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Monday, April 7 2014

1 Samuel 21: Why Didn't David Kill Saul?

"Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless? ... David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish"

Saul made many blunders after he became Israel's first king (see 1 Samuel 13: Saul's Burnt Offering and 1 Samuel 14: Jonathan's Sweet Victory). His greatest mistake was forcing loyal David to become his enemy (see 1 Samuel 18: The Rise Of David). When Saul drove David away (see 1 Samuel 19: The Parting of David and Saul), others were drawn to David, beginning with his own father and brothers (see also Jesse The Bethlehemite). They were not a rebel army; they were the army of the king that the LORD had anointed to replace incompetent and corrupt Saul (see 1 Samuel 15: Saul's Impeachment and 1 Samuel 16: The Anointing Of David). In the meantime, although David had a number of easy opportunities to kill Saul (including when Saul was asleep in his own camp - it seems that Saul's troops were as incompetent as their leader), David avoided Saul, knowing that one way or the other, Saul would take himself out of the way. Then, the civil war onslaught would begin in full.

David and Saul

"22:1 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him. 22:2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men." (1 Samuel 22:1-2 KJV)

"26:9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless? 26:10 David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. 26:11 The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD'S anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go." (1 Samuel 26:9-11 KJV)

At first, the purpose of David's flight was just to find somewhere secure that he could use as a base. David had gone to Samuel in Ramah after he fled Saul's palace, but left there when Saul would have attacked if the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) hadn't stopped Saul (see 1 Samuel 19: The Parting of David and Saul). David then went to Nob, a town north of Jerusalem (which was a foreign city within Israel at the time - see the Fact Finder question below). There, David received assistance from Ahimelech the priest, who was unaware that Saul had made David an enemy. Ironically, David was also given Goliath's sword that had been stored there.

"21:1 Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?

21:2 And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place. 21:3 Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.

21:4 And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.

21:5 And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

Gaza 21:6 So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

21:7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.

21:8 And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thine hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste.

21:9 And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here.

And David said, There is none like that; give it me." (1 Samuel 21:1-9 KJV)

David then sought refuge in Philistine territory - at Gath, the hometown of Goliath. There, he quickly discovered that he was still in as much danger from the Philistines as he was from Saul.

"21:10 And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

21:11 And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?

21:12 And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 21:13 And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

21:14 Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad: wherefore then have ye brought him to me? 21:15 Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?" (1 Samuel 21:10-15 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why was Jerusalem a foreign city to Israel during the civil war between David and Saul?
See Why Didn't David And Saul Fight For Jerusalem?


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This Day In History, April 7

451: Attila the Hun, the leader of the Hunnic Empire that extended from the Ural River to the Rhine River and from the Danube River to the Baltic Sea) attacked and looted towns in Gaul (an area of west and central Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era; it included what is today France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Northern Italy and territories of the Netherlands and Germany).

Gaul
1118: Pope Gelasius II excommunicated Holy Roman Emperor Henry V at Capua (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation and Emperors and Popes).

1141: Matilda (also known as Empress Maude or Matilda of England) became the first female ruler of England with the title "Lady of the English." She was a daughter of King Henry I of England and the wife of Holy Roman Emperor Henry V who she married in Germany (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1148: Alphonse I, count of Toulouse, died in Israel while on the Second Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1348: Prague University, the first in Central Europe, was founded by Charles IV, King of Bohemia.

1652: The Dutch established a settlement at Cape Town, South Africa.

1739: English highwayman Dick Turpin was hanged for murder at York.

1823: French troops under Louis de Bourbon invaded Spain, starting the Franco-Spanish war.

1827: John Walker, an English chemist, sold the first friction match (that are still in common use today) that he had invented during the previous year.

1868: Thomas D'Arcy McGee was assassinated in Ottawa. McGee was an Irish nationalist who immigrated to Montreal in 1857 and later became one of the fathers of Canadian Confederation. He had just made a speech in Parliament when he was shot by a member of the Fenians, a radical group of Irish-Americans. Patrick Whelan was hanged for the murder.

1906: Mount Vesuvius erupted and heavily damaged Naples (Napoli in Italian), Italy.

1933: "Prohibition" in the U.S. was repealed for beer with no more than 3.2% alcohol by weight.

1943: The psychosis-producing drug LSD was first produced at Sandoz Laboratorie in Basel, Switzerland, by Albert Hofman.

Damascus 1946: Syria became independent from France (see also A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria and Damascus In History And Prophecy).

1948: The World Health Organization was established as an agency of the United Nations.

1955: Winston Churchill left office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom due to failing health.

1963: The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was established with Marshall Tito as its president.

1967: A few weeks before the outbreak of the Six Day War, a flight of Israeli fighter aircraft entered Syrian airspace and shot down 6 Syrian MiGs before circling freely over Damascus (see also Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).

1971: U.S. President Nixon pledged a withdrawal of 100,000 more troops from the Vietnam quagmire by the next December.

1978: Development of the neutron bomb (high radiation that kills people but leaves cities relatively undamaged) was canceled by U.S. President Jimmy Carter because he believed that it would increase the possibility of nuclear war.

1981: A new constitution in the Philippines gave Ferdinand Marcos dictatorial powers.

1985: Mikhail Gorbachev declared a moratorium on the deployment of Soviet middle-range missiles in Europe.

1990: U.S. national security advisor John Poindexter was found guilty in the Iran-Contra scandal.

2003: U.S. and British invasion forces captured Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq. The government of Saddam Hussein collapsed 2 days later.

No "weapons of mass destruction" (the sole legal pretext, revised later after nothing was found, that was used by George W. Bush and Tony Blair for the invasion that devastated Iraq's civilian population and infrastructure) were ever found. Nor has there ever been found any connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9-11 terrorist attacks that were perpetrated by the al-Qaida terrorist organization. All of the suicide attackers entered the U.S. legally, directly from Saudi Arabia (the native country of Osama bin Laden) and Pakistan with tourist and student visas issued by U.S. Immigration (none of the terrorists entered the U.S. from Canada, a malicious myth that is still perpetuated by some who ignore the official U.S. immigration records).

Perhaps more ironic than the fact that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, where all of the 9-11 terrorists came from, are regarded as among the closest allies against terrorism in the Middle East, Iraq, that had nothing to do with 9-11, faced the greatest retaliation after the 9-11 attacks. While, just like numerous other tyrants around the world that are conveniently (i.e. those with oil) or fearfully (those with the military ability to defend themselves from invasion) ignored, Saddam Hussein was a murderous dictator within his own country (although the invasion killed and maimed far more Iraqi civilians in a few years than Saddam Hussein ever did over decades), captured documents indicated that not only was Saddam Hussein not connected to the al-Qaida terrorist organization, he actually feared al-Qaida, and regarded it as a radical foreign threat to his own regime.


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