And he said to David, You are more righteous than I: for you have rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded you evil.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Samuel 24:17-19. Thou art more righteous than I — He ingenuously acknowledges David’s integrity and his own iniquity. If a man find his enemy, will he let him go? — That is, he will certainly destroy him to save himself. Thy behaviour, therefore, shows that thou hast no enmity to me. Wherefore the Lord reward thee good — Because he thought himself not able to recompense so great a favour, he prays God to recompense it.
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).Thou hast rewarded me good for the evil that I have designed and done to thee.
I have rewarded thee evil for thy good will to me.
for thou hast rewarded me good; in times past, and now; heretofore in killing Goliath, fighting his battles for him against the Philistines, driving the evil spirit from him, by playing on the harp before him, and now by sparing his life, only cutting off the skirt of his garment, when he could with equal ease have cut off his head:
whereas I have rewarded thee evil: in seeking to take away his life at various times, by casting a javelin at him more than once, sending messengers to kill him, and hunting after him from place to place, to take him and slay him.And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.
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