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bably distinguished by the number of inhabitants, as our called Ma'in, one mile north, ten east from Carmel. Dr. hundreds originally were.
Robinson spent a night at this place with a band of pea24. · In the wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the sants from Gutta, who were here keeping their flocks, and south of Jeshimon.' 25.' He came down into a rock, and dwelling in the caves among the ruins. This was on the abode in the wilderness of Maon.'-That is, when David declivity of a hill, which rises gradually not less than some heard of Saul's approach, he left the hill Hachilah, and two hundred feet above the site of Carmel, which comremoved more to the south, into a plain in the wilderness mauds a fine and extensive view over the surrounding of Maon, and from thence to a strong rocky hill in the country. This is doubtless the mountain' mentioned in same wilderness.
the next verse, 25. • The wilderness of Maon.' – This place is now |
how that the LORD had delivered thee to day
into mine hand in the cave: and some bade 1 David in a cave at En-gedi, having cut off Saul's
me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and skirt, spareth his life. 8 He sheweth thereby his innocency. 16 Saul, acknowledging his fault, taketh
I said, I will not put forth mine hand against an oath of David, and departeth.
my lord ; for he is the LORD's anointed.
11 Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the And it came to pass, when Saul was returned | skirt of thy robe in my hand : for in that I cut from 'following the Philistines, that it was off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wil- know thou and see that there is neither evil nor derness of En-gedi.
transgression in mine hand, and I have not 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul men out of all Israel, and went to seek to take it. David and his men upon the rocks of the wild 12 The LORD judge between me and thee, goats.
and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine 3 And he came to the sheepcotes by the hand shall not be upon thee. way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to 13 As saith the proverb of the ancients, cover his feet: and David and his men re- | Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked : but mained in the sides of the cave.
mine hand shall not be upon thee. 4 And the men of David said unto him, 14 After whom is the king of Israel come Behold the day of which the LORD said unto | out? after whom dost thou pursue ? after a thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into | dead dog, after a flea. thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it | 15 The LORD therefore be judge, and judge shall seem good unto thee. Then David between me and thee, and see, and plead my arose, and cut off the skirt of "Saul's robe cause, and deliver me out of thine hand. privily.
16 | And it came to pass, when David had 5 And it came to pass afterward, that made an end of speaking these words unto David's heart smote him, because he had cut Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son off Saul's skirt.
David ? And Saul lifted up his voice, and 6 And he said unto his men, The LORD wept. forbid that I should do this thing unto my | 17 And he said to David, Thou art more master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch forth / righteous than I : for thou hast rewarded me mine hand against him, seeing he is the good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. anointed of the LORD.
18 And thou hast shewed this day how that 7 So David 'stayed his servants with these thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as words, and suffered them not to rise against when the LORD had 'delivered me into thine Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and hand, thou killedst me not. went on his way.
19 For if a man find his enemy, will he let 8 1 David also arose afterward, and went him go well away? wherefore the LORD reout of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, ward thee good for that thou hast done unto My lord the king. And when Saul looked me this day. behind him, David stooped with his face to 20 And now, behold, I know well that the earth, and bowed himself.
thou shalt surely be king, and that the king9 And David said to Saul, Wherefore dom of Israel shall be established in thine hearest thou men's words, saying, Behold, hand. David seeketh thy hurt ?
21 Swear now therefore unto me by the 10 Behold, this day thine eyes have seen | Lord, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after 1 Heb, after. . Heb. the robe which was Saul's.' 3 Heb. cut off. - Heb. judge. - s Tebo shut up.
me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name went home; but David and his men gat them out of my father's house.
up unto the hold. 22 And David sware unto Saul. And Saul |
Verse 1. 'En-gedi.'—This name first occurs in Josh. xv. | trees and shrubs belonging to a more southern clime. 62, as that of a city in the tribe of Judah, and which, with-| Near this fountain are the remains of several buildings, out doubt, gave its name to the wilderness' in which apparently ancient, although the main site of the town David now found refuge. Its more ancient was Hazezon seems to have been farther below. The whole of the tamar; and by that name it is mentioned before the de descent below appears to have been once terraced for tillage struction of Sodom, as being inhabited by the Amorites, and gardens; and near the foot are the ruins of a towe, and near the cities of the plain (Gen. xiv. 7). In 2 Chron. exhibiting nothing of particular interest, and built mostly xx. 1, 2, bands of the Moabites and Ammonites are de of unhewn stones. This we may conclude to have been scribed as coming up against King Jehoshaphat, appa the town which took its name from the fountain. rently south of the south end of the Dead Sea, as far as En-gedi. And this, as we learn from Dr. Robinson, is the
2. « Wild gouts.' –The domestic goats of Western Asia route taken by the Arabs in their marauding expeditions
have been noticed under Gen. xv. 3. There are also one at the present day. According to Josephus, En-gedi lay
or more species of wild goats; all large and vigorous upon the lake Asphaltites, and was celebrated for its beau
mountain animals, resembling the ibex or bouquetin of the tiful palm-trees and opobalsam
Alps. Of these Southern Syria (including Palestine),
(Antig. ix. 1, 2); while its vineyards are also mentioned in sol. Song. i. 14.
Arabia, Sinai, and the borders of the Red Sea contain at
In the time of Eusebius and Jerome, En-gedi was still a large
least one species, known to the Arabs by the name of village on the shore of the Dead Sea. It has always, until
Bedan or Beddan, and Taytal, the Capra Jacla of Colonel recently, been sought at the north end of the Dead Sea.
Hamilton Smith, and Capra Sinaitica of Ehrenberg, who But Seetzen recognized the ancient name in the Ain-jidy of
has figured it in his Symbola Physica. There is little the Arabs, and lays it down in his map at a point of the
room for doubt that this animal is the Sy, jaal, wild' or western shore nearly equi-distant from both extremities of mountain goat' of the present text, and of Job xxxix. 1; the lake. This spot was visited by Dr. Robinson, and he Ps. civ. 18; Prov. v. 19. The male of this species is conconfirms the identification. The site lies among the moun siderably larger and more robust than the larger he-goats. tains which here confine the lake, a considerable way The horns form regular curves backwards, with from down the descent to its shore. Here is the beautiful foun fifteen to twenty-four transverse elevated cross ridges, and tain of Ain-jidy, bursting forth at once in a fine stream are sometimes nearly three feet long, and exceedingly upon a sort of narrow terrace or shelf of the mountain, ponderous. It has a beard under the chin, and the fur is above four hundred feet above the level of the lake. The dark brown; but the limbs are white, with regular black ! stream rushes down the steep descent of the mountain marks down the front of the legs, with rings of the same i below; and its course is hidden by a luxuriant thicket of colour above the knees and on the posteriors. The females
are smaller than the males, more slenderly made, brighter i robbers who had so long alarmed and distressed the coun. rafous, and with the white and black markings on the legs try. This account gives a lively idea of the dens' and not so distinct. These animals live in troops of fifteen or • caves' which are so frequently mentioned in Scripturn. twenty, and plunge down precipices with the same fearless 14. After a dead dog, after a fleu.'—Similar phrases impetuosity which distinguishes the ibex. Their horns are still employed in the East by persons who wish to exare sold by the Arabs for knife-handles, etc., but the ani press a sense of their own lowliness. In the East, if not mals themselves are rapidly diminishing in number. in the West, the flea certainly deserves all the contumely
3. · The sheepcotes .... where was a cave.'—This was, which can be bestowed upon it; and as to the dog, whatno doubt, such a cave as shepherds were accustomed to ever be its general merits, its name has, in all ages and in resort to see the note on Gen. xix. 30). We have already most countries, been used as an epithet expressing debasehad occasion to mention that such caves are numerous, and ment or detestation. In this sense it frequently occurs in some of them very extensive, in Palestine, Arabia Petræa, Scripture. Thus Goliath, when he felt his dignity affronted, and other mountainous parts of Western Asia. The cave said, “Am I a dog?' (ch. xvii. 43); and Abner, when of Adullam, in which David remained with four hundred his conduct was questioned,' Am I a dog's head ?' (2 Sam. men, besides his family, and this of En-gedi, in the sides' iii. 8); and Jonathan's son, when touched by the kindness or farther parts of which six hundred men stood, without of David, said, “What is thy servant, that thou shouldest being observed by Saul when also in the cave, must have look upon such a dead dog as I am ?' (2 Sam, ix. 8). been large, but by no means remarkably large; as the There are several other instances of a similar bearing; ancient writers, as well as modern travellers, give us besides which, the epithet 'dogs' is, in the New Testaaccounts of caves fally extensive enough for this purpose, ment, applied in a general sense to persons addicted to and some that would have contained a much greater num vile and sensual practices and habits, as • Beware of ber of men. Some of them consist, not of one apartment, dogs, beware of evil workers’ (Phil. iii. 2); ' Without are but of two or more ; that is, the exterior entrance leads to dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, a sort of ante-chamber, within which there is another or etc. (Rev. xxii. 15). All this needs little explanation, as several others, which, collectively or separately, are much the same contemptuous estimate of the dog's character, and larger than the first. Perhaps the cave of En-gedi was the application of its name, continues to prevail; but with such as this; and the description that David and his men this difference (at least among ourselves), that the word, * remained in the sides of the cave,' appears to sanction as an epithet of abuse, is not so frequently found as it was this conclusion. Some of the caves are however single, anciently in the mouths of distinguished persons. Homer's and, being very large with a narrow entrance, are so dark heroes call one another dogs' with great spirit. in the remoter parts, that persons near the entrance cannot 16. * Is this thy voice,' etc. - Saul's naturally good feelings by any possibility perceive others who remain in the in were touched by the generous forbearance of one whom he terior, while their own operations can, of course, be most had come there to destroy. Is this thy voice, my son distinctly observed by the latter. This perhaps was the David ?' he cried; and his softened heart yielded to rerelative position of David's party and the king.
freshing tears, such as he had not lately been wont to Josephus has a striking account (Antiq. I. xiv. c. 15, shed. That which had been in David a forbearance re$ 5) of some of the caves of this country, and of Herod's sulting from the natural and spontaneous impulse of his proceedings against the robbers, who, with their families, own feelings, seemed to the king an act of superhuman sheltered in them. They, of course, preferred the most virtue, which forced upon him the recognition that he was inaccessible caverns, the entrances of which were high up indeed that 'worthier' man to whom the inheritance of in the sides of rugged and precipitous mountains, so that it his crown had been prophesied. Rendering good for evil was impossible for the soldiers to climb to them from was a new thing to him; and now, in the regard and adbelow or creep down from above. The plan adopted miration which it excited, he freely acknowledged the therefore was to let down from the top, by iron chains, conviction he entertained; and added, “Swear now therelarge chests full of armed men, with provisions and suit fore to me by Jehovah that thou wilt not cut off my seed able weapons for this strange warfare, such as long poles after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of armed with hooks, to pull out such of the robbers as they my father's house.' The anxiety of the king, and even of could lay hold of and tumble them down the precipices. Jonathan, on this point, seems to shew (what had already The robbers kept themselves back in the interior of their happened in the case of Abimelech) that it was even then, caverns, not daring to come near the entrance, and the as it ever has been until lately, usual for Oriental kings soldiers, finding no opportunity of using their hooks and to remove by death all those whose claims to the throne other weapons from their chests, at last managed to get might seem superior or equal to their own, or whose preinto the caves, where they killed those whom they found sence might offer an alternative to the discontented. The within the light at the entrance, and employed their hooks intense horror with which the Hebrews regarded the prowith advantage in pulling forward those who lurked in spect or fear of genealogical extinction, also contributes to the remote parts of their dens. They also killed great | explain the anxiety which both Saul and Jonathan felt on numbers by setting fire to the combustibles which many this point more than on any other. David took the oath of these caverns contained ; and in the end completely suc required from him ; Saul then returned to Gibeah, and ceeded in the dangerous service of destroying in their re David, who had little confidence in the permanency of the treats, previously deemed inaccessible, the incorrigible impression he had made, remained in his strongholds.
were gathered together, and lamented him,
and buried him in his house at Ramah. And 1 Samuel dieth. 2 David in Paran sendeth to Nabal.
David arose, and went down to the wilderness 10 Provoked by Nabal's churlishness, he mindeth to destroy him. 14 Abigail understanding thereof,
of Paran. 18 taketh a present, 23 and by her wisdom 32 paci. 2 And there was a man in Maon, whose fieth David. 36 Naba! hearing thereof dieth. 39 possessions were in Carmel ; and the man was David taketh Abigail ad Ahinoam to be his wives.
very great, and he had three thousand sheep, 44 Michal is given to Phalti.
and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his And Samuel died; and all the Israelites / sheep in Carmel. 1 Chap. 28. 3. Ecclus. 16. 13, 20.
2 Or, business.
3 Now the name of the man was Nabal ; | 16 They were a wall unto us both by night an i the name of his wife Abigail : and she and day, all the while we were with them was a woman of good understanding, and of a keeping the sheep. beautiful countenance : but the man was churl- 17 Now therefore know and consider what ish and evil in his doings; and he was of the thou wilt do; for evil is determined against house of Caleb.
our master, and against all his houshold: for 4 | And David heard in the wilderness that he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot Nabal did shear his sheep.
speak to him. 5 And David sent out ten young men, and * 18 | Then Abigail made haste, and took David said unto the young men, Get you up | two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures my name :
of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of 6 And thus shall ye say to him that liveth raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace | them on asses. be to thine house, and peace be unto all that 19 And she said unto her servants, Go on thou hast.
before me; behold, I come after you. But d now I have heard that thou hast she told not her husband Nabal. shearers : now thy shepherds which were with 20 And it was so, as she rode on the ass, us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought that she came down by the covert of the hill, missing unto them, all the while they were in | and, behold, David and his men came down Carmel.
against her; and she met them. 8 Ask thy young men, and they will shew 21 Now David had said, Surely in vain thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour | have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilin thine eyes : for we come in a good day: derness, so that nothing was missed of all that give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine pertained unto him: and he hath requited me hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David. evil for good.
9 And when David's young men came, they 22 So and more also do God unto the enespake to Nabal according to all those words in mies of David, if I leave of all that pertain the name of David, and ceased.
to him by the morning light any that pisseth 10 | And Nabal answered David's ser- | against the wall. vants, and said, Who is David ? and who is 1 23 And when Abigail saw David, she the son of Jesse ? there be many servants hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before now a days that break away every man from David on her face, and bowed herself to the his master.
11 Shall I then take my bread, and my 24 And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, water, and my flesh that I have killed for my my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine not whence they be ?
l'audience, and hear the words of thine hand12 So David's young men turned their way, maid. and went again, and came and told him all 25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, "regard those sayings.
this man of Belial, even Nabal : for as his 13 And David said unto his men, Gird ye name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and on every man his sword. And they girded on folly is with him : but I thine handmaid saw every man his sword ; and David also girded not the young men of my lord, whom thou on his sword : and there went up after David didst send. about four hundred men; and two hundred 26 Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD abode by the stuff.
liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD 14 T But one of the young men told Abi hath withholden thee from coming to shed gail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold, David sent blood, and from "avenging thyself with thine messengers out of the wilderness to salute our own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that master; and he railed on them.
seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal. 15 But the men were very good unto us, and 27 And now this 18 blessing which thine we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it as long as we were conversant with them, when even be given unto the young men that follow we were in the fields :
my lord. 3 Heb. ask him in my name, of peace.
12 Heb. saring thyself.
14 Heb. walk at the feet of, &c. 166
Cask him in my m
8 Heb, shamed,
7 Heb. flete epon thes.
4 Heb. shamed.
10 Heb. ears.
s Heb. rested. 6 Heb, slaughter.
11 Heb. lay it to his heart.
28 I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine 36 9 And Abigail came to Nabal; and, handmaid : for the LORD will certainly make | behold, he held a feast in his house, like the my lord a sure house ; because my lord fighteth feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been within him, for he was very drunken: wherefound in thee all thy days.
fore she told him nothing, less or more, until 29 Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and the morning light. to seek thy soul : but the soul of my lord shall 37 But it came to pass in the morning, when be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them had told him these things, that his heart died shall he sling out, ''as out of the middle of a within him, and he became as a stone. sling.
| 38 And it came to pass about ten days 30 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he shall have done to my lord according to all died. the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, 39 | And when David heard that Nabal and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel ; was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that
31 That this shall be ''no grief unto thee, hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my from evil : for the LORD hath returned the lord hath avenged himself : but when the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then David sent and communed with Abigail, to remember thine handmaid.
take her to him to wife. 32 1 And David said to Abigail, Blessed 40 And when the servants of David were be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto this day to meet me:
her, saying, David sent us unto thee, to take 33 And blessed be thy advice, and blessed thee to him to wife. be thou, which hast kept me this day from 41 And she arose, and bowed herself on her coming to shed blood, and from avenging my face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine self with mine own hand.
handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the 34 For in very deed, as the LORD God of servants of my lord. Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from 42 And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and upon an ass, with five damsels of her's that come to meet me, surely there had not been went ''after her ; and she went after the mesleft unto Nabal by the morning light any that sengers of David, and became his wife. pisseth against the wall.
43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; 35 So David received of her hand that and they were also both of them his wives. which she had brought him, and said unto 44 | But Saul had given ''Michal his her, Go up in peace to thine house ; see, I daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted | Laish, which was of Gallim. thy person. 13 Heb, in the midst of the bow of a sling.
16 Heb. no staggering, or, stumbling.
17 Heb. at her fest.
18 Josh. 15. 56.
19 2 Sam. 3. 14, 15.
Verse 1. •Buried him in his own house at Ramah.'— The Rev. W. Jowett, in his Christian Researches in Syria, relates: "While walking out one evening, a few fields' distance from Deir-el-Kamr, at Mount Lebanon, with Hanna Doomani, the son of my host, to see a detached garden belonging to his father, he pointed out to me, near it, a small, solid stone building, apparently a house; very solemnly adding, “ Kabbar beity,” “the sepulchre of our family.” It had neither door nor window. He then directed my attention to a considerable number of similar buildings at a distance, which to the eye are exactly like houses, but which are in fact family mansions for the dead. They have a most melancholy appearance, which made him shudder while he explained their use. They seem, by their dead walls, which must be opened at each several interment of the members of a family, to say, "This is an unkindly house, to which visitors do not willingly throng ; but, one by one, they will be forced to enter, and none who enter ever come out again." ' Perhaps
this custom, which prevails particularly at Deir-el-Kamr and in the lonely neighbouring parts of the mountain, may have been of great antiquity, and may serve to explain some Scripture phrases. The prophet Samuel was buried
in his house at Ramah' (1 Sam. xxv. l); it could hardly be in his dwelling-house. Joab was buried in his own house in the wilderness' (1 Kings ii. 34); this is the house appointed for all living' (Job xxx. 23).
Carpzovius (Apparatus, p. 643) remarks: It is scarcely credible that these sepulchres were in their houses and under their roofs. It is more correct therefore to understand this expression as embracing all the appurtenances of a house, and whatever is contiguous. In this sense, then, it means the court, or garden, in the farthest corner of which they probably erected some such monument.' Kubbehs, or tombs of the kind represented in the engraving, are still very common in the gardens of the
And David arose,' etc.-As David, immediately