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Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 27

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-12

1 Samuel 27:8 . The Geshurites. They were a branch of the Canaanites. Joshua 12:5. Another branch of this people resided beyond the Jordan. 2Sa 3:3 ; 2 Samuel 13:15. The Gezrites are the people of Gezer. Joshua 16:3. The people of Amalek have been spoken of before. Hence David, by leaving none of them alive, fulfilled the divine injunction which was twice given by Moses, and once by Samuel: chap. 15.

1 Samuel 27:10 . Against the south of Judah. The three nations, 1 Samuel 27:8, had maintained themselves in the lot or district of Judah. But this was not telling Achish the whole truth. This invasion would make David popular in Judah; and it is not doubted but he consulted the Lord, who had said that he would have war with Amalek from generation to generation. Exodus 17:14.


David finding Saul so often inconstant, and the Ziphites treacherous, became low-spirited. God had twice delivered him from Saul, and yet he feared that God would not continue to deliver him, So this man of faith had moments of doubt and fear.

During this dark and cloudy moment, he looked round him for a refuge. Saul had beaten the neighbouring kings to the east; and there seemed no protector but Achish, who was the chief prince in Philistia. With him therefore he sought protection, and formed an alliance. This was a step of human prudence, in which he did not consult the Lord; and it involved him in suspicions with his country; for the friend of Achish was the enemy of Israel.

Besides, in his new situation, he was surrounded with fresh foes, against whom he had to march. Probably he trespassed on some of their lands when entering into Ziklag; or that he had received injuries from them while in the desert which he did not think prudent then to revenge. Be that as it may, they were nations sentenced to die for their wickedness; and the divine judgments seem to awake with the greater strength for having slumbered so long. The return of David from this expedition was tarnished with duplicity: he did not dare to tell Achish all the particulars, and so told him that he had been to the south of Judah. And he could not, it would seem, attack the three branches of those nations without making some inroad on the lot of Judah. Yet whatever mitigation may be pleaded for David’s evasion doing Achish no harm, and procuring his own repose, it is by no means to be imitated. The discovery of deception always does harm; and there never was an age in which it was allowed. And if it be considered, that David involved himself in troubles with Amalek, and hazarded a war with his own country, it is a doubt whether he was prudent in leaving the desert for a refuge in Philistia. A protection sought from the enemies of the Lord, is not at all times either wise or safe.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 27". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/1-samuel-27.html. 1835.
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