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A. M. 2019. A. C. 1055; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 1311. A. C. 1070. 2 SAM. i-xix. men employed in the highest offices of trust. Joah, as | Nahash was dead, sent his compliments of condolence we said before, was captain-general; Jehoshaphat, a to his son and successor Hanun; but the great men chancellor of the kingdom; Abiathar, was high priest; that were about the young king, made him believe, that Seraiah, secretary of state ; Benaiah, captain of his the sole intent of David's sending this embassy was to guard; and his own sons, the prime ministers of his spy out the weakness of the city, and in what place it household, such as lord chamberlain, lord treasurer, lord might most advantageously be assaulted : so that the too steward, as we call them; and to these he added one credulous prince ordered the ambassadors to be treated more, Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, to whom he in the most ignominious manner, and with e their beards restored all his grandfather Saul's estate ; and though half-shaved, and their clothes cut short, even to the mid. he was a cripple, and lame of both his feet, yet, for the dle of their buttocks, to be sent about their business. love he had for his father, he entertained him with great The ambassadors being ashanied to return home, were kindness, and ordered him to sit with his own sons at the ordered to continue at Jericho, until their beards grew royal table every day.
again; but as for the indignity put upon them, David David, not long after this, hearing that his d old friend gave them assurance that he would resent it in a proper
manner. Accordingly he sent an army under the coma The word in our translation is recorder, which in the mar-mand of Joab, to call these unhospitable Ammonites to ginal note, is remembrancer, or writer of chronicles; an employ- an account. The Ammonites were apprised of his dement of no mean estimation in the eastern world, where it was sign, and therefore provided against the worst, by procustomary with kings to keep daily registers of all the transactions of their reigns; and a trust, which, however discharged to pur- | curing 33,000 mercenaries of the Syrians, who lay pose, must be let into the true springs and secrets of action, encamped at some distance in the fields, whilst their own and consequently must be received into the inmost confidence. forces covered the city. For whether the office of a lord chancellor was consistent with
Upon this situation of the enemy, Joab divided his the constitution of the Jewish state, a modern author seems to doubt.- llistory of the Life of King David, vol. 2.
army into two bodies, one of which he gave to his bro6 These guards are called in the text “the Cherethites and the ther Abishai, to keep the Ammonites in play, while himPelethites;' but who they were, is variously conjectured. That self with the other, which consisted of his choice men, they were soldiers, is evident, from their being mentioned as attacked the Syrians. Their agreement was, to relieve present at the proclamation of king Solomon, against Adonijah, each other, in case there was occasion : but Joab, at the which could not conveniently have been done without some armed force, to protect the persons who proclaimed him; and that they first onset, charged the Syrians so home, that as they were were not common soldiers, but the constant guards of David's but mercenaries, and thought not the cause their own, person, is manifest from the title of mua topua.cxss, keepers of they soon gave way, which made the Ammonites, who the body, which Josephus gives them. Some are of opinion, that depended much upon their courage, endeavour to secure they were men of a gigantic stature; but we find no ground for that, though they were doubtless proper and robust men, as we
themselves by retreating into their city; for the season speak, and of known fidelity to their prince, (2 Sam. xv. 18. and of the year being too far advanced, made it impraxx. 7.) Others again, think that they were Philistines; but it is ticable for Joab to besiege it. hardly supposable, that David would have any of these hated
Hadadezer had assisted the Ammonites, with some uncircumcised people to be his body guard, neither can we believe, that the Israelitish soldiers would have taken it patiently, forces the last campaign; and being apprehensive that to see foreigners of that nation put in such places of honour and David would fall foul upon him, he resolved to be betrust. Cherethite, however, is certainly but another name for Philistine, as appears from Zephaniah ii. 5.; and therefore the reason, became a friend to David, when he perceived how Szul question is, how came any of David's subjects to be called after persecuted him, and thereupon might send him relief and assistthat name? And the answer to this is obvious,—They were so and perhaps offer him protection in his kingdom.- Patrick's called, because they went at first with him into Philistia, and Commentary. continued there with him, all the time that he was under the e This was one of the greatest indignities that the malice of protection of Achish. These were the persons who accompanied man could invent, in those countries where all people thought him from the beginning, in his utmost distress, and clave to him their hair so great an ornament, that some would rather have in all calamities; and therefore it is no wonder, if men of such submitted to die than part with it. What a foul disgrace and approved fidelity were made choice of for his body guards; nor is it heavy punishment this was accounted in ancient times, we pray any uncommon thing in history, for legions, or bands of soldiers, learn from Nicolaus Damascenus, as mentioned by Stolerus
, to take their names, not from the place of their ivity, but their (tit. 42.) who says, that among the Indians, the king commando residence, and very frequently from the name of their captain or ed the greatest offenders to be shaven, as the heaviest punishment commander. Since therefore, in 1 Chron, xii. 3. we find men- that he could inflict upon them; and to the like purpose Plutarch tion made of one Pelet, the son of Azmaveth, who resorted to (in Agesil.) tells us, that whenever a soldier, among the LacedenceDavid while he was at Ziklag, but still under the protection of nians, was convicted of cowardice, he was obliged to go with che Achish, it is but supposing him to be their captain, and then we part of his upper lip shaved, and the other not. Nay, even a! come to the reason why they were called Pelethites, imless we this day, no greater indignity can be offered to a man of Persis, suppose them rather denominated from Peleth son of Jonathan, than to cause his beard to be shaved; and therefore Tavernier, who was of the king's own tribe.—Patrick's Commentary; in his travels, relates the story, that when the sophi caused an Poole's Annot.; and The History of the Life of King David. ambassador of Aureng-zebe's to be used in this manner, telling
• Mephibosheth was very young when his father Jonathan was him that he was not worthy to wear a beard, the emperor, eitt killed at the battle of Gilboa, which put his nurse into so great a in the manner that David here did, most highly resented the consternation, that she let the child fall, as she was making haste atiront that was done to him in the person of his ambassedar, to escape with him, and from that time he was lame of both feet And as shaving David's ambassadors, was deservedly accounted for ever after.2 Sam. iv, 4.
a grievous afiront, so the cutting off' half the beard, which made d What the particular benefits which David had received from them look still more ridiculous, was a great addition to it, where Nahasha were, we are no where told in Scripture; but some of the beards were held in great veneration; and where long habits dero Jews say, that he fled to him, when he durst stay no longer with to the heels were worn, especially by persons of distinction, with Achish king of the Philistines, and that he received him very any breeches or drawers, the cutting their garments, even to the kindly; others
, that he entertained his relations when the king middle, therehy to expose their nakedness, was such a brutal of Moab, to whom he had committed them, slew some of them: but the most likely opinion is, liat as he was a bitter enemy to martial spirit, and just sentiments of honour, to liave tamely
and shameless insult, as would badly become a man of David's Saul, who had given him a great overthrow, he, for that very passed by:- Patrick's and Calmet's Commenturies.
A. M. 2949. A. C. 1055; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4341. A. C. 1070. 2 SAM. i–xix. forehand with him. To this purpose levying a vast army, | safety in devising some means to conceal it. Hereupon not only in Syria, but in Mesopotamia likewise, he sent he sent a despatch to Joab for Urial to come to him, as it, under the command of Shobach his general, over the if he had something particular to inquire of him; but his river Euphrates, as far as Helam, a town in the borders whole intent was to give him an opportunity of lying of the half tribe of Manasseh. This David had soon with his wife, that so the child, when it was born, might intelligence of, and therefore uniting all his forces, he be reputed his. Uriah came; and after the king had marched with the utmost expedition, and coming upon asked him some few questions concerning the condition the enemy sooner than was expected, slew seven thou- of the army, and the advances of the siege, he ordered saud men, who attended seven hundred chariots ; which him to go home, d and refresh himself after his journey, 80 disheartened the rest, that he soon despatched forty and sent a handsome collation after him for his enterthousand more, together with their general, who fell in tainment. But so it was, that instead of going near the action, and died upon the spot. Upon this success, his wife, he chose to sleep in the guard room. several petty kings who had assisted Hadadezer in this David was informed of this the next morning ; and expedition, fearing some worse consequence, made a was therefore resolved to make use of another expedient. peace with David, and became tributary to him; and He invited him to sup at his own table, and prevailed even Hadadezer himself, being thus forsaken by his with him to drink to such a pitch, that he did not doubt confederates, gave him assurance that he would no lon- but that the heat of the liquor would have inflamed his ger espouse the cause of the Ammonites, but leave them appetite, and made him go home to his wise ; but still he to shift for themselves. Whereupon David sent Joab lay in the guard room, and in excuse to the king, said, against them with a powerful army, who laid the country that he thought it was his duty so to do, while the rest waste, destroyed all that came in his way, and to make of the soldiers were encamped. So that finding himself short of the matter, laid siege to their royal city of still disappointed, the king ordered him at last back to Rabbah,
the army, and e sent him with letters to Joab, wherein While Joab was carrying on the siege of Rabbah, he commanded him to manage matters so, that Uriah David continued in Jerusalem, and walking one evening might be killed by the Ammonites, which accordingly a on the top of his palad to take the fresh air, he came to pass : for in an assault upon the town, Uriah, chanced to espy a beauteous woman bathing herself in
d The words in the text are, her garden. The unguarded king, as soon as he saw
go down to thy house, and wash ber, was smitten; and inquiring who she was, was in the custom to wear shoes, but sandals only, and, in some places
thy feet, (2 Sam. xi, 8.) for these countries, where it was not formed that she was Bathsheba, the daughter of Ammiel, to go barefoot, washing the feet was a great refreshment after a and wife of Uriah c the Hittite, an officer in his army, journey, and a common compliment that the master of the house who was then with Joab at the siege of Rabbah. David usually made to any stranger at his first entrance. But this sent for her, lay with her, and dismissed her. But, in a
custom of washing the feet, was not only after a journey, to
cleanse them from dirt and dust, but very much used likewise, short time, finding herself with child, she apprized him before people sat down to meat ; and therefore David's meaning of it, and desired him withal to consult ber honour and in the expression is, that Uriah should go down and feast with
his wife, for which reason he sent a collation to his house, and a The manner of building, in all eastern countries, was to have after so long an absence, indulge himself in her company. For their houses flat-roofed, with a terrace and parapet wall, for the David's intention hitherto was, neither to murder Uriah, nor convenience of walking in the cool air; and as David's palace marry his wife, but only to screen her honour and his own crime. was built on one of the highest places of Mount Sion, he might -Calmet's Commentary. easily look down upon the lower parts of the town, and take a e It may he thought perhaps, that Uriah suspected something view of all the gardens that were within due distance.—Le of his wife's adultery, and therefore, resolving that it should be Clerc's Commentary.
discovered, would not be persuaded to go down to his house. 1 Thus Jupiter is said to have seen Proserpina washing her. But if he did, he certainly acted the part of a trusty servant, self, and exposing her whole body to his view, which inflamed when he would not open the king's letter to know what was in his lust after her. But whether it was in her garden, or court- it, though, upon supposition that he suspected liis criminal yard, overlooked by the palace, or in some apartment in her commerce with his wife, he had reason to expect no good. This house, whose windows opened that way, that this woman bathed puts one naturally in mind of the story of Bellerophon's carrying herself, it is not so certain. Tradition points out the place of a letters from Prætus to his father-in-law Jobates, king of Lycia, fountain still called after her name, which would make it prob- with an order to kill him; from whom it came into a proverb, able that she bathed in a garden, did not Josephus expressly de- to carry Bellerophon's letter or a death warrant against one's clare that it was in her own house, as indeed the natural mo- self, according to that passage in Plautus: “ Aha! thy son hath desty and decency of her sex, as well as the circumstance of the now made me a Bellerophon, I myself have brought the warrant time, for then it was evening, make his account more probable; for my bondage."— Bacchid. For the fable of Uriah and Belleropor can it be doubted, but that the declining rays of the sun, phon are so very much alike, that the fable of the latter seems ta shooting into the inmost recesses of her chamber, and throwing be founded upon the story of the former. Bellerophon, who, as a great lustre around her, might discover her very clearly to some scholiasts think, should be read Boulephoron, a council Very distant eyes, without the least suspicion on her part, of any carrier, was a stranger at the court of Protus, as Criah being a possibility of being seen, and consequently with all the reserve of Hittite, was at the court of David. He declined the embraces modesty proper to her sex.—The History of the Life of King of Sthenoba, as Uriah did the bed of Bathsheba ; and was for David, vol. 3.
that reason, sent to Jobates, general of Prætus's army, with e Uriah, though an Hittite by nation, was proselyted to the letters, which contained a direction put him to death, as Uriah Jewish religion, and so marrying with a Jewish woman, lived was sent to Joab, David's general. By Jobates he was sent, in Jerusalem; or as he was one of the king's lifeguard, which with a small guard, upon an attack, in which it was intended, for reasons above mentioned, seem to have been all vatives, and he should be slain, as Uriah was by Joab to that in which he of the tribe of Judah, this additional name might perhaps be fell. The main of the history is the same in both; the similigiven him, for some gallant action achieved against the Hittites, tude of Jobates and Joal's name is very remarkable; and the in the same manner as a Roman, in after ages, came to be called variation in the whole only lies in some such ornamental emAfricanus, Germanicus, Parthicus, &c., upon account of the vic-bellishments, as might well be expected in a poetical compositories obtained over the Africans, Germans, or Parthians.- tion.—Calmet's Commentary, and The History of the Life of Calmet's Commentary.
A. M. 2949. A. C. 1055; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES. A. M. 4341. A. C, 1070. 2 SAM. i–xix. being deserted by the other soldiers, who had private this state he continued without any molestation, or aporders to retire when the onset began, a fell immediately prehension of having done wrong, for the space of several by the enemy's sword.
months, till at length God sent e Nathan the prophet to As soon as Uriah was dead, Joab sent an express rouse him out of his adulterous lethargy, and, by fan thereof to the king, who returned him orders to carry on the siege with more vigour, until he had made himself does not expressly forbid them, yet we may not thence infer that master of it; and then to raze it even to the ground, and they were permitted among the Jews. For these reasons some to put all the inhabitants to the sword, without sparing have thought that this marriage of David and Bathsheba was so much as one man. Upon this order Joab advanced null and invalid; but others, upon better gromds, have supposed
that though there were many criminal circumstances attending his approaches, and renewed his assaults every day, until it, yet these did not vacate its effect, and in short, though it he had got possession of b the water works which sup- ought not to have been done, yet being done, the marriage was plied the town; and then sent a courier to acquaint the good, and the children, which were afterwards born, were legiti
mate.-Calmet's and Patrick's Commentaries. king, that the city was reduced to the utmost extremity;
e We learn little more of this great man in the sacred writings, was in no condition to hold out much longer, and there but that he was David's prophet, intimate counsellor, and hisfore he desired him to come in person, that he might toriographer. Josephus says of him, that he was a polite and a have the honour of taking it. The king, according to prudent man, one who knew how to temper the severity of wishis general's desire, went with a strong reinforcement, Manjus Lepidus, of whum Tacitus says that he had a talent of
dom with sweetness of manners. And Grotius compares him to took the place by storm, gave the plunder of it to his turning away Tiberius's mind from those cruel purposes, to which soldiers, but reserved to himself what belonged to the the vile flattery of others inclined him, and was, at the same time, king, among which was the crown of inestimable value. in equal favour and authority with him. Nathan certainly knew Having thus wasted the city and divided the spoil, offence. So far from that, he grew in his prince's favour and
the art of reproving kings with authority, and yet without giving he put the mien who had held it out against him, to the estimation, as long as he lived; insomuch, that David, as tradi. most exquisite torments; and other places that would tion tells us, called one son after his name, and committed not immediately surrender, be treated with the same another, even his beloved Solomon, to his care and tuition. The severity.
History of the Life of King David, vol. 3. Upon the death of Uriah, his wife c Bathsheba pre- of the style fit for philosophic writing, which suits so well with this
f There is a passage of Seneca, (Epist. 59.) where he treats tended to mourn for him ; but it was not long before parable of Nathan's, that I choose to give it in his own words, as a David sent for her, d and declared her his wife: and in fit preamble to the short comment which follows it :-"I find,"
says he, “ images, which if any one forbids us to use, and deems
that they ought to be allowed to poets only, yet it is my opinion, a The fate and fall of the gallant Uriah is thus related by Jose- that none of the ancients ever read them who was not captiphus:--" Joab put Uriah upon a desperate forlorn, and to cover vated with the beautiful diction. Those who spoke in a simple his design, gave him several brave men to back him, with a pro- manner, and with the view of proving something, made great mise to support him with the whole army, in case there was any use of paralles, which I think necessary, not for the same reason possibility of entering the town ; and at the same time recom- that poets use them, but that they might be of assistance to our mended it earnestly to him, to maintain the reputation he had weakness, and further both teacher and listener to the point in already acquired with the king and the army, by acquitting hand.” For parables, like histories, wherein we have no concem, himself gallantly upon this occasion. Uriah with great cheer- are heard with more attention, and are so contrived, as to give no fulness undertook the post, while Joab gave his companions pri- offence, even though they provoke the man to whom they are vate orders to withdraw, and leave him, as soon as they found addressed, to condemn himself. “There were two men in die themselves in danger. The Hebrews pressed hard upon the city, the one rich, and the other poor; and the rich man had wall, and put the Ammonites under a dreadful apprehension, exceeding many flocks and herds;" as David had many wives and that they would force the town; whereupon the besieged threw concubines, with whom he might have been well satisfied, withopen their gates, and made a desperate sally, which was as good out violating another man's bed; but the poor man had nothing as a signal to those that were with Uriah, to abandon him; which save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished accordingly they did, and left him to be cut to pieces. He did up.' Bathsheba, very likely, was the only wife that Uriah had, all the execution that was possible to be done by one single man with whom he was highly pleased and delighted, and she very against numbers, and after several wounds received, fell like a probably with him, till David's temptations, had perverted her man of honour, with his face to the enemy.”—Jewish Antiqui- mind.. And it grew up together with him and with his chilties, b. 7. c. 7.
dren; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and! 6 Some learned men are of opinion, that this royal city of Rah-lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.' Nathan, in bah was likewise called the city of waters,' either because it stood his resemblance, cannot be said to have surpassed the truth, conupon a river, or was encompassed with water both for its defence sidering how fond many persons were anciently, not only of and delight. But Junius renders it, that “ he cut off the waters lambs, but of several other creatures, which they suffered to eat which supplied the town;" which translation not only Josephus with them at their tables, and lie with them in their beds; and seems to favour by telling us, that Joab seized on all the aque- that even at this day it is a custom in Arabia, which is contiguducts which led into the city; but Polybius (b. 5.) likewise, speak-ous to Judea, to have one of the finest lambs in the flock brought ing of the siege of this same place by Antiochus, relates the story, up in the house, and fed with the children. “And there came a Liow a certain deserter discovered to that prince a subterraneous traveller to the rich man;' this denotes David's straggling appepassage through which the besieged came to draw water, which tite, which he suffered to wander from his own home, and to Antiochus stopped up, and by reason of their thirst compelled them covet another man's wife: and of this appetite the Jewish doctors to surrender.—Poole's Annotations, and Calmet's Commentary. have this observation, that " in the beginning it is but a traveller,
c How long widows were to mourn for their husbands, there is but in time it becomes a guest, and in conclusion is the master no express precept in the law; but the usual time for common of the house.". And he spared to take of his own flock, and mourners was no more than seven days; and we cannot suppose his own herds,' wherewith he might have satisfied his appetite, that Bathsheba was much longer, considering the reason we have but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the wayfaring w apply to her the words of Lucan: “Unwilling she shed the man that was come to him.' Most commentators here take no. trickling tears, and from a heart of joy heaved forth groans.' lice, that Nathan did not go so far in the parable, as to say any
d According to the Jewish doctors it was utterly unlawful for thing of the rich man's killing the poor man. This certainly any to marry another man's wife in case he had defiled her be would have made the resemblance more complete, but it is fore. The canonical law declares such marriages null and void, therefore omitted, that David might not so readily apprehend Naas are contracted between an adulterous man, and a woman that than's meaning, and so be induced unawares to pronounce a sell
na partner with him in the crime; and though the law of Moses wnce of condemnation upon himself; whereupon the prophet
A. M. 2949, A. C. 1065; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A.M. 4341. A. C. 1070. 2 SAM. ;--xix. elegant parable, to represent the baseness and wicked- therefore the son, for by this tine Bathsheba was brought ness of what he had done, and to make him pronounce to bed of a son, begotten in this adulterous congress, sentence against his guilty self.
should not live ; that several of his family should come David accordingly condemns himself, and confesses to an untimely death; that some one of his sons should his guilt, and humbly begs pardon for what he had done : rise up in rebellion against him ;, and his own wives be Whereupon Nathan was sent again to inform him, that a defiled publicly, and in the sight of all the world, beGod had pardoned his transgression, namely, the eternal cause he had given such scandal to his own people, punishment due to his transgression God had remitted, and c such occasion to the enemies of God to blaspheme. but the o temporal should be inflicted on him. That Nor was it long before part of this sentence began to
be executed upon him. For the child, which he had by had a fair opportunity to show him, that if the rich man, who Bathsheba, was taken sick and died. While it was sick, wok away the poor man's lamb, deserved death, according to his David fasted and prayed, if possibly he might appease own judgment, how much more did he deserve it, who had not only taken another man's wise, but caused him to be slain like the divine wrath, and intercede for its life; but when it wise by the enemies of Israel. - Patrick's Commentary. was dead, he acknowledged the justice of God, and,
o It may very well be asked, how God so readily came to for. cheerfully submitting to his will, made his ardent supgive David, when he acknowledged his transgression, and yes plications to him, that the remainder of his afflictions did not forgive Saul, though he made the like confession. I have sinned.' But the answer is obvious, that, be the form of might be mixed with mercy. This in some measure was expression what it will, unless it proceeds from the sincerity of done ; for, in a proper space of time, he had another son e the heart, the great Searcher of hearts will not regard it. The true reason, therefore, why Saul could not obtain a revocation of terms, that he suffers men, naturally wicked, to follow the bent his sentence of rejection, was, because his repentance was not of their tempers, without any interposition of his providence to sincere; it did not proceed from an humble and contrite spirit. restrain them.-Le Clerc's Commentary. At the same time that he acknowledged his sin, he desired c David's crime, which at first was secret, was in time disSamuel 'to honour him before the people,' and persisted in his covered, and the report of it carried to the neighbouring nations. disobedience ever after. Whereas David, on the contrary, hum- The Syrians, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Edomites, the bled himself, wept and lamented for his sin, and of his penitence Philistines, people whom he had subdued, and who, out of pure has left us a perpetual and eternal monument in Psalm li. 'Have malice, had always a jealous eye upon his conduct, would not mnercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness; according fail upon this occasion to murmur, and say, “How could God the multitude of thy mercies, do away mine otiences; wash thus favour an adulterer and murderer ? Where is his justice me thoroughly from my wickedness, and cleanse me from and his providence ? Is this the God who is said to be so equitmy sin,' &c.
able in his dealings with men, and so severe an avenger of ini6 In the threats, which God orders Nathan to denounce against quity, and yet makes choice of such a monster as this to govern David, the expressions are, I will raise up evil against thee out his people! This is the David, the man after God's own heart, of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, whom he preferred before Saul, on whom he hath poured down and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy innumerable blessings, and for whom he hath many rich promises wives in the sight of the sun; for thou didst it secretly: but I in reserve; and yet did Saul ever commit such horrid enormj. will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun;' (2 Sam. ties as this man has done, and still continues to be the favourite xii. 11-12.) Where the words, “I will raise up, I will take, of God ?" Such reflections we may reasonably imagine would I will do,' do not denote any positive actions of God, as if he David's transgressions have occasioned among strangers and prompted wicked men to do the same things, wherewith he enemies, who might thence be induced to despise a religion they threatens David, insomuch that, without such prompting, they were acquainted with, and which he, who should have been its would not have done them, but by it were necessitated to do main support, so little regarded.—Calmet's Commentary. them. Such a construction as this is injurious to the divine d David's acts of humiliation for his sins are thus described attributes, and makes God the author of evil. But the true by Sylvian, On the Government of God. “He put off bis purple, meaning is, that God, at that time, saw the perverse disposition threw away his royal ornaments, laid down his diadem, wholly of one of his sons, and the crafty wiliness of one of his counsel- stripped himself of his kingship, and appeared as a penitent, in lors, which, without restraining them, would not fail to create a squalid, ruesul garb, fasting, lying on the ground, confessing, David no small uneasiness. And therefore, because David had mouruing, repenting, deprecating, &c., and yet, with all his violated his law, and, to gratify his Just, had committed both humiliation and compunction, he could not obtain a revocation adultery and murder, God would not interpose, but suffered the of this punishment." But why should the death of this child, tempers of these two wicked persons to follow their own course, who, had he lived, would have been a perpetual monument of and have their natural swing; whereupon the one, being ambi- guilt, and a brand of infamy upon his parents, be accounted by tious of a crown, endeavours to depose his father, and the other, David so great a punishment ? The true way to account for this, willing to make the breach irreparable, advised the most de- is to ascribe it to David's excess of passion for Bathsheba, which tested thing he could think of. This indeed was the very thing so strongly attached him to every offspring of hers, and made him that God had foretold, but, without any imputation upon his forget every thing in this child, but that motive of endearment. attributes, we may say, that God can so dispose and guide a Besides this, there is something in human nature, which prompts train of circumstances, that the wickedness of any action shall us to rate things after a manner seemingly unaccountable ; and to happen in this manner rather than another, though he do not estimate them, not according to their real worth, but according to infuse into any man the will to do wickedly. “To the torrent the expense or trouble, or even the distress they cost us. Nor of iniquity, if I may so speak,” for I give you the commentator's should it be forgot, that this excessive mourning did not proceed own words, because there is something very accurate in them, simply from the fear of the loss of the child, but from a deep " he adds no strength, but prevents its outbreaking to one side sense of his sin, and of the divine displeasure manifested in the rather to another, and all the circumstances (which have no vice child's sickness, and particularly from a just apprehension of the in themselves) he so directs and regulates that they may attain injury which he had done the infant by his sin, and which he to some certain issue. But there are innumerable circumstances thought himself bound in justice, by prayer and intercession, as of such a nature, having no real evil in themselves, but in which much as he was able, to repair.- Patrick's Commentary, and however the events are varied according to the will of God, and Poole's Annotations. the Almighty hath many methods by which he overrules all things e It is very observable, that in the whole compass of this without any diminution of his glory, and all in such a manner as story, there is not a word said either of Bathsheba’s guilt or punto leave to men the liberty either of breaking or obeying his ishment; but this might be, because, as to the matter of her commandments.” So that from such scripture phrases as these, husband's death, she was innocent: to the adultery which sho we may not infer, that God either does, or can do evil, but only, committed, she was enticed by the offers of a powerful king: and that he permits that evil to be done, which he foreknew would in the calamities which befell him, she, no doubt, had her share, be done, but might have prevented had he pleased; or, in other and felt her punishment.- Patrick's Commentary.
A. M. 2919. A. C. 1055; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4341. A. C. 1070.2 SAM. i-xix. by Bathsheba, who was named a Solomon, in confidence | notwithstanding all her entreaties and expostulations of the promise which God had made, that his reign with him, he first ravished her, and when his brutish passhould be crowned with peace : but this did not hinder sion was satisfied, in a sullen humour f bid her begone; the divine justice from being true to its threats, as well and when she remonstrated the ill usage, had her turned as its promises.
out by main force. David had several sons, but only one daughter, that 8 In this mournful and distracted condition, Tanar we read of, whose name was Tamar, sister to Absalom, repairs to her brother Absalom, and tells him the whole by Maacha, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur, ' a transaction of her rape : but her brother, though patu. princess of excellent beauty, and with whom Amnon, his rally a man of a high spirit, advised her to be silent in eldest son by another queen, fell desperately in love, point of prudence, because her ravisher was heir-appaand pined away with a ¢ hopeless desire of obtaining rent to the crown; and himself so h artfully concealed her, till at length, by the advice and contrivance of Jonadab, his intimate friend, and d cousin-german, he divine Majesty. "And I, whither shall I cause my shame to found means to decoy her into his apartment, where,
go?' She beseeches him, besides the sin against God,' to consi
der the disgrace it would be to her, who, after such a foul act, a The word Solomon is properly derived from Scholam, which must be ashamed to look any one in the face. • And as for thee, signifies peare, intimating that his reign should be peaceable; thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel.', Lastly, she puts him but, by God's appointment, Nathan gave him another name, in mind of his own reputation, which so vile an action would viz, Jedidiah, that is, the Beloved of God. The Scripture, how- tarnish for ever, and make him be looked upon as a man void of ever, never calls him by this name, but only by that of Solo- all sense, religion, honour, and humanity. Now therefore, I
for what reason we cannot tell, unless we may suppose, pray thee, speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from that the people being long harassed in war during his father's thee.' It is a common opinion among the Jewish doctors, that reign, might be pleased with this name, and use it rather than in the war which king David had with the king of Geshur, he the other, to intimate their hopes and longing desire of peace. took Maacha his daughter captive, and, as they fancy their las And for this reason (among others) it may be inferred, that allows, (Deut. xxi. 11.) lay with her for once only, and then he Solomon was born after the conclusion of the Ammonitish war, gat this daughter; but that, upon her becoming a proselyte to the though the sacred history takes occasion, from the death of Jewish religion, he married her, and afterwards had Alisalom. Bathsheba's first-born, to relate that event first. Not long after Tamar, therefore, being born while her mother was a Gentile, this, David had another son by Bathsheba, (2 Sam. v. 14. and they suppose that she was not David's legal child, and that 1 Chron. iii. 5.) whom he called Nathan, after the name of the Amnon consequently might marry her: but all this is mere talk
, prophet; and of these two Christ was born, though in different without any shadow of proof. The most probable opinion is, that lines: for Joseph, his supposed father, came from Solomon, as she was neither ignorant of the law (Lev. xviii. 11.) which proMatthew (chap. i. ver. 6, 7, relates it :) and Mary, his real hibited such incestuous marriages, nor thought her father's mother, came from Nathan, as it is in Saint Luke, chap. iii. power so great, as that he might dispense with the law upon this ver. 34.- Le Clerc's Commentary; and Bedford's Scripture occasion, but merely that she said any thing which she thought Chronology, b. 5. c. 4.
would please him, to stop his solicitations, and rude attempts, 6 The borders of the Geshurites and Maachathites (as we read and to escape for the present out of his bands.- Patrick's ComJosh, xiji, 11, 13.) were given by Moses to the Israelites that mentary; and Jewish Antiquities, b. 7. c. 8. seated themselves on the east of Jordan; nevertheless the f Interpreters seem to be at a great loss to find out the reason, children of Israel expelled not the Geshurites and Maachatlites, why Amnon's love to his sister should so soon be converted but they dwell among the Israelites unto this day:' from whence into such an hatred, as to make him act so rudely, so brutally it is evident, that the cities of Geshur and Maacha, the two towards her; but it is no uncommon thing for men of violent and Capitals of two small kingdoins, lay within the borders of the land irregular passions, to pass from one extreme to another. The of Israel: and though it does not appear how they were situated shame, which accompanies every base action, the remorse and in respect of each other, yet it is certain that they both lay on the repentance, and many bad consequences, that immediately sursouth side of Mount Libanus, in the north part of the half tribe sue it, make a recoil in every man's temper; and therefore of Manasseh, and on the east side of the river Jordan.—Wells' it is no wonder, that a libidinous young man, who would Gcography of the Old Testament, vol. 3.
pot spare so much as his own sister, should after fruition, c Virgins of the blood royal were kept secluse in apartments, and when the ardour of his lust was satisfied, be seized with a separate from the commerce of men, into which not only stran- contrary passion, and hate the object he loved so much before, gers, but even their own fathers, were not permitted to enter. when he came coolly to compare the pleasure and the sin taAmnon, however, at some time or other, had seen the beautiful gether, the shortness of the one, and the heinousness of the other. Tamar, or otherwise he could not have conceived so strong a He hated his sister, when he should have bated himself; and a passion for her. Upon some certain ceremonial occasions, this outrageous treatment of her made it impossible for his gult indeed, it was customary for the young women to walk out, and to be concealed, so God seems to have abandoned him to the show themselves; but, considering their close confinement at tumult of his intemperate mind, on purpose to make this punishother times, it was hardly possible for Amnon to find an oppor- ment of David's adultery more flagrant, and the prophet's pretunity of declaring his passion, much more of gratifying it; and diction of raising up evil to him out of his own house,' (2 Sam. therefore, out of pure despair, he pined himself into a consump- xii. 11.) more conspicuous.-Calmet's and Le Clerc's Comas tion.—Calmet's Commentary.
taries; and The History of the Life of King David. d Jonadab was the son of Shimeah, the brother of David. g The manner of Tamar’s signifying her vexation for the in
e There is something so moving, and the arguments are so jury and disgrace which her brother had put upon her, is expressed strong in Tamar's speech to Amnon, that one would almost by her putting ashes upon her head, (2 Sam. xiii. 19.) And that wonder why it did not prevail with him to desist. Nay, my this was an ancient custom, whereby to denote one's grief and brother, do not force me. Here she reminds him of his relation concern for any great loss or calamity, is evident from that to her, for which she hoped he would have such a reverence as not passage of the prophet concerning the people of Tyre: “They to meddle with her, though she herself were willing, much less shall cry bitterly, cast dirt upon their heads, and wallow themto offer violence to her, which it was abominable to do even to a selves in the ashes,' (Ezek. xxvi. 30.) from Achilles's behavior stranger, much more to one of the same blood. · For no such upon the death of Patroclus, as we have it in Homer:— * With thing ought to be done in Israel.' Whaterer other nations did, both his hands he grasped the burning sand, pouring on his heal who had not the knowledge of God's laws, she begs of him to con- and defiling his fair face.” (Iliad 18.)
And from what Me sider, that they both belonged to a nation which was God's pecu- zentius did upon the death of his Lausus, according to Virgil:liar people, had been instructed better, and therefore should act “With filthy dust he pollutes his hair, and to the heaven high otherwise. Do not thou this folly.' She prays him, besides stretches out both his bauds."- Æneid, 10. the scandal it would give, to reflect with himself on the heinous- h By this means Amnon was lulled asleep into a belief that Ab less of the crime, and how highly offensive it would be to the salom would not trouble him for what he had done, because he