« السابقةمتابعة »
tween the land of Israel and the river Euphrates. If you look at it on the map, you will see that it was an extensive kingdom that the king of Zobah possessed, though he was not contented with it, but wished to enlarge his dominions quite to the Euphrates. In order to do this, he was going to invade those parts of David's kingdom which lay nearest to that river; but David smote him, and took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen. Then the Syrians, who lived in and near Damascus, came up to assist the king of Zobah; but David smote them also, and took Damascus, and put a garrison of his own soldiers in it; and the Syrians also became David's servants. For the Lord preserved David, whithersoever he went, and gave him the victory over all his enemies.
And David set apart all the treasures which he got in these wars for the temple of the Lord; for he had taken shields of gold and exceeding much brass, besides presents which he had of vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass; all of which he gave to the Lord.
And David conquered the Edomites in a great battle, and put garrisons throughout all the land of Edom, so that the whole country became his.
Now let us turn to the map and look at all these places which we have mentioned; you will then see clearly, how greatly David added to the kingdom of Israel.
But David was not only a brave warrior but a good king: he ruled with wisdom and mercy and did justice to all, even to the meanest of his people, never forgetting that God chose him for his servant, and
than he determined to have her, and sent and fetched her to his own house. But David knew that he could not keep Bathsheba long, because of her husband Uriah ; for even the laws of man, much more those of God, forbid one man to take away the wife of another. But one sin almost always leads to another. Thus David, who began by wishing for Uriah’s wife, was led to commit several great sins, and at last that most dreadful one of murder.
E. Murder, mamma! David a murderer?
M. Ah! my love, who would believe it? who could have thought that the holy David could ever have been a murderer? How would he himself have shuddered a short time before, if any one had told him that he should ever deserve so dreadful a name ! But how can we call his crime by any other name? for although he did not kill Uriah with his own hand, nor yet employ any one else actually to put him to death, yet he wished for his death, and was in fact the real cause of it.
E. How was that, mamma?
M. Why it happened that, at that time, all Israel had gone out under the command of Joab, one of David's chief generals, to fight against the Ammonites; and Uriah, who was a brave soldier, was gone among them. And David wrote to Joab, desiring him to place Uriah in the hottest part of the battle, and to leave him there that he might be smitten and die. Joab obeyed the command of David, and Uriah was slain. Then, when David heard that Uriah was really dead, he sent and fetched Bathsheba to his house, and she became his wife. E. Was not that very wicked?
I need scarcely tell you, that the thing which David had done displeased the Lord. And the Lord sent the prophet Nathan unto David, who, by a simple and beautiful story which he told him, brought him to see his sin in all its own true and ugly colours.
E. I should like to know the story that Nathan told king David.
M. You shall hear it, my love. Nathan said unto the king :-“There were two men in one city ; the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds : but the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had brought and nourished up : and it grew up together with him and with his children: it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his own bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man; and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd to dress for the wayfaring man, but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.”
Now when David heard this, he thought it had really happened in his own city among his own people; and his anger was greatly kindled against the man that had done so unjust and cruel an action; and he said to Nathan, “ As the Lord liveth the man that hath done this shall surely die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he had no pity.” What then must have been David's feelings, when the prophet answered him, “ Thou art the man ;” and when he went on to say,“ Thus saith the Lord God, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered theeoutof the hand of Saul, and I gave thee thy master's