1 Samuel 23:26
And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) The mountain.—Conder, in his Tent Life in Palestine, identifies this spot with high probability. Indeed, his whole book is most instructive and trustworthy, and to the reader interested in these scenes in the life of David, as well as in those other many events which have taken place in the Storied Land, his book will form an admirable guide.

23:19-29 In the midst of his wickedness, Saul affected to speak the language of piety. Such expressions, without suitable effects, can only amuse or deceive those who hear, and those who use them. This mountain was an emblem of the Divine Providence coming between David and the destroyer. Let us not be dismayed at the prospect of future difficulties, but stay ourselves upon Him who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. Sooner than his promise shall fail, he will commission Philistines to effect our escape, at the very moment when our case appears most desperate. God requires entire dependence on him, If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established, Isa 7:9.The plain - The Arabah, the desert tract which extends along the valley of the Jordan from the Dead Sea to the Lake of Gennesareth, now called El-Ghor. The word is now given by the Arabs to the valley between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Akaba. 25. David … came down into a rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon—Tell Main, the hillock on which was situated the ancient Maon (Jos 15:55), and from which the adjoining wilderness took its name, is one mile north, ten east from Carmel. The mountain plateau seems here to end. It is true the summit ridge of the southern hills runs out a long way further towards the southwest; but towards the southeast the ground sinks more and more down to a tableland of a lower level, which is called "the plain to the right hand [that is, to the south] of the wilderness" [Van De Velde]. Dividing themselves into several parties, each marching a several way after him.

And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain,.... Saul with his army came to the very mountain where David and his men were, the one was on one side of it, and the other on the other side; there was only one mountain between them:

and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; he fled on one side of the mountain, while Saul was pursuing him on the other, and hastening to get round unto him:

for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them; he took methods by dividing his troops, and sending them different ways, to surround David and his men, and had very near effected it.

And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. compassed … round about] i.e. encompassed, surrounded. Cp. Psalm 5:12.

1 Samuel 23:26"And David was anxiously concerned to escape from Saul, and Saul and his men were encircling David and his men to seize them; but a messenger came to Saul ... . Then Saul turned from pursuing David." The two clauses, "for Saul and his men" (1 Samuel 23:26), and "there came a messenger" (1 Samuel 23:27), are the circumstantial clauses by which the situation is more clearly defined: the apodosis to דּוד ויהי does not follow till ויּשׁב in 1 Samuel 23:28. The apodosis cannot begin with וּמלאך because the verb does not stand at the head. David had thus almost inextricably fallen into the hands of Saul; but God saved him by the fact that at that very moment a messenger arrived with the intelligence, "Hasten and go (come), for Philistines have fallen into the land," and thus called Saul away from any further pursuit of David.
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