1 Samuel 30:8
And David inquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Samuel 30:8. He answered — Before God answered more slowly and gradually, 1 Samuel 23:11-12; but now he answers speedily, and fully at once, because the business required haste. So gracious is our God, that he considers even the degree of our necessities, and accommodates himself to them.

30:7-15 If in all our ways, even when, as in this case, there can be no doubt they are just, we acknowledge God, we may expect that he will direct our steps, as he did those of David. David, in tenderness to his men, would by no means urge them beyond their strength. The Son of David thus considers the frames of his followers, who are not all alike strong and vigorous in their spiritual pursuits and conflicts; but, where we are weak, there he is kind; nay more, there he is strong, 2Co 12:9,10. A poor Egyptian lad, scarcely alive, is made the means of a great deal of good to David. Justly did Providence make this poor servant, who was basely used by his master, an instrument in the destruction of the Amalekites; for God hears the cry of the oppressed. Those are unworthy the name of true Israelites, who shut up their compassion from persons in distress. We should neither do an injury nor deny a kindness to any man; some time or other it may be in the power of the lowest to return a kindness or an injury.Abiathar had continued to abide with David, ever since he joined him at Keilah 1 Samuel 23:6. On inquiry of the Lord by the ephod, see Judges 1:1 note. The answers were evidently given by the Word of the Lord in the mouth of the high priest (compare John 11:51). 1Sa 30:6-15. But David, Encouraged by God, Pursues Them.

6. David was greatly distressed—He had reason, not only on his own personal account (1Sa 30:5), but on account of the vehement outcry and insurrectionary threats against him for having left the place so defenseless that the families of his men fell an unresisting prey to the enemy. Under the pressure of so unexpected and widespread a calamity, of which he was upbraided as the indirect occasion, the spirit of any other leader guided by ordinary motives would have sunk;

but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God—His faith supplied him with inward resources of comfort and energy, and through the seasonable inquiries he made by Urim, he inspired confidence by ordering an immediate pursuit of the plunderers.

Before God answered more slowly and gradually, 1 Samuel 23:1,12, but now he answers speedily and fully at once, because the business here required more haste. So gracious is our God, that he considers even the degree of other necessities, and accommodates himself to them.

And David inquired of the Lord,.... That is, by Abiathar, who reported his questions to the Lord in his name:

saying, shall I pursue after this troop? the large company of the Amalekites, as it appears by what follows they were:

shall I overtake them? two questions are here put together, and answers returned to them, contrary to a notion of the Jews; See Gill on 1 Samuel 23:11,

and he answered him, pursue; which respects the first question:

for thou shall surely overtake them; which is an answer to the second question, and a full one, giving full assurance of overtaking; to which is added more than what was inquired about:

and without fail recover all; their wives, sons, and daughters, and the spoil that was taken; or "in delivering thou shall deliver" (p), out of the hands of the Amalekites, whatsoever they had taken.

(p) "eruendo erues", Pagninus, Montanus; "eripiendo erepturus es", Piscator.

And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail {e} recover all.

(e) Though God seem to leave us for a time, yet if we trust in him, we will be sure to find comfort.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. inquired at] = inquired of. Cp. Genesis 24:57.

pursue … overtake] Cp. Exodus 15:9.

1 Samuel 30:8David was greatly distressed in consequence; "for the people thought ('said,' sc., in their hearts) to stone him," because they sought the occasion of their calamity in his connection with Achish, with which many of his adherents may very probably have been dissatisfied. "For the soul of the whole people was embittered (i.e., all the people were embittered in their souls) because of their sons and daughters," who had been carried away into slavery. "But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God," i.e., sought consolation and strength in prayer and believing confidence in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:7.). This strength he manifested in the resolution to follow the foes and rescue their booty from them. To this end he had the ephod brought by the high priest Abiathar (cf. 1 Samuel 23:9), and inquired by means of the Urim of the Lord, "Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake it?" These questions were answered in the affirmative; and the promise was added, "and thou wilt rescue." So David pursued the enemy with his six hundred men as far as the brook Besor, where the rest, i.e., two hundred, remained standing (stayed behind). The words עמדוּ והנּותרים, which are appended in the form of a circumstantial clause, are to be connected, so far as the facts are concerned, with what follows: whilst the others remained behind, David pursued the enemy still farther with four hundred men. By the word הנּותרים the historian has somewhat anticipated the matter, and therefore regards it as necessary to define the expression still further in 1 Samuel 30:10. We are precluded from changing the text, as Thenius suggests, by the circumstance that all the early translators read it in this manner, and have endeavoured to make the expression intelligible by paraphrasing it. These two hundred men were too tired to cross the brook and go any farther. (פּגר, which only occurs here and in 1 Samuel 30:21, signifies, in Syriac, to be weary or exhausted.) As Ziklag was burnt down, of course they found no provisions there, and were consequently obliged to set out in pursuit of the foe without being able to provide themselves with the necessary supplies. The brook Besor is supposed to be the Wady Sheriah, which enters the sea below Ashkelon (see v. Raumer, Pal. p. 52).
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