Page images

pertained unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly beseech thee that I may find grace in thy sight, my lord O king.

And when king David came to Bahurim, behold thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he came forth, and cursed still as he came.

And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people, and all the mighty men were on his right hand, and on his left.

And thus said Shimei, when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned, and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son and behold thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.

Then said Abishai, the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.

because the LORD

Who shall then say, And David said to

And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, hath said unto him, Curse David. Wherefore hast thou done so? Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse: for the LORD hath bidden him.



be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.

And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust.

[blocks in formation]

And the king and all the people that were with, hirs came weary, and refreshed themselves there.


The refreshment which Ziba brought was very seasonable; for having fled with so much precipitation, it is likely David was but scantily supplied with provisions: he supposed it to be a present from Mephibosheth; but Ziba insinuated, that far from employing his thoughts about the king, Mephibosheth was contriving to bring about a revolution in his own favour. David's mind was so exceedingly hurt by his present distress, that he too readily gave ear to Ziba. If his own son was capable of acting so unnatural a part towards him, it was not at all incredible, that one of Saul's race should follow his example. In this instance, David certainly acted wrong, for he should have enquired into the truth before he transferred Mephibosheth's estate to one who might be suspected to have slandered him for his own interest: but let us not too severely censure David, till we have been in such a trying situation ourselves; and in the mean while let us be instructed by his fault, to turn a deaf ear to the voice of flattery and defamation, and to condemn no one till we are sure that he deserves it.

Shimei's curses proceeded from the rancour of his own wicked heart, and we must not suppose that they were inspired of Gon. The meaning of David's expressions, tet him curse, for the LORD hath bidden, &c. seems to be that Shimei's reproaches reminding David of his bloodguiltiness in respect to Uriah, he regarded him as an instrument of punishment from the LORD, because GoD certainly could have stopped his wicked tongue, and restrained his insults; neither would Shimei have had an


opportunity of treating David in that opprobrious manner, if he had not been reduced to such an abject state, which he justly considered as the chastisement of the LORD: because, if he had not committed such sins, he would have been secure on his throne, and happy in his family.

It is probable that Shimei's curses produced the following petition to GoD*.

Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.

O my God, I trust in Thee, let me not be ashamed: let not mine enemies triumph over me.

Yea, let none that wait on Thee be ashamed ; let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

Show me Thy ways, O LORD; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth and teach me for Thou art the GOD of my salvation, on Thee do I wait all the day.

Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies, and Thy loving-kindnesses: for they have been ever of old.

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to Thy mercy remember Thou me, for Thy goodness sake, O LORD.

Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will He teach sinners in the way.

Thee meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.

All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and testimonies.

For Thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity: for it is great.

What man is he that feareth the LORD: him shall He teach in the way that He skall choose.

* Psalm xxv.

His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit

the earth.

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him: and He will shew them His covenant.

Mine eyes are ever towards the LORD: for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn Thee unto me, and have mercy upon me: for I am desolate and afflicted.

The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring Thou me out of my distresses.

Look upon mine affliction, and my pain, and forgive all my sins.

Consider mine enemies, for they are many, and they hate me with cruel hatred.

O keep my soul and deliver me: let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in Thee.

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me: for I wait on Thee.

Redeem Israel, O GOD, out of all his troubles.



From 2 Sam. Chap. xvi.

AND Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him.

And it came to pass when Hushai the Archite, David's friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, GOD save the king, GoD save the king.

And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this thy kindness to thy friend? why wentest thou not with thy friend? And Hushai said unto Absalom, Nay, but whom the LORD


and this people, and all the men of Israel choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide.

And again, Whom should I serve? should I not serve in the presence of his son? as I have served in thy father's presence, so will I be in thy presence.

Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do.

And the counsel of Ahithophel which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel, both with David and with Absalom.

And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night.

And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak-handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that are with him shall flee, and I will smite the king only.

And I will bring back all the people unto thee: the man whom thou seekest, is as if all returned: so all the people shall be in peace.

And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.

Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith.

And when Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him, saying, Ahithophel hath spoken after this manner: shall we do after his saying? if not, speak thou.

And Hushai said unto Absalom, the counsel that Ahithophel hath given, is not good at this time.

For (said Hushai) thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field :

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »