King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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1 Samuel 29

David objected to by the Philistines. (1-5) He is dismissed by Achish. (6-11)

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David objected to by the Philistines

1 Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel.

2 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.

3 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?

4 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?

5 Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?

He is dismissed by Achish

6 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.

7 Wherefore now return, and go in peace, that thou displease not the lords of the Philistines.

8 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?

9 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.

10 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.

11 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.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Aphec. Hence they proceeded to Sunam, and attacked Saul, near the fountain, which were all places in the vale of Jezrahel. The sacred writer thus leaves the two armies ready to engage, being intent on giving the particulars of David’s history, and only relating the affairs of Saul, &c. in as much as they may refer to him. C. — David had retired from the army of the Philistines before Saul went to Endor, and some of the tribe of Manasses went after him, and were present in the battle, in which the Amalecites were slain and plundered. 1 Par. xii. 19. Salien.

Ver. 2. Thousands, making the troops pass in review, as the Hebrew insinuates. Their army seems to have been divided, in the same manner as that of the Israelites, each company of 10, 50, &c. having its respective officer, under the five lords. — Were. Heb. “passed.” David’s band was connected with the troops of Achis, yet so that they might be easily distinguished by their dress, &c. C. — The Roman Triarii, who were esteemed the bravest soldiers, occupied the rear. M. — Josephus gives us to understand that Achis was the commander in chief. Ant. vi. 14. T.

Ver. 3. Know David. It seems they were not unacquainted with him, since they knew that Achis had given him a place, (v. 4,) or city. H. — But they prudently judged that it would be very hazardous to employ him on this occasion. Providence thus brought him honourably out of the scrape, as he could not have remained even inactive, among the troops of the Philistines, without rendering himself suspected both to them and to his own people. C. — Years. Abulensis thinks that Achis told an untruth, to persuade the lords that he had been long witness of David’s fidelity. He might also allude to the first time, when he came to his court, or the four months specified C. xxvii. 9, might fall into different years. Sept. “he has been with us days, this is the second year.” M. — Syr. “two years (Arab. “one year,”) and some months.” C. — The true term was only four months. W.

Ver. 4. Adversary. Heb. Satan, “a calumniator, enemy,” &c. C. — Tacitus (Hist. iv.) speaking of the Batavian corps, says, “which, being bribed, pretended to be faithful, that it might flee, and become more acceptable after it had betrayed the Romans in the heat of the engagement.”

Ver. 6. Lord. Heb. Jehova. H. — Achis speaks of the true God, as David was accustomed to do. Salien. — Perhaps he adored him, like his other gods; as the Israelites are accused of swearing by the Lord and by Melchom. Soph. i. 5. — The pagans often appealed to the gods of those with whom they were treating. C.

Ver. 8. King. He speaks thus that he might not increase the suspicions of the Philistines. M. — In the mean time, God called him to fight against Amalec, and to defend his own property, which was actually, or the next day, taken from Siceleg; (H.) so that nothing could have been more desirable to him, than to be thus dismissed with applause. Salien.

Ver. 9. Angel of God, equally incapable of any meanness. The pagans admitted the existence of good and of evil spirits. Sanctius. This exaggerated compliment occurs, Gen. xxxiii. 10. 2 K. xiv. 17. and xix. 27.

Ver. 10. Thy Lord. He may allude to Saul, (v. 3,) or to himself, (C. v. 8,) or to God, as David was under obligations to all three. H. — Light, that none might know or be dejected, in the rest of the army. M.