1 Samuel 29:8 MEANING

1 Samuel 29:8
(8) And David said unto Achish, But what have I done?--David's words have a ring of falseness in them; he never contemplated fighting in the ranks against Israel, and yet he speaks thus. The generous confidence of the chivalrous Achish is here in painful contrast with the dissimulation of the Israelite chieftain, David.

It has been suggested that these suspicions of his loyalty on the part of the Philistine leaders had been aroused by David deliberately, in order to bring about his dismissal from the army in the field. This is possible, for the situation in which David now finds himself was most embarrassing from every point of view.

Verse 8. - David's answer is subtle and prevaricating; he pretends that his honour has been attacked, when really he had tricked the unsuspecting Achish. But truth is a modern virtue, and though David extols it in the Psalms (Psalm 15:2; Psalm 51:6), we too often find him practising falsehood.

29:6-11 David scarcely ever had a greater deliverance than when dismissed from such insnaring service. God's people should always behave themselves so, as, if possible, to get the good word of all they have dealings with: and it is due to those who have acted well, to speak well of them.And David said unto Achish, what have I done?.... This question is anticipated by the speech of Achish, who had declared he had found no evil in him; but David must say something to put on an appearance of concern for being dismissed, when he was heartily glad of it:

and what hast thou found in thy servant, so long as I have been with thee unto this day, that I may not go fight against the enemies of my lord the king? which cannot be excused of great dissimulation, since nothing was more foreign from his heart, and against his will, than fighting against the Israelites, and which he determined to avoid if possible; and glad at heart he was to be thus excused, and freed from the straits and difficulties he was involved in; but that the Philistines might have no cause of suspicion of him, and that he was warmly attached to their interest among whom he was still to continue, he put on these airs. Abarbinel is of opinion that the lords of the Philistines were only afraid of David, but not of his men, and therefore were not solicitous about their going, but his, which gave David a concern; and since he was particularly singled out, he desired to know what special evil had been found in him; but when he understood, by the following answer of Achish, that his servants were to go with him, he was content, and said no more; but the princes asked, "what do these Hebrews here?" 1 Samuel 29:3.

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