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from these texts, that Shochoh lay not far from Azekah. SECT. And accordingly there were in Eusebius and Jerom's time two towns or villages of this name, lying in the road from Eleutheropolis to Jerusalem (as Azekah did), at nine miles distance. Whence it follows, that the valley of Elah, where the Israelites pitched, was likewise thereabouts, as also Ephesdammim. Saul having conceived an implacable hatred against David,
Of Naioth. we read chap. xix. that David Aed, and escaped to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done unto him. And he and Samuel, went and dwelt at Naioth, which (as we are told the next verse) was in Ramah ; i. e. in the district of Ramah, otherwise called Ramathaim-Zophim, the birthplace and usual dwelling-place of Samuel. And consequently Sechu mentioned ver. 22. lay in the way from Gibeah of Saul to Ramah. After this David withdrew to Nob, to Ahimelech the
Of Nob. priest, who delivered to him Goliath's sword, chap. xxi. 1-9. That this Nob was a facerdotal city, or a city assigned to the priests, is evident from chap. xxi. 19. and also from Nehem. xi. 32. where we find it not only reckoned among the Levitical cities, but also reckoned among the cities appertaining to the tribe of Benjamin. Indeed this is not reckoned among the cities first assigned to the priests, and it seems to have been added afterwards, and that only occasionally, whilst the ark was at Kirjath-jearim. From Nob, David went to Achish King of Gath ; where 16.
Of the face thinking himself in danger, he feigned himself mad, and so rest of Haescaped thence to the cave Adullam. Thence he withdrew reth. to Mizpeh of Moab, together with his father and mother, where these continued all the time of David's troubles. But David himself, at the direction of the prophet Gad, returned into the land of Judah, and came into the forest of Hareth, a place only mentioned here (chap. xxii. ver. 5.) ; but lying in the tribe of Judah, as appears from the clause immediately foregoing, and probably not far from Keilah, of which we read in chap. xxiii.
For it being told David, that the Philistines had be.
fieged Of Keilas
CHA P. fieged Keilah, he went and relieved it. Now this we find
reckoned among the cities of Judah, Joh. xv. 44. and it appears from several circumstances, that it lay on that part of Judah, which adjoined to the country of the Philistines, that is, in the west or south-west part of that tribe.
David being informed by God, that the men of Keilah Of the wil. would not be faithful to him, withdrew into the wilderderness of Ziph. ness of Ziph. We find a city of this name mentioned Josh.
xv. 55. together with Carmel and Maon; and therefore it probably adjoined to them; and accordingly here in the story of David we have mention made of Carmel and Maon, as adjoining to Ziph. So that it is not to be doubted, but by the Ziph, in the wilderness whereof David now lay, and where was the hill of Hachilah, is to be understood Ziph near Carmel and Maon. This is placed by Jerom eight miles eastward from Hebron.
From the wilderness of Ziph David withdrew into the Of Maon. adjacent wilderness of Maon, which was a neighbouring town
to Carmel. Hence it is said of Nabal, chap. xxv. ver. 2. that there was a man in Maon, whofe poffeffions were in Carmel; and Nabal, though he might dwelf generally in Maon, yet is styled Nabal the Carmelite, from the place where his estate lay. See 2 Sam. ii. 3, 4, &c.
From the wilderness of Maon David went and dwelt in Of Engedi, strong holds at Engedi, 1 Sam. xxiii. 29, &c. The old
name of this place was Hazezon-tamar, as appears from Gen. xiv. 7. compared with 2 Chron. xx. 2. It was a city in the tribe of Judah, as appears from Josh. xv. 62. and that not far from the Salt Sea, and in a wilderness or desolate country. Hence it is not improbable, that the Jeshimon, or wilderness, on the south of which Ziph and Maon are faid to be situated, 1 Sam. xxiii. 19, 24. is to be understood of the great wilderness lying from the Salt Sea, for some way westward, along the north coast of Judah. Engedi is taken notice of, Cant. i. 14. for its camphire, or (as others render it) cypress. And Jerom tells us, it was remarkable for opobala samum (supposed to be the same now-a-days called by the name of balm of Gilead), and that it was a great town in
22. Of the Ge. Thurites and
his days. But it is most remarkable on account of the
great - 8 ECT. instance of loyalty Thewn by David in an adjoining cave to
II. wards Saul. And a like instance we have again shewn by David to Saul in the wilderness of Ziph, after his return thither from the wilderness of Paran, 1 Sam. xxvi.
From the wilderness of Ziph David went again to Achish King of Gath, who gave him Ziklag, chap. xxvii. ver. 6. Of Ziklag. This was a city at first assigned to the tribe of Judah, but afterwards given to the tribe of Simeon, Joh. xv. 31. and xix. 5. But being a city bordering on the Philistines, if they had ever been driven out of it by the Israelites, it seems they had got it again at this time from the Israelites; whence the text says, that Achish gave David Ziklag.
Whilft David stayed here, which was a full year and four months, he went up and invaded the Gefhúrites, and the Gezrites, or Gerzites, and Amalekites; who then in- Cerzites. habited the parts on the south-west going to Shur and Egypt, 1 Sam. xxvii. 8. These Gerzites seem to be the same that are called Gerrhenians, 2 Macc. xiii. 24. from their chief town Gerra, mentioned by Strabo, as lying between Gaza and Pelufium in Egypt.
After this, the Philistines making war with the Israelites, came and pitched in Shunem ; and the Israelites pitched
Of Shunert in Gilboa, chap. xxviii. ver. 4. Shunem was a city in the border of the tribe of Islachar, Joh. xix. 18. and it being in this text placed next to Jezreel but one, it was in all probability the Shunem where the Philistines now encamped. For Jezreel is placed by writers at the west end of mount Gilboa; hence chap. xxix. ver, 1. we read, that the Ifraelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel, before the fight at Gilboa. This Shunem is also remarkable for the Shunamite woman who was so kind to Elisha. The Aphek mentioned chap. xxix. ver. 1. was probably that which lay in the tribe of Judah, and is before spoken of.
Mount Gilboa, as Eusebius and Jerom tell us, was a ridge of mountains, fix miles distance from Scythopolis or Beth. Of mouat Dhan
i among which was a town called Gilboa. These
Of the brook Be. for.
CHAP. mountains are remarkable for the death of Saul and Jonathan,
who were slain here.
While the armies lay in the camps already mentioned, of Endor. Saul, desirous to know the event of the approaching battle,
goes to a woman that had a familiar spirit, at Endor (chap. xxviii. ver. 7). This was 'a city of the half tribe of Manafseh, on the west of Jordan. And Eusebius and Jerom tell us, that in their days there was a great town of that name, near mount Tabor, being about five miles to the south of it.
And this might very well be the Endor here spoken of. 26.
David being dismissed by the Philistines, returned back to Ziklag, before the engagement at Gilboa. Being returned thither, he finds that the Amalekites had made an incurfion into those parts, and took his wives captive, and burnt Ziklag. Whereupon David, by the direction of God, pursues after the enemy, and comes to the brook Besor. It is evident from the circumstances of this story, that this brook must be in the south-west border of the land of Israel, and so empty itself into the Mediterranean Sea. The more particular situation of it is what writers are not agreed about. Crossing this brook, David overtakes the enemy, and recovers all they had carried away, and so returning to Ziklag, sent presents of the booty he had taken to his friends, at several places in these southern parts, which are either mentioned already, or not of note enough to be here particularly insisted upon. Only it may be of use to remark, that whereas it is said (1 Sam. xxx. 27.) that David sent of the spoil to them that were in Bethel, by Bethel here is to be understood, not Bethel lying in the north of the tribe of Benjamin, but Bethul mentioned among the cities of Simeon, Josh. xix. 4.
After the fight on mount Gilboa, the Philistines took the of Beth. body of Saul, and fastened it to the wall of Bethshan. This
was a city appertaining to the half tribe of Manasseh on the : west of Jordan, and not far from Jordan, and the south coast of the sea of Galilee. It was a considerable city in the times of Eufebius and Jerom, and was then, and had been for some
ages, called by Greek writers, Scythopolis, i. e. the city of SECT. the Scythians. It is supposed to take this name from some remarkable occurrence here, when the Scythians made an inroad into Syria. It is said 2 Macc. xii. 29. to lie fix hundred furlongs from Jerusalem. And thus much for the places mentioned in the firft book of Samuel.