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forseeing the deceitful tricks of his enemies : || him, and so prevent him, and seize upon him yet will he leave his own soldiers in the even before he should be in safety. Now the highing; and will either hide himself in some val- || priests had their sons concealed in a proper ley, or will place an ambush at some rock ; || place out of the city; that they might carry so that when our army joins battle with him, | news to David of what was transacted. Aca his soldiers will retire for a little while; but cordingly they sent a maid servant, whom they will come upon us again as encouraged by the could trust, to them, to carry the news of Abking's being near them : and in the mean time salom's counsels, and ordered them to signify your father will shew himself suddenly in the || the same to David with all speed. time of the battle, and will infuse courage into inade no delay; but, taking along with them his own people, when they are in danger; but their father's injunctions, became pious and bring consternation to thine. Consider there- || faithful ministers; and judging that quickness fore my advice, and reason upon it; and if and alacrity was the best mark of faithful serthou canst not but acknowledge it to be the vice, they made haste to meet with David, best, reject the opinion of Ahithophel. Send But certain horsemen saw them, when they to the entire country of the Hebrews, and or were two furlongs from the city, and informder them to come and fight with thy father. I ed Absalom of them, who immediately sent And do thou thyself take the army, and be some to take them. But when the sons of the thine own general in this war, and do not high-priest perceived this, they turned out of trust its management to another. Then ex- the road, to a village called Bahurim.. There pect to conquer him with ease, when thou they desired a certain woman to hide them, overtakest hiin openly with his few partisans; and afford them security. Accordingly she but hast thyself many ten thousands ; who let the young men down by a rope into a well, will be desirous to demonstrate their diligence and laid fleeces of wool over thein, and and alacrity. And if thy father shall shut when those that pursued them came to her, himself up in some city, and bear a siege, and asked her whether she saw them, she did we will overthrow that city by machines of not deny that she had seen them : for that war, and by andermining it.” When Hushai they stayed with her some time; but she said had said this, he obtained his point against they then went their ways, and she foretold, Ahitophel : for his opinion was preferred by that if they would follow them directly, they Absalom before the other's. However, it was would catch them. But when after a long no other than * God who made the counsel of pursuit they could not catch them, they came Hushai appear best to the mind of Absalom. back again. And when the woman saw those
So Hushai hastened to the high-priests, Za- men were returned, and that there was no dok and Abiathar, and told them the opinion || longer any fear of the young men being caught of Ahithophel, and his own, and that the re- by them, she drew them up by the rope, and solution was taken to follow this latter advice. I bie them go on their journey. Accordingly He therefore bade them send to David, and they used great diligence in the prosecution tell him of it; and to inform him of the coun- 1 of that journey, and came to David, and insels that had been taken ; and to desire him formed him accurately of all the counsels of to pass quickly over Jordan, lest his son should | Absaloin. So he commanded those that change his mind, and make haste to pursue were with him to pass over Jordan while it
* This reflection of Josephus's, that God brought to | That peculiar manner of the divine operations or permisnought the dangerous counsel of Ahithophel, and direct- sions, or the means God makes use of in such cases, is ly infatuated wicked Absalom to reject it, (which infa- || often impenetrable by us. Secret things belong to the luation is what the Scripture styles the judicial harden- | Lord our God; but those things that are revealed belong ing the hearts and blinding the eyes of men, who, by to us, and to our children for ever, that we may do all their former voluntary wickedness, have justly deserved || the words of his law, Deut. xxix. 29. Nor have all to be destroyed, and are thereby brought to destruc- l the subtilties of the moderns, so far as I see, given any tion,) is a very just one. Nor does Josephus ever puzo | considerable light in this and many other similar points zle himself or perplex his readers with subtle bypo- of difficulty relating either to divine or buman operations, theses as to the manner of such judicial infatuations by See also the Notes on V. 1, and IX. 4. God; while the justice of ihem is generally so obvious.
was night, and not to delay at all on that ac
CHAP. X. count. But Ahithophel, on the rejection of his ad.
Of Absalon's DEFEAT AND DEATH, vice, got upon his ass and rode away to his own country, Gilon : and calling his family HILST David and his adherents were together, he told them distinctly what ad. in this situation, Absalom got together vice he had given Absalom : and since he had a vast army of Hebrews to oppose his fanot been persuaded by it, he should certainly ther; and passed there with over the river Jorperish, and this in no long time, and that Da. dan, and sat down not far off Mahanaiin, in vid would overcome him, and return to his the country of Gilead. He appointed Amasa to kingdom again. So he said it was better be captain of all his host, instead of Joab his that he should take his own life away with kinsman. His father was Ithra, and his mofreedom and magnanimity than oppose him-ther Abigail. Now she and Zeruiah the mo. self to be punished by David ; in opposition ther of Joab were David's sisters. But when to whom he had acted entirely for Absalom. | David had numbered his followers, and found When he had discoursed thus to them, he them to be about four thousand, he resolved went into the innermost room of his house, not to tarry till Absalom attacked him; but set and hanged himself.*
over his men captains of thousands, and capAnd this was the death of Abithophel, who tains of hundreds, and divided bis army into was self-condemned. And when his relations three parts; one part he committed to Joab, had taken him down from the halter, they the next to Abishai, Joab's brother, and the took care of his funeral. Now, as for Da-third to Ittai | David's companion and friend, vid, he passed over Jordan, as
Jordan, as we have but one that came from the city Gath. And said already, and came to Malianaim, a when he was desirous of fighting himself very fine and strong city ; and all the chief among them, his friends would not let him : men of the country received him with great and their refusal was founded upon very wise pleasure: both out of the shame they had that reasons. “ For," said they,“ if we be conquerhe should be forced to fee away from Jerusa-ed when he is with us, we have lost all hopes lem; and out of the respect they bare to bim of recovering ourselves ; but if we should be while he was in his forıner prosperity. These beaten in one part of our army, the other parts were Barzillai the Gileadite; Siphar, the may retire to him, and may thereby prepare ruler among the Ammonites; and Machir, † the a greater force; while the enemy will natuprincipal man of Gilead: these furnished him rally suppose that he hath another army with with plentiful provisions for himself and his bim.” So David was pleased with this adfollowers, insomuch that they wanted no beds vice, and resolved to tarry at Mahanaim. And nor blankets for them, nor loaves of bread, as he sent his friends and commanders to the nor wine.
battle, he desired them to shew all possible Nay, they brought them a great many cat- | alacrity and fidelity, and to bear in mind ile for slaughter; and afforded them what what advantages they had received from hinr' z. furniture they wanted for their refreshment which though they had not been very great, when they were weary, and for food, with yet had they not been quite inconsiderable ; plenty of other necessaries.
and he begged of them to spare the young
* 2 Sam. xvii. 23.
with Ittai, whom the Jews suppose to have been the son + The son of Ammiel, of Lodebar, Heb. and Septúa- Jewish religion, became a part of David's guard, and at
of Achish, king of Gath, and, being proselyted to the gint.
tended him in his wars. But other's rather think that In 2 Sam, xv. 18, we read, that All the Gittites, six | they were men of Jewish extract, but had this additional huppred men, which came after him, (viz. David) from name, from their flying unto David, probably under the Gath, passed on before the king: but who these Giulites conduct of Ittai, while he was at Gath, and accompawere it is hard to determine; because we have no men- | nying him ever after, not only in the time of Saul's tion made of them in any other part of Scripture. Some persecution of him, but even after his accession 20. the imagine they were natives of Gath, who, taken with the united kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Patrick's Com. fame of David's piety, and happy success, came alongment. B.
man Absalom, lest some mischief should befall || clay. But all David's men ran violently upon himself if he should be killed. * And thus did || Absalom ; for he was easily known by his he send out his army to the battle, and wished beauty and stature. He was himself also them. victory therein.
afraid lest his enemies should seize him. So Then did Joah put his army in array over || he got npon the king's mule and fled. But against the enemy, in the great plain, where | as he was carried along with violence, and a he had a wood bebind him. Absalom also great motion, as he being himself light, he enbronght his army into the field to oppose him. liangled his hair in the large spreading boughs Upon the joining of the battle both sides per- of a knotty tree, and there he hung after a formed great actions: the one side exposing surprising manner. And as for the beast, it themselves to the greatest hazards, and using || went on swiftly, as if his master had been still their utmost alacrity, that David might recover | upon his back.
his back. But he, hanging in the air his kingdonı; and the other being no way de- | upon the boughs, was left to his enemies. Now ficient either in doing or suffering, that Ab- when one of David's soldiers saw this, he insalom might not be deprived of that kingdom, | formed Joab of it: and when the general said, and be brought to punishment by his father for that if he had shot at and killed Absalom, he his impudent attempt against him. Those also would have given him fifty shekels, he replied, that were the most numerous were solicitous" I would not have killed my master's son if that they might not be conquered by those few thou wouldest have given me a thousand shethat were with Joab, and with the other com- | kels; especially when he desired that the wanders, because that would be the greatest || young man might be spared in the hearing of disgrace to them : while David's soldiers strove us all.” But Joab made hiin shew him where greally to overcome so many ten thousands || it was that he saw Absalom hang. Whereas the enemy had with them. Now David's men upon he shot him to the heart, and slew him; were conquerors, as superior in strength and and Joab's armor-bearers stood round about skill in war.
So they followed the others as the tree, and pulled down his dead body, and they fled away through the forests and valleys : || cast it into a great chasm that was out of sight, and some they took prisoners, and many they and laid a heap of stonexş upon him till the slew; and more in the fight than in the bai- || cavity was filled up, and had the appearance ile;ť for there fell about twenty thousand that of a grave.. Then Joab sounded a retreat,
* 2 Sam. xviii. 5.
none of David's army intended any honor to Absaloni's + The expression in the text is, The wood devoured
memory in accumulating stones upon him; nor can we more people that day than the sword devoured, 2 Saw.
think that David himself, though ion fond of this rebel xviii. 8, which some think was occasioned by their falling som, made any alieration afterwards in the form of his buinto pits, pressing one another to death in strait places. rial, for fear of enraging the people against him. Some, creeping into lurking holes, and there being starved lo
however, are of a quite contrary opinion, viz, lhat David,
who lamented him with such excess, removed him from death, or otherwise devoured by wild beasis, which met them in their light. But the niost easy and simple mean
this pii, in order to have him laid in the sepulchre be: ing of the passage is, that there were more slain in the longing to the kings, or, perhaps, somewhere about the wood than in the field of battle. The field of battle was
place where the monument which gues under his name, a plain, with a wood contiguous to it; and therefore, when
and even to this day is shewn to travellers, was dug in a
rock. Absalom's army was put to the rout, and belook them.
It is a little chamber wrought with a chisel, out of selves to the wood for refuge, their pursu' is made
one piece of rock, which stands at some distance from the a greater slaughter of them there, than they otherwise
rest of the mountain, and is a square of eight paces from would have done, because they could not run away yo
out to out. The inside of this chamber is all plain, but fast in the wood as they might have done in the open
The outside is adorned with some pilasters of the same field. Patrick's Comment. B.
kind of stone. The upper part, or covering, is made in
lhe form of a conic pyramid, pretly high and large, with * 2 Sam. xviii, 14.
a kind of flower-pot on its top. The pyramid is compos§ In the description of the Holy Land, some geogra ed of several stories, but the monument itself is square, phers tell us that this heap of stones remained even to and all cut out of one block.
In the time of Josephus, iheir days, and that all travellers, as they passed by it, the monument, which was said to be Absalom's, was sca were wont to throw a stone to add to the heap, in detesia- | thing more than one niarble pillar, widely different from tion of his rebellion against his father. For though it be- what, at present, goes under his name; and which, therecame a custom among the Greeks to raise a heap of stones || fore, must be accou.ited a more modern building. Le in the place where any great person was interred, as Clerc's and Patrick's Comment, and Calmet's Dictionary, a monument of honor and respect; yet it is plain that under the word Absalow. B.
and recalled his soldiers from pursuing the battle; one of the watchmen saw Abimaaz enemy's army, in order to spare their coun-| running, and before he could discern who he trymen.*
was, he told David that he saw somebody Now Absalom had erected for himself a coming to him, who said, he was a good mesmarble pillar, in the king's dale, two furlongs senger. A little while after he informed him distant from Jerusalem, which he named Ab- that another messenger followed him. Wheresalom's Hand; saying, that if his children upon the king said that he was also a good were killed, his name would remain by that messenger. But when the watchman saw pillar. For he had three sons, and one daugh- || Ahimaaz, and that he was already very near, ter, named Tamar, as we said before, who, he gave the king notice that it was the son of when she was married to David's grandson, Zadok, the high-priest, who came running. Rehoboam, bare a son,t Abijah by name, who So David was very glad, and said, he was a succeeded his father in the kingdom. But of messenger of good tidings, and brought him these we will speak in a part of our history such news from the battle as he desired to hear. which will be more proper. After the death While the king was saying thus, Ahimaaz of Absalom, they every one returned home. appeared, and worshipped the king. And
Now Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, the high- || when the king inquired about the battle, he priest, went to Joab, and desired he would said, he brought him the good news of victory permit him to go and tell David of this vic- and dominion. And when he had inquired tory; and to carry him the good news that what he had to say concerning his son, he God had afforded his assistance and his pro- said, that he came away on the sudden, as vidence to him. However, he did not grant soon as the enemy was defeated; but that he this request; but said to him, “ Wilt thou, heard a great noise of those that pursued Abthat hast always been the messenger of good salom, and that he could learn no more, benews, now go and acquaint the king that his cause of the haste he made when Joab sent son is dead?” So he desired him to desist. He him to inform him of the victory. But when then called Cushi, and committed the business | Cushi was come, and had worshipped him, to him, that he should tell the king what he and informed him of the victory, he asked him
But when Abimaaz again desired about his son : who replied, May tbe like him to let him go as a messenger, and assured misfortune befall thine enemies as hath bebim that he would only relate what concerned fallen Absalom.” That word did not permit the victory, but not concerning the death of either himself or his soldiers to rejoice for the Absalom, he gave bim leave to go to David. victory, though it was very great; but David Now he took a nearer road than the former went up to the highest part of the g city, and did : for nobody knew it but himself; and he wept for his son, and beat his breast, tearing came before Cushi. Now as David was sit- the hair off his head, and tormenting himself
, ting between the gates, I and waiting to see and crying out, “O my son ! I wish that I when somebody would come to him from the had died myself, and ended my days with
* Commentators have observed the justice of God, in tal at the entrance, and another at the exit: between bringing Absalom to a condign punishment, and such a which judicial causes were heard, and public consultakind of death.as was ordained by the law for offences like | tions held; as is well known from several places of unto his. For whereas, in the first place, he was hanged | Scripture, 2 Chr. xxxi. 2. Psal. ix. 14. cxxvii. 5. Prov. i, as it were, this was declared by the law to be an accursed | 21, viii. 3, 34. xxxii. 23. and often elsewhere. death, Deut. xxi. 23. and was afterwards, in some mea
§ Since David was now in Mahanaim, and in the open sure, stoned; this was the particular kind of death' that place of that city gate, which seems still to have been the law prescribed for a stubborn and rebellious son, || built the highest of any part of the wall; and since our Deut. xxi. B.
other copies say he went to the chamber over the gate, + 2 Chron. xi. 20.
2 Sam. xviii. 33. I think we ought to correct our preThose that take a view of my description of the gates sent reading of Josephus, and for city', should read gate : of the temple will not be surprised at this account of || i, e, instead of the highest part of the city, should say, David's throne, both here, and 2 Sam. xviii. 24. that it the highest part of the gate.' Accordingly we find David was between two gates, or portals. . Gates being in cities, presently in Josephus, as well as in our other copies, 2 as well as at the temple, large open places, with a por- | Sam. xix. 8. sitting as before in the gate of this city. VOL. 1.-(22.)
thee !” for he was of a tender natural affec- | tle, when they were all returned home, sent tion, and had extraordinary compassion for messengers to every city to put them in mind this son in particular. But when the army of what benefits David had bestowed upon and Joab heard that the king mourned for his them ; and of that liberty which he had proson, they were ashamed to enter into the city cured them, by delivering them from many in the habit of conquerors : but they all came and great wars. But they complained, that in as cast down, and in tears, as if they had | whereas they had ejected him out of his kingbeen defeated.* Now while the king cover- i don, and committed it to another governor, ed himself, and grievously lamented his son, who was already dead ; they did not now beJoab went to him, and comforted him, and seech David to leave off his anger at them, said, “O my lord the king, thou art not and to become friends with them; and, as he aware that thou layest a blot on thyself, by used formerly to do, to resume the care of what thou now doest : for thou seemest to their affairs, and to take the kingdom again. hate those that love thee, and undergo dan- This was often told to David; and this, notgers for thee; nay, to hate thyself and thy withstanding David sent to Zadok and Abiafamily, and to love those that are thy bitter thar the high-priest, that they should speak enemies; and to desire the company of those to the rulers of the tribe of Judah after the who have been justly slain. For hąd Absalon following manner : that it would be a reproach obtained the victory, and firmly settled him- upon them to permit the other tribes to choose self in the kingdom, there had been none of David for their king before their tribe, and us left alive; but all of us, beginning with this while they were akin to him, and of the thyself and thy children, had miserably pe-same common blood. He commanded them rished; while our enemies had not wept for also to say to Ainasa, the captain of their us, but rejoiced over us, and punished even forces : that whereas he was his sister's son, those that lamented our misfortunes.; And he had not persuaded the multitude to restore thou art not ashamed to do this in the case of the kingdom to David. That he might exone that has been thy bitter enemy; who, pect from him not only a reconciliation, for while he was thine own son, hath proved so that was already granted, but that supreme wicked to thee. Leave off, therefore, thy un-command of the army also which Absalom had reasonable grief, and come abroad to thy sol- bestowed upon him. Accordingly, the highdiers ; and return then thanks for the alacrity priests, when they had discoursed with the they shewed in tbe fight. For I myself will rulers of this tribe, and said what the king this day persuade the people to leave thee, and had ordered them, persuaded Amasa to underto give the kingdom to another, if thou con- take the care of his affairs. So he persuaded tinuest to do thus; and then I shall make thee that tribe to send ambassadors immediately, grieve bitterly and in earnest.” Joab's speak to beseech him to return to his owo kingdom, ing
thus made the king leave off his sorrow, The same did all the Israelites, at the like and brought him to the consideration of his persuasion of Amasa. affairs. So he changed his habit, and exposed When the ambassadors came to David, he himself in a manner fit to be seen by the mul- went to Jerusalem : and the tribe of Judah titude, and sat at the gates. Whereupon all was the first that came to meet him at the rithe people heard of it, and ran together † and ver Jordan,f and Shimei, the son of Gera, saluted him.
came with a thousand men, which he brought CHAP. XI.
with him out of the tribe of Benjamin; and
Ziba, the freed man of Saul, with his sons, OF DAVID's reiNSTATEMENT IN THE KINGDOM, HIS RECON fifteen in number; and with his twenty ser
All these, as well as the tribe of Ju
dah, laid a bridge of boats over the river, OW those Hebrews that had been with that the king, and those that were with him, Absalom, and had retired out of the bat- might with ease pass over it. Now as soon as * 2 Sam. xix. 2, 3.
+ 2 Sam, xix. 8.
2 Sam. xix, 15.
CILIATION WITH SHIMEI AND ZIBA, AND HIS AFFECTION