And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
A pillow - It was probably a quilt or blanket of goats' hair and of common use as a bed-covering. Whether Michal drew it over the head of the teraphim, as if for warmth, and so covered it, or whether she disposed it about the head so as to look like hair, is not clear.
behold, there was an image in the bed to their great surprise; they expected to see David, but instead of him the teraphim, as in 1 Samuel 19:13; if they had been in the room before, and thought they had seen David in the bed, they might be the more surprised to find that it was only an image they saw:
with a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster; See Gill on 1 Samuel 19:13.And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)16. There was an image, &c.] The teraphim was in the bed, and the quilt of goat’s hair at its head.
17 He said unto me, &c.] Michal adds another lie to screen herself from Saul’s anger. In this she was but following her father’s example (1 Samuel 19:6), and with more excuse. Compare the deceit practised by Rahab (Joshua 2:4 ff.); by the woman at Bahurim (2 Samuel 17:20); and in modern times, by Grotius’ wife, who to save her husband represented the box in which he was concealed as a box of theological books. Scripture affirms the universal duty of Truth without any exception (Leviticus 19:11), nor can it he understood to sanction breaches of this general law by recording them without disapproval. It is left to the casuist to discuss whether any necessity is sufficient to justify a falsehood or an act of deception. See Whewell’s Elements of Morality, Chaps. 15, 16.1 Samuel 18:10; 1 Samuel 16:15), as inflicted upon him by Jehovah. The thought expressed is, that the growth of Saul's melancholy was a sign of the hardness of heart to which Jehovah had given him up on account of his impenitence. David happily escaped this javelin also. He slipped away from Saul, so that he hurled the javelin into the wall; whereupon David fled and escaped the same night, i.e., the night after this occurrence. This remark somewhat anticipates the course of the events, as the author, according to the custom of Hebrew historians, gives the result at once, and then proceeds to describe in detail the more exact order of the events.
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