King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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1 Samuel 19

Jonathan reconciles his father to David, Saul again tries to slay him. (1-10) David flees to Samuel. (11-24)

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Jonathan reconciles his father to David, Saul again tries to slay him

1 And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.

2 But Jonathan Saul’s son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself:

3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee.

4 And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good:

5 For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?

6 And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.

7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as in times past.

8 And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled from him.

9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.

10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin: but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.

David flees to Samuel

11 Saul also sent messengers unto David’s house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David’s wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain.

12 So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.

13 And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth.

14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick.

15 And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him.

16 And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster.

17 And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee?

18 So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.

19 And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.

20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.

21 And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.

22 Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah.

23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.

24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Jonathan. He was most interested, as David might be feared as a competitor; (M.) and, under the cloak of friendship, he might more easily destroy him. Saul was a stranger to the generous sentiments of his son, or he would never have made the proposal. H. — Grotius compares him with Germanicus. C.

Ver. 2. Morning. Sept. add, “to-morrow.” M.

Ver. 3. Field. Saul would come thither, or Jonathan would sound his father’s disposition, and give David information in the place appointed. C.

Ver. 3. Hand, in danger. M.

Ver. 6. Slain. His inconstant temper might cause him to be moved with the expostulation of his son; but he presently relapsed, if he were ever sincere. C. — The Scripture seems to insinuate that he was. M.

Ver. 9. Saul. His jealousy was again enkindled by the success of David. C. — Hand, on music, to assuage the paroxysms o the king’s fury. H.

Ver. 11. Morning, fearing lest they might miss him in the night, (Salien) and perhaps desiring to see his execution, after he had been tried. Joseph. — The Philistines would not attack Samson at night. See Judg. xvi. 2. Ex. xiv. 20. The Parthians and Mahometans will do nothing at that time; moved perhaps by some superstitious notion. C.

Ver. 13. Image. Heb. Teraphim. Aquila, “figures.” Sym. “idols.” Some believe that David had idols in his house, as ornaments, or to treat them with ignominy. Mercer. — But others cannot persuade themselves that he would keep such dangerous things. What Michol took, might therefore be some sacred representation, or a statue of some great man. Genebrard. (Kimchi. Maim.) Or it might be some piece of wood, or clothes folded up, so as to make the guards believe that David was in bed. Bochart, Anim. i. 2. 51. See Gen. xxxi. 19. C. — They would not examine very narrowly. H. — The Taraphim denote both idolatrous and sacred things. Ose. iii. 4. M. — Skin. Vat. and Alex. Sept. “liver,” still warm and in motion. T. — But they have followed a false reading, as well as Josephus and Aquila. C. — Some have inferred that the hair of goats in that country is reddish, because it was designed to resemble David’s hair, of the same colour. T. — This is, however, uncertain. The skin might form his pillow or coverlet. C.

Ver. 14. Sick. This is an officious lie. She tells another to excuse herself, v. 17. The children of Saul strive to prevent their father’s cruelty, by taking part with the innocent David. H. — It is thought that David composed the 68th Psalm, Eripe, &c. on this occasion. C.

Ver. 19. Najoth. It was probably a school or college or prophets, in or near Ramatha, under the direction of Samuel. Ch. — Chal. “in the house of doctrine.” See C. x. 5. M.

Ver. 20. Prophesying. That is, singing praises to God by a divine impulse. God was pleased on this occasion that both Saul’s messengers and himself should experience the like impulse, that he might understand, by this instance of the divine power, how vain are the designs of man against him whom God protects. Ch. — The messengers did not return. M. — They were seized by the spirit only when they arrived at Najoth. But Saul felt the impression even at Socho, threw aside his garments, and began to act and to speak as one inspired. C.

Ver. 24. Naked. Divested of his regal ornaments, (T.) though not in an indecent posture. People are said to be undressed, when they have not such clothes on as might be expected. Hesiod and Virgil say, Nudus ara, sere nudus; hiems ignava colono. “Plough and sow naked; choose a fine season for work, and rest in winter.” H. See Mic. i. 8. 2 K. vi. 20. — Yet some assert (C.) that Saul was entirely undressed, as some pretended prophets and slaves go in the hot countries. Isai. xx. 1. We are not to judge of the indecency of such behaviour from our own manners. Some copies read cecinit, (C.) and the Douay Bible has “and sang naked.” H. — Saul had not the gift of prophecy, like holy men, but only like Balaam’s ass, for a time. S. Aug. ad Simp. ii. 1. W. — Prophets. This is something wonderful. M. — The proverb was now confirmed. C. x. 11. C.