1 Samuel 21:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.

New Living Translation
So he pretended to be insane, scratching on doors and drooling down his beard.

English Standard Version
So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard.

New American Standard Bible
So he disguised his sanity before them, and acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard.

King James Bible
And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
so he pretended to be insane in their presence. He acted like a madman around them, scribbling on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.

International Standard Version
So David changed his behavior before them and acted like he was crazy in their presence. He scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down his beard.

NET Bible
He altered his behavior in their presence. Since he was in their power, he pretended to be insane, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting his saliva run down his beard.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So he changed his behavior [when he was] in their presence and acted insane [as long as he was] under their authority. He scribbled on the doors of the city gate and let his spit run down his beard.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he changed his behaviour before them and feigned himself a fool in their hands and scrabbled on the doors of the gate and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

King James 2000 Bible
And he changed his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and made marks on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

American King James Version
And he changed his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down on his beard.

American Standard Version
And he changed his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he changed his countenance before them, and slipt down between their hands: and he stumbled against the doors of the gate, and his spittle ran down upon his beard.

Darby Bible Translation
And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down on his beard.

English Revised Version
And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he changed his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

World English Bible
He changed his behavior before them, and pretended to be mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down on his beard.

Young's Literal Translation
and changeth his behaviour before their eyes, and feigneth himself mad in their hand, and scribbleth on the doors of the gate, and letteth down his spittle unto his beard.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

21:10-15 God's persecuted people have often found better usage from Philistines than from Israelites. David had reason to put confidence in Achish, yet he began to be afraid. His conduct was degrading, and discovered wavering in his faith and courage. The more simply we depend on God, and obey him, the more comfortably and surely we shall walk through this troublesome world.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 13. - He changed his behaviour. The same word is used in the title of Psalm 34. Literally it means "his taste," and, like the Latin word sapientia, is derived from the action of the palate, and so from the faculty of discriminating flavours it came to signify the power of discrimination generally. Thus "to change his taste" means to act as if he had lost the power of distinguishing between objects. Feigned himself mad. Literally, "he roamed hither and thither" restlessly and in terror. In their hands. I.e. before them, in their presence. Scrabbled on the doors of the gate. The Vulgate and Septuagint read drummed upon them. Literally the verb means "to make the mark of a Tau," the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and which anciently was in the form of a cross. The gate, on the leaves of which David scrawled, was probably that of the court or waiting room, in which the servants of Achish passed their time when in attendance upon him. Possibly David had witnessed these symptoms of madness in Saul's case during his fits of insanity. The idea of some of the older commentators, that David really for a time went out of his mind, is opposed to the general sense of the narrative.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he changed his behaviour before them,.... Behaved like a fool, or a madman: or changed his "taste" (s); which some understand of his reason, acted as if he was deprived of it; and others of his speech, his words and the accent of them, drawled them out, as such persons do:

and feigned himself mad in their hands; for in their hands he was, being taken by them, as the title of the fifty sixth psalm shows, Psalm 56:1; and this stratagem he used to get himself out of their hands, acting the part of a madman, delirious, and out of his senses:

and scrabbled on the doors of the gate; as if he was writing something there, and making marks upon them:

and let his spittle fall down upon his beard; slavered, as idiots and madmen do; and however mean this may seem in David to act such a part, it cannot be condemned as wicked, since it was only a stratagem to deliver himself, out of an enemy's hand, and stratagems are always allowed to be used against an enemy; and such a method as this has been taken by men of the greatest sense and wit, as by Brutus (t) and Solon (u); and yet, according to the Vulgate Latin and Septuagint versions, this case of his was real and not feigned; that through the surprise of being known in the court of Achish, he was seized with an epilepsy; that his countenance was changed, and his mouth distorted, as persons in such fits are; that he fell among them as one convulsed, and fell at, and dashed against the doors of the gates, and foamed at the mouth, as such persons do; see Luke 9:39; and so in the following words the Greek version is, ye see the man is an epileptic; I do not want epileptics; but the thirty fourth and fifty sixth psalms, composed by him at this time, show that as he was of a sound mind, so in good health of body, and not subject to such fits as here represented, see Psalm 34:1; which would have rendered him unfit for such composures.

(s) "sensum suum", Montanus, Vatablus; "sermonem suum", Pagninus. (t) Liv. Hist. l. 1. c. 56. Aurel. Victor. de Vir. Illustr. c. 13. (u) Justin e Trogo, l. 2. c. 7.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13. feigned himself mad—It is supposed to have been an attack of epilepsy, real or perhaps only pretended. This disease is relieved by foaming at the mouth.

let his spittle fall down upon his beard—No wonder that Achish supposed him insane, as such an indignity, whether done by another, or one's self, to the beard, is considered in the East an intolerable insult.

1 Samuel 21:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
David Flees to Gath
12David took these words to heart and greatly feared Achish king of Gath. 13So he disguised his sanity before them, and acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard. 14Then Achish said to his servants, "Behold, you see the man behaving as a madman. Why do you bring him to me?…
Cross References
Leviticus 13:29
"If a man or woman has a sore on their head or chin,

1 Samuel 21:14
Achish said to his servants, "Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me?

Psalm 34:1
Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left. I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
Treasury of Scripture

And he changed his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down on his beard.

changed

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare: but whoever puts his trust in the …

Ecclesiastes 7:7 Surely oppression makes a wise man mad; and a gift destroys the heart.

scrabbled. or, made marks

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Alphabetical: a acted and be beard before disguised doors down gate hands he his in insane insanely into let letting like madman making marks of on presence pretended run saliva sanity scribbled So the their them to was while

OT History: 1 Samuel 21:13 He changed his behavior before them (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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