David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And cried after Saul.—The outlaw suffered the king and his companion to proceed some little way—possibly down the deep ascent which led up to the cave’s mouth—and then called after Saul, but with an address of the deepest reverence, accompanied too (see next clause) with an act of the profoundest homage which an inferior could pay to a superior. He would show Saul at least he was no rival king.
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).
and went out of the cave; where he had been all the time that Saul had been in it:
and cried after Saul: with a loud voice: my lord the king; by which titles Saul would know that he was called unto:
and when Saul looked behind him; to see who it was that called unto him:
David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself: giving reverence and honour to him as a king; See Gill on 1 Samuel 20:41.David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. stooped, &c.] Better, bowed himself with his face to the ground and did obeisance. The usual Oriental gesture of reverence to a king or superior is described. See on 1 Samuel 20:41. Cp. 1 Kings 1:16; 1 Kings 1:31.Verse 8. - Saul apparently had withdrawn from his men, and David seizes the opportunity of proving to him his innocence, and quieting the king's fears. He goes out, therefore, and calls after him, saying, My lord the king, addressing him thus as his master, to whom his obedience was due. He also pays him the utmost reverence, bowing his face to the earth and making obeisance. By this lowly bearing David showed that, so far from being a rebel, he still acknowledged Saul's lawful authority, and was true to his allegiance.
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