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FIRST SAMUEL XV-GOD REJECTS SAUL

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ings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. 27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon

the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.

28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.

29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.

30 Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God.

31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.

32 ( Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.

33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.

34 [Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.

35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

pray thee,

Chapter 16

1 Samuel, sent by God, under pretence of a sacrifice, cometh to Beth-lehem. 6 His human judgment is reproved. 11 He anointeth David. 15 Saul sendeth for David to quiet his evil spirit.

AND the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for

Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel ?

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.

2 And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me.

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FIRST SAMUEL XVI-SAMUEL ANOINTS DAVID

And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.

3 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.

4 And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?

5 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.

6 ( And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord's anointed is before him.

7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this.

9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.

10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.

11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.

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. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

14 ( But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.

15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

16 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.

17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me.

18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Beth-lehemite, that is cunning in playing, and

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The Victim of the Benjamites

BY GABRIEL GUAY, A CONTEMPORARY FRENCH ARTIST.

Y

The woman

: . was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.' Jud., 19, 27.

ET more sad than the ignorant idolatry of the Dan

ites is the story that closes the Book of Judges,

showing the degeneracy and wickedness into which at least one tribe of Israel had fallen. A priest or Levite wedded a woman of Judah, but finding her unfaithful sent her back to her father. Later the Levite repented of his anger and sought his wife's home in forgiveness. The woman's father, delighted at the reconciliation, feasted the young pair joyously. When they would have started on their journey homeward, the boisterous father delayed them again and yet again, so that they finally set out not in the early morning but late of an afternoon. Thus from their own folly the pair were overtaken by night at the Benjamite city of Gibeah.

Now the Benjamites were already known as a wild and lawless people, so the Levite was sore afraid. A stranger dwelling in the town gave him shelter; but at night the Benjamites gathered round the house threatening the new-comers. To

escape

thein the Levite, in what to us would unutterable cowardice, thrust out his wife among them. They so maltreated her that in the morning he and his host found the unfortunate woman dead upon the doorstep:

seem

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