1 Samuel 24:11 MEANING

1 Samuel 24:11
(11) My father.--Not in the sense of "my father-in-law." The Princess Michal before this time probably had been given to Phalti. The time when this wicked act was carried out by Saul is left quite indefinite in the notice of 1 Samuel 25:44; but the relations of David and Saul were evidently far more bitter before than after the En-gedi incident, hence the probability of Michal's being given to Phalti before this meeting is great. The expression "my father" is simply the reverence (pietas) of the young to the old--of the loyal subject to the sovereign. It is so used in the beautiful lines of Browning already quoted.

See the skirt of thy robe.--Doubtless at this juncture holding up the piece of the royal m'il he had so carefully cut off when the king was sleeping in fancied security. "See this, how near thou wast to death had I been pleased to take thy life when I cut this off."

Verses 11-13. - My father. David thus salutes Saul not because he was actually his father-in-law, but as a title indicative of the respect due from an inferior to his superior (2 Kings 5:13). So David calls himself Nabal's son (1 Samuel 25:8). In the rest of the verse he contrasts his refusal to slay Saul, when it might have seemed as if it were Providence that had put him into his power, with Saul's determined pursuit of him. Thou huntest my soul to take it. Thou perpetually usest every artifice and stratagem against me for the confessed purpose of killing me, and pursuest me as eagerly as the hunter pursues his game. Hence David commits his cause to Jehovah, in the sure confidence that he will avenge him, and with the firm determination never himself to raise his hand against one who, though his enemy, was also the king. In proof of the impossibility of his ever seeking the king's hurt, he quotes an ancient proverb, "From the wicked goeth out wickedness." Had David harboured evil intentions he would have executed them when so fair an opportunity offered, but as he has no such purposes "his hand will never be" upon Saul.

24:8-15 David was falsely charged with seeking Saul's hurt; he shows Saul that God's providence had given him opportunity to do it. And it was upon a good principle that he refused to do it. He declares his fixed resolution never to be his own avenger. If men wrong us, God will right us, at farthest, in the judgment of the great day.Moreover, my father,.... So he was in a natural sense, as having married his daughter; and in a civil sense, as he was a king, and was, or ought to have been, the father of his country, and to treat his subjects as his children, and David among the rest:

see, yea see, the skirt of thy robe in my hand; look on it again and again; view it with the eyes of thy body intently, that thou mayest be satisfied of it, and behold with the eyes of thy mind and understanding, and consider that I could as easily have had thine head in my hand as the skirt of thy robe; and here see an instance and proof of the integrity and sincerity of my heart, and cordial affections to thee, and an evidence against all the charges and accusations of my enemies, and that I have no ill design upon thy person and life, and am far from seeking thy hurt, as they say:

for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not; not only did that to show that he was in his power, but did not cut off his head, as he could:

know thou, and see, that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand; this might be a full conviction to him that he had no ill, neither in his heart nor hand, to do unto him:

and I have not sinned against thee; done nothing to offend him, never acted against his will, nor disobeyed any of his commands, or had been guilty of one overt act of treason or rebellion, but all the reverse:

yet thou huntest my soul to take it; pursued him from place to place, hunted him in the wildernesses of Ziph and Maon, and upon the rocks of Engedi, as a partridge on the mountains, 1 Samuel 26:20; and lay in wait for him to kill him, as the Targum: he may be thought to have penned the "seventh" psalm at this time, or on this occasion; at least there are some passages in it, which seem to refer to his present circumstances, Psalm 7:1.

Courtesy of Open Bible