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Joab.

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It is now that Joab first appears on the scene. He was the eldest and the most remarkable of David's nephews, who, as we have shown, stood to him rather in the relation of cousin, from the interval of age between their mother and David, her youngest brother. Asahel was the darling of his brothers, and would have doubtless won high place amongst the heroes of his youthful uncle's army. Abishai was thoroughly loyal and faithful to David, even before the adherence of Joab—like Joab, implacable to the enemies of the royal house, unlike Joab, faithful to the end. But Joab with those ruder qualities combined something of a more statesmanlike character, which brings him more nearly on a level with David, and gives him the second place in the whole coming history. He had lived before, it may be, on more friendly terms than the rest of his family, with the reigning house of Saul. He was at least well known to Abner. It was not till after the death of Saul, that he finally attached himself to David's fortunes. The alienation was sealed by the death of Asahel. To him, whatever it might be to Abishai, it was a loss never to be forgiven. Reluctantly he had forborne the pursuit after Abner. Eagerly he had seized the opportunity of Abner's visit to David, decoyed him to the interview in the gateway of Hebron, and there treacherously murdered him. It may be that, with the passion of vengeance for his brother's death, was mingled the fear lest Abner should supplant him in the royal favour. He was forced to appear with all the signs of mourning at the funeral; Joab walked before the corpse, the king behind. But it was an intimation of Joab's power, that David never forgot. "I • am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men, • the sons of Zeruiah, are too hard for me: the Lord shall

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1 2 Sam. ü. 22, 26.

? 2 Sam. üïi. 27.

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reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.' So he hoped in his secret heart. But Joab's star was in the ascendant, he was already at the head of David's band, and a still higher prize was in store for him.

For now on the death of Ishbosheth the throne, so long waiting for David, was at last vacant, and the united voice of the whole people at once called him to occupy it. A solemn league was made between him and his people. For the second time David was anointed king, and a festival of three days celebrated the joyful event. His little band had now swelled into “a great host, like the host of God.' It was formed by contingents from every tribe of Israel. Two are specially mentioned as bringing a weight of authority above the others. The sons of Issachar had 'understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do, and with the adjacent tribes contributed to the common feast the peculiar products of their rich territory. The Levitical tribe, formerly represented in David's following only by the solitary fugitive Abiathar, now came in strength, represented by the head of the rival branch of Eleazar, the aged Jehoiada and his youthful and warlike kinsman Zadok. There is one Psalm traditionally referred to this part of David's life. It is that which opens with the words famous as the motto of our own famous University: “The Lord is my "light;' and the courageous and hopeful spirit which it breathes, the confident expectation that a better day was at band, whilst it lends itself to the manifold applications of our own later days, well serves as an introduction to the new crisis in the history of David and of the Jewish Church which is now at hand. It must have been with no common

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! 2 Sam. F. 3.

1 Chr. xii. 39. • Ibid. 22. • Ibid. 32, 40.

5 1 Chr. xii. 27, 28, xxvii. 5.

Ps. xxvii. The LXX. give title. Before the anointing.'

as the If we may so interpret Herod. ii. s 1 Chr. xi. 6. 159, iii, 5.

Capture of
Jerusalem.

interest that the surrounding nations looked out to see on what prey the Lion of Judah, now about to issue from his native lair, would make his first spring.

One fastness alone in the centre of the land had hitherto defied the arms of Israel. Long after every other fenced city had yielded, the fortress of Jebus remained impregnable, planted on its rocky heights, guarded by its deep ravines, and yet capable on its northern quarter of an indefinite expansion. On this, with a singular prescience, David fixed as his new capital. The inhabitants prided themselves on

their inaccessible position. Even the blind and the lame, they believed, could defend it. • David, they said, “shall never come up hither.' Herodotus! compares Jerusalem to Sardis. Like Sardis it was taken, through the neglect of the one point which nature seemed to have guarded sufficiently. At once David offered the highest prize in his kingdom—the chieftainship of the army-to the soldier who should scale the precipice. Did the thought cross his mind (as in a darker hour afterwards) that he who was most likely to make the daring attempt would perish, and thus the hard yoke of the sons of Zeruiah be broken? We know not. To Joab, as we see from all his preceding and subsequent conduct, the proffered post was the highest object of ambition. With the agility so conspicuous in his family-in Asahel his brother, and in David his uncle-he clambered up the ? cliff, and dashed the defenders down, and was proclaimed Captain of the Host.3 What became of the inhabitants we are not told. But apparently they were in great part left undisturbed. A powerful Jebusite chief, probably the king, 4 with his four sons,

* Araunah the King in 2 Sam. xxiv. ? The "gutter;' perhaps the port- 23, is elsewhere Araunah the Jebu. cullis (katapsáktns, by which the site (Heb. and Ewald). The LXX. LXX. elsewhere render the word). and Vulgate omit the words. See Ewald, iii. 157.

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lived on property of his own immediately outside the walls. But the city itself was immediately occupied as the capital of the new kingdom. Fortifications were added by the king and by Joab, and the city immediately became the royal residence.

From that moment, we are told, David ‘went on, going and growing, and the Lord God of Hosts was with him.' The neighbouring nations were partly enraged, and partly awestruck. The Philistines made two ineffectual attacks on the new King, and a retaliation on their former victories, and on the capture of the Ark, took place by the capture and conflagration of their idols.2 Tyre, now for the first time appearing in the sacred history, allied herself with Israel, and sent cedar wood for the building of the new capital.3 But the occupation of Jerusalem was to be of a yet greater than any strategetical or political significance.

Those only who reflect on what Jerusalem has since been Consecrato the world can appreciate the grandeur of the moment

Jerusalem. when it passed from the hands of the Jebusites, and became the city of David.' It was to be the inauguration of that new religious development of the Jewish nation, which

, having begun with the establishment of the first King, now received the vast impulse which continued till the overthrow of the monarchy. This impulse was given by the establishment of the Ark at Jerusalem.

The Ark was still in exile. It was detained at its first halting-place, Kirjath-jearim, on the outskirts of the hills of Judah.

It was to be moved in state to the new capital, which, by its reception, was to be consecrated. Unhallowed and profane as the city had been before, it was now to be elevated to a sanctity which it never lost, above all the other sanctuaries of the land. “Thy birth and “thy nativity,' says Ezekiel, in addressing Jerusalem, is 2 Sam. v. 9; 1 Chr. xi. 8.

3 2 Sam. v. 11; 1 Chr. xiv. 1. ? 2 Sam. v. 17-20; 1 Chr. xiv. 8–12.

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of the land of Canaan : thy father was an Amorite, and thy • mother an Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day *thou wast born ... thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled • at all ... thou wast cast out in the open field, to the * loathing of thy person in the day that thou wast born.' This unknown obscure heathen city, was now to win the

name which even to the superseding not only of the title of Translation of the Jebus, but of Jerusalem, it thenceforth assumed and bears Ark.

to this day—“The Holy City. At Ephratah, at Bethlehem, the idea of making this great transference had occurred to David's mind. The festival was one which exactly corresponded to what in the Middle Ages would have been the • Feast of the Translation of some great relic, by which a new city or a new church was to be glorified. Long sleepless nights 4 had David passed in thinking of it—as St. Louis of the transport of the Crown of Thorns to the Royal Chapel of Paris. Now the time was come. A national assembly was called from the extremest north to the extremest south.5 The King went at the head of his army 6 to find the lost relic of the ancient religion. They found it' in the woods which gave its name to Kirjath-jearim, the city of the woods,' on the wooded' hill above the town, in the house of Abinadab. It was removed in the same way in which it had been brought; a car or cart, newly made for the purpose, drawn by oxen, dragged it down the rugged path, accompanied by two of the sons of Abinadab; the third, Eleazar, who had been the priest of the little sanctuary, is not now mentioned. Of these Ahio went before, Uzzah guided the cart. The iong procession went down the defile with music of all kinds, till a sudden halt was made at a place known as the

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1 Ezek. xvi. 3, 4, 5.

Variously reported as 30,000, or 700,000 (LXX.).

2 El-Khods. Possibly the Kadytis of Herodotus (ii. 159; iii. 5).

3 Ps. cxxxii. 6. 4 Ibid. verse 4.

5 From the Orontes to the Nile (1 Chr. xiii. 5).

? 2 Sam. vi. 3, 4, hag-gibeah, Auth, Vers. Gibeah.

$ Ibid. vi. 3. Comp. 1 Sam. rii. 1. ' Ibid. vi. 4.

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