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The Parting of the Ways

FROM THE SERIES BY JULIUS SCHNORR.

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And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day.I. Sam., 15, 28.

CAVING repelled the Philistines, Saul, still aided

by his warlike son, defeated Israel's other enemies,

and stood for a moment at the pinnacle of his power. Then the aged Samuel, coming out of his honorable retirement, brought the command of the Lord directing Saul to attack Israel's most ancient foe the Amalekites of the desert, and to destroy every living creature among them. Saul fought Amalek willingly; but in his growing self-confidence, he presumed to disobey the remainder of the command. He kept the king of the desert dwellers as a captive, and their herds as spoil.

Samuel went again to Saul to rebuke him. These two, who had been so long allied, had now reached the parting of their ways; for Saul had become a trickster. He pretended to have obeyed God. When Samuel would have turned away from him in scorn, the king seized the prophet's robe to hold him. The garment was torn across in a jagged rent, whereon Samuel prophesied that even at that moment was the kingdom being rent away from Saul.

“And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul; and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel."

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SECOND SAMUEL XVII-DAVID WARNED BY THE SPIES

575

12 So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as one.

13 Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there.

14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.

15 | Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counselled.

16 Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him.

17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by En-rogel; for they might not be seen to come into the city: and a wench went and told them; and they went and told king David.

18 Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court: whither they went down.

19 And the woman took and spread a covering over the well's mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and the thing was not known.

20 And when Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

21 And it came to pass, after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said unto David, Arise, and pass quickly over the water: for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you.

22 Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over Jordan: by the morning light there lacked not one of them that was not gone over Jordan.

23 | And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.

24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.

25 | And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host instead of Joab: which Amasa was a man's son whose name was Ithra an Israel

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SECOND SAMUEL XVII—THE GILEADITES SHELTER DAVID

ite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab's mother.

26 So Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead.

27 | And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,

28 Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse,

29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.

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