Page images
PDF
EPUB

sired her not to glean, but to reap what she could carry, and go to her mother-in-law, bewas able; and gave her leave to carry it fore any body should see that she had lain home. He also gave it in charge to that down by him; because it was but prudent tô servant who was over the reapers, not to hin- avoid any reproach that might arise on that der her when she took it away, and bade him account, especially when there had been nogive her her dinner and make her drink, when thing done that was ill : but as to the main he did the like to the reapers. Now what point she aimed at, the matter should rest corn Ruth received of him, she kept for her here: “He that is nearer of kin thap I am mother-in-law, and carried it to her in the shall be asked, whether he wish to take thee to evening. And Naomi had kept for her a part | wife? If he says he does, thou shalt follow him ; of such food as her neighbours had plentifully but if he refuse, I will marry thee according to bestowed upon her. Ruth also told her mo- the law.”** ther-in-law what Booz bad said: and when When she had informed the mother-in-law the other had informed her that he was near of this, they were very glad of it; out of the of kin to them, and perhaps was so pious ahope they had that Booz would make proman as to make some provision for them, she vision for them. Now about ndon Booz went went out again on the days following to gather down into the city, and gathered the senate the gleanings, with Booz's maid-servant. together; and when he had sent for Ruth, he

It was not many days before Booz, after called for her kinsman also. And when he the barley was wionowed, slept in his thresh- was come, he asked him whether he did not ing-floor. When Naomi was informed of this retain the inheritance of Elimelech, and his circumstance, she contrived that Ruth should || sons ? He confessed that he did retain it, as lie down by him, for she thought that it might he was permitted to do by the laws, because be for their advantage that he should dis- he was their nearest kinsman. Then said course with the girl. Accordingly she sent Booz, " Thou must not remember the laws in the damsel to sleep at his feet, who went as part; but do every thing according to them, she hade her; for she did not think it con-For the wife of Mablon is come hither; whoms sistent with her duty to contradict any com- thou must marry according to the law, in mand of her mother-in-law. And at first she case thou wilt retain their fields." So the lay concealed from Booz, as he was fast man yielded up both the fields and the wife to asleep : but when he awaked, about midnight, Booz, who was himself of kin to those that and perceived a woman lying by him, he were dead, as alleging that he had a wife asked, who she was ? and when she had told already, and children also. So Booz called him ber name, and desired that he, whom she the senate to witness, and bid the woman to owned for her lord, would excuse her, he said || loose his shoe, † and spit in his face, accordno more ; but in the morning, before the ser- ing to the law. And when this was one, vants began to set about their work, he waked Booz married Ruth, and they had a son withher, and bid her take as much barley as she in a year's timne. Naomi was herself a nurse

* Ruth iii. 13.

by receiving a glove. So in England, in the reign of + It is not easy to give an account of the origin of this Edward the Second, the deprivation of gloves was a cerecustom; but the reason of it is plain, it being a naturalmony of degradation. With regard to the shoe, as the signification that he resigned his interest in the land, by token of investiture, Castell Lex. Polyg. col. 2342, mengiving him his shoe wherewith he used to walk in it, that'll tions that the emperor of the Abyssinians used the casting he might. enter into and take possession of it himself. of a shoe as a sign of dominion. See Psalm 1x, 8. To The Targum, instead of shoe, hath right-hand glove; it these instances the following may properly be added : being then the custom, perhaps, to give that in room of “ Childebert the Second was fifteen years old when Gonthe shoe.

tram his uncle declared that he was of

age,

and capable In later times the Jews delivered a handkerchief for the of governing by himself. I have put,' says he, this same purpose. So R. Solomon Jarchi says, we acquire, javelin into thy hands, as a token that I have given thee or buy now, by a handkerchief, or veil, instead of a shoe. all my kingdom. And then, turning towards the assemThe giving of a glove was, in the middle ages, a ceremony bly, he added, you see that my son Childebert is become of investiture in bestowing lands and dignities. In A. D.

a man. Obey him.'Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws, vol, i. 1002 two bishops were put in possession of their sees, each | p. 361. B.

" to

[ocr errors]

to this child; and by the advice of the wöinen ||one of a middling condition among his fellow called him Obed, as being to be brought up in citizens, and one that dwelt at Ramathaim, order to be subservient to her in her old age. la city of the tribe of Ephraim, married two For Obed in the Hebrew dialect signifies a wives, Hannah and Peninnah. He had chil- • servant. The son of Obed was Jésse; and|dren by the latter, but he loved the other king David was his son,* who left his domi-bést, although she was barren. Now El . nions to his sons for one and twenty genera-canah came with his wives to the city-Shiloh, tions. I was therefore obliged to relate this to sacrifice; for there it was that the 'taberhistory of Ruth, because I had a mind to-de-bacle of God was fixed. Now, after he had monstrate the power of God; who, without sacrificed, he distributed at that festival pordifficulty, can raise those that'are of ordinary tions of the flesh to his wives and children: paréntage to dignity and splendor, to which and when Hannah saw the other wife's chilhe advanced David, though he were born of|dren round about their mother, she burst into such mean parents.

tears, on account of her barrenness; and, suf

fering her grief to prevail over her husband's CHAP. X.

consolations, she went to the tabernacle to be

seech God to make her a mother, and to vow OF THE BIRTH OF SAMUEL, AND HIS PREDICTION OF THE\to consecrate the first son she should bear to CALAMITY THAT BEFELL THE SONS OF ELI.

the service of God; and this in such a way ANP the writer on the che state de the affairs that bis manner of living should not be like

And as she continued upon the Philistines. The occasion was this : at her prayers a long time, Eli, the high-priest, Eli, the high-priest, had two sons, Hophni who sat before the tabernacle, bade her gó and Phineas, who were guilty of injustice to-away, thinking she had been disordered with wards men, and of impiety towards God: and wine: but when she said she had drank water, abstained from no sort of wickedness. . Some but was in sorrow for want of children, and of their gifts they carried off, as belonging to was beseeching God for them, he exhorted her the honorable employment they had : others to be of good cheer, and told her that God of them they took away by violence. They would grant her request. I also : were..guilty of impurity with the women So she came to her husband full of hope, that came to worship God at the tabernacle.land ate her meal with gladness. And when Nay, the whole course of their life was no they returned to their own country, she found better than tyranny.t . Their father therefore herself pregnant, and they had a son born to was angry at them for such wickedness, and them : to whom they gave the name of Saexpected that God would suddenly inflict his muel

, which inay be styled one that was asked punishments upon them for what they had done. Yof God. They therefore came to the taberThe multitude took it heinously also. And as|nacle to offer sacrifice for the birth of the soon as God had foretold what calamity would child, and brought their tithes with them : but befall Eli's sons, which he did both to Eli him- the woman remembered the vow which she self, and to Samuel the prophet, who was yet had made concerning her son, and delivered but a child, be openly shewed his sorrow for him to Eli; dedicating him to God, that he his sons' destruction,

might become a prophet. Accordingly his hair I will first dispatch what I have to say was suffered to grow long, and his drink was about the prophet Samuel; and after that will water. So Samuel was brought up in the § proceed to speak of the sons of Eli, and the temple. But Elcanah had other sons by Hanmiseries which they brought upon the whole nah, and three daughters. people of the Hebrews. Elcanah, a Levite When Samuel was twelve years old, || he

:1.

* Ruth iv. 17.
f 1 Sam. ii, 12-17.

ings about the tabernacle; as the holy house is used by 1 Sam. i. 17.

Josephus for the tabernacle itself, VI. 12, and in many Ś Josephus here says, that Samuel was brought up in other places. the holy place or the temple; that is, in the sacred ouild || About An. 1170. vol. 1.-(16.)

3 A

began

began to prophesy; and when he was once their camp at the city Aphec. Now when asleep, God called to him by name; but he the Israelites had expected them a little while, supposing he had been called by the high- the very next day they joined battle; but the priest, came to him: but when the high-priest Philistines were conquerors, and slew about said he did not call him, God did so thrice. Eli four thousand of the Hebrews; and parwas then so far illuminated, that he said to him, sued the rest of the multitude to their

Indeed, Samuel, I was silent now as well as camp. before. It is God that calls thee. * Do thou The Hebrews, being now afraid of the therefore signify unto him, and say I am here worst, sent to the senate, and to the highready.” So when he heard God speak again, priest, and desired that they would bring the he desired him to speak, and to deliver what ark of God : that by putting themselves in oracles he pleased,' for he would not fail to array, when it was present with them, they perform any ministration he should make use might be too hard for their enemies; as not of him in. To which God replied, “Since reflecting that he who had condemned them thou art here ready, learn what iniseries are to endure these calamities was greater than coming upon the Israelites; such indeed as the ark; and for whose sake it was that the words cannot declare, nor faith believe. For ark came to be honored. So the ark came, the sons of Eli shall die in one day; and the and the sons of the high-priest with it, baving priesthood shall be transferred into the family received an assurance from their father, that of Eleazar; for Eli hath loved his sons more if they pretended to survive the taking of the than

my worship, and to such a degree as is ark, they should come no more into his prenot for their advantage.” This message Elisence. For Phineas officiated already as highobliged the prophet by oath to tell him : for priest : his father having resigned his office otherwise he had no inclination to afflict him to him, by reason of his great age. So the by repeating it. And now Eli had a far| Hebrews were full of courage, as supposing more sure expectation of the perdition of his they should be too hard for their enemies : the sons: but the glory of Samuel increased more Philistines also were greatly afraid of the ark and more: it being found by experience that coming to the Israelites : however the event whatsoever he † prophesied came to pass ac- did not prove agreeable to the expectation of cordingly.

either side ; but when the battle was joined,

that victory which the Hebrews expected CHAP. XI.

was gained by the Philistines; and what deOF THE MISFORTUNES WHICH BEFELL THE SONS OF ELI, the feat the Philistines were afraid of fell to the

lot of the Israelites; and thereby. they found Α'

BOUT this time & the Philistines made that they had put their trust in the ark in war against the Israelites, and pitched vain ; for they were presently beaten, as soon

ARK, AND THE PEOPLE ; AND THR DEATH OF ELI.

* 1 Sam. iii. 21. The word of the Lord. Without expression, the word of the Lord, is obvious, as the idea recurring to the learned explanations which have been must have been very familiar to them. This clearly ap. given of this expression, it may possibly receive an agree. I pears to have been the case as to Joseph and his brethren. able illustration from the following extracts. “In Abys- Gen. xlii. 23. Joseph spake by an interpreter, not of sinia there is an officer named Kal Hatze, who stands languages, but of dignity and state. Other instances of always upon steps at the side of the lattice window, the same nature may probably be traced in 2 Kings v. 10. where there is a hole covered in the inside with a curtain | Job xxxiji, 23. B. of green taffeta; behind this curtain the king sits." (Bruce's † Although there had been a few occasional propbets Trav, vol. iv. p. 76.) The king is described in another before, yet was this Samuel the first of a constant succes. place as very much concealed from public view. He sion of prophets in the Jewish nation; as it is implied in

covers his face on audiences, on public occasions, St. Peter's words, Acts iii. 24. “Yea, and all the prophets and when in judgment. On cases of treason he sits within from Samuel, and those that follow after, as many as bave his balcony, and speaks through a hole in the side of it, spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.” See to an officer called 'Kal Hatze, the voice or word of the also Acts xiii. 20. The others were rather sometimes king, by whoin he sends his questions, or any thing else called righteous men. See Matt. 8. 41. xiii. 17. Constitut. that occurs, lo the judges, who are seated at the council VIII. 12. table.” (Bruce's Trav. vol. iii. p. 265.) If such a cus. I An. 1143. tom ever obtained among the Jews, the propriety of the § He was ninety-eight years old. See 1 Sam. iv, 15.

as

even

as they came to a close fight with their ene-ently from what he expected; so he fell down mies, and lost about thirty thousand men : from his throne, and died; having lived nine. among whom were the sons of the high-priest. I ty-eight years, and retained the government The ark also was carried away by their ene- forty.* mies.

On the same day the wife of his son Phineas When the news of this defeat came to died also: as not able to survive the misfortune Shiloh, with that of the capture of the ark : of her husband. For they told her of her hus(for a certain young man, a Benjamite, who band's death as she was in labor. However was in the action, came as a messenger thi- she bare a son at seven months, to whom they ther;) the whole city was full of lamentations. gave the name f Icabod : which name signifies And Eli, the high-priest, who sat upon a high disgrace; and this because the army received throne at one of the gates, heard their mourn- disgrace at this time. ful cries; and supposed that some strange Now Eli was the first of the family of Ithathing had befallen his family. So he sent for mar, the other son of Aaron, that had the the young man, and when he understood what government: for the family of Eleazar officihad happened in the battle, he was not much ated as high-priest at first; the son still regrieved as to his sons, or what was told him ceiving that honor from the father: Eleazar about the army; as having previously known bequeathed it to his son Phineas, after whom by Divine revelation that those things would Abiezer, his son, took the honor, and delivered happen, and having himself declared them be- it to his son, whose name was Bukki: bis son forehand. For what sad things come unex-next received it: after whom Eli, of whom we pectedly, they distress men the most; but as have been speaking, had the priesthood : and soon as he heard the ark was carried cap- so had his posterity until the time of Solomon's tive by their enemies, he was very much reign: but then it was resumed by the postegrieved at it, because it fell out quite differ-rity of Eleazar,

BOOK VI.

Containing an Interval of Thirty-two Years.

.

FROM THE DEATH OF ELI TO THE DEATH OF SAUL.

OF THE DESTRUCTION THAT CAME UPON THE PHILISTINES,

THEY SENT IT BACK TO THE HEBREWS.

CHAP. I.

spoils. But when they went into the temple

the next morning, to worship their idol, they BY THE WRATH OF GOD, ON ACCOUNT OF THEIR HAVING found him paying the same worship to the CARRIED AWAY THE ARK: AND of the manner in which ark; for he lay prostrate, as having fallen

down from the basis whereon he stood. So WHI

THEN the Philistines had taken the ark they took him up, and set him on his basis

of the Hebrews, they carried it to the again, and were much troubled at what had city Ashdod, and put it by their own god, happened. And as they frequently came to who was called I Dagon, as one of their Dagon, and found him still lying along, in a

* From An. 1088 to 1048. B. C. + 1 Sam. iv, 21. to have been like a man above the navel, and like a fish Dagon, a famous god, or idol, is generally supposed beneath it.

posture

ease.

posture of adoration to the ark, they were in || cities, Gath, Ekron, Askelon, Gaza, and Ashvery great distress and confusion. At length dod, met together, and considered what was God sent a very destructive disease upon the fit to be done. And at the first they thought city and country of Ashdod : for they died of proper to send the ark back to its own peothe dysentery, a sore distemper, that brought ple; as allowing that God had avenged its death upon them very suddenly.; for before cause, that the miseries they had undergone they could, as usual in sudden deaths, be well came along with it, and that those were sent loosed from the body, they brought up their on their cities upon its account, and itô entrails, and vomited up what they had eaten, gether with it. However, there were those and what was entirely corrupted by the dis- that said they should not do so, nor suffer

And as to the fruits of their country, | themselves to be deluded, as ascribingithe a great multitude of mice arose out of the cause of their miseries to it: because it could earth, and hurt them; and spared neither the not have such power and force opon them. plants nor the fruits. Now while the people For had God had such a regard to it, it would of Ashdod were under these misfortunes, and not have been delivered into the hands of pen. were not able to support themselves under So they exhorted them to be quiet, and to their calamities, they perceived that they suf- bear what had befallen them, and to suppose fered thus because of the ark: and that the there was no other cause in it but nåture; victory they had gotten, and their having taken which at certain revolutions of time produces the ark captive, had not happened for their such mutations in the bodies of men, in the good. They therefore sent to the people of earth, in plants, and in all things that giro w Askelon, and desired that they would receive out of the earth. But the counsel that prethe ark among them. This desire was not vailed over those already described was that disagreeable to those of Askelon; so they of certain men, who were believed to have disreadily granted it: but when they had gotten tinguished themselves in former times for their the ark, they were in the same miserable con-| understanding and prudence, and who in their dition; for the ark carried along with it the present circumstances seemed above all the disasters that the people of Ashdod had suffer- rest to speak properly. These men said, it ed, to those who received it from them. Those was not right either to send the ark away, or of Askelon also sent it away to others; who, to retain it: but to dedicate five golden being pursued by the same disasters, again images, one for every city, as a thank-offersent it to the neighboring cities. So that the ing to God, on account of his having taken ark went round, after this manner, to the five care of their preservation, and having kept cities of the Philistines : as though it exacted them alive when their lives were likely to be these disasters as a tribute for its coming taken away by such distempers as they were

not able to bear up against. They also would When those that had experienced these mi- have them make five golden * mice, like those series were tired out with them, and when that had devoured and destroyed their counthose that heard of them were taught thereby try; to put them in a bag, and lay them upon not to admit the ark among them, since they the ark, to make a new cart also for it, and paid so dear a tribute for it; at length they to yoke milch † kiue to it: but to shut up their sought for some, contrivance how they might calves, and keep them from them, test, hy folget free from it. So the governors of the five lowing after them, they should prove a hind

* Spanheim informis us that upon the coins of Țenedos, + This device of the Philistines, of having a yoke of and those of other cities, a field mouse is engraven ; toge- kine to draw the carbs into which they put the ark of the ther withi Apollo Smintheus, or Apollo the driver away of Hebrews, is greatly illustrated by Sanchoniatho's account, field mice'; on account of his being supposed to have freed under his ninth generation, that Agrouerus, or Agrotes, certain tracts of ground from those mice. Which coins the husbandman, had a inuch worshipped statue, and a shew how great a judgment such mice have sometimes temple, carried about with one or more yoke of osén or been: and how the deliverance from them was then kine in Phænicia; in the neighborhood of these Philisesteemed the effect of a Divine power. Which observa. cines. See Cumberland's Sanchoniatho, M. 27 and 247, tions are higbly suitable to this history,

and Essay on the Old Test. Append. p. 172.

rançe

among them.

« PreviousContinue »