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FIRST SAMUEL XXX—THE PRESENTS TO ISRAEL

which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the

company that came against us into our hand. 24 For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike.

25 And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.

26 And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD;

27 To them which were in Beth-el, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir,

28 And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa,

29 And to them which were in Rachal, and to them which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to them which were in the cities of the Kenites,

30 And to them which were in Hormah, and to them which were in Chor-ashan, and to them which were in Athach,

31 And to them which were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt.

Chapter 31 1 Saul having lost his army, and his sons slain, he and his armourbearer kill themselves. the bodies by night, burn them at Jabesh, and mournfully bury their bones.

WOW the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of

Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in

mount Gilboa. 2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchi-shua, Saul's sons.

3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.

4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.

6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.

7 | And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

7 The Philistines possess 11 They of Jabcsh-gilead, recovering

the fursaken towns of the Israelites.

8 They triumph over the dead carcases.

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Hannah and Samuel

BY W. S. STACEY, A CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH ARTIST.

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And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou . . . . wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life.I. Sam., 1, 11.

SHE First Book of Samuel tells of the change which

came over Israel at the close of the period of the

“judges.” The twelve scattered tribes, driven by the warlike necessities of their situation, united in a closer bond and became a nation. The old loose semi-religious government of the judge was abandoned for the stronger though more despotic rule of a single arbitrary monarch. The last of the judges, the man in whose days and largely under whose guidance the change occurred, was Samuel.

The tale begins before the birth of Samuel, with his mother, Hannah. Hannah has long been regarded by both Jewish and Christian commentators as typifying the Church of God yearning for the coming of the Messiah, enduring deep misery while looking forward to a period of beatitude. So Hannah yearned for the birth of a son. She was a childless woman, wife of Elkanah, a wealthy Ephraimite. He had another, less loved wife, Peninnah, who had many children and who avenged herself for Elkanah's preference by repeatedly mocking at Hannah's childlessness. Hannah endured in silent sorrow; but all the joy of life was gone from her under this worst curse which could befall a Hebrew woman. Rachel in similar case had cried: Give me children, or else I die.” Hannah vowed that, if she had a child, he should be devoted

wholly to God's service.

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