1 Samuel 26:17
And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this your voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.
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(17) And Saul knew David’s voice.—The account is most natural throughout. 1Samuel 26:7 speaks of the enterprise being undertaken “by night,” when the soldiers of Saul had fallen into “a deep sleep” (1Samuel 26:12). When David on his return stood on the opposite ridge, it was still, no doubt, the dawn of early morning. So Saul speaks of hearing that voice of David so well known to him, and which once he so dearly loved; he could not as yet discern the figure of his former friend.

26:13-20 David reasoned seriously and affectionately with Saul. Those who forbid our attendance on God's ordinances, do what they can to estrange us from God, and to make us heathens. We are to reckon that which exposes us to sin the greatest injury that can be done us. If the Lord stirred thee up against me, either in displeasure to me, taking this way to punish me for my sins against him, or in displeasure to thee, if it be the effect of that evil spirit from the Lord which troubles thee; let Him accept an offering from us both. Let us join in seeking peace, and to be reconciled with God by sacrifice.This incidental testimony to Abner's great eminence as a warrior is fully borne out by David's dirge at Abner's death 2 Samuel 3:31-34, 2 Samuel 3:38, as well as by his whole history. At the same time David's bantering tone in regard to Abner, coupled with what he says in 1 Samuel 26:19, makes it proable that David attributed Saul's persecution of him in some degree to Abner. Abner would be likely to dread a rival in the young conqueror of Judah (compare 2 Samuel 2:8). 15. David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man: … wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king?—The circumstance of David having penetrated to the center of the encampment, through the circular rows of the sleeping soldiers, constituted the point of this sarcastic taunt. This new evidence of David's moderation and magnanimous forbearance, together with his earnest and kindly expostulation, softened the obduracy of Saul's heart. My son David; as thou wast my son by marriage, so thou hast expressed the care and affection of a son to me now a second time. And Saul knew David's voice,.... Though Abner at first did not, as appears by his words, but Saul did, by being this time thoroughly awake through the discourse that passed between David and Abner:

and said, is this thy voice, my son David? the same question he put before, when he followed him out of the cave; see Gill on 1 Samuel 24:16,

and David said, it is my voice, my lord, O king; he not only owns him to be king, whom he sought not to depose, but his own liege lord and sovereign, whose commands he was ready to obey.

And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this thy voice, {g} my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.

(g) By this it appears, that the hypocrite persecuted David against his own conscience and contrary to his promise.

17. Saul knew David’s voice] It was still too dark to see him at a distance. Saul’s question is the same as in 1 Samuel 24:16, but there it stands in quite a different connexion.Verses 17-19. - Is this thy voice? So 1 Samuel 24:16. In the darkness the only way of recognising David was by his voice. If Jehovah have stirred thee up, etc. This is one of the many passages indicative of the intensity with which the Israelites had grasped the idea of the omnipresence of the Deity, and of his being the one power by whose energy all things exist and all acts are done (see on 1 Samuel 2:2). Alike evil and good come from God, for he alone is the source of all; but it does not therefore follow that everything which he makes possible, or to which his providence seems to lead, is therefore right for man to do (1 Samuel 24:4, 6). On the contrary, all leadings of providence are to be judged by God's immutable law, and the conduct of a Shimei may be absolutely wrong and unjustifiable, even though "Jehovah had bidden him do it" (2 Samuel 16:11). If, indeed, an external command come by the hand of a properly accredited person, it may take the same high position as the published law of God, and so override the conscience; but Shimei's bidding came through the working of his own passions, and was no more binding than the moving of David's mind by Jehovah to number Israel (2 Samuel 24:1). David, then, here sets forth the two only possible cases: first, Saul may be stirred up by Jehovah to persecute David, i.e. the temptation may come by the working of his own mind under those strong impulses which to the Israelite had in them always something Divine. But this was an impulse to break God's law, and was therefore to be resisted; and just as in modern phrase we should bid a person when strongly moved to some act to carry it to God's throne in prayer, so David urges Saul to seek for the quieting of his emotions in religion. Under holy influences these fierce passions would pass away, and Jehovah would accept an offering. Hebrew, "would smell it," because the offering, minchah, consisting of flour and frankincense, was burnt for a sweet odour before God. But, secondly, Saul might be stirred up by the calumnies of wicked men, in which case David prays that they may be cursed before Jehovah; because by forcing him to leave the covenant land of Israel they virtually say to him, Go, serve other gods. To a mind so intensely religious as David's, not only was the private devotion of the heart a necessity, but also the taking part in the public worship of the Deity (Psalm 42:2; Psalm 63:2; Psalm 84:2); and, therefore, to deprive him of this privilege and expel him from the inheritance of Jehovah, i.e. the earthly limits of Jehovah's Church, was to force him, as far as his enemies could do so, to be a heathen and a worshipper of strange gods. When Abishai exclaimed, "God hath delivered thine enemy into thy hand: now will I pierce him with the spear into the ground with a stroke, and will give no second" (sc., stroke: the Vulgate rendering gives the sense exactly: et secundo non opus erit, there will be no necessity for a second), David replied, "Destroy him not; for who hath stretched out his hand against the anointed of the Lord, and remained unhurt?" נקּה, as in Exodus 21:19; Numbers 5:31. He then continued (in 1 Samuel 26:10, 1 Samuel 26:11): "As truly as Jehovah liveth, unless Jehovah smite him (i.e., carry him off with a stroke; cf. 1 Samuel 25:38), or his day cometh that he dies (i.e., or he dies a natural death; 'his day' denoting the day of death, as in Job 14:6; Job 15:32), or he goes into battle and is carried off, far be it from me with Jehovah (מיהוה, as in 1 Samuel 24:7) to stretch forth my hand against Jehovah's anointed." The apodosis to 1 Samuel 26:10 commences with חלילה, "far be it," or "the Lord forbid," in 1 Samuel 26:11. "Take now the spear which is at his head, and the pitcher, and let us go."
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