Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 22

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-23

1 Samuel 22. David at Adullam and Moab: Massacre at Nob (J).— The series of narratives in ch. 22 may very well come from the same ancient document, and be the continuation of 1 Samuel 21:1-9.

1 Samuel 22:1 f. David takes refuge at Adullam (p. 31), about 12 miles SW. of Bethlehem: he is joined by his clan and by various unsatisfactory characters, to the number of about 400, i.e. he becomes a captain of bandits.

1 Samuel 22:3-5 . David takes his father and mother for safety to the king of Moab at Mizpeh (not identified). According to Ruth 4:21 f., David’ s great-grandmother was a Moabitess, Ruth. The prophet Gad ( cf. 2 Samuel 24:11, 1 Chronicles 29:29) appears, and bids David leave Mizpeh and return to Judah— probably so with Syr., instead of, “ Abide not in the hold,” i.e. Adullam, as the latter was in Judah.

1 Samuel 22:6-23 (J). Saul is sitting in state at Gibeah, under a tree on the height (so with RVm, not “ in Ramah” ), with his spear sceptre-wise in his hand, and his officers and courtiers about him; he hears from Doeg what has happened at Nob. He sends for the priests, and charges Ahimelech with treason. The priest protests that in helping the king’ s son-in-law, the commander of his bodyguard (HK; or chief of his subjects, ICC, with LXX, not “ and is taken into thy council” ), he thought he was serving a loyal servant of the king, and, therefore, the king himself. Nevertheless, Saul bids his guard slay the priests; but they refused, regarding their persons as sacred. However, a similar command to the Edomite Doeg was obeyed, and Doeg slew eighty-five priests who could work the ephodoracle; only Abiathar, one of the sons of Ahimelech, escaped and fled to David. Doubtless Saul would still have priests of his own, but the story does not mention them, and the primitive tradition in its extant form attaches special importance to the house of Eli.

1 Samuel 22:18 . that did wear a linen ephod: so RV, rendering the Heb. text, which makes the ephod here the priestly garment ( 1 Samuel 2:18 *); the above follows the LXX.

1 Samuel 22:19 . Saul subjects Nob to the herem (see pp. 99, 114). Some regard this verse as a late addition.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 22". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.