|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:11-24 Michal's stratagem to gain time till David got to a distance was allowable, but her falsehood had not even the plea of necessity to excuse it, and manifests that she was not influenced by the same spirit of piety which had dictated Jonathan's language to Saul. In flying to Samuel, David made God his refuge. Samuel, as a prophet, was best able to advise him what to do in this day of distress. He met with little rest or satisfaction in Saul's court, therefore went to seek it in Samuel's church. What little pleasure is to be had in this world, those have who live a life of communion with God; to that David returned in the time of trouble. So impatient was Saul after David's blood, so restless against him, that although baffled by one providence after another, he could not see that David was under the special protection of God. And when God will take this way to protect David, even Saul prophesies. Many have great gifts, yet no grace; they may prophesy in Christ's name, yet are disowned by him. Let us daily seek for renewing grace, which shall be in us as a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Let us cleave to truth and holiness with full purpose of heart. In every danger and trouble, let us seek protection, comfort, and direction in God's ordinances.
Verses 14-17. - When, after waiting till the usual hour for David's appearance, he came not, the watchers send and inform Saul, who now orders his open arrest. But Michal despatches a messenger to tell her father that he is sick. Upon this Saul orders bed and all to be brought, that he may slay him. As an Oriental bed is usually a mere strip of carpet, this would be easy enough. But when the messengers force their way through, in spite of every obstruction which Michal can devise to waste time, and come up close to the sleeping figure, "Lo, teraphim in the bed, and a goatskin at its head." They carry the news to Saul, who sends for Michal, and reproaches her for letting his enemy go. And she, afraid of bringing her father's anger upon herself, answers with a falsehood, such as we find David also too readily having resort to; for she tells Saul that his flight was David's own doing, and that she had taken part in it only to save her life. Why should I kill thee? She pretends that David had told her not to force him to kill her by refusing to give her aid in his escape. Saul, no doubt, saw that she had been a willing agent; but as she professed to have been driven to do what she had done by David's threats, he could say no more. DAVID'S FLIGHT TO SAMUEL AT RAMAH (vers. 18-24).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when Saul sent messengers to take David,.... Either the same who in the morning inquired for David, or those staying longer than Saul expected, and fearing they were negligent or corrupted, he sent others: to whom
she said, he is sick; and in bed, and cannot be spoke with; this lie she told through her affection to David, and to preserve his life; and this stratagem she devised to gain time, that while she was amusing the messengers with this tale of hers, before they could discover the truth of the matter David would be out of their reach; whereas, had she denied his being at home, or signified that he had made his escape, they would have immediately pursued after him, and he would have been in danger of being taken by them.
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