« AnteriorContinuar »
This chapter intimates to us, that one end of recording all these genealogies
was, to direct the Jews, now they were returned out of captivity, with whom to incorporate, and wbere to reside: for here we have an account of those who first took possession of Jerusalem after their return from Babylon, and began the rebuilding of it upon the old foundation. (1.) The Israelites, ver. 9-9. (2.) The priests, ver. 10 --13. (3.) The Levites, and other Nethinim. (4.) Here is the par ticular charge of some of the priests and Levites, ver. 27-34. (5.) A repetition of the genealogy of king Saul, ver. 35-44.
VER. 20. “ And the Lord was with bim.”]-That is, evidently and distinguishingly, to spirit him and guide bim as a ruler over his people. The Chaldee renders it, The word of the Lord was his helper ;' that is, the divine Logos, the essential Word, the Lord Jesus, who is the only helper, aid, and deliverer in every time of trouble. The greatest happiness we can enjoy is the favour and blessing of the Lord with us.
The design of Ezra in these books of the Chronicles was to preserve the re
cords of the house of David, which though much sunk and lessened, in a common eye, by the captivity, yet grew more and more illus. trious in the eyes of those that lived by faith, by the nearer approach of the Son of David. And therefore he repeats not the history of Saul's reign, but only of his death, by which way was made for David to the throne. In this chapter we have, (1.) The fatal rout which the philistines gave to Saul's army, and the fatal stroke he gave him. self, ver. 1---7. (2.) The philistines triumph therein, ver. 8---10. (3.) The respect which the men of Jabesh-gilead shewed to the royal corpse, ver. 11, 12. (4.) The reason of Saul's rejection, ver. 13, 14.
VER. 13. “ So Saul died for his transgression which be committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which be kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit to enquire of it.”] --The sin of sinners will certainly find them out, sooner or later. “ Saul died for his transgression.” No man's greatness can exempt him from the judgments of God. Saul died for “ not keeping the word of the Lord,” by which he was ordered to destroy the Amalekites.
In this chapter is repeated, (1.) The elevation of David to the throne, ima
mediately upon the death of Saul, by common consent, ver. 1.-3. (2.) His gaining the castle of Zion out of the hands of the Jebusites, ver. 4.-9. (3.) The catalogne of his worthies, and the great men of his kingdom, ver. 10---47.
VER. 5. And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless, David took the castle of Zion, wbich is the city of David.”]-First, these Jebusites dwelt in Jerusalem, which was afterwards the capital city of Judea : it was first called Salem, Gen. xiv. 18. where Melchizedeck dwelt, who was king of Salem, that is, king of peace; for Salem signifies peace: in which respect the city of Salem, or Jerusalem, was a figure of the church, and of that eternal peace that she enjoys in Jehovah's counsels, covenant, and grace. Secondly, this Salem, or Jerusalem, was the same with mount Moriah; for this mount was united to the city, where the Lord appeared to Abraham ; on which account Abraham called it Jehovahjireh, that is, " In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen :" from whence it bad its name, Jerusalem, which signifies a vision of peace : which may denote Christ to be the true vision of peace, being seen, adored, loved, and enjoyed in his church as the peace-maker, and revealer of peace; for he is our peace, and hath made peace by the blood of his cross." Tbirdly, the inhabitants of Jebus, ihat is, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying to David, “Thou shalt not come hither,” may be figurative of the rebellion of our natures against king Jesus, that we will not have bim to reign over us. Fourthly, David's conquering the Jebusites, and taking the . fort of Zion, was a lively figure of the conquering power and grace of king Jesus, overcoming the rebellion of our natures by the efficacy of divine grace, and making us willing in the day of his power. Fifthly, Jerusalem was a " comely city," Cant. vi. 4. a “compact city,” Psalm cxxxii. 3. “ the gates of the people," Ezek. xxvi. 2. where the “ tribes went to worship," Psalm cxxii. 4, 5. the "s beauty of Israel, the joy of the whole eartb,” Lam. ii. 11, 15. Which titles and appellations set forth Christ's love to bis church, and that beauty, perfection, and order there is in the city of God, which is the house of God, wben Christ as the head of the churcb, is beheld with her pastor, elders,
5 p 2 .
deacons, and members in their order, then the church appears as the beauty of Israel.
Ver. 17. “ And David longed, and said, Oh! that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem that is at the gate."]-This well of Bethlehem may be figu. rative of the waters of life that flow from Christ, who was born at Bethlehem, and is stiled a " well of living waters :" and David's thirst for these waters, may spiritually denote the thirst of the soul after the water of life “ from the wells of salvation :” and David's worthies breaking through the armies of the philistines to obtain it, may denote the hazards and dangers that the ministers of the word of life go through to supply ministerially, the thirsty desires of poor souls; as saith Paul, “I endure all things for the elect's sake.” And David's pouring out the water before the Lord may be figurative of the gratitude of a gracious heart, that whatever the Lord gives in mercy, should return back in praise. Likewise David's worthies may be figurative of those minis. ters of the word, who are champions for truth, that fear no danger, but will encounter any difficulty, that the glory of God and of truth may not suffer.
What the Lord did towards making David king, we read in the foregoing
chapter: here we are told, it was not all at once, but gradually, that David ascended the throne. His kingdom was to last, and therefore waited, like fruits that keep longest, it ripened slowly. After he had long waited for the vacancy of the throne, it was at two steps, and those above seven years distant, that he ascended it: now we are here told, (1.) What help came into him to Ziklag, to make him king of Judah, ver. 1-22. (2.) What help came in to him to Hebron, to make him king over all Israel, above seven years after, ver. 23-40.
VER. 17, 18. “And he said, Tbine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse : peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee."]_First, David prudently treated with them, ver. 17. He was surprised to see them, and could not but conceive some jealousy of the intentions of their coming, baving been so often in danger by the treachery of the men of Ziph, and the men of Keilah, who yet were all men of Judah: he might well be timorous whose life was so much struck at; he might well be suspicious who had been deceived by so mapy, that he said in his haste, “ All men are liars."
No marvel then he meets these men of Judah with caution. Observe bow he puts the matter to themselves, how fairly he deals with them : as tbey are, they shall find him, so shall all that deal with the Son of David. First, if they be faith. ful and honourable, he will be their rewarder. “If ye be come to help me ;' though you come late, and have left me exposed a great wbile; though you bring no great strength with you to turn the scale for me, yet I will thank. fully accept your goodwill, and “my heart shall be knit unto you," I will love you and honour you, and do you all the kindness I can. Affections, respects, and services, that are cordial and sincere, will find favour with a good man, as they through grace, do with a good God, though clogged with infirmities. But if they be false, and come to betray him into the hands of Saul, under colour of friendship, he leaves them to God to be their avenger, as he is and will be of every thing that is treacherous and perfidious. Never was man more violently run upon and run down than David was, (except the Son of David bimself) and yet he had the testimony of his conscience, that there was no wrong in his hands: he meant no ill to any man, which was bis rejoicing in the day of evil, and enabled him, when he feared ireachery, to commit his cause to him that judgeth righteously; he will not be judge in his own cause, though a wise man, nor avenge himself, though a man of valour: but let the righa teous God, who hath said, “ Vengeance is mine," do both ; " the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.” Observe in this appeal he calls God, the “ God of our fathers,” both his fathers and their's. Thus he reminds them not to deal ill with bim, for they both were descendants from the same patriarchs, they both were dependents on the same God; thus he encourageth himself to believe that God would right him if he were abused; for he was the “ God of his fathers,” and therefore a blessing was entailed on him; and a God to all Israel, and therefore not only a judge to all the earth, but particularly determining controversies between contesting Israelites. He doth not imprecate any fearful judgment upon them, though they should deal treacherously, but very modestly refers himself to the divine wisdom and justice; the Lord look thereon, and judge as he sees, (for he sees men's hearts) and rebuke it. It becomes those that appeal to God to express themselves with great temper and moderation ; for the wrath of man “ works nol the righteousness of God.”
Secondly. Their hearty union with him. Amasai was their spokesman, on whom the “Spirit of the Lord came;" not a spirit of prophecy, but a spirit of wisdom and resolution, according to the occasion, putting words into his mouth, unpremeditated, which were very proper both to give David satisfaction, and to animate those that accompanied him; nothing could be said more fine, more lively, or more pertinent to the occasion. For himself and all bis associates, le professeth a very cordial adherence to David and his interest, against all that opposed him, and a resolution to stand by him with the hazard of all that was dear to them. “Thine are wc, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse.” In calling him son of Jesse they mind themselves that he was lineally descended from Nahshon and Salmon, who in their days were “princes of the tribe of Judah." Saul bad called him so in disdain, 1 Sam. xx. 27.-xxii. 7. but they look upon it as his honour. They were convinced that he was on God's side, and that God was on his side, and therefore “thine are we, David, and on thy side." It is good if, when we side, we side with those that side with God, and have God with them. He wisheth prosperity to David and his cause, through grace, praying for peace to bim and all his friends and well-wishers : « Peace, peace be unto thee,” all the good thy heart desires, and “ peace be to thine helpers," among whom we desire to be reckoned, tbat peace may be on us. He assures him of help from heaven; " for thy God helpeth thee;" therefore we wish peace may be, and therefore we doubt not but peace shall be to thee and thy helpers. God is thy God, and those that have God for their God, have bim for their helper in every time of need and danger. From these expressions of Amasai we may take instruction how to testify our affection and allegiance to the Lord Jesus.
Ver. 40. “ For there was joy in Israel."]—This may be figurative of the great joy the soul finds in Cbrist, and in that fulness of blessings which is in Christ, Israel's spiritual David, for the peace and prosperity of his people ; not for a few days, as here, but for thic whole time of life, nay, for eternity.