April 7, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for 1 Samuel 21-25
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Context: David is on the run from Saul who wants to kill him. David sought refuge from the priest Ahimelech, the great-grandson of Eli. David then fled to Gath, where upon being recognized, David acted insane in order to escape to cave, where he was found by his brothers. Unfortunately, Saul discovered that Ahimelech helped David and ordered that he and his family be killed. Only Ahimelech's son, Abithar escaped and went to David. The Israelites would not follow Saul's order, so Saul turned to Doeg the Edomite, who carried out his orders. David saved the city of Keilah, but was forced to once again run when Saul discovered his location. David inquired of God, who informed him that the people would hand him over to Saul, probably out of fear of what happened to Ahimelech. David is given an opportunity to kill Saul when Saul entered a cave in which he was hiding. David instead cut off a corner of his robe. After Saul left the cave, David confronted Saul, showing him the piece of the robe. Saul recognized that David was indeed the one who was to rule after him. In chapter 25 we see to prudence of not acting out of anger, as David had planned. The Lord sent Abigail to diffuse David's anger. Throughout today's reading we also see that God will fulfill and uphold his word.
World History: Many Psalms were written by David during his time in exile fleeing from Saul. It is probable that the cutting of Saul's robe had more significance than what we understand at first glance. It is possible that the cutting of Saul's robe by David symbolically signifies the end of Saul's reign and the beginning of David's reign. Additionally, since David was conscience-stricken so soon after cutting Saul's robe, David may not have had in mind such a noble intention when he first cut the robe.