So David asked the Gibeonites, "What shall I do for you? How can I make amends so that you may bless the inheritance of the LORD?"
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."
And Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah. When his attempt was made is not certainly known; possibly soon after his sparing Amalek (and to make amends for it); or at the time of his massacre of the priests at Nob (where the Gibeonites then assisted the Levites, before the removal of the altar and tabernacle to Gibeon); more probably at the time of his expulsion of the necromancers and soothsayers (1 Samuel 28:3
); being "one of those acts of passionate zeal in which he tried to drown the remorse of his later years." His zeal (like that of others in later times) was:
1. Religious and patriotic in intention and profession; to purge the land of the remnant of the heathen (Deuteronomy 7:2, 24), to honour God, to benefit his people. Good intentions are not enough to constitute good actions.
2. Blind and wilful, "not according to knowledge" (Romans 10:2; Acts 26:9).
3. Irreverent and ungodly; in violation of a solemn compact in the name of God, and against those who were consecrated to his service. His humblest ministers should be held in respect.
4. Unjust and ungrateful; for they bad done no wrong, but had performed useful service.
5. Proud. and tyrannical; regarding them with contempt, and taking advantage of their defenceless condition (1 Samuel 22:6-19).
6. Cruel and murderous.
7. Selfish and covetous; to appropriate the spoil to his family and adherents.
8. Popular and acceptable. The people never forgave the crafty manner in which they had originally been induced to spare their lives, looked upon them with suspicion and dislike, and readily sympathized with Saul's attack upon them (as they did not in the case of the priests at Nob), and consented to share the plunder.
9. Restrained and unsuccessful. Some survived. It is seldom that persecutors are able to do all they endeavour to do.
10. Infectious and disastrous, in its influence on his family and the nation. - 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
TopicsAmends, Atonement, Bless, Blessing, David, Expiation, Gibeonites, Gib'eonites, Heritage, Inheritance, Lord's, Thus, Wherefore, Wherewith, Wrongs, Yea
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 21:1-6
2 Samuel 21:1-9
5088 David, character
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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