|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 19, 20. - On hearing where David was, Saul sends messengers to arrest him, and we thus incidentally gain a most interesting account of the inner condition of Samuel's schools. Evidently after Saul had become king Samuel devoted his main energies to this noble effort to raise Israel from the barbarous depths into which it had sunk; and when the messengers arrive they enter some hall, where they find a regularly organised choir, consisting not of "sons of the prophets," young men still under training, but of prophets, men who had finished their preparatory studies, and arrived at a higher elevation. The Chaldee Paraphrast calls them scribes; and doubtless those educated in Samuel's schools held an analogous position to that of the scribes in later days. And Samuel himself was standing - not as appointed over them; he was the founder and originator of these schools, and all authority was derived from him. What the Hebrew says is that he was "standing as chief over them," and they, frill of Divine enthusiasm, were chanting psalms to God's glory. So noble was the sight, that Saul's messengers on entering were seized with a like enthusiasm, and, laying aside their murderous purpose, joined in the hearty service of the prophetic sanctuary. Instead of they saw the Hebrew has "he saw," but as all the versions have the plural, it is probably a mere mistake. The Hebrew word for company is found only here. By transposing the letters we have the ordinary word for congregation, but possibly it was their own technical name for some peculiar arrangement of the choir.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it was told Saul,.... By some officious persons who saw David at Ramah, and observed that he and Samuel went together to Naioth:
saying, behold, David is at Naioth, in Ramah; or near it; according to R. Isaiah, Ramah was the name of a hill, or mountain, so called from its height, and Naioth the name of a place on it; it signifies pastures and pleasant places, as meadows and pastures are; and here in the fields near Ramah was the house of doctrine, as the Targum calls it, or the school of the prophets, being pleasant and retired, and fit for study.
1 Samuel 19:19 Parallel Commentaries
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