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LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him, with his coat rent, and earth upon

his head: Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me.

But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, О king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.

And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. Behold they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok's son, and Jonathan Aubiathar's son: and by them ye

shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear.

So Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came to Jerusalem.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS

The noble ardour of mind for which David used to be remarkable was extinguished by sorrow; the bitterest arrows of affliction pierced his very soul; for what can equal the severe pangs which a tender parent feels for a child's ingratitude? Fears to which he had hitherto been a stranger, tore his distracted mind.

He did not however lose his hope and confidence in God, which were able to sustain him in the midst of these heavy distresses, as we may judge from the following words, uttered it is supposed when he ascended mount Olivet, or the mount of Olives, which was about a mile distant from Jerusalem*.

Lord, how are they increased that trouble me? many are they that rise up against me.

Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God.

But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and He heard me out of his holy hill.

I laid me down and slept; I awaked, for the LORD

sustained me.

I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that have set themselves against me round about.

Arise, O LORD, save me, O my God; for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone : Thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications : in Thy faithfulness answer me, and in Thy righteousness.

And enter not into judgment with Thy servant: for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified.

For the enemy hath persecuted my soul, he hath smitten my life down to the ground: he hath made me to dwell in darkness,

as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me: my heart within me is desolate.

I remember the days of old, I meditate on all Thy works: I muse on the work of Thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto Thee: ту

soul thirsteth after Thee, a thirsty land.

Hear me speedily, O LORD, my spirit faileth: hide not

* Psalms iii. and cxliii.

E 2

Thy

Thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.

Cause me to hear Thy loving kindness in the morning, for in Thee do I trust: cause me to know the

way

wherein I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto Thee.

Deliver me, 0 LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unta Thee to hide me.

Teach me to do Thy will, för Thou art my God: Thy Spirit is good, lead me into the land of uprightness.

Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for Thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble.

And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul : for I am Thy servant.

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When David heard that Abithophel was in the conspiracy, he was exceedingly alarmed, because he was acquainted with all his affairs; the king therefore prayed to God to defeat his counsels: and the following psalm, so applicable to his situation, is supposed to have been composed by David on this occasion*.

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Give ear to my prayer, O GOD: and hide not. Thyself from my supplication.

Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; because of the unice of the enemy,

bem cause of the oppression of the wicked for they east, iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.

My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.

Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and hoxror hath overwhelmed me.

And I said, Othat I had wings like a dove! for then would I Ay away, and be at rest.

• Psalm lv.

LO

Le then would I warder for off, and rerrain in the walderness. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. Destroy, 0 LORD, and divide their tongues:

for I hare seen violence and strife in the city.

Day and night they go about it upon the calls thereof: mischief also and surrow are in the midst of it.

Wickedness is in the midst thereof; decett and guile depart not from her streets.

For it was not an enemy that reprcached me, then I could have borne it; neither was 't he that hated me, that did magnify himself against me, then I would have hid. myself from him.

But it was thou, a man, mine egual, my guide, and mine acquaintance.

We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.

As for me, I will call upon God: and the LORD shall

save me

Evening and morning, and at noon will I pray, and org

aloud: and He skall hear my voice.

He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me for there were many with mié.

GoD shall kear and afflict them, even be that abideth of obd: because they have no changes, therefore they fear not GOD.

He katk prut forth his hands against such as be at penèe with him: he hath broken his covenant.

The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. But Thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit

of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days, but I will trust in Thee.

The arrival of Hushai, David's friend, at this critical juncture, must be considered as an instance of God's goodness: Hushai was an able counsellor, but no warrior; therefore, the only way in which he could be serviceable to David was, by defeating the counsel of Ahithophel, which was the most likely means of preventing the evils of a civil war, of preserving the life of David, and of keeping Absalom from proceeding to further extremities

SECTION XIX.

ZIBA BY DECEIT OBTAINETH THE INHERITANCE OF

HIS MASTER-SHIMEI CURSETH DAVID.

From 2 Sam. Chap. xvi.

AND when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer-fruits, and a bottle of wine.

And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses be for the king's household to ride on, and the bread and summer-fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness

may

drink. And the king said, And where is thy master's son? And Ziba said to the king, Behold, he abideth at Jerusalem: for he said, To-day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father. Then said the king to Ziba, behold, thine are all that

pertained

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