1 Samuel 26:8
Then said Abishai to David, God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray you, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.
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(8) I will not smite him the second time.—The meaning of the savage words of Abishai is accurately given in Lange’s paraphrase, “I will pin him to the ground so thoroughly with one blow that it will not need another to kul him;” “et secundo non opus erit” as the Vulg. well renders it.

1 Samuel 26:8-9. Now, therefore, let me smite him — Although David would not kill him himself, when he had the like opportunity, 1 Samuel 24:4; yet Abishai thought he might give him leave to do it; and he pledged himself to nail him to the ground with his spear at one thrust, so that he should make no noise by crying out. And David said, Destroy him not — Saul having been made king by God’s special appointment, David looked upon it as a high crime to offer any violence to him: as if he had said, Though he be a tyrant, yet he is our lord and king; and I, although designed king, am yet his subject; and therefore I cannot kill him without sin, nor will I consent that thou shouldst do it.26:1-12 How soon do unholy hearts lose the good impressions convictions have made upon them! How helpless were Saul and all his men! All as though disarmed and chained, yet nothing is done to them; they are only asleep. How easily can God weaken the strongest, befool the wisest, and baffle the most watchful! David still resolved to wait till God thought fit to avenge him on Saul. He will by no means force his way to the promised crown by any wrong methods. The temptation was very strong; but if he yielded, he would sin against God, therefore he resisted the temptation, and trusted God with the event.Ahimelech the Hittite - Only mentioned here. Uriah was also a Hittite.

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.

8-12. Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand—This midnight stratagem shows the activity and heroic enterprise of David's mind, and it was in unison with the style of warfare in ancient times.

let me smite him … even to the earth at once—The ferocious vehemence of the speaker is sufficiently apparent from his language, but David's magnanimity soared far above the notions of his followers. Though Saul's cruelty and perfidy and general want of right principle had sunk him to a low pitch of degradation, yet that was no reason for David's imitating him in doing wrong. Besides, he was the sovereign; David was a subject. Though God had rejected him from the kingdom, it was in every way the best and most dutiful course, instead of precipitating his fall by imbruing their hands in his blood and thereby contracting the guilt of a great crime, to wait the awards of that retributive providence which sooner or later would take him off by some sudden and mortal blow. He who, with impetuous haste was going to exterminate Nabal, meekly spared Saul. But Nabal refused to give a tribute to which justice and gratitude, no less than custom, entitled David. Saul was under the judicial infatuation of heaven. Thus David withheld the hand of Abishai; but, at the same time, he directed him to carry off some things which would show where they had been, and what they had done. Thus he obtained the best of victories over him, by heaping coals of fire on his head.

I will nail him to the ground at one blow, that I shall not need a second stroke. Then said Abishai to David,.... Seeing Saul fast asleep, and a spear so near him:

God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: or at this time, properly it was night:

now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear; with Saul's own spear, which was stuck in the ground at his bolster. He remembered that David would not put forth his hand to stay him before, when he had an opportunity; and since now another offered, he did not move it to him to do it, but begged leave to do it himself; which he might think would be granted, since there was such a remarkable hand of Providence in it, which seemed to direct to such a step:

even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time; signifying, that he would give such a home blow or thrust, that the spear should pierce through him, and fasten him to the ground, that there would be no need to repeat it.

Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the {d} second time.

(d) Meaning, he would make him sure at one stroke.

8. hath delivered] Lit. shut up, as in 1 Samuel 24:18.

at once] Not “immediately,” but “with one stroke.”The second betrayal of David by the Ziphites occurred after David had married Abigail at Carmel, and when he had already returned to the desert of Judah. On 1 Samuel 26:1 and 1 Samuel 26:2 compare the explanations of 1 Samuel 23:19 and 1 Samuel 24:3. Instead of "before (in the face of) Jeshimon" (i.e., the wilderness), we find the situation defined more precisely in 1 Samuel 23:19, as "to the right (i.e., on the south) of the wilderness" (Jeshimon).
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