And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin: but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The javelin.—This is the great spear, which in so many of the scenes in the First Book of Samuel is represented as in the hand of Saul or by his side.1 Samuel 19:10. Saul sought to smite David with the javelin — “How sad and shocking a scene was this! David labouring with all his study and skill to relieve Saul’s anguish; and Saul, in the same instant, meditating his destruction! sitting sullen and determined, with his javelin in his hand, watching his opportunity, and waiting, perhaps, until the power of music had so far calmed his spirits as to render his hand steady. He then darted his spear at David with all his might, and with such force, that, he happily declining it, it pierced and stuck into the wall; and David fled.” — Delaney. Saul’s wrath and fury, on this occasion, made him entirely forget his oath. So dangerous it is to be possessed with such passions! It seems likely, from Saul’s having a javelin in or near his hand, that it was usual for kings, in those days, to hold one in their hands, in the same manner as a sceptre in after-times, as a mark of royal authority.Psalm 59:3, Prayer Book Version).
8-10. David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter—A brilliant victory was gained over the public enemy. But these fresh laurels of David reawakened in the moody breast of Saul the former spirit of envy and melancholy. On David's return to court, the temper of Saul became more fiendish than ever; the melodious strains of the harp had lost all their power to charm; and in a paroxysm of uncontrollable frenzy he aimed a javelin at the person of David—the missile having been thrown with such force that it pierced the chamber wall. David providentially escaped; but the king, having now thrown off the mask and being bent on aggressive measures, made his son-in-law's situation everywhere perilous.1 Samuel 18:11,
but he slipped away out of Saul's presence: he perceived his design, and being of great agility of body, moved out of his place before him very nimbly:
and he smote the javelin into the wall; he threw it with suck force that it entered into the wall, and stuck there; so great was his resolution to destroy David, and such the rage and passion that he was in, and such his strength of body, and which, in person; in his circumstances, is strangely exerted at times:
and David fled, and escaped that night; it being towards night, or in the evening, very probably, when this affair happened; upon which he departed from Saul's court, and went to his own house, and so escaped the danger he was exposed to for the present.And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin: but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. escaped that night] It is perhaps better to follow the Sept. in joining “that night” to the next sentence and reading, “and it came to pass that night that Saul, &c.”Verses 10-12. - Saul sought to smite David. The verb used here is not that rendered cast in 1 Samuel 18:11, where probably we had the record of a purpose threatened, but not carried out. Here Saul actually threw his javelin at David with such violence that it was fixed into the wall. But David, though playing some instrument of music at the time, was on his guard, and slipped away. And David fled, and escaped that night. As usual, the historian gives the ultimate results of Saul's violence first, and then returns and gives the particulars; for plainly David first went home, and it was only when he found that the house was surrounded by Saul's emissaries that he fled away to find refuge with Samuel. Saul also sent messengers. As is often the case, this outbreak of violence on Saul's part broke down all the former restraints of upright feeling and conscience. He had lost his self-respect, was openly a murderer as regards everything but the success of his attempt, and he determined that that should not be long wanting. He sends persons, therefore, to watch David's house, with orders that when in the morning he came out, suspecting no danger, they should fall upon him and slay him. But Michal in some way or other became aware of her husband's danger. Possibly she had been at her father's house in the afternoon, and with quick observation had noticed that more than usual was going on, and seeing that her own house was the object of these preparations, had divined their intent; or possibly Jonathan may have given her information, and so she warned David of his danger. As the entrance was guarded, he was let down through a window, like St. Paul afterwards, and so began the weary life of wandering which lasted through so many troubled years. Judges 12:3), and smitten the Philistines, and Jehovah hath wrought a great salvation of all Israel. Thou hast seen it, and rejoiced; and wherefore wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?"
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