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the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies;" formed Ishbosheth of it, and sent him at the same time an intimating hereby the incapacity of Ishbosheth, and that it offer of resigning the crown of Judah to him, and all his was both iheir interest and duty to transfer the kingdom pretensions to be king over all Israel. It is plain David and government to David; would be happy for themselves, was not of this sentiment, but thought his own right was and an instance of obedience to their God. He went also better than Ishbosheth's, and therefore made use of that and applied himself particularly to the tribe of Benjamin, method to secure it, which he was persuaded that the strict to which Saul's family belonged, and persuaded them, by laws of equity, and the severe morals of a good servant of the same kind of arguments, to fall in with the general God, did not in the least prohibit and condemn. And I sense of all the other tribes, and concur with them in ad-confess, I do not see any just reason for this censure of Mr. vancing David to the throne.-CHANDLER.
Bayle's, or in what David acted, by accepting Abner's Ver. 21. And Abner said unto David, I will arise proposals, contrary to the strictest laws of equity, or the
severe morals of a good servant of God. To David beand go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord longed the throne by the appointment of God; and Abner, the king, that they may make a league with by advancing Ishbosheth, and beginning a civil war in the thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that kingdom,
acted contrary to his duty to God, the allegiance
he owed David, the laws of hereditary succession, and the thy heart desireth. And David sent Abner peace and happiness of his country. Here Abner was exaway; and he went in peace.
tremely criminal, and every moment he continued to sup
port Ishbosheth, he supporied an unnatural rebellion, and Having settled this important point to his mind, he took acted contrary io his own conviction, by keeping David Michal, and waited with her on David at Hebron, attended out of the possession of the kingdom, which he knew and with twenty persons of rank in his retinue, whom David confessed God had sworn to give him. Through a regard favourably received, and for whom he made a royal enter- to Saul's family, and more to his own ambition, he detertainment; and having fixed the terms of accommodation mined to defer David's possession as long as he could; till between them, Abner took his leave, and at parting told at length, finding that Ishbosheth was unworthy of the the king, “ I will go and assemble all Israel together to my throne, and incapable of government; that David would Jord, whom I now acknowledge for my sovereign and finally prevail, probably tired out with the calamilies of the king, that they may all of them submit to thine authority civil war, and, I doubt not, willing to make some good and government, upon such terms as shall be judged hon- terms for himself, he took hold of the first opportunity to ourable on both sides, and that, according to the utmost break with Ishbosheth, and reconcile himself, and the whole wishes of thy heart, thou mayest reign over us all, and the nation, to David. In this Abner certainly acted as right a kingdom may be established in thy house and family." part, as he, who having supported a usurpation and real Abner then took his leave, and went away pleased and rebellion, at length returns to his duty, deserts the prehappy, to bring about the revolution he had projected and tender, and submits himself to his lawful prince. Though promised. Here Mr. Bayle is out of all patience, and after the motives to such an alteration of conduct may not be having told us that Abner, being discontented with the altogether quite honourable, the conduct itself is certainly king his master, resolved to dispossess him of his dominions, right; and the only possible means, by which such a perand deliver them up to David, adds: “ David gives ear to son can atone for his past guilt, is to lay down his arms, the traitor, and is willing to gain a kingdom by intrigues and put an end to the usurpation, and thereby restore the of this nature. Can it be said that these are the actions of public peace. Mr. Bayle, with great indignation, calls a saint? I own there is nothing in all this, but what is Abner the traitor But did ever any one imagine, that the agreeable to the precepts of policy, and the methods of hu- deserting a usurper, and submitting to a man's lawful man prudence; but I shall never be persuaded, that the prince, really constituted him a traitor to his lawful prince? strict laws of equity, and the severe morals of a good Rather, doth he not cease to be a traitor to him, when he servant of God, can approve such conduct." There are declares for his rightful sovereign ? Ishbosheth was Absome persons whom it is extremely difficult to please. In ner's king, as Mr. Bayle tells us; but it was a king he had a former nole Mr. Bayle heavily censures David, that he reasonably made, and whom he had supported by violence, had made incessant war on Ishbosheth, like a very am- in opposition to the order of God, and without any pretence bitions and even infidel prince; and now, he ceases even of right and justice. If therefore the making him king was to be a saint, and shows he is destitute of the severe morals wrong, the deserting him, and bringing over the tribes to of a good servant of God, because he took the first oppor- David, was right. And the easy method by which Abner tunity, and the only means that were in his power, to put a effected this revolution, and the cordial manner in which stop to the war, and prevent the further effusion of blood, the whole nation submitted to David, is a demonstration by a general and solid peace. What, I wonder, would Mr. that they approved Abner's change, and were glad to Bayle have had David to have done, when Abner sent his accept David for their king. For no sooner had Abner a first proposals for an accommodation ? Ought he to have conference with the elders of Israel, and put them in mind immediately rejected them, reproached Abner as a traitor that they had formerly desired David for their king, and to his prince, told him he would enter into no terms of that the Lord had resolved to deliver them from the Phipeace with
m, nor his master, but reduce them both, with listines, and the hand of their enemies, by the hand of all the eleven tribes that adhered to them, by force of David ; but instantly all the tribes came to Hebron, all the arms? Had David done this, would not all the world have men of war, with a perfect heart, and all Israel with one reproached him for folly, thus to hazard, by continuing the heart, to make him king, and accordingly anointed him war, what he could so certainly and easily obtain by the king over Israel. In this whole affair, David's conduct, to voluntary offer of Abner? Would he not have been justly me, seems perfectly honourable. He received a rebel censured fordelighting in blood, for pursuing by the sword, general to his favour upon his submission, agrees with what he could secure by treaty and accommodation ? Or, him that he should bring in all the tribes to do what they would Mr. Bayle have had David sent to Ishbosheth, and desired to do, and were bound by the order of God to do, informed him of Abner's treachery, and advised him to the even to make him king over them, that hereby he might proper methods of preventing it? This, perhaps, Mr. have the peaceable possession of the whole kingdom. Bayle might have commended as an act of exceeding great Abner had openly told Ishbosheth of his design. Abner generosity, and Ishbosheth might have thought himself sent messengers to David, and not David to Abner, on the greatly obliged to David for such an instance of friendship. affair. It was Abner who conferred with the princes of But how would the tribe of Judah have stood affected to Israel, and came openly to David at Hebron to agree upon him ? Would they not have concluded him unworthy to proper measures, David carried on no secret intrigues be their prince, who no better understood his own interest to bring over Abner and the eleven tribes to his party. or theirs, by his rejecting a measure, which every pruden- He only consented to a just proposal that was made him of tial consideration, which humanity, and the love that he recovering his own right, without invading the real right owed to his people, obliged him immediately and thank- of a single person; and indeed it was the only method he fully to embrace? David had no other choice left him, but could take, and he would not have acted like a saiut, or a either to fall in with Abner's offer, or prolong the calam- wise and just prince, lead he pot hereby put an end to the ities of the civil war; except Mr. Bayle thought he was civil war, secured his own rights, and restored and estabobliged, upon discovering Abner's treachery, do have in- | lished the peace and prosperity of his people.--CHANDLER.
Ver. 31. And David said to Joab, and to all the the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children
people that were with him, Rend your clothes, of Benjamin and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before
This is added to show us that these two regicides were Abner. And King David himself followed the
not only officers in the king's army, but of the same tribe bier.
with Saul, and therefore had more ties than one upon them,
to be honest and faithful to his family. For there is reaThe word here translated the bier is in the original the bed : son to believe that Saul, who lived in the borders of Benjaon these, persons of quality used to be carried forth to their min, conferred more favours upon that tribe than any other, graves, as common people were upon a bier. Kings were and might therefore justly expect, both to him and his, a sometimes carried out upon beds very richly adorned; as greater esteem and fidelity from those of his own tribe than Josephus tells us that Herod was; he says the bed was all from others. This patronymic is therefore very properly gilded, set with precious stones, and that it had a purple | prefixed to the names of Rechab and Baanah, to show what cover curiously wrought.-PATRICK.
vile ungrateful villains they were, and how justly they de
served the severe and exemplary punishmeni which David Ver. 33. And the king lamented over Abner, and
inflicted on them.-StackHOUSE. said, Died Abner as a fool dieth ? 34. Thy Ver. 5. And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fet- Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the ters; as a man falleth before wicked men, so
heat of the day to the house of Ish-bosheth, fellest thou. And all the people wept again who lay on a bed at noon. 6. And they came over him.
thither into the midst of the house, as though See on Rev. 2. 17.
they would have fetched wheat; and they smote The feet as well as the hands of criminals are wont to him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baabe secured, some how or other, by the people of the East, nah his brother escaped. when they are brought out to be punished, to which there seems to be a plain allusion in the Old Testament. Thus The females engaged in this operation, endeavoured 10 when Irwin was among the Arabs of Upper Egypt, where beguile the lingering hours of toilsome exertion with a he was very ill used, but bis wrongs afterward redressed song. We learn from an expression of Aristophanes, preby the great sheik there, who had been absent, and who served by Athenæus, that the Grecian maidens accomit seems, was a man of exemplary probity and virtue ; he panied the sound of the millstones with their voices. This tells us, that upon that sheik's holding a great court of circumstance imparts an additional beauty and force 10 justice, about Irwin's affairs and those of his companions, the description of the prophet : (Isa. xlvii. 1.) The light of The bastinado was given to one of those who had injured a candle was no more to be seen in the evening; the sound them, which he thus describes in a note, page 271: “The of the millstones, the indication of plenty; and the song of prisoner is placed upright on the ground, with his hands the grinders, the natural expression of joy and happiness, and feet bound together, while the executioner stands be- were no more to be heard at the dawn.' The grinding of fore him, and, with a short stick, strikes him with a smart corn al so early an hour, throws light on a passage of conmotion on the outside of his knees. The pain which arises siderable obscurity : “And the sons of Rimmon the Beerofrom these strokes is exquisitely severe, and which no con- thite, Rechab and Baanah, went and came about the heat stitution can support for any continuance.” As the Arabs of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at are extremely remarkable for their retaining old customs, noon; and they came thither into the midst of the house, we have just grounds of believing, that when malefactors as though they would have fetched wheat, and they smote in the East were punished, by beating, and perhaps with him under the fifth rib; and Rechab and Baanah his brodeath by the sword, their hands were bound together, and ther escaped.” It is still a custom in the East, according also their feet. How impertinent, according to this, is the
10 Dr. Perry, to allow their soldiers a certain quantity of corn, interpretation that Victorinus Strigelius gives of 2 Sam. iii. with other articles of provisions, together with some pay: 31! as he is cited by Bishop Patrick in his Commentary on and as it was the custom also to carry their corn to the mill at those words: “The king lamented over Abner, and said, break of day, these two captains very naturally went to the Died Abner as a fool dieth? Thy hands were not bound, palace the day before, to fetch wheat, in order to distribute nor thy feet put into fetters; as a man falleth before wicked it to the soldiers, that it might be sent to the mill at the acmen, so fellest thou. And all the people wept again over customed hour in the morning. The princes of the East, him.” “Strigelius," says the Bishop, "thinks that David, in those days, as the history of David shows, lounged in in these words, distinguishes him from those criminals, their divan, or reposed on their conch, till the cool of the whose bands being tied behind them, are carried to execu- evening began to advance. Rechab and Baanah, therefore, tion; and from those idle soldiers, who being taken captive came in the heat of the day, when they knew that Ishboin war, have fetters clapped upon their legs, to keep them sheth their master would be resting on his bed; and as it from running away. He was none of these; neither a was necessary, for the reason just given, to have the corn the notorious offender, nor a coward.” Patrick adds, “The day before it was needed, their coming at that time, though plain meaning seems to be, that if his enemy had set upon it might be a little earlier than usual, created no suspicion, him openly, he had been able to make his part good with and attracted no notice.-Paxton. him." How impertinent the latter part of what Strigelius It is exceedingly common for people to recline on their says! how foreign from the thought of David, not to say
couches in the heat of the day. Hence, often, when you inccnsistent with itself, the explanation of the English call on a person at that time, the answer is, “The master prelate! What is meant appears to be simply this: Died is asleep." Captain Basil Hall speaks of the inhabitants Abner as a fool, that is, as a bad man, as that word fre- of South America having the same custom. The old Roquently signifies in the scriptures? Died he as one found mish missionaries in China used to take their siesta with a on judgment to be criminal, dieth ? No! Thy bands, O metal ball in the hand, which was allowed to project over Abner! were not bound as being found such, nor thy feet the couch; beneath was a brass dish, so that as soon as the confined; on the contrary, thou wert treated with honour individual was asleep the fingers naturally relaxed their by him whose business it was to judge thee, and thy attach- grasp, and let the ball fall, and the noise made awoke him ment to the house of Saul esteemed rather generous than from his slumbers.-ROBERTS. culpable; as the best of men may fall, so fellest thou, by the sword of treachery, not of justice!--HARMER.
Ver. 12. And David commanded his young men,
and they slew them, and cut off their hands and CHAPTER IV.
their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Ver. 2. And Saul's son had two men that were Hebron. But they took the head of Ish
captains of bands; the name of the one was bosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, in Hebron.
In times of tumult and disorder, they frequently cut off, kingdom shall not continue. The Lord hath sought him, the hands and feet of people, and afterward exposed them, 2353 un, a man after his oven heart; he shall be captain over as well as the head. Lady M. W. Montague speaking of his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord the Turkish ministers of state says, “if a minister dis- hath commanded thee. It is evident here, that the man please the people, in three hours' time he is dragged even after God's own heart stands in opposition to the character from his master's arms; they cut off his hands, head, and of Saul, who is described as acting foolishly, by breaking feet, and throw them before the palace gate, with all the the commandment of God by his prophet, and rejected by respect in the world, while the sultan (to whom they all him, i. e. deprived of the succession to the crown in his profess an unlimited adoration) sits trembling in his apart- family, on account of his folly, presumption, and disobement.”. Thus were the sons of Rimmon served for slaying dience. And it therefore means one who should act pruIshbosheth.-Harmer.
dently, and obey the commandments of God delivered him
by his prophets, and whom therefore God would thus far CHAPTER V.
approve and continue to favour. Thus the expression is Ver. 3. So all the elders of Israel came to the actually interpreted by the Chaldee paraphrase : The man
who doth my will; and by St. Paul to the Jews at Antioch, king to Hebron; and King David made a who says, that when God hath removed Saul, he raised league with them in Hebron before the LORD: them up David to be their king; to whom he gave testimoand they anointed David king over Israel.
ny, and said: I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man
after my own heart, who shall execute my will. There 4. David was thirty years old when he began are therefore two senses, which are evidently implied in to reign, and he reigned forty years.
this character of the man after God's own heart; a man,
who should faithfully execute the will of God according In the foregoing history we have seen the various steps, as he was commanded, and who on that account, and so by which providence brought David to the quiet possession far, should be the object of his approbation. And in one of the throne of Israel; an event that, to all human proba- or other, or both these sepses, we find the expression albility, seemed the most unlikely, as the family of Saul, his ways used. Thus David, recounting the singular favours predecessor, was very numerous, all the forces of the king- of God towards himself, says; For thy word's sake, 7357, dom under' his command, and large bodies of them fre- according to thy heart, i. e. thy will and pleasure, hast thou quently employed by him to accomplish David's destruc- done all these great things. In another place God saith to tion. But God's purposes must stand, and he will do all the Jews: I will give you pastors, 1259, according to my heart: his pleasure. He had assured Saul, by the mouth of pastors who shall answer the purposes for which I seni Samuel his prophet, that he had sought him, a MAN AFTER them, and act agreeable to their
office, as the words immeHIS OWN HEART, and commanded him to be captain over his ately following explain it: Who shall feed you with people. This character has been thought, by some wri- knowledge and understanding. Thus also the Psalmist : iers, to denote the highest degree of moral puriiy, and that The Lord grant thee according to thy heart, i. e. as the next therefore it could not, with truth or justice, be ascribed to words explain it: Fulfil all thy counsel; give thee thy David, who was certainly gnilty of some very great of- wishes, and by his favour prosper all thy designs. In like fences, and hath been plentifully loaded with others, which manner, when Jonathan said to his armour-bearer:"Come, he was entirely free from the guilt of. Every one knows, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised,” his that in a literal translation of words from one language to armour-bearer said to him: Do all that is in thy heart. Do another, the original and the literal version may convey whatever thou desirest and approvest. Turn thee. Bevery different ideas; and shonld any one assert, that what hold, I am with thee according to thy heart; in every thing the version properly imports is the genuine meaning of the in which thou canst desire, or command my concurrence. original, he would betray his ignorance and want of learn- These remarks may be confirmed by some other forms of ing, and all his reasonings from such an assertion would expression of the like nature. Thus God tells Eli: "I will be inconclusive and false. A good man, upon the exchange raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to chat of London, means, a responsible and wealthy man, who is is in my heart and my soul," i. e. what I command, and what able to answer his pecuniary obligations, and whose credit approve. When Jehu, king of Israel, had cut off the is every way unexceptionable, though his character for whole house and family of Ahab, whom God for his numorals may be extremely bad. But this is not the mean- merous crimes had doomed to destruction, God said to him: ing of the Greek word ayafas, and but seldom, or ever, of “ Thou hast done well, in executing that which is right in the Latin word bonus ; and should any one argue, that such my eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab, according a man was ayahıs or bonus, according to the common ac- to all that was in my heart," i.e. every thing I proposed, and ceptation of those words in Greek and Latin, because in commanded thee to do. And yet in the very next verse, the English phrase he is called a good man, he would ex- Jehu is described as a very bad prince; for he took no heed pose himself for his ignorance and simplicity. A mon af- to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his ier God's own heart, in English, if we interpret the expres- heart, nor departed from the sins of Jeroboam, who made sion in the strictest and highest sense, undoubtedly denotes Israel to sin.' So Moses tells the people : “ By this ye shall a character irreproachable and pure, without spot or blem- | know, that the Lord hath said to me to do all these things, ish. But doch it follow that this is the meaning of the and that they are not from my own heart;" i. e. that I have Hebrew expression, and that David, because he is so called, not acted by my own suggestions, and according to my own was intended to be represented as a man of the highest pleasure; and he commands them: "Ye shall remember purity? This is presuming on a meaning, that the expres- all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and not sion by no means necessarily conveys, and taking for grant- seek after your own heart, and your own eyes,” what is ed what ought to be proved, and what every man, who un- agreeable to your passions, and pleasing to your vanity. derstands the original language, knows to be mistaken. Many more places might be mentioned to the same purpose; The immediate occasion of these words of Samuel 1o Saul but from those already alleged, the reader will see, that was, Saul's disobedience in sacrificing, contrary to the ex- David is characterized as a man aster God's oven heart, not press orders he had received from God by this great prophet, to denote the utmost height of purity in his moral characnot to offer sacrifices till he should come, and give him the ler, as a private man, which by no means enters into the proper directions for his behaviour. The pretence was meaning of the expression, and which in no one single inpiety, but the real cause was impatience, pride, and con- stance is intended by it; but to represent him as one, who tempt of the prophet; who not coming just at the time Saul in his public character, as king of Israel, was fit for the purexpected, he thought it beneath him to wait any longer for poses to which God advanced him, and who knew he would him; and imagined, that as king, all the rites of religion, faithfully execute the commands he should give him by his and the ministers of it, were to be subjected to his direction prophets; and who on this account should be favoured and and pleasure. But when Samuel came, notwithstanding approved of God, and established, himselfand family, on the his plea of devotion, and the force he put upon himself
, throne of Israel.' He was, I doubt not, npon the whole, a Samuel plainly tells him: Thou hast done foolishly, thou really virtuous and religious man, according to the dispenhast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which sation he was under; and he certainly was a wise, a just, he commanded thee; for now would the Lord have estab- a munificent and prosperous prince; but yet he had his lished thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy faults, and those great ones, in his private character; and these faults were not inconsistent with his character of be- all Israel, and executed judgment and justice among all ing a man according to God's heart ; for if he was such a his people. See here, reader, the true portrait of the man prince as God intended him to be, faithfully executing after God's own heart, who fulfilled all his pleasure, who his orders, and bringing to pass those great events, which amid all the idolatries of the nations around him, never he was raised up by God to be the instrument of accom- wickedly apostatized from the worship of his God, and was plishing; he thus far acted according to the heart, i. e. the an amiable example of a steady adherence to those forms purpose and will of God, and thereby, in this respect, ren- of religion, which God had prescribed to all the princes dered himself well pleasing and acceptable to him. The his successors; who, though king, subjected himself to God particular purposes for which God advanced him to the throne the supreme king of Israel, and faithfully executed the were, that by his steady adherence to the one true God, and commands he received from him; who made his people the religion which he was pleased to establish by Moses, triumph in the numerous victories he obtained, by the dihe might be an illustrious example to all his posterity that rections, and under the conduct of God himself; who enshould reign after him: and here he was absolutely with larged their dominions, and put them into possession of all out blemish, and a man, in the strictest sense of the expres- the territories God had promised to their forefathers; and sion, alter God's own heart; as he never departed from his who amid all the successes that were granted him, the God, by introducing the deities of other nations, or permit immense riches he had gathered from the spoils of his ting and encouraging the impious rites which they per- conquered enemies, and ihe sovereign power with which formed in honour of them. On this account his heart is he was invested, never degenerated into despotism and said to be perfect with the Lord his God, because his heart tyranny, never oppressed his people; but governed them was never turned away after other gods; and it is spoken with integrity, ruled over them with moderation and pruto the honour of the good princes of his house, who reigned dence, impartially distributed justice, les an established after him, that they did that which was right in the eyes durable peace, and fixed the whole administration, both of the Lord, as did David their father; and of the idola- civil and religious, upon the most substantial and durable trous princes, it is mentioned as the greatest reproach to foundation. In these instances he was the true vicegerent them, that their hearts were not perfect with the Lord their of God, on whose throne he sat, and all whose pleasure, in God, as the heart of David their father. During the reign these great instances, he faithfully performed. If therefore of Saul, little regard was shown by him to the institutions David's private moral character was worse than it will be of religion, and he acted as though he was independent of ever proved to be, he might be suill a man after God's own the God of Israel, and therefore seldom or never inquired heart, in the proper original sense of the expression; and of him, how he was to act in the affairs of government, at the attempt to prove that he was not possessed of the height the ark, from whence God, as peculiarly present in it, had of moral purity, is an impertinent attempt to prove David promised to give the proper answers to those who rightly not to be, what the sacred history never asserted him to consulied him. As the ark itself had no fixed residence, be.-CHANDLER. and some of the principal services of religion could not, for that reason, be regularly and statedly performed, David Ver. 6. And the king and his men went to Jeruwas raised up to be king over God's people, that he might salem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the provide a rest for his ark, where it should perpetually con
land; which spake unto David, saying, Except tinue, to which all the people might resort, where all the solemn festivals might be celebrated, and the whole wor
thou take away the blind and the lame, thou ship of God might be constantly performed, according to shalt not come in hither : thinking, David canthe prescriptions of the law of Moses. David fully answer. not come in hither. 7. Nevertheless David ed this purpose by fixing the ark at Jerusalem, settling all the necessary ceremonies and forms of worship for perpet
took the strong hold of Zion; the same is the ual observance, and composing sacred hymns and psalms,
city of David. 8. And David said on that that should be sung in honour of the true God, providing day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and the expenses, and many of the costly materials, that were smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the necessary to build and adorn the house of God, which he himself had proposed to erect, but which God reserved for
blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall his son and successor to raise up; and regulating the order, be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, that was to be observed among all the various persons, that
The blind and the lame shall not come into were to be employed in the daily services of the ark and
the house. temple; a full and ample account of which is transmitted to us in the first book of Chronicles. It must not be omit
1 CHRONICLES, CHAPTER XI. ted also, that there was yet another end of providence, in David's appointment, to be king over Israel; that, accord
Ver. 5. And the inhabitants of Jebus said to Daing to God's promise concerning him, he might save his
vid, Thou shalt not come hither. Neverthe. people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of less David took the castle of Zion, which is the the hand of all their enemies; and further, that by him he
city of David. 6. And David said, Whosoever might accomplish the more ancient promises which God had made to Abraham, in their full extent, of giving to his
smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and seed the whole country, from the river of Egypt, unto the great captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first river, the river Euphrates. Here also David answered the up, and was chief. intentions of providence in his advancement, as he subdued the Philistines, and made them tributary to his crown; as The words inhabitants of Jehus, which are not in the he cleared bis kingdom of all the remains of the nations original of Samuel, are not in the Vat. copy of the Lxx. in that had formerly possessed it, or reduced them into entire Chronicles; but the Alexandrian translates regularly acsubjection, or made them proselytes to his religion ; and as cording to the present Hebrew text. In Samuel there is a the consequence of just and necessary wars, conquered all clause or two in the speech of the Jebusites, which is omitthe neighbouring nations, garrisoned ihem by his victori- ted in Chronicles for brevity; as the history in Chronicles ous troops, and put it out of their power to disturb his peo- is regular, and the sense complete without it. But though ple for many years, and left to his son and successor a forty the history be regular and very intelligible in Chronicles, years' peace, and dominion over all the kingdoms, from yet the additional clauses in Samuel make the history there ihe river Euphrates, unto the land of the Philistines, and remarkably perplexed; and (as Dr. Delany observes) enunto the border of Egypt, who brought presents and served cumber it with more difficulties than are ordinarily to be Solomon all the days of his life. And finally, God raised met with. In full proportion to the difficulties has been the him up to exalt the glory of his people Israel, and render number of different interpretations; and yet there seems to them a flourishing and happy people, by the wisdom and be very sufficient room for offering another interpretation, justice of his government. He chose David his servant, in some material points differing from them all. The words to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he in Samuel, so far as the text in Chronicles coincides, are fed them
according to the integrity of his heart, and guided clear and determinate in their meaning, “And the inbab, them by the skilfulness of his hands, i. e. he governed them itants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither." with integrity, prudence and courage; for he reigned over But the succeeding words in Samuel are very difficult; or, at least, have been variously interpreted. The present Eng. / shall be chief captain. That the connected particles (ON'S lish translation is, “Except thou take away the blind and ki im) rendered except, in Samuel, signify for in this the lame, thinking, David cannot come in hither.” The place, is evident, because the words following are rather chief difficulty here lies in determining who are these blind causal than objective; and we have several instances of and lame; whether Jebusites, or the Jebusite deities, called this sense of the two particles given us by Noldius: thus blind and lame by way of derision. The latter opinion has Prov. xxiii. 18, they are rendered for in the English transbeen maintained by some considerable writers; but seems lation; and so in the English, Greek, Syriac, and Arabic indefensible. For however David and the Israelites might versions of Lam. v. 2. That the verb (790n esirek) be disposed :o treat such idols with scorn and contempt, it rendered to take away, is not here the infinitive, but the is not at all likely the Jebusites should revile their own dei- preler of Hiphil, is apparent from the sense ; that it has ties; and we must remember, that these deities are sup- been so considered, is certain from the Masoretic pointposed to be here called blind and lame by the Jebusites ing, as De Dieu and other critics have observed : and we themselves. But, admitting them to be idol deities, what see it is translated as such by the LXX. in the plural nummeaning can there be in the Jebusites telling David, "he ber, artes noav. From this version, then, and from the plushould not come into the citadel, unless he took away the rality of the two nouns, which are necessarily the nomideities upon the walls?" If he could scale the walls, so as natives to this verb, we may infer, that it was originally to reach these guardian deities, he need not ask leave of 79100 (esiruk) to keep off, the vau having been dropped here the Jebusites to enter the citadel. But, (which is much as in many other places. Enough having been said of more difficult to be answered,) what can possibly be the the number, let us now consider the tense of this verb; meaning of the last line, “Wherefore they said, the blind which being preter, some have translated it by a word exand the lame shall not come into the house ?" For, who pressive of time past. But the sense necessarily requires said? Did the Jebusites say, their own deities (before ex- it to be translated as future in other languages, though it pressed by the blind and the lame) should not come into be more expressive in the original in the preter tense, it The house, should not (according to some) come where being agreeable to the genius of the Hebrew language frethey were, or, should not (according to others) come quently to speak of events yet future, as having actually into the house of the Lord ?--Or, could these deities say, happened, when the speaker would strongly express the David and his men should not come into the house? The certainty of such event. This observation is peculiarly apabsurdity of attributing such a speech, or any speech, to plicable to the case here. For this castle of mount Sion these idols, is too clear to need illustration; and it is a had never yet been taken by the Israelites, though they had known part of their real character, that they have mouths, dwelt in Canaan abont four hundred years; as we learn but speak not. But, though these deities conld not de- from the sacred history, Josh. xv. 63; Judg. i. 21 ; xix. 10; nounce these words, yet the Jebusites might; and it is pos- and from Josephus, lib. vii. cap. 3. ' The Jebusites, then, şible (it has been said) that the blind and the lame, in this absolutely depending on the advantage of their high situalatter part of the sentence, may signify the Jebusites; not tion and ihe strength of their fortification, (which had seany particular Jebusites, so maimed; but the Jebusites in cured them against the Israelites so many hundred years,) general, called blind and lame, for putting their trust in looked upon this of David's as a vain attempt, which thereblind and lame idols. This seems 100 refined an interpre- fore they might safely treat with insolence and raillery. tation; and we may safely conclude—that the same expres- Full of ihis fond notion, they placed upon the walls of the sion of the blind and lame means the same beings in the citadel the few blind and lame that could be found among two different parts of the same sentence. It has been fur- them, and told David, “He should not come thither; for ther observed, that these blind and lame are here spoken the blind and lame” were sufficient to keep him off: which of as different from the Jebusites," Whosoever smiteth the they (these weak defenders) should effectually do, only Jebusites, and the lame and the blind;" and if they were “by their shouting, David shall not come hither." That different, it requires no great skill at 'deduction to deter- the blind and the lame were contemptuously placed upon mine they were not the same. Perhaps then these blind the walls by the Jebusites, as before described, we are asand lame were, in fact, a few particular wretches, who sured not only by the words of the sacred history before us, laboured under these infirmities of blindness and lameness; but also by the concurrent testimony of Josephus. Now and therefore were different from the general body of the that these blind and lame, who appear to have been placed Jebusites. But here will it not be demanded at once-how upon the walls, were to insult and did insult David'in the can we then account rationally for that bitterness with manner before mentioned, seems very evident from the which David expresses himself here against these blind words— The blind and the lame shall keep thee off BY SAYand lame; and how it was possible, for a man of David's ING, etc. and also from the impossibility of otherwise achumanity, to detest men for mere unblameable, and indeed counting for David's indignation against these (naturally pitiable, infirmities? And lastly, the authors of the Uni- pitiable) wretches. And the not attending to this remarkversal History, in their note on this transaction, mention able circumstance seems one principal reason of the perthe following, as the first plausible argument against the plexity so visible among the various interpreters of this pas. literalacceptation-"How could David distinguish the halt, sage. It is very remarkable, that the sense before given to or the lame, or the blind, from able men, when posted Tron DN 12 (ki im esirek,) " For the blind and the lame shall upon lofty walls; since those infirmities are not discernible keep thee off," is confirmed by Josephus in the place just but near at hand ?". This, it must be allowed, would be a cited. And it is further remarkable that the same sense is difficulty indeed, if David's information here had been given to these words in the English Bible of Coverdale, only from his eyesight. But this objection immediately printed in 1535, in which they are rendered, Thou shalt vanishes, when we reflect, that the Jebusites are said in the not come hither, but the blind and lame shal drpbe ite text to have told David—the blind and the lame should keep awale. This is one great instance to prove the credit due them off: for certainly David could easily conceive the to some parts of this very old English version; as the sense men, who were placed upon the walls to insult him, were of this passage seems to have been greatly mistaken both blind and lame; when he was told so by the Jebusites before and since. That it has been changed for the worse themselves; and told so, to render this insult of theirs the since that edition, is very evident; and that it was impropgreater.
erly rendered before appears from Wickliff's MS. version Having thus mentioned some of the present interpreta- of 1383, where we read-Thou shalt not entre tidur: no tions, it may be now proper to submit another to the judg- but thou do awey blynd men and lame, etc. After this addiment of the reader. I shall first give what seems to be the tional clanse of Samuel, in the speech of the Jebusites, the true interpretation of this passage; and then subjoin the two histories agree in saying, “David took the strong hold several arguments in defence of it. " And the inhabitants of Sion, which was afterward called the city of David." of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither; for By this strong hold of Sion, or city of David, we are led the blind and the lame shall keep thee off, by saying, David by the words of the text to understand not the fortress or shall not come hither. But David took the strong hold of citadel (which was not yet taken, as appears from the Sion, which is the city of David. And David said on that order of the history in both chapters)--but the town of the day, 'Whosoever (first) smiteth the Jebusites, and through Jebusites, or city of David, which was spread over the the subterraneous passage reacheth the lame and the blind, wide hill of Sion : and is what Josephus means when he that are hated of David's soul, because the blind and the tells us—David first took the lower town, the town which lame coniinued to say, he shall not come into this house" – lay beneath the citadel; after which he tells ns, that the