—The like expression is used of Hecuba, when she saw his rash vow; but Abigail when she met him, approached the dead body of her son Polydorus: “Like the hard stone she him with that respect, and addressed him bin such mov- stood dumb and torpid.” But in the case of Niobe, who is said ing language, that she soon disarmed him of his rage, Questions, observes, that this fable only represents her perpetual

to be turned into a statue of stone, Cicero, in his Tusculan and stopped the effects of his indignation; so that they silence in mourning: and accordingly Josephus tells us of Nabal, both parted with mutual satisfaction; he, for being thus that when his wife told him of the danger he had escaped, he prevented from shedding of blood, and she, for having was struck with such an astonishment, that he fell into a dead thus happily succeeded in her embassy.

numbness all over his body, of which he soon died.—Le Clerc's

Commentary, and Dis. de statua salis, When she got home, she found her husband rioting and

d The reason of Saul's putting this indignity upon David, was drinking ; so that she deferred telling him of what had to extinguish as far as he could, all relation and kindred, and to passed until he was a little soberer the next morning. cut off his hopes and pretences to the crown upon that account: But when he came to understand the danger he had but as the Jewish doctors are of opinion, that this Phalti

, to whom she was given, was a very pious man, and would never

approach her, because she was another man's wife, and as David a It must be obvious to every reader, that two bottles of wine had never been divorced from her, he received her again, when would bear no proportion to the other parts of the present, nor he came to the throne.—Poole's Annotations, and Calmets answer the exigencies which David's army might be in, if they Commentary. be understood of such bottles as are now commonly io use with e The inconstancy, falseness, and implacable rage of this prince us: but in these eastern countries, they used to carry and keep is really inconceivable. Not long ago, he was obliged to David their wine and water in leathern bags, made on purpose to hold for his life, and acknowledged his error, and made David swear liquid things, which vessels they called, or at least we translate, that he would be kind and merciful to his posterity; and yet now bottles. Such were the bottles which the Gibeonites brought to be openly declares himself again his enemy, and goes in pursuit Joshua's camp, which they said were worn out, and torn in their of him to kill him.- Patrick's Commentary. pretended long journey, Josh. ix. 13. And of such as those it f This may seem a bold and strange attempt for two persons is not unlikely, that our Saviour speaks, Mat. ix. 17. where, to go into the midst of an army of 3000 chosen men; but in in the marginal note of our old Bible, bottles are explained by answer to this, many things may be considered: as that, accordbags of leather, or skins, borachios, wherein wine was carried on ing to the accounts of many credible historians, several gallant asses or camels; and that two such vessels as these might hold men have attempted things of no less danger and difficulty than a quantity of wine proportionate to the rest of the present, which this was; that David had all along assurance given him, that Abigail carried with her, needs not to be disputed. Howell's God would preserve him in all dangers to succeed in the kingHistory, in the notes.

dom; and that at this time, he might have a particular impulse 6 The speech which the sacred historian puts in Abigail's and incitement from God to go upon this enterprise, and might mouth, upon this occasion, is certainly an artful piece of elo- possibly be informed by him, that he had cast them into a deep quence, full of fine turns and insinuations; nor is that of Jose- sleep, that he might give him this second opportunity of maniphus, especially in the conclusion, much amiss ;— Be pleased, testing to Saul his innocence, and the justness of his cause. Not Sir, I beseech you, to accept of the good will of your poor servant to say, that as secrecy, at this time, was the great point, David in these small presents, and upon my humble request, to pass might think himself safer, in this respect, with one single comover the offence of my husband, who has so justly incurred your panion, than with more. ---Poole's Annotations, and The Life of displeasure; for there is nothing so well becoming the character King David, of a person, whom providence designs for a crown, as clemency g That it was customary for warriors, when they laid them and compassion.'-Jewish Antiquities, b. 6. c. 14.

down to rest, to have their arms placed in order by them, is eviA. M. 2888. A. C. 1116; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4301. A. C. 1110. I SAM, I. TO THE END. head, he bid him bring with him, that he might show, king of Gath, a safe conduct for himself and his retinue, the king how much his life had been at his mercy: and he, for some time, lived in the royal city; but not liking accordingly when they had got at a convenient distance, his accommodation here so well, as he grew in favour David, with a loud voice, called unto Abner, and, in with the king ever more and more, he obtained of him an ironical manner, upbraided him with this neglect of at last to have the d town of Ziklag assigned for his bapreserving the king's life, since his spear, and the cruise bitation, and, as soon as he was settled here, several of of water that were so near his bed's head, were so easily Saul's best officers and soldiers came over to him. taken from him ; and when Saul, upon hearing his voice, David at first had some suspicion of them; but having, came out of the camp, and spake to him, he expostulated for some time, made trial of their fidelity, he received with him, much in the same manner as he did after his them into his service, and gave them commands : and escape from the cave, with this additional complaint, with this accession to his army he was enabled to make that by thus expelling him from his own country, he several excursions against the e Amalekites, and other forced him to converse with infidels, and, as much as in nations, in which he was accustomed to kill all, that him lay, to embrace their religion. Whereupon Saul, none might carry information, and, at the same time, by accusing himself of cruelty, and applauding David's certain ambiguous expressions, made the king believe, generosity, confessed his guilt, and promised, for the that the booty he brought back with him, was taken from future, never to make any further attempts upon his the Israelites, which was no unpleasant news. life.

In short, to such a degree of confidence was he grown But notwithstanding these specious declarations, Da- with Achish, that he proposed taking him along with vid, who knew the instability of Saul's temper, and how him to the war, which the Philistines had at this time impossible it was for him to live in safety, while he con- declared against Saul; but some of the chief men about tinued in his dominions, determined at last to go over him declaring against it, as being apprehensive that in to the Philistines ; and having obtained from e Achish, the day of battle he might possibly turn against them,

prevailed with the king to dismiss him. This was an dent from what Silius Italicus tells us of Mago, Hannibal's broagreeable turn to David ; yet he so far dissembled the ther. “He, following the warlike custom of his forefathers, lay resting his wearied limbs on a bull's hide, and in sleep forgot the heavy cares of life; not far from the hero was his sword fixed in interest. But whether David did well or ill in either saing for the earth, and on its hilt was suspended his tremendous helmet, or accepting of the protection of this foreign king, is a point while around him on the ground his shield and coat of mail and that we shall have occasion to discuss hereafter.- Patrick's and spear, and bow, and sling, lay buddled together.”—B. vii. But Calmet's Commentaries; and The Life of King David. long before Silius, Homer describes the Thracians sleeping in a Ziklag was situate in the extreme parts of the tribe of Judah this manner in their tents: “The toil-worn heroes slept and near southwards, not far from Hormah, where the Israelites received them their beautiful armour hung in graceful order,” &c.-a defeat while they sojourred in the wilderness. In the division Il. x.

of the land of Canaan, it was first given to the tribe of Judah, a 1 Sam. xxvi. 7. A description very similar to this is given (Josh. xv. 31.) and afterwards to that of Simeon, (Josh. xix. 5.) by Homer of Diomed sleeping in his arms with his soldiers but the Philistines seem all along to have kept possession: so that about him, and spears sticking upright in the earth.

it never came into the hands of either tribe, until by the gift of Without his tent bold Diomed they found,

Achish, it became the peculiar inheritance of David and his sucAll sheath'd in arms, his brave companions round;

cessors. Why David desired of Achish the liberty to retire to Each sunk in sleep, extended on the field,

this place, was to avoid the envy which the number of his atHis head reclining on his heavy shield;

tendants might possibly occasion; to secure his people from the A wood of spears stood by, that fixed upright,

infection of idolatry; to enjoy the free exercise of his own reliShot from their flashing points a quiv'ring light.

gion; and to gain an opportunity of enterprising something

Iliad, iii. 89.- Pope.-ED. against the enemies of God, without the knowledge or observa 6 This speech, which David makes to Abner, according to tion of the Philistines.- Calmet's Commentary, and Poole's Josephus, is to this effect. Are not you a fit man to be a Annotations. prince's favourite, a general of his army, to take upon you the e In 1 Sam. xv. 7. we read, that · Saul smote the Amalekites, guard of his royal person, and under all these honourable obliga- and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword; tions, to lie dozing, and stretching yourself at ease, when your and yet we find here David making frequent incursions upon the master's life is in danger ? Can you tell me, what is become Amalekites ; and therefore the meaning of the former passage of the king's lance, and the pitcher of water, that were this night must be, that Saul destroyed as many of them as fell into his taken by the enemy out of his tent, and from his very bedside, hands; for several of them might make their escape from Saul and you, in the mean time, all snoring about him, without into the deserts that lay towards Arabia Felix, and upon his knowing any thing of the matter? Whether this was neglect retreat, return and repossess their old habitation.—Le Clerc's or treachery, it is the same thing; you certainly deserve to lose Commentary. your head for it.'--Jewish Antiquities, b. 6. c. 14.

| The words wherein David answered this question of Achish, c Whether this was the same Achish, mentioned 1 Sam. xxi. • Whither have you made a road to-day ?' are these, ' Against 10. with whom David took shelter at his first flight from Saul, the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, or some successor of the same name, is a matter of some con- and against the south of the Kenites,” (1 Sam, xxvii. 10.) By jecture: His being called • Achish, the son of Maoch,' seems to which nations David, in reality, meant the Geshurites, and the imply that he was a different person ; because, in the nature of Gezerites, who were both of them relicts of the Canaanites, whom things, these words can have no use, but only to distinguish this God ordered to be extirpated, and who did, in truth, live to the Achish from another of the same name, But whoever it was, south of Judah; but Achish understood him in a quite contrary it is highly probable, that he either had invited David to come sense, namely, that he had fallen upon his own countrymen. So thither for his security, or that David had sent beforehand am- that since the formality of a lie consists in our imposing upon bassadors to treat with him, and to obtain his royal promise of those with whom we converse, we cannot but allow, that though protection. And this we are the rather induced to believe, be- David's answer may not be called a downright lie, yet it is an cause both found their advantage by this alliance: David se- equivocation with an intent to deceive, badly comporting with cured himself against the persecutions of Saul; and Achish, that honesty and simplicity which became David, both as a prince knowing David's valour, and the number of troops which came and professor of the true religion, wherein he is no way to along with him, thought he should give a powerful diversion to be excused, and much less to be imitated. Pool's Annotathe forces of Israel, if he could at this time attach David to his tions.

[ocr errors]

A. M. 2888. A. C. 1116; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4301. A. C. 1110. I SAM. I. TO THE END. matter, that the king, to oblige his nobles, was forced to resolved to consult some one of this profession, in order be very pressing and importunate with him to return to to know what the fate of this war would be. At Endor, Ziklag; which accordingly he did, and in his march about three leagues from Mount Gilboa, he was told thither, was joined by several of the tribe of Manasseh, there lived a 8 witch or sorceress : and therefore dis. as those of Gad and Benjamin had done before, to a guising himself, and taking but two servants with him, considerable augmentation of his forces. And well it so that he might not be suspected, he came to the woman happened; for upon his return to Ziklag, he found that by night, and desired of her i to raise up the ghost of the Amalekites had burned and pillaged the place, a and Samuel. carried away his two wives, and all the people that were Whether it was the ghost of Samuel, which God, upon therein; and, what was no small accession to this mis- this occasion, permitted to appear, or some evil spirit fortune, his soldiers mutinied against him, as if he had whom the witch, by her enchantments, might raise up; been the occasion of it. David, however, marching but so it was, that from this spectre k the woman learned away immediately, and having gained intelligence which that it was Saul who had employed her; and Saul, when way the enemy took, soon came up with them, fell upon he saw it, bowed his face to the ground. The apparithem, and cut them to pieces; and not only recovered all tion spake first, and demanding the reason why he had the persons and the booty which they had taken, but several rich spoils likewise, that they had robbed others her incantations, and other diabolical arts, was capable of allayof in this expedition, whereof he made presents to his ing the uneasiness of his mind, or securing him from the apprefriends. c

hensions of danger. It may be observed, however, that he

mentions a woman rather than a man to be consulted upon this In the mean time, the Philistine army, lay at d Shu- occasion, because he might mention that the weaker sex might nern, and Saul and his forces were encamped in Mount more easily be deceived by evil spirits, and were generally more Gilboa, from whence having a prospect of the enemy's addicted to these unlawful practices.-Calmet's and Patrick's

Commentaries. strength, e his courage failed him, when he saw how

g The Septuagint have called her, a woman that speaks from much more numerous the Philistines were, and found, at her belly, or stomach,' as most magicians affected to do: and the same time, that God, in this pressing juncture, would some modern authors have informed us, that there were women not be consulted by him, nor give him any instructions who had a demon, which spake articulately from the lower part

The what to do. He had, some time before, banished all the of their stomachs, in a very loud, though hoarse tone: wizards, and such as dealt with familiar spirits, out of the spirit conversing with the witch shrieked loud and dismally.” nation; but being now in the utmost perplexity," he was h They could not go the direct way; for then they must have

passed through the enemy's camp; and therefore they took a

compass, and travelled by night, that they might not be discov. It may seem a little strange, that the Amalekites, who had ered; besides that the night was the properest time to consult so often been cut to pieces by David, should not, upon their suc- those that pretended to magical incantations, it being a common cess, slay, rather than carry away, the people, which they found opinion among the Greeks, as perhaps now it might be among in Ziklag: but this may be imputed either to their covetousness, the Hebrews, that none of the terrestrial demons did

appear in who might keep them for sale, and to make money of them as the daytime.- Patrick's Commentary. captives; or to their cruelty, who might reserve them for more

i It was a common pretence of magicians, that they could lingering and repeated torments, or perhaps for the gratification raise up ghosts from below, or make dead persons appear to deof their brutal justs; though principally it is to be ascribed to clare into them future events. “ Gore was poured out into a God's overruling providence, who restrained and set bounds to dish that thereby they might draw out the manes, those spirits of their rage.-- Poole's Annotations.

prophecy.”—Hor. Sat. b. 1. And therefore Saul addresses the 6 This he might seem to be, in relinquishing his own country, woman, as if he believed her abilities in that way. This howand coming to Ziklag; in provoking the Amalekites by the ever shows, not only the antiquity of necromancy, but the preslaughter of all that came in his way; and in going with Achish vailing opinion then, that the soul, after the death of the body, to war, while he left the place, where their wives and children did survive; otherwise it would have been impertinent for Saul were, unguarded.-Poole's Annotations,

to desire the woman to raise up Samuel. Which makes it the c His friends were chiefly those of his own tribe; but besides greater wonder, that we have nowhere, in the Old Testament, these, we find he sent to others, namely, to the inhabitants of the a positive declaration of the soul's immortality.-Calmet's and Le city of Bethel, which belonged to the tribe of Ephraim, and this Clerc's Commentaries. he did, not only in the acknowledgment of the shelter and support k How the woman came to know it to be Samuel, we may which he had received from them in his banishment, but in pros- thus imagine. She saw an apparition she did not expect; she pect of their future favour and interest, in case there should hap- knew the prophet; she knew the veneration which Saul had for pen & vacancy in the throne.-Le Clerc's and Patrick's him; she knew that prophets were only sent to kings; and she Commentaries.

knew withal, that her art, whatever it was, had never before d Shunem was a city on the borders of the tribe of Issachar, that time exhibited a person of that figure to her; and from about five miles to the south of Mount Hermon, according to St hence she concluded, that the apparition must needs be Samuel, Jerome and Eusebius, who tells us likewise, that Gilboa was a and the person who came to consult her, in all probability was ridge of mountains, six miles distant from Scythopolis, anciently Saul.-- The History of the Life of King David. called Bethshan; and that Endor was a town in the valley of I The words of Samuel are, why hast thou disquieted me, Jezreel, at the foot of Mount Gilboa.-Wells' Geography of the and brought me up ?' which seem to imply, that Samuel was Old Testament; and Le Clerc's Commentary.

raised up by the force of this woman's enchantments. But as it e The Philistines must have had, on this occasion, several hired is not in the power of witches to disturb the rest of good men, forces, otherwise Saul had no reason to have been afraid of them, and bring them into the world when they please, it is much because the small tract which the Philistines inhabited could not more rational to think, that the Scripture here expresses itself in possibly supply them with an army any thing equal to the He- a manner suitable to the prejudice of the vulgar, among whom brews, who, in some of their wars, have carried to the field some it was a common notion, that these incantations gave trouble to hundred thousands of men.—Le Clerc's Commentary.

the souls that were at rest. For which reason, they were either A strange infatuation this of Saul ! He had banished all to be appeased by offerings, or constrained by the force of enchantwizards and sorcerers out of his kingdom, as a dangerous sort of ments: for so the tragedian has informed us, “He pours out people, who made profession of a wicked and unwarrantable art; the magic song, and in a threatening tone hurriedly sings whatand yet he here inquires after one, and puts his whole confidence ever either appeases or constraius the airy spirit."-Seneca in in what he had so wisely exploded before; as if a witch with Epid.

A. M. 2888. A. C. 1116; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4301. A. C. 1110. I SAM. I. TO THE END. raised him from the dead, was answered by Saul, that q adab and Malchishua, were killed upon the spot, and the the Philistines, with a powerful army had invaded him, whole army put in confusion. and in his distress, God had forsaken him, and would Saul defended himself as well as man could do; but give no answer « which way soever he consulted him. the small party that remained with him, being entirely To whom the spirit replied, that for his disobedience in broken, and the e enemy's archers pressing hard upon not destroying the Amalekites, God had taken away the him, he found himself so weakened with his wounds and kingdom from his family, and given it to David ; and as loss of blood, that for fear of falling into their hands, to the fate of the war, the Philistines, the next day, and being insulted, he fell upon his own sword, and so should rout his army, and he and his sons fall in the died. He had requested of his armour-bearer before battle.

this to despatch him; but his armour-bearer was startled Saul had no sooner heard his doom, but he fainted at the proposal and refused to do it: however, when he away; and as he had eaten nothing for some consider- saw his master dead, y he desperately followed his able time, e the woman and his servants, with much ado, example, and in the same manner put an end to his life. prevailed with him to take some refreshment : which The next day, when the Philistines came to take a view when he had done, he went away, and marched all night, of the field of battle, finding the bodies of Saul and his that he might come early enough to the camp next sons among the slain, they stripped them of their armorning.

mour, cut off their heads, and sent expresses to every The next morning the two armies met, and engaged; place of their victory. 8 Their armour they sent to the but the Israelites were forced to give way, and main- temple of Ashtaroth, h their heads they fixed up in the tained a running fight, until they came to mount Gilboa, where, gaining the advantage of the ground, they at- dedition, and so a civil war might have arisen concerning the tempted to rally again, but with as little success as be- successor, which, by his dying in this manner, was prevented. fore. Saul and his sons did all that was possible for Poole's Annotations. brave men to do; but the Philistines aiming wholly at armies, or battles, before this, in which they are said to have

e There is no mention of archers in any of the Philistines' them, in a short time, overpowered them with numbers, pressed hard upon Saul, as doubtless they were of great advantage d so that Jonathan and two others of his brothers, Abin- to the Philistines in making their attack; 1st, because an assault

with this kind of weapon was new and surprising, and therefore

generally successful; and, 2dly, because the arrows destroying the a The sacred historian has reckoned up three several ways of Israelites at a distance, before they came to close fight, threw inquiring of God, namely, by dreams, by Urim, and by pro them naturally into terror and confusion. And for this reasa phets; and it may not be amiss to observe, that there were the some think, that when David came to the throne, he taught the same methods of consulting their gods among the Gentiles; Israelites the use of the bow, (as we read 2 Sam. i. 18.) that they as it appears by what Achilles says in the council of the might not be inferior to the Philistines, nor fall into the like dis Greeks, when met together to consult about the plague which aster that Saul had done; and for this reason it certainly was, Apollo sent among them. “Come now let us address some pro that when he had made a peace with the Philistines, he took some phet or priest, or interpreter of dreams, for dreams ever are from of their archers, who in the following books are frequently meiJove."

tioned under the name of Cherethites, to be his body guards.6 The phrase wherein Samuel expresses himself

, is this,'to Patrick's Commentary, and The History of the Life of King morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me.' Where the word David. to-morrow, as some interpreters imagine, is not to be taken in a f The learned and ingenious author of the Historical Account strict sense, because, as they conceive, this battle was not fought of the Life of King David, seems to make it evident, that Saul till some time after; but in the passage before us, there seems and his armour-bearer died by the same sword, namely, that to be no reason why to-morrow should not be taken literally. which belonged to the armour-bearer. Now, it is an established For as Endor was at no great distance from the Israelites' camp, tradition of the Jewish church,' says he, that this armour-bearer Saul might go that night, consult the witch, stay, and eat with was Doeg the Edomite, who, by Saul's command, slew such a her, and get back to the camp before it was light. The next number of priests in one day, (1 Sam. xxii. 18.) and if so, then day the battle begins; Saul is vanquished, and seeing his army Saul and his executioner fell both by the same weapon wherewith routed, despairs, and stabs himself. All this might very well be they had before massacred the servants of the Lord. Even as done in the space of twelve or fourteen hours; and therefore I Brutus and Cassius killed themselves with the same swords with see no occasion why we should depart from the plain significa- which they treacherously murdered Cæsar; I say treacherously tion of the words-Calmet's Commentary.

murdered, because they lay in his bosom at the same time that c Josephus seems to be very warm in his commendation of they meditated his death.'-Vol. 1. this woman's generosity to Saul. “She received him, treated g We have taken notice before, that it was an ancient custom him, and relieved him; and all this so cheerfully, and so frankly, among sundry nations to hang up the arms and other spoils taken that she gave him all she had, without any prospect of reward; from the enemy, in the temples of their gods, as trophies and for she knew that he was doomed to die. And what is more, monuments of their victory; and need only remark here, that the this she did for the very man whose prohibition had been her custom prevailed among the Greeks and Romans, as appears ruin.' But he rashly supposes, that in the words of the sacred from this passage of Virgil:~"In the hallowed halls hang may history, the narration is accurate, and defective in no one cir- an instrument of war; battle chariots taken from the foe, shattered cumstance; whereas, for any thing we know, this woman was far axes, helmets, huge bars of gates, javelins, shields, and restra from being poor; Saul had amply rewarded her for raising up wrenched from war ships.”-Æneid 7. Samuel, and his attendant might give her a round price for her h 1 Sam. xxxi. 10. The custom of dedicating to the gods the lamb. And though it must be owned, that her address to the spoils of a conquered enemy, and placing them in their temples king is tender and respectful enough; yet whether it proceeded as trophies of victory, is very ancient. Homer represents Hec from fear or affection, may admit of some debate.-—- Le Clerc's tor as promising that, if he should conquer Ajax in single combst, Commentary.

he would dedicate his spoils to Apollo:d It was certainly no small grief to David to hear of Jonathan's

And if Apollo, in whose aid I trust, death, and a trial it might be of his patience and resignation to

Shall stretch your daring champion in the dust, the divine will; but still there seems to be a direction of provi

If mine the glory to despoil the foc, dence in suffering him to be slain, that David might more easily

On Phæbus' temple I'll his arms bestow, come to the throne. For though Jonathan, no doubt, would have

Tiad.- Pope. made a voluntary dedition of it, yet as he was the people's great Pausanias says, the architraves of the temple of Apollo favourite, some there might possibly be, who would not allow of the Delphi were decorated with golden armour, bucklers suspended

« PreviousContinue »