« PreviousContinue »
to a man of that character, and to one who had | he been guilty of the greatest crimes. He also a testimony as having conquered his enemies.” promised to inform him of Saul's resolution. Ac
When these words of Saul were brought to cordingly, David complied with such advantageous David, he was pleased with them; and supposed advice, and kept himself out of the king's sight. that Saul was really desirous of this affinity with On the next day Jonathan came to Saul, as soon him. So that without bearing to deliberate any as he saw him in a cheerful disposition, and began longer, or casting about in his mind whether what to introduce a discourse about David.
4 What unwas proposed was possible, or was difficult or not ; just action, O father, either little or great,” said he, he and his companions immediately set upon the ene " hast thou found so exceptionable in David, as to my, and went about doing what was proposed as the induce thee to order us to slay a man, who hath condition of the marriage. Accordingly, because it been a great advantage to thy own preservation; was God who made all things easy and possible to and of still greater punishment to the Philistines? David, he slew many of the Philistines, and cut off a man who hath delivered the people of the Hebrews the heads of six hundred of them, and came to the from reproach and derision, which they underwent king; and by showing him these heads of the Phi- for forty days together; when he alone had courage listines, required that he might have his daughter in to sustain the challenge of the adversary; and after marriage. Accordingly, Saul having no way of that brought as many heads of our enemies as he getting off his engagements; as thinking it a base was appointed to bring; and had, as a reward for thing either to seem a liar when he promised him the same, my sister in marriage. Insomuch that this marriage, or to appear to have acted treacher- his death would be very sorrowful to us, not only ously by him in putting him upon what was in a on account of his virtue, but on account of the nearmanner impossible, in order to have him slain; he ness of our relation : for thy daughter must be ingave him his daughter Michal in marriage.* jured at the same time that he is slain; and must
be obliged to experience widowhood, before she can CHAP. XI.
come to enjoy any advantage from their mutual con
versation. Consider these things, and change thy OF DAVID'S DELIVERANCE FROM SAUL'S MACHINATIONS, BY THE AF. mind to a more merciful temper, and do not misFECTION OF JONATHAN, AND THE CONTRIVANCE OF MICHAL.
chief to a man who, in the first place, hath done us Saul was not disposed to persevere long in the the great kindness of preserving thee. For when state wherein he was; for when he saw that David an evil spirit and demons had seized upon thee, he was in great esteem, both with God and with the cast them out, and procured rest to thy soul from multitude, he was afraid. And being not able to their incursions; and in the second place, he hath conceal his fear, concerning his kingdom and his avenged us of our enemies. For it is a base thing life, to be deprived of either of which was a very to forget such benefits.” So Saul was pacified with great calamity; he resolved to have David slain, these words; and sware to his son, that he would and commanded his son Jonathan, and his most do David no harm: for a righteous discourse proved faithful servants, to kill him. But Jonathan won- too hard for the king's anger and fear. So Jonadered at his father's change with relation to David, than sent for David, and brought him good news that it should be made to so great a degree, from from his father, that he was to be preserved. He showing him no small good-will, to contrive how to also conducted him to his father; and David conhave him killed. Now because he loved the young tinued with the king as formerly.t man, and reverenced him for his virtue, he informed About this time it was, that, upon the Philistines him of the secret charge his father had given ; and making a new expedition against the Hebrews, Saul what was his intention concerning him. However, sent David with an army to fight with them; and he advised him to take care, and be absent the next joining battle with them, he slew many; and after day: for that he would salute his father; and, if he his victory he returned to the king. But his recepmet with a favourable opportunity, he would dis- tion by Saul was not as he expected upon such succourse with him about him, and learn the cause of cess; for he was grieved at his prosperity, because his disgust, and show how little ground there was he thought he would be more dangerous to him by for it, and that for it he ought not to kill a man that having acted so gloriously. Bu
But when the demonihad done so many good things for the multitude, acal spirit came upon him, and put him into disorder, and had been a benefactor to himself; on account and disturbed him, he called for David into his bedof which he ought in reason to obtain pardon, had chamber, wherein he lay; and having a spear in his
f 1 Sam. xix. 7.
* 1 Sam. xviii. 27.
| About 1104 B. C.
hand, he ordered him to charm him with playing on || had saved his enemy, and had put a trick upon himhis harp,* and with singing hymns; which when self; she invented this plausible defence, and said, David did, at his command, he, with great force, that when he threatened to kill her, she lent him her threw the spear at him. But David, being aware assistance for his preservation, out of fear, for which of it before he came, avoided it, and fled to his own assistance she ought to be forgiven, because it was house, and abode there all that day.t
not done of her own free choice, but out of necesBut at night the king sent officers, and commanded sity. “ For,” said she, “I do not suppose that thou that he should be watched till the morning, lest he wast so zealous to kill thy enemy, as thou wast that should get quite away; that he might come into the I should be saved.” Accordingly, Saul forgave the judgment-hall, and so might be delivered up, and damsel. But David, when he had escaped his dancondemned, and slain. But when Michal, David's ger, came to the prophet Samuel, at Ramah, and wife, understood what her father designed, she came told him what snares the king had laid for him ; to her husband, as having small hopes of his deliv- and how he was very near to death by Saul throwerance; and as greatly concerned about her own ing a spear at him; although he had been noway life also; for she could not bear to live, in case she guilty with relation to him; nor had he been cowwas deprived of him. And she said, “ Let not the ardly in his battles with his enemies ; but had sucsun find thee here when it rises; for if it do, that ceeded well in them all, by God's assistance, which will be the last time it will see thee. Fly, therefore, thing was indeed the cause of Saul's hatred to while the night may afford thee opportunity; and David. may God lengthen it for thy sake; for if my father When the prophet was made acquainted with find thee, thou art a dead man.” So she let him the unjust proceedings of the king, he left the city down by a cord out of the window, and saved him. Ramah, and took David with him, to a certain And after she had so done, she fitted up a bed for place called Naioth;ll and there he abode with him as if he were sick ;£ and put under the bed him. But when it was told Saul, that David was clothes as goat's liver; and when her father, as soon with the prophet, he sent soldiers to him, and as it was day, sent to seize David, she said to those ordered them to take him, and bring him to him. that were there, that he had not been well during And when they came to Samuel, and found there that night; and showed them the bed-cover; and a congregation of prophets, they became partakers made them believe, by the leaping of the liver, which of the Divine Spirit, and began to prophesy. caused the bed-clothes to move also, that David Which when Saul heard of, he sent others to breathed like one that was asthmatic. So when David, who prophesying in like manner as did those that were sent told Saul, that David had not the first, he again sent others; which third sort been well in the night, he ordered him to be brought prophesying also, at last he was angry, and went in that condition ; for he intended to kill him. Now thither in great haste himself. But when he was when they came, and uncovered the bed, and found just by the place, Samuel, before he saw him, out the woman's contrivance, they told it to the made him prophesy also. And when Saul came king. And when her father complained that she to him, f he was disordered in mind, and under
* The power of music upon the affections is very great. Its Since the modern Jews have lost the signification of the effect
upon Saul was no more than it has produced in many other Hebrew_word here used, Cebir; and since the Septuagint, as instances. Timotheus the musician could excite Alexander the well as Josephus, render it the liver of the goat; and since this Great to arms with the Phrygian sound, and allay his fury with rendering, and Josephus's account, are here so much more clear another tone, and excite him to merriment. So Eric, king of and probable than those of others; it is most unaccountable Denmark, by a certain musician, could be driven to such a fury, that our commentators should hesitate about its true interpreas to kill some of his best and most trusty servants. Ath. Kiroh. | tation. Phonurg. 1. ii. s. I. Is. Vossius de Poematum cantu et rhythmi || 1 Sam. xix. 18. viribus. B.
It seems that these violent agitations of Saul were no other + 1 Sam. xix. 10.
than demoniacal; and that the same demon which used to seize # A kind of net of goats' hair placed before the teraphim is him, since he was forsaken of God, and which the divine hymns what is here meant. Such a net Dr. Shaw (Trav. p. 221. 2d and psalms which were sung to the harp by David used to expel, edit.) says is “a close curtain of gauze or fine linen, used all was now in a judicial way brought upon him; not only in order over the East by the people of better fashion, to keep out the to disappoint his intentions against innocent David, but to ex. flies.” That they had such anciently cannot be doubted. Thus pose him to the contempt of all that saw him, or heard of his when Judith had beheaded Holofernes in his bed, she pulled agitations ; such violent and wild agitations being never obdown the mosquito net wherein he did lie in his drunkenness, served in the true prophets, when they were under the inspira. from the pillars, Judith xiii. 9, 15. So Horace, speaking of the tion of the spirit of God. Our other copies, which say the spirit Roman soldiers serving under Cleopatra queen of Egypt, says, of God came upon him, seem not so right here, as Josephus's Interque signa (turpe !) militaria
copy, which mentions nothing of God at all. Nor does Josephus Sol aspicit Conopeum. Epod. ix. 15.
seem to ascribe this impulse and ecstasy of Saul's to any other Amidst the Rornan eagles Sol survey'd
than his own demoniacal spirit; which on all accounts appears (O shane.) th’Egyptian canopy displayed. FRANCIS. B. the most probable. Nor does the former description of Saul's
the vehement agitation of a spirit; and* putting | thy father's inclinations, and that out of pity to off his garments, he fell down, and lay on the my case, and out of thy friendship for me; as inground all that day and night, in the presence of stances of which friendship, thou hast vouchsafed Samuel and David.
to accept the assurances of my love to thee; and And David went thence, and came to Jonathan, to give the like assurances to me; that is, those the son of Saul, and lamented to him what snares of a master to his servant. But if thou discoverest were laid for him by his father, and said, that any wickedness in me, do thou prevent thy father, though he had been guilty of no evil, nor had and kill me thyself.”+ offended against him, yet he was very zealous to But Jonathan heard those last words with inget him killed. Hereupon Jonathan exhorted him dignation ; and promised to do what he desired not to give credit to such suspicions, nor to the of him, and to inform him if his father's answer calumnies of those that raised those reports, if implied any thing of a melancholy nature, and any there were any that did so; but to depend on him, enmity against him. And that he might the more and take courage; for that his father had no such firmly depend upon him, he took him out into the intentions ; since he would have acquainted him open field, into the pure air, and sware that he with that matter, and take his advice, had it been would neglect nothing that might tend to his so; as he used to consult with him in common preservation ;S and he said, “I appeal to that when he acted in other affairs. But David sware God, who, as thou seest, is diffused everywhere, to him, that so it was; and he desired him rather and knoweth this intention of mine, before I exto believe him, and to provide for his safety, than plain it in words, as the witness of this my coveto despise what he, with great sincerity, told him; nant with thee; that I will not leave off to make that he would believe what he said, when he should frequent trials of the purpose of my father, till I either see him killed himself, or learn it upon learn whether there be any lurking distemper in inquiry from others; and that the reason why his the most secret parts of his soul; and when I father did not tell him of these things was, that he have learnt it, I will not conceal it from thee; knew of the friendship and affection that he bore but will discover it to thee, whether he be gently towards him.t
or peevishly disposed. For this God himself When Jonathan found that this intention of knows, that I pray he may always be with thee; Saul's was so well attested, he asked him what for he is with thee now, and will not forsake thee; he would have him do for him ? to which David but will make thee superior to thine enemies; replied, “ I am sensible that thou art willing to whether my father be one of them, or whether I gratify me in every thing, and procure me what I myself be such. Do thou only remember what we desire. Now to-morrow is the new moon; and I now do; and if it happen, that I die, preserve my was accustomed to sit down then with the king children alive, and requite what kindnesses thou at supper. If it seem good to thee, I will go out hast now received, to them.” When he had thus of the city, and conceal myself privately there. sworn, he dismissed David, bidding him to go to a And if Saul inquire why I am absent, tell him, certain part of that plain, where he used to perform that I am gone to my city Bethlehem, to keep a his exercises. For as soon as he knew the mind festival with my own tribe; and add this also, of his father, he would come thither to him, with that thou gavest leave so to do. And if he say, one servant: and “ If,” said he, “I shoot three as is usually said in the case of friends that are darts at the mark, and then bid my servant carry gone abroad, it is well that he went; then assure those three darts away, for they are before him ; thyself that no latent mischief or enmity may be know thou that there is no mischief to be feared feared at his hands. But if he answer otherwise, from my father; but if thou hearest me say the that will be a sure sign that he hath some design contrary, expect the contrary treatment from the against me. Accordingly thou shalt inform me of king.|| However, thou shalt gain security by my
real inspiration by the Divine Spirit, 1 Sam. X. 9—12. Antiq. such usages were observed as were of established authority, or VI. 4,) which was before he was become wicked,) well agree significantly important. The Scythians had a peculiar method with the description before us.
of forming their treaties. Herodotus (l. iv.c. 70.) relates that they * What is meant by Saul's lying down naked all that day, first poured wine into a large earthen vessel, and then the conand all that night, 1 Sam. xix. 24, and whether any more than tracting parties, cutting their arms with a knife, let some of their his laying aside his royal apparel, or upper garments, as Josephus blood run into the wine, and stained likewise their armour seems to understand it, is by no means certain.
therewith. After which they themselves, and all that were t 1 Sam. xx. 3.
# 1 Sam. xx. 8. present, drank of that liquor, making the strongest imprecations Š Various ceremonies have been used on these occasions. against the person that should violate the treaty. B. When treaties were made, either of a private or public nature, || 1 Sam. XX. 22.
assistance, and shalt by no means suffer any harm. of David was determined. But as soon as it was But see that thou dost not forget what I have de- day, he went out into the plain that was before the sired of thee, in the time of thy prosperity, and be city; as going to perform his exercises ; but, in serviceable to my children.” Now David, when he reality, to inform his friend what disposition his had received these assurances from Jonathan, father was in towards him, as he had agreed to do. went to the place appointed.
And when Jonathan had done what had been thus On the next day, which was the new moon, the agreed, he dismissed his servant that followed him, king, when he had purified himself, as the custoin to return to the city, but he himself went into the was, came to supper; and when there sat by him desert, and came into his presence, and communed his son Jonathan on his right hand, and Abner, with him. So David appeared, and fell at Jonathe captain of his host, on the other hand, he saw than's feet, and bowed down to him, and called him David's seat empty ; but said nothing; supposing the preserver of his soul. But he listed him up from that he had not purified himself, and so could not the earth, and they mutually embraced one another, be present. But when he saw that he was not and made a long greeting, and that not without there on the second day of the month, he inquired tears. They also lamented their age, and that of Jonathan, why the son of Jesse did not come familiarity which envy would deprive them of, and to the supper and the feast, neither the day be- that separation which must now be expected, which fore, nor that day? Jonathan replied, that he was seemed to them no better than death itself. So, gone, according to the agreement between them, recollecting themselves at length from their lamentto his own city, where his tribe kept a festival, ation, and exhorting each other to be mindful of and that by his permission: that he also invited the oaths they had mutually sworn, they parted.* him to come to their sacrifice; and, said Jonathan, “ If thou wilt give me leave, I will go thither, for
CHAP. XII. thou knowest the good-will that I bear him.” And then it was that Jonathan understood his father's hatred to David; and plainly saw his entire disposition. For Saul could not restrain his anger, but reproached Jonathan, and called him the son
David now fled from the king, and that death he of a runagate, and an enemy, and said he was a was in danger of by him; and came to the city partner with David, and his assistant, and that by Nob, tof Ahimelech the priest, who, when he saw this behaviour he showed he had no regard to him coming alone, and neither a friend nor a servant himself, or to his mother; and would not be per- with him, he wondered at it; and desired to learn suaded, that while David remained alive, their the cause why there was nobody with him? To kingdom was not secure to them. Yet did he bid which David answered, that the king had comhim send for him, that he might be punished. And manded him to do a certain thing that was to be when Jonathan said, in answer, “ What hath he kept secret, to which, if he had a mind to know so done that thou wilt punish him ?" Saul no longer much, he had no occasion for any one to accomcontented himself to express his anger in bare pany
“However," said he, “I have ordered words, but snatched up his spear, and leaped upon my servants to meet me at such and such a place.” him, and was desirous to kill him. He did not in- So he desired him to let him have somewhat to eat; deed do what he intended, because he was hin- and that in case he would supply him, he would act dered by his friends; but it appeared plainly to the part of a friend, and be assisting to the business his son, that he hated David, and greatly desired he was now about. And when he had obtained to dispatch him ; insomuch, that he had almost what he desired, he also asked him, whether he had slain his son with his own hands on his account. any weapons with him, either sword or spear?
The king's son rose hastily from supper, and being Now there was at Nob a servant of Saul's, by birth then unable to admit any thing into his mouth for af Syrian, whose name was Doeg; one that kept grief, he wept all night; both because he had him the king's mules. The high-priest said, that he had self been near destruction, and because the death no such weapon: but he added, “ Here is the sword
OF DAVID'S FLIGUT; FIRST TO AHIMELECH, AND AFTERWARDS TO
1 Sam. xx. 42.
mean this, unless there were, in effect, two high-priests at the † Whether this Ahimelech of the family of Ithamar, or Abi same time; the one of the family of Eleazar, and the other of athar, of the same family, were the Jewish high-priest, when that of Ithamar; the one Ahimelech, the other Abiathar:, and David came to Nob, see my dissertation at the end of my Essay that our Saviour esteemed Abiathar to be so most properly; on the Revelation of St. John, at large ; pag. 284–289. Jose which is not impossible to be supposed. phus believed, that Ahimelech was then the high-priest, which Edomite in the Hebrew, Syrian in the Septuagint.
contrary to our Saviour's affirmation, Mark ii. 25, 26. I
of Goliath, which, when thou hadst slain the Philis- of you owners of land, and made you commanders, tine, thou didst* dedicate to God."
and bestowed posts of honour upon you, and set When David had received the sword, he fled out some of you over the common people, and others of the country of the Hebrews, into that of the Phi- over the soldiers. I ask you, therefore, whether you listines, over which Achish reigned. And when the expect greater donations from the son of Jesse ? for king's servants knew him, and he was made known I know that you are all inclined towards him; even to the king himself
, the servants informing him that my own son Jonathan is of that opinion, and perhe was that David, who had killed many ten thou- suades you to be of the same. For I am not unacsands of the Philistines, David was afraid lest the quainted with the oaths and covenants that are king should put him to death, and that he should between him and David; and that Jonathan is a experience that danger from him which he had counsellor, and an assistant to those that conspire escaped from Saul; so he pretended to be distracted against me; and none of you are concerned about and mad, letting his spittle run out of his mouth, these things; but you keep silence, and watch to and doing other actions before the king of Gath, see what will be the result.” When the king had which might make him believe that they proceeded concluded his speech, not one of the rest of those from such a distemper.
gly, the king was that were present made any answer; but Doeg the very angry at his servants that they had brought Syrian,ş who fed his mules, said, that he saw David him a madman ;t and gave order that they should when he came to the city Nob, to Ahimelech the eject David immediately out of the city.
high-priest; and that he learned future events by his When David had escaped in this manner out of prophesying; that he received food from him, and Gath, he came to the tribe of Judah, and abode in the sword of Goliath, and was conducted by him a cave, by the city of Adullam. Then it was that with security whither he desired to go. he sent to his brethren, and informed them where Saul therefore sent for the high-priest, and for all he was, who then came to him with all their kindred, his kindred, and said to them, “ What terrible or unand as many others as were either in want, or in grateful thing hast thou suffered from me, that thou fear of king Saul, came and made a body together, hast received the son of Jesse, and hast bestowed and told him they were ready to obey his orders. on him both food and weapons, when he was con
They were in all four hundred. Whereupon he took triving to get the kingdom; and farther, why didst courage, now such a force and assistance was come thou deliver oracles to him concerning futurity? for to him. So he removed hence, and came to the king thou couldst not be unacquainted that he had fled of the Moabites, and desired him to entertain his away from me; and that he hated my family.” But parents in his country, while the issue of his affairs the high-priest did not attempt to deny what he had was in such an uncertain condition. The king done, but confessed boldly that he had supplied him granted him his favour, and payed great respect to with those things; not to gratify David, but Saul David's parents, all the time they were with him. himself; and he said, " I did not know that he was
As for himself, I upon the prophet's commanding thy adversary, but a servant of thine, who was very him to leave the desert, and go into the portion of faithful to thee; and a captain over a thousand of the tribe of Judah, and abide there, he complied; thy soldiers; and what is more than these, thy sonand coming to the city Hareth, which was in that in-law. Men do not choose to confer such favours tribe, he remained there. Now when Saul heard on their adversaries; but on those who are esteemed that David had been seen with a multitude about to bear the highest good-will and respect to them. him, he fell into no small disturbance and trouble. Nor is this the first time that I prophesied for him; But as he knew that David was a bold and cour- but have done it at other times, as well as now. ageous man, he suspected that somewhat extraordi- And when he told me that he was sent by thee to nary would appear from him, and that openly also, perform something in great haste; if I had furnished which would make him weep, and put him into dis- him with nothing that he desired, I should have tress. So he called together his friends and his com- thought it was rather in contradiction to thee, than manders, and the tribe from which he was himself to him. Wherefore, do not thou entertain any ill derived, to the hill where his palace was, and sitting opinion of me, nor do thou have a suspicion of what upon a place called Aroura, his courtiers that were I'then thought an act of humanity, from what is in dignities, and the guards of his body being with now told thee of David's attempts against thee; for him, he spake thus to them: “You that are men of I did to him as to thy friend, and son-in-law, and my own tribe, I conclude, remember the benefits that captain of a thousand; and not as to thine adverI have bestowed upon you; that I have made some sary.”
Antiq. vi. 9.
+ 1 Sam. xvi. 15.
| About An. 1099.