|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:12-30 Jesse little thought of sending his son to the army at that critical juncture; but the wise God orders actions and affairs, so as to serve his designs. In times of general formality and lukewarmness, every degree of zeal which implies readiness to go further, or to venture more in the cause of God than others, will be blamed as pride and ambition, and by none more than by near relations, like Eliab, or negligent superiors. It was a trial of David's meekness, patience, and constancy. He had right and reason on his side, and did not render railing for railing; with a soft answer he turned away his brother's wrath. This conquest of his own passion was more honourable than that of Goliath. Those who undertake great and public services, must not think it strange if they are spoken ill of, and opposed by those from whom they expect support and assistance. They must humbly go on with their work, in the face not only of enemies' threats, but of friends' slights and suspicions.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand,.... Their chiliarch or colonel, who had the command of 1000 men, and under whom Jesse's sons fought; Jarchi thinks this was Jonathan, who had 1000 men with him at Gibeah, and so now, 1 Samuel 13:2, these cheeses were sent by Jesse to the captain, to be distributed among his men, or a present to himself, that he might use his sons well who were under his command:
and look how thy brethren fare; whether in good health, in good spirits, and in safety:
and take their pledge; that is, if they had been obliged for want of money to pawn any of their clothes, or what they had with them to buy food with, that he would redeem and take up the pledge, by paying the money for which they were pawned; for it is thought that soldiers at this time were not maintained at the expense of the king and government, but at their own, and the families to which they belonged: though some are of opinion that this was some token which they had sent by a messenger to their father, by which he might know he came from them, so Ben Gersom; and which David was now to take with him, and return it; or a token that he was to bring from them, whereby he might be assured of their welfare; and so the Targum, "and bring their goodness", a token of their being in good health. The Jews (z) understand it of bills of divorce to be given to their wives, that if they should die in battle, or be taken captive, that their wives might marry after three years.
(z) Hieron. Trad. Heb. in lib. Reg. fol. 76. D.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. carry these ten cheeses to the captain—to enlist his kind attention. Oriental cheeses are very small; and although they are frequently made of so soft a consistence as to resemble curds, those which David carried seem to have been fully formed, pressed, and sufficiently dried to admit of their being carried.
take their pledge—Tokens of the soldiers' health and safety were sent home in the convenient form of a lock of their hair, or piece of their nail, or such like.
1 Samuel 17:18 Parallel Commentaries
1 Samuel 17:18 NIV
1 Samuel 17:18 NLT
1 Samuel 17:18 ESV
1 Samuel 17:18 NASB
1 Samuel 17:18 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible