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2 Samuel, Chapter 9

And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?
And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he.
And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.
And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar.
Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar.
Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!
And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.
And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?
Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house.
10 Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
11 Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons.
12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth.
13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet.

2 Samuel, Chapter 10

And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead.
Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.
And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?
Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.
When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.
And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ish-tob twelve thousand men.
And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.
And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ish-tob, and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.
When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians:
10 And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon.
11 And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee.
12 Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.
13 And Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him.
14 And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.
15 And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together.
16 And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river: and they came to Helam; and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them.
17 And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him.
18 And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there.
19 And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer 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.

2 Samuel, Chapter 11

And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.
And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.
And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king.
But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.
10 And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house?
11 And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.
12 And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.
13 And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.
14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were.
17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war;
19 And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,
20 And if so be that the king's wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall?
21 Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? why went ye nigh the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
22 So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab had sent him for.
23 And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate.
24 And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and some of the king's servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
25 Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him.
26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.
27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.

2 Samuel, Chapter 12

And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, 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 bought 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 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 that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.
And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:
And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.
Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.
16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.
17 And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.
18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?
19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.
20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.
21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.
22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
24 And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him.
25 And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.
26 And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city.
27 And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters.
28 Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it: lest I take the city, and it be called after my name.
29 And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it.
30 And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.
31 And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.

2 Samuel, Chapter 13

And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.
And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her.
But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.
And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king's son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.
And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.
So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.
Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon's house, and dress him meat.
So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.
And she took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Have out all men from me. And they went out every man from him.
10 And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.
11 And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.
12 And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.
13 And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.
14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.
15 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.
16 And she said unto him, There is no cause: this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that thou didst unto me. But he would not hearken unto her.
17 Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.
18 And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.
19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying.
20 And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house.
21 But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth.
22 And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
23 And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
24 And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers; let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants go with thy servant.
25 And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him.
26 Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee?
27 But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him.
28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous and be valiant.
29 And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.
30 And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left.
31 Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent.
32 And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.
33 Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead.
34 But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill side behind him.
35 And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king's sons come: as thy servant said, so it is.
36 And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore.
37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.
38 So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.
39 And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.

2 Samuel, Chapter 14

Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.
And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead:
And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.
And when the woman of Tekoah spake to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king.
And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman, and mine husband is dead.
And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one smote the other, and slew him.
And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life of his brother whom he slew; and we will destroy the heir also: and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the earth.
And the king said unto the woman, Go to thine house, and I will give charge concerning thee.
And the woman of Tekoah said unto the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father's house: and the king and his throne be guiltless.
10 And the king said, Whosoever saith ought unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.
11 Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the LORD thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.
12 Then the woman said, Let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak one word unto my lord the king. And he said, Say on.
13 And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty, in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished.
14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.
15 Now therefore that I am come to speak of this thing unto my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid: and thy handmaid said, I will now speak unto the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his handmaid.
16 For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.
17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.
18 Then the king answered and said unto the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak.
19 And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid:
20 To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing: and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.
21 And the king said unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again.
22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thanked the king: and Joab said, To day thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant.
23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
24 And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king's face.
25 But 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.
26 And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.
27 And unto Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a fair countenance.
28 So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face.
29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come.
30 Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire.
31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire?
32 And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still: now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me.
33 So Joab came to the king, and told him: and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.

2 Samuel, Chapter 15

And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots 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 that had a controversy came 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 him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took 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 after forty 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.
For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.
And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.
10 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 reigneth in Hebron.
11 And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing.
12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counseller, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.
13 And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.
14 And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.
15 And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.
16 And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house.
17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off.
18 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.
19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile.
20 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 thee.
21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.
22 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.
23 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 wilderness.
24 And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.
25 And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation:
26 But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.
27 The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.
28 See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me.
29 Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there.
30 And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
32 And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head:
33 Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me:
34 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 hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.
35 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.
36 Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok's son, and Jonathan Abiathar's son; and by them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear.
37 So Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.

2 Samuel, Chapter 16

And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.
And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses be for the king's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink.
And the king said, And where is thy master's son? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he abideth at Jerusalem: for he said, To day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father.
Then said the king to Ziba, Behold, thine are all that pertained unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly beseech thee that I may find grace in thy sight, my lord, O king.
And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came.
And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left.
And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial:
The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.
Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.
10 And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?
11 And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him.
12 It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.
13 And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill's side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust.
14 And the king, and all the people that were with him, came weary, and refreshed themselves there.
15 And Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him.
16 And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David's friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king.
17 And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this thy kindness to thy friend? why wentest thou not with thy friend?
18 And Hushai said unto Absalom, Nay; but whom the LORD, and this people, and all the men of Israel, choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide.
19 And again, whom should I serve? should I not serve in the presence of his son? as I have served in thy father's presence, so will I be in thy presence.
20 Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do.
21 And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father's concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong.
22 So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.
23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.

2 Samuel, Chapter 17

Moreover 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: the man whom thou seekest is as if all returned: so all the people shall be in peace.
And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.
Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith.
And when Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him, saying, 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 is not good at this time.
For, said Hushai, 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 overthrown at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, There is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom.
10 And he also 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.
11 Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered 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.
12 So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as one.
13 Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there.
14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.
15 Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counselled.
16 Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him.
17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by En-rogel; for they might not be seen to come into the city: and a wench went and told them; and they went and told king David.
18 Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; whither they went down.
19 And the woman took and spread a covering over the well's mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and the thing was not known.
20 And when Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
21 And it came to pass, after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said unto David, Arise, and pass quickly over the water: for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you.
22 Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over Jordan: by the morning light there lacked not one of them that was not gone over Jordan.
23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.
24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.
25 And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host instead of Joab: which Amasa was a man's son, whose name was Ithra an Israelite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab's mother.
26 So Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead.
27 And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,
28 Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse,
29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.

2 Samuel, Chapter 18

And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.
And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also.
But the people answered, 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 now thou art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that thou succour 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 came 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 Absalom. 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 wood of Ephraim;
Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men.
For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.
10 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.
11 And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.
12 And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king's son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.
13 Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.
14 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.
15 And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
16 And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people.
17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent.
18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king's dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's place.
19 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the LORD hath avenged him of his enemies.
20 And Joab said unto him, Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king's son is dead.
21 Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran.
22 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready?
23 But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi.
24 And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone.
25 And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and drew near.
26 And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings.
27 And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings.
28 And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, All is well. And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed be the LORD thy God, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king.
29 And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant, and me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was.
30 And the king said unto him, Turn aside, and stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still.
31 And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the LORD hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee.
32 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.
33 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!

2 Samuel, Chapter 19

And it was told Joab, Behold, the king weepeth and mourneth for Absalom.
And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son.
And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle.
But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!
And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines;
In that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants: for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well.
Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the LORD, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befell thee from thy youth until now.
Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.
And all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king saved us out of the hand of our enemies, and he delivered us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he is fled out of the land for Absalom.
10 And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back?
11 And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his house? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, even to his house.
12 Ye are my brethren, ye are my bones and my flesh: wherefore then are ye the last to bring back the king?
13 And say ye to Amasa, Art thou not of my bone, and of my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of Joab.
14 And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent this word unto the king, Return thou, and all thy servants.
15 So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan.
16 And Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite, which was of Bahurim, hasted and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David.
17 And there were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they went over Jordan before the king.
18 And there went over a ferry boat to carry over the king's household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was come over Jordan;
19 And said unto the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart.
20 For thy servant doth know that I have sinned: therefore, behold, I am come the first this day of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.
21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD's anointed?
22 And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel?
23 Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die. And the king sware unto him.
24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace.
25 And it came to pass, when he was come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said unto him, Wherefore wentest not thou with me, Mephibosheth?
26 And he answered, My lord, O king, my servant deceived me: for thy servant said, I will saddle me an ass, that I may ride thereon, and go to the king; because thy servant is lame.
27 And he hath slandered thy servant unto my lord the king; but my lord the king is as an angel of God: do therefore what is good in thine eyes.
28 For all of my father's house were but dead men before my lord the king: yet didst thou set thy servant among them that did eat at thine own table. What right therefore have I yet to cry any more unto the king?
29 And the king said unto him, Why speakest thou any more of thy matters? I have said, Thou and Ziba divide the land.
30 And Mephibosheth said unto the king, Yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace unto his own house.
31 And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over Jordan with the king, to conduct him over Jordan.
32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old: and he had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man.
33 And the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem.
34 And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem?
35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king?
36 Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward?
37 Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my father and of my mother. But behold thy servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good unto thee.
38 And the king answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good unto thee: and whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee.
39 And all the people went over Jordan. And when the king was come over, the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned unto his own place.
40 Then the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him: and all the people of Judah conducted the king, and also half the people of Israel.
41 And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said unto the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and have brought the king, and his household, and all David's men with him, over Jordan?
42 And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is near of kin to us: wherefore then be ye angry for this matter? have we eaten at all of the king's cost? or hath he given us any gift?
43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more right in David than ye: why then did ye despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king? And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.

2 Samuel, Chapter 20

And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel.
So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.
And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, and fed them, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death, living in widowhood.
Then said the king to Amasa, Assemble me the men of Judah within three days, and be thou here present.
So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah: but he tarried longer than the set time which he had appointed him.
And David said to Abishai, Now shall Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom: take thou thy lord's servants, and pursue after him, lest he get him fenced cities, and escape us.
And there went out after him Joab's men, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men: and they went out of Jerusalem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out.
And Joab said to Amasa, Art thou in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him.
10 But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.
11 And one of Joab's men stood by him, and said, He that favoureth Joab, and he that is for David, let him go after Joab.
12 And Amasa wallowed in blood in the midst of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a cloth upon him, when he saw that every one that came by him stood still.
13 When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and to Beth-maachah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him.
15 And they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maachah, and they cast up a bank against the city, and it stood in the trench: and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down.
16 Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee.
17 And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear.
18 Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter.
19 I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the LORD?
20 And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.
21 The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall.
22 Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.
23 Now Joab was over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites:
24 And Adoram was over the tribute: and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder:
25 And Sheva was scribe: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests:
26 And Ira also the Jairite was a chief ruler about David.
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9  David sends for Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth, Sa2 9:1-6.
Restores to him all the land that was Saul's, and appoints him to eat at his own table, Sa2 9:7-13.


9:1 Of Saul - He saith not of the house of Jonathan, for he knew not of any son he had left, and therefore thought his kindness and obligation was to pass to the next of his kindred. As for Mephibosheth, he was very young and obscure, and possibly concealed by his friends, lest David should cut him off, as hath been usual among princes.


9:5 Machir - This Machir appears to have been a generous man, who entertained Mephibosheth out of mere compassion, not of disaffection to David: for afterwards we find him kind to David himself, when he fled from Absalom. David now little thought, that the time would come, when he himself should need his assistance. Let us be forward to give, because we know not what we ourselves may sometime want.


9:8 Bowed himself - It is good to have the heart humbled under humbling providences. If when divine providence brings our condition down, divine grace brings our spirits down, we shall be easy.


10  David's ambassadors are abused by Hanun, Sa2 10:1-4.
The Ammonites prepare for war and are routed, Sa2 10:5-14.
Their allies, the Syrians rally and are defeated again, Sa2 10:15-19.


10:2 David sent - There had hitherto been friendship between David and him: and therefore the spoils of the children of Ammon are mentioned, chap.Sa2 8:12, by way of anticipation, and with respect to the story here following.


10:4 Shaved - To fasten this is a reproach upon them, and to make them ridiculous and contemptible. Cut off, etc - This was worse than the former, because the Israelites wore no breeches, and so their nakedness was hereby uncovered.


10:19 And served them - And thus at length was fulfilled the promise made to Abraham, and repeated to Joshua, that the borders of Israel should extend as far as the river Euphrates. The son of David sent his ambassadors, his apostles and ministers, to the Jewish church and nation. But they intreated them shamefully, as Hanun did David's, mocked them, abused them, slew them. And this it was that filled the measure of their iniquity, and brought upon them ruin without remedy.


11  David commits adultery with Bathsheba, Sa2 11:1-5.
Endeavours to father the child upon Uriah, Sa2 11:6-13.
Contrives the death of Uriah, Sa2 11:14-25.
Marries Bathsheba, Sa2 11:26-27.


11:1 After - When that year ended, and the next begun, which was in the spring time. When kings - Which is, when the ground is fit for the march of soldiers, and brings forth provision for man and beast. Tarried at Jerusalem - Had he been now in his post, at the head of his forces be had been out of the way of temptation.


11:2 Arose from off his bed - Where he had lain, and slept for some time. And the bed of sloth often proves the bed of lust.Washing herself - In a bath, which was in her garden. Probably from some ceremonial pollution.


11:3 He inquired - Instead of suppressing that desire which the sight of his eyes had kindled, he seeks rather to feed it; and first enquires who she was; that if she were unmarried, he might make her either his wife or his concubine.


11:4 Took her - From her own house into his palace, not by force, but by persuasion. Lay with her - See how all the way to sin is down hill!When men begin, they cannot soon stop themselves.


11:8 Go down - Not doubting but he would there converse with his wife, and so cover their sin and shame.


11:9 The servants - With the king's guard. This he did, by the secret direction of God's wise providence, who would bring David's sin to light.


11:10 Camest - Wearied with hard service and travel, nor did I expect or desire that thou shouldest now attend upon my person, or keep the watch.


11:11 The ark - This it seems, was now carried with them for their encouragement and direction, as was usual. Fields - In tents which are in the fields. His meaning is, now, when God's people are in a doubtful and dangerous condition, it becomes me to sympathize with them, and to abstain even from lawful delights.


11:15 He arose - So far is David from repenting, that he seeks to cover one sin with another. How are the beginnings of sin to be dreaded!For who knows where it will end? David hath sinned, therefore Uriah must die! That innocent, valiant, gallant man, who was ready to die for his prince's honour, must die by his prince's hand! See how fleshly lusts war against the soul, and what devastations they make in that war!How they blind the eyes, fear the conscience, harden the heart, and destroy all sense of honour and justice!


11:27 The mourning - Which was seven days. Nor could the nature of the thing admit of longer delay, lest the too early birth of the child might discover David's sin. Bare a son - By which it appears, That David continued in the state of impenitency for divers months together; and this notwithstanding his frequent attendance upon God's ordinances. Which is an eminent instance of the corruption of man's nature, of the deceitfulness of sin, and of the tremendous judgment of God in punishing one sin, by delivering a man up to another.


12  Nathan delivers and applies his parable, Sa2 12:1-12.
David repents and is forgiven, but punished, Sa2 12:13-14.
The sickness and death of the child, with David's behaviour on the occasion, Sa2 12:15-23.
The birth of Solomon, Sa2 12:24-25.
The taking of Rabbah, Sa2 12:26-31.


12:1 The Lord sent - When the ordinary means did not awaken David to repentance, God takes an extraordinary course. Thus the merciful God pities and prevents him who had so horribly forsaken God. He said - He prudently ushers in his reproof with a parable, after the manner of the eastern nations, that so he might surprize David, and cause him unawares to give sentence against himself.


12:2 Many flocks - Noting David's many wives and concubines.


12:3 Bought - As men then used to buy their wives: or, had procured.


12:5 Is worthy to die - This seems to be more than the fact deserved, or than he had commission to inflict for it, Exo 22:1. But it is observable, that David now when he was most indulgent to himself, and to his own sin, was most severe and even unjust to others; as appears by this passage, and the following relation, ver. Sa2 12:31, which was done in the time of David's impenitent continuance in his sin.


12:7 Thus saith the Lord God - Nathan now speaks, not as a petitioner for a poor man, but as an ambassador from the great God.


12:9 To be thy wife - To marry her whom he had defiled, and whose husband he had slain, was an affront upon the ordinance of marriage, making that not only to palliate, but in a manner to consecrate such villainies.In all this he despised the word of the Lord; (so it is in the Hebrew.) Not only his commandment in general, but the particular word of promise, which God had before sent him by Nathan, that he would build him an house: which sacred promise if he had had a due value for, he would not have polluted his house with lust and blood.


12:10 Never depart - During the residue of thy life.


12:11 Own house - From thy own children and family.Thine eyes - Openly, so that thou shalt know it as certainly as if thou didst see it, and yet not be able to hinder it. And give them - I shall by my providence, give him power over them. Neighbor - To one who is very near thee. But God expresseth this darkly, that the accomplishment of it might not be hindered.


12:13 I have sinned - How serious this confession was, we may see, Psa 51:1-19. Put away thy sin - That is, so far as concerns thy own life.Not die - As by thy own sentence, ver. Sa2 12:5, thou dost deserve, and may expect to be done by my immediate stroke.


12:16 Besought - Supposing the threatening might be conditional, and so the execution of it prevented by prayer. Went - Into his closet.


12:17 Elders - The chief officers of his kingdom and household. He would not - This excessive mourning did not proceed simply from the fear of the loss of the child; but from a deep sense of his sin, and the divine displeasure manifested herein.


12:18 Seventh day - From the beginning of the distemper.


12:20 And came - That is, to the tabernacle, to confess his sin before the Lord, to own his justice in this stroke, to deprecate his just displeasure, to acknowledge God's rich mercy, in sparing his own life; and to offer such sacrifices as were required in such cases.


12:23 I fast - Seeing fasting and prayer cannot now prevail with God for his life. I shall go to him - Into the state of the dead in which he is, and into heaven, where I doubt not I shall find him.


12:24 His wife - Who was now much dejected, both for her former sin, and for the loss of the child. Loved him - That is, the Lord declared to David, that he loved his son, notwithstanding the just cause David had given to God to alienate his affections from him.


12:25 Jedidiah - That is, beloved of the Lord. Because - Either, because of the Lord's love to him, or because the Lord commanded him to do so.


12:26 Royal city - That is, that part of the city where was the king's palace; though now it seems he was retired to a strong fort.


12:27 Of waters - Rabbah was so called because it was encompassed with water.


12:28 Take it - For having taken one part of the city, he concluded the remaining part of it could not long stand out. Lest - Lest I have the honour of taking it.


12:30 The weight - Or rather, the price whereof, etc For the same words both in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, are used, to signify either weight, or price. And the addition of precious stones, which are never valued by the weight of gold, makes this signification most probable.Moreover, the weight might seem too great either for the king of Ammon, or for David to wear it upon his head.


12:31 The people - The words are indefinite, and therefore not necessarily to be understood of all the people; but of the men of war, and especially of those who had been the chief actors of that villainous action against David's ambassadors, and of the dreadful war ensuing upon it; for which, they deserved severe punishments. Altho' indeed there seems to have been too much rigour used; especially, because these deaths were inflicted not only upon those counsellors, who were the only authors of that vile usage of the ambassadors; but upon some number of the people.And therefore it is probable, David exercised this cruelty whilst his heart was hardened, and impenitent; and when he was bereaved of that good spirit of God, which would have taught him more mercy. Saws - He sawed them to death of which punishment, we have examples both in scripture, and in other authors. Brick - kiln - Or, made them to pass through the furnace of Malchen: that is, of Moloch; punishing them with their own sin, and with the same kind of punishment which they had inflicted upon their own children.


13  Amnon ravishes Tamar, Sa2 13:1-20.
Absalom kills him, Sa2 13:21-29.
David mourns: Absalom flees to Geshur, Sa2 13:30-39.


13:1 A sister - His sister by father and mother.


13:2 A virgin - And therefore diligently kept, so he could not get private converse with her.


13:5 My sister - So he calls her, to prevent the suspicion of any dishonest design upon so near a relation. At her hand - Pretending, his stomach was so nice, that he could eat nothing but what he saw dressed, and that by a person whom he much esteemed.


13:9 Out - Out of the frying - pan into the dish.


13:10 Chamber - Amnon lying upon his couch in one chamber where the company were with him, where also she made the cakes before him, first sends all out of that room, and then rises from his couch, and, upon some pretence, goes into another secret chamber.


13:12 Brother - Whom nature both teaches to abhor such thoughts and obliges to defend me from such a mischief with thy utmost hazard, if another should attempt it. Force - Thou shouldst abhor it, if I were willing; but to add violence, is abominable. Israel - Among God's people who are taught better things; who also will be infinitely reproached for such a base action.


13:13 Shame - How can I either endure or avoid the shame?Fools - That is, contemptible to all the people, whereas now thou art heir apparent of the crown. Withhold - This she spoke, because she thought her royal father would dispense with it, upon this extraordinary occasion, to save his first - born son's life:


13:15 Hated her - By the just judgment of God both upon Amnon and David, that so the sin might be made publick, and way for the succeeding tragedies.


13:16 No cause - For me to go. Greater thou the other - This she might truly say, because though the other was in itself a greater sin, yet this was an act of greater cruelty, and a greater calamity to her because it exposed her to publick infamy and contempt, and besides, it turned a private offence into a publick scandal, to the great dishonour of God and of his people, and especially of all the royal family.


13:18 Garment - Of embroidered work.


13:19 Put ashes - To signify her grief for some calamity which had befallen her, and what that was, concurring circumstances easily discovered.Head - In token of grief and shame, as if she were unable and ashamed to shew her face. Crying - To manifest her abhorrency of the fact, and that it was not done by her consent.


13:20 Been with thee - Behold, and imitate the modesty of scripture expressions. Brother - Wherefore thou must forgive and forgot the injury; therefore thy disgracing of him will be a blot to us all; therefore thou wilt not get right from David against him, because he is as near and dear to him as thou; therefore thy dishonour is the less, because thou wast not abused by any mean person, but by a king's son; therefore this evil must be borne, because it cannot be revenged: and thus he covers his design of taking vengeance upon him at the first opportunity. Regard not - So as to torment thyself. Desolate - Through shame and dejection of mind, giving her self up to solitude and retirement.


13:21 Wroth - With Amnon: whom yet he did not punish, at least so severely as he should either from the consciousness of his own guilt in the like kind; or, from that foolish indulgence which he often shewed to his children.


13:22 Spake - That is, he said nothing at all to him, about that business. He neither debated it with him, nor threatened him for it; but seemed willing to pass it by with brotherly kindness. If he had wholly forborne all discourse with him, it would have raised jealousies in Amnon and David.


13:23 Two years - This circumstance of time is noted, as an aggravation of Absalom's malice, which was so implacable: and as an act of policy, that both Amnon and David might more securely comply with his desires.


13:26 Let Amnon - For the king designed (as the following words shew) to keep him at home with him, as being his eldest son, and heir of his kingdom: otherwise Absalom would never have made particular mention of him; which now he was forced to do. Nor did this desire of Amnon's presence want specious pretences, as that seeing the king would not, he who was next to him might, honour him with his company; and that this might be a publick token of friendship between him and his brother, notwithstanding the former occasion of difference.


13:27 Pressed him - It is strange that his urgent desire of Amnon's company raised no suspicion in so wise a king; but God suffered him to be blinded that he might execute his judgments upon David, and bring upon Amnon the just punishment of his lewdness.


13:28 Merry - When he least suspects, and will be most unable to prevent the evil. I - I who am the king's son, and, when Amnon is gone, his heir: who therefore shall easily obtain pardon for you, and will liberally reward you.


13:29 Commanded - Now the threatened sword is drawn in David's house, which will not depart from it. His eldest son falls by it, thro' his own wickedness, and his father by his connivance is accessory to it.


13:37 Talmai - His mother's father, that he might have present protection and sustenance from him; and that by his mediation he might obtain his father's pardon.


13:39 Go forth - And could not he recalled, to visit him, or to send for him. What amazing weakness was this! At first he could not find in his heart, to do justice to the ravisher of his sister! And now he can almost find in his heart to receive into favour the murderer of his brother?How can we excuse David from the sin of Eli; who honoured his sons more than God?


14  The story told David of the widow of Tekoah, Sa2 14:1-20.
Absalom is brought back to Jerusalem, but not to court, Sa2 14:21-24.
An account of Absalom's person and children, Sa2 14:21-27.
He is at length introduced to David, Sa2 14:28-33.


14:1 Was towards - He desired to see him, but was ashamed to shew kindness to one whom God's law and his own conscience obliged him to punish; he wanted therefore a fair pretence, which therefore Joab gave him.


14:2 Anoint - As they used to do when they were out of a mourning state.


14:5 Widow - One of them who most need thy compassion, and whom thou art by God's law obliged in a singular manner to relieve.


14:9 Be guiltless - If through thy forgetfulness or neglect of this my just cause, my adversaries prevail and destroy my son, my desire is, that God would not lay it to the king's charge, but rather to me and mine, so the king may be exempted thereby. Whereby she insinuates, that such an omission will bring guilt upon him; and yet most decently orders her phrase so as not to seem to blame or threaten the king. This sense seems best to agree with David's answer, which shew's that she desired some farther assurances of the king's care.


14:11 Remember - Remember the Lord, in whose presence thou hast made me this promise, and who will be a witness against thee, if thou breakest it.


14:13 Wherefore then - If thou shouldst not permit the avengers of blood to molest me, or to destroy my son, who are but two persons; how unreasonable is it that thou shouldest proceed in thy endeavours to avenge Amnon's blood upon Absalom, whose death would be grievous to the whole commonwealth of Israel, all whose eyes are upon him as the heir of the crown, and a wise, and valiant, and amiable person, unhappy only in this one act of killing Amnon, which was done upon an high provocation, and whereof thou thyself didst give the occasion by permitting Amnon to go unpunished? Faulty - By thy word, and promise, and oath given to me for my son, thou condemnest thyself for not allowing the same equity towards thy own son. It is true, Absalom's case was widely different from that which she had supposed. But David was too well affected to him, to remark that difference, and was more desirous than she could be, to apply that favourable judgment to his own son, which he had given concerning hers.


14:14 We - We shall certainly die, both thou, O king, who art therefore obliged to take care of thy successor, Absalom; and Absalom, who, if he do not die by the hand of justice, must shortly die by the necessity of nature: and Amnon too must have died in the common way of all flesh, if Absalom had not cut him off. Respect - So far as to exempt him from this common law of dying. Not expelled - He hath given laws to this purpose, that the man - slayer who is banished should not always continue in banishment, but upon the High - priest's death return to his own city.


14:15 The people - The truth is, I was even forced to this bold address to thee by the disposition of thy people, who are discontented at Absalom's perpetual banishment, lest, if Absalom by his father - in - law's assistance invade the land, the people who have a great kindness for him, and think he is very hard used, should take up arms.


14:16 Hear - For I know the king is so wise and just, that I assure myself of audience and acceptation. Deliver - To grant my request concerning my son, and consequently the peoples petition concerning Absalom. My son - Implying that her life was bound up in the life of her son, and that she could not outlive his death; (and supposing that it might be David's case also, and would therefore touch him in a tender part, though it were not proper to say it expressly:) and thereby suggesting, that the safety and comfort of the people of Israel, depended upon Absalom's restitution. Inheritance - That is, out of that land which God gave to his people to be their inheritance, and in which alone God hath settled the place of his presence and worship: whereby she intimates the danger of Absalom's living in a state of separation from God, and his house, amongst idolaters.


14:17 Angel - In wisdom, and justice, and goodness.Therefore - Because thou art so wise and gracious to those who in strict justice deserve punishment, God will own and stand by thee in this thy act of grace: or God will prosper thee in thy enterprizes.


14:19 Of Joab - Hast thou not said and done this by Joab's direction. Said - It is even so, thou hast discovered the truth.These words - As to the substance of them, but not as to all the expressions; for these were to be varied as the king's answer gave occasion.


14:20 To fetch - That is, to propose his, and the peoples desire of Absalom's restitution in this parabolical manner. In the earth - Or, in this land, in all thy kingdom; all the counsels and devices of thy subjects.


14:22 Fulfilled - But it seems David had no power to dispense with God's laws, nor to spare any whom God appointed him to destroy: for the laws of God bound the kings and rulers, as well as the people of Israel.How justly did God make this man, whom he had so sinfully spared, a scourge to him?


14:24 Let him turn - Lest whilst be shewed some mercy to Absalom, he should seem to approve of his sin. Likewise by this means Absalom might be drawn to a more thorough humiliation and repentance.


14:25 Beauty - This is noted as the occasion of his pride, and of the people's affection to him.


14:26 Weighed - Others understand this not of the weight, but of the price of his hair.


14:27 Sons - All which died not long after they were born, as may be gathered from chap.Sa2 18:18, where it is said, that Absalom had no son.


14:32 Kill me - For it is better for me to die, than to want the sight and favour of my dear father. Thus he insinuates himself into his father's affections, by pretending such respect and love to him It seems that by this time Absalom having so far recovered his father's favour, began to grow upon him, and take so much confidence as to stand upon his own justification, as if what he had done, had been no iniquity, at least not such as to deserve death. See how easily wise parents may be imposed on by their children, when they are blindly fond of them.


14:33 Kissed - Did the bowels of a father prevail to reconcile him to an impenitent son? And shall penitent sinners question the compassion of him who is the Father of mercy? If Ephraim bemoan himself, God soon bemoans him, with all the expressions of fatherly tenderness. He is a dear son, a pleasant child.


15  Absalom steals the hearts of the people, Sa2 15:1-6.
He conspires against David, Sa2 15:7-12.
David flies from Jerusalem, Sa2 15:13-18.
He confers with Ittai, and passes over Kidron, Sa2 15:19-23.
Sends back Zadok with the ark, Sa2 15:24-29.
His prayer on this occasion, Sa2 15:30-31.
He concerts with Hushai, Sa2 15:32-37.


15:1 Prepared - As being the king's eldest son, now Amnon was dead; for Chileab, who was his eldest brother, Sa2 3:3, was either dead, or incapable of the government. And this course he knew would draw the eyes of the people to him, and make them conclude that David intended him for his successor.


15:2 Early - Thereby making a shew of solicitude for the good of the public, and of every private person. Called him - Preventing him with the offers of his assistance. And as if he were ready to make particular enquiry into the state of his cause.


15:3 See - Upon some very slight hearing of their cause, he approved it, that he might oblige all. No man - None such as will do thee justice.The other sons and relations of the king, and the rest of the judges and rulers under him and them, are wholly corrupted; or, at least not careful and diligent as they should be: and my father being grown in years, is negligent of publick affairs. It is the way of turbulent, aspiring men, to reproach the government they are under. Even David himself, the best of kings, could not escape the worst of censures.


15:7 After forty years - From the change of the government, into a monarchy, which was about ten years before David began to reign.So this fell out about the thirtieth year of his reign.


15:9 Hebron - This place he chose as being an eminent city, and next to Jerusalem, the chief of the tribe of Judah, and the place where his father began his kingdom, which he took for a good omen. And where it is probable he had secured many friends. It was also at a convenient distance from Jerusalem.


15:11 Called - Such as Absalom had picked out as fit for his purpose; such as were of some reputation with the king and people, which would give a countenance to his undertaking, and give occasion to people at first to think that this was done by his father's consent, as being now aged, and infirm, and willing to resign the kingdom to him. It is no new thing, for good men to be made use of by designing men to put a colour upon ill practices.


15:12 Sacrifices - Which he did not in devotion to God; but merely that upon this pretence he might call great numbers of people together.


15:14 Let us flee - For though the fort of Zion was strong, and he might have defended himself there; yet he had not laid in provisions for a long siege; and, if he had been once besieged there, Absalom would have got speedy possession of his whole kingdom; whereas if he marched abroad, he might raise a considerable army for his defence. Besides, the greatest part of Jerusalem could not be well defended against him.


15:16 After him - Or, on foot, which the king chose to do, to humble himself under the hand of God; to encourage his companions in this hard and comfortless march; and to move compassion in his people towards him. Concubines - For he supposed that their sex would protect them, and their relation to David would gain them some respect, or at least, safety from his son.


15:17 Far off - At some convenient distance, tho' not very far.


15:18 Gittites - Or rather strangers, as Ittai their head is called, ver. Sa2 15:19, and they are called his brethren, ver. Sa2 15:20.Probably they were Philistines by birth, born in the city or territory of Gath, as the following words imply, who by David's counsel, and example, were won to embrace the true religion, and had given good proof of their military skill, and valour, and fidelity to the king.


15:19 Thy place - To Jerusalem, where thy settled abode now is.The king - With Absalom who is now made king.An exile - Not much concerned in our affairs, and therefore not fit to be involved in our troubles.


15:20 Brethren - Thy countrymen the Gittites, ver. Sa2 15:18.Mercy, etc - Since I am now unable to recompense thy kindness and fidelity to me, my hearty prayer to God is, that he would shew to thee his mercy, in blessing thee with all sorts of blessings, and his faithfulness in making good all these promises which he had made, not to Israelites only, but to all true hearted proselytes, such as thou art.


15:21 Will thy servant be - He is a friend indeed, who loves at all times, and will cleave to us in adversity. Thus should we cleave to the Son of David, that neither life, nor death may separate us from his love.


15:22 Little ones - For being so deeply engaged for David, he durst not leave his little ones to Absalom's mercy.


15:23 Kidron - Or, Cedron, which was near Jerusalem. The very same brook that Christ passed over when he entered upon his sufferings, Joh 18:1.Wilderness - Which was between Jerusalem and Jericho.


15:24 Went up - From the ark to the city, which was on higher ground, that so he being high - priest, might use his authority with the people, to persuade them to do their duty; and there he staid until all those whom he could persuade were gone forth.


15:25 Carry back - Out of care and reverence to the ark, which though it might be carried our to a certain place; yet he might justly think unfit to carry it from place to place he knew not whither, and out of respect to the priests, whom, by this means, he thought he should expose to the rage of Absalom, as he had before exposed them to Saul's fury.Habitation - That is, the tabernacle which David had lately built for it, chap.Sa2 6:17, in which the ark, and God, by means hereof, ordinarily dwelt.


15:26 Let him do - That we may not complain of what is, let us see God's hand in all events. And that we may not be afraid of what shall be, let us see all events in God's hand.


15:27 A seer - A seeing, discerning, or observing man: for so the Hebrew verb raah is often used. And this suits well with David's mind: Thou art a wise man, and therefore fit to manage this great business, which requires prudence and secrecy.


15:30 Barefoot - In testimony of his deep sorrow, and humiliation and shame for his sins.


15:34 And say - That is, as faithful to thee, as I have been to thy father. David's suggesting this crafty counsel must be reckoned amongst his sins. Nevertheless God was pleased to direct this evil advice to a good end.


15:36 There - Not in Jerusalem, but in a place near it, to which they could easily send upon occasion.


15:37 Absalom came, etc - How soon do royal cities and royal palaces change their masters? But we look for a kingdom which cannot be moved.


16  David is deceived by Ziba, Sa2 16:1-4.
And cursed by Shemei, Sa2 16:5-14.
Absalom receives Hushai, Sa2 16:15-19.
Lies with his father's concubines, Sa2 16:20-23.


16:1 Bottle - A large bottle, or vessel proportionable to the other provisions.


16:4 Behold - A rash sentence, and unrighteous to condemn a man unheard, upon the single testimony of his accuser, and servant.Find grace - Thy favour is more to me, than this gift; which, as a token of thy favour, I accept with all thankfulness.


16:8 Of Saul - Either,

  1. The blood of Abner and Ishbosheth; which he imputes to David, as if they had been killed by David's contrivance: or,
  2. the death of Saul's seven sons, chap.Sa2 21:8, which, though related after this, seems to have been done before.
Art taken - The same mischief thou didst bring upon others, is nowreturned upon thy own head.


16:10 What have I, etc - In this matter I ask not your advice, nor will I follow it; nor do I desire you should at all concern yourselves in it.The Lord - God did not put any wickedness into Shimei's heart, for he had of himself an heart full of malignity against David; but only left him to his own wickedness; and brought David into so distressed a condition, that he might seem a proper object of his scorn. And this is ground enough for this expression, the Lord said, not by the word of his precept, but by the word of his providence, in respect whereof he is said to command the ravens, Ki1 17:4, and to send forth his word to senseless creatures, Psa 147:15, Psa 147:18. Who shall reproach God's providence for permitting this? Or, who shall restrain him from executing his just judgment against me?


16:11 My life - Which is a greater mischief, than to reproach me with words. Benjamites - Of that tribe and family from which God hast taken away the kingdom, and given it to me. Let him - Do not now hinder him violently from it, nor punish him for it. It is meet I should bear the indignation of the Lord, and submit to his pleasure.


16:14 Came - To the city of Bahurim.


16:17 Is this - Doth this action answer that profession of friendship which thou hast hitherto made to him? He speaks thus only to try him.And he saith, thy friend, by way of reflection upon David; as one who was a friend to Hushai, and to strangers but not to his own son, whom, by his severity he provoked to this course; and therefore he doth not vouchsafe to call him his father.


16:21 Go - This counsel he gave, partly to revenge the injury done to Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, Sa2 11:3, who was the son of Ahithophel, chap.Sa2 23:34, and principally for his own, and the people's safety, that the breach between David and Absalom might be irreparable. For this would provoke David in the highest degree and cut of all hope of reconciliation, which otherwise might have been expected by some treaty between Absalom and his tender - hearted father. But in that case his followers, and especially Ahithophel, had been left to David's mercy, and therefore obliged to prosecute the war with all vigour, and to abandon all thoughts of peace: as knowing that his father, though be might dissemble, yet would never forgive so foul a crime.Be strong - They will fight with greater courage and resolution, when they are freed from the fear of thy reconciliation, which otherwise would make their hearts faint, and hands slack in thy cause. But by this we may see the character of Absalom's party, and how abominably wicked they were, whom such a scandalous action tied the faster to him. And we may farther learn, how corrupt the body of the people was, how ripe for that judgment which is now hastening to them.


16:22 The top - Of the king's palace, the very place from whence David had gazed upon Bathsheba, chap.Sa2 11:2, so that his sin was legible in the very place of his punishment. Went in - To one, or some of them. And by so doing did farther make claim to the kingdom; and, as it were, take possession of it. It being usual in the eastern countries to account the wives and concubines of the late king, to belong of right to the successor. Israel - Who saw him go into the tent; and thence concluded, that he lay with them, as he had designed to do. God had threatened by Nathan, that for his defiling Bathsheba, David's own wives should be defiled in the face of the sun. This is now fulfilled: the Lord is righteous; and no word of his shall fall to the ground.


16:23 The counsel, etc - It was received by the people with equal veneration, and was usually attended with as certain success. Which is mentioned as the reason why a counsel which had so ill a face, should meet with such general approbation.


17  Ahithophel advises Absalom to dispatch, Sa2 17:1-4.
Hushai advises deliberation, and his advice is received, Sa2 17:5-14.
Intelligence is sent to David, Sa2 17:15-21.
David passes over Jordan, Sa2 17:22.
Ahithophel hangs himself, Sa2 17:23.
Absalom pursues David, Sa2 17:24-26.
David is supplied with necessaries, Sa2 17:27-29.


17:2 And I will, etc - That such a wretch as Absalom should aim at his father's throat is not strange. But that the body of the people, to whom David had been so great a blessing, should join with him in it, is amazing. But the finger of God was in it. Let not the best of parents, or the best of princes think it strange, if they are injured by those who should be their support and joy, when they (like David) have provoked God to turn against them.


17:5 Call Hushai - A wonderful effect of Divine Providence, influencing his heart, that he could not rest in Ahithophel's counsel, though it was so evidently wise, and approved by the general consent of his whole party; and that he should desire Hushai's advice, though neither his reputation for wisdom was equal to Ahithophel's, nor had he yet given anyone proof of his fidelity to Absalom. But there is no contending with that God who can arm a man against himself, and destroy him by his own mistakes and passions.


17:9 Pit - Having been often accustomed to that course, and well acquainted with in all hiding - places from Saul's time. In one of them, unknown to us, he will lurk with some of his chosen men, and lie in ambush for us; and, when they see a fit opportunity, they will suddenly come forth and surprize some of our men, when they least expect it, and probably at first put them to flight. Some - Namely, of Absalom's men sent against David. At the first - Implying, that their good success at first would mightily animate David's men to proceed vigorously in the fight, and intimidate Absalom's army, and consequently would be both a presage and an occasion of their total defeat.


17:11 I counsel - His pretence was, that they might make sure, though slow work: his design was to gain David time, that he might increase his army, and make better provision for the battle; and that the present heat of the people might be cooled, and they might bethink themselves of their duty, and return to their allegiance. Thou - For thy presence will put life and courage into thy soldiers, who will be ambitious to shew their skill and courage in defending thy person, when they know that all their actions are observed by him who hath the distribution of rewards and punishments in his hands. Besides, the glory of the victory will be wholly thine, which now Ahithophel seeks to get to himself.


17:12 As dew - That is, plenteously, suddenly, irresistibly, and on all sides; for so the dew falls.


17:13 Bring ropes - It is an hyperbolical expression, suited to the vain - glorious temper of this insolent young man: implying, that they would do so if they could not destroy him another way: or, that they should be enough to do so, if there were occasion. River - Adjoining to the city; it being usual to build cities near some river, both for defence, and for other accommodations.


17:14 Absalom and all, etc - Be it observed, to the comfort of all that fear God, he turns all mans hearts as the rivers of water. He stands in the congregation of the mighty, has an over - ruling hand in all counsels, and a negative voice in all resolves, and laughs at mens projects against his children.


17:16 Lodge not - Lest the king's and people's mind's change, and Ahithophel persuade the king to pursue you speedily.


17:17 Enrogel - Or, the fullers well. A place near Jerusalem, Jos 15:7 Jos 18:16, .Wench - Pretending to go thither to wash some cloaths, or to draw water.


17:19 Spread corn - Under pretence of drying it by the sun: which shews it was summer - time.


17:20 Over the brook of water - That is, over Jordan. This was a manifest lie.


17:23 Hanged himself - See here contempt poured upon the wisdom of man!He that was more renowned for policy than ever any man was, played the fool with himself more than ever any man did. See likewise honour done to the justice of God! The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.


17:24 Passed - Not speedily, but when all the men of Israel were gathered together according to Hushai's counsel.


17:25 Nahash - Nahash is the name of Jesse's wife, by whom he had this Abigail, as he had Zeruiah by another wife; so they were sisters by the father, but not by the mother.


17:27 Shobi - Who, as it may seem, disliked and disowned that barbarous action to the ambassadors; and therefore, when the rest were destroyed, was left king or governor of the residue of the Ammonites.Machir - See above chap.Sa2 9:4.


17:29 In - Having been in the wilderness. Thus God sometimes makes up to his people that comfort from strangers, which they are disappointed of in their own families.


18  David prepares to engage the rebels, Sa2 18:1-5.
The total defeat of Absalom, Sa2 18:6-8.
His death and burial, Sa2 18:9-18.
The news brought to David, Sa2 18:19-32.
His lamentation over Absalom, Sa2 18:33.


18:5 Deal gently - If you conquer (which be presaged they would by God's gracious answer to his prayer for the turning of Ahithophel's counsel into foolishness,) take him prisoner, but do not kill him. Which desire proceeded, from his great indulgence towards his children: from his consciousness that he himself was the meritorious cause of this rebellion, Absalom being given up to it for the punishment of David's sins; from the consideration of his youth, which commonly makes men foolish, and subject to ill counsels: and from his piety, being loth that he should be cut off in the act of his sin without any space for repentance. But ''what means, says Bp. Hall, this ill - placed mercy? Deal gently with a traitor?Of all traitors with a son? And all this for thy sake, whose crown, whose blood he hunts after? Even in the holiest parents nature may be guilty of an injurious tenderness. But was not this done in type of that unmeasurable mercy, of the true King of Israel, who prayed for his murderers, Father, forgive them! Deal gently with them for my sake!" Yea, when God sends an affliction to correct his children, it is with this charge, deal gently with them for my sake: for he knows our frame.


18:8 The wood - More people died in the wood, either through hunger, and thirst, and weariness: or, by the wild beasts, whereof great numbers were there, which, though they were driven away from the place of the main battle, yet might easily meet with them when they fled several ways: or, by falling into ditches and pits, which were in that place, ver. Sa2 18:17, and probably were covered with grass or wood, so that they could not see them till they fell into them: and especially by David's men, who pursued them, and killed them in the wood: and the wood is rightly said to have devoured them, because it gave the occasion to their destruction, inasmuch as the trees, and ditches, and pits, entangled them, and stopped their flight, and made them an easy prey to David's men, who followed them, and slew them in the pursuit. The sword - In the main battle: the sword being put for the battle, by a common figure.


18:9 The servants of David - Who, according to David's command, spared him, and gave him an opportunity to escape. His head - In which probably he was entangled by the hair of the head, which being very long and thick, might easily catch hold of a bough, especially when the great God directed it. Either he wore no helmet, or he had thrown it away as well as his other arms, to hasten his flight. Thus the matter of his pride was the instrument of his ruin.


18:15 Slew him - The darts did not dispatch him, and therefore they smote him again, and killed him.


18:18 A pillar - To preserve his name; whereas it had been more for his honour if his name had been buried in perpetual oblivion.


18:24 Gates - For the gates of the cities then were, as now they are, large and thick; and for the greater security, had two gates, one more outward, the other inward. Here he sat, that he might hear tidings when any came into the city.


18:33 Over the gate - Retiring himself from all men and business, that he might wholly give up himself to lamentation. My son - This he might speak from a deep sense of his eternal state, because he died in his sins, and because David himself had by his own sins been the occasion of his death. But it seems rather to be the effect of strong passion, causing him to speak unadvisedly with his lips.


19  Joab prevails on David to refrain, Sa2 19:1-8.
He is brought back to his kingdom by the men of Judah, Sa2 19:9-15.
Pardons Shimei, Sa2 19:16-23.
Restores to Mephibosheth his estate, Sa2 19:24-30.
Barzillai is dismissed, and his son taken into David's service, Sa2 19:31-40.
The Israelites expostulate with the men of Judah, Sa2 19:41-43.


19:3 By stealth - Not openly and triumphantly, as conquerors use to do; but secretly, as if they were afraid and ashamed, lest David should see them, and look upon them with an evil eye, as those that had an hand in killing of his beloved son.


19:5 Hast shamed - By disappointing their just hopes of praises and rewards, and by requiting them with contempt and tacit rebukes.


19:6 Pleased thee - This is not be understood as exactly true; but David's carriage gave too much colour to such a suggestion; and such sharpness of speech was in a manner necessary to awaken the king out of his lethargy, and to preserve him from the impendent mischiefs.


19:9 At strife - Quarrelling one with another as the authors or abettors of this shameful rebellion, and discoursing privately and publickly of David's high merits, which God, being now reconciled to David, brings afresh to their memories.


19:10 Now therefore - The people of Israel speak thus to the elders of Israel, as appears by comparing this verse with the next. Seeing their designs for Absalom disappointed, they now repented of that undertaking, and were willing to testify so much by their forwardness to bring back David, and re - establish him.


19:11 Judah - Who being the abettors of Absalom's rebellion, despaired of pardon, and therefore were backward to promote the king's restoration. His house - Even to Mahanaim, where now the king's house and family is.


19:13 Of Joab - Who, besides his other crimes, had lately exasperated the king by his murder of Absalom, contrary to David's express command. And therefore the king having now the opportunity of another person who had a greater interest than Joab, gladly complies with it, that so he might both chastise Joab for his faults, and rescue himself from the bondage in which Joab had hitherto held him.


19:14 He bowed - David by this prudent and kind message and his free offer of pardon.


19:17 With him - Whom he brought, partly to shew his interest in the people, and partly, as intercessors on his behalf, and as witnesses of David's clemency or severity, that in him they might see what the rest of them might expect. Ziba - Who, being conscious of his former abuse of David, and of his master Mephibosheth, which he knew the king would understand, designed to sweeten David's spirit towards him, by forwardness in meeting him.


19:20 House of Joseph - The house of Joseph is here put for all the tribes, except Judah, which are fitly distinguished from Judah, because the rights of the first - born were divided between Judah and Joseph, Ch1 5:2.And though Benjamin, after the division of the kingdoms was fitly joined with Judah, because then they adhered to that tribe; yet before that time it was joined with Joseph, because they marched under the standard of the house of Joseph, or of Ephraim, Num 10:22-24. Whence it is, that Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, are put together, Psa 80:2.


19:22 Adversaries - That is, that you put me upon things unfit for me to do, and contrary to my interest; for it was David's interest at this time to appease the people, and reconcile them to him, and not to give them any new distaste by acts of severity: for this would make others jealous, that he would watch an opportunity to be revenged on them. King - Is not my kingdom, which was in a manner wholly lost, just now restored and assured to me? And when God hath been so merciful to me in forgiving my sin, shall I shew myself revengeful to Shemei? Shall I sully the publick joy and glory of this day, with an act of such severity? Or, shall I alienate the hearts of my people from me, now they are returning to me?


19:24 The son - That is, the grandson, Sa2 6:3, Sa2 6:6. His feet - By washing his feet, which was usual in those hot climates, and very refreshing; and therefore now neglected, as becoming a mourner.Beard - But suffered it to grow very long, and disorderly, as was usual with persons in a forlorn, or mournful state. Clothes - His linen cloathes. This and the former were signs, that he was a true and obstinate mourner, and evidences of the falsehood of Ziba's relation concerning him, chap.Sa2 16:3.


19:25 Jerusalem - Probably he had continued near Jerusalem, because he could not go to meet him, as others did.


19:26 Deceived me - By carrying away the ass which I bid him saddle for me.


19:27 Angel - To distinguish between true reports and calumnies; See note on Sa2 14:20.


19:28 Before - Before thy tribunal: we were all at thy mercy: not my estate only but my life also was in thy power, if thou hadst dealt with rigour, and as earthly kings use to do with their predecessor's and enemies children. To cry - For the vindication of mine honour, and the restitution of my estate.


19:29 Divide - The land shall be divided between thee and him, as it was by my first order, chap.Sa2 9:10, he and his sons managing it, and supporting themselves out of it, as they did before, and giving the rest of the profits thereof to thee.


19:35 I am, etc - My senses are grown dull, and incapable of relishing the pleasures of a court. I am past taking pleasures in delicious tastes, or sweet musick, and other such delights. I am through age both useless and burdensome to others, and therefore most improper for a court life.


19:37 That I may die in mine own city - That my bones may with little ado, be carried to the place of their rest. The grave is ready for me: let me go and get ready for it, go and die in my nest.


19:40 Half - Whereas the men of Judah came entirely and unanimously to the king, the Israelites of the other tribe came in but slowly, and by halves, as being no less guilty of the rebellion, than the tribe of Judah; but not encouraged to come in by such a gracious message as they were. And this is here mentioned as the occasion both of the contention here following, and of the sedition, chap.Sa2 20:1-22.


19:41 All - Such as were present. Stolen - That is, conveyed thee over Jordan hastily, not expecting our concurrence. David's men - All thy officers, guards, and soldiers. This is mentioned as an aggravation of their fault, that they did not only carry the king over Jordan, but all his men too, without asking their advice.


19:42 Of kin - Of the same tribe with us, and therefore both oweth the more respect to us, and might expect more respect from us. Gifts - We have neither sought nor gained any advantage to ourselves hereby, but only discharged our duty to the king, and used all expedition in bringing him back, which you also should have done, and not have come in by halves, and so coldly as you have done.


19:43 Ten - They say but ten, though strictly there were eleven; either, because they accounted Joseph (which comprehends both Ephraim and Manasseh under it) for one tribe, or because Simeon, whose lot lay within the tribe of Judah, were joined with them in this action.More right - As in the general we have more right in the king and kingdom; so particularly, we have more right in David than you, because you were the first beginners, and the most zealous promoters of this rebellion; howsoever, as he is king, we justly claim a greater interest in him, than you; inasmuch as we are the far greatest part of his subjects.Fiercer - Instead of mollifying them with gentle words, they answered them with greater fierceness so that David durst not interpose in the matter.


20  A new rebellion raised by Sheba, Sa2 20:1-2.
David confines his ten concubines for life, Sa2 20:3.
Joab murders Amasa, Sa2 20:4-12.
Pursues Sheba to Abel, Sa2 20:13-15.
He is delivered up, Sa2 20:16-22.
David's great officers, Sa2 20:23-26.


20:1 Happened - His presence was casual in itself, though ordered by God's providence. No part - The tribe of Judah have monopolized the king to themselves, and will not allow us any share in him; let them therefore enjoy him alone, and let us seek out a new king. The son of Jesse - An expression of contempt, implying that he was no more to be owned as their king, but as a private person, as the son of Jesse.To his tents - Let us all desist from this unthankful office, of bringing the king back, and go each to our homes, that we may consider, and then meet together to chuse a new king.


20:2 Every man - That is, the generality of those Israelites who were present.


20:5 Tarried - Either, because the people being wearied out by the late war, were not forward to engage in another: or because the soldiers had more affection to Joab, than to their new general.


20:6 Abishai - Not to Joab; lest by this means he should recover his place, and Amasa be discontented, and David's fidelity in making good his promise to Amasa be questioned.


20:7 Joab's men - The remainders of Joab's army who were there present, with whom also Joab might go as a reformade, watching an opportunity to do what he designed.


20:8 Amasa went - Having gathered some forces, and given due orders for the rest to follow him, he returned to Jerusalem, and by the king's command went after those mentioned ver. Sa2 20:7, and being come up to them at the place where they waited for him, he put himself in the head of Joab's men, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and such as he had brought along with him, and marched before them as their general.Girded - After the manner of travellers and soldiers. Went forth - To meet and salute Amasa, who was coming towards him to do him honour.It fell - Things having (it is likely) been so contrived by Joab, that upon the least motion of his body, his sword should drop out, and he might take it up without raising Amasa's suspicion.


20:9 Beard - As the manner of ancient times was, when they saluted one another.


20:10 The sword - Which falling out, as it seemed, casually, he supposed that Joab intended only to put it into its scabbard, and therefore took no care to defend himself against the stroke.So Joab - Who now boldly resumed his former place, and marched in the head of the army. It is not strange, that Amasa's soldiers did not fight to revenge his death; partly, because not many of them were yet come up, as the following verses shew; and partly, because Joab's interest and authority with the military - men was very great; especially, with David's guards, who were here present, and who had no kindness for Amasa, as having been the general of the rebellious army; and, as they might think, not fit to be put into a place of so great trust.


20:11 One - Left there on purpose to deliver the following message.Favoureth Joab - He that would have Joab to be general, rather than such a perfidious rebel as Amasa. For David - He that wisheth David good success against Sheba, and against all rebels.


20:12 Stood still - Wondering at the spectacle, and enquiring into the author and occasion of it. Removed - Perceiving, that it both incensed them against Joab and hindered the king's service. Cast a cloth upon him - But the covering of blood with a cloth cannot stop its cry to God for vengeance.


20:14 He - Sheba, who marched from tribe to tribe to stir them up to sedition. Abel - Unto Abel - beth - maachah, as this place is called here in the Hebrew text, ver. Sa2 20:15, to distinguish it from other Abels; and to signify, that this was that Abel which was in the northern border of Canaan towards that part of Syria called Maachah, Sa2 10:8.Berites - Such as lived in the city, or territory of Beeroth of Benjamin, Jos 18:25, who being of the same tribe, if not city with Sheba, adhered to him, and followed him through all the tribes of Israel. They - The tribes of Israel; that is, a considerable number of them; as might well be expected, when the discontents were so high and general.


20:15 They - That is, Joab and his army. A bank - From whence they might either batter the wall, or shoot at those who defended it.It stood - The bank stood in, or near to the trench, or the wall of the city; so that the city was in great danger of being taken.


20:16 Then cried a wise woman - It seems none of all the men of Abel, offered to treat with Joab: no, not when they were reduced to extremity: but one wise woman saved the city. Souls know no difference of sex: many a manly heart is lodged in a female breast. Nor is the treasure of wisdom the less valuable, for being lodged in the weaker vessel.


20:18 Ask counsel - This city which thou art about to destroy, is no mean and contemptible one, but so honourable and considerable for its wisdom, that when any differences arose among any of the neighbours, they used proverbially to say, We will ask the opinion and advice as the men of Abel about it, and we will stand to their arbitration; and so all parties were satisfied, and disputes ended.


20:19 A mother - Great cities are commonly called mothers; as lesser towns or villages subject to them, and depending upon them, are called their daughters. Inheritance - That is, a considerable part of, that land which God hath chosen for his particular possession.The destruction which thou art about to bring upon us, is an injury to Israel, and to the God of Israel.


20:21 Ephraim - Probably mount Ephraim was a place in Benjamin so called, either because it was upon the borders of Ephraim or for some notable action or event of the Ephraimites in that place.His head - Which she undertook, because she knew the present temper of the citizens, and soldiers too. And it is not unlikely, that this woman might be a governness in that city. For though this office was commonly performed by men; yet women were sometimes employed in the government: as we see in Deborah, who judged Israel, Jdg 4:4.


20:22 Wisdom - Prudently treated with them about it, representing to them the certainty and nearness of their ruin, if they did not speedily comply with her desires, and certain deliverance if they did.


20:23 Over all the host - The good success of this, and of the formerexpedition, under the conduct of Joab, had so fixed his interest in the army, and others of David's fastest friends, that the king could not without danger displace him.


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12:25 Рождение Соломона, сына Вирсавии, "возлюбленного Ягве" (таков смысл наименования "идидиа") дает уверенность в Божием прощении. И именно Соломона Божий Промысел возведет на престол его отца, по преимуществу перед другими наследниками, опирающимися на более основательные претензии.


13 Авессалом, убийца своего брата, восставший против своего отца - главное лицо семейной драмы Давида (13 20). Эта драма явилась исходной точкой политических кризисов, обнаруживших национальные разногласия и впоследствии поколебавших престиж царской власти.


14:3 Подобно тому, как сделал Нафан (2 Цар 12:1сл), Иоав понуждает царя высказаться, предлагая ему спорный вопрос правосудия.


14:4 Обычное обращение к царю в случаях апелляции.


14:17 "Доброе и худое" - т.е. решительно все (ср 2 Цар 13:22).


15:30 Траурные обычаи (ср 2 Цар 19:5; Иез 24:17), ставшие выражением скорби (Иер 14:3сл; Есф 6:12; Мих 1:8).


16:21 Действие Авессалома представляет собой нечто большее, чем вызывающе дурной поступок: овладевая гаремом своего отца, он утверждает право наследования (ср 2 Цар 3:7).


17:23 Единственный случай самоубийства, упомянутый в ВЗ, за исключением самоубийства воинов, налагающих на себя руки, чтобы не быть захваченными врагами (Суд 9:54; 1 Цар 31:4сл; 3 Цар 16:18; 2 Макк 14:41сл), и совершенно особого случая Самсона (Суд 16:28сл).


2 Цар 21-24


1 и 2 кн Царств в еврейской Библии составляют одну книгу, под названием кн Самуила, которого считали их автором. Разделение на две книги восходит к греч переводу. В нем эти книги названы 1 и 2 кн Царств, и объединены с двумя следующими книгами, получившими название 3 и 4 кн Царств. В Вульгате первые две книги сохранили название книг Самуила (1 и 2), а две последующие называются 1 и 2 кн Царей. По сравнению с другими книгами ВЗ текст этих книг плохо сохранился. Греч перевод LXX довольно далек от евр — однако восходит к прототипу, значительные фрагменты которого найдены в Кумранских пещерах. Существовало, следовательно, несколько еврейских «рецензий» (вариантов) книг Самуила.

В 1 и 2 кн Царств можно различить пять частей: а) Самуил (1 Цар 1-7); б) Самуил и Саул (1 Цар 8-15); в) Саул и Давид (1 Цар 162 Цар 1); г) Давид (2 Цар 2-20); д) приложения (2 Цар 21-24).

Автор этого труда комбинирует или просто располагает в последовательном порядке материалы различного, письменного или устного, происхождения о начале периода монархии. Приведен рассказ о ковчеге Завета и о его захвате филистимлянами (1 Цар 4-6), продолжающийся в 2 Цар 6. Он обрамлен двумя другими рассказами: 1) о детстве Самуила (1 Цар 1-2); 2) о том, как он в качестве последнего из Судей исполнял обязанности правителя; в заключении предвосхищается избавление от ига филистимлян (1 Цар 7). Самуил играет первостепенную роль в деле учреждения царской власти (1 Цар 8-12). В изложении ее становления уже давно различали две группы преданий: 9—10 1-16; 11 с одной стороны и 8, 10-17-24; 12 — с другой. Первую группу принято называть монархической версией данных событий, а вторую, считавшуюся позднейшей, — «антимонархической». В действительности же обе версии древнего происхождения и отражают лишь две различные тенденции. «Антимонархичность» второй заключается лишь в том, что она осуждает такого рода царскую власть, которая не достаточно считается с суверенной властью Бога. Войны Саула с филистимлянами описываются в гл 13—14, а первая версия об его отвержении дана в 1 Цар 13:7-13. Другая версия того же события излагается в гл 15 в связи с войной против амалекитян. Это утверждение подготавливает помазание Давида Самуилом (1 Цар 16:1-13). Параллельные и, по-видимому, одинаково древние предания о первых шагах Давида и его столкновениях с Саулом находятся в 1 Цар 16:42 Цар 1, где часто встречаются повторения. Конец этой истории дан в 2 Цар 2-5: Давид в результате правления в Хевроне, войны с филистимлянами и взятия Иерусалима утверждается как царь всего Израиля (2 Цар 5:12). В гл 6 автор возвращается к истории ковчега Завета; гл 7 содержит пророчество Нафана, а гл 8 представляет собою редакционное резюме.

С 2 Цар 9 по 3 Цар 1-2 рассказана история семьи Давида и ее борьбы за наследование престола; она описана очевидцем в первую половину царствования Соломона и прервана гл 2 Цар 21-24, в которых помещены документы различного происхождения, относящиеся к царствованию Давида.

Первая и вторая книги Царств охватывают период, простирающийся от возникновения израильской монархии до конца царствования Давида. Экспансия филистимлян — битва под Афеком (приблиз. в 1050 г) — поставила под угрозу само существование Израиля и принудила его установить монархию. Саул (около 1030 г) выступает сначала как судья, но будучи признан всеми коленами, становится их главою. Так возникает царская власть. Начинается освободительная война, и филистимляне вынуждены возвратиться в свои пределы (1 Цар 14); позднейшие столкновения происходят уже на окраинах израильской территории, в Теревинфской долине (1 Цар 17) и на Гельвуйской горе (1 Цар 28 и 1 Цар 31). В этой последней битве, закончившейся полным поражением Израиля, погибает Саул (ок. 1010 г). Национальное единство снова под угрозой: в Хевроне «мужи Иудины» помазали на царство Давида, северные же колена противопоставили ему Иевосфея, потомка Саула, укрывшегося в Заиордании. Но убийство Иевосфея изменяет положение, и весь Израиль признает Давида царем.

2 кн Царств лишь кратко касается политических результатов царствования Давида, хотя они были весьма значительны. Филистимляне были окончательно изгнаны, объединение территории завершилось поглощением хананейских «островков» и, прежде всего, Иерусалима, ставшего политической и религиозной столицей царства. Покорено было все Заиорданье, и Давид распространил свою власть на южную Сирию. Однако после смерти Давида (ок. 970 г) оказалось, что национальное единство не стало еще достаточно прочным. Хотя Давид был царем Израиля и Иуды, они не раз противостояли друг другу: мятеж Авессалома был поддержан северянами, а Сива, из колена Вениаминова, пытался возмутить народ криком: «К шатрам твоим, Израиль!». Раскол уже предчувствовался.

Религиозный смысл этих книг в том, что в них указываются условия и трудности установления теократического порядка на земле. Этот идеал был достигнут при Давиде. До него мы видим неудачу Саула, а после него — нечестивых царей, поведение которых вызвало гнев Божий и привело к национальной катастрофе. С пророчеством Нафана пробуждается мессианская надежда, питаемая обетованиями, данными дому Давидову. Авторы НЗ-ных книг трижды ссылаются на него (Деян 2:30; 2 Кор 6:18; Евр 1:5). Иисус — потомок Давида, и наименование «сын Давида», данное ему народом, является признанием Его как Мессии. Отцы Церкви проводили параллель между жизнью Давида и жизнью Иисуса Христа, избранного для спасения всех, царя духовного Израиля и все же, подобно Давиду, гонимого Своими.

В еврейской Библии исторические книги (Иисуса Навина, Судей и Царств) называются «Небиии ришоним». т.е. «Ранние пророки», в противоположность «Поздним пророкам»: Исайе, Иеремии, Иезёкиилю, Даниилу и двенадцати «малым пророкам». Предание приписывало их составление пророкам: Иисусу Навину, Самуилу и Иеремии. Уже само название этих книг свидетельствует о том, что составители не являются историками в древнем и, тем более, современном смысле слова. Они — глашатаи Слова Божия, избравшие главной темой своих книг отношение Израиля с Ягве, его верность или неверность — неверность в особенности — Богу Завета. Приводя примеры из прошлого, они излагают религиозное учение, выступают как пророки и наставники народа. Их интересуют не столько минувшие события, сколько уроки, которые можно из них извлечь.

Однако назидательный характер «Ранних пророков» не лишает их повествование исторической ценности. Составители этих книг опираются на обширный материал первостепенной важности и значения. Это не только устные рассказы и древний эпос, но и биографии великих людей Израиля, написанные вскоре после их кончины, а также государственные летописи Израильского и Иудейского царств, на которые свящ. писатели часто ссылаются (Sa2 1:18; Ki1 11:41; Ki1 14:19; ср Ch2 27:7).

Исторические книги составляют одно целое, завершенное не ранее 562 г до Р.Х. (Ki2 25:27). В Библии они следуют непосредственно за Пятикнижием: в конце кн Втор Иисус Навин указан как преемник Моисея, а события кн Ис Нав начинаются как раз на другой день после смерти законодателя Израиля.

Духовный смысл сборника можно кратко сформулировать следующим образом: Ягве, положив начало существованию Своего народа, ведет его по пути восхождения к тому времени, когда Он окончательно воцарится в мире (Царство Божие). Для этого Он отдает Израилю Землю Обетованную, поставляет Давида монархом и обещает его потомку вечную власть в эсхатологическом Царстве. Но в то же время составители исторических книг сурово и беспощадно обличают народ Божий за его неверность Завету. Эта неверность является прямой причиной тех бедствий, которые обрушиваются на Израиль. Таким образом история превращается в урок и предупреждение. Она содержит призыв к покаянию, который с особой силой прозвучал в эпоху плена Вавилонского.

Второзаконие исторически обосновало учение об избранности Израиля и определило вытекающее отсюда его теократическое устройство; вслед затем кн Ис Нав рассказывает о поселении избранного народа в Обетованной Земле, кн Судей излагает чередование отступничеств и помилований, 1 и 2 кн Царств повествуют о кризисе, приведшем к установлению царской власти и подвергшем опасности теократический идеал, который затем осуществляется при Давиде; 3 и 4 кн Царств описывают упадок, начавшийся при Соломоне: несмотря на благочестие некоторых царей, произошел целый ряд отступничеств, за которые Бог покарал Свой народ.

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9:3  Есть сын Ионафана — см. 4:4.


9:4  Лодевар и селения Махировы — в средней части восточного Заиорданья, вблизи бывшей резиденции сына Саулова Иевосфея (2:8-9).


9:8  На такого мертвого пса, т. е. на человека слабого и ничтожного. Ср. 1 Цар 23:15; 26:20.


9:10  Хлеб для пропитания. В данном случае имеется в виду хлеб не столько в буквальном сколько в переносном смысле этого слова, т. е. вообще материальные средства. Содержание столом Мемфивосфей получал при дворе Давида (ср. ст. 11, 13).


10:1  Царь аммонитский Наас (ср. 2 ст.), побежденный Саулом при Иависе Галаадском (1 Цар 11).


10:3  За благодеяние, которое оказал мне отец его. Имеется в виду, быть может, какая-нибудь помощь, оказанная Наасом Давиду во время преследований последнего со стороны Саула.


10:3 Успешные войны Давида (гл. 8) навели страх на его соседей и заставили их опасаться Давида даже там, где он был совсем не опасен для них.


10:6  Беф-Рехов — сирийская область в северных пределах Палестины, недалеко от истоков реки Иордан.


Сува — на северо-востоке от Дамаска, между реками Оронтом и Евфратом.


У царя Маахи. В еврейском тексте и некоторых списках греческого нет добавления «амаликитского». Мааха — сирийская область при подошве горы Большой Ермон, в соседстве с Гессуром.


Истов — область восточного Заиорданья на северо-востоке от Переи.


10:8  У ворот одного из своих городов.


10:16 Упоминаемый здесь Елам — неизвестная в настоящее время область Сирии.


10:17  Всех израильтян, т. е. все народное ополчение израильтян. Народное ополчение при Давиде (288 000 человек) состояло из 12 корпусов (по 24 000 человек в каждом), обязанных собираться полностью только в момент военной опасности для государства, по особому приказу царя; в мирное же время в сборе находился только один из корпусов, отбывая повинность в течение одного месяца и передавая затем свои обязанности следующему корпусу, на следующий месяц. «Таким образом, военная сила Давида составляла середину между постоянной армией и ополчением в строгом смысле этого слова: ополченцы имели навык в военном деле и были лучшими воинами, чем ратники, не державшие никогда в руках другого орудия, кроме плуга и заступа; с другой стороны, бывая на действительной службе только месяц в году, они продолжали свои мирные занятия, не бросали хозяйств» (Я. Богородский. Еврейские цари. С. 177).


11:1  В то время, когда выходят цари в походы, т. е. в наиболее благоприятное для того время года; предполагают (Fr. de Hummelauer) — в месяце нисан, начинавшемся с мартовского новолуния.


Равва аммонитян — столичный город аммонитян, расположенный в южной части восточного Заиорданья. От Раввы аммонитян следует отличать Равву моавитян, расположенную в том же Заиорданье, но много южнее.


11:3  Вирсавия, дочь Елиама и внучка советника Давидова Ахитофела (23:34), жена одного из военных героев Давидова времени (23:39) — Урии Хеттеянина, происходившего из хананейского племени хеттеев (Быт 10:15).


11:16  Знал, что там храбрые люди, которые не отступят перед опасностью и будут бороться до последней возможности.


11:20  Со стены будут бросать на вас стрелы, камни, бревна, горючие вещества и прочее.


11:21 См. Суд 9:53.


11:27  И было это дело — т. е. грехопадение с Вирсавией и содействование смерти Урии.


12:1-7 «Пророк Натан сначала переносит обвинение на прилично выдуманное для сего лицо, потому что иначе смотрим мы на грех других и иначе на собственные худые дела; почему неодинаково и судим о себе и о других. Над другими произносим праведный приговор, — сами же, прегрешая, или совершенно исторгаем из мысли сознание его, или, усматривая грех, находим для него извинение» (Блаж. Феодорит. Толк. на 2 Цар, вопр. 24).


12:6  И за овечку он должен заплатить вчетверо — см. Исх 22:1.


12:8  И дал тебе дом господина твоего (Саула) и жен господина твоего на лоно твое, т. е. предал их в твою полную власть.


12:10  Не отступит меч от дома твоего вовеки. Имеются в виду последовавшие затем нестроения в семейной жизни Давида и в жизни его государства: кровосмешение Амнона с Фамарью, смерть Амнона от руки Авессалома, возмущение и смерть Авессалома, возмущение Адонии, а также несчастья в жизни еврейского народа при преемниках Давида.


12:11  Воздвигну на тебя зло из дома твоего. Последовавшие затем огорчения Давида были причинены людьми наиболее близкими ему (Амнон, Авессалом, Адония).


Возьму жен твоих и пр. — см. 16:20-22.


12:13  И сказал Давид: согрешил я пред Господом. То же сказал некогда (1 Цар 15:24) и Саул, но, как замечает Рамбах, «duo cum dicunt idem, — non est idem». Слова царя и пророка Давида выражали полное сознание им своего падения, жгучее раскаяние в совершенном и несомненную решимость не повторять ошибки. Саул же, как мы заметили выше (см. прим. к 1 Цар 15:24-31), сознавал свой грех, но не чувствовал его.


Выразительным памятником душевных мук согрешившего Давида является его 50 псалом.


12:25  Иедидиа — «Возлюбленный Богом», второе имя сына Давидова — Соломона.


12:26-28 Доведя столичный город неприятелей до необходимости сдаться, Иоав пригласил на поле битвы Давида, дабы доставить ему удовольствие и честь блистательного завершения войны.


13:1  Авессалом был сын Давида от Маахи, дочери гессурского царя Фалмая; Амнон — первенец Давида от Ахиноамы изреелитянки (3:2-3).


13:25  И благословил его совершить свой праздник в отсутствии царя.


13:32  Ионадав — прежний друг убитого Амнона и сообщник его преступления (ст. 3-5). «Кажется странным, каким образом печальная весть могла опередить в страхе бегущих царских сыновей, и думается, что она шла не с места происшествия, а возникла самостоятельно при дворе, и не без намерения в искаженном виде. Ионадав был «очень хитрый», говорит дееписатель, т. е. искусный придворный интриган, готовый на все, как это уже видно из его услуги Амнону. Можно догадываться, что, не получив должной благодарности от Амнона за свое радение ему, он бросил его и перешел на сторону Авессалома, громадное честолюбие которого было ему известно и который более Амнона нуждался в помощниках для исполнения своих смелых замыслов. И вот, когда почти весь двор отправился на праздник к Авессалому, Ионадав остался при царе с заранее обдуманной ролью. В условленное время он секретно распускает ложный слух, что все дети царя избиты. Царь приходит в отчаяние и проклинает Авессалома. Но тотчас является утешитель и говорит: «пусть Господин мой царь не тревожится мыслью о том, будто умерли все царские сыновья; один Амнон умер за то, что обесчестил сестру Авессалома». В данную минуту и это могло показаться величайшим утешением для Давида: его дети воскресли; мертвым остался только один, и то потому, что в самом деле был преступником, остававшимся до сих пор ненаказанным. Авессалом и покарал его» (Я. Богородский. Еврейские цари. С. 209-211).


14:1  Фекоя — на юг от Иерусалима, между Вифлеемом и Хевроном.


14:7  Все родство убитого.


14:9  Царь же и престол его неповинен в предотвращении кровавого возмездия убийце (см. Чис 35; Втор 4:42; 19:3,4; Нав 20:3).


14:11  Помяни, царь, свое обещание и, ради Господа Бога твоего, исполни его, чтобы не умножились мстители за кровь и не погубили сына моего.


14:13  Почему ты так мыслишь против народа Божия, т. е. почему ты, государь, так решительно выступаешь против древнего обычая израильского народа мстить за неповинную кровь убитого кровью убийцы, а сам оказываешься до некоторой степени повинным в том же, так как до сих пор взыскиваешь изгнанием с сына твоего Авессалома за пролитую им кровь брата своего Амнона?


14:14 Если щадит согрешившего и приемлет отверженного сам Бог, то нам ли, ничтожеству, превосходить Его своей строгостью к согрешившим?


14:24  А лица моего не видит — в знак того, что возвращение Авессалома на родину еще не обозначало полного прощения его в совершенном им преступлении.


14:26  Сикль по весу царскому — то же, что сикль «священный», введенный в употребление Моисеем. Вес и стоимость священного сикля равнялись двум древним (меньшего веса и стоимости) сиклям, т. е. священный сикль в отношении веса равнялся 1 лоту, а в отношении стоимости — 86 копейкам (см. Библейскую Археологию архимандрита Иеронима. Т. I, с. 288-289).


14:29 Очевидно, что Иоав хлопотал за Авессалома не столько из преданности к последнему, сколько из желания сделать приятное Давиду (ср. 1-3 ст.).


14:32 Положение опального при дворе, после прежнего почета и ласки, показалось Авессалому труднопереносимым, и он прибег к очень решительным мерам, чтобы увидеть Иоава и упросить его ходатайствовать перед царем о полном помиловании своего виновного сына.


14:33  И поцеловал царь Авессалома — в знак его прощения.


15:1 По смерти Амнона Авессалом оказался в положении старшего сына царя, наиболее вероятного наследника его престола. Нет ничего невероятного в том, что перспектива данного положения играла далеко не последнюю роль в мести брату Амнону.


Дальнейшие действия Авессалома имеют ту цель, чтобы царской пышностью своей обстановки производить на народ наиболее сильное впечатление, а показными достоинствами своего характера привлекать к себе сердца всего Израиля (см. ст. 6).


15:7  По прошествии сорока лет царствования Давида. Предполагают, что сюда вкралась описка. Вместо «сорока лет царствования Давида» читают «четырех лет» со времени возвращения в Иерусалим (или, согласно Иосифу Флавию, со времени полного примирения с отцом, 14:33) Авессалома. В еврейском тексте слов «царствования Давида» нет; западные комментаторы указывают, что их нет и в текстах сирийском и арабском (см. Г. Властов. Священная летопись. Т. IV, изд. 1893 г., с. 138, прим.).


15:12  Гило — город к югу от Хеврона.


15:17  У Беф-Мерхата, в греческом тексте — ἐν οἴκω̨ τω̨̃ μακράν, т. е. в отдаленном жилище. Филиппсон предполагает, что это был загородный дом или дача (Lusthaus). В русском тексте название это оставлено без перевода, как имя собственное. Быть может, Беф-Мерхат был не только дачей, но целой окраиной города, одной из его «слобод».


15:18  Хелефеи и фелефеи — см. прим. к 8:18.


Гефяне — отряд гефских филистимлян, под начальством гефянина Еффея, состоявший на службе у Давида.


15:19  Ты — чужеземец и пришел сюда из своего места для того, чтобы зарабатывать деньги; а потому присоединись туда, где для тебя будет выгоднее.


15:23  Вся земля, весь народ, т. е. все, оставшиеся верными Давиду.


15:28  На равнине в пустыне у реки Иордан.


15:31 Мудрые советы Ахитофела ценились так высоко, как если бы это были советы самого Бога (см. 16:23).


15:32  Архитянин, т. е. житель города Архи, расположенного между Вефилем и Атарофом.


15:33  Будешь мне в тягость, так как вид твоего непритворного горя будет только угнетать меня.


16:1  Сива, слуга Мемфивосфея — см. гл. 9.


16:2  Ослы для царского дома Давида, хлеб и плоды для пищи отрокам, оставшимся верными изгнаннику; а вино для тех из окружающих царя, кто ослабеет от движения в пустыне.


16:3-4 Ср. 19:24-30.


16:5  Бахурим — на пути из Иерусалима к Иордану.


16:10  Господь повелел, т. е. попустил, ему злословить Давида.


16:11  Там больше сын Вениамитянина — из колена прежнего царя Саула.


16:16  Хусий Архитянин — см. 15:32-37.


16:21 «Это должно было быть, с одной стороны, выразительным символом фактического вступления в права низложенного царя, с другой — средством сделать примирение с отцом невозможным, так чтобы и сам Авессалом не мог возвратиться назад, и все взявшие его сторону не могли бы более колебаться между ним и Давидом» (Я. Богородский. Еврейские цари. С. 224).


16:22 См. 12:11-12.


17:8  Отец твой — человек воинственный — сведущий в военном деле; зная возможности неожиданного ночного нападения неприятелей, он не останется ночевать с народом на открытом месте.


17:14  Так Господь судил разрушить лучший совет Ахитофела, чтобы навести (попустить) бедствие на Авессалома. Если бы Авессалом согласился с предложением Ахитофела, то беспорядочная толпа сторонников Давида, утомленная впечатлениями дня и поспешным бегством, несомненно понесла бы полное поражение со стороны свежих, правильно организованных войск Авессалома.


17:16  Не оставайся в эту ночь на равнине, в пустыне реки Иордан, но поскорее перейди через эту реку.


17:17  Они пошли и известили, т. е. пошли, чтобы известить. Слова ибо они не могли показаться в городе Иерусалиме поясняют то, почему Ионафан и Ахимаас ожидали нужных им известий в предместье города, у источника Рогель.


17:18  И увидел их отрок — из числа стражи Авессалома.


17:23 См. прим. к 14 ст.


17:24  Маханаим — город средней части восточного Заиорданья, к югу от Иависа Галаадского.


17:25 Точно так же, как и Иоав, Амессай был племянник Давида, только от другой сестры.


17:27 Евреи восточного Заиорданья держались в стороне от движений в западном Заиорданье и отличались большей верностью данному ими слову или клятве. Верные присяге Саулу, они продолжали быть верными и его сыну Иевосфею, пока сила вещей не побудила их присягнуть Давиду. Присягнув Давиду, галаадитяне хотели быть верными ему до последней возможности.


18:2  И отправил Давид людей — в поход против Авессалома.


18:3 Заботясь о безопасности царя, военачальники имели в виду, вероятно, и то обстоятельство, что отец в войне с сыном не будет обладать хладнокровием, необходимым для руководителя сражения.


18:4  И стал царь у ворот города Маханаим.


18:6 Под лесом Ефремовым некоторые (Гуго Гроций и др.) разумеют то место восточного Заиорданья, где некогда судья Иеффай поразил ефремлян (Суд 12).


18:8  И лес погубил народа больше, чем сколько истребил меч в тот день. Разбитое войско Авессалома бросилось было искать себе защиты в лесу, но здесь было или встречено засадой, или просто рассеяно и истребляемо порознь.


18:17  Все израильтяне — составлявшие войско Авессалома.


18:18 В окрестностях Иерусалима, в долине Иосафата, и по сие время существует памятник, носящий название Гробницы Авессалома. По свидетельству ученых, еврейские раввины с древних времен приказывали родителям непослушных детей водить последних в долину Иосафата, к Гробнице Авессалома, и, рассказав им историю непокорного сына Давидова, заставлять их бросать в памятник камни (Гейки. Святая земля и Библия).


На вопрос о том, почему, заметив выше (14:27), что Авессалом имел трех сыновей и одну дочь, писатель сообщает теперь, что Авессалом поставил себе памятник во увековечение вследствие отсутствия у него сыновей, блаж. Феодорит отвечает: «Справедливо то и другое, ибо вероятно как то, что он рождал детей, так и то, что дети его умирали. Иосиф же ( Флавий ) замечает, что Авессалом сделал это потому, что дети не могли жить долго; здание же могло долее сохранить память о нем» (блаж. Феодорит. Толк. на 2 Цар, вопр. 34).


18:21 Имеется в виду не советник царя Хусий (15:32-37; 17:5-16), а некто иной. По мнению Властова (Священная летопись. Т. IV), вместо «Хусий» следует в данном случае читать «хушит» или «кушит», т. е. поселенец, раб или наемник еврейский «из ефиоплян».


18:24  Между двумя воротами городской стены — внешними и внутренними.


18:25  Если один, то весть в устах его, т. е. если идет один, то это, по всей вероятности, вестник о благополучном ходе военных действий, так как пораженные в бою не идут, а бегут, и притом целыми группами.


18:29 Желая порадовать царя приятной вестью о победе его войска, Ахимаас не решался сообщить отцу о гибели сына.


19:5-7 «Это говорит сам убийца Авессалома, ненавистный Давиду; но в его словах было столько правды и практического благоразумия, что умный царь подавил в себе горе и волнение, встал и вышел к народу на площадь при городских воротах» (Я. Богородский. Еврейские цари. С. 236).


19:8  Израильтяне же, т. е. последователи Авессалома (ср. 18:17).


19:9-10 «Резиденция Давида была теперь в Маханаиме, и фактически Давид был царем только за Иорданом. Евреи по эту сторону Иордана, ставшие на сторону Авессалома, оказались теперь в странном положении. Только что признанный ими царь погиб, а от Давида они отказались и поднимали против него оружие. Давид оказался непобедимым и царствовал за Иорданом, а они, как стадо без пастуха, оказались в положении, подверженном серьезным опасностям. Не было иного исхода, как изъявить покорность Давиду и возвратить его на иерусалимский престол. Первые голоса в пользу Давида раздались в северных коленах» (Я. Богородский. Еврейские цари. С. 237).


19:11-12 «Колено Иудино сохраняло загадочное молчание, не подавая никаких надежд для Давида. Это обстоятельство представляется несколько странным и требует некоторого объяснения». Возможно то предположение, что, не получив от Давида никаких особенных привилегий сравнительно с другими коленами (ст. 42), колено Иуды примкнуло к Авессалому сколько по чувству недовольства Давидом, столько и из ожидания получить желаемые привилегии от Авессалома. «Когда же предприятие Авессалома не удалось, и оставалось только возвратиться к старому порядку вещей, колено Иудино глубже других чувствовало свое заблуждение и стыдилось своего поступка. Его представителям совестно было явиться на глаза Давиду с повинной и с предложением верноподданства, сделавшегося столь сомнительным, и они медлили. Давид понял затруднение своего колена и, все-таки считая его, несмотря на временное увлечение, более верным оплотом своего дома, решился ободрить его кротким приглашением и напоминанием его обязанности» (Я. Богородский. Еврейские цари. С. 237-238).


19:13  Не кость ли ты моя и плоть моя ты? — см. 17:25.


Вместо Иоава навсегда: резкая самостоятельность Иоава и случай явного нарушения им воли своего царя (18:5,9-17), помимо же того, что предметом последней своевольной выходки Иоава было лицо, особенно близкое Давиду, — не могли не оттолкнуть от него Давида.


19:16 См. 16:5-11.


19:17 См. 16:1-4.


19:18-23 См. 16:5-11.


Изо всего дома Иосифова; по тексту LXX-ти: первее всего Исраиля и дому Иосифля. В объяснение того, почему дом Иосифа ставится во главу всего Израиля, см. 1 Пар 5:1.


19:24-28 Ср. 16:1-4.


19:28  Ты посадил раба твоего между ядущими за столом твоим — см. гл. 9.


19:29 Трудно было решить, кто был действительно виноват — Сива ли, или Мемфивосфей. «Во всяком случае Давиду тяжело было слушать униженные речи сына своего друга Ионафана, и он угрюмо прервал Мемфивосфея: «к чему ты говоришь все это?» Находя же свое прежнее распоряжение об отнятии у Мемфивосфея всего имущества в пользу Сивы слишком жестоким, но и не желая отменять его совсем, так как считал донесение Сивы не вполне безосновательным, Давид, чтобы уладить как-нибудь это неприятное дело, прибавил: «я говорю, чтобы ты и Сива разделили поля поровну» (Я. Богородский. Еврейские цари. С. 240-241).


19:31-32 См. 17:27-29.


19:41 «Когда Давид был уже в Галгале и когда явились сюда представители северных колен, они были неприятно поражены тем, что царь был, так сказать, уже дома и более как бы не нуждался в них. Они рассчитывали найти Давида в его заиорданском убежище и обрадовать его своим появлением и торжественным заявлением своих верноподданнических чувств. И вдруг видят царя по эту сторону Иордана, во главе могущественного колена, почти не нуждающегося в их депутации. Разочарование северян перешло в подозрение, а потом и досаду на предупредившее их колено Иуды» (Я. Богородский. Еврейские цари. С. 242).


20:3 См. 16:20-22. Давид постыдным и «законопреступным почитал иметь общение с ними после гнусного общения их с сыном; не сочетал же их ни с кем другим, дабы это не послужило предлогом к похищению верховной власти» (Блаж. Феодорит. Толк. на 2 Цар, вопр. 38), так как по восточным взглядам того времени обладание женой или наложницей царя означало уже некоторое фактическое вступление в права самого царя.


20:4-7 «Давид дал поручение Амессаю созвать ополчение в три дня для подавления мятежа, и этим фактически поставил Амессая главнокомандующим вместо Иоава (19:13). Но Амессай оказался ниже положения, в которое был поставлен. По отсутствию ли распорядительности и энергии, или по холодному приему, сделанному ему народом, как человеку менее авторитетному, чем Иоав, но он не мог выполнить поручения в назначенное время. Между тем медлить было невозможно. И Давид поневоле должен был обратиться к брату Иоава Авессе, чтобы послать его с наличными военными силами за Савеем». К преследующим Савея самовольно примкнул и Иоав. Впрочем Иоав не столько думал об уничтожении мятежа Савея, сколько об устранении из списка живых своего нового соперника при Давиде — Амессая (Я. Богородский. Еврейские цари. С. 244).


20:14  Авел-Беф-Мааха — город в северных пределах Палестины, вблизи горы Большой Ермон.


20:19  Мать городов в Израиле — см. ст. 18.


20:23  И был Иоав поставлен над всем войском Израильским. «Давид не повторил более попытки лишить его поста главнокомандующего, потому что он был и незаменим, и защищал этот пост с таким демоническим упорством, что лучше было уступить во избежание нового пролития крови» (Я. Богородский. Еврейские цари. С. 246).


О хелефеях и фелефеях — см. прим. к 8:18.


20:24  Иосафат — дееписателем — см. 8:16.


20:25 См. 8:17.


20:26 Выражение Иаритянин некоторые понимают в смысле «из селений Иаира», сына Манассии, лежавших в восточном Заиорданье (см. «Опыт Библейского Словаря собственных имен» протопопа Солярского).


Был священником у Давида, т. е. лицом, через посредство которого престарелый царь совершал многие из своих, религиозных обязанностей при скинии и вне скинии (блаж. Феодорит, Калмет и др.).


Название и разделение книг в Библии. Известные ныне четыре книги Царств в древнем еврейском кодексе священных книг составляли две книги: одна из них (в состав которой входили нынешние первая и вторая книги Царств) называлась «Сефер Шемуель», т. е. «Книга Самуила», так как ее содержанием является повествование о пророке Самуиле и помазанных им на Еврейское царство Сауле и Давиде; другая (в состав которой входили нынешние третья и четвертая книги Царств) называлась «Сефер Мелахим», т. е. «Книга Царей», так как ее содержанием является повествование о последнем общееврейском царе Соломоне и о царях царства Иудейского и царства Израильского. Теперешнее деление означенных книг на четыре явилось прежде всего в греческом переводе LXX-ти, где они получили названия: «Βασιλείων πρώτη (βίβλος)», т. е. «Первая книга Царств»; Βασιλείων δευτέρα — «Вторая книга Царств»; Βασιλείων τρίτη — «Третья книга Царств»; Βασιλείων τετάρτη — «Четвертая книга Царств». Затем оно было усвоено и латинским переводом Вульгатой, где заглавия книг получили такой вид: «Liber primus Samuelis, quem nos primum Regum dicimus» («Первая книга Самуила, которую мы называем Первою книгою Царей»); «Liber secundus Samuelis, quem nos secundum Regum dicimus» («Вторая книга Самуила, которую мы называем Второю книгою Царей»); «Liber Regum tertius, secundum Hebraeos primus Malachim» («Третья книга Царей, по еврейскому счету — Первая книга Мелахим — Царей»); «Liber Regum quartus, secundum Hebraeos Malachim secundus» («Четвертая книга Царей, по еврейскому счету — Вторая книга Мелахим — Царей»).

Впрочем, в каноническом счислении книг Ветхого Завета Православная Церковь удержала древнееврейское деление книг Царств на две книги, соединяя воедино Первую и Вторую книги Царств, а также Третью и Четвертую книги.

Содержание книг Царств. В Первой книге Царств повествуется о пророке и судье еврейского народа Самуиле и о первом еврейском царе Сауле. Во Второй книге Царств повествуется о втором еврейском царе Давиде. В Третьей книге Царств повествуется о третьем еврейском царе Соломоне, о распадении еврейской монархии на два царства — Иудейское и Израильское — и о царях того и другого царства, кончая царем Иосафатом в Иудейском царстве и царем Охозией в Израильском. В Четвертой книге Царств повествуется об остальных царях Иуды и Израиля, кончая ассирийским пленом в отношении Израильского царства и вавилонским пленом в отношении Иудейского царства.

Период истории еврейского народа, обнимаемый повествованием всех четырех книг Царств, превышает 500 лет.

Писатели книг Царств. Первоначальными писателями Первой и Второй книг Царств были пророки Самуил, Натан и Гад (1 Пар 29:29). Кто-либо из пророков позднейшего времени просмотрел записи Самуила, Натана и Гада, дополнил их (1 Цар 5:5; 1 Цар 6:18; 1 Цар 9:9; 1 Цар 27:6; 2 Цар 4:3) и придал им объединенный, законченный вид.

Первоначальными писателями Третьей и Четвертой книг Царств были следовавшие за Натаном и Гадом пророки и дееписатели, оставившие после себя записи с приуроченными к ним названиями: «Книга дел Соломоновых» (3 Цар 11:41); «Летопись царей иудейских» (3 Цар 14:29; 3 Цар 15:7.23; 3 Цар 22:46; 4 Цар 8:23); «Летопись царей израильских» (3 Цар 14:19; 3 Цар 15:31; 3 Цар 16:5.14.20.27; 3 Цар 22:39; 4 Цар 1:8; 4 Цар 10:34). Кто-либо из последних ветхозаветных пророков (по свидетельству еврейской и христианской древности — пророк Иеремия), а может быть, и сам великий книжник и собиратель канона ветхозаветных священных писаний Ездра, просмотрел эти записи и привел их в тот вид, в каком они дошли до нашего времени.

Исторические книги


По принятому в греко-славянской и латинской Библиях делению ветхозаветных книг по содержанию, историческими (каноническими) книгами считаются в них книги Иисуса Навина, Судей, Руфь, четыре книги Царств, две Паралипоменон, 1-я книга Ездры, Неемии и Есфирь. Подобное исчисление встречается уже в 85-м апостольском правиле 1, четвертом огласительном поучении Кирилла Иерусалимского, Синайском списке перевода LXX и отчасти в 60-м правиле Лаодикийского собора 350 г.: Есфирь поставлена в нем между книгами Руфь и Царств 2. Равным образом и термин «исторические книги» известен из того же четвертого огласительного поучения Кирилла Иерусалимского и сочинения Григория Богослова «О том, какие подобает чести кн. Ветхого и Нового Завета» (книга Правил, с. 372–373). У названных отцов церкви он имеет, впрочем, несколько иной, чем теперь, смысл: название «исторические книги» дается ими не только «историческим книгам» греко-славянского и латинского перевода, но и всему Пятикнижию. «Исторических книг древнейших еврейских премудростей, – говорит Григорий Богослов, – двенадцать. Первая – Бытие, потом Исход, Левит, потом Числа, Второзаконие, потом Иисус и Судии, восьмая Руфь. Девятая и десятая книги – Деяния Царств, Паралипоменон и последнею имееши Ездру». «Читай, – отвечает Кирилл Иерусалимский, – божественных писаний Ветхого завета 22 книги, переведенных LXX толковниками, и не смешивай их с апокрифами… Это двадцать две книги суть: закона Моисеева первые пять книг: Бытие, Исход, Левит, Числа, Второзаконие. Затем Иисуса сына Навина, Судей с Руфью составляют одну седьмую книгу. Прочих исторических книг первая и вторая Царств, у евреев составляющая одну книгу, также третья и четвертая, составляющие одну же книгу. Подобно этому, у них и Паралипоменон первая и вторая считаются за одну книгу, и Ездры первая и вторая (по нашему Неемии) считаются за одну книгу. Двенадцатая книга – Есфирь. Таковы исторические книги».

Что касается еврейской Библии, то ей чужд как самый раздел «исторических книг», так и греко-славянское и латинское их распределение. Книги Иисуса Навина, Судей и четыре книги Царств причисляются в ней к «пророкам», а Руфь, две книги Паралипоменон, Ездры – Неемии и Есфирь – к разделу «кегубим» – священным писаниям. Первые, т. е. кн. Иисуса Навина, Судей и Царств занимают начальное место среди пророческих, Руфь – пятое, Есфирь – восьмое и Ездры, Неемии и Паралипоменон – последние места среди «писаний». Гораздо ближе к делению LXX стоит распорядок книг у Иосифа Флавия. Его слова: «От смерти Моисея до правления Артаксеркса пророки после Моисея записали в 13 книгах совершившееся при них» (Против Аппиона, I, 8), дают понять, что он считал кн. Иисуса Навина – Есфирь книгами характера исторического. Того же взгляда держался, по-видимому, и Иисус сын Сирахов, В разделе «писаний» он различает «премудрые словеса́... и... повести» (Сир 44.3–5), т. е. учительные и исторические книги. Последними же могли быть только Руфь, Паралипоменон, Ездры, Неемии и Есфирь. Принятое в еврейской Библии включение их в раздел «писаний» объясняется отчасти тем, что авторам некоторых из них, например Ездры – Неемии, не было усвоено в еврейском богословии наименования «пророк», отчасти их характером, в них виден историк учитель и проповедник. Сообразно с этим весь третий раздел и называется в некоторых талмудических трактатах «премудростью».

Относя одну часть наших исторических книг к разделу пророков, «узнавших по вдохновенно от Бога раннейшее, а о бывшем при них писавших с мудростью» (Иосиф Флавий. Против Аппиона I, 7), и другую – к «писаниям», каковое название дается всему составу ветхозаветных канонических книг, иудейская церковь тем самым признала их за произведения богодухновенные. Вполне определенно и ясно высказан этот взгляд в словах Иосифа Флавия: «У иудеев не всякий человек может быть священным писателем, но только пророк, пишущий по Божественному вдохновенно, почему все священные еврейские книги (числом 22) справедливо могут быть названы Божественными» (Против Аппиона I, 8). Позднее, как видно из талмудического трактата Мегилла, поднимался спор о богодухновенности книг Руфь и Есфирь; но в результате его они признаны написанными Духом Святым. Одинакового с ветхозаветной церковью взгляда на богодухновенность исторических книг держится и церковь новозаветная (см. выше 85 Апостольское правило).

Согласно со своим названием, исторические книги налагают историю религиозно-нравственной и гражданской жизни народа еврейского, начиная с завоевания Ханаана при Иисусе Навине (1480–1442 г. до Р. X.) и кончая возвращением евреев из Вавилона во главе с Неемиею при Артаксерксе I (445 г. до Р. X.), на время правления которого падают также события, описанные в книге Есфирь. Имевшие место в течение данного периода факты излагаются в исторических книгах или вполне объективно, или же рассматриваются с теократической точки зрения. Последняя устанавливала, с одной стороны, строгое различие между должными и недолжными явлениями в области религии, а с другой, признавала полную зависимость жизни гражданской и политической от веры в истинного Бога. В зависимости от этого излагаемая при свете идеи теократии история народа еврейского представляет ряд нормальных и ненормальных религиозных явлений, сопровождавшихся то возвышением, подъемом политической жизни, то полным ее упадком. Подобная точка зрения свойственна преимущественно 3–4 кн. Царств, кн. Паралипоменон и некоторым частям кн. Ездры и Неемии (Неем 9.1). Обнимаемый историческими книгами тысячелетний период жизни народа еврейского распадается в зависимости от внутренней, причинной связи явлении на несколько отдельных эпох. Из них время Иисуса Навина, ознаменованное завоеванием Палестины, представляет переходный момент от жизни кочевой к оседлой. Первые шаги ее в период Судей (1442–1094) были не особенно удачны. Лишившись со смертью Иисуса Навина политического вождя, евреи распались на двенадцать самостоятельных республик, утративших сознание национального единства. Оно сменилось племенной рознью, и притом настолько сильною, что колена не принимают участие в обшей политической жизни страны, живут до того изолированно, замкнуто, что не желают помочь друг другу даже в дни несчастий (Суд.5.15–17, 6.35, 8.1). В таком же точно жалком состоянии находилась и религиозно-нравственная жизнь. Безнравственность сделалась настолько всеобщей, что прелюбодейное сожительство считалось обычным делом и как бы заменяло брак, а в некоторых городах развелись гнусные пороки времен Содома и Гоморры (Суд.19). Одновременно с этим была забыта истинная религия, – ее место заняли суеверия, распространяемые бродячими левитами (Суд.17). Отсутствие в период судей, сдерживающих начал в виде религии и постоянной светской власти, завершилось в конце концов полной разнузданностью: «каждый делал то, что ему казалось справедливым» (Суд.21.25). Но эти же отрицательные стороны и явления оказались благодетельными в том отношении, что подготовили установление царской власти; период судей оказался переходным временем к периоду царей. Племенная рознь и вызываемое ею бессилие говорили народу о необходимости постоянной, прочной власти, польза которой доказывалась деятельностью каждого судьи и особенно Самуила, успевшего объединить своей личностью всех израильтян (1Цар 7.15–17). И так как, с другой стороны, такой сдерживающей народ силой не могла быть религия, – он еще недоразвился до того, чтобы руководиться духовным началом, – то объединение могло исходить от земной власти, какова власть царская. И, действительно, воцарение Саула положило, хотя и не надолго, конец племенной розни евреев: по его призыву собираются на войну с Каасом Аммонитским «сыны Израилевы... и мужи Иудины» (1Цар 11.8). Скорее военачальник, чем правитель, Саул оправдал народное желание видеть в царе сильного властью полководца (1Цар 8.20), он одержал целый ряд побед над окрестными народами (1Цар 14.47–48) и как герой погиб в битве на горах Гелвуйских (1Цар 31). С его смертью во всей силе сказалась племенная рознь периода Судей: колено Иудово, стоявшее прежде одиноко от других, признало теперь своим царем Давида (2Цар 2.4), а остальные подчинились сыну Саула Иевосфею (2Цар 2.8–9). Через семь с половиной лет после этого власть над Иудою и Израилем перешла в руки Давида (2Цар 5.1–3), и целью его правления становится уничтожение племенной розни, при посредстве чего он рассчитывает удержать престол за собой и своим домом. Ее достижению способствуют и постоянные войны, как общенародное дело, они поддерживают сознание национального единства и отвлекают внимание от дел внутренней жизни, всегда могущих подать повод к раздорам, и целый ряд реформ, направленных к уравнению всех колен пред законом. Так, устройство постоянной армии, разделенной по числу колен на двенадцать частей, причем каждая несет ежемесячную службу в Иерусалиме (1Пар 27.1), уравнивает народ по отношению к военной службе. Превращение нейтрального города Иерусалима в религиозный и гражданский центр не возвышает никакое колено в религиозном и гражданском отношении. Назначение для всего народа одинаковых судей-левитов (1Пар 26.29–30) и сохранение за каждым коленом местного племенного самоуправления (1Пар 27.16–22) уравнивает всех пред судом. Поддерживая равенство колен и тем не давая повода к проявлению племенной розни, Давид остается в то же самое время в полном смысле самодержавным монархом. В его руках сосредоточивается власть военная и гражданская: первая через посредство подчиненного ему главнокомандующего армией Иоава (1Пар 27.34), вторая через посредство первосвященника Садока, начальника левитов-судей.

Правление сына и преемника Давидова Соломона обратило ни во что результат царствования его отца. Необыкновенная роскошь двора Соломона требовала громадных расходов и соответствующих налогов на народ. Его средства шли теперь не на общегосударственное дело, как при Давиде, а на удовлетворение личных нужд царя и его придворных. Одновременно с этим оказался извращенным правый суд времени Давида: исчезло равенство всех и каждого пред законом. На этой почве (3Цар 12.4) возникло народное недовольство, перешедшее затем в открытое возмущение (3Цар 11.26. Подавленное Соломоном, оно вновь заявило себя при Ровоаме (3Цар 12) и на этот раз разрешилось отделением от дома Давидова 10 колен (3Цар 12.20). Ближайшим поводом к нему служило недовольство Соломоном, наложившим на народ тяжелое иго (3Цар 12.4), и нежелание Ровоама облегчить его. Но судя по словам отделившихся колен: «нет нам доли в сыне Иессеевом» (3Цар 12.16), т. е. у нас нет с ним ничего общего; мы не принадлежим ему, как Иуда, по происхождению, причина разделения в той племенной, коленной розни, которая проходила через весь период Судей и на время стихает при Сауле, Давиде и Соломоне.

Разделением единого царства (980 г. до Р. Х.) на два – Иудейское и Израильское – было положено начало ослаблению могущества народа еврейского. Последствия этого рода сказались прежде всего в истории десятиколенного царства. Его силам наносят чувствительный удар войны с Иудою. Начатые Ровоамом (3Цар 12.21, 14.30; 2Пар 11.1, 12.15), они продолжаются при Авии, избившем 500 000 израильтян (2Пар 13.17) и отнявшем у Иеровоама целый ряд городов (2Пар 13.19), и на время заканчиваются при Асе, истребившем при помощи Венадада Сирийского население Аина, Дана, Авел-Беф-Моахи и всей земли Неффалимовой (3Цар 15.20). Обоюдный вред от этой почти 60-тилетней войны был сознан, наконец, в обоих государствах: Ахав и Иосафат вступают в союз, закрепляя его родством царствующих домов (2Пар 18.1), – женитьбою сына Иосафатова Иорама на дочери Ахава Гофолии (2Пар 21.6). Но не успели зажить нанесенные ею раны, как начинаются войны израильтян с сирийцами. С перерывами (3Цар 22.1) и переменным счастьем они проходят через царствование Ахава (3Цар 20), Иорама (4Цар 8.16–28), Ииуя (4Цар 10.5–36), Иоахаза (4Цар 13.1–9) и Иоаса (4Цар 13.10–13) и настолько ослабляют военную силу израильтян, что у Иохаза остается только 50 всадников, 10 колесниц и 10 000 пехоты (4Цар 13.7). Все остальное, как прах, развеял Азаил Сирийский, (Ibid: ср. 4Цар 8.12). Одновременно с сирийцами израильтяне ведут при Иоасе войну с иудеями (4Цар 14.9–14, 2Пар 25.17–24) и при Иеровоаме II возвращают, конечно, не без потерь в людях, пределы своих прежних владений от края Емафского до моря пустыни (4Цар 14.25). Обессиленные целым рядом этих войн, израильтяне оказываются, наконец, не в силах выдержать натиск своих последних врагов – ассириян, положивших конец существованию десятиколенного царства. В качестве самостоятельного государства десятиколенное царство просуществовало 259 лет (960–721). Оно пало, истощив свои силы в целом ряде непрерывных войн. В ином свете представляется за это время состояние двухколенного царства. Оно не только не слабеет, но скорее усиливается. Действительно, в начале своего существования двухколенное царство располагало лишь 120 000 или по счислению александрийского списка 180 000 воинов и потому, естественно, не могло отразить нашествия египетского фараона Сусакима. Он взял укрепленные города Иудеи, разграбил самый Иерусалим и сделал иудеев своими данниками (2Пар 12.4, 8–9). Впоследствии же число вооруженных и способных к войне было увеличено теми недовольными религиозной реформой Иеровоама I израильтянами (не считая левитов), которые перешли на сторону Ровоама, укрепили и поддерживали его царство (2Пар 11.17). Сравнительно благоприятно отозвались на двухколенном царстве и его войны с десятиколенным. По крайней мере, Авия отнимает у Иеровоама Вефиль, Иешон и Ефрон с зависящими от них городами (2Пар 13.19), а его преемник Аса в состоянии выставить против Зарая Эфиоплянина 580 000 воинов (2Пар 14.8). Относительная слабость двухколенного царства сказывается лишь в том, что тот же Аса не может один вести войну с Ваасою и приглашает на помощь Венадада сирийского (3Цар 15.18–19). При сыне и преемнике Асы Иосафате двухколенное царство крепнет еще более. Не увлекаясь жаждой завоеваний, он посвящает свою деятельность упорядочению внутренней жизни государства, предпринимает попытку исправить религиозно-нравственную жизнь народа, заботится о его просвещении (2Пар 17.7–10), об урегулировании суда и судебных учреждений (2Пар 19.5–11), строит новые крепости (2Пар 17.12) и т. п. Проведение в жизнь этих предначертаний требовало, конечно, мира с соседями. Из них филистимляне и идумеяне усмиряются силой оружия (2Пар 17.10–11), а с десятиколенным царством заключается политический и родственный союз (2Пар 18.1). Необходимый для Иосафата, как средство к выполнению вышеуказанных реформ, этот последний сделался с течением времени источником бедствий и несчастий для двухколенного царства. По представлению автора Паралипоменон (2Пар 21), они выразились в отложении Иудеи при Иораме покоренной Иосафатом Идумеи (2Пар.21.10), в счастливом набеге на Иудею и самый Иерусалим филистимлян и аравийских племен (2Пар.21.16–17), в возмущении жителей священнического города Ливны (2Пар.21.10) и в бесполезной войне с сирийцами (2Пар 22.5). Сказавшееся в этих фактах (см. еще 2Пар 21.2–4, 22.10) разложение двухколенного царства было остановлено деятельностью первосвященника Иоддая, воспитателя сына Охозии Иоаса, но с его смертью сказалось с новой силой. Не успевшее окрепнуть от бедствий и неурядиц прошлых царствований, оно подвергается теперь нападению соседей. Именно филистимляне захватывают в плен иудеев и ведут ими торговлю как рабами (Иоиль 3.6, Ам 1.9); идумеяне делают частые вторжения в пределы Иудеи и жестоко распоряжаются с пленниками (Ам 1.6, Иоиль 3.19); наконец, Азаил сирийский, отняв Геф, переносит оружие на самый Иерусалим, и снова царство Иудейское покупает себе свободу дорогой ценой сокровищ царского дома и храма (4Цар 12.18). Правлением сына Иоаса Амасии кончается время бедствий (несчастная война с десятиколенным царством – 4Цар 14.9–14,, 2Пар 25.17–24 и вторжение идумеев – Ам 9.12), а при его преемниках Озии прокаженном и Иоафаме двухколенное царство возвращает славу времен Давида и Соломона. Первый подчиняет на юге идумеев и овладевает гаванью Елафом, на западе сокрушает силу филистимлян, а на востоке ему платят дань аммонитяне (2Пар 26.6–8). Могущество Озии было настолько значительно, что, по свидетельству клинообразных надписей, он выдержал натиск Феглафелассара III. Обеспеченное извне двухколенное царство широко и свободно развивало теперь и свое внутреннее экономическое благосостояние, причем сам царь был первым и ревностным покровителем народного хозяйства (2Пар 26.10). С развитием внутреннего благосостояния широко развилась также торговля, послужившая источником народного обогащения (Ис 2.7). Славному предшественнику последовал не менее славный и достойный преемник Иоафам. За время их правления Иудейское царство как бы собирается с силами для предстоящей борьбы с ассириянами. Неизбежность последней становится ясной уже при Ахазе, пригласившем Феглафелассара для защиты от нападения Рецина, Факея, идумеян и филистимлян (2Пар 28.5–18). По выражению Вигуру, он, сам того не замечая, просил волка, чтобы тот поглотил его стадо, (Die Bibel und die neueren Entdeckungen. S. 98). И действительно, Феглафелассар освободил Ахаза от врагов, но в то же время наложил на него дань ((2Пар 28.21). Неизвестно, как бы сказалась зависимость от Ассирии на дальнейшей истории двухколенного царства, если бы не падение Самарии и отказ преемника Ахаза Езекии платить ассириянам дань и переход его, вопреки совету пророка Исаии, на сторону египтян (Ис 30.7, 15, 31.1–3). Первое событие лишало Иудейское царство последнего прикрытия со стороны Ассирии; теперь доступ в его пределы открыт, и путь к границам проложен. Второе окончательно предрешило судьбу Иудеи. Союз с Египтом, перешедший с течением времени в вассальную зависимость, заставил ее принять участие сперва в борьбе с Ассирией, а потом с Вавилоном. Из первой она вышла обессиленной, а вторая привела ее к окончательной гибели. В качестве союзницы Египта, с которым вели при Езекии борьбу Ассирияне, Иудея подверглась нашествию Сеннахерима. По свидетельству оставленной им надписи, он завоевал 46 городов, захватил множество припасов и военных материалов и отвел в плен 200 150 человек (Schrader jbid S. 302–4; 298). Кроме того, им была наложена на Иудею громадная дань (4Цар 18.14–16). Союз с Египтом и надежда на его помощь не принесли двухколенному царству пользы. И, тем не менее, преемник Езекии Манассия остается сторонником египтян. Как таковой, он во время похода Ассаргадона против Египта делается его данником, заковывается в оковы и отправляется в Вавилон (2Пар 33.11). Начавшееся при преемнике Ассаргадона Ассурбанипале ослабление Ассирии сделало для Иудеи ненужным союз с Египтом. Мало этого, современник данного события Иосия пытается остановить завоевательные стремления фараона египетского Нехао (2Пар 35.20), но погибает в битве при Мегиддоне (2Пар 35.23). С его смертью Иудея становится в вассальную зависимость от Египта (4Цар 23.33, 2Пар 36.1–4), а последнее обстоятельство вовлекает ее в борьбу с Вавилоном. Стремление Нехао утвердиться, пользуясь падением Ниневии, в приефратских областях встретило отпор со стороны сына Набополассара Навуходоноора. В 605 г. до Р. X. Нехао был разбит им в битве при Кархемыше. Через четыре года после этого Навуходоносор уже сам предпринял поход против Египта и в целях обезопасить себе тыл подчинил своей власти подвластных ему царей, в том числе и Иоакима иудейского (4Цар 24.1, 2Пар 36.5). От Египта Иудея перешла в руки вавилонян и под условием верности их могла бы сохранить свое существование. Но ее сгубила надежда на тот же Египет. Уверенный в его помощи, второй преемник Иоакима Седекия (Иер 37.5, Иез 17.15) отложился от Навуходоносора (4Цар 24.20, 2Пар 36.13), навлек нашествие вавилонян (4Цар 25.1, 2Пар 36.17) и, не получив поддержки от египетского фараона Офры (Иер 37.7), погиб сам и погубил страну.

Если международные отношения Иудеи сводятся к непрерывным войнам, то внутренняя жизнь характеризуется борьбой с язычеством. Длившаяся на протяжении всей истории двухколенного царства, она не доставила торжества истинной религии. Языческим начало оно свое существование при Ровоаме (3Цар 14.22–24, 2Пар 11.13–17), языческим и кончило свою политическую жизнь (4Цар 24.19, 2Пар 36.12). Причины подобного явления заключались прежде всего в том, что борьба с язычеством велась чисто внешними средствами, сводилась к одному истреблению памятников язычества. Единственное исключение в данном отношении представляет деятельность Иосафата, Иосии и отчасти Езекии. Первый составляет особую комиссию из князей, священников и левитов, поручает ей проходить по всем городам иудиным и учить народ (2Пар 17.7–10); второй предпринимает публичное чтение закона (4Цар 23.1–2, 2Пар 34.30) и третий устраивает торжественное празднование Пасхи (2Пар 30.26). Остальные же цари ограничиваются уничтожением идолов, вырубанием священных дубрав и т. п. И если даже деятельность Иосафата не принесла существенной пользы: «народ еще не обратил твердо сердца своего к Богу отцов своих» (2Пар 20.33), то само собой понятно, что одни внешние меры не могли уничтожить языческой настроенности народа, тяготения его сердца и ума к богам окрестных народов. Поэтому, как только умирал царь гонитель язычества, язычествующая нация восстановляла разрушенное и воздвигала новые капища для своих кумиров; ревнителям религии Иеговы вновь приходилось начинать дело своих благочестивых предшественников (2Пар 14.3, 15.8, 17.6 и т. п.). Благодаря подобным обстоятельствам, религия Иеговы и язычество оказывались далеко неравными силами. На стороне последнего было сочувствие народа; оно усвоялось евреем как бы с молоком матери, от юности входило в его плоть и кровь; первая имела за себя царей и насильно навязывалась ими нации. Неудивительно поэтому, что она не только была для нее совершенно чуждой, но и казалась прямо враждебной. Репрессивные меры только поддерживали данное чувство, сплачивали язычествующую массу, не приводили к покорности, а, наоборот, вызывали на борьбу с законом Иеговы. Таков, между прочим, результат реформ Езекии и Иоссии. При преемнике первого Манассии «пролилась невинная кровь, и Иерусалим... наполнился ею... от края до края» (4Цар 21.16), т. е. началось избиение служителей Иеговы усилившеюся языческой партией. Равным образом и реформа Иосии, проведенная с редкою решительностью, помогла сосредоточению сил язычников, и в начавшейся затем борьбе со сторонниками религии они подорвали все основы теократии, между прочим, пророчество и священство, в целях ослабления первого язычествующая партия избрала и выдвинула ложных пророков, обещавших мир и уверявших, что никакое зло не постигнет государство (Иер 23.6). Подорвано было ею и священство: оно выставило лишь одних недостойных представителей (Иер 23.3). Реформа Иосии была последним актом вековой борьбы благочестия с язычеством. После нее уж не было больше и попыток к поддержанию истинной религии; и в плен Вавилонский евреи пошли настоящими язычниками.

Плен Вавилонский, лишив евреев политической самостоятельности, произвел на них отрезвляющее действие в религиозном отношении. Его современники воочию убедились в истинности пророческих угроз и увещаний, – в справедливости того положения, что вся жизнь Израиля зависит от Бога, от верности Его закону. Как прямой и непосредственный результат подобного сознания, возникает желание возврата к древним и вечным истинам и силам, которые некогда создали общество, во все времена давали спасение и, хотя часто забывались и пренебрегались, однако всегда признавались могущими дать спасение. На этот-то путь и вступила прибывшая в Иудею община. В качестве подготовительного условия для проведения в жизнь религии Иеговы ею было выполнено требование закона Моисеева о полном и всецелом отделении евреев от окрестных народов (расторжение смешанных браков при Ездре и Неемии). В основу дальнейшей жизни и истории теперь полагается принцип обособления, изолированности.


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1 «Для всех вас, принадлежащих к клиру и мирянам, чтимыми и святыми да будут книги Ветхого Завета: Моисеевых пять (Бытие, Исход, Левит, Числа, Второзаконие), Иисуса Навина едина, Судей едина, Руфь едина, Царств четыре, Паралипоменон две, Ездры две, Есфирь едина».

2 «Читать подобает книги Ветхого Завета: Бытие мира, Исход из Египта, Левит, Числа, Второзаконие, Иисуса Навина, Судии и Руфь, Есфирь, Царств первая и вторая, Царств третья и четвертая, Паралипоменон первая и вторая, Ездры первая и вторая».

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10:5 Или: сильно стыдились.


10:12 Букв.: сделает хорошее в Его глазах.


10:18 Так в 1 Пар 19:18 и в Лукиановой редакции LXX, масоретский текст: всадников.


11:4 Или: она очистилась от нечистоты и вернулась домой.


11:7 Букв.: к нему.


11:8 Букв.: омой ноги твои.


11:21 В масоретском тексте он назван Еруббешет (слово «бааль», служившее также именем языческого божества, заменено словом «бошет» со значением «стыд»). Ср. Суд 8:29 - 9:57.


12:18 Или: он может что-либо с собой сделать.


12:25 Букв.: возлюбленный Господом.


12:30 Около 34 кг.


12:31 Так по друг. чтению. Ср. 1 Пар 20:3. Масоретский текст: народ, бывший в нем, он вывел и положил их под пилы.


13:34 Друг. чтение: по Хоронаимской дороге.


13:39 Или: не гневался больше на Авессалома, или: затосковал по Авессалому.


14:20 Или: представить дело под другим видом.


14:22 Букв.: благословил.


14:26 Чуть более 2 кг.


15:7 Так в LXX, масоретский текст: сорока.


15:8 Или: я послужу / совершу (жертвоприношение) Господу.


15:12 Или: пока он (находился в Святилище и) совершал жертвоприношения.


15:21 Букв.: жив Господь и жив владыка мой царь.


15:27 1 Или: разве ты не провидец; или: провидец, возвращайся…


15:30 Или: Елеонскую гору.


15:32 Хушай из Арки (Ис Нав 16:2) был другом царя (ср. ст. 37, 1 Пар 27:33) - вероятно, один из придворных титулов.


16:3 Букв.: дом Израилев.


16:10 Или (ближе к букв.): что между нами общего?


17:3 Масоретский текст в этом месте не вполне ясен, в LXX: весь народ я приведу к тебе, как невесту к жениху, кроме одного…


17:18 Или: резервуар - высеченная в камне подземная цистерна для сбора дождевой воды.


17:25 LXX: измаильтянина.


17:28 Масоретский текст еще раз добавляет: и жареное зерно.


18:8 Букв.: по всей стране.


18:11 Т.е. 115 г.


18:12 Т.е. около 11,5 кг.


18:13 Или: а ты бы покинул меня.


18:22 Здесь точный смысл масоретского текста не ясен.


19:7 Или: вдохнови. Букв.: поговори к сердцу.


19:12 Букв.: вы кость моя и плоть моя; то же в ст. 13.


19:22 а) Или (ближе к букв.): что между нами общего?


19:22 б) Букв.: что вы становитесь моими противниками сегодня?


19:26 Букв.: твой слуга.


19:28 Букв.: свой.


20:14 Или: и все жители Берима собрались и тоже последовали за ним.


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