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6. Moreover, Ahith'ophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night. And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak-handed, and will make him afraid : and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only: and I will bring back all the people unto thee.

7. And Hu'shai said unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time. For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field; and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place. Therefore, I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, and that thou go to battle in thine own person. So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as one. And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hu'shai the Ar'chite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. And when Ahith'ophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.

8. And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, over them. And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Jo'ab, and a third part under the hand of Abi'shai the son of Zeru'iah, Jo'ab's brother, and a third part under the hand of It'tai the Git'tite. And the king commanded Jo'ab, and Abi'shai, and It'tai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom. So the people went out into the field against Israel : and the battle was in the wood of E'phra-im, where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David; and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men.

9. And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick

boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away. And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground ? and I would have given thee ten shek'els of silver, and a girdle. And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shek'els of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king's son: for, in our hearing, the king charged thee, and Abishai, and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom. Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldst have set thyself against me.

10. T'hen said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent. And David sat between the two gates : and the watchman went up to the roof oyer the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, a man running alone. And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and drew near,

11. And, behold, Cu'shi came; and Cu'shi said, Tidings, my lord the king! for the Lord hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. And the king said anto Cu'shi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cu'shi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept ; and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom ! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

12. And it was told Joab, Behold, the king weepeth and mourneth for Absalom. And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son. And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!

13. And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines, in that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants : for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well. Now, therefore, arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the Lord, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befell thee from thy youth until now. Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king.

LESSON XXV.

DAVID'S PRAYER.

[1 Chron. xxix. 10.) 1. WHEREFORE, David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD GOD OF ISRAEL our father, forever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty : for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now, therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

2. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort ? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. For

we are strangers before thee, and so'journers, as were all our fathers : our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee a house for thine holy name, cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own. I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness.

3. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things : and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee: and give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.

4. And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD YOUR GOD. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and the king. And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the Lord, and offered burntofferings unto the Lord, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink-offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel; and did eat and drink before the Lord on that day with great gladness. And David died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor : and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.

LESSON XXVI.

SOLOMON CHOOSES WISDOM BEFORE RICHES AND HONOR.

[2 Chron. i. 1.] 1. AND Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly. Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers. So Solomon, and all the congregation with

him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness. And Solomon went up thither, and offered a thousand burntofferings upon it. . 2. In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast showed great mercy unto David, my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead. Now, O Lord God, let thy promise unto David my father be established : for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great ?

3. And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honor, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayst judge my people, over whom I have made thee king; wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honor, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like. Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle of the congregation, and reigned over Israel.

LESSON XXVII.

SOLOMON'S PRAYER AT THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE.

[ 2 Chron. vi. 12.) 1. And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands : for Solomon had made a brazen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven, and said, O LORD GOD OF ISRAEL, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest cover

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