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A. No : the people had been disarmed, and the smiths removed out of the land :* and in his little band of six hundred men, he and Jonathan were the only persons possessed of sword or spear.
Q. How did the Lord save Israel on this occasion ?
A. Jonathan and his armour-bearer, trusting that the Lord would work deliverance for them, fell upon the garrison of the Philistines in Michmash : and the garrison and the spoilers were seized with trembling, the earth quaked, and every man turned his sword against his fellow. Meanwhile Saul and his people coming to the battle, were joined by the Hebrews serving in the enemy's army, and the Philistines were defeated with great slaughter.
Q. What circumstance impeded the pursuit ?
A. The weariness of the people, who, fearing a curse denounced by Saul on those who ate food before the evening, were exhausted for want of refreshment. Jonathan however, ignorant of the prohibition, tasted of some honey which he found in a wood.
Q. What occurred in the evening?
A. “ The people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground : and did eat them with the blood,” contrary to the law.f But when Saul heard of it, he ordered every man to
* They had been formerly disarmed by Jabin, Judg. v. 8. and were treated in the same manner by Nebuchadnezzar, 2 Kings xxiv. 14. 16.
+ Deut. xii. 16. 23.-25.
bring his ox and sheep to a large stone, agd there to slay them and pour out the blood.
Q. What did Saul propose after the people had refreshed themselves ?
A. To pursue after the Philistines. For this purpose he asked counsel of God, but the Lord answered him not : therefore Saul, aware of some transgression, had recourse to the lot; and Jonathan being taken was condemned to die for having tasted the honey; but the people rescued him.
Q. What was the result of the victory gained over the Philistines ?
A. Saul was enabled to take the field against his enemies on every side, “and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them :" nevertheless he had war with the Philistines all his days.
Q. Of what persons did Saul's family consist ?
A. Of his wife Ahingam, daughter of Ahimaaz; four sons--Jonathan, Ishui, Mechi-shna, and Ishbosheth; and two daughters—Merab the first-born, and Michal.
Q. Who was captain of the host ?
Q. What charge was given to Saul concerning the Amalekites?
A. He was commanded to execute the sentence of extirpation passed upon them four hundred
before : -to “slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
Q. Did he obey this command ?
from among the Amalekites, he smote the latter from Havilah to Shur, that is over against Egypt, "and utterly destroyed all the people* with the edge of the sword :" but he spared Agag the king, and suffered the people to reserve the best of the cattle for sacrifice.
Q. To what circumstance did the Kenites owe their deliverance ?
A. To the kindness shown by their ancestors to the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt.†
Q. What was the consequence of Saul's disobedience ?
A. Because he rejected the word of the Lord, in not executing fully the sentence against Amalek, the Lord rejected him from being king. Samuel, who deeply lamented this circumstance, reproved him for his sin, assuring him that “to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
Q. What became of Agag ?
A. Samuel hewed him in pieces before the Lord. After this the prophet went to Ramah, and “came no more to see Saul until the day of his death ;” nevertheless he mourned for him.
Q. Whom did the Lord appoint to succeed Saul ?
A. He sent Samuel to Bethlehem, to anoint David, 1 the youngest son of Jesse, to be king over Israel instead
* All that tribe, or all the Amalekites of that district, or, more probably, all that they were able to take. They are noticed again in the sequel of the history. + A very impressive comment on Numb. xxiv. 9.
For David's lineage see Appendix P.
of Saul. “ And the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.”
Q. Who was Jesse ? A. He was son of Obed, and grandson of Boaz and Ruth ?
Q. Who were Boaz and Ruth ?
A. Boaz was a wealthy Bethlehemite of the tribe of Judah : and Ruth his wife, was a Moabitess, widow of Mahlon, son of Elimelech.
Q. Who was Elimelech ?
A. A man of Bethlehem Judah, who retired with Naomi his wife, and Chilion and Mahlon his sons, into Moab, to avoid the effects of a famine which afflicted Israel.
Q. What befel them in Moab ?
A. Elimelech died there : after his death, his sons married Orpah and Ruth, two women of Moab; but after residing there ten years, they died childless.
Q. What became of Naomi ?
A. Hearing " that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread," she went forth with her daughtersin-law to return to Judah. Anxiously solicitous for their personal comfort, she earnestly requested them to return home : Orpah at length consented, but Ruth said to her, "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go ; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God : where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried : the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” “ So they two went until they came to Bethlehem.”
Q. Was she recognised by the people of the town?
A. Yes : "all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? and she said unto them, call me not Naomi, call me Mara : for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty : why then call ye me Naomi ?"
Q. What became of Ruth ?
A. She lived for a time with Naomi ; but ultimately became the wife of Boaz, “a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech,” to whom she bare Obed.
Q. Was the birth of Obed a cause of congratulation to Naomi ?
A. Yes : “ the women said to Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be to thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter-in-law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.”
Q. Why is the history of David's ancestry particularized in Scripture ?
A. Because they were the progenitors of the Messiah. Q. How many children had Jesse, besides David ?
A. Eight : six sons-Eliab, Abinadab, Shamma, Nathaneel, Raddai, and Ozem; and two daughters--Zeruiah, and Abigail.