Skip to main content

Full text of "The Hebrew monarchy"

See other formats


VI';?;'MJ ^ 

JAN 29 1917 



An MUtptttntlan of tijt £ngliat| Sibk 

The Hebrew Monarchy 

V/^ BY 

B. H. CARROLL, D.D., LL.D., 

President of Southwestern Baptist 
Theological Seminary 



New York Chicago Toronto 

Fleming H. Revell Company 

London and Edinburgh 

Copyright, 1916, by 

New York: 158 Fifth Avenue 
Chicago: 125 N. Wabash Ave. 
Toronto: 25 Richmond St., W. 
London: 21 Paternoster Sq. 
Edinburgh: 100 Princess St. 





















Editor's Introduction v 

Author's Introduction i 

Early Life of Samuel 7 

Fall of Eli and Rise of Samuel 21 

The Schools of the Prophets 31 

Samuel and the Monarchy 41 

Saul the First King 50 

Saul the First King (Continued) 60 

The Passing of Saul and His Dynasty 68 
Saul's Unpardonable Sin and Its 

Penalty 79 

David Chosen as Saul's Successor 91 

The War Between Love and Hate 105 

Saul's Murderous Pursuit of David 117 

David and His Army 127 

Ziklag, Endor and Gilboa 138 

Historical Introduction to II Samuel 

AND I Chronicles 151 

David King of Judah — The War With 

THE House of Saul 160 

David Made King Over All Israel 168 

The Wars of David 178 

Three Dark Events in David's Career. 188 
Bringing Up the Ark — A Central Place 

of Worship 204 



XXI. David's Kindness Towards Jonathan's 

Son 215 

XXII. Numbering the People — History of Ab- 
salom 224 

XXIII. The Death of Absalom — Preparation 

FOR Solomon 232 

XXIV. David as an Organizer 241 

XXV. The Empire of Solomon 249 

XXVI. Solomon's Accession and Dream 262 

XXVII. Analysis of Solomon's Wisdom 274 

XXVIII. The Works of Solomon 285 

XXIX. Dedication of the Temple 295 

XXX. Fall and End of Solomon 308 


THE Hebrew Monarchy" is the eleventh volume of 
"Carroll's Interpretation of the English Bible." 
They have been published in the following order: 
"Revelation," "Genesis," "Exodus-Leviticus," "Numbers to 
Ruth," "The Pastoral Epistles," "Daniel and the Inter- 
Biblical Period," "The Four Gospels," Volume I, "The Four 
Gospels," Volume II, "The Acts," and "James, Thessa- 
lonians, Corinthians." 

The present volume concerns itself with the transition 
period marking the change of the government of the 
Hebrew nation from that of the judges to that of the kings. 
Only three kings are considered — Saul, David and Solomon. 
The book is of intense interest from its opening sentence 
to its closing word. There is nothing known to me in the 
catalogue of commentaries covering this period that is more 
luminous or that holds a greater interest for the Bible stu- 
dent than the present volume. Not only does Dr. Carroll 
deal with the history, which in itself grips the reader with 
an enduring charm, but as he progresses in the interpretation 
of the history he brings to us lessons new and old out of the 
Divine Word that cannot fail to edify, enlighten, and 
strengthen every one who shall be so fortunate as to peruse 
these pages. 

In going over this manuscript and preparing it for publi- 
cation I feel that I have been treading upon sacred ground. 
It was revised by Dr. Carroll in his last illness while he lay 
in bed, and the marks of his fast increasing infirmity of 
body abound throughout the volume. His mind was keen 
and incisive to the end, and never shone brighter than in hi$ 


labors on this discussion of the last of the judges, the first 
of the prophets, and the first of the kings of the Hebrew 

In his interpretation of the Bible Dr. Carroll is at once 
plain, simple and profound. His words are those that are 
loved and used in the every-day speech of the multitude. 
He has never sought to be technical or didactical. On the 
contrary, by every means at his command (and he was a 
master of English diction and composition), he has sought 
to clarify the text of the English Bible and so interpret it 
as to bring it within the radius of the comprehension of the 
unlettered, while at the same time investing it with deep 
interest for the scholar. In all the range of literature of its 
class there is none that shows a more intimate understanding 
of the popular mind and at the same time of God's Word 
and its adaptation to the hearts of the common people than 
"Carroll's Interpretation of the English Bible." 

In his last illness Dr. Carroll was greatly concerned for 
the proper presentation and exploitation of this and the 
other volumes that compose this series. He realized that 
his earthly labors had come to a close, and that the revision 
of his future works must be performed by other hands. So 
it has fallen out that Rev. J. W. Crowder and the writer of 
this introduction have in hand the final shaping of this and 
the other volumes that are to follow. 

More and more as I have addressed myself anew to this 
task have I been impressed with the strength and wisdom of 
these words of Dr. Cunningham Geikie which appear in the 
preface to the second volume of his "Hours with the Bible:" 
"Life is so short and its responsibilities so great, that hon- 
est diligence is alike a necessity and a duty." With this 
motto thus borne in upon my heart I shall with re-doubled 
energy, earnestness and zeal labor to perform the task that I 
undertook while the great Dr. B. H. Carroll was in the flush 
of perfect health, and which, because he has now gone home 


to God, he will never be able personally to supervise or 

In view of the wide-spread ignorance of the Word of 
God I sincerely hope that this and the other books of this 
series will find a large and increasing circulation. Their 
reading and their study cannot fail to be an abiding blessing 
to all who shall peruse or meditate upon their pages. Like 
a light-house on some rock-bound coast, they shine out in a 
world of spiritual darkness and invite the tempest-tossed on 
the sea of life to come thither and find shelter from life's 
harassing storms. 

Thus this volume is given to the world, bearing with it the 
impress of the greatest life it has ever been mine personally 
to know, and the prayers of this writer that God's grace, 
"bright as the light and soft as the dew," will rest upon its 
pages and upon the heart of every one to whom this book 
shall come. 

J. B. Cranfill. 

Dallas, Texas. 



THE general theme of this section is "The Hebrew 
Monarchy." The text-book is Crockett's "Harmony 
of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles." The collateral 
text-book is Wood's "Hebrew Monarchy." The best and 
most convenient commentary on Samuel is Kirkpatrick's, 
in the Cambridge Bible. 

Other good text-books on Samuel and his times are: 
Edersheim's "History of Israel," Vol. IV; Dean's "Samuel 
and Saul ;" Hengstenberg's "Kingdom of God in the O. T.," 
Vol. II ; Hengstenberg's "Christology of the O. T.," Vol. I ; 
Stanley's "Jewish Church;" Geikie's "Hours with the 
Bible;" Geikie's "Bible Characters — Eli, Samuel, Saul;" 
Sampey's "Syllabus;" Josephus. A good special commen- 
tary on Chronicles is Murphy's. 

I Chronicles 8, 9 and 10 parallels I Samuel, and the im- 
portant distinctions between Samuel and Kings on the one 
part, and Chronicles on the other part, are : 

1. In the time of composition and in the authors, Samuel 
and Kings were written by authors contemporary with the 
events, but Chronicles was all compiled by Ezra after the 
downfall of the monarchy. 

2. The purpose was different. Samuel and Kings aim 
to give a continuous history by contemporaneous authors, 
of all Israel from the establishment of the kingdom, first 
showing the transition from Judges to Kings, then the 
division of the kingdom, then the history of the kingdoms 
to the downfall of each, a period of five hundred years, all 
continuous history by contemporaneous authors. But the 



purpose of Chronicles is unique. Ignoring the Northern 
kingdom, it is designed to show merely the genealogy and 
history of the Davidic line alone, in which the national 
union is preserved, and, commencing with Adam, it shows 
the persistence of national life after the downfall of the 
monarchy. Its viewpoint is the restoration after the cap- 
tivity by Babylon. And while, indeed, the compiler uses 
the material of contemporaneous historians, or material of 
historians contemporaneous with the events as they came 
to pass, yet it is used as a retrospect. 

3. Chronicles is a new and different beginning of Jewish 
history, rooting in Genesis, and becomes the introduction of 
all exile and post-exile O. T. books, and for the uninspired 
books of the inter-biblical period, and hence is a preparation 
for the coming Messiah in the Davidic line. 

4. Hence the first seven chapters of Chronicles parallel 
O. T. books prior to Samuel, and its last paragraph goes 
beyond Kings in showing the connection with post-exile 

5. While it is proper to use Chronicles in the Harmony 
with Samuel and Kings, one who studies Chronicles in the 
Harmony only, can never get its true conception. As to 
the title, "Samuel," to the two books which bear that name, 
the following explanation is apropos: 

1. In the Jewish enumeration the two books are one. 
A note at the end of II Samuel in the Hebrew Bible still 
treats the two books as one, and Eusebius, the great church 
historian, quotes Origen to the effect that the Jews of his 
day counted the books one. Josephus so counts them. 

2. The meaning of the title is two-fold: (a) Up to 
the death of Samuel it means the author of the book, and 
(b) as applied to the whole book it means the principal 
hero of the story up to the time of David. 

I. Considering the history and the sources of the mate- 
rial, we learn from I Chronicles 29 : 29 that the history of 


the reign of David is ascribed to three prophets — Samuel, 
Nathan and Gad; and from other passages in Chronicles 
we learn that other prophets took up the story. So far as 
the scope of I and II Samuel extends we may well say that 
the writers were Samuel, Nathan and Gad, i.e., Samuel up 
to I Samuel 25, then Nathan and Gad. 

2. I Chronicles 27:24 tells us of the state-records of 
David's reign, and from these records may have been ob- 
tained such matter as appears in II Samuel 8:16-18; 20: 
23-26; 23:8-39. 

3. In I Samuel 10:25 we learn that the charter of the 
kingdom is expressly said to have been written by Samuel. 

4. It is very probable that the national poetic literature 
furnished Hannah's song, I Samuel 2: i-io; David's lament 
for Abner, II Samuel 3 : 33, 34 ; David's Thanksgiving, II 
Samuel 22, which is also the same as Psalm 18; the last 
words of David, II Samuel 23 : 1-7. David's lament for 
Saul and Jonathan, II Samuel i : 18-27, is expressly said 
to be taken from the book of Jasher. 

Certain passages in the book itself bear on the date of 
the compilation in its present form: 

1. There is an explanation in I Samuel 9 : 9 of old terms 
which would be necessary, for the terms were not in use 
when the book was compiled. 

2. There is a reference to obsolete customs in II Samuel 


3. The phrase "unto this day" is repeated seven times :• 
I Samuel 5:5, 6:18, 2y:6, 30:25; II Samuel 4:3, 6:8, 

4. II Samuel 5 : 5 refers to the whole reign of David. 

5. In the Septuagint, but not in the Hebrew, there are 
references extending to Rehoboam, Solomon's son. 

6. In I Samuel 27:6 mention of the kings of Judah 
seems to imply that the divisions of the kingdom in Reho- 


boam's day had taken place. The conclusion as to the date 
of the present form is that it was compiled soon after the 
division of the kingdom. The canonicity of Samuel has 
never been questioned. It is remarkably accurate, and every 
way reliable. Each part is the language of the contempo- 
raneous historian who was an eyewitness of the scenes, 
though there are some parts difficult to harmonize, which 
will be noticed particularly as they come up. 

The materials for the text are the Hebrew Manuscript, 
and the versions, towit: The Septuagint, the Chaldean, or 
Aramaic, and the Vulgate. Our manuscripts of the Sep- 
tuagint are mainly the Alexandrian Manuscript of the 5th 
century A. D., and the Vatican Manuscript of the 4th cen- 
tury. The Alexandrian Manuscript conforms most nearly 
to the Hebrew text, there being an important variation in 
the Vatican Manuscript from the Hebrew text that will be 
subsequently noted. The Chaldean, or Aramaic version, 
commonly known as the Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, 
is more a commentary or paraphrase than a translation, 
and that, too, of the later Jews. In the third note to the 
Appendix of I Samuel in the Cambridge Bible you will 
find in this Targum quite a remarkable addition to Hannah's 
Song, ascribing to her a prophecy that touches the destruc- 
tion of the Philistines; the descendants of Samuel, who 
form a part of the Davidic choir, and concerns Sennacherib 
and Nebuchadnezzar, Greece, Haman and Rome. For this 
prophecy, there is no inspired foundation. 

Dr. Sampey, of the Louisville Seminary, says that the 
text of this section needs editing more than any other part 
of the Bible, and there are some peculiarities of the text 
which we will now take up: 

1. Certain passages exist in duplicate, all of them in II 
Samuel except I Samuel 31, which is the same as I Chron- 
icles 10: 1-12. 

2. There are others remarkably similar; for example, 


compare the account in chapters 23 : 19 to 24 ; 22 with 
chapter 26. 

3. The Septuagint in the Vatican Manuscript differs 
from the Alexandrian Manuscript, and also from the 
Hebrew, in omitting a considerable part of chapters 17 and 
18. The omission removes certain difficulties but creates 
others : 

4. The narrative of the Witch of Endor raising the 
ghost or shade of Samuel (chapter 28) has provoked con- 
troversies in every age, and special attention will be given 
to that when we get to it. 

5. In I Samuel i : 3 will be found an entirely new name 
of God. It is not found in any antecedent O. T. book nor 
in but few subsequent O. T. books. The name of the Lord 
of Sabaoth, which means the "Lord of Hosts." All of 
these peculiarities will be noted more particularly as we 
come to them. 

The following is Dr. Kirkpatrick's analysis of I Samuel : 

I. The close of the period of the Judges, chapters 1-7. 

1. The early life of Samuel, extending from i : i 

to 4: la. 

2. The judgments of Eli and the loss of the Ark, 


3. The judicial life of Samuel, 7:2-17. 

II. The foundation of the monarchy, chapters 8-31. 

1. The appointment of the first king, chapters 


2. Saul's reign unto his rejection, chapters 11-15. 

3. Decline of Saul and rise of David, chapters 




1. What the general theme of this section? 

2. What the text-book? 

3. What the collateral text-book? 

4. What the best and most convenient commentary on Samuel?' 

5. What other good text-books on Samuel and his times ? 

6. What special commentary on Chronicles commended? 

7. What part of I Chronicles parallels I Samuel? 

8. What important distinctions between Samuel and Kings on the 
one part, and Chronicles on the other part? 

9. What of the title, "Samuel," to the two books which bear that 

10. Who wrote the history, and what the sources of the material? 

11. What passages in the book itself bear on the date of the com- 
pilation in its present form? 

12. What the conclusion as to the date of the present form? 

13. What of the canonicity of Samuel? 

14. What of the accuracy and reliability of the history? 

15. What can you say of the text of the book of Samuel? 

16. What does Dr. Sampey say of the text? 

17. What peculiarities of the text noted? 

18. Whose analysis commended, and what its main divisions and 
subdivisions ? 


Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 62-66 

WE omit Part I of the text-book, since that first 
part is devoted to genealogical tables taken from 
I Chronicles. That part of Chronicles is not an 
introduction to Samuel or Kings, but an introduction to 
the Old Testament books written after the Babylonian cap- 
tivity. To put that in now would be out of place. 

We need to emphasize the supplemental character of 
Chronicles. Our Harmony indeed will show from time to 
time in successive details the very important contributions 
of that nature in Chronicles not found in any form in the 
histories of Samuel and Kings, nor elsewhere in the O. T. ; 
but to appreciate the magnitude of this new matter we need 
to glance at it in bulk, not in detail, as its parts will come 
up later. 

There are twenty whole chapters and parts of twenty- 
four other chapters in Chronicles occupied with matter not 
found in other books of the Bible. 

This is a considerable amount of new material, and is 
valuable on that account, but it is still more valuable be- 
cause it presents a new aspect of Hebrew history after the 
captivity. The following passages in Chronicles contain 
new matter : I Chronicles 2 : 18-55 J 3 • 19-24 ; all of chap- 
ters 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 ; chapter 11 : 41-47 ; all of chapter 12 ; 
chapter 15:1-26; all of chapters 22 to 29; II Chronicles 
6 : 40-42 ; chapter 1 1 : 5-23 ; chapter 12 : 4-8 ; chapter 13:3- 
21; chapter 14:3-15; chapter 15:1-15; chapter 16:7-10; 
all of chapters 17 and 19; chapter 20:1-30; chapter 21: 
2-4, 11-19; and chapter 24:15-22; chapter 25:5-10, 12-16; 



chapter 26 : 5-20 ; chapter 27 : 4-6 ; chapter 28 : 5-25 ; chapter 
29:3-36; all of chapters 30 and 31; chapter 32:22, 23, 
26-31; chapter 33: 11-19; chapter 34^3-7; chapter 35:2-17, 
25 ; chapter 36 : 1 1-23. 

Whoever supposed that there was that much material 
in the book of Chronicles that could not be found anywhere 
else? One can study Chronicles as a part of a Harmony 
with Samuel and Kings, but if that were the only way it 
could be studied he would never get the true significance 
of it, as it is an introduction to all of the later O. T. books. 
In the light of these important new additions, we not only 
see the introduction of all subsequent O. T. books and also 
inter-biblical books by Jews, but must note the transition 
in thought from a secular Jewish kingdom to an approach- 
ing spiritual Messianic kingdom. 

We thus learn that O. T. prophecy is not limited to dis- 
tinct utterances foretelling future events, but that the whole 
history of the Jewish people is prophetic ; not merely in its 
narrative, but in its legislation, in its types, feasts. Sab- 
baths, sacrifices, offerings; in its tabernacle and temple, 
with all of their divinely appointed worship and ritual, and 
this explains why the historical books are classed as pro- 
phetic, not merely because prophets wrote them, which is 
true, but also because the history is prophetic. 

In this fact lies one of the strongest proofs of the inspira- 
tion of the Old Testament hooks in all of their parts. The 
things selected for record, and the things not recorded, are 
equally forcible. The silence equals the utterance. This 
is characteristic of no other literature, and shows divine 
supervision which not only makes necessary every part re- 
corded, hut so correlates and adapts the parts as to make 
a perfect literary and spiritual structure which demands a 
New Testament as a culmination. 

Moreover, we are blind if we cannot see a special Provi- 
dence preparing a leader for every transition in Jewish 


history. Just as Moses was prepared for deliverance from 
Egypt, and for the disposition of the law, so Samuel is 
prepared, not only to guide from a government by judges 
to a government by kings, but, what is very much more 
important, to establish a School of the Prophets — a theo- 
logical seminary. 

These prophets were to he the mouth-pieces of God in 
speaking to kingly and national conscience, and for five 
hundred years afterwards, become the orators, poets, his- 
torians and reformers of the nation, and so, for centuries, 
avert, postpone or remedy, national disasters provoked by 
public corruption of morals and religion. 

Counting great men as peaks of a mountain range, and 
sighting backwards from Samuel to Abraham, only one 
peak, Moses, comes into the line of vision. 

There are other peaks, but they don't come up high 
enough to rank with Abraham, Moses and Samuel. A list 
of the twelve best and greatest men in the world's history 
must include the name of Samuel. When we come, at his 
death, to analyze his character and posit him among the 
great, other things will be said. Just now we are to find 
in his early life that such a man did not merely happen; 
that neither heredity, environment nor chance produced him. 

Samuel was born at Ramah, lived at Ramah, died at 
Ramah and was buried at Ramah. Ramah is a little village 
in the mountains of Ephraim, somewhat north of the city 
of Jerusalem. It is right hard to locate Ramah on any 
present map of the Holy Land. Some would put it south, 
some north. It is not easy to locate like Bethlehem and 

Samuel belonged to the tribe of Levi, but was not a 
descendant of Aaron. If he had been he would have been 
either a high priest or a priest. Only Aaron's descendants 
could be high priests, or priests, but Samuel belonged to 
the tribe of Levi, and from I Chronicles 6 you may trace 


his descent. The tribe of Levi had no continuous landed 
territory like the other tribes, but was distributed among 
the other tribes. That tribe belonged to God, and they had 
no land assigned them except the villages in which they 
lived and the cities of refuge, of which they had charge, 
and so Samuel's father could be called an Ephrathite and 
yet be a descendant of the tribe of Levi — that is, he was a 
Levite living in the territory of Ephraim. 

The bigamy of Samuel's father produced the usual bitter 
fruit. The first and favorite wife had no children, so m 
order to perpetuate his name he took a second wife, and 
when that second wife bore him a large brood of children 
she gloried over the first wife, and provoked her and mocked 
at her for having no children, and it produced a great bitter- 
ness in Hannah's soul. The history of the Mormons dem- 
onstrates that bitterness always accompanies a plurality of 
wives. I don't see how a woman can share a home or 
husband with any other woman. 

We will now consider the attitude of the Mosaic law 
toward a plurality of wives, divorce, etc. In Deuteronomy 
21 : 15-17 we see that the Mosaic law did permit an existing 
custom. It did not originate it nor command it, but it tol- 
erated the universal custom of the times — a plurality of 
wives. From Deuteronomy 24: 1-4, we learn that the law 
permitted a husband to get rid of a wife, but commanded 
him to give her a bill of divorcement. That law was not 
made to encourage divorce, but to limit the evil and to pro- 
tect the woman who would suffer under divorce. Why the 
law even permitted these things we see from Matthew 19: 
7, 8. Our Savior there tells us that Moses, on account of 
the hardness of their hearts, permitted a man to put away 
his wife. That is to say, that nation had just emerged from 
slavery, and the prevalent- custom all around them permitted 
something like that, and because they were not prepared 
for an ideal law on the subject on account of the hardness 


of their hearts, Moses tolerated, without commending a 
plurality of wives or commanding divorce — both in a way 
to mitigate the evil — but when Jesus comes to give His 
statute on the subject He speaks out and says, ''Whosoever 
shall put away his wife except for marital infidelity and 
marries again committeth adultery, and whosoever shall 
marry her that is put away committeth adultery." A 
preacher in a recent sermon, as reported, discredited that 
part of Matthew because not found also in Mark. I have 
no respect for the radical criticism which makes Mark the 
only credible gospel, or even the norm of the others. Nor 
can any man show one shred of evidence that it is so. 1 
have a facsimile of the three oldest New Testament manu- 
scripts. What Matthew says is there, and may not be 
eliminated on such principles of criticism. 

The radical critics say that the Levitical part of the 
Mosaic law was not written by Moses, but by a priest in 
Ezekiel's time, and that Israel had no central place of wor- 
ship in the period of the judges, but this section shows that 
they did have a central place of worship at Shiloh, and 
the book of Joshua shows when Shiloh became the central 
place of worship. The text shows that they did come up 
yearly to this central place of worship, and that they did 
offer, as in the case of Hannah and Elkanah, the sacrifices 
required in Leviticus. 

In Joshua i8 : i we learn that when the conquest was 
finished Joshua, himself, placed the Ark and the Taber- 
nacle at Shiloh, and constituted it the central place of wor- 
ship. In this section we learn what disaster ended Shiloh 
as the central place of worship. The Ark was captured, 
and subsequently the Tabernacle was removed, and that 
Ark and that Tabernacle never got together again. In 
Jeremiah 7:12 we read: "But go ye now unto my place 
which was in Shiloh, where I caused my name to dwell at 
the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my 


people Israel/* Jeremiah is using that history as a threat 
against Jerusalem, which in Jeremiah's time was the central 
place of worship. His lesson was, "If you repeat the wick- 
edness done in Samuel's time God will do to your city and 
your home what He did to Shiloh!' 

It is important to know the subsequent separate history 
of the Ark and the Tabernacle, and when and where an- 
other permanent central place and house of worship were 
established. The Bible tells us every move that Ark and 
that Tabernacle made, and when, where and by whom the 
permanent central place and house of worship were 

Eli was high priest at Samuel's birth. In those genea- 
logical tables that we omitted from I Chronicles we see that 
Eli was a descendant of Aaron, but not of Eleazar, the 
eldest son ; therefore, according to the Mosaic law, he ought 
never to have been high priest, but he was, and I will have 
something to say about that when the true line is established 
later. I Samuel 4, which comes in the next chapter, dis- 
tinctly states that Eli judged Israel 40 years, and he was 
likely a contemporary of Samson. But Eli, at the time we 
know him, is ninety-eight years old, and nearly blind. He 
was what we call a good-hearted man, but weak. That 
combination in a ruler makes him a curse. Diplomats tell 
us "a blunder is worse than a crime,'* in a ruler. He shows 
his weakness in allowing his sons, Hophni and Phinehas, 
to degrade the worship of God. They were acting for him, 
as he was too old for active service. The most awful re- 
ports came to him about the infamous character of these 
sons, who occupied the highest and holiest office in a nation 
that belonged to God. 

This section tells us that he only remonstrated in his 
weak way: "My sons, it is not a good report that I hear 
about you,'* but that is all he did. As he was judge and 
high priest, why should he prefer his sons to the honor of 


God? Why did he not remove them from positions of 
trust and influence ? His doom is announced in this section, 
and it is an awful one. God sent a special prophet to him 
and this is the doom. You will find it in chapter 2, com- 
mencing at verse 30: ^'Wherefore the Lord, the God of 
Israel, saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of 
thy father, should walk before me forever: but now the 
Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I 
will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly es- 
teemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine 
arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall 
not be an old man in thine house. And thou shalt see an 
enemy in my habitation (Shiloh), in all the wealth which 
God shall give Israel : and there shall not be an old man 
among thy descendants forever. And the descendants of 
thine, whom I do not cut of¥ from mine altar, shall live to 
consume thine eyes, and grieve thine heart': and all the 
increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age.'* 

Or as Samuel puts it to him, we read in chapter 3, com- 
mencing at verse 1 1 : "And the Lord said unto Samuel, 
Behold I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of 
every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I shall 
perform against Eli all things that I have spoken against 
his house: when I begin I will also make an end. For I 
have told him that I will judge his house forever for the 
iniquity which he knoweth, because his sons made them- 
selves vile and he restrained them not; therefore I have 
sworn unto the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house 
shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever." 

What was the sign of his doom? The same passage 
answers: "And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall 
come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one 
day they shall die both of them. And I will raise me up a 
faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in 
my heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure 


house; and he shall walk before mine anointed forever. 
And it shall come to pass, that everyone that is left in thy 
house shall come and bow down to him for a piece of silver 
and a loaf of bread." That was the sign. In the time of 
Solomon the priesthood goes back to the true line, in ful- 
fillment of the declaration in that sign. The priesthood 
passes away from Eli's descendants and goes back where 
it belongs — to Zadok — who is a descendant of Aaron's 
eldest son. 

The Philistine nation at this time dominated Israel. The 
word, "Philistines," means emigrant-people that go out 
from their native land, and it is of the same derivation as 
the word "Palestine." That Holy Land, strangely enough, 
takes its name from the Philistines. The Phihstines were 
descended from Mizraim, a child of Ham, and their place 
was in Egypt. Leaving Egypt they became "Philistines," 
that is, emigrants, and occupied all of that splendid low- 
land on the western and southwestern part of the Jewish 
territory, next to the Mediterranean Sea, which was as level 
as a plain, and as fertile as the Nile valley. There they 
established five independent cities, which, like the Swiss 
Cantons, formed a confederacy. While each was independ- 
ent for local affairs, they united in offensive and defensive 
aUiances against other nations, and they had complete con- 
trol of Southern Judea at this time. Joshua had overpow- 
ered them, but the conquest was not complete. They rose 
up from under his power, even in his time, and in the time 
of Samson and Eli they brought Israel into a pitiable sub- 
jection. They were not allowed to have even a grindstone. 
If they wanted to sharpen an axe they had to go and borrow 
a Philistine's grindstone, and what a good text for a sermon ! 

Woe to the man that has to sharpen the implement with 
which he works in the shop of an enemy! Woe to the 
Southern preacher that goes to a radical critic's Seminary in 
order to sharpen his theological axe! 


Speaking of the evils of a plurality of wives, we found 
Hannah in great bitterness of heart because she had no 
child, and we saw her lingering at the central place of 
worship, and without saying words out loud, her lips were 
moving, and her face was as one entranced, so that Eli 
thinks she is drunk. The N. T. tells us of a certain Hke- 
ness between intoxication with ardent spirits and intoxica- 
tion of the Holy Spirit. She told him that she was praying. 
When her child was born she came back and said to him, 
*'l am the woman that you thought was drunk, but I was 
praying," and then she uses this language: "I prayed for 
this child," holding the little fellow up in her hands, "and 
I vowed that if God would give him to me I would lend 
him to the Lord all the days of his life," and therefore she 
brings him to be consecrated perpetually to God's service. 
The scripture brings all that out beautifully. 

So the text speaks of the woes pronounced on a parent 
who put off praying for and restraining his children until 
they were grown. Like Hannah we should commence pray- 
ing for them before they are born; pray for them in the 
cradle, and if you make any promise or vow to God for 
them, keep the vow. 

I know a woman who had many children and kept pray- 
ing that God would send her one preacher child, promising 
to do everything in her power to make him a great preacher. 
The Lord gave her two. One of my deacons used to send 
for me when a new baby was born, to pray for it. Oliver 
Wendell Holmes says a child's education should commence 
with his grandmother. Paul tells us that this was so with 
Timothy. The Mosaic law required every male to appear 
before the Lord at the central place of worship three times 
a year. The text says that Elkanah went up yearly, but 
does not state how many times a year. The inference is 
fairly drawn that he strictly kept the Mosaic law. 

Samuel had certain duties in the Tabernacle. He slept 


in the Lord's house and tended to the lights. It is a, great 
pity when a child of darkness attends to the lights in God's 

I heard a preacher say to a sexton, "How is it that you 
ring the bell to call others to heaven and you, yourself, 
seem going right down to hell?" And that same preacher 
said to a surveyor, "You survey land for other people to 
have a home, and have no home yourself." So some preach- 
ers point out the boundaries of the home in heaven and 
make their own bed in hell. 

Samuel's call from God, his first prophecy, and his rec- 
ognition by the people as a prophet are facts of great in- 
terest, and the lesson from his own failure to at once rec- 
ognize the call is of great value. In the night he heard a 
voice saying, "Samuel! Samuel!" He thought it was Eli, 
and he went to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me." 
"No, I didn't call you, my son ; go back to bed." The voice 
came again, "Samuel, Samuel," and he got up and went to 
Eli and said, "You did call me. What do you want with 
me?" "No, my son, I did not call you; go back and lie 
down," and the third time the voice came, "Samuel, 
Samuel," and he went again to Eli. Then Eli knew that it 
was God who called him, and he said, "My son, it is the 
Lord. You go back and when the voice comes again, say. 
Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth," and so God spoke 
and the first burden of prophecy that He put upon the boy's 
heart was to tell the doom of the house of Eli. Very soon 
after that all Israel recognized Samuel as a prophet of God. 

The value of the lesson is this: We don't always recog- 
nize the divine touch at first. Many a man under convic- 
tion does not at first understand its source and nature. 
Others, even after they are converted, are not sure they are 
converted. It is like the mover's chickens that, after their 
legs were untied, would lie still, not realizing that they were 
free. The ligatures around their legs had cut oflf the circu- 


lation, and they felt as if they were tied after they were 
loose. There is always an interval between an event and 
the cognition of it. For example, when a shot is fired it 
, precedes our recognition of it by either the sight of smoke 
or the sound of the explosion, for it takes both sound and 
sight some time to travel over the intervening space. I 
heard Major Penn say that the worst puzzle in his life was 
the experiences whereby God called him to quit his law 
work and become an evangelist. He didn't understand it. 
It was like Samuel going to Eli. 

I now will give an analysis of that gem of Hebrew poetry, 
Hannah's song, showing its conception of God, and the 
reason of its imitation in the New Testament. The idea 
of Hannah's conception of God thus appears: 

There is none besides God; He stands alone. There is 
none holy but God. There is none that abaseth the proud 
and exalteth the lowly, feedeth the hungry, and maketh the 
full hungry, except God; and there is none but God that 
killeth and maketh alive. There is none but God who estab- 
lisheth this earth; none but God who keepeth the feet of 
His saints ; none but God that has true strength ; none but 
God that judgeth the ends of the earth, and the chief ex- 
cellency of it is the last : "He shall give strength unto His 
king and exalt the horn of His Anointed." That is the first 
place in the Bible where the kingly office is mentioned in 
connection with the name "Anointed." The name, 
"Anointed," means Christ, the Messiah. 

It is true that it was prophesied to Abraham that kings 
should be his descendants. It is true that Moses made 
provision for a king. It is true that in the book of Judges 
anointing is shown to be the method of setting apart to 
kingly office, but this is the first place in the Bible where 
the one anointed gets the name of the "Anointed One," a 
king. Because of this Messianic characteristic, Mary, when 
it was announced to her that she should be the mother of 


the Anointed King, pours out her soul in the Magnificat, 
imitating Hannah's song. 

The state of rehgion at this time was very low. We see 
from the closing of the book of Judges that at the feast of 
Shiloh they had irreligious dances. We see from the text 
here that Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of religion, 
were not only as corrupt as anybody, but leaders in cor- 
ruption. We see it declared that there is no open vision, 
and it is further declared that the Word of God was pre- 
cious — rare. 

I will now explain these two phrases in the texts, I Sam. 
I : i6 (A. v.), where Hannah says, "Count not thine hand- 
maid for a daughter of Belial," and in 2: 12 (A. V.), where 
Hophni and Phinehas are said to be the ''sons of Belial." 
The common version makes Belial a proper name; the 
revised version does not, and the revised version is at fault, 
n you will turn to H Cor. 6: 15, you will see that Belial is 
shown to be the name of Satan : "What concord hath Christ 
with Behal?" Get Milton's "Paradise Lost," First Book, 
and read the reference to Hophni and Phinehas as sons of 
Belial, and see that he correctly makes it a proper name. 

Samuel was not a descendant of Aaron. He was merely 
a Levite, but he subsequently, as we shall learn, officiated 
in sacrifices as if he were a priest or high priest. It will 
be remembered that the priesthood was under the curse 
pronounced on Eli, and Samuel was a special exceptional 
appointee of God, as Moses was. 

Dr. Burleson, a great Texas preacher, and president of 
Baylor University, preached all over Texas a sermon on 
family government, taking his text from I Sam. 2:31. 

There are some passages and quotations from Geikie's 
"Hours With the Bible" on the evils of a plurality of wives 
that are pertinent. Commenting on Elkanah's double mar- 
riage he says, "But, as might have been expected, this double 
marriage — a thing even then uncommon — did not add to 


his happiness, for even among the Orientals the misery of 
polygamy is proverbial. 'From what I know/ says one, 
'it is easier to live with two tigeresses than with two wives.' 
And a Persian poet is of well-nigh the same opinion: — 

"'Be that man's life immersed in gloom 
Who needs more wives than one : 
With one his cheeks retain their bloom, 
His voice a cheerful tone : 
These speak his honest heart at rest, 
And he and she are always blest. 
But when with two he seeks for joy, 
Together they his soul annoy ; 
With two no sunbeam of delight 
Can make his day of misery bright.' 

"An old Eastern Drama is no less explicit: — 

"'Wretch! would'st thou have another wedded slave? 
Another? What? Another? At thy peril 
Presume to try the experiment : would'st thou not 
For that unconscionable, foul desire 
Be linked to misery? Sleepless nights, and days 
Of endless torment — still recurring sorrow 
Would be thy lot. Two wives ! O never ! Never ! 
Thou hast not power to please two rival queens ; 
Their tempers would destroy thee ; sear thy brain ; 
Thou canst not, Sultan, manage more than one. 
Even one may be beyond thy government !' " 


1. Why omit Part I of the text-book? 

2. What, in bulk, is the supplemental matter in Chronicles, and 
what its importance? 

3. What and where the place of Samuel's birth, residence and 
burial ? 

4. What his ancestry and tribe ? 

5. If he belonged to the tribe of Levi, why then is he called an 
Ephraimite, or Ephrathite, which in this place is equivalent? 

6. Show that the bigamy of Samuel's father produced the usual 
bitter fruit. 

7. What was the attitude of the Mosaic law toward a plurality of 
wives, and divorce, and why? 

8. Why did the lav/ ever permit these things ? 

9. What is the bearing of this section on the contention of the 
radical critics that the Levitical part of the Mosaic law was not 
written by Moses, but by a priest in Ezekiel's time, and that Israel 
had no central place of worship in the period of the Judges? 


10. When did Shiloh become the central place of worship, how long 
did it so remain, and what use did Jeremiah make of its desolation? 

11. Trace the subsequent and separate history of the Ark and the 
Tabernacle, and show when and where another permanent central 
place and house of worship were established. 

12. Who was high priest at Samuel's birth, how was he descended 
from Aaron, and what the proof that he also judged Israel? 

13. With which of the judges named in the book of Judges was he 
likely a contemporary ? 

14. What was Eli's character, sin, doom, sign of the doom, and 
who announced it to him? 

15. What nation at this time dominated Israel ? 

16. Give a brief and clear account of these people. 

17. Show how Samuel was a child of prayer, the subject of a vow, 
a Nazarite, how consecrated to service, and the lessons therefrom. 

18. How often did the Mosaic law require every male to appear 
before the Lord at the central place of worship, and to what extent 
was this law fulfilled by Samuel's father and mother? 

19. What were the duties of the child Samuel in the Tabernacle? 

20. Give an account of Samuel's call from God, his first prophecy, 
his recognition by the people as a prophet, and the lesson from his own 
failure, for a while, to recognize the call. 

21. Analyze that gem of Hebrew poetry, Hannah's song, showing 
its conception of God, and give the reason of its imitation in the New 

22. What was the state of religion at this time? 

23. Explain the references to Belial in I Sam. i : 16 and 2 : 12. 

24. As Samuel was not a descendant of Aaron, but merely a Levite, 
why does he subsequently, as we shall learn, officiate in sacrifices as 
if he were a priest or high priest ? 

25. What great Texas preacher preached all over Texas a sermon 
on family government, taking his text from I Sam. 2:31 ? 

26. Cite the passages and quotations from "Geikie's Hours with 
the Bible" on the evils of a plurality of wives. 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 66-69 

1WILL give, in order, the passages showing the rise of 
Samuel over against the descent of Eli. Samuel, more 
than any other book of the Bible, excels in vividness 
of detail, and especially in showing progressiveness in char- 
acter, either upward or downward — either growing better 
or worse. Over against the iniquities of Eli's sons and the 
doom pronounced on his house, we have in order, these 
passages : I Sam. i : 27, 28 ; 2 : 18, and the last clause of 
verse 21 ; 2 : 26 ; 3:1-4; also 19-21 ; and 4:1. 

The progress is: (i) For this child I prayed. (2) The 
child prayed for is devoted to Jehovah. (3) His home is 
God's house and there he serves and worships. (4) The 
child is called. (5) The child grew in favor with God and 
man. (6) The child kept on growing. (7) He is recog- 
nized as a prophet by all Israel from Dan to Beersheba. 
In the meantime Eli's house steadily descends until the 
bottom is reached. 

Macaulay, in his "History of England," in telling about 
the great men in power at a certain time, including Lord 
Halifax, substantially makes this remark: "These great 
men did not know that they were even then being eclipsed 
by two young men who were rising up, that would attain 
to greater heights and influence than the others had ever 
attained," and he gives the names of the two young men 
as John Somers and Charles Montague. 



You may apply this throughout life: A train once in 
motion will run for a while on its own impetus, but in both 
cases the motion will gradually cease unless new power be 
applied. So in every community there are leaders holding 
position from past momentum, while new men are rising 
that will eclipse and succeed them. As in nature when a 
tree quits growing it begins to die, and when a stream quits 
flowing its waters stagnate, so when a leader quits studying 
he begins to lose power and must give place to younger 
men who are studious. And it will some day be so with 
you, and you will enter what is called the declining period 
of your Hfe. For a while it will astonish you that you are 
not cutting as wide a swath as you used to cut, and unless 
you Hve only in God, that will be the bitterest hour of your 
life. Very few people know how to grow old gracefully; 
some of them become very bitter as they grow old. 

The following is a summary of the events connected with 
the fall of the house of Eli : 

I. An enemy is strengthened to smite them. The ab- 
sence of purity, piety, veneration and fideHty in God's people 
— either His nominal people like Hophni and Phinehas, or 
His real people, as Eli — always develops a conquering 
enemy. The case of Samson, Eli's contemporaneous judge, 
illustrates this. When he betrayed the secret of his strength, 
he went out as aforetime and knew not that the Spirit of 
the Lord had departed from him, and so became an easy 
victim of the Philistines — ^bound, eyes put out, enslaved, 
grinding in the mills of God's enemies, a sport to them, 
with the added despair that the cause suffered in his 

The devil has known from the beginning that his only 
chance to win against God's people is, by their sins, to turn 
God against them. He knows that as long as God is for 
you, nobody can be against you. He knows that he cannot 
fight against you when you have God back of you, but if 


you become estranged from God, the devil will show you 
very quickly that when it comes to a wrestle he can give 
you a fall, and it does not take him long to do it. 

It was in this way that he influenced Balaam to suggest 
to Balak the plan to make Israel sin with women, as a step 
toward idolatry. His slogan was : "If you can make them 
sin against their God and put Him against them, then you 
can down them/* The Phinehas of that day, how different 
from this Phinehas, Eli's son! Naming a child after a 
great and good man does not make him like his namesake. 
One of the most unpatriotic men I ever knew was named 
after George Washington ; one of the greatest failures as a 
preacher was named after Spurgeon; one of the poorest 
excuses for a statesman was named after Sam Houston. 

Now here is Phinehas, the son of Eli, named after that 
other Phinehas of Balaam's time. 

The devil, here called Belial, is never better satisfied than 
when he can nominate his own children as ministers of 
religion. Hophni and Phinehas, children of Belial, were 
priests. The prevalent evils of today arise from the fact 
that children of Belial occupy many pulpits and many chairs 
in theological seminaries and Christian schools. Always 
they are the advance couriers of disaster to God's cause, 
and herald the coming of a triumphant adversary. 

When prea-chers and professors in schools begin to hawk 
at and peck at the Bible, and rend it with their talons, or 
defile the spiritual feasts like harpies, you should not only 
count them as unclean birds of prey, but should begin to set 
your own house in order, for trouble is coming fast. 

2. The Philistines won a battle. Four thousand Israel- 
ites were slain. 

3. Stimulated by fear, the sons of Eli resorted to an 
expedient, tempting God. They sent for the Ark, taking it 
from its appointed place to be used as a fetish or charm. 
So used as an instrument of superstition it had no more 


power to avert evil than a negro's use of a rabbit's foot, or 
the naiHng up of a horse shoe over a door to keep off 

As religion becomes decadent its votaries resort to charms, 
amulets, relics of the saints, alleged pieces of the Cross, 
images and other kinds of evil, instead of resorting to re- 
pentance, faith and obedience. So used, the most sacred 
symbol becomes worse than any common thing. 

We will see later in Jewish history the idolatrous worship 
of the brazen serpent made by Moses, and we will hear 
good King Hezekiah say, as he breaks it to pieces, "Ne- 
hushtan," i.e., "it is only a piece of brass." As a symbol, 
when lifted up, it was of great use, but when used as an 
object of worship it became only a piece of brass. A stu- 
dent of history knows that a multiplication of holy days, 
pyrotechnic displays, games, festivities, plays and cruel 
sports, until there are no days to work, marks the decadence 
of a people. You need not be afraid of any nation that 
gives great attention to fireworks — a characteristic of the 
Latin races. 

We shout in vain : *The Ark of the Lord ! The Ark of 
the Lord!" when we fail to follow the Lord himself. No 
issue is made in that way, as it is not an issue of the Lord 
against Dagon, but a superstitious and impious use of sacred 
symbols against the devil, and the devil will whip every 
time. In the medieval times, early in the history of the 
crusades, you can see that even the Cross so used falls 
before the Crescent, the sign of Mahomet's followers. 

We might as well seek the remission of sins in baptism, 
or salvation in the bread of the Supper, as to expect God's 
favor sought by any such means. 

When Elisha smote the Jordan with Elijah's mantle, he 
trusted not to the mantle, nor did he say, "Where is Elijah?" 
but he said, "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" and so he 
divided the waters. 


3. The Philistines won another battle. Thirty thousand 
Israelites perished; Hophni and Phinehas were slain; the 
Ark was captured ; Eli died, and the wife of Phinehas died 
in premature labor, naming her new born babe, "Ichabod," 
that is, "The glory is departed from Israel;" Shiloh was 
captured and made desolate forever, ceasing to be the cen- 
tral place of worship; both the Ark and the Tabernacle 
became fugitives, separating never to meet again, and so 
Israel lamented after the Lord. 

4. The Philistines regarded the capture of the Ark, 
(i) as a triumph of their god, Dagon, over Jehovah, the 
God of Israel, and so they placed it in a subordinate position 
before Dagon in their Temple. (2) They regarded it as 
the capture of Jehovah himself, obHgated by His captivity 
to now serve the PhiHstines as He had heretofore ministered 
to Israel. 

The prevalence of such conceptions in ancient times is 
very evident. For ages the presence of a deity was asso- 
ciated with his symbol. To capture his symbol, or image, 
was to capture the deity, as in the story of Aladdin in "The 
Arabian Nights," whoever held the lamp of the genie con- 
trolled the genie himself. Assyrian sculptures today ex- 
hibit the idols of vanished nations borne in triumphant pro- 
cession, and the parade is always to show that they have 
triumphed over the gods of that country. 

The Hebrew prophets allude to this custom frequently. 
The passages are Isa. 46:1, Jer. 48:7 and 49:3, Hosea 
10:6 and Dan. 11:8. Cyrus, when he captured Babylon, 
adopted its gods, but the Romans under Marcellus brought 
to adorn their own cities the captured images and pictures 
of the Greek gods. Nebuchadnezzar carried away the 
sacred symbols of Jerusalem when he captured that city, as 
did Titus after our Lord's time, and you can see in Rome 
today, carved on the Arch, the seven-branched Golden Can- 
dlestick which Titus carried from the Temple of Jerusalem 


in triumph to Rome. The Roman general, Fabius, when 
he captured the City of Tarentum, said to his soldiers, 
"Leave their gods here; their gods are mad at them; so 
let us leave them with their gods which they have offended," 
and so they left the idols. It would have been a good thing, 
as after-events show, had Nebuchadnezzar done the same 
thing, for when Belshazzar, his successor, on a certain night 
at a drunken feast, used the sacred vessels of the temple 
for desecration, it was then that the hand came out and 
wrote on the wall, *'Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin." 

Jehovah showed the Philistines that their victory was not 
over Him. (i) By causing the image of Dagon to fall 
down before the Ark, and when they set it up again, caused 
it to fall down again, and to break its head and arms off; 
(2) by sending two great plagues: tumors or boils, violent 
and fatal, under which thousands died, and field mice that 
swarmed so as to destroy the great harvests of grain that 
made their land famous; (3) by causing the cessation of 
the worship of Dagon in Ashdod, for after taking the falls 
and breaking his head and arms off, no man would go in 
and worship Dagon. 

A natural inquiry when an individual or a people is sub- 
ject to a series of severe and extraordinary disasters is, 
What sin have we committed and how may we expiate it, 
or avert its judgment? Such an inquiry is inseparably 
connected with any conception of the moral government of 
God. Men may indeed often fail to note that all afflictions 
are not punitive, some being disciplinary, or preparatory to 
greater displays of mercy. You see this problem discussed 
in the case of Job and his friends; also to those who asked 
Jesus, "Who did sin, this man or his parents?" He an- 
swered that this affliction did not result from personal sin 
of either of them, but that the glory of God might be mani- 
fested. It is the most natural thing in the world for any- 
body who has suffered one buffet of ill fortune after an- 


other, to ask, "What have I done?" and it is perfectly nat- 
ural for the neighbors to point out that one and say, "Ah, 
you have been doing something against the Lord: your sin 
is finding you out." Therefore it was the most natural 
thing in the world for the Philistines, when they saw such 
disasters coming in connection with the capture of the Ark, 
to put the question, "What is our sin?" 

We will see what expedients the Philistines adopted to 
determine whether their calamities came only in a natural 
way, or were supernatural afflictions connected with the 
Ark and coming from the offended Jehovah, and if from 
Jehovah, how He was to be appeased. I Sam. 5 : 7-1 1 gives 
us the first expedient: "We will move this Ark from 
Ashdod to the next one of the five cities, and see what 
happens then. If the same things happen there, we will 
move it to the next city, and if the same things happen 
there we will move it to the next city, and so on around 
the circle of the five cities, and if the same results follow 
all of these cities, such a series of incidents will be regarded 
as full proof that the judgments are from Jehovah." 

You will recall the story of the boy and the cow bells. 
He said, "When my father found a cow bell, Ma and I 
were mighty glad, for we needed one. And when he found 
another cow bell we were glad again, for we really needed 
another one, but when Dad found another cow bell. Ma 
and I became suspicious." A man would not naturally 
find three cow bells one after another, so they thought that 
"Dad" had stolen them. So when five cities, one after the 
other, had the same afflictions, they could not call that 

I knew of a general in a terrible battle who, when a 
bomb-shell as big as a water bucket came from a gunboat, 
cut through a tree and sank into the ground, making an 
excavation that you could put a house in, ran and put his 
head right into the hole where the shell came. Somebody 


asked him why, and he said that such a shell as that would 
never come twice in the same place. And so the Philistine 
idea was to move the Ark from Ashdod to the next city, 
and if nothing happened, then they were mistaken about 
this being chastisement from Jehovah, but if wherever they 
took it there came the mice and boils on the inhabitants, 
they were not mistaken, and they could not misunderstand. 

That was their first expedient. Their second expedient 
was to call upon their religious leaders, their diviners and 
soothsayers, and to ask them to tell them how they could 
conciliate Jehovah. And the diviners told them that the 
Ark must be sent back, and it must be sent back with a 
gift, and the gift must signify their confession of sin. In 
the olden times if a man was healed of a wound in his hand, 
the Lord was presented with a silver offering to commemo- 
rate the healing of the hand. So they had five golden mice 
made, one for each city, and five golden tumors, one for 
each city, to symbolize their conception that the evils had 
come upon them for this offence to Jehovah. But as there 
still might be a question as to whether these afflictions were 
natural or supernatural, they tested it in this way: They 
went to the pen where were cows with young calves (you 
know what a fool a cow is over her first calf when it is little) 
and hitched two of these cows to a cart, put the Ark on it, 
to see if the cows, against nature, would go away and 
leave their calves willingly, and still thinking about the 
calves and calling them, would carry the Ark back to some 
city of the Levites ; that would show that Jehovah was in it. 

That was a pretty wise idea of those Philistines, and so 
when they took a new cart and put the Ark on it, and took 
those two mother cows, they never hesitated but struck a 
bee-line for the nearest Levite city, about twelve miles, and 
they went bellowing, showing that they felt the absence 
from their calves. These were their two expedients. 

I Sam. 6 : 19, 20 says that some of the people at Beth- 


shemesh looked into the Ark to see what was in there, and 
the blow fell in a minute. No man was authorized to open 
that sacred chamber over which the Mercy-seat rested and 
on which the cherubs sat, but the high priests of God. If 
you will turn to the Septuagint, you will find another 
remarkable thing which does not appear in the Hebrew 
Bible, viz. : all of the Levites of the city of Beth-shemesh 
rejoiced at the return of the Ark of God, except one man, 
Jeconiah, and his family, who refused to rejoice at its home- 
coming, and God smote that family in a moment. 

Now, a later instance: When the Ark, at the request of 
the citizens of Beth-shemesh, was moved to Kirjath-jearim, 
and stayed there until David had been reigning a long time, 
he sent after it, and when Uzzah, when the Ark was shaken 
by the oxen stumbling, reached up his hand to steady the 
Ark, God struck him dead. His attempt was well-meant, 
but it presumed that God was not able to take care of him- 
self. It was a violation of the law for any man to touch that 
Ark except the ones appointed by Jehovah. Which one of 
the Psalms commemorates the capture and restoration of 
the Ark? 

After twenty years Samuel led Israel to repentance and 
victory. I Sam. 7:3-12 tells us all about it. It says that 
Samuel called upon them to truly repent of their sins; if 
they ever wanted the favor of God any more, to cast off 
their idols and obey God. This is like John the Baptist 
saying, "Repent ye, repent ye." Every prophet, in order 
to be a reformer, w^as a preacher of repentance. The people 
repented of their sins, turned from their idols, and returned 
to God. He assembled all Israel at Mizpah ; the Philistines 
heard of it and came with a great army. Samuel and Israel 
met them and smote them hip and thigh, and broke their 

The next paragraph in the Harmony tells how Samuel 
judged Israel, and the regular circuit he made while living 


at Ramah. He would go to Beth-el, Gilgal, and Mizpah, 
then come back, holding special courts of judgment, and 
with such wisdom, purity and impartiality that he must be 
classed as the last, best and greatest of the judges. 


1. Cite, in order, the passages showing Samuel's rise over against 
the descent of Eli. 

2. What said Macaulay on this point, and what other examples 
cited by the author? 

3. Give a summary of the events connected with the fall of the 
house of Eli. 

4. How did the Philistin> s regard the capture of the Ark? 

5. Show the prevalence of such conceptions in ancient times. 

6. How did Jehovah show the Philistines that their victory was not 
over him? 

7. What is the natural inquiry when an individual or a people is 
subject to a series of severe and extraordinary disasters? 

8. To what expedients did the Philistines resort to determine 
whether their calamities came only in a natural way, or were super- 
natural afflictions connected with the Ark and coming from the 
offended Jehovah, and if from Jehovah, how was He to be appeased? 

9. How else did Jehovah manifest the sanctity of His Ark, both 
at Beth-shemesh and later, as we will find in the history? 

10. What Psalm commemorates the capture and restoration of the 

11. ^ How does Samuel lead Israel, after twenty years, to repentance 
and victory? 

12. What cities did Samuel visit in his judgeship, and what can you 
say of the judgments rendered by him? 



Scrip tur&s: All References 

THE more important passages bearing on this subject 
are I Sam. 3:1-4; 10:5, 9-12; 19:18-24. I Kings 
18: 13 ; 19 : 18, 20, 21 ; 20: 35 ; H Kings 2 : 3-5 ; 4: 38; 
6:1; I Chron. 29:29; H Chron. 9:29; 12:15; 13:22 and 
other chapters in that book I do not enumerate. The last 
one is Amos 7: 14, 15. The reader will understand that I 
give these instead of a prescribed section in the Harmony. 
These constitute the basis of this discussion. 

Let us distinguish between the prophetic gift and the pro- 
phetic office, and give some examples. Enoch, Noah, Abra- 
ham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, his 70 elders, Balaam, Joshua, 
and others before Samuel's time had the gift, but not the 
office ; perhaps ve may except Moses as in a measure having 
the office. After Samuel's time, David, many of his singers, 
and particularly Daniel, had the gift in a high degree, but 
not the office. Moreover, the high priests from Aaron to 
Caiaphas in Christ's time, were supposed to have officially 
the gift of prophecy — that is, to hear and report what the 
Oracle said — but Samuel is the first who held the office. 

The distinction between a prophet and a son of a prophet 
is this : A son of a prophet was a candidate for the office, 
ministering to the prophet, a disciple instructed by him, con- 
secrated to the work, and qualifying himself to perform the 
services of the office with the highest efficiency. A prophet 
is one who, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, speaks 
or writes for God. In this inspiration he is God's mouth 



or pen, speaking or writing not his own words, bat God's 
words. This inspiration guides and superintends his speech 
and his silence ; what is recorded and what is omitted from 
the record. The gift of prophecy was not one of uniform 
quantity, nor necessarily enduring. The gifts were various 
in kind, and might be for one occasion only. As to variety 
of kinds, the revelation might come in dreams or open 
visions, or it might consist of an ecstatic trance expressed 
in praise or song or prayer. If praise, song or prayer, its 
form was apt to be poetic, particularly if accompanied by 
instrumental music. 

As to the duration of the gift, it might be for one occasion 
only, or a few, or many. The Scriptures show that the 
spirit of prophecy came upon King Saul twice only, and 
each time in the form of an ecstatic trance. In his early 
life it came as a sign that God had chosen him as king. In 
his later life the object of it was to bar his harmful approach 
to David. Paul, in I Cor. 12 and 14 inclusive, explains the 
diversity of these gifts and their relative importance. 

There are two periods of Hebrew history in which we 
find clearest notices of the schools of the prophets, the proofs 
of their persistence between the periods, and their influence 
on the nation. The notices are abundant in the time of 
Samuel, and in the time of Elijah and Elisha, but you have 
only to study the book of Chronicles to see that the pro- 
phetic order, as an office, continued through these periods 
and far beyond. Later you will learn that in the time of 
persecution fifty of these prophets were hidden in a cave 
and fed regularly. The object of the enemy was to destroy 
these theological seminaries, believing that they could never 
lead the nation astray while these schools of the prophets 
continued. Their object, therefore, was to destroy these 
seats of theological education. Elijah supposed that every 
one of them was killed except himself, but he was mistaken. 

Samuel was the founder of the first school of the prophets, 


and the Scripture which shows his headship is I Sam. 19 : 20, 
where Saul is sending messengers to take David, and finally 
goes himself and finds the school of the prophets, with 
Samuel as its appointed head. The reason for such a school 
in Samuel's time is shown, first, by an extract from "Kirk- 
patrick's Commentary" on I Sam., page 33. He says : 

"Samuel was the founder of the prophetic order. Indi- 
viduals in previous ages had been endowed with prophetic 
gifts, but with Samuel commenced the regular succession 
of prophets which lasted all through all the period of the 
monarchy, and did not cease until after the captivity. The 
degeneracy into which the priesthood had fallen through 
the period of the judges demanded the establishment of a 
new order for the religious training of the nation. 

"For this purpose Samuel founded the institutions known 
as the schools of the prophets. The ^company of prophets' 
at Gibeah (I Sam. 10: 10) and the scene at Ramah described 
in I Sam. 19:18 fif., imply a regular organization. These 
societies are only definitely mentioned again in connection 
with the history of Elijah and Elisha, but doubtless con- 
tinued to exist in the interval. By means of these the Order 
was maintained, students were educated, and common 
religious exercises nurtured and developed spiritual 

Kirkpatrick's is a fine commentary. The priests indeed 
were instructors of the people, but the tendency of the 
priesthood was to rest in external sacrifices, and to trust in 
a mere ritualistic form of sacrifice. That is the trouble 
always where you have a ritual. And after a while both 
priest and worshiper began to rely upon the external type, 
and on external conformity with the ritual. God needed 
better mouthpieces than those, hence while in the past there 
was a prophetic gift here and there, he now establishes the 
prophetic school, or society, in which training, bearing upon 
the prophetic office, should be continuous. The value of 


these schools of the prophets is also seen from Kirkpatrick, 
page 34: 

"The value of the prophetic order to the Jewish nation 
was immense. The prophets were privy-counsellors of 
kings, the historians of the nation, the instructors of the 
people. It was their function to be preachers of righteous- 
ness to rich and poor alike: to condemn idolatry in the 
court, oppression among the nobles, injustice among the 
judges, formality among the priests. They were the inter- 
preters of the law, who drew out by degrees the spiritual 
significance which underlay ritual observance, and labored 
to prevent sacrifice and Sabbath and festival from becom- 
ing dead and unmeaning forms. Strong in the unshaken 
consciousness that they were expressing the divine will, 
they spoke and acted with a fearless courage which no 
threats could daunt or silence. 

"Thus they proved a counterpoise to the despotism of 
monarchy and the formalism of priesthood. In a remark- 
able passage in his essay on 'Representative Government,' 
Mr. John Stuart Mill attributes to their influence the prog- 
ress which distinguished the Jews from other Oriental 
nations. 'The Jews,' he writes, 'had an absolute monarchy 
and hierarchy. These did for them what was done for 
other Oriental races by their institutions — subdued them 
to industry and order, and gave them a national life. . . . 
Their religion gave existence to an inestimably precious 
institution," the order of prophets. Under the protection, 
generally though not always effectual, of their sacred char- 
acter, the prophets were a power in the nation, often more 
than a match for kings and priests, and kept up in that little 
corner of the earth the antagonism of influences which is 
the only real security for continued progress.' " 

I was surprised the first time I ever saw that statement 
from Mill. He was a radical evolutionist and infidel, but 
a statesman, and in studying the development of statesman- 


ship among the nations, he saw this singular thing in the 
history of the Jews, unHke anything he saw anywhere else, 
and saw what it was that led that nation, when it went into 
backsliding, to repentance ; what power it was that brought 
about the reformation when their morals were corrupted; 
what power it was that was the real light of the nation and 
the salt of the earth, and saw that it was this order of 
prophets which was the conservator of national unity, purity 
and perpetuity. I have the more pleasure in quoting that 
passage, as it comes from a witness in no way friendly to 
Christianity, just as when I was discussing missions I quoted 
the testimony of Charles Darwin to the tremendous 
influence for good wrought by the missionaries of South 

Particularly in this case of the schools of the prophets 
we find their value, by noting very carefully the bearing on 
the case under Samuel. We have already noticed the cor- 
ruption of the priesthood under Eli, Hophni and Phinehas; 
how the Ark was captured, the central place of worship 
desecrated; how Samuel, called to the office of prophet, 
needed assistance, and how he instituted this school of the 
prophets. He gathered around him the brightest young 
men of the nation and had the Spirit of God rest on them, 
and in order that their instruction might be regular he 
organized them into companies, or schools; he would go 
from one to another, and these young "theologs" were 
under the instruction of Samuel and for twenty years 
worked as evangelists in making sensitive the national con- 
science. It took twenty years to do it, and he could not 
have done it by himself, but with that tremendous power, 
the help he had, at the end of twenty years, he saw the 
nation repentant and once more worshipping God. I am 
for a theological seminary that will do that. 

I give a modern example somewhat parallel : Mr. Spur- 
geon was called to the city of London, when about nine- 


teen years old, to be the pastor of the old historic church of 
Dr. Gill, and in his evangelic preaching impressed a number 
of men to feel that they were also called to preach (if your 
preaching does not impress somebody else to preach, you 
may be sure that you are not called to preach), and it 
impressed the women and a multitude of laymen to do active 
Christian service. Therefore, Mr. Spurgeon organized what 
is called "The Pastoral College." He wouldn't let a drone 
be in it ; he did not want anybody in it that was not spirit- 
ually minded. In other words, he insisted that a preacher 
should be religiously inclined, and should be ready to do 
any kind of work.. He supported this institution largely 
through his own contributions, although the men and women 
all over England, when they saw what it was doing, would 
send money for its support. I used to read the monthly 
reports of the contributions and the list of donors that 
accompanied them. Mr. Spurgeon determined to work a 
revolution, just as Samuel did, and he used this school of 
the prophets for that purpose. Consequently, hundreds of 
young preachers belonging to that school of the prophets 
preached in the slums of the city, in the byways, in the high- 
ways, in the hedges, in the mines, on the wharves to the 
sailors, and in the hospitals. Hundreds of laymen said, 
"Put us to work," and he did ; he had push-carts made for 
them, and filled them with books and so sent out over the 
town literature that was not poisonous. He put the women 
to work, and established, or rather perpetuated in better 
form, a number of the almshouses for the venerable old 
women who were poor and helpless, following out the sug- 
gestion in H Timothy, and he erected a hospital. Then they 
got to going further afield. They went all over England, 
Wales, Scotland, Ireland, crossed over into the Continent, 
crossed the seas to Australia, and the islands of the seas, 
and into heathen lands. I have always said that Spurgeon's 
Pastoral College came nearer to the Bible idea of a 


seminary than any other in existence. There was not 
so much stress laid on mere scholarship as on spiritual 

It is important to note particularly what I am saying 
now, because it was burnt into my heart as one of the rea- 
sons for establishing a theological seminary. The nature of 
that society was that it was a school. They left their homes 
and came to stay at this school, with what we now call a 
mess-hall in which all the theological students, by contribut- 
ing so much, have their table in common. It was that way 
then ; they had their meals in common. In preparing dinner 
one day for the sons of the prophets, somebody put a lot of 
wild gourds into the pot, and when they began tu eat it, one 
of them cried out: ''Ah, man of God, there's death in the 
pot!" Once I preached a sermon on this theme: "Wild 
Gourds and Theological Seminaries," to show that to feed 
the students in theological seminaries on wild gourds of 
heresy is to put death in the pot; they will do more harm 
than good, as they will become instruments of evil. 

In determining what were their duties, we must consult 
quite a number of passages. We gather from this passage 
that they were thoroughly instructed in the necessity of 
repentance, individually and nationally, and of turning from 
their sins and coming back to God with faithful obedience. 
That lesson was ground in them. They were taught the 
interpretation of the spiritual meaning of the law, all its 
sacrifices, its feasts, its types, and therefore when you are 
studying a prophet in the O. T. you will notice how differ- 
ent his idea of types and ceremonies from that of the 
priests. They will tell you that to do without eating is 
fasting, but the prophet will show that literal fasting is not 
true fasting ; that there must be fasting at heart ; that there 
must be a rending of the soul and not the garment as an 
expression of repentance; that to obey God is better than 
a formal sacrifice. 


Another thing they were taught, which I wish to particu- 
larly emphasize, was music, both vocal and instrumental. 
In that school of the prophets started the tremendous power 
of music in religion so wonderfully developed by David, 
who got many of his ideas from associating with the schools 
of the prophets. And from that time unto this, every 
evangelical work, and all powerful religious work, has been 
associated with music, both in the O. T. and in the N. T. ; 
not merely vocal, but instrumental music. The heart of a 
religion is expressed in its songs, and if you want to get at 
the heart of your O. T. you find it in the hymn-book of the 
Hebrew nation — the Psalter. It is indeed an interesting 
study to see what has been the influence of great hymns 
on the national life. There is an old proverb: "You may 
make the laws of the people, if you will let me write their 
ballads." Where is there a man capable of measuring the 
influence of "How Firm a Foundation, Ye Saints of the 
Lord," or "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," or "Did 
Christ O'er Sinners Weep?" There is a rich literature on 
the influence of hymns on the life. 

In the awful times of the struggle in England, Charles I 
against the Parliament, one faction of the nation held to 
ritualism, while the other followed spirituality, even to the 
extreme of not allowing any form, not even allowing any 
instruments of music. One of the finest stories of this 
period is the account of a church that observed the happy 
medium, using instrumental as well as vocal music, and 
congregational singing as well as the use of the choir; every 
Sabbath somebody's soul was melted in the power of that 
mighty singing. 

I can't sing myself, hut I can carry the tunes in my mind, 
and I can be more influenced by singing than by preaching. 
It was singing that convicted me of sin. It was on a waving, 
soaring melody of song that my soul was converted. 

I once knew a rugged, one-eyed, homely, old pioneer Bap- 


tist preacher, who looked like a pirate until his religion 
manifested itself, and then he was beautiful. I heard him 
one day when a telegram was put into his hand stating that 
his only son had just been killed by being thrown from a 
horse. While weeping, his face became illumined; he got 
up and clapped his hands and walked through that audience, 
singing, ''O, Jesus, my Savior, to Thee I Submit." 

John Bunyan wrote that song while in Bedford jail. They 
had put him there to keep him from preaching, and looking 
out through the bars of the dungeon he saw his poor blind 
girl, Mary, begging bread, and he sat down and wrote that 
hymn. The effect of the old preacher's singing John Bun- 
yan's song was a mighty revival. 

The relation of the schools of the prophets to modern 
theological seminaries is this: The purpose was the same. 
And so in N. T. times, Jesus recognized that if He wanted 
to revolutionize the world by evangelism He must do it with 
trained men. He did not insist that they be rich, great or 
mighty men. He did not insist that they be scholars. He 
called them from among the common people, and He kept 
them right with Him for three years and a half, and dili- 
gently instructed them in the principles and spirit of His 
kingdom. He taught them in a variety of forms; in par- 
ables, in proverbs, in exposition, illustrating His teachings 
by miracles, and in hundreds of ways in order that they 
might be equipped to go out and lead the world to Christ. 
You cannot help being impressed with this fact: That the 
theological seminaries in Samuel's time and in Christ's time 
were intensely practical, the object being not to make 
learned professors, but to fill each one with electricity until 
you could call him a ''live wire," so that it burnt whoever 
touched it. 

This is why I called Samuel a great man, and why in a 
previous discussion, counting the men as the peaks in a 
mountain range, sighting back from Samuel to Abraham, 


only one other peak comes into line of vision, and that is 


1. What the more important passages bearing on the schools of 
the prophets? 

2. Distinguish between the prophetic gift and the prophetic office 
and illustrate by examples. 

3. Distinguish between a prophet and a son of a prophet. 

4. What is the meaning of prophet ? 

5. In what two periods of Hebrew history do we find the clearest 
notices of the school of prophets, what the proofs of their persistence 
between these periods, and what their influence on the nation? 

6. Who was the founder of the first school of the prophets? 

7. What scripture shows his headship? 

8. What was the reason for such school in Samuel's time? 

^ 9. What was the value of these schools of the prophets, and par- 
ticularly in this case, and what illustration from modern instances? 

^ 10. What was the nature of that society, and what was the instruc- 
tion given? 

II. What the relation of the schools of the prophets to modern 
theological seminaries? 


Scriptures: 1 Sam. 8:1-22; 12:1-25, Harmony 
pp. 70 and 74, 75 

1 LOGICALLY connect these two chapters so as to round 
up Samuel's judgeship, and the intervening chapters 
will be discussed later. The general subject for this 
discussion is, "God through Samuel establishes the mon- 
archy, and Samuel's vindication when he gives up the posi- 
tion as judge." The general' purpose of this chapter is to 
show the steps of transition from a government by judges 
to a government by kings. The immediate occasion of the 
change was the persistent demand of the people. 

The grounds alleged by the people for the change were, 
(i) that Samuel was old; (2) that his sons whom he made 
judges walked not in his way, and these allegations were 
strictly true. Samuel was old. He had made his sons 
judges, as Eli had done in the case of his sons. These sons 
were unworthy to hold office: "They did not walk in 
Samuel's way, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, 
and perverted judgment." Samuel had no right to make 
judges, nor to appoint his successor; that was Jehovah's 
prerogative. He had retained these sons in office, though 
unworthy, and had so far followed EH's example. 

Nepotism has always been repugnant to the people. 

It was a compliment to the late Senator Coke when his 
kinsfolk complained that he had never gotten them an office 
on the score of kindred. 



Public office is a public trust, and not for distribution of 
family patronage. 

But their demand displeased Samuel. He did not dis- 
pute the facts alleged, nor deny their grievance against his 
sons, but he objected to the remedy proposed, namely: 
"Give us a king to judge us." It would interest us to know 
what Samuel would have done if they had merely demanded 
the removal of his sons from office and Samuel's consent 
to leave to God the appointment of his successor. But it is 
a destructive remedy to burn a ship in order to get rid of 
the rats. A change in the form of the government is not 
always the best way to get rid of unworthy officials, 
although the people will always demand it if from any 
cause the legal methods of removal are barred. The people 
usually are long-suffering, and often know not how to prac- 
tically get rid of an evil by legal methods. Press them too 
far, and a revolution comes — maybe a destructive one. 

Samuel evinced his wisdom by carrying the case to Jeho- 
vah in prayer; that is, before he answered the people, with 
the following results : 

1. Jehovah shows that the plausible grounds alleged by 
the people for the change of government disguised their 
real motive. It is characteristic of fallen human nature to 
veil a motive in a plausible plea; for example, to defend 
saloons on the plea of ''personal liberty," or that prohibition 
"injures business." 

2. These people meant, by rejecting Samuel, to reject 
Jehovah. It was the theocracy to which in heart they ob- 
jected. They wanted kings like other nations. 

3. Jehovah directed Samuel to set before them plainly, 
in protest, the manner of a king such as other nations had ; 
to thus force them, if they persisted in their demand, to do 
so with open eyes and with all of their motives unmasked. 
This would prove that though they had a real grievance, 
they were not seeking redress of that grievance, but making 


it a plausible plea for the dethronement of Jehovah, even 
though their remedy brought grievances a thousand fold 
worse than those from which they pretended to seek relief. 
The character of an Oriental despot is given by Samuel 
in his protest. Let us look at that in I Sam. 8:11-17: "This 
will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you : He 
will take your sons and appoint them unto him, for his 
chariots, and to be his horsemen ; and they shall run before 
his chariots; and he will appoint them unto him for cap- 
tains of thousands, and captains of fifties; and he will set 
some to plow his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to 
make his instruments of war, and the instruments of his 
chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confec- 
tionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will 
take your fields, and your vinyeards, and your olive-yards, 
even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And 
he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, 
and give to his of^cers, and to his servants. And he will 
take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your 
goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his 
work. He will take a tenth of your flocks ; and ye shall be 
his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of 
your king whom ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord 
will not answer you in that day." I do not know anywhere 
in Hterature a better picture of an Oriental despot than is 
given in the language of Samuel. 

The results, after Samuel showed them what it was to 
have a king like other nations, were as follows : ( i ) With 
their eyes open and their motives exposed, they demanded 
a king like other nations. (2) Jehovah directed Samuel to 
make them a king. ^'Sometimes God answers in wrath." 
(3) But not to establish such a monarchy as they desired, 
that is, like other nations, but a kingdom under a written 
charter which retained the theocratic idea, the earthly king 
to be only Jehovah's appointee and vice-gerent, subject to 


Jehovah's Law, and guided in all things by Jehovah^s 
prophets, and at all times liable to removal by Jehovah. So 
God does not answer their request altogether. He makes a 
king, but not such a king as they wanted. Concerning such 
a ruler Geikie uses the following language: 

"Such a ruler would necessarily stand in a unique posi- 
tion. As only viceroy and representative of the true invis- 
ible King, Jehovah, he must be pointed out beforehand by 
special indications, and consecrated as to a sacred office. 
That he should, moreover, have commended himself to the 
nation by his qualities and deeds, was essential. Nor could 
it be permitted him to reign like other Eastern kings, by his 
mere pleasure; for the rights of Jehovah and those of his 
people, as a nation of freemen, demanded equal respect. 
He must, therefore, at all times, remember that he ruled 
under a higher King, whose will, expressed in His revealed 
law, was his absolute guide both in religion and ordinary 
life; its transgression, in any particular, being self-destruc- 
tion. But such a man would necessarily be in loving sym- 
pathy with Him under whom he held his authority, to be 
king after His heart ; a man truly religious ; obeying, not by 
mere outward constraint, but from loving choice. 

'Though nominally king, it was a condition of his rule 
that he acted only as the prophet instructed him. Under the 
strange theocratic constitution enforced by Samuel, he was 
in fact only a puppet, moved by the prophet as he chose, 
and forbidden to act in anything as a free agent. The only 
counterpart to such a state of things in modern times, was 
the titular rule of the Mikado in Japan, side by side with 
the real Emperor, the Tycoon; the one a shadow king, the 
other the actual sovereign power. In antiquity, strange to 
say, we find parallel to Saul and Samuel among the Getae 
of the century before Christ. In their wild home north and 
south of the Danube, that people were ruled by a chief who 
acted only as the servant of a holy man, without whom he 


was not allowed to act in anything whatever. Still stranger, 
the result of this extraordinary custom was the same as fol- 
lowed the rule of Samuel in Israel. From the lowest weak- 
ness and moral degeneracy the Getae roused themselves 
under the leading of the holy man and the phantom king, 
to a thorough and lasting reformation. Indeed, they so 
-turned themselves to a nobler life that their national vigor 
showed itself in a puritanical strictness and steadfast bra- 
very, which carried their banners far and wide over new 
territories, till their kingdom was infinitely extended. Once 
recognized, such a complete subordination to the represen- 
tative of the theocracy as was demanded from Saul might 
become more easy to be borne, but in its early years the 
strong, valiant warrior must have been sorely tried by 
finding himself king in name, but in fact absolutely subor- 
dinate in the most minute detail to the command of Samuel." 
Using the word, '"puppet," Geikie is mistaken, since the 
prophet never spoke except as God commanded, and for 
a man to rule under the direction of God does not make 
him a puppet. This kind of a kingdom was not repugnant 
to Jehovah's plan, as set forth in their previous history and 
law, and in their subsequent history. 

1. In Gen. 17:16, in the covenant which God made 
with Abraham, He promised that kings should be his 

2. In Dcut. 17:14-20: ''When thou art come unto the 
land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess 
it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king 
over me, like all the nations that are around about me ; 
thou shalt surely set him king over thee, whom Jehovah 
thy God shall choose : one from among the brethren shalt 
thou set king over thee ; thou mayest not put a foreigner 
over thee, which is not thy brother. Only he shall not mul- 
tiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to 
Egypt, to the end that he may multiply horses ; forasmuch 


as Jehovah hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return 
no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to him- 
self, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly 
multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when 
he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall 
write a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is 
before the priests and the Levites : and it shall be with him, 
and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he 
may learn to fear Jehovah his God, to keep all the words 
of this law and these statutes, to do them ; that his heart be 
not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside 
from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left ; to 
the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he 
and his children, in the midst of Israel." 

We can tell whether kings of later date did this, for we 
remember that Solomon took only seven hundred wives, 
besides three hundred concubines. Every king, in their 
subsequent history, who violated this kingdom charter, or 
who refused to hear and obey Jehovah's prophet, was pun- 
ished by Jehovah. And to the extent that when one of 
them respected this charter, he was blessed of Jehovah, he 
and the people with him. 

Thus it is evident that the issue was not whether the ruler 
should be called judge or king, but that Jehovah ruled, what- 
ever the title of His earthly subordinate. The lesson is a 
mighty one. Jehovah is King of kings and Lord of lords. 
His law and authority are paramount over nations as well 
as over individuals. His government extends over the un- 
willing as well as the wiUing. To deny His rule is not to 
vacate responsibility to His judgment. That is was imma- 
terial whether the ruler was called judge or king, is illus- 
trated by a relative passage from Pope's "Essay on Man." 
The third epistle of that essay, line 303, says: 

"For forms of government let fools contest ; 
Whate'er is best administered is best." 


It is further evidenced that the people had to see and 
admit their wrong in seeking to displace Samuel as judge 
in I Sam. 12 : 1-25 which gives Samuel's address and con- 
tains the following points : 

1. They had to bear witness and have the testimony- 
recorded, to the wisdom, purity, and fidelity of Samuel's 
administration when he retired from the judgeship. 

2. They had to admit that all great leaders in the past 
were appointed by Jehovah, and that they had rebelled 
against every one of them. 

3. They had to accept this alternative, with a king put 
over them; that is, if they and their king submitted to 
Jehovah's rule according to the kingdom charter, then well ; 
but if they turned away from Him, then condign punish- 
ment came on them as on their rebellious fathers. 

4. They had still to submit to Samuel as a prophet. 
The words of Samuel were confirmed by this miracle: He 
called their attention to the fact that it was harvest time, 
when in ordinary cases it never rained. Then lifting his 
face, he spoke to Jehovah for a sign, and instantly the 
heavens were blackened, loud thunder rolled, lightning gored 
the black bosom of the cloud, and a windstorm came up 
to testify that God was speaking to them. The result was 
that they felt and confessed the sin of their demand, and 
implored Samuel's intercession that they might be forgiven, 
to which he gave the following in reply : 

1. He encouraged them not to despair on account of 
their sins — that God was merciful — ^but to repent and do 
better in the future. 

2. That God, for His own name's sake, would never for- 
sake that people. 

3. That he himself would not sin by ceasing to pray for 
them that their sins should be forgiven. 

4. That he would, as prophet, continue to instruct them 
in the good and right way. 


5. That in view of the great things that God had done 
for them, they should fear Him and serve Him in truth 
with all their hearts; otherwise they would be consumed. 

With other great events in their history, chapter 12 may 
be compared thus: 

1. With the farewell address of Moses, Deut. 29:1 — 


2. Joshua's farewell address, Joshua 24:1-28; 

3. Paul's farewell address to the elders of the church at 
Ephesus, Acts 20: 18-38. 

4. On the score of patriotism, we may include Washing- 
ton's farewell address, when he announced he would no 
more be president. I once went to the city of Annapolis to 
see a great picture, or painting, representing the scene of 
Washington tendering his sword back to congress at the 
close of the war, retiring from the office of commander-in- 
chief. It is a marvelous painting. Supposed but far-distant 
relatives of mine are in the picture — Charles Carroll and 
his daughters. In a glass case to the right is the very suit 
of clothes Washington wore on that day, including his spurs. 
My old teacher made me memorize Washington's farewell 

Two great doctrines in Samuel's address need to be em- 
phasized : 

1. The ground of God's not forsaking His elect nation: 
"Not on your account, but for His own name's sake," and 
in this connection you must read Ezekiel 36 : 22-36, and 
the whole of Romans 11. They both talk about God's 
saving in one day the whole Jewish nation. 

2. It is a sin not to pray for the forgiveness of sinners, 
of which the following is a Texas illustration : There was 
a certain man, preaching in many counties, taking the posi- 
tion that no Christian was justifiable in praying for the 
forgiveness of the sinner. I joined issue publicly, in the 
pulpit and in the press, citing Samuel's doctrine : "God for- 


bid that I should sin in ceasing to pray for the forgiveness 
of your sins." In that great discussion I referred to what 
is called the "mourner's bench," stating that I had no par- 
ticular fancy for what is called the ''mourner's bench;" 
that a man could find Christ on the bench, on the floor, 
behind the barn, or in the field, unless he made this point: 
"I will do anything that God wants me to do to be saved, 
except a certain thing;" that if he reserved any one point on 
which he would not surrender to God, then he did not sur- 
render at all ; and I insisted that in leaving out the "mourn- 
er's bench" they would not leave out the mourning. I did 
not object to leaving out the bench if they wanted to, but 
if they did leave it out, I hoped they would not cease pray- 
ing for sinners. 


1. What the general purpose of this chapter? 

2. What the immediate occasion of the change? 

3. What the grounds alleged by the people for the change? 

4. What can you say of these allegations ? 

5. Why, then, did their demand displease Samuel? 

6. In what did Samuel evince his wisdom? 

7. What the results? 

8. Describe the character of an Oriental despot as given in 
Samuel's protest. 

9. What were the results after Samuel showed them what it was 
to have a king like other nations ? 

ID. Prove that this kind of a kingdom was not repugnant to 
Jehovah's plan, as set forth in their previous history and law, and in 
their subsequent history. 

11. If then it was immaterial whether the ruler was called judge 
or king, cite a relative passage from Pope's "Essay on Man." 

12. What further evidence that the people had to see and admit 
their wrong in seeking to displace Samuel as judge? 

13. How were the words of Samuel confirmed? 

14. What was the result? 

15. Analyze Samuel's reply. 

16. With what other great events In their history may chapter 12 
be compared? 

17. What two great doctrines in Samuel's address need to be 

18. What Texas illustration of the second doctrine? 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 70-74, and 
other references 

I DEVOTE an extended discussion to chapters 8 to 12 
because it is necessary to fix clearly in the mind the 
nature of the kingdom established in order to interpret 
correctly the history of the kings which follows. Without 
this understanding we will break down in the interpretation 
of even the first rejection of Saul, and with Jehovah's deal- 
ing with every subsequent king. Before entering upon the 
history of the first king, let us restate tersely the salient 
points which define the Hebrew monarchy : 

1. A government by kings was not an afterthought with 
Jehovah, but was one of the predetermined stages of the 
national development and a forecast preparatory to the set- 
ting up of the Messianic spiritual kingdom. 

2. Though Jehovah granted Israel's demand for a kingly 
government superseding the previous rule by judges, he did 
not establish such a monarchy as they desired, like that of 
other nations. 

3. The kingdom established had a written charter clearly 
defining its nature, powers, and limitations, the basis of 
which was given to Moses (Deut. 17:14-20) with subse- 
quent enlargements by Samuel. This charter made the 
written law, the Pentateuch, the constitution of the king- 
dom. The king must make the law his Vade Meciim, and 
the rule of his reign. There was not only this unalterable 
written constitution, but to emphasize the retention of the 



theocratic idea, the king must at all times hear and obey 
the fresh messages from Jehovah, coming through His now 
estabhshed order of the prophets, His mouthpieces and 
penmen. This part of the charter turns a blaze of light on 
the subsequent history. 

4. The monarchy was not elective by the nation, through 
corporate action of their great congregation or general as- 
sembly, but each king must be appointed by Jehovah, and 
that appointment designated through the prophet, Jehovah's 
mouthpiece. Jehovah chooses the king, Jehovah's prophet 
anoints him and presents him to the assembly for acceptance. 

5. The monarchy was not hereditary in the modern 
sense. A dynasty might be changed at Jehovah's sole 
option, as from the house of Saul to the house of David, 
and it did not follow that when a king's son succeeded him 
that he should be the first-born; for example, the case of 
Solomon. Whether in changing a dynasty, or designating 
which son of a king should succeed his father, the living 
prophet was Jehovah's medium of making known His will. 

6. Neither king nor general assembly, nor both co- 
joined, had the power to declare war, direct it when declared, 
make peace, or contract alliances, except as Jehovah directed 
through His living prophet. 

7. By the law, and through the living prophet, the people 
were safeguarded from the tyranny of the king. See the 
case of Nathan's rebuke of David for the wrong against 
Uriah, and Elijah's denunciation of Ahab concerning 
Naboth's vineyard. 

8. Particularly, the prophet spoke with all authority 
from God in matters of religion, hedging not only against 
idolatry but reliance upon formalism and ritualism, all the 
time bringing out the spiritual meaning of the law and 
calling for repentance and reformation. Therefore, no man 
can interpret any part of the mere history of the Hebrew 
monarchy apart from the section of the Psalter bearing 


on it, and the contemporaneous prophets. On this account 
Wood's "Hebrew Monarchy," though not perfect in its 
arrangement, excels "Crockett's Harmony" as a textbook. 

A quotation from a prophet pertinent to the estabUsh- 
ment of the monarchy considered in the preceding chapter 
is Hosea 13:9-11: "It is thy destruction, O Israel, that thou 
art against me, against thy help. Where now is thy king, 
that he may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges, of 
whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes ? I have given 
thee a king in mine anger, and have taken him away in my 

There were several ways by which the people, as well as 
the king, could get at the will of Jehovah aoart from the 
written law, viz. : 

1. By submitting a question to the Oracle abiding in 
the Ark, to be answered by the high priest, wearing his 
ephod, through the Urim and Thummim, I Sam. 23 : 8-12. 

2. By appealing to the prophets, I Sam. 9 : 6-9. 

3. By sacrifice and asking of signs ; as in the case of 
Gideon, Judges 6: 17-21. 

There are two passages, one showing the despair of an 
individual, and the other showing the deplorable condition 
of the nation, from whom, on account of aggravated sins, 
God has cut off all means of communication with Him. In 
one, Saul, the first king, in his later life thus bemoans his 
condition : "And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, 
he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when 
Saul inquired of Jehovah, Jehovah answered him not, 
neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets," I Sam. 
28:5. In the other, Hosea thus describes the pitiable con- 
dition of the rebellious Israel: "For the children of Israel 
shall abide many days without king, and without prince, 
and without sacrifice, and without pillar, and without Ephod 
or teraphim," Hosea 3:4. 



Certain passages bear on part of the foregoing statement 
of the nature of the kingdom. For instance, Jehovah chose 
Saul to be the king, privately announcing him to His prophet, 
and providentially bringing him in touch with this prophet 
(I Sam. 9:15) and later before the great Assembly at 
Mizpah He makes knov^n His choice to the people publicly 
(I Sam. 10:17-21). Acting under Jehovah's direction, the 
prophet prepares the mind of Saul for the high honor 
(I Sam. 9:20-25). Then privately the prophet accounts 
him as king, and then confirms to him his position by signs 
(10:2-7). Then by an induement of the Holy Spirit he is 
qualified for his office. Not converted, but qualified for 
his office. Then the prophet brings about the public desig- 
nation before the people, the general assembly at Mizpah 
(I Sam. 10:17-21). Then the prophet arranges for his 
recognition by the people in a subsequent general assembly 
at Gilgal (Sam. 10:8 and 11:14, 15). Then the prophet 
vacates his own office of judge, I Sam. 12. 

It is easy to see from the text the details of which I need 
not give, just what Jehovah does, just what the prophet 
does, just what the people do, just what Saul does, and par- 
ticularly the text shows how Jehovah prepares the people 
to accept Saul — prepares the prophet first, then prepares 
Saul and then the people. 

The several stages showing the preparation of Saul are 
intensely interesting. The first hint which Samuel gives to 
Saul seemed to him an incredible thing, for he says, ''I 
belong to the smallest tribe, and our family is a subordinate 
one in that tribe." But still, it puts him to thinking. Then 
Samuel gives him the post of honor in entertaining, and 
that puts him to thinking. Then Samuel privately anoints 
him as king, and that ceremony impresses him. Then Sam- 
uel predicts three signs, the object of which is to satisfy 


Saul thoroughly and to confirm the kingship in his own 
mind; and particularly the last of the three, which was 
that the Spirit of God would come upon him in the gift of 
prophesying, and he would be changed into another man. 

Note Saul's reticence: First, when his uncle asks him 
where he had been, and he tells him about the prophet's 
informing him that the asses have been found, but does not 
say a word about the kingship; again, when after he is 
publicly designated and some of the evil-minded people, 
children of Belial, declared that they could not accept him 
as king, because they saw no salvation in him, instead v^f 
getting mad and answering in resentful language, Saul holds 
his peace. He never says a word; he knows how to wait. 
Again, we notice that notwithstanding all the things that 
have occurred so far, when at that great gathering at Miz- 
pah where he was to be publicly shown as king, Saul hides, 
and when the question comes up and when the lot deter- 
mined Saul as king, they ask where he is, and God said, 
"He is hiding among the stuff" — the baggage. 

I once preached a sermon from that text on God's discov- 
ering a number of appointed men hiding with the stuff, 
more concerned about their farming and the things of the 
world than about the preaching of His Word. In the army 
every soldier thought it disgraceful if he had to stay with 
the baggage when the battle came on. Since he could be 
pointed at as the soldier who had to stay with the stuff, he 
wanted to be on the firing line. 

I am showing you all these things to mark the progress 
in Saul's own mind, and God's leading him step by step. 
After a while he is wide awake enough for the kingly honor. 

Now let us consider the meaning of apostasy, what is 
essential in a particular case to prove the doctrine, and 
what the application to Saul, and explain I Sam. 10:5, 6, 
10:9, 10. Apostasy means that a regenerated man may be 
finally and forever lost. In order to prove that doctrine by 


a particular case, the evidence must be indubitable on two 
points : First, that in the case selected there was first regen- 
eration, and second, that this regenerated one was finally 
and forever lost. The proof must be ample and unequivocal 
at both ends — regeneration and damnation. 

On these premises, we examine the particular case of Saul, 
King of Israel. A failure of demonstration that he was a 
regenerated man, or that he was finally lost, deprives the 
doctrine of apostasy, as defined above, from any support 
from the particular case of Saul. If the proof fall short 
at either point, there is no need to consider the other. 
Therefore, let us shorten matters by attention to one point 
only : Was Saul a regenerated man ? In the case under con- 
sideration, the passages relied upon to establish the conten- 
tion that Saul was a truly regenerated man, a spiritual child 
of God, are: 

First, Samuel's promise, I Sam. 10:5, 6 : "Thou shalt 
be turned into another man." 

Second, the historian's declaration of the fulfillment of 
the promise, I Sam. 10:9, 10: "God gave him another 
heart." A careful examination of both passages (American 
Standard Revision) settles conclusively that in the promise, 
the Holy Spirit would in some sense come upon Saul, with 
the result that he would be changed into another man, and 
that in the fulfillment, the Holy Spirit did come upon him in 
the sense promised, with the result that God gave him 
another heart. If we accept the record, there is no doubt 
here that the Holy Spirit exerted a power on Saul and that 
consequently there was a change in him. 

The questions to be determined are : What the nature of 
the power exerted, and of the resultant change? My answer 
is that the Spirit-power promised was the gift of prophesy- 
ing, which throughout the scriptures is distinguished from 
the grace of regeneration, and the change was according to 
the power, and that the end, or purpose, exercised was not 


to regenerate Saul, but is expressly called a sign, to assure 
Saul's doubting mind that Jehovah had chosen him as king. 
The incredible thing to Saul, which needed confirmation by 
signs, was not that he would become a child of God by 
regeneration, but that he whose tribe was so small, and the 
position of whose family in that tribe was so low, should 
be chosen of Jehovah to be king of all Israel. The nature 
of the power exerted and the resultant change effected are 
thus determined by their purpose. 

The difference between the grace of regeneration and the 
miraculous gift of the Spirit is expressed thus: The grace 
of regeneration is not a sign, but the miraculous gift of the 
Spirit is a sign, and is so regarded in both Testaments. In 
the same way, the gift of the Spirit on the day of Pente- 
cost was not to regenerate the apostles, all of whom but 
Judas were already Christians, but to assure their hearts, 
and, as signs, to accredit them to others. 

In I Cor. 12-14 the whole matter is laid bare so that a 
child can understand it. Very sharply, and at many points, 
does Paul contrast these miraculous and temporary endue- 
ments of the Spirit, given for signs, with the grace of regen- 
eration expressed in the abiding fruits of faith, hope and 
love. Regeneration is one thing in all cases. The miracu- 
lous gifts of the Spirit were diverse. One of the recipients, 
like Saul, might prophesy, another work miracles, another 
speak with tongues, another interpret tongues. 

The Spirit-power received on Pentecost did change the 
apostles ; did, in an important sense, give them other hearts, 
as we may learn from the coward, Peter, trembling before a 
maidservant, and the Peter, bold as a lion, on Pentecost. 

In the Corinthian discussion (I Cor. 12:14) Paul makes 
clear, first, that faith, hope and love, the evidences and fruits 
of regeneration, are superior in nature and more edifying 
in exercise than the gifts of the Spirit, one of which only 
Saul had ; second, that all these signs would cease, but that 


regeneration, evidenced by faith, hope and love, would 

If we look for evidences of regeneration in Saul's life, we 
do not find them. If we look for evidences of a miraculous 
Spirit-gift bestowed on him for assurance to him that Jeho- 
vah wanted him to be king, and for a sign to others, we 
do find them, and we also find that this gift of the Spirit was 
withdrawn from him when becoming unworthy of office, 
Jehovah no longer wants him as king. But, perhaps, the 
strongest evidence in the Bible that Saul was not a regen- 
erated man is to be found in God's contrast between Saul 
and Solomon on this very point (see Revised Version of 
II Sam. 7:13-16 and I Chron. 17:11-13). Here it is un- 
equivocally taught that Saul was not a regenerated man, 
but Solomon was. The regeneration of Solomon, as con- 
trasted with Saul, appears in this : 

1. God was Solomon's spiritual Father, and Solomon 
was God's spiritual son. 

2. Therefore, when he sinned, Solomon was chastised 
as a child and not as an ahen. 

3. Being a child, God's loving kindness would not be 
withdrawn, as in the case of Saul. 

Old John Bunyan was accustomed to say, ''Gifts make 
a preacher, but grace makes a Christian." Saul had the 
gift, but not the grace. To this already unanswerable argu- 
ment we may add that a miraculous, because supernatural, 
gift may be bestowed by the devil, who in no case can 
regenerate. This power of Satan can of course be exercised 
only through God's permission, and this permission is never 
granted except to test men, or as a punitive judgment on 
men who refuse to be guided by the Holy Spirit. 

In Saul's own case, this permission was granted, as we 
see from the result being as before, that Saul prophesied. 
Read the passage and see. Later we will find a similar case. 
The New Testament explains the ground of this permission 


thus (see H Thess. 2:8-13) : ''And then shall be revealed 
the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the 
breath of His mouth, and bring to naught by the manifesta- 
tion of His coming, even he whose coming is according to 
the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying 
wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them 
that perish, because they received not the love of the truth 
that they might be saved. And for this cause, God sendeth 
them a working of error, that they should believe a lie, that 
they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but 
had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give 
thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of the 
Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto 
salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the 

And it is precisely on this account that John says (John 
4:1), "Beloved, beheve not every spirit, but prove the 
spirits, whether they be of God, because many false prophets 
are gone out into the world.'' No miracle can accredit a 
doctrine contrary to the written Word. 

To make evident the application of this line of argument 
to Saul's case, we are assured that these miracles, signs and 
wonders, wrought by Satan and his demons, no matter 
how plausible nor how convincing to their dupes, can never 
possibly deceive the elect (see Mark 13:22 and Matt. 
24:24). But the evil spirit's miracle causing Saul to 
prophesy (I Sam. 16:14 and 18:10) did deceive him and 
straightway led him to seek the murder of David, led him 
to the slaughter of the priests of Nob (22:9-19), and led 
him to irretrievable ruin, despair and suicide. 


1. Why devote any extended discussion to chapters 8 to 12? 

2. Even now, before entering upon the history of the first king, 
restate tersely the salient points which define the Hebrew monarchy. 

3. Cite a quotation from a prophet pertinent to the establishment 
of the monarchy considered in the preceding chapter. 


4. In what ways could the people, as well as the king, get at the 
will of Jehovah apart from the written law ? 

5. Cite two passages, one showing the despair of the individual, 
and the other showing the deplorable condition of the nation, from 
whom on account of aggravated sins, God has cut off all means of 
communication with Him, 

6. Cite, in order, certain passages bearing on part of the foregoing 
statement of the nature of the kingdom. 

7. What did Jehovah do, what did the prophet do, what did the 
people do, and what did Saul do to prepare the people to accept Saul? 

8. Describe Saul's reticence in accepting this high position of honor. 

9. What is the meaning of apostasy, what is the essential feature 
in a particular case to prove the doctrine, and what the application 
to Saul, explaining I Sam. 10 : 5, 6 ; 10 : 9, 10? 

10. What is the difference between the grace of regeneration and 
the miraculous gift of the Spirit? Illustrate by New Testament 

11. What, then, do we find in Saul's life, and what the strongest 
evidence in the Bible that he was not regenerated ? 

12. What was Bunyan's saying, and what added argument? 

13. What is the purpose of God's permission of the devil to bestow 
miraculous gifts, and what New Testament testimony? 

14. What the difference in effect of these miracles of the devil 
on the saved and the unsaved, and how does Saul's case illustrate? 



Scriptures: Same as in preceding chapter 

IT is contended by some that the reference to Saul's 
"another heart" is equivalent to the "new heart" of 
Ezek. 36 : 26, to which we may safely reply that the 
''another heart" given to Saul was not equivalent to the 
passage cited in Ezekiel. But when we come to Saul's 
death, in the history, to sum up his character, we will not 
be able to classify him with Judas, though there are some 
points similar, particularly in that both were led by a domi- 
nant evil spirit to despair and self-destruction. Saul, in 
many ways, was a finer man than Judas, leaving behind 
precious memories of some deeds and traits which evoked 
the gratitude of the men of Jabesh-gilead, the unswerving 
attachment of several tribes, and the beautiful eulogy of 
David. Nothing Hke these do we find in the low, avaricious, 
treacherous life of Judas. 

Believers in apostasy use the life of Saul to prove apos- 
tasy, and I do not wonder that they take this case as the 
basis of their argument to sustain the doctrine of apostasy, 
since it is the most plausible in the Bible, but if this case 
fails in demonstration they may not hope for support in 
any other. But they may ask, "What then does Paul mean 
in Gal. 5:4: * Ye are fallen away from grace ?' " To which 
we again reply that the scriptural phrase, "Ye are fallen 
away from grace," as used by Paul in Gal. 5:4, does not 



imply that real Christians, the truly regenerate, may be 
finally lost, but that those once accepting the doctrine of 
salvation by grace, and then returning to a doctrine of sal- 
vation by works, have fallen away from grace. They have 
turned from one doctrine to the opposite one, as often hap- 
pens in practical life, without meaning that either the original 
acceptance was regeneration, or the falling away from it' 
was final. In Paul's meaning of the phrase, men may fall 
from grace. 

We have now seen how Jehovah prepared His prophet 
for designation of Saul as king, how He prepared Saul for 
the great honor, and how He prepared the people to accept 
Saul. Before advancing in the history, we need to under- 
stand more particularly certain matters in the record already 
so tersely covered, particularly the steps of the people's 
preparation to accept Saul, and how gradually the accept- 
ance was, in a glorious climax, made complete: 

1. The gift of prophesying came upon Saul, enduing 
him for service, and this being in the company of the school 
of the prophets, prepared the mighty prophetic order to 
recognize him as God's man. As this enduement of power 
came on him also in the presence of many of the people, it 
was designed to accredit him to them. But they were more 
startled by the prodigy than they were made ready to accept 
him. There is something scornful in their saying, which 
became a proverb : "Is Saul also among the prophets ?'* 
Their scorn is somewhat mitigated by a* bystander's ques- 
tion: "Who is their father?" meaning, "What in their 
descent puts the prophets above Saul that you should won- 
der at the bestowal on him of the prophetic gift?" God 
bestowed it, and not on account of family position. 

2. Jehovah's choice of him by an extraordinary method 
in the great congregation at Mizpah as the man for the 
place out of all Israel. As this method of showing divine 
selection had availed in Joshua's time in infallibly point- 


ing out Achan, the one criminal out of millions (Joshua 
7: 14-18), and would again avail in David's time (I Sam. 
16: 12), it ought to have been equally convincing in showing 
Jehovah's choice of a king. It did convince most of the 
people, who shouted their acceptance in a phrase that has 
gone round the world: *'God save the King!" But not all 
were satisfied, for certain sons of Belial said, ''How shall 
this man save us?" And they despised him and brought 
no present. You must note that the phrase, ''sons of Belial," 
retains the meaning already established (I Sam. 1:16; 
2:12). Belial is a proper name, meaning the devil, and 
quite in keeping with their nature, the devil's childrea will 
not accept Jehovah's choice of a king. 

3. The spirit of Jehovah comes upon Saul and demon- 
strates his fitness for the high honor by leading to the deliv- 
erance of Jabesh-gilead. It is not enough to shout, "God 
save the king," but will you fall in line and follow the king? 
In his call to war, Saul rightly associates his name with 
Samuel's (I Sam. 11:7) and "the dread of the Lord fell 
on all the people, and they came out as one man." 

This practical demonstration of Saul's fitness wrought 
unanimity in his acceptance, and led the people to demand 
of Samuel the death of those who had refused Jehovah's 
choice, Saul's wisdom again appearing in refusing to stain 
the glorious beginning of his reign with the blood of political 

4. The people now being prepared in mind to accept 
Jehovah's choice, under divine direction, they were formally 
and officially committed by the ratification at Gilgal in 
solemn assembly, with appropriate sacrifices, and great re- 
joicing of both king and people, followed by Samuel's sur- 
render of the office of judge. This meeting at Gilgal is the 
dividing official line of separation between the period of the 
judges and the period of the monarchy. 

Before, we have only shown the steps toward transition. 


The scene of the consummation was most fitting, for at 
Gilgal the period of the pilgrimage ended and the period of 
the conquest commenced, and at Gilgal the distribution of 
a part of the land took place officially, ending, in part, the 
conquest period of the judges. 

5. Jehovah, king, prophet, and general assembly are in 
full accord, the functions of all clearly distinguished and 
defined. Happy beginning of the monarchy ! The later his- 
tory will show wherein, when, and how the glorious charter 
of the kingdom is violated by prophet, king or people. We 
will find a sad history, enlivened here and there by deeds 
of heroes and song of bards. But the picture will gather 
deepening shadows until the eclipse is completed by the 
downfall of the monarchy. The chief heroes will be the 
prophets, a few kings will be illustrious, and very rarely, 
a priest. 

The distinction in the meaning of the words "seer" and 
"prophet," used as synonymous in I Sam. 9:7, is this: 
"Prophet" has the larger meaning, including all the import 
of "seer." Strictly speaking, the word "seer" refers only 
to one method of receiving revelation, i.e., in vision. A 
prophet not only had the gift of vision, but was in all 
respects the mouthpiece, or penman, of Jehovah in teaching, 
reforming, or recording. He was by inspiration God's 
direct legatee, ambassador, or representative, with authority 
above king or people. 

There is a humorous play on the common version of 
I Sam. 10 : 14 which a deacon once made to an indiscreet 
preacher, saying, "My dear sir, if you keep on shooting off 
your mouth half-cocked, you will presently find yourself 
where Saul perceived his father's asses to be." The words 
of the text in that version are: "We saw they were no- 


saitl's reign after the ratification in gilgal 

I Sam. 13:1 says, "Saul was forty years old when he 
began to reign, and when he had reigned two years over 
Israel, Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel," etc. 
His personal appearance is described in I Sam. 10 : 23, 24 : 
"From his shoulders upward he was higher than the people. 
None of them were like him." Hence the proverb : "Head 
and shoulders above his fellows." We will find later that 
his armour was too large for David. The conditions of his 
reign were hard. At this time Israel was dominated by the 
Philistines on the Southwest, assailed by Amalek on the 
South, by Ammon, Moab and Edom on the Southeast, and 
by Zobah, or Syria, on the Northeast, but against all these 
at times Saul waged a victorious war. Besides this his 
resources were limited. He had no standing army, no arms, 
no equipment, no public treasury except spoils gathered in 
battle, and the whole country was impoverished by raids 
and invasions of his many enemies. I Sam. 13 : 19-23 shows 
the pitiable condition of the people as to artificers, imple- 
ments of industry and arms: "Now there was no smith 
found throughout all the land of Israel ; for the Philistines 
said. Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: But 
all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen 
every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his 
mattock; yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the 
coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to set the 
goads. So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there 
was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of the 
people that were with Saul and Jonathan; but with Saul 
and with Jonathan his son was there found." This state- 
ment has its great lessons. 

No people can become or remain safe and prosperous 
who are dependent on other nations for mechanicians, manu- 
factured goods, and their means of transportation. This 


was illustrated in the great controversy and war between 
the States. During the controversy there appeared a book 
by a renegade North CaroHnian, entitled: "Helper's Im- 
pending Crisis," in which he thus pictured the South's 
unpreparedness for war, and the certain disasters which 
would, in the case of war, necessarily overtake it. I never 
read it but one time, and that was when I was a child, but 
it was burnt into my mind so that I can repeat it now : 

"A Southern man gets up in the morning from between 
Northern sheets, having slept on a Northern mattress, rest- 
ing on a Northern bedstead, washes his face in a Northern 
bowl, dries his face on a Northern towel, brushes his hair 
and teeth with Northern brushes, puts on Northern clothes ; 
goes into his dining room and sits down at a Northern din- 
ing table covered by a Northern table-cloth, on which are 
Northern cups, saucers, plates, knives, forks, and in a 
Southern hog-country eats Northern bacon. Then he goes 
out and hitches his horse to a Northern plow ; or to a North- 
ern buggy ; or having tied around his neck a Northern cra- 
vat, he goes to pay his address to his girl, who is dressed in 
Northern dimity and calicoes, and when he comes to die, 
he is wrapped in a Northern shroud, his grave is dug with a 
Northern spade and mattock, and the only thing he has 
which is Southern is the hole in the ground where he is 

Now, as a consequence, just as soon as the war broke out, 
having no factories, having no railroads running east and 
west, having no control of the land and water transporta- 
tion, in six months we were on the verge of starvation. I 
saw several companies of Sibley's brigade start to New 
Mexico armed with lances — old-fashioned lances, a long, 
dressed pole with a rude point to it. They took the old- 
fashioned flint and steel muskets, and fixed them so they 
could use percussion caps; they did not have a breech- 
loading gun. Having no paper factories, the newspapers 


were being printed within six months on wall-paper — the 
printing on one side and coloring on the other. I paid $22 
in Mexican silver for a hatful of coffee that was smuggled 
over from Mexico (I could not bear to see my mother do 
without coffee), but all over the South they were drinking 
parched sweet potatoes for coffee, and using sassafras tea, 
and catnip tea, and when they were sick they used boneset 
tea, and woe to the man who had to take it ! 

// all this is true among nations, you can understand what 
I meant when I said woe to the South, where the people 
have the views of sound doctrine, when it sends its preach- 
ing implements to a Northern radical-critic grindstone in 
order to put on point or edge. I tell you, we ought never 
to cease praying that God will bless our Southwestern Sent- 
inary, and establish it in the hearts of the people. 

From a comparison of chap. 13:1, 2, and 14:47-52 we 
must suppose: 

1. That the text of 13: i is defective. Note the differ- 
ence in the rendering between the common version and the 
revised version — a very considerable difference. 

2. That according to the summary given in 14:47-52, 
there is no record of the details of many of Saul's cam- 

3. As Saul was a young man when made king, and now 
comes before us with a grown son, Jonathan, already a 
hero, we must suppose that for years after he became king 
his reign was prosperous, and according to the charter of 
the kingdom. In this prosperous part of his reign must 
always be placed to Saul's credit the fact that under the 
most trying conditions he proved himself a great hero in 
war against mighty odds, while possessing amiable char- 
acteristics which endeared him to his family, to the people 
and to Samuel. According to David's eulogy he found the 
women of his people in rags and clothed them in scarlet, 
and put on their apparel ornaments of gold. He taught an 


unwarlike, undisciplined militia to become mighty warriors. 
His whole Hfe was one series of battles, beating back the 
enemies who were pouring in on every side. Then consid- 
ering these odds against him, his only hope lay in strict 
obedience to the charter of his kingdom, thus keeping 
Jehovah as his friend. He never began to fall until he 
made God his enemy. 


1. Is the reference to Saul's "another heart" equivalent to the "new 
heart" of Ezek. 36 : 26? In what was Saul like Judas, and in what was 
he unlike him ? 

2. Why do believers in apostasy use the life of Saul to prove 

3. What does Paul mean in Gal. 5:4: "Ye are fallen away from 

4. What, particularly, were the steps of the people's preparation 
to accept Saul, and how gradually was the acceptance, in glorious 
climax, made complete? 

5. Distinguish in meaning the words *'seer" and "prophet," used as 
synonymous in I Sam. 9:7. 

6. What humorous play on the common version of I Sam. 10: 14 
did a deacon once make to an indiscreet preacher? 

7. How old was Saul when he began to reign? 

8. What was his personal appearance ? 

9. What were the hard conditions of his reign? 

10. What his limited resources? 

11. Recite the passage that shows the pitiable condition of the 
people as to artificers, implements of industry and arms. 

12. What great lessons are derivable from this statement? 

13. What must we suppose from a comparison of chap. 13 : i, 2, 
and 14 : 47-52 ? 

14. In this prosperous part of his reign, what must always be placed 
to Saul's credit? 

15. Considering these odds against him, wherein lay his only hope ? 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 75-79 

THERE are real difficulties, puzzling to a Bible stu- 
dent, in I Samuel, 13 and 14. These difficulties are 
of three kinds : first, in the text ; second, in the order 
of events ; third, in determining the length of Saul's reign. 
The first difficulty of the text is in the first sentence, 13: i. 
According to the historian's formula elsewhere, introducing 
the account of a reign, we would naturally expect this 
initial sentence to tell us two facts: Saul's age when he 
began to reign, and the duration of his reign, somewhat 
thus : "Saul was thirty years old when he began to reign, 
and he reigned over Israel forty years," but our present 
Hebrew text cannot be so rendered, nor can we satisfac- 
torily make out the text from a comparison with the ver- 
sions. The Hebrews designated numbers by letters, hence 
it is quite easy in the matter of numbers for a mistake to 
creep in. In the Hebrew of 13:1 Saul's age is not stated. 
When the versions attempt to supply the number from inter- 
nal evidence, it amounts only to conjecture. The unrevised 
Septaugint omits that first verse altogether, but a revision 
of that version gives it, and makes it read that Saul was 
thirty years old when he began to reign. The American 
Standard Revision fills the blank with forty years as his 
age when he began to reign, and connects verse i with 
verse 2. The Jew, Isaac Leeser, in his English version, 
renders that first verse thus : "When Saul had reigned one 
year — and two years he reigned over Israel," which leaves 



the whole verse "up in the air," with two gaps in it. Other 
Jews render it thus: "Saul was the son of a year when he 
began to reign, and when he had reigned two years he 
chose for himself, etc." This rendering could be made to 
mean that Saul was as inexperienced, or as simple, as a 
year-old child when he commenced to reign, but after he 
had reigned two years he began to assume the air of royalty 
by organizing a small standing army as a bodyguard, or as 
a nucleus around which militia levies could be assembled 
in time of war. In the judgment of the author, there is 
no direct connection between verse i and verse 2, nor is he 
able to remove the difficulty. It seems probable that that 
first sentence should follow the usual formula of the his- 
torian, and that if we had the true text, it would so appear. 

The second text-difficulty is in 13:5, which gives the 
Philistines "thirty thousand chariots," a number of chariots 
which seems to be so incredible, so unnecessary, and so 
wholly out of proportion to other departments of their 
army, that one is disposed to imagine that some copyist 
erred in writing the Hebrew letters by which they express 
the number of chariots. Probably the number was one 

The third text-difficulty is the word, "Ark," in 14 : 18. 
We would naturally conclude from I Sam. 7: i, 2, and from 
I Chron. 13 : 1-14 that the Ark remained at Kirjath-jearim 
until its removal to Jerusalem by David. Moreover, David 
says expressly, "We sought not unto the Ark in the days of 
Saul." The best explanation of this difficulty is that the 
Septuagint, with a better Hebrew text before it, renders the 
verse thus: "And Saul said to Ahijah, Bring hither the 
Ephod. For he wore the Ephod at that time before Israel." 

In determining the order of events we find that the para- 
graph, I Sam. 14:47-52, gives a summary of Saul's wars 
and of his family, and inasmuch as the historian gives no 
details of at least three of these wars, to wit: the war with 


Ammon, with Edom and with the kings of Zobah, i.e., Syria, 
the difficulty is to know just where these wars should be 
placed. Evidently there is no place for them after the 
beginning of this section, and if they be put before this 
section, then time must be allowed for them, as well as for 
the arrival to mature age of Saul's sons and daughters. 

In determining the duration of Saul's reign, the difficulty 
in the Hebrew text of 13:1 forces us to rely upon one 
statement only, that by the Apostle Paul, Acts 13:21, who 
says: "Saul reigned by the space of forty years." In an 
edited edition of Josephus' ''Antiquity of the Jews," Book 
VI, last sentence of that book, the reading is : "Now Saul, 
when he had reigned eighteen years while Samuel was alive, 
and after his death 2 [and 20], ended his Hfe in this man- 
ner." The words "and 20" in brackets must be regarded 
as an interpolation, being out of harmony with the author's 
heading of the sixth book, which assigns only thirty-two 
years from the death of Eli to the death of Saul. Leaving 
out the bracketed words, Josephus says that Saul reigned 
18 years while Samuel lived, and two years after he died. 
The author stands by Paul's statement that he reigned by the 
space of forty years, and contends that this harmonizes best 
with all of the elements of the history. The history un- 
questionably makes Saul a young man when he began to 
reign. There must be time for all of the wars mentioned 
in the summary, 14 : 47-52, and for Saul's children, sons and 
daughters, to become grown. This 13th chapter presents 
Jonathan a grown man and a valorous captain. Therefore 
the author assumes that between chapters 12, when Saul's 
reign properly commenced, and 13, we must allow an inter- 
val of perhaps twenty years, and we must conclude, from 
the success of Saul in waging victorious war with Ammon, 
Edom and the kings of Zobah, or Syria, 14:47^ that such an 
interval must be provided for in the order. 

It is easy to understand why the historian gives no details 


of these wars. His object is to bring us quickly to that part 
of Saul's reign in which, by two great decisive acts, he vio- 
lates the kingdom charter. For years, then, we presume 
that Saul was faithful to that charter, prosperous and suc- 
cessful in every direction, but this period of prosperity is 
followed by a triumph of the Philistines, who so dominated 
the land as to bring about the conditions as described in our 
text, I Sam. 13 : 6, 7, 19-23, and it is at this period of national 
disaster that our 13th chapter commences the story. Indeed, 
by this disaster God providentially prepares the way for an 
account of Saul's first great test, which could not come 
except under hard conditions. 

We may count it a difficulty to give the proper rendering 
of I Sam. 13:3, which says that "Jonathan smote the garri- 
son of the Philistines that was in Geba." Very able scholars 
contend that this word should not be rendered "garrison" 
but "monument," the Philistines having erected a monument 
there as a memorial of their domination over the land. An- 
other scholar contends that it means an officer who at that 
point collected the tribute from the subjugated Hebrews, but 
none of the versions so render the word, and so we will 
count that word to mean garrison. 

Another line of interpretation, as to the order of events, 
is advocated by mighty minds, including Edersheim, for 
whose wide range of learning, splendid scholarship, piety, 
reverence, and especially the gift of spiritual interpretation, 
the author has a profound respect. According to Eder- 
sheim, whose arguments sustaining his contention are so 
weighty, the boldest might well hesitate to claim dogmatic- 
ally the rightfulness of the order we have just considered, 
and according to others, including the American Standard 
Revisers, Saul was forty years old when he began to reign ; 
was a man of family, his oldest son, Jonathan, being a 
grown man, and there is no interval between the history in 
chap. 12 and the history in chap. 13, but it is continuous; 


therefore the wars, 14:47, with Ammon, Edom and Syria, 
follow the victory over the PhiUstines recorded in chap. 13, 
and the hard conditions under the domination of the Philis- 
tines recorded in chap. 13:6, 7, 19-23 were the conditions 
at the beginning of Saul's reign. This would place the test 
which decided the dynasty at the beginning of his reign, and 
with propriety place later the second test, in the case with 
Amalek, resulting in his personal rejection. With this order, 
Josephus agrees. The serious objections to this theory of 
order are thus met by its advocates. They admit that the 
record in chap. 9 declares Saul to be a young man when he 
met Samuel, and that it is a part of a young man's duty to 
be sent off to find the stray stock of his father, but argue 
that among Hebrews even a middle-aged man with a family 
is called a young man and is under the direction of his 
father, and that the preceding record nowhere gives Saul's 
age, and that the only place where we would expect to find 
it — chap. 13 : i — the numeral expressed in a Hebrew letter 
is wanting, and must be supplied by conjecture based on the 
context. In meeting Paul's express statement that Saul 
reigned by the space of forty years, they say that it is not 
in the line of Paul's thought to be exact, and that his forty 
years is expressed in round numbers. These replies to the 
objections are not satisfactory, but are here given for what 
they are worth. 

The hero of this war with the Philistines was Jonathan, 
Saul's brilliant son. He it is that brings on the war by smit- 
ing the Philistines' garrison at Gibeah, and he it is that 
decided the war in the great battle of Michmash. Saul's 
part of the whole story is an undignified one. The follow- 
ing are the events, in order, leading up to his failure under 
the first test to which he was subjected : It will be remem- 
bered that Saul was made king with the special view of de- 
livering Israel from the Philistines, and that having only 
three thousand men they were divided into two small corps, 


occupying strategically the best positions of defense against 
the Philistines. Then when Jonathan's exploit brought on 
the war by making Israel odious to the Phihstines, they 
assembled the largest and best appointed army they ever 
sent to the field, and took post at Michmash. Saul sounded 
the trumpet alarm designed to bring all of the able-bodied 
men of Israel to his side. The place of assembly was Gilgal, 
which Samuel had appointed with the express command 
that when assembled they were to remain seven full days 
until he himself arrived, and when he had offered appro- 
priate sacrifices, the war would be undertaken under Jeho- 
vah's direction. 

But the people having no arms, and frightened at the vast 
and well equipped army of the Philistines, failed to respond. 
Some of them went into the caves in the sides of the moun- 
tains. Multitudes of them fled across the Jordan into 
Gilead. Saul's own bodyguard did not all assemble, and in 
the days of waiting began to desert, so that he was left with 
a handful of men, liable at any time to be cut off and de- 
stroyed by the mighty army of the Phihstines. In this case 
it tried his patience sorely to wait seven days, his army 
melting, the panic increasing, the Philistine army near and 

This was the condition of a test of his character. It is 
certain that unless there could be assurance from Jehovah 
that He would lead and manifest His power, the panic would 
increase. Samuel designedly delayed his coming until the 
last hour of the appointed seven days. Saul had waited 
until late in the seventh day; Samuel had not come. It 
seemed to him that he must, by sacrifices, invoke the help 
of Jehovah. As he puts it himself, under these conditions : 
"I forced myself to make the offerings to Jehovah." Before 
the offerings were completed, Samuel appeared, but Saul 
had already sinned. 

It was an express stipulation of the charter of the king- 


dom that the king must wait upon Jehovah's will as ex- 
pressed through His prophet. Only in this way could the 
kingdom endure. If the king acted on his own wisdom, as 
the kings of other nations, then it was certain he would 
fail. His only hope was to abide absolutely with that pro- 
vision of the charter which acknowledged the theocratic idea 
that the earthly king was subordinate to the divine King. 
The penalty of his failure in this test was not his personal 
rejection as king, but it was the rejection of his dynasty. 
He himself remained king, but the monarchy could not be 
transmitted to his children. The kingly authority was to be 
removed from Saul's family, and given to another 

The events after this failure of Saul were as follows: 
First, the word of Jehovah through His prophet having 
been despised, Samuel leaves Saul, the panic increases, his 
followers decrease in number, he is left with a handful of 
men to take the most defensive position ; then, as has been 
stated, it was Jonathan who delivered the people from this 
threatening condition. The prophet being gone, Jonathan 
asked Jehovah to designate by a sign whether he should 
attack the Philistine host. The sign was a very simple one. 
Jonathan having reconnoitered the enemy's position, taking 
with him only his armorbearer, found that they could be 
approached from the mountain side, and the test was, when 
he came within sight and hearing of the Philistines if they 
said, ''Come up to us," instead of " "Remain where you 
are and we will come up to you," that was to be God's sign 
that he should make the fight. Hence he and his armor- 
bearer alone commenced the fight, killing twenty of the 
enemy. They fell into a panic, supposing a mighty army 
to be behind these two men, and as their army was composed 
of troops from several nations, these in the confusion began 
to fight each other. Moreover, a large number of Hebrews, 
who had hidden in the caves of the mountain, came out and 


joined in the attack on the PhiHstines, so that their whole 
army was in inextricable confusion. 

Saul, from his lookout, perceiving the confusion in the 
PhiHstine army and hearing the sound of battle, and still 
wishing to be guided by Jehovah, turned to the high priest 
present with his men, saying, ''Bring hither the Ephod and 
enquire of Jehovah what we shall do." The tumult con- 
tinuing, he then restrained the priest before he had time to 
give Jehovah's answer through the Urim and Thummim, 
and rushed headlong to the battle. So, in no respect acting 
under divine orders, but on his own wisdom, he enjoins that 
none shall stop to taste food until the Philistine army is 
entirely destroyed. 

Two evil results come from this rash order. First, Jona- 
than being in the front of the battle and not having heard 
it, under the fatigue and hunger of a hard day's work, sees 
a honeycomb in the rock. He delays only to touch the 
honeycomb with the rod in his hand and put it to his mouth, 
and somewhat refreshed goes on in pursuit, thus unwittingly 
bringing himself under the curse of his father's vow. The 
second evil was that the people who had heard the com- 
mand, at the end of the day, famished with hunger, took 
from the spoils of the battle and butchered the animals for 
meat, without complying with the law, which forbids an 
Israelite to eat blood. This second wrong being reported 
to Saul, he seems to be convinced that somebody had sinned, 
and after stopping the unlawful method of eating food, he 
appeals to the high priest to determine for him who had dis- 
obeyed his order. The lot disclosed that it was Jonathan, 
who frankly avowed it. Saul announced his death warrant, 
but the people refused to permit the death of the hero who 
had gained them the battle. 

The radical critics of the Bible story consider it a light 
offense, that a man with authority as king, under Saul's hard 
conditions, after waiting till the seventh day was nearly 


ended for Samuel to come, should proceed to enquire the 
divine will, apart from the prophet of God. To this we 
reply, that, while all of these hard conditions are admitted, 
and while the natural effect of these conditions upon any 
man placed under the responsibility of a leader is also ad- 
mitted, these very conditions were essential to the test, if the 
theocratic idea of the charter is to be preserved. It made 
no difference how hard the conditions, nor how many should 
desert, nor how few remained, nor how strong the enemy, 
nor how formidable their equipments, if only Jehovah be 
with them ; and it made no difference how strong an army 
Saul might have, nor how few in comparison with the 
enemy, nor how much superior his own equipments to that 
of the foe, he was doomed to failure if Jehovah was against 
him. Therefore, when, through fear and impatience, he 
deliberately violated the central thought in the charter of the 
kingdom, it was well that the kingdom should pass to an- 
other family, and not be perpetuated in his house. 

It is an interesting fact that while God had withdrawn 
His prophet from Saul, there yet remained two methods of 
ascertaining the divine will : the one employed by Jonathan 
by asking a sign from God, the other through the high priest 
and the Ephod. In a wavering kind of way, Saul clings to 
the second method. He still on occasion seeks the mind of 
Jehovah through the high priest, but never unless he is in 
extremity. You must distinguish between the two tests of 
Saul. The first test which we have considered, settled the 
question of the dynasty alone; the next test to be considered 
in the next chapter, settles the question personally for Saul, 
as to whether he is to remain king. 

The last paragraph of chap. 14 : 47-52 is a generic account 
of Saul's reign, naming his various wars waged victoriously, 
his family relations, and reciting two facts characteristic of 
his reign, namely, (i) that sore war with the Philistines pre- 
vailed all his days; (2) all through his reign he was accus- 


tomed to add valiant men of whatever nation, to his body- 
guard. But this custom of Saul's was not peculiar to him. 
David followed his example, and hundreds of monarchs 
since his time, some of them limiting altogether to for- 
eigners, as the Janizaries of the Sultan of Turkey; the Scot- 
tish Archers, the Swiss Guard, and the Irish Brigade of 
French Kings, the Italian Corps of Charles of Burgundy, 
the famous Potsdam giants of the King of Prussia, and 
many others. 

This summary of Saul's family omits the mention of Riz- 
pah, Saul's concubine, his two children by her, and his 
grandchildren, sons of Jonathan and Michal. By way of 
anticipation of the history, and to show that the sins of the 
fathers are visited upon the children, and further to show 
that in a great man's downfall many are dragged down with 
him, let us notice the tragic fate of the various members 
of Saul's family. Abner, Saul's cousin and general, was 
murdered by Joab. Saul himself, with three of the four 
sons by his wife, including the heroic Jonathan, perished in 
battle with the Philistines. His fourth son by his wife was 
assassinated ; his two sons by his concubine Rizpah, and the 
five sons of his daughter Michal, born after she was taken 
from David, were all hanged to appease one of Saul's sins ; 
Jonathan's son was crippled by his nurse, and afterwards 
defrauded of half his inheritance. 

Note the text for a practical sermon in this section, Saul's 
words, "I forced myself," 13: 12. 


1. What real difficulties, puzzling to a Bible student, do we find 
in I Samuel 13 and 14? 

2. State the principal text-difficulties, with an explanation of each. 

3. What difficulty in determining the order of events ? 

4. What the difficulty in determining the duration of Saul's reign ? 

5. What other line of interpretation, as to order of events, is 
advocated by mighty minds, including Edersheim? 

6. Who was the hero of this war with the Philistines? 


7. State in order the events, leading up to Saul's failure under the 
first test to which he was subjected. 

8. What was the penalty of Saul's failure in this test? 

9. State the events after this failure of Saul. 

10. What was Saul's part in the battle? 

11. What have radical critics of the Bible story to say against the 
Divine procedure in this part of the history? 

12. What is your reply to this ? 

13. What interesting fact must yet be noted from this connection? 

14. What is the nature of the last paragraph of chapter 14: 47 : 52? 

15. Was this custom of Saul's peculiar to him? 

16. Is this summary a full account of Sau.'s family? 

17.^ By the way of anticipation of the history, and to show that 
the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children, and further to 
show that in a great man's downfall many are drawn down with him, 
state the tragic fate of the various members of Saul's family. 

18. What text for a practical sermon in this section? 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 79, 80. 

IT is needful to devote an extended discussion to this one 
chapter — I Sam. 15. The matters to be considered are 
stern, awful, deep and far-reaching, involving doctrines 
concerning the sovereignty and supremacy of God over na- 
tions and rulers, and His judicial administration in irre- 
versible punitive judgments. 

It is a caricature of God, divesting Him of holiness and 
justice, which represents Him as merciful only. 

There is widely prevalent today a weak, sickly sentimen- 
talism, which revolts at any view of the divine character 
other than His compassion, which divests sin of demerit and 
makes all punishment mere temporary chastisement and 
remediable. Henry Ward Beecher voiced the sentiment in 
his proposition: "All punishment is remediable." The sen- 
timent developed into a probation after death, and a purifi- 
cation by the fires of purgatory equal in atoning and cleans- 
ing power to the blood of Christ. Such sentimentalists find 
I Sam. 15 a nut as hard to crack as our Lord's own teaching 
concerning His final judgment and the eternity of punish- 
ment. Four passages serve well as an introduction to this 
chapter : 

I. Jehovah's own declaration of His character and attri- 
butes to Moses, Ex. 34 : 6-8 : "And Jehovah passed by be- 
fore him, and proclaimed, Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful 
and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kind- 
ness and truth ; keeping loving kindness for thousands, f or- 



giving iniquity and transgression and sin; and that will by 
no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers 
upon the children, and upon the children's children, upon the 
third and upon the fourth generation." 

2. God's taking away from Nebuchadnezzar the heart of 
a man and giving him the heart of a beast "till thou know 
that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and 
giveth it to whomsoever He will," Dan. 4 : 25. 

3. Paul's teaching on Mars' Hill in Athens concerning 
God as the only object of worship and His government of 
nations. Acts 17:22-28. 

4. Our Lord's declaration to the woman of Samaria, 
that God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must wor- 
ship in spirit and truth, John 4 : 23, 24. 

The first great doctrine involved is that Jehovah in His 
sovereignty over a nation may blot it out, root and branch, 
when the measure of its iniquity is full. We have already 
found examples of this law in the case of the Canaanite 
nations who had left the territory assigned to them as chil- 
dren of Ham when the earth was divided, and occupied the 
territory divinely allotted to the children of Abraham, but 
even Israel was held back from the land until the measure 
of the iniquities of these nations had become full. We have 
now to find in the story of Amalek the fitness of the appli- 
cation of the doctrine to them. 

It is possible but not probable that they were the children 
of that Amalek named as a descendant of Esau in Gen. 
26:12, 16 and I Chron. 1:36. If so, they are out of the 
territory of Edom (Esau) and ranging as a predatory tribe 
over all the Negeb, or South Country, expressly allotted to 
Israel. Without provocation they desperately assaulted 
Israel on the approach to Sinai in the battle of Rephidim, so 
graphically described in Ex. 17:8-15, on which occasion 
their doom was announced by Jehovah : "I will utterly blot 
out the remembrance of Amalek from under Heaven. . . . 


Jehovah will have war with Amalek from generation to gen- 
eration." When Israel had sinned at Kadesh they combined 
with the Canaanites to inflict a defeat on it. Again, in the 
time of the judges they combined with the Midianites to 
destroy Israel, Judges 3 : 12, 13. Moses, in one of his great 
farewell addresses, reminds Israel of the evils done by 
Amalek, and recalls the doom pronounced at Rephidim, and 
urges Israel to execute Jehovah's will when they are estab- 
lished in the land, Deut. 25: 17-19. 

We find in far later times the last Amalekite known in 
history, Haman at the Persian court, seeking the destruction 
of captive Israel (Esther 3 to 8), and see him hanged on 
the gibbet erected for Mordecai. And now, as Saul is vic- 
torious over all his enemies, Samuel, as God's prophet, de- 
mands the execution of the long-pending and richly deserved 
doom. From the beginning and all along they have sought 
with persistent and incorrigible malice to thwart God's pur-' 
pose to establish a nation as the custodian of His oracles, 
and through which all the nations of the earth were to be 
blessed. Amalek must perish or the world cannot be saved. 
It was not a mere political necessity, as voiced by Cato: 
"Carthage must be destroyed or Rome will perish." It was 
a spiritual necessity involving the only hope to all nations. 

The second doctrine involved is that the instrument by 
which such a ban is executed must consider the doomed 
nation and all its property as "devoted to Jehovah for de- 
struction," and hence no part of the spoils must be used to 
aggrandize the executor, or for offerings on Jehovah's altar 
— they are "devoted." And it is this very feature which 
divests the executor of all moral responsibility. He is merely 
God's sheriff executing a judicial sentence, and hence must 
act without private malice, vanity or greed. The terrible 
case of Achan when Jericho was "devoted" was well known 
to Saul, and should have admonished him. 

In later Jewish history, Nebuchadnezzar, the executioner 


of the divine will against Jerusalem, is called "God's Axe," 
and when the axe presumed to attribute to its own prowess 
the defeat of Israel, God humbles him as He did Saul; and 
when his successor, Belshazzar, blasphemously misuses the 
sacred vessels of the detroyed temple, then it is that a hand 
appeared and wrote on the wall, ''Mene, Mene, Tekel, 
Upharsin," and that night Belshazzar died and Babylon fell. 

The third doctrine involved is the discrimination in Jeho- 
vah's moral judgments, not paralleled in natural calamities 
as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and pestilences. 

Jehovah's discriminating justice appears in this destruc- 
tion of Amalek by the precaution taken to avert from the 
Kenites dwelling -with them, the doom of Amalek. These 
Kenites were descendants of Hobab, that brother-in-law of 
Moses who accepted the invitation of Moses : ''We are going 
to a land which the Lord our God has promised us. Come 
and go thou with us, and we will do thee good." So they 
went with Israel and shared the prosperity promised, and 
were always friendly and helpful, and always sheltered from 
the wrath of Israel's enemies. Jael, who slew Sisera, was of 
this people. 

This sifting of the good from the bad before the final 
doom falls on the wicked, is richly illustrated in the saving 
of Noah from the doom of the world, and reminds us of the 
great intercession of Abraham, when Sodom was doomed 
and Lot rescued : "Wilt thou destroy the righteous with the 
wicked? . . . Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" 
Gen. 8:23-33. It appears in the light on Goshen while 
Egypt was in darkness, and in all the other discriminating 

The same principle of discrimination in divine justice is 
seen in the parable of the tares (Matthew 13 : 24-30), in the 
separation at the great judgment announced by our Lord, 
Matt. 15 : 31-34. In the same discourse, our Lord had given 
to the disciples a sign, by observing which they fled to Pella 


and escaped the doom of Jerusalem executed by Titus. 
Peter, referring to two notable instances of this discrimina- 
tion, expresses the thought thus : "The Lord knoweth how 
to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to keep the un- 
righteous under punishment unto the day of judgment," II 
Peter 2:9. In the same way, John, in Revelation, before 
the doom falls on the spiritual Babylon, says, "Come out of 
her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that 
ye receive not her plagues," Rev. 18:4. So the Kenites, 
when warned, quickly withdrew from Amalek and escaped 
its doom. 

To lead up to the next doctrine, let us glance at the terms 
of Saul's commission and the fidelity of its execution. The 
commission runs : "And Samuel said unto Saul, Jehovah 
sent me to anoint thee to be king over His people, over 
Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the 
words of Jehovah. Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, I have 
marked that which Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself 
against him in the way, when he came up out of Egypt. 
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they 
have, and spare them not ; but slay both man and woman, 
infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. And Saul 
summoned the people, and numbered them in Telaim, two 
hundred thousand footmen and ten thousand men of Judah," 
I Sam. 15: 1-4. Thus commissioned by Samuel, Saul sum- 
mons all the national militia, 210,000 strong, and smote 
Amalek from Havilah in the South Country unto the boun- 
dary of Egypt. It was a hard, desert campaign against a 
mobile, nomad people, and resulted in a marvelous and 
sweeping victory. But the record closes thus : "But Saul 
and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and 
of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that 
was good, and would not utterly destroy them ; but every- 
thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly," 
I Sam. 15:9. Saul was so elated at its thoroughness and 


extent that he erected a memorial of his prowess. He was 
filled with self-complacency. But God seeth not as man 
seeth, nor judgeth as man judgeth. In His eyes Saul had 
committed a presumptuous and unpardonable sin. To make 
this manifest, we turn from Saul in his triumph to a differ- 
ent scene, one of the most touching in all history. 


I Sam. 15 :io, 11 : "Then came the word of Jehovah unto 
Samuel, saying. It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be 
king; for he is turned back from following me, and hath 
not performed my commandments. And Samuel was wroth ; 
and he cried unto Jehovah all night." In this interview is 
developed the doctrine of the unpardonable sin, so often 
referred to in both Testaments. 

The sin of Saul may be thus analyzed : 

1. Just what he did is thus stated, I Sam. 15:9. 

2. It was a wilful sin against light and knowledge, for it 
violated the clearly expressed command of Jehovah, 15:3: 
"Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that 
they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and 
woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." 

3. It violated the central provision of the kingdom char- 
ter that the earthly king was only the viceroy of the heavenly 

4. It was a presumptuous sin, being against the Holy 
Spirit, whose power resting on Saul was symbolized by his 
anointing, and which alone qualified him to be king and win 

5. It was rebellion, and classed with the capital sins of 
witchcraft and idolatry, which Saul himself punished with 

6. It was blasphemous, in that it mingled human self- 
will, vanity and greed with a bloody execution whose sole 


justification was obedience to Jehovah's express sentence as 
Supreme Judge, without the human motives of vanity, gain 
or malice. 

7. It was an eternal sin, evidenced by Jehovah's refusal 
to hear Samuel's all-night intercession, by Jehovah's rebuke 
to Samuel for mourning for Saul, by the instant and per- 
manent withdrawal of the Holy Spirit, by the sending in- 
stead an evil spirit to guide him to ruin, by the permanent 
separation of the prophet from him, by refusing to ever 
again communicate with him in any other way, and finally 
by withdrawing from him all that grace by which alone a 
man can become penitent. One may have remorse without 
the Spirit, but he cannot become penitent without the Spirit. 

For the complete separation between Saul and Samuel, 
see I Sam. 16: i, for the permanent departure of the Holy 
Spirit, succeeded by an evil spirit, see I Sam. 16 : 14 ; for 
God's refusal to communicate with Saul any more in any 
way, see I Sam. 28:6; to show that God's refusal to hear 
intercession for a sin is a mark of its unpardonable charac- 
ter, see Jeremiah's reference, Jer. 15: 15, and compare this 
with I John 5: 16: "If any man see his brother sinning a 
sin not unto death, he shall ask, and God will give him life 
for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death ; 
not concerning this do I say that he should make request." 

Other New Testament correspondences are shown in the 
words of our Lord : "He that blasphemeth against the Holy 
Ghost committeth an eternal sin. It hath never forgiveness, 
neither in this world nor in the world to come." The 
declaration in Hebrews 10:26-29: "If we sin wilfully after 
that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there 
remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful 
expectation of judgment. ... A man that hath set at naught 
Moses' law dieth without compassion on the word of two 
or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, think 
ye, shall he be judged worthy, (i) who hath trodden under 


foot the Son of God, (2) and counted the blood of the cove- 
nant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and (3) 
hath done despite unto the Spirit of Grace?" You see there 
is sin against the Father, sin against the Son, and sin against 
the Holy Spirit; the first two pardonable, the last never, 
doing despite to the Holy Spirit, which is what Saul did, 
and hence the Spirit was permanently withdrawn from him. 

We come now to the sad, eventful and last interview 
between Saul and Samuel. It is evident from this interview 
that Saul added brazen lying and hypocrisy to his rebellion. 
He first claims that he has fully obeyed Jehovah, even when 
the bleating sheep and lowing herds are within sight and 
sound to convict him. He then seeks to shift the blame and 
responsibility upon the people, and finally he attributes a 
pious motive to the sparing of the sheep and oxen — to sac- 
rifice on God's altar. 

Samuel's tenderness of heart toward Saul is evinced in 
his heartbreaking grief when Jehovah announces that Saul 
is lost. He not only spends a whole night in earnest but 
fruitless prayer that God would forgive Saul, but even after 
he knows that the punishment denounced on Saul is irre- 
vocable he still mourns for him ; but although his prayers in 
behalf of Saul are denied, and though it is a bitter cross to 
announce to Saul God's stern will, yet he strictly obeys, and 
in his interview with Saul shows more concern for God's 
honor than for his own grief. 

We come to our next great doctrine in Samuel's reply to 
Saul as expressed in verse 22 : "Hath Jehovah as great de- 
light in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice 
of Jehovah? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to 
hearken then the fat of rams." The doctrine here is not; 
against the use of the God-appointed sacrifices, but it shows 
that mere external conformity with the law of types as 
embodied in sacrifices, and the observance of rituals without 
faith and the spirit of true worship, is as empty as a blasted 


nut. The doctrine does not undervalue the form of godli- 
ness, but it does show the superiority of the power of godli- 
ness. The truth lies, not in denying the need of the form, 
but in relying upon the form only. This doctrine magnifies 
the thing signified above the sign, and magnifies the spirit 
above the letter. The tendency of the priesthood — the types 
and the rituals — throughout the monarchy was a reliance 
upon mere empty ceremonies. It was the mission of the 
prophets to counteract this, as you will find by carefully 
reading the following passages : Psalms 40 : 6-8 ; 51 : 16, 17 ; 
Isaiah i: 11-15; Jeremiah J\22, 23; Hosea 6\6, and Micah 
6 : 6-8. These passages should be carefully studied in their 
context, otherwise we will never understand the difference 
in the spirit of the prophetic teaching as contrasted with the 
letter of the priestly teaching. 

From these prophetic declarations the radical critics have 
drawn the irrational and untenable conclusion that the tes- 
timony of the prophets shows that the Levitical part of the 
Mosaic law was a late addition, and particularly they stress 
the declaration in Jer. 7 : 22, 23. It is easy to answer their 
criticism upon all the other passages cited, but not so easy to 
reply to the Jeremiah passage. You might well say with 
reference to that passage that it was literally fulfilled in 
the days of the wilderness wandering after Israel's sin at 
Kadesh. For thirty-eight years, they being under excom- 
munication, God did not require them to comply with the 
forms of His laws. They did not observe the requirements 
of the tabernacle worship; they did not circumcise their chil- 
dren, the thought in Jeremiah being that aliens without faith 
in the thing signified are not commanded to observe the 

We come to another great doctrine drawn from Saufs 
confession, "I have sinned." The doctrine is that a mere 
confession in words is not a proof of grace in the heart. In 
Saul's case, evidently his confession was extorted by re- 


morse or the fear of the consequences made manifest by 
Samuel. Indeed, he trembled at the appalling doom pro- 
nounced upon him, but he never repented of his sin. Spur- 
geon illustrates this great doctrine by preaching a famous 
sermon entitled, "A Sermon from Seven Texts." There 
were indeed seven texts, but every one of them had the 
same words, *'I have sinned," only these words came from 
seven different men, and he shows that when Saul says, "I 
have sinned," it does not mean what it means when David 
says, "I have sinned," and that when Judas and Balaam say, 
**I have sinned," it does not mean what it means when the 
prodigal says, ''I have sinned." The author, when he was 
a pastor, was so much interested by this sermon of Spur- 
geon's that he called the attention of his congregation to it, 
and found three other texts, "I have sinned," spoken by 
three other men, making ten in all, and called his sermon "A 
Sermon from Ten Texts." 

Finally we need to explain the apparent discrepancy be- 
tween what God says of himself, "It repenteth me," in verse 
II, and what Samuel says of God in verse 29: ''God is not 
a man that He should repent." The explanation is that 
"repent" in the first case does not mean the same as "repent" 
in the second case. 

Whenever repentance is attributed to God, it does not 
mean that He has changed His mind, hut that a sinner's 
change of conduct has necessitated a change in God's atti- 
tude toward the sinner. 

The thought is fully illustrated thus in Gen. 6 in these 
words : "And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was 
great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts 
of his heart was only evil continually, and it repented Jeho- 
vah that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him 
at His heart, and Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I 
have created from the face of the ground." 

Here the repentance attributed to God expresses His gen- 


uine grief at the corruption of the most of the human race, 
and. that this caused a change in His attitude toward so many 
of the race as were thus hopelessly and incorrigibly cor- 
rupted. It does not mean absolutely the whole race, for the 
context shows that Noah was an exception, and that God 
did not repent concerning Noah, but continued the race in 

We say, in common parlance, "The sun rises and sets." 
We do not mean by this that the sun revolves around the 
earth, but in common speech, based on appearance, we 
simply mean that the earth revolving on its own axis, 
changes its face to the sun, with the result of alternating 
day and night. 

I have stressed the great doctrines of this section because 
preachers and Christian workers will be continually con- 
fronted with weak, sickly and sentimental views of the char- 
acter of God, of the demerit of sin and of the eternity of 
punishment. This public opinion will press upon you to 
confine your preaching to the infinite compassion and mercy 
of God. 

You should, indeed, in the fullest terms, magnify God's 
pity. His tenderness. His mercy. His long-suffering, His for- 
giving of sins, but you shoidd also stress that when this 
mercy is despised, when it is disregarded until the heart 
becomes past feeling, then come Hell and eternal punish- 


1. What the nature of the matters in this discussion, and of the 
doctrines involved? 

2. What the sickly sentimentalism even now prevalent concerning 
these doctrines ? Cite a special case. 

3. What four scriptures might well serve as an introduction to this 

4. What the first great doctrine cited in this discussion? 

5. Recite briefly the story of the Canaanites and of the Amalekites, 
and show the fitness of applying the doctrine to them. 

6. What the second great doctrine cited ? 

7. What special instances of its application? 


8. What the third great doctrine cited as arising from the provision 
to save the Kenites from the doom of Amalek? 

9. Cite the several illustrations of this doctrine given. 

10. Recite Saul's commission against Amalek, and his execution 
of it. 

11. Contrast Saul's view of his performance with God's view of it. 

12. What the fourth great doctrine, developed in Jehovah's inter- 
view with Samuel? 

13. Give the analysis of Saul's sin, showing its unpardonable 
character, giving O. T. proofs and N. T. correspondences therewith. 

14. Show that Samuel's great tenderness of heart toward Saul did 
not weaken his fidelity to God, 

15. Show how Saul, in his last interview with Samuel, added brazen 
lying and hypocrisy to his rebellion. 

16. What the fifth great doctrine found in Samuel's reply to Saul, 
I Sam. 15:22? 

17. What other prophets enforced the doctrine, and how does the 
N. T. endorse the prophets? 

18. What irrational conclusions have the radical critics drawn from 
these prophetical utterances, and what the answer to them, especially 
on Jer. 7 : 22, 23 ? 

19. What the sixth great doctrine, drawn from Saul's confession, 
"I have sinned?" 

20. How did Spurgeon illustrate this doctrine in a famous sermon? 

21. Explain the apparent discrepancy between what God says of 
himself, "It repenteth me," and what Samuel says of God, "God is not 
a man that He should repent." 




Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 81-84 

THE rejection of King Saul introduces as his successor 
the most remarkable man of the Hebrew monarchy, 
or of any other monarchy. Apart from the history 
of David, we cannot understand the Psalms, and apart from 
the Psalms we cannot understand the history. A great 
number of these Psalms, written by David himself, reflect 
and expound his own life-experiences, and forecast the ex- 
periences of Christian people of all subsequent generations. 
Most of the others were written by his singers and their 
successors. There is for every Psalm an historic occasion 
and background. 

Again, apart from David's history, we cannot under- 
stand the marvelous development of the Messianic hope 
from his time on. In like manner, in his own time and 
later, the great prophetic utterances root in his history, with 
their promises and foreshadowings. Indeed, the proofs of 
a high order of spiritual life in the old dispensation, and of 
the spiritual import of the Mosaic law are most abundant 
in David's life, his worship and the literature arising 

To take away the history of David, removes in an im- 
portant sense, the foundation of the New Testament. This 
connection with the New Testament may be abundantly 
found in references to the history of David, and the expo- 



sition of it by our Lord and His apostles. Fortunately for 
the preachers of our day, there is a rich and trustworthy 
literature concerning this most notable king of history. 
Indeed, in view of this literature, so easily obtained, that 
preacher is inexcusable who remains in ignorance concern- 
ing David. No exigency of life, whether arising from pov- 
erty, sickness or any other cause, can excuse the preacher 
who fails to study, in a thorough and systematic manner, 
the life of David. 

The reader will recall the books recommended when we 
commenced this harmony ; not a multitudinous and costly 
list for great scholars, but a list for students of the English 
Bible, all cheap, all good, all easily obtained, and it was 
stated at that time that when we came to the history of 
David, other books of like character would be named. 
Some, indeed, of the very best of these we reserve until 
we come to the study of the Psalter. The preacher who 
has in his. library choice books on the law, the Psalter and 
the prophets is equipped for Old Testament exposition, and 
prepared to undertake the study of the New Testament. 
Every Sunday School teacher and every layman engaged 
in any public activity of kingdom-service should have these 
books. Now to these already named, towit: Josephus, 
Edersheim, Dean, Geikie, Stanley, Hengstenberg, and to 
the three commentaries — Kirkpatrick on Samuel in the Cam- 
bridge Bible, Blakie on Samuel in the Expositor's Bible, 
and Murphy on I Chronicles — we will add and especially 
commend a little book entitled ''David King of Israel," by 
W. M. Taylor, author also of the famous book on the 

It will be observed that the text-book has for its third 
part of Saul's reign this appropriate heading : 'The Decline 
of Saul and the Rise of David," and that this history is 
found in I Sam., chapters i6 to 31, supplemented by only 
five passages from Chronicles — I Chron. 10:1-14; 11:13, 


14; 12:1-7; 12:16-18; 12:19-22 — only thirty verses in all. 
There are special items of interest touching David, which 
appear in the various genealogical tables of both Testaments, 
towit : 

1. His ancestry is clearly traced back to Adam, and his 
posterity forward to our Lord. 

2. Twice is his descent marked from one of twins strug- 
gling in the mother's womb, the history in each case re- 
markable. You will find the history in Gen. 25:21-26 and 

3. On the maternal side are two foreigners, Rahab the 
Canaanitess and Ruth the Moabitess, thus connecting both 
David and our Lord with the Gentiles. 

4. He came in the line of all the promises from Adam 
to his own time. 

5. He came in the royal line according to the prophecy 
of his dying ancestor, Jacob: 

"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, 
Nor the Ruler's staff from between his feet, 
Until Shiloh come ; 
And unto Him shall the obedience of the peoples be." 

6. His birthplace and home is Bethlehem, and it was 
the birthplace of his greater son, our Lord. 

There is some difficulty in determining his place in the 
family, that is, whether he was the seventh or the eighth 
son of Jesse. The scriptures that furnish an explanation of 
statements that he was the seventh son and the eighth son 
are I Sam. 16:10, 11; 17:12; II Sam. 17:25; I Chron. 
2:15 and 27: 18. This section presents eight sons, of whom 
David is declared to be the youngest, and in the next chap- 
ter it expressly says that Jesse had eight sons, and again 
affirms that David was the youngest; but I Chron. 2:15 
makes David the seventh. A careful examination of all 
these passages yields this explanation : He was the seventh 
son of Jesse by his first wife, but younger than another son 


of Jesse Uy his second wife; therefore he was the seventh 
son in the sense meant, and yet he was the eighth and the 
youngest son of Jesse. 

As we progress in the history, we will find other members 
of David's kindred becoming quite prominent in the history, 
and some of them adding much to the troubles and trage- 
dies of his life. His three oldest brothers are mentioned in 
this section as being in Saul's army, and EHhu, another 
brother, when David organized the kingdom, becomes cap- 
tain of the tribe of Judah. Amasa, the son of his sister, 
Abigail, is a very prominent figure in the history, and with 
Abishai, Joab and Asahel, sons of his sister, Zeruiah, have 
much more to do with his history. One of his uncles, Jona- 
dab, becomes an occasional counsellor in his reign, and one 
of his brothers becomes a mighty champion. 

Our story commences under the following conditions: 
First, Saul, under two great tests, has failed to comply with 
the kingdom charter, losing the dynasty by the first, and 
his personal right to reign by the second, but he is yet king 
de facto, though not de jure. That means he is king in 
fact, but not in right. Jehovah has utterly withdrawn from 
any communication with him, and an evil spirit is leading 
him to ruin. The Philistines still wage sore war against 
him. Samuel, the aged prophet, has withdrawn from him, 
and is teaching in his school of the prophets at Ramah. 
Jehovah has already announced to Saul, not only the loss 
of the throne to his dynasty and his personal rejection as 
king, but that the Lord hath sought Him a man after His 
own heart, and commanded him to be captain over His 
people; but so far there has been no designation of this 
man, and you must particularly note that after the designa- 
tion his rule does not commence until Saul has wrought 
out his own ruin. 

The section opens with Jehovah's designation of the man 
by lot, and his anointing by Samuel. Samuel's fear that 


Saul will kill him if he anoints a successor is assuaged by 
Jehovah's directions as to the method and purpose of the 
anointing. It is not the divine purpose to bring about a 
division of Israel under rival kings ; therefore Samuel must 
go to Bethlehem to offer sacrifices, which would not attract 
Saul's attention; then the designation by lot there, with 
the anointing, are private acts. The object of this is to 
begin the preparation of David for the kingly office, which 
he is not to assume until the time designated by Jehovah. 
At no time while Saul lives does either the Spirit impress 
David to assume the kingly office for which he has been 
anointed, nor does David of his own motion conspire against 
Saul, or in any way seek to weaken his authority. This 
time the basis of God's choice is not physical stature and 
strength, as in Saul's case, but the state of the heart in 
God's sight. 

The choice surprises everybody but God. Neither Samuel 
nor the family, nor David himself would have judged as 
Jehovah judged. Seldom indeed can parents, brother or 
sister point out the member of the family who shall become 
illustrious, nor does the illustrious one himself always an- 
ticipate his future honor and position. A boy often aspires 
to great things, and imagines most vividly the glories that 
shall rest on him when he shall have the world in a sling, 
and vividly pictures to himself a home-coming when all the 
other members of his family shall find shelter under his 
wings, and all the neighbors who had failed to recognize 
his budding genius shall stand with mouths agape, while 
salvos of artillery, unfurled banners, flower-decked streets 
proclaim his honor, while bands are playing "See, the Con- 
quering Hero Comes !" But time, the great revealer, shows 
these egotistical fancies to be as "the airy nothings" of a 

A boy in East Texas offered to take me from one preach- 
ing place to another, in order, as he stated, to tell me that 


he would be the governor of Texas, but I haven't heard 
from him since. Shakespeare says, "Some men are born 
great; some achieve greatness, and some have greatness 
thrust upon them," but being born to a high honor, or 
having it thrust upon you, will only add to your unfitness 
and make your failure more conspicuous, if you have not 
the character and training to wear it well. 

It may be that some one of my readers, in casting his 
horoscope, has seen himself a preacher cutting a wide swath, 
salary of $10,000 a year, no building able to hold his congre- 
gations, and glaring headlines in the great dailies announc- 
ing that he is "shaking the foundations of hell and opening 
the portals of Heaven." 

Some of my admiring friends, judging from my great 
knowledge of the history of wars, predicted that I would at 
least become a corps commander, should a war arise in my 
time. A war came and left me a high private, while only 
such "little" men as Lee, Jackson, Stuart and the Johnsons 
on one side, and Grant, Sherman, Sheridan and Thomas 
on the other side, wrote their names in the niches of the 
temple of fame — but these "little" men were all trained at 
West Point. 

The history we are studying makes it evident that Saul 
had neither the character nor the training to become a great 
ruler, but David had both. Woe to any of us who under- 
estimate the knowledge of these three things: (i) a right 
state of heart toward God, (2) the discipline of preparation 
and training, and (3) dependence on the power of the Holy 

Only men of great heart, great preparation and great 
power with God achieve anything worth while in the 

David's early life in the fields and valleys and mountains, 
with its isolation and loneliness given to meditation and 
reflection, put him near to nature's heart and impressed 


him with the fact that an individual man is insignificant in 
the scheme of God's great universe, and hence taught him 
to sing: "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy 
fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 
what is man, that thou art mindful of him, and the son of 
man that thou visitest him?" and also taught him to sing, 
"The heavens declare the glory of God ; and the firmament 
showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, 
and night unto night showeth knowledge." His occupation 
gave him the shepherd's heart, and evoked that sweetest of 
all hymns: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want," 
and that same shepherd office called out high courage that 
made him triumph in solitary grapple with the lion and the 
bear that would prey upon his flock, and gave him a match- 
less skill with the sling that would one day smite down a 
boasting giant. 

The hardships of this calling in such a field gave him 
toughness of fibre and power of endurance. He could bear 
hunger and cold and heat without fainting. He himself 
says that he became as "fleet of foot as a wild gazelle," and 
could conquer a goat in climbing a mountain. His asso- 
ciation with the school of the prophets gave him devotion 
of spirit, and developed that natural cunning of fingers that 
struck the strings of a harp in a way never equalled by 
any other bard. His music would not only charm a serpent, 
soothe a savage breast, drive away melancholy, but would 
dispossess the devil, and above all things, with his anoint- 
ing, the Spirit came upon him, and was never taken away 
from him. Only once he let Satan prompt him to do a 
disastrous thing, and once only through sin was he con- 
strained to pray, "Take not thy Holy Spirit from me, and 
renew a right spirit within me." 

Apart from this early life-preparation, before he appears 
in public and begins to reign so long and so well, there 
awaits him a novitiate of training under sufferings and per- 


secutions such as seldom fall to the lot of man. His per- 
sonal appearance is described in chapter 16:12 and 17:2, 
as ruddy of face, brilliant of eye, very handsome in his 
person. We are able to distinguish the Spirit's power that 
came on David from the same power on Saul. In Saul's 
case, it was only occasional, and finally utterly withdrawn; 
in David's case, the "Spirit abode on him from that day 
forward." An old writer thus distinguishes between a 
sinner and a saint : "The Spirit visits a sinner, but dwells 
with a saint ; and conversely, Satan visits a saint, but dwells 
with a sinner." A very fine thought. 

Here we come upon a controversy : What was the occa- 
sion of David's first introduction to the court of Saul? 
Was it the harp-playing of 16: 14-23, or was it the slaying 
of Goliath and the consequent victory, as told in chapter 
17? If the first, how do you account for Saul's ignorance 
of David when he appears on the second occasion, 17 : 55"5^» 
that is, Saul asking Abner, "Who is this young stripling?" 
and Abner saying, "I don't know." They don't seem to 
have ever heard of him. Some critics contend that I Sam. 
16 and 17 are from diflferent historic sources, and that they 
contradict each other flatly and irreconcilably in giving the 
occasion of David's introduction to the court of Saul. More- 
over, they say that if the harp-playing precedes the other, 
then the ignorance of not only Saul himself, but of the 
whole court concerning David and his father, is inexpHcable, 
especially as in the nature of the case there could be no 
great interval of time between the two events, since David 
is, in the second, twice called a "stripling." 

The possibility of two sources is conceded, but not the 
certainty of it. It is the custom of inspired writers to 
repeat on new occasions enough of the past history to make 
clear the context. The court of Saul was ignorant of David 
and his family on both occasions. The first time, only one 
of the servants knows anything about David and his family, 


and his skill of song and speech, and Jehovah's presence 
with him. The servant's word about David and his family 
would make no great or lasting impression on Saul and his 
court. The chief thing with them was the curing of Saul, 
and when after several harp-play ings, the cure seems per- 
manent, the human helper returns to the care of his flocks 
and is swiftly forgotten. You will understand their igno- 
rance from the fact that Samuel's anointing of David was 
not in the public eye, but in private, and the spiritual en- 
dowment that followed would be known only by a few 
neighbors having knowledge of David's shepherd life ; none 
of it was known abroad. His ministrations and harp-play- 
ing were in the sick-room and not before the court. More- 
over, Saul himself, while possessed of an evil spirit, suffered 
from mental aberration, which naturally impaired his mem- 
ory, and while the record of the harp-playing shows that 
Saul loved the healer, we all know by experience how grate- 
ful to the physician is every patient in the moment of relief, 
but if we continue well, how easily the physician passes out 
of our memory and life, until we get sick again. It is 
somewhat like the old proverb: 

"When the devil is sick, 

The devil a saint would be ; 
When the devil is well, 
The devil a saint is he !" 

Solomon says in his penitential book, "There is no re- 
membrance of former generations'' Eccles. i:ii. But 
there is no need to quote this general reflection of Solomon, 
since one of the most striking characteristics of human 
courts is that presence only keeps one in mind. Absence 
obliterates you from the memory of the great, to whom 
yesterday is a "long time ago," and with whom the new 
man or the new event fills all the vision. As an illustration 
of the characteristic of kings to forget their benefactors, 
the great Earl of Stratford, himself a notable illustration 


of this fact, said, when his death warrant was signed by 
the ungrateful Charles I, "Put not your trust in princes,'* 
so we needn't concern ourselves about the contradictions the 
critics are so ready to find. 

In all literature no book can be found more natural, more 
true to life, more vivid and simple in its records of past 
events, than I Samuel. Each event is recorded as by an 
eyewitness in its own independent setting, absolutely devoid 
of any strain to appear consistent with previous statements. 
Any lawyer will tell you that the evidence of a witness is 
to be distrusted when he labors to harmonize one statement 
with another. He is sure to tell a lie when he does that. 

Our conclusion, then, is fixed that the harp-playing pre- 
ceded the Goliath incident. Indeed, the evidence is positive 
that David did not continue at Saul's court on his first in- 
troduction. You were told in II Sam. 17: 12 that he would 
only come when there was the sickness, and then go back 
to his home ; but after his second introduction, as you learn 
from 18:2, Saul did not allow him to go home any more. 

Sir Walter Scott, in one of his romances, makes the harp- 
playing of a beautiful girl drive away the temporary mad- 
ness of a highland chief. In which romance is this incident 
related? I will ask also, What did Shakespeare say about 
the man devoid of music? Can you answer that? The 
question also arises: How do you explain the healing of 
Saul? The answer is obvious. The Spirit of the Lord in 
David's music was greater than the demon possessing Saul. 

Other items on the designation and anointing of David 
we need not discuss further, nor the healing of Saul by 
David's playing the harp, but something should be said 
about the fight with Goliath and the victory that ensued. 

We have before us a giant indeed, and we learn from 
other parts of the Bible that there was a family of these 
giants. This man was not the only one of the family. You 
would have a hard time carrying his spear, and you would 


be unable to carry his armor. The two armies came face 
to face, with just a ravine between, one on each hill. The 
one that advances has the task of going down hill under 
fire, and coming up a hill under charge ; therefore Goliath, 
the giant, according to custom, steps out and challenges 
anybody in Israel to test the fate of the two nations on a 
single combat, and in order to provoke a response, he, ac- 
cording to the usual custom, curses the gods of the people 
that he challenges. This happens for forty days in succes- 
sion. Israel is humbled; the Philistines triumph. About 
that time, Jesse wants to send some rations to his three 
boys in the army, just like parents sometimes send provi- 
sions to students in school, and David is appointed to carry 
them, and when he gets there, he hurriedly puts the provi- 
sions with the baggage of the army, and rushes to the front. 
He wants to see the fight, and he hears a shout and beholds 
that giant come out and repeat his insulting and blasphemous 
challenge, and he inquires why somebody has not responded. 
His older brother says, virtually, "You had better go back 
and be tied again to your mother's apron string. What's a 
little boy like you doing on a battle field where men only 
ought to be?" David responds that nothing he has said 
was out of place, and leaves the brethren, who did not be- 
lieve in him, as the brothers of our Lord did not believe 
in Him, and goes and mixes around among the soldiers and 
urges that somebody in the name of Jehovah could smite 
that giant, and that he is willing to undertake it. 

Saul, who had offered an immense reward to anyone 
who would accept the challenge and defeat the giant, in- 
cluding even his own daughter for a wife, hears of David's 
offer and sends for him. He is surprised to see a boy — a 
mere stripling — and he says: "You? You can't fight this 
'giant. " David says, "Sire, I can. I am the shepherd of 
my father's flock, and when a bear and a lion came out to 
prey on the flock, I fought them unarmed, and when they 


reared up against me, I took them by the mane and slew 
them." Saul was a much bigger man than David. He said, 
"I am willing to let you go if you will put on my armor." 
David put it on and took it off, saying that he could not 
fight in Saul's armor. What a text for the preacher! 
Never try to fight as some other man fights. Don't try to 
preach like Brother Truett. You can't do it. Don't imitate 

So David marches down against Goliath with nothing but 
a sling. He picks up in that ravine five pebbles. It excites 
the scorn of the giant that a boy unarmed should be sent 
against him, and he says, "Come up here and let me give 
your flesh to the fowls of the air," and again curses Jehovah. 
David never stops, but runs to meet him, puts a stone in 
the sling, whirling it around ; it flies and smites the giant in 
the middle of the forehead, and buries itself in his brain. 

The text says that the giant so struck fell on his face. 
Why did not he fall backwards? It is a notable fact, wit- 
nessed a thousand times on the battlefield, and in executing 
men by shooting, that when the firing squad fires and the 
bullets enter the man's heart, he always falls on his face, 
never backwards. It is one of these natural things that 
continually creep into Samuel's narrative that makes one 
know it is a true story. I have seen thousands of men 
fall in battle, and I never saw a man shot through the brain 
or heart that did not fall forwards. 

David rises up, takes Goliath's sword and cuts his head 
off, places the head at Jerusalem for the present, puts the 
armor in his tent, and here comes the question that you 
may answer: When does Goliath's sword appear again in 
the history? What did he do with it, and where does it 
come to light again? With the fall of the giant the Philis- 
tines are panic-stricken and the Israelites encouraged, and 
the fight joins, and it is in the book of Chronicles that we 
learn a fact not stated in Samuel. That passage about 


Shammah does not belong there where the harmonist puts 
it, but the one about Eleazar may be rightly placed. The 
fight was waged in a plat of ground full of barley. Eleazar 
stands with him and does great exploits, and so they put the 
Philistines to rout, and Eleazar afterwards, when David 
becomes king, is one of his mighty men. The victory is 
very great, and David returns and Saul appropriates him. 
He is never more allowed to go back to his father's house. 


1. What tfie general theme of the Harmony's third part of the 
reign of Saul ? 

2. What part of I Samuel covers the theme? 

3. How much does I Chronicles supplement? 

4. What the present section ? 

5. What new book commended? 

6. What the importance of the history of David, and its relation to 
the Psalms, the Mosaic law, the larger Messianic hope, the prophets, 
and the New Testament? 

7. What the richness of the literature on David, and the preacher's 
duty concerning it ? 

8. What items of special interest in genealogical tables of both 
Testaments concerning David ? 

9. Where his birthplace and home? 

ID. Was he the seventh or eighth son of Jesse, and what scriptures, 
when compared, answer the question ? 

11. Name other members of David's family, some of them quite 
prominent in the subsequent history, who add to the troubles and 
tragedies of his later life. 

12. State the conditions under which the story of his life opens. 

13. What the divisions of this section? 

14. Give the story of Jehovah's designation of David, and his 
anointing in such a way as to show they were both private. 

15. What the basis of the choice of king this time, and who were 
surprised at it, and why? 

16. What the author's observations on this point? 

17. What three things should a preacher never underestimate? 

18. What the elements of David's preparation to be king, arising 
from his early life and office? 

19. What says Shakespeare of the man devoid of music? 

20. What David's highest qualification immediately following his 
anointing, and contrast it with Saul's like qualification. 

21. What an old-time preacher's distinction on this point between 
a saint and a sinner? 

22. What apropos proverb concerning the devil? 

23. What David's personal appearance ? 

24. How do you dispose of the apparent contradiction between 


i6: 14-23 and 17: 12-58 as to the occasion of David's first introduction 
to the court of Saul ; and if you say the harp-playing was the first, then 
explain the ignorance of David and his family manifested by Saul 
and his court on the second introduction. 

25. How do you explain David's healing of Saul by music? 

26. In what romance does Sir Walter Scott give the story of a 
highland chief's madness being dispelled by a girl's harp-playing? 

27. What the relative position of the opposing armies of Saul and 
the Philistines? 

28. What the nature of Goliath's challenge, and why does he curse 
Jehovah ? 

29. What Saul's offer for reward for a champion who would defeat 

30. What the occasion of David's presence on the battle-field? 

31. Why his indignation that no Israelite responded to the chal- 
lenge, and his oldest brother's rebuke ? 

32. Show from his interview with Saul that faith and not 
immodesty prompted him to accept the challenge. 

33. Why did he reject Saul's armor, and rely upon his shepherd's 

34. Why did Goliath, when smitten, fall on his face? 

35. What the effect of the fall of Goliath on the two armies? 

36. What hero stood by David in the fight, before the main body 
of Saul's army arrives ? 

37. Tell the history of David's disposition of Goliath's head, armor 
and sword, and when again does the sword appear in the history? 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 84-87 

THIS discussion commences at I Sam. 18: i, and here 
we are confronted, first of all, by another text-diffi- 
culty. We saw in a former discussion that about 
27 verses of the 17th chapter did not appear in the Septua- 
gint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, but we 
know that those omissions must have been in the original 
Hebrew, for Josephus follows the text of the 17th chapter 
strictly in his history of the Jews, but when we come to 
the omissions in the i8th chapter from the Septuagint, 
Josephus does not give them. I repeat that our present 
Hebrew text was derived from late manuscripts of about 
the 9th or loth century. I do not mean to say that there 
were no Hebrew texts before that, for Jerome, who trans- 
lated the whole Bible into Latin, the edition called the "Vul- 
gate," in the 4th century, had Hebrew texts before him, 
and in a Roman Catholic English Bible we find Jerome's 
Latin Bible translated into English and called the "Douay 
Bible," which contains every word of our text. There are 
about 14 verses of the iSth chapter that do not appear in 
any manuscript of the Septuagint which we have except the 
Alexandrian manuscript, and it seems to be added there. 
It is not in the Vatican manuscript of the Septuagint, but 
we may thoroughly rely upon everything set forth in the 
17th and i8th chapters as being a part of the Word of God. 
Before commencing to expound this section I call atten- 



tion to a word in the 27th verse of the i8th chapter, "tale" 
— "a full tale." That is an old English word not much 
used now. I give an example of its old EngHsh use. Milton 
in one of his poems, "L' Allegro," uses this language : 

"Every shepherd tells his tale, 
Under the hawthorne in the dale." 

What is the meaning of the word, "tale?" Does it mean 
that every shepherd tells his story, or narrative ? No ; that 
is not the meaning of the old English word, "tale." "Every 
shepherd tells his number, his reckoning of the sheep." 
From that we get our English word, "tally." The shep- 
herds number their flocks in the evening to see if they have 
the same number that they took out in the morning. "Every 
shepherd makes his tally, under the hawthorne in the dale." 
That is what Milton means. 

There is another old English word in chapter 18:30 — 
"set," "much set by." What does "set" mean there? The 
meaning of "set" in such a connection is "esteem." We 
say, "I set great store by such a man," which means, "I 
esteem him very much." 

Yet another English word in this section, where Jona- 
than's bow and arrows are called "artillery." Our meaning 
of the word "artillery" is confined to cannon, but the origi- 
nal word meant any implement of war. These remarks on 
"tale," "set" and "artillery" are to show the changes that 
have taken place in the signification of words in the English 
language since the Bible was translated by the King James 
revisers. Paul says, "I purposed to come unto you, (but 
was let hitherto)." Now "let" means "permitted;" then it 
meant "hindered" — "I was hindered hitherto." 

Having disposed of that reference to the text, and those 
four instances of the changed meaning of old English words, 
we will take up the discussion proper. I commence with 
this observation, that from the 18th to the 26th chapter, 
inclusive, we have a section of the history that ought to 


be studied at one sitting. It is a pity to break it up into 
fragments. The parts are so intimately related that we 
need to have the whole of the story before us in order to 
get in their relations certain great lessons. These lessons 

1. These nine chapters, from the i8th to the 26th inclu- 
sive, show a protracted conflict between hate and love, and 
love's final triumph ; Saul's hate against David ; the love of 
Jonathan, Michal, the people, the prophets and the priests 
for David, warring against Saul's hate of David, and we 
see Satan inspiring the hate and Jehovah inspiring the love. 
That is the first lesson of these nine chapters. 

2. These chapters show that there is a conflict between 
folly and wisdom, for hate is folly and love is wisdom; 
therefore the hating man is showing himself to be a fool at 
every step of the history, and the loving man is showing 
himself to be wise at every step of the history. Not only 
is hate criminal, but it is the most foolish passion in which 
you can indulge. The remarkable wisdom and forbearance 
of David defeat all the folly of Saul's hate. That is one 
of the most evident things in the nine chapters. Under 
similar conditions not one man in a million would imitate 
David; not one in any number of millions under similar 
conditions would do as David did unless he were influenced 
by the Holy Spirit of God. History abounds in lessons to 
show that men, under long, continued provocations, not only 
strike back, which David didn't do, but they become traitors 
to their own countries when the persecuting one is the ruler 
of the country. If they are not under the influence of God, 
they will end in becoming traitors. 

We have a signal example in Benedict Arnold. There 
was not a more valiant soldier and capable general in the 
army in the Revolution than Benedict Arnold. He was 
the bravest of the brave, but Congress not only showed 
lack of appreciation of him, but put one indignity on him 


after another. Then he acted unHke David — he sold his 
country to the British and became a general in the British 

In studying Roman history we see the same thing in 
Coriolanus. When the Romans mistreated this great gen- 
eral he went over to the enemy of Rome, the Volsci, and 
led a triumphant army to the very gates of Rome. The 
Romans in terror asked his mother to go and plead with 
him to spare Rome. She went out and appealed to his 
patriotism and to his love of family. He said, "Mother, 
you have saved Rome, but you have lost your son ; for the 
Volsci will kill me unless I capture Rome," and they did 
kill him when he refused to capture Rome. 

When a man is not under the guidance of God's Holy 
Spirit and injuries are put upon him, he will strike back 
and resort ultimately to any expedient to glut his vengeance. 

3. The third great lesson is the historian's graphic de- 
scription of the progress of the passions, whether good or 
bad, ever developing until each one comes to a final crystal- 
lization. More than once I have told you of that power of 
the historian in I Samuel in tracing developments. 

4. The fourth lesson is that both hate and love recog- 
nize the will of Jehovah in the passing events. We see 
Saul's hate discovering in David's triumph that he is the 
rival whom God has appointed to succeed him, and we will 
see Jonathan's love discovering the same thing. 

5. The fifth lesson is the distinct stages of Saul's re- 
morse when under the influence of Jonathan's counsel and 
David's good will. 

6. The sixth lesson is the progress in the attachment 
between David and Jonathan. There is nothing like it in 
the history of the world, though we find in the classics the 
remarkable love between Damon and Pythias. There are 
three distinct covenants between Jonathan and David. 

7. The whole story shows that if God be for a man. 


neither man nor devil can be against him successfully, and 
that if God be against a man none can be successfully for 
him. As Paul puts it: ''If God be for us, who can be 
against us?" Oftentimes we have to fight public opinion. 
Oftentimes we feel that we are isolated from our kind on 
account of the position that we are compelled to take as 
God's representative, but let this comfort us, that if God be 
for us ; if, indeed, we are on God's side, nothing ultimately 
will prevail against us. 

8. The eighth lesson is that high above Saul, Jonathan, 
Michal, David, we see two worlds interested — Satan en- 
deavoring to thwart the establishment of the kingdom of 
God and using Saul and others as his instruments, and 
Jehovah proceeding to establish His kingdom and using 
David, Jonathan and others as His instruments. 

// we don't recognize the fact that the world above and 
the world beneath touch human lives and have much to do 
with events, then we never can understand the history of 
any one man, much less one nation. 

That was the trouble in Job's mind. If he could have 
seen what the historian tells us about, that coming together 
of the angels, good and bad, when God held His stated 
meeting of angels, and knew that an evil angel was seeking 
to do him harm, and that he could not do this except as 
God permitted it, then he could have understood why un- 
deserved afflictions came upon hirh, and why God permitted 
them. Homer, while holding to the wrong kind of gods, 
not only follows the true poetical idea, but he follows the 
true idea in representing all the gods and goddesses as inter- 
ested in the Trojan war. I have studied it so much that 
when a war commences, say between Japan and Russia, I 
look for the devil's tracks and also look for the tracks of 
Jehovah, and I can better understand the issue of wars 
when I do that. 

These are the great lessons that are set forth in the nine 


chapters. We will commence now and discover these great 
lessons one after another as we take up the story seriatim, 
and we note first the progress of Saul's hate. What was 
the origin of Saul's hate? When he committed his first sin 
God announced to him that He had selected a man after 
His own heart to whom He would give the kingdom, and 
when Saul committed his second sin God again refers to 
His purpose to substitute for Saul a better man. That 
rankles in Saul's mind. Always he carries that thought 
with him: ^'Somebody is to be put up to succeed me," and 
hence he will be looking around, watching every arriving 
man — "Maybe he is the one." There we see the origin 
of it. 

The first expression of it comes in this section, which 
says that after the great victory over the Philistines by 
David described in the last chapter, and the pursuit clear 
to the gates of the Philistine cities, that when the army 
returned home the women, according to a custom of that 
time and of this time, determined to celebrate the return 
of the victorious army, so they sang, antiphonally. It was 
like the responsive singing of Miriam and her choir in the 
paean of deliverance after the safe passage of the Red Sea. 
The record says that they sang antiphonally, and the first 
part of them would sing, "Saul hath slain his thousands" 
and the other part would respond, "But David hath slain 
his ten thousands." 

When these women sang that way it excited Saul's wrath, 
and he instantly thought of what God had announced, and 
he says, "What more is there for him but the kingdom?" 
"Here is a man who has gained a great victory and the 
people are with him, and even the women are putting him 
above me," hence the text says that from that day Saul 
eyed David. When a man looks at another sideways under 
lowered lids, that is what we call "eyeing a man." He is 
under suspicion from that time on. That is the first 


expression of the hate of Saul, and you find it in chapter 

We now come to a truth of very great importance. In 
a previous part of the book we have seen that God, in 
David's music, could exorcise the demon in Saul, and did 
do it, and for quite a while Saul was not under the posses- 
sion of the demon, but here comes a word from our Lord 
fitting the case exactly. It is found in Matt. 12 : 43-45 : 
"The unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passeth 
through waterless places seeking rest, and findeth it not. 
Then he saith, I will return into my house whence I came 
out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and 
garnished. Then goeth he and taketh with himself seven 
other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and 
dwell there : and the last state of that man becometh worse 
than the first." That is pertinent to this case. A demon 
may be cast out once, then, as Jesus says to a man under 
similar conditions, "Go and sin no more, lest a worse thing 
befall thee." Should that demon come back he cannot again 
be exorcised. The text here is the proof. When that evil 
spirit, taking advantage of Saul's hate, re-entered Saul, they 
sent for the usual remedy — David must come and play for 
him. But David plays and the spirit does not leave. On 
the contrary, he prompts Saul to thrust a javelin at the 
heart of David. That is the pivotal point in Saul's case. 
There he passes the boundary line. 

"There is a time, we know not when ; 
A place, we know not where; 
That marks the destiny of men 
To glory or despair." 

It is as if a man under the habit of drunkenness is cured 
at a sanitarium. Let him beware of ever falling into the 
habit again; the sanitarium won't cure him the next time. 
In other words, a sinner that does not avail himself of the 
means of grace that are applied to him will ultimately get 


past feeling; like Pharaoh, his heart will be hardened until 
it never can be softened again. Like Ephraim, he will 
become wedded to his idols. 

The most notable instance of this that ever came within 
my experience was at a meeting that I held in the old Provi- 
dence Church in Burleson County. Ah! what a meeting! 
Seventy days and nights, until it seemed that every sinner 
in fifteen miles of the place was converted. One night 
when I made an appeal to see if we could find anybody that 
was unsaved, a white-haired old man got up and said, "I 
am the man. I have been watching your meetings. There 
was a time when such things moved my heart, but I kept 
trifling with the monitions of the Spirit of God that im- 
pelled me to turn to Christ and be saved, and in one meeting 
after another I resisted and said, *No, No, No,' and at last, 
as if God had said to me, 'Your no shall be forever,' all 
feelings in that direction were taken away from me, and as 
I stand up here before you tonight telling you this experi- 
ence, you see a man doomed, without hope of mercy, simply 
because the Spirit of God, who alone can lead a man to 
salvation, has departed from me forever." It made a 
solemn impression. 

We notice now that the spirit can't be reached by music, 
even when God is in the music, and hence there is an attempt 
to destroy David's Hfe. The next step is found in verse 12. 
That tells us that Saul was afraid because God's Spirit was 
on David, and had left him. There is one of the conse- 
quences that the Spirit of God has left — fear. He was 
afraid, and he was afraid of David, so he takes another 
step to destroy David. He removed him from office near 
his person and gave him a position in the firing line of the 
army, not to honor David by that promotion, but the text 
tells us he did it in the hope that David may perish by the 
hands of the Philistines, in some of the fights. We have 
an old saying coming from Virgil, ^'Beware of the Greeks 


bringing gifts.'* That was said when they left the Trojans 
that great wooden horse, which had 500 Greeks hidden in 
it. It was so large they could not bring it in through the 
gates, and had to break down the wall to get it in, and that 
night the Greeks came out of the horse and opened the 
gates and the city was taken. And that was Saul's mean- 
ing when he promoted David to this high office in his service. 
He meant to destroy him by it. ^ 

The next step in the progress is in verse 15. When Saul 
saw that David acted very wisely in the new position he 
was "more afraid." David didn't get killed. God took 
care of him, and he acted so wisely in the administration of 
the new office that it increased Saul's fear. 

We come to verse 17, and ask what next Saul will do? 
What of this hate of his? To what expedient will he now 
resort? He approaches David secretly through his officers, 
as though he was conferring another great honor on him. 
and offers his daughter in marriage. He should be the 
son-in-law of the king if he will give — not money for her 
dowry, for David did not have it — but "Kill me 100 Philis- 
tines and bring evidence that you have killed them and com- 
plete the tally" — that is, let the number be counted. Now 
what was his object? He didn't want David in his family, 
but he would set a snare by the use of his own daughter, 
and the object of it would be to put David in a position of 
personal danger. Saul's thought was that in fighting the 
100 Philistines some one would kill him. 

Verse 20 shows progress again. "And when Saul saw it 
was Jehovah with David, and that all the people of Israel 
loved him, he was more afraid." Your text says that 
Michal loved him. The real text is, "When Saul saw that 
Jehovah was with him and that all the people loved him he 
was more afraid." Notice the progress, and that is this 
evil spirit in Saul increasing his madness, and they try the 
music remedy one more time. So David is sent for to play 


before Saul, and again the evil spirit prompts Saul, and he 
thrusts a javelin at him the second time. David saw that 
he could not longer fool with that kind of situation and he 
left and went to his own private house. There is a Hmit 
to the power of music. True, Shakespeare says, 

"A man who has no music in his soul, 
Nor concord of sweet sound, 
Is fit for treason, stratagems and spoils." 

The next step in the progress of that hate is in chapter 
19. Saul called Jonathan to him and certain of his officers 
and gave them a peremptory command to execute David. 
Jonathan says, "Father, what hath he done? He doesn't 
deserve death. He hath never done you any harm. Why 
should David be slain ?" The pleading of the beloved Jona- 
than prevails. When Jonathan so humbly pleads, Saul's 
heart melts and David comes back and heads the whole 
army and wins another glorious victory over the Philistines. 
And now Saul's hate will not respect the pleading of Jona- 
than, so David went to his home saying that he could not 
stay near Saul without provoking death. 

Then follows an incident that David commemorates in the 
Psalms. They surround his house. One of the most des- 
picable acts of tyranny is what is called "domiciliary visi- 
tation." Man's home is regarded as his castle, and when 
the privacy of his home is invaded by espionage or by an 
attempt to take life on his own hearthstone, there is no 
step beyond that a tyrant can go. Revolution comes when 
that is attempted. That is why the Huguenots left France ; 
the dragoons were stationed in their homes, and the privacy 
of the home was violated. They could not even in private 
whisper to each other but the words were heard by some 
of these spies and reported. In the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence that is one of the accusations against the king 
— that he had stationed troops in private houses without 


the consent of the people. It made a marvelous impression 
on David's mind that night when he looked out and saw the 
sentinels all around his house. David's wife helps him that 
time. She says, "If you don't escape tonight, tomorrow 
you will be a dead man," and a woman when she is stirred 
up in a matter and puts her wits to work is not easy to 
thwart. So she puts a teraphim — a wooden image — in 
David's bed and tied a wig or something over it and wrapped 
the image up to represent a man sleeping, and when the 
soldiers came in to arrest David she said, "You see he is 
sleeping," and they waited till morning and David got away. 


1. What textual difficulty in I Sam. i8, and what the discussion 
thereon ? 

2. What the meaning of the old English word, "tale," and what 
other English word is derived from it? 

3. What the meaning of the old English word, "set," in the phrase, 
"much set by," in I Sam. 18 : 30? 

4. What the meaning of the word, "artillery," as used in this 
connection ? 

5. What the meaning of the word, "let," as used by Paul in Rom. 
1 : 13, and what the lessons of these uses of the words, "tale," "set," 
"artillery," and "let?" 

6. What chapters of I Samuel should be studied as one section, 
and why? 

7. What the great lessons of these chapters? 

8. In what two respects is David's self-restraint under these per- 
sistent and murderous attacks of Saul without a parallel, and what 
two great men under less provocation became traitors to their native 

9. ^ What the difficulty in Job's mind, and what instance in the 
classics referred to in illustrating it? 

10. What the origin of Saul's hate, and what the first expression 
of it? 

11. What the words which so graphically describe Saul's hate, and 
the counter-progress of David's wisdom? 

12. What saying of our Lord shows the fearful state of a man who 
allows an exorcised demon to re-enter the soul? 

13. Show by David's music, Jonathan's intercession, and the gift 
of prophesying that what expels the demon the first time will not 
avail the second time. 

14. Quote the stanza given to illustrate the sin against the Holy 

15. Relate the incident given to illustrate this sin. 


i6. What the steps of progress in Saul's hate of David as revealed 
in his efforts to take his life? 

17. What does Shakespeare say of a man who has no music in his 

18. In what Psalm does David commemorate the watching around 
his house at night? 

19. How does David escape from that house, and what later and 
greater Saul escaped like David through a window? 

20. What illustrations of this incident of watching around David's 
house in later history? 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 87-91 

LET us trace in the Old Testament the usage of the 
word, "teraphim," which occurs in chapter 19 : 13 : 
"And Michal took the teraphim, and laid it in the 
bed, and put a pillow of goat's hair at the head thereof and 
covered it with the clothes," answering this five-fold ques- 
tion: (i) Is the word, "teraphim," ever used in a good 
sense? (2) What was it? (3) Was its use a violation of 
the first or the second commandment? (4) What the 
meaning of such an image being in David's house? (5) 
Show how in history the use of images became a dividing 
line between Protestants and Romanists, and what the 
danger of their use even as a help toward the worship of 

We find the first use of it in Genesis 31 : 19, 26, 31 and 
34. That chapter shows how Jacob and his wives and chil- 
dren and property left his father-in-law, Laban, on their 
return to the Holy Land, and that Rachel stole her father's 
"teraphim;" and when Laban pursues, as we find in the 
same chapter, it is one of his accusations against Jacob that 
he had stolen his household gods. Jacob invites him to 
make a search and Rachel puts them under a camel-saddle 
and sits down on the saddle and won't get up, and so Laban 
can't find them. Then, in Genesis 35 : 2 Jacob orders all 
of his family to put away those false gods. 

The next use of the word comes in Judges 17 and 18. 
The history is this: Micah, in the days of the judges, makes 



to himself molten and graven images and teraphim and puts 
them in a separate room in his house, i.e., has a little temple, 
and consecrates his own son to be a priest, but eventually 
there comes along a Levite, who is a descendant of Moses 
through Gershom, and Micah employs this Levite on a salary 
to be his priest and to conduct his worship through these 
images graven, molten and the teraphim, using an ephod. 
A little later the Danites on their migration capture all 
these household gods of Micah, and the priest as well. 
Micah pursues and complains that they robbed him of his 
gods. The Danites advise him to go home and keep his 
mouth shut, and in the meantime they capture Laish in the 
northern part of the Holy Land and set up these same 
images and use that same descendant of Moses with the 
ephod to seek Jehovah through those images. 

The next time we findi the word is in this section, where 
Michal took a teraphim and put it in David's bed and made 
it look like somebody asleep. The next usage of the word 
is found in H Kings 23 : 24, in the early part of the great 
reformation led by King Josiah, who, after the law of the 
Lord had been found, causes all Judah to put away the 
teraphim and everything that was contrary to the Mosaic 

We find it next in order of time in Hosea 3 : 4, where a 
prediction is made that Israel for a long time shall be with- 
out king or ephod or teraphim, and the last use is in Ezek. 
21 :22, 23. Ezekiel in exile shows how the king of Babylon 
came to the forks of the road and used divinations, etc., by 
the use of teraphim. 

The word is never used in a good sense. Jehovah ap- 
points His own way of approach to Him and of ascertaining 
the future, condemning the use of teraphim in approaching 
Him. Even that passage in Hosea only shows that after 
the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the Jews for a long 
time — the present time included — will have no king, no 


ephod, no teraphim. That is, they would in no sense be 
idolaters, and yet their worship of Jehovah for this long 
period — including the present time — will be empty and vain 
until just before the millennial times, when they in one day 
accept the long-rejected Messiah. 

A teraphim is an image, but it is distinguished from 
graven or molten images in two particulars : ( i ) it is carved 
out of wood; (2) it always represented a human form, 
whereas the graven and molten images were always of metal 
and oftenest took the form of the lower animals, like the 
calf that Aaron made at Sinai, and the calves set up by 
Jeroboam at Dan and Bethel. To make the distinction 
clearer by a passage in the New Testament, the image of 
the great goddess Diana at Ephesus (Acts 19) which was 
said to have fallen down from heaven, was a teraphim ; that 
is, was a wooden image in human form and a very ugly one, 
but the little silver shrines of the temple of Diana made by 
Demetrius, the silversmith, and other silversmiths, were 
either graven or molten images. 

Another distinction is that the graven and the molten 
images were oftenest worshiped as gods, the teraphim often- 
est used as a method of approach to their gods, and both of 
them were violations of the second commandment. 

The teraphim in David's house was Michal's, not David's, 
as the stolen teraphim of Laban's was Rachel's and not 
Jacob's. There is no evidence that either Jacob or David 
ever resorted to teraphim or favored their use. 

Coming now to the last part of the question, one of the 
chief issues between the Protestants and the Romanists in 
the Reformation was that the Romanists multiplied images 
in their worship — metallic or wooden images. For instance, 
an image of Jesus on the cross, an image of the Virgin 
Mary, the cross itself, or the image of some saint. These, 
when carved out of wood representing human form, were 
teraphim, but when they were made out of metal were 


graven or molten images. While the better and more 
learned class of the Romanists only use these images as 
objective aids to worship, the masses of the people become 
image worshipers, bowing down before the image of the 
Virgin Mary and ascribing adoration to her and praying 
to her, and ascribing all the grace of salvation to her. Even 
the pope himself says, in one of his proclamations, that the 
fountain of all grace is in Mary. In this way they violate 
that fundamental declaration of our Lord that God is a 
Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in 
spirit and in truth. The Greek word, eikon, an image, 
equals in sense the Hebrew word, "teraphim," and other 
images, so when the Protestants, in their fury against what 
they called idolatry, would break up these images wherever 
they found them they were called "iconoclasts," i.e., "break- 
ers of images." Hence, when Charles I wrote that famous 
book, "Eikon," Oliver Cromwell demanded of Milton that 
he write a reply to it, and he named his reply "Iconoclast," 
a breaker of the image. The image question is a big one 
in history. 

There is a relation to that teraphim of Michal and her 
wifely relation to David. It showed that while indeed she 
loved David when he was a prosperous man, she had no 
sympathy with his religion, nor was she willing to share 
his exile and its sufferings. She could never say to him 
what Ruth said to Naomi: "Entreat me not to leave thee, 
nor cease from following after thee; for where thou lodgest 

I will lodge, thy people shall be my people, and thy God 
my God. Where thou diest I will die, and there will I be 
buried." When David's fortunes were eclipsed she readily 
enough consented to become the wife of another man, to 
whom her father gave her, and whom she loved more than 
she had ever loved David. When David, after he became 
king, sent for her to be returned to him, as we learn from 

II Sam. 3, she came unwillingly, and at a still later date 


when David brought the Ark from Kirjath-jearim to put 
it in Jerusalem and participated in the reHgious exercises of 
the day, Michal looked out of the window and saw him and 
despised him, and when he came in she broke out on him 
in scornful speech, mocking him for the part he had taken 
in that day's religious service. When a wife differs so 
radically from her husband in his religion as Michal did, the 
marital relation is much affected by it. 

The reconciliation of the declaration in II Sam. 6 : 23 that 
Michal to the day of her death had no children, with the 
declaration in chapter 21:8 that there were five sons of 
Michal, is this : In the second passage the word Michal 
should be Merab, the older sister of Michal, who was 
married to Adriel, the Meholathite, and bare him five 
sons who were gibbeted to appease the wrath of the 

Fleeing from Saul, David rightly seeks refuge with 
Samuel at Ramah, and Samuel took him to Naioth of 
Ramah. Being banished from the king, quite naturally 
and appropriately he sought the prophet, and when he came 
to Samuel, the prophet took him from Ramah to Naioth; 
that means the Seminary buildings where the school of the 
prophets was assembled, as if we had said, "He went from 
Waco to Ft. Worth and to Naioth of Ft. Worth," i.e., the 
Seminary of Ft. Worth. That is a very important passage. 
It refers to the buildings in which the school of the prophets 
assembled for instruction. 

But Saul's relentless hate toward David manifested itself 
in this place of refuge. Hearing that David was there, he 
sent messengers to take him, but when the messengers 
came within the orbit of influence of that school of the 
prophets the spirit of the prophets fell on the messengers 
and they prophesied. This happened three times in suc- 
cession. Finally Saul came himself, and it fell on him so 
violently that he tore off his outer clothing and in an 


ecstasy of prophesying fell down in a trance before Samuel 
and remained in that helpless condition all night long. 

The compliment to Naioth is this: A nuimber of God's 
people, together studying His word, filled with His Spirit, 
the spiritual atmosphere of the place becomes a bar against 
the approach of evil. The evil-minded who come to mock 
remain to pray. I have seen revival meetings get to such 
power that emissaries of the devil, children of Belial, who 
would come there to break up the meeting, would be over- 
powered by its force. That was notably illustrated in the 
early days of Methodism, and particularly in the rise of the 
Cumberland Presbyterians. My son has given a very vivid 
account of that time, and of how wicked men would be 
seized with jerks and finally fall helpless into a trance when 
they attended these revival meetings. 

The main points of David's next attempt at self-protec- 
tion are as follows: Doubtless through Samuel's advice, 
David, while Saul lay in that trance, left Naioth and went 
back to make another appeal to Jonathan. The reason 
that he did this was that Jonathan, in his first intercession 
in behalf of David, had succeeded in pacifying the wrath 
of his father toward him. Their meeting is graphically 
described in the text. There isn't a more touching passage 
in any piece of history than Jonathan's solemn promise 
that if his father meant evil that he would inform David, 
and the plan they arranged to test whether Jonathan's sec- 
ond attempt would be successful. 

With the Jews the new moon was a Sabbath, no matter 
on what day of the week it came, and they had a festival, 
and there was one just ahead. On these new moon festivals 
all of the official household of Saul had to be present, so 
it was arranged that when Saul observed that David's place 
was vacant at that festival and he made inquiry about it, 
Jonathan would say, "He asked me to give him permission to 
go to his brother's house and partake in the new moon sacri- 


fices at home with his family," then if Saul manifested no 
anger, that would be a sign that David could return. So 
on the second day of the new moon festival, Saul looked 
around, and seeing David's seat empty on such an important 
occasion, directly asked Jonathan where he was, and Jona- 
than told him, according to the arrangement made with 
David, at which Saul became furious against Jonathan and 
denounced him in awful language, and when Jonathan 
makes his last appeal, Saul hurls a javelin at him. Jonathan, 
insulted, outraged, gets up and leaves the table and goes 
out and shows David that it will never do to return to Saul, 
that he must seek refuge elsewhere, and they renew their 
covenant. Jonathan says, ''I know you will be king, and I 
will be next to you, and when you arei king be good to my 
family." We will have some sad history on that later, 
about whether David did fulfill his solemn pledge to Jona- 
than to be good to Jonathan's family when David had the 

David next seeks refuge at Nob, where the priests and 
the tabernacle were — not the Ark — that was at Kirjath- 
jearim — but the priests were assembled in the village of 
Nob with the high priest. David came, and did not relate 
to the priests the malice of Saul toward him, but came worn 
out, exhausted, famished with hunger, and the priest gives 
him to eat of the shew bread, unlawful for any but a priest 
to eat. The priest inquires through the Ephod what David 
wants to find out from Jehovah, and gives to him the sword 
of Goliath. You know I gave you a direction to trace that 
sword of Goliath's ; to ascertain what became of it. It had 
been carried to the tabernacle at Nob, and the priest gave 
it to David. David left there because he saw a rascal in 
the crowd, Doeg, the Edomite, one of Saul's "lick-spittle" 
followers, and he said to the high priest, "That fellow will 
tell all of this to Saul when he gets back home." 

The New Testament reference to that is when the Phari- 


sees were springing questions on our Lord He showed them 
that the Sabbath law, Hke other laws, always had exceptions 
in cases of judgment, mercy and necessity. Though it be 
the Sabbath day when a man found an ass crushed under 
his burden or an ox in the ditch, he must work to relieve 
that poor beast, so, while it was against the law for anybody 
but a priest to eat the shew bread, yet, in a case of necessity, 
David being famished, the priest did right to give him the 
shew bread and he did right to eat it. 

What the result? We learn that when this Doeg went 
back and told Saul, he sent for the whole family of the 
priests and they came, and he demanded why they had shel- 
tered and fed his enemy and used the Ephod in his behalf. 
The high priest explained. Saul told him that everyone of 
them should die, but he could find no officer who would put 
them to death. It seemed to be sacrilegious, until Doeg, 
this Edomite, took great pleasure in killing the last one of 
them. Then Saul sent and destroyed, root and branch, 
women and children, the entire village and all the priests 
at Nob. 

David's next attempt to find a refuge failed, but he suc- 
ceeded later. He went to Achish, the king of the Philistines 
at Gath, and they were not ready to greet him. They be- 
lieved that he came upon an evil mission. They said he 
was the man that had brought all the ruin on the Philistines, 
concerning whom the women sang, "Saul hath slain his 
thousands, and David his ten thousands." To preserve him- 
self from the danger of death that threatened him he feigned 
madness, and so deceived the king. A North American In- 
dian would have done the same thing. They never shoot or 
strike the insane, believing them under the hand of a spirit. 

David's next effort at self -protection was at the cave of 
Adullam, and the record states that everyone that was in 
distress or in debt or discontented gathered unto him and 
he became a captain over them. Quite a number of mighty 


men, the greatest fighters then known to the world, came to 
him. A company came to him from Judah and Benjamin ; 
his father's household came, fearing that Saul would destroy 
them, so that he organized a fighting force of four hundred 
men that has never been equaled by the same number of 
men. A little later we will see that it had grown to 600 
men by other accessions. All of them were heroes and 
great fighters. Then there came to him Abiathar, the last 
one of the high priest's family when Saul had destroyed 
the village of Nob, and there came to him some of the 
prophets, especially Gad, who remains with him all the 
time, and who wrote a part of the history we are discussing. 

So that cave was the scene of the change in the fortunes 
of David. It makes little difference now whether he stays 
in Judah or goes anywhere else with that crowd back of 
him ; nobody is able to harm him. It was at this time that 
he took his father and mother, who were old and couldn't 
move swiftly with his fighting force, over to Moab, across 
the Jordan, doubtless relying upon the fact that Ruth, the 
Moabitess, was an ancestor of his, and the king of Moab 
sheltered the father and mother of David; but Gad, the 
prophet, admonishes David to leave Moab and go back 
to Judah. God would take care of him in his own land if 
he trusted Him, and so he went back to Judah. 

In view of Moab's kindness to David's family, the Jews 
acquit David of the severe measures adopted by him toward 
the Moabites at a later day, to the history of which we will 
come later. They say that the king of Moab murdered 
David's father and mother who had been left in his charge, 
and that David swept them with fire and sword for it when 
he got to them. 

The great sermons in our day which have been preached 
on this part of David's career are: (i) Melville's sermon on 
David's feigning madness at the court of Achish. A re- 
markable sermon. (2) Spurgeon's great sermon on the 


Cave of Adullam from the text, "And every one that was in 
distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that 
was discontented, gathered themselves unto him, and he 
became a captain over them." Spurgeon used that to illus- 
trate how a similar class of people gathered around Christ, 
and He became a captain over them. Every one that was 
in debt, or distress, or sick, or poverty-stricken, whatever 
the ailment, or in despair about the affairs of life, came to 
Jesus and He became a captain over them. It is a great 


1. Trace in the Old Testament the usage of the word, "teraphim," 
which occurs in chapter 19: 13: "And Michal took the teraphim, and 
laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goat's hair at the head thereof 
and covered it with the clothes," answering the following questions : 
(i) Is the word, "teraphim," ever used in a good sense? (2) What 
was it? (3) Was its use a violation of the first or second command- 
ment? (4) What is the meaning of such an image being in David's 
house? (5) Show how in history the use of images became a dividing 
line between Romanists and Protestants, and what the danger of their 
use, even as a help toward the worship of God. 

2. What bearing has Michal's teraphim on her wifely relation 
to David, and what the proofs in later times ? Reconcile II Sam. 6 : 2^ 
with II Sam. 21 : 8. 

3. Fleeing from Saul, with whom does David rightly seek refuge, 
and what the distinction between Ramah and Naioth in chap. 
19: 18, 19? 

4. How does Saul's relentless hate toward David manifest itself 
in this place of refuge, what the result, and what the compliment 
to Naioth? 

5. Give the main points of David's next attempt at self-protection, 
show why he resorted to it, and what the issue. 

6. With whoni next does David seek refuge, what the main 
incidents, what the New Testament reference thereto, why did David 
leave that refuge, and what the results to the priests for sheltering 

7. What was David's next attempt to find a refuge, why did it fail 
this time but succeed later, what was David's expedient to escape 
from the danger, and why did that expedient succeed? 

8. What was David's next effort at self-protection, what accessions 
came to him, and what was the result on his future fortunes? 

9. In view of the Moab's kindness to David's family, how do the 
Jews acquit David of the severe measures adopted by him toward 
the Moabites at a later day? 

10. What great sermons in our day have been preached on this 
part of David's career? 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 91-96 

THIS section is very thrilling, containing many stirring 
adventures and hair-breadth escapes, showing the 
play of the mighty passions of love and hate, and 
treachery and loyalty. It contains the farewell between 
David and Jonathan in their last interview; the farewell 
between David and Saul; the death of Samuel and the en- 
gaging story of David and Abigail. No novel that I have 
ever read has incidents so romantic in nature as this section. 
The turn in the fortunes of David comes at the Cave of 
Adullam. He is no longer a solitary fugitive. His helpers 

1. An armed corps, small indeed in number, but un- 
equaled in history as a mobile fighting force, who had gath- 
ered around him. Never before nor since have more heroes 
and champions been found in a band of 400, rapidly re- 
cruited to 600. As is quite natural, some of them are both 
desperate and evil characters. They harbor in caves or 
sleep under rocks, and from the mountain tops, like eagles 
in their eyries, survey all the mountain passes, ready to 
swoop down on their Philistine-prey or to make timely 
escape from Saul's forces, which they will not fight through 
David's loyalty. 

2. The son of the high priest with the Ephod, fleeing 
from Saul's murderous slaughter of his brethren at Nob, 
has turned to David, supplying his greatest need, that is, 



a means of communication with Jehovah, now forever denied 
to Saul. Through this means he easily learns what no 
earthly wisdom or system of espionage could discover — the 
very hearts and secret purposes of his enemies. 

3. The school of the prophets, Jehovah's mouthpieces, 
are for him, and Gad, their great representative, acts as his 
daily counsellor — Gad who shall become one of the histo- 
rians of his life. 

David at this time evinced the most exalted patriotism. 
Though pursued by Saul's relentless hate, he never at any 
time, employs his fighting force against Israel, nor ever 
harms Saul's person, though it is twice within his power, 
but ever watching, he protects defenceless cities of his 
people by smiting their Philistine invaders, preserves the 
exposed farms and folds of the villages from their maraud- 
ing bands. Not all Saul's army is such a defence of Israel 
as David's immortal 600. And this he did continuously, 
though every blow he struck for his people only advertised 
his whereabouts to Saul, and brought on immediately a 
man-hunt by Saul and his army. There is no parallel to 
these facts in history. If, when the "swamp-fox," Francis 
Marion, by creeping out of his secret places of retirement 
advertised his whereabouts by smiting a British or Tory 
force, Washington, Gates, Greene or Morgan had detached 
a flying column to cut off Marion, then that would have 
been a parallel. 

An example of this patriotism of David, and the ungrate- 
ful return to him is found in this section. From it we learn 
that when David, at a hazard so great that his own daunt- 
less champions advised against it, under the guidance of 
Jehovah left the safer territory of Judah and braved with 
his 600 the whole Philistine army to rescue Keilah, Saul, 
informed of his presence there, summoned his whole army 
to besiege David in that city, and only through timely knowl- 
edge, communicated through the high priest's Ephod, did 


David escape the enmity of Saul and the purposed treachery 
of the men of Keilah whom he had just preserved. 

A parallel in later days shows that information from 
Jehovah concerning the secret purposes of men eclipsed all 
knowledge to be derived from spies, and so saved the king 
of Israel. This parallel we find in II Kings 6:8-12. The 
king of Syria, at war with the king of Israel (by Israel in 
that place is meant the ten tribes that went off from Reho- 
boam), in private counsel with his officers, would designate 
a place where he would establish his camps in order to 
entrap the king of Israel. As soon as he had designated 
where these trap-camps would be placed, Elisha, God's 
prophet, sent information to the king of Israel to beware 
of these places, and thus more than twice the king of Israel 
was saved. The king of Syria supposed that there was a 
traitor in his own camp, and wanted to know who it was 
that betrayed every movement that he made. One of his 
counsellors replied that there was no traitor in his camp, 
but that Elisha, God's prophet, knew every secret thought 
of the king's bed-chamber. 

I now call attention to the text-difficulty in I Sam. 23 : 6. 
The text here says that Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech, 
had joined David at Keilah, but chapter 22 : 20-23 shows 
that Abiathar had previously joined David at the Cave of 
Adullam. The context just above verse 6 shows that David 
had inquired of the high priest as to whether he should 
go to the rescue of Keilah. The word, "Keilah," in verse 6 
ought therefore to be struck out, or else ought to follow 
the text of the Septuagint, which reads this way: "And it 
came to pass when Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech, fled to 
David, that he went down with David to Keilah with the 
Ephod in his hand." That makes complete sense and retains 
the word "Keilah." 

David's next refuge from Saul, the description of Saul's 
pursuit, and Jehovah's deliverance, are described in just 


two verses of the text, 23:14, 15: "And David abode in 
the wilderness in strongholds and remained in the wilder- 
ness of Ziph, and Saul sought him every day, but God deliv- 
ered him not into Saul's hands. And David saw that Saul 
was come out to seek his life, and David was in the wilder- 
ness of Ziph in a wood." That does not mean any big trees. 
It means thick brush — scrubby brush — as may be seen on 
West Texas mountains — shin-oak thickets. I have seen 
them so thick it looked like one couldn't stick a butcher 
knife in them, and woe to the man who tried to ride through 

Just here comes Jonathan's last interview with David, 
which is given in three verses, 23:16-18. While Saul is 
every day beating that brush to find David and can't find 
him, Jonathan finds him and comes to show him that he has 
no part in this murderous pursuit of his friend; comes to 
tell him that both he and his father know that David will 
triumph and become king, and to make a covenant with him 
again that when he is king he will remember Jonathan's 

Let us now take up David's first escape from the treach- 
ery of the Ziphites, and how that escape was commemorated. 
Saul couldn't find David in that wood, but the Ziphites (for 
it was in the wood of Ziph) knew where he was, and they 
told Saul where he was, and so Saul, guided by these treach- 
erous Ziphites, summoned an army, completely surrounded 
the whole country, and at last got David, as it were, in a 
cul-de-sac. That French phrase means, to follow a road 
where all egress is blocked, forward or sideways. So there 
was just a mountain between Saul and David, and Saul's 
army was all around and closing in. The deliverance comes 
providentially. Word is brought to Saul that the Philistines 
are striking at some place in his territory, and he has to call 
his army ofT just before he closes up the trap around David 
and go and fight the Philistines ; and your record says that 


place is renamed in commemoration this simple word, **Sela- 
hammahlekoth," which means ''the rock of escape." If you 
were to visit the place the guide will show you today ''Sela- 
hammahlekoth" — the rock of escape. 

David's next refuge from Saul was at the town of Engedi. 
The name is today preserved in the Aramaic form, "Ain 
Jidy." It is thought to be the oldest town in the world. The 
Genesis record of the days of Abraham says that Chedor- 
laomer led his army by Engedi. It was a town whose in- 
habitants saw the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, 
lying right below in the valley. It has been passed by a 
thousand armies. It means the "fountain of goats." Burst- 
ing out of the mountain side is a spring of considerable vol- 
ume, and from that flows the stream "Engedi," which, with 
two others, makes a little oasis there just above the Dead 
Sea — one of the most beautiful in the world; the finest 
vines, the most beautiful palm trees, and right up above, 
on the mountain side, are hundreds of caves, some of them 
so deep that they are as dark as the pit right at the mouth. 
A man standing in the light at the entrance cannot see any- 
thing within, but one hidden back a Httle distance can see dis- 
tinctly anybody coming in. Nearly everybody that visits the 
Holy Land makes a pilgrimage to these famous caves, and 
if you are disposed to read the results of modern research 
with reference to the place you will find some very fine ref- 
erences in the following books : Thompson's "Land and the 
Book," from which we have had quotations; Robinson's 
"Researches in Bible Lands;" Tristan's "Land of Israel;" 
and one of the best is McGarvey's "Travels in the Holy 
Land.'* McGarvey is a Disciples theologian in Kentucky, 
and his is about the best book on the Holy Land extant. 
You will also find a very graphic account of these caves in 
Stanley's "Sinai and Palestine." The record tells us that 
Saul, in pursuit of David, while his army is scattered about 
searching for him, comes to one of these caves, and enters 


in, and David is in there at the time with some of his brav- 
est men, and he, being in the dark, can see Saul plainly, and 
slips up and cuts off a piece of Saul's cloak. One of his 
men wants him to kill Saul : "Now is your chance ; this is 
the chance God has promised you; your enemy is in your 
power; smite him." But David would not do so. When 
Saul goes out of the cave David slips to the front, and from 
a high rock holds up that piece of skirt and calls to Saul, 
your text telling better than I can the thrilling way he 
reproached Saul for his pursuit of him, that he has never 
done him any harm, and that Saul was pursuing him to 
death without any cause. 

We now come to a strange but certainly true thing. I 
will read what David said and Saul's reply. It is Saul's 
reply that I want you to particularly notice. David said, 
"Wherefore hearest thou men's words saying, Behold David 
seeketh thy hurt," then closes up by saying, "The Lord judge 
between me and thee, and the Lord avenge me of thee, but 
my hand shall not be upon thee." Listen at Saul's reply: 
"Thou art more righteous than I" — standing there weeping 
now and saying this — "for that thou hast rewarded me 
good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil; and thou hast 
showed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me, 
forasmuch as when the Lord had delivered me into thy 
hand thou killedst me not ; for if a man findest his enemy, 
will he let him go well away; wherefore the Lord reward 
thee good for what thou hast done unto me this day. And 
now, behold I know well that thou shalt surely be king 
and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine 
hand; swear thou therefore, unto me by the Lord that thou 
wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not 
destroy my name out of my father's house." That sounded 
like penitence, but it was not. If it was you would not see 
Saul pursuing him again, but it was temporary remorse, 
such as wicked men often evince. It is an Oriental cus- 


torn that when a new king comes in he kills all the family 
of the one he succeeds, and that is what Saul fears, 
and David never did kill any of them after he became 

It is evident from 24 : 9 and 26 : 19 that some persistent, 
insidious slanderer, ever at Saul's side, kept his wrath stirred 
up against David, and like a sinister lago played upon Saul's 
weakness, ever fanning by whisperings the flame of his 
jealousy. You would never know the name of this secret 
assassin of character from the history. But his name and 
character are pilloried in the immortal songs of his would-be 
victim, and all the vileness of his demoniacal nature memo- 
rialized to the end of time. What is his name, and in what 
song commemorated? Just at this juncture Samuel, the 
great prophet — the greatest man next to Moses since Abra- 
ham's day, dies. Later we will have an analysis of his 

An example of David's protection of the villages and 
farms is seen in the case of the rich man named Nabal 
("Nabal" means "fool"), about whom his wife says later, 
"His name is Nabal and he is Nabal." There wouldn't 
have been a sheep left in his flock nor a cow left to give 
him milk but for the protection extended by David's band. 
The herdsmen say, "David's band has been a wall about 
us." David's men never took any of his property. Hungry 
though they were, they never killed one of his sheep nor 
one of his cattle. Passing bands of marauders would have 
swept away every vestige of his property, but David's men 
beat them off. 

Now, on a festival, sheep-shearing day, David's men, 
being weary and hungry, David sends ten men to Nabal, 
giving him an opportunity to at least feed one time the men 
that had protected him for the year, and Nabal's reply is: 
"What is the son of Jesse to me that I should take my 
property and feed his straggling crowd?'* There are such 


rich men now, and no wonder they are hated. There was 
a time in the early history of Texas when volunteer rangers 
protected all the exposed settlements with their flocks and 
herds. A man whose home and stock had been so preserved, 
who would deny hospitality to the unpaid rangers would 
have been held as infamous. Indeed, in all our West Texas 
history there never was one Nabal. 

These ten men went back and reported to David, and 
this time he didn't consult either priest or prophet, but, 
boiling over in wrath, announced his purpose of not leaving 
a man alive in Nabal's entire household, and goes to smite 
him with 400 of his picked men. One of the servants of 
Nabal had apprehended just such a state of affairs and had 
told Abigail, the wife of Nabal, whereupon she, recognizing 
David as God's anointed, as the champion of Israel, as the 
one about whom all true souls should be thinking, having 
faith in the promises of God concerning him, took a mag- 
nificent donation and hurried with it and met David coming 
blazing in wrath. The woman leaped down from the beast 
she was riding and made a speech that has never yet had 
an equal. 

You remember how I called your attention to the famous 
speech in Scott's "Heart of Midlothian" by Jeanie Deans, 
but this beats that. I haven't time to analyze the speech; 
you have the record of it before you, but there never was 
more wisdom put into a few words. She shows David that 
the wrong done is inexcusable, but tells him to charge it to 
her, although she had nothing to do with it ; tells him that 
so great a man as he is, God's vicegerent, should not take 
vengeance in his own hands ; that the day will come in his 
later life when he will look back with regret at the blood 
on his hands if he takes such a vengeance, and asks him to 
leave Nabal's punishment to God. David was charmed with 
her and did everything she said. She went back home sad 
at heart, as many a good woman married to a bad man has 


to do. Nabal was on a spree. She didn't tell him any- 
thing until the next mornings and as she told him what had 
transpired God smote him with apoplexy and a few days 
later — about ten days — smote him again so that he died, 
whereupon David sends for Abigail and marries her and at 
the same time marries another woman, plurality of wives 
prevailing in that day. Many preachers have preached ser- 
mons, some of them foolish and some of them really great, 
on "Nabal, the churl." 

The incidents of the last meeting of Saul and David are 
pathetic. The Ziphites conspire again against David, and 
tell Saul where to find him. David sends out his spies and 
learns of Saul's approach and easily evades him; then, 
taking just one man with him, Abishai, the fiery son of his 
sister Zeruiah, his nephew (you will hear about him often- 
times later), goes into the camp of Saul with his 3,000 
picked veterans. Saul is sleeping, and Abner, his great gen- 
eral, sleeping by him, and Abishai, following his nature, says, 
"Now let me kill him." David says, "No, you shall not 
strike him; he is the anointed king; leave him to God," 
and simply took Saul's spear and cruse — his water vessel 
— and when he had got out of the camp he cried out to 
Abner and mocked him : "What a guardian of your king, 
that you let somebody come right into your camp and come 
right up to the person of your king! Behold the spear 
and cruse of Saul ! You ought to be ashamed of yourself." 
Saul hears David, and now comes that strange language 
again. I want you to notice it again: "And Saul knew 
David's voice, and said, Ts this thy voice, my son David?' 
(as you know, David was his son-in-law). And David 
said, Tt is my voice, my lord, O king.' And he said, 'Where- 
fore doth my lord pursue after his servant? for what have 
I done? or what evil is in mine hand? Now therefore, I 
pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his ser- 
vant. If Jehovah hath stirred thee up against me let Him 


accept an offering: but if it be the children of men, cursed 
be they before Jehovah/ " 

Now comes a passage that we will have to explain in 
the next chapter: "For they have driven me out this day 
from abiding in the inheritance of Jehovah, saying, Go, 
serve other gods. Now therefore, let not my blood fall to 
the earth before the face of Jehovah, for the king of Israel 
is come to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge 
in the mountains." This is a very undignified thing for a 
king to do — to go out flea-hunting; go to chasing a part- 
ridge. "Partridge" there is what we call a "blue quail." 
They seldom fly, but they can run, and anyone who hunts 
them has to be very fast ; hence the beauty of the illustra- 
tion. Saul says, "I have sinned." (You remember he said 
that to Samuel.) "Return, my son David, for I will no 
more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine 
eyes this day, and behold I have played the fool, and have 
erred exceedingly." David didn't trust him. Saul con- 
cludes, "Blessed be thou, my son, David; for thou shalt 
both do great things and also shalt prevail." So David 
went his own way, and Saul returned to his place. They 
never meet again. The pursuit is ended. We end this 
chapter with the end of the duel between Saul and David. 


1. What is the interest of this section? 

2. From what point and place comes the turn in the fortunes of 
David, and who were his helpers ? 

3. How does David at this time evince the most exalted patriotism ? 

4. What parallel in history to these facts? 

5. Cite an example of this patriotism of David, and show the 
ungrateful return to him? 

6. Cite a parallel in later days to show that^ information from 
Jehovah concerning the secret purposes of men eclipsed all knowledge 
to be derived from spies, and so saved the king of Israel. 

7. Explain the text-difficulty in I Sam. 23 : 6. 

8. Where was David's next refuge from Saul, what the description 
of Saul's pursuit, and what Jehovah's deliverance? 

9. Describe Jonathan's last interview with David. 


10. Describe David's first escape from the treachery of the 
Ziphites, and how that escape was commemorated. 

11. What was David's next refuge from Saul, what the history 
of the place, and what has modern research to say about it? 

12. What the events there, and what illustrations therefrom? 

13. What man, greatest next to Moses since Abraham's day, dies 
at this juncture? 

14. Cite an example of David's protection of the villages and 
farms, giving the main incidents in the thrilling story of David and 
Abigail, and illustrate by Texas free rangers. 

15. Describe the incidents of the last meeting of Saul and David. 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 96-102 

LET us analyze David's sin of despair, and give the 
train of sins and embarrassments that follow. The 
first line tells us of his sin of despair, I Sam. 27 : i : 
**And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day 
by the hand of Saul." It is a sad thing to appear in the 
life of David, this fit of the "blues" that came on him, and 
was utterly unjustifiable. In fact, he is done with Saul 
forever. Saul will never harm him again, and he is very 
late in fearing that he will one day perish by the hand of 
Saul. It reminds us of Elijah under the juniper tree, pray- 
ing that he might die in his despair, when God never in- 
tended him to die at all — ^but to take him to heaven without 
death. It was unjustifiable because the promises to him 
were that he should be king, and he should not have sup- 
posed that God's word would fail. It is unjustifiable be- 
cause up to this time he had been preserved from every 
attack of Saul, and the argument in his mind should be, 
"I will be preserved unto the end." 

The distrust of God sometimes comes to the best people. 
I don't claim to be among the best people. I am an average 
kind of a man, trying my level best to do right, and generally 
optimistic — and no man is ever whipped until he is whipped 
inside, and it is a very rare thing that I am whipped inside. 
Whenever I am it lasts a very short time. I don't stay 
whipped long. But we may put it down as worthy of con- 
sideration in our future life that whenever we get into the 



state of mind the Israelites were in about the Canaanites 
— that we are "mere grasshoppers in their sight and in our 
own sight," then our case is pitiable. Let us never take 
the grasshopper view of ourselves. 

That was the first sin, the succumbing of his faith; the 
temporary eclipsing of his faith. The next sin is this: 
*There is nothing better for me than that I should escape 
into the land of the Philistines." Had he forgotten about 
God? Had he forgotten that he had tried that Philistine 
crowd once and had to get away from there without delay? 
Had he forgotten when he went over into Moab and was 
told by the prophet to get back to his own country? God 
would take care of him. That sin is the child of the 

His third sin was that before taking such a decisive step 
he didn't ask God — a very unusual thing for him. Gener- 
ally when anything perplexed him he called for the Ephod 
and the high priest and asked the Lord what he should do, 
but he is so unnerved through fear of Saul that he does not 
stop to ask what God has to say, and so that is a twin to 
the second sin, that was born of the original one. Without 
consulting anybody he gathers up his followers with their 
women, children and everything that they have, and goes 
down to Gath, and there commits his next sin. He makes 
an alliance with the king of Gath and becomes tributary 
to him. 

That in turn leads to another sin. He is bound to fight 
against the enemies of God's cause, and so, occupying a 
town, Ziklag, bestowed upon him by the Philistine king, 
he marches out secretly and makes war on the Geshurites 
and Gizzites and Amalekites, and for fear that somebody 
would be spared to tell the Philistines that he was killing 
their allies, he kills them all, men, women, and children. 
Now, if he had been carrying out a plan of Jehovah he 
would have been justified, but the record says that he did 


it for fear that if he left any one of them alive they would 
report the fact to King Achish of Gath. 

His next sin is to tell a lie about it. We call it "duplic- 
ity," but it was a sure-enough lie. He made the impression 
on Achish's mind when he went out on this expedition that 
he was going against Judah, which pleased the Philistine 
king very much, for if he was fighting against Judah, then 
Judah would hate him and the breach would be widened 
between him and his own people. 

We now come to another sin. Each sin leads to another. 
The Philistines determined to make a decisive war against 
Saul, and not to approach him in the usual way, but to 
follow up the boundary of the Mediterranean Sea and strike 
across through the very center of Palestine and cut the 
nation in two from the valley of Esdraelon. So Achish 
says to David, *'You must go with us. You are our guest 
and ally and occupying a town I gave you." So David 
marches along with his dauntless 600, and evidently against 
the will of his own men, as we will see later. He does go 
with the Philistines to the very battlefield, and when they 
get there the Philistines, seeing that he is with the court of 
the king, object to his presence and will not allow him to 
go to the battle with them. So he returned to the land 
of the Philistines. 

I have no idea that he ever intended to strike a blow 
against Saul. I feel perfectly sure of it. When the battle 
was raging he would have attacked the Philistines in the 
flank with his 600 men, but he made the impression on the 
mind of the king that he would fight with them against 
Saul. The providence of God kept him from committing 
that sin. 

These are the six sins resulting from getting into the 
wrong place just one time. I don't say he won't get into 
the place again, but this time he certainly was cowed. A 
man can't commit just one sin. A sin can outbreed an 


Australian rabbit. The hunter sometimes thinks he sees 
just one quail, but whenever he flushes him, behold there 
is a pair or maybe a covey! There is a proverb that who- 
ever tells a lie ought to have a good memory, else he will 
tell some more covering that one up, forgetting his first 
statement. I am sorry to bring out this charge against 
David, but I will have a much bigger one to bring out before 
we are done with him. He is one of the best men that ever 
lived, but all the good men that I know have their faults. 

/ have never yet been blest with the sight of a sinless 
man. I know there are some people who claim to be per- 
fect and sinless, but I don't know any who really are. 

A great modern sermon was preached on this despair of 
David, taking that first line as a text: 'T shall one day 
perish by the hand of Saul." The preacher was John 
McNeil, who is called the "modern Spurgeon." He has 
charge of one of the livest churches in London and has 
published several volumes of sermons. This is the first 
in one of his books, and it is a great one. 

This sin of David was punished in two ways. While he 
was off following the Philistines to the battlefield, these 
same Amalekites that he had been troubling so much, 
swooped down on Ziklag — the town given to David by 
Achish — and there being no defenders present, nobody but 
the women and children, they burned the town. They 
didn't kill any one, but they took all the women and the 
children and the livestock and the furniture and everything 
— made as clean a sweep as you ever saw, including both 
of David's wives, Ahinoam and Abigail. The second pun- 
ishment was that his own men, who didn't want to go up 
with the Philistines, wanted to stone him for what had 
happened when he was gone. His life was in danger. 

But he recovered himself from this sin. When he saw 
the destruction of Ziklag and the temper of his men, the 
text says that David ''greatly encouraged his heart in God 


and called for the high priest and the Ephod." What a 
pity he hadn't called for him sooner! But God is quick 
to answer readily, and forgive His erring children, and to 
put away their sin, and the answer comes through the 
Ephod to David's questions: "Shall I pursue after this 
troop? Shall I overtake them?" and God's answer comes 
as quick as lightning, 'Tursue them, for you shall over- 
take them and you shall recover all." That was a very fine 
reply for a sinner to get when his trouble arose from his 
own sin, and so he does pursue them with his 600 men, and 
David in pursuit of a foe was like the Texas rangers. If 
a man's horse gave out they left it. If a man himself gave 
out they left him. They just kept pursuing until they found 
and struck the enemy. That was the way with David. 

A third of his force, 200 of his brave men, when they 
got to a certain stream of water, could not go any further. 
He had to leave them and go with just 400 men. Out ip 
the desert he finds a slave of one of the Amalekites, an 
Egyptian, starving to death. He had had nothing to eat 
for three days. David fed him, and asked him if he would 
guide them to the camp of the Amalekites. He said he 
would if they would never let his master get him again, 
and David came upon them while they were feasting and 
rejoicing over the great spoils. He killed all of them ex- 
cept about 400 young men who rode on camels. They got 
away. Camels are hard to overtake by infantry. They are 
very swift. And your record says that David recovered 
every man, woman and child and every stick of furniture, 
besides all the rich spoils these desert pirates had been 
gathering in for quite a while, cattle and stock of every 

David made the following judicious uses of the victory : 

I. On the return, when they got to where those 200 were 

left behind, certain tough characters in his army did not 

want the 200 men to share in the spoils. They could have 


their wives and children, but nothing else. David not only 
refused to follow that plan, but established a rule dating 
from that time, that whoever stayed behind with the bag- 
gage must share equally with those that went to the front. 
These men did not want to stay, but they couldn't go any 

At the battle of San Jacinto Houston had to sternly detail 
a certain number of his men to keep the camp, and they 
wept because they were not allowed to go into the battle. 
Those men that were detailed to stay in camp ought to be 
counted as among the victors of the battle of San Jacinto, 
and history so counts them. 

2. The second judicious use that he made of the spoils 
captured from these Amalekites was to send large presents 
to quite a number of the southern cities of Judah that had 
been friendly to him and his men. He was always a gen- 
erous-hearted man. That made a good deal of capital for 
David. Even had he been acting simply as a politician, 
that was the wisest thing he could have done. But he simply 
followed his heart. 

There were great accessions to David at Ziklag. The 
text tells us, I Chron. 12: 1-7, that there were about twenty- 
three mighty men, some of whom were Benjamites, who 
had come from Saul's tribe, and they were right-handed 
and left-handed. They could shoot an arrow with either 
hand. They could use either hand to sling a stone, and 
among these twenty-three were some of the most celebrated 
champions of single combat ever known in the world's his- 
tory. One of them, Jashobeam, in one fight killed 300 men 
with one spear. 


It is important for us to note just here the Mosaic law 
against necromancy, or an appeal to the dead by the living 
through a medium, i.e., a wizard, if a man, or a witch, if 


a woman, and wherein lies the sin of necromancy, which 
relates exclusively to trying to gather information from the 
dead. The law of Moses, in the book of Deuteronomy, is 
very explicit that no Israelite should ever try to gather in- 
formation from the dead through a wizard or a witch, and 
the reason is that hidden things belong to God and revealed 
things to us and our children. The only lawful way to 
information concerning what lies beyond the grave is an 
appeal to Jehovah, and if God does not disclose it, let it 
alone. The prophetic teaching on this subject is found in 
the famous passage in Isaiah: "Woe to them that seek 
to wizards and witches that chirp and mutter. Why should 
the living seek unto the dead instead of unto the living 

Early in his reign Saul had rigidly enforced the Mosaic 
law putting the wizards and witches to death, or driving 
them out of the country. 

There are several theories of interpretation concerning 
the transaction in I Sam. 28: 11-19, but I will discuss only 
three of them. Saul himself goes to the witch of Endor 
and asks her to call up Samuel, making an inquiry of the 
dead through a medium, wanting information that God had 
refused to give him. These are the theories: 

I. Some hold that there was no appearance of Samuel 
himself nor an impersonation of him by an evil spirit ; that 
there was nothing supernatural, but only a trick of im- 
posture by the witch, like many modern tricks by mediums 
and spirit rappers, and that the historian merely records 
what appeared to be on the surface. That is the first theory. 
That is the theory of the radical critics, who oppose every- 
thing supernatural, and you know without my telling you 
what my opinion is of that theory. There are indeed many 
tricks of imposture by pretended fortune tellers, and some 
of them are marvelous, but such impostures do not account 
for all the facts. 


2. Others hold that there was a real appearance of 
Samuel, but the witch didn't bring him up ; she was as much, 
if not more, startled than Saul when he came; that God 
himself interfered, permitting Samuel to appear to the dis- 
comfiture of the witch, who cried out when she saw him, 
and to pronounce final judgment on Saul. They quote in 
favor of this theory Ezek. 14:3, 7, 8: "Son of man, these 
men have taken their idols into their heart, and put the 
stumbling block of their iniquity before their face: should 
I be inquired of at all by them? . . . For every one of the 
house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, 
that separateth himself from me, and taketh his idols into 
his heart, and putteth the stumbling block of his iniquity be- 
fore his face, and cometh to the prophet to inquire for him- 
self of me ; I, Jehovah, will answer him by myself ; and I 
will set my face against that man, and will make him an 
astonishment, for a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off 
from the midst of my people." They interpret this passage 
to mean that when a man violated God's law, as Saul and 
this witch did, that God took it upon himself to answer, 
and answered through Samuel. • 

That theory is the Jewish view throughout the ages. Ac- 
cording to the Septuagint rendering of I Chron. 10:13, 
"Saul asked counsel of her that had a familiar spirit, and 
Samuel made answer to him." It further appears to be the 
Jewish view by the apocryphal book Ecclesiasticus 46:20, 
which says, "After his death Samuel prophesied and showed 
the king his end, and lifted up his voice from the earth in 
prophecy." The Jewish view further appears in Josephus, 
who thinks that Samuel was really there, but that God sent 
him ; not that the witch had brought him up or could do it. 
This view was adopted by many early Christian writers; 
for example, Justin Martyr, Origen and Augustine, all great 
men, and this view is held more and more by modern com- 
mentators, among them, for instance, Edersheim, in his 


*' History of Israel," and Kirkpatrick in the Cambridge 
Bible, and Blakie in the Expositor's Bible, and Taylor in 
his ''History of David and His Times." All those books 
I have recommended; they all take that second view. 

3. Now here is the third theory of interpretation. First, 
there is such a thing as necromancy, in which, through me- 
diums possessed of evil spirits, which spirits do impersonate 
the dead and do communicate with the living. This theory 
holds that the case of Saul and the witch of Endor is in 
point — that an evil spirit (for this woman is said to have 
had a familiar spirit ; she was possessed with an evil spirit, 
and the business of these evil spirits in their demoniacal 
possession is to impersonate dead people;) caused the sem- 
blance of Samuel to appear and speak through his mouth. 
This theory claims that the scripture in Job 3:17, towit: 
"When the good man dies he goes where the wicked cease 
from troubling and the weary are at rest," could be vio- 
lated if this had really been Samuel, who said, ''Wherefore 
hast thou disquieted me?" And whoever this man was that 
appeared did say that. 

H God had sent him he could not very well have used 
that language. God had a right to do as He pleased, but 
Saul had no right to try to call back a dead man to get 
information from him. This theory also claims that the 
prophecy pronounced by that semblance of Samuel was not 
true, but it would have been true if Samuel had said it. 
That prophecy says, ''Tomorrow thou and thy sons shall 
be with me," but Saul didn't die until three days later; on 
the third day the battle of Gilboa was fought, and that 
Samuel, neither dead nor alive, would have told a falsehood. 
Very many early Christian writers adopt this theory, among 
them Tertullian and Jerome, the author of the Vulgate or 
Latin version of the Bible, and nearly all of the reformers, 
Luther, Calvin and all those mighty minds that wrought 
out the reformation. They took the position that the evil 


spirit simulated Samuel. Those who hold to this theory 
further say that unless this is an exception, nowhere else 
in the Word of God is any man who died mentioned as 
coming back with a message to the living except the Lord ; 
that He is the first to bring Hfe and immortality to light 
through the gospel after He had abolished death. They do 
not believe that the circumstances in this case warrant an 
exception to the rule that applies to the whole Bible, and 
particularly they quote the parable of the rich man and 
Lazarus. The rich man asks that Lazarus might go back 
to the other world with a message to his brethren, and it 
was refused on the ground that they have Moses and the 
prophets, and if a man won't hear Moses and the prophets 
neither would he hear though one rose from the dead. That 
makes a strong case. 

Certainly the first theory is not true, and the other two 
theories are advocated with such plausibility and force that 
I will leave you to take whatever side you please. My own 
opinion is that Samuel was not there, but on a matter of 
this kind let us not be, dogmatic. Let us do our own think- 
ing and we will be in good company no matter which of 
these last theories we adopt. 

A great many years ago, when spirit rapping was sweep- 
ing over the country, it was a custom among Methodist 
preachers to tell about visitations they had from the dead, 
and warnings that they had received, and J. R. Graves 
fought it. He said that it was against the written law of 
God, the law of Moses and the prophets and our Lord and 
His apostles, and that we didn't need any revelations from 
dead people, whereupon a Methodist preacher named Wat- 
son challenged him to debate the question and they did 
debate it. Graves stood on this position: There isn't a 
case in the Bible where one who died was allowed to come 
back with a message to the living but Jesus only, and He 
is the only traveler that has ever returned from that bourne 


to throw light on the state of the dead. In the debate, of 
course, the central case was that of Saul, the witch of Endor 
and Samuel. If Watson couldn't maintain himself on that 
it was not worth while to go to any other case. Watson 
quoted the appearance of Moses and Elijah on the Mount 
of Transfiguration. Graves said, "Yes. They did appear, 
but they had no message for living people; none for the 
apostles." Then he finally made all of his fight on this case. 
I read the debate with great interest. It was published, but 
it is out of print. 


The description of the battle and the results are so ex- 
plicit in the text that I refer the reader to the Bible account 
of this great battle. But we need to reconcile I Sam. 31 : 4, 
5, 6, and I Chron. 10 : 4, 5, 6. Both of these assert that Saul 
committed suicide — fell on his sword and died — and that 
he did die, with II Sam. i :6-io, where that Amalekite who 
brought the news to David of the battle says that he found 
Saul wounded, and that Saul asked the Amalekite to kill 
him, and that the Amalekite did kill him. The Amalekite 
brought also to David a bracelet and a crown that belonged 
to Saul. You are asked to reconcile these two statements. 
Did Saul commit suicide? We know he tried to do it, but 
did he actually commit suicide, or did that Amalekite, after 
Saul fell on his sword, find him still alive and kill him? 
My answer is that the Amalekite lied. The record clearly 
says that Saul did kill himself, and his armor-bearer saw 
that he was dead, and every reference in the scriptures is 
to the death by his own hand except this one. This Amale- 
kite, knowing that Saul and David were in a measure rivals, 
supposed that he might ingratiate himself with David if he 
could bring evidence that he had killed Saul. 

There is no doubt that this Amalekite was there and 
found Saul's body, and no doubt he stripped that dead 


body of the bracelet and the crown, but his story was like 
the story of Joe in the "Wild Western Scenes." An Indian 
had been killed, stabbed through the heart, and the heart 
blood gushing all over the man who slew him. The fight 
was so hot that Joe, being a coward, stayed there fighting 
the dead Indian, and so they found him there stabbing and 
saying that the man that had first stabbed him through 
thought he had killed him, but that he was not dead and 
had got up and attacked him, and he had been having a 
desperate fight with the Indian. 

The news of this battle sadly affected Jonathan's son. 
Everybody that heard of the battle started to flee across 
the Jordan, and the nurse picked up Jonathan's child and 
in running dropped him and he fell, and became a cripple 
for life. We will have some very interesting things about 
this crippled child after a while. 

The gratitude and heroism of the men of Jabesh-Gilead 
is worthy of note. 

The Philistines had cut off Saul's head and sent it back 
to the house of their god, and took his armor and hung up 
his body and the body of his son Jonathan and the bodies 
of the two brothers of Jonathan on the wall of Beth-shan, 
and when the men of Jabesh-gilead (who had been deliv- 
ered by Saul as the first act of his reign, and who always 
remembered him with gratitude) heard that Saul was 
killed, they sent out that night their bravest men and took 
those bodies down, carried them over the Jordan, burned 
them enough to escape recognition, and buried their bones 
under a tree. A long time afterwards David had the bones 
brought and buried in the proper place. I always think 
kindly of those men of Jabesh-gilead. 

David's lament over Saul and Jonathan is found in II 
Sam. I. That lamentation, expressed in the text, is one 
of the most beautiful elegaic poems in the Hterature of 
the world. It is found on page lo of the text-book. It is 


not a religious song. It is a funeral song, an elegy, after- 
wards called "The Bow," and David had *'the song of the 
bow" taught to Israel, referring to Jonathan's bow. I give 
just a little of it: 

"Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, 
Who clothed you in scarlet delicately, 
Who put ornaments of gold upon your apparel. 
How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle !" 

Now the tribute to Jonathan : 

"Jonathan is slain upon thy high places. 
I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan : 
Very pleasant hast thou been unto me. 
Thy love to me was wonderful, 
Passing the love of women." 

Every admirer of good poetry bears tribute to this ex- 
quisite gem, and it has this excellency : It forgets the faults 
and extols the virtues of the dead. Saul had done many 
mighty things. That part of Gray's Elegy, "No further 
seek his merits to disclose," compares favorably with this. 
It is the only elegy equal to David's. 


1. Analyze David's sin of despair, and in order, the train of sins 
and embarrassments that follow. 

2. What great modern sermon was preached on the despair of 
David, taking this line for a text: "I shall one day perish by the 
hand of Saul?" 

3. How was this sin of David punished? 

4. How does he recover himself from this sin? 

5. What judicious uses of the victory did he make? 

6. What great accessions to David at Ziklag? 

7. What the Mosaic law against necromancy, or an appeal to the 
dead by the living through a medium, i. e., a wizard, if a man, or a 
witch, if a woman, and wherein lies the sin of necromancy? 

8. What the prophetic teaching on this subject? 

9. What had Saul done to enforce the Mosaic law? 

10. What theories of interpretation concerning the transaction in 
I Sam. 28: 11-19? 

11. Describe the battle of Gilboa and the results. 

12. Reconcile I Sam. 31 : 4. 5, 6 and I Chron. 10 : 4, 5, and 6. 

13. How did the news of the battle affect Jonathan's son? 

14. Describe the gratitude and heroism of the men of Jabesh- 

15. How did David lament over Saul and Jonathan, II Sam. i ? 



THE Biblical sources of material for a history of the 
reign of David is found in II Samuel and I Chroni- 
cles. Apart from these two books, the Biblical ma- 
terial for an interpretation of this history is: (i) The 
Psalter; (2) The utterances of the prophets; (3) New 
Testament comment. 

The two BibHcal histories of David's reign are independ- 
ent histories, composed by different authors, far separated 
in time from each other, and with quite distinct purposes. 
II Samuel was written by contemporaneous prophets, very 
often witnesses and participators in the events related. 
Their purpose is to give a simple, connected history of so 
many of the events in David's hfe as will reveal the man, 
and so much of the monarchy as bears upon the idea of a 
theocratic monarchy in its relation to the kingdom of God. 
All material irrelevant to that purpose is omitted. Inspira- 
tion guides them in the selection of the matter recorded 
and in the rejection of the matter omitted, but I Chronicles 
was written by Ezra after the downfall of the monarchy 
and with a view to establish, on a right foundation, the 
hierarchy which succeeds the monarchy, and to comfort the 
Jews of the Restoration who have no earthly king or earthly 
kingdom by turning their minds toward the coming of a 
visible but spiritual kingdom to be set up by David's great 
Descendant, the Lord from heaven. While it is as real a 
history as II Samuel, its purpose is more distinctly didactic 
and philosophical. 



The author of Chronicles, with the book of Samuel be- 
fore him, copies many passages word for word, or, where 
it suits his purpose better, follows the substance with a 
slight variation in detail. In many other instances, and at 
a great length, he uses material from original prophetic 
sources preserved nowhere else in the Bible, citing the 
names of the prophetic authors. This great bulk of addi- 
tional matter in Chronicles, while old in its origin, is new 
in its use, and is essential to the purpose of the author in 
preparing the people for the change from monarchy to 
hierarchy. On this account also he omits matters quite 
important to the purpose of the historian of the book of 
Samuel, but irrelevant to his own ; for example, the history 
of David's reign over Judah alone ; the war with the house 
of Saul ; David's kindness to Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son ; 
David's adultery and its punishment; the history of Ab- 
salom's rebelHon; the execution of Saul's sons; David's 
thanksgiving and last words. None of these is in Chron- 
icles. These omissions, when considered with the omissions 
of so many thrilling events in David's early life and his 
outlaw life, already noticed, show plainly that the Samuel- 
book is more the life of the man, while Chronicles is more 
the history of the monarchy. So, later. Chronicles will omit 
the entire history of the defection under Jeroboam and the 
history of the several dynasties of the seceding ten tribes, 
and confine itself to the line of David and the unity of the 
nation and monarchy in Judah, carefully reciting the return 
to Judah of representatives of all the seceding ten tribes, 
showing clearly that while the bulk of revolting tribes were 
lost in the fall of the Northern kingdom and so go out of 
history, yet these tribes were preserved and perpetuated in 
the return of their remnants to Judah. Therefore Chron- 
icles gives not a thought to the useless modern question, 
"What became of the lost ten tribes?" 

Neither it nor any subsequent Bible book knows anything 


of lost tribes. The tribes were not lost any more than they 
were lost in the thirty-eight years of the wilderness wan- 
derings where a generation perished, but the tribes survived. 
They count all the tribes preserved in the remnants that 
came back to Judah. 

Chronicles pays no attention to their history while apart, 
but is very careful to report their return. Precisely for the 
same reasons Chronicles barely touches Saul's history, or 
the history of his children after him, seeing that the mon- 
archy is not perpetuated in Saul's line, but is very careful 
to catalogue the warriors coming from Saul's kingdom to 
David at Adullam and Ziklag, and the mighty hosts from 
all the tribes who came to Hebron to make him king over 
all Israel, and gives such details of the plague threatening 
the national life, and hence as bearing on the hierarchy 
after the downfall of the monarchy. 

Chronicles records the elaborate details not elsewhere 
found of the arrangements on the occasion of the transla- 
tion of the Ark to Jerusalem. It gives two whole chapters 
to that and part of another. It gives an entire chapter to 
David's preparation of the temple material. It gives several 
entire chapters to the elaborate organization of the priests 
and the Levites, the army and the civil service, and to the 
national assembly at Solomon's accession. A restatement 
of all of these things of the past was intensely helpful 
toward the establishment and perpetuity of the hierarchy 
after the monarchy is gone. 

The chronology in II Samuel and I Chronicles is simply 
the chronology of the reign of David. The period of time 
covered by these two books touching David is forty years. 
After profound study, the harmonist, as shown in the text- 
book, gives his conception of the time order of the events. 
It is a big problem, but I think you may more safely rely, 
at least substantially, on the order in the Cambridge Bible, 
which I cite, using my own words: 


1. The reign of David at Hebron, seven and a half 
years, i. e., from b. c. 1055 to 1048. 

2. The date of Absalom's birth somewhere between b. c. 
1052 and 1050. 

3. The reign of Ish-bosheth, and the civil war with the 
house of Saul, b. c. 1050-1048. 

4. The reign of David at Jerusalem after that period 
extends from b. c. 1048 to 1015. 

5. The period of the foreign wars comes next, about 10 
years, *. e., from b. c. 1045 to 1035. 

6. The date of David's sin with Bath-sheba, 1035. 

7. The outrage of Amnon the very next year, 1034. 

8 Absalom's rebellion, which grows out of it, b. c. 1023. 

9. The period of tranquillity and national growth from 
b. c. 1023 to 1015. 

10. The date of the great plague in 1018. 

11. David's death, 1015. 

I have changed the Cambridge order somewhat, but my 
study on it has been profound, both in original investigation 
and in the examination of a great many books. That is 
about the time-order of the events contained in these two 
books. I could give my argument for it, but that would 
take up a great deal of space. 

This Old Testament history, as well as all other Old 
Testament history, differs from secular history in three 
particulars: (i) In the subject matter, in that it is a 
history of the special training and discipHne of God's 
chosen people; (2) In its giving events as God sees them 
and not as man sees them; (3) In the selection of the 
material it uses, putting in nothing that does not bear upon 
the whole plan of the Old Testament as the preparation for 
the New. 

A writer of United States history would not think of 
leaving out the details of seven or eight great wars, but 
this sacred historian leaves out any number of them, since 


these details have no relation to the great purpose of the 
historian. I am quite sure that one should not study this 
history as he studies secular history. 

It must he studied as the record of the divine preparation 
for the incarnation of the Son of God. The whole of the 
Old Testament is a preparation for the New. The Old 
Testament not only contains prophecies, but the whole his- 
tory itself is a prophecy. 

The elements of this preparation are: (i) The discipline 
and training of the chosen nation that it might be the home 
of the Son of God when He came; (2) The development 
of the ideas involving the offices of the Messiah — what the 
Messiah was to be when He came — Sacrifice, Prophet, 
Priest, King, and Judge. The main contribution of H 
Samuel and I Chronicles is toward the king idea. In Gen- 
esis, Exodus and Leviticus the sacrifices point to the mission 
of the Son of God to be a sacrifice for sin, and also to His 
being the priest through whom atonement is efifected. I 
Samuel contributes the additional idea of the prophet. 
These books will put before us the king, and when the 
Messiah comes He is to come as King — the King of kings 
and Lord of lords, and when we study them we study them 
in view of their Messianic forecast. These two books con- 
tribute to the Messianic idea also. In David we certainly 
find a prophet. He is one of the greatest prophets of the 
Old Testament. In David we certainly find a king, exer- 
cising priestly functions, though not belonging to the tribe 
of Levi. In other words, he is a king and priest. In David 
we find the high ideal of the king — prophet, priest and king, 
and these books bring that out clearly. 

So far in the history of David we have learned simply 
his preparation to be king. We have seen that preparation : 
(i) In his shepherd Hfe. (2) In his long novitiate of suf- 
fering in his outlaw life. The man has been trained physi- 
cally, mentally, morally. How often have I said to young 


preachers, *'Only prepared men accomplish great things, 
and a preacher can make no more hurtful mistake than to 
suppose that it is a waste of time and money to prepare to 
be efficient when he does work." Having learned in I Sam- 
uel David's preparation to be king, we are to learn in these 
two books what he did as king. This is the reign now for 
which all the other was a preparation. 

The difficulties to be surmounted, if he reigns after God's 
heart and not Saul's, are many and grave : 

1. He must secure the unity of the nation. In Judges 
we see twelve tribes, each one going ofif at a tangent, as 
that expression so often repeated in the book says, "In 
those days there was no king in Israel, and each man did 
what seemed to him to be right.'' Sometimes Judah is be- 
fore us, sometimes Naphtali, sometimes Gad, sometimes 
Manasseh; it is not a nation, but twelve loosely- jointed 
tribes. The first thing that David has to do is to secure 
the unity of the nation. It takes him seven and a half 
years to do it after he is crowned at Hebron. So that is 
his first achievement, and that will be my next discussion — 
the seven and a half years that David reigned at Hebron 
while the house of Saul held the greater part of the terri- 

2. The second difficulty was to provide a central place 
of worship that would not cause jealousies, and such serv- 
ices at that place of worship as would help perpetuate the 
unity of the nation. Never before had these been fully 

I stop here long enough to make a remark that I may 
repeat later, that when the thirteen original colonies seceded 
from England and under a loose sort of compact fought 
the Revolutionary War, and at the close of the war began 
to take steps for a more permanent union, one of the great- 
est problems was, ''Where are we to put the capital?" and 
it is a very interesting part of American history to read 


the debates on the location of the capital. If the discussion 
had been deferred till our time the capital would never 
have been put at Washington, but it was the right place 
then. It had been partly in New York, partly in Phila- 
delphia, and sometimes *'on wheels," and the biggest kind 
of a compromise was effected by its permanent location, 
and in order that no State might claim the capital, Virginia 
and Maryland were to donate for it a certain district to be 
national property. 

Here we see David do something much like that. He 
would not have his capital at Hebron, as that would look 
too much like a Judah-capital, nor Gibeah, where Saul had 
reigned. He takes an entirely new place, to be owned by 
all the nation — half in Judah and half in Benjamin. 

3. The third thing that he has to do is to destroy, or 
at least break the backbone of those enemies who have been 
fighting the children of Israel ever since their settlement 
in the country. You will see David do this. You will see 
him crush under his feet, and under the iron hand of his 
power, every national enemy. There will be no more a 
battle of Gilboa. There will be no more "grindstone" pe- 
riods, and for the first time you will see the boundaries 
filled out just as God stated them originally in His promises. 
They will reach from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates. 

4. He must organize what is called a "civil service," 
that is, an administrative body. He counts it important to 
provide a financial system adequate to supply national needs 
and representation at foreign courts — all things of that 
kind. Then, he must organize an army, so as not to depend 
upon indiscriminate levies such as we have seen Deborah, 
Barak, Gideon, Jephtha and Saul doing, blowing a trumpet 
and calling a big militia crowd out that will fight if you let 
them fight quick, but they have to go home next week. If 
they win a fight they must go home to divide the spoils — 
must take something to the wife and children. 


5. He had to organize the kingdom — organize its priests 
and Levites with a view to such services at the central place 
of worship as would make that central place of unity the 
joy of the whole earth; make it the mightiest power in 
holding the nation together. He is for the first time to 
organize the choir, so famous in the temple service. 

6. The sixth point, and no less important than the others, 
he must prepare for a transfer of the succession without 
trouble. There is where trouble comes to nations, when 
one ruler goes out and another comes in; when one king 
dies, who shall be his successor. We will see how wisely 
David safeguarded the nation at all points so far as he 
could do it, and he certainly did provide for the succession 
of his son Solomon. 

As we have only one other question to consider I will 
restate these six points: (i) To secure the unity of the 
nation. (2) Central place of worship. (3) Services of a 
character to maintain the unity. (4) Destruction of oppos- 
ing enemies. (5) Organization. (6) Provision for suc- 
cession. You will have learned great things from these two 
books when you get these fixed in your mind. 

David was a type of Christ: 

1. He is called the "Lord's anointed," and "Anointed" 
is what the word "Christ" means. "Christ" is English; 
Christos is Greek ; "Messiah" is Hebrew ; they all mean the 
same thing. 

2. He was a type of Christ in uniting in one person the 
offices of prophet, priest and king. 

3. He was a type of Christ in the trials and sufferings 
of the preparation for his reign. Look at that suffering life ; 
look at the awful persecutions, and then read in the New 
Testament about the Savior's sufferings before He got to 
the point where it could be said of Him: "Lift up your 
heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; 


and let the King of Glory come in." What an awful 
preparation Christ had to pass through! 

4. He was a type of Christ in the expressions in the 
Psalms of the agony of the Messianic sufferings. When 
we come to the Psalter we will understand better the typical 
character of David. 

5. He was a type of Christ in that he was God's rep- 
resentative to man, and man's representative to God. 

6. And here is a strange one — He was a type of Christ 
in being the head or ruler of the heathen, as well as the 
beloved monarch of his own people. That thought is very 
clearly brought out in our history. 

7. He marked the place of Christ's birth by being born 
there himself. 


1. What the Biblical sources of material for a history of the reign 
of David? 

2. Apart from these two books, what Biblical material have we for 
an interpretation of this history? 

3. Restate the relations between the two Biblical histories of 
David's reign. 

4. What of the chronology in II Samuel and I Chronicles? 

5. What the probable time-order of the events in these books? 

6. How does this Old Testament history, as well as all other Old 
Testament history, differ from secular history? 

7. How then must this history be studied? 

8. What the elements of this preparation? 

9. How much do II Samuel and I Chronicles contribute toward 
this preparation? 

10. How much do these two books contribute to the Messianic 

11. So far in the history of David, what have we learned? 

12. What are we to learn in these two books? 

13. What the difficulties to be surmounted, if he reigns after God's 
heart and not Saul's? 

14. How was David a type of Christ? 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 103-108 

THE state of the nation just after the battle of Gilboa 
was this : 

I. The Phihstines held all central Palestine, the 
remnants of Saul's family and army, together with the 
people of that section, having fled across the Jordan, leav- 
ing all their possessions to the enemy. 

2. David had gained a sweeping victory in the South 
country over the Amalekites and their allies, and had dis- 
tributed the spoils among the near-by cities of Judah, but 
as Ziklag was destroyed he had no home. 

In these conditions David displayed both piety and wis- 
dom. He submitted the whole matter of his duty to Jeho- 
vah's direction, and accordingly went with all his family 
and forces and possessions and settled at Hebron, there to 
await further indications of the divine will as they might 
be expressed to him by communication through prophet, 
priest or providential leadings. He knew on many assur- 
ances that he was anointed to be king over all Israel, but 
would not complicate a distressful situation by hasty asser- 
tion of his claim. He well knew that the charter of the 
kingdom required the people's voluntary ratification of the 
divine choice, and took no steps to coerce their acquiescence. 

Hebron was specially valuable as his home and head- 
quarters pending the ratification by the people. It was the 
sacred city of Judah, hallowed by many historic memories 



from Abraham's day to his own time. These memories 
clustered around him as a shelter and comfort, and as a 
reminder of all the precious promises given to the fathers. 
Hebron was their home when living and burial place when 
dead. The aegis of a long line of illustrious sires was over 
him there as the heir of all legacies. It was also the most 
notable of the six cities of refuge. Whoever assaulted him, 
resting there by divine direction, must fight all the sacred 
memories of the past and all the glorious promises of the 
future. Jehovah, prophet, priest and Levite were with him 
there. Moreover, this old city — one of the oldest in the 
world — was defensible against attack, and strategical for 
either observation or aggression. 

The first expression of popular approval was when all 
Judah gathered there and made him king of the royal tribe 
concerning which a dying ancestor had prophesied: 'The 
sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from 
between his feet, till Shiloh come; and unto Him shall be 
the obedience of the nations." This act alone by this one 
tribe was worth more to David than recognition by all the 
other tribes. 

The sending of an embassy by David to the men of 
Jabesh-gilead, carrying his benediction for their loyalty to 
Saul in rescuing and burying with due honor his body and 
the bodies of his sons gibbetted in public shame on the walls 
of Bethshan, together with his promise to requite what they 
had done, bears every stamp of tender sincerity and not one 
mark of a mere politician. What he did is in entire accord 
with all his past and future acts toward the house of Saul. 
He himself, under the greatest provocation, had never struck 
back at Saul, twice sparing his life, never conspiring against 
him, not only in every way honoring him as God's anointed, 
but instantly inflicting the death penalty on every man who 
sought to gain his favor by indignity offered to Saul or any 
of his family. 


Considering this past and future conduct toward the 
house of Saul, the evident tenderness of his elegy over Saul 
and Jonathan, we may not construe as the adroit stroke of a 
politician the last clause of his message, towit : *'Now, there- 
fore, let your hands be strong, and be ye valiant ; for Saul 
your lord is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed 
me king over them." This is an exceedingly modest intima- 
tion that the way is now open for them without any disloy- 
alty to the fallen house, to turn their allegiance to God's 
choice of Saul's successor. But this generous proposition 
of David was defeated, and a long and bloody civil war 
was brought on by the ambition of one man, Abner, the 
uncle of Saul, who, for mere selfish ends set up Ish-bosheth, 
a son of Saul, as king. Here we need to explain the paren- 
thetical clause of H Sam. 2:10 in connection with verse I 
of chapter 3. This parenthetical clause reads : "Ish-bosheth, 
Saul's son, was forty years old when he began to reign over 
Israel, and he reigned two years." The other verse reads : 
"Now there was long war between the house of Saul and 
the house of David." 

Attention has been called more than once to the uncer- 
tainty in Old Testament text, in numbers, because its nu- 
merals are expressed in letters, and that mistakes of tran- 
scription easily occur. Now if the two years in this clause 
expresses the true text, and not seven years and a half, 
then the meaning must be this — that Abner set up Ish-bosheth 
just as soon as possible after the battle of Gilboa, but it 
took him more than five years to bring all of the tribes 
except Judah into acceptance of Ish-bosheth as king, and 
two years describes the last two of the seven and a half. 
If that be the meaning, then the history does not give the 
details of Abner's five and a half years' struggle to bring 
about Ish-bosheth's rule over all Israel but Judah, and these 
details must have shown, if we had any, that he had to 
drive out the Philistines that held the territory, and hence 


it was only in the latter part of Ish-bosheth's reign, count- 
ing from the time he was set up, to the approach to 
the west side of the Jordan which is described in this 

It is evident from all the context that Abner knew that 
David was God's choice, for he says so later on and makes 
a point on it. It is also evident that he regards Ish-bosheth 
as a mere figurehead to prepare the way for his own ulti- 
mate assumption of the sovereignty. His taking to himself 
of Saul's harem, against which Ish-bosheth protested, did 
mean just what Ish-bosheth said it meant — that it was equal 
to claiming the kingdom for himself. As soon, therefore, 
as he finds out that his motive is thoroughly understood, 
then as an evidence that good motives have not actuated 
him, he announces to Ish-bosheth that he is going to carry 
all the people back to David, God's choice. 

We recall from English history that the Duke of Warwick 
is called "The King Maker;" that he made Edward IV king, 
and when Edward IV insulted him then he took sides with 
Henry VI and made him king. Just exactly in this way 
Abner acts in this history. His motives, therefore, are 
merely the motives of a man who knows that his course is 
opposed to God and to the best interests of the people, but 
is determined to further his own selfish ambitions. 

This war of seven and a half years was thus charac- 
terized: *'And David waxed stronger and stronger, but 
the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker." But when, 
after five and a half years of confirming the authority of 
Ish-bosheth, Abner felt himself strong enough, he left the 
east side of the Jordan and carried his army over near 
Gibeah, Saul's old home, with the evident purpose of mak- 
ing Ish-bosheth king over the whole nation. David did not 
make the aggression, but he resisted aggression, so he sends 
out his army under Joab and they stand opposed to each 
other near a pool of water at Gibeah. A hostile army being 


brought that near Hebron, David has to meet it. The war 
then was evidently forced by the house of Saul. 

The events, in order, leading up to David's being made 
king over all Israel are as follows : The first event is Joab's 
great victory over Abner at Gibeah. Abner proposed that 
a dozen champions from each side fight a duel and let that 
fight settle the whole question. When these twenty- four 
men met they met with such fury that at the first stroke 
every man on either side killed his opponent and was killed 
by his opponent, so that the duel was not decisive, but it 
brought on the fight. Joab then gains an easy victory. One 
of Joab's brothers, Asahel, swift of foot, follows Abner, 
pursues him, and your history tells you that Abner killed 
Asahel by thrusting him through with the butt end of his 
spear, striking backward. I suppose the end of the spear 
was sharp, as he didn't hit him with the point, but with the 
sharpened butt of it. That stopped the battle, but no injury 
to Joab ever stopped him until he wreaked his vengeance. 
So here it ended by his killing Abner for the death of 
Asahel, as we will see a little later. 

The next event, in order, is the quarrel between Abner 
and Ish-bosheth on account of Ish-bosheth's protest against 
the infamous deed of Abner, and the next is Abner's desert- 
ing to David, persuading the tribes that Ish-bosheth is just 
a figurehead and his cause getting weaker all the time, and 
David is getting stronger, and the right thing to do was for 
all to come in and recognize the king that God had chosen. 
Abner came to David making that proposition. David told 
him that the first thing to be done was that he should restore 
Michal, his wife, who had been given to another man. I 
do not know that any particular love prompted David. 
I don't see why, with the number of wives he already had, 
he had any love to pour out on her, but if he had any 
political stroke in view it was that if the daughter of Saul 
was brought back to him as his wife, then it would make it 


easier for the followers of Saul to come to this united 
family, representing both sides, as it was proposed by Cath- 
erine de Medici to unite the Huguenots and the Romanists 
by marriage between Henry of Navarre on the Huguenot 
side to Margaret, the sister of King Charles of France, on 
the other side. 

The next event is the murder of Abner by Joab — a cold- 
blooded murder. The plan of it was agreed on between 
himself and his brother Abishai that they would send for 
Abner, who had left after his interview with David, and 
bring him back in David's name, and then Joab proposed 
to step aside and inquire about his health, and while he is 
inquiring about his health he stabbed him under the fifth 
rib. David laments the death of Abner, but does not punish 
Joab. On the contrary, he says, "These sons of Zeruiah 
are too hard for me." His sister, Zeruiah, had three sons — 
Joab, Abishai and Asahel. He will have a good deal more 
trouble with that family yet. They will be harder than they 
were in this case. 

The next step was, seeing that Ish-bosheth now has no 
standing; Abner dead, no general, the people all agreeing 
to go back to David, two ruffians who wanted to make cap- 
ital with David assassinated Ish-bosheth and carried the 
news of their assassination to David, expecting to be re- 
warded. He rewarded them very promptly — by executing 
them. These are the events in order that led up to the 
union of the nation under David. 

The children born to David in Hebron are mentioned in 
the record : Ammon, or Amnon, the son of Abinoam. We 
will find out about him later. It would have been better 
if he had never been born. The next one is Chileab, or 
Daniel, as he is called in Chronicles, a son of Abigail. We 
do not know whether he turned out well or ill, as he drops 
out of the history. The next one is Absalom, the son of 
Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, the king of Geshur. We 


will certainly hear of him later. It would have been better 
if he had never been born. The others make no mark in 
the history at all. O this polygamy ! This polygamy ! The 
jealousies of polygamy ! It is an awful thing. 

Now let us look at the character of Abner, Ish-bosheth 
and Joab. Abner was a man of considerable talent and 
influence, but unscrupulously ambitious. Ish-bosheth had 
just about as much backbone as a jelly-fish. Joab was a 
great general — a very stern, selfish warrior. Himself as 
unscrupulous as Abner, though not as disloyal. But we are 
a long way from being done with Joab. A great text for 
a sermon in this section is : "These sons of Zeruiah are too 
hard for me ;" that is, a man should beware, in accompHsh- 
ing his purposes, of the character of the instruments that 
he associates with him. If he calls in Turks, Tartars, and 
Huns to be his allies, then after a while he will have to 
settle with his allies, and he may find that his allies are too 
strong for him. A proverb advises us to keep no company 
with a violent man. We are always in danger if a violent, 
unscrupulous man is our associate. Like poor dog Tray, 
we may get a beating for being in their company. 

We have Joab's reply to Abner in II Sam. 2\2'j\ "Then 
Abner called to Joab and said. Shall the sword devour for- 
ever? Knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the 
latter end? How long shall it be then, ere thou bid the 
people return from following their brethren?" Joab was 
pursuing them sorely. "And Joab said. As God liveth, if 
thou hadst not spoken, surely then in the morning the people 
had gone away, nor followed every one his brother." What 
is the sense of that last verse? Abner speaks and wants to 
know why they are pursuing him, and Joab says, "If thou 
hadst not spoken then every man would not be pursuing his 
brother." I will leave that to the reader and the commen- 
taries as to just what Joab meant. 



1. What the state of the nation just after the battle of Gilboa? 

2. In these conditions how did David display both piety and 

3. What the value of Hebron as his home and headquarters pending 
the ratification by the people? 

4. What was the first expression of popular approval? 

5. Was David's embassy to the men of Jabesh-gilead the sincere 
act of a statesman, or an adroit stroke of a politician? 

6. What defeated this generous proposition of David and brought 
on a long and bloody civil war? 

7. Explain the parenthetical clause of II Sam. 2 : 10 in connection 
with verse i of chapter 3, 

8. Judging from his conduct throughout, what motives must have 
inspired Abner? 

9. What characterizes this war of seven and one-half years? 

10. Show how aggression came from Abner. 

11. State, in order, the events leading up to David's being made 
king over all Israel. 

12. What children were born to David in Hebron, and what may 
we say about them? 

13. What the character of Abner, Ish-bosheth and Joab? 

14. What great text for a sermon in this section? 

15. What the sense of Joab's reply to Abner., II Sam. 2 : 27? 



Scriptures: References in the Harmony, pp. io8, 109 

THIS section is short, but intensely important. Please 
observe the method of the harmonist in arranging 
the text of the reign of David into periods of War, 
Rest and Internal Dissensions. This arrangement is admir- 
able for topical discussion, but does not follow a strict chro- 
nological order of events. It is a characteristic of the his- 
tories themselves to intersperse here and there in the details 
of the story a comprehensive summary extending far be- 
yond the specific details which precede or follow — for 
example, II Sam. 5:4-14. 

The first notable event of this section is that David is 
made king over all Israel, at Hebron. For this consumma- 
tion David himself deserves unstinted praise. There was 
nothing in his own conduct while Saul lived or after his 
death to make it difficult for any surviving partisan of Saul's 
house to come over to David. Under persecution he had 
been loyal ; in opportunities for vengeance he had been mer- 
ciful; in the hour of triumph his spirit was not arrogant 
but conciliatory ; in the long postponement of the divine 
purpose he was not impatient, never seeking, as some of his 
ancestors had done, to hasten by his own meddling the 
ripening of Jehovah's prophecies and promises. And when 
some of his too zealous or more vengeful partisans took 
short cuts toward the destined end on lines of their own 
passions, he made it evident by signal rebuke that he was 



not personally responsible for their wrong-doing. He never 
rewarded a traitor for assassinating a member of the house 
of Saul except with instant execution and with expressions 
of the most pronounced abhorrence of their crimes. In 
impassioned and evidently sincere elegy he bore high tribute 
to the merits of the dead, mingled with a matchless charity 
that was silent as to their demerits, while sending benedic- 
tions to those who befriended them. So the remnants of 
Saul's following and family had no grievances against David 
to forget or to forgive. 

When we place over against this conduct of David the 
conduct of Philip II of Spain, the contrast is awful. Philip 
openly and habitually offered large rewards to assassins who 
by any means would murder his enemies, and sang, "Te 
Deum Laudamus" when they succeeded. His nature was 
as cold as a frog, poisonous as a snake, treacherous as a 
coyote, cruel as a panther. In wholesale murder, arson 
and confiscation he was the prince of criminals, eclipsing 
the infamy of both Nero and Herod, and in stark unctuous 
hypocrisy none in the annals of time might dare to claim 
equality with him, much less pre-eminence over him. He 
was the Monster of the centuries. It certainly must have 
caused Satan himself to put on a sardonic grin when hear- 
ing Philip called ''His most Christian majesty." Spain, at 
Philip's accession, was the dominant world-power; he left 
it with none so poor to do it reverence. Judea, at David's 
accession, was at the bottom place among the nations; he 
left it on top, the glory of the world. The contrast spells 
just this: David was a saint, Philip was a devil. 

It is to be regretted that so little reason prompted those 
tribes, now eager for union, to promote the defection which 
this union healed. Under the dominant influence of a selfish 
leader they set up Ish-bosheth against the known will of 
Jehovah. They warred in open aggression against the choice 
of Jehovah. They made no decisive effort toward pacifi- 


cation while they had a leg to stand on, and when they did 
come back into the union their expressed reasons for return, 
while evidently now sincere, were all equally strong against 
their making the original breach. Look at these reasons 
and see. They assign three reasons for their return: (i) 
*'Behold we are thy bone and thy flesh." (2) 'In times 
past, when Saul was king over us, it was thou that leddest 
out and broughtest in Israel." (3) "J^^ovah said to thee, 
Thou shalt be shepherd of my people, and thou shalt be 
prince over Israel." In view of these cogent reasons, one 
may well inquire, Why, then, a long and bloody war of 
division ? 

The steps of the national reunion were these: 

1. An armed host of all the tribes came simultaneously 
to David at Hebron to make him king. 

2. Their elders, as representatives, enter into solemn 
covenant with him before Jehovah. 

3. They anoint him king over all Israel. 

4. A three-days* festival of great joy celebrates the 
event. All these steps were profoundly significant, and 
are worthy of comment. Concerning the first step — ^the 
gathering of the armed host to Hebron — some remarks are 
pertinent : 

1. The total number of armed men who came together 
simultaneously from all of the tribes was enormous. Apart 
from the captains, and with the contingent of Issachar not 
stated, the total is 339,000, but assuming Issachar's con- 
tingent to be somewhat between Zebulun's and Napthali's, 
say 40,000, and adding the captains which are enumerated, 
the total would be 380,221. 

2. The very large contingent from the house of Aaron 
of both branches shows how thoroughly the priesthood 
which Saul had hated stood by David. 

3. The contingents from the least prominent tribes, 


Manasseh, Zebulun, Napthali, Asher, Reuben and Gad, were 
all out of proportion greater than the near-by tribes. 

4. The small contingent from Benjamin is explained by 
the fact that even yet the greater part were attached to the 
house of Saul, but the reason of Judah's small number is 
not given. The trans-Jordanic two-and-a-half tribes send 
a third of the total. 

5. The remark concerning the contingent of the western 
half — Manasseh — is that they came instructed to make 
David king. 

6. The remark concerning the two hundred leaders of 
Issachar has been the theme of many a sermon: "Men 
that had understanding of the times to know what Israel 
ought to do." Oh, that such men were multiplied in our 

7. Concerning Zebulun's 50,000, it is said they were "not 
of double heart." May such men flourish in this unstable, 
twisting and turning generation ! 

8. Indeed, concerning all of them, it is said, "They came 
with perfect heart to make David king." 

It was quite in accord with the patriarchal and repre- 
sentative constitution of the nation that the princes and 
elders of the tribes should act for them in entering into 
covenant with David. It must have been an imposing sight, 
to see nearly half a million armed men in fifteen distinct 
corps waiting at Hebron, while their statesmen, prophets, 
priests and generals deliberated on the terms of the 

The Covenant. — The covenant itself doubtless was based 
on the charter of the kingdom as defined by Moses and 
Samuel, which safeguarded the rights of all parties con- 
cerned, towit: Jehovah, the king, the national assembly, 
the religion, and the people at large. It was an intensely 
religious act, seeing it was "before Jehovah." Following 
this covenant came — 


The Anointing. — David had already been twice anointed, 
first at Bethlehem privately by Samuel as an expression of 
Jehovah's choice, and as a symbol of the Spirit-power that 
rested on him, A second time here at Hebron his anointing 
was expressive of Judah's choice, but now this third more 
public and imposing anointing on such a grand occasion, 
following such a covenant, takes on a wider and most 
charming significance so appropriately expressed by David 
himself in Psalm 133 that it seems to have been occasioned 
by this event: 

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is 
For brethren to dwell together in unity ! 
It is like the precious oil upon the head, 
That ran down upon the beard, 
Even Aaron's beard ; 

That came down upon the skirt of his garments ; 
Like the dew of Hermon, 

That cometh down upon the mountains of Zion: 
For there Jehovah commanded the blessing, 
Even life for evermore." 

It is certain that never before nor since was there such 
a thorough and joyous unity of the nation, and such broth- 
erly love among the Jews, nor ever will be until erring and 
dispersed Israel, long exiled from Jehovah's favor, shall 
be gathered out of all nations and turn in one momentous 
day with such penitence as the world has never known to 
David's greater Son, according to the prophecies of Zecha- 
riah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Paul. Then, indeed, in one sense, 
will the ''Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" be 
"anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows" be- 
cause He sees "The travail of His soul" concerning Israel 
and is satisfied. We might well look to a greater fulfilment 
when the kingdoms of this world have become the. kingdom 
of our Lord and His Christ, at which time more appropri- 
ately than ever before in the history may a redeemed and 
united world unite in singing the greatest human coronation 


"Bring forth the royal diadem 
And crown Him Lord of All !" 

The Festival. — Perhaps the most remarkable feature of 
the whole occasion is the provision made for entertaining 
a half million people for three days. Our text says, ''And 
they were there with David three days, eating and drinking: 
for their brethren had made preparation for them. More- 
over, they that were nigh unto them, even as far as Issachar 
and Zebulun and NaphtaH, brought bread on asses, and on 
camels, and on mules, and on oxen, victual of meal, cakes 
of figs, and clusters of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, 
and sheep in abundance : for there was joy in Israel." This 
great festival of joy not only reminds us of the sacrificial 
feast following the covenant at Sinai (Ex. 24:1-11), but 
prefigures the one announced in later days by Isaiah thus : 
"And in this mountain will Jehovah of hosts make unto all 
people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of 
fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. 
And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the cover- 
ing that covereth all peoples, and the veil that is spread over 
all nations. He hath swallowed up death forever; and the 
Lord Jehovah will wipe away tears from off all faces ; and 
the reproach of His people will He take away from off all 
the earth," Isa. 25 : 6-8, or that greater festival adverted to 
by our Lord when He said concerning the salvation of the 
multitudinous thousands of the Gentiles, ''Many shall come 
from the East and the West, and the North and the South, 
and shall recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac and 
Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." 

The auspices for the nation were all propitious. They 
have a king over them, not like other nations, but a king 
after God's own heart. The rights, powers and privileges 
of all parties interested were all clearly defined and solemn- 
ized by imposing ceremonies of religion. Here was God's 
choice of the man, the ratification by the national assembly, 


bonds of charter and covenant, the presence and concurrence 
of prophet and priests, to which may be added, in the words 
of our text, "And all the rest also of Israel were all of one 
heart to make David king." The plan of the kingdom, and 
its start are perfect. If failure shall come in later days, 
as come it will, it will be for no fault in the plan. 

The Taking of Jerusalem. — David's first act of royalty 
tends to promote and perpetuate the union, namely, the 
securing of a central capital, strong for defence or aggres- 
sion, and not likely to promote tribal jealousy. It would 
not do to make Hebron, distinctly a city of Judah, the na- 
tional capital, nor yet Gibeah of Benjamin, where Saul had 
reigned. It must be a new place which commanded the 
Arabah, the Negeb, the Mediterranean coast, and all the 
highways from North to South and East to West. To meet 
these conditions there was but one place, the city whose 
citadel was held by the Jebusites ; part of it lay in Judah's 
allotted territory and part in Benjamin's, but neither had 
driven the Jebusites from the citadel which overawed the 

Memories of the Place. — It had been the city of Melchize- 
dek, king of peace and righteousness, priest of the Most 
High God, to whom Abraham had paid tithes, and type of 
our Lord, David's greater son. There, also, on Mount 
Moriah, in the greatest typical act of the ages, Abraham 
came to offer up his well-beloved son, Isaac, the child of 
promise, and there, in a type of our Lord's resurrection, was 
Isaac saved. The authority of Moses still cried, ''Drive 
out these Jebusites," so David called the united nation to 

The selection of a capital for a nation made up of varied 
and jealous constituencies calls for the highest wisdom and 
the broadest spirit of compromise. Every student of our 
national history will recall what a perplexing thing it was 
for our fathers to agree on the site of a national capital. 


Philadelphia, the continental capital, would not do, nor 
would Annapolis, where Washington returned his sword at 
the close of the war, nor New York, with its Wall Street, 
where Washington was inaugurated. A district, ceded by 
Virginia and Maryland as an inalienable national possession, 
was the compromise, just as here Jerusalem, lying partly in 
Judah and partly in Benjamin, becomes the capital, and yet 
to be conquered by the united force of the nation, giving 
all a special interest in it. "For similar reasons," says a fine 
commentator, "promotive of national union, we have seen 
Victor Emmanuel made king of a united Italy, change his 
capital, first from Turin in Lombardy to Florence in Tus- 
cany, and then to Rome, the ancient imperial city." So now, 
David, the wisest and most prudent of monarchs, avails 
himself of the enthusiasm of a united nation and the pres- 
ence of a great army to lead them to storm the citadel of 
the Jebusites. 

Two incidents of that great victory are worthy of note: 
(i) the scornful greeting of the Jebusites, confident in the 
impregnabiHty of their fortress: "Even with the blind and 
the lame to hold the walls he cannot come in hither." (2) 
David's offer to reward the one who would scale the wall, 
the position of commander-in-chief of his army, won by 
his nephew Joab. Following the conquest comes the 

Rapid Fortification, — He lengthened, strengthened and 
connected the walls of the city. Indeed, there was reason 
for haste, as storms of war were gathering from every point 
of the horizon. 

Two results follow the union of the nation under such a 
king, and the rapid conquest and fortification of such a 
capital: (i) David waxed stronger and stronger ; (2) neigh- 
boring nations, jealous and alarmed, prepare to pour on him 
a tide of war. 

And now, before we dip into the bloody pages of these 
wars, two remarks are timely: (i) Throughout David's 


reign, every act of his administration is promotive of the 
national unity centered at Jerusalem; (2) Jerusalem from 
this date forward to the end of time and throughout eternity 
v^ill be the world's chief city, either in type or antitype. Its 
vicissitudes in subsequent history are the most remarkable 
in the annals of time. On account of David's work and 
preparation it became in Solomon's day the joy of the whole 
earth. The Psalms proclaim its glory in worship, and after 
its fall they voice the exile's lament: *Tf I forget thee, 
O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning and 
my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.'* Babylon cap- 
tured it ; Persia restored it ; Greece, through Alexander the 
Great, honored it; Antiochus Epiphanes defiled it; the As- 
moneans took it ; the Messiah heard its hosannahs one day 
and its "Crucify Him" another day; Rome destroyed it; 
the Saracens captured it; the Crusader re-captured it; the 
Turk holds it and Germany covets it. Its desolation has 
lasted nearly two thousand years and will last until the ful- 
ness of the Gentiles comes in. Its greatest glory is that its 
temple symbolized the churches of the living God, and the 
city itself symbolized the Heavenly Jerusalem, which is the 
mother of all the saints. [The author's reference to Ger- 
many's desire to acquire Jerusalem was written long before 
the Great War which has witnessed the Germanic-Turkish 
alliance. The words seem prophetic. — Editor.] 


1. What the method of the harmonist in arranging the text 
of David's reign, extending from page 108 to 163. inclusive? 

2. 'What a characteristic of the histories themselves? 

3. What the first notable event of this section? 

4. What credit was due David himself in this great consum- 

5. Contrast David's course in this matter with the character 
and polity of Philip IT of Spain. 

6. What reasons assigned by the tribes for their return to David, 
and the bearing of their reasons on their defection? 

7. What the several steps of this national reunion? 


8. What the notable particulars of the armed hosts who assem- 

9. What the representative act of the elders? 

10. What of the covenant itself? 

11. What of the anointing? 

12. What of the three days* festival? 

13. What the first kingly act of David to strengthen and per- 
petuate this national union? 

14. What place selected for the capital, its advantages, and 
memories ? 

15. What the incidents of its capture? 

16. What steps taken to fortify it? 

17. What two results naturally followed this union of the 
nation under such a king in such a capital ? 

18. What the position of Jerusalem henceforward among the 
cities of the world? 

19. Relate some of its vicissitudes in subsequent history. 



Scriptures: References in the Harmony, pp. 110-114, 1 18-125 

OUR last chapter intimated that the union of the nation 
under such a king as David, in such a capital, would 
naturally excite the jealousy and alarm of all neigh- 
boring heathen nations. This section commences thus: 
"And when the Philistines heard that they had anointed 
David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek 

Your attention has already been called to the necessity of 
breaking the power of the hostile heathen nations lying all 
around Judea, if ever the Jewish nation is to fulfil its mis- 
sion to all other nations. The geographical position of 
Judea, which is the best in the world for leavening the 
nations with the ideas of the kingdom of God, if it main- 
tained its national purity and adherence to Jehovah, also 
made it the most desirable possession for other peoples 
having far different ideals. As the salvation of the world, 
including these very hostile nations, depended on the per- 
petuity and purity of Israel, these nations, through whom 
came idolatry and national corruption, must be broken, 
hence the seeming cruelty and partiality of Jehovah's order 
through Moses to destroy the Canaanites, root and branch, 
and to avoid the corruptions of the other nations, were 
meant as mercy and kindness to the world. 

The nations against which David successfully warred, so 
far as our text records them, were the Philistines, the 
Ammonites, the Syrians of Zobah, the Syrians of Damas- 



cus, the Moabites, and the Edomites. He had previously 
smitten the Amalekites of the Negeb. On these wars in 
general the following observations are noteworthy: 

1. He was never the aggressor. 

2. He never lost a battle. 

3. His conquest filled out the kingdom to the boundaries 
originally promised to Abraham. 

4. The spoils of all these wars, staggering credulity in 
their variety and value, were consecrated to Jehovah, mak- 
ing the richest treasury known to history. 

5. By alliance without war he secured the friendship of 
Hiram, king of Tyre, most valuable to him and to his son 
Solomon. As Phoenicia, through the world-famous fleets of 
Tyre and Sidon, commanded the Mediterranean with all its 
marine commerce, and as David ruled the land through 
whose thoroughfares must pass the caravans carrying this 
traffic to Africa, Arabia, India, Syria and Mesopotamia, it 
was of infinite value to both to be in friendly alliance. To 
these merchant-princes it was of incalculable advantage that 
all the land transportation of their traffic should lie within 
the boundaries of one strong and friendly nation rather than 
to have to run the gauntlet between a hundred irresponsible 
and predatory tribes, while to David, apart from the value 
of this peaceful commerce, the whole western border of 
Judea along the Mediterranean coast was safe from inva- 
sion by sea so long as friendship was maintained with 
Hiram, king of the sea. 

6. By the voluntary submission of Hamath after his 
conquest of Damascus, he controlled the famous historic 
^'Entrance into Hamath," the one narrow pathway of traf- 
fic with the nations around the Caspian Sea, thus enabHng 
David to reach those innumerable northern hordes so graph- 
ically described in later days by Ezekiel, the exile-prophet. 

7. By the conquest of Damascus he controlled the only 
caravan-route to the Euphrates and Mesopotamia, since the 


desert lying east of the trans-Jordanic tribes was practically 
impassable for trade and army movement from a lack of 
water. We have seen Abraham, migrating from Ur of the 
Chaldees, low down on the Euphrates, compelled to ascend 
that river for hundreds of miles in order to find an acces- 
sible way to the Holy Land through Damascus. In his day, 
also Chedorlaomer's invasion had to follow the same way, 
as we will see later invasions do in Nebuchadnezzar's time, 
which at last conquered David's Jerusalem. 

8. By the conquest of Ammon, Moab and Edom, all the 
Arabah passed into his hands, checkmating invasion by 
Arabian hordes, as well as barring one line of invasion from 
Egypt. By the conquest of the Philistines and Amalekites 
the other two ways of Egyptian invasion were barred. You 
should take a map, such as you will find in Hurlbut's Atlas, 
and show how David's wars and peaceful aUiances safe- 
guarded every border, north, east, south and west. 

Besides these general observations, we may note a special 
feature characterizing these, and indeed all other wars, 
prior to the leveling invention of gunpowder and other high 
explosives, namely, much was accomplished by individual 
champions of great physical prowess and renown. David 
himself was as famous in this respect as Richard, the Lion- 
hearted, until in a desperate encounter, related in this sec- 
tion, his life was so endangered that a public demand justly 
required him to leave individual fighting to less necessary 
men and confine himself to the true duty of a general — 
the direction of the movements of the army. 

Your text recites the special exploits of Jashobeam, 
Eleazer, Shammah, Abishai, Benaiah, or Benajah, after 
whom my father, myself, and my oldest son were named. 
With them may be classed the ten Gadites whose faces were 
like the faces of lions and who were as swift as the moun- 
tain deer, the least equal to a hundred and the greatest 
equal to a thousand. These crossed the Jordan at its mighty 


flood and smote the Philistines in all its valley, east and 

Quite to the front also, as giant-killers, were Sibbecai, 
Elhanan and Jonathan's nephew. Of others, all mighty 
heroes, we have only a catalogue of names as famous in 
their day as Hercules, Theseus, and Achilles, Ajax, Ulysses, 
Horatius, and King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, 
but, as philosophizes Sir Walter Scott in "Ivanhoe" con- 
cerning the doughty champions at the tourney of Ashby de 
la Zouch : 'To borrow lines from a contemporary poet, 

'The knights are dust, 

And their good swords rust, 

Their souls are with the saints, we trust,' 

while their escutcheons have long mouldered from the walls 
of their castles; their castles themselves are but green 
mounds and shattered ruins ; the place that once knew them 
knows them no more. Nay, many a race since theirs has 
died out and been forgotten in the very land which they 
occupied with all the authority of feudal proprietors and 
lords. What then would it avail to the reader to know 
their names, or the evanescent symbols of their martial 

One exploit of three of these champions deserves to Hve 
forever in literature. It thrills the heart by the naturalness 
of its appeal to the memory of every man concerning the 
precious things of his childhood's home. David was in his 
stronghold, the Cave of Adullam, weary and thirsty. Beth- 
lehem and his childhood rise before him : ''O that one would 
give me water to drink of the Well of Bethlehem that is 
by the gate!" His exclamation thrills like Woodworth's 
famous poem, 

"How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood, 
As fond recollection presents them to view! 

The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wildwood, 
And ev'ry loved spot which my infancy knew." 


David's longing for water from that particular well, and 
Woodworth's *'01d Oaken Bucket" harmonize with my own 
experience whenever I am delirious with fever. I always 
see a certain spring on my father's plantation issuing from 
the moss-covered, fern-bordered rocks, and filling a sunken 
barrel. Hard by, hanging on a bush, is the gourd which, 
when dipped into the cold, clear spring, is more precious 
to thirsty lips than the silver tankards or gold drinking 
cups of kings ; only in my fever-thirst I never am able to 
get that gourd to my lips. 

Three of David's mighty men heard the expression of 
his longing for that water out of the Well of Bethlehem, 
and slipping quietly away, not caring that a Philistine gar- 
rison held Bethlehem, the three men alone break through 
the defended gate and under fire draw water from the well 
and bring a vessel of it over a long, hot way to thirsty David. 
It touched his heart when he saw their wounds. He could 
not drink water purchased with their blood, but poured it 
out as a libation to such great and devoted friendship. 

Some other incidents of the Philistine war are worthy of 
comment : 

1. So great was the defeat of the Philistines in their 
first battle, where David, under divine direction, attacked 
the center of their army, the scene is named "Baal-Perazim," 
i.e., 'The place of breaking forth." Splitting their column 
wide open at its heart, he dispersed them in every direction. 
They even left their gods behind them to be burned by 
David's men. We need not be startled at the burning of 
such gods, for history tells of one nation that ate their god, 
made out of dough, in times of famine. This breaking of a 
battle-center was a favorite method with Napoleon later, 
and vainly attempted by Lee at Gettysburg. 

2. In the second great battle, again following divine 
direction, he avoided the center where they expected his 
attack as before and were there prepared for him this time, 


and "fetched" a compass to their rear, sheltered from their 
view by a thick growth of balsam trees, and on hearing "a 
sound of a going" in these trees, struck them unawares and 
overthrew them completely. 

So Stonewall Jackson, his movements sheltered from 
observation by the trees of the wilderness, marched and 
struck in his last and greatest victory at Chancellorsville. 
And so did that master of war, Frederick the Great, screened 
by intervening hills, turn the Austrian columns and win his 
greatest victory at Leuthen. Major Penn, the great Texas 
lay-evangelist, preached his greatest sermon from "This 
fetching a compass," and "When thou hearest the sound 
of a going in the mulberry trees, bestir thyself." His appli- 
cation was: (a) Let great preachers attack the center, 
as David did at Baal-Perazim. (b) But as I am only a lay- 
man I must fetch a compass and strike them in the rear 
where they are not expecting attack, (c) As the signal of 
assault was the sound of a going in the mulberry trees, 
which we interpret to mean the power of the Holy Spirit 
going before, we must tarry for that power, for without 
it we are bound to fail, (d) But that power being evident, 
let every member of the church bestir himself." On this 
last point his zealous exhortation puts every man, woman 
and child to working. 

3. The third incident of this war was its culmination. 
He pressed his victory until "he took the bridle of the 
mother city out of the hand of the Philistines ;" that is, he 
captured Gath and the four other cities, or daughters, that 
had gone from it. To take the bridle of a horse from the 
hand of a rider is to make that horse serve the new master, 
so Gath and her daughters paid tribute to David and served 
him — quite a new experience for the Philistines. 

4. The result of these great achievements is thus ex- 
pressed : "And the fame of David went out into all lands ; 
and the Lord brought the fear of him on all nations." 


The occasion of his next war, the one with Ammon, was 
remarkable. Nahash, the king of Ammon, held very friendly- 
relations with David. The fact is that he may have been the 
father of Amasa, a son of David's sister, Abigail. Anyway, 
the relations between them had been very pleasant, so when 
Nahash died, David, out of the kindness of his heart, always 
remembering courtesies shown him, sent a friendly embassy 
to Hanun, the son of Nahash, but the princes of Ammon 
said to the young king, "Do you suppose that love for your 
father prompted David to send these men? He sent them 
to spy out the land so that he can make war successfully 
against us." This evil suggestion led the young king to do 
a very foolish thing, and one that violated all international 
policy. He arrested these ambassadors and subjected them 
to the greatest indignity. Their venerable beards were cut 
off. I don't know whether that means cut off half-way or 
just shaved off one side of the face. Then he cut off their 
long robes of dignity so they would be bob-tailed jackets 
striking about the hips, and sent them home. No mortifica- 
tion could exceed theirs. Somebody told David about it 
and he sent this word to them: *'Tarry at Jericho until 
your beards grow out." 

A deacon of the First Church at Waco, when I was pas- 
tor, whenever a young member of the church would propose 
some innovation on the customs of the church, would draw 
up his tall figure — ^he was quite tall — and would reach out 
his long arm and point at the young man and say, "My 
young brother, you had better tarry at Jericho until your 
beard grows out." It was very crushing on the young 
brother, and I used to exhort the deacon about his curt way 
of cutting off members who, whether young or old, had 
a right equal to his own to speak in conference. 

Having practiced that unpardonable indignity upon the 
friendly ambassadors, the Ammonites know they must fight, 
since they have made themselves odious to David, so they 


raise an enormous sum of money, a thousand talents of 
silver, and hire 33,000 men from the Syrians — the different 
branches of the Syrians. Some of them were horsemen 
from across the Euphrates, some from Tob, some from 
Maacah, and the rest of them from Zobah. David sends 
Joab at the head of his mighty army of veterans to fight 
them. The Ammonites remain in their fortified city of 
Rabbah, and as Joab's army approaches, 33,000 Syrians 
come up behind them, and Joab sees that there is a battle 
to be fought in the front and in the rear, so he divides his 
army and takes his picked men to attack the Syrians, and 
commands Abishai, his brother, to go after the Ammonites 
as they pour out of their city to attack in front. Joab says 
to his brother, "If the Syrians are too strong for me, you 
help me, and if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then 
I will come and help you," and so they fight both ways and 
whip in both directions with tremendous success. Joab 
destroys the Syrians, and Abishai drives the Ammonites 
back under the walls of their city. 

That victory leads to another war. When the Syrians 
heard of the overthrow of the contingent sent to succor 
Ammon, they sent across the Euphrates again for rein- 
forcements and mobilized a large home army to fight David. 
David met them in battle and blotted them off the map, and 
having disposed of the Syrians, at the return of the season 
for making war, he sent Joab with a mighty army to besiege 
the city of Rabbah, the capital of the Ammonites. Joab 
besieges them and when he sees them about to surrender 
he sends for David to come and accept the surrender and 
David puts the crown of the king of Ammon on his own 
head. Then having destroyed the Ammonites, he marches 
against their southern ally, Moab, and conquers them. Fol- 
lowing up this victory he leads his army against Edom, and 
conquers all that country. This war lasts six months. He 
gains a great victory over the Edomites and through 


Abishai, his leader, eighteen thousand of the Edomites were 
slain. The heir of the king escapes with great difficulty 
to Egypt, and is sheltered there. Joab remained six months 
to bury the dead and gather up the spoils. So ends this 
period of conquest. 

The text tells you, in conclusion, who were the administra- 
tion officers during this period. You will find it on page 122 
of the Harmony. Joab was over the host, Jehoshaphat was 
recorder, Zadok and Ahimelech were priests, Seraiah was 
scribe, Benaiah, or Benajah, was over the Cherethites and 
Pelethites, and David's sons were chiefs about the king. 

That great round of successes is followed by the mag- 
nificent song of thanksgiving, which needs to be specially 
analyzed and which is transferred to the Psalter as Psalm 18. 

That you may have a connected account of these wars, 
the consideration of three periods is deferred to the next 
chapter : 

1. The great sin of David, with its far-reaching conse- 
quences, n Sam. 11:2 — 12:24. 

2. His treatment of the Ammonites after the fall of 
Rabbah, H Sam. 12:31 and I Chron. 20: 3. 

3. His treatment of the Moabites, H Sam. S:2. 


1. What the necessity of breaking the power of the hostile 
nations within and around Judea? 

2. Show why the geographical position of Judea was favorable 
to its mission of leavening all nations with the ideas of the king- 
dom of God, and why Judea was a desirable possession to those 

3. What event brought a tide of war on David? 

4. According to the record, with what nations did he wage 
successful war? 

5. What four general observations on these wars? 

6. What special feature characterized them and^ all other an- 
cient wars, and what modern inventions have now divested war of 
this feature? 

7. Cite the names of some of David's champions and their 


8. How does Sir Walter Scott, in "Ivanhoe," philosophize on 
the speedy oblivion coming to great champions? 

9. Recite one exploit that deserves to live in literature, and 

10. Cite the notable characteristics of the battle of Baal-Per- 

11. Name the more decisive battles which followed, and give 
illustrations from history of the different methods of attack in 
those two battles. 

12. Give Major Penn's text and sermon outline on some words 
concerning this battle. 

13. Explain : "He took the . bridle of the mother city out of 
the hand of the Philistines." 

14. What the result of these great achievements? 

15. Recite the occasion of the war with Ammon and its results, 
and describe the first battle. 

16. Give brief statement of wars with Syria, Moab and Edom. 

17. With a map before you, show just how by these wars and 
alliances David safeguarded all his borders. 

18. How did he commemorate his victories? 

19. How did he celebrate them? 

20. Into what other book was his thanksgiving song trans- 
ferred, and how numbered there? 



Scriptures : I Sam. 1 1 : i — 12 : 25 ; 12 : 31 and I Chron. 20 : 3 ; 
II Sam. 8:2; Harmony, pp. 115-117 

IN the preceding discussion, three dark events of David's 
career were omitted, first, because it was thought best 
to give in unbroken connection a history of his success- 
ful wars, carrying his kingdom to its promised boundaries 
and fining the world with his fame ; secondly, because the 
three events called for special and extended treatment. 
Truly the wars closed in a blaze of glory, for "The Lord 
gave victory to David whithersoever he went;" *'his king- 
dom was exalted on high for his people Israel's sake ;" "So 
David gat him a great name," according to the gracious 
promise of Jehovah, "I will make unto thee a great name, 
like unto the name of the great ones that are in the earth," 
Indeed, at the close of these wars his was the most illus- 
trious name on earth and his kingdom the greatest. 

It is a bitter thing to give to this luminous glory a back- 
ground of horrible darkness. Yet fidelity to truth and the 
ages-long value of the lesson, require us to dip the brush 
that paints the background in most sombre colors. It is 
characteristic of portrait painters to use a flattering brush, 
and it was Cromwell only who said sternly to his portrait- 
maker, "Paint me as I am ; leave not out a scar or blemish." 
What was exceptional with Cromwell was habitual with 
inspiration. It describes only one perfect, ideal man. It 
indulges in no hero-worship. Noah's drunkenness, Jacob' 
meanness and duplicity, Aaron's golden calf, the ill-advised 



words of Moses, the despondency of Elijah, the lying and 
swearing of Peter, the vengeful spirit of the beloved John, 
the awful sin of David, *'the man after God's own heart," 
must all appear in the pictures when the Holy Spirit is the 

Concerning the best of men standing in the limelight 
of infinite holiness, we must say with the Psalmist, ''I have 
seen an end of all perfection — for thy commandment is 
exceeding broad." 

The three dark episodes of David's war-career made the 
theme of this chapter, are: (i) David's great sin in the 
matter of Bathsheba and Uriah. (2) His treatment of his 
Ammonite captives. (3) His treatment of his Moabite 

The three are presented in one view because it is probable 
that the second, if not also the third, arose from a conscience 
blunted by the first. We need not go into the revolting 
details, since the record is before you, but consider the 
history only in the light of its practical value, seeing it was 
recorded "for our admonition." 

So far as the first and greatest sin is concerned, it has 
evoked a voluminous literature. In the "Pulpit Commen- 
tary" alone are more than fifty pages of condensed homilies, 
and in Spurgeon's "Treasury of David" is much more, but 
perhaps the best homiletical and philosophical treatment you 
will find in Taylor's "David, King of Israel." His outline 
of discussion is: (i) The precursors of the sin. (2) Its 
aggravations. (3) The penitence manifested. (4) The for- 
giveness received. (5) The consequences flowing from it. 

After all, however, the most searching light on his heart 
experiences are found in his own songs of conviction, peni- 
tence and forgiveness in the following order: Psalms 38, 

6, 5i> 32. 

Borrowing somewhat from Taylor's order and treatment 
we submit this outline: 


I. The precursors of David's sin. Sin has a genesis and 
development. It does not spring into life, like Minerva, full 
grown. James, the brother of our Lord, states the case 
thus : "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of 
God ; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself 
tempteth no man; but each man is tempted, when he is 
drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, 
when it hath conceived, beareth sin, when it is full grown, 
bringeth forth death, James i : 13-15. What, then, the ex- 
planatory antecedents of his sin? 

1. Since his crowning at Hebron he had enjoyed a long 
course of unbroken prosperity. Before that event he had 
been "emptied from vessel to vessel" and so had not "settled 
on his lees,'' but now because he had no changes he becomes 
over-confident, less watchful and prayerful. 

2. Up to the time of this sin he had been a very busy 
man, leading and sharing in all the privations and hazards 
of his army, but now, while Joab leads the army against 
Kabbah, "David tarried at Jerusalem." While his soldiers 
sleep at night on the tented field, David rises from his day- 
time bed of luxury to look at eventide on Bathsheba. How 
grim must have been the rebuke of Uriah's words: "And 
Uriah said unto David, The Ark and Israel, and Judah, 
abide in booths ; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my 
lord, are encamped in the open field; shall I then go into 
mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? 
As thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this 
thing," II Sam. 11: 11. It has been well said, "If 
Satan tempts busy men, idle and luxurious men tempt 

3. He had prepared himself for a fall at the weakest 
point in his character by polygamy and concubinage, which, 
while tolerated under restrictions under Mosaic law, was 
expressly forbidden to kings : "He shall not multiply wives 
to himself," which was the Mosaic prohibition of the king- 


dom charter, Deut. 17:17. Sensualism is the sin of Oriental 

4. The sense of irresponsibility to moral law creeps with 
insidious power upon the rich and great and socially dis- 
tinguished. The millionaires, the upper ten, the great 400 — 
what avails their wealth and power if they be not exempt 
from the obligations of the seventh commandment? Let the 
poor be virtuous. The king can do no wrong. To all such 
people the lesson is hard : **God is no respecter of persons." 

5. In times of war the bridle is slipped from human 

6. Subservient instruments are always ready to act as 
panderers to the great, while obsequious, high society pal- 
liates and condones their offences. 

7. In such conjuncture always comes opportunity as a 
spark of fire in a powder magazine ; millions equally sensual 
have not sinned because there was no opportunity, no favor- 
able conjuncture of circumstances. 

XL The Sin and Its Aggravations. — The sin, with all 
its progeny, was primarily sin against God, but it was adul- 
tery with Bathsheba, ingratitude, duplicity and murder to 
Uriah, complicity in crime with his servants, a sin against 
himself and family. 

1. It was a presumptuous sin against Jehovah, to whose 
favors it was ingratitude and to whose holiness it was insult, 
and to whose omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence 
it was a brazen dare. 

2. It was a violation of his solemn coronation vow at 
Hebron as expressed in his own Psalm that he would use 
his kingly office to put down offences, and not for indul- 
gences in them. 

3. From his very exalted position as king over God's 
people it caused the enemies of truth to blaspheme then and 
ever since. It was a scandal in the etymological sense of 
the word, a stumbling-block, over which thousands in every 


age have fallen. An inspired writer has said, *The wicked 
eat up the sins of my people." Like buzzards swarming 
around carrion, they gather and feast and flap their wings 
in gloating when a Christian sins. 

4. It served then and does now as an excuse for worse 
and smaller men to repeat the offence or to condone other 

5. It put his reputation in the hands of the servants 
employed in the transaction, and paved the way for what- 
ever blackmail the unscrupulous instrument, Joab, might 
choose to exact, so that indeed hereafter "the sons of 
Zeruiah will be too hard for him." Whoever calls in Turks, 
Tartars and Huns for alHes must afterwards reckon with 
the allies. 

6. It was a sin against the devoted friendship of his 
brave champions, Uriah, the Hittite, and his comrade, Bath- 
sheba's father, who for many years of hazard and perse- 
cution had been his bulwark. 

The meanness of the subterfuge in sending for Uriah that 
the offence might be hidden from him by making him an 
unwitting "cuckold," the hypocrisy of sending him choice 
dishes and the means of drunkenness to the same end, and 
the refined cruelty of jmaking him the carrier of the letter 
which contained his death warrant, the deliberate provision 
for others to die with him when exposed to danger, the 
order to withdraw from him and them that they might die, 
and the lying ascription of such death to the chances of war, 
are unsurpassed in criminal history. A classic legend tells 
of such a letter carried by Bellerophon, giving rise to the 
proverb, "Beware of Bellerophonic letters." 

III. The Sin on the Conscience. — We may not suppose 
that David was without compunction of conscience for a 
whole year until reproved by Nathan. The Psalms 38 
and 6 indicate the contrary. While his crime was osten- 
sibly a secret, you may be assured that it was an open secret 


which greatly damaged the king's reputation, of which he is 
evidently conscious. Known to Joab and his household 
servants, it would be whispered from lip to ear, and carried 
from house to house. Enemies would naturally make the 
most of it. The side-look, the shoulder-shrug, and many- 
winged rumors would carry it far and wide. Even in the 
house of God, where he kept up the form of worship, know- 
ing ones would make signs and comment under the thinnest 
veil of confidence. 

IV. Jehovah Speaks at Last, or Nathan and David. — 
Whatever was David's own conception of his sin, or the 
judgment of man, our record says, "But the thing that 
David had done displeased the Lord. And the Lord sent 
Nathan unto David." Four things here impress the mind: 

1. God's judgment of human conduct is more than 
man's judgment. It is the chief thing. We may hold out 
against the adverse judgment of men if God approves in the 
matter of the thing condemned, but there is no withstanding 
the disapproval of the Holy One. 

2. The fidelity of the prophets as mouth-pieces of God. 
They make no apologies, nor soften words, nor have respect 
of persons. They speak to a king as to a peasant — to a rich 
man as to a pauper. 

3. The prophet's method of causing David to pass judg- 
ment on himself is an inimitable parable that has charmed 
the world by its simplicity, brevity, pathos and directness. 

4. Its application is like a bolt of lightning : "Thou art the 
man !" In one flash of light the heart of the sin is laid bare, 
and judgment follows judgment Hke the dreadful strokes of 
a trip-hammer, thus: (a) "The sword shall never depart 
from thy house.'* (b) "I will raise up evil against thee in 
thine own house." (c) "What thou hast done secretly 
against another shall be done against thee openly." 

V. David's Confession. — It is instant: "I have sinned 
against the Lord." There is no trickery nor subterfuge, 


nor evasion, nor defense. His confession is like the pub- 
lican's prayer, who stood afar off, not lifting so much as his 
eyes to heaven, but smiting upon his breast, and saying, 
"God be merciful to me, the sinner." The inspired prophet 
knew his penitence was genuine, and announces pardon for 
the world to come, but chastisement in this world, thus 
explaining those later words of Jesus concerning another 
and greater sin which is eternal, having never forgiveness 
neither in this world nor the next world. 

VI. The Time Penalties. — (i) The death of the child 
begotten in sin. (2) Following a father's evil example, 
Amnon assaults his sister, Tamar. (3) Following the 
father's example, and with much more justice, Absalom 
murders Amnon. (4) The devil once loosed, Absalom 
rebels against his father. (5) There being now no restraint, 
Absalom openly degrades David's concubines, and this too 
under the advice of Ahithophel, Bathsheba's grandfather, 
who evidently resents the shame put upon his grand- 
daughter. (6) Joab pitilessly murders Absalom, in open 
violation of the father's orders, and so exacts immunity as 
blackmail for his complicity in David's sin. (7) Adonijah*s 
rebellion, encouraged by Joab, and his death. Such the long 
train of evil consequences of one sin. 

Vn. The Sincerity of David's Repentance. — It is evi- 
denced by his humility, submission and hope on the death of 
his child. The story is very touching. ''The Lord struck 
the child that Uriah's wife bare to David and it was very 
sick." The child was much beloved, but must die for the 
parents' sin. This, David felt keenly: "This baby is dying 
for my sin." No wonder he fasted and wept and prayed. 
The submission and hope are manifested after the child is 
dead. No need now to fast and pray and weep, as when it 
was yet alive and perchance might be saved. The death is 
of the body only and for this world only. He lives safe and 


happy in that better world : *'He cannot return to me, but I 
may go to him." 

In all subsequent ages the doctrines of these words have 
illumined houses of mourning, "I shall go to him." 

At one stroke it destroys all hope of visitation from the 
dead, and at another stroke confers all hope of visitation to 
the dead, with all the joys of recognition and reunion. 

This is by far the lightest of David's penalties. There is 
no hope of reunion when Amnon and Absalom and 
Adonijah die. The farewell in their case is eternal. The 
most impressive, therefore, of all contrasts is the hopeful 
lamentation over this child, and the hopeless lamentation 
over Absalom. What a theme for a sermon ! 

But the sincerity of his penitence is best evidenced in his 
Psalms. While the 38th and 6th convey most the sense of 
convicting power. Psalm 51, through the ages, has been 
regarded as the most vivid expression of contrition and 
repentance. Two incidents bearing upon his sincerity and 
genuine penitence cited by Taylor are worth repetition : 

I. The testimony of Carlyle, that hater of all shams and 
hypocrisies, in his "Lecture on the Hero as Prophet," says : 

"Faults! the greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious 
of none. Readers of the Bible, above all, one would think, might 
know better. Who is there called the man of God according to 
God's own heart? David, the Hebrew king, had fallen into sins 
enough; blackest crimes; there was no want of sins. And there- 
upon unbelievers sneer and ask, 'Is this your man according to 
God's heart?' The sneer, I must say, seems to me but a shallow 
one. What are faults? what are the outward details of a life, if the 
inner secret of it — the remorse, temptations, true, often baffled, 
never-ending struggle of it — be forgotten? It is not in man that 
walketh to direct his steps.' Of all acts, is not, for a man, 
repentance the most divine? The deadliest sin, I say, were that 
same supercilious consciousness of no sin. That is death. The 
heart so conscious is divorced from sincerity, humility, and fact, 
is dead. It is pure, as dead, dry sand is pure. David's life 
and history, as written for us in those Psalms of his, I consider 
to be the truest emblem ever given of a man's moral progress 
and warfare here below. All earnest souls will ever discern in 
it the faithful struggle of an earnest human soul toward what 
is good and best. Struggle often baffled sore, baffled down into 


entire wreck, yet a struggle never ended; ever vi^ith tears, repent- 
ance, true, unconquerable purpose begun anew. Poor human 
nature! Is not a man's walking in truth always that — *a succes- 
sion of falls?' Man can do no other. In this wild element of a 
life, he has to struggle upward: now fallen, now abased; and ever 
with tears, repentance, and bleeding heart, he has to rise again, 
struggle again, still onward. That his struggle be a faithful, 
unconquerable one — that is the question of questions." 

2. The effect of Psalm 51 on Voltaire when he read it 
with a view to caricature it. Dr. Leander Van Ess tells it 
as an undoubted fact that Voltaire once attempted to bur- 
lesque this Psalm, and what was the result? While care- 
fully perusing it, that he might familiarize himself with the 
train of sentiment which he designed to caricature, he 
became so oppressed and overawed by its solemn devo- 
tional tone, that he threw down his pen and fell back half 
senseless on his couch, in an agony of remorse. 

But if Psalm 51 is the highest expression of penitence, 
the 32nd is the model expression of the joy of forgiveness : 

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, 
Whose sin is covered. 
Blessed is the man unto whom Jehovah imputeth not iniquity." 

See the use Paul makes of this Psalm in his great argu- 
ment on justification by faith. 

By application of this experience of David we learn other 
serious lessons. 

1. The pen that writes the letter of Uriah must also write 
the 51st Psalm. 

2. It is easy to fall, but difficult to rise again — a thought 
most vigorously expressed by Virgil and less vigorously 
rendered by Dryden : 

"The gates of Hell are open night and day; 
Smooth the descent, and easy is the way; 
But to return and view the cheerful skies. 
In this the task and mighty labor lies." 
3. "One sin another doth provoke; 
Murder's as near to lust as fire to smoke." 


4. The hardening power of sin. It petrifies spiritual 
sensitiveness and tenderness. As Burns so well expresses it : 

"I waive the quantum of the sin, 

The hazard of concealing; 
But och ! it hardens a' within, 

And petrifies the feelin'." 

5. Sooner or later all extenuations fail, and the shifting 
of the blame on God or chance or circumstance. There 
comes one at last to the naked soul, and pointing accusing 
finger, says, "Thou art the man." 

"And self to take or leave is free, 
Feeling its own sufficiency : 
In spite of science, spite of fate, 
The Judge within thee, soon or late. 
Will cry, 'Thou are the man !' 
Say not, I would, but could not, He 
Should bear the blame who fashioned me. 
Call a mere change of motive, choice ! 
Scorning such pleas, the inner voice 
Cries out, Thou art the man !' " 

Edgar Allan Poe has used with dramatic efifect Nathan's 
words, "Thou art the man," in one of his detective stories. 
In order to force confession, he puts the body of the mur- 
dered man in a wine-case, so adjusted on springs that when 
the lid is raised by the murderer, the body will sit up and 
point the finger at him, while a ventriloquist will make the 
dead lips say, "Thou art the man !" 

6. The reproach of Uriah has found expression in noble 

'The Ark of God is in the field. 
Like clouds around the alien armies sweep; 

Each by his spear, beneath his shield. 
In cold and dew the anointed warriors sleep. 

"And can it be? thou liest awake. 
Sworn watchman, tossing on thy couch of down; 

And doth thy recreant heart not ache 
To hear the sentries round the leaguered town? 


"Oh, dream no more of quiet life; 
Care finds the careless out ; more wise to vow 

Thine heart entire to faith's pure strife; 
So peace will come, thou knowest not when or how." 

— Lyra Apostolica. 

7. On the gracious words of pardon, *The Lord hath put 
away thy sin," Keble, in his ''Christian Year," thus writes : 

"The absolver saw the mighty grief, 

And hastened with relief ; 
The Lord forgives; thou shalt not die; 
*Twas gently spoke, yet heard on high, 
And all the band of angels, us'd to sing 

Who many a month hath turned away 
With veiled eyes, nor owned his lay. 
Now spread their wings and throng around 

To the glad mournful sound. 
And welcome with bright, open face 
The broken heart to love's embrace. 
The rock is smitten, and to future years 
Springs ever fresh the tide of holy tears 

And holy music, whispering peace 
Till time and sin together cease." 

— Keble, "Sixth Sunday after Trinity." 

It has been not improbably supposed that a connection 
exists between David's great sin, through its hardening of 
his yet impenitent heart and 

VIII. His Treatment of the Conquered Ammonites, II 
Samuel 12:31 and I Chronicles 20:3. — As this matter calls 
for particular and honest treatment let us first of all look at 
the text in three English versions. The American Standard 
Revision renders the two paragraphs thus: **And he 
brought forth the people that were therein, and put them 
under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of 
iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln ; and thus 
did he unto all the cities of the children of Amnion. And 
David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem," I Sam. 
12 : 31. "And he brought forth the people that were therein, 
and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with 
axes. And thus did David unto all the cities of the children 
of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to 


Jerusalem/' I Chron. 20:3. The margin puts ''to" for 
"under," and adds : *'Or, with a sHght change in the Hebrew 
text, 'made them labor at saws, etc. ?' " 

Leeser's Jewish English version copies in both passages 
the American Revision. The Romanist Douay English ver- 
sion thus renders II Samuel 12:31: "And bringing forth 
the people thereof, he sawed them, and drove over them 
chariots armed with irons and divided them with knives, 
and made them pass through brick-kilns: so did he to the 
children of Ammon. And David returned with all the 
people to Jerusalem." I Chron. 20 : 3 : "And the people that 
were therein he brought out : and made harrows, and sleds, 
and chariots of iron, to go over them, so that they were cut 
and bruised to pieces. In this manner David dealt with all 
the cities of the children of Ammon : and he returned with 
all his people to Jerusalem." 

With the text thus before us the first inquiry is, What 
mean these passages, fairly interpreted? Do they mean 
merely, as the margin of the American Revision intimates, 
that David enslaved his captured prisoners, putting them 
to work with saws, harrows and axes, and at brick-making, 
or, that he put them to torture by sawing them asunder, driv- 
ing over them with iron-toothed harrows, mangling them in 
threshing machines, chopping them up with axes, cooking 
them alive in brick-kilns? How stand the commentators? 
Josephus, adopting the torture interpretation, says, "He tor- 
mented them and destroyed them." 

The comment in the Romanist version on II Sam 12:31 
is, "Sawed" — Heb., "he puts them under saws and under 
rollers of iron, and under knives, etc." The Jews say that 
Isaiah was killed by being sawed asunder ; to which punish- 
ment Paul alludes, Heb. 1 1 :37. "Brick-kilns, or furnaces." 
Daniel and his companions were thrown into the fiery fur- 
nace, Dan. 3:6-12, Esth. 13:7. Salien blames Joab for 
what seems too cruel. But though he was barbarous and 


vindictive, v^e need not condemn him on this occasion, no 
more than his master; as we are not to judge of former 
times by our own manners. War was then carried on with 
great cruelty. With these agree substantially, Kirkpatrick 
in Cambridge Bible, Blakie in Expositor's Bible, "The 
Speakers' Commentary," 'The Pulpit Commentary," Jamie- 
son, Faucett & Brown, Geikie and many others. 

On the contrary. Murphy on I Chron 20 : 3, following the 
idea of the margin in American Standard Revision, says, 
"As saws, harrows or threshing drags, and axes or scythes, 
are not instruments of torture or execution, it is obvious 
that David did not 'cut' them, but forced or 'put' them to 
hard labor as serfs with instruments of husbandry, or in the 
making of bricks, as is added in Samuel. The verb ren- 
dered 'cut' is nowhere else used in this sense, but in that of 
ruling, and therefore employing in forced labor." Nor does 
he stand alone. Many authorities on both sides might be 
added. But these are sufficient to set the case before you. 
In extenuation of the "torture" interpretation the following 
argument may be considered : David was under the Mosaic 
law. That law bears on two points : 

I. The law of war for captured cities, Deut. 20:10-14: 
"When thou drawest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then 
proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make thee 
answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that 
all the people that are found therein shall become tributary 
unto thee, and shall serve thee. And if it will make no 
peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou 
shalt besiege it: and when Jehovah thy God delivereth it 
into thy hand, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the 
edge of the sword: but the women and the little ones, and 
the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil 
thereof, shalt thou take for a prey unto thyself; and thou 
shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which Jehovah hath 
given thee.'* 


2. The lex-talionis, or law of retaliation, i. e.y ^*An eye 
for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, etc." Under the first law a 
city carried by storm was devoted to destruction, which 
custom unfortunately prevails in modern wars. Under the 
second law, the evils practiced on others were requited in 
kind. See case of Adoni-bezek, Judges i : 5-7. Applying 
this second law, the cruel things done by David to the 
Ammonites, under the ''torture" interpretation of our pas- 
sages, had been practiced by them against others then and 
later. See Amos 1:13. They caused their own children 
to pass through the fire to Moloch, hence the retaliation of 
the brick-kiln. 

The weight of authority seems to favor the "torture" 
interpretation, and yet how readily does a humane mind 
turn in preference to Murphy's rendering. If this "tor- 
ture" interpretation be true (and we must count it doubt- 
ful) then we need not cry out too loud in horror at the tor- 
ture of prisoners by North American savages, and we may 
rejoice at the coming of One who in His Sermon on the 
Mount gives us something higher and better than the 

In the case of the Moabite prisoners made to He prostrate 
and measured in bulk by a tape-line, one third to Hve and 
two-thirds to die, we find something more merciful than in 
the case of the Ammonites, but sufficiently revolting in the 
wholesale mathematical method of selecting the living 
by lot. 

The black and white beans for the Mier prisoners impress 
more favorably. The sum of the truth is that war in any 
age, now as well as then, "is hell." The reconstruction 
measures forced on the conquered South after the war 
between the States surpassed in the bitterness of its pro- 
longed anguish all the quick tortures of saw, harrow, axe 
and brick-kiln inflicted on the Ammonites. No language 
can describe the height, depth, length, breadth of the horrors 


of reconstruction; not a fleeting agony like being sawn 
asunder, or burnt in a brick-kiln, but a deliberate harrow- 
ing of the South back and forth and criss-crossing for 
twenty-five years, every tooth in the harrow red-hot, until 
the whole harried country found expression for its hopeless 
woes in the Lamentation of Jeremiah : 

"Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? 

Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow?" 

There was no measurement of the prostrate South by 
tape-line, sparing a part, but one vast humiliation extending 
from Virginia to Texas. 

And if Jehovah sent condign punishment on Nebuchad- 
nezzar, the wicked axe of His vengeance for the spirit with 
which this desolation was brought on sinning Jerusalem and 
the self-complacency of the deed, so will He yet in His own 
way visit His wrath on the land of those who had no pity 
on the desolate South. 

The Jews are accustomed to excuse David's apparent 
ingratitude for Moab's past kindness to his father and 
mother, and his seeming disregard of the ties of kindred 
through Ruth, on the score that Moab murdered his parents 
when trusted to their hospitality. Of this there is no his- 
toric evidence. A better reason lies in the fact that Moab 
joined the conspiracy with Ammon, Syria and Edom to 
destroy David and his kingdom. 


1. Cite the passages which show that David's wars closed in 
a blaze of glory. 

2. What said Cromwell to the painter of his portrait? 

3. What always the character of inspiration's portrait-painting? 

4. What the three great sins that darken this part of David's 


5. What books show the voluminous homiletical use of the 
first and greatest sin? 

6. What Taylor's outline? 

7. What Psalms, in order, throw the greatest light on his heart 
experiences of this sin? 

8. What the precursors of this sin, preparing for his fall? 


9. What the sin itself in its manifold nature? 

10. What its aggravations? 

11. What evidence that David's sin was on his conscience be- 
fore the visit of Nathan? 

12. What four things impress the mind in Nathan's words to 

13. What may you say of David's confession of sin? 

14. What the two-fold verdict on the confession, _ and how 
does it explain our Lord's saying on the unpardonable sin? 

15. What the time penalties inflicted, and which the mildest? 

16. In what ways is the sincerity of David's penitence evi- 
denced ? 

17. What two doctrines in David's words concerning his child, 
"He shall not return to me but I shall go to him," and what the 
comfort therefrom? 

18. Concerning the evidence of sincere repentance in Psalm 
51, what says Carlyle? 

19. How did it affect Voltaire? 

20. What Psalm the model expression of the happiness of the 
forgiveness, and how does Paul use it? 

21. What the first lesson of the application on the experience 
of David arising from this sin? 

22. What the second, and Virgil's expression of it? 

23. What couplet on one sin provoking another? 

24. Cite the passage from Burns on the hardening power 
of sin. 

25. Cite the stanzas on "Thou art the man," and give Edgar 
Allan Poe's use of the phrase. 

26. Cite the stanzas on the reproach of Uriah. 

2T. Cite Keble's lines on "The Lord hath put away thy sin." 

28. What the two interpretations of I Sam. 12:31 and I Chron. 
20:3, and which do you adopt? 

29. What scriptural argument may be made in extenuation of 
the "torture" theory of interpretation? 

30 How do the Jews excuse David's treatment of the Moabite 
captives, and what the better reason? 



Scriptures: References in the Harmony, pp. 125-133 

THE wars are now all over, and there has come a 
period of rest. The first thing that impresses 
David's mind is this: "I have made Jerusalem the 
capital of the nation, and Mount Zion is the chief place in 
Jerusalem, but in order to keep this people unified, God 
must be present. Off yonder at Gibeon is the tabernacle 
and the brazen altar, a part of the people worshiping there, 
and there is an altar of sacrifice but no altar at Jerusalem. 
Ten miles ofif yonder at Kirjath-jearim is the Ark; it has 
been there forty-eight years. Lost in the days of Eli to 
the Philistines, and returned by the Philistines and stopped 
at that place, and there another part of the people are wor- 
shiping." You can see how David's mind would be fastened 
upon the thought that he must bring that Ark with its sym- 
bol of divine presence to his capital, but in order to bring 
it he must have a place to put it, so he selects a site for it 
and builds a tent, something like the tabernacle which 
Moses built, which was still at Gibeon, and it remained 
there until Solomon built the temple. After Solomon built 
the temple, the tabernacle was no longer regarded. It 
passes out of history. 

It has been a characteristic of this man's life to consult 
God in everything that he does. Now the priest carried two 
jewels on his Ephod called the Urim and Thummim, and 



through the Urim and Thummim God answered questions 
propounded. That Ephod with the Urim and Thummim 
had been carried by Abiathar to David in the cave of 
Adullam. All along through Hfe he had that with him, and 
through these brilliant jewels in some way, we do not know 
just how, God answered questions propounded. There was 
also instituted an order of prophets who became the mouth- 
pieces of Jehovah, so that if a man wanted to know 
Jehovah's will he would go to the seer, or prophet, as David 
went to Nathan, and as Saul went to Samuel. These were 
two ways in which God communicated with the people — the 
priest way, through the Urim and Thummim, and the pro- 
phet way, through their inspiration. It is the object of 
David to gather together at Jerusalem everything sacred — 
the Ark, tent, and altar, and the precious Urim and Thum- 
mim, so that here now in every way he may hear 
from God. 

Sometimes God communicated with individuals in dreams 
and visions, but ordinarily through the two ways I have 
pointed out. We see why he wanted to get the Ark up 
there, and how important in order to perpetuate unity and 
solidarity of his kingdom; all who would confer with God 
must come to his capital. 

While David was king it was not an absolute monarchy. 
There was what was called the Convocation of Israel — the 
general assembly. This section commences: "And David 
consulted with the captains of thousands and of hundreds, 
even with every leader." Notice that he did not settle mat- 
ters by a mere ipse dixit — "words spoken by himself." It 
was not by mere royal edict. He wanted the people to see 
and commit themselves to it, that this was the best thing to 
do for the nation. Sometimes a pastor becomes arbitrary 
in deciding what to do when he could accomplish his 
object a great deal better if he would confer with his 
brethren. David was not just a boss ; he wanted everybody 


committed. After this consultation it was decided that they 
would go for the Ark, and our text tells us how they brought 
it from Kirjath-jearim on a cart drawn by oxen, and that 
when the oxen stumbled and the cart looked as though it 
was going to turn over, Uzzah, one of the men who had 
been guiding it, reached out his hand to stop it, and God 
struck him dead instantly. That made a deep impression 
upon David and the people — as deep as when Nadab and 
Abihu offered strange fire upon the altar and the lightning 
leaped from God and destroyed them; an impression as 
solemn as w^hen at Peter's words Ananias and Sapphira fell 
dead under the stroke of God. The question is, why? 
The answer is found in the Mosaic law — that while carts 
might be used to carry the external things, the posts of the 
enclosure, and the curtain of the enclosure, the things of the 
sanctuary had to be carried by men, and staves were fitted 
into each piece heavy enough to require it so that four men 
might carry it. They might put the other things in a cart, 
but these sacred things had to be borne by men. In the next 
place, only certain men could touch it without death. They 
must not only be of the tribe of Levi, but of the family of 
Kohath. In Numbers we have the order of the encampment 
of the twelve tribes, three on each of the four sides; the 
Levites made an inner circle, and the position of the 
Kohathites and their duties. Whenever the trumpet 
sounded the Kohathites had to pick up the Ark and carry it. 
In this case the law was violated, and God, in order to show 
that there must be reverence for sacred things, and that His 
precise commands must be carried out, made the breach on 

We now come to a question of David, and it is a great 
text—I Chron. 13:12: "How shall I bring the Ark of God 
home to me ?" What a theme for a sermon ! If I were to 
preach on that I would show that wherever the Ark was 
there was safety and blessing. After it stopped at Kirjath- 


jearim that place was blessed ; after it stopped at the house 
of Obed-Edom that home was blessed. Since that Ark was 
a symbol of divine presence and divine guidance, it was a 
supreme question, "How shall I bring the Ark of God home 
to me?" How shall I get the Ark of God into my family, 
so that there will be safety, guidance, peace and love? You 
see what kind of a sermon could be made out of it. 

The whole vast crowd went back to Jerusalem and left 
the Ark there. It was a good thing to have, but a bad thing 
to touch. It stayed at the house of Obed-Edom three 
months, and every hour it brought a blessing to that home. 
Our text tells us that David had made him houses in the city 
of David and prepared a place for the Ark, if he could ever 
get it there: ''How shall I bring it home to me?" The 
house that David built for himself was a palace. 

The riches that he had made, the commerce that he had 
instituted, culminated in a treaty with Hiram, king of Tyre. 
Tyre was the great naval power of that age — what England 
is now — and through his alliance with Hiram he obtained 
the best artificers in wood and metal, skilled workmen, and 
cedars from Lebanon. These huge trees were floated to 
Joppa, and from Joppa brought across the country to 
Jerusalem, and so David had a fine house. When he went 
into that house the day it was finished, he wrote a song — 
the 30th Psalm. I told you about his gratitude; whenever 
a blessing came, it brought immediately from him an expres- 
sion of thanksgiving to God. He wrote the 30th Psalm and 
sang it at the dedication of the house. He dedicated this 
house of his to God. The song commences : 

"I will extol thee, O Jehovah ; for thou hast raised me up, 
And hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. 

Jehovah my God, 

1 cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 

O Jehovah, thou hast brought up my soul from sheol; 

Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit." 


I told you that in studying the Psalms, you would get the 
interpretation of the inner life of David, and that you could 
tell from the Psalms what events of his life most impressed 
him. Arrange the Davidic Psalms in order, as they express 
the life of David. You will commence, of course, with the 
23rd, then the 8th, etc. There was a great difference 
between the Cave of Adullam and this fine palace. Some 
people do not get a home until late in life. Lorenzo Dow 
used to sing that he never had a home, and when a friend 
made him a present of a home, he declined it because it kept 
him from singing his favorite hymn. 

David, hearing that the blessings of God had been on 
Obed-Edom, and wanting this blessing brought to Jeru- 
salem, studied the law, and the law told him how to handle 
the Ark; that the Kohathites should bear it, the Levites 
only should come near it ; so he set out again with a vast 
host — nearly a thousand singers — to go after the Ark. 

Three chief singers led with cymbals, then three more 
men led the lute or psaltery-crowd, and three more men led 
the harp-crowd, and the priests blew the trumpets for sig- 
nals. On page 127, I Chron. 15:19, we have: "So the 
singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed, with 
cymbals of brass to sound aloud ; and Zechariah and Aziel, 
and Shemiramoth and Jehiel, and Unni and Eliab, and 
Maaseiah and Benaiah with psalteries set to Alamoth." 
"Alamoth" means "female choir;" "Sheminith," "male 
choir." He started out to get the Ark home, and when he 
got to the place they sang this song, the 15th Psalm: 

"Jehovah, who shall sojourn in thy tabernacle? 

Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness. 

And speaketh truth in his heart; 
He that slandereth not with his tongue." 

Then when the Kohathites lifted up the Ark, he said, "Let 
God arise, and His enemies be scattered," the song that 


Cromwell sang before battle. And now having picked up 
the Ark, the priests with the trumpets gave the signals to 
the cymbal-band, the psaltery-band whose singers were 
maidens, and to the harp-band. When that vast host drew 
near to Jerusalem, they sang the 24th Psalm : 

"Lift up your heads, O ye gates, 
And be yet lifted up, ye everlasting doors." 

They marched in and deposited the Ark in its place in the 
tent, and then David repeated the words of Moses : "Return 
to thy rest, O Lord," then followed refreshments, and then 
followed the benediction. 

I will not go over the pageantry, but will present this 
thought: The Harmony tells us, page 128, "On that day 
David first ordained to give thanks unto the Lord, by the 
hand of Asaph and his brethren." In other words, as soon 
as he got the Ark in its place, he instituted that remarkable 
worship which has never been equalled from that day to 
this ; there was something every day, morning sacrifice and 
evening sacrifice. He appointed twenty-four thousand 
Levites to various services around the sanctuary. There 
were twelve different bands, twenty- four pieces each, for 
each month of the year, and on great occasions these 288 
pieces would be in one grand band with a choir of 4,000 
voices ; but every month of the year a certain band would 
know that it would have to go in. There were a great many 
singers, male and female ; singers corresponding to cymbals, 
singers corresponding to harps, and singers corresponding 
to cornets. I do not suppose that history has a parallel to 
this organization of music. It became somewhat greater in 
Solomon's time, but David was the organizer. 

We now come to one of the most important lessons in the 
Bible, page 131. You will understand that Deut. 12: 10,11, 
is the key passage for interpreting the present section. 
Here is the direction that after they get over into the 


promised land and their enemies are subdued, the kingdom 
is settled, all the wars ended, then God will designate a 
central place of worship for His house. David was familiar 
with the passage in Deuteronomy. He now believes that 
the provisional days are over, and that the time has come 
for God to have a fixed habitation where all must come, in 
fulfillment of that passage, and he purposes in his heart to 
build the most magnificent house for God that the world 
has ever seen, H Sam. 7: 1-3. He was not mistaken in the 
divine purpose to have a central place of worship; he was 
not mistaken that Jerusalem was the place, but he was 
mistaken as to the time when, and the man by whom this 
glorious temple of God should be erected. It is im- 
portant for you to see wherein he was mistaken and wherein 
he was not mistaken. God commends him for his zeal : 
"It was well that thou didst purpose this in thine 
heart." *That is a good thing, but you are not the man 
to do it." 

The Bible assigns two reasons why David was not the 
man. In I Kings 5:3, Solomon, who was the right man, 
uses this language: Thou knowest how that David, my 
father, could not build a house for the name of Jehovah 
his God for the wars which were about him on every side, 
until Jehovah put these under the soles of His feet. In 
other words, the military power of David had not fully 
given rest ; the time of rest had not fully come ; a partial rest 
had come, but not the full rest necessary to the estab- 
lishment of this house. Solomon then adds: But now 
Jehovah my God hath given me rest on every side; there 
is neither adversary nor evil occurrence. That is the first 

We find another reason in I Chronicles. David is speak- 
ing: "But God said unto me. Thou shalt not build a house 
for my name, because thou art a man of war, and hast shed 
blood." He refers to it again as follows: "But the word 


of Jehovah came to me saying, Thou hast shed blood abun- 
dantly, and hast made great wars : thou shalt not build a 
house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood 
upon the earth in my sight." First passage I Chron. 28 : 3 ; 
second passage I Chron. 22 : 8. 

Now go back to the passage in Deuteronomy : "When you 
have gotten over into that country and have obtained rest 
from all your enemies, then this permanent house of God 
shall be built." David mistook, (i) the time — the wars 
were not yet ended; (2) the person — he had been a man of 
war and had shed blood abundantly, and the builder of the 
house of God must be a prince of peace. We will have use 
for this thought when we come to consider the antitype. 
Whereupon the message to David, the message of our text 
(and I want you to see that this divine message to David 
made the deepest impression ever made upon his mind by 
any event of his life), made a stronger impression upon the 
Jewish mind after his time than any preceding thing. You 
will find the Psalms full of references to it, and the prophets 
magnify it above every promise, particularly Isaiah, Daniel 
and Ezekiel, and you will find that this message that Nathan, 
from God, delivered to David, thrilled the Jewish heart with 
marvelous expectation of the Messiah, David's son, the 
Great King that was to come. Frequent reference is made 
to it in the New Testament, and Matthew's whole gospel was 
written on the thought of the coming of the King. This is 
his great theme. 

In order to see how this impressed David, notice the exact 
words spoken to him, II Sam. 7 : 4-7 : ''And it came to pass 
the same night, that the word of Jehovah came unto Nathan, 
saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith Jehovah, 
Shalt thou build me a house for me 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 
walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all places wherein I 


have walked with all the children of Israel, spake I a word 
with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to be 
shepherd of my people Israel, saying. Why have ye not built 
me a house of cedar?" "During the period of the judges, 
when I selected a judge like Samson, or Gideon, or Barak, 
did I at any time say to any of these judges that the time 
had come to build me a permanent house ?" (Read II Sam. 
7:8-16). That was the message and it is very easy to see 
from the context that at the time it made a most wonderful 
impression upon the mind of David, as you further note 
from his prayer following right after it. (Read II Sam. 
7:18, 19, and I Chron. 17:16, 17). Consider particularly 
these words: "And this too after the manner of men, O 
Lord Jehovah." Luther translates that passage thus : "This 
is after the manner of a man who is God, the Lord." That 
is to say, such a promise cannot fulfil itself in a man of 
low degree. The Chronicles passage has it: "Thou hast 
regarded me according to the estate of a man of high 
degree." David does not understand that his son Solomon 
is to exhaust the meaning of this passage. 

In order to prove the impression made on David's mind, 
let us read all of Psalm yz which closes with the words of 
David, and ends a book of the Psalms. The subscription 
is: "The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended." 
You may easily gather from this Psalm that when this 
promise was made through Nathan that God would build 
him a house — house meaning family — except the Lord 
build a house, they labor in vain to build it, since children 
are a heritage of the Lord. The King in his mind appears 
from Psalm 2. (Read Psalm 2:1-8.) Then again in 
Psalm no "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my 
right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool." This 
king is to be a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. 
Then in Psalm 89. (Read 89:2-4.) Notice again in Psalm 
45. (Read the entire Psalm.) Now we want to know how 


this promise to David impressed the mind of the prophet. 
(Read Isaiah ii : i-io.) 

The genealogies of both Matthew and Luke prove that 
Jesus w^as a descendant of David. (Read Luke 1:31-33 
and 68-70.) 

Another passage (Read Hebrews 1:5). ''Again" here 
refers to Christ's resurrection. His soul had gone up to 
God at His death on the cross to make atonement, and after 
the atonement returned for the body, and when the resurrec- 
tion took place God said, ''Let all the angels of God worship 
Him." Again, in Hebrews, he says that Moses built a 
house, the tabernacle, and Solomon, the lineal son of David, 
built a house, the temple. But the temple that Solomon 
built was out of unfeeling rock, unthinking stone, quarried 
as rough ashlars from the mountains ; then by certain proc- 
esses smoothed and fashioned into things of beauty, to be 
fitted into the earthly temple of the Lord, which is a type of 
human being, quarried as rough ashlars from the mountains 
of sin ; then by marvelous works of regeneration and sanc- 
tification, they become smooth ashlars ready for fitting into 
the temple of God, the living temple, to be a habitation for 
God, through the Spirit, at the end of the world. See also 
the last chapter of Revelation. 

My point is, that while this promise of God through 
Nathan rested for the time being on Solomon, who did 
build a house, that it looked to a higher than Solomon, to a 
more distant day. Let us read Luther's translation again : 
'This is after the manner of a man who is God, our Lord." 
When you study the vast literature of the Old Testament — 
say such a series as Hengstenberg's "Christology" or 
Hengstenberg's "Kingdom of God," or any good commen- 
tary on II Sam. 7 and parallel passages in Chronicles, you 
will find that they regard this promise made to David as the 
most remarkable ever made. The prophetic light grew 
brighter all the time. Way back yonder the seed of the 


woman, Abel, then Seth, Shem, Abram, Isaac, Jacob 

David, but here the Messianic light becomes most brilliant in 
this promise. 


1. What the general conditions of affairs at this point, and 
what prompted David to bring up the Ark from Kirjath-jearim? 

2. In what three ways did God communicate with His people, 
and the bearing of these on the removal of the Ark and Taber- 
nacle to Jerusalem? 

3. What course did David pursue, and the lesson therefrom, 
what^ incident here shows the sanctity of the Ark and the im- 
pression made by it, and what Mosaic law was violated here? 

4. What text here for a sermon, and the line of thought sug- 
gested ? 

5. Give an account of the building and dedication of David's 

6. What course did David pursue before attempting again to 
bring up the Ark? 

7. Describe the procession that went after the Ark. What 
Psalm did they sing as they started? 

8. What did David say when the Kohathites lifted up the Ark, 
and what general sang it before battle? 

9. What song did they sing as they approached Jerusalem, and 
what did David say when they deposited the Ark in the tent? 

10. Describe the course of worship instituted by David. 

11. Cite the direction for the establishment of the central place 
of worship; what David's purpose concerning it; wherein was 
he not mistaken, and wherein was he mistaken? 

12. Why was not David the man to build the temple? 

13. What message brought to David by Nathan, what impression 
did it make on his own mind, on the Jewish mind, and what O. T. 
and N. T. references to it? 

14. What Luther's translation of, "And this too after the man- 
ner of men, O Lord Jehovah," and what its meaning? 

15. What the impression made on David's mind, and what the 
proof ? 

16. How did this promise to David impress the mind of 

17. Who was the immediate fulfillment oj^ this promise to 
David, who the remote fulfillment, and what the N. T. proof? 






Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 133, 134, 138 

OUR present discussion commences on page 133, 
II Sam. 9 : 1-13, David's kindness toward Jonathan's 
son, Mephibosheth. 
When Jonathan's child was five years old, there came to 
his mother's home an account of the death of the father on 
the battlefield of Gilboa, and as the nurse that carried him 
was frightened and ran with the five year old child, she 
stumbled and fell, or let the child fall, and it crippled him 
for life. Jonathan had acquired a very considerable estate. 
The subsequent history referring to Mephibosheth will 
appear in a later chapter. David's kindness to Mephibosheth 
will give us the conclusion of the history. It certainly is a 
touching thing that in this connection David remembers the 
strong tie of friendship between him and Jonathan, and 
upon making inquiry if there be any left of Jonathan's 
house, he finds that there is one child, this crippled son, and 
he appoints Ziba, a great rascal, by the way, as we learn 
later, to be the steward of the estate, the rents of the estate to 
be paid to Mephibosheth, and Mephibosheth to eat at the 
king's table. The closing paragraph, verse 13, "So 
Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem ; for he did eat continually 
at the king's table; and he was lame on both his feet." 
Spurgeon takes this for a text, and preaches a remarkable 



sermon on it. He makes it in a sense illustrate the imper- 
fect saint, the lame feet representing the imperfection, con- 
tinually feasting at the table of his king. That is the man- 
ner in which he spiritualizes it, and by which he illustrates 
the great privilege of a saint to eat continually at the table 
of his Lord, to sup with Him and be with Him. 

The next point is the birth of Solomon, the fourth son of 
Bathsheba. He received two names : *'Solomon," which 
means ''peace," and ''J^^i^i^h," w^hich means the Lord's 
"beloved," and an announcement was made by the prophet 
that this child should be the successor of David. 

The next paragraph tells about the family of David, and 
has an important bearing upon the subsequent history of 
Absalom. Let us give special attention to this record of 
David's family. We have names in the Bible of seven of 
his wives. There were others not named. We have the 
names of nineteen sons and one daughter. They were the 
children of his regular wives. He had a good many other 
daughters not named. Then he had a number of children 
by his concubines. So we have the names of seven wives 
and twenty children. There were more wives and more 
children, but these are enough. I suppose he did not have 
names enough to go around. 

As introductory to the next chapter, which is on Absalom, 
note that four of these sons became very important in the 
history. Amnon, the first son, and the son of his first wife, 
Ahinoam, will figure in the Absalom chapter. The third 
was Absalom, but his mother was Maacah, the daughter of 
Talmai, king of Geshur. Geshur is located in the hills of 
Bashan. These people were left there contrary to the 
divine law ; that is the law first violated. God told them not 
to permit any Canaanites to remain in the Promised Land, 
but we learn in Joshua 13:13 that the Geshurites were 
allowed to remain. Another law was, as you learned from 
Deut. 7, that the Israelitish people should not marry into 


these tribes. David violated that law by marrying the 
daughter of the king of Geshur, So there are two viola- 
tions of the law in connection with Absalom. Absalom was 
half Geshurite and half Israelite. The next son of any par- 
ticular note was the fourth son, Adonijah. We come to him 
later. His mother was still a different woman, about whom 
we do not know anything in particular. The next son in 
the history is Solomon, the tenth son. The first son of 
importance in the history is Amnon; second important in 
history (third son) Absalom ; third son important in history 
by a different mother is Adonijah ; and the fourth important 
son (the tenth son) Solomon. The law in Deuteronomy 
says that if they should select a king, he should not multiply 
wives; there is the third law violated. So, in going back 
to the past violations of the law of God, the evils of polyg- 
amy are manifest in David's history. There would neces- 
sarily be jealousies on the part of the various mothers in 
their aspirations for their sons. It is said that every crow 
thinks its nestling is the whitest bird in the world, and 
every mother thinks her child is E Pluribus Unum. She is 
very ambitious for him, and she looks with a jealous eye 
upon any possible rival of her child. These four sons — 
Amnon, Absalom, Adonijah and Solomon, all illustrate the 
evils of polygamy. 

Yet another law was violated. Kings now make mar- 
riages for State reasons ; for instance, the prince of England 
will be contracted in marriage to some princess of France, 
or a princess of England contracted in marriage to a prince 
of Spain, Hke PhiHp 11. Through these State marriages 
some of the greatest evils that have ever been known came 
upon the world, and some of the greatest wars. When 
David married the daughter of the king of Geshur, there 
was a political reason for it ; he wanted to strengthen him- 
self against Saul, and that gave him an ally right on the 
border of the territory held by Saul. We will find Solomon 


making these political marriages, marrying the daughter of 
the king of Egypt, for instance. That is the fourth law 
violated, all in connection with Absalom. I name one other 
law, a law which included the king and every other father, 
that his children should be disciplined and brought up in the 
fear and admonition of God. That Eli did not do, and 
David did not do. The violation of that law appears in the 
case of Absalom. 

In running comment on our text we next consider from 
page 138 National Calamities, II Sam. 21:1: *'And there 
was a famine in the days of David three years, year after 
year; and David sought the face of the Lord." In the book 
of Deuteronomy, Moses in his farewell address sets before 
the people so clearly that they could not possibly misunder- 
stand, that famines and pestilences are God's messengers of 
chastisement; that if they kept God's law they should be 
blessed in basket and store, but if they sinned He would 
make the heavens brass above and the earth iron beneath. 

This famine resulted from a drought. When the 
drought first commenced, no particular attention was paid 
to it, except that everybody knew that it meant hard times. 
The second year came and still no rain, no crops, no grass, 
and it began to be a very serious matter. When the third 
year came, it became awful, and men began to ask what was 
the cause of it, and they remembered God's law that when 
they sinned against Him, He would send famine and pesti- 
lence upon them. David determines to find out the cause, 
so he goes before the Lord and asks Him the reason of this 
terrible chastisement on the land, and the answer is given 
in our text: "And the Lord said, It is for Saul, and his 
bloody house, because he put to death the Gibeonites." 

Let us look at that case of Saul. Saul was king of Israel ; 
David had been anointed to succeed him, and there was 
sharp jealousy between David and Saul, particularly upon 
Saul's part, and he was seeking methods to strengthen him- 


self. One thing that a king needs, or thinks that he needs, 
in order to strengthen himself with his adherents, is to have 
places to give them — fat offices, estates to bequeath to them. 
Saul, being a poor man himself, looks around to see how he 
can fill his treasury and reward his followers, particularly 
the Benjamites, and right there in the tribe of Benjamin 
live the Gibeonites. After the fall of Jericho, one of the 
Canaanitish tribes determined to escape destruction by 
strategy. So they sent messengers to Joshua in old travel- 
worn clothes, with old bread in their haversacks, as if they 
had been a long time on their journey. They met Joshua 
and proposed to make a covenant with him, and he, judging 
from their appearance and from the rations they carried, 
supposed that they must have come a long way and were, 
therefore, not people of that country, entered into a solemn 
covenant with them. They thus fooled him and the princes 
of Israel swore an oath before God that they would main- 
tain their covenant with the Gibeonites. Very soon the 
fraud practiced was found out, and while they could not, for 
their oath's sake, kill these people, they made them "hewers 
of wood and drawers of water" — in other words, servants. 
They let them remain in the land in that servile position, a 
kind of peonage state. These Gibeonites had been living 
there, holding their land, yet servants of the people for 
about 400 years, uncomplainingly submitting to their posi- 
tion, but on account of the oath made by Joshua, retaining 
their possessions. 

Saul, as I said, looked around to find resources of reve- 
nue and said to himself, ''Suppose we kill these Gibeon- 
ites and take what they have." And he and his sons, ''the 
bloody house of Saul," made an attack upon these people 
and took everything that they had in the world and divided 
it up among the Benjamites. Saul afterwards boasted of it. 
He said, "What has David to offer you, and who will give 
you estates, as I have given you estates?" This act upon 


his part, (and his family assisted him in it,) was unpro- 
voked, cold-blooded, murderous and confiscatory, with ref- 
erence to their property, upon a people that had been faith- 
ful as servants for 400 years. And even up to this time in 
David's reign these people were yet deprived of any redress. 

God did not overlook that wrong. He holds communities 
responsible for community sins, nations responsible for 
national sins, and just as He sent a plague upon the children 
of Israel on account of Achan, so He sent this famine upon 
Israel, because in the night-time this poor, poverty-stricken 
people, who had been defrauded of home and property and 
almost destroyed by the ^'bloody house of Saul,'' prayed 
unto God. God hears such cries. Whenever a great 
national injustice is done, as Pharaoh did to the Israelites in 
Egypt, retribution follows, and as the Spaniards did to the 
Indian tribes whom they subjugated, particularly in Cuba, 
there came a day when the thunder of American guns in 
Santiago avenged upon Spain the wrongs that Cuba had 
borne for 400 years. "There is no handwriting in the sky 
that this people is guilty of a great inhumanity or national 
wrong, and therefore I will send a pestilence," and He sends 
it and leaves them to inquire the cause. 

He sent this famine, and the third year men began to 
inquire as to its cause, and God answered by pointing out 
this sin. If that is the cause this nation must remain under 
the scorching fire of that drought until expiation is in 
some way made for that sin. David sent for the remnants 
of the Gibeonites and acknowledged that this wrong had 
been done to them, and that they, as remnants of the multi- 
tude that had been slain by Saul, had a right to blood 
revenge ; so David said to them, "I will do what you say to 
right this wrong." They said the children of the man that 
did this shall die ; he himself is out of the way, but they are 
living. " The bloody house of Saul,' seven of them, must 
be given up to be put to death as we think fit and where we 


think fit, so that compensation may be made. They must 
be gibbeted, crucified, and they must remain there in Gibeah, 
Saul's home, and the scene of the crime that he committed ; 
they must remain there until the offense is expiated." 

David declined to let any of Jonathan's sons help pay that 
penalty. He exempted Mephibosheth, who was eating con- 
tinually at his table, and who, doubtless, judging from the 
character of Jonathan, had nothing to do with this grievous 
crime. He selected two sons of Saul's concubine, Rizpah. 
She was a very beautiful woman, and after Saul's death 
there came very near being a civil war about her. She 
occasioned disturbances between Abner and Ish-bosheth, who 
was then king. She had two sons, one named Mephibosheth, 
the younger one, and the older one, Armoni. Her two sons 
and the five sons of Merab (not Michal, as the text has it) 
were taken by the Gibeonites to Gibeah, Saul's home, put to 
death and then gibbeted, after they had been put to death 
by crucifixion, or put to death and then crucified. "Cursed 
is every one that hangeth on a tree.'' This execution 
occurred about the time of the passover, and the bodies had 
to hang there until it was evident that God has removed the 
penalty. The rain did not come until October, about the 
time of the last feast, so these bodies hung there six solid 
months. Rizpah took her shawl, or cloak, and made a kind 
of a booth out of it, and resting under it, she stayed there 
six months and kept off carrion birds and beasts of prey 
from these bodies — two of them her children — all day and 
all night long — in her mother love, wishing that the curse 
could be lifted from the bones of her children ; wishing that 
the disgrace could be removed ; wishing that they might be 
taken down and have an honorable sepulture. Six months 
after she took that position it rained, the drought was 
broken, the famine stopped, and the sin was appeased. 
David heard how this mother had remained there and it 
touched his heart. He had the bodies taken down and also 


had the bones of Saul and Jonathan brought from Jabesh- 
gilead, and accorded to all an honorable burial. 

What this woman did has impressed itself upon the 
imagination of all readers of the Bible. The undying 
strength of a mother's love! It impressed itself upon the 
mind of an artist, and a marvelous picture was made of this 
woman fighting off the carrion birds and jackals. It 
appealed to the poet, and more than one poem has been 
written to commemorate the quenchless love of this mother. 
A mother's love suggested by the case of Rizpah is found in 
an unpublished poem by N. P. Willis. He represents the 
famine as so intense that the oldest son snatches a piece of 
bread from a soldier's hand and takes it to his mother, and 
the youngest son is represented as selling his fine Arab horse 
for a crust of bread and bringing it to his mother. When 
I was a schoolboy at old Independence, our literary club had 
a regulation that every member should memorize at least 
one couplet of poetry every day and recite it. I memorized 
a great many. I remember my first two. The first one was 

'The man that dares traduce because he can 
With safety to himself is not a man." 

The second one was 

"In all this cold and hollow world 

There is no fount of strong, and deep, and deathless love 
Save that within a mother's heart." 

Dore, who illustrated "Paradise Lost," Dante's "Inferno" 
and the Bible, was a wonderful artist. He had 45,000 spe- 
cial sketches and paintings. Perhaps in the Dore gallery of 
Bible illustrations this picture appears. The artist puts in 
his picture seven crosses ; on one a carrion bird has alighted, 
and others are coming, and peeping out of the rocks are the 
jackals gathering to devour these bodies, and there is Rizpah 
frightening away the birds and jackals. It is a marvelous 



1. Rehearse the story of Mephibosheth, and David's kindness to 
him. Who preached a sermon on II Sam, 9:13? 

2. What great king was born just at this time, what his names, 
and the meaning of each? 

3. How many wives had David, and how many children? 

4. What four sons of David became important in history, what 
five violations, in connection with Absalom, of the law of Moses, 
and what the evils of polygamy in David's case? 

5. What national calamity just now, its cause, and how ascer- 
tained ? 

6. Rehearse the story of the Gibeonites. 

7. What principle of God's judgments here set forth? 

8. How was this offense expiated? 

9. Who were exempted, and why? 

10. How did Rizpah show her mother-love in this case, and its 
impress upon the world? 





Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 138-141, 134-137 

ON PAGE 138 of the Harmony preserved in both 
II Samuel and Chronicles, is an account of another 
great affliction from God, and this affliction took the 
form of a pestilence in which 70,000 people perished. In 
one account it is said that the Lord moved David to number 
Israel, in the other that Satan instigated it. God is some- 
times said to do things that He permits. There was a 
spirit of sinfulness in both the nation and king, on account 
of the great prosperity of the nation. Some preachers hold- 
ing protracted meetings, and some pastors in giving their 
church roll, manifest a great desire to put stress upon num- 
bers. So David ordered a census taken of the people. We 
search both these accounts in vain to find the law of the 
census carried out, that whenever a census was taken a 
certain sum of money from each one whose census was 
taken was to be put into the sanctuary. It was not wrong 
to take a census, because God himself ordered a census in 
Numbers. The sin was in the motive which prompted 
David to number Israel on this occasion. Satan was at his 
old trick of trying to turn the people against God, that God 
might smite the people. Oftentimes when we do things, 
the devil is back of the motive which prompts us to do them. 
It is a strange thing that the spirit of man can receive direct 
impact from another spirit. 



It is also a strange thing that a man so secular-minded as 
Joab, understood the evil of this thing better than David. 
Joab worked at taking this census for nearly ten months, 
but did not complete it ; he did not take the census of Levi 
or Benjamin. Chronicles gives the result in round num- 
bers, which does not exactly harmonize with II Samuel, one 
attempting to give only round numbers. Both show a great 
increase in population. After the thing was done, David's 
conscience smote him, he felt that here were both error and 
sin ; and he prayed about it, and when he prayed, God sent 
him a message, making this proposition : "I offer thee three 
things" (try and put yourself in David's place and see which 
of these three things you would have accepted) : (i) ''Shall 
seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land?" He 
had just passed through three years of famine, and did not 
want to see another, especially one twice as long as the 
other. (2) "Or wilt thou flee three months before thy foes, 
while they pursue thee?" He rejected that because it put 
him at the mercy of man. (3) The last alternative was, 
"Or shall there be three days' pestilence in thy land ?" And 
David made a remarkable answer : "Let us fall now into the 
hands of the Lord, for His mercies are great; and let me 
not fall into the hands of man." I would myself always 
prefer that God be the one to smite me rather than man. 
"Man's inhumanity to man makes countless millions 
mourn." It is astonishing how cruel man can be to man 
and woman to woman, especially woman to woman. 
Always prefer God's punishment ; He loves you better than 
anyone else, and will not put on you more than is just ; but 
when the human gets into the judgment seat, there is no 
telling what may happen. Before this three days' pestilence 
had ended 70,000 people had died. The pestilence was now 
moving upon the capital, and David was going to offer a 
sacrifice to God and implore His mercy. When he saw the 
angel of death with his drawn sword, about to swoop down 


upon Jerusalem, then comes out the magnanimity of David : 
"ho, I have sinned and I have done perversely; but these 
sheep, what have they done ?" Who greater than David used 
similar language in order to protect his flock? Our Lord 
in Gethsemane. Thereupon God ordered a sacrifice to be 
made, its object being to placate God, to stay the plague, a 
glorious type of the ultimate atonement. 

When I was a student at Independence, the convention 
met there, and Dr. Bayless, then pastor of the First Baptist 
church at Waco, took this text: *Tf any man love not the 
Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha." He 
commenced : ''When the flaming sword of divine justice was 
flashing in the sunbeams of heaven, and whistling in its 
fiery wrath, Jesus interposed and bared His breast, saying, 
'Smite me instead.' " Bayless was a very eloquent preacher. 
But though our Lord interposed, yet on Him, crushed with 
imputed sin, that sword was about to fall. His shrinking 
humanity prayed, "Save me from the sword!" But the 
Father answered, "Awake, O Sword, smite the shepherd 
and let the flock be scattered." And here we find the type. 

The threshing floor of Araunah became the site of 
Solomon's temple. It was the place where Abraham brought 
his son, and bound him on an altar, and Hfted up the knife 
when the voice of God called: "Abraham, stay thy hand, 
God himself hath provided a sacrifice." There Abraham 
started to offer Isaac ; there the temple was afterward built, 
and the brazen altar erected on which these sacrificial types 
were slain. I ask you not only to notice David's vicarious 
expiation, but also the spirit of David as set forth in verse 
24, page 141 : "Neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the 
Lord my God, which cost me nothing." That old Canaanite 
man was a generous fellow, and offered to give him that 
place for such a purpose and to furnish the oxen for the 
sacrifice, but David refused to make an offering that cost 
him nothing. Brother Truett preaches a great sermon on 


that subject: "God forbid that I should offer an offering 
unto the Lord that costs me nothing." When he wants to 
get a really sacrificial collection ; wants people to give until 
it hurts, he takes that text and preaches his sermon. We 
must not select for God that which costs us nothing. I will 
not say tens or hundreds, but I will say thousands of times 
in my life I have made such offerings where it cost me 
something — where it really hurt. 

History of Absalom. — In the last discussion it was shown 
that there had been a number of antecedent sins in connec- 
tion with Absalom : ( i ) It was a sin that the Geshurites had 
been left in the land; (2) It was a sin that David had mar- 
ried a Geshurite; (3) That he had married for State rea- 
sons; (4) That he had multipHed wives; (5) That he did 
not instruct and discipline Absalom. Absalom stands among 
the most remarkable characters of the O. T. He was 
the handsomest man in his day, according to the record. 
He was perfect in physical symmetry and body. That 
counts a good deal with many people, but here it is not a 
case of "pretty is that pretty does." He had outside beau- 
ties to a marvelous degree. In that poem of N. P. Willis, 
he assumes that Absalom's body is before David in the 
shroud, and says that as the shroud settled upon the body 
it revealed in outline the matchless symmetry of Absalom. 
Absalom had remarkable courage; there is nothing in the 
history to indicate that he was ever afraid of anything or 
anybody. Again, he had great decision of character; he 
knew exactly what he wanted ; he was utterly unscrupulous 
as to the means to secure it. However, he was a man of 
most remarkable patience; he had passions and hate, and 
yet he could hold his peace and wait years to strike. That 
shows that he was not impulsive; that he could keep his 
passions under the most rigid control. The idea of a young 
man like Absalom under such an indignity waiting two years 
and then carefully planning and bringing his victims under 


his hand and smiting them without mercy ! That is malice 
aforethought. He alone could make Joab bend to him ; he 
sent for Joab, but Joab did not come; then he sent to his 
servant saying, "Set fire to Joab's barley field." That 
brought him ! Spurgeon has a sermon on that. You know 
that a terrapin will not crawl when you are looking at him 
unless you put a coal of fire on his back. Absalom put a 
coal of fire on Joab's back. Then, to show the character 
of the man, he could get up early in the morning and go to 
the gate of the city and listen to every grievance in the 
nation, pat each fellow on the back and whisper in his 
ear, "Oh, if I were judge in Israel your wrong would be 
righted !" There is your politician. Now for a man to keep 
that up for years indicates a fixedness of purpose, absolute 
control over his manner. Whoever supposes Absalom to 
have been a weak-minded man is mistaken. Whoever sup- 
poses him to have been a religious man is mistaken. He 
had not a spark of religion. 

David's oldest son, Amnon, commits the awful ofifense set 
forth in the first paragraph of this section. Words cannot 
describe the villainy of it, and if Absalom under the hot in- 
dignation of the moment had smitten Amnon, he would have 
been acquitted by any jury. But that was not Absalom's 
method. He intended to hit and hit to kill, but he was going 
to take his time, and let it be as sudden as death itself when 
it came. David refrains from punishing Amnon. Under 
the Jewish law he could have been put to death at once, and 
he ought to have been, but David could not administer the 
law ; seeing his own guilt in a similar case, stripped him of 
the moral power to execute the law. 

You will find that whenever yo\i do wrong, it will make 
you more silent in your condemnation of wrong in others. 

We now come to a subject that has been the theme of my 
own preaching a good deal : "Now Joab, the son of Zeruiah, 
perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom," but he 


also perceived that that affection was taking no steps to 
bring about a reconcihation, so he falls upon a plan. He 
sent a wise woman of Tekoa to find David, feigning a griev- 
ance as set forth here, who among other things said, *'We 
must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which 
cannot be gathered up again,'' i.e., from one against whom 
our anger is extended, but in behalf of whom we are inter- 
ceding. The fact that God had not killed him was proof 
that He was sparing him that he might repent. "But God 
deviseth means whereby His banished shall not be perpet- 
ually expelled." The application intended is this: "Now 
David, you are doing just the other way. You have only a 
short time to live, and when you die your opportunities of 
reconciliation are gone forever. Imitate God ; devise means 
to bring your banished one home." David acted on this 
advice and sent Joab after Absalom, but he did not imitate 
God fully; he had Absalom brought to Jerusalem, but would 
not see him. Absalom waited there under a cloud for three 
years, and when he could stand it no longer, by burning 
Joab's barley field he forced him to bring about a reconcilia- 
tion. Absalom's object in bringing about this reconciliation 
was to put him in position to rebel. He knew that the tenth 
son, Solomon, was announced as the successor to Davd, and 
he was the older son, and under the ordinary laws of primo- 
geniture entitled to the kingdom. So he determines to be 

David at this time, as we learn from Psalm 41, was labor- 
ing under an awful and loathsome sickness — a sickness that 
separated him from his family, from his children and from 
his friends. This caused him to be forgotten to a great 
extent. It was a case of "when you drop out of sight, you 
drop out of mind." While the people saw nothing of David, 
they were seeing much of Absalom ; he had his chariot and 
followers, and paraded the streets every day, and his ad- 
mirers would say, "There is a king for you! We want a 


king that is somebody !'* David in retirement, Absalom con- 
spicuous, making promises and being the oldest son, cap- 
tured the hearts of the people. Among these was Ahitho- 
phel. Then Absalom sent spies out all over the country and 
said, "When you hear the trumpet blow, you may know that 
Absalom is reigning." He went down to Hebron and an- 
nounced himself as king. When the word is brought to 
David that the people have gone from him, there seems to be 
no thought in his mind of resistance; he prepares to leave 
the city, leave the Ark of God and the house of God. Leav- 
ing his concubines and taking his wives and children with 
him, he sets out, and upon reaching Mt. Olivet, looks back 
upon the abandoned city, and weeps. A great number of the 
Psalms were composed to commemorate his feelings during 
this flight. Both priests, Abiathar and Zadok, wanted to 
take the Ark with them, but David sent them back, saying 
he wanted some there to watch for him and send him word. 
Never in the annals of time do we find a more Hvely his- 
toric portraiture of men and events than here. Each lives 
before us as we read: "Ittai, Abiathar, Zadok, Hushai, Ziba, 
Shimei and Abishai.'* 


1. How do you harmonize II Sam. 24:1 and I Chron, 21:1? 

2. What the sin of this numbering of Israel? 

3. What the lessons to preachers? 

4. What was David's course? 

5. What God's proposition to David? 

6. What David's answer, and reason for his choice? 

7. How was the plague finally stayed? 

8. What type here, and the N. T. fulfillment? 

9. What the site of Solomon's temple? 

ID. What historic events connected with this place? 

11. What great text for a sermon here, and who has preached 
a noted sermon from it? 

12. Rehearse here the antecedent sins in connection with 
Absalom ? 

13. What his physical appearance? 

14. Analyze his character. 


15. What the lesson to preachers from the sin of Amnon and 
David's attitude toward it? 

16. What the lesson for David from the woman of Tekoa? 

17. How did David receive it? 

18. To what expedient did Absalom resort, and why? 

19. What David's disadvantage and Absalom's advantage here? 

20. What David's course when he saw that the hearts of the 
people had turned toward Absalom? 

21. What the nature of this part of the history? 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 141, 142, 148-163 

WE should continually bear in mind that in order to 
interpret the inner life of David, the Davidic 
Psalms must be studied in connection with the his- 
tory. I never got a true insight into the character of this 
man, into his religious life, into his staying powers, until I 
studied the history very carefully in connection with the 
Psalms. I spent one whole summer studying the history 
of David in the Psalms. 

David stopped at Mahanaim ; that is the place where Jacob 
met the angelic host, as the name signifies. While Absa- 
lom was making his muster, David was also mustering a 
host ; while Absalom was godless and prayerless, David was 
penitent for his sins, humble toward God, and courageous 
toward men. Absalom appointed as his commander-in- 
chief a nephew of David, a son of Abigail; David had for 
his commanders Joab, Joab's brother Abishai, and the Git- 
tite, Ittai. 

One of the most touching things in connection with 
David's stay at Mahanaim is the coming together from three 
different directions of three friends to help: "Shobi the son 
of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and 
Machir the son of Ammiel of Lo-debar, and Barzillai the 
Gileadite of Rogelim, brought beds, basins, and earthen ves- 
sels, and wheat, and barley, and meal, and parched corn, 



and beans, and lentils, and parched pulse, and honey, and 
butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the 
people that were with him, to eat." It is noticeable always, 
however, that a man of strong character will draw to him 
friends whose friendship cannot be broken. David's charac- 
ter developed friendship so that people would come to him 
and stand by him to the very last extremity. Of course 
there were some traitors. Absalom could draw men to him, 
but could not hold them. 

The battle between the opposing armies took place in what 
is called the "Wood of Ephraim," a very considerable forest 
somewhere near the banks of the Jordan. David's army 
was in three divisions. He wanted to lead in person, but 
they objected and he stayed over the gate of the city, with 
one concern in his heart, deeper than all others, and that 
was about the fate of his son, Absalom ; he was very much 
devoted to him, foolishly so, as the charge that he gave to 
each officer as each division marched through the gate indi- 
cates : 'Tor my sake deal gently with Absalom." Absalom's 
army was utterly routed. 

I remember preaching a sermon in 1887, when canvassing 
the state for prohibition, on the text: "Do thyself no 
harm," basing my argument upon this thought, that no man 
can cause a harm that he does to terminate in himself. A 
man might be somewhat excused for doing harm to himself, 
if he harms only himself. I illustrated Absalom's harming 
himself in two scenes. First, on that battlefield 20,000 men 
lay dead ; a man goes over the field and tries to identify the 
slain. He turns over a victim whose face is to the ground, 
and feels in his pockets to see if he can find anything to 
identify him, and perhaps finds a letter from his wife stained 
with his heart's blood. It reads: "When are you coming 
home? The children every evening sit out on the gatepost 
and look toward the scene of war until their eyes fill with 
tears, then come in and say, 'Mamma, whenever is papa 


coming home?'" Never! There are 20,000 men like him, 
20,000 wives Hke that wife, and 40,000 children like those 
children, all harmed because Absalom did harm to himself ! 
The other scene of the picture was the old man, the father, 
at the gate of the city, listening for news of the battle, and 
when the message is received, colder than lead and sharper 
than the dagger, it strikes his heart. Stripping off the crown 
and purple robe, he wraps himself in sackcloth, and puts 
ashes on his gray head. It breaks his heart. He wrings his 
hands and sobs: ^'O my son Absalom, my son, my son 
Absalom ! would God that I had died for thee, O Absalom, 
my son, my son !" In view of the father's unspeakable grief, 
it was not right for that young man to harm himself, since 
the harm did not terminate in him. 

That sermon changed more votes than all the speeches 
that had been made. Power in preaching consists in having 
an imagination that will enable you to make a scene live 
before you. 

I preached another sermon in Waco that I think I shall 
never forget. It was an afternoon sermon, when all the 
churches in the city were united. I took a double text : "I 
shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." That was 
the first part of the text. The other part was, "Absalom, 
my son, my son, would God that I had died for thee." I con- 
trasted the sorrow of David over his two children ; the sep- 
aration between him and his baby was temporary; they 
would soon be together forever, but the separation from 
Absalom was an eternal separation. He knew his child was 
lost forever, which accounts for his inconsolable grief. The 
power of that sermon was in vivid stress of two things: 
holding one picture up and saying, "Look at that," and 
holding up the opposite picture and saying, "Look at that." 

The rebellion perished with the death of Absalom, but 
David was so utterly overwhelmed with his grief that he 
did not follow up his victory, and really he became sinful 


in his grief. It took the heart out of his own people. They 
became ashamed and sneaked back to town, f eeHng that their 
victory was dreadful to their king. Joab, though his heart 
was as hard as iron, was right in his rebuke ; but it was very 
unfeelingly done, especially as he had been the one, in viola- 
tion of orders, to take the life of Absalom. This is what 
he said, "Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy 
servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives 
of thy sons and thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, 
and the lives of thy concubines ; in that thou lovest them 
that hate thee, and hatest them that love thee. For thou hast 
declared this day, that princes and servants are naught unto 
thee : for this day I perceive, if Absalom had lived, and all 
we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well. Now 
therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy 
servants; for I swear by the Lord, if thou go not forth, 
there will not tarry a man with thee this night." That was 
pretty straight talk, but it was successful, and it waked 
David up. He was so stunned by his grief that he took no 
steps to follow up his victory. 

The question of his restoration came up with the people 
this way : "Shall we now take the king back to his throne ? 
Absalom is dead and there is no other king." And then 
David made overtures to Judah, his own tribe ; he sent to 
Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, saying that the tribe of 
Judah was his own flesh and blood, and they had said noth- 
ing about his coming back. He then made this promise: 
"As the Lord God liveth I will make Amasa, Absalom's 
general, commander-in-chief of my armies." It would have 
been all right to dismiss Joab, but it certainly was impoHtic 
to put a rebellious general at the head of his army. We will 
see directly that it cost Amasa his life. 

The men who stood by David and won his victory for 
him felt like they were strangers here with these people who 
had been against him and the enemies' general made their 


commander. Whenever a strong feeling of resentment ex- 
ists there will always be somebody to give voice to it, hence 
the shout of Sheba: *To your tents, O Israel!" You will 
hear that cry again in the days of Rehoboam, when the same 
ten tribes say, 'To your tents, O Israel ! What have we in 
the son of Jesse?" The tribes were always loosely held to- 
gether, and it was easy for them to separate and disinte- 
grate. For some reason, not stated, Amasa was very dila- 
tory to take command and subdue Sheba, and David com- 
mands Abishai, not Joab, to take command and pursue 
Sheba until he is caught and destroyed. Joab goes along 
as a volunteer, and on the way he meets Amasa whom he 
thus addressed: '*Art thou in health, my brother?" And 
then stabs him under the fifth rib, just as he had killed 
Abner ; then he usurps command, Abishai giving way to him, 
and put down the rebellion very speedily. David did not 
feel strong enough to displace him again, so after that Joab 
was commander-in-chief, too big a man to be put out! 

In going back to Jerusalem there were several touching 
things : In the first place that cursing man, Shimei, comes 
out and makes submission and asks to be forgiven. David 
forgives him for the present. You will see later how he 
made provision for bringing him to judgment, but he for- 
gave him for the present. The darkest blot on David, out- 
side of the sin against Uriah, is in this paragraph, the meet- 
ing with Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth comes to meet him 
and David sternly asks why he had not gone out with him 
when he left Jerusalem. He gently explains that he was 
crippled and could not walk, and that he ordered his beast 
to be saddled and his servants went off and left him ; that 
he is now glad to welcome David back, and that it was a 
falsehood that he ever intended to profit by David's mis- 
fortunes. David then restores to him part of his property, 
and lets that rascal Ziba keep half of it. In all this transac- 
tion Mephibosheth comes out in a much more favorable 


light than David : ''Let him take it all forasmuch as my 
lord, the king, has come in peace unto his own house." 
This does not show off David very well. It is customary for 
everybody in going over this part of the history, to speak 
with great favor of old Barzillai. Everything he did was 
pure disinterestedness. David offers compensation, offers 
to give him a permanent home in Jerusalem. He says this 
would not be a favor to him, as he is old and blind and can- 
not taste anything or discriminate. Then David asks him 
if there is not somebody in his house that he can promote, 
and the son of old Barzillai is promoted. 

We will now consider the preparation David made for the 
succession to guard against any other rebellion. He wanted 
the succession established in his life-time. If you are 
familiar with English history you know that a nation is in 
a great stir every time its king gets sick, unless it is clearly 
established who shall succeed him. The question for suc- 
cession was a serious one when Queen Elizabeth died, and 
again at Queen Anne's death, when the kingdom was trans- 
ferred to the house of Hanover. Some of the most thrill- 
ing pages in history are devoted to these transition periods. 
David wanted no trouble about the succession; so he as- 
sembled the great convocation, consisting of princes, cap- 
tains of thousands, and hundreds, etc., and caused them to 
recognize Solomon as his successor, and he was so an- 
nounced. Every officer in the kingdom was pre-committed 
to Solomon. And yet, notwithstanding this precaution, 
Adonijah, the third son prominent in history, now the old- 
est, since Absalom is dead, determined that he should be 
king. He adopted Absalom's expedients, prepared chariots 
and men to run before him. He got Abiathar, one of the 
priests, and Joab to stand with him and went off to a palace 
called En-rogel and there to be announced as king. David 
was too old and feeble to do anything, but the prophet Na- 
than sent the mother of Solomon to him to let him know 


what was impending. David took steps instantly to have 
Solomon crowned king, and proclamation made. Adonijah, 
when he heard that Solomon was king, returned to Jerusalem 
and begged for mercy, and the rebellion was ended. This 
led to the displacement of Abiathar as priest, and led to the 
permanency of the high priest in the line of Zadok, who 
stood firmly with David. 

The crowning act of David's life, the one most profitable 
in its lesson to us, was his provision for the erection of the 
great temple. All the devoted treasure from Saul's wars 
and his own, all the spoils of many nations subdued by him, 
immense treasures of gold, silver, precious stones, precious 
metal, and cloth were stored up for this purpose. Then by 
revelation from God the plans and specifications of the 
building and its furniture received by him were given to 
Solomon, accompanied by a solemn charge to build the 
house. But yet the gathered material was not sufficient for 
so great an enterprise. So David at this great convocation 
engineered the most remarkable public collection known to 
history — the most remarkable in its method, its principles, 
and in the amount raised. 

Method: First of all he, himself, out of his own proper 
fund, made a cash donation never equalled since, not even 
by Carnegie nor Rockefeller. The princes, and then all sub- 
ordinate officers, followed the lead of their rulers. 

Principles: (i) It was a "prepared" donation. (2) The 
preparation was "with all his might." (3) The donation 
was for God's house and cause. (4) It was prompted by 
"affection for God's cause." (5) It was purely voluntary. 
(6) It was preceded by a "willing consecration of himself 
to God." (7) It was followed by great joy because a willing 
and not an extorted offering. 

Amount: It staggers credulity to accept the vast total. 
The total, by any fair method of calculation, goes beyond 
anything else known to history. No off-hand, impulsive col- 


lection could have produced such a result. It was a long- 
purposed, thoroughly prepared contribution flowing from 
the highest possible motives. 

Lesson: Our preachers today should lay it to heart. We 
need the lesson particularly in times of financial stringency. 
We see our preachers scared to death without cause, and 
our people demoralized. We need the application intensely. 
We should know that God is never straightened in himself — 
that today, if we willingly consecrate ourselves to God first 
of all, like the Phillipians who first gave themselves to the 
Lord, and if we have true afifection for God's cause, and if 
we purpose great things in our hearts, and prepare a collec- 
tion, with all our might appealing to the voluntary prin- 
ciple in the loving hearts of God's people, and ourselves have 
strong faith in God who is able even to raise the dead, then 
the stringency of the times will only brace us and call out 
our courage. But if we are whipped inside, if we feel that 
we are butting our heads against a stone wall, if we take 
counsel with our fears and become timid and hesitating 
moral cowards when we should be heroes, of course we will 
miserably fail. We will become grasshoppers in the sight 
of opposing giants, and grasshoppers in our own sight. Hard 
times, difficult situations, are methods of providence to pre- 
pare us. They are touchstones of character, revealing who 
are weaklings and who are heroes. Go off to thyself ; shut 
out the world. Shut up thyself alone with God, fight the 
battle to a finish once for all in thine own heart, and then 
with the sublime audacity of faith, do thy work for the 


1. Contrast Absalom and David as to character. 

2. Who were chosen as commanders by Absalom and David 

3. What the touching incident at Mahanaim? 

4. Give an account of the battle between David's army and 


5. How did David show his concern for Absalom? 

6. Show in two ways how Absalom in harming himself, harmed 

7. Contrast David's sorrow upon the death of his infant with 
that upon the death of Absalom. 

8. How did the rebellion end? 

9. Give Joab's rebuke, and its effect on David. 

ID. How was David restored as king of the people? 

11. What his mistake, and its result? 

12. What touching events on David's return to Jerusalem? 

13. What preparation did David make for a successor? 

14. Who at once became competitor for the kingship? 

15. What his method? 

16. How did this episode end? 

17. What the crowning act of David's life? 

18. How was the provision made? 

19. What the method? 

20. What the principles? 

21. What the amount? 

22. What the lesson, and its application? 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 142-148 

THE scriptural materials for the life of David present 
him as a great poet, and we are accustomed to think 
of him in the Hght of his poetry, particularly of his 
elegies and Psalms. We think of him as a great warrior 
from his youth up in the successful campaigns he waged in 
pushing out the boundaries of the kingdom until they ful- 
filled the promise to Abraham. Then we think of him as a 
legislator, as he devised many useful laws, but we seldom 
give him due credit for his organizing power. A great 
writer has said that what Alfred the Great did for Eng- 
land, and what Napoleon did for France, David did for his 
kingdom in the way of organization. I will take up the 
items of this organization and give you a clear conception 
of it. 

I. The Army. — His army roll showed 288,000 men. It 
would have been a great burden to a small kingdom like this 
to keep up a standing army of 288,000 men ; so he divided 
his army into twelve great corps. Only one corps would 
serve a month ; in the course of the entire year the 288,000 
men would have served each one of them one month. In 
that way the spirit of military drill and organization was 
kept up. In case of war he could call out the whole 288,000 
and have a vast army of drilled men. So his army organi- 
zation, we will say, consisted of 288,000 men, 12 army corps 



of 24,000 each, each corps serving one month in the year, 
coming on in succession. Each corps was subdivided into, 
say, 24 regiments of 1,000 men each, and each regiment into 
ten companies of 100 men each, something hke the "century" 
of the Roman Legion, a centurion commanding 100 men. 
These were the subdivisions of the main army. There was 
a bodyguard always kept near the king's person. I do not 
recall that anywhere the number of this bodyguard is given. 
Sometimes they are called "Cherethites" and "Pelethites." 
Whatever their name, it was a permanent bodyguard of 
which Benaiah was the commander. 

Then there was an order of men sometimes compared to 
the knighthood, the 600; the original organization of this 
600 was in the Cave of Adullam, when David was an out- 
law, and it was perpetuated all through his life. This 600, 
every one a hero and champion, was divided into two bands 
of 300 each. These bands were divided into companies of 
100 each, and the one hundreds were divided into twenties. 
The six captains over the hundreds and the chief captain 
over all make the famous seven. The captains over the 
twenties make the famous thirty. Every man of this band 
of 600 was an experienced warrior and had signalized him- 
self on many eventful occasions, and every one of the thirty 
and every one of the seven, that is, the thirty-seven officers, 
were especially famous. 

Let us see if we have this army organization clear: 
288,000 divided into 12 corps of 24,000 each; each corps 
commanded by its own general, with Joab as general-in- 
chief ; each 24,000 serving one month and no more unless 
there was a war. In addition to that, a bodyguard, the 
famous 600; the three captains of the first 300 were the 
most worthy ; the three captains of the other 300 were some- 
what less worthy. Each 100 was divided into twenties ; the 
captains over the twenties make the thirty worthies; then 
the six captains over the one hundreds, and a chief cap- 


tain of the 600 make the thirty-seven worthies. That is 
David's military organization. 

II. The Civil Organization. — The civil organization was 
based upon the law of Moses. Each tribe was governed by 
its prince, and by a graded system of subordinate judges, 
chiefs of thousands, chiefs of hundreds, chiefs of fifties, and 
chiefs of tens, and the ordinary affairs pertaining only to the 
tribes were attended to by these men. That was derived 
from the Mosaic administration, but in David's time we 
come to quite a different need, the matters relating to God 
and His kingdom. For this work David appointed 6,000 
Levites as judges and he distributed them over the whole 
territory. They represented the national affairs only. These 
6,000 Levites had the following functions : 

1. They were what we would call "federal judges" — • 
judges over matters that pertained to the general govern- 

2. Sanitary officers. 

3. They were charged with education. There never was 
such a spirit of general education as grew up in this organi- 
zation of David. First of all, there were the schools of the 
prophets. They were kept up and had been ever since Sam- 
uel's time. In these schools of the prophets they studied 
the whole law of God, and particularly music, vocal and 
instrumental. They also studied everything that related to 
the prophetic office. That was the curriculum of the schools 
of the prophets, and that was where David got his education. 
These 6,000 Levites, each one in his own section, had charge 
of the educational work, and the result was that when Solo- 
mon came to the throne you find him the most thoroughly 
educated man since the days of Moses. Dr. Taylor, in his 
"King of Israel," well says : 

"The pre-eminence attained by Solomon in all the branches of 
education is, to my mind, an evidence of the advanced condi- 
tion of the nation generally in this department; since, unless 


a good foundation of elementary knowledge had been imparted 
to the youth of the land as a whole, it is hardly possible to 
account for the appearance of such a man as Solomon in that 
age. No doubt he was endowed with preternatural wisdom; but 
this, as is usual in the economy of Providence, would be engrafted 
upon a high degree of ordinary culture ; and the question forces 
itself upon the historical student, 'Who were his tutors, and who 
taught them?' You do not find the loftiest mountains rising iso- 
latedly from some great plain. The highest mountains are never 
solitary peaks. They belong usually to some great chain, and are 
merely the loftiest elevations in a country the general character of 
which is mountainous; and in the same way the greatest scholars 
appear, not among ignorant people, but among those who have a 
high average of education, and in countries where a good substratum 
of instruction is enjoyed by the common average of the community. 
The historian, Froude, has put this thought admirably when he 
says, 'No great general ever arose out of a nation of cowards; no 
great statesman or philosopher out of a nation of fools; no great 
artist out of a nation of materialists; no great dramatist,^ except 
when the drama was the passion of the people. Greatness is never 
more than the highest degree of an excellence which prevails 
around it, and forms the environment in which it grows.' Now if 
these views be correct, the rise of Solomon, who was so conspicuous 
for his intellectual culture and scientific attainments, may be re- 
garded as a proof that in the reign of David, and more particularly, 
perhaps, in the zenith of his administration, education was ex- 
tensively diffused, and earnestly fostered by him among the tribes." 

When we come to study Solomon, in his time, we will find 
a reference to the wise men of the day. These were the 
men who grew out of David's educational system. Solomon 
is but the product of the educational department set up by 
David. Let us now see what we have learned about these 
Levites : 

1. They were federal judges, passing sentence on all 
matters pertaining to the nation at large. 

2. They were sanitary men, looking after all matters 
pertaining to the health of the people. 

3. They were educational men. 

4. They were the stewards of what is called the ''royal 
property." We would call it now, in our government, 
"revenue." By a single paragraph we are told of David's 
overseers of the treasure-houses of the tribes, of the vine- 
yards, of the orchards, pastures, etc., so that there must have 


been what in England would be called "crown-lands," land 
that belonged to the general government. In every tribe and 
in every important place you would see a treasure-house. 
Let us see what that treasure-house was for. The system 
of worship provided for a central place of worship, and for 
the support of those who conducted matters at the central 
place of worship there was a tithe in cattle, grain, vineyards, 
etc., so you see that it would be necessary to have store- 
houses all over the nation where these tithes could be gath- 
ered up. It took a very consummate organization to put all 
these matters in such working order that there could be no 
deficiency in the royal treasury from any part of the land, 
nothing deficient in sanitary conditions. Nothing anywhere 
escaped the Argus eyes of the judicial system of govern- 
ment. Moreover, David developed — 

III. An International Commerce. — This was a tremen- 
dous item in the contribution to the wealth of the nation. 
The kingdom produced more than it could use in the way of 
clothes, and it was necessary to export surplus products and 
to bring in things that could not be produced at home. You 
can imagine the continuous stream of caravans from Damas- 
cus to Egypt and from Tyre to Arabia, across the country. 
It would be necessary to carry to foreign countries various 
kinds of produce in exchange for the things brought to 
David from them. In Solomon's time you will see an en- 
largement of this commerce. He not only reached the 
Atlantic Ocean, as in David's time, through the fleets of 
Tyre, but China and India by means of the fleet at Ezion- 
geber on the Gulf of Akabah. David would want cedars 
from Lebanon, and would want to employ skilled artisans 
and architects. David was a great builder. He built a fine 
palace for himself, and he built many fine buildings in 
Jerusalem. In paying for these artisans, architects and 
materials from foreign countries he would use the surplus 
products of his own kingdom, carrying from Judah to Tyre 


by caravan, to Damascus by caravan, to Egypt, to Arabia. 
This necessitated treasure-houses and storehouses, and 
David had them by his system of organization. 

IV. The Religious Organization. — The reHgious organi- 
zation surpassed anything that this world has ever known. 
At no time in the history of the world, in any nation, was 
there ever such a perfect organization of religious service. 
After David was made king of all Israel at Hebron, where 
he had been reigning over Judah seven years, he captured 
Jerusalem and made that the central place of worship, and 
there the great feasts were celebrated. He is going to have 
a system of worship that will not only impress the minds 
of his own people, but all people who come in touch with 
them, so that in the days of the captivity the Babylonians 
would say, *'Sing us one of the songs of Zion," and they 
would reply, "How can we sing the songs of Zion in a 
strange land?" and would hang their harps on the willow 

There were 38,CX)0 Levites over thirty years of age in this 
religious organization, 6,000 of whom were set apart for 
judges, sanitary officers and educators, leaving 32,000 for 
the temple service. These 32,000 men were divided as fol- 
lows: 24,000 into 24 courses of 1,000 each, set apart to 
minister at the sanctuary ; in other words to be servants of 
the priests for anything the priests would want done ; 4,000 
set apart as porters ; and 4,000 as singers. The priests, that 
is, the sons of Aaron, were classified into 24 courses. This 
classification continued until the New Testament time. Zach- 
arias, the father of John the Baptist, belonged to the course 
of Abia, and when it came his turn to go and act as priest 
in the temple, it was determined by lot, and the lot fell upon 
him to offer incense as priest. The priests were divided 
into 24 courses, and the singers divided. There were 24 
bands of these singers, not all present at one time, but all 
could be grouped at national festivals, when the Passover 


came, or Feast of Tabernacles, or Pentecost, or the great 
Day of Atonement; then the entire 4,000 singers would be 
there with their various instruments of music; the cymbal- 
band, the psaltery-band, the harp-band, the trumpet-band, 
Alamoth, or female choir, Sheminith, or male choir — every- 
body in that 4,000 would understand just what services were 
requisite on his part, and just when. One twenty-fourth of 
the time he had to be there, and on all national occasions 
he had to be there. Offerings had to be made every day, 
morning and evening, and when you take into consideration 
the Sabbatic cycle, which consisted of the weekly Sabbath, 
every seventh day ; the new-moon Sabbath, every lunar 
month; the annual Sabbaths, the Passover, Tabernacle, or 
Pentecost festivals; the land Sabbath, all of every seventh 
year; the jubilee Sabbath, every fiftieth year, each and all 
with its appropriate and imposing ritual, you get some idea 
of David's religious system. 

When we come to study the book of Psalms, one of the 
most attractive books in the whole Bible, we will there find 
that the service of the second temple was based upon David's 
plan, and led to our present arrangement of the Psalms. No 
writer has yet, with sufficient vividness, described the wor- 
ship at Jerusalem in the Old Testament times. Rev. J. H. 
Ingraham, the Episcopalian, who committed suicide, at- 
tempted to describe it in letters that a daughter of an Egyp- 
tian Jew wrote to her father about how the temple service 
impressed her in the time of Christ. These letters are found 
in his "Prince of the House of David.'* 

That was the religious organization. One living in any 
part of the country, from Hamath on the northwest to the 
Euphrates on the northeast, to Edom on the southeast, to 
Philistia on the southwest, and a case coming up, there was 
an appropriate officer to whom his case would be referred; 
everything was arranged for — judicial, executive and legis- 
lative. Some things were attended to in the national con- 


ventlon. This occurred when the great festivals brought 
the people together in the grand convocation, or when some- 
thing of special importance was to be done with reference 
to succession, as we saw when David called the whole nation 
to accept his son Solomon as king. 


1. In what spheres was David great? 

2. Describe his army organization: (i) How many enrolled? 

(2) How divided, and why? (3) What the subdivisions? 

3. Describe David's body-guard. Who the commander? _ ^ , 

4. Describe the organization of his famous 600; (i) Its divi- 
sions; (2) Its subdivisions; (3) Who the famous zj"^ 

5. Describe the civil organization: (i) What part derived from 
the Mosaic administration? (2) What additions in David's time? 

(3) What the functions of the 6,000 Levites? (4) What proof, 
of the diffusion of education by David? (5) What was the treas-J 
urehouse? - ■ c * 1 

6. Describe his system of International commerce :, ^( i ); itsj 
necessity; (2) How carried on? _ _ ,._ 

7. Describe his religious organization: (i) How does it com-^ 
pare with the other religious organizations of the world? (2). 
How many and who constituted it? (3) Its divisions and sub-^ 
divisions? (4) Its relation to the book of the Psalms? 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, p. 164 

WE will begin on the reign of Solomon at page 164 of 
the Harmony. 
First of all I will give you a Hst of the books 
obtainable by you on the reign of Solomon. Your Bible 
text of the reign of Solomon includes the first eleven chap- 
ters of I Kings and the first nine chapters of II Chronicles — 
twenty chapters in all. These twenty chapters cover the 
reign of Solomon. 

Josephus comes next. I am naming books for students 
of the English Bible, not of the Hebrew Bible. The perti- 
nent parts of Josephus are chapters 14 and 15 of the Seventh 
Book of Antiquities, and the first seven chapters of the 
Eighth Book, i.e., nine chapters of Josephus. You can read 
those nine chapters of Josephus at one sitting. 

The next book I commend very highly on account of the 
simplicity of it (anybody can understand it), and also on 
account of the soundness and great scholarship of the 
author. It is Edersheim's "History of Israel," Volume V. 
In the fifth volume some of the chapters are devoted to the 
reign of Solomon. Anyone at one sitting ought to be able to 
carefully read over everything that Edersheim has to say 
on Solomon's reign. 

The next book, the author of which is also a great scholar 
and a very celebrated man, but not so sound in the faith as 



Edersheim, is Stanley's ''Jewish Church/* There are three 
volumes, but only some chapters of the second volume treat 
of the reign of Solomon. 

The next book is also one of great scholarship and re- 
search, though its author is more of a radical critic than 
Stanley, and that is Geikie's "Hours with the Bible." There 
are about eight volumes of that book, but you only want 
that part on Solomon's reign, a part of the third volume. 
It is better than either of the others in showing the political 
relation of Solomon's kingdom to the other kingdoms of 
the world. It is superb on that. 

The next book, by Canon Farrar, *The Life and Times of 
Solomon," is one of a series of books on the great Old Tes- 
tament characters. On the Old Testament Farrar is decid- 
edly a radical critic. He is better on the New Testament. 

The ''Bible Atlas" comes next, which every Bible student 
and Sunday school teacher ought to have. It is studied in 
Biblical introduction. Geography must precede history. In 
this book, pages 69-71, is all you need to consider on the 
reign of Solomon. It gives you several maps, then it gives 
you some comparative maps showing relative sizes. What it 
has to say in a historical way is very fine. You need it all 
the way through the study of the Bible, for it touches the 
whole history. 

Some Remarks on Kings and Chronicles. — The two books 
of Kings are, in the Hebrew, one book. The division took 
place when the Septuagint translation was made. This book 
of Kings covers more than four and one-half centuries, i.e., 
say from 1000 B.C. to about 585 B.C. Its original material 
was written by the contemporary prophets of Israel. Some 
prophet would write the annals of the kings during his time. 
The names of these prophets are Nathan, Ahijah, Iddo, 
Isaiah and Jeremiah. Therefore when the Old Testament is 
divided into three parts — Law, Prophets and Psalms — Sam- 
uel and Kings are always included in the Prophets because 


the author of the book was a prophet, and because the his- 
tory itself is prophetic. 

The reign of every king of Judah or of Israel later, when 
the division took place, had its own annalist, and these an- 
nalists or historians were prophets. In this book reference 
is made to a book called the ''Acts of Solomon," and from 
a passage in II Chronicles we infer that it was written by 
three prophets — Nathan, Ahijah and Iddo. Sixteen times 
in the book of Kings there is reference to the Chronicles 
of the kings of Judah. Of course one man did not write 
all of those chronicles, but each prophet would write the 
chronicles of his day. There are many references also to 
the chronicles of the kings of Israel. Our book of Chronicles 
is a compilation from these original sources, probably by 

Another remark on the book of Kings : Not only were its 
authors prophets, but the history was written from a pro- 
phetic point of view. The history of Israel is itself a 
prophecy. Our book of Chronicles is also unique. It is a 
post-exile compilation, i.e., after the return of the Jews from 
the Babylonian captivity, and therefore it has nothing to 
say about the ten tribes that went off with Jeroboam ; it dis- 
cusses only Judah. This book commences with Adam and 
comes down to Ezra's time, on one line of Messianic thought 
— just one. While we use the material of the book of 
Chronicles in this Harmony, yet no man can understand 
the book of Chronicles except by independent study. It 
must be considered as the historical basis of the new pro- 
bation after the exile, connecting with Ezra, Nehemiah, Dan- 
iel and Esther, and also with the later prophets — Ezekiel, 
Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi. Suppose that there was no 
Bible at all up to I Chronicles ; now that book is written so 
as to reach back to the Creation — to Adam — and furnishes, 
as I said, the historic basis of the probation of the Jewish 
people after their return from exile. Confining itself to the 


Davidic line and to Judah, it comes on down to the troublous 
times of the restoration. Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther com- 
plete the story. 

I discuss somewhat the empire of Solomon. A good map 
will show that the section conquered by Joshua was small 
compared with this empire of Solomon. The kingdom of 
Saul was a very small section, but by the conquests of David 
the boundary of the empire touched the Euphrates, which 
river was the boundary for a number of miles. Then the 
boundary came across to the Orontes River flowing north. 
Then it came down the eastern slope of the Lebanon Moun- 
tains, leaving a narrow strip next the Mediterranean Sea — 
Phoenicia — which was not a part of Solomon's kingdom, but 
was under an independent government — Hiram, King of 
Tyre. From the lower part of Phoenicia the boundary fol- 
lowed the Mediterranean Sea until it came to the River of 
Egypt. The River of Egypt means one of the branches of 
the Nile, and that part of the territory David never con- 
quered, but Solomon got it by dowry when he married 
Pharaoh's daughter. The boundary then strikes across from 
the River of Egypt to the upper part of the Red Sea, the 
Gulf of Akabah, at a point called Ezion-geber. That was 
the seaport through which Solomon's navy reached the 
Indian Ocean, and the countries of the Orient, as through 
the seaport of Tyre he reached all the countries on the Med- 
iterranean Sea and even around as far as Britain and Nor- 
way — all around the shore of the Baltic Sea. This empire 
of Solomon is ten times as big as the kingdom of Saul. Con- 
sider the difference between 6,000 square miles and 60,000 
square miles. You will notice that the eastern boundary 
of the empire touched the impassable desert at every point 
of the line. So with the great sea on the west and the desert 
on the east, there is only a narrow northern boundary and 
a narrow southern boundary to be safeguarded. You will 
observe that this empire as established by David and reigned 


over by Solomon was for the first time and the last time the 
greatest Oriental kingdom. There was no contemporaneous 
Oriental kingdom or empire equal to Solomon's. I am not 
referring to extent of territory, but to authority, power and 
rule. The reason is that Egypt has been greatly weakened, 
and just about Solomon's time an entirely new dynasty 
comes in with which he intermarries, thus insuring perfect 
friendship on the south. Then it came at a time before the 
later Assyria and Babylonia have been established. The old 
Assyria and Babylonia at this juncture amounted to noth- 
ing, and Syria had become a part of Solomon's empire. 
Through alliances with Phcenicia, which was the great sea 
power of the world at that date, and Egypt, there was no 
Oriental government that could compete with the empire 
of Solomon. 

It exactly fulfilled the promise that God made to Abra- 
ham as reported in Genesis 15. Just what God promised 
to Abraham as to the extent of the territory is fulfilled for 
the first time in David, and remains so throughout the reign 
of Solomon — but never again. Then it exactly fulfills the 
prophecy written, as I am sure, by David himself, though 
attributed to Solomon, contained in Psalm 72. There the 
extent of his reign is set forth prophetically, as it is also 
set forth in the great promise made in Sam. 7. The promise 
in Sam. 7 occasioned the Psalm, and in its higher meaning 
is to be fulfilled in David's greatest Son, the Lord Jesus 
Christ, when the empire shall be the world, as told us in 
the book of Revelation. 

Now consider briefly the relation of Solomon's empire 
with outside nations. There is no chance for internal dis- 
turbance after Philistia, Syria, Ammon, Moab and Edom 
have been conquered by David, but consider the relation of 
this empire with other foreign countries. First of all, in 
influence and importance is Phoenicia — just a narrow strip 
of palm beach on the Mediterranean Sea, with the great 


mountains of Lebanon back of it, much like the Pacific slope 
in California, which is a very narrow slope with the Rocky 
Mountains back of it, and very much like the same Pacific 
slope in South America with the Andes back of it. The 
relation between Phoenicia and this empire was first estab- 
lished by David. Hiram, the king of Tyre, made a treaty 
with David just after David captured Jerusalem— a treaty, 
the favors of which were all on one side, i.e., David got the 
favors. In other words, by virtue of the alliance made be- 
tween Hiram and David, David got access to the vast 
timber-lands on the Lebanon Mountains, the finest timber 
accessible to the then known world. He also got access to 
the quarries there. You will understand why Hiram would 
want to make an alliance with David if you will consider 
that when David captured all this country up to the River 
Euphrates and down to the River of Egypt he controlled 
every artery of land-commerce upon which Phoenicia de- 
pended. It is difficult to realize the amount of travel and 
traffic coming down from the Euphrates by Damascus and 
then to Tyre, and from Tyre distributed to all the Mediter- 
ranean nations clear around to the Baltic Sea. Then the 
other line of trade was from the same Euphrates — the 
caravan ways to Egypt. They would follow either side of 
the Jordan. From southern Judea there were three ways 
into Egypt — one from Philistia following the Mediterranean 
coast line, one through the middle of the desert, and the 
one that Moses followed when he led the people out of 
Egypt. Now, as Tyre had little territory and was depend- 
ent upon its commerce, if a foreign hostile nation controlled 
all of the arteries on the land side, it would break up the 
commerce on the sea side, for they would have nothing to 
transport for exchange. This alliance was of incalculable 
value both to Phoenicia and to the empire of Solomon. The 
one as a sea power controlled the outlet ; the other as a 
land power controlled the inlet. While Solomon's had a 


Mediterranean coast line there were no good seaports on 
it. Phoenicia was a great commercial country centering in 
Solomon's time at Tyre. If you want to understand some- 
thing of the nature of that commerce read Ezek. 2'j on Tyre. 
It is the most vivid description of a commercial nation in the 
literature of the world. It describes Tyre as a ship of state, 
showing from what country she drew its products and its 
mercenaries, and you will find that all of Asia and the 
northern part of Africa, all the southern part of Europe, 
all of the islands on the eastern shores of Europe, the Brit- 
ish Isles, for instance, are mentioned in that description of 
the commerce of Phoenicia. 

I made a speech once before the Y. M. C. A. in Waco on 
"The shipwreck of faith." Faith was described — its errors, 
in various ways. My part of it was to describe the ship- 
wreck of faith. I got my imagery of the shipwreck from 
Ezekiel's description of the shipwreck of Tyre's ship of 
state. It is more interesting than any novel — the account 
of the commerce outgoing from this city — Tyre. It retained 
its great splendor and magnificence down to the time of 
Alexander the Great, who conquered it. The empire of 
Solomon had another relation to Phoenicia which I will dis- 
cuss at a later time. 

We take up now the relation of Egypt to Solomon's 
empire. Solomon controlled all of the continental trade 
that reached Egypt because it had to come entirely through 
the whole length of the territory of Solomon. It was neces- 
sary therefore for a good understanding to prevail between 
the Holy Land and Egypt, and it is the first good under- 
standing since Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, and as 
that relation was on account of a new dynasty coming in, 
so this relation is on account of an entirely new dynasty 
coming to the front in Egypt. In the later history of Israel 
you will find that Egypt, Phoenicia, and Babylonia on the 
Euphrates, and Nineveh, had much to do with this country 


in a hostile way. The advantages of the relations are with 
Israel only so long as it is the greater .power. The touch 
of the empire with Oriental nations is its Euphrates border. 
There is no great nation at this time on the Tigris or the 
Euphrates to disturb Israel. The great nations there are 
coming but they are not, as yet. 

"Solomon" means "prince of peace." His reign was a 
reign of peace — peace with Egypt, peace with Phoenicia, 
peace with the Oriental nations beyond the Euphrates, and 
peace with Arabia. Solomon renewed the alliance with 
Hiram, king of Tyre, and rather cheated him in a trade, 
very much to Hiram's disgust. That we will learn about a 
little later. Solomon, partly from political motives, married 
women of many foreign countries. Thus he secured the 
southern boundary by marrying the daughter of Pharaoh. 
He was a "very much married" man. 

Let us consider a little more particularly the commerce in 
Solomon's day. As I told you, his part of the Mediterra- 
nean coast furnished very small means for great commerce, 
because it had no good seaports, and his country, up to 
David's time, never touched any ocean or great sea in any 
other direction, but now it touched the Red Sea. Tyre 
becomes the servant of Solomon in reaching the whole 
world through the Mediterranean Sea. Then Solomon built 
a navy with the help of the Tyrian sailors at Ezion-geber 
down on the Gulf of Akabah. We have an account of a 
visit he made to that place to see how his ships were coming 
along. He built a navy there, and through that navy he 
touched all the East Indies and the nations of the Pacific, 
all the archipelagoes of the Indian and Pacific Oceans along 
the eastern and southern shores of Asia. We will come 
to some interesting accounts of this navy in the history, and 
of what those ships brought to him. 

The land commerce I have described, on the way from 
the Euphrates to Egypt, and on the same way from the 


Euphrates to Tyre. It was a period of activity and travel, 
in commerce, in trade, in manufacture. It was a live world 
in Solomon's time. 

Our next question by way of introduction is what Solo- 
mon inherited from his father. I will give you a summary 
to show how much Solomon was indebted to his father. 
Some boys are very fortunate in the father providing for 
them. In the first place, he is entirely indebted to David 
for this big territory. He didn't acquire it, but it cost 
David many a hard, bitter war ; many a dreadful fight. On 
the maps in the "Bible Atlas" you will see where a number 
of these great battles were fought in David's time, so that 
Solomon inherited his estate. The only part he added was 
the little strip of land next to Egypt that came with his mar- 
riage with the daughter of the king of Egypt as a dowry, 
and it didn't hang on any longer than the wife did. The 
next thing inherited from his father was a united kingdom. 
He had nothing to do with that. David united the jealous 
warring tribes. We saw in the history of Joshua their inter- 
tribal differences, how their dissensions appear all through 
the book of Judges, all through the book of Samuel, and all 
through David's life until he was crowned king of all Israel. 
The third thing of incalculable value that he inherited from 
David was organization. That organization reached to every 
department — say, first, the army. David's military system 
must have been the seed idea of the present German military 
system. I don't see where else they got their method of 
organizing their army on such a large scale except from the 
account of David's military organization. In the next place, 
the revenue was organized. Up to David's time there was 
no revenue system or army. There was a big militia, but 
very unreliable. David organized both to a nicety, so that 
from every part of this country the stream of revenue con- 
tinually flowed into his treasury without intermission. 

The next point of organization was religion. From 


Joshua's time to David's time the religious movements v^ere 
on tangential lines. There was no long-settled place to wor- 
ship; there was no general system of worship; there were 
no well-settled officers of worship and no adequate ritual. 
David organized it all. He had his central place of wor- 
ship; he had his priests divided into twenty-four courses. 
He had his Levites all organized. He had the ritual of 
worship established, and he wrote the songs for the entire 
convocation of Israel. The greater part of the Psalter was 
written by David. The times of worship were also sys- 

From David's time comes also a thoroughly trained pro- 
phetic class. Samuel started it when he established three 
or four seminaries. From that time on until prophecy in 
Old Testament times ceased, there was a live prophetic 
school of men who represented God and spoke to the con- 
sciences of kings and of the nation. A corps of these great 
prophets are turned over to Solomon and work with him. 
Among them were Nathan, Iddo and Ahijah, and in later 
reigns many others. 

Solomon also inherited an organized educational system 
with these prophets from David. No intelligent mind can 
account for Solomon's training and attainments except upon 
the pre-supposition of a system of public instruction by 
prophets and priests. His attainments did not come by 
instinct or revelation. He had gifts, indeed, but when you 
read the history of Solomon you see the cultivation of the 
gifts. David's system of public instruction accounts for 
Solomon. Through the prophets, particularly Nathan, came 
the fine education with which this man Solomon started in 
life. Then he inherited from David this alliance with Phoe- 
nicia. Moreover, he inherited from David treasures that 
stagger credulity in magnitude and variety — spoils of all 
the great wars, gold and silver and jewels of the world. 

Commentators are tempted to change the Hebrew texts 


when they come to express the amount of the treasures that 
David accumulated. Everything that would be useful in 
the great work assigned to Solomon was ready to his hand. 
He inherited from his father even the plans as well as the 
material of the temple, which is the greatest thing Solomon 
ever did — the building of that house. All of its magnitude 
and the entire plan of it, with minute directions, came down 
to Solomon from David. The boy had only to reach to his 
desk and take out complete plans of what he had to do, as 
a king, and minute directions as to how everything was to 
be done; the place from which the material was to come, 
and last of all, the very labor that was to perform the work 
was organized on a scale that hadn't been equalled since the 
pyramids of Egypt were built. Now that starts the boy off 
right well. 

Then his father had him installed into office before his 
own death to prevent any jar in the succession, and had the 
public men committed to him. The great leaders of Israel 
in all this great territory were assembled by David and 
pledged to support Solomon as his successor, and they did 
commit themselves by oath to his support. Now if the 
plans and the money and the material for the house and 
for all his other work, if the alHance and co-operation of 
other nations, if the organization of his own nation, came 
from his father, surely he was the heir to an immense inher- 
itance. Not many of us started off that way. The most of 
us had to scratch right at the start. 

The next thing we inquire is, *'What did he derive from 
God?" Of course indirectly all these came from God, but 
directly from God was first that divine providence which, 
at this time, brought in a new and friendly dynasty in 
Egypt, that weakened the Oriental nations so that none 
of them could be equal in power to Solomon. All this came 
from God's providence. Then the direct gift of wisdom. 
It was from God. He didn't earn it, and he didn't learn 


it in school. He got knowledge in school: "Knowledge 
comes, but wisdom lingers." But he got wisdom from 
God. How remarkable that wisdom was we will see in a 
succeeding chapter. 

A new era had dawned on Solomon's people. Heretofore 
they had lived a very simple life, having little contact with 
other nations and wishing to have none. Now they are 
brought in touch with the luxuries of the world through 
Pharaoh and Hiram. The whole country is on a boom, 
just such a boom as perhaps was never equalled in after 
times. Silver and gold become as common as pebbles along 
the bank of a brook. Agriculture, commerce, architecture, 
with all the arts and sciences, have quickened and broad- 
ened the national life, but with prosperity, commerce and 
international touch comes danger to religious life. We will 
see if national alliances and inter-marriages corrupt the pure 
worship of Jehovah. We will see if the Egyptian and Phoe- 
nician gods, with all their cruel and sensual worship, do 
not invade the Holy Land and prepare the way for the 
loss of God's favor, the dismembering of the great empire, 
and its final destruction. 

If through the introduction of the false religions of these 
nations brought into contact with Israel through political 
and commercial relations, the true, pure religion of God is 
driven out, then it would have been better if Solomon had 
been like David in his early days, a poor boy, supporting 
himself by herding sheep. 

The divisions are: i. The beginning of his reign. 2. 
The wisdom of Solomon. 3. The glory of Solomon. 4. 
The fall of Solomon. 


1. What books commended on the reign of Solomon? 

2. Who wrote the original material for Kings and Chronicles? 

3. Who, probably, compiled our book of Chronicles? (2) What 
its viewpoint? (3) Its purpose? 


4. Give boundaries of Solomon's empire. How does it com- 
pare with Joshua's territory, with Saul's, and with David's? 

5. What promise is fulfilled in this empire, and what prophecy 
is also fulfilled in it? 

6. What the relation of Solomon's empire with Phoenicia? 

7. What the relation of his empire with Egypt? 

8. What the relation of his empire with Oriental nations? 

9. Describe the commerce in Solomon's day. 

10. What did Solomon inherit from his father? 

11. What did he inherit from God? 

12. Describe the new era for Solomon's people, and its effect on 
their religion. 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 164-168 

THIS discussion commences the exposition of Solo- 
mon's reign. It will be well for you to have your 
book open. If you have no Harmony, open your 
Bible at I Kings 2. 

The first eleven chapters in the first book of Kings and 
the first nine chapters in the second book of Chronicles con- 
stitute the scriptural basis of the life of Solomon. We 
introduce this discussion with three passages of scripture: 
I. Deut. 17: 14-20: 

"When thou art come unto the land which Jehoyah thy God giveth 
thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, 
I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are round about 
me; thou shalt surely set him king over thee, whom Jehovah thy 
God shall choose : one from among thy brethren shalt thou set 
king over thee; thou mayest not put a foreigner over thee, who is 
not thy brother. Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor 
cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he may multiply 
horses; forasmuch as Jehovah hath said unto you, Ye shall hence- 
forth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to 
himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multi- 
ply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon 
the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this 
law in a book, out of that which is before the priests the Levites : 
and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of 
his life; that he may learn to fear Jehovah his God: to keep all 
the words of this law and these statutes, to do them ; that his heart 
be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from 
the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that 
he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the 
midst of Israel." 



On that law mark the method of succession in the Hebrew 
monarchy. It was not according to the law of primogeni- 
ture, i.e., the oldest son does not by law succeed his father. 
Indeed, we find that it is not according to heredity in a still 
larger sense. God changed the dynasty from Saul to David. 
Saul's sons did not succeed him, but He created a new 
dynasty in David. When we come to study the divided 
kingdom we will notice quite a number of dynastic changes. 
But all the time in Judah the king is at least a descendant 
of David. The dynasty does not change in that kingdom. 
We have already seen the law of primogeniture set aside in 
God's dealing with families. For instance, Isaac and not 
Ishmael becomes the head of the family, and Jacob and 
not Esau, and we see it extending even to the tribes. Not 
Reuben, who is unstable, but Judah, became the head of the 
tribes. Get before you clearly the kind of monarchy estab- 
lished. The king must not be a foreigner, like Herod the 
Idumean in Christ's time. He must be one of the brethren, 
and then God must select him. A copy of the Pentateuch 
must be made especially for him and kept by him, in which 
he must read every day of his life and live and rule accord- 
ing to its teaching. The Pentateuch is the national consti- 
tution. And particularly, he is not to seek honor and riches 
for himself, and not to seek horses with a view of any return 
to Egypt, nor must he multiply wives to himself lest through 
his wives his heart be turned aside from God. 

2. I Chron. 22 : 9, 10. Here is God's selection of David's 
successor : "Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall 
be a man of rest ; and I will give him rest from all his ene- 
mies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I 
will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days: he 
shall build a house for my name ; and he shall be my son, 
and I will be his father ; and I will establish the throne of 
his kingdom over Israel forever." So you see there that 
God, before this child is born, elects David's successor and 


gives his name. "Solomon" is the God-given name. He is 
also called Jedediah and Lemuel. But God gave him the 
name of Solomon. 

3. Psalm 'J2 is too long for me to quote, but you should 
read it and count it next in thought in the discussion. It 
is David's prayer for this son, v^^ho succeeds him. The 
superscription says, "A psalm of Solomon," but that is not 
true. Solomon never wrote Psalm 72, but David did. The 
subscription says, "The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, 
are ended." David prays that God may give the king judg- 
ment and righteousness in order that he may properly judge 
the poor, and save the needy, and break in pieces the op- 
pressor. And he goes on to describe that he shall have 
dominion from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends 
of the earth, and hov^ the kings of the earth shall bring their 
gifts. Verse 17 says, 

**His name shall endure forever; 
His name shall be continued as long as the sun: 
And men shall be blessed in him; 
All nations shall call him happy." 

It closes with "Let the whole earth be filled with his 
glory." The primary reference is to Solomon. It is more 
largely fulfilled in the antitype of Solomon, the true Prince 
of Peace — ^Jesus. Consider that law, that divine election 
and that prayer of. the old father just as he is passing 
away, and you have not only the name of Solomon and the 
character of his reign as a reign of peace, but you have 
also the prophetic element in Solomon and in Solomon's 
reign looking forward to Christ. 

Our text declares that Solomon was thoroughly estab- 
lished upon the throne of his father David. Solomon was 
quite a young man, and said to be wonderfully handsome 
and attractive. His establishment consisted first in the 
removal of inherited enemies, those that came to him from 
David's side, who might have disturbed his kingdom. The 


first one of these enemies is his oldest brother, Adonijah. 
Adonijah thought that because he was the oldest son living 
after Absalom's death, he ought to have the kingdom, and 
he prepared, as we learn in the history of David, to seize 
the kingdom, and as David was supposed to be in a dying 
condition he set up his claim, which was forestalled by 
David's having Solomon crowned king. Adonijah was for- 
given for that offense, but the record tells us of a new 
offense. He comes to the mother of Solomon. People 
oftentimes try to reach those whom they wish to influence 
through the female members of the family, either the 
mother, the wife, the sister or the daughter. The devil tried 
to get Adam that way — and got there. Adonijah comes 
to the mother of Solomon and asks her to obtain the king's 
permission that he may marry that beautiful young girl 
taken into David's home and bed in his old age. The ordi- 
nary reader sees this as only an innocent request, but you 
must consider the Oriental custom. The successor of the 
king took possession of the harem of the preceding king. 
It is that way now in northern Africa, in Turkey and in 
other countries. Absalom, you remember, did that in order 
to certify his claim to succeed his father. The context 
suggests that Joab was privy to Adonijah's request. It 
means that though pardoned for the first rebellion, they 
were still contemplating giving an object lesson before the 
people that Adonijah was entitled to be king. Solomon 
understood it in one moment, and commanded Adonijah to 
be put to death. 

That removed all the cause of rebellion in the family. As 
soon as Joab heard of it, as a proof that he was a party in 
the matter, he ran to the altar and in accordance with what 
is called the "law of the sanctuary," took hold of the horns 
of the altar. Now comes a general library question: Find 
the law of the sanctuary touching the horns of the altar in 
the book of Exodus, and state whether Solomon violated 


the law of the sanctuary in having Joab put to death while 
clinging to them. It is a custom, not merely of infidels but 
of semi-infidel preachers, to charge Solomon with having 
violated the law of the sanctuary in putting a man to death 
while clinging to its horns. 

Joab was put to death. He was a mighty man. There 
was no general of his age equal to him. Cromwell resembled 
him more than any man of modem times, in sternness of 
character, in quickness of decision and action. He was a 
nephew of David. David's sister, Zeruiah, had three notable 
sons, all mighty men — ^Joab, Abishai and Asahel. David 
was put to shame more than once in his life through Joab, 
and on several occasions Joab was greater than the throne. 
Two of the crimes committed by him — ^the killing of Amasa 
and Abner — are punished in this death of Joab. It was on 
David's conscience before he died that he had permitted 
this man to live. He had been of great service to David, 
and it did not seem appropriate that David should, even 
though justly, put to death one who had been so efficient 
in establishing him in his kingdom, and yet it was not right 
that this great man in his ill-doing should go unpunished, 
and so David bequeathed the solution to Solomon; in his 
wisdom he must find a way to punish Joab for his past 
misdeeds. Thus we come to the death of this great man 

It was prophesied that not a man should be left of the 
house of EH, the usurping high priest before Samuel, and 
yet in spite of that prophecy we see Abiathar come to 
David and join him in the days of his exile and act as high 
priest, but now this Abiathar who did not follow Absalom, 
but who did follow Adonijah, and was in the conspiracy 
to defer the installation of Solomon and his kingdom, is 
degraded from the priesthood. Because of the friendship 
he had shown to David he is not put to death, but a con- 
spirer endangers the safety of a monarch and he is sent to 


his own home to Hve as a common man. He occupies office 
no more, which disposes of that enemy. 

It becomes necessary, having disposed of these two ene- 
mies, to appoint successors to their great offices. The man 
after whom I was named, Benaiah, or as we spell it now, 
Benajah, was appointed to Joab's office, and Zadok, a true 
lineal descendant of Aaron through his eldest son, is put at 
the head of the priesthood. This fulfills a prophecy that 
we considered in the book of Numbers. You remember 
Phinehas, concerning whom one of the three remarkable 
declarations on imputed righteousness in the Bible is made. 
It was prophesied that the descendants of Phinehas should 
occupy the high priesthood. That is fulfilled now for the 
first time when Zadok becomes the high-priest of united 

The internal matters all now having been composed, this 
young man, as young men generally do, proposed to marry. 
He selected a wife for political reasons. He married the 
daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Here a general ques- 
tion: Was the marriage of Solomon to the daughter of 
Pharaoh a violation of the law not to inter-marry with the 
people around? Form your own judgment. Some of his 
marriages we know were violations. He married women 
that were Edomites and Hittites. The Edomites were kin 
to him, descendants of Esau, but the Hittite was one of the 
old Canaanitish nations. He married women from every 
direction, and largely for pohtical reasons. Touching his 
first marriage we have Psalm 45. Primarily it refers to 
the consummation of this marriage. Prophetically it refers 
to the marriage of our Lord, the true Solomon, with His 
glorified church. Let us look at some of the references in 
that Psalm. 

"My heart overfloweth with a goodly matter; 
I speak the things which I have made touching the king; 
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. 


Thou art fairer than the children of men; 
Grace is poured into thy lips : 
Therefore God hath blessed thee forever. 
Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O mighty one, 
Thy glory and thy majesty." 

Another part refers to the Bride : 

"Kings' daughters are among thy honorable women: 
At thy right hand doth stand the queen in gold of Ophir. 
Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; 
Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house: 
So will the king desire thy beauty; 
For he is thy lord ; and reverence thou him, _ 
And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; 
The rich among the people shall entreat thy favor. 
The king's daughter within the palace is all glorious: 
Her clothing is inwrought with gold. 
She shall be led unto the king in broidered work: 
The virgins her companions that follow her 
Shall be brought unto thee. 
With gladness and rejoicing shall they be led: 
They shall enter into the king's palace. 
Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, 
Whom thou shalt make princes in all the earth. 
I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations : 
Therefore shall the peoples give thee thanks for ever and ever." 

Now we have the king presented to us as a puzzled wor- 
shipper. That is to say, there was in Jerusalem the Ark of 
the Covenant, in a special tent made for it by David; but 
there was at Gibeon the old tabernacle that Moses built and 
also the great brazen altar that Moses had made. Both 
were places of worship. Solomon determines to have, as a 
fitting introduction to his reign in which all people shall 
participate, the most imposing and magnificent religious 
service known in the world up to that time, and he proposes 
to have it at both places, first at Gibeon and then before the 
Ark of the Covenant at Jerusalem. The old law required 
only one place of sacrifice. Solomon and others before him 
might claim that the law was to become operative only after 
the nation was thoroughly established. Our text says that 
as a house for God had not yet been built, the people wor- 
shiped in high places. All through the books of Judges and 


I Samuel, including all the life of David, we see worship 
occasionally offered at other places than one central place, 
and particularly was this so after the Philistines had cap- 
tured the Ark and carried it away. So Solomon determines 
to hold his first service in the old tent that Moses made, and 
where the old brazen altar was, and then he would come 
back to Jerusalem and hold a duplicate service before the 
Ark of the Covenant in the place where David had put it. 
In order that this service might be truly national, he sends 
out a summons to every part of his empire that all the 
princes and chief men of the nation should come together 
and participate in this national offering. The record in 
speaking of it says that he offered a thousand burnt offer- 
ings. In the history of Xerxes, the king of Persia, when 
he was on his way to invade Greece and had come to the 
Hellespont, he offered a sacrifice of one thousand oxen to 
the gods. This says, *'And Solomon went up thither to the 
brazen altar before the Lord, which was at the tent of 
meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it." 
That is a parallel in history. 

After this imposing ceremony Solomon slept, and sleep- 
ing, dreamed. More than once the Bible tells us that the 
most of dreams have no significance, but it also teaches us 
that in a number of special cases God makes His revela- 
tions through dreams ; for example, the cases of Jacob, 
Joseph and Nebuchadnezzar. Solomon's dream was per- 
haps suggested by his father's exhortations (See Proverbs 
4:3-7) and his own impressions at this great gathering. 
For the first time in his reign he saw a national assembly, 
the great convocation of Israel. What a mighty people! 
What vast and varied interests! How complicated the 
problems of administration ! How great the responsibility 
on him! He seemed to be appalled at the situation, and 
was asking himself how he, a boy, could meet it. Thinking 
thus he fell asleep, and in his sleep came this dream : 


"In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: 
and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said (and 
I do wish we could always have him as presented here), Thou hast 
showed unto thy servant David my father great kindness, according 
as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in up- 
rightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this 
great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, 
as it is this day._ And now, O Jevohah my God, thou hast made 
thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little 
child; I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is 
in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, 
that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give thy 
servant therefore an understanding heart to judge thy people, that 
I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this 
thy great people?" 

It is impossible for any candid mind to read that with- 
out being impressed by it. Let me assure you that who- 
ever, on the threshold of any great enterprise, is without 
the spirit of true humility, is certain to fail. One of the 
best forecasts of success is that he sees the magnitude and 
difficulty of the work and realizes his own personal insuffi- 
ciency and his entire dependence upon the divine help. 
Would that all of us had that spirit all the time! There is 
this thing about it : Whenever you lose humility, and begin 
to say, "All these things have I done," then remember that 
"Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before 
a fall." The feet of pride are sure to slip in due time. 
Take the lesson to heart. 

I can't conceive of anything more noble than Solomon's 
sense of responsibility and humility before God. A boy 
made king, king of the elect nation, king of so great a 
people; in other words, the destiny of the whole world is 
involved in the mighty religious influences to go out from 
him and his people. Well might he say, "Lord, I am a little 
child. I don't know how to go out and come in. Give me 
wisdom." The saying pleased the Lord. I suggest a ser- 
mon : "Ask what I shall give thee." 

One Christmas when we had services in the old church at 
Waco and I preached the sermon, I took that text: "Ask 


what I shall give thee," and I told them that every family 
represented in the congregation had either propounded or 
heard that question in connection v^ith the day. The parent 
had said, "What shall I give thee, my son?" and all the 
young people had pondered the question: "I am to choose 
my gift and I have a large margin ; v^hat will I take?" My 
own little boy would say, "Give me an automobile." "Ask 
what I shall give thee." What a wonderful thing it is that 
God permits to us the statement of the desires of our 
hearts. Even if we keep on praying for an evil thing, in 
His anger He will sometimes give us what we ask. 

God's answer not only gives Solomon what he asks for, 
but a number of other things — honor and riches — ^things 
that he did not ask for. He gave him wisdom, the capacity 
to rule this great people. Our record says, "I give thee a 
wise and understanding heart, so that there hath been none 
like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like 
unto thee." In this connection consider chapter 4 : 29-34 : 

"And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding 
much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea- 
shore. And Solomon's wisdom exceeded the wisdom of all the 
children of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was 
wiser than all men; than Ethan, the Ezrahite, and Heman, and 
Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the 
nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs; and 
his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees,^ from 
the cedar that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth 
out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of birds, and of creep- 
ing things, and of fishes. And there came of all peoples to hear the 
wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, who had heard of 
his wisdom." 

Of that remarkable wisdom we speak particularly in the 
next chapter. An exemplification of his wisdom marks the 
beginning of his reign, which is here given. There came up 
a case to which there were no witnesses beyond the contest- 
ants themselves. Two mothers living together in the same 
house had children born to them, and one of the children 
dies. Then both mothers claim the living child. Nobody 


knows anything about the circumstances except the two 
women, and they come before the king to decide the conten- 
tion. The first one claimed that it was her child. She says, 
"This other woman lost her baby; it died and while I was 
asleep she came and took my baby and put her dead baby in 
my baby's place, and after awhile when I waked up I looked 
intently at this baby in my arms, and found it was dead, but 
it was not my baby." Now a mother is certainly able to 
know her child. 'T looked intently at it. It was not my baby 
and I looked over there and I saw this other woman had my 
baby." The other woman contended : 'T say her baby died 
and I am the mother of this live child." Under the law 
everything must be confirmed by two or three witnesses, but 
here there is no evidence except the two parties in court. 
How will the young king handle the matter? He says, 
"Bring me a sword." The sword is brought. "Cut that 
baby into halves and give each woman a half" — not that he 
intended to kill the baby; he was only trying to get evi- 
dence. As soon as he said that both women speak. One 
of them said, "No! No! don't kill the baby. I had rather 
give it up to the other woman." The other woman said, 
"Yes, kill it and let each one of us have a part." This gave 
Solomon his evidence. He knew what to decide. He says, 
"Give this baby to the woman who prefers to lose it rather 
than see it die. She is the mother." The decision naturally 
attracted great attention, and the report of it spread 
Solomon's fame far and wide. 


1. What the first scripture used to introduce this lesson? 

2. Rehearse the items of the kingdom charter given in this 

3. What the second scripture, and its import? 

4. What the third scripture? Describe the kingdom according to 
this Psalm. Who fulfilled this primarily? Who more largely ful- 
fills it? 

^ 5. In what did the establishment of Solomon on the throne con- 
sist, who was his first enemy, and how was he disposed of? 


6. Where do we find the law of the sanctuary? Did Solomon 
violate it in having Joab put to death while holding on to the horns 
of the altar? 

7. Who the second enemy, and how disposed of? 

8. Who was appointed to fill Joab's office? Abiathar's? 

9. Was the marriage of Solomon to the daughter of the king of 
Egypt a violation of the law not to inter-marry with the people 
round-about? What Psalm touching this marriage? 

10. Describe Solomon as a puzzled worshipper, 

11. What was God's proposition to Solomon, and Solomon's re- 
quest? What the lesson for us? What God's answer to this re- 
quest? Give an example of his wisdom as exercised. 


Scriptures: I Kings 3:4-27; 4:29-34; 10:1-10 

THE scriptures that embody for us the account of the 
wisdom of Solomon are as follows : I Kings 3 : 4-27 ; 
4:29-34; 10:1-10, the book of Proverbs, the book 
of Ecclesiastes, Solomon's Song, Matthew 12:42 and 
Psalm 127. Other Psalms are attributed to Solomon, but 
I think not rightly. Psalm 127 is unquestionably his. 

The first passages cited give the narrative account, while 
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Psalm 127 
constitute Solomon's contribution to the Bible as embodi- 
ments of his wisdom, while Matthew 12:42 institutes a 
comparison with One wiser than Solomon. 

Before discussing the wisdom of Solomon I call your 
attention to Old Testament approaches to it. The first 
approach to it is found in Exodus 31:3-6 and repeated 
again in Exodus 35 and 36. These plainly declare that the 
artificers who made the different parts — the artistic parts — 
of the tabernacle and its vessels derived the wisdom with 
which they wrought them from God. They received the 
inspiration of God to do those things exactly right. The 
next approach we find in the life of David, an account of 
three wise women, II Sam. 14:2 and 20: 16. The first one 
was Abigail ; the second was a wise woman from Tekoah, 
employed by Joab to convince David that he ought to 
recall Absalom ; the third was a wise woman in a city in the 
Northern part of Palestine who, through her wisdom, saved 
the city from destruction by having the head of the rebel 



that had fled to them thrown over the wall to Joab. A fourth 
approach is found in the book of Chronicles (I Chron. 
12:32) where reference is made to the men of Issachar 
that were wise and had understanding of the signs of the 
times and knew what Israel ought to do. 

I now analyze for you the wisdom of Solomon. Our first 
inquiry is concerning its origin. On the divine side it is 
expressly stated that it is the gift of God (I Kings 3, com- 
mencing with the 5th verse), but preliminary to the divine 
origin certain human factors explain how Solomon was pre- 
pared to make the extraordinary request for wisdom. He 
was only a boy. How did it ever occur to him to ask for 
such a gift as that instead of some other things? 

That leads us to consider the human element in the origin. 
If you read in the book of Proverbs commencing at 7 : 3 
you see David's instruction to him to get wisdom, to get 
understanding, as more precious than rubies and gold or 
anything else in the world. All those chapters cited, from 
the fourth to the seventh inclusive, give us David's instruc- 
tions and exhortations to his son. They tell us who put it 
into his mind to prize wisdom above all earthly things. 
What a glorious thing it is to have the right kind of a 
father ! By reading Psalm ^2 you get at another factor of 
the human origin. There his father is praying that his 
son may have the kind of wisdom to rule the people, and 
rule righteously. A little child whose father is continually 
speaking about the right kind of wisdom, and continually 
praying that his child may have it, will Hkely himself pray 
for it. David's prayer and instructions are very touching. 
They account for the son's wise response to God's saying, 
"Ask what I shall give thee." 

Another human factor appears in the book of Proverbs, 
the influence of his mother, Bathsheba, not only a beautiful 
woman but a really good woman, and a very wise woman. 
Solomon himself tells how his mother intervenes: "The 


words of King Lemuel, the oracle that his mother taught 
him." Lemuel is another name for Solomon. 

"What, my son ? and what, O son of my womb ? 

And what, O son of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women, 

Nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. 

It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; 

Nor for princes to say, Where is strong drink? 

Lest they drink, and forget the law. 

And pervert the justice due to any that is afflicted. 

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish. 

And wine unto the bitter in soul, 

But rulers should not drink." 

Then follows her matchless ideal of a true wife — one of 
the brightest gems of literature. Early parental training 
from both father and mother prepares the boy to ask for 
the best things. The book of Proverbs shows how well he 
understood the counsels of both parents, but his later life 
shows particularly his disastrous departure from his 
mother's oracle. In other words, Solomon knew more 
wisdom than he practiced. His were not sins of ignorance. 
But when we inquire what prepared the parents to prepare 
the child, we go back again, as we always must, to God 
himself verifying the saying of James, "Every good gift and 
every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from 
the Father of lights with whom is no variableness, neither 
shadow of turning." This is manifest when we note that 
God's promise to give David such a son (See II Sam. 
7:12-16) occasions David's prayer and instructions (See 
II Sam. 7:18-29 and Psalms 'J2) and also quickened his 
mother's interest (See I Chron. 29:9 and I Kings i : 28-29). 

The origin of the wisdom of Solomon, therefore, stands 
thus: (i) God's promise and oath; (2) Parental instruc- 
tion, counsel and prayer preparing the child to appreciate 
and ask for the best things ; (3) God's calling out Solomon's 
choice; (4) Solomon's choice and request; (5) God's gift 
of the thing asked for. 

Second question: What that wisdom? Only foolish 


people think that wisdom and knowledge mean the same 
thing. You may know a great deal and be the biggest fool 
going. I have known people whose minds were like great 
lumber rooms full of odds and ends of all kinds of things, 
and yet they were not wise enough to make practical use 
of the miscellaneous material. Wisdom is the application 
of knowledge. ''Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers." 
The elements of Solomon's wisdom were as follows: 

First, an understanding heart to discern justice and to 
judge righteously and rule righteously. His wisdom was 
given to him to enable him to fill his position as king of a 
great people. That is how he defined it: "Give me an 
understanding heart to discern judgment and to rule rightly 
over this so great people." 

The second element was the regulation of passions and 
life. The book of Proverbs continually discriminates be- 
tween the wise one and the simple one. A wise man, clearly 
discerning right things and applying right things, will not 
allow himself to be entrapped by seduction and temptation, 
but the simple one is led astray and a dart is thrust through 
his liver. 

The next element of the wisdom was the right way of 
doing things. You may yourselves discriminate between 
wise and foolish pastors by comparing their methods of 
handling an affair. The most of the trouble that comes 
upon the churches comes by the unwise handling of delicate 
affairs. He may injudiciously gossip with his members 
about a delicate mattei* and so hopelessly stir up his church into 
hostile parties, or he may preach about it censoriously, or 
be hasty to commit himself on exparte evidence until he will 
no longer be able to moderate with impartiality. The other, 
by wise handling, will heal the breach. When a difficult 
case is presented to a wise man his first words are, "Let us 
see how we can get at the heart of this matter and deal with 
it wisely so as not to do harm but to do good." Up in New 


England it is a proverb that the wise housekeeper is a 
woman of tact. She may not see the right any better than 
some other woman, but she does the right better; she gets 
at it more skillfully. 

The fourth element was his power to interpret things. 
Like these men of Issachar, who could not only discern the 
signs of the times, but could put a proper construction upon 
the march of events and hence could tell what Israel ought 
to do. Our Savior rebuked the men of His day that while 
they could read the signs of the heavens, and tell when it 
was likely to be a fair or a cloudy day, they did not read 
the signs of the spiritual times, and allowed great calamities 
to come on them unprepared. This power to interpret 
applies to natural as well as spiritual things. It has been 
said that no man can interpret nature who does not love 
nature. But Solomon loved nature, and he could get at 
the secret of the plant on the wall, and the cedar of 
Lebanon, and the birds that fly and the flowers that bloom. 
Tradition says that the birds loved him so that the doves 
would form a canopy with outspread wings under which he 
could march from his house to the temple. You need not 
believe the legend, but it exhibits the people's idea of 
Solomon's power of interpreting the secrets of nature. It 
is said of Byron by Pollock that he laid his hand with the 
familiarity of a brother upon the ocean's mane, and made 
the mountains his brothers, and the thunders talked to him 
as a friend. He himself exhibits his power in the famous 
poem, "An Apostrophe to the Ocean" — a matchless poem of 
its kind which all of you would do well to memorize. It 
commences thus: 

"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods." 

The fifth element in his wisdom was largeness of heart, 
or broad-mindedness. The scripture statement is that he 
had largeness of heart as the sands of the seashore. Sam 


Jones used to say, "No man can be broad-minded who has 
'possum eyes' — so close together that you can punch out 
both of them at once with an old-fashioned two-tined table 
fork." Some men are so narrow that they cannot even 
conceive of a big, broad subject. But Solomon had large- 
ness of heart. 

The next element of his wisdom was philosophy. The 
book of Ecclesiastes embodies it. He there seeks to ascer- 
tain the chief good and the chief end of man. What is that 
good thing that a man should do all the days of his Hfe? 
Philosophy inquires into the reason of things, for the 
philosophy of a thing is the reason of a thing. You have 
already found out that I have little respect for uninspired 
philosophy. We might profitably omit the course from 
college curriculums. It is all sheer speculation from Thales 
to Epicurus and Zeno ; from Aristotle to Kant ; from Kant to 
the pragmatism of Prof. James of Harvard. 

As William Ashmore in his review of Prof, James, well 
says, "Lewes acted as a sexton in burying all the philosophies 
up to his time, and his successors have buried him." Their 
speculations after all are but "airy nothings," as varied as 
the shifting scenes in a kaleidoscope, and all as transitory as 
rainbows vanishing in the storm. Each successor does only 
one good thing — he brushes out the trail of his predecessor. 

Even Solomon goes a long and costly way in Ecclesiastes, 
to get at a conclusion obvious to a child's faith. Carefully 
observe that wisdom should be invoked in order to do the 
right things in the right way in dealing with our fellowmen 
and our God; to lead us in the paths of judgment, mercy 
and truth. 

The next point in the analysis is to locate the very begin- 
ning of real wisdom in the human heart, and here you find 
Solomon's conclusion in Ecclesiastes in direct harmony with 
Job 28. That whole chapter is devoted to this question: 
"Where shall wisdom be found ? and where is the place of 


understanding?" and concludes by saying, *The fear of the 
Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil, under- 
standing/' When we come to the New Testament we find 
that James says, *'If any man lack wisdom let him ask of 
God, who giveth liberally and upbraideth not, but let him 
ask in faith, nothing doubting. An unstable man wavering 
in all his ways, his prayers will not be answered." 

The next element in the analysis is the antecedent charac- 
teristics of a seeker of wisdom. First, humiHty. Solomon 
says, "I am a little child ;" a knowledge of his need, "I don't 
know how to go out or to come in ;" and next, prayer for it. 

Our next item in the analysis of Solomon's wisdom 
answers this question: How was that wisdom of his 
expressed? And the answer is, It is expressed, first, in 
deed, as when he made the decision about the baby and the 
two women claiming it ; the second when he answered all the 
hard questions that the Queen of Sheba put to him and, by 
the way, he is the only man known to history who answered 
fairly all the questions put to him by a woman. It is also 
expressed in the books he wrote, treating upon the subject: 
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and one Psalm. 
In these books he embodies it in proverbs, pithy sayings and 
parables, contrasting one thing with another, a comparison 
obtained by putting two things parallel, which is the mean- 
ing of parable originally. 

The next point in the analysis is the fame of his wisdom, 
or the impression that it made upon his own time and suc- 
ceeding generations. According to a statement made in 
I Kings 4 : 34, Solomon's fame went to all the kings of the 
earth. They all heard about him. The Queen of Sheba 
heard a rumor of him. It was carried on every ship, car- 
ried over every desert on every camel, carried by every 
traveler, "Over yonder at Jerusalem in the Holy Land is 
the wisest man the world ever knew. He can solve any 
perplexity; he can answer the hardest questions. He can 


deliver the most righteous judgments. He can discern the 
very heart of a thing and lay it open." The fame of his 
wisdom is evidenced by imitations in later days and by the 
increment of extravagant legends. The apocryphal books 
of "Wisdom" and "Ecclesiasticus" are imitations, centuries 
later; the first is an imitation of Proverbs, the second of 
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Solomon's Song. The so-called 
"Psalter of Solomon," consisting of eighteen Psalms and 
found in the Septuagint, is another example of imitation. 
Indeed, a school of wisdom Hterature followed. The 
extravagant legends of his exorcism of demons and genii, 
his magical powers vested in incantations, seals, amulets, 
charms and inscriptions, may be gathered from Josephus, 
the Koran, "The Arabian Nights," and a world of Oriental 
literature. The Jews have a legend that when Alexander 
came to Jerusalem and learned about the wisdom of 
Solomon, he took back with him a copy of Solomon's books 
and furnished them to Aristotle, and that he derived a large 
part of his philosophy from Solomon's philosophy. 

In this connection may be asked the date of the book of 
Job. Stanley, after a comparison of its style, thought, and 
turns of expression, with Solomon's book, makes it a prod- 
uct of Solomon's times. His argument is very inconclusive. 
On the other hand, Dr. Thirtle, in his "Old Testament 
Problems" takes the position that it was composed to pacify 
and instruct Hezekiah in his afflictions. His argument is 
much more plausible than Stanley's, but the argument for 
the Mosaic authorship and time is much stronger than 
either. The book of Job is older, profounder and more 
archaic than Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, or than Psalm 73 attrib- 
uted to Asaph. Its correspondences with the Pentateuch 
are more numerous and more striking than can be traced in 
any literature of the days of David, Solomon or Hezekiah. 
Moses, exiled for forty years in Midian, touching Job's 
country, finds the opportunity arising from association with 


the characters in Job. The unmerited suffering of his 
people in the Egyptian furnace, of which suffering he him- 
self is an example, gives the clue to the book. The burning 
bush solves the problem, and after the lesson appropriately 
come Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuter- 
onomy, increasing the light. The book of Job shows how 
men without the revelations of the Pentateuch attempt to 
solve the problem of the unmerited sufferings of the 
righteous. Its key passages cry out for a revelation. It 
is on this theory that the first book of the Bible was to be 
written, therefore I count Job the first book of the Bible. 
The last thought in connection with Solomon's wisdom is 

The Glorious Antitype, — I must speak a little about Him. 
In Matt. 12:42, Jesus says, 'The Queen of the South shall 
rise up in the judgment with this generation and shall con- 
demn it, for she came from the end of the earth to hear 
the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater Solomon is 
here." In other words, in the New Testament is Wisdom. 
Paul says so, using the feminine form, Sophia, that is, the 
wisdom and power of God. John says so in using the mas- 
culine form Logos, or Reason. 

The Pharisees asked this question: "Whence hath this 
man wisdom ?" They wanted to get at the origin of Christ's 
wisdom, seeing that He hath never learned. Whence his 
power to silence every gainsayer and to give answers to 
perplexities that startle the world today? Whence His 
wisdom? In Isaiah 11 is the prophecy concerning the 
origin of the wisdom of the great antitype of Solomon, the 
Prince of Peace: 

"And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, 
and a branch out of his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of 
Jehovah shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understand- 
ing, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of 
the fear of Jehovah. And His delight shall be in the fear of Jehovah; 
and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither decide 
after the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness shall He 
judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the 


earth; and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth; 
and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And 
righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness 
the girdle of His reins." 

There is the seven-fold wisdom, meaning the perfection 
of wisdom. That wisdom was conferred upon Christ 
without measure, and He, too, prayed for it as He came up 
out of baptism, for the Spirit descended upon Him in the 
form of a dove, and ever afterwards every thought of His 
life, every step of His life, was in exact accord with the 
promptings of the Spirit of God that came upon Him with- 
out measure. He spoke in parables, putting things along- 
side of each other, and He spoke in proverbs and epigrams, 
and the sayings of Jesus rule the world today. He rules in 
exact righteousness, rich and poor alike. 

The Jewish idea of wisdom far surpassed the Greek idea 
of it. Theirs was unaided human philosophy, and purely 
speculative. For example, Lucretius, in 'The Nature of 
Things," or the Epicurean philosophy at its fountain head, 
enunciates the essential features of modern evolution. See 
how the Stoics accounted for the origin of things and the 
government of the world! Their Fate, and the Chance of 
the Epicureans, are against God's Providence. See how 
their wisdom had no practical effect on morals. Their wise 
men oftentimes were the vilest men, and in the highest 
attainments of their philosophies their cities rotted and 
became putrid in the sight of God. Not so with the wisdom 
that God gives. In the same way Gnosticism, a subjective 
infallible knowledge for the few, bred a varied progeny of 
asceticism, license and antinomianism. Christ, then, is the 
great antitype of Solomon. 


1. What scriptures give an account of the wisdom of Solomon? 

2. As to its origin: (i) What the human element? (2) What 
the divine element? (3) What the summary of the origin? 


3. As to its meaning and content: (i) Define wisdom as com- 
pared with knowledge, and tell who wrote ''Knowledge comes 
but Wisdom lingers." (2) Give the elements of his wisdom. (3) 
Show wherein is the superiority of the Hebrew wisdom over 
"the Sophia" of the Greeks. 

4. How does Solomon go a long way to find his simple con- 
clusion concerning the very beginning of v/isdom? 

5. What chapter of Job is devoted to the same inquiry and 
reaches a similar conclusion? 

6. How does James, our Lord's brother, tell us to get wisdom? 

7. What the antecedent characteristics of a seeker of wisdom? 

8. How was Solomon's wisdom expressed? 

9. What the fame of his wisdom: (i) As stated in this chap- 
ter? (2) As expressed in imitations? (3) As expressed in legends? 

10. Cite an illustrious example of one brought to Solomon by 
the fame of his wisdom. 

11. What the effect on her of witnessing his wisdom? 

12. What modern son perpetuates her saying? 

13. Outline a sermon on our Lord's reference to her in Matt. 

14. Who the glorious Antitype of Solomon? 

15. What Greek word does Paul use in describing Him? 

16. What Greek word does John employ to the same end? 

17. What was the puzzle to the Pharisees concerning Him? 

18. Quote the words of Isaiah answering their question. 

19. What the great contrast on practical lines between Christ's 
wisdom and the wisdom of Solomon? 

20. Define Gnosticism and Agnosticism and contract Christ's 
wisdom with both. 

21. Explain Solomon's sacrifices at Gibeon instead of Jerusalem. 


Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 168-178 

THE works of Solomon were mainly buildings, whether 
of houses, or cisterns, etc., constructed during his 
reign and under his supervision. The first and most 
famous was the temple. The second was his own house. 
The third was his wife's house. The fourth was the 
upbuilding of the walls of Jerusalem and its fortifications, 
strengthening particularly the famous citadel of Millo. 
Fifth, he built two kinds of cities, and quite a number of 
each kind. One kind was for the headquarters and pro- 
tection of his commerce; another kind was fortified cities 
controlling all the passes from any direction into his land. 
Among the fortified cities note the following : 

First, Lebanon. He erected a strong fortification in the 
northern part of his country in the mountains of Lebanon 
on the great highway of Damascus, to guard the immense 
trade that poured through that city from the fords of the 

Next, Hazor, still further North near Lake Merom. The 
object of that city was to protect the entrance from the 
South of Syria into his country. You should know the 
topography of the country in order to fully- understand the 
wisdom of the location of each fortified city. 

The next was at Megiddon on the plain of Esdraelon, 
which was the great battle plain of the Holy Land. It was 
so in ancient times. It was so in mediaeval times, and 
according to prophecy will be so near the end of time. 



This fortification controlled all the Esdraelon plain. It was 
in the western part of the Holy Land, about the middle of 
it not far from the Mediterranean Sea. 

The next was the great pass of Beth-horon, where 
Joshua fought his decisive battle. That is the pass leading 
from the Philistine country to Jerusalem. He fortified both 
ends of that pass, upper and nether, so that from the Plains 
of the Philistines an army could not approach Jerusalem in 
that direction. 

Then on the South there were Gezer and Baalath, two 
other fortified places that protected not only from the 
Philistine raids, but the Egyptian raids on the southwest. 
His other fenced cities — and I will not mention all of them 
— protected the borders on the east of the Jordan, so that 
when these fortifications were completed Solomon's coun- 
try was like Paris before the war with Germany, and even 
since, i. e., from every direction there were long lines of 

The other class of cities was mainly on account of trade. 
You should have a map before you. East or northeast of 
Damascus, and south of his border on the Euphrates, was 
a desert, and in that desert a cluster of the most famous 
springs or fountains in the world — perennial water in 
abundance and beautiful groves of palm trees — and there 
Solomon built a city, Tadmor, which stood a thousand 
years, and in later history is called Palmyra, where Zenobia, 
the Queen of the East, reigned. If you are familiar with 
Roman history, you will remember her capture at her capi- 
tal Palmyra, and her being brought a prisoner to Rome, and 
there settling down as a quiet Roman matron, marrying a 
member of the Roman nobility. In history the city of 
Palmyra is famous. In our times it is famous for archae- 
ology. To the ruins of Palmyra, Baalbek and Thebes on 
the Nile, and similar places, scholars go to excavate and give 
us the result of their studies in archaeology. 


Solomon built quite a city, not for land commerce, but 
for sea commerce, at the head of the Gulf of Akaba, and 
transported a large population there in order that it should 
be held by loyal Jews, as that was his only good seaport. 
Those on the Mediterranean coast that lay within the 
boundary of his country — Joppa, for example — were very 
poor seaports. 

The next great buildings in connection with his reign 
were the store houses, immense structures on all the lines of 
traffic leading to Jerusalem where the revenues of the king 
were collected. Then the great stables that he erected for 
the housing of his chariot horses and cavalry horses. 

Another great work of Solomon was the building of 
roads. Our city papers say much about the split-log drag 
and the necessity for good wagon roads, roads for foot 
passengers and horsemen, for bringing the country products 
to the city markets. Solomon's system of roads became as 
famous as the roads described by Prescott in the history of 
Peru, which are ahead of any in history except the Roman 

A very difficult work of Solomon was the building of a 
navy of his own. When he traded in the Mediterranean he 
had to use the ships of Tyre, just as a great part of our 
trade now is carried on in English or German bottoms. 
That is not as helpful to a country as to have its own mer- 
chant marine, its own ships for carriage. A tremendous 
change in Solomon's kingdom was brought about by the 
establishment of this navy of his at Ezion-geber at the head 
of the Gulf of Akaba, which is a part of the Red Sea. 
Those ships were manned largely by Tyrians, as the Jews 
were not good sailors, and that fleet would set sail with 
imposing ceremony, to be gone three years. That is a very 
considerable voyage. The fleet would sail down the Indian 
Ocean to the East Indies, Borneo, Sumatra, and other 
islands of the archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and then on 


to the archipelagos in the Pacific Ocean, and all down the 
Eastern coast of Africa. 

Before Solomon's time Africa had been circumnavigated. 
Fleets, starting in the Red Sea, had gone clear around the 
Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, and back into the 
Mediterranean through the Straits of Gibraltar. They 
seemed to have forgotten about this when, not long before 
the time of Columbus, Vasco De Gama circumnavigated 
Africa, but it had been done before Solomon's time. That 
fleet would bring him back spices, jewels, gold and silver, and 
it mentions in your text here peacocks among other things, 
with the hundred eyes of Argus in their tails, according to 
Greek legend. You remember that Juno appointed Argus, 
because he had a hundred eyes, to watch Jupiter and see 
that he did not stay out at night, and Jupiter employed 
Mercury to play on his flute, and by its music to put Argus 
to sleep, and while asleep to kill him ; and then Jupiter had 
his own sweet will without espionage. But Juno put the 
eyes of Argus in the peacock's tail, and indeed if his eyes 
could serve no better purpose while in his head, they might 
as well be in a bird's tail. 

In Hurlbut's "Bible Atlas" is a detailed description of 
Solomon's most famous building — the temple of the Lord. 
You must not expect from me an elaborate description of 
the temple. I submit, rather, some salient points. 

I. The Plan and Specifications. — These were all given to 
David by inspiration of God. The Temple proper was but 
an enlargement of the house built by Moses, with relative 
proportions preserved throughout. The plan of the house 
built by Moses was also inspired. This we studied in 

n. The Date. — On page 170 of your book this statement 
is made : "And it came to pass in the 480th year after the 
children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in 


the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month 
of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build 
the house of the Lord," and on the second day of that sec- 
ond month, as you see from the corresponding passage in 
Chronicles, this temple was commenced. This specific 
date, so circumstantially given, has puzzled many com- 
mentators. They don't know how to fit the events of 
Moses, Joshua, Judges, Samuel and David into just 480 
years. It is the governing passage that largely influenced 
Archbishop Usher in arranging the chronology as you see it 
at the head of your King James Bible. 

Turn now to page 173: "In the fourth year was the 
foundation of the house of the Lord laid, in the month of 
Ziv. And in the eleventh year, in the month Bui, which is 
the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the 
parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So 
was he seven years in building it." Not only the building 
itself, but all its furniture, the utensils and implements of 
every kind put in the temple and used in its worship, was 
a work of seven years. 

The next salient point worthy of your attention is the 
message of the Lord to Solomon when he was about to 
commence this work. You find it on page 170 at the 
bottom : "And the word of the Lord came to Solomon, say- 
ing, Concerning this house which thou art building, if thou 
wilt walk in my statutes and execute my judgments, and 
keep all of my commandments to walk in them; then will 
I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David, 
thy father. And I will dwell among the children of 
Israel and will not forsake my people Israel." This is what 
He says to Solomon, "You have commenced to build a 
house for me. I come to tell you that I am with you, and 
give you my promise at the start that it shall be God's 
dwelling-place." When we come to the next visit the Lord 
makes to Solomon, when the house was dedicated, I will 


give you another remarkable passage, but this one is at the 
commencement of the work. 

The next thing we note is the site. The first intimation 
of the site is given to us in Abraham's time. Abraham was 
commanded to take his son Isaac and offer him up as a 
burnt offering upon Mount Moriah, then held by the Jebu- 
sites ; and on that mountain and at the very place where the 
temple was subsequently erected, there the symbolic fore- 
cast of the offering up of a greater Isaac took place. The 
next account that we have of the site is when the great 
plague came upon the people of Jerusalem, and David 
to avert the plague presented himself before God, and 
offered to die for his people, to let the punishment come 
upon him and spare the people. When he saw the angel of 
death approaching Jerusalem, he boldly went forth to 
meet the angel, and proposed a substitutionary sacrifice 
of himself ; and then the plague was stayed, and at the 
place where the plague was stayed, David bought the 
threshing-floor of Araunah, the Jebusite, and marked it 
out as the site where God's house was to be erected, 
where the great sacrifices were to be offered throughout 
the ages, that were to foretell the coming of the greatest 

Next in importance is the great work of preparing the 
foundation. You must conceive of an irregularly shaped 
mountain whose crest was taken off low enough down the 
mountain to give sufficient area. If on three sides the 
mountain sloped down into the valley, a wall must be built 
on those three sides high enough for the desired level, and 
the crest taken off must be used to fill in all the space to a 
level with the wall summit. On one side there would be no 
wall. The area of the space thus leveled was about thirty 
acres in the shape of a trapezoid, one side of which was 
1,520 feet; the opposite side 1,611 feet; one end 1,017 feet, 
and the other end 921 feet. Of course, the height of the 


wall would vary on the three sides, according to the dip of 
the slope into the valley below. The greatest height of the 
wall was 143 feet. This perpendicular wall, built of 
immense stones bevelled into each other without cement, 
would render the temple area unapproachable and impreg- 
nable on three sides. The fourth side was safe-guarded by 
an immense moat, and by the fortified tower of Millo. The 
crest of the mountain taken off was not sufficient in bulk to 
fill in on the three sides up to the top of the wall, and then 
to furnish stones for the buildings and terraces. So Solo- 
mon opened quarries on the other mountain sides, tunneling 
under the city itself. There today may be seen Solomon's 
subterranean quarries, where slaves toiled in the heart of 
the earth. Their bones are yet where they died, and the 
marks of their implements on the everlasting rock, and some 
of the mammoth unused stones. These slaves were the 
unassimilated Canaanites, fed and clothed indeed after a 
fashion, but without wages. So also the multitude of 
laborers who were sent to Tyre under overseers to get out 
the forest timbers, were conscript laborers, thousands of 
them, working in reliefs under taskmasters. 

But Solomon had nobody in his kingdom skillful enough 
to direct the stone work and establish foundries for the 
materials of brass, silver and gold. So he appealed to 
Hiram, king of Tyre, for an expert superintendent. The 
king of Tyre sent him the son of a widow, also called 
Hiram. If you ever get to be a Mason, you will hear more 
about Hiram Abiff. He was the architect of the whole 
business, and had the full superintendence of everything. 
Your text here gives an account of him, and of what he did 
in constructing the Temple. 

An equally stupendous work in the way of preparation 
had to be done, namely, to provide an adequate water 
supply. To this end, he built enormous cisterns capable of 
holding many millions of barrels of water, and aqueducts 


for carrying the water. He built pools, like the Pool of 
Siloam, and vast reservoirs. 

You must not conceive of the 35 acres as one level, but 
several terraced levels, one terrace rising above another 
until on the highest level is the temple proper and its imme- 
diate approaches. The lowest level was the court of the 
Gentiles, a higher level the court of the women. The whole 
area with its inner divisions corresponds in general plan to 
the enclosed area around the tabernacle of Moses and the 
tent itself. The temple proper, itself a small building, was 
only the tent of Moses on a larger scale, all relative propor- 
tions preserved. 

The lumber material was more difficult to procure than 
the stone material. It came from the forests of Lebanon — 
cedar and fir. The getting out of the timber from the 
forest, and the floating of it in great rafts from Tyre to 
Joppa, was performed by Hiram's men. Solomon fur- 
nished the rations and compensated for the labor by giving 
King Hiram ten cities. When Hiram came to inspect the 
cities, he found them to be only sites for cities, something 
like Charles Dickens' description of American cities, which 
existed only in sanguine prospect, or like the Bible descrip- 
tion of Jerusalem in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah : ''Now 
the city was exceedingly large, only the houses were not yet 
built, and the inhabitants thereof were few." Hiram, in 
disgust, refused to receive them, and Solomon buih 
them and peopled them with Jews. It has always seemed, 
on the face of it, that Solomon played an unworthy Yankee 
trick on his confiding and generous ally. Solomon's own 
men had to transport this lumber material all the way up 
hill from Joppa to Jerusalem, and there, under the skilled 
supervision of Hiram, the widow's son, they were fashioned 
for their place in the temple. Indeed, every part, whether 
of stone, timber or metal, was so skillfully fashioned that 
the temple went up without the sound of axe, saw or ham- 


mer. So the spiritual temple arises in silence rather than 
noise. The kingdom of Heaven comes not with observa- 
tion. ''Sanctified rows," as in many modern meetings, and 
confusions of mingled services, as at Corinth, are not con- 
tributory to the edifying of the temple of Christ. 

There are some very striking references to the works of 
Solomon in the books of Ecclesiastes and the Song. For 
instance, this passage from Ecclesiastes 2 — Solomon him- 
self talking : 'T made me great works, I builded me houses ; 
I planted me vineyards; I made me gardens and orchards, 
and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruits ; I made 
me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that 
bringeth forth trees." 

The gardens or paradises built by Solomon, the principal 
ones, were these: One near Jerusalem, where tremendous 
work in the rock had to be made to get space — terrace 
space — for his garden. Another was built about seven 
miles south of Jerusalem, near Bethlehem ; and his summer 
park was at Mount Lebanon, described in the Song of 
Solomon, and when the hot summertime would come, and 
he would start to that summer resort in the mountains, a 
palanquin, or traveling carriage was made, and what a 
gorgeous thing it was ! As it was a mountainous country, 
a palanquin was used and carried on the shoulders of men, 
but not until he got to a point where a chariot could not be 
used; up to that point he went in a beautiful chariot, the 
finest ever known, drawn by the finest of horses, as that 
Song tells you : ''Who is this that cometh out of the wilder- 
ness Hke pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frank- 
incense, with all the powders of the merchant?" 

The era of all these famous works was one of peace. 
These are not the achievements of unsettled times. War is 
destructive, not constructive. Solomon was not a man of 
blood, but the prince of peace, and hence the type of Him 
at whose triumph all wars cease for ever. 



1. What the principal building works of Solomon in Jerusalem? 

2. What two kinds of cities elsewhere? 

3. Cite the more important fortified cities and the purpose of each. 

4. Locate and describe the trade city of Tadmor, and give 
something of its subsequent history. 

5. What city for sea trade, and how peopled? 

6. Why was he dependent upon the Phoenician cities of Tyre 
and Sidon for Mediterranean trade? 

7. Locate and give the reason for building Ezion-geber, and 
describe the commerce promoted by it. Tell about his fleet there, 
how manned and why, the time length of its voyages, the coun- 
tries visited, and the products imported. 

8. Was Africa circumnavigated before the famous voyages 
around it by Vasco De Gama? How was it done? 

9. Where, probably, the Ophir of the ancients? Where Tar- 
shish ? 

10. What did Solomon in the way of roads, and what other 
countries since his time were noted for the building of good 

11. What attention is given to this matter by our country now? 

12. How were the plans and specifications of the temple ob- 
tained, and through whom? 

13. What previous plan on a smaller scale was followed, and 
how and through whom was it obtained? _ 

14. Why was Jehovah so particular in insisting on exact con- 
formity with every detail of His plan? 

15. What the site of the temple, and the two great historical 
events leading to its selection, and their typical import? 

16. Where may we find the details of the temple structure? 

17. Give the date of its beginning, and time of its building? 

18. Describe the foundation work, the area obtained, and its 
shape and side dimensions. 

19. Whence the material for this foundation work, the laborers, 
and the modern evidence of their labor? 

20. How many levels on this area, and the purpose of each? 

21. Whence and what the materials of wood, how gotten out 
and transported, who the laborers, how many, and how supplied 
with food? 

22. Who was the human architect? 

23. Besides food supplies, how did Solomon compensate Hiram, 
king of Tyre, for his help, what Hiram's opinion of the bargain, 
and what became of the rejected compensation? 

24. What evidence of the perfect preparation of every piece 
of material before it was put into the building, and what the 
typical import? 

25. What became of Solomon's temple, and whose succeeded 
it? What its fortunes, and who restored it on a grand scale 
near the time of our Lord, and what became of it? What build- 
ing now occupies the ancient building site? 

26. Of what was the tabernacle of Moses and Solomon's temple 
a type? 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 178-192 

THIS discussion begins on page 178 of the Harmony, 
and relates to the dedication of the temple. We 
have already shown that the building of the temple 
was the greatest work of Solomon ; that it made the greatest 
impression upon the world's mind of any structure that had 
ever been erected in human history. The importance of 
the temple was to insure a central place of worship, or of 
sacrifice, rather. The object of it was to bring about unity 
of faith, and national unity among the people. The idea 
comes from the following legislation by Moses : **When you 
shall obtain possession of the land and have become estab- 
lished, then you shall have one place in which to appear 
before the Lord." In brief, the purposes of the temple 
were these : 

1. To provide a fixed habitation for Jehovah. 

2. To provide a central place of worship where the tribes 
might assemble at the three great annual festivals and thus 
preserve the unity of the nation, Jehovah being the center 
of unity. In other words, as we explained on Leviticus, 
there must be : (a) A place to meet Jehovah on the throne 
of grace. (b) Sacrifices, or means of propitiation, 
(c) Priests, or Intermediaries between Jehovah and the 
people, (d) Times in which to approach Him, that is, with 
daily, weekly, monthly and annual offerings, (e) A Ritual, 
telling how to approach Him. 

3. To prefigure the more glorious building, the church of 



our Lord. A magnificent building, with an imposing ritual, 
and with fixed times of gathering the whole nation together, 
would bring about this unity of faith and unity of national 
life. The building having been completed, Solomon now 
proposes to publicly and formally dedicate it to the service 
of God. God had told him when he commenced the build- 
ing that He would inhabit the house built for Him, and now 
Solomon proposes, by a very solemn national service, to con- 
secrate this house to the Lord. I do not suppose that from 
any other one source, indeed from all other sources put 
together, that we get the idea of dedication-services so 
much as from this. The house could not be dedicated as 
soon as it was finished. It was several months from the 
time it was finished until it was dedicated. There had to be 
an appropriate time. It must be on the occasion of one of 
the great national feasts ; so it was probably several months 
after the house was completed before the dedication services 
took place. 

The first thing was to secure a great convocation of the 
people, and it is repeatedly stated that from Hamath on the 
north, or from the Euphrates River, unto the River of Egypt 
on the south, throughout the length and breadth of the land 
the princes, the rules of the people, the representative men, 
were all commanded to be present. So it was a very great 
national convocation. The next step was to bring into this 
house all of the sacred things that survived from Moses' 
time, and including those that had been prepared by David. 
So with great ceremony the old tent that Moses built, the 
brazen altar of burnt offerings, the table for the shew- 
bread and the golden candlestick, were all brought and put 
in this temple. Those of them no longer usable, for 
instance the tent, and a great many of the old-time utensils, 
were stored away and preserved as relics, including the 
brazen serpent Moses had made. We hear of that in a later 
reign and find out the last disposition of it. Then the Ark 


itself was brought from the tent in which David had placed 
it, and it was put in its place in the Most Holy Place. It 
was necessary to make a new lid for it, or mercy seat. A 
long time had elapsed, nearly 500 years, since it was made, 
and when they opened it there was found in it nothing but 
the two tables of stone upon which God had inscribed the 
decalogue. From the Pentateuch we know that other things 
had been put there. For instance, Aaron's rod that budded, 
the pot of manna, and quite a number of things were put 
by the side of the Ark, but when they brought that Ark in 
that is all there was in it. Probably at the time it was cap- 
tured by the Philistines some of these things were taken out. 

The preliminary steps of the dedication were : ( i ) Plac- 
ing in the treasury of the house all the things dedicated by 
David. (2) Placing all the sacred vessels and furniture in 
proper position. (3) The offering of multitudinous sacri- 
fices. (4) The priests carrying into the Most Holy Place the 
Ark of the Covenant. (5) As the priest issues from the 
Most Holy Place, and the one hundred and twenty other 
priests standing east of the altar blow their trumpets, and 
the great Levite-choir bursts into a song of praise and 
thanksgiving, with cymbals and other instruments, saying, 
"For He is good; for His mercy endureth forever." (6) 
Then the cloud, symbol of divine presence and glory, filled 
all the house. 

So it had been when Moses finished the tabernacle, and 
so it was at Pentecost, after the Lord had built His church, 
that the Holy Spirit came down in consecrating, attesting 

Now, having all the sacred things in place, Solomon had 
a platform of brass erected, about seven feet square, for 
himself, a kind of pulpit, so that he would be sufficiently 
lifted up above the people to be seen as well as heard, and 
we now note a singular fact, viz. : that Solomon acted as 
both king and high priest, a royal priest, a priest on a 


throne, and all through his life, he seems not only to per- 
form the functions of the high priest, but he keeps the 
entire priesthood subject to his immediate control. Noth- 
ing is more evident in the study of his life than that the 
throne, in this case the civil power, kept the priesthood, the 
religious power, in subservience. 

Solomon's posture in this dedication was standing at the 
introduction, standing when he goes to pronounce the bene- 
diction, but in offering prayer, he kneels, and that is the 
first place in the Bible where kneeling for prayer is men- 
tioned. You read in the Bible about standing to pray and 
sitting to pray, and here we have kneeling to pray, showing 
that the posture is not essential to the act. One can pray 
lying down, but kneeling is very reverential, and congrega- 
tions should observe one form. 

Standing up before the people, his opening address 
reverts to the fact of God's promise to David that a son 
should succeed him, and that this son should build Him a 
house, and God's promise to live in the house when it was 
built. He then commences his prayer, and it is a very 
remarkable one. His first petition is that the Lord would 
accept and continually look toward this structure, really 
inhabit it and be present in it. The other elements of the 
petition are clearly set forth in the text here. Look on page 
i8o of the Harmony. First, the position with reference to 
the making of an oath where there is an issue between 
neighbors, and the difficulty cannot be settled by outside tes- 
timony, then all oaths shall be made before God. A man, 
as in the presence of God, shall solemnly swear that what he 
says is the correct version of the case. That is called an 
appeal to the judgment of God. It was a favorite method 
of settling matters throughout the middle ages. For 
instance, a nobleman might testify about a case, another 
challenge his testimony, and they would agree to refer it to 
the arbitrament of God, as decided in battle, and the two 


knights would come out and fight in the presence of many 
witnesses with judges governing all the forms of it, and 
trusting to God that the right should triumph in that fight. 

In Ivanhoe, you have an account of an appeal to the judg- 
ment of God in the fight between Ivanhoe and Sir Brian de 
Bois-Guilbert in order to settle a charge against the Jewess, 
Rebecca. She appealed to the trial by combat and said let 
God say if she was a witch, as they charged, and so the case 
was fought out. Hundreds of instances are noticed in his- 
tory, romance and poetry of this appeal to God. Another 
method of appeal, mentioned also by Sir Walter Scott, is 
that when one was found to have died by violence, all of 
those whose circumstances made it possible that they might 
have participated in that murder were required to come up 
before the judge and with the murdered man's body 
shrouded in a white sheet, put their finger on the dead man 
and swear that they had nothing to do with that murder, and 
the legend taught that if the real murderer did come and put 
his hand on the man, then blood would flow out from the 
wound and thus convict him. Now Solomon prayed that in 
any case of issue between two neighbors, where there were 
no means of settling it by outside testimony, and they come 
before God, that God would decide the case so as to justify 
the innocent and condemn the guilty. 

His second petition is with reference to defeat in battle. 
This people is a glorious people. War will doubtless arise, 
and they that go out may be defeated. If they be defeated, 
he says it will be on account of their sins, and, convicted of 
sin by public defeat, if they there on that battlefield turn 
toward the temple and pray God to forgive the sin, then 
Solomon asks that their national sin be forgiven. 

He next considers the case of droughts. That whole 
country is subject to drought, and it is easy for all the 
sources of Hfe to be dried up in severe drought. Drought 
in the Bible is represented as serving Jehovah ; that it comes 


from Him. Elijah prayed that it might not rain for three 
years and six months, and it didn't rain, and he prayed that 
it might rain, and it rained. Now he says, "when a time of 
drought comes on this land on account of sin, if this people 
pray toward this temple, asking God to open the windows of 
Heaven and send rain upon the land, then hear thou in 
Heaven and forgive the sin and send rain." You notice 
how he is connecting the temple with all the great vicissi- 
tudes of life. 

Following that come famines and pestilences. Famines 
may result from wars, in destroying the products of the 
land, or they may result from plagues, as of locusts. Now, 
when a famine or a pestilence, or a contagious or epidemic 
disease, comes — and the whole country was subject to them, 
as we would have here in this country, if there should come 
the Asiatic cholera, or the yellow fever — then let the people 
pray, and his petition is that when these displays of divine 
wrath against the sins of men are made, that they will 
remember that there at Jerusalem in the temple is a throne 
of grace unto which any man may come boldly in time of 
need and ask divine interposition and pardon. We will find 
numerous examples of all these in the history as we go on. 

He then takes the case of a stranger. This is a beautiful 
thought. Some stranger from a foreign country, not one of 
the chosen people of Israel, may be in exile, banished from 
his own land, no light from heaven, seemingly, by the selec- 
tion of Israel barred from the commonwealth of God, yet if 
this stranger comes to that temple and lifts up his heart to 
God, then Solomon prays that the Lord will hear that 
stranger. That gets to be a very big item of the New Tes- 
tament gospel. You remember Paul says to the Ephesians, 
"Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citi- 
zens with the saints and of the household of God." In this 
prayer of Solomon is a forecast of the abrogation of the 
middle wall of partition between the Jew and the Gentile. 


All peoples, all races, tribes, tongues and kindreds may come 
before the Lord. Paul enunciated it in Mars' Hill when 
he said, "God made of one blood all nations of men that 
inhabit the face of the earth, and appointed their seasons 
and their boundaries with a view that they might seek after 
Him and find Him." Now if a stranger comes to this 
house of God and honestly seeks a blessing from God, he 
may find it. That is a good thought. While our houses of 
worship are not temples, yet they ought to be places attrac- 
tive to strangers. "Here the people of God are meeting 
and I am an outsider. Will I be welcome? Is there any- 
thing here for me? Will anyone speak a word of comfort 
or peace to my soul ?" 

When I was pastor of the First Church in Waco, two 
deacons had a special duty. Every Sunday morning, as 
soon as the bell tapped to call the Sunday School together 
for its final exercises, these two deacons arose and went 
down on the streets of Waco and spent the time till the 
opening song of the church service inviting strangers on the 
streets to come to church. One notable incident occurred. 
They brought a man in that way one day and he was con- 
verted. I think I never heard anything more touching than 
his relation of the fact that a very gentlemanly old man saw 
him on the street where he was wandering without money, 
no place to go, without a friend in the world, and asked him 
to come to church, which led to his salvation. 

Solomon then takes up the case of battle. This is before 
the battle is joined. Is there such a thing as the decision of 
battle by the Alrnighty? Infidels adopt the theory of the 
French Marshal — that God favors the heaviest 'battalions in 
the fight. But the battle is not always to the strong. 
Patrick Henry insisted upon that in his speech before the 
House of Burgesses. Solomon wanted that thought fixed 
in the very hearts of his people, that before they fought they 
should pray. At the great battle of Agincourt, when a very 


small English army was surrounded by an enormous French 
army, say 25,000 against 100,000, just before the fight the 
English army prayed and the French king says, "Are they 
prostating themselves in homage to us already? Do they 
acknowledge their defeat?" One who knew them replied 
to the king, "No, sire. They are taking their case to their 
God, and they will fight the better for it when they get up 
oif their knees." One of the soldiers, in the English civil 
war, remarked to Prince Rupert that he feared Cromwell's 
Ironsides when they knelt and prayed just before a fight 
and rose singing, "Let God arise and His enemies be scat- 
tered." In the book of the Maccabees there is a marvelous 
illustration of this, when Judas Maccabasus with 10,000 men 
defeated 100,000, having made a solemn appeal to the God 
of battles before the issue was joined. 

It is related as an incident of colonial history that in the 
war between France and England, with the battlefield over 
in this country, that the French at a serious crisis dispatched 
a great fleet with 3,000 soldiers and 40,000 stands of arms 
to turn the scale, and as that armament approached this 
continent, the colonists felt that if it arrived safely they 
were lost, and so the preachers gathered the people for 
prayer that God might save them from this armament, and 
even as they prayed a storm came and scattered the fleet, 
wrecking many of the vessels, drowning most of the 
soldiers, and sinking most of their munitions of war. 

The climax of Solomon's prayer anticipates a time when 
his people, on account of very grievous sin, shall be carried 
into captivity, their city taken, and over there in a land of 
exile they should become slaves of a foreign power. In this 
dire disaster, if they should repent and remember and look 
back toward Jerusalem and to this house, then might the 
Lord forgive them there and restore them to their land. 
We see Daniel carrying out this thought, as every day he 
would open his window and look toward Jerusalem and 


pray, doing just what this prayer suggests. Against the 
royal edict he would turn toward the temple and pray. In 
Daniel 9 we find a famous prayer confessing the sins of the 
people and repeating the promise in the prophecy of 
Jeremiah that the seventy years of captivity is nearly out, 
and crying out, "Oh Lord, hear! Oh Lord, forgive," and 
even while he is praying an angel comes, touches him and 
tells him that his prayer is heard and shows him that not 
only will they be restored at that time, but unveils the 
prophecy concerning the restoration and rebuilding of 
Jerusalem and the length of time to elapse between that 
event and the birth of the long-looked for Messiah, as you 
will find in the conclusion of the ninth chapter. 

Having offered this great prayer, Solomon arose and pro- 
nounced the benediction. As soon as this prayer ended, 
confirmation came in a very remarkable way. Fire came 
down from Heaven and burned up the sacrifices that had 
been placed upon the altar, and not only that, but God 
appears to Solomon as He had appeared to him at Gibeon, 
and uses this language, which Spurgeon makes the text of 
one of his greatest sermons : "And Jehovah said unto him, 
I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou 
hast made before me! I have hallowed this house, which 
thou hast built to put my name there forever." On the next 
page it says, "Now I have chosen and hallowed this house, 
that my name may be there forever ; and mine eyes and my 
heart shall be there perpetually." In another place He says, 
"My hands shall be there." Now Spurgeon takes for a 
text: "My name shall be there, my eyes shall be there, my 
heart shall be there, my hands shall be there." "Whoever 
comes to that place of worship, I see him. Whoever prays, 
I hear him. Whoever pleads, I love him and I save him by 
my hand." Spurgeon makes a great sermon out of it, and 
I suggest it as a good text. 

We note the permanent use of the temple : "Then Solo- 


mon offered burnt offerings unto the Lord on the altar of 
the Lord which he had built before the porch even as the 
duty of every day required." That is the daily sacrifice, 
offering according to the commandment of Moses on the 
Sabbaths, then there are the weekly sacrifices, and on the 
new moons, which are the monthly sacrifices; and then on 
the great feast days three times in the year. There you 
have the whole cycle of the sacrifices to be offered in the 
temple. Moses provided for morning and evening sacrifices 
in the tabernacle. Perhaps you have read "The Prince of 
the House of David" by Ingraham, an Episcopalian 
preacher. He represents the young Jewish lady that came 
from Alexandria on a visit to Jerusalem as being waked up 
just as the dawn flushed the eastern sky; the silver trum- 
pets began to blow, and as those trumpets were blown every- 
body rushed to the housetops, and while they were looking 
at the temple a great white cloud of incense rose up over 
the temple and ascended to heaven, representing the morning 
prayers of the people, and they on the housetops prostrated 
themselves at the time of the incense and offered their 
morning prayers. That occurred every evening also, and it 
could be seen by everybody in the city, the going up of that 
great cloud of incense. They could hear the sound of those 
trumpets calling to prayer morning and evening. Solomon 
provided according to the ritual of Moses and David that 
these daily sacrifices should never be neglected in that Tem- 
ple, nor the sabbatical, or weekly, nor the monthly, nor the 
annual sacrifices in the times of the great feasts. 

I will devote the rest of the chapter to the glory of Solo- 
mon. You will note these words: "And the King made 
silver and gold to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made 
he to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland for 
abundance. So King Solomon exceeded all the kings of the 
earth in riches and in wisdom. And all the earth sought the 
presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had 


put in his heart, and they brought every man his present, 
vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, and 
armor, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year." 
Again, "And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the 
river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border 
of Egypt: they brought him presents, and served Solomon 
all the days of his life. For he had dominion over all the 
region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, 
over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace 
on all sides round about him. Judah and Israel were many, 
as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and 
drinking, and every man under his vine and under his fig 
tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon." 
As a sample of the glory of Solomon, we have the visit 
of the Queen of Sheba, who came, as our Lord said, from 
the uttermost parts of the earth. Commentators are divided 
as to whether she was a queen over that best watered and 
most fertile part of southern Arabia, or whether she was the 
Queen of Abyssinia just across the dividing water in Africa. 
Most modem commentators make her the queen of what is 
called "Arabia Felix," but my own judgment is that she was 
the queen of Abyssinia. The tradition of her reign lingers 
there where recently King Menelik defeated the Italian 
armies, and where they still keep up certain forms of the 
Christian religion, whence also in New Testament times 
came the Ethiopian eunuch whom Philip led to Christ. By 
combining I Kings lo: 1-13 with Matt. 12:42 you may make 
a great sermon with these heads: (i) She heard a rumor 
that there was a wise man who could answer any question. 
(2) She had hard questions knocking at the door of her 
heart, as every woman has. She determined, at any cost, 
to have these problems solved, so she makes this great jour- 
ney, and when she gets there and he answers all of her 
questions and she sees his glory, his temple, the way by 
which he went up into the temple, the apparel of his serv- 


ants, there was no more breath in her, that is, she fainted. 
You know some people are so finely strung that they will 
faint when looking at a great picture, or on being stirred by 
great music. From her words, ''The half was not told me," 
we get our hymn, "The half has never yet been told." 

My own sermon on Matthew 12:42 had these heads: 
(i) There shall be a resurrection of the dead. (2) It will 
be a general resurrection, (3) followed by a general judg- 
ment, (4) whose determining principle shall be: Men are 
judged according to their light. 

We may close this discussion with a brief account of Solo- 
mon's relations with other governments. 

1. Phoenicia. He inherited from his father a most val- 
uable alliance with Hiram, king of Tyre, whose fleets con- 
trolled the Mediterranean Sea. 

2. Egypt. His marriage with Pharaoh's daughter held 
the friendship of the ruling dynasty in Egypt. 

3. Friendly alliance with the Queen of Sheba. 

4. In David's time the Hittite nation at Hamath paid 
tribute. Solomon conquered the country. 

5. By intermarriage he secured friendly relations with 
many countries, as most of his marriages were political. 

6. By commerce through the Mediterranean he held 
friendly relations with the nations on its shores as far as 

7. By commerce with the archipelagoes of the Indian 
and Pacific Oceans, he held friendly relations with the 
Orient, and Africa. 

8. By land-traffic he held friendly relations with Arabia, 
Mesopotamia and the nations around the Caspian Sea. 


1. What promise of Jehovah was made to Solomon when he 
commenced to build the temple? 

2. What command of Jehovah, through Moses, was fulfilled 
in the building of the temple? 


3. What then, in brief, were the purposes of the temple? 

4. What effect has this dedication on all subsequent dedications 
of buildings? 

5. At what annual festival was the temple dedicated? 

6. What the steps of offering the house, and how the divine 
acceptance signified ? 

7. What similar event occurred in Moses' day, and what greater 
event in the New Testament day? 

8. Describe the platform occupied by Solomon, and his posture 
in the several parts of the dedication. 

9. In what double capacity does he act? 

10. What the salient points of his opening address? 

11. The salient points of his prayer? 

12. What evidence in later days that in accord with Solomon's 
petition his people prayed toward Jerusalem? 

13. In what signal way did confirmation come from heaven that 
his prayer was answered? 

14. Distinguish between the two manifestations of the glory of the 
Cloud, II Chron. 5: 13; 7: 1-3. 

15. What says the text of the glory of Solomon, and the extent 
of his kingdom? (See I Kings 4:20-25; 10:18-25). 

16. What our Lord's reference to Solomon's glory? 

17. Recite the story of the Queen of Sheba. Where her country? 
What our Lord's reference to it, and what the sermon outline on 
Matt. 12:42? 

18. What Solomon's relations to foreign nations? 

19. When and why Jehovah's second appearance to Solomon? 



Scriptures: References in Harmony, pp. 193-194. 

SEE I Kings 11 : 1-43 and H Chron. 9 : 29-31, with which 
compare (i) Ex. 34:16; Deut. y:^, 4; Ezra 9:1; 
Neh. 13:23. (2) Deut. 17:14-20. (3) The two vis- 
itations of Jehovah, I Kings 3 : 14 ; 9 : 4-9 ; H Chron. 
7: 17-22. (4) The whole book of Ecclesiastes. 

1. When Solomon became old he fell away from Jehovah 
in heart and hfe. 

2. He, himself, furnishes the motto for a heading of this 
part of his hfe, "Better is a poor and wise youth than an old 
and foolish king, who knoweth not how to receive admoni- 
tion any more," Eccles. 4: 13. 

3. And he, himself, fitly describes a miserable and dark- 
ened old age, thus : 

"Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer 
thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, 
and in the sight of thine eyes ; but know thou that for all these 
things God will bring thee into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow 
from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh ; for youth and the 
dawn of life are vanity. Remember also thy Creator in the days 
of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, 
when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; before the sun, 
and the light, and the moon, and the stars, are darkened, and the 
clouds return after the rain ; in the day when the keepers of the 
house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and 
the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out 
of the windows shall be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in 
the street; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall 
rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall 
be brought low; yea, they shall be afraid of that which is high, and 
terrors shall be in the way; and the almond tree shall blossom, and 
the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because 



man goeth to his everlasting home, and the mourners go about the 
streets : before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is 
broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken 
at the cistern, and the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and 
the spirit returneth unto God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, saith 
the Preacher; all is vanity," Eccl. ii : 9 — 12: 8. 

4. The immediate occasion of his fall was the influence 
of his foreign idolatrous wives. 

5. They led him astray on these lines : ( i ) The sensual 
indulgence of harem life sapped his physical vitality, ener- 
vated his mind and blunted the perception and dulled the 
sensitiveness of all his moral faculties. (2) Being them- 
selves idolaters, they induced him to provide temples for the 
idols of their own countries. (3) To suit their convenience 
they led him to locate these houses and altars of idolatry 
over against God's holy temple. (4) They finally led him 
to participate himself in this idol worship. 

6. His sin consisted of these elements : 

(i) Primarily and mainly he sinned grievously against 
Jehovah, who had exalted him. (2) He grossly violated the 
kingdom charter. (3) He openly violated the Mosaic law 
of marriage. 

7. His sin against Jehovah may be thus particularized: 
(i) It was open violation of both the first and second com- 
mandment of the decalogue. (2) It was against the light of 
two visitations from Jehovah, the second one particularly 
warning him against the sin. (3) In placing the idol houses 
over against the temple it was flaunting an insult in Jehovah's 
face. (4) It was a sin against Jehovah's revelation, and an 
abuse of the wisdom given to seek through philosophy the 
chief good and chief duty of man, as he himself confesses he 
did in the book of Ecclesiastes. (5) It was a sin against 
Jehovah as the supreme and only satisfying portion of the 
soul to seek happiness by experiment in wealth, pleasure, 
luxury and other ways as he confesses he did in the book 
of Ecclesiastes. 


8. He sinned against the charter of the kingdom in these 
particulars: (i) The charter says, "He shall not multiply 
horses to himself," it being against the divine purpose that 
his people should depend on cavalry and chariots. But this 
is what he did : "And Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses 
for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen," I Kings 4:26. (2) 
The charter said "Neither shall he multiply wives unto him- 
self, that his heart turn not away." But this is what he did : 
"Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, together 
with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Am- 
monites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites ; of the nations 
concerning which Jehovah said unto the children of Israel, 
Ye shall not go among them, neither shall they come among 
you ; for surely they will turn away your heart after their 
gods; Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had 700 
wives, princesses, and 300 concubines ; and his wives turned 
away his heart. For it came to pass when Solomon was old, 
that his wives turned away his heart after other gods ; and 
his heart was not perfect with Jehovah his God, as was the 
heart of David his father," I Kings 11 : 1-4. (3) The charter 
said, "He shall not greatly multiply to himself silver and 
gold," but he filled his cofifers with gold, silver and jewels 
beyond computation in value. (4) The charter said, "His 
heart shall not be lifted up above his brethren," but for dis- 
play, and for the buildings of his wives and their extrava- 
gant support, he raised forced levies of workmen from his 
own people, and imposed onerous taxes which caused a 
revolt in the days of his son, Rehoboam, and the loss of 
ten tribes. See I Kings 4:6; 5:13, 14; 7:19-23; 11:28; 

9. He sinned against the sanctity of the Mosaic law of 
marriage in taking wives from nations of the Canaanites and 
other idolatrous nations. See Ex. 34:16; Deut. 7:3, 4, as 
interpreted in Ezra 9:1 and Neh. 13:23, and compare I 
Kings II : I, 2. 


10. We find somewhat of a parallel in Louis XIV of 
France, who reduced his nation to pauperism to support his 
extravagant displays and mistresses, so that in the days of 
Louis XVI came a revolution that painted hell on the sky. 

11. The sin of Solomon greatly provoked Jehovah, who 
sternly denounced these penalties : ( i ) The greater part of 
the kingdom was rent from him and given to his servant, but 
for David's sake, the execution was stayed till Solomon died, 
I Kings 11:9-13. (2) Adversaries were stirred up, ready 
to strike on the first opportunity. (3) These adversaries 
were Hadad, the Edomite, who in David's time had shel- 
tered in Egypt ; Rezon, the Syrian, who sheltered in Damas- 
cus and who abhorred Israel ; Jeroboam, the Ephrathite, 
whom Solomon promoted, but who, having been informed 
by Jehovah's prophet that he would rule over ten tribes, did 
not wait on Jehovah's time but instantly revolted, but when 
Solomon sought to kill him, fled to Eg}^pt and sheltered 

12. The fearful consequences of Solomon's sin were 
sweeping and far-reaching, as appears from these facts : 
(i) The contrast between the glorious unity when David 
was made king over all Israel (See I Chron. 11:1-3 and 
12:23-40) and the disunion under Solomon's son (See 
I Kings 12:1-19). (2) This division resulted in the idol- 
atry and destruction of the ten tribes except the elect rem- 
nants that returned to Judah, thus preserving and perpetu- 
ating all the tribes. (3) The idolatry of the ten tribes was 
communicated to Judah in Ahab's day, threatening the blot- 
ting out of all the tribes. (4) The division made them weak 
in the presence of enemies to both, and their prestige and 
position among the nations were lost. (5) The destruction 
of the ten tribes resulted in the rise of the Samaritans, a 
mixed people who rejected all revelation except the Penta- 
teuch, and established a rival temple, whose pretensions to 
superiority persisted till Messiah's time (See John 4:20). 


(6) The precedent of seeking in speculative philosophy and 
in sinful experiment man's chief-end, chief-good, chief-aim, 
was taken up and followed by Greek and Roman philoso* 
phers — Zeno, Epicurus, Lucretius and Democritus, Gnostics, 
Agnostics and modern radical evolutionists even to this day 
— all adopting his methods and denying his conclusions. 

13. The question naturally arises : Was Solomon's apos- 
tasy total and final, and is he today a lost soul? Adam 
Clark, the commentator, like nearly all Methodists, Arminian 
in doctrine, teaches that Solomon was finally and forever 
lost; from which position the author dissents for the fol- 
lowing reasons : 

1. The record expressly teaches that his apostasy was not 
total, but only that his heart toward Jehovah was not perfect 
as was the heart of David. 

2. That his apostasy was not final seems evident from 
the repentance evidenced in the book of Ecclesiastes, which, 
after recounting all his experiments in turning from revela- 
tion to philosophy and all ending in vanity, comes back to 
the conclusion that to fear God and keep His commandments 
is the whole of man. 

3. The promise of Jehovah to his father David expressly 
forbids the idea of his total and final apostasy in saying, 
*'When thy days are fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy 
fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, that shall proceed 
out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He 
shall build a house for my name, and I will estabHsh the 
throne of his kingdom forever. 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 loving kindness shall not depart from him, 
as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee," H 
Sam. 7: 12-15. The contrast here between Saul and Solo- 
mon is very marked. Saul sustained no filial relation toward 
Jehovah, but Solomon did. Saul was punished as an alien; 


Solomon was chastised as a son. The Holy Spirit was with- 
drawn from Saul, but not from Solomon. 

14. Solomon's fall teaches many great lessons, among 
which may be named : 

1. Sensuality in a man is like the dry rot which crumbles 

2. A little child may learn from revelation in a day more 
about origin, character, destiny, the chief -end, the chief- 
good and the chief-aim of man than all the speculative phi- 
losophers throughout the ages haz^e discovered or will ever 
be able to discover. 

3. Man himself, in his moral dignity, is more than all his 
learning, accomplishments, wealth, rank or social position. 

"The rank is but the guinea's stamp, 
The man's the gowd for all that." 

4. God himself is the only satisfying portion of the soul. 

"Tis no' in titles nor in rank, 
'Tis no' in wealth like London bank 

To give us peace and rest; 
If happiness ha'e not her seat 
And center in the breast, 
We may be wise, or rich, or great 

But never can be blest." 

5. When kings live in splendor and luxury and irrespon- 
sibility to moral laws, maintaining vast, varied and costly 
establishments, the people must groan under onerous taxa- 
tion and servitude until revolution comes to paint hell on 
the sky. 

6. Men professing themselves to be wise become fools 
(See Romans i : 22 ; I Cor. i : 18-29). 


1. At what period of his life does Solomon fall away from 
Jehovah ? 

2. What motto by himself would serve as a heading for his fall? 

3. How does he himself describe an old age weakened and made 
miserable by sin? 


4. What the occasion of his fall? 

5. How did these women lead him astray? 

6. Of what particulars did his sin consist? 

7. Particularize his sin against Jehovah. 

8. Particularize his sin against the charter of the kingdom. 

9. Particularize his sin against the sanctity of the Mosaic mar- 

TO. What parallel to Solomon, in his sin, in modern history? 

11. How did Solomon's sin affect Jehovah, and what penalties 
did He denounce? 

12. What facts show the sweeping and far-reaching consequences 
of Solomon's fall? 

13. How do Arminians answer the question: Was Solomon's 
ppo'stasy total and final, and is he not a lost soul, and what the 
Biblical reasons for dissent from this interpretation? 

14. What great lessons from Solomon's fall? 

15. How do you reconcile I Kings 11:3 and Canticles 6:8? 





Demco. Inc. 38-293