William L. (William Loring) Worcester.

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

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chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And
he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the
sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him : for we will not
sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he
was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to.
And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him : for this is he. Then Samuel took
the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren : and the
Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel
rose up, and went to Ramah.

But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from
the Lord troubled him. And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an
evil spirit from God troubleth thee. Let our lord now command thy servants,
which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on a harp :
and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that

(By permission of Palestine Exploration Fund.)

Bethlehem, from the north : the town is distant near the right of picture.

he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. And Saul said unto
his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to
me. Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a
son of Jesse the Beth-lehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty
valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely
person, and the Lord is with him. Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto
Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. And Jesse
took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them
by David his son unto Saul. And David came to Saul, and stood before
him : and he loved him greatly ; and he became his armourbearer. And
Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he
hath found favour in my sight. And it came to pass, when the evil spirit
from (!(><! was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his
hand : so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed
from him. — 1 Samuel XVI.



We have learned of the valley which runs from the hills
at Bethshemesh out across the Philistine plain. There had
been more than one battle with the Philistines there.

There was war again with the Philistines, and this time
the armies were in another valley further south, the valley of
Elah, which also runs out from the hills of Judah and across
the plains to the sea. The hills rise on either side of the val-
ley, between them is a meadow, and in the meadow a stony
gully, where a torrent runs in the rainy season. The Israel-
ites were on the eastern side of the valley, and the Philistines
on the western, facing each other across the valley.

Goliath came out from the Philistine army and defied the
Israelites and the Lord, and asked for some man to come and

(By permission of Palestine Exploration Fund.)

Valley of Elah, looking west.

fight with him. Whichever one was killed, his people should
serve the other. He was a giant, six cubits and a span in
height. A cubit was the length of the arm from the elbow
to the end of the fingers, about a foot and a half. A span
was the distance stretched by the open hand. His home was
in Gath, one of the Philistine cities, on a strong hill, by this
same valley of Elah. We have heard before of giants in the
land of Canaan. The spies sent up from Kadesh found
giants in Hebron. Afterwards Joshua destroyed the giants
and they remained only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod.
And the giant was armed. His coat of mail was probably


of scales and came down nearly to his knees; the greaves
were armor for the legs and feet; and a javelin of bronze
was slung on his shoulders. He had a sword and a very
heavy spear whose staff was like the beam to which the web
was fastened in the clumsy looms which weavers used. And
one went before the giant with a large shield. Morning and
evening he came out for forty days. Saul's army was afraid.

We know where David lived with his father, now an old
man, and his seven brothers. The three oldest were in Saul's
army. We remember how David had been anointed by
Samuel, how the Spirit of the Lord was with him, and how
he had been called to play for Saul. But he "went and re-
turned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem."
It would seem that as yet David had not been enough with
Saul for the king to know much of him.

Jesse sent David with a present from home to his brothers
in the army, to learn of their welfare. It was not very far
across the hills. So David saw the giant and heard his proud
words. "And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail
because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this

We see the shepherd lad, perhaps now twenty years old,
with only his staff and sling and shepherd's bag, going out
into the valley to meet Goliath. As he crossed the brook he
chose five smooth stones and put them in his bag. The giant
disdained him, trusting in his strength and armor, but David
trusted in the Lord. The armies stood watching. You will
learn the rest as we read the story.

Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were
gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched
between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. And Saul and the men
of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and
set the battle in array against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on
a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other
side : and there was a valley between them. And there went out a champion
nut of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height
was six cubits and a span. And he had an helmet of brass upon his head,
and he was armed with a coat of mail ; and the weight of the coat was
five thousand shekels of brass. And he had greaves of brass upon his legs,
.Hid a target* of brass between his shoulders. And the staff of his spear

* The Revised Version reads " a javelin."



was like a weaver's beam ; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels
of iron : and one bearing a shield went before him. And he stood and
cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out
to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul?
choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to
fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants : but if I prevail
against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. And
the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this clay: give me a man,
that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words
of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Beth-lehem-judah, whose
name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men
for an old man in the days of Saul. And the three eldest sons of Jesse
went and followed Saul to the battle : and the names of his three sons that
went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next unto him Abinadab,
and the third Shammah. And David was the youngest : and the three eldest

followed Saul. But David
went and returned from
Saul to feed his father's
sheep at Beth-lehem. And
the Philistine drew near
morning and evening, and
presented himself forty

And Jesse said unto
David his son, Take now
for thy brethren an ephah
of this parched corn,* and
these ten loaves, and run
to the camp to thy breth-
ren ; and carry these ten
cheeses unto the captain of
their thousand, and look
how thy brethren fare, and
take their pledge.t Now
Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting
with the Philistines. And David rose up early in the morning, and left the
sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him ; and
he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted
for the battle. For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array,
army against army. And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper
of the carriage,! and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.
And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philis-
tine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and
spake according to the same words : and David heard them. And all the men

(Copyright, 1903, by William H. Rau, Phila.)

* New wheat roasted at the fire.

t He should bring something as a token that they were well.

t His baggage, that he was carrying.


of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. And
the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to
defy Israel is he come up : and it shall be, that the man who kiileth him,
the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter,
and make his father's house free in Israel. And David spake to the men
that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that kiileth this
Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel ? for who is this uncir-
cumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God ? And
the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to
the man that kiileth him. And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake
unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said,
Why earnest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few
sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine
heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. And
David said, What have I now done ? Is there not a cause ? And he turned
from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people
answered him again after the former manner. And when the words were
heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent
for him. And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him;
thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David,
Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou
art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. And David said unto
Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a
bear, and took a lamb out of the flock : and I went out after him, and
smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth : and when he arose against
me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant
slew both the lion and the bear : and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be
as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David
said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and
out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this
Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee. And
Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his
head ; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword
upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And
David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these ; for I have not proved them.
And David put them off him. And he took his staff in his hand, and chose
him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag
which he had, even in a scrip ; and his sling was in his hand : and he drew
near to the Philistine. And the Philistine came on and drew near unto
David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. And when the
Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him : for he was but
a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said
unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the
Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David,
Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the
beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me
with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield : * but I come to thee in
the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou

* The Revised Version reads " a javelin."



hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand ; and I will
smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of
the host of the Philistines tins day unto the fowls of the air, and to the
wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God
in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with
sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into
our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and
drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to
meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence
a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone
sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David
prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the
Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.

Solomon's pools, near Bethlehem.

Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword,
and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head
therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they
fled. And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued
the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron.
And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even
unto Gath, and unto Ekron.* And the children of Israel returned from
chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents. And David took
the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his
armour in his tent.

And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto
Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And
Abner said, As thy soul liveth, king, I cannot tell. And the king said,

* Gath we know near by, and Ekron out in the plain.


Enquire thou whose son the stripling is. And as David returned from the
slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul
with the head of the Philistine in his hand. And Saul said to' him, Whose
son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy
servant Jesse the Beth-lehemite. And it came to pass, when he had made
an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the
soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took
him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house.
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his
own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him,
and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow,
and to his girdle.* And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and
behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he
was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's

And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the
slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel,
singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with
instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they
played, and said,

Saul hath slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.

And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said,
They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed
but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul
eyed David from that day and forward. — 1 Samuel XVII.; XVIII. 1~9.


The story of Jonathan and his armor-bearer showed us
that this son of Saul was a brave man who trusted in the
Lord. In the story of David and Goliath we learned that
when David came from the fight Jonathan loved him and
gave him his garments. The two brave men became fast
friends. But after the fight with Goliath and the songs
which were everywhere sung in praise of David, Saul
envied him and tried to kill him. Now we shall read how
Jonathan was true to his friend and helped him to escape
from Saul.

* Jonathan's giving David his garments was a sign of friendship, and it
perhaps shows that he already felt that David would be king after Saul, and
not himself.



We read of the javelin or spear in Saul's hand. When
he was angry he threatened David with it and even cast it
at David and at Jonathan. Afterwards the spear was stuck
at Saul's head where he was sleeping on the ground. It was
like a sceptre, a sign that he was a king. The Arab chiefs

to-day have long spears
which they carry high in
the air as they ride on
horseback and stick in
the ground by the tent
door, when they are at

The story tells us
about a sign arranged
between Jonathan and
David, how Jonathan
should learn whether
Saul were angry with
David or not and how
he should let David
know. The time of the

(Published by C. H. Graves, Phila.)

Bedouin chiefs, with spears.

new moon was a time for sacred feasts when every one
would take pains to be at the table if according to their
rules he were " clean" so that he could come.

As we read the promises of friendship between Jonathan
and David, it is good to know that the promises were kept,
and that after David was king he showed kindness to the
family of Jonathan. He also expressed his love in a beau-
tiful song which he sang at Jonathan's death. (2 Sam. i.

But I must not tell too much.

And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they
should kill David. . . .

So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told
him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in
Naioth.* . . .

And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jona-
than, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before

* " Naioth" means " dwellings," probably the home of the prophets who
lived at Ramah.


thy father, that he seeketh my life? And he said unto him, God forbid;
thou shalt not die : behold, my father will do nothing either great or small,
but that he will shew it me : and why should my father hide this thing
from me? it is not so. And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father
certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let
not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved : but truly, as the Lord liveth,
and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death. Then
said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it
for thee. And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new
moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat : but let me go,
that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even. If thy
father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he
might run to Beth-lehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for
all the family. If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace:
but if he be very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him. There-
fore thou shalt deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy
servant into a covenant of the Lord with thee : notwithstanding, if there be
in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy
father ? And Jonathan said, Far be it from thee : for if I knew certainly
that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not
I tell it thee? Then said David to Jonathan, Who shall tell me? or what
if thy father answer thee roughly?

And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field.
And they went out both of them into the field. And Jonathan said unto
David, Lord God of Israel, when I have sounded my father about to
morrow any time, or the third day, and, behold, if there be good toward
David, and I then send not unto thee, and shew it thee ; the Lord do so and
much more to Jonathan : but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I
will shew it thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace : and
the Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father. And thou shalt not
only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not : but
also thou shalt not cut off thy
kindness from my house for
ever: no, not when the Lord
hath cut off the enemies of
David every one from the face
of the earth. So Jonathan
made a covenant with the
house of David, saying, Let
the Lord even require it at
the hand of David's enemies.
And Jonathan caused David to

SWear again, because he loved (Copyright, 1903, by William H. ltau, Phila.)

him : for he loved him as he A village near Gibeah of Saul,

loved his own soul. Then Jona-
than said to David, To morrow is the new moon : and thou shalt be missed,
because thy seat will be empty. And when thou hast stayed three days,
then thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place where thou didst
hide thyself when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone



(Copyright, 1003, by William H. Bau, Tliila.)

Gardens of Engannim, Esdraelon.

Ezel.* And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I
shot at a mark. And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go, find out the
arrows. If I expressly say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this
side of thee, take them ; then come thou : for there is peace to thee, and
no hurt; as the Lord liveth. But if I say thus unto the young man,

Behold, the arrows are be-
yond thee ; go thy way :
for the Lord hath sent
thee away. And as touch-
ing the matter which thou
and I have spoken of, be-
hold, the Lord be between
thee and me for ever.

So David hid himself
in the field : and when the
new moon was come, the
king sat him down to eat
meat. And the king sat
upon his seat, as at other
times, even upon a seat by
the Avail : and Jonathan
arose, and Abner sat by
Saul's side, and David's
place was empty. Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day : for
he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is
not clean. And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second
day of the month, that David's place was empty : and Saul said unto
Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither
yesterday, nor to day? And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly
asked leave of me to go to Beth-lehem : and he said, Let me go, I pray
thee ; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city ; and my brother, he
hath commanded me to be there : and now, if I have found favour in
thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. There-
fore he cometh not unto the king's table. Then Saul's anger was kindled
against Jonathan, and he said unto him, ... do not I know that thou
hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion? . . . For as long
as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established,
nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he
shall surely die. And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto
him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done? And Saul cast a
javelin at him to smite him : whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined
of his father to slay David. So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce
anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month : for he was grieved
for David, because his father had done him shame.

And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the
field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him. And he

* Perhaps it was called the stone Ezel, " the stone of departure," in
memory of David's parting from Jonathan and going away.



said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the
lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. And when the lad was come to the
place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad,
and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee? And Jonathan cried after the lad,
Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows,
and came to his master. But the lad knew not any thing : only Jonathan
and David knew the matter. And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his

Online LibraryWilliam L. (William Loring) WorcesterOn holy ground : Bible stories with pictures of Bible lands → online text (page 18 of 42)