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acceptable time: O GOD, in the multitude of Thy mercy hear me, in the truth of Thy salvation.
Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink : let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep
Let not the water-flood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
Hear me, O LORD, for thy loving kindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies. And hide not Thy face from Thy servant, for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.
Thou hast known my reproach and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.
Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
DAVID'S CHILD IS STRUCK WITH SICKNESS.. HIS SORROW ON THAT OCCASION, AND BEHAVIOUR WHEN HE DIETH
From 2 Samuel, Chap. xii.
AND Nathan departed unto his house: and the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and was very sick.
David therefore besought God for the child, and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.
And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.
And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died: and the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?
But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.
Then David arose from the earth, and washed and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house, and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.
Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child while it was alive, but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.
And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? but now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and she bare a son, and called his name Solomon; and the LORD Loved him.
And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. I
It was very natural for David, in his peculiar situation, tafeel the most pungent sorrow on account of the sickness of his child, though it was so very young; for he suffered SRA
on this occasion, as a sinner, as well as a parent, but when it was dead, we find he ceased to grieve, for he knew it was his duty to submit with patience and resignation to the Divine will; and to reconcile himself to the death of the child, since its sufferings were at an end, and it was no longer an object of tender commiseration. In this instance David set an excellent example to all parents, who meet with a similar affliction; but what superior consolation may Christians derive from the hope which the Gospel affords, that their beloved infants, when taken from them, are immediately received by their merciful Saviour, and admitted to a superlative degree of happiness in the reigons of bliss! If then parents wish to meet again those whom they have resigned with such heart-rending pangs, let them hare a more pârticular regard to regulate their lives by the rules of the Gospel, imitating little children in simplicity, humility, and purity of heart, that they may hereafter with them always behold the face of their Father which is in heaven*.
How gracious was the LORD in sending Nathan with a message of consolation, from which David derived hopes that his penitence was acceptable, and his prayer heard. He now resolved to bear all the temporal evils that had been threatened, with patience and resignation; since GOD had not cast him out from his presence, nor taken his Holy Spirit from him†.' In this particular, his behaviour affords another exemplary lesson to Christians.
* Matt. xviii,
+As David's crime in respect to Uríah is a great subject of derision to SCOFFERS, I beg leave to refer my readers to his Life, written by Dr. Chandler and Dr. Delany, for a satisfactory discussion of the subjects, as the nature of my plan will not admit of my producing the arguments which are given by them in extenuation of his guilt. Lad
DAVID SUBDUES THE AMMONITES*.
THE Israelites continued to carry on the war with the Ammonites; probably they had been intimidated by the death of Uriah and his brave followers, and had not proceeded with so much vigour as before, and the enemy had made a more resolute resistance: at length, however, Joab made a breach in that part of the city where the reservoirs of water were, which reduced the Ammonites to the necessity of submitting; Joab then exhorted king David to come and put a finishing hand to the siege himself.
This was an expedition which came very seasonably to remove David's melancholy, to relieve his distress, and to blot out from the minds of his subjects the memory of his guilt in relation to Uriah, and also to revive his glory in arms. Rabbah was a royal and populous city, the metropolis of Arabia Felix, watered and in some measure surrounded, by the river Jabbok. It had its name from its grandeur, and was now in the height of its glory; and we may suppose, that the taking of it brought a great accession of glory to David as we are told it did of wealth.
It is said that the weight of the king of Rabbah's crown, which David took from his head, was a talent of goldt. But it was most likely the value of it with the precious stones instead of the weight, a talent of gold amounting to about 5000/.
It appears that the king of Rabbah was deposed, and David crowned in his stead; this king was Hanun, who
* 2 Sam. xii.
Essay for a New Translation.
had treated David's ambassadors with so much indignity and it is imagined that David made Shobi, another son of Nahash, his viceroy at Rabbah; for in a subsequent part of this history it is said, that Shobi was in friendship with David, and shewed him great kindness.
David has been greatly censured for his treatment of his prisoners in this defeat. It is said, that he brought them forth, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron; and that he made them pass through the brick-kilns. It is certainly dreadful to read of such tortures; but if they were actually inflicted, it could only have been by way of retaliation. The Israelites were raised up on purpose to be a scourge upon every vice and enormity in the idolatrous nations; and it was an invariable and fixed point of duty, to retort upon those sinners every cruelty they had committed. But there is another way of explaining this text, which is, I think, more satisfactory; a learned *author assures us, that it, may be translated, he brought forth the inhabitants of it, and put them to the saw, to iron mines, and to iron axes; and transported them to the brick-kilns: that is, he reduced them to slavery, and put them to the most servile employments; some to one kind of labour, some to another, by which means he brought them into entire subjection.. It is certain that David did not destroy all the Ammonites; because we read, that in the reigns of future kings of Israel, they were very numerous.
After this memorable victory, David, with his whole army, returned to Jerusalem.
* Chandler's Life of David.