Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

notwithstanding Samuel's' remonstrance, he, by God's command, acceded to their wishes, and chose Saul the son of Kish, a Benjamite, to be their king.

Q. How did Samuel meet with Saul ?

A. Saul having travelled a long way in a vain search after his father's asses which were lost, was advised by his servant to consult the seer, into whose neighbourhood they had come. Saul therefore went to the city where the man of God dwelt; and as he drew nigh to Samuel in the gate, the Lord said unto the prophet, “Behold the man whom I spoke to thee of! this same shall reign over my people."

Q. What respect did the prophet pay to Saul ?

A. He took him up with him to the high place,* and after the sacrifice was over, took him and his servant home with him, and 'made them sit in the chief place among the guests who were invited that day to eat with him.

Q. How did Samuel appoint him king over Israel ?

A. As Saul and his servant left the city next morning, Samuel accompanied them ; and, having sent the servant forward, Samuel anointed him king over Israel, and foretold him of several circumstances that should befal him that day.t

* See Appendix.O.

+ The ix. chap. of 1 Sam. contains several notices of orien. tal manners--the custom of consulting the seer, v. 6.--the presentation of gifts, v. 7.--the employment of women in drawing water, v. 11.--the custom of blessing the sacrifice before eating of it, v. 13.-shewing respect by sending great portions, v. 23, 24.--and the custom of walking on the top of the house, v. 25.

Q. Describe the person of Saul.

A. “He was a choice and goodly youth,” and “ from his shoulders upwards was taller than any of the people."

CHAPTER VI.

From the reign of Saul to the Separation of the Ten Tribes.*

Q. Where was Sąul publicly acknowledged king ? A. M. 2908. A. In a general assembly of the people B. C. 1096. convened at Mizpeh by Samuel. Being chosen by lot, Samuel said unto the people, “Behold him whom the Lord hath chosen,-for there is none like him among all the people. And all the people shouted and said, Long live the king." +

Q. What compact did Samuel make on this occasion ?

A. Samuel recorded the manner of the kingdom in a book, and laid it up before the Lord : he then dismissed the assenıbly.

* During this epocha of sacred history, royalty was aholished at Athens; and Medon, son of Codras the last king, was appointed the first archon, A. M. 2934. B. C. 1070.

+ Yechi.ha-malech, not God save the king, but precisely the the French vive le roi, equivalent to long live the king.

The malecontents spoken of, 1 Sam. X. 27. were probably men of rauk, who envied the dignity conferred upon Saul.

Moses had enacted some laws for the guidance of the monarch, Deut. xvii. 14.--20. And Samuel probably made such additions and alterations as a lapse of almost four hun

Q. By what public act did Saul first distinguish himself ?

A. By heading the people against the Ammonites. Nahash king of Ammon, having laid siege to JabeshGilead, refused to treat with the inhabitants but on condition that he might thrust out all their right eyes :* they therefore solicited a respite of seven days, promising to surrender if not relieved in that time. When Saul heard of this, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he assembled a large army, with which falling suddenly upon the Ammonites, he completely defeated them.

Q. What was the consequence of this victory?

A. Samuel, then in the camp, taking advantage of the favourable disposition which the people, in consequenee of this victory, entertained towards Saul, took him to Gilgal, and again confirmed the kingdom to him: "and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly."

Q. In what respect did the new monarch manifest a truly noble spirit

A. The people, flushed with victory, proposed to put to death some individuals who opposed Saul's election to the throne ; but he said, “ There shall not a man be

dred years had rendered necessary. Professor MICHAELIS in his Commentary on the Laws of Moses, vol. 1, Art. 55, proves clearly that the Israelitish monarchy, though having, like other Asiatic kingdoms, a despotic tendency, was in many respects, a limited government.

* This was to incapacitate them for war.

put to death this day : for to day the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel."

Q. By what was the renewal of the kingdom át Gilgal followed

A. “ Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king walketh before you : and I am old and grey headed ; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed : whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed ? or of whose hand have I received a bribe to blind mine eyes therewith ? and I will restore it you."*

Q. How did the people reply?

A. They said, “ Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither bast thou taken ought of any man's hand.”

Q. What advice did he give the king and his subjects ?

A. He reasoned with them before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the Lord, which he had done to them, and to their fathers; pointed at their iniquity in demanding a king; and admonished them to serve the Lord and to obey his voice.

Q. How did the Lord confirm the words of the prophet

• See 1 Sam. xii. 1.-18.

A. “Samuel called unto the LORD ; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel."*

Q. By what was the second year of Saul's reign distinguished ? A. M. 2909. A. Jonathan, Saul's son, having smitten B. C. 1095. a garrison of the Philistines, they invaded Israel with so powerful an army that many of the Hebrews in great alarm fled beyond the Jordan, and others hid themselves in caves, in thickets, in rocks, and in pits, to avoid the enemy.t

Q. Where was the king ?

A. He waited in Gilgal with six hundred men, for Samuel ; but the prophet not appearing on the appointed time, Saul offered the burnt offering, for which offence the Lord rejected him from being king. I

Q. Were Saul's troops armed for the war ?

* In wheat harvest, at the end of Jnne or the beginning of July, rain is unknown in Judea ; the rainy seasons, known as " the former and the latter rain,” occurring in spring and autumn. The rain therefore which followed Samuel's prayer was calculated to astonish the congregation.

+ 1 Sam. xiii. 5.-7. The enumeration of the war-chariots, thirty thousand, appears to be greatly exaggerated, owing to a mistake of some transcriber. Michaelis in his criticism on this passage, proposes to leave out aleph, thousand, and thus reduces the number to thirty ; but Dr. A. CLARKE believes three thousand to be the correct reading. Qy. Has not a transposition of the words caused the difficulty—a thousand and thirty being only one hundred and thirty more than Jabin king of Canaan had formerly brought to the field ?

See Numb. xviii. 1.-7. Heb. v. 4.

« ForrigeFortsæt »