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Blessed he theLoav God of Israel for ever and ever; and all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.
"It is supposed that the ark was carried to Jerusalem at the feast of tabernacles, at which time the Jews were obliged to live in booths and tents; and as their houses had flat roofs, there is reason to imagine they* built their bowers on the tops of them with ever-greens of various kinds; and that they also erected booths in ranges throughout the largest streets of the city. What a beautiful appearance must this have made, especially at night, when a number of lights glimmered through the branches; and how must the humane heart of David be delighted, when he considered all these bowers filled with people, happy in the consciousness of having discharged their duty towards God, and rejoicing in his returning favour; but above all, what satisfaction must arise in his mind from the reflection, that he was, under God, the cause of all this felicity! It f is likely that he made use of the following words in blessing his people J."
God be merciful unto us, and bless us: and cause His face to shine upon us.
That thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations.
Let the people praise Tliee, O God; let all the people praise Thee.
0 let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for Thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.
Let the people praise Thee, 0 God; let all the people praise Thee.
* Nehemiab, viii. 10, 16. t See Delanv's Life of David.
% Psalm Ixrii.
Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall year Him. ,
When David had blessed the people, and they were gone to join their families in their respective tents, he repaired to his house to rejoice with his household; but Michal whe was offended with David for his great humility in laying aside his robes of royalty, and playing on his harp before the ark, reproached him, for thus levelling himself with his subjects, thinking that he had. exposed himself to their scorn and contempt: her reproaches affected him not; for he was concious that he had acted properly, and was certain, that his behaviour was not only approved of God, but would procure hirn. esteem and honour rather than derision among men; for dancing was in these days frequently practised as a religious ceremony, on public solemnities.
'Miriam the prophetess took a timbrel, and all the. women went out after her with timbrels and with dances, when the Israelites were delivered from Egyptian bondage;' so also did Jephthah's daughter: and other instances might be produced from sacred history. From whence we may conclude, that David did not act with impropriety in this particular; and surely we cannot join with Michal, in condemning him for playing on his harp on so joyful an occasion; therefore, we must own that she exposed herself most to contempt and derision, by laying aside the noblest ornaments of a royal matron, piety and humility towards God.
Though David when seated on the throne of Israel, was at the height of worldly power and grandeur, he could not rest till he had established the public worship of God in his kingdom, and for this purpose he was at incredible pains and expence. David had well considered the subject, and was convinced, that the practice
of religious duties was absolutely necessary for die welfare of the state, as well as for the happiness of its individuals. The king's example had proper influence on his subjects: the sabbaths of the Lord were regularly kept, and all the holy ordinances observed with becoming reverence: the Lord caused the light of His countenance to shine on them, and they were prosperous and honourable.
We may understand, from the psalms here introduced, that David's ideas of the Lord God were such as Moses endeavoured to excite in the minds of the Israelites.
NATHAN FIRST APPROVETH DAVIDS* PURPOSE To BUILD AN HOUSE FOR THE ARK—AFTERWARDS BY GOD'S COMMAND FORBIDDETH HIM—DAVID'S PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING.
From 2 Sam. Chap. vii, viii.
And it came to pass when the king sat in his house, and the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies; that the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.
And Nathan said to the king, Go,.do all that is in thine heart: for the Lord is with thee.
And it came to pass that night, that the word of the Lor D came unto Nathan, saying, Go, and tell my servant David, Thus saith the Lord, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? whereas I have not dwelt in any house, since the time that I brought up the children of Tsrael out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.
In all the places wherein I have walked with" all the children of Israel, spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom 1 commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar ^
Now therefore, so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheep-cote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel.
And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine ememies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the eai th.
(Moreover, I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and I will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them anymore as beforetime, and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies). Also the Lord telleth that he will make thee an house.
And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
I will be his father, and he shall be my son: if he commit iniquity I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be esia 1 bhed for ever.
.According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
Then went David in, and sat down before the Lord, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God: and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? and this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O- Lord God; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come ; and is this the manner of men, O Lord God? and what can David say more unto thee? for thou Lord God knowest thy servant.
For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them.
Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God besides thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for apeople, to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things, and terrible, for thy land before thy people which thou redeemest to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? for thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, Lord, art become their God.
And now, O Lord God, the word that thou hast fpoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said.
And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The Loud of hosts is the Gon over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee.
For thou, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.