Page images
PDF
EPUB

66

shewing that its constructors were acquainted with the hydrostatic principle which regulates the conveyance of water in pipes and tubes, and its rise in them to its original level; of the knowledge of which the Greeks and Romans seem to have availed themselves but little in the construction of their aqueducts.

Ascending the height west of the aqueduct, we went in search of what is called the · Well of David, for the water of which it is supposed the pious King so anxiously longed, and of which he said, 'Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate.' It is less than half a mile distant from the present village, and is in a rude enclosure, and consists of a large cistern with several small apertures. It bears marks about it of having been long in use; and its position seems perfectly to agree with the sacred narrative. David was at the cave of Adullam when he expressed his desire to partake of the water. The garrison of the Philistines was at Bethlehem. Their camp was farther to the north. David's valiant men, coming from the south-it may be from the grottos and labyrinths near Tekoa—broke through the soldiers of the garrison : and drawing water out of the well they took it and brought it to David.

“None need insinuate an objection to this reservoir being the place referred to by David, on the allegation that it is a mere cistern. The word used to express it, in the original Hebrew, is not a fountain, but one which corresponds with the Arabic for a pit or cistern, which will exactly suit such a place as that which I now mention. -Dr. Wilson's Lands of the Bible.

[ocr errors]

THE ROCK OF AGES. “To-day I met, outside the gate, some of the believing Jews, who were sitting together in a lonely place, reading the New Testament. They dare not take it to their houses, for fear of the Jews, and their own households; so they hide it in the rocks, and go as often as they can to read it together in secret, and undisturbed by unbelieving Jews. -Missionary Labours in Jerusalem, by Rev. F. C. Ewald.

I.
In a lone place they sat apart,
A little, fearful, Jewish band,
Away from the scorners of the land,
And, sadder still, from household strife;
And read with eager, loving heart,
Of Christ the Lord, the Son of God

Within the Holy Book of Life!

II.
Oft-times in secret thus they meet,
And talk, and muse of heavenly things,
While time steals by on angels' wings;
Till, fearing lest their brethren chide,
Uprising from that converse sweet,
With startled look, the Holy Book
Among the cleft rocks they hide.

III.
In pity, Lord, their fears forgive !
Increase their faith, as yet but dim,
And lead them gently unto Him,
Who suffered that we might live,-
Christ, the Rock, for us once riven,
The Crucified, who lived and died,
That all might be forgiven!

ELIZABETH YOUATT.

LONDON : Printed at the Operative Jewish Converts' Institution,

Palestine Place, Bethnal Green.

THE JEWISH ADVOCATE.

JUNE, 1848.

BIBLE HISTORY OF THE JEWS.

CHAPTER XXXVII.

MEANWHILE he took upon himself the outward bearing of a prince; he prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him." He sent spies throughout all the tribes, saying, “ As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall

say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron.'' And when his treasonable plans were fully ripe, he asked and obtained leave to go to Hebron, under the pretence of paying a vow which he had vowed to the Lord ; and he left Jerusalem with two hundred men, who “ went in their simplicity, and knew not any thing” of his designs. He gained over Ahithophel, his father's ancient counsellor, “and the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.”

And there came a messenger to David, saying, the hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. And David said unto his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom : make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of

[blocks in formation]

the sword. And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.” So the king arose, and passed out of the city: he and his faithful band of Cherethites * and Pelethites ; besides 600 men with Ittai the Gittite, who had attached themselves to David's person. “ And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over : the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilder

And lo Zadoc also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city. And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city : if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and show me both it, and his habitation : but if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.” “ Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there. And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up." To use king David's own words, he

ness.

* Cherethiies.-The Cherethites were either a body of tried Israelitish followers, who had been with David through all his wanderings in the Philistine country; or a band of Philistine archers, (Cherethite being the name of a Philistine people), in the pay of David, who desired to make the Israelites better acquainted with the use of the bow. (2 Sam. i. 18.)

was dumb,” he “opened not his mouth; because thou didst it !

“ Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

“ And one told David saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head.” Him David sent back to Jerusalem, to be a spy upon the actions of Absalom and to defeat the counsels of Ahithophel, saying, “What thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadoc and Abiathar the priests. Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadoc's son, and Jonathan, Abiathar's son; and by them ye shall send unto me everything that ye can hear." So Hushai, David's friend, returned to Jerusalem ; David and his followers passing on to Bahurim, towards the river Jordan.

When David was a little past the top of the hill, he was met by Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son. Ziba brought a couple of asses saddled : and bread, and fruit, and wine, for David's company; pretending that Mephibosheth, forgetful of all David's kindness, tarried behind at Jerusalem, hoping to take advantage of this crisis of affairs, to be restored to his father's kingdom. Then said the king to Ziba,

Behold, thine are all that pertained unto Mephibosheth."

« PreviousContinue »