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with which he bounds from crag to crag to escape his enemies.
But yet more in these Psalms we observe the growth of his dependence on God, nurtured by his hairbreadth escapes. • As the Lord liveth, who hath redeemed’ my soul out
of adversity' was the usual form of his oath or asseveration in later times. The wild, waterless hills through which he passes, give a new turn to his longing after the fountain of Divine consolations. "O God, thou art my God, early • will I seek thee. My soul thirsteth for thee in a barren 6 and dry land where no water 3 is.' The hiding places in which the rock arches over his 4 head are to him the very shadow of the Almighty wings. The summary of this whole period, when he was delivered from the hand
of all his enemies, and from 5 Saul,' is that of one who knows that for some great purpose he has been drawn up from the darkest abyss of danger and distress. He seemed to have sunk down below the lowest depths of the sea; and out of those depths his cry reached to the throne of God; and, as in a tremendous thunderstorm, with storm and wind, with thunder and lightning, with clouds and darkness, God Himself descended and drew him forth. • He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of
many waters.' The means by which this deliverance was achieved were, as far as we know, those which we see in the Books of Samuel — the turns and chances of Providence, his own extraordinary activity, the faithfulness of his
Ps. xviii. 2, 31, 33, 36, 46; xxxi. 2, 3, 20. ? 2 Sam. iv. 9; 1 Kings i. 29.
Ps. lxiii. 1. That this relates to his Farlier wanderings, and not to the fight from Absalom, appears from the Hebrew word for 'wilderness,' in the title (midbar).
+ Ps. Ivii. 1.
5 Ps. xviii. 1. Ewald, chiefly from the apparent allusions to the alliances of foreign enemies in verses 43, 44, 45, places this Psalm at the close of David's wars. But the special mention of Saul in the title, and the general character of the contents, seem rather to fix it to this period.
followers, the unexpected increase of his friends. But the act of deliverance itself is described in the language which belongs to the descent upon Mount Sinai or the Passage of the Red Sea. It was the Exodus, though of a single human soul, yet of a soul which reflected the whole nation. It was the giving of a second Law, though through the living tablets of a heart, deeper and vaster than the whole legislation of Moses. It was the beginning of a new Dispensation.
THE REIGN OF DAVID.
The Psalms which, according to their titles or their contents, illustrate this period, are :
(1) For Hebron, Psalm xxvii.
(2) For the occupation of Jerusalem, Psalms xxix., lxviii., cxxxii., III., XV., xxiv., xcvi. 1 Chron. xvi. 8–36, xvii. 16-27, xxix. 10–19.
(3) For the wars, Psalms xx., xxi., cviii., cx.
HIS WIVES AND HIS CHILDREX.
I. AT THE COURT OF SAUL.
(said to be Eglah;
2 Sam. iii. 5).
II. DURING THE WANDERINGS.
Abigail of Carmel
Chileab, or Daniel
(1 Chr. iii. 1).
1 Chr. xxvii. 32.)
III. AT HEBRON (2 Sam. iii. 2-5; 1 Chr. iii. 1-4).
Rehoboam = Maacah.
1 (2) More wives.'
* The tradition on Eglah in Jerome (Qu. Heb. on iii. 5 and vi. 23) says that she was Michal; and that she died in giving birth to Ithream.
† The LXX. (Cod. Vat.) in 2 Sam. v. 16, after having given substantially the same list as the present Hebrew text, repeats the list, with strange variations, as follows :-Samae, lessibath, Nathan, Galsmaan, lebaar, Thiesus, Elphalat, Naged, Naphek, Ianatha, Leasamys, Baalimath, Eliphaath. Josephus (Ant. vii. 3, (3) gives the following list, of which only three names are identical. He states that the two last were sons of the concubines :-Amnus, Emnus, Eban, Nathan, Solomon, lebar, Elién, Phalna, Ennaphen, Iensë, Eliphale ; and also his daughter Thamar.
THE REIGN OF DAVID.
The reign of David divides itself into two unequal portions. Reign at
Hebron. The first is the reign of seven years and six months at Hebron. Hebron was selected, doubtless, as the ancient sacred city of the tribe of Judah, the burial-place of the patriarchs, and the inheritance of Caleb. Here David was first formally anointed king, it would seem by the tribe of Judah, without any intervention of Abiathar. To Judah his reign was nominally confined. But probably for the first five years of the time, the dominion of the house of Saul, the seat of which was now at Mahanaim, did not extend to the west of the Jordan. We have already seen how . David 'waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed
weaker and weaker.' First came the successful inroad into Ishbosheth's territory. The single combat, the rapid pursuit, are told, however, chiefly for their connexion with the fortunes of two members of David's family. That fierce chase was sadly marked by the death of his nephew Asahel, Death of
Asahel. who there put to the last stretch his antelope swiftness, * turning neither to the right nor to the left' for any meaner prize than the mighty Abner. Abner, with the lofty generosity which never deserts him, chafes against the cruel necessity which forces him to slay his gallant pursuer. All the soldiers halted, struck dumb with grief over the dead body of their young leader. It was carried back and buried at Bethlehem, in their ancestral resting-place.