1 Samuel 19:16
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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19:11-24 Michal's stratagem to gain time till David got to a distance was allowable, but her falsehood had not even the plea of necessity to excuse it, and manifests that she was not influenced by the same spirit of piety which had dictated Jonathan's language to Saul. In flying to Samuel, David made God his refuge. Samuel, as a prophet, was best able to advise him what to do in this day of distress. He met with little rest or satisfaction in Saul's court, therefore went to seek it in Samuel's church. What little pleasure is to be had in this world, those have who live a life of communion with God; to that David returned in the time of trouble. So impatient was Saul after David's blood, so restless against him, that although baffled by one providence after another, he could not see that David was under the special protection of God. And when God will take this way to protect David, even Saul prophesies. Many have great gifts, yet no grace; they may prophesy in Christ's name, yet are disowned by him. Let us daily seek for renewing grace, which shall be in us as a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Let us cleave to truth and holiness with full purpose of heart. In every danger and trouble, let us seek protection, comfort, and direction in God's ordinances.An image - "Teraphim" (see the margin), an image, or bust in human form, and as large as life, of a kind of household god, to the worship of which the Israelites, and especially women, were much addicted.

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.

15. Bring him to me in the bed—a portable couch or mattress. No text from Poole on this verse. And when the messengers were come in,.... To David's house, and into the room where he was supposed to lie:

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.
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.Another great defeat which David had inflicted upon the Philistines excited Saul to such an extent, that in a fit of insanity he endeavoured to pierce David with his javelin as he was playing before him. The words Ruach Jehovah describe the attack of madness in which Saul threw the javelin at David according to its higher cause, and that, as implied in the words Ruach Jehovah in contrast with Ruach Elohim (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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