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Here we see, that David's confidence of success is founded on Goliah's blafphemy, which had debafed him to a brute; and therefore he now carried no more terror with him, than a lion or a bear.
THERE is nothing more offensive and shocking to the human ear, than self-praise ; inasmuch as it is ordinarily the effect of two very offensive and unlovely passions, self-love, and intemperate vanity : and yet, when it is extorted, as it was here, I know nothing more becoming, or more noble. It is then adorned with all the dignity of selfdefence, under the falsest imputation of the heaviest guilt. And yet David's temperance and modesty are remarkable even here : he defcribes his combat with the lion, in the shortest and simplest narration that ever was made of such a combat ; --- I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and few him : --and, to avoid the tedium of dwelling upon his own exploits, says no more of his combat with the bear, but barely, that he flew him. .
AND, as if even this were too much, he concludes all in the style of a man who had rather escaped than conquered ; The Lord, who delivered me out of the paw of
. the the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philiftine. Upon which, Saul, struck with the steadiness of his resolution, grounded upon so just and noble a confidence, immediately cried out ; Ga; and the Lord be with thee.
And now his care was, to see his champion properly provided with arms offensive and defensive ; and accordingly he put his own armour upon him, an helmet of brass, and coat of mail. And when David had girded his sword upon his armour, and affayed to go, he found himself encumbered and embarassed by a warlike apparatus to which he was unaccustomed ; and therefore, desiring to be excused from making use of them, he put them off ; and taking his staff in his hand, he chose five smooth stones out of the brook which divided the hostile armies, and put them in his shepherd's scrip; and fo, taking his fling in one hand, and his staff in the other, he advanced towards his adversary. Nor was Goliah less forward ; for he also advanced to the combat with his armourbearer before him. But when, upon a nearer approach to David, he discerned his youth and beauty, he disdained the effeminacy of
his aspect; and, filled with indignation, to find himself so contemptuously paired, and assaulted like a dog, with stones and a staff, he vented his rage in reproaches and execrations, devoting his adversary to the wrath and vengeance of his gods; and then, calling aloud to him, bid him advance, that he might give his flesh to the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field. To these taunts and threats David only made this answer ; Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield ; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. And then, inspired with a clear foresight of that just vengeance which this blasphemy would draw down both upon him, and upon those that abetted him, he adds ; This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand * ; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the
* The difference between these threats is remarkable. Goliah, in full confidence of his own strength, bids David come up, and I will give thy flesh, &c. David, confiding? only in the protection of Providence, retorts ; This day will the Lord deliver thee into my hand; and then tells him what he is to expect.
wild beasts of the earth: that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know, that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear : for the battle is the
Lord's, and he will give you into our hands. · So saying, he sprung forward with a noble alacrity to meet his antagonist; and, putting his hand into his bag, took thence a stone, and Nang it, and (mote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead, and he fell upon his face to the earth.
This done, he ran up to his prostrate enemy, and standing upon him, drew out his own sword, (for David had none) and cut off his head.
CHAP. V. The Friendship of David and Jonathan.
Some Difficulties in the sacred Text, cleared. David's combat compared with that of Dioxippus the Athe
nian Athlete. T HE Philistines, struck with a sudden,
| consternation upon the defeat and death of their champion, fled ; and the
Ifraelites, giving a great shout of joy, pursued them with a dreadful Naughter, to the gates of Gath and Ekron *, their fenced cities ; and then returning, took the spoil of their camp.
When David returned from the slaughter of the Philistines, Abner the king's general presented him to Saul with Goliah's head in his hand. What reception Saul gave him, or what conversation David had with him on that occasion, we know not : but we have reason to believe, that his speech was agreeable to his preceding conduct, short and humble, giving God the glory. All that we are told, is, that Saul enquired whose son he was : and that when their conversation was ended, Jonathan, the king's eldest son, conceived the tenderest and strongest affection for him from that mo. ment.
There is an inexpressible dignity in the silence of the scriptures on this and such-like occasions. Minute description would bring them too near the level of common history; and, on occasions so very extraordinary,
* The residences of two of the five Philistine lords.