XXIX The princes of the Philistines object against David's going with them to the battle, ver. 1-5. He is dismissed by Achish, ver. 6-11.
Verse 2. With Achish - As the life-guard of Achish. Achish being, as it seems, the general of the army.
Verse 3. The princes - The Lords of the other eminent cities, who were confederate with him in this expedition. These days or years - That is, did I say days? I might have said years. He hath now been with me a full year and four months, chap. xxvii, 7, and he was with me some years ago, chap. xxi, 10, and since their time hath been known to me. And it is not improbable, but David, after his escape from thence, might hold some correspondence with Achish, as finding him to be a man of a more generous temper than the rest of the Philistines, and supposing that he might have need of him for a refuge, in case Saul continued to seek his life. Since he fell - Revolted, or left his own king to turn to me.
Verse 4. Make this fellow - Herein the wise and gracious providence of God appeared, both in helping him out of these difficulties, out of which no human wit could have extricated him, but he must have been, an ungrateful person either to the one or the other side, and moreover in giving him the happy opportunity of recovering his own, and his all from the Amalekites, which had been irrecoverably lost, if he had gone into this battle. And the kindness of God to David was the greater, because it had been most just for God to have left David in those distresses into which his own sinful counsel had brought him. These men - That is, of these our soldiers, they speak according to the rules of true policy; for by this very course, great enemies have sometimes been reconciled together.
Verse 8. David said &c. - This was deep dissimulation and flattery, no way to be justified. None knows, how strong a temptation they are in to compliment and dissemble, which they are in who attend great men.
Verse 9. Angel of God - In whom nothing is blame-worthy. The Heathens acknowledged good spirits, which also they worshipped as an inferior sort of deities, who were messengers and ministers to the supreme God; Achish had learned the title of angels, from the Israelites his neighbours, and especially from David's conversation.
Verse 11. Rose up early - David did not then know, how necessary this was, for the relief of his own city. But God knew it well, and sent him thither accordingly. On how many occasions may he say, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter?