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le with a sword fastened upon his loins | the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he ne sheath thereof; and as he went forth answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, l out.

Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he And Joab said to Amasa, Art thou in answered, I do hear. th, my brother? And Joab took Amasa 18 Then she spake, saying, "They were che beard with the right hand to kiss wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall

surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ) But Amasa took no heed to the sword ended the matter. was in Joab's hand: so he smote him 19 I am one of them that are peaceable ewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to deels to the ground, and struck him not stroy a city and a mother in Israel: why n; and he died. So Joab and Abishai wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the brother pursued after Sheba the son of Lord?

20 And Joab answered and said, Far be | And one of Joab's men stood by him, it, far be it from me, that I should swallow . said, He that favoureth Joab, and he up or destroy. sis for David, let him go after Joab.

21 The matter is not so: but a man of 2 And Amasa wallowed in blood in the mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri ist of the highway. And when the man aby name, hath lifted up his hand against that all the people stood still, he re- the king; even against David : deliver him ed Amasa out of the highway into the only, and I will depart from the city. And l, and cast a cloth upon him, when he the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head that every one that came by him stood shall be thrown to thee over the wall.

22 Then the woman went unto all the 3 When he was removed out of the high- | people in her wisdom. And they cut off the

all the people went on after Joab, to head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it sue after Sheba the son of Bichri. out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and 4 g And he went through all the tribes they 13retired from the city, every man to his Israel unto Abel, and to Beth-maachah, tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto . all the Berites: and they were gathered the king: ether, and went also after him.

23 | Now Joab was over all the host of 5 And they came and besieged him in Israel:" and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada el of Beth-maachah, and they cast up a was over the Cherethites and over the Pelek against the city, and "it stood in the thites: ach: and all the people that were with 24 And Adoram was over the tribute: : bbattered the wall, to throw it down. and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was 6 9 Then cried a wise woman out of the 15recorder : Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, 25 And Sheva was scribe: and Zadok ne near hither, that I may speak with and Abiathar were the priests

26 And Ira also the Jairite was a chief 7 And when he was come near unto her, ) ruler about David.

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8 Heb, doubled not his stroke. 9 Or, it stood against the outmost wall. 10 Heb. marred to throw down.

11. Or, They plainly spake in the beginning, saying, Surely they will ask of Abel, and so make an end. 19 Heb. by his name.

14 Chap. 8. 16. 15 Or, remembrancer. 16 Or, a prince.

erse l. We have no part in David.”—This revolt of the ten tribes (Josephus says eleven, including Benjamin) seems are been the result of the quarrel between Israel and Judah, as to which had the greatest interest in David. The turn, from the contest about the greatest right to the determination to have no right, is natural enough. The abites having denied the superior right of the Israelites, the latter make an unexpected application of the argu4:-assenting scornfully to the deficiency of their own claims, “ We have no part in David," they take the opporty of inferring that, this being so, neither had he any claim to their allegiance." To your tents, O Israel !” seems ave been the watch-word of revolt among the Jews; and as such was adopted in our own country during the

war.

"Il fell out.”—That is, it fell out of the sheath. Josephus says that he purposely let it fall out as he approached asa, that, taking it up again, he might salute him unsuspiciously, although he had the drawn sword in his hand. is probable. We see that further, to prevent his intention from being suspected, he held the weapon in his left

* Joab took Amasa by the beurd.... to kiss him.—As the Ilebrew language has no neuter gender, it is not clear ther the him should not have been rendered it; that is, whether Joab took hold of Amasa's beard to kiss it or him. former seems most probable. In the East it is generally considered an insult to touch the beard, except to kiss it. issing the cheek or forehead, it is not usual to touch the beard, but it may be done incidentally without offence. Among the Arabs, kissing the heard is an act of respect ; it is an exchange of respectful salutation between equals, and also an act of respect and deference to a superior. D'Arvieux correctly observes that. “The women kiss their husbands beards, and the children their fathers', when they go to salute them. The men kiss each other's beards reciprocally; and on both sides the beard, when they salute one another in the streets, or are returned from a journey. Such kisses are repeated from time to time among the compliments they make one another.” The same traveller, describing an entertainment given by one Arab emir to several others, fails not to remark how, as they arrived, they kissed one another's beards and hands. Homer seems to describe the touching of the beard, or at least the chin, as an act of respectful supplication. Thus, when Thetis goes to Olympus to obtain Jupiter's favour for her son Achilles,

“She sat before him, to his knees applied
Her left hand, placed her right beneath his chin,

And thus the king, Saturnian Jove, implored.”
It is remarkable that both in this instance and that of Joab, the right hand is particularly mentioned.

10. “ And he died.—Josephus has a just observation to the effect-that this atrocious murder had much less show of excuse than that of Abner, since the fact that the latter had slain Asahel afforded, under the principle of blood-revenge, a decent pretext for the assassination, which was wanting in the present instance.

15. Abel of Beth-maachah :” or Abel-beth-maachah.—This is probably the place of the same name that is mentioned in 1 Kings xv. 20, and 2 Kings xv. 29, as being in the tribe of Naphtalí; and, it would seem, not far from the sea of Tiberias. The first of these passages describes its being taken and sacked by Benhadad, king of Syria ; and the last mentious it as sustaining the same calamity at the hands of Tiglath-Pileser, who carried the ten tribes into captivity. It appears froin the present text to have been an ancient and considerable town. There were several places of the name of Abel, and there has been some diversity in determining which this was.

One Abel was six miles from Philadelphia ; another twelve miles from Gadara ; a third between Paneas (Dan) and Damascus; and Jerome places another in Judah, on the road from Eleutheropolis to Jerusalem. What gave the town its peculiar reputation for wisdom is not clear; but in most countries we fiad one or more towns, the inhabitants of which, on some account or other, are reported to be wiser than their neighbours.

They cw off the head of Sheba.... and cast it out to Joab.”—It is a very common course in the East, when an obnoxious person,

who has taken refuge in a town, palace, or fortress, is demanded by an army or by an enraged populace, for the inhabitants to consult their own safety, by sacrificing the offender. How many instances occur in Turkish history of the heads of high functionaries being reluctantly thrown out from the seraglio at Constantinople, to pacify the enraged Janissaries !

22. "

CHAPTER XXI.

that consumed us, and that 'devised against

us that we should be destroyed from re1 The three years' famine for the Gibeonites ceaseth, by hanging seven of Saul's sons. 10 Rizpah's

maining in any

of the coasts of Israel, kindness unto the dead. 12 David burieth the

6 Let seven men of his sons be delivered bones of Saul and Jonathan in his father's sepul- unto us, and we will hang them up unto the chre. 15 Four battles against the Philistines, Lord in Gibeah of Saul, 'whom the LORD wherein four valiants of David slay four giants.

did choose. And the king said, I will give Then there was a famine in the days of Da- them. vid three years, year after year; and David 7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the 'enquired of the Lord. And the Lord an- son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of swered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody "the Lord's oath that was between them, house, because he slew the Gibeonites. between David and Jonathan the son of

2 And the king called the Gibeonites, Saul. and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites 8 But the king took the two sons of Rizwere not of the children of Israel, but 'of pah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare the remnant of the Amorites: and the chil- unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and dren of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul the five sons of 'Michal the daughter of Saul, sought to slay them in his zeal to the children whom she brought up for Adriel the son of of Israel and Judah.)

Barzillai the Meholathite: 3 Wherefore David said unto the Gibeon- 9 And he delivered them into the hands ites, What shall I do for you? and where of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in with shall I make the atonement, that ye the hill before the LORD: and they fell all may bless the inheritance of the Lord?

seven together, and were put to death in 4 And the Gibeonites said unto him, 'We the days of harvest, in the first days, in the will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of beginning of barley harvest. his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any 10 | And 'Rizpah the daughter of Aiah man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon say, that will I do for you.

the rock, from the beginning of harvest un5 And they answered the king, The man til water dropped upon them out of heaven,

1 Heb. sought the face, &c. 3 Or, It is not silver nor gold that we have to do with Saul ur his house, neither pertains it to us to kill, &c. * Or, cut us off s Or, chosen of the LORI),

9 Chap. 3. 7.

2 Josh. 9.3, 16, 17.

6 1 Sam, 18.3, and 20. 8, 42,

7 Or. Michal's sister.

8 Heb. bare to Adriel.

boa:

and suffered neither the birds of the air to weighed three hundred shekels of brass in rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the weight, he being girded with a new sword, field by night.

thought to have slain David. 11 And it was told David what Rizpah 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah sucthe daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, coured him, and smote the Philistine, and had done.

killed him. Then the men of David sware 12 9 And David went and took the bones unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son out with us to battle, that thou quench not from the men of Jabesh-gilead, which had the light of Israel. stolen them from the street of Beth-shan, 18 **And it came to pass after this, that where the Philistines had hanged them, there was again a battle with the Philistines when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gil- at Gob : then Sibbechai the Hushathite

slew Saph, which was of the sons of the 13 And he brought up from thence the giant. bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan 19 And there was again a battle in Gob his son; and they gathered the bones of with the Philistines, where El-hanan the son them that were hanged.

of Jaare-oregim, a Beth-lehemite, slew 16the 14 And the bones of Saul and Jonathan brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of his son buried they in the country of Ben-, whose spear was like a weaver's beam. jamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish 20 And there was yet a battle in Gath, his father: and they performed all that the where was a man of great stature, that had king commanded. And after that God was on every hand six fingers, and on every foot intreated for the land.

six toes, four and twenty in number; and he 15 g Moreover the Philistines had yet also was born to the giant. war again with Israel; and David went 21 And when he defied Israel, Jonathan down, and his servants with him, and fought the son of "Shimeah the brother of David against the Philistines: and David waxed slew him. faint

22 These four were born to the giant in 16 And Ishbi-benob, which was of the Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by sons of the "giant, the weight of whose ''spear the hand of his servants.

10 1 Sam. 31. 10. 11 Or, Rapha.

12 Heb. the staff, or the head. 15 Or, Rapha.

16 See 1 Chron. 20.5. 17 Or, Rapha.

13 Heb. candle, or lamp. 14 1 Chron. 29. 4. 18 Or, reproached.

19 1 Sam. 16.9.

Verse 2. “ Saul sought 10 slay them in his zeal—There is no account of such an attempt in the preceding history, and various explanations have been given. Some think that, being hewers of wood and drawers of water to the priests considerable numbers of them were slain at Nob. at the same time with the priests. This is the Jewish explanation but we doubt it, as not only improbable in itself, but in the impression that the fact would have been noticed in the account of that transaction, if it had really occurred. Is it not rather probable that Saul, seeing the offence he had given by sparing the Amalekites, sought to atone for it by destroying the Gibeonites ? forgetting the oath between them and Israel, or thinking that the manner in which it was obtained warranted its infraction. 6. Hang them up unto the Lord.”—They probably slew them first, and gibbeted them after. It was against the law for a body to be left hanging after the sunset of the day in which the person was put to death. The continued gibbeting of Saul's descendants must have been very revolting to the Jews, who were less accustomed to such things than we have been. Drought is the usual cause of famine stated in the Scriptures; and as we see, from Ferse 10, that they remained hanging “ until water dropped upon them out of heaven," it seems more than probable that some vow or usage, in such cases, decreed them to remain suspended until that sign of peace and returning fertility was bestowed.

10. Suffered neither the birds of the air,&c.—See the note on Judges xiv. 8. 20. "On every hand six fingers, and on every foot sir tves.”—This is one of the aberrations of nature, of which instances have been known in all ages and countries, although they are sufficiently rare to remain a subject of wonder. The old stories told by Pliny, Ctesias, and others, of nations distinguished by a supernumerary allowance of fingers and toes, are now universally exploded, together with most of the other wonders which they and other ancient writers relate concerning the Indian and other remote nations, of which nothing was in their time distinctly known. The most wonderful circumstance of this kind, that rests on any thing like fair authority, is that adduced by Dr. Dodd from M. Maupertuis, who says, in his Letters, that he saw at Berlin two families, in which six-digitism, as he calls it, was equally transmitted, both on the side of father and mother.

CHAPTER XXII.

words of this song in the day that the 4 psalm of thanksgiving for God's powerful deli- Lord had delivered him out of the hand verunce, and manifold blessings.

of all his enemies, and out of the hand of And David spake unto the Lord the Saul:

2 And he said, 'The Lord is my rock, and 22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, my fortress, and my deliverer ;

and have not wickedly departed from my 3 The God of my rock; in him will I God. trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my

23 For all his judgments were before me: salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my and as for his statutes, I did not depart from saviour; thou savest me from violence. them.

4 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy 24 I was also upright before him, and to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine have kept myself from mine iniquity. enemies.

25 Therefore the Lord hath recompensed 5 When the 'waves of death compassed me according to my righteousness; accordme, the floods of "ungodly men made me ing to my cleanness"in his eye sight afraid ;

26 With the merciful thou wilt shew thy6 The sorrows of hell compassed me self merciful, and with the upright man thou about; the snares of death prevented me;

wilt shew thyself upright. 7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, 27 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself and cried to my God: and he did hear iny pure; and with the froward thou wilt 'shew voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter thyself unsavoury. into his ears.

29 And the afilicted people thou wilt save: 8 Then the earth shook and trembled; but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that the foundations of heaven moved and shook, thou mayest bring them down. because he was wroth.

29 For thou art my "lamp, O LORD: and 9 There went up a smoke 'out of his nos- the LORD will lighten my darkness. trils, and fire out of his mouth devoured : 30 For by thee I have run through a coals were kindled by it.

troop : by my God have I leaped over a 10 He bowed the heavens also, and came wall. down; and darkness was under his feet. 31 As for God, his way is perfect; the

11 And he rode upon a cherub, and did word of the Lord is stried; he is a buckler fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the to all them that trust in him. wind.

32 For who is God, save the LORD? and 12 And he made darkness pavilions round who is a rock, save our God? about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of 33 God is my strength and power: and the skies.

he maketh my way perfect. 13 Through the brightness before him 34 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet : were coals of fire kindled.

and setteth me upon my high places. 14 The LORD thundered from heaven, 35 He teacheth my hands to war; so and the most High uttered his voice. that a bow of steel' is broken by mine

15 And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them. 56 Thou hast also given me the shield

16 And the channels of the sea appeared, of thy salvation : and thy gentleness hath the foundations of the world were discovered, "made me great. at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast of 37 Thou hast enlarged my steps under the breath of his nostrils.

me; so that my feet did not slip. 17 He sent from above, he took me; he 38 I have pursued mine enemies, and dedrew me out of many waters;

stroyed them; and turned not again until I 18 He delivered me from my strong ene

had consumed them. my, and from them that hated me: for they 39 And I have consumed them, and were too strong for me.

wounded them, that they could not arise : 19 They prevented me in the day of my yea, they are fallen under my feet. calainity: but the LORD was my stay.

40 For thou hast girded me with strength 20 He brought me forth also into a large to battle : them that rose up against me place: he delivered me, because he delighted hast thou ''subdued under me.

41 Thou hast also given me the necks of 21 The Lord rewarded me according to mine enemies, that I might destroy them my righteousness: according to the clean- that hate me. ness of my hands hath he recompensed me. 42 They looked, but there was none to

arms.

6 Heb. binding of waters.

7 Or, great. » Heb. before his pres.

13'Or, refined 15 Heb. equalleth. 10 Heb.fur the war.

in me.

1 Psalm 18. 2, &c.

2 Or, pangs.

3 Heb. Beliai.
10 Or, wrestle, Psalm 18 23.

4 Or, cords, 5 Heb. ly.
1. Or, mindle. 12 Or, broken at troop.

17 Heb, multiplied ine. 18 Heb, ankles.

8 lieb, to hira. 14 Heb, riddeth, or looseth. 19 Heb. caused to bow.

on

save; even unto the LORD, but he answered, rock; and exalted be the God of the rock them not.

of my salvation. 43 Then did I beat them as small as the 48 It is God that avengeth me, and that dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the bringeth down the people under me, mire of the street, and did spread them 49 And that bringeth me forth from mine abroad.

enemies : thou also hast lifted me up 44 Thou also hast delivered me from the high above them that rose up against me: strivings of my people, thou hast kept me thou hast delivered me from the violent to be head of the heathen: a people which I man. knew not shall serve me.

50 Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, 45 "Strangers shall 21 22 submit themselves O Lord, among the heathen, and I will unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall be sing praises unto thy name. obedient unto me.

51 He is the tower of salvation for his 46 Strangers shall fade away, and they king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, shall be afraid out of their close places. unto David, and 25to his seed for evermore. 47 The Lord liveth; and blessed be my " Heb. Sons of the stranger. 21 Or, yield feigned obedience.

33 Heb.greth avengement for me. 9 Chap. 7. 19.

2 Heb. lie.

24 Rom, 15. 9.

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Chap. xxii.—This is the same as the eighteenth Psalm, under which such observations as are required will be given. The Rabbins reckon up seventy-four differences between the two copies; most of them very minute. They probably arose from the fact that the poem was, as they

conjecture, composed by David in his youth, and revised in his later days, when he sent it to the chief musician. The present is, of course, supposed to be the earlier copy.

CHAPTER XXIII.

vid the son of Jesse said, and the man who 1 David, in his last words, professeth his faith in

was raised up on high, the anointed of the God's promises to be beyond sense or experience.

God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of 6 The different state of the wicked. 8 A cata- Israel, said, logue of David's mighty men. 3

2 The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, Now these be the last words of David. Da- and his word was in my tongue.

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