Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The Sound in the Tree-Tops

After David had reigned as king over the tribe of Judah for seven years, and when Saul's son, Ish-bosheth, was dead, all the men in Israel saw that David was the one man who was fit to be king over the land. So the rulers and elders of all the twelve tribes came to David in Hebron, and said to him, "We are all your brothers; and in time past, when Saul was king, it was you who led the people; and the Lord said, 'David shall be the shepherd of my people, and shall be prince over Israel.' Now we are ready to make you king over all the land."

Then David and the elders of Israel made an agreement together before the Lord in Hebron; and they anointed David as king over all the twelve tribes of Israel, from Dan in the far north to Beersheba in the south. David was now thirty-seven years old, and he reigned over all Israel thirty-three years.

He found the land in a helpless state, everywhere under the power of the Philistines, and with many of its cities still held by the Canaanite people. The city of Jerusalem, on Mount Zion, had been kept as a stronghold by a Canaanite tribe called the Jebusites, ever since the days of Joshua. David led his men of war against it, but the Jebusites, from their high walls and steep rocks, laughed at him.

To mock King David, they placed on the top of the wall the blind and lame people, and they called aloud to David, "Even blind men and lame men can keep you out of our city."

The wall of Jerusalem as it now is


This made David very angry, and he said to his men, "Whoever first climbs up the wall, and strikes down the blind and the lame upon it, he shall be the chief captain and general of the whole army."

Then all the soldiers of David rushed against the wall, each striving to be first. The man who was able first to reach the enemies and strike them down was Joab, the son of David's sister Zeruiah; and he became the commander of David's army, a place which he held as long as David lived. After the fortress on Mount Zion was taken from the Jebusites, David made it larger and stronger, and chose it for his royal house; and around it the city of Jerusalem grew up as the chief city in David's kingdom.

The Philistines soon found that there was a new king in Israel, and a ruler very different from King Saul. They gathered their army and came against David. He met them in the valley of Rephaim, a little to the south of Jerusalem, and won a great victory over them, and carried away from the field the images of their gods; but that the Israelites might not be led to worship them, David burned them all with fire.

A second time the Philistines came up and encamped in the valley of Rephaim. And when David asked of the Lord what he should do, the Lord said to him, "Do not go against them openly. Turn to one side, and be ready to come against them from under the mulberry-trees; and wait there until you hear a sound overhead in the tops of trees. When you hear that sound, it will be a sign that the Lord goes before you. Then march forth and fight the Philistines."

And David did as the Lord commanded him; and again a great victory was won over the Philistines. But David did not rest when he had driven the Philistines back to their own land. He marched with his men into the Philistines' country, and took their chief city, Gath, which was called "the mother city of the Philistines." He conquered all their land; and ended the war of a hundred years by making all the Philistine plain subject to Israel.

Now that the land was free, David thought that the time had come to bring the holy ark of the Lord out from its hiding-place, where it had remained all through the rule of Samuel and the reign of Saul. (See Story Sixteen in Part Second.) This was in Kirjath-jearim, called also Baale, a town on the northern border of Judah. David prepared for the ark a new Tabernacle on Mount Zion; and with the chosen men of all the tribes, he went to bring up the ark to Mount Zion.

They did not have the ark carried by the priests, as it had been taken from place to place in the earlier days; but they stood it on a wagon, to be drawn by oxen, driven by the sons of the man in whose house the ark had been standing, though these men were not priests. And before the ark walked David and the men of Israel, making music upon all kinds of musical instruments.

At one place the road was rough, and the oxen stumbled, and the ark almost fell from the wagon. Uzza, one of the men driving the oxen, took hold of the oxen, took hold of the ark to steady it. God's law forbade any one except a priest from touching the ark, and God was displeased with Uzza for his carelessness; and Uzza fell dead by the ark of the Lord.

This death alarmed David and all the people. David was afraid to have the ark of God come into his city. He stopped the procession and placed the ark in the house near by of a man named Obed-edom. There it stayed three months. They were afraid that it might bring harm to Obed-edom and his family; but instead it brought a blessing upon them all.

When David heard of the blessings that had come to Obed-edom with the ark, he resolved to bring it into his own city on Mount Zion. This time the priests carried it as the law commanded, and sacrifices were offered upon the altar. They brought up the ark into its new home on Mount Zion, where a Tabernacle was standing ready to receive it. Then as of old the priests began to offer the daily sacrifices, and the services of worship were held, after having been neglected through so many years.

David was now living in his palace on Mount Zion, and he thought of building a temple to take the place of the Tabernacle, for the ark and its services. He said to Nathan, who was a prophet, through whom the Lord spoke to the people, "See, now I live in a house of cedar; but the ark of God stands within the curtains of a tent."

"Go, to all that is in your heart," answered Nathan the prophet, "for the Lord is with you."

And that night the voice of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, 'Go and tell my servant David, thus saith the Lord, "Since the time when the children of Israel came out of Egypt, my ark has been in a tent; and I have never said to the people, build me a house of cedar. Say to my servant David, I took you from the sheep-pasture, where you were following the sheep, and I have made you a prince over my people Israel, and I have given you a great name and great power. And now, because you have done my will, I will give you a house. Your son shall sit on the throne after you, and he shall build me a house and a Temple. And I will give you and your children and your descendants, those who shall come from you, a throne and a kingdom that shall last forever."

This promise of God, that under David's line should rise a kingdom to last always, was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who came long afterward from the family of David, and who reigns as King in heaven and earth.