Bible Discussion Thread

  • Bob on Psalms 34
    Abimelich drove King David away, why?
  • Chris - in Reply on Psalms 34
    Bob, we read of this account in 1 Samuel 21:10 to 22:1. Though there is confusion about Abimelech in Psalm 34:1 & the King of Gath, Achish in 1 Samuel 21:10. It's generally agreed that these people are one & the same. Scholars believe that the name Abimelech is actually a title, rather like the title of 'Pharaoh' given to an Egyptian king. So Achish is the king & Abimelech is his title & so we see David addressing him as a king in his Psalm.

    The 1 Samuel reference above gives the account, though to read the whole story, you would need to start at 1 Samuel chapter 20:1. David was fleeing King Saul who was out to kill him because David, after his victory with Goliath & the ensuing slaughter of the Philistines, was being praised & adored more than Saul.

    After some events, David ended up in Gath to gain refuge from the King (Achish), thinking he would find refuge there as no one would know him outside of Israel. Now Goliath was from Gath, so David in fact, was turning to the enemy's country for refuge - why he opted for this, one can only guess: possibly, the remote chance for an enemy to walk into the city to live. However, Achish's servants did finally recognize David as the one whose praises were proclaimed throughout the regions. So David realizing that he was known, feigned madness by scribbling on walls, dribbling spittle, etc., probably to prove that this 'madman' could not possibly be the dreaded enemy David, but a look-alike, which in turn prompted the King to cast him from his presence. So David then escaped to the cave Adullam.

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