Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Aphec. Hence they proceeded to Sunam, and attacked Saul, near the fountain, which were all places in the vale of Jezrahel. The sacred writer thus leaves the two armies ready to engage, being intent on giving the particulars of David's history, and only relating the affairs of Saul, &c., in as much as they may refer to him. (Calmet) --- David had retired from the army of the Philistines before Saul went to Endor, and some of the tribe of Manasses went after him, and were present in the battle, in which the Amalecites were slain and plundered, 1 Paralipomenon xii. 19. (Salien)
Thousands, making the troops pass in review, as the Hebrew insinuates. Their army seems to have been divided, in the same manner as that of the Israelites, each company of 10, 50, &c., having its respective officer, under the five lords. --- Were. Hebrew, "passed." David's band was connected with the troops of Achis, yet so that they might be easily distinguished by their dress, &c. (Calmet) --- The Roman Triarii, who were esteemed the bravest soldiers, occupied the rear. (Menochius) --- Josephus gives us to understand that Achis was the commander in chief. (Antiquities vi. 14.) (Tirinus)
Know David. It seems they were not unacquainted with him, since they knew that Achis had given him a place, (ver. 4,) or city. (Haydock) --- But they prudently judged that it would be very hazardous to employ him on this occasion. Providence thus brought him honourably out of the scrape, as he could not have remained even inactive, among the troops of the Philistines, without rendering himself suspected both to them and to his own people. (Calmet) --- Years. Abulensis thinks that Achis told an untruth, to persuade the lords that he had been long witness of David's fidelity. He might also allude to the first time, when he came to his court, or the four months specified [in] chap. xxvii. 9, might fall into different years. Septuagint, "he has been with us days, this is the second year." (Menochius) --- Syriac, "two years (Arabic, "one year," and some months." (Calmet) --- The true term was only four months. (Worthington)
Adversary. Hebrew Satan, "a calumniator, enemy," &c. (Calmet) --- Tacitus (Hist. iv.) speaking of the Batavian corps, says, "which, being bribed, pretended to be faithful, that it might flee, and become more acceptable after it had betrayed the Romans in the heat of the engagement."
Lord. Hebrew Jehova. (Haydock) --- Achis speaks of the true God, as David was accustomed to do. (Salien) --- Perhaps he adored him, like his other gods; as the Israelites are accused of swearing by the Lord and by Melchom, Sophonias i. 5. --- The pagans often appealed to the gods of those with whom they were treating. (Calmet)
King. He speaks thus that he might not increase the suspicions of the Philistines. (Menochius) --- In the mean time, God called him to fight against Amalec, and to defend his own property, which was actually, or the next day, taken from Siceleg; (Haydock) so that nothing could have been more desirable to him, than to be thus dismissed with applause. (Salien)
Angel of God, equally incapable of any meanness. The pagans admitted the existence of good and of evil spirits. (Sanctius) This exaggerated compliment occurs, Genesis xxxiii. 10., 2 Kings xiv. 17., and xix. 27.
Thy Lord. He may allude to Saul, (ver. 3,) or to himself, (chap. v. 8,) or to God, as David was under obligations to all three. (Haydock) --- Light, that none might know or be dejected, in the rest of the army. (Menochius)