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saying, Thus saith the Lord, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?

Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.

In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel, spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me a house of cedar?

Now, therefore, so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheep-cote, from following the sheep, to be a ruler over my people Israel :

And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are on the earth.

Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more ; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime;

And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee a house.

And when thy days be fulfilled, that thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy son after thee, and I will establish his kingdom.

I will be his father and he shall be my son : If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men ; and with the stripes of the children of men; but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

And David feared the Lord, and served him with a fearful heart : and though many enemies fought against him, yet, as he put his whole trust in the Lord, he was strengthened to overcome them all. And through the power of the Lord, David subdued the Philistines, the Moabites, the Syrians, and many other nations : and he was a great and mighty king.

LESSON XCII. 2 SAMUEL, CHAP. XI. XII. And it came to pass that king David saw Bath-sheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of his captains ; and he desired to have her for his wife.

And David ordered Joab, the chief captain of his host, to set Uriah in the fore-front of the battle when he went to fight with the Ammonites.

And Joab did as the king commanded, and Uriah was slain. Then David took Bath-sheba to be his wife.

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 it for the way-faring 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 four-fold, 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 gave thee the house of Israel, and of Judah : and if that had been too little, I would have moreover given 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. 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. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house. For thou didst it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

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. 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.

And Nathan departed unto his house, and the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child ; and David fasted and went in and lay all night upon the earth.

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.

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 ?

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.

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.

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. 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?

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. And Bath-sheba, David's wife, bare him another son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him.

LESSON XCIII. 2 SAMUEL, CHAP. XIII.

Then David repented of his great sin, and humbled himself before the Lord; nevertheless, it came to pass as the Lord had said by Nathan the prophet, for evil came upon David from his own house; Absalom, the son of David hated Amnon his brother.

And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheep-shearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim; and Absalom invited all the king's sons. And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheep-shearers ; let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants, go with thy servant.

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.

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? but Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him.

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.

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.

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. Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth : and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent.

And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother answered and said, 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.

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.

: And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king's sons come : as thy servants said, so it is. 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.

But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years. And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom : for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.

LESSON XCIV. 2 SAMUEL, CHAP. XV. 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 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, O that I were made Judge in the land, that every man that 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 be arose and went to Hebron.

But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trum

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