- David escapes to the cave of Adullam, where many resort to him, verse 1, 2.
- Lodges his parents with the king of Moab, verse 3, 4.
- Comes to the forest of Hareth, verse 5.
- Saul complains of his servants as unfaithful to him, verse 6-8.
- On the information of Doeg, he orders the priests of Nob to be slain, and their city destroyed, verse 9-19.
- David is informed of this by Abiathar, verse 20-23.
Debt - Probably poor debtors, whom the creditors were obliged to spare, Exodus 22:25. And though their persons were with David, yet their lands and goods were liable to their creditors. Captain over them - He did not maintain any injustice or wickedness, which some of them possibly might be guilty of; but on the contrary, he instructed and obliged them to the practice of all justice and honesty.
'Till I know, &c. - He expresses his hopes very modestly, as one that had entirely cast himself upon God, and committed his way to him, trusting not in his own arts or arms, but in the wisdom, power and goodness of God.
Hold - In holds; the singular number being put for the plural; as is frequent; that is, as long as David was forced to go from place to place, and from hold to hold, to secure himself: for it concerned David to secure his father, and he did doubtless secure him for all that time; and not only while he was in the hold of Mizpeh, or of Adullam, which was but a little while.
Abide not - Do not shut up thyself here. Judah - Go and shew thyself in the land of Judah, that thou mayest publicly put in thy claim to the kingdom after Saul's death; and that thy friends may be invited and encouraged to appear on thy behalf. Hereby also God would exercise David's faith, and wisdom, and courage; and so prepare him for the kingdom.
Spear - It seems, as an ensign of majesty, for in old times kings carried a spear instead of a sceptre.
Ye Benjamites - You that are of my own tribe and kindred, from whom David designs to translate the kingdom to another tribe. Will he distribute profits and preferments among you Benjamites, as I have done? Will he not rather prefer those of his own tribe before you?
That all, &c. - See the nature of jealousy, and its arts of wheedling to extort discoveries of things that are not.
He enquired - David chargeth him with the sin of lying, Psalms 52:3, and it is not improbable, that he told many lies not here expressed; and withal, he was guilty of concealing part of the truth, which in this case he was obliged to declare for Ahimelech's just defence, namely, the artifice whereby David circumvented Ahimelech: making him believe, that he was then going upon the king's business, so that the service he did to David, was designed in honour to Saul.
The priests - Of the house of Eli, which God had threatened to cut off, chap. 2:31.
And said - He doth not determine the difference between Saul and David; nor affirm what David now was: but only declared what David formerly had been, and what he was still, for anything he knew to the contrary.
Knew nothing of all this - Of any design against thee.
The Edomite - This is noted to wipe off the stain of this butchery from the Israelitish nation, and to shew, why he was so ready to do it, because he was one of that nation which had an implacable hatred against all Israelites, and against the priests of the Lord.
Both men, &c. - In all the life of Saul, there is no wickedness to be compared to this. He appears now to be wholly under the power of that evil spirit which had long tormented him. And this destruction could not but go to the heart of every pious Israelite, and make them wish a thousand times, they had been content with the government of Samuel.
Abiathar - Who by his father's death was now high-priest.