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CHAP. XIII.

tires to Absalom, 15–20. David is angry; but Absalom conceals his hatred, 21, 22. Absalom invites his brethren to A

feast; where Amnon at his command is murdered, 23-29. Amnon, David's son, loves his sister Tamar, 1, 2: and by Jona- David grieves vehemently, supposing that all his sons are

dab's advice he feigas sickness, that Tamar might wait on slain; but is comforted by Jonadab, and learns the truth, 30him; and taking that opportuaity he ravishes her, 3—14. He

36. Absalom flees to Geshur; but David longs after him, 37 hates her and drives her away, and she in grief and shame re- - 39. ing the message of God, especially to those in phemy to the enemies of the Lord the falls of exalted stations. Apt illustration often forms' his professing people afford: yet none except the most compendious and effectual method of his enemies will make this use of them; and the

roducing conviction: and it is well when such open confessions of the penitent offenders, their an indirect address will spare the painful ne- future holy conduct, the severe corrections cessity of more explicit reproofs. But self-flat which they experience, and their patience uno tery renders us quicksighted to the faults of der them, will inanifest the equity and purity, others, though of inferior malignity, and blind as well as the mercy of God, in pardoning their to our own most atrocious offences; and in pro-, offences; and will mark an essential difference, portion as men are tender to their own sins, of habitual character and disposition, between they are often unreasonably severe in animad-them and unhumbled sinners of every descripverting upon those of their neighbors. Hence tion. (Notes, Rom. 7:13-17.) arises the necessity of "great plainness of

V. 15-31. speech” in the public ministry of the gospel; The Lord often causes bis offending people that the conduct and cases of sinners of every to read their sins in their punishment; he puts description may be explicitly declared, and that them to open shame for their secret offences; and, the conscience of every one that is guilty may by the sufferings of those whom they most tensay to him, “Thou art the man.” Nor is this, derly love, he fills their hearts with the keenest personal; provided the general cases of multi- anguish. Under such rebukes they will be led to tudes are described, and the peculiarities of andeeper and deeper humiliation, to chasten themindividual's character are not so marked, as to selves with fasting, and to pour out more fervent draw the attention of the auditors from them- and incessant prayers; and especially for those selves to him. But it is often necessary, in who are suffering on their account, and are unprivate, to be still more explicit and particular, i able to pray for themselves. Yet, the same with such professed Christians as cannot, or will principles will teach them to moderate their not, understand the plainest public address; and sorrows for those beloved objects, whom God this without any reserve or respect of persons, has taken from them, and to prepare diligently and with all seriousness, energy, and expostu- to follow them: and nothing should induce them lation. It will never be well with the church to neglect their present duty. After the same of God, till secret lamentations over unreprov- manner, as long as life lasts, let the discourag. ed scanılals and abuses, and private conversa-led sinner seek the Lord, bumble hiinself, and tions concerning the faults of the absent, bei pour out his prayers before him; if only able to generally changed, by the ministers of Christ say, “Who knoweth if God will be gracions to especially, for faithful plain dealing with men me!”—Those, who are ignorant of the divine in private: and those who are of reputation life, cannot comprehend the reasons of a beought to take the lead, and to set the example, liever's cunduct in his varied experiences: they in this arduous but salutary business. The true mistake deep humility and fervent prayer, for minister's message will comfort or distress the impatience and an inordinate love to created consciences of those who regard it, according objects; acquiescence in the Lord's will, and as they are walking with God, or the contrary: cheerful gratitude under sharp trials, will be nay, the believer himself can expect no conso- deemed indifference and apathy; and in a thoulation from a scriptural statement of the truth, sand different ways they will shew their inca while be lies under the guilt and power of un-| pacity to judge of the consistency and reasons repented sio; and if he obtain any, it is either of his behavior. (Notes, Acts 16:1-5. P. O. 1 tbrongh the minister's error or unfaithfulness, Cor. 2:10–16.) But God accepts those services or his own self-fattery, and ill-grounded confi- which man censures: a humble, submissive dence. Every instance of the divine goodness spirit prepares the way for divine consolations, to us increases the beinousness of our trans- notwithstanding former crimes; and we should gressions: but the extent of the promises, and encourage the desponding hearts of our fellowthe Lord's readiness to hear prayer, and to give sinners, with the comforts which the Lord bas every good thing to his people, peculiarly ag- graciously afforded us: and when the heart is gravate our guilt, when we desire forbidden thus prepared, the message of the minister will gratifications. We need not wonder that men again be peace and joy. Our prayers for our in general despise the promises and command children are graciously answered, if some of ments of God; yea, and the Lord himself, in his them die in their tender infancy, (for they are whole character, and in all his relations to them: well taken care of,) and the others live "belov.. when even eminent believers, in some instan- ed of the Lord.”—Vengeance will in due season ces, are capable of the same folly and ingrati-overtake the persecutors and abusers of God's tude. From this source all our sins proceed: people and ministers; and in their suverest sufman's conteinpt of the infinite excellency and terings He will be rigbteous, though the instruinvaluable favor of God; disregard to his au- ments should be unreasonably and iniquitously thority, aversion to his service, and enmity to severe.-In proportion as we lose sight of the his justice and holiness, give being and malig- honor that cometh from God, we become ambinity to every species of disobedience; and they tious and vain of worldly distinctions: (Note, 2 are in themselves utterly inexcusable.-But, Kings 20:12--19.) and we are most compashowever iniquity may have prevailed, where sionate, kind, and forgiving to our fellow-sintrue grace exists there is also sensibilily, and a ners, when we most feel our need of the Lord's ground in which the word of God may take root. forgiving love to our own souls, and experience Note, Matt. 13:23.) The humbled sinner will the comfort of it.-Finally, in whatever service dot be offended by his faithful reprover, but the Lord may please to employ us, may we, (as rather thank him; and God will never refuse Joab with David,) execute his will faithfully, forgiveness to true penitents. It is however and then give him the whole glory without any grievous to think, what great occasion of blas- il reserve. VOL. II. 19

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a 3:2,3. 1 Cbr. 3:2.

22. 1 Cor. 3:19. Jam. 3:15.

ND it came to pass after this, that|| pray thee, let Tamar my sister come and

* Absalom, the son of David, had make me a couple of cakes in my sight, Da fair sister, whose name was Tamar;|| that I may eat at her hand. and Amnon the son of David I loved 7 Then David sent home to Tamar, her.

saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon's 2 And Amnon was so e vexed, that he house, and dress him meat. fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was 8 So Tamar went to her brother Ama virgin: and * Amnon thought it hard for non's house; and he was laid down. him to do any thing to her.

And she took flour, and kneaded it, 3 But Amnon had 'a friend, whose and made cakes in his sight, and did name was Jonadab the son of % Shimeah, bake the cakes. David's brother: and Jonadab was a very 9 And she took a pan, and poured h subtle man.

them out before him, but he refused to 4 And he said unto him, i Why art eat. ° And Amnon said, Have out all thou, being the king's son, + lean | from men from me: and they went out every day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And man from him. Amnon said unto him, "I love Tamar, 10 And Amnon said unto Tamar, 'my brother Absalom's sister.

Bring the meat into the chamber, that i 5 And Jonadab said unto him, "Lay may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took thee down on thy bed, and make thyself the cakes which she had made, and sick: and when thy father cometh to see brought them into the chamber to Amnon thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my her brother. sister Tamar come, and give me meat, 11 And when she had brought them and dress the meat in my sight, that iunto him to eat, he took hold of her, and may see it, and eat it at her hand. said unto her, P Come, lie with me, my

6 So Amnon lay down, and made him-sister. self sick: and when the king was come

12 And she answered him, Nay, my to see him, Amnon said unto the king, 1 brother, do not " force me; for "

no such 6 11:2. Gen. 6:2. 39:6,7. Prov. 16 14:2,19,20. Gen. 31. Ver. 4: thing ought to be done in Israel: do not

thou this a folly. i 1 Kings 21:7. Esth. 5:13,14.

13 And I, whither shall I cause my Kings 11:1. 1 Kings 21:4. Cant. 5:8. 2 1 Heb. morning by morning.

shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt • Heb. it was marvellous, or 1 Lev. 18:9. 20:17.

Or, paste.

1 Heb. it ought not so to be hidden, in the eyes of Amnon. m 16:21–23.

• Gen. 45:1. Judg. 3:19. John Judg. 14:20.

q Gen. 34:7. Judg. 19:23. 20:

. . NOTES.

the reputation, virtue, or comfort of Tamar; or CHAP. XIII. V. 1, 2. Nathan's word began | by any foresight of evil consequences: but, beto take effect not very long after it was deliv- cause of her modesty, and the care which was ered. (Notes, 12:10-12.)—David seems to taken of her, he could not find an opportunity have been far too indulgent of his children: of getting her into his power. His passion thereprobably, their mothers had a great share in fore preyed upon his spirits, and impaired bis their education, and some of these instilled into health. (Notes, Cant. 5:8. 2 Cor. 7:9–11.) them bad principles; indeed these are the nat- V. 3, 4. Amnon deemed Jonadab his friend, ural effects of polygamy. Yet his sons had been hecause he was his fatterer, and the caterer for restrained from open wickedness, by his exam. bis lusts. He was “a very subtle man;" (Notes, ple, influence, and occasional instructions, until 32,33. 16:20–23. Gen. 3:1.) one very sagahe had committed those crimes which have been cious, as to this present world; or rather, a considered. But notwithstanding David's re- / very crafty courtier, who readily discerned the pentance, they, now grown up, would naturally inclinations of his superiors, and was very inconsider that his conduct gave some license to genious in devising means for the gratification their youthful inclinations, and conclude that is of them. Observing Amnon to look more and he could not greatly censure them, after he had more languid one day after another, he suspectset them such an example. Thus he mighted the cause, and intimated to bim, that a perclearly trace the sins of his children from his son of his rank might obtain his desires if he own misconduct, and this would increase the went about it: and thus he drew from him the anguish of the chastisement.--Tamar was Am-shameful secret. Had he pot interposed, prob. non's sister as the danghter of David, but of|ably Amnon's passion might have been suppressanother mother. (.Nole, 3:2–5.) If Amnoned, and at length supplanted by an affection fo had not been secrelly habituated' to vice, he some other object. '(Noles, 1 Kings 21:4–7.) surely never could, in the first instance, lave But when Jonadab understood the state of bis yielded to so unnatural a passion! (Nole, Lev. mind, he speedily put bim in a way of obtaining 18:6—17.) By gazing upon Tamar's beauty his his wishes. Amnon was the heir-apparent of concupiscence was excited, and, being indulg- the crown: David was growing old, and probaed, it gained an entire ascendency. (Notes, 11:bly shewed Jonadab but little favor though he 1-5. Matt. 5:27,28.) He was not restrained was his nephew; being the son of David's brothfrom attempting to accomplish his base purposeer Shimeah, called also Shammah, and Shimma. by the fear of God; by conscience, shame, re- ||(32. 1 Sam. 16:9. i Chr. 2:13.) He therefore gard to the peace or favor of his father, or to I paid court to Amnon; and supposed that his

6:25. 31:30. c 14:27. 1 Chr. 3:9. d 15. Gen. 29:18,20. 34:3. 1

Luke 12:32 † Heb. thin.

Cor. 7:10.

k Is. 3:9. Jer. 8:12. Mic. 7:3.

n Gen. 18:6. Matt. 13:33.

Deut. 22:29.

done. Lev. 18:9. 20:17.

f Gen. 38.1,20.
Esth. 5:10,14. 6:13. Prov. 19:
6.

17:1-4. Ps. 50: 18,19. Prov. 19.27. Mark 6:24, 25. Acts 23:15.

3:20.
p Gen. 39:7,12.

6. Prov. 7:7.

Gen. 34:2.

be as one of the fools in Israel. Now | colors upon her: for with such robes therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the were the king's daughters that were virgins king; for he will not withhold me from apparelled. Then his servant brought thee.

her out, and bolted the door after her. 14 How beit he would not hearken 19 And Tamar * put ashes on her head, unto her voice; but, being stronger than and rent her garment of divers colors she, « forced her, and lay with her. that was on her, and y laid her hand un (Practical Observations.]

her head, and went on crying. 15 Then Amnon hated her * ex- 20 And Absalom her brother said unto ceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith her, Hath | Amnon thy brother been he hated her was greater than the love with thee? ? but hold now thy peace, my wherewith he had loved her: and Amnon | sister: he is thy brother; i regard not said unto her, Arise, be gone.

this thing. So 'ľamar remained deso16 And she said unto him, There is late in her brother Absalom's house. no cause; this evil in sending me away is 21 But when king David heard of all greater than the other that thou didst these things, a he was very wroth. unto me: but he would not hearken unto 22 And Absalom spake unto his her.

brother Amnon neither good nor bad: 1? Then he called his servant that for Absalom hated Amnon, because he ininistered unto him, and said, Put now had forced his sister Tamar. this woman out from me, and bolt the 23 And it came to pass after two full door after her.

18 And she had y a garment of divers Jer. 2:37. r Gen. 19:8. Judg. 19:24. * Heb. with great hatred $ 12:11. Deut. 22:25—27. Judg. greatly. u Gen. 37:3,32. Judg. 5:30. Ps.

Ec. 7:9. Eph. 4:26,51. 1 John

x 1:2. Josh. 7:6. Job 2:12. 42:a 3:28,29. 12:5, 10. Gen. 34:7. 6.

1 Sam. 2:22--25, 29. Ps. 1C1 8.

b Lev. 19:17,18. Proy. 25:9. 1 Heb. Aminon.

Matt. 18:15. z Prov. 26:24. Rom. 12:10. c Gen. 24:50. 31:29. * Heb. set not thine heart on. d Prov. 10:18. 26:24. 27:46.

Heb. and desolate. Gen. 34: 2. 46:15.

3:15.

20:5. Esth. 7:8. t Ez. 23:17.

45:14.

rank and authority would bear him out in any vehement hatred: and without regarding her recrime, which he was disposed to commit.

monstrances, he ordered her to be turned out of V. 5-14. This plot was laid very artfully. doors, with every circunstance of aversion and Amnon's sickly looks gave plausibility to his abhorrence, 'as if she had been an infamous inpretended illness: David's tender affection to 'truder.' Bp. Patrick. (Note, Gen. 39:13—16.j his children was well known: persons, who have | This was doubtless additional and most maligbeen accustomed to indulgence, are naturally || nant ill usage, and tended to publish her diswhimsical in their diet when sick: David would grace, which might otherwise bave been conbe sure to visit Amnon, and be disposed to hu- cealed: but we must attribute it to the confumor him in every thing, and would not at allsion and distress of her mind, that she stated this suspect so base a design concealed under his to be the greater injury; unless she supposed request: and thus he would readily obtain Da- that, in so singular a case, he might and ought vid's consent to Tamar's coming to bim. Nor to have married her. could she have any suspicion of such horrid vil- V. 19, 20. Tamar went home in the manner, lacy from one, who seemed very ill and in dan- and with all the gestures of an inconsolable ger of death: but when he commanded all to inourner, (Marg. Ref:) Doubtless her mind leave the room, whilst he ate of her cakes, she was filled with extreme anguish; but perhaps she might very justly have apprehended some bad meant also thus to protest, that though unfortudesign.-Tamar's skill and readiness in such nate she was not criminal. Absalom dissembled ordinary employments, though a king's daugh- bis deep and implacable resentment, and perter; her compassionate attention to her half-suaded her to compose her mind, and not further brother; and all her answers and behavior, are to expose the share of her family.-It seems suited to give us a very favorable opinion of her that Tamar not only shunned society at the time; character. She pleaded that he, as her brother, || but also lived all her days a single and retired ought to protect her, instead of injuring her; life. (Note, Gen. 34:31.) that such behavior was peculiarly foolish and V. 21. Amnon's incesi was an express violawicked in an Israelite; that it would for evertion of the divine law; and to one probibition it disgrace and ruin her; and would ex pose him to is added, "they shall be cut off; ... he shall bear scorn and hatred, as one of the most abandoned his iniquity.” (Lev. 18:9. 20:17.) Yet the magisof men. (Marg. Ref. pr.) Her proposal to trate was not explicitly commanded to put the him, to ask her of the king, who would rather i offender to death. Neither was it enjoined, that allow him to marry her, than leave him to die he who forced a woman should be put to death, of his sickness, was doubtless solely meant to unless she was betrothed; because otherwise he prevent present violence; for she knew that would have been obliged to marry ber. (Notes, David would afterwards protect her. (Note, Ex. 22:16,17. Deut. 22:22—27.) Perhaps these Gen. 19:6-9.) And it is probable, that she ac- circumstances united with David's excessive companied her complaints and expostulations paternal tenderness, especially to bis eldest son, with unavailing outcries, which Amnon's do- and with the consciousness of his own guilt, to mestics doubtless disregarded: for she seems to satisfy his mind in leaving Amnon to the judghave been entirely free from blame in the scan- ment of God, without inflicting any punishment dalous transaction.

upon him. But certainly he ought to have maniV. 15–18. The determined language and fested his displeasure in some very decided manconduct of Tamar, probably joined with sharpner; and this complication of crimes would have reproaches, so irritated Amnon, that his licen- || justified the severest punishment: but as he nego tious lore was at once changed into the most || lected his duty, the Lord afterwards took ven

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ll as thy

B. c.7 years, that Absalom hade sheep-|| 30 And it came to pass, while they P630] Shearers in Baal-hazor, which is were in the way, that tidings came to Då beside Ephraim: and Absalom 'invited vid, saying, Absalom hath slain all the all the king's sons.

king's sons, and there is not one of them 24 And Absalom came to the king, left. and said, Behold now, thy servant hath 31 Then the king arose, and tare bis sheep-shearers; 5 let the king, 1 beseech garments, and lay on the earth; and 'all thee, and his servants, go with thy servant. his servants stood by with their clothes

25 And the king said to Absalom, rent. Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest 32 And Jonadab the son of Shimewe be chargeable unto thee. And he ah, David's brother, answered and said, ,

pressed him: howbeit he would not go, Let not my lord suppose that they have but i blessed him.

slain all the young men the king's sons; 26 Then said Absalom, If not, I pray for Amnon only is dead: for by the i apthee, k let my brother Amnon go with us. pointment of Absalom this hath been deAnd the king said unto him, Why should termined, from the day that he forced his he go with thee?

sister Tamar. 27 But Absalom pressed him, that he 33 Now therefore " let not my lord the let Amnon and all the king's sons go with king take the thing to his heart, to think him.

that all the king's sons are dead: for Am28 Now Absalom had commanded non only is dead. his servants, saying, Mark ye now when 34 But » Absalom fled. And the Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and young man that kept the watch lifted up when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there kill him, "sear not: * have not I com- came much people by the way of the manded you? be courageous, and be + val-hill-side behind him. iant.

35 And Jonadab said unto the king, 29 And the servants of Absalom did Behold, the king's sons come: unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded: servant said, so it is. then all the king's sons arose, and every 36 And it came to pass, as soon as he man * gat him upon his P mule and fled. had made an end of speaking, that bee Gen. 38:12,13. 1 Sam. 25:2,4, Dan. 5:2--6,30. Nah. 1:10. hold, the king's sons came, and lifted up 36. 2 Kings 3:4. 2 Chr. 26:10. Luke 21:34. f 1 Kings 1:9,19,25.

0 Num. 22:16,17. 1 Sam. 28:10, their voice, and wept; and the king also & 11:8-15. Ps. 12:2. 55:21. Jer. 41:6,7.

* Or, Will you not, since 1 and all his servants wept very sore. h Gen. 19:2,3. Judg. 19:7-10. have commanded you? Josh. Luke 14:23. 24:29. Acts 16:15.

37 But Absalom fled, and went to 1:9. i 14:22. marg. Ruth 2:4. | Heb. sons of valor.

12:16. Gen. 37:29,34. Josh. u 19:19. k 3:27. 11:13-15. 20:9. Ps. o 1 Sam. 22:18, 19. 1 Kings 21: 7:6. Job 1:20.

1 38. Gen. 4:8-14. Prov. 2855:21. Prov. 26:24,25. 11–13. 2 Kings 1:9-12. Prov. r 1:11. 3:31.

17. Jer. 48:44. Am. 5:19. 1 11:15. Ex. 1:16.17. 1 Sam. 29:12. Mic. 7:3.

$ 3-5.

1 Heb. according to the word 22:17,18. Acts 5:29. I l'eb. rode. t 1 Sam. 16:9. Shammah.

of thy servant. m 11:13. Gen. 9:21. 19:32-35. P 18.9. Gen. 36:24. Lev. 19: Heb. mouth.

** Heb. with a great weeping Judg. 19:6,22. 1 Sam. 25:36 19. 1 Kings 1:33.

Or, settled. Gen. 27:41. Ps. greatly. 15. marg. 12:21. 18: 38. i Kings 20:16. Esth. 1:10.

7.14. Prov. 24:11,12.

33. geance on Amnon, in a way which added still ally supposed. (3:3.). His atrocious crime was more to David's domestic trials. (Notes, 22— greatly aggravated, by being a breach of hospi33. 1 Sam. 2:29–34.).

tality, and committed under the mask of affec. V. 22–29. Absalom harbored the deepest tion, in the presence of his brethren; and by his resentment of the gross affront put upon him-father being drawn in unintentionally to be acself, and the irreparable injury done to his sister: | cessary to it. He involved his servants also in yet for two years be concealed his hatred under the guilt of murder, as if his command could the appearance of total indifference! (Notes, || warrant their transgression of God's law! Gen. 27:41,42. Prov. 26:24–27. Eph. 4:26,27.) || (Notes, 1 Sam. 28:9,10. 1 Kings 21:8—14.) He This imposed on Amnon, who on that very ac- || took the opportuuity of killing Amnon, when he count ought to have been more afraid of him; at was drunk, or nearly so, as if he had meant to length, however, Absalom deemed matters ripe murder body and soul at once: and his servants, for the execution of his determined revenge. | without hesitation, punctually executed his most According to the custom of those times, having | iniquitous command. (Notes, 1 Sam. 22:17– 19.) flocks of sheep, and making a feast when they || - His mule. (29) Males seem about this time to were shorn, he formed his plot upon that circum- | have come greatly into use among the superior stance. To cover his design he invited his persons, being substituted in the place of asses: father with all bis attendants to come to his | for horses were still little employed in Israel. feast, sensible that from prudential reasons he (Marg. Ref. p.) Yet the breeding of mules was would decline the invitation: but he thus obtain- à violation of the divine law. (Lev. 19:19.)ed his approbation to Amnon's going with the Probably, they were imported. rest of his brethren; and David perhaps hoped V. 32, 33. It cannot be supposed, that Absathat a reconciliation between them would be | lom would make Jonadab his confident; but bethus effected or cemented. Probably, Absalom || ing a sagacious man he had, from some circumwas urged on the more resolutely to the murder | stances, or casual expressions, suspected his of his brother, because he was the next heir to | malicious intentions. (Marg. Ref.-Note, 3,4.) the crown; if Chileab were dead, as it is gener-ll It would, however, have been far more profita

y Talmai, the son of * Ammihud, king of 39 And the soul of king David Geshur, And David mourned for his son longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he every day.

comforted concerning Amnon, see 38 So Absalom fled, and went to 2 Ge-ling he was dead. shur, and was there three years.

was

a Gen. 31:30. Deut. 28:32.

Pbil. 2:26.
† Or, was consumed. Ps. 84:

2. 119:20. b 12:23. Gen. 247. 37-35. 38. 12.

y 3:3. 1 Chr. 3:2.

* Or, Ammikur.

z 14:23,32. 15:8.

ble sagacity, to have foreseen these consequen- name of love is commonly a base sensual incii. ces, and to have forwarned Amnon, before he || nation, entire selfishness, which triumphs over had perpetrated the crime which provoked this conscience and the fear of God, and without fatal revenge. (Jer. 4:22.-Note, Jer. 8:8,9.) pity consigus its object to irreparable disgrace

V. 37–39. (Notes, Gen. 4:9—12.) Absalom and misery, for the sake of a momentary gratifled for refuge to the court of his another's father; | fication! How different from that love, which Marg. Rif. y;) and there he continued for the law of God commands! yea, how contrary three years: and David so far from requiring to it!—Men's domineering losts, when restrainhim to be delivered up, that he might be punished by external bindrances, become their tor. ed according to the law of God; after a time im- mentors, drink up their spirits, and disorder patiently desired to recal him, and to be recon- their bodies; and probably the fury of sinful ciled to him. In this he too closely copied Eli's passions, without any possibility of gratification, example, and honored his sons more than God; will form one dreadful part of ihe misery of the (Note, 1 Sam. 2:29.) who therefore made them damned: let the tremendous thought lead every his scourges, and then punished them himself. reader to seek the mortification of them, that David's sons however were not priests, and so by the grace of God they may be extirpated did not disgrace the sanctuary: he could not from his heart.-Who can conceive, what the have proceeded against Absalom, witho:t con- state of this world would be, if every sinner's demning him to die; as Eli might have done power was equal to his inclination, for the comagainst his sons: and David's own blood-guilti- | mission of wickedness?--If indulged melancholy ness, too much resembling Absalom's, (in that be improper for those, who possess eminent stahe murdered Uriah under the guise of friendshiptions and great affluence in this world; bow inby the hand of others, aster having previously consistent is it with the profession, privileges, tempted him to drunkenness,) might tend to en-| and prospects of the children of God! and if ervate his resolution and dispose him to lenity. they are “lean from day to day” in their souls, (Notes, 11:12–17.) These considerations may it is commonly the effect of yielding to sloth account for his conduct, but they by no means and worldly affections.-When iniquity is conexcuse it.—Absalom's servants filed with him, and ceived in the heart, all the powers of the unthus escaped the doom which they merited, and derstanding will be earployed in devising how so were reserved for further mischief. (14:30. to effect it; and even sickness will not always 15:10.)

be sufficient to take men off even for the time Mourned for his son. (37) Absalom seems here from licentious pursuits.-When debauched perexclusively intended; for David was comforted sons occupy exalted stations, they will be attendfor “Amnon;" who was buried privately, as it|ed by “very subtle men,” nearly resembling appears; and not, as Abner had been, with any Satan; sagacious prompters, and crafty advisers public honor. (Notes, 3:33–39.) Amnon's base in iniquity! These will assist them in overcomconduct had, it may well be supposed, rendered ||ing the opposition of shame and conscience; and him unpopular: and an honorable interment encourage them to gratify themselves, without would have been a strong protest against Absa- regarding truth or justice, or the interests or lom's crimes, which David was not disposed to happiness of others. Such are deemed and enter

treated as friends; but the event will prove

them to have been, merely for their own adPRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS. vantage, the most destructive enemies. Many V. 1-14.

violent, but concealed, evil desires would be The judgments of God upon those, who are extinguished, did not such prompters discern finally saved, may be so terrible, varied, and and draw forth the confession of them, and concontinued, as effectually to proclaim his abhor- trive the method of gratification. Such plausirence of their crimes; and no reflecting persun, ble villains know how to take advantage of the with these records before his eyes, would ven- affection, candor, modesty, and unsuspecting ture to commit iniquity, even if he could be confidence of pious persons, for the accomplishsure to escape eternal misery; any more than a ment of their own infamous designs: and when man would, for a trifling advantage, throw him- iniquity is resolved on, a perfect infatuation self from a precipice and break his bones, if he takes place, and all probable or certain consecould be assured that his life would be preserv-quences are forgotten.-But silent abhorrence ed: for he would be sensible, that he must suf: is the proper censure of these abominable deeds fer immense pain, and probably be a cripple all of darkness, which are especially horrible un. his days.-- The Lord over-rules the wickedness der the light of revelation: even ungodly per. of men, (while they are hurried on by their own sons will execrate those, who perpetrate such lusts and Satan's temptations,) to accomplish his outrages against coinmon decency: and they holy and righteous purposes.-External accom- will appear as fools and reprobates to their plishments are generally a detriment to the neighbors in general; notwithstanding high possessors, and a temptation to others: none rank, or even priocely or royal dignity. therefore ought to be vain of them, or to regret

V. 15-39. the want of them. So depraved is the human Sensual love is readily changed into hatred heart, that even natural affection may degene- and concupiscence into loathing: nor can it rearate into licentiousness; and the intercourse sonably be expected, that those, who make no even between near relations should be conduct- || scruple of debauching the persons for whom ed with caution and prudenrc, that no opportu-| they pretend affection, will feel any remorse at nity may be given to those who are disposed to deserting them with cruelty and disdain, at excommit iniquity.-What men dignify with the Il posing them to shame and contempt, or at leave

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