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His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him: and He will shew them His covenant.

Mine eyes are ever towards the LORD: for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn Thee unto me, and have mercy upon me : for I am desolate and afflicted.

The troubles of my heart are enlarged: 0 bring Thou me out of my distresses. Look

upon mine affliction, and my pain, and forgive all sins.

Consider mine enemies, for they are many, and they hate me with cruel hatred.

O keep my soul and deliver me : let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in Thee.

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me: for. I wait

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on Thee.

Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

SECTION XX.

AHITHOPHEL'S COUNSEL DEFEATED

BY HUSHAI

AMASA MADE GENERAL IN THE ROOM OF JOAB.

From 2 Sam. Chap. xvi.

AND Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him.

And it came to pass when Hushai the Archite, Da. vid's friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king.

And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this thy kindness to thy friend? why wentest thou not with thy friend? And Hushai said unto Absalom, Nay, but whom the LORD

and

and this people, and all the men of Israel choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide.

And again, Whom should I serve ? should I not serve in the presence of his son as I have served in thy father's presence, so will I be in thy presence.

Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do.

And the counsel of Ahithophel which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel, both David and with Absalom.

And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night. And I will come upon him while he is

weary

and weak-handed, and will make him afraid :- and all the people that are with him shall flee, and I will smite the king only:

And I will bring back all the people unto thee: the man whom thou seekest is as if all returned: so all the people shall be in peace..

And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.

Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith.

And when Hushai was come to absalom, Absalom spake unto him, saying, Ahithophel hath-spoken after this manner : shall we do after his saying ? if not, speak. thou.

And Hushai said unto Absalom, the counsel that A hithophel hath given, is not good at this time.

For said Hushai) thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chased in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: 1.6

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and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.

Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place: and it will come to pass, when some of them be overthrown at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, There is slaughter among the people that follow Absalom.

And he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly, melt: for all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men,

Therefore I counsel, that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude, and that thou go to battle in thine own person.

So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him, and of all the men that are with him, there shall not be left so much as one.

Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there.

And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel: for the Lord had appointed to de. feat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.

Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the eldest of Israel : and thus and thus have I counselled.

Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness,

but

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but speedily pass over : lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him.

Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz staid by En-Rogel (for they might not be seen to come into the city.) And a wench went and told them! and they went and told king David.

Nevertheless, a lad saw them, and told Absalom : but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court, whither they went down.

And the woman took and spread a covering over the well's mouth, and spread ground corn thereon: and the thing was not known.

And when Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? and the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

And it came to pass after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said unto David, Arise and pass quickly over the water : for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you.

Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over Jordan : by the morning light there lacked not one of them that was not gone over Jordan.

And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his houshold in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.

Then David came to Mahanaim: and Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.

And Absalom made Amassa captain of the host instead of Joab.

So Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead.

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ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.

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David imagined that Absalom would make haste to Jerusalem, and so it proved : it seems, he arrived there a considerable time before the king and his followers reached the banks of the river Jordan ; for when Hushai came to the city, he found Absalom in quiet possession, and just going to call a council. Absalom supposing Hushai to be inviolably attached to David, was amazed at being accosted by him; but on Hushai's assuring him that whom the LORD and all the men of Israel should choose, his would he be, he immediately resolved to repose entire confidence in him.

Hushai in this instance was not sincere ; but we must consider, that he had no other possible way of defeating the counsels of Ahithophel ; and if a departure from truth can in any instance be justified, surely it is in such a case as this, where it was evidently practised to prevent a man from murdering his FATHER and his King.

The advice which Ahithophel gave, though exceedingly wicked, was very likely to succeed in getting the king into Absalom's power ; but in mercy to David, the LORD) ordained that Hushai's counsel should prevail. - The object Hushai seems to have had in view was, to gain time, in order to concert proper measures for preventing bloodshed, and restoring the peace of the nation,

When David, in consequence of Hushai's advice, had 'passed the river Jordan, he is supposed to have composed the following Psalm * : * Psalo lxxis

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