1 Samuel 27:2 MEANING

1 Samuel 27:2
(2) The six hundred men.--This was the original number. They still formed the nucleus of the force, but the total number was now far larger. These "six hundred" had each their households, besides which, many a group of warriors, large and small, had already joined the now renowned standard of the future king.

Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.--The same, we believe, as that Achish to whom David fled before (see 1 Samuel 21:11), and identical with Achish, son of Maachah (1 Kings 2:39). This would involve the necessity of ascribing a fifty years' reign to this prince. (Such a lengthy reign is quite possible.) The whole of Philistia subsequently fell under King David's rule. It seems, however, that he permitted, even after the conquest, Achish to remain in his old city of Gath, most likely as his tributary: thus, we may suppose, paying back the old debt of kindness to Achish.

Verses 2-4. - Achish, the son of Maoch. No doubt the Achish of 1 Samuel 21:10; but if the same as Achish, son of Maachah, in 1 Kings 2:39, as is probably the case, he must have lived to a good old age. As it is said in 1 Chronicles 18:1 that David conquered the Philistines, and took from them Gath and other towns, it would seem that he still permitted Achish to remain there as a tributary king, while Ziklag he kept as his private property (ver. 6). On the former occasion,. when David was alone, Achish had paid him but scant courtesy; but now that he came with 600 warriors, each with his household, and, therefore, with numerous followers, he shows him every respect, and for the time David and his men settle at Gath, and Saul gives over his pursuit, knowing that if he followed him into Philistine territory he would provoke a war, for which he was not now prepared. It has been pointed out that David probably introduced from Gath the style of music called Gittith (Psalm 8, 81, 84, titles). ACHISH ASSIGNS ZIKLAG TO DAVID AS A RESIDENCE (vers. 5-7).

27:1-7 Unbelief is a sin that easily besets even good men, when without are fightings, and within are fears; and it is a hard matter to get over them. Lord, increase our faith! We may blush to think that the word of a Philistine should go further than the word of an Israelite, and that the city of Gath should be a place of refuge for a good man, when the cities of Israel refuse him a safe abode. David gained a comfortable settlement, not only at a distance from Gath, but bordering upon Israel, where he might keep up a correspondence with his own countrymen.And David arose,.... From the place where he was:

and he passed over; the borders of land of Canaan:

with the six hundred men that were with him; having neither lost any, nor had any added to him, since he was at Keilah, 1 Samuel 23:13,

unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath; whether this was the same Achish David was with before, 1 Samuel 21:10, is not certain; it seems as if he was not the same, since he is described as the son of Maoch, as if it was to distinguish him from him; though it is not improbable that he was the same person. Some think (a) that he is described not from his father, but from his mother, whose name was Maacha. The circumstances of David were now very much altered from what they were when he went to Gath before; then he went secretly, now openly; then as a person unknown, now as well known; then alone, now with six hundred men; then when discovered he was seized by the princes of Gath, and brought before the king, and was driven from his presence; but now he came either at the invitation of Achish, hearing how he had been treated by Saul, and thinking to attach him to his interest, and make him more and more the enemy of Saul, and so free himself from a very powerful one, and of whose wisdom and prudence, and military skill, and courage, and valour, he might hope to avail himself; or David sent an embassy to him, to treat with him about his coming into his country, and settlement in it, and terms to mutual satisfaction were agreed upon.

(a) Hieron. Trad. Heb, in 2 Reg. fol. 78. E.

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