« PreviousContinue »
a treacherous action ; but if one of the combatants should was many years prior in order of time to Saul's madness, turn back and fly towards his friends, the latter hasten to and to David's introduction to him as a musician. First, his assistance and drive back the pursuer, who is in turn David was quite a youth when he engaged Goliath (r. protected by his friends. After several of these partial 33-42); when he was introduced to Saul as a musician he combats between the best men of both parties, the whole was of full age (xvi. 13). Secondly, his combat with corps join in promiscuous combat. . . . Should a horseman Goliath was his first appearance in public life (v. 56); not be inclined to accept the challenge of an adversary, but when he was introduced as a musician he was a man of choose to remain among the ranks of his friends, the chal. established character (xvi. 18). Thirdly, his combat with lenger laughs at him with taunts and reproaches, and Goliath was his first military exploit (v. 38, 39). He makes it known as a boast during the rest of his life, that was a man of war when he was introduced as a musician such a one *** would not venture to meet such a one *** (xvi. 18). He was unknown both to Saul and Abner at in battle.'
the time when he fought Goliath. He had not, therefore, This process is precisely the same as prevailed in the yet been in the office of Saul's armour-bearer, or resident ancient times of Arabia, and which is continually exhibited in any capacity at the court. Now the just conclusion in the old heroic story of Antar. From thence it seems, from these circumstances is, not that these twenty verses however, that the challenger did not always call out the are an interpolation, but that the last ten verses of the preparticular person whom he wished to combat; but, like the ceding chapter, which relate to Saul's madness and David's Philistine, defied any one that would come against him. introduction to the court upon that occasion, are misplaced. If the champion's reputation or appearance made any war The true place for these ten verses seems to be between rior unwilling to come forward from the adverse party, he the ninth 'and tenth of the eighteenth chapter. Let these paraded before them, boasting in a loud voice of his own ten verses be removed to that place, and this seventeenth exploits, recapitulating the wrongs they had committed, chapter be connected immediately with the thirteenth heaping insults and abuse upon them, and perhaps declar verse of the sixteenth chapter, and the whole disorder ing that he was the author of some particular act of revenge and inconsistency that appears in the narrative in its preor cruelty, against their tribe or some of its most esteemed sent arrangement will be removed.' members. In the accounts of the numberless combats in These reasons, and the arrangement founded on them, which Antar and others were engaged, we generally find although adopted by recent commentators, are pronounced this last declaration the most effective in calling forth an to be unsatisfactory by Dr. Davidson in his Sacred Heradversary. When they stand before each other, they ge meneutics; and he seems inclined to think that the true nerally each make a speech, or rather recite extemporary point of difficulty has been touched by Calmet, who supverses, before they begin, full of vauntings, threatenings, poses that either David's face, voice, and air, must have and abusiveness, as before. A few short extracts from | been changed since the time that he had played before these speeches will shew the analogy between them and Saul on the harp, or that during his gloomy insanity the those of Goliath. Thus, in one of Antar's battles with the king bad acquired false ideas of David's person, or after tribe of Fazarah, Hassein comes forward, and in his chal his recovery had forgotten him. There is certainly much lenge of Antar says, 'O my mother, sleep and be satis in this: and it is satisfactory to find that this, like most of fied, and rejoice; this day will I relieve my thirst with the other alleged difficulties of Scripture, disappears before Antar. When thou scest the birds mangle his carcass careful inquiry and consideration, and by no means requires under the dust, then extol and thank me. The slave! the desperate course, so often resorted to by some comThis day I will leave him on the face of the earth, where mentators, of cutting out the passages they are unable to he shall lie dead on the barren waste. I will make him understand. taste thrusts from my spear-head, and I will smite him with 25. Make his father's house free in Israel! - This is my bright and unfailing scimitar. I will leave the beasts understood to mean that the family should be exempted to run at him, and prowl around him on the wings of the from all the taxes, impositions, and services which were turbid night.' I will wipe out my shame with the sword incumbent on the great body of the Israelites. and spear; and I will wreak my vengeance on the swarthy 34. • A lion and a bear came.'- Not both at once, but at slave. On a subsequent day of the same engagement, different times. The context shews this; and besides, the Antar himself, in responding to the challenge of Mocri-ul- lion and the bear never seek prey together. Concerning wahsh, says, among other things, *Hey! O Mocri-ul-wahsh, lions, and the character of such an exploit as that of dereturn thee home before thou remainest embowelled : I stroying one, see the notes on Judg. xiv. David applies will soon relieve the Arabs from thee; and truly Maseeka the same narrative to each respectively. When he speaks (the beloved of the other) shall be my wife. I will of seizing by the beard, the expression can only apply plunder her property, and slay her father, and I will leave ----and that rather in a popular than literal sense to her abode a desert with my sword.' The other retorts the lion, not to the bear; the word however rendered with interest : Soon will I slay Antar with the sword of beard' sometimes denotes the chin, that is, the part on conquest, and I will leave him dead on the sand. I will which the beard grows; so that the meaning is that David seize Ibla (Antar's beloved), and return home, and she seized the lion by the beard, and the bear by the chin or shall serve my wife as her mistress. I will take numerous lower jaw. There are several references to the bear in the camels, and will return rejoicing towards Maseeka. I am Scriptures, which shew that it was rather common and ever the warrior of warriors, and this day will I consum dangerous in that country, and was particularly injurious mate my glory.' The terms of abuse and insult in these to the flocks. This animal still occurs in different parts of passages are quite gentle compared with others that might Western Asia, but is nowhere common. It even conbe cited.
tinues to be found in the mountains of Lebanon and in the 12, 13.—Now David was the son of that Ephrathite,' wilderness bordering on Palestine; but instances have now etc.-We cannot refuse to avail ourselves of Horsley's become exceedingly rare of a bear having been met with in *excellent note on this much-disputed passage :— These the country itself. Concerning the species, see the note and twenty verses are omitted in the Vatican copy of the ver cut under 2 Sam. xvii. 8. sion of the LXX. From this circumstance, corroborated The account which David gives clearly illustrates the in some degree by others in themselves of less weight, danger attending pastoral occupations in times and countries Dr. Kennicott condemns this whole passage of the history where the beasts of prey have not altogether given place to as an interpolation, and makes himself so sure of the con man. The dangers of such occupations, and the courage clusion, as to suggest that, in the next revisal of our public and presence of mind which they required, account for the translation, these twenty verses should be omitted. But I honourable character which they bore in the early history hope that whenever a revisal of our public translation shall of nations. The proprietors of flocks and herds could not be undertaken, the advice of this learned critic in this in always feel safe, in intrusting so hazardous a charge to stance will not be followed. It appears, indeed, from many the zeal of hired servants, or even of slaves; and hence it circumstances of the story, that David's combat with Goliath | came to pass, that they frequently committed them to the
care of their sods; and the sons even of the most consider. | solitude and retirement..... One day he was thus wanderable persons were not thought above the performance of ing over the deserts with the flocks, and when the sun was this duty. But when beasts of prey were extirpated in the burning hot he left his people, and climbed up a tree and progress of civilization, this employment, in ceasing to be took shelter from the heat, whilst the flocks grazed and he dangerous, lost its honourable distinctions, and gradually watched them; when lo! a wolf started from behind the sank to the level of other rural occupations.
trees, and dispersed them. But Antar seeing how the aniThe manner in which David records his exploits shews, mal had dispersed the herds, he descended, and ran after as we may readily suppose, that it is no common circum him till he overtook him, and struck him with his staff; he stance for a shepherd to deliver his flock from a lion or a made the oil of his brains fly out from between his ears, bear. Indeed, for even an armed man to slay a lion, was and slew him; he then cut off his head and his legs, and considered a memorable circumstance in the history of the returned growling like an angry lion. .... He put the head most famous ancient heroes. We have often been reminded and legs into his scrip; and leaving the carcass, he returned of this first exploit of David by the first feat of the Arabian to the flocks.' David's exploits were more heroic; but hero Antar, which occurred while he also was tending his Antar is said at this time to have been only ten years of father's flocks. But there is this serious difference, that age. It is observable that this Arabian shepherd, like David ascribes the glory to God, while Antar exults in the David, had a scrip with him, and also a staff, such, perhaps, provess of his own arm. The story runs : · He used to as that which offended the giant, when he said, Am I a employ himself in tending the flocks, and as he conducted dog, that thou comest to me with a staff?' them, he wandered about the deserts and plains, and loved !
1 9 And Saul eyed David from that day and
forward. 1 Jonathan loveth David, 5 Saul envieth his praise, 10 sceketh to kill him in his fury, 12 feareth him for
10 | And it came to pass on the morrow, his good success, 17 offereth him his daughter for a
that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, snare. 22 David persuaded to be the king's son in and he prophesied in the midst of the house: law, giveth two hundred foreskins of the Philistines and David played with his hand, as at other for Michal's dowry. 28 Saul's hatred, and Darid's glory increaseth.
times : and there was a javelin in Saul's
hand. And it came to pass, when he had made an 11 And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of I will smite David even to the wall with it. Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, And David avoided out of his presence twice. and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
12 | And Saul was afraid of David, 2 And Saul took him that day, and would because the LORD was with him, and was let him go no more home to his father's house. | departed from Saul.
3 Then Jonathan and David made a cove- 13 Therefore Saul removed him from him, nant, because he loved him as his own soul. and made him his captain over a thousand;
4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the and he went out and came in before the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, people. and his garments, even to his sword, and to 14 And David "behaved himself wisely his bow, and to his girdle.
in all his ways; and the LORD was with 5 | And David went out whithersoever him. Saul sent him, and 'behaved himself wisely: | 15 Wherefore when Saul saw that he and Saul set him over the men of war, and behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of he was accepted in the sight of all the people, him. and also in the sight of Saul's servants.
16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, 6. And it came to pass as they came, when becauge he went out and came in before David was returned from the slaughter of the them. *Philistine, that the women came out of all 17 9 And Saul said to David, Behold my cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with wife : only be thou 'valiant for me, and fight 'instruments of music.
the Lord's battles. For Saul said, Let not 7 And the women answered one another as mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of they played, and said, “Saul hath slain his the Philistines be upon him. thousands, and David his ten thousands.
18 And David said unto Saul, Who am 8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying I? and what is my life, or my father's family $displeased him; and he said, They have in Israel, that I should be son in law to the ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me king ? they have ascribed but thousands : and what 19 But it came to pass at the time when can he have more but the kingdom ?
Merab Saul's daughter should have been 1 0t, prospered. 2 Or, Philistines.
* Chap. 21. 11, and 29.5. Ecclus. 47. 6. 5 Heb. was evil in his eyes.
6 Or, prospered.
7 Heb. a son of valour.
3 Heb, three-stringed instruments.
given to David, that she was given unto an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be Adriel the Meholathite to wife.
avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul 20 9 And Michal Saul's daughter loved thought to make David fall by the hand of David : and they told Saul, and the thing the Philistines. Spleased him.
26 And when his servants told David these 21 And Saul said, I will give him her, words, it pleased David well to be the king's that she may be a snare to him, and that the son in law : and the days were not "expired. hand of the Philistines may be against him. 27 Wherefore David arose and went, he Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt and his men, and slew of the Philistines two this day be my son in law in the one of the hundred men; and David brought their foretwain.
skins, and they gave them in full tale to the 22 | And Saul commanded his servants, king, that he might be the king's son in law. saying, Commune with David secretly, and And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, wife. and all his servants love thee : now therefore | 28 | And Saul saw and knew that the be the king's son in law.
LORD was with David, and that Michal Saul's 23 And Saul's servants spake those words daughter loved him. in the ears of David. And David said, 29 And Saul was yet the more afraid of Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king's David; and Saul became David's enemy son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and continually. lightly esteemed ?
30 Then the princes of the Philistines went 24 And the servants of Saul told him, forth : and it came to pass, after they went saying, 'On this manner spake David. forth, that David behaved himself more wisely
25 And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to than all the servants of Saul; so that his David, The king desireth not any dowry, but name was much "set by.
8 Heb. was right in his eyes. 9 Heb. According to these words. 10 Heb. fulfilled. 11 Heb. precious.
Verse 3. • Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, and most coveted honour in the East, and is so at this because he loved him as his own soul.'--Such covenants of day. In the book of Esther, the king of Persia, to confer fraternization are still known in the East. The most re on Mordecai the highest distinction which a subject could markable practice of the kind which has fallen under our receive, directed him to be invested with the royal apparel notice is recorded in Ogilby's Asia as a Persian custom. 'which the king useth to wear; and, in the same country, Although Ogilby's book (which is, we believe, a transla- the same usage remains unaltered. Mr. Morier relates a tion from the Dutch compiler, Dr. Olfert Dapper) is of rather amusing illustration. When the Russian and Per. no authority in geography or natural history, the de sian plenipotentiaries were concluding a treaty of peace scriptions of usages are, for the most part, good and in 1813, the former had the names of so many orders of true : and from its agreement with what we do know, knighthood after his own in the preamble, that the Per. we have no doubt of the accuracy of this particular sian ambassador, who had no such honours, ‘at first was statement:- The great families or tribes generally meet at a loss how to make himself equal in personal distinconce a year, when they feast and make merry; and if tions to the other negotiator ; but recollecting that, preany one have a peculiar kindness for another, then he vious to his departure, his sovereign bad honoured him says, Come, let us be sworn brothers, and this is commonly with a present of one of his own swords, and of a dagger performed between two: and because these brothers must set with precious stones, to wear which is a peculiar dishave a father, they choose one whom they think fit, and tinction in Persia, and besides, had clothed him with one taking him by the lappet of his coat, say, We make you of his own shawl-robes, a distinction of still greater value, our Babba, or father, which he dare not refuse. These he therefore designated himself in the preamble of the going to the Khaliph (who hath every one's family regis treaty as endowed with the special gifts of the monarch, tered), kiss his hand in token of their friendship; and lord of the dagger set in jewels, of the sword adorned being set down in a register for that purpose, they lay with gems, and of the shawl-coat already worn' (Second themselves down one behind another on their bellies, first Journey, p. 299). This illustration is very complete, since the father and next the brothers; whereupon the Khaliph it shews the distinction not only of wearing robes, but gives each of them three light blows with a stick on their arms which had been used by the king; and with both backs, and at the first says Allah, that is, God; at the his arms and robes the king's son honours David in the second, Mahomet; and at the third, Aaly; which done, instance before us. they, kissing the staff, sign and conclude the agreement of And when, as in the present case, a distinguished person brotherly friendship, which they really keep, and are takes his own robes or weapons immediately from his more faithful to one another than brothers, affirming that own person, and bestows them on another, it is impossible they shall meet sooner in Paradise than real brothers.' that a higher mark of consideration should be given, it
4. Gave it to David,'—See the notes on Gen. xli. 42, being regarded not as a mark of favour only, but also of and xlv. 22, where we have mentioned the Eastern method attachment. It is therefore a very rare honour; as Oriental of doing persons honour by presenting them with robes. princes, however profuse in their bestowal of marks of We have now to add, that the honour thus conferred be consideration, are chary of giving indications of attachcomes infinitely more honourable when a king or prince ment. It is therefore difficult to find instances of this bestows on the favoured person a dress or robe which has rare favour. One occurs in D'Herbelot's Bibliothèque been worn by himself. This has always been the highest ! Orientale, art. MEDINAH. He says, that when the sultan
Selim I. arrived at Aleppo, after he had defeated Cansou shepherd's weeds and sheep-hook, his pipe, his waterGanri, the Mameluke sultan of Egypt, and assisted for the bottle, and the scrip in which he used to put his victualsfirst time at public prayers in that city, the imaum con- all hung up against the wall. The nazar, observing the cluded prayers with the words,— God preserve sultan king's astonishment, said, “When the great Shah Abbas Selim, the servant and minister of the holy cities of Mecca found me in the mountains, keeping goats, these were all and Medinah.' The sultan was so pleased with this title my possessions; and he took nothing from me. All else, that he took off his pelisse and gave it to the imaum, He called mine, I owe to his and your bounty, and you may assumed the phrase as one of his titles, and his successors justly reclaim it; but allow me to retain that which behave continued to bear it in their quality of sultans of Egypt. | longs to my original condition, to which I shall now In Tavernier's Travels there is a striking history of a cheerfully return, since I no longer enjoy your confilad whom the great Shah Abbas, when out hunting in the dence.' 'The king, touched with admiration and remorse, mountains, found playing on a pipe as he tended a flock of instantly caused himself to be disarrayed of his outer goats. Struck by the intelligence of his answers, the king robes, and gave them to the nazar; ‘which,' as Tavernier took him under his protection, and after employing him remarks, is the greatest honour that a king of Persia in various capacities, ultimately made him nazar, or lord can bestow upon a subject. This little anecdote illussteward of the household. When the king died, the ear trates several points in the early history of David. of his successor was poisoned with insinuations against 6. • The women came out of all cities of Israel, singing the integrity of the nazar, as if he had enriched himself and dancing, to meet king Saul.'—- All the large cities of at the expense of the treasures intrusted to him. But, on Hindostan contain sets of musicians and dancing-girls, opening the room in which the nazar's dishonest wealth under the care of their respective duennas, who are always was supposed to be deposited, nothing was found but his 1 ready to attend for hire at weddings and other festivities,
or to finish the evening entertainment of the Europeans / chanted by the unbought voices of the daughters of and natives; and many of them accompany the Asiatic Israel' themselves. (See the note on Exod. xv. 20.) armies to the field.
8. • What can he have more but the kingdom?'-From *The singing-men and singing-women, mentioned by this it would seem that the preference given by the women the aged Barzillai, and the daughters of music that we to David over Saul on this occasion, first suggested to the read of in the sacred pages, as well as in the ancient | king the possibility that the son of Jesse was the man poets, resembled these characters in Hindostan. The worthier than himself, who was destined to succeed him women of Israel came out to meet David and Saul, dancing and to supersede his descendants; and the notion having to instruments of music. The characters of Palestine re once occurred, he probably made such inquiries as enabled sembled those of India, who now celebrate a prince or | him to conclude or to discover that such was the fact. general in the same manner at a public festival.'—Forbes' The knowledge of it appears soon after; and we know Oriental Memoirs.
that from this time forward David became the object, not In point of fact, the illustrative customs which Forbes merely of his envy and jealousy, but of his hatred and describes as existing in Hindostan, prevail throughout dislike. Yet he was afraid, if he as yet wished, to do him the East, from the shores of the Mediterranean to those any open injury; but as he could not bear him any longer of the Yellow Sea. We know with certainty that there in his former close attendance about his person, he threw were professed musicians, singers, and dancers among him more into the public service, intrusting to him the the Hebrews, as now in the East; but in the present in command of a thousand men. From his subsequent exstance, it is clear to us that the praises of David were pressions and conduct, it seems likely that the king
expected that the inexperience of youth might lead Da story of Antar-that most perfect picture of early Oriental vid into such errors in this responsible public station as manners-affords several illustrations of this practice. would either give him occasion to act against him, or In one of these a plot is laid between Antar's rival and the would seriously damage his character with the people. father of his beloved Ibla for his destruction. It is proBut if such were his views, they were grievously disap posed by the former, who thus states it to the father, by pointed. In his public station • David behaved wisely in whom Antar is bitterly hated, and who eagerly adopts the all his ways, for Jehovah was with him ;' and the oppor expedient suggested. Pretend to be good friends with tunity which was given him only served to evince his Antar; appear very kind to him, and do not prevent his talents for business and his attention to it; and, conse entering your tents. Soothe him with gentle words, and quently, to increase and establish that popularity among when he comes to you, ask him about the dower of Ibla : the people which his character and exploits had already then he will say, “ What do you wish ?” tell him you won.
only desire a thousand Asafeer camels (a particular spe25. • Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the cies of camel, much valued for riding), that your daughter Philistines.'— The father, as we have already shewn, ex- | may pride herself in them above the high and low. Know pecting the customary consideration for parting with his then, Malik, that these camels are in the possession of daughter, an opportunity is afforded him of getting rid of Monzar, son of Massema, the king of the Arabs, and the an obnoxious person by proposing that the price of the lieutenant of Nushirvan; and I know that Antar, in the girl's hand shall consist in the results of some difficult greatness of his courage, will go in search of them among and dangerous undertaking, in which there is every pro the tribe of Shiban, and he will expose his life to danger bability that the adventurer will perish. Instances of and death, and you will never see him again. Antar, this meet us continually in the poems and romances of the like David, readily undertook the dangerous service; and, East; and are frequent in such of our own as refer to the like him, succeeded in the enterprise which was designed ages and describe the manners of chivalry. The Bedouin, to ensure his destruction.
7 And Jonathan called David, and Jona
than shewed him all those things. And 1 Jonathan discloseth his father's purpose to kill David.
Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was 4 He persuadeth his father to reconciliation. 8 By reason of David's good success in a new war, Saul's
in his presence, as ’in times past. malicious rage breaketh out against him. 12 Michal 8 F And there was war again : and David deceiveth her father with an image in David's bed. went out, and fought with the Philistines, and 18 David cometh to Samuel in Naioth. 20 Saul's
slew them with a great slaughter; and they messengers, sent to take David, 22 and Saul himself,
fled from him. prophesy.
9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his all his servants, that they should kill David. javelin in his hand : and David played with
2 But Jonathan Saul's son delighted much his hand. in David : and Jonathan told David, saying, | 10 And Saul sought to smite David even Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now to the wall with the javelin ; but he slipped therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself away out of Saul's presence, and he smote until the morning, and abide in a secret place, the javelin into the wall : and David fled, and and hide thyself:
escaped that night. 3 And I will go out and stand beside my 11 | Saul also sent messengers unto father in the field where thou art, and I will David's house, to watch him, and to slay commune with my father of thee; and what him in the morning: and Michal David's I see, that I will tell thee.
wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy 4 | And Jonathan spake good of David | life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain. unto Saul his father, and said unto him, 12 q So Michal let David down through Let not the king sin against his servant, against | a window : and he went, and fled, and esDavid ; because he hath not sinned against caped. thee, and because his works have been to thee 13 And Michal took an image, and laid it ward very good :
in the bed, and put a pillow of goats' hair for 5 For he did put his 'life in his hand, and | his bolster, and covered it with a cloth. slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a | 14 And when Saul sent messengers to take great salvation for all Israel : thou sawest it, | David, she said, He is sick. and didst rejoice : wherefore then wilt thou 15 And Saul sent the messengers again to sin against innocent blood, to slay David see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the without a cause?
bed, that I may slay him. 6 And Saul hearkened unto the voice of 16 And when the messengers were come Jonathan : and Saul sware, As the LORD | in, behold, there was an image in the bed, liveth, he shall not be slain.
| with a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster. Judycs 9. 17, and 12. 3. Chap. 28. 21. Psal. 119. 209. 2 Feb. yesterday third day. 3 Heb. his face.