quick, "the Archite," "the king's friend" (1 Chr. 27:33). When
David fled from Jerusalem, on account of the rebellion of
Absalom, and had reached the summit of Olivet, he there met
Hushai, whom he sent back to Jerusalem for the purpose of
counteracting the influence of Ahithophel, who had joined the
ranks of Absalom (2 Sam. 15:32, 37; 16:16-18). It was by his
advice that Absalom refrained from immediately pursuing after
David. By this delay the cause of Absalom was ruined, for it
gave David time to muster his forces.
brother of anger = irascible. (1.) The father Ahinoam, the wife
of Saul (1 Sam. 14:50).
(2.) The son and successor of Zadok in the office of high
priest (1 Chr. 6:8, 53). On the occasion of the revolt of
Absalom he remained faithful to David, and was of service to him
in conveying to him tidings of the proceedings of Absalom in
Jerusalem (2 Sam. 15:24-37; 17:15-21). He was swift of foot, and
was the first to carry to David tidings of the defeat of
Absalom, although he refrained, from delicacy of feeling, from
telling him of his death (2 Sam. 18:19-33).
abounding in furrows. (1.) One of the Anakim of Hebron, who were
slain by the men of Judah under Caleb (Num. 13:22; Josh. 15:14;
(2.) A king of Geshur, to whom Absalom fled after he had put
Amnon to death (2 Sam. 3:3; 13:37). His daughter, Maachah, was
one of David's wives, and the mother of Absalom (1 Chr. 3:2).
father of peace; i.e., "peaceful" David's son by Maacah (2 Sam.
3:3; comp. 1 Kings 1:6). He was noted for his personal beauty
and for the extra-ordinary profusion of the hair of his head (2
Sam. 14:25,26). The first public act of his life was the
blood-revenge he executed against Amnon, David's eldest son, who
had basely wronged Absalom's sister Tamar. This revenge was
executed at the time of the festivities connected with a great
sheep-shearing at Baal-hazor. David's other sons fled from the
place in horror, and brought the tidings of the death of Amnon
to Jerusalem. Alarmed for the consequences of the act, Absalom
fled to his grandfather at Geshur, and there abode for three
years (2 Sam. 3:3; 13:23-38).
David mourned his absent son, now branded with the guilt of
fratricide. As the result of a stratagem carried out by a woman
of Tekoah, Joab received David's sanction to invite Absalom back
to Jerusalem. He returned accordingly, but two years elapsed
before his father admitted him into his presence (2 Sam. 14:28).
Absalom was now probably the oldest surviving son of David, and
as he was of royal descent by his mother as well as by his
father, he began to aspire to the throne. His pretensions were
favoured by the people. By many arts he gained their affection;
and after his return from Geshur (2 Sam. 15:7; marg., R.V.) he
went up to Hebron, the old capital of Judah, along with a great
body of the people, and there proclaimed himself king. The
revolt was so successful that David found it necessary to quit
Jerusalem and flee to Mahanaim, beyond Jordan; where upon
Absalom returned to Jerusalem and took possession of the throne
without opposition. Ahithophel, who had been David's chief
counsellor, deserted him and joined Absalom, whose chief
counsellor he now became. Hushai also joined Absalom, but only
for the purpose of trying to counteract the counsels of
Ahithophel, and so to advantage David's cause. He was so far
successful that by his advice, which was preferred to that of
Ahithophel, Absalom delayed to march an army against his father,
who thus gained time to prepare for the defence.
Absalom at length marched out against his father, whose army,
under the command of Joab, he encountered on the borders of the
forest of Ephraim. Twenty thousand of Absalom's army were slain
in that fatal battle, and the rest fled. Absalom fled on a swift
mule; but his long flowing hair, or more probably his head, was
caught in the bough of an oak, and there he was left suspended
till Joab came up and pierced him through with three darts. His
body was then taken down and cast into a pit dug in the forest,
and a heap of stones was raised over his grave. When the tidings
of the result of that battle were brought to David, as he sat
impatiently at the gate of Mahanaim, and he was told that
Absalom had been slain, he gave way to the bitter lamentation:
"O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died
for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" (2 Sam. 18:33. Comp. Ex.
32:32; Rom. 9:3).
Absalom's three sons (2 Sam. 14:27; comp. 18:18) had all died
before him, so that he left only a daughter, Tamar, who became
the grandmother of Abijah.
brother of insipidity or impiety, a man greatly renowned for his
sagacity among the Jews. At the time of Absalom's revolt he
deserted David (Ps. 41:9; 55:12-14) and espoused the cause of
Absalom (2 Sam. 15:12). David sent his old friend Hushai back to
Absalom, in order that he might counteract the counsel of
Ahithophel (2 Sam. 15:31-37). This end was so far gained that
Ahithophel saw he had no longer any influence, and accordingly
he at once left the camp of Absalom and returned to Giloh, his
native place, where, after arranging his wordly affairs, he
hanged himself, and was buried in the sepulchre of his fathers
(2 Sam. 17:1-23). He was the type of Judas (Ps. 41:9).
having a courtyard, or Baal's village, the place on the borders
of Ephraim and Benjamin where Absalom held the feast of
sheep-shearing when Amnon was assassinated (2 Sam. 13:23).
Probably it is the same with Hazor (Neh. 11:33), now Tell' Asur,
5 miles north-east of Bethel.
mentioned in 2 Sam. 17:28 as having been brought to David when
flying from Absalom. They formed a constituent in the bread
Ezekiel (4:9) was commanded to make, as they were in general
much used as an article of diet. They are extensively cultivated
in Egypt and Arabia and Syria.
Dale, the king's
the name of a valley, the alternative for "the valley of Shaveh"
(q.v.), near the Dead Sea, where the king of Sodom met Abraham
(Gen. 14:17). Some have identified it with the southern part of
the valley of Jehoshaphat, where Absalom reared his family
monument (2 Sam. 18:18).
Ephraim, Wood of
a forest in which a fatal battle was fought between the army of
David and that of Absalom, who was killed there (2 Sam. 18:6,
8). It lay on the east of Jordan, not far from Mahanaim, and was
some part of the great forest of Gilead.
festive; the dancer, a wife of David and the mother of Adonijah
(2 Sam. 3:4; 1 Kings 1:5, 11; 2:13; 1 Chr. 3:2), who, like
Absalom, was famed for his beauty.
smallness, a summit on the eastern ridge of Lebanon, near which
David lay after escaping from Absalom (Ps. 42:6). It may,
perhaps, be the present Jebel Ajlun, thus named, "the little",
in contrast with the greater elevation of Lebanon and Hermon.
(Ps. 42:7; marg. R.V., "cataracts"). If we regard this psalm as
descriptive of David's feelings when banished from Jerusalem by
the revolt of Absalom, this word may denote "waterfalls,"
inasmuch as Mahanaim, where he abode, was near the Jabbok, and
the region abounded with rapids and falls.
oppression, a small Syrian kingdom near Geshur, east of the
Hauran, the district of Batanea (Josh. 13:13; 2 Sam. 10:6,8; 1
(2.) A daughter of Talmai, king of the old native population
of Geshur. She became one of David's wives, and was the mother
of Absalom (2 Sam. 3:3).
(3.) The father of Hanan, who was one of David's body-guard (1
(4.) The daughter of Abishalom (called Absalom, 2 Chr.
11:20-22), the third wife of Rehoboam, and mother of Abijam (1
Kings 15:2). She is called "Michaiah the daughter of Uriel," who
was the husband of Absalom's daughter Tamar (2 Chr. 13:2). Her
son Abijah or Abijam was heir to the throne.
(5.) The father of Achish, the king of Gath (1 Kings 2:39),
called also Maoch (1 Sam. 27:2).
people of glory; i.e., "renowned." (1.) The father of the
Ephraimite chief Elishama, at the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:10;
2:18; 7:48, 53).
(2.) Num. 34:20. (3.) Num. 34:28.
(4.) The father of Talmai, king of Geshur, to whom Absalom
fled after the murder of Amnon (2 Sam. 13:37).
(5.) The son of Omri, and the father of Uthai (1 Chr. 9:4).
faithful. (1.) One of the sons of Shammai, of the children of
Ezra (1 Chr. 4:20; comp. 17).
(2.) The eldest son of David, by Ahinoam of Jezreel (1 Chr.
3:1; 2 Sam. 3:2). Absalom caused him to be put to death for his
great crime in the matter of Tamar (2 Sam. 13:28, 29).
(1.) The messenger sent by Joab to David to announce his victory
over Absalom (2 Sam. 18:32).
(2.) The father of Shelemiah (Jer. 36:14).
(3.) Son of Gedaliah, and father of the prophet Zephaniah
(4.) Moses married a Cushite woman (Num. 12:1). From this
circumstance some have supposed that Zipporah was meant, and
hence that Midian was Cush.
bridge, the name of a district or principality of Syria near
Gilead, between Mount Hermon and the Lake of Tiberias (2 Sam.
15:8; 1 Chr. 2:23). The Geshurites probably inhabited the rocky
fastness of Argob, the modern Lejah, in the north-east corner of
Bashan. In the time of David it was ruled by Talmai, whose
daughter he married, and who was the mother of Absalom, who fled
to Geshur after the murder of Amnon (2 Sam. 13:37).
(Heb. 'adashim), a species of vetch (Gen. 25:34; 2 Sam. 23:11),
common in Syria under the name addas. The red pottage made by
Jacob was of lentils (Gen. 25:29-34). They were among the
provisions brought to David when he fled from Absalom (2 Sam.
17:28). It is the Ervum lens of Linnaeus, a leguminous plant
which produces a fruit resembling a bean.
occurring only in the title of Psalm 9. Some interpret the words
as meaning "on the death of Labben," some unknown person. Others
render the word, "on the death of the son;" i.e., of Absalom (2
Sam. 18:33). Others again have taken the word as the name of a
musical instrument, or as the name of an air to which the psalm
pining, probably the youngest son of Barzillai the Gileadite (2
Sam. 19:37-40). The "habitation of Chimham" (Jer. 41:17) was
probably an inn or khan, which is the proper meaning of the
Hebrew _geruth_, rendered "habitation", established in later
times in his possession at Bethlehem, which David gave to him as
a reward for his loyalty in accompanying him to Jerusalem after
the defeat of Absalom (1 Kings 2:7). It has been supposed that,
considering the stationary character of Eastern institutions, it
was in the stable of this inn or caravanserai that our Saviour
was born (Luke 2:7).
two camps, a place near the Jabbok, beyond Jordan, where Jacob
was met by the "angels of God," and where he divided his retinue
into "two hosts" on his return from Padan-aram (Gen. 32:2). This
name was afterwards given to the town which was built at that
place. It was the southern boundary of Bashan (Josh. 13:26, 30),
and became a city of the Levites (21:38). Here Saul's son
Ishbosheth reigned (2 Sam. 2:8, 12), while David reigned at
Hebron. Here also, after a troubled reign, Ishbosheth was
murdered by two of his own bodyguard (2 Sam. 4:5-7), who brought
his head to David at Hebron, but were, instead of being
rewarded, put to death by him for their cold-blooded murder.
Many years after this, when he fled from Jerusalem on the
rebellion of his son Absalom, David made Mahanaim, where
Barzillai entertained him, his headquarters, and here he
mustered his forces which were led against the army that had
gathered around Absalom. It was while sitting at the gate of
this town that tidings of the great and decisive battle between
the two hosts and of the death of his son Absalom reached him,
when he gave way to the most violent grief (2 Sam. 17:24-27).
The only other reference to Mahanaim is as a station of one of
Solomon's purveyors (1 Kings 4:14). It has been identified with
the modern Mukhumah, a ruin found in a depressed plain called
el-Bukie'a, "the little vale," near Penuel, south of the Jabbok,
and north-east of es-Salt.
my Lord is Jehovah. (1.) The fourth son of David (2 Sam. 3:4).
After the death of his elder brothers, Amnon and Absalom, he
became heir-apparent to the throne. But Solomon, a younger
brother, was preferred to him. Adonijah, however, when his
father was dying, caused himself to be proclaimed king. But
Nathan and Bathsheba induced David to give orders that Solomon
should at once be proclaimed and admitted to the throne.
Adonijah fled and took refuge at the altar, and received pardon
for his conduct from Solomon on the condition that he showed
himself "a worthy man" (1 Kings 1:5-53). He afterwards made a
second attempt to gain the throne, but was seized and put to
death (1 Kings 2:13-25).
(2.) A Levite sent with the princes to teach the book of the
law to the inhabitants of Judah (2 Chr. 17:8).
(3.) One of the "chiefs of the people" after the Captivity
pitching of tents; fastening down, a town of Judah, about 12
miles south of Jerusalem, and visible from the city. From this
place Joab procured a "wise woman," who pretended to be in great
affliction, and skilfully made her case known to David. Her
address to the king was in the form of an apologue, similar to
that of Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-6). The object of Joab was, by the
intervention of this woman, to induce David to bring back
Absalom to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 14:2, 4, 9).
This was also the birth-place of the prophet Amos (1:1).
It is now the village of Teku'a, on the top of a hill among
ruins, 5 miles south of Bethlehem, and close to Beth-haccerem
famous. (1.) A son of Gershon, and grandson of Levi (Num. 3:18;
1 Chr. 6:17, 29); called Shimi in Ex. 6:17.
(2.) A Benjamite of the house of Saul, who stoned and cursed
David when he reached Bahurim in his flight from Jerusalem on
the occasion of the rebellion of Absalom (2 Sam. 16:5-13). After
the defeat of Absalom he "came cringing to the king, humbly
suing for pardon, bringing with him a thousand of his Benjamite
tribesmen, and representing that he was heartily sorry for his
crime, and had hurried the first of all the house of Israel to
offer homage to the king" (19:16-23). David forgave him; but on
his death-bed he gave Solomon special instructions regarding
Shimei, of whose fidelity he seems to have been in doubt (1
Kings 2:8,9). He was put to death at the command of Solomon,
because he had violated his word by leaving Jerusalem and going
to Gath to recover two of his servants who had escaped (36-46).
(3.) One of David's mighty men who refused to acknowledge
Adonijah as David's successor (1 Kings 1:8). He is probably the
same person who is called elsewhere (4:18) "the son of Elah."
(4.) A son of Pedaiah, the brother of Zerubbabel (1 Chr.
(5.) A Simeonite (1 Chr. 4:26, 27).
(6.) A Reubenite (1 Chr. 5:4).
(7.) A Levite of the family of Gershon (1 Chr. 6:42).
(8.) A Ramathite who was "over the vineyards" of David (1 Chr.
(9.) One of the sons of Heman, who assisted in the
purification of the temple (2 Chr. 29:14).
(10.) A Levite (2 Chr. 31:12, 13).
(11.) Another Levite (Ezra 10:23). "The family of Shimei"
(Zech. 12:13; R.V., "the family of the Shimeites") were the
descendants of Shimei (1).
father of (i.e., "desirous of") a gift, the eldest son of
Zeruiah, David's sister. He was the brother of Joab and Asahel
(2 Sam. 2:18; 1 Chr. 2:16). Abishai was the only one who
accompanied David when he went to the camp of Saul and took the
spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster (1 Sam.
26:5-12). He had the command of one of the three divisions of
David's army at the battle with Absalom (2 Sam. 18:2,5,12). He
slew the Philistine giant Ishbi-benob, who threatened David's
life (2 Sam. 21:15-17). He was the chief of the second rank of
the three "mighties" (2 Sam. 23:18, 19; 1 Chr. 11:20,21); and on
one occasion withstood 300 men, and slew them with his own spear
(2 Sam. 23:18). Abishai is the name of the Semitic chief who
offers gifts to the lord of Beni-Hassan. See illustration facing
high place, a city of the priests, first mentioned in the
history of David's wanderings (1 Sam. 21:1). Here the tabernacle
was then standing, and here Ahimelech the priest resided. (See
AHIMELECH ¯T0000143.) From Isa. 10:28-32 it seems to have been
near Jerusalem. It has been identified by some with el-Isawiyeh,
one mile and a half to the north-east of Jerusalem. But
according to Isa. 10:28-32 it was on the south of Geba, on the
road to Jerusalem, and within sight of the city. This
identification does not meet these conditions, and hence others
(as Dean Stanley) think that it was the northern summit of Mount
Olivet, the place where David "worshipped God" when fleeing from
Absalom (2 Sam. 15:32), or more probably (Conder) that it was
the same as Mizpeh (q.v.), Judg. 20:1; Josh. 18:26; 1 Sam. 7:16,
at Nebi Samwil, about 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem.
After being supplied with the sacred loaves of showbread, and
girding on the sword of Goliath, which was brought forth from
behind the ephod, David fled from Nob and sought refuge at the
court of Achish, the king of Gath, where he was cast into
prison. (Comp. titles of Ps. 34 and 56.)
palm. (1.) A place mentioned by Ezekiel (47:19; 48:28), on the
southeastern border of Israel. Some suppose this was "Tadmor"
(2.) The daughter-in-law of Judah, to whose eldest son, Er,
she was married (Gen. 38:6). After her husband's death, she was
married to Onan, his brother (8), and on his death, Judah
promised to her that his third son, Shelah, would become her
husband. This promise was not fulfilled, and hence Tamar's
revenge and Judah's great guilt (38:12-30).
(3.) A daughter of David (2 Sam. 13:1-32; 1 Chr. 3:9), whom
Amnon shamefully outraged and afterwards "hated exceedingly,"
thereby illustrating the law of human nature noticed even by the
heathen, "Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris",
i.e., "It is the property of human nature to hate one whom you
(4.) A daughter of Absalom (2 Sam. 14:27).
father (i.e., "possessor or worshipper") of Jehovah. (1.) 1 Chr.
7:8. (2.) 1 Chr. 2:24.
(3.) The second son of Samuel (1 Sam. 8:2; 1 Chr. 6:28). His
conduct, along with that of his brother, as a judge in
Beer-sheba, to which office his father had appointed him, led to
popular discontent, and ultimately provoked the people to demand
a royal form of government.
(4.) A descendant of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, a chief of one
of the twenty-four orders into which the priesthood was divided
by David (1 Chr. 24:10). The order of Abijah was one of those
which did not return from the Captivity (Ezra 2:36-39; Neh.
(5.) The son of Rehoboam, whom he succeeded on the throne of
Judah (1 Chr. 3:10). He is also called Abijam (1 Kings 14:31;
15:1-8). He began his three years' reign (2 Chr. 12:16; 13:1,2)
with a strenuous but unsuccessful effort to bring back the ten
tribes to their allegiance. His address to "Jeroboam and all
Israel," before encountering them in battle, is worthy of being
specially noticed (2 Chr. 13:5-12). It was a very bloody battle,
no fewer than 500,000 of the army of Israel having perished on
the field. He is described as having walked "in all the sins of
his father" (1 Kings 15:3; 2 Chr. 11:20-22). It is said in 1
Kings 15:2 that "his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of
Abishalom;" but in 2 Chr. 13:2 we read, "his mother's name was
Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah." The explanation is
that Maachah is just a variation of the name Michaiah, and that
Abishalom is probably the same as Absalom, the son of David. It
is probable that "Uriel of Gibeah" married Tamar, the daughter
of Absalom (2 Sam. 14:27), and by her had Maachah. The word
"daughter" in 1 Kings 15:2 will thus, as it frequently elsewhere
does, mean grand-daughter.
(6.) A son of Jeroboam, the first king of Israel. On account
of his severe illness when a youth, his father sent his wife to
consult the prophet Ahijah regarding his recovery. The prophet,
though blind with old age, knew the wife of Jeroboam as soon as
she approached, and under a divine impulse he announced to her
that inasmuch as in Abijah alone of all the house of Jeroboam
there was found "some good thing toward the Lord," he only would
come to his grave in peace. As his mother crossed the threshold
of the door on her return, the youth died, and "all Israel
mourned for him" (1 Kings 14:1-18).
(7.) The daughter of Zechariah (2 Chr. 29:1; comp. Isa. 8:2),
and afterwards the wife of Ahaz. She is also called Abi (2 Kings
(8.) One of the sons of Becher, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr.
7:8). "Abiah," A.V.
Jehovah is his father. (1.) One of the three sons of Zeruiah,
David's sister, and "captain of the host" during the whole of
David's reign (2 Sam. 2:13; 10:7; 11:1; 1 Kings 11:15). His
father's name is nowhere mentioned, although his sepulchre at
Bethlehem is mentioned (2 Sam. 2:32). His two brothers were
Abishai and Asahel, the swift of foot, who was killed by Abner
(2 Sam. 2:13-32), whom Joab afterwards treacherously murdered
(3:22-27). He afterwards led the assault at the storming of the
fortress on Mount Zion, and for this service was raised to the
rank of "prince of the king's army" (2 Sam. 5:6-10; 1 Chr.
27:34). His chief military achievements were, (1) against the
allied forces of Syria and Ammon; (2) against Edom (1 Kings
11:15, 16); and (3) against the Ammonites (2 Sam. 10:7-19; 11:1,
11). His character is deeply stained by the part he willingly
took in the murder of Uriah (11:14-25). He acted apparently from
a sense of duty in putting Absalom to death (18:1-14). David was
unmindful of the many services Joab had rendered to him, and
afterwards gave the command of the army to Amasa, Joab's cousin
(2 Sam. 20:1-13; 19:13). When David was dying Joab espoused the
cause of Adonijah in preference to that of Solomon. He was
afterwards slain by Benaiah, by the command of Solomon, in
accordance with his father's injunction (2 Sam. 3:29; 20:5-13),
at the altar to which he had fled for refuge. Thus this hoary
conspirator died without one to lift up a voice in his favour.
He was buried in his own property in the "wilderness," probably
in the north-east of Jerusalem (1 Kings 2:5, 28-34). Benaiah
succeeded him as commander-in-chief of the army.
(2.) 1 Chr. 4:14.
(3.) Ezra 2:6.
= Kedron = Cedron, turbid, the winter torrent which flows
through the Valley of Jehoshaphat, on the eastern side of
Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives. This valley
is known in Scripture only by the name "the brook Kidron." David
crossed this brook bare-foot and weeping, when fleeing from
Absalom (2 Sam. 15:23, 30), and it was frequently crossed by our
Lord in his journeyings to and fro (John 18:1). Here Asa burned
the obscene idols of his mother (1 Kings 15:13), and here
Athaliah was executed (2 Kings 11:16). It afterwards became the
receptacle for all manner of impurities (2 Chr. 29:16; 30:14);
and in the time of Josiah this valley was the common cemetery of
the city (2 Kings 23:6; comp. Jer. 26:23).
Through this mountain ravine no water runs, except after heavy
rains in the mountains round about Jerusalem. Its length from
its head to en-Rogel is 2 3/4 miles. Its precipitous, rocky
banks are filled with ancient tombs, especially the left bank
opposite the temple area. The greatest desire of the Jews is to
be buried there, from the idea that the Kidron is the "valley of
Jehoshaphat" mentioned in Joel 3:2.
Below en-Rogel the Kidron has no historical or sacred
interest. It runs in a winding course through the wilderness of
Judea to the north-western shore of the Dead Sea. Its whole
length, in a straight line, is only some 20 miles, but in this
space its descent is about 3,912 feet. (See KEDRON ¯T0002166.)
Recent excavations have brought to light the fact that the old
bed of the Kidron is about 40 feet lower than its present bed,
and about 70 feet nearer the sanctuary wall.
Numbering of the people
Besides the numbering of the tribes mentioned in the history of
the wanderings in the wilderness, we have an account of a
general census of the whole nation from Dan to Beersheba, which
David gave directions to Joab to make (1 Chr. 21:1). Joab very
reluctantly began to carry out the king's command.
This act of David in ordering a numbering of the people arose
from pride and a self-glorifying spirit. It indicated a reliance
on his part on an arm of flesh, an estimating of his power not
by the divine favour but by the material resources of his
kingdom. He thought of military achievement and of conquest, and
forgot that he was God's vicegerent. In all this he sinned
against God. While Joab was engaged in the census, David's heart
smote him, and he became deeply conscious of his fault; and in
profound humiliation he confessed, "I have sinned greatly in
what I have done." The prophet Gad was sent to him to put before
him three dreadful alternatives (2 Sam. 24:13; for "seven years"
in this verse, the LXX. and 1 Chr. 21:12 have "three years"),
three of Jehovah's four sore judgments (Ezek. 14:21). Two of
these David had already experienced. He had fled for some months
before Absalom, and had suffered three years' famine on account
of the slaughter of the Gibeonites. In his "strait" David said,
"Let me fall into the hands of the Lord." A pestilence broke out
among the people, and in three days swept away 70,000. At
David's intercession the plague was stayed, and at the
threshing-floor of Araunah (q.v.), where the destroying angel
was arrested in his progress, David erected an altar, and there
offered up sacrifies to God (2 Chr. 3:1).
The census, so far as completed, showed that there were at
least 1,300,000 fighting men in the kingdom, indicating at that
time a population of about six or seven millions in all. (See
an oath, seven. (1.) Heb. shebha, the son of Raamah (Gen. 10:7),
whose descendants settled with those of Dedan on the Persian
(2.) Heb. id. A son of Joktan (Gen. 10:28), probably the
founder of the Sabeans.
(3.) Heb. id. A son of Jokshan, who was a son of Abraham by
Keturah (Gen. 25:3).
(4.) Heb. id. A kingdom in Arabia Felix. Sheba, in fact, was
Saba in Southern Arabia, the Sabaeans of classical geography,
who carried on the trade in spices with the other peoples of the
ancient world. They were Semites, speaking one of the two main
dialects of Himyaritic or South Arabic. Sheba had become a
monarchy before the days of Solomon. Its queen brought him gold,
spices, and precious stones (1 Kings 10:1-13). She is called by
our Lord the "queen of the south" (Matt. 12:42).
(5.) Heb. shebha', "seven" or "an oak." A town of Simeon
(6.) Heb. id. A "son of Bichri," of the family of Becher, the
son of Benjamin, and thus of the stem from which Saul was
descended (2 Sam. 20:1-22). When David was returning to
Jerusalem after the defeat of Absalom, a strife arose between
the ten tribes and the tribe of Judah, because the latter took
the lead in bringing back the king. Sheba took advantage of this
state of things, and raised the standard of revolt, proclaiming,
"We have no part in David." With his followers he proceeded
northward. David seeing it necessary to check this revolt,
ordered Abishai to take the gibborim, "mighty men," and the
body-guard and such troops as he could gather, and pursue Sheba.
Joab joined the expedition, and having treacherously put Amasa
to death, assumed the command of the army. Sheba took refuge in
Abel-Bethmaachah, a fortified town some miles north of Lake
Merom. While Joab was engaged in laying siege to this city,
Sheba's head was, at the instigation of a "wise woman" who had
held a parley with him from the city walls, thrown over the wall
to the besiegers, and thus the revolt came to an end.
Heb. ya'ar, meaning a dense wood, from its luxuriance. Thus all
the great primeval forests of Syria (Eccl. 2:6; Isa. 44:14; Jer.
5:6; Micah 5:8). The most extensive was the trans-Jordanic
forest of Ephraim (2 Sam. 18:6, 8; Josh. 17:15, 18), which is
probably the same as the wood of Ephratah (Ps. 132:6), some part
of the great forest of Gilead. It was in this forest that
Absalom was slain by Joab. David withdrew to the forest of
Hareth in the mountains of Judah to avoid the fury of Saul (1
Sam. 22:5). We read also of the forest of Bethel (2 Kings 2:23,
24), and of that which the Israelites passed in their pursuit of
the Philistines (1 Sam. 14:25), and of the forest of the cedars
of Lebanon (1 Kings 4:33; 2 Kings 19:23; Hos. 14:5, 6).
"The house of the forest of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:2; 10:17; 2
Chr. 9:16) was probably Solomon's armoury, and was so called
because the wood of its many pillars came from Lebanon, and they
had the appearance of a forest. (See BAALBEC ¯T0000386.)
Heb. horesh, denoting a thicket of trees, underwood, jungle,
bushes, or trees entangled, and therefore affording a safe
hiding-place. place. This word is rendered "forest" only in 2
Chr. 27:4. It is also rendered "wood", the "wood" in the
"wilderness of Ziph," in which david concealed himself (1 Sam.
23:15), which lay south-east of Hebron. In Isa. 17:19 this word
is in Authorized Version rendered incorrectly "bough."
Heb. pardes, meaning an enclosed garden or plantation. Asaph
is (Neh. 2:8) called the "keeper of the king's forest." The same
Hebrew word is used Eccl. 2:5, where it is rendered in the
plural "orchards" (R.V., "parks"), and Cant. 4: 13, rendered
"orchard" (R.V. marg., "a paradise").
"The forest of the vintage" (Zech. 11:2, "inaccessible
forest," or R.V. "strong forest") is probably a figurative
allusion to Jerusalem, or the verse may simply point to the
devastation of the region referred to.
The forest is an image of unfruitfulness as contrasted with a
cultivated field (Isa. 29:17; 32:15; Jer. 26:18; Hos. 2:12).
Isaiah (10:19, 33, 34) likens the Assyrian host under
Sennacherib (q.v.) to the trees of some huge forest, to be
suddenly cut down by an unseen stroke.
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).
There are six Hebrew words rendered "oak."
(1.) 'El occurs only in the word El-paran (Gen. 14:6). The
LXX. renders by "terebinth." In the plural form this word occurs
in Isa. 1:29; 57:5 (A.V. marg. and R.V., "among the oaks"); 61:3
("trees"). The word properly means strongly, mighty, and hence a
(2.) 'Elah, Gen. 35:4, "under the oak which was by Shechem"
(R.V. marg., "terebinth"). Isa. 6:13, A.V., "teil-tree;" R.V.,
"terebinth." Isa. 1:30, R.V. marg., "terebinth." Absalom in his
flight was caught in the branches of a "great oak" (2 Sam. 18:9;
R.V. marg., "terebinth").
(3.) 'Elon, Judg. 4:11; 9:6 (R.V., "oak;" A.V., following the
Targum, "plain") properly the deciduous species of oak shedding
its foliage in autumn.
(4.) 'Elan, only in Dan. 4:11,14,20, rendered "tree" in
Nebuchadnezzar's dream. Probably some species of the oak is
(5.) 'Allah, Josh. 24:26. The place here referred to is called
Allon-moreh ("the oak of Moreh," as in R.V.) in Gen. 12:6 and
(6.) 'Allon, always rendered "oak." Probably the evergreen oak
(called also ilex and holm oak) is intended. The oak woods of
Bashan are frequently alluded to (Isa. 2:13; Ezek. 27:6). Three
species of oaks are found in Israel, of which the "prickly
evergreen oak" (Quercus coccifera) is the most abundant. "It
covers the rocky hills of Israel with a dense brushwood of
trees from 8 to 12 feet high, branching from the base, thickly
covered with small evergreen rigid leaves, and bearing acorns
copiously." The so-called Abraham's oak at Hebron is of this
species. Tristram says that this oak near Hebron "has for
several centuries taken the place of the once renowned terebinth
which marked the site of Mamre on the other side of the city.
The terebinth existed at Mamre in the time of Vespasian, and
under it the captive Jews were sold as slaves. It disappeared
about A.D. 330, and no tree now marks the grove of Mamre. The
present oak is the noblest tree in Southern Israel, being 23
feet in girth, and the diameter of the foliage, which is
unsymmetrical, being about 90 feet." (See HEBRON ¯T0001712;
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.
Olves, Mount of
so called from the olive trees with which its sides are clothed,
is a mountain ridge on the east of Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:7;
Ezek. 11:23; Zech. 14:4), from which it is separated by the
valley of Kidron. It is first mentioned in connection with
David's flight from Jerusalem through the rebellion of Absalom
(2 Sam. 15:30), and is only once again mentioned in the Old
Testament, in Zech. 14:4. It is, however, frequently alluded to
(1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; Neh. 8:15; Ezek. 11:23).
It is frequently mentioned in the New Testament (Matt. 21:1;
26:30, etc.). It now bears the name of Jebel et-Tur, i.e.,
"Mount of the Summit;" also sometimes called Jebel ez-Zeitun,
i.e., "Mount of Olives." It is about 200 feet above the level of
the city. The road from Jerusalem to Bethany runs as of old over
this mount. It was on this mount that Jesus stood when he wept
over Jerusalem. "No name in Scripture," says Dr. Porter, "calls
up associations at once so sacred and so pleasing as that of
Olivet. The 'mount' is so intimately connected with the private,
the devotional life of the Saviour, that we read of it and look
at it with feelings of deepest interest and affection. Here he
often sat with his disciples, telling them of wondrous events
yet to come, of the destruction of the Holy City; of the
sufferings, the persecution, and the final triumph of his
followers (Matt. 24). Here he gave them the beautiful parables
of the ten virgins and the five talents (25); here he was wont
to retire on each evening for meditation, and prayer, and rest
of body, when weary and harassed by the labours and trials of
the day (Luke 21:37); and here he came on the night of his
betrayal to utter that wonderful prayer, 'O my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will,
but as thou wilt' (Matt. 26:39). And when the cup of God's wrath
had been drunk, and death and the grave conquered, he led his
disciples out again over Olivet as far as to Bethany, and after
a parting blessing ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50, 51; Acts
This mount, or rather mountain range, has four summits or
peaks: (1) the "Galilee" peak, so called from a tradition that
the angels stood here when they spoke to the disciples (Acts
1:11); (2) the "Mount of Ascension," the supposed site of that
event, which was, however, somewhere probably nearer Bethany
(Luke 24:51, 52); (3) the "Prophets," from the catacombs on its
side, called "the prophets' tombs;" and (4) the "Mount of
Corruption," so called because of the "high places" erected
there by Solomon for the idolatrous worship of his foreign wives
(1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; Vulg., "Mount of Offence").
The first burial we have an account of is that of Sarah (Gen.
23). The first commercial transaction recorded is that of the
purchase of a burial-place, for which Abraham weighed to Ephron
"four hundred shekels of silver current money with the
merchants." Thus the patriarch became the owner of a part of the
land of Canaan, the only part he ever possessed. When he himself
died, "his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of
Machpelah," beside Sarah his wife (Gen. 25:9).
Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, was buried under Allon-bachuth, "the
oak of weeping" (Gen. 35:8), near to Bethel. Rachel died, and
was buried near Ephrath; "and Jacob set a pillar upon her grave"
(16-20). Isaac was buried at Hebron, where he had died (27, 29).
Jacob, when charging his sons to bury him in the cave of
Machpelah, said, "There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife;
there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried
Leah" (49:31). In compliance with the oath which he made him
swear unto him (47:29-31), Joseph, assisted by his brethren,
buried Jacob in the cave of Machpelah (50:2, 13). At the Exodus,
Moses "took the bones of Joseph with him," and they were buried
in the "parcel of ground" which Jacob had bought of the sons of
Hamor (Josh. 24:32), which became Joseph's inheritance (Gen.
48:22; 1 Chr. 5:1; John 4:5). Two burials are mentioned as
having taken place in the wilderness. That of Miriam (Num.
20:1), and that of Moses, "in the land of Moab" (Deut. 34:5, 6,
8). There is no account of the actual burial of Aaron, which
probably, however, took place on the summit of Mount Hor (Num.
Joshua was buried "in the border of his inheritance in
Timnath-serah" (Josh. 24: 30).
In Job we find a reference to burying-places, which were
probably the Pyramids (3:14, 15). The Hebrew word for "waste
places" here resembles in sound the Egyptian word for
Samuel, like Moses, was honoured with a national burial (1
Sam. 25:1). Joab (1 Kings 2:34) "was buried in his own house in
In connection with the burial of Saul and his three sons we
meet for the first time with the practice of burning the dead (1
Sam. 31:11-13). The same practice is again referred to by Amos
Absalom was buried "in the wood" where he was slain (2 Sam.
18:17, 18). The raising of the heap of stones over his grave was
intended to mark abhorrence of the person buried (comp. Josh.
7:26 and 8:29). There was no fixed royal burying-place for the
Hebrew kings. We find several royal burials taking place,
however, "in the city of David" (1 Kings 2:10; 11:43; 15:8; 2
Kings 14:19, 20; 15:38; 1 Kings 14:31; 22:50; 2 Chr. 21:19, 20;
2 Chr. 24:25, etc.). Hezekiah was buried in the mount of the
sepulchres of the sons of David; "and all Judah and the
inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death" (2 Chr.
Little is said regarding the burial of the kings of Israel.
Some of them were buried in Samaria, the capital of their
kingdom (2 Kings 10:35; 13:9; 14:16).
Our Lord was buried in a new tomb, hewn out of the rock, which
Joseph of Arimathea had prepared for himself (Matt. 27:57-60;
Mark 15:46; John 19:41, 42).
The grave of Lazarus was "a cave, and a stone lay on it" (John
11:38). Graves were frequently either natural caverns or
artificial excavations formed in the sides of rocks (Gen. 23:9;
Matt. 27:60); and coffins were seldom used, unless when the body
was brought from a distance.
hill-city, "one of the royal cities, greater than Ai, and all
the men thereof were mighty" (Josh. 10:2). Its inhabitants were
Hivites (11:19). It lay within the territory of Benjamin, and
became a priest-city (18:25; 21:17). Here the tabernacle was set
up after the destruction of Nob, and here it remained many years
till the temple was built by Solomon. It is represented by the
modern el-Jib, to the south-west of Ai, and about 5 1/2 miles
north-north-west of Jerusalem.
A deputation of the Gibeonites, with their allies from three
other cities (Josh. 9;17), visited the camp at Gilgal, and by
false representations induced Joshua to enter into a league with
them, although the Israelites had been specially warned against
any league with the inhabitants of Canaan (Ex. 23:32; 34:12;
Num. 33:55; Deut. 7:2). The deception practised on Joshua was
detected three days later; but the oath rashly sworn "by Jehovah
God of Israel" was kept, and the lives of the Gibeonites were
spared. They were, however, made "bondmen" to the sanctuary
The most remarkable incident connected with this city was the
victory Joshua gained over the kings of Israel (Josh.
10:16-27). The battle here fought has been regarded as "one of
the most important in the history of the world." The kings of
southern Canaan entered into a confederacy against Gibeon
(because it had entered into a league with Joshua) under the
leadership of Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem, and marched upon
Gibeon with the view of taking possession of it. The Gibeonites
entreated Joshua to come to their aid with the utmost speed. His
army came suddenly upon that of the Amorite kings as it lay
encamped before the city. It was completely routed, and only
broken remnants of their great host found refuge in the fenced
cities. The five confederate kings who led the army were taken
prisoners, and put to death at Makkedah (q.v.). This eventful
battle of Beth-horon sealed the fate of all the cities of
Southern Israel. Among the Amarna tablets is a letter from
Adoni-zedec (q.v.) to the king of Egypt, written probably at
Makkedah after the defeat, showing that the kings contemplated
flight into Egypt.
This place is again brought into notice as the scene of a
battle between the army of Ish-bosheth under Abner and that of
David led by Joab. At the suggestion of Abner, to spare the
effusion of blood twelve men on either side were chosen to
decide the battle. The issue was unexpected; for each of the men
slew his fellow, and thus they all perished. The two armies then
engaged in battle, in which Abner and his host were routed and
put to flight (2 Sam. 2:12-17). This battle led to a virtual
truce between Judah and Israel, Judah, under David, increasing
in power; and Israel, under Ish-bosheth, continually losing
Soon after the death of Absalom and David's restoration to his
throne his kingdom was visited by a grievous famine, which was
found to be a punishment for Saul's violation (2 Sam. 21:2, 5)
of the covenant with the Gibeonites (Josh. 9:3-27). The
Gibeonites demanded blood for the wrong that had been done to
them, and accordingly David gave up to them the two sons of
Rizpah (q.v.) and the five sons of Michal, and these the
Gibeonites took and hanged or crucified "in the hill before the
Lord" (2 Sam. 21:9); and there the bodies hung for six months
(21:10), and all the while Rizpah watched over the blackening
corpses and "suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on
them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night." David
afterwards removed the bones of Saul and Jonathan at
Jabeshgilead (21:12, 13).
Here, "at the great stone," Amasa was put to death by Joab (2
Sam. 20:5-10). To the altar of burnt-offering which was at
Gibeon, Joab (1 Kings 2:28-34), who had taken the side of
Adonijah, fled for sanctuary in the beginning of Solomon's
reign, and was there also slain by the hand of Benaiah.
Soon after he came to the throne, Solomon paid a visit of
state to Gibeon, there to offer sacrifices (1 Kings 3:4; 2 Chr.
1:3). On this occasion the Lord appeared to him in a memorable
dream, recorded in 1 Kings 3:5-15; 2 Chr. 1:7-12. When the
temple was built "all the men of Israel assembled themselves" to
king Solomon, and brought up from Gibeon the tabernacle and "all
the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle" to Jerusalem,
where they remained till they were carried away by
Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:13).