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Lo then would I wander far off, and remain in the wil. derness. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.

Destroy, 0 LORD, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof : mischief also und sorrow are in the midst of it.

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

For it was not an enemy that reproached me, then I could have borne it ; neither was it 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 equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.

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

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

save me,

Evening amd morning, and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud : and He shall hear my voice.

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

God shall hear and afflict them, even he that abideth of old: because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace 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 vil, yet were they drawn words.

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustaim thee: He shall neder suffer the righteous to be moved. But Thou, O GOD, shalt bring them down into the pit ES

of 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 un, 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 re. store me the kingdom of my

father. Then said the king to Ziba, behold, thine are all that

pertained

pertained unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly beseech thee that I may find grace in thy sight, my lord, O king

And when king David came to Bahurim, behold thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he came forth, and cursed still as he came.

And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people, and all the mighty men were on his right hand, and on his left.

And thus said Shimei, when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial : The Lord hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned, and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absaloin thy son: and behold thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.

Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off bis head.

And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so? And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of

my
bowels, seeketh

my

life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse : for the Lord hath bidden him. It may

be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.

And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust. E 4

And

And the king and all the people that were with hiin weary,

and refreshed themselves there.

came

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.

The refreshment which Ziba brought was very sea. sonable ; for having fled with so much precipitation, it is likely David was but scantily supplied with provisions: be supposed it to be a present from Mephibo. sheth ; but Ziba insinuated, that far from employing his thoughts about the king, Mephibosheth was contriving to bring about a revolution in his own favour. David's mind was so exceedingly hurt by his present distress, that he too readily gave ear to Ziba. If his own son was capable of acting so unnatural a part towards him, it was not at all incredible, that one of Saul's race should follow his example. In this instance, David certainly acted wrong, for he should have inquired into the truth before he transferred Mephibosheth's estate to one who might be suspected to have slandered him for his own interest : but let us not too severely censure David, till we have been in such a trying situation ourselves; and in the meanwhile let us be instructed by his fault, to turn a deaf ear to the voice of flattery and defamation, and to condemn no one till we are sure that he deserves it.

Shimei's curses proceeded from the rancour of his own wicked heart, and we must not suppose that they were inspired of God. The meaning of David's expressions, let him curse, for the LORD hath bidden, 8c. seems to be that Shimei's reproaches reminding David of his blood-guiltiness in respect to Uriah, he regarded him as an instrument of punishment from the LORD, because God certainly could have stopped his wicked tongue, and restrained his insults; neither would Shi

mei

mei have had an opportunity of treating David in that opprobrious manner, if he had not been reduced to such an abject state, which he justly considered as the chastisement of the Lord: because, if he had not commit. ted such sins, he would have been secure on his throne, and happy in his family.

It is probable that Shimei's curses produced the following petition to GOD *.

Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.

O my Gon, I trust in Thee, let me not be ashamed: let not mine enemies triumph over me.

Yea, let none that wait on Thee be ashamed ; let them be ashamed which transgress witheut cause.

Shew me Thy rays, O LORD ; teach me Thy paths.

Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation, on Thee do I wait all the day.

Remember, O LORD, Thy tender mercies, and Thy loving-kindnesses : for they have been ever of old.

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions : according to Thy mercy remember Thou me, for Thy goodness sake, O Lord.

Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will He teach sinners in the way.

The meek will He guide in judgment : and the meek wilt He teach His way.

All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and testimonies.

For Thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity: for it is great.

What man is he that feareth the LORD: him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose.

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