1 Samuel

1 Samuel 21-24

The next several years David is a fugitive.  He heads to Nob, where the Tabernacle is located.  David deceitfully lies to the priest telling him he is on a secret mission. David asks for food, and the priest feeds him from the sacred Bread of Presence (which is normally set apart for the Priests)

The Tabernacle of Moses      The Tabernacle of Moses – God's Heavenly Pattern for our Spiritual ...

This is the story Jesus speaks of in Mark 2:25-

25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?  In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”

BUT one of Saul’s men is there, Doeg the Edomite, and overhears the lie as he takes the sword that has been set aside from killing Goliath.

Dastardly Doeg | Bible Characters

Saul then goes travels about 12 miles to the Valley of Elah (very close to here he killed Goliath).  David knows that Saul is crazy and will eventually attack his family, so he asks the king of Moab to summon his family for safety.  In the meantime, David’s lie causes Saul to order the death of the priests since he assumed there was a conspiracy. The Benjaminites were smart enough to day “I’m not doing it…you do it”, BUT…. Doeg, the Edomite is willing to execute the priests.  HIs actions do not help relations between Edom and Israel and David will later remember this in 2 Samuel 8.  Not only dies Saul order the death of 85 priests BUT the whole town of NOb is put to death, including women, children and animals.  A “total destruction” usually reserved for Israel’s worst enemies.  BUT, ONE escapes, Abiathar.

Foundations of My Faith: Saul Kills the Priests at Nob

Meanwhile,  even as a fugitive trying to save his own life, David still protects Keilah (in Judah)from the Philistines.

4. David Flees from Saul (1 Samuel 21-23). Life of David ...

Jonathon visits Saul and encourages him

 

Prove Your Loyalty to Jehovah God as David and Jonathan Did | Study

Saul pursues David and they land in the same cave!  David cuts a piece of his cloak while he was “sitting on the throne”. 😷🚽

 

David had the opportunity and received encouragement to cut off Saul’s life but chose to cut off only his robe hem. He ended up promising
not to cut off Saul’s descendants and name.  The hem or edge of a person’s garment in the ancient Near East made a statement about his social standing. A king’s hem was especially ornate and identified him as the king. Almost immediately David realized that his clever trick was inappropriate. Since Saul was the king, David had no right to cut with his clothing. Furthermore, David realized that any attempt to take the kingdom from Saul, as he had taken the symbol of that kingdom, was contrary to God’s will.   (I have been there!  Well, not in the bathroom with someone, but taking action against God’s will).Since Saul was God’s anointed it was God’s place to remove him, not David’s.  David’s words and actions convicted Saul of his actions too, and the king wept tears of remorse.  Saul even called on the Lord to reward David with a blessing for his treatment of the king.

Finally,  Saul asked David not to cut off his descendants when he came to power (it was customary in the ancient Near East for a new king to kill all the descendants of the ruler whom he replaced. This prevented them from rising up and reestablishing the dead king’s dynasty. David had already promised Jonathan that he would not kill his descendants (20:14-17), and he now made the same promise to Saul. 

So is David in the clear?

 

David Map

 

I know I am weird, but I can’t help but to think of Doeg looks like “The Hound” on G.O.T.

Game of Thrones

 

 

7 thoughts on “1 Samuel 21-24

  1. So sad about the priests paying with their lives and the whole town of Nob, because of David’s sin. And David acting like a madman, in front of King Achish, made me laugh at the Kings response “Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me?”

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      1. Yes, so true Patricia, that is a good reminder, and comforting to know that inspite of our sin, God loves us and forgives and sees us as special and wants to use us❤️❤️❤️. But also a reminder that sin has consequences that can and does affect other lives, I’ve seen it unfortunately in my own life.

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  2. The word that sticks out the most to me is- stronghold. What does it really mean in that culture? And in 1 Sam 22:5 tells David not to stay in the stronghold, why? I feel like there’s a greater meaning here but I’m not sure what it is. Thoughts?

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    1. David was in “hiding”. He was in the cave of Adullam. Gad the prophet, was telling him to get out of his “hide-out” and go to Judah. He was in there with 400 men, clearly, someone had to go to the bathroom. Maybe he was getting him in place for Keilah (chapter 23) when he saves the city in Judah (23:4).

      Maybe when we are in fear that’s why we say “It’s got a stronghold on me!! Not sure.

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  3. It’s amazing Saul’s jealousy has now turned him to killing their own priest and people even after he has been told by a prophet (the one that saw him successful in his rise to power) that he fell out of God’s grace, and wouldn’t be the king forever, and someone else would take over..

    Also, he killed the “priest of the Lord” to benefit himself… Think about how horrible that was.

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