William L. (William Loring) Worcester.

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

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lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city. And as soon as the
lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his
face to the ground, and bowed himself three times : and they kissed one
another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. And Jonathan
said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the
name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and thee, and between
my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed : and Jonathan
went into the city. — 1 Samuel XIX. 1, 18; XX.


When David parted from Jonathan near Sanl's home in
Gibeah, he went first to Nob near Jerusalem, perhaps on the
northern ridge of
the Mount of Olives.
The tabernacle was
standing there, hav-
ing been brought
from Shiloh. There
the priest gave him
the shewbread and
the sword of Go-
liath. You remem-
ber the Lord spoke
of "what David did,
when he was an hun-
gered, and they that
were with him. ' '
(Matt. xii. 3, 4.)

Then he fled to
Achish, king of Gath.
But they knew and

feared him there, and he escaped by pretending that he was
mad. Next he hid in the cave of Adullam, up the valley of

(From stereograph, copyright by Underwood & Underwood, N. Y.)

In the wilderness of Judfea.



Elah from Gatli. There his family and others gathered to
him. Soon we find him in the wilderness, the barren region
bordering the Dead Sea on the west. It was told Saul that
David was there, and he came and almost took him, when he
was called away to fight the Philistines.

Saul heard again that David was in the wilderness near
the Dead Sea. Saul came into the very cave where David
and his men were, and David cut off the skirt of the king's
robe, but did him no harm. Saul's anger passed away for
the time, and he went home.

Once more people sent word to Saul that David was hiding
in the desert, and he came again to take him. This is the

(By permission of Palestine Exploration Fund. )

"West shore of the Dead Sea, near Engedi.

story that we are to read together. Jeshimon, ' ' the solitude, ' '
was the wilderness of Judaea, west of the Dead Sea. It is
now a chalky waste, very barren and wild. The hill Hachilah
was in the southern part of this wilderness. David made
sure by spies that Saul had come and was camped near. The
"trench" was probably the baggage piled about as a sort
of protection to the camp. Inside this defence, in the midst
of his men, Saul was lying asleep with Abner. Abner was
related to Saul, probably his cousin, and was his faithful


captain. The place where the king was sleeping was shown
by his spear standing at his head, as the tent of an Arab
chief is marked by his spear stuck in the ground at the door.

David and one with him went among the sleeping soldiers
to the place where Saul was lying. It was Abishai who went
with him. Abishai and Joab are often mentioned in the
accounts of David's wars. They were his nephews, sons of
Zeruiah his sister, and they were David's captains.

Now we will read the story and learn what happened in
the camp where Saul lay asleep.

And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David
hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshhnon? Then
Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand
chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.
And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the
way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after
him into the wilderness. David therefore sent out spies, and understood
that Saul was come in very deed. And David arose, and came to the place
where Saul had pitched : and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and
Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host : and Saul lay in the trench,
and the people pitched round about him. Then answered David and said
to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to
Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai
said, I will go down with thee. So David and Abishai came to the people
by night : and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear
stuck in the ground at his bolster : but Abner and the people lay round
about him. Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy
into thine hand this day : now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee,
with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the
second time. And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not : for who can
stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless? David
said furthermore, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day
shall come to die ; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. The Lord
forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed :
but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse
of water, and let us go. So David took the spear and the cruse of water
from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it. nor knew
it, neither awaked : for they were all asleep ; because a deep sleep from the
Lord was fallen upon them. Then David went over to the other side, and
stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them: and
David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest
thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that cries!
to the king? And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and
who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord
the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.
This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the Lord liveth, ye art



worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the Lord's anointed.
And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was
at his bolster. And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this thy voice,
my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, king. And he
said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what
have I done ? or what evil is in mine hand % Now therefore, I pray thee, let
my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the Lord have stirred thee
up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of
men, cursed be they before the Lord ; for they have driven me out this day
from abiding in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, Go, serve other gods.
Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the
Lord : for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth

Gorge of Kidron and monastery of Mar Saba, \vilderne6s of Jud»a.

hunt a partridge in the mountains. Then said Saul, I have sinned : return,
my son David; for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was
precious in thine eyes this clay : behold, I have played the fool, and have
erred exceedingly. And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear!
and let one of the young men come over and fetch it. The Lord render to
every man his righteousness and his faithfulness : for the Lord delivered
thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against
the Lord's anointed. And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in
mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the Lord, and let him-
deliver me out of all tribulation. Then Saul said to David, Blessed be
thou, my son David : thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still
prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place. —
1 Samuel XXVI.



Saul and Jonathan were dead, and David was king of all
Israel. He had taken the strong fortress of the Jebusites on
one of the hills of Jerusalem, and it was called "the city
of David."

If you look at the map of Jerusalem, you see that the
Kidron valley divides it from the Mount of Olives on the
east. The valley of Hinnom comes down on the west of the
city and joins the Kidron. Another smaller valley between
these two separates Mount Moriah on the east, where the tem-
ple was afterwards built, from a higher hill on the west. This
higher hill was rough and bold at its southern end, and it is

Mount Zion. Mount Moriah. Mount of Olives.

this strong point that we think of when we read about the
Jebusite fortress and Mount Zion. David made this his home
and he built a palace here. He was now a strong king.

And where was the ark of the commandments at this
time! Suppose you tell me its history from the time that
it was made at Mount Sinai. Remember how its power was
seen at the crossing of the Jordan, and how it threw down
the walls of Jericho. After the land was conquered the ark
rested in the tabernacle at Shiloh, and was there when Samuel
ministered as a child. It was taken from Shiloh into the
battle with the Philistines, and was in the hands of these
enemies seven months. It came back on the cart drawn by
the cows to Bethshemesh, and from there it was taken up
to Kirjath-jearim among the hills of Judah. Kirjath-jearim,




the "city of the woods," is thought to have been southwest
of Jerusalem, at the ruin Anna, quite near to Bethshemesh.
Here the ark rested a long time, some seventy or eighty years
in all.

Now David gathered the people to bring up the ark to
his city. We see them take it from its resting-place in
Kirjath-jearim and place it on a cart drawn by oxen. We
think of the new cart on which the Philistines put it, drawn
by cows. But the ark did not reach Jerusalem. Why not?
We must read how it was.

After three months David again gathered the people.
This time there was no cart, but they took the ark gently on

their shoulders -as the priests used to do, and they brought
it up safely to Jerusalem. We hear them singing and play-
ing as they climb towards the city. David himself was
dancing. But where should they put the ark? There was
not yet any temple ; the tabernacle was not in Jeru-
salem; but David had spread a tent for the ark in Mount
Zion, and there they put it until the temple was built by

This is the story of bringing up the ark.



Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty
thousand. And David arose, and went with all the people that were with
him from Baale of Judah,* to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose
name is called by the name of the Lord of hosts that dwelleth between the
cherubims. And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it
out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah : f and Uzzah and Ahio,
the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. And they brought it out of the
house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God :
and Ahio went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel
played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even
on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cym-
bals. And when they came to Nachon's threshing-floor, Uzzah put forth his
hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it ; for the oxen shook it. And
the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there
for his error; and there he
died by the ark of God.
And David was displeased,
because the Lord had made
a breach upon Uzzah : and
he called the name of the
p lace Perez-uzzah to this
day. And David was
afraid of the Lord that
day, and said, How shall
the ark of the Lord come
to me? So David would
not remove the ark of the
Lord unto him into the city
of David : but David car-
ried it aside into the house
of Obed-edom the Gittite.
And the ark of the Lord
continued in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months: and the
Lord blessed Obed-edom, and all his household. And it was told king
David, saying, The Lord hath blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all
that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went
and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the
city of David with gladness. And it was so, that when they that bare
the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.
And David danced before the Lord with all his might ; and David was girded
with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the
ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. And
as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter
looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before
the Lord ; and she despised him in her heart. And they brought in the ark
of the Lord, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David

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

The Damascus Gate, Jerusalem.

* This was another name of Kirjath-jearim, where the ark was.
t " Gibeah" means " the hill," — the hill in Kirjath-jearim.


had pitched for it : and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings
before the Lord. And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt
offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the
Lord of hosts. And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole
multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake
of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people
departed every one to his house. — 2 Samuel VI. 1~19.

The bringing up of the ark is still more real to us when
we read a Psalm which was probably sung that day. We
see the ark coming near to the city. The singers with David
call to the gates to open. Other singers from the gates ask
a question in answer, and the voices with David reply.

This is the Psalm of rejoicing. It is printed in short
lines because it is poetry, like all the Psalms.


The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof;
The world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the floods.

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

Tower of David, Jerusalem.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?

Or who shall stand in his holy place?

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart;


Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity,

Nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive the blessing from the Lord,

And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is the generation of them that seek him,

That seek thy face, Jacob. [Selah.*

Lift up your heads, ye gates;

And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors;

And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord strong and mighty,

The Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, ye gates;

Even lift them up, ye everlasting doors;

And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord of hosts,

He is the King of glory. [Selah.*

—Psalm XXIV.


We have read the Psalm that probably was sung when
the ark was brought up to Zion. All the Psalms are sacred
songs which David and other singers sang, not from them-
selves, but from the Lord. Here is David's own testimony
that he sang from the Spirit of the Lord.

Now these be the last words of David.

David the son of Jesse said,
And the man who was raised up on high,
The anointed of the God of Jacob,
And the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,
The Spirit of the Lord spake by me,
And his word was in my tongue.

—2 Samuel XXIII. 1, 2.

I hope you all know the beautiful Psalm, "The Lord is
my shepherd; I shall not want." It is a Psalm that David
sang, and we remember that he was himself a shepherd on
the hills of Bethlehem. He had found green pastures where
the sheep could feed and still waters where they could drink

* This word probably means that the voices rest and an interlude is
played by the instruments.


and lie down to rest. He had protected the sheep too in
times of danger. And it all was a picture of how the Lord
feeds and guards His children and leads them to His home
in heaven.

Can you say the Psalm for me ? Let us say it together.


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures :

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul :

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

(Published by C. H. Graves, Phila.)
Beside still waters : the stream from Gideon's spring.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil : for thou art with me ;

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies :

Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life :

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

—Psalm XXIII.

And this is another grand Psalm that tells how the Lord
made all things in the sky, and on the earth, and in the sea,
and takes care of them every day. They could not live a
moment without Him. It is a good Psalm to read in the
spring, when the sky is bright, and the birds are singing, and
plants and trees are growing, and all things are so full of
new life.

Bless the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, thou art very great ;



Thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment :

Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain :

Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters :

Who maketh the clouds his chariot :

Who walketh upon the wings of the wind :

Who maketh his angels spirits; *

His ministers a flaming fire :

Who laid the foundations of the earth,

That it should not be removed for ever.

Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment :

The waters stood above the mountains.

At thy rebuke they fled ;

At the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.

Source of Ibrahim River, Mount Lebanon.

They go up by the mountains ; they go down by the valleys

Unto the place which thou hast founded for them.

Thou bast set a bound that they may not pass over;

That they turn not again to cover the earth.

He sendeth the springs into the valleys,

Wbich run among the hills.

They give drink to every beast of the field :

The wild asses quench their thirst.

* The Revised Version reads, " Who maketh winds his messengers."
winds and lightning are the Lord's servants.



By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation,

Which sing among the branches.

He watereth the hills from his chambers :

The earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle,

And herb for the service of man :

That he may bring forth food out of the earth ;

And wine that maketh glad the heart of man,

And oil to make his face to shine,

And bread which strengtheneth man's heart.

The trees of the Lord are full of sap ;

The cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;

Cedars of Lebanon.

Where the birds make their nests :

As for the stork, the fir trees are her house.

The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats ;

And the rocks for the conies.*

He appointed the moon for seasons :

The sun knoweth his going clown.

Thou makest darkness, and it is night :

Wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.

The young lions roar after their prey,

* The coney, " the hider," is a shy little creature about as large as a


And seek their meat from God.

The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together,

And lay them down in their dens.

Man goeth forth unto his work

And to his labour until the evening.

Lord, how manifold are thy works !
In wisdom hast thou made them all :
The earth is full of thy riches.

So is this great and wide sea,

Wherein are things creeping innumerable,

Both small and great beasts.

There go the ships :

There is that leviathan,t whom thou hast made to play therein.

These wait all upon thee ;

That thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

That thou givest them they gather:

Thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.

Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled :

Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created :

And thou renewest the face of the earth.

The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever :

The Lord shall rejoice in his works.

He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth :

He toucheth the hills, and they smoke.

1 will sing unto the Lord as long as I live :

I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

My meditation of him shall be sweet :

I will be glad in the Lord.

Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth,

And let the wicked be no more.

Bless thou the Lord, my soul.

Praise ye the Lord.

—Psalm CIV.


We are coming near the end of the story of David's life.
He was now about seventy years old. At one time one of his
sons, Absalom, had tried to take the kingdom from his father.
Now Adonrjah, another son, made himself king as Absalom
had done. He gave a feast and had himself anointed king,
at a place very near to Jerusalem, "by the stone of Zoheleth,
which is by En-rogel," the "fuller's spring."

t " Leviathan" means any great sea creature.



The spring, which is the only one at Jerusalem, is now
called the "Virgin's Well." It is under the temple hill in
the Kidron Valley. The rock Zoheleth is the cliff on the
hill-side across the valley, on which the village of Siloam

Among those who joined Adonijah were Joab, David's
captain, and Abiathar the priest, who had been faithful to
David in Absalom's rebellion. Zadok, the other priest, was
still faithful to David, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada,
who commanded the Cherethites and Pelethites, the king's

Village of Siloam and Kidron Valley, from the Temple hill.

guards. There was also with David Nathan the prophet.
These were not asked to Adonijah's sacrifice and feast; nor
Solomon the son whom David had said should be king after

They told David what Adonijah was doing. Then he sent
the faithful priest Zadok and Nathan the prophet and the
faithful guards to anoint Solomon king with holy oil from
the tent where the ark was kept. They made him ride on
king David's own mule, as kings used to ride, and brought
him to Grihon "the spring-head." It would seem to mean
to the spring of En Rogel where it flows from the hill. This
was very near the place where Adonijah was feasting.



Adonijah and his company heard the sound, as they came
up the hill into the city blowing the trumpet and rejoicing
till the city rang again.

I have told a part of the story so that we shall understand
it better when we read it.

Now king David was old and stricken in years; . . . Then Adonijah
the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared
him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. And his
father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done
so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after
Absalom. And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar
the priest : and they following Adonijah helped him. But Zaclok the priest,
and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and
Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.
And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth,
which is by En-rogel, and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all the
men of Judah the king's servants: but Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah,
and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not. . . . And king
David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah
the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. The king also said
unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my
son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon : and let
Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel :
and blow ye with the trumpet,
and say, God save king Solo-
mon. Then ye shall come up
after him, that he may come
and sit upon my throne; for
he shall be king in my stead :
and I have appointed him to
be ruler over Israel and over
Judah. And Benaiah the son
of Jehoiada answered the king,
and said, Amen : the Lord God
of my lord the king say so too.
As the Lord hath been with my
lord the king, even so be he

Online LibraryWilliam L. (William Loring) WorcesterOn holy ground : Bible stories with pictures of Bible lands → online text (page 19 of 42)