1 Samuel 22:17
New International Version
Then the king ordered the guards at his side: "Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me." But the king's officials were unwilling to raise a hand to strike the priests of the LORD.

New Living Translation
And he ordered his bodyguards, “Kill these priests of the LORD, for they are allies and conspirators with David! They knew he was running away from me, but they didn’t tell me!” But Saul’s men refused to kill the LORD’s priests.

English Standard Version
And the king said to the guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he fled and did not disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not put out their hand to strike the priests of the LORD.

Berean Study Bible
Then the king ordered the guards at his side, “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because they too sided with David. For they knew he was fleeing, but they did not tell me.” But the king’s servants would not lift a hand to strike the priests of the LORD.

King James Bible
And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.

New King James Version
Then the king said to the guards who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled and did not tell it to me.” But the servants of the king would not lift their hands to strike the priests of the LORD.

New American Standard Bible
And the king said to the guards who were attending him, “Turn around and put the priests of the LORD to death, because their hand also is with David and because they knew that he was fleeing and did not inform me.” But the servants of the king were unwilling to reach out with their hands to attack the priests of the LORD.

NASB 1995
And the king said to the guards who were attending him, "Turn around and put the priests of the LORD to death, because their hand also is with David and because they knew that he was fleeing and did not reveal it to me." But the servants of the king were not willing to put forth their hands to attack the priests of the LORD.

NASB 1977
And the king said to the guards who were attending him, “Turn around and put the priests of the LORD to death, because their hand also is with David and because they knew that he was fleeing and did not reveal it to me.” But the servants of the king were not willing to put forth their hands to attack the priests of the LORD.

Amplified Bible
And the king said to the guards who stood around him, “Turn around and kill the priests of the LORD, because their loyalty also is with David, and because they knew that he was fleeing and did not inform me.” But the servants of the king were not willing to put out their hands to attack the LORD’S priests.

Christian Standard Bible
Then the king ordered the guards standing by him, “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD because they sided with David. For they knew he was fleeing, but they didn’t tell me.” But the king’s servants would not lift a hand to execute the priests of the LORD.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then the king ordered the guards standing by him, "Turn and kill the priests of the LORD because they sided with David. For they knew he was fleeing, but they didn't tell me." But the king's servants would not lift a hand to execute the priests of the LORD.

American Standard Version
And the king said unto the guard that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of Jehovah; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew that he fled, and did not disclose it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of Jehovah.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And the King said to the Runners who stood over by him: “Surround and kill the Priests of God, because their hands are with David and they knew that he was fleeing, and they did not show me!” And the Servants of the King were not willing to reach their hands and harm the Priests of God

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And the king said to the footmen that attended on him, Draw nigh and slay the priests of the Lord, because their hand is with David, and because they knew that he fled, and they did not inform me. But the servants of the king would not lift their hands to fall upon the priest of the Lord.

Contemporary English Version
Saul shouted to his bodyguards, "These priests of the LORD helped David! They knew he was running away, but they didn't tell me. Kill them!" But the king's officers would not attack the priests of the LORD.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the king said to the messengers that stood about him: Turn, and kill the priests of the Lord, for their hand is with David, because they knew that he was fled, and they told it not to me. And the king's servants would not put forth their hands against the priests of the Lord.

English Revised Version
And the king said unto the guard that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew that he fled, and did not disclose it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.

Good News Translation
Then he said to the guards standing near him, "Kill the LORD's priests! They conspired with David and did not tell me that he had run away, even though they knew it all along." But the guards refused to lift a hand to kill the LORD's priests.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Turn and kill the LORD's priests because they support David," the king said to the runners standing around him. "When they knew David was fleeing, they didn't inform me." But the king's men refused to attack the LORD's priests.

International Standard Version
The king told the guards, who were standing beside him, "Turn and kill the priests of the LORD because they supported David, and because they knew he was fleeing, but didn't inform me." But the officials of the king did not want to lift their hands to attack the priests of the LORD.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the king said unto the guard that stood about him: 'Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew that he fled, and did not disclose it to me.' But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.

Literal Standard Version
And the king says to the runners, those standing by him, “Turn around, and put the priests of YHWH to death, because their hand [is] also with David, and because they have known that he is fleeing, and have not uncovered my ear”; and the servants of the king have not been willing to put forth their hand to come against the priests of YHWH.

NET Bible
Then the king said to the messengers who were stationed beside him, "Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, for they too have sided with David! They knew he was fleeing, but they did not inform me." But the king's servants refused to harm the priests of the LORD.

New Heart English Bible
The king said to the guard who stood about him, "Turn, and kill the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew that he fled, and did not disclose it to me." But the servants of the king wouldn't put forth their hand to fall on the priests of the LORD.

World English Bible
The king said to the guard who stood about him, "Turn, and kill the priests of Yahweh; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew that he fled, and didn't disclose it to me." But the servants of the king wouldn't put forth their hand to fall on the priests of Yahweh.

Young's Literal Translation
And the king saith to runners, those standing by him, 'Turn round, and put to death the priests of Jehovah, because their hand also is with David, and because they have known that he is fleeing, and have not uncovered mine ear;' and the servants of the king have not been willing to put forth their hand to come against the priests of Jehovah.

Additional Translations ...
Context
Saul Slays the Priests of Nob
16But the king replied, “You will surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house!” 17Then the king ordered the guards at his side, “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because they too sided with David. For they knew he was fleeing, but they did not tell me.” But the king’s servants would not lift a hand to strike the priests of the LORD. 18So the king ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests!” And Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests himself. On that day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod.…

Cross References
Exodus 1:17
The midwives, however, feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt had instructed; they let the boys live.

1 Samuel 2:31
Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that no older man will be left in your house.

1 Samuel 22:16
But the king replied, "You will surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father's house!"

1 Kings 14:27
Then King Rehoboam made bronze shields in their place and committed them to the care of the captains of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace.

2 Kings 10:25
When he had finished making the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guards and officers, "Go in and kill them. Do not let anyone out." So the guards and officers put them to the sword, threw the bodies out, and went into the inner room of the temple of Baal.


Treasury of Scripture

And the king said to the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD: because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not show it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall on the priests of the LORD.

footmen.

1 Samuel 8:11
And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

2 Samuel 15:1
And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

1 Kings 1:5
Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

slay the priests

1 Samuel 22:13
And Saul said unto him, Why have ye conspired against me, thou and the son of Jesse, in that thou hast given him bread, and a sword, and hast inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

1 Samuel 20:33
And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.

1 Samuel 25:17
Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.

would not

1 Samuel 14:45
And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not.

Exodus 1:17
But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.

2 Kings 1:13,14
And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight…









(17) The footmen.--"Footmen," literally runners. These "guards," or "lictors," were men who ran by the royal chariot as an escort. They are still the usual attendants of any great man in the East. From long habit they were able to maintain a great speed for a long time. (See 1Samuel 8:11, where Samuel tells the children of Israel how the king of the future, whom they asked for, would take some of them to "run before his chariot." See, too, for an example of the power of running in old times, 1Kings 18:46, when Elijah outstripped the chariot of Ahab.)

But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand.--"And thus they were more faithful to Saul than if they had obeyed his order, which was against the commandment of the Lord, whose servant the king was no less than they."--Wordsworth.

Verses 17-19. - Footmen. Hebrew, "runners." They were the men who ran by the side of the king's horse or chariot as his escort (see on 1 Samuel 8:11). In constant training, they were capable of maintaining a great speed for a very long time. Here they were present at the king's council as his bodyguard, but when commanded to commit this horrid deed not one of them stirred from his place. Saul might have seen by this that he was alienating the hearts of all right minded men from him; but, unabashed, he next orders Doeg to slay the priests, and he, aided probably by his servants, slew in that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod. The fact that they were thus clad in their official dress added not to the wickedness, but to the impiety of this revolting act. And, not satisfied with thus wreaking his rage on innocent men, he next destroyed the city of the priests, barbarously massacring their whole families, both men and women, children and sucklings, and even their oxen, asses, and sheep, as if Nob was a city placed under the ban. It is a deed in strange contrast with the pretended mercy that spared Agag and the best of the Amaleklte spoil on the pretext of religion. Only once before had so terrible a calamity befallen the descendants of Aaron, and that was when the Philistines destroyed Shiloh. But they were enemies, and provoked by the people bringing the ark to the battle, and even then women and children escaped. It was left to the anointed king, who had himself settled the priests at Nob and restored Jehovah's worship there, to perpetrate an act unparalleled in Jewish history for its barbarity. Nor was it an act of barbarity only, but also of insane and wanton stupidity. The heart of every thoughtful person must now have turned away in horror from the king whom they had desired; and no wonder that when, two or three years afterwards, war came Saul found himself a king without an army, and fell into that deep, despondent melancholy which drove him, in need of some human sympathy, to seek it from a reputed witch. ESCAPE OF ABIATHAR TO DAVID (vers. 20-23).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
Then the king
הַמֶּ֡לֶךְ (ham·me·leḵ)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 4428: A king

ordered
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר (way·yō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 559: To utter, say

the guards
לָרָצִים֩ (lā·rā·ṣîm)
Preposition-l, Article | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's 7323: To run

at his side,
הַנִּצָּבִ֨ים (han·niṣ·ṣā·ḇîm)
Article | Verb - Nifal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's 5324: To take one's stand, stand

“Turn
סֹ֥בּוּ (sōb·bū)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine plural
Strong's 5437: To turn about, go around, surround

and kill
וְהָמִ֣יתוּ ׀ (wə·hā·mî·ṯū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hifil - Imperative - masculine plural
Strong's 4191: To die, to kill

the priests
כֹּהֲנֵ֣י (kō·hă·nê)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's 3548: Priest

of the LORD,
יְהוָ֗ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

because
כִּ֤י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

they too
גַם־ (ḡam-)
Conjunction
Strong's 1571: Assemblage, also, even, yea, though, both, and

sided with
עִם־ (‘im-)
Preposition
Strong's 5973: With, equally with

David.
דָּוִ֔ד (dā·wiḏ)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 1732: David -- perhaps 'beloved one', a son of Jesse

For
וְכִ֤י (wə·ḵî)
Conjunctive waw | Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

they knew
יָֽדְעוּ֙ (yā·ḏə·‘ū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's 3045: To know

he
ה֔וּא (hū)
Pronoun - third person masculine singular
Strong's 1931: He, self, the same, this, that, as, are

was fleeing,
בֹרֵ֣חַ (ḇō·rê·aḥ)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's 1272: To bolt, to flee suddenly

but they did not
וְלֹ֥א (wə·lō)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

tell
גָל֖וּ (ḡā·lū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's 1540: To denude, to exile, to reveal

me.”
אָזְנִ֑י (’ā·zə·nî)
Noun - feminine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's 241: Broadness, the ear

But the king’s
הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ (ham·me·leḵ)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 4428: A king

servants
עַבְדֵ֤י (‘aḇ·ḏê)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's 5650: Slave, servant

would
אָב֞וּ (’ā·ḇū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's 14: To breathe after, to be acquiescent

not
וְלֹֽא־ (wə·lō-)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

lift
לִשְׁלֹ֣חַ (liš·lō·aḥ)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 7971: To send away, for, out

a hand
יָדָם֙ (yā·ḏām)
Noun - feminine singular construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's 3027: A hand

to strike
לִפְגֹ֖עַ (lip̄·ḡō·a‘)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 6293: To impinge, by accident, violence, by importunity

the priests
בְּכֹהֲנֵ֥י (bə·ḵō·hă·nê)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's 3548: Priest

of the LORD.
יְהוָֽה׃ (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel


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OT History: 1 Samuel 22:17 The king said to the guard who (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa)
1 Samuel 22:16
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