Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1. David said in his heart, . . . there is nothing better for me than
that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines--This
resolution of David's was, in every respect, wrong: (1) It was removing
him from the place where the divine oracle intimated him to remain
(2) It was rushing into the idolatrous land, for driving him into which
he had denounced an imprecation on his enemies
(3) It was a withdrawal of his counsel and aid from God's people. It
was a movement, however, overruled by Providence to detach him from his
country and to let the disasters impending over Saul and his followers
be brought on by the Philistines.
2, 3. Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath--The popular description
of this king's family creates a presumption that he was a different
king from the reigning sovereign on David's first visit to Gath.
Whether David had received a special invitation from him or a mere
permission to enter his territories, cannot be determined. It is
probable that the former was the case. From the universal notoriety
given to the feud between Saul and David, which had now become
irreconcilable, it might appear to Achish good policy to harbor him as
a guest, and so the better pave the way for the hostile measures
against Israel which the Philistines were at this time meditating.
5. let them give me a place in some town in the country--It was a
prudent arrangement on the part of David; for it would prevent him
being an object of jealous suspicion, or of mischievous plots among the
Philistines. It would place his followers more beyond the risk of
contamination by the idolatries of the court and capital; and it would
give him an opportunity of making reprisals on the freebooting tribes
that infested the common border of Israel and the Philistines.
6. Ziklag--Though originally assigned to Judah
and subsequently to Simeon
this town had never been possessed by the Israelites. It belonged to
the Philistines, who gave it to David.
8. David . . . went up, and invaded the
and the Gezrites--or the Gerizi
some Arab horde which had once encamped there.
and the Amalekites--Part of the district occupied by them lay on the
south of the land of Israel
(Jud 5:14; 12:15).
10. Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to-day?--that is,
raid, a hostile excursion for seizing cattle and other booty.
David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the
Jerahmeelites--Jerahmeel was the great-grandson of Judah, and his
posterity occupied the southern portion of that tribal domain.
the south of the Kenites--the posterity of Jethro, who occupied the
south of Judah
The deceit practised upon his royal host and the indiscriminate
slaughter committed, lest any one should escape to tell the tale,
exhibit an unfavorable view of this part of David's history.