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of him as a guide, to find out the Amalekites: || lag, he sent portions of the spoils to all that and when he had overtaken them, as they lay had been familiar with him, and to his friends, scattered about on the ground, some at dinner, in the tribe of Judah. And thus ended the some disordered and inebriated with wine; affairs of the plundering of Ziklag, and of the and in the fruition of their spoils and their slaughter of the Amalekites. prey, he fell upon them on the sudden, and Now upon the Philistines joining battle, made a great slaughter. For they were naked, there followed a sharp engagement, and the and expected no such thing; but had be- Philistines became the conquerors, and slew. a taken themselves to drinking and feasting: and great number of their enemies. But Saul the so they were all easily destroyed. Now some king of Israel, and his sons, fought courageousof them that were overtaken as they lay at the ly, and with the utmost alacrity: as knowing table, were slain in that posture. Others of that their entire glory lay in nothing else but them were slain as they were drinking to one dying honorably; and exposing themselves to another, in their cups; and some of them when the utmost danger from the enemy, for they their satiety. had made them fall asleep. And had nothing else to hope for. So they brought for so many as had time to put on all their ar- upon themselves, the vhole power of the enemor, they slew them with the sword with no my till they were encompassed round and slain, less ease than they did those that were naked. but not before they had killed many of the Phi* And for the partisans of David, they continued listines. Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, also the slaughter from the first hour of the day Abinadab, and Malchishua. And when these to the evening; so that there werenot above four were slain, the multitude of the Hebrews were hundred of the Amalekites left, and they only put to flight; and all was disorder, confusion, escaped by getting upon their droinedaries and slaughter, upon the Philistines pressing in and camels. Accordingly David recovered upon them. But Saul himself Aled, having a not only all the other spoils which the enemy strong body of soldiers about him: and upon had carried away ; but his wives also, and the the Philistines sending after them those that wives of his companions. But when they threw javelins and shot arrows, he lost all his were come to the place where they had left the company, except a few. As for himself, he two hundred men, who were not able to fol- | fought with great bravery; and when he had low them, but were left to take care of the received so many wounds, that he was unable stuff; the four hundred men did not think fit to bear up, or to oppose any longer, and yet to divide among them any other parts of what was not able to kill himself; he bade his arthey had gotten, or of the prey, since they mor-bearer draw his sword, and run bim did not accompany them ; but pretended to through, before the enemy should take him be feeble, and did not follow them in the

pur

alive. But his armor-bearer not daring to suit of the enemy: but said, they should be kill his master, he drew his own sword, and contented to have safely recovered their wives. placing himself over against its point, he threw Yet did David pronounce, that this opinion of himself upon it; and when he could neither theirs was evil and unjust; and that when God run it through him, nor by leaning against had granted them such a favor, that they had it make the sword pass through him ; he avenged themselves on their enemies, and had turned round, and asked a certain young man recovered all that belonged to themselves, they that stood by, who he was ? and when he unshould make an equal distribution of what derstood that he was an Amalekite, he desired they had gotten to all, because the rest had him to force the sword through him : because tarried behind to guard their stuff. "And from he was not able to do it with his own hands, that time this law obtained among them, that and thereby to procure him such a death as he those who guarded the stuff should receive desired. This the young man did accordingan equal share with those that fought in the ly: and he took the golden bracelet that was battle.* Now when David was come to Zik-on Saul's arm, and his royal crown that was

* 1 Sam. xxx. 25. VOL. 1.-(19.)

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on his head, and ran away. And when Saul's rageous and hardy among them (and indeed that armor-bearer saw that he was slain, he killed city bad in it men that were very stout, both himself. Nor did any of the king's guards in body and mind) journeyed all night, and escape; but they all fell upon the mountain came to Bethshan, and approached the eneGilboa. But when those Hebrews that dwelt my's wall, and taking down the bodies of Saul, in the valley beyond Jordan, and those who and of his sons, they carried them to Jabesh; had their cities in the plain, heard that Saul while the enemy were neither powerful nor and his sons were fallen, and that the multi-bold enough to hinder them, because of their tude about them were destroyed; they left great courage. So the people of Jabesh wept their own cities, and Aed to such as were best all in general, and buried their bodies in the fortified.

And the Philistines finding those best place in their country, which was named cities deserted, came and dwelt in them. Aroura ; and they observed a public mourning

On the next day, when the Philistines came for them seven days, with their wives and chil. to strip their enemies that were slain, they dren; beating their breasts, and lamenting the got the bodies of Saul, and of his sons, and king and his sons without either tasting drink stripped them, and cut off their heads. And or meat,* till the evening. they sent messengers all about their country, To this end did Saul come, according to to acquaint them that their enemies were the prophecy of Samuel; because he disobeyfallen. And they dedicated their armor in the ed the commandments of God, † about the temple of Astarte; but hung their bodies on || Amalekites, and on the account of his destroycrosses, at the walls of the city Bethshan: ing the family of Abimelech, the high-priest, which is now called Scythopolis. But when with Abimelech himself, and the city of the tbeinhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead heard that they high-priests. Now Saul, when he had reignhad dismembered the dead bodies of Saul, and ed eighteen years, I while Samuel was alive, of his sons, they deemed it so horrid a thing and after his death two, ended his life in this to overlook this barbarity, and to suffer them manner. to be without funeral rites, that the most cou

* This way of speaking in Josephus, of fasting seven | Adriatic sea, as verse 27, and that on this fourteenth day days without meat or drink, is almost like that of St. || alone they bad continued fasting, and had taken nothing Paul's, Acts xxvii. 33. “This day is the fourteenth day before the evening. The mention of their long abstithat

ye have tarried, and continued fasting, having taken | nence, verse 21, inclines me to believe the former exnothing;” and as the nature of the thing, and the impos- || plication to be the truth, and that the case was then for å sibility of strictly fasting so long, require us here to un- || fortnight, what it was here for a week, that they kept all derstand both Josephus, and the sacred author of this those days entirely as fasts till the evening, but not history, 1 Sam. xxxi. 13, from whom he took it, of only longer. See Judg. xx. 26. xxi. 2. 1 Sam. xiv. 24. 2 Sam. fasting till the evening; so must we understand St. Paul, li. 12. Antiq. VII. 7. either that this was really the fourteenth day that they f 1 Chron. x. 13. bad taken nothing till the evening, or else that this was | From An. 1114 to 1096, B. C. the fourteenth day of their tempestuous weather in the

BOOK

BOOK VII.

Containing an Interval of Forty Years.

FROM THE DEATH OF SAUL TO THE DEATH OF DAVID,

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ASAHEL AND ABNER WERE SLAIN.

bracelets that had been on the king's arms, CHAP. I.

and his crown, which he had taken away from OF DAVID's conduct On RECEIVING THE NEWS OF SAUL's Saul's dead body; and had brought them to DEATH; AND OF THE CIVIL WAR WHICH ENSUED BETWEEN him. So David having no longer any room THE ADHERENTS OF DAVID AND ISHBOSHETH, IN WHICH

to question the truth of what he said, but see

ing most evident marks that Saul was dead, T!

THIS battle happened on the same day he rent his garment, and continued all that day,

whereupon David was come back to Ziklag, with his companions, in weeping and lamentaafter he had overcome the Amalekites. Now tion. This grief was augmented by the consiwhen he had been already two days at Ziklag, deration of Jonathan, the son of Saul, who had there came to him the man who slew Saul: he been his most faithful friend, and the occa. had escaped out of the battle which the Israel- sion of his deliverance. He also evinced such ites had with the Philistines; and had his great virtue, and such great kindness for clothes rent, and ashes upon his head. And Saul, as not only to take his death to heart, when he made his obeisance to David, he in-though he had been frequently in danger of quired of him whence he came? He replied, losing his life by his means, but to punish him From the battle of the Israelites: and inform- that slew him. For when David had said to ed him, that the result of it was unfortunate : him, that he was become his own accuser, as manyten thousands of the Israelites having been the very man who had slain the king; and cut off, and Saul, together with his sons, slain. when he had understood that he was the son He also said, that he could well give him this in- of an Amalekite, he commanded him to be formation, because he was present at the vic- slain.* He also committed to writing some tory gained over the Hebrews; and was with lamentations and funeral commendations of the king when he fled. Nor did he deny that Saul and Jonathan : which have continued to he had himself slain the king, when he was my own age. ready to be taken by the enemy, and himself When David had paid these honors to the exhorted him to that act: because when he king, he left off his mourning, and inquired was fallen on his sword, his wounds had made of God by the prophet,f which of the cities him so weak, that he was not able to kill him of the tribe of Judah he would bestow upon self. He also produced demonstrations that him to dwell in ? God answered that he bethe king was slain : which were the golden stowed upon him Hebron :I so be left Ziklag,

• 2 Sam. i. 13, 15.

the whole tribe, and the possession of those priestly fami+ Though David, after Saul's demise, had a right to lies who espoused David's interests, it was a very commothe kingdom by virtue of God's designation; yet as God dious city for him to make the place of his residence at had nowhere declared at what time he was to make use this juncture, as being not insensible, that the deterof this right, he would not enter into possession, nor mination of the metropolis in his favor would be of great take the administration of public affairs upon him, with weight to influence the whole tribe. And accordingly we out having first consulted him. Patrick's Comment. B. find, that he was soon invested with the sovereignty there

Hebron was situated in the midst of the tribe of Ju- of: For the men of Judah, (saith the text) came, and dab; and as it was a very ancient city, the metropolis of there they anointed David king over the house of Judah,

and

and came to Hebron : and took with him his two | agreed that twelve soldiers of each side should wives, and his armed men. Whereupon all the fight together. So those that were chosen out people of the aforementioned tribe came to by both generals for this fight came between him and ordained him their king. * But when the two armies ; and throwing their lances he heard that the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gi-one against the other, they drew their swords, lead had buried Saul and his sons honorably, and catching one another by the head, they he sent to them and commended them, and held one another fast, and ran each other's took what they had done kindly, and promised | swords into their groins, until they all, as it to make them amends for their care of those were by mutual agreement, perished together. that were dead: and at the same time he in. When these were fallen, the rest of the army formed them, that the tribe of Judah had came to an obstinate engagement, and Abner's chosen him for their king.

nien were beaten; and when they were beaten, But as soon as Abner, the son of Ner, who Joab did not leave off pursuing them, but he was general of Saul's army, and a very active pressed upon them, and excited the soldiers and good-natured man, knew that the king to follow them closely, and not to grow weary and Jonathan and his two other sons were of killing them. His brethren also pursued fallen in battle, he hastened into the camp: them with great alacrity; and especially the and taking away with him the remaining son younger Asahel, who was the most emi, of Saul, whose name was Ishbosheth, he pass- nent of them. He was very famous for his ed over to the land beyond Jordan; and or-swiftness of foot: for he could not only be too dained him king over the whole multitude, hard for men, but is reported to bave over-run excepting the tribe of Judah ;t and made his a horse, when they had a race together. This royal seat in a place called in our own lan- | Asahel ran violently after Abner; and would guage Mahanaim, I but in the language of the not turn in the least out of the straight way, Grecians, The Camps. From whence Abner either to one side, or to the other. Hereupon made baste, with a select body of soldiers, to Abner turned back, and attempted artfully to fight with such of the tribe of Judah as were avoid his violence. Sometimes he bade him disposed to it: for he was angry that this tribe | leave off the pursuit, and take the armor of one had set up David for their king. But Joab, of his soldiers; and sometimes, when he could whose father was Suri, and his mother Ze- not persuade him so to do, he exhorted him ruiah, David's sister, who was general of Da- | to restrain himself, and not to pursue him any vid's ariny, met him, according to David's longer, lest he should force him to kill him, appointment. He had with him his brethren and he should then not be able to look bis Abishai, and Asahel; as also all David's arm brother in the face. But when Asahel would ed mer.

Now when he met Abner, at a cer- not admit of any persuasion, but still conting. tain fountain, in the city Gibeon, he prepareded to pursue him ; Abner smote him with his to fight. And when Abner said to him, that spear, s as he held it in his fight, and by a he had a mind to know which of them bad back stroke gave him a deadly wound, so the more valiant soldiers, it was mutually that he died immediately. But those that

2 Sam. ii. 4. The History of the Life of King David, vol. distance from David, have the new king more absolutely 2. B.

under bis command, and a better opportunity of raising * 2 Sam. ii. 4.

t 2 Sam. j.9.

recruits among the people, not only brave and courage* This was a place in the tribe of Gad, which had its ous, but very well affected to the cause which he had name from the appearance of an host of angels to Jacob, espoused. Calmet's Commentary, and Pool's Annotaas he came with his family and all his substance to Padan- tions. B. aram, Gen. xxxii, 1. and the reasons for Abner's retreat § The expression in the Bible is - That with the hinder ing hither, in the beginning of the new king's reign, were, part of the spear he smote him under the fifth rib'; which that he might secure the people on that side of Jordan, Virgil, speaking of a mortal wound, has not unhappily and especially the gallant inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead, imitated': who were great lovers of Saul, and attached to his fami

wwHaud multa moratus ly; that he might prevent the Philistines from falling up Excipit in latus, et, qua fata celerrima, crudum, on the king, whom he bad under his protection, in the in Transadigit costas et crates pectoris ensem. fancy of his reign; and chiefly, that he might be at a great

Æn. 12. B.

were

were with him pursuing Abner, when they came Saul's sons did almost every day become to the place where Asahel lay, they stood

weaker. round about the dead body, and left off the About this time,f David was become the pursuit of the enemy. However, both Joab || father of six sons, born of as many mothers. himself,* and his brother Abishai ran past the' | The eldest was by Abinoam, and he was corpse, and making their anger at the death called Amnon: the second was Daniel, by his of Asabel an occasion of greater zeal against wife Abigail : the name of the third was AbAbner, they went on with incredible haste | salom, by Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, and alacrity, and pursued Abner, to a certain king of Geshur: the fourth he named Adoplace called Aimah: it was about sunset. nijah, hy his wife Haggith : the fifth was SheThen did Joab ascend a certain hill, as he phatiah, by Abitail: and the sixth be called stood at that place, having the tribe of Ben- | Ithream, by Eglah. Now while this intestine jamin with him, whence he took a view of war went on, and while the subjects of the them, and of Abner also. Hereupon Abner two kings came frequently to action, it was cried aloud, and said, that it was not fit that | Abner, general of the host of Saul's son, who they should irritate men of the same nation || by his prudence and the great interest he had 10 fight so bitterly one against another; that among the multitude, made them all conas for Asahel his brother, he was himself in the || tinue with Ishbosheth. And indeed it was a wrong when he would not be advised by him considerable time that they continued of his not to pursue him any farther; which was the party. occasion of his death. So Joab consented to But afterwards $ Abner was blamed, and what he said, and accepted his words as an an accusation was laid against him, that he excuse about Asahel; and called his soldiers || had taken indecent liberties with Rispah, back with the sound of the trumpet, as a sig. || the daughter of Aiah, and Saul's concubine ; li nal for their retreat, and thereby put a stop so when he was complained of by Ishbosheth to any farther pursuit. After which Joab he was very uneasy, and angry at it; because pitched his camp there that night. But Ab- || he had not justice done hiin by Ishbosheth, to ner marched all night, and passed over the whom he had shewn the greatest kindness. He river Jordan, and came to Ishboshethi, Saul's therefore threatened that lie would transfer son, to Mahanain. On the next day Joab the kingdom 1o David, and demonstrate that counted the dead men, and took care of all he did not rule over the people beyond Jordan their funerals. Now there were slain of Abs || by his own abilities and wisdon, but by his ner's soldiers about three hundred and sixty ; warlike conduct and fidelity, in leading his but of those of David nineteen, besides Asahel, army. So he sent ambassadors to Hebron, and whose body Joab and Abishai carried to Beth. desired that David would give him security lehem. And when they had buried him in | upon oath, that he would esteem him his comthe sepulchre of their fathers,t they came to panion and friend; upon condition that he David to Hebron. From this time, therefore, should persuade the people to leave Saul's there 'began an intestine war, which lasted a son, and to choose him king of the whole great while; in which the followers of Da-country. And when David had made that vid grew stronger, in the dangers they un- | league with Abner ; (for he was pleased with derwent, and the servants and subjects of this message to him,) he desired that he would

* It ought here to be noted, that Joab, Abishai, and ployed Beth-sheba, the king's mother, to he his intercesAsahel, were all David's nephews, the sons of his sister sor, and was himself his brother, 1 King's ii. 17. It may Zeruiah, as 1 Chr. II. 16. And that Amasa was also his be said perhaps, that Adonijah was at this time aspiring pephew, by his other sister Abigail, v. 17.

at the throne, which Solomon perceiving, look occasion + 2 Sam. ii. 32.

An, 1090.

from this bis request, to fall out with him, and prevent § An. 1089.

it. But however this be, a general rule it was, not among À What notion the world, at this time, had of marrying the Jews only, but among other nations, that no private any royal relici, is evident from the case of Adonijah, person should presume to marry the king's widow; for this whom Solomon put to death for desiring but to ask for made him appear as a rival and competitor for the crown. Abishag, one of David's concubines, though he had em Calmet's Comment, B, VOL. 1.—(20.)

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