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he was come to Jordan, the tribe of Judah | and worshipped him, the king began to ask saluted bim, Shinei also came upon the bim why he did not go out of Jerusalem bridge, and took hold of his feet, and prayed with him, and accompany him during his him to forgive him what he had offended, and fight? He replied, that this piece of injus- not to be too bitter against him ; nor to think tice was owing to Ziba, because when he fit to make him the first example of seve-was ordered to get things ready for his going rity under his new authority; but to consider out with him, he took no care of it: but rethat he had repented of his failure of duty, garded him no more than if he had been a and had taken care to come first of all to him. slave. “ And indeed," said he, “ had I had While he was thus entreating the king, and my feet sound and strong, I had not deserted moving him to compassion, Abishai, Joab's thee; for I could then have made use of them brother, said, “ Shall not this man die for | in my flight. But this is not all the injury that he hath cursed the king whom God hath that Ziba has done me, as to my duty to thee, appointed to reign over us?" But David | my lord and master; but he hath calumniated turned himself, and said, " Will ye never me besides, and told lies about me of his leave off, ye sons of Zeruiah ? Do not, I own invention. But I know thy mind will pray, raise new troubles and seditions among not admit of such calumnies, but is righteously us, now the former are over; for I would not disposed, and a lover of truth; which it is have you ignorant that I this day begin my also the will of God should prevail. For reign; and, therefore, swear to remit to all when thou wast in the greatest danger of sufoffenders their punishments, and not to ani-fering by my grandfather; and when, on that madvert on any one that has sinned. Be account, our whole family might justly have thou, therefore, o Shimei, of good courage; been destroyed; thou wast moderate and merand do not at all fear being put to death."* ciful, and didst then especially forget all those So he worshipped him, and went on before injuries; when, if thou badst remembered him.
them, thou hadst the power of punishing us Mephibosheth also, Saul's grandson, met for them. But thou hast judged me to be thy David, clothed in a mean garment,† and friend; and hast set me every day at thine having his hair thick and neglected ; for after own table ; nor have I wanted any thing David was fled away, he was in such grief, which one of thine own kinsmen, of greatest that he had not polled his head, nor bad he esteem with thee, could have expected.” washed his clothes ; as dooming himself to When he had said this, David resolved neither undergo such hardships upon occasion of the I to punish Mephibosheth, nor to condemn change of the king's affairs. Now he had Žiba, as having belied his master; but said been unjustly calumniated to the king by Ziba, to him, that as he had before granted all his his steward. When he had saluted the king, estate to Ziba, because he did not come along
* 2 Sanı, xix. 23.
upwards, and what grew likewise on the cheek; but + The words in the text are, that he had neither dressed what was on the chin, and so backwards to the ear, that his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, they suffered to grow: and not washing his clothes must from the day that the king departed, 2 Sam. xix. 24. denote his putting on no clean linen, but wearing the These were some of the instances wherein the Jews were same shirt all the while. Calmer's and Patrick's Comwont to express their mourning; and they are here men ment. B. tioned by the historian, as evidence of the falsehood of * By David's disposal of half Mephibosheth's estate to Ziba's info rmation against his master, since no one, who | Ziba, one would imagine that he was still dissatisfied and neglected himself to this degree, could be supposed am doubtful whether Mephibosbeth's story were entirely bitious of a crown. Not dressing his feet may signify | true. Nor does David now invite him to diet with him, either not cutting his toe-nails, or his not washing his as he did before; but only forgives him, if he had been feet, which the Jews were accustomed very frequently at all guilty. Nor is this odd way of mourning that Meto do, because of the bad smell which was natural to phibosheth made use of here, and 2 Sam. sis. 24. wholly them, as well as the Arabians, and some other nations ; free from suspicion and hypocrisy. If Ziba neglected or and therefore his omission of this could not but make him | refused to bring Mephibosheth an ass of his own, on offensive to himself. Not trimming his beard was letting which he might ride 10 David, it is hard to suppose that its hair grow negligently, and without any order. For so great a man as he was should not be able to procure the manner of the Jews was, to cut the hair from the lip some other beast for the same purpose.
with him; so he now promised to forgive him, || if they had been prevented by them :-“For," and ordered that the one half of his estate said they, “ we are David's kinsmen; and on should be restored to him. Whereupon Me. that account we the rather took care of him, phibosheth said, “Nay, let Ziba take all; it and loved him, and so came first to him ; yet suffices me that thou hast recovered thy king- have we not by our early coming received any
gifts from him ; which might give you, who But David desired Barzillai, the Gileadite, catne last, any uneasiness. When the rulers that great and good man, and one that had of the tribe of Judah had said this, the rulers, made a plentiful provision for him at Maha- of the other tribes were not satisfied, but said nain, and had conducted him as far as Jor- || farther, “O brethren! we cannot but wonder dan, to accompany him to Jerusalem; for he at you, when you call the king your kinsman promised that he would treat him in his oldalone; whereas he that hath received from age with all manner of respect, and would God the power over all of us in common take care of and provide for him. But Bar- ought to be esteemed a kinsman to us all; for zillai was so desirous to live at home, that he which reason the whole people have elevent entreated him to excuse him from attendance parts in him, and you but one part. We also on him; and said, “ that bis age was too great are elder than you.I Wberefore you have not to enjoy the pleasures of a court, since he was done justly in coming to the king in this prifourscore years old, and was making provi-| vate and concealed manner.' sion for his death and burial. So he desired While the rulers were thus disputing, a cerhim to gratify him with this request, and dis- tain wicked man, named Sheba, the son of miss him, for that he had no relish of bis Bichri, of the tribe of Benjamin, stood in the meat or his drink, by reason of his age : and midst of the multitude, and cried aloud, “We that bis ears were too much shut up to hear have no part in David, nor inheritance in the the melody of musical instruments, such as all son of Jesse.” And when he had used these those that live with kings delight in.” When || words, he blew a trumpet, and declared war he entreated for this so earnestly, the king against the king.
against the king. And they all left David, said, “I dismiss thee, but thou shalt grant me except the tribe of Judah, who staid with thy son Chimham; and upon him will I be- || him, and settled him in his royal palace at Jestow all sorts of good things.” So Barzillai rosalem. But as for his concubines, with left his son with him, and worshipped the whom his son Absalom had accompanied, he king, and wished him a prosperous conclusion removed them to another house, and ordered of all his affairs, according to his own mind, those that had the care of them to make a and then returned home. But David came i plentiful provision for them ; but he came not to Gilgal; having about him half the people near them any more.
He also appointed of Israel, and the whole tribe of Judah. Amasa for the captain of his forces, and gave
Now the principal men of the country came him the same high office which Joab before to Gilgal to David, with a great multitude, had ; and he commanded him to gather togeand complained of the tribe of Judah ; that ther, out of the tribe of Judah, as great an they had come to him in a private manner ; | army as he could, and to come to him within whereas they ought all conjointly, and with three days, that he might deliver to him his one and the same intention, to have given entire army; and might send him to fight him the meeting. But the rulers of the tribe against Sheba, the son of Bichri. Now while of Judah desired them not to be displeased, || Amasa was gone out, and made some delay
2 Sam. xix. 30.
at this time to make it double, especially when the fol. + I clearly prefer Josephus's reading here, when it | lowing rebellion was headed by a Benjamite. See 2 Sam. supposes eleven tribes, including Benjamin, to be on one
xx. 2-4. side, and the tribe of Judah alone on the other: since Benjamin in general had been still fonder of the house of
Reubel, Simeon, and Levi, were elder than Judah. Saul, and less firm to David hitherto, than any of the
Gen. xxix. 32-35, rest; and so cannot be supposed to be joined with Judab § 2 Sam. xx. 2.
in gathering the army together, and so was done him no injury; and this out of jealousy not yet returned; on the third day the king that he would obtain the chief command of said to Joab,* “ It is not fit we should make the army, and be equal in dignity, with himany delay in this affair of Sheba, lest he get a | self about the king. And for the same cause · numerous army about him, and be the occa- || it was that be killed Abner. But as to that sion of greater mischief, and hurt our affairs former wicked action, the death of his brother more than did Absalom himself. Do not thou, Asabel, which he seemed to revenge, afforded therefore, wait any longer, but take such | him a decent pretence, and made that crime forces as thou hast at hand, and that old a pardonable one; but in this murder of t body of six hundred men, and thy brother Amasa there was no such covering for it. Abishai with thee; and pursue after our ene- Now when Joab had killed this general, he my, and endeavor to fight him wheresoever || pursued after Sheba, having left the dead thou canst overtake him. Make haste to pre- || body in the care of a person who was ordered vent bim : lest he seize upon some fenced to proclaim aloud to the army, that Amasa cities, and cause us great labor and pains be- | was justly slain, and deservedly punished.fore we take him."
“ But,” said be, “if you be for the king, folSo Joab resolved to make no delay; but low Joab, his general; and Abishai, Joab's taking with him his brother, and those six | brother.” But because the body lay in the hundred men, and giving orders that the rest | road, and all the multitude came running to of the army which was at Jerusalem should it; and, as is usual with the multitude, stood follow him, he marched with great speed wondering a great while at it ; he that guardagainst Sheba. And when he was come to ed it removed it thence, and carried it to a Gibeon, which is a village forty furlongs dis- certain place that was very remote from the tant from Jerusalem ; Amasa brought a great road, and there laid it, and covered it with his army with him, and met Joab. Now Joab | garment. When this was done all the people was girded with a sword, and had his breast- || followed Joab. Now, as he pursued Sheba, plate on ; and when Amasa came vear him to through all the country of Israel, one told him, salute him, he took particular care that his that he was in a strong city called Abel-bethsword should fall out, as it were of its own maachab. Hereupon Joab went thither, and accord. So he took it up from the ground, I set about it with his army, and cast up a. and while he approached Amasa, who was bank round it, and ordered the soldiers to then near bim, as though he would kiss him, | undermine the walls, and to overthrow them. he took hold of Amasa's beard † with his other And since the people of the city did not hand, smote him in his belly when he did not admit him, he was greatly displeased at foresee it, and slew him. This impious and them. altogether profane action Joab || did to a good Now there was a woman of small account, I young man, and his kinsman, and one that had | and yet both wise and intelligent, who, seeing
Abishai, 2 Sam. xx. 6. But I prefer Josephus's || Arabes, c, 7,) as the like custom is still preserved among copy. .
the eastern people, the Indians, who take one another by + Cherethires and Pelethites. Heb. and Septuagint, the chin when they would give a hearty salute, and say 2 Sam. 88, 7.
Bobba, i. e. Father; or Bii, Brother, as the author of the It was an ancient custom among the Grecians, to Voyage to the East Indies relates. Vide Peter de Valles's take the person, to whom they had any address to make, | Travels. B. by the chin or beard : Antiquis Græciæ in supplicando § 2 Sam. xx. 10. mentem attingere moverat, says Pliny, lib. II. c. 45; and i So insolent was Joab become, upon the presumption even to this day, the Turks, in their salutations, do very bat David durst' not punish him, that as he ventured frequently take one another by the beard, (vide Theve- || upon the bloody fact, so he imagined, that though the not’s Traờels
, c. 22.) The Arabians have a great regard sight of Amasa's dead body might stop the march of those to the beard. The wives kiss their husbands' and the that came by it, yet upon its being given out that he was children their fathers' beards, when they come to salute | again become their general, their love for him was such, them: and, when two friends meet together, their custom that they would not scruple to follow him. Patrick's is, in the course of their compliments, to interchange Commentary. B. kisses in this manner, vide (Darvieuz Coustumes des It seems not unlikely that this woman was'a goVOL. 1.—(22.)
her native city lying at the last extremity, || king's general sounded a retreat, and raised ascended upon the wall, and, by means of the the siege.* And when he was come to Jeruarmed men, called for Joab ; and when he salem, he was again appointed to be general of came to her, she said, “ God ordained kings all the people. The king also constituted and generals of armies that they might cut off Benaiah captain of the guards, † and of the the enemies of the Hebrews, and introduce an six hundred men: and set Adoram over the universal peace among them : but thou art tribute, and I Sabathes and Achilaus over the endeavoring to overthrow and depopulate a records. He also made Sheva the scribe, and city of the Israelites, which hath been guilty || appointed Zadok and Abiathar to be the highof no offence." But he replied, “God con- | priests. tinue to be merciful unto me; I am disposed to avoid killing any one of the people, much
CHAP. XII. less would I destroy such a city as this : and, if they will deliver me up Sheba, the son of OF THE DELIVERANCE OF THE HEBREWS FROM A FAMINE, Bichri, who hath rebelled against the king, I will raise the siege, and withdraw my army from the place.” Now as soon as the woman heard what Joab said, she desired him to intermit the singer and little whiler; for that out AFTER this. When the country was to him presently. So she went down to the besought God to have mercy on the people, citizens, and said to them, “Will you be so and to discover to him what was the cause of wicked as to perish miserably, with your chil- it, and how a remedy might be found for that dren and wives, for the sake of a vile fellow ; | distemper. The prophets || answered, that and one whom nobody knows? And will you God would have the Gibeonites avenged, have him for your king instead of David, who whom Saul was so wicked as to betray to has been so great a benefactor to you, and op- slaughter; and had not observed the oath pose your city alone to such a mighty and which Joshua the general, and the senate, had strong army?” So she prevailed with them, sworn to them: and that if the king would and they cut off the head of Sheba, and threw || permit such vengeance to be taken for those it into Joab's army. When this was done the that were slain as the Gibeonites should desire,
WHEN THE GIBEONITES HAD CAUSED PUNISHMENT TO
verness in this city ; for though that office was most com were satisfied, and disputes ended.' So that her words, monly occupied by men, yet there want not instances of according to this sense, are a high commendation of the women, (as in the case of Deborah, Judg. iv. 4, and queen | city of Abel, for its being a place (time out of mind) Athalian, 2 Kings xi.) who have been employed in the very eminent for the wisdom and prudence of its inhabitadministration of civil affairs. If she was invested with But there is another translation in the margin of any such authority, she was the properest person to de. our Bible, which seems to be more natural and makes sire a parley with the general; and reason good she had the woman speak in this manner:- When the people to desire it, because she knew the present temper and saw thee lay siege to the city, they said, Surely he will fear of the citizens and soldiers, viz. that considering the || ask, if he will have peace; for the law prescribes, that imminent danger they were in, they were generally de- || he should offer peace to strangers, much more then to sirous of peace, and restrained from it only by Sheba’s Israelitish cities; and if he would once do this, we should power and authority. Pool's Annotations. In the be soon bring things to an amicable agreement; for we are ginning of this woman's speech to Joab, there is some- peaceable people, and faithful to our prince.' So that, thing that seems both abrupt and obscure. They were according to this interpretation, the woman both modestly wont to speak in old time, saying, They should surely reproved Joab for the neglect of his duty, and artfully ask counsel at Abel, and so they ended the matter, 2 Sam. engaged him in the performance of it. Patrick's Com. xx. 18: according to this translation, the sense of the mentary, and Pool's Annotations. B. word is,- This city, which thou art about to destroy, is
* 2 Sam. xx. 22. no mean and contemptible one, but so honorable and + Cherethites and Pelethites, 2 Sam. xx. 23. considerable for its wisdom, and the wise people in it, Jehoshaphat, the son of Aliud, Heb. and Septuagint, that when any difference did arise among any of the 2 Sam, sx. 24. neighboring places, they used proverbially to say, We § About An. 1062 B. C. will ask the opinion and advice of the men of Abel about || Perhaps the two high-priests, Zadok and Abiait, and we will stand to their arbitration; and so all parties il thar.
God would be reconciled to them, and free now enjoyed by his means, and of those that the multitude from their miseries. As soon,
As soon, they might hereafter enjoy by his living among therefore, as David understood this, be sent them. for the Gibeonites, and asked what it was When the king heard that the Philistines they would have? And when they desired to were assembled at [ the city Gazara, be sent have * seven sons of Saul delivered to them, an army against them ; when Sibbechai, the to be punished, he delivered them up; but Hittite, one of David's most courageous men, spared' Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan. behaved himself so as to deserve great.comSo when the Gibeonites had received the men, mendation; for he slew many of those that they punished them as they pleased. Upon boasted they were the posterity of the giants, which God began to send rain, and to re- and vaunted themselves highly on that accover the earth to bring forth its fruits, as count; and he thereby was the occasion of usual, and to free it from the drought; so victory to the Hebrews. After this, the Phithat the country of the Hebrews flourished listines made war again; and when David had again.
sent an army against them, Nephan, bis kinsA little afterward the king made war against man, fought in a single combat with the the Philistines; and when he had joined battle stoutest of all the Philistines, and slew him, with them, and put them to flight, he was left and put the rest to flight: many of them also alone, as he was in pursuit of them : and when were slain in the battle. Now a little while he was quite tired down, he was seen by one afterward, the Philistines pitched their camp of the enemy: bis name was † Achmon, the at a city, which Jay not far off the bounds of son of Araph, and of the sons of the giants. the country of the Hebrews. They had a He had a spear, the handle of which weighed man who was six cubits bigh; and had, on three hundred shekels, a breast-plate of chain- each of his feet and hands, one more toe and work, and a sword. He turned back, and ran finger than men naturally have. Now the violently to slay David, their enemy's king: person who was sent against him by David, for he was quite tired out with labor. But out of his army, was Jonathan, the son of Abishai, Joab's brother, appeared at this junc- Shimea,
Shimea, who fought this man in single ture, and protected the king with his shield, combat, and slew him: and as he was the as he lay down, and slew the enemy. Now
Now person who gave the turn to the battle, he the multitude was very uneasy at these dan- gained the greatest reputation for courage gers of the king, and that he was very near to therein. This man also vaunted himself to be slain. And the rulers made him swear be of the giants. But after this fight the that he would no more go out with thein to Philistines made war no more against the battle, lest he should come to some great mis- Israelites. fortune by bis courage and boldness; and And now David, being freed from wars and thereby deprive the people of the benefits they dangers, and enjoying a profound peace, $
Now it apo
* Those, probably, who had been most active in the I-43, was an hexameter poem; so does he say, that the slaughter of the Gibeonites.
Psalms of David were of various kinds of metre; and † Ishhy, the son of Ob, 2 Sam. xxi. 16.
particularly that they contained trimeters and pentame* About An. 1059.
ters, Antiq. VII. 12, all which implies, that he thought This shews that, in the opinion of Josephus, David these Hebrew poems might be best described to the composed the Book of Psalms, not at several times bea | Greeks and Romans under those names and characters of fore, as their present inscriptions frequently imply, but | Hexameters, Trimeters, and Pentameters. generally at the latter end of his life, or after his wars pears, that the instruments of music that were originally
Nor does Josephus, nor the authors of the used, by the command of king David and Solomon, and known books of the Old and New Testament, nor the were carried to Babyion at the captivity of the two Apostolical Constitutions, seem to have ascribed any of tribes, were brought back after that captivity: as also them to any other author than to David himself. How- | that the singers and musicians, who survived ibat captiever, we must observe here, that as Josepbus says, Antiq. | vity, came back with those instruments: Ezra ii. 41,II. 16. that the song at the Red Sea, Exod. xv. 1-21, vii. 24. Nehem. vii. 44. Joseph. Antiq. XI. 3, 4, 5: and was composed by Moses, in the hexameter tune, or metre; that this music, and these, instruments at the temple, could as also Antiq. IV. 8, that the song of Moses, Deut. xxxii. not but be well known to Josephus, a priest belonging to