Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Then answered Doeg the Edomite.—This Doeg has already been mentioned in the preceding chapter. His presence in this council meeting under the tamarisk of Gibeah, among the famous Benjamito chieftains, and the previous notice which speaks of him as the officer superintending the royal herds, indicates that he was a personage of no small importance at the Court of Saul. He occupies too a considerable position in the Psalmodic literature. (See, for instance, Psalms 52)
Here he is spoken of as a wicked and unscrupulous character. Jewish tradition tells us this Doeg was skilled in all the learning of his time. Doeg the Edomite, and Ahitophel (whose counsel was as the oracle of God) are represented in the Talmud as the most learned men of their time. “The Holy One, blessed be He! said to wicked Doeg, what hast thou to do to declare my statutes (Psalms 52)? When thou comest to the chapter on murderers and on spreading evil reports, what dost thou make of them?”—Sanhedrin, fol. 106, Colossians 2.
It is strange that this renowned man, whom evidently David looked upon as the evil genius of Saul at the period when he wrote the sad, bitter words of Psalms 52, and spoke of the tongue of this Doeg as being like a sharp razor, and dwelt with singular persistence on the wickedness, falsehood, and calumny of this relentless enemy, should have gone down among the noteworthy Talmudical traditions as “the greatest Rabbinist (i.e., the most deeply learned in the Mosaic Law, and in its interpretation) of his time.
Which was set over the servants of Saul.—This statement would be a puzzling one were it the correct rendering. It would be unlikely in the highest degree that Saul would set a foreigner—however able and devoted—over his faithful Benjamite chieftains. The accurate translation is “who stood with the servants of Saul.” In 1Samuel 22:6 we read, in the description of the council meeting under the tamarisk of Gibeah, all his servants (that is, his chief dignitaries) stood by (around) him (Saul), and with these, his peers, stood Doeg the Edomite, the hero of the terrible scene which followed.
(9) Then answered Doeg.—“Far better,” quaintly writes Seb Schmid, “did Saul’s other servants who kept silence.” The Edomite’s witness had the more effect on Saul because he related no hearsay evidence, but what he had absolutely seen.
9. Doeg … set over the servants—Septuagint, "the mules of Saul."See Poole "1 Samuel 21:7". 1 Samuel 21:7; being full of enmity to David, and willing to curry favour with Saul, and eager of further preferment, which Saul seemed to promise; and being more forward than the rest of his servants, prevented them and spoke first:
(which was set over the servants of Saul): over his herdsmen; see 1 Samuel 21:7,
and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub; in imitation of Saul, he calls David by way of contempt the son of Jesse; and signifies that what he had to say of him was not by report, but he himself was an eyewitness of his coming to Nob, a city of the priests, and to Ahimelech the high priest there, and of what passed between them.Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. Then answered Doeg] The title of Psalms 52 states that it was composed by David in reference to this occasion. 1 Samuel 22:1-4 describe such a character as we may well suppose Doeg to have been. His tongue was “a false tongue,” because, though the facts he reported were true, he helped to confirm Saul in a false and cruel suspicion. It “devised destruction,” and “loved devouring words,” for his story was told with malicious intent and fatal result.
which was set over the servants of Saul] Or, for he was standing with the servants of Saul. The presence of the foreigner Doeg among the Benjamites is specially noticed. The Sept. (cp. 1 Samuel 21:7) reads, “Doeg the Syrian who was set over Saul’s mules.”Verses 9, 10. - Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul. This translation is entirely wrong, nor would Saul's Benjamites have endured to have an Edomite set over them. The verb is that used in ver. 6, and refers simply to Doeg's place in the circle of attendants standing round Saul. The words mean, "Doeg the Edomite, who stood there with the servants of Saul." As chief herdsman he was present as a person of some importance, but far below "the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds." I saw the son of Jesse, etc. As Saul was in a dangerous state of excite. sent, bordering on insanity, Doeg's statement was probably made with the evil intent of turning the king's suspicions from the courtiers to the priests. His assertion that the high priest enquired of Jehovah for David was possibly true (see on ver. 15). 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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