1 Samuel 21:9
And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you slew in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if you will take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.
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(9) The sword of Goliath the Philistine.—It was in safe guardianship, that trusty sword of the mightiest of the Philistines, stained perhaps with the blood of the brave but unworthy priests, Hophni and Phineas, the sons of Eli, whom Goliath was believed to have slain in the fatal battle when the Ark was taken, and the power of Israel shattered for many a long year. It was wrapped up and lying in a place of honour behind the sacred ephod with the Urim and Thummim—wrapped up, it has been suggested, in the blood-stained war cloak of the dead Philistine, for the word translated “cloth” is used in Isaiah 9:5 of military attire.

Give it me.—David grasped the sword with a childlike expression of joy; its sight and touch revived the old bright faith and the sure trust in the strength of Israel on which he leaned when, as a boy, he fought with the wild beasts which infested the wild pasture-lands where he kept his father’s flocks (the Shepherd of David was the Holy One; blessed be He.—Midrash Rabbah, 59), and which guided his trembling hand the day he slew the giant in the face of the watching hosts. The sight and touch of the glorious trophy revived the old sure trust which in these dark days of betrayal and persecution was beginning to fail that gallant spirit of David’s. It does not appear from the story that the Philistine’s sword was of extraordinary size; that it was a tried weapon of approved temper and strength is certain, but its chief preciousness consisted, of course, in its storied associations. The Dean of Canterbury suggests it was probably of the ordinary pattern imported from Greece. The LXX. adds here, “and he gave it to him.”

21:1-9 David, in distress, fled to the tabernacle of God. It is great comfort in a day of trouble, that we have a God to go to, to whom we may open our cases, and from whom we may ask and expect direction. David told Ahimelech a gross untruth. What shall we say to this? The Scripture does not conceal it, and we dare not justify it; it was ill done, and proved of bad consequence; for it occasioned the death of the priests of the Lord. David thought upon it afterward with regret. David had great faith and courage, yet both failed him; he fell thus foully through fear and cowardice, and owing to the weakness of his faith. Had he trusted God aright, he would not have used such a sorry, sinful shift for his own preservation. It is written, not for us to do the like, no, not in the greatest straits, but for our warning. David asked of Ahimelech bread and a sword. Ahimelech supposed they might eat the shew-bread. The Son of David taught from it, that mercy is to be preferred to sacrifice; that ritual observances must give way to moral duties. Doeg set his foot as far within the tabernacle as David did. We little know with what hearts people come to the house of God, nor what use they will make of pretended devotion. If many come in simplicity of heart to serve their God, others come to observe their teachers and to prove accusers. Only God and the event can distinguish between a David and a Doeg, when both are in the tabernacle.Wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod - Rather, "in the cloak," Goliath's military cloak, which was part of the dedicated trophy. The ephod was naturally hung up where the high priest alone could get at it. 1Sa 21:9. He Takes Goliath's Sword.

9. sword of Goliath—(See on [249]1Sa 17:54).

behind the ephod—in the place allowed for keeping the sacred vestments, of which the ephod is mentioned as the chief. The giant's sword was deposited in that safe custody as a memorial of the divine goodness in delivering Israel.

There is none like that—not only for its size and superior temper, but for its being a pledge of the divine favor to him, and a constant stimulus to his faith.

Behind the ephod, i.e. behind that holy place allotted for the keeping of the sacred or priestly garments; all which are here comprehended under the ephod; which, as the chief of the kind, is put for all the rest. Here it was laid up as a sacred monument of God’s power and goodness, and that famous victory, related 1Sa 17.

There is none like that; because it not only served him for his use, for he was a strong and tall man, and one that could wield that sword, as we saw, 1Sa 17, but was also a pledge of God’s favour to him, and a great encouragement to his faith. And the priest said, the sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah,.... See 1 Samuel 17:2,

behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; the garment of the high priest, in which were the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate, or the linen vestments of the priests; see 1 Samuel 22:18; which were laid up in a chamber for their use; and behind them the sword of Goliath was wrapped up in a linen cloth, and reserved as a monument of the goodness of God to Israel, and the salvation of them wrought by the hands of David, who slew Goliath with this his own sword, and brought it with him. The Targum understands this word, rendered "behind", not of the place where the sword was, but of the time when the priest said this, and paraphrases the words,"after he had inquired for him by the ephod;''see 1 Samuel 22:10,

if thou wilt take that, take it; as if he should say, it is not mine to give thee, but thou mayest take it if thou pleasest; none has a better right to it; it is what thou tookest from the Philistine, and may take it again for thy use if thou art so inclined; and thou must either take this or none:

for there is no other save that here; in the tabernacle, nor even in the priest's house, nor in the city; for it was a city of priests, who did not wear swords:

and David said, there is none like that, give it me; and which, as he was capable of wielding and making use of, as it is plain he was by cutting off Goliath's head with it; so it might serve to strengthen his faith in God, as often as he looked upon it, that he would keep and preserve him, and in due time deliver him out of the hands of Saul, and all his enemies.

And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the {g} ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.

(g) Behind that place where the high priests garment lay.

9. behind the ephod] Hung up in a secure place, behind the most sacred part of the high-priestly vestments. It was probably dedicated as a memorial of the victory on the conclusion of the Philistine war. See 1 Samuel 17:54.

There is none like that] The monument of God’s deliverance in the past was a pledge of His help for the future."And now what is under thy hand? give into my hand (i.e., hand me) five loaves, or whatever (else) is to be found." David asked for five loaves, because he had spoken of several attendants, and probably wanted to make provision for two or three days (Thenius).
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