1 Samuel 21 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of 1 Samuel 21)
21:1 Then came David to a Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why [art] thou alone, and no man with thee?

(a) Where the ark then was to ask counsel of the Lord.

21:2 And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The b king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed [my] servants to such and such a place.

(b) These infirmities that we see in the saints of God, teach us that no one has his justice in himself, but receives it from God's mercy.

21:4 And the priest answered David, and said, [There is] no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from c women.

(c) If they have not accompanied with their wives.

21:5 And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women [have been] kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the d vessels of the young men are holy, and [the bread is] in a manner common, yea, though it e were sanctified this day in the vessel.

(d) That is, their bodies.
(e) Shall be more careful to keep his vessel holy, when he has eaten of this holy food.

21:7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul [was] there that day, f detained before the LORD; and his name [was] Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that [belonged] to Saul.

(f) Tarrying to worship before the ark.

21:9 And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it [is here] wrapped in a cloth behind the g ephod: if thou wilt take that, take [it]: for [there is] no other save that here. And David said, [There is] none like that; give it me.

(g) Behind that place where the high priests garment lay.

21:10 And David arose, and h fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

(h) That is, out of Saul's domain.

21:13 And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and i scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

(i) By making marks and toys.

21:15 Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this [fellow] to play the mad man in my presence? k shall this [fellow] come into my house?

(k) Is he fit to be in a king's house.