THE STORY OF TWO OXEN

Once on a time a long while ago two oxen lived in the land of Israel. Other oxen lived in that land, too; but these gentle animals of our story belonged to a man named Araunah. They pulled his heavy loads, plowed the ground in his fields, and threshed his grain.

Araunah did not live very far from the palace-home of King David. On a hilltop near by he had a place called a threshing-floor. Here he hauled his grain from the fields and threshed out the seeds which grew on the stalks. He did not use a large machine to do this work. First he scattered the stalks about on the floor. Then he drove the two oxen back and forth, and round and round on the stalks. In their tramping, the oxen crushed the seeds out of the stalks.

One day while Araunah was working at the threshing-floor a visitor came to talk with him. This visitor was King David. He asked to buy the threshing-floor; for he wanted to build an altar on that hilltop to worship God. Araunah replied, "I will let you have this place, and I will give these two oxen to you also." "No," said the King, "you must take money for them."

Soon after this King David used the two oxen when he built an altar on that hilltop and worshiped the Lord. -2 Samuel 24:16-25.

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