1 Samuel 21:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Achish said to his servants, "Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me?

King James Bible
Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad: wherefore then have ye brought him to me?

Darby Bible Translation
And Achish said to his servants, Behold, ye see the man is mad: why did ye bring him to me?

World English Bible
Then Achish said to his servants, "Look, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me?

Young's Literal Translation
And Achish saith unto his servants, 'Lo, ye see a man acting as a madman; why do ye bring him in unto me?

1 Samuel 21:14 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

And he changed his behavior - Some imagine David was so terrified at the danger to which he was now exposed, that he was thrown into a kind of frenzy, accompanied with epileptic fits. This opinion is countenanced by the Septuagint, who render the passage thus: Ιδου ιδετε ανδρα επιλητον; "Behold, ye see an epileptic man. Why have ye introduced him to me?" Μη ελαττουμαι επιληπτων εγω; "Have I any need of epileptics, that ye have brought him to have his fits before me, (επιληπτευεσθαι προς με?") It is worthy of remark, that the spittle falling upon the beard, i.e., slavering or frothing at the mouth, is a genuine concomitant of an epileptic fit.

If this translation be allowed, it will set the conduct of David in a clearer point of view than the present translation does. But others think the whole was a feigned conduct, and that he acted the part of a lunatic or madman in order to get out of the hands of Achish and his courtiers. Many vindicate this conduct of David; but if mocking be catching, according to the proverb, he who feigns himself to be mad may, through the just judgment of God, become so. I dare not be the apologist of insincerity or lying. Those who wish to look farther into this subject may consult Dr. Chandler, Mr. Saurin, and Ortlob, in the first volume of Dissertations, at the end of the Dutch edition of the Critici Sacri.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

is mad. or, playeth the madman

Ecclesiastes 7:7 Surely oppression makes a wise man mad; and a gift destroys the heart.

Historical Criticism of Mediæval Amplifications.
But along with the genuine and trustworthy matter, the compiler has embodied much that is unattested and in many cases inherently improbable, and even some things that are demonstrably untrue. i. The Miraculous Details.--To the category of the improbable--the fiction of hagiology or the growth of myth--belong the miracles so freely ascribed to Ephraim and the miraculous events represented as attending on his career. It is noteworthy that Ephraim himself, though no doubt he believed that he was
Ephraim the Syrian—Hymns and Homilies of Ephraim the Syrian

Touching Jacob, However, that which He did at his Mother's Bidding...
24. Touching Jacob, however, that which he did at his mother's bidding, so as to seem to deceive his father, if with diligence and in faith it be attended to, is no lie, but a mystery. The which if we shall call lies, all parables also, and figures designed for the signifying of any things soever, which are not to be taken according to their proper meaning, but in them is one thing to be understood from another, shall be said to be lies: which be far from us altogether. For he who thinks this, may
St. Augustine—Against Lying

Cross References
1 Samuel 21:13
So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.

1 Samuel 21:15
Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?"

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