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of the city. And David went on, and waxed greater and greater, for Jehovah of Hosts was with him. *

As soon as the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they came up to seek him, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim; and when David heard of it, he went down to the hold; and he enquired of Jehovah whether he should encounter them, and if he should be successful : and Jehovah promised to deliver them into his hand. And David came to Baal Perazim, and smote them there, and said, Jehovah hath broken forth upon mine enemies by mine hand, as the breach of waters. And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them with fire.t

Enraged at this defeat, and the loss of their idols, the Philistines returned to the charge in such numbers, as again to spread themselves over the valley of Rephaim. When David enquired of Jehovah, he ordered him not to go up after them, that is, not to engage in a pitched battle with them, perceiving that their enemies were now in such force, that his chosen servant, and his army, would be in danger, unless he took the affair more immediately into his own hands. God therefore directed David to fetch a compass about them, or get behind them, and lay an ambush over against some mulberry trees; he was to bestir himself when he heard a noise in the tops of the mulberry trees, and go out to battle, for that then Jehovah would go out before him, and smite the host of the Philistines. And David did so, as Jehovah

• 2 Sam. v.9, 10. i Chr. xi. 9. + 2 Sam, v. 20. 1 Chr. xiv. 12.

* “ How is it that such supernatural directions and assistances are not communicated now? Because they are not asked for, because they are not expected ; and they are not expected, because men have not faith: and they have not faith, because they are under a refined spirit of atheism, and have no spiritual intercourse with their Maker. Who believes that God sees all things, and is every

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that Jehovah had of Palestine, and part of their

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which had been made in the wilIt was so strong at the

pursuant to the command of Jehoapproached the city with

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nent unto the children of Israel,++ soever should get up

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> an inmate ; for not only was their great pored to pieces before it, but the hand of God

the men of Ashdod, of Gath, and of Ekron, we ark remained ; so that there was a deadly

roughout all their cities, the inhabitants being unusual a manner, as to bespeak the finger of in their agonies they exclaimed, “ Send away the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, s us not, and our people.' I'vilistines having placed the ark upon a new cart, svden emerods and golden mice as a trespass offering, it on its way, drawn by two milch kine.f It arrived at shemesh, when the Levites took out the jewels of gold, ne the men of Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings, and wirrificed sacrifices unto Jehovah; but having presumed to look into the ark, the outside even of which was not to be seen uncovered by the Levites who carried it,# 50,0708 of them were smitten with a great slaughter.

Terrified with this disaster, they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of Jehovah: come ye down, and fetch it up to you. And the men of Kirjathjearim came, and fetched the ark of Jehovah, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar, his son, to keep the ark of the Lord.||

It is remarkable that, during the whole reign of Saul, no mention whatever is made of the ark, and more especially that after Samuel's death, and in his greatest extremity, that

• 1 Sam. v. 11. + 1 Sam. vi. 7. Numb. iv. 5, 6. 15. Scott and Ad. Clarke, on 1 Sam. vi. 19., suppose it should be

70 only.
| 1 Sam. vi. 21. vii. I.

monarch betook himself to the practisers of witchcraft, rather than to the appointed means of communication between God and his people. No doubt he was well acquainted with what had befallen the Philistines and the men of Bethshemesh, and, conscious of his own awful departure from God, he dared not encounter this holy symbol; but still it might have been expected he would have applied to some of the priests and Levites.

David, however, was no sooner in a state of comparative tranquillity, than, anxious to repossess this palladium of Israel, the consulted with the captains of thousands, and hundreds, and with every leader, and said unto all the congregation of Israel, “ If it seem good unto you, and that it be of Jehovah our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites, which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us : and let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul. And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.'

“So David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, 30,000, from Shihor of Egypt, even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjathjearim. And David arose, and went up with all the people that were with him to Baalah,t that is to Kirjathjearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, Jehovah, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it. And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, that was in Gibeah ; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. And David and all the house of Israel played before

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Jehovah with all their might, and with singing, and on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psaltries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals, and on trumpets."

An incident, however, took place upon this occasion, which materially diminished the general joy; for the oxen which drew the cart having stumbled, and shook the ark, Uzzah put forth his hand and touched it, in order to steady it; when the anger of Jehovah was kindled against him, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the arket and there he died before God.

David discovered an unsanctified spirit in being displeased upon this occasion, and called the name of the place Perez L'zzah ; and he was so afraid of Jehovah that day, that he said, How shall I bring the ark of Jehovah to me? and instead of attempting to remove it into the city of David, he carried it into the house of Obededom, the Gittite. And the ark of God continued in the house of Obededom, the Gittite, three months: and Jehovah blessed Obededom, and all his household. S

Upon being told that - Jehovah had blessed the house of Obededom, because of the ark of God, he prepared a place, and pitched a tent for it in the city of David; but, before he attempted to remove it again, he took care to have every thing properly arranged according to the law of Moses, that no further miscarriage might take place. For he said, none ought to carry the ark of God, but the Levites, for them hath Jehovah chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever. And David assembled the children of Aaron and the Levites to the number of 862, and he called for Zadok and Abiathar, the priests; and for the Levites, Criel,

• 2 Sam. vi. 1-5. 1 Chron. xiii. 1-8. + Numb. iv. 15.

#1 Chron. xiii. 10. $ 2 Sam. 6. 11. 1 Chron, xiii. 14.

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