Once again there was a battle with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.
In one of the Napoleonic wars a young soldier complained to his commanding officer that his sword was too short. "Then add a step to it," was the curt and significant reply. "When I hear," says the Rev. W. L. Watkinson, "a man say, 'You know you cannot do more than you can do,' I am always still for a moment. It is such a philosophic sentence that it can only be taken in slowly." But you never know what you can do until you put your soul into it — until you add a step. Says Paul to Timothy: "Stir up the gift that is in thee." And it is not so much a question of environment as it is a question of soul; it is not a question of opportunity, because "it is in thee.""It is not the man who knows most, but the one that does best, that wins the victory, Grant, and Meade, and Sheridan could have been taught many lessons by our learned professors of military tactics and strategy, but none of these could have guided his forces to victory as Grant did at Chatanooga, Meade at Gettysberg, or have hurled his masses as Sheridan did at Winchester. Action guided by knowledge, if you will, but better action without knowledge than much knowledge and feeble action."
In the view of his followers, David was the lamp (Hebrew, naer
) or glory of the nation, and the continuance of his life and reign was essential to its welfare. This is a striking testimony to their estimate of his personal character and faithful and prosperous rule. Similar language is used of others. "He was the lamp that burueth and shineth," etc. (John 5:35
; John 8:12
; Matthew 5:14
). And every faithful servant of God is "a light giver in the world" (Philippians 2:15
). Such a lamp is -
I. KINDLED BY THE GRACIOUS HAND OF GOD, the true Glory of Israel, the Father of lights, the Fountain of life and light (Psalm 36:9). None are so ready to recognize dependence upon God for life and all good as the devout man himself.
"Thou art my Lamp, O Jehovah,
And Jehovah enlightens my darkness."
(2 Samuel 22:29; Psalm 18:28; Psalm 27:1.) David's regal life and actions were the light which the grace of God had kindled for the benefit of Israel. Whatever his gifts, his graces, his position, his success, they am all humbly, gratefully, and constantly ascribed to their Divine Source by the faithful servant; and, whilst we admire him, we should "glorify God in him" (1 Corinthians 15:10; Galatians 1:24).
II. CONDUCTIVE TO THE REAL WELFARE OF MEN. "Neither do men light a lamp and put it under the bushel," etc. (Matthew 5:15).
"Heaven does with us as we with torches do,
Not light them for themselves," etc.
(Measure for Measure,' act 1 sc. 1.) By his counsel, his example, his endeavours, his prayers, he renders invaluable service to others in directing them in perplexity and peril; preserving them from error and evil; stimulating them to effort and conflict; and contributing to their safety, prosperity, and lasting happiness.
III. EXPOSED TO IMMINENT DANGER OF EXTINCTION. The light is liable to be quenched. Life is always precarious; the life of some peculiarly so; like that of David when he went down into the conflict (vers. 15, 16; 2 Samuel 5:17-25), waxed faint, and was set upon by the giant Ishbi-benob, in a new suit of armour. And it is not only natural life, but also moral and spiritual life, that is beset by danger. The part which a good man takes in the conflict between good and evil attracts the attention of his adversaries, makes him a special object of attack (1 Kings 22:31); his efforts are exhausting, and his zeal is apt to consume him (Psalm 69:9; Psalm 119:139). "Ernestus, Duke of Luneburg, caused a burning lamp to be stamped on his coin, with these four letters, A.S.M.C., by which was meant, Aliis serviens meipsum contero, 'By giving light to others I consume myself'" (Spencer).
IV. WORTHY OF BEING HIGHLY ESTEEMED, carefully sustained, and zealously guarded. "And Abishai succoured him, and he [Abishai, or perhaps David, ver. 22] killed him," etc. The preserving care of God (2 Samuel 8:14) does not render needless human sympathy, assistance, prudence, resolution (2 Samuel 18:3). He who freely spends his strength and risks his life for others ought to be esteemed, considered, defended, and helped by them (1 Thessalonians 5:12, 23; 2 Thessalonians 3:2; Hebrews 13:17); and, herein, they also benefit themselves and the whole community. "If any man serve me, let him follow me," etc. (John 12:26-28). - D.
Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Saph, which was of the sons of the giant.
If his master bids him perform exploits too hard for him, he draws upon the resources of omnipotence, and achieves impossibilities. Wellington sent word to his troops one night: "Cindad Rodrigo must be taken to-night." And what do you think was the commentary of the British soldiers appointed for attack? "Then," said they all, "we will do it." So, when our great Captain sends round, as He doth to us, the word of command, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature," if we were all good soldiers of the Cross, we should say at once, "We will do it." However hard the task, since God Himself is with us to be our Captain, and Jesus the Priest of the Most High is with us to sound the trumpet, we will do it in Jehovah's name.
When a man dies they who survive him ask, what property Ire has left behind; the angel who bends over the dying one asks what good deeds he has sent before him.
PeopleAbishai, Adriel, Aiah, Amorites, Armoni, Barzillai, Benjamin, David, Elhanan, Gibeon, Gibeonites, Goliath, Ishbibenob, Israelites, Jaareoregim, Jabesh, Jair, Jonathan, Kish, Mephibosheth, Merab, Michal, Rapha, Rizpah, Saph, Saul, Shimea, Shimeah, Shimei, Sibbecai, Sibbechai, Zeruiah
PlacesBeth-shan, Gath, Gibeah, Gilboa, Gob, Jabesh-gilead, Jerusalem, Zela
TopicsBattle, Beam, Bethlehemite, Beth-lehemite, Brother, Cloth-worker's, Death, Elhanan, Elha'nan, Gittite, Gittite's, Gob, Goliath, Jaareoregim, Ja'areor'egim, Jaare-oregim, Jair, Killed, Philistines, Rod, Shaft, Slew, Smiteth, Smote, Spear, Staff, Stem, War, Weavers, Weaver's, Wood
Outline1. The three year Gibeonite famine ceases, by hanging seven of Saul's sons.
10. Rizpah's kindness unto the dead
12. David buries the bones of Saul and Jonathan in his father's tomb
15. Four battles against the Philistines, wherein four men of David slay four giants.
Dictionary of Bible Themes2 Samuel 21:19
I. Beth-cerem, Nehemiah 3:14. "The stones, as well of the altar, as of the ascent to the altar, were from the valley of Beth-cerem, which they digged out beneath the barren land. And thence they are wont to bring whole stones, upon which the working iron came not." The fathers of the traditions, treating concerning the blood of women's terms, reckon up five colours of it; among which that, "which is like the water of the earth, out of the valley of Beth-cerem."--Where the Gloss writes thus, "Beth-cerem …
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica
The Exile Continued.
"So David fled, and escaped and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done unto him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth" (1 Sam. xix. 18)--or, as the word probably means, in the collection of students' dwellings, inhabited by the sons of the prophets, where possibly there may have been some kind of right of sanctuary. Driven thence by Saul's following him, and having had one last sorrowful hour of Jonathan's companionship--the last but one on earth--he fled to Nob, whither …
Alexander Maclaren—The Life of David
Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book 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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