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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

1 Samuel 19

Verses 1-24

Saul’s Hatred of David. David escapes to Samuel

2. Until the morning] RV ’in the morning.’

6. It was difficult for David to estimate correctly Saul’s feelings towards him, because the king’s repentance was real while it lasted, and because much might be ascribed to his madness.

10. That night] David would probably flee at once: hence LXX may be right in joining these words to 1 Samuel 19:11, ’And it came to pass that night that Saul sent.’

13. An image] RV ’the teraphim.’ ’Teraphim,’ like ’Elohim,’ is a plural of dignity and denotes a single image, but the origin of the word is unknown. Such images, derived from Canaanite paganism, appear to have been in human form and to have varied in size; for, while Michal’s could pass for a man, Rachel’s could be hidden under the camel’s furniture (Genesis 31:34). Usually, perhaps, the teraphim was a half-length image, or a head only. Teraphim were used for the purpose of divination (Ezekiel 21:21; Zechariah 10:2), and Rachel probably stole her father’s teraphim, lest he should discover which way she had fled. Pillow of goats’ hair] A word from this root occurs in 2 Kings 8:15, so that it appears to have been some covering made of goats’ hair, which was placed over the face of a sleeping person, probably to keep off the mosquitoes. In this case it served as a disguise. For his bolster] RV ’at the head thereof.’ With a cloth] Heb. ’with the garment,’ i.e. the mantle, which was regarded as the most indispensable article of dress (1 Samuel 19:24) by day and was used as a covering by night. So Saul’s messengers would easily recognise it.

14. Apparently Michal allowed the messengers to get some view of the recumbent figure.

15. Bring him up to me in the bed] As an Eastern bed is merely a mattress, this could be easily done: cp. Mark 2:4.

17. Michal pretends that David coerced her into contriving his escape.

18. Came to Samuel] David naturally turned to him for advice and direction. Naioth] Evidently the name of some locality in Ramah, but whether a building or a district it is impossible to determine.

23. Once more the influence of the Spirit fell on Saul for his good.

24. Naked] i.e. without his outer garment: cp. Isaiah 20:2. Is Saul also among the prophets?] see on Isaiah 10:11. Observe that the religious frenzy is contagious: cp. Intro. § 4.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 19". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.