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CHAPTER II.

Upon the original Foundation of the Temple, and upon its

Construction by David (peace with him!); also of the Buildings of Solomon, in a form that was one of the world. Also, the account of his Prayer, which he prayed when he had finished it, on behalf of every one who should enter it, and the place of his Prayer.

Now we are told by Ibn Almubarak, from Othman, When God commanded David (with whom be peace !) to build this Temple, he said, O Lord, where shall I build it? Who said, Where thou shalt see the angel with a drawn sword. David then did see the angel in that place. David therefore fixed the corner-stones of its foundation, and raised the walls ; but when the walls were raised, they were pulled down again. David then said, O Lord, thou didst command me to build a house for thee; and now that I have raised the walls, thou dost pull them down. Then he said, O David, it is because I have not appointed thee my vicegerent among created beings; nor must thou alienate the place from its possessor without a price. As to that building, a man of thy sons shall construct it. Again, it has been said that the meaning of the building being pulled down after it had been raised, was, that the place belonged to the whole community of the children of Israël, every one of whom had a right in it. David therefore requested them to give up the land, to which part of them assented viva voce, and part of them in silence. David then understood of those who were silent, some were well content, but others were not content, within their hearts. David therefore brought the whole matter into open discussion, and the affair of his intended building also.

Then came one of the possessors of the common right unto the sons of Israël, and said unto them, Do ye wish to build upon my rightful portion? Now, I am a poor man; and that is a place to my hạnd, whence I can gather my

and 1 am greatly benefited by its productions, which I can carry home, on account of its proximity to my dwelling : consider therefore my circumstances. Thereupon said unto him every one of the sons of Israël, Are either your right or yourself to be avariciously kept back from serving a good purpose? If thou wilt give up obediently, it is well ;

food;

but if not, we will take it, whether thou wilt or not. Then he said, Expect the judgment of David in this matter. Then he departed, and complained of them unto the king, who entreated them, and said unto them, Would ye build this Temple unjustly? I will not see you do so, O sons of Israël. Submit yourselves therefore unto God; for I do not think but that in this matter ye have acted tyrannically. Then David said unto him, Make thy own demand for thy right, and we will follow thy decision : who replied, What wilt thou give me for it? Then he said, If thou wilt, I will fill it for thee with sheep, or, if thou wilt, with oxen, or, if thou wilt, with camels. Then he said, O prophet of God, make an advance for me; for thou art buying for God; therefore be not avaricious with me. Then David said unto him, Demand thy utmost; for thou canst not ask a thing but I will give thee. Then he said, Build for me a caldron upon it, capable of containing twelve feet solid measure; then fill it with gold for me. And David (peace be with him !) replied, Yes; this is but little for God.

Then came this man unto the children of Israël, and said, Truly God is the Unchangeable, the Faithful, the Saving. Then he said, O ye men of Israël, God hath appropriated this place to me as a means of obtaining an obliterating pardon of my

my

sins : this gift is the privilege I love far beyond the filling of the land with gold. How therefore did these imagine that I should act niggardly in a matter from which I hope for the obliterating forgiveness of sins, and of their sins? Now therefore I give it up to you, in 'return for mercy displayed to you; for compassion towards you ; for I had already devoted it to God. Engage earnestly, then, in the work of the Holy Abode. Then David took the matter in hand himself, and began to collect stores for greater dispatch, and to place them in their proper places (to be used); in which the Scribes of the sons of Israël concurred with him.

There is also another reason for the building of this Temple by David (peace be with him !) found in a tradition of Ibn Ishále, viz. that God revealed unto David (peace be with him!) when the children of Israël had become exceedingly impious and immeasurably wicked, as follows:-“I have sworn by my might that I will afflict you with a drought of three years; or I will cause your enemies to obtain complete conquest over you for three months; or I will send a divine pestilence for three days.” Therefore David assembled the children of Israël, and proposed these three things to their acceptance, desiring them to choose one of the three. But they said unto him, Thou art our prophét; and

D

power of

thou art more acute than ourselves : choose, therefore, for us. So he said, As for the famine, that is a stunning evil, which no one can endure. As 'for enemies and death, I should be inclined to propose for your acceptance, to be subject to the unresisted

your foes: but, at any rate, the effects of that choice await

you
under

any

circumstances; for death is in God's hand. You will die at the appointed season, even in your own abodes. Refer this, then, entirely to the good pleasure of God; for he will be merciful unto you. Then he made his option for them, and chose the Pestilence from above, and commanded them to prepare and dress themselves in their grave-clothes (shrouds), and bring forth their wives and their slaves and their children, in front of them, and themselves behind, and thus to stand upon the Rock, and the soil whereupon the Temple was afterwards built, which was then bare ground, on a level with the Sakhrá. So therefore they did. Then David loudly 'exclaimed, O Lord ! thou hast commanded us to follow faithfulness; and thou lovest those who stand faithfully to their word. Oh, be faithful to us, as regards this compassion! Thou hast commanded us to give freedom to our collar-bound (slaves). We beseech thee, of thy compassion, that thou wouldst give freedom to us this day. Thou hast commanded us never to repulse the suppliant

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