1 Samuel 18:16
But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.
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(16) But all Israel and Judah.—This distinct mention of the two great later divisions of the chosen people seems to point to the fact that the compiler of the Books of Samuel lived after the final separation of the ten tribes from Judah and Benjamin, in the reign of Rehoboam. It is, however, clear from other notices (see, for instance, 1Samuel 11:8; 1Samuel 15:4, in this book) that at a period long anterior to the final disruption between the north and south a marked distinction between the two had begun to exist.

In David’s case, however, although he was of Judah, the future king was equally popular with the northern tribes.

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.

No text from Poole on this verse. And all Israel and Judah loved David,.... The verb is singular, and denotes that everyone of them loved him in all the tribes of Israel, as well as in Judah his own tribe; in such general esteem was he, and so much had he got the hearts and affections of the people:

because he went out and came in before them; the people, as in 1 Samuel 18:13; so the Septuagint version, in which, according to the Vatican copy, the verses 1 Samuel 18:17 are wanting.

But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.
16. because he went out and came in before them] Acted as their leader in war. Saul made David captain over a thousand partly to get rid of him from his presence, partly perhaps in the hope that he might lose his life in battle (1 Samuel 18:17; 1 Samuel 18:25): but the result was that he became firmly established in the affections of the people. Cp. 1 Samuel 18:5.The next day the evil spirit fell upon Saul ("the evil spirit of God;" see at 1 Samuel 16:14), so that he raved in his house, and threw his javelin at David, who played before him "as day by day," but did not hit him, because David turned away before him twice. התנבּא does not mean to prophesy in this instance, but "to rave." This use of the word is founded upon the ecstatic utterances, in which the supernatural influence of the Spirit of God manifested itself in the prophets (see at 1 Samuel 10:5). ויּטל, from טוּל, he hurled the javelin, and said (to himself), "I will pierce David and the wall." With such force did he hurl his spear; but David turned away from him, i.e., eluded it, twice. His doing so a second time presupposes that Saul hurled the javelin twice; that is to say, he probably swung it twice without letting it go out of his hand, - a supposition which is raised into certainty by the fact that it is not stated here that the javelin entered the wall, as in 1 Samuel 19:10. But even with this view יטל is not to be changed into יטּל, as Thenius proposes, since the verb נטל cannot be proved to have ever the meaning to swing. Saul seems to have held the javelin in his hand as a sceptre, according to ancient custom.
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