1 Samuel 27


David flies to Achish, king of Gath, who receives him kindly,

and gives him Ziklag to dwell in, where he continues a year

and four months, 1-7.

David invades the Geshurites and Amalekites, and leaves neither

man nor woman alive, 8, 9.

He returns to Achish, and pretends that he had been making

inroads on the Israelites, and Achish believes it, 10-12.


Verse 1. I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul] This

was a very hasty conclusion: God had so often interposed in behalf

of his life, that he was authorized to believe the reverse. God

had hitherto confounded all Saul's stratagems, and it was not at

all likely that he would now abandon him: there was now no

additional reason why he should withdraw from David his helping


Verse 2. David arose, and he passed over-unto Achish] There is

not one circumstance in this transaction that is not blameable.

David joins the enemies of his God and of his country, acts a most

inhuman part against the Geshurites and Amalekites, without even

the pretense of a Divine authority; tells a most deliberate

falsehood to Achish, his protector, relative to the people against

whom he had perpetrated this cruel act; giving him to understand

that he had been destroying the Israelites, his enemies. I

undertake no defence of this conduct of David; it is all bad, all

defenceless; God vindicates him not. The inspired penman tells

what he did, but passes no eulogium upon his conduct; and it is

false to say that, because these things are recorded, therefore

they are approved. In all these transactions David was in no sense

a man after God's own heart. Chandler attempts to vindicate all

this conduct: those who can receive his saying, let them receive


Verse 3. Every man with his household] So it appears that the

men who consorted with David had wives and families. David and his

company resembled a tribe of the wandering Arabs.

Verse 5. Why should thy servant dwell in the royal city] He

seemed to intimate that two princely establishments in the same

city were too many. Achish appears to have felt the propriety of

his proposal, and therefore appoints him Ziklag.

Verse 6. Achish gave him Ziklag] Ziklag was at first given to

the tribe of Judah, but afterwards it was ceded to that of Simeon,

Jos 15:31; 19:5. The Philistines had, however, made themselves

masters of it, and held it to the time here mentioned; it then

fell into the tribe of Judah again, and continued to be the

property of the kings of Judah. This verse is a proof that this

book was written long after the days of Samuel, and that it was

formed by a later hand, out of materials which had been collected

by a contemporary author. See the preface.

Verse 9. David smote the land] Here was a complete extirpation

of all these people, not one being left alive, lest he should

carry tidings of the disasters of his country! The spoil which

David took consisted of sheep, oxen, asses, camels, and apparel.

Verse 10. Whither have ye made a road today?] He had probably

been in the habit of making predatory excursions. This seems to be

implied in the question of Achish.

Verse 12. He hath made his people-utterly to abhor him] This

deception, which Dr. Delaney says "did harm to nobody, and to the

account of which he is at an utter loss what degree of guilt to

charge," imposed upon Achish, had the most direct tendency to make

him imagine himself secure, while in the utmost danger; and to

have a faithful friend and able ally in David, while he was the

veriest enemy he could possibly have. Shame on him who becomes the

apologist of such conduct! As to Dr. Chandler, he should know that

no lie is of the truth, and that all falsity is an abomination

to the Lord.

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