Bible History for the Use of Catholic Schools - R. Gilmour

Age III:
From Moses to David

28. —The Birth of Moses [B.C. *1500]

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. In Egypt the posterity of Jacob rapidly increased, and soon became a great people. In the mean time other kings arose, who knew not Joseph, and, seeing how great the Israelites had become, began to fear them; so they oppressed the children of Jacob, put heavy burdens upon them; and finally ordered the Egyptian midwives to cast into the Nile all the male children that would be born among the Hebrews.

2. One of the Hebrew women bore a son, whom she loved most tenderly. For three months she hid him; but, finding tit impossible to conceal him any longer, she made a basket of bulrushes, and, smearing it with pitch, laid the child in it, and placed the basket among the sedges by the bank of the river. Then she sent his sister to watch what would come to pass.

3. By the direction of God, Pharaoh's daughter came down to the river to wash herself, and, seeing the basket, sent her maid to bring it. When she opened it and saw the child, she knew it belonged to one of the Hebrew women. The sister approaching, Pharaoh's daughter sent her to bring a nurse. She ran and brought the mother. Pharaoh's daughter gave her the child to nurse, and, when he was grown up, adopted him, calling him Moses, that is, saved front the waters.

4. Moses was a figure of Jesus Christ. Moses was saved from the river: Jesus, from Herod. Moses, when young, was wise in words ant powerful in deeds; so also Christ, who, at the age of twelve, was the wonder of priests and doctors. Moses divided the waters of the sea; Christ calmed the winds and the storms. Moses led the way to the Promised Land; Christ is the way to heaven.

5. Moses, amid great miracles, gave the Old Law to the Jews; Christ with the most stupendous miracles, gave the New Law to the world. Moses abolished idolatry among the Jews; Christ, in the world. Moses gave civil liberty to the Jews; Christ, spiritual liberty to mankind.

6. Moses fasted forty days on the mountain; Christ fasted forty days in the desert. Moses descended from the mountain with his face transfigured; Christ was transfigured on the mountain. In the desert, Moses fed the people with manna; Christ feeds the world with His own body and blood. Moses confirmed the Old Law with the blood of bullocks; Christ sealed the New Law with His own blood.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 28.—What is said of Jacob's posterity? How did the kings of Egypt treat them? What order was given to the midwives? Tell the story of the birth of Moses and how he was saved. What does Moses mean? Tell how Moses was a figure of Jesus Christ.

29.—The Call of Moses.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When Moses attained his fortieth year he resolved to share the miseries of his people. By his vigorous defence of the Hebrews against the cruelty of the Egyptians, he incurred the displeasure of the king, who resolved to put him to death; but Moses fled to Madian, in Arabia, where he lived for forty years, tending the flocks of his father-in-law, Jethro, a priest of that country.

2. One day, when Moses had led his flock to the mountain of Horeb, God appeared to him in the midst of a burning bush. Moses was much astonished that the bush was not consumed, and approached to see what it could mean; but God commanded him to stand still and take off his shoes, for the place was holy. At the voice of God, Moses fell on his face.

3. Then God told him how He had seen the afflictions of the Hebrews, and that He was about to deliver them; besides, He had chosen him to lead the people out of Egypt. At first Moses objected, alleging his weakness and slowness of speech; but God promised to be with him, and gave him Aaron, his brother, as spokesman.

4. Then Moses returned to Egypt, and Aaron with him, and, assembling the people of Israel, Aaron spoke to them all the Lord had commanded. When Moses had wrought miracles, before the people, they believed and adored God.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 29.—How old was Moses when he resolved to join his people? Whose anger did he excite? Where did he flee? Whose flocks did he keep? In what did God appear to Moses? what did God command him to dot Who was given as spokesman? Where did Moses and Aaron go?

30.—The Ten Plagues of Egypt.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Moses and Aaron were both about eighty years of age when they first presented themselves before Pharaoh and commanded him to let the Israelites go into the desert to sacrifice to the Lord. But Pharaoh refused, and commanded the Israelites to be oppressed more and more. Their tasks were also increased.

2. Again Moses and Aaron presented themselves before Pharaoh. At the command of God, Aaron cast his rod before the king, and immediately it was changed into a serpent. Pharaoh only the more hardened his heart and would not let the people go. Then God sent ten plagues upon Pharaoh and his people.

3. For the first, Aaron struck the Nile with his rod, and its waters were changed into blood, and corrupted. After seven days he again stretched his hand over the waters of Egypt, and there came up frogs that covered the whole land. Then, in turn, the dust of the earth was turned into flies and insects that tormented both man and beast.

4. In quick succession there followed a murrain amongst the cattle, and boils and swellings upon man and beast. For the seventh plague, God sent thunder and hail, and lightning running along the ground. After this was added the plague of locusts to eat up what the hail had spared; and, at last, impenetrable darkness covered the land.

But Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go as the Lord commanded; so God struck him with tenth plague more terrible than all the rest.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 30.—How old were Moses and Aaron when they went to Pharaoh? What did they ask of him? What did Pharaoh do? What was done the second time Moses presented himself to Pharaoh? What was the first plague? What was the second, third, etc.? Did Pharaoh let the people go?

31.—The Death of the First-born.—The Paschal Lamb.—The Departure from Egypt.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Before God sent His tenth plague He wished to prepare the Israelites for it. Each family was therefore commanded by Moses and Aaron to prepare a lamb without blemish, and on the fourteenth day of the month to sacrifice it, and to sprinkle their door-posts with its blood. They were further required to roast the lamb at the fire, and whilst, with unleavened bread and wild lettuce, they eat its flesh, to stand with their loins girt and staves in their hands. The Israelites did all they were commanded.

2. About the middle of the night, the angel of the Lord struck all the first-born of Egypt, even from the first-born of Pharaoh to the humblest of the land: no family escaped. But the angel, seeing the blood on the door-posts of the Israelites, spared them.

3. When Pharaoh saw this, he rose up and, calling Moses and Aaron, commanded them to go forth and to take the Israelites with them. The Egyptians also pressed them to go, fearing lest all would die. The Israelites went forth from Egypt, two hundred and fifteen years after Jacob had gone thither, to the number of six hundred thousand men, besides women and children. They carried with them the bones of Joseph.

4. The paschal lamb was a figure of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who was offered on the cross. By His blood we also are marked and delivered from eternal death. The deliverance of the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt is also a figure of man's delivery from the bondage of sin and hell.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 3l.—What did God command the Israelites to eat? How was the paschal lamb to be eaten? With what were the door-posts sprinkled? What happened about the middle of the night? Who were spared? What did Pharaoh do? How long were the Israelites in Egypt? How many entered Egypt? How many left it? Whose bones were carried out? Of what was the paschal lamb a figure?

32.—The Passage of the Red Sea.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. God became the guide of the Israelites, leading them on their way by a cloud in the day and a pillar of fire in the night. In a few days they came to the Red Sea. Meanwhile Pharaoh repented that he had let the Israelites go, anti resolved to gather together his horses and chariots and pursue them. When the Israelites saw the Egyptians behind them and the sea before them, they were seized with great fear. But Moses encouraged them, and assured them the Lord would fight for them.

2. The cloud that had gone before the Israelites now went behind them, and become a wall of separation between the Egyptians and the Israelites. On the side of the former it was dark, but on the side of the latter it shone with a clear light. Thus the two armies were separated during the night. By command of God, Moses stretched forth his rod over the sea, and the waters were divided, rising as a wall to the right and to the left.

3. During the night the Israelites passed through on dry land. In the morning the Egyptians also followed, but, at the command of God, Moses again stretched forth his rod over the sea, and the waters returned to their place—Pharaoh and his whole army, his chariots and his horsemen, were swallowed up, so that not a single person escaped.

4. The cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night were a figure of Jesus Christ. He is the light, in which those who walk will not perish. The Red Sea is also a figure of Baptism, since we must all receive it if we will enter heaven.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 32.—Who became the guide of the Israelites? What was seen in the day? What in the night? What did Pharaoh do? What became of the cloud? Tell how the Israelites passed the Red Sea. What happened to the Egyptians? What was a figure of Jesus Christ? How? Of what was the Red Sea a figure? How?

33.—The Quails, the Manna, and the Water in the Desert.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When the Israelites came into the desert they could find no bread; then they began to murmur against Moses, and to wish for the flesh-pots of Egypt. God promised them flesh to the full, and, in the morning, bread. In the evening there came into the camp an immense number of quails, which were easily caught; and in the morning the desert was covered with small white seeds that appeared like hoar-frost. When the Israelites saw this they cried out MAN-HU! that is, What is this?

2. Then Moses told them it was the bread which the Lord had sent them. They were commanded to gather as much as each one needed. The people did so, and found the taste thereof like fine flour mixed with honey.

3. For forty years God fed the Israelites with this bread, which was afterwards called manna. It fell no more after they came into the land of Canaan.

This manna was preeminently a figure of the Sacrament of the Altar In which Jesus Christ gives Himself under the appearance of bread and wine.

4. Some time after this there was a scarcity of water, and the Israelites began again to murmur. God told Moses to take his rod, and to go to Mount Horeb and strike the rock. He did so, and immediately there came forth water in such abundance that the people quenched their thirst and were satisfied.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 33.—In the desert what did the people do? What did God send in the evening? What in the morning? What was the taste of the manna? How long did God feed the Israelites on manna? What was the manna a figure How did God supply water?

34.—The Ten Commandments.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Three months after their departure from Egypt the Israelites came to Mount Sinai. God called Moses, and he went up into the mountain. Here the Lord spoke to him, and bade him remind the people of all He had already done for them, and how He would continue to protect them if they would be faithful to Him, and that He would make them a chosen people. When Moses descended from the mountain and told the people all the words of the Lord, they cried out, "We will do all the Lord bath spoken."

2. Then God commanded the people to purify themselves to-morrow and the next day, and to be ready for the third. On the morning of the third day it began to thunder and lighten; a thick cloud covered the mountain. The top of Mount Sinai was on fire, and it shook to its base. Then came the sound of a trumpet, that grew louder and louder, until the people trembled with an exceeding great fear.

3. When Moses had led the people to the foot of the mountain, the Lord spoke thus:

  1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.
  2. Thou shalt not take the, name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  3. Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
  4. Honor thy father and thy mother.
  5. Thou shalt not kill.
  6. Thou shalt not commit adultery
  7. Thou shalt not steal.
  8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.

4. When the people, who were camped round about the mountain, beard these things, trembling with fear and full of reverence, they promised to do all the Lord commanded them. Moses built an altar and offered sacrifice to the Lord. He took also of the blood of the victims and sprinkled it upon the people, as a sign of the covenant the Lord had that day made with them.

5. As the covenant of the Old Law was established on Mount Sinai, so was the covenant of the New Law sealed on Calvary. There God showed His power; here, His mercy. Both covenants were sealed with blood: at Sinai with the blood of bullocks; on Calvary with the blood of Jesus Christ.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 34.—When did the people come to Sinai? Who was called up to the mountain? What did God tell Moses? What did the people say? What were the people commanded to do? What happened on the third day? Repeat the ten commandments. What did Moses offer? With what did he sprinkle the people? What comparison between Sinai and Calvary?

35.—The Golden Calf.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After this, Moses again went up into the mountain, and for forty days and forty nights remained conversing with God. The Lord gave him two tables of stone, on which were written the ten commandments. While Moses delayed on the mountain, the people began to murmur, and came to Aaron and demanded that he would make for them gods like to those of the Egyptians. Not thinking they would comply with his command, he said to them, "Bring me the golden earrings of your wives and daughters."

2. Contrary to his expectations, they brought them, and, being a weak man, he had not courage to resist their wicked wish; so he cast them into a furnace and made a golden calf, and built an altar. Then the Israelites gathered together and offered sacrifice, and, eating and drinking, rose up to play, after the manner of the pagans.

3. When Moses came down from the mountain and saw these abominations, he was exceeding angry, and throwing down the tables on which the ten commandments were written, broke them. Seizing upon the golden calf, he burned it, and beat it into powder. Then he commanded the sons of Levi to unsheathe their swords, to march through the camp and return, and to put to death all whom they met. There were slain on that day about twenty-three thousand men dared not look upon him; so Moses was forced to put a veil on his face when he spoke to the people.

4. Moses again returned to the Lord on the mountain, and prayed for the pardon of the people. The Lord heard his prayer. Moses hewed two tables of stone like the first, and God again wrote on them the ten commandments.

5. When Moses had finished speaking with the Lord, he descended from the mountain carrying with him the two tables of the Law. His face had become horned, and shone Is the rav,9 of the sun. When the Israelites saw this, they

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 35.—How long did Moses remain on the mountain? What did God give him? What did the people ask of Aaron? What did he make? What aid the people do? How did Moses act? What were broken? What did the sons of Levi do? How many were killed? Where did Moses go again? What did he bring back with him? What appeared on the face of Moses?

36.—The Ordinances for the Worship of God.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Besides the ten commandments which God gave Moses, He also gave many other ordinances. These latter related to the public worship, which, with extreme care, Moses established according as God commanded him.

2. The Tabernacle.—Moses began by constructing a tenth whose supports were made of setim-wood and were so framed that they could easily be taken apart. The length of the tent was thirty cubits, and the height ten, and' the breadth ten. The supports were overlaid with gold, and the whole was covered with most precious hangings. Within hung a veil of magnificent tapestry, which divided the Tabernacle into two parts—the smaller called the Holy of Holies; the larger, the Sanctuary.

3. Within the Holy of Holies was placed the Ark of the Covenant, a small box made of the most precious wood, overlaid with gold and surmounted by two cherubim. In the Ark were placed the two tables of the Law.

Within the Sanctuary were kept three objects consecrated to the worship of God: the Table of Showbread, on which were placed twelve loaves of bread, made of the finest flour; the Golden Candlestick, that, with its seven lights, shone during the entire night; and, lastly, the Altar of Perfumes, on which was burned the finest incense.

4. Besides this, Moses constructed around the Tabernacle a grand portico which enclosed two other sacred objects: the Altar of Holocausts, and the Great Brazen Basin in which the priests were commanded to purify themselves before they performed any sacred function.

5. This Ark was a figure of the tabernacle in Catholic churches; the Holy of Holies, of the altar on which is offered the sacrifice of the New Law; the Sanctuary corresponded to the place the priests occupy; and the portico represented the body of the church, where the people now worship.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

6. The sacrifices of the Old Law were either bloody, in which were offered heifers and sheep and goats and doves; or unbloody, in which were offered cakes and unleavened bread and wine.

The bloody sacrifices prefigured the bloody sacrifice of Christ upon the cross; the unbloody were a type of the sacrifice of the Mass.

7. The Religious Feasts were: 1st. The Pasch, on which the Israelites eat the flesh of a lamb, and for seven days unleavened bread, in remembrance of their deliverance out of Egypt. 2nd. The feast of Pentecost, celebrated seven weeks after the Pasch, in remembrance of the Law received on Mount Sinai. At this feast were also offered the first-fruits. 3rd. The feast of Tabernacles, in memory of their long sojourn in the desert. During this feast the Israelites were required to live in tents made from the branches of trees. 4th. The feast of Expiation, on which the priest sacrificed a heifer for his own sins and a goat for the sins of the people. Then he entered into the Holy of Holies, carrying with him the golden censer and the blood of the victim: with the former he incensed the Ark, with the latter he sprinkled the pavement.

8. The Ministers of Divine Worship were: 1st. The High Priest. To this office Moses consecrated Aaron, anointing him, and clothing him with the various vestments of his office. 2nd. The Priests proper, who were the sons of Aaron, and whose office it was to offer sacrifice. 3rd. The Levites, who were of the tribe of Levi, and who were charged with the lower offices within the Tabernacle.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 36.—What besides the commandments did God give? Describe the Tabernacle. What was the Holy of Holies? What was placed in it? What was the Ark? What three objects were kept within the Sanctuary? What did the portico enclose? Show how these different objects correspond to things in the Catholic Church. What kinds of sacrifices were in the Old Law? What was the Pasch? What was Pentecost? What was the feast of Tabernacles? Of Expiation? Who was the High Priest? Who were the Priests? The Levites?

37.—The False Messengers.—The Murmurs of the People.—God's Chastisements.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. The Israelites remained a year at Mount Sinai. When they started on their way, Moses chose twelve men, among whom were Joshua and Caleb, to go into the Land of Promise. After forty days they returned, carrying with them specimens of the fruits of the country. Amongst these was an enormous bunch of grapes borne on the shoulders of two men, besides apples and pomegranates and figs. The land, indeed, said they, overflowed with abundance, but the inhabitants were giants.

2. Then the people wept, and again murmured against Moses and Aaron, wishing they had died in Egypt or in the desert. In vain did Joshua and Caleb speak of the richness of the country and the weakness of the people. The multitude, led on by the others, would not listen, but cried out the more to return to Egypt.

3. When the murmur was at its height, the glory of God was seen over the Ark of the Covenant. Then the Lord said to Moses He would destroy the Israelites, for they were an incredulous people. The Lord even offered to make Moses ruler over a greater nation; but Moses, the meekest of men, only prayed the more that the Lord would pardon them.

4. At his prayer the Lord again pardoned the people; yet, as a punishment for their sin, He declared that not one of them that had attained his twentieth year should enter the Promised Land, Joshua and Caleb excepted. Their children would enter, but for forty years should the people wander in the desert—a year for every day spent in exploring the country.

5. This history of the Jews is similar to what happened in the time of Jesus Christ. The Jews, as a whole, would not understand the spiritual kingdom promised and established by Christ; hence they rejected Him. On the cross He begged His Father to forgive them. That prayer is still being answered in the constant but small stream of conversions to Christ and will be fully answered before the end of the world, according to the prophecy of St. Paul.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 37.—How long did the people remain at Sinai? Who were sent to Canaan? What report did they bring back? How did the people act? Who spoke in vain? What appeared over the Ark? What did God say He would do? What punishment did God decree? What is said of the Jews?

38.—Core, Dathan, and Abiron.

1. Some time after the events related in the preceding chapter, two hundred and fifty Levites, led on by Core, Dathan, and Abiron, revolted against Moses and Aaron, denying their authority. On the following day the Lord commanded the people to go out from the tents of these wicked men;, not to touch anything belonging to them, lest they also would be involved in their sin. While the people were looking on to see what would come to pass, the earth opened under the feet of the three leaders and swallowed them down, with their tents and all their substance. Then a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty Levites. Moses and Aaron were that day vindicated.

2. In modern times we often see similar revolts against the priests of God. Ambitious and wicked men wish to rule the Church; but, like Core and his companions, they will ever receive a just punishment for their pride and presumption.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 38.—Who revolted? How were they punished? What do we see in modern times?

39.—The Hesitation of Moses, and the Brazen Serpent.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Water again failed, and the people began to murmur. Then the Lord commanded Moses to take his rod and strike the rock. Moses, for a moment, doubted; then struck the rock, when water gushed forth in great abundance. This momentary doubt greatly displeased God, and He declared that Moses, because he had not believed, should not lead the people into the Promised Land.

2. Shortly after, the people rebelled again, and, murmuring, complained they had neither food nor water. When God saw this He sent among them fiery serpents, whose sting burned like fire. Many died amid the most cruel torments. When the people saw this they came to Moses, acknowledging their sin, and begging him to pray to the Lord that He would take the serpents from amongst them.

3. Moses prayed, when the Lord commanded him to make a brazen serpent and to set it up for a sign. He did so, and as many as looked upon it were healed.

4. This serpent prefigured Our Saviour nailed to the cross; for as the Israelites were cured by looking upon the serpent, so are all who, with faith, look up to Christ cured of the wounds of sin caused by the bite of the infernal serpent.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 39.—What failed? How was water supplied? How did Moses act? How did God punish him? What did God send? What happened? What was set up? Of whom was the brazen serpent a figure?

40.—The Death of Moses

1. When, according to the course of nature, the time came that Moses must die, the Lord commanded him, in the presence of the people, to put his hand upon Joshua, that they might have no cause to disobey him. Then Moses told the people he was about to die; that he would not pass over the Jordan with them, nor enter the Promised Land.

2. He then reminded them of all the Lord had done for them—how He had nourished them in the desert, and how He had watched over them; then he commanded the people to keep the commandments, to love the Lord, and to hearken to His voice. He also foretold them, in a spirit of prophecy, that the Lord would in time raise up a PROPHET like to him, whom they should hear. He spoke of Christ.

3. When Moses had finished speaking, he went up to the top of Mount Nebo, from which the Lord showed him the land of Canaan. When Moses saw it he rejoiced; and, full of gratitude and thanks to God, died at the ripe old age of a hundred and twenty years. The Lord buried him in the valley of Phogor, but the spot no man knows. Israel mourned for him thirty days. There was never after a prophet Hie Moses.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 40 Who succeeded Moses? What did Moses remind the people of? What prophecy did Moses make? Where did Moses die? Where was he buried?

41.—The Israelites enter the Promised Land. [B.C. *1315]

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After the death of Moses, the Lord commanded Joshua to pass over the Jordan. The priests took the Ark of the Covenant and marched before; the people followed. When they were come to the banks of the Jordan, and the priests had touched the water with the soles of their feet, the waters above stood still, while the waters below ran down, leaving a dry passage for the people to pass over.

2. When all had passed, the waters returned to their usual course. The people encamped near Jericho, where they celebrated the feast of the Pasch.

Jericho was a large and populous city, well fortified with walls. For six succeeding days the Israelites went round about it. On the seventh the priests carried with them the Ark of the Covenant, while seven priests sounded the trumpets of Jubilee, and the people shouted with a great cry. All this was done by the command of God. At the sound of the trumpets and the shout of the people, the walls fell flat to the ground, and the Israelites entered and took the city.

3. In time, Joshua conquered all the country, and, by lot, divided it among the twelve tribes of Israel. Each tribe bore the name and was descended from one of the twelve sons of Jacob. Thus, after their long wanderings, had the Israelites arrived in the Land of Promise.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 41.—Who led the people over the Jordan? What happened? What feast was celebrated? What was Jericho? now was it taken? Who conquered Canaan? How was the land divided?

42.—The Judges.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Surely the Israelites owed a deep debt of gratitude to the Lord for the rich and magnificent country He had given them; but they were an ungrateful people, and were easily led astray by their pagan neighbors. Shortly after their arrival in the Promised Land they fell into idolatry. In punishment for their crime, the Lord delivered them into the hands of their enemies. Servitude taught them repentance and their dependence upon God. Having humbled themselves before Him, He sent pious men, called Judges, selected from among the people, to deliver them and to rule them.

2. Their repentance was but of short duration; at the death of each Judge they returned to their sins and idolatry. For four hundred years this faithless and thankless people were in turn changing from God to the worship of idols—relapsing and repenting. The sixteen Judges sent during this time were: Othouiel, Aod, Samgar, Barac, Debbora, Gideon, Abimelech, Molar, Jair, Jephte, Abesan, Ahialon, Abdon, Samson, Eli, and Samuel.

3. Amongst these, Samson was one of the most remarkable. So great was his strength that, on one occasion, by the mere power of his hands, he tore a furious lion into pieces. On another, he slew a thousand men with the jaw-bone of an ass. After this, while asleep, he was made prisoner by the Philistines, and bound with seven cords; but, when he awoke, he broke them like burnt flax.

4. During his life, Samson waged a continual war upon the Philistines: at one time carrying away the gates of their city; at another, burning their crops. At length he was made prisoner and his eyes put out. While the Philistines were feasting and making merry over their victory, Samson was brought out to make sport for them. Wearied, he leaned against the pillars that supported the house in which the Philistines were assembled; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and, his strength returning, he shook the pillars, and the house fell, killing himself and three thousand of his enemies.

The pious and humble Gideon, who fought against the Madianites, was also very renowned.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 42.—What did the Israelites owe the Lord? How did they act? What punishment did God send? Who were the judges? How many were there? What is said of Samson? Give some examples of his strength. Against whom did he make war? How did he die?

43.—The Pious Ruth.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. During the time of the Judges, a certain man of Bethlehem went, with his wife and his two sons, into the land of Moab. His name was Elimelech, and his wife's name Naomi. His sons married women of Moab. In time, Elimelech and his two sons died. Oppressed with grief, Naomi returned to Bethlehem, and her two daughters-in-law resolved to accompany her.

2. When they had come some distance on the way, Naomi strove to persuade her daughters-in-law to return to their own country. Orpha yielded, but Ruth would not; so Ruth came to Bethlehem with Naomi. They returned at the harvest-time, and, being poor, Ruth went into the fields to glean the ears of corn left by the reapers.

3. Led by the hand of God, she went to glean in the fields of Boils, a man of great wealth, and a relation of Elimelech. During the day, Boaz came into the fields to see the reapers. When he saw Ruth and heard with what courage she had followed Naomi, and with what fidelity she served her, he spoke kindly to her, and told her to remain with his servants and to follow his reapers; besides, when she was thirsty, to go to the vessels and drink. Boaz, moreover, commanded the reapers to let fall, now and then, handfuls of corn, that she might gather them without shame.

4. Some time after this Boaz married Ruth. The Lord blessed them and gave them a son, named Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. From this family Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, descended.

The Moabites were not Jews, but strangers and enemies; hence Our Saviour in descending from Ruth, a Moabite, wished to show that He was the Saviour not of the Jews alone, but of all mankind.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 43.—Who went to Moab? Who returned to Bethlehem? Who accompanied her? Where did Ruth go? Who met her? What did Boaz say? Who marries Ruth? Who was Obed? Jesse? David? From whom is Jesus Christ descended?

44.—The Sons of Eli. [B.C. *1100]

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Whilst Holt the high priest was Judge in Israel, there lived a pious couple named Elcana and his wife Hannah. Hannah had no children, for which she grieved very much. On a certain day she came to the tabernacle of the Lord at Silo, where, weeping and praying, she said: "O Lord God of hosts? if Thou wilt give me a son, I will consecrate him to Thee." God heard her prayer and gave her a son, whom she called Samuel.

2. When Samuel was three years old his mother took him to Eli the high priest, at Silo. Here she consecrated him to God; and Samuel served the Lord in the tabernacle, and grew in favor with God and man.

3. Samuel and John the Baptist are much alike in their histories. Both were a gift for the prayers of their parents; both were early consecrated to God; and both preached penance to the people. Samuel was the last Judge, and the immediate precursor of the great King David; John the Baptist was the last of the prophets and the pre-cursor of Jesus Christ, the Eternal King. Samuel anointed David; John baptized Jesus.

4. Eli had two wicked sons—Ophni and Phinees. When the people came to Silo to sacrifice to the Lord, the two young men were wont to come and by violence take the flesh of the sacrifice. They committed also other abominations in the sanctuary. Eli reproved them but mildly. He did not chastise them as he should have done.

5. One night, while Eli slept within the enclosure of the sanctuary, and Samuel near him, the Lord called Samuel, He, thinking it was Eli, rose and went to him; but Eli told him he had not called him, and bade him go and sleep. This was repeated three times, when Eli understood it was the Lord who called. Then he bade Samuel answer Him and listen to what He would say. Samuel did so.

6. On the morrow Eli called Samuel, who told him all the Lord had said; how the Lord would punish him and his two sons—the father because he had not punished his sons, and the sons for their wickedness. When Eli heard this he bowed before the will of God.

7. Some time after this there arose a bloody war between the Philistines and the Israelites. Of the latter, thirty thousand were slain, and among the dead were the sons of Eli. The Ark, that had been carried into the battle, was taken. When Eli heard this terrible news he fell from the stool on which he was sitting, and, breaking his neck, died.

8. The Philistines carried the Ark into the temple of their god, Dagon. But the Lord afflicted them in many ways: their god was thrown down, their fields were overrun with mice, their cities were devastated by pestilence, until the Philistines were glad to send back the Ark to Israel.

9. Samuel succeeded Eli in the office of Judge. He assembled the people and pointed out their sins. He also promised them, if they would repent, the Lord would deliver them out of the hands of the Philistines. The people fasted and confessed their sins. God gave them the victory, and for many years peace reigned over the land.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 44.—When did Elcana and Hannah live? What was Hannah's prayer? When was Samuel consecrated to God? How are Samuel and John the Baptist compared? What is said of Eli and his sons? What is said of Samuel? How did Eli die? How did his sons die? What happened to the Philistines? Who succeeded Eli? What did Samuel promise? What reigned over the land?

45. Saul, the First King. [B.C. *1040]

1. When Samuel had grown old he appointed his sons Judges over Israel; but they walked not in the fear of the Lord. Then the people asked for a king. When Samuel heard this he was very angry, because he wished that God alone should be King of Israel. God, however, yielded, and Samuel anointed Saul king. He was a beautiful and valiant youth, from the tribe of Benjamin, and stood head and shoulders above any other man in Israel.

2. In the beginning of his reign the Lord was with Saul, and gave him the victory over his enemies. On one occasion he unfortunately disobeyed God.

He was commanded to cut off the Amalecites, and to spare nothing; but, in the pride of his power, he spared the best of the flocks, and, on his return, built triumphal arches to celebrate his victory. For this he was cut off from the throne of Israel, and his posterity forbidden to succeed him.

3. Saul was a figure of the Jewish Church. Chosen by God, at first she surpassed all others in her knowledge of God and the graces with which she was endowed. But, little by little, she fell. She forgot her obedience, her humility, her charity, and, in the pride of her insolence, trusted alone in her sacrifices. She also rejected the Christian Church, chosen to succeed her. Saul persecuted David; so did the Jews persecute Jesus Christ. David wept for the death of Saul; so did Jesus Christ weep over Jerusalem.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 45.—What did the people ask for? Who was anointed king? What is said of Saul? How did he reign in the beginning? For what was Saul cut off from the throne of Israel? How was Saul a figure of the Jewish Church?

46. —David.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. At the command of God, Samuel went to Bethlehem, to the house of Jesse. When he arrived, David, the youngest of the sons of Jesse, was in the fields tending his father's flocks. Samuel sent for him, and, taking a horn of oil, anointed him. As the Spirit of God came upon David, it departed from Saul.

2. Saul became subject to fits of melancholy, and an evil spirit haunted him. On such occasions David was brought in to play upon his harp and soothe the troubled mind of the king. Thus David was introduced into Saul's house. Moreover, Saul made David his armor-bearer, not knowing that he had been consecrated king. As often as David played, Saul was soothed.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 46.—Who was anointed king? Whose son was he? With what was Saul attacked? Who prayed for him? What was David made?

47.—David and Goliath.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. A new war broke out between the Philistines and the Israelites. The Philistines were encamped on one mountain, the Israelites on another directly opposite—a narrow valley lying between them. A giant, named Goliath, advanced from the camp of the Philistines. His height was six cubits and a span; he had on his head a brazen helmet, and was clothed in a heavy coat of mail. The staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam.

2. Thus arrayed, Goliath defied the armies of Israel, asking that a man be sent to fight him. For forty days this giant presented himself—to the shame of Saul and the terror of the Israelites, for no man dared to meet him.

David came to the camp to see how it fared with his brothers. When he saw Goliath, and heard his taunts, his blood boiled within him, mad, coming to Saul, he said, "I will fight this Philistine."

3. At first Saul refused, but, on the representations of David, at length yielded. Then Saul clothed David in his own armor; but, unaccustomed to it, David put it off, and, choosing five smooth stones from the brook, took his sling and went forth to meet Goliath.

4. When the giant saw him he despised him, asking if he thought he was a dog. But David feared not; he went forth in the might and the power of God. When the two champions drew near to each other, David chose one of the stones that he carried with him, and, casting it with his sling, struck the Philistine on the forehead with such force that he fell with his face to the ground. Then David ran and, drawing the sword of Goliath from its sheath, cut off his head.

5. When the Philistines saw their champion was slain, they fled; but the Israelites, shouting and pursuing, killed many of them, and pillaged their camp.

This victory of David over Goliath was a figure of Christ's victory over the devil. As Goliath for forty days insulted the armies of Israel, so did the devil for four thousand years war against God's kingdom on earth; and as David conquered Goliath with a staff and five smooth stones, so did Jesus Christ conquer the devil by His cross and His five wounds.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 47.—What is said of the armies of the Israelites and Philistines? Who was Goliath? What did Goliath to? Who killed him? How What comparison between David and Christ? And between Goliath and the devil?

48.—Jonathan's Love and Saul's Hatred for David.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When Saul and the army returned from their victory over the Philistines, the women of Israel came forth from the different cities playing and singing, "Saul hath killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands." When Saul heard this he became exceedingly angry, and one day strove to strike David with his lance; but David escaped.

2. Shortly after this Saul offered his daughter Michal in marriage to David, on condition that he would kill two hundred Philistines. Saul hoped that the Philistines would kill David. But David killed the Philistines, and was only the more loved by the people. When Saul saw this his hatred increased, and he became more decided on David's death.

3. In proportion as Saul hated David, did Jonathan, the king's son, love him. David and Jonathan made with each other a covenant of peace. They often spoke to each other of Saul's hatred. Jonathan reasoned with his father, and spoke of what David had done against the Philistines. For the moment Saul was appeased.

4. For the fourth time David went to war with the Philistines. His victory only aroused anew the anger and jealousy of Saul, who strove to strike him with his javelin; but David escaped for the second time. Again Jonathan pleaded for his friend: Saul's anger would not be appeased, and in his rage he even drew his sword to kill his own son.

5. When Jonathan saw this he went to David, and told him what had happened, and advised him to flee. Weeping, Jonathan sent David away, but bade him never forget the covenant they had made, nor what they had sworn to the Lord.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 48.—What did the women sing? How did Saul act? What did he try to do? On what condition did Saul offer his daughter to David? What is said of David and Jonathan? How did Jonathan plead for David? What did Saul try a second time? What did Jonathan advise David?

49.—David's Generosity to Saul.— Saul's Death. [B.C. *1013]

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. For a while David's life was in constant danger from the hands of Saul; but he placed his confidence in God, who did not desert him.

One day Saul pursued David with three thousand men. Wearied, Saul entered a cave in which David and his men lay concealed, but Saul knew it not. David's men would have killed Saul, but David would not allow them, contenting himself with cutting off the hem of Saul's robe.

2. On another occasion Saul pursued David into the desert of Hachila. While Saul and his general, Abner, together with the whole army, were asleep, David and Abisai entered the camp. Abisai would have run Saul through with his spear, but David forbade him. David, however, took the spear that was at the king's head.

3. When they were gone some distance from the camp, David cried to the king, and he awoke. When Saul saw, by the loss of his spear, how he had been in David's power, and how, for the second time, David had spared him, he repented, and returned with his army, while David went his way.

4. War again broke out between the Philistines and the Israelites. Saul assembled an army and went forth to meet the enemy. In the battle Saul was mortally wounded, and, fearing he might fall into the hands of the Philistines, fell on his own sword, and died. By his sinful death David was freed from danger, but he rejoiced not; he only saw the virtues and good qualities of the king. In this same battle Jonathan was also killed. When David heard of his friend's death he wept bitterly, calling him brother, and comparing his love for him to the love of a mother for her child.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 49.—What is said of David's life? How did David show his generosity? How did Saul act? How did Saul die? Who else was killed? How did David take Jonathan's death?