From The Work of God's Children
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL, OTHERWISE CALLED THE FIRST BOOK OF KINGS
This and the following Book are called by the Hebrews the books of Samuel, because they contain the history of Samuel, and of the two kings, Saul and David, whom he anointed. They are more commonly named by the Fathers, the first and second book of kings. As to the writer of them, it is the common opinion that Samuel composed the first book, as far as the twenty-fifth chapter; and that the prophets Nathan and Gad finished the first, and wrote the second book. See 1 Chronicles, 29:29.
Eli's name was previously spelled "Heli".
1 Samuel Chapter 1
Anna the wife of Elcana being barren, by vow and prayer obtains a son: whom she calls Samuel: and presents him to the service of God in Silo, according to her vow.
1:1. There was a man of Ramathaimsophim, of Mount Ephraim, and his name was Elcana, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliu, the son of Thohu, the son of Suph, an Ephraimite:
An Ephraimite. . .He was of the tribe of Levi, 1. Par. 6.34, but is called an Ephraimite from dwelling in mount Ephraim.
1:2. He had two wives, the name of one was Anna, and the name of the other Phenenna. Phenenna had children: but Anna had no children.
1:3. This man went up out of his city upon the appointed days, to adore and to offer sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Silo. The two sons of Eli, Ophni and Phinees, were there priests of the Lord.
1:4. Now the day came, and Elcana offered sacrifice, and gave to Phenenna, his wife, and to all her sons and daughters, portions:
1:5. But to Anna he gave one portion with sorrow, because he loved Anna. And the Lord had shut up her womb.
1:6. Her rival also afflicted her, and troubled her exceedingly, insomuch that she upbraided her, that the Lord had shut up her womb:
1:7. and thus she did every year, when the time returned, that they went up to the temple of the Lord: and thus she provoked her: but Anna wept, and did not eat.
1:8. Then Elcana, her husband, said to her: Anna, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why do you afflict your heart? Am not I better to you than ten children?
1:9. So Anna arose after she had eaten and drunk in Silo: and Eli, the priest, sitting upon a stool before the door of the temple of the Lord;
1:10. As Anna had her heart full of grief, she prayed to the Lord, shedding many tears,
1:11. and she made a vow, saying: O Lord of hosts, if you will look down, and will be mindful of me, and not forget your handmaid, and will give to your servant a manchild: I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.
1:12. It came to pass, as she multiplied prayers before the Lord, that Eli observed her mouth.
1:13. Now Anna spoke in her heart, and only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard at all. Eli therefore thought her to be drunk,
1:14. and said to her: How long will you be drunk? Digest a little the wine, of which you have taken too much.
1:15. Anna answering, said: Not so, my lord: for I am an exceeding unhappy woman, and have drunk neither wine nor any strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord.
1:16. Count not your handmaid for one of the daughters of Belial: for out of the abundance of my sorrow and grief have I spoken till now.
1:17. Then Eli said to her: Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant you your petition, which you have asked of him.
1:18. She said: Would to God your handmaid may find grace in your eyes. So the woman went on her way, and ate, and her countenance was no more changed.
1:19. They rose in the morning, and worshipped before the Lord: and they returned, and came into their house at Ramatha. And Elcana knew Anna his wife: And the Lord remembered her.
1:20. It came to pass when the time was come about, Anna conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel: because she had asked him of the Lord.
Samuel. . .This name imports, asked of God.
1:21. Elcana, her husband, went up, and all his house, to offer to the Lord the solemn sacrifice, and his vow.
1:22. But Anna went not up: for she said to her husband: I will not go until the child be weaned, and till I may carry him, that he may appear before the Lord, and may abide always there.
1:23. Elcana, her husband, said to her: Do what seems good to you, and stay till you wean him: and I pray that the Lord may fulfill his word. So the woman stayed at home until she weaned him.
1:24. After she had weaned him, she carried him with her, with three calves, and three bushels of flour, and a bottle of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord in Silo. Now the child was as yet very young:
1:25. and they immolated a calf, and offered the child to Eli.
1:26. Anna said: I beseech you, my lord, as your soul lives, my lord: I am that woman, who stood before you here praying to the Lord.
1:27. For this child did I pray, and the Lord has granted me my petition, which I asked of him.
1:28. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord all the days of his life, he shall be lent to the Lord. They adored the Lord there. Anna prayed, and said:
1 Samuel Chapter 2
The canticle of Anna. The wickedness of the sons of Eli: for which they are not duly corrected by their father. A prophecy against the house of Eli.
2:1. My heart has rejoiced in the Lord, and my horn is exalted in my God: my mouth is enlarged over my enemies: because I have rejoiced in your salvation.
My horn. . .The horn in the scriptures signifies strength, power, the horn is said to be exalted, when a person receives an increase of strength or glory.
2:2. There is none holy as the Lord is: for there is no other beside you, and there is none strong like our God.
2:3. Do not multiply to speak lofty things, boasting: let old matters depart from your mouth: for the Lord is a God of all knowledge, and to him are thoughts prepared.
2:4. The bow of the mighty is overcome, and the weak are girt with strength.
2:5. They that were full before, have hired out themselves for bread: and the hungry are filled, so that the barren has borne many: and she that had many children is weakened.
2:6. The Lord kills and makes alive, he brings down to the nether world, and brings back again.
2:7. The Lord makes poor and makes rich, he humbles and he exalts:
2:8. He raises up the needy from the dust, and lifts up the poor from the dunghill: that he may sit with princes, and hold the throne of glory. For the poles of the earth are the Lord's, and upon them He has set the world.
2:9. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; because no man shall prevail by his own strength.
2:10. The adversaries of the Lord shall fear him: and upon them shall he thunder in the heavens: The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth, and he shall give empire to his king, and shall exalt the horn of his Christ.
2:11. Elcana went to Ramatha, to his house: but the child ministered in the sight of the Lord before the face of Eli the priest.
2:12. Now the sons of Eli were children of Belial, not knowing the Lord,
2:13. Nor the office of the priests to the people: but whosoever had offered a sacrifice, the servant of the priest came, while the flesh was in boiling, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand,
2:14. and thrust it into the kettle, or into the cauldron, or into the pot, or into the pan: and all that the fleshhook brought up, the priest took to himself. Thus did they to all Israel that came to Silo.
2:15. Also before they burnt the fat, the servant of the priest came, and said to the man that sacrificed: Give me flesh to boil for the priest: for I will not take of you sodden flesh, but raw.
2:16. He that sacrificed said to him: Let the fat first be burnt today, according to the custom, and then take to you as much as your soul desires. But he answered, and said to him: Not so: but you shall give it me now, or else I will take it by force.
2:17. Wherefore the sin of the young men was exceeding great before the Lord: because they withdrew men from the sacrifice of the Lord.
2:18. But Samuel ministered before the face of the Lord: being a child girded with a linen ephod.
2:19. His mother made him a little coat, which she brought to him on the appointed days, when she went up with her husband, to offer the solemn sacrifice.
2:20. Eli blessed Elcana and his wife: and he said to him: The Lord give you seed of this woman, for the loan you have lent to the Lord. And they went to their own home.
2:21. The Lord visited Anna, and she conceived, and bore three sons, and two daughters: and the child Samuel became great before the Lord.
2:22. Now Eli was very old, and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel: and how they lay with the women that waited at the door of the tabernacle:
2:23. He said to them: Why do you these kinds of things, which I hear, very wicked things, from all the people?
2:24. Do not so, my sons: for it is no good report that I hear, that you make the people of the Lord to transgress.
2:25. If one man shall sin against another, God may be appeased in his behalf: but if a man shall sin against the Lord, who shall pray for him? They hearkened not to the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.
Who shall pray for him. . .By this word Eli would have his sons understand, that by their wicked abuse of sacred things, and of the very sacrifices which were appointed to appease the Lord, they deprived themselves of the ordinary means of reconciliation with God; which was by sacrifices. The more, because they were the chief priest's whose business it was to intercede for all others, they had no other to offer sacrifices and to make atonement for them. Ibid. Because the Lord would slay them. . .In consequence of their manifold sacrileges, He would not soften their hearts with His efficacious grace, but was determined to destroy them.
2:26. But the child Samuel advanced, and grew on, and pleased both the Lord and men.
2:27. There came a man of God to Eli, and said to him: Thus says the Lord: Did I not plainly appear to your father's house, when they were in Egypt in the house of Pharaoh?
2:28. I chose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, and burn incense to me, and to wear the ephod before me: and I gave to your father's house of all the sacrifices of the children of Israel.
2:29. Why have you kicked away my victims, and my gifts which I commanded to be offered in the temple: and you have rather honored your sons than me, to eat the first fruits of every sacrifice of my people Israel?
2:30. Wherefore, thus says the Lord the God of Israel: I said indeed that your house, and the house of your father, should minister in My sight, forever. But now says the Lord: Far be this from me: but whosoever shall glorify Me, him will I glorify: but they that despise Me, shall be despised.
2:31. Behold the days come: and I will cut off your arm, and the arm of your father's house, that there shall not be an old man in your house.
2:32. You shall see your rival in the temple, in all the prosperity of Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever.
Your rival. . .A priest of another race. This was fulfilled when Abiathar, of the race of Heli, was removed from the priesthood, and Zadok, who was of another line, was substituted in his place.
2:33. However, I will not altogether take away a man of you from my altar: but that your eyes may faint, and your soul be spent: and a great part of your house shall die, when they come to man's estate.
2:34. This shall be a sign to you, that shall come upon your two sons, Ophni and Phinees: in one day they shall both of them die.
2:35. I will raise me up a faithful priest, who shall do according to my heart, and my soul and I will build him a faithful house, and he shall walk all days before my anointed.
2:36. It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall remain in your house shall come that he may be prayed for, and shall offer a piece of silver, and a roll of bread, and shall say: Put me, I beseech you, to somewhat of the priestly office, that I may eat a morsel of bread.
1 Samuel Chapter 3
Samuel is four times called by the Lord: who reveals to him the evil that shall fall on Eli, and his house.
3:1. Now the child Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli, and the word of the Lord was precious in those days, there was no manifest vision.
Precious. . .That is, rare.
3:2. It came to pass one day when Eli lay in his place, and his eyes were grown dim, that he could not see:
3:3. Before the lamp of God went out, Samuel slept in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was.
3:4. The Lord called Samuel. He answered: Here am I.
3:5. He ran to Eli, and said: Here am I: for you did call me. He said: I did not call: go back and sleep. He went and slept.
3:6. The Lord called Samuel again. Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said: Here am I: for you called me. He answered: I did not call you, my son: return and sleep.
3:7. Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither had the word of the Lord been revealed to him.
3:8. The Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose up and went to Eli,
3:9. and said: Here am I: for you did call me. Then Eli understood that the Lord called the child, and he said to Samuel: Go, and sleep: and if He shall call you any more, you shall say: Speak, Lord, for your servant listens. So Samuel went, and slept in his place.
3:10. The Lord came, and stood, and He called, as He had called the other times, Samuel, Samuel.Samuel said: Speak, Lord, for your servant listens.
3:11. The Lord said to Samuel: Behold I do a thing in Israel: and whoever shall hear it, both his ears shall tingle.
3:12. In that day I will raise up against Eli all the things I have spoken concerning his house: I will begin, and I will make an end.
3:13. For I have foretold unto him, that I will judge his house forever, for iniquity, because he knew that his sons did wickedly, and did not chastise them.
3:14. Therefore have I sworn to the house of Eli, that the iniquity of his house shall not be expiated with victims nor offerings forever.
3:15. Samuel slept till morning, and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel feared to tell the vision to Eli.
3:16. Then Eli called Samuel, and said: Samuel, my son. He answered: Here am I.
3:17. He asked him: What is the word that the Lord has spoken to you? I beseech you hide it not from me. May God do so and so to you, and add so and so, if you hide from me one word of all that were said to you.
3:18. So Samuel told him all the words, and did not hide them from him. and he answered: It is the Lord: let him do what is good in his sight.
3:19. Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and not one of his words fell to the ground.
3:20. All Israel, from Dan to Bersabee, knew that Samuel was a faithful prophet of the Lord.
3:21. The Lord again appeared in Silo, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Silo, according to the word of the Lord. And the word of Samuel came to pass to all Israel.
1 Samuel Chapter 4
The Israelites being overcome by the Philistines, send for the ark of God: but they are beaten again, the sons of Eli are killed, and the ark taken: upon the hearing of the news Eli falls backward and dies.
4:1. It came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight: and Israel went out to war against the Philistines, and camped by the Stone of help. The Philistines came to Aphec,
The Stone of help. . .In Hebrew Eben-ezer; so called from the help which the Lord was pleased afterwards to give to his people Israel in that place, by the prayers of Samuel, chap. 7.12.
4:2. and put their army in array against Israel. When they had joined battle, Israel turned their backs to the Philistines: and there were slain in that fight, here and there in the fields, about four thousand men.
4:3. The people returned to the camp: and the ancients of Israel said: Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us fetch unto us the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Silo, and let it come in the midst of us, that it may save us from the hand of our enemies.
4:4. So the people sent to Silo, and they brought from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, sitting upon the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Ophni and Phinees, were with the ark of the covenant of God.
4:5. When the ark of the covenant of the Lord was come into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, and the earth rang again.
4:6. The Philistines heard the noise of the shout, and they said: What is this noise of a great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp.
4:7. The Philistines were afraid, saying: God is come into the camp. And sighing, they said:
4:8. Woe to us: for there was no such great joy yesterday, and the day before: Woe to us. Who shall deliver us from the hand of these high gods? These are the gods that struck Egypt with all the plagues in the desert.
4:9. Take courage, and behave like men, Philistines: lest you come to be servants to the Hebrews, as they have served you: take courage and fight.
4:10. So the Philistines fought, and Israel was overthrown, and every man fled to his own dwelling: and there was an exceeding great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.
4:11. The ark of God was taken: and the two sons of Eli, Ophni and Phinees, were slain.
4:12. There ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Silo the same day, with his clothes rent, and his head strewed with dust.
4:13. When he was come, Eli sat upon a stool over against the way, watching. For his heart was fearful for the ark of God. And when the man was come into the city, he told it: and all the city cried out.
4:14. Eli heard the noise of the cry, and he said: What does the noise of this uproar mean? But he made haste, and came, and told Eli.
4:15. Now Eli was ninety and eight years old, and his eyes were dim, and he could not see.
4:16. He said to Eli: I am he that came from the battle, and have fled out of the field this day. He said to him: What is there done, my son?
4:17. He that brought the news answered, and said: Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter of the people: moreover your two sons, Ophni and Phinees, are dead: and the ark of God is taken.
4:18. When he had named the ark of God, he fell from his stool backwards by the door, and broke his neck and died. For he was an old man, and far advanced in years: and he judged Israel forty years.
Named the ark, etc. . .There is great reason, by all these circumstances, to hope that Eli died in a state of grace; and by his temporal punishments escaped the eternal.
4:19. His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinees, was big with child, and near her time: and hearing the news that the ark of God was taken, and her father-in-law, and her husband, were dead, she bowed herself and fell in labor: for her pains came upon her on a sudden.
4:20. When she was upon the point of death, they that stood about her said to her: Do not fear, for you have borne a son. She did not answer them, nor gave heed to them.
4:21. She called the child Ichabod, saying: The glory is gone from Israel, because the ark of God was taken, and for her father-in-law, and for her husband:
Ichabod. . .That is, Where is the glory? Or, there is no glory.
4:22. She said: The glory has departed from Israel, because the ark of God was taken.
1 Samuel Chapter 5
Dagon falls down before the ark twice. The Philistines are grievously afflicted, wherever the ark comes.
5:1. The Philistines took the ark of God, and carried it from the Stone of help into Azotus.
5:2. The Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it into the temple of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
5:3. When the Azotians arose early the next day, behold Dagon lay upon his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord: and they took Dagon, and set him again in his place.
5:4. The next day again, when they rose in the morning, they found Dagon lying upon his face on the earth before the ark of the Lord: and the head of Dagon, and both the palms of his hands, were cut off upon the threshold:
5:5. and only the stump of Dagon remained in its place. For this cause neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that go into the temple, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Azotus unto this day.
5:6. The hand of the Lord was heavy upon the Azotians, and He destroyed them, and afflicted Azotus and its coasts with emerods. In the villages and fields in the midst of that country, there came forth a multitude of mice, and there was the confusion of a great mortality in the city.
5:7. The men of Azotus seeing this kind of plague, said: The ark of the God of Israel shall not stay with us: for His hand is heavy upon us, and upon Dagon, our god.
5:8. Sending word, they gathered together all the lords of the Philistines to them, and said: What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? The Gethites answered: Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about. They carried the ark of the God of Israel about.
5:9. While they were carrying it about, the hand of the Lord came upon every city with an exceedingly great slaughter: and He smote the men of every city, both small and great, and they had emerods
***. The Gethites consulted together, and made themselves seats of skins.
5:10. Therefore they sent the ark of God into Accaron. When the ark of God was come into Accaron, the Accaronites cried out, saying: They have brought the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people.
5:11. They sent therefore, and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines: and they said: Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return into its own place, and not kill us and our people.
5:12. For there was the fear of death in every city, and the hand of God was exceeding heavy. The men also that did not die, were afflicted with the emerods: and the cry of every city went up to heaven.
1 Samuel Chapter 6
The ark is sent back to Bethsames: where many are slain for looking through curiosity into it.
6:1. Now the ark of God was in the land of the Philistines seven months.
6:2. The Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying: What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we are to send it back to its place. They said:
6:3. If you send back the ark of the God of Israel, send it not away empty, but render unto him what you owe for sin, and then you shall be healed: and you shall know why His hand does not depart from you.
6:4. They answered: What is it we ought to render unto Him for sin? They answered:
6:5. According to the number of the provinces of the Philistines you shall make five golden emerods, and five golden mice: for the same plague has been upon you all, and upon your lords. You shall make the likeness of your emerods, and the likeness of the mice, that have destroyed the land, and you shall give glory to the God of Israel: to see if he will take off his hand from you, and from your gods, and from your land.
6:6. Why do you harden your hearts, as Egypt and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? Did not he, after he was struck, then let them go, and they departed?
6:7. Now, therefore, take and make a new cart: and two kine that have calved, on which there has come no yoke, tie to the cart, and shut up their calves at home.
6:8. You shall take the ark of the Lord, and lay it on the cart, and the vessels of gold, which you have paid Him for sin, you shall put into a little box at its side: and send it away, that it may go.
6:9. You shall look: and if it go up by the way of his own coasts, towards Bethsames, then He has done us this great evil: but if not, we shall know that it is not His hand has touched us, but it has happened by chance.
6:10. They did therefore in this manner: and taking two kine, that had sucking calves, they yoked them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home.
6:11. They laid the ark of God upon the cart, and the little box that had in it the golden mice, and the likeness of the emerods.
6:12. The kine took the straight way, that leads to Bethsames, and they went along the way, lowing as they went: and turned not aside neither to the right hand nor to the left: and the lords of the Philistines followed them as far as the borders of Bethsames.
6:13. Now the Bethsamites were reaping wheat in the valley: and lifting up their eyes, they saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.
It is now stated "the people of Beth Shemesh" instead of "the Bethsamites".
6:14. The cart came into the field of Josue, a Bethsamite, and stood there. And there was a great stone, and they cut in pieces the wood of the cart, and laid the kine upon it a holocaust to the Lord.
6:15. The Levites took down the ark of God, and the little box that was at the side of it, wherein were the vessels of gold, and they put them upon the great stone. The men also of Bethsames offered holocausts, and sacrificed victims that day to the Lord.
6:16. The five princes of the Philistines saw, and they returned to Accaron the same day.
6:17. These are the golden emerods, which the Philistines returned for sin to the Lord: For Azotus one, for Gaza one, for Ascalon one, for Geth one, for Accaron one:
6:18. The golden mice, according to the number of the cities of the Philistines, of the five provinces, from the fenced city to the village that was without wall, and to the great Abel (the stone) whereon they set down the ark of the Lord, which was until that day in the field of Josue the Bethsamite.
6:19. But He slew of the men of Bethsames, because they had seen the ark of the Lord, and He slew of the people seventy men, and fifty thousand of the common people. The people lamented, because the Lord had smitten the people with a great slaughter.
Seen. . .and curiously looked into. It is likely this plague reached to all the neighboring country, as well as the city of Bethsames.
6:20. The men of Bethsames said: Who shall be able to stand before the Lord this holy God? To whom shall He go up from us?
6:21. They sent messengers to the inhabitants of Cariathiarim, saying: The Philistines have brought back the ark of the Lord, come down and fetch it up to you.
1 Samuel Chapter 7
The ark is brought to Cariathiarim. By Samuel's exhortation the people cast away their idols and serve God alone. The Lord defeats the Philistines, while Samuel offers sacrifice.
7:1. The men of Cariathiarim came, and fetched up the ark of the Lord, and carried it into the house of Abinadab, in Gabaa: and they sanctified Eleazar, his son, to keep the ark of the Lord.
In Gabaa. . .That is, on the hill, for Gabaa signifieth a hill.
7:2. It came to pass, that from the day the ark of the Lord abode in Cariathiarim, days were multiplied (for it was now the twentieth year) and all the house of Israel rested, following the Lord.
7:3. Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying: If you turn to the Lord with all your heart, put away the strange gods from among you, Baalim and Astaroth: and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him only, and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.
7:4. Then the children of Israel put away Baalim and Astaroth, and served the Lord only.
7:5. Samuel said: Gather all Israel to Masphath, that I may pray to the Lord for you.
7:6. They gathered together to Masphath, and they drew water, and poured it out before the Lord, and they fasted on that day, and they said there: We have sinned against the Lord. Samuel judged the children of Israel in Masphath.
7:7. The Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Masphath, and the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. When the children of Israel heard this, they were afraid of the Philistines.
7:8. They said to Samuel: Cease not to cry to the Lord our God for us, that he may save us out of the hand of the Philistines.
7:9. Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it whole for a holocaust to the Lord: and Samuel cried to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord heard him.
7:10. It came to pass, when Samuel was offering the holocaust, the Philistines began the battle against Israel: but the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and terrified them, and they were overthrown before the face of Israel.
7:11. The men of Israel going out of Masphath, pursued after the Philistines, and made slaughter of them till they came under Bethchar.
7:12. Samuel took a stone, and laid it between Masphath and Sen: and he called the place The stone of help. And he said: Thus far the Lord has helped us.
7:13. The Philistines were humbled, and they did not come any more into the borders of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines, all the days of Samuel.
7:14. The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel, were restored to Israel, from Accaron to Geth, and their borders: and he delivered Israel from the hand of the Philistines, and there was peace between Israel and the Amorrhites.
7:16. He went every year about to Bethel and to Galgal and to Masphath, and he judged Israel in the foresaid places.
7:17. He returned to Ramatha: for there was his house, and there he judged Israel: he built also there an altar to the Lord.
1 Samuel Chapter 8
Samuel growing old, and his sons not walking in his ways, the people desire a king.
8:1. It came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel.
8:2. Now the name of his firstborn son was Joel: and the name of the second was Abia, judges in Bersabee.
8:3. His sons walked not in his ways: but they turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.
8:4. Then all the ancients of Israel being assembled came to Samuel to Ramatha.
8:5. They said to him: Behold you are old, and your sons walk not in your ways: make us a king, to judge us, as all nations have.
8:6. The word was displeasing in the eyes of Samuel, that they should say: Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed to the Lord.
8:7. The Lord said to Samuel: Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you. For they have not rejected you, but me, that I should not reign over them.
Rejected, etc. . .The government of Israel hitherto had been a theocracy, in which God himself immediately ruled, by laws which he had enacted, and by judges extraordinarily raised up by himself; and therefore he complains that his people rejected him, in desiring a change of government.
8:8. According to all their works, they have done from the day that I brought them out of Egypt until this day: as they have forsaken me, and served strange gods, so do they also unto you.
8:9. Now, therefore, hearken to their voice: but yet testify to them, and foretell them the right of the king, that shall reign over them.
The right. . .That is, the manner (misphat) after which he shall proceed, having no one to control him, when he has the power in his hand.
8:10. Then Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people that had desired a king of him,
8:11. and said: This will be the right of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and put them in his chariots, and will make them his horsemen, and his running footmen, to run before his chariots,
8:12. and he will appoint of them to be his tribunes, and his centurions, and to plough his fields, and to reap his corn, and to make him arms and chariots.
8:13. Your daughters also he will take to make him ointments, and to be his cooks, and bakers.
8:14. He will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your best oliveyards, and give them to his servants.
8:15. Moreover he will take the tenth of your corn, and of the revenues of your vineyards, to give to his eunuchs and servants.
8:16. Your servants also, and handmaids, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, he will take away, and put them to his work.
8:17. Your flocks also he will tithe, and you shall be his servants.
8:18. You shall cry out in that day from the face of the king, whom you have chosen to yourselves: and the Lord will not hear you in that day, because you desired unto yourselves a king.
8:19. But the people would not hear the voice of Samuel, and they said, Nay: but there shall be a king over us,
8:20. We also will be like all nations: and our king shall judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles for us.
8:21. Samuel heard all the words of the people, and rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.
8:22. The Lord said to Samuel: Hearken to their voice, and make them a king. Samuel said to the men of Israel: Let every man go to his city.
1 Samuel Chapter 9
Saul seeking his father's donkeys, comes to Samuel, by whom he is entertained.
9:1. Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Cis, the son of Abiel, the son of Seror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphia, the son of a man of Jemini, valiant and strong.
9:2. He had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and goodly man, and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he appeared above all the people.
9:3. The donkeys of Cis, Saul's father, were lost: and Cis said to his son Saul: Take one of the servants with you, and arise, go, and seek the donkeys. And when they had passed through Mount Ephraim,
9:4. and through the land of Salisa, and had not found them, they passed also through the land of Salim, and they were not there: and through the land of Jemini, and found them not.
9:5. When they had come to the land of Suph, Saul said to the servant who was with him: Come, let us return, lest perhaps my father forget the donkeys, and be concerned for us.
9:6. He said to him: Behold there is a man of God in this city, a famous man: all that he says, comes certainly to pass. Now, therefore, let us go to him, perhaps he may tell us of our way, which we are to go.
9:7. Saul said to his servant: Behold we will go: but what shall we carry to the man of God? The bread is spent in our bags: and we have no present to make to the man of God, nor anything at all.
9:8. The servant answered Saul again, and said: Behold there is found in my hand the fourth part of a sicle (shekel) of silver, let us give it to the man of God, that he may tell us our way.
Sicle. . .shekel, a coin.
9:9. Now in time past in Israel, when a man went to consult God, he spoke thus: Come, let us go to the seer. For he that is now called a prophet, in time past was called a seer.
Seer. . .Because of his seeing by divine light hidden things and things to come.
9:10. Saul said to his servant: Your word is very good, come let us go. They went into the city, where the man of God was.
9:11. When they went up the ascent to the city, they found maids coming out to draw water, and they said to them: Is the seer here?
9:12. They answered and said to them: He is: behold he is before you, make haste now: for he came today into the city, for there is a sacrifice of the people today in the high place.
The high place. . .Excelsum. The excelsa, or high places, so often mentioned in scripture, were places of worship, in which were altars for sacrifice. These were sometimes employed in the service of the true God, as in the present case: but more frequently in the service of idols; and were called excelsa, which is commonly (though perhaps not so accurately) rendered high places; not because they were always upon hills, for the very worst of all, which was that of Topheth, or Geennom, (Jer. 19.) was in a valley; but because of the high altars, and pillars, or monuments, erected there, on which were set up the idols, or images of their deities.
9:13. As soon as you come into the city, you shall immediately find him, before he goes up to the high place to eat: for the people will not eat until he comes; because he blesses the victim, and afterwards those who are invited eat. Now, therefore, go up, for today you shall find him.
9:14. They went up into the city. And when they were walking in the midst of the city, behold Samuel was coming out over against them, to go up to the high place.
9:15. Now the Lord had revealed to the ear of Samuel the day before Saul came, saying:
9:16. Tomorrow about this same hour I will send you a man of the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be ruler over my people Israel: and he shall save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked down upon my people, because their cry is come to me.
9:17. When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him: Behold the man, of whom I spoke to you, this man shall reign over my people.
9:18. Saul came to Samuel in the midst of the gate, and said: Tell me, I pray you, where is the house of the seer?
9:19. Samuel answered Saul, saying: I am the seer; go up before me to the high place, that you may eat with me today, and I will let you go in the morning: and tell you all that is in your heart.
9:20. As for the donkeys, which were lost three days ago, be not solicitous, because they are found. And for whom shall be all the best things of Israel? Shall they not be for you and for all your father's house?
9:21. Saul answering, said: Am not I a son of Jemini of the least tribe of Israel, and my kindred the last among all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken this word to me?
9:22. Then Samuel taking Saul, and his servant, brought them into the parlor, and gave them a place at the head of them that were invited. For there were about thirty men.
9:23. Samuel said to the cook: Bring the portion which I gave you, and commanded you to set it apart by you.
9:24. The cook took up the shoulder, and set it before Saul. Samuel said: Behold what is left, set it before you, and eat; because it was kept of purpose for you, when I invited the people. Saul ate with Samuel that day.
9:25. They went down from the high place into the town, and he spoke with Saul upon the top of the house: and he prepared a bed for Saul on the top of the house and he slept.
9:26. When they were risen in the morning, and it began now to be light, Samuel called Saul on the top of the house, saying: Arise, that I may let you go. Saul arose: and they went out both of them: to wit, he and Samuel.
9:27. As they were going down in the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul: Speak to the servant to go before us, and pass on: but stand you still a while, that I may tell you the word of the Lord.
1 Samuel Chapter 10
Saul is anointed. He prophesies, and is changed into another man. Samuel calls the people together, to make a king: the lot falls on Saul.
10:1. Samuel took a little vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said: Behold, the Lord has anointed you to be prince over his inheritance, and you shall deliver his people out of the hands of their enemies, that are round about them. And this shall be a sign unto you, that God has anointed you to be prince.
10:2. When you shall depart from me this day, you shall find two men by the sepulchre of Rachel in the borders of Benjamin to the south, and they shall say to you: The donkeys are found which you went to seek: and your father, thinking no more of the donkeys, is concerned for you, and says: What shall I do for my son?
10:3. When you shall depart from thence, and go farther on, and shall come to the oak of Tabor, there shall meet you three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine.
Bethel. . .Where there was at that time an altar of God; it being one of the places where Samuel judged Israel.
10:4. They will salute you, and will give you two loaves, and you shall take them at their hand.
10:5. After that you shall come to the hill of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is: and when you shall be come there into the city, you shall meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place, with a psaltery, and a timbrel, and a pipe, and a harp before them, and they shall be prophesying.
The hill of God. . .Gabaa, in which there was also at that time, a high place or altar.--Prophets. . .These were men whose office it was to sing hymns and praises to God; for such in holy writ are called prophets, and their singing praises to God is called prophesying. See 1 Par. alias 1 Chr. 15.22, and 25.1. Now there were in those days colleges, or schools for training up these prophets; and it seems there was one of these schools at this hill of God; and another at Najoth in Ramatha. See 1 Samuel 19.20, 21, etc.
10:6. The Spirit of the Lord shall come upon you, and you shall prophesy with them, and shall be changed into another man.
10:7. When therefore these signs shall happen to you, do whatsoever your hand shall find, for the Lord is with you.
10:8. You shall go down before me to Galgal, (for I will come down to you), that you may offer an oblation, and sacrifice victims of peace: seven days shall you wait, till I come to you, and I will show you what you are to do.
10:9. So when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave unto him another heart, and all these things came to pass that day.
10:10. They came to the foresaid hill, and behold a company of prophets met him: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he prophesied in the midst of them.
10:11. All that had known him yesterday and the day before, seeing that he was with the prophets, and prophesied, said to each other: What is this that has happened to the son of Cis? is Saul also among the prophets?
10:12. One answered another, saying: And who is their father? therefore it became a proverb: Is Saul also among the prophets?
Their father. . .That is, their teacher, or superior. As much as to say, Who could bring about such a wonderful change as to make Saul a prophet?
10:13. When he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.
10:14. Saul's uncle said to him, and to his servant: Whither went you? They answered: To seek the donkeys: and not finding them, we went to Samuel.
10:15. His uncle said to him: Tell me what Samuel said to you.
10:16. Saul said to his uncle: He told us that the donkeys were found. But of the matter of the kingdom of which Samuel had spoken to him, he told him not.
10:17. |Samuel called together the people to the Lord in Maspha:
10:18. He said to the children of Israel: Thus says the Lord the God of Israel: I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians, and from the hand of all the kings who afflicted you.
10:19. But you this day have rejected your God, who only has saved you out of all your evils and your tribulations: and you have said: Nay: but set a king over us. Now therefore stand before the Lord by your tribes, and by your families.
10:20. Samuel brought to him all the tribes of Israel, and the lot fell on the tribe of Benjamin.
10:21. He brought the tribe of Benjamin and its kindreds, and the lot fell upon the kindred of Metri, and it came to Saul, the son of Cis. They sought him therefore, and he was not found.
10:22. After this they consulted the Lord whether he would come thither. And the Lord answered: Behold he is hidden at home.
10:23. They ran and fetched him thence: and he stood in the midst of the people, and he was higher than any of the people from the shoulders and upward.
10:24. Samuel said to all the people: Surely you see him whom the Lord has chosen, that there is none like him among all the people. And all the people cried and said: God save the king.
10:25. Samuel told the people the law of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord: and Samuel sent away all the people, every one to his own house.
10:26. Saul also departed to his own house in Gabaa: and there went with him a part of the army, whose hearts God had touched.
10:27. But the children of Belial said: Shall this fellow be able to save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents; but he dissembled as though he heard not.
1 Samuel Chapter 11
Saul defeats the Ammonites, and delivers Jabes Galaad.
11:1. It came to pass about a month after this, that Naas, the Ammonite, came up, and began to fight against Jabes Galaad. And all the men of Jabes said to Naas: Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.
11:2. Naas, the Ammonite, answered them: On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may pluck out all your right eyes, and make you a reproach in all Israel.
11:3. The ancients of Jabes said to him: Allow us seven days, that we may send messengers to all the coasts of Israel: and if there be no one to defend us, we will come out to you.
11:4. The messengers therefore came to Gabaa of Saul: and they spoke these words in the hearing of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept.
11:5. Behold Saul came, following oxen out of the field, and he said: What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the words of the men of Jabes.
11:6. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul, when he had heard these words, and his anger was exceedingly kindled.
11:7. Taking both the oxen, he cut them in pieces, and sent them into all the coasts of Israel, by messengers, saying: Whosoever shall not come forth, and follow Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen. The fear of the Lord fell upon the people, and they went out as one man.
11:8. He numbered them in Bezec: and there were of the children of Israel three hundred thousand: and of the men of Judah thirty thousand.
11:9. They said to the messengers that came: Thus shall you say to the men of Jabes Galaad: Tomorrow, when the sun shall be hot, you shall have relief. The messengers therefore came, and told the men of Jabes, and they were glad.
11:10. They said: In the morning we will come out to you: and you shall do what you please with us.
11:11. It came to pass, when the morrow was come, that Saul put the people in three companies: and he came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and he slew the Ammonites until the day grew hot, and the rest were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.
11:12. The people said to Samuel: Who is he that said: Shall Saul reign over us? Bring the men, and we will kill them.
11:13. Saul said: No man shall be killed this day: because the Lord this day has wrought salvation in Israel:
11:14. Samuel said to the people: Come, and let us go to Galgal, and let us renew the kingdom there.
11:15. All the people went to Galgal, and there they made Saul king, before the Lord in Galgal, and they sacrificed there victims of peace before the Lord. And there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced exceedingly.
1 Samuel Chapter 12
Samuel's integrity is acknowledged. God shows by a sign from heaven that they had done ill in asking for a king.
12:1. Samuel said to all Israel: Behold I have hearkened to your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you.
12:2. Now the king goes before you: but I am old and greyheaded: and my sons are with you: having then conversed with you from my youth until this day, behold here I am.
12:3. Speak of me before the Lord, and before his anointed, whether I have taken any man's ox, or ass: if I have wronged any man, if I have oppressed any man, if I have taken a bribe at any man's hand: and I will despise it this day, and will restore it to you.
12:4. They said: You have not wronged us, nor oppressed us, nor taken ought at any man's hand.
12:5. He said to them: The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found any thing in my hand. And they said: He is witness.
12:6. Samuel said to the people: It is the Lord who made Moses and Aaron, and brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt.
12:7. Now, therefore, stand up, that I may plead in judgment against you before the Lord, concerning all the kindness of the Lord, which he has shown to you, and to your fathers:
12:8. How Jacob went into Egypt, and your fathers cried to the Lord: and the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, and brought your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place.
12:9. They forgot the Lord their God, and he delivered them into the hands of Sisara, captain of the army of Hasor, and into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.
12:10. But afterwards they cried to the Lord, and said: We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served Baalim and Astaroth: but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve you.
12:11. The Lord sent Jerobaal, and Badan, and Jephte, and Samuel, and delivered you from the hand of your enemies round about, and you dwelt securely.
Jerobaal and Badan. . .That is, Gideon and Samson called here Badan or Bedan, because he was of Dan.
12:12. But seeing that Naas, king of the children of Ammon, was come against you, you said to me: Nay, but a king shall reign over us: whereas the Lord your God was your king.
12:13. Now, therefore, your king is here, whom you have chosen and desired: Behold the Lord has given you a king.
12:14. If you will fear the Lord, and serve him, and hearken to his voice, and not provoke the mouth of the Lord: then shall both you, and the king who reign over you, be followers of the Lord your God.
12:15. But if you will not hearken to the voice of the Lord, but will rebel against his words, the hand of the Lord shall be upon you, and upon your fathers.
12:16. Now then stand, and see this great thing which the Lord will do in your sight.
12:17. Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain: and you shall know, and see that you yourselves have done a great evil in the sight of the Lord, in desiring a king over you.
Wheat harvest. . .At which time of the year, it never thunders or rains in those countries.
12:18. Samuel cried unto the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day.
12:19. All the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel. And all the people said to Samuel: Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for a king.
12:20. Samuel said to the people: Do not fear, you have done all this evil: but yet do not depart from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.
12:21. Do not turn aside after vain things, which shall never profit you, nor deliver you, because they are vain.
12:22. The Lord will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because the Lord has sworn to make you his people.
12:23. Far from me be this sin against the Lord, that I should cease to pray for you: and I will teach you the good and right way.
12:24. Therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in truth, and with your whole heart, for you have seen the great works which he has done among you.
12:25. But if you will still do wickedly: both you and your king shall perish together.
1 Samuel Chapter 13
The war between Saul and the Philistines. The distress of the Israelites. Saul offers sacrifice before the coming of Samuel: for which he is reproved.
13:1. Saul was a child of one year when he began to reign, and he reigned two years over Israel.
Of one year. . .That is, he was good and like an innocent child, and for two years continued in that innocency.
13:2. Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel: and two thousand were with Saul in Machmas, and in mount Bethel: and a thousand with Jonathan in Gabaa of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent back every man to their dwellings.
13:3. Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines which was in Gabaa. And when the Philistines had heard of it, Saul sounded the trumpet over all the land, saying: Let the Hebrews hear.
13:4. All Israel heard this report: Saul has smitten the garrison of the Philistines: and Israel took courage against the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Galgal.
13:5. The Philistines also were assembled to fight against Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and a multitude of people besides, like the sand on the seashore for number. Going up they camped in Machmas, at the east of Bethaven.
13:6. When the men of Israel saw that they were straitened (for the people were distressed), they hid themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in dens, and in pits.
13:7. Some of the Hebrews passed over the Jordan into the land of Gad and Galaad. When Saul was yet in Galgal, all the people that followed him were greatly afraid.
13:8. He waited seven days, according to the appointment of Samuel, and Samuel came not to Galgal, and the people slipped away from him.
13:9. Then Saul said: Bring me the holocaust, and the peace offerings. He offered the holocaust.
13:10. When he had made an end of offering the holocaust, behold Samuel came: and Saul went forth to meet him and salute him.
13:11. Samuel said to him: What have you done? Saul answered: Because I saw that the people slipped from me, and you were not come according to the days appointed, and the Philistines were gathered together in Machmas,
13:12. I said: Now will the Philistines come down upon me to Galgal, and I have not appeased the face of the Lord. Forced by necessity, I offered the holocaust.
13:13. Samuel said to Saul: You have done foolishly, and have not kept the commandments of the Lord your God, which he commanded you. And if you had not done thus, the Lord would now have established your kingdom over Israel forever:
13:14. But your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought him a man according to his own heart: and him has the Lord commanded to be prince over his people, because you have not observed that which the Lord commanded.
13:15. Samuel arose and went up from Galgal to Gabaa of Benjamin. The rest of the people went up after Saul, to meet the people who fought against them, going from Galgal to Gabaa, in the hill of Benjamin. Saul numbered the people, that were found with him, about six hundred men.
13:16. Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, were in Gabaa of Benjamin: But the Philistines encamped in Machmas.
13:17. There went out of the camp of the Philistines three companies to plunder. One company went towards the way of Ephra to the land of Sual;
13:18. Another went by the way of Bethoron, and the third turned to the way of the border, above the valley of Seboim towards the desert.
13:19. Now there was no smith to be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines had taken this precaution, lest the Hebrews should make them swords or spears.
13:20. So all Israel went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his ploughshare, and his spade, and his axe, and his rake.
13:21. So that their shares, and their spades, and their forks, and their axes, were blunt, even to the goad, which was to be mended.
13:22. When the day of battle was come, there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan, except Saul and Jonathan his son.
13:23. The army of the Philistines went out in order to advance further in Machmas.
1 Samuel Chapter 14
Jonathan attacks the Philistines. A miraculous victory. Saul's unadvised oath, by which Jonathan is put in danger of his life, but is delivered by the people.
14:1. Now it came to pass one day that Jonathan, the son of Saul, said to the young man that bore his armor: Come, and let us go over to the garrison of the Philistines, which is on the other side of yonder place. But he told not this to his father.
14:2. Saul abode in the uttermost part of Gabaa, under the pomegranate tree, which was in Magron: and the people with him were about six hundred men.
14:3. Achias, the son of Achitob, brother of Ichabod the son of Phinees, the son of Heli, the priest of the Lord in Silo, wore the ephod. The people knew not whither Jonathan was gone.
14:4. Now there were between the ascents, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the garrison of the Philistines, rocks standing up on both sides, and steep cliffs like teeth on the one side, and on the other, the name of the one was Boses, and the name of the other was Sene:
14:5. One rock stood out toward the north, over against Machmas, and the other to the south, over against Gabaa.
14:6. Jonathan said to the young man that bore his armor: Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised, it may be the Lord will do for us: because it is easy for the Lord to save either by many, or by few.
14:7. His armorbearer said to him: Do all that pleases your mind: go where you will, and I will be with you wherever you have a mind.
14:8. Jonathan said: Behold we will go over to these men. And when we shall be seen by them,
14:9. If they shall speak thus to us: Stay till we come to you: let us stand still in our place, and not go up to them.
14:10. But if they shall say: Come up to us: let us go up, because the Lord has delivered them into our hands, this shall be a sign unto us.
14:11. So both of them discovered themselves to the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said: Behold the Hebrews come forth out of the holes wherein they were hid.
14:12. The men of the garrison spoke to Jonathan, and to his armorbearer, and said: Come up to us, and we will show you a thing. And Jonathan said to his armorbearer: Let us go up, follow me: for the Lord has delivered them into the hands of Israel.
14:13. Jonathan went up creeping on his hands and feet, and his armorbearer after him. And some fell before Jonathan, others his armorbearer slew as he followed him.
14:14. The first slaughter which Jonathan and his armorbearer made, was of about twenty men, within half an acre of land, which a yoke of oxen is wont to plough in a day.
14:15. There was a miracle in the camp, in the fields: and all the people of their garrison, who had gone out to plunder, were amazed, and the earth trembled: and it happened as a miracle from God.
14:16. The watchmen of Saul, who were in Gabaa of Benjamin looked, and behold a multitude overthrown, and fleeing this way and that.
14:17. Saul said to the people that were with him: Look, and see who is gone from us. And when they had sought, it was found that Jonathan and his armorbearer were not there.
14:18. Saul said to Achias: Bring the ark of the Lord. (For the ark of God was there that day with the children of Israel.)
14:19. While Saul spoke to the priest, there arose a great uproar in the camp of the Philistines: and it increased by degrees, and was heard more clearly. And Saul said to the priest: Draw in your hand.
14:20. Then Saul, and all the people that were with him, shouted together, and they came to the place of the fight: and behold every man's sword was turned upon his neighbor, and there was a very great slaughter.
14:21. Moreover, the Hebrews that had been with the Philistines yesterday and the day before, and went up with them into the camp, returned to be with the Israelites, who were with Saul and Jonathan.
14:22. All the Israelites that had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, hearing that the Philistines fled, joined themselves with their countrymen in the fight. And there were with Saul about ten thousand men.
14:23. The Lord saved Israel that day. And the fight went on as far as Bethaven.
14:24. The men of Israel were joined together that day: and Saul adjured the people, saying: Cursed be the man that shall eat food till evening, till I am revenged of my enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.
14:25. All the common people came into a forest, in which there was honey upon the ground.
14:26. When the people came into the forest, behold the honey dropped, but no man put his hand to his mouth. For the people feared the oath.
14:27. But Jonathan had not heard when his father adjured the people: and he put forth the end of the rod, which he had in his hand, and dipped it in a honeycomb: and he carried his hand to his mouth, and his eyes were enlightened.
14:28. One of the people answering, said: Your father has bound the people with an oath, saying: Cursed be the man that shall eat any food this day. (And the people were faint.)
14:29. Jonathan said: My father has troubled the land: you have seen yourselves that my eyes are enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey:
14:30. How much more if the people had eaten of the prey of their enemies, which they found? Had there not been made a greater slaughter among the Philistines?
14:31. So they smote that day the Philistines, from Machmas to Aialon. The people were wearied exceedingly.
14:32. Falling upon the spoils, they took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people ate them with the blood.
14:33. They told Saul that the people had sinned against the Lord, eating with the blood. He said: You have transgressed: roll here to me now a great stone.
14:34. Saul said: Disperse yourselves among the people, and tell them to bring me every man his ox and his ram and slay them upon this stone, and eat, and you shall not sin against the Lord, in eating with the blood. So all the people brought every man his ox with him till the night: and slew them there.
14:35. Saul built an altar to the Lord: and he then first began to build an altar to the Lord.
14:36. Saul said: Let us fall upon the Philistines by night, and destroy them till the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. The people said: Do all that seems good in your eyes. And the priest said: Let us draw near here unto God.
14:37. Saul consulted the Lord: Shall I pursue after the Philistines? will you deliver them into the hands of Israel? And he answered him not that day.
14:38. Saul said: Bring here all the corners of the people: and know, and see by whom this sin has happened today.
14:39. As the Lord lives, who is the Savior of Israel, if it was done by Jonathan, my son, he shall surely die. In this none of the people gainsayed him.
14:40. He said to all Israel: Be you on one side and I, with Jonathan, my son, will be on the other side. And the people answered Saul: Do what seems good in your eyes.
14:41. Saul said to the Lord: O Lord God of Israel, give a sign, by which we may know, what the meaning is, that you do not answer your servant today: If this iniquity be in me, or in my son Jonathan, give a proof: or if this iniquity be in your people, give holiness. And Jonathan and Saul were taken, and the people escaped.
14:42. Saul said: (Cast lots between me, and Jonathan, my son. Jonathan was taken.
Jonathan was taken. . .Though Jonathan was excused from sin, through ignorance of the prohibition, yet God was pleased on this occasion to let the lot fall upon him, to show unto all the great obligation of obedience to princes and parents.
14:43. Saul said to Jonathan: Tell me what you have done. And Jonathan told him, and said: I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod, which was in my hand, and behold I must die.
14:44. Saul said: May God do so and so to me, and add still more: for dying you shall die, O Jonathan.
14:45. The people said to Saul: Shall Jonathan then die, who has wrought this great salvation in Israel? This must not be: As the Lord lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has wrought with God this day. So the people delivered Jonathan, that he should not die.
14:46. Saul went back, and did not pursue after the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own places.
14:47. Saul having his kingdom established over Israel, fought against all his enemies round about, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and Edom, and the kings of Soba, and the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he overcame.
14:48. Gathering together an army, he defeated Amalek, and delivered Israel from the hand of them that spoiled them.
14:49. The sons of Saul, were Jonathan, and Jessui, and Melchisua: and the names of his two daughters, the name of the firstborn was Merob, and the name of the younger Michol.
14:50. The name of Saul's wife was Achinoam, the daughter of Achimaas; and the name of the captain of his army was Abner, the son of Ner, the cousin of Saul.
The cousin of Saul...Abner was the cousin of Saul
14:51. For Cis was the father of Saul, and Ner, the father of Abner, was son of Abiel.
14:52. There was a great war against the Philistines all the days of Saul. For whomsoever Saul saw to be a valiant man, and fit for war, he took him to himself.
1 Samuel Chapter 15
Saul is sent to destroy Amalek: he spares their king and the best of their cattle: for which disobedience he is cast off by the Lord.
15:1. Samuel said to Saul: The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel: now therefore hearken you unto the voice of the Lord:
15:2. Thus says the Lord of hosts: I have reckoned up all that Amalek has done to Israel: how he opposed them in the way when they came up out of Egypt.
15:3. Now therefore go, and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that he has: spare him not, nor covet anything that is his: but slay both man and woman, child and babe, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
15:4. So Saul commanded the people, and numbered them as lambs: two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand of the men of Judah.
15:5. When Saul was come to the city of Amalek, he laid ambushes in the torrent.
15:6. Saul said to the Cinite: Go, depart, and get down from Amalek: lest I destroy you with him. For you have shown kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. The Cinite departed from the midst of Amalek.
15:7. Saul smote Amalek from Hevila, until one comes to Sur, which is over against Egypt.
15:8. He took Agag, the king of Amalek, alive: but all the common people he slew with the edge of the sword.
15:9. Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the flocks of sheep, and of the herds, and the garments and the rams, and all that was beautiful, and would not destroy them: but everything that was vile, and good for nothing, that they destroyed.
15:10. The word of the Lord came to Samuel,
15:11. I regret that I have made Saul king: for he has forsaken me, and has not executed my commandments. Samuel was grieved, and he cried unto the Lord all night.
15:12. When Samuel rose early, to go to Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel that Saul was come to Carmel, and had erected for himself a triumphant arch, and returning had passed on, and gone down to Galgal. Samuel came to Saul, and Saul was offering a holocaust to the Lord, out of the choicest of the spoils, which he had brought from Amalek.
15:13. When Samuel had come to Saul, Saul said to him: Blessed be you of the Lord, I have fulfilled the word of the Lord.
15:14. Samuel said: What then does this bleating of the flocks mean, which sounds in my ears, and the lowing of the herds, which I hear?
15:15. Saul said: They have brought them from Amalek: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the herds, that they might be sacrificed to the Lord your God, but the rest we have slain.
15:16. Samuel said to Saul: Suffer me, and I will tell you what the Lord has said to me this night. He said to him: Speak.
15:17. Samuel said: When you were a little one in your own eyes, were you not made the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you to be king over Israel.
15:18. The Lord sent you on the way, and said: Go, and kill the sinners of Amalek, and you shall fight against them until you have utterly destroyed them.
15:19. Why then did you not hearken to the voice of the Lord: but have turned to the prey, and have done evil in the eyes of the Lord?
15:20. Saul said to Samuel: Yea, I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord, and have walked in the way by which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag, the king of Amalek, and Amalek I have slain.
15:21. But the people took of the spoils, sheep and oxen, as the first fruits of those things that were slain, to offer sacrifice to the Lord their God in Galgal.
15:22. Samuel said: Does the Lord desire holocausts and victims, and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices: and to hearken rather than to offer the fat or rams.
15:23. Because it is like the sin of witchcraft, to rebel: and like the crime of idolatry, to refuse to obey. Forasmuch, therefore, as you have rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord has also rejected you from being king.
15:24. Saul said to Samuel: I have sinned, because I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and your words, fearing the people, and obeying their voice.
15:25. But now bear, I beseech you, my sin, and return with me, that I may adore the Lord.
15:26. Samuel said to Saul: I will not return with you, because you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.
15:27. Samuel turned about to go away: but he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.
15:28. Samuel said to him: The Lord has rent the kingdom of Israel from you this day, and has given it to your neighbor who is better than you.
15:29. But the triumpher in Israel will not spare, and will not be moved to repentance: for he is not a man that he should repent.
15:30. Then he said: I have sinned: yet honor me now before the ancients of my people, and before Israel, and return with me, that I may adore the Lord your God.
15:32. Samuel said: Bring here to me Agag, the king of Amalec. Agag was presented to him very fat, and trembling. Agag said: Does bitter death separate in this manner?
15:33. Samuel said: As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women. Samuel hewed him in pieces before the Lord in Galgal.
15:35. Samuel saw Saul no more till the day of his death: nevertheless, Samuel mourned for Saul, because the Lord repented that he had made him king over Israel.
Saw Saul no more till the day of his death. . .That is, he went no more to see him: he visited him no more.
1 Samuel Chapter 16
Samuel is sent to Bethlehem, where he anoints David: who is taken into Saul's family.
16:1. The Lord said to Samuel: How long will you mourn for Saul, whom I have rejected from reigning over Israel? fill your horn with oil, and come, that I may send you to Jesse, the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
16:2. Samuel said: How shall I go? for Saul will hear of it, and he will kill me. And the Lord said: You shall take with you a calf of the herd, and you shall say: I am come to sacrifice to the Lord.
16:3. You shall call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you are to do, and you shall anoint him whom I shall show to you.
16:4. Then Samuel did as the Lord had said to him. He came to Bethlehem, and the ancients of the city wondered, and meeting him, they said: Is your coming hither peaceable?
16:5. He said: It is peaceable: I am come to offer sacrifice to the Lord, be sanctified, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
16:6. When they were come in, he saw Eliab, and said: Is the Lord's anointed before him?
16:7. The Lord said to Samuel: Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man: for man sees those things that appear, but the Lord beholds the heart.
16:8. Jesse called Abinadab, and brought him before Samuel. And he said: Neither has the Lord chosen this,
16:9. Jesse brought Samma, and he said of him: Neither has the Lord chosen this.
16:10. Jesse therefore brought his seven sons before Samuel: and Samuel said to Jesse: The Lord has not chosen any one of these.
16:11. Samuel said to Jesse: Are here all your sons? He answered: There remains yet a young one, who keeps the sheep. Samuel said to Jesse: Send, and fetch him: for we will not sit down until he comes hither.
16:12. He sent therefore and brought him. Now he was ruddy and beautiful to behold, and of a comely face. And the Lord said: Arise, and anoint him, for this is he.
16:13. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward: and Samuel rose up, and went to Ramatha.
16:14. But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.
From the Lord. . .An evil spirit, by divine permission, and for his punishment, either possessed or obsessed him.
16:15. The servants of Saul said to him: Behold now an evil spirit from God troubles you.
16:16. Let our lord give orders, and your servants who are before you, will seek out a man skilful in playing on the harp, that when the evil spirit from the Lord is upon you, he may play with his hand, and you may bear it more easily.
16:17. Saul said to his servants: Provide me then some man that can play well, and bring him to me.
16:18. One of the servants answering, said: Behold I have seen a son of Jesse, the Bethlehemite, a skillful player, and one of great strength, and a man fit for war, and prudent in his words, and a comely person: and the Lord is with him.
16:19. Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse, saying: Send me David, your son, who is in the pastures.
16:20. Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid of the flock, and sent them by the hand of David, his son, to Saul.
16:21. David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him exceedingly, and made him his armorbearer.
16:22. Saul sent to Jesse, saying: Let David stand before me: for he has found favor in my sight.
16:23. So whensoever the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, David took his harp, and played with his hand, and Saul was refreshed, and was better, for the evil spirit departed from him.
Departed from him. . .Chased away by David's devotion.
1 Samuel Chapter 17
War with the Philistines. Goliath challenges Israel. He is slain by David.
17:1. Now the Philistines gathering together their troops to battle, assembled at Socho of Judah: and camped between Socho and Azeca, in the borders of Dommim.
17:2. Saul and the children of Israel being gathered together, came to the valley of Terebinth, and they set the army in array to fight against the Philistines.
17:3. The Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.
17:4. There went out a man baseborn from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Geth, whose height was six cubits and a span:
17:5. He had a helmet of brass upon his head, and he was clothed with a coat of mail with scales, and the weight of his coat of mail was five thousand sicles of brass:
17:6. He had greaves of brass on his legs, and a buckler of brass covered his shoulders.
17:7. The staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred sicles of iron: and his armorbearer went before him.
17:8. Standing, he cried out to the bands of Israel, and said to them: Why are you come out prepared to fight? am not I a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose out a man of you, and let him come down and fight hand to hand.
17:9. If he be able to fight with me, and kill me, we will be servants to you: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, you shall be servants, and shall serve us.
17:10. The Philistine said: I have defied the bands of Israel this day: give me a man, and let him fight with me hand to hand.
17:11. Saul and all the Israelites hearing these words of the Philistine, were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
17:12. Now David was the son of that Ephrathite, of Bethlehem Judah, before mentioned, whose name was Jesse, who had eight sons, and was an old man in the days of Saul, and of great age among men.
17:13. His three eldest sons followed Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle, were Eliab, the firstborn, and the second, Abinadab, and the third Samma:
17:14. But David was the youngest. So the three eldest having followed Saul,
17:15. David went, and returned from Saul, to feed his father's flock at Bethlehem.
17:16. Now the Philistine came out morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.
17:17. Jesse said to David, his son: Take for your brethren an ephi of frumenty, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to your brethren,
17:18. and carry these ten little cheeses to the tribune: and go see your brethren, if they are well: and learn with whom they are placed.
17:19. But Saul, and they, and all the children of Israel, were in the valley of Terebinth, fighting against the Philistines.
17:20. David, therefore, arose in the morning, and gave the charge of the flock to the keeper: and went away loaded, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the place of Magala, and to the army, which was going out to fight, and shouted for the battle.
17:21. For Israel had put themselves in array, and the Philistines who stood against them were prepared.
17:22. David leaving the vessels which he had brought, under the care of the keeper of the baggage, ran to the place of the battle, and asked if all things went well with his brethren.
17:23. As he talked with them, that baseborn man, whose name was Goliath, the Philistine, of Geth, showed himself coming up from the camp of the Philistines: and he spoke according to the same words, and David heard them,
17:24. All the Israelites, when they saw the man, fled from his face, fearing him exceedingly.
17:25. And some one of Israel said: Have you seen this man that is come up, for he is come up to defy Israel. The man that shall slay him, the king will enrich with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and will make his father's house free from tribute in Israel.
17:26. David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying: What shall be given to the man that shall kill this Philistine, and shall take away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
17:27. The people answered him the same words, saying: These things shall be given to the man that shall slay him.
17:28. Now when Eliab his eldest brother heard this, when he was speaking with others, he was angry with David, and said: Why camest you hither? and why did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know your pride, and the wickedness of your heart: that you are come down to see the battle.
17:29. David said: What have I done? is there not cause to speak?
17:30. He turned a little aside from him to another: and said the same word. And the people answered him as before.
17:31. The words which David spoke were heard, and were rehearsed before Saul.
17:32. When he was brought to Saul, he said to him. Let not any man's heart be dismayed in him: I your servant will go, and will fight against the Philistine.
17:33. Saul said to David: You are not able to withstand this Philistine, nor to fight against him: for you are but a boy, but he is a warrior from his youth.
17:34. David said to Saul: Your servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, or a bear, and took a ram out of the midst of the flock:
17:35. I pursued after them, and struck them, and delivered it out of their mouth: and they rose up against me, and I caught them by the throat, and I strangled, and killed them.
17:36. For I your servant have killed both a lion and a bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be also as one of them. I will go now, and take away the reproach of the people: for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, who has dared to curse the army of the living God?
17:37. David said: The Lord who delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. Saul said to David: Go, and the Lord be with you.
17:38. Saul clothed David with his garments, and put a helmet of brass upon his head, and armed him with a coat of mail.
17:39. David having girded his sword upon his armor, began to try if he could walk in armor: for he was not accustomed to it. And David said to Saul: I cannot go thus, for I am not used to it. And he laid them off,
17:40. He took his staff, which he had always in his hands: and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them into the shepherd's scrip, which he had with him, and he took a sling in his hand, and went forth against the Philistine.
17:41. The Philistine came on, and drew nigh against David, and his armorbearer went before him.
17:42. When the Philistine looked, and beheld David, he despised him. For he was a young man, ruddy, and of a comely countenance.
17:43. The Philistine said to David: Am I a dog, that you comest to me with a staff? The Philistine cursed David by his gods.
17:44. He said to David: Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air, and to the beasts of the earth.
17:45. David said to the Philistine: You comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, which you have defied
17:46. This day, and the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will slay you, and take away your head from you: and I will give the carcasses of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air, and to the beasts of the earth: that all the earth may know there is a God in Israel.
17:47. All this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for it is his battle, and he will deliver you into our hands.
17:48. When the Philistine arose, and was coming, and drew nigh to meet David, David made haste, and ran to the fight to meet the Philistine.
17:49. He put his hand into his scrip, and took a stone, and cast it with the sling, and fetching it about, struck the Philistine in the forehead, and he fell on his face upon the earth.
17:50. David prevailed over the Philistine, with a sling and a stone, and he struck, and slew the Philistine. And as David had no sword in his hand,
17:51. He ran, and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head. And the Philistines seeing that their champion was dead, fled away.
17:52. The men of Israel and Judah rising up shouted, and pursued after the Philistines till they came to the valley and to the gates of Accaron, and there fell many wounded of the Philistines in the way of Saraim, and as far as Geth, and as far as Accaron.
17:53. The children of Israel returning, after they had pursued the Philistines, fell upon their camp.
17:54. David taking the head of the Philistine, brought it to Jerusalem: but his armor he put in his tent.
17:55. Now at the time that Saul saw David going out against the Philistines, he said to Abner, the captain of the army: Of what family is this young man descended, Abner? And Abner said: As your soul lives, O king, I know not.
17:56. The king said: Inquire you, whose son this young man is.
17:57. When David was returned, after the Philistine was slain, Abner took him, and brought him in before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
17:58. Saul said to him: Young man, of what family are you? And David said: I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
1 Samuel Chapter 18
The friendship of Jonathan and David. The envy of Saul, and his design upon David's life. He married him to his daughter Michol.
18:1. It came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking to Saul, the son of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
18:2. Saul took him that day, and would not let him return to his father's house.
18:3. David and Jonathan made a covenant, for he loved him as his own soul.
18:4. Jonathan stripped himself of the coat with which he was clothed, and gave it to David, and the rest of his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
18:5. David went out to whatsoever business Saul sent him, and he behaved himself prudently: and Saul set him over the soldiers, and he was acceptable in the eyes of all the people, and especially in the eyes of Saul's servants.
18:6. Now when David returned, after he slew the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with timbrels of joy, and cornets.
19:8. The war began again, and David went out, and fought against the Philistines, and defeated them with a great slaughter, and they fled from his face.
19:9. The evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul; and he sat in his house, and held a spear in his hand: and David played with his hand.
19:10. Saul endeavoured to nail David to the wall with his spear. And David slipt away out of the presence of Saul: and the spear missed him, and was fastened in the wall, and David fled, and escaped that night.
19:11. Saul therefore sent his guards to David's house to watch him, that he might be killed in the morning. And when Michol, David's wife, had told him this, saying: Unless you save yourself this night, tomorrow you will die:
19:12. She let him down through a window. And he went and fled away, and escaped.
19:13. Michol took an image, and laid it on the bed, and put a goat's skin, with the hair at the head of it, and covered it with clothes.
19:14. Saul sent officers to seize David; and it was answered that he was sick.
19:15. Again Saul sent to see David, saying: Bring him to me in the bed, that he may be slain.
19:16. When the messengers were come in, they found an image upon the bed, and a goat skin at his head.
19:17. Saul said to Michol: Why have you deceived me so, and let my enemy go and flee away? And Michol answered Saul: Because he said to me: Let me go, or else I will kill you.
19:18. But David fled and escaped, and came to Samuel in Ramatha, and told him all that Saul had done to him: and he and Samuel went and dwelt in Najoth.
Najoth. . .It was probably a school or college of prophets, in or near Ramath under the direction of Samuel.
19:19. It was told Saul by some, saying: Behold David is in Najoth, in Ramatha.
19:20. So Saul sent officers to take David: and when they saw a company of prophets prophesying, and Samuel presiding over them, the Spirit of the Lord came also upon them, and they likewise began to prophesy.
Prophesying. . .That is, singing praises to God by a divine impulse. God was pleased on this occasion that both Samuel's messengers and himself should experience the like impulse, that he might understand, by this instance of the divine power, how vain are the designs of man against him whom God protects.
19:21. When this was told Saul, he sent other messengers: but they also prophesied. Again Saul sent messengers the third time: and they prophesied also. Saul being exceeding angry,
19:22. went also himself to Ramatha, and came as far as the great cistern, which is in Socho, and he asked, and said: In what place are Samuel and David? It was told him: Behold they are in Najoth, in Ramatha.
19:23. He went to Najoth, in Ramatha, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied till he came to Najoth, in Ramatha.
19:24. He stripped himself also of his garments, and prophesied with the rest before Samuel, and lay down without his garments all that day and night. This gave occasion to a proverb: What! is Saul too among the prophets?
1 Samuel Chapter 20
Saul being obstinately bent upon killing David, he is sent away by Jonathan.
20:1. But David fled from Najoth, which is in Ramatha, and came and said to Jonathan: What have I done? what is my iniquity, and what is my sin against your father, that he seeketh my life?
20:2. He said to him, "God forbid, you shall not die: for my father will do nothing, great or little, without first telling me: has then my father hid this word only from me? no, this shall not be."
20:3. He swore again to David. And David said: Your father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in your sight, and he will say: Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved. But truly as the Lord lives, and your soul lives, there is but one step (as I may say) between me and death.
20:4. Jonathan said to David: Whatsoever your soul shall say to me, I will do for you.
20:5. David said to Jonathan: Behold tomorrow is the new moon, and I, according to custom, am wont to sit beside the king to eat: let me go then that I may be hid in the field till the evening of the third day.
Tomorrow is the new moon. . .The neomenia, or first day of the moon, kept according to the law, as a festival; and therefore Saul feasted on that day: and expected the attendance of his family.
20:6. If your father look and inquire for me, you shall answer him: David asked me that he might run to Bethlehem, his own city: because there are solemn sacrifices there for all of his tribe.
20:7. If he shall say: It is well: your servant shall have peace: but if he be angry, know that his malice is come to its height.
20:8. Deal mercifully then with your servant: for you have brought me, your servant, into a covenant of the Lord with you. But if there be any iniquity in me, do you kill me, and bring me not in to your father.
20:9. Jonathan said: Far be this from you: for if I should certainly know that evil is determined by my father against you, I could do no otherwise than tell you.
20:10. David answered Jonathan: Who shall bring me word, if your father should answer you harshly concerning me?
20:11. Jonathan said to David: Come, and let us go out into the field. When they were both of them gone out into the field,
20:12. Jonathan said to David: O Lord God of Israel, if I shall discover my father's mind, tomorrow, or the day after, and there be any thing good for David, and I send not immediately to you, and make it known to you,
20:13. May the Lord do so and so to Jonathan, and add still more. But if my father shall continue in malice against you, I will discover it to your ear, and will send you away, that you may go in peace, and the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father.
20:14. If I live, you shall show me the kindness of the Lord: but if I die,
20:15. You shall not take away your kindness from my house forever, when the Lord shall have rooted out the enemies of David, every one of them from the earth, may he take away Jonathan from his house, and may the Lord require it at the hands of David's enemies.
May he take away Jonathan, etc. . .It is a curse upon himself, if he should not be faithful to his promise.--Ibid. Require it, etc. . .That is, revenge it upon David's enemies, and upon me, if I should fail of my word given to him.
20:16. Jonathan therefore made a covenant with the house of David: and the Lord required it at the hands of David's enemies.
20:17. Jonathan swore again to David, because he loved him: for he loved him as his own soul.
20:18. Jonathan said to him: Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed:
20:19. For your seat will be empty until after tomorrow. So you shall go down quickly, and come to the place where you must he hid, on the day when it is lawful to work, and you shall remain beside the stone, which is called Ezel.
20:20. I will shoot three arrows near it, and will shoot as if I were exercising myself at a mark.
20:21. I will send a boy, saying to him: Go and fetch me the arrows.
20:22. If I shall say to the boy: Behold the arrows are on this side of you, take them up: come you to me, because there is peace to you, and there is no evil, as the Lord lives. But if I shall speak thus to the boy: Behold the arrows are beyond you: go in peace, for the Lord has sent you away.
20:23. Concerning the word which I and you have spoken, the Lord be between you and me forever.
20:24. So David was hid in the field, and the new moon came, and the king sat down to eat bread.
20:25. When the king sat down upon his chair, (according to custom) which was beside the wall, Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place appeared empty.
20:26. Saul said nothing that day, for he thought it might have happened to him, that he was not clean, nor purified.
20:27. When the second day after the new moon was come, David's place appeared empty again. Saul said to Jonathan, his son: Why comes not the son of Jesse to meat neither yesterday, nor today?
20:28. Jonathan answered Saul: He asked leave of me earnestly to go to Bethlehem.
20:29. He said: Let me go, for there is a solemn sacrifice in the city, one of my brethren has sent for me: and now if I have found favor in your eyes, I will go quickly, and see my brethren. For this cause he came not to the king's table.
20:30. Then Saul being angry against Jonathan, said to him: You son of a _____! Do I not know that you lovest the son of Jesse to your own confusion, and to the confusion of your shameless mother?
20:31. For as long as the son of Jesse lives upon earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Therefore now presently send, and fetch him to me: for he is the son of death.
The son of death. . .That is, one that deserveth death, and shall surely be put to death.
20:32. Jonathan answering Saul, his father, said: Why shall he die? What has he done?
20:33. Saul caught up a spear to strike him. And Jonathan understood that it was determined by his father to kill David.
20:34. So Jonathan rose from the table in great anger, and did not eat bread on the second day after the new moon. For he was grieved for David, because his father had put him to confusion.
20:35. When the morning came, Jonathan went into the field according to the appointment with David, and a little boy with him.
20:36. He said to his boy: Go, and fetch me the arrows which I shoot. When the boy ran, he shot another arrow beyond the boy.
20:37. The boy therefore came to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot: and Jonathan cried after the boy, and said: Behold the arrow is there further beyond you.
20:38. Jonathan cried again after the boy, saying: Make haste speedily, stand not. Jonathan's boy gathered up the arrows, and brought them to his master:
20:39. He knew not at all what was doing: for only Jonathan and David knew the matter.
20:40. Jonathan therefore gave his arms to the boy, and said to him: Go, and carry them into the city.
20:41. When the boy was gone, David rose out of his place, which was toward the south, and falling on his face to the ground, adored thrice: and kissing one another, they wept together; but David more.
20:42. Jonathan said to David: Go in peace: and let all stand that we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying: The Lord be between me and you, and between my seed and your seed forever.
20:43. David arose, and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.
1 Samuel Chapter 21
David receives holy bread of Achimelech, the priest: and feigneth himself mad before Achis, king of Geth.
21:1. David came to Nobe, to Achimelech, the priest and Achimelech was astonished at David's coming. And he said to him: Why are you alone, and no man with you?
Nobe. . .A city in the tribe of Benjamin, to which the tabernacle of the Lord had been translated from Silo.
21:2. David said to Achimelech, the priest: The king has commanded me a business, and said: Let no man know the thing for which you are sent by me, and what manner of commands I have given you: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.
21:3. Now therefore if you have any thing at hand, though it were but five loaves, give me, or whatsoever you can find.
21:4. The priest answered David, saying: I have no common bread at hand, but only holy bread, if the young men be clean, especially from women?
If the young men be clean, etc. . .If this cleanness was required of them that were to eat that bread, which was a figure of the bread of life which we receive in the blessed sacrament; how clean ought Christians to be when they approach to our tremendous mysteries.
21:5. David answered the priest, and said to him: Truly, as to what concerneth women, we have refrained ourselves from yesterday and the day before, when we came out, and the vessels of the young men were holy. Now this way is defiled, but it shall also be sanctified this day in the vessels.
The vessels. . .i. e., the bodies, have been holy, that is, have been kept from impurity.--Ibid. Is defiled. . .Is liable to expose us to dangers of uncleanness.--Ibid. Be sanctified, etc. . .That is, we shall take care, notwithstanding these dangerous circumstances, to keep our vessels holy, that is, to keep our bodies from every thing that may defile us.
21:6. The priest therefore gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there, but only the loaves of proposition, which had been taken away from before the face of the Lord, that hot loaves might be set up.
21:7. Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, within the tabernacle of the Lord: and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of Saul's herdsmen.
21:8. David said to Achimelech: Have you here at hand a spear, or a sword? for I brought not my own sword, nor my own weapons with me, for the king's business required haste.
21:9. The priest said: Lo, here is the sword of Goliath, the Philistine, whom you slewest in the valley of Terebinth, wrapped up in a cloth behind the ephod: if you will take this, take it, for here there is no other but this. And David said: There is none like that, give it me.
21:10. David arose and fled that day from the face of Saul: and came to Achis, the king of Geth:
21:11. The servants of Achis, when they saw David, said to him: Is not this David, the king of the land? Did they not sing to him in their dances, saying: Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?
21:12. But David laid up these words in his heart, and was exceedingly afraid at the face of Achis, the king of Geth.
21:13. He changed his countenance before them, and slipt down between their hands: and he stumbled against the doors of the gate, and his spittle ran down upon his beard.
21:14. Achis said to his servants: You saw the man was mad: why have you brought him to me?
21:15. Have we need of mad men, that you have brought in this fellow, to play the madman in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?
1 Samuel Chapter 22
Many resort to David. Doeg accused Achimelech to Saul. He ordered him and all the other priests of Nobe to be slain. Abiathar escapeth.
22:1. David therefore went from thence, and fled to the cave of Odollam. And when his brethren, and all his father's house, had heard of it, they went down to him thither.
22:2. All that were in distress, and oppressed with debt, and under affliction of mind, gathered themselves unto him: and he became their prince, and there were with him about four hundred men.
22:3. David departed from thence into Maspha of Moab: and he said to the king of Moab: Let my father and my mother tarry with you, I beseech you, until I know what God will do for me.
22:4. He left them under the eyes of the king of Moab, and they abode with him all the days that David was in the hold.
The hold. . .The strong hold, or fortress of Maspha.
22:5. Gad the prophet said to David: Abide not in the hold, depart, and go into the land of Judah. David departed, and came into the forest of Haret.
22:6. Saul heard that David was seen, and the men that were with him. Now whilst Saul abode in Gabaa, and was in the wood, which is by Rama, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him,
22:7. He said to his servants that stood about him: Hear me now, sons of Jemini: will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields, and vineyards, and make you all tribunes, and centurions:
22:8. That all of you have conspired against me, and there is no one to inform me, especially when even my son has entered into league with the son of Jesse? There is not one of you that pitied my case, nor that gave me any information: because my son has raised up my servant against me, plotting against me to this day.
22:9. Doeg, the Edomite, who stood by, and was the chief among the servants of Saul, answering, said: I saw the son of Jesse, in Nobe, with Achimelech, the son of Achitob, the priest.
22:10.He consulted the Lord for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath, the Philistine.
22:11. Then the king sent to call for Achimelech, the priest, the son of Achitob, and all his father's house, the priests that were in Nobe, and they came all of them to the king.
22:12. Saul said to Achimelech: Hear, you son of Achitob. He answered: Here I am, my lord.
22:13. Saul said to him: Why have you conspired against me, you, and the son of Jesse, and you have given him bread and a sword, and have consulted the Lord for him, that he should rise up against me, continuing a traitor to this day.
22:14. Achimelech answering the king, said: And who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king's son in law, and goeth forth at your bidding, and is honorable in your house?
22:15. Did I begin today to consult the Lord for him? far be this from me: let not the king suspect such a thing against his servant, or any one in all my father's house: for your servant knew nothing of this matter, either little or great.
22:16. The king said: Dying you shall die, Achimelech, you and all your father's house.
22:17. The king said to the messengers that stood about him: Turn, and kill the priests of the Lord, for their hand is with David, because they knew that he was fled, and they told it not to me. The king's servants would not put forth their hands against the priests of the Lord.
22:18. The king said to Doeg: Turn you, and fall upon the priests. Doeg, the Edomite, turned, and fell upon the priests, and slew in that day eighty-five men that wore the linen ephod.
22:19. Nobe, the city of the priests, he smote with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and babes, and ox, and ass, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.
22:20. But one of the sons of Achimelech, the son of Achitob, whose name was Abiathar, escaped, and fled to David,
22:21. and told him that Saul had slain the priests of the Lord.
22:22. David said to Abiathar: I knew that day when Doeg, the Edomite, was there, that without doubt he would tell Saul: I have been the occasion of the death of all the souls of your father's house.
22:23. Abide you with me, fear not: for he that seeks my life, seeks your life also, and with me you shall be saved.
1 Samuel Chapter 23
David relieved Ceila, besieged by the Philistines. He fled into the desert of Ziph. Jonathan and he confirm their former covenant. The Ziphites discover him to Saul, who pursuing close after him, is called away by an invasion from the Philistines.
23:1. They told David, saying: Behold the Philistines fight against Ceila, and they rob the barns.
23:2. Therefore David consulted the Lord, saying: Shall I go and smite these Philistines? The Lord said to David: Go, and you shall smite the Philistines, and shall save Ceila.
23:3. The men that were with David, said to him: Behold we are in fear here in Judea, how much more if we go to Ceila against the bands of the Philistines?
23:4. Therefore David consulted the Lord again. He answered and said to him: Arise, and go to Ceila: for I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.
23:5. David, therefore, and his men, went to Ceila, and fought against the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and made a great slaughter of them: and David saved the inhabitants of Ceila.
23:6. Now at that time, when Abiathar, the son of Achimelech, fled to David, to Ceila, he came down, having an ephod with him.
An ephod. . .Or the ephod. That is, the vestment of the high priest, with the urim and thummim, by which the Lord gave his oracle.
23:7. It was told Saul that David was come to Ceila: and Saul said: The Lord has delivered him into my hands, and he is shut up, being come into a city that has gates and bars.
23:8. Saul commanded all the people to go down to fight against Ceila, and to besiege David and his men.
23:9. Now when David understood that Saul secretly prepared evil against him, he said to Abiathar, the priest: Bring hither the ephod.
23:10. David said: O Lord God of Israel, your servant has heard a report, that Saul designed to come to Ceila, to destroy the city for my sake:
23:11. Will the men of Ceila deliver me into his hands? and will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, tell your servant. And the Lord said: He will come down.
23:12. David said: Will the men of Ceila deliver me and my men into the hands of Saul? And the Lord said: They will deliver you up.
23:13. Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose, and departing from Ceila, wandered up and down, uncertain where they should stay: and it was told Saul that David was fled from Ceila, and had escaped: wherefore he forbore to go out.
23:14. But David abode in the desert in strong holds, and he remained in a mountain of the desert of Ziph, in a woody hill. And Saul sought him always: but the Lord delivered him not into his hands.
23:15. David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life. David was in the desert of Ziph, in a wood.
23:16. Jonathan, the son of Saul, arose, and went to David, into the wood, and strengthened his hands in God: and he said to him:
23:17. Do not fear: for the hand of my father, Saul, shall not find you, and you shall reign over Israel, and I shall be next to you; yea and my father knows this.
23:18. They two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood: but Jonathan returned to his house.
23:19. The Ziphites went up to Saul, in Gabaa, saying: Lo, does not David lie hid with us in the strong holds of the wood, in mount Hachila, which is on the right hand of the desert.
23:20. Now therefore come down, as your soul has desired to come down: and it shall be our business to deliver him into the king's hands.
23:21. Saul said: Blessed be you of the Lord, for you have pitied my case.
23:22. Go, therefore, I pray you, and use all diligence, and curiously inquire, and consider the place where his foot is, and who has seen him there: for he thinketh of me, that I lie craftily in wait for him.
23:23. Consider, and see all his lurking holes, wherein he is hid, and return to me with the certainty of the thing, that I may go with you. If he should even go down into the earth to hide himself, I will search him out in all the thousands of Judah.
23:24. They arose, and went to Ziph before Saul: and David and his men were in the desert of Maon, in the plain at the right hand of Jesimon.
23:25. Then Saul and his men went to seek him: and it was told David, and forthwith he went down to the rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon: and when Saul had heard of it, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.
23:26. Saul went on this side of the mountain: and David and his men were on the other side of the mountain: and David despaired of being able to escape from the face of Saul: and Saul and his men encompassed David and his men round about, to take them.
23:27. A messenger came to Saul, saying: Make haste to come, for the Philistines have poured in themselves upon the land.
23:28. Wherefore Saul returned, leaving the pursuit of David, and went to meet the Philistines. For this cause they called that place the rock of division.
1 Samuel Chapter 24
Saul seeks David in the wilderness of Engaddi: he goes into a cave where David has him in his power.
24:1. Then David went up from there, and dwelt in strong holds of Engaddi.
24:2. When Saul had returned from following the Philistines, they told him, saying: Behold, David is in the desert of Engaddi.
24:3. Saul, therefore, took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went out to seek David and his men, even upon the most craggy rocks, which are accessible only to wild goats.
24:4. He came to the sheepcotes which were in his way. There was a cave, into which Saul went, to ease nature: now David and his men lay hid in the inner part of the cave.
24:5. The servants of David said to him: Behold the day, of which he Lord said to you: I will deliver your enemy unto you, that you may do to him as it shall seem good in your eyes. Then David arose, and secretly cut off the hem of Saul's robe.
24:6. After which David's heart struck him, because he had cut off the hem of Saul's robe.
Heart struck him. . .Viz., with remorse, as fearing he had done amiss.
24:7. He said to his men: The Lord be merciful to me, that I may do no such thing to my master, the Lord's anointed, as to lay my hand upon him, because he is the Lord's anointed.
24:8. David stopped his men with his words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul: but Saul, rising up out of the cave, went on his way.
24:9. David also rose up after him: and going out of the cave, cried after Saul, saying: My lord the king. And Saul looked behind him: and David bowing himself down to the ground, worshipped,
24:10. and said to Saul: Why do you hear the words of men that say: David seeks your hurt?
24:11. Behold this day your eyes have seen, that the Lord has delivered you into my hand, in the cave, and I had a thought to kill you, but my eye has spared you. For I said: I will not put out my hand against my lord, because he is the Lord's anointed.
A thought to kill you. . .That is, a suggestion, to which I did not consent.
24:12. Moreover, see and know, O my father, the hem of your robe in my hand, that when I cut off the hem of your robe, I would not put out my hand against you. Reflect, and see, that there is no evil in my hand, nor iniquity, neither have I sinned against you: but you lie in wait for my life, to take it away.
24:13. The Lord judge between me and you and the Lord revenge me of you: but my hand shall not be upon you.
Revenge me of you. . .Or, as it is in the Hebrew, will revenge me. The meaning is, that he refers his whole cause to God, to judge and punish according to his justice: yet so as to keep himself in the mean time, from all personal hatred to Saul, or desire of gratifying his own passion, by seeking revenge. So far from it, that when Saul was afterwards slain, we find, that instead of rejoicing at his death, he mourned most bitterly for him.
24:14. As also it is said in the old proverb: From the wicked shall wickedness come forth: therefore my hand shall not be upon you. After whom do you come out, O king of Israel?
24:15. After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog, after a flea.
24:16. Be the Lord judge, and judge between me and you, and see, and judge my cause, and deliver me out of your hand.
24:17. When David had made an end of speaking these words to Saul, Saul said: Is this your voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept:
24:18. and he said to David: You are more just than I: for you have done good to me, and I have rewarded you with evil.
24:19. You have showed this day what good things you have done to me: how the Lord delivered me into your hand, and you have not killed me.
24:20. For who when he has found his enemy, will let him go well away? But the Lord reward you for this good turn, for what you have done to me this day.
24:21. Now as I know that you shall surely be king, and have the kingdom of Israel in your hand:
24:22. Swear to me by the Lord, that you will not destroy my seed after me, nor take away my name from the house of my father.
24:23. David swore to Saul. So Saul went home: and David and his men went up into safer places.
1 Samuel Chapter 25
The death of Samuel. David, provoked by Nabal, threatens to destroy him: but is appeased by Abigail.
25:1. Samuel died, and all Israel was gathered together, and they mourned for him, and buried him in his house in Ramatha. And David rose, and went down into the wilderness of Pharan.
25:2. Now there was a certain man in the wilderness of Maon, and his possessions were in Carmel, and the man was very great: and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and it happened that he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
25:3. Now the name of the man was Nabal: and the name of his wife was Abigail. And she was a prudent and very comely woman: but her husband was churlish, and very bad and ill natured: and he was of the house of Caleb.
25:4. When David heard in the wilderness, that Nabal was shearing his sheep,
25:5. He sent ten young men, and said to them: Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and salute him in my name with peace.
25:6. You shall say: Peace be to my brethren, and to you, and peace to your house, and peace to all that you have.
25:7. I have heard that your shepherds that were with us in the desert were shearing: we never molested them, neither was there ought missing to them of the flock at any time, all the while they were with us in Carmel.
25:8. Ask your servants, and they will tell you. Now therefore let your servants find favor in your eyes: for we are come in a good day, whatsoever your hand shall find give to your servants, and to your son David.
25:9. When David's servants came, they spoke to Nabal all these words in David's name, and then held their peace.
25:10. But Nabal answering the servants of David, said: Who is David? and what is the son of Jesse? servants are multiplied now days who flee from their masters.
25:11. Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and the flesh of my cattle, which I have killed for my shearers, and give to men whom I know not whence they are?
25:12. So the servants of David went back their way, and returning came and told him all the words that he said.
25:13. Then David said to his young men: Let every man gird on his sword. And they girded on every man his sword. And David also girded on his sword: and there followed David about four hundred men, and two hundred remained with the baggage.
25:14. But one of the servants told, Abigail, the wife of Nabal, saying: Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness, to salute our master: and he rejected them.
25:15. These men were very good to us, and gave us no trouble: Neither did we ever lose any thing all the time that we conversed with them in the desert.
25:16. They were a wall unto us, both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.
25:17. Wherefore consider, and think what you have to do: for evil is determined against your husband, and against your house, and he is a son of Belial, so that no man can speak to him.
25:18. Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves, and two vessels of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of dry figs, and laid them upon donkeys:
25:19. and she said to her servants: Go before me: behold, I will follow after you: but she told not her husband, Nabal.
25:20. When she had gotten upon a donkey, and was coming down to the foot of the mountain, David and his men came down over against her, and she met them.
25:21. David said: Truly in vain have I kept all that belonged to this fellow in the wilderness, and nothing was lost of all that pertained unto him: and he has returned me evil for good.
25:22. May God do so and so, and add more to the foes of David, if I leave any male of all that belong to him till the morning!
If I leave, etc. . .David certainly sinned in his designs against Nabal and his family, as he himself was afterwards sensible, when he blessed God for hindering him from executing the revenge he had proposed.
25:23. When Abigail saw David, she made haste and lighted off the donkey, and fell before David, on her face, and adored upon the ground.
25:24. She fell at his feet, and said: Upon me let this iniquity be, my lord: let your handmaid speak, I beseech you, in your ears, and hear the words of your servant.
25:25. Let not my lord the king, I pray you, regard this naughty man, Nabal: for according to his name, he is a fool, and folly is with him: but I, your handmaid, did not see your servants, my lord, whom you sentest.
His name. . .Nabal, in Hebrew, signifies a fool.
25:26. Now therefore, my lord, the Lord lives, and your soul lives, who has withholden you from coming to blood, and has saved your hand to you: and now let your enemies be as Nabal, and all they that seek evil to my lord.
25:27. Wherefore receive this blessing, which your handmaid has brought to you, my lord: and give it to the young men that follow you, my lord.
25:28. Forgive the iniquity of your handmaid: for the Lord will surely make for my lord a faithful house, because you, my lord, fightest the battles of the Lord: let not evil therefore be found in you all the days of your life.
25:29. For if a man at any time shall rise, and persecute you, and seek your life, the soul of my lord shall be kept, as in the bundle of the living, with the Lord your God: but the souls of your enemies shall be whirled, as with the violence and whirling of a sling.
25:30. When the Lord shall have done to you, my lord, all the good that he has spoken concerning you, and shall have made you prince over Israel,
25:31. This shall not be an occasion of grief to you, and a scruple of heart to my lord, that you have shed innocent blood, or have revenged yourself: and when the Lord shall have done well by my lord, you shall remember your handmaid.
25:32. David said to Abigail: Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me, and blessed be your speech:
25:33. and blessed be you, who have kept me today from coming to blood, and revenging me with my own hand.
25:34. Otherwise, as the Lord lives, the God of Israel, who has withholden me from doing you any evil, if you hadst not quickly come to meet me, by the morning light not a single male belonging to Nabal would have been left.
25:35. David received at her hand all that she had brought him, and said to her: Go in peace into your house, behold I have heard your voice, and honored your face.
25:36. Abigail came to Nabal: and behold he had a feast in his house, like the feast of a king: and Nabal's heart was merry, for he was very drunk: and she told him nothing less or more until morning.
25:37. But early in the morning, when Nabal had digested his wine, his wife told him these words, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
25:38. After ten days had passed, the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.
25:39. When David had heard that Nabal was dead, he said: Blessed be the Lord, who has judged the cause of my reproach, at the hand of Nabal, and has kept his servant from evil, and the Lord has returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his head. Then David sent and treated with Abigail, that he might take her to himself for a wife.
Blessed be, etc. . .David praised God, on this occasion, not out of joy for the death of Nabal (which would have argued a rancour of heart), but because he saw that God had so visibly taken his cause in hand, in punishing the injury done to him; whilst, by a merciful providence he kept him from revenging himself.
25:40. David's servants came to Abigail, to Carmel, and spoke to her, saying: David has sent us to you, to take you to himself for a wife.
25:41. She arose, and bowed herself down with her face to the earth, and said: Behold, let your servant be a handmaid, to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.
25:42. Abigail arose, and made haste, and got upon a donkey, and five damsels went with her, her waiting maids, and she followed the messengers of David, and became his wife.
25:43. Moreover David took also Achinoam of Jezrahel: and they were both of them his wives.
25:44. But Saul gave Michol, his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti, the son of Lais, who was of Gallim.
1 Samuel Chapter 26
Saul goes out again after David, who comes by night where Saul and his men are asleep, but suffered him not to be touched. Saul again confessed his fault, and promised peace.
26:1. The men of Ziph came to Saul in Gabaa, saying: Behold David is hid in the hill of Hachila, which is over against the wilderness.
26:2. Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph having with him three thousand chosen men of Israel, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.
26:3. Saul encamped in Gabaa Hachila, which was over against the wilderness in the way: and David abode in the wilderness. And seeing that Saul was come after him into the wilderness,
26:4. He sent spies, and learned that he was most certainly come thither.
26:5. David arose secretly, and came to the place where Saul was: and when he had beheld the place, wherein Saul slept, and Abner, the son of Ner, the captain of his army, and Saul sleeping in a tent, and the rest of the multitude round about him,
26:6. David spoke to Achimelech, the Hethite, and Abisai, the son of Sarvia, the brother of Joab, saying: Who will go down with me to Saul into the camp? And Abisai said: I will go with you.
26:7. So David and Abisai came to the people by night, and found Saul lying and sleeping in the tent, and his spear fixed in the ground at his head: and Abner and the people sleeping round about him.
26:8. Abisai said to David: God has shut up your enemy this day into your hands: now then I will run him through with my spear, even to the earth at once, and there shall be no need of a second time.
26:9. David said to Abisai: Kill him not: for who shall put forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and shall be guiltless?
26:10. David said: As the Lord lives, unless the Lord shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go down to battle, and perish:
26:11. The Lord be merciful unto me, and keep me that I never put forth my hand against the Lord's anointed. But now take the spear which is at his head, and the cup of water, and let us go.
26:12. So David took the spear, and the cup of water which was at Saul's head, and they went away: and no man saw it, or knew it, or awaked, but they were all asleep, for a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them.
26:13. When David was gone over to the other side, and stood on the top of the hill afar off, and a good space was between them,
26:14. David cried to the people, and to Abner, the son of Ner, saying: Will you not answer, Abner? Abner answering, said: Who are you, that cries, and disturbs the king?
26:15. David said to Abner: Are not you a man? and who is like unto you in Israel? Why then have you not kept your lord the king? For there came one of the people in to kill the king your lord.
26:16. This thing is not good, that you have done: as the Lord lives, you are the sons of death, who have not kept your master, the Lord's anointed. Now where is the king's spear, and the cup of water, which was at his head?
26:17. Saul knew David's voice, and said: Is this your voice, my son David? David said: It is my voice, my lord the king.
26:18. He said: Wherefore does my lord persecute his servant? What have I done? or what evil is there in my hand?
26:19. Now therefore hear, I pray you, my lord the king, the words of your servant: If the Lord stir you up against me, let him accept of sacrifice: but if the sons of men, they are cursed in the sight of the Lord, who have cast me out this day, that I should not dwell in the inheritance of the Lord, saying: Go, serve strange gods.
26:20. Now let not my blood be shed upon the earth before the Lord: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as the partridge is hunted in the mountains.
26:21. Saul said: I have sinned; return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life has been precious in your eyes this day: for it appeareth that I have done foolishly, and have been ignorant in very many things.
26:22. David answering, said: Behold the king's spear: let one of the king's servants come over and fetch it.
26:23. The Lord will reward every one according to his justice, and his faithfulness: for the Lord has delivered you this day into my hand, and I would not put forth my hand against the Lord's anointed.
26:24. As your life has been much set by this day in my eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the Lord, and let him deliver me from all distress.
26:25. Then Saul said to David: Blessed are you, my son David: and truly doing you shall do, and prevailing you shall prevail. And David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.
1 Samuel Chapter 27
David goeth again to Achis king of Geth, and obtaineth of him the city of Siceleg.
27:1. David said in his heart: I shall one day or other fall into the hands of Saul: is it not better for me to flee, and to be saved in the land of the Philistines, that Saul may despair of me, and cease to seek me in all the coasts of Israel? I will flee then out of his hands.
27:2. David arose, and went away, both he and the six hundred men that were with him, to Achis, the son of Maoch, king of Geth.
27:3. David dwelt with Achis at Geth, he and his men; every man with his household, and David with his two wives, Achinoam, the Jezrahelitess, and Abigail, the wife of Nabal of Carmel.
27:4. It was told Saul that David was fled to Geth, and he sought no more after him.
27:5. David said to Achis: If I have found favor in your sight, let a place be given me in one of the cities of this country, that I may dwell there: for why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?
27:6. Then Achis gave him Siceleg that day: for which reason Siceleg belongeth to the kings of Judah unto this day.
27:7. The time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines, was four months.
27:8. David and his men went up, and pillaged Gessuri, and Gerzi, and the Amalecites: for these were of old the inhabitants of the countries, as men go to Sur, even to the land of Egypt.
Pillaged Gessuri, etc. . .These probably were enemies of the people of God: and some, if not all of them, were of the number of those whom God had ordered to be destroyed: which justifies David's proceedings in their regard. Though it is to be observed here, that we are not under an obligation of justifying every thing that he did: for the scripture, in relating what was done, does not say that it was well done. And even such as are true servants of God, are not to be imitated in all they do.
27:9. David wasted all the land, and left neither man nor woman alive: and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned and came to Achis.
27:10. Achis said to him: Whom have you gone against today? David answered: Against the south of Judah, and against the south of Jerameel, and against the south of Ceni.
27:11. David saved neither man nor woman, neither brought he any of them to Geth, saying: Lest they should speak against us. So did David, and such was his proceeding all the days that he dwelt in the country of the Philistines.
27:12. Achis believed David, saying: He has done much harm to his people Israel: Therefore he shall be my servant forever.
1 Samuel Chapter 28
The Philistines go out to war against Israel. Saul being forsaken by God, has recourse to a witch. Samuel appeareth to him.
28:1. It came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered together their armies, to be prepared for war against Israel: Achis said to David: Know you now assuredly, that you shall go out with me to the war, you, and your men.
28:2. David said to Achis: Now you shall know what your servant will do. Achis said to David: I will appoint you to guard my life forever.
28:3. Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel mourned for him, and buried him in Ramatha, his city. Saul had put away all the magicians and soothsayers out of the land.
28:4. The Philistines were gathered together, and came and encamped in Sunam: and Saul also gathered together all Israel, and came to Gelboe.
28:5. Saul saw the army of the Philistines, and was afraid, and his heart was very much dismayed.
28:6. He consulted the Lord, and he answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by priests, nor by prophets.
28:7. Saul said to his servants: Seek me a woman that has a divining spirit, and I will go to her, and enquire by her. His servants said to him: There is a woman that has a divining spirit at Endor.
28:8. Then he disguised himself: and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night, and he said to her: Divine to me by your divining spirit, and bring me up him whom I shall tell you.
28:9. The woman said to him: Behold you know all that Saul has done, and how he has rooted out the magicians and soothsayers from the land: why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to be put to death?
28:10. Saul swore unto her by the Lord, saying: As the Lord lives, there shall no evil happen to you for this thing.
28:11. The woman said to him: Whom shall I bring up to you? He said, Bring me up Samuel.
28:12. When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice, and said to Saul: Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul.
28:13. The king said to her: Fear not: what have you seen? The woman said to Saul: I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
28:14. He said to her: What form is he of? She said: An old man comes up, and he is covered with a mantle. Saul understood that it was Samuel, and he bowed himself with his face to the ground, and adored.
Understood that it was Samuel. . .It is the more common opinion of the holy fathers, and interpreters, that the soul of Samuel appeared indeed: and not, as some have imagined, an evil spirit in his shape. Not that the power of her magic could bring him thither, but that God was pleased for the punishment of Saul, that Samuel himself should denounce unto him the evils that were falling upon him. See Eccli. 46.23.
28:15. Samuel said to Saul: Why have you disturbed my rest, that I should be brought up? Saul said: I am in great distress: for the Philistines fight against me, and God is departed from me, and would not hear me, neither by the hand of prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called you, that you may show me what I shall do.
28:16. Samuel said: Why do you ask me, seeing the Lord has departed from you, and is gone over to your rival?
28:17. For the Lord will do to you as he spoke by me, and he will rend your kingdom out of your hand, and will give it to your neighbor David:
28:18. Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord, neither did you execute the wrath of his indignation upon Amalec. Therefore has the Lord done to you what you suffer this day.
28:19. The Lord also will deliver Israel with you into the hands of the Philistines: and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me: and the Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.
With me. . .That is, in the state of the dead, and in another world, though not in the same place.
28:20. Forthwith Saul fell all along on the ground; for he was frightened with the words of Samuel, and there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no bread all that day.
28:21. The woman came to Saul, (for he was very much troubled) and said to him: Behold your handmaid has obeyed your voice, and I have put my life in my hand: and I hearkened unto the words which you spoke to me.
28:22. Now therefore, I pray you, hearken you also to the voice of your handmaid, and let me set before you a morsel of bread, that you may eat and recover strength, and be able to go on your journey.
28:23. But he refused, and said: I will not eat. But his servants and the woman forced him, and at length hearkening to their voice, he arose from the ground, and sat upon the bed.
28:24. Now the woman had a fatted calf in the house, and she made haste and killed it: and taking meal, kneaded it, and baked some unleavened bread,
28:25. and set it before Saul, and before his servants. When they had eaten they rose up, and walked all that night.
1 Samuel Chapter 29
David going with the Philistines is sent back by their princes.
29:1. Now all the troops of the Philistines were gathered together to Aphec: and Israel also encamped by the fountain, which is in Jezrahel.
29:2. The lords of the Philistines marched with their hundreds and their thousands: but David and his men were in the rear with Achis.
29:3. The princes of the Philistines said to Achis: What mean these Hebrews? Achis said to the princes of the Philistines: Do you not know David who was the servant of Saul, the king of Israel, and has been with me many days, or years, and I have found no fault in him, since the day that he fled over to me until this day?
29:4. But the prices of the Philistines were angry with him, and they said to him: Let this man return, and abide in his place, which you have appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest he be an adversary to us, when we shall begin to fight: for how can he otherwise appease his master, but with our heads?
29:5. Is not this David, to whom they sung in their dances, saying: Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?
29:6. Then Achis called David, and said to him: As the Lord lives, you are upright and good in my sight: and so is your going out, and your coming in with me in the army: and I have not found any evil in you, since the day that you came to me unto this day: but you do not please the lords.
29:7. Return therefore, and go in peace, and do not offend the eyes of the princes of the Philistines.
29:8. David said to Achis: But what have I done, or what have you found in me your servant, from the day that I have been in your sight until this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?
29:9. Achis answering, said to David: I know that you are good in my sight, as an angel of God: But the princes of the Philistines have said: He shall not go up with us to the battle.
29:10. Therefore arise in the morning, you, and the servants of your lord, who came with you: and when you are up before day, and it shall begin to be light, go on your way.
29:11. So David and his men arose in the night, that they might set forward in the morning, and returned to the land of the Philistines: and the Philistines went up to Jezrahel.
1 Samuel Chapter 30
The Amalecites burn Siceleg, and carry off the prey: David pursueth after them, and recovereth all out of their hands.
30:1. Now when David and his men were come to Siceleg on the third day, the Amalecites had made an invasion on the south side upon Siceleg, and had smitten Siceleg, and burnt it with fire,
30:2. and had taken the women captives that were in it, both little and great: and they had not killed any person, but had carried them with them, and went on their way.
30:3. So when David and his men came to the city, and found it burnt with fire, and that their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives,
30:4. David and the people that were with him, lifted up their voices, and wept till they had no more tears.
30:5. For the two wives also of David were taken captives, Achinoam, the Jezrahelitess, and Abigail, the wife of Nabal of Carmel.
30:6. David was greatly afflicted: for the people had a mind to stone him, for the soul of every man was bitterly grieved for his sons and daughters: but David took courage in the Lord his God.
30:7. He said to Abiathar, the priest, the son of Achimelech: Bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought the ephod to David.
30:8. David consulted the Lord, saying: Shall I pursue after these robbers, and shall I overtake them, or not? The Lord said to him: Pursue after them: for you shall surely overtake them and recover the prey.
30:9. So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and they came to the torrent Besor: and some, being weary, stayed there.
30:10. But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred stayed, who, being weary, could not go over the torrent Besor.
30:11. They found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David: and they gave him bread to eat, and water to drink,
30:12. As also a piece of a cake of figs, and two bunches of raisins. When he had eaten them, his spirit returned, and he was refreshed: for he had not eaten bread, nor drunk water, three days and three nights.
30:13. David said to him: To whom do you belong; or whence do you come? Where are you going? He said: I am a young man of Egypt, the servant of an Amalecite: and my master left me, because I began to be sick three days ago.
30:14. For we made an invasion on the south side of Cerethi, and upon Judah, and upon the south of Caleb, and we burnt Siceleg with fire.
30:15. David said to him: Can you bring me to this company? He said: Swear to me by God, that you will not kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring you to this company. David swore to him.
30:16. When he had brought him, behold they were lying spread abroad upon all the ground, eating and drinking, and as it were keeping a festival day, for all the prey and the spoils which they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah.
30:17. David slew them from the evening unto the evening of the next day, and there escaped not a man of them, but four hundred young men, who had gotten upon camels, and fled.
30:18. So David recovered all that the Amalecites had taken, and he rescued his two wives.
30:19. There was nothing missing small or great, neither of their sons or their daughters, nor of the spoils, and whatsoever they had taken, David recovered all.
30:20. He took all the flocks and the herds, and made them go before him: and they said: This is the prey of David.
30:21. David came to the two hundred men, who, being weary, had stayed, and were not able to follow David, and he had ordered them to abide at the torrent Besor: and they came out to meet David, and the people that were with him. And David coming to the people, saluted them peaceably.
30:22. Then all the wicked and unjust men, that had gone with David, answering, said: Because they came not with us, we will not give them any thing of the prey which we have recovered: but let every man take his wife, and his children, and be contented with them, and go his way.
30:23. But David said: You shall not do so, my brethren, with these things, which the Lord has given us, who has kept us, and has delivered the robbers that invaded us into our hands:
30:24. No man shall hearken to you in this matter. But equal shall be the portion of him that went down to battle, and of him that abode at the baggage, and they shall divide alike.
30:25. This has been done from that day forward, and since was made a statute and an ordinance, and as a law in Israel.
30:26. Then David came to Siceleg, and sent presents of the prey to the ancients of Judah, his neighbors, saying: Receive a blessing of the prey of the enemies of the Lord.
30:27. To them that were in Bethel, and that were in Ramoth to the south, and to them that were in Jether.
30:28. To those who were in Aroer, and who were in Sephamoth, and who were in Esthamo,
30:29. and who were in Rachal, and who were in the cities of Jerameel, and who were in the cities of Ceni,
30:30. and who were in Arama, and who were in the lake Asan, and who were in Athach,
30:31. and who were in Hebron, and to the rest who were in those places, in which David had abode with his men.
1 Samuel Chapter 31
Israel is defeated by the Philistines: Saul and his sons are slain.
31:1. The Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gelboe.
31:2. The Philistines fell upon Saul, and upon his sons, and they slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchisua, the sons of Saul.
31:3. The whole weight of the battle was turned upon Saul: and the archers overtook him, and he was grievously wounded by the archers.
31:4. Then Saul said to his armorbearer: Draw your sword, and kill me:lest these uncircumcised come, and slay me, and mock at me. His armorbearer would not: for he was struck with exceeding great fear. Then Saul took his sword, and fell upon it.
31:5. When his armorbearer saw this, to wit, that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him.
31:6. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armorbearer, and all his men that same day together.
31:7. The men of Israel, that were beyond the valley, and beyond the Jordan, seeing that the Israelites were fled, and that Saul was dead, and his sons, forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt there.
31:8. On the morrow the Philistines came to strip the slain, and they found Saul and his three sons lying in mount Gelboe.
31:9. They cut off Saul's head, and stripped him of his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the temples of their idols and among their people.
31:10. They put his armor in the temple of Astaroth, but his body they hung on the wall of Bethsan.
31:11. Now when the inhabitants of Jabes Galaad had heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,
31:12. all the most valiant men arose, and walked all the night, and took the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, from the wall of Bethsan: and they came to Jabes Galaad, and burnt them there.
31:13. They took their bones, and buried them in the woods of Jabes: and fasted seven days.
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