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the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 23

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-29

1 Samuel 23. David Escapes from Saul (J).

1 Samuel 23:1-13 . David hears that the Philistines are raiding the territory of Keilah (p. 31), a little S. of Adullam. He ascertains by oracles, probably using the ephod and the Urim and Thummim (pp. 100f.), that Yahweh approves of his going to the rescue; he thus overcomes the reluctance of his men. The expedition is entirely successful, but the ungrateful citizens of Keilah offered to surrender David and his men to Saul. It is quite possible that this troop of bandits, now grown to 600, had quartered themselves on Keilah, and were treating it as a conquered city. It would be interesting to hear the story from the point of view of Keilah; they may have felt that this act of treachery was the only way of getting rid of an intolerable burden. David, however, heard rumours, which were confirmed by the oracle, and left the place; so the scheme was frustrated. It is possible that the whole affair, oracle and all, was a device to induce David to leave the city, and that there was no real intention of delivering him up to Saul.

1 Samuel 23:6 . Perhaps a later insertion, to explain the presence of the ephod in 1 Samuel 23:9.

1 Samuel 23:14-18 . Continually hunted by Saul, David comes to Choresh, in the wilderness of Ziph, S. of Hebron, in fear of his life. Jonathan visits him and “ strengthens his hand in God,” i.e. encourages him by assurances of Divine favour.

1 Samuel 23:15 . saw that: rather “ feared because.”

1 Samuel 23:15 f. wood: better, as a proper name, Choresh.

1 Samuel 23:19-29 . Under the guidance of the Ziphites, Saul pursues David, and is on the point of capturing him, when he is recalled by the news of a Philistine invasion. David goes to Engedi, “ the fountain of the kid,” about half-way along the W. coast of the Dead Sea.

1 Samuel 23:19 . Jeshimon: mg.) Numbers 21:20, p. 31.

1 Samuel 23:23 . thousands: families.

1 Samuel 23:24 . wilderness of Maon: part of the wilderness of Judah.— Araban: the valley extending along the Jordan, the Dead Sea, and southward.

1 Samuel 23:28 . Selahammahlekoth: the better rendering is “ Rock of Divisions,” perhaps in reference to Saul having been divided, or separated, from David.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 23". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/1-samuel-23.html. 1919.
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