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his folly, and the next step of this ungracious sou was to steal the hearts of the people. Nothing is easier, than for an artful person to prejudice the idle and ignorant part of a nation against its governors, for people are too apt to impute all the evils which are naturally attendant on the lower stations of life, to the oppression and injustice of those who have the administration of public affairs; and to think the king, in particular, accountable for every thing they suffer. It does not appear that David was at all remiss or negligent in state affairs; on the contrary, he determined all great causes himself, and had appointed men of abilities and integrity to decide others : those persons therefore who listened to the wicked insinuations of his son, were very ungrateful.
David was struck with the utmost consternation, when he heard that Absalom had actually raised a con. spiracy against him; and we may imagine, from his behaviour on this occasion, that the remembrance of his sin in respect to Uriah rushed full on his mind, and the threatening denounced by Nathan, that evil should rise up against him out of his own house : he therefore called no council, but, like a true penitent, hunbly submitted to the dispensation of the Almighty. He had such a preference for Jerusalem on account of the Ark, that he could not bear to make that holy city a scene of blood, but resolved on an hasty flight, lest Absalom should come upon it suddenly.
Notwithstanding Absalom had drawn away so many, David had still some faithful friends left, who were determined to support him in every extremity.
It is supposed that the Philistines, having heard of Absalom's rebellion, hai resolved to take that opportunity
* Delany's Life of David.
of freeing themselves from their subjection to Israel ; and for that purpose had driven out all those who favoured David's government, amongst whom was Ittai and his followers, whose arrival was very providential for David at this juncture; though they were by birth Philistines of Gath, it is imagined they were proselytes to the true religion.
David would not presume to have the Ark carried before him, when he was sensible he was suffering the chastisement of the LORD; for this reason he sent back the priests, after having settled the means of carrying on a correspondence with them.
No wonder that the people wept at such an affecting -sight, for the bare relation of it must raise painful emotions in the mind of every reader. Let us suppose that we behold a king, venerable for his years and victories, renowned for wisdom and piety, and honoured as a prophet of the LORD, reduced to such distress, that he was forced to flee from the city which he had built and fortified, to seek shelter in a desert, whilst a whole country loudly lamented his fate!
DAVID ASCENDETH MOUNT OLIVET-ANITHOPHEL JOINETH WITH ABSALOM-HUSHAI · FOLLOWRTH DAVID.
From 2 Sam. Chap. xv. And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him, covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O VOL. III,
LOR, LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped Gov, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet hin, with his coat rent, and earth upon his head: Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me.
But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, О king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahi. thophel.
And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. Behold they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok’s son, and Jonathan Abiathar's son: and by them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear.
So Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came to Jerusalim.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The noble ardour of mind for which David used to be remarkable was extinguished by sorrow; the bitterest arrows of affliction pierced his very soul; for what can equal the severe pangs which a tender parent feels for a child's ingratitude ? Fears to which he had hitherto been a stranger, tore his distracted mind.
He did not lowever lose his hope and confidence in God, which were able to sustain him in the midst of th ese heavy distresses, as we may judge from the fol
lowing words, uttered it is supposed when he ascended mount Olivet, or the mount of Olives, which was about a mile distant from Jerusalem *.
LORD, how are they increused that trouble me ? muny ere they that rise up against me.
Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God.
But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
I cried unto the LORD with my coice, and IIe heard me out of his holy hill.
I laid me down and slept; I awaked, for the LORD
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that have set ihemselves against me round about.
Arise, 0 LORD, sare me, O my God; for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bune : Thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
IIear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in Thy faithfulness answer me, and in Thy righteousness.
And enter not into judgment with Thy servant : for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified.
For the enemy hath persecuted my soul, he hath smitten my life down to the ground: he hath made me to dwell in durkness, us those thut have been long dead.
Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me: my heart within me is desolate.
I remember the days of old, I meditate on all Thy works: I muse on the work of Thy hands.
I stretch forth my hands unto Thee: my soul thirsteth after Thee, as a thirity land.
Hear me speediły, O Lord, my spirit fuileth : hide not
Thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
Cause me to hear Thy loving kindness in the morning, for in Thee do I trust : cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto Thee.
Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies : I flee unto Thee to hide me.
Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God: Thy Spirit is good, lead me into the land of uprightness.
Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for Thy righteousness' suke bring my soul out of trouble.
And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul : for I am Thy servant.
When David heard that Ahithophel was in the conspiracy, he was exceedingly alarmed, because he was acquainted with all his affairs; the king therefore prayed to God to defeat his counsels: and the following Psalm, so applicable to his situation, is supposed to have been composed by David on this occasion.
Give ear to my prayer, O God: and hide not Thyself from my supplication.
Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise ; because of the voice of the enemy,
because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.
My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror kath overwhelmed me.
And I said, O that I had wings like a dove ! for then would I Ay away, und be at rest.