1 Kings 2:9
Now therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man. You know what you ought to do to him to bring his gray head down to Sheol in blood."
FarewellsE. De Pressense 1 Kings 2:1-11

The religion of God is the religion of man. True religion is the perfecting of our humanity.

I. MAN WAS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. This is His essential characteristic. The more He reflects this image, the more truly manly He is. The religion of the Bible restores His manhood.

II. THERE IS NO FACULTY IN MAN WHICH DOES NOT FIND ITS COMPLEMENT AND ITS DEVELOPMENT IN GOD. His reason finds in God alone the truth which it seeks. His heart only finds an object adequate to its power of loving in the God who is Love. His conscience has for its ideal and its law the Divine holiness. "Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). His will derives its power alone from God.

1. The Son of God was the Son of man, and realized the true idea of humanity in His holy life.

2. The religion of God honours and exalts man, even as falsehood and error degrade and debase him.

3. The Divine morality is in profound harmony with true human morality, that law which is written in the natural conscience. The petty religiousness which says, "Touch not, taste not, handle not" (Colossians 2:21), and creates all sorts of artificial duties, is not in accordance with true piety, the one great commandment of which - love to God and man - approves itself at once to the gospel and to the conscience.

4. Be a man means, finally, Do thy duty like a man. Be one of the violent who take the kingdom by force. Let us be careful not to effeminate our Christianity by a soft sentimentalism. Let us learn from the Son of God to be truly men "after God's own heart." - E. DE P.

Shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai.
An old English story tells of Frescobald, an Italian merchant who showed great kindness to Thomas Cromwell when he was in sore distress far from home. The stranger was welcomed to the merchant's dwelling, and sent back safely to England. Years passed, and reverses came to Frescobald. He lost wealth and friends, and wandered as a beggar to this country. One day he saw a great crowd moving along the streets of London. The Lord Chancellor was going in state to open the courts. To Frescobald's delight, the central figure of the procession was his old friend Thomas Cromwell The Italian merchant soon reaped the fruit of his generous kindness in other days. Cromwell's hospitality and munificence quickly made him forget all his care and sorrow.

(J. Telford, B. A.)

Great Thoughts.
Sympathy for those who are stronger, wealthier, healthier, more influential, and higher in authority than ourselves, is not so easily rendered. It does not often occur to us to extend the sympathetic hand or word to those whom we look upon as in any way our superiors, and yet none need our sympathy more than such as these. The minister is expected to feel for and with his parishioners, but the truth is that the minister needs sympathetic encouragement from them quite as much. So, too, of the physician and his patient. One of Tennyson's biographers quotes the Queen as saying of the Laureate, "When I took leave of him I thanked him for his kindness, and said I needed it, for I had gone through much, and he said, 'You are so alone on that terrible height; it is terrible.'" The sovereign appreciated kindness, consideration, and sympathy from her subjects, and the poet had a full realisation of what it meant to be so high up as to be practically alone in the world. We easily give our pity, our sympathy, and even our helping hand, to those who seem to us in sore stress, but we are not so thoughtful about what consolation and strength we might give to those who need it because their very elevation isolates them, and cuts them off from those human relations to which we all look for sympathetic aid.

(Great Thoughts.)

Barzillai's truly Highland courtesy, also, is abundantly conspicuous in the too-short glimpse we get of the lord of Rogelim. For, how he anticipated all David's possible wants! How he put himself into all David's distressed place! How he did to David as David would have done to him! How he came down from his high seat, with all his years on his head, in order with his own hand to conduct the king over Jordan! And, then, with what sweetness and music of manner and of speech he excused himself out of all the royal rewards and honours and promotions David had designed and decreed to put upon him!

The service and the loyalty I owe,

In doing, pays itself. Your Highness' part

Is to receive our duties; and our duties

Are to your throne and state children and servants,

Which do but what they should, by doing everything

Safe towards your love and honour.

The rest is labour which is not used for you.The humility, also, of that Old Testament hero is already our New Testament humility in its depth and sweetness and beauty. In my spare hours this winter I have been delighting myself with Plutarch's Lives in Thomas North's Bible English. But how often as I read one noble name after another have I exclaimed, Oh, if some of those great men of old had only been among the Greeks who came to Philip, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus! Had they only seen Jesus, or even heard or read Paul! Then what ornaments would they have been in all New Testament nobleness and courtesy and humility.

(Alex. Whyte, D. D.)

1 Kings 2:8, 9

Vers. 8, 9.

And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei, the son of Gera.

David's death-bed has never been without its own difficulties to thoughtful and reverential readers. For Shimei with all his good and his bad uses comes back again to David's death-bed to tempt and to try David, and to discover what is in David s dying heart. The death-bed sayings of God's saints have a special interest and a delightful edification to us; but David's last words to Solomon about Shimei — we would pass them by if we could. Three or four several explanations of those terrible words of David have been offered to the distressed reader by able men and men of authority in such matters. I shall only mention those offered explanations, and leave you to judge for yourselves. Well, some students of the Old Testament are bold to take David's dreadful words about Shimei out of David's mouth altogether, and to put them into the mouth of the prophet who has preserved to us David's life and death. Those awful words, they say, are that righteous prophet's explanation and vindication of the too late execution of Shimei by Solomon after his "reprieve," as Matthew Henry calls it, had come to an end with the death of David. Others again, and they, too, some of our. most conservative and orthodox scholars, say to us that the text should run in English in this way: "Hold him not guiltless; at the same time bring not his hoar head down to the grave with blood." You will blame me for my too open ear to such bold scholarship; and you will think it very wrong in me to listen to such evil men. But the heart has its reasons, as Pascal says, and my heart would stretch a considerable point in textual criticism to get Shimei's blood wiped off David's death-bed. Another interpretation is to take the text as it stands, and to hear David judicially charging Solomon about a care of too long delayed justice against a blasphemer of God and the king. And then the last explanation is the most painful one of all, and it is this, that David had never really and truly, and at the bottom of his heart, forgiven Shimei for his brutality and malignity at Bahurim, and that all David's long-suppressed revenge rushed out of his heart against his old enemy when he lay on his bed and went back on the day on which he had fled from Jerusalem. You can choose your own way of looking at David's death-bed. But, in any case, it is Bahurim that we shall all carry home, and carry for ever henceforth, in our hearts. We shall have, God helping us, David's Bahurim-mind always in us henceforth amid all those who insult and injure us, and say all manner of evil against us falsely; and amid all manner of adverse and sore circumstances, so as to see the Lord in it all, and so as to work out our salvation amid it all. And the Lord will look upon our affliction also, and will requite us good for all this evil, if only we wisely and silently and adoringly submit ourselves to it.

(Alex. Whyte, D. D.)

There are three ways in which David may have been influenced in giving this dying injunction to his son —

I. AS THE AGENT, UNCONSCIOUS OR OTHERWISE, OF DIVINE JUSTICE. We cannot conceive this measure as being the consummation of a Divine purpose, it had apparently so much about it of human plan. The Almighty's power, when exerted in support of justice, has always been certain and direct in its action, without any reference to contingencies. A man's punishment ,never precedes his crime, nor is inflicted without one. With God it is all justice or all mercy; no half measures. No sparing for a time in uncertainty or doubt as to our guilt, begetting in us a sense of false security, till suddenly the knell of .doom sounds on our deafened ears. How different from man's punishment this. The very manner of Shimei's death is the greatest argument against its having been ordained by God (vers. 36-46.) David's conduct in giving this dying injunction to his son may have been influenced —

II. BY A CONSCIENTIOUS DESIRE TO ADMINISTER HUMAN JUSTICE, ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD. David, we are told, was a man of God, one after His own heart. How; then, with such clear perceptions of the Divine attributes, can we conceive of him as acting in this matter conscientiously and with cool judgment, in the full belief of the harmony of his decree with Almighty rectitude? To do so is to dishonour the unswerving uprightness of God's justice, or to depreciate David's experiences and knowledge of the Divine character. We would rather be left to our final alternative in —

III. REGARDING HIS INJUNCTION AS PROMPTED BY REVENGE. As a man he forgave Shimei at the time of his crime, which, then, should have been utterly effaced from his memory. Heavenly justice, if not satisfied, would have taken its own way of vindicating itself, without further action on David's part. With David as a man of God and Israel's law-giver, we must utterly disconnect this act, and attribute it entirely to a flaw in his character, which, at the last, reasserted its natural power in antagonism to Divine grace. In nothing, during life, do men differ so greatly as at death. The weakest on earth often enter the gates of heaven triumphant. While yet in the flesh, one foot is firmly planted on the threshold of the mansion prepared for them. On the other hand, the spiritual giant now is frequently then but as a timid and fearful child; often, indeed, appearing to lose his entire spiritual existence in the fearful struggle which Satan and his earthly nature keep up in endeavouring to wrest another soul from heaven to people the wilderness of hell.

(R. Liswil, B. A.)

Abiathar, Abishag, Abner, Absalom, Achish, Adonijah, Amasa, Anathoth, Barzillai, Bathsheba, Benaiah, David, Eli, Gera, Haggith, Jehoiada, Jether, Joab, Maacah, Maachah, Ner, Shimei, Solomon, Zadok, Zeruiah
Anathoth, Bahurim, Gath, Hebron, Jerusalem, Jordan River, Kidron, Mahanaim, Shiloh
Acquit, Age, Blood, Bring, Clear, Free, Goes, Grave, Gray, Guiltless, Hair, Hast, Hoar, Hoary, Hold, Innocent, Ought, Oughtest, Punishment, Sheol, Underworld, Unpunished, Wilt, Wisdom, Wise
1. David, having given a charge to Solomon
3. of Reverence
5. of Joab
7. of Barzillai
8. of Shimei
10. Solomon succeeds
12. Adonijah, moving Bathsheba to ask unto Solomon for Abishag,
13. is put to death
26. Abiathar, having his life given him, is deprived of the priesthood
28. Joab fleeing to the horns of the altar, is there slain
35. Benaiah is put in Joab's room, and Zadfok in Abiathar's
36. Shimei, confined to Jerusalem, by occasion of going to Gath, is put to death.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 2:9

     9040   grave, the
     9540   Sheol

1 Kings 2:1-12

     5087   David, reign of

The Horns of the Altar
WE MUST tell you the story. Solomon was to be the king after David, but his elder brother, Adonijah, was preferred by Joab, the captain of the host, and by Abiathar, the priest; and, therefore, they got together, and tried to steal a march upon dying David, and set up Adonijah. They utterly failed in this; and when Solomn came to the throne Adonijah was afraid for his life, and fled to the horns of the altar at the tabernacle for shelter. Solomn permitted him to find sanctuary there, and forgave
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 31: 1885

"He Ascended into Heaven:" Believe. "He Sitteth at the Right Hand of the Father...
11. "He ascended into heaven:" believe. "He sitteth at the right hand of the Father:" believe. By sitting, understand dwelling: as [in Latin] we say of any person, "In that country he dwelt (sedit) three years." The Scripture also has that expression, that such an one dwelt (sedisse) in a city for such a time. [1791] Not meaning that he sat and never rose up? On this account the dwellings of men are called seats (sedes). [1792] Where people are seated (in this sense), are they always sitting? Is
St. Augustine—On the Creeds

Whether Curiosity Can be About Intellective Knowledge?
Objection 1: It would seem that curiosity cannot be about intellective knowledge. Because, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 6), there can be no mean and extremes in things which are essentially good. Now intellective knowledge is essentially good: because man's perfection would seem to consist in his intellect being reduced from potentiality to act, and this is done by the knowledge of truth. For Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that "the good of the human soul is to be in accordance with reason,"
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Angels have Bodies Naturally United to Them?
Objection 1: It would seem that angels have bodies naturally united to them. For Origen says (Peri Archon i): "It is God's attribute alone---that is, it belongs to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as a property of nature, that He is understood to exist without any material substance and without any companionship of corporeal addition." Bernard likewise says (Hom. vi. super Cant.): "Let us assign incorporeity to God alone even as we do immortality, whose nature alone, neither for its own sake
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Natural Law Can be Changed?
Objection 1: It would seem that the natural law can be changed. Because on Ecclus. 17:9, "He gave them instructions, and the law of life," the gloss says: "He wished the law of the letter to be written, in order to correct the law of nature." But that which is corrected is changed. Therefore the natural law can be changed. Objection 2: Further, the slaying of the innocent, adultery, and theft are against the natural law. But we find these things changed by God: as when God commanded Abraham to slay
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The Whole Heart
LET me give the principal passages in which the words "the whole heart," "all the heart," are used. A careful study of them will show how wholehearted love and service is what God has always asked, because He can, in the very nature of things, ask nothing less. The prayerful and believing acceptance of the words will waken the assurance that such wholehearted love and service is exactly the blessing the New Covenant was meant to make possible. That assurance will prepare us for turning to the Omnipotence
Andrew Murray—The Two Covenants

"The King Kissed Barzillai. " 2 Sam. xix. 39
And no wonder, for David could appreciate a real man when he saw him, and so does David's Lord. I.--LOYALTY IS PRECIOUS TO THE KING OF KINGS. In the days when the son of Jesse had but few friends, it was a precious thing to be treated in the style Barzillai and his neighbours entertained him (see 2 Sam. xvii. 27-29). They were rich farmers, and had land which brought forth with abundance, so were able to act with princely hospitality to the fugitive monarch. But plenty may live with avarice, and
Thomas Champness—Broken Bread

What Manner of Man Ought not to Come to Rule.
Wherefore let every one measure himself wisely, lest he venture to assume a place of rule, while in himself vice still reigns unto condemnation; lest one whom his own guilt depraves desire to become an intercessor for the faults of others. For on this account it is said to Moses by the supernal voice, Speak unto Aaron; Whosoever he be of thy seed throughout their generations that hath a blemish, he shall not offer loaves of bread to the Lord his God (Lev. xxi. 17). And it is also immediately subjoined;
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Authorship of the Pentateuch.
The term Pentateuch is composed of the two Greek words, pente, five, and teuchos, which in later Alexandrine usage signified book. It denotes, therefore, the collection of five books; or, the five books of the law considered as a whole. 1. In our inquiries respecting the authorship of the Pentateuch, we begin with the undisputed fact that it existed in its present form in the days of Christ and his apostles, and had so existed from the time of Ezra. When the translators of the Greek version,
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

BY REV. GEORGE MILLIGAN, M.A., D.D. "There is nothing," says Socrates to Cephalus in the Republic, "I like better than conversing with aged men. For I regard them as travellers who have gone a journey which I too may have to go, and of whom it is right to learn the character of the way, whether it is rugged or difficult, or smooth and easy" (p. 328 E.). It is to such an aged traveller that we are introduced in the person of Barzillai the Gileadite. And though he is one of the lesser-known characters
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known

Fifth Sunday after Trinity Exhortation to the Fruits of Faith.
Text: 1 Peter 3, 8-15. 8 Finally, be ye all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tender-hearted, humble-minded: 9 not rendering evil for evil, or reviling for reviling; but contrariwise blessing; for hereunto were ye called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For, He that would love life, And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips that they speak no guile: 11 And let him turn away from evil, and do good; Let him seek peace, and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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