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

5:1. Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.

2. Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.

3. So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel.

4. David was thirty years old when he began to reign; and he reigned forty years.

5. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.

fessor Bryce, writing concerning the Constitution of the United States, says that all its best distinctive ideas were first tried and proved by individual states before they were incorporated into the national constitution.

Almost all the men of great power rose by degrees, from the lower to the higher, from the lesser to the greater. David had proved himself fitted for the kingship. He had almost ideal qualities for it. But he needed training by lesser and easier tasks for the great, enduring, glorious kingdom he was to create and rule. Hence, for seven years he was faithful over a few things in order that he might rule well over many things.

IV. DAVID KING OF ISRAEL, 2 Sam. 5. “ The seven and a half years between Saul's death and the crowning of David as king of all Israel were a period of civil war between the tribes of the north and of the south. When Saul fell at Gilboa, his general, Abner, persuaded the northern tribes to make his only surviving son, Ish-bosheth, king in his father's place. Ish-bosheth was king in name only. Abner was the real ruler, and for some time kept the people united under his leadership. In the tribal warfare David's forces under the command of Joab were uniformly victorious over those of Abner. Abner quarrelled with Ish-bosheth and deserted to David, promising to bring the northern tribes with him. His murder, and the assassination of Ish-bosheth, left the north with no strong leader or heir to the throne of Israel and they turned to David as their natural king. David's broad spirit and the many evidences of his good will to the northern tribes now bore fruit.'

1. Then came all the tribes of Israel to David to Hebron. They came by their elders (v. 3), representing, according to i Chron. 12 : 23-40, 339,600 warriors. They gave good reasons. (1) Behold we are thy bone and thy flesh. That is, they “ were of such common descent that it was unfitting for them to constitute separate nations." Ellicott. (2) He had shown himself a competent leader. His personal bravery and military skill had been proved. After his exploit with Goliath his name had become a household word. They had known of his many other exploits. (3) v. 2. The Lord said unto thee, .. thou shalt be a captain (R. V. “prince”) over Israel. He was divinely appointed, the one whom God saw to be the best one for their king. The man whom God chooses for an office is the man the people need.

David's was a constitutional monarchy, not a despotism. 3. King David made a league with the elders of Israel in Hebron before the Lord. This league was probably a solemn contract in which the king on the one hand engaged to rule according to the laws, and the people on the other hand promised him their allegiance. Some kind of a charter, defining the king's rights, was in existence (1 Sam. 10 : 25); and later on we find the people demanding some limitation of these rights (1 Kings 12 :

The Coronation. This was accompanied by religious sanctions and services, king and people consecrating themselves to Jehovah as the true God, and promising to be loyal and true to him. According to i Chron. 12 : 39, 40, there was a three days? sacrificial feast, with ample provisions, figs, raisins, wine, and oils, beside sheep and oxen, brought by some of the nearer tribes," for there was joy in Israel.”

3 ff.).

The New Capital, vs. 6–9. Hebron was the natural capital of Judah, but was not in a fitting situation to be the capital of all Israel, being too far south, and not sufficiently strong from a military point of view. Therefore the king and his men went to Jerusalem, then called Jebus, as its inhabitants were Jebusites (1 Chron. 11:4). Political, civil, and military considerations pointed to Jerusalem as the most suitable capital for the united kingdom. (1) Its position was just within the borders of Judah, but close to the border of the northern kingdom. (2) Its selection“ would conciliate all parties, and be a bond of union, since it was the centre of the district within which had been wrought out the life and history of the twelve tribes. A circle of 30 miles' radius with Jerusalem for a centre embraced almost every enemy and almost every achievement in Hebrew history.” James Simes. (3) At the same time it continued David under the special protection of his own tribe. (4) “ As a military post it was unrivalled. It stood on a rocky plateau surrounded on three sides by deep ravines, forming a natural fortress of almost impregnable strength.” — Cambridge Bible. It was the Gibraltar of Palestine.

Twice only, so far as is known, in its history has the city been taken without the aid of treachery, from within. The first was its capture by David's men. David had quietly noticed that there was one way of reaching the citadel where few defenders would be watching, since no one expected an attack in that direction. This was by the gutter, the watercourse. The brilliant exploit was accomplished by Joab, David's nephew, and he received the reward which had been offered, the confirmation of his position as commander-in-chief of Israel's army.

The second time was the capture by the British under General Allenby in the great World War. Because of its strength and its history it had been freely prophesied that the city would not be taken ; at least not without the destruction of its walls and defenses by the best of modern cannon. For this reason its comparatively easy reduction is considered by many as a distinct intervention by God to prevent the ruin of the sacred sites it contains; and this without any underestimation of the skill and wisdom of the commanding general.

V. THE SECRET OF DAVID'S SUCCESS. David was chosen, not so much for the excellences of character he already possessed as for the possibilities of excellence to be developed by the grace of God, through his obedience. There were many ingredients in this secret.

1. His patience. He was willing to bide his time.
2. His brotherliness. He was eager to draw others into success with him.

3. His energy. He missed no opportunity through sluggishness or lack of preparation.

4. His courage. He was ready to meet any foe.

5. His trust. He had the confidence which is half of victory, and that comes only from faith in God.

6. His tact. He knew how to do and say the right things at the right times. 7. His loyalty to his friends. He proved that he could be trusted. 8. His patriotism. He loved his country, and was glad to live for it.

9. Above all things his religion. He learned to do right amid great temptations to wrong doing.

LESSON V (18). August 1. DAVID BRINGS THE ARK TO JERUSALEM. 2 Sam. 6:1-19;

Ps. 24:7-10.

PRINT 2 Sam. 6:11-19; Ps. 24 : 7-10. GOLDEN TEXT. - Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Ps. 100: 4.

Devotional Reading : i Chron. 16 : 23–31.
Additional Material for Teachers : Ex. 25: 10-22 ; 2 Sam. 5:6–25; 1 Chron.

15 and 16; Heb. 9 : 2-10. Primary Topic : THANKING God.

Lesson Material : 2 Sam. 6:11-19 ; Ps. 24 : 7–10.
Memory Verse : It is a good thing to give thanks unto Jehovah. Ps. 92 : 1.

Junior Topic : The ARK OF GOD BROUGHT TO JERUSALEM.

Lesson Material : 2 Sam. 6:11-19 ; Ps. 24 : 7-10.

Memory Verses: Ps. 24 : 7-10.
Intermediate and Senior Topic : WHAT THE ARK MEANT TO ISRAEL.

Additional Material : Ex. 25 : 10-22 ; Heb. 9 : 2–10.
Topic for Young People and Adults : Making RELIGION CENTRAL.

Additional Material : Matt. 6:19–34 ; Luke 10 : 38-42 ; Phil. 3 : 12-16.

on

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THE TEACHER AND HIS CLASS.

and in the latter part of our lesson it

was brought to Jerusalem and placed in David determined to make religion a the place prepared for it, probably on real influence in the kingdom, for the ark Mount Zion. represented the presence of Jehovah among his people. The history of the ark and its relation to the religious his- THE TEACHER'S LIBRARY. tory of Israel forms the solid basis for the lesson, while its practical applications Commentaries

Samuel and to modern conditions makes for a very 1 Chronicles, and also on Psalm 24. practical subject.

Lives of David, as named in previous Begin the lesson in the Younger Grades lessons. by drawing from them the things which W. H. Bennett, A Biblical Introducwe owe to God's love and care, the list tion. A Harmony of Samuel, Kings, and can be made very personal and as long Chronicles, by Rev. W. D. Crockett; and as the time will permit. Then ask if we Professor Little's Royal Houses of Israel thank God every day for giving us all and Judah. Kingsley's Gospel of the these good things. Show by the story Pentateuch and David. how David thanked God for what God had done for him. The Junior classes can add to this the

THE ROUND TABLE. story of the making of the ark, and its purpose; while the Intermediate and FOR RESEARCH AND DISCUSSION. Senior grades can make a study of the The ark of the covenant and its symbolisms. references to the ark in the Bible, to The ark as a means of religious life. discover just how much the ark meant History of the ark to this time.

Value of religious enthusiasm. to Israel.

Why was Uzzah so severely punished? In the classes for Young People and The harm that comes from irreverence. Adults the main part of the time can

The presence of God in a home. be spent on the place of religion in the Why did David want the ark in Jerusalem ? life. Can it be made a side issue, or should it be the central thing around which all other interests cluster ? PLAN OF THE LESSON. What is the place of religion in the SUBJECT : David's Work for the Renation? Can it safely be ignored as something pertaining to the individual

ligious Life of Israel. alone ?

I. The ARK

COVENANT,
Ex. 25 : 10-22.
II. THE HISTORY OF THE ARK.

III.
THE LESSON IN ITS SETTING.

THE ARK BROUGHT FROM KIRJATH

JEARIM, 2 Sam. 6:1-10. Time.

THE ARK IN THE HOUSE OF OBEDMost probably after the IV. completion of David's wars, when the

EDOM, 2 Sam. 6:10-12. nation was at peace, and David could

V. THE ARK BROUGHT TO JERUSALEM, give his attention to the establishment

2 Sam. 6:11-19; Ps. 24 : 7-10. of the national religion. Beecher thinks VI. MAKING RELIGION CENTRAL. it was in B.C. 1042, in the twenty-second year of David's reign. Place. - The ark had been for a long

THE LESSON IN ART. time at Kirjath-jearim, about eleven miles west of Jerusalem. In the first of The Return of the Ark, Doré. * our lesson it was moved from there to King David and the Ark, by an unthe house of Obed-edom at some point known artist.* between Kirjath-jearim and Jerusalem ; David Praising the Lord, by van Meire.

OF

THE

I. THE ARK OF THE COVENANT, Ex. 25: 10–22. The ark was made during the year spent by the Israelites on their way from Egypt to their Promised Land. It was a chest of acacia wood, 24 cubits (about 4 ft.) long, and I cubits,(21 ft.) in height as well as width. Acacia wood was famed for its strength and durability,

being hard and close-grained. It was overlaid, plated, both within and without with pure gold. The lid was of solid gold, and was called the mercy seat. Upon this lid were two golden figures of winged cherubim, with their wings stretched out over the ark, and their faces turned toward one another. These were symbols of the presence of Jehovah, who as King of Israel dwelt between the cherubim, uttered his voice from between them, and there met the High Priest, as the representative of the people, on the Day of Atonement.

There were golden rings at the four corners of the ark, and four staves of acacia wood overlaid with gold placed in the rings that the ark might be carried by them during the journey of the Israelites. It was placed in the Holy of Holies and contained, according to

Heb. 9 : 4, the two tables containing the Ten Ark of the Covenant.

Commandments, the pot of manna, and Aaron's

rod that budded. What the Ark Meant to Israel. “ The ark was the most ancient and sacred of the religious symbols of the Hebrew nation." “It is mentioned close to 200 times." (1) It was the sign and expression of the divine presence in Israel. It was the abode of the deity, just as our churches are the places where we meet God. Neither now nor in olden time does this expression imply that God is not everywhere. But in some places God especially manifests himself, on account of the limitations of human nature. (2) The ark was the place where God revealed his will. The shekinah shone between the cherubim. (3) The tables of the law within the ark were the loving covenant of God with his people. They were to keep his law, and then they were to be his people, and especially under his protection. (4) The mercy seat over the ark revealed God as ready to forgive transgressions whenever there was repentance ; that he was full of lovingkindness and tender forbearance. Hence the ark was the central point of religious worship and divine guidance.

II. THE HISTORY OF THE ARK. From the time of the making of the ark in the shadow of Mt. Sinai to the time, more than 400 years later, when David sought to bring it to his capital, Jerusalem, it had many strange and interesting experiences.

(1) It accompanied and guided the people throughout their wilderness journey.

(2) It went in advance of the people into the midst of Jordan, and stood there as a sign and seal of safety until all the people had passed over (Josh. 4:1-11).

(3) It was carried in the midst of the host in the solemn procession around Jericho, until that city fell (Josh. 6 : 1, 20).

(4) It formed the central place of worship for the tribes, first in Gilgal, and later at Shiloh, twenty miles north of Jerusalem (Josh. 18:1; 1 Sam. 1 : 3).

(5) When the Israelites were smitten in battle by the Philistines near Aphek they hoped to save the day by bringing the symbol of the worship of Jehovah'into the midst of the battle. But God did not reward the wickedness of Eli's sons and the Israelites in that way. The Israelites were totally defeated, and the ark captured by the enemy. But the Lord would not permit them to retain it. Their idol Dagon fell before it. The people were smitten with sore sickness wherever the ark was sent. Finally it was returned to Israel, and sent up the Sorek valley as far as Kirjath-jearim, 9 or 10 miles from Jerusalem (Eusebius), where it remained for seventy years in the house of Abinadab on the hill who put it in charge of one of his -sons (1 Sam. 7:1).

IIÌ. THE ARK BROUGHT FROM KIRJATH-JEARIM, 2 Sam. 6:1-10. David and his mighty men had as their first duty to conquer the enemies of Israel. As soon as the Philistines heard that David had become king of all Israel they immediately made an attack upon him and his kingdom in great force. Battle after battle had to be fought before the Israelites could feel themselves safe from the incursions of this powerful people. Until that time came the people, at least, would not be ready to make an earnest effort to revive the religious life of the nation ; nor, probably, would such a religious procession as that which went to bring the ark to Jerusalem have been safe from attack from these hostile neighbors. “The ultimate recovery of the ark, we cannot doubt, stands in close connection with David's repeated victories over the Philistines. Only when their power had been completely broken was it possible for David to regain possession of the ark." — New Century Bible.

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When therefore peace had finally been won David consulted with all his military leaders, and later with the whole assembly of the people, proposing that the ark should be brought to the capital (1 Chron. 13:1-4). And “the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.'

1. Thirty thousand, representatives of the whole people, coming from all portions of the country. The restoration must be a national act, or it would lose much of its unifying power.

2. Baale of Judah, another name for Kirjath-jearim (1 Chron. 13 : 6).

3. They set the ark of God upon a new cart. Here was the first error.

It was probably done from a desire to keep the ark sacred from anything that had been used for common purposes ; or from a remembrance of the way it was brought from the Philistines to Kirjath-jearim (1 Sam. 6:7). But that was by the Philistines who could not have known the law while David and the priests should have been familiar with

Kirjath-jearim. it. See Num. 4:15; 7:9. The ark was Here the Ark remained for seventy years. to be carried by Levites.

5. And David and all the house of Israel played. The Hebrew word means to dance to music vocal and instrumental. (See Judges 16 : 25, and Jer. 30 : 19 ; 1 Chron. 13 : 8.) On all manner of instruments made of fir wood. sion is a strange one. Probably we should adopt the reading of the parallel passage

in i Chronicles, with all their might and with singing. The Hebrew words are very

ilar, and the Septuagint text supports the change.” — Cambridge Bible. Harps, like our modern harp. Psalteries, probably resembling our guitar. Timbrels seem to have included tambourines and all instruments of the drum kind. Cornets, horns. Cymbals, like those in use to-day.

6. The second error of the day grew out of the first error. “The jagged bridlepaths of those parts are not at all adapted for wheeled

conveyances,” and when the pro1. Timbrel. 2. Cymbals. 3. Cornet. 4. Harp. 5. Psaltery. cession had reached Nachon's

threshing floor (an unknown place, probably not far from Jerusalem), the oxen shook it. The R. V. says “the oxen stumbled,” giving the cause rather than the result. The ark was on the point

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i The expres

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Musical Instruments,

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