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Ziklag plundered: David and his men distressed, ver. 1 - 6.
Encouraged of God, he pursues them, ver. 7 - 10.
He gains intelligence from a straggler, ver. 11 - 15.
Routs the enemy, and recovers all they had taken, ver. 16 - 20.
Makes an order for dividing the spoil, ver. 21 - 25.
Sends presents to his friends, ver. 26 - 31
1: The south - Namely, the southern part of Judah, and the
4: Wept - It is no disparagement to the boldest, bravest spirits,
to lament the calamities of friends or relations.
6: Stoning him - As the author of their miseries, by coming to
Ziklag at first, by provoking the Amalekites to this cruelty, and by
his forwardness in marching away with Achish, and leaving their wives
and children unguarded. Encouraged himself - That is, in this that the
all - wise, and all - powerful Lord, was his God by covenant and special
promise, and fatherly affection, as he had shewed himself to be in the
whole course of his providence towards him. It is the duty of all good
men, whatever happens, to encourage themselves in the Lord their God,
assuring themselves, that he both can and will bring light out of darkness.
7: The ephod - And put it upon thyself, that thou mayst enquire of
God according to his ordinance, David was sensible of his former error
in neglecting to ask counsel of God by the ephod, when he came to
Achish, and when he went out with Achish to the Battle; and his
necessity now brings him to his duty, and his duty meets with success.
8: He answered - Before, God answered more slowly and gradually,(1Sa 23:11,12), but now he answers speedily, and fully at once, because
the business required haste. So gracious is our God, that he considers even
the degree of our necessities, and accommodates himself to them.
10: Four hundred - A small number for such an attempt: but David
was strong in faith, giving God the glory of his power and faithfulness.
12: Three days and nights - One whole day and part of two others, as
appears from the next verse, where he saith, three days ago I fell sick,
but in the Hebrew it is, this is the third day since I fell sick.
13: Egypt - God by his providence so ordering it, that he was not one
of that cursed race of the Amalekites, who were to be utterly destroyed,
but an Egyptian, who might be spared. Left me - In this place and
condition: which was barbarous inhumanity: for he ought, and easily might
have carried him away with the prey which they had taken. But he paid dear
for this cruelty, for this was the occasion of the ruin of him and all their
company. And God by his secret providence ordered the matter thus for
that very end. So that there is no fighting against God, who can make the
smallest accidents serviceable to the production of the greatest effects.
14: Cherethites - That is, the Philistines. Caleb - This is
added by way of explication: that part of the south of Judah which
belongs to Caleb's posterity.
15: Will bring thee - For his master had told him whither they
intended to go, that he might come after them, as soon as he could.
16: Upon all the earth - Secure and careless, because they were now
come almost to the borders of their own country, and the Philistines and
Israelites both were otherwise engaged, and David, as they believed,
with them. So they had no visible cause of danger; and yet then they were
nearest to destruction.
17: Twilight - The word signifies both the morning and evening
twilight. But the latter seems here intended, partly because their eating,
and drinking, and dancing, was more proper work for the evening, than the
morning; and partly, because the evening was more convenient for David,
that the fewness of his forces might not be discovered by the day - light.
It is probable, that when he came near them, he reposed himself, and his
army, in some secret place, whereof there were many parts, for a convenient
season; and then marched on so as to come to them at the evening time.
20: Other cattle - Before those that belonged to Ziklag.
David's spoil - The soldiers, who lately were so incensed against
David, that they spake of stoning him: now upon this success magnify
him, and triumphantly celebrate his praise; and say concerning this spoil,
David purchased it by his valour and conduct, and he may dispose of it
as he pleaseth.
21: Saluted them - He spoke kindly to them, and did not blame them
because they went no further with them.
23: My brethren - He useth his authority to over - rule them; but
manageth it with all sweetness, tho' they were such wicked and unreasonable
men, calling them brethren; not only as of the same nation and religion
with him, but as his fellow - soldiers. What God hath freely imparted to us,
we should not unkindly and injuriously withhold from our brethren.
24: Part alike - A prudent and equitable constitution, and therefore
practiced by the Romans, as Polybius and others note. The reason
of it is manifest; because they were exposed to hazards, as well as their
brethren: and were a reserve to whom they might retreat in case of a defeat;
and they were now in actual service, and in the station in which their
general had placed them.
26: Elders of Judah - Partly in gratitude for their former favours
to him: and partly, in policy, to engage their affections to him.