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Sunday, April 20 2014
2 Samuel 1: How The Mighty Have Fallen
"The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!"
The news of the death of King Saul and his son Jonathan (see 1 Samuel 31: Saul's Last Stand and 1 Samuel 20: David and Jonathan) came as a shock to King David (see 1 Samuel 16: The Anointing Of David). The civil war (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Civil War) had been ongoing for over a year, but David had refused to kill Saul, despite easy opportunities to have done so (see 1 Samuel 21: Why Didn't David Kill Saul?; also 1 Samuel 24: The Cave Of The Wild Goats Incident and 1 Samuel 26: The Raid On Saul's Camp). David's response to the fall of King Saul was that "David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him: And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword."
"1:1 Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag; 1:2 It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.
David's "how the mighty have fallen" remains one of the most familiar expressions of the Holy Bible. It was both a genuine statement of grief and a rhetorical question that could only be answered in view of Saul's choice of attitude and behavior after he became king (see the Fact Finder question below).
"1:17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: 1:18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
Fact Finder: (a) Was Saul chosen as Israel's first king because he was wise, humble and righteous? (b) What did Saul do after he became king that made him unfit to continue as king?
This Day In History, April 20
295: The 8th recorded passage of Halley's Comet.
1139: The Second Lateran Council opened in Rome (see also The Struggle For The Papacy).
1453: The last major naval battle in Byzantine (i.e. the East Roman Empire) history occurred; three Genoese galleys escorting a Byzantine transport versus the Ottoman blockade fleet.
1505: Jews were expelled from Orange Burgundy by Philibert of Luxembourg.
1534: French explorer Jacques Cartier set sail from St. Malo to explore the eastern coastline of Canada (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1653: In England, Oliver Cromwell expelled the "Long Parliament" for trying to pass the Perpetuation Bill, which would have kept Parliament in the hands of a few members only.
1657: The English navy, under Admiral Robert Blake, destroyed the Spanish fleet in Santa Cruz harbor, Tenerife.
1689: The siege of Londonderry began when supporters of James II attacked the city. The population nearly starved to death before the siege was lifted on July 30.
1769: Pontiac, Chief of the Ottawa Indians, was murdered by an Illinois Indian. In 1763 he had led an uprising against the British garrisons in North America.
1770: English explorer James Cook discovered what is today the coast of New South Wales, Australia.
1792: France declared war on Austria, Prussia and Sardinia in the War of the First Coalition.
1809: Napoleon fought the Austrians at the Battle of Abensberg in Bavaria.
1862: Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard complete the first "pasteurization" (named after Pasteur) experiments.
1902: Pierre and Marie Curie isolated the radioactive element radium.
1910: Halley's Comet 29th recorded perihelion at 87.9 million kilometers.
1918: Manfred von Richthofen (the famous "Red Baron") shot down his 79th and 80th opponents - his final victories before being shot down and killed by a Canadian fighter pilot, Captain Roy Brown, the next day.
1940: The first electron microscope was demonstrated.
1945: Near the end of the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), Soviet troops began their attack on Berlin.
1947: King Christian X of Denmark died.
1957: Comet Arend-Roland made its closest approach to earth. It was discovered the previous November by Belgians S. Arend and P. Roland. It was remarkable for its anomalous second tail which appeared as a sharp spike aimed at the sun.
1973: The Canadian Anik A2 became the first commercial satellite in earth orbit.
1978: Korean Airlines flight 007 was shot down by Soviet fighter jets after the airliner strayed over Russian airspace.
1989: The last Canadian $1.00 bill was printed. It was replaced by a $1.00 coin that became known as the "loonie" (as did the Canadian dollar itself) because of the engraving of a swimming loon (a fish-eating diving bird of the northern hemisphere) on one side of the gold-colored coin.
1999: The Columbine High School massacre in Colorado: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 13 people and wounded 24 others before committing suicide.
2010: The Deepwater Horizon oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, beginning an oil spill that would last six months.