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29 And to them which were in Rachal, and and to them which were in Chor-ashan, arto to them which were in the cities of the Jerah- them which were in Athach, meelites, and to them which were in the cities 31 And to them which were in coron, and of the Kenites,
to all the places where David hisself and his 30 And to them which were in Hormah, men were wont to haunt.
Verse 1. • The Amalekites had invaded the south.'— The treated with great kindness in the East; but it does still strength of the country, both of the Hebrews and of the not unfrequently happen that, in rapid journeys over the Philistines, having been drawn northwards to the battle deserts, slaves are abandoned, and often perish, becanse in Esdraelon, the Amalekites, as might be expected, the inhuman master, or his party, will not consent to en. eagerly availed themselves of the opportunity of invading cumber themselves with the necessary conveyance of, or the defenceless south. In this expedition, which has en- attendance on, a sick man. If he can, by his own exertirely the character of a nomade incursion into a settled tions, keep up with his company, it is well ; but if not, country, they were not likely to overlook David's town, or there is little hope for him. Old slaves—that is, those to fail of avenging his recent expedition against themselves. who have long been the property of a particular master, or
2. Slew not any.'—The men capable of bearing arms have been reared in his family--are, we believe, scarcely having gone to the war, there were probably none of those ever thus treated; but slaves newly purchased or acquired remaining in the town whom it was usual to put to death. do not often meet with equal indulgence. This young In most cases the women and boys were spared, to be used man of Egypt' would seem not long to have been a slave as slaves, and the old people from the prevailing sentiment to his Amalekite master. of respect to age. David, in his recent expedition against 27. · To them which were in Beth-el,' etc.-Bethel and the southern tribes, did not spare any; while the Amale- the other principal towns in this list have already been kites spared all. The reason of this difference, apparently noticed. to the disadvantage of David's humanity, is obviously • South Ramoth' is mentioned in Josh. xix. 8, among that David had to do with armed men, whom it was not the cities of Simeon. usual to spare, whereas the Amalekites found none but Jattir' is included in Josh. xv. 48, among the towns those whom it was unusual to destroy. This, and other of Judah in the mountains. Jerome reads it Jether,' as war practices which occur in this chapter, such as the he well might, and identifies it with a large village, which division of spoil, etc., have already been fully considered existed in his time under the name of Jethira. It was in in the notes to Num. xxxi. and Deut. xx. To this we the interior of Daroma, near Malatha, about twenty miles cannot here abstain from adding the excellent illustration (south-east, of course) from Eleutheropolis, which places to be derived from the instructions which the Khalif it among the mountains, as the text referred to requires, Abubekr addressed to Yezid, when about to send him at to the south of Hebron, among the well-known haunts of the head of an army into Syria. After advising him David. behave kindly to his own troops, he says: “When you 28. * Aroer' was hardly the Aroer on the other side meet your enemies, quit yourselves like men, and don't Jordan, as all the places mentioned seem to have been in turn your backs; and if you get the victory, kill no little the tribe of Judah or on its borders: the Septuagint reads children, nor old people, nor women. Destroy no palm- • Arouel' instead of · Adamah' in the list of Judah's trees (see note on Deut. xx. 19), nor burn any fields of towns given in Josh. xv. (v. 22); and this may be the corn. Cut down no fruit-trees, nor do any mischief to place intended. cattle, only such as you kill to eat. When you make any * Eshtemoa' is mentioned next to Jattir in the list covenant, stand to it, and be as good as your word,' etc. (Josh. xxi. 14) of the towns which Judah gave to the (Ockley's Conquest of Syria, p. 24).
Levites, and, like it, is among the towns enumerated in 9. · The brook Besor. The winter torrent now called the mountains of Judah. Jerome says that it was in his Wady-Gaza, which is mentioned by Dr. Richardson as time a Jewish village of Daroma, to the north of another falling into the Mediterranean, a little to the south of village called Anem (probably the Anim mentioned after Gaza, agrees exceedingly well with the situation which Ashtemosh in Josh. xv. 50), which he seems to place to the history would seem to assign to the brook Besor. the east of Hebron, but modifies his statement by saying, That so many
of the men were tired by the time they got that it was near another village of the same name, south to the brook Besor proves that Ziklag, and consequently of Hebron, which may make the result south-east, or even Gath, was a good distance to the north, and furnishes south-south-east. (For Anim, see Map of Ancient Palestine.] another argument for not placing it so far to the south as 29. · Rachal' is nowhere else mentioned in the Bible, Calmet, T. H. Horne, and others, have done. The vicinity neither is Atach. of a river was naturally selected as the resting-place of 30. “Chor-ashan' is doubtless the Ashan given to the those who were unable to proceed farther.
tribe of Simeon in Josh, xix. 7, and perhaps the same as 13. My muster left me, because three days agone I fell the village of Beth-Asau of Jerome's time, fifteen miles sick.'—This Egyptian had probably been taken prisoner from Jerusalem. These presents, sent to the elders of so by the Amalekites in one of their predatory incursions many important places, shew that David had a party of into the Egyptian territory, and retained as a slave. We powerful friends in his own tribe. have often had occasion to observe that slaves are usually
ir CHAPTER XXXI.
armourbearer, and all his men, that same day 1 Saul having lost his army, and his sons being slain, he
together. and his armourbearer kill themselves. 7 The Philis.
7 T And when the men of Israel that were tines possess the forsaken towns of the Israelites. on the other side of the valley, and they that 8 They triumph over the dead carcases. 11 They of were on the other side Jordan, saw that the Jabesh-gilead, recovering the bodies by night, burn
men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons them at Jabesh, and mournfully bury their bones.
were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; Now 'the Philistines fought against Israel : and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. and the men of Israel fled from before the 8 | And it came to pass on the morrow, Philistines, and fell down *slain in mount when the Philistines came to strip the slain, Gilboa.
that they found Saul and his three sons fallen 2 And the Philistines followed hard upon in mount Gilboa. Saul and upon his sons ; and the Philistínes 9 And they cut off his head, and stripped slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchi- off his armour, and sent into the land of the shua, Saul's sons.
Philistines round about, to publish it in the 3 And the battle went sore against Saul, house of their idols, and among the people. and the 'archers ‘hit him; and he was sore 10 And they put his armour in the house wounded of the archers.
of Ashtaroth : and they fastened his body to 4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, the wall of Beth-shan. Draw thy sword, and thrust me through
there 11 q And when the inhabitants of Jabeshwith ; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust gilead heard of that which the Philistines had me through, and abuse me. But his armour- done to Saul; bearer would not; for he was sore afraid. 12 All the valiant men arose, and went Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon
sword, and fell upon all night, and took the body of Saul and the it.
bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, 5 And when his armourbearer saw that and came to Jabesh, and 'burnt them there. Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, 13 And they took their bones, and buried and died with him.
them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven 6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his days. 1 Chron. 10. 1.
2 Or, wounded. 6 Or, concerning him.
3 Heb. shooters, men with bows.
7 Jer, 34. 5.
4 Heb. found him.
8 2 Sam. 2. 4.
3 Or, mock me.
Verse 4. • Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.' - The account here given is very materially different from that which the Amalekite gives in the first chapter of the following book. The moral difference between the two accounts is however only the difference between two forms of suicide. The account of Josephus reconciles the two statements by supposing that Sanl claimed the assistance of the Amalekite, after having made an ineffectual attempt at self-destruction. But there remain other discrepancies which are not obviated by this explanation ; and, upon the whole, the general impression is more probably correct, in receiving the statement in the present chapter as the accurate account; and in regarding the story told by the Amalekite as trumped up with the view of recommending himself to the favour of David. The plain account therefore is, that Saul, being wounded, and fearing the most grievous insults if he fell alive into the hands of the Philistines, chose rather to die by his own hand. This is one of the very few instances of suicide which occur in the Scriptures. It is still a practice exceedingly rare among the Orientals, even in the most adverse circumstances of life, and with only prospects of death and misery before them. This appears to have been always the case in the East; the ancient history of which affords very few instances of self-murder, compared with that of the Western nations—the study of which has, unhappily, rendered the modern mind but too familiar with the historical celebrity of, and false principles connected with, a crime by which men affected to dare and to be superior to the calamities from which they shrank,
5. His armour-bearer ... fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.'—The Jews think that this armour
bearer was Doeg the Edomite, who had been promoted to that office for his alacrity in obeying the king when commanded to slay the priests. They also suppose that the sword which Saul took was that of the armour-bearer, and that the latter employed the same weapon, so that both Saul and Doeg died by the very weapon by which the priests of the Lord had been slain, by the order of the one and by the hand of the other. That the weapon with which Saul slew himself was that of the armour-bearer, seems highly probable from the context; but we have no authority but this ancient tradition for supposing that the armour-bearer was Doeg.
10. They fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan, and the bodies of his sons also, as appears by verse 12. Josephus understands that the bodies were gibbeted on crosses outside the walls; but others conceive, as the text seems to require, that the bodies were fastened to, or suspended against, the wall by nails or hooks. It was a custom among some ancient nations to punish criminals convicted of capital crimes, by throwing them from the wall, so that they should be caught by hooks which were inserted in the wall below, and by which they often hung for a long time in exquisite tortures. Very possibly the remains of these unhappy princes were fastened by such hooks to the wall of Beth-shan.
• Beth-shan:- This place was known to the Greeks by the name of Nysa, and afterwards by that of Scythopolis, from the Scythians, who, when they overran Western Asia, took this city and retained it in their possession as long as they continued in that region. It is known at present by the name of Beisan, which is merely a softened form of its ancient Hebrew name. It is situated about twelve miles to the south of the sea of Tiberias, and surprised to hear that in these countries the dwellers in nearly two miles west of the Jordan. It was a place of tents look on the dwellers in towns as an inferior class of such high repute among the Jews, that the Talmud says, beings.' He also says that his party found the weather that if the garden of Eden were in the land of Israel, Beth. hotter at Beisan than in any other part of Judæa. Masses shan was its gate; and it is added, that its fruits were the of ejected lava lie scattered around the village, and the sweetest in Israel. It remained a place of considerable mountains have much the appearance of extinguished vol. importance in the fourth century, according to Jerome; canoes. Captains Irby and Mangles found traces of the but at present its site is only marked by a miserable vil- walls of the ancient fortress, on the hill mentioned by lage in the midst of extensive ruins. Burckhardt describes Burckhardt. They also discovered other remains, which Beisan as situated upon rising ground, on the west side of appear to have escaped his researches, and which suffithe valley of the Jordan, where the chain of mountains ciently attest the ancient importance of the place, when it (Gilboa) declines considerably in height and presents was the largest city of the Decapolis, being also the only i merely elevated ground, quite open towards the west, and one west of the Jordan. the mountains do not begin again till one hour's journey 12. • Burnt them,' etc. ... and took their bones, and buried to the south. The ancient town was watered by a river them.'—This agrees with what was a common and honournow called Moiet Beisan, or the Water of Beisan, which able rite of sepulture among the nations of classical antiflows in different branches towards the plain. The ruins quity. This is the first time it is, as such, mentioned in of Scythopolis are of considerable extent, and the town Scripture ; and from the Law we should certainly infer built along the banks of the rivulet and in the vallies that it was considered ignominious by the Hebrews. Per. formed by its several branches, must have been nearly haps it was resorted to in the present instance to preserve three miles in circuit. The only remains are large heaps the remains of Saul and his sons from any further insult. of black hewn stones, many foundations of houses and This rite, however, ultimately became honourable among fragments of a few columns. In one of the valleys there the Jews; and perhaps the present instance gave the first is a large mound of earth, which appeared to Burckhardt impulse to the change of opinion (see the note on Jer. to be artificial, and which was probably the site of a castle xxxiv. 5). But after the Captivity the practice was disfor the defence of the town. On the left bank of the continued, and the ancient aversion of the Hebrews to this stream there is a large khan, where the caravans repose rite revived with such vigour, that their learned men spent that take the shortest route from Jerusalem to Damascus. much ingenuity in proving that it never had existed
1 The village of Beisan contains seventy or eighty houses. among them. Thus the Chaldee paraphrast alleges that Its inhabitants are in a miserable condition from being the text means only that they burnt a light or lamp over exposed to the depredations of the Bedouins, to whom they them at Jabesh, such as they were accustomed to do over also pay a heavy tribute. Dr. Richardson also, who calls the bodies of kings. This, although a manifest misconthe place 'an abominable sink of dirt and iniquity,' de- struction of the plain sense of the words, is very curious, scribes the village as a collection of the most miserable as shewing that the subsisting Oriental practice of burning hovels, containing about 200 inhabitants, and, in looking lights over the remains of princes and great men existed in at their wretched accomniodation, and a Bedoween en- the time of the Chaldee paraphrast, and was regarded by him campment that was spread out in the valley, we were not and his contemporaries as being even in their time ancient
THE SECOND BOOK
THE SECOND BOOK OF THE KING S.
told him, How knowest thou that Saul and
Jonathan his son be dead? 1 The Amalekite, who brought tidings of the overthrow, and accuseth himself of Saul's death, is slain. 17
6 And the young man that told him, said, David lamenteth Saul and Junathan with a song. As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa,
behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the OW it came chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. to pass after
7 And when he looked behind him, he saw the death of me, and called unto me. And I answered, Saul, when ! Here am I. David was 8 And he said unto me, Who art thou ? returned from And I answered him, I am an Amalekite. 'the slaughter
9 He said unto me again, Stand, I pray of the Ama- thee, upon me, and slay me : for 'anguish is lekites, and come upon me, because my life is yet whole David had abode two 10 So I stood upon him, and slew him, bedays in Zik- cause I was sure that he could not live after lag;
that he was fallen : and I took the crown that 2 It came
his head, and the bracelet that was even to pass on his arm, and have brought them hither unto on the third my lord.
day, that, be- 11 | Then David took hold on his clothes, hold, man came out of the camp from Saul and 'rent them; and likewise all the men that with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head : were with him : and so it was, when he came to David, that he 12 And they mourned, and wept, and fasted fell to the earth, and did obeisance.
until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, 3 And David said unto him, From whence and for the people of the LORD, and for the comest thou? And he said unto him, Out of house of Israel; because they were fallen by the camp of Israel am I 'escaped.
the sword. 4 And David said unto him, "How went the 13 C And David said unto the
young man matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he an- that told him, Whence art thou ? And he swered, That the people are fled from the answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amabattle, and many of the people also are fallen lekite. and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are 14 And David said unto him, "How wast dead also.
thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to 5 And David said unto the young man that destroy the LORD's anointed ? 1 1 Sam. 30. 17.
* Or, ny coat of mail, or, my embroidered coat hindercth me, 5 Chap. 3. 31, and 13. 31,
? Heb. B'hat tras, &c.
3 Heb. Behold me.
6 Psal. 105, 15.
15 And David called one of the young Saul, as though he had not been anointed with men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. oil. And he smote him that he died.
22 From the blood of the slain, from the 16 And David said unto him, Thy blood fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified not back, and the sword of Saul returned not against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord's empty. anointed.
23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and 17 And David lamented with this pleasant in their lives, and in their death lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his they were not divided : they were swifter than
eagles, they were stronger than lions. 18 (Also he bade them teach the children 24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is who clothed you in scarlet, with other dewritten in the book of Jasher.)
lights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your 19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy apparel. high places : how are the mighty fallen! 25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst
20''Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in of the battle ! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in the streets of Askelon ; lest the daughters of thine high places. the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of 26 I am distressed for thee, my brother the uncircumcised triumph.
Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto -21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, the love of women. • nor fields of offerings : for there the shield of 27 How are the mighty fallen, and the the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of weapons of war perished |
8 Or, of the upright.
7 Josh. 10, 13.
9 Micah 1. 10.
10 Or, sweet.
D'Herbelot, in mentioning the investiture of Malek
ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ARMLETS. a mere personal ornament of value which the king happened to wear. This conclusion is amply supported by the ancient and still subsisting customs of the East. When