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1Sa 21:1-7. DAVID, AT NOB, OBTAINS OF AHIMELECH HALLOWED BREAD.
1. Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech--Nob, a city of the priests
was in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives--a little
north of the top, and on the northeast of the city. It is computed to
have been about five miles distant from Gibeah. Ahimelech, the same as
Ahiah, or perhaps his brother, both being sons of Ahitub (compare
with 1Sa 22:4-11, 20).
His object in fleeing to this place was partly for the supply of his
necessities, and partly for comfort and counsel, in the prospect of
leaving the kingdom.
2. The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know--This was a direct falsehood, extorted through fear. David probably supposed, like many other persons, that a lie is quite excusable which is told for the sole purpose of saving the speaker's life. But what is essentially sinful, can never, from circumstances, change its immoral character; and David had to repent of this vice of lying (Ps 119:29).
4. there is hallowed bread--There would be plenty of bread in his house; but there was no time to wait for it. "The hallowed bread" was the old shew-bread, which had been removed the previous day, and which was reserved for the use of the priests alone (Le 24:9). Before entertaining the idea that this bread could be lawfully given to David and his men, the high priest seems to have consulted the oracle (1Sa 22:10) as to the course to be followed in this emergency. A dispensation to use the hallowed bread was specially granted by God Himself.
5. these three days--as required by law
David and his attendants seem to have been lurking in some of the
adjoining caves, to elude pursuit, and to have been, consequently,
reduced to great extremities of hunger.
6. there was no bread there--in the tabernacle. The removal of the old and the substitution of the new bread was done on the Sabbath (Le 24:8), the loaves being kept warm in an oven heated the previous day.
7. Doeg, an Edomite--who had embraced the Hebrew religion.
1Sa 21:9. HE TAKES GOLIATH'S SWORD.
9. sword of Goliath--(See on
1Sa 21:10-15. AT GATH HE FEIGNS HIMSELF MAD.
10. David . . . fled . . . to Achish the king of Gath--which was one of the five principalities of the Philistines. In this place his person must have been known, and to venture into that country, he their greatest enemy, and with the sword of Goliath in his hand, would seem to have been a perilous experiment; but, doubtless, the protection he received implies that he had been directed by the divine oracle. Achish was generous (1Sa 27:6). He might wish to weaken the resources of Saul, and it was common in ancient times for great men to be harbored by neighboring princes.
13. feigned himself mad--It is supposed to have been an attack of
epilepsy, real or perhaps only pretended. This disease is relieved by
foaming at the mouth.