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by two pillars. So they sent for Sampson, and he | of his affairs there, he took for his sons wives of the was brought to their feast, that they might insult Moabites, Orpah for Chilion, and Ruth for Mahlon. him in their cups. Hereupon he, thinking it one But in the compass of ten years, both Elimelech, of the greatest misfortunes if he should not be and a little while after him the sons, died; and able to revenge himself, when he was thus insult- Naomi being very uneasy at these accidents, and ed, persuaded the boy that led him by the hand, not able to bear her lonesome condition, now those that he was weary and wanted to rest himself; that were dearest to her were dead, on whose acand desired he would bring him near the pillars. count it was that she had gone away from her own And as soon as he came to them, he rushed with country, she returned to it again; for she had been force against them; and overthrew the house, by informed that it was now in a flourishing condition. overturning its pillars, with three thousand men However, her daughters-in-law were not able to in it,* who were all slain, and himself with them. think of parting with her; and when they had a And such was the end of Sampson, when he had mind to go out of the country with her, she could ruled over the Israelitest twenty years. And in- not dissuade them from it. But when they insisted deed this man deserves to be admired for his cour- upon it, she wished them a more happy wedlock age, and strength, and his magnanimity at his than they bad with her sons, and that they might death; and that his wrath against his enemies have prosperity in other respects also; and, seeing went so far as to die himself with them. But as her own aflairs were so low, she exhorted them to for his being ensnared by a woman, that is to be stay where they were, and not to think of leaving ascribed to human nature, which is too weak to their own country, and partaking with her of that resist the temptations to that sin. But we ought uncertainty, under which she must return. Accordto bear him witness, that in all other respects he ingly, Orpah stayed behind ; but she took Ruth was one of extraordinary virtue. His kindred along with her, as she could not be persuaded to took away his body, and buried it in Sarasai, his stay behind, but would share her fortune, whatsoown country, with the rest of his family.
ever it should prove.s
When Ruth was come with her mother-in-law to CHAP. IX.
Bethlehem, Booz, who was near of kin to Elime
lech, entertained her. And when Naomi was so OF THE MARRIAGE OF BOOZ AND RUTH; FROM WHOM CAME OBED, called by her fellow-citizens, according to her true
name, she said, “You might more truly call me Now after the death of Sampson, Eli
, the high- Mara." Now Naomi signifies, in the Hebrew priest, was governor of the Israelites. Under him, I tongue, Happiness; and Mara, Sorrow. when the country was afflicted with a famine, Elim- now reaping-time; and Ruth, by the leave of her elech, of Bethlehem, which is a city of the tribe mother-in-law, went out to glean ; that they might of Judah, being not able to support his family under get a stock of corn for their food. Now it hapso sore a distress, took with him Naomi his wife, pened that she came into Booz's field; and after and the children that were born to him by her, Chi- some time Booz came thither, and when he saw the lion and Mahlon; and removed his habitation into damsel, he inquired of his servant that was set over the land of Moab; and upon the bappy prosperity the reapers concerning the girl. The servant had
THE GRANDFATHER OF DAVID.
tain and unstable seat; for if that hinge had given way, there palace at Algiers, which, like many more of the same quality had been a greater slaughter than at the battle of Cannæ. This and denomination, hath an advanced cloister over against the entirely removes any imaginary difficulty, of this nature at least, gate of the palace, Esther v. 1, made in the fashion of a large from the history of Sampson. “The Eastern method of building pent-house, supported only by one or two contiguous pillars in may assist us in accounting for the particular structure of the the front, or else in the centre. In such open structures as these, temple, or house, of Dagon, (Judg. xvi.) and the great number in the midst of their guards and counsellors, are the basbas, kaof people that were buried in the ruins of it, by pulling down dees, and other great officers, assembled to distribute justice, the two principal pillars. We read (v. 27,) that about three and transact the public affairs of their provinces. Here, likewise, thousand persons were upon the roof, to behold while Sampson they have their public entertainments, as the lords and others made sport. Sampson must therefore have been in a court, or of the Philistines had in the house of Dagon. Upon a supposi. area, below them, and consequently the temple will be of the tion, therefore, that in the house of Dagon there was a cloistersame kind with the ancient seuevn, or sacred inclosures, sur ed structure of this kind, the pulling down of the front or centre rounded only in part or altogether with some plain or cloistered pillars only, which supported it, would be attended with the buildings. Several palaces and dau-wanas, as they called the like catastrophe that happened to the Philistines.” Shaw's courts of justice in these countries, are built in this fashion ; Travels, p. 283. B.
their testivals or rejoicings a great quantity of sand * Judg. xvi. 27, 30. is strewed upon the area for the wrestlers to fall upon, whilst † From about 1158 to 1138 B. C. the roof of the cloisters round about is crowded with spectators | According to the date, (1350,) it must have been long before of their strength and agility. I have often seen several hundreds the government of Eli. of people diverted in this manner upon the roof of the dey's Ruth i. 19.
a little before inquired about all her circumstances, count, especially when there had been nothing done
case thou wilt retain their fields." So the man It was not many days before Booz, after the yielded up both the fields and the wife to Booz, who barley was winnowed, slept in his threshing-floor. was himself of kin to those that were dead; as When Naomi was informed of this circumstance, alleging that he had a wife already, and children she contrived that Ruth should lie down by him, also. So Booz called the senate to witness, and for she thought that it might be for their advantage bid the woman to loose his shoet and spit in his that he should discourse with the girl. Accordingly face, according to the law. And when this was she sent the damsel to sleep at his feet, who went done, Booz married Ruth, and they had a son within as she bade her; for she did not think it consistent a year's time. Naomi was herself a nurse to his with her duty to contradict any command of her child; and by the advice of the women called him mother-in-law. And at first she lay concealed from Obed, as being to be brought up in order to be subBooz, as he was fast asleep; but when he awaked servient to her in her old age. For Obed in the about midnight, and perceived a woman lying by Hebrew dialect signifies a servant. The son of him, he asked who she was ? and when she had told Obed was Jesse; and king David was his son, who him her name, and desired that he, whom she owned left his dominions to his sons for one-and-twenty for her lord, would excuse her, he said no more; but generations. I was therefore obliged to relate in the morning, before the servants began to set this history of Ruth, because I had a mind to deabout their work, he waked her, and bid her take as monstrate the power of God; who, without diffimuch barley as she could carry, and go to her culty, can raise those that are of ordinary parentmother-in-law, before any body should see that she age to dignity and splendour, to which he advanced had lain down by him; because it was but prudent David, though he were born of such mean pato avoid any reproach that might arise on that ac
* Ruth iii. 13.
So in England, in the reign of Edward the Second, the depriva. † It is not easy to give an account of the origin of this cus tion of gloves was a cercmony of degradation.—With regard to tom, but the reason of it is plain; it being a natural significa- the shoe as a token of investiture, Castell, Lex. Polyg. col. 2342, tion that he resigned his interest in the land, by giving him his mentions that the Emperor of the Abyssinians used the casting shoe, wherewith he used to walk in it, that he might enter into of a shoe as a sign of dominion. See Psalm 1x. 8. To these and take possession of it himself. The Targum instead of the instances the following may properly be added : “Childebert shoe hath right-hand glove; it being then the custom, perhaps, the Second was fifteen years old, when Gontram his uncle deto give that in room of the shoe.
clared he was of age, and capable of governing by himself. I In latter times the Jews delivered a handkerchief for the same have put,” says he, “ this javelin into thy hands, as a token that I purpose. So R. Solomon Jarchi says, we acquire, or buy, now, have given thee all my kingdom.” And then turning towards the by a handkerchief or veil, instead of a shoe. The giving of a assembly, he added, “ You see that my son Childebert has beglove was, in the middle ages, a ceremony of investiture in come a man. Obey him.” Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws, vol. bestowing lands and dignities. In A. D. 1002, two bishops i. p. 361. B. were put in possession of their sees, each by receiving a glove. | Ruth iv. 17.
nacle to beseech God to make her a mother, and OF THE BIRTH OF SAMUEL, AND HIS PREDICTION OF THE CALAMITY to vow to consecrate the first son she should bear THAT BEFELL THE SONS OF ELI.
to the service of God; and this in such a way that And now, upon the ill state of the affairs of the his manner of living should not be like that of ordiHebrews, they made war again upon the Philis- nary men. And as she continued at her prayers tines. The occasion was this: Eli, the high-priest a long time, Eli the high-priest who sat before the had two sons, Hophni and Phineas, who were tabernacle, bade her go away: thinking she had guilty of injustice towards men, and of impiety to- been disordered with wine ; but when she said she wards God; and abstained from no sort of wicked- had drank water, but was in sorrow for want of ness. Some of their gifts they carried off, as be- children, and was beseeching God for them; he longing to the honourable employment they had : exhorted her to be of good cheer, and told her others of them they took away by violence. They that God would grant her request.t also were guilty of impurity with the women that So she came to her husband full of hope, and came to worship God at the tabernacle. Nay, ate her meal with gladness. And when they rethe whole course of their life was no better than turned to their own country, she found herself tyranny.* Their father therefore was angry at pregnant, and they had a son born to them; to them for such wickedness, and expected that God whom they gave the name of Samuel, which may would suddenly inflict his punishments upon them be styled one that was asked of God. They therefor what they had done. The multitude took it fore came to the tabernacle to offer sacrifice for heinously also. And as soon as God had foretold the birth of the child, and brought tithes with what calamity would befall Eli's sons, which he them; but the woman remembered the vow which did both to Eli himself, and to Samuel the proph- she had made concerning her son, and delivered et, who was yet but a child, he openly showed him to Eli; dedicating him to God, that he might his sorrow for his sons' destruction.
become a prophet. Accordingly his hair was sufI will first dispatch what I have to say about fered to grow long, and his drink was water. So the prophet Samuel ; and after that will proceed Samuel was brought up in theț temple. But Elcato speak of the sons of Eli, and the miseries which nah had other sons of Hannah, and three daughthey brought upon the whole people of the He- ters. brews. Elcanah, a Levite, one of a middling When Samuel was twelve years old, he began condition among his fellow-citizens, and one to prophesy, and when he was once asleep, God that dwelt at Ramathaim, a city of the tribe of called to him by name ; but he supposing he had Ephraim, married two wives, Hannah and Penin- been called by the high-priest, came to him; but nah. He had children by the latter, but he loved when the high-priest said he did not call him, God the other best, although she were barren. Now did so thrice. Eli was then so far illuminated, Elcanah came with his wives to the city Shiloh, to that he said to him, “ Indeed Samuel I was' silent sacrifice; for there it was that the tabernacleof God now as well as before. It is God that calls thee. | was fixed. Now after he had sacrificed, he dis- Do thou therefore signify unto him, and say, “ tributed at that festival portions of the flesh to his am here ready: So when he heard God speak wives and children ; and when Hannah saw the again, he desired him to speak, and to deliver other wife's children round about their mother, what oracles he pleased, for he would not fail to she burst into tears, on account of her barren- perform any ministration he should make use of ness; and, suffering her grief to prevail over her him in. To which God replied, “Since thou art husband's consolations, she went to the taber- here ready, learn what miseries are coming upon
* 1 Sam. ii. 12-17.
† 1 Sam. i. 17. another place as very much concealed from public view. He † Josephus here says, that Samuel was brought up in the covers his face on audiences, or public occasions, and holy place, or the temple; that is in the sacred buildings about when in judgment. On cases of treason he sits within his balthe tabernacle; as is the holy house used by Josephus for the cony, and speaks through a hole in the side of it, to an officer tabernacle itself, VI. 12, and in many other places.
called Kal HaTZE, the voice or word of the king, by whom he About An. 1170.
sends his questions, or any thing else that occurs to the judges, 1 Şam. in. 21. The word of the Lord. Without recurring who are seated at the council table.” (Bruce's Trav. vol. iii. to the learned explanations which have been given of this ex p. 265.) If such a custoin ever obtained among the Jews, the pression, it may possibly receive an agreeable illustration from propriety of the expression, the word of the Lord, is obvious, as the following extracts. “In Abyssinia there is an officer named the idea must have been very familiar to them. This clearly Kai Hatze, who stands always upon steps at the side of the appears to have been the case as to Joseph and his brethren, lattice window, where there is a hole covered in the inside Gen. xlii. 23. Joseph spake by an interpreter not of languages, with a curtain of green taffeta; behind this curtain the king but of dignity and state. Other instances of the same nature sits." Bruce's Trav. vol. iv. p. 76.) The king is described in may probably be traced in 2 Kings v. 10. Job xxxiii. 23. B.
AND THE PEOPLE; AND OF THE DEATH OF ELI.
the Israelites; such indeed as words cannot de- I was gained by the Philistines; and what defeat
came as a messenger thither,) the whole city was
full of lamentations. And Eli the high-priest, who CHAP. XI.
sat upon a high throne at one of the gates, heard
their mournful cries; and supposed that some strange of the MISFORTUNES WHICH BEFELL THE SONS OF ELI
, THE ARK, thing had befallen his family. So he sent for the
young man, and when he understood what had hapAbout this timet the Philistines made war pened in the battle, he was not much grieved as to against the Israelites, and pitched their camp at his sons, or what was told him about the army; as the city Aphec. Now when the Israelites had ex- having previously known by divine revelation that pected them a little while, the very next day they those things would happen, and having himself dejoined battle; but the Philistines were conquerors, clared them beforehand. For what sad things come and slew about four thousand of the Hebrews; unexpectedly, they distress men the most ; but as and pursued the rest of the multitude to their soon as he heard the ark was carried captive by camp.
their enemies, he was very much grieved at it, bé The Hebrews being now afraid of the worst, cause it fell out quite differently from what he exsent to the senate, and to the high-priest, and de- pected; so he fell down from his throne, and died; sired that they would bring the ark of God; that having lived ninety-eight years, and retained the by putting themselves in array, when it was pres- government forty.Ş ent with them, they might be too hard for their On the same day, the wife of his son Phineas enemies; as not reflecting that he who had con- died also; as not able to survive the misfortune of demned them to endure these calamities was her husband. For they told her of her husband's greater than the ark; and for whose sake it was death as she was in labour. However, she bare a that the ark came to be honoured. So the ark son at seven months, to whom they gave the namel came, and the sons of the high-priest with it, Icabod; which name signifies disgrace; and this having received an assurance from their father, because the army received disgrace at this time. that if they pretended to survive the taking of the Now Eli was the first of the family of Ithamar, ark, they should come no more into his presence. the other son of Aaron, that had the government; For Phineas officiated already as high-priest ; his for the family of Eleazar officiated as high-priest at father having resigned his office to him, by reason first; the son still receiving that honour from the of his great age. So the Hebrews were full of father, Eleazar bequeathed it to his son Phineas, courage, as supposing they should be too hard for after whom Abiezer his son took the honour, and their enemies; the Philistines also were greatly delivered it to his son whose name was Bukki; his afraid of the ark coming to the Israelites : how- son next received it; after whom Eli, of whom we ever the event did not prove agreeable to the ex- have been speaking, had the priesthood; and so had pectation of either side ; but when the battle was his posterity until the time of Solomon's reign; but joined, that victory which the Hebrews expected, then it was resumed by the posterity of Eleazar.
* Although there had been a few occasional prophets before, times called righteous men. See Matt. x. 41. xiii. 17. Copyet was Samuel the first of a constant succession of prophets institut. VIII. 12. the Jewish nation; as it is implied in St. Peter's words, Acts iii. † An. 1143. 24. “ Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel, and those that fol. # He was 98 years old. See 1 Sam. iv, 15. low after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these $From An. 1188 to 1148 B. C. days." See also Acts xij. 20. The others were rather some. 1 Sam. iv. 21.