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XVII

finding Tohu oppressed by Hadadezer, overthrew the one, and succoured the other. But the ancient and most received opinion, that this recovery hath reference to the Syrian, is more probable. For if David had intended any such enterprise towards Euphrates, he was in far better case to have proceeded after his victory than before ; seeing that (Adadezer being taken) he had now left no enemy on his back, either to pursue him, to take victuals and supplies from him, or to stop the passages of the mountains upon him at his return.

Again, seeing David was either to pass through a part of Arabia the Desert, or by the plains of Palmyrena, his army consisting of footmen, for the most, if not all; he had now both horse and chariots good store to carry his provisions through those uncultivated places, by which he was to have marched before he could have reached Euphrates, or any part thereof. But we find that David returned to Jerusalem, after he had twice overthrown the Syrian army, not bending his course towards the river Euphrates, but seeking to establish his purchases already made. Whereby it may appear, that it was the Syrian, and not king David, that was going to enlarge his border, as afore is said.

The king of Syria Damascena and of Damascus, whereof that region is so called, hearing that Adadezer was overthrown by the Israelites, fearing his own estate, and the loss of his own country which adjoined to Syria Zobah of Hadadezer, sent for an army of Aramites or Syrians to his succour; but these, as it appeareth, came too late for Adadezer, and too soon for themselves; for there perished of those supplies 22,000. This king of Damascus, Josephus (out of Nicolaus, an ancient historian) calleth Adad, who was also of the same name and family as all those other Adads were; which now began to grow up in greatness, and so continued for ten descents, till they were extinguished by the Assyrians, as is shewed heretofore. David, having now reduced Damascus under his obedience, left a garrison therein as he did in Edom, having also sacked the adjoining cities of Betah and Berathi, belonging to Adadezer, of which

cities Ptolemy calleth Betah, Tauba; and Berathi he nameth Barathena. Tohu, or Thoi, whose country of Hamath joined to Adadezer, (as in the description of the Holy Land the reader may perceive,) sent his son Joram to congratulate this success of David; partly because he had war with Adadezer, and partly because he feared David now victorious. He also presented David with vessels of gold, silver, and brass, all which, together with the golden shields of the Aramites, and the best of all the spoils of other nations, David dedicated unto God at his return. Junius translates the words clypeos aureos by umbones, as if all the parts of the targets were not of gold, but the bosses only. The Septuagint call them bracelets; Aquila, golden chains. But because Roboam made shields of brass in place of these of Adadezer, at such time as Shicah the Egyptian sacked the temple of Jerusalem, it may be gathered thereby that those of Adadezer were golden shields.

This done, David sent ambassadors to Hanum, king of the Ammonites, to congratulate his establishment in his father's kingdom y; for David, in the time of his affliction under Saul, had been relieved by Nahash, the father of Hanum. But this Ammonite being ill advised, and overjealous of his estate, used David's messengers so barbarously and contemptuously, (by curtailing their beards and their garments,) as he thereby drew a war upon himself, which neither his own strength nor all the aids purchased could put off or sustain. For notwithstanding that he had waged 33,000 soldiers of the Amalekites and their confederates; to wit, of the vassals of Adadezer 20,000, and of 2 Maachah and Ishtob 13,000, (for which he disbursed a thousand talents of silver ;) yet all these great armies, together with the strength of the Ammonites, were by a Joab and his brother Abishai easily broken and put to ruin, and that without any great loss or slaughter at that time. And it is written, that when the Aramites fled, the Ammonites also retreated into x 2 Sam. viii.

Ishtob, or Thob, a country near Gad, y 2 Sam. X.

under the rocks of Arnon. ? Maachah, the north part of Tra- . " 2 Sam. X. chonitis, remembered in Deut. iii. 14.

their cities, the one holding themselves within the walls, the other in their deserts adjoining, till Joab was returned to Jerusalem.

Hadadezer, hearing that Joab had dismissed his army, assembled his forces again, and sent all the companies that he could levy out of Mesopotamia, who under the command of Shobach passed Euphrates, and encamped at b Helam, on the south side thereof. David, hearing of this new preparation, assembled all the ablest men of Israel, and marched towards the Syrian army in Palmyrena, not yet entered into Arabia ; to wit, at Helam, a place no less distant from Damascus, towards the north-east, than Jerusalem was towards the south-west. Now David (speaking humanly) might with the more confidence go on towards Euphrates, (which was the furthest-off journey that ever he made,) because he was now lord of Damascus, which lay in the midway. He also possessed himself of c Thadmor, or Palmyrena, which Salomon afterwards strongly fortified; and this city was but one day's journey from Helam and the river Euphrates. So had he two safe retreats, the one to Thadmor, and the next from thence to Damascus. In this encounter between David and the Syrians, they lost 40,000 horsemen and 700 chariots, together with Shobach general of their army. The Chronicles call these 40,000 soldiers footmen, and so Junius converts it, and so is it very probable. For the army of Israel, consisting of footmen, could hardly have slaughtered 40,000 horsemen, except they quitted their horses and fought on foot. So are the chariots taken in this battle numbered at 7000 in the first of Chronicles chap. ix. in which number, as I conceive, all the soldiers that served in them, with the conductors, are included : so as there died of the Syrians in this war against David, before he forced them to tribute, 100,000 footmen, besides all their horsemen and waggoners, and besides all those that Joab slew, when they fled at the first encounter, together with the Ammonites before Rabba. Notwithstand

b Helam, or Chelam, which PtoJomy calleth Alamatha, near the fords

of Euphrates. 2 Sam. x.

• See chap. 18. sect. 2.

ing all which, the Adads in following ages gathered strength again, and afflicted the kings of Juda often ; but the kings of Israel they impoverished, even to the last end of that state.

David having now beaten the Arabians and Mesopotamians from the party and confederacy of Ammon; he sent out Joab, the lieutenant of his armies, to forage and destroy their territory, and to besiege Rabbah, afterward Philadelphia, which after a while the Israelites mastered and possessed. The king's crown, which weighed a talent of gold, garnished with precious stones, David set on his own head, and carried away with him the rest of the riches and spoil of the city. And though David stayed at Jerusalem, following the war of Uriah’s wife, till such time as the city was brought to extremity, and ready to be entered; yet Joab, in honour of David, forbare the last assault and entrance thereof, till his master's arrival. To the people he used extreme rigour, (if we may so call it, being exercised against heathen idolaters;) for some of them he tare with harrows, some he sawed asunder, others he cast into burning kilns, in which he baked tile and brick.

SECT. VII. Of David's troubles in his reign, and of his forces. BUT as victory begetteth security, and our present worldly felicity a forgetfulness of our former miseries, and many times of God himself, the giver of all goodness; so did these changes, in the fortune and state of this good king, change also the zealous care which formerly he had to please God in the precise observation of his laws and commandments. For having now no dangerous apparent enemy, (against whom he was wont to ask counsel from the Lord,) he began to be advised by his own human affections and vain desires. For he was not only satisfied to take Uriah's wife from him, and to use her by stealth, but he embroidered his adultery with Uriah's slaughter, giving order to his trusty servant d Joab to marshal him in the front or point of those Israel

d 2 Sam. xi. 15.

ites, which gave an assault upon the suburbs of Rabba, when there was not as yet any possibility of prevailing. And that which could no less displease God than the rest, he was content that many others of his best servants and soldiers should perish together with Uriah, hoping thereby to cover his particular ill intent against him. After which he began by degrees to fall from the highest of happiness, and his days then to come were filled with joys and woes interchangeable ; his trodden down sorrows began again to spring, and those perils which he had pulled up by the roots, (as. he hoped,) gave him an after-harvest of many cares and discontentments. And if it had pleased God to take the witness of David's own mouth against him, as David himself did against the Amalekite which pretended to have slain Saul, he had then appeared as worthy of reprehension as the other was of the death he suffered. For when Nathan the prophet propounded unto him his own error in the person of another, to wit, of him that took the poor man's sheep that had none else, the bereaver being lord of many; he then vowed it to the living Lord, that such a one should die the death. And hereof, although it pleased God to pardon David for his life, which remission the prophet Nathan pronounced, yet he delivered him God's justice, together with his mercy in the tenor following; e Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thy house, &c. because thou hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain Uriah with the sword of the children of Ammon. Soon after this, David lost the child of adultery which he begot on Bersabe. Secondly, His own son Amnon being in love with his half-sister Thamar, by the advice of his cousingerman, the son of Shimeah, David's brother, possessed her by force ; which when he had performed, he thrust her from him in a careless and despiteful manner. Two years after which foul and incestuous act, Absalom caused him to be murdered at the feast of his sheepshearing ; not perchance in revenge of Thamar’s ravishment alone, but having it in his heart to usurp the kingdom ; in which, because he

e 2 Sam. xii. 9, 10. RALEGH, HIST. WORLD, VOL. II. - L1

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