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cover of a suitable excuse, he thereupon directed the lad to retire, while he poured out his heart to David, with still greater freedom. Suspicion, however, proved to be more sharp-sighted than friendship. Soon afterwards, Saul said to his servants assembled around him, 22: 8, "Ye all have conspired against me, and there is none that showeth me, that my son had made a league with the son of Jesse ; therefore, now this my servant seeketh after my life." Nevertheless, the stain which was here publicly fastened upon him, the noble Jonathan at last removed in a glorious manner. His father, whom he had never forsaken, he faithfully followed, even in that last battle against the Philistines on Mount Gilboa; and as Saul fell, Jonathan also found the death which he probably sought, in order that he might free his honor from the suspicion of high treason, 31: 2.
4. After this catastrophe it refreshes us to hear, how precious to David was Jonathan's love. Carefully has the historian collected every circumstance whereby the new king honored the memory of his departed friend. David then sung the celebrated elegy, 2 Sam. i, with the undoubted design of rescuing Jonathan's name from all accusation of having entered into a conspiracy against his father. Jonathan is intentionally placed before Saul in this beautiful poem, but still he appears inseparable from his father,-united in life and in death.1
19 The gazelle (lies), O Israel, slain on thy mountains!
How are the mighty fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath!
Publish it not in the streets of Ascalon!
Lest the daughters of the Philistines exult!
Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph!
21 Mountains of Gilboa !
No dew nor rain upon you!
Be a field for execration ! 2
For there was cast away the shield of the hero,
The shield of Saul,-no (more) anointed with oil.
In a poem of such deep emotion, the strophic symmetry cannot appear strongly marked. Still, the first three verses are a general lamentation; the three following are devoted to the two heroes, but in such a manner that Jonathan appears preeminent; the last three are employed upon Jonathan alone.
"[Or let it not be a field for oblations, i. e. yielding rich fruits.-TR.]
22 From the blood of the slain, from the flesh of the mighty The bow of Jonathan turned not back,
And the sword of Saul returned not empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan-lovely and pleasant in their life,
And in their death not divided;
Swifter than eagles!
Stronger than lions!
24 Daughters of Israel! weep for Saul,
Who clothed you in crimson, with beautiful decorations;
25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, slain upon thy mountains!
26 Wo be to me for thee, my brother Jonathan !` Very dear wast thou to me!
Wonderful was thy love to me-more than the love of women! 27 How are the mighty fallen!
And the weapons of war perished!
David, thereupon, commended the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead, because they had taken care of the remains of Saul and Jonathan, 2 Sam. 2: 5-7. He thrice showed kindness to Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son, and that too, "for Jonathan's sake." bosheth was not, indeed, an object of fear on the part of David, as he had a lameness caused by a fall when he was five years old, his nurse fleeing with him on the news of his father's death, 2 Sam. 4: 4. But David sent for him from Lodebar beyond Jordan, gave him a permanent seat at his own table, and bestowed upon him the land and the whole private estate of Saul, entrusting the management of the property to Ziba, who had been a servant of Saul and the overseer of his house. During the insurrection of Absalom, this Ziba accused Mephibosheth of entertaining designs on the throne as his own right. David then granted the whole of Saul's estate to Ziba, 2 Sam. 16: 3, 4. The historian, however, gives us to understand that this was a false accusation, for Mephibosheth had never put off his mourning garments from the time of David's departure till his return home, 2 Sam. 19: 25-29. David, in the meantime, divided Saul's estate, half to the accuser and half
חֶסֶד אֶלהִים Like that of God
to the accused. This might have been owing either to the fact that he had still some doubt of Mephibosheth's innocence, or because he had pledged his word to Ziba, v. 30, 31. When, subsequently, David had resigned to the Gibeonites, as a bloody expiation, the remaining posterity of Saul, (without doubt in order to strengthen the succession to the throne in his own family), he still spared Mephibosheth, 66 on account of the oath of Jehovah which was between him and Jonathan," 2 Sam. 21: 7. As a satisfactory conclusion to this entire and elegantly delineated picture, the history states that David honorably interred the bones of Saul and Jonathan in the family burialplace, in the tribe of Benjamin, 2 Sam. 21: 12.
NOTE BY THE TRANSLATOR, p. 75.
The article above translated is found in the Theol. Stud, u. Krit., Vol. V. 1832, pp. 366-376. The writer, John Frederic Köster, theological professor in the university of Kiel in Denmark, was born in 1791. In an article on Rationalism and Supernaturalism in the German Conversations-Lexicon, he is classed with the moderate supernaturalists, approaching more nearly to such men as Lücke and Ullmann than to Hengstenberg. Some of the principal publications of Prof. Köster are the following: Meletemeta Crit. et Exeget. in Zachariae Prophetae, Cap. IX-XIV. 1818; Die Strophen oder der Parallelismus der Verse der Hebräischen Poesie. His object in this piece is to show, that the verses of Hebrew poetry are regulated by the same law of symmetry, as the members of the verses; and that consequently this poetry is, in its essence, composed of Strophes, i. e. its verses are arranged in symmetrical divisions. He seems, however, to give the name of Strophe to that which we are accustomed to call a paragraph. See Bibl. Repos. 1. 611. In accordance with his theory, Köster has published translations of the books of Job and Psalms, with introductions and notes. His remarks display extensive knowledge and an excellent spirit. He has lately inserted in the Stud. u Krit., an article entitled, Notes on the Old Testament out of the Book of Kosri.'