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Kedron, is the Mount of Olives. That on the south is usually called the “ Hill of Offence," or of “ Evil Counsel,” which is a broad and barren hill, loftier than the Mount of Olives, but without any of its picturesque beauty. This is considered by some travellers as the true Mount Zion. On the west there is a rocky flat, which rises to a considerable elevation towards the north, and to which has been assigned the name of Mount Ġihon. Even in the north-east, at Scopo, where the besieging Romans under Titus encamped, the ground is considerably more elevated than the immediate site of the town. This explains the expression of David : “ As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people.” (Ps.cxxv. 2.) The relative height of those surrounding hills gives to the city an apparent elevation inferior to that which it really possesses. This is estimated by Buckingham about 1500 feet above the level of the sea; and this tends greatly to moderate the heat of the climate, which rarely exceeds 84o Fahrenheit in summer, while in the mountains there is frequently snow, which is scarcely known in the southern plains of Palestine. The district for many miles around Jerusalem is now of a very barren and cheerless character, whatever may have been its ancient condition. Some travellers consider that they can only account for its selection as the site of the capital, by referring to the strength of its position ; since there are many spots in the interior and on the coast, far superior in fertility and beauty, with greater advantages of commerce, and a more ample supply of water. In fact, it seems to have obtained the distinc. tion rather by accident than by choice. David naturally selected it, as having been born and brought up in its neighbourbood; and afterwards his son Solomon permanently fixed its metropolitan character by the erection of the Temple and the royal establishment. But it was the Temple chiefly, which in all ages maintained Jerusalem as the metropolis of the country, Even after the destruction of that venerated fabric, the mere fact that it had existed there, operated in prereating the selection of any new site, even when the opportunity occurred. The separation into two kingdoms after the death of Solomon did also necessarily prevent any intentions of change which might have arisen, had the whole country remained one kingdom, with a large choice of situations for a capital; and we are to remember that, although after the erection of the Temple, it always remained the ecclesiastical metropolis of the land, it was, in a civil sense, for a long series of years, the capital of only the smallest of the two kingdoms into which the land was divided. But under all disadvantages, many of which are perhaps the result of the wars, desolations, and neglect of many ages, the very situation of the town, “on the brink of rugged hills, encircled by deep and wild valleys, bounded by eminences whose ades were covered with groves and gardens, added to its numerous towers and Temple, must have given it a singular and gloomy magnificence, scarcely possessed by any other city in the world.” (Carne's Letters from the East,' p. 289.) The best view of the site and locality of Jerusalem is obtained from the Mount of Olives; from which the original of our wood-cat is taken. The mount is usually visited by travellers, who all speak of the completeness of the view obtained from the above spot. This view comprehends in the distance the Dead Sea and the mountains of Arabia Petrza; while, to the west, the city with its surrounding valleys and all its topographical characteristics, is displayed like a panorama, below and very near the spectator, the Mount being only separated from the city by the narrow valley of Jehoshaphat. It is seldom indeed that any city is seen in such completeness of detail as Jerusalem from the Mount of Clives
. The statement of these details would however embrace so much that is modern, that we shall not at present describe it, particularly as all that is of importance to our present purpose has already been stated. We shall therefore corclude the present note with one good remark of Mr. Rae Wilson, with reference to the general view of this part of the tauntry, as seen from the Mount of Olives. He says it reminded him of many parts of the Highlands of Scotland " A scene of hills, like an ocean, fixed at once into solidity, when heaving in its wildest fury, presents itself on all sides.* This comparison often occurs to a person who travels in a country which, like the greater part of Palestine, is, as Carne elsertes, overrun with hills, not generally in ranges, but more or less isolated, and few of which approach to the character of mountains, save Carmel, the Quarantania, the shores of the lakes, and those which bound the valley of the
6. " Except thou take away the blind and the lame," &c.—This very difficult passage has been variously understood. The majority of the Jewish, and many Christian, interpreters, understand that the epithet “ the blind and the lame,” was gaten derisively, by David to the idolatrous images, in which the Jebusites trusted for the security of their town, and while they retained which, they believed the could never be taken. It is certain that the heathens had tutelar gods for their cities, whose images they set up in the fort or elsewhere: and these, the Greeks and Romans, when they besieged a place, either endeavoured to take away, or to render propitious. But we think it is impossible to read this passage connectedly with such a reference--particularly as the Jebusites themselves are represented as using this expression; and, however proper it might be from David, we can scarcely suppose that the idolaters would themselves employ it. Dr. Boothroyd's version of the whole passage is :-" Thou canst not come in hither unless thou remote the sentinels and patrols, thinking David could not come in thither.” And, in verse 8, “David said on that day, Whosoever first smiteth the Jebusites, and through the secret passage reacheth the sentinels and patrols, who detest the person of David, (because the seutinels and patrols had said, Into this house he shall not come) he shall be chief captain." The learned translator allows that his rendering of Digwyn and O'NDO “the blind” and “the lame of our version) has not the support of ancient or modern versions ; and we fear that although, as a mere question of philology, strong grounds might, if required, be made out for sometimes rendering the former
word by “sentinels," the latter will not so well bear to be rendered "patrols.” The common rendering does not, he says, admit of any expli. cation. We think it doe Why not take that given by Josephus, followed by Aben Ezra and Abarbanel, and supported by Dr. Kennicott? This is, that the Jebusites, persuaded of the strength of the place, and deriding the attempt of David to take it, mustered the lame and blind, and committed to them the defence of the wall, declaring their insulting belief that these alone were sufficient to prevent David's access. Dr. Kennicott thinks the translation in Coverdale's version better than the present. It is, “Thou shalt not come in hither, but the blynde and lame shal dryve the avaie," &c. He seems himself to think that the Jebusites professed that the blind and lame were to keep him off merely by shouting, “ David shall not come hither,”—or, “No David shall come hither,” and concludes a learned critieitze on the text by proposing to translate:-“ And the inhabitants of Jebus said, Thou shalt not come hither; for the blind and the lame shall keep thee off, by saying, David shall not come in hither.” We are sorry to give this version apart from the analysis on which it is founded; but the considerations we have stated, and the comparison of the different versions we have given, will assist the reader's comprehension of this most obscure passage.
8. "Getletk up to the gutter.”—The word rendered gutter (9933 tzinnur) occurs no where else except in Ps. xiii. 8; where it is translated " water-spout." There is a very perplexing diversity of opinions as to the meaning
of the word. Dr. Boothroyd has here “ secret passage," and in Ps. xiii.“ waterfall;" and in fact, the result of a comparison of a sumber of different interpretations will be, that the word means here a subterraneous passage through
which water presed; but whence the water came, whither it went, the use, if any, to whieh it was applied, and whether the channel was not occasionally dry, are questions concerning which no satisfactory information can be obtained. Besiegers beve
often obtained access to besieged places through aqueducts, drains, and subterraneous passages ; and we may be satisfied to conclude that something of this sort happened in the present instance. Josephus says simply that the ingress was obtained through subterraneous passages. The Jews have many traditions concerning passages leading froin Jerusalem to different parts of the vicinity, and their account is confirnied by Dion Cassius, who says, that in the last fatal siege of the town by the Romans, there were several such passages through which many of the Jews made their mscape fro the beleaguered city.
24. "Mulberry trees” (DNJ), becaim).—The Septuagint, followed by Josephus, paraphrases this word by saying “ from the grove of weeping" (ero toũ å drous TOŪ xa auduwvos). But, in 1 Chron. xiv. 14, ít renders the same word by “pear-trees," and is followed by the Vulgate. The word, in the singular, is retained in our version of Ps. lxxxiv. 6, as a proper name.
The Arabic seems to consider that "hills” are here denoted. Parkhurst and Gesenius think that the large shrub, called by the Arabians baca, is intended, not only from the identity of name, but because it distils an odoriferous gum; which seems to be implied in the literal meaning of the original, which is "weepings.". The last reason induces Harmer to conjecture that the weeping-willow is intended. We need not say that, under such a variety of interpretation, anything like certainty cannot be obtained. We are of opinion, however, that some tree or shrub is intended. The mulberry-tree is that which the Jewish writers generally understand to have been intended. This tree is frequent in Syria and Lebanon. It is much less common in Palestine ; but its mere presence seems suffieient to attest its ancient existence there. During many ages of comparative desolation, many vegetable products that were common have been lost, or have become rare; and for this it is sometimes necessary that large allowance should be made.
8 And David was displeased, because the
LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and i David fetcheth the ark from Kirjath-jearim on a he called the name of the place "Perez-uzzah
new cart. 6 Uzzah is smitten at Perez-uzzah. 9 God blesseth Obed-edom for the ark. 12 David
to this day. bringing the ark into Zion with sacrifices, danceth
9 And David was afraid of the LORD that before it, for which Michal despiseth him. 17 He day, and said, How shall the ark of the placeth it in a tabernacle with great joy and LORD come to me? feasting. 20 Michal reproving David for his re
10 So David would not remove the ark ligious joy is childless to her death.
of the LORD unto him into the city of David : AGAIN, David gathered together all the but David carried it aside into the house of chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. Obed-edom the Gittite.
2 And David arose, and went with all 11 And the ark of the Lord continued the people that were with him from Baale of in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of months; and the Lord blessed Obed-edom; God, 'whose name is called by the name of and all his houshold. the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the 12 | And it was told king David, saying, cherubims.
The Lord hath blessed the house of Obed. 3 And they 'set the ark of God upon a edom, and all that pertaineth unto him, benew cart, and brought it out of the house of cause of the ark of God. So David went Abinadab that was in "Gibeah : and Uzzah and brought up the ark of God from the and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the house of Obed-edom into the city of David new cart.
with gladness. 4 And they brought it out of the house 13 And it was so, that when they that of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, Raccom- bare the ark of the LORD had panying the ark of God: and Ahio went be- he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. fore the ark.
14 And David danced before the LORD 5 And David and all the house of Israel with all his might; and David was girded played before the Lord on all manner of with a linen ephod. instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, 15 So David and all the house of Israel and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on brought up the ark of the LORD with cornets, and on cymbals.
shouting, and with
the sound of the 6 And 'when they came to Nachon's trumpet. threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to 16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter oxen &shook it.
looked through a window, and saw king Da7. And the anger of the LORD was kindled vid leaping and dancing before the LORD; against Uzzah; and God smote him there and she despised him in her heart. for his 'error; and there he died by the ark 17 | And they brought in the ark of the of God.
six paces, of the tabernacle that David had pitched rious was the king of Israel to day, who unfor it: and David offered burnt offerings and covered himself to day in the eyes of the peace offerings before the LORD.
LORD, and set iť in his place, in the midst 2 Or, nl which the name even the name of the LORD of hosts was called upon.
* Or, the hill. $ 1 Sam, 1.1.
11 That is, the breach of Uzza,
11 Chron 13. 5, 6.
8 Heb. with.
8 Heb. made to ride. 10 Heb. broken.
7| Chron 13. 9.
8 Or, stumbled 9 Or, rashness.
14 I Chron. 15. 25.
handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain 18 And as soon as David had made an fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself! end of offering burnt offerings and peace
21 And David said unto Michal, It was offerings, 'he blessed the people in the name before the LORD, which chose me before thy of the Lord of hosts.
father, and before all his house, to appoint 19 And he dealt among all the people, me ruler over the people of the LORD, over eren among the whole multitude of Israel, Israel: therefore will I play before the as well to the women as men, to every one a LORD. cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and 22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, a flagon of wine. So all the people departed and will be base in mine own sight: and of every one to his house.
the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, 20 Then David returned to bless his of them shall I be had in honour. houshold. And Michal the daughter of Saul 23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glo- l had no child unto the day of her death. 18 Heb. stretched.
15 Or, openly. 10 Or, of the handmaids of my servants.
141 Chron. 16. 2.
Verse 2. “Baale."-The same that is called Baalah, kirjath-Baal, and Kirjath-jearim. Compare Josh. xv. 9, GO; 1 Sam. vii, 10.
6. “ Towk hold of it; for the oren shook it." – It will be observed that the whole process adopted in the removal of the ark is entirely contrary to the directions given in the Law. The ark was not to be conveyed on a cart, or drawn by any animals, but to be carried on the shoulders of the Levites, by means of staves ; which precluded the ark itself from being handled by the bearers in its removals. Indeed, in Num. iv. 15, it is forbidden, on pain of death, that any of the holy things should be touched by the Levites; and we might expect to find this law the more rigidly enforced with respect to the ark, on account of the superior sanctity with which it was invested. The ark had indeed before been conveyed on a cart, when returned by the Philistines; but that case was very different from the present. The Philistines could not be supposed to have been acquainted with the rules for its conveyance; and if they had, they could not have commanded the services of the Levites for the occasion. Now the removal is conducted by persons who ought to have known what the law required in such removals, particularly as they could not but have heard of the awful judgment with which an intrusion on the sanctity of the ark had been visited at Beth-shemesh (1 Sam. vi. 19). Probably the course adopted by the Philistines on the occasion referred to, formed the bad and inapplicable precedent adopted in the present instance.
10. “ Obed-edom the Gittile.”—This Obed-edom was a Levite, as appears from 1 Chron. xv, and xvi. Some suppose he is called a Gittite because he had lived at Gath; but more probably from being a native of Gath-rimmon, which was a city of the Levites.
14. “ David danced before the Lord.”—(See the note on Judges xxi. 21). This dancing before the ark was certainly not a usual circumstance, nor were any of the solemnities and rejoicings attending its present removal usual; but they were thought to be, and doubtless were, proper expressions of exultation and joy at the progress of the symbol of the Divine Presence to the seat of government.
17. “ The tabernacle."- A temporary erection, not the old tabernacle, which remained still at Gibeon, as appears from 1 Chron. xvi. 39, xxi. 29, and 2 Chron. i. 3.
19.“ A good piece of flesh."—It was a good piece, if the sixth part of a bullock, as the Rabbins say. But the piece was probably not more than enough to furnish every person with a hearty meal. The original word (OUX, eshpar) only occurs here, and in the parallel passage, 1 Chron. xvi. 3. Its etymology is very uncertain. It is probably from Wx (fire), and (bull), and may then mean “roast beef,” as rendered by the Vulgate, and followed by Boothroyd. This is the very thing we do on occasions of great rejoicing.
“ A flagon of wine.”—The words “of wine" are not in the original , and it is agreed that Unix (ashishah) does not mean “ a flagon.” It certainly means some kind of cake or other, probably of a sweet
and pleasant description. The Septuagint has “pancake” here, and "honey-cake” in the parallel text, 1 Chron. xvi. 3. Honey was used as we use sugar; "honey-cake" means therefore a sweet cake, which might be true of a pancake. We use sugar with pancakes. These cakes were probably such as were “baken in a pan” or “baken in the frying-pan," mentioned in Lev. ii., and explained in the notes to that chapter.
20. “How glorious was the king of Israel to day.” &c.—The meaning of all this verse is, that Michal thought David had acted a part unbecoming his royal dignity, in laying aside the ensigns of that dignity, and taking so active and leading a part in the rejoicings of the people. Our translation is too broad, and insinuates a charge of indecency, which is not to be found in the original, and is adverse to the plain meaning of the context. First, as to the word "uncovered,"-we have shown, in the note to 1 Sam. xix. 24, that the word rendered “naked” often means no more than being without the outer garment. The present is a different word (ba), niglah), the frequent signification of which is, “ to show oneself openly;" as in 1 Sam. xiv. 18, “Behold we will pass over to these men, and discover ourselves unto them.” And that this is the sense to be selected here, is clear from verse 16, where the cause of Michal's contempt is mentioned—which is, not that she saw him “uncovered,” but that she saw him “ leaping and dancing.” Then the word “ shamelessly” is not in the original at all. Who the “vain fellows” (D'p7, rekim) are, is not quite clear. Some think that the term is scornfully applied to the Levites ; but this is on the supposition that the reflection refers to David's ephod-dress, which seems to have been the same as that of the Levites. We rather think it refers to the lower class of the spectators, as the word seems often equivalent to our own popular terms of contempt applied to the low and worthless. The sense then is, that David, in Michal's opinion, had degraded himself by laying aside his kingly state, and putting himself too much on a level with the common people. She probably made her father a model of what a king ought to be ; and his character seems to have been more stern and reserved, and much less animated and popular, than that of David.
cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within
curtains. 1 Nathan first approving the purpose of David to 3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do
build God an house, 4 after by the word of God all that is in thine hcart; for the LORD is forbiddeth him.
12 He promiseth him benefits with thee. and blessings in his seed. `18 David's prayer and thanksgiving
4 9 And it came to pass that night, that
the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, And it came to pass, 'when the king sat in saying, his house, and the Lord had given him rest 5 Go and tell *my servant David, Thus round about from all his enemies;
saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me 2 That the king said unto Nathan the house for me to dwell in? prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of 6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house
i Chron. 17.1.
* Heb. to my scrvant to David
since the time that I brought up the chil- | before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O dren of Israel out of Egypt, even to this Lord God? and what is my house, that day, but have walked in a tent and in a ta- thou hast brought me hitherto? bernacle.
19 And this was yet a small thing in thy 7 In all the places wherein I have walked sight, O Lord God; but thou hast spoken with all the children of Israel spake I a word also of thy servant's house for a great while with 'any of the tribes of Israel, whom I to come. And is this the "manner of man, commanded to feed my people Israel, say- O Lord God? ing, Why build ye not me an house of 20 And what can David say more unto cedar?
thee? for thou, Lord God, knowest thy ser8 Now therefore so shalt thou
unto vant. my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of 21 For thy word's sake, and according to hosts, 'I took thee from the sheepcote, 'from thine own heart, hast thou done all these following the sheep, to be ruler over my great things, to make thy servant know people, over Israel :
them. 9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou 22 Wherefore thou art great, O LORD wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies God: for there is none like thee, neither is 'out of thy sight, and have made thee a great there any God beside thee, according to all name, like unto the name of the great men that we have heard with our ears. that are in the earth.
23 And what one nation in the earth is 10 Moreover I will appoint a place for like thy people, even like Israel, whom God my people Israel, and will plant them, that went to redeem for a people to himself, and they may dwell in a place of their own, and to make him a name, and to do for you move no more; neither shall the children of great things and terrible, for thy land, wickedness afflict them any more, as before before thy people, which thou redeemedst time,
to thee from Egypt, from the nations and 11 And as since the time that I com- their gods? manded judges to be over my people Israel, 24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself and have caused thee to rest from all thine thy people Israel to be a people unto thee enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee that for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their he will make thee an house.
God. 12 | And 'when thy days be fulfilled, and 25 And now, O LORD God, the word that thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, ụp thy sced after thee, which shall proceed and concerning his house, establish it for out of thy bowels, and I will establish his ever, and do as thou hast said. kingdom.
26 And let thy name be magnified for 13 'He shall build an house for my name, ,
ever, saying, The Lord of hosts is the God and I will stablish the throne of his king- over Israel: and let the house of thy servant dom for ever.
David be established before thec. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be 27 For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of my son. "If he commit iniquity, I will Israel, hast "årevealed to thy servant, saying, chasten him with the rod of men, and with I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy the stripes of the children of men:
servant found in his heart to pray this prayer 15 But my mercy shall not depart away unto thee. from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I 28 And now, O Lord God, thou art that put away before thec.
God, and "thy words be true, and thou hast 16 And thine house and thy kingdom promised this goodness unto thy servant: shall be established for ever before thee: 29 Therefore now let it please thee to thy throne shall be established for ever. bless the house of thy servant, that it may
17 According to all these words, and ac- continue for ever before thee: for thou, o cording to all this vision, so did Nathan Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy speak unto David.
blessing let the house of thy servant be 18 ( Then went king David in, and sat | blessed for ever. Chron. 17.6, any of the judges.
5 Heb. from afler. • Heb. from thy face. 7 1 Kings 8. 20. $ 1 Kings 5.5, and 6. 12. 1 Chron. 22. 10. 13 Heb. opened the car.
15 Heb. be thou pleased and bless, Verse 18. “ King David went in, and sat before the Lord.”—To us it may seem somewhat disrespectful for David to go wa arddress the Lord in a sitting posture.' We have, by anticipation, shown this impression to be groundless, in the
+ 1 Sam. 16, II. Psalm 78.70.
» Heb. 1. 5. 10 Psalm 89, 30, 31, 39.
11 Heb. law,
12 Deut. 4. 7.