1 Samuel 22:3
And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me.
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(3) Mizpeh.—This particular Mizpeh is mentioned nowhere else. The word means a watch tower; it was probably some mountain fortress in Moab. It has been suggested that it was the same as Zophim, a word of the same root as Mizpeh (see Numbers 23:14). David evidently sought hospitality among his kin in Moab. Jesse, his father, was the grandson of Ruth the Moabitess. The distance from the south of Judah Where the fugitives were wandering was not great.

Till I know what God will do for me.—This memory of David’s words to the King of Moab shows that the old trust and love, which in his first moments of care and sorrow had failed him, had come back again to the son of Jesse. It is interesting to note that David when addressing the Moabite sovereign speaks of “God” “Elohim,” not of Jehovah. This was probably out of deep reverence; an idolator had nothing to do with the awful name by which the Eternal was known to His covenant people—a Name which, as originally uttered, has now passed away from the earth. We read the mystic four letters, but no man, Jew or Gentile, can pronounce the Name of Names. The “Name,” however, was not unknown in Moab, for the mystic letters which compose it occur in the inscription of Mesha, dating about 150 years from the days of David’s exile.

1 Samuel 22:3. David went from thence to Mizpeh — For the Moabites were at difference with Saul, 1 Samuel 14:47. Let my father and my mother be with you — David, perhaps, the rather hoped for this kindness to be shown to his aged parents, who were not able to travel up and down, as he was likely to be obliged to do, because he was descended from Ruth, a Moabitess. The filial tenderness of David here deserves our admiration, who makes it his first care to fix his parents in a place of safety and ease, not being able to bear their being exposed to the dangers and hardships which the necessity of his affairs obliged him to undergo. His address to the king manifests his great tenderness to his parents, and his entire submission to the will of God. Till I know what God will do for me — He expresses his hopes very modestly, as one that had entirely cast himself upon God, and committed his way to him, trusting not in his own arts or arms, but in the wisdom, power, and goodness of God.

22:1-5 See what weak instruments God sometimes uses, to bring about his own purposes. The Son of David is ready to receive distressed souls, who will be commanded by him. He receives all who come unto Him, however vile and miserable; he changes them into a holy people, and employs them in his service: those who would reign with him must be contented first to suffer with and for him. Observe with what tender concern David provided for his aged parents. The first thing he does is to find them a quiet habitation, whatever became of himself. Let children learn to honour their parents, in every thing consulting their ease and satisfaction. Though highly preferred, and much employed, let them not forget their aged parents. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. And the Lord will preserve his people for their appointed work, however they may be hated and exposed.Mizpeh of Moab - A good conjecture connects it with "Zophim" (a word of the same root as Mizpeh) on the top of Pisgah Numbers 23:14. It is probable that David's descent from Ruth the Moabitess may have had something to do with his seeking an asylum for Jesse, Ruth's grandson, in the land of her birth. It would be very easy to get to the Jordan from the neighborhood of Bethlehem, and cross over near its embouchure into the Dead Sea.

Come forth, and be with you - The construction of the Hebrew is very strange. The Vulgate, Syriac, and Arabic seem to have read "dwell" instead of "come forth."

3. David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab—"Mizpeh" signifies a watchtower, and it is evident that it must be taken in this sense here, for it is called "the hold" or fort (1Sa 22:4). The king of Moab was an enemy of Saul (1Sa 14:47), and the great-grandson of Ruth, of course, was related to the family of Jesse. David, therefore, had less anxiety in seeking an asylum within the dominions of this prince than those of Achish, because the Moabites had no grounds for entertaining vindictive feelings against him, and their enmity, to Saul rendered them the more willing to receive so illustrious a refugee from his court. Mizpeh of Moab; so called, to distinguish it from that Mizpeh, 1 Samuel 7:5.

He said unto the king of Moab; partly because he was related to and descended from one of his people, Ruth 4:10; and partly because he was Saul’s enemy, 1 Samuel 14:47, and therefore more likely to be David’s friend.

My father and my mother, who being very aged, were not able to endure those journeys and hardships which David foresaw that he was likely to be exposed to.

Till I know what God will do for me; till I see the accomplishment of God’s promise made to me.

And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab,.... So called to distinguish it from a place of the same name in the land of Israel; which Junius says is the same with Malle, and signifies a fortified place, and refers to the Apocrypha:"And how that many of them were shut up in Bosora, and Bosor, and Alema, Casphor, Maked, and Carnaim; all these cities are strong and great:'' (1 Maccabees 5:26)here he might think himself safer, though in an enemy's country, than in the land of Israel:

and he said unto the king of Moab, let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth; out of the land of Israel, or out of the cave of Adullam, whither they were come to him:

and be with you; if not with the king of Moab at his court, yet in some part or other of his country, where they might be safe from the rage of Saul:

till I know what God will do for me; on whose power and providence he wholly relied, and not upon the men that flocked to him, nor upon his own power and policy, courage and wisdom; he knew the promise of God to him, and he put his trust in him for the performance of it; but knew not the time, nor way, and manner, in which it would be performed; and expected in the meanwhile to be obliged to remove from place to place; and considering that his aged parents were not fit for such quick and sudden motions, and long flights, he provided as well as he could for their settlement; which was an instance of his filial affection for them, and piety towards them. His father's name is well known, Jesse, Ruth 4:22, &c. but his mother's name is nowhere mentioned; the Jews say her name was Natzbet, the daughter of Adal (y).

(y) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 91. 1.

And David went thence to Mizpeh of {b} Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me.

(b) For there was another so called in Judah.

3. Mizpeh of Moab] Mentioned here only. Perhaps either the strong rock citadel afterwards known as Kir-Moab, now Kerak is meant: or some place not in Moab proper, but on the mountains of Abarim or Pisgah north of the Arnon, which would be more easily accessible from Bethlehem by way of Jericho. The long purple wall of the mountains of Moab is a striking feature in the view from Bethlehem (Sin. and Pal. p. 104), and would naturally suggest a retreat thither: but no doubt it was his connexion with Moab through his great-grandmother Ruth, which chiefly induced David to choose that country as a refuge for his parents.

Verses 3, 4. - David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab. The position of this place is unknown, but as the word means a watch tower, it was no doubt some beacon hill in the highlands of Moab on the east of the Dead Sea, and probably in the mountains of Abarim or Pisgah. Here David placed his father and mother under the care of the king of Moab. They had fled from Bethlehem under the combined fear of Saul and the Philistines, but were too old to bear the fatigues of David's life. He therefore asks for a refuge for them with the king of Moab, probably on the ground that Jesse's grandmother, Ruth, was a Moabitess. But as Saul had waged war on Moab (1 Samuel 14:47), the king was probably glad to help one who would keep Saul employed at home. The language of David is remarkable, and is literally, "Let, I pray, my father and my mother come forth with you" (pl.); but no better interpretation has been suggested than that in the A.V.: "Let them come forth, i.e. from the hold in Mizpeh, to be or dwell with you." While David was in the hold. Not merely that in the land of Moab, but up to the time when David was settled in Hebron. During all this period David was wandering from one natural fortress to another. Till I know what God will do for (or to) me. These words show that David had recovered his composure, and was willing calmly to leave everything to the wise disposal of God. 1 Samuel 22:3David proceeded thence to Mizpeh in Moab, and placed his parents in safety with the king of the Moabites. His ancestress Ruth was a Moabitess. Mizpeh: literally a watch-tower or mountain height commanding a very extensive prospect. Here it is probably a proper name, belonging to a mountain fastness on the high land, which bounded the Arboth Moab on the eastern side of the Dead Sea, most likely on the mountains of Abarim or Pisgah (Deuteronomy 34:1), and which could easily be reached from the country round Bethlehem, by crossing the Jordan near the point where it entered the Dead Sea. As David came to the king of Moab, the Moabites had probably taken possession of the most southerly portion of the eastern lands of the Israelites; we may also infer this from the fact that, according to 1 Samuel 14:47, Saul had also made war upon Moab, for Mizpeh Moab is hardly to be sought for in the actual land of the Moabites, on the south side of the Arnon (Mojeb). אתּכם ... יצא־נא, "May my father and my mother go out with you." The construction of יצא with את is a pregnant one: to go out of their home and stay with you (Moabites). "Till I know what God will do to me." Being well assured of the justice of his cause, as contrasted with the insane persecutions of Saul, David confidently hoped that God would bring his flight to an end. His parents remained with the king of Moab as long as David was בּמּצוּדה, i.e., upon the mount height, or citadel. This can only refer to the place of refuge which David had found at Mizpeh Moab. For it is perfectly clear from 1 Samuel 22:5, where the prophet Gad calls upon David not to remain any longer בּמּצוּדה, but to return to the land of Judah, that the expression cannot refer either to the cave Adullam, or to any other place of refuge in the neighbourhood of Bethlehem. The prophet Gad had probably come to David from Samuel's school of prophets; but whether he remained with David from that time forward to assist him with his counsel in his several undertakings, cannot be determined, on account of our want of information. In 1 Chronicles 21:9 he is called David's seer. In the last year of David's reign he announced to him the punishment which would fall upon him from God on account of his sin in numbering the people (2 Samuel 24:11.); and according to 1 Chronicles 29:29 he also wrote the acts of David. In consequence of this admonition, David returned to Judah, and went into the wood Hareth, a woody region on the mountains of Judah, which is never mentioned again, and the situation of which is unknown. According to the counsels of God, David was not to seek for refuge outside the land; not only that he might not be estranged from his fatherland and the people of Israel, which would have been opposed to his calling to be the king of Israel, but also that he might learn to trust entirely in the Lord as his only refuge and fortress.
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