David Marching with the Philistines to Fight
1. Aphek—(Jos 12:8), in the tribe of Issachar, and in the
plain of Esdraelon. A person who compares the Bible account of Saul's
last battle with the Philistines, with the region around Gilboa, has
the same sort of evidence that the account relates what is true, that a
person would have that such a battle as Waterloo really took place.
Gilboa, Jezreel, Shunem, En-dor, are all found, still bearing the same
names. They lie within sight of each other. Aphek is the only one of
the cluster not yet identified. Jezreel on the northern slope of
Gilboa, and at the distance of twenty minutes to the east, is a large
fountain, and a smaller one still nearer; just the position which a
chieftain would select, both on account of its elevation and the supply
of water needed for his troops [Hackett,
2. David and his men passed on in the rereward
with Achish—as the commander of the lifeguards of Achish, who
was general of this invading army of the Philistines.
3. these days, or these years—He had now
been with the Philistines a full year and four months (1Sa 27:7), and also some years before. It has
been thought that David kept up a private correspondence with this
Philistine prince, either on account of his native generosity, or in
the anticipation that an asylum in his territories would sooner or
later be needed.
4. the princes of the Philistines were wroth with
him—It must be considered a happy circumstance in the
overruling providence of God to rescue David out of the dangerous
dilemma in which he was now placed. But David is not free from censure
in his professions to Achish (1Sa 29:8), to do what he probably had not the
smallest purpose of doing—of fighting with Achish against his
enemies. It is just an instance of the unhappy consequences into which
a false step—a departure from the straight course of
duty—will betray everyone who commits it.
9. notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines
have said—The Philistine government had constitutional
checks—or at least the king was not an absolute sovereign; but
his authority was limited—his proceedings liable to be controlled
by "the powerful barons of that rude and early period—much as the
kings of Europe in the Middle Ages were by the proud and lawless
aristocracy which surrounded them" [Chalmers].