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such exactness, that to infidels, the Prophet seemed not to have foretold things future; but to have related things past! See Prophecy. Babylon. Sceptre. Jerusalem. Isaiah.
DAVID, the son of Jesse, of the tribe of Judah, and town of Bethlehem, was born in the year of the world, 2919, and 1085 years before Christ. That he did
many abominable acts, no one pretends to deny, much less to justify. His being termed in the scriptures, “the man after God's own heart,” does not by any means imply, that he was the character God wished him to be; but the person through, or by whom, God thought proper to accomplish certain purposes. In this respect, Cyrus, Pilate, Judas, &c. were men after God's own heart; that is, men fit to accomplish certain purposes in the government of omnipotence. See Numbers. Character.
DAVID'S directions, on his death-bed, to Solomon, respecting Joab, and Shimei, must be examined in connection with the position of David at the time, and the conduct and character of these two men, in order to understand clearly the subject, and render common justice to him. David was king or chief magistrate, whose duty it was, according to the solemn oath of office, to provide for the prosperity, peace, and security of his people, faithfully and without partiality.
1st. As to Joab: the sons of Zeruiah, had been too strong, and had too much influence with the army, for David to venture previously, to punish their atrocious deeds; a sufficient ground, for the punishment of a deliberate murderer, being postponed. But when this reason was removed, there was no evil in punishing him according to an express law. David was fully aware that a man like Joab, would be calculated to endanger the peace of his people; moreover, he was then in actual rebellion against the laws. Upon the common principle amongst all governments, even the most republican, that the safety and peace of the whole often require the life of the disturber, David ordered this man to be put to death. Moreover, it is to be observed that David even then, did not order Solomon to put him to death unconditionally; but “according to his wisdom:" that is as much as if he had said, “ although I was obliged to pardon him, yet do you act on your own judgment; and if he offends again, then punish him with death, as a hoary-headed and confirmed traitor to his country.
2d. As it respects Shimei, David had fulfilled his promise that he should not be put to death on the day when Abishai had requested permission to do it. (2 Sam. xix. 23. 1 Kings, ii. 8.) Solomon accordingly did not put him to death till three years afterwards, and even then, not till he had again violated his oath, and transgressed the convention, which Solomon's clemency had granted him. 1 Kings, ii. 37, 38. 40, 41. 46.
The following is an able criticism on this passage, from the pen of the Rev. Joseph Jaquett.
“And now hold him not guiltless, (for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him,) and his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood." 1 Kings, ii. 9.
• It is a principle of language, that when two or more clauses are united by copulative conjunctions, and there is a negative in the first—that it is to be understood in those following. This is visible in our own language. “ He would not go and do what he was commanded to do;" that is to say, he would not go, and he would not do what he was commanded to do. Now the recogni
tion of this principle in the passage before us, will remove any difficulty from it, and present the Royal Prophet in an attractive light. “And now hold him not guiltless, (for thou art a wise man and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him,) and his hoar head bring thou not down to the grave
with blood." To conclude with respect to David; it has been observed, “how deeply he felt for the guilt of his atrocious crimes, when once his conscience was properly awakened, we need no better evidence than the fifty-first Psalm, which he certainly composed on this occasion. It is impossible to read it without perceiving in it every characteristic of genuine repentance in the writer of it, and the marks of the deepest sorrow and humiliation for the sins of which he had been guilty. The heart appears in every line, and the bitter anguish of a wounded conscience discovers itself by the most natural and affecting symptoms. How earnestly does he plead for mercy, and thereby acknowledge his own unworthiness! How ingenuous are the confessions which he makes of his offences, and how heavy was the load of that guilt that oppressed him! The anguish of it pierced through his very bones and marrow, and the torture he felt was as though they had been broken and utterly crushed to pieces. How importunate his prayers, that God would create in him a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within him? How much does he dread being deserted of God? How earnestly deprecate the being deprived of his favour, the joy of his salvation, and the consolations of his Holy Spirit! Let this Psalm be read without prejudice, and with a view to collect the real sentiments of the writer, and no one can fail to see the strong conviction which he had of the heinousness of his offence, his earnest breathings after a sense of the Divine forgiveness, and that he might be restrained in
future from the commission of similar transgressions. And, those who run riot upon David's character, on account of his conduct in the affair of Uriah, though they cannot too heartily detest his sin, and must severely censure the offender, may deduce from it many important lessons of instruction, which should moderate their invective against him, and, if they are wise, they will profit by his example. Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.' • Be not high minded, but fear.' Let them see in the case of David what human nature is, when left to itself; how frail, how corrupt; how deceitful the human heart, and desperately wicked !' * From this period to the end of his days, the reign of David appears to have been marked by a series of distressing occurrences in his family and in his government, which could leave him but little of the enjoyment of human life. The Prophet Nathan, indeed, was instructed to tell him that God accepted his repentance; that he had put away his sin; and that he should not die. However, since by that deed he had caused the enemies of the Lord contemptuously to reject him, the son also that was born unto him should surely die in infancy: that the murder of which he had been guilty, should be revenged by the sword's never departing from his house; and that his adultery was retaliated in the most exemplary manner upon his own wives—threatenings which were punctually executed to the embittering of all his future days."Jones. See Gave.
DAY AND NIGHT. A common term amongst the Jews, applied in the reckoning of time, to a day, or to any part of a day, for the whole day; but not for the period of twenty-four hours. Thus as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so was the
NOT SEVENTY TWO HOURS.
son of man to be in the earth. That is, simply three days,
Thus he was swallowed by the fish on one day, (day and night;) and remained in the fish the second day, (day and night;) and was discharged from it on the third day, (day and night.) So that he was three days and three nights, (a part of three days,) in the fish. Similar language is used in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ's having been three days and three nights in the earth. The same mode of expression is adopted even in our own times on many occasions; one will suffice. There are three days grace on bills of exchange, that is, of course, twenty-four hours for each day, twelve hours day, twelve hours night. The bill comes due on the fifth of the month, and the three days grace expire on the seventh of the month; although there is actually but one whole day, and only a part of two days. In the first chapter of Genesis, the evening and the morning, (night and day,) are no less than six times called simply " day." And again in Gen. vii. 17, the term “ forty days” is put for “ forty days and forty nights." Also in the 12th verse of the saine chapter. Lastly, the transaction mentioned in Esther, iv. 16, and v. 1, proves beyond all dispute that the expression “ day and night," merely meant what we call a day. There it is recorded that Esther and the Jews fasted three days and three nights!” And this, although the day on which the command was given is included, and the third day, the day of the banquet, (v. 4,) is also included; so that in fact, there was but one whole day, a part of two days and two nights, and yet that period of time is called “ three days and three nights," which simply implies three days. See Whale.
DEATH. The Jews being in subjection to the Ro