Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 6.djvu/164

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Ⅱ, 247-250.
the qurʼân.

in God’s way?’ He said, ‘Will ye perhaps, if it be written down for you to fight, refuse to fight?’ They said, ‘And why should we not fight in God’s way, now that we are dispossessed of our homes and sons?’ But when it was written down for them to fight they turned back, save a few of them, and God knows who are evildoers. Then their prophet said to them, ‘Verily, God has raised up for you Tâlût[1] as a king ;’ they said, ‘How can the kingdom be his over us ; we have more right to the kingdom than he, for he has not an amplitude of wealth?’ He said, ‘Verily, God has chosen him over you, and has provided him with an extent of knowledge and of form. God gives the kingdom unto whom He will ; God comprehends and knows.’

Then said to them their prophet, ‘The sign of his kingdom is that there shall come to you the ark with the shechina[2] in it from your Lord, and the relics of what the family of Moses and the family of Aaron left ; the angels shall bear it.’ In that is surely a sign to you if ye believe[3].

250 And when Tâlût set out with his soldiery, he said, ‘God will try you with a river, and he who drinks therefrom, he is not of mine; but whoso tastes it not, he is of mine, save he who laps it lapping with his hand[4].’

And they drank from it save a few of them, and

  1. Saul.
  2. The commentators do not understand that the word sakinah, which is in the original, is identical with the Hebrew shechina, and render it ‘ repose ’ or ‘ tranquillity.’
  3. 1 Samuel ⅳ, ⅴ, ⅵ.
  4. Gideon and Saul are here confused ; this portion of the story is taken from Judges ⅵ.