Overview

1 Samuel 22 is a dark and tragic chapter in the narrative of Saul’s reign, marked by brutal actions and escalating tensions. This chapter sheds light on Saul's increasing paranoia and the tragic consequences of his decisions, further alienating him from God and the people. Key aspects include:
David’s Growing Band of Followers: David’s time at the cave of Adullam attracts a band of about four hundred men, including his family. They later move to the forest of Hereth.
Saul’s Accusations Against His Men: Saul, speaking to his officials at Gibeah, accuses them of conspiring against him with David. He laments that no one informs him about Jonathan’s covenant with David or David’s whereabouts.
Doeg’s Report and Saul’s Command: Doeg the Edomite reports to Saul about seeing David at Nob and Ahimelech the priest giving him provisions and Goliath's sword. Saul summons Ahimelech and all the priests from Nob.
Ahimelech’s Defense and Saul’s Wrath: Ahimelech defends his actions, stating his loyalty to Saul and his ignorance of any conflict between Saul and David. Despite this, Saul orders the death of Ahimelech and all the priests of Nob.
Massacre of the Priests: Saul’s guards refuse to kill the priests, but Doeg carries out the order, killing eighty-five priests. He also attacks Nob, killing men, women, children, infants, and animals.
Abiathar’s Escape and Alliance with David: One priest, Abiathar, escapes the massacre and flees to David, informing him of the tragedy. David acknowledges his responsibility and assures Abiathar of protection.
1 Samuel 22 is a poignant chapter, illustrating the depths of Saul’s decline and the brutality of his actions. The massacre at Nob and the execution of the priests represent a severe transgression and a turning point in Saul’s relationship with the priesthood and God. David’s reaction to the news from Abiathar shows a sense of responsibility and further establishes his role as a leader and protector. The chapter sets the stage for the continued conflict between Saul and David, with increasing stakes and consequences.

1 Samuel 22

1  David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him.

2  And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

3  And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me.

4  And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold.

5  And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth.

6  When Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him, (now Saul abode in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him;)

7  Then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him, Hear now, ye Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds;

8  That all of you have conspired against me, and there is none that sheweth me that my son hath made a league with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you that is sorry for me, or sheweth unto me that my son hath stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

9  Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.

10  And he enquired of the LORD for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.

11  Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father's house, the priests that were in Nob: and they came all of them to the king.

12  And Saul said, Hear now, thou son of Ahitub. And he answered, Here I am, my lord.

13  And Saul said unto him, Why have ye conspired against me, thou and the son of Jesse, in that thou hast given him bread, and a sword, and hast enquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

14  Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, which is the king's son in law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house?

15  Did I then begin to enquire of God for him? be it far from me: let not the king impute any thing unto his servant, nor to all the house of my father: for thy servant knew nothing of all this, less or more.

16  And the king said, Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father's house.

17  And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.

18  And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod.

19  And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.

20  And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David.

21  And Abiathar shewed David that Saul had slain the LORD'S priests.

22  And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father's house.

23  Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.

End of 1 Samuel 22


1 Year Plan:  May 1 - 1 Sa 21, 1 Sa 22,  John 18

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