1 Samuel 29:4
And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said to him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which you have appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for with which should he reconcile himself to his master? should it not be with the heads of these men?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Go down.—This is a technical military expression, used constantly, on account of the necessity of the troops descending from the hill country in which they were encamped to the plain in order to fight.

1 Samuel 29:4. Make this fellow return to his place — To Ziklag, which they were content he should possess. For wherewith should he reconcile, &c. Should it not be with the heads of these men? — That is, of the Philistines. They reasoned wisely, according to the common maxims of prudence and true policy; for by such a course great enemies have sometimes been reconciled together. But the Divine Providence was no doubt concerned in suggesting these prudential considerations to their minds; for by this means David was delivered from that great strait and difficulty into which he had brought himself, and from which no human wisdom could have extricated him; either of being an enemy to, and fighting against his country, (as before observed,) or being false to his friend and to his trust. And, by the same providential incident, he was sent back time enough to recover his wives, and the wives and children of his men, and his all, from the Amalekites, which would have been irrecoverably lost if he had gone to this battle. And the kindness of God to David was the greater, because it would have been most just for God to have left him in those distresses into which his own sinful counsel had brought him.29:1-5 David waited with a secret hope that the Lord would help him out of his difficulty. But he seems to have been influenced too much by the fear of man, in consenting to attend Achish. It is hard to come near to the brink of sin, and not to fall in. God inclined the princes of the Philistines to oppose David's being employed in the battle. Thus their dislike befriended him, when no friend could do him such a kindness.He fell unto me - The regular word for deserting and going over to the other side. See Jeremiah 37:13; Jeremiah 38:19. 4. the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him—It must be considered a happy circumstance in the overruling providence of God to rescue David out of the dangerous dilemma in which he was now placed. But David is not free from censure in his professions to Achish (1Sa 29:8), to do what he probably had not the smallest purpose of doing—of fighting with Achish against his enemies. It is just an instance of the unhappy consequences into which a false step—a departure from the straight course of duty—will betray everyone who commits it. Were wroth with him; were unsatisfied and offended with Achish for this intention and declaration.

Make this fellow return: herein the wise and gracious providence of God appeared, both in helping him out of those snares and difficulties, out of which no human wit could have extricated him, but he must either have been, or have been thought, to be a traitor, and an ungrateful, unworthy person either to the one or to the other side; and moreover in giving him the happy opportunity of recovering his own and his all from the Amalekites, which had been irrecoverably lost if he had gone into this battle. And the kindness of God to David was the greater, because it had been most just for God to have left David in all those distresses into which his own sinful counsel and course had brought him.

Of these men, i.e. of these our soldiers: they speak according to the rules of reason and true policy, for by this very course great enemies have sometimes been reconciled together. And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him,.... With Achish, for giving such a character of David, and taking his part, in order to detain him, if possible:

and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, make this fellow return; they speak of him with contempt, and insist on it that Achish order him to turn back, and go no further with them:

that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him; to Ziklag, the place that Achish had given him for his residence, 1 Samuel 27:6; they did not desire to have him sent to his own country, and to Saul, since should a reconciliation be made between them, he would be of great service to Saul against them:

and let him not go down with us to battle; into the valley of Jezreel, where the Israelites had pitched:

lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: and fall upon them behind, being in the rear, while they were engaging in the front with Israel:

for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? to Saul he had offended, and fled from:

should it not be with the heads of these men? the Philistines; or unless by the heads of these men (m); he had no other way of making his peace with his master but by cutting off the heads of the Philistines; and therefore he was a dangerous man to take with them into the battle.

(m) "nisi per capita", Noldius, p. 257. No. 1147.

And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the {c} heads of these men?

(c) Would not Saul receive him to favour, if he would betray us?

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. this fellow] Simply, “the man:” but below, “wherewith should this fellow make himself acceptable unto his master? should it not be with the heads of those men?” Pointing to the troops marching past.Verses 4-6. - Angrily rejecting the testimony of Achish in David's favour, they say, Make this fellow (Hebrew, "the man") return, that he may go again to his place, i.e. to Ziklag. He shall not go down with us to battle. Though the Philistines marched up into the Israelite territory, yet they speak naturally of going down into battle, because while armies usually encamped on opposite ranges of hills, they descended into the plain between for the encounter. An adversary. Hebrew, "a satan," without the article, and so in 1 Chronicles 21:1. As a proper name it has the article, as in the books of Job and Zechariah. Should he reconcile himself. The verb means, "to make himself pleasing," "to commend himself." The heads of these men, pointing to the Philistine ranks. David of whom they sang, etc. The song of the Jewish maidens seems to have been as well known in Philistia as in the land of Israel On the former occasion it had made the Philistines drive him away from the court of Achish (1 Samuel 21:11-15); here, too, it made them drive him from their army, but he was thereby saved from the painful necessity of making war on his own country, and returned just in time to rescue his wives and property. ACHISH SENDS DAVID AWAY (vers. 6-11). On Saul's refusing to take food, his servants (i.e., his two attendants) also pressed him, so that he yielded, rose up from the ground, and sat down upon the bed (Mittah: i.e., a bench by the wall of the room provided with pillows); whereupon the woman quickly sacrificed (served up) a stalled calf, baked unleavened cakes, and set the food she had prepared before the king and his servants. The woman did all this from natural sympathy for the unhappy king, and not, as Thenius supposes, to remove all suspicion of deception from Saul's mind; for she had not deceived the king at all.
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