1 Samuel 19 Saul Seeks to Kill David

Saul’s plot against David: 19:1-23.  Earlier Saul threw his spear at David in a fit of anger (18:10-12), and plotted to have David killed in battle by the Philistines (18:24, 25).  Now, despite his promises to Jonathan (4-6), Saul determines to kill David, who has become his son-in-law.  David, after some ten years in Saul’s court, is forced to flee for his life.  But he and Jonathan are now close friends.

4 Thus Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you. 5  For he took his life in his hands and killed the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great deliverance for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood, to kill David without a cause?”

This chapter contains a disputed description of Saul who, in pursuit of David, moved to join a group gathered around Samuel “prophesying” (18-24).  Some take this to refer to an ecstatic, trancelike state, known in the pagan relations of Greek and Roman times.  There is no real evidence of such an expression of OT faith.  It is best understand this and the only parallel passages (Num. 11:24-30; 1 Sam. 10:5-10) as praise and worship, rather than mindless ecstasy.  Only Saul seems to have acted strangely (24), and the fit of night-long depression is in character for him.

–> The last section of this chapter when king Saul attempted to kill David appears to be an important point in history according to God’s plan.  The Spirit of God came upon the people to prophesy and God seems to interfere directly to protect David.



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