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So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal's wife the Carmelitess.

And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his houshold: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.

And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah ; and they told Da. vid, saying, that the men of Jabesh-gilead were they that buried Saul. · And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh. gilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the Lord, that have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him.

And now the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing.

Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant : for your master Saul is dead, and also tlie house of Judah have anointed me king over them :

But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim. And he made him king over all Israel, but the house of Judah followed David, .. And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish

bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim, to Gibeon.

And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool.

And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.

Then there arose and went over by number twelve

of .

of Benjamin, which pertained to Ish-bosheth the son of
Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.

And they caught every one his fellow by the head,

and thrust his sword in his fellow's side ; 80 they fell -- down together : wherefore that place was called Helkath

hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.

And there was a very sore battle that day: and Ab-
ner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the ser.
„vants of David.
: And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab,
and Abishai, and Asahel : and Asahel was as light of
foot as a wild roe.
- And Asahel pursued after Abner, and in going he
turned not to the right hand, nor to the left, from follow-
ing Abner.

Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou
Asahel? And he answered, I am. ;

. :
And Abner said to him, 'Turn thee aside to thy right
hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young
men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not

turn aside from following of him. " .: And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside

from following ine : wherefore should I smite thee to - the ground ? - how then should I hold up my face to

Joabithy brother? Din, (: Howbeit he refused to turn aside : wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him : and he fell down there, and died in the same place : and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still. "Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner : and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giah, by the way of the wil. derness of Gibeon.

• And

And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill.

Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitter. ness in the latter end ; how long shall it be then ere thou bid the people return from following their bre. thren?

And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following hịs brother.

So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.

And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim.

And Joab returned from following Abner : and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David's servants nineteen men and sahel.

But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin and of Abner's men, so that three hundred and threescore men died.

And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem : and Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at the break of the day. ,

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ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.

David had a noble army under his command, yet he did not offer to possess himself of the throne, but enquired the will of the Lorn. Hebron was situated in the midst

of

of the tribe of Judah, on the top of a ridge of high, mountains. It was one of the most ancient cities in. the world,' originally called Kirjath-Arba, the birth. place of Arba the son of Anak, from whom the gigantic race called Anakims descended · it'w had likewise been the residence of Abraham : it is now in the pos. session of the Turks, but in a very ruinated state. He. bron was a very fruitful spot, and had been given to Caleb as a reward for his fidelity to God, and he assigned it to the Levites. Here David and his army could subsist with great conveniency, and it was pecu. liarly fitted for his reception, being the metropolis of his tribe, and the possession of those priestly families who espoused his interest, whose determination in his favour would have influence on the whole' tribe. Da. vid's having been anointed by Samuel, was by this, time generally known; Jacob and Moses had predicted the establishment of the sovereignty in the tribe of JUDAH; so that acting agreeably to Divine appointment, the men of Judah were fully justified, in electing David for their king; and separating themselves from those tribes, who opposed the Lord's will, by setting up one of Saul's rejected family.

David took the earliest opportunity of shewing, by kindness to the men of Jabesh Gilead, that he did not aim at the crown from a principle of ambition or enmity to Saul.

Almer was Saul's uncle, and being a person of great spirit, he would not readily submit to let the sove. reignty be lost from his family; neither was he willing to resign the command of the army : and having taken an active part with Saul, he might likewise be fearful of David's resentment. VOL.II.

T :.. Mahanaim,

Mahanaim, the place where Ish-bosheth made his: first claim, was on the other side Jordan, where it was supposed David had the least influence. Abner carried -him about through the camp, and gained the tribes gradually to his interest. , Gibeon had formerly been the metropolis of the. Gibeonites, and after Joshua's league with him, it became a Levitical city. It is sup posed that Saul had dispossessed the Levites and Gi. beonites by violence, and placed some of his own tribe in their stead. At Gibeon, it is probable, that Ishbosheth resided during the two first years of his reign,. for so long David seems to have remained quiet; each in the mean time strengthening his own interest as much as possible..

Hitherto David seems carefully, to have avoided all: acts of hostility, and to have determined not to begive them, but to wait patiently for the Divine disposal inkis favour : but when he found that Abner had drawn together a number of men at Gibeon, he thought it advisable to send Joab with some forces to observe: them.

One would expect from. Abner's expression, let the young men arise and play before us, to hear of a combat, merely to shew how skilful they were in the science of defence ;. but it was a challenge, meant to prove who were the best warriors, and most deserving of giving a. PRINCE to ISRAEL.

Asahel unfortunately singled out Abner, and, pursued: him personally; but his ambition to take his spoils proved fatal to himself. Abner seems to have had some view to a reconciliation with David, by his unwilling, mess to kill the brother of Joab.

It is most likely, that Joab and Abishai knew not of

the

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