Behold, this day your eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered you to day into my hand in the cave: and some bade me kill you: but my eye spared you; and I said, I will not put forth my hand against my lord; for he is the LORD's anointed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thine eyes have seen.—David and a crowd of armed men around him were standing at the entrance of the cave which King Saul had just left; thus the king’s eye had seen—nay, was seeing that very moment—that his life had been in his enemy David’s hand.
And some bade me kill thee.—The literal translation here would be Jehovah delivered thee to-day into mine hand in the cave, and bade [me] kill thee. And this rendering has been explained by assuming that God’s allowing Saul to choose the very cavern for his midday slumber where David and his company were lodging was tantamount to directing David to slay his bitter foe, thus given over helpless into his hands; but this is contrary to the spirit of the whole narrative. The English Version has followed the Syriac and Chaldee Versions here, and by supplying “some”—better, perhaps, one—before “bade me kill thee,” has given us the sense in which the Hebrews have always understood the passage. The Vulg. here, with a very slight change in the vowel points, renders “I thought to kill thee.”
But mine eye spared thee.—The English Version supplies an obvious subject in “mine eye.” Clericus suggests more happily, “my soul,” or “my hand,” before “spared thee.”1 Samuel 24:10-12. Mine eye spared thee — A phrase signifying the taking pity on those whom we have it in our power to hurt. The eye is said to spare, because it affects the heart, and induces a person to spare. Moreover, my father — Such he was through David’s marriage of his daughter. The Lord avenge me of thee — Rather, will avenge me; that is, vindicate and deliver me from thy violent and unjust persecution. For he does not, in these words, pray God to punish Saul for the injuries he had done him, but to justify, clear, and protect himself. But my hand shall not be upon thee — He was resolved not to return evil for evil, or to avenge himself, but to leave it to God to do him right.Psalm 10; Psalm 11:1-7; Psalm 12:1-8; 35; and many more.
8-15. David also arose … and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul—The closeness of the precipitous cliffs, though divided by deep wadies, and the transparent purity of the air enable a person standing on one rock to hear distinctly the words uttered by a speaker standing on another (Jud 9:7). The expostulation of David, followed by the visible tokens he furnished of his cherishing no evil design against either the person or the government of the king, even when he had the monarch in his power, smote the heart of Saul in a moment and disarmed him of his fell purpose of revenge. He owned the justice of what David said, acknowledged his own guilt, and begged kindness to his house. He seems to have been naturally susceptible of strong, and, as in this instance, of good and grateful impressions. The improvement of his temper, indeed, was but transient—his language that of a man overwhelmed by the force of impetuous emotions and constrained to admire the conduct, and esteem the character, of one whom he hated and dreaded. But God overruled it for ensuring the present escape of David. Consider his language and behavior. This language—"a dead dog," "a flea," terms by which, like Eastern people, he strongly expressed a sense of his lowliness and the entire committal of his cause to Him who alone is the judge of human actions, and to whom vengeance belongs, his steady repulse of the vindictive counsels of his followers; the relentings of heart which he felt even for the apparent indignity he had done to the person of the Lord's anointed; and the respectful homage he paid the jealous tyrant who had set a price on his head—evince the magnanimity of a great and good man, and strikingly illustrate the spirit and energy of his prayer "when he was in the cave" (Ps 142:1).Mine eye; which words are easily understood both from the nature of the thing, and from the use of this phrase in other scriptures, as Deu 7:16 13:8. The eye is said to spare, because it affects the heart with pity, and moves a man to spare.
how that the Lord had delivered thee today into mine hand in the cave; from whence they were both just come:
and some bade me kill thee; some of the men that were with David, some of his officers or principal friends put him upon it, having a fair opportunity, and thinking it no evil, since he was his enemy, and sought his life; or "it said, kill thee"; my heart prompted me to it, that said so at first, as Ben Gersom interprets it; some refer it to God, who in his providence said so, or so it might be understood by David, as if Providence directed him to it, by giving film such an opportunity of doing it:
but mine eye spared thee; had pity on him, and notwithstanding the suggestions of friends, and of his own heart at first, or the seeming direction of Providence, yet he had mercy on him, and forbore slaying him:
and I said, I will not put forth my hand against my lord; and king, whose subject I:am:
for he is the Lord's anointed; the Lord has raised him to this dignity; invested him with the office of a king, and as such I regard him, and therefore have refrained mine hand from him, from hurting him,Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD's anointed.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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