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The Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus

Part 7 out of 26

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in. But Saul and the entire army of the Hebrews made a shout, and
rushed upon them, and slew a great number of them, and pursued
the rest to the borders of Garb, and to the gates of Ekron; so
that there were slain of the Philistines thirty thousand, and
twice as many wounded. But Saul returned to their camp, and
pulled their fortification to pieces, and burnt it; but David
carried the head of Goliath into his own tent, but dedicated his
sword to God [at the tabernacle].


Saul Envies David For His Glorious Success, And Takes An Occasion
Of Entrapping Him, From The Promise He Made Him Of Giving Him His
Daughter In Marriage; But This Upon Condition Of His Bringing Him
Six Hundred Heads Of The Philistines.

1. Now the women were an occasion of Saul's envy and hatred to
David; for they came to meet their victorious army with cymbals,
and drums, and all demonstrations of joy, and sang thus: The
wives said, that "Saul had slain his many thousands of the
Philistines." The virgins replied, that "David had slain his ten
thousands." Now, when the king heard them singing thus, and that
he had himself the smallest share in their commendations, and the
greater number, the ten thousands, were ascribed to the young
man; and when he considered with himself that there was nothing
more wanting to David, after such a mighty applause, but the
kingdom; he began to be afraid and suspicious of David.
Accordingly he removed him from the station he was in before, for
he was his armor-bearer, which, out of fear, seemed to him much
too near a station for him; and so he made him captain over a
thousand, and bestowed on him a post better indeed in itself,
but, as he thought, more for his own security; for he had a mind
to send him against the enemy, and into battles, as hoping he
would be slain in such dangerous conflicts.

2. But David had God going along with him whithersoever he went,
and accordingly he greatly prospered in his undertakings, and it
was visible that he had mighty success, insomuch that Saul's
daughter, who was still a virgin, fell in love with him; and her
affection so far prevailed over her, that it could not be
concealed, and her father became acquainted with it. Now Saul
heard this gladly, as intending to make use of it for a snare
against David, and he hoped that it would prove the cause of
destruction and of hazard to him; so he told those that informed
him of his daughter's affection, that he would willingly give
David the virgin in marriage, and said, "I engage myself to marry
my daughter to him if he will bring me six hundred heads of my
enemies (17) supposing that when a reward so ample was proposed
to him, and when he should aim to get him great glory, by
undertaking a thing so dangerous and incredible, he would
immediately set about it, and so perish by the Philistines; and
my designs about him will succeed finely to my mind, for I shall
be freed from him, and get him slain, not by myself, but by
another man." So he gave order to his servants to try how David
would relish this proposal of marrying the damsel. Accordingly,
they began to speak thus to him: That king Saul loved him, as
well as did all the people, and that he was desirous of his
affinity by the marriage of this damsel. To which he gave this
answer: - "Seemeth it to you a light thing to be made the king's
son-in-law? It does not seem so to me, especially when I am one
of a family that is low, and without any glory or honor." Now
when Saul was informed by his servants what answer David had
made, he said, - "Tell him that I do not want any money nor dowry
from him, which would be rather to set my daughter to sale than
to give her in marriage; but I desire only such a son-in-law as
hath in him fortitude, and all other kinds of virtue," of which
he saw David was possessed, and that his desire was to receive of
him, on account of his marrying his daughter, neither gold nor
silver, nor that he should bring such wealth out of his father's
house, but only some revenge on the Philistines, and indeed six
hundred of their heads, than which a more desirable or a more
glorious present could not be brought him, and that he had much
rather obtain this, than any of the accustomed dowries for his
daughter, viz. that she should be married to a man of that
character, and to one who had a testimony as having conquered his

3. When these words of Saul were brought to David, he was pleased
with them, and supposed that Saul was really desirous of this
affinity with him; so that without bearing to deliberate any
longer, or casting about in his mind whether what was proposed
was possible, or was difficult or not, he and his companions
immediately set upon the enemy, and went about doing what was
proposed as the condition of the marriage. Accordingly, because
it was God who made all things easy and possible to David, he
slew many [of the Philistines], and cut off the heads of six
hundred of them, and came to the king, and by showing him these
heads of the Philistines, required that he might have his
daughter in marriage. Accordingly, Saul having no way of getting
off his engagements, as thinking it a base thing either to seem a
liar when he promised him this marriage, or to appear to have
acted treacherously by him, in putting him upon what was in a
manner impossible, in order to have him slain, he gave him his
daughter in marriage: her name was Michal.


How David, Upon Saul's Laying Snares For Him, Did Yet Escape The
Dangers He Was In By The Affection And Care Of Jonathan And The
Contrivances Of His Wife Michal: And How He Came To Samuel The

1. However, Saul was not disposed to persevere long in the state
wherein he was, for when he saw that David was in great esteem,
both with God and with the multitude, he was afraid; and being
not able to conceal his fear as concerning great things, his
kingdom and his life, to be deprived of either of which was a
very great calamity, he resolved to have David slain, and
commanded his son Jonathan and his most faithful servants to kill
him: but Jonathan wondered at his father's change with relation
to David, that it should be made to so great a degree, from
showing him no small good-will, to contrive how to have him
killed. Now, because he loved the young man, and reverenced him
for his virtue, he informed him of the secret charge his father
had given, and what his intentions were concerning him. However,
he advised him to take care and be absent the next day, for that
he would salute his father, and, if he met with a favorable
opportunity, he would discourse with him about him, and learn the
cause of his disgust, and show how little ground there was for
it, and that for it he ought not to kill a man that had done so
many good things to the multitude, and had been a benefactor to
himself, on account of which he ought in reason to obtain pardon,
had he been guilty of the greatest crimes; and "I will then
inform thee of my father's resolution." Accordingly David
complied with such an advantageous advice, and kept himself then
out of the king's sight.

2. On the next day Jonathan came to Saul, as soon as he saw him
in a cheerful and joyful disposition, and began to introduce a
discourse about David: "What unjust action, O father, either
little or great, hast thou found so exceptionable in David, as to
induce thee to order us to slay a man who hath been of great
advantage to thy own preservation, and of still greater to the
punishment of the Philistines? A man who hath delivered the
people of the Hebrews from reproach and derision, which they
underwent for forty days together, when he alone had courage
enough to sustain the challenge of the adversary, and after that
brought as many heads of our enemies as he was appointed to
bring, and had, as a reward for the same, my sister in marriage;
insomuch that his death would be very sorrowful to us, not only
on account of his virtue, but on account of the nearness of our
relation; for thy daughter must be injured at the same time that
he is slain, and must be obliged to experience widowhood, before
she can come to enjoy any advantage from their mutual
conversation. Consider these things, and change your mind to a
more merciful temper, and do no mischief to a man, who, in the
first place, hath done us the greatest kindness of preserving
thee; for when an evil spirit and demons had seized upon thee, he
cast them out, and procured rest to thy soul from their
incursions: and, in the second place, hath avenged us of our
enemies; for it is a base thing to forget such benefits." So Saul
was pacified with these words, and sware to his son that he would
do David no harm, for a righteous discourse proved too hard for
the king's anger and fear. So Jonathan sent for David, and
brought him good news from his father, that he was to be
preserved. He also brought him to his father; and David continued
with the king as formerly.

3. About this time it was that, upon the Philistines making a new
expedition against the Hebrews, Saul sent David with an army to
fight with them; and joining battle with them he slew many of
them, and after his victory he returned to the king. But his
reception by Saul was not as he expected upon such success, for
he was grieved at his prosperity, because he thought he would be
more dangerous to him by having acted so gloriously: but when the
demoniacal spirit came upon him, and put him into disorder, and
disturbed him, he called for David into his bed-chamber wherein
he lay, and having a spear in his hand, he ordered him to charm
him with playing on his harp, and with singing hymns; which when
David did at his command, he with great force threw the spear at
him; but David was aware of it before it came, and avoided it,
and fled to his own house, and abode there all that day.

4. But at night the king sent officers, and commanded that he
should be watched till the morning, lest he should get quite
away, that he might come into the judgment-hall, and so might be
delivered up, and condemned and slain. But when Michal, David's
wife, the king's daughter, understood what her father designed,
she came to her husband, as having small hopes of his
deliverance, and as greatly concerned about her own life also,
for she could not bear to live in case she were deprived of him;
and she said, "Let not the sun find thee here when it rises, for
if it do, that will be the last time it will see thee: fly away
then while the night may afford thee opportunity, and may God
lengthen it for thy sake; for know this, that if my father find
thee, thou art a dead man." So she let him down by a cord out of
the window, and saved him: and after she had done so, she fitted
up a bed for him as if he were sick, and put under the
bed-clothes a goat's liver (18) and when her father, as soon as
it was day, sent to seize David, she said to those that were
there, That he had not been well that night, and showed them the
bed covered, and made them believe, by the leaping of the liver,
which caused the bed-clothes to move also, that David breathed
like one that was asthmatic. So when those that were sent told
Saul that David had not been well in the night he ordered him to
be brought in that condition, for he intended to kill him. Now
when they came and uncovered the bed, and found out the woman's
contrivance, they told it to the king; and when her father
complained of her that she had saved his enemy, and had put a
trick upon himself, she invented this plausible defense for
herself, and said, That when he had threatened to kill her, she
lent him her assistance for his preservation, out of fear; for
which her assistance she ought to be forgiven, because it was not
done of her own free choice, but out of necessity: "For," said
she, "I do not suppose that thou wast so zealous to kill thy
enemy, as thou wast that I should be saved." Accordingly Saul
forgave the damsel; but David, when he had escaped this danger,
came to the prophet Samuel to Ramah, and told him what snares the
king had laid for him, and how he was very near to death by
Saul's throwing a spear at him, although he had been no way
guilty with relation to him, nor had he been cowardly in his
battles with his enemies, but had succeeded well in them all, by
God's assistance; which thing was indeed the cause of Saul's
hatred to David.

5. When the prophet was made acquainted with the unjust
proceedings of the king, he left the city Ramah, and took David
with him, to a certain place called Naioth, and there he abode
with him. But when it was told Saul that David was with the
prophet, he sent soldiers to him, and ordered them to take him,
and bring him to him: and when they came to Samuel, and found
there a congregation of prophets, they became partakers of the
Divine Spirit, and began to prophesy; which when Saul heard of,
he sent others to David, who prophesying in like manner as did
the first, he again sent others; which third sort prophesying
also, at last he was angry, and went thither in great haste
himself; and when he was just by the place, Samuel, before he saw
him, made him prophesy also. And when Saul came to him, he was
disordered in mind (19) and under the vehement agitation of a
spirit; and, putting off his garments, (20) he fell down, and lay
on the ground all that day and night, in the presence of Samuel
and David.

6. And David went thence, and came to Jonathan, the son of Saul,
and lamented to him what snares were laid for him by his father;
and said, that though he had been guilty of no evil, nor had
offended against him, yet he was very zealous to get him killed.
Hereupon Jonathan exhorted him not to give credit to such his own
suspicions, nor to the calumnies of those that raised those
reports, if there were any that did so, but to depend on him, and
take courage; for that his father had no such intention, since he
would have acquainted him with that matter, and have taken his
advice, had it been so, as he used to consult with him in common
when he acted in other affairs. But David sware to him that so it
was; and he desired him rather to believe him, and to provide for
his safety, than to despise what he, with great sincerity, told
him: that he would believe what he said, when he should either
see him killed himself, or learn it upon inquiry from others: and
that the reason why his father did not tell him of these things,
was this, that he knew of the friendship and affection that he
bore towards him.

7. Hereupon, when Jonathan found that this intention of Saul was
so well attested, he asked him what he would have him do for him.
To which David replied, "I am sensible that thou art willing to
gratify me in every thing, and procure me what I desire. Now
tomorrow is the new moon, and I was accustomed to sit down then
with the king at supper: now, if it seem good to thee, I will go
out of the city, and conceal myself privately there; and if Saul
inquire why I am absent, tell him that I am gone to my own city
Bethlehem, to keep a festival with my own tribe; and add this
also, that thou gavest me leave so to do. And if he say, as is
usually said in the case of friends that are gone abroad, It is
well that he went, then assure thyself that no latent mischief or
enmity may be feared at his hand; but if he answer otherwise,
that will be a sure sign that he hath some designs against me,
Accordingly thou shalt inform me of thy father's inclinations;
and that out of pity to my case and out of thy friendship for me,
as instances of which friendship thou hast vouchsafed to accept
of the assurances of my love to thee, and to give the like
assurances to me, that is, those of a master to his servant; but
if thou discoverest any wickedness in me, do thou prevent thy
father, and kill me thyself."

8. But Jonathan heard these last words with indignation, and
promised to do what he desired of him, and to inform him if his
father's answers implied any thing of a melancholy nature, and
any enmity against him. And that he might the more firmly depend
upon him, he took him out into the open field, into the pure air,
and sware that he would neglect nothing that might tend to the
preservation of David; and he said, "I appeal to that God, who,
as thou seest, is diffused every where, and knoweth this
intention of mine, before I explain it in words, as the witness
of this my covenant with thee, that I will not leave off to make
frequent trims of the purpose of my father till I learn whether
there be any lurking distemper in the most secret parts of his
soul; and when I have learnt it, I will not conceal it from thee,
but will discover it to thee, whether he be gently or peevishly
disposed; for this God himself knows, that I pray he may always
be with thee, for he is with thee now, and will not forsake thee,
and will make thee superior to thine enemies, whether my father
be one of them, or whether I myself be such. Do thou only
remember what we now do; and if it fall out that I die, preserve
my children alive, and requite what kindness thou hast now
received to them." When he had thus sworn, he dismissed David,
bidding him go to a certain place of that plain wherein he used
to perform his exercises; for that, as soon as he knew the mind
of his father, he would come thither to him, with one servant
only; "and if," says he, "I shoot three darts at the mark, and
then bid my servant to carry these three darts away, for they are
before him, know thou that there is no mischief to be feared from
my father; but if thou hearest me say the contrary, expect the
contrary from the king. However, thou shalt gain security by my
means, and shalt by no means suffer any harm; but see thou dost
not forget what I have desired of thee in the time of thy
prosperity, and be serviceable to my children." Now David, when
he had received these assurances from Jonathan, went his way to
the place appointed.

9. But on the next day, which was the new moon, the king, when he
had purified himself, as the custom was, came to supper; and when
there sat by him his son Jonathan on his right hand, and Abner,
the captain of his host, on the other hand, he saw David's seat
was empty, but said nothing, supposing that he had not purified
himself since he had accompanied with his wife, and so could not
be present; but when he saw that he was not there the second day
of the month neither, he inquired of his son Jonathan why the son
of Jesse did not come to the supper and the feast, neither the
day before nor that day. So Jonathan said, That he was gone,
according to the agreement between them, to his own city, where
his tribe kept a festival, and that by his permission: that he
also invited him to come to their sacrifice; "and," says
Jonathan, "if thou wilt give me leave, I Will go thither, for
thou knowest the good-will that I bear him." And then it was that
Jonathan understood his father's hatred to David, and plainly saw
his entire disposition; for Saul could not restrain his anger,
but reproached Jonathan, and called him the son of a runagate,
and an enemy; and said he was a partner with David, and his
assistant, and that by his behavior he showed he had no regard to
himself, or to his mother, and would not be persuaded of this, -
that while David is alive, their kingdom was not secure to them;
yet did he bid him send for him, that he might be punished. And
when Jonathan said, in answer, "What hath he done that thou wilt
punish him?" Saul no longer contented himself to express his
anger in bare words, but snatched up his spear, and leaped upon
him, and was desirous to kill him. He did not indeed do what he
intended, because he was hindered by his friends; but it appeared
plainly to his son that he hated David, and greatly desired to
despatch him, insomuch that he had almost slain his son with his
own hands on his account.

10. And then it was that the king's son rose hastily from supper;
and being unable to admit any thing into his mouth for grief, he
wept all night, both because he had himself been near
destruction, and because the death of David was determined: but
as soon as it was day, he went out into the plain that was before
the city, as going to perform his exercises, but in reality to
inform his friend what disposition his father was in towards him,
as he had agreed with him to do; and when Jonathan had done what
had been thus agreed, he dismissed his servant that followed him,
to return to the city; but he himself went into the desert, and
came into his presence, and communed with him. So David appeared
and fell at Jonathan's feet, and bowed down to him, and called
him the preserver of his soul; but he lifted him up from the
earth, and they mutually embraced one another, and made a long
greeting, and that not without tears. They also lamented their
age, and that familiarity which envy would deprive them of, and
that separation which must now be expected, which seemed to them
no better than death itself. So recollecting themselves at length
from their lamentation, and exhorting one another to be mindful
of the oaths they had sworn to each other, they parted asunder.


How David Fled To Ahimelech And Afterwards To The Kings Of The
Philistines And Of The Moabites, And How Saul Slew Ahimelech And
His Family,

1. But David fled from the king, and that death he was in danger
of by him, and came to the city Nob, to Ahimelech the priest,
who, when he saw him coming all alone, and neither a friend nor a
servant with him, he wondered at it, and desired to learn of him
the cause why there was nobody with him. To which David answered,
That the king had commanded him to do a certain thing that was to
be kept secret, to which, if he had a mind to know so much, he
had no occasion for any one to accompany him; "however, I have
ordered my servants to meet me at such and such a place." So he
desired him to let him have somewhat to eat; and that in case he
would supply him, be would act the part of a friend, and be
assisting to the business he was now about: and when he had
obtained what he desired, he also asked him whether he had any
weapons with him, either sword or spear. Now there was at Nob a
servant of Saul, by birth a Syrian, whose name was Doeg, one that
kept the king's mules. The high priest said that he had no such
weapons; but, he added, "Here is the sword of Goliath, which,
when thou hadst slain the Philistine, thou didst dedicate to

2. When David had received the sword, he fled out of the country
of the Hebrews into that of the Philistines, over which Achish
reigned; and when the king's servants knew him, and he was made
known to the king himself, the servants informing him that he was
that David who had killed many ten thousands of the Philistines,
David was afraid lest the king should put him to death, and that
he should experience that danger from him which he had escaped
from Saul; so he pretended to be distracted and mad, so that his
spittle ran out of his mouth; and he did other the like actions
before the king of Gath, which might make him believe that they
proceeded from such a distemper. Accordingly the king was very
angry at his servants that they had brought him a madman, and he
gave orders that they should eject David immediately [out of the

3. So when David had escaped in this manner out of Gath, he came
to the tribe of Judah, and abode in a cave by the city of
Adullam. Then it was that he sent to his brethren, and informed
them where he was, who then came to him with all their kindred,
and as many others as were either in want or in fear of king
Saul, came and made a body together, and told him they were ready
to obey his orders; they were in all about four hundred.
Whereupon he took courage, now such a force and assistance was
come to him; so he removed thence and came to the king of the
Moabites, and desired him to entertain his parents in his
country, while the issue of his affairs were in such an uncertain
condition. The king granted him this favor, and paid great
respect to David's parents all the time they were with him.

4. As for himself, upon the prophet's commanding him to leave the
desert, and to go into the portion of the tribe of Judah, and
abide there, he complied therewith; and coming to the city
Hareth, which was in that tribe, he remained there. Now when Saul
heard that David had been seen with a multitude about him, he
fell into no small disturbance and trouble; but as he knew that
David was a bold and courageous man, he suspected that somewhat
extraordinary would appear from him, and that openly also, which
would make him weep and put him into distress; so he called
together to him his friends, and his commanders, and the tribe
from which he was himself derived, to the hill where his palace
was; and sitting upon a place called Aroura, his courtiers that
were in dignities, and the guards of his body, being with him, he
spake thus to them: - "You that are men of my own tribe, I
conclude that you remember the benefits that I have bestowed upon
you, and that I have made some of you owners of land, and made
you commanders, and bestowed posts of honor upon you, and set
some of you over the common people, and others over the soldiers;
I ask you, therefore, whether you expect greater and more
donations from the son of Jesse? for I know that you are all
inclinable to him; (even my own son Jonathan himself is of that
opinion, and persuades you to be of the same); for I am not
unacquainted with the oaths and the covenants that are between
him and David, and that Jonathan is a counselor and an assistant
to those that conspire against me, and none of you are concerned
about these things, but you keep silence and watch, to see what
will be the upshot of these things." When the king had made this
speech, not one of the rest of those that were present made any
answer; but Doeg the Syrian, who fed his mules, said, that he saw
David when he came to the city Nob to Ahimelech the high priest,
and that he learned future events by his prophesying; that he
received food from him, and the sword of Goliath, and was
conducted by him with security to such as he desired to go to.

5. Saul therefore sent for the high priest, and for all his
kindred; and said to them, "What terrible or ungrateful tiring
hast thou suffered from me, that thou hast received the son of
Jesse, and hast bestowed on him both food and weapons, when he
was contriving to get the kingdom? And further, why didst thou
deliver oracles to him concerning futurities? For thou couldst
not be unacquainted that he was fled away from me, and that he
hated my family." But the high priest did not betake himself to
deny what he had done, but confessed boldly that he had supplied
him with these things, not to gratify David, but Saul himself:
and he said, "I did not know that he was thy adversary, but a
servant of thine, who was very faithful to thee, and a captain
over a thousand of thy soldiers, and, what is more than these,
thy son-in-law, and kinsman. Men do not choose to confer such
favors on their adversaries, but on those who are esteemed to
bear the highest good-will and respect to them. Nor is this the
first time that I prophesied for him, but I have done it often,
and at other times as well as now. And when he told me that he
was sent by thee in great haste to do somewhat, if I had
furnished him with nothing that he desired I should have thought
that it was rather in contradiction to thee than to him;
wherefore do not thou entertain any ill opinion of me, nor do
thou have a suspicion of what I then thought an act of humanity,
from what is now told thee of David's attempts against thee, for
I did then to him as to thy friend and son-in-law, and captain of
a thousand, and not as to thine adversary."

6. When the high priest had spoken thus, he did not persuade
Saul, his fear was so prevalent, that he could not give credit to
an apology that was very just. So he commanded his armed men that
stood about him to kill him, and all his kindred; but as they
durst not touch the high priest, but were more afraid of
disobeying God than the king, he ordered Doeg the Syrian to kill
them. Accordingly, he took to his assistance such wicked men as
were like himself, and slew Ahimelech and all his family, who
were in all three hundred and eighty-five. Saul also sent to Nob,
(21) the city of the priests, and slew all that were there,
without sparing either women or children, or any other age, and
burnt it; only there was one son of Ahimelech, whose name was
Abiathar, who escaped. However, these things came to pass as God
had foretold to Eli the high priest, when he said that his
posterity should be destroyed, on account of the transgression of
his two sons.

7. (22) Now this king Saul, by perpetrating so barbarous a crime,
and murdering the whole family of the high-priestly dignity, by
having no pity of the infants, nor reverence for the aged, and by
overthrowing the city which God had chosen for the property, and
for the support of the priests and prophets which were there, and
had ordained as the only city allotted for the education of such
men, gives all to understand and consider the disposition of men,
that while they are private persons, and in a low condition,
because it is not in their power to indulge nature, nor to
venture upon what they wish for, they are equitable and moderate,
and pursue nothing but what is just, and bend their whole minds
and labors that way; then it is that they have this belief about
God, that he is present to all the actions of their lives, and
that he does not only see the actions that are done, but clearly
knows those their thoughts also, whence those actions do arise.
But when once they are advanced into power and authority, then
they put off all such notions, and, as if they were no other than
actors upon a theater, they lay aside their disguised parts and
manners, and take up boldness, insolence, and a contempt of both
human and Divine laws, and this at a time when they especially
stand in need of piety and righteousness, because they are then
most of all exposed to envy, and all they think, and all they
say, are in the view of all men; then it is that they become so
insolent in their actions, as though God saw them no longer, or
were afraid of them because of their power: and whatsoever it is
that they either are afraid of by the rumors they hear, or they
hate by inclination, or they love without reason, these seem to
them to be authentic, and firm, and true, and pleasing both to
men and to God; but as to what will come hereafter, they have not
the least regard to it. They raise those to honor indeed who have
been at a great deal of pains for them, and after that honor they
envy them; and when they have brought them into high dignity,
they do not only deprive them of what they had obtained, but
also, on that very account, of their lives also, and that on
wicked accusations, and such as on account of their extravagant
nature, are incredible. They also punish men for their actions,
not such as deserve condemnation, but from calumnies and
accusations without examination; and this extends not only to
such as deserve to be punished, but to as many as they are able
to kill. This reflection is openly confirmed to us from the
example of Saul, the son of Kish, who was the first king who
reigned after our aristocracy and government under the judges
were over; and that by his slaughter of three hundred priests and
prophets, on occasion of his suspicion about Ahimelech, and by
the additional wickedness of the overthrow of their city, and
this is as he were endeavoring in some sort to render the temple
[tabernacle] destitute both of priests and prophets, which
endeavor he showed by slaying so many of them, and not suffering
the very city belonging to .them to remain, that so others might
succeed them.

8. But Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech, who alone could be saved
out of the family of priests slain by Saul, fled to David, and
informed him of the calamity that had befallen their family, and
of the slaughter of his father; who hereupon said, He was not
unapprised of what would follow with relation to them when he saw
Doeg there; for he had then a suspicion that the high priest
would be falsely accused by him to the king, and he blamed
himself as having been the cause of this misfortune. But he
desired him to stay there, and abide with him, as in a place
where he might be better concealed than any where else.


How David, When He Had Twice The Opportunity Of Killing Saul Did
Not Kill Him. Also Concerning The Death Of Samuel And Nabal.

1. About this time it was that David heard how the Philistines
had made an inroad into the country of Keilah, and robbed it; so
he offered himself to fight against them, if God, when he should
be consulted by the prophet, would grant him the victory. And
when the prophet said that God gave a signal of victory, he made
a sudden onset upon the Philistines with his companions, and he
shed a great deal of their blood, and carried off their prey, and
staid with the inhabitants of Keilah till they had securely
gathered in their corn and their fruits. However, it was told
Saul the king that David was with the men of Keilah; for what had
been done and the great success that had attended him, were not
confined among the people where the things were done, but the
fame of it went all abroad, and came to the hearing of others,
and both the fact as it stood, and the author of the fact, were
carried to the king's ears. Then was Saul glad when he heard
David was in Keilah; and he said, "God hath now put him into my
hands, since he hath obliged him to come into a city that hath
walls, and gates, and bars." So he commanded all the people
suddenly, and when they had besieged and taken it to kill David.
But when David perceived this, and learned of God that if he
staid there the men of Keilah would deliver him up to Saul, he
took his four hundred men and retired into a desert that was over
against a city called Engedi. So that when the king heard he was
fled away from the men of Keilah, he left off his expedition
against him.

2. Then David removed thence, and came to a certain place called
the New Place, belonging to Ziph; where Jonathan, the son of
Saul, came to him, and saluted him, and exhorted him to be of
good courage, and to hope well as to his condition hereafter, and
not to despond at his present circumstances, for that he should
be king, and have all the forces of the Hebrews under him: he
told him that such happiness uses to come with great labor and
pains: they also took oaths, that they would, all their lives
long, continue in good-will and fidelity one to another; and he
called God to witness, as to what execrations he had made upon
himself if he should transgress his covenant, and should change
to a contrary behavior. So Jonathan left him there, having
rendered his cares and fears somewhat lighter, and returned home.
Now the men of Ziph, to gratify Saul, informed him that David
abode with them, and [assured him] that if he would come to them,
they would deliver him up, for that if the king would seize on
the Straits of Ziph, David would not escape to any other people.
So the king commended them, and confessed that he had reason to
thank them, because they had given him information of his enemy;
and he promised them, that it should not be long ere he would
requite their kindness. He also sent men to seek for David, and
to search the wilderness wherein he was; and he promised that he
himself would follow them. Accordingly they went before the king,
to hunt for and to catch David, and used endeavors, not only to
show their good-will to Saul, by informing him where his enemy
was, but to evidence the same more plainly by delivering him up
into his power. But these men failed of those their unjust and
wicked desires, who, while they underwent no hazard by not
discovering such an ambition of revealing this to Saul, yet did
they falsely accuse and promise to deliver up a man beloved of
God, and one that was unjustly sought after to be put to death,
and one that might otherwise have lain concealed, and this out of
flattery, and expectation of gain from the king; for when David
was apprized of the malignant intentions of the men of Ziph, and
the approach of Saul, he left the Straits of that country, and
fled to the great rock that was in the wilderness of Maon.

3. Hereupon Saul made haste to pursue him thither; for, as he was
marching, he learned that David was gone away from the Straits of
Ziph, and Saul removed to the other side of the rock. But the
report that the Philistines had again made an incursion into the
country of the Hebrews, called Saul another way from the pursuit
of David, when he was ready to be caught; for he returned back
again to oppose those Philistines, who were naturally their
enemies, as judging it more necessary to avenge himself of them,
than to take a great deal of pains to catch an enemy of his own,
and to overlook the ravage that was made in the land.

4. And by this means David unexpectedly escaped out of the danger
he was in, and came to the Straits of Engedi; and when Saul had
driven the Philistines out of the land, there came some
messengers, who told him that David abode within the bounds of
Engedi: so he took three thousand chosen men that were armed, and
made haste to him; and when he was not far from those places, he
saw a deep and hollow cave by the way-side; it was open to a
great length and breadth, and there it was that David with his
four hundred men were concealed. When therefore he had occasion
to ease nature, he entered into it by himself alone; and being
seen by one of David's companions, and he that saw him saying to
him, that he had now, by God's providence, an opportunity of
avenging himself of his adversary; and advising him to cut off
his head, and so deliver himself out of that tedious, wandering
condition, and the distress he was in; he rose up, and only cut
off the skirt of that garment which Saul had on: but he soon
repented of what he had done; and said it was not right to kill
him that was his master, and one whom God had thought worthy of
the kingdom; "for that although he were wickedly disposed towards
us, yet does it not behoove me to be so disposed towards him."
But when Saul had left the cave, David came near and cried out
aloud, and desired Saul to hear him; whereupon the king turned
his face back, and David, according to custom, fell down on his
face before the king, and bowed to him; and said, "O king, thou
oughtest not to hearken to wicked men, nor to such as forge
calumnies, nor to gratify them so far as to believe what they
say, nor to entertain suspicions of such as are your best
friends, but to judge of the dispositions of all men by their
actions; for calumny deludes men, but men's own actions are a
clear demonstration of their kindness. Words indeed, in their own
nature, may be either true or false, but men's actions expose
their intentions nakedly to our view. By these, therefore it will
be well for thee to believe me, as to my regard to thee and to
thy house, and not to believe those that frame such accusations
against me as never came into my mind, nor are possible to be
executed, and do this further by pursuing after my life, and have
no concern either day or night, but how to compass my life and to
murder me, which thing I think thou dost unjustly prosecute; for
how comes it about, that thou hast embraced this false opinion
about me, as if I had a desire to kill thee? Or how canst thou
escape the crime of impiety towards God, when thou wishest thou
couldst kill, and deemest thine adversary, a man who had it in
his power this day to avenge himself, and to punish thee, but
would not do it? nor make use of such an opportunity, which, if
it had fallen out to thee against me, thou hadst not let it slip,
for when I cut off the skirt of thy garment, I could have done
the same to thy head." So he showed him the piece of his garment,
and thereby made him agree to what he said to be true; and added,
"I, for certain, have abstained from taking a just revenge upon
thee, yet art thou not ashamed to prosecute me with unjust
hatred. (23) May God do justice, and determine about each of our
dispositions." - But Saul was amazed at the strange delivery he
had received; and being greatly affected with the moderation and
the disposition of the young man, he groaned; and when David had
done the same, the king answered that he had the justest occasion
to groan, "for thou hast been the author of good to me, as I have
been the author of calamity to thee; and thou hast demonstrated
this day, that thou possessest the righteousness of the ancients,
who determined that men ought to save their enemies, though they
caught them in a desert place. I am now persuaded that God
reserves the kingdom for thee, and that thou wilt obtain the
dominion over all the Hebrews. Give me then assurances upon oath,
That thou wilt not root out my family, nor, out of remembrance of
what evil I have done thee, destroy my posterity, but save and
preserve my house." So David sware as he desired, and sent back
Saul to his own kingdom; but he, and those that were with him,
went up the Straits of Mastheroth.

5. About this time Samuel the prophet died. He was a man whom the
Hebrews honored in an extraordinary degree: for that lamentation
which the people made for him, and this during a long time,
manifested his virtue, and the affection which the people bore
for him; as also did the solemnity and concern that appeared
about his funeral, and about the complete observation of all his
funeral rites. They buried him in his own city of Ramah; and wept
for him a very great number of days, not looking on it as a
sorrow for the death of another man, but as that in which they
were every one themselves concerned. He was a righteous man, and
gentle in his nature; and on that account he was very dear to
God. Now he governed and presided over the people alone, after
the death of Eli the high priest, twelve years, and eighteen
years together with Saul the king. And thus we have finished the
history of Samuel.

6. There was a man that was a Ziphite, of the city of Maon, who
was rich, and had a vast number of cattle; for he fed a flock of
three thousand sheep, and another flock of a thousand goats. Now
David had charged his associates to keep these flocks without
hurt and without damage, and to do them no mischief, neither out
of covetousness, nor because they were in want, nor because they
were in the wilderness, and so could not easily be discovered,
but to esteem freedom from injustice above all other motives, and
to look upon the touching of what belonged to another man as a
horrible crime, and contrary to the will of God. These were the
instructions he gave, thinking that the favors he granted this
man were granted to a good man, and one that deserved to have
such care taken of his affairs. This man was Nabal, for that was
his name, - a harsh man, and of a very wicked life, being like a
cynic in the course of his behavior, but still had obtained for
his wife a woman of a good character, wise and handsome. To this
Nabal, therefore, David sent ten men of his attendants at the
time when he sheared his sheep, and by them saluted him; and also
wished he might do what he now did for many years to come, but
desired him to make him a present of what he was able to give
him, since he had, to be sure, learned from his shepherds that we
had done them no injury, but had been their guardians a long time
together, while we continued in the wilderness; and he assured
him he should never repent of giving any thing to David. When the
messengers had carried this message to Nabal, he accosted them
after an inhuman and rough manner; for he asked them who David
was? and when he heard that he was the son of Jesse, he said,
"Now is the time that fugitives grow insolent, and make a figure,
and leave their masters." When they told David this, he was
wroth, and commanded four hundred armed men to follow him, and
left two hundred to take care of the stuff, (for he had already
six hundred, (24)) and went against Nabal: he also swore that he
would that night utterly destroy the whole house and possessions
of Nabal; for that he was grieved, not only that he had proved
ungrateful to them, without making any return for the humanity
they had shown him, but that he had also reproached them, and
used ill language to them, when he had received no cause of
disgust from them.

7. Hereupon one of those that kept the flocks of Nabal, said to
his mistress, Nabal's wife, that when David sent to her husband
he had received no civil answer at all from him; but that her
husband had moreover added very reproachful language, while yet
David had taken extraordinary care to keep his flocks from harm,
and that what had passed would prove very pernicious to his
master. When the servant had said this, Abigail, for that was his
wife's name, saddled her asses, and loaded them with all sorts of
presents; and, without telling her husband any thing of what she
was about, (for he was not sensible on account of his
drunkenness,) she went to David. She was then met by David as she
was descending a hill, who was coming against Nabal with four
hundred men. When the woman saw David, she leaped down from her
ass, and fell on her face, and bowed down to the ground; and
entreated him not to bear in mind the words of Nabal, since he
knew that he resembled his name. Now Nabal, in the Hebrew tongue,
signifies folly. So she made her apology, that she did not see
the messengers whom he sent. "Forgive me, therefore," said she,
"and thank God, who hath hindered thee from shedding human blood;
for so long as thou keepest thyself innocent, he will avenge thee
of wicked men, (25) for what miseries await Nabal, they will fall
upon the heads of thine enemies. Be thou gracious to me, and
think me so far worthy as to accept of these presents from me;
and, out of regard to me, remit that wrath and that anger which
thou hast against my husband and his house, for mildness and
humanity become thee, especially as thou art to be our king."
Accordingly, David accepted her presents, and said, "Nay, but, O
woman, it was no other than God's mercy which brought thee to us
today, for, otherwise, thou hadst never seen another day, I
having sworn to destroy Nabal's house this very night, and to
leave alive not one of you who belonged to a man that was wicked
and ungrateful to me and my companions; but now hast thou
prevented me, and seasonably mollified my anger, as being thyself
under the care of God's providence: but as for Nabal, although
for thy sake he now escape punishment, he will not always avoid
justice; for his evil conduct, on some other occasion, will be
his ruin."

8. When David had said this, he dismissed the woman. But when she
came home and found her husband feasting with a great company,
and oppressed with wine, she said nothing to him then about what
had happened; but on the next day, when he was sober, she told
him all the particulars, and made his whole body to appear like
that of a dead man by her words, and by that grief which arose
from them; so Nabal survived ten days, and no more, and then
died. And when David heard of his death, he said that God had
justly avenged him of this man, for that Nabal had died by his
own wickedness, and had suffered punishment on his account, while
he had kept his own hands clean. At which time he understood that
the wicked are prosecuted by God; that he does not overlook any
man, but bestows on the good what is suitable to them, and
inflicts a deserved punishment on the wicked. So he sent to
Nabal's wife, and invited her to come to him, to live with him,
and to be his wife. Whereupon she replied to those that came,
that she was not worthy to touch his feet; however, she came,
with all her servants, and became his wife, having received that
honor on account of her wise and righteous course of life. She
also obtained the same honor partly on account of her beauty. Now
David had a wife before, whom he married from the city Abesar;
for as to Michal, the daughter of king Saul, who had been David's
wife, her father had given her in marriage to Phalti, the son of
Laish, who was of the city of Gallim.

9. After this came certain of the Ziphites, and told Saul that
David was come again into their country, and if he would afford
them his assistance, they could catch him. So he came to them
with three thousand armed men; and upon the approach of night, he
pitched his camp at a certain place called Hachilah. But when
David heard that Saul was coming against him, he sent spies, and
bid them let him know to what place of the country Saul was
already come; and when they told him that he was at Hachilah, he
concealed his going away from his companions, and came to Saul's
camp, having taken with him Abishai, his sister Zeruiah's son,
and Ahimelech the Hittite. Now Saul was asleep, and the armed
men, with Abner their commander, lay round about him in a circle.
Hereupon David entered into the king's tent; but he did neither
kill Saul, though he knew where he lay, by the spear that was
stuck down by him, nor did he give leave to Abishai, who would
have killed him, and was earnestly bent upon it so to do; for he
said it was a horrid crime to kill one that was ordained king by
God, although he was a wicked man; for that he who gave him the
dominion would in time inflict punishment upon him. So he
restrained his eagerness; but that it might appear to have been
in his power to have killed him when he refrained from it, he
took his spear, and the cruse of water which stood by Saul as he
lay asleep, without being perceived by any in the camp, who were
all asleep, and went securely away, having performed every thing
among the king's attendants that the opportunity afforded, and
his boldness encouraged him to do. So when he had passed over a
brook, and was gotten up to the top of a hill, whence he might be
sufficiently heard, he cried aloud to Saul's soldiers, and to
Abner their commander, and awaked them out of their sleep, and
called both to him and to the people. Hereupon the commander
heard him, and asked who it was that called him. To whom David
replied, "It is I, the son of Jesse, whom you make a vagabond.
But what is the matter? Dost thou, that art a man of so great
dignity, and of the first rank in the king's court, take so
little care of thy master's body? and is sleep of more
consequence to thee than his preservation, and thy care of him?
This negligence of yours deserves death, and punishment to be
inflicted on you, who never perceived when, a little while ago,
some of us entered into your camp, nay, as far as to the king
himself, and to all the rest of you. If thou look for the king's
spear and his cruse of water, thou wilt learn what a mighty
misfortune was ready to overtake you in your very camp without
your knowing it." Now when Saul knew David's voice, and
understood that when he had him in his power while he was asleep,
and his guards took no care of him, yet did not he kill him, but
spared him, when he might justly have cut him off, he said that
he owed him thanks for his preservation; and exhorted him to be
of good courage, and not be afraid of suffering any mischief from
him any more, and to return to his own home, for he was now
persuaded that he did not love himself so well as he was loved by
him: that he had driven away him that could guard him, and had
given many demonstrations of his good-will to him: that he had
forced him to live so long in a state of banishment, and in great
fears of his life, destitute of his friends and his kindred,
while still he was often saved by him, and frequently received
his life again when it was evidently in danger of perishing. So
David bade them send for the spear and the cruse of water, and
take them back; adding this withal, That God would be the judge
of both their dispositions, and of the actions that flowed from
the same, "who knows that then it was this day in my power to
have killed thee I abstained from it."

10. Thus Saul having escaped the hands of David twice, he went
his way to his royal palace, and his own city: but David was
afraid, that if he staid there he should be caught by Saul; so he
thought it better to go up into the land of the Philistines, and
abide there. Accordingly, he came with the six hundred men that
were with him to Achish, the king of Gath, which was one of their
five cities. Now the king received both him and his men, and gave
them a place to inhabit in. He had with him also his two wives,
Ahinoam and Abigail, and he dwelt in Gath. But when Saul heard
this, he took no further care about sending to him, or going
after him, because he had been twice, in a manner, caught by him,
while he was himself endeavoring to catch him. However, David had
no mind to continue in the city of Gath, but desired the king,
that since he had received him with such humanity, that he would
grant him another favor, and bestow upon him some place of that
country for his habitation, for he was ashamed, by living in the
city, to be grievous and burdensome to him. So Achish gave him a
certain village called Ziklag; which place David and his sons
were fond of when he was king, and reckoned it to be their
peculiar inheritance. But about those matters we shall give the
reader further information elsewhere. Now the time that David
dwelt in Ziklag, in the land of the Philistines, was four months
and twenty days. And now he privately attacked those Geshurites
and Amalekites that were neighbors to the Philistines, and laid
waste their country, and took much prey of their beasts and
camels, and then returned home; but David abstained from the men,
as fearing they should discover him to king Achish; yet did he
send part of the prey to him as a free gift. And when the king
inquired whom they had attacked when they brought away the prey,
he said, those that lay to the south of the Jews, and inhabited
in the plain; whereby he persuaded Achish to approve of what he
had done, for he hoped that David had fought against his own
nation, and that now he should have him for his servant all his
life long, and that he would stay in his country.


Now Saul Upon God's Not Answering Him Concerning The Fight With
The Philistines Desired A Necromantic Woman To Raise Up The Soul
Of Samuel To Him; And How He Died, With His Sons Upon The
Overthrow Of The Hebrews In Battle,

1. About the same time the Philistines resolved to make war
against the Israelites, and sent to all their confederates that
they would go along with them to the war to Reggan, [near the
city Shunem,] whence they might gather themselves together, and
suddenly attack the Hebrews. Then did Achish, the king of Gath,
desire David to assist them with his armed men against the
Hebrews. This he readily promised; and said that the time was now
come wherein he might requite him for his kindness and
hospitality. So the king promised to make him the keeper of his
body, after the victory, supposing that the battle with the enemy
succeeded to their mind; which promise of honor and confidence he
made on purpose to increase his zeal for his service.

2. Now Saul, the king of the Hebrews, had cast out of the country
the fortune-tellers, and the necromancers, and all such as
exercised the like arts, excepting the prophets. But when he
heard that the Philistines were already come, and had pitched
their camp near the city Shunem, situate in the plain, he made
haste to oppose them with his forces; and when he was come to a
certain mountain called Gilboa, he pitched his camp over-against
the enemy; but when he saw the enemy's army he was greatly
troubled, because it appeared to him to be numerous, and superior
to his own; and he inquired of God by the prophets concerning the
battle, that he might know beforehand what would be the event of
it. And when God did not answer him, Saul was under a still
greater dread, and his courage fell, foreseeing, as was but
reasonable to suppose, that mischief would befall him, now God
was not there to assist him; yet did he bid his servants to
inquire out for him some woman that was a necromancer and called
up the souls of the dead, that So he might know whether his
affairs would succeed to his mind; for this sort of necromantic
women that bring up the souls of the dead, do by them foretell
future events to such as desire them. And one of his servants
told him that there was such a woman in the city Endor, but was
known to nobody in the camp; hereupon Saul put off his royal
apparel, and took two of those his servants with him, whom he
knew to be most faithful to him, and came to Endor to the woman,
and entreated her to act the part of a fortune-teller, and to
bring up such a soul to him as he should name to her. But when
the woman opposed his motion, and said she did not despise the
king, who had banished this sort of fortune-tellers, and that he
did not do well himself, when she had done him no harm, to
endeavor to lay a snare for her, and to discover that she
exercised a forbidden art, in order to procure her to be
punished, he sware that nobody should know what she did; and that
he would not tell any one else what she foretold, but that she
should incur no danger. As soon as he had induced her by this
oath to fear no harm, he bid her bring up to him the soul of
Samuel. She, not knowing who Samuel was, called him out of Hades.
When he appeared, and the woman saw one that was venerable, and
of a divine form, she was in disorder; and being astonished at
the sight, she said, "Art not thou king Saul?" for Samuel had
informed her who he was. When he had owned that to be true, and
had asked her whence her disorder arose, she said that she saw a
certain person ascend, who in his form was like to a god. And
when he bid her tell him what he resembled, in what habit he
appeared, and of what age he was, she told him he was an old man
already, and of a glorious personage, and had on a sacerdotal
mantle. So the king discovered by these signs that he was Samuel;
and he fell down upon the ground, and saluted and worshipped him.
And when the soul of Samuel asked him why he had disturbed him,
and caused him to be brought up, he lamented the necessity he was
under; for he said, that his enemies pressed heavily upon him;
that he was in distress what to do in his present circumstances;
that he was forsaken of God, and could obtain no prediction of
what was coming, neither by prophets nor by dreams; and that
"these were the reasons why I have recourse to time, who always
took great care of me." But (27) Samuel, seeing that the end of
Saul's life was come, said, "It is in vain for thee to desire to
learn of me any thing future, when God hath forsaken thee:
however, hear what I say, that David is to be king, and to finish
this war with good success; and thou art to lose thy dominion and
thy life, because thou didst not obey God in the war with the
Amalekites, and hast not kept his commandments, as I foretold
thee while I was alive. Know, therefore, that the people shall be
made subject to their enemies, and that thou, with thy sons,
shall fall in the battle tomorrow, and thou shalt then be with me
[in Hades]."

3. When Saul heard this, he could not speak for grief, and fell
down on the floor, whether it were from the sorrow that arose
upon what Samuel had said, or from his emptiness, for he had
taken no food the foregoing day nor night, he easily fell quite
down: and when with difficulty he had recovered himself, the
woman would force him to eat, begging this of him as a favor on
account of her concern in that dangerous instance of
fortune-telling, which it was not lawful for her to have done,
because of the fear she was under of the king, while she knew not
who he was, yet did she undertake it, and go through with it; on
which account she entreated him to admit that a table and food
might be set before him, that he might recover his strength, and
so get safe to his own camp. And when he opposed her motion, and
entirely rejected it, by reason of his anxiety, she forced him,
and at last persuaded him to it. Now she had one calf that she
was very fond of, and one that she took a great deal of care of,
and fed it herself; for she was a woman that got her living by
the labor of her own hands, and had no other possession but that
one calf; this she killed, and made ready its flesh, and set it
before his servants and himself. So Saul came to the camp while
it was yet night.

4. Now it is but just to recommend the generosity of this woman,
(28) because when the king had forbidden her to use that art
whence her circumstances were bettered and improved, and when she
had never seen the king before, she still did not remember to his
disadvantage that he had condemned her sort of learning, and did
not refuse him as a stranger, and one that she had had no
acquaintance with; but she had compassion upon him, and comforted
him, and exhorted him to do what he was greatly averse to, and
offered him the only creature she had, as a poor woman, and that
earnestly, and with great humanity, while she had no requital
made her for her kindness, nor hunted after any future favor from
him, for she knew he was to die; whereas men are naturally either
ambitious to please those that bestow benefits upon them, or are
very ready to serve those from whom
they may receive some advantage. It would be well therefore to
imitate the example and to do kindnesses to all such as are in
want and to think that nothing is better, nor more becoming
mankind, than such a general beneficence, nor what will sooner
render God favorable, and ready to bestow good things upon us.
And so far may suffice to have spoken concerning this woman. But
I shall speak further upon another subject, which will afford me
all opportunity of discoursing on what is for the advantage of
cities, and people, and nations, and suited to the taste of good
men, and will encourage them all in the prosecution of virtue;
and is capable of showing them the of acquiring glory, and an
everlasting fame; and of imprinting in the kings of nations, and
the rulers of cities, great inclination and diligence of doing
well; as also of encouraging them to undergo dangers, and to die
for their countries, and of instructing them how to despise all
the most terrible adversities: and I have a fair occasion offered
me to enter on such a discourse by Saul the king of the Hebrews;
for although he knew what was coming upon him, and that he was to
die immediately, by the prediction of the prophet, he did not
resolve to fly from death, nor so far to indulge the love of life
as to betray his own people to the enemy, or to bring a disgrace
on his royal dignity; but exposing himself, as well as all his
family and children, to dangers, he thought it a brave thing to
fall together with them, as he was fighting for his subjects, and
that it was better his sons should die thus, showing their
courage, than to leave them to their uncertain conduct afterward,
while, instead of succession and posterity, they gained
commendation and a lasting name. Such a one alone seems to me to
be a just, a courageous, and a prudent man; and when any one has
arrived at these dispositions, or shall hereafter arrive at them,
he is the man that ought to be by all honored with the testimony
of a virtuous or courageous man: for as to those that go out to
war with hopes of success, and that they shall return safe,
supposing they should have performed some glorious action, I
think those do not do well who call these valiant men, as so many
historians and other writers who treat of them are wont to do,
although I confess those do justly deserve some commendation
also; but those only may be styled courageous and bold in great
undertakings, and despisers of adversities, who imitate Saul: for
as for those that do not know what the event of war will be as to
themselves, and though they do not faint in it, but deliver
themselves up to uncertain futurity, and are tossed this way and
that way, this is not so very eminent an instance of a generous
mind, although they happen to perform many great exploits; but
when men's minds expect no good event, but they know beforehand
they must die, and that they must undergo that death in the
battle also, after this neither to be aftrighted, nor to be
astonished at the terrible fate that is coming, but to go
directly upon it, when they know it beforehand, this it is that I
esteem the character of a man truly courageous. Accordingly this
Saul did, and thereby demonstrated that all men who desire fame
after they are dead are so to act as they may obtain the same:
this especially concerns kings, who ought not to think it enough
in their high stations that they are not wicked in the government
of their subjects, but to be no more than moderately good to
them. I could say more than this about Saul and his courage, the
subject affording matter sufficient; but that I may not appear to
run out improperly in his commendation, I return again to that
history from which I made this digression.

5. Now when the Philistines, as I said before, had pitched their
camp, and had taken an account of their forces, according to
their nations, and kingdoms, and governments, king Achish came
last of all with his own army; after whom came David with his six
hundred armed men. And when the commanders of the Philistines saw
him, they asked the king whence these Hebrews came, and at whose
invitation. He answered that it was David, who was fled away from
his master Saul, and that he had entertained him when he came to
him, and that now he was willing to make him this requital for
his favors, and to avenge himself upon Saul, and so was become
his confederate. The commanders complained of this, that he had
taken him for a confederate who was an enemy; and gave him
counsel to send him away, lest he should unawares do his friends
a great deal of mischief by entertaining him, for that he
afforded him an opportunity of being reconciled to his master by
doing a mischief to our army. They thereupon desired him, out of
a prudent foresight of this, to send him away, with his six
hundred armed men, to the place he had given him for his
habitation; for that this was that David whom the virgins
celebrated in their hymns, as having destroyed many ten thousands
of the Philistines. When the king of Gath heard this, he thought
they spake well; so he called David, and said to him, "As for
myself, I can bear witness that thou hast shown great diligence
and kindness about me, and on that account it was that I took
thee for my confederate; however, what I have done does not
please the commanders of the Philistines; go therefore within a
day's time to the place I have given thee, without suspecting any
harm, and there keep my country, lest any of our enemies should
make an incursion upon it, which will be one part of that
assistance which I expect from thee." So David came to Ziklag, as
the king of Gath bade him; but it happened, that while he was
gone to the assistance of the Philistines, the Amalekites had
made an incursion, and taken Ziklag before, and had burnt it; and
when they had taken a great deal of other prey out of that place,
and out of the other parts of the Philistines' country, they

6. Now when David found that Ziklag was laid waste, and that it
was all spoiled, and that as well his own wives, who were two, as
the wives of his companions, with their children, were made
captives, he presently rent his clothes, weeping and lamenting,
together with his friends; and indeed he was so cast down with
these misfortunes, that at length tears themselves failed him. He
was also in danger of being stoned to death by his companions,
who were greatly afflicted at the captivity of their wives and
children, for they laid the blame upon him of what had happened.
But when he had recovered himself out of his grief, and had
raised up his mind to God, he desired the high priest Abiathar to
put on his sacerdotal garments, and to inquire of God, and to
prophesy to him, whether God would grant; that if he pursued
after the Amalekites, he should overtake them, and save their
wives and their children, and avenge himself on the enemies. And
when the high priest bade him to pursue after them, he marched
apace, with his four hundred men, after the enemy; and when he
was come to a certain brook called Besor, and had lighted upon
one that was wandering about, an Egyptian by birth, who was
almost dead with want and famine, (for he had continued wandering
about without food in the wilderness three days,) he first of all
gave him sustenance, both meat and drink, and thereby refreshed
him. He then asked him to whom he belonged, and whence he came.
Whereupon the man told him he was an Egyptian by birth, and was
left behind by his master, because he was so sick and weak that
he could not follow him. He also informed him that he was one of
those who had burnt and plundered, not only other parts of Judea,
but Ziklag itself also. So David made use of him as a guide to
find oat the Amalekites; and when he had overtaken them, as they
lay scattered about on the ground, some at dinner, some
disordered, and entirely drunk with wine, and in the fruition of
their spoils and their prey, he fell upon them on the sudden, and
made a great slaughter among them; for they were naked, and
expected no such thing, but had betaken themselves to drinking
and feasting; and so they were all easily destroyed. Now some of
them that were overtaken as they lay at the table were slain in
that posture, and their blood brought up with it their meat and
their drink. They slew others of them as they were drinking to
one another in their cups, and some of them when their full
bellies had made them fall asleep; and for so many as had time to
put on their armor, they slew them with the sword, with no less
case than they did those that were naked; and for the partisans
of David, they continued also the slaughter from the first hour
of the day to the evening, so that there were, not above four
hundred of the Amalekites left; and they only escaped by getting
upon their dromedaries and camels. Accordingly David recovered
not only all the other spoils which the enemy had carried away,
but his wives also, and the wives of his companions. But when
they were come to the place where they had left the two hundred
men, which were not able to follow them, but were left to take
care of the stuff, the four hundred men did not think fit to
divide among them any other parts of what they had gotten, or of
the prey, since they did not accompany them, but pretended to be
feeble, and did not follow them in pursuit of the enemy, but said
they should be contented to have safely recovered their wives;
yet did David pronounce that this opinion of theirs was evil and
unjust, and that when God had granted them such a favor, that
they had avenged themselves on their enemies, and had recovered
all that belonged to themselves, they should make an equal
distribution of what they had gotten to all, because the rest had
tarried behind to guard their stuff; and from that time this law
obtained among them, that those who guarded the stuff, should
receive an equal share with those that fought in the battle. Now
when David was come to Ziklag, he sent portions of the spoils to
all that had been familiar with him, and to his friends in the
tribe of Judah. And thus ended the affairs of the plundering of
Ziklag, and of the slaughter of the Amalekites.

7. Now upon the Philistines joining battle, there followed a
sharp engagement, and the Philistine, became the conquerors, and
slew a great number of their enemies; but Saul the king of
Israel, and his sons, fought courageously, and with the utmost
alacrity, as knowing that their entire glory lay in nothing else
but dying honorably, and exposing themselves to the utmost danger
from the enemy (for they had nothing else to hope for); so they
brought upon themselves the whole power of the enemy, till they
were encompassed round and slain, but not before they had killed
many of the Philistines Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and
Abinadab, and Malchisua; and when these were slain the multitude
of the Hebrews were put to flight, and all was disorder, and
confusion, and slaughter, upon the Philistines pressing in upon
them. But Saul himself fled, having a strong body of soldiers
about him; and upon the Philistines sending after them those that
threw javelins and shot arrows, he lost all his company except a
few. As for himself, he fought with great bravery; and when he
had received so many wounds, that he was not able to bear up nor
to oppose any longer, and yet was not able to kill himself, he
bade his armor-bearer draw his sword, and run him through, before
the enemy should take him alive. But his armor-bearer not daring
to kill his master, he drew his own sword, and placing himself
over against its point, he threw himself upon it; and when he
could neither run it through him, nor, by leaning against it,
make the sword pass through him, he turned him round, and asked a
certain young man that stood by who he was; and when he
understood that he was an Amalekite, he desired him to force the
sword through him, because he was not able to do it with his own
hands, and thereby to procure him such a death as he desired.
This the young man did accordingly; and he took the golden
bracelet that was on Saul's arm, and his royal crown that was on
his head, and ran away. And when Saul's armor-bearer saw that he
was slain, he killed himself; nor did any of the king's guards
escape, but they all fell upon the mountain called Gilboa. But
when those Hebrews that dwelt in the valley beyond Jordan, and
those who had their cities in the plain, heard that Saul and his
sons were fallen, and that the multitude about them were
destroyed, they left their own cities, and fled to such as were
the best fortified and fenced; and the Philistines, finding those
cities deserted, came and dwelt in them.

8. On the next day, when the Philistines came to strip their
enemies that were slain, they got the bodies of Saul and of his
sons, and stripped them, and cut off their heads; and they sent
messengers all about their country, to acquaint them that their
enemies were fallen; and they dedicated their armor in the temple
of Astarte, but hung their bodies on crosses at the walls of the
city Bethshun, which is now called Scythepolls. But when the
inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead heard that they had dismembered the
dead bodies of Saul and of his sons, they deemed it so horrid a
thing to overlook this barbarity, and to suffer them to be
without funeral rites, that the most courageous and hardy among
them (and indeed that city had in it men that were very stout
both in body and mind) journeyed all night, and came to Bethshun,
and approached to the enemy's wall, and taking down the bodies of
Saul and of his sons, they carried them to Jabesh, while the
enemy were not able enough nor bold enough to hinder them,
because of their great courage. So the people of Jabesh wept all
in general, and buried their bodies in the best place of their
country, which was named Areurn; and they observed a public
mourning for them seven days, with their wives and children,
beating their breasts, and lamenting the king and his sons,
without either tasting meat or drink (29) [till the evening.]

9. To this his end did Saul come, according to the prophecy of
Samuel, because he disobeyed the commands of God about the
Amalekites, and on the account of his destroying the family of
Ahimelech the high priest, with Ahimelech himself, and the city
of the high priests. Now Saul, when he had reigned eighteen years
while Samuel was alive, and after his death two [and twenty],
ended his life in this manner.


Containing The Interval Of Forty Years.

From The Death Of Saul To The Death Of David.


How David Reigned Over One Tribe At Hebron While The Son Of Saul
Reigned Over The Rest Of The Multitude; And How, In The Civil War
Which Then Arose Asahel And Abner Were Slain.

1. This fight proved to be on the same day whereon David was come
back to Ziklag, after he had overcome the Amalekites. Now when he
had been already two days at Ziklag, there came to him the man
who slew Saul, which was the third day after the fight. He had
escaped out of the battle which the Israelites had with the
Philistines, and had his clothes rent, and ashes upon his head.
And when he made his obeisance to David, he inquired of him
whence he came. He replied, from the battle of the Israelites;
and he informed him that the end of it was unfortunate, many ten
thousands of the Israelites having been cut off, and Saul,
together with his sons, slain. He also said that he could well
give him this information, because he was present at the victory
gained over the Hebrews, and was with the king when he fled. Nor
did he deny that he had himself slain the king, when he was ready
to be taken by the enemy, and he himself exhorted him to do it,
because, when he was fallen on his sword, his great wounds had
made him so weak that he was not able to kill himself. He also
produced demonstrations that the king was slain, which were the
golden bracelets that had been on the king's arms, and his crown,
which he had taken away from Saul's dead body, and had brought
them to him. So David having no longer any room to call in
question the truth of what he said, but seeing most evident marks
that Saul was dead, he rent his garments, and continued all that
day with his companions in weeping and lamentation. This grief
was augmented by the consideration of Jonathan; the son of Saul,
who had been his most faithful friend, and the occasion of his
own deliverance. He also demonstrated himself to have such great
virtue, and such great kindness for Saul, as not only to take his
death to heart, though he had been frequently in danger of losing
his life by his means, but to punish him that slew him; for when
David had said to him that he was become his own accuser, as the
very man who had slain the king, and when he had understood that
he was the son of an Amalekite, he commanded him to be slain. He
also committed to writing some lamentations and funeral
commendations of Saul and Jonathan, which have continued to my
own age.

2. Now when David had paid these honors to the king, he left off
his mourning, and inquired of God by the prophet which of the
cities of the tribe of Judah he would bestow upon him to dwell
in; who answered that he bestowed upon him Hebron. So he left
Ziklag, and came to Hebron, and took with him his wives, who were
in number two, and his armed men; whereupon all the people of the
forementioned tribe came to him, and ordained him their king. But
when he heard that the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead had buried
Saul and his sons [honorably], he sent to them and commended
them, and took what they had done kindly, and promised to make
them amends for their care of those that were dead; and at the
same time he informed them that the tribe of Judah had chosen him
for their king.

3. But as soon as Abner, the son of Ner, who was general of
Saul's army, and a very active man, and good-natured, knew that
the king, and Jonathan, and his two other sons, were fallen in
the battle, he made haste into the camp; and taking away with him
the remaining son of Saul, whose name was Ishbosheth, he passed
over to the land beyond Jordan, and ordained him the king of the
whole multitude, excepting the tribe of Judah; and made his royal
seat in a place called in our own language Mahanaim, but in the
language of the Grecians, The Camps; from whence Abner made haste
with a select body of soldiers, to fight with such of the tribe
of Judah as were disposed to it, for he was angry that this tribe
had set up David for their king. But Joab, whose father was Suri,
and his mother Zeruiah, David's sister, who was general of
David's army, met him, according to David's appointment. He had
with him his brethren, Abistiai and Asahel, as also all David's
armed men. Now when he met Abner at a certain fountain, in the
city of Gibeon, he prepared to fight. And when Abner said to him,
that he had a mind to know which of them had the more valiant
soldiers, it was agreed between them that twelve soldiers of each
side should fight together. So those that were chosen out by both
the generals for this fight came between the two armies, and
throwing their lances one against the other, they drew their
swords, and catching one another by the head, they held one
another fast, and ran each other's swords into their sides and
groins, until they all, as it were by mutual agreement, perished
together. When these were fallen down dead, the rest of the army
came to a sore battle, and Abner's men were beaten; and when they
were beaten, Joab did not leave off pursuing them, but he pressed
upon them, and excited the soldiers to follow them close, and not
to grow weary of killing them. His brethren also pursued them
with great alacrity, especially the younger, Asahel, who was the
most eminent of them. He was very famous for his swiftness of
foot, for he could not only be too hard for men, but is reported
to have overrun a horse, when they had a race together. This
Asahel ran violently after Abner, and would not turn in the least
out of the straight way, either to the one side or to the other.
Hereupon Abner turned back, and attempted artfully to avoid his
violence. Sometimes he bade him leave off the pursuit, and take
the armor of one of his soldiers; and sometimes, when he could
not persuade him so to do, he exhorted him to restrain himself,
and not to pursue him any longer, lest he should force him to
kill him, and he should then not be able to look his brother in
the face: but when Asahel would not admit of any persuasions, but
still continued to pursue him, Abner smote him with his spear, as
he held it in his flight, and that by a back-stroke, and gave him
a deadly wound, so that he died immediately; but those that were
with him pursuing Abner, when they came to the place where Asahel
lay, they stood round about the dead body, and left off the
pursuit of the enemy. However, both Joab (1) himself, and his
brother Abishai, ran past the dead corpse, and making their anger
at the death of Asahel an occasion of greater zeal against Abner,
they went on with incredible haste and alacrity, and pursued
Abner to a certain place called Ammah: it was about sun-set. Then
did Joab ascend a certain hill, as he stood at that place, having
the tribe of Benjamin with him, whence he took a view of them,
and of Abner also. Hereupon Abner cried aloud, and said that it
was not fit that they should irritate men of the same nation to
fight so bitterly one against another; that as for Asahel his
brother, he was himself in the wrong, when he would not be
advised by him not to pursue him any farther, which was the
occasion of his wounding and death. So Joab consented to what he
said, and accepted these his words as an excuse [about Asahel],
and called the soldiers back with the sound of the trumpet, as a
signal for their retreat, and thereby put a stop to any further
pursuit. After which Joab pitched his camp there that night; but
Abner marched all that night, and passed over the river Jordan,
and came to Ishbosheth, Saul's son, to Mahanaim. On the next day
Joab counted the dead men, and took care of all their funerals.
Now there were slain of Abner's soldiers about three hundred and
sixty; but of those of David nineteen, and Asahel, whose body
Joab and Abishai carried to Bethlehem; and when they had buried
him in the sepulcher of their fathers, they came to David to
Hebron. From this time therefore there began an intestine war,
which lasted a great while, in which the followers of David grew
stronger in the dangers they underwent, and the servants and
subjects of Saul's sons did almost every day become weaker.

4. About this time David was become the father of six sons, born
of as many mothers. The eldest was by Ahinoam, and he was called
Arenon; the second was Daniel, by his wife Abigail; the name of
the third was Absalom, by Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of
Geshur; the fourth he named Adonijah, by his wife Haggith; the
fifth was Shephatiah, by Abital; the sixth he called Ithream, by
Eglah. Now while this intestine war went on, and the subjects of
the two kings came frequently to action and to fighting, it was
Abner, the general of the host of Saul's son, who, by his
prudence, and the great interest he had among the multitude, made
them all continue with Ishbosheth; and indeed it was a
considerable time that they continued of his party; but
afterwards Abner was blamed, and an accusation was laid against
him, that he went in unto Saul's concubine: her name was Rispah,
the daughter of Aiah. So when he was complained of by Ishbosheth,
he was very uneasy and angry at it, because he had not justice
done him by Ishbosheth, to whom he had shown the greatest
kindness; whereupon he threatened to transfer the kingdom to
David, and demonstrate that he did not rule over the people
beyond Jordan by his own abilities and wisdom, but by his warlike
conduct and fidelity in leading his army. So he sent ambassadors
to Hebron to David, and desired that he would give him security
upon oath that he would esteem him his companion and his friend,
upon condition that he should persuade the people to leave Saul's
son, and choose him king of the whole country; and when David had
made that league with Abner, for he was pleased with his message
to him, he desired that he would give this as the first mark of
performance of the present league, that he might have his wife
Michal restored to him, as her whom he had purchased with great
hazards, and with those six hundred heads of the Philistines
which he had brought to Saul her father. So Abner took Michal
from Phaltiel, who was then her husband, and sent her to David,
Ishbosheth himself affording him his assistance, for David had
written to him that of right he ought to have this his wife
restored to him. Abner also called together the elders of the
multitude, the commanders and captains of thousands, and spake
thus to them: That he had formerly dissuaded them from their own
resolution, when they were ready to forsake Ishbosheth, and to
join themselves to David; that, however, he now gave them leave
so to do, if they had a mind to it, for they knew that God had
appointed David to be king of all the Hebrews by Samuel the
prophet; and had foretold that he should punish the Philistines,
and overcome them, and bring them under. Now when the elders and
rulers heard this, and understood that Abner was come over to
those sentiments about the public affairs which they were of
before, they changed their measures, and came in to David. When
these men had agreed to Abner's proposal, he called together the
tribe of Benjamin, for all of that tribe were the guards of
Ishbosheth's body, and he spake to them to the same purpose. And
when he saw that they did not in the least oppose what he said,
but resigned themselves up to his opinion, he took about twenty
of his friends and came to David, in order to receive himself
security upon oath from him; for we may justly esteem those
things to be firmer which every one of us do by ourselves, than
those which we do by another. He also gave him an account of what
he had said to the rulers, and to the whole tribe of Benjamin;
and when David had received him in a courteous manner, and had
treated him with great hospitality for many days, Abner, when he
was dismissed, desired him to bring the multitude with him, that
he might deliver up the government to him, when David himself was
present, and a spectator of what was done.

5. When David had sent Abner away, Joab, the of his army, came
immediately to Hebron; he had understood that Abner had been with
David, and had parted with him a little before under leagues and
agreements that the government should be delivered up to David,
he feared lest David should place Abner, who had assisted him to
gain the kingdom, in the first rank of dignity, especially since
he was a shrewd man in other respects, in understanding affairs,
and in managing them artfully, as proper seasons should require,
and that he should himself be put lower, and be deprived of the
command of the army; so he took a knavish and a wicked course. In
the first place, he endeavored to calumniate Abner to the king,
exhorting him to have a care of him, and not to give attention to
what he had engaged to do for him, because all he did tended to
confirm the government to Saul's son; that he came to him
deceitfully and with guile, and was gone away in hopes of gaining
his purpose by this management: but when he could not thus
persuade David, nor saw him at all exasperated, he betook himself
to a project bolder than the former: - he determined to kill
Abner; and in order thereto, he sent some messengers after him,
to whom he gave in charge, that when they should overtake him
they should recall him in David's name, and tell him that he had
somewhat to say to him about his affairs, which he had not
remembered to speak of when he was with him. Now when Abner heard
what the messengers said, (for they overtook him in a certain
place called Besira, which was distant from Hebron twenty
furlongs,) he suspected none of the mischief which was befalling
him, and came back. Hereupon Joab met him in the gate, and
received him in the kindest manner, as if he were Abner's most
benevolent acquaintance and friend; for such as undertake the
vilest actions, in order to prevent the suspicion of any private
mischief intended, do frequently make the greatest pretenses to
what really good men sincerely do. So he took him aside from his
own followers, as if he would speak with him in private, and
brought him into a void place of the gate, having himself nobody
with him but his brother Abishai; then he drew his sword, and
smote him in the groin; upon which Abner died by this treachery
of Joab, which, as he said himself, was in the way of punishment
for his brother Asahel, whom Abner smote and slew as he was
pursuing after him in the battle of Hebron, but as the truth was,
out of his fear of losing his command of the army, and his
dignity with the king, and lest he should be deprived of those
advantages, and Abner should obtain the first rank in David's
court. By these examples any one may learn how many and how great
instances of wickedness men will venture upon for the sake of
getting money and authority, and that they may not fail of either
of them; for as when they are desirous of obtaining the same,
they acquire them by ten thousand evil practices; so when they
are afraid of losing them, they get them confirmed to them by
practices much worse than the former, as if no other calamity so
terrible could befall them as the failure of acquiring so exalted
an authority; and when they have acquired it, and by long custom
found the sweetness of it, the losing it again: and since this
last would be the heaviest of all afflictions they all of them
contrive and venture upon the most difficult actions, out of the
fear of losing the same. But let it suffice that I have made
these short reflections upon that subject.

6. When David heard that Abner was slain, it grieved his soul;
and he called all men to witness, with stretching out his hands
to God, and crying out that he was not a partaker in the murder
of Abner, and that his death was not procured by his command or
approbation. He also wished the heaviest curses might light upon
him that slew him and upon his whole house; and he devoted those
that had assisted him in this murder to the same penalties on its
account; for he took care not to appear to have had any hand in
this murder, contrary to the assurances he had given and the
oaths he had taken to Abner. However, he commanded all the people
to weep and lament this man, and to honor his dead body with the
usual solemnities; that is, by rending their garments, and
putting on sackcloth, and that things should be the habit in
which they should go before the bier; after which he followed it
himself, with the elders and those that were rulers, lamenting
Abner, and by his tears demonstrating his good-will to him while
he was alive, and his sorrow for him now he was dead, and that he
was not taken off with his consent. So he buried him at Hebron in
a magnificent manner, and indited funeral elegies for him; he
also stood first over the monument weeping, and caused others to
do the same; nay, so deeply did the death of Abner disorder him,
that his companions could by no means force him to take any food,
but he affirmed with an oath that he would taste nothing till the
sun was set. This procedure gained him the good-will of the
multitude; for such as had an affection for Abner were mightily
satisfied with the respect he paid him when he was dead, and the
observation of that faith he had plighted to him, which was shown
in his vouchsafing him all the usual ceremonies, as if he had
been his kinsman and his friend, and not suffering him to be
neglected and injured with a dishonorable burial, as if he had
been his enemy; insomuch that the entire nation rejoiced at the
king's gentleness and mildness of disposition, every one being
ready to suppose that the king would have taken the same care of
them in the like circumstances, which they saw be showed in the
burial of the dead body of Abner. And indeed David principally
intended to gain a good reputation, and therefore he took care to
do what was proper in this case, whence none had any suspicion
that he was the author of Abner's death. He also said this to the
multitude, that he was greatly troubled at the death of so good a
man; and that the affairs of the Hebrews had suffered great
detriment by being deprived of him, who was of so great abilities
to preserve them by his excellent advice, and by the strength of
his hands in war. But he added, that "God, who hath a regard to
all men's actions, will not suffer this man [Joab] to go off
unrevenged; but know ye, that I am not able to do any thing to
these sons of Zeruiah, Joab and Abishai, who have more power than
I have; but God will requite their insolent attempts upon their
own heads." And this was the fatal conclusion of the life of


That Upon The Slaughter Of Ishbosheth By The Treachery Of His
Friends, David Received The Whole Kingdom.

1. When Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, had heard of the death of
Abner, he took it to heart to be deprived of a man that was of
his kindred, and had indeed given him the kingdom, but was
greatly afflicted, and Abner's death very much troubled him; nor
did he himself outlive any long time, but was treacherously set
upon by the sons of Rimmon, (Baanah and Rechab were their names,)
and was slain by them; for these being of a family of the
Benjamites, and of the first rank among them, thought that if
they should slay Ishbosheth, they should obtain large presents
from David, and be made commanders by him, or, however, should
have some other trust committed to them. So when they once found
him alone, and asleep at noon, in an upper room, when none of his
guards were there, and when the woman that kept the door was not
watching, but was fallen asleep also, partly on account of the
labor she had undergone, and partly on account of the heat of the
day, these men went into the room in which Ishbosheth, Saul's
son, lay asleep, and slew him; they also cut off his head, and
took their journey all that night, and the next day, as supposing
themselves flying away from those they had injured, to one that
would accept of this action as a favor, and would afford them
security. So they came to Hebron, and showed David the head of
Ishbosheth, and presented themselves to him as his well-wishers,
and such as had killed one that was his enemy and antagonist. Yet
David did not relish what they had done as they expected, but
said to them, "You vile wretches, you shall immediately receive
the punishment you deserve. Did not you know what vengeance I
executed on him that murdered Saul, and brought me his crown of
gold, and this while he who made this slaughter did it as a favor
to him, that he might not be caught by his enemies? Or do you
imagine that I am altered in my disposition, and suppose that I
am not the same man I then was, but am pleased with men that are
wicked doers, and esteem your vile actions, when you are become
murderers of your master, as grateful to me, when you have slain
a righteous man upon his bed, who never did evil to any body, and
treated you with great good-will and respect? Wherefore you shall
suffer the punishment due on his account, and the vengeance I
ought to inflict upon you for killing Ishbosheth, and for
supposing that I should take his death kindly at your hands; for
you could not lay a greater blot on my honor, than by making such
a supposal." When David had said this, he tormented them with all
sorts of torments, and then put them to death; and he bestowed
all accustomed rites on the burial of the head of Ishbosheth, and
laid it in the grave of Abner.

2. When these things were brought to this conclusion, all the
principal men of the Hebrew people came to David to Hebron, with
the heads of thousands, and other rulers, and delivered
themselves up to him, putting him in mind of the good-will they
had borne to him in Saul's lifetime, and the respect they then
had not ceased to pay him when he was captain of a thousand, as
also that he was chosen of God by Samuel the prophet, he and his
sons; (2) and declaring besides, how God had given him power to
save the land of the Hebrews, and to overcome the Philistines.
Whereupon he received kindly this their alacrity on his account;
and exhorted them to continue in it, for that they should have no
reason to repent of being thus disposed to him. So when he had
feasted them, and treated them kindly, he sent them out to bring
all the people to him; upon which came to him about six thousand
and eight hundred armed men of the tribe of Judah, who bare
shields and spears for their weapons, for these had [till now]
continued with Saul's son, when the rest of the tribe of Judah
had ordained David for their king. There came also seven thousand
and one hundred out of the tribe of Simeon. Out of the tribe of
Levi came four thousand and seven hundred, having Jehoiada for
their leader. After these came Zadok the high priest, with
twenty-two captains of his kindred. Out of the tribe of Benjamin
the armed men were four thousand; but the rest of the tribe
continued, still expecting that some one of the house of Saul
should reign over them. Those of the tribe of Ephraim were twenty
thousand and eight hundred, and these mighty men of valor, and
eminent for their strength. Out of the half tribe of Manasseh
came eighteen thousand, of the most potent men. Out of the tribe
of Issachar came two hundred, who foreknew what was to come
hereafter, (3) but of armed men twenty thousand. Of the tribe of
Zebulon fifty thousand chosen men. This was the only tribe that
came universally in to David, and all these had the same weapons
with the tribe of Gad. Out of the tribe of Naphtali the eminent
men and rulers were one thousand, whose weapons were shields and
spears, and the tribe itself followed after, being (in a manner)
innumerable [thirty-seven thousand]. Out of the tribe of Dan
there were of chosen men twenty-seven thousand and six hundred.
Out of the tribe of Asher were forty thousand. Out of the two
tribes that were beyond Jordan, and the rest of the tribe of
Manasseh, such as used shields, and spears, and head-pieces, and
swords, were a hundred and twenty thousand. The rest of the
tribes also made use of swords. This multitude came together to
Hebron to David, with a great quantity of corn, and wine, and all
other sorts of food, and established David in his kingdom with
one consent. And when the people had rejoiced for three days in
Hebron, David and all the people removed and came to Jerusalem.


How David Laid Siege To Jerusalem; And When He Had Taken The
City, He Cast The Canaanites Out Of It, And Brought In The Jews
To Inhabit Therein.

1. Now the Jebusites, who were the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and
were by extraction Canaanites, shut their gates, and placed the
blind, and the lame, and all their maimed persons, upon the wall,
in way of derision of the king, and said that the very lame
themselves would hinder his entrance into it. This they did out
of contempt of his power, and as depending on the strength of
their walls. David was hereby enraged, and began the siege of
Jerusalem, and employed his utmost diligence and alacrity
therein, as intending by the taking of this place to demonstrate
his power, and to intimidate all others that might be of the like
[evil] disposition towards him. So he took the lower city by
force, but the citadel held out still; (4) whence it was that the
king, knowing that the proposal of dignities and rewards would
encourage the soldiers to greater actions, promised that he who
should first go over the ditches that were beneath the citadel,
and should ascend to the citadel itself and take it, should have
the command of the entire people conferred upon him. So they all
were ambitious to ascend, and thought no pains too great in order
to ascend thither, out of their desire of the chief command.
However, Joab, the son of Zeruiah, prevented the rest; and as
soon as he was got up to the citadel, cried out to the king, and
claimed the chief command.

2. When David had cast the Jebusites out of the citadel, he also
rebuilt Jerusalem, and named it The City of David, and abode
there all the time of his reign; but for the time that he reigned
over the tribe of Judah only in Hebron, it was seven years and
six months. Now when he had chosen Jerusalem to be his royal
city, his affairs did more and more prosper, by the providence of
God, who took care that they should improve and be augmented.
Hiram also, the king of the Tyrians, sent ambassadors to him, and
made a league of mutual friendship and assistance with him. He
also sent him presents, cedar-trees, and mechanics, and men
skillful in building and architecture, that they might build him
a royal palace at Jerusalem. Now David made buildings round about
the lower city: he also joined the citadel to it, and made it one
body; and when he had encompassed all with walls, he appointed
Joab to take care of them. It was David, therefore, who first
cast the Jebusites out of Jerusalem, and called it by his own
name, The City of David: for under our forefather Abraham it was
called (Salem, or) Solyma; (5) but after that time, some say that
Homer mentions it by that name of Solyma, [for he named the
temple Solyma, according to the Hebrew language, which denotes
security.] Now the whole time from the warfare under Joshua our
general against the Canaanites, and from that war in which he
overcame them, and distributed the land among the Hebrews, (nor
could the Israelites ever cast the Canaanites out of Jerusalem
until this time, when David took it by siege,) this whole time
was five hundred and fifteen years.

3. I shall now make mention of Araunah, who was a wealthy man
among the Jebusites, but was not slain by David in the siege of
Jerusalem, because of the good-will he bore to the Hebrews, and a
particular benignity and affection which he had to the king
himself; which I shall take a more seasonable opportunity to
speak of a little afterwards. Now David married other wives over
and above those which he had before: he had also concubines. The
sons whom he had were in number eleven, whose names were Amnon,
Emnos, Eban, Nathan, Solomon, Jeban, Elien, Phalna, Ennaphen,
Jenae, Eliphale; and a daughter, Tamar. Nine of these were born
of legitimate wives, but the two last-named of concubines; and
Tamar had the same mother with Absalom.


That When David Had Conquered The Philistines Who Made War
Against Him At Jerusalem, He Removed The Ark To Jerusalem And Had
A Mind To Build A Temple.

1. When the Philistines understood that David was made king of
the Hebrews, they made war against him at Jerusalem; and when
they had seized upon that valley which is called The Valley of
the Giants, and is a place not far from the city, they pitched
their camp therein; but the king of the Jews, who never permitted
himself to do any thing without prophecy, (6) and the command of
God and without depending on him as a security for the time to
come, bade the high priest to foretell to him what was the will
of God, and what would be the event of this battle. And when he
foretold that he should gain the victory and the dominion, he led
out his army against the Philistines; and when the battle was
joined, he came himself behind, and fell upon the enemy on the
sudden, and slew some of them, and put the rest to flight. And
let no one suppose that it was a small army of the Philistines
that came against the Hebrews, as guessing so from the suddenness
of their defeat, and from their having performed no great action,
or that was worth recording, from the slowness of their march,
and want of courage; but let him know that all Syria and
Phoenicia, with many other nations besides them, and those
warlike nations also, came to their assistance, and had a share
in this war, which thing was the only cause why, when they had
been so often conquered, and had lost so many ten thousands of
their men, they still came upon the Hebrews with greater armies;
nay, indeed, when they had so often failed of their purpose in
these battles, they came upon David with an army three times as
numerous as before, and pitched their camp on the same spot of
ground as before. The king of Israel therefore inquired of God
again concerning the event of the battle; and the high priest
prophesied to him, that he should keep his army in the groves,
called the Groves of Weeping, which were not far from the enemy's
camp, and that he should not move, nor begin to fight, till the
trees of the grove should be in motion without the wind's
blowing; but as soon as these trees moved, and the time foretold
to him by God was come, he should, without delay, go out to gain
what was an already prepared and evident victory; for the several
ranks of the enemy's army did not sustain him, but retreated at
the first onset, whom he closely followed, and slew them as he
went along, and pursued them to the city Gaza (which is the limit
of their country): after this he spoiled their camp, in which he
found great riches; and he destroyed their gods.

2. When this had proved the event of the battle, David thought it
proper, upon a consultation with the elders, and rulers, and
captains of thousands, to send for those that were in the flower
of their age out of all his countrymen, and out of the whole
land, and withal for the priests and the Levites, in order to
their going to Kirjathjearim, to bring up the ark of God out of
that city, and to carry it to Jerusalem, and there to keep it,
and offer before it those sacrifices and those other honors with
which God used to be well-pleased; for had they done thus in the
reign of Saul, they had not undergone any great misfortunes at
all. So when the whole body of the people were come together, as
they had resolved to do, the king came to the ark, which the
priest brought out of the house of Aminadab, and laid it upon a
new cart, and permitted their brethren and their children to draw
it, together with the oxen. Before it went the king, and the
whole multitude of the people with him, singing hymns to God, and
making use of all sorts of songs usual among them, with variety
of the sounds of musical instruments, and with dancing and
singing of psalms, as also with the sounds of trumpets and of
cymbals, and so brought the ark to Jerusalem. But as they were
come to the threshing-floor of Chidon, a place so called, Uzzah
was slain by the anger of God; for as the oxen shook the ark, he
stretched out his hand, and would needs take hold of it. Now,
because he was not a priest (7) and yet touched the ark, God
struck him dead. Hereupon both the king and the people were
displeased at the death of Uzzah; and the place where he died is
still called the Breach of Uzzah unto this day. So David was
afraid; and supposing that if he received the ark to himself into
the city, he might suffer in the like manner as Uzzah had
suffered, who, upon his bare putting out his hand to the ark,
died in the manner already mentioned, he did not receive it to
himself into the city, but he took it aside unto a certain place
belonging to a righteous man, whose name was Obededom, who was by
his family a Levite, and deposited the ark with him; and it
remained there three entire months. This augmented the house of
Obededom, and conferred many blessings upon it. And when the king
heard what had befallen Obededom, how he was become, of a poor
man in a low estate, exceeding happy, and the object of envy to
all those that saw or inquired after his house, he took courage,
and, hoping that he should meet with no misfortune thereby, he
transferred the ark to his own house; the priests carrying it,
while seven companies of singers, who were set in that order by
the king, went before it, and while he himself played upon the
harp, and joined in the music, insomuch, that when his wife
Michel, the daughter of Saul, who was our first king, saw him so
doing, she laughed at him. But when they had brought in the ark,
they placed it under the tabernacle which David had pitched for
it, and he offered costly sacrifices and peace-offerings, and
treated the whole multitude, and dealt both to the women, and the
men, and the infants a loaf of bread and a cake, and another cake
baked in a pan, with the portion of the sacrifice. So when he had
thus feasted the people, he sent them away, and he himself
returned to his own house.

3. But when Michal his wife, the daughter of Saul, came and stood
by him, she wished him all other happiness, and entreated that
whatsoever he should further desire, to the utmost possibility,
might be given him by God, and that he might be favorable to him;
yet did she blame him, that so great a king as he was should
dance after an unseemly manner, and in his dancing, uncover
himself among the servants and the handmaidens. But he replied,
that he was not ashamed to do what was acceptable to God, who had
preferred him before her father, and before all others; that he
would play frequently, and dance, without any regard to what the
handmaidens and she herself thought of it. So this Michal, who
was David's wife, had no children; however, when she was
afterward married to him to whom Saul her father had given her,
(for at this time David had taken her away from him, and had her
himself,) she bare five children. But concerning those matters I
shall discourse in a proper place.

4. Now when the king saw that his affairs grew better almost
every day, by the will of God, he thought he should offend him,
if, while he himself continued in houses made of cedar, such as
were of a great height, and had the most curious works of
architecture in them, he should overlook the ark while it was
laid in a tabernacle, and was desirous to build a temple to God,
as Moses had predicted such a temple should be built. (8) And
when he had discoursed with Nathan the prophet about these
things, and had been encouraged by him to do whatsoever he had a
mind to do, as having God with him, and his helper in all things,
he was thereupon the more ready to set about that building. But
God appeared to Nathan that very night, and commanded him to say
to David, (9) that he took his purpose and his desires kindly,
since nobody had before now taken it into their head to build him
a temple, although upon his having such a notion he would not
permit him to build him that temple, because he had made many
wars, and was defiled with the slaughter of his enemies; that,
however, after his death, in his old age, and when he had lived a
long life, there should be a temple built by a son of his, who
should take the kingdom after him, and should be called Solomon,
whom he promised to provide for, as a father provides for his
son, by preserving the kingdom for his son's posterity, and
delivering it to them; but that he would still punish him, if he
sinned, with diseases and barrenness of land. When David
understood this from the prophet, and was overjoyful at this
knowledge of the sure continuance of the dominion to his
posterity, and that his house should be splendid, and very
famous, he came to the ark, and fell down on his face, and began
to adore God, and to return thanks to him for all his benefits,
as well for those that he had already bestowed upon him in
raising him from a low state, and from the employment of a
shepherd, to so great dignity of dominion and glory; as for those
also which he had promised to his posterity; and besides, for
that providence which he had exercised over the Hebrews in
procuring them the liberty they enjoyed. And when he had said
thus, and had sung a hymn of praise to God, he went his way.


How David Brought Under The Philistines, And The Moabites, And
The Kings Of Sophene And Of Damascus, And Of The Syrians As Also
The Idumeans, In War; And How He Made A League With The King Of
Hamath; And Was Mindful Of The Friendship That Jonathan, The Son
Of Saul, Had Borne Him.

1. A Litlle while after this, he considered that he ought to make
war against the Philistines, and not to see any idleness or
laziness permitted in his management, that so it might prove, as
God had foretold to him, that when he had overthrown his enemies,
he should leave his posterity to reign in peace afterward: so he
called together his army again, and when he had charged them to
be ready and prepared for war, and when he thought that all
things in his army were in a good state, he removed from
Jerusalem, and came against the Philistines; and when he had
overcome them in battle, and had cut off a great part of their
country, and adjoined it to the country of the Hebrews, he
transferred the war to the Moabites; and when he had overcome two
parts of their army in battle, he took the remaining part
captive, and imposed tribute upon them, to be paid annually. He
then made war against Iadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of
Sophene; (10) and when he had joined battle with him at 'the
river Euphrates, he destroyed twenty thousand of his footmen, and
about seven thousand of his horsemen. He also took a thousand of
his chariots, and destroyed the greatest part of them, and
ordered that no more than one hundred should be kept. (11)

2. Now when Hadad, king of Damascus and of Syria, heard that
David fought against Hadadezer, who was his friend, he came to
his assistance with a powerful army, in hopes to rescue him; and
when he had joined battle with David at the river Euphrates, he
failed of his purpose, and lost in the battle a great number of
his soldiers; for there were slain of the army of Hadad twenty
thousand, and all the rest fled. Nicelens also [of Damascus]
makes mention of this king in the fourth book of his histories;
where he speaks thus: "A great while after these things had
happened, there was one of that country whose name was Hadad, who
was become very potent; he reigned over Damascus, and, the other
parts of Syria, excepting Phoenicia. He made war against David,
the king of Judea, and tried his fortune in many battles, and
particularly in the last battle at Euphrates, wherein he was
beaten. He seemed to have been the most excellent of all their
kings in strength and manhood," Nay, besides this, he says of his
posterity, that "they succeeded one another in his kingdom, and
in his name;" where he thus speaks: "When Hadad was dead, his
posterity reigned for ten generations, each of his successors
receiving from his father that his dominion, and this his name;
as did the Ptolemies in Egypt. But the third was the most
powerful of them all, and was willing to avenge the defeat his
forefather had received; so he made an expedition against the
Jews, and laid waste the city which is now called Samaria." Nor
did he err from the truth; for this is that Hadad who made the
expedition against Samaria, in the reign of Ahab, king of Israel,
concerning whom we shall speak in due place hereafter.

3. Now when David had made an expedition against Damascus, and
the other parts of Syria, and had brought it all into subjection,
and had placed garrisons in the country, and appointed that they
should pay tribute, he returned home. He also dedicated to God at
Jerusalem the golden quivers, the entire armor which the guards
of Hadad used to wear; which Shishak, the king of Egypt, took
away when he fought with David's grandson, Rehoboam, with a great
deal of other wealth which he carried out of Jerusalem. However,
these things will come to be explained in their proper places
hereafter. Now as for the king of the Hebrews, he was assisted by
God, who gave him great success in his wars, and he made all
expedition against the best cities of Hadadezer, Betah and
Machen; so he took them by force, and laid them waste. Therein
was found a very great quantity of gold and silver, besides that
sort of brass which is said to be more valuable than gold; of
which brass Solomon made that large vessel which was called The
[Brazen] Sea, and those most curious lavers, when he built the
temple for God.

4. But when the king of Hamath was informed of the ill success of
Hadadezer, and had heard of the ruin of his army, he was afraid
on his own account, and resolved to make a league of friendship
and fidelity with David before he should come against him; so he
sent to him his son Joram, and professed that he owed him thanks
for fighting against Hadadezer, who was his enemy, and made a
league with him of mutual assistance and friendship. He also sent
him presents, vessels of ancient workmanship, both of gold, of
silver, and of brass. So when David had made this league of
mutual assistance with Toi, (for that was the name of the king of
Hamath,) and had received the presents he sent him, he dismissed
his son with that respect which was due on both sides; but then
David brought those presents that were sent by him, as also the
rest of the gold and silver which he had taken of the cities whom
he had conquered, and dedicated them to God. Nor did God give
victory and success to him only when he went to the battle
himself, and led his own army, but he gave victory to Abishai,

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