(Here are pages 260 – 297, the Books of Samuel. Kings to follow shortly. PDF created after the Historical Books completed in Esther. I have had to delete the Hebrew and Greek words at times in this WordPress format, till the PDF is created it is deficient.mjm)
SAMUEL: 1st & 2nd: The Kingdom: Samuel: United: House of Saul & House of David
1st SAMUEL: 31 Chapters: Samuel’s Birth to Saul’s Death.
Elkanah ben-Jeroham ben-Elihu ben-Tohu ben-Zuph; Ephraimite of Ramathaim-Zophim in the hills of Ephraim; he had two wives, Hannah childless, and Peninnah with children. He yearly visited Shiloh to worship & sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts. Eli sons Hophni & Phinehas were priests to the Lord. Elkanah gave of his sacrifice portions to Peninnah and her children, but to Hannah double portions, for he loved her, though the Lord prevented her conceptions, for which her rival troubled her to tears yearly on visits to the Lord’s House. Elkanah comforted her that he was better to her than 10 sons. Hannah at Shiloh, after feasting, went to the Lord’s Temple as Eli the Priest was seated by the door-post; and she prayed in tears quietly only moving her lips, vowing that if the Lord grant her a man-child, she would devote him to the Lord as a Nazirite all his life. Eli noticed her lips moving without sounds and rebuked her as a drunkard; but she replied that in sorrow of spirit she has poured out her soul to the Lord with complaint and provocation. Eli blessed her with peace and that the Lord grant her petition. Hannah was glad; she and her husband worshipped the Lord and returned home in Ramah; the Lord remembered Hannah and she conceived and gave birth to a son and named him Samuel (Ask, Request, Borrow, Loan), because she asked the Lord for him. The next three years Hannah stayed home with Samuel when Elkanah and his house went to Shiloh for the annual sacrifice and his vow. When she weaned her son on the third year to keep her vow, she went up to the House of the Lord in Shiloh, and brought three bullocks and one ephah of meal and a bottle of wine. The bullock was slain; and she gave the child to Eli saying that she had prayed and vowed for this child to the Lord that he is loaned and given to be a Nazirite to the Lord as long as he lives; Samuel worshipped the Lord.
Joy in Jehovah’s Salvation; God the Holy Rock; God knows our words and ways;
the mighty are broken; the fallen made strong;
the full beg bread; the hungry are fed;
the barren is fertile, and the fertile frets;
He kills, and He enlivens; He lowers, and He raises;
He makes poor and rich;
He helps the poor and needy to set them with princes and glory.
He maintains the world; He protects His saints; He silences the wicked.
His foes are demolished; He judges all the earth;
He strengthens and exalts His King and His Anointed.
Samuel’s parents return to Ramah, but he stays ministering to the Priest Eli. Eli sons are base and godless young men; abusing the Lord’s sacrifices at Shiloh causing Israel to despise the Lord’s offerings. Samuel ministered to the Lord girded in a linen ephod, and wore a little robe made and given by his mother every year. Eli blessed Samuel’s parents that the Lord lend to her her request (samuel). The Lord enabled Hannah to be fertile and she in time bore 3 sons and 2 daughters. Samuel grew before the Lord. Eli was aged, and his two sons were fornicating with women serving at the door of the Tent of Meeting; Eli rebuked and warned them for their sins, but they paid no heed, for the Lord determined to kill them. Samuel continued to grow in the Lord’s grace and men’s favor. (It appears Samuel is now entering his teen years.) A Man of God prophesied to Eli concerning the House of Aaron; reminding him of the elect priesthood to serve and wearing an ephod, accusing him of honoring his sons by their fattening themselves from the best of Israel’s offerings to the Lord. So instead of a promised perpetual priesthood, for the Lord honors only those who honor Him, the house of Eli will be cut off by his two sons dying on the same day. The Lord will raise up a faithful Priest fulfilling His heart and mind, to walk always before His Anointed. And Eli’s household will bow and beg him to let them serve in some priest’s office so that they may eat bread.
Samuel continued to care for Eli in his old age (the Word of the Lord was rare and precious, few visions), blind and weak, asleep while the Lamp of God was still burning, Samuel in bed, in the Lord’s Temple with the Ark of God. The Lord called to Samuel and he answered, running to Eli thinking he called, but Eli told him he did not call out, and to return to bed. Again The Lord called to Samuel, who did as before, and Eli in turn replied as before. Again the 3rd time was as before; but Eli told Samuel to answer the next time saying: speak Lord Thy servant is listening. The 4th time the Lord called saying: Samuel, Samuel; and he answered as instructed. The Lord told Samuel He is about to shock Israel and Eli by fulfilling everything He foretold and sworn concerning the house of Eli, without mitigation of any sacrifice or offering. In the morning Samuel opened the doors of the House of the Lord, afraid to tell Eli. He constrained Samuel to tell him every word that the Lord told him last night; Samuel told him every word; and Eli owned it from the Lord Who will do as He pleases. Samuel grew in the Lord’s favor Who established Samuel’s words; and Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew he was a Prophet of the Lord; Who appeared to him again at Shiloh as before. (Samuel now reaches his 20s; as Eli reaches his 90s.)
Israel encamped for battle near Eben-ezer and the Philistines at Aphek. The engaged in battle and they slew of Israel some 4,000. Distressed they brought the Ark of Covenant to the camp to save them from the Philistines. Israel shouted in joy to see the Ark, and Eli’s sons accompanied it. The Philistines hearing the shouts of Israel and heard that the Ark of the Lord was in the camp were afraid, for nothing like this was ever done before, that is, God coming into the camp to fight; for they heard of the God of Israel delivering Israel from the Egyptians with plagues. The Philistines encouraged themselves overcoming their fear of defeat and enslavement to Israel engaged the battle and killed some 30,000 soldiers of Israel; capturing the Ark of God, and killing Eli’s two sons. A Benjaminite runner came to Shiloh and related the battle news to the city and to Eli who was sitting watching for the outcome. Eli asked why the people made such noise, and was told that Israel fled in defeat from the Philistines, that a great slaughter of the soldiers, that his two sons were dead, and that the Ark of God was captured. Eli on hearing the Ark of God was captured fell backwards near the gate and broke his neck, dying old and heavy at 98; he had judged Israel for 40 years (this makes Eli the 13th or 14th Judge and Samuel the last of the Judges; but this must not be taken that there were no more or other judges, it is clear there were). Eli’s daughter-in-law, Phineas’s pregnant wife, heard of the captured Ark of God and the deaths of Eli and her husband bowed in severe labor, dying when the women told her that she birthed a son, calling him Ichabod: for the glory is departed from Israel.
The Philistines moved the Ark of God from Eben-ezer to Ashdod and put it in the House of Dagon. In the morn those of Ashdod found Dagon fallen on his face to the ground before the Ark. They reset Dagon in his place, and the next morn again found him fallen with his head and hands broken off, leaving him a stump; thus no priest or worshiper of Dagon ever crosses the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod. The Lord plagued Ashdod and its borders with tumors or hemorrhoids; so they consulted with the Lords of the Philistines to send the Ark to Gath. But the Lord plagued Gath with tumors; they in turn quickly sent it to Ekron, but the Ekronites cried out against the Ark of God as a curse and plague; and they consulted with the Lords of the Philistines to send the Ark back to Israel to be healed of the plague and death.
The Ark was with the Philistines now 7 months, then the Philistines with their priests and diviners sought appeasement from the Lord cause of His plagues, so they gave a tress-offering of 5 golden-tumors and 5 golden mice, saying perhaps He will lighten His hand off them and their gods, and not to do what He did to Egypt and pharaoh. So they made a new cart, yoked two milk-cows never before yoked, and they put the Ark on the cart, and put on the side in a coffer the jewels of golden images. They let the oxen wander at will to see if they go towards Beth-shemesh of Israel as sign that the Lord accepted their offering. Those of Beth-shemesh while reaping their wheat harvest in the valley rejoiced seeing the Ark. The Ark came to the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite and stopped by a great stone; so they chopped up the cart for fire and offered up the kine for a burnt-offering to the Lord. The Levites took down the Ark; and offered the golden jewels and sacrifices to the Lord. The Philistines after seeing all this returned home to Ekron. The 5 golden tumors and mice were for the 5 Cities and Lords of Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. But the Lord smote 70 men and 50,000 men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked inside the Ark; terrified they sent messengers to Kiriath-jearim asking them to come get the Ark.
And they came and took it to the house of Abinadab in the hill. and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the Lord’s Ark. The Ark remained in Kiriath-jearim for 20 years while Israel lamented. Samuel told Israel to repent and turn to the Lord, remove the idols and Ashtaroth that He might deliver them from the Philistines. Samuel gathered Israel at Mizpah in fasts and prayers, judging Israel. The Philistines heard and mustered against Israel at Mizpah; Israel in fear cried to the Lord and to Samuel for salvation. He then offered burnt-offering to the Lord and cried to Him for Israel. The Philistines drew near to attack while Samuel was praying and sacrificing, but the Lord thundered against them and confused them and slew them. Israel pursued the Philistines and killed of them up to Beth-car. There between Mizpah and Shen Samuel set up a stone called Eben-Ezer (Stone of Help) for the Lord’s help. Thus were the Philistines subdued and no longer advanced into Israel’s lands during the life of Samuel. The cities and borders captured by the Philistines from Ekron to Gath were restored; and there was peace between Israel and the Amorites during Samuel’s administration. His circuit as Judge (the 14th or 15th) was from Beth-El, Gilgal, Mizpah, and Ramah his hometown; and he built an Altar to the Lord.
Samuel in his old age put his sons Joel and Abijah as judges in Beer-sheba; but they loved money and bribes and perverted justice so that Israel’s Elders came to Samuel at Ramah complaining about them and demanding to be given a King to judge us like the Gentiles. Samuel displeased prayed to the Lord Who told him to listen to them for they have decided to reject the Lord as their King and Ruler; for since the Exodus till Samuel they have been rebellious idolaters. In protest he is to warn them of the manner of their King; and Samuel described to Israel that their King will make their children his servants and soldiers, his farmers and merchants, his perfumers, cooks, bakers; he will take their best fields and vineyards and oliveyards to give them to his officers and servants; he will enlist and draft your best children and animals for his service and pleasure and enterprise; and he will tax to take a 10th of your flocks, and make you his servants; so that you will complain to the Lord because of your King, but He will not hear or help you. Israel told Samuel: No, we will have a King over us, like the Gentiles, to judge us, and to lead us in battles. Samuel reported Israel’s words to the Lord, Who told him to do as them have decided. Samuel dismissed Israel to go to their cities.
Benjaminite named Kish (Qish) ben-Abiel ben-Zeror ben-Becorath ben-Aphiah ben-Ben-Jamin, valiant fighter, whose son was Saul, a handsome young man, a foot taller than most Israelites. Kish’s donkeys were lost, and he sent Saul and a servant to find them, who searched the hills of Ephraim and in Shalishah then in Shaalim then in the land of the Benjaminites without finding the donkeys, finally at Zuph Saul told his servant we should return lest his father now worry that they too were lost. Saul’s servant suggested that in this city was a Man of God honorable and whose words come to pass, perhaps he can help. Saul asked what they can offer as a gift to him, and his servant said he had 1/4th a shekel silver-coin; (for it was custom to give the Man of God who was a Prophet as Seer and note here the Prophet-Seer is in Samuel as Judge and Priest) such payment or donations). So ascending to that city they met young maidens going to draw water who informed them the Seer was here and for the people’s sacrifice in the High Place, he can be easily found, for the people will not partake of the sacrifices till he is present to bless. As they drew near Samuel, forewarned by the Lord to anoint the visiting Benjaminite as Prince over Israel and Savior from the Philistines, came toward to them on the way to the High Place. When Samuel saw Saul the Lord said: this man shall have authority over My People. Saul unknowingly asked Samuel where the Seer’s house was; Samuel told Saul he was the Seer, and to go ahead to the High Place, since he must eat with him today; and in the morn he may return home, informed of all on his heart, and not to fret about the donkeys that his father has found; adding is not the desire of Israel on Saul and his father’s house. Saul surprised asked why Samuel said this since his father’s house was insignificant of the smallest tribe of Israel (which we saw in Judges was almost exterminated about 100 years earlier). Samuel seated Saul and his servant at the chief place amid 30 of his guests, and had the cook bring the reserved thigh for Saul to eat. Afterwards they descended the High Place, and Samuel talked with Saul on the housetop. Early the next day Samuel awoke Saul and told him to send his servant ahead; and he related to him the Word of God.
Samuel poured from a vial oil on Saul’s head, and kissed him saying: The Lord has anointed him to be Prince over His Inheritance; and he will meet by Rachel’s sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah two men, who will tell him that his father’s donkeys are found, and he is looking for his son. Then at the Oak of Tabor he will meet three men on the way to Beth-El, with 3 kids and 3 loaves of bread and a bottle of wine; they will greet him and offer him two loaves, which he must take; afterwards at the Hill of God near the garrison of the Philistines, near the city he will meet a band of prophets descending the High Place with musical instruments in processions while prophesying; and the Lord’s Spirit will change him and cause him to prophesy; and at that time act for God Who is with him; afterwards to wait for Samuel at Gilgal for the sacrifices and offerings to the Lord. Saul departed and met a band of prophets and the Spirit of God caused him to prophesy with them, so that the people asked if Saul ben-Kish was also a prophet, but who is his Father (Master). So he ended his prophesying and came to the High Place. Saul’s uncle (Abner’s father) asked the servant where they went, he told him of the donkeys and Samuel, and he wanted to know what Samuel said, so Saul related about the donkeys but withheld the details of the Kingdom. Samuel assembled the People to the Lord at Mizpah, telling that the God of Israel saved them from Egypt and the kingdoms that oppressed them, yet Israel has rejected their Savior God for a human King. So he gathered the tribes of Israel and chose Benjamin, and of all the families of the Benjaminites he selected the Matrites, and of them Saul ben-Kish, but he could not be found; but the Lord revealed that he was hiding, so they brought him out and he stood taller than all the people. Samuel told the people this is King the Lord has chosen, and Israel shouted Life to the King; so Samuel described the manner of the Kingdom and wrote it in a Book and deposited before the Lord. Samuel dismissed the People. Saul returned home to Gibeah attended by a host whose hearts God had touched, but some worthless fellows voiced doubt and despised him, not giving any token gifts, but he kept quiet.
Nahash the Ammonite encamped against Jabesh-Gilead, but they tried to make a covenant to serve him; but he stipulated that they put out their right eyes as a reproach to Israel; the Elders of Jabesh ask for 7 days to send messengers to Israel’s borders for help, and if none, they will comply. The messengers (angels) came to Gibeah of Saul and related the crisis, and the people cried. Saul heard and asked and was told the details; then God’s Spirit came upon Saul and he was enraged. He took a yoke of oxen and cut them into pieces and sent the pieces throughout the borders of Israel, saying so will happen to their oxen if they refuse to muster to Saul and Samuel. The Lord’s dread was on the people who rallied as one man. Israel was numbered in Bezek some 300,000, and of Judah 30,000. They sent the messengers back with words of promise to Jabesh-Gilead of deliverance the next day. They in turn told the Ammonites the next day they’ll come out as they demanded. Saul divided the host into 3 divisions, and early attacked and slaughtered all the Ammonites. Some called for the men who mocked Saul as King to be put to death, but Saul prevented them since it is the Lord’s deliverance in Israel. Samuel then took Israel to Gilgal to renew the Kingdom and inaugurate Saul as King; and they offered sacrifices in gladness to the Lord.
Samuel said to Israel concerning their new King and called them to witness against him as wronging and abusing them, and they said he has never defrauded or oppressed them or taken a bribe. So he confirmed their testimony before the Lord and the King of his innocence. Samuel testified to Israel: The Lord by Moses and Aaron delivered Israel from Egypt by righteous acts after they cried to Him, and brought them to this Place. Israel forgot Him, and He sold them to Sisera of Hazor, to Philistines, and to Moab; who fought them, and made them cry to the Lord confessing their sins and idolatry; He sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jepthah, and Samuel to save them. (Tolah and Jair were both Gileadites, like Jepthah ((‘Bedan is named as the deliverer of Israelites in 1 Samuel 12:11. (compare 1st Chron. 7:14-17; compare Num. 26; 27; 32). He is not mentioned elsewhere as a judge of Israel. Bp. Patrick and others hypothesis the name to be a contraction of ben Dan (ben-Dan) by which they suppose Samson is meant, as the Targum reads. The LXX, Syriac, and Arabic, however, refer to the name as Barak, instead of Bedan; and the two latter versions refer to Samson, instead of Samuel. These readings are adopted by Houbigant, and appear to be genuine, for it is not probable (except as quoted or cited by the Lord and spoken by another) that Samuel would enumerate himself.” The Study Bibles cite the reading from the LXX and the Pesh., settling that Bedan = Barak, and Samuel = Samson; Bullinger offers a soft reason from Hebrew similarity and Dake adds his interpretation to that, and as usual without credit or referral; the Net Bible gives two notes on the reading and rendering; some even translate Barak and Samson as the text, without a note or comment. Here is William Smith’s Bible Dictionary (1863) entry: “BE’DAN (bedan; Badan), mentioned 1 Sam. 12:11, as a Judge of Israel between Jerubbaal (Gideon) and Jephthah. As no such name occurs in the Book of Judges, various conjectures have been formed as to the person meant, most of which are discussed in Pole (Synopsis, in loc.). Some maintain him to be the Jair mentioned in Judg. 10: 3, who, it must then be supposed, was also called Bedan to distinguish him from the older Jair, son of Manasseh, (Num. 32: 41), a Bedan being actually named among the descendants of Manasseh in 1 Chron. 7: 17. The Chaldee Paraphrast rends Samson for Bedan in 1 Sam. 12: 11, and many suppose Bedan to be another name for Samson, either a contraction of BenDan (the son of Dan or Danite), or else meaning in or into Dan (be) with a reference to Judg. 13: 25. Neither explanation of the word is very probable, or defended by any analogy, and the order of the names does not agree with the supposition that Bedan is Samson, so that there is no real argument for it except the authority of the Paraphrast. The LXX., Syr., and Arab, all have Barak, a very probable correction except for the order of the names. Ewald suggests that it may be a false reading for Abdon. Alter all, as it is clear that the Book of Judges is not a complete record of the period of which it treats, it is possible that Bedan was one of the Judges whose names are not preserved in it, and so may perhaps be compared with the Jael of Judg. 5: 6, who was probably also a Judge, though we know nothing about the subject except from Deborah’s song. The only objection to this view is, that as Bedan is mentioned with Gideon, Jephthah, and Samuel, he would seem to have been an important Judge, and therefore not likely to be omitted in the history. The same objection applies in some degree to the views which identify him with Abdon or Jair, who are but cursorily mentioned. [G.E.L.C.]”))). When Nahash the king of the Ammonites attacked, Israel insisted on greeting a King to rule though the Lord God was their King. So now you have your chosen King; to fear the Lord, to serve and fear and listen to Him, not rejecting His commandment, and following Him; and if not His hand will be against you and your king. Samuel to Israel called in the wheat-harvest for the Lord to make it rain with thunders and lightening; that they know and see that their rejection of the Lord for a King was wickedness; and it was so, and they feared the Lord and Samuel. Israel asked Samuel to pray for them in this great sin against the Lord; and He bid them to fear not but to continue to serve Him with all their heart, for the Lord will not forsake them for His great name’s sake, since He was pleased to make them His People. Samuel assured them he would not sin against the Lord to neglect to pray for them and to instruct them in the good and right way; but only that they fear and serve Him whole heartedly in truth, considering His ways; and if they do wickedly He will destroy them and their king.
Saul (ben-shanah Saul) ruled Israel, the 2nd year he mustered 3,000 fighters, 2,000 with him at Michmash and a mount of Bethel, 1,000 with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin [this suggests Saul some 40 years old and Jonathan about 20]; and he dismissed the rest of the hosts. Jonathan struck the Philistine’s garrison at Geba, then Saul sounded the trumpet for the Hebrews to hear; so Israel thought that Saul had defeated the Philistines, and they hated Israel; Israel gathered to Saul at Gilgal. The Philistines mustered 30,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and a mighty host at Michmash east of Beth-Aven. Israel distressed hid in everywhere; and some went across the Jordan to Gad and Gilead; the rest was with Saul at Gilgal trembling. He waited 7 days as Samuel ordered, but Samuel did not show up, and they people scattered; so Saul offered the sacrifices himself. Samuel arrived and Saul went to meet him. Samuel asked him what he was doing; he said that he was afraid in Samuel’s delay so he offered to the Lord for His protection. Samuel rebuked him for such foolishness and disobedience, and now his kingdom will not be established permanently; rather the Lord has found him a man after His own heart, and appointed him to be Prince over the People, because of Saul’s disobedience. Samuel left Gilgal to go to Gibeah of Benjamin; Saul with 600 men with Jonathan and some of the people stayed at Geba of Benjamin while the Philistines were at Michmash. The Philistine fighters (spoilers) moved in 3 companies: one toward Ophrah of Shual, second to Beth-Horon, and 3rd to the desert of the valley of Zeboim. (Now Israel had no smiths or iron-workers or tool-sharpeners, except some sharpening files, because the Philistines were afraid that the Hebrews would make weapons; thus most the people had no iron weapons, except for Saul and Jonathan.) The troops of the Philistines restationed to the passage of Michmash.
Jonathan and his armor-bearer decided to get near the garrison of the Philistines, but had not informed his father Saul, who was still at Gibeah by the pomegranate-tree of Migron; with Ahijah ben-Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, ben-Phineas ben-Eli the Lord’s Priest in Shiloh, wearing the Ephod. Jonathan was between two passes of rocky crags, Bozez and Saneh., one north before Michmash, the other south before Geba. Johnathan told his armor-bearer that they should attack the uncircumcised Philistines for the Lord saves by few or many, and he agreed to go. They went and plotted to test for a sign if they should wait or advance by asking the fighters if they should come or stay for the battle; the Philistines replied thinking the Hebrews were coming out of their hiding places to fight, so bid them come on, to teach them; thus Johnathan took it as the Lord’s answer of victory. They crept into the garrison and killed about 20 men in distance of 1/2 a furrow of 1/2 acre; causing great fear and confusion in the camp, and the earth quaked. Saul’s watchmen of Gibeah of Benjamin saw the Philistines dwindle in numbers being routed; he asked who was missing from his fighters and was told Jonathan and his armorbearer. Saul told Ahijah to bring the Ark of God, and while he talked with the Priest the Philistines continued their tumult, Saul told Ahijah to withdraw his hand (that is from the breastplate of the lots of the Urim & Thumim); when Saul and his men came to the camp the Philistines were slaughtering themselves in confusion. The Hebrews allied to the Philistines then deserted and aligned themselves with Israel; and the Israelites in hiding came out to take part in the battle.; the Lord saved Israel, and the battle spread to Beth-aven. But Israeli fighters became hungry because Saul had cursed and banned anyone from eating till the evening till he was avenged. The people came to the forest and Jonathan tasted some wild honey not knowing Saul’s curse, but the men refused fearing the King’s oath; Jonathan objected to Saul’s ban as troublesome and deprived the men their portion from the spoils. They continued to fight from Michmash to Aijalon, and the people flew in craze upon the spoil, eating animals raw with blood. Saul was told, and he ordered a great stone be rolled for the sin; then he dispersed men throughout the camp to order every man to bring their animals to be slaughtered before him to prevent their eating blood meat; and he built an Altar to the Lord. Saul desired to pursue the Philistines to complete destruction and his men agreed, but he asked counsel from God, but He answered not; so he demanded of the chiefs what is this sin, but none answered; Saul swore that even if the sin is in Jonathan his son, as the Lord lives, he shall die. Saul set Israel on one side and he and his son on the other, and cast lots, and he and Jonathan was taken; he cast lots between them, and Jonathan was taken. Saul demanded what he had done, Jonathan related about the honey, and Saul was determined to kill him for violating the ban; but the people rescued Jonathan from death saying he shall not die for he worked with God to save Israel. So Saul abandoned his pursuit, and the Philistines went home. Now Saul in his kingdom over Israel defeated Moab, Ammon, Edom, the Kings of Zobah, the Kings of the Philistines, and wherever he turned; he was valiant against the Amalekites, delivering Israel from his spoilers. His sons were Johnathan, Ishvi, and Malchishua; his daughters were Merab the older, and Michal the younger; his wife was Ahinoam bath-Ahimaaz; his general was Abner ben-Ner, Saul’s uncle; Kish (Qish) was his father; and Ner, ab-Abner, was ben-Abiel. (Now the Philistines warred against Israel through Saul’s reign; and whenever he found a mighty man or valiant or brave man, he enlisted him.
Samuel told Saul how the Lord sent him to anoint him as King over Israel, now listen to the voice of the Lord’s words to destroy completely Amalek and all that belongs to them for their assault on Israel after the Exodus. Saul mustered 200,000 footmen of Israel, and from Judah 10,000; he came to the City of Amalek in ambush; he told the Kenites to depart lest they be destroyed, for they showed kindness to Israel after the Exodus. So Saul struck the Amalekites from Havilah going towards Shur before Egypt; he took Agag the King of the Amalekites as hostage, but utterly destroyed the people, but spared Agag and the best of the animals and good things, only destroying the useless or worthless things. The Lord’s words came to Samuel: I regret making Saul king, for he has stopped following Me and disobeyed My commands; and Samuel was angry and cried to the Lord all night. Samuel went to meet Saul early next morn, but was told that Saul came to Carmel and set up a monument, but went to Gilgal. Samuel went to Saul and greeted him in the Lord and declared his obedience; but Samuel asked what the noise of the animals was; he told him it was the Lord’s sacrifices from the slaughter of the Amalekites. Samuel told Saul to stay to hear what the Lord told me tonight: When you were little in your sight, the Lord made you Head of Tribes of Israel and anointed you King of Israel; He sent you on a journey to utterly exterminate the sinners, the Amalekites; but you have disobeyed, and fly upon the spoils, and did evil before Me. Saul replied defending his actions and excusing the people’s actions. Samuel replied that the Lord delights in obedience than animal sacrifices (ritual worship), for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness (self-will) as idolatry and idols; since Saul rejected the Lord’s word, He has rejected him as King. Saul confessed his sin and asked forgiveness from him, and that he go with him to worship the Lord, but Samuel refused and turned away, but Saul grabbed his skirt and it was torn; thus Samuel said the Lord has torn away the Kingdom or Monarchy and given it to a better neighbor: the Strength of Israel will not lie or repent as if a man. Saul insisted that Samuel honor him with his presence in prayer before the Elders and the People in worship. Samuel yielded, and Saul worshipped the Lord. Samuel called for Agag who thought death was past; but Samuel said as he made mothers’ childless so too his mother would be, and he cut him in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal. Then he returned to Ramah, and Saul to Gibeah; Samuel never saw Saul again till his death but mourned for Saul whom the Lord rejected.
The Lord told Samuel stop mourning Saul, take a horn of oil and anoint one of the sons of Jesse the Beth-lehemite; but Saul said Saul will kill him; so told him to take a sacrifice for the Lord, and invite Jesse; so he came to Beth-lehem, and the Elders in fear asked if it was in peace, and he replied in peace, to sacrifice to the Lord, sanctify yourselves for the sacrifice, and he sanctified Jesse and his sons. Samuel saw Eliab and thought he was the Lord’s anointed, but the Lord said not to look on the outward features for the Lord looks at the heart. Jesse then showed him Abinadab, then Shammah, then his other sons, but the Lord did not choose them. Samuel asked if he had any other sons, and he said his youngest was watching the sheep. Samuel told him to fetch the boy, then he took him to Samuel, who saw he was ruddy and handsome, and the Lord told him to anoint this boy. Samuel anointed David witnessed by his brothers. The Spirit of the Lord thence moved upon David. Samuel returned to Ramah. The Spirit of the Lord left Saul and a evil spirit from the Lord troubled him; his servants suggested to rid the evil spirit from God by a skilled harpist playing when he was oppressed; and Saul agreed; they suggested young David who also was brave fighter and prudent and handsome and favored of the Lord. Saul sent messengers (angels) to Jesse to send to him David the shepherd youth. Jesse sent him to Saul with a donkey loaded with bread and wine, and a kid. David stood before Saul who loved him, and he became his armorbearer; and he told Jesse he wants to keep David as favored. When Saul was troubled by the evil spirit from God David played and Saul was refreshed, and the spirit departed.
The Philistines gathered to battle at Socoh of Judah and encamped at Ephes-dammim between Socoh and Azekah. Saul and Israel encamped in the Vale of Elah; the Philistines on one mountain and Israel on another, a valley lay between them. A Philistine man, a champion (ish-habenaim), Goliath of Gath, 6 cubits 1 span (some 9 feet) tall, with a helmet of brass on his head, wearing a coat of mail, an armor weighing some 5,000 brass-shekels, with greave leggings of brass, a brass javelin between his shoulders, his spear staff was like a weaver’s beam weighing 600 iron-shekels, and his shield-bearer before him ((“5,000 shekels (of brass or otherwise) is equal to approximately 125 lbs or 2000 ounces. Example: 1 talent= 60 maneh (mina)= 3,000 shekels = about 75 lbs or 1200 oz (little less than half ounce per shekel 0.4 oz) 1 maneh= 50 shekels= 100 beka= 1,000 gerahs= about 20 ounces or 1 lb 4 ounces, one beka or a half shekel is about equivalent to the weight of a US Jefferson 5¢ coin.)) ((125 + 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 + 50 = armor items = some 275 pounds of armory)). Goliath shouted out a challenge to Israel and Saul that one man be sent to fight him and if he kills him then the Philistines will serve Israel, but if he kills him then Israel must serve the Philistines; he defied Israel with these words. Saul and Israel were dismayed in fear. Now David was son of Jesse an Ephrathite of Beth-lehem-Judah, father of 8 sons, very old at this time. His 3 oldest sons (Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah) fought for Saul; but David was his youngest. David went from Saul to Jesse, back and forth, to tend his father’s flocks at Beth-lehem. The Philistines taunted Israel for 40 days. Jesse sent David to his brothers encamped with ephah of parched grain and 10 loaves of bread, along with 10 cheeses to the captains of their 1,000; to see how his brothers fared and their report or pledge. Saul and his men fought with the Philistines in the Vale of Elath; David leaving his sheep with a keeper, went early has he was instructed, and came to the place of the wagons (supply wagons) and the armies were marching to fight with battle shouts. The hosts faced off, and David leaving his baggage (provisions) with a keeper, he ran to the battle field to greet his brothers. Goliath again came forth with his challenge, and David heard his words. The fighters of Israel in fear talked with each other, and mentioned that the King will enrich anyone who defeats Goliath, and offer him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel. So David asked concerning the King’s words and offer, and replied who was this uncircumcised Philistine to defy the armies of the living God; and the men in turn repeated the reward. Eliab his oldest brother heard and reproached him as a proud brat, deserting the flocks, desiring to see the battle; but David objected and turned to the men repeating his words. His words were rehearsed to Saul who had him brought to him; and he said to Saul no one need fear, he would go and fight the Philistine; Saul told him he cannot fight him for he was but a boy, and he Goliath was a man of war from his youth. David replied that when a lion or bear took a lamb from the flock he went after him to save the lamb and took it by the beard and killed it., both lion and bear; and so will do to this uncircumcised Philistine who has defied the armies of the living God; so as the Lord delivered me from the paws of the lion and bear, so He’ll deliver me from the hand of this Philistine; so Saul permitted him to go and the Lord be with him. Saul clad David with clothes, brass helmet, coat of mail, and girded with a sword; but David could not move easily for it was not proved, so he told Saul he could use these, and took them off. David took his staff, chose 5 smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s bag in his wallet pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he drew near the Philistine. The Philistine with his shield-carrier ahead in front advanced towards David, and when he saw him he disdained him with his pretty features, asking if he was a dog that David came to him with sticks; and he cursed David by his gods; telling David to come to him that he might feed the birds and beasts with his flesh. David shouted back that the Philistine came with sword, spear, and javelin, but he came in the name of the Lord of hosts (Jehovah Tsabaoth), the God of Israel’s armies whom he defied; and today the Lord will deliver the Philistine into David’s hand to kill him, cut off his head, feed the birds and beasts with the carcases of the Philistines, that all the earth may know there is a God in Israel, and all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give him into Israel’s hands. The Philistine moved closer to David, David quickly ran toward the army to meet him, and took a stone from his bag and slingged it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, and the stone sunk into his forehead and he dropped dead. David did not have a sword, so he ran and stood over the Philistine and drew his own sword from his sheath and cut off his head. The Philistines saw their champion was dead and they fled, but Israel and Judah pursued them with shouts to Gai and to Ekron, and the wounded fell along the way to Shaaraim to Gath and to Ekron. Israel then returned and plundered their camp. David took the head of Goliath the Philistine to Jerusalem, but but his armor in his tent. Saul afterwards asked Abner his general whose son was this youth, and Abner said he had no idea; so Saul asked Abner to find out; so Abner found David after his return and brought him to Saul, who asked him, and he answered that he was the son of his servant Jesse the Beth-lehemite.
Saul’s son Jonathan was knit in love in soul to David; Saul enlisted David as his servant; Jonathan covenanted with David, clothed him in his own robe, sword, bow and girdle. David went as Saul sent him, behaved wisely, and he set him over the men of war, and the people and Saul’s servants were pleased. When David returned from the defeat of the Philistines the women from the cities of Israel celebrated with songs and dance to meet Saul with musical instruments, singing Saul slayed his 1,000s and David his 10,000s. Saul was angry and displeased that they ascribed 10,000s to David but to him only 1,000s; and what is left but the kingdom for him. Saul eyed David ever after; and the next day an evil spirit from God visited him in his house, and he prophesied while David played as usual, and he threw a spear at David to kill him, and again at another time. Saul was obsessed with fear of David (phobic insanity) for the Lord was with him and He had abandoned Saul. Saul then reassigned David to military field service as captain over 1,000s, marching to and from, conducting himself wisely and favored by the Lord, so that Saul was in awe; and Israel and Judah loved David as a leader. Saul then offered David his oldest daughter Merab as a bride if he would show himself brave in in fighting the Lord’s battles, thinking that in this way he will die in war rather than by Saul. But David replied to Saul why should he be considered of such honor to be the King’s son-in-law; and in time when Merab should have been given to David she was given in marriage to Adriel the Meholathite. But Saul’s daughter Michal, loved David, and Saul heard and was pleased, saying he would let him marry her that she might be a snare to him, and that he might die fighting the Philistines. So again Saul offered David the chance of becoming the King’s son-in-law; and he urged his servants to commend David to accept the King’s offer being loved and favored by all. David objected to the servants that they treated it easy and small matter for a poor and simple man should be the King’s son-in-law. The servants related his answer to the King, who in turn demanded only a dowry of 100 foreskins of the Philistines as vengeance against his enemies, thinking thus will he die. They told David who was pleased, and in the time allotted went with his men and slew 200 Philistines, and he presented to the the King the foreskin dowry; so Saul married off his daughter to David. Saul saw and knew the Lord was with David; and Michal loved him; and he became more afraid (paranoid), and was his enemy continually. The Philistines Princes went forth, and David responded more wisely than all Saul’s servants so that his name was famous and respected.
Saul solicited David’s death from his son and his servants; Jonathan related to David that his father sought to kill him, so he told him to be careful, and to hide himself, and he will talk to Saul of David and see his father’s response and then tell David. Jonathan defended David as a faithful and good servant, a great warrior favored by the Lord, and innocent of any wrong against the King. Saul reconsidered and agreed and swore that David will not be put to death. So Jonathan told David, and brought him back, and he was in the King’s presence as before. Again the Philistines made war, and David defeated them again; but an evil spirit from the Lord caused Saul to throw a spear at David while he played, but he got away again, and fled. Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch and kill him, so Michal urged him to escape that night, and she let him down through the window; she then took a teraphim idol and laid it in David’s bed covered, and when Saul’s servants came she told them he was sick in bed; they told Saul and he ordered them to bring him in bed to him that he might slay him. The messengers came and found a teraphim idol in bed with goat’s hair at the head. Saul demanded from Michal why she deceived him and let his enemy escape, she replied he threatened to kill her. David escaped to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul did, so they went to stay in Naioth. Saul was told, and he sent messenger’s to Naioth in Ramah, but when they saw the company of prophets led by Samuel, the Spirit of God made the messengers of Saul prophesy, so Saul sent other messengers, but they too prophesied, and then the 3rd time with the same result; so Saul went to Ramah near the great well in Secu and asked for Samuel and David, and was told they were in Naioth of Ramah, and as he went the Spirit of God made him prophecy up to Naioth, and he stripped naked while he prophesied that day and night. So people asked if Saul also was one of the prophets.
David fled Naioth of Ramah and came to Jonathan asking for what wrong Saul sought his death; he replied that its not true, his father would have disclosed it to him; but David swore it was so, and Saul knowing that it would grieve Jonathan he hid his intent; he agreed to do whatever David asked; David said to him that tomorrow on the new moon he must sit at the King’s table, but he will hide himself for three days, and if he notice, tell him that he requested to go to his city Bethlehem for a yearly family sacrifice, and if he says its good, then there is peace; but if he is angry, he intends evil. Since we have a mutual covenant in the Lord then slay me rather than wait for your father. Jonathan objected and said he will tell him his father’s intent; David asks how, and he said let’s go into the field and he said good or bad he will tell him. He promised David, and asked the same kindness from David towards his house and family; so they both swore and reaffirmed the covenant before the Lord. He told David to hide in the field for 3 days near the stone Ezel, and on the 3rd day he would shoot 3 arrows toward the the place, then will tell his servant to fetch the arrows by saying the arrows are on this side, then there is peace all is well; but if he says the arrows are beyond you, then David must go for the Lord is sending him away. The King sat to eat at the new moon, he was seated by the wall as usual, Jonathan stood, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, Saul notice David’s place was empty but thought maybe he was unclean, The next evening he asked of David, and Jonathan told, and Saul was enraged and accused him as a son of a perverse rebellious woman that has chosen the son of Jesse to his shame and his mother’s nakedness; and that his kingdom will never be established while he lives; and he demanded David be brought and killed. Jonathan protested that David has done nothing worthy of death; Saul threw a spear at him, so he knew his father was determined to kill David; and he arose in rage and ate nothing, grieved for David and for his father shaming him. In the morn he and a lad went to the field as he promised and did as they agreed; he then gave his weapons to the boy and sent him back to the city. David surfaced from the South and bowed 3 times, and they hugged and kissed and cried. Jonathan bid him to go in peace in the Lord’s name, and may He be with their offspring for ever; and David departed, and Jonathan returned home.
David came to Ahimelech the Priest at Nob, who greeted in fear and caution; David relates to him that he is on secret errand from the King, and in a hurry took no food, and he asks if any bread was on hand; the Priest had no common bread, but offered him holy bread (the Show-Bread of Presentation to the Lord) soon to be exchanged for fresh hot loaves, only if the men have abstained for 3 days from their women (sexual pollutions); David assures him none of them have been near women for 3 days, and the men’s vessels were holy when they left. Now Saul’s servant Doeg the Edomite, his chief of his herdsmen, was detained before the Lord that day. David asked Ahimelech for any spear or sword on hand, and he only had the sword of Goliath the Philistine who David slew, wrapped in cloth and placed behind the Ephod; David said there is none like it, so he took it, and fled in fear of Saul to Achish the King of Gath. Achish’s servants said to him, is this the David that they celebrate in songs that Saul slew 1000s but David his 10,000s; David wondered and worried of Achish; he then acted insane with erratic motions at the city-gate, spit drooling on his beard; so Achish asked why such a madman was brought to him.
David then escaped to the Cave of Adullam, and his relatives and family went to him; any who were distressed or discontented joined him, some 400 men. He then removed to Mizpeh of Moab (David’s great great grand-mother was a Moabitess), and he requested of the King of Moab asylum for his kin folks till he knew what might do for him; they stayed there while David hid in the Stronghold (Fortress). The Prophet Gad told David to leave the Fortress and go to Judah; so he went to Hereth. Saul, while sitting under a tamarisk-tree in Ramah of Gibeah, holding his spear with his men, heard David and his men was discovered. Saul accused his servants as Benjaminite traitors conspiring to get rewarded and promoted as captains by the son of Jesse, so no one has felt sorry for Saul to reveal that his son has plotted with his servant waiting to attack him. Doeg the Edomite standing near Saul’s servants, informed the King that he saw and heard that the son of Jesse came to Ahimelech ben-Ahitub the Priest, who inquired of the Lord for him, gave him food, and the sword of Goliath. Saul summoned Ahimelech the Priest and his house, the priests of Nob; Saul demanded why he has conspired against the King and help David the rebel. The Priest Ahimelech replied that who is as faithful to Saul as David the King’s son-in-law, of the King’s council, and honorable in the King’s house; and it’s not now he has inquired of God for him, it is not so, I know nothing of any of this. The King sentenced Ahimelech and his house to death; and he ordered the guard to execute the Lord’s priests, but his servants refused to slay the Lord’s priests; so he ordered Doeg the Moabite to do it, and so he did killing all 85 priests wearing linen ephods. He also smote Nob, the city of the priests, slaughtering every living animal or persons. But Abiathar, Ahimelech’s son, escaped and related all to David; David said I knew that day that Doeg the Edomite would tell Saul; I have caused the death of all your father’s house; stay with me without fear and in safety, for he who seeks my life seeks your life.
David was told the Philistines were fighting Keilah and robbing the threshing-floors; he inquired of the Lord Who told him to go save Keilah; but David’s men voiced their fears in Judah how much more with the armies of the Philistines; he again inquired of the Lord, again He told him to go, for He will deliver the Philistines into his hands. David and his men fought the Philistines and slaughtered them, taking their cattle, and saved Keilah. Now Abiathar ben-Ahimelech had brought with him an Ephod. Saul was told that David was at Keilah, so he said alas God has delivered him into his hands, for he is imprisoned in a town with gates and bars. Saul summoned all the people to war against David at Keilah. and they besieged them. David had Abiathar bring forth the Ephod; he asked the Lord if the people of Keilah will hand him over to Saul; and He answered yes. David and his 600 men left Keilah; Saul heard, and gave up the chase. David stayed in the wilderness of Ziph, and God did not let Saul capture him. Jonathan went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God, assuring him that Saul will not find him, and that David will be King over Israel and Jonathan will be next to him, as Saul knows. Again they renewed their covenant, then he returned home, and David stayed in the woods. The Ziphites told Saul David was hid in the fortress in the woods, in the Hill of Hachilah, south of the desert. They invited Saul to come get him as he desired, and they will deliver him to the King; and Saul blessed them in the Lord for their compassion. Saul asked them to make certain David’s whereabouts, his hiding places, and movements, then return with the intelligence, and he will come and hunt him anywhere he runs, to the thousands of Judah. So they returned to Ziph ahead of Saul; but David was now in the desert of Maon in the Arabah south of the desert. So Saul went after David in the desert of Maon by a mountain side, David and his his men on the other side, in flight, Saul and his men compassed them on all sides. Then news came to Saul that the Philistines had raided the land; so Saul gave up the pursuit, and went to fight with the Philistines; the place was thus called Sela-ham-mahlekoth (Rock of Division). David repositioned to the fortresses of En-gedi.
Saul returned from fighting the Philistines and was told David was in the wilderness of En’gedi; and he took 3,000 chosen men of Israel to seek David and his men among the rocks of the wild goats; and came to the sheepfolds by the way, near a cave, where Saul went to cover his feet. David and his men were in the innermost of the cave; his men wanted David to kill Saul as the Lord promised to deliver him into his hands; but he only cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe quietly. David was grieved for this action, saying the Lord forbid that I shout mistreat the Lord’s anointed; thus he checked his men’s desire against Saul. Saul arose and went on his way; then David followed and shouted out : my Lord the King; Saul turned around to see David bowing face down in obeisance; saying to Saul, why he was listening to men’s words that David seeks his hurt; when today the Lord delivered the King into his hand but he would not kill Saul being the Lord’s anointed; and he lifted up Saul’s skirt of his robe in his hand as proof that he is innocent, without evil or transgression or sin, though Saul hunted to slay him. The Lord judge between us, avenge me, but I will not harm thee; as says the ancient proverb: wickedness from the wicked, but my hand shall not touch thee. The King of Israel pursues a dead dog and a flea. The Lord vindicate me rightly. Saul shouted back: is this my son David, and he cried aloud, saying you are more righteous than me, rendering me good for my evil; seeing that you spared my life when the Lord gave you a chance to kill me; for who spares his enemy and let him go free. I know you will be King, and the Kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands; swear to me by the Lord you will not cut off my seed or my name in my father’s house. David swore to Saul; Saul returned home; David and his men went to the fortress.
Samuel died, and all Israel lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. David relocated to the wilderness of Paran. A man, named Nabal (Folly), in Maon was very rich, having some 3,000 sheep, and 1,000 goats, shearing his sheep in Carmel; his wife’s name was Abigail, intelligent and beautiful, but her husband was churlish and an evil doer, and was of the house of Caleb. David sent 10 young men to Nabal to greet him in peace, informing him that he and his men have protected his shepherds without robbery, requesting favor and whatever he could give to help. The men went and related to Nabal David’s words, but he answered roughly: who was the son of Jesse, for many servants are run-aways from their master; that I should give bread and water and my shearer’s meat, to give to nobodies. They returned and reported Nabal’s words to David; he ordered 400 hundred men to girt for war, and 200 to stay with the stuff. Abigail was told by the servants of her husband’s actions and David’s reaction and intent to wipe out Nabal’s house; she quickly took 200 loaves, 2 bottles of wine, 5 prepared sheep, 5 measures of parched grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 fig cakes, all loaded on donkeys. She ordered her young men to ride ahead, and she’ll follow; and she did not tell her husband. As she rode by the covert of the mountain, David came to meet her; voicing his rage and threatened to get revenge on Nabal for his ingratitude and offense, by slaughtering all the males of his house to the last man-child. Abigail dismounted and bowed before David’s feet, asking his wrath be upon her, begging with words and admitting her husband named Nabal which means Folly is true to his name, informing him she did not know when the young men came for help; requesting that David has been kept back from guilt of personal revenge, and may my lord David’s enemies all perish; that he forgive her trespass, for the Lord will establish David’s house, for he fights the Lord’s battles, and thus be free from evil; though men seek to kill him, his soul will be bundled with life with the Lord his God; but the souls of his enemies will be shot out as from a sling’s pouch (mouth); thus when the Lord has appointed David Prince over Israel that this revenge will not grieve or stain his heart; and at that time remember your handmaid. David blessed the Lord for Abigail for her discretion and preventing his vengeful act that he was determined to carry out on Nabal’s house. David received Abigail’s gifts of supplies, dismissing her in peace and favor. Abigail returned to Nabal who held a great feast as a king, got merry and drunk; the next day she told him everything, and he became as a stone; about 10 days later the Lord smote Nabal to death. David heard that the Lord had avenged him of Nabal, and sent for Abigail to be his wife; David’s men came to Abigail with David’s marriage proposal; she in turn offered to become his handmaid to wash his servants feet; but David married her (as his second wife). He married also Ahinoam of Jezreel (as his 3rd wife); for Saul had married off Michal, David’s 1st wife), to Palti ben-Laish of Gallim.
The Ziphites came to Saul in Gibeah informing him that David was hiding in the hill of Hachilah before the desert; Saul went to the wilderness of Ziph with 3,000 select Israelites, and encamped near David’s hide out; David sent spies to verify Saul’s position, then came to Saul’s camp while he rested, near Abner ben-Ner his general, within the place of the wagon supplies, surrounded by the people. David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai ben-Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, to go down with him into Saul’s camp. Abishai volunteered, and they went at night and found Saul sleeping, with his spear by his head stuck in the ground; Abishai wanted David to let him spear Saul to death with one stroke, for God has delivered his enemy to him; but David told them not to touch the Lord’s anointed and be guilty. He said the Lord will one day smite him, or by chance die in battle; but only take his spear and the cruse of water; Saul and his men were in deep sleep caused by the Lord. David went over the other side opposite Saul and shouted out to the people and to Abner; Abner in turn asked who was shouting to the King; David replied that Abner deserved death for not guarding the life of his King and Master, the Lord’s anointed; and showed the King’s spear and cruse as proof. Saul recognized David’s voice, and spoke; David asked why was he seeking to kill him, and petitioned the King to accept a peace offering, and let the sons of men be cursed by the Lord for driving him out from the Lord’s inheritance to serve idols; and that David not perish outside Israel as a flea or a hunted partridge in the mountains. Saul responded that he sinned, that David return without harm, because he spared the King’s life, for he has played the fool and sinned. David asked the King to let a young man come fetch the King’s spear; and may the Lord repay each man his righteousness and faithfulness, and as I have regarded the King’s life, the Lord’s anointed, may He regard and preserve me from all trouble. So Saul blessed David to do mightily and prevail; and David departed but Saul returned home.
David said in his heart that one day he will perish by the hand of Saul; its best that I escape to the land of the Philistines that Saul give up pursuing me in the borders of Israel. David and 600 men passed over to Achish ben-Maoch, King of Gath, along with all their households, and David’s two wives. Saul heard and stopped chasing David. David asked favor from King Achish to settle in a city in the country away from the King’s royal city; so he gave him Ziglag, which belongs to Judah to this day (perhaps Solomon’s time and after). Now David stayed in the country of the Philistines 1 year 4 months. He and his men made raids on the Geshurites, Girzites, and Amalekites, for they inhabited the land anciently, from Shur to Egypt; he slaughtered the people, taking the livestock and clothes, then returned to Achish. He asked David of his recent raids, and he said on South of Judah, and South of Jerahmeelites, and South of the Kenites; sparing no person that could tell of his manner in the country of the Philistines. Achish believed David, saying he has made himself odious to his people, and he will be my servant forever.
Now in those days the Philistines mustered their armies for warfare against Israel; and Achish told David he and his men will join him in the battle; David agreed, and Achish said he’ll be my body guard. Samuel was dead and buried in Ramah, while Israel mourned. Saul had put away those of familiar spirits and wizards from the land. The Philistines were encamped in Shunem, and Saul and Israel were in Gilboa; he was afraid of the Philistines’ host; and he inquired of the Lord, but He answered not by dreams or Urim or prophets. So Saul demanded that a woman with a familiar spirit be brought to him; he was told that there is such a woman at En-dor; he went disguised to her by night, and asked her to divine by the familiar spirit and bring up the one he names. The woman said that Saul has cut off the witches and wizards from Israel, why is he trying to snare her life to die. Saul swore to her by the Lord that she would not be punished; so she asked who he wished to be brought up; he said Samuel; when she saw Samuel she screamed at Saul that he has deceived her; the King calmed her not to fear, but tell him what she saw; she said she sees a god rising from the earth; Saul asked of his form; she said a old man dressed in a robe; so Saul perceived it was Samuel, and he bowed in homage. Samuel asked Saul why he disturbed him to bring him up; Saul said that he was distressed for the Philistines at war with him, and God has departed from him and will not communicate with him by any means; that I might known what will happen. Samuel told Saul since God has deserted him and become his adversary; He is fulfilling His words that He spoke by Samuel, that the Lord has rent the Kingdom from Saul and given it to David; because Saul disobeyed the Lord’s voice in not executing His wrath on Amalek. The Lord will deliver Israel with Saul into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow Saul and his sons will be with Samuel. Saul immediately fell flat face down on the ground at these words, having no strength not having eaten that day and night; so the woman pleaded with Saul to grant her favor for doing as he wished, and to eat some bread to be strengthened for his journey; but he refused, but his servants and the woman prevailed to persuade him, so he sat up on the bed, while she took the calf and killed it, and prepared unleavened bread, and they all ate, then departed.
The Philistines hosts were in Aphek and Israel was encamped in Jezreel; and the Lords of Philistines crossed on by 100s and by 1,000s; David and his men passed on rearward with Achish; the Princes of the Philistines objected to Hebrews’ presence; Achish told them David the ex-servant of Saul Israel’s servant, has been these days and years faithful and loyal. The Princes protested in anger, and told Achish to send David away from the battle lest they turn against us in the fighting to reconcile himself to Saul; for it this David that they sing and dance that Saul slew his 1,000s and David 10,000s. Achish told David that though, as the Lord lives, he has been upright and loyal in everything; yet the Lords of the Philistines, demand he turn back ; David replied that he is loyal and ready to fight all the enemies of the Lord and King Achish; he in turn agreed that David as been good, as angel of God; but the Lord insist. Achish ordered David and his men to return at early light in the morn; so David returned to the land of the Philistines in Ziklag; but the Philistines moved on to Jezreel.
David returns to Ziklag on the 3rd day to find that the Amalekites had raided the South, and attacked Ziklag and burned it, taking the women and children captive with them. David and his men cried and shouted for their families, and David’s two wives were taken captive also; he was in great distress for the people talked of stoning him in their grief; but David strengthened himself in the Lord. He asked the Priest Abiathar to bring the Ephod and inquire of the Lord if he should pursue the troop; and was told to pursue and overtake them, and recover all. David and the 600 men advanced to the brook Besor, then left 200 men to guard the stuff because they were exhausted, he and 400 continued. They found an Egyptian in the field famished, they fed with bread and fig-cakes and gave him water to drink, for he had not eaten or had water for 3 days. David asked and was told he was an Egyptian a servant to an Amalekite, who left him sick 3 days ago; that they had raided the South of the Cherethites in Judah, and the South of Caleb, and burnt Ziklag. David asked if he could lead them to this troop; he made them swore to not kill him nor hand him over to his master, and he will lead them to them. They came to the Amalekites who were spread out eating, drinking, and dancing for all the spoils they had gotten from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. So David smote and slaughtered them from that evening to the next evening, killing all except for 400 who escaped on camels.; thus he recovered all, his wives, the women and children, the cattle and goods; and they called it David’s spoil. They returned to the brook Besor to the 200 men guarding the stuff; then so base wicked men said that the 200 men who stayed behind should get nothing of the spoils save their own wives and children. David protested not so, for the Lord gave us and preserved us and defeated the troop that came against us; we must share alike all with those who went to battle and with those who stayed with the baggage; thus David made from that day a statute and ordinance for Israel to share equally the spoils of war. When they came to Ziklad David sent gifts and presents of the Lord of the spoils to the Elders and his friends, to them in Beth-El, in Ramoth of the South, in Jattir, in Aroer, in Siphmoth, in Eshtemoa, in Racal, in the cities of the Kenites, in Hormah, in Bor-ashan, in Athach, in Hebron, and to all the hiding places of David.
The Philistines defeated Israel at Mount Gilboa, and they pursued Saul and his sons and killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishua; and the battled increased and Saul was distressed by the archers; and he commanded his armorbearer to slay him with the sword, for he was wounded, and did not want to be struck and abused by the hands of the uncircumcised; his armorbearer was too afraid to obey; so Saul fell on his own sword and died. When the Israelites on the other side of the valley saw the Israelites with Saul retreating, and that Saul and his sons were dead they also deserted the field, and forsook the cities; the Philistines then occupied the cities. Next morn the Philistines came to strip the slain and found the bodies of Saul and his 3 sons at Mount Gilboa; they cut off Saul’s head, removed his armor, and sent news and tokens through the land of the Philistines, to the house of their idols, and to their people. They put Saul’s armor in the House of the Ashtaroth, his body on the wall of Beth-shan. The citizens of Jabesh-gilead heard and sent valiant men to take the body of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth-shan; then came to Jabesh and burnt the bodies there; and buried the bones under the tamarisk-tree in Jabesh, and fasted 7 days.
2nd SAMUEL: 24 Chapters: Saul’s Death to David’s Last Days:
After Saul’s death, after David returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, after 2 days in Ziklag; on the 3rd day a man from Saul’s camp came to David with torn clothes and dirt on his head and knelt in homage to David; saying he was escaped from Israel’s camp. David asked of the battle; he said the people fled the battle, many wounded and dead, and Saul and Jonathan were dead. David asked how he knew this: he said that in Mount Gilboa he noticed Saul was leaning on his spear, the chariots and riders were in hot pursuit; when Saul looked behind him and saw me he called me to him, and asked who I was; I said I was an Amalekite, and he asked me to stand near to slay him, for he was in anguish of bare life; so I stood and slew him, for he was already mortally wounded. I then took his crown and arm bracelet to bring to my Lord. David and his men tore their clothes, mourned in tears, and fasted till eve, for Saul, Jonathan, the Lord’s people, and the house of Israel slain in battle. Again David questioned the Amalekite that reported Saul’s death, and asked why he was not afraid to destroy the Lord’s Anointed. He commanded a young man to execute him, for his blood is on his own head by his own mouth.
David lamented the death of Saul and Jonathan with a Lamentation Song, (and taught that children of Judah must learn to use the bow, this is written in the Book of Jashar (Upright, or Ya-Shar, Jehovah’s Prince or Captain)):
Israel thy Glory is slain on the High-places; the Mighty are fallen.
Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon;
lest the daughters of the uncircumcised Philistines rejoice in triumph.
Mountains of Gilboa be without dew or rain or fields of offerings:
for the shield of the mighty was tossed as trash;
Saul’s shield was not anointed with oil.
Jonathan’s Bow was stained with the blood of the mighty;
and Saul’s Sword returned soaked.
They were lovely and pleasant in life, and undivided in death:
swifter than eagles and stronger than lions.
Daughters of Israel weep for Saul, who clothed you scarlet and gold ornaments.
The Mighty are fallen in battle: Jonathan slain on the heights!
I am distressed for thee my brother Jonathan;
you were pleasant with love surpassing women.
The Mighty are fallen and the weapons perished!
Afterwards David inquired of the Lord which of Judah’s cities should he enter; He told him Hebron; David, his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezrelitess, Abigail the Carmelite, Nabal’s wife (widow), with his men and their families, and resettled in Hebron. The men of Judah anointed David as King over the House of Judah. David was told that those of Jabesh-gilead buried Saul; he sent messengers (angels) to them with the Lord’s blessings for their kindness to their Master Saul, and that the Lord show mercy and truth to them, and also, he will requite their deed. Abner ben-Ner Saul’s army general conveyed Ish-bosheth ben-Saul to Mahanaim, and made him King over Gilead, the Adhurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and over Israel; he was 40 years old, and reigned 2 years. But the House of Judah followed David. He was King in Hebron for 7 1/2 years. Abner and Ish-bosheth’s servants moved from Mahanaim to Gibeon.; Joab and David’s servants met them at the Pool of Gibeon, each sitting opposite each other at the pool; Abner said to Joab that the young men should compete, 12 for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth, and 12 of David’s servants. The young men each grabbed his opponent and thrust each his sword in each other to death, so that the place was called Helkath-hazzurim in Gibeon. The battle was intense, and Abner and Israel was beaten before David’s servants. The 3 sons of Zeruiah: Joab, Abishai, and Asahel (who was swift as a wild roe deer) were there; Asahel pursued Abner tenaciously, and Abner turned while running and bid Asahel to turn and seize a young man, and take his armor; but he refused, and again Abner warned him, for how would he face Joab if he should kill Asahel; but he still refused, so he thrust his spear shaft into his body and the spear end came out his back and he dropped dead on the ground. Joab and Abishai continued to chase Abner till sunset and the reached the Hill of Ammah before Gath by way of the Wilderness of Gibeon. The Benjaminites united as one band under Abner atop the hill. Abner called out to Joab asking if the sword will forever devour ending in bitterness; and how long before the chase of the people against their brothers end. Joab blew the trumpet, and the people quit the chase, never to pursue again. Abner and his men continued through the night crossing the Jordan passing through Bithron till they arrived at Mahanaim. Joab gathered the people and found only 19 men plus Asahel were missing. But David’s men had killed some 360 of Benjamin. They buried Asahel in his father’s sepulchre in Beth-lehem. But Joab and his men traveled all night till daybreak at Hebron.
The House of Saul and House of David continued at war, David getting stronger, and Saul weaker. David 6 sons born in Hebron were by birth: Ammon of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; Chileab of Abigail the Carmelite (Nabal’s wife (widow)); Absalom ben-Maacah bath-Talmai king of Geshur; Adonijah ben-Haggith; Shephatiah ben-Abital; and Ithream of Eglah, David’s wife. As the two Houses warred, Abner made himself strong in Saul’s House. Saul’s concubine Rizpah bath Aiah, was suspected with Abner of infidelity; but Abner in anger replied if he was a dog’s head of Judah, and for the kindness he’s shown to Saul’s House, his brothers, and his friends that he should be accused with fault with the woman. He said, by God he will now fulfill the Lord’s words sworn to David, to transfer the Kingdom from Saul’s House to establish the Throne of David over Israel and Judah, from Dan to Beer-sheba. He was afraid to answer Abner. Abner sent messengers (angels) to David asking who’s the land is, and to make a league with him to bring all Israel to David. David agreed with the condition Abner must also bring his wife Michal. David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth demanding his wife Michal betrothed at the cost of 100 Philistines’ foreskins; he sent and took her from her husband Paltiel ben-Laish, who followed her in tears up to Bahurim, where Abner told him turn back. Abner communicated with Israel Elders that in time past they wanted David to be King, as the Lord spoke that by David’s hands Israel should be delivered from the Philistines. He spoke also to Benjamin, then went to relate it all to David in Hebron, and with him 20 men. David made a feast for Abner and his men; Abner said he would now go to gather all Israel to his lord the King, so that they may covenant, and that David may rule over all he desired; and he sent him away in peace. David’s servants and Joab returned from a raid with great spoils; they told Joab Abner came, and David let him go in peace. Joab asked David why he let him go, since came to deceive and betray as an informant; he left David and sent messengers to bring Abner back to the well of Sirah secretly; and when Abner returned to Hebron Joab took him aside to speak quietly, and he smote him to death for his brother’s Asahel’s blood. David heard and said: I and my Kingdom are guiltless before the Lord for Abner’s blood, but the guilt fall upon Joab and his father’s house, so that none be without disease, wounds in war, or poverty. So Joab and Abishai killed Abner to avenge Asahel’s blood in battle at Gibeon. David ordered Joab and the people with him to rip their clothes, gird with sackcloth, and mourn for Abner; and David followed the bier; they buried him in Hebron; and the King cried aloud with tears at the grave, and so too the people. David lamented Abner saying:
Should Abner die as a fool die? Hands unbound, and feet unfettered:
As a man falls by sons of iniquity, so fell thou!
The people wept, and tried to get David to eat, but he swore he will not eat till the sun sets; thus, they knew David did not intend Abner’s death; they noticed and were pleased, as ever, with the King. David said to his servants that today a great man has fallen in Israel; and I am weak because these sons of Zeruiah are too much: may the Lord reward the evil-doer for their wickedness.
Saul’s son (ish-bosheth) heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, he became feeble, and the Israelites were troubled; Saul’s son had 2 captains over 2 divisions, Baanah and Rechab, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Benjaminites, (for Beeroth is reckoned to Benjamin, for the Beerothites fled to Gittaim and settled there to this day). Saul’s son Jonathan also had a son with lame or crippled feet from when he was 5 years of age, news of Saul and Jonathan at Jezreel, so that his nurse took him and fled, and he fell and injured his feet; his name was Mephibosheth. Rechab and Baanah came at noon to the house of Ish-bosheth while he rested in bed, acting as if they would fetch wheat, instead struck him and beheaded him, and took his head, then escaped by way of Arabah at night. They brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David in Hebron, saying, here is the head of thine enemy, the Lord has avenged my lord the King of Saul and his seed. David answered them, as the the Lord my Redeemer from adversity lives, when a man brought me news of Saul’s death by his hands, thinking I would reward him, instead I slew him at Ziklag for his news; how much more now when wicked men kills a righteous person in his own house in his bed, shall their blood be required and they be removed from earth; so David commanded a young man to slay them, to cut off their hands and feet and hang them beside the pool in Hebron. But they buried Ish-bosheth’s head in Abner’s grave in Hebron.
The tribes of Israel came to David saying: we are thy bone and thy flesh; when Saul was King, it was David that led Israel, and to whom the Lord said he will be My Shepherd and Prince of My people Israel. The Elders of Israel came to King David in Hebron and covenanted and anointed him before the Lord over Israel; he was 30 years old, and reigned 7 1/2 years in Hebron over Judah, and 33 years he ruled over Israel and Judah, some 40 years (30th – 70th year). The King and his men went to Jerusalem (Yeru-Shalem, City of Peace) against the Jebusites, its citizens, who had mocked David saying he must remove the blind and lame before he enter. David took the Fortress of Zion to become the City of David: and he said those who smite the Jebusites, first get up to the watercourse and strike the lame and blind hated by David: thus they say: No blind or lame may enter the house. David dwelt in the fortress and called it his city, and he built it around from Milo and inward. David continued to increase by the Lord God of hosts. Hiram the King of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar-trees, carpenters and masons to build him a house (palace). David perceived that the Lord had established his Throne and his Kingdom for His people’s sake. David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem and had more children: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon; Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet (11 sons in addition to the 6 sons at Hebron). The Philistines heard that Israel had anointed David, so sought him, and David heard, so he went to the fortress or garrison; the Philistines spread themselves in the Valley of Rephaim; David inquired of the Lord, if he should go against them with success; the Lord said to go, and they will be defeated by David; so he came to Baal-perazim, and smote them, saying: the Lord has broken his enemies, so he called it Baal-perazim; for they left their images (of Baal) which David and his men destroyed. Again the Philistines encamped in the Valley of Rephaim; David inquired of the Lord, and He told him not to go up, but to make a circuit behind them across from the mulberry-trees, then stir themselves when they hear the sound of marching in the tops of the trees, for then the Lord has defeated them; so David obeyed and smote the Philistines from Geba to Gezer.
David with 30,000 Israelites went to Baale-judah to bring back the Ark of God, called by the Name (Shem), the Name of the Lord of Hosts (Jehovah-Sabaoth) seated over the Cherubim (Cherubs); they placed the Ark of God on a new cart, brought it out of the house of Abinadab on the hill; Uzzah and Ahio, sons Abinadab, drove the cart; so they took the Ark led by Ahio; David and the House of Israel celebrated to the Lord with various instruments of strings and percussions; near the threshing-floor of Nacon, Uzzah touched the Ark of God to steady it from falling; the Lord in anger killed him for this error. David displeased called the place Perez-Uzzah because the Lord Broke Forth against Uzzah; and he was afraid to move the Ark any further, but took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite, and it remained there for 3 months, with the Lord’s blessings. David was told of His favor towards Obed-edom, so he brought the Ark of God to the City of David with joy. Now when they moved the Ark about 6 paces (about 20 feet) they sacrificed an ox and fatling; and David danced before the Lord girded with a linen ephod, with Israel, with shouts and music, and came to the City of David. Michal saw David from a window leaping and dancing and she despised him. They placed the Lord’s Ark in a tent that David had pitched for it, and he offered sacrifices to the Lord; afterwards he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, giving each and every person cake of bread and some meat, and raisin-cakes, and they returned home. He returned home to bless his household, but Michal criticized him as a shameless naked fool; but he replied that before the Lord Who chose me above thy father’s house and appointed me Prince over His people; and I will be viler and baser, but the handmaids will have me in honor. Thus Michal was childless to her death.
David dwelt in his house, the Lord giving him rest all about; he said to Nathan the Prophet that he dwells in a cedar house but the Ark of God in curtains. Nathan told him to do what he desires, for the Lord is with him; but that night the Lord’s word came to Nathan to tell My servant David he will not build Me a House to dwell in; for from the Exodus to now I have walked in a Tent and Tabernacle; and I never asked of any tribe of Israel to build Me a cedar House. Tell David My servant that I took thee from following sheepfolds to be Prince of My people Israel, to be with thee, and to subdue all thine enemies, and made thy name great as those of great ones of the earth. I will appoint a place for My people to be planted, no longer to be afflicted by wicked men as before and during the time of the Judges; also I will cause thee to rest from thine enemies, and the Lord will build thee an House; after thee I will set up thy seed and establish thy Kingdom, and he will build a House for My Name, and I will establish his Kingdom forever. I will be His Father, and he will be My Son; if he is lawless I will chasten him with the rod of men and the stripes of children of men; but My mercy will never depart from him as with Saul. Thy House and Kingdom and Throne will abide and be established. By these words and this vision Nathan spoke to David.
King David sat before the Lord:
Who am I and what is my house that Thou hast brought me to this;
that Thy servant’s future House be after the manner of man;
and what can David say more, for Thou knowest me.
For Thy word’s sake of Thine heart to work this greatness to show me.
Thou art great, none like Thee, no other God exists as we have heard with our ears.
What nation on earth is as Thy people Israel,
whom God redeemed for Himself, for His great Name,
for greatness and awesome works,
redeemed from Egypt and the nations and their gods;
to make them Thy people, and Thou Lord became their God.
Now Lord God establish and confirm Thy word to Thy servant;
Thy name be magnified, Thou Lord of hosts, Thou God over Israel;
and establish Thy servant’s David House forever:
for Thou hast revealed to build a House for Thy servant:
and for this reason, I pray this prayer.
Thou art God and Thy words are truth, and promised good things;
so be pleased to bless Thy servant’s House forever with Thy blessings.
Later David subdued the Philistines and took the bridle of the mother (Methegammah) city from them; then he measured Moab, making them lie down on the ground in two lines to put them to death or to keep alive; making Moab subservient, paying tribute. Then he stopped Hadadezer ben-Rehob King of Zoah as he went to recover his dominion at the River; taking from him 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 footmen; he hocked the chariot horses reserving 100 chariots. When the Syrians of Damascus tried to help Hadadezer David killed 22,000 of them; putting garrisons in Syria of Damascus, making them tribute paying subjects. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went. He brought the shields of gold of the servants of Hadadezer to Jerusalem; and much brass from Betah and Berothai, cities of Hadadezer. Then Toi the King of Hamath heard news of the defeat of the Syrians, and he sent his son Joram to King David to greet and bless him for victory against a common enemy; and he also gave David vessels of silver, gold, and brass: these spoils as with the other silver and gold he dedicated from all nations he subdued: Syria, Moab, Ammon, Philistines, Amalek, and of Hadadezer. David was famous after he had defeated 18,000 of the Syrians in the Valley of Salt. David put garrisons in Edom, and the Edomites became subject to him. David prevailed, and ruled Israel, and executed justice and righteousness to his people. Joab ben-Zeruiah was General, Jehoshaphat ben-Ahitub was Recorder; Zadok ben-Ahitub, Ahimelech ben-Abiathar, were Priests; Seraiah was Scribe; Benaiah ben-Jehoiada over the Cherethites and Pelethites; and David’s sons were Chief Ministers.
David asked if any of Saul’s house survived that I might show kindness for Jonathan’s sake. Ziba a servant of Saul’s house was brought to David, and told him that Jonathan’s son who with crippled feet was in the house of Machir ben-Ammiel in Lo-debar. David sent and brought to him Mephibosheth, who bowed before the King; and David said not to fear, for I will be kind to you for Janathan’s sake; I restore to thee all the land of Saul thy grand-father, but thou wilt eat bread at my table. He bowed again and asked why such kindness to such a dead dog; but David called Ziba and commanded him to care for all the household and property and possessions than belonged to Saul for Mephibosheth thy master: to till the ground, to harvest the crops, to feed the servants; but he must eat at my table. Now Ziba had 15 sons and 20 servants; and he agreed to do as the King ordered. Mephibosheth’s young son was Mica; so he ate at the King’s table in Jerusalem.
Later the King of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun ben-Nahash reigned in his place. David sent servants to console him with kindness as his father had treated David kindly; when they came to the land of the Ammonites, the Princes accused the men as spies of David to overthrow the land; Hanun then shaved half the beards of the men, cut off their garments exposing their butts, then sent them away. David was told how they were shamed; and he told them to stay at Jericho till their beards grew back before they returned to him. The Ammonites seeing they made themselves odious to David, also hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob and of Zobah, with the men of Tob, some 12,000 men. David sent Joab with a large militia of warriors; and the Ammonites engaged battle at the gate: the Syrians and Tobites being in another division. Jobab in response to these two divisions before and behind Israel, divided his armies in two, the most mighty Israelites under himself against the Syrians, the majority of the Israelites under Abishai his brother against the Ammonites; instructing that if the Syrians prove too strong you must come to my help; and if Ammon prove too strong we will aid you; be brave and manly for our people the cities of our God, and the Lord do as He please. The battle begun and soon the Syrians fled from Joab’s army, and the Ammonites seeing their retreat fled also from Abishai’s force into the city. Joab returned to Jerusalem; but the Syrians being defeated, gathered a great army under Hadarezer, who enlisted the Syrians beyond the River Euphrates, that came to Helam with Shobach his general. David responded by leading a large army of Israel; and they fought but David defeated the Syrians killing some 700 chariots, and 40,000 riders, and killed Shobach the general. The Kings subject to and in league with Hadarezer being defeated made peace with Israel to be subjects. The Syrians feared to ever help the Ammonites again.
At the the return of the year when kings go to war, David sent Joab and his men and Israel to destroy the Ammonites by besieging Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem; and in the evening he arose from bed and walked on the roof of the King’s house; and he noticed across the way a beautiful woman bathing; he inquired concerning her and was told she was Bath-sheba (Daughter of Sheba) bath-Eliam, the wife of Urijah the Hittite. David sent for her, and he laid with her (she was already purified of her uncleanness); then she returned home. She was pregnant, and informed David; who sent for Joab to send him Uriah the Hittite. When he came David asked concerning the Joab and Israel in the war; then he told Uriah to go home to wash and rest; he departed, and David sent to him food from the King; but Uriah slept at the door of the King’s house with the servants without returning home. David was told, so he asked Uriah why he did not return home after such a long journey; he answered that the Ark and Israel and Judah abide in booths, while my lord Joab and my lord’s servants are encamped in the fields; how can I go home to eat and drink and lay with my wife; as thou livest I will not do it. David told him to stay in Jerusalem that day, and the next day will send him back. David invited him to feast at his table and got him drunk; but when he retired he slept near the servants and did not go home. In the morn David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. The letter instructed Joab to place Uriah at the forefront of the hottest battle, then withdraw, so that he will die. Joab set Uriah with the bravest warriors; and in the fierce fighting some men died along with Uriah the Hittite. Joab sent a report of the war to David and told the messenger that after he related the war details, that when the King became angry, and say why they went so near to the city, did you not know they would shoot from the wall; like Abimelech ben-Jerubbesheth, when a woman threw an upper millstone from the wall and he died at Thebez; then tell the King that thy servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead. When the messenger related to the King that the enemy prevailed at first into the fields, but we pushed them back to the entrance of the gate; the shooters on the wall shot and killed some of King’s servants, also Uriah the Hittite is dead. David told the messenger to tell Joab don’t be displeased, the sword devours one as the other; strengthen yourself against the city and overthrow it; to encourage him. Uriah’s wife heard and lamented her husband’s death; and afterwards David married her, and she birthed him a son. But this thing David did, displeased the Lord.
The Lord sent Nathan to David, and he said: Two men in the same city, one rich, the other poor; the rich man had great flocks and herds; the poor man only one she lamb as a pet and a daughter in his family; the rich man had a traveling guest, so he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for his guest. David became enraged and said to Nathan: as the Lord lives this man deserves to die! and he must restore the lamb fourfold for his merciless act. Nathan said to David: Thou art the man; the Lord God of Israel says that I anointed thee King over Israel, delivering thee from Saul, I gave thee thy master’s house, his wives, and the House of Israel and Judah; and if that was not enough I would have added more. Why did thou despise the word of the Lord to this evil in killing Uriah the Hittite by the hands of the Ammonites and then taking his wife to be thy wife? For this reason the sword shall never depart from thy house; I will take thy wives and give them to thy neighbor, and he will violate then in broad daylight; for thou did it in secret, but I will do it in the sight of all Israel. David confessed to Nathan: I have sinned against the Lord; and he replied that the Lord has put away thy sin, thou shalt not die; however, because thou hast occasioned the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child must die. Nathan departed; and the child became sick; David begged God for the child, fasting and lay prostrate that night; the elders of his house tried to get him up to eat but he refused, then on the 7th day the child died; but they were afraid to tell him lest he does something to himself in his despair. But David saw them whispering and asked is the child dead; they said he is dead; so David arose, bathed, anointed himself, changed his clothes, then came into the Lord’s House and worshipped; he then requested bread to be served him to eat. The servants amazed asked why he fasted and cried for the child when he was alive, but now after his death thou rise and eat. he replied that while the child lived he fasted and mourned in hopes that the Lord may be gracious to spare the child; but now he is dead, I cannot bring him back, but I will go to him. David then comforted Bath-sheba and again lay with her and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon; and the Lord loved him; and sent the Prophet Nathan to him, calling the child Jedidiah (Jehovah’s Beloved), for the Lord’s sake.
Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites, and took the royal city; and he sent word to David that he took the City of Waters; therefore to muster the rest of the people and encamp against the city and take it, lest it should be named after Joab’s name; so David did it, and took the crown of their King which weighed a talent of gold, and in it precious stones, and it was set upon David’s head; and he brought back great spoils; but he slaughtered the citizens by saws, iron, axes, and brick-kiln; and in like manner other cities of Ammon; then they returned to Jerusalem.
After this Absalom, David’s son, whose sister Tamar was a beautiful virgin; Amnon, David’s son, loved her; so that he became sick over her, how he might have her. Amnon’s friend and cousin, Jonadab ben-Shimeah, David’s brother, cleverly suggested to the King’s son: why art thou daily so lean and sad; he told him; he replied that Amnon should pretend to be sick and confined to the bed, and to ask the King to let Tamar prepare food before to eat from her hands. David told Tamar to go to her brother Amnon’s house to prepare food for him. She took dough and baked cakes, giving them to him in a pan, but he refused to eat. Instead he ordered everyone to leave his chamber, but told Tamar to bring the cakes to him; he then took hold of her demanding her to have sex with him ; she begged him not to force her for no such folly (rape and incest) should be done in Israel; and where will I hide my shame, and you will be treated as one of the fools in Israel; so she pleaded with to ask the King to let them marry; but he refused to listen, and being stronger forced or raped her. Afterwards he hated her even more than when he loved her before, and told her to get out. She replied no, this was even worse than the wrong or rape itself; but he rejected her, and ordered his servants to put this woman out, and to bolt the door. Tamar with ashes on her head, tore her dress of multi-colors, with her hands on her head, went crying aloud. Absalom her brother asked if Amnon thy brother had been with her; and said she should not be too troubled, but be quiet since he was her brother; so she remained desolate and stayed in Absalom’s house. When King David heard he was enraged. Absalom did not speak with Amnon good or bad, but hated him for raping his sister Tamar. After 2 years Absalom had sheep-shearers in Baal-hazor near Ephraim, and he invited all the King’s sons and the King and his servants to a feast; but the King turned down the invitation as too burdensome for his son, but blessed him anyway. He asked the King to permit Amnon to attend; but David asked why; but he pressed the King till he consented for Amnon and the King’s sons to go. Absalom instructed his servants to watch Amnon, and when he is merry with wine, and he gives the order, they must kill him without fear or reserve; and so they did. The King’s sons all fled by mule; and David heard news that Absalom had slain all the King’s sons; the King tore his clothes and lay prostrate on the ground, with his servants standing with torn clothes. But Jonadab ben-Shimeah, his brother’s son, told the King the truth is only Amnon is dead, for Absalom had appointed it from the day Tamar was violated. Absalom fled; and the servants which watched saw a crowd coming, and Jonadab said to the King: look, your sons ; and they came in tears and the King and his servants cried with them. Absalom took refuge with Talmai ben-Ammihur King of Geshur; but David mourned for his son daily. Absalom was with Talmai for 3 years; and David’s soul longed for Absalom, for he was comforted from the loss of Amnon.
Now Joab sent for a wise woman of Tekoa; and told her to pretend to be a mourner in mourning clothes, without the oil of anointment, be a mourner of many days; to go to the King and speak in this manner; just as Joab instructed her. She spoke to the King, prostrate, begging for help; the King asked of her trouble; she replied that she was a widow with two sons who were fighting and one slew his brother and he died; the family arose and demanded the death of her surviving son, thus to quench the last of her coal, leaving no male heir. The King dismissed her saying I will decide; but the woman of Tekoa implored the King to remove the iniquity from the King and her father’s house, that the King and his throne be guiltless; the King assured her that she may bring anyone wanting to harm her son, and that will end the matter. But she petitioned the King by the Lord God, not to let the avenger of blood destroy him; so he swore to her by the Lord; so she asked for a few more words with the King; he said speak; she said why he has devised a thing against the people of God; for by such words he incriminates himself guilty, in that he has not fetched and restored his banished exile. We all must die as spilt water on the ground; but even God restores life by making a way for the exile to return; and I have spoken these words to the King because the people made me afraid; so perhaps the King will grant this one favor towards his handmaid; for the King is determined to deliver me and my son from the avenger to preserve the inheritance; so I said my Lord the King’s word is comforting, he is as an angel of God, and knows the good and the bad, for the Lord God is with him. The King then asked her to tell him the truth about these words she has spoken if Joab was not behind them; she replied the King knows all secrets as an angel of God, and yes, thy servant Joab put all these words in my mouth to persuade the King. So the King told Joab I have heard you, go and bring the young man Absalom back. Joab bowed in homage and blessed the King for the favor shown him in this request. Joab brought Absalom from Geshur to Jerusalem. The King said he must not see my face, but must go to his own house. In Israel none was praised for spotless beauty as Absalom; when he cut his hair yearly, for it was heavy, it weighed 200 shekels according to the King’s scale. Absalom had 3 sons and one daughter, who he named Tamar, and she was beautiful; and he stayed 2 full years in Jerusalem never seeing the King’s face. He sent for Joab to go to the King, but he ignored him; so he told his servants burn Joab’s field of barely next to his; so Joab demanded why he set his field aflame; and he replied that he wanted him to go to the King and ask why he was brought from Geshur if I cannot see the King’s face; if I deserve to die then let the King put me to death. So Joab went to the King, and he permitted Absalom to see his face, and he came and bowed, and the King kissed Absalom.
Afterwards Absalom prepared a chariot with horses and 50 front runners; early he stood by the way of the city gate, and when anyone had a case that should go to the King for judgment; he asked what city they were from, and when they said they were from a certain city of Israel’s tribes, he told them their case is valid but there is no one deputed to hear the case for your city, adding that if only he was a judge in the land he would hear every litigation and give justice. When any bowed to him he extended his hand and kissed him; thus he stole the hearts of the men of Israel. Absalom (now 40; or end of David’s 40th year reign) asked the King to pay his vow to the Lord in Hebron, which he made at Geshur in Syria, that if the Lord bring me back to Jerusalem then I will serve Him; so the King permitted him and he went to Hebron. But Absalom sent spies to all the tribes of Israel that at the sound of the trumpet they should shout that Absalom is king in Hebron. He had 200 men from Jerusalem ignorant of his intentions; he then sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor from his city Giloh, while offering sacrifices; the conspiracy was strong for Absalom; and a messenger told David; so David told his servants that we must flee lest Absalom quickly overtake us and strike the city with the sword. His servants replied that they were ready to do his will; the King and his household escaped; but he left 10 concubines to tend the house; the King and the people came to Beth-merhak; followed by his servants the Cherethites, Pelethites, Gittites, and 600 followers from Gath. The King asked Ittai the Gittite to stay home with the King (Absalom), being a foreigner and an exile, arriving only yesterday; return with your brothers, and mercy and truth be with thee. But Ittai insisted as the Lord and the King lives he will go with the King to life or death; David permitted him and his men and his little ones to cross over; the country wept, and the people crossed over the brook Kidron with the King by way of the wilderness. Zadok and the Levites, carrying the Ark of God and set it down, while Abiathar went up till the people exited the city. The King told Zadok to take the Ark of God back into the city; for if the Lord show me favor He will return me to see it and His habitation; but if not, let Him do as He please. The King told Zadok the Priest and Seer to return in peace with his two sons, Ahimaaz and Jonathan ben-Abiathar; and I will stay at the fords of the wilderness until I hear word; they returned with the Ark to Jerusalem. David ascended the Mount of Olives, crying as he went, head covered and barefoot, together with the people. David was told that Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom; so David prayed that the Lord turn his counsel to foolishness. David reached the top where God was worshipped; Hushai the Archite came with coat ripped and earth on his head; but David said if he cross over to him he will only be a burden, but if he returns and be Absalom’s servant as the King, just as he was his father’s servant; thus, thou will defeat Ahithophel’s counsel. What you hear in the King’s house thou may send me word by Zadok and Abiathar the Priests, by sending their sons Ahimaaz or Jonathan. So Hushai went to the city, and Absalom came to Jerusalem.
David passed over the top of the mount, and Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with couple of donkeys saddled, loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 100 summer fruits, and bottle of wine. The King asked what is all this; he replied that these are for the King’s household, for the young men, and for the faint in the wilderness; and he asked where was his master’s son; and Ziba said he was staying in Jerusalem, saying that today the House of Israel might restore to me the Kingdom of my father. The King told Ziba that now all that belongs to Mephibosheth is thine; but Ziba said I bow in the favor of my Lord the King. ((Those who think that Ziba is false and deceptive are in error; it is clear he was on David’s side againt the House of Saul, including Mephibosheth.)) David then came to Bahurim, and Shimei ben-Gera of the family and House of Saul came out and cursed him as he went along, throwing stones at David and the servants; the people and fighters on the right and the left of the King. Shimei cursed, saying, begone! get out! thou man of blood and base fellow: the Lord has returned on thee the blood of Saul’s House, whose reign thou replaced, and He has delivered thy Kingdom to Absalom, and thou art taken in thy mischief, thou bloody man! Abishai ben-Zeruiah asked the King to permit him to go cut off this dead dog’s head that curses my lord the King. The King replied: what do I have to do with you sons of Zeruiah? The Lord permits him to curse me, who can say no? My own son from my body seeks my life, how much more this Benjaminite; let him curse as the Lord bids; perhaps the Lord will see the wrong done to me and requite me with good for his curses. So they continued on while Shimei cursed and threw stones and dust. The King and the people were tired and he refreshed there. Absalom and the people of Israel with Ahithophel came to Jerusalem; Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, greeted Absalom, saying, the King lives! Absalom responded: Is this thy kindness to thy friend, why are you not with him? He said that whom the Lord and Israel chooses to him will he stay; as I served thy father, so I now serve his son. Absalom asked counsel from Ahithophel; who said he should violate his father’s concubines keeping the house; thus Israel will know thou art odious to thy father, and will be more resolute in supporting you. So they spread a tent for him on the housetop, and he violated his father’s concubines before Israel. Now the counsel of Ahithophel was in those days, for David and Absalom, as if one inquired from the Oracle of God. Further, he asked Absalom to permit him to take 12,000 men and pursue David this night, and will catch him weak and weary, and he will be afraid, and the people will desert him; and I will only need to kill the King; and I will bring back all the people in peace. Absalom and the Elders of Israel were pleased with this counsel; but he asked Hushai his counsel; he replied that at this time Ahitophel’s counsel was not good; for you know that your father and his men are brave fighters and chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her cubs, and your father as a valiant warrior will not lodge with the people; he will be hid in some pit or place, and when some are fallen (naphal, nephallim), they will report that there is a slaughter of Absalom’s followers; and even the most valiant warrior with a lion’s heart will melt at the news. But I counsel that Israel be mustered from Dan to Beer-sheba, a great army led by Absalom; and we will surprise him as the morning dew and leave none alive; and if he flees to a city of Israel, we will take ropes and drag it into the river, that a stone be not left. Absalom and the men of Israel declared the counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than Ahitophel’s counsel. The Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahitophel, that He may destroy Absalom. Hushai related to the Priests Zadok and Abiathar to tell David the counsels given to Absalom, and that he lodge not at the fords of the desert, but pass over, lest the King and the people be swallowed up. Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying by En-rogel, a maid-servant would inform them, then they would go tell David, thus not be seen to come into the city; but a youth saw them and informed Absalom; meanwhile they both went quickly to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; they hid inside; and a woman covered the well with straws of bruised grain; so they were undetected. Absalom’s servants asked the woman of the house, where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan; she told them that they crossed over the brook; they searched but could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. They then came out of the well and went and told David the counsel of Ahithophel against David. David quickly crossed the Jordan. When Ahithophel’s counsel was ignored, he saddled his donkey and went home to his city, put his house in order, then hanged himself, and they buried him in his father’s sepulchre. David came to Mahanaim; but Absalom and the Israelites crossed Jordan. Absalom replaced Joab with Amasa as general, he was the son of Ithra the Israelite, that wedded Abigail bath-Nahash, Zeruiah’s sister, Joab’s mother. Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead. At Mahanaim Shobi ben-Nahash of Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Machir ben-Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim; they brought beds, basins, earthen vessels, wheat, barley, meal, parched grain, beans, lentils, parched pulse, honey, butter, sheep, and cheese for David and his people, who were hungry, weary, and thirsty in the desert.
David numbered the people, he set captains of 1,000s and 100s; and divided the people in thirds, 1/3 under Joab, 1/3 under Abishai ben-Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and 1/3 under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. The King also said he would go with them; but the people said no, for if all the people flee, they will not care if we all die, but thou art worth 10,000 of us; so it’s better that thou comfort us out of the city. The King agreed to do as they deem best, and he stood by the gate-side, while the people exited by 100s and 1000s. Now the King commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai to deal gently with young man Absalom, and the people heard; so they went to war with Israel in field and forest of Ephraim. The Israelites were beaten by the servants of David, some 20,000 were slaughtered; the battle spread over the country, so that the forest devoured more of them than the sword. Absalom by chance encountered David’s servants, while riding his mule, and he rode under the thick boughs of a great oak tree. and his head got stuck, and his mule went on. One told Joab that Absalom was hanging in the oak tree; and he replied that you should have struck him to the ground, and I would have given you 10 silver pieces and a girdle; he replied that not 1,000 pieces of silver would entice him to harm the King’s son, since he commanded us specifically; and if I had acted falsely against his life, the King knows all things, even thou would be set against me. Joab said he could not waste time; so he took three darts and pierced Absalom’s heart; then 10 young men that carried Joab’s armor struck Absalom to death. Joab blew the trumpet and Israel returned from the chase; they took Absalom and threw him into a great pit in the forest, and heaped stones over him; and Israel fled to their tents. Now Absalom had before erected a pillar in the King’s Dale in his own memory, saying he had no son to remember him, and he called it Absalom’s Monument to this day (times of Solomon to Ezra.). Ahimaaz ben-Zadok asked to run to the King with the news of the Lord avenging the King of his enemies. Joab said not today, maybe another time, for the King’s son is dead. Then Joab told the Cushite (black runner) to tell the King what he has seen, so he bowed and ran; Ahimaaz insisted to be allowed also to run, saying why? you will get no reward for the news; yet he insisted to let him run. Ahimaaz ran by way of the Plain, and outran the Cushite. David was seated between the two gates; the watchman from the roof of the gate of the wall, shouted out that a lone runner was coming; David said if he is alone he brings news. The watchman shouted to the porter that another man runs alone; the King said he too brings good-news. The watchman said that the fastest runner appears to be Ahimaaz; the King said he is a good man with good news. Ahimaaz greeted the King and bowed, saying, the Lord is blessed Who delivered up those who rebelled against the King; but he asked is the young man Absalom safe; he said when Joab sent him he heard a tumult but did not know why. The King told him to step aside; then the Cushite greeted the King saying the Lord has avenged him of all his enemies; David asked of Absalom; he answered that may all those who rise up against my Lord the King be as that young man. The King greatly moved went to the chamber above the gate and wept, and as went crying: O Absalom, my son! my son Absalom! wished I had died for thee!
Joab was informed of the King’s grief for Absalom, turning the victory into sorrow; the people quietly as if ashamed deserters, moved in the city; while the King agonized over Absalom. Joab came to the King’s house and rebuked the King for shaming his men and people who saved his live and of all those loyal to the King, showing that the King loved his haters more than his lovers; and if Absalom survived and we all, princes and servants, died, the King would be pleased. Now get up and speak comfort to thy servants, or I swear by the Lord, not one man will be loyal to thee this night; and that will be the worse evil to thee from thy youth to today. The King arose and sat in the gate; the people were told, and they stood before him; for they had fled to their tents, quarreling that he delivered us from our enemies and the Philistines, but now flees because of Absalom who is dead; and why have we not brought back the King. King David sent the Priests Zadok and Abiathar to the Elders of Judah, asking why they are the last to reinstate the King in his house, as Israel has voiced. Ye are my brethren and kin; tell Amasa that thou art my bone and flesh, and God act, if I do not make thee my general of the army to replace Joab. Thus he bowed the heart of the men of Judah as if one man, that they might restore the King and his servants; so he returned, and Judah met him at Jordan, to escort him over the Jordan, Judah also came to escort him at Gilgal. Shemei ben-Gera the Benjaminite of Bahurim in haste joined the Judaens to meet King David; also 1,000 Benjaminites; and Ziba Saul’s servant with his 15 sons and 20 servants accompanied the King; a ferry-boat transported the King’s household, and for his use. Shimei prostrated himself, and spoke to the King not to impute lawlessness or perversity to his actions on the King leaving Jerusalem, for he knows his sin, and came first of all the House of Joseph to meet my Lord the King. Abishai demanded that Shimei be put to death for having cursed the Lord’s Anointed! But David objected that ye sons of Zeruiah are my adversaries; no, not a man shall be put to death this day, for I am now King over Israel. So he swore to him not to put him to death; Mephibosheth also came to Jerusalem, unkept from the time the King fled till his return; the King asked why he was not an exile with him; he replied that Ziba deceived him when he was about to saddle the donkey and ride out to the King; also he has slandered me to the King; but the King is as an Angel of God ; so do what you deem best; for I and my father’s house were good as dead before the King’s favor when you me at your table; so I have need to trouble the King. But the King said, why speak of any of this; I have declared that thou and Ziba divide the land! Mephibosheth told the King to let Ziba have it all; for my Lord the King has returned home. ((Mephibosheth expected that David’s death at Absalom’s hand would disrupt the Throne of David’s House, and the Kingdom would be restored to the House of Saul; so he played the part of an unkept mourner, and his alibi, a lame excuse, was to accuse Ziba as subverting his attempt to flee; but David did not fall for this version)) Barzillai the Gileadite, a great man, came from Rogelim, to accompany the King across Jordan; he was 80 years old; and he had supplied the King with provisions at Mahanaim. The King asked him to go with him to Jerusalem, and he would take care of him; but he said no, I am a very old man ready to die, poor health and vision, feeble mind, simple diet, and bad hearing, why be a burden; why reward me for just going a little way with the King; no, let me return to die in my own city, and my grave to be with my parents. Instead let thy servant Chimham cross over with the King, and do to him what is good. He said, yes, he will go with me and I will do what you require. So the people and the King crossed Jordan, the King kissed Barzillai and blessed him, he went to his place. The King came to Gilgal, with Chimham; and all Judah and half Israel brought the King over; the rest of Israel complained to the King that Judah has stolen the King from them, along with his household and men. The Judaens answered the Israelites: the King is our near kin; why are you upset? have we ate at the King’s expense or be rewarded? Israel answered them that we have 10 parts in the King, with more rights to him; so why did you despise us to not seek our help to restore our King. But the words of Judah were more fierce that those of Israel.
Then Sheba ben-Bichri, a Bemjaminite, a base fellow, sounded the trumpet declaring that Israel has no portion or inheritance in David ben-Jesse, thus back to your tents; Israel left and followed Sheba; but Judah stayed loyal to their King, from Jordan to Jerusalem. David returned to his house in Jerusalem, he took the 10 concubines that kept the house, and he sheltered them and sustained them as widows, but never cohabited with them again. He ordered Amasa with Judah to appear before him in 3 days; but Amasa took longer than the days appointed; so David told Abishai that maybe Sheba will do more harm than Absalom: so take the servants and pursue him, before he escapes to fortified cities. Joab’s men, and the Cherithites, and Pelethites, and all the mighty men pursued Sheba; at the Great Stone in Gibeon Amasa met them; Joab was girded war clothes, with girdle and sheathed sword around his waist; the sword fell out while approaching Amasa, asking him if all was well; he answered it was; Joab held Amasa’s beard as if to kiss him, but he did not notice the sword in Joab’s hand, by which he thrust him to death, disembowelling him. Then Joab and Abishai continued after Sheba; a young man of Joab’s stood and said: he who is for Joab and David follow Joab; but Amasa still laid in his blood, and the men refused to march till they removed his body from the highway to the field, and covered him; then the soldiers pursued; and Joab pursued him thru Israel’s tribes, to Abel and to Beth-maacah and the Berites, all together; and they besieged him in Abel of Beth-maacah; they made a mound and set up the rampart, and battered the wall to overthrow it. A wise woman cried out to Joab to come near and let her speak; he answered her that he was listening; so she said that they say of old that go ask at Abel and that settles it: I am one of peace and faith in Israel; so why do you seek to destroy a city and mother in Israel; will you swallow up the Lord’s inheritance? Joab replied, never, but only Sheba ben-Bichri of the hill-country of Ephraim has revolted against King David; deliver him over and I will depart; she answered that his head will be tossed over the wall. The woman in her wisdom convinced the people, and they cut off his head and threw it to Joab; so he blew the trumpet and dispersed; and he returned to Jerusalem to the King. Joab was general over all the army of Israel; Benaiah ben-Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and Pelethites; Adoram over the taskworkers; Jehoshaphat ben-Ahilud was Recorder; Shava was Scribe; Zadok and Abiathar were Priests; and Ira the Jairite was Chief-minister to David.
Now a famine lasted for 3 years in the days if David, and sought the Lord concerning it, and He said it was because of Saul and his bloody house putting the Gibeonites to death; the King David asked the Gibeonites (these were not Israelites but remnants of Amorites, who had a treaty with Israel, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah slaughtered attempting to exterminate them) what do you want to make atonement, and for your blessing on the Lord’s inheritance. We want neither money nor innocent blood, only the 7 sons of Saul’s House be handed over, that we may hang them to the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, the Lord’s Chosen; he gave them over, but he spared Mephibosheth ben-Jonathan ben-Saul for his oath’s sake; the 7 sons were: 2 sons Saul by Rizpah bath-Aiah, Saul’s concubine, Armoni and Mephibosheth; 5 sons of Michal bath-Saul born to Adriel ben-Barzillai the Meholathite. The Gibeonites hung them together in the mountain before the Lord, this was in harvest season, the first days of the barley harvest (spring, April); then Rizpah covered the rock (covering the bones) with sackcloth and guarded it till the rain fell upon it, letting no birds near by day, or beasts by night. David was told about Rizpah, and he went and took the bones of Saul and Jonathan from the Jabesh-gileadites, who had stolen them from the street of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them in Gilboa; so he buried all the bones of Saul, Jonathan, and the others, in Benjamin in Zela, in the sepulchre of Kish, just as the King commanded; afterwards God was entreated for the land.
The Philistines again warred with Israel, and David and his servants fought them; he was exhausted, and Ishbi-benob, a son of the giant (offspring of Rapha), whose spear weighed 300 brass-shekels, girt anew, intended to kill David; but Abishai defended him by slaying the Philistine. David’s men swore that he must not again go out to war lest he quench the lamp of Israel. Again (2nd time) the Philistines fought at Gob, and Sibbecai the Hushathite slew Saph one of the sons of the giant (offspring of Rapha). Again (3rd time) the Philistines warred at Gob; and Elhanan ben-Jaareoregim the Beth-lehemite slew Goliath the Gittite, whose spear staff was like a weaver’s beam. Again (4th time) they warred at Gath, and a giant of great stature, having 6 fingers hands, and 6 toes feet, 24 in all; he defied Israel, and Jonathan ben-Shimei, David’s brother, slew him. These 4 were born to the giant in Gath (Rapha in Gath), and were killed by David and his servants.
David’s Song of Jehovah’s Deliverance from his Enemies and Saul:
Jehovah is my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverer;
God my Rock and Refuge; my Shield, and Horn of my Salvation;
my High Tower, and my Refuge; my Saviour from violence;
I will call on the Lord, the praise-worthy: I shall be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death compassed me; the floods of ungodliness frightened me;
the cords of hell (sheol) surround me; the snares of death upon me.
In my distress I cried to the Lord and called to my God:
He heard my voice from His Temple, my cry with His ears.
The earth shook & trembled, heaven’s foundations quaked and shook at His wrath.
Smoke from His nostrils, devouring fire from His mouth: coals were kindled.
He bowed the heavens and descended with thick darkness under His feet.
He rode a flying Cherub, on the wings of the wind;
darkness were pavilions, waters gathered in thick clouds of the skies;
brightness before Him, kindled coals;
The Lord thundered from heaven, the Highest shouted;
His arrows scattered them, lightning discomfited them.
Sea channels appeared, the world foundations laid naked,
at His rebuke and the blast of His nostrils;
from on high He rescued me out of many waters,
He delivered me from a strong enemy, and the mighty who hated me;
they came in my calamity, but the Lord was my Stay;
He brought me to large place, He delivered me because He delighted in me;
He rewarded my righteousness, He recompensed my clean hands.
I have kept the Lord’s ways, and not departed from my God.
His ordinances were before me, His statutes were not abandoned;
I was perfect toward Him, and kept from my iniquity;
the Lord repaid my righteousness and cleanness.
Thou art merciful to the merciful, and perfect with the perfect;
and pure with the pure, but perverse with the perverse.
The afflicted Thou wilt save, but Thine eyes are against the haughty to humble them.
Lord, Thou art my Lamp! enlighten my darkness!
By Thee I run upon a troop, by God I leap over a wall.
God’s Way is perfect, the Lord’s Word is tried;
He is a Shield to all who seek refuge in Him.
God is the Lord, the Rock and Strong Fortress;
He guides the perfect, and makes his feet like the hinds,
and set me on high-places, and teaches my hands to war, to bend a brass bow.
Thou gavest me the shield of Thy salvation; Thy gentleness made me great.
Thou enlarged my steps, and my feet slipped not;
I pursued and destroyed my enemies, relentless to consume them,
striking them down, they cannot arise, under my feet;
Thou girdest me with strength for battle and subdued the rebels.
They looked for salvation even to the Lord, but He answered not;
I beat them to dust, crushed them as mud in the streets, and spread them all over.
Thou delivered me from the people’s strife;
made me Head of the nations (Gentiles), of foreigners who submit to me,
they hear and obey, they fade away and tremble in hiding places.
Jehovah lives! blessed and exalted be my Rock of Salvation!
my Avenging God and Subduer of my people and subjects my enemies.
Thou elevate me above my conspirators and the violent man:
I thank Thee among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Thy Name:
great deliverance He gives to His King, and shows lovingkindness to His Anointed;
to David and his seed forever!
The Last Words of David:
David ben-Jesse, the Man Elevated, the Anointed of Jacob’s God,
the Sweet Psalmist of Israel:
Jehovah’s Spirit spake by me, His Word on my tongue;
the God of Israel, Israel’s Rock spoke:
the righteous ruler over men, ruling in the fear of God,
is as morning light, as sunrise, a cloudless morn,
as the earth’s tender grass, in the sunshine after the rain.
My house is not ordered so with God,
yet He made with me an everlasting changeless covenant;
it is my salvation and honor, although unborn;
but the ungodly as thorns are thrust away as useless thorns,
which must be handled with gloves of iron and staff (fork) of spear,
to be utterly burned in fire.
These are the Mighty Men, Valiant Warriors, Brave Fighters of David:
1st, Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, Chief of the Captains (same as Adino the Eznite), against 800 slain at one time.
2nd, Eleazar ben-Dodai, son of an Ahohite, one of David’s three mighty men, when they defied the Philistines in battle while Israel was absent; he fought the Philistines until his hand clung to his sword, and the Lord gave great victory that day, and the people took spoils.
3rd, Shammah ben-Agee an Hararite; when the Philistines encamped near a plot of ground full of lentils, the people fled, but he stood in the middle of the field and defended it, and slew them, the Lord giving victory.
Now 3 of David’s special 30, came to David during the harvest time, to the Cave of Adullam, while the Philistines’ troops camped in the Valley of Rephaim; David was still in the fortress, but the Philistines’ garrison was in Beth-lehem. David sighed that he longed for a drink from the Well of Beth-lehem by the city’s gate! The Three Mighty Men broke through the Philistine’s army and drew water from the Well of Beth-lehem and brought it to David; but he refused to drink, but poured it out to the Lord, saying he would not drink the blood of these Three warriors who risked their lives for his thirst.
4th, Abishai ben-Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, was Chief of the 3; he fought with spear some 300 and killed them, he was famous among the 3, but was not the most honorable, he was their Captain, but not one of the Three.
5th, Benaiah ben-Jehoiada, son of a brave fighter of Kabzeel, famed for killing the two sons of Ariel of Moab (two Ariel, Warriors, Champions, Lion-like): he went into a pit and killed a lion in the snow; and he killed a handsome Egyptian with his own spear, which had taken from him; he was famous among the three, and more honorable than the 30, but not of the Three; and David set him over his guard.
David’s 30 Mighty Men: 1, Asahel, Joab’s brother; 2, Elhanan ben-Dodo of Bethlehem; 3, Shammah the Harodite; 4, Elika Harodite; 5, Helez Paltite; 6, Ira ben-Ikkesh Tekoite; 7, Abiezer Anathothite; 8, Mebunnai Hushathite; 9, Zalmon Ahohite; 10, Maharai Netophathite; 11, Heleb ben-Baanah Netophathite; 12, Ittai ben-Ribai of Gibeah of Benjamin; 13, Benaiah Pirathonite; 14, Hiddai of the Brooks of Gash; 15, Abialbon Arbathite; 16, Azmaveth Barhumite; 17, Eliahba Shaalbonite; 18, Jonathan of the sons of Jashen; 19, Shammah Haraite; 20, Ahiam ben-Sharar Ararite; 21, Eliphelet ben-Ahasbai ben-Maacathite; 22, Eliam ben-Ahithophel Gilonite; 23, Hezro Carmelite; 24, Paarai Arbite; 25, Igal ben-Nathan of Zobah; 26, Bani Gadite; 27, Zelek Ammonite and 28, Naharai Beerothite; both Joab’s armorbearers; 29, Ira Ithrite; 30, Gareb Ithrite; and 31, Uriah the Hittite.
Again the Lord’s Anger was ignited against Israel, so He moved David to number Israel and Judah; so David ordered Joab to take a census of all the people from all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beer-sheba; that I may know the sum. Joab objected saying may the Lord add 100 fold, but why must my Lord the King delight in this; David insisted and prevailed against Joab and the Captains of the army; and they crossed Jordan, encamped in Aroer, to the right of city in the middle of Gad, and to Jazer; they came to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi; to Dan-jaan, and all about to Sidon; to the Fortress of Tyre; to all the cities of the Hivites, and Canaanites; down to the south of Judah at Beer-sheba; completing the circuit thru all the tribes in 9 months 20 days, and returned to Jerusalem and reported to the King the census numbers: 800,000 fighters with swords in Israel, and in Judah 500,000; thus in all 1.3 million ready militia. But David regretted and confessed to the Lord he had sinned greatly in ordering this census; he asked forgiveness for his wicked folly. David arose early the next morn, and the Word of the Lord by Gad the Prophet, David’s Seer, saying: The Lord gives thee 3 options of judgment, choose one: 1st, 7 years of famine in thy land; or 2nd, to flee for 3 months from thy enemies chasing thee; or 3rd, 3 days plague of pestilence in thy land. David very perplexed said its best to fall into the Lord’s hands, for He shows great mercies, than in man’s hand. So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel from dawn to dusk as appointed, and some 70,000 people died from Dan to Beer-sheba. When the Angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented and said: Enough! hold thy hand; now the Angel of the Lord was in the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David saw the Angel and spoke to the Lord: I alone have sinned perversely, but not these sheep; let Thy hand be on me and my father’s house. Then Gad that day told David to erect an Altar to the Lord in the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David went to Araunah, who saw the King and his servants, and bowed before him; asking why the King has visited his servant. David said he wished to buy the threshing-floor to erect an Altar to the Lord to stop the plague from the people. Araunah: Let the King take it and offer what he deems best; take the oxen for the burnt-offering and take the threshing tools and yokes for wood to burn; all of it I give to the King, and may the Lord thy God accept thee. The King replied: No, I must buy it at price, for I will not offer to the Lord my God what cost me nothing. So David bought everything for 50 silver shekels; and built an Altar to the Lord and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings; and the Lord was entreated for the land, and the plague was stopped against Israel.
Some Reflections on SAMUEL:
The Theocracy of Moses Law and Covenant on behalf of the Lord as the representation and reflection of the Divine Word and the Kingdom it reveals during the rule of the Judges over a 500-year period is about to change to a Monarchy. God had given Israel 5 centuries to generate a world which conformed to the Divine Will, and to eradicate all opposition to the Word revealed. The Land and the People were to be transformed by the Book, and the Divine work of Creation and Judgment and Salvation was to produce fruit to God’s glory. The world of the Gentiles, the Nations not in covenant with God, nor related to the Lord, had for a millennium gone astray, and as they strayed, they altered all Divine knowledge and memory, and substituted vain imagination for truth and facts. The world history in each nation was more fiction than veracity, more virtual than real. The Law as Testimony had failed to change or perfect the chosen elect nation but was very much alive in judgment against the sins and nature of man in Israel and the world. Mankind was also maturing and aging in their own distinct ways and cultures. Religion was everywhere, but philosophy was becoming visible in many ways. Wisdom was discovered to be unique with man, and that with wisdom in its many forms, a man or a family, or a tribe, or a nation, could dominate all others. The Book as the repository of wisdom, human and divine, could unlock well guarded secrets and forbidden mysteries. Israel must needs undergo a change in regard to wisdom, and the Book must be enlarged to incorporate new features and meanings to the Divine knowledge. This wisdom will produce what centuries later we call science, that is, to apply the wisdom to produce, invent, create, make, and manufacture from ideas to reality for life and living. The sea merchant nations like the Phoenicians and the Greeks (the Hellenes) would learn from and teach to the nations of the Mediterranean world, and the Alphabet and the Book would spread throughout the earth; and with the Greeks new versions of old stories borrowed from Egypt, Canaan, Babylon, and elsewhere: stories, myths, legends and the like, of their gods and goddesses, of Hercules (compare with Samson), of Achilles, of David’s Mighty Men, of Goliath, etc.
In Samuel we have a member of the tribe of Judah and Ephraim. The similarity to 1st Chron. 6:33-38 of Elkanah ben-Jeroham of Kohath ben-Levi is problematic and uncertain. The Levites lived in various cities of Israel among the different tribes, their lineage became mixed and diluted among the tribes as seen in Judges, and often mixed with foreign marriages. Samuel as a decedent of Levi instead of Judah via Caleb, or of Benjamin, is confused and difficult to determine. The names are common and popular, the variants of spelling adds to the problem and eludes the solution. (In Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on 1st Samuel 1 it is properly treated, and Samuel as a Levite maintained; and also more fully treated in Lange & Schaff Commentary; and Barrett’s; but I am not convinced that is the best or accurate solution, but I agree it is reasonable; and some interpret Samuel Levitically (Lee in the Recovery Version, and others), while most emphasize his prophetic-judicial significance. But I lean closer to Driver’s note and solution, but with caution: (((From: S. R. Driver ‘Notes on Hebrew Text of Books of Samuel’ (1890)) [’aphrthi] This word appears to represent Elqanah not merely as resident in Ephraim (mohed ’Ephrim), but as an Ephraimite; in 1 Chron. 6 he is represented as a Levite, of the descendants of Qohath (Num. 3:27 etc.). The discrepancy is hard to reconcile. Jud. 17: 7 the expression ‘of the family of Judah,’ applied to a Levite, shews that Levites settled in a particular tribe may have been reckoned as belonging to it (cf. Ew. Hist. ii. 421); but there the addition (whu’ lui) makes the double relationship clear; here the addition (’Ephrthi) seems to shew that the narrator has no consciousness of Samuel’s Levitical descent. The explanation that the term designates Elqanah as an Ephraimite, merely so far as his civil rights and standing were concerned, makes it express nothing more than what is virtually declared in v. a (v. 1-4), and moreover implies a limitation which is not, at least, sustained by usage. It is a question whether the traditions embodied in Chron. have been handed down uniformly in their original form, and whether in some cases the genealogies have not been artificially completed. The supposition that Samuel was really of Ephraimite descent, and was only in later times reckoned as a Levite, appears to be the simplest explanation of the divergence.) But see Oehler’s solution below, that Samuel was a non-priest Levite of Ephraim.)) It is certain Samuel is shown to be a little priest adopted into Eli’s care, if not family, and is made to appear Levitical, but no more than symbolic, for his priesthood was to be a prophetic nature in relations to the new monarchy. Like Samson his birth is by divine intervention, and like the Angel’s instruction to Samson’s parents that he will be a Nazirite for life (‘from the womb to the tomb’), and his long hair ever a sign of his divine relation and obligation; so too, Samuel’s mother uses the Nazirite vow to bind her son to the priesthood and the Lord’s House and Tabernacle. There was a new way at work to displace and expose the priesthood, both Aaronic and Levitical. With Samson God uses a warrior and wild man, but with Samuel He has a scribe and prophet. The prophetic office was developing out of the Mosaic law, and Moses as a Prophet prefigured both the prophetic office of which Samuel is to play a major role, and ultimately Messiah the Prophet and the Anointed. In Moses’s death his prophetic office is given as the standard and measurement of all future prophets (Deut.34), and we saw in Deut. 18 and 13 the nature of the future prophetic office. We will not here future explore the prophetic office, but reserve that for the division of the Tanakh beginning with Isaiah the Prophet. The School of the Prophets, as colleges and bands or families, will multiply and adapt to their heads, leaders, and fathers. Soon the Prophets Elijah and Elisha will display those features of which we speak and seek. The Theocracy of the Judges was that of a prophetic nature and not lordship or monarchy in government. Samuel as the last and final judge will become a warrior and prophet in his priestly function. Eli and his sons died, and the priesthood is temporarily suspended till the monarchy is established. In Joshua the priesthood, with the High Priest in Eleazar and Phinehas known and served, but the in Judges they are hidden, lost, and void. We find in Samuel that the priesthood, headed by Eli, is corrupt and artificial, and contrary to the Mosaic order. The prophets will be raised up to reform and renew the priesthood and the people. There are many doctrines and principles both small and great that are matured and germinated in this new period, and we must each search and explore as He gives us desire and power to find and understand. I leave Samuel to move on to the Kings with these selections form Oehler who has taught many of the former generations.
(From: G. F. Oehler ‘Theology of the Old Testament’ (1874). Opening Words at the Last Delivery of Lectures October 21, 1870 (end of the Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War 1870-1871):
“Gentlemen, in resuming our academic activity after long interruption, we all doubtless feel emotions of mingled joy and sorrow. We thank God for the deeds of deliverance by which He hath glorified Himself in our nation, and for the gracious protection which makes it possible for us to pursue here the works of peace while the conflict still surges without; we trust that He will bring forth judgment to victory, and from the pangs of these days bring forth for our nation a felicity worthy of the sacrifices offered. But, on the other side, we may not doubt that the duration of the serious crisis of history in which we stand is still incalculable; that perhaps it bears in its lap many new sufferings, and will yet add many to the lamented sacrifices which already have fallen on the altar of our Fatherland. In such critical moments, in which man would gladly have leave to ask a question at fate, and in lieu of this is ready to cradle himself in sanguine dreams, the Christian is referred to the word of God, as the light by which we ever learn to read God’s ways, as the source from which in all circumstances we are to draw doctrine and counsel, admonition and comfort. In this blessing, by the divine word, the Old Testament has its proper share, as a prophetic word unveiling the divine purposes and the goal of all God’s ways, and displaying in every crisis of the fortunes of nations the coming of the God who judgeth and delivereth the world, perfecting His own kingdom;—as an historic word holding up tons a mirror in which we see the severity and goodness of God in the guiding of men: His severity against those who, revolting from Him, harden themselves in pride and lies; His goodness to those who, in repentance and humility, give Him honour and walk in His paths;—finally, as a word of prayer which teaches us in every case to seek God’s face, and to seek help from Him.
In the course of recent years it has often been said, especially in ecclesiastical assemblies, that a special need of the age is a better recognition of the importance of the Old Testament for religious knowledge and life—that the treasures of this book, so little known, especially to so-called persons of culture, be more fully laid open to the body of the Church. To this end the first requisite is, that theologians shall form a more thorough acquaintance with the Old Testament, especially that they become more familiar with it as a whole. It is true of every intellectual product, that it cannot be rightly esteemed by those who concern themselves only with its outer features, or with individual fragments of it; and of the Bible this is peculiarly true. What is here unfolded is one great economy of salvation—unum continuum systema, as Bengel puts it—an organism of divine deeds and testimonies, which, beginning in Genesis with the creation, advances progressively to its completion in the person and work of Christ, and shall find its close in the new heaven and earth predicted in the Apocalypse; and only in connection with this whole can details be rightly estimated. He who cannot apprehend the Old Testament in its historical context may produce in detail much that is valuable and worth knowing, but he lacks the right key to its meaning, and there fore true joy in the study of it; then he easily stops short at the puzzles which lie everywhere on the surface of the Old Testament, and from them he condemns the whole. Now, to introduce to organic historical knowledge of the Old Testament, is the very business of the discipline to which these lectures are to be devoted. We must not think it below its dignity to serve the practical need just indicated; nay, in general, he is no true theologian who leaves an open breach between science and life. But we vindicate for Old Testament theology no small importance also for science, especially for systematic theology. It possesses this importance as a part of biblical theology, since, in virtue of the Protestant principle of the authority of Scripture, every question for which the Protestant theologian seeks an answer leads back directly or indirectly to Scripture, and the historical investigation of the divine revelation it contains.
In its development as an independent science, biblical theology is one of the most recent branches of theology. We shall see by and by that the name and conception of biblical theology as a special historical science arose only in the course of last century, and the division of Old and New Testament theology was made still later. Older theologians did not separate dogmatic and biblical theology, and were still further from the idea of dividing Old and New Testament theology, ignoring the gradual progress of revelation, the constant connection of the revealing word with the advance of the revealing history, and treating the Old and New Testament as a sort of promptuarium which could be used alike in all its parts—prooftexts for every Christian doctrine being brought together from the various parts of the Bible. We are now far beyond such onesidedness, although some recent Old Testament theologians (Hengstenberg) still show a tendency to confuse the two Testaments after the fashion of the older orthodoxy. On the other hand, we are confronted in recent times by a view of the Old Testament which entirely cuts loose the Old Testament religion from specific connection with the New Testament, placing it on one line with the other pre-Christian religions, which also in their own way were a preparation for Christianity, —a view of the Old Testament which scarcely allows its theology to claim a higher significance for the theologic knowledge of the Christian, than could, for example, be ascribed to Homeric theology. This antipathy to the Old Testament in the spirit of Marcion and Schleiermacher is still prevalent among theologians, though far less so than it was twenty or thirty years ago. From this point of view the name Old Testament religion is as far as possible avoided, and Judaism and Judish religion are spoken of by preference, although everyone may learn from history that the Old Testament and Judaism are distinct—that Judaism begins when the Old Testament is about to end, viz. with Ezra and the wisdom of the scribes founded by him. This view consistently leads to the ignoring of the specific character as revelation of the New Testament also—of Christianity. On this point we must not allow ourselves to be deceived. The relation of the New Testament to the Old is such, that both stand or fall together. The New Testament has no other view than that Old Testament law and prophecy form its positive presupposition. According to the New Testament, God built up Christianity out of other elements than those with which modern destructive criticism is accustomed to calculate. We cannot have the redeeming God of the new covenant, without the Creator and covenant God preached in the old; we cannot place the Redeemer out of connection with Old Testament predictions which He appeared to fulfill. No New Testament idea, indeed, is already fully set forth in the Old Testament, but the genesis of all the ideas of New Testament salvation lie in the Old Testament; and Schleiermacher himself was compelled to give a striking testimony to the organic connection of the two Testaments, which in principle he denies, when he reintroduced into dogmatic the treatment of the work of Christ on the type of the threefold office. Against the assertion that, to gain the true sense of Scripture, we must put aside everything that is Israelitish, or, as people say, everything that is Jewish, or, in Bunsen’s words, must translate from Semitic into Japhetic, we must teach, with Hofmann (in his Schriftbeweis), that the history contained in Scripture being the history of Israel, is what makes it Holy Scripture; for Israel is the people whose vocation lies in the history of salvation [Greek deleted in WordPress, see PDF, when created.] (hë sötëria ek tön Ioudaiön estin), says our Lord to the woman of Samaria. Not to conceal God from the world, but to reveal Him to the world as the Holy One whom heathenism knows not, is the work for which Israel was chosen. In Israel were implanted such living forces, thatonly in this people could be born the God-man, the Redeemer of theworld. The whole national figure of Israel; the election and the rejection; the curse that lies upon the nation, which Hitzig has compared to the oyster, which produces the pearl by its own destruction, —all these are revelations of God to the world.
Therefore Old Testament theology still retains its importance for Christian dogma, though not in the same way in which the older Protestant theology utilized the Old Testament in dogmatic. The old atomistic system of Scripture proof must be superseded by one that shows that the truths of salvation formulated in dogmas, arise as the result of the whole historical process through which Revelation has passed. The possibility of such a Scripture proof is demonstrated just by biblical theology, which presents the Bible revelation in its totality and in its gradual historical course, and so displays the genesis
of the scriptural notions from which dogmatic propositions are to be coined, and the context in which they appear in the divine economy of salvation. When dogmatic makes use of the structure of biblical theology, this not only serves continually to renew and deepen the former in regard to existing dogmas; but also those biblical doctrines which, in the dogmatic labours of former centuries, fell too much into the shade, will receive more justice. For Scripture is, as Oetinger has called it, the store-book of the world, the store-book of all times: it offers to the Church in every age just such instruction as it specially requires. Thus, to give a single example, recent times have directed to biblical eschatology an interest in which the older Protestant theology had no share.
In these remarks I think I have brought forward the principal points of view by which the importance of Old Testament theology is to be estimated, and which are my guides in dealing with the Old Testament. Of the greatness and difficulty of the task, no one can have a livelier conviction than I myself. There are good reasons why there are innumerable monographs on isolated portions of biblical theology, but only few discussions of the whole subject, and also few separate books on Old Testament theology, and that some of these are posthumous. If these lectures awake in one or other of you an inclination to labour at the solution of this problem independently, not through the glasses of a theological system or a critical school, but to devote to the Old Testament a thorough study, with a receptive sense of its holy grandeur, this will be the best result which I could wish for these lectures. So, then, let us begin the journey that lies before us with trust in God, that we may pass through it without disturbance to its goal, and, arrived thither, may thank Him for His help in the way.”
(From Oehler’s as cited above.)
Part II —Prophetism. First Section. The Development of the Theocracy, from the Death of Joshua to the Close of the Old Testament Revelation.
First Division. The Times of the Judges. I. —The Disintegration of the Theocracy till the Times of Samuel.
§157. Course of Events. Import of the Office of Judge.
“The history of the period of the judges, when viewed from the theocratic point of view in which it is contemplated in the Book of Judges, and especially in the second introduction to this book (chap. ii. 6-iii. 6) (1), presents a constant alternation between the apostasy of the people and their consequent chastisement by the Divine Power, on the one hand, and the return of the people to their God and the Divine deliverances therewith connected, on the other. The course of events during the three centuries preceding the time when Samuel filled the post of judge, may be generally described as follows: —After Joshua, who had no immediate successor, and the other elders, who had known all the works of the Lord that He had done for Israel ” (Josh. xxiv. 31), had passed from the scene, the nation was left to itself, that its life might now be freely developed under theocratic institutions. So long as the remembrance of the Divine manifestations endured, the people remained faithful to these institutions. Even the internal war against the tribe of Benjamin, related in the sequel of the Book of Judges (chap. xix—xxi), which, occurring during the high-priesthood of Phinehas, must have been waged shortly after the death of Joshua, is an indication that the theocratic zeal of the nation had as yet suffered no diminution. This is, however, the last occasion for many years on which we meet with the united action of the whole people. For Joshua having committed the further execution of the work of conquest to the individual tribes, it ceased to be the common concern of the nation, and opportunity was thus given for the promotion of private interests. The several states were not always entirely successful in the petty warfare which they carried on; a portion of the still remaining Canaanites were not subdued, against others the sentence of extermination was not strictly carried out. Those who were rendered merely tributary, and suffered to dwell among the Israelites, not only seduced the people to the service of Canaanitish gods, but also regained the mastery in isolated parts of the land. Irruptions of numerous nomadic hordes of Midianites and Amalekites from the east ensued, while the nation was repeatedly exposed to danger from the hostile attacks of the neighbouring Moabites and Ammonites. In the west, the power of the Philistine Pentapolis, situate on the low-lying plains near the Mediterranean, became increasingly formidable during the middle period of the judges. The oppressions which the Israelites suffered at the hand of these different nations usually extended only to certain tribes; but this very circumstance was the reason that not even these afflictions were capable of drawing the tribes out of their isolation, and uniting them in a common enterprise. Such slothful selfishness on the part of individual tribes, in withdrawing from the national cause, is sharply reproved in the Song of Deborah, Judg. v. 15-17. In times of oppression like these (when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, chap. iii. 9, 15, iv. 3, etc.), individuals called judges arose, who, aroused by the Spirit of Jehovah, turned back the heart of the people to their God, revived in them the remembrance of God’s dealings with them in past times, and then broke the hostile yoke under which they were suffering. The whole intention of the narrative of this book is not, however, fulfilled in the glorification of these men as the heroes of the nation, —-its purport being rather to show that the help afforded was the result of an outpouring of the Divine Spirit; and that God, in effecting the deliverance of His people, made choice of the lowly and despised as His instruments. Compare what is already said of Shamgar, iii. 31. Very instructive in this respect is the history of Gideon, the most prominent among the earlier judges; see such passages as vi. 15, vii. 2. It was on this account that these ministers of the theocracy were called, not kings or rulers, but Shophetim (judges). This name must not, moreover, be specially restricted to the exercise of the judicial office, though its performance is asserted in the cases of Deborah (iv. 5), Eli, and Samuel, and must be assumed in that of others in so far as they remained for any length of time at the head either of the whole nation or of single tribes. It bears a more general signification, and represents these men as advocates of those Divine claims which it was their part to maintain and restore. The office of judge was neither permanent nor hereditary, but purely personal. Called to a prominent position by the necessities of the times, they interposed with energy in the affairs of the individual tribes at the head of which they were placed, but exercised no abiding influence upon the nation, which, on the contrary, relapsed into its former course, when its burdens were lightened or when the judge was dead; comp. especially the passage ii. 16-19.”
(From Oehler’s as cited above.)
§ 158. Religious Condition: Decline of the Theocratic Institutions.
§ 159. Continuation: Religious Syncretism of the Period,
II. Restoration of the Theocratic Unity by Samuel. Growth of Prophetism. Foundation of the Monarchy,
§ 160. The Philistine Oppression. Changes effected by Samuel.
“The appearance of Samuel, and the growth of Prophetism by his means, forms the turning-point of the period of the Judges. The new state of affairs had been prepared for, partly by the Philistine oppression, which was both a longer and a heavier judgment than any with which the people had yet been visited, partly by the judgeship of Eli. For the judgeship depending in his case not upon a successfully-conducted war or on any other act of heroism, but upon the high-priestly office, the sanctuary could not fail to acquire fresh importance, and consequently the theocratic union fresh power with the people. Their first attempt, however, to break the Philistine yoke in united battle, ended in a fearful overthrow, in which even the ark, which had so often led them to victory, fell into the hands of the enemy, 1 Sam. iv. The oppression of the Philistines then became still more grievous, for it is evident, from xiii. 19-22, that they disarmed the entire nation. The fact that the ark of the covenant, the medium of Jehovah’s help and presence, should have fallen into the hands of the heathen, could not fail to exercise an important influence upon the religious consciousness of the people. The ark, after being restored by the Philistines, was for a long time laid aside: ” it was not inquired after,” 1 Chron. xiii. 13 (comp. Ps. cxxxii. 6); it continued an object of fear, but not of worship. The tabernacle was transferred from Shiloh, as a place now rejected of God, to Nob in the tribe of Benjamin; but, having lost with the ark its essential significance as the place of God’s habitation, it ceased to be the religious centre of the nation, though, as we may infer from 1 Sam. xxi. and xxii. 17 sq., the Levitical services were carried on in it without interruption. The person of Samuel, impelled as he was by the prophetic spirit, was now the centre of the nation’s vitality. The sanctuary being rejected, and the agency of the high-priesthood suspended, the mediatorship between God and His people rested with the prophet, who, though not of the priestly race, but by descent a Levite of the region of Ephraim, now performed sacrificial services in the presence of the people (1 Sam. vii. 9 sq.). The central sanctuary no longer existing, we now also find various places of sacrifice, as the high places at Raman, 1 Sam. ix. 13, Bethel and Gilgal, x. 3 sq., comp. xi. 15, xv. 21. Thus were the bounds imposed by the Mosaic ritual for the first time broken through. Israel attained to the experience that the presence of God is not confined to an appointed and sensible symbol, but that wherever He is sincerely invoked, He bestows His abundant blessing. The day of penitence and prayer for which Samuel assembled the people at Mizpah, in the tribe of Benjamin, after he had put down idolatry, became, by the help of Jehovah, who acknowledged the prayer of His prophet, a day of victory over their enemies, and the beginning of their deliverance (chap. vii.). Samuel was henceforth judge of the whole nation; and the prophetic office began from this time to develope its agency, on which account the history of Prophetism, properly speaking, dates from Samuel (Acts iii. 24).”