1 Samuel 29:10
Why now rise up early in the morning with your master's servants that are come with you: and as soon as you be up early in the morning, and have light, depart.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) With thy master’s servants.—The words have perplexed expositors. It is hardly the expression we should expect Achish to use of David’s followers. All Israelites were, of course, “subjects of Saul,” but the term would hardly be used except by one hostile to David, as Nabal was; he once (1Samuel 25:10) made use of an insulting term of a like nature to David. Achish, we know, seemed ever kindly disposed to the outlawed son of Jesse. A probable suggestion has, however, been lately made, that the reference here is to those tribes of Manasseh (comp. 1Chronicles 12:19-21) who had only lately come over to David. Was it not also possible that these very Manassites, who had only very recently deserted the king’s cause for David’s, were known to some of the Philistines as Saul’s soldiers, and that their suspicions had been awakened in the first place by finding them marching under David’s standard in the division of Gath?

1 Samuel 29:10-11. With thy master’s servants — This intimates that the lords of the Philistines would not trust them, because they looked on them still as Saul’s subjects. David and his men rose up early — David did not then know how necessary this was for the relief of his own city. But God knew it well, and sent him thither accordingly. On how many occasions may we say, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter! 29:6-11 David scarcely ever had a greater deliverance than when dismissed from such insnaring service. God's people should always behave themselves so, as, if possible, to get the good word of all they have dealings with: and it is due to those who have acted well, to speak well of them.With thy master's servants - The clue to this may be found in 1 Chronicles 12:19-21, where it appears that a considerable number of Manassites "fell" to David just at this time, and went back with him to Ziklag. It is therefore to these new comers that Achish applies the expression. It is impossible not to recognize here a merciful interposition of Providence, by which David was not only saved from fighting against his king and country, but sent home just in time to recover his wives and property from the Amalekites 1 Samuel 30. That David maintained his position by subtlety and falsehood, which were the invariable characteristics of his age and nation, is not in the least to be wondered at. No sanction is given by this narrative to the use of falsehood. 9. notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said—The Philistine government had constitutional checks—or at least the king was not an absolute sovereign; but his authority was limited—his proceedings liable to be controlled by "the powerful barons of that rude and early period—much as the kings of Europe in the Middle Ages were by the proud and lawless aristocracy which surrounded them" [Chalmers]. With thy master’s servants; he intimates the ground of the Philistines’ jealousy concerning David and his men, that they were all servants of Saul, and therefore had an obligation, and were suspected to have an affection, to their old lord and master, against whom even David himself could not make them fight, especially with and for the Philistines.

As soon as ye have light, depart; before the battle begin, lest, if you delay, the lords of the Philistines fall upon you, and destroy you. Wherefore now rise up early with thy master's servants that are come with thee,.... Meaning his six hundred men, who were considered as the servants and subjects of Saul, though with David: and which tacitly carried in it the objection of the Philistine lords unto them, that since they were the servants and subjects of Saul, they were not to be trusted in a battle with him; lest finding an opportunity, they should seize it, and thereby ingratiate themselves into his favour again:

and as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart; he advises them to get away as soon as they could, lest the Philistines should fall upon them, and force them, and he could not say what mischief might befall them; wherefore for their safety it was best to depart as soon as they could see their way.

Wherefore now rise up early in the morning with thy {f} master's servants that are come with thee: and as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart.

(f) With them that fled to thee from Saul.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. with thy master’s servants] Achish speaks of David’s men as Saul’s subjects, in view of the objection which has been made to their presence in the army.

with thee] After these words the Sept. (A B) adds: “And go ye unto the place which I have appointed you; and lay not up any evil thought in thine heart, for thou art good in my sight.”Verses 10, 11. - With thy master's servants. It has been well remarked that while this would be a strange description of David's own men, it would exactly describe that band of deserters belonging to the tribe of Manasseh who, instead of obeying Saul's summons to the war with the Philistines, joined David about this time (see 1 Chronicles 12:19-21). As soon as ye be up early in the morning, etc. If it was on the second day s march that the Philistine lords objected to David's continuance with them, he would be back at Gath in two days, and on the third day reach Ziklag, as is said in 1 Samuel 30:1. However difficult David's position may have been, still every one must condemn his conduct towards Achish as dishonourable; but God, who often deals with men more mercifully than they deserve, nevertheless rescued him from his state of perplexity, and saved him from the necessity of either fighting against his own countrymen or of still more dishonourably breaking his word to Achish by deserting in the battle. He also sent him home just in time to rescue from a miserable fate those whom he loved.



But the princes, i.e., the four other princes of the Philistines, not the courtiers of Achish himself, were angry with Achish, and demanded, "Send the man back, that he may return to his place, which thou hast assigned him; that he may not go down with us into the war, and may not become an adversary (satan) to us in the war; for wherewith could he show himself acceptable to his lord (viz., Saul), if not with the heads of these men?" הלוא, nonne, strictly speaking, introduces a new question to confirm the previous question. "Go down to the battle:" this expression is used as in 1 Samuel 26:10; 1 Samuel 30:24, because battles were generally fought in the plains, into which the Hebrews were obliged to come down from their mountainous land. "These men," i.e., the soldiers of the Philistines, to whom the princes were pointing.
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