[Introduction by Og]
[Moses is leading the Israelites from Egypt to Israel, c.
14th century BC.]
[Bashan is in what is now Syria, east of the River Jordan and the Sea of Galilee.]
1. Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.
2. And the Lord said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.
3. So the Lord our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining.
4. And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.
5. All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars: beside unwalled towns a great many.
6. And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women and children,of every city.
7. But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to ourselves.
8. And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan, from the river of Arnon unto mount Hermon;
9. (Which Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it Shenir;)
10. All the cities of the plain and all Gilead, and all Bashan unto Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og king in Bashan.
11. For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.
[Cubit - length from finger tip to elbow 18-22 inch, say 20 inches 180 in x 80 in; 15 ft x 6 ft 8 in or 4.2 m x 2 m]
12. And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites.
13. And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.
47. And they possessed his land, the land of Og king of Bashan, two kings of the Amorites, which were on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.
John Dryden (1631-1700), Educated at Westminster School, Trinity College Cambridge. Become Poet Laureate in 1668. Constantly defended his own literary practice. Principal opponent was Thomas Shadwell, whom he called Og in "Absalom and Achitopel, The Second Part". Buried in Westminster Abbey.
Thomas Shadwell (c1642-92) Dramatist. Quarrelled with Dryden, defended Dryden's charge of dullness in his dedication in a translation of the "Tenth Satire of Juvenal" (1687). Succeeded Dryden as Poet Laureate in 1689.
Satire "Absalom and Achitophel" is an allegory based on 2 Samuel, Chapters 13-19, in which King David's son, Amnon fell in love with his half-sister Tamar. Tamar's brother Absalom killed Amnon and fled to exile. Three years later, David pardoned Absalom, who returned, only to plot against David. Each raised an army, Absalom was killed, David returned to Jerusalem, vouched for by Zadok the priest.
Who's who in "Absalom and Achitophel":-
"Og from a Treason Tavern rowling home.
Round as a Globe, and Liquored ev'ry chink,
Goodly and Great he Sayls behind his Link;
With all this Bulk there's nothing lost in Og,
For ev'ry inch that is not Fool is Rogue:
A monstrous mass of foul corrupted matter,
As all the Devil's had spew'd to make the batter.
When wine has given him courage to Blaspheme,
He curses God, but God before Curst him;
And if man cou'd have reason, none has more,
That made his Paunch so rich and him so poor.
With wealth he was not trusted, for Heav'n knew
What 'twas of old to pamper up a Jew;
To what would he on Quail and pheasant swell,
That even on Tripe and Carrion cou'd rebell?
But though Heaven made him poor, (with rev'rence speaking,)
He never was a Poet of God's making;
The Midwife laid her hand on his Thick Skull,
With this prophetic blessing - Be Thou Dull;
Drink, Swear and Roar, forbear not lew'd delight
Fit for thy bulk, doe anything but write.
Thou art of lasting Make, like thoughtless men,
A strong Nativity - but for the Pen;
Eat Opium, mingle Arsenick in thy Drink,
Still thou mayst live, avoiding Pen and Ink,
I see, I see, 'tis Counsell given in vain,
For Treason botcht in Rhime will be thy bane;
Rhime is the Rock on which thou art to wreck,
'Tis fatal to thy Fame and to thy Neck,
Why should thy Metre good King David blast?
A psalm of his will Surely be thy last.
Dar'st thou presume in verse to meet thy foes,
Thou whom the Penny Pamphlet foil'd in Prose?"
They didn't meet, not being alive at the same time! (King Og:- c.14th century BC, King David - c.1060 - c.972 BC, Solomon - died c.932 BC) but are mentioned in the same chapter...
After David's death, Zadok annointed Solomon as his successor.
1. So Solomon was king over all Israel.
2. And these were the princes which he had; Azariah the son of Zadok the priest.
3. Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder.
4. And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests:
7. And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king and his household: each man his month in a year made provision.
8. And these are their names: [...]
19. Geber the son of Uri was in the country of Gilead, in the country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only officer which was in the land.
David tells Zadok the priest, in the story used by Dryden:-
25. And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation:
26. But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.
27. The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? return to the city in peace and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.
28. See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me.
29. Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there.
There is this about Ahithophel:-
23. And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
Ahithophel the oracle???
The first line of "Absalom and Achitophel" is:-
"In pious times, e'r Priest-craft did begin,"