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Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 22

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-23

Chapter 22

And he went from there, and he escaped to the cave at Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard of it, they went down to him there. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there came about four hundred men ( 1 Samuel 22:1-2 ).

So from out of all the land, David began to gather together a band of men, a motley crew to be sure. Every one who was stressed, every one who was in debt, every one who was discontented. They gathered together with David down there at Adullam.

And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab ( 1 Samuel 22:3 ):

So he actually crossed over in the area of the Dead Sea, went over to the other side to Moab and there he established his family. Now he knew that Saul's anger against him would ultimately turn against his family.

So he said to the Moabites, Let my father and my mother dwell here, until I find out what God's gonna do with me. And so he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with the king of Moab all the while that David was in the hold ( 1 Samuel 22:3-4 ).

Verse four. Now the word "hold" is "Masada", and there are those who believe that actually David was there in the hold, or in the fort of Masada which of course was later really developed by king Herod as a winter palace and a fortress. So it is possible David was down in that area of the Dead Sea. It is possible that this is indeed a reference to Masada, but he was there in the hold or in the fort wherever it might have been.

Now I want you to put a little note here to read Psalms 57:1-11 and Psalms 142:1-7 . Both of these psalms were written at this particular time of David's experiences. So I want you to go home tonight and read these two psalms, but I want you to be thinking now of the background of these two psalms as David writes Psalms 47:1-9 , and Psalms 57:1-11 rather, and Psalms 142:1-7 . He's down there, Saul is pursuing him. He's just taken his parents to safety over in Moab. He's hiding there in the wilderness area down near the Dead Sea.

And the prophet Gad said to David, Abide not [in the fortress, or] in the hold, [Masada] depart and get thee to the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth. [Now a prophet by the name of Gad, whoever he was, told David not to stay there but to get into Judah.] So when Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him, (now Saul was staying in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all of his servants were standing around him;) Then Saul said to his servants that stood around him, Hear now, ye Benjamites; this son of Jesse, will he give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make all of you captains of the thousands, and captains of hundreds; That all of you have conspired against me ( 1 Samuel 22:5-8 ),

In other words he is saying, "Hey, you Benjamites, I'm a Benjamite. Look what I've done for you. If you elect me president, I'll do this and this and this," sort of a political speech against David. "You know if David's elected, if David's elected king, he's not gonna treat you Benjamites well. He's from the house of Judah, you know Jesse, and so forth. He's not gonna be as nice to you as I've been to you. He's not gonna make you the captains over the thousands and the hundreds. He's not gonna give you fields and all. Here look what I've done for you, and you guys are turned against me. You're in favor of David instead of me. None of you will really tell me where he is. You've conspired against me."

You haven't shown me that my son Jonathan has made a league with David, there's none of you that's sorry for me? Then answers this Doeg [fellow] and he said, I saw this son of Jesse come to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. And he inquired of the Lord for him, [That is Ahimelech the priest inquired of the Lord for David.] and gave him food, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine. So the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, and all of his father's house, and the priests that were there at Nob: and they all of them came to the king. Now Saul said, Hear now, thou son of Ahitub. And he answered, Here I am, my lord. And Saul said unto him, Why have you conspired against me? thou and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread, and a sword, and you have inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day? And Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all of your servants as David, which the king's son in law, and goes at your bidding, and is honourable in thy house? Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? be it far from me: let not the king impute any thing unto his servant, nor to all of the house of my father: for thy servant knew nothing of all this, less or more ( 1 Samuel 22:8-15 ).

"What are you talking about? I don't know what you're talking about, Saul. I didn't really conspire. I'm not against you, and you don't have any servant that's more faithful in all of your house than David."

And the king said, You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you, and your father's house. And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the Lord; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and didn't shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the Lord. But the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall on the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew them that day eighty-five persons that wore the priest's gown. [Terrible, terrible crime.] And Nob, the city of the priests, he smote with the sword, both men women, children, little children that nursed, oxen, asses, sheep, with the edge of the sword. [That which he wouldn't do against the enemies of God, he is now doing against the servants of God.] And one of the sons of Ahimelech whose name was Abiathar, escaped, and he fled after David. And Abiathar shewed David that Saul had slain the Lord's priests. And David said to Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all of the persons of your father's house. Stay with me, don't be afraid: for he that seeks my life is seeking your life: but with me you'll be safe ( 1 Samuel 22:16-23 ).

So the one escaped to David from the house of Ahimelech, and David felt really responsible for the death of all of those families. He knew that he made a mistake in letting this Doeg go. He should've killed him. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 22". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/1-samuel-22.html. 2014.
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