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CHAPTER XIII.

him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto

her, Come lie with me, my sister. I Amnon loving Tamar, by Jonadab's counsel feigning himself sick, ravisheth her. 15 He hateth her, and

12 And she answered him, Nay, my broshamefully turneth her away. 19 Absalom enter- ther, do not force me ; for "no such thing taineth her, and concealeth his purpose. 23 At a ought to be done in Israel : do not thou this sheepshearing, among all the king's sons, he killeih folly. Amnon. 30 David grieving at the news is com- 13 And I, whither shall I cause my

shame forted by Jonadab. 37 Absalom fleeth to Talmai at Geshur,

to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of

the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray And it came to pass after this, that Absalom thee, speak unto the king ; for he will not the son of David had a fair sister, whose name withhold me from thee. was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David 14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her loved her.

voice; but, being stronger than she, forced 2 And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell her, and lay with her. sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin ; 15 1 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; and 'Amnon thought it hard for him to do any so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was thing to her.

greater than the love wherewith he had loved 3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be | was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's gone. brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man. 16 And she said unto him, There is no

4 And he said unto him, Why art thou, cause : this evil in sending me away is greater being the king's son, "lean from day to day? than the other that thou didst unto me. But wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said he would not hearken unto her. unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absa- 17 Then he called his servant that ministered lom's sister.

unto him, and said, Put now this woman out 5 And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee from me, and bolt the door after her. down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and 18 And she had a garment of divers colours when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto upon her : : for with such robes were the king's him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then and give me meat, and dress the meat in my his servant brought her out, and bolted the sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her door after her. hand.

19 1 And Tamar put ashes on her head, 6 So Amnon lay down, and made him- and rent her garment of divers colours that self sick: and when the king was come to see was on her, and laid her hand on her head, him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, and went on crying. let Tamar my sister come, and make me a 20 And Absalom her brother said unto her, couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? her hand.

but hold now thy peace, my sister : he is thy 7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, brother ; 'regard not this thing. So Tamar Go now to thy brother Amnon's house, and remained ''desolate in her brother Absalom's dress him meat.

house. 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's 21 [ But when king David heard of all house ; and he was laid down. And she took these things, he was very wroth. 'flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his 22 And Absalom spake unto his brother sight, and did bake the cakes.

Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom 9 And she took a pan, and poured them out hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister 1 before him ; but he refused to eat. And Tamar.

Amnon said, Have out all men from me. 23 1 And it came to pass after two full And they went out every man from him. years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in

10 And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of Absalom invited all the king's sons. thine

hand. And Tamar took the cakes which 24 And Absalom came to the king, and she had made, and brought them into the said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepchamber to Amnon her brother.

shearers; let the king, I beseech thee, and his 11 And when she had brought them unto servants go with thy servant. I lieb. it was marvellous, or, hidden in the eyes of Aminon. 2 Heb, thin.

3 Heb. morning by morning. * Or, paste. 3 Heb, humble me. 6 Levit. 18. 9. 7 Heb. it ought not so to be done.

8 Heb. with great hatred greatly. 9 Hleb, set not thine heart.

10 Heb. and desolate.

with us.

25 And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my young men the king's sons ; for Amnon only son, let us not all now go, lest we be charge- is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom able unto thee. And he pressed him: how- this hath beendetermined from the day that beit he would not go, but blessed him.

he forced his sister Tamar. 26 Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, 33 Now therefore let not my lord the king let my brother Amnon

go

And the take the thing to his heart, to think that all i king said unto him, Why should he go with the king's sons are dead : for Amnon only is thee?

dead. 27 But Absalom pressed him, that he let 34 But Absalom fled. And the young man Amnon and all the king's sons go with him. that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and

28 q Now Absalom had commanded his looked, and, behold, there came much people servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's by the way of the hill side behind him. heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto 35 And Jonadab said unto the king, Beyou, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: hold, the king's sons come : 'as thy servant {"have not I commanded you ? be courageous, said, so it is. and be valiant.

36 And it came to pass, as soon as he had 29 And the servants of Absalom did unto made an end of speaking, that, behold, the Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then king's sons came, and lifted up their voice and all the king's sons arose, and every man "gat wept: and the king also and all his servants him up upon his mule, and fled.

wept ''very sore. 30 T And it came to pass, while they were 37 | But Absalom fled, and went to in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Talmai, the son of "Ammihud, king of Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and Geshur. And David mourned for his son there is not one of them left.

every day. 31 Then the king arose, and tare his gar- 38 So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, ments, and lay on the earth; and all his and was there three years. servants stood by with their clothes rent. 39 And the soul of king David "Plonged to

32 And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah forth unto Absalom : for he was comforted David's brother, answered and said, Let not concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead. my lord suppose that they have slain all the !! Or, will you not, since I have commanded you ! 19 Heb. sons of valour.

14 Heb. mouth. 15 Or, settled. 16 Heb. according to the word of thy servant. 17 Heb, with a great weeping greatly.

19 Or, was consencd.

go

13 Heb, rode.

18 Or, Ammihur.

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Verse 2. “She was a virgin, and Amnon thought,' etc.This is not very intelligible as it stands. The sense doubtless is that virgins being in the East so closely watched, Amnon found it impossible to obtain access to her without witnesses : hence his distress, and the wicked device to which he resorted.

6. Amnon lay down and made himself sick! - The Asiatics,' writes Mr. Roberts, • are certainly the most expert creatures I have seen in feigning themselves sick. Thus those who wish to get off work, or any duty, complain they have a pain here, and another there; they affect to pant for breath, roll their eyes as if in agony; and, should you touch them, they shriek out, as if you were killing them. The sepoys, and those who are servants in the Government offices, give great trouble to their superiors by ever and anon complaining they are sick; and it requires great discernment to find out whether they really are so, or are merely affecting it. Their general object is either to attend a marriage or some religious festival.'

8. Made cakes in his sight.'—This she might very well do, according to several of the various processes of baking described in former notes. It might, for instance, be done at the circular fire pit in the floor, or upon the hearth, or in a pan, or on a metallic plate placed over a brasier, or against the sides of a heated jar or portable oven. Probably Amnon's request seemed reasonable to David, not merely as the fancy of a sick man, but on account of Tamar's having a reputation for peculiar skill in making some kind of cake or pastry. We have already noticed that such matters devolve upon women in the East : and that females of the highest rank are expected to attend to

them. The consequence of this is, that there is no accomplishment on which even ladies of distinction pride themselves more than on their peculiar skill in such preparations. In the Arabian Nights there is the story of Bedreddin Hassan, much of the interest of which is connected with the skill in the making of tarts possessed by his mother, who was the wife of one grand vizier and the only daughter of another. She had a secret in this art, which enabled her to make the best tarts in the world; and this secret she communicated to no one but her son. He in the course of time becomes a ruined man

and a fugitive, and finally sets up as a pastry-cook in Damascus. After many years his friends, including his mother, go from city to city in search of him. Bedreddin's own son, whom he never saw, is of the party, and in going through the bazaar gluts himself with the tarts of his unknown father. On his return, he declines one of the tarts of his grandmother, who then exclaims, · What! does my child thus despise the work of my hands? Be it known to you, that not one in the world can make such cream tarts, excepting myself and your father Bedreddin, whom I myself taught. The boy contends he had eaten better tarts in the bazaar'; to test which assertion, the old lady sends for one; and she no sooner tastes it than she swoons away, declaring, on her recovery, that the maker must be her long-lost son. This proves to be the fact, to the great joy of all parties concerned.

17. Bolt the door after her.'—The street-doors of Oriental houses are usually kept bolted, except when the inhabitant is a person of such consequence as to have one or more porters in attendance, and then it is commonly

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left open by day. Amnon, the eldest son of the king, of affection, and interest in their honour, is more immediate course had porters attending at his door; and what we and concentrated. This is well understood in many parts understand is, that Amnon directed his servants to conduct of the East, where the brother has often more admitted Tamar out of the house, and bolt the street-door after her, authority in all that concerns the daughter of his mother, instead of keeping it open, as usual. The bolts of doors than the father himself. We find an instance of this here,

and one still earlier, in the case of Simeon and Levi, who arranged the terms of their sister Dinah's marriage; and who, to the deep regret of their father, horribly avenged upon the men of Shechem the injury their sister had received.

23. Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim'-not in the tribe of Ephraim, in which we read of no town named thus, but near a town called Ephraim; probably the same that is mentioned in 2 Chron. xiii. 19, and John xi. 54. In the former of these texts it is mentioned with Bethel : Baal-hazor would therefore seem to have been in the tribe of Benjamin ; and is probably the same with the Hazor of Neh. xi. 33. All the indications of Scripture agree very well with the distance which Eusebius gives, of eight miles from Jerusalem; about which distance, in a direction N.N.E., D'Anville places Ephraim, near which Baal-hazor was situated.

29. ' Every man gat him up upon his mule.'—This is the first time that the mule is indisputably mentioned in the Scriptures (see the note on Gen. xxxvi. 24): and, as we might expect, these animals begin to be mentioned at nearly the same time that horses began to be partially known among the Jews. Not at present to notice the state of the question with respect to horses, we observe, that although a few horses were kept for state, mules were now used for riding by persons of distinction, in peace as well as in war; although the ass continued to maintain its respectable position, and never wholly gave place to either the mule or the horse. The taste seems decidedly to be for mules in this period of Hebrew history. We see here that all the king's sons were accustomed to ride on those animals; and even Absalom, although he had chariots and horses, and while he bore the state and title of a king, rode upon a mule in battle (ch. xviii. 9). The king himself also was wont to ride on a mule. He had a choice mule --a mule of state, known to be his; and when he intended Solomon to be anointed, with great solemnity, as king in his own lifetime, he does not direct his officers to take his chariots and horses for the regal procession, but · Cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule'(1 Kings i. 33). Mules, as well as horses, were also among the presents which Solomon received from those who, at a subsequent period, came from far to hear his wisdom (1 Kings x. 25). "The mule appears with equal dignity among the Greeks. Although used in the laborious services of agriculture, yet choice animals of this class were employed

in more dignified offices. Mules, mentioned as ORIENTAL STREET-DOOR.

• A gift illustrious by the Mysians erst

Conferr'd on Priam,' are always of wood, fastened to the door, and sliding into a hole in the door-post. The additional bar, if any, used at were yoked to the litter in which that aged monarch connight, is also of wood. This was no doubt the case also veyed the 'glorious ransom' of Hector's body to the in the Bible times, for we read of bars of brass and iron, Grecian camp, and in which the body itself was taken mentioned, in the way of contradistinction, as fastenings of back to Troy. Chariots, drawn by mules, were also extraordinary strength (1 Kings iv. 13 ; Isa. xlv. 2). allowed to contend for the prize in the chariot-races of the

20. Tamar remained desolate in her brother Ábsalom's Olympic games, and in the similar games of the Romans. house.'—The natural tendency of polygamy is to produce a

Mules are still much used in the East, as well for riding as house divided against itself. The several mothers hate for the conveyance of baggage and merchandise; and, each other and each other's children, and spend all their from the attention paid to their breed, they are generally thoughts in plotting for the exclusive benefit of their own. much finer animals than in England. The combination, Hence the large family which is sometimes formed in poly- in the mule, of the more useful qualities of both the horse gamy is not one family, but an assemblage of several fami- and the ass-its strength, activity, steadiness, and great lies, opposed to each other in interest and in feeling. The power of endurance, are characteristics of peculiar value ties of brotherhood and sisterhood seldom extend beyond in the East; and therefore the Jews, although interdicted the children of the same mother; and the only sentiment from breeding mules (Lev. xix. 19), did not find it conin which they all concur is in respect for the common venient to consider that their use was forbidden. But as father and common husband. Under this state of things, they could not legally breed mules, the question arises, however, the daughters, aware that there are others who how they obtained those which they possessed. It seems have equal claim upon their father's affection, do not so probable that they were employed in the armies which much look up to him as their natural protector, and the David overthrew; and that, there being no precedent for avenger of their wrongs, as to their uterine brother, whose hamstringing mules, he preserved them for use. Or they

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CHAPTER XIV.

manner unto him. So Joab put the words in

her mouth. 1 Joab, suborning a widow of Tekoah by a parable to 4 | And when the woman of Tekoah spake

incline the king's heart to fetch home Absalom, bringeth him to Jerusalem. 25 Absalum's beauty,

to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, hair, and children. 28 After two years, Absalom

and did obeisance, and said, 'Help, O king. by Joab is brought into the king's presence.

5 And the king said unto her, What aileth

thee? And she answered, I am indeed a Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that widow woman, and mine husband is dead. the king's heart was toward Absalom.

6 And thy handmaid had two sons, and 2 And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched they two strove together in the field, and there thence a wise woman, and said unto her, I pray was 'none to part them, but the one smote the thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put other, and slew him. on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thy- 7 And, behold, the whole family is risen self with oil, but be as a woman that had a against thine handmaid, and they said, Deliver long time mourned for the dead :

him that smote his brother, that we may kill 3 And come to the king, and speak on this / him, for the life of his brother whom he sler ;

i leb. Save.

Heb, no delirerer between them.

216

and we will destroy the heir also: and so they answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord shall quench my coal which is left, and shall the king, none can turn to the right hand or not leave to my husband neither name nor to the left from ought that my lord the king remainder upon the earth.

hath spoken : for thy servant Joab, he bade 8 And the king said unto the woman, Go to me, and he put all these words in the mouth thine house, and I will give charge concerning of thine handmaid: thee.

20 To fetch about this form of speech hath 9 And the woman of Tekoah said unto the thy servant Joab done this thing: and my

lord king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel and on my father's house : and the king and of God, to know all things that are in the his throne be guiltless.

earth. 10 And the king said, Whosoever saith 21 1 And the king said unto Joab, Behold ought unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall now, I have done this thing : go therefore, not touch thee any more.

bring the young man Absalom again. 11 Then said she, I pray thee, let the king 22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face, remember the LORD thy God, 'that thou and bowed himself, and thanked the king: wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to and Joab said, To day thy servant knoweth destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, And he said, As the Lord liveth, there shall O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the not one hair of thy son fall to the earth. request of 'his servant.

12 Then the woman said, Let thine hand- 23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and maid, I pray thee, speak one word unto my brought Absalom to Jerusalem. lord the king. And he said, Say on.

24 And the king said, Let him turn to his 13 And the woman said, Wherefore then own house, and let him not see my face. So hast thou thought such a thing against the Absalom returned to his own house, and saw people of God? for the king doth speak this not the king's face. thing as one which is faulty, in that the king 25 1 But in all Israel there was none to doth not fetch home again his banished. be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty:

14 For we must needs die, and are as water from the sole of his foot even to the crown of spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered his head there was no blemish in him. up again ; oneither doth God respect any 26 And when he polled his head, (for it was person: yet doth he devise means that his at every year's end that he polled it: because banished be not expelled from him.

the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled 15 Now therefore that I am come to speak it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two of this thing unto my lord the king, it is be- hundred shekels after the king's weight. cause the people have made me afraid: and 27 9 And unto Absalom there were born thy handmaid said, I will now speak unto the three sons, and one daughter, whose name was king; it may be that the king will perform the Tamar: she was a woman of a fair counterequest of his handmaid. 16 For the king will hear, to deliver his 28 q So Absalom dwelt two full years

in handmaid out of the hand of the man that Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face. would destroy me and my son together out of 29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to the inheritance of God.

have sent him to the king ; but he would not 17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of come to him: and when he sent again the iny lord the king shall now be 'comfortable : second time, he would not come. for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king 30 Therefore he said unto his servants, See, 'to discern good and bad : therefore the LORD Joab's field is ''near mine, and he hath barley thy God will be with thee.

there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's 18 Then the king answered and said unto servants set the field on fire. the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, 31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom the thing that I shall ask thee. “And the unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore woman said, Let my lord the king now speak. have thy servants set my field on fire ?

19 And the king said, Is not the hand of 32 And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, Joab with thee in all this? And the woman I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I

nance.

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3 Ileb. upon the face of the earth. + Heb. that the rerenger of blood do not multiply to destroy. away his life, he hath also devised means, &c. 6 Heb. for resi.

7 Heb. to hear, 1 Heb. And as Absalom there was not a beautiful man in all Israel to praise greatly.

5 Or, because God hath not taken e Ileb, blessed.

9 Or, thy 11 Heb. near my place.

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