Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force [is] not right.
But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,
[And] hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,
Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because [there is] no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.
Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
They were [as] fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife.
How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by [them that are] no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses.
Whoso [is] simple, let him turn in hither: and [as for] him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
Stolen waters are sweet, and bread [eaten] in secret is pleasant.
But he knoweth not that the dead [are] there; [and that] her guests [are] in the depths of hell.
The mouth of strange women [is] a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.
For a whore [is] a deep ditch; and a strange woman [is] a narrow pit.
She also lieth in wait as [for] a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.
Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth [his] substance.
There be three [things which] are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.
Such [is] the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.
Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.
Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, [and] draw out the tongue? [are] ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood,
They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.
And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Timothy 1:9
Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
1 Timothy 1:10
For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
2 Timothy 3:6
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
1 Peter 4:3
For the time past of [our] life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
1 Peter 4:4
Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with [them] to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of [you]:
2 Peter 2:9
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
2 Peter 2:10
But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
2 Peter 2:14
Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered [their meat] under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
2 Corinthians 12:21
[And] lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and [that] I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery.
But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and [from] fornication, and [from] things strangled, and [from] blood.
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
So then if, while [her] husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
1 Corinthians 5:10
Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
1 Corinthians 6:15
Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid.
1 Corinthians 6:16
What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
1 Corinthians 6:18
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
1 Corinthians 10:8
Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou [art but] a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she [is] a man's wife.
Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, [that] thou canst not know [them].
Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.
Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:
Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:
Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours [be] in the house of a stranger;
And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,
And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;
And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!
I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.
Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, [and] rivers of waters in the streets.
Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee.
Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.
For the lips of a strange woman drop [as] an honeycomb, and her mouth [is] smoother than oil:
2 Samuel 12:14
Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also [that is] born unto thee shall surely die.
The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth [his] face.
In the dark they dig through houses, [which] they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.
For the morning [is] to them even as the shadow of death: if [one] know [them, they are in] the terrors of the shadow of death.
He [is] swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.
I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or [if] I have laid wait at my neighbour's door;
[Then] let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her.
For this [is] an heinous crime; yea, it [is] an iniquity [to be punished by] the judges.
For it [is] a fire [that] consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.
To deliver thee from the strange woman, [even] from the stranger [which] flattereth with her words;
Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.
None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.
[Let her be as] the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
(She [is] loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:
Now [is she] without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
So she caught him, and kissed him, [and] with an impudent face said unto him,
[I have] peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved [works], with fine linen of Egypt.
I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.
For the goodman [is] not at home, he is gone a long journey:
He hath taken a bag of money with him, [and] will come home at the day appointed.
With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it [is] for his life.
A foolish woman [is] clamorous: [she is] simple, and knoweth nothing.
And, behold, there met him a woman [with] the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.
In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
For the ways of man [are] before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.
His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.
Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
For by means of a whorish woman [a man is brought] to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.
Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
[But] whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he [that] doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.
That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger [which] flattereth with her words.
For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,
And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,
Related Topics and Bible Verses
the name of the offering the husband was to bring when he
charged his wife with adultery (Num. 5:11-15).
conjugal infidelity. An adulterer was a man who had illicit
intercourse with a married or a betrothed woman, and such a
woman was an adulteress. Intercourse between a married man and
an unmarried woman was fornication. Adultery was regarded as a
great social wrong, as well as a great sin.
The Mosaic law (Num. 5:11-31) prescribed that the suspected
wife should be tried by the ordeal of the "water of jealousy."
There is, however, no recorded instance of the application of
this law. In subsequent times the Rabbis made various
regulations with the view of discovering the guilty party, and
of bringing about a divorce. It has been inferred from John
8:1-11 that this sin became very common during the age preceding
the destruction of Jerusalem.
Idolatry, covetousness, and apostasy are spoken of as adultery
spiritually (Jer. 3:6, 8, 9; Ezek. 16:32; Hos. 1:2:3; Rev.
2:22). An apostate church is an adulteress (Isa. 1:21; Ezek.
23:4, 7, 37), and the Jews are styled "an adulterous generation"
(Matt. 12:39). (Comp. Rev. 12.)
daughter of the oath, or of seven, called also Bath-shu'a (1
Chr. 3:5), was the daughter of Eliam (2 Sam. 11:3) or Ammiel (1
Chr. 3:5), and wife of Uriah the Hittite. David committed
adultery with her (2 Sam. 11:4, 5; Ps. 51:1). The child born in
adultery died (2 Sam. 12:15-19). After her husband was slain
(11:15) she was married to David (11:27), and became the mother
of Solomon (12:24; 1 Kings 1:11; 2:13). She took a prominent
part in securing the succession of Solomon to the throne (1
Kings 1:11, 16-21).
in every form of it was sternly condemned by the Mosaic law
(Lev. 21:9; 19:29; Deut. 22:20, 21, 23-29; 23:18; Ex. 22:16).
(See ADULTERY ¯T0000109.)
But this word is more frequently used in a symbolical than in
its ordinary sense. It frequently means a forsaking of God or a
following after idols (Isa. 1:2; Jer. 2:20; Ezek. 16; Hos. 1:2;
2:1-5; Jer. 3:8,9).
The dissolution of the marriage tie was regulated by the Mosaic
law (Deut. 24:1-4). The Jews, after the Captivity, were reguired
to dismiss the foreign women they had married contrary to the
law (Ezra 10:11-19). Christ limited the permission of divorce to
the single case of adultery. It seems that it was not uncommon
for the Jews at that time to dissolve the union on very slight
pretences (Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:1-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18).
These precepts given by Christ regulate the law of divorce in
the Christian Church.
in the Bible denotes a female conjugally united to a man, but in
a relation inferior to that of a wife. Among the early Jews,
from various causes, the difference between a wife and a
concubine was less marked than it would be amongst us. The
concubine was a wife of secondary rank. There are various laws
recorded providing for their protection (Ex. 21:7; Deut.
21:10-14), and setting limits to the relation they sustained to
the household to which they belonged (Gen. 21:14; 25:6). They
had no authority in the family, nor could they share in the
The immediate cause of concubinage might be gathered from the
conjugal histories of Abraham and Jacob (Gen. 16;30). But in
process of time the custom of concubinage degenerated, and laws
were made to restrain and regulate it (Ex. 21:7-9).
Christianity has restored the sacred institution of marriage
to its original character, and concubinage is ranked with the
sins of fornication and adultery (Matt. 19:5-9; 1 Cor. 7:2).
The ordinance of marriage was sanctioned in Paradise (Gen. 2:24;
Matt. 19:4-6). Monogamy was the original law under which man
lived, but polygamy early commenced (Gen. 4:19), and continued
to prevail all down through Jewish history. The law of Moses
regulated but did not prohibit polygamy. A man might have a
plurality of wives, but a wife could have only one husband. A
wife's legal rights (Ex. 21:10) and her duties (Prov. 31:10-31;
1 Tim. 5:14) are specified. She could be divorced in special
cases (Deut. 22:13-21), but could not divorce her husband.
Divorce was restricted by our Lord to the single case of
adultery (Matt. 19:3-9). The duties of husbands and wives in
their relations to each other are distinctly set forth in the
New Testament (1 Cor. 7:2-5; Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet.
(Heb. 'ain, meaning "flowing"), applied (1) to a fountain,
frequently; (2) to colour (Num. 11:7; R.V., "appearance," marg.
"eye"); (3) the face (Ex. 10:5, 15; Num. 22:5, 11), in Num.
14:14, "face to face" (R.V. marg., "eye to eye"). "Between the
eyes", i.e., the forehead (Ex. 13:9, 16).
The expression (Prov. 23:31), "when it giveth his colour in
the cup," is literally, "when it giveth out [or showeth] its
eye." The beads or bubbles of wine are thus spoken of. "To set
the eyes" on any one is to view him with favour (Gen. 44:21; Job
24:23; Jer. 39:12). This word is used figuratively in the
expressions an "evil eye" (Matt. 20:15), a "bountiful eye"
(Prov. 22:9), "haughty eyes" (6:17 marg.), "wanton eyes" (Isa.
3:16), "eyes full of adultery" (2 Pet. 2:14), "the lust of the
eyes" (1 John 2:16). Christians are warned against "eye-service"
(Eph. 6:6; Col. 3:22). Men were sometimes punished by having
their eyes put out (1 Sam. 11:2; Samson, Judg. 16:21; Zedekiah,
2 Kings 25:7).
The custom of painting the eyes is alluded to in 2 Kings 9:30,
R.V.; Jer. 4:30; Ezek. 23:40, a custom which still prevails
extensively among Eastern women.
Hosea, Prophecies of
This book stands first in order among the "Minor Prophets." "The
probable cause of the location of Hosea may be the thoroughly
national character of his oracles, their length, their earnest
tone, and vivid representations." This was the longest of the
prophetic books written before the Captivity. Hosea prophesied
in a dark and melancholy period of Israel's history, the period
of Israel's decline and fall. Their sins had brought upon them
great national disasters. "Their homicides and fornication,
their perjury and theft, their idolatry and impiety, are
censured and satirized with a faithful severity." He was a
contemporary of Isaiah. The book may be divided into two parts,
the first containing chapters 1-3, and symbolically representing
the idolatry of Israel under imagery borrowed from the
matrimonial relation. The figures of marriage and adultery are
common in the Old Testament writings to represent the spiritual
relations between Jehovah and the people of Israel. Here we see
the apostasy of Israel and their punishment, with their future
repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.
The second part, containing 4-14, is a summary of Hosea's
discourses, filled with denunciations, threatenings,
exhortations, promises, and revelations of mercy.
Quotations from Hosea are found in Matt. 2:15; 9:15; 12:7;
Rom. 9:25, 26. There are, in addition, various allusions to it
in other places (Luke 23:30; Rev. 6:16, comp. Hos. 10:8; Rom.
9:25, 26; 1 Pet. 2:10, comp. Hos. 1:10, etc.).
As regards the style of this writer, it has been said that
"each verse forms a whole for itself, like one heavy toll in a
funeral knell." "Inversions (7:8; 9:11, 13; 12: 8), anacolutha
(9:6; 12:8, etc.), ellipses (9:4; 13:9, etc.), paranomasias, and
plays upon words, are very characteristic of Hosea (8:7; 9:15;
10:5; 11:5; 12:11)."
beloved, the eighth and youngest son of Jesse, a citizen of
Bethlehem. His father seems to have been a man in humble life.
His mother's name is not recorded. Some think she was the Nahash
of 2 Sam. 17:25. As to his personal appearance, we only know
that he was red-haired, with beautiful eyes and a fair face (1
Sam. 16:12; 17:42).
His early occupation was that of tending his father's sheep on
the uplands of Judah. From what we know of his after history,
doubtless he frequently beguiled his time, when thus engaged,
with his shepherd's flute, while he drank in the many lessons
taught him by the varied scenes spread around him. His first
recorded exploits were his encounters with the wild beasts of
the field. He mentions that with his own unaided hand he slew a
lion and also a bear, when they came out against his flock,
beating them to death in open conflict with his club (1 Sam.
While David, in the freshness of ruddy youth, was thus engaged
with his flocks, Samuel paid an unexpected visit to Bethlehem,
having been guided thither by divine direction (1 Sam. 16:1-13).
There he offered up sacrifice, and called the elders of Israel
and Jesse's family to the sacrificial meal. Among all who
appeared before him he failed to discover the one he sought.
David was sent for, and the prophet immediately recognized him
as the chosen of God, chosen to succeed Saul, who was now
departing from the ways of God, on the throne of the kingdom. He
accordingly, in anticipation, poured on his head the anointing
oil. David went back again to his shepherd life, but "the Spirit
of the Lord came upon David from that day forward," and "the
Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul" (1 Sam. 16:13, 14).
Not long after this David was sent for to soothe with his harp
the troubled spirit of Saul, who suffered from a strange
melancholy dejection. He played before the king so skilfully
that Saul was greatly cheered, and began to entertain great
affection for the young shepherd. After this he went home to
Bethlehem. But he soon again came into prominence. The armies of
the Philistines and of Israel were in battle array in the valley
of Elah, some 16 miles south-west of Bethlehem; and David was
sent by his father with provisions for his three brothers, who
were then fighting on the side of the king. On his arrival in
the camp of Israel, David (now about twenty years of age) was
made aware of the state of matters when the champion of the
Philistines, Goliath of Gath, came forth to defy Israel. David
took his sling, and with a well-trained aim threw a stone "out
of the brook," which struck the giant's forehead, so that he
fell senseless to the ground. David then ran and slew him, and
cut off his head with his own sword (1 Sam. 17). The result was
a great victory to the Israelites, who pursued the Philistines
to the gates of Gath and Ekron.
David's popularity consequent on this heroic exploit awakened
Saul's jealousy (1 Sam. 18:6-16), which he showed in various
ways. He conceived a bitter hatred toward him, and by various
stratagems sought his death (1 Sam. 18-30). The deep-laid plots
of the enraged king, who could not fail to observe that David
"prospered exceedingly," all proved futile, and only endeared
the young hero the more to the people, and very specially to
Jonathan, Saul's son, between whom and David a life-long warm
friendship was formed.
A fugitive. To escape from the vengeance of Saul, David fled
to Ramah (1 Sam. 19:12-18) to Samuel, who received him, and he
dwelt among the sons of the prophets, who were there under
Samuel's training. It is supposed by some that the sixth,
seventh, and eleventh Psalms were composed by him at this time.
This place was only 3 miles from the residence of Saul, who soon
discovered whither the fugitive had gone, and tried
ineffectually to bring him back. Jonathan made a fruitless
effort to bring his father to a better state of mind toward
David (1 Sam. 20), who, being made aware of the fact, saw no
hope of safety but in flight to a distance. We accordingly find
him first at Nob (21:1-9) and then at Gath, the chief city of
the Philistines. The king of the Philistines would not admit him
into his service, as he expected that he would, and David
accordingly now betook himself to the stronghold of Adullam
(22:1-4; 1 Chr. 12:8-18). Here in a short time 400 men gathered
around him and acknowledged him as their leader. It was at this
time that David, amid the harassment and perils of his position,
cried, "Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well
of Bethlehem;" when three of his heroes broke through the lines
of the Philistines and brought him the water for which he longed
(2 Sam. 23:13-17), but which he would not drink.
In his rage at the failure of all his efforts to seize David,
Saul gave orders for the massacre of the entire priestly family
at Nob, "persons who wore a linen ephod", to the number of
eighty-five persons, who were put to death by Doeg the Edomite.
The sad tidings of the massacre were brought to David by
Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech, the only one who escaped. Comp.
Hearing that Keilah, a town on the western frontier, was
harassed by the Philistines, David with his men relieved it (1
Sam. 23:1-14); and then, for fear of Saul, he fled to the
strongholds in the "hill country" of Judah. Comp. Ps. 31. While
encamped there, in the forest in the district of Ziph, he was
visited by Jonathan, who spoke to him words of encouragement
(23:16-18). The two now parted never to meet again. Saul
continued his pursuit of David, who narrowly escaped from him at
this time, and fled to the crags and ravines of Engedi, on the
western shore of the Dead Sea (1 Sam. 23:29). Here Saul, who
still pursued him with his army, narrowly escaped, through the
generous forbearance of David, and was greatly affected by what
David had done for him. He returned home from pursuing him, and
David betook himself to Maon, where, with his 600 men, he
maintained himself by contributions gathered from the district.
Here occurred the incident connected with Nabal and his wife
Abigail (1 Sam. 25), whom David married after Nabal's death.
Saul again went forth (1 Sam. 26) in pursuit of David, who had
hid himself "in the hill Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon," in
the wilderness of Ziph, and was a second time spared through his
forbearance. He returned home, professing shame and penitence
for the way in which he had treated David, and predicting his
elevation to the throne.
Fighting against Israel. Harassed by the necessity of moving
from place to place through fear of Saul, David once more sought
refuge among the Philistines (1 Sam. 27). He was welcomed by the
king, who assigned him Ziklag as his residence. Here David lived
among his followers for some time as an independent chief
engaged in frequent war with the Amalekites and other tribes on
the south of Judah.
Achish summoned David with his men to join his army against
Saul; but the lords of the Philistines were suspicious of
David's loyalty, and therefore he was sent back to Ziklag, which
he found to his dismay may had been pillaged and burnt during
his brief absence. David pursued after the raiders, the
Amalekites, and completely routed them. On his return to Ziklag
tidings reached him of Saul's death (2 Sam. 1). An Amalekite
brought Saul's crown and bracelet and laid them at his feet.
David and his men rent their clothes and mourned for Saul, who
had been defeated in battle near Mount Gilboa. David composed a
beautiful elegy, the most beautiful of all extant Hebrew odes, a
"lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son" (2 Sam.
1:18-27). It bore the title of "The Bow," and was to be taught
to the children, that the memory of Saul and Jonathan might be
preserved among them. "Behold, it is written in the book of
David king over Judah. David and his men now set out for
Hebron under divine direction (2 Sam. 2:1-4). There they were
cordially welcomed, and he was at once anointed as king. He was
now about thirty years of age.
But his title to the throne was not undisputed. Abner took
Ish-bosheth, Saul's only remaining son, over the Jordan to
Mahanaim, and there crowned him as king. Then began a civil war
in Israel. The first encounter between the two opposing armies,
led on the one side by Abner, and on the other by Joab, took
place at the pool of Gibeon. It resulted in the defeat of Abner.
Other encounters, however, between Israel and Judah followed (2
Sam. 3:1, 5), but still success was on the side of David. For
the space of seven and a half years David reigned in Hebron.
Abner now sided with David, and sought to promote his
advancement; but was treacherously put to death by Joab in
revenge for his having slain his brother Asahel at Gibeon
(3:22-39). This was greatly to David's regret. He mourned for
the death of Abner. Shortly after this Ish-bosheth was also
treacherously put to death by two Canaanites of Beeroth; and
there being now no rival, David was anointed king over all
David king over all Israel (2 Sam. 5:1-5; 1 Chr. 11:1-3). The
elders of Israel now repaired to Hebron and offered allegiance
to David in name of all the people, among whom the greatest
enthusiasm prevailed. He was anointed king over all Israel, and
sought out a new seat of government, more suitable than Hebron,
as the capital of his empire. At this time there was a Jebusite
fortress, "the stronghold", on the hill of Zion, called also
Jebus. This David took from the Jebusites, and made it Israel's
capital, and established here his residence, and afterwards
built for himself a palace by the aid of Tyrian tradesmen. The
Philistines, who had for some time observed a kind of truce, now
made war against David; but were defeated in battle at a place
afterwards called, in remembrance of the victory, Baal-perazim.
Again they invaded the land, and were a second time routed by
him. He thus delivered Israel from their enemies.
David now resolved to bring up the ark of the covenant to his
new capital (2 Sam. 6). It was in the house of Abinadab at
Kirjath-jearim, about 7 miles from Jerusalem, where it had been
for many years, from the time when the Philistines had sent it
home (1 Sam. 6; 7). In consequence of the death of Uzzah (for it
was a divine ordinance that only the Levites should handle the
ark, Num. 4), who had put forth his hand to steady the ark when
the cart in which it was being conveyed shook by reason of the
roughness of the road, David stayed the procession, and conveyed
the ark into the house of Obed-edom, a Philistine from Gath.
After three months David brought the ark from the house of
Obed-edom up to Jerusalem. Comp. Ps. 24. Here it was placed in a
new tent or tabernacle which David erected for the purpose.
About seventy years had passed since it had stood in the
tabernacle at Shiloh. The old tabernacle was now at Gibeah, at
which Zadok ministered. David now (1 Chr. 16) carefully set in
order all the ritual of divine worship at Jerusalem, along with
Abiathar the high priest. A new religious era began. The service
of praise was for the first time introduced into public worship.
Zion became henceforth "God's holy hill."
David's wars. David now entered on a series of conquests which
greatly extended and strengthened his kingdom (2 Sam. 8). In a
few years the whole territory from the Euphrates to the river of
Egypt, and from Gaza on the west to Thapsacus on the east, was
under his sway (2 Sam. 8:3-13; 10).
David's fall. He had now reached the height of his glory. He
ruled over a vast empire, and his capital was enriched with the
spoils of many lands. But in the midst of all this success he
fell, and his character became stained with the sin of adultery
(2 Sam. 11:2-27). It has been noted as characteristic of the
Bible that while his military triumphs are recorded in a few
verses, the sad story of his fall is given in detail, a story
full of warning, and therefore recorded. This crime, in the
attempt to conceal it, led to anoter. He was guilty of murder.
Uriah, whom he had foully wronged, an officer of the Gibborim,
the corps of heros (23:39), was, by his order, "set in the front
of the hottest battle" at the siege of Rabbah, in order that he
might be put to death. Nathan the prophet (2 Sam. 7:1-17;
12:1-23) was sent by God to bring home his crimes to the
conscience of the guilty monarch. He became a true penitent. He
bitterly bewailed his sins before God. The thirty-second and
fifty-first Psalms reveal the deep struggles of his soul, and
his spiritual recovery.
Bathsheba became his wife after Uriah's death. Her first-born
son died, according to the word of the prophet. She gave birth
to a second son, whom David called Solomon, and who ultimately
succeeded him on the throne (2 Sam. 12:24, 25).
Peace. After the successful termination of all his wars, David
formed the idea of building a temple for the ark of God. This he
was not permitted to carry into execution, because he had been a
man of war. God, however, sent Nathan to him with a gracious
message (2 Sam. 7:1-16). On receiving it he went into the
sanctuary, the tent where the ark was, and sat before the Lord,
and poured out his heart in words of devout thanksgiving
(18-29). The building of the temple was reserved for his son
Solomon, who would be a man of peace (1 Chr. 22:9; 28:3).
A cloudy evening. Hitherto David's carrer had been one of
great prosperity and success. Now cloudy and dark days came. His
eldest son Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel, was
guilty of a great and shameful crime (2 Sam. 13). This was the
beginning of the disasters of his later years. After two years
Absalom terribly avenged the crime against Tamar, and put Amnon
to death. This brought sore trouble to David's heart. Absalom,
afraid of the consequences of his guilt, fled to Geshur beyond
Jordan, where he remained for three years, when he was brought
back through the intrigue of Joab (2 Sam. 14).
After this there fell upon the land the calamity of three
years' famine (2 Sam. 21:1-14). This was soon after followed by
a pestilence, brought upon the land as a punishment for David's
sinful pride in numbering the people (2 Sam. 24), in which no
fewer than 70,000 perished in the space of three days.
Rebellion of Absalom. The personal respect for David was sadly
lowered by the incident of Bathsheba. There was a strong popular
sentiment against the taking of the census, and the outburst of
the plague in connection with it deepened the feeling of
jealously that had begun to manifest itself among some of the
tribes against David. Absalom, taking full advantage of this
state of things, gradually gained over the people, and at length
openly rebelled against his father, and usurped the throne.
Ahithophel was Absalom's chief counsellor. The revolt began in
Hebron, the capital of Judah. Absalom was there proclaimed king.
David was now in imminent danger, and he left Jerusalem (2 Sam.
15:13-20), and once more became a fugitive. It was a momentous
day in Israel. The incidents of it are recorded with a fulness
of detail greater than of any other day in Old Testament
history. David fled with his followers to Mahanarm, on the east
of Jordan. An unnatural civil war broke out. After a few weeks
the rival armies were mustered and organized. They met in
hostile array at the wood of Ephraim (2 Sam. 18:1-8). Absalom's
army was defeated, and himself put to death by the hand of Joab
(9-18). The tidings of the death of his rebellious son filled
the heart of David with the most poignant grief. He "went up to
the chamber over the gate, and wept" (33), giving utterance to
the heart-broken cry, "Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom,
my son, my son!" Peace was now restored, and David returned to
Jerusalem and resumed the direction of affairs. An unhappy
dispute arose between the men of Judah and the men of Israel
(19:41-43). Sheba, a Benjamite, headed a revolt of the men of
Israel. He was pursued to Abelbeth-maachah, and was there put to
death, and so the revolt came to an end.
The end. After the suppression of the rebellion of Absalom and
that of Sheba, ten comparatively peaceful years of David's life
passed away. During those years he seems to have been
principally engaged in accumulating treasures of every kind for
the great temple at Jerusalem, which it was reserved to his
successor to build (1 Chr. 22; 28; 29), a house which was to be
"exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all
countries" (22:5). The exciting and laborious life he had spent,
and the dangers and trials through which he had passed, had left
him an enfeebled man, prematurely old. It became apparent that
his life was now drawing to its close. A new palace conspiracy
broke out as to who should be his successor. Joab favoured
Adonijah. The chiefs of his party met at the "Fuller's spring,"
in the valley of Kidron, to proclaim him king; but Nathan
hastened on a decision on the part of David in favour of
Solomon, and so the aim of Adonijah's party failed. Solomon was
brought to Jerusalem, and was anointed king and seated on his
father's throne (1 Kings 1:11-53). David's last words are a
grand utterance, revealing his unfailing faith in God, and his
joyful confidence in his gracious covenant promises (2 Sam.
After a reign of forty years and six months (2 Sam. 5:5; 1
Chr. 3:4) David died (B.C. 1015) at the age of seventy years,
"and was buried in the city of David." His tomb is still pointed
out on Mount Zion.
Both in his prophetical and in his regal character David was a
type of the Messiah (1 Sam. 16:13). The book of Psalms commonly
bears the title of the "Psalms of David," from the circumstance
that he was the largest contributor (about eighty psalms) to the
collection. (See PSALMS ¯T0003013.)
"The greatness of David was felt when he was gone. He had
lived in harmony with both the priesthood and the prophets; a
sure sign that the spirit of his government had been throughly
loyal to the higher aims of the theocracy. The nation had not
been oppressed by him, but had been left in the free enjoyment
of its ancient liberties. As far as his power went he had
striven to act justly to all (2 Sam. 8:15). His weak indulgence
to his sons, and his own great sin besides, had been bitterly
atoned, and were forgotten at his death in the remembrance of
his long-tried worth. He had reigned thirty-three years in
Jerusalem and seven and a half at Hebron (2 Sam. 5:5). Israel at
his accession had reached the lowest point of national
depression; its new-born unity rudely dissolved; its territory
assailed by the Philistines. But he had left it an imperial
power, with dominions like those of Egypt or Assyria. The
sceptre of Solomon was already, before his father's death, owned
from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, and from the Orontes to
the Red Sea.", Geikie's Hours etc., iii.