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Bible Commentaries

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

1 Samuel 29

Introduction

1 SAMUEL CHAPTER 29

David marching with the Philistines, is disallowed by their princes: Achish pleadeth for him and against his will dismisseth him, 1 Samuel 29:1-9.29.7.

He expostulateth with Achish, 1 Samuel 29:8, his answer, 1 Samuel 29:9,1 Samuel 29:10.

David departeth, 1 Samuel 29:11.

Verse 1

Aphek; either, that in the tribe of Asher, Joshua 19:30, or rather another town of that name in Issachar, though not mentioned elsewhere in Scripture; this being the case of many places, to be but once named.

Verse 2

i.e. As the life-guard of Achish, as he had promised, 1 Samuel 28:2, Achish being, as it seems, the general of the army.

Verse 3

The princes of the Philistines; the lords of the other eminent cities and territories, who were confederate with him in this expedition.

These days, or these years: q.d. Did I say days? I might have said years; either because he hath now been with me a full year and four months, 1 Samuel 27:7, or because he was with me some years ago, 1 Samuel 21:10, and since that time hath been known to me. And it is not improbable but David, after his escape from thence, might hold some correspondence with Achish, as finding him to be a man of more generous temper than the rest of the Philistines, and supposing that he might have need of him for a refuge in case Saul continued to seek his life. Since he fell into me, i. e. since he revolted or left his own king to turn to me; for that sense Achish put upon this escape of David, (as it is called 1 Samuel 27:1) and so is the phrase of falling to a party elsewhere used, Jeremiah 37:13,Jeremiah 37:14.

Verse 4

Were wroth with him; were unsatisfied and offended with Achish for this intention and declaration.

Make this fellow return: herein the wise and gracious providence of God appeared, both in helping him out of those snares and difficulties, out of which no human wit could have extricated him, but he must either have been, or have been thought, to be a traitor, and an ungrateful, unworthy person either to the one or to the other side; and moreover in giving him the happy opportunity of recovering his own and his all from the Amalekites, which had been irrecoverably lost if he had gone into this battle. And the kindness of God to David was the greater, because it had been most just for God to have left David in all those distresses into which his own sinful counsel and course had brought him.

Of these men, i.e. of these our soldiers: they speak according to the rules of reason and true policy, for by this very course great enemies have sometimes been reconciled together.

Verse 6

As the Lord liveth; he swears by Jehovah; either because he did acknowledge their Jehovah to be a God, being, it may be, convinced and instructed therein by David, though he did worship Dagon with him, and above him: or because this was David’s God, and therefore he swore by him; partly out of complaisance with David, that he might receive his unwelcome message to him with less offence; and partly that this oath might gain more credit to his words with David.

Thy going out and thy coming in with me, i.e. thy whole conversation with me. See 1 Samuel 18:13, and many other places where that phrase is used.

Since the day of thy coming unto me; though before that time there was evil in thee towards me and my people.

Verse 8

This was deep dissimulation and flattery; but he apprehended it necessary, lest he should tacitly confess himself guilty of that whereof they accused him, and thereby expose himself to the utmost hazards. These perplexities he brought himself into by his irregular course, in forsaking the land of Judah, where God had placed him, 1 Samuel 22:5, and promised him protection, and putting himself into the hands of the Philistines.

Verse 9

As an angel of God, in whom nothing is blameworthy. Or it may be used to express David’s great wisdom (as well as integrity); as 2 Samuel 14:17; 2 Samuel 19:27. The heathens acknowledged good spirits, which also they worshipped as an inferior sort of deities, who were messengers and ministers to the supreme God; only Achish had learned the title of angels from the Israelites his neighbours, and especially from David’s conversation.

Verse 10

With thy master’s servants; he intimates the ground of the Philistines’ jealousy concerning David and his men, that they were all servants of Saul, and therefore had an obligation, and were suspected to have an affection, to their old lord and master, against whom even David himself could not make them fight, especially with and for the Philistines.

As soon as ye have light, depart; before the battle begin, lest, if you delay, the lords of the Philistines fall upon you, and destroy you.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Samuel 29". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/1-samuel-29.html. 1685.