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Canaanitish tribes, defend themselves and return the assault with desperation. In judgment for their impiety, God permits a second defeat of the Israelites, who leave thirty-thousand warriors dead upon the field, while, to complete the calamities of the day, the ark of God is captured, and borne in impious triumph to Philistia. Here it remained seven months, after which it was returned, with a “trespass offering,” to the land of Israel. It arrived first at Beth-shemesh, a city in the western border of Judah, and thence was soon after forwarded to Kirjath-jearim, a city situated about nine miles, nearly northwest, from Jerusalem, near the brow of the western mountains of Judah. 1 Samuel iv., v, vi, and vii, 1, 2. In Kirjath the ark remained about seventy-one years, or as Dr. Hale reckons, about eighty-two years, through the judicature of Samuel, and the long reign of Saul, till the ninth year of David's reign. 1 Chronicles xiii, 3. It being near the border of the Hebrew territory, within sight of the Philistine garrisons, the Israelites could not assemble there for their annual feasts and sacrifices, without being discovered by their ever watchful foes. While the war lasted, therefore, and the Israelites stood in awe of the Philistine power, the most solemn services of the Hebrew worship, and those which exerted the highest influence on their national faith and character, were totally suspended. One only attempt at a national assemblage had been made during this long period, when Samuel assembled them at Mizpeh, near Kirjath-jearim, to renew their covenant with God. At that time they were furiously assaulted by the Philistines, and were delivered from their power only by a miracle. 1 Samuel vii, 3–12. This deprivation was a national affliction, so that it is significantly said, that “all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.” 1 Samuel vii, 2. The restoration of the ark, therefore, to some accessible place, where the people might assemble from all the tribes, and without fear or molestation worship God according to the order prescribed in the law of Moses, was justly hailed as a great national blessing. David had become firmly seated on the throne. The elements of government were now settled. The Philistines were repulsed, and held in awe by the terror of the Israelitish arms under their new sovereign. The ark could
now be removed to a suitable place, and this dictate of piety David now proposes to the people. In fixing the location of the ark at Zion, David was actuated by a profound and far-seeing policy. By this measure he invests the metropolis of his kingdom with a sacred character, as it would thereafter be the religious head of the nation. Henceforward all the tribes would be here represented in their most solemn feasts, at least three times a year; and while the sanctities of religion would impart strength and unity to the government, the king, on the other hand, could extend protection to the worshippers, and preserve order and decorum throughout their myriads. David now, therefore, assembles all the tribes at Kirjath, and, placing the ark upon a new cart, drawn by oxen, the vast procession moves forward with universal demonstrations of joy. The Levites chant the following Psalm, while “David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.” 2 Samuel v, 4–25, and vi, 1–5; 1 Chronicles xiii, 1–8.
PS ALM LXVIII.
ON THE FIRST REMOVAL OF THE ARK.
4 prayer at the removing of the ark, 1–3, an exhortation to praise God for his mercies, 4–6, for his care of the Church, 7–18, for his great works, 19–35.
T To the chief Musician. A Psalm or Song of David.
* Let "God arise, let his enemies be scattered:
* As "smoke is driven away, so drive them away:
*But "let the righteous be glad;
* Num. 10.35. Isa. 83. 3. b Isa. 9. 18. Isos. 18. 3. d Psa. 82. 11. * Heb. from his face. • Psa. 97.5. Mic. 1. 4. * Heb. rejoice with gladness.
* Sing "unto God, sing praises to his name:
Extol’him that rideth upon the heavens s by his name JAH, And rejoice before him. * A "father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, Is God in his holy habitation. * God 'setteth the solitary 'in families; He bringeth out those which are bound with chains: But the rebellious dwell in a dry land. 7 O God! ” when thou wentest forth before thy people, When thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah! 8 The "earth shook, The heavens also dropped at the presence of God: Even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, The God of Israel. * Thou "O God! didst ‘send a plentiful rain, Whereby thou didst “confirm thine inheritance when it was weary. 10 Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: Thou, PO God! hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor. 11 The LoRD gave the word: Great was the “company of those that published it. 19 Kings q of armies' did flee apace; And she that tarried at home divided the spoil. 13 Though ye have lien among the pots, Yet "shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with
And her feathers with yellow gold. t Psa. 66.4. l Psa. 107. 84.40. * Heb. confirm it. f Deut. 33.26. m Exod. 18. 21. Judg. 4. 14. p Deut. 26. 5, 9. Psa. 74. 19. g Exod. 6. 3. Hab. 3. 13. * Heb. army. h Psa. 10. 14, 18. n Exod. 19. 16, 18. Judg. 5.4. q Num. 31.8, 9,54. Josh. 10.16. i 1 Sam. 2. 5. Psa. 113. 9. Isa. 64. 1, 8. * Heb. did flee, did flee. 3 Heb. in a house. o Deut. 11.11, 12. Ezek. 34.26. r Psa. 81. 6.
k Psa. 107.10, 14. Acts 12.6, &c. * Heb. shake out. * Psa. 105.87.
14 When ‘the Almighty scattered kings "in it, It was white as snow in Salmon. 15 The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; A high hill, as the hill of Bashan. 16 Why "leap ye, ye high hills? This vis the hill which God desireth to dwell in; Yea, the LoRD will dwell in it forever. 17 The "chariots of God are twenty thousand, ("even thousands of angels:) The LoRD is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. 18 Thou hast ascended on high, Thou x hast led captivity captive: Thou hast received gifts "for men; Yea, for "the rebellious also, That "the LoRD God might dwell among them. 19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, IEven the God of our salvation. Selah I 20 He that is our God is the God of salvation; And “unto God the LoRD belong the issues from death. * But "God shall wound the head of his enemies, And “the hairy scalp of such a one as goeth on still in his trespasses. * The LoRD said, “I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea; * That othy foot may be "dipped in the blood of thine enemies,
And "the tongue of thy dogs in the same.”
t Num. 21. 3. Josh. 10.10. * Or, even many thousands, c Deut.82.89. Pr. 4, 23. Rev.1.18. * Or, for her, she was. x Acts. 1.9. Eph. 4. 8. d Psa. 110. 6. Hab. 8, 18. u Psa. 114. 4.6. y Judg. 5.12. e Psa. 55. 23. * Deut. 12.5, 11. 1 Kings 9.8. 2 Acts 2.4, 33. f Exod. 14. 22.
Psa. 87.1.2. 10 Heb. in the man. & Psa. 58. 10. w Deut. 33. 2.2 Ki. 6, 16, 17. Dan. a 1 Tim. 1. 18. 11 Or, red.
7. 10. Heb. 12. 22. Rev. 9. 16. b Psa. 78.60. h1 Kings 21. 19.
* They have seen thy goings, O God! Even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. * The singers went before, The players on instruments followed after; Among them were the damsels playing with timbrels. * Bless ye God in the congregations, Even the Lord, "from the fountain of Israel! * There is “little Benjamin with their ruler, The princes of Judah "and their council, The princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali. * Thy God hath 'commanded thy strength: Strengthen, O God! that which thou hast wrought for us. * Because of thy temple at Jerusalem Shall "kings bring presents unto thee. * Rebuke “the company of spearmen, The "multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, Till every one "submit himself with pieces of silver: "Scatter thou the people that delight in war. * Princes Pshall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia "shall soon 'stretch out her hands unto God. * Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth! O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah! * To him "that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; Lo! he doth "send out his voice, and that a mighty VOICe.
* Ascribe ‘ye strength unto God!
i 1 Chron. 18.8, Psa. 47. 5. 82.23. Psa. 72.10. Isa. 60, p. Isa. 19. 19, 21.
12 Or, ye that are of the fountain 16. 17. q Psa. 72.9. Isa. 45. 14. Zeph. of Israel. Deu.83. 28. Isa. 48.1. 1" Or, the beasts of the reeds, 8. 10. Acts. 8. 27.
k1 Sam. 9. 21. Jer. 51. 32,83. r Psa. 44. 20.
** Or, with their company. n Psa. 22. 12. * Psa. 18. 10.
! So Psa. 42.8. o 2 Sam. 8, 2, 6. ** Heb. gire. Psa. 29, 8, &c. m1 Kings 10.10, 24, 25, 2 Chron. 1" Or, He scattereth. t Psa. 29.1.