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answer of Urim and Thummim 3; that is, by the answer of the priest, wearing that mystery, upon his breast when he asked counsel of the Lord. But the casting of lots was not only much used among the Jews, but by many others, if not by all nations. The land of promise was divided by lot; God commanded lots to be cast on the two goats, which should be sacrificed, and which turned off; a figure of Christ's suffering, and our deliverance, for whose garments the Jews also cast lots. Cicero4, Plautus, Pausanias5, and others, have remembered divers sorts of lots, used by the Romans, Grecians, and other nations; as in the division of grounds or honours, and in things to be undertaken; the two first kinds were called divisory, the third divinatory; and unto one of these three all may be reduced; all which kinds, howsoever they may seem chanceful, are yet ordered and directed by God; as in the Proverbs: 'The lot is cast unto the lap, but the whole 'disposition is of the Lord.' And in like sort fell the kingdom of Israel on Saul, not by chance, but by God's ordinance, who gave Samuel former knowledge of his election; from which election Saul withdrew himself in modesty, as both Josephus construe it, and as it may be gathered by his former answers to Samuel, when he acknowledged himself the least of the least tribe. But Samuel, enlightened by God, found where Saul was hidden, and brought him among the people, and he was taller than all the rest by the shoulders. And Samuel made them know that he was the chosen king of Israel, whereupon all the multitude saluted him king, and prayed for him; yet some there were that envied his glory, (as in all estates there are such,) who did not acknowledge him by offering him6 presents as the
3 The Urim and Thummim in the ornaments of the high priest were inserted within the pectoral, which therefore was duplicatum; they were placed in the pectoral over against the heart of the high priest. It is plain that they were not the precious stones, nor a,ny thing made by the artificer!. See $xod. xxxviii. 4 Cic. de dirin. 5 Faus. in Mes. 6 1 Sam. x.
manner was; of whom Saul, to avoid sedition, took no notice.
Of the establishing of Saul by his first victories.
No sooner was Saul placed in the kingdom, but that he received knowledge that Nahash king of the Ammonites prepared to besiege Jabesh Gilead; which nation, since the great overthrow given them by Jephtha, never durst attempt any thing upon the Israelites, till the beginning of Saul's rule. And al-. though the Ammonites did always attend upon the advantage of time, to recover those territories, which first the Amorite, and then Israel dispossessed them of, which they made the ground of their invasion ill Jephtha's time; yet they never persuaded themselves of more advantage than at this present. For, first, they knew that there were many of the Israelites that did not willingly submit themselves to this new king; secondly, they were remembered that the Philistines had not long before slain thirty-four thousand of their men of war ; and besides had used great care and policy that they should have no smiths to make them swords or spears; neither was it long before, that, of the Bethshemesites and places adjoining, there perished by the hand of God more than fifty thousand; and therefore, in these respects, even occasion itself invited them to enlarge their dominions upon their borderers; Jabesh Gilead being one of the nearest. Besides, it may further be conjectured, that the Ammonites were emboldened against Jabesh Gilead, in respect of their weakness, since the Israelites' destroyed a great part of them, for not joining with them against the Benjamites; - at which time they did not only slaughter the men and male children, but took from them their young women, and gave them to the Benjamites; and
1 Judg. xxi.
therefore they were not likely to have been encreased to any great numbers; and if they had recovered themselves of this great calamity, yet the Ammonite might flatter himself with the opinion, that Israel having for long time been disarmed by the Philistines, was not apt to succour those whom they had so deeply wounded and destroyed. But contrariwise, when the tidings came to Saul of their danger, and that the Ammonites would give them no other condition to ransom themselves, but by pulling out their right eyes, by which they should be utterly disabled for the war, as elsewhere hath been spoken; Saul, both to value himself in his first year's reign, and because perchance he was descended of one of those four hundred maids taken from the Gileadites, and given to the Benjamites, gave order to assemble the forces of Israel; hewing a yoke of oxen into pieces, and sending them by messengers over all the coasts, protesting thus, * That whosoever came not forth after 4 Saul and after Samuel, so should his oxen be * served:'—threatening the people by their goods,and not by their lives at the first. Seven days had Saul to assemble an army, by reason that the Gileadites had obtained the respite of these seven days to give Nahas the Ammonite an answer; who, could they have obtained any reasonable condition, were contepted to have severed themselves from Israel, and to become vassals and tributaries to the heathen. In the meanwhile Saul assembled the forces, which repaired unto him at Bezec, near Jordan, that he might readily pass the river; which done, he might in one day, with a speedy march, arrive at Jabesh, under the hills of Gilead.
The army by Saul led* consisting of three hun-< dred and thirty thousand, he returned an answer to those of Jabesh, that they should assure themselves of succour by the next day at noon. For, as it seemeth, Saul marched away in the latter part of the
2 1 Sam. xi. 8.
day, and went on all night; for, in the morningwatch he surprised the army of Nahash the Ammonite; and to the end that he might set on them on all sides, he divided his forces into three parts ; putting them to the sword, until the heat of the day, and the weariness of Saul's troops, enforced them to give over the pursuit. Now the Ammonites were become the more careless and secure, in that those of Jabesh promised the next morning to render themselves and their city to their mercy. After this happy success, the people were so far in love with their new king, that they would have slain all those Israelites that murmured against his election, had not himself forbidden and resisted their resolutions. Such is the condition of worldly men,—as they are violent lovers of the prosperous, and base vassals of the time that flourisheth; and as despightful and cruel without cause against those whom any misadventure, or other worldly accident, hath thrown down.
After the army removed, Samuel summoned the! people to meet at Gilgal3, where Saul was now a third time acknowledged, and, as some commentators affirm, anointed king; and here Samuel used an exhortation to all the assembly, containing precepts, and a rehearsal of his own justice during the beginning of his government to that day. After Saul4 had now reigned one year before he was established in Gilgal, or Galgala, he strengthened himself with a good guard of three thousand chosen men, of which he assigned a thousand to attend on Jonathan his son at Gibeah, the city of his nativity; the rest he kept about his own person, in Michmash, and in the kill of Bethel.
Of SauVs disobedience in his proceedings in the wars •with the Philistines and Amalekites, which caused hisfinal rejection.
Jonathan, with his small army or regiment that attended him, taking a time of advantage, surprised a garrison of Philistines; the same, as some think, which Saul passed by, when he came from Rama, where he was first anointed by Samuel, which they think to have been Kirjath-jearim; because a place where the Philistines had a garrison, 1 Sam. x. is called the hill of God, which they understand of Kirjath-jearim: but Junius understands this garrison to have been at Gibha, in Benjamin, near Gibha, where Jonathan abode with his thousand followers. Howsoever, by this it appeareth, that the Philistines held some strong places, both in the times of Samuel, and of Saul, within the territory of Israel; and now being greatly enraged by this surprise, they assembled thirty thousand armed chariots', and six thousand horse, wherewith they invaded Judea, and encamped at Machmas or Michmash, a city of Benjamin, in the direct way from Samaria to Jerusalem, and in the midst of the land between the sea and Jordan. With this sudden invasion, the Israelites were strucken in so great a fear, as some of them hid themselves in the caves of the mountains; others fled over Jordan into Gad and Gilead; .Saul himself, with some two thousand men of ordinary, and many other people, staid at Galgala, in Benjamin, not far from the passage of Joshua, when he led Israel over Jordan. Here Saul, by Samuel's appointment, was to attend the coming of Samuel seven days; but when the last day was in part spent, and that Saul perceived his forces to diminish greatly, he presumed, (as some expound the place, 1 Sam. xiii. 90 to
X l Sam. xiii. £»