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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

1 Kings (1 Samuel) Chapter 22

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:2

sa1 22:2

Debt - Probably poor debtors, whom the creditors were obliged to spare, Exo 22:25. And though their persons were with David, yet their lands and goods were liable to their creditors. Captain over them - He did not maintain any injustice or wickedness, which some of them possibly might be guilty of; but on the contrary, he instructed and obliged them to the practice of all justice and honesty.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:3

sa1 22:3

'Till I know, &c. - He expresses his hopes very modestly, as one that had entirely cast himself upon God, and committed his way to him, trusting not in his own arts or arms, but in the wisdom, power and goodness of God.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:4

sa1 22:4

Hold - In holds; the singular number being put for the plural; as is frequent; that is, as long as David was forced to go from place to place, and from hold to hold, to secure himself: for it concerned David to secure his father, and he did doubtless secure him for all that time; and not only while he was in the hold of Mizpeh, or of Adullam, which was but a little while.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:5

sa1 22:5

Abide not - Do not shut up thyself here. Judah - Go and shew thyself in the land of Judah, that thou mayest publicly put in thy claim to the kingdom after Saul's death; and that thy friends may be invited and encouraged to appear on thy behalf. Hereby also God would exercise David's faith, and wisdom, and courage; and so prepare him for the kingdom.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:6

sa1 22:6

Spear - It seems, as an ensign of majesty, for in old times kings carried a spear instead of a sceptre.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:7

sa1 22:7

Ye Benjamites - You that are of my own tribe and kindred, from whom David designs to translate the kingdom to another tribe. Will he distribute profits and preferments among you Benjamites, as I have done? Will he not rather prefer those of his own tribe before you?

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:8

sa1 22:8

That all, &c. - See the nature of jealousy, and its arts of wheedling to extort discoveries of things that are not.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:10

sa1 22:10

He enquired - David chargeth him with the sin of lying, Psa 52:3, and it is not improbable, that he told many lies not here expressed; and withal, he was guilty of concealing part of the truth, which in this case he was obliged to declare for Ahimelech's just defence, namely, the artifice whereby David circumvented Ahimelech: making him believe, that he was then going upon the king's business, so that the service he did to David, was designed in honour to Saul.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:11

sa1 22:11

The priests - Of the house of Eli, which God had threatened to cut off, Sa1 2:31.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:14

sa1 22:14

And said - He doth not determine the difference between Saul and David; nor affirm what David now was: but only declared what David formerly had been, and what he was still, for anything he knew to the contrary.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:15

sa1 22:15

Knew nothing of all this - Of any design against thee.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:18

sa1 22:18

The Edomite - This is noted to wipe off the stain of this butchery from the Israelitish nation, and to shew, why he was so ready to do it, because he was one of that nation which had an implacable hatred against all Israelites, and against the priests of the Lord.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:19

sa1 22:19

Both men, &c. - In all the life of Saul, there is no wickedness to be compared to this. He appears now to be wholly under the power of that evil spirit which had long tormented him. And this destruction could not but go to the heart of every pious Israelite, and make them wish a thousand times, they had been content with the government of Samuel.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 22:20

sa1 22:20

Abiathar - Who by his father's death was now high - priest.

Next: 1 Kings (1 Samuel) Chapter 23