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SECOND SAMUEL XIV-THE WOMAN OF TEKOAH

and put on now mourning apparel, anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead:

3 And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.

4 | And when the woman of Tekoah spake to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king.

5 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman, and my husband is dead.

6 And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one smote the other, and slew him.

7 And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life of his brother whom he slew; and we will destroy the heir also; and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the earth.

8 And the king said unto the woman, Go to thine house, and I will give charge concerning thee.

9 And the woman of Tekoah said unto the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father's house: and the king and his throne be guiltless.

10 And the king said, Whosoever saith aught unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.

11 Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the LORD thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.

12 Then the woman said, Let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak one word unto my lord the king. And he said, Say on.

13 And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty, in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished.

14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.

15 Now therefore that I am come to speak of this thing unto my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid: and thy handmaid said, I will now speak unto the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his handmaid.

16 For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.

17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall

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Saul Acknowledged King

FROM A RECENT ENGLISH PRINT.

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And there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal."-1. Sam., 11, 15.

AUL made no effort to force his rule upon Israel.
Perhaps he felt that the matter was in God's hands,

and could be left to God. There came a day, however, when his resolute spirit was stirred to action. An Ammonite king besieged the chief city of Gilead and demanded that its defenders should each give him one of their eyes as tribute. Reduced almost to the point of surrender, the Gileadites sent a messenger throughout Israel appealing for aid, else they must lose their eyes, and this shame be put upon the nation.

When the news reached Saul, he rose in wrath, and summoned every tribe to join him, adding a stern threat against the laggards. A great army gathered, with which Saul overthrew the Ainmonites. At the victory all Israel rejoiced, and they declared that whoever still refused to acknowledge Saul as king, should die. Saul, however, won high praise by refusing to slay any of those who had opposed him. Thus his kingship, though won there upon the field of battle, began with an act of peace. Samuel came forward once more and summoned all the people to a solemn coronation. This was held at Gilgal, the ancient camp first established by the followers of Joshua in the Jordan valley.

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