|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:1-5 See what weak instruments God sometimes uses, to bring about his own purposes. The Son of David is ready to receive distressed souls, who will be commanded by him. He receives all who come unto Him, however vile and miserable; he changes them into a holy people, and employs them in his service: those who would reign with him must be contented first to suffer with and for him. Observe with what tender concern David provided for his aged parents. The first thing he does is to find them a quiet habitation, whatever became of himself. Let children learn to honour their parents, in every thing consulting their ease and satisfaction. Though highly preferred, and much employed, let them not forget their aged parents. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. And the Lord will preserve his people for their appointed work, however they may be hated and exposed.
Verse 1. - The cave Adullam. According to Josephus this was situated near a city of the same name ('Ant.,' 6:12, 3), which formed one of a group of fifteen in the Shephelah (see on 1 Samuel 17:1), and its site has now been recovered by Mr. Conder (see 'Tent Work,' 2:156-160). "The great valley," he says, "of Elah, which forms the highway from Philistia to Hebron, runs down northwards past Keilah and Hareth, dividing the low hills of the Shephelah from the rocky mountains of Judah. Eight miles from the valley head stands Shochoh,... and two and a half miles south of this is a very large and ancient terebinth." This stands on "the west side of the vale, just where a small tributary ravine joins the main valley; and on the south of this ravine is a high rounded hill, almost isolated by valleys, and covered with ruins, a natural fortress," the site of the city Adullam. David's cave, he considers, would not be one of the larger caverns, as these are seldom used for habitations; but "the sides of the tributary valley are lined with rows of caves, and these we found inhabited, and full of flocks and herds; but still more interesting was the discovery of a separate cave on the hill itself, a low, smoke-blackened burrow, which was the home of a single family. We could not but suppose, as we entered this gloomy abode, that our feet were standing in the very footprints of the shepherd king, who here, encamped between the Philistines and the Jews, covered the line of advance on the cornfields of Keilah, and was but three miles distant from the thickets of Hareth." After describing the fine view from this hill, which is about 500 feet high, he adds, "There is ample room to have accommodated David's 400 men in the caves, and they are, as we have seen, still inhabited." Thus then David's cave was one of many in the Terebinth valley and the ravine opening into it, and was not far from Gath, though over the border. Here his brethren and all his father's house joined him through fear of Saul. Among these would be Joab, Abishai, and Asahel, his cousins; and we learn how great was the love and enthusiasm which David was able to inspire among them from the feat of the three heroes, of whom Abishai was one, who, while he was in the cave of Adullam, and a garrison of the Philistines at Bethlehem, broke through them to bring David water from the well there (2 Samuel 23:13-17). As Bethlehem was thus held by the Philistines, there was double reason for the flight of Jesse's family; and it is a proof how thoroughly Saul's government had broken down that, while Samuel could maintain a son at Beersheba as judge (1 Samuel 8:24 Saul was unable to defend places so much more distant from the Philistine border.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
David therefore departed from thence,.... From Gath, being driven by Achish from his court, and let go by his servants, and glad he was of the deliverance:
and escaped to the cave Adullam; which was no doubt near to a city of the same name in the tribe of Judah, of which See Gill on Joshua 15:35; this being a strong place, and in his own tribe, he might hope to be in greater safety; here he penned his hundred forty second psalm, see Psalm 142:1,
and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it; that he was come thither:
they went down thither to him; to visit and comfort him, counsel and assist him all they could; and chiefly to secure themselves from the rage and malice of Saul, who they might fear would fall upon them, and avenge himself on them for David's sake.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1Sa 22:1-8. David's Kindred and Others Resort to Him at Adullam.
1. David … escaped to the cave Adullam—supposed to be that now called Deir-Dubban, a number of pits or underground vaults, some nearly square, and all about fifteen or twenty feet deep, with perpendicular sides, in the soft limestone or chalky rocks. They are on the borders of the Philistine plain at the base of the Judea mountains, six miles southwest from Beth-lehem, and well adapted for concealing a number of refugees.
his brethren and all his father's house … went down—to escape the effects of Saul's rage, which seems to have extended to all David's family. From Beth-lehem to Deir-Dubban it is, indeed, a descent all the way.
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