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A. M. 2888. A. C. 1118; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4301. A. C. 1110. I SAM. I, TO THE END. asked counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, and, and that coming upon her before she had begun her en Samuel answered him.' So that, upon the whole, we chantments, that she could not forbear being frightened, may be allowed to conclude, that it was the real soul of and crying out with a loud voice, as being fully satisfied Samuel, clothed in some visible form, which at this time that the apparition came from God. appeared to the king of Israel: but by what means, or “But since the scripture assures us, that God bad for what purposes it appeared, is the other question we wholly withdrawn himself from Saul, and would answer are now to determine.
him neither by prophets nor by dreams ; how can we 3. Several of the fathers of the Christian church imagine that he should, all on a sudden, become so kind, were of opinion, that the devil had a certain limited as to send Samuel to him, or that Samuel should be in power over the souls of the saints, before Jesus Christ any disposition to come, when it was impossible for him descended into hell, and rescued them from the tyranny to do any good by his coming.” of that prince of darkness. ? St Austin, in particular, 8 Now there seems to be some analogy between God's thinks, that there is no absurdity in saying, that the devil dealing with Saul in this particular, and his former treatwas as able to call up Samuel's soul, as he was to pre- ment of the prophet Balaam. Balaam was for disobeysent himself among the sons of God, or to set our ing the orders which God had given him to bless the Saviour on one of the pinnacles of the temple ; and a 3 | Israelites; and was searching into magical secrets for learned Jewish doctor supposes, that devils have such a what he could not obtain of God, namely, a power to power over human souls, for the space of a year after change into curses the blessings which God had protheir departure, as to make them assume what bodies nounced by his mouth. In this case there was but small they please ; and thereupon he concludes, but very erro- likelihood, that God would continue to communicate himneously, that it was not a year from the time of Samuel's self to a person so unworthy of any extraordinary revedeath to his appearance, But these are such wild lation; and yet he did it: but then it was with a design and extravagant fancies, as to deserve no serious confu- to reveal to him those very miseries, from which his tation. It is absurd to say that the souls of saints, such mercenary mind was so desirous to rescue the Midianas we are now speaking of, were ever in hell, and more ites. The application is easy: and it farther suggests absurd to say, that if they are in heaven, it is in the this reason, why God appointed Samuel at this time to power of any magical, nay, of any diabolical incanta- appear unto Saul, namely, that through him, he might tions to call them down from thence. “Great, without give him a meeting where he least of all expected one ; all doubt, is the power of apostate angels; but misera- and might show him, that the fate which his own disobeble, we may say, would the state of the blessed be, if the dience had brought upon him, was determined ; that there other had any license to disturb their happiness, when, was no reversing the decrees of Heaven, no procuring and as long as they pleased : for “God forbid,” 5 says aid against the Almighty's power, no flying, though it Tertullian, “ that we should believe, that the soul of any were to hell, from his presence, no hiding himself ir. holy man, much less of a prophet, should be so far under darkness from his inspection, ' . with whom darkness is his disposal, as to be brought up at pleasure by the power no darkness at all, but the night is as clear as the day, of the devil.”
and the darkness and light are both alike.' Since the devil then has no power to disturb the hap- 14 That the souls of men departed have a capacity, piness of souls departed, this apparition of Samuel could and, no doubt, an inclination, to be employed in the not proceed from any magical enchantments of the service of men alive, as having the same nature and sorceress, but must have been effected by the sole power affections, and being more sensible of our infirmities, than and appointment of God, who is the sovereign Lord both any pure and abstracted spirits are, can hardly be conof the living and of the dead : and accordingly, we may tested ; that, in their absent state, they are imbodied with observe, from the surprise which the woman discovered aerial or ethereal vehicles, which they can condense or upon Samuel's sudden appearing, that the power of her rarefy at pleasure, and so appear or not appear to human tuagic was not concerned therein, but that it was the sight, is wbat some of the greatest men, both of the heaeffect of sone superior hand. The scripture relates the then and Christian religion, have maintained ; and that anatter thus : 6. When the woman saw Samuel, she cried frequent apparitions of this kind have happened since with a loud voice; and the woman spake unto Saul, say- the world began, cannot be denied by any one that is ing, Why hast thou deceived me, for thou art Saul ? conversant in its history. If therefore the wisdom of And the king said unto her, be not afraid : what sawest | God, for reasons already assigned, thought proper to thou ? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods as- despatch a messenger to Saul upon this occasion, there cending out of the earth. Now, it is plain from this may be some account given, why the soul of Samuel, narration, that the woman saw something she was not upon the supposition it was left to its option, should raaccustomed to see. ? Her necromancy had ordinarily ther be desirous to be sent upon that errand : for whatever power over demons only, or such wretched spirits as may be said in diminution of Saul's religious character, were submitted to the devil's tyranny; but on this occa- it is certain, that he was a brave prince and commander; sion, she saw an object so august, so terrible, so majestic, had lived in strict intimacy with Samuel ; professed a so contrary indeed to any thing she had ever raised before, great esteem for him, in all things ; and was by Samuel
not a little lamented, when he had fallen from his obedi"Justin Martyr, in Dial.cum Tryph, and Origen on 1 Sam. c. 28. ence to God. Upon these considerations, we may ima* De Diver. Quxst. b. 2. p. 4.
gine, that the soul of Samuel might have such a kindness R. Manas, Ben. Israel, de Resur. Mort. * Saurin, vol, 4. Dissert. 36. 5 De Anima, c. 57. 6 1 Sam. xxviii. 12, 13.
8 Saurin, vol. 4. Dissertation 36. 9 Ps. cxxxix. 12. i Calmet's Dissurtation on the Apparition of Samuel. 10 See Glanville's Sadducismus Triumphatus. 11 | Sam, xvi. I.
A. M. 2888. A. C. 1116; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4371. A. C. 1110. I SAM. i. TO THE END. for him, as to be ready to appear to him in the depth of self, in his capacity of king, forsaken by God, he had his distress, in order to settle his mind by telling him the recourse in his extremity to one of those wretched beings upshot of the whole matter, namely, that he should lose who had escaped from the effects of his righteous zeal. the battle and he and his sons be slain ; that so he might But even Saul himself, conscious as he was of being forgive a specimen, as the Jews love to speak in commen- saken of God, could not expect from her the information dation of him, of the bravest valour that was ever which he wanted, but through some means forbidden by achieved, by any commander ; fight boldly when he was that law which it was his duty to enforce ; and if she was sure to die ; and sell his life at as dear a price as possi- not aided by a familiar spirit, she must have practised ble; that so in his death, he might be commemorated arts calculated to persuade the people that she was. with honour, and deserve the Threnodia which his son-in- These arts were of heathen invention, and led to that law made on him : "" The beauty of Israel is slain upon idolatry which Saul was bound to root entirely out of the high places. How are the mighty fallen! From the the land; and no method can be conceived better calblood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow culated to confound the impious monarch, and to preof Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul re-vent the wretched woman from practising her impious turned not empty. How are the mighty fallen in the arts for the future, than that which the supreme Disposer midst of the battle!'
of events adopted on this occasion. Before she commenced her incantations, the real Samuel appeared before her, and gave to the infatuated king such an
answer as there is no reason to suppose he would have CHAP. IV.- On the Witch of Endor.
received from any pretended Samuel exhibited by her.
It has been maintained by some respectable writers SUPPLEMENTAL BY THE EDITOR.
that the apparition was an evil angel, who appeared in
the mantle and in the shape of Samuel. As the ground I agree with the author in the opinion, that it was the of this opinion, they mention the abhorrence which God spirit of Samuel himself, wearing, as Dr Hales observes, had shown against those who practised the arts of necrothe same mantle in appearance, which was rent at the final mancy and witchcraft, and its being inconsistent with rejection of Saul from the kingdom, which appeared on this declared hatred, so far to countenance these arts as this occasion. Many authors of reputation maintain that to send a messenger from the invisible state, at the mothis was a mere imposition practised upon Saul by the ment when this woman was engaged in them. To this is witch ; but it is evident, that the witch herself expected may be answered, that if the appearance of Samuel on not to see such a spectre as presented itself before her; the present occasion be deemed inconsistent with the and that the spectre made its appearance before it was divine procedure, there is much greater difficulty in becalled.
lieving that the apparition was an evil spirit, since the “ I have myself,” says Bishop Gleig, “conversed with a whole strain of his address to Saul is at variance with ventriloquist, who performed the most extraordinary feats the character of an angel of darkness. in his art, who was extremely communicative on the subject It may indeed seem strange, that God, who had rejected of his art, and ready to answer every question which I Saul, and who answered him not when he consulted him, put to him; but he was unfortunately so very illiterate should now send a departed prophet, to tell him his fate, as to speak a language which was hardly intelligible. I But the reason is plain. To have answered his inquiry found no difficulty whatever in tracing his art to the when he consulted him, not in a private capacity, but as principles on which it was founded, but he would not the king of Israel, not with the view of obtaining recontell me in language which I could understand, by what ciliation, but of ascertaining his fate, would have been means he produced his acoustic deceptions. That he an acknowledgment of him in this character ; whereas was a great master of his art, however, he gave me, and he had been for many years rejected and disowned of thousands besides me, the most complete proofs, making God as his deputy: when, however, he applied not to his voice appear to come sometimes from the roof of the him, but to another, for the purpose of learning his furoom, sometimes from without the door, sometimes from ture destiny, and had, for the time, ceased to be king, below the floor, and once from the pocket of a gentle God gave him through his servant such an answer as he man who was sitting close by me. Had this man com- had not expected. bined with his ventriloquism that phantasmagoric art, by which some of our modern jugglers frighten the vulgar in a darkened room, he easily could have exhibited such
SECT. I V. a ghost as I have no doubt the witch of Endor meant and expected to exhibit to Saul.”
CHAP. 1.–From the Death of Saul, to that of The ghost, however, which really came was sent by a
Absalom. In all thirty-three years. different and a higher power, and sent for the same purpose that the dumb ass was, for the ass was made to
THE HISTORY. reprove the madness of Balaam, and that enchanter himself made to bless Israel. Necromancy was among the David was at Ziklag when news was brought him of the arts forbidden by the law of Moses. Saul had in obedi- defeat of the Israelitish army, and of the death of Saul
. ence to that law, lately exterminated, as he thought, all the messenger was an Amalekite, a who pretended that such impious diviners from Israel ; and yet, finding him
a By the accomt which we have of king Saul's death, in the
conclusion of the foregoing book, namely, that he fell upon his "2 Sam. i. 19.
own sword, and expired,' (i Sam. xxxi. 4.) it seems very evident, A. M. 2949. A. C. 1055; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4341. A. C. 1070. 2 SAM. i–xix. he was the person who despatched the king after he | the other side of Jordan, and by his interest and great found bimself mortally wounded ; and, however he came authority, prevailed with all the other tribes to recogby them, produced Saul's crown and bracelet to verify nise him. what he said. He expected, no doubt, an ample com- David, however, at the request of the princes of his pensation for this message and present; but instead of own tribe, was anointed king of Judah. For two years that, David ordered his guards to fall upon him, because, there were no hostilities on either side ; but not long according to his own declaration, he had been accessory after this, a war commenced between the two rival printo the king's death, a
ces, in which there were several engagements, but none Upon this conjuncture, David, by God's directions, so remarkable, as that which was occasioned by Abner's removed with his family and forces c to Hebron, whither sending Joab who was the general of David's forces, a the princes of Judah in a short time, came to congratu- challenge e to fight twelve men, with an equal number of late his return into his native country, and to offer him his, in single combat. The men met, and to a man the crown of their particular tribe ; for, by this time, killed one another upon the spot; whereupon a fierce Abner the late king's uncle, and general of his army, battle ensued, in which Abner and his men were defeated, who had proclaimed his son Ishbosheth successor to the and put to flight. In the pursuit, Asahel, a younger throne, had taken up his residence at d Mahanaim, on brother of Joab's, being very nimble and swift of foot,
made after Abner. When he came up with him, Abner, that the whole story of this Amalekite was a mere fiction of his who knew him, desired him to desist, and not pretend own inventing, on purpose to ingratiate himself with David, the presumptive successor to the throne. But then the question is, to attack him, because he was loath to kill him; but the how he came by Saul's crown and bracelet, since it is incongru- young man, ambitious of taking a general prisoner, cus to think that he would ever wear them in the time of action, pressed so hard upon him, that, f with a back-stroke of and thereby expose himself as a public mark? As therefore it his spear, Abner gave him a wound, whereof he immeis presumed, that they were carried into the field of battle by diately died. some of his attendants, in order to put on, in case he had obtained the victory, and returned in triumph; so the Jews have
The victorious army, when they came to the place a conceit, that Doeg, the infamous murderer of the priests at where Asahel's body lay slain, stood still, and ceased Nob, 1 Sam. xxii. 18. who at this time was his armour-bearer, their pursuit; so that Abner had an opportunity to rally had them in his possession, and before he killed himself, gave his scattered forces, and making a stand upon an adthem to his son, this young Amalekite, and ordered him to carry vanced ground, where he could not well be attacked, them to David, but, to his cost, found that David's reception was quite different to what he expected. For being shortly to sounded a parley, and reminded Joab, that they were ascend the throne himself
, he was willing to have it believed, all brethren, of the same nation, of the same religion, that to slay the Lord's anointed, upon any account whatever, was in itself an execrable crime, and therefore, to clear himself
so that if they persisted in hostilities, both armies would from the imputation of being any ways accessory to so foul a fact, have reason to rue it. Whereupon they parted, Abner as his enemies would have been apt to imagine, had he given who had lost three hundred and sixty men in the engagecountenance to this pretended king-killer, he ordered him im- ment to Mahanaim, on the other side of Jordan, and inediately to be put to death, and therein at least, acted the part Joab, who, except his brother Asahel, had lost no more of a good politician, if not of a righteous judge.—Le Clerc's and than nineteen, to Hebron. Patrick's Commentaries, on 2 Sam. i. a 2 Sam. i. 16. The malediction expressed in this passage
During the course of this civil war, which lasted for occurs in the same sense in other passages of Scripture, particu- some years, David's forces, in most rencounters, had the larly Josh. ii. 19. 1 Kings ii. 37. It appears to have been custo advantage, and his interest in the nation increased, as mary so to speak, both with the Jews and Greeks, as repeated that of Ishbosheth sensibly declined. Abner indeed, as instances of it are found in the best writers of the last mentioned people. It was usual with the Romans to wash their hands in being both a brave and experienced warrior, and a man token of innocence and purity from blood. Thus the Roman of a great power and influence in all the tribes, more governor washed his hands, and said respecting Christ, *1 am especially in that of Benjamin, was his main support; innocent of the blood of this just person,' (Mat
. 24.)-ED. but with him he unhappily differed, upon account of 6 Though David, after Saul's demise, had a right to the kingdom by virtue of God's designation ; yet as God had nowhere Rizpah, one of Saul's concubines, whom Abner had dedeclared, at what time he was to make use of this right, he would bauched. To have any commerce with the relicts of not enter into possession, por take the administration of public princes of what denomination soever they were, was, in affairs upon him, without having first consulted him.—Patrick's Commentary.
c Hebron was situate in the midst of the tribe of Judah; and from falling upon the king, whom he had under his protection, as it was a very ancient city, the metropolis of the whole tribe, in the infancy of this reign; and chiefly, that he might be at a and the possession of those priestly families who espoused David's great distance from David, have the new king more absolutely interest, it was a very commodious city for him to make the under his command, and a better opportunity of raising recruits place of his residence at this juncture, as being not insensible, among a people, not only brave and courageous, but very well that the determination of the metropolis in his favour would be affected to the cause which he had espoused.—Calmet's Commenof great weight to influence the whole tribe. And accordingly tary, and Poole's Annotations. we find, that he was soon invested with the sovereignty thereof. e The expression in the text is, ' let the young men now arise,
For the men of Judah,' saith the text, 'came, and there they and play before us.' By which Abner seems to have meant, not anointed David king over the house of Judah,' 2 Sam. ii. 4.- that they should fall upon, and destroy one another, but merely The History of the Life of King David, vol. 2.
that they should practise a little their military exercises, or play d This was a place in the tribe of Gad, which had its name at sharps, as gladiators anciently at Rome, and now among us, from the appearance of an host of angels to Jacob, as he came are wont to do, pot with any purpose to kill one another, but only with his family and all his substance to Padan-aram, (Gen. xxxii. to divert the spectators.--Calmet's Commentary. 1.) and the reasons for Abner's retreating hither, in the begin- The expression in the text is, that with the hinder part ning of the new king's reign, were, that he might secure the of the spear, he smote him under the fifth rib;' which Virgil, people on that side of the Jordan, and especially the gallant in- speaking of a mortal wound, has not unhappily imitated: “Imhabitants of Jabesh-gilead, who were great lovers of Saul, and mediately he seized his spear and hurled it at the very life's attached to his family; that he might prevent the Philistines | citadel, where the ribs guard the heart.”- Æneid, 12.
A. M. 2949. A. C. 1035; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4341. A. C. 1070. 2 SAM. i–xix. these days, looked upon as an indignity offered to the state, and Joab, at that time, had so much credit with royal family, and an affectation of the kingdom. For the army, that he could not call him to an account for this reason Ishbosheth remonstrated the matter to Abner ; what he had done. And therefore contented himself but Abner, who was a hot man, and impatient of re- with declaring publicly d his detestation of it, and with proof, was so incensed at what he said, that he upbraided making a magnificent funeral for Abner, wherein he him with ingratitude, and threatened not only to b with himself followed the corpse as chief mourner. draw his own allegiance from him, but, as far as in bim David indeed had reason to lainent the death of Abner, lay, to carry all Israel over to David's interest. And which, in all probability, had defeated the measures that ns he threatened, so he did. From that very moment were concerted for the union of the two kingdoms, had he entered into a private correspondence with David, not the sudden and untimely death of Ishbosheth paved and not long after, had a public interview with him. At the way for it afresh. Ishbosheth, upon the loss of this interview David entertained Abner and his atten- Abner, began to despair of his affairs, grew negligent dants which were in all but twenty persons, very splen- of himself, and fell under the contempt of his subjects ; didly; and, in return, Abner assured him, that he would so that Rechab and Baanah, e two Benjamites, that were use his utmost endeavours to prevail with the other tribes of his household, came upon him, as he was asleep in the to come over to his side. But no sooner was he gone, heat of the day, and having cut off his head, s carthan Joab, returning from an expedition against the ried it as a present to David at Hebron ; but instead Philistines, wherein he had been successful and taken of the reward which they expected, he & rebuked them abundance of spoil, and being soon informed that Abner had been there, and how kindly the king had received d And good reason he had to express his detestation of so foul him, not only expostulated the matter with the king in a fact. For besides that Abner was himself a man of great
power and authority, and at this time, the head of the contrary high terms, as having entertained a man that came only party, it carried an air of suspicion, that David might have some as a spy upon him, but sent likewise a messenger after concern in the murder; especially since Joab, his first minister, Abner, desiring him to return, because the king had and general of his forces, was the wicked instrument of it. Abner something more to communicate to him; and so, having still worse, and added the breach of faith and hospitality to the
had been reconciled to David indeed; but this made the matter waylaid him, under pretence of saluting him, he stabbed sin of murder, which was enough to alienate
minds of the him to the heart, o out of jealousy partly, and partly in Israelites from him for ever. And therefore Josephus gives us revenge of the blood of his brother Asahel.
this account of David's behaviour upon so critical an occasion, David was extremely displeased at this cruel and in- not only to testify his abhorrence of so base a practice, but to hospitable action; but his affairs were in so unsettled a honour, that he had been true to Abner. •The moment
purge himself likewise, upon the strictest niceties of faith and
heard of Abner's death, he stretched out his right hand towards a What notion the world, at this time, had of marrying any heaven in an appeal and protestation, that he was neither priry, royal relict, is evident from the case of Adonijah, whom Solo- nor consenting to the fact, and cursed most bitterly the assassin
, mon put to death for desiring but to ask for Abishag, one of whoever he was, his family, and accomplices. He appointed
, David's concubines, though he had employed Bath-sheba, the by proclamation, a public mourning for him, with all the soleking's mother, to be his intercessor, and was himself his brother, nities of tearing garments, and putting on sackcloth, &e. Him(1 Kings ii. 17.) It may be said perhaps, that Adonijah was at self, with his great ministers, and officers, assisted at the funeral, this time aspiring at the throne, which Solomon perceiving, took and gave sufficient demonstration, by wringing their hands
, occasion from this his request, to fall out with him, and prevent beating their breasts, and other expressions of sorrow, both of it. But however this be, a general rule it was, not among the the veneration they had for Abner's memory, and the sense they Jews only, but among other nations, that no private person had of so inestimable a loss; so that, in the conclusion, all the should presume to marry the king's widow; for this made him people were perfectly satisfied that David was far either foreca appear as a rival and competitor for the crown.-Calmet's Com-approving or consenting to so execrable a deed.'—Jerish Autig. mentary,
b. 7 c. 1; Le Clerc's Commentary. 6 Abner is an instance of what a strange alteration the study e This is added, to show us, that these two regicides were of revenge will work in a man. It was but just lately that we not only officers in the king's army, but of the same tribe with found him going about the country to confirm the Israelites in Saul, and therefore had more ties than one upon them, to be their attachment to the house of Saul, and opposition to David; honest and faithful to his family. For there is reason to be but now, upon a slight disgust, he is not only for deserting him- lieve, that Saul, who lived in the borders of Benjamin, conferred self, but for carrying all the strength of his interest over to the more favours upon that tribe than any other, and might opposite party. For, "such is the genius of many great minis- therefore justly expect, both to him and his, a greater esteem ters," says one, " that upon slight occasions, they are irritated, and fidelity from those of his own tribe, than from others. This and do rather rule over kings, than are ruled by them.”—Pa- patronymic is therefore very properly prefixed to the names of trick's Commentary.
Rechab and Baanah, to show what vile ungrateful villains they c Abner was a man longer versed in military affairs than were, and how justly they deserved the severe and exemplary himself
, who, in the time of Saul's distraction, had been regent punishment which David inflicted on them. - Le Clerc's Com of the nation, and, since the time that he had set up Ishbosheth mentary. to be king, prime minister. And therefore Joab had reason to f It may seem a little strange, that these two ruffians were suspect, that in case he once got into David's favour, as the not discouraged by David's punishing the Amalekite for killing service he was able to do him, gave him a title to it, it would Saul, and by the detestation he had publicly shown of Jeeb's not be long before he would gain a superior ascendant; and there- baseness in murdering Abner; but the former of these cases, they fore he took this wicked method to prevent him. For to use the might think, was not parallel to theirs; because Saul was anointed reflection which Josephus makes upon this occasion. “What king by God's immediate direction, whereas Ishbosheth, having will men not dare to do, who are covetous, ambitious, and will never had such sacred unction, was no more than a usurpel; be inferior to none ? They press forward to the end, without and as for the latter, they might think, that David's conduct in ever considering the means, and will commit a thousand crimes relation to Abner's death, proceeded from art and policy, rather in pursuit of what they desire. Nor are they less bold in main- than any serious dislike of the thing itself; and in this opinici
, taining, than they were in acquiring their
places and preferments they might the rather be confirmed, when they saw Joab, instead by evil practices; insomuch that, rather than suffer the disgrace of being punished, continuing in the very same post and power of losing what they have unjustly gotten, they will plunge them that he had before. Poole's Annotations. selves still deeper and deeper in wickedness, to retain it.”— g The manner in which Josephus makes David express himJewish Antiq, b. 7. c, I.
self upon this occasion, is to ihis effect:-“ Wicked wretches A. M. 29-19. A. C. 1055; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4341, A, C, 1070. 2 SAM. i--XIX. severely, and ordered their hands and feet to be cut off, derision, replied, that the meanest of them all, © their and themselves hung up in a public place, for the terror blind and lame, were able to defend it against all he of all regicides ; but the head of Ishbosheth was honour-could do. This incensed David to such a degree, that he ably interred in Abner's tomb,
caused proclamation to be made through the camp, that When Ishbosheth was dead, all the tribes of Israel whoever first took the fort, should be made captainsent their deputies to David, acknowledging his title, and general of all his forces ; whereupon Joab, who was a promising him their allegiance, upon condition that he bold, pushing man, undertook to storm it, and carried it would reign righteously“ over them ; so that now he was sword in hand. After this, David, for the reception of anointed king over all the tribes, after that he had reign- his guards and domestics, enlarged the buildings of the ed at Hebron, over that of Judah only, for the space of place, and made it his royal palace ; while Joab repaired seven years and six months,
and beautified the old city Jebus, or Jerusalem, for the Being thus invested with full regal power, and having more commodious habitation of his subjects, la multitude of brave and gallant officers to attend him, d Hiram, who had lately made himself king of Tyre he made bis first expedition against Jerusalem, to dis- and Sidon, hearing how prosperous David was in all his possess the Jebusites of the fort of Zion, which com- affairs, sent an embassy to congratulate his accession to manded the city, and was thought so impregnable, that the throne, and witbal a present of cedar trees, with carwhen he summoned the besieged to surrender, they, in penters and other artificers to assist him in his buildings.
But the Philistine princes had other notions of David's that you are! prepare yourselves immediately to receive the just growing greatness, which they took for a sure presage of reward of your villany. Do not you know that I required the their own downfall ; and therefore to put a stop to it as murder of Saul, when he, who had taken away that sacred life, soon as possible, they raised one great army, which, as had the confidence to bring me his golden crown, tion of the service he had done me in it? And yet it was at the they approached to Jerusalem, he defeated ; and the instance of Saul that he did it, and to prevent the indignity of next year, when they came with a much larger, God his being taken alive by his enemies. And am not I the same manifestly interposed in his favour. For instead of adman now that I was then ? or do you think that I am turned so vancing directly upon them, he ordered him to take a abandoned a wretch since, as to countenance the most profligate of men and actions, or to account myself under any obligation to you, for dipping your hands, upon my account, as you would have c The blind and the lame, says Luther upon this place, were it thought, in the blood of your lord; for cutting the throat of a the idols of the Jebusites, which, to irritate David, they set upon person, and in his bed too, so just, that he never did any man their walls, as their patrons and protectors; and these they call wrong, and so generous a patron and benefactor to your ungrate-blind and lame sarcastically, and with respect to David's opinion: ful selves, that all the advantages you can pretend to in this world, as if they had said, “These gods of ours, whom ye Israelites reare but what you stand indebted for to his bounty and goodness? | proach as blind and lame, and so upable to direct or defend us, will You shall therefore now be sure to pay, both for your breach of secure us against you, and to your cost, make you find that they are faith to your master, and the scandal you have cast upon me. neither blind nor lame, but have eyes to watch for us, and hands For what greater wound can any man give me in my reputation, to fight against you, so that you must conquer and subdue them, than to expose me for a person that can take pleasure in the tid before you take this place.” But this interpretation seems to be a ings, or give countenance to the committing of so barbarous an little too metaphorical and forced, for which reason we have rather assassination.” (Jewish Antiquities, b. 7. c. 2.) Which speech of chosen the construction which Josephus (b. 7. c. 2.) puts upon David's has a good deal of the spirit of Alexander the Great in this passage, namely, that they imagined their fortress to be so it, whose exacting of punishment of Bessus for his murder of Da- | impregnable, that by way of contempt, they told David that their rius, drew from the historian this reflection: For he thought, very blind and lame would be able to defend it against him and that Darius had not been so much the foe as the friend of him all his forces: and this is a sense so extremely plain and obvious, by whom he was slain." --Justin, b. 12. c. 6.
that the renowned Bochart wonders why any man of learning a This was David's part of the covenant, which the elders of should seek for any other. The only exception to it is, that Israel suggested to him in a very elegant metaphor, which here these blind and lame (which were rather objects of compassion) occurs the first time, though afterwards it is frequently used in are said to have been extremely hated by David. But we may sacred writ, especially in the prophets, as well as some profane observe, that David here retorts the sarcasm upou them; ' the authors. The expression is “Thou shalt feed my people İsrael;' lame and blind,' that is, those who are said to defend the place, which was the rather made use of, to put David in mind that he and who, as they pretended, were to be only the lame and the was created a king, not so much for the advancement of his own blind. And these were hateful to David, because they had honour and interest, as for the good and benefit of the community, wickedly and insolently defied the armies of the living God. which he was to rule with all tenderness, and watch over with all Poole's Annotations ; Patrick's and Le Clerc's Commentaries. diligence. The very manner of the expression implies, that d Abibalus was his primitive name, but before he entered into kings ought to have the same care for their people, as the shep- a league of amity with David, he changed it to Hiram, that so herd has over his flock; and that, as the shepherd is not the owner it might be the standing name of him and his successors, as Phaof the sheep he keeps, so should no king look upon his subjects raoh, and after that Ptolemy in Egypt, Abimelech among the as his own peculium, but as a flock committed to him by the only Philistines, and Cæsar among the Roman emperors. The name true Lord of all mankind, and to whom he must give an account in their language signifies, “ he lives that is exalted;" or, “let him of his administration. “Por this is the greatest grace of a king, live who is exalted,” that is, "let the king live for ever;” and that he certainly believes himself to be made a king by God, for his sending to David only under this name, is the true reason the sake of the people; and let him often call to mind, that the why no other name is mentioned in Scripture, Bedford's Sorippeople were not created, or ordained, by God for the king,” says turc Chronology, b. 5. c. 4. Conradus Pelicanus upon these words. —Patrick's Commentary, e It cannot well be supposed, that the Philistines, out of their and Poole's Annotations.
small territories, could produce such vast numbers of men as b In this account of David's worthies, which are mentioned they brought against the Israelites; and therefore the remark, both in the second book of Samuel, and the first of Chronicles, which Josephus makes, helps to explain this matter, namely, there is a great difference of dames; and the reason is, because “ That Syria and Phenicia, as well as several other warlike the catalogue in Chronicles was made in the beginning of David's nations, were engaged in the confederacy;" but this cannot be reign, that in Samuel, at the latter end; and so the former men- meant of Hiram, who was in a league of the strictest amity tions those men who had helped David to his settlement in the with David, but of such Phænicians only as would not submit to kingdom, whereas the latter takes notice of those who had stuck him, and therefore joined with the Philistines, first to subdue his to him all the time of his reign, and died in his service.-Bed-ally, and then to subdue him, before his government could be ford's Scripture Chronology, b. 5. c. 5.
settled.-Bedford's Scripture Chronology, b. 5. c. 4.