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Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 30

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

Verses 1-31


1. The Amalekites destroy Ziklag (1 Samuel 30:1-5 )

2. David’s distress and return unto the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6-8 )

3. David pursues the Amalekites (1 Samuel 30:9-10 )

4. The young Egyptian and the defeat of the enemy (1 Samuel 30:11-20 )

5. The threatening dissension and David’s decision (1 Samuel 30:21-25 )

6. The spoil sent to Judah (1 Samuel 30:26-31 )

The chastening hand of the Lord now rests heavily upon wayward, backsliding David. The Amalekites had destroyed Ziklag. The entire city was burned to the ground and the women and children were taken away captive by the Amalekites. The people rose up against David and were ready to stone him. He reaps the fruit of his sowing. He had gone into an alliance with the enemies of God and His people, and now he finds that the Lord permitted the enemy to touch his possessions. The Lord through affliction, loss and sorrow spoke to the heart of David. How humiliating that his followers were ready to stone him! They understood that his behaviour had brought upon them the disaster, that he was another Achan (Joshua 7:0 ). It was then that he turned to the Lord. “David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” Here we see the difference between him and Saul. Affliction and sorrow, the chastenings of the Lord, recall the true believer and bring him back to the Lord. He sought the presence of the Lord and once more through Abiathar, who had the ephod, enquired of the Lord. And here graciously the Lord met His servant who had failed Him! There is no word of rebuke on account of the 16 months David had wandered from the Lord, but instead the Lord assures His servant that he would recover all.

The incident of the young Egyptian is very interesting. David appears now once more as a type of our Lord. He did not foreshadow the Lord Jesus during the months he was with the Philistines. The Egyptian is a type of the unsaved. He is an Egyptian (the type of the world); he was found in the field (“the field is the world” Matthew 13:0 ). He was the slave of an Amalekite. Amalek as we have seen in the annotations of Exodus (chapter 17) and in Judges, is a type of the flesh. Behind it stands Satan. Thus the unsaved, the one who is not born again, is of the world and a slave of Amalek, serving the flesh under Satan’s dominion. The physical condition of this young Egyptian also typifies the spiritual condition of the unsaved. And David in showing him mercy is a type of Christ. The young man’s confession, the bread and water given to him, can easily be applied in the gospel. The story of the Egyptian reminds us of the parable of the good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke. The young Egyptian is assured of his safety; the slave of the Amalekite becomes the servant of the king. The company to which he belonged is eating and drinking and dancing. They rest secure dreaming of no danger, when all at once the battle cry of the king is upon them. It is the picture of the world. Thus sudden destruction will come upon them. And David recovered all.

How differently the dissension, which threatened among David’s men, would have turned out had he still been away from the Lord. But now he acts in the sweetness of grace. The great spoil is distributed among the different cities of Judah. Well may we think here of the victory of our coming King in which His people will share through His infinite grace.

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 30". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/1-samuel-30.html. 1913-1922.
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