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8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa.

9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people.

10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan.

11 | And when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul,

12 All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.

13 And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

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Introduction to the Second Book of Samuel

The authorship and history of the Books of Samuel were explained in the introduction to the first book. The second book consists of twenty-four chapters, beginning with David's lament over the death of Saul, and tracing the career of Israel's greatest king down to the period of his old age, leaving his death for the Book of Kings which follows.

It is with the material of this Second Book of Samuel that the detailed portion of First Chronicles also begins; and from here to the period of Judah’s captivity we have a double narrative. The history recounted in Chronicles duplicates much of that in Samuel, sometimes repeating the exact words. Chronicles however deals chiefly with religious or priestly events, while the present narrative regards the worldly or kingly side of the same story.

Hence in Second Samuel we are shown David as a mighty conqueror, and as a deeply human man. We are told first of his sorrow over the breaking of old associations by the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, then of his politic moves and his establishment in Hebron as King of Judah. Next comes the downfall of Saul's last adherents, and David's establishment as king over all Israel. He conquers peace at home, and then triumphs abroad, and becomes ruler of an empire. This he organizes, consolidates and makes secure. Then the book tells of his private life, his sin, repentance, and punishment. Then comes his old age, with the tragic rebellion of his beloved son.

The final chapters, twenty-one inclusive twenty-four, form a sort of appendix deserting the chronological order of the remainder of the book. They are probably a later addition or insertion into the body of the work. The “Hymn of Triumph” in chapter twenty-two corresponds closely to one of the Psalms, as do other portions of these closing chapters. Their religious worth and literary beauty have made them very famous.


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Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved; but her voice was not heard therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.-1. Sam., 1, 13.

ANNAH'S husband was one of the few Israelites

who in the dark and irreligious days of Samson

and of the Philistines' rising power, still maintained his faith in God. He went yearly to worship at the sanctuary of the ark at Shiloh. Thither one year he brought his family. Hannah, being specially tormented by her rival, slipped away in sorrow from the others. While they feasted, she sought the doorway of the sanctuary and there prayed earnestly to God, for a son.

Now Eli the high-priest, a very old and almost senile man, sat within the entrance to the sanctuary and watched Hannah. In those days the sin of drunkenness was common, and as the old man saw this woman's passion-swaying frame, her streaming eyes, and moving lips from which there came no audible words, he duly thought that here was drunkenness brought to the very shrine of God. He therefore spoke sharply to Hannah, rebuking her. She answered him with patience and submission; and the aged priest, touched by her misery, bade her go in peace: “And the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.” Such words from the chief priest seemed to Hannah to have the force of a prophecy.

“Her countenance was no more sad.”

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