2 Samuel 19:38
The king replied, "Chimham will cross over with me, and I will do for him what seems good in your sight, and I will do for you whatever you desire of me."
Old BarzillaiB. Dale 2 Samuel 19:31-40
BarzillaiThomas S. Dickson, M. A.2 Samuel 19:31-41
Barzillai an Example of Loyalty in Perilous TimesA. Bumstead, B. A.2 Samuel 19:31-41
Barzillai the GileaditeJ. Ker, D. D.2 Samuel 19:31-41
Barzillai the Great Man in SocietyE. Monro.2 Samuel 19:31-41
Barzillai, the Gideonite; Or, the Influence of AgeHomilist2 Samuel 19:31-41
David and BarzillaiW. G. Blaikie, D. D.2 Samuel 19:31-41
The Lives of CourtiersJ. Saurin.2 Samuel 19:31-41
Barzillai's Refusal of David's Invitation to Jerusalem ConsideredJ. Orton.2 Samuel 19:34-40
Life's Winter2 Samuel 19:34-40
The Sabbath of LifeDr. Chalmers.2 Samuel 19:34-40
Venerable Age: its Trials and ConsolationsW. F. Morgan, D. D.2 Samuel 19:34-40

Barzillai graphically depicts these as experienced by himself. All old men have not exactly the same experience; but all who live to a great age must expect a similar diminution of their powers.


1. Enfeebled or annihilated powers. Blunted or extinct senses; dulness or loss of sight, hearing, taste, smelling; feebleness of body and mind. Consequent inability for active employments. Loss of the pleasures which the exercise of vigorous faculties confers.

2. Increasing dependence on others. Possibly, unlike Barzillai, for the means of subsistence; certainly for much besides. Hence the old man is apt to become, and feel himself to be, "a burden," putting the kindness and patience of others to a severe test. The discomfort arising from such dependance is often very great.

3. The sense of loneliness. Sometimes the aged survive all who have loved and cared for them, and, if not, they commonly feel themselves cut off from the interests and pleasures of the new generation.


1. With cheerful submission and patience. Remembering that the order of nature which brings such ills to the aged, and the circumstances which occasion their own particular troubles, are the appointment of the infinitely wise and good Creator and Father. Recalling also their many years of vigorous faculty and lively enjoyment, and cherishing a gratitude which will suppress discontent.

2. With thankfulness for what remains. The love and care which provide for, or minister to, their needs and alleviate their troubles. Above all, the unchanging love of God and the Redeemer, and the spiritual blessings hence enjoyed.

3. With watchfulness against the temptations incident to old age. Such as those to fretfulness, irritability, impatience, envy of the young, and needless interference with their enjoyments. The revival with new power of old sinful propensities, ill tempers, and bad habits.

4. With joyful hope. Of speedy deliverance from all burdens and troubles, and the recommencement of life with renewed and perfected energies. Nothing can keep the aged Christian long out of heaven.


1. With respectful tenderness, sympathy, and readiness to alleviate them.

2. With diminished desire for the great prolongation of their own lives.

3. With steadfast aim and endeavour so to live that, if old age come, it may not be oppressed with the needless burdens and anxieties which a godless life leads to. Let the young keep in mind the admonition, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them" (Ecclesiastes 12:1). - G.W.

Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city.
Homiletic Review.
In our last great trial, in our conflict with the king of terrors, what a consolation to feel that our friends are about us, that we are at home.

1. How much earthly friends may help us in the hour of death.

2. The limitation of this help.

3. The Christian's consolation that wherever death may overtake him he will die in the midst of friends. His Elder Brother will be there, and God, his father, and he will be encompassed with a host of heavenly witnesses, friends in Jesus Christ. Through death we will go from our earthly home to our heavenly home.

(Homiletic Review.)

When Sir Walter Scott returned from Italy, in sickness and mental affliction, and was approaching his home in Selkirkshire, the old familiar landmarks seemed to recall him to his wonted animation. "That is Gala Water! Yonder are the Eildon Hills!" was his joyous exclamation. When at last Abbotsford appeared in sight, he became so excited that he desired to be raised up in the carriage that he might look on his beautiful home. Yet he was only going home to die.

Sir Walter Scott used to say that he loved the honest grey hills of Scotland as his very life, and that if he did not see the heather once a year be thought he should die.

Abiathar, Abishai, Absalom, Amasa, Barzillai, Benjamin, Benjamites, Chimham, David, Gera, Israelites, Joab, Joseph, Mephibosheth, Saul, Shimei, Zadok, Zeruiah, Ziba
Bahurim, Gilgal, Jerusalem, Jordan River, Mahanaim, Rogelim
Anything, Chimham, Cross, Desire, Fix, Pleases, Require, Seem, Seems, Sight, Whatever, Whatsoever, Yea
1. Joab causes the king to cease his mourning
9. The Israelites are earnest to bring the king back
11. David sends to the priest to incite them of Judah
18. Shimei is pardoned
24. Mephibosheth excused
32. Barzillai dismissed, and Chimham his son taken into the king's family
41. The Israelites expostulate with Judah for bringing home the king without them

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Samuel 19:37

     5339   home
     8300   love, and the world
     9050   tombs

2 Samuel 19:31-37

     5296   disabilities

2 Samuel 19:34-37

     8358   weakness, physical

National Sorrows and National Lessons
On the illness or the Prince of Wales. Chapel Royal, St James's, December 17th, 1871. 2 Sam. xix. 14. "He bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man." No circumstances can be more different, thank God, than those under which the heart of the men of Judah was bowed when their king commander appealed to them, and those which have, in the last few days, bowed the heart of this nation as the heart of one man. But the feeling called out in each case was the same--Loyalty,
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

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

Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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