So David and his men rose up early to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)To return into the land of the Philistines.—No doubt David and his officers rejoiced at their escaping the terrible alternative of either turning traitors to the kindly man who had so hospitably received them in their distress, or of appearing in arms with the Philistines when they came into collision with the Israelites under Saul. But they little thought in how sore a danger their wives and children and homes were at this juncture. Their release from the Philistine army was not a moment too soon to save these.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.
to return into the land of the Philistines; for now they were in the land of Israel, at Aphek, near Jezreel, from whence they went back to Ziklag, which was within the principality of Gath; and, according to Bunting (o), was eighty eight miles from the place where the army of the Philistines was; but it seems not very likely that it should be so far off:
and the Philistines went up to Jezreel; where the army of the Israelites lay encamped, in order to fight them. By the dismission of David from the army of the Philistines, he was not only delivered from a sad plight he was in, either of acting an ungrateful part to Achish, or an unnatural one to Israel; but also, by the pressing charge of Achish to get away as early as possible in the morning, he came time enough to rescue the prey the Amalekites had taken at Ziklag his city, as in the following chapter; and the providence of God in this affair is further observable, as by some represented, since if David had stayed in the camp of the Philistines, it would not have been so easy for him, on the death of Saul, to have got from them, and succeed in the kingdom, as he could and did from Ziklag.So David and his men rose up early to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. to Jezreel] The Sept. reading (A B) “to fight against Israel” is plausible.1 Samuel 18:7).
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