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and affection. Amasa was the commander of the tribe of Judah, and as the men of Judah under him had taken such a distinguished part against David, they were apprehensive of his resentment; but, as the king longed for peace, he prudently resolved to win them by mildness, in which we find he happily succeeded. We cannot be surprized at the offer which David made to Amasa, when we re flect on the arrogant and contemptuous treatment he had received from Joab; and when we likewise consider, that he could not have regained possession of Jerusalem without besieging it, if the tribe of Judah had continued. to resist him. It is true, that Joab had hitherto adhered to David's interest; but he had dared to kill the king's son contrary to his express command, when he might have taken him prisoner; and had lately threatened David with a fresh rebellion, unless he acted entirely by his direction; so that it was highly necessary to remove him, and no one was so proper to succeed as Amasa.
David had now the happy prospect of being restored to the peaceable possession of the throne of Israel; and what was still more desirable, he had the comfortable assurance, that he should again present himself before the LORD in his holy tabernacle.
The 119th psalm seems to be entirely composed of such sentiments as must naturally have arisen in the mind of David during his absence from Jerusalem, and on his return to it; we may therefore apply it to this part of his history.
Blessed are the undefiled in the way; who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart.
O that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes!
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto Thy ways.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep: seek Thy servant: for I do not forget Thy commandments.
Great are Thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to Thy judgments.
Consider how I love Thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to Thy loving-kindness.
I will delight myself in Thy statutes; I will not forget Thy word.
Remove from me reproach and contempt: for I have kept Thy testimonies.
I have chosen the way of truth: Thy judgments have I laid before me.
Let Thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD: even Thy salvation, according to Thy word.
So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in Thy word.
This is my comfort in my affliction: for Thy word hath quickened me.
The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from Thy law.
I remembered Thy judgments of old, O LORD: and have comforted myself.
Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
I entreated Thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to Thy word.
I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto Thy testimonies.
I made haste and delayed not to keep Thy commandments. Thou hast dealt well with Thy servant, O LORD, according to Thy word.
Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy word.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted: that I might learn Thy statutes.
They that fear Thee, will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in Thy word.
Let those that fear Thee turn unto me, and those that have known Thy testimonies.
O how I love Thy law! it is my meditation all the day. How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Accept, I beseech Thee, the free-will offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me Thy judgments.
Mine eyes fail for Thy salvation, and for the word of Thy righteousness.
Order my steps in Thy word: and let not any iniquity
have dominion over me.
I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in Thy word.
Mine eyes prevent the night-watches, that I might meditate in Thy word.
Seven times a day do I praise Thee: because of Thy righteous judgments.
Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
Unless Thy law had been my delight, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of Thy righteous judgments endureth for ever*.
* I have ventured, without the authority of the learned, to apply some parts of the 119th psalm to this occasion. The whole might have been introduced with advantage; but I am obliged, in the course of this work, to reject many noble passages, to avoid being too voluminous.
SHIMEI PARDONED-THE KING GOETH OVER JORDAN,
From 2 Samuel, Chap. xix.
AND Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite, which was of Bahurim, hasted, and came down with the men; of Judah, to meet king David.
And there were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him, and they went over Jordan before the king.
And there went over a ferry-boat to carry over the king's household, and to do what he thought good: and Shimei the son of Gera fell dowu before the king as he was come over Jordan; and said unto the king, Let not my LORD impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart.
For thy servant doth know that I have sinned: therefore behold, I am come the first this day of all the house of Joseph, to go down to meet my lord the king.
But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD's anointed?
And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for do not I know, that I am this day king over Israel? therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die: and the king sware unto him.
And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim,
and went over Jordan with the king, to conduct him over Jordan.
Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old, and he had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim: for he was a very great man. And the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem.
And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem? I am this day fourscore years old; and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing-women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king?
Thy servant will little way
over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward? let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my father, and of my mother:
But behold thy servant Chimham, let him go over with my lord the king, and do to him what shall seem good unto thee.
And the king answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good unto thee: and whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee.
And all the people went over Jordan: and when the king was come over, the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him: and he returned unto his own place.
Then the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him: and all the people of Judah conducted the king, and also half the people of Israel.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The manner in which David acted towards Shimei