And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him to Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The six hundred men.—This was the original number. They still formed the nucleus of the force, but the total number was now far larger. These “six hundred” had each their households, besides which, many a group of warriors, large and small, had already joined the now renowned standard of the future king.
Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.—The same, we believe, as that Achish to whom David fled before (see 1Samuel 21:11), and identical with Achish, son of Maachah (1Kings 2:39). This would involve the necessity of ascribing a fifty years’ reign to this prince. (Such a lengthy reign is quite possible.) The whole of Philistia subsequently fell under King David’s rule. It seems, however, that he permitted, even after the conquest, Achish to remain in his old city of Gath, most likely as his tributary: thus, we may suppose, paying back the old debt of kindness to Achish.1 Samuel 27:2. Unto Achish the son of Maoch — “Most writers agree that this Achish, to whom David now fled, was not the Achish by whom he was so inhospitably received, and from whom he so narrowly escaped, when he was before at Gath. His being here called Achish the son of Maoch, sufficiently implies him to have been another person; for those words can, in the nature of the thing, have no use but to distinguish this Achish from another of the same name. And indeed this Achish seems as well distinguished from the other by the rest of his character, as by that of the son of Maoch. But this, by the way, is a fair proof that this book was written at the time that it is said to have been written; insomuch as this distinction was information enough to the people of that age, but could neither be given nor received as such either by any writer or reader of any subsequent age.” — Delaney.1 Samuel 16:1, 1 Samuel 16:14. If the continued persecution was merely the consequence of this evil spirit continuing to vex Saul, David advises Saul to seek God's pardon, and, as a consequence, the removal of the evil spirit, by offering a sacrifice. But if the persecution was the consequence of the false accusations of slanderers, then "cursed" be his enemies who, by their actions, drove David out from the only land where Yahweh was worshipped, and forced him to take refuge in the country of pagan and idolaters (compare Deuteronomy 4:27; Deuteronomy 28:36).
1. He thought himself forced to it by Saul’s inveterate rage, and continued resolutions to persecute him.
2. It is probable he had sent some persons to treat with him, and had agreed upon conditions, and received assurance of his safe and peaceable abode with him.
3. David reasonably thought that Achish would gladly receive him, as indeed he did; partly, because he saw Saul’s implacable enmity against him; partly, because by this means he should be freed from the most formidable enemy which he had in all Israel, who might do him most mischief in the battle; which it seems at this time he designed; and partly, because he came not now alone, as he did before, but brought with him sufficient pledges of his fidelity to Achish; namely, all his soldiers, and his and their wives, 1 Samuel 27:3.
and he passed over; the borders of land of Canaan:
with the six hundred men that were with him; having neither lost any, nor had any added to him, since he was at Keilah, 1 Samuel 23:13,
unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath; whether this was the same Achish David was with before, 1 Samuel 21:10, is not certain; it seems as if he was not the same, since he is described as the son of Maoch, as if it was to distinguish him from him; though it is not improbable that he was the same person. Some think (a) that he is described not from his father, but from his mother, whose name was Maacha. The circumstances of David were now very much altered from what they were when he went to Gath before; then he went secretly, now openly; then as a person unknown, now as well known; then alone, now with six hundred men; then when discovered he was seized by the princes of Gath, and brought before the king, and was driven from his presence; but now he came either at the invitation of Achish, hearing how he had been treated by Saul, and thinking to attach him to his interest, and make him more and more the enemy of Saul, and so free himself from a very powerful one, and of whose wisdom and prudence, and military skill, and courage, and valour, he might hope to avail himself; or David sent an embassy to him, to treat with him about his coming into his country, and settlement in it, and terms to mutual satisfaction were agreed upon.And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. Achish, the son of Maoch] If he was the same as the Achish of 1 Samuel 21:10, and the Achish son of Maachah of 1 Kings 2:39, he must have reigned some fifty years. But more probably the same name was borne by different individuals.Verses 2-4. - Achish, the son of Maoch. No doubt the Achish of 1 Samuel 21:10; but if the same as Achish, son of Maachah, in 1 Kings 2:39, as is probably the case, he must have lived to a good old age. As it is said in 1 Chronicles 18:1 that David conquered the Philistines, and took from them Gath and other towns, it would seem that he still permitted Achish to remain there as a tributary king, while Ziklag he kept as his private property (ver. 6). On the former occasion,. when David was alone, Achish had paid him but scant courtesy; but now that he came with 600 warriors, each with his household, and, therefore, with numerous followers, he shows him every respect, and for the time David and his men settle at Gath, and Saul gives over his pursuit, knowing that if he followed him into Philistine territory he would provoke a war, for which he was not now prepared. It has been pointed out that David probably introduced from Gath the style of music called Gittith (Psalm 8, 81, 84, titles). ACHISH ASSIGNS ZIKLAG TO DAVID AS A RESIDENCE (vers. 5-7).
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