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the civil wars that followed the death of Saul, and the conspiracy of Absalom. The nations of whom he became the head are the nations whom he conquered, and the people that voluntarily s aght his alliance.

"At the hear

49. Metaphor in the use of fade. ing of the ear, they will obey me; the sons of the stranger will feign to me; the 30s of the stranger will fade and tremble out of their close places," v. 44, 45. His renown was to be such that some of the neighboring nations were to obey his wishes, and make feigned professions of respect for him; and others, impressed with dread of his power, were to turn pale and tremble in their fastnesses. There is an analogy between the withering of a plant or flower, and the effects on the body of extreme alarm and dread; and the verb fade is used to indicate that resemblance.

50. Metaphor. "Jehovah lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted shall be the God of my salvation," v. 46. God is denominated a rock, to signify his unchangeableness, as the Psalmist's support.

51. Hypocatastasis. To be exalted, is to be elevated in space. God's being exalted, is put for his being regarded by men with higher thoughts, and praised in loftier strains.

52. Hypocatastasis. "The mighty God who gives

revenges to me, and has subdued nations under me; saving me from my enemies; from my assailants thou wilt raise me high; from the man of violence thou wilt deliver me," v. 47, 48. Raising him high, is put for an analogous elevation of his power and fame.

(6 Therefore I will thank thee among the nations, O Jehovah, and to thy name will sing; who gives great salvation to his king, and does good to his anointed, to David and his seed for evermore," v. 49, 50.

It is thus clear from the language, that the theophany which the Psalmist celebrates was a visible interposition of the Almighty in the manner he represents. The supposition that it is figurative is altogether groundless, and inconsistent with the laws of philology. There not only is no figure in the passage that gives it that character, but there is no species of trope known to language that could invest it with such an illustrative or representative office; while, on the other hand, the metaphors that occur in it render it certain that that part of the description which is not metaphorical, is literal, and that the Almighty therefore was visibly present throned on a tempest, that lightnings flashed, and thunders resounded from his cloudy pavilion, coals of fire streamed from the altar beneath his throne, and hail

from the clouds spread under him, and that the assassins being driven off by the terrors of the storm, David escaped, and passing down a declivity was miraculously borne through a flood that dashed down the valley at his feet, which he crossed on his way to Ramah. It can no more be supposed to be figurative, or the mere fiction of the Psalmist, to exemplify a different agency of God towards him in different conditions, and at different times, than the visions of God enthroned above the cherubim beheld by Isaiah, Ezekiel, and John, can be held to be the mere inventions of those prophets to illustrate some other acts of God on different occasions.

The fact that there is no notice of this theophany in the history of David's escape from Saul's agents, who were set round his dwelling, 1 Samuel xix., is no proof that it did not take place on that occasion, any more than the fact that there is no reference in Kings or Chronicles to Isaiah's vision of God, chap. vi., is evidence that that theophany did not occur, and at the period to which Isaiah refers it. It is to be presumed that the presence and glory of Jehovah, in his interposition to deliver the Psalmist, were beheld only by him. Saul's assassins probably merely saw and felt the earthquake and the tempest, and they may have been felt also and witnessed by Saul, and regarded by him as a sufficient reason for

the retreat of his agents without accomplishing their errand. But if the Almighty were beheld by Saul's men as well as by David, the scribe who wrote the narrative (1 Sam. xix.), which was open perhaps to Saul's inspection, may have been required to exclude it from the record.

It will perhaps be thought to be extremely singular that God should have interposed in so majestic and wonderful a manner for the deliverance of David, when he might with infinite ease have preserved him from his enemies by the ordinary means of his providence.

It was certainly an extraordinary deviation from the course he usually pursues with his children. But the relations sustained to him by David, and the ends that were to be answered by it, were as extraordinary as was the measure itself. David had already been anointed as Saul's successor to the throne of Israel, and was to be the first of the line of kings that were thereafter to reign over Judah, and from whom the Messiah was at length to spring. He was to act a most important part in establishing the Israelitish kingdom, subduing its foes, removing the ark to Jerusalem, and re-establishing the tabernacle service, inditing songs for the Levitical wor ship, and preparing for the erection of a temple. It was undoubtedly of great moment that he should be

qualified for those extraordinary labors by extraordinary gifts and aids, and that his knowledge and faith should be raised to a certainty and strength proportioned to the arduousness of the difficulties he was to encounter, and the labor he was to perform. The prophets who had preceded him, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Joshua, had been prepared for the duties to which they were called by such theophanies, and they were employed also to prepare Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel for theirs; and it doubtless served this end with David by raising him to a realization of God's being and relations to him, sense of his greatness, and trust in his faithfulness, which he otherwise would not have attained, and proved a light that flashed irradiance over all his subsequent path.

Such an emphatic exhibition of God's graciousness towards him probably served important ends also in respect to his successors, and the nation at large. Saul and David were the first of the two classes of kings, evil and good, that reigned over Israel; and God's dealings with them exemplified the course he was to pursue towards their successors; Saul was abandoned of God because of his disobedience, and his family excluded from the throne, and consigned to extermination. David received, because of his obedience, the most majestic tokens of God's

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