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Naomi Welcomed Home

BY A. DÜRR, A RECENT GERMAN ARTIST.

And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara."-Ruth, 1, 20.

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NDER God's protection the young Moabite woman

and the ancient Jewess, inseparable companions

now forever, journeyed in safety back to Judoh, back to the Messiah's own little city of Bethlehem. There their return made considerable talk; for Elimelech had been a man of wealth and importance in the town and was well remembered. Moreover there seem to have been some small properties of his still remaining, upon which Naomi would have some claim.

Iler old neighbors visited her in wonder, asking “Is this Naomi ?" The question had unintended sharpness, for the name Naomi means sweetness. So that the unhappy widow cried out that they should not call her thus, but should rename her Mara, which means bitterness; “for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterny with me.

“I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted

me?"

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FIRST SAMUEL XXIV-SAUL'S REMORSE

531

me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD's anointed.

11 Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it."

12 The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon

thee. 13 As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be

upon

thee. 14 After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dosť thou pursue ? after a dead dog, after a flea ?

15 The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand.

16 | And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my sone David ? And Saul lifted up his

voice, and wept. 17 And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.

18 And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the Lord had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not.

19 For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day.

20 And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand.

21 Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my

father's house. 22 And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold.

Chapter 25 1 Samuel dieth. 2 David in Paran sendeth to Nahal. 10 Provoked by Nabal's churlishness, he mindeth to destroy him. 14 Abigaŭ understanding thereof, 18 taketh a present. 23 and by her wisdom 32 pacifieth David. 36 Nabari hearing thereof dieth.

39 David taketh Abigail and Aninoam to be his wives. 44 Michal is viven to Phalti. IND Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together,

and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah.

And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.. 2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel." 3 Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife

This is not Mount Carmel in central Palestine, but an ancient town in the extreme south, between six and seven miles south of Hebron.

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