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bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him. And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people. And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fed every one to his tent.

Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king's dale :* for he said :—“I have no son to keep my name in remembrance:” and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's monument.

Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok :-—“Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the Lord hath avenged Him of His enemies."

And Joab said unto him :-“Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king's son is dead.” Then said Joab to the Cushite :"Go tell the king what thou hast seen." And the Cushite bowed himself unto Joab, and ran.

Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab “But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after the Cushite."

And Joab said :-“Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou wilt receive no pay for thy tidings?”

4. A low plain southwest of Jerusalem. 5. One of the two chief priests.

6. A man apparently attached to Joab's person, but unknown to the king, as may be inferred from the fact that he was not recognized by the watchman, and also from the abrupt manner in which he breaks his evil tidings to David,

“But howsoever," said he, “let me run.” And he said unto him :-"Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran the Cushite.

And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone. And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said: "If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth." And he came apace, and drew near. And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said :—“Behold another man running alone.” And the king said “He also bringeth tidings.” And the watchman said :—“Methinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” And the king said :-“He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings.” And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king :-“All is well.” And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said :"Blessed be the Lord thy God, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king."

And the king said :-“Is the young man Absalom safe?"

And Ahimaaz answered :—“When Joab sent the king's servant, and me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was."

And the king said unto him :-"Turn aside, and stand here.” And he turned aside, and stood still. And, behold, the Cushite came; and the Cushite said:

“Tidings, my lord the king : for the Lord hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee.” And the king said unto the Cushite :—“Is the young man Absalom safe?” And the Cushite answered : “The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.”

And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said :—“O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son !””

7. Note the exquisite pathos of the passage. Study Note 34, Outline Study.

XXIV

THE GLORY OF SOLOMON

(I Kingsi x)

Introductory Note.-Solomon, the youngest of all David's sons, succeeded his father as King of Israel, and, in his reign, Israel attained its highest point of temporal prosperity. The magnificent buildings with which he adorned Jerusalem, especially the Temple of the Lord; the splendor of his court; the firmness, wisdom, and justice of his government must have been a favorite theme of Israelitish literature. Nothing has been preserved, however, but the account given in chapters 9-10 of I. Kings. All the extravagant fictions which Jewish and Arabic romancers have woven about the name of Solomon are based on wilful misinterpretation of the language of this history.

And when the queen of Sheba’ heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions. And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his

1. See Note 35, Outline Study.

2. Sheba was probably in southern Arabia. The Abyssinians claim King Solomon's visitor as the ancestress of their

table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord; there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king :-“It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of the acts and of thy wisdom. How beit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made He thee king, to do judgment and justice.”

And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir," brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones. And the king

3. The Tyrians and Sidonians, known to the Greeks as Phoenicians, were the navigators and ocean carriers

of the ancient world. The entire coast of the Mediterranean was lined with their trading settlements and they are supposed to have been familiar with both coasts of Africa some distance south of the equator.

4. Probably some part of the east coast of Africa.

5. Probably sandal-wood, as it is translated in the Jewish version. Red sandal-wood is a hard close-grained wood that takes a high polish.

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