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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1 Samuel 30

 

 

Verse 1

DAVID’S RETURN TO ZIKLAG, AND REVENGE UPON THE AMALEKITES, 1 Samuel 30:1-31.

1. On the third day — The third day after his removal from the Philistine army. So David must have this time been absent from Ziklag at least five or six days.

The Amalekites — Another predatory horde of the same nation as those whom David had but recently smitten. 1 Samuel 27:8.


Verse 2

2. Taken the women captives — The men were all absent with David, but the wives and children (see 1 Samuel 27:3, and note) remained in Ziklag. Upon finding the town burned and their wives and children gone, David and his men probably thought first of all that plunderers from the south had been wreaking vengeance for David’s late conquests in that country, and had every reason to suppose that their families had been massacred.


Verse 6

6. The people spake of stoning him — They may have thought at first that David’s readiness to go to the war with Achish was unwise, and now as they felt their loss, they blamed him as the cause of all, and in the emotion of the hour were ready to mutiny. This was not strange when we consider the antecedents of many of these men. See 1 Samuel 22:2.

David encouraged himself in the Lord — Betook himself to prayer, and through the ephod of the priest, as narrated in the following verses, received counsel and promise from Jehovah. Happy he, who in the hour of trouble knows how to encourage himself in Jehovah, for such a man shall surely triumph over all foes.


Verse 9

9. The brook Besor — Some have supposed this might be the Wady Sheriah, a few miles to the south of Gaza; but it is more likely to have been far south of this, for Ziklag must have been situated far south of Gaza. Compare 1 Samuel 27:6, note.

Those that were left behind stayed — As further explained in 1 Samuel 30:10; 1 Samuel 30:21, two hundred became so faint and weary that they were unable to proceed, and so they stationed themselves on the banks of this wady, and there remained till David and the four hundred returned.


Verse 12

12. His spirit came again to him — That is, he revived from the half-unconscious and dreamlike state into which, through anxiety and lack of food, he had fallen.


Verse 14

14. The Cherethites — The inhabitants of southern Philistia. Compare Ezekiel 25:16; Zephaniah 2:5. The origin of the name is involved in obscurity, but the most plausible opinion is, that both the Cherethites and the Philistines came from Crete, and that the Cherethites, as distinguished from the Philistines, were the later immigrants who settled in the land after the colonial origin of their neighbours had become generally forgotten or ignored. See note on 2 Samuel 8:18. Compare Deuteronomy 2:23; Amos 9:7; Jeremiah 47:4.

The south of Caleb — The neighbourhood just south of Hebron. Compare Joshua 14:14.


Verse 20

20. David took all the flocks and the herds — Which belonged to the Amalekites.

Which they drave before those other cattle Those other cattle mean the cattle which belonged to David and his men. So David not only recovered his own cattle, but he took all that belonged to the Amalekites besides, and called it his spoil. Of this spoil he sent to his friends in Judah. 1 Samuel 30:26-31.


Verse 22

22. All the wicked men — Envious, avaricious, selfish persons, who wished to appropriate all the booty among themselves.


Verse 23

23. Ye shall not do so — Strong in the glory of his victory, and in his confidence in God, David is not now afraid of mutiny among his men, and bravely speaks his mind.

Which the Lord hath given us — They owed their victory to the overruling providence of Jehovah, but of this David’s men were prone to be forgetful.


Verse 25

25. He made it a statute — But it had been known in Israel before. See Numbers 31:27; Joshua 22:8.


Verse 26

26. To his friends — Those who had given him shelter and encouragement during the time of his wanderings. “Sending these gifts could not fail to make the elders of these cities well disposed towards him, and so to facilitate his recognition as king after the death of Saul, which occurred immediately afterwards.” — Keil.


Verse 27

27. Beth-el — Not the Beth-el of the tribe of Benjamin, but the Bethul of Simeon. Joshua 19:4. Its site has not been identified; nor has that of South Ramoth, or Ramath of the south. Joshua 19:8.

Jattir — The modern Attar, ten miles south of Hebron. Joshua 15:48.


Verse 28

28. Aroer — By Dr. Robinson identified with the ruins of an ancient town in a valley twenty miles south of Hebron, called Wady Ar’arah.

Siphmoth — This place is never mentioned again, and its site is unknown.

Eshtemoa — Identical with es-Semna, eight miles south of Hebron. Joshua 15:50.


Verse 29

29. Rachal — This place, like Siphmoth, is now utterly unknown. On the Jerahmeelites and Kenites see note on 1 Samuel 27:10. What cities they possessed we are not told.


Verse 30

30. Hormah — A city formerly inhabited by Canaanites and called Zephath. Robinson identified it with the pass es-Sufah, some forty miles south of Hebron, but Professor E.H. Palmer finds a much more probable identification of it in the extensive ruins, twenty-five miles southwest of Beer-sheba, called Sebaita. The ruins cover an area of about five hundred yards long and from two hundred to three hundred yards wide. See on Judges 1:17. Chorashan and Athach are now unknown.


Verse 31

31. Hebron — See on Joshua 10:3. In these and other places in the same section of country David and his men were accustomed to wander, and received kindness from the elders.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 30:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-samuel-30.html. 1874-1909.

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