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and to do kindness to all such as are in want; ] expect no good event; but they know beforehand
and to think that nothing is better, nor more be- they must die; and that they must undergo that
coming than such a general beneficence; nor death in the battle also: after this, neither to be
what will sooner render God favourable, and affrighted nor to be astonished at the terrible fate
ready to bestow good things upon us. And so that is coming; but to go directly upon it, when
far. may suffice to have spoken concerning this they know it beforehand: this it is that I esteem
woman. But I shall speak farther upon another the character of a man truly courageous. Accord-
subject; which will afford me the opportunity of ingly this Saul did; and thereby demonstrated that
discoursing on what is for the advantage of cities, all men who desire fame after they are dead, are
people, and nations, and suited to the taste of good so to act, as they may obtain the same. This es-
men; and will encourage them all in the prosecu- pecially concerns kings; who ought not to think
tion of virtue, and is capable of showing them it enough in their high station that they are not
the method of acquiring glory, and an everlasting wicked in the government of their subjects, but to
fame; and of imprinting on the kings of nations, be more than moderately good to them. I could
and the rulers of cities, great inclinations and dili- i say more than this about Saul, and his courage;
gence in doing well; as also of encouraging them the subject offering matter sufficient; but that i
to undergo dangers, and to die for their coun- •may not appear to run out improperly in his com-
tries, and of instructing them how to dispose all mendation, I return again to that history from
the most terrible adversities. And I have a fair which I made this digression.
occasion offered me to enter on such a discourse Now when the Philistines had pitched their camp,
by Saul, the king of the Hebrews. For although and had taken account of their forces according to
he knew what was coming upon him, and that he their nations, kingdoms, and governments, king
was to die immediately, by the prediction of the Achish came last of all, with his own army. After
prophet, he did not resolve to fly from death, nor whom came David, with his six hundred armed
so far to indulge the love of life, as to betray his men. And when the commanders of the Philistines
own people to the enemy, or to bring disgrace saw him, they asked the king, whence those Hebrews
on the royal dignity. But exposing himself

, as well came? and at whose invitation? He answered, that
as all his family, to dangers, he thought it a brave it was David, who was fled away from his master
thing to fall together with them, as he was fight- Saul; and he had entertained him when he came to
ing for his subjects; and that it was better his him; and that now he was willing to make him this
sons should die thus, showing their courage, than requital for his favours, and to avenge himself upon
to leave them to their uncertain conduct after- Saul; and so was become his confederate. The
wards; while instead of succession and posterity commanders, however, complained that he had taken
they gained commendation, and a lasting name. him for a confederate who was an enemy; and gave
Such an one alone seems to me to be a just, a him counsel to keep him away, lest he should una-
courageous, and a prudent man; and when any wares do his friends a great deal of mischief by
one has arrived at these dispositions, or shall entertaining him. For that he afforded him an
hereafter arrive at them, he is the man who ought opportunity of being reconciled to his master by
* to be by all honoured, with the testimony of a vir- doing mischief to the army. They thereupon de-
tuous or courageous man. For as to those that sired him, out of a prudent foresight of this, to send
go out to war with hopes of success, and that they him away, with his four hundred armed men, to the
shall return safe ; supposing they should have per- place he had given him for his habitation. For this
formed some glorious action ; I think those do not was that David whom the virgins celebrated in their
well who call these valiant men, as so many his- hymns, as having destroyed many ten thousands of
torians and other writers who treat of them are the Philistines. When the king of Gath heard this,
wont to do; although I confess those do justly he thought they spake well; so he called David, and
deserve some commendation also. But those only said to him, “ As for myself, I can bear witness that
may be styled courageous and bold in great under- thou hast shown great diligence and kindness about
takings, and despisers of adversities, who imitate me; and on that account it was that I took thee for
Saul. For as for those that do not know what the my confederate. However, what I have done does
event of war will be as to themselves, and though not please the commanders of the Philistines. Go,
they do not faint in it, but deliver themselves up therefore, within a day's time, to the place I have
to uncertain futurity, and are tossed this way and given thee, without suspecting any harm, and there
that way, this is not so very eminent an instance keep my country, lest any of our enemies should
of a generous mind; although they happen to per- make an incursion upon it; which will be one part
form many great exploits. But when men's minds of that assistance I expect from thee.” So David


returned to Ziklag, as the king of Gath bid him. || fall asleep. And for so many as had time to put on But it happened that while he was gone to the as- all their armour, they slew them with the sword sistance of the Philistines, the nations of the Ama- with no less ease than they did those that were lekites had made an incursion, and taken Ziklag naked. And for the partisans of David, they conbefore, and had burnt it; and when they had taken tinued also the slaughter from the first hour of the a great deal of other prey out of that place, and out day to the evening, so that there was not above four of the other parts of the Philistines country, they hundred of the Amalekites left, and they only esdeparted.

caped by getting upon their dromedaries and camels. Now when David found that Ziklag was laid Accordingly, David recovered not only all the other waste, and that it was all spoiled, and that his own spoils which the enemy had carried away; but his wives, and the wives of his companions, with their wives also, and the wives of his companions. But children, were made captives; he presently rent his when they were come to the place where they had clothes; weeping and lamenting, together with his left the two hundred men, who were not able to folfriends. And indeed he was so cast down with these low them, but were left to take care of the stuff; the misfortunes, that at length tears themselves failed four hundred men did not think fit to divide among him. He was also in danger of being stoned to them any other parts of what they had gotten, or death by his companions; who were greatly afflicted of the prey, since they did not accompany th at the captivity of their wives and children; for they but pretended to be feeble, and did not follow them laid the blame upon him of what had happened. in the pursuit of the enemy; but said, they should But when he had recovered from his grief, and had be contented to have safely recovered their wives. raised up his mind to God, he desired the high-priest Yet did David pronounce, that this opinion of theirs Abiathar to put on his sacerdotal garments, and to was evil and unjust, and that when God had granted inquire of God, and to prophesy to him, whether them such a favour, that they had avenged themGod would grant, that if he pursued after the Ama- selves on their enemies, and had recovered all that lekites, he should overtake them, and save their belonged to themselves, they should make an equal wives and their children, and avenge himself on the distribution of what they had gotten to all, because enemies? and when the high-priest bade him pursue the rest had tarried behind to guard their stuff

. And after them, he marched apace, with four hundred from that time this law obtained among them ;men, after the enemy. And when he was come to that those who guarded the stuff, should receive an a certain brook called Besor, and had met with* an equal share with those that fought in the battle. Egyptian, who was almost dead with want and Now when David was come to Ziklag, he sent porfamine; (for he had continued wandering about tions of the spoils to all that had been familiar with without food, in the wilderness, three days ;) he first him, and to his friends, in the tribe of Judah. And of all gave him refreshments, and then asked to thus ended the affairs of the plundering of Ziklag, whom he belonged, and whence he came? The and of the slaughter of the Amalekites. man told him, he was an Egyptian by birth, and Now upon the Philistines joining battle, there folwas left behind by his master, because he was so lowed a sharp engagement, and the Philistines besick and weak that he could not follow him. He came the conquerors, and slew a great number of also informed him, that he was one of those that their enemies. But Saul the king of Israel, and his had burnt and plundered not only other parts of sons, fought courageously, and with the utmost alacJudea, but Ziklag also. So David made use of him rity; as knowing that their entire glory lay in nothing as a guide, to find out the Amalekites; and when else but dying honourably; and exposing themselves he had overtaken them, as they lay scattered about to the utmost danger from the enemy; for they had on the ground, some at dinner, some disordered and nothing else to hope for. So they brought upon inebriated with wine; and in their fruition of the themselves the whole power of the enemy, till they spoils and their prey, he fell upon them on the sud- were encompassed round and slain, but not before den, and made a great slaughter. For they were they had killed many of the Philistines. Now the naked, and expected no such thing; but had betaken sons of Saul were Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchithemselves to drinking and feasting; and so they shua. And when these were slain, the multitude of were all easily destroyed. Now some of them that the Hebrews were put to flight; and all was diswere overtaken as they lay at the table, were slain order, confusion, and slaughter, upon the Philistines in that posture. Others of them were slain as they pressing in upon them. But Saul himself fled, haywere drinking to one another, in their cups; and ing a strong body of soldiers about him; and upon some of them when their satiety had made them the Philistines sending after them those that threw

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javelins and shot arrows, he lost all bis company, || all about their country, to acquaint them that their except a few. As for himself, he fought with great enemies were fallen. And they dedicated their bravery; and when he had received so many wounds, armour in the temple of Astarte; but hung their that he was unable to bear up, or to oppose any bodies on crosses, at the walls of the city of Bethlonger, and yet was not able to kill himself; he bade shan; which is now called Scythopolis. But when his armour-bearer draw his sword, and run him the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard that they through, before the enemy should take him alive. had dismembered the dead bodies of Saul, and of But his armour-bearer not daring to kill his master, his sons, they deemed it so horrid a thing to overhe drew his own sword, and placing himself overlook this barbarity, and to suffer them to be without against its point, he threw himself upon it; and funeral rites, that the most courageous and hardy when he could neither run it through him, nor, by among them; (and indeed that city had in it men leaning against it, make the sword pass through that were very stout, both in body and mind,) him ; he turned round, and asked a certain young journeyed all night, and came to Bethshan, and apman that stood by, who he was? and when he un- proached the enemies' wall, and taking down the derstood that he was an Amalekite, he desired him bodies of Saul, and of his sons, they carried them to force the sword through him; because he was to Jabesh; while the enemy were neither powernot able to do it with his own hands, and thereby to ful nor bold enough to hinder them, because of procure him such a death as he desired. This the their great courage. So the people of Jabesh young man did accordingly; and he took the golden wept all in general, and buried their bodies in the bracelet that was on Saul's arm, and his royal crown best place in their country, which was named that was on his head, and ran away. And when Aroura ; and they observed a public mourning for Saul's armour-bearer saw that he was slain, he killed them seven days, with their wives and children; himself. Nor did any of the king's guards escape; beating their breasts, and lamenting the king and but they all fell upon the mountain Gilboa. But his sons without either tasting drink or meat,* when those llebrews that dwelt in the valley, beyond till the evening. Jordan, and those who had their cities in the plain, To this end did Saul come, according to the heard that Saul and his sons were fallen, and that prophecy of Samuel; because he disobeyed the the multitude about them were destroyed; they left commandments of God,t about the Amalekites, their own cities, and fled to such as were best forti- and on the account of his destroying the family fied. And the Philistines finding those cities de- of Ahimelech, the high-priest, with Ahimelech serted, came and dwelt in them.

himself, and the city of the high-priests. Now On the next day, when the Philistines came to | Saul, when he had reigned eighteen years,f while strip their enemies that were slain; they got the Samuel was alive, and after his death two, ended bodies of Saul, and of his sons, and stripped them, his life in this manner. and cut off their heads. And they sent messengers

* This way of speaking in Josephus, of fasting seven days, | teenth day of their tempestuous weather in the Adriatic sea, as without meat or drink, is almost like that of St. Paul's, Acts verse 27, and that on the fourteenth day alone they had con. xxvii. 33. “This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried, tinued fasting, and had taken nothing before the evening. The and continued fasting, having taken nothing;” and as the na mention of their long abstinence, verse 21, inclines me to beture of the thing, and the impossibility of strictly fasting so long, lieve the former explication to be the truth, and that the case require us here to understand both Josephus, and the sacred was then for a fortnight, what it was here for a week, that they author of this history, 1 Sam. xxxi. 13, from whom he took it, kept all those days entirely as fasts till the evening, but not of only fasting till the evening; so must we understand St. longer. See Judg. xx. 26. xxi. 2. 1 Sam. xiv. 24. 2 Sam. i. 12. Paul, either that this was really the fourteenth day that they had Antiq. VII. 7. taken nothing till the evening, or else that this was the four t i Chron. X. 13. | From An. 1114 to 1096 B. C.


Containing an interval of Forty Years.




Saul's dead body; and had brought them to him. OF DAVID'S CONDUCT ON RECEIVING THE NEWS OP SAUL'S DEATH, So David having no longer any room to question AND OF THE CIVIL WAR WHICH ENSUED BETWEEN THE ADHER: the truth of what he said, but seeing most evident

marks that Saul was dead, he rent his garment, This battle happened on the same day where- and continued all that day with his companions upon David was come back to Ziklag, after he had in weeping, and lamentation. This grief was overcome the Amalekites. Now when he had augmented by the consideration of Jonathan, the been already two days at Ziklag, there came to son of Saul, who had been his most faithful friend, him the man who slew Saul; he had escaped out and the occasion of his deliverance. He also of the battle which the Israelites had with the evinced such great virtue, and such great kindness Philistines; and had his clothes rent, and ashes for Saul, as not only to take his death to heart, upon his head. When he made his obeisance to though he had been frequently in danger of losing David, he inquired of him whence he came? He his life by his means, but to punish him that slew replied, from the battle of the Israelites; and in- him. For when David had said to him, that he formed him, that the result of it was unfortunate; was become his own accuser, as the very man many ten thousands of the Israelites having been who had slain the king; and when he had undercut off, and Saul, together with his sons, slain. stood that he was the son of an Amalekite, he He also said, that he could well give him this in- commanded him to be slain.* He also committed formation, because he was present at the victory to writing some lamentations and funeral comgained over the Hebrews; and was with the king mendations of Saul and Jonathan ; which have when he fled. Nor did he deny that he had him- continued to my own age. self slain the king, when he was ready to be taken When David had paid these honours to the by the enemy, and himself exhorted him to that king, he left off his mourning, and inquired of God act; because when he was fallen on his sword his by the prophet,f which of the cities of the tribe of wounds had made him so weak, that he was not Judah, he would bestow upon him to dwell in ? able to kill himself. He also produced demon- God answered that he bestowed upon him Hestrations that the king was slain ; which were the bron :f so he left Ziklag, and came to Hebron ; golden bracelets that had been on the king's arms, and took with him his two wives, and his armed and his crown, which he had taken away from men. Whereupon all the people of the afore* 2 Sam. 1. 13, 15.

tribe, and the possession of those priestly families who espoused † Though David, after Saul's demise, had a right to the king. David's interests, it was a very commodious city for him to make dom by virtue of God's designation ; yet as God had nowhere the place of his residence at this juncture, as being not insensi. declared, at what time he was to make use of this right, he ble, that the determination of the metropolis in his favour would would not enter into possession, nor take the administration of be of great weight to influence the whole tribe. And accordpublic affairs upon him, without having first consulted him. ingly we find, that he was soon invested with the sovereignty Patrick's Comment. B.

thereof: For the men of Judah, (saith the text) came, and there | Hebron was situated in the midst of the tribe of Judah ; they anointed David king over the house of Judah, 2 Sam. ii. and as it was a very ancient city, the metropolis of the whole || 4. The History of the life of King David, vol. 2. B.

mentioned tribe came to him and ordained him | pursuing them, but he pressed upon them, and extheir king. * But when he heard that the inhabit- cited the soldiers to follow them closely, and not to ants of Jabesh Gilead had buried Saul and his grow weary of killing them. His brethren also pursons honourably, he sent to them and commended sued them with great alacrity; and especially the them, and took what they had done kindly, and younger, Asahel

, who was the most eminent of them. promised to make them amends for their care of He was very famous for his swiftness of foot; for those that were dead; and at the same time he he could not only be too hard for men, but is reinformed them that the tribe of Judah had chosen ported to have over-run a horse, when they had a him for their king.

race together. This Asahel ran violently after AbBut as soon as Abner, the son of Ner, who was ner; and would not turn in the least out of the general of Saul's army, and a very active and good- straight way; either to one side, or to the other. natured man, knew that the king and Jonathan and Hereupon Abner turned back, and attempted arthis two other sons were fallen in battle, he hastened fully to avoid his violence. Sometimes he bade him into the camp; and taking away with him the re- leave off the pursuit, and take the armour of one of maining son of Saul, whose name was Ishbosheth, his soldiers; and sometimes, when he could not perhe passed over to the land beyond Jordan ; and suade him so to do, he exhorted him to restrain himordained him king over the whole multitude, except- self, and not to pursue him any longer, lest he should ing the tribe of Judah ;t and made his royal seat force him to kill him, and he should then not be able in a place called in our own language Mahanaim, to look his brother in the face. But when Asahel but in the language of the Grecians, The Camps. would not admit of any persuasion, but still conFrom whence Abner made haste, with a select body tinued to pursue him; Abner smote him with his of soldiers, to fight with such of the tribe of Judah spears as he held it in his flight, and by a back as were disposed to it; for he was angry that this stroke gave him a deadly wound, so that he died tribe had set up David for their king. But Joab, immediately. But those that were with him pursuwhose father was Suri, and his mother Zeruiah, ing Abner, when they came to the place where AsaDavid's sister, who was general of David's army, hel lay, they stood round about the dead body, and met him, according to David's appointment. He left off the pursuit of the enemy. However, both had with him his brethren Abishai, and Asahel; and Joab himsel!,|| and his brother Abishai, ran past the also all David's armed men. Now when he met corpse, and making their anger at the death of Abner, at a certain fountain, in the city Gibeon, he Asahel an occasion of greater zeal against Abner, prepared to fight. And when Abner said to him, they went on with incredible haste and alacrity, and that he had a mind to know whether of them had pursued Abner to a certain place called Ammah; it the more valiant soldiers, it was mutually agreed, was about sunset. Then did Joab ascend a certain that twelve soldiers on each side should fight to- hill

, as he stood at that place, having the tribe of gether. So those that were chosen out by both Benjamin with him, whence he took a view of them, generals for the fight, came between the two armies; and of Abner also. Hereupon Abner cried aloud, and throwing their lances one against the other, and said, that it was not fit that they should irritate they drew their swords, and catching one another by men of the same nation to fight so bitterly one the head, they held one another fast, and ran each against another; that as for Asahel his brother, he other's swords into their groins, until they all, as it was himself in the wrong when he would not be were by mutual agreement, perished together. When advised by him not to pursue him any farther; which these were fallen, the rest of the army came to an was the occasion of his death. So Joab consented obstinate engagement, and Abner's men were beaten; to what he said, and accepted his words as an excuse and when they were beaten, Joab did not leave off about Asahel; and called his soldiers back with the

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2 Sarn. ii. 4.

† 2 Sam. ii. 9.
I This was a place in the tribe of Gad, which had its name
from the appearance of a host of angels to Jacob, as he came
with his family and all his substance to Padanaram, Gen. xxxii.
1: and the reasons for Abner's retreating hither, in the begin-
ning of the new king's reign, were, that he might secure the
people on that side of Jordan, and especially the gallant inhab-
itants of Jabesh Gilead, who were great lovers of Saul, and
attached to his family; that he might prevent the Philistines
from falling upon the king, whom he had under his protection,
in the infancy of his reign; and chiefly, that he might be at a
great distance from David, have the new king more absolutely
under his cominand, and a better opportunity of raising recruits

among the people, not only brave and courageous, but

very well affected to the cause which he had espoused. Calmet's Com. mentary, and Pool's Annotations. B.

The expression in the Bible is,—That with the hinder part of the spear, he smote him under the fifth rib; which Virgil, speaking of a mortal wound, has not unhappily imitated :

Haud multa moratus
Excipit in latus, et, qua fata celerrima, crudum

Transadigit costas et crates pectoris ensem. Æn. 12. B.
|| It ought here to be noted, that Joab, Abishai, and Asahel,
were all David's nephews, the sons of his sister Zerujah, 23
1 Chron. ii. 16, and that Amasa was also his nephew, by his
other sister Abigail, v. 17.

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