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and said, Behold the king's spear ! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it. The Lord render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness : for the Lord delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed. And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the Lord, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation. Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David : thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul : there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel : so shall I escape out of his hand. And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, king of Gath. And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath : and he sought no more again for him.

LXXIII,—THE DEATH OF SAUL,

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OW the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of

Israel fled from before the Israelites, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchi-shua, Saul's sons. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. Then said Saul unto his armour-bearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith ; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armour-bearer would not, for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armour-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armour-bearer, and all his men, that same day together.

And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the

valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled ; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa.

LXXIV,- DAVID MADE KING OF ISRAEL.

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ND it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the Lord,

saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron. And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim ; and made him king over all Israel. But the house of Judah followed David. And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.

Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel : and the Lord said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron ; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord : and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.

And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites: which spake unto David, saying, thou shalt not come in hither. Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion : the same is the city of David. And David went on, and grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him.

LXXV.—THE REVOLT OF ABSALOM,

BUT

UT in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as

Absalom (the king's son) for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. And when he polled * his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight. (And Absalom had slain his brother Ammon, and had fled from his father's face. Three years he dwelt in Geshur, and the soul of king David longed to go forth unto him. And when Joab saw that the king's heart was toward Absalom, he caused a woman of Tekoah, by a parable, to plead for his recall.] So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house.

So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face. Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king ; but he would not come to him. And when he sent again the second time he would not come. Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab’s field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire. Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire ? And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still : now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me. So Joab came to the king, and told him : and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king, And the king kissed Absalom.

And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom

Polled-sheared, clipped.

rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate : and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts "of the men of Israel.

And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the Lord, in Hebron. For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the Lord shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord. And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye

shall
say,

Absalom reigneth in Hebron. And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing. And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.

And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us fee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom : make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint. And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off. And all the country

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wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, towards the

way of the wilderness. And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city. And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation : but if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him. Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem : and they tarried there.

And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot : and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up. And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head : unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me: but if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, О king : as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel. And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. Behold, they have there with them their two sons, and by them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear. So Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.

And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera : he came forth, and cursed still as he came. Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this

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