1 Samuel 19


Jonathan pleads for David before Saul, who is for the present

reconciled, 1-7.

David defeats the Philistines; and Saul becomes again envious,

and endeavours to slay him, but he escapes, 8-10.

Saul sends men to David's house, to lie in wait for him; but

Michal saves him by a stratagem, 11-17.

David flees to Samuel, at Ramah, 18.

Saul, hearing of it, sends messengers three several times to

take him; but the Spirit of coming upon them, they prophesy,


Saul, hearing of this, goes after David himself, and falls under

the same influence, 22-24.


Verse 1. That they should kill David.] Nothing less than the

especial interposition of God could have saved David's life, when

every officer about the king's person, and every soldier, had got

positive orders to despatch him.

Verse 2. Take heed to thyself until the morning] Perhaps the

order was given to slay him the next day; and therefore Jonathan

charges him to be particularly on his guard at that time, and to

hide himself.

Verse 4. Jonathan spake good of David] It is evident that

Jonathan was satisfied that David was an innocent man; and that

his father was most unjustly incensed against him.

Verse 5. For he did put his life in his hand] The pleadings in

this verse, though short, are exceedingly cogent; and the argument

is such as could not be resisted.

Verse 6. He shall not be slain.] In consequence of this oath, we

may suppose he issued orders contrary to those which he had given

the preceding day.

Verse 7. He was in his presence, as in times past.] By

Jonathan's advice he had secreted himself on that day on which he

was to have been assassinated: the king having sworn that he

should not be slain, David resumes his place in the palace of


Verse 9. And the evil spirit from the Lord] His envy and

jealousy again returned, producing distraction of mind, which was

exacerbated by diabolic influence. See on 1Sa 16:14.

Verse 10. But he slipped away] He found he could not trust Saul;

and therefore was continually on his watch. His agility of body

was the means of his preservation at this time.

Verse 11. To slay him in the morning] When they might be able to

distinguish between him and Michal his wife; for, had they

attempted his life in the night season, there would have been some

danger to Michal's life. Besides, Saul wished to represent him as

a traitor; and consequently an attack upon him was justifiable at

any time, even in the fullest daylight.

Verse 12. Let David down through a window] As Saul's messengers

were sent to David's house to watch him, they would naturally

guard the gate, or lie in wait in that place by which David would

come out. Michal, seeing this let him down to the ground through a

window probably at the back part of the house; and there being

neither entrance nor issue that way, the liers in wait were easily


Verse 13. Michal took an image] eth hatteraphim, the

teraphim. The Hebrew word appears to mean any kind of image, in

any kind of form, as a representative of some reality. Here it

must have been something in the human form; because it was

intended to represent a man lying in bed indisposed.

A pillow of goats' hair] Perhaps she formed the appearance of a

sick man's head muffled up by this pillow or bag of goats' hair.

So I think the original might be understood. The goats' hair was

merely accidental; unless we could suppose that it was designed to

represent the hair of David's head, which is not improbable.

Verse 17. Let me go; why should I kill thee?] That is, If thou

do not let me go, I will kill thee. This she said to excuse

herself to her father: as a wife she could do not less than favour

the escape of her husband, being perfectly satisfied that there

was no guilt in him. It is supposed that it was on this occasion

that David wrote the fifty-ninth Psalm, Deliver me frown mine

enemies, &c.

Verse 18. David fled, and escaped-to Samuel] He, no doubt, came

to this holy man to ask advice; and Samuel thought it best to

retain him for the present, with himself at Naioth, where it is

supposed he had a school of prophets.

Verse 20. The company of the prophets prophesying] Employed in

religious exercises.

Samuel-appointed over them] Being head or president of the

school at this place.

The Spirit of God was upon the messengers] They partook of the

same influence, and joined in the same exercise; and thus were

prevented from seizing David.

Verse 23. He went on, and prophesied] The Divine Spirit seemed

to have seized him at the well of Sechu; and he went on from that

prophesying-praying, singing praises, &c.; till he came to


Verse 24. He stripped off his clothes] Threw off his royal robes

or military dress, retaining only his tunic; and continued so all

that day and all that night, uniting with the sons of the prophets

in prayers, singing praises, and other religious exercises, which

were unusual to kings and warriors; and this gave rise to the

saying, Is Saul also among the prophets? By bringing both him and

his men thus under a Divine influence, God prevented them from

injuring the person of David. See Clarke on 1Sa 10:6, &c.;

and see my sermon on The Christian Prophet and his Work.

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