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without some manifestation of the anger of Jehovah, and therefore Samuel thus addresses the people :

Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which Jehovah will do before your eyes. Is it not wheat-harvest to-day? I will call unto Jehovah, and he shall send thunder and rain ; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of Jehovah in asking you a king. So Samuel called unto Jehovah; and Jehovah sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared Jehovah and Samuel. And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto Jehovah thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king."

Chap. xii. 16-19. Samuel profits by the well-known superstition of the Israelites. A thunder-storm, during the wheat-harvest, being an uncommon occurrence, he teaches them to regard it as a de. claration of the Divine wrath.

Jehovah suggests a deception to Samuel. In order to elude the suspicion and anger of Saul, which would probably be excited by the public anointing of David, Samuel is directed by Jehovah to go to Jesse the Beth-lehemite, and pretend that he is come to sacrifice.

“ And Jehovah said unto Samuel, Fill thine horn with oil,
and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite : for I have
provided me a king among his sons. And Samuel said, How

I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And Jehovah said,
Take an heifer with thee, and say I am come to sacrifice to
Jehovah. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show thee
what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom
I name unto thee.”—Chap. xvi. 1-3.

Government and Providence of God. Jehovah is ever active among his people, and is the immediate cause of everything which happens. The Israelitish state is a theocracy, and Jehovah is the king. When the people desire a king, they reject Jehovah, and will no longer have him to reign over them.

“And Jehovah said unto Samúel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thée : for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."-Chap. viii. 7.

“Ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us; when Jehovah your God was your king.”--Chap. xii. 12.


It is Jehovah who suffers his people to be subdued in the battle, and who also gives them the victory over their enemies. He maketh barren and he maketh fruitful.*

When Nabal died suddenly it is said

“ And it came to pass about ten days after, that Jehovah

smote Nabal that he died.”-Chap. xxv. 38. After Saul has been informed that he is selected to be the king of Israel, and his deportment is consequently more noble and elevated, it is said

“God gave him another heart.”—Chap. x. 9. And when the warriors who accompany Saul to Gibeah remain faithful to him, it is God who had

“ Touched their hearts."-Chap. x. xxvi. Every sudden change of disposition, every movement of the soul, every noble thought leading to great actions, and every improvement of character, is, according to the notions of the ancient Hebrews, the work of the Deity.

The Spirit of God comes upon Saul when he, joining himself to the prophets, also begins to prophecy.

The Spirit of Jehovah will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophecy with them, and shalt be turned into another man."

“ And when they came thither to the hill, behold a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.”—Chap. x. 6 and 10. When Saul hears of the insult with which the Ammonites threaten the people of Jabesh

“ The Spirit of God came upon Saul, and his anger was kindled greatly."-Chap. xi. 6. When Samuel anoints David in the midst of his brethren,

“ The Spirit of Jehovah came upon David from that day forward."-Chap. xvi. 13. Jehovah is the author of evil. All physical evils are the inflictions of Jehovah, and are to be regarded as his punishments for sins and transgressions. If a man dies of the plague, it is Jehovah who smites him. When a large number of the men of Beth-shemesh die, their death is ascribed to the smiting of Jehovah, who thus punishes them for having shown irreverence and curiosity, by looking into the ark.

* See chap, iv.3; vii. 7, 8; 1.5 ; i. 19, 20; and ii. 20,

“ Jehovah smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah; even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented because Jehovah had smitten many of the people

with a great slaughter."-Chap. vi. 19. The contagious disease, which broke out in the camp of the Grecians, at the siege of Troy, is attributed to the arrow which Phoebus had shot into it.

Jehovah hardens the heart of wicked men, so that they cannot improve after he has resolved to punish them. When Eli, the high priest, exhorts his sons to amend their lives, we are told that

" Notwithstanding, they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because Jehovah would slay them."-Chap. ii. 25. Melancholy and mania are attributed to the evil spirit sent by Jehovah. As Jehovah's good spirit gives cheerfulness, cleverness and strength, so his evil spirit causes madness, dejection, and despair. Such an evil spirit proceeds from God, and may be tamed and driven away by musicthus was every unusual occurrence, whether good or bad, referred immediately to God, or to his spirit. But we have here the distinction between the good and the evil spirit. Singing and music enliven the mind; and, therefore, the belief that they would dispel the spirit of gloom, or the evil spirit, was natural.

" But the Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah troubled him. And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. Let our lord now command thy servants which are before thee to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.”

And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand : so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed

from him.”-Chap. xvi. 14-16, and 23. Wherever the ark of Jehovah is, there Jehovah is present, bestowing prosperity and happiness, health and victory. The same expression occurs in this, as in the preceding Books, " before Jehovah :” meaning, before the ark of Jehovah.

“ Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before Jehovah.”

Chap. x. 25. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before Jehovah in Gilgal."-Chap. xv. 33. When the Israelites are beaten by the Philistines, they assign the not having taken the ark of Jehovah with them to the battle, as the cause of their defeat.

“ And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath Jehovah smitten us to-day before the Philistines ? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of Jeho. vah out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies. So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of Jehovah of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims.”

And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore. Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? these are the gods that smote. the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.”—Chap. iv, 3, 4 and 7, 8. The Philistines capture the ark of Jehovah—the plague afterwards breaks out among their troops. This they regard as an infliction from Jehovah for having detained the symbol of his presence, and they consequently restore the ark to Israel.

The sacred oracle of Jehovah, the Urim and Thummim, is consulted before the commencement of any important undertaking, particularly before going to war, or making an attack upon the enemy. Saul inquires of Jehovah :

And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and spoil them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And they said, Do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee. Then said the priest, Let us draw near hither unto God. And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I


down after the Philistines ? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of

Israel ?"-Chap. xiv. 36, 37.* David inquires of Jehovah whether he shall attack Keilah: “ Then David inquired of Jehovah yet again. And Jehovah

* See chap. xxviii. 6.


answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand.”-xxiii. 4. David inquires whether he shall pursue the Amalekites, and whether he shall overtake them :

“ And David said to Abiathar the priest, Abimelech's son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. And David enquired at Jehovah, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them ? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.-Chap. xxx. 7, 8. Jehovah not only makes known his will through the Urim and Thummim, he also reveals himself to the prophets in visions and dreams. Visions are, however, but rarely vouchsafed :

“ The word of Jehovah was precious in those days; there was no open vision.”--Chap. iii. 1. According to the narration given in the third chapter, Jehovah manifests himself to Samuel in a dream, and prises him of his intention to bring a lasting punishment on the family of Eli, the high priest, on account of the sins of his sons.

Samuel fancies in his dream that some one calls him, and he thinks it must be Eli. This happens a second time. The pious Eli concludes that Samuel had heard the Divine voice calling to him, and instructs him how to answer, should he hear it a third time. Nothing could be more natural than that Samuel should dream of those matters which occupied his waking thoughts; for he was consecrated to the service of Jehovah.

Jehovah speaks to Samuel in a dream respecting the rejection of Saul.

“ Then Samuel said to Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what Jehovah said to me this night.”—Chap. xv. 16. Jehovah hears and answers the prayers of his prophets. The prophet, or “ seer,” is held in high esteem among the people, because he is believed to have influence with Jeho. vah; also, because he is supposed to know everything by inspiration. The children of Israel, when alarmed at the threatened attack of the Philistines, entreat Samuel to cry unto their God for them :

“ And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel


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