1 Samuel 26:9
And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless?
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(9) Against the Lord’s anointed.—David—taught, no doubt, by the prophet Samuel—looked upon the person of Saul as made sacred and inviolable by the royal anointing. Through the anointing Saul had become the possession of Jehovah; only Jehovah, then, could lawfully take away that sacred life. This he elaborates in the next verse. It is possible that these exalted sentiments respecting the Divine rights of kings were not uttered by David while standing in the dark night among Saul’s soldiers by the sleeping king, but subsequently, when he and Abishai were talking the incident over together.

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.

Though Saul be a cruel tyrant, and rejected by God, yet he is our sovereign lord and king; and I, though designed king, as yet am but a private person, and his subject; and therefore cannot kill him without sin, nor will I consent that thou shouldst do it.

And David said to Abishai, destroy him not,.... He laid his commands upon him not to hurt him:

for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless? since Saul was king, and appointed to that office by the Lord, and was anointed by his order for it, and invested with it by him, his person was sacred, and not to be touched; nor could his life be taken away by any without being guilty of a very great crime indeed, which it might be justly expected the Lord would resent and punish.

And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand {e} against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless?

(e) That is, in his own private cause: for Jehu slew two kings at God's appointment, 2Ki 9:24.

Verses 9-11. - David forbids the deed as before (1 Samuel 24:6), because of Saul's office. As we there saw, this was an ingrained principle in David's mind on which he constantly acted. Present with equal strength in Saul's mind, it was the cause of moral ruin to the one, and of a noble forbearance and self-control to the other. David therefore leaves him in Jehovah's hand, saying, As Jehovah liveth, Jehovah shall smite him; or his day, etc. Literally, "As Jehovah liveth (I will not smite him), but Jehovah shall smite him; either his day shall come and he shall die; or he shall go down into battle and perish." Whenever he falls, it shall be Jehovah's doing, whether he die a natural death, or a violent one in battle. "The smiting of Jehovah" does not imply a sudden death. God smites men with disease (2 Kings 15:5) and other troubles. What David means is that he will leave the matter entirely to God, but that if Saul's death is to be a violent one, he must fall honourably, not by the hand of a subject, but in battle with Israel's enemies. Jehovah forbid. The same phrase as in 1 Samuel 24:6. Cruse of water. i.e. water bottle, as in 1 Kings 19:6. 1 Samuel 26:9When 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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