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me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and enquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No. Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent*, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples. So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.
23 So, when our good fight is fought, and our warfare accomplished-cour age shall have its reward, and we may hope to enter triumphantly into the promised land of our rest.
EVENING. JUDGES V.
THEN sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying, Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves. Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel. LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.
mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel. In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath,
4 In every trial, God will find for us a way of escape; perhaps when, and as, we least expect it. Art thou in trouble? Commit thou thy way unto him; he shall bring it to pass+.
5 How magnificent is this description! every expression picturing the terror of the nations, to whom God thus showed visible signs of his power in protecting the people whom he loved.
6 The country was desolate.
*The tents of the Arabs were fastened to the ground with very large nails or pins.
+ The way of the Israelites towards Canaan, lay by Seir or Edom, the country of Esau's posterity. But as the people refused to allow their march through the land, God led them by another way. All ways are known to Him.
in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways. The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel. They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel? My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD.
10 This is addressed to the nobles of
the land. They are roused to the truth, that all their greatness, and all their wisdom, is vain as their pride,
unless Jehovah bless at once their councils and their armies.
11 The shepherds take their flocks to water, fearlessly. The laws are established, and all dread of the robber-bands ceaseth.
Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way. They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD, even the righteous villages in Israel: then shall to the gates. "Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam. Then he made him that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the LORD made me have dominion over the mighty. "Out of Eph- 14 These were the Israelites, who bravely assisted in the war.
acts toward the inhabitants of his the people of the LORD go down
12 By subduing the conqueror, he will lead captive those who hitherto led others captive.
raim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer. And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak he was sent on foot into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart. Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches. Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field. The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money. 20 They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. "The river of Kishon swept
20 Beautiful expressions denoting the evident assistance of Heaven. 21 Thus St. Paul triumphed; thus every Christian soldier triumphs,
them away, that ancient river,
soul, thou hast trodden down
who with the apostle can adopt the language of conscious fidelity—“ I have fought a good fight."
strength. Then were the horsehoofs broken by the means of
23 The name alone of this city survives; so awfully has the curse-the bitter curse against it-been exe
the pransings, the pransings of their mighty ones. 23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty. Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent. He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish. She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples. At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down at her feet he bowed, he fell where he bowed, there he fell down dead. The mother of Sisera looked out at a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariots? Her wise ladies answered her, yea, she returned answer to herself, Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two; to Sisera a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needlework, of divers colours of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take spoil? So let all thine
enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.
31 Alas! for the heart-stricken mother! But the honour of God is higher than all other considerations. His enemies must perish; but his faithful servants shall find their course made clear and bright by a light, which no clouds shall darken; even by that light which came down from heaven: Jesus Christ, the righteous.
The third Sunday after Trinity.
MORNING. 1 SAMUEL ii.
' AND Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is ex
1 This hymn refers to the salvation which the future Messiah should reveal-He being "the rock" of ages.
alted in the LORD; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the LORD for there is none beside thee: neither is there any
rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. 'They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren
The rich are ofttimes brought to poverty-the mighty to the dust. O let me prize the riches of God's grace, and rejoice in his salvation : they shall endure, though all else perish.
hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed
We hold life itself, from hour to hour, by his power and will.
7 Let the eye of pride learn humility. Let the rich not boast himself. Death mocketh alike the one and the other.
If God keepeth my feet, I will not fear to descend to the grave. He will be with me still. Merciful
Father! O leave me not then!
to Thus ends the prayer of happy and successful faith. May all learn not to be carried away by success, but to be more and more humble,
feeble. The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them. 'He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the as God shall vouchsafe more and LORD shall judge the ends of more the riches of his blessing. the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed. And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest. Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. And the priest's custom with the people ras, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; and he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither. Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much
as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.
17 Wherefore the sin of the
young men was very great
before the LORD: for men
17 What a warning have we here against the sin of irreverence in holy things.
abhorred the offering of the LORD. But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.
19 This is an affecting picture of maternal solicitude *.
19 Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home. And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD. Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear ye make the LORD's people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father. because the Lord would slay them. And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men. And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house? And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? 30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel
30 The greatest and noblest of the sons of men, though they may be flattered, are never truly honoured,
* So now, how often do anxious parents toil early and late, and deny themselves in many things, that their children may have food and clothing, and be trained up for that future course of life to which God may be pleased to call them. This self-denial surely claims gratitude.