1 Samuel 22:16
And the king said, You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you, and all your father's house.
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1 Samuel 22:16-17. Thou shalt surely die, thou and all thy father’s house — A cruel resolution; for what had the rest of the priests done to deserve such a bloody execution? The servants of the king would not, &c. — In this, undoubtedly, they were praiseworthy; but had been more so had they courageously taken the part of these innocent persons, and remonstrated to Saul against his cruelty, as contrary to all the laws of God and man. And if their reasons and prayers had proved ineffectual, they should have treated this command as the dictate of Saul’s melancholy or evil spirit, and have given the priests some opportunity to escape out of his hands, instead of standing tamely to see them fall, contrary to all laws, divine or human, by the hands of a ruffian, the minister of a tyrant’s cruelty.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.Did I then begin ... - Some lay the stress upon the word "begin," as though Ahimelech's justification was that he had often before inquired of the Lord for David when employed on the king's affairs. But it is much better to understand the words as Ahimelech's solemn denial of having inquired of the Lord for David, a duty which he owed to Saul alone as king of Israel. The force of the word "begin" lies in this, that it would have been his first act of allegiance to David and defection from Saul. This he strenuously repudiates, and adds, "thy servant knew nothing of all this" conspiracy between Jonathan and David of which Saul speaks: he had acted quite innocently. 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]. No text from Poole on this verse. And the king said, thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech,.... He pronounces the sentence himself, without taking the opinion and advice of others, or further time; which was an act of arbitrary power, and upon an innocent person, which was an act of great injustice:

thou, and all thy father's house; more unrighteous still; but God suffered him to do this to fulfil his will, and execute his threatenings against the house of Eli, which was this priest's father's house, for former wickedness; but this is no excuse for, nor extenuation of the sin of, Saul.

And the king said, Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father's house.
The Edomite Doeg could not refrain from yielding to this appeal, and telling Saul what he had seen when staying at Nob; namely, that Ahimelech had inquired of God for David, and given him food as well as Goliath's sword. For the fact itself, see 1 Samuel 21:1-10, where there is no reference indeed to his inquiring of God; though it certainly took place, as Ahimelech (1 Samuel 22:15) does not disclaim it. Doeg is here designated נצּב, "the superintendent of Saul's servants," so that apparently he had been invested with the office of marshal of the court.
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