|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:8-15 David was falsely charged with seeking Saul's hurt; he shows Saul that God's providence had given him opportunity to do it. And it was upon a good principle that he refused to do it. He declares his fixed resolution never to be his own avenger. If men wrong us, God will right us, at farthest, in the judgment of the great day.
Verses 14, 15. - Finally, David makes a pathetic appeal to Saul, contrasting him in his grandeur as the king of Israel with the fugitive whom he so relentlessly persecuted. In calling himself a dead dog he implies that he was at once despicable and powerless. Even more insignificant is a flea, Hebrew, "one flea," "a single flea." The point is lost by omitting the numeral. David means that it is unworthy of a king to go forth with 3000 men to hunt a single flea. As the king's conduct is thus both unjust and foolish, David therefore appeals to Jehovah to be judge and plead his cause, i.e. be his advocate, and state the proofs of his innocence. For deliver me out of thy hand, the Hebrew is, "will judge me out of thy hand," i.e. will judge me, and by doing so justly will deliver me from thy power.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
After whom is the king of Israel come out?.... From his court and palace, with an army of men, and at the head of them:
after whom dost thou pursue? with such eagerness and fury:
after a dead dog; as David was in the opinion, and according to the representation of his enemies, a dog, vile, mean, worthless, of no account; a dead dog, whose name was made to stink through the calumnies cast upon him; and if a dead dog, then as he was an useless person, and could do no good, so neither could he do any hurt, not so much as bark, much less bite; and therefore it was unworthy of so great a prince, a lessening, a degrading of himself, as well as a vain and impertinent thing, to pursue after such an one, that was not worthy of his notice, and could do him neither good nor harm:
after a flea? a little contemptible animal, not easily caught, as it is observed by some, and when caught good for nothing. David, by this simile, fitly represents not only his weakness and impotence, his being worthless, and of no account, and beneath the notice of such a prince as Saul; but the circumstances he was in, being obliged to move from place to place, as a flea leaps from one place to another, and is not easily taken, and when it is, of no worth and value; signifying, that as it was not worth his pains to seek after him, so it would be to no purpose, he should not be able to take him.
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