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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

1 Samuel 26



1Saul, by the discovery of the Ziphites, comes to Hachilah against David.
4David coming into the trench stays Abishai from killing Saul, but takes his spear and cruse.
13David reproves Abner;
17and exhorts Saul.
21Saul acknowledges his sin.

Verse 1
And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?
Joshua 15:24,55
Doth not
3; 23:19; Psalms 54:1; *title

Verse 2
Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.
Saul arose
23:23-25; 24:17; Psalms 38:12; 140:4-9
three thousand

Verse 3
And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
1; 23:19

Verse 4
David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.
Joshua 2:1; Matthew 10:16

Verse 5
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 his host: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him.
9:1; 14:50,51; 17:55; 2 Samuel 2:8-12; 3:7,8,27,33-38; 1 Chronicles 9:39
or, midst of his carriages.
17:20; The word {maügal} never signifies a ditch or rampart, but a chariot or waggon way. Nor does it seem to denote a ring of carriages, as Buxtorf and others interpret the word; for it is not probable that Saul would encumber his army with baggage in so rapid a pursuit, nor that so mountainous a country was practicable for waggons. It appears simply to mean here, the circular encampment (from {agal,} "round") which these troops formed, in the midst of which, as being the place of honour, Saul reposed. An Arab camp, D'Arvieux informs us, is always circular, when the disposition of the ground will permit, the prince being in the middle, and the troops at a respectful distance around him. Add to which, their lances are fixed near them in the ground all the day long, ready for action.

Verse 6
Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.
Genesis 10:15; 15:20; 2 Samuel 11:6,21,24; 12:9; 23:39
to Abishai
2 Samuel 2:18; 16:9,10; 18:5; 23:18; 1 Chronicles 2:16
1 Chronicles 2:15,16
Who will go
14:6,7; Judges 7:10,11

Verse 7
So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him.
1 Thessalonians 5:2,3

Verse 8
Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.
23; 23:14; 24:4,18,19; Joshua 21:44; Judges 1:4
Heb. shut up.
24:18; Deuteronomy 32:30; Psalms 31:8; Romans 11:32; *marg:; Galatians 3:22,23
the second time
Nahum 1:9

Verse 9
And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless?
who can stretch
24:6,7; 2 Samuel 1:14,16; Psalms 105:15

Verse 10
David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.
the Lord liveth
24:15; 25:26,38; Psalms 94:1,2,23; Luke 18:7; Romans 12:19; Revelation 18:8
his day
Genesis 47:29; Deuteronomy 31:14; Job 7:1; 14:5,14; Psalms 37:10,13; Ecclesiastes 3:2; Hebrews 9:27
he shall descend
31:6; Deuteronomy 32:35

Verse 11
The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD'S anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.
that I should
24:6,12; 2 Samuel 1:14,16

Verse 12
So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.
So David
7; 24:4
a deep sleep
Genesis 2:21; 15:12; Esther 6:1; Isaiah 29:10

Verse 13
Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:
the top
24:8; Judges 9:7; David, by retiring to a place of safety before he called to Abner, seems to have manifested more distrust of Saul than he had done on a former occasion. Yet he desired that Saul and all Israel should be informed of his conduct at this time. Abner and his soldiers, by neglecting to guard Saul when he slept, had exposed his life, and merited to be treated as his enemies, though he confided in them as friends; for, although their sound sleep was undoubtedly supernatural, yet there might be a neglect of placing sentinels, arising from contempt of David's small company. Saul also deemed David his enemy, though he had before spared and protected his life.

Verse 15
And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.
there came

Verse 16
This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD'S anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.
worthy to die
Heb. the sons of death.
20:31; 2 Samuel 12:5; 19:28; Psalms 79:11; 102:20; *margins; Ephesians 2:3
9,11; 24:6

Verse 17
And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.
Is this thy

Verse 18
And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?
24:9,11-14; Psalms 7:3-5; 35:7; 69:4
what have I
17:29; John 8:46; 10:32; 18:23

Verse 19
Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods.
let my lord
25:24; Genesis 44:18
16:14-23; 18:10; 2 Samuel 16:11; 24:1; 1 Kings 22:22; 1 Chronicles 21:1
Heb. smell.
Genesis 8:21; Leviticus 26:31; Psalms 119:1-8
Proverbs 6:16-19; 30:10; Galatians 1:8,9; 5:12; 2 Timothy 4:14
they have driven
Deuteronomy 4:27,28; Joshua 22:25-27; Psalms 42:1,2; 120:5; Isaiah 60:5; Romans 14:15
Heb. cleaving. the inheritance.
2 Samuel 14:16; 20:19

Verse 20
Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.
let not my
2:9; 25:29
the king
24:14; Matthew 26:47,55
a flea
Parosh, (in Arabic borghooth, Syriac, poorthano,) the well known little contemptible and troublesome insect, the flea, seems to be so called from its agility in leaping and skipping, from para, "free," and raash, "to leap, bound." David, by comparing himself to this insect, seems to import, that while it would cost Saul much pains to catch him, he would obtain but very little advantage from it.
a partridge
Korai certainly denotes the partridge, which is called in Arabic, kiräa. It seems to be so called from the cry or cur which it utters when calling its young.

Verse 21
Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.
I have sinned
15:24,30; 24:17; Exodus 9:27; Numbers 22:34; Matthew 27:4
I will no
my soul
24; 18:30; Psalms 49:8; 116:15

Verse 23
The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD'S anointed.
1 Kings 8:32; Nehemiah 13:14; Psalms 7:8,9; 18:20-26
I would not
9,11; 24:6,7

Verse 24
And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.
as thy life
Psalms 18:25; Matthew 5:7; 7:2
let him deliver
Genesis 48:16; Psalms 18:1; *title; Psalms 18:48; 34:17,18; 144:2; Acts 14:22; 2 Corinthians 1:9,10; 2 Thessalonians 3:2; Revelation 7:14

Verse 25
Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.
24:19; Numbers 24:9,10
Genesis 32:28; Isaiah 54:17; Hosea 12:4; Romans 8:35,37
So David
24:22; Proverbs 26:25


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 26:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

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