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The Hebrew Monarchy

The Hebrew Monarchy

  1. Causes Leading to Its Establishment. When Samuel became an old man, his sons Joel and Abiah, were made judges in Beersheba, but they disregarded the law of the Lord ( Deuteronomy 16:18 Deuteronomy 16:19 ), and refused to walk in the footstep of their illustrious father ( 1 Samuel 8:1-3 ). The elders gathered at Ramah, expressed their dissatisfaction to Samuel, and requested him to make them a king to judge them like other nations ( 1 Samuel 8:4 1 Samuel 8:5 ). The Lord had previously intimated through Moses that the time would come when they would desire a king, and had recorded what He would require of him ( Deuteronomy 17:14-20 ), but He had also declared that they should be above the other nations ( Deuteronomy 26:19 ). The request of the elders greatly displeased Samuel, and he prayed to the Lord for guidance. The Lord told him in answer, to grant their request, but to protest solemnly against their rebellious proceedings, and announce to the people the troubles and labors a king would bring on them. Samuel did this, but his appeal was unavailing, and the people declared emphatically that they would have a king. Samuel rehearsed the decision of the people to the Lord, and He told him to grant their request, and then he sent them to their homes ( 1 Samuel 8:6-22 ).

  2. Saul Anointed. Saul, the son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, went in search of some asses that had gone astray. After a futile search, the servant of Saul proposed that they go and interview the seer, Samuel, which he agreed to do. When they approached the prophet, he received them with cordiality, gave them the desired information, and treated Saul as a distinguished guest. The day previous to this visit, the Lord intimated to Samuel, that He would send him a man out of the tribe of Benjamin whom he should anoint as the leader of his people ( 1 Samuel 9:1-24 ). On the morning following Samuel arose and sent Saul away, accompanying him some distance. When they came to the edge of the city, Samuel told Saul to send his servant on, and he would show him the word of the Lord ( 1 Samuel 9:25-27 ). Then Samuel anointing him, saluted him with a kiss, and declared that it was all because the Lord had anointed him to be captain over His inheritance ( 1 Samuel 10:1 ). Samuel also told him what would come to pass that day, and his predictions were all fulfilled ( 1 Samuel 10:2-8 ).

  3. Saul Made King. As soon as Saul turned from Samuel, God gave him a new heart, and when he came unto a company of prophets the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them, and subsequently the people inquired if he were also a prophet, and judging from the inquiry of his uncle, it appears that the people were turning their minds toward him ( 1 Samuel 10:9-16 ). Samuel subsequently called the people together at Mizpeh, rehearsed to them the great deliverances of the Lord, and announced to them that they had rejected the Lord from being their king. He commanded them to present themselves by their tribes, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken, and finally Saul, of the family of Matri, was selected but could not be found. They inquired of the Lord, and he informed them that he was concealed among the stuff. When he was presented to the people, he was higher than any of them from the shoulders and upward ( 1 Samuel 10:17-23 ). Samuel then addressed the people and assured them that the Lord's chosen was superior to all his countrymen. The people shouted in recognition of the new king, and Samuel wrote the laws for the government of the people in a book ( 1 Samuel 10:24 1 Samuel 10:25 ).

  4. Sauls First Battle'. Saul retired to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by a band of men whose hearts the Lord had touched, but there were children of Belial who distrusted and despised him, and showed him no recognition, but he held his peace ( 1 Samuel 10:26 1 Samuel 10:27 ). Subsequently Nahash, the Ammonite, made war on Jabeshgilead, and the people proposed to serve him if he would make a covenant with them; but he agreed to do this only on condition that they would submit to having their right eyes thrust out, that he might thereby reproach all Israel. The elders of Jabesh requested seven days' respite, and immediately dispatched messengers to Gibeah, who found Saul leading the peaceful life of a shepherd. As soon as Saul received the information brought by the messengers, his anger was greatly kindled, and he took a yoke of oxen, cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the coast of Israel, declaring that destruction would be visited upon all who failed to rally to the standard of himself and Samuel. The fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came with one accord ( 1 Samuel 11:1-7 ). He numbered the army and found that it contained three hundred and thirty thousand men, and they proceeded to Jabesh. In the battle that followed, the Ammonites were completely routed, and Saul was so thoroughly enthroned in the affections of the people that they proposed to put to death all who had refused to submit to him as king. Saul declared that in view of the Lord's help in the great battle, no man should be put to death that day ( 1 Samuel 11:8-13 ). They at once proceeded to Gilgal where they publicly recognized Saul as king, worshipped the Lord by presenting peace offerings unto Him, and greatly rejoiced ( 1 Samuel 14 15 ).

  5. Samuels Farewell'. Samuel seeing that Saul was established as king over the people, delivered his farewell address to them at Gilgal. He called on the people and the Lord's anointed to bear testimony to his integrity from his youth up, and not a man dared to make an accusation against him ( 1 Samuel 12:1-5 ). He then reviewed their national history from the time of the exodus to that day, and in order to impress upon them the gravity of their crimes, called upon the Lord who sent thunder and rain upon them in harvest time ( 1 Samuel 12:6-18 ). The people were greatly terrified, and requested Samuel to pray for them, and acknowledged their great sin in asking for a king ( 1 Samuel 12:19 ). Samuel assured them that if they would walk in the right way, it would be well with them, otherwise, both they and their king would be destroyed ( 1 Samuel 12:20-25 ).

  6. Sauls Sin'. After Saul had reigned two years, he equipped a standing army of three thousand men, and placed himself and Jonathan at the head. Jonathan inaugurated new hostilities by smiting the Philistine garrison in Geba. Saul then made a proclamation throughout all Israel, and the people gathered to him at Gilgal. The Philistines, with an immense army, gathered at Michmash. The men of Israel were so frightened that a majority of them abandoned the king, and those who were with him followed with fear ( 1 Samuel 13:1-7 ). Saul tarried seven days according to the set time of Samuel ( 1 Samuel 10:1-8 ), but the failure of Samuel to appear led him in his impatience to present an offering unto the Lord. About this time Samuel arrived, and Saul attempted to excuse his presumption. Samuel rebuked him and told him that he had acted foolishly in failing to keep the commandments of the Lord and predicted that the Lord would dethrone him and elevate to the throne a man after His own heart ( 1 Samuel 13:8-14 ). After this the land was substantially under the control of the Philistines, and the Israelites were reduced to the humility of having to go to the Philistines to have their instruments sharpened ( 1 Samuel 13:15-23 ). Subsequently a battle was inaugurated by Jonathan that resulted in a degree in throwing off the Philistine yoke, but the war between the Philistines and the Israelites continued all the days of Saul ( 1 Samuel 14:1-52 ).

  7. Sauls Rebellion'. Samuel approached Saul and told him that the Lord remembered his threat ( Exodus 17:8-16 ) against the Amalekites, and commanded him to go and destroy them. Saul gathered an army of two hundred and ten thousand men, invaded the land of the Amalekites and smote them from Havilah to Shur. They captured Agag, the king, and took the best of the cattle ( 1 Samuel 15:1-9 ). The word of the Lord came to Samuel declaring that He repented that He had made Saul king, assuring the prophet that Saul had failed to keep His commandments. Samuel was greatly grieved and cried unto the Lord all night. He arose early in the morning, and when he came to the king, Saul recognized him as the servant of the Lord, assuring him that he had performed the Lord's commandments ( 1 Samuel 15:10-13 ). Samuel replied by asking him the meaning of the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the cattle. Saul endeavored to lay the responsibility on the people, saying they spared the best of the cattle for sacrificial purposes. Samuel told him to stay, and he would tell him what the Lord had said to him the previous night. He rehearsed Saul's history, ending with his disregard for the word of the Lord in failing to destroy the Amalekites ( 1 Samuel 15:13-19 ). Saul insisted that he had obeyed the word of the Lord, and Samuel asked him if the Lord had as great delight in sacrifices as He had in obedience. He also assured him that obedience was better than sacrifice, and hearkening that the fat of rams. He further rebuked Saul by declaring that rebellion was as bad as witchcraft and that stubbornness was as bad as iniquity and idolatry. He then announced to Saul that because he had rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord had rejected him from being king ( 1 Samuel 15:20-23 ). Saul acknowledged to Samuel that he had sinned and asked for pardon, but Samuel declared to him that the Strength of Israel would neither lie nor repent ( 1 Samuel 15:24-29 ). Saul again acknowledged his sin, and besought Samuel to honor him before the people which he did ( 1 Samuel 15:30 1 Samuel 15:31 ). After this Samuel hewed Agag in pieces and departed from Saul ( 1 Samuel 15:32-35 ).

  8. David Anointed. Samuel mourned on account of Saul, but the Lord commanded him to fill a horn with oil and go to Jesse the Bethlehemite and anoint one of his sons as king. Samuel was afraid to go because of Saul, but He told him to take a heifer, say he had come to offer sacrifice unto the Lord, and call Jesse to the sacrifice. Samuel approached Bethlehem; the elders of the town trembled at his coming and inquired of him if he had come peaceably, and he assured them that he had and invited them to the sacrifice; he also invited Jesse and his sons, having first sanctified them ( 1 Samuel 16:1-5 ). When they came and Samuel saw Eliab, he said surely the Lord's anointed was before Him, but the Lord commanded Samuel not to look upon his countenance or his height because He had refused him, for the Lord does not see as man sees; man looks upon the outward appearance, but the Lord looks upon the heart. Jesse's sons passed in succession before the prophet, and he finally inquired of Jesse if he had any more children, and he answered that he had one, the youngest, who was attending his sheep. He was immediately sent for, and when they brought him before the prophet he proved to be a very attractive youth, and the Lord commanded him to arise and anoint him, for this was His selection. The venerable prophet poured the anointing oil upon him in the midst of his brethren, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him from that day forward, and Samuel arose and went to Ramah ( 1 Samuel 16:1-13 ).

  9. Saul Punished. As soon as David was anointed, the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. Saul's servants approached him and asked him to consent to the selection of a musician who should play before him and soothe his troubled mind. He gave a favorable answer, and one of the servants recommended David for whom the king immediately sent. David came and stood before the king by whom he was fervently loved, and elevated to a position of honor and trust. David played before the king, and he was refreshed, and the evil spirit departed from him ( 1 Samuel 16:14-23 ).

  10. War--Davids Valor'. After this, the Philistines invaded the land, and the army of Israel was greatly terrified by the challenge of the champion of the Philistines, Goliath of Gath, who was clad in armor and equipped with weapons, offensive and defensive. He proposed to hang the issues of the war upon personal combat and invited the hosts of Israel to furnish a man to meet him, and he insolently defied the armies of the living God ( 1 Samuel 17:1-11 ). David had, previous to this, returned to his father's home at Bethlehem. Three of his brothers, Eliab, Abinadab and Shammah, were in the army. Jesse sent him to them with provisions, and he found the two armies engaged in battle in the valley of Elah, and David left his carriage, ran into the army and saluted his brethren. While he was talking with them, the Philistine champion appeared again, and the men of Israel were greatly afraid, and said that the king would enrich the man who killed him, give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel. David inquired into the matter and again received these assurances from the servants of Saul ( 1 Samuel 17:1-27 ). When David's brother Eliab heard this his anger was greatly kindled, and he rebuked him in very severe terms. David proposed to Saul to go and fight the Philistine, but Saul doubted his ability to do so. However, David gave him some examples of his prowess, and declared that the Philistine should be as one of the slain, seeing he had defied the armies of the living God ( 1 Samuel 17:28-37 ). Saul clothed him with his armor and otherwise equipped him for the contest; but he refused all these things and took his staff, his sling and five smooth stones from the brook. The contest resulted in the death of the champion, the defeat of the Philistine army, and a great victory for Israel ( 1 Samuel 17:38-54 ). It appears that owing to David's absence at Bethlehem, Saul had forgotten him, and after the war he inquired of Abner who he was. Abner said that he did not know. When he came before Saul, the king asked him whose son he was, and replied that he was the son of Jesse the Bethlehemite ( 1 Samuel 17:55-58 ).

  11. Sauls Envy'. After this, Jonathan, Saul's son, and David loved each other with a deathless devotion, and Jonathan clothed him with royal robes and placed in his hand implements of war in keeping with his exalted position ( 1 Samuel 18:1-4 ). David rendered strict obedience to the requirements of his sovereign, and acted wisely in all things, and he became commander-in-chief of the army and the most distinguished man of the nation. When he returned from the slaughter of the Philistines, the women of Israel came out to meet him with great demonstrations of joy, ascribing great honor to him and but little to Saul. Saul was very angry, and asked in disgust and impatience what more he could have save the kingdom ( 1 Samuel 13:5-9 ). From that day forward his chief desire seemed to be to take David's life. He endeavored to smite him with a javelin ( 1 Samuel 17:9-11 ), and endeavored to hasten his death by offering him his daughter in marriage ( 1 Samuel 17:12-30 ).

  12. Jonathan. Jonathan, the son of Saul, was a valiant warrior ( 1 Samuel 13:4 ; 1 Samuel 14:1-16 ), but his name will forever live on account of his love for David ( 1 Samuel 19:1-7 ; 1 Samuel 20:1-42 ).

  13. David a Wanderer. Saul determined to destroy David and pursued him constantly. On his account he attempted to kill his son Jonathan ( 1 Samuel 20:24-34 ), and killed eighty-five of the priests of the Lord ( 1 Samuel 21:1-5 ; 1 Samuel 22:1-23 ). During these days of uncertainty in the life of David, he twice spared the life of Saul ( 1 Samuel 24:1-22 ; 1 Samuel 26:1-25 ). He also rescued Keilah ( 1 Samuel 23:1-13 ); invaded the land of Geshurites, Gezrites and Amalekites ( 1 Samuel 27:5-12 ) and almost exterminated the Amalekites ( 1 Samuel 30:1-25 ).

  14. Death of Saul. The Philistines again gathered their armies together against Israel; at this time David was living at Ziklag, ostensibly as a loyal subject to Achish the king. He proposed to show his devotion to his adopted country by joining the army, and the king gladly accepted his services ( 1 Samuel 28:1-3 ). Samuel had died, and his countrymen had buried him with great honors at Ramah, and Saul had expelled all those who had familiar spirits and all witches from the land ( 1 Samuel 28:1-3 ), and when the king saw the gathering hosts of his old-time enemy and contemplated his comparatively defenseless condition and failed to secure any promise of help from the Lord, his apostasy was completed by his turning to the witch at Endor. This woman called for Samuel, and he appeared in a form that enabled Saul to recognize him. Upon his enquiring why Saul had disquieted him, the king told him that God had forsaken him and that every source of help had been cut off from him. Samuel told him that his destiny was sealed, and predicted that on the morrow Saul and his sons would be with him. All courage seemed to depart from Saul, but after receiving nourishment prepared by the woman he arose and departed ( 1 Samuel 28:5-25 ). When the time for the battle came, the lords of the Philistines refused David the privilege of going with the army ( 1 Samuel 29:1-11 ). The battle was fought on Mount Gilboa; the army of Israel was defeated; Saul and his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Melchishua were slain ( 1 Samuel 31:11-16 ). The children of Israel forsook their cities, and they were occupied by the Philistines ( 1 Samuel 31:7 ). On the following day when the Philistines came to the battlefield to strip the dead, the found Saul and his three sons. They cut off Saul's head, stripped off his armor, and sent messengers to proclaim their victory to their countrymen. They put Saul's armor in the house of Ashtaroth and fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan ( 1 Samuel 31:8-10 ). Saul's body was subsequently rescued by the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead, who also secured the bodies of his sons, and, after burning them, buried their bones under a tree in Jabesh ( 1 Samuel 31:11-13 ). On the third day after the battle, an Amalekite came to the camp of David at Ziklag and professed to have assisted Saul in taking his life. He also brought the crown of Saul and his bracelet. David and his associates expressed their sorrow and indignation by rending their clothes, weeping, mourning, and fasting. David had the young man put to death because he had testified that he had slain the Lord's anointed ( 2 Samuel 1:1-16 ). David's lamentation over Saul and his son Jonathan is beautiful and touching in the extreme ( 2 Samuel 1:17-27 ).

  15. Causes of Sauls Death'. Saul's death is ascribed to two causes:
    1. His transgression;
    2. and consulting one who had a familiar spirit ( 1 Chronicles 10:13 1 Chronicles 10:14 ).

    Saul's transgression was, in his eyes, an insignificant affair, and yet it cost him his throne, his happiness, his life!

  16. David Anointed the Second Time. After the death of Saul, David inquired of the Lord if he should go up to any of the cities of Judah, and He told him to go up to Hebron. He was accompanied by his two wives and the men who had been with him ( 2 Samuel 2:1-3 ). When he arrived the men of Judah gathered themselves together and anointed him king over Judah. They also informed him that the men of Jabeshgilead had buried Saul, and he sent messengers to them, complimenting them for their valor, and informing them that the house of Judah had made him king ( 2 Samuel 2:4-7 ).

  17. A Rival Kingdom. Abner, the son of Ner, the captain of Saul's hosts, took Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, brought him to Mahanaim and made him king over Israel, and he reigned two years. War followed, and the result was that the house of David became stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul became weaker and weaker ( 2 Samuel 2:8-3:1 ), and finally Abner disagreed with Ishbosheth and declared that he would transfer the kingdom to David. He sent messengers to this effect to David, who replied that he should not see his face unless he should bring his wife Michal, the daughter of Saul; and Abner did as requested ( 2 Samuel 3:2-16 ). Abner laid the matter before the elders of Israel and received their endorsement, and he, with twenty of his men, visited David at Hebron, the arrangement was consummated, and David sent Abner away in peace ( 2 Samuel 3:17-21 ). During the conference between David and Abner, Joab, the captain of David's host, was absent pursuing a troop. When he returned and discovered what had been done, he reproached the king, sent messengers after Abner, and on his return wickedly took his life ( 2 Samuel 3:22-27 ). David expressed great sorrow and indignation, declared that he and his kingdom were guiltless, called Abner a great man and a prince in Israel, and declared that notwithstanding he was king the sons of Zeruiah, his nephews, Abishai, Joab and Asahel, were too much for him ( 2 Samuel 3:28-39 ; 1 Chronicles 2:16 1 Chronicles 2:17 ).

  18. Death of Ishbosheth. Ishbosheth was murdered by two of his captains, Baanah and Rechab ( 2 Samuel 4:1-8 ). David had these men put to death ( 2 Samuel 4:9-12 ).

  19. David Anointed the Third Time. After the death of Ishbosheth, all the tribes of Israel assembled at Hebron, acknowledged their relationship to the king and expressed their appreciation of his services in the past, and he made a league with them before the Lord, and they anointed him king over Israel ( 2 Samuel 5:1-3 ).

  20. Jerusalem Taken. Soon after this David, with his army, made war on Jerusalem. The inhabitants taunted him, declaring that he could not even overcome their blind and lame, but in spite of their insults, he took the city ( 2 Samuel 5:4-7 ). David proclaimed throughout his army that the man who should get up into the gutter and smite the Jebusites, should be captain of his army ( 2 Samuel 5:8 ). The distinction was gained by Joab, and the king subsequently took up his abode in the conquered city, improved it, and grew on in favor with God and man ( 2 Samuel 5:9 2 Samuel 5:10 1 Chronicles 11:4-9 ).

  21. Hirams Kindness'. Hiram, king of Tyre, sent messengers to David and building material, and erected him a house, and David recognized the fact that the Lord was with him and that He had made him king for Israel's sake ( 2 Samuel 5:11 2 Samuel 5:12 ).

  22. Sin. David's prosperity was too great for his faith, consequently he flagrantly violated the law of God by multiplying concubines ( Deuteronomy 17:14-17 ; 2 Samuel 5:13-16 ).

  23. War. When the Philistines heard of the anointing of David they invaded the land, but with the help of the Lord he gained two great victories over them ( 2 Samuel 5:17-25 ).

  24. The Ark Brought to Zion. David gathered together thirty thousand chosen men of Israel in order to transport the ark of God from Kirjathjearim to his own city. They set the ark upon a new cart, and the two sons of Abinadab, Uzzah and Ahio drove the cart. The king and all the people expressed their joy by playing upon all sorts of musical instruments ( 1 Samuel 6:1-9 ). When they came to Nachon's threshing floor, the oxen caused the ark to shake; Uzzah put forth his hand to support it, and God smote him for his error, and he died ( 2 Samuel 6:7 2 Samuel 6:8 ). David was displeased and frightened, and carried the ark aside into the house of Obededom, the Gittite, where it remained three months, and the Lord blessed his household on account of its presence ( 2 Samuel 6:8-11 ). David was informed that the Lord had blessed the house of Obededom ( 2 Samuel 6:12 ). He therefore prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent. He also recognized the law of the Lord that the ark of the covenant should be borne upon the shoulders of the Levites ( Numbers 4:1-15 ; Numbers 7:9 ). He then assembled the children of Aaron and the Levites, and commanded Zadok, Abiathar, Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel and Amminadab to sanctify themselves with their brethren in order to bring the ark unto the place he had prepared for it. He declared that their neglect of the law of the Lord had caused Him to make a breach upon them when they made their first effort to remove the ark ( 1 Chronicles 15:1-14 ). The priests and Levites sanctified themselves, and the ark was transported according to the law of Moses ( 1 Chronicles 15:14 1 Chronicles 15:15 ). The ark was moved with great rejoicing, and set in the place that David had prepared for it. Numerous sacrifices were presented and liberal gifts were made to the people ( 2 Samuel 6:13-19 ). David celebrated the return of the ark by writing a psalm ( 1 Chronicles 16:1-36 ). When David returned to his house, his wife, Michal, bitterly reproached him for having danced before the ark. David answered that it was before the Lord that he danced, and expressed a determination to be honored by the handmaids of Israel ( 2 Samuel 16:20-23 ).

  25. Proposal to Build the House of God. After the removal of the ark, David enjoyed an era of peace, and he called Nathan the prophet and declared that while he dwelt in a house of cedar, the ark of the Lord dwelt only within curtains. Nathan caught his meaning and told him to do all that was in his heart for the Lord was with him ( 2 Samuel 7:1-3 ). On the following night the word of the Lord came to the prophet, and He told him that He would not permit David to build Him a House, but assured him that when his days were fulfilled, and he should sleep with his fathers, He would raise up a son for him and establish his kingdom, and that he should build the house of the Lord. The prophet communicated to David the will of the Lord; and when he heard this, he went in and sat before the Lord, and in a most beautiful prayer acknowledged the guiding hand of the Lord, his dependence upon Him for all his blessings, and his great appreciation of the promise of future prosperity ( 2 Samuel 7:4-29 ).

  26. War Again. David subsequently subdued the Philistines and Moabites, and pushed his victories to the river Euphrates, thus fulfilling the promise of the Lord to Abraham ( Genesis 15:18 ; 2 Samuel 8:1-3 ). Numerous engagements followed, in all of which David was victorious ( 2 Samuel 8:4-14 ). David reigned over all Israel and executed judgment and justice to all his people, and in this he was supported and assisted by the chief men of his kingdom ( 2 Samuel 8:15-18 ).

  27. Mephibosheth. In the days of David's prosperity, he inquired if any were left of the house of Saul, for he desired to show them kindness on account of Jonathan. The desired information was given by Ziba, who told told him of a crippled son of Jonathan. David called him, restored unto him the land that belonged unto his grandfather Saul, appointed Ziba and his servants to cultivate the land for him, permitted him to dwell in Jerusalem, and to eat continually at the table of the King ( 2 Samuel 9:1-13 ).

  28. An Insult Resented. After these events the king of Ammon died, and Hanun, his son, reigned in his stead. David remembered the kindness of Nahash and sent a deputation of his servants to comfort the king. The princes of the children of Ammon suggested to the king that David's motive was not an honorable one, and they therefore caught the servants of David and treated them shamefully. When David heard of this, he told his messengers to tarry at Jericho until their beards were grown ( 2 Samuel 10:1-5 ). The result of this treatment of David's representatives was war with the Ammonites who were assisted by the Assyrians, and a great victory for David followed ( 2 Samuel 10:6-19 ).

  29. Davids Great Sin'. At the beginning of another year, the king sent Joab and the army against the Ammonites. During the absence of the army, David committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, the Hittite. Afterwards Joab sent Uriah to David, and the king attempted to cover up his crime, but Uriah was too magnanimous to go to his home while the ark and Israel and Judah abode in tents, and the servants of the king were encamped in the open field ( 2 Samuel 11:1-13 ). The king dismissed him, and he returned to the army, and Joab, on his instructions, placed him in a dangerous position, and he was killed ( 2 Samuel 11:1-17 ). Joab sent a message to David detailing some of the disastrous results of the battle with the Ammonites, and the king urged him to push the work of destruction until the city should be overthrown; and as soon as Uriah's wife had ceased to mourn for her husband he brought her into his house; she became his wife and bore him a son. David's actions displeased the Lord ( 2 Samuel 11:18-27 ), and He sent Nathan the prophet to him, who, by an ingenious parable, caused him to condemn and pass the sentence of death upon himself ( 2 Samuel 12:1-7 ). The prophet reminded the king of God's blessings on him, declared that he had despised the commandment of the Lord because he had slain Uriah with the sword of Ammon. He predicted that the sword should never depart from the house because he had taken the wife of Uriah to be his wife; he also predicted terrible calamities upon his house ( 2 Samuel 12:7-12 ). The king acknowledged his sin, and the prophet consoled him with the assurance that he should not be put to death, but in view of the disgrace he had brought upon his people, the child born to Bathsheba should die ( 2 Samuel 12:13 2 Samuel 12:14 ). The child became dangerously sick, and his father fasted and prayed constantly until it died, after which David arose and expressed the hope of meeting it again ( 2 Samuel 12:15-23 ).

  30. Birth of Solomon. Subsequently David comforted Bathsheba, and she bore him another son, and he named him Solomon, but Nathan the prophet called him Jedidiah ( 2 Samuel 12:24 2 Samuel 12:25 ).

  31. Ammon Subjugated. Joab pushed his conquest until the royal city was overcome. He sent a message to the king requesting him to come and lead the final charge and receive the honor of the victory. He did this and took the king's crown, and subjected the conquered people to most sever torture, and then returned to Jerusalem ( 2 Samuel 12:26-31 ).

  32. Family Trouble. In the fulfillment of the prediction of Nathan the prophet ( 2 Samuel 12:7-11 ), trouble began to arise in the king's family; Ammon defiled his sister Tamar, and was killed for his crime by his brother Absalom, who was compelled to flee from home and take up his abode in Geshur ( 2 Samuel 13:1-38 ). David longed to see Absalom ( 2 Samuel 13:39 ), and Joab, by an admirable piece of strategy, procured the king's consent for his return to his native land, but the king refused to see his face until after the expiration of two years, when they met in love and peace ( 2 Samuel 13:1-33 ).

  33. Absaloms Rebellion'. After this Absalom lived in royal splendor, and by cunning ways captivated the hearts of his countrymen, and inaugurated a rebellion against his father ( 2 Samuel 12:7-11 ), which by reason of the young and brilliant leader, attracted many of the people and also David's distinguished counselor, Ahithophel, the Gilonite ( 2 Samuel 15:1-12 ). A messenger came to David and informed him that the hearts of the men of Israel had turned to Absalom. He and his servants, therefore, fled from the city. Night brings out the stars, and in this hour of trouble the devotion of Ittai, the Gittite, who was a comparative stranger in the kingdom, shines brightly and is worthy of all honor and emulation ( 2 Samuel 16:13-23 ), The priests adhered to David, and followed him with the ark of God, but he commanded them to return with it to Jerusalem, declaring that, if it as the Lord's will he would see both the ark and its habitation, otherwise, he expressed himself as willing to submit to His will ( 2 Samuel 15:24-29 ). As David ascended Mount Olivet in great distress he heard that Ahithophel was among the conspirators with Absalom, and he besought the Lord to turn the counsels of Ahithophel into foolishness ( 2 Samuel 15:30 2 Samuel 15:31 ). When David arrived at the top of the mountain, he was met by Hushai the Archite, who was in great distress. The king sent him back to the city with instructions to defeat, if possible, the counsels of Ahithophel, and told him to communicate the results to him by the sons of the priests, Ahimaaz, and Jonathan ( 2 Samuel 15:32-37 ).

  34. Answering of Prayer. We must labor toward the answering of our own prayers. The king prayed to God to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, and then sent a wise diplomat to assist in the accomplishment of the work.

  35. Suppression of the Rebellion. David proceeded, and when he was a little past the top of the hill, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, approached and attempted to gain his respect by slandering his master ( 2 Samuel 16:1-4 ). When David came to Bahurim, he was gravely insulted by Shimei, the son of Gera, of the house of Saul. Abishai proposed to go over and behead him, but David bade him let him alone for the Lord had commanded Shimei to curse him. He said that his own son was seeking his life and that enmity might naturally be expected of a Benjamite. He also expressed, in the midst of his troubles, the hope that the Lord would again bless him ( 2 Samuel 16:5-14 ). Absalom and his adherents assembled at Jerusalem. Hushai also arrived there and proclaimed his allegiance to the new king. Ahithophel in answer to Absalom's request, counseled him to defile his father's concubines which he did, thus making a reconciliation impossible ( 2 Samuel 16:15-23 ). Ahithophel also proposed to choose an army of twelve thousand men, pursue David and smite him, and bring the people back to Absalom. This suggestion met the approval of Absalom and all Israel, but Absalom called Hushai the Archite in order to hear what he had to say. Hushai declared that the counsel of Ahithophel was not good at that time, and gave as a reason for his declaration that David was a mighty and cunning man of war. He also counseled that an immense army be gathered together, and war be waged upon David and his adherents until all should be destroyed. Absalom and all the men of Israel declared that the counsel of Hushai was better than the counsel of Ahithophel, for the Lord was helping Hushai in order to bring evil upon Absalom ( 2 Samuel 17:1-14 ). Hushai immediately dispatched messengers to David informing him of the situation, and David arose, and passed over the Jordan, and came to Mahanaim. When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not accepted, he returned to his home, put his business in order and hanged himself ( 2 Samuel 17:15-24 ). Absalom passed over Jordan with his army and pitched in the land of Gilead. David and his army were comforted and refreshed by Shobi, Machir and Barzillai ( 2 Samuel 17:24-29 ). David hastily organized his army and placed Joab, Abishai and Ittai at the heads of the three grand divisions. He proposed to take personal command, but his army protested on the ground that the danger to him would be very grave, and he decided not to go ( 2 Samuel 18:1-3 ). The king stood beside the gate as the army passed out, and he commanded the leaders of the army to deal gently with the young man Absalom for his sake. The battle was fought in the wood of Ephraim, and ended in the death of Absalom and a great victory for the forces of David. The news of the victory was carried to the king, and he went up into the chamber over the gate and wept bitterly for his lost son ( 2 Samuel 18:4-33 ).

  36. Restoration of Peace. Joab was informed that David was weeping for his son, and all Israel mourned that day out of sympathy for the king. Joab approached the king while he was pouring out his soul in sorrow and rebuked him with great severity, and declared that if he did not arise and speak to the people that he would lead a rebellion that for malignance and destruction would be worse than all the evils that had befallen the king from his youth forward ( 2 Samuel 19:1-7 ). The king arose and sat in the gate, and the restoration of peace began. The chief incidents following were,
    1. the king's message to Judah,
    2. the elevation of Amasa to the position of commander-in-chief of the army,
    3. the forgiveness of Shimei,
    4. the restoration of Mephibosheth to the king's favor,
    5. the magnanimous actions of Barzillai the Gileadite,
    6. and the sharp dispute between Judah and Israel ( 2 Samuel 9:8-43 ).

  37. Shebas Rebellion'. Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite, took the advantage of the unsettled condition of affairs in the kingdom and inaugurated what appeared to be a formidable rebellion David commanded Amasa to assemble the army and suppress it, but he was not prompt in meeting the demands of the situation, and Joab was given command. Subsequently Joab murdered Amasa, and succeeded in suppressing the rebellion, after which he occupied his old position as captain of the king's forces ( 2 Samuel 20:1-26 ).

  38. Famine. After the suppression of the rebellion the country was visited by a famine of three years' duration, and upon the inquiry the Lord informed David that it was on account of Saul's having broken ( Joshua 9:1-21 ) the covenant with the Gibeonites. David asked the Gibeonites what would satisfy them, and they replied by asking of seven of the sons of Saul. This request was granted, the seven men were executed, and after the burial, with the remains of Saul and Jonathan, the Lord was entreated for the land ( 2 Samuel 21:1-14 ).

  39. War. The Philistines again made war on Israel, and in one of the battles the king came near losing his life, but he was rescued by Abishai, and the war resulted in the death of four of the champions of the Philistines ( 2 Samuel 21:15-22 ). David celebrated his great deliverances and his victories over his enemies by a psalm of thanksgiving ( 2 Samuel 22:1-51 ).

  40. Davids Mighty Men'. David's mighty men were,
    1. Adino the Eznite, Eleazar the son of Dodo, Shammah the son of Agee ( 2 Samuel 23:8-17 );
    2. Abishai, Benaiah and probably Asahel ( 2 Samuel 23:18-24 );
    3. Asahel, Elhanan, Shammah the Harodite, Elika, Helez, Ira, Abiezer, Mebunnai, Zalmon, Maharai, Heleb, Ittai, Benaiah, Hiddai, Abialbon, Azmaveth, Eliahba, Jonathan, Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam, Eliphalet, Eliam, Hezrai, Paarai, Igal, Bani, Zelek, Nahari, Ira, Gareb, and Uriah ( 2 Samuel 23:24-39 ).

  41. The People Numbered. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and Satan stood up and provoked David to number the people ( 2 Samuel 24:1 ; 1 Chronicles 21:1 ). Joab was delegated by the king to make the enumeration, and notwithstanding his strong opposition to this movement of the king, he was finally compelled to submit. Joab and the captains of the host departed, and returned after an absence of nine months and twenty days and reported that, not withstanding the work was incomplete, Judah and Israel numbered one million and three hundred thousand ( 2 Samuel 24:1-9 ; 1 Chronicles 21:1-8 ). David saw his mistake and prayed for forgiveness ( 2 Samuel 24:10 ; 1 Chronicles 21:7 1 Chronicles 21:8 ). The Lord sent Gad, the seer, to David, who gave him his choice between seven years of famine, three months of defeat in war, and three days of pestilence. David acknowledged that he was in a great strait but expressed his willingness to abide by the will of the Lord. The Lord sent a pestilence upon the people and seventy thousand died between Dan and Beersheba, but when the angel of the Lord stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented of the evil He had proposed to do to them. When David saw the angel he expressed his willingness to take the punishment due his sin. The prophet Gad came to David and commanded him to go and rear up an altar at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, and David proceeded to obey the command. Araunah received the king with respect and inquired why he had come to him, and he told him. Araunah expressed a willingness to allow the king to take whatever he desired, but he declined, declaring that he would not offer to the Lord that which cost him nothing. David brought the threshing floor and oxen for fifty shekels of silver, and the entire place for six hundred shekels of gold, and he then built an altar, offered sacrifices, and the Lord was entreated for the land and the plague was stayed ( 2 Samuel 24:11-25 ; 1 Chronicles 21:9-27 ). When David saw that his offering was accepted he proceeded to offer sacrifices there, for the tabernacle of the Lord was at this time on the high place at Gibeon, and he was afraid to go there because of the sword of the angel of the Lord ( 1 Chronicles 21:28-30 ).

  42. Preparation for the Temple. Toward the close of David's life the Lord gave him a plan for the future temple ( 1 Chronicles 28:11 1 Chronicles 28:12 ), and he made extensive preparations for it in stone, wood, gold, silver and brass. He also called Solomon and charged him to build the house, assuring him that it was the will of the Lord, and commanded the princes to help him ( 1 Chronicles 22:1-19 ).

  43. Divisions of the Levites. At the command of David, the priests, singers and porters were divided into twenty-four courses each ( 1 Chronicles 23:1-26:32 ).

  44. Gifts for the Temple. David exhorted the people, in view of his gifts, and the fact that his heart was set upon it, to give to the building of the house of God, and the result was they gave with willing minds and great liberality. David blessed the Lord, and then called on the people to join him in honoring His holy name which they did with great reverence ( 1 Chronicles 29:1-21 ).

  45. Solomon Made King. When David became old and feeble Adonijah attempted to usurp the throne. He attracted to this standard, Joab, Abiathar and other distinguished men of the nation ( 1 Kings 1:1-10 ). The prophet Nathan communicated to Bathsheba a knowledge of the situation. and she immediately laid the matter before king David, and while she was in his presence the prophet went in and confirmed her words. The king at once announced his purpose to have Solomon inaugurated, and called Zadok, Nathan and Benaiah and commanded them to take his servants, cause Solomon to ride upon the king's mule and proceed to Gihon and there proclaim him king. David's chief men expressed their submission to the king's desire and made Solomon king. The people received the young king with great shouts of joy, and when Adonijah's adherents heard it they forsook him, and he fled and laid hold upon the horns of the altar. When Solomon learned this, he declared that if his brother would show himself a worthy man, he would be protected, otherwise he would be put to death. He subsequently dismissed him and sent him to his home ( 1 Kings 1:1-53 ).

  46. Davids Charge to Solomon'. After Solomon became king, David gave him a solemn charge, telling him that he was going the way of all the earth and exhorting him to be strong and show himself a man. He urged him to obey the law of Moses, assuring him that the perpetuity of his throne depended on it. He also commanded him to punish Joab and Shimei, and show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite ( 1 Kings 2:1-9 ).

  47. Death of David. David died and was buried in the city of David. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem ( 1 Kings 2:10 1 Kings 2:11 ). It is declared of him that he died in a good old age, full of riches and honor ( 1 Chronicles 29:28 ).

  48. Solomons Early Reign'. The Lord magnified Solomon, and all Israel submitted to his authority ( 1 Chronicles 29:23-25 ). Among the first acts of his reign were,
    1. the execution of Adonijah,
    2. the execution of Joab and the elevation of Benaiah to his position,
    3. the expulsion of Abiathar from the priestly office and the elevation of Zadok to his place,
    4. and the suspension of the sentence of Shimei ( 1 Kings 2:12-46 ).

  49. Solomons Marriage'. Soon after Solomon became king, he made affinity with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and married his daughter ( 1 Kings 3:1 ).

  50. Solomons Choice'. Solomon and many of his countrymen repaired to the high place of Gibeon to the tabernacle, where numerous sacrifices were offered to the Lord. The Lord appeared to him by night and asked him what He should give him. Solomon replied by acknowledging God's great mercies to his father, and expressing his appreciation to the Lord's hand in his elevation to the throne; and also declared that in view of his youth he desired an understanding heart that he might wisely rule his people ( 1 Kings 3:2-9 ; 2 Chronicles 1:3-10 ). The request greatly pleased the Lord, and He told him that He would give him wisdom, also riches and honor, and promised him long life on condition of obedience to His commandments ( 1 Kings 3:10-14 ; 2 Chronicles 1:11 2 Chronicles 1:12 ).

  51. Solomons Wisdom'. Soon after the king's return to Jerusalem, he manifested his great wisdom by deciding a difficult question between two women touching the motherhood of a child ( 1 Kings 3:15-28 ), God continued to fulfill His promise to Solomon and he surpassed all his contemporaries. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs were a thousand and five. Many people were attracted to him on account of his wisdom ( 1 Kings 4:29-34 ).

  52. Civil and Military Arrangements. During Solomon's reign the promise to Abraham was fulfilled, and Solomon reigned in peace over all the kingdoms, from the Euphrates to the river of Egypt. In order to maintain his position, he gathered around him distinguished men, and also made extensive military preparations ( 1 Kings 4:1-28 ; 2 Chronicles 1:13-17 ).

  53. The Temple. Solomon's fame spread abroad, and he entered into a commercial relation with Hiram, king of Tyre, who assisted him greatly in preparing material for the house of God. Cedar and fir timber were transported by sea to Joppa and from thence to Jerusalem by land ( 1 Kings 5:1-10 ). In return Solomon paid Hiram liberally, both for his household and his servants ( 1 Kings 5:11 1 Kings 5:12 ; 2 Chronicles 2:8-10 ). Many of the children of Israel and all the strangers sojourning in the land were required to assist the king in his great undertaking ( 1 Kings 5:13-17 1 Chronicles 2:17 1 Chronicles 2:18 ). They began to build the house in the fourth year of Solomon's reign and in the four hundred and eightieth year after the exodus ( 1 Kings 6:1 ; 2 Chronicles 3:2 ), and so thoroughly had the building material been prepared, that during the erection no sound of tools was heard ( 1 Kings 6:7 ). The dimensions of the house were, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, ninety feet long, thirty feet wide and forty-five feet high, and the porch before it was thirty feet long, fifteen feet wide and once hundred and eighty feet high ( 1 Kings 6:2 1 Kings 6:3 ; 2 Chronicles 3:3 2 Chronicles 3:4 ). It was divided into two apartments
    1. the temple or holy place,
    2. the oracle or most holy place.

    The first apartment was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, sixty feet long, thirty feet wide and forty-five feet (?) high. The second apartment was thirty feet long, thirty feet wide, and thirty feet high ( 1 Kings 6:2-20 ; 2 Chronicles 3:3-8 ). The furniture of the temple consisted of, in the court,

    1. altar of brass,
    2. molten sea,
    3. and ten lavers ( 2 Chronicles 4:1-6 );

    in the first apartment,

    1. ten candlesticks,
    2. ten tables,
    3. and altar of incense ( 1 Kings 6:22 ; 2 Chronicles 4:7 2 Chronicles 4:8 );

    in the oracle, the ark of the covenant overshadowed by the wings of the cherubim ( 1 Kings 6:23-30 ; 2 Chronicles 3:11-13 ). The house was beautiful and glorious in all its appointments ( 2 Chronicles 3:14-17 ). After the completion of the temple, the ark of the covenant, constructed at Mount Sinai, was placed in the most holy place, and the staves were taken out, indicating that the days of its pilgrimage were past, and the Lord filled the house with His glory ( 1 Kings 8:1-11 ; 2 Chronicles 5:1-9 ). At the time the ark was placed in the temple there was nothing in it save the two tables placed there by Moses ( 2 Chronicles 5:10 ). Solomon officiated at the dedication of the temple, and the chief point of his prayer was that the Lord should always hear His people when they turned their faces in prayer toward His holy house ( 1 Kings 8:12-61 ; 2 Chronicles 6:1-7:11 ). A vast number of sacrifices were presented to the Lord, and the people rejoiced in His presence ( 1 Kings 8:62-66 ). The Lord appeared to Solomon during the erection of the temple and promised him that on condition of obedience He would dwell among the children of Israel and not forsake them ( 1 Kings 6:11-13 ). He appeared to him after the dedication of the house and assured him that He had heard his prayer, and that He had hallowed the house and would watch over it perpetually. He also promised the king to perpetuate and establish his throne if he would obey Him, and threatened to send terrible calamities on Israel if the people should depart from His law ( 1 Kings 9:10 ).

  54. Solomons Home'. The king built a residence for himself of magnificent proportions and a throne of precious material at great cost ( 1 Kings 7:1-12 ; 1 Kings 10:18-20 ).

  55. Hiram Rewarded. After the work in which the king was engaged was completed, he rewarded his distinguished assistant, Hiram, king of Tyre, by giving him twenty cities in Galilee. Hiram inspected the cities and refused to accept them on the ground that they were displeasing ( 1 Kings 9:11-13 ).

  56. Solomons Naval Operations'. Solomon subsequently formed a business relation with Hiram, and great success resulted from their voyages ( 1 Kings 9:26-28 ; 1 Chronicles 8:17 1 Chronicles 8:18 ).

  57. Queen of Sheba. Solomon's glory spread in every direction, and the queen of Sheba hearing of his great wealth determined to see for herself. Upon her arrival the king exhibited his magnificent achievements to the extent that she was completely overcome and declared that the half had never been told. After exchanging presents with the king, she returned to her own country ( 1 Kings 10:1-10 1 Chronicles 9:1-9 ).

  58. Apostasy. Toward the close of Solomon's reign and in the days of his great prosperity he forsook the Lord and formed alliances with all the surrounding nations. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. They turned away his heart from the Lord, and he became associated with his wives in the support and perpetuation of the idolatrous practices of the nations from which they had come. The Lord's anger was kindled against the king, and He declared that, in view of his sins, He would rend the kingdom from him and give it to his servant, but told him that He would give him one tribe for David's sake, and also that he would postpone the division of the kingdom until after his death ( 1 Kings 11:1-13 ).

  59. Sunset Darkness! From this time forward Solomon was vexed by foes from without and within, and at last he sank into the grave dishonored by his Maker--proclaiming to all subsequent generations that the only safe way is strict and continued obedience to the appointments of Heaven.