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The vally of Rephaim was to the west of Jerusalem, large and fruitful, capable of containing the numerous hosts, which collected together, must have made a very formidable appearance. David retired to the cave of Adullam, because he was acquainted with its strength, and did not choose to make Jerusalem a scene of blood, if he could by any means prevent its invasion.
Though David had a very powerful army, commanded by heroes of renowned valour, he knew that no human means were sufficient to secure him success against his enemies; therefore, according to his usual piety, and consistent with his character as GOD's Vicegerent, and CAPTAIN of the LORD's inheritance, he would not presume to attack the Philistines, till he had enquired the will of God. When he was going in consequence of the Divine command to encounter the enemy, he is supposed to have animated his troops by repeating the following Psalm*, which, perhaps, was accompanied with warlike musict.
Keep not Thou silence, O GOD: hold not Thy peace, and be not still, O GOD.
For lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate Thee, have lift up the head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Thy people, and consulted against Thy hidden ones.
They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
For they have consulted together with one consent; they are confederate against Thee.
The tabernacles of Edom and the Ishmaelites: of Moab and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek, the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;
* Delany's Life of David.
+ Psalm lxxxii.
Assur is also joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot.
Do unto them as unto the Midianites, as to Sisera, as to Jabin at the brook of Kison;
Which perished at En-dor: they became as dung for
Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zeba and Zalmunna:
Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of GOD in possession.
O my GOD, make them like a wheel: as the stubble before the wind.
As the fire burneth the wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire, so persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.
Fill their faces with shame: that they may seek thy name, O LORD.
Let them be confounded and troubled for ever: yea, let them be put to shame and perish.
That men may know, that Thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most High over all the earth.
David gained a great victory; but he considered himself only as an humble instrument in the hand of God, for he describes the enemy as an over-whelming flood ready to swallow him up; and the armies of his enemies, divided by the power of GOD, as the mighty waters of the ocean are broken and divided by a storm. On this happy occasion, he is supposed to have uttered the following Psalm*.
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now Israel say;
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us ;
Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us.
Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul.
Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
What an instance of affectionate respect did those officers give, who fetched the water from Beth-lehem! How truly great were David's piety and self-denial! He looked upon the waters, fetched at the hazard of their lives, as sacred to GOD, and poured it on the earth as an offering of thanksgiving, though he was suffering the pain of excessive thirst..
DAVID SMITETH THE PHILISTINES
AGAIN AT THE
From 2 Samuel, Chap. v.
AND the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up but fetch a compass behind them and come upon them over against the mulberry-trees.
And let it be when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry-trees, that then thou shalt
bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee to smite the host of the Philistines.
And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba, until thou come to Gazer.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
Though the Philistines and their allies had received such an overthrow, we find they made another attempt, in which they were miraculously defeated; for a noise was heard by them like the sound of a mighty army in their rear, which struck them with terror, so that David totally defeated them. When David and his victorious army returned back to Jerusalem, it is supposed the following Psalm was publicly sung +.
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because His mercy endureth for ever.
Let Israel now say, that His mercy endureth for ever. Let the house of Aaron now say, that His mercy endureth for ever.
Let them now that fear the LORD say, that His mercy endureth for ever.
The LORD is on my side: I will not fear what man can do unto me.
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence
All nations compassed me about; but in the name of
the LORD will I destroy them.
They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched
*Delany's Life of David.
+ Psalm cxviii.
as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall; but the LORD helped me.
The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.
I will praise thee: for Thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
The stone which the builders refused, is become the head-stone of the corner.
This is the LORD's doing, it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Save now, I beseech Thee, O LORD: 0 LORD, I beseech Thee, send now prosperity.
Thou art my God, and I will praise Thee; thou art my God, I will exalt thee.
O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever.
DAVID FETCHETH THE ARK FROM KIRJATH-JEARIM
From 1 Chron. Chap. xiii.
AND David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.