might be made glad, for he gave to the whole multitude, both male and female, to every one a loaf of bread, a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine : so all the people departed, every one to his own house.

Having thus discharged his public duty, the monarch retired into the bosom of his family, in order to bless his own household ; when he experienced the mortification of finding, that his pious conduct had excited the scorn and contempt of his wife Michal. Through a window of the palace, she had viewed her husband dancing and playing before Jehovah, and she despised him in her heart. Whether this feeling arose from a want of a proper sense of the solemnity of the act, a total indifference to God's ordinances, or some remorse that David should have the honour of restoring the ark of God, which her father had so many years neglected, she tauntingly exclaimed, “ How glorious was the king of Israel to-day, who uncovered himself in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself !” and David said unto Michal, “ It was before Jehovah, who chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of Jehovah, over Israel: therefore will I play before Jehovah. And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maid-servants which thou hast spoken of: of them shall I be had in honour.” Therefore Michal, the daughter of Saul, had no child unto the day of her death.t

David being now firmly seated on the throne, and having completed a palace for his own residence, and observing how differently the ark of Jehovah was circumstanced, conceived the pious design of erecting a magnificent temple for its re

+ 2 Sam. vi. 19. 1 Cliron. xvi. 3. 43.
+ 2 Sam. vi. 20—23. 1 Chron. xv. 29.

ception, and communicated his intention to Nathan, the prophet, who does not appear to have expressed any disapprobation in the first instance.

But the same night, the word of Jehovah came to Nathan, with the following prohibitory, though at the same time encouraging, message for David, “Thus saith Jehovah, thou shalt not build me a house to dwell in ;* for I have not dwelt in a house, since the day that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and walked in a tabernacle. Wheresoever I have walked with all the children of Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, why have you not built me a house of cedars? I took thee from the sheep cote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel; and I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover, I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in a place of their own, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as before time, and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel; moreover, I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee, that the Lord will build thee a house. And it shall come to pass, when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall

* We afterwards find, that either upon this occasion or some other, God assigned as a reason to David why he was not to build the Temple, that he had been a man of war and a shedder of blood, and that such a work must be performed by a different character. I Chron. xxii. 8, 9. xxviii. 3.

be of thy sons, and I will establish his kingdom.* He shall build a house, for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son; if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men ; but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee; and thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for evermore.

And David came and sat before Jehovah, and said, who am 1, 0 Jehovah, God,+ and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto ? And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O God, for thou hast also spoken of thy servant's house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O Jehovah, God; and is this the manner of man, O Jehovah, God? What can David speak more to thee for the honour of thy servant ? for thou, Jehovah, God, knowest thy servant. O Jehovah, for thy word's sake, I and according to thine own heart, hast

* It is remarkable that this son was even pointed out and promised, by the name of Solomon, before even David's sinful intercourse with his mother first commenced. I Chron. xxii. 9. xxviii. 6.

+ Preferring to adopt the incommunicable name, Jehovah, throughout this work, whenever it is so written in the original Hebrew, instead of the English word, Lord, which frequently embarrasses the sense ; I am aware of an apparent awkwardness when that name stands coupled, as in this place, with the word, Elohim, which is plural, and should be rendered, Jehovah the Gods. I prefer, however, adhering to the common translation in this respect; referring the reader to Kidder on the Messiah, Parkhurst, and other works of that description, for the learning connected with the word Elohim,

1 2 Sam, vil. 21. Servant's sake, i Chron. xvii. 19. ; but there can be little doubt the difference has arisen from the similarity between the Hebrew letters Daleth and Resh. Thus we see a similar

thou done all this greatness, in making known all these great things to make thy servant know them. Wherefore thou art great, 0 Jehovah, God; for there is none like thee, neither is there any God besides thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make him a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou redeemedst to thee out of Egypt, from the nations and their gods ? For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel, to be a people unto thee for ever, and thou, Jehovah, art become their God. Therefore now, 0 Jehovah, let the word which thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, be established for ever, and do as thou hast said. Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, Jehovah of Hosts is the God of Israel, even a God over Israel; and let the house of David, thy servant, be established before thee. For thou, O Jehovah of Hosts, God of Israel, hast told thy şervant, that thou wilt build him a house; therefore thy servant has found in his heart to pray this prayer before tkee. And now, O Jehovah, God, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant. Now, therefore, let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee; for thou, O Jehovah, God, hast spoken it, and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.”

David next prosecuted the work assigned him, of driving

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

mistake occurring in the name of Hadadezer, the author of the Second Book of Samuel using the letter Resh, whilst that of the Book of Chronicles writes Daleth. See 2 Sam. viii. 3. I Chron. xviii .s.

* 2 Sam. vii. 1 Chron. xvii.

out the remnants of the former inhabitants, for he smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Methegammah, or Gath, and their other towns out of their bands. He next advanced against the Moabites, and smote them, destroying two thirds of them, and bringing the rest under subjection to him ; for they became his servants, and brought gifts; and thus the celebrated prophecy of Balaam* was fulfilled. He also smote Hadarezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, unto Hamath, as he went to recover his border, and establish his dominion by the river Euphrates.† And David took from him 1,000 chariots, 7,000 horsemen, and 20,000 footmen, houghing all the chariot horses, except enough to supply 100 chariots.

The Syrians from Damascus having marched to relieve Hadarezer, David advanced to meet them and slew 22,000; and put garrisons in Syria of Damascus : and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadarezer, and brought them to Jerusalem ; and from Betah and Berothai I, cities of Hadarezer, he took a great quantity of brass, with wbich Solomon afterwards made the brazen sea, the pillars, and various vessels.

David gat him a great name as he returned from smiting the Syrians, for Abishai, one of his generals, engaged with a large army of Edomites in the valley of salt, and slew 18,000 men.

When Toi,|| king of Hamath, heard of the victories which David had obtained over Hadarezer and his allies, he sent

* Numb. xxiv. 17. + Harmer suspects that this might be Tadmor in the Wilderness,

or Palmyra. Vol. iii. 369. * 2 Sam. viij. 8. Called Tibbath and Chun, 1 Chron. xviii. 8.

$ 2 Sam. viii. 13. I Chron. xviii. 12.
|| 2 Sam. viii, 10. Called Tou, I Chron. xviii. 10.

« 上一页继续 »