anklet, Caleb's only daughter (1 Chr. 2:49). She was offered in
marriage to the man who would lead an attack on the city of
Debir, or Kirjath-sepher. This was done by Othniel (q.v.), who
accordingly obtained her as his wife (Josh. 15:16-19; Judg.
city of the sannah; i.e., of the palm(?), Josh. 15:49; the same
as Kirjath-sepher (15:16; Judg. 1:11) and Debir (q.v.), a
Canaanitish royal city included in Judah (Josh. 10:38; 15:49),
and probably the chief seat of learning among the Hittites. It
was about 12 miles to the south-west of Hebron.
city of books, Josh. 15:15; same as Kirjath-sannah (q.v.), now
represented by the valley of ed-Dhaberiyeh, south-west of
Hebron. The name of this town is an evidence that the Canaanites
were acquainted with writing and books. "The town probably
contained a noted school, or was the site of an oracle and the
residence of some learned priest." The "books" were probably
engraved stones or bricks.
taken by Sargon, king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:24; 18:34; 19:13;
Isa. 37:13). It was a double city, and received the common name
Sepharvaim, i.e., "the two Sipparas," or "the two booktowns."
The Sippara on the east bank of the Euphrates is now called
Abu-Habba; that on the other bank was Accad, the old capital of
Sargon I., where he established a great library. (See SARGON
¯T0003227.) The recent discovery of cuneiform inscriptions at
Tel el-Amarna in Egypt, consisting of official despatches to
Pharaoh Amenophis IV. and his predecessor from their agents in
Israel, proves that in the century before the Exodus an
active literary intercourse was carried on between these
nations, and that the medium of the correspondence was the
Babylonian language and script. (See KIRJATH-SEPHER ¯T0002204.)
oracle town; sanctuary. (1.) One of the eleven cities to the
west of Hebron, in the highlands of Judah (Josh. 15:49; Judg.
1:11-15). It was originally one of the towns of the Anakim
(Josh. 15:15), and was also called Kirjath-sepher (q.v.) and
Kirjath-sannah (49). Caleb, who had conquered and taken
possession of the town and district of Hebron (Josh. 14:6-15),
offered the hand of his daughter to any one who would
successfully lead a party against Debir. Othniel, his younger
brother (Judg. 1:13; 3:9), achieved the conquest, and gained
Achsah as his wife. She was not satisfied with the portion her
father gave her, and as she was proceeding toward her new home,
she "lighted from off her ass" and said to him, "Give me a
blessing [i.e., a dowry]: for thou hast given me a south land"
(Josh. 15:19, A.V.); or, as in the Revised Version, "Thou hast
set me in the land of the south", i.e., in the Negeb, outside
the rich valley of Hebron, in the dry and barren land. "Give me
also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and
the nether springs."
Debir has been identified with the modern Edh-Dhaheriyeh,
i.e., "the well on the ridge", to the south of Hebron.
(2.) A place near the "valley of Achor" (Josh. 15:7), on the
north boundary of Judah, between Jerusalem and Jericho.
(3.) The king of Eglon, one of the five Canaanitish kings who
were hanged by Joshua (Josh. 10:3, 23) after the victory at
Gibeon. These kings fled and took refuge in a cave at Makkedah.
Here they were kept confined till Joshua returned from the
pursuit of their discomfited armies, when he caused them to be
brought forth, and "Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged
them on five trees" (26).
The art of writing must have been known in the time of the early
Pharaohs. Moses is commanded "to write for a memorial in a book"
(Ex. 17:14) a record of the attack of Amalek. Frequent mention
is afterwards made of writing (28:11, 21, 29, 36; 31:18; 32:15,
16; 34:1, 28; 39:6, 14, 30). The origin of this art is unknown,
but there is reason to conclude that in the age of Moses it was
well known. The inspired books of Moses are the most ancient
extant writings, although there are written monuments as old as
about B.C. 2000. The words expressive of "writing," "book," and
"ink," are common to all the branches or dialects of the Semitic
language, and hence it has been concluded that this art must
have been known to the earliest Semites before they separated
into their various tribes, and nations, and families.
"The Old Testament and the discoveries of Oriental archaeology
alike tell us that the age of the Exodus was throughout the
world of Western Asia an age of literature and books, of readers
and writers, and that the cities of Israel were stored with
the contemporaneous records of past events inscribed on
imperishable clay. They further tell us that the kinsfolk and
neighbours of the Israelites were already acquainted with
alphabetic writing, that the wanderers in the desert and the
tribes of Edom were in contact with the cultured scribes and
traders of Ma'in [Southern Arabia], and that the 'house of
bondage' from which Israel had escaped was a land where the art
of writing was blazoned not only on the temples of the gods, but
also on the dwellings of the rich and powerful.", Sayce. (See
DEBIR ¯T0000995; PHOENICIA ¯T0002943.)
The "Book of the Dead" was a collection of prayers and
formulae, by the use of which the souls of the dead were
supposed to attain to rest and peace in the next world. It was
composed at various periods from the earliest time to the
Persian conquest. It affords an interesting glimpse into the
religious life and system of belief among the ancient Egyptians.
We learn from it that they believed in the existence of one
Supreme Being, the immortality of the soul, judgement after
death, and the resurrection of the body. It shows, too, a high
state of literary activity in Egypt in the time of Moses. It
refers to extensive libraries then existing. That of Ramessium,
in Thebes, e.g., built by Rameses II., contained 20,000 books.
When the Hebrews entered Canaan it is evident that the art of
writing was known to the original inhabitants, as appears, e.g.,
from the name of the city Debir having been at first
Kirjath-sepher, i.e., the "city of the book," or the "book town"
(Josh. 10:38; 15:15; Judg. 1:11).
The first mention of letter-writing is in the time of David (2
Sam. 11:14, 15). Letters are afterwards frequently spoken of (1
Kings 21:8, 9, 11; 2 Kings 10:1, 3, 6, 7; 19:14; 2 Chr.
21:12-15; 30:1, 6-9, etc.).
city, a city belonging to Benjamin (Josh. 18:28), the modern
Kuriet el-'Enab, i.e., "city of grapes", about 7 1/2 miles
west-north-west of Jerusalem.
the common form of ancient books. The Hebrew word rendered
"roll" or "volume" is _meghillah_, found in Ezra 6:2; Ps. 40:7;
Jer. 36:2, 6, 23, 28, 29; Ezek. 2:9; 3:1-3; Zech. 5:1, 2.
"Rolls" (Chald. pl. of sephar, corresponding to Heb. sepher) in
Ezra 6:1 is rendered in the Revised Version "archives." In the
New Testament the word "volume" (Heb. 10:7; R.V., "roll") occurs
as the rendering of the Greek kephalis, meaning the head or top
of the stick or cylinder on which the manuscript was rolled, and
hence the manuscript itself. (See BOOK ¯T0000622.)
four, a giant, father of Anak. From him the city of Hebron
derived its name of Kirjath-arba, i.e., the city of Araba (Josh.
14:15; 15:13; 21:11; Gen. 13:18; 23:2). (See HEBRON ¯T0001712.)
Baale of Judah
lords of Judah, a city in the tribe of Judah from which David
brought the ark into Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:2). Elsewhere (1 Chr.
13:6) called Kirjath-jearim. (See BAALAH ¯T0000383.)
city of jaars; i.e., of woods or forests, a Gibeonite town
(Josh. 9:17) on the border of Benjamin, to which tribe it was
assigned (18:15, 28). The ark was brought to this place (1 Sam.
7:1, 2) from Beth-shemesh and put in charge of Abinadab, a
Levite. Here it remained till it was removed by David to
Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:2, 3, 12; 1 Chr. 15:1-29; comp. Ps. 132). It
was also called Baalah (Josh. 15:9) and Kirjath-baal (60). It
has been usually identified with Kuriet el-'Enab (i.e., "city of
grapes"), among the hills, about 8 miles north-east of 'Ain
Shems (i.e., Beth-shemesh). The opinion, however, that it is to
be identified with 'Erma, 4 miles east of 'Ain Shems, on the
edge of the valley of Sorek, seems to be better supported. (See
The words of Ps. 132:6, "We found it in the fields of the
wood," refer to the sojourn of the ark at Kirjath-jearim. "Wood"
is here the rendering of the Hebrew word _jaar_, which is the
singular of _jearim_.
the breach of Uzzah, a place where God "burst forth upon Uzzah,
so that he died," when he rashly "took hold" of the ark (2 Sam.
6:6-8). It was not far from Kirjath-jearim (q.v.).
mistress; city. (1.) A city in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:29),
elsewhere called Balah (Josh. 19:3) and Bilhah (1 Chr. 4:29).
Now Khurbet Zebalah.
(2.) A city on the northern border of the tribe of Judah
(Josh. 15:10), called also Kirjath-jearim, q.v. (15:9; 1 Chr.
13:6), now Kuriet-el-Enab, or as some think, 'Erma.
(3.) A mountain on the north-western boundary of Judah and Dan
city of Arba, the original name of Hebron (q.v.), so called from
the name of its founder, one of the Anakim (Gen. 23:2; 35:27;
Josh. 15:13). It was given to Caleb by Joshua as his portion.
The Jews interpret the name as meaning "the city of the four",
i.e., of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Adam, who were all, as they
allege, buried there.
city of streets, Num. 22:39, a Moabite city, which some identify
with Kirjathaim. Balak here received and entertained Balaam,
whom he had invited from Pethor, among the "mountains of the
east," beyond the Euphrates, to lay his ban upon the Israelites,
whose progress he had no hope otherwise of arresting. It was
probably from the summit of Attarus, the high place near the
city, that the soothsayer first saw the encampments of Israel.
Judg. 18:12 = "camp of Dan" 13:25 (R.V., "Mahaneh-dan"), a place
behind (i.e., west of) Kirjath-jearim, where the six hundred
Danites from Zorah and Eshtaol encamped on their way to capture
the city of Laish, which they rebuilt and called "Dan, after the
name of their father" (18:11-31). The Israel Explorers point
to a ruin called 'Erma, situated about 3 miles from the great
corn valley on the east of Samson's home.
narrow pass or recess, a town (Josh. 15:33) in the low country,
the She-phelah of Judah. It was allotted to the tribe of Dan
(Josh. 19:41), and was one of their strongholds. Here Samson
spent his boyhood, and first began to show his mighty strength;
and here he was buried in the burying-place of Manoah his father
(Judg. 13:25; 16:31; 18:2, 8, 11, 12). It is identified with the
modern Yeshua, on a hill 2 miles east of Zorah. Others, however,
identify it with Kustul, east of Kirjath-jearim.
the lord is my light. (1.) A high priest in the time of Ahaz (2
Kings 16:10-16), at whose bidding he constructed an idolatrous
altar like one the king had seen at Damascus, to be set up
instead of the brazen altar.
(2.) One of the priests who stood at the right hand of Ezra's
pulpit when he read and expounded the law (Neh. 8:4).
(3.) A prophet of Kirjath-jearim in the reign of Jehoiakim,
king of Judah (Jer. 26:20-23). He fled into Egypt from the
cruelty of the king, but having been brought back he was
beheaded and his body "cast into the graves of the common
father of nobleness; i.e., "noble." (1.) A Levite of
Kirjath-jearim, in whose house the ark of the covenant was
deposited after having been brought back from the land of the
Philistines (1 Sam. 7:1). It remained there twenty years, till
it was at length removed by David (1 Sam. 7:1,2; 1 Chr. 13:7).
(2.) The second of the eight sons of Jesse (1 Sam. 16:8). He
was with Saul in the campaign against the Philistines in which
Goliath was slain (1 Sam. 17:13).
(3.) One of Saul's sons, who peristed with his father in the
battle of Gilboa (1 Sam. 31:2; 1 Chr. 10:2).
(4.) One of Solomon's officers, who "provided victuals for the
king and his household." He presided, for this purpose, over the
district of Dor (1 Kings 4:11).
fruitful. (1.) The second wife of Caleb, the son of Hezron,
mother of Hur, and grandmother of Caleb, who was one of those
that were sent to spy the land (1 Chr. 2:19, 50).
(2.) The ancient name of Bethlehem in Judah (Gen. 35:16, 19;
48:7). In Ruth 1:2 it is called "Bethlehem-Judah," but the
inhabitants are called "Ephrathites;" in Micah 5:2,
"Bethlehem-Ephratah;" in Matt. 2:6, "Bethlehem in the land of
Judah." In Ps. 132:6 it is mentioned as the place where David
spent his youth, and where he heard much of the ark, although he
never saw it till he found it long afterwards at Kirjath-jearim;
i.e., the "city of the wood," or the "forest-town" (1 Sam. 7:1;
comp. 2 Sam. 6:3, 4).
strength, a son of Abinadab, in whose house the men of
Kirjath-jearim placed the ark when it was brought back from the
land of the Philistines (1 Sam. 7:1). He with his brother Ahio
drove the cart on which the ark was placed when David sought to
bring it up to Jerusalem. When the oxen stumbled, Uzzah, in
direct violation of the divine law (Num. 4:15), put forth his
hand to steady the ark, and was immediately smitten unto death.
The place where this occurred was henceforth called Perez-uzzah
(1 Chr. 13:11). David on this feared to proceed further, and
placed the ark in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite (2 Sam.
6:2-11; 1 Chr. 13:6-13).
servant of Edom. (1.) "The Gittite" (probably so called because
he was a native of Gath-rimmon), a Levite of the family of the
Korhites (1 Chr. 26:1, 4-8), to whom was specially intrusted the
custody of the ark (1 Chr. 15:18). When David was bringing up
the ark "from the house of Abinadab, that was in Gibeah"
(probably some hill or eminence near Kirjath-jearim), and had
reached Nachon's threshing-floor, he became afraid because of
the "breach upon Uzzah," and carried it aside into the house of
Obededom (2 Sam. 6:1-12). There it remained for six months, and
was to him and his house the occasion of great blessing. David
then removed it with great rejoicing to Jerusalem, and set it in
the midst of the tabernacle he had pitched for it.
(2.) A Merarite Levite, a temple porter, who with his eight
sons guarded the southern gate (1 Chr. 15:18, 21; 26:4, 8, 15).
(3.) One who had charge of the temple treasures (2 Chr.
a community; alliance. (1.) A city in the south end of the
valley of Eshcol, about midway between Jerusalem and Beersheba,
from which it is distant about 20 miles in a straight line. It
was built "seven years before Zoan in Egypt" (Gen. 13:18; Num.
13:22). It still exists under the same name, and is one of the
most ancient cities in the world. Its earlier name was
Kirjath-arba (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 14:15; 15:3). But "Hebron would
appear to have been the original name of the city, and it was
not till after Abraham's stay there that it received the name
Kirjath-arba, who [i.e., Arba] was not the founder but the
conqueror of the city, having led thither the tribe of the
Anakim, to which he belonged. It retained this name till it came
into the possession of Caleb, when the Israelites restored the
original name Hebron" (Keil, Com.). The name of this city does
not occur in any of the prophets or in the New Testament. It is
found about forty times in the Old. It was the favorite home of
Abraham. Here he pitched his tent under the oaks of Mamre, by
which name it came afterwards to be known; and here Sarah died,
and was buried in the cave of Machpelah (Gen. 23:17-20), which
he bought from Ephron the Hittite. From this place the patriarch
departed for Egypt by way of Beersheba (37:14; 46:1). It was
taken by Joshua and given to Caleb (Josh. 10:36, 37; 12:10;
14:13). It became a Levitical city and a city of refuge (20:7;
21:11). When David became king of Judah this was his royal
residence, and he resided here for seven and a half years (2
Sam. 5:5); and here he was anointed as king over all Israel (2
Sam. 2:1-4, 11; 1 Kings 2:11). It became the residence also of
the rebellious Absalom (2 Sam. 15:10), who probably expected to
find his chief support in the tribe of Judah, now called
In one part of the modern city is a great mosque, which is
built over the grave of Machpelah. The first European who was
permitted to enter this mosque was the Prince of Wales in 1862.
It was also visited by the Marquis of Bute in 1866, and by the
late Emperor Frederick of Germany (then Crown-Prince of Prussia)
One of the largest oaks in Israel is found in the valley of
Eshcol, about 3 miles north of the town. It is supposed by some
to be the tree under which Abraham pitched his tent, and is
called "Abraham's oak." (See OAK ¯T0002758.)
(2.) The third son of Kohath the Levite (Ex. 6:18; 1 Chr. 6:2,
(3.) 1 Chr. 2:42, 43.
(4.) A town in the north border of Asher (Josh. 19:28).
brother (i.e., "friend") of Jehovah. (1.) One of the sons of
Bela (1 Chr. 8:7, R.V.). In A.V. called "Ahiah."
(2.) One of the five sons of Jerahmeel, who was great-grandson
of Judah (1 Chr. 2:25).
(3.) Son of Ahitub (1 Sam. 14:3, 18), Ichabod's brother; the
same probably as Ahimelech, who was high priest at Nob in the
reign of Saul (1 Sam. 22:11). Some, however, suppose that
Ahimelech was the brother of Ahijah, and that they both
officiated as high priests, Ahijah at Gibeah or Kirjath-jearim,
and Ahimelech at Nob.
(4.) A Pelonite, one of David's heroes (1 Chr. 11:36); called
also Eliam (2 Sam. 23:34).
(5.) A Levite having charge of the sacred treasury in the
temple (1 Chr. 26:20).
(6.) One of Solomon's secretaries (1 Kings 4:3).
(7.) A prophet of Shiloh (1 Kings 11:29; 14:2), called the
"Shilonite," in the days of Rehoboam. We have on record two of
his remarkable prophecies, 1 Kings 11:31-39, announcing the
rending of the ten tribes from Solomon; and 1 Kings 14:6-16,
delivered to Jeroboam's wife, foretelling the death of Abijah
the king's son, the destruction of Jeroboam's house, and the
captivity of Israel "beyond the river." Jeroboam bears testimony
to the high esteem in which he was held as a prophet of God (1
enclosed; fortified. (1.) A stronghold of the Canaanites in the
mountains north of Lake Merom (Josh. 11:1-5). Jabin the king
with his allied tribes here encountered Joshua in a great
battle. Joshua gained a signal victory, which virtually
completed his conquest of Canaan (11:10-13). This city was,
however, afterwards rebuilt by the Canaanites, and was ruled by
a king with the same hereditary name of Jabin. His army, under a
noted leader of the name of Sisera, swept down upon the south,
aiming at the complete subjugation of the country. This powerful
army was met by the Israelites under Barak, who went forth by
the advice of the prophetess Deborah. The result was one of the
most remarkable victories for Israel recorded in the Old
Testament (Josh. 19:36; Judg. 4:2; 1 Sam. 12:9). The city of
Hazor was taken and occupied by the Israelites. It was fortified
by Solomon to defend the entrance into the kingdom from Syria
and Assyria. When Tiglath-pileser, the Assyrian king, invaded
the land, this was one of the first cities he captured, carrying
its inhabitants captive into Assyria (2 Kings 15:29). It has
been identified with Khurbet Harrah, 2 1/2 miles south-east of
(2.) A city in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:23). The name here
should probably be connected with the word following, Ithnan,
HAZOR-ITHNAN instead of "Hazor and Ithnan."
(3.) A district in Arabia (Jer. 49:28-33), supposed by some to
be Jetor, i.e., Ituraea.
(4.) "Kerioth and Hezron" (Josh. 15: 25) should be
"Kerioth-hezron" (as in the R.V.), the two names being joined
together as the name of one place (e.g., like Kirjath-jearim),
"the same is Hazor" (R.V.). This place has been identified with
el-Kuryetein, and has been supposed to be the home of Judas
Iscariot. (See KERIOTH ¯T0002177.)
a dog. (1.) One of the three sons of Hezron of the tribe of
Judah. He is also called Chelubai (1 Chr. 2:9). His descendants
are enumerated (18-20, 42-49).
(2.) A "son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah" (1 Chr. 2:50).
Some would read the whole passage thus: "These [i.e., the list
in ver. 42-49] were the sons of Caleb. The sons of Hur, the
firstborn of Ephratah, were Shobal, etc." Thus Hur would be the
name of the son and not the father of Caleb (ver. 19).
(3.) The son of Jephunneh (Num. 13:6; 32:12; Josh. 14:6, 14).
He was one of those whom Moses sent to search the land in the
second year after the Exodus. He was one of the family chiefs of
the tribe of Judah. He and Joshua the son of Nun were the only
two of the whole number who encouraged the people to go up and
possess the land, and they alone were spared when a plague broke
out in which the other ten spies perished (Num. 13; 14). All the
people that had been numbered, from twenty years old and upward,
perished in the wilderness except these two. The last notice we
have of Caleb is when (being then eighty-five years of age) he
came to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal, after the people had
gained possession of the land, and reminded him of the promise
Moses had made to him, by virtue of which he claimed a certain
portion of the land of Kirjath-arba as his inheritance (Josh.
14:6-15; 15:13-15; 21:10-12; 1 Sam. 25:2,3; 30:14). He is called
a "Kenezite" in Josh. 14:6,14. This may simply mean "son of
Kenez" (Num. 32:12). Some, however, read "Jephunneh, the son of
Kenez," who was a descendant of Hezron, the son of Pharez, a
grandson of Judah (1 Chr. 2:5). This Caleb may possibly be
identical with (2).
(4.) Caleb gave his name apparently to a part of the south
country (1 Sam. 30:14) of Judah, the district between Hebron and
Carmel, which had been assigned to him. When he gave up the city
of Hebron to the priests as a city of refuge, he retained
possession of the surrounding country (Josh. 21:11,12; comp. 1
God has helped. (1.) The third son of Aaron (Ex. 6:23). His
wife, a daughter of Putiel, bore him Phinehas (Ex. 6:25). After
the death of Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:12; Num. 3:4) he was
appointed to the charge of the sanctuary (Num. 3:32). On Mount
Hor he was clothed with the sacred vestments, which Moses took
from off his brother Aaron and put upon him as successor to his
father in the high priest's office, which he held for more than
twenty years (Num. 20:25-29). He took part with Moses in
numbering the people (26:3, 4), and assisted at the inauguration
of Joshua. He assisted in the distribution of the land after the
conquest (Josh. 14:1). The high-priesthood remained in his
family till the time of Eli, into whose family it passed, till
it was restored to the family of Eleazar in the person of Zadok
(1 Sam. 2:35; comp. 1 Kings 2:27). "And Eleazar the son of Aaron
died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas
his son" (Josh. 24:33). The word here rendered "hill" is Gibeah,
the name of several towns in Israel which were generally on
or near a hill. The words may be more suitably rendered, "They
buried him in Gibeah of Phinehas", i.e., in the city of
Phinehas, which has been identified, in accordance with Jewish
and Samaritan traditions, with Kefr Ghuweirah='Awertah, about 7
miles north of Shiloh, and a few miles south-east of Nablus.
"His tomb is still shown there, overshadowed by venerable
terebinths." Others, however, have identified it with the
village of Gaba or Gebena of Eusebius, the modern Khurbet Jibia,
5 miles north of Guphna towards Nablus.
(2.) An inhabitant of Kirjath-jearim who was "sanctified" to
take charge of the ark, although not allowed to touch it, while
it remained in the house of his father Abinadab (1 Sam. 7:1, 2;
comp. Num. 3:31; 4:15).
(3.) The son of Dodo the Ahohite, of the tribe of Benjamin,
one of the three most eminent of David's thirty-seven heroes (1
Chr. 11:12) who broke through the Philistine host and brought
him water from the well of Bethlehem (2 Sam. 23:9, 16).
(4.) A son of Phinehas associated with the priests in taking
charge of the sacred vessels brought back to Jerusalem after the
Exile (Ezra 8:33).
(5.) A Levite of the family of Merari (1 Chr. 23:21, 22).
Israel and Syria appear to have been originally inhabited by
three different tribes. (1.) The Semites, living on the east of
the isthmus of Suez. They were nomadic and pastoral tribes. (2.)
The Phoenicians, who were merchants and traders; and (3.) the
Hittites, who were the warlike element of this confederation of
tribes. They inhabited the whole region between the Euphrates
and Damascus, their chief cities being Carchemish on the
Euphrates, and Kadesh, now Tell Neby Mendeh, in the Orontes
valley, about six miles south of the Lake of Homs. These
Hittites seem to have risen to great power as a nation, as for a
long time they were formidable rivals of the Egyptian and
Assyrian empires. In the book of Joshua they always appear as
the dominant race to the north of Galilee.
Somewhere about the twenty-third century B.C. the Syrian
confederation, led probably by the Hittites, arched against
Lower Egypt, which they took possession of, making Zoan their
capital. Their rulers were the Hyksos, or shepherd kings. They
were at length finally driven out of Egypt. Rameses II. sought
vengeance against the "vile Kheta," as he called them, and
encountered and defeated them in the great battle of Kadesh,
four centuries after Abraham. (See JOSHUA ¯T0002114.)
They are first referred to in Scripture in the history of
Abraham, who bought from Ephron the Hittite the field and the
cave of Machpelah (Gen. 15:20: 23:3-18). They were then settled
at Kirjath-arba. From this tribe Esau took his first two wives
They are afterwards mentioned in the usual way among the
inhabitants of the Promised Land (Ex. 23:28). They were closely
allied to the Amorites, and are frequently mentioned along with
them as inhabiting the mountains of Israel. When the spies
entered the land they seem to have occupied with the Amorites
the mountain region of Judah (Num. 13:29). They took part with
the other Canaanites against the Israelites (Josh. 9:1; 11:3).
After this there are few references to them in Scripture.
Mention is made of "Ahimelech the Hittite" (1 Sam. 26:6), and of
"Uriah the Hittite," one of David's chief officers (2 Sam.
23:39; 1 Chr. 11:41). In the days of Solomon they were a
powerful confederation in the north of Syria, and were ruled by
"kings." They are met with after the Exile still a distinct
people (Ezra 9:1; comp. Neh. 13:23-28).
The Hebrew merchants exported horses from Egypt not only for
the kings of Israel, but also for the Hittites (1 Kings 10:28,
29). From the Egyptian monuments we learn that "the Hittites
were a people with yellow skins and 'Mongoloid' features, whose
receding foreheads, oblique eyes, and protruding upper jaws are
represented as faithfully on their own monuments as they are on
those of Egypt, so that we cannot accuse the Egyptian artists of
caricaturing their enemies. The Amorites, on the contrary, were
a tall and handsome people. They are depicted with white skins,
blue eyes, and reddish hair, all the characteristics, in fact,
of the white race" (Sayce's The Hittites). The original seat of
the Hittite tribes was the mountain ranges of Taurus. They
belonged to Asia Minor, and not to Syria.
Noah's ark, a building of gopher-wood, and covered with pitch,
300 cubits long, 50 cubits broad, and 30 cubits high (Gen.
6:14-16); an oblong floating house of three stories, with a door
in the side and a window in the roof. It was 100 years in
building (Gen. 5:32; 7:6). It was intended to preserve certain
persons and animals from the deluge which God was about to bring
over the earth. It contained eight persons (Gen. 7:13; 2 Pet.
2:5), and of all "clean" animals seven pairs, and of "unclean"
one pair, and of birds seven pairs of each sort (Gen. 7:2, 3).
It was in the form of an oblong square, with flat bottom and
sloping roof. Traditions of the Deluge, by which the race of man
was swept from the earth, and of the ark of Noah have been found
existing among all nations.
The ark of bulrushes in which the infant Moses was laid (Ex.
2:3) is called in the Hebrew _teebah_, a word derived from the
Egyptian _teb_, meaning "a chest." It was daubed with slime and
with pitch. The bulrushes of which it was made were the papyrus
The sacred ark is designated by a different Hebrew word,
_'aron'_, which is the common name for a chest or coffer used
for any purpose (Gen. 50:26; 2 Kings 12:9, 10). It is
distinguished from all others by such titles as the "ark of God"
(1 Sam. 3:3), "ark of the covenant" (Josh. 3:6; Heb. 9:4), "ark
of the testimony" (Ex. 25:22). It was made of acacia or shittim
wood, a cubit and a half broad and high and two cubits long, and
covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid,
the mercy-seat, was surrounded with a rim of gold; and on each
of the two sides were two gold rings, in which were placed two
gold-covered poles by which the ark could be carried (Num. 7:9;
10:21; 4:5,19, 20; 1 Kings 8:3, 6). Over the ark, at the two
extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward
each other (Lev. 16:2; Num. 7:89). Their outspread wings over
the top of the ark formed the throne of God, while the ark
itself was his footstool (Ex. 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The ark was
deposited in the "holy of holies," and was so placed that one
end of the poles by which it was carried touched the veil which
separated the two apartments of the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:8).
The two tables of stone which constituted the "testimony" or
evidence of God's covenant with the people (Deut. 31:26), the
"pot of manna" (Ex. 16:33), and "Aaron's rod that budded" (Num.
17:10), were laid up in the ark (Heb. 9:4). (See TABERNACLE
¯T0003559) The ark and the sanctuary were "the beauty of Israel"
(Lam. 2:1). During the journeys of the Israelites the ark was
carried by the priests in advance of the host (Num. 4:5, 6;
10:33-36; Ps. 68:1; 132:8). It was borne by the priests into the
bed of the Jordan, which separated, opening a pathway for the
whole of the host to pass over (Josh. 3:15, 16; 4:7, 10, 11, 17,
18). It was borne in the procession round Jericho (Josh. 6:4, 6,
8, 11, 12). When carried it was always wrapped in the veil, the
badgers' skins, and blue cloth, and carefully concealed even
from the eyes of the Levites who carried it. After the
settlement of Israel in Israel the ark remained in the
tabernacle at Gilgal for a season, and was then removed to
Shiloh till the time of Eli, between 300 and 400 years (Jer.
7:12), when it was carried into the field of battle so as to
secure, as they supposed, victory to the Hebrews, and was taken
by the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:3-11), who sent it back after
retaining it seven months (1 Sam. 5:7, 8). It remained then at
Kirjath-jearim (7:1,2) till the time of David (twenty years),
who wished to remove it to Jerusalem; but the proper mode of
removing it having been neglected, Uzzah was smitten with death
for putting "forth his hand to the ark of God," and in
consequence of this it was left in the house of Obed-edom in
Gath-rimmon for three months (2 Sam. 6:1-11), at the end of
which time David removed it in a grand procession to Jerusalem,
where it was kept till a place was prepared for it (12-19). It
was afterwards deposited by Solomon in the temple (1 Kings
8:6-9). When the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and plundered
the temple, the ark was probably taken away by Nebuchadnezzar
and destroyed, as no trace of it is afterwards to be found. The
absence of the ark from the second temple was one of the points
in which it was inferior to the first temple.
Chronicles, Books of
The two books were originally one. They bore the title in the
Massoretic Hebrew _Dibre hayyamim_, i.e., "Acts of the Days."
This title was rendered by Jerome in his Latin version
"Chronicon," and hence "Chronicles." In the Septuagint version
the book is divided into two, and bears the title Paraleipomena,
i.e., "things omitted," or "supplements", because containing
many things omitted in the Books of Kings.
The contents of these books are comprehended under four heads.
(1.) The first nine chapters of Book I. contain little more than
a list of genealogies in the line of Israel down to the time of
David. (2.) The remainder of the first book contains a history
of the reign of David. (3.) The first nine chapters of Book II.
contain the history of the reign of Solomon. (4.) The remaining
chapters of the second book contain the history of the separate
kingdom of Judah to the time of the return from Babylonian
The time of the composition of the Chronicles was, there is
every ground to conclude, subsequent to the Babylonian Exile,
probably between 450 and 435 B.C. The contents of this twofold
book, both as to matter and form, correspond closely with this
idea. The close of the book records the proclamation of Cyrus
permitting the Jews to return to their own land, and this forms
the opening passage of the Book of Ezra, which must be viewed as
a continuation of the Chronicles. The peculiar form of the
language, being Aramaean in its general character, harmonizes
also with that of the books which were written after the Exile.
The author was certainly contemporary with Zerubbabel, details
of whose family history are given (1 Chr. 3:19).
The time of the composition being determined, the question of
the authorship may be more easily decided. According to Jewish
tradition, which was universally received down to the middle of
the seventeenth century, Ezra was regarded as the author of the
Chronicles. There are many points of resemblance and of contact
between the Chronicles and the Book of Ezra which seem to
confirm this opinion. The conclusion of the one and the
beginning of the other are almost identical in expression. In
their spirit and characteristics they are the same, showing thus
also an identity of authorship.
In their general scope and design these books are not so much
historical as didactic. The principal aim of the writer appears
to be to present moral and religious truth. He does not give
prominence to political occurences, as is done in Samuel and
Kings, but to ecclesiastical institutions. "The genealogies, so
uninteresting to most modern readers, were really an important
part of the public records of the Hebrew state. They were the
basis on which not only the land was distributed and held, but
the public services of the temple were arranged and conducted,
the Levites and their descendants alone, as is well known, being
entitled and first fruits set apart for that purpose." The
"Chronicles" are an epitome of the sacred history from the days
of Adam down to the return from Babylonian Exile, a period of
about 3,500 years. The writer gathers up "the threads of the old
national life broken by the Captivity."
The sources whence the chronicler compiled his work were
public records, registers, and genealogical tables belonging to
the Jews. These are referred to in the course of the book (1
Chr. 27:24; 29:29; 2 Chr. 9:29; 12:15; 13:22; 20:34; 24:27;
26:22; 32:32; 33:18, 19; 27:7; 35:25). There are in Chronicles,
and the books of Samuel and Kings, forty parallels, often
verbal, proving that the writer both knew and used these records
(1 Chr. 17:18; comp. 2 Sam. 7:18-20; 1 Chr. 19; comp. 2 Sam. 10,
As compared with Samuel and Kings, the Book of Chronicles
omits many particulars there recorded (2 Sam. 6:20-23; 9; 11;
14-19, etc.), and includes many things peculiar to itself (1
Chr. 12; 22; 23-26; 27; 28; 29, etc.). Twenty whole chapters,
and twenty-four parts of chapters, are occupied with matter not
found elsewhere. It also records many things in fuller detail,
as (e.g.) the list of David's heroes (1 Chr. 12:1-37), the
removal of the ark from Kirjath-jearim to Mount Zion (1 Chr. 13;
15:2-24; 16:4-43; comp. 2 Sam. 6), Uzziah's leprosy and its
cause (2 Chr. 26:16-21; comp. 2 Kings 15:5), etc.
It has also been observed that another peculiarity of the book
is that it substitutes modern and more common expressions for
those that had then become unusual or obsolete. This is seen
particularly in the substitution of modern names of places, such
as were in use in the writer's day, for the old names; thus
Gezer (1 Chr. 20:4) is used instead of Gob (2 Sam. 21:18), etc.
The Books of Chronicles are ranked among the _khethubim_ or
hagiographa. They are alluded to, though not directly quoted, in
the New Testament (Heb. 5:4; Matt. 12:42; 23:35; Luke 1:5;
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.