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SECOND SAMUEL IX-DAVID SEEKS JONATHAN'S SON

559

Chapter 9

1 David by Ziba sendeth for Mephibosheth. 7 For Jonathan's sake he entertaineth him at his table, and restoreth him all that was Saul's. 9 He maketh Ziba his farmer.

AND David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of
Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?

2 And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba ? And he said, Thy servant is he.

3 And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I

may

shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.

4 And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar.

5 ( Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar.

6 Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!

7 | And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.

8 And he bowed himself and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am!

9 | Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house.

10 Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.

11 Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons.

12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth.

13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet.

560

SECOND SAMUEL XJOAB'S GREAT VICTORY

Chapter 10 I David's messengers, sent to comfort Hanun the son of Nahash, are villainously entreated. 6 The Ammonites, strengthened by the Syrians, are overcome by Joab and Abishai. 15 Shobach, making a new supply of the Syrians at Helam, is slain by David.

ND it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead.

2 Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.

3 And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it ?

4 Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away,

5 When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.

6 And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ish-tob twelve thousand men.

7 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.

8 And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ish-tob, and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.

9 When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians:

10 And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon.

11 And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee.

12 Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.

13 And Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him.

14 And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.

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The Ark Returns
FROM THE SERIES BY GUSTAVE DORÉ.

T"

And they of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their

eyes,

and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.-1. Sam., 6, 13.

HE priests of the Philistines were not wholly ready to admit that the ark was the cause of all the misery

so they proposed a test. The ark was brought out, being touched with trembling reverence now, and was placed with gorgeous decorations and gifts upon a cart To this cart were hitched two untrained cows, whose calves were led away from them. Now, argued the priests, if this ark is but an ordinary box, the cows will seek their calves; if it has a supernatural power it will compel them to take it back to Israel.

“And the kine took the straight way to the way of Beth-shemesh,” which was the nearest Israelite town. As they drew the ark along the highway, they called plaintively for their lost calves, yet “turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.” Thus the ark went back to Israel.

The lords of the Philistines followed it to the borders of their land, and then went home in awe and wonderment. The people of Beth-shemesh, looking up from their wheat harvest, were astounded by what they saw, the lowing kine advancing without a driver, the lonely cart with all its unprotected wealth of decoration, and upon it their treasured ark so mysteriously returned to them.

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