[1-Samuel 22:1] DAVID THEREFORE DEPARTED THENCE, AND ESCAPED TO THE
CAVE ADULLAM: AND WHEN HIS BRETHREN AND ALL HIS FATHER'S HOUSE HEARD
THEY WENT DOWN THITHER TO HIM.
<<ADULLAM>>: This was to the south of
Beth Shemesh in the
territory of Judah on the border with the Philistines. This was near the
where David had slain the giant Goliath. There could be a symbolic
significance in this. David in a sense had come full circle. The
killing of Goliath had taken him from being a young warrior and musician
been elevated into a national hero then foremost military commander,
son-in-law of the king, and one of the most powerful men in the kingdom.
was back in a word position than that which he had started out from.
[1-Samuel 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
All the outcasts and failures of society gathered themselves unto
David. These men were to form the core group of a Mighty Empire. [We
may learn from this that there may yet be hope for some of us].
[1-Samuel 22:3] AND DAVID WENT THENCE TO MIZPEH OF MOAB: AND HE SAID
UNTO THE KING OF MOAB, LET MY FATHER AND MY MOTHER, I PRAY THEE, COME
FORTH, AND BE WITH YOU, TILL I KNOW WHAT GOD WILL DO FOR ME.
First his brothers come to him with his parents then David takes his
parents further into safety across the border. Ruth the Moabitess
the mother of the grandfather of David so perhaps at this stage the
of David felt some degree of affinity with the Moabites, "AND THE WOMEN
HER NEIGHBOURS GAVE IT A NAME, SAYING, THERE IS A SON BORN TO NAOMI; AND
THEY CALLED HIS NAME OBED: HE IS THE FATHER OF JESSE, THE FATHER OF DAVID"
Ruth according to a Midrash (Ruth Rabah, 2;9) had been a daughter
descendant of Eglon King of Moab who was killed by Ehud from
Tribe of Benjamin (Judges 3:20). If this is correct then David
would have been
distantly related to the Royal House of Moab. You may ask if Ruth
of Royal Blood how was she allowed to leave the country and attack herself
to a penniless widow in another land? The answer could be that
marrying a sojourner from Judah (who then died on her) she had
status and perhaps the then-reigning member of her family did not want her
[1-Samuel 22:4] AND HE BROUGHT THEM BEFORE THE KING OF MOAB: AND THEY
DWELT WITH HIM ALL THE WHILE THAT DAVID WAS IN THE HOLD.
<<HOLD>>: Hebrew "Metsudah" meaning fortress. Yehudah
Kiel quotes from
the "RID" (Rabbi Yishaiah Matrani) that the King of Moab placed David in
the fortress close to the border with the intention of delivering
the hands of Saul since he was afraid of Saul, cf. SO SAUL TOOK THE KINGDOM
OVER ISRAEL, AND FOUGHT AGAINST ALL HIS ENEMIES ON EVERY SIDE, AGAINST MOAB
[1-Samuel 22:5] AND THE PROPHET GAD SAID UNTO DAVID, ABIDE NOT IN THE
HOLD; DEPART, AND GET THEE INTO THE LAND OF JUDAH. THEN DAVID DEPARTED,
CAME INTO THE FOREST OF HARETH.
<<THE PROPHET GAD>>: also recalled as "GAD,
DAVID'S SEER" (1-Chronicles 21:9) and "GAD THE SEER" (1-Chronicles
29:29), and GAD THE KING'S SEER (2-Chronicles 29:25), and THE
GAD, DAVID'S SEER (2-Samuel 24:11).
David may well have been in a state of semi-captivity in the eyes of
his "host" the King of Moab but once he decided to leave with
the garrison of Moabites may have wisely decided that discretion is the
better part of valor.
According to tradition when David left the "Hold" the
King of Moab
killed the parents of David and those of his brothers who were with
them in Moab apart from one who escaped to Amon and was granted refuge by
Nachash king of Amon (Rashi).
[1-Samuel 22:6] WHEN SAUL HEARD THAT DAVID WAS DISCOVERED, AND THE MEN
THAT WERE WITH HIM, (NOW SAUL ABODE IN GIBEAH UNDER A TREE IN
HAVING HIS SPEAR IN HIS HAND, AND ALL HIS SERVANTS WERE STANDING ABOUT
<<DAVID WAS DISCOVERED>>:
i.e. the whereabouts of David and the four hundred men with David became
[1-Samuel 22:7] THEN SAUL SAID UNTO HIS SERVANTS THAT STOOD ABOUT HIM,
HEAR NOW, YE BENJAMITES; WILL THE SON OF JESSE GIVE EVERY ONE OF YOU
AND VINEYARDS, AND MAKE YOU ALL CAPTAINS OF THOUSANDS, AND CAPTAINS OF HUNDREDS
<<BENJAMITES>>: In Hebrew "Bnei Yamini" literally "Sons of the
Hand".<<YE BENJAMITES>>: We see from this that most
of those in the Court
of Saul were from his own tribe, the tribe of Benjamin. This is additional
evidence of the nepotistic tendencies of Saul and his own inner need to
be surrounded by his kinfolk as we discussed earlier (1-Samuel 10:14).
Saul belonged to the Matri clan of Benjamin (1-Samuel 10:21).
It should be noted that the Tribe of Benjamin had almost been
exterminated in a Civil War against the other Tribes of Israel. A
handful of males
had survived and they received wives from the settlements of Jabesh-Gilead
in Manasseh (Judges 21:12) and from Shiloh in Ephraim (Judges 21:23).
Even though the surviving Benjaminites were few in number in principle
were the sole inheritors of the whole former territory of their
Tribe. Based on Biblical, sociological, and historical parallels
similar cases we are justified in assuming the following: The
Benjaminites married young and endeavored more than the other tribes to
have as many
children as possible. They also married mainly within their own circle
and were encouraged to take responsibility for the lands and abandoned
houses within their territory. The families were close knot and could
upon each other. Saul tended to run his whole kingdom through
network. This created a sense of nobility to permeate the whole Tribe
of Benjamin that never really left them (see "The Tribes"). Even today,
from a social status point of view, in the British Isles they say that
possessing a Norman family name does not hurt.
Despite their efforts the Tribe of Benjamin in the time of Saul was
still not fully recovered and was the smalled Tribe in Israel (1-Samuel
9:21). The Gibeonites were a non-Israelite people who had been
extended rights of protection by Joshua (Joshua chapter 9) against
of the rest of Israel (Joshua 9:18) . They dwelt alongside the tribe of
Benjamin (1-Chronicles 8:29). After the Civil War and defeat
Benjamin the Gibeonites would have been tempted to encroach upon the abandoned
lands and empty settlements of Benjamin. Saul redressed
this state of
affairs and drove the Gibeonites out. The efforts of Saul to assert
of his Tribe against those of the Gibeonites were accompanied by
unnecessary violence. We shall see later that David would be obliged
to hold some
of the sons of Saul guilty for crimes against the Gibeonites in the
service of their father (2-Samuel 21:6).
Saul had evidently redistributed property recovered from the
Gibeonites to members of his own kin.
This what Saul was referring to when he asked the Benjaminites around
"WILL THE SON OF JESSE GIVE EVERY ONE OF YOU FIELDS AND VINEYARDS, AND
MAKE YOU ALL CAPTAINS OF THOUSANDS, AND CAPTAINS OF HUNDREDS?" (1-Samuel
Saul had done well by his people giving them cultivated lands and
making them administrators over the kingdom. They would be unlikely to receive
the same treatment from David. This was a valid point made by Saul.
character of David was already known. When David did indeed
king his monarchy was marked by a tendency to take talented men as
administrators from wherever he found them including from amongst
foreigners. This too was to prove a mixed blessing.
[1-Samuel 22:8] THAT ALL OF YOU HAVE CONSPIRED AGAINST ME, AND THERE IS
NONE THAT SHEWETH ME THAT MY SON HATH MADE A LEAGUE WITH THE SON OF
JESSE, AND THERE IS NONE OF YOU THAT IS SORRY FOR ME, OR SHEWETH UNTO
MY SON HATH STIRRED UP MY SERVANT AGAINST ME, TO LIE IN WAIT, AS AT
[1-Samuel 22:9] THEN ANSWERED DOEG THE EDOMITE, WHICH WAS SET OVER
THE SERVANTS OF SAUL, AND SAID, I SAW THE SON OF JESSE COMING TO NOB,
AHIMELECH THE SON OF AHITUB.
" SERVANTS OF SAUL ": Hebrew "Avdei-Shaul". In Biblical
word for "servant" and for "slave" is "aved".
There are over words meaning minister, worker, official, helper, etc.
Nevertheless the usual word is "aved" and we need to rely on the
context to determine if the meaning is to a "slave" or to a "servant".
My understanding is that Doeg was of foreign Edomite origin (though
practised the Hebrew faith) and that he was in charge of the foreign slaves
(or voluntary servers
of the King) in the Court of Saul. If Doeg really was a foreigner there
may have been a problem with making him an official in charge of Israelites
(Deuteronomy 17:15) but this problem would not necessarily apply in the
case of foreign mercenaries and the like. Doeg thus held a distinct
separate status from the Benjaminites who otherwise dominated the Court
of Saul and whom Saul accused of secretly favoring David over himself.
It is only right to acknowledge that none of the Classical Commentators
appear to agree with us on this point though some of the more recent
ones agree that Doeg was of Edomite origin and not simply called "Edomite"
for some other reason.
Other explanations are also acceptable, e.g. a Roman Leader was
named "Germanicus Caesar" not because he was a German but rather
because he had become famous by waging a successful was against the Germans.
In Biblical times slavery was practised though the enslavement of
Israelites could not last longer than seven years and was more like
indentured servitude. Enslavement of foreigners was permitted but
too had rights.
In History every nation of the world has practised slavery.
Slavery is still practised all around the world especially in Muslim countries:
Historical Muslim Enslavement of Captives from the British Isles and
Asian Slaves of Muslims in the USA
Daniel Pipes: <<Although slavery was abolished in the [Saudi
Arabia] kingdom in 1962, the practice still flourishes there. Ranking
Saudi religious authorities endorse slavery; for example, Sheikh Saleh
Al-Fawzan recently that "Slavery is a part of Islam" and whoever wants
it abolished is "an infidel.">>
Muslim EnSlavement of Africans
"Egypt" in Biblical terms: "Egypt" in the Bibe is called "Mitsrayim".
The Hebrew term "Mitsrayim" in Scripture could apply to several
entitiesbut in Biblical History it was a name for what we now call
and for a portion of what is presently known as Saudi Arabia.
THE ARAB FRINGEAN ENQUIRY CONCERNING Musri, KUSH, MELUHHA AND MAGAN
Unless we repent:
Will the Saudis Think Themselves too Good to Buy Israelite Americans?
<<AND THE LORD SHALL BRING THEE INTO EGYPT ["Mistrayim"] AGAIN
SHIPS, BY THE WAY WHEREOF I SPAKE UNTO THEE, THOU SHALT SEE IT NO MORE AGAIN:
AND THERE YE SHALL BE SOLD UNTO YOUR ENEMIES FOR BONDMEN AND BONDWOMEN,
NO MAN SHALL BUY YOU>> [Deuteronomy 28:68]
[1-Samuel 22:10] AND HE ENQUIRED OF THE LORD FOR HIM, AND GAVE HIM
VICTUALS, AND GAVE HIM THE SWORD OF GOLIATH THE PHILISTINE.
[1-Samuel 22:11] THEN THE KING SENT TO CALL AHIMELECH THE PRIEST, THE
SON OF AHITUB, AND ALL HIS FATHER'S HOUSE, THE PRIESTS THAT WERE IN
AND THEY CAME ALL OF THEM TO THE KING.
[1-Samuel 22:12] AND SAUL SAID, HEAR NOW, THOU SON OF AHITUB. AND HE
ANSWERED, HERE I AM, MY LORD.
[1-Samuel 22:13] AND SAUL SAID UNTO HIM, WHY HAVE YE CONSPIRED AGAINST
ME, THOU AND THE SON OF JESSE, IN THAT THOU HAST GIVEN HIM BREAD,
SWORD, AND HAST ENQUIRED OF GOD FOR HIM, THAT HE SHOULD RISE AGAINST
LIE IN WAIT, AS AT THIS DAY?
[1-Samuel 22:14] THEN AHIMELECH ANSWERED THE KING, AND SAID, AND WHO IS
SO FAITHFUL AMONG ALL THY SERVANTS AS DAVID, WHICH IS THE KING'S SON
LAW, AND GOETH AT THY BIDDING, AND IS HONOURABLE IN THINE HOUSE?
[1-Samuel 22:15] DID I THEN BEGIN TO ENQUIRE OF GOD FOR HIM? BE IT FAR
FROM ME: LET NOT THE KING IMPUTE ANY THING UNTO HIS SERVANT, NOR TO
HOUSE OF MY FATHER: FOR THY SERVANT KNEW NOTHING OF ALL THIS, LESS OR MORE.
[1-Samuel 22:16] AND THE KING SAID, THOU SHALT SURELY DIE, AHIMELECH,
THOU, AND ALL THY FATHER'S HOUSE.
[1-Samuel 22:17] AND THE KING SAID UNTO THE FOOTMEN THAT STOOD ABOUT
HIM, TURN, AND SLAY THE PRIESTS OF THE LORD: BECAUSE THEIR HAND ALSO IS
DAVID, AND BECAUSE THEY KNEW WHEN HE FLED, AND DID NOT SHEW IT TO ME.
BUT THE SERVANTS OF THE KING WOULD NOT PUT FORTH THEIR HAND TO FALL UPON
THE PRIESTS OF THE LORD.
[1-Samuel 22:18] AND THE KING SAID TO DOEG, TURN THOU, AND FALL UPON
THE PRIESTS. AND DOEG THE EDOMITE TURNED, AND HE FELL UPON THE PRIESTS,
SLEW ON THAT DAY FOURSCORE AND FIVE PERSONS THAT DID WEAR A LINEN
[1-Samuel 22:19] AND NOB, THE CITY OF THE PRIESTS, SMOTE HE WITH THE
EDGE OF THE SWORD, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, CHILDREN AND SUCKLINGS, AND
AND ASSES, AND SHEEP, WITH THE EDGE OF THE SWORD.
Saul used the fact that he suspected the Priests (Cohens) of helping
David as an excuse to wipe out their entire city. Radak suggests that
was only an excuse and that there was another reason behind it all.
Nevertheless Saul gave the order and Doeg (with his "servants") carried
[1-Samuel 22:20] AND ONE OF THE SONS OF AHIMELECH THE SON OF AHITUB,
NAMED ABIATHAR, ESCAPED, AND FLED AFTER DAVID.
<<ABIATHAR>>: This name in Hebrew means "Avi" (Abi) –My Father-
(Received Extra) BUT it can also be interpreted to mean <<"Avi"
–My Father- "Yatar" (Had Remaining)>> i.e. "I (the bearer of the name)
THE ONE WHO WILL REMAIN FOR MY FATHER". All the other children
father were killed. Only Abiathar remained. The name therefore had prophetic
significance (as names often do) but not that intended when the name was
[1-Samuel 22:21] AND ABIATHAR SHEWED DAVID THAT SAUL HAD SLAIN THE LORD'S
[1-Samuel 22:22] AND DAVID SAID UNTO ABIATHAR, I KNEW IT THAT DAY, WHEN
DOEG THE EDOMITE WAS THERE, THAT HE WOULD SURELY TELL SAUL: I HAVE
OCCASIONED THE DEATH OF ALL THE PERSONS OF THY FATHER'S HOUSE.
This was true. At the time Doeg had committed no wrong and he was
innocent man. Nevertheless if David knew that Doeg would inform on him
and that the result of this informing would occasion the death of others
David should have killed Doeg.
God was preparing David to be king over all Israel.
There were lessons he had to learn and some of them he learnt the hard way.
This is in effect a major theme of this whole section.
The Sages said that, "Someone who is kind to the cruel will
eventually be cruel to the kind."
In the Israeli War of Independence of 1948 the Jewish settlements of
Gush Etzion (south of Jerusalem) were under siege. A group of soldiers was
sent at night to help sustain the position. The success of their mission
depended upon it not being discovered by the enemy. On their way the
relieving force came across an elderly Arab. The had pity on him and
let him go. The old "Palestinian" naturally informed on them and they
ambushed and all 35 of them massacred and the settlements were lost
the adversary forces.
"BE NOT RIGHTEOUS OVER MUCH; NEITHER MAKE THYSELF OVER WISE: WHY
SHOULDEST THOU DESTROY THYSELF?" ["Ecclesiastes": The Preacher 7:16]
We saw (in Chapter 15) how Saul was commanded to wipe out the
Amalekites and every living being that belonged to them. Saul did
not fulfill the
<<AND HE TOOK AGAG THE KING OF THE AMALEKITES ALIVE, AND UTTERLY
DESTROYED ALL THE PEOPLE WITH THE EDGE OF THE SWORD.
<< BUT SAUL AND THE PEOPLE SPARED AGAG, AND THE BEST OF THE SHEEP,
OF THE OXEN, AND OF THE FATLINGS, AND THE LAMBS, AND ALL THAT WAS
GOOD, AND WOULD NOT UTTERLY DESTROY THEM: BUT EVERY THING THAT WAS VILE
REFUSE, THAT THEY DESTROYED UTTERLY>>
As a result of this disobedience it was decreed that the kindship
would be taken from Saul (1-Samuel 15:23) and shortly after Saul began to
from bouts of insanity (1-Samuel 16:14).
What Saul failed to do to the Amalekites he commanded to be done to the
settlement of "NOB, THE CITY OF THE PRIESTS".
Is "Nob" to be repeated?
So to, in our days the Israeli Establishment ands their American
backers proved themselves too soft-hearted to expell the Arab
squatters occupying the territories of Judah and Samaria.
Instead they now intend to do the the Jews what they should have done
to the Arabs.
[1-Samuel 22:23] ABIDE THOU WITH ME, FEAR NOT: FOR HE THAT SEEKETH MY
LIFE SEEKETH THY LIFE: BUT WITH ME THOU SHALT BE IN SAFEGUARD
"And I will bless them that bless you" (Genesis 12:15).