1 Samuel 26:6 MEANING

1 Samuel 26:6
(6) Ahimelech the Hittite.--The Hittites were one of the old Canaanitish peoples; we hear of them round Hebron in the time of Abraham (Genesis 15:20). The conquering Israelites subdued, but did not exterminate them; and gradually, in the days of the weakness and divisions which succeeded the first conquest, the Hittites, in common with many other of the old tribes, seeem to have enjoyed the Land of Promise with the children of Israel in a kind of joint occupation. We find the Hittites ranking here among David's trusted faithful men; and later we hear of another Hittite, Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, filling an important post in the royal army, and possessing a house and an establishment in the capital city of Jerusalem. We do not hear again of this Ahimelech in the sacred record.

Abishai the son of Zeruiah.--Zeruiah was David's sister. Abishai, later one of the famous generals of David, was brother to Joab, afterwards the captain of the royal host. Abishai was apparently nearly of the same age as David. There was a third younger brother also high in the favour of his kinsman David--Asahel, celebrated especially for his speed in running. Between these three sons of Zeruiah and Abner a blood feud seems to have existed. Abner, the near relative, and captain of the host of Saul throughout that monarch's reign, is closely associated with the fortunes of Saul. It has been supposed, and with some probability, that he was among the determined foes of David. Dreading the advent of the son of Jesse to the throne, he saw in his elevation the signal of the downfall of all Saul's family and friends. He, Abner, surely would no longer be captain of the host of Israel. The words of David to Abner in this chapter (1 Samuel 26:14-16) seem to point to the fierce hatred which existed between them. The bloody sequel to the feud between the great kinsman of Saul and the three brothers, the famous sons of David's sister, is strictly in accordance with what we should expect in these fierce, wild days. Some time after Saul's death Abner slew the young Asahel, who seems to have been passionately loved by his elder brother. Abner became reconciled to David, but the reconciliation saved not the friend of Saul and the slayer of Asahel from the vengeance of Joab and Abishai, who murdered the illustrious Abner in cold blood.

And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.--Ahimelech seems to have backed out of the perilous night enterprise, but Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, with the reckless gallantry and the intense devotion to David which, with all their pride and self will, ever characterised these famous warrior kinsmen of the king, at once volunteered to go with his loved chief.

Verse 6. - Ahimelech the Hittite. Though a portion of this once powerful people (Genesis 15:20; Judges 1:26) was reduced to the position of bondmen (1 Kings 9:20), yet others had retained their independence, and their kings even are spoken of (ibid. 10:29; 2 Kings 7:6). As Ahimelech is mentioned before Abishai, he must have held an honourable place with. David, as did subsequently another Hittite, Uriah (2 Samuel 11:3). Abishai the son of Zeruiah. Zeruiah is described in 1 Chronicles 2:16 as sister to Jesse's sons, but apparently only by adoption, as both she and Abigail seem to have been daughters of the king of Ammon (2 Samuel 17:25), whence probably the absence of any direct reference to their father. Abishai, who was probably about David's age, and his two brothers were high in rank among David's heroes (1 Chronicles 11:6, 20, 26), and apparently he was one of the three captains who, when David was in the cave of Adullam, broke through the host of the Philistines to fetch him water from the well of Bethlehem. Who will go down? It is evident that David and his men remained upon the mountains, which extend from Maon far to the southwest. Saul's camp, being "by the way," i.e. near the road, would be on the lower ground. David having personally examined it, and seen that the watches were ill kept, asks which of the two will accompany him for the more hazardous enterprise of penetrating into it. Ahimelech seems prudently to have declined, but Abishai at once offers his services.

26:1-12 How soon do unholy hearts lose the good impressions convictions have made upon them! How helpless were Saul and all his men! All as though disarmed and chained, yet nothing is done to them; they are only asleep. How easily can God weaken the strongest, befool the wisest, and baffle the most watchful! David still resolved to wait till God thought fit to avenge him on Saul. He will by no means force his way to the promised crown by any wrong methods. The temptation was very strong; but if he yielded, he would sin against God, therefore he resisted the temptation, and trusted God with the event.Then answered David,.... Or addressed himself to the two following persons:

and said to Ahimelech the Hittite; who was either an Hittite by birth, but was become a proselyte, or he was an Israelite that had dwelt among the Hittites, and so had this name given him; the former seems most probable; some say (k) this was Uriah the Hittite:

and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab; Zeruiah was the sister of David, 1 Chronicles 2:15; and these were two sons of hers, who very probably joined David at the cave of Adullam, 1 Samuel 22:1,

saying, who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? that is, which of you two?

and Abishai said, I will go down with thee; the other being timorous, or Abishai being most forward spoke first.

(k) Hieron. Trad. Heb. in lib. Reg. fol. 76. M.

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