1 Samuel 18:13
Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.
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18:12-30 For a long time David was kept in continual apprehension of falling by the hand of Saul, yet he persevered in meek and respectful behaviour towards his persecutor. How uncommon is such prudence and discretion, especially under insults and provocations! Let us inquire if we imitate this part of the exemplary character before us. Are we behaving wisely in all our ways? Is there no sinful omission, no rashness of spirit, nothing wrong in our conduct? Opposition and perverseness in others, will not excuse wrong tempers in us, but should increase our care, and attention to the duties of our station. Consider Him that endured contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be weary and faint in your minds, Heb 12:3. If David magnified the honour of being son-in-law to king Saul, how should we magnify the honour of being sons to the King of kings!He prophesied - This, as the effect of the evil spirit coming upon him, is singular as regards Saul, but is borne out by what we read in 1 Kings 22:22. (Compare Acts 16:16-18; Acts 19:15; 1 John 4:1-3). It is impossible to give the sense of "raving" to the word "prophesied," as though a merely natural state of frenzy were intended. The "prophesying" here was as directly the effect of the coming of the evil spirit upon Saul, as the "prophesying" in 1 Samuel 10:10 was the effect of the Spirit of God coming upon him. At the same time it is quite true that "madness" and "prophesyings" were considered as near akin (see Jeremiah 29:26; 2 Kings 9:11). 1Sa 18:13-16. Fears Him for His Good Success.

13. Therefore Saul removed him from him—sent him away from the court, where the principal persons, including his own son, were spellbound with admiration of the young and pious warrior.

made him captain over a thousand—gave him a military commission, which was intended to be an honorable exile. But this post of duty served only to draw out before the public the extraordinary and varied qualities of his character, and to give him a stronger hold of the people's affections.

From him; from his presence and court; which he did, partly, because he feared lest David should watch and find an opportunity to kill him, as he had designed to kill David; partly, because he was a great eyesore, and his presence now made him more sad than ever his music had made him cheerful; and principally, that hereby he might expose him to the greatest hazards, and in some sort betray him into the hands of the Philistines.

He went out and came in; he led his soldiers forth to battle, and brought them back again with safety. Compare 2 Samuel 5:2. Or else the phrase of coming in and going out may be understood (as elsewhere) for conversing; or (as we use to say) going to and fro about business, as 1 Samuel 29:6. Therefore Saul removed him from him,.... From court, partly that he might be out of his sight, having such an hatred of his person that he could not bear to see him, and partly that he might be safer from any designs of his upon his life, which he might fear, because of his treatment of him:

and made him his captain over a thousand; not out of respect to him, and in honour of him, but partly to cover his malice, and please the people, and partly in hope that he might be slain by the enemy at the head of his troop:

and he went out and came in before the people; or at the head of them, as the Targum; he led them out to war, and returned with them in safety, with victory and in triumph, with great honour, and highly respected by them; quite contrary to the intention and hope of Saul.

Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went {f} out and came in before the people.

(f) Meaning he was captain over the people.

13. made him his captain over a thousand] What was summarily mentioned by anticipation in 1 Samuel 18:5 is here related with more detail in the order of time.Saul's jealousy towards David.

(Note: The section 1 Samuel 18:6-14 is supposed by Thenius and others to have been taken by the compiler from a different source from the previous one, and not to have been written by the same author: (1) because the same thing is mentioned in 1 Samuel 18:13, 1 Samuel 18:14, as in 1 Samuel 18:5, though in a somewhat altered form, and 1 Samuel 18:10, 1 Samuel 18:11 occur again in 1 Samuel 19:9-10, with a few different words, and in a more appropriate connection; (2) because the contents of 1 Samuel 19:9, and the word ממּחרת in 1 Samuel 19:10, are most directly opposed to 1 Samuel 18:2 and 1 Samuel 18:5. On these grounds, no doubt, the lxx have not only omitted the beginning of 1 Samuel 18:6 from their version, but also 1 Samuel 18:9-11. But the supposed discrepancy between 1 Samuel 18:9 and 1 Samuel 18:10 and 1 Samuel 18:2 and 1 Samuel 18:5, - viz., that Saul could not have kept David by his side from attachment to him, or have placed him over his men of war after several prosperous expeditions, as is stated in 1 Samuel 18:2 and 1 Samuel 18:5, if he had looked upon him with jealous eyes from the very first day, or if his jealousy had broken out on the second day in the way described in 1 Samuel 18:10, 1 Samuel 18:11, - is founded upon two erroneous assumptions; viz., (1) that the facts contained in 1 Samuel 18:1-5 were contemporaneous with those in 1 Samuel 18:6-14; and (2) that everything contained in these two sections is to be regarded as strictly chronological. But the fact recorded in 1 Samuel 18:2, namely, that Saul took David to himself, and did not allow him to go back to his father's house any more, occurred unquestionably some time earlier than those mentioned in 1 Samuel 18:6. with their consequences. Saul took David to himself immediately after the defeat of Goliath, and before the war had been brought to an end. But the celebration of the victory, in which the paean of the women excited jealousy in Saul's mind, did not take place till the return of the people and of the king at the close of the war. How long the war lasted we do not know; but from the fact that the Israelites pursued the flying Philistines to Gath and Ekron, and then plundered the camp of the Philistines after that (1 Samuel 17:52-53), it certainly follows that some days, if not weeks, must have elapsed between David's victory over Goliath and the celebration of the triumph, after the expulsion of the Philistines from the land. Thus far the events described in the two sections are arranged in their chronological order; but for all the rest the facts are arranged antithetically, according to their peculiar character, whilst the consequences, which reached further than the facts that gave rise to them, and were to some extent contemporaneous, are appended immediately to the facts themselves. Thus David's going out whithersoever Saul sent him (1 Samuel 18:5) may indeed have commenced during the pursuit of the flying Philistines; but it reached far beyond this war, and continued even while Saul was looking upon him with jealous eyes. 1 Samuel 18:5 contains a general remark, with which the historian brings to a close one side of the relation between David and Saul, which grew out of David's victory. He then proceeds in 1 Samuel 18:6 to give the other side, and rounds off this paragraph also (1 Samuel 18:14-16) with a general remark, the substance of which resembles, in the main, the substance of 1 Samuel 18:5. At the same time it implies some progress, inasmuch as the delight of the people at the acts performed by David (1 Samuel 18:5) grew into love to David itself. This same progress is also apparent in 1 Samuel 18:13 ("Saul made him captain over a thousand"), as compared with 1 Samuel 18:5 ("Saul set him over the men of war"). Whether the elevation of David into a captain over a thousand was a higher promotion than his appointment over the men of war, or the latter expression is to be taken as simply a more general or indefinite term, denoting his promotion to the rank of commander-in-chief, is a point which can hardly be determined with certainty.)

- Saul had no sooner attached the conqueror of Goliath to his court, than he began to be jealous of him. The occasion for his jealousy was the celebration of victory at the close of the war with the Philistines.

1 Samuel 18:6-7

"When they came," i.e., when the warriors returned with Saul from the war, "when (as is added to explain what follows) David returned from the slaughter," i.e., from the war in which he had slain Goliath, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, "to singing and dancing," i.e., to celebrate the victory with singing and choral dancing (see the remarks on Exodus 15:20), "to meet king Saul with tambourines, with joy, and with triangles." שׂמהה is used here to signify expressions of joy, a fte, as in Judges 16:23, etc. The striking position in which the word stands, viz., between two musical instruments, shows that, the word is to be understood here as referring specially to songs of rejoicing, since according to 1 Samuel 18:7 their playing was accompanied with singing. The women who "sported" (משׂחקות), i.e., performed mimic dances, sang in alternate choruses ("answered," as in Exodus 15:21), "Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands."

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