1 Samuel 27:10
And Achish said, Where have you made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) And David said, Against the south of Judah.—The answer of David to his sovereign lord, the King of Gath—for he was now, to all intents and purposes, a vassal prince of Achish—was simply a falsehood. He had been engaged in distant forays against the old Bedaween enemies of Israel, far away in the desert which stretched to the frontier of Egypt; and from these nomads—rich in cattle and in other property, which they had obtained by years of successful plunder—he seems to have gained much booty, a share of which he brought to his “suzerain,” Achish. But David represents that the cattle and apparel had been captured from his own countrymen, whose territory he was harrying. “The Jerahmeelites were descendants of Jerahmeel, the firstborn of Hezron (1Chronicles 2:9; 1Chronicles 2:25-26), and therefore one of the three large families of Judah who sprang from Hezron.”—Keil, They dwelt, it is believed, on the southern frontier of the tribe of Judah. The Kenites were a race living in friendship with and under the protection of Judah.

1 Samuel 27:10. David said, Against the south of Judah, &c. — David expressed himself thus ambiguously that Achish might suppose he had assaulted the land of Judah; whereas he had only fallen upon those people who bordered on that land. His words, therefore, though not directly false, (all those people actually dwelling on the south of Judah,) yet being ambiguous, and intended to convey an erroneous idea, were very contrary to that simplicity which became David, both as a prince and as an eminent professor of the true religion. The fidelity of Achish to him, and the confidence he put in him, aggravates his sin in thus deceiving him; which David seems peculiarly to reflect on when he prays, “Remove from me the way of lying.”27:8-12 While David was in the land of the Philistines, he attacked some remains of the devoted nations. The people whom he cut off were long before doomed to destruction. It is often wisdom to shun public notice, but we must in no situation be idle. We must always try to do somewhat in the cause of God. This expedition David hid from Achish. But an equivocation which serves the purpose of a lie, is as like to it as a hypocrite is to a profane person, it is only better in appearance, therefore more dangerous. Yet, though believers often manifest imperfections, they can never be prevailed upon to renounce the service of God, and to unite interests with his enemies, or finally to become the servants of sin and Satan. But what a train of evils follow from unbelief! When we forget the Lord's past mercies, and his gracious assurances, we shall be overwhelmed with desponding fears, and probably be led to adopt some dishonourable method to get rid of our troubles. Nothing can so effectually establish us in holy tempers and practices, and preserve us from perplexities, as firm, unshaken dependence upon the promises of God in Christ Jesus.The Jerahmeelites - i. e. the descendants of Jerahmeel, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah (marginal references). They were therefore a portion of the "south of Judah."

The Kenites - See Numbers 24:21 note; Numbers 4:11; and for their near neighborhood to Amalek, see 1 Samuel 15:6.

10. Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to-day?—that is, raid, a hostile excursion for seizing cattle and other booty.

David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites—Jerahmeel was the great-grandson of Judah, and his posterity occupied the southern portion of that tribal domain.

the south of the Kenites—the posterity of Jethro, who occupied the south of Judah (Jud 1:16; Nu 24:21). The deceit practised upon his royal host and the indiscriminate slaughter committed, lest any one should escape to tell the tale, exhibit an unfavorable view of this part of David's history.

Against the south of Judah: these and the following words are ambiguous; for they may be understood, either of the southern parts from Judah, &c., which he would have Achish understand; or of another country lying southward from Judah, &c., which David meant, and which was the truth. So though it was not a downright lie; yet it was an equivocation, with an intention to deceive, which is the formality of a lie, and was contrary to that simplicity which became David, both as a prince, and as an eminent professor of the true religion.

And against, for that is against; for in the following words he particularly expresseth what part of the south of Judah he went against, even that which was inhabited by the Jerahmeelites, and by the Kenites.

The Jerahmeelites; the posterity of Hezron, a family of Judah, 1 Chronicles 2:9,25. The

Kenites; the posterity of Jethro, which chose to dwell in the south of Judah, Judges 1:16. See Numbers 24:21. And Achish said, whither have ye made a road today?.... Or whither had they rushed in, or poured in and spread themselves? or where had they made their excursion to fetch in the prey and booty they now brought?

and David said, against the south of Judah; he meant against some people that lay to the south of the land of Judah, without it; but expressed himself so, that Achish might think he meant the southern parts of Judah within the country; which, though not a downright lie, was an equivocation, and made with a design to deceive; and was by no means agreeably to the character of David, nor to be defended nor imitated:

and against the south of the Jerahmeelites; these were the descendants of Jerahmeel, the son of Hezron, the grandson of Judah, and so inhabited in the tribe of Judah, and very probably in the southern part of it, 1 Chronicles 2:9,

and against the south of the Kenites; the posterity of Jethro; these, at least some of them, at the first seating of the children of Israel in the land of Canaan, went with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad, Judges 1:16.

And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the {e} Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites.

(e) A family of the tribe of Judah, 1Ch 2:9.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. Whither] The Heb. word does not mean whither, and must be emended. It is best to follow the Sept. and Vulg. in reading “against whom.”

have ye made a road] The same word as that translated “invaded” in 1 Samuel 27:8. “Road” means a plundering excursion or raid, from A.-S. râd, a riding. Compare the compound in-road. “Him hee named, who at that time was absent, making roades upon the Lacedemonians.” Sidney’s Arcadia.

the Jerahmeelites] Descendants of Jerahmeel the son of Hezron (1 Chronicles 2:9; 1 Chronicles 2:25), who were settled on the southern frontier of Judah, apparently as an independent tribe. Cp. 1 Samuel 30:29.

the Kenites] Who were in alliance with the Israelites. See on 1 Samuel 15:6.Achish allotted dwelling-places in his capital, Gath, for David and his wives, and for all his retinue; and Saul desisted from any further pursuit of David when he was informed of his flight to Gath. The Chethibh יוסף is apparently only a copyist's error for יסף.
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