The Well of Bethlehem
1 Chronicles 11:16-19
And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines' garrison was then at Bethlehem.…

This is one of the most touching and poetical incidents in the romantic life of the son of Jesse. It exhibits him in a light in which we cannot but discern both his amiability and his piety.

I. DAVID'S DESIRE. He was, with his faithful band of valiant followers, in the stronghold upon the borders of the Philistine territory. The enemy were in possession of his native vale, the scene of his boyish happiness and youthful exploits. It was a position of danger and of privation - this which he occupied at this time. How natural, how human, his desire for a draught of the bright, cool water from the spring that gushed from the hillside near his father's fields! It was a longing for home, it was a clinging to the associations of childhood, it was the unchanged heart, that prompted the desire that found utterance in his words, "Oh that one would give me," etc.!

II. THE FEAT OF THE HEROES. The men David had around him were men ready for any daring exploit - bold, fearless, and prompt. Yet they had tender hearts, that could sympathize with such a wish as that their chief expressed. It was a gallant and heroic feat, this which they performed, in breaking through the ranks of the Philistines, and bringing to David the draught of water his soul desired from the dear well at Bethlehem.

III. THE SELF-SACRIFICING AND PIOUS ACT OF THE LEADER. David appreciated the faithfulness, the sympathy, the bravery, of the noble three. He could not drink the water, for it seemed to him like the life-blood of the heroes. It was too precious for any but for Jehovah. Accordingly he poured it out in a pious libation before the Lord, giving his best to God.


1. The sacredness and beauty of human feeling. The associations of childhood and of home are precious, and it is no sign of weakness to cherish them.

2. The beauty of self-sacrifice. What more admirable than the willingness to run all risks to serve, to make happy, those whom we honour and love?

3. The supremacy of the Divine claims. God has a right to our hearts and to all that is dear to them. Withhold not from him his own. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines' garrison was then at Bethlehem.

WEB: David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem.

Water Poured Out as a Libation
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