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CHAP. XIV.

|| to the ground, and did obeisance, and Joab instructs a woman

of Tekoah, and sends her to David, 14 || said, * Help, Ó king. 3. With a feigned tale and artful management she induces 5 And the king said unto her, What Jerusalem; yet he is not allowed to see the king, 21–2. His aileth thee? And she answered,' s I am beauty, 25, 26.

His children, 27. After two years, be pre-l indeed a widow woman, and mine husvails with Joab to introduce him to David, 28-33.

band is dead. Joab per

6 And thy handmaid that

to

two strove ward Absalom. 2 And Joab sent to Tekoah, and field, and there was t none to part them,

|| the , fetched thence a wise woman, and said

him. unto her, I pray thee feign thyself to be

7 And behold, 'the whole family is a mourner, and put on now mourning|| risen against thine handmaid, and they apparel , and anoint not thyself with oil

, said, Deliver him that smote his brother, but be as a woman that had a long time that we may kill him, for the life of his mourned for the dead:

brother whom he slew; and we will de3 And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab • put the stroy the heir also: and * so they shall

quench my coal which is left, and shall words in her mouth.

not leave to my husband neither name nor 4 And when the woman of Tekoah

remainder upon the carth. spake to the king, she fell on her face

2 Kings 6:26 28. Job 29:12—14. Luke 18: i Gen. 4:14. Num. 35:19. Deut. g 12:1-3. Judg, 9:8—15.

* Heb. Save.

them.

a 2:18. 1 Chr. 2:16.

E.c. 9:8. Matt. 6:17. b 13 39. 18:33. 39:2,4. Prov. e 19. Ex. 4:15. Num. 23:5. 29:26.

Deut. 18:18. Is. 51:16. 59:21. c 2 Chr. 11:6. 20:20. Neh. 3:5, Jer. 1:9.

27. Jer. 6:1. Am. 1:1. Tekon. f 1:2. 1 Sam. 20:41. 25:23. d 11:26. Ruth 3:3. Ps. 104:15.

3-5.

19:12.

k Gen. 27:45. Deut. 25:6. h Gen. 4:8. Ex. 2:13. Deut. 1 21:17. 22:26,27.

1 Heb. upon the face of. + Heb.

no deliverer bettecen

ing them to all the horrors of penury or prostitu-induces them to neglect their duty to God: yet tion. Let no one ever expect better treatinent parental affection can scarcely be extinguished from those, who are capable of attempting to by any degree of misconduct. But the case of seduce them. But whatever anguish and dis- || parents is very deplorable, when the children tress may result from injuries received, nothing copy their conduct in the crimes which they will eventually harm us except our own iniqui-perpetrate; and when it is nevertheless their ty: and it is better to suffer the greatest wrong, duty to punish them with great severity for than to commit the least sin, though apparently those very imitations! Let this be a warning to with impunity and without rebuke.--It is every us, to watch and pray against temptation, lest one's duty to comfort those who are in distress: by the misconduct of one unguarded bour, we and generally it is most advisable for injured per- should occasion such fatal consequences to our sons to be quiet, and leave their cause with God. offspring, and such misery to ourselves through-- When less atrocious crimes escape punish-out our future lives. And let us not covet that ment from man, more and greater will be com-worldly wisdom, which, with all its boasted samitted: and the magistrate's indignant anger gacity, cannot prevent the destruction of those against heinous offences should stimulate him to who are counselled by it: but let us seek that enforce the laws without respect of persons: but heavenly wisdom, which safely leads the posall others must learn to bear every injury with- / sessor through all the dangerous paths of this but seeking to revenge themselves; and if mildlife, to the perfect felicity of the eternal world. expostulations and prayers will not prevail,

NOTES. they must quietly leave the event to God.- Chap. XIV. V. 1-3. Joab perceived that Haired and revenge, however, possess the David greatly desired to recal 'Absalom; but bearts of ungodly men: and some are so artful did not know how to do it, without disgracing and malicious, that they defer their vengeance, his character and government: he therefore and cover it with the appearance of affection, framed a plausible story, and employed an intill they have an opportunity of executing it genious woman, in the character of a disconsowith more determined malignity:-Often have late widow, lo relate it to him. He doubtless festire interviews, and seasons of sensual indul- | intended to obtain a concession from David, gence, been the chosen scenes for assassinations that in some possible cases the punishment of a and massacres; and men have been sent into inurderer might be dispensed with; and then the eternal world from the midst of riot and to apply it to the case of Absalom. Thus he excess! Such is human nature, left to itself, hoped to ingratiate himself with both parties, armed with power, and emboldened by pros- with the king, and the next heir to the crown; perily: what need then have we to pray for as Absaloin would be now considered. Doubtconverting grace, and to be satisfied, in our in- | less he would also be glad to increase the numferior stations!—No crime is so great or evi-ber of precedents for the impunity of murderdent, that men in general will not be founders, as he lay under the guilt of that crime daring enough to commit, in order to please himself. their superiors: but alas! their command will V. 6,7. (Noles, 13:22—29. Gen. 4:8.) This not bear out the guilty at the day of judg-reigned case was widely different from that ment, for violating the law of God:–Evil tidings which it was intended to represent. It was inare generally enhanced: yet the imaginary ca-deed stated that one brother had been slain by lamily proves a real affliction for the time, and the other, and that the survivor, "the only son may serve the purpose of an humiliating chas- of his mother who was a widow," was exposed tisement.--Children are always uncertain com- | to the sentence of the law; but David had many forts: but indulged children will surely prove other sons; and the death of Absalom would not trials to pious parents, whose foolish fondness)bave “quenched his coal that was left," or de

8 And the king said unto the woman,|| faulty, in that the king doth not fetch Go to thine house, and " I will give home again his banished. charge concerning thee.

14 For we must needs die, and are 9° And the woman of Tekoah said as water spilt on the ground, which canunto the king, My lord, o king, the not be gathered up again: + neither doth iniquity be on me, and on my father's God respect any person; yet doth he house: • and the king and his throne bele devise means, that his banished be not guiltless.

expelled from him. 10 And the king said, Whosoever saith 15 Now therefore that I am come to ought unto thee, bring him to me, and he speak of this thing unto my lord the king, shall not touch thee any more.

ii is because the people have made me 11 Then said she, I pray thee, Plet || afraid: and thy handmaid said, I will now the king remember the LORD thy God, | speak unto the king; it may be that the that thou wouldest not suffer the re- king will perform the request of his handvengers of blood to destroy any more, maid. lest they destroy my son.

And he said, 16 For the king will hear, to deliver "As the LORD liveth, there shall s not his handmaid out of the hand of the man one hair of thy son fall to the earth. that would destroy me and my son togeth

12 Then the woman said, · Let thineler out of the inheritance of God. handmaid, I pray thee, " speak one word 17 Then thine handmaid said, The unto my lord the king. And he said, word of my lord the king shall now be * Say on.

comfortable: for ' as an angel of God, 13 And the woman said, y Wherefore so is my lord the king to 6 discern good then hast thou thought such a thing and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will against the ? people of God? for the king be with thee. doth speak this thing as one which is 18 Then the king answered and said

m 12:5,6.

16:4. Job 29:16. r 1 Sam. 14:45. 28:10. Prov. 18:13. Is. 11:3,4.

$1 Kings 1:52. Matt. 10:30. n Gen. 27:13. Matt. 27:25.

Acts 27:34. o 3:28. Nun. 35:33. Deut. 21: ti Sam. 25:24. 1--9. 1 Kings 2:33.

u Gen. 18:27,32. 44:18. Jer. p Gen. 14:22. 24:2,3. 31:50. 1 12:1. Sam. 20:42.

X Acts 26:1. * Heb. the revenger of blood

1 Kings 20:40_42. do not multiply to destroy. Luke 7:42-44. 9 Num. 35:19,27. Deut. 19:4—z 78. Judg. 20:2. 10. Josh. 20:3-6.

a 13:37,38.

1 Pet. 1:17.
b 11:25. Job 30:23. 34:15. Ec. e Ex. 21:13. Num. 35:15,25,
3:19,20. 9:5. Heb. 9:27.

28.
c Job 14:7-12,14. Ps. 22:14. Heb. for rest.
79:3.

20. 19:27. 1 Sam. 29.9, Prov
+ Or, because God hath not 27:21. 29:5.
taken away his life, he hath Heb. to hear.
also devised means, &c. g 1 Kings 3:9,28. Job 6:30. 1
d Deut. 10:17. Job 34:19. Matt. Cor. 2:14,15. marg. Heb. 5:
22:16. Acts 10:34. Rom. 2:11. 14.

y 12:7.

prived him of the comfort of children to succeed isonable demand. In this, David acted more hiin in his inheritance. Absalom had not slain according to his feelings than his judgment, and Amnon in sudden anger and hasty striving, was very precipitate. If the party concerned when they were alone; but in deliberate malice in the supposed case did not deserve to die, the and revenge, in the presence of his brethren.city of refuge would have afforded him a safe reThere was no malicious prosecution carrying treat, and a fair trial: (Note, Josh. 20:2–6.) on against Absalom by those who coveted his and if he merited death, David had no right to inheritance: but the law of God demanded his dispevse with the divine law by protecting him; death, as a satisfaction to justice, and for a salu- and moreover he had examined' no other wittary example to all others. Had the case beenness, than one interested party! drawn more similar, it would have betrayed the V. 13–17. The woman, having thus far carried design, and defeated Joab's purpose: and the her point, proceeded, gradually and ambiguously, state of David's heart rendered it unnecessary to apply David's concession to the case of Absato be very exact: for he wanted, not a good lom; and her speech was most artfully devised, reason, but a plausible excuse for following his so that she might retract, or be more explicit, inclinations, as Joab well knew.

according as he took it. She intimated that V. 8–11. It would not have answered the the king's severity to his son was injurious to intent of the woman, or of Joab ber prompter, the people of God; and that he was wanting in had David merely engaged to examine into the his duty to the kingdom, in delaying to recal case: a present absolute decision in favor of the him: as if Absalom had been so excellent a supposed criinipal was the object. The woman young man, that all the hopes of Israel centertherefore having excited David's compassion, ed in him! She represented his flight to Geurged her plea with great earnestness; and as-shur as a banishment, which had already been sured bim that she was so satisfied of the good too severe a punishment of his offence. She ness of the cause, that she was willing all the pleaded the certainty of death, and the impossiguilt, if there were any, should rest on her and bility of recalling the dead to life again; by her father's house, and not upon David or his which she would either insinuate that Amnon kingdom. Thus she engaged for what was out would have died in some other way, if Absalom of her power; (Note, 1 Sam. 28:9,10.) for the had not slain him; or that the punishment of Abneglect of punishing murder would, notwith-salom would not bring him to life again; or that, standing, bring guilt upon both king and peo-|| as David himself must at length die, it was proper ple. (Note, Num. 35:31–34.) She, however, that Absalom should be recalled to succeed him requested him to “remember the Lord his But whatever she meant, it was nothing to the God:” that is, to give her the security of an purpose: for God hath commanded the death of oath, that he would spare and protect her son; || the inurderer, which exceedingly tends to the and he was prevailed upon to grant ber unrea-l preservation of the life of man, though it can

unto the woman, -Hide not from me, I || servant knoweth that I have found pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in And the woman said, Let my lord the that the king hath fulfilled the request of king now speak.

+ his servant. 19 And the king said, Is not the hand 23 So Joab arose and went to Gei of Joab with thee in all this? And the shur, and brought Absalom to Jerusa woman answered and said, “ As thy soullem. liveth, my lord the king, none can turn 24 And the king said, Let him turn to to the right hand or to the left from his own house, and let him not see my ought that my lord the king hath spoken: face. So Absalom returned to his own for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and house, and saw not the king's face. m he put all these words in the mouth of 25 | But in all Israel there was none thine handmaid:

to be so much praised as Absalom for his 20 To fetch about this form of beauty: " from the sole of his foot even speech hath thy servant Joab done this to the crown of his head, there was no thing: and my lord is wise, according blemish in him. to the wisdom of an angel of God, P to 26 And when he polled his head, know all things that are in the earth. (for it was at every year's end that he (Practical Observations.]

polled it: because the hair was heavy on 21 | And the king said unto Joab, him, therefore he polled it;) he weighed Behold now, I have done this thing: go the hair of his head, at ý two hundred therefore, bring the young man Absalom shekels after the king's weight. again.

27 And unto Absalom there were 22 And Joab fell to the ground on his 12 born three sons, and one daughter, face, and bowed himself, and thanked whose name was a Tamar: she was a wothe king: and Joab said, To-day thy man of a fair countenance.

h 1 Sam. 3:17,18. Jer. 38:14,25. n 5:23.
i 3:27,29,34. 11:14,15. 1 Kings • 17. Job 32:21,22. Prov. 26:
2:5,6.

28. 29:5.
k 11:11. 1 Sam. 1:26. 17:55. p Gen. 3:5. Job 38:16,&c. !
20:3. 25:26. 2 Kings 2:2.

Cor. 8:1,2. 1 Num. 20:17. Deut. 5:32. 28: q 11. 1 Sam. 14:39. Mark 6:26.

14. Josh. 1:7. Prov. 4.27. * Heb. blessed. 19:39. Neh. m See on 3.-Ex. 4:15. Luke 11:2. Job 29:11. 31:20. Prov. 21:15.

31.28.

r Gen. 6:8. Ex. 33:16,17. Ruth Matt. 23:27.
2:2. 1 Sam. 20:3.

u Deut. 28:35. Job 2:7. Is. 1:6. | Or, thy.

Eph. 5:27. $ 3:3. 13:37.

X 13:9. Is. 3.24. 1 Cor. 11:14. t 28. 3:13. Gen. 43:3. Rev. y Gen. 23:16. Lev. 19.36. Ez 22:4.

45:9—14. 1 Heb. And as Absalom there z 18:13. Job 18:16_-19. Is. 14 was not a beautiful man in 22. Jer. 22:30. all Israel to praise greatly. a 13.1. 1 Sam 9:2. 16:7. Prov. 31:30.

not raise the dead; and if such an argument she seems to have ained to keep up the idea, were of any force, no malefactor must be put to that the case stated was real, though she had death! When we have a mind to a thing, all turned the discourse to Absalom; and that she “reasons seem strong to persuade us to it.' Bp: could not hope the king would spare her son, if Patrick. She also pleaded the mercy of God, he would not recal his own.-Her flattery in in spariot, and re-admitting sinful men into his the conclusion was very great; even though she presence and favor, though justly banished from meant only the land of Israel, and not the it; in which she seems to have referred to the whole earth: but in fact, David was not at this return of the manslayer to his inheritance, at time giving much proof of bis wisdom, as the the death of the high priest.The marginal event shewed! reading, (14) “because God hath not taken away V. 21, 22. David was willing to suppose that his life, he hath also, &c." appears to be the his oath, to spare the woman's son, obliged him proper translation; and it is intimated, that as to recal Absalom, who was the person really God had spared Absalom, David ought to par- intended; though he could not but perceive the don him.-But God pardons none who are im- insufficiency of her arguments, and the disparpenitent; nor any, to the dishonor of his law ity of the cases. As a favor therefore he gave and justice, or to the encouragement of crimes, 'Joab permission to fetch home Absalom; and and the injury of others. Perhaps she meant Joab appeared as thankful to the king for allotto hint, that the people expressed their dissatis- ting him this service, as if the most expensive faction with Absaloin's banishment so openly, kindness had been done him. There was much of that they made her afraid of an insurrection: the courtier in this; but it was far distant from but she purposely so confounded the feigned godly sincerity!- If however Joab thought, that cause of her son, with the real cause of Absa- ihis conduct of David as a pledge of reconcilialom, that part of her address is obscure. While tion, or act of indemnity, secured him, as a murhowever, she ventured to censure David for not derer, from punishment, he was deceived: for gratifying himself; she took care repeatedly to he was at length put to death for his crimes, give him llattering commendations for bis wis- and that by David's counsel. (Notes, 1 Kings dom and goodness, which in such a cause abun- 2:5,6,28–34.) dantly compensated for the ambiguity of her V. 24. David probably meant to quiet his discourse, and the weakness of her arguments own conscience, and to silence the censures of (Notes, Prov. 26:28. 29:5.) and to do her jus- others, or to shew his abhorrence of murder, tice, her ingenuity in pleading so bad a cause by laying Absalom under some tokens of diswas admirable. "We love those that admire grace, and by denying himself the pleasure of *us.'

seeing him. This might also be intended to V. 18—20. (Notes, 3:26 —39. 11:14—17.) humble Absalom: but it entirely failed of preEven when David perceived, and the woman | ducing that effect. had acknowledged, the drift 'of her discourse; I v. 25–27. Absalom was not praised for wis

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28 So Absalom dwelt two full|| Wherefore have thy servants set my

field years in Jerusalem, and saw not the on fire? king's face.

32 And Absalom answered Joab, Be29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, hold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come bithto have sent him to the king; but heer, that I may send thee to the king, to would not come to him: and when he say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? ent again the second time, he would not it had been good for me to have been there ome.

still: now therefore let me see the king's 30 Therefore he said unto his servants, face; and ' if there be any iniquity in me, See, Joab's field is near * mine, and he let him kill me. hath barley there; go and set it on fire. 33 So Joab came to the king, and told

And Absalom's servants set the field on him: and when he had called for Absafire.

lom, he came to the king, and bowed him31 Then Joab arose, and came to Ab-1 self on his face to the ground before salom unto his house, and said unto him, the king: and the king & kissed Absalom.

1 e 13:28, 29. Judg. 15:5.

b 30,51. Esth. 1:12. Matt. 22:3. d 1 Kings 21:9_-14. 2 Kings 9: Heb. my place.

33. 10:6,7.

e Ex. 14:12. 15:3. 17:3.

3:19.
f Gen. 3:12. 1 Sam. 15:13. Ps. g Gen. 27:26. *33:4.
36:2. Prov. 28:13. Jer. 2:22, Luke 15:20.
23. 8:12. Matt. 25:44. Rom.

45:15.

dom, justice, or piety; but merely for his beau- || pressed: yet the most amiable dispositions must ty, and effeminacy; for such doubtless was bisbe regulated by discretion; or they will lead us attention to his hair: and yet he was the admi- to improper concessions.-While the urgent ration and favorite of Israel! („Marg. Ref:- | wants of the poor are unheeded by most men; Notes, 15:1–6. 1 Kings 1:5,6.) 'It is not cer- the secret wishes of those, who possess authority "tain that he cut his hair once a year for the and affluence, are discovered and anticipated ‘words in the Hebrew are, “from the end of by crafty courtiers and dependents, who seek days to days,"... at stated times, ... when it grew their own interest by forwarding their indul. 'loo heavy. Bp. Patrick.-As 200 shekels, ac- | gence: so that conscientious self-denial in such cording to the usual meaning of the word, was a situation is doubly difficult and doubly needno less than eight pounds four ounces Troy | ful.-If scruples and fears deter great men weight; it has been thought, that the shekel of|| from complying with their inclinations; some half an ounce is not meant, but a much less feigned precedent, some plausible arguments, weight; or that the decorations used about his or some partial illustration, will be devised and hair were included. Absalom's atrocious guiltspeciously suggested, to remove the hindrance. however was forgotten, and bis accomplishments || In such a case, the discerning favorite, or canuniversally celebrated; which increased his ar- | didate for royal favor, will personally, or by rogance, and ended in his ruin.-His sons died some weil chosen instrumeni, venture to find before him. (18:18.)

fault with his prince or his patron; and to repV. 28, 29. Perhaps Absalom was not only | resent to him, that the safety of the state, or forbidden to visit his father; but was confined || some other important interest, demands those to his own house and its environs, and not al- | measures which he scruples to adopt: and by lowed to go abroad. (Note, 1 Kings 2:36-46.) || such addresses to the passions as are suited to Thus he would be greatly embarrassed in his his character and disposition, mixed with flatambitious projects: and this might be one rea- tering commendations and expostulations, he son of his impatient desire of being reconciled will cover the fallacy of his reasonings, and the to David, and enjoying bis full liberty; and also unlawfulness and impolicy of that conduct of being freed from the disgrace of his present which he recommends. Thus many a one has situation, which would hinder many from at- | been led to impose on his own judgment and taching themselves to him. He seems, how- || conscience, and conclude that he could not reever, to have been secretly active in forming a sist such urgent importunities, and such cogent party, even at this time: and either he had not arguments; that his consent was almost extort. favored Joab for his former services, according | ed; and that to oblige such kind friends he had to his expectations; or Absalom's popularity passed his word, and could not in honor retract and ambition made that sagacious politician re- it: wbile in reality he was overcome by his own gard him as a dangerous person, with whom he inclinations, and only wanted a specious excuse did not wish to form any further connexions; so for indulging them. If the required concesthat he declined coming to him.

sions are evidently contrary to the duty of a V. 30–33. Absalom's injurious and hector- | man's station, and the interests of society; it ing treatment of so considerable a person as will plausibly be argued, that some exceptions Joab; and his arrogant message to David, al-must be admitted; that this was a singular case; most vindicating his conduct and demanding and that here exactness would be barsh, injujustice; plainly shewed his character and in-| rious, and of bad consequence: by sophisiry, so tentions, and bis confidence in the favor of the manifest and slight, many even wise and good people, and the ill-judged lenity of his father. men deceive themselves, where their affections This aggravated David's sin and folly in receiv- are previously engaged.-Let us hence learn, ing birn into full favor, in the manner he did; || what need we have to adhere closely to our and which would give him access, without re- rule of duty; to pray earnestly for the teaching straint, to all those, who before were reserved, of the Holy Spirit; and to watch against the or afraid of shewing their attachment to him. deceitfulness of our own hearts, the bribery of

our passions, and the agreeable poison of adulaPRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS. tiun.-Sin has so filled the world with misery, V. 1- 20.

that real cases of distress may be found, more It behoves princes and magistrates to be ac- pitiable than any which the imagination can cessible, and to protect the destitute and op-|| feign; and we should readily endeavor to reVol. II. 20

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A

CHAP. XV.

1+ there is no man deputed of the king to Absalom, by fair speeches and affected courtesy, steals the hear thee.

hearts of the people, 1-6. Under pretence of a vow, he obtains leave to go to Hebron, where he raises rebellion, 7-12.

4 Absalom said moreover, « Oh, that David hearing it retires from Jerusalem, 13-18. lttai the I were made judge in the land, that every him, 19–23. Zadok and Abiatbar are sent back with the man which hath any suit or cause might ark, 24-29. David and his company ascend mount Olivet weeping. 30. Hearing that Ahíthophel had joined Absalom, come unto me, and I would do him jushe prays that his counsel may be turned into foolishness, 31.

tice! Hushai is sent back with instructions, 32-37. ND it came to pass after this, that

5 And it was so, that when any man • Absalom prepared him chariots, came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he and horses, and fifty men to run before put forth his hand, and took him, and him.

kissed him. 2 And Absalom rose up early, and

6 And on this manner did Absalom to stood beside the way of the gate: and it all Israel that came to the king for judgwas so, that when any man that had a

ment: so Absalom stole the hearts of controversy * came to the king for judg- the men of Israel. ment, then Absalom called unto him, and

7 | And it came to pass after said, Of what city art thou? And he said, 'forty years, that Absalom said unto

[Reze Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Is || the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay rael.

+ Or, none will hear thee from 3 And Absalom said unto him, See,

the king downward. 8:15. Ex. g 14:33. thy matters are good and right; but

d Judg. 9:1-5,15,29. Prov. 25: k 13:24—27. 11. 1 Kings 1:5,33. 10:26-29.

26. 1 Kings 3:16-28.

25.

c

20:12. 21:17. Prov. 30:11,17.
Ez. 22:7. Matt. 15:4. Acts 23:
5. 1 Pet. 2:17.

h Prov. 11:9. Rom. 16:18.

Pet. 2:3.
i 1 Sam. 16:13.

a 12:11. Deut. 17:16. i Sam. 8:

27:1.
Heb. to come. Ex. 18:14,16,

6,7. Luke 14:8-11.
e Prov. 27:2. 2 Pet. 2:19.
(Ps. 10:9,10. 55:21. Prov. 26:

1 Prov. 21:27. Is. 58:4. Matt 2:8. 23:14.

Ps. 20:7. Prov. 11:2. 16:18.

17:19. Jer. 22:14–16. b Job 24:14. Prov. 4:16. Matt.

c Num. 16:3,13,14. Ps. 12:2.
Dan. 11:21. 2 Pet. 2:10.

lieve those, who are in trouble: but even com- || rify all around him into compliance with his un passion, amiable as it is, will not justify our vio- | reasonable demands.But all this is the fore lations of the divine law, or neglect of the im- || runner of destruction: and when parents or rul portant duties of our station. (Note, Er. 23:1 ers countenance such imperious characters, —3.) With this single exception, alleviating they will soon experience the most fatal effects. misery is the noblest privilege and employment ||--The Lord grant unto us the inward beauty of of the great; who should in this especially “re-holiness, and the adorning of a meek and quiet member the Lord their God:” not only his au- || spirit: for "favor is deceitful, and beauty is thority and their ccountableness to him; but his vain:” and those only, who fear the Lord, are compassion and mercy to others and to them- | truly excellent and happy. selves; and his justice and holiness, who in his love to sinners manifests most conspicuously

NOTES. his abhorrence of their crimes.-As all must CHAP. XV. V. 1-6. The last clause in die, and there is no recal from the tomb by these verses aptly marks the way, in which human power, we should not spend our time in Absalom ingratiated himself with the people. immoderate, 'unavailing lamentations for the He “stole the hearts of the men of Israel." dead; but should be employed in preparing for (Note, Rom. 16:17—20.). He did not gain their our own dissolution, and in seizing the fleeting hearts by eminent services, or by a wise and opportunity of "serving our generation.”- virtuous conduct. But he affected to look When we are most commended for our discern- great, as heir to the crown; and yet to be very ment, we generally act the most foolishly; for condescending, and affable to his inferiors: he those very praises cloud the understanding and pretended a great regard to their interests, and pervert the judgment. We deem it unnecessa- threw out artful insinuations against David's ry for persons, of such acknowledged wisdom | administration: he flattered every one who had as we are, to waste time in nice distinctions; a cause to be tried, with the assurance that he we can scarcely refuse to speak comfortably to bad right on his side; that, if it went against them, who speak so agreeably to us: and hence him, he might be led to accuse David and the extravagant commendations lead to self-decep- || magistrates of injustice. Though Absalom tion, and entangle all parties in the net of the knew not how to obey, and deserved to die for great deceiver of our fallen race.

his atrocious crime; yet he expressed a vehe. V. 21-33.

ment desire to be judge over all the land; and In our treatment of children or others who suggested, that suits should not then be so tehave greatly offended, every method should be dious, expensive, and partially decided as they used, which has a tendency to mortify pride, were. This he confirmed by rising early and and to bring them to repentance; and in aiming by apparent application; though it was to other at this important object, the feelings of our people's business, and not to his own duty: and hearts must be repressed. But when high | by such sinister arts, united with his personal rank, . early indulgence, impunity in crimes, attractions, magnificence, and address, he imfattering commendations, personal accomplish-|| posed upon multitudes all over the land, to prements, and popular favor, concur to increase | fer so worthless a character to the wise, rightthe natural haughtiness of the human heart; eous, and pious David!-Others of the king's and when the Lord leaves a man to himself, it sons were employed in public business, but Abis inconceivable to what a pitch of arrogance salom seems not to have had any place. (Note, and insolence he will arrive." A person of this 8:15—18.) This might offend him; and his ardescription will vindicate the basest villanies, tifices tended to alienate the people from his treat all superiors with contempt, and all bene- || brethren, as well as from his father.-The charfactors with ingratitude; and overbear and ter-lliots and horsemen of Absalom, being a devia

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