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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 (h. 15.7

seen to come into the city: and a wench went and told them; and they went and - Jos. 15. 7; 18 18 18 told king David. Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they

went both of them away quickly, and came to a man's house v in Bahurim, which ch. 16. S. 19 had a well2 in his court; whither they went down. And the woman took and see Jos 2 6

spread a covering over the well's mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and 20 the thing was not known. And when Absalom's servants came to the woman to

the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said34Ex

unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought 21 and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 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 * vera. 15, 16. 22 hath Ahithophel counselled against you. Then Darid arose, and all the people

that were with him, and they passed over Jordan :3 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 households 15.1.23 in order, and hanged himself,4 and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his * 1117. . father.

Absalom pursues after David; his army is defeated, and himself slain. THEN David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and here. 2. 3; 25 all the men of Israel with him. And Absalom made & Amasa 5 captain of the host * eh. 19. 13

instead of Joab: which Amasa was a man's son, whose name was Ithra an Israelite,

that went in to “ Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab's mother. 1.Chr.2, 16, 17, 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 Ammieli eh. 4 28 of Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, brought beds, and basins 8 215,19. 31, 33; 1 Ei

(or, cups), and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched 29 corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse, 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 - ch. 18. 2

wilderness.
18 And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of
2 thousands' and captains of hundreds over them. And David sent forth a third

part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of
Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of ch. 15. 19.

Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, "I will surely go forth ch. 17.1. 3 with you myself also. 9 But the people answ

aswered, Thou shalt not go forth: for "ch. 91. 17. if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care

for us: but now thou art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better 4 that thou succour us out of the city.10 And the king said unto them, What seemeth

you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came

out by hundreds and by thousands. 5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, ' Deal gently for ch 16. 11. my sake with the young man, even with Absalom.!! And all the people heard "ver

. 12 when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom. 6 So the people went out into the field against Israel : and the battle was in the 7 'wood of Ephraim ;12 where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of . Jou. 17. 15, 18.

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1 Near the junction of the valley of Hinnom with that of the Kedron.

Ishmaelite.' Had he been an Israelite, there would have been no occasion to mention his nation.

? A skin, or carpet, forms the bed of travellers in Syria. 8 Or, bowls.'

2 There are few springs in the district round Jerusalem; and the houses are consequently provided with reservoirs for rain-water, which are sometimes dry in hot weather, and can be used as places of concealment.

3 It is thought by some that Psalms xlii. and xliii. were composed on this occasion.

4 Probably both because he could not brook the disregard shown to his advice, and because he foresaw that Absalom's vanity and folly would ruin his cause.

5 On comparing this with the parallel text (1 Chron. ii. 16, 17), it appears that Abigail and Zeruiah were both sisters of David; and consequently Joab, Abishai, and Amasa were nephews of David and cousins of Absalom.

6 Ithra or Jether is said, in 1 Chron. ii. 17, to be an

9 This implies that David's army had received large accessions (see also ver. 4). Absalom's arts of insinua. tion had been practised chiefly at Jerusalem; and his influence was less in the distant districts.

10 That is, Mahanaim (ch. xvii. 27).

11 While Absalom would have only David smitten (see ch. xvii. 2–4), David would have Absalom spared.

12 This was evidently on the east of the Jordan, not in the territory of Ephraim; and is supposed by some to have derived its name from the slaughter of the Ephraimites mentioned in Judg. xii. This, however, is very uncertain.

Jos. 10. 11.

#eh. 14. 26.

ch. 14. 17, 20

a Jos. 7. 26

Ge. 14. 17. e see eh. 14. 27

David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men. 8 For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and " the

wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured. 9 And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and

the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold

of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth ; and the mule 10 that was under him went away. And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and 11 said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. And Joab said unto the man

that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him

there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a 12 girdle. And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand

shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king's son : for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, "ver

. S 13 saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom. Otherwise I should

have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for ? there is no matter hid from 14 the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me. Then said

Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and

thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst 15 of the oak. And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and

smote Absalom, and slew him. 16

And Joah blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after 17 Israel: for Joah held back the people. And they took Absalom, and cast him

into a great pit in the wood, and a laid a very great heap of stones upon him:

and all Israel fled every one to his tent. 18 Now Absalonr in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar,

which is in the king's dale: for he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance : and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto

this day, Absalom's place.? 19 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king 20 tidings, how that the Lord hath avenged him of his enemies. And Joah said

unto him, Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings

another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king's son is 21 dead. Then said Joab to Cushi,3 Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And 22 Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran. Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok

yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi.

And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings 23 ready [or, convenient}? But howsoever, said he, let me run.

And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi. 24 And David - sat between the two gates : and the watchman went up to the Kia.

roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold 25 a man running alone. And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the

king said, If he be alone,4 there is tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and 26 drew near. And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman

called unto the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the 27 king said, He also bringeth tidings. And the watchman said, Me thinketh the

running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And

the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings. 28 And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, All is well [or, Peace be to thee).

And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed be

the Lord thy God, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand 29 against my lord the king. And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe?

And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant, and me thy servant, 30 I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was. And the king said unto him, 31 Turn aside, and stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still. And, behold,

Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the Lord hath 32 avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. And the king said

unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, / The enemies Judg. & 31.

of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that 33 young man is. And the king was much mored, and went up to the chamber

e2 Ki. 9. 17.

1 That is, in their flight through forests and swamps. 2 Literally,'hand.' Josephus says that the pillar was of marble, and called Absalom's hand. It must have been erected either before the birth or after the death of Absalom's sons.

3 If this means, as it does elsewhere (Jer. xiii. 23; xxxviii. 7, 10; 2 Chron. xiv. 8), a Cushite, or Ethiopian,

we may suppose that Joab preferred employing him to carry the news of Absalom's death, as being a foreigner, and perhaps a slave, to whom the anger of the king would be of less consequence than to one in the position of Ahimaaz.

4 His coming alone indicated that he was simply a messenger or courier.

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I ch. 18. 33

over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my eh. 19. 4.

son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, o Absalom, my son, 19 And it was told Joab, Behold, the king weepeth and mourneth for Absalom. A ch 18 32 2 And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the 3 people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son.

And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away 4 when they fee in battle. But the kingTMk covered his face, and the king cried

with a loud voice, 'O my son Absalom, 0 Absalom, my son, my son! 5 And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this

day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the

lives of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives 6 of thy concubines; in that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For

thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants : for

this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then 7 it had pleased thee well. Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably

unto thy servants : for I swear by the LORD, if thou go not forth, there will not

tarry one with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the 8 evil that befell thee from thy youth until now. Then the king arose, and " sat - ch. 18. 4, X

in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for * Israel had fled "ch. 18 17. every man to his tent.

Return of the king to Jerusalem. 9 AND all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying,

•The king saved us out of the hand of our enemies, and he delivered us out of 1 Sam. 17. 50.

the hand of the Philistines : and now he is p fled out of the land for Absalom. e ch. IS 14. 10 And Absalom, ' whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore 1 ch. 15. 12, 12

why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back ? 11 And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto

the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his

house ? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, even to his house. 12 Ye are my brethren, ye are' my bones and my flesh: wherefore then are ye the 13 last to bring back the king? And say ye to Amasa, Art thou not of my bone,

and of my flesh ?3 "God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the 14 host before me continually in the room of Joab. And he+ howed the heart of all

the men of Judah, " even as the heart of one man; so that they sent this word 15 unto the king, Return thou, and all thy servants. So the king returned, and

came to Jordan. And Judah came to *Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct - Jos. 8 %

the king over Jordan. 16 And Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite, which was of Bahurim, hasted and 17 came down to the men of Judah to meet king David. And there were a thousand

men of Benjamin with him, and · Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his

fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they went over Jordan before 18 the king. And there went over a ferry boats to carry over the king's household,

and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before 19 the king, as he was come over Jordan ; and said unto the king, a Let not my lord • 1 Sam. 22 15

impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did ch. 16 578

perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king 20 should take it to his heart. For thy servant doth know that I have sinned :

therefore, behold, I am come the first this day of all the house of Joseph to go 21 down to meet my lord the king. But Abishải the son of Zeruiah answered and

said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord's ch. 16 5; F... 2 * 22 anointed? And David said, "What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, ch. 16. 10

that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? & shall there any man be put to * 1 Sam. 11. 1a

death this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel ? 23 Therefore " the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die. Ånd the king sware *1 KL. 2. 8, 9, 37, 48

unto him. 24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had "ch. 2 &

neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the

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1 It may be supposed that one bitter ingredient in the sufferings of this hour was the consciousness that his own sins had brought upon himself and his family these overwhelming griefs, and all this complicated humiliation and trouble.

2 That is, he resumed his public duties.

3 See note on ch, xvii. 25. David probably wished to win over Amasa, as the leader of a numerous party; and to supersede Joab, whom he disliked for his overbearing manner and his severe treatment of Absalom.

4 That is, Amasa.
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25 day the king departed until the day he came again in peace. And it came to

pass, when he was come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said unto 26 him, "Wherefore wentest not thou with me, Mephibosheth? And he answered, 4 ch. 16 17

My lord, O king, my servant deceived me: for thy servant said, I will saddle

me an ass, that I may ride thereon, and go to the king; because 'thy servant is 27 lame. And " he hath slandered thy servant unto my lord the king; " but my

lord the king is as an angel of God: do therefore what is good in thine eyes. 28 For all of my father's house were but dead men before my lord the king : °yet

didst thou set thy servant among them that did eat at thine own table. What 29 right therefore have I yet to cry any more unto the king? And the king said

unto him, Why speakest thou any more of thy matters? I have said, Thou and 30 Ziba divide the land.? And Mephibosheth said unto the king, Yea, let him take

all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace unto his own house. 31

And ? Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over Jordan P 1 Kl. 2 7. 32 with the king, to conduct him over Jordan. Now Barzillai was a very aged man,

even fourscore years old : and he had provided the king of sustenance while he 9 ch. 17. 9. 33 lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man. And the king said unto Barzillai, 34 Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem. And

Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with 35 the king unto Jerusalem ? I am this day "fourscore years old : and can I discern Ps. 90. 10.

between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I

hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then 36 should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king? Thy servant will go

a little way over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it 37 me with such a reward? Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I

may die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my father and of my Ge. 17. 30; 49. 29

mother. But behold thy servant 'Chimham ;3 let him go over with my lord the | 1 K1. 2.7; Jer. 11. 17. 38 king; and do to him what shall seem good unto thee. And the king answered,

Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem

good unto thee: and whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee. 39 And all the people went over Jordan. And when the king was come over, the

king * kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned unto his own place. 40 Then the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him: and all the

people of Judah conducted the king, and also half the people of Israel. 41 And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said unto the king,

Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and * have brought 42 the king, and his household, and all David's men with him, over Jordan? And

all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is y near of ver. 12

kin to us : wherefore then be ye angry for this matter? have we eaten at all of 43 the king's cost? or hath he given us any gift? And the men of Israel answered

the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king, and we have also
more right in David than ye: why then did ye despise us, that our advice should
not be first had in bringing back our king? And the words of the men of see Judg. 8 1; 12. 1.
Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.

Sheba's rebellion and death; termination of the civil war.
20 AND there happened to be there « a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the

son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part 5 ch. 19. 43

in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse : every man to his 2 tents, O Israel. So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed

Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from

Jordan even to Jerusalem. 3 And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women

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10. 16.

1 There is no preposition in the original : it may be 4 The ten tribes, having been the first to recall the rendered, 'to meet the king at Jerusalem,' the order of king, were probably offended because he waited till he had events not being strictly preserved ; or, perhaps, when communicated separately with his own tribe and they he was come from Jerusalem.'

had come to escort him, and then at once went forward, 2 This award of David's is variously interpreted. As without giving the other tribes opportunity to join : 80 in the East the produce of land is sometimes divided, and that Judah claimed all the honour of having brought him half is paid to the landlord as rent, some suppose that the back. The facts stated in the next chapter respecting former arrangement was restored; Mephiboseth owning Sheba’s rebellion render this probable. Notwithstanding the land, and Ziba farming it as his tenant. Others think the improved organization which David had introduced that David divided the ownership, either because he was into every department of the state during his reign, he not satisfied with Mephibosheth's explanation, or because had not succeeded in fusing the Hebrew people into one he wished to reward Ziba for helping him when in need. united nation. These divided feelings account for the

3 The Syriac and Arabic have my son Chimham.' war which immediately succeeded, and, in part also, for We find David afterwards specially recommending him the subsequent division of the nation into the two moand his brothers to Solomon's regard (see 1 Kings ii. 7). narchies of Israel (or Ephraim) and Judah.

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his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, and 4 ch. 15. 16; 16 21, 22 fed them, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of

their death, living in widowhood. 4 Then said the king to Amasa, Assemble me the men of Judah within three 5 days, and be thou here present. So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah : 6 but he tarried longer than the set time which he had appointed him. And David

said to Abishai, Now shall Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did cb. 18. 2

Absalom : take thou 8 thy lord's servants, and pursue after him, lest he get him 11. 11; 1 Kil 7 fenced cities, and escape us. And there went out after him Joab's men, and the

Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men: and they went out of 4 ch. & 18; 1 Ki 1.3 Jerusalem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri. 8 When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before

them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon

it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he 9 went forth it fell out.3 And Joab said to Amasa, ' Art thou in health, my brother? i Pr. 54 21. 10 * And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him. But Amasa 48, 49; L.

took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's liand : so 'he smote him therewithi ki. 2. S. min the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not ch. 2. 22.

again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the 11 son of Bichri. And one of Joab's men stood by him, and said, He that favoureth 12 Joab, and he that is for David, let him go after Joab. And Amasa wallowed in

blood in the midst of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people

stood still, he removed Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a cloth 13 upon him, when he saw that every one that came by him stood still. When he

was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue

after Sheba the son of Bichri. 14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto " Abel, and to Beth-maachah, * 2 Ki. 15. 2; 2 Chr.

and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him. 15 And they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maachah, and they cast up a Kl. 12. 22.

bank against the city, and it stood in the trench (or, it stood against the outmost

wall]: and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down. 16 Then cried Pa wise woman out of the city, Hear! hear! say, I pray you, unto p eh. 14. 2 17 Joah, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee. And when he was come

near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he.

Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, 18 I do hear. Then she spake, saying, " They were wont to speak in old time, saying, see Deu. 22. IL 19 They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter. 18 am one

of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel : thou seekest to destroy a city

and a mother' in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up "the inheritance of the 20 Lord? And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should 21 swallow up or destroy. The matter is not so: but'a man of mount Ephraim,

Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David : deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the

woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall. 22 Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the

head of Sheha the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joah. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.

David's chief officers. NOW « Joab was over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada 24 was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites : and Adoram was * over the

tribute : and » Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder (or, remembrancer] :

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1 David appears to have commissioned Abishai only, wishing not to employ Joab again; but Joab went with his brother, and was in fact the commander. See vers. 11–22.

2 That is, took the command.

3 Or, he let it fall out.' Joab thus managed, without exciting suspicion, to have his sword in his hand; having picked it up from the ground.

4 Rather, it;' namely, the beard. This is a customary mark of respect among the Arabs; but to take hold of it for any other purpose would be reckoned a great affront.

5 Rather, in the groin.' Personal pique probably prompted the commission of a crime for which political necessity was to be made the excuse. See ver. 6.

6 While David and his friends took the road to Jerusalem, Sheba went north wards through the tribes of Israel

to Abel, and was there joined by the recently subdued people of Maachah and Berothah. Abel of Beth-maachah is called also · Abel,' or 'Abel-maim; see refs.

7 The speech is obscure; and several words have been supplied by our translators. It should probably be rendered, 'In old time they clearly spoke (or commanded, see Matt. v. 21, 27), saying, They shall surely ask at Abel, and so conclude;' and it may be taken as claiming, on behalf of the city, an application of the wise and humane law in Deut. xx. 10, which Joab appears to have disregarded by commencing the siege without first inquiring whether the people of Abel would stand by Sheba

or not. 8 Speaking in the name of the city. The Chaldee accordingly has, “We are peaceable and faithful.'

9 So called as the central city of the district.

33

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