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Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ish-bosheth, who lay on a bed at noon; and they smote him and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night.
And they brought the head of Ish-bosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold, the head of Ish bosheth the son of Saul, thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.
And David said unto them, As the LORD liveth, who `who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity: when one told me, saying, Behold Saul is dead, (thinking to have brought good tidings) I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings: how much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous man, in his own house, upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?
And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron : but they took the head of Ish-bosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner, in Hebron.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The Beerothites are supposed to have been Benjamites, who after the battle of Gilboa, fled to Beeroth, a city which had formerly belonged to the Gibeonites, but was evacuated by Saul's destroying them.
The Beerothites, who murdered Ish-bosheth, certainly intended to ingratiate themselves with David, by clearing his way to the throne of Israel; but they had either forgotten, or not heard of his treatment of the Amalekite
Amalekite who boasted of having slain Saul. It was for the vindication of his own character, that David should punish treachery.
Ish-bosheth is mentioned by David as a righteous person, and so he might be in respect to Rechab and Baanah, for it does not appear that he had either done or designed them any ill. But he was not the KING appointed by the LORD; therefore David having been anointed by the command of GoD, was justified in opposing him, and taking all proper measures for recovering his own right. Ish-bosheth certainly had no pretensions to the throne, even supposing that he was not satisfied of David's having been chosen by the LORD; because Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son, was the lawful heir, if the crown had descended in lineal succession ; Ish-bosheth therefore should in that case have fought for him, and maintained his claim, instead of usurping the sovereign power himself.
The severe sentence which David pronounced against the murderers of Ish bosheth, proves, that he was desirous to wait till it should please God to bring him to the throne, and that he particularly wished no violence might be done to any of Saul's family.
DAVID ANOINTED KING OVER ALL ISRAEL. THE PEOPLE'S REJOICINGS ON THE OCCASION.
From 2 Samuel, Chap. v. 1 Chron. Chap. xii.
DAVID was thirty years old when he began to reign in Hebron, and he reigned over Judah seven years and six months.
Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.·
Also in times past when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.
So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron, and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign.
And these are the numbers of the bands that were ready armed to the war, and came to David to Hebron to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD.
The children of Judah that bare shield and spear, were six thousand and eight hundred ready armed to the war. Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valour for the war, seven thousand and one hundred.
Of the children of Levi, four thousand and six hundred.
And Jehoiada was the leader of the Aaronites, and with him were three thousand and seven hundred.
And Zadok, a young man of mighty valour, and of his father's house twenty and two captains.
And of the children of Benjamin the kindred of Saul three thousand: for hitherto the greatest part of them had kept the ward of the house of Saul.
And of the children of Ephraim, twenty thousand and eight hundred, mighty men of valour, famous throughout the house of their fathers.
And of the half tribe of Manasseh, eighteen thousand which were expressed by name to come and make David king.
And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel
ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred, and all their brethren were at their commandment.
Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war with all instruments of war, fifty thousand which could keep rank; they were not of double heart.
And of Naphtali, a thousand captains, and with them with shield and spear, thirty and seven thousand.
And of the Danites expert in war, twenty and eight thousand and six hundred.
And of Asher such as went forth to battle, expert in war, forty thousand.
And on the other side of Jordan, of the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and of the half tribe of Manasseh, with all manner of instruments of war for the battle, an hundred and twenty thousand.
All these men of war that could keep rank came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king.
And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking for their brethren had prepared for them. Moreover, they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar, and Zebulun, and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep, abundantly; for there was joy in Israel.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
David spent seven years and six months at Hebron ; and as it appears that he did not take the field during that time, we may conjecture that he employed himself in settling and regulating his ARMY; for we may learn from different
different parts of scripture, that he appointed twelve courses of military men for the service of the year, each consisting of 24,000 soldiers, with their proper officers included, to do military duty wherever occasion required one month in every year. It † likewise appears, that the officers of each course were usually the fathers of the principal families of which that course consisted, so that there was little fear of cruelty and oppression on one side, or of disobedience and desertion on the other; and the commanders were naturally engaged to be more diligent in instructing and forming their soldiers, and the soldiers more attentive in learning their duty.
David had three commanders in chief of the first order, three of the second, thirty-one of the third, and thirty of the fourth: Asahel is mentioned as one of the chiefs, therefore this regulation of the army must have been established before the battle of Gilboa; and as it is said that "there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David," and we read but of little bloodshed, we may presume, that though there might be frequent skirmishes, there was no battle besides that at Gibeon; and we may suppose, that during the seven years of Ish-bosheth's reign over Israel, David exercised and disciplined his troops, so that at the conclusion of it he had a noble army.
The people of Israel, without a king and leader, were like sheep having no shepherd; and as they were convinced by David 's mild and wise government over Judah, that he was deserving of the supreme authority, they were unanimous in choosing him for their sovereign. How highly delightful must it have been to David, to receive the willing homage of such multitudes, who at length 2 Sam. xxiii. t1 Chron. xxvii. 1 Chron. xi.