Select Commentary| Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible| 1Ki Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 |


a stricken…: Heb. entered into days
b Let there…: Heb. Let them seek
c a young…: Heb. a damsel, a virgin
d cherish…: Heb. be a cherisher unto him
e be king: Heb. reign
f at any…: Heb. from his days
g he…: Heb. his words were with
h following…: Heb. helped after Adonijah
i En–rogel: or, the well Rogel
j confirm: Heb. fill up
k What…: Heb. What to thee?
l offenders: Heb. sinners
m God…: Heb. Let king Adonijah live
n into…: Heb. before the king
o mine…: Heb. which belongeth to me
p pipes: or, flutes
1大卫 王 年纪 老迈 ,虽用被 遮盖 ,仍不觉暖 。
1Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.a



-Year from the Creation, according to the English Bible, 2989.

-Year before the Incarnation, 1015.

-Year from the destruction of Troy, according to Dionysius of

Halicarnassus, 170.

-Year before the first Olympiad, 239.

-Year before the building of Rome, 262.

-Year of the Julian Period, 3699.

-Year of the Dionysian Period, 507.

-Cycle of the Sun, 3.

-Cycle of the Moon, 13.

-Year of Acastus, the second perpetual archon of the Athenians,


-Pyritiades was king over the Assyrians about this time,

according to Scaliger, Langius, and Strauchius. He was the

thirty-seventh monarch, (including Belus,) according to

Africanus, and the thirty-third according to Eusebius.

-Year of Alba Silvius, the sixth king of the Latins, 15.

-Year of David, king of the Hebrews, 40.


David, grown old, is, by the advice of his physicians,

cherished by Abishag the Shunummite, 1-4.

Adonijah conspires with Joab and Abiathar to seize on the

government, 5-10.

Nathan and Bathsheba communicate these tidings to the aged king,


David immediately pronounces Solomon his successor, and causes

Zadok and Nathan to proclaim and anoint him king, 28-40.

Adonijah and his friends hear of it, are afraid, and flee away,

Adonijah laying hold on the horns of the altar, from which he

refuses to go till Solomon shall promise him his life; this he

does, and banishes him to his own house, 41-53.


Verse 1. Now King David was old] He was probably now about

sixty-nine years of age. He was thirty years old when he began

to reign, reigned forty, and died in the seventieth year of his

age, 2Sa 5:4, and 1Ki 2:11; and the transactions mentioned here

are supposed to have taken place about a year before his death.

But he gat no heat.] Sixty-nine was not an advanced age; but

David had been exhausted with various fatigues, and especially by

family afflictions, so that he was much older in constitution than

he was in years. Besides he seems to have laboured under some

wasting maladies, to which there is frequent reference in the


2所以臣仆 对他说 :不如为我主 我王 寻找 一个处女 ,使他伺候 王 ,奉养 王,睡 在王的怀 中,好叫我主 我王 得暖 。
2Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.b, c, d
2 Verse 2. Let there be sought-a young virgin] This was the best

remedy which in his state could be prescribed. His nearly

exhausted frame would infallibly absorb from her young and healthy

body an additional portion of animal heat, and consequently trim

and revive the flame of animal life. This is properly, as I have

elsewhere expressed it, Friar Bacon's secret for the cure of old


3于是在以色列 全境 寻找 美貌 的童女 ,寻得 书念 的一个童女亚比煞 ,就带 到王 那里。
3So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
4这童女 极其 美貌 ,他奉养 王 ,伺候 王,王 却没有与他亲近 。
4And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.
4 Verse 4. The king knew her not.] The maxim of Bacon in his

enigmatical cure is, "Take all you can from the medicine, but give

nothing to it; if you give any thing, it increases the disease and

hastens death." I have seen this abundantly verified; but it is a

subject on which it would be improper to dilate except in a

medical work. An extract from Friar Bacon's Cure of Old Age may be

found at the end of the chapter. See Clarke on 1Ki 1:53.

5那时,哈及 的儿子 亚多尼雅 自尊 ,说 :我必作王 ,就为自己预备 车辆 、马兵 ,又派五十 人 在他前头 奔走 。

5 ¶ Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.e
5 Verse 5. Adonijah the son of Haggith] Who this woman was we know

not; Adonijah was evidently David's eldest son now living, and one

of whom his father was particularly fond; see 1Ki 1:6.

Prepared him chariots and horsemen] He copied the conduct of his

brother Absalom in every respect. See 2Sa 15:1.

6他父亲 素来 没有使他忧闷 ,说 :你是做 甚么呢?他甚 俊美 ,生 在押沙龙 之后 。
6And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.f
7亚多尼雅与洗鲁雅 的儿子 约押 ,和祭司 亚比亚他 商议 ;二人就顺从 他,帮助 他。
7And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.g, h
7 Verse 7. And he conferred with Joab] Joab well knew, if he made

the new king, he would necessarily be continued in the command of

the army, and so govern him.

8但祭司 撒督 、耶何耶大 的儿子 比拿雅 、先知 拿单 、示每 、利以 ,并大卫 的勇士 都不顺从亚多尼雅 。
8But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.
8 Verse 8. And Nathan] Some suppose that he was the preceptor of


9一日,亚多尼雅 在隐罗结 旁 、琐希列 磐石 那里宰了 牛 羊 、肥犊 ,请 他的诸弟兄 ,就是王 的众子 ,并所有作王 臣仆 的犹大 人 ;
9And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En–rogel, and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all the men of Judah the king's servants:i
9 Verse 9. Slew sheep and oven] Making a royal feast, in reference

to his inauguration. As he had Abiathar the priest with him, no

doubt these animals were offered sacrificially, and then the

guests fed on the flesh of the victims. He had not only a splendid

feast, but a great sacrifice; and he gave by this a popular colour

to his pretensions, by affecting to receive his authority from


10惟独先知 拿单 和比拿雅 并勇士 ,与他的兄弟 所罗门 ,他都没有请 。
10But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.
11拿单 对所罗门 的母亲 拔示巴 说 :哈及 的儿子 亚多尼雅 作王了 ,你没有听见 么?我们的主 大卫 却不知道 。

11 ¶ Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath–sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not?
11 Verse 11. Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith

doth reign] He was now considered as being legally appointed to

the regal office, and no doubt was about to begin to perform its


12现在我可以给你出个主意 ,好保全 你和你儿子 所罗门 的性命 。
12Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.
12 Verse 12. Save thine own life, and the life of thy son] Nathan

took for granted that Adonijah would put both Bath-sheba and

Solomon to death as state criminals, if he got established on the

throne. O cursed lust of rule! a father will destroy his son, a

son depose his father, and a brother murder a brother, in order to

obtain a crown! At this time the monarchy of Israel was unsettled;

no man knew who was to succeed to the crown, and the minds of the

people were as unsettled as the succession. I have examined both

systems, and find that, with all its alleged disadvantages,

hereditary monarchy has a high balance of evidence in its favour

beyond that which is elective, and is every way more safe for the

state and more secure for the subject.

13你进去 见大卫 王 ,对他说 :我主 我王 啊,你不曾向婢女 起誓 说 :你儿子 所罗门 必 接续 我作王 ,坐 在我的位 上么?现在亚多尼雅 怎么作了王 呢?
13Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?
13 Verse 13. Go and get thee in unto King David] He knew that this

woman had a sovereign influence over the king. If Bath-sheba was a

source of pleasure to David, must she not also have been a source

of pain to him? For could he ever forget the guilty manner in

which he acquired her?

Didst not thou-swear] It is very likely that David made such an

oath, and that was known only to Bath-sheba and Nathan. It is

nowhere else mentioned.

14你还与王 说话 的时候,我也随后 进去 ,证实 你的话 。
14Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.j
15拔示巴 进入 内室 见王 ,王 甚 老迈 ,书念 的童女亚比煞 正伺候 王 。

15 ¶ And Bath–sheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king.
16拔示巴 向王 屈身 下拜 ;王 说 :你要甚么?
16And Bath–sheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou?k
17他说:我主 啊,你曾向婢女 指着耶和华 ―你的神 起誓 说 :你儿子 所罗门 必接续 我作王 ,坐 在我的位 上。
17And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the LORD thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne.
18现在亚多尼雅 作王了 ,我主 我王 却不知道 。
18And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not:
19他宰了 许多 牛 羊 、肥犊 ,请了 王 的众子 和祭司 亚比亚他 ,并元帅 约押 ;惟独王的仆人 所罗门 ,他没有请 。
19And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon thy servant hath he not called.
20我主 我王 啊,以色列 众人的眼目 都仰望你,等你晓谕 他们,在我主 我王 之后 谁坐 你的位 。
20And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.
20 Verse 20. That thou shouldest tell-who shall sit on the throne]

This was a monarchy neither hereditary nor elective; the king

simply named his successor. This obtained less or more, anciently,

in most countries.

21若不然,到我主 我王 与列祖 同睡 以后,我和我儿子 所罗门 必算为罪人 了。
21Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.l
21 Verse 21. Shall be counted offenders.] When Adonijah and his

party shall find that I and my son have had this promise from thee

by oath, he will slay us both.

22拔示巴还与王 说话 的时候,先知 拿单 也进来了 。

22 ¶ And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in.
23有人奏告 王 说 :先知 拿单 来了。拿单进 到王 前 ,脸 伏 于地 。
23And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground.
24拿单 说 :我主 我王 果然应许亚多尼雅 说 你必接续 我作王 ,坐 在我的位 上么?
24And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?
25他今日 下去 ,宰了 许多 牛 羊 、肥犊 ,请了 王 的众子 和军 长 ,并祭司 亚比亚他 ;他们正在亚多尼雅面前 吃 喝 ,说 :愿亚多尼雅 王 万岁 !
25For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king's sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah.m
26惟独我,就是你的仆人 和祭司 撒督 ,耶何耶大 的儿子 比拿雅 ,并王的仆人 所罗门 ,他都没有请 。
26But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called.
27这事 果然出 乎我主 我王 么?王却没有告诉 仆人 们,在我主 我王 之后 谁坐 你的位 。
27Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not shewed it unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?
28大卫 王 吩咐 说 :叫 拔示巴 来。拔示巴就进来 ,站 在王 面前 。

28 ¶ Then king David answered and said, Call me Bath–sheba. And she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king.n
28 Verse 28. Call me Bath-sheba.] She had gone out when Nathan came

in, and he retired when she was re-admitted. Each had a separate

audience, but to Nathan the king did not express any will.

29王 起誓 说 :我指着救 我性命 脱离一切苦难 、永生 的耶和华 起誓。
29And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,
30我既然指着耶和华 ―以色列 的神 向你起誓 说 :你儿子 所罗门 必接续 我作王 ,坐 在我的位 上。我今日 就必照这话而行 。
30Even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day.
31于是,拔示巴 脸 伏 于地 ,向王 下拜 ,说 :愿我主 大卫 王 万 岁 !
31Then Bath–sheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.
32大卫 王 又吩咐说 :将祭司 撒督 、先知 拿单 、耶何耶大 的儿子 比拿雅 召 来!他们就都来 到王 面前 。

32 ¶ And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king.
33王 对他们说 :要带领 你们主 的仆人 ,使我儿子 所罗门 骑 我的骡子 ,送他下 到基训 ;
33The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon:o
33 Verse 33. Take with you the servants of your lord] By these we

may understand the kings guards, the guards of the city, the

Cherethites and Pelethites, who were under the command of

Benaiah; and in short, all the disposable force that was at hand.

Solomon-to ride upon mine own mule] No subject could use any

thing that belonged to the prince, without forfeiting his life. As

David offered Solomon to ride on his own mule, this was full

evidence that he had appointed him his successor.

34在那里,祭司 撒督 和先知 拿单 要膏 他作以色列 的王 ;你们也要吹 角 ,说 :愿所罗门 王 万岁 !
34And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon.
34 Verse 34. Blow ye with the trumpet] After he has been anointed,

make proclamation that he is king.

35然后要跟随 他上来 ,使他坐 在我的位 上,接续我作王 。我已立 他作以色列 和犹大 的君 。
35Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.
36耶何耶大 的儿子 比拿雅 对王 说 :阿们 !愿耶和华 ―我主 我王 的神 也这样命定 。
36And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too.
36 Verse 36. Sit upon my throne] The matter of conducting a

business of this kind seems to have been this: 1. The king elect

was placed on the mule of his predecessor, and caused to ride

abroad to one of the public wells, or to a river where there was

the greatest concourse of people, that they might see who he was

that was appointed. Solomon was here taken to the river Gihon, in

order to be anointed; the continual stream or constantly running

fountain, denoting the perpetuity of the kingdom. 2. The priest

and the prophet anointed him in the name of the Lord; and thereby

signified that he should be endued with all the kingly virtues;

that he should reign by, under, and for the Lord. 3. The trumpet

was then to be blown, and solemn proclamation made, that he was

anointed king. 4. He was then brought and solemnly placed on the

throne, to signify that he had now assumed the reins of

government, and was about to administer justice and judgement to

the people.

37耶和华 怎样与我主 我王 同在,愿他照样与所罗门 同在,使他的国位 比我主 大卫 王 的国位 更大 。
37As the LORD hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David.
37 Verse 37. Make his throne greater than the throne of-David.] A

wish of this kind a king will suffer in behalf of his son, but it

is never in ordinary cases considered a compliment to say, "I hope

this child will make a better man than his father," because it

seems to insinuate some reflections on his father's conduct or

character. Many foolish people deal in such compliments, and they

may rest assured, for the reasons given above, that they are far

from being either welcome or agreeable.

Claudian, in his panegyric De Quarto Consulatu Honorii Augusti,

ver. 428, has words something similar to those of Benaiah, when he

describes a father, worn out with toils and difficulties,

committing the reins of government to the hands of his son:-

Adspice, completur votum: jam natus adaequat Te meritis; et,

quod magis est optabile, vincit.

"Behold, thy desire is accomplished. Even now thy son equals

thee in worth; and what is still more desirable, surpasses thee."

38于是,祭司 撒督 、先知 拿单 、耶何耶大 的儿子 比拿雅 ,和基利提人 、比利提人 都下去 使所罗门 骑 大卫 王 的骡子 ,将他送 到基训 。
38So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon.
39祭司 撒督 就从帐幕 中取了 盛膏油 的角 来,用膏膏 所罗门 。人就吹 角 ,众民 都说 :愿所罗门 王 万岁 !
39And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.
39 Verse 39. Zadok-took a horn of oil] Pottery and glass were

little in use in those times; and horns were frequently used to

hold oil and wine. The oil used here was the holy anointing oil,

which was laid up in the tabernacle, and which was used for the

anointing of both priests and kings.

40众民 跟随 他上来 ,且吹 笛 ,大大 欢 呼 ,声音 震 地 。
40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.p
40 Verse 40. The people piped with pipes] They danced, sang, and

played on what instruments of music they possessed.

The earth rent] We use a similar expression in precisely the

same sense: They rent the air with their cries.

41亚多尼雅 和所请的众客 筵宴 方毕 ,听见 这声音;约押 听见 角 声 就说 :城 中为何有这响 声 呢?

41 ¶ And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar?
42他正说话 的时候,祭司 亚比亚他 的儿子 约拿单 来了 。亚多尼雅 对他说 :进来 罢!你是个忠义 的人 ,必是报好 信息 。
42And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings.
43约拿单 对亚多尼雅 说 :我们的主 大卫 王 诚然 立所罗门 为王了 。
43And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king.
43 Verse 43. Jonathan answered] He was properly a messenger about

the court; we have met with him and Ahimaaz before, 2Sa 15:36. He

had now been an observer, if not a spy, on all that was doing, and

relates the transactions to Adonijah, in the very order in which

they took place.

1. David has nominated Solomon his successor.

2. Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah, have been appointed to set him on

the king's mule.

3. They have taken him to Gihon, and anointed him there.

4. They have brought him up to Jerusalem and placed him on the

throne of the kingdom.

44王 差遣 祭司 撒督 、先知 拿单 、耶何耶大 的儿子 比拿雅 ,和基利提人 、比利提人 都去使所罗门骑 王 的骡子 。
44And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king's mule:
45祭司 撒督 和先知 拿单 在基训 已经膏 他作王 。众人都从那里欢呼 着上来 ,声音使城 震动,这就是你们所听见 的声音 ;
45And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard.
46并且所罗门 登了 国 位 。
46And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom.
47王 的臣仆 也来 为我们的主 大卫 王 祝福 ,说 :愿王的神 使所罗门 的名 比王的名 更尊荣 ;使他的国位 比王的国位 更大 。王 就在床 上屈身下拜 。
47And moreover the king's servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed.
47 Verse 47. Moreover, the king's servants came] The king himself

was at this time confined to his own house, and probably to his

bed, and could not possibly see these ceremonies; therefore his

confidential servants came and told him. We know not how Jonathan,

in so short a time, possessed himself of so much information.

48王 又说 :耶和华 ―以色列 的神 是应当称颂 的;因他赐 我一人今日 坐 在我的位 上,我也亲眼 看见了 。
48And also thus said the king, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it.
49亚多尼雅 的众客 听见这话就都惊惧 ,起来 四散 。
49And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way.
50亚多尼雅 惧怕 所罗门 ,就起来 ,去抓住 祭坛 的角 。

50 ¶ And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.
50 Verse 50. Adonijah feared] He knew he had usurped the kingdom,

and had not his father's consent; and, as he finds now that

Solomon is appointed by David, he knows well that the people will

immediately respect that appointment, and that his case is

hopeless; he therefore took sanctuary, and, fleeing to the

tabernacle, laid hold on one of the horns of the altar, as if

appealing to the protection of God against the violence of men.

The altar was a privileged place, and it was deemed sacrilege to

molest a man who had taken refuge there. See 1Ki 2:28.

51有人告诉 所罗门 说 :亚多尼雅 惧怕 所罗门 王 ,现在抓住 祭坛 的角 ,说 :愿所罗门 王 今日 向我起誓 ,必不用刀 杀 仆人 。
51And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me to day that he will not slay his servant with the sword.
52所罗门 说 :他若作忠义 的人 ,连一根头发 也不至落 在地 上;他若行恶 ,必要死亡 。
52And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.
52 Verse 52. If he will show himself a worthy man] If, from

henceforth, he behave well, show himself to be contented, and not

endeavour to make partisans, or stir up insurrections among the

people, he shall be safe; but if wickedness be found in him-if he

act at all contrary to this-he shall die; his blood shall be upon


53于是所罗门 王 差遣 人,使亚多尼雅从坛 上下来 ,他就来 ,向所罗门 王 下拜 ;所罗门 对他说 :你回家 去 罢!
53So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house.
53 Verse 53. Go to thine house.] Intimating that he should have no

place about the king's person, nor under the government. Adonijah

must have seen that he stood continually on his good behaviour.

Friar Bacon's method of restoring and strengthening

the Natural Heat

"I have read many volumes of the wise: I find few things in

physic which restore the natural heat, weakened by dissolution of

the innate moisture, or increase of a foreign one.

"But certain wise men have tacitly made mention of some

medicine, which is likened to that which goes out of the mine of

the noble animal. They affirm that in it there is a force and

virtue which restores and increases the natural heat. As to its

disposition, they say it is like youth itself, and contains an

equal and temperate complexion.

"And the signs of a temperate complexion in men are when their

colour is made up of white and red, when the hair is yellow,

inclined to redness and curling.

"This medicine indeed is like to such a complexion, for it is of

a temperate heat: its flame is temperate and sweet, and grateful

to the smell. When it departs from this temperature, it departs so

far from its virtue and goodness.

"This medicine therefore temperately heats, because it is

temperately hot; it therefore heals because it is whole. When it

is sick, it makes a man sick; when it is distempered, it breeds

distempers, and changes the body to its own disposition, because

of the similitude it has with the body.

"For the infirmity of a brute animal rarely passes into a man,

but into another animal of the same kind; but the infirmity of man

passes into man; and so does health, because of likeness.

"This thing is seldom found; and although sometimes it be found,

yet it cannot commodiously be had of all men.

"Now, when this thing is like to youth, that is, of temperate

complexion, it has good operations; if its temperature be better,

it produces better effects: sometimes it is even in the highest

degree of its perfection, and then it operates best; and then

there is that property whereof we have spoken before.

"This differs from other medicines and nutriments, which heat

and moisten after a certain temperate manner, and are good for old

men. For other medicines principally heat and moisten the body;

and, secondarily, they strengthen the native heat, and after that

refresh the body, by moistening and heating it. For it brings back

this heat in old men, who have it but weakly and deficient, to a

certain stronger and more vehement power.

"If a plaster be made hereof, and applied to the stomach, it

will help very much, for it will refresh the stomach itself, and

excite an appetite; it will very much recreate an old man, and

change him to a kind of youth; and will make complexions, by what

means soever depraved or corrupted, better. But it is to be

observed, that Venus doth weaken and diminish the power and virtue

of this thing!

"And it is very likely that the son of the prince, in his second

canon of the Operations of Simple Medicines spoke of this thing,

where he saith, that there is a certain medicine, concealed by

wise men, lest the incontinent should offend their Creator. There

is such a heat in this thing, as is in young men of sound

complexion; and if I durst declare the properties of this heat,

this most hidden secret should presently be revealed. For this

heat doth help the palsical, it restores and preserves the wasted

strength of the native heat, and causeth it to flourish in all the

members, and gently revives the aged.

"But the simple medicine which restores the native heat, when

wasted and weakened, is that which is likened to the complexion of

a healthy young man."

All this covered and enigmatical description is intended simply

to point out that very medicine recommended by the Jewish

physicians to restore and invigorate the dying king. I could show

the bearing of every sentence, but I must leave something to the

good sense of my readers. By attending to the words in italics,

the sense will be more easily discovered.

See Clarke on Ru 4:16.

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