An Interpretation of the English Bible THE HEBREW MONARCHY

An Interpretation of the English Bible


Late President of Southwestern Baptist
Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

Edited by
]. B. Cranfill

Grand Rapids, Michigan

New and complete edition
Copyright 1948, Broadman Press

Reprinted by Baker Book House
with permission of
Broadman Press

ISBN: 0_8010_2344_0

First Printing, September 1973
Second Printing, September 1976



I. Author’s Introduction 1
II. The Early Life of Samuel 6
III. The Fall of the House of Eli, and the Rise of Samuel 19
IV. The Schools of the Prophets 29
V. Samuel and the Monarchy, and His Vindication
as Judge 38
VI. Saul, the First King 47
VII. Saul, the First King (Continued) 57
VIII. The Passing of Saul and His Dynasty 65
IX. Saul’s Unpardonable Sin. and Its Penalty 75
X. David Chosen as Saul’s Successor, and His
Introduction to the Court of Saul 86
XI. The War Between Love and Hate – The Story
of a lost soul 99
XII. Saul’s Murderous Pursuit of David 110
XIII. David and His Independent Army; the End of the Duel
with Saul 120
XIV. Ziklag, Endor and Gilboa 130
XV. Historial Introduction to 2 Samuel and I Chronicles 143
XVI. David, King of Judah at Hebron, and the War
with the House of Saul 152
XVII. David Made King over All Israel, and the Capture of Jerusalem for a Capital 160
XVIII. The Wars of David 169
XIX. Three Dark Events of David’s Career 178
XX. Bringing up the Ark and the Establishment of a
Central Place of Worship 193
XXI. David’s Kindness Toward Jonathan’s Son; Birth of Solomon; Family Troubles;
the Three Years of Famine 204
XXII. The Sin of Numbering the Children of Israel,
It’s Penalty, and the History of Absalom 212
XXIII. Death of Absalom; Preparation for Solomon’s
Accession, and the Building of the Temple 219
XXIV. The Army; Civil Organization; International
Commerce; Religious Organization 228
XXV. Books of the Reign of Solomon; The Empire of
Solomon; Solomon’s Inheritance from His Father ………………………….. 236
XXVI. Solomon’s Accession, Marriage, Dream and
Remarkable Wisdom 248
XXVII. The Analysis of Solomon’s Wisdom 259
XXVIII. The Works of Solomon 269
XXIX. Dedication of the Temple 279
XXX. The Fall and End of Solomon 292


The general theme of this section is „The Hebrew Mon_
archy.” The textbook is Crockett’s Harmony of Samuel; Kings and Chronicles. The collateral textbook is Wood’s Hebrew
Monarchy. The best and most convenient commentary on
Samuel is Kirkpatrick’s, in the „Cambridge Bible.”
Other good textbooks on Samuel and his times are: Eder_
sheim’s „History of Israel,” Vol. IV; Dean’s Samuel and Saul;
Hengstenberg’s Kingdom of God in the Old Testament, Vol.
II; Hengstenberg’s Christology of the Old Testament, Vol. 1;
Stanley’s Jewish Church; Geikie’s Hours with the Bible;
Geikies’ Bible Characters – Eli, Samuel, Saul; Sampey’s Syl_
labus; Josephus. A good special commentary on Chronicles is
First Chronicles 8_10 parallels I Samuel, and the important
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, com_

mencing with Adam, it shows the persistence of national life
after the downfall of the monarchy. Its viewpoint is the rea_
storation after the captivity 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 Old Testament books) and for the un_
inspired 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 Old
Testament books prior to Samuel, and its last paragraph goes
beyond Kings in showing the connection with postexile
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 2 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 twofold: (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.
1. Considering the history and the sources of the material,
we learn from I Chronicles 29:29 that the history of the reign
of David is ascribed to three prophetsùSamuel, 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
2 Samuel extends we may well say that the writers were Sam_

uel, Nathan, and Gad, i.e., Samuel up to I Samuel 25, then
Nathan and Gad.
2. First Chronicles 27:24 tells us of the state records of
David’s reign, and from these records may have been obtained
such matter as appears in 2 Samuel 8:16_18; 20:23_26; 23:
3. In I Samuel 10:25 we learn that the charter of the king_
dom is expressly said to have been written by Samuel.
4. It is very probable that the national poetic literature
furnished Hannah’s song (I Sam. 2:1_10); David’s lament
for Abner (2 Sam. 3:33_34); David’s Thanksgiving (2 Sam.
22, which is also the same as Psalm 18); the last words of
David (2 Sam. 23:1_7). David’s lament for Saul and Jona_
than (2 Sam. 1:18_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 2 Samuel
3. The phrase „unto this day” is repeated seven times:
I Samuel 5:5; 6:18; 27:6; 30:25; 2 Samuel 4:3; 6:8; 18:18.
4. Second 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 Rehoboam’s
day had taken place. The conclusion as to the date of the pres_
ent form is that is was compiled soon after the division of the
kingdom. The canonicity of Samuel has never been questioned.
It is remarkably accurate, and in every way reliable. Each
part is the language of the contemporaneous historian who
was an eye witness 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, to wit: The Septuagint; the Chaldean, or Ara_
maic; and the Vulgate. Our manuscripts of the Septuagint
are mainly the Alexandrian Manuscript of the fifth century
A.D., and the Vatican Manuscript of the fourth century. The
Alexandrian Manuscript conforms most nearly to the Hebrew
text, there being an important variation in the Vatican Manu_
script 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 2 Samuel in the „Cam_
bridge Bible” we find in this Targum quite a remarkable
addition to Hannah’s Song, ascribing to her a prophecy that
touches the destruction 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 2 Sam_
uel except I Samuel 31, which is the same as I Chronicles 10:
2. There are others remarkably similar; for example, com_
pare 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 (chap. 28) has provoked controversies in
every age, and special attention will be given to that when
we get to it.
5. In I Samuel 1:3 will be found an entirely new name for
God. It is not found in any antecedent Old Testament book nor in many subsequent Old Testament books. The name is 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 1:1 to 4:la.
2. The judgment of Eli and the loss of the Ark, 4:.lb_7:1.
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 8_10.
2. Saul’s reign unto his rejection, chapters 11_15.
3. Decline of Saul and rise of David, chapters 16_31.
1. What the general theme of this section?
2. What the textbook?
3. What the collateral textbook?
4. What the best and most convenient commentary on Samuel?
5. What other good textbooks 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 name?
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 compila_
tion 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 commented, and what its main divisions and subdivisions?


I Samuel 1:1 to 4: la and Harmony pages 62_66.

We omit Part I of the textbook, since that first part is de_
voted 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 captivity. To put that in now would be out of
We need to emphasize the supplemental character of Chron_
icles. 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 Old Testament; 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
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 valu_
able on that account but it is still more valuable because it
presents a new aspect of Hebrew history after the captivity.
The following passages in Chronicles contain new matter: I
Chronicles 2:18_55; 3:19_24;_4_9; 11:41_47; 12; 15:1_26; 22_
29; 2 Chronicles 6:40_42; 11:5_23; 12:4_8; 13:3_21; 14:3_15;
15:1_15; 16:7_10; 17_19; 20:1_30; 21:2_4, 11_19; 24:15_22;
25:5_10, 12_16; 26:5_20; 27:4_6; 28:5_25; 29:3_36; 30_31;
32:22_23; 26_31; 33:11_19; 34:3_7; 35:2_17,25; 36:11_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 Sam_
uel 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 Old Testament books. In
the light of these important new additions, we not only see the
introduction of all subsequent Old Testament books and also
inter_Biblical books by Jews, but must note the transition in
thought from a secular Jewish kingdom to an approaching
spiritual messianic kingdom.
We thus learn that Old Testament prophecy is not limited to
distinct 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 prophetic,
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_
lion of the Old Testament books 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 super_
vision which not only makes necessary every part recorded,
but so correlates and adapts the parts as to make perfect
literary and spiritual structure which demands a New Testa_
ment 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 theological seminary.

These prophets were to be the mouthpieces of God in speak_
ing to kingly and national conscience, and for 500 years after_
ward, become the orators, poets, historians, 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 backward 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 Jerusa_
lem. 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 Shiloh.
Samuel belonged to the tribe of Levi, but was not a descend_
ant 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 we 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 be_
longed to God, and they had no land assigned them except
the villages in which they lived and the cities of the 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 in 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 bitterness in Hannah’s
soul. The history of the Mormons demonstrates that bitter_
ness always accompanies a plurality of wives. I don’t see
bow a woman can share a home or husband with any other
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 tolerated the
universal custom of the timesùa plurality of wives. From
Deuteronomy 24:1_4, we learn that the law permitted a hus_
band to get rid of a wife, but commanded him to give her a
bill of divorcement. That law was not made to encourage di_
vorcement, but to limit the evil and to protect the woman who
would suffer under divorce. Why the law even permitted these
things we see from Matthew 19:7_8. Our Saviour 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 cus_
tom all around them permitted something like that, and be_
cause 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 evilùbut when Jesus
cornea to give his statute on the subject he speaks out and says,
‘Whosoever shall put away his wife except for marital infi_
delity 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. I have a facsimile of the
òthree oldest New Testament manuscripts. What Matthew
says is there, and may not be eliminated on such principles of
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 worship 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 18:1 we learn that when the conquest was finished
Joshua, himself, placed the ark of the covenant and the taber_
nacle at Shiloh, and constituted it the central place of worship.
In this section we learn what disaster ended Shiloh as the
central place of worship. The ark was captured, and subse_
quently 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 wickedness 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 another
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 established.
Eli was high priest at Samuel’s birth. In those genealogical
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, distinctly states that Eli
judged Israel forty 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 reports 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, commencing 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 de_
scendants forever. And the descendants of thine, whom I do
not cut off 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 verst 11: „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 themselves 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 gack to the
true line, in fulfilment of the declaration in that sign. The
priesthood passes away from Eli’s descendants and goes back
where it belongsùto 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 Philistines 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 lowland on the western and
southwestern part of the Jewish territory, next to the Mediter_
ranean 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 independent for local affairs, they united in offensive
and defensive alliances against other nations, and they had
complete control of Southern Judea at this time. Joshua had
overpowered 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
subjection. They were not allowed to have even a grindstone.
If they wanted to sharpen an ax 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 ax!
Speaking of the evils of a plurality of wives, we found Han_
nah in great bitterness of heart because she had no child, and
we saw her lingering at the central place of worship, and with_
out saying words out loud, her lips were moving, and her face
was as one entranced, so that Eli thinks she is drunk. The
New Testament tells us of a certain likeness between intoxi_
cation with ardent spirits and intoxication of the Holy Spirit.
She told him that she was praying. When her child was born
she came back and said to him, „I 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 praying for them
before they are born; pray for them in the cradle, and if we
make any promise or vow to God for them, we should keep
the vow.
I know a woman who had many children and kept praying
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 house.
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 sur_
veyor, „You survey land for other people to have a home, and
have no home yourself.” So some preachers point out the
boundaries of the home in heaven and make their own bed in
Samuel’s call from God, his first prophecy, and his recogni_
tion by the people as a prophet are facts of great interest, and
the lesson from his own failure to recognize at once 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 recognize
the divine touch at first. Many a man under conviction 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 off the circulation, 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 establisheth
this earth; none but God who keepeth the feet of his saints;
none but God that has true strength; none but God that judg_
eth the ends of the earth, and the chief excellency 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
It is true that it was prophesied to Abraham that kings
should be his descendants. It is true that Moses made provi_
sion 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 religion 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 corruption. We see
it declared that there is no open vision, and it is further de_
clared that the Word of God was precious – rare.
I will now explain these two phrases in the texts, I Samuel
1:16 (A. V.), where Hannah says, „Count not thine handmaid
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. If you will turn to 2
Corinthians 6:15, you will see that Belial is shown to be the
name of Satan: „What concord hath Christ with Belial?” Get
Milton’s Paradise Lost, First Book, and read the reference to
Hophni and Phinehas as sons of Belial, and see that he cor_
rectly 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 sac-rifices as if he were a priest or high priest. It will be remember-ed 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 a president of
Baylor University, preached all over Texas a sermon on family
government, taking his text from I Samuel 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 marriage 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 prov_
erbial. ‘From what I know,’ says one, ‘it is easier to live with
two tigresses 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 I 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! 0 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 textbook?
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 law ever permit these things?
9. What is the bearing of this section of 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 of the cove_
nant 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 be_
fore 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 concep-tion of God, and give the reason of its imitation in the New Testament.
22. What was the state of religion at this time?
23. Explain the references to Belial in I Samuel 1:16; 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 Samuel 2:31?
26. Cite the passages and quotations from Geikie’s Hours With the
Bible on the evils of a plurality of wives.

I Samuel 4:lb to 7:17 and Harmony, pages 66_69.

I will 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 character, either upward or downward – growing either 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 Samuel 1:27_28; 2:18, and the last clause of verse 21; 2:26; 3:1_4; 19_21; 4:1.
The progress is: (1) 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 recognized 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
We 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 positions 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 de_
clining period of your life. For a while it will astonish you
that you are not cutting as wide a swath as you used to cut,
and unless you live only in God, that will be the bitterest hour
of your life. Very few people know how to grow old grace_
fully; 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:
1. An enemy ia strengthened to smite them. The absence of
purity, piety, veneration, and fidelity in God’s peopleùeither
his nominal people like Hophni and Phinehas, or his real peo_
ple, as Eliùalways 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 afore_
time and knew not that the Spirit of the Lord had departed
from him, and so became an easy victim of the Philistinesù
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 downfall.
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, no_
body can be against you. He knows that he cannot fight
against you when you have God back of you, but if you be_
come 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 more 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 ad_
vance couriers of disaster to God’s cause, and herald the
coming of a triumphant adversary.
When preachers 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 Israelites
were slain.
3. Stimulated by fear, the sons of Eli resorted to an expedi_
ent, tempting God. They sent for the ark of the covenant,
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 nailing up of a horseshoe 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 repentance,
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, „Nehushtan,” 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 student 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. We need not be afraid
of any nation that gives great attention to fireworksùa
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, we see
that even the cross so used falls before the crescent, the sign of
Mohammed 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.
4. 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 pre_
mature 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 central place of wor_

ship; both the ark and the tabernacle became fugitives, sepa_
rating never to meet again, and so Israel lamented after the
5. The Philistines regarded the capture of the ark, (1). 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, obligated by his captivity now to serve the Philistines
as be had heretofore ministered to Israel.
The prevalence of such conceptions in ancient times is very
evident. For ages the presence of a deity was associated 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 controlled the genie him_
self. Assyrian sculptures today exhibit the idols of vanished
nations borne in triumphant procession, and the parade is al_
ways to show that they have triumphed over the gods of that
The Hebrew prophets allude to this custom frequently. The
passages are: Isaiah 46:1; Jeremiah 48:7; 49:3; Hosea 10:6;
Daniel 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 Jerusa_
lem when he captured that city, as did Titus after our Lord’s
time, and we see in Rome today carved on the Arch, the seven_
branched golden candlestick 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: (1) 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 send_
ing 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 fa_
mous; (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 subject
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.
We 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 answered that this affliction did not re_
sult from personal sin of either of them, but that the glory of
God might be manifested. It is the most natural thing in the
world for anybody who has suffered one buffet of ill fortune
after another, to ask, „What have I done?” and it is perfectly
natural 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 de_
termine 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
be was to be appeased. I Samuel 5:7_11 gives us the first
expedient: „We will move this ark from Ashdod to the next
one of the fiye 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 Jeho_
We 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 an_
other, 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 chance.
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 wouldi 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 sooth_
sayers, 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 pre_
sented with a silver offering to commemorate 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 offense
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 beeline 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.
First Samuel 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 homecoming, and God smote that fam_
ily in a moment.
Now, a later instance: 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 Uzzah, when the ark was shaken by the oxen stum_
bling, reached up his hand to steady the ark and God struck
him dead. His attempt was well meant, but it presumed that
God was not able to take care of himself. 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 commemo_
rates the capture and restoration of the ark?
After twenty years Samuel led Israel to repentance and vic_
tory. .First Samuel 7:3_12 tells us all about it. It says that
Samuel called upon them to repent truly 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, was
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 power.
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 Philistines 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 supernatural
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?


The more important passages bearing on this subject are I
Samuel 3:1_4; 10:5, 9_12; 19:18_24. I Kings 18:13; 19:18,
20_21; 20:35; 2 Kings 2:3_5; 4:38; 6:1; I Chronicles 29:29;
2 Chronicles 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
Let us distinguish between the prophetic gift and the pro_
phetic office, and give some examples. Enoch, Noah, Abraham,
Jacob, Joseph, Moses, his seventy elders, Balaam, Joshua, and
others before Samuel’s time had the gift, but not the office;
perhaps we 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 Caiphas 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, but 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 neces_
sarily 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, particu_
larly 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 aa
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 Corinthians 12 to 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 prophetic order,
aa 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 semi_
naries, 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 him_
self, but he was mistaken.
Samuel was the founder of the first school of the prophets,
and the scripture which shows his headship is I Samuel 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 Sam_

uel’s time is shown, first, by an extract from Kirkpatrick’s
Commentary on I Samuel, page 33. He says:
Samuel was the founder of the prophetic order. Individuals
in previous ages had been endowed with prophetic gifts, but with Samuel commenced the regular succession of prophets which lasted 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 Samuel 19:18ff., imply a regular organization. These societies are only definitely mentioned again in connection with the history’ of Elijah and Elisha but doubtless continued to exist in the interval. By means of these the Order was maintained, students were educated, and common religious exercises nurtured and developed spiritual gifts.
Kirkpatrick’s is a fine commentary. The priests indeed
were instructors of the people, but the tendency of the priest_
hood 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 con_
formity 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 righteousness 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 interpreters 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 becoming 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 mon_
archy and the formalism of priesthood. In a remarkable passage
in his essay on „Representative Government,” Mr. John Stuart
Mill attributes to their influence the progress which diatin_
guiahed 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 character, 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 the statement from
Mill. He was a radical evolutionist and infidel, but a states_
man, and in studying the development of statesmanship among
the nations, he saw this singular thing in the history of the
Jews, unlike 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 reform_
ion 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 conserve_
abor 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 mission_
aries of South America.
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 corruption
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 aa 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 worshiping God. I am for a theological
seminary that will do that.
I give a modern example somewhat parallel: Mr. Spurgeon
was called to the city of London, when about nineteen years
old, to be the pastor of the old historic church of Dr. Gill, and
in his evangelical 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. There_
fore, 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 spiritually 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 belong_
ing to that school of the prophets preached in the slums of the
city, in the byways, in the highways, 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 pushcarts 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 per_
petuated in better form, a number of the almshouses for the
venerable old women who were poor and helpless, following out the suggestion in 2 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 efficiency.
It is important to note particularly what I am saying now,
because it was burnt into my heart as one of the reasons 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 contributing 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 to 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 instru_
ments 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
Old Testament you will notice how different 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 fast_
ing at heart; that there must be a rending of the soul and not
the garment as an expression of repentance; that to obey God
w better than a formal sacrifice.
Another thing they were taught, which I wish particularly to
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 Old Testament and in the New Testament; not merely
vocal, but instrumental music. The heart of a religion is ex_
pressed in its songs, and if you want to get at the heart of your
Old Testament you find it in the hymnbook 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 peo_
ple, if you will let me write their ballads.” Where is there a
man capable of measuring the influence of „How Firm a Foun_
dation,” or „Come, Thou Fount,” 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 in_
struments 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 some_
body’s soul was melted in the power of that mighty singing.
I can’t sing myself, but I can carry the tunes in my mind,
and I can be more influenced by singing than by preaching.
It waa 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 Baptist
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, „0, Jesus, My
Saviour, 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 Bunyan’s song
was a mighty revival.
The relation of the schools of the prophets to modern theo_
logical seminaries is this: The purpose was the same. And so
in New Testament 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 diligently in_
structed them in the principles and spirit of his kingdom. He
taught them in a variety of forms; in parables, in proverbs, in
exposition, illustrating his teachings by miracles, and in hun_
dreds 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 moun_
tain range, sighting back from Samuel to Abraham, only one
other peak comes into line of vision, and that is Moses.

1. What the more important passages bearing on the schools of the
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?
11. What the relation of the schools of the prophets to modern
theological serninaries?

I Samuel 8:1_22; 12:1_25 and Harmony pages 70, 74_75.

I 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 monarchy, and Samuel’s vindication when he gives up the position 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, (1)
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 suc_
cessor; that was Jehovah’s prerogative. He had retained these
sons in office, though unworthy, and had so far followed Eli’s
Nepotism has always been repugnant to the people.
It was a compliment to the late Senator Coke when his kins_
folk complained that he had never gotten them an office on the
score of kinship.
Public office is a public trust, and not for distribution of
family patronage.
But their demand displeased Samuel. He did not dispute
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 practically to get rid of an evil by legal methods. Press
them too far, and a revolution comesùmaybe a destructive one.
Samuel evinced his wisdom by carrying the case to Jehovah
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 mo_
tive. 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
2. These people meant, by rejecting Samuel, to reject
Jehovah. It was the theocracy to which in heart they objected.
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 Samuel 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 captains 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 confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to
be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards,
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 officers, and to his serv_
ants. And he will take your menservants, and your maid_
servants, 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 be_
cause of your king whom ye shall have chosen you; and the
Lord will not answer you in that day.” I do not know any_
where in literature 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: (1) 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 vicegerent, 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

„Such a ruler would necessarily stand in a unique position.
As only viceroy and representative of the true invisible King,
Jehovah, he must be pointed out beforehand by special indi_
cations, and consecrated as to a sacred office. That be should,
moreover, have commended himself to the nation by his quali_
ties 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 free_
men, 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_destruction. But such a man would
necessarily be in loving sympathy with him under whom he
held his authority, to be king after his heart; a man truly re_
ligious; 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 for_
bidden to act in anything as a free agent. The only counter_
part to such a state of things in modern times, was the titular
rule of the Mikado in Japan, side by side with the real Em_
peror, 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 extraordi_
nary custom was the same as followed the rule of Samuel
in Israel. From the lowest weakness and moral degeneracy
the Getae roused themselves under the leading of the holy
man and the phantom king, to a thorough and lasting refor_
mation. Indeed, they so turned themselves to a nobler life that
their national vigor showed itself in a puritanical strictness
and steadfast bravery, which carried their banners far and
wide over new territories, till their kingdom was infinitely ex_
tended. Once recognized, such a complete subordination to
the representative 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 sub_
ordinate in the most minute detail to the command of Sam_
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 Jeho_
vah’s plan, as set forth in their previous history and law, and
in their subsequent history.
1. In Genesis 17:16, in the covenant which God made with
Abraham, he promised that kings should be his descendants.
2. In Deuteronomy 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 multiply horses to him_
self 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 himself, 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 liand, or 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 700 wives, besides 300 con_
cubines. Every king, in his subsequent history, who violated
this kingdom charter, or who refused to hear and obey Jeho_
vah’s prophet, was punished by Jehovah. And to the extent
that when one of them respected this charter, be 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 unwilling as
well as the willing. To deny his rule is not to vacate responsi_
bility to his judgment. That it was immaterial whether the
ruler was called judge or king, is illustrated by a relative pas_
sage 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 Samuel
12:1_25 which gives Samuel’s address and contains the follow_
ing points:
1. They had to bear witness and have the testimony re_
corded, to the wisdom, purity, and fidelity of Samuel’s ad_
ministration 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 punishment 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 harvesttime when in
ordinary cases it never rained. Then lifting his face, he spoke
to Jehovah for a sign, and instantly the heavens were black_
ened, 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 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 forsake
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:

l. With the farewell address of Moses, (Deut. 29:1_6 to
2. Joshua’s farewell address (Josh. 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 Washington’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 Wash_
ington wore on that day, including his spurs. My old teacher
made me memorize Washington’s farewell address.
Two doctrines in Samuel’s address need to be emphasized:
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 II. 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 cer_
tain man, preaching in many counties, taking the position 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 forbid 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 particular 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, un_
less he made this point: „I will do anything that God wants
Die to do to be saved, except a certain thing;” that if he re_
served any one point on which he would not surrender to God,
then he did not surrender at all; and I insisted that in leaving
out the „mourner’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 praying 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?
10. Prove that this kind of a kingdom was not repugnant to Je_
hovah’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 emphasized?
18. That Texas illustration of the second doctrine?

I Samuel 9:1 to 12:25 and Harmony, pages 70_74.

I devote an extended discussion to chapters 9 to II 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 dealing with every subsequent
king. Before entering upon the history of the first king, let us
state tersely the salient points which define the Hebrew mon_
1. A government by kings was not an afterthought with
Jehovah, but was one of the predetermined stages of the na_
tional development and a forecast preparatory to the setting
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 subsequent en_
largements by Samuel. This charter made the written law, the
Pentateuch, the constitution of the kingdom. The king must
make the law his Vade Mecum, 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 Je_
hovah, coming through his now established order of the proph_
ets, 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 assem_
bly, 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 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 cojoined, 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 bring_
ing out the spiritual meaning of the law and calling for re_
pentance 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 contem’
poraneous prophets. On this account Wood’s Hebrew Mon-
archy, though not perfect in its arrangement, excels Crockett’s
Harmony as a textbook.

A quotation from a prophet pertinent to the establishment
of the monarchy considered in the preceding chapter is Hosea
13:9_11: „It is thy destruction, 0 Israel, that thou art against
me against thy help. Where now is thy king, that he may
gave 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 wrath.”
There were several ways by which the people, as well as the
king, could get at the will of Jehovah apart from the written
Jaw, viz.:
1. By submitting a question to the Oracle abiding in the
ark of the covenant, to be answered by the high priest,
wearing his ephod, through the Urim and Thummim (I Sam.
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 —
dividual, 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 condition 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,” (Hos. 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 known his choice to the people publicly (I Sam.
10:17_21). Acting under Jehovah’s direction, the prophet pre_
pares 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 (I Sam. 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 designation 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 sub_
sequent general assembly at Gilgal (I Sam. 10:8; 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 particularly
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 in_
tensely 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 Samuel 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 an_
other 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 desig_
nated 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 of 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 notwith_
standing all the things that have occurred so far) when at that
great gathering at Mizpah where he was to be publicly shown
as king, Saul hides, and when the question comes up and when
the lot determined 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 bag_
gage 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 es_
sential in a particular case to prove the doctrine, and what
the application to Saul, and explain I Samuel 10:5_6, 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 regeneration, and sec_
ond, 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 re_
generated man, or that he was finally lost, deprives the doc_
trine 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 consideration, the passages
relied upon to establish the contention that Saul was a truly
regenerated man, a spiritual child of God, are:
First, Samuel’s promise, „Thou shalt be turned into another
man” (I Sam. 10:5_6).
Second, the historian’s declaration of the fulfilment of the
promise, „God gave him another heart” (I Sam. 10:9_10). A
careful examination of both passages (ASV) settles con_
clusively 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 fulfilment, 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 was the nature of
the power exerted, and of the resultant change? My answer
is that the Spirit power promised was the gift of prophesying,
which throughout the Scripture 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 pur_
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 Pentecost was not to
regenerate the apostles, all of whom were already Christians,
but to assure their hearts, and, as signs, to accredit them to
In I Corinthians 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
enduements of the Spirit, given for signs, with the grace of
regeneration expressed in the abiding fruits of faith, hope, and
love. Regeneration is one thing in all cases. The miraculous
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 regen_
eration, evidenced by faith, hope, and love, would abide.
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 Jehovah
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 with_
drawn from him when becoming unworthy of office, Jehovah
no longer wants him as king. But, perhaps, the strongest evi_
dence in the Bible that Saul was not a regenerated man is to
be found in God’s contrast between Saul and Solomon on this
very point. (2 Sam. 7:13_16 and I Chron. 17:11_13 ASV.)
Here it is unequivocally taught that Saul was not a regen_
erated man, but Solomon was. The regeneration of Solomon,
as contrasted 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 alien.
3. Being a child, God’s loving_kindness would not be with_
drawn, 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 argument we may
add that a miraculous, because supernatural, gift may be be_
stowed 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 2 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 manifestation 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, be_
cause 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 un_
righteousness. 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 truth.”
And it is precisely on this account that John says, „Beloved,
believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they be
of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the
world” (John 4:1). No miracle can accredit a doctrine con_
trary 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;
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

1. Why devote any extended discussion to chapters 9_11?
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 Samuel 10:5_6; 10:9_10?
10. What 13 the difference between the grace of regeneration and
the miraculous gift of the Spirit? Illustrate by New Testament in_
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?


It is contended by some that the reference to Saul’s „another
heart” is equivalent to the „new heart” of Ezekiel 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 dominant 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 like these do we find in the low,
avaricious, treacherous life of Judas.
Believers in apostasy use the life of Saul to prove apostasy,
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 dem_
onstration they may not hope for support in any other. But
they may ask, „What then does Paul mean in Galatians 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 Galatians 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 salvation by works, have fallen
away from grace. They have turned from one doctrine to the
opposite one, as often happens in practical life, without mean_
ing 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 understand 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 acceptance 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 question: „Who is their father?”
meaning, „What in their descent puts the prophets above
Saul that you should wonder at the bestowal on him of the
prophetic gift?” God bestowed it, and not on account of family
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 pointing out Achan, the
one criminal out of millions (Josh. 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 children will not
accept Jehovah’s choice of a king.
3. The spirit of Jehovah comes upon Saul and demonstrates
his fitness for the high honor by leading to the deliverance 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 una_
nimity 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 glori_
ous beginning of his reign with the blood of political
4. The people now being prepared in mind to accept Jeho_
vah’s choice, under divine direction, they were formally and
officially committed by the ratification at Gilgal in solemn
assembly, with appropriate sacrifices, and great rejoicing of
both king and people, followed by Samuel’s surrender 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 con_
quest 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 I The later history 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 Samuel 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 mouth_
piece, or penman, of Jehovah in teaching, reforming, or
recording. He was by inspiration God’s direct legatee, am_
bassador, or representative, with authority above king or
There is a humorous play on the common version of I Sam_
uel 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 per_
ceived his father’s asses to be.” The words of the text in that
version are: „We saw they were nowhere.”

First Samuel 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 per_
sonal appearance is described in I Samuel 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 armor 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 treas_
ury except spoils gathered in battle, and the whole country
was impoverished by raids and invasions of his many enemies,
First Samuel 13:19_23 shows the pitiable condition of the peo_
ple as to artificers, implements 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 ax, 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 sharpen
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 statement has its
great lessons.
No people can become or remain safe and prosperous who
are dependent on other nations for mechanicians, manufac_
tured 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 Carolinian, entitled: Helper’s Impending
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 burned 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, resting
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 site down at a Northern dining table covered
by a Northern table_cloth, on which are Northern cups, sau_
cers, 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 Northern buggy; or having tied around
his neck a Northern cravat, 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 be
is buried.”
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 transportation, in six
months they 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 I
If all this is true among nations, you can understand what
I mean when I said woe to the South, where the people have
the views of sound doctrine, when it sends its preaching im_
plements to a Northern radical_critic grindstone in order to
put on point or edge. I tell you, we ought never to cease pray_
ing that God will bless our Southwestern Seminary, and es_
tablish it in the hearts of the people.
From a comparison of I Samuel 13:1_2, and I Samuel 14:
47_52 we must suppose:
1. That the text of 13:1 is defective. Note the difference 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 campaigns.
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 characteristics 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 life was one series of battles,
beating back the enemies who were pouring in on every side.
Then considering 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 Ezekiel 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 Galatians 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 aa
synonymous in 2 Samuel 9:7.
6. What humorous play on the common version of I Samuel 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 chapters 13:1_2 and
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?

I Samuel 13:1 to 14:46 and Harmony, pages 75_79.

There are real difficulties, puzzling to a Bible student, in
I Samuel: 13_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 the
first sentence, 13:1. According to the historian’s formula else_
where, 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 be began to reign, and
he reigned over Israel forty years,” but our present Hebrew
text cannot be so rendered, nor can we satisfactorily make out
the text from a comparison with the versions. 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 internal evidence, it amounts only
to conjecture. The unrevised Septuagint 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 Version 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
here 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 him_
self, . . . ” 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 judg_
ment 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 the first sentence should follow the usual form_
ula of the historian, and that if we had the true text, it would
so appear.
The second text difficulty is in 13:5, which gives the Philis_
tines „thirty thousand chariots,” a number which seems to be
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 1000.
The third text difficulty is the word, „ark,” in 14:18. We
would naturally conclude from I Samuel 7:1_2, and from I
Chronicles 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 Sep_
tuagint, 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 Samuel 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 diffi_
culty is to know just where these wars should be placed. Evi_
dently 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 state_
ment 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 life in this manner.” 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, Jose_
phus says that Saul reigned eighteen 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 unquestionably 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. Chapter 13
presents Jonathan a grown man and avalorous captain. There_
fore the author assumes that between chapters 12, when Saul’s
reign properly commenced) and chapter 13, we must allow an
interval 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 violates
the kingdom charter. For years, then, we presume that Saul
was faithful to that charter, prosperous and successful in every
direction, but this period of prosperity is followed by a tri_
umph of the Philistines, who so dominated the land as to bring
about the conditions as described in our text, I Samuel 13:6_7,
19_23, and it is at this period of national disaster that chapter
13 commences the story. Indeed by this disaster God provi_
dentially 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 Samuel 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. Another
scholar contends that it means an officer who at that point
collected the tribute from the subjugated Hebrews, but none
of the versions so renders the word, 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, pity, reverence,
and especially the gift of spiritual interpretation, the author
has a profound respect. According to Edersheim, whose argu_
ments sustaining his contention are so weighty, the boldest
might well hesitate to claim dogmatically 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 inter_
val between the history in chapter 12 and the history in chap_
ter 13, but it is continuous; therefore the wars (14:47) with
Ammon, Edom, and Syria, follow the victory over the Philis_
tines recorded in chapter 13, and the hard conditions under
the domination of the Philistines recorded in chapter 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 begin_
ning of his reign, and with propriety place later the second
test in the case with Amalek, resulting in his personal rejec_
tion. 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 chapter 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
(13:1) 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 satis_
factory, 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 smiting
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 following are the events,
in order, leading up to his failure under the first test to which
he was subjected: It will be remembered that Saul was made
king with the special view of delivering Israel from the Philis_
tines, and that having only 3,000 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 Philistines,
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 appropriate sacrifices, the
war would be undertaken under Jehovah’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 destroyed by the
mighty army of the Philistines. In this case it tried his pa_
tience sorely to wait seven days, his army melting, the panic
increasing, the Philistine army near and threatening.
This was the condition of a test of his character. It is cer_
tain that unless there could be assurance from Jehovah that
he would lead and manifest his power, the panic would in_
crease. 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 kingdom
that the king must wait upon Jehovah’s will as expressed
through his prophet. Only in this way could the kingdom en_
dure. 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 provision 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 family.
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 armor_bearer, found
that they could be approached from the mountainside, and the
test was, when he came within sight and hearing of the Philis_
tines 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 to 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 Philistines, so that their whole army was in inextricable
Saul, from his lockout, perceiving the confusion in the
Philistine army and hearing the sound of battle, and still wish_
ing 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 continuing, he then
restrained the priest before he had time to give Jehovah’s an_
swer through the Urim and Thummirn, 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, Jonathan
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 re_
freshed 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 command, 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 some_
body had sinned, and after stopping the unlawful method of
eating food, he appeals to the high priest to determine for him
who had disobeyed his order. The lot disclosed that it was
Jonathan, who frankly avowed it. Saul announced his death j
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 inquire 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 re_
sponsibility of a leader is also admitted, 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 con_
ditions) nor how many should desert, nor how few remained,
nor how strong the enemy, nor how formidable their equip_
ments, if only Jehovah be with them; and it made no difference
how strong an army ‘Saul might have, nor how few in compari_
son with the enemy, nor how much superior his own equip_
ment to that of the foe, he was doomed to failure if Jehovah
was against him. Therefore, when, through fear and impa_
tience, he deliberately violated the central thought in the

charter of the kingdom, it was well that the kingdom should
pass to another 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 ascer_
taining 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 chap_
ter, settles the question personally for Saul, as to whether he
is to remain king.
The last paragraph of chapter 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, (1) that sore war with the Philistines prevailed
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 foreigners, aa the
Janizaries of the Sultan of Turkey; the Scottish 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 Rizpah,
Saul’s concubine, his two children by her, and his grandchil_
dren, 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 him_
self, 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 ap_
pease one of Saul’s sins; Jonathan’s son was crippled by his
nurse, and afterward 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_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 advo_
cated 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 m 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 in this connection?
14. What is the nature of the last paragraph of 14:47_52?
15. Was this custom of Saul’s peculiar to him?
16. Is this summary a full account of Saul’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?

I Samuel 15:1_35; and Harmony, pages 79_80.

It is needful to devote an extended discussion to this one
chapterù1 Samuel 15. The matters to be considered are stem,
awful, deep, and far_reaching, involving doctrines concerning
the sovereignty and supremacy of God over nations and rulers,
and his judicial administration in irreversible punitive judg_
It is a caricature of God, divesting him of holiness and jus_
tice, 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 sentiment developed
into a probation after death, and a purification by the fires of
purgatory equal in atoning and cleansing power to the blood
of Christ. Such sentimentalists find I Samuel 15 a nut as hard
to crack as our Lord’s own teaching concerning his final judg_
ment and the eternity of punishment. Four passages serve
well as an introduction to this chapter:
1. Jehovah’s own declaration of his character and attributes
to Moses, (Exodus 34:6_8: „And Jehovah passed by before
him, and proclaimed, Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and
gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness and
truth; keeping lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving ini_
quity 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 worship 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 na_
tions who had left the territory assigned to them as children 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 application 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 Genesis
26:12, 16; I Chronicles 1:36. If so, they are out of the terri_
tory 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 Exodus 17:8_15, on which occasion their doom
was announced by Jehovah: „I will utterly blot out the re_
membrance of Amalek from under Heaven. . . . Jehovah will
have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” When
Israel had sinned at Kadesh they combined with the Canaan_

ites 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 pro_
nounced at Rephidim, and urges Israel to execute Jehovah’s
will when they are established in the land, Deuteronomy 25:
We find in far later times the last Amalekite known in his_
tory, Hainan at the Persian court, seeking the destruction of
captive Israel (Esther 3_8), and see him hanged on the gibbet
erected for Mordecai. And now, as Saul is victorious over all
his enemies, Samuel, as God’s prophet, demands 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 purpose to establish a na_
tion 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 destruction,”
and hence no part of the spoils must be used to aggrandize the
executor, or for offerings on Jehovah’s altar – they are „de_
voted.” 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 admon_
ished him.
In later Jewish history, Nebuchadnezzar, the executioner of
the divine will against Jerusalem, is called „God’s Ax,” and
when the ax presumed to attribute to its own prowess the de_
feat of Israel, God humbles him as he did Saul; and when his
successor, Belshazzar, blasphemously misuses the sacred vessels
of the destroyed 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 destruction
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 ac_
cepted 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 ths 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 inter_
cession of Abraham, when Sodom was doomed and Lot res_
cued: „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 plagues.
The same principle of discrimination in divine justice is seen in the parable of the tares (Matt. 13:24_30), in the separa-tion at the great judgment announced by our Lord (Matt.25:
31_46). In the same discourse, our Lord had given to the dis-ciples 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 discrimination, expresses the thought thus: „The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment
unto the day of judgment” (2 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 Ama_
lek 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 commis_
sioned by Samuel, Saul summons all the national militia,
210,000 strong, and smote Amalek from Havilah in the South
Country unto the boundary 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 fallings, and the lambs, and
all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them; but
everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utter_
ly” (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 different scene, one of
the most touching in all history.


I Samuel 15:10_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 charter
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 victory.
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 justifica_
tion 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 permanent
withdrawal of the Holy Spirit, by the sending instead an evil
spirit to guide him to ruin, by the permanent separation of the
prophet from him, by refusing ever again to 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 Samuel 16:1, for the permanent departure of the Holy
Spirit, succeeded by an evil spirt, see I Samuel 16:14; for
God’s refusal to communicate with Saul any more in any way,
gee I Samuel 28:6; to show that God’s refusal to hear inter_
cession for a sin is a mark of its unpardonable character, see
Jeremiah’s reference, Jeremiah 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 con_
cerning 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 declara_
tion 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, (1) who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, (2)
and counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanc_
tified 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 bleat_
ing sheep and lowing herds are within sight and sound to con_
vict 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 sacrifice 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 irrevocable 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 delight in
burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Jeho_
vah? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken
than 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 doc_
trine does not undervalue the form of godliness, but it does
show the superiority of the power of godliness. 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: Psalm 40:6_8;
51:16_17; Isaiah 1:11_15; Jeremiah 7:22_23; Hosea 6:6;
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 Jeremiah 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 excommunication,
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 children, the thought
in Jeremiah being that aliens without faith in the thing sig_
nified are not commanded to observe the form.
We come to another great doctrine drawn from Saul’s con_
fession, „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 remorse
or the fear of the consequences made manifest by Samuel. In_
deed, he trembled at the appalling doom pronounced upon him,
but he never repented of his sin. Spurgeon 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 Saul says, „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 Spurgeon’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 aa „repent” in the
second case.
Whenever repentance is attributed to God, it does not mean
that he has changed his mind, but that a sinner’s change of
conduct has necessitated a change in God’s attitude toward
the sinner.
The thought is fully illustrated thus in Genesis 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 corrupted.
It does not mean absolutely the whole race, for the context
shows that Noah was an exception, and that God did not re_
pent concerning Noah, but continued the race in him.
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 forgiving of
sins, but you should also stress that when this mercy is des_
pised, when it is disregarded until the heart becomes past
feeling, then come hell and eternal punishment.
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 discussion?
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 Old Testament proofs and New Testament 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 doctrine found in Samuel’s reply to Saul, I Samuel 15:22?
17. What other prophets enforced the doctrine, and how does the
New Testament endorse the prophets?
18. What irrational conclusions have the critics drawn from these prophetical utterances, and what the answer to them, especially on Jeremiah 7:22_23?
19. What the sixth 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.”

I Samuel 16:1 to 17:54 and Harmony, pages 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 experiences 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 understand
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 im_
port of the Mosaic law are most abundant in David’s life, his
worship, and the literature arising therefrom.
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 exposition
of it by our Lord and his apostles. Fortunately for the preach_
ers of our day, there is a rich and trustworthy literature con_
cerning this most notable king of history. Indeed, in view of

this literature, so easily obtained, that preacher is unexcusable_
who remains in ignorance concerning David. No exigency of
life, whether arising from poverty, sickness, or any other
cause, can excuse the preacher who fails to study, in a thor_
ough 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, to wit:
Josephus, Edersheim, Dean, Geikie, Stanley, Hengstenberg,
and to the three commentaries – Kirkpatrick on Samuel in the
Cambridge Bible, Blaikie 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 of the parables.
It will be observed that the textbook 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 Samuel 16_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,
to wit:
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 struggling
in the mother’s womb, the history in each case remarkable.
You will find the history in Genesis 25:21_26; 38:1_30.
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 comes:
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 state_
ments that he was the seventh son and the eighth son are
I Samuel 16:10_11; 17:12; 2 Samuel 17:25; I Chronicles 2:15;
27:18. This section presents eight sons, of whom David is
declared to be the youngest, and in the next chapter it ex_
pressly says that Jesse had eight sons, and again affirms that
David was the youngest; but I Chronicles 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 by his
second wife; therefore he was the seventh son in the sense
meant, and yet he was the eighth and the youngest son of
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 tragedies
of his life. His three oldest brothers are mentioned in this
section as being in Saul’s army, and Elihu, another brother,
when David organized the kingdom, becomes captain 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, Jonadab, becomes an
occasional counselor 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, failed to comply with the
kingdom charter, losing the dynasty by the first, and his per_
sonal right to reign by the second, but he is yet king de facts
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 Phi_
listines still wage 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 per_
sonal 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 desig_
nation 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 con_
spire 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
The choice surprises everybody but God. Neither Samuel
nor the family, nor David himself would have judged as Je_
hovah judged. Seldom indeed can parents, brother or sister
point out the member of the family who shall become illus_
trious, nor does the illustrious one himself always anticipate
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 pic_
tures to himself a homecoming when all the other members of
his family shall find shelter under his wings, and all the neigh_
bors who had failed to recognize his budding genius shall stand
with mouths agape, while salvos of artillery, unfurled banners,
flowerdecked streets proclaim his honor, while bands are play_
ing „See, the Conquering Hero Comes!” But time, the great
revealer, shows these egotistical fancies to be as „the airy
nothings” of a dream.
A boy in East Texas offered to take me from one preaching
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 announcing
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 Johnstons 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: (1) a right state of heart
toward God, (2) the discipline of preparation and training,
and (3) dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit.
Only men of great heart, great preparation, and great power
with God achieve anything worth while in the ministry.
David’s early life in the fields and valleys and mountains,
with its isolation and loneliness given to meditation and re_
flection, 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 de_
clare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handi_
work. 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 soli_
tary grapple with the lion and the bear that would prey upon
his flock, and gave him a matchless 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 fiber 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 association 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 hard.
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 anointing, 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 constrained 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 persecutions
such as seldom fall to the lot of man. His personal appearance
is described in 16:12 and 17:2, as ruddy of face, bril_
liant 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 occasion
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_58, that is, Saul’s asking
Abner, „Who is this young stripling?” and Abner’s saying, „I
don’t know.” They don’t seem ever to have heard of him.
Some critics contend that I Samuel 16_17 are from different
historic sources, and that they contradict each other flatly
and irreconcilably in giving the occasion of David’s intro_
duction to the court of Saul. Moreover, 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 inexplicable, 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
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 serv_
ants 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 playings, the cure seems permanent, the human helper
returns to the care of his flocks and is swiftly forgotten. You
will understand their ignorance from the fact that Samuel’s
anointing of David was not in the public eye, but in private,
and the spiritual endowment 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 playing were in the sick room and not before the court.
Moreover, Saul himself, while possessed of an evil spirit, suf_
fered from mental aberration, which naturally impaired his
memory, and while the record of the harp playing shows that
Saul loved the healer, we all know by experience how grateful

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 & saint would be;
When the devil is well,
The devil of a saint is he I
Solomon says in his penitential book, „There is no remem_
brance of former generations,” (Eccles. 1:11). But there is no
need to quote this general reflection of Solomon, since one of
the most striking characteristics of human courts is that pres_
ence 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 contra_
dictions 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 preceded
the Goliath incident. Indeed, the evidence is positive that
David did not continue at Saul’s court on his first introduction.
You were told in 2 Samuel 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 madness
of a highland chief. In which romance is this incident related?
I will ask also, What did Shakespeare say about the man de_
void 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 cus_
tom, 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, according to the usual custom, curses the gods
of the people that he challenges. This happens for forty days
in succession. 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 sometime send provisions
to students in school, and David is appointed to carry them,
and when he gets there, he hurriedly puts the provisions 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 had 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 battlefield where men only ought to be?” David
responds that nothing he has said was out of place, and leaves
the brethren, who did not believe 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 under_
take it.
Saul, who had offered an immense reward to anyone who
would accept the challenge and defeat the giant, including 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! ever try to fight as some other man fights. Don’t
try to preach like Brother Truett. You can’t do it. Don’t
imitate him.
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, witnessed 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 forward.
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 Philistines 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 the 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 Psalm, 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?
10. 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 anoint_
ing 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 sinner?
22. What apropos proverb concerning the devil?
23. What David’s personal appearance?
24. How do you dispose of the apparent contradiction between 16:14_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 high_
land 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 him?
30. What the occasion of David’s presence on the battlefield?
31. Why his indignation that no Israelite responded to the challenge,
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 sling?
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 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?

I Samuel 18:1 to 19:17 and Harmony, pages 84_87.

This discussion commences at I Samuel 18:1, and here we
are confronted, first of all, by another text difficulty. We saw
in a former discussion that about 27 verses of chapter 17 did
not appear in the Septuagint, 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 chap_
ter 17 strictly in his history of the Jews, but when we come to
the omissions in chapter 18 from the Septuagint, Josephus does
not give them. I repeat that our present Hebrew text was
derived from late manuscripts of about the ninth or tenth cen_
tury. I do not mean to say that there were no Hebrew texts
before that, for Jerome, who translated the whole Bible into
Latin, the edition called the Vulgate, in the fourth century,
had Hebrew texts before him, and in a Roman Catholic Eng_
lish 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 fourteen verses of. chapter 18 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 chap_
ters 17_18 as being a part of the Word of God.
Before commencing to expound this section I call attention
to a word in I Samuel 18:27, „tale” – „a full tale.” That is
an old English word not much used now. I give an example
of its old English 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 shepherds 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 I Samuel 18:30ù”set,” I
„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 Jonathan’s ,
bow and arrows are called „artillery.” Our meaning of the
word „artillery” is confined to cannon, but the original 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 the 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 observa_
tion, that in I Samuel 18_26, 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 are:
l. These nine chapters (18_26) 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
bate of David, and we see Satan inspiring the hate and Jeho_
vah inspiring the love. That is the first lesson of these nine
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 re_
markable 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 mil_
lions 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 provoca_
tions, 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 in_
fluence 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 of
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 unlike David – he sold his country to the British and
became a general in the British army.
In studying Roman history we see the same thing in Corio_
lanus. When the Romans mistreated this great general 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 descrip_
tion of the progress of the passions, whether good or bad, ever
developing until each one comes to a final crystallization.
More than once I have told you that power of the historian in
I Samuel in tracing developments.
4. The fourth lesson is that both hate and love recognize 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 remorse
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 cove_
nants 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?” Often_
times 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 endeavor_
ing to thwart the establishment of the kingdom of God and
using Saul and others as his instruments, and Jehovah pro_
ceeding to establish his kingdom and using David, Jonathan,
and others as his instruments.
If 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 undeserved afflictions
came upon him, 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 interested 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 de_
scribed 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 an_
tiphonally, 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 I Samuel 18:8_9.
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 awhile Saul was not under the possession of the
demon, but here comes a word from our Lord fitting the case
exactly. It is found in Matthew 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
be 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
The most notable instance of this that ever came within my
experience was at a meeting that I held in the old Providence
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 impelled 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 experience, 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
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 life. 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. This is one of the consequences
that the Spirit of God has left – fear. He was afraid, and he
was afraid of David, so he takes another step to destroy Da_
vid. 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 might perish by the hands of the Philistines, in
some of the fights. We have an old saying coming from Vir_
gil, „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 meaning 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 were 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 Philistines and
bring evidence that you have killed them and complete 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 increas_
ing 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 no longer fool with that
kind of situation and he left and went to his own private
house. There is a limit to the power of music. True, Shakes_
peare 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 Jonathan 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 Jonathan, so David went to his
home saying that he could not stay near Saul without pro_
voking death.
Then follows an incident that David commemorates in the
Psalms. They surround his house. One of the most despicable
acts of tyranny is what is called „domiciliary visitation.”
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 Independence 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) to_
morrow 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 sol_
diers came in to arrest David she said, „You see he is sleep_
ing,”and they waited till morning and David got away.

1. What textual difficulty in I Samuel 18, and what the discussion
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 Samuel 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 Romans
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 persistent
and murderous attacks of Saul without a parallel, and what two great men under less provocation became traitors to their native land?
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.
16. 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?

I Samuel 19:18 to 22:23 and Harmony, pages 87_91.

Let us trace in the Old Testament the usage of the word,
„teraphim,” which occurs in I Samuel 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 fivefold question: (1) 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 command_
ment? (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 God.
We find the first use of it in Genesis 31:19, 26, 31, 34. That
chapter shows how Jacob and his wives and children 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 Ra_
chel 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_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 con_
secrates his own son to be a priest, but eventually there comes

along a Levite, who is a descendant of Moses through Ger_
ghom, 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 find 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 2 Kings 23:24, in the early part of the great refor_
mation 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 law.
We find it next in order of time in Hosea 3:4, where a pre_
diction is made that Israel for a long time shall be without
king or ephod or teraphim, and the last use is in Ezekiel
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 appoints
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: (1) 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 hu_
man 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 im
ages were oftenest worshiped as gods, the teraphim oftenest
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 Micah’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 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 Roman_
ists 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 sal_
vation to her. Even the pope himself says, in one of his proc_
lamations, 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 im_
ages, 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., „breakers 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 sym_
pathy 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 2 Samuel 3, she came unwillingly, and
at a still later date when David brought the ark of the covenant
from Kirjath_jearim to put it in Jerusalem and participated
in the religious 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 2 Samuel 6:23 that
Michal to the day of her death had no children, with the decla_
ration in 2 Samuel 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 Gibeonites.
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 Fort Worth and to
Naioth of Fort Worth,” i.e., the Seminary of Fort 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 succession. 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
The compliment to Naioth is this: A number 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 overpowered 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_protection
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 Jona_
than’s solemn promise that if his father meant evil that he
would inform David, and the plan they arranged to test
whether Jonathan’s second 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 ar_
ranged 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 sacrifices 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 Jonathan told him, according to
the arrangement made with David, at which Saul became
furious against Jonathan and denounced him in awful lan_
guage, 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 are king
be good to my family.” We will have some sad history on
that later, about whether David did fulfil his solemn pledge to
Jonathan to be good to Jonathan’s family when David had
the power.
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, Dog, the
Automat, 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 Pharisees
were springing questions on our Lord he showed them that the
sabbath law, like 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 fam_
ished, 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 Dog went back
and told Saul, he sent for the whole family of the priests and
they came, and he demanded why they had sheltered 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 Dog, this Automat, took great
pleasure in killing all of them except one. 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 believed
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 himself from the dan_
ger of death that threatened him he feigned madness, and so
deceived the king. A North American Indian 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 dis_
tress 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 400 men that has never been
equalled 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 rely_
ing upon the fact that Ruth, the Moabitess, was an ancestress
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
The great sermons in our day which have been preached
on this part of David’s career are: (1) Melville’s sermon on
David’s feigning madness at the court of Achish. A remarkable
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 illustrate how a similar class
of people gathered around Christ, and he became a captain
over them. Everyone 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 be became a captain over
them. It is a great sermon.

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 puts a pillow of goat’s hair at the head thereof and covered it with the „clothes,” answering the following questions: (1) Is the word, „teraphim,” ever used in a good sense? (2) What was it? (3) Waa its use a violation of the first or second commandment? (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 f. Samuel 6:23 with 2 Samuel 21:8.
3. Fleeing from Saul, with whom does David rightly seek refuge,
and what the distinction between Ramah and Naioth in 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
5. Give the main points of David’s next attempt at self_protection,
show why he resorted to it, and what the result.
6. With whom 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 him?
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?

I Samuel 23:1 to 26:25 and Harmony, pages 91_96.

This section is very thrilling, containing many stirring ad_
ventures and hairbreadth 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 engaging 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 unequaled
in history as a mobile fighting force, who had gathered around
him. Never before nor since have more heroes and champions
been found in a band of 400, rapidly recruited to 600. As is
quite natural, some of them are both desperate and evil char_
acters. They harbor in caves or sleep under rocks, and from
the mountaintops, 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 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 com_
munication 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 pur_
poses of his enemies.
3. The school of the prophets, Jehovah’s mouthpieces, are
for him, and Gad, their great representative, acts as his daily
counselor – Gad who shall become one of the historians of his
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 defenseless cities of his people by smiting their
Philistine invaders, preserves the exposed farms and folds of
the villages from their marauding bands. Not all Saul’s army
is such a defense 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 im_
mediately 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 retire_
ment 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
An example of this patriotism of David, and the ungrateful
return to him is found in this section. From it we learn that
when David, at a hazard so great that his own dauntless cham_
pions 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 knowledge, 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 Jeho_
vah concerning the secret purposes of men eclipsed all knowl_
edge to be derived from spies, and so saved the king of Israel.
This parallel we find in 2 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 Rehoboam), in private coun_
sel with his officers, would designate a place where be 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 counselors 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 Samuel 23:6.
The text here says that Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech, had
joined David at Keilah, but I Samuel 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 pur_
suit, and Jehovah’s deliverance, are described in just two
verses of the text, I Samuel 23:14_15: „And David abode in
the wilderness in strongholds and remained in the wilderness
of Ziph, and Saul sought him every day, but God delivered
him not into Saul’s hands. And David saw that Saul was
come out to seek his life, and David was in the wilderness 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 them!
Just here comes Jonathan’s last interview with David, which
is given in three verses, I Samuel 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 house.
Let us now take up David’s first escape from the treachery
of the Ziphites, and how that escape was commemorated. Saul
couldn’t find David in the wood, but the Ziphites (for it was
in the wood of Ziph) knew where be was, and they told Saul
where he was, and so Saul, guided by these treacherous Ziph_
ites, 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 off just before he
closes up the trap around David and go and fight the Philis_
tines; and your record says that place is renamed in commem_
oration this simple word, „Selahammahlekoth,” which means
the rock of escape. If you were to visit the place the guide
will show you today „Selahammahlekoth” – 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 Chedorlaorner led
his army by Engedi. It was a town whose inhabitants 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. Bursting out of the mountainside is a
spring of considerable volume, 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 the mountainside, 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 anything
within, but one hidden back a little distance can see distinctly
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 refer_
ence to the place you will find some very fine references in the
following books: Thompson’s Land and the Book, from which
we have had quotations; Robinson’s Researches in Bible
Lands; Tristram’s Land of Israel; and one of the best is
McGarvey’s Lands of the Bible. 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 scat_
tered 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
bravest 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 particularly to 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 re_
warded 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 custom 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 king.
It is evident from I Samuel 24:9:26:19 that some persistent,
insidious slander, ever at Saul’s side, kept his wrath stirred up
against David, and like a sinister Iago played upon Saul’s
weakness, ever fanning by whisperings the flame of his jeal_
ousy. 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 song of his would_be victim, and all

the vileness of his demoniacal nature memorialized 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 Abraham’s day, dies. Later we will
have an analysis of his character.
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 at least to 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. In_
deed, 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 con_
cerning him, took a magnificent 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 anything until the next morning, 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 prevail_
ing in that day. Many preachers have preached sermons, some
of them foolish and some of them really great, on „Nabal, the
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 oftentimes later), goes into
the camp of Saul with his 3,000 picked veterans. Saul is sleep_
ing, and Abner, his great general, 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, 1s this they voice, my son David?’ (as you know,
David was his son_in_law). And David said, It is my voice,
my lord, 0 king.’ And he said, ‘Wherefore 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 servant. 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 partridge. „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 illustration. Saul says, „I have sinned.” (You remem_
ber 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 concludes,
„Blessed be thou, my son, David; for thou shall 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 of these facts?
5. Cite an. example of this patriotism of David, and show the un_
grateful return to him?
6. Cite a parallel in later days to show that information from Je_
hovah 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 Samuel 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.
16. Describe the incidents of the last meeting of Saul and David.

I Samuel 27:1 to 31: 13; 2 Samuel 4:4;
I Chronicles 10:14; 12:1_7 and Harmony, pages 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 Samuel 27:1: „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, praying that he might die in his despair, when God never
intended 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 supposed that
God’s word would fail. It is unjustifiable because 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
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 consideration 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 our_
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 other.
His third sin was that before taking such a decisive step he
didn’t ask God – a very unusual thing for him. Generally
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 Ginzites 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 „duplicity,”
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 battle_
field, 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 when
he flushes him, behold there is a pair or maybe a covey!
There is a proverb that whoever 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.
I have never yet been blest with the sight of a sinless man.
I know there are some people who claim to be perfect 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: „I 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 chil_
dren, 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 Abi_
gail. The second punishment was that his own men, who didn’t
want to go up with the Philistines, wanted to stone him for
what bad 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 for_
give 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, „Pursue them, for you
shall overtake them and you shall recover all.” That was a
very fine reply for a sinner to get when his troubles 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 farther. He had to
leave them and go with just 400 men. Out in 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 except 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 bad
been gathering in for quite a while, cattle and stock of every
David made the following judicious uses of the victory:
1. 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 fol_
low that plan, but established a rule dating from that time,
that whoever stayed behind, with the baggage must share
equally with those that went to the front. These men did not
want to stay, but they couldn’t go any farther.
At the battle of San Jacinto, Houston had sternly to 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
go counts them.
2. The second judicious use that he made of the spoils cap_
tured 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 generous_
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
There were great accessions to David at Ziklag. The text
tells us, I Chronicles 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 history. ‘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 information 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 God?”
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 Samuel 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:
1. Some hold that there was no appearance of Samuel him_
self nor an impersonation of him by an evil spirit; that there
was nothing supernatural, but only a trick of imposture 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 everything supernat_
ural, and you know without my telling you what my opinion
is of that theory. There are indeed many tricks of imposture
by pretended fortunetellers, 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 in_
terfered, permitting Samuel to appear to the discomfiture of
the witch, who cried out when she saw him, and to pronounce
final judgment on Saul. They quote in favor of this theory
Ezekiel 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 stum_
bling block of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the
prophet to inquire for himself 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 inter_
pret 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 Chronicles 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 ex_
ample, Justin Martyr, Origen, and Augustine, all great men,
and this view is held more and more by modern commentators,
among them, for instance, Edersheim, in his History of Israel,
and Kirkpatrick in the „Cambridge Bible,” and Blaikie 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 spirt (for this woman is said to have had a fa_
miliar 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 semblance of Samuel
to appear and speak through his mouth. This theory claims.
that the scripture in Job 3:17, to wit: „When the good man
dies he goes where the wicked cease from troubling and the
weary are at rest,” would be violated if this had really been
Samuel, who said, „Wherefore hast thou disquieted me?” And
whoever this man was that appeared did say that.
If 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 pro_
nounced 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 men_
tioned as coming back with a message to the living except the
Lord; that he is the first to bring life and immortality to light
through the gospel after he had abolished death. They do not
believe that the circumstances in this case warrant an excep_
tion to the rule that applies to the whole Bible, and particular_
ly 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 opin_
ion is that Samuel was not there, but on a matter of this kind
let us not be dogmatic. Let us do our own thinking and we will
be in good company no matter which of these last theories we
A great many years ago, when spirit rapping was sweeping
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 Watson 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 ap_
pear, 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 explicit
in the text that I refer the reader to the Bible account of this
great battle. But we need to reconcile I Samuel 31:4_6, and
I Chronicles 10:4_6. Both of these assert that Saul committed
suicide – fell on his sword and died – and that he did die (2
Samuel 1:6_10), 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 Ama_
lekite 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
Amalekite, 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 run_
ning 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 are
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 delivered 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 2 Sam_
uel 1. That lamentation, expressed in the text, is one of the
most beautiful elegaic poems in the literature of the world.
It is found on page 104 of the textbook. It is not a religious
song. It is a funeral song, an elegy, afterward 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 exquisite
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 dis_
close,” 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 and of Saul”?
3. How was this am 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 subject2
9. What had Saul done to enforce the Mosaic law?
10. What theories of interpretation concerning the transaction in I
Samuel 28:11_19?
11. Describe the battle of Gilboa and the results.
12. Reconcile I Samuel 31:4_6 and I Chronicles 10:4_6.
13. How did the news of the battle affect Jonathan’s son?
14. Describe the gratitude and heroism of the men of Jabesh_gilead.
15. How did David lament over Saul and Jonathan, 2 Samuel I?


The biblical sources of material for a history of the reign of
David is found in 2 Samuel and I Chronicles. Apart from
these two books, the biblical material for an interpretation of
this history is: (1) the Psalter; (2) the utterances of the
prophets; (3) New Testament comment.
The two biblical histories of David’s reign are independent
histories, composed by different authors, far separated in time
from each other, and with quite distinct purposes. 2 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 life as will reveal the man, and so much of the mon_
archy 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. Inspiration guides them in the select_
tion of the matter recorded and in the rejection of the matter
omitted, but I Chronicles was written by Ezra after the down_
fall 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 2 Samuel, its purpose is more distinctly
didactic and philosophical.
The author of Chronicles, with the book of Samuel before
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 perceived no_
where else in the Bible, citing the names of the prophetic au_
Thor. This great bulk of additional 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 rebellion; the execution of Saul’s sons; David’s thanks_
giving and last words. None of these is in Chronicles.
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 pre_
served and perpetuated in the return of their remnants to
Judah. Therefore Chronicles 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 wander_
ings 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 monarchy is not per_
petuated 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 mon_
Chronicles records the elaborate details not elsewhere found
of the arrangements on the occasion of the translation of the
ark of the covenant 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 establish_
ment and perpetuity of the hierarchy after the monarchy is
The chronology in 2 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 pro_
found study, the harmonist, as shown in the textbook, 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 sub_
stantially, 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 1055 B.C. to 1048 B.C.
2. The date of Absalom’s birth somewhere between 1052
B.C. and 1050 B.C.
3. The reign of Ish_bosheth, and the civil war with the house
of Saul, 1050_1048 B.C.
4. The reign of David at Jerusalem after that period ex_
tends from 1048 to 1015 B.C.
5. The period of the foreign wars comes next, about ten
years, i.e., from 1045 to 1035 B.C.
6. The date of David’s sin with Bath_sheba, 1035 B.C.
7. The outrage of Amnon the very next year, 1034 B.C.
8. Absalom’s rebellion, which grows out of it, 1023 B.C.
9. The period of tranquillity and national growth from 1023
to 1015 B.C.
10. The date of the great plague in 1018 B.C.
11. David’s death, 1015 B.C.
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 Testa_
ment history, differs from secular history in three particulars:
(1) In the subject matter, in that it is a history of the special
training and discipline 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 be studies
secular history.
It must be 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 Testament. The Old

Testament not only contains prophecies, but the whole history
itself is a prophecy.
The elements of this preparation are: (1) 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 2 Samuel and I Chronicles
is toward the king idea. In Genesis, 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 effected. 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
contribute 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) exercising
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: (1)
In his shepherd life. (2) In his long novitiate of suffering in
his outlaw_life. The man has been trained physically, mentally,
normally. How often have I said to young preachers, „Only
prepared men accomplish great things, and a preacher can
make no more hurtful mistakes 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 Samuel David’s preparation
to be king, we are to learn in these two books what he did aa
king. This is the reign now for which all other was a prepa_
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 off at a tangent, as that expres_
sion 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 before us, sometimes Naph_
tali, 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 dis_
cussion – the seven and a half years that David reigned at
Hebron while the house of Saul held the greater part of the
2. The second difficulty was to provide a central place of
worship that would not cause jealousies, and such services at
that place of worship as would help perpetuate the unity of the
nation. Never before had these been fully attained.
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 Revolu_
tionary War, and at the close of the war began to take steps
for a more permanent union, one of the greatest 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 Philadelphia, 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” periods, 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 repre_
sentation at foreign courts – all things of that kind. Then, he
must organize an army, so as not to depend upon indiscrimi_
nate 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
wives 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 certain_
ly did provide for the succession of his son Solomon.
As we have only one other question to consider I will restate
these six points: (1) To secure unity of the nation. (2) Cen_
tral place of worship. (3) Services of a character to maintain
the unity. (4) Destruction of opposing enemies. (5) Organi_
zation. (6) Provision for succession. 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 Saviour’s sufferings before he got to the point where
it could be said of him: „Lift up your heads, 0 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
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
5. He was a type of Christ in that he was God’s representa_
tive 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

I. 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
4. What of the chronology in 2 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 2 Samuel and I Chronicles contribute toward this
10. How much do these two books contribute to the messianic idea?
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?

2 Samuel 1:1 to 4:13; I Chronicles 3.1_4a and
Harmony, pages 103_108.

The state of the nation just after the battle of Gilboa was
1. The Philistines held all central Palestine, the remnants
of Saul’s family and army, together with the people of that
section, having fled across the Jordan, leaving all their pos_
sessions to the enemy.
2. David had gained a sweeping victory in the South coun_
try over the Amalekites and their allies, and had distributed
the spoils among the near_by cities of Judah, but as Zikiag
was destroyed he had no home.
In these conditions David displayed both piety and wisdom.
He submitted the whole matter of his duty to Jehovah’s di_
rection, 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 assurances that he was anointed
to be king over Israel, but would not complicate a distressful
situation by hasty assertion 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 headquarters
pending the ratification by the people. It was the sacred city
of Judah, hallowed by many historic memories from Abra_
ham’s day to his own time. These memories clustered around

him as a shelter and comfort, and a reminder of all the pre_
cious 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 ref_
uge. 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 Ju_
dah gathered there and made him king of the royal tribe con_
cerning 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 Besshan,
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 poli_
tician the last clause of his message, to wit.: „Now, therefore,
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 intimation
that the way is now open for them without any disloyalty 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 parenthetical clause of 2 Samuel
2:10 in connection with 2 Samuel 3:1. 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 uncertainty
in Old Testament text, in numbers, because its numerals are
expressed in letters, and that mistakes of transcription 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 pos_
sible after the battle of Gilboa, but it took him more than
five years to bring all of the tribes except Judah into accept_
ance 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 Is_
rael 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, counting from the time he was set up, to the
approach to the west side of the Jordan which is described in
this chapter.
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
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 characterized:
„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 making 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 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 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 deserting to
David, persuading the tribes that Ish_bosheth is just a figure_
head 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 pro_
posed by Catherine 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 him_
self 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 capital
with David assassinated Ish_bosheth and carried the news of
their assassination to David, expecting to be rewarded. He
rewarded them very promptly – by executing them. There are
the events in order that led up to the union of the nation under
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 Tairnai,
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. 0 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 jellyfish. 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 accomplishing 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 com_
pany 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 2 Samuel 2:27: „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, Ag 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 commentaries as to just what Joab

1. What the state of the nation just after the battle of Gilboa?
2. In these conditions how did David display both piety and wisdom?
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 2 Samuel 2:10 in connection
with 2 Samuel 3:1.
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?
l5. What. the sense of Joab’s reply to Abner. 2 Samuel 2:27?

8 Samuel 5:1_10; I Chronicles 11:1_9; 12:23_40 and
Harmony, pages 108_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 admirable for topical discussion, but does
not follow a strict chronological order of events. It is a char_
acteristic of the histories themselves to intersperse here and
there in the details of the story a comprehensive summary
extending far beyond the specific details which precede or
follow – for example, 2 Samuel 5:4_14.
The first notable event of this section is that David is made
king over all Israel, at Hebron. For this consummation 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 op_
portunities for vengeance he had been merciful; 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 benedictions 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 succeded. His nature was as cold as a
frog, poisonous as a snake, treacherous as a coyote, cruel aa 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 an_
nals of time might dare to claim equality with him, much
less pre_eminence over him. He was the Monster of the cen_
turies. It certainly must have caused Satan himself to put on
a sardonic grin when hearing Philip called „His most Chris_
tian 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
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 Je_
hovah. They warred in open aggression against the choice of
Jehovah. They made no decisive effort toward pacification
while they had a leg to stand on, and when they did come back
into the union their expressed reasons for return, while evi_
dently 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: (1) „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) „Jehovah 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 cove_
nant with him before Jehovah.
3. They anoint him king over all Israel.
4. A three_day’s festival of great joy celebrates the event.
All these steps were profoundly significant, and are worthy of
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 contingent
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, Manas_
eeh, 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
5. The remark concerning the contingent of the western
half – Manasseh – is that they came instructed to make David
6. The remark concerning the two hundred leaders of Issa_
char 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 day!
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 representa_
tive 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 He_
bron, while their statesmen, prophets, priests, and generals
deliberated on the terms of the covenant.
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 concerned, to wit:
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 pub_
lic and imposing anointing on such a grand occasion, fol_
lowing 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
Behold, how good and bow 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:
Fur there Jehovah commanded the blessing,
Even life forevermore.
It is certain that never before nor since was there such a
thorough and joyous unity of the nation, and such brotherly
love among the Jews, nor ever will be until erring and dis_
persed Israel, long exiled from Jehovah’s favor, shall be gath_
ered 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 Zechariah, 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” because 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 appropriately than ever before in the history may a
redeemed and united world unite in singing the greatest
human coronation hymn,
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. Moreover, they that
were nigh unto them, even as far as Issachar and Zebulun and
Naphtali, 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 covering 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,” Isaiah 25:6_8, or that greater festival adverted to
by our Lord when he said concerning the salvation of the mul_
titudinous 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 inter-ested were all clearly defined and solemnized by imposing cere-monies of religion. Here was God’s choice of the man, the ratifi-cation 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 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 defense or aggression, and not
likely to promote tribal jealousy. It would not do to make
Hebron, distinctly a city of Judah, the national 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 Benja_
min’s, but neither had driven the Jebusites from the citadel
which overawed the city.
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 arms.
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. Philidelphia,
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 Benja_
min, becomes the capital, and yet to be conquered by 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 Lom_
bardv to Florence in Tuscanv. 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 presence of a great army to lead them to storm
the citadel of the Jebusites.
Two incidents of that great victory are worthy of note: (1)
the scornful greeting of the Jebusites, confident in the impreg_
nability of their fortress: „Even with the blind and the lame
to hold the walls he cannot come 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. Fol_
lowing the conquest comes the fortification.
Rapid fortification. – He lengthened, strengthened, and con_
nected 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 cap_
ital: (1) David waxed stronger and stronger; (2) neighboring
nations, jealous and alarmed, prepare to pour on him a tide of
And now, before we dip into the bloody pages of these wars,
two remarks are timely: (1) 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 will be the world’s
chief city, either in type or antitype. Its vicissitudes in subse_
quent 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: „If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem, may my right hand
forget its cunning and my tongue cleave to the roof of my
mouth.” Babylon captured it; Persia restored it; Greece,
through Alexander the Great, honored it; Antiochus Epiphanes
defiled it_ the Asmoneans took it; the Messiah heard its hosan_
nabs one day and its „Crucify Him” another day; Rome
destroyed it; the Saracens captured it; the Crusader re_cap_
tured it; the Turk holds it and Germany covets it: its desola_
tion has lasted nearly 2000 years and will last until the fulness
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 Germany’s desire to
acquire Jerusalem was written long before World War I which
has witnessed the Germanic_Turkish alliance. The words seem
prophetic. – EDITOR.]

I, What the method of the harmonist in arranging the text of David’s
reign, pages 108_163?
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 consummation?
5. Contrast David’s course in this matter with the character and
polity of Philip II 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 assembled?
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 perpetuate
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.

f Samuel 5:11_25; 8:1; 10:1_19; 81:15_2Z;2S:IS_17;
I Chronicles 11:15_19; 12:8_15; 14:1_2, 8_17; 18:1;
19:1_19; 20:4_8, and Harmony, pages 110_114, 118_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 neighboring heathen na_
tions. This section commences thus: „And when the Philis_
tines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all
the Philistines went up to seek David.”
Your attention has already been called to the necessity of
breaking the power of the hostile heathen nations lying all
around Judah, if ever the Jewish nation is to fulfil its mission
to all other nations. The geographical position of Judah,
which is the best in the world for leavening the nations with
the ideas of the kingdom of God, if it maintained its national
purity and adherence to Jehovah, also made it the most desir_
able possession for other peoples having far different ideals.
As the salvation of the world including these very hostile na_
tions, depended on the perpetuity 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 Damascus, the Moabites,
and the Edomites. He had previously smitten the Amalekites
of the Negeb. On these wars in general the following observa_
tions 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, making the
richest treasury known to bistory.
5. By alliance without war he secured the friendship of Hi_
ram, king of Tyre, most valuable to him and to his son Solo_
mon. 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 thor_
oughfares must pass the caravans carrying this traffic to
Africa, Arabia, India, Syria, and Mesopotamia, it was of infi_
nite 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 bound_
aries of one strong and friendly nation rather than to have to
run the gauntlet between a hundred irresponsible and preda_
tory tribes, while to David, apart from the value of this peace_
ful commerce, the whole western border of Judah along the
Mediterranean coast was safe from invasion by sea so long as
friendship was maintained with Hiram, king of the sea.
6. By the voluntary submission of Hamath after his con_
quest of Damascus, he controlled the famous historic „En_
trance into Hamath,” the one narrow pathway of traffic with
the nations around the Caspian Sea, thus enabling David to
reach those innumerable northern hordes so graphically de_
scribed 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 Chal_
dees, low down on the Euphrates, compelled to ascend that
river for hundreds of miles in order to find an accessible way
to the Holy Land through Damascus. In his day, also Chedor_
laorner’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 Huribut’s Atlas, and show
how David’s wars and peaceful alliances safeguarded 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 explo_
sives, namely, much was accomplished by individual cham_
pions of great physical prowess and renown. David himself was
as famous in this respect as Richard, the Lionhearted, until in
a desperate encounter, related in this section, 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 fa_
ther, 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 mountain deer, the least
equal to 100 and the greatest equal to 1000. These crossed
the Jordan at its mighty flood and smote the Philistines in all
its valley, east and west.

Quite to the front also, as giant_killers, were Sibbecai, El_
hanan, 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 philoso_
phizes Sir Walter Scott in lvanhoe concerniog the doughty
champions at the tourney of Ashby de la Zouch: „To borrow
lines from 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 eva_
nescent symbols of their martial rank?”
One exploit of three of these champions deserves to live for_
ever 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. Bethlehem and bis
childhood rise before him: „0 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 recollections 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 „Old 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 sucken barrell. 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_thrist 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 slip_
ping quietly away, not caring that a Philistine garrison held
Bethlehem, the three men alone break through the defended
gate and under fire draw water from the well and bring a ves_
sel 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
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_Perazirn,” i.e.,
„The place of breaking forth.” Splitting their column wide
open at its heart, he dispersed them in every direction. They
even Sft their gods behind them to be bruned 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 direc_
tion, 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 over_
threw them completely.
So Stonewall Jackson, his movements sheltered from obser_
vation 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 interven_
ing hills, turn the Austrian columns and win his greatest
victory at Leuthen. Major Penn, the great Texas lay_evange_
list, preached his greatest sermon from „This fetching a com_
pass,” and „When thou hearest the sound of a going in the
mulberry trees, bestir thyself.” His application was: (a) Let
great preachers attack the center, as David did at Baal_Pera_
zim. (b) But as I am only a layman I must fetch a compass
and strike them in the rear where they are not expecting at_
tack. (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 put 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 daugh_
ters paid tribute to David and served him – quite a new
experience for the Philistines.
4. The result of these great achievements is thus expressed:
„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. Nabash, 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 ar_
rested 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 mortification could exceed theirs. Some_
body told David about it and he sent this word to them: „Tar_
ry at Jericho until your beards grow out.”
A deacon of the First Church at Waco, when I was pastor,
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 confernce.
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, 1,000 talents of silver, and
hire 33,000 men from the Syriansùthe different branches of the Syrians. Some of them were horsemen from across the Euphra-tes, 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 Ammon-ites 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 reinforcements and mobil_
ized 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. Following 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, 18,000 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 magnificent
song of thanksgiving, which needs to be analyzed specially
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, 2 Samuel 11:2 to 12:24.
2. His treatment of the Ammonites after the fall of Rabbah,
2 Samuel 12:31 and I Chronicles 20:3.
3. His treatment of the Moabites, 2 Samuel 8:2.

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 kingdom of God, and why Judea was a desirable possession to those nations.
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 eight general observations on these wars?
6. What special feature characterized them and all other ancient wars, and what modern inventions have now divested war of this feature?
7. Cite the names of some of David’s champions and their exploits.
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 why?
10. Cite the notable characteristic of the battle of Baal_Perazirn.
11. Name the more decisive battle 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 con_
cerning 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 transferred, and
how numbered there?

S Samuel 11:1 to 12:25; 12._SI and I Chronicles 80:3;
2 Samuel 8:2 and Harmony, pages 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 successful wars, carry_
ing his kingdom to its promised boundaries and filling 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 whither_
soever he went,” „his kingdom was exalted on high for his
people Israel’s sake;” „So David gat him a great name,” ac_
cording 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 illustrious name on earth and his kingdom the
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 character_
istic of portrait painters to use a flattering brush, and it was
Cromwell only who said sternly to his portraitmaker, „Paint
me as I am; leave not out a scar or blemish.” What was ex_
ceptional with Cromwell was habitual with inspiration. It
describes only one perfect, ideal man. It indulges in no hero_
worship. Noah’s drunkenness, Jacob’s meanness and duplicity,
Aaron’s golden calf, the ill_advised words of Moses, the de_
spondency 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 pic_
tures when the Holy Spirit is the limner.
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
The three dark episodes of David’s war_career made the
theme of this chapter, are: (1) David’s great sin in the matter
of Bathsheba and Uriah. (2) His treatment of his Ammonite
captives. (3) His treatment of his Moabite captives.
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 „fur our
So far as the first and greatest sin is concerned, it has evoked a voluminous literature. In the „Pulpit Commentary” 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 is Taylor’s David, King of Israel. His outline of discussion is: (1)
The precursors of the sin. (2) Its aggravations. (3) The
penitence manifested. (4) The forgiveness received. (5) The
consequences flowing from it.
After all, however, the most searching light on his heart ex_
periences are found in his owni songs of conviction, penitence
and forgiveness in the following order: Psalms 38, 6, 51, 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 con_
ceived, beareth sin, when it is full grown, bringeth forth death”
(Jas. 1:13_15). What, then, the explanatory 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 Rabbah,
„David tarried at Jerusalem.” While his soldiers sleep at night
on the tented field, David rises from his daytime 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,” 2 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 kingdom charter,
Deuteronomy 17:17. Sensualism is the sin of Oriental kings.
4. The sense of irresponsibility to moral law creeps with
insidious power upon the rich and great and socially distin_
guished. The millionaires, the upper ten, the great 400ùwhat
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 passions.
6. Subservient instruments are always ready to act as pan_
derers to the great, while obsequious, high society paliates and
condones their offenses.
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 favorable
conjuncture of circumstances.
II. The sin and its aggravations. – The sin, with all its pro_
geny) was primarily sin against God, but it was adultery with
Bathsheba, ingratitude, duplicity, and murder to Uriah, com_
plicity in crime with his servants, a sin against himself and
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 offenses, and not for indulgences in them.
3. From his very exalted position as king over God’s people
it caused the enemies of truth to blaspheme tlien and every
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 offenses or to condone other offenses.
5. It put his reputation in the hands of the servants em_
ployed in the transaction, and paved the way for whatever
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 allies 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, Bathsheba’s
father, who for many years of hazard and persecution had been
his bulwark.
The meanness of the subterfuge in sending for Uriah that
the offense might be hidden from him by making him an un_
witting „cuckold,” the hypocrisy of sending him choice dishes
and the means of drunkenness to the same end, and the refined
cruelty of making 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 then 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 Bel_
lerophon, giving rise to the proverb, „Beware of Bellerophonic
III. The sin on the conscience.ùWe 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 ostensibly 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 whis_
pered from lip to ear, and carried from house to house. Ene_
mies 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, knowing ones would make signs and comment
under the thinnest veil of confidence.
IV. Jehovah speaks at last, or Nathan and David – What_
ever 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 mouthpieces of God. They
make no apologies, nor soften words, nor have respect of per_
sons. 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 judgment
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 like 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 publican’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 latter words
of Jesus concerning another and greater sin which is eternal,
having never forgiveness either in this world or in the next.
VI. The time penalties. – (1) The death of the child be_
gotten 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 Ahithop_
hel, Bathsheba’s grandfather, who evidently resents the shame
put upon his granddaughter. (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.
VII. The sincerity of David’s repentance. – It is evidenced
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 per_
chance 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
psalm. While Psalms 38, 6 convey most the sense of convict_
ing 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:
1. 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 thereupon unbelievers sneer and ask, „1s 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 con-sciousness 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 with tears, repentance, true, unconquerable purpose begun anew. Poor human nature! Is not a man’s walking in truth always that – „a succession 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 burlesque this
psalm, and what was the result? While carefully 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 devotional 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, Psalm 32 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 argument
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
Psalm 51.
2. It is easy to fall, but difficult to rise again – a thought
most vigorously expressed by Virgil and less vigorously ren_
dered by Dryden:
The gates of Hell are open night and day;
Smooth the descent, and easy ia 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 sensi_
tiveness and tenderness. As Burns so well expresses it:
I waive the quantum of the sin,
The hazard of concealing;
But och I 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.”
6. The reproach of Uriah has found expression in noble
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 art the man!”
Say not, I would, but could not, He
Should bear the blame who fashioned me.
Call a mere change of motive, choice I
Scorning such pleas, the inner voice
Cries out, „Thou art the man!”
Edgar Allan Poe has used with dramatic effect Nathan’s
words, „Thou art the man,” in one of his detective stories. In
order to force confession, he puts the body of the murdered
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!”
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 warriora sleep.
And can it bo? thou liest awake,
Sworn watchman, tossing on thy couch of down;
And doth thy recreant heart not ache
To hear the sentries round the leagured town?
Oh, dream no more of quiet life;
Care finds the careless out; more wise to vow
Thine heart entire to faith’a 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 hasten’d 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
In heaven, accordant to his raptur’d string,
Who many a month had turn’d away
With veiled eyea, nor own’d 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. – See 2
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 re_
vision 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 Ammon. And David and all the people re_
turned 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 slight
change in the Hebrew text, ‘made them labor at saws, . . .?’ ”
Leeser’s Jewish English version copies in both passages the
American Revision. The Romanist Douay English version
thus renders 2 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 Chronicles
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, driving over them
with iron_toothed harrows, mangling them in threshing ma_
chines, chopping them up with axes, cooking them alive in
brick_kilns? How stand the commentators? Josephus, adopting
the torture interpretation, says, „He tormented them and
destroyed them.”
The comment in the Romanist version on 2 Samuel 12:31 is,
„Sawed” – Heb., „he puts them under saws and under rollers
of iron, and under knives, . . .” The Jews say that Isaiah was
killed by being sawed asunder; to which punishment Paul
alludes (Hebrews 11:37). „Brick_kilns, or furnaces.” Daniel
and his companions were thrown into the fiery furnace ( Dan_
iel 3:6_12, Esther 13:7). Saliem blames Joab for what seems
too cruel. But though he was barbarous and vindictive, we
need not condemn him on this occasion, no more than his mas_
ter; as we are not to judge of former times by our own man_
ners. War was then carried on with great cruelty. With these
agreee substantially, Kirkpatrick in „Cambridge Bible,”
Blaikie in „Expositor’s Bible,” „The Speakers’ Commentary,”
„The Pulpit Commentary,” Jamieson, Fausset & Brown,
Geikie, and many others.
On the contrary, Murphy on I Chronicles 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 of 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 rendered ‘cut’ is
nowhere else used in this sense, but in that of ruling, and there_
fore 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 con_
sidered: David was under the Mosaic law. That law bears on
two points:
1. The law of war for captured cities, Deuteronomy 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 ene_
mies, which Jehovah hath given thee.”
2. The lex_talionis, or law of retaliation, i. e., „An eye for
an eye, a tooth for a tooth, . . .” 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 (Judg. 1:5_7). Applying this second law, the
cruel things done by David to the Ammonites, under the „tor_
ture” interpretation of our passages, 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” inter_
pretation, and yet how readily does a humane mind turn in
preference to Murhpy’s rendering. If this „torture” interpre_
tation be true (and we must count it doubtful) then we need
not cry out too loud in horror at the torture 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 lex_talionis.
In the case of the Moabite prisoners made to lie prostrate
and measured in bulk by a tape_line, one_third to live 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 prolonged anguish all the
quick tortures of saw, harrow, ax, 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 harrowing 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 Nebuchadnez_
zar, the wicked ax 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
The Jews are accustomed to excuse David’s apparent ingrat_

itude 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 hos-pitality. Of this there is no historic 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 career?
5. What books show the voluminous homiletical use of first & greatest sin?
6. What Taylor’s outline?
7. What psalm, in order, throws 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 before the
visit of Nathan?
12, What four things impress the mind in Nathan’s words to David?
13. What may you say of David’s confession of sin?
14. What the twofold 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 evidenced?
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 forgive_
ness, 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.
27. Cite Keble’s lines on „The Lord hath put away thy sin.”
28. What the two interpretations of I Samuel 12:31 and I Chronicles
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 cap_
tives, and what the better reason?

2 Samuel 6:1 to 7:29; I Chronicles 13:1_14;
15:1 to 17:27 and Harmony, pages 125_I33.

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 wor_
shiping there, and there is an altar of sacrifice but no altar at
Jerusalem. Ten miles off yonder at Kirjath_Jearim is the ark
of the covenant; it has been there fotry_eight years. Lost in
the days of Eli to the Philistines, and returned by the Philis_
tines and stopped at that place, and there another part of the
people are worshiping.” You can see how David’s mind would
be fastened upon the thought that he must bring that ark with
ita symbol 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 his_
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

life he had that with him, and through these brilliant jewels
in some way, we do not know just how, God answered ques_
tions propounded. There was also instituted an order of
prophets who became the mouthpieces 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 Thum_
mim, and the prophet 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
Thummirn, so that here now in every way he may hear from
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 matters 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 consulation 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 were 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
when 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 lawùthat 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 to 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 com_
mands must be caried out, made the breach on Uzzah.
We now come to a question of David, and it is a great
textù1 Chronicles 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 in_
stituted, 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 – Psalm 30. I told you about
his gratitude; whenever a blessing came, it brought immedi_
ately from him an expression of thanksgiving to God. He wrote
Psalm 30 and sang it at the dedication of the house. He dedi_
cated this house of his to God. The song commences:
I will extol thee, 0 Jehovah; for thou hast raised me up,
And hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
0 Jehovah my God,
1 cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
0 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 twenty_
third, then the eighth, etc. There was a great difference be_
tween the Gave 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 Jerusalem, 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 1000 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 signals.
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 Asiel, and Shemira_
moth 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, Psalm 15:
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 Crom_
well 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 Psalm 24.
Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates,
And be ye 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, 0 Lord,” then followed refreshments, and then fol_
lowed the benediction.
I will not go over the pageantry, but will present this
thought: The Harmony tells us (p. 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 some_
thing every day, morning sacrifice and evening sacrifice. He
appointed 24,000 Levites to various services around the sanc_
tuary. 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 Solo_
mon’s time, but David was the organizer.
We now come to one of the most important lessons in the
Bible (p. 131). You will understand that Deuteronomy 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 fixed habi_
tation where all must come, in fulfilment of that passage, and
he purposes in his heart to build the most magnificent house
for God that the world has ever seen (2 Samuel 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 establishment 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 reason.
We find another reason in I Chronicles. David is speaking:
„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”
(I Chronicles 28:3). He refers to it again as follows: „But the
word of Jehovah came to me saying, Thou hast shed blood
abundantly, 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” (I Chronicles 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, (1) 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 im_
pression 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 expecta_
tion 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 (2 Samuel 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,
6halt 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 chil_
dren 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 2 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 fol_
lowing right after it. (Read 2 Sam. 7:18_19; I Chron. 17:16_
17.) Consider particularly these words: „And this too after the
manner of men, ‘0 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 72 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 110 „The Lord said unto
my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine ene_
mies thy footstool.” This king is to be a priest according to
the order of Melchizedek. Then in Psalm 89. (Read Psalm
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 11:1_10.)
The genealogies of both Matthew and Luke prove that Jesus
was a descendant of David. (Read Luke 1:31_33; 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 atone_
ment returned for the body, and when the resurrection 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 processes
smoothed and fashioned into things of beauty, to be fitted
into the earthly Temple of the Lord, which is a type of human
beings, quarried as rough ashlars from the mountains of sin;
then by the marvelous works of regeneration and sanctifi_
cation, they become smooth ashlars ready for fitting into the
temple of God, the living temple, to be a habitation for God,
through the Spirit, to 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 commentary on 2 Samuel 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 tabernacle to Jerusalem?
3. What course did David pursue, and the lesson therefrom, what
incident here shows the sanctity of the ark and the impression made by it, and what Mosaic law was violated here?
4. What text here for a sermon, and the line of thought suggested?
5. Give an account of the building and dedication of David’s house.
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 Old Testament and New Testament references to it?
14. What Luther’s translation of, „And this too after the manner of
men 0 Lord Jehovah,” and what its meaning?
15. What the impression made on David’s mind, and what the proof I
16 How did this promise to David impress the mind of Isaiah?
17. Who was the immediate fulfilment of this promise to David, who
the remote fulfilment, and what the New Testament proof?

2 Samuel 5:13_16; 9:l_I3; l2:24b_25; 21:1_14;
and Harmony, pages 113_134, 138.

Our present discussion commences with 2 Samuel 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. Jona_
than had acquired a very considerable estate. The subsequent
history referring to Mephibosheth will appear in a later chap_
ter. David’s kindness to Mephibosheth will give us the con_
clusion 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 rente
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 imperfect saint, the lame
feet representing the imperfection, continually feasting at the
table of his king. That is the manner 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 „Jedidiah,” which means the Lord’s „beloved,”
and an anouncement 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 Ab_
salom. 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 Tairnai,
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 Deuteronomy 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
violations of the law in connection with Absalom. Absalom was
half Geshurite and half Israelite. The next son of any particu_
lar 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 is Solomon, the
tenth son. The first son of importance in the history is Amnon;
second important in history (the 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 polygamy are manifest in David’s history. There would
necessarily 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 E Pluribus Unnm. She is very am_
bitious 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 marriages
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 Sapin) like
Phillip II. 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 himself 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, 2 Samuel 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 Deuteron_
omy, Moses in his farewell address sets before the people, so
clearly that they could not possible misunderstand, that fam_
ines 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
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 re_
membered God’s law that when they sinned against him, he
would send famine and pestilence upon them. David deter_
mines 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
Let us look at that case of Saul. Saul was king of Israel;
David had been anointed to succeed him, and there was sharp
jealously between David and Saul, particularly upon Saul’s
part, and he was seeking methods to strengthen himself. 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 Gobeonites.
After the fall of Jericho, one of the Canaanitish tribes deter_
mined to escape destruction by strategy. So they sent mes_
sengers 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 maintain 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, serv_
ants. 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 position, but
on account of the oath made by Joshua, retaining their posses_
Saul, as I said, looked around to find resources of revenue
and said to himself, „Suppose we kill these Gibeonites 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 Ben_
jamites. 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 unprovoked, cold_blooded, murderous,
and confiscatory, with reference to their property, upon a peo_
ple that had been faithful 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, 80 he sent this famine upon
Israel, because in the nighttime this poor, poverty_stricken
people, who had been defrauded of home and property and
almost destroyed by: ~he „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
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 multitude 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 expi_
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 disturb_
ances between Abner and Ish_bosheth, who was then king.
She had two sons, one named Mephibosheth, the younger one,
and the older one, named Armoni. Her two sons and the five
sons of Merab (not Michal, as the text has it) were taken by
in 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; wish_
ing 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 ac_
corded to all an honorable burial.
What this woman did has impressed itself upon the imagi_
nation 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 special
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 fright_
ening away the birds and jackals. It is a marvelous picture.
1. Rehearse the story of Mephibosheth, and David’s kindness to him.
Who preached a sermon on 2 Samuel 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 ascertained?
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 im_
press upon the world?

2 Samuel 13:1 to 15:6; 21:l_li, 24:1_25; I Chronicles
21:1_30 and Harmony, page’s 138_141, 184_137.

On page 138 of the Harmony preserved in both 2 Samuel
and I 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 insti_
gated it. God is sometimes 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
holding protracted meetings, and some pastors in giving their
church roll, manifest a great desire to put stress upon numbers.
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 mo_
tive 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; be did not take the census of Levi or Benjamin.
I Chronicles gives the result in round numbers, which does not
exactly harmonize with 2 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.] (1) „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 alterna_
tive 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 wom_
an, especially woman to woman. Always prefer God’s punish_
ment; 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 magna_
nimity of David: „Lo, I have sinned and I have done per_
versely; 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: „If 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, 0 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 lifted 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 wills ay 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 connection
with Absalom: (1) It was a sin that the Geshurites had been
left in the land. (2) It was a sin that David had married &
Geshurite. (3) That he had married for State reasons. (4)
That he had multiplied wives. (5) That he did not instruct
and discipline Absalom. Absalom stands among the most re_
markable characters of the Old Testament. He was the hand_
somest 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 beauties 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 sym_
metry 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 charac_
ter; he knew exactly what he wanted; he was utterly unscru_
pulous 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 pas_
sions 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 afore_
thought. He alone could make Joab bend to him; he sent for
Joab, but Joab did not come; then he sent to his servant say_
ing, „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 pur_
pose, absolute control over his manner. Whoever supposes
Absalom to have been a weak_minded man is mistaken. Who_
ever supposes him to have been a religious man is mistaken.
He had not a spark of religion.
David’s oldest son, Amnon, commits the awful offense 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 you 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 reconciliation, so he falls upon a plan. He sent a wise
woman of Tekoa to find David, feigning a grievance 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 interceding. The fact that God
had not killed him was proof that he was soaring him that he
might repent. „But God deviseth means whereby his ban_
ished shall not be perpetually expelled.” The application in_
tended 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, wag announced as the successor to David, and
he was the older son, and under the ordinary laws of primo_
geniture entitled to the kingdom. So he determines to be king.
David at this time, as we learn from Psalm 41, was laboring
under an awful and loathsome sickness – a sickness that sep_
arated 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 admirers would say,
„There is a king for you! We want a king that is somebody!”
David in retirement, Absalom conspicuous, making promises,
and being the oldest son, captured the hearts of the people.
Among these was Ahithophel. 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 announced 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.
Leaving his concubines and taking his wives and children with
him) he sets out, and upon reaching Mount 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 lively historic portraiture of
men and events than here. Each lives before us as we read:
„lttai, Abiathar, Zadok, Hushai, Ziba, Shirnei, and Abishai.”

1. How do you harmonize 2 Samuel 24:1 and I Chronicles 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 New Testament fulfilment?
9. What the site of Solomon’s Temple?
10. 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?

2 Samuel 18:1 to 20:26; I Kings 1:1 to 2:10; I Chroni_
cles 22:1_19; and Harmony, pages 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 history. I never got a true insight into
the character of this man, into his religious life, into his stay_
ing powers, until I studied the history very carefully in con_
nection 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 Absalom
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 Gittite, lttai.
One of the most touching things in connection with David’s
atay 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 vessels, and wheat, and bar_
ley, 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 character developed friendship so that people
would come to him and stand by him to the very last extrem_
ity. 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 con_
cern 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 indicates: „For my sake
deal gently with Absalom.” Absalom’s army was utterly
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 banning 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 like 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:
„0 my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God
that I had died for thee, 0 Absalom, my son, my son!” In
view of the father’s unpseakable 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
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 contrasted the
sorrow of David over his two children; the separation between
him and his baby was temporary; they would soon be together
forever, but the separation from Absalom was an eternal sepa_
ration. 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, feeling 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 violation 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 serv_
ants 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? Ab_
salom 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 nothing about his com_
ing 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 impolitic 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 com_
mander. Whenever a strong feeling of resentment exists there
will always be somebody to give voice to it, hence the shout of
Sheba: „To your tents, 0 Israel!” You will hear that cry
again in the days of Rehoboam, when the same ten tribes say,
„To your tents, 0 Israel! What have we in the son of Jesse?”
The tribes were always loosely held together, and it was easy
for them to separate and disintegrate. For some reason, not
stated, Amasa was very dilatory to take command and subdue
Sheba, and David commands Abishai, not Joab, to take com_
mand 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, Shirnei, comes out
and makes submission and asks to be forgiven. David for_
gives him for the present. You will see later how he made
provision for bringing him to judgment, but he forgave him
for the present. The darkest blot on David, outside of the sin
against Uriah, is in this paragraph, the meeting with Mephibo_
aheth. Mephibosheth comes to meet him and David sternly
aska 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 misfortunes. David then restores to him
part of his property and lets that rascal Ziba keep half of it.
In all this transaction 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 dis_
intereetedness. 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 cannot taste anything
or discriminate. Then David asks him if there is not some_
body 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 lifetime. 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 succession was a
serious one when Queen Elizabeth died, and again at Queen
Anne’s death, when the kingdom was transferred to the house
of Hanover. Some of the most thrilling pages in history are
devoted to these transition periods. David wanted no trouble
about the succession; so he assembled the great convocation,
consisting of princes, captains of thousands, and hundreds, etc.,
and caused them to recognize Solomon as his successor, and he
was so announced. Every officer in the kingdom was precom_
mitted to Solomon. And yet, notwithstanding this precaution,
Adonijah, the third son prominent in history, now the oldest,
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 place called En_rogel and
there to be announced as king. David was too old and feeble
to do anything, but the prophet Nathan sent the mother of
Solomon to him to let him know what was impending. David
took steps instantly to have Solomon crowned king, and proc_
lamation made. Adonijah, when he heard that Solomon was
king, returned to Jerusalem and begged for mercy, and the re_
bellion 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 furni_
ture 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 pub_
lic 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 subordinate
officers) followed the lead of their rulers.
Principles. – (1) 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 „affec_
tion 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 offhand, impulsive collection could
have produced such a result. It was a long_purposed, thorough_
ly prepared contribution flowing from the highest possible
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 Philippians who first gave themselves to the Lord, and
if we have true affection for God’s cause, and if we purpose
great things in our hearts, and prepare a collection, with all our
might appealing to the voluntary principle 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
eight. Hard times, difficult situations, are methods of provi_
dence to prepare us. They are touchstones of character, re_
vealing 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 respec_
3. What the touching incident at Mahanaim?
4. Give an account of the battle between David’s army and Absa_
5. How did David show his concern for Absalom?
6. Show in two ways how Absalom in banning 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.
10. 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 Jerusalern?
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?

I Chronicles S3:l to 29:22 and Harmony,
pages 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
light of his poetry, particularly of his elegies and psalms. We
think of him as a great warrior from his youth up in the suc_
cessful campaigns he waged in pushing out the boundaries of
the kingdom until they fulfilled the promise to Abraham. Then
we think of him as a legislator, aa 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
England, 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 organization, we will say, consisted
of 288,000 men, twelve army corps of 24,000 each, each corps
serving one month in the year, coming on in succession. Each
corps was subdivided into, say, twenty_four regiments of 1,000
men each, and each regiment into ten companies of 100 men

each, something like 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 outlaw, 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 himself 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 twelve corps of 24,000 each; each corps com_
manded 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 the famous 600; the three
captains of the first 300 were the most worthy; the three cap_
tains of the other 300 were somewhat less worthy. Each 100
was divided into twenties; the captains over the twenties make
the thirty worthies; then the six captains over the one hun_
dreds, and a chief captain 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 wag derived from the Mosaic
administration, but in David’s time we come to quite a differ_
ent 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 government.
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 Samuel’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 educa_
tional work, and the result was that when Solomon 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 condition 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 isolatedly 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 com_
mon 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 dramatists, 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 regarded as a proof that in the reign of David, and more particularly, perhaps, in the zenith of his administration, education was extensively 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 us 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 per_
taining 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, „reve_
nue.” By a single paragraph we are told of David’s overseers
of the treasure houses of the tribes, of the vineyards, 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 storehouses all over
the nation where these tithes could be gathered 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 government. Moreover, David
developed commerce.
III. An international commerce. – This was a tremendous
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 Damascus 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 enlargement 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 Eziongeber 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 religious organization
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 wor_
ship 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 trees.
There were 38,000 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 follows: 24,000
into twenty_four 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 twenty_four courses. This classifi_
cation continued until the New Testament time. Zacharias,
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 Tem_
ple, it was determined by lot, and the lot fell upon him to offer
incense as priest. The priests were divided into twenty_four
courses, and the singers divided. There were twenty_four
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 Atone_
ment; 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 – everybody 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
take into consideration the sabbatic cycle, which consisted of
the weekly sabbath, every seventh day; the new_moon sab_
bath, every lunar month; the annual sabbaths, the Passover,
Tabernacle, and 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 worship at Jeru_
salem in the Old Testament times. Rev. J. H. Ingraham, the
Episcopalian, who committed suicide, attempted to describe it
in letters that a daughter of an Egyptian 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 Euphra_
tes 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 legislative. Some things
were attended to in the national convention. This occurred
when the great festivals brought the people together in the
grand convocation, or when something 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

1. In what spheres was David great?
2. Describe his army organization: (1) 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; (1) Its divisions;
(9) Its subdivisions; (3) Who the famous thirty_seven?
5. Describe the civil organization: (1) 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 treasure_house?
6. Describe his system of international commerce: (1) Its necessity;
(2) How carried on? .
7. Describe his religious organization: (1) How does it compare with
the other religious organizations of the world? (2) How many and who constituted it? (3) Its divisions and subdivisions? (4) Its relation to the book of the Psalms?

1 Kings 2:1_46; I Chronicles 29:23_25;
2 Chronicles 1:1; and Harmony, page 164.

We will begin on the reign of Solomon at page 164 of the
First of all I will give you a list of the books obtainable by
you on the reign of Solomon. Your Bible text of the reign of
Solomon includes I Kings 1_11; and 2 Chronicles 1_9 –
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 pertinent
parts of Josephus are chapters 14_15 of the Seventh Book of
Antiquities, and chapters 1_7 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 ac_
count 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 Solo_
mon. Anyone at one sitting ought to be able carefully to 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 research,
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 want only that part on Solo_
mon’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
The next book, by Canon Farrar, The Life and Times of
Solomon, is one of a series of books on the great Old Testa_
ment characters. On the Old Testament Farrar is decidedly
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 Sol_
omon. It gives you several maps, then it gives you some com_
parative 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 Jere_
miah. Therefore when the Old Testament is divided into three
parts – Law, Prophets, and Psalms – Samuel and Kings are
always included in the Prophets because the author of the book
was a prophet, and because the history 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 annalists
or historians were prophets. In this book reference is made to
a book called the Acts of Solomon, and from a passage in 2
Chronicles we infer that it was written by three prophets –
Nathan, Ahijab, 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 Ezra.
Another remark on the book of Kings: Not only were its
authors prophets, but the history was written from a prophetic
point of view. The history of Israel is itself a prophecy. Our
book of Chronicles is also unique. It is a postexile compila_
tion, 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 discusses 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 in_
dependent study. It must be considered as the historical basis
of the new probation after the exile, connecting with Ezra,
Nehemiah, Daniel, and Esther, and also with the later prophets
– Ezekiel, Haggai, Zechariah, 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 complete the story.
I discuss somewhat the empire of Solomon. A good map will show that the section conquered by Joshua was. small com_
pared 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 Mountains, leaving a
narrow strip next to 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 followed the Mediter_
ranean 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 conquered, 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
Mediterranean 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. Consider
the difference between 6,000 square miles and 60,000 square
miles. You will notice that the eastern boundary of the em_
pire 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 south_
ern 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 inter_
marries, 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 junc_
ture amounted to nothing, and Syria had become a part of Sol_
omon’s empire. Through alliances with Phoenicia, which was
the great sea power of the world at that date, and Egypt, there
was no Oriental government that could compete with the em_
pire of Solomon.
It exactly fulfilled the promise that God made to Abraham
as reported in Genesis 15. Just what God promised to Abra_
ham 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 fulfils the prophecy writ_
ten, 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 2 Samuel 7. The promise in 2 Samuel 7 oc_
casioned the psalm, and in its higher meaning is to be ful_
filled 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 disturbance
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 im_
portance 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 established 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 between Hiram and David, David got access to
the vast timberlands 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 Mediterranean
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 dependent 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 Solo_
mon’s time at Tyre. If you want to understand something of
the nature of that commerce read Ezekiel 27 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 her products and her mercenaries,
and you will find that all of Asia and the northern part of
Africa, all the southern part of Europe, all the islands on
the eastern shores of Europe, the British 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 shipwreck of
faith. I got my imagery of the shipwreck from Ezekiel’s de_
scription of the shipwreck of Tyre’s ship of state. It is more
interesting than any novel – the account of the commerce out_
going 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 re_
lation to Phoenicia which I will discuss 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 necessary therefore
for a good understanding to prevail between the Holy Land
and Egypt, and it is the first good understanding since Abra_
ham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, and as that relation was on
account of a new dynasty coming in, so this relation is on ac_
count of an entirely new dynasty coming to the front in Egypt.
In the later history of Israel you will find that Egypt, Phoe_
nicia, 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 na_
tions 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 coun_

tries. 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 Mediterranean
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 Mediter_
ranean 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
Our next question by way of introduction is what Solomon
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’s 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 marriage 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 intertribal 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 sys_
tem must have been the seed idea of the present German mili_
tary 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 un_
reliable. David organized both to a nicety, so that from every
part of this country the stream of revenue continually flowed
into his treasury without intermission.
The next point of organization was religion. From Joshua’s
time to David’s time the religious movements were on tangen_
tial lines. There was no long_settled place to worship; 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 worship; he had his priests
divided into twenty_four courses. He had his Levites all or_
ganized. He had the ritual of worship established, and he
wrote songs for the entire convocation of Israel. The greater
part of the Psalter was written by David. The times of wor_
ship were also systematized.
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 consciences 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, lddo, and Ahijah, and in later reigns many others.
Solomon also inherited an organized educational system
with these prophets from David. No intelligent mind can ac_
count 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 reve_
lation. He had gifts, indeed, but when you read the history
of Solomon you see the cultivation of the gifts. David’s sys_
tem 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 Phoenicia. 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 sup_
port Solomon as his successor, and they did commit them_
selves 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 alliance and co_operation of other nations, if the organi_
zation of his own nation, came from his father, surely he was
the heir to an immense inheritance. 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 shall see in a succeeding chapter.
A new era bad 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 be_
come as common as pebbles along the bank of a brook. Agni_
culture, commerce, architecture, with all the arts and sciences,
have quickened and broadened 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 Phoenician 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: (1) 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 compare with.
Joshua’s territory, with Saul’s, and with David’s?
5. What promise is 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

Same as for preceding chapter, and I Kings 3:1_28;
2 Chronicles 1:2_13, and Harmony pages, 164_168.

This discussion commences the exposition of Solomon’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.
I Kings 1_11 and 2 Chronicles 1_9 constitute the scriptural
basis of the life of Solomon. We introduce this discussion with
three passages of scripture:
1. Deuteronomy 17: 14_20:
When thou art come unto the land which Jehovah thy God
giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shall 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 henceforth return no
more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself,
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 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 primogeniture,
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 mon_
archy established. The king must not be a foreigner, like
Herod the ldumean in Christ’s time. He must be one of the
brethren, and then God must select him. A copy of the Penta_
teuch must be made especially for him and kept by him, in
which he must read every day of his life and live and rule
according to its teaching. The Pentateuch is the national con_
stitution. 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 Chronicles 22:9_10. Here is God’s selection of David’s
Behold, a gon shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of
rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about;
for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet_
ness 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 72 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, who 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 judgment and righteousness in
order that he may properly judge the poor, and save the needy,
and break in pieces the oppressor. 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 how 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 aun:
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 ful_
filled 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 established
upon the throne of his father David. ‘Solomon was quite a
young man, and said to be wonderfully handsome and attrac_
tive. His establishment consisted first in the removal of in_
herited 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 forgiven 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 com_
manded 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 modern 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 oc_
camions 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 Solo_
mon; 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 Joab.
It was prophesied that not a man should be left of the house
of Eli, 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 conspirer endangers the safety of a monarch
and he is sent to his own home to live as a common man. He
occupies office no more, which disposes of that enemy.
It becomes necessary, having disposed of these two enemies) 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 fulfils 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 Israel.
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 question: 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 political reasons. Touch_
ing 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 glori_
fied church. Let us look at some of the references in Psalm 45.
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, 0 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, 0 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 worship-er. That is to say, there was in Jerusalem the ark of the cove-nant, 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 magnificient 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 occa-sionally offered at other places than one central place, and par-ticularly was this so after the Philistines had captured 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 offerings. 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 sleeping,
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 revelations through
dreams; for example, the cases of Jacob, Joseph, and Nebu_
chadnezzar. Solomon’s dream was perhaps suggested by his
father’s exhortations (See Prov. 4:3_7) and his own im_
pressions at this great gathering. For the first time in his reign
be 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 situ_
ation, 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 & dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said (and I do wish we could always have him aa presented here), Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great kindness, according as he walked before thee in truth, and m righteousness, and in uprightness 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, 0 Jehovah 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 ie 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 without
being impressed by it. Let me assure you that whoever, 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 insufficiency and his entire depen_
dence 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 sermon: „Ask what I shall give
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 repre_
sented in the congregation had either propounded or heard
that question in connection with 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; what 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 under_
standing heart, so that there hath been none like thee before
thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.” In this
connection consider I Kings 4: 29_34:
And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceed_
ing much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on
the seashore. 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 He_
man, 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 creeping 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 contestants
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 contention. 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. „I 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: „I
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 evidence. 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 re_
port 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 scripture.
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 fulfils it?
5. In. what did the establishment of Solomon on the throne consist,
who was his first enemy, and how was he disposed of?
6. Where do we find the law of the sanctuary? Did Solomon vio_
late it in having Joab put to death while holding on to the horns of
the altar?
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 worshiper.
11. What was God’s proposition to Solomon, and Solomon’s request?
What the lesson for us? What God’s answer to this request? Give
an example of his wisdom as exercised.

I Kings 8:4_27; 4:29_34; 10:1_10.

The scriptures that embody for us the account of the wis_
dom of Solomon are as follows: I Kings 3:4_27; 4:29_34; 10:
1_10; the book of Proverbs; the book of Ecclesiastes; Solo_
mon’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 con_
stitute Solomon’s contribution to the Bible as embodiments
of his wisdom, while Matthew 12:42 institutes a comparison
with One wiser than Solomon.
Before discussing the wisdom of Solomon I call your at_
tention to Old Testament approaches to it. The first approach
to it is found in Exodus 31:3_6 and repeated again in Exodus
35_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, 2 Samuel 14:2;
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 to 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 express-ly stated that it is the gift of God (I Kings 3, commencing with verse 5), but preliminary to the divine origin certain human fac-tors explain how Solomon was prepared to make the extraor-dinary 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 instructions 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 72 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 likely 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.” Lem_
uel is another name for Solomon.
What, my son? and what, 0 son of my womb?
And what, 0 son of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women,
Nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings,

It is not for kings, 0 Lemuel, it ia 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 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 depar-ture 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 (2 Sam. 7:12_16) occasions David’s prayer and instructions (2 Sam. 7:18_29; Psalm 72) and also quickened his mother’s interest (I Chron. 29:9; I Kings 1:28_29).
The origin of the wisdom of Solomon, therefore, stands thus: (1) God’s promise and oath; (2) parental instruction,
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. „Knowl_

edge 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 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 between 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 mat_
ter and so hopelessly stir up his church into hostile parties,
or he may preach about it censoriously, or be hasty to com_
mit himself on ex parte evidence until he will no longer be
able to moderate with impartiality. The other, by wise hand_
ling, 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
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 skilfully.
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 Saviour 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 to spiritual things. It has been said that no man can inter_
pret 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 flow_
ers 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 Pollok 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.
T he 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 largeness of heart.
The next element of his wisdom was philosophy. The book
of Ecclesiastes embodies it. He there seeks to ascertain the
chief good and the chief end of man. What is that good thing
that a man should do all the days of his life? Philosophy in_
quires 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 profit_
ably omit the course from college curiculums. It is all sheer
speculation from Thales to Epicurus and Zeno; from Aristotle
to Kant; from Kant to the pragmatism of _Professor James of
As William Ashmore in his review of Professor 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 ob_
serve that wisdom should be invoked in order to do the right
things in the right way in dealing with our fellow men and
our God; to lead us in the paths of judgment, mercy, and
The next point in the analysis is to locate the very beginning
of real wisdom in the human heart, and here you find Solo_
mon’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 understand_
ing?” and concludes by saying, „The fear of the Lord, that is
wisdom, and to depart from evil, understanding.” 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 character_
istics of a seeker of wisdom. First, humility. 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 meaning 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 succeeding
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, carried over every desert
on every camel, carried by every traveler, „Over yonder in
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 judg_
ments. 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 imi_
tations, centuries later; the first is an imitation of Proverbs,
the second of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Solomon’s Songs.
The so_called „Psalter of Solomon,” consisting of eighteen
psalms and found in the Septuagint, is another example of imi_
tation. Indeed, a school of wisdom literature 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 Solo_
mons’ 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 product
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 plaus_
ible than Stanley’s, but the argument for the Mosaic author_
ship and time is much stronger than either. The book of Job
is older, profounder, and more archaic than Ecclesiastes,
Proverbs, or than Psalm 73 attributed to Asaph. Its corre_
spondences 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 aris_
ing from association with the characters in Job. The un_
merited suffering of his people in the Egyptian furnace, of
which suffering lie himself is an example, gives the clue to the
book. The burning bush solves the problem, and after the
lesson appropriately come Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Num_
bers, and Deuteronomy, 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 Matthew 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 than Solomon is
here.” In other words, in the New Testament is Wisdom.
Paul says so, using the feminine form, Sophia, that is, the wis_
dom and power of God. John says so in using the masculine
form Logos, or Reason.
The Pharisees asked this question: „Whence hath this man
wisdom?” They wanted to get at the origin of Christ’s wis_
dom, 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 under_
standing, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowl_
edge 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 right_
eousness 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” (Isa. 11:1_5).
There is the sevenfold wisdom, meaning the perfection of
wisdom. That wisdom was conferred upon Christ without mea-sure, 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 without measure. He spoke in parables, putting things alongside 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 specu_
lative. 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 ac_
counted 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 prac_
tical 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 Gnos_
ticism, a subjective infallible knowledge for the few, bred &
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: (1) What the human element? (2) What the
divine element? (3) What the summary of the origin?
3. As to its meaning and content: (1) Define wisdom as compared 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 conclusion
concerning the very beginning of wisdom?
5. What chapter of Job ia 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: (1) As stated in this chapter?
(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 song perpetuates her saying?
13. Outline a sermon on our Lord’s reference to her in Matthew 12:42,
14. Who the glorious antitype of Solomon?
15. What Greek word docs 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 Wis_
dom and the wisdom of Solomon?
20. Define Gnosticism and Agnosticism and contrast Christ’s wisdom.
with both.
21. Explain Solomon’s sacrifices at Gibeon instead of Jerusalem.

I Kings 5:1 to 7:51; 2 Chronicles 2:1 to 5:1; and
Harmony, pages 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 head_
quarters and protection 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 Euphrates.
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 understand fully the wisdom of the
location of each fortified city.
The next was at Megiddon on the plain of Bsdraelon, 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 Philis_
tines 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 from the Egyptian raids on the southwest. His other
fenced citiesù and I will not mention all of themùprotected
the borders on the east of the Jordan, so that when these forti_
fications were completed Solomon’s country was like Paris
before the war with Germany, and even since, i.e., from every
direction there were long lines of fortifications.
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 capital 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 archaeology. 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 archae_
Solomon built quite a city, not for land commerce, but for
sea commerce, at the head of the Gulf of Akaba, and trans_
ported 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 col_
lected. Then the great stables that he had 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 mar_
kets. 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 roads.
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 merchant 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 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 Medi_
terranean through the Straits of Gibraltar. They seemed to
have forgotten about this when, not long before the time of
Columbus, Vasco da 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 hun_
dred 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 Huribut’s Bible Atlas is a detailed description of Solo_
mon’s famous buildingùthe 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 Exodus.
II. The date. – On page 170 of your book this statement is
made: „And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth
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
second month, as you see from the corresponding passage in
Chronicles, this Temple was commenced. This specific date,
so circumstantially given, has puzzled many commentators.
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 founda_
tion of the house of the Lord laid, in the month of Ziv. And
in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, 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 furni_
ture, 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 mes_
sage of the Lord to Solomon when he was about to commence
this work. You will find it on page 170 at the bottom: „And
the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, Concerning
this house which thou art building, if thou wilt walk in my
statutes and execute my judgments, and keep all of my com_
mandments 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 com_
menced 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 Jebusites; and
on that mountain and at the very place where the Temple wag
subsequently erected, there the symbolic forecast of the offer_
ing 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 sacri_
fice of himself; and then the plague was stayed, and at the
place where the plague was stayed, David bought the thresh_
ing_floor of Araunah, the Jebusite, and marked it out as the
site where God’s house was to be erected, where the great sac_
rifices were to be offered throughout the ages, that were to
foretell the coming of the greatest Sacrifice.
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 moun_
tain 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 op_
posite 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 would cement, would render the Temple area unap_
proachable and impregnable 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 on the three sides up to the top of
the wall, and then to furnish stones for the buildings and ter_
races. So Solomon 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 fash_
ion, but without wages. So also the multitude of laborerg who
were sent to Tyre under overseers to get out the forest timbers,
were conscript laborers, thousands of them, working in re_
liefs under taskmasters.
But Solomon had nobody in his kingdom skilful 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 super_
intendence 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
You must not conceive of the thirty_five acres as one level,
but several terraced levels, one terrace rising above another
until on the highest level is the Temple proper and its im_
mediate 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 foreet, and
the floating of it in great rafts from Tyre to Joppa, was per_
formed by Hiram’s men. Solomon furnished 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’ descrip_
tion of American cities, which existed only in sanguine pros_
pect, or like the Bible description 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 built 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 skilfully fashioned
that the Temple went up without the sound of ax, saw, or
hammer. So the spiritual temple arises in silence rather than
noise. The kingdom of heaven comes not with observation.
„Sanctified rows,” as in many modern meetings, and confu_
sions of mingled services, as at Corinth, are not contributory
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 in_
stance, this passage from Ecclesiastes 2 – Solomon himself
talking: „I 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
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 car_
ried 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 wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed
with myrrh and frankincense, with all the powders of the
The era of all these famous works was one of peace. These
are not the achievements of unsettled times. War is destruc_
tive, 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 forever.

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 some_
thing 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 de_
scribe the commerce promoted by it. Tell about his fleet there, how manned and why, the time length of its voyages, the countries visited, and the products imported.
8. Was Africa circumnavigated before the famous voyages around
it by Vasco da Gama? How was it done?
9. Where, probably, the Ophir of the ancients? Where Tarshish?
10. What did Solomon in the way of roads, and what other countries
since his time were noted for the building of good roads?
11. What attention is given to this matter by our country now?
12. How were the plans and specifications of the Temple obtained,
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 conformity
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 ma_
terial 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 building now occupies the ancient building site?
26. Of what was the tabernacle of Moses and Solomon’s Temple a

I Kings 8:1 to 10:29; 2 Chronicles 5:2 to 9:28; and
Harmony, pages 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 established, 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 In_
termediaries 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
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 pro_
poses publicly and formally to dedicate it to the service of
God. God had told him when he commenced the building
that he would inhabit the house built for him, and now Solo_
mon proposes, by a very solemn national service, to consecrate
this house to the Lord. I do not suppose that from any other
one source, indeed from all other sources put together,
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;
80 it was probably several months after the house was com_
pleted 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 rulers 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 shewbread 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 num_
ber 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 captured by the Philistines come of these
things were taken out.
The preliminary steps of the dedication were: (1) Placing
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 sacrifices. (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 pres_
ence 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 him_
self, 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 perform the functions
of the high priest, but he keeps the entire priesthood subject
to his immediate control. Nothing 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 mentioned.
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 congregations 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 and be present in it.
The other elements of the petition are clearly set forth in the
text here. Look on page 180 of the Harmony. First, the posi_
tion with reference to the making of an oath where there is
an issue between neighbors, and the difficulty cannot be set_
tled by outside testimony, 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 chal_
lenge 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 coun_
try is subject to drought, and it is easy for all the sources of
life 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 Tem_
ple with all the great vicissitudes 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 here 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 ex_
amples 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 select_
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 Testament gospel.
You remember Paul says to the Ephesians, „Ye are no more
strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens 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 attractive to strangers. „Here the people of
God are meeting and I am an outsider. Will I be welcome?
Is there anything 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 dea_
cons 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 converted. 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, with_
out 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 Almighty? 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 that the French king says, „Are they prostrating them_
selves 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 off 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 scattered.” In the book of the Mac_
cabees there is a marvelous illustration of this, when Judas
Maccabaeus with 10,000 men defeated 100,000, having made
a solemn appeal to the God of battles before the issue was
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 conti_
nent, 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 restora_
tion 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 chapter 9.
Having offered this great prayer, Solomon arose and pro_
nounced the benediction. As soon as this prayer ended, con_
firmation 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
great 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 wor_
ship, 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 ac_
cording 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. Per_
haps 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 Jerusa_
lem as being waked up just as the dawn flushed the eastern
sky; the silver trumpets began to blow, and as those trumpets
were blown everybody 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. Solo_
mon 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 Solomon.
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
modern 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
10:1_13 with Matthew 12:42 you may make a great sermon
with these heads: (1) 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 journey, 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 servants, 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 pic_
ture, 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: (1)
There shall be a resurrection of the dead. (2) It will be a
general resurrection, (3) followed by a general judgment,
(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 valuable
alliance with Hiram) king of Tyre, whose fleets controlled
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 trib_
ute. 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 Spain.
7. By commerce with the archipelagoes of the Indian and
Pacific Oceans, he held friendly relations with the Orient, and
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 com_
menced to build the Temple?
2. What command of Jehovah, through Moses, was fulfilled in the
building of the Temple?
3. When then, in brief, were the purposes of the Temple?
4. What effect has this dedication on all subsequent dedications of
5. At what annual festival was the Temple dedicated?
6. What the steps of offering the house, and how the divine accep_
tance 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 peti_
tion 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, 2 Chronicles 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
Matthew 12:42?
18. What Solomon’s relations to foreign nations?
19. When and why Jehovah’s second appearance to Solomon?

I Kings 11:1_43; 2 Chronicles 9:29_31; and
Harmony, pages 193_194.

See I Kings 11:1_43 and 2 Chronicles 9:29_31, with which
compare (1) Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7:3_4; Ezra 9:1;
Nehemiah 13:23. (2) Deuteronomy 17:14_20. (3) The two
visitations of Jehovah, I Kings 3:14; 9:4_9; 2 Chronicles 7:
17_22. (4) The whole book of Ecclesiastes.
1. When Solomon became old he fell away from Jehovah
in heart and life.
2. He, himself, furnishes the motto for a heading of this
part of his life, „Better is a poor and wise youth than an old
and foolish king, who knoweth not how to receive admonition
anymore” (Ecclesiastes 4:13).
3. And he, himself, fitly describes a miserable darkened old
age, thus:
Rejoice, 0 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 re_
move 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 pleas_
ure 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 be_
cause 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 blos_
som, 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 re_
turneth 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. 11:9 to 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: (1) 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 themselves
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 par_
ticipate himself in this idol worship.
6. His sin consisted of these elements: (1) 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:
(1) 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 Jeho_
vah 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 Ec_

8. He sinned against the charter of the kingdom in these
particulars: (1) 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, Ammonites,
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 coffers
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 display, and for the buildings of his
wives and their extravagant 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; 12:4.)
9. He sinned against the sanctity of the Mosaic law of mar_
riage in taking wives from nations of the Canaanites and other
idolatrous nations. (See Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7: 3, 4,
as interpreted in Ezra 9:1 and Nehemiah 13:23, and compare
I Kings 11:1_2.)

10. We find somewhat of a parallel in Louis XIV of France,
who reduced his nation to pauperism to support his extrava_
gant 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: (1) 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 Automat, who in David’s time had sheltered in
Egypt; Rezon, the Syrian, who sheltered in Damascus and
who abhorred Israel; Jeroboam, the Ephrathite, whom Solo_
mon 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 Egypt and sheltered there.
12. The fearful consequences of Solomon’s sin were sweep_
ing and far_reaching, as appears from these facts: (1) The
contrast between the glorious unity when David was made
king over all Israel (I Chron. 11:1_3; 12:23_40) and the dis_
union under Solomon’s son (I Kings 12:1_19). (2) This di_
vision resulted in the idolatry and destruction of the ten tribes
except the elect remnants that returned to Judah, thus preserv_
ing and perpetuating all the tribes. (3) The idolatry of the
ten tribes was communicated to Judah in Ahab’s day, threat_
ening the blotting 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 Samari_
tans, a mixed people who rejected all revelation except the
Pentateuch, 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 philosophers
– Zeno, Epicurus, Lucretius, and Democritus, Gnostics, Agnos_
tics and modern radical evolutionists even to this day – all
adopting his methods and denying his conclusions.
13. The question naturally arises: Was Solomon’s apostasy
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 following 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 revelation to
philosophy and all ending in vanity, comes back to the con_
clusion that to fear God and keep his commandments is the
whole duty 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 establish 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” (2 Sam. 7:12_15).
The contrast here between Saul and Solomon 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 withdrawn 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 philosophers
throughout the ages have discovered or will ever be able to
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 irresponsi_
bility to moral laws, maintaining vast, varied, and costly es_
tablishments, the people must groan under onerous taxation
and servitude until revolution comes to paint hell on the sky.
6. Men professing themselves to be wise become fools (see
Rom. 1:22; I Cor. 1:18_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 marriage_
10. What parallel to Solomon, in his sin, in modern history?
11. How did Solomon’s sin affect Jehovah, and what penalties did he
12. What facts show the sweeping and far_reaching consequences of
Solomon’s fall?
13. How do Arminians answer the question: Was Solomon’s apostasy
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 Chronicles 6:8?

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