The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth my hand against the LORD's anointed: but, I pray you, take you now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The spear.—The spear was Saul’s especial sign of royalty. “This taking away of the spear from Saul’s head as he slept was an omen of the transfer of his royalty to David.”—Bishop Patrick, quoted by Wordsworth.
And the cruse of water.—“A very ancient usage explains why the cruse of water is here brought into such special prominence. According to this custom, some high dignitary always had in keeping a costly ewer for the king’s necessary ablutions, and it was specially his duty to take it with him, and present it to the king during campaigns or other journeys, so that its disappearance would involve almost as great a disgrace to the king as the loss of his sceptre” (Ewald, in reference to Psalm 60:8, states his belief that this custom existed in the time of David).—Ewald, History of Israel, “David,” ii. 3 (Note). The same scholar also writes that “there are many other instances of similar stories, in which the future conqueror and founder of a new dynasty is represented as having received at first some symbol of royalty from his predecessors by accident, as it were, or in sport. Thus Alexander at first takes the royal divining cup from Dârâ as if in sport: a story which in the Shâhnâmeh no longer appears in its original light; and in nothing was the belief in omens so strong as in the high affairs of state.”—“David,” ii. 3 (Note).
Abishai - He was son of Zeruiah, David's sister, but probably about the same age as David. He because very famous as a warrior 2 Samuel 23:18, but was implicated with his brother Joab in the murder of Abner in retaliation for the death of their brother Asahel 2 Samuel 3:30.
at his bolster—literally, "at his head"; perhaps, Saul as a sovereign had the distinguished luxury of a bolster carried for him. A "cruse of water" is usually, in warm climates, kept near a person's couch, as a drink in the night time is found very refreshing. Saul's cruse would probably be of superior materials, or more richly ornamented than common ones, and therefore by its size or form be easily distinguished.Take thou now the spear, which will show where we have been, and what we could have done.
The cruse of water might be put there, either to wash himself, in case of any accidental pollution, which oft happened in the night; or to refresh him, and quench his thirst in that hot climate and season; or for divers other uses.
but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster; not to smite him with, as he desired, but to carry off, and was no other than his sceptre; See Gill on 1 Samuel 20:33,
and the cruse of water; which stood in the same place, as appears by 1 Samuel 26:12. Some take this to be a pot to make water in; others an hourglass, to know the time of night, in which not sand, but water, flowed for that purpose: but rather this was for his refreshment should he be hot and thirsty in the night, or to purify him from any nocturnal pollution that might happen; for, according to Clemens of Alexandria (m), it was a custom of the Jews often to purify themselves in bed: though Fortunatus Scacchus (n) thinks Saul had this pot or cup for a religious use; which he had with him, and with it gave thanks to God, the author of all good, whenever he sat down to a meal; such as the golden cup Philip king of Macedon always had under his pillow when he slept (o):
and let us go; and do nothing more; which would be sufficient to convince they had been there, and to show what was in their power to do, had they been so inclined.The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. cruse] A small cup or jar. The word is found in Icelandic, Danish, and other languages, and is probably akin to crock and crucible.1 Samuel 26:6) to reconnoitre the camp of Saul. When he saw the place where Saul and his general Abner were lying - Saul was lying by the waggon rampart, and the fighting men were encamped round about him - he said to Ahimelech and Abishai, "Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?" Whereupon Abishai declared himself ready to do so; and they both went by night, and found Saul sleeping with all the people. Ahimelech the Hittite is never mentioned again; but Abishai the son of Zeruiah, David's sister (1 Chronicles 2:16), and a brother of Joab, was afterwards a celebrated general of David, as was also his brother Joab (2 Samuel 16:9; 2 Samuel 18:2; 2 Samuel 21:17). Saul's spear was pressed (stuck) into the ground at his head, as a sign that the king was sleeping there, for the spear served Saul as a sceptre (cf. 1 Samuel 18:10).
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