Imágenes de páginas

citadel remained yet to be taken, lib. vii. cap. 3. The two his command of the army, on account of his haughtiness, chapters having agreed in this circumstance of David's and for several murders; but complained, that this son of making himselt master of the town or city, they now vary Zeruiah was too hard for him. One of these attempts of as before; and here also the history in Chronicles is regu- David seems to have been made at the time Israel came in lar, though it takes no notice of some further circumstan- to David, by the persuasion of Abner; when it is probable ces relating to the blind and the lame: and indeed the latter the condition on Abner's side was to have been made circumstances were to be omitted of course, as the historian David's captain-general: and perhaps Joab suspected so chose, for brevity, to omit the former. But as to Samuel, much, and therefore murdered him. The next attemp! there is in that book a deficiency of several words, which seems to have been made at the taking this strong citadel are necessary to complete the sense; which words are pre- of the Jebusites. For David proposes the reward absoluteserved in the text of Chronicles. And as the difficulty ly to every officer of his army, "Whosoever smiteth the here also lies entirely in the text of Samuel, let us see Jebusites first;" i. e. whosoever will ascend first, put himwhether it may not be cleared up to satisfaction. David self at the head of a detachment, and march up through the having now possessed himself of the strong town of ihe subterraneous passage into the citadel, shall be head and Jebusites, situate upon the hill of Sion, proceeds, the same captain. This proposal, we may observe, was general; day, to attack the citadelor fortress; which was considered and yet, how much soever David might wish Joab safely by the Jebusites as impregnable. And probably the Israelites removed, it is reasonable to think that he made Joab the would have thought so too, and David had retired from first offer. And, we find, that however dangerous and before it, like his forefathers, if he had not possessed himself | dreadful this enterprise appeared, yet Joab had prudence by stratagem, when he found he could not storm or take it enough to undertake it, and courage enough to execute it : by open force. For this seems in fact to have been the and Joab went up first, or at the head of a party, and was case; and the history of this success may be properly intro- accordingly declared 'head, or chief captain, or (in the duced by a similar case or two. And first, Dr. Prideaux modern style) captain-general of the united armies of Israel (in his Connexion, part i. book 2) tells us of the city of and Judah. It is not unlikely that the men of Israel exBabylon,--that when it was besieged by Cyrus, the inhabit- pected, that though Abner their general had been basely ants, thinking themselves secure in their walls and their murdered by Joab, yet David's chief captain should be stores, looked on the taking of the city by a siege as an im- chosen from among them ; or at least that they should have practicable thing; and therefore from the top of their walls a chance for that first post of honour, as well as the men of scoffed al Cyrus, and derided himn or every thing he did Judah. And if they had declared any expectation of this towards it. (A circumstance most exactly parallel to that kind, David seems to have taken the wisest step for deof the history before us.). But yet, that Cyrus broke down termining so important a point-by declaring, that neither the great bank or dam of the river, both where it ran into relation, nor fortune, nor friendship should recommend the city, and where it came out; and as soon as the channel upon the occasion; but, as the bravest man and the best of the river was drained, in the middle of the night, while soldier ought to be commander-in-chief, so this honour Belshazzar was carousing at the conclusion of an annual should be the reward of the greatest merit; that there was festival, “the troops of Cyrus entered through these pas- now a fair opportunity of signalizing themselves in the taking sayes in two parties, and took the city by surprise.” And this important fortress; and therefore his resolution was there is a second remarkable case related by Polybius, that Whosoever would head a detachment up this subterra. which will further illustrate the present history; and was neous passage, and should first make himself master of the communicated to me by a learned friend. “Rabatamana," citadel, by that passage, or by scaling the walls, or by any says Polybius, “a city of Arabia, could not be taken, till other method, should be head and captain, i. e. captainone of the prisoners showed the besiegers a subterraneous general. It is remarkable, that the text in Samuel is very passage, through which the besieged came down for water." incomplete in this place: David's proposal to the army is Now this fortress of the Jebusites seems to have been cir- just begun, and circumstance or iwo mentioned; but ihe cumstanced like Rabatamana; in having also a subterra- reward proposed, and the person rewarded, are totally neous passage which is called in the original 19 (tzenur,) omitted." We may presume the text could not have been a word which occurs bnt once more in the Bible, and does thus imperfect originally, since no ellipsis can supply what not seem commonly understood in this place. The English is here wanting; and therefore the words in the coinciding version calls it the gutter-the Vulgate, fistulas-Vatablus, chapter in Chronicles, which regularly fill up this omiscanales-Jun. and Trem. emissarium--Poole, tubus aqua- sion, were doubtless at first also in Samuel, and are thereand Bochart, alveus, &c. But not to multiply quotations, fore to be restored: the necessity of thus restoring the most interpreters agree in making the word signify some- words not found in the present copies of Samuel is apthing hollow, and applying it to water: just the case of the parent. subterraneous passage, or great hollow, of Rabatamana, And the English version of these texts in Samuel isthrough which men could pass and repass for water. Thai “And they spoke unto David, saying, Thou shalt not come this 133 (tzenur) in the text was such an underground pas- hither; for the blind and the lame shall keep thee off, by sage might be strongly presumed from the_texi itself; but saying, David shall not come hither. But David took the it is proved to have been so by Josephus. For, speaking of strong hold of Sion, which is the city of David. And Dathis very transaction, he calls them subterraneous cavities, vid said on that day, Whosoever (firsi) smiteth the Jebusites, puting this interpretation upon a very solid footing. That and by the subterraneous passage reacheth the blind and the the preposition 3, rendered in, prefixed to us (tzenur,) | lame, which are hated of David's soul, (because the blind sometimes signifies by, is evident from Noldius; and that it and the lame continued to say, He shall not come into this signifies so in this place is certain from the nature of the house)—shall be head and captain. So Joab the son of context, and the testimony of Josephus, who expresses it Zeruiah went up first, and was head-or captain-general.” thus : the verb IIDN (iamru,) rendered, they said, in this The English version, then, of these texts in Chronicles issentence is very properly future; as Hebrew verbs in that “And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt tense are known to be frequentative, or to express the con- not come hither. But David took the strong hold of Sion, tinuance of doing any thing; and therefore that tense is which is the city of David. And David said, Whosoever with great propriety used here to express the frequent first smiteth the Jebusites, shall be head and captain. So repetition of the insolent speech used by the blind and the Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, and was chief caplame upon the walls of the fortress. It only remains here tain.” (Kennicou.)-Critica BIBLICA. to make an observation or two on the reward proposed by David, and the person who obtained it. The text of Chron

Ver. 9. So David dwelt in the fort, and called it, icles tells us, “David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebu- The city of David: and David built round sites first, shall be chief and captain, or head and prince.” about, from Milo and inward. We are to recollect, that Joab the son of Zeruiah (David's sister) had been general of his army, during the civil war, The old city founded by the Jebusites before Abraham between the men of Judah under David, and the Israelites arrived in Canaan, is styled by some writers the city of commanded by Abner, in favour of Ishbosheth the son of Melchizedek, not because he was the founder, but because it Saul: but that the Israelites, having now submitted to was the seat of his government. This ancient city was so David, he was king over the whole twelve tribes. David, strongly fortified both by nature and art, that the people of we know, frequenily endeavoured to remove Joab from Israel could not drive out the Jebusites, its original inhabitants, but were reduced to live with them at Jerusalem. ther of these senses amounts to a sufficient proof, that the The armies of Israel indeed seized the city; but the Jebu- terraces were made by filling up the hollow between mount sites kept possession of the strong fort which defended the Sion and mount Moriah. That Solomon planned and extown, till the reign of David, who took it by storm; and ecuted a noble and magnificent way from the royal palace changed its name to the city of David, to signify the im- on mount Sion, to the temple on mount Moriah, which portance of the conquest, and to perpetuate the memory of excited the admiration of all that saw it, is attested in plain The event. Having chosen Jerusalem for the place of his terms by the sacred writer; “And when the queen of residence and the capital of his kingdom, he adorned the Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house which fortress with a royal palace for his own accommodation, he had built, :.. and his ascent by which he went up unto and a variety of other buildings; which, from the continual the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her.” additions made to them in succeeding reigns, increased to This passage also proves, that althongh the declivity on each the size of a considerable city, and covered nearly the side was easy, the road was not perfectly level, for Solomon whole of mount Sion. The largeness of the city of David went up an ascent to the house of the Lord. The same may be inferred from the expression of the sacred histo- circumstance is mentioned in another book, where the sarian; “David built round about from Millo and inward." cred writer speaks of "the causey of the going up.” And This passage, and particularly the word Millo, has greatly we read, that Joash was slain in the house of Millo, which exercised the genius and divided the sentiments of com- goes down to Silla. The term Silla, is thought by some mentators; and is therefore entitled to more particular learned commentators, to have the same meaning as Mesnotice. That Millo was situated in the city of David, the silah, which signifies a causey or cast up way; and conseinspired historian expressly asserts: and by consequence, it quently, that between the two mounts Sion and Moriah, were must either have been upon mount Sion or in its immedi- two declivities, one towards the temple or mount Moriah, ate vicinity. It is worthy of notice, that the inspired writer the other towards the palace or mount Sion. The last is of David's history could not allude 10 Millo itself, which supposed to be the descent of Silla, near which stood the was not then in existence, but to the place where it after- house of Millo. From this statement it is clear, that the ward stood; for Millo was not built till the succeeding house of Millo stood on the east side of mount Sion, at the reign. It seems to have been a public building, where the upper end of the causey which goes down to Silla, and the king and his princes met in council about affairs of state; royal palace on the opposite side. When, therefore, the safor in the passage already quoted from the first book of cred historian says, David built round about from Millo Kings, it is connected with the house of the Lord and the and inward, or as the original word may be rendered, "to royal palace. The words of the historian are; “ And this the house," he seems to intimate, that David built round is the reason of the levy (or tax) which king Solomon about from the place where Millo was afterward erected raised; for to build the house of the Lord and his own by Solomon, or where more probably the senate-house, or house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Millo of the Jebusites, had stood, which was pulled down to and Megiddo, and Gezer.” But every ground of hesitation make room for the more sumptuous edifice of Solomon, lo is removed by the sacred writer of the second book of Kings, his own house ; so that David built from one part of mount who calls it expressly " the house of Millo.” That it was Sion, quite round to the opposite point. Hence, the resia public building, in one of whose apartments the council dence of David, even in the reign of that renowned monof state met to deliberate upon public affairs, is rendered arch, began to assume the size and splendour of a city, and extremely probable by one of the kings of Judah losing his to be justly entitled to the appellation which it receives life there by the hands of his princes; for we are told, that from the sacred historian.-Paxton. “the servants of king Joash arose and made a conspiracy, and slew him in the house of Millo," whither he had prob- Ver. 19. And David inquired of the LORD, sayably come to consult with his princes and other principal persons upon some affairs of state. This interpretation is ing, Shall I go up to the Philistines ? wilt thou greatly strengthened by a passage in the book of Judges, deliver them into my hand? And the LORD which informs us, that “all the men of Shechem gathered

said unto David, Go up; for I will doubtless together, and all the house of Millo, and went and made Abimelech king.” The city of Shechem then had also its

deliver the Philistines into thy hand. house of Millo, and a great number of persons connected with it, whom the sacred writer distinguishes from the men I cannot here help observing, in honour of the Hebrew of the city. Now since both were concerned in making oracle, that its answers were such, as became the character Abimelech king, it is natural to conclude, that the men of of the true God, who hath all events at his disposal, and the city were the inferior inhabitants, and the house of cannot be mistaken as to those which he expressly foreMillo the governors of the place : both of whom on this tels. Let any one compare it with the heathen oracles, occasion met in the senate-house, to set the crown upon the and he will be forced to acknowledge, that they were head of their favourite.

shuffling, ambiguous, and vague; and the answers they gave The house of Millo upon mount Sion, appears to have of so uncertain a nature, so equivocal and deceitful, as that been a place of great strength, and essentially connected they might be interpreted in two direct contrary senses, with the defence of Jerusalem; for when Hezekiah dis- might be equally true of two contrary events, and evidently covered that Sennacherib meditated the reduction of his demonstrated, that they who gave them out knew no more capital," he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall of those events on which they were consulted, than they that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another who inquired about them, who were often deceived in the wall without, and repaired Millo in the city of David, and application of them to their own destruction. Thus Cræmade darts and shields in abundance." From the intimate sus was foretold by Apollo, that if he made war with the connexion between the repairing of Millo and the making Persians, he should overturn a great empire; which Crasus of darts and other implements of war, it has been conjec- interpreting in his own favour, made war upon Cyrus, tured by some writers, that one part of that public building and thereby put an end to his own empire; after which, was occupied as an armory; in which there is nothing he severely reproached Apollo for deceiving him. And improbable. It is necessary, however, before leaving this thus Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who is said, upon the credit part of the subject, to state another opinion that has been of an ambiguous oracle of the same Apollo, to have enadvanced concerning Millo, by several men of genius and gaged in war with the Romans, was entirely defeated by learning. They suppose that Solomon filled up a deep val. them, and forced at last to retire with great disgrace and ley or hollow, that separated the hill of Sion and the site loss into his own dominions. Whereas, the answers of the of the ancient city from mount Moriah, upon whose sum- Hebrew oracle had one plain obvious certain meaning, mit he built the temple of Jehovah, and made a plain level that needed no interpretation, that no one could possibly road from the one to the other. The execution of this stu- mistake the meaning of, and that was never found, in one pendous work, they contend, may be inferred from the single instance, to deceive or disappoint those who deroot of the word Millo, which signifies "to fill up;" and pended on, and directed themselves by the order of it. Do from a passage in 2d Chronicles, where it is said, the king ihis, or, Do not this, was the peremptory form, in which they, made terraces to the house of the Lord, and to the king's who consulted it, were answered; which, in the judgment palace. The word which is here rendered terraces, may of Cicero, was the manner in which the oracles of God be translated as in the margin, stays or supports. But nei- ought to be delivered.-CHANDLER,


did not bring his sacrifice to the door of the tabernacle, there Ver. 2. And David arose, and went with all the

to offer it to the Lord, should be cut off from his people: the people that were with him from Baale of Ju. against idolatry, as it struck at the root of all idol worship;

most effectual provision this, that could possibly be made dah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, and which, had they observed the command, must have whose name is called by the name of The prevented the introduction of any other god, in opposition Lord of Hosts, that dwelleth between the

to Jehovah, the true God, who dwelt in the ark, and on

whose altar their sacrifices must have been offered by his cherubims.

priests, who resided in the tabernacle. Hiiher also, as to

The temple of God, the religious Hebrews loved to resort, David being now at rest, in peace at home, and free from

not only to present their sacrifices, but to join in the celeall foreign wars, applied himself to make some necessary bration of the divine praises, and ihe singing those sacred regulations in religion, and a proper provision for the more songs, that were composed in honour of the true God, to stated performance of the solemnities of divine worship. offer up their supplications to him, and to make and pay The ark, which was the emblem of the divine presence, their vows before him; and their appearance at the taberwhere God dwelt between the cherubim, was now at Kir- | nacle for these purposes, where the ark of the presence rejath-jearim, in the house of Abinidab on the hill; where it sided, was styled, appearing before God, coming before his was placed, when the Philistines had sent it back, after presence, frequenting his courts, abiding in his house, and they had taken it in the battle, in which Hophni and Phin- the like; because they saw there his power and glory, or eas, the sons of Eli, perished, and great part of the Hebrew the glorious manifestation of his power and majesty, which army were cut off. The time of its continuance here was

were frequently given, as the immediate token of God's acabout forty-six years, except when, on some particular oc- cepting their sacrifices, thanksgivings, and prayers. From casions, it was removed, as once in Saul's time, when he

these observations it appears, that this ark of God was of fought his first battle against the Philistines. As David | the highest importance in the Hebrew republic, as it was a had now fixed his own residence at Jerusalem, and intend-standing memorial for Jehovah, the one true God, the God ed it for the capital of his whole kingdom, he was resolved of Israel, the centre of all the public solemnities of religion, to do every thing in his power, that could contribute to the the place where the whole nation was to pay their homage splendour, dignity, and safety of it. His first care was to and adoration to him, where he appeared propitious and secure it the presence and protection of the God of is- favourable to his people, where they were to inquire of rael; and accordingly, he provided a proper habitation and him, and wait for his direction; and ihat the presence of it residence for his ark, and pitched for it a tent, where it was essentially necessary, wherever the public solemnimight continually remain throughout all future ages. The ties of worship were to be performed; and that Jerusalem ark was a small chest, made of shittim-wood, two cubits could never have been fixed on for these sacred services, and a half, or a yard and a half and one inch long, a cubit nor the visible emblems of the divine Majesty and presand a half, or iwo feet nine inches broad, and overlaid ence, in the cloud and glory, have ever been expected in it, within and without, with pure gold. On the top of the ark unless this ark had been translated to, and settled there, as was placed a seat, or cover, called moda, daornplov, the mer- the place of its future and fixed residence. These were cy-seal, as we render the word, or, the propitiatory cover, be- some of the considerations that induced David to remove cause the blood of the propitiatory sacrifice was sprinkled it into the new city that he had built, but there were others on, and before it. In this ark were placed the two tables also that the very law of Moses suggested to him. God of stone, on which the ten commandments were engraven, had by him commanded the Hebrews, ihat" unto the place called the testimony; because God testified and declared, which the Lord their God had chosen out of all the tribes, lo these ten commandments were essential and unalterable put his name there, even unto his habitation should they laws of his kingdom. On this account the ark is called, seek, and thither they should come, and thither should they The ark of the testimony. In the order to make it, God | bring their burnt offerings, their sacrifices, their tithes and says: “Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell heave offerings, their vows, their free-will offerings, and among them." Here, God tells Moses:'" I will meet with the firstlings of their herds and flocks, and that there they thee, and I will commune with thee, from above the mercy- should eat before the Lord their God, and rejoice in all that seat, from between the two cherubims, of all things, which they put their hand to, they and their household, wherein I will give thee in commandment, unto the children of Is- the Lord their God had blessed them.". He further promrael; and I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy-seat." ised them, that after they had passed over Jordan, and Hence the ark was considered as the house, the sanctuary, dwelt in the land, which he had given them to inherit; and temple of God, where he resided ; and God is described then, “there should be a place, which the Lord their God as dwelling between, or rather above the cherubim; would choose, to dwell there, and that there they should because the Hebrews were so stupid as to imagine any per- bring their burnt-offerings, and all their choice vows, and sonal residence of God in the ark, or that he could be con- that there they should rejoice before the Lord their God, fined to any particular place, whom they well knew the they, and their sons, and their daughters, and their menheaven, even the heaven of heavens, could not contain ; servants, and their maid-servants, and the Levite that was much less any house that could be erected for him by hu- with them in their gales, and do all that he commanded man hands; but because the cloud and glory, which ap- them;" and that here, and nowhere else, they should eat the peared there, were the visible emblems of his gracious passover, and appear three times in it every year, before presence with them, and of bis peculiar inspection and The Lord their God; at the feast of unleavened bread, the care over them; or, as Joshua tells them, whereby they feasts of weeks, and the feast of tabernacles; and that here should know, that the living God was among them, even the they were to apply for determining their principal causes Lord of the whole earth; viz. to protect and prosper them. and controversies: in a word, that this very place, which That the majesty of this ark or portable temple of God, the Lord should choose, should be the capital of the whole might be preserved inviolable, God ordered a tabernacle tó kingdom, the principal seat of all their public solemnities, be prepared for its reception, and a veil to be placed before and the perpetual residence of the supreme courts of justice the ark, to separate the holy place, where the ark was fix

and equity. ed, from the other part of the tabernacle, where Aaron and During all the preceding periods of the Hebrew republic, his sons were to minister continually before God. Besides no such place had been chosen and appointed by God; the this, there was a spacious court prepared round about the ark itself had no settled and fixed habitation, but removed tabernacle and the altar, where the congregation were al- from place to place, as convenience or necessity required; lowed to enter, and present their offerings at the door of the and the several judges and supreme officers, that presided labernacle, before the Lord. At the door of the labernacle over and judged the people, had their particular cities, of the congregation the daily burnt-offering was to be of- where they resided, and administered justice to those who fered, where God promised to meet with the children of Is applied to them. In this unsettled state of the republic, rael, to sanctify it by his glory, and to dwell among the many and great inconveniences must have necessarily children of Israel, and be their God, i. e. their almighty arisen, and the most significant and important solemnities guardian,

and protector. Here also were to be brought all of the national religion were absolutely incapable of being their various kinds of sacrifices, in reference to which the performed, according to the

prescription of the law of God charge was so strict, as that God commanded, that whoever by Moses.



The honour of making the necessary settlement in these nity, and it was impossible that the nature and cause of things, and perfecting the civil polity, and the ceremonial Uzzah's death could have been concealed. The history of the Hebrew worship, was reserved for David; who expressly says, that God smote him for his rashness, in laywhen he had retaken Jerusalem from the Jebusites, had ing hold of what he ought not to have touched; or for his considered the strengih and convenience of its situation, error in thinking God was not able to protect and secure had enlarged it with new buildings, adorned it with pal- it; and David affirms, that the Lord had made a breach aces, erected a magnificent one for himself, had well forti- upon Uzzah, and in commemoration of it called the name fied it with walls and bulwarks, and chosen it for his own of the place, Perez-uzzah, I. e. the breach of Uzzah; a plain residence; was in hope that this was the place God had evidence, that he knew his death to be extraordinary, and now chosen to dwell in, and immediately formed the great inflicted by the immediate hand of God; this is further evidesign of translating the ark of God into it, and providing a dent from the terror David was in upon account of this exsuitable habitation for its future rest; that this emblem of traordinary accident, and his desisting for this reason from God's immediate presence might be perpetually near him, the resolution he had formed of introducing the ark into where he himself might constantly worship in the courts Jerusalem. David “was afraid of the Lord that day, and of his tabernacle, where all the solemn sacrifices might be said: How shall the ark of the Lord come to me ?" " I am statedly offered, and the affairs in general of the whole at a loss what method to take to bring the ark, with safety kingdom, relating to religion and justice, for the future, be to myself and people, into Jerusalem. Every circumstance transacted with regularity, order, and dignity. In pursu- | in this transaction shows that Uzzah's death was a divine ance of this great design, he first gathered together all the punishment, and had he died by any other hand, it must chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand men, consisting of the have been known to many that were present, as he died in captains of thousands, and hundreds, and all the princes; open day light, and in the view of thousands' who attended and said to them, thus assembled at Jerusalem: “If it seem in this solemn procession. good unto you, and it be approved of by the Lord our God, Should it be said, that if the Lord would have saved the let us send abroad unto our brethren everywhere, that are ark, because he could; it may be also urged, that he would left in all the land of Israel, and with them to the priests have brought it to any place where he intended it to be, beand Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they cause he could have done it, and that therefore David was may gather themselves together unto us, and let us bring impertinently officious in removing it himself: the answer up to us the ark of God; at which we but seldom inquired is; that as God had forbidden the ark to be touched, on in the days of Saul.” To this proposal the congregation any occasion, by the Levites, under penalty of death, it was unanimously agreed. David accordingly sent messengers an assurance, that in all its movements he would take it to Israel, throughout all his dominions, from Sichor, or under his especial protection, and that as he was able to the Egyptian Nile, the most southern boundary of his king- secure it against every hazard, without human assistance, dom, to ihe entrance of Hemath, northward, near the rise so he certainly would do it. But God never promised to of Jordan. When the assembly were met, David led them remove it himself from place to place, but expressly gave to Baalah, which is Kirjath-jearim, and which belonged to that service in charge to the Leviies; and therefore it doth the tribe of Judah ; and from thence they conveyed the ark not follow, that because he himself conld, therefore he of God," where his name was invocated, even the name would remove it, because he expressly ordered it to be Jehovah Zebaoth, or Lord of hosts, who sits upon the cher- done by others. But Uzzah's intention was certainly good, ubim, that were over the ark.". They had prepared a new and therefore the alleged crime certainly pardonable; the carriage, drawn by oxen, for the conveyance of it, which seeming exigency precluding all reflection. But this seem. Uzzah and Ahio the sons of Abinidab drove lo Abinidab's ing exigency was no real one, and his acting without house; and then placing the ark upon it, they attended on reflection, an aggravation of his fault; especially as he it; Ahio marching before the ark, and Uzzah on one side committed this offence, in consequence of a former. Uzof it. When the procession began, David, with all the zah knew, or might have known, that the ark was never to house of Israel, gave the highest demonstrations of satisfac- be moved in any carriage, but on the shoulders of the tion and pleasure, playing before the Lord on all manner Levites; and had it been thus removed, the accident would of instruments, made of fir-wood, even on harps, and on not have happened to the ark, and his rashness in touching, psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. and the punishment he suffered for it, would have been But the joy of David and his people on this solemn occa- both prevented. His good intention therefore here could sion was soon interrupted. For when the procession was be of no avail. It was no excuse for his ignorance, if he advanced as far as Nachon's thrashing-floor, the oxen was really ignorant, because he might, and ought to have stumbled, and thereby shook the ark; on which Uzzah, known better; nor for his presumption, and such it must fearing probably it might be thrown off the carriage, very have been, if he could not plead ignorance for his error, rashly laid hold of the ark of God with his hand, in order because this was in its nature a high aggravation of his to support it; not considering, that as he was but a Levite, fault. And light as this offence may seem, yet when it is he was forbidden to touch it under penalty of death, and considered in all its consequences, and what an encouragethat, as it was the dwelling of God, and immediately under ment it might have given for the introduction of other his protection, he could and would have preserved it from innovations, contrary to the institutions of the law of falling, without Uzzah's officious care to prevent it. For Moses, had this offence been passed by with impunity ; it this violation of the law, Uzzah was immediately struck by was no wonder that God should manifest his displeasure the hand of God, and fell down dead by the ark.

against it, by punishing with death, what he had forbidden God smote him, as the text says, for his error, or as we under the penalty of it; thereby to prevent all future have it in the margin, for his rashness; and as this is the attempts to make any changes in that constitution which first instance that we have of the violation of this prohibi- he had established. But "supposing that the ark had been tion of the Levites, from touching any thing sacred under overturned for want of this careful prevention, might not the penalty of death, the punishment of it shows that the Uzzah, with greater plausibility, have been smote for his prohibition was really divine, and that as the penalty of omission, than he was for his commission ?" That is, might death was incurred, it was justly inflicted, as an example not God have more plausibly punished Uzzah for omitting 10 others, and to preserve a due reverence for the divine what he had strictly forbidden him to do under pain of institutions. Besides, God had particularly appointed the death, and what therefore it could never he his duty to do; manner in which the ark should be removed from place to than for committing what it was unlawful by God's own place; not upon a carriage drawn by oxen, but by order- command for him to commit, and which he had made the ing that the sons of Kohath should carry it on their shoul- commission of a capital crime? What some critics may ders, by the staves, that were put into the rings, on the think of this, I know not; I cannot for my life conceive, sides of the ark; and their neglecting to do it on this sol- | how Uzzah could have been more plausibly, or reasonably emn occasion, and consulting their ease more than their punished for omitting what it was his duty to omit, than for duty, by placing it on a carriage drawn by oxen, was an committing what he was obliged never to commit. The offence of no small aggravation, as it was an innovation con- very contrary seems to me to be true, because he who doth trary to the express order of the law. This David himself

not commit an illegal action can never deserve punishment afterward acknowledges, and assigns it as the reason of on that account; whereas he, who actually doth such an the punishment inflicted upon Uzzah, and as he himself illegal action, becomes thereby guilty, and liable to the and the whole house of Israel were present at this solem- punishment denounced against it.

During the march, David, in order to render it more employed in the servile drudgery of altending their pots solemnly religious, sacrificed, at proper intervals, oxen and bricks, you appeared in the most sordid and reproachand fatlings; and though the ark, with its proper furniture, ful habits, and took up your dwellings in the most wretched must have been of a considerable weight, and the service and miserable huts; yet now you are enriched with the of the Levites, in carrying it such a length of way on their gold and silver of your conquered enemies, possessed of shoulders, as from Obed-Edom's house to mount Sion, their tents, and arrayed with garments shining and beauticould not but be very difficult; yet the history observes, ful, you resemble the dove's feathers, in which the gold that God helped the Levites, by enabling them to bring it and silver colours mixed with each other, give a very to its appointed place, and preserving them from every pleasing and lovely appearance.” unhappy accident, till they had safely deposited it; in 14. When the Lord thus scattered and overcame kings grateful acknowledgment of which they presented an of- for the sake of his inheritance, how were thy people refering unto God of seven bullocks and seven rams. As freshed! How great was the joy thou gavesi them in the procession was accompanied with vocal as well as in- Salmon, where they obtained, beheld, and celebrated the Srumental music, David had prepared a proper psalm or ode victory! (Ps.68) to be sung by the chanters, the several parts of which

When the Procession came in view of Mount Sion. were suited to the several divisions of the march, and the whole of it adapted to so sacred and joyful a solemnity; as

15. Is Bashan, that high hill Bashan, with its rough and will appear by a careful perusal and examination of it. I

craggy eminences, is this the hill of God, which he hath hope my reader will not be displeased, if I give him a short

chosen for his residence, and where his sanciuary shall and easy paraphrase of this excellent composure.

abide hereafter for ever ?

16. Why look ye, O ye craggy hills, with an envious When the Ark was taken up on the shmulders of the Leviles. impatience ? See, there is the hill, which God hath cho

Ver. 1. Arise, O God of Israel, and in thy just displeasure sen and desired to dwell in. Assuredly the Lord will execute thy vengeance upon the enemies of ihy people, and inherit it for ever. let all who hate them be put to flight, and never prevail 17. The angels and chariots of God, who attend this against them.

solemnity, and encompass the ark of his presence, are not 2. Drive them before thee, and scatter them, as smoke only, as at the giving of his law, ten thousand, but twice is dispersed by the violence of the wind, and let all their ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. God is in the power and strength die away and dissolve, as wax melts midst of them, as formerly on thee, O Sinai, and will away before the fire.

constantly reside in his sanctuary on mount Sion, and 3. But let thy righteous people be glad, exult in the pres- as the guardian of it, by his almighty power continue to ence and under the protection of thee their God, and in the

defend it. triumph of their joy cry out:

When the Ark ascended Sion, and was deposited in David's 4. “Sing psalms of thanksgivings to God. Celebrate his

Tabernacle. name and glory with songs of Praise. Prepare ye his way, and let all opposition cease before him, who rode through

18. Thus hast thou now, O God, ascended the heights of the deserts, and guided his people with the cloud by day,

Sion's hill, and taken possession of it, as thy future favourand the flame of fire by night. "His name is Jay, the tre

ite dwelling, after having subdued our adversaries, and mendous being. And exult with joy before him.

delivered our captive brethren from the power of their 5. “ He is the orphan's father, who will protect and pro

enslavers. Thou hast received gifts from men, even from vide for him. He is the judge and avenger of the widow, subjecting them as tributaries to my crown, and enabling

our inveterate enemies, by enriching us with their spoil, will vindicate her cause, and redress her injuries, even that God, who is present with us in his holy sanctuary.

me by them to provide a habitation for our God, and in

this joyful manner to attend thine entrance into it. 6.'" He it is who increases the solitary and desolate into

19. O blessed be Jehovah. From day to day he supports numerous families, and restores to liberiy, and blesses with

his people, and like a father bears them up, and proiects an abundance, those who are bound in chains, but makes

them from all destructive evils. those who are his refractory implacable enemies, dwell as

20. He is that God to whom we owe all our past salvain a dry and desert land, by desiroying their families and

tions, and from whom alone we can expect all we may fortunes, and utterly blasting their prosperity.”

hereafter need. For under his direction are all the outgoWhen the Procession began.

ings of death, so that he is able to preserve his people from 7. How favourably didst thou appear, O God, for thy the approaches of it, when their inveterate enemies medipeople in ancient times! How powerful was that protec

tate and resolve their destruction. tion, which thou didst graciously afford them! when thou 21. But vain and impotent shall be their power and didst march before them at their coming out of Egypt, and malice. God will avenge himself on their devoted heads, guidedst them through the wilderness!

and their strength and craft shall not be able to protect 8. The earth shook, the very heavens dissolved at thy them from his indignation, if they continue wickedly to presence, even Sinai itself seemed to melt, the smoke of it disturb me in the possession of that kingdom, to which he ascending as the smoke of a furnace, when thou the God of

hath advanced me. Israel didst in thine awful majesty descend upon it.

22, 23. For this end, he raised me to the throne, and 9. Thou, O God, didst rain down, in the most liberal assured me that I should deliver his people from the Phimanner, during their passage through the desert, bread | listines, and from the hand of all their enemies. Let them and Aesh as from heaven, and didst thereby refresh, satisfy, therefore begin their hostilities when they please, God will and confirm thine inheritance, fatigued with their marches, appear for me, as he did in former times for our foreind in the utmosi distress for want of food.

fathers, and my victories over them shall be as signal and 10. Such was the abundance provided for them, that they complete, as that over Pharaoh and his army, who were derelt in the midst of the manna and quails, in heaps sur- destroyed in the sea, through which he safely led his peorounding them on every side. Thy poor and distressed ple; or as over Og the king of Bashan, the slaughter of people were thus liberally supplied by thy wonderful and whose army was so great, as that our victorious troops never-failing goodness.

were forced to trample over their slaughtered and bloody 11. And not only were they thus miraculously fed by thy bodies, and even our very dogs licked up their blood, and benevolent hand, but made to triumph over all their ene

feasted on the carnage. mies, who molested and opposed them. For thou gavest forth the order to attack.

While the sacrifices were offering, which concluded the whole Thou didst assure them of success, leddest them forth against their adversaries,

solemnity, they closed the anthem wilh the following verses. and their victories were celebrated by large numbers of 24. Thy people have now, O God, seen thy marches, the matrons and virgins, who shouted aloud, and sang these triumphant marches of my God and king, present in bis joyful tidings:

holy sanctuary, into the tabernacle prepared for it, amid 12. “ The kings of armies fled away. They fled away the loudest acclamations of the whole assembly, litterly discomfited, and they who abode with their families 25. The procession was led by a chosen band of singers, in their tents, received their shares in the spoils of their the players on instruments came behind them, and in the conquered enemies.

midst of them a virgin train, who accompanied their tim13. “Though when you were slaves to the Egyptians, I brels with the harmony of their voices, and sung:

« AnteriorContinuar »