Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel.
And the lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands: but David and his men passed on in the rereward with Achish.
Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here? And Achish said unto the princes of the Philistines, Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, which hath been with me these days, or these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell unto me unto this day?
Is not this David
These words seem to mark no definite time; and may be understood thus: "Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me for a considerable time?"
And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men?
Make this fellow
The princes reasoned wisely, according to the common practice of mankind; and it was well for David that they were such good politicians: it was ordered by a gracious Providence that they refused to let David go with them to this battle, in which he must have been either an enemy to his country, or false to his friends and to his trust. Had he fought for the Philistines, he would have fought against God and his country; and had he in the battle gone over to the Israelites, he would have deceived and become a traitor to the hospitable Achish. God therefore delivered him from such disgrace; and by the same kind Providence he was sent back to rescue his wives, and the wives and children of his people, from captivity.
Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?
Then Achish called David, and said unto him, Surely, as the LORD liveth, thou hast been upright, and thy going out and thy coming in with me in the host is good in my sight: for I have not found evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day: nevertheless the lords favour thee not.
I have not
the lords favour, etc
Heb. thou art not good in the eyes of the lords.
Wherefore now return, and go in peace, that thou displease not the lords of the Philistines.
Heb. do not evil in the eyes of the lords.
And David said unto Achish, But what have I done? and what hast thou found in thy servant so long as I have been with thee unto this day, that I may not go fight against the enemies of my lord the king?
But what have
Heb. before. that I may not.
And Achish answered and said to David, I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle.
as an angel
Wherefore now rise up early in the morning with thy master's servants that are come with thee: and as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart.
So David and his men rose up early to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
And the Philistines
Jezreel, or EsdrÊlon, was a city of Issachar, afterwards celebrated as the residence of the kings of Israel, delightfully situated in the extensive and fertile plain of the same name, which extends from Scythopolis or Bethshan on the east to mount Carmel on the west. Eusebius and Jerome inform us, that it was in their time a place of considerable consequence, lying between Scythopolis on the east and Legio on the west; and the latter (on Ho 1.) informs us that it was pretty near Maximianopolis. The Jerusalem Itinerary places it ten miles west from Scythopolis; and William of Tyre says it was called Little Gerinum in his time, and that there was a fine fountain in it, whose waters fell into the Jordan near Scythopolis. See ver. 1.