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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical

1 Samuel 26

 

 

Verses 1-25

VIII. David, betrayed again by the Ziphites, spares Saul the second time

1 Samuel 26:1-25

1And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself 2 in the hill of Hachilah[FN1] which Isaiah 2 before Jeshimon. Then [And] Saul arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of 3 Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah which is before Jeshimon in the way, but [and] David abode 4 in the wilderness. And he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness, David therefore [And David] sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very 5 deed.[FN3] And David arose and came to the place where Saul had pitched. And David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner, the son of Ner, the captain of the host; and Saul lay in the trench [wagon-rampart],[FN4] and the people pitched round about him.

6Then answered David [And David answered] and said to Ahimelech the Hittite and to Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down 7 with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee. So [And] David and Abishai came to the people by night, and behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench [in the wagon-rampart], and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster [head],[FN5] but [and] Abner and the people lay round about him.

8Then said Abishai [And Abishai said] to David, God[FN6] hath [ins. this day] delivered thine enemy[FN7] into thine hand this day [om. this day]; now, therefore [and now,] let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even [om. even] to the earth[FN8] 9at [om. at] once, and I will not smite him the second time. And David said to Abishai, Destroy[FN9] him not; for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s10[Jehovah’s] anointed, and be guiltless? David said furthermore [And David said], As the Lord [Jehovah] liveth, [ins. but] the Lord [Jehovah] shall smite him, or his day shall come to die [and he shall die], or he shall descend into battle 11 and perish. The Lord [Jehovah] forbid[FN10] that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s [Jehovah’s] anointed; but, I pray thee, take thou now [and now, take] the spear that is at his bolster [head] and the cruse of water, and let 12 us go. And David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster [head],[FN11] and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked, for they were all asleep, because [for] a deep sleep[FN12] from the Lord [Jehovah] was fallen upon them.

13Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill [the 14 mountain] afar off, a great space being between them, And David cried to the people and to Abner, the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then15[And] Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king? And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant [om. valiant][FN13] man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore, then, hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there 16 came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord. This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the Lord [Jehovah] liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept [watched over] your master [lord] [ins. over] the Lord’s [Jehovah’s] anointed. And now, see where the king’s spear Isaiah, and the cruse[FN14] of water that was at his bolster [head].

17And Saul knew [recognized] David’s voice and said, Is this thy voice, my Song of Solomon 18David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king. And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus [om. thus] pursue after his servant? for what have I done? 19or [and] what evil is in mine hand? Now, therefore [And now], I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the Lord [Jehovah] have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering; but if they be [it be] the children of men, cursed be they before the Lord [Jehovah], for they have driven me out this day from abiding[FN15] in the inheritance of the Lord [Jehovah], saying, 20Go, serve other gods. Now, therefore, [And now,] let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the Lord [Jehovah]; for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea,[FN16] as when [om. when] one doth hunt a [the] partridge in the mountains.

21Then said Saul [And Saul said],[FN17] I have sinned; return, my son David; for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul [life] was precious in thine eyes this 22 day; behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly. And David answered and said, Behold the king’s spear![FN18] and let one of the young men come 23 over and fetch it. [Ins. And] the Lord [Jehovah] render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the Lord [Jehovah] delivered thee into my[FN19] hand to-day, but [and] I would not stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s [Jehovah’s] 24anointed. And behold, as thy life was much set by this day in my eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the Lord [Jehovah], and let him deliver 25 me out of all tribulation. Then [And] Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David; thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt surely prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

The comparison of chap. 26 with the section 1 Samuel 23:19-24; 1 Samuel 23:24, shows that the narratives agree in three principal points, in the treachery of the Ziphites towards David, in the persecution of David by Saul, and in the sparing of Saul by David. There is besides much concerning localities, connected circumstances, conversation, wherein an agreement cannot be denied. 1 Samuel 26:1 = 1 Samuel 23:19, the coming of the Ziphites to Saul, and their information as to David’s whereabouts. 1 Samuel 26:2 = 1 Samuel 24:3, 2], Saul’s march against David with three thousand men. 1 Samuel 26:8-11 = 1 Samuel 24:5-7, 4–6.], David’s protest against laying hands on Saul as the anointed of the Lord. 1 Samuel 26:17 = 1 Samuel 24:17, 16], Saul’s question about the voice of David. 1 Samuel 26:18 = 1 Samuel 24:10-12, 9–11.], David’s affirmation of his innocence. 1 Samuel 26:20 = 1 Samuel 24:15, 14] concerning the flea. 1 Samuel 26:21 = 1 Samuel 24:18, 17.] Saul’s penitent confession of his guilt. 1 Samuel 26:23 = 1 Samuel 24:13-16, 12–15], David’s appeal to his innocence and to the divine justice. 1 Samuel 26:25 = 1 Samuel 24:20-21, 19, 20], Saul’s invocation of blessing.

But it does not follow necessarily from these agreements that these narratives are two accounts of the same event, as Ew, Then, De Wette, Bleek (the last, however, “with some probability” only) and others suppose. The wilderness of Ziph, and especially the strong, protected position on the mountain Hachilah, might well seem to David on his return from the wilderness of Paran a suitable abiding-place for himself and his men. That the Ziphites, who held with Saul, consequently again showed him David’s abode cannot, however, seem strange. The coincidence as to the three thousand men need not be regarded as showing that there was only one occurrence, since according to 1 Samuel 13:2 Saul had found a body of “three thousand chosen men out of Israel” (as they are called here also 1 Samuel 26:2) as a standing army, with which guard he might easily under similar circumstances have marched a second time against David. Thenius, indeed, affirms that “Saul must have been a moral monster, which Hebrews, however, evidently was not, if he had deliberately and under the persuasion of the same persons made a second attempt on David’s life after the latter had so magnanimously spared his life.” Against which Nägelsbach (Herz. XII, 402sq.) rightly says: “That Saul marched a second time against David is psychologically only too easily explained, even though he was no moral monster. His hatred to David was so deeply rooted that it could be only temporarily suppressed by that magnanimous deed, not extinguished.” Saul’s inner life under the dominion of envy and hate towards David, on the one hand, and of the various influences of the better spirit, on the other hand, had hitherto been full of vacillations and contradictions. Why should it seem strange if, in the better impulses which, through David’s presence, words, and noble conduct, got suddenly the upper hand and lasted for awhile, there followed in all the stronger reaction of the evil spirit, especially as the spur to violent procedure against David again came from the same quarter as before? How little David himself relied on the permanence of Saul’s good inclinations (expressed in 1 Samuel 23:19-24; 1 Samuel 23:24) appears from the fact that he did not leave the wilderness, and foreseeing a repetition of Saul’s persecution, determined to go to another land. Thenius’ own remark on 1 Samuel 27:1 sq, that “David knew how quickly Saul could change his mind, and therefore preferred to leave the country,” confirms the clear statement of the preceding history as to Saul’s vacillation and moral ungodliness, which makes a new persecution, as narrated in chap24. psychologically and ethically easily explicable. According to this remark of Thenius, therefore, the account of this second march fits in pyschologically between chaps, 24. and27, which sections are referred by him to the same author. Thenius affirms that “this narrative [chap, 26.] is shown by the dramatic form of the action (Night—Secret entry into the camp—Spear and water-cruse—Ironical address to Abner), by an improbability ( 1 Samuel 26:24), individual declarations ( 1 Samuel 26:19-20), and in part also by the language ( 1 Samuel 26:6; 1 Samuel 26:11-12) to be the later, resting on popular tradition; but these particulars pertain to those points of the narrative in which its difference from the former account (23, 24), and therefore its reference to another occurrence may be recognised, as will appear in the explanation of the special points and the comparison with the related passages. See Keil’s excellent remarks.

1 Samuel 26:1. The information given by the Ziphites concerning David supposes that he had returned from the wilderness of Paran into the wilderness of Judah in consequence of his marriage with Abigail. “In the face of [over against] the desert;” for which we have in 1 Samuel 23:19 more exactly “on the right;” that Isaiah, south of the desert. The agreement with the words of 1 Samuel 23:19 is the result of the narrator’s desire to conform the account of this second occurrence to that of the first in the points in which there was essential agreement.[FN20] 1 Samuel 26:2. The “three thousand chosen men of Israel” are the permanent guard whose formation is mentioned in 1 Samuel 13:2.

[So in 1 Samuel 23:24-25 David learns (probably by scouts) that Saul is come into the wilderness of Maon, south of the desert.—Tr.]

1 Samuel 26:5. David now himself goes by night to examine Saul’s camp and position. The Sept. and Vulg. add: “secretly,” an explanatory addition which we need not insert in the text (= כַּלָּט, Thenius). He found Saul at the wagon-rampart[FN21] (see on 1 Samuel 17:29) with Abner, his general, and the army camped around him. David was accompanied by Ahimelech, the Hittite, who is nowhere else mentioned, and Abishai “the son of Zeruiah,” David’s sister ( 1 Chronicles 2:16), and brother of Joab, afterwards one of David’s captains ( 2 Samuel 18:2; 2 Samuel 20:6; 2 Samuel 23:19).—The difference in particulars between this narrative and that of 1 Samuel 23:19 sq. is as follows: There on Saul’s approach David proceeds to the wilderness of Maon, where he is surrounded, and only escapes capture by the invasion of the Philistines, which compels Saul to withdraw, 1 Samuel 23:25-28. Here, on the contrary, nothing is said of such a Philistine invasion; Saul’s camp is on another spot; the endangered person is not David, but Saul, whose camp David enters at night, and whom David might have killed. [However, this incident is parallel to 1 Samuel 24:3, 2] sq.—Tr.] There, after Saul’s return from the Philistine campaign, the scene of the persecution is Engedi, where David is hidden in a cave into which Saul enters, 1 Samuel 24:2-4—completely different circumstances and situations.

1 Samuel 26:6 sq. Ahimelech, the Hittite. This Canaanitish people, already settled around Hebron in Abraham’s time ( Genesis 15:23), dwelt, after the return of the Israelites from Egypt, in the hill-country of Judah along with the Amorites reaching as far north as toward Bethel ( Judges 2:26), subdued but not exterminated by the Israelites. A portion of them had maintained a certain independence. Comp. 1 Kings 9:20; 1 Kings 10:29; 2 Kings 7:6. In the time of Saul’s reign the internal contrast between the Israelites and the remnant of the Canaanites may have greatly diminished, so that a Hittite could occupy so prominent a position with David, and be employed by him in his service. For, according to this narrative, he must have held a preferred position with David, along with Abishai ( 2 Samuel 2:18; 2 Samuel 16:9), who is here named. Uriah also was a Hittite ( 2 Samuel 11:3; 2 Samuel 11:6; 2 Samuel 23:39).—They find Saul in his camp asleep, his “spear (the sign of royal authority, in place of the sceptre) stuck in the ground at his head.”

1 Samuel 26:8. Thy enemy—the Sing. [Qeri] is preferable [Keth. has Plu.]. Abishai speaks merely according to the right of retaliation and the usage of war. The sense of his words is: I will pin him to the ground so thoroughly with one blow that it will not need another to kill him. Vulg.: “there will be no need of a second.”

1 Samuel 26:9. David rejects not the first part of Abishai’s word: “God has given thy enemy into thy hand,” but the second: “I will transfix him.” For certainly God had given Saul into his hand; but “the divine providence thus gives David opportunity not to slay his enemy, but rather to conquer him by a new kindness” (Berl. B.); David’s reply to Abishai is a brief, strict prohibition: Destroy him not, and the reason for it, made more earnest and pressing by the interrogative form: Who stretches out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and goes unpunished?—(נִקָּה = Exodus 21:19; Numbers 5:31). By the royal anointing Saul’s person was made sacred and inviolable. As anointed he was the Lord’s property. Therefore only God’s hand could touch his life. And so David says, 1 Samuel 26:10, with an oath: “As God lives, his life is in God’s hand only, and far be it from me to touch it.” Translate not with De Wette: “No! but Jehovah will smite him, either his day will come, etc.”, but with Then, and Keil: “Unless the Lord smite him, etc.”, the apodosis being: “far be it from me, etc.” [ 1 Samuel 26:11]. David mentions three possible cases: 1) sudden death by a stroke (as in 1 Samuel 25:38); 2) dying a natural death “in his day;” the day of death, as Job 14:6; Job 15:32; Job 3) falling in battle. “Far be it to me from Jehovah” (מיהוה), that Isaiah, as in 1 Samuel 24:7, on the part of the Lord, on the Lord’s account I will not smite him.—Abishai is ordered to take the spear at his head, and the water pitcher (not basin, Ewald, comp. 1 Kings 17:12 sq.); then, says Hebrews, we will “go our way” (לָנוּ).

1 Samuel 26:12. David took, it is said (though David had ordered Abishai to take), having reference to the fact that David was the controlling head.[FN22] Their unobserved taking of the spear, and cruse and subsequent departure is vividly portrayed in three expressions: No one saw, no one observed, no one woke.—The narrative represents this as a divine arrangement by the words: for a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen on them, that Isaiah, God threw them into deep slumber, that David might so act. Comp. 1 Samuel 14:15, “the terror of God,” Psalm 76:7 (6) “at thy rebuke, God of Jacob, both chariot and horse are cast into a deep sleep.”—A comparison of 1 Samuel 26:6-12 with 1 Samuel 24:5-8 [Eng4–7] shows the great difference between the two narratives in spite of the sameness of the speeches of David’s men “God has delivered thy enemy into thy hand.” There they say: “Do to him as seemeth thee good,” and David cuts off the skirt of Saul’s upper garment, whereupon he says, having in mind this deed of his and his thereby disquieted conscience: Far be it from me to lay hands on the Lord’s Anointed ( 1 Samuel 24:5-8, 4–7]). Here Abishai wishes to kill Saul, and David in connection with this wish says similar words. [The Bib. Comm. remarks that “the description in 1 Samuel 26:7 is quite compatible with David and his companion’s being hid in the cave.” This is true, and so far as this point is concerned we might hold the two narratives to refer to the same event. But the difficulty is the numerous important changes which must then be made in one narrative or both, and, it may be added, the great carelessness which must be ascribed to the editor. At the same time the supposition of a single incident in these two narratives does not impugn the inspiration of the Book, since we should therein have merely the error of an editor, or possibly of a transcriber.—Tr.]

1 Samuel 26:13. David went beyond to the top of the mountain, that Isaiah, the mountain whence he had previously reconnoitred Saul’s camp, and whence he had descended, 1 Samuel 26:6.—The express mention of “the great distance and the wide interval between them” shows that David’s conduct was here the reverse of that at the former meeting with Saul, when he followed him out of the cave and called after him ( 1 Samuel 24:9, 8]). Here the danger seemed to David much greater than there.

1 Samuel 26:14. (אֶל = towards). David’s call concerned Abner especially, because it was his duty to watch over the king’s life. Vulg.: “who art thou that criest and disquietest the king?”

1 Samuel 26:15. David’s ironical speech.—Art thou not a man? that Isaiah, a valiant warrior,[FN23] who is to answer for the protection and security of his king, (שָׁמַר with אֶל is unusual; עַל (Then.) is probably the original reading). Then he refers to the peril of life, in which Saul just before really was. Sons of death are ye, ye deserve death for your neglect of duty.—As sign thereof he shows him the spear and the water-cruse. See, where is the king’s spear?—That was a clear proof that Saul might have been slain by him who took it away (Cler.). (אֶת־צ׳ pregnant construction—supply רְאֵה, so Maurer, who refers to Judges 6:28). And (see after) the water cruse, namely, see where it is (Keil).

1 Samuel 26:17. In the darkness and at such a distance Saul could not recognize David’s person, but could recognize him from his voice. My voice! answers David to Saul’s question. As the Sept. reads simply “thy servant,” Thenius combines the two and takes as original text “the voice of thy servant.” But the brief “my voice,” is perfectly intelligible, and the designation “servant” is involved in the added words: My lord king.—[It may also be said in general that the less courtly form is the more probable—Tr.].

1 Samuel 26:18. Comp. 1 Samuel 24:10-13, 9–12]. This question as to the cause of the persecution is the affirmation of his innocence and of the groundlessness of Saul’s continued hostility to him. Berl. B.: “The way in which David addresses Saul is so humble, so gentle, and so reverent, that we may sufficiently thence recognize the character of his heart.”

1 Samuel 26:19. And now let my lord the king hear the words of his servant; by this adjuration David will indicate to Saul how important he thinks his following words for their relation to one another and to God, and how serious a matter it is for him that Saul should weigh them. He supposes two causes of Saul’s hostility as possible. First: If the Lord hath incited thee against me.—Wrongly Clericus: “If Jehovah incited thee, if thou deservedly attemptedst my destruction, acting in accordance with God’s will, He would hear thy prayers and take care that thou shouldst never fall into my hands [which has not been the case].” For, according to this the divine causation would be denied, while the human would be in the next clause assumed as the factual one. [Clericus says only that the fact that Saul had been in David’s power would show that God was not watching over him, and therefore his persecution was not with God’s approval.—Tr.] David’s word is based on the conception that God sometimes incites men to evil. Comp. 2 Samuel 16:10 sq, where God is said to have commanded Shimei to curse David, and 2 Samuel 24:1, according to which God incited David to number the people. The idea that evil Isaiah, from one point of view, to be referred to God as its cause, is not a product of later times, but is early found in connection with the idea of the divine ordering of the world, in which evil must serve God in order to bring about His saving help ( Genesis 50:20 comp. with Genesis 45:7-8) and reveal His judicial glory ( Exodus 9:16). David therefore supposes the case that Saul’s hatred towards him rests on the divine causality,—comp. 1 Samuel 18:10; 1 Samuel 19:9, where the “evil spirit from the Lord,” which has come upon Saul, is said to be the cause of his hate to David. The “divine incitement” to evil consists, according to David’s view, in the fact that Saul, sunk deep in sin by his own fault, is further given over by God to evil in that opportunity is given him to develop in deeds the evil of his heart. [Others suppose here, not so well, an immediate reference to the possession of Saul by the evil spirit, which drives him to these persecutions.—Tr.]. The words: Let him accept [literally, smell] an offering, indicate the way by which Saul, seeing whither he is come by this self-occasioned inclination to evil from God, may again come into right relation with God. “Let him smell an offering” (יָרַה; the Hiph. of רִיחַ not = “cause to smell,” but = “smell;” Sept. ὀσφρανθείη, Vulg, odoretur, Luther, man lasse riechen). The odor of the offering, here to be smelled, comes from the incense which was connected with the meat-offering (of flour and groats) and was burned ( Leviticus 2:15-16; Leviticus 6:15) “for a sweet odor, a memorial to the Lord.” The smelling of this odor represents God’s acceptance of the offering and the offerer ( Genesis 8:21), the offering itself, the Minchah (מִנְחָה), meat-offering, signifying not atonement, but sanctification of life in devotion to the Lord, the effect of which is God’s gracious acceptance. The sense is: “Instead of the anger, in which God drives thee to evil, mayest thou gain God’s acceptance, by (as the outward offering with its sweet odor signifies) giving him thy heart and life, abstaining from evil and sanctifying thyself to Him.” David thereby also indirectly affirms that the divine incitement to evil has its ground in Saul’s evil nature and will. Bunsen, in general correctly: “The sense is: pray to God that He take the temptation from thee.” Grotius is altogether wrong: “If this anger is just, I do not deprecate that it be appeased by my death as a victim.” [Others: Let the evil spirit from God be driven away by an offering to God.—Tr.].—The other case: But if men (have stirred thee up), be they accursed before the Lord.—David here refers, as in 1 Samuel 24:10, 9], to the hostile party that calumniated him to Saul, and kindled Saul’s hatred against him. He sees no other way of escaping these dangers than flight to a heathen land. For they drive me away now; the emphasis is on the “to-day,” “now” (הַיּוֹם); “they have now brought it about that, to be safe, I must flee the country” (Then.). His present position is such that he must regard himself as one driven out of the country. That I cannot join myself to [Eng. A. V, abide in] the inheritance of the Lord, that Isaiah, I am excluded from association with the Lord’s inheritance (Bunsen). The Lord’s inheritance is the people of God, the covenant-people. Saying, Go, serve other gods, not that his enemies had actually given this order, “but David looked to deeds rather than words” (Calvin); their enmity drove him out as effectually as a command. David’s line of thought here is as follows: Only in the people Israel and in the land of promise has the covenant-God His dwelling, for there are all His revelations in respect to Israel; only there therefore, in the consecrated place of His dwelling can there be true worship of the Lord; outside this holy region of God’s revelation and dwelling among His people is the domain of strange gods; thither driven he sees everywhere inducement and temptation to “serve other gods.”—This is the ground of his wish and prayer in 1 Samuel 26:20 : And now, may my blood not fall to the ground far from the presence of the Lord, that Isaiah, may I be preserved from such a fate, namely, driven from the place of the Lord’s gracious presence and His people, to lose my life by violence afar off in the midst of an idolatrous people. The expression “far from the presence of the Lord,” and the preceding words show indeed David’s longing after the place of divine worship in the tabernacle, but contain nothing which necessarily points “to a later insertion of this section” (Then.), or, as Ewald affirms, echoes the “bitter lament of many who in the seventh century were banished by unrighteous kings like Manasseh.” The words are sufficiently explained by the pain that David felt at his fugitive life, which must now lead him to a foreign land, where he must wander or perhaps die far from association in divine worship with the people of God and from the place of supplication to God. Grotius wrongly: “in the presence of the Lord, God being witness and hereafter Avenger” [so Eng. A. V, and this rendering is grammatically defensible, though here perhaps not so appropriate as the other.—Tr.].—For the king of Israel is come out to seek a single flea, comp. 1 Samuel 24:15, 14]. Here too the “flea” sets forth what is insignificant in contrast with the king of Israel. The sense is: Thou pursuest me, who am as weak in respect to thee as a flea in respect to him who kills it. It is herein involved not only that it is not worth Saul’s while to pursue him (Then.), but also that it will be only too easy for the powerful king of Israel to conquer, him, the powerless, as one crushes a flea. So understood, the words satisfactorily give the reason for the preceding “Let not my blood fall,” which Then, wrongly calls in question. There is no reason for substituting for the text (“a flea”) the Sept. reading “my soul” (Then.), which, however, expresses the same thought, “Thou seekest to kill me” as the reason for the preceding. As one hunts a partridge in the mountains; an unnecessary difficulty is here made (Then.) by supposing that the comparison (seeking a flea) is itself compared with something else (hunting a partridge), which would certainly be unnatural and unexampled. But there is here rather a second comparison alongside of the first, and with the same meaning: Thou strivest to destroy me, the insignificant and powerless, in my isolation and abandonment. Thenius rejects the reading partridge (קֹרֵא), on the ground that the bird is found not in the mountains but in the plain, and accepts the Sept. “horn-owl” (הַכּוֹם), and further, regarding the designation of David as an insignificant person as here out of place, proposes to render: “as the owl hunts on the mountains;” but, to say nothing of this untenable supposition and of the unheard-of figure of the owl as a “hunter,” we reply simply with Winer in reference to the “partridge on the mountains:” “Partridges are usually not hunted on the mountains, since they stay in the fields. … But the text is not so absurd; … a single straying partridge on the mountains is not thought worth hunting, since they can be found in flocks in the plain” (Bib. R-W. II. s. v.). (Also the German “Rebhuhn” [partridge] is derived from “rufen” [to call]. Bunsen.[FN24]) But from the connection and the words of David, who has before lamented his enforced separation from association with the people of Israel, the following thought also is expressed in this comparison, as in the other: Me, isolated from God’s people, far from all association, a fugitive from thy machinations on the mountain heights, thou seekest at all costs to destroy, as one hunts a single fugitive partridge on the mountains only to kill it at all costs, while otherwise from its insignificance it would not be hunted, since partridges are to be found in the field in flocks.—“This speech of David was thoroughly suited to sharpen Saul’s’ conscience and lead him to give up his enmity, if he still had an ear for the voice of truth” (Keil). While these words are similar to those in 1 Samuel 24:10-16, 9–15] (as natural from the similarity of the circumstances), the following essential differences yet exist. There David, in order to prove to Saul how unfounded his illusion is (namely, that David is seeking his life), shows him that his life was in his (David’s) hand, that he would not touch the Lord’s anointed but spared him; here, on the contrary, he calls Saul to account for his ceaseless persecution, represents to him that he is determined to destroy him who, compared with the mighty king, is insignificant, and presses him to abandon this purpose.

1 Samuel 26:21. To these words of David corresponds with precision Saul’s answer ( 1 Samuel 26:21), which is essentially different from that in 1 Samuel 24:18, 17]. With the confession: I have sinned, he joins the request that David would return, and the promise that he would no more do him evil, and adds as reason; because my life was precious in thy eyes this day.—[Keil thinks that Saul is less penitent, more hardened here than in chap24, and this shows the difference of the events; but Thenius and Bib. Comm. are right in declaring that Saul’s expression of sorrow and repentance is as decided here as in the former case. No good argument can be drawn from this for either view.—Tr.].

1 Samuel 26:22. David offers to return the spear and cruse, the sign that he had spared Saul’s life.

1 Samuel 26:23-24. These words attach themselves immediately to that silently eloquent proof of his guilelessness and pure disposition. Hebrews 1) declares himself to be a “man of righteousness and faithfulness,” and assigns as proof his sparing Saul’s life. (For בְּיָד read with all the vss. בְּיָדִי, the י might easily fall out on account of the following ו). Thenius holds this self-praise of David as proof that the section 1 Samuel 24:18-20, 17–19], where Saul praises and blesses David, is the original. But what is this alleged “self-praise” but the positive affirmation of what David says in 1 Samuel 24:12, 11] (regarded by Then, as original): “there is no evil in my hand and no iniquity, and I have not sinned against thee,” and in his confident appeal to God’s righteous judgment, 1 Samuel 26:13; 1 Samuel 26:16, 12, 15]? All that is the content of the idea “righteousness,” which he here, in contrast with Saul’s unrighteousness, applies to himself. And no more is it self-praise when he speaks of his faithfulness, but simply the expression of his reverence towards the Lord’s Anointed, in spite of Saul’s perfidious and injurious conduct.—The words “the Lord gave thee into my hand” include the thought: “Thereby did the Lord put me to the test.” This test David had stood, exhibiting “righteousness and faithfulness.” And therefore he can now2) say in good conscience: The Lord will requite the man (namely, me) [Eng. A. V. better, “render to every man.”—Tr.]. The explanation of this assertion is given in 1 Samuel 26:24 : And behold, as thy life was much set by this day in my eyes, so will my life, etc., that Isaiah, the Lord will requite my righteousness and faithfulness towards thee in sparing thy life as the Lord’s Anointed, by so valuing my life as to save it from the dangers which thou preparest for it. It is difficult to see why (Thenius) such an expectation of the Lord’s protection and help, founded on a good conscience, is not genuinely Davidic, and therefore to be esteemed not original. Yet David here says nothing essentially different from what he declares in 1 Samuel 24:13; 1 Samuel 24:16, 12, 15] of the Lord as his Judges, who will avenge him on Saul, give success to his cause, and save him from Saul’s hand. Stähelin’s remark (Leben David’s, p25), that David liked to praise himself like the Arabian heroes, is thoroughly wrong; for David everywhere gives God the highest praise, even where, as here, he affirms what is true of himself.—“All tribulation” (כָּל־צָרָה), all the straits which Saul would hereafter, as he knew, prepare for him. For Saul confesses indeed that he has done him wrong, and will no more work evil against him; but this, recollecting Saul’s instability and that former tearful promise of his [ 1 Samuel 24:16], he could regard only as the expression of a momentary better feeling; behind this he saw Saul’s unbroken heart, more and more hardened, which, when this gust of better feeling had passed over, would exhibit its old wickedness, yea, after the quenching of these better impulses and resolutions, must be all the more hardened.[FN25]

1 Samuel 26:25. Saul’s last word to David: “Blessed be thou, my son David; thou wilt both undertake and also fully perform, does not express a changed disposition, love instead of the old enmity, but the fleeting better feeling which David’s noble conduct had induced, and which compelled him to affirm that David would come victorious forth through the Lord’s help out of all the straits of his persecutions.—The content and character of Saul’s words in 1 Samuel 24:17-22 [Eng16–22] are very different from these, though both contain Saul’s confession of wrong. But the first time 24.] he makes his confession with tears, with acknowledgment of the fruitlessness of his attempts against David and the unavoidable transition of the kingdom to the latter, whom he adjures them to spare his family. But here his inward emotion is not nearly so strong and deep; he affirms merely that he is sorry for his former conduct, and will not repeat it. Keil is therefore right in saying that “he is evidently here already much more hardened.” And David went his way, and Saul returned to his place. Thus they parted forever. Berl-B.: “Their souls were not at one; therefore they remained asunder.” It is worthy of note that it is not said of Saul, as 1 Sa24:23 [ 1 Samuel 24:22]: “He returned to his house.” This points to the fact that he continued his persecution of David, as also appears from the latter’s flight (hinted at in 1 Samuel 26:19-20) to the Philistines, where we find him in chap27. [It is not necessary to suppose that Saul continued his pursuit of David. David’s apprehension in 1 Samuel 27:1 was a general one, and very natural, even though Saul had returned home to his “place” in Gibeah.—Tr.]

HISTORICAL AND THEOLOGICAL

1. The conception “that God incites to sin” in the Old Testament belongs to the same circle of thought as the idea, carried over by Paul into the New Testament, of man’s hardening in sin as a divine act. The hardening pertains only to the inner being, to heart and disposition (which becomes insusceptible to the influences of the divine word and Spirit), to the will, which persistently sets itself against God’s holy will, to the ethical habit of the whole personality, in which irreceptivity for good has become permanent in such wise that the capacity for free self-determination against the evil for the good has ceased. According to the law of His righteous moral government of the world, which punishes evil with evil, God abandons the man who shuts himself up against the invoking of the divine Spirit to the thereby engendered moral condition of inward hardening, sin becoming a factual necessity for him. The divine incitement to evil, on the other hand, refers to individual Acts, as is shown by 1 Samuel 26:19 and the passages above cited, 2 Samuel 16:10 sq.; 1 Samuel 24:1 sq. The divine causation, however, consists not in God’s producing evil, which would he inconsistent with His holiness (comp. James 1:13), but in His occasioning the evil to break forth from the hidden depths of the heart and realize itself in deeds, though this need neither presuppose nor induce hardening, is rather intended to be the mean and avenue to the salvation and bettering of the sinner. Hengstenberg on Psalm 51:6 : “Sin pertains, indeed, to man. He may always free himself from it by penitence. But if he does not repent, then the forms in which sin exhibits itself are no longer under his control, but under God’s dispensation, who determines them as pleases Him, as accords with the plan of His government of the world, for His own honor, and, so long as He is not absolutely rejected, for the good of the sinner. He puts the sinner in positions in which just this or that temptation specially assails him; He leads the thoughts to definite objects of sinful desire, and causes them there to remain and not pass on to others.” This divine incitement to sin presupposes the actual free determination of the will in respect to the sins to which the incitement pertains. In this connection O. v. Gerlach excellently remarks on 1 Samuel 26:19 : “That the Lord incites a man to sin … must always be the result of a conscious, cherished sin or sinful direction of the will, whence then come sins of deed for punishment, and also for the possible bettering of the man. In order to obviate this terrible punishment of sin by sin, David says Saul must again approach the Lord in an offering which atones for sin and restores the heart to the Lord.”

2. The inheritance = possession, property is the people of God in so far as He is their Lord, who has made them His people by choosing them out of the mass of the other nations to be the bearer and organ of His self- Revelation, and has, made a covenant with them. Comp. Deuteronomy 1:29; Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 9:26; Deuteronomy 9:29; Psalm 28:9. The complete fulfilment of this idea of the peculiar people [= property-people] is found in the New Testament covenant-relation and the thence resulting association of men, who by Christ’s redemption and reconciliation have become God’s property; that Isaiah, [it is found] in the community of the kingdom in faith in Christ. The greatest evil David thinks to be exclusion from holy life-association with his God among idolaters. The greatest good for him is to belong to this property of God, and to this kingdom-community in the service of the living God. Therein is typically set forth the highest good which he who has become God’s property in Christ, finds in participation in God’s kingdom and its blessings.

3. There is a self-accusation which, like Saul’s confession of sin ( 1 Samuel 26:21), is far from true repentance, because it is based not on the broken heart and the abandoned self-will, but on a transient disposition and superficial emotion, and in the recognition of the impossibility of carrying out one’s own will over against the divine will, and there is wanting the earnestness of self-denial. In such a condition of soul, as Saul’s example shows, even these better impulses and superficial penitences gradually cease, and the judgment of hardening recedes with irretardable steps from repentance.

4. There is a self-assertion, as David’s example shows ( 1 Samuel 26:23-24), which not only, without becoming self-praise and self-glorification, in righteousness and faithfulness sets one in the true light against unjust accusation and enmity, for the sake of the Lord and His honor (in whose service the man knows himself to be), but also serves to affirm the moral worth of one’s own personality, and to maintain one’s real personal honor, which has its root in God’s service. One is not therein concerned with the affirmation of his own merits, but with the earnest, true declaration of the position which his inner life, in accordance with God’s demands, and through the power of His Spirit, occupies towards God in true piety. Conscious of such relation of heart to his God, the servant of God (as David knew himself to be over against his unjust persecutor, Saul) in tribulation and sufferings has the right to appeal to God’s righteous judgment, and with joyful confidence to look for His help and salvation promised to the righteous and innocent.

5. Among the Psalm of David it is particularly the17,18 in which there is such clear expression of earnest, conscious power to affirm righteousness and innocence by reason of personal experience of ungodly enmity and divine deliverance, that we must at least suppose the recollection of Saul’s persecutions to be a concurring factor in them. In the title of Psalm 18 : “By the servant of the Lord, by David, who spake to the Lord the words of this Song in the day when the Lord had saved him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul,” the reference to Saul accords with essential features in the content of the Psalm according to the points of view above indicated, though the Psalm does not refer exclusively to the time of Saul (see on 2 Samuel22). But it is beyond doubt that the whole content of Psalm 17. presupposes such a position and such experiences as are described here in chaps24,26; for individual portions set forth the same ideas and thoughts that David here expresses; in 1 Samuel 26:1-2; 1 Samuel 26:5 is contained a similar appeal, in part to his righteousness and faithfulness, in part to God’s righteous judgment, against the unrighteousness of His enemies; through the whole Psalm sounds the same tone of firm confidence in the Lord’s help and victorious conduct of the course of the righteous against their enemies. Here, too, the experiences of the Sauline Period show themselves as the fruitful soil of David’s Psalm -poetry.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

1 Samuel 26:1. Cramer: The temporal good fortune of pious men often does not last long; ere one expects it, the cross is again before their door. Therefore boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1

1 Samuel 26:2-3. Hedinger (from Hall): Good motions that fall into wicked hearts are like some sparks that fall from the flint and steel into wet tinder, lightsome for the time but soon out. 1 Samuel 24:17—Berl. B.: Ah Saul, thou deceivedst thyself, God is stronger than thou, and thou wilt only be an occasion for new victories.

1 Samuel 26:5 sq. Schlier: Saul is in peril of his life; to human eyes he is lost. And who has cast him into such peril? Who else than himself? His hatred, with which he anew persecuted David. From this we should learn how constantly sin is the ruin of men. He who does evil, always does himself the greatest hurt.—[ 1 Samuel 26:8. Our best friend becomes our worst enemy, when he would persuade us to do wrong. Comp. Matthew 16:23—Tr.].

1 Samuel 26:10-11. Hedinger: Love and righteousness in a pious man’s heart is invincible. [ 1 Samuel 26:9-11. Henry: David gives two reasons why he would not destroy Saul, nor permit another to do it1. It would be a sinful affront to God’s ordinance. Saul was the Lord’s anointed king of Israel. … No man could resist him and be guiltless; the thing David feared was guilt, and his concern respected his innocence more than his safety2. It would be a sinful anticipation of God’s providence; God had sufficiently showed him, in Nabal’s case, that if he left it to Him to do right He would do it in due time.… Thus bravely does he prefer his conscience to his interest, and trust God with the issue.—Tr.

1 Samuel 26:12 sq. Osiander: Even though opportunity for revenge is given us, yet we should not avenge ourselves, but commit vengeance to God.—Schlier: God grant that we may all learn to love our enemies, that we may learn to requite evil with good! For this is certain: hatred excites strife; but love helps mightily to peace, and overcomes much evil.

1 Samuel 26:14. Starke: Even in cross and persecution one should rejoice and be of good courage.

1 Samuel 26:20. S. Schmid: The feebler and more powerless the pious are under trouble and persecution, the more they may lean on God’s support.

1 Samuel 26:21. Berl. B.: Nothing can more soften a hard disposition than humility and gentleness.—There is no sinner so hardened but God sends him now and then a ray of illumination to show him all his error. But ah! when they are awakened by such divine movings, it is only for some moments; and such a movement is scarcely past ere they fall back at once into their former life, and forget again all that they had promised.—Starke: Although the ungodly sometimes appear as if they wished to turn and become pious, yet they soon fall off again and go on again in their ungodliness.—Schlier: Even if we here and there lightly make a confession of our faults, how is it as to a downright confession of sin in the sight of God? Has God’s goodness led us to repentance? Has His compassion opened our heart? O let us not turn the long-suffering of God into lasciviousness.—Starke: Truly penitent sinners must confess their sins, ask forgiveness, and promise amendment, and this not hypocritically but in all sincerity ( Matthew 19:16). [“I have sinned.” Spurgeon has a sermon (Am. Ed, Third Series) upon this confession as made by seven different persons in the Bible.—Tr.].

1 Samuel 26:23. God is righteous; a believing soul recognizes that to its consolation.

1 Samuel 26:24. Osiander: Just as God punishes one barbarity through another, so He rewards benefits with benefits. Seb. Schmid: No one is greater than he whose soul is much set by in the eyes of God.

1 Samuel 26:25. Cramer: Horrible wickedness, to know one thing and do another, and thus knowingly to kick against the pricks.—The ungodly must often be their own prophets. Proverbs 10:24—Seb. Schmid: When the enemies and persecutors of the pious have long enough raged and striven against the will of God, they must at last against their will yield the victory to God and the pious. [Taylor: So far as we know, this was the last meeting between Saul and David; and it is pleasing to think that after all that had occurred, Saul’s latest utterance to him was one of benediction; at once a vindication of David’s conduct in the past, and a forecast of his glory in the future. Verily, the Psalmist was speaking from his own experience when he said, “commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”—Tr.]

[ 1 Samuel 26:15. “Art thou a man?” True men exhorted not to act unworthily of their manhood.—Tr.]

[ 1 Samuel 26:21. “I have played the fool.” 1) In listening to slanderers against an innocent man ( 1 Samuel 26:19, comp. 1 Samuel 24:9). 2) In opposing a man who evidently must succeed ( 1 Samuel 26:25). 3) In resisting the known designs of Providence ( 1 Samuel 24:20, comp. 1 Samuel 23:17). 4) In renewing a wrong already confessed and temporarily forsaken ( 1 Samuel 24:16-22). Remark: One may confess his folly and take no step towards becoming wiser. The benefit of such a confession depends upon whether it is made in bitterness or in humility.—Tr.]

[Upon this chapter in general, comp. above on chap24—Tr.]

Footnotes:

FN#1 - 1 Samuel 26:1. Here, as in 1 Samuel 23:19, there is diversity of spelling, Syr. and Arab. having “Havilah,” and some MSS. and Edd. “Habilah;” but the Heb. text seems preferable.—Tr.]

FN#2 - 1 Samuel 26:1. The Rel. is supplied in 1 Samuel 26:3 and in 1 Samuel 23:19, and is involved in the connection. For הַיְשִׁימוֹן Aq. has τῆς ἠφανισμένης, as if from שָׁמַם, “the desolated,” and Sym. ἐρήμου, “the desert.”—Tr.]

FN#3 - 1 Samuel 26:4. Instead of אֶל־נָכוֹן, Ewald would read אֶל־נֶקֹר מְעָרָה, “into the fissure of a cave,” partly after the Sept. Κεϊλά, or, as Thenius affirms, for the purpose of introducing here a trace of his alleged “original narrative,” though the context shows that Saul was not in a cave, but in a wagon-rampart ( 1 Samuel 26:5). The text-phrase occurs in 1 Samuel 23:23 in the sense “certainly,” and is quite intelligible here, though, as Wellhausen remarks, its position is strange, we should expect it after וַיֵּדַע, while after בָא שָׁאוּל we should look for the name of the place to which Saul goes. The Sept. gives not only ἕτοιμος, but also the place from which Saul comes, ἐκ Κεἴλα, which throws no light on the sense; Vulg. and Chald. support the Hebrews, and Syr. and Arab. render “after him,” “to him.” On the whole there does not seem sufficient reason for altering the text; the VSS. testify that there was something after שָׁאוּל, and nothing better than this offers itself.—Tr.]

FN#4 - 1 Samuel 26:5. As in 1 Samuel 17:29. Here the VSS. vary greatly, some laying hold of the idea of the Heb. verb (עגל) “round” (Aq, Sym, στρογγυλώσις, another reading of Aq. κάμπη), others giving it as chariot (Sept. λαμπήνη), Sym. (σκηνή) and Vulg. (tentorium) thence passing to the notion of “tent,” while Syr. and Vulg. take the ordinary meaning of the word “way.” Bib. Com. proposes (without ground) to read מְעִיל, and thus bring this passage into accordance with 1 Samuel 24:5.—Tr.]

FN#5 - 1 Samuel 26:7. “The place at his head,” see on 1 Samuel 19:13. Derive from מְרֶאשֶׁת.—Tr.]

FN#6 - 1 Samuel 26:8. Sept. κύριος, Jahveh. This variation in the divine names may be error in the Sept, or it may be from variation in manuscripts; there is no decisive internal reason for the use of one name rather than the other.—Tr.]

FN#7 - 1 Samuel 26:8. So the Qeri (Kethib is plural), which is found in the text of several MSS. and Edd.—Tr.]

FN#8 - 1 Samuel 26:8. The Heb. construction: “with the spear and in the ground,” is unusual; from 1 Samuel 17:11; 1 Samuel 19:10, we should expect: “with the spear in him and in the ground” (Wellh.).—Tr.]

FN#9 - 1 Samuel 26:9. Sept.: “humble (שׁחה) him not;” here inappropriate.—Tr.]

FN#10 - 1 Samuel 26:11. Literally: “be it a profane thing to me from Jehovah,” Erdmann “on Jehovah’s account,” or, it may be “by, through Jehovah” (as in Eng. A. V.).—Tr.]

FN#11 - 1 Samuel 26:12. The form is variously explained (מֵרַאֲשֹׁתֵי), some taking it for מִמּר׳, one Mem falling out (so Erdmann), others from a noun רֶאשֶׁת (so Fürst). In any case we have to suppose the presence of the Prep. מִן.—Tr.]

FN#12 - 1 Samuel 26:12. This word (תַּרדֵּמָה) is used only a few times in the Old Testament, and apparently of a supernatural sleep. In prose it occurs, besides here, only in Genesis 2:21; Genesis 15:12, in both which places the sleep is supernatural. So in Job, Eliphaz ( 1 Samuel 4:13) and Elihu ( Job 33:15) refer to revelations from God, and in Isaiah 29:10 the רוּהַ תַּרְדֵּמָה is a divine judicial infliction. Even in Proverbs 19:15 the “deep sleep,” which is the result of slothfulness, is viewed, from the connection, as a part of God’s moral government of men. A distinctly supernatural sleep would, therefore, seem to be here intended. This is the general feeling of the Greek rendering of the word (Sept. θάμβος, Aq. καταφορά, Sym. κάρος, Theod. ἔκστασις); Syr, Arab, Vulg, Chald, render “sleep;” Sam. Vers. gives תּנוּמת “sleep,” in Genesis 15:12, and in 1 Samuel 2:21 פילוּקא, compared by Uhlemann with Rabb. הַפְלָנָה (hyperbole) in sense of “ecstasy,” but comp. Talm. פַּלֵק, “bind,” hence, perhaps, “a binding sleep.—Tr.]

FN#13 - 1 Samuel 26:15. The Adj. is understood, though not expressed, in Heb. as in English.—Tr.]

FN#14 - 1 Samuel 26:16. On the construction see Erdmann. The אֵת might be regarded an emphatic sign introducing the second thing mentioned, which might then be in the Acc.: “and as to the cruse.” The Vulg. inserts a second “where?” the Sept. omits it where the Heb. has it—two ways of smoothing over the difficulty of the construction.—Tr.]

FN#15 - 1 Samuel 26:19. Literally: “from joining myself to” (Ges.). So Aq. ἄπτεσθαι, Sym. συνδυάςεθαὶ, Sept. μὴ ἐστηρίγθαι—Tr.]

FN#16 - 1 Samuel 26:20. Or, “a single flea,” as in 1 Samuel 24:15. This repetition is somewhat surprising, and the Sept. reading “my soul” seems better. The repetition of the phrase would enter into the question whether we are to suppose two betrayals by the Ziphites, or only two accounts of the same betrayal.—Tr.]

FN#17 - 1 Samuel 26:21. Syr, Arab. and 2 MSS. have “Saul said to David.”—Tr.]

FN#18 - 1 Samuel 26:22. The Art. with חֲנִית (om. in Qeri) in stat. const. is strange, but not impossible, especially where the defining noun is comparatively insignificant, or the defined is to be brought out more prominently, as here. See Ew, § 290 d, Philippi, “Stat. Const. im Heb.,” p36 sq.—Tr.]

FN#19 - 1 Samuel 26:23. The insertion of the suffix is supported by many VSS, MSS. and EDD.—Tr.]

FN#20 - We should, however, expect an indication of the repetition of the occurrence by some such phrase as “the Ziphites came again to Saul,” and the absence of such indication is one of those delicate features which favor the supposition of a single occurrence, while, on the other hand, the argument for two occurrences, as given by Erdmann and others, cannot be considered a weak one.—Tr.]

FN#21 - The proposal of Bib-Com. to read מְעִיל, “garment,” and represent Saul as sleeping in his garment, as in 1 Samuel 24:5, 4], is an unfounded conjecture, and the assimilation of the two accounts in this way can be effected only by a violent reconstruction of the narratives, the necessity for which is a serious objection to the supposition of one occurrence.—Tr.]

FN#22 - In מֵרַאֲשֹׁתֵי remark1) the double Plu. וֹת and –יִם, especially the stat. constr. form –יֵ, Ges. § 87, 5, Rem1; Ewald, § 160 b and Anm. 2, § 211 d; 2) מֵ for מִמְ—one מ having fallen out.

FN#23 - Bib. Com. “This incidental testimony to Abner’s eminence as a warrior is borne out by his whole history. At the same time David’s bantering tone, coupled with 1 Samuel 26:19, makes it probable that David considered Abner his enemy; the latter’s great influence with Saul might have prevented the persecution of David. Abner may have feared David as a rival; his opposition to him is shown by his conduct after Saul’s death.” But all this may be explained also by Abner’s devoted loyalty to his kinsman Saul.—Tr.]

FN#24 - The Heb. word for “partridge,” gore means “the caller,” and so perhaps the Eng. “quail.” Pictet (Orig. Indoe europ.) thinks that rebhuhn=“speckled bird,” and perdix, partridge has perhaps the same meaning.—Tr.]

FN#25 - Bib-Com remarks that the sentiment here ascribed to David is put into Saul’s mouth in 1 Samuel 24:17-19, 18–20], and that (supposing the same event related in24,26) a parallel case is found in Matthew 21:41, and Luke 20:16. However this does not favor the supposition of one event, for as in the Gospels both Jesus and His hearers may have said on the same occasion what is reported, so here Saul may have said at one time what David said at another.—Tr.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 26:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/1-samuel-26.html. 1857-84.

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