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EASTERN GRINDSTONE. of men (2 Chron. xiv. 9); there does not appear to have with the Philistines. He probably thought that the age been more than two hundred in the immense army which gressions of the Philistines, and their existing position as Darius raised for the contest with Alexander (Q. Curtius, the oppressors of Israel, with their intrusion into the Hebrew iv. 8); Antiochus Eupator had but three hundred in his territory, made his undertaking so obviously just and patrilarge army (2 Mac. xiii. 2); and the great army which otic as to render a direct authorization superfluous, as its Mithridates brought against the Romans contained but one refusal could not be imagined; Samuel was not, however, hundred. It may therefore be safely doubted whether the willing that such a precedent of independent action should Philistines, with all the assistance which their neighbours be established ; and therefore he had appointed to meet might afford, could bring into the field a number of cha- Saul on a particular day at Gilgal,to offer burntriots such as perhaps all Asia could not supply. That the offerings and peace-offerings, and to shew him what text conveys an erroneous impression is generally ad- he should do, that is, both to propitiate the Lord, as mitted; but there are different opinions as to the correct on other occasions, and to advise Saul how to act in understanding. Some think, with Bishop Patrick, that the carrying on the war. On the appointed day Samuel number is right, but that it does not refer exclusively to did not arrive as soon as the king expected. The prophet war-chariots, but includes carriages of all kinds, for con- probably delayed his coming on purpose to test his fidelity veying the baggage of the infantry, for taking back the and obedience. Saul failed in this test. Seeing his force plunder from the Israelites, and other uses. Others appre- hourly diminishing by desertions, and, in the pride of his hend that thirty thousand' means not so many chariots, fancied independence, considering that he had as much but men fighting in them, in which sense the word ‘cha- right as the Egyptian and other kings to perform the riots' is sometimes used. (2 Sam. x. 18; 1 Kings xx. 21; priestly function, he ordered the victims to be brought, and i Chron. xix. 18.? Some, however, prefer to take the offered them himself upon the altar. This usurpation of reading as three thousand,' as we find it in the Syriac and the priestly office by one who had no natural anthority as Arabic versions, concluding that some transcriber made an Aaronite, nor any special authorization as a prophet,
sheloshim, thirty, for
was decisive of the character and the fate of Saul. If the vikwi shalosh, three ; and, after this correction, some com
principles of the theocracy were to be preserved, and if the mentators, thinking three thousand still too large a pro
political supremacy of Jehovah was at all to be maintained,
it was indispensably necessary that the first manifestation portion, incorporate the previous conclusions, and sup- by the kings of autocratic dispositions and self-willed aspose that the number either included baggage-chariots, sumption of superiority to the law, should be visited by or that we are to understand three thousand men fighting
severe examples of punishment; for if not checked in the in a much smaller number of chariots. Whatever expla- | beginnings, the growth would have been fatal to the constination we take, it seems impossible to understand that
tution. It will hence appear that the punishments which thirty thousand war-chariots are intended.
Saul incurred for this and other acts, manifesting the 9. · He offered the burnt-offering.'— Saul had manifested same class of dispositions, were not so disproportioned to his inability of comprehending his true place, and his dis- his offences, or so uncalled for by the occasions of the state, position to regard himself as an independent sovereign, by as some persons have been led to imagine. entering upon or provoking this war without consulting, 10. • Šaul went out to meet him.' — The custom of going tbrough Samuel or the priest, the Divine will. Although forth to meet and greet a visitor is frequently mentioned not formally so declared, it was the well-understood prac- in the Scriptures. It is still usual, in Western Asia, to send tice of the Hebrew constitution, that no war against any forth relatives or confidential persons of suitable rank to other than the doomed nations of Canaan should be under- meet and escort an approaching traveller, whose advance taken without the previous consent and promised assistance has been previously notified ; but we cannot recollect that of the Great King. Yet Saul, without any such authority, it is customary anywhere for the host himself to do so. In had taken measures which were certain to produce a war Eastern Asia the custom however still exists; serving with
other instances to confirm a suspicion we have long enter- which enabled him to leave to his successors a memorable tained, that China and Japan would furnish to a diligent example of confidence in God! Samuel saw through the student a larger number of striking illustrations of Scripture hollowness of Saul's apologies, and warned him that by mannets and ideas than has been supposed. In the latter such sentiments as he entertained, and such conduct as he country Thunberg and Kæmpfer both noticed the custom. manifested, he was rendering himself unworthy to be the The former says, At Japanie, where we dined, we were founder of a royal house, inasmuch as he could not become receired by the host in a more polite and obsequious man- a pattern to his successors; and that by persevering in such ner than I ever experienced since in any other part of the a course he would compel the appointment of one more Forld. It is the custom in this country for the landlord to worthy than himself to reign over Israel, and to be the go to meet the travellers part of the way, and, with every father of a kingly race. token of the utmost submission and respect, bid them wei- 15. • Samuel arose, and gat him up from Gilgal unto come; he then hurries home in order to receive his guests Gibeah of Benjamin.'— The Septuagint, supported by the at his house in the same humble and respectful manner, Vulgate, preserves a clause which has here dropped from after which some trifling present is produced on a small the Hebrew text, but which the context indispensably relow square table.
quires. *Aud Samuel arose and departed from Gilgal. 14.* Thy kingdom shall not continue.”—The apology And the remnant of the people went up after Saul to meet which Saul made to the prophet for what he had done- the enemy, going from Gilyal to Gibeah of Benjamin.' that his force was diminishing, and that he was afraid that Samuel went away, probably home to Ramah, and Saul also if he delayed any longer the Philistines would fall upon went home to defend his native town, the Philistines being in him before sacrifices had been offered to Jehovah-shewed strong force in that neighbourhood. Every copyist knows little of that reliance upon the Divine King which every how easy it is to drop a clause, when that which precedes Hebrew general was expected to manifest, and but little or follows ends in the same form of words, as in the present anxiety to receive those prophetic counsels which Samuel instance: and this has been the occasion of several omis. had promised to deliver.' Under nearly similar circum- sions in the Hebrew text; but the lost clause is usually stances, how different was the conduct of Gideon, who found in some of the ancient versions. gained immortal honour by those theocratic sentiments
northward over against Michmash, and the 1 Jonathan, unwitting to his father, the priest, or the
other southward over against Gibeah. people, goeth and miraculously smiteth the Philis
6 And Jonathan said to the young man tines" garrison. 15 A divine terror maketh them that bare his armour, Come, and let us go beat themselves. 17 Saul, not staying the priest's over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised : ansuer, setteth on them. 21 The captivated Hebrews, and the hidden Israelites, join against them. 24
it may be that the LORD will work for us :
for there is no restraint to the LORD 'to save Saul's unodvised adjuration hindereth the victory, 52 He restraineth the people from eating blood. by many or by few. 35 He buildeth an altar. 36 Jonathan, taken by 7 And his armourbearer said unto him, lot, is saved by the people. 47 Saul's strength and Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; family.
behold, I am with thee according to thy Now 'it came to pass upon a day, that Jo- heart. nathan the son of Saul said unto the young 8 Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will man that bare his armour, Come, and let us pass over unto these men, and we will discover go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is ourselves unto them. on the other side. But he told not his 9 If they say thus unto us, "Tarry until we father.
come to you; then we will stand still in our 2 And Saul tarried in the uttermost part place, and will not go up unto them. of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which 10 But if they say thus, Come up unto is in Migron: and the people that were with us; then we will go up: for the Lord hath him were about six hundred men ;
delivered them into our hand : and this shall 3 And Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, 'I-cha- be a sign unto us. bod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of
11 And both of them discovered themselves Eli, the Lord's priest in Shiloh, wearing an unto the garrison of the Philistines : and the ephod. And the people knew not that Jo- Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come nathan was gone.
forth out of the holes where they had hid # And between the passages, by which themselves. Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philis- 12 And the men of the garrison answered tines' garrison, there was a sharp rock on the Jonathan and his armourbearer, and said, one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. and the name of the one was Bozez, and the And Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, name of the other Seneh.
Come up after me: for the Lord hath 5 The forefront of the one was situate delivered them into the hand of Israel. 1 Or, there was a day. * Chap. 4. 91.
3 Heb, tooth,
4 2 Chron. 14. 11.
5 Heb. L'e still,
6 1 Mac, 4. 30.
13 And Jonathan. climbed up upon his 25 And all they of the land came to a hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer wood; and there was honey upon the ground. after him: and they fell before Jonathan ; 26 And when the people were come into and his armourbearer slew after him.
the wood, behold, the honey dropped; but 14 And that first slaughter, which Jo- no man put his hand to his mouth : for the nathan and his armourbearer made, was about people feared the oath. twenty men, within as it were 'an half acre of 27 But Jonathan heard not when his father land, which a yoke of oxen might plow. charged the people with the oath: wherefore
15 s And there was trembling in the host, he put forth the end of the rod that was in in the field, and among all the people: the his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, put his hand to his mouth ; and his eyes were and the earth quaked : so it was a very great enlightened. trembling.
28 Then answered one of the people, and 16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah said, Thy father straitly charged the people of Benjamin looked ; and, behold, the multi- with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that tude melted away, and they went on beating eateth any food this day. And the people down one another.
were 'faint. 17 | Then said Saul unto the people that 29 Then said Jonathan, My father hath were with him, Number now, and see who is troubled the land : see, I pray you, how mine gone from us. And when they had numbered, eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted behold, Jonathan and his armourbearer were a little of this honey. not there.
30 How much more, if haply the people 18 And Saul said unto Ahiah, Bring had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their hither the ark of God. For the ark of enemies which they found ? for had there not God was at that time with the children of been now a much greater slaughter among Israel.
the Philistines ? 19 And it came to pass, while Saul talked 31 | And they smote the Philistines that unto the priest, that the 'noise that was in day from Michmash to Aijalon : and the people the host of the Philistines went on and in
were very faint. creased : and Saul said unto the priest, With- 32 And the people flew upon the spoil, and draw thine hand.
took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew 20 And Saul and all the people that were them on the ground : and the people did eat with him ''assembled themselves, and they them with the blood. came to the battle : and, behold, "every 33 Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, man's sword was against his fellow, and there the people sin against the LORD, in that they was a very great discomfiture.
eat with the blood. And he said, Ye have 21 Moreover the Hebrews that were with transgressed : roll a great stone unto me the Philistines before that time, which went this day. up with them into the camp from the country
34 And Saul said, Disperse yourselves round about, even they also turned to be among the people, and say unto them, Bring with the Israelites that were with Saul and me hither every man his ox, and every man Jonathan.
his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and 22 Likewise all the men of Israel which sin not against the LORD in eating with the had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, when blood. And all the people brought every they heard that the Philistines fled, even man his ox ''with him that night, and slew they also followed hard after them in the them there. battle.
35 | And Saul built an altar unto the 23 So the LORD saved Israel that day : LORD: 18the same was the first altar that he and the battle passed over unto Beth-aven. built unto the LORD.
24 | And the men of Israel were dis- 36 And Saul said, Let us go down after tressed that day: for Saul had adjured the the Philistines by night, and spoil them until people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth the morning light, and let us not leave a man any food until evening, that I may be a venged
avenged of them. And they said, Do whatsoever
So none of the people seemeth good unto thee. Then said the tasted any food.
priest, Let us draw near hither unto God. 7 Or, half a furrow of an acre of land. 8 Heb. a trembling of God.
10 Heb. were cried together. 11 Judges 7. 22.
14 Or, dealt treacherously. 16 Heb. that altar he began to build unto the LORD.
12 Or, weary.
9 Or, tumult.
2 Chron. 20, 23.
15 Heb. in his hand.
37 | And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his I go down after the Philistines ? wilt thou head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he with God this day. So the people rescued answered him not that day.
Jonathan, that he died not. 38 | And Saul said, Draw ye near hither 46 Then Saul went up from following the all the chief of the people : and know and Philistines : and the Philistines went to their see wherein this sin hath been this day. own place.
39 For, as the LORD liveth, which saveth 47 So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he Israel, and fought against all his enemies on shall surely die. But there was not a man every side, against Moab, and against the among all the people that answered him. children of Ammon, and against Edom, and
40 Then said he unto all Israel, Be ye on against the kings of Zobah, and against the one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be Philistines : and whithersoever he turned on the other side. And the people said unto himself, he vexed them. Saul, Do what seemeth good unto thee.
48 And he gathered an host, and smote 41 Therefore Saul said unto the LORD the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of God of Israel, "Give a perfect lot. And Saul the hands of them that spoiled them. and Jonathan were taken: but the people 49 | Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, "escaped.
and Ishui, and Melchi-shua : and the names 42 And Saul said, Cast lots between me of his two daughters were these ; the name and Jonathan my son.
And Jonathan was of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the taken.
younger Michal: 43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me 50 And the name of Saul's wife was Ahiwhat thou hast done. And Jonathan told noam, the daughter of Ahimaaz: and the him, and said, I did but taste a little honey name of the captain of his host was Abner, with the end of the rod that was in mine the son of Ner, Saul's uncle. hand, and, lo, I must die.
51 And Kish was the father of Saul ; and 44 And Saul answered, God do so and Ner the father of Abner was the son of more also: for thou shalt surely die, Jona- Abiel. than.
52 And there was sore war against the 45 And the people said unto Saul, Shall Philistines all the days of Saul : and when Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, salvation in Israel ? God forbid : as the he took him unto him. 1 Heb. coraers. Judges 20.2.
18 Or, Shew the innocent.
19 Heb, went forth. 20 Or, wrought mightily.
Verse 2. •Migron.'—This, from the context, was ob- of an acre below where we crossed, it again breaks off, and vioasly the name of some marked local site in the land passes between high perpendicular precipices, which (our around Gibeah.
guide said) continue a great way down and increase in 4. • Bozez ... . Seneh-Names, as the context expresses, grandeur . . . . This steep precipitous valley is probably of two rocks near Gibeah. Every object in the least degree " the passage of Michmash,” mentioned in Scripture (1 Sam. marked seems to have had its distinctive name among the xiii. 23; comp. Isa. x. 28). In the valley, just at the left Hebrews. So it is now with the Arabs. Every marked of where we crossed, were two hills, of a conical, or rather hollow or projection (other than of sand) upon the plain, spherical form, having steep rocky sides, with small Wadys every well, every clump of trees, has its proper name. So running up between each, so as almost to isolate them. has every defile, recess, promontory, or peak of the moun- One of them is on the side towards Jeba, and the other tains, however inconsiderable : and on a river, such as the towards Mukhmâs. These would seem to be the two rocks Tigris or Euphrates, there is not a single bend, angle, pro- mentioned in connection with Jonathan's adventure. They jection, creek, cliff, rock, mound, or group of trees to which are not indeed so “sharp" as the language of Scripture a proper name is not assigned. Thus a map of a country, would seem to imply; but they are the only rocks of the over which one may travel for a hundred miles without kind in this vicinity. The northern one is connected tofinding a single town, might, nevertheless, be crowded with wards the west with an eminence still more distinctly isohundreds of names of this description.
lated. This valley appears to have been, at a later time, 4, 5. 'Between the passages .... there was a sharp rock the dividing line between the tribes of Benjamin and on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side .... The Ephraim.' Robinson's Biblical Researches in Palestine, forefront of the one was situate northward, over against ii. 116. Mickmash, and the other southward, over against Gibeah! 14. ' Half-acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.' -We left Jeba' (Gibeah) .for Mukhmâs. The descent - The Hebrew is, literally, . As in the half of a furrow of a into the valley was steeper and longer than any of the pre- yoke of a field,' which some regard as unintelligible, and ceding. The path led down obliqaely, and we reached the therefore prefer the Septuagint version, which has nothing bottom in half an hour. It is called Wady es-Suweinît. about the space, but, instead, says that Jonathan and his It begins in the neighbourhood of Beitin and el-Bireh ; armourbearer effected the slaughter with spears, pebbles, and as it breaks through the ridge below these places, its and flints of the field. We are willing to adhere to the sides form precipitous walls. On the right, about a quarter Hebrew text. It is certainly obscure; but, as rendered in
our version, or even as read literally, refers to a mode of • The honey dropped.---First we are told that the measurement which was very ancient, and which still sub- honey was on the ground, then that the honey dropped, sists in the East. Some think that a single furrow is in- and lastly that Jonathan put his rod into the honeycomb. tended, that is, half the space comprehended in the single From all this it is clear that the honey was bee-honey, furrow (drawn circularly, of course) which a yoke of oxen and that honeycombs were above in the trees, from which might trace in one day: but others suppose it to mean half honey dropped upon the ground; but it is not clear whether the space which a yoke of oxen might plough in one day. Jonathan put his rod into a honeycomb that was in the Both alternatives are compatible with ancient usage; the trees or shrubs, or into one that had fallen to the ground, former may be illustrated by the historical circumstance, or that had been formed there. that so much land as could be ploughed around in one day Where wild bees are abundant, they form their combs in
1 was granted by the Romans to Horatius Cocles, in recom- any convenient place that offers, particularly in the cavities, pense of his valorous stand, on the Sublician bridge, against or even on the branches, of trees; nor are they so nice as the arms of Porsenna. Intimations are frequent in ancient is commonly supposed in the choice of situations. In India, writings of the prevalence of the custom of estimating the particularly, and in the Indian islands, the forests often extent of ground according to what might be ploughed in swarm with bees. The forests,' says Mr. Roberts, literally a day; and then it was usual to add, by what kind of ani- flow with honey; large combs may be seen hanging on the mals the plough was drawn, to render the estimate more trees, as you pass along, full of honey! We have good exact. In this manner Homer measures the degree of reason to conclude, from many allusions in Scripture, that proximity to which Diomedes and Ulysses allowed the this was also, to a considerable extent, the case formerly in Trojan spy to approach, before they rushed upon him from Palestine. Rabbi Ben Gershom and others indeed fancy their concealment. He says they were as distant from each that there were bee-hives placed • all of a row' by the way. other as the furrows of two teams of mules. This is about side. If we must needs have bee-hives, why not suppose as obscure as the Hebrew text of the passage before us, they were placed in the trees, or suspended from the and is open to the same interpretations, the expression being boughs? This is a practice in different parts where bees very similar. That it was the space which two teams of abound, and the people pay much attention to realize the mules could plough in a day is the common explanation, advantages which their wax and honey offer. The woods which is thus given in Dacier's note :—The Grecians did on the western coast of Africa, between Cape Blanco and not plough in the manner now in use. They first broke Sierra Leone, and particularly near the Gambia, are full up the ground with oxen, and then ploughed it more lightly of bees; to which the negroes formerly, if they do rot now, with mules. When they employed two ploughs in a field, paid considerable attention, for the sake of the wax. They they measured the space they could plough in a day, and had bee-hives, made like baskets, of reeds and sedge, and set their ploughs at the two ends of this space, and those hung on the out-boughs of the trees, which the bees eagerly ploughs proceeded towards each other. This intermediate appropriated for the purpose of forming their combs in space was constantly fixed, but less in proportion for two them. In some parts these hives were so thickly placed of oxen than for two of mules, because oxen
are slower and that at a distance they looked like fruit. There was also toil more in a field that has not yet been turned up, whereas much wild honey in the cavities of the trees. (Jobson's ! mules are naturally swifter, and make greater speed in a Golden Trade, p. 30; in Astley's Collection.) Moore conground that has already had the first ploughing.'
firms this account; and adds, that when he was there, the The idea kept in view by our translators, in rendering Mandingos suspended, in this way, straw bee-hives not unhalf a furrow' by half an acre,' is that it applied to half like our own, and boarded at the bottom, with a hole for the space of ground which a yoke of oxen might plough in the bees to go in and out. Travels into the Inland Purts a day; and is derived from one of the Roman land-mea- of Africa, in Drake's Collection. sures. This measure was called actus, of which there were As to the other supposition, that the honeycomb had been three sorts ; the first was a piece of ground 120 feet long by formed on the ground, we think the context rather bears only four broad; the second (actus quadratus) was a square against it; but the circumstance is not in itself unlikely, of i20 feet; and the third was a double square, being 240 or incompatible with the habits of wild becs. For want of feet long by 120 feet broad, which made an acre of ground, a better resource, they sometimes form their combs and or as much, according to Pliny, as a yoke of oxen might deposit their honey in any tolerably convenient spot they plough in a day. Something of the same idea and standard can find in the ground, such as small hollows, or even holes of measure is exhibited in Domesday-Book, which
shews the formed by animals. Mr. Burchell, in his Travels in South results of a survey made by order of William the Conqueror, Africa, mentions an instance in which his party (Hottentots) and in which the domains are estimated by the carucate obtained about three pounds of good honey from a hole (from caruca, in French charrue, a plough), or plough-land; which had formerly belonged to some animal of the weasel that is, so much land as would support a plough, or that kind. The natives treated this as a usual circumstance; one plough would work. At this day, in the East, an idea and indeed their experience in such affairs was demonis popularly intimated of the extent of a man's possessions strated by the facility with which they managed to obtain by stating the number of yoke of oxen which would the honey without being injured by the bees. required to keep his grounds in order.
1 Samuel sendeth Saul to destroy Amalek. 6 Saul
fuvoureth the Kenites. 8 He spareth Agag and the best of the spoil. 10 Samuel denounceth unto Saul, commending and excusing himself, God's rejection of him for his disobedience. 24 Saul's humiliation. 33 Samuel killeth Agag. 34 Samuel and Saul
part. SAMUEL also said unto Saul, 'The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people,
over Israel : now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD.
2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, Show he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
1 Chap. 9. 16. 132
2 Exod. 17. 8.
Num. 24. 20.