William L. (William Loring) Worcester.

On holy ground : Bible stories with pictures of Bible lands online

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was by the road on the hill to the north of Bethlehem,
where Rachel, Jacob's wife, died. A little building still
marks the place. The Tabor mentioned was not Mount
Tabor, but perhaps a plain between Rachel's sepulchre and

Only Saul himself and Samuel knew that Saul was
anointed king. Now Samuel called the people together at
Mizpeh, and there the Lord showed them who it was that He
had chosen. Mizpeh was a hill a little north of Jerusalem,
perhaps the high, sharp-pointed hill which is still called Neby
Samwil, ' ' the prophet Samuel. ' '

Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son
of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Beehorath, the son of Aphiah, a
Benjamite, a mighty man of power. And he had a son, whose name was
Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the
children of Israel a goodlier person than he : from his shoulders and upward
he was higher than any of the people. And the asses of Kish Saul's father
were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants
with thee, and arise, go seek the asses. And he passed through mount
Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalisha, but they found them
not: then they passed through the land of Shalim, and there they were
not: and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they found
them not. And when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his
servant that was with him, Come, and let us return; lest my father leave
caring for the asses, and take thought for us. And he said unto him,
Behold, now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable
man ; all that he saith cometh surely to pass : now let us go thither ; perad-
venture he can shew us our way that we should go. Then said Saul to
his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the
bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man
of God: what have we? And the servant answered Saul again, and said,
Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will
I give to the man of God, to tell us our way. (Beforetime in Israel, when
a man went to enquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the
seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)
Then said Saul to his servant, Well said; come, let us go. So they went
unto the city where the man of God was. And as they went up the hill to
the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said unto
them, Is the seer here? And they answered them, and said, He is; behold,
he is before you : make haste now, for he came to day to the city ; for there
is a sacrifice of the people to day in the high place : as soon as ye be come
into the city, ye shall straightway find him, before he go up to the high
place to eat : for the people will not eat until he come, because he doth bless
the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat that be bidden. Now therefore get
you up; for about this time ye shall find him. And they went up into the



(Photograph by W. K. Richards.)

Coming; from the fountain.

city: and when they were come into the city, behold, Samuel came out
against them, for to go up to the high place.

Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, say-
ing, To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land
of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel,

that he may save my people
out of the hand of the Philis-
tines: for I have looked upon
my people, because their cry is
come unto me. And when
Samuel saw Saul, the Lord
said unto him, Behold the man
whom I spake to thee of! this
same shall reign over my peo-
ple. Then Saul drew near to
Samuel in the gate, and said,
Tell me, I pray thee, where the
seer's house is. And Samuel
answered Saul, and said, I am
the seer: go up before me unto
the high place; for ye shall eat with me to day, and to morrow I will let
thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart. And as for thine
asses that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them; for they are
found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel ? Is it not on thee, and on all
thy father's house? And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite,
of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the
families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?
And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the parlour,
and made them sit in the chiefest place among them that were bidden, which
were about thirty persons. And Samuel said unto the cook, Bring the por-
tion which I gave thee, of which I said unto thee, Set it by thee. And the
cook took up the shoulder, and that which was upon it, and set it before
Saul. And Samuel said, Behold that which is left ! set it before thee, and
eat : for unto this time hath it been kept for thee since I said, I have invited
the people. So Saul did eat with Samuel that day. And when they were
come down from the high place into the city, Samuel communed with Saul
upon the top of the house. And they arose early : and it came to pass about
the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house,*
saying, Up, that I may send thee away. And Saul arose, and they went out
both of them, he and Samuel, abroad. And as they were going down to the
end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us,
(and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the
word of God. Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head,
and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to
be captain over his inheritance? When thou art departed from me to day,
then thou shalt find two men by Rachel's sepulchre in the border of Ben-
jamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee, The asses which thou wentest

"Called to Saul on the housetop." (Revised Version.)



to seek are found: and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and
sorroweth for you, saying, What shall I do for my son? Then shalt thou
go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and
there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Beth-el, one carrying
three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying
a bottle of wine : and they will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of
bread; which thou shalt receive of their hands. After that thou shalt come
to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall
come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet
a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery,
and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:
and the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy
with them, and shalt be turned into another man. And let it be, when these
signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is
with thee. And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I
will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices
of peace offerings : seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew
thee what thou shalt do. And it was so, that, when he had turned his back
to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart : and all those signs came
to pass that day.

And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets
met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among
them. And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that,
behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to
another, What is this that is
come unto the son of Kish? Is
Saul also among the prophets'?
And one of the same place an-
swered and said, But who is
their father? Therefore it be-
came a proverb, Is Saul also
among the prophets ? And
when he had made an end of
prophesying, he came to the
high place.

And Saul's uncle said unto
him and to his servant, Whither
went ye? And he said, To seek
the asses : and when we saw
that they were no where, we
came to Samuel. And Saul's
uncle said, Tell me, I pray

thee, what Samuel said unto you. And Saul said unto his uncle, He told
us plainly that the asses were found. But of the matter of the kingdom,
whereof Samuel spake, he told him not.

And Samuel called the people together unto the Lord to Mizpeh; and
said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought
up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyp-
tians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed

(Copyright, 1903, by William H. Rau, Phila.)
Nearing Bethlehem from the north
Rachel's tomb.


you: and ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out
of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him,
Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the
Lord by your tribes, and by your thousands. And when Samuel had caused
all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken.
When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families,
the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken : and
when they sought him, he could not be found. Therefore they enquired
of the Lord further, if the man should yet come thither. And the Lord
answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff. And they ran and
fetched him thence : and when he stood among the people, he was higher
than any of the people from his shoulders and upward. And Samuel said
to all the people, See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is
none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said,
God save the king.

Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it
in a book, and laid it up before the Lord. And Samuel sent all the people
away, every man to his house. And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and
there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched. But
the children of Belial * said, How shall this man save us ? And they de-
spised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace. —
1 Samuel IX., X.


Saul's first war was in the country east of Jordan where
he saved the people of Jabesh-gilead from the Ammonites
who had come against them. Afterwards he had war with
the Philistines, and the story that we shall read tells us about
something that happened in this war. He also made war
upon the Amalekites, the old enemies who fought with the
children of Israel on the journey from Egypt, but he failed
to destroy them utterly as he was commanded to do.

At the time of our story, war with the Philistines was
going on. The Philistines had been oppressing the people
very much, not letting them make weapons nor even forge
their own farm tools. And now their armies were in the
country, and the Israelites hid in the caves, of which there
are so many in the rocky hill-sides.

The camp of the Philistines was at Michmash, on the
north side of a deep, rough valley which runs down eastward

* Wicked or worthless men.


to the Jordan. Saul came from Gilgal, the old camping place
near Jericho, and he and his son Jonathan with their army
were on the south side of this valley, in Gibeah or Geba. The
left side in the picture is the Philistine side, and Saul 's army
was on the right. The sharp projecting rock on the Mich-
mash side which stood all day in the bright sunshine, was
called Bozez, "the shining," and the rock on Saul's side was
called Seneh. The name means "the acacia," and is given
now, little changed, to the whole valley.

We must have the rough gorge in mind as we read this
grand story of success in the Lord's strength.

Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,
Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were
with Saul in Michmash and in
mount Beth-el, and a thousand
were with Jonathan in Gibeah
of Benjamin : and the rest of
the people he sent every man
to his tent. And Jonathan
smote the garrison of the
Philistines that was in Geba,
and the Philistines heard of
it. And Saul blew the trumpet
throughout all the land, saying,
Let the Hebrews hear. And all
Israel heard say that Saul had
smitten a garrison of the Philis-
tines, and that Israel also was
had in abomination with the
Philistines. And the people
were called together after Saul
to Gilgal.

And the Philistines gath-
ered themselves together to fight
with Israel, thirty thousand
chariots, and six thousand
horsemen, and people as the
sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and
pitched in Michmash, eastward from Beth-aven. When the men of Israel
saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the
people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in
high places, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to
the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all
the people followed him trembling.

And he tarried seven days, according to the set time thai Samuel had
appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered

(By permission of Palestine Exploration Fund.)

Gorge between Michmash and Geba, looking


from him. And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace
offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as
soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel
came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. And
Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that
the people were scatttered from me, and that thou earnest not within the
days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at
Michmash; therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me
to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord : I forced
myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. And Samuel said to Saul,
Thou hast done foolishly : thou hast not kept the commandment of the
Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have
established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall

(By permission of Palestine Exploration Fund.)

Kabbath Ammon, the valley, and head of stream.

not continue : the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the
Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast
not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.

And Samuel arose, and gat him up from Gilgal unto Gibeah of Ben-
jamin. And Saul numbered the people that were present with him, about
six hundred men. And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that
were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin : but the Philistines
encamped in Michmash. And the spoilers came out of the camp of the
Philistines in three companies: one company turned unto the way that
leadeth to Ophrah, unto the land of Shual : * and another company turned
the way to Beth-horon : f and another company turned to the way of the
border that looketh to the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.*

Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel : for
the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: but
all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his

* These went towards the north.
t These towards the south.
t These towards the east.


share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock. Yet they had a file
for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes,
and to sharpen the goads. So it came to pass in the day of battle, that
there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people
that were with Saul and Jonathan : but with Saul and with Jonathan his
son was there found. And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the
passage of Michmash.

Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said
unto the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over to the
Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father.
And Saul tarried in the uttermost part of Gibeah under a pomegranate
tree which is in Migron : and the people that were with him were about six
hundred men ; and Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, I-chabod's brother, the son
of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord's priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod.

(By permission of Palestine Exploration Fund.)

The castle, Rabbath Amnion.

And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone. And between the pass-
ages, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines' garrison,
there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side :
and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The
forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the
other southward over against Gibeah. And Jonathan said to the young man
that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these
uncircumcised : it may be that the Lord will work for us : for there is no
restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few. And his armourbearer
said unto him, Do all that is in thy heart: turn thee; behold, I am with
thee according to thy heart. Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass
over unto these men, and we will discover ourselves unto them. If they say
thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you; (hen we will stand still in out-
place, and will not go up unto them. But if they say thus, Come up unto


us ; then we will go up : for the Lord hath delivered them into our hand ;
and this shall be a sign unto us. And both of them discovered themselves
unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the
Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves. And
the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armour-bearer, and
said, Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said
unto his armourbearer, Come up after me : for the Lord hath delivered
them into the hand of Israel. And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands
and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him : and they fell before
Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him. And that first slaughter,
which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was about twenty men, within
as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plough. And
there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people :
the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so
it was a very great trembling. And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of
Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went
on beating down one another.

Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, Number now, and
see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan
and his armourbearer were not there. And Saul said unto Ahiah, Bring
hither the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the
children of Israel. And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest,
that the noise that was in the host of the Philistines went on and increased :
and Saul said unto the priest, Withdraw thine hand. And Saul and all
the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the
battle : and, behold, every man's .sword was against his fellow, and there
was a very great discomfiture. Moreover, the Hebrews that were with the
Philistines before that time, which went up with them into the camp from
the country round about, even they also turned to be with the Israelites
that were with Saul and Jonathan. Likewise all the men of Israel which
had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines
fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle. So the Lord
saved Israel that day : and the battle passed over unto Beth-aven. — 1 Samuel
XIII., XIV. 1-23.


Saul was to be no longer king. The old prophet Samuel
who had anointed Saul was now sent by the Lord to anoint
a more faithful king. He would find him in Bethlehem, a
son of Jesse.

We see the old man journeying from his home in Ramah,
with the horn of oil and a heifer, to the little town of Beth-
lehem. The name means "house of bread," for there were
rich valleys about the hill on which Bethlehem stood, and
other hills near by were green with olives and vines.



Samuel made a sacrifice and called Jesse and his family
to come. Seven of Jesse's sons passed before Samuel, but
though they were tall and handsome the Lord had not chosen
them. Saul had been chosen, who was tall and handsome, but
the new king must have a faithful heart. The youngest son
was keeping the sheep. His name was David, which means
''beloved" or "darling." He was "ruddy," with reddish
hair and light skin, which were considered marks of beauty
in a country where people were usually dark and with black

Can you tell me about the shepherd boys in the land of
Canaan? They led the sheep about where there was good

Bethlehem, from the Latin convent.

pasture, and in the dry weather found the springs where
they could drink. They protected them from wild animals.
We learn how David saved the flock from a lion and a bear.
He had a sling as a weapon and also to attract the atten-
tion of sheep that strayed from the flock. He had a staff,
too, and a shepherd's bag to carry what he needed to eat.
The shepherd did not drive the sheep, but went before
them, and they knew his voice and each one knew its name.
AVI l en the sheep were tired or feeble the shepherd led them
gently, and often carried the little lambs in his arms and in
the folds of his loose coat. Often the shepherds abode in
the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. David
spent many nights in the field and looked up at the stars so




many and so bright, and thought, "What is man, that thou
art mindful of him?"

David was called from the flock in the field, and the Lord
told Samuel what to do.

When Saul was anointed king the Spirit of the Lord came
upon him. But now it was with David, and an evil spirit

was with Saul. So they

brought David, and when

he played upon the harp,

perhaps singing at the same

time, Saul was refreshed

and well. David afterwards

sang many songs. He was

sweet psalmist

and he himself

Spirit of the

by me, and his

yrigbt, 1903, by William H. liau, Phila.) WOrCl WaS in HIV tOngUC ' '

Shepherd calling his flock.

called ' ' the
of Israel,"
said, ' ' the
Lord spake
word was

Many of the Psalms that we
love are songs that David
sang from the Spirit of the Lord. Often when wrong
thoughts and feelings trouble us and we are unhappy, if
we remember one of these Psalms and say it to ourselves or
read it, it will help us. It is like sending for David to sing
for us.

And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul,
seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with
oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite : for I have provided
me a king among his sons.' And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear
it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I
am come to sacrifice to the Lord. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will
shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I
name unto thee. And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came
to Beth-lehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said,
Comest thou peaceably ? And he said, Peaceably : I am come to sacrifice
unto the Lord : sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And
he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. And it
came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely
the Lord's anointed is before him. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look
not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have
refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the
outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. Then Jesse called
Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath


the Lord chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said,
Neither hath the Lord chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to
pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not

Online LibraryWilliam L. (William Loring) WorcesterOn holy ground : Bible stories with pictures of Bible lands → online text (page 17 of 42)