1 Kings xxii.
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Odollam,
about two days' journey from Geth, (Salien) nine miles east of Eleutheropolis, in the tribe of Juda. (Eusebius) (Calmet) ---
Josue xii. 15., and 2 Machabees xii. 38. (Menochius) --- Thither, to avoid the fury of Saul, which fell so heavy upon
the priests, ver. 16. The most warlike sons of Gad came hither also, to join David, 1 Paralipomenon xii. 8. (Abulensis) (Salien,
the year of the world 2973.)
Ver. 2. Men.
His title to the crown was incontestable, so that he might justly make war, particularly in his own defence, and receive those
who flocked to him to screen themselves from the persecution of Saul, and from their debtors, whom they would thus enable
themselves to repay in time, by the plunder which they would take from the enemy. David maintained the strictest discipline,
and withheld his men from making any disturbance, always manifesting the greatest respect for the person of the king. (Calmet)
--- The soldiers of Jephte were of the same description as these of David, Judges xi. 3. (Haydock)
Ver. 3. Of
Moab, to distinguish it from the city of Benjamin, where Samuel had assembled the people; (Menochius) and perhaps also
from the birth-place of Jephte, unless the Moabites had taken possession again of that part of Galaad. (Calmet) --- Saul had
made war upon this king, so that he was more ready to protect David, who departing soon after, by the admonition of Gad, (ver.
5.; Calmet) left those who could not follow him under his care. In the mean time he lived on plunder, taken from the surrounding
enemies, (Tostat) and was joined by 200 men from the tribes of Benjamin and of Juda, (1 Paralipomenon xii. 16,) with Amasai,
his nephew, by his sister Abigail, at their head. (Salien, the year before Christ 1079.)
Ver. 4. The
hold. The strong hold, or fortress of Maspha. (Challoner) --- It signifies "a watch-tower." (Haydock) --- In this place
the parents of David probably finished their days, as we find no farther mention of them. (Salien)
Ver. 5. Haret,
west of Jerusalem. Septuagint read "the town of Haret," (Eusebius) or "Sarec." (Menochius) --- Rama, "the height,"
in Gabaa. (Calmet) --- God would not suffer David and his followers to continue long among the infidels, for fear of danger.
(Menochius) --- The hero shews his ready obedience to the word of the unknown prophet, and is willing again to expose himself
in the midst of Saul's dominions. (Salien)
Ver. 7. Jemini.
Benjamites, my countrymen. Saul approaches them with being too little concerned about his interests, and falsely accuses his
own son, who, it seems, had retired from court, after his father had attempted to kill him. But he shewed no signs of disloyalty.
(Calmet) --- The king mentions the league between Jonathan and David, on suspicion, chap. xx. 23. (Menochius)
Ver. 9. Servants,
or herdsmen, chap. xxi. 7. Septuagint, "the Syrian, who was set over the mules of Saul." (Haydock) --- Informers are a set
of men destructive to the public," says Tacitius, Hist. i. 4.
Ver. 10. Consulted.
Some think this was a falsehood, as it is not mentioned before. (Hugo) --- but Achimelech does not deny the fact, ver. 15.
Ver. 12. Achitob.
He gives him no honourable title, no more than David, (ver. 7, &c.) out of disrespect. (Menochius)
Ver. 14. Faithful....and
honourable, are titles given to people of great distinction at court, chap. ix. 6., Numbers xii. 7., and Genesis xxxiv.
Ver. 15. For
him? We might read without an interrogation, "I have to-day begun...." (Chaldean) never suspecting that it would be disagreeable
to the king. (Calmet) --- His character and his declarations, led me to conclude quite the contrary, so that I cannot lawfully
be accused of any conspiracy. (Haydock)
Ver. 17. Messengers.
Hebrew, "runners." These officers remained at court and were people of great account, (Calmet) like the king's guards, 2 Kings
xv. 1., and 3 Kings i. 5. (Haydock) --- Lord, out of reverence, and being convinced of their innocence. (Menochius)
--- The obedience which we owe to superiors is subordinate to that which we must always shew towards God and justice. (Calmet)
--- Saul unjustly condemned them as the abettors of his competitor. (Worthington)
Ver. 18. Five.
Josephus read "385." Septuagint, "305." --- Ephod. They all appeared in this dress, as they were priests. (Calmet)
--- It was different from the sacred ephod. (Abulensis) --- Thus the posterity of Heli was almost entirely cut off, as God
had threatened, chap. ii. (Du Hamel; Tirinus)
Ver. 19. Sword.
Saul, now abandoned God, acts against all law. He probably, on this occasion, destroyed the inhabitants of Gabaon, to make
place for the tabernacle, which was removed hither. (Calmet) See chap. xxvii. 12. --- He might also appoint Achitob high priest,
the father of Sadoc, who supplanted Abiathar, 1 Paralipomenon xii., and xvi. 29. (Tirinus)
Ver. 20. Escaped.
He had perhaps remained at Nobe, to do duty. (Menochius) --- God was pleased to reserve him, (Calmet) to convey the sacred
ornaments of the high priest to David. (Haydock) --- St. Bachiarius looks upon the slaughtered priests as martyrs. (Tirinus)
Ver. 22. House.
Literally, "I am guilty," &c. (Haydock) --- "Good people acknowledge a fault, where there is none." (St. Gregory) ---
David was aware of the malicious temper of Doeg, but he could not prevent its evil effects, as he had applied to the high
priest without perceiving that he was there. (Haydock) --- He received Abiathar at Ceila, which he had protected against the
Philistines, chap. xxiii.
Ver. 23. Saved.
We will be as one soul. On this occasion David composed the 51st Psalm, Quid gloriaris, to reprobate the conduct of
Doeg. (Salien) --- We may consider David as the fourth in order of the sacred writers, as he appears after Moses, Josue, and
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Many resort to David. Doeg accuseth Achimelech to Saul.
He ordereth him and all the other priests of Nobe to be slain. Abiathar escapeth.
1 David *therefore went from thence, and fled to the cave of Odollam.
And when his brethren, and all his father's house, had heard of it, they went down to him thither.
2 And all that were in distress, and oppressed with debt, and under affliction
of mind, gathered themselves unto him: and he became their prince, and there were with him about four hundred men.
3 And David departed from thence into Maspha of Moab: and he said to
the king of Moab: Let my father and my mother tarry with you, I beseech thee, till I know what God will do for me.
4 And he left them under the eyes of the king of Moab, and they abode
with him all the days that David was in the hold.
5 And Gad, the prophet, said to David: Abide not in the hold, depart,
and go into the land of Juda. And David departed, and came into the forest of Haret.
6 And Saul heard that David was seen, and the men that were with him.
Now whilst Saul abode in Gabaa, and was in the wood, which is by Rama, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants
were standing about him,
7 He said to his servants that stood about him: Hear me now, ye sons
of Jemini: will the son of Isai give every one of you fields, and vineyards, and make you all tribunes, and centurions:
8 That all of you have conspired against me, and there is no one to inform
me, especially when even my son hath entered into league with the son of Isai? There is not one of you that pitieth my case,
nor that giveth me any information: because my son hath raised up my servant against me, plotting against me to this day.
9 And Doeg, the Edomite, who stood by, and was the chief among the servants
of Saul, answering, said: I saw the son of Isai, in Nobe, with Achimelech, the son of Achitob, the priest.
10 And he consulted the Lord for him, and gave him victuals, and gave
him the sword of Goliath, the Philistine.
11 Then the king sent to call for Achimelech, the priest, the son of
Achitob, and all his father's house, the priests that were in Nobe, and they came all of them to the king.
12 And Saul said to Achimelech: Hear, thou son of Achitob. He answered:
Here I am, my lord.
13 And Saul said to him: Why have you conspired against me, thou, and
the son of Isai, and thou hast given him bread and a sword, and hast consulted the Lord for him, that he should rise up against
me, continuing a traitor to this day.
14 And Achimelech answering the king, said: And who amongst all thy servants
is so faithful as David, who is the king's son-in-law, and goeth forth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thy house?
15 Did I begin to-day to consult the Lord for him? far be this from me:
let not the king suspect such a thing against his servant, or any one in all my father's house: for thy servant knew
nothing of this matter, either little or great.
16 And the king said: Dying thou shalt die, Achimelech, thou and all
thy father's house.
17 And the king said to the messengers that stood about him: Turn, and
kill the priests of the Lord, for their hand is with David, because they knew that he was fled, and they told it not to me.
And the king's servants would not put forth their hands against the priests of the Lord.
18 And the king said to Doeg: Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And
Doeg, the Edomite, turned, and fell upon the priests, and slew in that day eighty-five men that wore the linen ephod.
19 And Nobe, the city of the priests, he smote with the edge of the sword,
both men and women, children and sucklings, and ox, and ass, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.
20 But one of the sons of Achimelech, the son of Achitob, whose name
was Abiathar, escaped, and fled to David,
21 And told him that Saul had slain the priests of the Lord.
22 And David said to Abiathar: I knew that day when Doeg, the Edomite,
was there, that without doubt he would tell Saul: I have been the occasion of the death of all the souls of thy father's house.
23 Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life, seeketh
thy life also, and with me thou shalt be saved.
1: Year of the World 2944.