Ziph. Having declared themselves so decidedly against David, they apprehended the utmost danger if he should ascend the throne. --- Hill. Hebrew, "Gabaa," as the Vulgate leaves it, ver. 3. It lay to the right hand of Ziph, (chap. xxiii. 19,) or "of Jesimon." (Septuagint)
Certainly, or in a place strongly secured by nature. Septuagint, "well armed."
Tent, or covered chariot, such as the Scythians use in their marches, (Justin i.) or in a "royal tent." Septuagint Greek: lampene, (Pollux.; Menochius) "richly ornamented," (Lucifer of Cagliari) "in the midst" (Aquila) of his troops. (Calmet) --- David might see all was quiet from an eminence, or he might be informed by his spies. (Menochius)
Hethite. He had probably embraced the Jewish religion. --- Abisai was the son of Sarvia, David's sister, and made a great figure at court. (Calmet) --- David was directed by God to manifest his clemency (Menochius) and reverence for Saul in this perilous attempt. (Haydock)
My. Hebrew, "the spear," which was fixed in the ground at Saul's pillow. Protestants, "let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear, even to the earth, at once, and I will not smite him a second time." (Haydock)
Guiltless. Saul was still his king, how wicked soever, and this title rendered his person inviolable. The eastern nations are very seldom guilty of rebellion, or of murdering their kings; a thing of which we find so many examples in the Roman, English, and French histories. (Calmet) --- A private man could not lay violent hands upon the king without a crime; and therefore David represses Abisai, and commits his cause to God, chap. xxiv. 13. (Menochius) --- He will not permit any one to destroy the life of the king, though he was already anointed to succeed him. (Worthington)
To die a natural death. Thus those who are slain, are said to die before their day, Psalm liv. 28. Jesus was not taken, because his hour was not yet come, John ii. 4., and vii. 30. (Calmet) --- David waits with patience, that God might take off his adversary by sickness, old age, or the sword. (Menochius) -- He will not ascend the throne before the time appointed, and he will not kill Saul, except it be in battle, in his own defence. (Haydock)
Water, for refreshment, or for purifications. --- Lord. It is not necessary to have recourse to a miracle, (Calmet) though it must have been by a special providence that all continued in such a deep sleep, (Haydock) to give David an opportunity of manifesting his innocence. (Worthington)
Israel. This was a cutting irony. (Calmet) --- Salien attributes to it the enmity which Abner bore to David for above seven years. (Menochius)
Death; i.e., you deserve to die. Such negligence was punishable with death, according to the Roman laws; & qui excubias. (Grotius)
Sacrifice, that he may be appeased; (Jonathan; Vatable) or rather, I am willing to fall a victim, (Menochius) and pray that thy sacrifice may be acceptable, and all thy designs against me succeed, Psalm xix. 4. --- They are. The opposition of this sentence to the preceding seems to require "let them be," &c. What in effect did not those deserve who wished to make David adore false gods? (Calmet) --- Lord in the land of Israel. --- Gods. They said so, at least by their actions. (Menochius) --- All other countries were in a manner abandoned to idol-worship, so that a person could not dwell in them, without the most imminent danger. See 2 Kings xiv. 16., and Psalm lxxxiii. 12. (Calmet)
Before, the contrary to the decrees of the Lord, (Haydock) who will be my avenger. --- Hunted, (persequiur) is here used in a passive sense; (Calmet) or it may be rendered, "as a partridge pursues" what it feeds upon. (Haydock)
Precious, and treated as such, with care and respect. See 4 Kings i. 14., Psalm xlviii. 9., and Isaias xliii. 4. --- Ignorant. Yet Saul was inexcusable, 2 Kings xxiv. 10, &c.
It. He would not keep the spear, lest it might seem disrespectful.
Set by. Literally, "magnified," or deemed very precious. (Haydock) --- Distress. These were the last words which David addressed to Saul; and they seem to have made a deep impression upon him. But as no dependance could be placed on Saul's most solemn promises, David resolved, by God's advice, to retire to the country of Geth. (Salien, the year of the world 2978)
Prevail, and mount the throne. --- Place, Gabaa. (Menochius)
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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 26". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany