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Bible Commentaries

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

1 Samuel 26

Verse 1

The incident related in this chapter of the meeting between Saul and David bears a strong general resemblance to that recorded in 1 Samuel 24:0, and is of a nature unlikely to have occurred more than once. Existing discrepancies are explained by the supposition that one narrative relates fully some incidents on which the other is silent. On the whole the most probable conclusion is that the two narratives relate to one and the same event. (Compare the two narratives of the Creation, Genesis 1:0; Genesis 2:4 ff; the two narratives of David’s war, 2 Samuel 8:0; and 2 Samuel 10:0; and those of the death of Ahaziah, 2 Kings 9:27 ff; and 2 Chronicles 22:9.)

Verse 6

Ahimelech the Hittite - Only mentioned here. Uriah was also a Hittite.

Abishai - He was son of Zeruiah, David’s sister, but probably about the same age as David. He because very famous as a warrior 2 Samuel 23:18, but was implicated with his brother Joab in the murder of Abner in retaliation for the death of their brother Asahel 2 Samuel 3:30.

Verse 15

This incidental testimony to Abner’s great eminence as a warrior is fully borne out by David’s dirge at Abner’s death 2 Samuel 3:31-34, 2 Samuel 3:38, as well as by his whole history. At the same time David’s bantering tone in regard to Abner, coupled with what he says in 1 Samuel 26:19, makes it proable that David attributed Saul’s persecution of him in some degree to Abner. Abner would be likely to dread a rival in the young conqueror of Judah (compare 2 Samuel 2:8).

Verse 19

If the Lord have stirred thee up - The meaning is clear from the preceding history. “An evil spirit from God troubling him” was the beginning of the persecution. And this evil spirit was sent in punishment of Saul’s sin 1 Samuel 16:1, 1 Samuel 16:14. If the continued persecution was merely the consequence of this evil spirit continuing to vex Saul, David advises Saul to seek God’s pardon, and, as a consequence, the removal of the evil spirit, by offering a sacrifice. But if the persecution was the consequence of the false accusations of slanderers, then “cursed” be his enemies who, by their actions, drove David out from the only land where Yahweh was worshipped, and forced him to take refuge in the country of pagan and idolaters (compare Deuteronomy 4:27; Deuteronomy 28:36).

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 26". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/1-samuel-26.html. 1870.