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between them, that if Saul did not discover anger at the absence of David, Jonathan should shoot some arrows beside the stone Ezel; and if he gave directions of one description to a lad who was to be waiting, David was to understand that Saul had no evil purpose against him; but, on the contrary, if Saul exhibited disappointment and passion, Jonathan was to give different directions, so that David might know that Saul had determined upon his destruction.*
The fidelity and affection of Jonathan to David, is the more amiable and affecting, as it is manifest he was well aware of the consequence of his friend's future exaltation; for he said to him, “ O Lord God of Israel, when I have sounded my father, about to-morrow any time, or the third day, and behold, if there be good toward David, and I then send not unto thee, and shew it thee; the Lord do so and much more to Jonathan : but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away,
that thou mayest go in peace: and the Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father. And thou shalt not only, while yet I live, shew me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not: but also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David, every one from the face of the earth. So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, let the Lord even require it at the hand of David's enemies. And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.”'t
On the first day of David's absence, Saul smothered his secret purpose; but on the second day, when he found from Jonathan that he had given David leave to go to Bethlehem, he could no longer conceal his intentions, or restrain his violence; but thus reproached Jonathan, “ thou son of the
I Sam. xv. 20. 22.
+ 1 Sam. sv. 12--17.
perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness ? For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die. And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, wherefore shall he be slain? What hath he done? And Saul cast a javelin at him, to smite him. So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David.'
Jonathan having communicated with David, according to the signal agreed upon, they met at an appointed place, and took an affectionate farewell of each other; for David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times : and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. And Jonathan said to David, go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, the Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.+
David proceeded to Nob, a city of Benjamin, and being in want of provision, and, by a falsehood, concealing from Ahimelech that he had Aed from Saul, obtained some of the consecrated bread from that priest; and also the sword of Goliath, which was laid up there in a cloth behind the ephod. Doeg, an Edomite, and chief herdsman to Saul, was at Nob, when the above transaction took place, and David, probably afraid he would betray him, fled to Achish, King of Gath; but the people of that city exclaimed, " is not this David, the king of the land ? Did they not sing one to another of him in
• 1 Sam. xx. 30–34.
+ 1 Sam. xx. 41, 42.
dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands ?” David, therefore, laid these words to heart, and no doubt interpreted them as expressive of jealousy and apprehension as to his probable future greatness; and therefore to secure himself from violence, he feigned madness, and was permitted to escape to the cave of Adullam ; where, when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down to visit him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them; and there were with him about four hundred men.*
We are not however to suppose that none came to him but those of refuse character: for we are afterwards informed, that amongst others who joined him, at this time, were Jashobeam, the Hachmonite, who slew three hundred with his spear at one time; Eleazar, the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who defied and smote the Philistines at Pasdammim, till his hand clave to the sword, after the Israelites had all fled; Shainmah, the son of Agee, the Hazarite, who performed a similar exploit upon another occasion; and many others; including Abishai, the brother of Joab, who slew three hundred; Benaiah, who slew two lion-like men of Moab, and a lion in a pit, and an Egyptian giant; and Asahel, whom Abner slew. David appears to have appointed thirty captains over his army, and three commanders of those thirty, and probably Joab over the whole. Whilst in the cave of Adullam, David was exceedingly thirsty, being distressed for water, on account of the hostile army of the Philistines, who were encamped over against him, in the valley of Rephaim, which lay between Adullam and the City of Beth
• 1 Sam. xxij. 2.
lehem, which the Philistines then held by a garrison ;* and the monarch exclaimed, Oh, that one would give drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate! And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord. And said, my God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.†
It would seem that the vengeance of Saul had driven the whole of David's family to take refuge, and become wanderers with him ; for having proceeded to Mizpeh of Moab, he entreated the king to receive his father and mother under his protection, until the providence of God should otherwise provide. With this request that monarch readily complied, while David remained in the hold.
At this time, also, some of the Gadites separated themselves unto David, into the hold to the wilderness, men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains. These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host : one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand. These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east and toward the west. And there came of the Children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David. And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, if ye be come peaceably unto
• 1 Cbron. xi. 16. + 1 Chron. xi. 17-19. 2 Sam. xxiii. 15. 17.
1 Sam. xxii, 4. ŞI Chron. xii. 8.
me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it. Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse : peace, peace be unto thee, and peace to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.*
Whatever this place of security was, God did not intend his servant should remain there, for the prophet Gad said to him, “ “ abide not in the hold, depart, and get thee into the land of Judah :” and this, no doubt, was chiefly that David might be at hand, and in the midst of his brethren, ready to take possession of the kingdom when the appointed days of Saul should arrive.
David therefore departed, and came into the forest of Hareth, and as soon as Saul, who then abode in Gibeah, under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants standing about him, discovered where David was ; he said unto his servants, “ Hear now, ye Benjamites : will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds; that all of you have conspired against me, and there is none that sheweth me that my son hath made a league 'with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you that is sorry for me, or sheweth unto me that my son hath stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait as at this day?"* With a view to ingratiate himself with the infuriated monarch, Doeg the Edomite, replied to this address, by communicating the interview between David and Ahimelech, which so enraged
* | Chrop. xii. 14. 18.
+ His sceptre, Border, 0. C. 322. I Sam. xxii. 7, 8,