« AnteriorContinuar »
ward by Rehoboam his grandson; but again dismantled by Ozi- sect, as King of Judah, and finally laid waste by Hazael King of Syria. However it recovered, and was in being, and retained its old name in the days of Eusebius and Jerom, and is placed by them about four miles from Eleutheropolis, towards Diofpolis or Lydda. After the ark was brought to Gath, the hand of the Lord
Of Ekron, was against the city with a very great destruction; and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emrods in their secret parts. Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. 1 Sam. v. 9, 10. This city was the most northern of all the five cities, which gave name to the five lordships of the Philistines, lying in the north border of Judah, as appears from Joh. xv. II. It was called by the Greeks, Accaron, and was a place of great wealth and power, and held out a long while against the Ifraelites. It is much spoken of in the holy Scriptures, and particularly for the idolatrous worship of Beelzebub, i. e. the Lord of Flies, so called by the Jews, either in contempt of the idolatrous worfip paid to him, or because of the great multitude of fies which did attend his facrifices ; from which, some say, the temple of Jerusalem was wholly free. But whatsoever he was, or for whatever cause so named, certain it is, that he was here had in special honour, and is therefore called in Scripture, the God of Ekron. And hither it was, that Ahaziah, the King of Israel, sent his messenger to enquire of this idol concerning his health.
The ark being brought to Ekron, the Ekronites cried out, Jaying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel Of Bethto us, to pay us, and our people. So they sent and gathered together all the Lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go to its own place. Hereupon, by the advice of their priests and the diviners, the ark of God was laid on a new cart; and two milch-kine, on which there had been no yoke, were tied to the cart, their calves being brought home from them. Notwithstanding which, the said two kine took the straight way to Bethshemesh, a town belonging to the tribe of Judah ; whereby the Philistines
CHAP. were taught that the evils that had befallen them came not
by chance, but that the God of Israel had afflicted them there. with. i Sam. vi. 9. This Bethshemesh lay in the north border of Judah (as appears from Josh. xv. 10.) and not far westward from Kirjath-jearim, of which we are to speak
From Bethshemesh the ark was quickly removed to KirOf Kirjath jcarım. jath-jearim, where it continued for twenty years ; namely,
till it was fetched from thence by King David, as we read 1 Chron. xiii. 5, 6. This Kirjath-jearim is expressly reckoned among the cities of the tribe of Judah, Josh. xv. 60. And ver. 9, 10. of that chapter, we find it lay in the north border of that tribe, not far from Bethshemesh, and that it was otherwise called Baalah, and thence sometimes Kirjathbaal (ver. 60.) as well as Kirjath-jearim ; this last name being taken from mount Jearim, upon or near which it lay. It frequently occurs in Scripture.
After the ark was settled at Kirjath-jearim, Samuel took
repentance, God would deliver them out of the hand of the Philistines. The Ifraelites took the Prophet's advice : whereupon Samuel summoned them together to Mizpeh, and there kept a folemn fast. The Mizpeh here mentioned must be (as appears from the circumstances of this story) different from that above mentioned in the history of Jephthah: accordingly we have another Mizpeh, mentioned among the cities of Judah, (Josh. xv. 38.) and a third mentioned among the cities of Benjamin, (Josh. xviii. 26.) Some are of opinion, that these two were really but one and the fame city, lying in the confines of Judah and Benjamin. If they were not the same, then it seems most probable, that Mizpeh in the tribe of Benjamin was that which is here spoken of, as also Judg. XX. I, 3. and 2 Kings xxv. 23. and also i Maccab. iii. 46; where it is called Mafpha, and is faid to be, not only over against Jerusalem, but also the place where they prayed aforetime in Israel; alluding to this passage in Samuel, and the other in Judges.
The Philistines, hearing that the Israelites were gathered SECT. together at Mizpeh, went up against them; and joining battie, the Philistines were routed, the Israelites pursuing them unto Beth-car. Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between of Eben. Mizpeb and Shen, and talled the name of it Eben-ezer (i. e. ezers the stone of help), saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. Chap. vii. ver. 11, 12. Now this stone lay near Bethshemesh, as Eusebius and Jerom inform us; and it being plain from Scripture, that Bethshemesh lay in the north border of Judah, it will follow, that this Eben-ezer did so likewise ; and therefore, that Mizpeh was fituated also thereabout, as being not far from Eben-ezer: and the like inference is to be made, as to the situation of Beth-car and Shen ; namely, that as Mizpeh was situated not far from Eben-ezer on one (probably the east or north-east) fide; fo Shen was situated not far from it on the opposite side, or to the west or south-west, and that Beth-car was so likewise,
Of the Places mentioned in the first Book of Samuel, from Saul's
being anointed King, to his Death. А
FTER this the Philistines came no more into the coast of
of Zuph. Philiftines had taken from Israel, were restored to Israel. Chap. vii. ver. 13, 14. Notwithstanding which, Samuel being grown old, and his sons not walking in his ways, the elders of Israel wait on Samuel at Ramah, and desire him to make a King over them, like as all other nations had. Hereupon the sacred History takes notice, upon what account Saul happened to come to Samuel, and how he was anointed by Samuel King over Israel, chap. ix-X. ver. 1. As for the land of Shalisha and Shalim, mentioned chap. ix. ver. 4. it being no where else mentioned, nothing of certainty, or tolerable probability, can be said of them. As for the land of Zuph, ver. 5. it is evident, that thereby is denoted that part of mount Ephraim,
3. Of Gibeah.
CHAP. where stood Ramah, the city of Samuel, which was thence
In chap. X. ver. 2. we have mention made of Rachel's lea: Of Rachel's pulchre, where it is expressly said to be in the border of Benjafepulchre. · min, and near a place then called Zelzah. Of this sepulchre,
see my Geography of the New Testament, Part I.
In the latter end of this chapter we read, that Saul was publickly made King at Mizpeh; after which he went home to Gibeah, a city of Benjamin, and which, as it was his native place, so it was afterwards made his royal seat; whence it is styled in Scripture, Gibeah of Saul, as well as Gibeah of Bena jamin. It was here, that the concubine of the Levite was abused; which proved almost the entire ruin of this tribe of Benjamin. It lay to the north of Jerusalem, being between twenty and thirty furlongs from it. (Jos. Ant. 5. chap. ii. and Jewish War 6. chap. ii.) It stood on an hill, as the name imports.
Not long after this, Jabesh-Gilead being besieged by the Of Jabeh- Ammonites, was timely relieved by Saul, and a great Naugh
ter made of the enemy. The very name of this place imports, that it lay in Gilead, and so on the east of Jordan, and adjoining to the country of the Ammonites who besieged it. It was a town in Eusebius and Jerom's times, being fix miles distant from Pella, and standing upon an hill, as one goes to Gerafa. It is sometimes simply called Jabesh in Scripture ; and the inhabitants thereof are remarked in the sacred History, for their grateful remembrance of this benefit they received from Saul, when after his death, having heard that the Philistines had fastened his body to the wall of Bethsan, they went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his fons from the wall of Bethsan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there ; and took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days. Chap. xxxi. ver. 10–13. For which their gratitude they were highly commended by King David, 2 Sam. ii. 5-7.
In chap. xiii. ver. 5. we read, that the Philistines came up, Of Mich- and pitched in Michmah. This place, the text tells us, was
eastward from Beth-aven. And Eufebius and Jerom inform
us, that in their time it was a great town, retaining its old's E CT. name, and lying nine miles from Jerusalem, near to Ramah. But now these two accounts are irreconcileable; and the fault feems to be either in the present reading of the Hebrew Text, or our rendering of it. The seventy Interpreters read it Bethoron, and the Syriac and Arabick interpreters read it Bethel ; and Michmash might lie east of Bethel, and cestainly did lie east of Bethoron the Nether (which the LXX. understood); but it could not lie east of Beth-aven (taken as distinct from Bethel), and yet be fo near Rama or Jerufalem as Eusebius and Jerom fay. If therefore Beth-aven be the true reading, then the Hebrew word rendered by us eastward ought to be rendered before, or (as it is by the LXX.) over against; and so both accounts are very reconcileable, as may be seen by the map.
In the same chap. xiii.ver. 3. we read, that Jonathan, the son of Saul, fmote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba. Now among the cities of Benjamin mentioned Josh. xviii. we read of Gaba, Gibeath, and Gibeon ; and Josh. xxi. ver. 17. we read, that the two cities given to the children of Aaron out of the tribe of Benjamin, were Gibeon and Geba. Whence it is not to be doubted, but that Gaba, chap. xviii. was the fame with Geba, chap. xxi. Some have been of opi. nion, that this Geba or Gaba was also the same with Gibeah; but this opinion is discountenanced, not only by Gibeath (which in all probability was the same with Gibeah) being expressly named as a distinct city from Gaba, (Josh. xviii.) but also by the circumstances mentioned in this 13th chapter of 1 Samuel, and elsewhere. For we read, chap. X. ver. 26. that Gibeah was the city where Saul dwelt, and hence, chap. xi. ver. 4. it is called Gibeah of Saül; and agreeably, chap. xiii. ver. 2. we read, that Saul chofe him three thoufand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and mount Bethel, and a thousand with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin, i. e. in the royal city of Saul. And in ver. 3. we presently read next, that Jonathan (mote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba: which was therefore distinct from Gibeah, it being not likely, that the Philistines
6. Of Geban