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SECOND SAMUEL III-ABNER DESERTS SAUL'S HOUSE

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and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim.

30 And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David's servants nineteen men and Asahel.

31 But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, so that three hundred and threescore men died.

32 | And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Beth-lehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day.

Chapter 3

1 During the war David still wareth stronger. 2 Sir sons were born to him in Hebron. 6 Abner, displeased with Ish-bosheth, 12 revolteth to David. 13 David requireth a condition to bring him his wife Michal. 17 Abner, having communed with the Israelites, is feasted by David, and dismissed. 22 Joab, returning from batlle, is displeased with the king, and killeth Abner. '28 David curseth Joab, 31 and mourneth for Abner.

OW there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger,

and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker. 2 And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;

3 And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;

4 And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;

5 And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah, David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.

6 | And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul.

7 And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ish-bosheth said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father's concubine ?

8 Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ish-bosheth, and said, Am I a dog's head, which against Judah' do shew kindness this day unto the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David, that thou chargest me to-day with a fault concerning this woman?

9 So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the LORD hath sworn to David, even so I do to him;

10 To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beer-sheba.

The Revised Version reads "Am I a dog's head that belongeth to Judah? This day do I show kind. ness," etc.

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SECOND SAMUEL III-ABNER SEEKS DAVID

11 And he could not answer Abner a word again, because he feared him.

12 | And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land ? saying also, Make thy league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel unto thee.

13 | And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when thou comest to see my face.

14 And David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines.

15 And Ish-bosheth sent, and took from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish.

16 And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned.

17 | And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you:

18 Now then do it: for the Lord hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.

19 And Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and that seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin.

20 So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men that were with him a feast.

21 And Abner said unto David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord the king, that they may make a league with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thine heart desireth. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.

22 | And, behold, the servants of David and Joab came from pursuing a troop, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner was not with David in Hebron; for he had sent him away, and he was gone in peace.

23° When Joab and alı the host that was with him were come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son o1 Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone

in peace. 24 Then Joab came to the king, and said, What hast thou done? behold, Abner came unto thee; why is it that thou hast sent him away, and he is quite gone ?

25 Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all that thou doest.

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CON

The Sons of Eli

FROM THE SERIES BY GERHARD HOET.

I

Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.-1. Sam., 2, 12. T WAS not entirely a religious nor even a high-minded

world into which the little Samuel was thus introduced.

The high-priest Eli, while a well-meaning man, was not a vigorous one. Perhaps in early life he had displayed greater energy; for he was not only high-priest but also “judge” over Israel. The two offices being united in his person, for, so far as we know, the first time. But now a man approaching ninety years of age, he had yielded all active power to his two sons, Hapni and Phinehas.

These two were thoroughly evil men. They had no real faith in God, perhaps no real knowledge of him. The service of the tabernacle was to them merely a means of livelihood descended to them by right of inheritance. They disobeyed every law of the priestly service, they seized the sacrifices of the scandalized worshippers for their own use. They brought God's name to shame, so that “men abhorred the offering of the Lord.” Crimes even more disgusting and disgraceful were laid at their door. They introduced the worst practices of heathenism into the once pure worship of the sanctuary. Yet Eli, knowing all these things, did no more than remonstrate feebly with his contemptuous

offspring.

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