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should provoke the LORD to afflict us with pestilence, we may learn, from David's example, to humble ourselves before God, with sincere resolutions of obeying his holy will, and then we may hope to be preserved, as he was, through Divine mercy.
Then we need not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noon day: a thousand shall fall beside us, and ten thousand at our right hand, but it shall not come near us. We shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty, and He shall deliver us*.
It is a happy thing to reflect, that in all dangers, how great soever, those who are religious may confide in GoD for protection, In this world, good persons are safe under his shadow, as the psalmist expresses it; but if it is the Divine pleasure to permit them to fall among sinners in a time of public calamity, it is but to remove them into the light of HIS GLORIOUS PRESENce.
We find that Satan was the first instigator to David's crime; but David was equally guilty in the sight of God as if it had proceeded originally from his own wicked inclination; from whence we learn, that it is no excuse for sin, to say we are tempted, as the LORD will certainly enable every one to resist temptation who will seek for Divine assistance.
DAVID MAKETH PREPARATIONS FOR BUILDING THE TEMPLE INSTRUCTETH SOLOMON-CHARGETH THE PRINCES.
From 1 Chronicles, Chap. xxii.
AND David commanded to gather together the stran
* Psalm xci.
gers that were in the land of Israel, and he set masons te hew wrought stones to build the house of God.
And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight: Also cedar-trees in abundance; for the Zidonians, and they of Tyre, brought much cedar-wood to David.
And David said, Solom
my son is young and tender, and the house that is to 1 builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death. Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the LORD GOD of Israel.
And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my GOD: but the word of the LORD came to me saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my-sight.
Behold a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.
Now my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as he hath said of thee.
Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God.
Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.
Now behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver: and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.
Moreover, there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers, and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work.
Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the LORD be with thee.
David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, Is not the LORD your GOD with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side? for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the LORD, and before his people.
Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your Gop: arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD GOD, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of GOD, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
We read in the last section, that David purchased the threshing-floor of Ornan for a considerable sum of money, and that he determined to build the Temple on that spot; he had received instructions from the LORD concerning the form of the Temple and its furniture, VOL. III. G
by which means he was enabled to direct all the necessary preparations. We find that David had collected together immense treasures for this holy purpose. Gold and silver abounded in those days much more than at present, for many mines have been entirely exhausted. David had been victorious in above twenty battles with the richest enemies in the world, many of whom had shields of gold, their weapons were at least ornamented with that metal, and even their camels' necks were adorned with golden chains: they also carried idols of gold and silver with them; therefore we may easily conceive, that the personal spoils which he took from his enemies must have amounted to an incredible sum, and in all probability the spoils of their cities to a much greater.
Edom, the Arabias and Syrias on both sides of the Euphrates, and the Palestine coast (which countries abounded with mines) were tributary to David; consequently the tribute that was annually paid to him must have been immense. He likewise brought great wealth to his kingdom, by trading with other nations; for his country was well cultivated, the produce of the land of Israel being much more than sufficient for its inhabitants; neither could they consume all the commodities with which their numerous flocks and herds supplied them.
Since his conquest of Edom, David had another source of riches; for by reducing that country to a province, he became master of two sea-port towns on the Red Sea, Elath and Esion-geber; from whence he carried on, for twenty-five years before his death, a very profitable trade to Ophir and Tarshish, in the eastern part of the world; each of these places, among other valuable articles, furnished David with great quantities of gold and silver. So that it is easy to account for his possessing such amazing riches; and from the piety of his disposition we may
conclude, that he was desirous of employing them in such a manner as might shew to the world, that he acknowledged GOD as the supreme KING of Israel, and considered himself only as the captain and shepherd of the LORD's inheritance.
ADONIJAH CAUSETH HIMSELF TO BE PROCLAIMED KING. SOLOMON, BY DAVID'S APPOINtment, is anointed.
From 1 Kings, Chap. i.
AND king David was old and stricken in years; then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king; and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
And his father had not displeased him at any time, in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man: and his mother bare him after Absalom.
And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah, helped him.
But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, went not with Adonijah.
And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle, by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En-rogel, and called his brethren the king's sons, and all the men of Judah the king's servants.
But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not. Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother