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Title: Heroes of Israel - Text of the Hero Stories with Notes and Questions for Young Students
Author: Soares, Theodore Gerald, 1869-
Language: English
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[Illustration: THE SEMITIC WORLD]




  _Professor of Homiletics and Religious Education in the_
  _University of Chicago_



  All Rights Reserved

  Published January 1909
  Second Impression September 1909
  Third Impression December 1909
  Second Edition October 1911

  Composed and Printed By The University of Chicago Press
  Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.



It is the purpose to present these Hero Studies in two books, one being
the present volume which is intended as a textbook for the students, the
other being the teacher's manual with fuller explanations and
suggestions. The necessary prefatory statements will be found in the
respective books under the titles "Foreword to the Student" and
"Foreword to the Teacher".

This volume contains the text of the stories, with explanatory notes and
questions intended to stimulate study. Each lesson consists of a
complete story arranged in such a way as to impress the main features of
the narrative clearly upon the student's mind. The explanatory material
is reduced to the minimum, since the main desire is to let the stories
speak for themselves and not to burden the student with wearisome
details. The three reviews divide the course into the three natural
parts, the first extending to Christmas, the second to the end of March,
the third, which is shorter, to the middle of June, when it is usually
wise for the regular courses to end.

The text of the British Revisers is used in the reprint of the stories
with the consent and approval of the Oxford and Cambridge University
presses. As the plan of simplifying the narratives involved certain
verbal changes, it has seemed wise to go a step farther and to use the
spellings which would be more familiar to American students.

For constant suggestions as to form and method I am greatly indebted to
my wife, who has taught the lessons from advance sheets to a class of
boys. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the valuable counsel of Professor
E. D. Burton, the editor of the series, and especially that of Professor
J. M. P. Smith, who at Professor Burton's request, and to my own great
satisfaction, assumed the editorial responsibility of reading the
manuscript, and gave me the benefit of his ripe scholarship and

                                        T. G. S.

    July 29, 1908



  FOREWORD TO THE STUDENT                             xv



      II. ABRAHAM, THE MAGNANIMOUS                     9

     III. ABRAHAM AND ISAAC                           16

      IV. JACOB, THE CLEVER                           29

       V. ISRAEL, THE GODLY                           41

      VI. JOSEPH, THE SLAVE                           51

     VII. JOSEPH, THE RULER                           60

    VIII. JOSEPH, THE GENEROUS                        70

      IX. MOSES' EARLY LIFE                           85

       X. MOSES' COMMISSION                           94

      XI. MOSES, THE DELIVERER                       104

     XII. MOSES, THE LAWGIVER                        117


     XIV. JOSHUA AND CALEB                           135

      XV. GIDEON, THE WARRIOR                        147

     XVI. SAMSON, THE STRONG MAN                     158

    XVII. RUTH, THE FOREIGNER                        171

   XVIII. SAMUEL AND ELI                             187

     XIX. SAMUEL AND SAUL                            200

      XX. JONATHAN'S VICTORY                         211

     XXI. DAVID AND THE GIANT                        223


   XXIII. DAVID, THE OUTLAW                          247

    XXIV. DAVID, THE KING                            260

     XXV. DAVID AND HIS REBEL SON                    270

    XXVI. REVIEW: TEN HEROES OF ISRAEL               283

   XXVII. SOLOMON, THE WISE KING                     289




    XXXI. NEHEMIAH, THE BUILDER                      339

   XXXII. ESTHER, THE PATRIOT QUEEN                  351

  XXXIII. JUDAS, THE HAMMERER                        364

   XXXIV. DANIEL AND HIS FRIENDS                     373

    XXXV. REVIEW: SEVEN HEROIC NAMES                 385



  MAP OF THE SEMITIC WORLD                   Frontispiece

  A CARAVAN IN PALESTINE                                5

  MAP OF CANAAN opposite                               47


  PORTRAIT STATUES OF RAMSES II                        88

  ORIENTAL SANDALS                                     95

  BRICK-MAKING IN EGYPT                               102

  MOSES                                               118

  WINNOWING GRAIN                                     179

  A PHILISTINE                                        212

  DAVID                                               226

  CEDARS OF LEBANON                                   294

  ESTHER'S PALACE                                     357


1. We are to study the heroes of Israel. What is a hero? We use this
word of the chief character in a book or of one who does a very noble
deed. It is also applied to the great men of the past, who have done
deeds that have made their names famous in story and who have been the
makers of nations. Call to mind some American heroes.

2. Why should we study the heroes of Israel? For three reasons: (1) The
stories are very interesting and full of adventure. (2) Israel played a
most important part in the world's history. The Jews, who now represent
Israel, are no longer a nation, and unhappily they are often very badly
treated, but they have many noble qualities. We owe some of the best
things in our modern civilization to the men of old Israel. We shall
find a great value in reading their story. (3) The questions of duty and
religion that often puzzle us are very old questions. They came to these
men thousands of years ago. We shall find them clearer to us as we read
how the old heroes struggled with their difficulties.

3. How shall we study? The stories of the heroes are in the Old
Testament, but in order to bring them together, and to separate them
from other matter which is less profitable for young people to study
they have been reprinted in this book. Most of the more difficult names
have been omitted, together with everything that would take from the
interest in the story. Each chapter is divided into three parts: The
Story, The Meaning of the Story, and the Written Review. In preparing
the lesson, the story should be read through first. It would be a very
good plan to read it aloud to someone. Then take up the suggestions in
the second part of the lesson, one at a time, and look up the sections
of the story to find answers to the questions. When special Scripture
references are given look them up, and use the maps whenever directions
are given to that effect. When you have finished the study read the
whole story through again and be sure that you understand it.

The Written Review is very important. Have a notebook in which you will
write the review stories every week. The best time to write the review
story is soon after the meeting of the class, while the lesson is still
fresh in memory. Always read the story of the hero again before you
write the review. Keep the notebook neat. It is a good plan to write the
exercise in pencil first and then copy it into the book in ink. At the
end of the year you will have a good-sized book full of your own hero

A careful study of these lessons will make you acquainted with a score
of the mighty men of the past. Many of them you will wish to keep as
life-long friends.







=§1. The Old Home of Abraham= (Gen. 11:31)

Terah took Abraham his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and
Sarah his daughter-in-law, his son Abraham's wife; and they went forth
with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and
they came unto Haran, and dwelt there, and Terah died in Haran.

=§2. The Journey Westward= (Gen. 12:1-5)

Now the Lord said unto Abraham, "Get thee out of thy country, and from
thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show
thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and
make thy name great; and be thou a blessing: and I will bless them that
bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall
all the families of the earth be blessed."

So Abraham went, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him:
and Abraham was seventy and five years old when he departed out of
Haran. And Abraham took Sarah his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and
all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had
gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan:
and into the land of Canaan they came.

=§3. Abraham's Altars= (Gen. 12:6-9)

And Abraham passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the
oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

And the Lord appeared unto Abraham and said, "Unto thy seed will I give
this land." And there built he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto

And he removed from thence unto the mountain on the east of Beth-el, and
pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Ai on the east: and
there he built an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the
Lord. And Abraham journeyed, going on still toward the South.

=§4. A Test of Courage= (Gen. 12:10-20)

And there was a famine in the land: and Abraham went down into Egypt to
sojourn there; for the famine was sore in the land. And it came to pass,
when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarah his
wife, "Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: and
it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they
shall say, 'This is his wife': and they will kill me, but they will save
thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well
with me for thy sake, and that my soul may live because of thee."

And it came to pass, that, when Abraham was come into Egypt, the
Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. And the princes of
Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken
into Pharaoh's house. And he treated Abraham well for her sake: and he
had sheep, and oxen, and he-asses, and menservants, and maidservants,
and she-asses, and camels. And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house
with great plagues because of Sarah Abraham's wife.


And Pharaoh called Abraham, and said, "What is this that thou hast done
unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? Why saidst
thou, She is my sister? so that I took her to be my wife: now therefore
behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way."

And Pharaoh gave men charge concerning him: and they brought him on the
way, and his wife, and all that he had.


1 (§1). We begin with the man to whom Israel looked back as their first
great hero. What was his name? What was his father's name?

2 (§1). Where did he come from? Look at the map of the Semitic world.
You will see two great rivers which join and then flow into the Persian
Gulf. It is not always possible to know where ancient cities were
located, but it is supposed that Ur may have been on the Euphrates near
the point where the rivers join. It is called Ur of the Chaldees,
because people of that name lived there. Terah therefore came from the
very old country of Babylonia, which was rich and fertile because it was
in the valley of the two rivers. What American river has a rich country
in all its wide valley?

3 (§1). What route would be taken to go from Ur to Canaan? If you lay a
ruler on the map you will see that Jerusalem is almost directly west of
Ur. They lay about six hundred miles apart. But there was a very good
reason why they could not travel right across that way. What kind of
country would they have had to pass through? They had to follow the
river for nearly the same distance in a northwesterly direction. This
would bring them to a very rich country where it seems they stopped for
some time and where Terah died. What was its name?

4 (§2). Evidently most of Terah's tribe were satisfied to stay in Haran,
but Abraham felt a great stir in him to continue the journey to the West
land. He believed that God wanted him to go there and to become the
founder of a great nation that should serve Jehovah. This feeling became
so strong that at last it was clear to him that the Lord was calling
him. Learn the beautiful passage of the Call of Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3)
so that you can recite it.

5(§2). What route would Abraham take from Haran to Canaan? Let us look
at the map again. There was a caravan road that ran from Haran west
across the river, then it turned south and came down through the country
of Syria to a very ancient city. Abraham's chief servant came from this
city (Gen. 15:2). The road still runs south and then crosses the river
Jordan into Palestine.

6(§2). How long would such a journey take? There were no railroads and
there are still very few in that country. Travel was very slow. We have
an account in Ezra 7:9 of how long it took a company to make the journey
from Babylon long afterward. But Abraham's company would move more
slowly, for we must think of him as traveling with a great many animals
and servants and children. It was very much as the Arab tribes move
about to-day.

7(§2). Think of what Abraham left behind when he obeyed God's voice and
came into the strange land. What company of people in American history
felt that God called them to leave their own country and come into the
new land? Is it always safe to obey God? Look up Gal. 3:9 and Heb.
11:8-10 and see why Abraham is called "The Father of the Faithful."

8(§3). What promise did God give Abraham after he came to Canaan? What
places did Abraham visit? Locate them on the map of Canaan. What
religious act did he perform wherever he went? What act is the same in
our lives?

9(§4). Abraham's numerous sheep and cattle required him to journey from
place to place. Why was this? Why would dry weather cause him trouble?
Notice on the map that when the famine came he was in the south of
Palestine. It was only a short journey west to reach a very rich
country, which lay in the valley of a great river. Name the country
and its river and explain why there was no drought there.

10 (§4). We shall often notice that the old heroes did wrong. Tell the
story of Abraham's visit to Egypt. What do you think of his conduct? If
we knew only this part of Abraham's story we should not call him a hero.
Ought we then to judge anyone by a single act?


This story deals with several journeys. Let us get them all before our
eyes. Turn to the map of the Semitic world at the beginning of the book
and make a very simple copy of it, according to the following
directions: Mark the two great rivers in the east. Make the coast line
of the Mediterranean Sea. Draw the River Nile. Make the coast line of
the Red Sea. Locate Ur, Haran, Damascus, Canaan, Egypt. Make this map
first in pencil and then ink it.



=§5. Abraham's Treatment of Lot= (Gen. 13)

And Abraham went out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had,
and Lot with him, into the South. And Abraham was very rich in cattle,
in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journeys from the South even
to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning,
between Beth-el and Ai; unto the place of the altar, which he had made
there at the first: and there Abraham called on the name of the Lord.

And Lot also, who went with Abraham, had flocks, and herds, and tents.
And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together:
for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abraham's cattle and the
herdmen of Lot's cattle.

And Abraham said unto Lot, "Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between
me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we are
brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray
thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the
right; or if thou take the right hand, then I will go to the left."

And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the Plain of Jordan, that it
was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and
Gomorrah, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou
goest unto Zoar. So Lot chose him all the Plain of Jordan; and Lot
journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
Abraham dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the
Plain, and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were
wicked and sinners against the Lord exceedingly.

And the Lord said unto Abraham, after that Lot was separated from him,
"Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art,
northward and southward and eastward and westward: for all the land
which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And
I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can
number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of
it; for unto thee will I give it."

And Abraham moved his tent, and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre,
which are in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord.

=§6. Abraham's Deliverance of Lot= (Gen. 14:10-24)

And there came five kings from the East and made war against the kings
of Sodom and Gomorrah. And the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and
they fell there, and they that remained fled to the mountain. And they
took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and
went their way. And they took Lot, Abraham's brother's son, who dwelt in
Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

And there came one that had escaped, and told Abraham the Hebrew: now he
dwelt by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother
of Aner; and these were confederate with Abraham. And when Abraham heard
that his brother was taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born
in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued as far as Dan. And
he divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and smote
them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of
Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his
brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after his return from the
slaughter of the kings. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth
bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High. And he blessed him
and said, "Blessed be Abraham of God Most High, possessor of heaven and
earth: and blessed be God Most High, which hath delivered thine enemies
into thy hand." And he gave him a tenth of all.

And the king of Sodom said unto Abraham, "Give me the persons, and take
the goods to thyself."

And Abraham said to the king of Sodom, "I have lifted up mine hand unto
the Lord, God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not
take a thread nor a shoelatchet nor aught that is thine, lest thou
shouldst say, I have made Abraham rich: save only that which the young
men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me; Aner,
Eshcol, and Mamre, let them take their portion."

=§7. Abraham's Prayer for Sodom= (Gen. 18:17-32; 19:29)

And the Lord said, "Shall I hide from Abraham that which I do; seeing
that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the
nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, to
the end that he may command his children and his household after him,
that they may keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice;
to the end that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath
spoken of him."

And the Lord said, "Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and
because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether
they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto
me; and if not, I will know."

And Abraham drew near, and said, "Wilt thou consume the righteous with
the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city:
wilt thou consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that
are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the
righteous with the wicked, that so the righteous should be as the
wicked; that be far from thee: shall not the Judge of all the earth do

And the Lord said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city,
then I will spare all the place for their sake."

And Abraham answered and said, "Behold now, I have taken upon me to
speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: peradventure there
shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city
for lack of five?"

And he said, "I will not destroy it, if I find there forty and five."

And he spake unto him yet again, and said, "Peradventure there shall be
forty found there."

And he said, "I will not do it for the forty's sake."

And he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak:
peradventure there shall thirty be found there."

And he said, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."

And he said, "Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord:
peradventure there shall be twenty found there."

And he said, "I will not destroy it for the twenty's sake."

And he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but
this once: peradventure ten shall be found there."

And he said, "I will not destroy it for the ten's sake."

And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, that
God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow,
when he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.


11 (§5). Follow Abraham's journey back from Egypt along the coast road.
He reached the district in Southern Canaan that was called "the South."
What wealth did he have? What would he need for his cattle? Notice how
this caused him to journey from place to place.

12 (§5). On the western plains of America there have been disputes
between the cattle men over the rights of grazing. The big men have
driven the little men away. Tell the story of this old dispute in
Canaan. What plan of settlement did Abraham suggest? How did Lot behave
in the matter? What good result came to Abraham?

13 (§5). Look up the word "magnanimous." Could it be applied to Abraham?
Have you ever known an act that was magnanimous?

14 (§6). Kings in old times used to make war on their neighbors just for
the purpose of stealing their goods. This is the story of one of those
plundering expeditions that was made against the country near the Dead
Sea. Who had chosen that country for his residence? What was the result
of the invasion? How did Abraham hear of it? How many young men did he
have in his service? What does this show of the size of his camp? What
did Abraham do?

15 (§6). What did Abraham do with the spoil that he captured? Was this

16 (§6). Compare Abraham's conduct with that of the United States in

17 (§6). Abraham gave back the property that he had rescued: what should
we do with property that we find?

18 (§7). Men of old loved to think of God appearing to them and talking
to them. It is a beautiful picture of the silent message that comes to
our hearts. What does Abraham learn is to happen to the wicked city of

19 (§7). Is Abraham magnanimous in pleading for Sodom? What do the
Lord's replies to Abraham's prayers teach us?

20 (§7). What happened to Sodom? Was Abraham's prayer answered?


Think over and write out the three ways in which Abraham was
_magnanimous_. If you watch carefully the conduct of the best people you
know you will be sure to see somebody do a magnanimous act before the
next lesson. When you see it write it down in your notebook as your
review work.



=§8. Abraham's Devotion= (Gen. 21:2, 3; 22:1-19)


And Sarah bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which
God had spoken unto him. And Abraham called the name of his son Isaac.
And the child grew. And it came to pass, that God did prove Abraham and
said unto him, "Abraham."

And he said, "Here am I."

And he said, "Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even
Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a
burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."

And Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two
of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he clave the wood for
the burnt offering, and rose up, and went into the place of which God
had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the
place afar off.

And Abraham said unto his young men, "Abide ye here with the ass, and I
and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship, and come again to you."

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it upon Isaac
his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife; and they went
both of them together.

And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, "My father."

And he said, "Here am I, my son."

And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a
burnt offering?"

And Abraham said, "God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt
offering, my son."

So they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God
had told him of; and Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in
order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the
wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay
his son.


And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said,

And he said, "Here am I."

And he said, "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything
unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not
withheld thy son, thine only son, from me."

And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, behind him a ram
caught in the thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram,
and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And
Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to
this day, "In the mount of the Lord it shall be provided."

And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham a second time out of
heaven, and said, "By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, because thou
hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply
thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the
sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in
thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou
hast obeyed my voice."

So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went
together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba.

=§9. The Selection of Isaac's Wife= (Gen. 24)


And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed
Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his servant, the elder of
his house, that ruled over all that he had, "Swear by the Lord, the God
of heaven and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife for
my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: but thou
shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son

And the servant said unto him, "Peradventure the woman will not be
willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again
unto the land from whence thou camest?"

And Abraham said unto him, "Beware thou that thou bring not my son
thither again. The Lord, the God of heaven, that took me from my
father's house, and from the land of my nativity, and that spake unto me
and that sware unto me, saying, 'Unto thy seed will I give this land,'
he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife for my
son from thence. And if the woman be not willing to follow thee, thou
shalt be clear from this my oath; only thou shalt not bring my son
thither again."

And the servant sware to Abraham his master concerning this matter.


And the servant took ten camels, of the camels of his master, and
departed; having all goodly things of his master's in his hand: and he
arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. And he made the
camels to kneel down without the city by the well of water at the time
of evening, the time that women go out to draw water.

And he said, "O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, send me, I pray
thee, good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham.
Behold, I stand by the fountain of water; and the daughters of the men
of the city come out to draw water: and let it come to pass, that the
damsel to whom I shall say, 'Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I
may drink;' and she shall say, 'Drink, and I will give thy camels drink
also': let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant
Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my

And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah
came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor,
Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. And the damsel
was very fair to look upon; and she went down to the fountain, and
filled her pitcher, and came up.

And the servant ran to meet her, and said, "Give me to drink, I pray
thee, a little water of thy pitcher."

And she said, "Drink, my lord": and she hasted, and let down her pitcher
upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him
drink, she said, "I will draw for thy camels also, until they have done
drinking." And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and
ran again unto the well to draw, and drew for all his camels.

And the man looked stedfastly on her; holding his peace, to know whether
the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not. And it came to pass, as
the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden ring of half a
shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of
gold, and said, "Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee. Is
there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?"

And she said unto him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah,
which she bare unto Nahor." She said moreover unto him, "We have both
straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in."

And the man bowed his head, and worshipped the Lord. And he said,
"Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who hath not
forsaken his mercy and his truth toward my master: as for me, the Lord
hath led me in the way to the house of my master's brethren."


And the damsel ran, and told her mother's house according to these
words. And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran
out unto the man, unto the fountain. And it came to pass, when he saw
the ring, and the bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard
the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, "Thus spake the man unto me;"
that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the

And he said, "Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standest thou
without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels."

And the man came into the house, and he ungirded the camels; and he gave
straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the
men's feet that were with him. And there was set meat before him to

But he said, "I will not eat, until I have told mine errand."

And Laban said, "Speak on."

And he said, "I am Abraham's servant. And the Lord hath blessed my
master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks and
herds, and silver and gold, and menservants and maidservants, and
camels, and asses. And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master
when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath. And my
master made me swear, saying, 'Thou shalt not take a wife for my son of
the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell: but thou shalt
go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my
son.' And I said unto my master, 'Peradventure the woman will not follow
me.' And he said unto me, 'The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his
angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my
son of my kindred, and of my father's house: then shalt thou be clear
from my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give her not
to thee, thou shalt be clear from my oath.'

"And I came this day unto the fountain, and said, 'O Lord, the God of my
master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go: behold, I
stand by the fountain of water; and let it come to pass, that the
maiden which cometh forth to draw, to whom I shall say, Give me, I pray
thee a little water of thy pitcher to drink; and she shall say to me,
Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be
the woman whom the Lord hath appointed for my master's son.' And before
I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her
pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the fountain, and drew:
and I said unto her, 'Let me drink, I pray thee.' And she made haste,
and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, 'Drink, and I will
give thy camels drink also.' So I drank, and she made the camels drink
also. And I asked her and said, 'Whose daughter art thou?' And she said,
'The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him.' And I
put the ring upon her nose, and the bracelets upon her hands. And I
bowed my head, and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of
my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's
brother's daughter for his son. And now if ye will deal kindly and truly
with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the
right hand, or to the left."

Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, "The thing proceedeth from the
Lord: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. Behold, Rebekah is before
thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the
Lord hath spoken."

And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he
bowed himself down to the earth unto the Lord. And the servant brought
forth jewels of silver and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to
Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.
And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and
tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, "Send
me away unto my master."

And her brother and her mother said, "Let the damsel abide with us a few
days, at the least ten; after that she shall go."

And he said unto them, "Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my
way; send me away that I may go to my master."

And they said, "We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth."

And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, "Wilt thou go with this

And she said, "I will go."

And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's
servant, and his men. And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, "Our
sister, be thou the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let thy
seed possess the gate of those which hate them."

And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and
followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.


And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he
lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, there were camels coming.

And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off
the camel. And she said unto the servant, "What man is this that walketh
in the field to meet us?"

And the servant said, "It is my master." And she took her veil, and
covered herself.

And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. And Isaac
brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she
became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his
mother's death.


21. What promise had been made repeatedly to Abraham? But he had grown
old and was still without a son. Yet the Lord repeated the promise and
Abraham believed. At last to his great joy the son was born. It makes a
man's life strong to believe that God will fulfil his promise. Faith and
goodness are very near together (Gen. 15:6). A good boy believes his
parents: surely he can believe God.

22 (§8A). In order to understand this story we must consider a strange
and fearful custom of the old times. Read II Kings 3:26, 27, and note
the awful sacrifice that a king, who was seeking help, made to his
heathen god. The ancients felt that God ought to have the best that man
has. They had not learned that he is loving and good, wishing our best
to be given to him in loving service and not killed in sacrifice.

23 (§8A). Abraham knew that it was the custom of his neighbors to show
their loyalty to their gods by killing their oldest sons. He was most
anxious to do what God would wish, so what would he naturally think that
he ought to do? Is a man wicked if he does what he thinks is right? But
if he is pure in his motive and is very anxious to know what is right,
he will often come to the truth. This story shows how God led Abraham to
know what he really wanted of him.

24 (§8). It is a very striking story. Picture the scenes: (1) The long
journey: who went? (2) Abraham and Isaac alone: what did Isaac ask? What
was Abraham's confidence in God? (3) The preparation for the sacrifice.
(4) The wonderful interference: what did this teach Abraham? What was
the promise that was repeated?

25 (§8). Men have often used wrong methods, thinking to please God. What
did the Puritans do to the witches? But the Puritans were good men,
anxious to do right, and they soon learned that they had been wrong. It
is not enough for us to be willing to do right. We must try hard to find
out what is right.

26 (§9A). This section is a long one, but is full of interest and need
not detain us for special study. It is the charming story of an old-time
wooing. Parents often arranged the marriages of their children in those
days as they do in many countries to-day. Abraham had a trusted servant
who managed his business for him. What did he ask the servant to

27 (§9B). Mesopotamia means "between the rivers." Locate it between the
two rivers of Abraham's old country. Recall Abraham's journey (5, 6, §2)
and trace the servant's journey.

28 (§9B). Tell the story of the meeting with Rebekah.

29 (§9C). Tell the story of the betrothal. Notice that the betrothal
took place although Isaac was not there.

30 (§9D). Tell the story of the marriage.


We have finished the study of the "Father of the Faithful." He was a man
who trusted God. Think over all that you have learned about him and
write down in your notebook two or three ways in which you think that he
showed his trust in God. Think whether there is any way in which you
would be willing to trust God.






=§10. The Purchase of the Birthright= (Gen. 25:25-34)

Isaac and Rebekah had two sons who were twins. The first was red, all
over like a hairy garment; and they called his name Esau, and the name
of his brother was called Jacob.

And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field;
and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. Now Isaac loved Esau,
because he did eat of his venison: and Rebekah loved Jacob.

And Jacob boiled pottage: and Esau came in from the field, and he was
faint: and Esau said to Jacob, "Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red
pottage; for I am faint."

And Jacob said, "Sell me this day thy birthright."

And Esau said, "Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall
the birthright do to me?"

And Jacob said, "Swear to me this day."

And he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. And Jacob
gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and
rose up, and went his way: so Esau despised his birthright.

=§11. The Deception of Isaac= (Gen. 27:1-45)


And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so
that he could not see, he called Esau his elder son, and said unto him,
"My son."

And he said unto him, "Here am I."

And he said, "Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death. Now
therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go
out to the field, and take me venison; and make me savory meat, such as
I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee
before I die."

And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the
field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.


And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, "Behold, I heard thy
father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, 'Bring me venison, and make
me savory meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before my
death.' Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I
command thee. Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good
kids of the goats; and I will make them savory meat for thy father, such
as he loveth: and thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, so
that he may bless thee before his death."

And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "Behold, Esau my brother is a
hairy man, and I am a smooth man. My father peradventure will feel me,
and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon
me, and not a blessing."

And his mother said unto him, "Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey
my voice, and go fetch me them."

And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother
made savory meat, such as his father loved. And Rebekah took the goodly
garments of Esau her elder son, which were with her in the house, and
put them upon Jacob her younger son: and she put the skins of the kids
of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: and she
gave the savory meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the
hand of her son Jacob.

C. Jacob's Deception

And he came unto his father, and said, "My father."

And he said, "Here am I; who art thou, my son?"

And Jacob said unto his father, "I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done
according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my
venison, that thy soul may bless me."

And Isaac said unto his son, "How is it that thou hast found it so
quickly, my son?"

And he said, "Because the Lord thy God sent me good speed."

And Isaac said unto Jacob, "Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel
thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not."

And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said,
"The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." And
he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother
Esau's hands: so he blessed him. And he said, "Art thou my very son

And he said, "I am."

And he said, "Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison,
that my soul may bless thee."

And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine,
and he drank. And his father Isaac said unto him, "Come near now, and
kiss me, my son." And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the
smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said,

    See, the smell of my son
    Is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed:
    And God give thee of the dew of heaven,
    And of the fatness of the earth,
    And plenty of corn and wine:
    Let peoples serve thee,
    And nations bow down to thee:
    Be lord over thy brethren,
    And let thy mother's sons bow down to thee:
    Cursed be every one that curseth thee.
    And blessed be every one that blesseth thee.


And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob,
and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father,
that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. And he also made savory
meat, and brought it unto his father; and he said unto his father, "Let
my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless

And Isaac his father said unto him, "Who art thou?"

And he said, "I am thy son, thy firstborn, Esau."

And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, "Who then is he that hath
taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou
camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed."

When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding
great and bitter cry, and said unto his father, "Bless me, even me also,
O my father."

And he said, "Thy brother came with guile, and hath taken away thy

And he said, "Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me
these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath
taken away my blessing. Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?"

And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, "Behold, I have made him thy
lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with
corn and wine have I sustained him: and what then shall I do for thee,
my son?"

And Esau said unto his father, "Hast thou but one blessing, my father?
bless me, even me also, O my father."

And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. And Isaac his father answered
and said unto him,

    Behold of the fatness of the earth shall be thy dwelling,
    And of the dew of heaven from above;
    And by thy sword shalt thou live, and thou shalt serve thy brother;
    And it shall come to pass when thou shalt break loose,
    That thou shalt shake his yoke from off thy neck.


And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father
blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, "The days of mourning for my
father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob."

And the words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah; and she sent
and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, "Behold, thy
brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill
thee. Now, therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to
Laban my brother to Haran; and tarry with him a few days, until thy
brother's fury turn away; until thy brother's anger turn away from thee,
and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and
fetch thee from thence: why should I be bereaved of you both in one

=§12. The Dream of the Heavenly Ladder= (Gen. 28:10-22)

And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he
lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the
sun was set; and he took one of the stones of the place, and put it
under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and
behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to
heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, "I am the Lord, the God
of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou
liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as
the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to
the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy
seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am
with thee, and will keep thee whithersoever thou goest, and will bring
thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done
that which I have spoken to thee of."

And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, "Surely the Lord is in
this place; and I knew it not." And he was afraid, and said, "How
dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and
this is the gate of heaven."

And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had
put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the
top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el. And Jacob vowed
a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way
that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that
I come again to my father's house in peace, then shall the Lord be my
God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's
house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth
unto thee."


31. No man is altogether good and no one is wholly bad. Good and evil
struggle for the mastery in us. Jacob is a man in whom this is very
clearly seen. He was the twin brother of Esau, but Esau had the right of
the oldest son. This was called the birthright. It was very important in
that day. It meant that after the father's death Esau would become the
head of the tribe, and would have twice as much of the property as his
brother. Jacob did not like this and began to scheme to get the better
of his brother.

32 (§10). What was the difference between the two men?

33 (§10). Tell the story of the hunting day and how Jacob sold the food
to his brother.

34 (§10). What do you think of Esau in this affair? He gave up a great
future for a little satisfaction.

35 (§10). Jacob was "smart" or "clever" in his bargain. Was he
brotherly? Is it honest to charge all that you can get for something
that people must have?

36 (§11A). The last solemn blessing of the head of the tribe was
considered very important. How did Isaac arrange that it should be given
to Esau?

37 (§11B). There was a wretched favoritism in this family. What was
Rebekah's scheme to get the blessing for her favorite? Tell the story.

38 (§11C). Picture the blind old father and the crafty son coming to
him. How did he secure the blessing? Notice how one wrong leads to

39 (§11D). Tell the story of Esau's bitter disappointment.

40 (§11E). What revenge did Esau plan? Rebekah was afraid: what advice
did she give to Jacob? When the man had to flee for his life, how much
had he gained by his deception? Do the "smart" men always win? If they
do is it worth while?

41 (§12). The Lord is wonderfully forgiving, and he still wanted to lead
Jacob to a noble life. Follow the journey on the map. What did Jacob do
when night overtook him? There are great rocks at Beth-el that look
something like a huge staircase. How did these form themselves in
Jacob's dream? This is a simple, beautiful story of the old time when
men thought they saw God in dreams. Tell the whole story in your own

42 (§12). What promise did the Lord give him? What vow did Jacob make?


Call to mind the meaning of _magnanimous_. Taking advantage of another's
need as Jacob took advantage of Esau is the opposite of magnanimous.
When the earthquake occurred in San Francisco some stores that had bread
put up the price so high that very few could buy it. Soldiers compelled
them to sell it for the regular price. How were those storekeepers like
Jacob? Why was their conduct wrong? Write the answers to these two
questions in your notebook.



=§13. Jacob's Return after Twenty Years= (Gen. 29:1, 16, 23, 28; 30:43;
31:17, 18)

And Jacob came to the land of the children of the East. And he served
Laban, his mother's brother. And Laban had two daughters: the name of
the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. And Laban
gave his two daughters to Jacob to be his wives.

And Jacob increased exceedingly, and had large flocks, and maidservants
and menservants, and camels and asses.

And after twenty years Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives
upon the camels; and he carried away all his cattle, and all his
substance which he had gathered to go unto the land of Canaan.

=§14. Jacob's Fear of Esau= (Gen. 32:1-21)


And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land
of Seir. And he commanded them, saying, "Thus shall ye say unto my lord
Esau, 'Thus saith thy servant Jacob, I have sojourned with Laban, and
stayed until now: and I have oxen, and asses and flocks, and
menservants and maidservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I
may find grace in thy sight.'"

And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, "We came to thy brother
Esau, and moreover he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with

Then Jacob was greatly afraid and was distressed: and he divided the
people that was with him, and the flocks, and the herds, and the camels,
into two companies; and he said, "If Esau come to the one company, and
smite it, then the company which is left shall escape."


And Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac,
O Lord, which saidst unto me, 'Return unto thy country, and to thy
kindred, and I will do thee good': I am not worthy of the least of all
the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast showed unto thy
servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am
become two companies. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my
brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he come and smite
me, the mother with the children. And thou saidst, 'I will surely do
thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be
numbered for multitude.'"


And he lodged there that night; and took of that which he had with him a
present for Esau his brother; two hundred she-goats and twenty
he-goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milch camels and
their colts, forty kine and ten bulls, twenty she-asses and ten foals.
And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by
itself; and said unto his servants, "Pass over before me, and put a
space betwixt drove and drove."

And he commanded the foremost, saying, "When Esau my brother meeteth
thee, and asketh thee, saying, 'Whose art thou? and whither goest thou?
and whose are these before thee?' then thou shalt say, 'They be thy
servant Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, he
also is behind us.'"

And he commanded also the second, and the third, and all that followed
the droves, saying, "On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye
find him; and ye shall say, 'Moreover, behold, thy servant Jacob is
behind us.'" For he said, "I will appease him with the present that
goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will
accept me."

So the present passed over before him: and he himself lodged that night
in the company.

=§15. The Wrestle and the New Name= (Gen. 32:22-31)

And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two
handmaids, and his eleven children, and passed over the ford of Jabbok.
And he took them, and sent them over the stream, and sent over that he

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the
breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him,
he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was
strained, as he wrestled with him.

And he said, "Let me go, for the day breaketh."

And he said, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me."

And he said unto him, "What is thy name?"

And he said, "Jacob."

And he said, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for
thou hast striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed."

And Jacob asked him, and said, "Tell me, I pray thee, thy name."

And he said, "Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name?" And he
blessed him there.

And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for, said he, "I have
seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." And the sun rose upon
him as he passed over Peniel, and he halted upon his thigh.

=§16. The Meeting With Esau= (Gen. 33:1-16)

And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, Esau came, and
with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and
unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. And he put the handmaids and
their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and
Joseph hindermost. And he himself passed over before them, and bowed
himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and
kissed him: and they wept. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women
and the children; and said, "Who are these with thee?"

And he said, "The children which God has graciously given thy servant."

Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed
themselves. And Leah also and her children came near, and bowed
themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed

And he said, "What meanest thou by all this company which I met?"

And he said, "To find grace in the sight of my lord."

And Esau said, "I have enough; my brother, let that thou hast be thine."

And Jacob said, "Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy
sight, then receive my present at my hand: forasmuch as I have seen thy
face, as one seeth the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. Take,
I pray thee, my gift that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt
graciously with me, and because I have enough." And he urged him, and
he took it.

And he said, "Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go
before thee."

And he said unto him, "My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and
that the flocks and herds with me have young: and if they overdrive them
one day, all the flocks will die. Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over
before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according to the pace of
the cattle that is before me and according to the pace of the children,
until I come unto my lord unto Seir."

And Esau said, "Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are
with me."

And he said, "What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my

So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.

=§17. The Altar of Beth-el= (Gen. 35:1-7)

And God said unto Jacob, "Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and
make there an altar unto God, who appeared unto thee when thou fleddest
from the face of Esau thy brother."

Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with them, "Put
away the strange gods that are among you, and purify yourselves, and
change your garments: and let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will
make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my
distress, and was with me in the way which I went."


And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand,
and the rings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak
which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and a great terror was upon
the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the
sons of Jacob. So Jacob came to Beth-el, he and all the people that were
with him. And he built there an altar, because there God was revealed
unto him when he fled from the face of his brother.


43 (§13). There is a long and interesting story of Jacob's marriage and
of his twenty years' service with Laban. It was a hard service, for
Laban was a hard master and was very jealous of the prosperity of his
son-in-law. But in spite of difficulty Jacob was successful, though in
the game of wits he was not always very scrupulous. At last he
determined to return to his own land, but was obliged to go secretly for
fear of Laban. Even so, Laban pursued him and there was a hot dispute.
But at last they made a covenant of peace, and parted. Jacob journeyed
as far as the brook Jabbok, a stream which flows westward into the
Jordan, about twenty-five miles north of the Dead Sea. Locate it on the

44 (§14A). As Jacob returned home, what might he have to fear? The old
sin comes up after twenty years. Note Jacob's plan. He is very courteous
to Esau and yet he wants him to know what a great man he has become.
What would the reply of the messengers indicate about Esau's life for
the twenty years? How did Jacob feel when he heard of Esau, and what
did he do?

45 (§14B). Jacob was very shrewd, but there is a better defense than
cunning. Read the beautiful prayer. How does he think of God? How does
he think of himself? What does he pray for? What promise does he plead?

46 (§14C). How many animals were there in each of the five droves? How
many were there altogether? What was Jacob's plan to pacify Esau? Do you
think this was a shrewd scheme?

47 (§15). In the old days the experiences and feelings of the heart were
often told as if they were physical events. So we must understand the
wonderful story of the wrestle. Jacob had been a clever man living by
his wits. God had in many ways been seeking to bring him to obedience to
his will. Now when the danger of Esau is upon him, Jacob has the fight
of his life--but it is within his own heart.

48 (§15). Picture the loneliness of Jacob and describe how you think he
felt that night? Did you ever have a great heart struggle about some
duty, or over some temptation?

49 (§15). Jacob was defeated and yet he was victorious. When we give in
to God, we are really victors. What was his new name? How are all his
people called by it? The old name belongs to the clever man: the new
name belongs to the godly man, who has received God's blessing.

50 (§16). This story may be passed rapidly, though it is full of
interest. Tell in your own words: (1) what happened when the brothers
met; (2) how Jacob wisely separated from Esau.

51 (§17). There was one place in Canaan that was very sacred to Jacob.
What had happened at Beth-el? Why did God tell him to go there? How did
he prepare his people for the visit? What thoughts do you think came to
him when he returned to the spot where he had slept as a lonely young
man twenty years before?


Tell your parents what you have learned about Jacob, and ask them if
they ever knew a person who had done wrong and was in danger from it
years afterward, and who was sorry for the wrong, and was helped by
God's goodness. Write what they tell you in your notebook.







=§18. Joseph and His Dreams= (Gen. 37:3-11)

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the
son of his old age: and he made him a long garment with sleeves. And his
brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren; and
they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. And Joseph
dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren: and they hated him yet
the more.

And he said unto them, "Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have
dreamed: for, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my
sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves came
round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf."

And his brethren said to him, "Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt
thou indeed have dominion over us?" And they hated him yet the more for
his dreams, and for his words.

And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said,
"Behold, I have dreamed yet a dream; and, behold, the sun and the moon
and eleven stars made obeisance to me."

And he told it to his father, and to his brethren; and his father
rebuked him, and said unto him, "What is this dream that thou hast
dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down
ourselves to thee to the earth?"

And his brethren envied him; and his father kept the saying in mind.

=§19. Joseph Sold as a Slave= (Gen. 37:12-35)

And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. And
Israel said unto Joseph, "Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem?
come, and I will send thee unto them."

And he said to him, "Here am I."

And he said to him, "Go now, see whether it be well with thy brethren,
and well with the flock; and bring me word again."

So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. And a
certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and
the man asked him, saying, "What seekest thou?"

And he said, "I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they are
feeding the flock."

And the man said, "They are departed hence: for I heard them say, 'Let
us go to Dothan.'"

And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. And they
saw him afar off, and before he came near unto them, they conspired
against him to slay him. And they said one to another, "Behold, this
dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him
into one of the pits, and we will say, 'An evil beast hath devoured
him': and we shall see what will become of his dreams."

And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they
stript Joseph of his coat, the long garment with sleeves that was on
him; and they took him, and cast him into the pit: and the pit was
empty, there was no water in it. And they sat down to eat bread: and
they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a traveling company
of Ishmaelites came from Gilead, with their camels bearing spicery and
balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. And Judah said unto his
brethren, "What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his
blood? Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our
hand be upon him; for he is our brother, our flesh."

And his brethren hearkened unto him. And they drew and lifted Joseph out
of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of
silver. And they brought Joseph into Egypt. And they took Joseph's coat,
and killed a he-goat, and dipped the coat in the blood; and they brought
it to their father; and said, "This have we found; know now whether it
be thy son's coat or not."

And he knew it, and said, "It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath
devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn in pieces." And Jacob rent
his garments, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son
many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort
him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, "For I will go down to
the grave to my son mourning." And his father wept for him.

=§20. Joseph's Faithfulness= (Gen. 39:1-6)

And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of
Pharaoh's, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hand
of the Ishmaelites, which had brought him down thither.

And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in
the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord
was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his
hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he ministered unto him:
and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into
his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he made him overseer in
his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the
Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the Lord was
upon all that he had, in the house and in the field. And he left all
that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not aught that was with him
save the bread which he did eat.

=§21. Joseph in Prison= (Gen. 39:17-23)

But Potiphar's wife spoke false words concerning Joseph, and she said
unto her husband, "The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us,
came in unto me to mock me: and it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice
and cried, that he fled out."

And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which
she spake unto him, saying, "After this manner did thy servant to me,"
that his wrath was kindled. And Joseph's master took him, and put him
into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he
was there in the prison.

But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed kindness unto him, and gave him
favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the
prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the
prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper
of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand, because
the Lord was with him; and that which he did, the Lord made it to


52. The story of Joseph is remarkably beautiful and interesting. It is
more fully told than many of the other stories, and we seem to know
Joseph better than almost any of the older Bible characters. His life
was full of startling adventure and shows how a strong, noble young hero
can meet danger.

53 (§18). Joseph was the youngest but one of Jacob's sons. The others
were grown up, and many statements show that they were not very good
men. How did Jacob feel toward Joseph? He gave him a long garment with
sleeves, which was a mark of distinction. The ordinary working garments
were short and had no sleeves. How did Joseph's brothers feel toward
him? What do you think of favoritism in families? Can a father feel the
same toward good sons and bad sons?

54 (§18). In old times they thought much of dreams and believed they had
important meanings. Tell Joseph's two dreams. What were they supposed to
mean? Do boys often dream of their future?

55 (§19). Why do men with large flocks need to move from place to place?
Locate Hebron on the map. Then note how far the shepherds had wandered
to Shechem, which is a very rich pasturage. Then notice Dothan, 15 miles
farther north, where the pasturage is still richer. About how far was
Dothan from Hebron? (Use the scale on the map to measure.) Tell how
Joseph found his brothers.

56 (§19). Tell the story of the plot. What had prepared these men for
the crime they committed? (See I John 3:15.) It is a fearful thing to
keep hatred in the heart. Shut the book and think for a moment whether
you really hate anyone. Tell what they did with Joseph. How does one sin
lead to another? What did they tell Jacob? Notice how sorry the old man
was and how they showed their sorrow in those days.

57 (§20). What happened to Joseph when he reached Egypt? What is the
position of a slave?

58 (§20). Notice how Joseph, although he was sold into slavery,
determined to do his duty to his master. Some people will only do their
best when they are well paid. How was faithfulness rewarded in this

59 (§21). This story is full of strange surprises. Just as Joseph was
enjoying his place as overseer, a new enemy arose. His master's wife
made false charges against him. She was a wicked woman and wanted Joseph
to be put out of the way. Her husband believed her. What did he do with

60 (§21). Joseph might well be discouraged, but even in prison he was
determined to do his best. Whose favor did he gain? In our prisons they
call the good prisoners "trusties." The jailer soon found that Joseph
was a "trusty," and gave him charge of all the other prisoners.


Bear in mind Joseph's trouble in slavery and in prison, and try to find
out about someone who has had a very hard time, but who is patiently and
cheerfully doing his work, trusting in God. Write the account of it.



=§22. Joseph's Interpretation of the Dreams= (Gen. 40)


And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of
Egypt and his baker offended their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh
was wroth against his two officers, against the chief of the butlers,
and against the chief of the bakers. And he put them in the house of the
captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.
And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he ministered
unto them: and they continued a season in prison.

And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream, in one night,
each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and
the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison.

And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and saw them, and, behold,
they were sad. And he asked them, saying, "Wherefore look ye so sadly

And they said unto him, "We have dreamed a dream, and there is none that
can interpret it."

And Joseph said unto them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? tell
it me, I pray you."


And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, "In my
dream, behold, a vine was before me; and in the vine were three
branches: and it was as though it budded, and its blossoms shot forth;
and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: and Pharaoh's cup
was in my hand; and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's
cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand."

And Joseph said unto him, "This is the interpretation of it: the three
branches are three days; within yet three days shall Pharaoh lift up
thine head, and restore thee unto thine office: and thou shalt give
Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his
butler. But have me in thy remembrance when it shall be well with thee,
and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto
Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: for indeed I was stolen away
out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that
they should put me into the dungeon."


When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto
Joseph, "I also was in my dream, and, behold, three baskets of white
bread were on my head: and in the uppermost basket there was of all
manner of baked food for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat it out of the
basket upon my head."

And Joseph answered and said, "This is the interpretation thereof: the
three baskets are three days; within yet three days shall Pharaoh lift
up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds
shall eat thy flesh from off thee."


And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he
made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the
chief butler and the head of the chief baker among his servants. And he
restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup
into Pharaoh's hand: but he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had
interpreted to them. Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but
forgot him.

=§23. Joseph's Interpretation of Pharaoh's Dreams= (Gen. 41:1-16, 25-36)


And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed:
and, behold, he stood by the river. And, behold, there came up out of
the river seven kine, well favored and fatfleshed; and they fed in the
reed-grass. And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the
river, ill favored and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon
the brink of the river. And the ill favored and leanfleshed kine did
eat up the seven well favored and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. And he
slept and dreamed a second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up
on one stalk, rank and good. And, behold, seven ears, thin and blasted
with the east wind, sprung up after them. And the thin ears swallowed up
the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a
dream. And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled;
and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise
men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream: but there was none that
could interpret them unto Pharaoh.


Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, "I do remember my
faults this day: Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in
prison in the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker:
and we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man
according to the interpretation of his dream. And there was with us
there a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guards; and
we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according
to his dream he did interpret. And it came to pass, as he interpreted to
us, so it was; I was restored unto mine office, and he was hanged."


Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of
the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in
unto Pharaoh.

And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, "I have dreamed a dream, and there is none
that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that when thou
hearest a dream thou canst interpret it."

And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "It is not in me: God shall give
Pharaoh an answer of peace."

And Pharaoh told Joseph his dreams.

And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, "The dream of Pharaoh is one: what God is
about to do he hath declared unto Pharaoh. The seven good kine are seven
years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. And
the seven lean and ill favored kine that came up after them are seven
years, and also the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind; they
shall be seven years of famine. That is the thing which I spake unto
Pharaoh: what God is about to do he hath showed unto Pharaoh. Behold,
there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
and there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the
plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall
consume the land; and the plenty shall not be known in the land by
reason of that famine which followeth; for it shall be very grievous.
And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice, it is because the
thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. Now
therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over
the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers
over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the
seven plenteous years. And let them gather all the food of these good
years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in
the cities, and let them keep it. And the food shall be for a store to
the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land
of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine."

=§24. Joseph Made Ruler of Egypt= (Gen. 41:37-45, 47-57)


And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all
his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, "Can we find such a
one as this, a man in whom the spirit of God is?" And Pharaoh said unto
Joseph, "Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so
discreet and wise as thou: thou shalt be over my house, and according
unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be
greater than thou." And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, "See, I have set thee
over all the land of Egypt."

And Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it upon
Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold
chain about his neck; and he made him to ride in the second chariot
which he had; and they cried before him, "Bow the knee," and he set him
over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, "I am Pharaoh,
and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the
land of Egypt."


And he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On.
And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.


And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.
And he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the
land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the
field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. And
Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left
numbering; for it was without number.

And unto Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came. And
Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: "For God hath made me
forget all my toil, and all my father's house." And the name of the
second called he Ephraim: "For God hath made me fruitful in the land of
my affliction."

And the seven years of plenty, that was in the land of Egypt, came to an
end. And the seven years of famine began to come, according as Joseph
had said: and there was famine in all lands; but in all the land of
Egypt there was bread. And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the
people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the
Egyptians, "Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do."

And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all
the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine was sore in
the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy
grain; because the famine was sore in all the earth.


61. Recall rapidly the story of Joseph as far as we have studied it.
Read §21 and consider the situation of the young prisoner.

62 (§22A). Who were these two great men that were sent to prison? It was
a high office to be cupbearer to the king. The butler's speech later
shows that it was his duty to squeeze the grapes into a goblet of water,
making the refreshing drink for his royal master. The officer who had
charge of the kitchen in a great palace would also be an important man.
In our time a French "chef" sometimes has a salary of $25,000. Why were
these men in prison? What did Joseph have to do with them?

63 (§22A). This was three days before the king's birthday and on that
day it was customary to decide the fate of state prisoners. How would
the two men feel as the day drew near? Would they be likely to dream
about their former occupations? Tell the conversation that took place
between them and Joseph in the morning.

64 (§22B). Tell the story. Note how natural it was for the butler to
dream that he was again preparing the king's grape juice. What do you
think of Joseph's request? Was it a reasonable request?

65 (§22C, D). Tell the story of the baker's dream and the
interpretation. What happened on the king's birthday? How was it that
the chief butler was so ungrateful?

66 (§23A). Pharaoh was the title given to all the kings of Egypt, as
Czar is given to the Russian emperors, Sultan to the rulers of Turkey,
and President to our own chief executive. The most important thing in
Egypt is its famous river. (What is its name?) It was natural for the
king to dream of it. Tell the story of his dream.

67 (§23B). We have already noted how much significance was attached to
dreams. A king would have a company of learned men who were supposed to
be able to interpret his dreams. How was it in this case? What did the
chief butler do? How long had he forgotten Joseph?

68 (§23C). How did they get Joseph ready to appear before the king? If
you look at Egyptian pictures you will see that the great men never wore
beards. The Egyptians were also very cleanly and particular about white
garments. What did Pharaoh say to Joseph? Note Joseph's modesty.

69 (§23C). Tell Joseph's interpretation of the dreams. Of course we
naturally ask how Joseph could know these things. But we can only say
that it is part of the story, and our interest is in finding just what
these beautiful old tales of the heroes have to say to us. What advice
did Joseph give to the king? Famines were rare in Egypt, because the
country is not dependent upon rainfall but upon the overflow of the
Nile. Occasionally, though very seldom, the water does not come from the
upper river in sufficient quantity; then there is no inundation and the
crops fail.

70 (§24A). What did Pharaoh think of Joseph's interpretation? What did
he think of his advice? What did he decide to do with him. Note the six
distinctions he gave him and explain what they meant? In England one of
the highest officers is the Keeper of the Great Seal. And there the
aldermen wear gold chains round their necks. It was a notable honor to
be married to the daughter of the high priest, who was a great

71 (§24B). What did Joseph do during the seven prosperous years? How
many sons were born to him? What did he do when the famine came?

72. When Joseph was in the pit in slavery, and in the prison, whom did
he trust? Did he ever think the happy dreams of youth were hopeless?
What is the best way to meet bad fortune? Now note how he meets good
fortune. Read Rom. 8:28.


Like Joseph, you doubtless have some tasks put upon you that are
unpleasant. Note one of those tasks this week. Do it as Joseph would
have done. You will feel after you have done your best that it was worth
while. Then think again how Joseph behaved. Write out in your notebook
why Joseph always did his duty.



=§25. Joseph and the Guilty Brothers= (Gen. 42)


Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said unto his
sons, "Why do ye look one upon another? Behold, I have heard that there
is grain in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence;
that we may live, and not die."

And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy grain from Egypt. But
Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he
said, "Lest peradventure mischief befall him."


And Joseph was the governor over the land; he it was that sold to all
the people of the land: and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down
themselves to him with their faces to the earth. And Joseph saw his
brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and
spake roughly with them; and he said unto them, "Whence come ye?" And
they said, "From the land of Canaan to buy food."

And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto
them, "Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come."

And they said unto him, "Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants
come. We are all one man's sons; we are true men, thy servants are no

And he said unto them, "Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are

And they said, "We thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man
in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our
father, and one is not."

And Joseph said unto them, "Ye are spies." And he put them all together
into prison three days. And Joseph said unto them the third day, "This
do, and live; for I fear God: if ye be true men, let one of your
brethren be bound in your prison house; but go ye, carry grain for the
famine of your houses: and bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall
your words be verified, and ye shall not die."

And they said one to another, "We are verily guilty concerning our
brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he besought us,
and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us."

And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for there was an
interpreter between them. And he turned himself about from them, and
wept; and he returned to them, and spake to them, and took Simeon from
among them, and bound him before their eyes.


Then Joseph commanded to fill their vessels with grain, and to restore
every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way:
and thus was it done unto them.

And they laded their asses with their grain and departed thence. And as
one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the lodging
place, he espied his money; and, behold, it was in the mouth of his
sack. And he said unto his brethren, "My money is restored; and, lo, it
is even in my sack." And their heart failed them, and they turned
trembling one to another, saying, "What is this that God hath done unto

And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told
him all that had befallen them. And it came to pass as they emptied
their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack;
and when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were

And Jacob their father said unto them, "Me have ye bereaved of my
children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin
away: all these things are against me."

And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, "Slay my two sons, if I bring
him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee

And he said, "My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is
dead, and he only is left: if mischief befall him by the way in the
which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the

=§26. Joseph and Benjamin= (Gen. 43)


And the famine was sore in the land. And it came to pass, when they had
eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father
said unto them, "Go again, buy us a little food."

And Judah spake unto him, saying, "The man did solemnly protest unto us,
saying, 'Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.' If
thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:
but if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down."

And Israel said, "Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man
whether ye had yet a brother?"

And they said, "The man asked straitly concerning ourselves, and
concerning our kindred, saying, 'Is your father yet alive? have ye
another brother?' and we told him according to the tenor of these words:
could we in any wise know that he would say, 'Bring your brother down'?"
And Judah said unto Israel his father, "Send the lad with me, and we
will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and
also our little ones. I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou
require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then
let me bear the blame for ever: for except we had lingered, surely we
had now returned a second time."

And their father Israel said unto them, "If it be so now, do this; take
of the choice fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down the man
a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spicery and myrrh, nuts,
and almonds: and take double money in your hand; and the money that was
returned in the mouth of your sacks carry again in your hand;
peradventure it was an oversight: take also your brother, and arise, go
again unto the man: and God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that
he may release unto you your other brother and Benjamin. And if I be
bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."


And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand,
and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before
Joseph. And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward
of his house, "Bring the men into the house, and slay, and make ready;
for the men shall dine with me at noon."

And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into
Joseph's house. And the men were afraid because they were brought into
Joseph's house; and they said, "Because of the money that was returned
in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek
occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our

And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house; and they spake unto
him at the door of the house, and said, "Oh my lord, we came indeed down
at the first time to buy food: and it came to pass, when we came to the
lodging place, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money
was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have
brought it again in our hand. And other money have we brought down in
our hand to buy food: we know not who put our money in our sacks."

And he said, "Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your
father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money."

And he brought Simeon out unto them. And the man brought the men into
Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he
gave their asses provender. And they made ready the present against
Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.


And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in
their hand into the house, and bowed down themselves to him to the
earth. And he asked them of their welfare, and said, "Is your father
well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?" And they said,
"Thy servant our father is well, he is yet alive." And they bowed the
head, and made obeisance.

And he lifted up his eyes, and saw Benjamin his brother, his mother's
son, and said, "Is this your youngest brother, of whom ye spake unto
me?" And he said, "God be gracious unto thee, my son."

And Joseph made haste; for his heart yearned over his brother: and he
sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.
And he washed his face, and came out; and he refrained himself, and
said, "Set on bread."

And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for
the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the
Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an
abomination unto the Egyptians. And they sat before him, the firstborn
according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth:
and the men marvelled one with another. And he took and sent messes unto
them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any
of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.

=§27. Joseph's Forgiveness= (Gen. 44; 45:1-15)


And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, "Fill the men's sacks
with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his
sack's mouth. And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack's mouth of
the youngest, and his grain money."

And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. As soon as the
morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses. And
when they were gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph
said unto his steward, "Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost
overtake them, say unto them, 'Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?
Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby he indeed
divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.'"

And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these words. And they said
unto him, "Wherefore speaketh my lord such words as these? God forbid
that thy servants should do such a thing. Behold, the money, which we
found in our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land
of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or
gold? With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, let him die, and we
also will be my lord's bondmen."

And he said, "Now also let it be according unto your words: he with whom
it is found shall be my bondman; and ye shall be blameless."

Then they hasted, and took down every man his sack to the ground, and
opened every man his sack. And he searched, and began at the eldest, and
left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. Then
they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to
the city. And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; and he was
yet there: and they fell before him on the ground.

And Joseph said unto them, "What deed is this that ye have done? know ye
not that such a man as I can indeed divine?"

And Judah said, "What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or
how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy
servants: behold, we are my lord's bondmen, both we, and he also in
whose hand the cup is found."

And he said, "God forbid that I should do so: the man in whose hand the
cup is found, he shall be my bondman; but as for you, get you up in
peace unto your father."


Then Judah came near unto him, and said, "Oh my lord, let thy servant, I
pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn
against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh. My lord asked his
servants, saying, 'Have ye a father, or a brother?' And we said unto my
lord, 'We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a
little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother,
and his father loveth him.' And thou saidst unto thy servants, 'Bring
him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him.' And we said unto
my lord, 'The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his
father, his father would die.' And thou saidst unto thy servants,
'Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face
no more.' And it came to pass when we came up unto my father, we told
him the words of my lord. And our father said, 'Go again, buy us a
little food.' And we said, 'We cannot go down: if our youngest brother
be with us, then will we go down; for we may not see the man's face,
except our youngest brother be with us.' And my father said unto us, 'Ye
know that my wife bare me two sons: and the one went out from me, and I
said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I have not seen him since: and if
ye take this one also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring
down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.' Now therefore when I come
to my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound
up in the lad's life; it shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad
is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the
gray hairs of our father with sorrow to the grave. For thy servant
became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, 'If I bring him not
unto thee, then shall I bear the blame to my father for ever.' Now
therefore, let thy servant, I pray thee, abide instead of the lad a
bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. For how
shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest I see the
evil that shall come on my father."


Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him;
and he cried, "Cause every man to go out from me." And there stood no
man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he
wept aloud.

And Joseph said unto his brethren, "I am Joseph; doth my father yet
live?" And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at
his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, "Come near to me, I
pray you." And they came near. And he said, "I am Joseph your brother,
whom ye sold into Egypt. And now be not grieved, nor angry with
yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to
preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and
there are yet five years, in the which there shall be neither plowing
nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a remnant in the
earth, and to save you alive by a great deliverance. So now it was not
you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to
Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler over all the land of
Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, 'Thus saith
thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me,
tarry not: and thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt
be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children,
and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: and there will I
nourish thee; for there are yet five years of famine; lest thou come to
poverty, thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast.' And, behold,
your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth
that speaketh unto you. And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in
Egypt, and of all that ye have seen and ye shall haste and bring down my
father hither."

And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin
wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them:
and after that his brethren talked with him.

=§28. Joseph and His Father= (Gen. 45:25-28; 46:28-30; 47:7-11)

And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto
Jacob their father. And they told him, saying, "Joseph is yet alive, and
he is ruler over all the land of Egypt."

And his heart fainted, for he believed them not. And they told him all
the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the
wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their
father revived: and Israel said, "It is enough; Joseph my son is yet
alive: I will go and see him before I die."

And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to show the way before him
unto Goshen; and they came unto the land of Goshen. And Joseph made
ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen. And
he presented himself unto him, and fell on his neck, and wept on his
neck a good while.

And Israel said unto Joseph, "Now let me die, since I have seen thy
face, that thou art yet alive."

And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and
Jacob blessed Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, "How many are the
days of the years of thy life?"

And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, "The days of the years of my pilgrimage are
an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have been the days of the
years of my life, and they have not attained unto the days of the years
of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage."

And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh.
And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a
possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land.


73. This a rather long chapter, but it is so full of interest that it
would not be well to divide it. Recall the last chapter and tell what
was the condition in Egypt and what was Joseph's position.

74 (§25A). We turn back in our story to what persons? What was happening
to them? What was this journey, who went, why did they go, who remained
behind? Compare this with Abraham's journey (§4).

75 (§25B). How did Joseph feel when he saw his brothers after so many
years? How did he recognize them, while they did not know him? Notice
how roughly he treats them. He is going to see whether they care for the
youngest brother Benjamin. How does he do this? We saw in the life of
Jacob how an old sin comes back. So it is here, as the brothers realize.
How does the interview end?

76 (§25C). What happened about the money? Describe the report that they
made to Jacob.

77 (§26A). Why did they need to go to Egypt again? What did Judah say to
his father? How did Jacob at last consent?

78 (§26B). Joseph is not yet ready to tell them of his forgiveness,
because he wants them to be really repentant. He has a very good plan in
his mind. What took place between the brothers and the steward?

79 (§26C). This description is very beautiful. What were Joseph's
feelings when he saw Benjamin? How was the feast arranged? Notice that
Joseph ate apart as the Egyptian custom required. How surprised they
were that they should be seated according to their ages!

80 (§27A). What was Joseph's plan about the cup? Tell the story of the
arrest. Notice the custom of expressing sorrow. The brothers find
themselves in a hard case. Once, when they were guilty, they had been
able to escape detection; now, when they are innocent, they cannot
escape. What was Joseph's harsh decision?

81 (§27B). The brothers had not cared that Joseph should be sold as a
slave and Jacob should be heartbroken. But now when Benjamin is to be a
slave they feel different. Why is this? Tell in your own words Judah's
noble speech. See how completely Joseph has brought his brothers to

82 (§27C). Notice (1) Joseph's loving words, (2) his faith in God's
providence, (3) his message to his father, (4) his affection for his
brothers. Have you ever known forgiveness to do any good?

83 (§28). How did Jacob receive the good news that Joseph was alive?
Goshen was a fertile part of Egypt in which the Hebrews were to live.
Describe the meeting of the father and son. Notice the formal
presentation of Jacob to the king, and how stately is the old patriarch
as he blesses the king.


Remember how happy Joseph was in forgiving his brethren. Read Rom.
12:20, 21. If anybody should annoy or anger you this week, try Joseph's
plan. Instead of getting even with your enemy, be kind to him. See if
you do not feel happier about it. Write in your notebook your own idea
of whether Joseph was right in his forgiveness.








=§29. The Oppression of the Hebrews= (Exod. 1:6-12, 22)

And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the
children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and
multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he
said unto his people, "Behold, the people of the children of Israel are
more and mightier than we: come, let us deal wisely with them; lest they
multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war,
they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and
get them up out of the land."

Therefore, they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their
burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses.
But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more
they spread abroad. And they were grieved because of the children of

And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, "Every son that is born ye
shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive."

=§30. The Birth and Adoption of Moses= (Exod. 2:1-10)

[Illustration: _Copyright 1904 by Underwood and Underwood_

And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter
of Levi. And the woman bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a
goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer
hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime
and with pitch: and she put the child therein, and laid it in the flags
by the river's brink. And his sister stood afar off, to know what would
be done to him. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the
river; and her maidens walked along by the river side; and she saw the
ark among the flags, and sent her handmaid to fetch it. And she opened
it, and saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept.

And she had compassion on him, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews'

Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call thee a
nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?"

And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go."

And the maid went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter
said unto her, "Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will
give thee thy wages."

And the woman took the child, and nursed it. And the child grew, and she
brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she
called his name Moses.

=§31. The Young Man's Unwise Methods= (Exod. 2:11-15)

And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown up, that he went
out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he saw an
Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way
and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he smote the
Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. And he went out the second day, and,
behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that
did the wrong, "Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?" And he said, "Who
made thee a prince and a judge over us? thinkest thou to kill me, as
thou killedst the Egyptian?" And Moses feared, and said, "Surely the
thing is known." Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay

=§32. Moses in Midian= (Exod. 2:16-22)

Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian:
and he sat down by a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters:
and they came and drew water, and filled the trough to water their
father's flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses
stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. And when they came to
Reuel their father, he said, "How is it that ye are come so soon
to-day?" And they said, "An Egyptian delivered us out of the hands of
the shepherds, and moreover he drew water for us, and watered the
flock." And he said unto his daughters, "And where is he? why is it that
ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread." And Moses was
content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter,
and she bare a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, "I have
been a sojourner in a strange land."

=§33. The Unhappy Hebrews= (Exod. 2:23-25)

And it came to pass in the course of those many days, that the king of
Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage,
and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.
And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with
Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God saw the children of Israel,
and God took knowledge of them.


84. In any nation one of the greatest heroes is the man who was the
founder of the national life. The Italians look to the great Garibaldi,
who delivered them from their enemies and brought about a united Italy.
Americans call Washington the father of his country, because he was the
leader in the great struggle to make America a nation. The Hebrews
always looked back to Moses as their great deliverer, who brought them
out of Egypt and made them a nation. The study of this hero takes us to
the second book of the Bible, which is called Exodus, meaning "Going
out," because it gives the story of the escape of the Hebrews from

85 (§29). In the last chapter we were studying about a small tribe of
people. Now we find that a long time has passed and the people have
greatly increased in numbers. Consider how the negroes have increased in
numbers since the War. There were then four millions. How many are there

86 (§29). There probably arose a new dynasty, or line of kings. What did
the king fear might happen if the Hebrews grew too numerous? These
Pharaohs were mighty builders. What great objects had some of the
earlier Pharaohs built? They loved to have splendid palaces and temples
and strong fortifications. As there was no machinery, this work
required great numbers of men. In the wars of those days all prisoners
were made slaves and compelled to work. So the Egyptians treated the
Hebrews as if they were prisoners. What kind of labor were they
compelled to do?

87 (§29). We get a glimpse into the awful harshness of that old slavery.
As we see the pictures of the magnificent structures of those days we
remember that they cost the lives of millions of human beings. We have
done away with slavery, but are not people still compelled to work in
awful conditions? There are very many occupations where the health of
the laborers is broken down and their lives shortened. We have still a
great deal to learn about how men ought to labor.

88 (§29). When the harsh slavery did not prevent the increase of the
Hebrews, it was brutally determined to murder them. What was the plan?
The girls were saved because they could not fight.

89 (§30). Doubtless many of the Hebrew children were drowned, but one
mother was determined to save her boy. Tell the story of how he was
hidden and found and saved.

90 (§30). By the happy plan of the mother and sister the boy could be
brought up safely in his own home. But he was also to have the
opportunity of training in the royal palace. What did it mean that he
was adopted by the princess?

91 (§31). Which people would it have been most profitable for Moses to
belong to--the Egyptians or the Hebrews? Sometimes we see a boy who is
clever and fortunate separating himself from his family. How did Moses
feel when he grew up and saw the sad condition of his people? What hasty
thing did he do? Was Moses justified in that act? Let us see how it
turned out.

92 (§31). The young man was not only anxious to save his people from
tyranny but also from quarreling among themselves. What happened the
next day? People are not always willing to take good advice. What danger
was Moses in?

93 (§32). What was Moses obliged to do because he had killed the
Egyptian overseer? Locate Midian. When Moses was off in the desert, a
fugitive from justice, could he help his people? Was not his hasty act
unwise? Do you remember someone attacking saloons with a hatchet? Can we
often do good by violence? Sometimes we are very indignant because we
see injustice, but in the long run we shall gain all good ends by
peaceful means. Lynching is a poor way to secure justice.

94 (§32). Notice that the girls were in charge of the flocks. What did
the rude shepherds do? Again Moses interferes to help the weak, but this
time he seems to have done it without fighting. Why did the girls think
Moses was an Egyptian? How did it all turn out?

95 (§33). Meantime everything looked very dark for the Hebrews. But God
was preparing a man to save them. Would it have been a good thing for
the Hebrews to have been happy in Egypt and to have stayed there and
become Egyptians? Would it have been well if the Pilgrims had been well
treated in England and had stayed there? Are our troubles ever good for
us? Who is watching all the time?


Moses was obliged to be a shepherd instead of a wealthy Egyptian. So
sometimes our plans are changed. But often it turns out for good. Ask
your parents, or your pastor, or some friend, to tell you if anything
ever happened to them that seemed at the time to upset all their plans
of life, but which turned out to be of great value in their training.
Write an account of it in your notebook.



=§34. The Call in the Wilderness= (Exod. 3:1-11; 4:1-17)


Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest
of Midian: and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came
to the mountain of God, unto Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appeared
unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked,
and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

And Moses said, "I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why
the bush is not burnt."

And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him
out of the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses, Moses."

And he said, "Here am I."

And he said, "Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet,
for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. I am the God of thy
father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."

And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the Lord
said, "I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in
Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I
know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand
of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land
and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. Come now
therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring
forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt."

[Illustration: ORIENTAL SANDALS]


And Moses said unto God, "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and
that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? Behold,
they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say,
'The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.'"

And the Lord said unto him, "What is that in thine hand?"

And he said, "A rod."

And he said, "Cast it on the ground."

And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled
from before it.

And the Lord said unto Moses, "Put forth thine hand and take it by the

And he put forth his hand, and laid hold of it, and it became a rod in
his hand.

And the Lord said furthermore unto him, "Put now thine hand into thy

And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his
hand was leprous, as white as snow.

And he said, "Put thine hand into thy bosom again."

And he put his hand into his bosom again; and when he took it out of his
bosom, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.

And the Lord said, "It shall come to pass, if they will not believe
thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will
believe the voice of the latter sign."

And Moses said unto the Lord, "Oh Lord, I am not eloquent, neither
heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: for I am slow
of speech, and of a slow tongue."

And the Lord said unto him, "Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh a
man dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? is it not I the Lord? Now
therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou
shalt speak."

And he said, "Oh Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of another whom
thou wilt choose."

And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, "Is
there not Aaron thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also,
behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be
glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put the words in
his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will
teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the
people. And thou shalt take in thine hand this rod, wherewith thou shalt
do the signs."

And the Lord said to Aaron, "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses."

And he went, and met him in the mountain of God, and kissed him. And
Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord wherewith he had sent him,
and all the signs wherewith he had charged him.

=§35. The Return to Egypt= (Exod. 4:18, 20, 27-31)

And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said unto
him, "Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in
Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive."

And Jethro said to Moses, "Go in peace."

And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he
returned to the land of Egypt.

And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the
children of Israel: and Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had
spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the
people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the
children of Israel, and that he had seen their affliction, then they
bowed their heads and worshipped.

=§36. Pharaoh's Harshness= (Exod. 5:1-6:1)


And afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said unto Pharaoh, "Thus saith
the Lord, the God of Israel, 'Let my people go, that they may hold a
feast unto me in the wilderness.'"

And Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord, that I should hearken unto his voice
to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, and moreover I will not let
Israel go."

And they said, "The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we
pray thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice unto
the Lord our God."

And the king of Egypt said unto them, "Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron,
loose the people from their work? get you unto your burdens. Behold,
the people of the land are now many, and ye make them rest from their


And the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, and
their officers, saying, "Ye shall no more give the people straw to make
brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And
the number of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay
upon them; ye shall not diminish aught thereof: for they be idle;
therefore they cry, saying, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' Let
heavier work be laid upon the men, that they may labor therein; and let
them not regard lying words."

And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they
spake to the people, saying, "Thus saith Pharaoh, 'I will not give you
straw. Go yourselves, get you straw where ye can find it: for nought of
your work shall be diminished.'"

So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to
gather stubble for straw. And the taskmasters were urgent, saying,
"Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw." And the
officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set
over them, were beaten, and demanded, "Wherefore have ye not fulfilled
your task both yesterday and to-day, in making brick as heretofore?"

Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh,
saying, "Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? There is no
straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, 'Make brick': and
behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people."

But he said, "Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, 'Let us go and
sacrifice to the Lord.' Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no
straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the number of bricks."

And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in
evil case, and they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they
came forth from Pharaoh: and they said unto them, "The Lord look upon
you, and judge; because ye have made us to be abhorred in the eyes of
Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand
to slay us."


And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, "Lord, wherefore hast thou
evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? For since
I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath evil entreated this
people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all."

And the Lord said unto Moses, "Now shalt thou see what I will do to
Pharaoh: for by a strong hand shall he let them go, and by a strong
hand shall he drive them out of his land."


96 (§34A). We left Moses in Midian. Locate it again on the map. With
whom did he live? What was his occupation? Notice that he came to Mt.
Horeb, which is also called Mt. Sinai. Locate it on the map.

97 (§34A). As Moses was alone in the wilderness, his thoughts would
naturally turn to his people. What would he wish for them? How greatly
they needed a leader! If ever the thought occurred to him that he ought
to be their leader, how would he feel about it? At last God's message
came to him. It is one of the beautiful stories of God speaking to man.
How was Moses told to show his reverence? It is the custom in the East.
How could they take off their shoes so easily? (See illustration of the
sandal.) What custom do we have to show reverence? How did Moses show a
still deeper reverence?

98 (§34A). What did God tell Moses? It might have seemed to the lonely
exile that the Lord had forgotten all about the people in bondage. A
commission is a duty given to a man: what was Moses' commission? At last
God's plan for poor Israel was clear. The deliverer had been found.

99 (§34B). It was a startling commission for Moses. He remembered how
the people had treated him when he had tried to help them. (Recall §31.)
What was he now afraid of? Tell the story of the signs with which the
Lord gave him confidence. People were always anxious for something
wonderful in those old days.

100 (§34B). Moses had another reason for hesitation. Is humility a good
preparation for a great work or is confidence better? How does the Lord
fit an earnest man for his work? Humility is not good when it is through
lack of faith. "The anger of the Lord" means his displeasure at what
is not right. Who was sent with Moses?

101 (§35). How did Moses act after receiving the commission. Did he tell
his father-in-law his plans? Describe the meeting, as you may imagine
it, between the two brothers and the Hebrew people.

[Illustration: _Copyright 1904 by Underwood and Underwood_

102 (§36A). It was a bold thing to go to the king. What did Moses and
Aaron demand? What did the king say about the Lord? What did he say
Moses and Aaron were doing?

103 (§36B). Brick was made from the black Nile mud mixed with sand and
with chopped straw. There are pictures in Egypt of captives making these
bricks with overseers guarding them. The soft mud would be put into a
wooden mold, which would then be lifted off and the brick left to dry in
the sun. Sometimes the captives had to gather waste material or stubble
instead of straw. Why was this such a hardship to the Hebrews?

104 (§36B). Note how the orders were carried out. There are two classes
of officials mentioned: the Egyptian taskmasters and the Hebrew
officers. The latter were responsible for the full work being done by
their countrymen. Tell the whole story of the bondage.

105 (§36B). Describe the interview of the officers with Pharaoh. How did
they feel toward Moses and Aaron?

106 (§36C). How did all this affect Moses? It is often darkest just
before day. What did the Lord promise?


Think over the story carefully and prepare for a debate, the students
taking different sides on the question: Resolved that Moses was wrong in
settling down in Midian and leaving his people so long without help.



=§37. The Plagues of Egypt= (Exod. 7:14-18, 25; 8:1-4, 6, 8, 13, 15-17,
20-24, 28, 31, 32; 9:1-6, 8, 9, 22-28, 33, 34; 10:3-6, 14, 19-23, 28,
29; 11:4-8; 12:29-36)


And the Lord said unto Moses, "Pharaoh's heart is stubborn, he refuseth
to let the people go. Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth
out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink to meet
him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine
hand. And thou shalt say unto him, 'The Lord, the God of the Hebrews,
hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me
in the wilderness: and, behold hitherto thou hast not hearkened. Thus
saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I
will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are
in the river and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in
the river shall die, and the river shall be polluted; and the Egyptians
shall loathe to drink water from the river.'"


And seven days were fulfilled, after that the Lord had smitten the
river. And the Lord spake unto Moses, "Go in unto Pharaoh, and say unto
him, 'Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me. And
if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with
frogs: and the river shall swarm with frogs, which shall go up and come
into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into
the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens,
and into thy kneading-troughs: and the frogs shall come up both upon
thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.'"

And the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh
called for Moses and Aaron, and said, "Entreat the Lord, that he take
away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people
go, that they may sacrifice unto the Lord."

And the frogs died, but when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he
hardened his heart.


And the Lord said unto Moses, "Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust
of the earth, that it may become stinging gnats throughout all the land
of Egypt." And there were gnats upon man, and upon beast; all the dust
of the earth became gnats throughout all the land of Egypt.

And the Lord said unto Moses, "Rise up early in the morning, and stand
before Pharaoh; and say unto him, 'Thus saith the Lord, Let my people
go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou wilt not let my people go,
behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants,
and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the
Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon
they are. And I will separate in that day the land of Goshen, in which
my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou
mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth.'"

And the Lord did so; and there came grievous swarms of flies into all
the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said, "I will let you go, that ye may
sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness."

And the Lord removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his
servants, and from his people; there remained not one. And Pharaoh
hardened his heart this time also, and he did not let the people go.


Then the Lord said unto Moses, "Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, 'Thus
saith the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may
serve me. For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still,
behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field,
upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the herds, and
upon the flocks: there shall be a very grievous pestilence. And the
Lord shall separate between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of
Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that belongeth to the children
of Israel.'"

And on the morrow all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the
children of Israel died not one.

And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, "Take handfuls of ashes,
and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And
it shall become small dust over all the land of Egypt, and shall be a
boil breaking forth with blains upon man and upon beast, throughout all
the land of Egypt."


And the Lord said unto Moses, "Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven,
that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon
beast, and upon every herb of the field." So there was hail, and fire
mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as had not been in all the
land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote all that was
in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the
field, and brake every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen,
where the children of Israel were, was there no hail. And Pharaoh sent,
and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, "I have sinned this
time. I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer."

And the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the
earth. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders
were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his

And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, "Thus saith
the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, 'How long wilt thou refuse to humble
thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if
thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to-morrow I will bring locusts
into thy border: and they shall cover the face of the earth, that one
shall not be able to see the earth: and they shall eat that which
remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth
for you out of the field: and thy houses shall be filled, and the houses
of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; as neither thy
fathers nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were
upon the earth unto this day.'"

And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord
brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all the night; and
when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. And they did eat
every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail
had left.

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, "I have
sinned against the Lord your God, and against you."

And the Lord turned an exceeding strong west wind, which took up the
locusts, and drove them into the Red Sea; there remained not one locust
in all the border of Egypt. But Pharaoh did not let the children of
Israel go.

And the Lord said unto Moses, "Stretch out thine hand toward heaven,
that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which
may be felt."

And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven, and there was a thick
darkness in all the land of Egypt three days; they saw not one another,
neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of
Israel had light in their dwellings.


And Pharaoh said unto Moses, "Get thee from me, take heed to thyself,
see my face no more; for in the day thou seest my face thou shalt die."

And Moses said, "Thus saith the Lord, 'About midnight will I go out into
the midst of Egypt: and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall
die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even
unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all
the firstborn of cattle. And there shall be a great cry throughout all
the land of Egypt, such as there hath been none like it, nor shall be
like it any more.' But against any of the children of Israel shall not a
dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that
the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. And all
these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto
me, saying, 'Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee': and
after that I will go out." And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger.

And it came to pass at midnight, that the Lord smote all the firstborn
in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his
throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and
all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and
all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in
Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he
called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise up, get you forth
from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve
the Lord, as ye have said. Take both your flocks and your herds, as ye
have said, and be gone; and bless me also."

And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, to send them out of the
land in haste; for they said, "We be all dead men."

And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they
asked of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and
raiment: and the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the
Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked.

=§38. The Great Deliverance= (Exod. 13:17, 18, 21, 22; 14:5-7, 10-14,


And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led
them not by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was
near; for God said, "Lest peradventure the people repent when they see
war, and they return to Egypt:" but God led the people about, by the way
of the wilderness by the Red Sea: and the children of Israel went up
armed out of the land of Egypt.

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them
the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; that they
might go by day and by night: the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar
of fire by night, departed not from before the people.

And it was told the king of Egypt that the people were fled: and the
heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was changed towards the people, and
they said, "What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from
serving us?" And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with
him: and he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of
Egypt, and captains over all of them.

And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes,
and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore
afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord. And they
said unto Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken
us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with
us, to bring us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we spake
unto thee in Egypt, saying, 'Let us alone, that we may serve the
Egyptians'? For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that
we should die in the wilderness."

And Moses said unto the people, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the
salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you to-day: for the
Egyptians whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see them again no more for
ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."


And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and
went behind them; and the pillar of cloud removed from before them, and
stood behind them: and it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of
Israel; and there was the cloud and the darkness, yet gave it light by
night: and the one came not near the other all the night. And Moses
stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go
back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land. And
the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry
ground. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the
midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
And it came to pass in the morning watch, that the Lord looked forth
upon the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of cloud,
and discomfited the host of the Egyptians. And he took off their chariot
wheels, that they drove them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, "Let
us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against
the Egyptians."

And the Lord said unto Moses, "Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that
the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and
upon their horsemen." And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea,
and the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared; and the
Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the
midst of the sea.

=§39. The Song of the Exodus= (Exod. 14:30, 31; 15:1, 2, 20, 21)

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians;
and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw the
great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians, and the people feared
the Lord: and they believed in the Lord, and in his servant Moses.

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and
spake, saying,

    I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously:
    The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
    The Lord is my strength and song,
    And he is become my salvation:
    This is my God and I will praise him;
    My father's God, and I will exalt him.

And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her
hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with
dances. And Miriam answered them,

    Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously;
    The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.


107. The story of the deliverance from Egypt makes a long chapter, but
it is full of exciting interest and shows the fearless character of the
great leader who trusted in his God. It was a bold thing for Moses to
return to Egypt and try to persuade the king to let Israel go. But when
he was sent to threaten Pharaoh it was indeed a task requiring courage.
Imagine a single man to-day demanding of the sultan of Turkey that he
should free his slaves.

108 (§37). Moses was sent to tell the king that terrible plagues would
come upon his people if he refused to let the Hebrews go. Ten plagues
are mentioned. Nine of them were as follows: (1) the water of the Nile
turned to blood-red color and made undrinkable; (2) enormous numbers of
frogs; (3) swarms of stinging insects, perhaps gnats or mosquitoes; (4)
swarms of flies, which would be terrible in a hot country; (5) a cattle
pestilence; (6) fearful boils on men and cattle; (7) destructive hail;
(8) locusts that ate vegetation; (9) the awful hot desert wind filling
the air with fine sand and causing darkness.

109 (§37). When Pharaoh was frightened by each of the plagues, what did
he promise? What made him break his promise? Did you ever know anyone
who was sorry for doing wrong when the punishment came, but forgot his
promises afterward?

110 (§37F). What did Pharaoh threaten Moses after the ninth plague? What
did Moses say should be the last plague? Probably some sudden terrible
pestilence came upon Egypt. Tell the story of that night.

111 (§38A). Study the map and notice what a short journey it would be
from Egypt along the coast to the Philistine country. But the borders of
Egypt were strongly guarded, so that was a dangerous way to go. What
might have happened if the Hebrews had seen that they would have to

112 (§38A). Moses was a wise leader. He knew he had a host of slaves,
who had not learned courage. So he led them southward toward the Red
Sea. There was a road leading to the wilderness near the Bitter Lakes.
Locate this.

113 (§38A). What happened when the Egyptians found that the people had
actually gone? What did the Hebrews say when they learned that Pharaoh
was following them? How did Moses encourage them?

114 (§38B). The Hebrews were in a very difficult situation. They had
come to a place where the water from the Red Sea ran far up the
low-lying sands. What great canal has since been dug there? The water
was too deep for the Hebrews to cross. Pharaoh's army was coming up
behind. The only thing that could save Israel would be a strong wind
that should drive the waters back and leave the sands clear. How often
God's great Providence helps his people in trouble! Moses bravely
encouraged them.

115 (§38B). What separated the Israelites from the Egyptians? What made
the crossing possible? What trouble did the Egyptians experience? What
would naturally happen if the high wind stopped after the Israelites had
crossed? Tell the story of the deliverance.

116 (§39). What do you think were the feelings of Israel when they found
themselves safe? Recite the song in which they celebrated their escape?
What does "Exodus" mean?


Let us try to see just what happened to the Hebrews. Draw a map of Egypt
and the Sinai peninsula on a larger scale than that in your book. Mark
Goshen, the region where the Hebrews lived. Mark the bitter lakes coming
nearly to the Gulf of Suez. Connect these with a wavy line showing the
shallow waters which were driven back for the passage of the Hebrews.
Mark with a red line the road which the Hebrews might have taken along
the coast road straight to Canaan and the road which they actually took
south of the bitter lakes. Continue this last line into the Sinai
peninsula, noting that the people were led into the wilderness.



=§40. The Law at Sinai= (Exod. 15:22-25, 27; 19:1)


And Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea, and they went three days
in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they
could not drink of the waters for they were bitter. And the people
murmured against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" And he cried unto
the Lord; and the Lord showed him a tree, and he cast it into the
waters, and the waters were made sweet.

And they came to Elim, where were twelve springs of water, and
threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.
And they took their journey from Elim, and in the third month they came
to the wilderness of Sinai; and there Israel encamped before the mount.

[Illustration: MOSES]


And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the
mountain, saying, "Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell
the children of Israel;

  =I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out
  of the house of bondage.=

  =Thou shalt have none other gods before me.=

  =Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor the likeness of any
  form that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that
  is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself unto
  them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting
  the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon
  the fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto
  thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.=

  =Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord
  will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.=

  =Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor,
  and do all thy work: but the seventh day is a sabbath unto the Lord thy
  God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy
  daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy
  stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven
  and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day:
  wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.=

  =Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the
  land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.=

  =Thou shalt do no murder.=

  =Thou shalt not commit adultery.=

  =Thou shalt not steal.=

  =Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.=

  =Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy
  neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox,
  nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.=

And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the
voice of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw
it, they trembled, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, "Speak
thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we

And Moses said unto the people, "Fear not: for God is come to prove
you, and that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not."

And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick
darkness where God was.

=§41. The Great Rebellion= (Exod. 24:13, 18; 32:1-8, 15-20, 30-35)


And Moses and Joshua his minister went up into the mount of God. And
Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights. And when the people
saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, the people gathered
themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, "Up, make us gods,
which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us
up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him."

And Aaron said unto them, "Break off the golden rings, which are in the
ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them
unto me."

And all the people brake off the golden rings which were in their ears,
and brought them unto Aaron. And he received it at their hand, and
fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf: and they
said, "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the
land of Egypt."

And when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made
proclamation, and said, "To-morrow shall be a feast to the Lord."

And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and
brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink,
and rose up to play.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, "Go, get thee down; for thy people, which
thou broughtest up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:
they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them:
they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have
sacrificed unto it."

And Moses turned and went down from the mount with the two tables in his
hand. And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he
said unto Moses, "There is a noise of war in the camp."

And he said, "It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery,
neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the
noise of them that sing do I hear."

And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw
the calf and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the
tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took
the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to
powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel
drink of it.


And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, "Ye
have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord;
peradventure I shall make atonement for your sin."

And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, "Oh, this people have sinned
a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt
forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book
which thou hast written."

And the Lord said unto Moses, "Whosoever hath sinned against me, him
will I blot out of my book. And now go, lead the people unto the place
of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine angel shall go before
thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon

And the Lord smote the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron

[The people were forgiven, but again and again they rebelled. Moses
prayed for them, but the Lord said they must wander in the wilderness
forty years. At last Moses led them to the plains of Moab and to the
river Jordan, where he made his farewell speech.]

=§42. The Last Days of Moses= (Deut. 31:1-3, 6-8; 34)


And Moses spake these words unto all Israel, "I am a hundred and twenty
years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: and the Lord hath
said unto me, 'Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.' The Lord thy God, he
will go over before thee; he will destroy these nations from before
thee, and thou shalt possess them: and Joshua, he shall go over before
thee, as the Lord hath spoken. Be strong and of a good courage, fear
not, nor be affrighted at them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth
go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."

And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all
Israel, "Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt go with this
people into the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to
give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, he it
is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail
thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed."


And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto mount Nebo, to the top of
Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the

And the Lord said unto him, "This is the land which I sware unto
Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy
seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not
go over thither."

So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab,
according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in the valley in
the land of Moab, but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. And
Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not
dim, nor his natural force abated. And the children of Israel wept for
Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days.

And there hath not arisen a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses,
whom the Lord knew face to face; in all the signs and the wonders, which
the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his
land; and in all the mighty hand, and in all the great terror, which
Moses wrought in the sight of all Israel.


117. After the Revolutionary War, the thirteen American states adopted a
constitution. Washington was the great leader. We all honor him now, but
during his life many were jealous of him and the people often found
fault with him and lost confidence in him. He was greatly tried and
would have given up the presidency but for his sense of duty. So it was
with Moses. He brought deliverance to the people and gave them their
first great laws, but they constantly murmured against him and against
God. The long story of his leadership of Israel during forty years in
the wilderness is told in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and
Deuteronomy. We shall study a few of the main incidents.

118 (§40A). After the victory over the Egyptians, Moses led the people
toward Mt. Sinai. Notice on the map the mountain range in the Sinai
Peninsula. What difficulty soon arose? How did the people meet it? This
was the beginning of a number of trials that Moses had in his

119 (§40A). How long did it take to reach Mt. Sinai? The gathering at
the mountain was a very solemn occasion. Israel was to receive a
constitution. Think of the solemn time when the constitution of the
United States was adopted.

120 (§40B). What do we call these great words? Every student should know
them by heart. If they were learned in the Primary Department it would
be well to recall them.

121 (§40B). How were the people impressed by the holy law? Let us
understand that when we speak of "the fear of the Lord" it does not mean
that we are afraid of him, but that we have a great reverence for him.

122 (§41A). How long had Moses remained in the mountain to which he had
gone to receive the laws? The people could not understand a God whom
they could not see. They wanted an idol such as the Egyptians had. Tell
the story of the golden calf.

123 (§41A). How did Moses learn of what had happened? What did Moses
bring down from the mountain? What did Joshua hear? What did Moses do
when he found what had happened? Is it ever right to be angry?

124 (§41B). The people had greatly disappointed Moses, but he was very
sorry for their sin. He went to pray for them. Read carefully his
wonderful prayer. Moses well knew God's love, but he knew also that
wickedness must be punished.

125. We shall consider another great rebellion in connection with the
next two heroes whom we study. It resulted in the Hebrews being
sentenced to travel about for forty years. Moses led them. He was their
chief, ruling over them, and their general, enabling them to conquer
their enemies.

126 (§42A). Moses had led the people for forty years. At last the grand
old man brought them to the very border of the Promised Land. What river
was all that separated them from Canaan? Locate the place of the last
camp just opposite Jericho. The book of Deuteronomy gives the farewell
speeches of Moses. This section is a part of what he said to them. Tell
it in your own words. What great American gave a Farewell Message to his

127 (§42B). It was a great disappointment to Moses that he could not
lead the people into Canaan, but he cheerfully accepted God's will. It
must have been a wonderful sight that the old man saw from the mountain.
Imagine yourself on Mt. Nebo. Look over Canaan and tell what Moses saw.
Where did Moses die? How did Israel mourn for him? What did the writer
of the last verses think of this great man? Learn Mrs. Alexander's
beautiful poem.


    By Nebo's lonely mountain,
      On this side Jordan's wave,
    In a vale in the land of Moab,
      There lies a lonely grave;
    But no man dug that sepulchre,
      And no man saw it e'er,
    For the angels of God upturned the sod,
      And laid the dead man there.

    That was the grandest funeral
      That ever passed on earth;
    But no man heard the tramping,
      Or saw the train go forth.
    Noiselessly as the daylight
      Comes when the night is done,
    And the crimson streak on ocean's cheek
      Grows into the great sun,

    Noiselessly as the springtime
      Her crown of verdure weaves,
    And all the trees on all the hills
      Open their thousand leaves,
    So, without sound of music,
      Or voice of them that wept,
    Silently down from the mountain crown
      The great procession swept.

    This was the bravest warrior
      That ever buckled sword;
    This the most gifted poet
      That ever breathed a word;
    And never earth's philosopher
      Traced, with his golden pen,
    On the deathless page, truths half so sage
      As he wrote down for men.

    And had he not high honor?
      The hillside for his pall;
    To lie in state while angels wait,
      With stars for tapers tall;
    And the dark rock-pines, like tossing plumes,
      Over his bier to wave;
    And God's own hand, in that lonely land,
      To lay him in the grave.


Draw a picture of two large tables of stone. Write the first five
commandments on one, using just the first sentence of each commandment.
Write the last five commandments on the other in full, except that for
the tenth commandment use only its first four words. Do this very




128. Our studies have brought us to the time when the Hebrews were about
to enter the land of Canaan. Up to that time they were a wandering
people going from place to place, seeking pasture for their flocks or
refuge from famine. After they settled down they used to tell the
stories of the heroes of the old wandering days. We have studied five of
these. Who was called the Father of the Faithful? Who was his son? Who
was the man who gave his name to the nation? Which of his sons became
the ruler of Egypt? Who was the deliverer of the people from Egypt? Let
us recall some of the stories of these five heroes.

129 (5-7, §2). Tell the story of Abraham's journey westward to the new
land. Who did he believe called him and led him? What people in our own
history did we compare with him?

130 (12, 13, §5). Abraham had a nephew with him: what was his name? What
great wealth did these two men have? What trouble was caused by the
increase of their wealth? How did Abraham settle the matter? Why did we
call him "magnanimous"?

131 (23, 24, §8). Abraham was most anxious to do what he thought was
right. Tell the wonderful story of how God showed him that he need not
sacrifice his son.

132. Read §11A and see if you can recall the story of Jacob's deception
of Isaac.

133 (50, §16). After many years and after Jacob had learned many hard
lessons he turned back to his own land. Tell the story of his meeting
with the brother whom he had wronged.

134 (§19). How many sons had Jacob? Who was his favorite? Why did his
brothers hate him? Tell the story of how they sold him as a slave.

135 (§23C). Joseph prospered in Egypt, but through false accusation was
thrown into prison. Here he interpreted the dreams of two men: who were
they? which of the men was pardoned by the king and forgot Joseph? The
king dreamed: how did this lead to Joseph's promotion?

136 (§27C). There were seven years of good crops followed by seven years
of famine. How did the famine bring Joseph's brothers to Egypt? Why did
they not recognize him when he knew them? What plan did he use to make
them sorry for their unkindness and to make one of them willing to be a
slave to save his youngest brother? Tell the story of the forgiveness.

137 (84, 89, 90, §30). After the Hebrews had been a long time in Egypt
they became very numerous. Pharaoh was alarmed at their numbers. What
order did he give so that there should be no more men? Tell the story of
Moses' safety and adoption.

138 (97, 98, §34A). Moses had been obliged to flee from Egypt and had
lived a long time in the wilderness thinking about how his people could
be saved. Perhaps sometimes he thought that he ought to deliver them,
but he hesitated. Tell the story of the Burning Bush and how God
encouraged him to go back to Egypt and be the deliverer.

139 (114, §38B). Moses boldly went back and told the king he must let
the people go. After ten awful plagues Pharaoh let them go. But no
sooner were they gone than he repented and followed after them. How did
Moses lead them into safety by God's good providence?

140 (127, §42B). How many years did Moses lead his people in the
wilderness? To what point did he bring them at last? There he made them
a noble farewell speech of encouragement. Tell the story of how he saw
Canaan, and of his death. What did the writer of the Book of Deuteronomy
think of Moses?







=§43. The Twelve Spies= (Num. 13:1, 2, 17-21, 25-28, 30-33; 14:1-10,


The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, "Send thou men, that they may spy out
the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every
tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a prince among

And Moses sent twelve men of the tribes of Israel, and of them Caleb was
of the tribe of Judah and Joshua of the tribe of Ephraim. And Moses sent
them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, "Get you up this
way by the South, and go up into the mountains: and see the land, what
it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or
weak, whether they be few or many; and what the land is that they dwell
in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell
in, whether in camps, or in strongholds; and what the land is, whether
it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of
good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land."

Now the time was the time of the first-ripe grapes. So they went up, and
spied out the land. And they came unto the valley of Eshcol, and cut
down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it
upon a staff between two; they brought also of the pomegranates, and of
the figs.


And they returned from spying out the land at the end of forty days. And
they went and came to Moses, and to the children of Israel, and showed
them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, "We came unto
the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and
honey; and this is the fruit of it. Howbeit the people that dwell in the
land are strong, and the cities are fenced, and very great: and moreover
we saw the giants, the children of Anak, there."

And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, "Let us go up at
once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it."

But the men that went up with him said, "We are not able to go up
against the people; for they are stronger than we." And they brought up
an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto the children of
Israel, saying, "The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is
a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that
we saw in it are men of great stature. And there we saw the giants, the
sons of Anak: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we
were in their sight."


And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the
people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against
Moses and against Aaron: and said unto them, "Would God that we had died
in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And
wherefore doth the Lord bring us unto this land, to fall by the sword?
Our wives and our little ones shall be a prey: were it not better for us
to return into Egypt?"

And they said one to another, "Let us make a captain, and let us return
into Egypt."

Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the
children of Israel.


And Joshua and Caleb, which were of them that spied out the land, rent
their clothes: and they spake unto all the children of Israel, saying,
"The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceeding good
land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land,
and give it unto us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only
rebel not against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for
they are bread for us: their defence is removed from over them, and the
Lord is with us: fear them not."

But all the people cried to stone them with stones.


And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tent of meeting unto all the
children of Israel. And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron,
saying, "I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which
they murmur against me. Say unto them, 'As I live, saith the Lord,
surely as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: your
carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of
you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward,
which have murmured against me, surely ye shall not come into the land,
concerning which I lifted up my hand that I would make you dwell
therein, save Caleb and Joshua. But your little ones, which ye said
should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land
which ye have rejected. But as for you, your carcases shall fall in this
wilderness. And your children shall be wanderers in the wilderness forty

=§44. After the Forty Years= (Josh. 1:1-11; 11:16-18; 14:6-13)


Now it came to pass after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord,
that the Lord spake unto Joshua, Moses' minister, saying, "Moses my
servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all
this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children
of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, to
you have I given it, as I spake unto Moses. From the wilderness, and
this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the
land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of
the sun, shall be your border. There shall not any man be able to stand
before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be
with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a
good courage: for thou shalt cause this people to inherit the land which
I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very
courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my
servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the
left, that thou mayest have good success whithersoever thou goest. This
book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt
meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according
to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way
prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded
thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not affrighted, neither be
thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou

Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, "Pass through
the midst of the camp, and command the people, saying, 'Prepare you
victuals; for within three days ye are to pass over this Jordan, to go
in to possess the land, which the Lord your God giveth you to possess


So Joshua took all that land, the hill country, and all the South, and
the lowland, and the hill country of Israel, and the lowland of the
same; and all their kings he took, and smote them, and put them to
death. Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. So Joshua took
the whole land, according to all that the Lord spake unto Moses; and
Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their
divisions by their tribes.


Then the children of Judah drew nigh unto Joshua: and Caleb said unto
him, "Thou knowest the thing that the Lord spake unto Moses the man of
God concerning me and concerning thee in Kadesh-barnea. Forty years old
was I when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to
spy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.
Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the
people melt: but I wholly followed the Lord my God. And Moses sware on
that day, saying, 'Surely the land whereon thy foot hath trodden shall
be an inheritance to thee and to thy children for ever, because thou
hast wholly followed the Lord my God.' And now, behold, the Lord hath
kept me alive, as he spake, these forty and five years, from the time
that the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while Israel walked in the
wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As
yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as
my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, and to go out
and to come in. Now, therefore, give me this mountain, whereof the Lord
spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the giants, the
sons of Anak, were there, and cities great and fenced: it may be that
the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out, as the Lord

And Joshua blessed him; and he gave Hebron unto Caleb for an
inheritance. And the land had rest from war.


141. We have followed the story of Moses to the time of his death. Now
we shall go back to notice the part that two other heroes played in the
wilderness. It was at the time when Moses had led the people from Mount
Sinai toward the southern part of Canaan. Locate this journey on the

142 (§43A). Notice that we take up the Book of Numbers, which is so
called because it tells of the census of the people in the wilderness.
Try to imagine the feelings of the people who had come from slavery in
Egypt and had reached the borders of the strange new land. They would
wish to know what was before them. What plan was to be used to find

143 (§43A). The southern part of Canaan was called "the South." Locate
it. They were to go through there and then to the higher country where
the vineyards were planted on the hills. What seven different things
were these men to find out? What were they to bring back with them? What
time of the year was it? We can imagine how the settlers in the early
history of our country might have sent scouts to go through the Indian
lands to find out what they were and what kind of people the Indian
tribes were.

144 (§43A). These twelve men went all through the land. What did they
get as a sample of the fruit? Why did two men have to carry it? What
does this show of the character of the land?

145 (§43B). How long did it take them to find out about the country?
What did they do when they came back. What report did they give? The
children of Anak were very tall men. It seems that there must have been
a tribe of exceedingly big men in Canaan. These frightened the spies.

146 (§43B). There was one of the committee who spoke out a bold word.
Who was he and what did he say? But what did the others reply? Notice
that at first they said they saw some tall men. Soon they began to think
that all the Canaanites were giants. So difficulties grow in our minds
when we are cowardly.

147 (§43C). What happened when the people heard the discouraging report?
It shows how a few men can discourage a whole army. What rebellion did
they plan? Would it have been wise to go back to Egypt?

148 (§43D). Moses and Aaron were very much troubled. But the two heroes
out of the twelve spies made a great speech. They were troubled so they
tore their clothes. But what did they say about the land? Who did they
say would bless the people if they would be faithful and brave? How did
the people respond? Think of the two noble men standing against the
great crowd.

149 (§43E). The message of the Lord tells of the punishment for the
rebellion. What was to happen to all the grown men? What two men were to
be an exception? What was to happen to the children? Notice that the
punishment is that they shall not go into the land. But they did not
want to go. Sometimes the worst punishment is to take a person at his

150 (§44A). Now imagine forty years to pass. All the old men are gone.
The great leader is gone. Let us see what became of the two brave men.
We turn to a new book, the sixth in our Bible, which is called after the
name of the hero. Who was chosen to succeed Moses? Was not this an honor
and reward? What was to be his duty for the people? What spirit was he
to have? What was to be his guide? Who promised to be with him? What did
he immediately do as the first act of his leadership?

151 (§44B). The first eleven chapters of this book give the account of
Joshua's wars to gain the land for his people. This passage tells how he
succeeded. Tell it in your own words.

152 (§44C). The old hero Caleb comes up to get his share of the new
land. Tell what he says to Joshua. As he states that it is forty-five
years since Moses gave him the promise, there must have been five years
spent in conquering the land. It was a long time to wait for his reward,
but at last the old man receives it. It is interesting to note that he
chooses his own reward. He asks to be given the very highland country
that the spies were so much afraid of. He expects the Lord to help him
to drive the giants out. One would think that an old man would ask for
an easy place. Caleb asks for a hard one. What do you think of Caleb?
What kind of a place do you want in the world--an easy place with
plenty to get or a hard place with plenty of chance to do good? Think
about that question and then answer it to yourself.


This week you will undoubtedly have some difficult lessons assigned in
school. It will seem that they are too hard and you will feel inclined
to give them up. Do not be afraid of the giants, be like Joshua and
Caleb and you can conquer if you are brave enough. Make up your mind to
conquer some hard task each day. When you are sure you have really
conquered a difficulty think how those heroes must have felt about the
giants. Write in your notebook the reason why Caleb and Joshua wanted to
do the hard duty.



=§45. The Call of Gideon= (Judg. 6:2-6, 11-24, 36-40)


The hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of Midian the
children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and
the caves, and the strongholds. And so it was, when Israel had sown,
that the Midianites came up and encamped against them, and destroyed the
increase of the earth, and left no sustenance in Israel, neither sheep,
nor ox, nor ass. For they came up with their cattle and their tents,
they came in as locusts for multitude; both they and their camels were
without number: and they came into the land to destroy it. And Israel
was brought very low because of Midian; and the children of Israel cried
unto the Lord.


And the angel of the Lord came, and sat under the oak that belonged unto
Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the
winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord
appeared unto him, and said unto him, "The Lord is with thee, thou
mighty man of valor."

And Gideon said unto him, "Oh my lord, if the Lord be with us, why then
is all this befallen us? and where are all his wondrous works which our
fathers told us of, saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?'
but now the Lord hath cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of

And the Lord looked upon him, and said, "Go in this thy might, and save
Israel from the hand of Midian: have not I sent thee?"

And he said unto him, "Oh Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold,
my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's

And the Lord said unto him, "Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt
smite the Midianites as one man."

And he said unto him, "If now I have found grace in thy sight, then show
me a sign that it is thou that talkest with me. Depart not hence, I pray
thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and lay it
before thee."

And he said, "I will tarry until thou come again."

And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an
ephah of meal: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a
pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.

And the angel of God said unto him, "Take the flesh and the unleavened
cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth."

And he did so. Then the angel of the Lord put forth the end of the staff
that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes;
and there went up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the
unleavened cakes; and the angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.
And Gideon saw that he was the angel of the Lord; and Gideon said,
"Alas, O Lord God! forasmuch as I have seen the angel of the Lord face
to face."

And the Lord said unto him, "Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt
not die."

Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord.


And Gideon said unto God, "If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as
thou hast spoken, behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the
threshing-floor: if there be dew on the fleece only, and it be dry upon
all the ground, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine
hand, as thou hast spoken."

And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and pressed the
fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of
water. And Gideon said unto God, "Let not thine anger be kindled against
me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this
once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon
all the ground let there be dew."

And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and
there was dew on all the ground.

=§46. The Defeat of the Midianites= (Judg. 6:33-35; 7:2-24; 8:4,
10-12, 21)


Then all the Midianites assembled themselves together; and they passed
over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel. But the spirit of the Lord
came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered
together after him. And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; and
they also were gathered together after him: and he sent messengers unto
Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet


And the Lord said unto Gideon, "The people that are with thee are too
many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel vaunt
themselves against me, saying, 'Mine own hand hath saved me.' Now
therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, 'Whosoever
is fearful and trembling, let him return and depart from mount Gilead.'"

And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there
remained ten thousand. And the Lord said unto Gideon, "The people are
yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for
thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, 'This shall
go with thee,' the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto
thee, 'This shall not go with thee,' the same shall not go."

So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto
Gideon, "Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog
lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth
down upon his knees to drink."

And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth,
was three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon
their knees to drink water.

And the Lord said unto Gideon, "By the three hundred men that lapped
will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all
the people go every man unto his place."

So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he
sent all the men of Israel every man unto his tent, but retained the
three hundred men: and the camp of Midian was beneath him in the valley.


And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, "Arise,
get thee down into the camp; for I have delivered it into thine hand.
But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Purah thy servant down to the
camp: and thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine
hands be strengthened to go down into the camp."

Then went he down with Purah his servant unto the outermost part of the
armed men that were in the camp. And the Midianites lay along in the
valley like locusts for multitude; and their camels were without number,
as the sand which is upon the sea shore for multitude.

And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto
his fellow, and said, "Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of
barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian, and came unto the tent,
and smote it that it fell, and turned it upside down, so that the tent
lay flat."

And his fellow answered and said, "This is nothing else save the sword
of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: into his hand God hath
delivered Midian, and all the host."

And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the
interpretation thereof, that he worshipped; and he returned into the
camp of Israel, and said, "Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your
hand the host of Midian."


And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put
into the hands of all of them trumpets, and empty pitchers, with torches
within the pitchers. And he said unto them, "Look on me, and do
likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outermost part of the camp, it
shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. When I blow the trumpet, I and
all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of
all the camp, and say, 'For the Lord and for Gideon.'"

So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the
outermost part of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch, when
they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake
in pieces the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three companies
blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the torches in their
left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and
they cried, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon."

And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the
host ran; and they shouted, and put them to flight. And they blew the
three hundred trumpets, and the Lord set every man's sword against his
fellow, and against all the host: and the host fled and the men of
Israel pursued after Midian.


And Gideon sent messengers throughout all the hill country of Ephraim,
saying, "Come down against Midian and take the Jordan before them." So
they came down.

And Gideon came to the Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three
hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing.

Now the two kings of Midian had with them about fifteen thousand men,
all that were left of the host. And Gideon smote the host. And the two
kings of Midian fled. And Gideon pursued after them and took them. And
he slew them, and took the crescents that were on their camels' necks.

=§47. The Result of the Victory= (Judg. 8:22-27)

Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, "Rule thou over us, both thou,
and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast saved us out of the
hand of Midian."

And Gideon said unto them, "I will not rule over you, neither shall my
son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you."

And Gideon said unto them, "I would desire and request of you, that ye
would give me every man the earrings of his spoil."

And they answered, "We will willingly give them."

And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings
of his spoil. And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested
was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside the crescents,
and the pendants, and the purple raiment that was on the kings of
Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels' necks. And
Gideon made an idol thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and
all Israel went after it there: and it became a snare unto Gideon, and
to his house.


153. After the death of Joshua, the Hebrews had a hard time from their
many enemies. Just as our forefathers were constantly in danger from the
Indians, so the Hebrew settlers were often attacked and their goods
taken from them. But in their case it was worse, because their enemies
often came against them in great armies and conquered them. Israel had
no king or governor, but from time to time some hero rose up to deliver
them. These men were called "judges," because in addition to leading the
people in war they decided matters of dispute. Their stories are told in
the Book of Judges. Gideon was one of these military heroes.

154 (§45A). The Midianites were a wandering people of the desert. They
wandered on the borders of Edom and Moab. Find these places on the map,
southeast of Canaan. As they raised no crops themselves they delighted
to attack the agricultural people after the crops were harvested and
steal all the result of the year's work. That is the meaning of the fear
of the Hebrews that is described. Where did the Hebrews hide? How many
were there of the enemy?

155 (§45B). Notice that Gideon was afraid to thresh his wheat in the
open place, so he was beating out a few sheaves in the hollow where they
pressed the grapes. What did the angel say to him when he saw his
powerful frame and how vigorously he was beating his wheat? Tell the
conversation, showing how the angel encouraged Gideon. He was a brave
man, but like everyone else he had lost heart. What sign was given to
Gideon? It was such a solemn thing to be called by God to deliver the
people that Gideon was afraid, but God encouraged him. What did Gideon
build there? What did that mean?

156 (§45C). What further sign was given to Gideon to make him sure that
the Lord was with him?

157 (§46A). There were twelve tribes in Israel and each tribe consisted
of a number of clans. Gideon was of the clan of Abiezer, which was part
of the tribe of Manasseh. Look at the map of Canaan and note the names
of the Twelve Tribes. In the tribe of Issachar is the Plain of
Esdraelon. That was the great plain where many of the battles of Israel
were fought. If you can look at a relief map you will see how this great
plain lay. The enemy had crossed the Jordan and camped on this plain.
When Gideon heard it, he was stirred to the heart. What did he do? First
his own clan followed him. Then he called his own tribe to follow him.
Then he sent to three of the northern tribes. Find all these on the map.
Try to imagine the Israelites all gathering together at the call of the

158 (§46B). Here we have a strange story. It would seem as if the army
ought to be as large as possible, but the Lord told Gideon that he did
not want the people to boast of the victory. Who were told to go home?
How large was the army? How many went home? How many remained? But still
the numbers were too large: what was the second plan to reduce them? How
many at last were left?

159 (§46C). What did Gideon do in order to find out about the enemy?
Tell the dream that he heard explained.

160 (§46D). Read carefully and explain what Gideon told his men. He had
a stratagem in mind to frighten the enemy. It is to be noted that the
men who went home left their provisions and their trumpets, so Gideon
had as many trumpets in his little army as in the big army. What would
the Midianites think when they heard three hundred trumpets blowing? The
night was divided into three watches. The sentries had just been set
for the second watch when the attack was made. Describe the actions of
the Israelites. What did they shout? The Midianites killed one another
in the confusion.

161 (§46E). Gideon wanted the great tribe of Ephraim to help in the
fight, so he asked them to go down to the river Jordan to cut off the
flying enemy. What did Gideon do himself? What happened to the kings of
Midian and the host?

162 (§47). What did the grateful people offer Gideon? Why did he refuse?
What great American refused to be a king? The story closes in
disappointment. Is it not strange that after the great victory Gideon
should forget God? Tell the story of making the idol.


Make a search during the next week for an example of some brave person
standing up like Gideon for a good cause when others hold back. There is
sure to be someone if you are keen enough to find him. It may be at
school or in the city, or you may hear of someone in the newspapers.
Talk it over with your companions until you have found the best example.
Write about it in your notebook.



=§48. The Birth of Samson= (Judg. 13:2-6, 24)

There was a certain man of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his
wife bare no child. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman,
and said unto her, "Behold now, thou shalt bear a son. Now therefore
beware, I pray thee, and drink no wine nor strong drink, and eat not any
unclean thing: for, lo, thou shalt bear a son; and no razor shall come
upon his head: for the child shall be a Nazirite unto God from his
birth: and he shall begin to save Israel out of the hand of the

Then the woman came and told her husband.

And the woman bare a son and called his name Samson: and the child grew
and the Lord blessed him.

=§49. The Riddle at the Wedding Feast= (Judg. 14)

And Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the
daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and
his mother, and said, "I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of
the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife."

Then his father and his mother said unto him, "Is there never a woman
among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou
goest to take a wife of the Philistines?"

And Samson said unto his father, "Get her for me; for she pleaseth me

Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnah, and
came to the vineyards of Timnah: and, behold, a young lion roared
against him. And the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he
rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand:
but he told not his father or his mother what he had done. And he went
down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.

And after a while he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see
the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees in the
body of the lion, and honey. And he took it into his hands, and went on,
eating as he went, and he came to his father and mother, and gave unto
them, and they did eat: but he told them not that he had taken the honey
out of the body of the lion. And his father went down unto the woman:
and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do. And it
came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to
be with him.

And Samson said unto them, "Let me now put forth a riddle unto you: if
ye can declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it
out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of
raiment: but if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty
linen garments and thirty changes of raiment."

And they said unto him, "Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it."

And he said unto them,

    "Out of the eater came forth meat,
    And out of the strong came forth sweetness."

And they could not in three days declare the riddle.

And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's
wife, "Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest
we burn thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to
impoverish us? is it not so?"

And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, "Thou dost but hate me, and
lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my
people, and hast not told it me."

And he said unto her, "Behold, I have not told it my father nor my
mother, and shall I tell thee?"

And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it
came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she pressed
him sore: and she told the riddle to the children of her people. And the
men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went
down, "What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion?"

And he said unto them,

    "If ye had not plowed with my heifer,
    Ye had not found out my riddle."

And the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he went down to
Ashkelon, and smote thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave
the changes of raiment unto them that declared the riddle. And his anger
was kindled, and he went up to his father's house. But Samson's wife was
given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.

=§50. Samson's Strength= (Judg. 15:1-17; 16:1-3)


But it came to pass after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, that
Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, "I will go in to my
wife into the chamber."

But her father would not suffer him to go in. And her father said, "I
verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her
to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I
pray thee, instead of her."

And Samson said unto them, "This time shall I be blameless in regard to
the Philistines, when I do them a mischief."

And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and
turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between every two
tails. And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the
standing grain of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks and the
standing grain, and also the oliveyards.

Then the Philistines said, "Who hath done this?"

And they said, "Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he hath
taken his wife, and given her to his companion."

And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.

And Samson said unto them, "If ye do after this manner, surely I will be
avenged of you, and after that will I cease."

And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down
and dwelt in the cleft of the rock of Etam.


Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread
themselves in Lehi. And the men of Judah said, "Why are ye come up
against us?"

And they said, "To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath
done to us."

Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of
Etam, and said to Samson, "Knowest thou not that the Philistines are
rulers over us? what then is this that thou hast done unto us?"

And he said unto them, "As they did unto me, so have I done unto them."

And they said unto him, "We are come down to bind thee, that we may
deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines."

And Samson said unto them, "Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me

And they spake unto him, saying, "No; but we will bind thee fast, and
deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee."

And they bound him with two new ropes, and brought him up from the rock.
When he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him: and the
spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the ropes that were upon
his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands dropped
from off his hands. And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth
his hand, and took it, and smote a thousand men therewith. And Samson

    "With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps,
    With the jawbone of an ass have I smitten a thousand men."

And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast
away the jawbone out of his hand.


And Samson went to Gaza. And it was told the Gazites, saying, "Samson is
come hither." And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all
night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying,
"Let be till morning light, then we will kill him."

And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and laid hold of
the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and plucked them
up, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to
the top of the mountain that is before Hebron.

=§51. Samson's Weakness= (Judg. 16:4-22)

And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman, whose name was
Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said
unto her, "Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by
what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict
him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of

And Delilah said to Samson, "Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great
strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee."

And Samson said unto her, "If they bind me with seven new bowstrings
that were never dried, then shall I become weak, and be as another man."

Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven new bowstrings
which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now she had liers
in wait abiding in the inner chamber. And she said unto him, "The
Philistines be upon thee, Samson."

And he brake the bowstrings as a string of tow is broken when it touches
the fire. So his strength was not known.

And Delilah said unto Samson, "Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me
lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound."

And he said unto her, "If they only bind me with new ropes wherewith no
work hath been done, then shall I become weak, and be as another man."

So Delilah took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him,
"The Philistines be upon thee, Samson."

And the liers in wait were abiding in the inner chamber. And he brake
them from off his arms like a thread.

And Delilah said unto Samson, "Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me
lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound."

And he said unto her, "If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with
the web."

And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, "The Philistines be
upon thee, Samson."

And he awaked out of his sleep, and plucked away the pin of the beam,
and the web.

And she said unto him, "How canst thou say, 'I love thee,' when thine
heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast
not told me wherein thy great strength lieth."

And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and
urged him, that his soul was vexed unto death. And he told her all his
heart, and said unto her, "There hath not come a razor upon mine head:
for I have been a Nazirite unto God from my birth: if I be shaven, then
my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any
other man."

And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and
called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up this once, for
he hath told me all his heart."

Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought the
money in their hand. And she made him sleep upon her knees: and she
called for a man, and shaved off the seven locks of his head; and she
began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. And she said, "The
Philistines be upon thee, Samson."

And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, "I will go out as at other
times, and shake myself."

But he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.

And the Philistines laid hold on him, and put out his eyes; and they
brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he
did grind in the prison house. Howbeit the hair of his head began to
grow again after he was shaven.

=§52. Samson's Vengeance= (Judg. 16:23-31)

And the lords of the Philistines gathered them together to offer a great
sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, "Our god
hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand." And when the people saw
him, they praised their god: for they said, "Our god hath delivered into
our hand our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which hath slain
many of us." And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that
they said, "Call for Samson, that he may make us sport."

And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made sport
before them: and they set him between the pillars. And Samson said unto
the lad that held him by the hand, "Suffer me that I may feel the
pillars whereupon the house resteth, that I may lean upon them."

Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the
Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three
thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.

And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, "O Lord God, remember me, I
pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once. O God, that I
may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes."

And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house
rested, and leaned upon them, the one with his right hand, and the other
with his left. And Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines." And
he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords,
and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at
his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took
him, and brought him up, and buried him in the burying-place of Manoah
his father.


163. All peoples have their old stories of heroes who had great
strength. The Greeks had their Hercules and the Hebrews had their
Samson. In reading his story we must remember that it belongs to a rude
age, when men's passions were strong and they had not learned the
gentler ways of life. The story is full of adventure; it is very well
told; it shows us much of the old Hebrew life; and it helps us to see
how hard the lot of the people must have been under their oppressors. Of
course they remembered any strong man of those days, and his story grew
as it was told from generation to generation.

164 (§48). The first thing that we learn about the hero is that he was a
promised child. He was set apart from his birth to the Lord. Such
persons were called Nazirites. They had to abstain from wine, and their
hair was not to be cut.

165 (§49). With whom did Samson fall in love? The Philistines were the
oppressors of his people. What did his parents think of it? It would
seem that they all went down to make the betrothal feast. What great
feat of strength did Samson perform on the way? Then there was a second
visit for the marriage itself. What did Samson find this time on his

166 (§49). The story describes some of the old customs. What was Samson
expected to provide for the wedding? How many young men were there? What
bet did he make with them? What was the riddle? Could you have guessed

167 (§49). How did the young men find out the riddle? How did Samson pay
his bet? Consider what rude times those must have been.

168 (§50A). We have a number of the old stories of Samson's strength.
Consider what injury was done to Samson. What humorous and savage
revenge did Samson take upon his enemies? It was considered a great
insult to burn the standing grain. What horrible vengeance did the
Philistines take on the bride's family?

169 (§50B). Tell what Samson's own people did to him. Why did they do
it? What was Samson's great feat? Notice how big they made the
stories--one man killing a thousand.

170 (§50C). They loved the stories of Samson's clever escapes. How did
the men of Gaza think he was caught? How did Samson escape?

171 (§51). This strong man was not really a great man. After he had lost
his first Philistine wife he fell in love with another woman of the same
race. She proved as deceitful as the first. Note the enormous bribe that
the Philistine lords offered Delilah. What was the first trial of
Samson's strength? The new bowstrings were probably cords made from the
intestines of animals. If they were not dried they would be tougher.

172 (§51). Tell the story of the second trial. The story of the third
trial is not quite so plain. It means that his long hair was to be
woven in with a piece of stuff that was being woven in the loom. When he
woke up he walked off with the whole heavy loom.

173 (§51). Notice how he let the wicked woman tease him. Was he strong
or weak? Is it the part of a strong man to go into temptation or to run
away from it? What was done to Samson? He makes us think of many a big
strong man who was weak when it came to a question of goodness. Most of
the big prize fighters are so weak that they become drunkards. Think of
this hero doing the work of a slave.

174 (§52). Notice how delighted the Philistines were that they had
overcome their great enemy. Imagine the crowd gathered in a temple, the
roof of which rested upon two central pillars. When they were very merry
they sent for the poor blind Samson to make fun of him. What happened?

175. Do you think Samson was a great man?


Discuss the question whether Samson ought to have been put among the
heroes of Israel. Read over the story carefully and see why the Hebrews
would have wished to class him with their heroes. Read it again to see
what there is against giving him that distinction. Prepare for a debate
upon the question.





=§53. The Three Widows= (Ruth 1:1-5)

And it came to pass in the days when the judges judged, that there was a
famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem went to sojourn in
the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of
the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of
his two sons Mahlon and Chilion. And they came into the country of Moab,
and continued there.

And Elimelech, Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was
Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelt there about ten
years. And Mahlon and Chilion died both of them; and the woman was left
of her two children and of her husband.

=§54. The Return to Bethlehem= (Ruth 1:6-22)


Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the
country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the
Lord had visited his people in giving them bread. And she went forth out
of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and
they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

And Naomi said unto her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each of you to
her mother's house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with
the dead, and with me. The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of
you in the house of her husband." Then she kissed them, and they lifted
up their voice, and wept.

And they said unto her, "Nay, but we will return with thee unto thy

And Naomi said, "Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? have
I yet sons that they may be your husbands? Turn again, my daughters, go
your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, I have
hope, if I should even have a husband, and should also bear sons; would
ye therefore tarry till they were grown? would ye therefore stay from
having husbands? nay, my daughters: for it grieveth me much for your
sakes, for the hand of the Lord is gone forth against me." And they
lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her
mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her.

And she said, "Behold thy sister-in-law is gone back unto her people,
and unto her god: return thou after thy sister-in-law."

And Ruth said, "Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from
following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou
lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my
God; where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord
do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me." And
when she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, she left off
speaking unto her.


So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when
they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and
the women said, "Is this Naomi?"

And she said unto them, "Call me not Naomi, call me Mara; for the
Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord
hath brought me home again empty; why call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord
hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?"

So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with
her; and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

=§55. In the Barley Field= (Ruth 2)


And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth; and
his name was Boaz.

And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, "Let me now go to the field, and
glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find

And she said unto her, "Go, my daughter."

And she went, and came and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and
she happened to light on the portion of the field belonging unto Boaz.

And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, "The
Lord be with you."

And they answered him, "The Lord bless thee."

Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, "Whose
damsel is this?"

And he answered, "It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi
out of the country of Moab: and she said, 'Let me glean, I pray you, and
gather after the reapers among the sheaves.' So she came, and hath
continued even from the morning until now, save that she tarried a
little in the house."

Then said Boaz unto Ruth, "Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to
glean in another field, neither pass from hence, but abide here fast by
my maidens. Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go
thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not
touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of
that which the young men have drawn."

Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said
unto him, "Why have I found favor in thy sight, that thou shouldst take
knowledge of me, seeing I am a foreigner?"

And Boaz answered and said unto her, "It hath fully been showed me, all
that thou hast done unto thy mother-in-law since the death of thy
husband; and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land
of thy nativity, and art come unto a people that thou knewest not
heretofore. The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given
thee of the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to
take refuge."

Then she said, "Let me find favor in thy sight, my lord; for that thou
hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken kindly unto thy
handmaid, though I be not as one of thy handmaidens."

And at meal-time Boaz said unto her, "Come hither, and eat of the bread,
and dip thy morsel in the vinegar."

And she sat beside the reapers; and they reached her parched grain, and
she did eat, and was sufficed, and left thereof.

And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men,
saying, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not. And
also pull out some for her from the bundles, and leave it, and let her
glean, and rebuke her not."


So she gleaned in the field until even; and she beat out that which she
had gleaned, and it was about a bushel of barley. And she took it up,
and went into the city; and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned:
and she brought forth and gave to her that which she had left after she
was sufficed.

And her mother-in-law said unto her, "Where hast thou gleaned to-day? and
where hast thou wrought? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee."

And she showed her mother-in-law with whom she had wrought, and said,
"The man's name with whom I wrought to-day is Boaz."

And Naomi said unto her daughter-in-law, "Blessed be he of the Lord, who
hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead." And Naomi
said unto her, "The man is nigh of kin unto us, one of our near

And Ruth the Moabitess said, "Yea, he said unto me, 'Thou shalt keep
fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.'"

And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter-in-law, "It is good, my daughter,
that thou go out with his maidens, and that they meet thee not in any
other field."

So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz, to glean unto the end of barley
harvest and of wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.

=§56. At the Threshing Floor= (Ruth 3)


And Naomi her mother-in-law said unto her, "My daughter, shall I not
seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee? And now is not Boaz
our kinsman, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley
to-night in the threshing-floor. Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee,
and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the threshing-floor;
but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating
and drinking. And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt
mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his
feet, and lay thee down: and he will tell thee what thou shalt do." And
she said unto her, "All that thou sayest I will do."

[Illustration: _Copyright 1904 by Underwood and Underwood_


And she went down unto the threshing-floor, and did according to all
that her mother-in-law bade her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and
his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of
grain: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.
And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned
himself; and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.

And he said, "Who art thou?"

And she answered, "I am Ruth thy handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt
over thy handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman."

And he said, "Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter: thou hast showed
more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou
followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter,
fear not; I will do to thee all that thou sayest; for all the city of my
people doth know that thou art a worthy woman. And now it is true that I
am a near kinsman; howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I. Tarry this
night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto
thee the part of a kinsman, well; but if he will not, then will I do the
part of a kinsman to thee, as the Lord liveth: lie down until the

And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one
could discern another. For he said, "Let it not be known that the woman
came to the threshing-floor."

And he said, "Bring the mantle that is upon thee, and hold it," and she
held it; and he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and
he went into the city.

And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, "How hast thou fared,
my daughter?"

And she told her all that the man had done to her. And she said, "These
six measures of barley gave he me; for he said, 'Go not empty unto thy

Then she said, "Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter
will fall; for the man will not rest, until he have finished the thing
this day."

=§57. At the City Gate= (Ruth 4:1-17)


Now Boaz went up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the
near kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by: unto whom he said, "Ho, such a
one! turn aside, sit down here." And he turned aside, and sat down.

And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, "Sit ye down
here." And they sat down.

And he said unto the near kinsman, "Naomi, that is come again out of the
country of Moab, selleth the parcel of land, which was our brother
Elimelech's: and I thought to disclose it unto thee, saying, 'Buy it
before them that sit here, and before the elders of my people.' If thou
wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me,
that I may know; for there is none to redeem it besides thee; and I am
after thee."

And he said, "I will redeem it."

Then said Boaz, "What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi,
thou must buy also Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up
the name of the dead upon his inheritance."

And the near kinsman said, "I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar
mine own inheritance: take thou my right of redemption on thee; for I
cannot redeem it."

Now this was the custom in former time in Israel concerning redeeming
and concerning exchanging, to confirm all things; a man drew off his
shoe, and gave it to his neighbor; and this was the manner of witness in

So the near kinsman said unto Boaz, "Buy it for thyself." And he drew
off his shoe.

And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, "Ye are
witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and
all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth
the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to
raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the
dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his
place; ye are witnesses this day."

And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, "We are
witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thy house like
Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do
thou worthily in Ephrathah, and be famous in Bethlehem."


So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and she bare a son.

And the women said unto Naomi, "Blessed be the Lord, who hath not left
thee this day without a near kinsman; and let his name be famous in
Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of life, and a nourisher of
thine old age; for thy daughter-in-law, who loveth thee, who is better
to thee than seven sons, hath borne him."

And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse
unto it.

And the women her neighbors gave it a name, saying, "There is a son born
to Naomi." And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse,
the father of David.


176. We study one of the heroines of Israel. She was a foreigner of the
country of Moab, but held a most important place in Israel's history as
the great-grandmother of King David. The story tells of her devotion and
of its reward.

177 (§53). Notice the time in which the story is placed. The town which
is mentioned is well known to us because of one who was born there long
afterward: who was he? The farmer with his wife and two sons went over
to the rich high country of Moab. Locate it on the map, east of the
Jordan. What happened in Moab?

178 (§54A). What did Naomi decide to do? These three women loved one
another very dearly, but Naomi thought that the young women ought to
marry again, so she told them to stay in their own land as they would
not be likely to find husbands among strangers.

179 (§54A). According to the Hebrew custom, if a man died his brother
would marry the widow, but Naomi had no sons who could marry these young
widows. Why did Orpah return? Why did Ruth refuse to leave her
mother-in-law? Note how beautifully Ruth spoke. Love does not count the
cost. What do we mean by Ruth's devotion?

180 (§54B). Why were the Bethlehem women so surprised at Naomi's
appearance? Naomi means "Pleasant." Perhaps the name had been given to
her because of her beauty. Mara, the same as our name Mary, means
"Bitter." Explain what Naomi meant by her speech to the women. What time
of year was it when they returned?

181 (§55A). The principal man of the story is introduced to us. The two
women had nothing to live on, but the Hebrew law permitted the poor to
follow the reapers and to gather up the stalks that were dropped or
left. This was called gleaning. Where did Ruth go to glean? This young
woman did not leave her mother to do the work. Her love expressed itself
in deeds.

182 (§55A). Tell the conversation between Boaz and the foreman. Note the
kindness of this Bethlehem gentleman to the stranger. It is the mark of
a gentleman to be kind. It was not usual to invite the gleaners to share
the lunch with the farm hands, but Boaz was especially kind to Ruth.
What directions did he give to the young men? How would this help her in

183 (§55B). Notice that she beat out the ears of barley, so as not to
carry home the straw. How much did she have? This was a good day's
gleaning. How surprised Naomi was that she had secured so much! Tell
their conversation in your own words. They were poor, but they were
happy all that harvest time: why?

184 (§56A). Remember that it was the Hebrew custom for a man's widow to
be married by his brother. If he had no brother his nearest relative was
expected to marry her. So Naomi hoped that Boaz, who was related to her
dead husband, would marry Ruth. She plans a little scheme to let him
know privately that he is a near relative who ought to do this honor for
those who were dead. There would be a great feast at the time the barley
was threshed, and then all the men would go to sleep in the open air on
the smooth floor where the threshing was done. Ruth was instructed to
let Boaz know the plan when the others were asleep.

185 (§56B). Tell the story in your own words. Notice especially that
Boaz explains that there is a nearer relative who ought to marry Ruth.
What did Boaz give to Ruth to take to her mother-in-law? Tell the
conversation of the two women.

186 (§57A). The Gate was the place where all the business was done.
Note how the business was begun, and how arrangements were made for the
bargain to be witnessed. The conversation refers to the Hebrew laws of
real estate. It is enough for us to see that the kinsman was not willing
to marry Ruth. What interesting old custom is shown? They were sitting
on the ground cross-legged, so one could easily pull off his shoe or
sandal. What other story have we had in which the sandal was easily
taken off? (See 97 and illustration.) Note Boaz' solemn statement of the
agreement. How did all the people congratulate Boaz?

187 (§57B). It is interesting to see that the people congratulated Naomi
when Ruth's baby was born, because there was again a son for her family.
This grandson would take the place of the sons whom she had lost. What
did the women think of Ruth? What relation was Ruth to David?

188. What do you think of Ruth? Look up I Cor. 13:13 in the Revised
Version and see what it says about the greatest thing in the world. Can
everybody have this greatest thing? How much does it cost? Think whether
you are bringing that into your home.


We do not always see the heroism that is just about us. The only women
whom we think about as heroines are those who have done some great
public work, but there is many a heroine who is quietly giving up her
ambitions to make the home happy as Ruth gave up herself to go with
Naomi. Ask your mother to tell you about some young woman who gave up
opportunity of education, or ease, or pleasure, in order to help the
family. Write about it in your notebook.







=§58. The Birth of Samuel= (I Sam. 1:1-4, 8-28; 2:11)


Now there was a certain man of the hill country of Ephraim, and his name
was Elkanah. And the name of his wife was Hannah and she had no
children. And this man went up out of his city from year to year to
worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two
sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, priests unto the Lord, were there. And
when the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, Hannah wept, and did not eat.

And Elkanah her husband said unto her, "Hannah, why weepest thou? and
why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am I not better to
thee than ten sons?"

So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had
drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon his seat by the door post of the
temple of the Lord. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto
the Lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, "O Lord of
hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and
remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine
handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days
of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head."

And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli
marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips
moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been
drunken. And Eli said unto her, "How long wilt thou be drunken? put away
thy wine from thee."

And Hannah answered and said, "No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful
spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I poured out my
soul before the Lord. Count not thine handmaid for a wicked woman: for
out of the abundance of my complaint have I spoken."

Then Eli answered and said, "Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant
thy petition that thou hast asked of him."

And she said, "Let thy servant find grace in thy sight."

So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more
sad. And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the
Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah.


And it came to pass, that Hannah bare a son; and she called his name
Samuel. And the man Elkanah went up to offer unto the Lord the yearly
sacrifice, and his vow. But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her
husband, "I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will
bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and there abide for

And Elkanah her husband said unto her, "Do what seemeth thee good; tarry
until thou hast weaned him; only the Lord establish his word."

So the woman tarried until she weaned him. And when she had weaned him,
she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of meal,
and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the Lord in
Shiloh: and the child was young. And they slew the bullock, and brought
the child to Eli. And she said, "Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my
lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For
this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I
asked of him: therefore I also have granted him to the Lord; as long as
he liveth he is granted to the Lord."

And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister unto
the Lord before Eli the priest.

=§59. The Wicked Priests= (I Sam. 2:12-17, 22-25, 18, 19, 26)

Now the sons of Eli were wicked men; they knew not the Lord. And the
custom of the priests with the people was, that, when any man offered
sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was being boiled,
with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; and he struck it into the
kettle; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took. So they did
in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither. Yea, before they
burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that
sacrificed, "Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have
boiled flesh of thee, but raw." And if the man said unto him, "They will
surely burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul
desireth;" then he would say, "Nay, but thou shalt give it to me now:
and if not, I will take it by force." And the sin of the young men was
very great before the Lord; for they despised the offering of the Lord.

Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons did unto all
Israel. And he said unto them, "Why do ye such things? for I hear of
your evil dealings from all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good
report that I hear: ye make the Lord's people to transgress. If one man
sinned against another, God shall judge him: but if a man sin against
the Lord, who shall entreat for him?"

Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father.

But Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a
linen ephod. Moreover his mother made him a little robe, and brought it
to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the
yearly sacrifice. And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife. And the child
Samuel grew on, and was in favor both with the Lord, and also with men.

=§60. The Call of Samuel= (I Sam. 3:1-18)

And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And it came to
pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, (now his eyes
had begun to wax dim, that he could not see,) and the lamp of God was
not yet gone out, and Samuel was laid down to sleep, in the temple of
the Lord, where the ark of God was; that the Lord called Samuel: and he
said, "Here am I." And he ran unto Eli, and said, "Here am I; for thou
calledst me." And he said, "I called not; lie down again."

And he went and lay down. And the Lord called yet again, "Samuel."

And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here am I; for thou
calledst me."

And he answered, "I called not, my son; lie down again."

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord
yet revealed unto him. And the Lord called Samuel again the third time.
And he arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here am I; for thou calledst

And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child. Therefore Eli said
unto Samuel, "Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou
shalt say, 'Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.'"

So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the Lord came, and stood,
and called as at other times, "Samuel, Samuel."

Then Samuel said, "Speak; for thy servant heareth."

And the Lord said to Samuel, "Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at
which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that
day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his
house, from the beginning even unto the end. For I have told him that I
will judge his house for ever, for the iniquity which he knew, because
his sons did bring a curse upon themselves, and he restrained them not."

And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of
the Lord. And Samuel feared to show Eli the vision.

Then Eli called Samuel, and said, "Samuel, my son."

And he said, "Here am I."

And he said, "What is the thing that the Lord hath spoken unto thee? I
pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou
hide any thing from me of all the things that he spake unto thee."

And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said,
"It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good."

=§61. The Punishment of the Wicked Priests= (I Sam. 4:1-18)


Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle. And the
Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined
battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the
army in the field about four thousand men. And when the people were come
into the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Wherefore hath the Lord
smitten us to-day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the
covenant of the Lord out of Shiloh unto us, that it may come among us,
and save us out of the hand of our enemies."

So the people sent to Shiloh, and they brought from thence the ark of
the covenant of the Lord of hosts; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and
Phinehas, were there with the ark. And when the ark of the covenant of
the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so
that the earth rang again.

And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, "What
meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews?" And
they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp. And the
Philistines were afraid, for they said, "God is come into the camp." And
they said, "Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing
heretofore. Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these
mighty gods? these are the gods that smote the Egyptians with all manner
of plagues in the wilderness. Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O
ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have
been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight."

And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every
man to his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of
Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken; and the
two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.


And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the
same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head. And when
he came, lo, Eli sat upon his seat by the wayside watching: for his
heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city,
and told it, all the city cried out.

And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, "What meaneth the
noise of this tumult?"

And the man hasted, and came and told Eli. Now Eli was ninety and eight
years old; and his eyes were set, that he could not see. And the man
said unto Eli, "I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to-day out
of the army."

And he said, "How went the matter, my son?"

And he that brought the tidings answered and said, "Israel is fled
before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among
the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and
the ark of God is taken."

And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he
fell from off his seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck
brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged
Israel forty years.


189. We turn to the Books of Samuel, which take their name from one of
the great heroes of Israel. He did not write the books, for they contain
the story of what happened long after his death, but as he was the
noblest character in the books they were named after him.

190 (§58A). At the beginning of this story we learn that Elkanah the
husband and Hannah his wife had no children. They had gone up to Shiloh
to the sacred building that was called the house of God, and had
celebrated a sacred feast. But Hannah was greatly troubled that she had
no child. What did she do? What did she promise if she could have a son?
We remember from the story of Samson that leaving the hair uncut was a
mark that the child was to serve God.

191 (§58A). When Hannah prayed, did she speak aloud? What did Eli, the
old priest, think about her? Tell in your own words their conversation.

192 (§58B). The boy whom Hannah longed for was born. What was his name?
It was the custom to kill animals at the house of God as a sign of
thanksgiving: what did Hannah take with her for this sacrifice? What
did she say to Eli? Note that she brings the boy to the old priest to
learn the duties of the house of God.

193 (§59). Perhaps the wrong-doing of the priests seems rather difficult
to understand. Eli, the old priest, was assisted by his two sons. Their
duty was to offer the sacrifices for the people, and they would be
allowed part of the meat as their pay. That was one of the ways in which
a priest had his living. But these young priests would send their
servants to stick a large fork into the pot where the meat was boiling
and whatever came out they would take. Or they would take the meat
first, before the offering to the Lord had been made, and this was
considered a dishonor to the sacrifice. It often happens that public
officers are more anxious to get what they can than to do their duty.

194 (§59). How did the father feel about his sons? What did he say to
them? What ought he to have done to them? Why did he not do so?

195 (§59). What was happening to Samuel all this time? The linen ephod
was a white dress such as a priest would wear. Who made the boy's
garments? Think what those happy meetings of the parents and boy once a
year must have been.

196 (§60). Imagine how the little church, or temple, was at night. There
was a room in which the sacred box called the ark was kept. A lamp
burned in this room all night. Samuel had a room near by, where he
slept, and old Eli had another. What wonderful thing happened to Samuel
one night? Tell it in your own words. Nearly all men and women who have
become great have heard calls in some manner in their youth. Joan of
Arc, the young girl who saved France from her enemies, thought that she
heard God calling to her, though she was only thirteen years of age.
This was a vision that Samuel saw in the night. Do you remember the
dreams of Joseph? It is often in conscience and in times of
thoughtfulness that God speaks to us.

197 (§60). How did Samuel do as Eli had told him? Note that God tells
the boy that a great punishment will come upon Eli's family. How was Eli
to blame for the wickedness of his sons?

198 (§60). What did Samuel do as soon as he got up in the morning? What
does this show us regarding his duties? What did he think about the
vision? But old Eli knew that there was something very important that
had happened. Tell in your own words the conversation between them. Note
that the poor old man can simply say that he must bear what comes upon
him. What do you think of Eli?

199 (§61A). With whom did Israel go to war? Locate the country of these
enemies on the map. How did the battle come out? The people thought that
if they could have the ark with them they could conquer. They thought
the Lord would fight for them. Where did they go to get the ark? Who
were with the ark?

200 (§61A). When the two priests brought the ark to the camp, what
happened? What effect did this have upon the Philistines? What was the
result? What happened to the two priests? What happened to the ark?

201 (§61B). When a Hebrew felt very sad he covered his head with dust
and tore his dress. Tell the story of how the news of the defeat was
brought to Eli. How old was the priest? What was he doing? Why did he
care so much about the ark of God? What happened to him? Eli was a noble
man himself, but could he not have done better for Israel than he did?
Remember that young Samuel was growing up while these things were going


Think of what paragraph 196 means to you. It is at Samuel's age that
most young people come into the full membership of the church. Write
what you think that means.



=§62. The Meeting of Samuel and Saul= (I Sam. 9:1-25)


Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, a mighty man of
valor. And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a young man and a goodly:
and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than
he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.
And the asses of Kish, Saul's father, were lost. And Kish said to Saul
his son, "Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the

And he passed through the hill country of Ephraim, and there they were
not: and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they found
them not. When they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his
servant that was with him, "Come and let us return; lest my father cease
caring for the asses, and take thought for us."

And he said unto him, "Behold now, there is in this city a man of God,
and he is a man that is held in honor; all that he saith cometh surely
to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can tell us concerning
our journey whereon we go."

Then said Saul to his servant, "But, behold, if we go, what shall we
bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a
present to bring to the man of God: what have we?"

And the servant answered Saul again, and said, "Behold, I have in my
hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man
of God, to tell us our way."

Then said Saul to his servant, "Well said; come, let us go."


So they went unto the city where the man of God was. As they went up the
ascent to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water,
and said unto them, "Is the seer here?"

And they answered them, and said, "He is; behold, he is before thee:
make haste now, for he is come to-day into the city; for the people have
a sacrifice to-day in the high place: as soon as ye be come into the
city, ye shall straightway find him, before he go up to the high place
to eat: for the people will not eat until he come, because he doth bless
the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat that be bidden. Now therefore get
you up; for at this time ye shall find him."

And they went up to the city; and as they came within the city, behold,
Samuel came out toward them, to go up to the high place.

Now the Lord had revealed unto Samuel a day before Saul came, saying,
"To-morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of
Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be prince over my people Israel,
and he shall save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I
have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me."

And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, "Behold the man of
whom I spake to thee! this same shall have authority over my people."

Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, "Tell me, I pray
thee, where the seer's house is."

And Samuel answered Saul, and said, "I am the seer; go up before me unto
the high place, for ye shall eat with me to-day: and in the morning I
will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart. And as
for thine asses that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them;
for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not
on thee, and for all thy father's house?"

And Saul answered and said, "Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of
the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the
tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou to me after this

And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the
guest-chamber, and made them sit in the chiefest place among them that
were bidden, which were about thirty persons. And Samuel said unto the
cook, "Bring the portion which I gave thee, of which I said unto thee,
'Set it by thee.'"

And the cook took up the thigh, and that which was upon it, and set it
before Saul.

And Samuel said, "Behold that which hath been reserved! set it before
thee and eat; because unto the appointed time hath it been kept for
thee, for I said, 'I have invited the people.'"

So Saul did eat with Samuel that day. And when they were come down from
the high place into the city, he communed with Saul upon the housetop.

=§63. Saul Anointed by Samuel= (I Sam. 9:26-10:7)


And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of the day,
that Samuel called to Saul on the housetop, saying, "Up, that I may send
thee away."

And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad.
As they were going down at the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul,
"Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou
still at this time, that I may cause thee to hear the word of God." Then
Samuel took the vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed
him, and said, "Is it not that the Lord hath anointed thee to be prince
over his inheritance? When thou art departed from me to-day, then thou
shalt find two men by Rachel's sepulchre, in the border of Benjamin;
and they will say unto thee, 'The asses which thou wentest to seek are
found: and lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and taketh
thought for you, saying, What shall I do for my son?' Then shalt thou go
on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the oak of Tabor, and
there shall meet thee there three men going up to God to Beth-el, one
carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and
another carrying a bottle of wine: and they will salute thee, and give
thee two loaves of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hand. After
that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the
Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to
the city, that thou shalt meet a band of prophets coming down from the
high place with a psaltery, and a timbrel, and a pipe, and a harp,
before them; and they shall be prophesying: and the spirit of the Lord
will come mightily upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and
shalt be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs are
come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee: for God is with


And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God
gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. And
when they came thither to the hill, behold, a band of prophets met him;
and the spirit of God came mightily upon him, and he prophesied among
them. And it came to pass, when all that knew him before-time saw that,
behold, he prophesied with the prophets, then the people said one to
another, "What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also
among the prophets?"

And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.
And Saul's uncle said unto him and to his servant, "Whither went ye?"

And he said, "To seek the asses: and when we saw that they were not
found, we came to Samuel."

And Saul's uncle said, "Tell me, I pray thee, what Samuel said unto

And Saul said unto his uncle, "He told us plainly that the asses were
found." But concerning the matter of the kingdom, whereof Samuel spake,
he told him not.

=§64. Saul's Opportunity= (I Sam. 11:1-11, 15)

Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabesh-gilead:
and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, "Make a covenant with us,
and we will serve thee."

And Nahash the Ammonite said unto them, "On this condition will I make
it with you, that all your right eyes be put out; and I will lay it for
a reproach upon all Israel."

And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, "Give us seven days' respite,
that we may send messengers unto all the borders of Israel: and then, if
there be none to save us, we will come out to thee."

Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and spake these words in the
ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voice, and wept.
And, behold, Saul came following the oxen out of the field; and Saul
said, "What aileth the people that they weep?"

And they told him the words of the men of Jabesh. And the spirit of God
came mightily upon Saul when he heard those words, and his anger was
kindled greatly. And he took a yoke of oxen, and cut them in pieces, and
sent them throughout all the borders of Israel by the hand of
messengers, saying, "Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after
Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen."

And the dread of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out as one
man. And he numbered them in Bezek; and the children of Israel were
three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. And they
said unto the messengers that came, "Thus shall ye say unto the men of
Jabesh-gilead, 'To-morrow, by the time the sun is hot, ye shall have

And the messengers came and told the men of Jabesh; and they were glad.
Therefore the men of Jabesh said, "To-morrow we will come out unto you,
and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you."

And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three
companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning
watch, and smote the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to
pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were
not left together.

And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before
the Lord in Gilgal; and there they sacrificed sacrifices of peace
offerings before the Lord; and there Saul and all the men of Israel
rejoiced greatly.


202 (§62A). Look at the map of Canaan and find the tribe of Benjamin. Is
it a very large tribe? The tribes occupied separate districts, something
like our states. This story is going to tell us about how the first king
was chosen, so it is particular to tell us where he came from and how it
happened. What kind of man was Saul? Some animals that are used very
much in Palestine had strayed: tell about them.

203 (§62A). Saul and the servant had wandered a long way looking for the
donkeys, probably spending several days in the hunt. At last Saul made
up his mind to do something: what was it? But the servant thought of a
plan to help them in their search. The man of God was one who could help
people in their troubles. They were supposed to bring him a present.
What did Saul do about the present?

204 (§62B). Try to imagine the whole scene. Think what Saul and the
servant were doing: whom did they meet and what did they ask? We must
understand that a feast was to be held. The people were going to cook a
whole animal. They would pour out the blood and burn the fat, which was
called a sacrifice and was part of their religion; then they would eat
the rest of the animal with great joy. It happened that the two men
reached the city just as the feast was to be held. And Samuel would be
there to ask the blessing. The girls told the two men all this. What
happened just as they reached the city?

205 (§62B). The Philistines were enemies of Israel who greatly troubled
them. Samuel had been wondering how the people could be saved from their
enemies. What had the Lord told him? What did Samuel feel just as soon
as he saw Saul?

206 (§62B). Try to imagine the meeting. What did Saul say? What did
Samuel answer? Notice the invitation, the information about the donkeys,
and especially the hint of some great thing. Saul is surprised: what
does he say to Samuel?

207 (§62B). What did Samuel do for Saul? What plan had Samuel made so
that a good piece of meat could be kept? Note the part of the animal
that they thought best is the same that we like: it is the leg of lamb
or the second joint of the turkey. What did Samuel say to Saul?

208 (§62B). Evidently Samuel took Saul to his own house. What part of
the house did they use in those days for visiting? How could they do so?
What do you think they talked about? Once during the Civil War Abraham
Lincoln went to visit Henry Ward Beecher: what do you think they talked
of? Samuel had great hopes that Saul was the man to save Israel.

209 (§63A). After the conversation they went to bed. Then they talked
again early in the morning. Then Samuel walked with Saul out of the
city. What plan did Samuel use to be alone with Saul? Picture the scene
to yourself: the old man with the flask of olive oil in his hand, the
tall young man wondering about his future, the anointing, the solemn
kiss, the promise.

210 (§63A). What signs was Saul to have? Samuel's last word meant that
Saul was to wait until some great opportunity should arise and then to
do as God led him. We shall see how the opportunity came.

211 (§63B). Tell the story of what happened to Saul after he left
Samuel. What was the conversation between Saul and his uncle? What did
Saul keep silent about? Why do you think he did so? He was modest; he
did not want to boast. It seems that he went quietly to work on his
father's farm and waited for something to happen that should show him
what to do.

212 (§64). The scene of the story changes. Locate Ammon on the map, east
of the Jordan. The Ammonites were old enemies of Israel. Locate
Jabesh-Gilead, the town which they attacked. The people were afraid and
begged for mercy. What terms did the cruel king offer them? He was so
sure that no one in Israel could save them that he let them send
messengers asking for help. The messengers came to the town where Saul
lived. Locate Gibeah in Saul's tribe. How did the people feel when they
heard the news? What had Saul been doing since his return from Samuel?
Tell the story of how he came home on the day the messengers arrived.

213 (§64). How did the news affect Saul? This was the opportunity that
Samuel had told him to wait for. What striking thing did he do to gather
an army? Tell the story of the successful march to relieve

214 (§64). What did the people think of the hero who had saved them?
What did they do? Who was the first president of the United States? Why
was he elected? Who was the first king of Israel? Why was he chosen?


Consider which man you would rather have been: A wise, good man who was
magnanimous enough to see that a king was needed and to choose him, or
the vigorous man who could conquer the enemies and win the kingship.
Think carefully of the heroic qualities of each of them. Write down
which you admire the most and why you would rather be that one.



=§65. The New King and the Old Foes= (I Sam. 13:2-7, 15-17; 14:1-23)


When Saul had reigned two years over Israel, he chose him three thousand
men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with him in Michmash and in the
mount of Beth-el, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of
Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent. And
Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the
Philistines heard of it.

And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, "Let the
Hebrews hear."

And all Israel heard say that Saul had smitten the garrison of the
Philistines, and that Israel also was had in abomination with the
Philistines. And the people were gathered together after Saul.

And the Philistines assembled themselves together to fight with Israel,
thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the
sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and
pitched in Michmash, eastward of Beth-aven. When the men of Israel saw
that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the
people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and
in holds, and in pits.

[Illustration: A PHILISTINE]

Now some of the Hebrews had gone over Jordan to the land of Gad and
Gilead. And Saul numbered the people that were present with him, about
six hundred men. And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that
were present with them, abode in Geba of Benjamin: but the Philistines
encamped in Michmash. And the spoilers came out of the camp of the


Now it fell upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the
young man that bare his armor, "Come and let us go over to the
Philistines' garrison, that is on yonder side." But he told not his

And Saul abode in the uttermost part of Gibeah under the pomegranate
tree which is in Migron: and the people that were with him were about
six hundred men. And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone. And
between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto the
Philistines' garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side, and a
rocky crag on the other side. The one crag rose up on the north in front
of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.

And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armor, "Come and let us
go over unto the garrison: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for
there is not restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few."

And his armorbearer said unto him, "Do all that is in thine heart: turn
thee, behold I am with thee according to thy heart."

Then said Jonathan, "Behold, we will pass over unto the men, and we will
discover ourselves unto them. If they say thus unto us, 'Tarry until we
come to you;' then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up
unto them. But if they say thus, 'Come up unto us,' then we will go up:
for the Lord hath delivered them into our hand: and this shall be the
sign unto us."

And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the
Philistines: and the Philistines said, "Behold, the Hebrews come forth
out of the holes where they had hid themselves." And the men of the
garrison answered Jonathan and his armorbearer, and said, "Come up to
us, and we will show you a thing." And Jonathan said unto his
armorbearer, "Come up after me: for the Lord hath delivered them into
the hand of Israel."

And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his
armorbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his
armorbearer slew them after him. And that first slaughter, which
Jonathan and his armorbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it
were half an acre of land. And there was a trembling in the camp, in the
field, and among all the people; the garrison, and the spoilers, they
also trembled: and the earth quaked; so there was an exceeding great


And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the
multitude melted away, and they went hither and thither.

Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, "Number now, and see
who is gone from us."

And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armorbearer were
not there. And Saul said unto Ahijah the priest, "Bring hither the ark
of God." For the ark of God was there at that time with the children of

And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest, that the tumult
that was in the camp of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul
said unto the priest, "Withdraw thine hand."

And Saul and all the people that were with him were gathered together,
and came to the battle: and, behold, every man's sword was against his
fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture. Now the Hebrews that
were with the Philistines as before-time, which went up with them into
the camp from the country round about, even they also turned to be with
the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan. Likewise all the men of
Israel which had hid themselves in the hill country of Ephraim, when
they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after
them in the battle. So the Lord saved Israel that day: and the battle
passed over by Beth-aven.

=§66. Saul's Oath and Jonathan's Danger= (I Sam. 14:24-46)


And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the
people, saying, "Cursed be the man that eateth any food until it be
evening, and I be avenged on mine enemies."

So none of the people tasted food. And all the people came into the
forest; and there was honey upon the ground. And when the people were
come unto the forest, behold, the honey dropped: but no man put his hand
to his mouth; for the people feared the oath. But Jonathan heard not
when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth
the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb,
and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.

Then answered one of the people, and said, "Thy father straitly charged
the people with an oath, saying, 'Cursed be the man that eateth food
this day.'" And the people were faint.

Then said Jonathan, "My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you,
how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this
honey. How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to-day of the
spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a
much greater slaughter among the Philistines?"


And they smote of the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and
the people were very faint. And the people flew upon the spoil, and took
sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people
did eat them with the blood.

Then they told Saul, saying, "Behold, the people sin against the Lord,
in that they eat with the blood."

And he said, "Ye have dealt treacherously: roll a great stone unto me
this day." And Saul said, "Disperse yourselves among the people, and say
unto them, 'Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep,
and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the Lord in eating with
the blood.'"

And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and
slew them there. And Saul built an altar unto the Lord: the same was the
first altar that he built unto the Lord.


And Saul said, "Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and spoil
them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them."

And they said, "Do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee."

Then said the priest, "Let us draw near hither unto God." And Saul asked
counsel of God, "Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou
deliver them into the hand of Israel?" But he answered him not that day.

And Saul said, "Draw nigh hither, all ye chiefs of the people: and know
and see wherein this sin hath been this day. For, as the Lord liveth,
which saveth Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely
die." But there was not a man among all the people that answered him.

Then said he unto all Israel, "Be ye on one side, and I and Jonathan my
son will be on the other side."

And the people said unto Saul, "Do what seemeth good unto thee."

Therefore Saul said unto the Lord, the God of Israel, "Show the right."
And Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot: but the people escaped.

And Saul said, "Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son." And Jonathan
was taken.

Then Saul said to Jonathan, "Tell me what thou hast done."

And Jonathan told him, and said, "I did certainly taste a little honey
with the end of the rod that was in mine hand; and, lo, I must die."

And Saul said, "God do so and more also: for thou shalt surely die,

And the people said unto Saul, "Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought
this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the Lord liveth, there
shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought
with God this day."

So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not. Then Saul went up from
following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place.


215 (§65A). There was a strong enemy on the western coast that was the
most serious trouble to Israel. It was to save themselves from these
people that the Hebrews had longed for a king. Imagine how we should
feel if some foreign nation should capture New York and Chicago and St.
Louis and San Francisco and should compel us to give up a large part of
our crops every year. We should look for a great general to lead us to
turn them out. What then did Saul feel was his first duty as king? He
had with him his noble son: what was his name? The first blow was struck
at the town of Geba: what followed at once?

216 (§65A). Note the great force of the Philistines. What do you think
they expected to do with the Hebrews? How did the Hebrews behave? We
have seen before how the people would hide from their enemies. How many
warriors did Saul have left? Notice that the two forces were drawn up on
opposite sides of a valley. Each was on a height which it was difficult
to attack. The reference to "the spoilers" means that the Philistines
determined to destroy all the Hebrew country. The little army of Saul
was unable to prevent the raids.

217 (§65B). Evidently some bold deed had to be done. We find that the
king had a hero son. The knights in Europe used to have their squires:
Jonathan had his armorbearer. Why did he not tell his father of his
plan? At the battle of Santiago in the Cuban war Lieutenant Hobson
wanted to do a very bold deed, but it was so dangerous that he had
difficulty in getting permission. Jonathan was afraid his father would
think his plan foolhardy. Study the description of the place. There was
a narrow pass between two rocky crags. In order to reach the
Philistines, Jonathan would have to climb the steep rock. Note that
Jonathan hopes for the Lord to be with him. How does the armorbearer

218 (§65B). Jonathan proposes to go into the open at the bottom of the
valley and call to the Philistine sentinels, and then to decide whether
to attack according to their reply. He thinks that they will make one of
two replies: what were they? Tell what happened. How do you think the
sudden attack of two men could have frightened the Philistines?

219 (§65C). The Hebrew sentinels on their crag suddenly saw a great
disturbance on the opposite height, which the Philistines held. What did
Saul do? The king intended to consult God through the priest, but the
confusion in the enemy's camp grew so great that he decided to attack at
once. Three causes helped to put the Philistines to flight: what were

220 (§66A). In the old time it was thought to be very religious to make
solemn vows to God. Saul felt that the Lord was saving Israel from the
oppression: what oath did he put upon the people? What did the hungry
people find in the forest? How did they act? How did Jonathan act? The
little food was so refreshing that he seemed to see clearly again, so it
is said "his eyes were enlightened." Tell what conversation took place
about the honey.

221 (§66B). In order to understand this story, we must remember that it
was considered wrong to eat meat unless it had been properly killed so
that the blood could run off. The blood was thought to be an offering to
God. The Jews still keep up the same custom, and their meat is always
specially killed. When the Philistines fled, what property did they
leave behind? How did the hungry Hebrews behave? How did Saul secure an
altar where the animals could be properly killed? Saul was very careful
to do everything that was considered right.

222 (§66C). The king thought that the victory should be followed up, so
that the Philistines could not return to trouble them. They had a custom
of seeking to find out God's will about any matter through the priest,
just as people do in the temples of Japan to-day. But there was some
difficulty in securing an answer, so Saul felt sure that someone had
broken the oath. It was a most solemn matter to him. What did he say to
the leaders of the people? Tell how they found out that Jonathan was

223 (§66C). When a man was found out by the lot, he was expected to
confess. What did Jonathan confess? Do you think that he had done wrong?
Evidently Saul thought so, because at that time it seemed terrible to
break a solemn oath. Picture the scene to yourself and see how nobly
Jonathan was ready to bear the punishment.

224 (§66C). It seems to us most strange that the king should think so
much of the matter as to feel that his son must die, but we must
remember that it was part of their religion. It makes us very glad that
we know God so much better, and that we can see that he must have been
pleased with the hero who had risked his life to save his people from
their enemies. Indeed we find that Jonathan's noble conduct was so clear
that the people decided that the old custom must be broken. What did
they say? Why did they think the Lord would not wish Jonathan to die?


Imagine that you were Jonathan's armorbearer. Write a letter home, just
as the young man might, telling what happened that day. Make it as full
of description as possible.









=§67. The Anointing of David= (I Sam. 16:1-13)

And the Lord said unto Samuel, "I have rejected Saul from being king
over Israel. Fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse
the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons."

And Samuel said, "How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me."

And the Lord said, "Take an heifer with thee, and say, 'I am come to
sacrifice to the Lord.' And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show
thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name
unto thee."

And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the
elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, "Comest thou

And he said, "Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord: sanctify
yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice." And he sanctified Jesse
and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. And it came to pass,
when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, "Surely the
Lord's anointed is before him."

But the Lord said unto Samuel, "Look not on his countenance, or on the
height of his stature; because I have rejected him: for the Lord seeth
not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the
Lord looketh on the heart."

[Illustration: DAVID]

Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he
said, "Neither hath the Lord chosen this."

Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, "Neither hath the Lord
chosen this."

And Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said
unto Jesse, "The Lord hath not chosen these." And Samuel said unto
Jesse, "Are here all thy children?"

And he said, "There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth
the sheep."

And Samuel said unto Jesse, "Send and fetch him: for we will not sit
down till he come hither."

And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a
beautiful countenance, and goodly to look upon. And the Lord said,
"Arise, anoint him: for this is he."

Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his
brethren: and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that
day forward.

=§68. David and Goliath= (I Sam. 17:1-14, 16-52)


Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and they
were gathered together at Socoh, which belongeth to Judah. And Saul and
the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched in the vale of
Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. And the
Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on
the mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named
Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. And he had an
helmet of brass upon his head, and he was clad with a coat of mail; and
the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. And he had
greaves of brass upon his legs, and a javelin of brass between his
shoulders. And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his
spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and his shield-bearer
went before him. And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and
said unto them, "Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not
I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and
let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and kill me,
then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill
him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us." And the Philistine
said, "I defy the armies of Israel this day, give me a man, that we may
fight together."

And when Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they
were dismayed, and greatly afraid, and the Philistine drew near morning
and evening, and presented himself forty days.


Now Jesse had eight sons: and the man was an old man in the days of
Saul, stricken in years among men. And the three eldest sons of Jesse
had gone after Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that
went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next unto him
Abinadab, and the third Shammah. And David was the youngest: and the
three eldest followed Saul.

And Jesse said unto David his son, "Take now for thy brethren an ephah
of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to
the camp to thy brethren; and bring these ten cheeses unto the captain
of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare."

And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a
keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to
the place of the wagons, as the host which was going forth to the fight
shouted for the battle. And Israel and the Philistines put the battle in
array, army against army. And David left his baggage in the hand of the
keeper of the baggage, and ran to the army, and came and saluted his
brethren. And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the
champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the ranks of
the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard
them. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him,
and were sore afraid. And the men of Israel said, "Have ye seen this man
that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be,
that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great
riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free
in Israel."

And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, "What shall be
done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the
reproach from Israel? for who is this Philistine, that he should defy
the armies of the living God?"

And the people answered him after this manner, saying, "So shall it be
done to the man that killeth him."

And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and
Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, "Why art thou come
down? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I
know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come
down that thou mightest see the battle."

And David said, "What have I now done? Is there not a cause?" And he
turned away from him toward another, and spake after the same manner:
and the people answered him again after the former manner.


And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them
before Saul; and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, "Let no man's
heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this

And Saul said to David, "Thou art not able to go against this Philistine
to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from
his youth."

And David said unto Saul, "Thy servant kept his father's sheep; and when
there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock, I went
out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and
when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and
slew him. Thy servant smote both the lion and the bear: and this
Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of
the living God." And David said, "The Lord that delivered me out of the
paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out
of the hand of this Philistine."

And Saul said unto David, "Go, and the Lord shall be with thee." And
Saul clad David with his apparel, and he put an helmet of brass upon his
head, and he clad him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword
upon his apparel, and he essayed to go; for he had not proved it.

And David said unto Saul, "I cannot go with these; for I have not proved
them." And David put them off him.


And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out
of the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag which he had, even in
his scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the
Philistine. And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the
man that bare the shield went before him. And when the Philistine looked
about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and
ruddy, and withal of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto
David, "Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves?" And the
Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David,
"Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to
the beasts of the field."

Then said David to the Philistine, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and
with a spear, and with a javelin: but I come to thee in the name of the
Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, which thou hast defied.
This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite
thee, and take thine head from off thee; and I will give the carcases of
the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to
the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is
a God in Israel: and that all this assembly may know that the Lord
saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he
will give you into our hand."

And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh
to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the
Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone,
and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead; and the stone
sank into his forehead, and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David
prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote
the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of
David. Then David ran, and stood over the Philistine, and took his
sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off
his head therewith.

And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the
Philistines, until thou comest to Gath, and to the gates of Ekron.

=§69. David before Saul= (I Sam. 17:15-18:5)

And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto
Abner, the captain of the host, "Abner, whose son is this youth?"

And Abner said, "As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell."

And the king said, "Inquire thou whose son the stripling is."

And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took
him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his
hand. And Saul said to him, "Whose son art thou, thou young man?"

And David answered, "I am the son of thy servant Jesse the

And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that
the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved
him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no
more home to his father's house. Then Jonathan and David made a
covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped
himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his
apparel, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself
wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and it was good in the
sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants.


225 (§67). It is a surprise to read that Saul who had begun his reign so
well had made a failure so early. But he was a headstrong man. He would
not take Samuel's advice, and the old prophet realized that a new king
would have to be chosen. We have now the interesting story of how David
was given his first knowledge of the great future that was before him.

226 (§67). Tell the story of the plan for a visit to Bethlehem. What did
Samuel think when he saw Jesse's oldest son? What did the Lord tell him
about the way to judge of men? Saul was a man of noble appearance, but
sometimes such men are disappointing. What occurred regarding the other
sons? Tell the story of the anointing of David. Compare this with the
anointing of Saul.

227 (§68A). We hear again of the same old enemies of Israel. Who were
they and where did they live? Who was their champion? Six cubits and a
span would be at least ten feet, so we may suppose that as this story
was told over and over again they came to exaggerate the height of the
giant. But he must have been a very big man. He had heavy bronze armor.
How many pieces? Five thousand shekels would be about 150 lbs.--a heavy
coat of mail. Who was with him? Tell the story of his challenge.

228 (§68B). How many of David's brothers were in the army? Why did Jesse
send David to the army and what presents did he send with him? Tell the
story of David's inquiry about the Philistine. What did his brother say
to him? What did David think of the challenge?

229 (§68C). Tell the story of David's interview with Saul. What kind of
a young man was he? What had he been able to do in his shepherd life?
How did he get along with Saul's armor?

230 (§68D). There was one weapon with which David was very skilful. Some
of the Israelites could do wonders with this simple weapon: read Judg.
20:16. Try to imagine what the two men looked like when they met.
Describe the meeting.

231 (§68D). What did Goliath say to David? The young man knew that the
safety of his people depended upon this fight. What noble words did he
say? Did he boast of his own skill? Tell the story of the combat.

232 (§69). What conversation took place regarding David? What did Saul
do for the young victor?

233 (§69). Jonathan comes out nobly in the story. We might think that he
would be jealous of David's success, but instead of that, he was
delighted with his fine appearance and his courage. How did Jonathan
show his pleasure in David? There began that day a great friendship that
lasted till death. There can be no jealousy between friends. It is one
of the noblest feelings, when one friend can be glad of another's


When David was practicing with his sling and keeping his flocks he
little thought that he would ever be king of Israel. We do not know how
our common duties are getting us ready for a greater work. Make a list
of the principal things that you will have to do this week. Write them
down in your notebook. Then write down what good you think they will do
to prepare you for your work when you are grown up.



=§70. Saul's Jealousy of David= (I Sam. 18:6-9, 27-29; 19:1-18)


And it came to pass as they came, when David returned from the slaughter
of the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel,
singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with timbrels, with joy, and
with instruments of music. And the women sang one to another as they
played, and said,

    Saul hath slain his thousands,
    And David his ten thousands.

And Saul was very wroth, and this saying displeased him; and he said,
"They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have
ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?" And
Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife. And Saul saw and knew
that the Lord was with David; and Michal Saul's daughter loved him. And
Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul was David's enemy


And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they
should slay David. But Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted much in David.

And Jonathan told David, saying, "Saul my father seeketh to slay thee:
now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself in the morning, and
abide in a secret place, and hide thyself: and I will go out and stand
beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my
father of thee; and if I see ought, I will tell thee."

And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto
him, "Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because
he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been very
good toward thee: for he put his life in his hand, and smote the
Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great victory for all Israel: thou
sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against
innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?"

And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, "As the
Lord liveth, he shall not be put to death."

And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan showed him all those things. And
Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as


And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the
Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled before
him. And an evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, as he sat in his
house with his spear in his hand; and David played with his hand. And
Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the spear; but he
slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the spear into the
wall: and David fled, and escaped that night. And Saul sent messengers
unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and
Michal David's wife told him, saying, "If thou save not thy life
to-night, to-morrow thou shalt be slain." So Michal let David down
through the window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.

And Michal took the teraphim, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow
of goats' hair at the head thereof, and covered it with the clothes. And
when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, "He is sick."

And Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, "Bring him up to me
in the bed, that I may slay him." And when the messengers came in,
behold, the teraphim was in the bed, with the pillow of goats' hair at
the head thereof. And Saul said unto Michal, "Why hast thou deceived me
thus, and let mine enemy go, that he is escaped?"

And Michal answered Saul, "He said unto me, 'Let me go; why should I
kill thee?'"

Now David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him
all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in

=§71. The Two Friends= (I Sam. 20:1-39)


And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan,
"What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy
father, that he seeketh my life?"

And he said unto him, "God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, my father
doeth nothing either great or small, but that he discloseth it unto me
and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so."

And David sware moreover, and said, "Thy father knoweth well that I have
found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, 'Let not Jonathan know this,
lest he be grieved': but truly as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul
liveth, there is but a step between me and death."

Then said Jonathan unto David, "Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will
even do it for thee."

And David said unto Jonathan, "Behold, to-morrow is the new moon, and I
should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may
hide myself in the field unto the third day at even. If thy father miss
me at all, then say, 'David earnestly asked leave of me that he might
run to Bethlehem his city: for it is the yearly sacrifice there for all
the family.' If he say thus, 'It is well;' thy servant shall have peace:
but if he be wroth, then know that evil is determined by him. Therefore
deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy servant into a
covenant of the Lord with thee: but if there be in me iniquity, slay me
thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father?"

And Jonathan said, "Far be it from thee: for if I should at all know
that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not
I tell it thee?"

Then said David to Jonathan, "Who shall tell me if perchance thy father
answer thee roughly?"

And Jonathan said unto David, "Come and let us go out into the field."
And they went out both of them into the field.

And Jonathan said unto David, "The Lord, the God of Israel, be witness;
when I have sounded my father about this time to-morrow, or the third
day, behold, if there be good toward David, shall I not then send unto
thee, and disclose it unto thee? The Lord do so to Jonathan, and more
also, should it please my father to do thee evil, if I disclose it not
unto thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the
Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father. And thou shalt not
only while yet I live show me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not:
but also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever:
no, not when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David every one from
the face of the earth."

And Jonathan caused David to swear again, for the love that he had to
him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul. Then Jonathan said unto
him, "To-morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy
seat will be empty. And when thou hast stayed three days, thou shalt go
down quickly, and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when
the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel. And I will
shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark. And
behold, I will send the lad, saying, 'Go, find the arrows.' If I say
unto the lad, 'Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee': take them,
and come; for there is peace to thee and no hurt, as the Lord liveth.
But if I say thus unto the boy, 'Behold, the arrows are beyond thee'; go
thy way; for the Lord hath sent thee away. And as touching the matter
which thou and I have spoken of, behold, the Lord is between thee and me
for ever."


So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the
king sat him down to eat meat. And the king sat upon his seat, as at
other times, even upon the seat by the wall; and Jonathan stood up, and
Abner sat by Saul's side: but David's place was empty. Nevertheless
Saul spake not any thing that day; for he thought, "Something hath
befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean." And it came to
pass on the morrow after the new moon, which was the second day, that
David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, "Wherefore
cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to-day?"

And Jonathan answered Saul, "David earnestly asked leave of me to go to
Bethlehem: and he said 'Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a
sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there:
and now, if I have found favor in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray
thee, and see my brethren.' Therefore he is not come unto the king's

Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him,
"Thou son of a perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast
chosen the son of Jesse to thine own shame? For as long as the son of
Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy
kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely

And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, "Wherefore
should he be put to death? what hath he done?"

And Saul cast his spear at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that
it was determined of his father to put David to death. So Jonathan
arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second
day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had
done him shame.


And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the
field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him. And
he said unto his lad, "Run, find now the arrows which I shoot." And as
the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. And when the lad was come to
the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the
lad, and said, "Is not the arrow beyond thee?" And Jonathan cried after
the lad, "Make speed, haste, stay not." And Jonathan's lad gathered up
the arrows, and came to his master. But the lad knew not any thing: only
Jonathan and David knew the matter.


234. When David returned victorious from the fight with Goliath,
Jonathan, the king's son, made a fast friendship with him. Read §69.
What do you think each of these young men would admire in the other?
There was the beginning that day of a life-long friendship.

235 (§70A). It is still the custom among the Arabs for the women to go
dancing and singing to meet the warriors returning from a fight. The
women of Israel had the simplest musical instrument, the tambourine,
such as the Salvation Army women use. They composed a little verse to
sing: what was it? How did Saul feel when he heard it? Was it natural
for him to have this feeling? It was a very sad thing connected with
the Spanish War, that after the battle of Santiago there was a bitter
jealousy between the two American admirals. It is a most pitiful thing
when great men are jealous. Recall why we called Abraham "magnanimous."
What would have been magnanimous conduct in Saul? Was Jonathan jealous?

236 (§70B). There are a number of stories of Saul's enmity against
David. We shall study a few of them. How did Jonathan try to be the
peacemaker? How did he praise David to the king? What effect did it
have? Evidently Saul had a better nature, to which Jonathan could
appeal, but there was always danger that the fit of jealousy would

237 (§70C). David had been appointed to a high command in the army. He
seems always to have been successful against the Philistines. But it
made Saul jealous. Saul had been subject to fits of melancholy, which
was explained in those days as caused by an evil spirit. David, who was
a skilful player on the harp, had often been able to soothe the king.
So, when the jealousy made him moody, David tried to cheer him with
music. But a sudden fit of rage came upon Saul. What happened?

238 (§70C). David had married Michal, the daughter of the king. What
plan of Saul's did she discover? How did she help her husband to escape?
The teraphim was an idol about the size of a man: how did Michal use it
to deceive Saul's messengers? But when Saul was determined to have David
brought to him even if he were sick in bed, how was the deceit
discovered? What did Saul say to his daughter? Notice that she told her
father a falsehood, saying that David had threatened to kill her. Where
did David flee?

239 (§71A). This is another story of how Jonathan helped David when he
first found out his father's jealousy. Note that Jonathan feels sure
that Saul will not do evil to David, but David is certain of his danger.
A plan is thought of to find out whether the king is really David's
enemy. There was to be the regular monthly religious feast at the time
of the new moon and it was David's duty to be present. What was the plan
that he suggested to test the king? What appeal does David make to
Jonathan? The two friends go out into the field where they can talk

240 (§71A). This is the story of the covenant or agreement. If Jonathan
finds that Saul is well disposed to David, what does he promise to do?
If Saul is evil disposed, what does he agree to do? He is sure that
David will succeed to the throne; what therefore does he ask of him in
the future? We are glad to know that David remembered this promise long
after and took care of Jonathan's lame son.

241 (§71A). Jonathan knows that it will be dangerous for him to tell
David the result of his observation of the king as he would probably be
watched, so he arranges to tell him by signal. Read the story carefully,
and then tell in your own words how David was to know if he could return
safely, and how he was to know if he must escape.

242 (§71B). Tell the story of the Feast of the New Moon. Notice that
Saul did not object to David's absence the first day, thinking that
there might be some religious cleansing that was necessary. What excuse
did Jonathan make? The king thought that Jonathan could not understand
that David would get the throne, and he was angry with him for being so
foolish as to be friends with him. Do you think Jonathan knew that David
was to be king? What was the end of the discussion between the king and
his son?

243 (§71C). How did Jonathan inform David that the king was his enemy?
Why did he say to the boy, "Make speed, haste, stay not"? So these two
friends parted, each trusting the other.


Have you known a friend who was magnanimous when he might have been
jealous? Write about it in your notebook.



=§72. The Band of Outlaws= (I Sam. 22:1, 2; 23:1-8, 13, 14; 25:2-42)


David arose and fled for fear of Saul, and escaped to the cave of
Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they
went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every
one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered
themselves unto him; and he became captain over them: and there were
with him about four hundred men.

And they told David, saying, "Behold, the Philistines are fighting
against Keilah, and they rob the threshing-floors."

Therefore David enquired of the Lord, saying, "Shall I go and smite
these Philistines?"

And the Lord said unto David, "Go, and smite the Philistines, and save

And David's men said unto him, "Behold, we be afraid here in Judah: how
much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the

Then David enquired of the Lord yet again. And the Lord answered him and
said, "Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines
into thine hand."

And David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines,
and brought away their cattle, and slew them with a great slaughter. So
David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul summoned
all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his
men. Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and
departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was
told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go

And David abode in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in
the hill country.


And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the
man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand
goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man
was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and the woman was of good
understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish
and evil in his doings.

And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep. And
David sent ten young men, and David said unto the young men, "Get you
up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name: and thus
shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, 'Peace be both unto thee,
and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast. And
now I have heard that thou hast shearers: thy shepherds have now been
with us, and we did them no hurt, neither was there aught missing unto
them, all the while they were in Carmel. Ask thy young men, and they
will tell thee: wherefore let the young men find favor in thine eyes;
for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine
hand, unto thy servants, and to thy son David.'"

And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all
those words in the name of David. And Nabal answered David's servants,
and said, "Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many
servants now-a-days that break away every man from his master. Shall I
then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my
shearers, and give it unto men of whom I know not whence they be?"

So David's young men turned on their way, and went back, and came and
told him according to all these words. And David said unto his men,
"Gird ye on every man his sword." And they girded on every man his
sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David
about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.


But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, "Behold,
David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he
flew upon them. But the men were very good unto us, and we were not
hurt, neither missed we anything, as long as we were with them, when we
were in the fields: they were a wall unto us both by night and by day,
all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. Now therefore know
and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our
master, and against all his house: for he is such a worthless fellow,
that one cannot speak to him."

Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of
wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn,
and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and
laid them on asses. And she said unto her young men, "Go on before me;
behold, I come after you." But she told not her husband Nabal. And it
was so, as she rode on her ass, and came down by the covert of the
mountain, that, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she
met them. Now David had said, "Surely in vain have I kept all that this
fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that
belonged unto him: and he hath returned me evil for good. God do so unto
David, and more also, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the
morning light so much as one man child."

And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off her ass, and
fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground. And she
fell at his feet, and said, "Upon me, my lord, upon me be the iniquity:
and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine ears, and hear thou
the words of thine handmaid. Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this
worthless fellow, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal, fool,
is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the
young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. Now therefore, this present
which thy servant hath brought unto my lord, let it be given unto the
young men that follow my lord. Forgive, I pray thee, the trespass of
thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house,
because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord; and evil shall not be
found in thee all thy days. And though man be risen up to pursue thee,
and to seek thy life, yet the life of my lord shall be bound in the
bundle of life with the Lord thy God; and the lives of thine enemies,
them shall he sling out, as from the hollow of a sling. And it shall
come to pass, when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all
the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed
thee prince over Israel; that this shall be no grief unto thee, nor
offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood
causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: and when the Lord shall
have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid."

And David said to Abigail, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
which sent thee this day to meet me: and blessed be thy wisdom, and
blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from bloodguiltiness, and
from avenging myself with mine own hand. For in very deed, as the Lord,
the God of Israel, liveth, which hath withholden me from hurting thee,
except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been
left unto Nabal by the morning light so much as one man child."

So David received of her hand that which she had brought him: and he
said unto her, "Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to
thy voice, and have accepted thy person."


And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house,
like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he
was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until
the morning light. And it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was
gone out of Nabal, that his wife told him these things, and his heart
died within him, and he became as a stone. And it came to pass about
ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.

And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Blessed be the Lord,
that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and
hath kept back his servant from evil; and the evil-doing of Nabal hath
the Lord returned upon his own head."

And David sent and spake concerning Abigail, to take her to him to wife.
And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they
spake unto her, saying, "David hath sent us unto thee, to take thee to
him to wife."

And she arose, and bowed herself with her face to the earth, and said,
"Behold, thine handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of
my lord." And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five
damsels of hers that followed her; and she went after the messengers of
David, and became his wife.

=§73. David's Generosity to Saul= (I Sam. 26:2-25; 27:1-4)


And Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness, having three thousand
chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David. David therefore sent out
spies and knew where Saul was come. And David arose, and came to the
place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul
lay, and Abner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay within the place
of the wagons, and the people pitched round about him. Then answered
David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai, "Who will go
down with me to Saul to the camp?"

And Abishai said, "I will go down with thee."

So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay
sleeping within the place of the wagons, with his spear stuck in the
ground at his head: and Abner and the people lay round about him.

Then said Abishai to David, "God hath delivered up thine enemy into
thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with
the spear to the earth at one stroke, and I will not smite him the
second time."

And David said to Abishai, "Destroy him not: for who can put forth his
hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless?" And David said, "As
the Lord liveth, either the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come
to die; or he shall go down into battle, and perish. The Lord forbid
that I should put forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed: but now
take, I pray thee, the spear that is at his head, and the cruse of
water, and let us go."

So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's head; and
they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither did any
awake: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the Lord was
fallen upon them.


Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of the
mountain afar off; a great space being between them: and David cried to
the people, and to Abner, saying, "Answerest thou not, Abner?"

Then Abner answered and said, "Who art thou that criest to the king?"

And David said to Abner, "Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to
thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept watch over thy lord
the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy
lord. This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the Lord liveth, ye
are worthy to die, because ye have not kept watch over your lord, the
Lord's anointed. And now, see, where the king's spear is, and the cruse
of water that was at his head."

And Saul knew David's voice, and said, "Is this thy voice, my son

And David said, "It is my voice, my lord, O king. Wherefore doth my lord
pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine
hand? for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one
doth hunt a partridge in the mountains."

Then said Saul, "I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more
do thee harm, because my life was precious in thine eyes this day:
behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly."

And David answered and said, "Behold the spear, O king! let then one of
the young men come over and fetch it. And the Lord shall render to every
man his righteousness and his faithfulness: forasmuch as the Lord
delivered thee into my hand to-day, and I would not put forth mine hand
against the Lord's anointed. And, behold, as thy life was much set by
this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the
Lord, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation."

Then Saul said to David, "Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both
do mightily, and shalt surely prevail." So David went his way, and Saul
returned to his place.


And David said in his heart, "I shall now perish one day by the hand of
Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the
land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any
more in all the borders of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand."

And David arose, and passed over, he and the six hundred men that were
with him, unto Achish the king of Gath. And David dwelt with Achish at
Gath, he and his men. And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath:
and he sought no more again for him.


244. It was clear to David that Saul had determined to kill him. He
therefore decided to flee to his own tribe of Judah and to dwell in the
mountains where it would be hard for Saul to reach him. The caves in the
Judean hills have been the refuge all through the centuries for those
who were in danger from the government. In thus fleeing from the king,
David became an outlaw, that is, one who refuses to be under the law. Of
course he was obliged to do so by the king's tyranny.

245 (§72A). Adullam was probably about twelve miles from Bethlehem.
David would have friends near his own town. He gathered to him all his
own relatives, who otherwise might have been killed by the king. Three
classes of people are mentioned as joining him: who are they? The first
would be those who were oppressed, the second those who were likely to
be sold as slaves for debt, the third those who had some grievance. It
has often happened in countries where there was no free government that
men have banded together in sufficient strength to defy the rulers. In
English history we read of Robin Hood and his outlaws, who made the rich
pay tribute, when they caught them in the forest. Of course in our
modern free states there is no excuse for any such life, and we rightly
put down all bandits as criminals. How many men did David have at the

246 (§72A). News soon came to David that the people of Keilah, a few
miles south of Adullam, were being robbed by the old enemies, the
Philistines. They had come when the people were threshing the grain, and
intended to steal it. How did David use his band of adventurers against
the Philistines? What food supply did he secure?

247 (§72A). How was David's expedition brought to an end? How large had
his band grown to be? He must have been an able chieftain to attract
these men to him. The next story shows how he provided for them.

248 (§72B). Find Maon and Carmel on the map, just south of Hebron. Who
was the rich sheep owner? What kind of man was he and what kind of wife
had he? It is evident that David's men had protected the shepherds. What
request did he make at the time of the shearing feast? Was this a
reasonable request? There were so many bands of robbers abroad that it
was a great advantage to the Judean shepherds to have David's
protection. Of course he in turn needed supplies for his men.

249 (§72B). What answer did Nabal send back? How did he sneer at David's
band? What did David decide to do? How did he divide his men?

250 (§72C). What report was brought to Abigail? What did the shepherds
think of David? What did Abigail immediately do? David was in a great
rage with Nabal, though of course he really had no right to any pay from
the man. What vengeance had he decided to take? What do you think of
that? How thankful it makes us feel that we live in times when we have
strong laws, and no man is permitted to take the law in his own hands.

251 (§72C). Notice how beautifully Abigail speaks to David, telling him
that she knows he will never be sorry that he was merciful. How does
David respond? What do you think of a man who gives up his purpose so

252 (§72D). Note the character of the drunken fellow and his cowardice
when he learned of his escape. Probably his drunkenness and the shock of
his terror seriously affected him. How long afterward did he die? When
David heard the news, what message did he send to the beautiful Abigail?
How did she reply?

253 (§73A). Saul had not given up his determination to kill David. He
had made several unsuccessful attempts to capture him. At last he heard
of David's hiding-place. How many men did he take with him? But David
was ever on the watch. How did he discover that Saul was coming?

254 (§73A). Tell the story of the sleeping camp, of David's stealthy
approach with a single companion, of the proposal of Abishai, of David's
reply, of the spear and the jug of water. What did we mean when we said
Abraham was "magnanimous"? Would you say that David was magnanimous?
Read Rom. 12:19-21. Where does David appear best--when he threatens
Nabal or when he spares Saul?

255 (§73B). Tell the story of the conversation with Saul: David's
summons to the sleepers, his reproach of the captain, Saul's
recognition, David's appeal, Saul's repentance, the peaceful separation.

256 (§73C). David knew that he could not trust Saul. There was constant
danger from the jealous king, so he decided to leave the country. We are
surprised to find that he found refuge with Israel's enemies. Where did
he go? Locate the city on the map. How was he received? What did Saul
decide? But David could afford to wait. In a little while everything was
going to turn to his advantage.


Imagine that you were Abishai. Write the story as though you were
telling your brother Joab about that night when you crept with David to
the sleeping camp. Describe all that happened and tell what you thought
of David.



=§74. The Way to the Throne= (I Sam. 31:1-6; II Sam. 1:1-4, 17, 19, 20,
23, 24, 26, 27; 2:1-4, 8-11; 3:1; 5:1-3)


Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled
from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. And
the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the
Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, the sons of
Saul. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers overtook
him; and he was greatly distressed by reason of the archers. Then said
Saul to his armorbearer, "Draw thy sword, and thrust me through
therewith; lest these Philistines come and thrust me through, and abuse

But his armorbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul
took his sword, and fell upon it. And when his armorbearer saw that Saul
was dead, he likewise fell upon his sword, and died with him. So Saul
died, and his three sons, and his armorbearer, and all his men, that
same day together.


And it came to pass after the death of Saul, that a man came out of the
camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it
was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did
obeisance. And David said unto him, "From whence comest thou?"

And he said unto him, "Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped."

And David said unto him, "How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me."

And he answered, "The people are fled from the battle, and many of the
people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead

And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his

    Thy glory, O Israel, is slain upon thy high places!
    How are the mighty fallen!

    Tell it not in Gath,
    Publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon;
    Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
    Lest the daughters of the enemy triumph.

    Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives,
    And in their death they were not divided;
    They were swifter than eagles,
    They were stronger than lions.

    Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
    Who clothed you in scarlet delicately,
    Who put ornaments of gold upon your apparel.

    I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan:
    Very pleasant hast thou been unto me:
    Thy love to me was wonderful,
    Passing the love of women.

    How are the mighty fallen,
    And the weapons of war perished!


And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the Lord, saying,
"Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?"

And the Lord said unto him, "Go up."

And David said, "Whither shall I go up?"

And he said, "Unto Hebron."

So David went up thither, and his men that were with him did David bring
up: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. And the men of Judah came,
and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.

Now Abner, the captain of Saul's host, had taken Ish-bosheth the son of
Saul, and made him king over Israel. But the house of Judah followed
David. And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of
Judah was seven years and six months.

Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of
David: and David waxed stronger and stronger, but the house of Saul
waxed weaker and weaker, and when Ish-bosheth was dead, then came all
the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, "Behold,
we are thy bone and thy flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over
us, it was thou that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the Lord
said to thee, 'Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be
prince over Israel.'"

So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David
made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord: and they anointed
David king over Israel.

=§75. David's Great Reign= (I Chron. 11:4-9; II Sam. 5:17-25; 8:2-6, 13,
14; 10:6, 17-19; 11:1; 12:29-31; 5:11, 12; 23:14-17)


And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, where the Jebusites were,
the inhabitants of the land. And the inhabitants said to David, "Thou
shalt not come hither."

Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion. And David said,
"Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain."

So Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, and was chief. And David dwelt
in the stronghold; therefore they called it the city of David. And he
built the city round about, from Millo, even round about: and Joab
repaired the rest of the city. So David waxed greater and greater: for
the Lord of hosts was with him.


And when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over
Israel, they went up and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.

And David enquired of the Lord, saying, "Shall I go up against the
Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into my hand?"

And the Lord said unto David, "Go up; for I will certainly deliver the
Philistines into thy hand."

And David went up and smote them; and he said, "The Lord hath broken
down mine enemies before me like the breaking of waters."

And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the
valley of Rephaim. And when David enquired of the Lord, he said, "Thou
shalt not go up. Go about to their rear and come upon them opposite the
mulberry trees. And it shall be, when thou hearest the sound of marching
in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself;
for then is the Lord gone out before thee to smite the host of the

And David did so as the Lord commanded him, and smote the Philistines,
and subdued them.

And he smote Moab. And the Moabites became servants to David and brought

And David put garrisons in Damascus; and the Syrians became servants to
David, and brought tribute. And the Lord gave victory to David
whithersoever he went.

And David got him a name when he returned from smiting Edom in the
valley of salt, even eighteen thousand men. And he put garrisons in
Edom; and all the Edomites became servants to David.

And the children of Ammon hired the Syrians. And it was told David; and
he gathered all Israel together, and passed over the Jordan. And the
Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him. And
the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred
chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote the
captain of their host.

And when all the kings saw that they were smitten before Israel, they
made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help
the children of Ammon any more.

And it came to pass, at the return of the year, that David sent Joab,
and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the
children of Ammon. And David went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and
took it. And he brought forth the spoil of the city exceeding much. And
thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon.

And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and
carpenters, and masons: and they built David a house. And David
perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that
he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.


And at one time David was in the stronghold, and the garrison of the
Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David longed, and said, "Oh that
one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is
by the gate!"

And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and
drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took
it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof,
but poured it out unto the Lord. And he said, "Be it far from me, O
Lord, that I should do this: shall I drink the blood of the men that
went in jeopardy of their lives?" therefore he would not drink it.

These things did these three mighty men.


257. David spent many years as captain of his outlaw band, first in the
mountains of Judah and then in Philistia. The Philistines thought he had
given up his own people and become one of them. Fortunately, however,
they did not wish him to fight against Saul, so he was not obliged to
meet that difficulty. He had simply to wait till the end of Saul's
reign. It came very tragically.

258 (§74A). The battles of Israel were generally fought on the broad
plain of Esdraelon. Find it on the map southeast of Mt. Carmel. In this
case, however, Saul had entrenched his army on the high ground to the
south of the plain. But the terrible enemies who had troubled Israel so
long were too strong for him. How did the battle result? Who were
killed? How did Saul die?

259 (§74B). David was still in the Philistine town of Ziklag. He had
been fighting the Amalekites who had attacked him. How was the news of
the battle of Gilboa brought to him? How would you expect him to feel
about Saul's death? how about Jonathan's? As a matter of fact he forgot
all his wrongs, and remembered only how he had loved Saul and honored
him in the early days, and of course he remembered his great friendship
with Jonathan. Was this "magnanimous"?

260 (§74B). A dirge means a song for the dead. David was a fine poet and
he sang this beautiful song of lamentation over the king and the prince.
Notice the six stanzas. The first and the last are a refrain. The second
is a hope that the Philistines will not know the sad news. The third is
a praise of Saul and Jonathan. The fourth is a special praise of Saul,
whose victories had brought spoil to Israel. The fifth is the tender
lament of the singer for his friend. This would be a noble poem to learn
by heart.

261 (§74C). After Saul's death, it was a question whether David should
return home. Tell what happened. Find Hebron on the map in the south.
But Saul's general had another policy. What did he do? So there was war
between the north and south. At last Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, was
murdered by two men who thought they would get reward from David. He
punished them of course, but the way was open for David to be king of
the whole land. Tell how David was elected king.

262 (§75A). When the thirteen American colonies adopted the Constitution
and became the United States, it was necessary to have a capital that
should not be in any one state. So two of the states gave a piece of
land, which was called a District: what is its full name? What is the
name of the city that was built to be the capital of our country? Does
it belong to any one of the states in particular? Saul had not had a
definite capital, except his own town. David had his headquarters at the
old town of Hebron. But it would not do to have a town of Judah as
capital of all Israel. There was a strong town that had never been
conquered and occupied by the Israelites, but was still inhabited by the
old Jebusites. David decided to capture this city and make it his
capital. What is the name of the city that is still after 3,000 years
the chief city in Palestine? Find it on the map. The fortress was so
strong that there was a proverb that it could be defended even by the
blind and the lame. Tell the story of the capture.

263 (§75B). The first necessity was to prevent the enemies all around
Israel from interfering with the new kingdom. Who was the first enemy
subdued? Locate their territory. In several campaigns these old enemies
were prevented from giving any more trouble. The next enemy was in the
southeast: who were they? Locate their territory. The next was an old
city in the north, then a people in the south, then a nation to the east
who hired northern allies. Locate all these, and note that David subdued
all his troublesome neighbors. One people was left on the northwest
coast, but they were a commercial and not a military people. What
alliance did David make with them?

264 (§75C). David was able to conquer all these enemies because he had a
noble company of knights about him. They were brave and loyal to their
king. We study one fine passage that tells of a heroic deed during one
of the Philistine campaigns. What do you think of the bravery of the
heroes and the conduct of the king?


Draw an outline map of Canaan. Mark Jerusalem which David made his
capital. Mark the territory of each of the enemies whom David conquered.
You will find that you will have to go all around the map showing that
David had to defend his people on every side.



=§76. The Treacherous Son and the Loyal Friends= (II Sam. 14:25, 26;
15:1-15, 18-37)


Now in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for
his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head
there was no blemish in him. And when he cut the hair of his head, (now
it was at every year's end that he cut it: because the hair was heavy on
him, therefore he cut it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two
hundred shekels, after the king's weight.

And Absalom prepared him a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run
before him. And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the
gate: and it was so, that when any man had a suit which should come to
the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, "Of what
city art thou?"

And he said, "Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel."

And Absalom said unto him, "See, thy matters are good and right; but
there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee." Absalom said
moreover, "Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which
hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!"

And it was so, that when any man came nigh to do him obeisance, he put
forth his hand, and took hold of him, and kissed him. And on this manner
did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom
stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

And it came to pass at the end of four years, that Absalom said unto the
king, "I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto
the Lord, in Hebron."

And the king said unto him, "Go in peace."

So he arose, and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent spies throughout all
the tribes of Israel, saying, "As soon as ye hear the sound of the
trumpet, then ye shall say, 'Absalom is king in Hebron.'"

And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were
invited, and went in their simplicity; and they knew not any thing. And
Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his
city, even from Giloh, while he offered the sacrifices. And the
conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with


And there came a messenger to David, saying, "The hearts of the men of
Israel are after Absalom."

And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem,
"Arise, and let us flee; for else none of us shall escape from Absalom:
make speed to depart, lest he overtake us quickly, and bring down evil
upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword."

And the king's servants said unto the king, "Behold, thy servants are
ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall choose."

And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And all his
servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the
Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him
from Gath, passed on before the king.

Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, "Wherefore goest thou also with
us? return, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also
an exile; return to thine own place. Whereas thou camest but yesterday,
should I this day make thee go up and down with us, seeing I go whither
I may? return thou, and take back thy brethren; mercy and truth be with

And Ittai answered the king, and said, "As the Lord liveth, surely in
what place my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life,
even there also will thy servant be."

And David said to Ittai, "Go and pass over."

And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little
ones that were with him. And all the country wept with a loud voice,
and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the
brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the

And, lo, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark
of the covenant of God; and they set down the ark of God, until all the
people had done passing out of the city.

And the king said unto Zadok, "Carry back the ark of God into the city:
if I shall find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again,
and show me both it, and his habitation: but if he say thus, 'I have no
delight in thee;' behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good
unto him."


The king said unto Zadok the priest, "Return into the city in peace.
See, I will tarry at the fords of the wilderness, until there come word
from you." Zadok therefore carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem:
and they abode there.

And David went up by the ascent of the mount of Olives, and wept as he
went up; and he had his head covered, and went barefoot: and all the
people that were with him covered every man his head, and they went up,
weeping as they went up.

And one told David, saying, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with

And David said, "O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel
into foolishness."

And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the ascent,
behold, Hushai came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his
head: and David said unto him, "If thou passest on with me, then thou
shalt be a burden unto me: but if thou return to the city, and say unto
Absalom, 'I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father's
servant in time past, so will I now be thy servant': then shalt thou
defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. And hast thou not there with
thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what
thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it
to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. Behold, they have there with them
their two sons; and by them ye shall send unto me everything that ye
shall hear."

So Hushai, David's friend, came into the city.

=§77. The Folly and Fate of Absalom= (II Sam. 16:15, 16, 20; 17:1-16,
22, 24; 18:1-17, 21, 24, 25, 31-33)


And Absalom, and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem,
and Ahithophel with him. And it came to pass, when Hushai, David's
friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, "God save
the king, God save the king."

Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, "Give your counsel what we shall do."

And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, "Let me now choose out twelve thousand
men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: and I will come
upon him while he is weary and weak-handed, and will make him afraid:
and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the
king only: and I will bring back all the people unto thee: so all the
people shall be in peace."

And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.

Then said Absalom unto Hushai, "Ahithophel hath spoken after this
manner: shall we do after his saying? if not, speak thou."

And Hushai said unto Absalom, "The counsel that Ahithophel hath given
this time is not good. Thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be
mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her
whelps in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge
with the people. Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other
place: and it will come to pass, when some of them be fallen at the
first, that whosoever heareth it will say, 'There is a slaughter among
the people that follow Absalom.' And even he that is valiant, whose
heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt: for all Israel
knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are
valiant men. But I counsel that all Israel be gathered together unto
thee, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, as the sand that is by the sea for
multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person. 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 we will not leave so much as one. 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

And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The counsel of Hushai is
better than the counsel of Ahithophel."

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. Now therefore send quickly, and tell David,
saying, 'Lodge not this night at the fords of the wilderness, but in any
wise pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that
are with him.'"

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


And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of
thousands and captains of hundreds over them. And David sent forth the
people, a third part under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the
hand of Abishai, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of
Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, "I will surely go
forth with you myself also."

But the people said, "Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they
will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us:
but thou art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that
thou be ready to succor us out of the city."

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 went out by
hundreds and by thousands. And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and
Ittai, saying, "Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with

And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge
concerning Absalom. So the people went out into the field against
Israel: and the battle was in the forest of Ephraim. And the people of
Israel were smitten there before the servants of David, and there was a
great slaughter there that day of twenty thousand men. For the battle
was there spread over the face of all the country: and the forest
devoured more people that day than the sword devoured. And Absalom
chanced to meet the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon his 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 that was under him went on.

And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, "Behold, I saw
Absalom hanging in an oak."

And Joab said unto the man that told him, "And, behold, thou sawest it,
and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have
given thee ten pieces of silver, and a girdle."

And the man said unto Joab, "Though I should receive a thousand pieces
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, saying, 'Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.' Otherwise
if I had dealt falsely against his life, (and there is no matter hid
from the king,) then 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 of the oak. And ten young men that bare
Joab's armor compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him. And Joab
blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel:
for Joab held back the people. And they took Absalom, and cast him into
the great pit in the forest, and raised over him a very great heap of
stones: and all Israel fled every one to his tent.


Then said Joab to the Cushite, "Go tell the king what thou hast seen."
And the Cushite bowed himself unto Joab, and ran.

Now David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the
roof of the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and,
behold, a man running alone. And the watchman cried, and told the king.
And the king said, "If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth." And,
behold, the Cushite came; and the Cushite said, "Tidings for my lord the
king: for the Lord hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up
against thee."

And the king said unto the Cushite, "Is it well with the young man

And the Cushite answered, "The enemies of my lord the king, and all that
rise up against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is."

And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate,
and wept: and as he went, thus he said, "O my son Absalom, my son, my
son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!"


265. David did not bring up his sons well and there were very bad family
quarrels. At last Absalom murdered one of his brothers and was obliged
to flee. The king allowed him to return, but the wicked young man
planned to rebel against his father.

266 (§76A). What are we told of this handsome young man? Beauty of face
and figure is very desirable, but it frequently makes a person vain and
selfish. Probably Absalom had been admired and spoiled, and had come to
think only of himself.

267 (§76A). How did the young prince make a fine appearance? We see that
people were accustomed to come to the king to have their matters of law
decided. He was the supreme court. Of course it was not always possible
to hear all the cases at once. How did Absalom persuade the people that
he would make a better king than his father? Note how the prince
pretended to be democratic. What do you think of all this conduct?

268 (§76A). This deceitful conduct continued for four years until
Absalom thought he was ready to strike the blow. He decided to make
Hebron the headquarters of his rebellion. Locate Hebron. It was where
David had his capital when he was king of Judah. Can you think of any
reason why that city might have been dissatisfied? What excuse did
Absalom give for a journey to Hebron? How did he plan to gather an army?
How many innocent men went with him? What wise man did Absalom get on
his side?

269 (§76B). What did David decide upon as soon as he heard the news?
Notice that he had a body guard of 600 Philistine soldiers. The old
enemies were good warriors and he had taken them into his service.
David had a wonderful way of gaining friends. Tell the story of Ittai.
How did the people feel about the flight of the old king?

270 (§76B). It was customary for the ark to be taken when the army went
to battle (§61A). So the priest thought he ought to carry it with David.
But the king sent it back again, saying that he would trust in the Lord.
Moreover he was glad to have a friend in the city. How did he arrange
with Zadok to have news sent to him? Describe the sad journey up the
Mount of Olives. What signs of grief did they show?

271 (§76C). Whom did David hear had joined Absalom? How did he plan that
bad advice might be given to Absalom? How did he arrange for news to be
brought to him? Let us get the movement of the story before us. Absalom
is marching from Hebron with his counselor and his army; David is in
flight with his 600 guards and some faithful friends, but he has left
some friends in the city to send him news; presently Absalom marches
into the city.

272 (§77A). The first act of the new king is to decide what to do.
Ahithophel advised immediate pursuit of David. Tell what he said.
Absalom decided to ask the wise old Hushai his advice also. Whose side
was Hushai really on? What advice did he give? How did he frighten
Absalom and how did he flatter him? Why was this advice good for David?
What was decided?

273 (§77A). How was David informed of the council? He decided to cross
the river at once, so as to have the swift stream between himself and
his pursuers. Locate the Jordan. Did he succeed in getting his whole
company over? What became of Ahithophel? Meantime Absalom was gathering
a considerable army. After a lapse of a little time he followed his
father, who had been gathering all the people that were loyal to him.
The matter could only be settled by battle.

274 (§77B). How many divisions were there of David's army? Why did he
not go himself to battle? Notice how he reviewed the troops as they went
forth. What special command did he give to the captains? Why did he do
this? Give an account of the battle.

275 (§77B). In the battle, which was going against him, Absalom met
David's guards. What accident happened to him as he was trying to
escape? What dispute took place between the soldier and Joab? What did
Joab do? There was no need for further pursuit, so Joab called back his
troops. What was done with Absalom? We see that with the death of the
leader the rebels fled to their homes. Joab called a Cushite, that is a
negro slave: what command did he give him?

276 (§77C). Where was David during the battle? What conversation took
place between the king and the Cushite? How was David affected? What do
you think of David in all this matter?


David was one of those men who loved others and could make them love
him. It will be interesting to make a list of all those of whom we have
studied who felt the influence of his winning disposition. Read I Sam.
16:12, 21; 18:1, 20; 24:16; 25:42; II Sam. 1:26; 2:4; 5:3; 15:21, 32;
18:3; 23:15, 16. Write a little paper telling of all the people who
loved David.




After we had studied the heroes of Israel's wanderings we looked back
over the stories and tried to remember the great characters we had
learned to know. Now we have added ten more heroes to our acquaintance
since Moses. Let us look back over the stories of these ten, and see if
we can remember about them.

277. Moses brought the people near to Canaan and then sent twelve spies
into the land to find out about it. Ten of the men were afraid, and said
that the Hebrews could not conquer it, but two men were brave, and told
their countrymen to trust in the Lord and go up. Tell the story of these
two and what happened to them later. (§44; Josh. 1:1, 2; 14:13.[1])

[1: Very short Scripture references are given--just enough to
recall the story. Read these and glance over the section in the textbook
to refresh the memory.]

278. After the Hebrews had settled in Canaan they were greatly troubled
by enemies. Many heroes arose who delivered them. One, who was called by
the Lord, gathered a large army, then sent home all who were not fit and
reduced his army to 300 men. He then devised a strange plan to frighten
the enemy. Tell the story. (§46; Judg. 7:19, 20.) What reward did this
hero refuse? (§47; Judg. 8:22, 23.)

279. One of the heroes of Israel was a man of enormous strength. What
were some of the stories told about him? How did he foolishly sin and
lose his strength? (§51; Judg. 15:14, 15; 16:18, 19.)

280. Who was the heroine of whom we studied? Tell what you remember of
her. (§54.)

281. Do you remember the story of the good old priest who had two wicked
sons, and of the little boy who came to live with him? Tell the story of
how the boy came, and what happened one special night, and how the old
priest died. (§§60, 61; I Sam. 3:10, 11; 4:18.)

282. The little boy grew up to be a great prophet. He saw that the
people could never be saved from their enemies without a strong king.
One day a young man who was seeking some straying animals came to see
him. Tell the story of what happened. What great blow for liberty did
this young man strike and so become king? (§64; I Sam. 11:6-11.)

283. The new king had a brave son. This young man determined to help
free his people from their oppressors. Tell the story of his bold attack
upon the Philistines. (§65; I Sam. 14:13.) How did Saul follow up the

284. The young man who was to be the great king of Israel performed a
wonderful feat of arms. One of the Philistine heroes challenged the
Hebrews to send a single man against him. Who accepted the challenge
and how did the combat turn out? (§68; I Sam. 17:48,49.)

285. Who were the two hero friends? Tell the story of their parting.
(§71; I Sam. 20:35-39.)

286. Why was David an outlaw? Tell the story of his sparing the king's
life. (§73; I Sam. 26:9-12.)

287. David had a company of heroes about him. Tell the story of the
knights who brought him the drink of water. (§75C; II Sam. 23:14-17.)

288. David had a bitter trial in his wicked son who rebelled against
him. But many loyal friends stood by him: who were these, and how did
they show their loyalty? (§76; II Sam. 15:19-34.)

289. Write down the names of the ten heroes in a column. How many were
great patriots? How many trusted God? How many showed fine leadership?
How many showed weakness of character? Who showed a great love? How many
were unselfish? Which of them do you think the greatest?





=§78. Solomon's Wise Choice= (I Kings 2:12; 3:3-15)

Solomon sat upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was
established greatly. And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes
of David his father.

And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great
high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that
altar. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and
God said, "Ask what I shall give thee."

And Solomon said, "Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father
great kindness, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in
righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept
for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on
his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made
thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little
child; I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the
midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot
be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give thy servant therefore an
understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between
good and evil; for who is able to judge this thy great people?"

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And
God said unto him, "Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not
asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor
hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself
understanding to discern justice; behold, I have done according to thy
word: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that
there hath been none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any
arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast
not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among
the kings like unto thee, all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my
ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did
walk, then I will lengthen thy days."

And Solomon awoke, and, behold, it was a dream: and he came to
Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and
offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a
feast to all his servants.

=§79. Solomon and the Temple= (I Kings 5:1-12; 6:1, 2, 7, 15, 16, 19,
21, 22, 38; 8:1, 6, 10, 11, 22, 23, 26, 27, 30, 54-58, 62)


And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; for he had heard
that they had anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram
was ever a lover of David.

And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, "Thou knowest how that David my
father could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God for the
wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord put them under
the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God hath given me rest on
every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence. And,
behold, I purpose to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as
the Lord spake unto David my father, saying, 'Thy son, whom I will set
upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build a house for my name.' Now
therefore command thou that they cut me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and
my servants shall be with thy servants: and I will give thee hire for
thy servants according to all that thou shalt say: for thou knowest that
there is not among us any that knoweth how to cut timber like unto the

And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he
rejoiced greatly, and said, "Blessed be the Lord this day, which hath
given unto David a wise son over this great people."

And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, "I have heard the message which thou
hast sent unto me: I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar,
and concerning timber of fir. My servants shall bring them down from
Lebanon unto the sea: and I will make them into rafts to go by sea unto
the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be broken
up there, and thou shalt receive them, and thou shalt accomplish my
desire, in giving food for my household."

[Illustration: CEDARS OF LEBANON]

So Hiram gave Solomon timber of cedar and timber of fir according to all
his desire. And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat
for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave
Solomon to Hiram year by year.

And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him; and there was
peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together.


And it came to pass in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, in the second
month, that he began to build the house of the Lord. And the house was
sixty cubits in length, twenty cubits in breadth, and thirty cubits in
height. And the house was built of stone made ready at the quarry; and
there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the
house, while it was in building.

And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar: and he
covered the floor of the house with boards of fir.

And he built an oracle, even the most holy place, in the midst of the
house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord. Solomon
overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he drew chains of gold
across before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold. Also the whole
altar that belonged to the oracle he overlaid with gold.

And in the eleventh year, in the eighth month, was the house finished
throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of
it. So was he seven years in building it.


Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the
tribes, the princes of the children of Israel, to bring up the ark of
the covenant of the Lord. And the priests brought in the ark of the
covenant of the Lord unto its place, into the oracle of the house, to
the most holy place. And it came to pass, when the priests were come out
of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord so that
the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the
glory of the Lord filled the house.

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all
the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven; and he
said, "O Lord, the God of Israel, who keepest covenant and
lovingkindness with thy servants, that walk before thee with all their
heart, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto
thy servant David my father. But will God in very deed dwell on the
earth? behold heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how
much less this house that I have builded! Yet hearken thou to the
supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall
pray toward this place: yea, hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place; and
when thou hearest, forgive."


And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this
prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of
the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread forth toward
heaven. And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a
loud voice, saying, "Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his
people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed
one word of all his good promise, which he promised by Moses his
servant. The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let
him not leave us, nor forsake us: that he may incline our hearts unto
him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his
statutes, and his ordinances, which he commanded our fathers."

And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the

=§80. The Greatness of Solomon= (I Kings 10:1-10, 13, 23-25)


And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the
name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions.

And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare
spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come
to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And
Solomon told her all her questions: there was not anything hid from the
king, which he told her not.

And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house
that he had built, and the food of his table, and the sitting of his
servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and
his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the
Lord; there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, "It was
a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy
wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes
had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and
prosperity exceed the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are
these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear
thy wisdom. Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set
thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever,
therefore he made thee king, to do justice and righteousness."

And she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of
spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such
abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king

And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire,
whatsoever she asked, besides that which Solomon gave her of his royal
bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.


So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and
wisdom. And all the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his
wisdom, which God had put in his heart. And they brought every man his
tribute, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, and armor
and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.


290. We are to study the story of the man whom the Hebrews loved to
think of as one of their heroes, because of his great wisdom and wealth.
He was the most splendid of all their kings. To be sure he laid very
heavy taxes upon the people to raise money for his magnificence, but the
later ages forgot all that in admiration of his glory.

291 (§78). When David died he left a throne to his son that was secure
from all enemies. The young king had a great opportunity to be a noble
ruler. Read carefully the story of the young man's dream. What offer did
God make to him in the dream? In what spirit did Solomon reply? When he
says he is a little child he means that he is young and inexperienced.
Remember that one of the important duties of an eastern king was to hear
cases, as a kind of chief justice. What quality did Solomon ask for? Why
was the Lord pleased? What did he give Solomon?

292 (§78). It is often true that the young man who desires above all
things to fit himself to do his duty, without thinking of honor or
wealth, actually obtains those also. Washington never sought greatness,
but what do we think of him? Tennyson wrote of the great Duke of

    Not once or twice in our fair island story
    The path of duty was the way to glory.

Learn these lines.

293 (§79A). One of David's great hopes was that he could build a noble
house of worship. He had been unable to do so, partly because of his
many wars. Solomon therefore decided to carry out his father's plan. But
the Hebrews were not skilful as artists or mechanics. They were at that
time mostly farmers and shepherds. Solomon therefore decided to secure
the help of the people of Phoenicia, called the Sidonians, who lived on
his northwest border. Locate the country. What are its two chief cities?
Who was the king who sent to congratulate Solomon on his succession to
the throne?

294 (§79A). Read carefully Solomon's message to Hiram. What proof does
he give that he is able to build the temple? What trees does he ask for?
These were the noble trees that grew in the mountains of Lebanon. Locate
this region to the north of Israel. What reason does Solomon give why
the Sidonians (that is, the people of Sidon) should cut the trees?

295 (§79A). Read Hiram's reply. Notice the plan of getting the timber to
Jerusalem. The lumbermen from Tyre and Sidon would cut it in the
mountains. It would be hauled by the nearest route to the sea. Note on
the map where that would be. Then how was it to be taken by sea to the
port nearest to Jerusalem? This port was probably Joppa. Locate it. What
then was to be done with it before it was hauled up the steep roads to
Jerusalem? It was a hard job in those days when they had no railways.
How different from the way our lumber trains carry the great timbers!
What was Solomon to give Hiram in exchange? This is a very old story of
trade between nations.

296 (§79B). When did Solomon begin to build? The building itself was not
very large. A cubit is rather less than two feet, so the structure was
about 100 feet long, 35 feet wide, and 50 feet high. Do you know any
building about that size? Inside, one-third of the space was partitioned
off for the ark. How was this room ornamented? How long did it take to
finish the work?

297 (§79C). What solemn procession was held? How was the glory of the
Lord shown? Read carefully the prayer of Solomon and see that it is
reverent and trustful. What is his great hope that God will do for the
people when they pray? We are quite sure that God will do that. Read I
John 1:9.

298 (§79D). Who pronounced the benediction upon the people? What does he
feel that God has done for them? What does he hope that God will do for

299 (§80A). This is one of the stories showing the fame of Solomon.
Sheba was in Arabia. Note how much information the story gives us of the
products of those times. Tell the story of the visit.

300 (§80B). What does the story tell us finally of Solomon's wealth and


Recall the lines about the Duke of Wellington and write them in your
notebook. Find out if there is any man in your own state of whom that
would be true. Find someone in politics or business or in one of the
professions who has been more anxious to do his duty than for anything
else and to whom reward has come. Write an account of it.







=§81. Elijah and the Drought= (I Kings 16:30-17:24)


Ahab the son of Omri did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord
above all that were before him. And it came to pass, that he took to
wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and
served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in
the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab did yet more
to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of
Israel that were before him.

And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the sojourners of Gilead, said unto
Ahab, "As the Lord, the God of Israel, liveth, before whom I stand,
there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word."


And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, "Get thee hence, and
turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is
before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and
I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there."

So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and
dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens
brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the
evening; and he drank of the brook. And it came to pass after a while,
that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.


And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, "Arise, get thee to
Zarephath, which belongeth to Sidon, and dwell there: behold, I have
commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee."

So he arose and went to Zarephath; and when he came to the gate of the
city, behold, a widow woman was there gathering sticks: and he called to
her, and said, "Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that
I may drink."

And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, "Bring me,
I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand."

And she said, "As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an
handful of meal in the barrel, and a little oil in the cruse: and,
behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me
and my son, that we may eat it, and die."

And Elijah said unto her, "Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but
make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it forth unto me, and
afterward make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord, the
God of Israel, 'The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the
cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the

And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he,
and her house, did eat many days. The barrel of meal wasted not, neither
did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he
spake by Elijah.


And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the
mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that
there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, "O thou man
of God? thou art come unto me to bring my sin to my remembrance, and to
slay my son!"

And he said unto her, "Give me thy son."

And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into the chamber,
where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the
Lord, and said. "O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the
widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?" And he stretched himself
upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, "O Lord
my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again."

And the Lord hearkened unto the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the
child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child,
and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered
him unto his mother: and Elijah said, "See, thy son liveth."

And the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that thou art a man of God,
and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth."

=§82. Elijah's Victory= (I Kings 18:1-46)


And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came to
Elijah, in the third year, saying, "Go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I
will send rain upon the earth." And Elijah went to show himself unto

And the famine was sore in Samaria. And Ahab called Obadiah, who was
over the household. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly: for it was so,
when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah took a
hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with
bread and water.) And Ahab said unto Obadiah, "Go through the land, unto
all the fountains of water, and unto all the brooks: peradventure we may
find grass and save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the

So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went
one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.


And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him,
and fell on his face, and said, "Is it thou, my lord Elijah?"

And he answered him, "It is I: go, tell thy lord, 'Behold, Elijah is

And he said, "Wherein have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy
servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? As the Lord thy God liveth,
there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek
thee: and when they said, 'He is not here,' he took an oath of the
kingdom and nation, that they found thee not. And now thou sayest, 'Go,
tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.' And it shall come to pass, as
soon as I am gone from thee, that the spirit of the Lord shall carry
thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot
find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the Lord from my
youth. Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets
of the Lord, how I hid a hundred men of the Lord's prophets by fifty in
a cave, and fed them with bread and water? And now thou sayest, 'Go,
tell thy lord, Behold Elijah is here': and he shall slay me."

And Elijah said, "As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I
will surely show myself unto him to-day."

So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet
Elijah. And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto
him, "Is it thou, thou troubler of Israel?"

And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's
house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou
hast followed the Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all
Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and
fifty, which eat at Jezebel's table."


So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets
together unto mount Carmel.

And Elijah came near unto all the people, and said, "How long halt ye
between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then
follow him." And the people answered him not a word.

Then said Elijah unto the people, "I, even I only, am left a prophet of
the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them
therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for
themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, and put no
fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on the wood,
and put no fire under. And call ye on the name of your god, and I will
call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let
him be God."

And all the people answered and said, "It is well spoken."

And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, "Choose you one bullock for
yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of
your god, but put no fire under."

And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and
called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, "O
Baal, hear us." But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they
leaped about the altar which was made.

And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, "Cry
aloud: for he is a god; either he is musing, or he is gone aside, or he
is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked."

And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives
and lances, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it was so, when
midday was past, that they prophesied until the time of the offering of
the evening sacrifice; but there was neither voice, nor any to answer,
nor any that regarded.

And Elijah said unto all the people, "Come near unto me." And all the
people came near unto him.

And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was thrown down. And Elijah
took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of
Jacob. And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord;
and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two
measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in
pieces, and laid it on the wood. And he said, "Fill four barrels with
water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood." And he said,
"Do it the second time." And they did it the second time. And he said,
"Do it the third time." And they did it the third time. And the water
ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.

And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening
sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, "O Lord, the God
of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou
art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all
these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may
know that thou, Lord, art God, and that thou hast turned their heart
back again."

Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the
wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in
the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces:
and they said, "The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God."

And Elijah said unto them, "Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of
them escape."

And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon,
and slew them there.


And Elijah said unto Ahab, "Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is the
sound of abundance of rain." So Ahab went up to eat and to drink.

And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down upon
the earth, and put his face between his knees. And he said to his
servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea."

And he went up, and looked, and said, "There is nothing."

And he said, "Go again," seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh
time, that he said, "Behold, there ariseth a cloud out of the sea, as
small as a man's hand."

And he said, "Go up, say unto Ahab, 'Make ready thy chariot, and get
thee down, that the rain stop thee not.'"

And it came to pass in a little while, that the heaven grew black with
clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to
Jezreel. And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his
loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.


301. In the beautiful city of Florence in Italy there was once a great
prince named Lorenzo, whose reign was very splendid, but who oppressed
the people and lived an evil life. The people followed his bad example
and there was great immorality in Florence. But a fearless preacher came
to the city who told the prince and the people plainly of their sins.
Great crowds went to hear him and he became the most influential man in
Florence. By his stirring words he compelled the government to give back
the liberties to the people, and he led the citizens to promise to serve
God with good lives. His enemies finally proved too strong for him and
killed him, but this noble Italian preacher, Savonarola, left an
influence that has lasted to this day.

Among the heroes of Israel were some bold preachers, called prophets,
who did not hesitate to denounce the sins of kings and people. One of
the greatest of these was Elijah.

302 (§81A). Ahab was a very wicked king who married a princess from
Sidon. Locate the city on the coast of Palestine. The Sidonians
worshipped a god called Baal, and so the king built a temple for this
idol in his capital. He thought he could go on serving the Lord and
serve Baal also. Suddenly a man appeared in the court. He was roughly
clad, not a man of the city. What startling message did he bring?

303 (§81B). While the drought came upon Israel the prophet was taken
care of. Tell the story of Elijah at the brook. What happened to the
brook at last?

304 (§81C). Elijah was east of the Jordan. He was sent to Zarephath near
Sidon. Locate it. Tell the story of his conversation with the widow. The
"cruse" was a flask or small jug for holding liquids.

305 (§81D). Many wonderful stories were told of this great prophet. Tell
the story of the widow's son. Think of the prophet waiting all this
time till he should be sent back to the king.

306 (§82A). At last Elijah's message came. How long had he waited?
Meantime what was the condition in Israel, and Samaria the capital? Who
was Obadiah? What had he done? What did the king and Obadiah undertake?

307 (§82B). Tell the story of Elijah's conversation with the timid
Obadiah. This man was good, but he was having a hard time as the servant
of a bad king. What bold answer did Elijah make to the king? What is a
challenge? What challenge did Elijah make?

308 (§82C). This is the important part of the story. Find Mt. Carmel on
the coast. Imagine the scene: the king, the prophets of Baal, and
Elijah, as the actors, and the great crowd as an audience. What was
Elijah's first question to the people? We have a saying that no one can
be on the fence: everyone must be on one side or the other. Whenever
there is a right and wrong, people must take sides.

309 (§82C). What test did Elijah propose? Who prepared the bullock for
the sacrifice first? How did they try to gain the attention of their
god? Could Baal hear them? How did Elijah mock them? What was the result
of all the excitement?

310 (§82C). Notice how serious Elijah was. How did he prepare for the
sacrifice? How did he arrange so that nobody could say there was a
trick? What prayer did Elijah offer? Learn this noble prayer so that you
can recite it. What happened? How did it affect the people?

311 (§82C). Those were days when men were very stern. What awful
punishment did Elijah inflict on the false prophets?

312 (§82D). Elijah was sure that the drought would now be over. What did
he say to Ahab? They had eaten nothing all day, so everyone went eagerly
to the food. But Elijah went back to the mountain. Who went with him?
What happened? What message did the prophet send to Ahab? Notice how
quickly the storm came up. Elijah was a man of the desert, hardy and
strong; he was also under great excitement from the events of the day.
It was sixteen miles from Carmel to Jezreel. Locate these places on the
map. The king drove his horses hard in the storm. What did Elijah do?


Imagine yourself present at the scene on Mt. Carmel and that your
parents were unable to go. How would you tell them the story of all that
happened that day? Write it out just as you would have told it, if you
were a young Israelite on that great occasion.



=§83. Elijah's Discouragement= (I Kings 19:1-21)


And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had slain all
the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah,
saying, "So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life
as the life of one of them by to-morrow about this time."

And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to
Beer-sheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he
himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down
under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die;
and said, "It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not
better than my fathers."

And he lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and, behold, an angel
touched him, and said unto him, "Arise and eat."

And he looked, and, behold, there was at his head a cake baked on the
coals, and a bottle of water. And he did eat and drink, and laid himself
down again.

And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him,
and said, "Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee."

And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that
food forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.


And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word
of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, "What does thou here,

And he said, "I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts;
for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine
altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword: and I, even I only, am
left; and they seek my life, to take it away."

And he said, "Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord."

And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the
mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord
was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was
not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was
not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so,
when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went
out, and stood in the entering of the cave. And, behold, there came a
voice unto him, and said, "What doest thou here, Elijah?"

And he said, "I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts;
for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine
altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am
left; and they seek my life, to take it away."

And the Lord said unto him, "Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of
Damascus: and when thou comest, thou shalt anoint Hazael to be king over
Syria: and Jehu shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the
son of Shaphat shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall
come to pass, that him that escapeth from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu
slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.
Yet will I leave me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have
not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him."


So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was
plowing, with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth:
and Elijah passed over unto him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he
left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, "Let me, I pray thee,
kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee."

And he said unto him, "Go back again; for what have I done to thee?"

And he returned from following him, and took the yoke of oxen, and slew
them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave
unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah,
and ministered unto him.

=§84. Elijah and the Tyrant= (I Kings 21:1-24)


And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a
vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of
Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, "Give me thy vineyard, that
I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house;
and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it: or, if it seem
good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money."

And Naboth said to Ahab, "The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the
inheritance of my fathers unto thee."

And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word
which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, "I will
not give thee the inheritance of my fathers." And he laid him down upon
his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.

But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, "Why is thy spirit
so sad, that thou eatest no bread?"

And he said unto her, "Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and
said unto him, 'Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please
thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it': and he answered, 'I
will not give thee my vineyard.'"

And Jezebel his wife said unto him, "Dost thou now govern the kingdom of
Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give
thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."


So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and
sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in the
city, and that dwelt with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying,
"Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: and set two
wicked men before him, and let them bear witness against him, saying,
'Thou didst curse God and the king.' And then carry him out, and stone
him, that he die."

And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who dwelt in his
city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, according as it was written in
the letters which she had sent unto them. They proclaimed a fast, and
set Naboth on high among the people. And the two wicked men came in and
sat before him: and the men bare witness against him, even against
Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, "Naboth did curse God and
the king." Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him
with stones, that he died. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, "Naboth is
stoned, and is dead."

And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was
dead, that she said to Ahab, "Arise, take possession of the vineyard of
Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for
Naboth is not alive, but dead."

And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that he rose
up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take
possession of it.


And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, "Arise, go
down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who dwelleth in Samaria: behold, he is
in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to take possession of
it. And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, 'Thus saith the Lord, Hast
thou killed, and also taken possession?' and thou shalt speak unto him,
saying, 'Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood
of Naboth, shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.'"

And Ahab said to Elijah, "Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?"

And he answered, "I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to
do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord. Behold, I will bring
evil upon thee, and will utterly sweep thee away, and will cut off from
Ahab every man child, and him that is shut up and him that is left at
large in Israel, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to
anger, and hast made Israel to sin. And of Jezebel also spake the Lord,
saying, 'The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the rampart of Jezreel.' Him that
dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the
field shall the fowls of the air eat."

=§85. The Old Prophet and the New Prophet= (II Kings 2:1-15)


And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah by a whirlwind
into heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said
unto Elisha, "Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me as far
as Beth-el."

And Elisha said, "As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not
leave thee."

So they went down to Beth-el. And the sons of the prophets that were at
Beth-el came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, "Knowest thou that the
Lord will take away thy master from thy head to-day?"

And he said, "Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace."

And Elijah said unto him, "Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord
hath sent me to Jericho."

And he said, "As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not
leave thee."

So they came to Jericho. And the sons of the prophets that were at
Jericho came near to Elisha, and said unto him, "Knowest thou that the
Lord will take away thy master from thy head to-day?"

And he answered, "Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace."

And Elijah said unto him, "Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath
sent me to Jordan."

And he said, "As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not
leave thee."

And they two went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went,
and stood over against them afar off: and they two stood by Jordan. And
Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters,
and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on
dry ground. And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah
said unto Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken from

And Elisha said, "I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be
upon me."

And he said, "Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me
when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it
shall not be so."

And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold,
there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which parted them
both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha
saw it, and he cried, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and
the horsemen thereof!"


And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent
them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from
him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan. And he took the
mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said,
"Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?" and when he also had smitten the
waters, they were divided hither and thither: and Elisha went over.

And when the sons of the prophets which were at Jericho over against him
saw him, they said, "The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha." And they
came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.


313. How did the great day close after Elijah had defeated the prophets
of Baal? How do you think Ahab felt about it? Elijah probably hoped to
see a complete return of the people to the Lord and he expected the
wicked queen Jezebel to be prevented from interfering with the prophets
of the Lord.

314 (§83A). What did Ahab do when he returned home? What did Jezebel
decide? Was she willing to give up her power? Elijah saw that nothing
had been gained, for the wicked queen was still in control. Where did he
go? Follow his journey on the map. Mention all the circumstances that
would make Elijah tired out. His discouragement was largely due to his
exhaustion from hunger and travel. What kind thing did the Lord do for
the tired prophet?

315 (§83B). Where did Elijah go? Horeb is another name for Mount Sinai.
Do you remember what great hero led the people to Sinai? (§40A.) Elijah
wanted to go back to the mountain where his people had heard of the
Lord. Tell the story of what happened at the cave. The Lord would show
Elijah that the people could not be saved by great contests, but by
gentle means. He also told him that it would take time to get rid of the
idolatry. He told him three important persons would all have a part in
the work, even after he was dead: who were these?

316 (§83B). Elijah was mistaken in thinking that he was the only
faithful man left. How many were there? There are often more good people
than we think.

317 (§83C). Tell the story of the call of Elisha.

318 (§84A). Locate Jezreel on the map. We found it before, near Mt.
Carmel. King Ahab had a fine palace there, though his capital was in
Samaria. But the king needed some more land to make a garden. How did he
try to get it? Why would not the man sell it? We must remember that in
those times a farm would sometimes remain in one family for centuries.
How did Ahab behave? What did Jezebel say that she would do?

319 (§84B). A king of Israel could not do as he pleased. He was bound to
respect the rights of his people. Jezebel therefore thought out a plan
to have Naboth killed. What was the plan and how did it work?

320 (§84B). When Jezebel heard of the success of her plot she told the
king. What did he do? What ought he to have done?

321 (§84C). The king and queen had forgotten all about Elijah. How did
he suddenly appear? Imagine how frightened the king must have been when
he saw the stern prophet coming to meet him in the garden. So conscience
suddenly speaks when we have forgotten it. What did Elijah say?

322 (§84C). We have seen Elijah the champion of pure religion, now we
see him the champion of justice. There was no one else who dare speak
against the king's tyranny. Do you think he was brave? Why did not Ahab
kill him?

323 (§85A). Tell the story of the last journey of Elijah and Elisha.
Follow the journey on the map. Imagine the fearful mountain storm on the
east of Jordan in the midst of which Elijah was carried away. Is it not
a grand story of the end of such a stormy life?

324 (§85B). How did the new prophet begin his work?


Ahab, although in many respects an able king, showed himself in this
incident a bully. A bully is one who does wrong to a person who is too
weak to resist. There is generally a bully in every school. Is there
also a hero? Write what you think a hero ought to do with a bully.



=§86. The Payment of the Widow's Debt= (II Kings 4:1-7)

Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets
unto Elisha, saying, "Thy servant my husband is dead: and thou knowest
that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take
unto him my two children to be slaves."

And Elisha said unto her, "What shall I do for thee? tell me; what hast
thou in the house?"

And she said, "Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a
pot of oil."

Then he said, "Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, even
empty vessels; borrow not a few. And thou shalt go in, and shut the door
upon thee and upon thy sons, and pour out into all those vessels; and
thou shalt set aside that which is full."

So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons; they
brought the vessels to her, and she poured out. And it came to pass,
when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, "Bring me yet a

And he said, "There is not another vessel."

And the oil stopped. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said,
"Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy sons on the

=§87. The Healing of the Leper= (II Kings 5)


Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man
with his master, and honorable, because by him the Lord had given
victory unto Syria: he was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a
leper. And the Syrians had gone out in bands, and had brought away a
captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on
Naaman's wife. And she said unto her mistress, "Would God my lord were
with the prophet that is in Samaria! then would he recover him of his

And one went in, and told his lord, saying, "Thus and thus said the maid
that is of the land of Israel."

And the king of Syria said, "Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto
the king of Israel."

And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six
thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the
letter to the king of Israel, saying, "And now when this letter is come
unto thee, behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou
mayest recover him of his leprosy."

And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that
he rent his clothes, and said, "Am I God, to kill and to make alive,
that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? but
consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me."


And it was so, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel
had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, "Wherefore hast
thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that
there is a prophet in Israel."

So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariots, and stood at the
door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him,
saying, "Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come
again to thee, and thou shalt be clean."

But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, "Behold, I thought, He
will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord
his God, and wave his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are
not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the
waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean?"

So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and
spake unto him, and said, "My father, if the prophet had bid thee do
some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then,
when he saith to thee, 'Wash, and be clean'?"

Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according
to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the
flesh of a little child, and he was clean.


And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and
stood before him: and he said, "Behold now, I know that there is no God
in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a
present of thy servant."

But he said, "As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive

And he urged him to take it; but he refused. And Naaman said, "If not,
yet I pray thee let there be given to thy servant two mules' burden of
earth; for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor
sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord."

And he said unto him, "Go in peace."

So he departed from him a little way.


But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, "Behold, my
master hath spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not receiving at his hands
that which he brought: as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and
take somewhat of him."

So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw one running after
him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, "Is all

And he said, "All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, 'Behold, even
now there be come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men
of the sons of the prophets; give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver,
and two changes of raiment.'"

And Naaman said, "Be content, take two talents."

And he urged him and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two
changes of raiment, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they
bare them before him. And when he came to the hill, he took them from
their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and
they departed. But he went in, and stood before his master.

And Elisha said unto him, "Whence comest thou, Gehazi?"

And he said, "Thy servant went no whither."

And he said unto him, "Went not mine heart with thee, when the man
turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive
money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards and vineyards, and sheep
and oxen, and menservants and maidservants? The leprosy therefore of
Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever."

And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

=§88. Mysterious Capture of the Syrian Soldiers= (II Kings 6:8-23)


Now the king of Syria warred against Israel; and he took counsel with
his servants, saying, "In such and such a place shall be my camp."

And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, "Beware that
thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are coming down."

And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him
and warned him of; and he saved himself there, not once nor twice.

And the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and
he called his servants, and said unto them, "Will ye not show me which
of us is for the king of Israel?"

And one of his servants said, "Nay, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the
prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that
thou speakest in thy bedchamber."

And he said, "Go and see where he is, that I may send and fetch him."

And it was told him, saying, "Behold, he is in Dothan."


Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and
they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant
of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host with
horses and chariots was round about the city. And his servant said unto
him, "Alas, my master! how shall we do?"

And he answered, "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they
that be with them." And Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord, I pray thee,
open his eyes, that he may see."

And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold,
the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said,
"Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness." And he smote them with
blindness according to the word of Elisha.

And Elisha said unto them, "This is not the way, neither is this the
city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek." And he
led them to Samaria.


And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said,
"Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see." And the Lord
opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of

And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, "My father,
shall I smite them? shall I smite them?"

And he answered, "Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those
whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread
and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their

And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and
drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the bands
of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.

=§89. Elisha's Last Counsel= (II Kings 13:14-19)

Now Elisha was fallen sick of the sickness of which he died: and Joash
the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over him, and said, "My
father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof!"

And Elisha said unto him, "Take bow and arrows." And he took unto him
bow and arrows.

And he said to the king of Israel, "Put thine hand upon the bow." And he
put his hand upon it. And Elisha laid his hands upon the king's hands.

And he said, "Open the window eastward." And he opened it.

Then Elisha said, "Shoot." And he shot.

And he said, "The Lord's arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory
over Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have
consumed them."

And he said, "Take the arrows." And he took them.

And he said unto the king of Israel. "Smite upon the ground." And he
smote thrice, and stayed.

And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, "Thou shouldest have
smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst
consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice."


325. Different kinds of men are needed for different times. Severe
contests require vigorous men: times of trouble require patient men.
When the king and all Israel were going into heathen worship, the
strong, stern Elijah was the man to force them back to right conduct.
But when the kingdom of Israel fell into great weakness and was beaten
again and again by the Syrians, there was need of a prophet who could
comfort and encourage the nation. The young man who had been trained by
Elijah was fitted for this work. What was his name? He must have been a
most kindly and helpful man as there are more wonderful stories gathered
about his name than about any of the other heroes of Israel. We shall
study four of these stories.

326 (§86). This story shows us how harsh the old law of debt was. Why
were the widow's two sons to be sold as slaves? She came to Elisha in
her trouble, and he said that they would use whatever she had. What did
she have? How was the debt paid?

327 (§87A). Locate Syria on the map to the north of Israel. What is the
capital? These people had been fighting against Israel and had taken
many prisoners and made slaves of them. What was the name of the Syrian
general? He was a great man, but he had the terrible disease of leprosy.
It is a most frightful malady, slowly eating away the body. The
general's wife had a little Hebrew slave. How did she get her? What did
the little slave say to her mistress? Tell the story of Naaman's visit
to Israel.

328 (§87B). How was the king of Israel troubled, and what did Elisha say
to him? Describe the grand visit of the general with all his servants to
the simple home of the prophet. What message did Elisha send? Why was
Naaman angry? What did his servants say to him? How did it all turn out?

329 (§87C). What great change of feeling came over Naaman? What did he
wish to give Elisha? The prophet did not want any present, because he
wished Naaman to know that the Lord's prophet would help anyone in need
without money.

330 (§87D). What did Elisha's servant think of this conduct of his
master? Tell the story of his greed and deceit. Notice how one sin leads
to another and one lie leads to another. But the prophet understood the
wicked servant. What terrible punishment came upon him?

331 (§88A). How did Elisha help his people against the plans of the
Syrians? What did the Syrian king think of it? It seems evident that
Elisha was the counselor of Israel. Locate Dothan on the map.

332 (§88B). Tell the story of the two armies, one of them visible and
the other invisible. This is a beautiful way of telling of God's power
and care that are always over us. How did Elisha lead the army to

333 (§88C). How did the Syrians find that they were in the capital of
their enemies? What did the king want to do to them? How did Elisha say
they should be treated? Do you remember that several times we have
called the heroes "magnanimous"? Elisha has this character. After all,
forgiveness is the best revenge.

334 (§89). At last the old prophet who had been the counselor of several
kings was about to die. Who visited him? Notice he used the same words
of him that Elisha had used of Elijah. What did it mean? Tell the story
of the bow and arrows. The king was not a strong character and he showed
it in this little bit of play. Elisha meant to tell him that great
things in the world can only be done by determination. In the Civil War
our great generals did not give up after three endeavors. Grant said "I
propose to fight it out on this line, if ..." (finish the quotation),
and Lee held together his gallant army to the last limit of endurance.


Tell your parents, or some friend, what you have learned about Elisha,
and explain that you are to write a short story in your notebook on "A
Hero of Helpfulness." Ask them if they can tell you about some good
doctor who was unselfish and kindly and gave himself for the good of
others. Or perhaps they know some pastor who was always seeking to help
his people and cared very little what good things he got himself. Or
they may be able to tell you of a good woman who spent her life in doing
good to people. She would be "A Heroine of Helpfulness." Find out some
strong character who did good unselfishly like Elisha, and write the
story for the next class.








=§90. Nehemiah's Plans= (Neh. 1:1-4, 11. 2:1-9, 11-13, 16-18)


Now it came to pass as I was in Shushan the palace, that Hanani, one of
my brethren, came, he and certain men out of Judah; and I asked them
concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity,
and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, "The remnant that are
left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and
reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates
thereof are burned with fire."

And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept,
and mourned certain days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of
heaven, and said, "O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be
attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy
servants, who delight to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy
servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man." (Now I
was cupbearer to the king.)


And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of
Artaxerxes the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine,
and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been before-time sad in his
presence. And the king said unto me, "Why is thy countenance sad, seeing
thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart."

Then I was very sore afraid. And I said unto the king, "Let the king
live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the
place of my father's sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are
consumed with fire?"

Then the king said unto me, "For what dost thou make request?"

So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, "If it
please the king, and if thy servant have found favor in thy sight, that
thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers'
sepulchres, that I may build it."

And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) "For how
long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return?"

So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. Moreover I said
unto the king, "If it please the king, let letters be given me to the
governors beyond the river, that they may let me pass through till I
come unto Judah; and a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's
forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the
castle, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall
enter into."

And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.


Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's
letters. Now the king had sent with me captains of the army and
horsemen. So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.

And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any
man what my God put into my heart to do for Jerusalem: neither was there
any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon. And I went out by
night by the valley gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were
broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire. And the
rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told
it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the
rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.


Then said I unto them, "Ye see the evil case that we are in, how
Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come
and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a
reproach." And I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me;
as also of the king's words that he had spoken unto me.

And they said, "Let us rise up and build." So they strengthened their
hands for the good work.

=§91. Nehemiah's Difficulties= (Neh. 4:1-4, 6-9, 16-20; 6:1-9)


But it came to pass that, when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall,
he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he
spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, "What do
these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice?
will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the
heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned?"

Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, "Even that which they
build, if a fox go up, he shall break down their stone wall."

"Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn back their reproach upon
their own head; for they have provoked thee to anger before the

So we built the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto half the
height thereof: for the people had a mind to work.


But it came to pass that, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians,
and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the repairing of the
walls of Jerusalem went forward, and that the breaches began to be
stopped, that they were very wroth; and they conspired all of them
together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion
therein. But we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against
them day and night, because of them. And it came to pass from that time
forth, that half of my servants wrought in the work, and half of them
held the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the coats of mail; and
the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. They that builded the
wall and they that bore burdens laded themselves, every one with one of
his hands wrought in the work, and with the other held his weapon; and
the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so
builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. And I said unto the
nobles, and to the rulers and to the rest of the people, "The work is
great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from
another: in what place soever ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort
ye thither unto us; our God shall fight for us."


Now it came to pass, when it was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah, and
to Geshem the Arabian, and unto the rest of our enemies, that I had
builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein (though even
unto that time I had not set up the doors in the gates); that Sanballat
and Geshem sent unto me, saying, "Come, let us meet together in one of
the villages in the plain of Ono."

But they thought to do me mischief. And I sent messengers unto them,
saying, "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should
the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?"

And they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them
after the same manner. Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like
manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand; wherein was
written, "It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu saith it, that
thou and the Jews think to rebel; for which cause thou buildest the
wall: and thou wouldest be their king, according to these words. And
thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem,
saying, 'There is a king in Judah': and now shall it be reported to the
king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take
counsel together."

Then I sent unto him, saying, "There are no such things done as thou
sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart." For they all
would have made us afraid, saying, "Their hands shall be weakened from
the work, that it be not done." But now, O God, strengthen thou my

=§92. Nehemiah's Success= (Neh. 6:15, 16; 7:1-3; 12:27, 31, 38, 40, 43;
Ps. 122:2,3)


So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul,
in fifty and two days. And it came to pass, when all our enemies heard
thereof, that all the heathen that were about us feared, and were much
cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was
wrought of our God.

Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the
doors, that I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the governor of the
castle, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God
above many. And I said unto them, "Let not the gates of Jerusalem be
opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand on guard, let them
shut the doors, and bar ye them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants
of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against
his house."


And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites
out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the
dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing,
with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. Then I brought up the princes
of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies that gave
thanks and went in procession; whereof one went on the right hand upon
the wall eastward. And the other company of them that gave thanks went
to meet them, and I after them, with the half of the people, upon the
wall. And the two companies of them that gave thanks met in the house of
God, and stood still, and the singers sang loud:

    Our feet are standing
    Within thy gates, O Jerusalem,
    Jerusalem, that art builded
    As a city that is compact together.

And they offered great sacrifices that day, and rejoiced; for God had
made them rejoice with great joy; and the women also and the children
rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.


335. When a man has been prominent in a great undertaking it is very
interesting to have his own account of it. General Grant was persuaded
by friends to write a story of his own campaigns. It was called
"Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant," the word "memoirs" meaning his
own recollections of the events. Perhaps the first man who ever wrote
such a personal story was the Governor of Judah, 2,300 years ago. The
story we study here might be called "Personal Memoirs of Nehemiah."

336. Nehemiah was a great patriot. It is easy to be a patriot when it
simply means shouting for a great, prosperous country. But this man had
never seen his own land. His great-grandparents had been taken away as
prisoners, and the family had been one hundred and fifty years in the
foreign land. But they had never forgotten their own beloved country.
Nehemiah was rich, and in a high office in Persia, but he loved
Jerusalem and longed to be able to serve her. Read (and learn) Ps.
137:5, 6, and you will see how the patriotic Jews in the East felt about
their fatherland. Let us read this personal story of the patriot and see
what he did.

337 (§90A). Look at the map of the Semitic world and find Persia in the
East. Find Susa, which is the same as Shushan. It is a long way from
Jerusalem. But one day some of the Jews came from Jerusalem to the
palace of the Persian king to tell the story of the sad condition of
their city. What did they tell Nehemiah? How did the story affect him?
What office did he hold? Look up the description of this office that we
had some time ago (62).

338 (§90B). Oriental kings are very arbitrary and the courtiers have to
be most careful not to offend them. Note how cleverly Nehemiah managed,
so that he obtained all that he wanted from the king. What did he

339 (§90C). Look again at the map. What is the river that Nehemiah
mentions? Recall the first journey that we followed from the East to
Palestine (§§3, 5). Note that the Governor traveled with a body guard.
What did he do first in Jerusalem?

340 (§90D). The people who had lived so long in the ruined city were
discouraged. How did Nehemiah cheer them? How did they respond?

341 (§91A). There were jealous enemies all around Judah, so Nehemiah
soon found himself in difficulties. First they despised his efforts. How
did he meet this ridicule?

342 (§91B). When the enemies could not stop him by laughing at him, what
did they try? How did Nehemiah plan his work so as not to be surprised?

343 (§91C). What plots did the enemies devise? How did Nehemiah meet the

344 (§92A). In the old times, cities had to have walls all around them
to prevent attacks. How long did it take this vigorous governor to
repair the fortifications? How did he plan to guard the city?

345 (§92B). What help did Nehemiah feel that he had in all his work?
"Dedication" means an offering to God. They gave the city to God. Tell
the story of this joyful patriotic service. Learn the song that they


You will probably find that people to-day are opposed in their
determination to do what is right in just the same three ways that
Nehemiah suffered. Keep a good lookout during the week and see if you
can find anyone, young or old, trying to do some right thing while
somebody else laughs, or while somebody tries to stop it by force, or
while somebody tells falsehoods about it. If you find any hero who goes
straight on in right-doing in spite of these oppositions, give a short
account of it in your notebook.



=§93. Esther Made Queen= (Esther 1:1, 5, 7, 9, 11-13, 15, 16, 19, 21;
2:1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 15-18, 20)


King Ahasuerus made a feast unto all the people that were present in
Shushan the palace, both great and small, seven days in the court of the
garden of the king's palace. And they gave them in vessels of gold royal
wine in abundance, according to every man's pleasure.

Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house. On
the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he
commanded to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown
royal, to show the peoples and the princes her beauty: for she was fair
to look on. But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's
commandment by the chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and
his anger burned in him.

Then the king said to the wise men, "What shall we do unto the queen
Vashti according to law, because she hath not done the bidding of the

And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, "If it please the
king, let there go forth a royal commandment from him, and let it be
written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not
altered, that Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the
king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she."

And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did
according to the word of Memucan.


After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was pacified, he
remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against
her. Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, "Let there
be fair young maidens sought for the king in all his kingdom; and let
the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti." And the
thing pleased the king; and he did so.

There was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, who had brought up
Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and
the maiden was fair and beautiful; and when her father and mother were
dead, Mordecai took her for his own daughter. So it came to pass, when
the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens
were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, that Esther was taken
into the king's house.

Now when the turn of Esther was come to go in unto the king, she
required nothing but what the keeper of the women appointed. And Esther
obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her. So Esther
was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month,
in the seventh year of his reign. And the king loved Esther above all
the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all
the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her
queen instead of Vashti.

Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants,
even Esther's feast; and he gave gifts, according to the bounty of the

Esther had not yet showed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had
charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when
she was brought up with him.

=§94. The Plot against the Jews= (Esther 3:1, 2, 5, 6, 8-13; 4:1, 2, 4,
5, 8, 11-17)


After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman, and advanced him,
and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. And all the
king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed down, and did
reverence to Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But
Mordecai bowed not down, nor did him reverence.

And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not down, nor did him reverence,
then was Haman full of wrath. But he thought scorn to lay hands on
Mordecai alone; for they had showed him the people of Mordecai:
wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the
whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, "There is a certain people scattered
abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of thy
kingdom; and their laws are diverse from those of every people; neither
keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to
suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they be

And the king took his ring from his hand and gave it unto Haman, and
said, "The people is given to thee to do with them as it seemeth good to

Then were the king's scribes called, and letters were sent by posts into
all the king's provinces, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish,
all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day,
even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month
Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.


Now when Mordecai knew all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and
put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city,
and cried with a loud and a bitter cry: and he came even before the
king's gate: for none might enter within the king's gate clothed with
sackcloth. And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment
and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and
fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

And Esther's maidens and her chamberlains came and told it her; and the
queen was exceedingly grieved: and she sent her chamberlain to Mordecai
to know what this was, and why it was.

And Mordecai gave him a copy of the writing of the decree that was given
out in Shushan to destroy them, to show it unto Esther, and to declare
it unto her; and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to
make supplication unto him, and to make request before him, for her

And he came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. Then Esther gave him
a message unto Mordecai, saying: "All the king's servants, and the
people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or
woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called,
there is one law for him, that he be put to death, except such to whom
the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have
not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days."

And they told to Mordecai Esther's words. Then Mordecai bade them return
answer unto Esther, "Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in
the king's house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether
holdest thy peace at this time, then shall relief and deliverance arise
to the Jews from another place, but thou and thy father's house shall
perish: and who knoweth whether thou art not come to the kingdom for
such a time as this?"

Then Esther bade them return answer unto Mordecai, "Go, gather together
all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and
neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens
will fast in like manner; and so will I go in unto the king, which is
not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish."

So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had
commanded him.

=§95. Esther's Brave Intercession= (Esther 5:1-5; 7:2-6, 9, 10; 8:1-8,
9, 11, 15-17; 9:1, 2, 5, 20-23, 32)


Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal
apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against
the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal
house, over against the entrance of the house. And it was so, when the
king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favor
in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that
was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the
sceptre. Then said the king unto her, "What wilt thou, queen Esther?
and what is thy request? it shall be given thee even to the half of the

[Illustration: _From Price, "The Monuments and the Old Testament"_

And Esther said, "If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman
come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him."

Then the king said, "Cause Haman to make haste, that it may be done as
Esther hath said."

So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared. And
the king said unto Esther, "What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it
shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the
kingdom it shall be performed."

Then Esther the queen answered and said, "If I have found favor in thy
sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my
petition, and my people at my request: for we are sold, I and my people,
to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish."

Then spake the king Ahasuerus and said unto Esther the queen, "Who is
he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?"

And Esther said, "An adversary and an enemy, even this wicked Haman."

Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. Then said one of
the chamberlains that were before the king, "Behold also, the gallows
fifty cubits high, which Haman hath made for Mordecai standeth in the
house of Haman."

And the king said, "Hang him thereon."

So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.
Then was the king's wrath pacified.


On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews'
enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for
Esther had told what he was unto her. And the king took off his ring,
which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set
Mordecai over the house of Haman.

And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet,
and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman and his
device that he had devised against the Jews. Then the king held out to
Esther the golden sceptre. So Esther arose, and stood before the king.
And she said, "If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his
sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in
his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman
which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's
provinces: for how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my
people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?"

Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the
Jew, "Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have
hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews. Write
ye also to the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it
with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's
name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse."

Then were the king's scribes called at that time, and it was written
according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the
satraps, and the governors and princes of the provinces, that the king
granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together,
and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to
perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault
them, their little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a

And Mordecai went forth from the presence of the king in royal apparel
of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a robe of
fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan shouted and was glad. The
Jews had light and gladness, and joy and honor. And in every province,
and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree
came, the Jews had gladness and joy, a feast and a good day. And many
from among the peoples of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews
was fallen upon them.


Now in the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, on the thirteenth day
of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be
put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have
rule over them; whereas it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had
rule over them that hated them; the Jews gathered themselves together in
their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay
hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for
the fear of them was fallen upon all the peoples. And the Jews smote all
their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and with slaughter and
destruction, and did what they would unto them that hated them.

And Mordecai wrote letters unto all the Jews that were in all the
provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, to enjoin them that
they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth
day of the same, yearly, as the days wherein the Jews had rest from
their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to
gladness, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them
days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another,
and gifts to the poor. And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun,
and as Mordecai had written unto them.

And the commandment of Esther confirmed these matters of the feast of
Purim; and it was written in the book.


346. Among the stories of their heroes the Jews preserved several
stories of heroines, and none is more striking than that of the patriot
queen, whose extraordinary bravery saved her people. There are many
kinds of bravery, some in doing, some in suffering. Let us try to get a
correct judgment of Esther.

347 (§93A). The first part of the story shows how Esther became the
queen of Persia. What kind of feast did the king give? What command did
he give to Vashti? Let us remember that ladies in the East do not often
appear in public before men. How did it happen that Vashti was deposed?

348 (§93B). What plan was proposed to secure a most beautiful wife for
the king? Who was Mordecai? How did he get Esther introduced to the
king? How did she become queen? Note that her cousin had advised her not
to let it be known that she was a Jewess, because there was a prejudice
against her nation.

349 (§94A). The villain of the story is Haman. What high place did he
hold? How did Mordecai offend him? What revenge did he plan?

350 (§94B). Mordecai knew that when a royal decree had been issued it
could not be changed. How did he behave? What did he request Esther to

351 (§94B). Notice the strict rule of the Persian court. No one could
see the king unless summoned by him. How different from our democratic
government, where any citizen may at least ask permission to see the
president! But Mordecai urged Esther to risk her life to save her
people. Now see how brave she was. She might have said, "No one knows
that I am a Jewess. I am quite safe as the king's wife. I will keep
silent. It would be folly to risk my life by offending the king." But
she decided to risk her great place with its wealth and luxury, and also
her life, because her duty to her people required it. What answer did
she send to Mordecai?

352 (§95A). Describe Esther's approach to the king. The tyrant happened
to be in a good humor, so she was safe. What invitation did she extend?

353 (§95A). Haman was delighted with the great honor the queen did him.
He had no idea that his enemy, whom he had planned to hang on a high
gallows, was the queen's cousin. How did it all turn out?

354 (§95B). How was Mordecai promoted? We must remember that although
Haman was dead, the king's decree for the slaughter of the Jews could
not be changed. But permission could be given to the Jews to defend
themselves on the day of the massacre. How was this arranged?

355 (§95C). Of course this is an old story of times when people took
fierce revenge, so we learn that the Jews slaughtered their enemies. But
it was a great deliverance, and Mordecai and Esther planned that a great
feast should be kept to celebrate it. What kind of feast was it?

356 (§95C). The Jews still keep the Feast of Purim. It is one of the
merriest times they have. They have all kinds of fun and give presents,
as we do at Christmas. And they still honor the beautiful queen, who
stood with her own people in their peril, and saved them by her wit and


Recall Mordecai's suggestion to Esther (p. 356). In the days of chivalry
knights had a motto: _Noblesse oblige_ meaning that those of noble rank
had an obligation to serve those in need. Any strength or good we have
is not for our own use, but to help others with. Take this as your
motto. Draw a banner and inscribe in colors: _Noblesse oblige_.



=§96. The Tyrant and the Heroes= (I Macc. 1:41-50, 54-57; 2:1-7, 14, 15,
17-25, 27, 28, 44, 45, 48-50, 64-66, 70)


Antiochus, king of Syria, who had rule over many peoples and over the
Jews, wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, and
that each should forsake his own laws. And all the nations agreed
according to the word of the king, and many of Israel consented to his
worship, and sacrificed to the idols, and profaned the sabbath. And the
king sent letters by the hand of messengers unto Jerusalem and the
cities of Judah, that they should follow laws strange to the land, and
should profane the sabbaths and feasts, and pollute the sanctuary; that
they should build altars, and temples for idols, and should sacrifice
swine's flesh and unclean beasts. And whosoever shall not do according
to the word of the king, he shall die.

And they built an abomination of desolation upon the altar, and in the
cities of Judah they built idol altars. And they rent in pieces the
books of the law which they found, and set them on fire. And wheresoever
was found with any a book of the covenant, and if any consented to the
law, the king's sentence delivered him to death.


In those days rose up Mattathias the priest, who dwelt at Modin. And he
had five sons, John, Simon, Judas who was called Maccabæus (the
Hammerer), Eleazar, Jonathan. And he saw the blasphemies that were
committed in Judah and in Jerusalem, and he said. "Woe is me! wherefore
was I born to see the destruction of my people and of the holy city?
Wherefore should we live any longer?"

And Mattathias and his sons rent their clothes, and put on sackcloth,
and mourned exceedingly.

And the king's officers came into the city Modin to sacrifice. And they
spake to Mattathias saying, "Thou art a ruler and an honorable and great
man in this city, and strengthened with sons and brethren; now therefore
come thou first and do the commandment of the king, as all the nations
have done, and the men of Judah, and they that remain in Jerusalem: and
thou and thy house shall be in the number of the king's Friends, and
thou and thy sons shall be honored with silver and gold and many gifts."

And Mattathias answered and said with a loud voice, "If all the nations
that are in the king's dominion hearken unto him, to fall away each one
from the worship of his fathers, and have made choice to follow his
commandments, yet will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the
covenant of our fathers. We will not hearken to the king's words, to go
aside from our worship, on the right hand, or on the left."

And when he had left speaking these words, there came a Jew in the sight
of all to sacrifice on the altar which was at Modin, according to the
king's commandment. And Mattathias saw it, and his zeal was kindled, and
he showed forth his wrath, and ran and slew him upon the altar. And the
king's officer, who compelled men to sacrifice, he killed at that time,
and pulled down the altar. And he cried with a loud voice, "Whosoever is
zealous for the law, let him come forth after me."

And Mattathias and his sons fled into the mountains, and they mustered a
host and smote sinners in their anger, and they went round about, and
pulled down the altars, and they rescued the law out of the hand of the

And the days of Mattathias drew near that he should die, and he said
unto his sons, "My children, be ye zealous for the law, and give your
lives for the covenant of your fathers. Be strong and show yourselves
men in behalf of the law; for therein shall ye obtain glory. And,
behold, Simon your brother, I know that he is a man of counsel; give ear
unto him alway: he shall be a father unto you. And Judas Maccabæus, he
hath been strong and mighty from his youth: he shall be your captain,
and shall fight the battle of the people."

And he blessed them, and was gathered to his fathers. And all Israel
made great lamentation for him.

=§97. The Great Deliverance= (I Macc. 3:1, 2, 13, 15-23, 25, 34, 35;
4:14, 25, 28, 34, 36-40, 42, 43, 47, 48, 53-56, 58; 9:20-22)


And his son Judas, who was called Maccabæus, rose up in his stead. And
all his brethren helped him, and so did all they that clave unto his
father. And they fought with gladness the battle of Israel.

And Seron, the commander of the host of Syria, heard that Judas had
gathered a congregation of faithful men with him, and of such as went
out to war. And he went up with a mighty army of the ungodly to take
vengeance on the children of Israel.

And Judas went forth to meet him with a small company. But when they saw
the army coming to meet them they said unto Judas, "What? shall we be
able, being a small company, to fight against so great and strong a
multitude? And we for our part are faint, having tasted no food this

And Judas said, "It is an easy thing for many to be shut up in the hands
of a few; and with heaven it is all one to save by many or by few: for
victory in battle standeth not in the multitude of a host; but strength
is from heaven. They come to destroy us and our wives and our children:
but we fight for our lives and our laws. Be ye not afraid of them."

Now when he had left off speaking, he leapt suddenly upon them, and
Seron and his army were discomfited before him.

And the fear of Judas and his brethren, and the dread of them, began to
fall upon the nations round about them. And king Antiochus gave Lysias
half of his forces, and the elephants, and gave him charge to destroy
the strength of Israel, and the remnant of Jerusalem. And Lysias chose
three mighty men; and with them he sent forty thousand footmen, and
seven thousand horse, to go into the land of Judah, and to destroy it.
And Judas joined battle, and the Gentiles were discomfited. And Israel
had a great deliverance that day.

And the next year Lysias gathered together sixty thousand chosen
footmen, and five thousand horse. And Judas met them with ten thousand
men. And they joined battle; and there fell of the army of Lysias about
five thousand men.


Judas and his brethren said, "Behold, our enemies are discomfited; let
us go up to cleanse the holy place and to dedicate it afresh."

And all the army was gathered together, and they went up unto mount
Zion. And they saw the sanctuary laid desolate, and the altar profaned
and the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the court as in a forest,
and the priests' chambers pulled down. And they rent their clothes, and
made great lamentation, and put ashes upon their heads, and fell on
their faces to the ground, and cried toward heaven.

Then Judas chose blameless priests, and they cleansed the holy place.
And they built a new altar after the fashion of the former; and they
built the holy place, and the inner parts of the house; and they
hallowed the courts.


And they offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of
burnt offerings which they had made. At what time and on what day the
Gentiles had profaned it, even on that day was it dedicated afresh, with
songs and harps and lutes, and with cymbals. And all the people fell
upon their faces, and worshipped, and gave praise unto heaven, which had
given them good success. And they kept the dedication of the altar eight
days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness, and sacrificed a
sacrifice of deliverance and praise. And there was exceeding great
gladness among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was turned


And when Judas died all Israel made great lamentation for him, and
mourned many days, and said, "How is the mighty fallen, the Savior of

And the rest of the acts of Judas, and his wars, and the valiant deeds
which he did, and his greatness, they are not written; for they were
exceeding many.


357. Three hundred years ago King Philip II of Spain was the most
powerful king in Europe. He was a bitter tyrant, determined to rule his
people according to his own will. He was a Roman Catholic and hated all
Protestants. The little country of Holland was part of his territory and
he ordered the people to become Roman Catholics. They refused, for they
were loyal to their own religion. He sent against them a great army
under the command of a brutal general, Alva, and all Europe thought that
the little people would be crushed. But they fought for their faith and
their homes so valiantly that the tyrant was compelled to withdraw. It
is almost impossible to destroy patriots.

358. We always admire the heroism of those who resist tyrants. The Jews
were often bitterly persecuted and they had many a hero who defended
them. One of the greatest of all their heroes was Judas, who was called
the Maccabee, or the Hammerer. With a great faith in God and a wonderful
courage he defeated large armies. His story is not found in the Old
Testament, but in another collection of Hebrew books called "The
Apocrypha." The book is I Maccabees.

359 (§96A). At the time of this story the Jews were under the rule of
Antiochus, the king of Syria. What was the wish of this tyrant? What
insults were offered to the religion of the Jews?

360 (§96B). An old priest was living in one of the villages of Judah
with his five noble sons. They were very much distressed about the sad
state of their people: but what could they do against the strong king?
At last the king's officers came to this village to order the heathen
sacrifices. What did they demand of Mattathias, and what did they
promise him? How did the old priest answer? What followed?

361 (§96B). The priest and his sons went to the hills, where they could
find refuge in the caves. Who joined them? What did they do? The fierce
contest was too severe for the old man, and he soon fell ill. What were
his last words to his sons?

362 (§97A). Who took the lead after the death of the old priest? Note
that there was no jealousy among those noble brothers. Tell the story of
the first victory over the Syrians.

363 (§97A). The king was astonished that his forces should be defeated
by the little army of patriots. Great preparations to crush the Jews
were made. Note that elephants with armed men were employed. What was
the result of the campaigns?

364 (§97B). At last the victories were so conclusive that they thought
it safe to go to Jerusalem and clean out the abominations from the
temple. In what condition did they find the temple? How did it affect
them? How did Judas purify it?

365 (§97C). Note how happy they were when they could worship once more
in the house of God. Describe the celebration.

366 (§97D). One can imagine how greatly the Jews would honor such a
deliverer as Judas. How did they mourn for him at his death?


Imagine yourself a boy (or girl) about thirteen years old, living in the
village of Modin a little over two thousand years ago. Imagine that you
were present on the day when the officers came to command the heathen
sacrifice. Then imagine yourself writing a letter describing everything
that took place that day. Write it in the first person to some friend
who was absent. Describe the whole scene just as it lies in your mind,
and tell what you think of the heroes.



=§98. The Training of the Young Men= (Daniel 1:1-19)

When Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came against Jerusalem and
captured it, certain of the youths of the nobility were taken and given
into the charge of the master of the king's servants that he should
teach them the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. And the king
appointed for them a daily portion of the king's meat, and of the wine
which he drank, and that they should be nourished three years; that at
the end thereof they might stand before the king. Now among these were,
of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. And
the master gave names unto them: unto Daniel he gave the name of
Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach;
and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with
the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he
requested of the master that he might not defile himself. Now God made
Daniel to find favor and compassion in the sight of the master. And he
said unto Daniel, "I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat
and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the
youths which are of your own age? so should ye endanger my head with the

Then said Daniel to the steward, whom the master had appointed over
them, "Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give
us vegetables to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be
looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the youths that eat of
the king's meat; and as thou seest, deal with thy servants."

So he hearkened unto them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And
at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer, and they were
fatter in flesh, than all the youths which did eat of the king's meat.
So the steward took away their meat, and the wine that they should
drink, and gave them vegetables. Now as for these four youths, God gave
them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had
understanding in all visions and dreams. And at the end of the days
which the king had appointed for bringing them in, the master brought
them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; and
among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and
Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.

=§99. The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace= (Dan. 3:1, 2, 4-30)


Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty
cubits, and its breadth six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura in
the province of Babylon. Then the king sent to gather together all the
rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image.

Then the herald cried aloud, "To you it is commanded, O peoples,
nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the
cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of
music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the
king hath set up: and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the
same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace."

Therefore at that time, when all the peoples heard the music, they fell
down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had
set up.


Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and brought
accusation against the Jews, and said to Nebuchadnezzar, "O king, live
for ever. Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall
hear the sound of the music, shall fall down and worship the golden
image: and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, shall be cast into
the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom thou
hast appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they
serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set

Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king.
Nebuchadnezzar said unto them, "Is it of purpose, O Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abed-nego, that ye serve not my god, nor worship the golden image
which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the
sound of the music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have
made, well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into
the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that god that shall
deliver you out of my hands?"

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, "O
Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer thee in this matter. If it be
so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery
furnace; and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not,
be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor
worship the golden image which thou hast set up."


Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was
changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake,
and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it
was wont to be heated. And he commanded certain mighty men that were in
his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into
the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their hose,
their tunics, and their mantles, and their other garments, and were cast
into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the
king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame
of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abed-nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell
down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished and rose up in haste: he
spake and said unto his counselors, "Did not we cast three men bound
into the midst of the fire?"

They answered and said unto the king, "True, O king."

He answered and said, "Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of
the fire, and they have no hurt; and the aspect of the fourth is like a
son of the gods."

Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace:
he spake and said, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the
Most High God, come forth, and come hither."

Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth out of the midst of
the fire. And the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, and the
king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, that the fire
had no power upon their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed,
neither were their hose changed, nor had the smell of fire passed on

Nebuchadnezzar spake and said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that
trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and have yielded their
bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own
God. Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation, and language,
which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a
ruin: because there is no other god that is able to deliver after this

Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province
of Babylon.

=§100. Daniel and the Lions= (Dan. 6:1-28)


It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty satraps,
which should be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them three
presidents, of whom Daniel was one; that these satraps might give
account unto them, and that the king should have no damage. Then this
Daniel was distinguished above the presidents and the satraps, because
an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the
whole realm.

Then the presidents and the satraps sought to find occasion against
Daniel as touching the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor
fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or
fault found in him. Then said these men, "We shall not find any occasion
against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of
his God."

Then these presidents and satraps assembled together to the king, and
said thus unto him, "King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of
the kingdom, the deputies and the satraps, the counselors and the
governors, have consulted together, to establish a royal statute, and to
make a strong decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any god or
man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den
of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that
it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which
altereth not."

Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.


And when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house
(now his windows were open in his chamber toward Jerusalem); and he
kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks
before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled together,
and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.

Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's
decree; "Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall make
petition unto any god or man within thirty days, save unto thee, O king,
shall be cast into the den of lions?"

The king answered and said, "The thing is true, according to the law of
the Medes and Persians, which altereth not."

Then answered they and said before the king, "That Daniel, which is of
the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor
the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a

Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased, and set
his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored till the going down
of the sun to rescue him.

Then these men assembled together unto the king and said unto the king,
"Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians, that no
decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed."


Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the
den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, "Thy God whom
thou servest continually, he will deliver thee."

And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the
king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords;
that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.

Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither
were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep fled from
him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste
unto the den of lions. And when he came near unto the den to Daniel, he
cried with a lamentable voice: the king spake and said to Daniel, "O
Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest
continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?"

Then said Daniel unto the king, "O king, live for ever. My God hath sent
his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, and they have not hurt me:
forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee,
O king, have I done no hurt."

Then was the king exceeding glad, and commanded that they should take
Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no
manner of hurt was found upon him, because he had trusted in his God.

And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused
Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children,
and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and break all
their bones in pieces, or ever they came at the bottom of the den.


Then king Darius wrote unto all the peoples, nations, and languages,
that dwell in all the earth; "Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a
decree, that in all the dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear
before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for
ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his
dominion shall be even unto the end: he delivereth and rescueth, and he
worked signs and wonders in heaven and in earth; who hath delivered
Daniel from the power of the lions."

So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of
Cyrus the Persian.


367. In the last chapter we studied the bitter persecution of the Jews
in the time of Antiochus. God sent them a great deliverer in Judas the
Hammerer. He also sent them a helper who told them heroic stories of
the olden time to encourage them to believe that God would surely
deliver them. These stories were of Daniel and his three friends who
were taken to Babylon in the captivity. They were under great temptation
to be untrue to their religion. We can see how these stories would help
the people to be faithful.

368 (§98). In the old times the food and wine for the king's table would
first be offered to the heathen gods, so Daniel felt that he would
really be an idolator if he took them. What request did he make? How did
the master think it would be discovered that he had not fed them on rich
food? What test did Daniel propose? How did it turn out? Of course it
was really much more healthy for the young men to live simply. It took
some courage to stand out against the officer, but it was a matter of
conscience with Daniel and his friends.

369 (§99A). Imagine the great golden image 100 feet high. What was the
king's command to the people? What was to be the penalty if they refused
to obey? How would a faithful servant of the Lord feel about it?

370 (§99B). We do not know where Daniel was at this time, but what did
his three friends do? What did the king say to them? What did they
answer him? Notice carefully that they said they were sure God could
save them, but whether he did or not they would be faithful. God does
not always save people from death. The noble army of martyrs have been
faithful unto death. But God has always brought good out of their

371 (§99C). Describe the scene when these men were thrown into the
furnace? What did the king think he saw? What did he do to the three?
What impression did it make on the king? We can understand how the Jews
would have told such a wonderful story as this to cheer those who were
under great temptation to give up their faith.

372 (§100A). Long after, when Daniel was an old man, another great
danger arose. He had meantime been promoted to the highest station.
Great men always have many enemies who are jealous of them. All our
great Americans have had those who envied them. What foolish thing did
Daniel's enemies persuade the king to do? There seems to have been a
rule that if the king gave an order it could not be changed.

373 (§100B). What had been Daniel's custom regarding prayer? How did he
change it when he heard of the decree? Would he have been wiser to pray
secretly? Some of our soldier boys that went to the war were ashamed to
kneel down and pray at night, but some of them were not afraid even when
their companions jeered them. Do you remember a story like that in _Tom
Brown at Rugby_? How did the king feel when he found that Daniel had
refused to obey the decree? Why could not the king pardon him? Notice
how bitterly his enemies insisted on the penalty.

374 (§100C). What did the king say to Daniel? How did the king pass the
night? What happened in the morning? What was done to his enemies?

375 (§100D). What message did the king send to his people? Daniel's
bravery made the king respect his religion. What was the result of all
this to Daniel? Suppose Daniel had been killed by the lions, what would
you think of him?


Think about Daniel's refusal to do wrong. You have probably
known one of your companions who refused to do some wrong when
it was hard to refuse. Young people can be heroes in standing
up for duty. Write about anybody whom you have known who did
this. Or perhaps you will find somebody actually doing such a
thing now. Make a good story of it for your notebook.




376. The Hebrews always looked back to their magnificent king, whom they
thought of as the wisest of men. What was his name? Tell the story of
his great building. (§79; I Kings 5:2-6.[2])

[2: Very short Scripture references are given, just enough to
recall the story. It might be well to read these as well as to look at
the section in the textbook.]

377. What great prophet was the champion of pure religion? Tell the
story of the test at Mount Carmel. (§82; I Kings 18:20-24.)

378. King Ahab had a fine palace in Jezreel and Naboth had a vineyard
near by. Tell the story of the king's covetousness. Why did Elijah
interfere? (§84; I Kings 21:17-23.)

379. Who was the prophet that followed Elijah? Why did we call him the
healer and counselor? We read a number of stories of his kindly deeds to
the people. Tell one of them.

380. One of Israel's heroes was a man who had always lived far away from
Jerusalem. He had a high office, and would have found it more profitable
not to trouble himself about his countrymen. But he heard of their sad
condition and persuaded the king to let him help them. Tell the story of
Nehemiah building the wall of Jerusalem. (§91; Neh. 6:15, 16.)

381. Two books in the Old Testament are named after women. One was a
foreigner who came into Israel, the other was the beautiful Jewess who
married the Persian king. Who was the wicked man that wanted to kill all
the Jews? How did the queen risk her life to save her people? (§95;
Esther 4:13-17.)

382. We studied about one hero, whose story is not in the Old Testament.
What did his surname Maccabæus mean? How did he deliver his people?

383. Sometimes the noblest heroism is just to refuse to be frightened
away from doing right. Who was the man who prayed three times a day when
the king had commanded that no prayers should be offered except to
himself. Tell the story of the den of lions. (§100.)

384. Write down these seven heroic names. Which of them was honored as
the kindly helper of the needy and the wise adviser of his nation in
days of trouble? Which was the gallant soldier who defeated the tyrant?
Who risked life and fortune to save the people? Who started out in his
youth to be a good judge and ruler of the people? Who was loyal to his
conscience at the risk of his life? Who was the stern rebuker of
injustice? Who gave up his ease to work for his troubled people? Note
that there are many ways to be a hero.

       *       *       *       *       *


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  Transcribers Note: skekels changed to shekels Sect. 68 A
                     thuo changed to thou Sect. 68 C
                     Eljiah changed to Elijah Sect. 82 B
                     Scripture references have been standardised as
                       this example (Gen. 21:2, 3; 22:1-19)
                     Punctuation moved inside end quote on the following
                       "Drink, my lord:" Sect. 9 B
                       "Lest peradventure the people repent when they
                         see war, and they return to Egypt:" Sect. 38 A
                     Word hyphenation has been standardised.

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