the lion, the name of one of the body-guard slain with Pekahiah
at Samaria (2 Kings 15:25) by the conspirator Pekah.
a lion of Jehovah, a son of Shemaiah, and one of the temple
porters in the time of David (1 Chr. 26:7). He was a "mighty man
the great dog; that is, lion, one of the chief gods of the
Assyrians and Babylonians (2 Kings 17:30), the god of war and
hunting. He is connected with Cutha as its tutelary deity.
the lion of God. (1.) One of the chief men sent by Ezra to
procure Levites for the sanctuary (Ezra 8:16).
(2.) A symbolic name for Jerusalem (Isa. 29:1, 2, 7) as
"victorious under God," and in Ezek. 43:15, 16, for the altar
(marg., Heb. 'ariel) of burnt offerings, the secret of Israel's
the most powerful of all carnivorous animals. Although not now
found in Israel, they must have been in ancient times very
numerous there. They had their lairs in the forests (Jer. 5:6;
12:8; Amos 3:4), in the caves of the mountains (Cant. 4:8; Nah.
2:12), and in the canebrakes on the banks of the Jordan (Jer.
49:19; 50:44; Zech. 11:3).
No fewer than at least six different words are used in the Old
Testament for the lion. (1.) _Gor_ (i.e., a "suckling"), the
lion's whelp (Gen. 49:9; Jer. 51:38, etc.). (2.) _Kephir_ (i.e.,
"shaggy"), the young lion (Judg. 14:5; Job 4:10; Ps. 91:13;
104:21), a term which is also used figuratively of cruel enemies
(Ps. 34:10; 35:17; 58:6; Jer. 2:15). (3.) _'Ari_ (i.e., the
"puller" in pieces), denoting the lion in general, without
reference to age or sex (Num. 23:24; 2 Sam. 17:10, etc.). (4.)
_Shahal_ (the "roarer"), the mature lion (Job 4:10; Ps. 91:13;
Prov. 26:13; Hos. 5:14). (5.) _Laish_, so called from its
strength and bravery (Job 4:11; Prov. 30:30; Isa. 30:6). The
capital of Northern Dan received its name from this word. (6.)
_Labi_, from a root meaning "to roar," a grown lion or lioness
(Gen. 49:9; Num. 23:24; 24:9; Ezek. 19:2; Nah. 2:11).
The lion of Israel was properly of the Asiatic variety,
distinguished from the African variety, which is larger. Yet it
not only attacked flocks in the presence of the shepherd, but
also laid waste towns and villages (2 Kings 17:25, 26) and
devoured men (1 Kings 13:24, 25). Shepherds sometimes,
single-handed, encountered lions and slew them (1 Sam. 17:34,
35; Amos 3:12). Samson seized a young lion with his hands and
"rent him as he would have rent a kid" (Judg. 14:5, 6). The
strength (Judg. 14:18), courage (2 Sam. 17:10), and ferocity
(Gen. 49:9) of the lion were proverbial.
lion-like, venerable. (1.) A king of Ellasar who was confederate
with Chedorlamer (Gen. 14:1,9). The tablets recently discovered
by Mr. Pinches (see CHALDEA ¯T0000758) show the true reading is
Eri-Aku of Larsa. This Elamite name meant "servant of the
moon-god." It was afterwards changed into Rimsin, "Have mercy, O
moon-god." (2.) Dan. 2:14.
First mentioned in Deut. 1:44. Swarms of bees, and the danger of
their attacks, are mentioned in Ps. 118:12. Samson found a
"swarm of bees" in the carcass of a lion he had slain (Judg.
14:8). Wild bees are described as laying up honey in woods and
in clefts of rocks (Deut. 32:13; Ps. 81:16). In Isa. 7:18 the
"fly" and the "bee" are personifications of the Egyptians and
Assyrians, the inveterate enemies of Israel.
lion of God, the first of the judges. His wife Achsah was the
daughter of Caleb (Josh. 15:16, 17; Judg. 1:13). He gained her
hand as a reward for his bravery in leading a successful
expedition against Debir (q.v.). Some thirty years after the
death of Joshua, the Israelites fell under the subjection of
Chushan-rishathaim (q.v.), the king of Mesopotamia. He oppressed
them for full eight years, when they "cried" unto Jehovah, and
Othniel was raised up to be their deliverer. He was the younger
brother of Caleb (Judg. 3:8, 9-11). He is the only judge
mentioned connected with the tribe of Judah. Under him the land
had rest forty years.
mentioned first in Gen. 10:9 in connection with Nimrod. Esau was
"a cunning hunter" (Gen. 25:27). Hunting was practised by the
Hebrews after their settlement in the "Land of Promise" (Lev.
17:15; Prov. 12:27). The lion and other ravenous beasts were
found in Israel (1 Sam. 17:34; 2 Sam. 23:20; 1 Kings 13:24;
Ezek. 19:3-8), and it must have been necessary to hunt and
destroy them. Various snares and gins were used in hunting (Ps.
91:3; Amos 3:5; 2 Sam. 23:20).
War is referred to under the idea of hunting (Jer. 16:16;
a lion. (1.) A city of the Sidonians, in the extreme north of
Israel (Judg. 18:7, 14); called also Leshem (Josh. 19:47) and
Dan (Judg. 18:7, 29; Jer. 8:16). It lay near the sources of the
Jordan, about 4 miles from Paneas. The restless and warlike
tribe of Dan (q.v.), looking out for larger possessions, invaded
this country and took Laish with its territory. It is identified
with the ruin Tell-el-Kady, "the mound of the judge," to the
north of the Waters of Merom (Josh. 11:5).
(2.) A place mentioned in Isa. 10:30. It has been supposed to
be the modern el-Isawiyeh, about a mile north-east of Jerusalem.
(3.) The father of Phalti (1 Sam. 25:44).
=Askelon=Ascalon, was one of the five cities of the Philistines
(Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 6:17). It stood on the shore of the
Mediterranean, 12 miles north of Gaza. It is mentioned on an
inscription at Karnak in Egypt as having been taken by king
Rameses II., the oppressor of the Hebrews. In the time of the
judges (Judg. 1:18) it fell into the possession of the tribe of
Judah; but it was soon after retaken by the Philistines (2 Sam.
1:20), who were not finally dispossessed till the time of
Alexander the Great. Samson went down to this place from
Timnath, and slew thirty men and took their spoil. The prophets
foretold its destruction (Jer. 25:20; 47:5, 7). It became a
noted place in the Middle Ages, having been the scene of many a
bloody battle between the Saracens and the Crusaders. It was
beseiged and taken by Richard the Lion-hearted, and "within its
walls and towers now standing he held his court." Among the Tell
Amarna tablets (see EGYPT ¯T0001137) are found letters or
official despatches from Yadaya, "captain of horse and dust of
the king's feet," to the "great king" of Egypt, dated from
Ascalon. It is now called 'Askalan.
The central fact of Christian preaching was the intelligence
that the Saviour had come into the world (Matt. 4:23; Rom.
10:15); and the first Christian preachers who called their
account of the person and mission of Christ by the term
_evangelion_ (= good message) were called _evangelistai_ (=
evangelists) (Eph. 4:11; Acts 21:8).
There are four historical accounts of the person and work of
Christ: "the first by Matthew, announcing the Redeemer as the
promised King of the kingdom of God; the second by Mark,
declaring him 'a prophet, mighty in deed and word'; the third by
Luke, of whom it might be said that he represents Christ in the
special character of the Saviour of sinners (Luke 7:36; 15:18);
the fourth by John, who represents Christ as the Son of God, in
whom deity and humanity become one. The ancient Church gave to
Matthew the symbol of the lion, to Mark that of a man, to Luke
that of the ox, and to John that of the eagle: these were the
four faces of the cherubim" (Ezek. 1:10).
Date. The Gospels were all composed during the latter part of
the first century, and there is distinct historical evidence to
show that they were used and accepted as authentic before the
end of the second century.
Mutual relation. "If the extent of all the coincidences be
represented by 100, their proportionate distribution will be:
Matthew, Mark, and Luke, 53; Matthew and Luke, 21; Matthew and
Mark, 20; Mark and Luke, 6. Looking only at the general result,
it may be said that of the contents of the synoptic Gospels
[i.e., the first three Gospels] about two-fifths are common to
the three, and that the parts peculiar to one or other of them
are little more than one-third of the whole."
Origin. Did the evangelists copy from one another? The opinion
is well founded that the Gospels were published by the apostles
orally before they were committed to writing, and that each had
an independent origin. (See MATTHEW, GOSPEL OF ¯T0002443.)
adversary; accuser. When used as a proper name, the Hebrew word
so rendered has the article "the adversary" (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7).
In the New Testament it is used as interchangeable with
Diabolos, or the devil, and is so used more than thirty times.
He is also called "the dragon," "the old serpent" (Rev. 12:9;
20:2); "the prince of this world" (John 12:31; 14:30); "the
prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2); "the god of this
world" (2 Cor. 4:4); "the spirit that now worketh in the
children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2). The distinct personality
of Satan and his activity among men are thus obviously
recognized. He tempted our Lord in the wilderness (Matt.
4:1-11). He is "Beelzebub, the prince of the devils" (12:24). He
is "the constant enemy of God, of Christ, of the divine kingdom,
of the followers of Christ, and of all truth; full of falsehood
and all malice, and exciting and seducing to evil in every
possible way." His power is very great in the world. He is a
"roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). Men are
said to be "taken captive by him" (2 Tim. 2:26). Christians are
warned against his "devices" (2 Cor. 2:11), and called on to
"resist" him (James 4:7). Christ redeems his people from "him
that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14).
Satan has the "power of death," not as lord, but simply as
retribution. (1.) The son of Jabesh, otherwise unknown. He
"conspired against Zachariah, and smote him before the people,
and slew him, and reigned in his stead" (2 Kings 15:10). He
reigned only "a month of days in Samaria" (15:13, marg.).
Menahem rose up against Shallum and put him to death (2 Kings
15:14, 15, 17), and became king in his stead.
(2.) Keeper of the temple vestments in the reign of Josiah (2
(3.) One of the posterity of Judah (1 Chr. 2:40, 41).
(4.) A descendant of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:25).
(5.) One of the line of the high priests (1 Chr. 6:13).
(6.) 1 Chr. 7:13.
(7.) A keeper of the gate in the reign of David (1 Chr. 9:17).
(8.) A Levite porter (1 Chr. 9:19, 31; Jer. 35:4).
(9.) An Ephraimite chief (2 Chr. 28:12).
(10.) The uncle of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 32:7).
(11.) A son of king Josiah (1 Chr. 3:15; Jer. 22:11), who was
elected to succeed his father on the throne, although he was two
years younger than his brother Eliakim. He assumed the crown
under the name of Jehoahaz (q.v.). He did not imitate the
example of his father (2 Kings 23:32), but was "a young lion,
and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men" (Ezek. 19:3).
His policy was anti-Egyptian therefore. Necho, at that time at
Riblah, sent an army against Jerusalem, which at once yielded,
and Jehoahaz was carried captive to the Egyptian camp, Eliakim
being appointed king in his stead. He remained a captive in
Egypt till his death, and was the first king of Judah that died
abounded in the Holy Land. To the rearing and management of them
the inhabitants chiefly devoted themselves (Deut. 8:13; 12:21; 1
Sam. 11:5; 12:3; Ps. 144:14; Jer. 3:24). They may be classified
(1.) Neat cattle. Many hundreds of these were yearly consumed
in sacrifices or used for food. The finest herds were found in
Bashan, beyond Jordan (Num. 32:4). Large herds also pastured on
the wide fertile plains of Sharon. They were yoked to the plough
(1 Kings 19:19), and were employed for carrying burdens (1 Chr.
12:40). They were driven with a pointed rod (Judg. 3:31) or goad
According to the Mosaic law, the mouths of cattle employed for
the threshing-floor were not to be muzzled, so as to prevent
them from eating of the provender over which they trampled
(Deut. 25:4). Whosoever stole and sold or slaughtered an ox must
give five in satisfaction (Ex. 22:1); but if it was found alive
in the possession of him who stole it, he was required to make
double restitution only (22:4). If an ox went astray, whoever
found it was required to bring it back to its owner (23:4; Deut.
22:1, 4). An ox and an ass could not be yoked together in the
plough (Deut. 22:10).
(2.) Small cattle. Next to herds of neat cattle, sheep formed
the most important of the possessions of the inhabitants of
Israel (Gen. 12:16; 13:5; 26:14; 21:27; 29:2, 3). They are
frequently mentioned among the booty taken in war (Num. 31:32;
Josh. 6:21; 1 Sam. 14:32; 15:3). There were many who were owners
of large flocks (1 Sam. 25:2; 2 Sam. 12:2, comp. Job 1:3). Kings
also had shepherds "over their flocks" (1 Chr. 27:31), from
which they derived a large portion of their revenue (2 Sam.
17:29; 1 Chr. 12:40). The districts most famous for their flocks
of sheep were the plain of Sharon (Isa. 65: 10), Mount Carmel
(Micah 7:14), Bashan and Gilead (Micah 7:14). In patriarchal
times the flocks of sheep were sometimes tended by the daughters
of the owners. Thus Rachel, the daughter of Laban, kept her
father's sheep (Gen. 29:9); as also Zipporah and her six sisters
had charge of their father Jethro's flocks (Ex. 2:16). Sometimes
they were kept by hired shepherds (John 10:12), and sometimes by
the sons of the family (1 Sam. 16:11; 17:15). The keepers so
familiarized their sheep with their voices that they knew them,
and followed them at their call. Sheep, but more especially rams
and lambs, were frequently offered in sacrifice. The shearing of
sheep was a great festive occasion (1 Sam. 25:4; 2 Sam. 13:23).
They were folded at night, and guarded by their keepers against
the attacks of the lion (Micah 5:8), the bear (1 Sam. 17:34),
and the wolf (Matt. 10:16; John 10:12). They were liable to
wander over the wide pastures and go astray (Ps. 119:176; Isa.
53:6; Hos. 4:16; Matt. 18:12).
Goats also formed a part of the pastoral wealth of Israel
(Gen. 15:9; 32:14; 37:31). They were used both for sacrifice and
for food (Deut. 14:4), especially the young males (Gen. 27:9,
14, 17; Judg. 6:19; 13:15; 1 Sam. 16:20). Goat's hair was used
for making tent cloth (Ex. 26:7; 36:14), and for mattresses and
bedding (1 Sam. 19:13, 16). (See GOAT ¯T0001509.)
Mark, Gospel according to
It is the current and apparently well-founded tradition that
Mark derived his information mainly from the discourses of
Peter. In his mother's house he would have abundant
opportunities of obtaining information from the other apostles
and their coadjutors, yet he was "the disciple and interpreter
of Peter" specially.
As to the time when it was written, the Gospel furnishes us
with no definite information. Mark makes no mention of the
destruction of Jerusalem, hence it must have been written before
that event, and probably about A.D. 63.
The place where it was written was probably Rome. Some have
supposed Antioch (comp. Mark 15:21 with Acts 11:20).
It was intended primarily for Romans. This appears probable
when it is considered that it makes no reference to the Jewish
law, and that the writer takes care to interpret words which a
Gentile would be likely to misunderstand, such as, "Boanerges"
(3:17); "Talitha cumi" (5:41); "Corban" (7:11); "Bartimaeus"
(10:46); "Abba" (14:36); "Eloi," etc. (15:34). Jewish usages are
also explained (7:3; 14:3; 14:12; 15:42). Mark also uses certain
Latin words not found in any of the other Gospels, as
"speculator" (6:27, rendered, A.V., "executioner;" R.V.,
"soldier of his guard"), "xestes" (a corruption of sextarius,
rendered "pots," 7:4, 8), "quadrans" (12:42, rendered "a
farthing"), "centurion" (15:39, 44, 45). He only twice quotes
from the Old Testament (1:2; 15:28).
The characteristics of this Gospel are, (1) the absence of the
genealogy of our Lord, (2) whom he represents as clothed with
power, the "lion of the tribe of Judah." (3.) Mark also records
with wonderful minuteness the very words (3:17; 5:41; 7:11, 34;
14:36) as well as the position (9:35) and gestures (3:5, 34;
5:32; 9:36; 10:16) of our Lord. (4.) He is also careful to
record particulars of person (1:29, 36; 3:6, 22, etc.), number
(5:13; 6:7, etc.), place (2:13; 4:1; 7:31, etc.), and time
(1:35; 2:1; 4:35, etc.), which the other evangelists omit. (5.)
The phrase "and straightway" occurs nearly forty times in this
Gospel; while in Luke's Gospel, which is much longer, it is used
only seven times, and in John only four times.
"The Gospel of Mark," says Westcott, "is essentially a
transcript from life. The course and issue of facts are imaged
in it with the clearest outline." "In Mark we have no attempt to
draw up a continuous narrative. His Gospel is a rapid succession
of vivid pictures loosely strung together without much attempt
to bind them into a whole or give the events in their natural
sequence. This pictorial power is that which specially
characterizes this evangelist, so that 'if any one desires to
know an evangelical fact, not only in its main features and
grand results, but also in its most minute and so to speak more
graphic delineation, he must betake himself to Mark.'" The
leading principle running through this Gospel may be expressed
in the motto: "Jesus came...preaching the gospel of the kingdom"
"Out of a total of 662 verses, Mark has 406 in common with
Matthew and Luke, 145 with Matthew, 60 with Luke, and at most 51
peculiar to itself." (See MATTHEW ¯T0002442.)
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.