And David said to Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of your father's house.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)When Doeg the Edomite was there.—The Talmudical tradition evidently pre-supposes that a bitter enmity existed between David and Saul’s too faithful friend Doeg. If the Rabbinical belief that the identity between the family servant, or steward, who accompanied the young man Saul on that journey when we first meet with him (see 1 Samuel 9) be accepted, this enmity would be partly accounted for. The Edomite Doeg, brought up with Saul in the family of Kish, no doubt was jealous for his master and his master’s house with the passionate jealousy we so often find in old servants. He would share and probably fan his royal master’s envy and fear respecting the brilliant young hero who was so rapidly supplanting Saul and Saul’s house in the affections of Israel. So when David, flying for his life from Saul, met Doeg at the Sanctuary of Nob, he was seized with grave misgivings as to what would happen; and now, after the terrible vengeance of Saul, seems to reproach himself with having in Doeg’s presence exposed the hapless priest Ahimelech to Saul’s furious anger.
The Talmud says the servant (1Samuel 16:18) who first searched out and brought David to play to the sick king was Doeg, anxious to relieve his master’s sufferings, but curiously adds that even then the praises bestowed on David by Doeg were unreal: “All the praises of David enumerated by Doeg in 1Samuel 16:18 had a malicious object.”—Sanhedrin, fol. 93, Colossians 2.1 Samuel 23:9; 1 Samuel 30:7; 2 Samuel 15:24, 2 Samuel 15:29, 2 Samuel 15:35, but gave offence by taking Adonijah's part against Solomon 1 Kings 1:7, 1 Kings 1:19, 1 Kings 1:42, and in consequence was deprived of the high priesthood 1 Kings 2:26-27. In Mark 2:26, he is spoken of as the High Priest who gave the showbread to David. Perhaps he was the instigator of this act of kindness to David; and for this cause, as well as his constancy to David, is mentioned by our Lord instead of Ahimelech. It is also possible that, as sagan to his father, he may have performed most of the priestly functions, as Hophni and Phinehas did in the lifetime of Eli. Abiathar did not actually join David until he went to Keilah (marginal reference).
20-23. one of the sons of Ahimelech … escaped—This was Abiathar, who repaired to David in the forest of Hareth, rescuing, with his own life, the high priest's vestments (1Sa 23:6, 9). On hearing his sad tale, David declared that he had dreaded such a fatal result from the malice and intriguing ambition of Doeg; and, accusing himself as having been the occasion of all the disaster to Abiathar's family, David invited him to remain, because, firmly trusting himself in the accomplishment of the divine promise, David could guarantee protection to him.I knew it; his malice and ambition made me suspect that he would do it.
when Doeg the Edomite was there; at Nob; in the tabernacle, at the same time that David was there:
that he would surely tell Saul; that he saw David there, and what passed between him and Ahimelech; he knew he was a spiteful mischievous man; that he was a true Edomite, though a proselyte, and bore hatred and enmity in his mind against an Israelite, and especially an Israelite indeed, as David was:
I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father's house: or have been the cause of all the evils that befell them, and the death they were put unto, not with design, but by accident; and it grieved him that he should be any ways an accessory thereunto, though without intention.And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father's house.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)22. I have occasioned, &c.] David’s conscience pricks him for having been, even indirectly, the cause of so great a calamity.
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