1 Samuel 22:11
Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father's house, the priests that were in Nob: and they came all of them to the king.
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(11) Then the king sent to call Ahimelech.—This sending for all the priestly house to Gibeah when alone Ahimelech was to blame—if blame there was—looks as though Saul and Doeg had determined upon the wholesale massacre which followed.

1 Samuel 22:11. The king sent to call Ahimelech and all his father’s house —

The priests of the house of Eli, whom God had threatened to cut off, chap. 1 Samuel 2:31; and which threatening, by a strange chain of providences, was now about to be fulfilled.

22:6-19 See the nature of jealous malice and its pitiful arts. Saul looks upon all about him as his enemies, because they do not just say as he says. In Ahimelech's answer to Saul we have the language of conscious innocence. But what wickedness will not the evil spirit hurry men to when he gets the dominion! Saul alleges that which was utterly false and unproved. But the most bloody tyrants have found instruments of their cruelty as barbarous as themselves. Doeg, having murdered the priests, went to the city, Nob, and put all to the sword there. Nothing so vile but those may do it, who have provoked God to give them up to their hearts' lusts. Yet this was the accomplishment of the threatenings against the house of Eli. Though Saul was unrighteous in doing this, yet God was righteous in permitting it. No word of God shall fall to the ground.He inquired of the Lord ... - This was not true, but Ahimelech's going to fetch the sword from behind the ephod might have given occasion to the belief on Doeg's part that he had put on the ephod to inquire of the Lord for David. 10. he inquired of the Lord for him—Some suppose that this was a malicious fiction of Doeg to curry favor with the king, but Ahimelech seems to acknowledge the fact. The poor simple-minded high priest knew nothing of the existing family feud between Saul and David. The informer, if he knew it, said nothing of the cunning artifice by which David obtained the aid of Ahimelech. The facts looked against him, and the whole priesthood along with him were declared abettors of conspiracy [1Sa 22:16, 17]. All his father’s house; of the house of Eli, which God had threatened to cut off, 1 Samuel 2:31.

Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub,.... Sent messengers to him, and summoned him to appear before him:

and all his father's house; the family of Eli, which God had threatened to destroy, and now the time was hastening on:

the priests that were in Nob; in which dwelt none but priests, at least these were the chief of the inhabitants, and therefore called the city of the priests, 1 Samuel 22:19,

and they came all of them to the king; not being conscious of any evil they had committed, or that could be charged upon them; or otherwise they would not have appeared, but would have fled to David for protection.

Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father's house, {h} the priests that were in Nob: and they came all of them to the king.

(h) Which were the remnant of the house of Eli, whose house God threatened to punish.

Verses 11-13. - All his father's house. Doeg's suggestion that the priests were David's allies at once arouses all Saul's worst passions. As if he had determined from the first upon the massacre of the whole body, he sends not merely for Ahimelech, but forevery priest at Nob. Shortly afterwards they arrived, for Nob was close to Gibeah, and Saul himself arraigns them before the court for treason, and recapitulates the three points mentioned by Doeg as conclusive proofs of their guilt. 1 Samuel 22:11On receiving this information, Saul immediately summoned the priest Ahimelech and "all his father's house," i.e., the whole priesthood, to Nob, to answer for what they had done. To Saul's appeal, "Why have ye conspired against me, thou and the son of Jesse, by giving him bread?" Ahimelech, who was not conscious of any such crime, since David had come to him with a false pretext, and the priest had probably but very little knowledge of what took place at court, replied both calmly and worthily (1 Samuel 22:14): "And who of all thy servants is so faithful (proved, attested, as in Numbers 12:7) as David, and son-in-law of the king, and having access to thy private audience, and honoured in thy house?" The true explanation of אל־משׁמעתּך סר may be gathered from a comparison of 2 Samuel 23:23 and 1 Chronicles 11:25, where משׁמעת occurs again, as the context clearly shows, in the sense of a privy councillor of the king, who hears his personal revelations and converses with him about them, so that it corresponds to our "audience." סוּר, lit. to turn aside from the way, to go in to any one, or to look after anything (Exodus 3:3; Ruth 4:1, etc.); hence in the passage before us "to have access," to be attached to a person. This is the explanation given by Gesenius and most of the modern expositors, whereas the early translators entirely misunderstood the passage, though they have given the meaning correctly enough at 2 Samuel 23:23. But if this was the relation in which David stood to Saul, - and he had really done so for a long time, - there was nothing wrong in what the high priest had done for him; but he had acted according to the best of his knowledge, and quite conscientiously as a faithful subject of the king. Ahimelech then added still further (1 Samuel 22:15): "Did I then begin to inquire of God for him this day?" i.e., was it the first time that I had obtained the decision of God for David concerning important enterprises, which he had to carry out in the service of the king? "Far be from me," sc., any conspiracy against the king, like that of which I am accused. "Let not the king lay it as a burden upon thy servant, my whole father's house (the omission of the cop. ו before בּכל־כּית may be accounted for from the excitement of the speaker); for thy servant knows not the least of all this." בּכל־זאת, of all that Saul had charged him with.
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