1Samuel 19

 

1Samuel 19:1–23

Saul Again Tries to Kill David/David Becomes a Fugitive


Outline of Chapter 19:

 

       vv.    1–7        Jonathan Convinces Saul Not to Seek David’s Life

       v.      8         David Fights the Philistines

       vv.    9–10      Saul Makes a Direct Attempt on David’s Life/David Eludes Saul

       vv.   11–17      Saul Sends Assassins to David’s Home/Michal Helps David Escape

       vv.   18–21      David Goes to Samuel in Ramah/Saul Attempts to Have David Arrested There

       vv.   22–24      Saul Himself Goes to Kill David in Naioth


Charts and Maps:

 

       v.     11           Where Does Each Translation Place that night?

       v.     13           Summary of the Doctrine of Teraphim

       v.     19           Various Interpretations of Naioth

       v.     20           Interpreting and Understanding Samuel’s School of Prophets

       v.     24           The School of Prophets

       v.     24           The Appearances of Samuel in the Book of Samuel


Doctrines Covered/Psalms Inserted

Doctrines Alluded To

Teraphim

Psalm 59

Documentary Hypothesis

 


I ntroduction: In 1Sam. 19, we have Saul making more attempts on the life of David. In this chapter, his desire to kill David becomes overt to the point that all of their common acquaintances, as well as much of Israel, are cognizant of Saul’s evil mission. We have several important things in this chapter: we again see the true character of Jonathan; we see the true character of Micah; and David becomes a fugitive for the remainder of Saul’s life.


To give a more detailed account of this chapter: Saul again decides that David has to die, and he tells all of his servants and Jonathan (v. 1). Jonathan recognizes that this is a very real threat, and he goes directly to David and tells him to hide and that he would get back to him (vv. 2–3). Jonathan then convinces his father that David his an asset and a loyal subject, and Saul is convinced (vv. 4–6). David returns to the palace, goes to war and then returns to the palace again, victorious in his battles with the Philistines (vv. 7–8). Saul suddenly makes an attempt on David’s life, and again attempted to pin David to the wall with his javelin (vv. 9–10). David escapes and goes home to his wife, Saul’s daughter. It is not clear exactly who knows what when David arrives home, but his wife Michal convinces him to surreptitiously leave that very night. She makes his bed look as though someone is sleeping there, David sneaks out the back window, and Saul’s officers make two trips to their house to get David, becoming much more insistent the second trip (vv. 11–15). When they discover that David is not sick in bed, but escaped, they brought Michal to Saul. However, instead of standing up for David as her brother did, she tells her father that David threatened her life (vv. 16–17).


David, meanwhile, goes to Samuel. It was Samuel who told him that he would become king over Israel, which seemed to get the ball rolling on a multitude of changes which took place in David’s life. They go to Naioth near Ramah, not necessarily to hide out, but because Samuel has a seminary there (v. 18). Saul finds out that David is in Ramah, and he sends officers there to either arrest or kill (perhaps Saul told them, “Bring David back here—dead or alive!”). However, when they find Samuel at his school of prophets, they are overtaken by the Spirit of God and overpowered, and they begin to speak God’s Word (vv. 19–20). Saul sends two more sets of officers who experience the same thing (v. 21). Finally, Saul goes to Naioth near Ramah, and he is overtaken by the Holy Spirit and he begins to speak God’s Word even as he travels toward Naioth. When he arrives at the school of prophets, he removes his clothes and continues to prophesy while naked. Again, Israel began to circulate the saying, “Is Saul among the prophets?” (vv. 22–24).


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Jonathan Convinces Saul Not to Seek David’s Life


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so speaks Saul unto Jonathan and unto all his servants to kill David.

1Samuel

19:1a

Then Saul proposed to Jonathan and to all his servants to kill David.

Soon thereafter, Saul proposed to Jonathan and to all his servants that they assassinate David.


I should point out that v. 1b is apparently a part of v. 2 as well in some manuscripts (as per Young and the Amplified Bible). Since v. 2 makes more sense with 1b attached, I have also altered the translations below to reflect that (therefore, for instance, I have only quoted v. 1a for the NASB below; however, I will quote 1b with v. 2).


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so speaks Saul unto Jonathan and unto all his servants to kill David.

Septuagint                             And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, to slay David. [According to the note in Brenton’s appendix, there are a lot of variations on this first verse].

 

Significant differences:          None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       One day, Saul told his son Jonathan and his officers to kill David.

NAB                                       Saul discussed his intention of killing David with his son Jonathan and with all his servants.

NLT                                        Saul now urged his servants and his son Jonathan to assassinate David.

REB                                       Saul incited Jonathan his son and all his household to kill David.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

JPS (Tanakh)                        Saul urged his son Jonathan and all his courtiers to kill David.



Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Now Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants to put David to death.

Young's Updated LT              And Saul speaks unto Jonathan his son, and unto all his servants, to put David to death.


What is the gist of this verse? Saul more than made his plans known to kill David. In this verse, he tries to enlist the help of Jonathan and his officials.


1Samuel 19:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

dâbar (ר ַב ָד) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Yehôwnâthân (ןָטָנהי) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN]

alternate spelling; transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3083 (& #3129) BDB #220

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

׳ebed (ד ב ע) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant

masculine plural noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to put to death, to execute

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: Then Saul proposed to Jonathan and to all his servants to kill David. Saul is doing more here than merely announcing his intention to kill David. He is attempting to enlist the help of Jonathan and his officials. Footnote It is possible that Saul recognizes Jonathan’s love for David, and is gauging Jonathan’s reaction. Or Saul may be expecting that Jonathan will be intimidated and stay out of his way. On the other hand, Saul may be completely oblivious to Jonathan’s strong emotions, being cognizant only of his own feelings of hatred toward David. Often the more hypersensitive and/or psychotic that a person becomes, the more likely they are to be completely oblivious to the thoughts and feelings of others. My thinking is that this is Saul’s mental state. He announces to his officers, which include Jonathan, that David must be killed. How Jonathan or anyone else feels is probably the last thing on Saul’s mind.


An important difference found in this verse and those which follows is, Saul’s attempts on David’s life become much more overt. Even though he did make two fairly direct attempts on David’s life by chunking a spear at David (1Sam. 18:11), this may have been written off by David as a sudden attack of paranoid-delusional behavior on the part of Saul. Despite this attack, Saul kept David in the military (although he apparently demoted David—1Sam. 18:13) and he eventually consented to allow David to marry into his family (1Sam. 18:27). So, what happened was dramatic, but somewhat explicable, and an act that may have been seen by David as an anomaly. However, here, in this verse, Saul clearly announces his intention to kill David.

 

Edersheim: And...the story becomes darker and darker. We have marked the progress of murderous thought in the king’s mind, from the sudden attack of frenzy to the scarcely self-confessed wish for the death of his victim, to designed exposure of his life, and lastly to a deliberate plan for his destruction. But now all restraints were broken through. Do what he might, David prospered, and all that Saul had attempted had only turned out to the advantage of the son of Jesse. Already he was the king’s son-in-law; Michal had given her whole heart to him; constant success had attended those expeditions against the heathen which were to have been his ruin; nay, as might be expected in the circumstances, he had reached the pinnacle of popularity. One dark resolve now settled in the heart of the king, and cast its shadow over every other consideration. David must be murdered. Saul could no longer disguise his purpose from himself, nor keep it from others. He spoke of it openly—even to Jonathan. Footnote


This might be a good place to point out that, all that is found in Scripture does not necessarily meet with God’s approval. This is a good example, as very few believers would read this passage and decide, I guess God wants to kill David. Here, Scripture merely records the events, without necessarily giving us a clear disapproval. We don’t have a v. 1b which reads, Saul’s intent to kill David was bad. We should know enough doctrine in order to realize that Saul is out of line, and his intent is wrong. Now, God clearly allows this, and there will be several reasons why God allows Saul to live and to put David on the run. However, it should not take a theological genius to recognize that Saul’s intent and actions are sinful. Now, what I am saying here may seem to be so obvious as to not require commentary. I agree. So, when we get down to v. 17, and Michal lies to her father, we should not understand this act to be approved by God either. This verse tells us: (1) not everything in the Bible is an act which God approves of and expects us to imitate; and, (2) the Bible does not stop during a narrative to tell us whether the action described is one approved by God or not. A natural question which would arise out of this is, how do we tell? How do we read Scripture and figure out what is right and what is wrong? God provided for the Jew (and for us) the Law of Moses, the 2nd through 5th books of the Bible, which clearly states what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, anyone reading Samuel should have a reasonable understanding of the Law.


And Jonathan son of Saul has taken pleasure in David exceedingly and so makes known Jonathan to David to say, “Seeking Saul my father to kill you. And now, take heed please: in the morning stay in a hiding place and hide yourself.

1Samuel

19:1b–2

But Saul’s son Jonathan had greatly delighted in David, therefore Jonathan made known to David, saying, “My father Saul is seeking to kill you; therefore, please be careful. Stay in a hiding place in the morning and stay hidden [lit., and hide] yourself.

But Saul’s son Jonathan liked David a great deal, and he therefore made Saul’s plans known to David, saying, “My father Saul seeks to kill you; therefore, you must be careful. Find a hiding place and remain there throughout the morning.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And Jonathan son of Saul has taken pleasure in David exceedingly and so makes known Jonathan to David to say, “Seeking Saul my father to kill you. And now, take heed please: in the morning stay in a hiding place and hide yourself.

Septuagint                             And Jonathan, Saul’s son, loved David much; and Jonathan told David, saying, “Saul seeks to kill you. Take heed to yourself, therefore, tomorrow morning, and hide yourself, and dwell in secret.

 

Significant differences:          Any apparent differences are a matter of translating from the Hebrew into the Greek; in many of this individual places, the Hebrew could have been similarly rendered into the English.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       But Jonathan liked David a lot, and he warned David, “My father is trying to have you killed, so be very careful. Hide in a field tomorrow morning,... [there are portions of v. 3 in this translation].

NJB                                        But Jonathan, Saul’s son, held David in great affection, and Jonathan warned David, ‘My father Saul is looking for a way to kill you, so be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding, stay out of sight.

NLT                                        But Jonathan, because of his close friendship with David, told him what his father was planning. “Tomorrow morning,” he warned him, “you must find a hiding place out in the fields.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         But Saul’s son Jonathan was very fond of David, so he reported to David, “My father Saul is trying to kill you. Please be careful tomorrow morning. Go into hiding, and stay out of sight.

JPS (Tanakh)                        But Saul’s son Jonathan was very fond of David, and Jonathan told David, “My father Saul is bent on killing you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; get to a secret place and remain in hiding.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     But Jonathan, Saul’s son, greatly delighted in David. So Jonathan told David, saying, “Saul my father is seeking to put you to death. Now therefore, please be on guard in the morning, and stay in a secret place and hide yourself.

Young's Updated LT              And Jonathan son of Saul delighted exceedingly in David, and Jonathan declares to David, saying, “Saul my father is seeking to put you to death, and now, take heed, I pray you, in the morning, and you have stayed in a secret place, and have been hidden,...


What is the gist of this verse? Jonathan, because of his love for David, immediately goes to David and warns him of Saul’s evil intent. Jonathan suggests that David hide himself until he can sort things out with his father.


1Samuel 19:2a (v. 1b in some manuscripts)

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yehôwnâthân (ןָטָנהי) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN]

alternate spelling; transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3083 (& #3129) BDB #220

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

châphêts (ץ ֵפ ָח) [pronounced khaw-FATES]

to will, to desire, to take pleasure in, to delight in, to long to, to be inclined to

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #2654 BDB #342

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

meôd (דֹא  ׃מ) [pronounced me-ODE]

exceedingly, extremely, greatly, very

adverb

Strong’s #3966 BDB #547


Translation: But Saul’s son Jonathan had greatly delighted in David,... As we have already observed, Jonathan took an immediate liking to David (1Sam. 18:1, 3–4). And, as has been pointed out, two men can have a great love for one another without being gay.


1Samuel 19:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâgad (ד ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHD]

to make conspicuous, to make known, to expound, to explain, to declare, to inform, to confess, to make it pitifully obvious that

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5046 BDB #616

Yehôwnâthân (ןָטָנהי) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN]

alternate spelling; transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3083 (& #3129) BDB #220

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

bâqash (ש ַק ָ) [pronounced baw-KAHSH]

to seek, to search, to desire, to strive after, to attempt to get, to require, to demand, to ask, to seek with desire and diligence

Qal active participle

Strong’s #1245 BDB #134

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

âb (ב ָא,) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household or clan

masculine singular noun with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to put to death, to execute

Hiphil infinitive construct with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4191 BDB #559


Translation: ...therefore Jonathan made known to David, saying, “My father Saul is seeking to kill you;... Saul told Jonathan his plans, hoping to enlist Jonathan to help him assassinate David. Jonathan instead goes to David and informs him of Saul’s plan. Now you may think, doesn’t David know this already? After all, Saul did try to kill him twice in the palace. Mental illness can be a state which comes and goes; a person can be normal and lucid one moment, and way out there the next. So, on one occasion (or possibly twice), Saul attempted to kill David. However, that was weeks or even months ago. David does not know if this is going to occur again; whether Saul has snapped out of it; after all, David is now his son-in-law and his wife, Saul’s daughter, loves him. It would be easy to understand that David would think that Saul has snapped out of it. What man would kill his own son-in-law whom his daughter dearly loves? However, suddenly, Saul has made his plans to kill David more public (now, all his servants and his son Jonathan—and possibly the rest of his sons know).


Also, this is probably the first time that Jonathan is fully aware of his father’s intention. It would have been out of character for David to go to Jonathan and say, “Hey, your old man tried to kill my last night while I was playing music for him.” However, at this point, Jonathan hears this from his father’s mouth directly, which concerns him greatly.


1Samuel 19:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳attâh (ה ָ ַע) [pronounced ģaht-TAWH]

now, at this time, already

adverb of time

Strong’s #6258 BDB #773

When followed by an imperative or an interrogative, we + the adverb ׳attâh mean and so, thus, things being so, therefore. Sometimes, the concept of time is lost when this combination is used to incite another.

shâmar (ר ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAR]

to be kept, to be preserved; to be careful; to abstain oneself [from anything]; to beware [of anything]; to care [for something]; to take heed

2nd person masculine singular, Niphal imperative

Strong's #8104 BDB #1036

nâ (אָנ) [pronounced naw]

please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

particle of entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609


Translation: ...therefore, please be careful. Jonathan knows that Saul has become more overt about his desire to kill David, even to the point of enlisting Jonathan’s help. He therefore warns David to be careful.


1Samuel 19:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

bôqer (ר∵קֹ) [pronounced BOH-ker]

morning

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #1242 BDB #133

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yâshab (ב ַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

to remain, to stay, to inhabit, to sit, to dwell

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

çêther (ר ת ֵס) [pronounced SAY-ther]

a covering, a hiding place, secrecy, privately

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5643 BDB #712

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

châbâ (אָבָח) [pronounced khawb-VAW]

to hide onself; to lie hiding; [fleeing away] secretly

2nd person masculine singular, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #2244 BDB #285


Translation: Stay in a hiding place in the morning and stay hidden [lit., and hide yourself]. David is told to find a good hiding place and to remain there until the morning. Apparently, this intention of Saul’s has just been announced and Jonathan then ran to David to tell him. Jonathan no doubt will return to his father and try to determine what Saul’s next moves are.


You may wonder, doesn’t Saul know how Jonathan feels? Why doesn’t he intentionally leave Jonathan out of the loop? Saul, recall, is wack. He’s confused, he’s jealous, he is angry, he is filled with both hatred and fear. These are some pretty strong emotions. Therefore, he does not give a rip about what Jonathan thinks. After all, he is king and he is Jonathan’s father. Therefore, whatever he says pretty much goes—at least in his own mind. Furthermore, someone who is that obsessed often loses a great deal of perception. Saul probably does not recognize the depth and strength of Jonathan’s feelings. Saul’s actions throughout the next few chapters indicate that he is not fully cognizant of the bond between his son Jonathan and David. Saul is assuming that his son’s loyalities will be toward him, and not toward David. Therefore, Jonathan is going to be privy to most of the moves that Saul will make.


And I, I will go out and I have stood to a hand of my father in the field which you [are] there and I, I will speak in you unto my father and I have seen what and I have made [it] known to you.”

1Samuel

19:3

And I, [even] I will go out and stand next to my father in the field where you [are]. And I will speak before you to my father and [if] I see anything, then I will make [it] known to you.”

At this time, I will go with my father out to the field where you are hiding and I will speak with him near you. If I see anything, then I will make this known to you.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And I, I will go out and I have stood to a hand of my father in the field which you [are] there and I, I will speak in you unto my father and I have seen what and I have made [it] known to you.”

Septuagint                             And I will go forth and stand near my father in the field where you will be and I will speak concerning you to my father; and I will see what his answer may be, and I will tell you.”

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Hide in a field tomorrow morning, and I’ll bring him there. Then I’ll talk to him about you, and if I find out anything, I’ll let you know.”

NJB                                        I shall go out and keep my father company in the countryside where you will be, and shall talk to my father about you; I shall see what the situation is and then tell you.

NLT                                        I’ll ask my father to go out there with me, and I’ll talk to him about you. Then I’ll tell you everything I can find out.”

REB                                       I shall come out and join my father in the open country where you are and speak to him about you, and if I discover anything I shall tell you.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         I’ll go out and stand beside my father in the field where you’ll be. I’ll speak with my father about you. If I find out anything, I’ll tell you.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        I will go out and stand next to my father in the field where you will be, and I will speak to my father about you. If I learn anything, I will tell you.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     “And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you; if I find out anything, then I shall tell you.”

Young's Updated LT              ...and I—I go out, and have stood by the side of my father in the field where you are, and I speak of you unto my father, and I have seen what is coming, and I have declared it to you.”


I must admit that the first time that I read this, and in reading each additional translation, this verse made little sense to me. Jonathan says that he will get his father out to the field where David is hiding and talk to him, and if he finds out anything, then he will tell David. Well, this made very little sense to me because if Jonathan is going to talk to his father in the same place that David is, then he wouldn’t have to tell David what Saul said, because David will be right there and he could hear it for himself. However, the key is the translation, and pretty much all of the translators got it wrong (although Young was close).


What is the gist of this verse? Jonathan shares his plan with David. He is going to get his father to speak while he is near David in the field where David is hiding. If Jonathan sees anything, then he will make this known to David as well.


1Samuel 19:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ânîy (י.נָא) [pronounced aw-NEE]

I, me; in answer to a question, it means I am, it is I

1st person singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #589 BDB #58

yâtsâ (א ָצ ָי) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go out, to come out, to come forth

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳âmad (ד ַמ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-MAHD]

to take a stand, to stand, to remain, to endure, to withstand

1st person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #5975 BDB #763

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

Yâd as a construct and the lâmed preposition are literally rendered to a hand of; together, they mean to the side of, beside, next to.

âb (ב ָא,) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household or clan

masculine singular noun with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

sâdeh (ה∵דָ) [pronounced saw-DEH]

field, land, open field, open country

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7704 BDB #961

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

attâh (הָ-א) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there, thither, whither

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027


Translation: And I, [even] I will go out and stand next to my father in the field where you [are]. David is to go out and hide in a field, and Jonathan suggests here that he get his father out to that same field. Now, there must have been a great deal of trust between these men, because this could just as easily be a trap. However, Jonathan wants David to be able to hear with his own ears just exactly what Saul has to say.

 

Robert Gordon suggests that David was advised to hide where he would have a good view of what was going on, and would be able to assess Saul’s attitude for himself. Jonathan could then elaborate on the detail. Whether Jonathan’s drawing his father into the field would make it easier for him to meet David afterwards without incurring suspicion is less certain. That David stays within earshot (?) Of the conversation, and yet needs to be informed about it, is not necessarily a sign of a composite narrative, for, even if Jonathan contrived to bring his father within yards of David’s hiding-place, he could not tell in advance how much David would hear. Footnote


1Samuel 19:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ânîy (י.נָא) [pronounced aw-NEE]

I, me; in answer to a question, it means I am, it is I

1st person singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #589 BDB #58

dâbar (ר ַב ָד) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

1st person singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

attâh (הָ-א) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

âb (ב ָא,) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household or clan

masculine singular noun with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3


Translation: And I will speak before you to my father... The bêyth preposition is a preposition of proximity. Although it can be used in the sense of concerning, in respect to, on account of, it is usually rendered in, into, by, near, with, before, against. Certainly, Jonathan is going to be speaking to Saul about David; however, the key here is that he will be speaking to his father Saul near David; in the presence of David; before David. Most translators did not render this accurately because it makes very little sense when combined with their translation of the second half of this verse. However, if both portions of the verse are rendered accurately, then it all makes sense.


1Samuel 19:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

1st person singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

mâh (ה ָמ) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why; what [thing]; anything, something, whatever

interrogative; exclamatory particle; indefinite pronoun; relative pronoun

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâgad (ד ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHD]

to make conspicuous, to make known, to expound, to explain, to declare, to inform, to confess, to make it pitifully obvious that

1st person singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong's #5046 BDB #616

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix; pausal form

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...and [if] I see anything, then I will make [it] known to you.” David is going to be within hearing range of Saul and Jonathan. Now, I don’t know what the landscape was like or how David would hide that close, but I used to live in a house that if you stepped out the back door and walked into the forest, you only needed to walk about 10–15 yards and you could no longer see the house, as the woods were so thick (this was almost swampland in Texas). So David would be in a place where he could not see Saul and Jonathan, but he could hear them. What Jonathan is saying here is that, if he sees anything—that is, if he sees anything that David is unable to see—then he will make this known to him.


As has been mentioned, Saul is not fully cognizant of Jonathan’s bond with David. He has assumed that his own psychotic emotions supercede Jonathan’s friendship. Therefore here, in this context, as well as in 1Sam. 20, Saul will make known to Jonathan most of his intended moves (as Jonathan is a part of Saul’s senior staff). And, preview of coming attractions, when Saul realizes that Jonathan takes David’s side, he will accuse David of sedition and of alienating his own son from him.


And so speaks Jonathan in David good unto his father and so he says unto him, “Does not sin the king in his servant in David because he has not sinned to you; and because his deeds [have been] good to you exceedingly.

1Samuel

19:4

So Jonathan spoke well concerning David to his father, and he said to him, “The king will not sin against his servant—against David—because he has not sinned with respect to you; and because his deeds [have been] extremely beneficial to you.

So Jonathan spoke well of David to his father, saying, “Do not sin against David, your servant, because he has never sinned in any way against you. In fact, his deeds have been extremely beneficial to you.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so speaks Jonathan in David good unto his father and so he says unto him, “Does not sin the king in his servant in David because he has not sinned to you; and because his deeds [have been] good to you exceedingly.

Septuagint                             And Jonathan spoke favorably concerning David to Saul his father, and said to him, “Let not the king sin against your servant David, for he has not sinned against you, and his deeds [are] very good.

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

NLT                                        The next morning Jonathan spoke with his father about David, saying many good things about him. “Please don’t sin against David,” Jonathan pleaded. “He’s never done anything to harm you. He has always helped you in any way he could.

REB                                       Jonathan spoke up for David to his father Saul and said to him, ‘Sir, do not wrong your servant David; he has not wronged you; his achievements have all benefitted you greatly.

TEV                                       Jonathan praised David to Saul and said, “Sir, don’t do wrong to your servant David. He has never done you any wrong; on the contrary, everything he has done has been a great help to you.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         So Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul. “You should not commit a sin against your servant David,” he said. “He hasn’t sinned against you. Instead, he has done some very fine things for you:...

JPS (Tanakh)                        So Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul. He said to him, “Let not Your Majesty wrong his servant David, for he has not wronged you; indeed, all his actions have been very much to your advantage.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Then Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, “Do not let the king sin against his servant David, since he has not sinned against you, and since his deeds have been very beneficial [lit., good] to you.

Young's Updated LT              And Jonathan speaks good of David unto Saul his father, and says unto hi, “Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works for you are very good;...


What is the gist of this verse? Jonathan sets everything up so that he and Saul and certainly some witnesses are out in a field; and David is nearby, within hearing range. Jonathan speaks well of David, pointing out that David has not done anything which wrongs the king; which is why Saul should not sin against David.


1Samuel 19:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

dâbar (ר ַב ָד) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

Yehôwnâthân (ןָטָנהי) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN]

alternate spelling; transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3083 (& #3129) BDB #220

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, among, in the midst of; at, by, near, on, before, in the presence of, upon; with; to, unto, upon, up to; in respect to, on account of; by means of, with, about, concerning

primarily a preposition of proximity; however, it has a multitude of fuctions

Strong’s #none BDB #88

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ţôwb (בט) [pronounced toebv]

pleasant, pleasing, agreeable, good, better

adjective which acts like a substantive

Strong’s #2896 BDB #373

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

âb (ב ָא,) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household or clan

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3


Translation: So Jonathan spoke well concerning David to his father,... Jonathan speaks well of David to his father. Although we may not be given the entire conversation, we have it summed up in this verse. Jonathan and others, will, on several occasions, attempt to reason with his father concerning David’s loyalty (see also 1Sam. 20:32 22:14). If you are normal and the logic for a position is clear and irrefutable, you figure that all you need to do is to present these facts to another person, and they will agree with you. Let me set you straight: when dealing with an irrational woman, no amount of logic will get you anywhere at anytime. When dealing with someone like Saul, no logical argument is going to sway him for very long (this argument of Jonathan’s will apparently reach Saul for a time).


1Samuel 19:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

al (ל-א) [pronounced al]

not; nothing; none

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39.

châţâ (א ָט ָח) [pronounced khaw-TAW]

to sin, to miss, to miss the mark, to violate the law, to err; to do wrong, to commit a transgression

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #2398 BDB #306

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

׳ebed (ד ב ע) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

châţâ (א ָט ָח) [pronounced khaw-TAW]

to sin, to miss, to miss the mark, to violate the law, to err; to do wrong, to commit a transgression

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #2398 BDB #306

Note the different tenses of the same verb: first to sin is found in the Qal imperfect, because Saul had not yet killed David; so the action is incomplete. However, Jonathan points out that David has not sinned (Qal perfect—complete action) against Saul.

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Note the difference of the prepositions. A couple words back, Jonathan says that “The king will not sin against David...”, which indicates that Saul had a specific action in mind which would be directly against David. The Jonathan offers his reasoning: “...because he has not sinned with respect to you.” David has clearly never done anything directly against Saul. However, this is not the point that Jonathan is making. David has not sinned at all with respect to Saul. This is a very general statement indicating that David has never done anything even remotely wrong with respect to Saul.


Translation: ...and he said to him, “The king will not sin against his servant—against David—because he has not sinned with respect to you;... You will note the protocol here. Jonathan does not use the imperative mood, but he instead uses the 3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect of to sin. He says, “The king will not sin with against David, because David has not sinned with respect to him.”


In fact, this portion of v. 4 is a miniature lesson in Hebrew. The first time we find châţâ (to sin), it is in the imperfect tense, meaning that it is incomplete action. Saul has not completed his sin against David. He has so far only announced his intentions with respect to David. However, the second time the verb is used, it is in the perfect tense, which is completed action. Up until that point in time, David had not sinned against Saul.


Secondly, note the difference of prepositions. It reads that Saul should not sin against David; however, we are then told that David has not sinned with respect to Saul. Saul has a specific sin in mind to commit against David: murder. However, David has not sinned in any way with respect to Saul. That is, one could not find any actions which even could be remotely considered as sins against Saul.


Jonathan will make a similar argument to his father in the next chapter when Saul realizes that Jonathan has subverted his plans to kill David (1Sam. 20:30–33). However, at that point, it will be clear to Jonathan that Saul can no longer be reasoned with (1Sam. 20:34).


1Samuel 19:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

ma׳ăseh (ה  ֲע ַמ) [pronounced mah-ğa-SEH

deeds, works, production, that which is done

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4639 BDB #795

ţôwb (בט) [pronounced toebv]

pleasant, pleasing, agreeable, good, better

adjective which acts like a substantive

Strong’s #2896 BDB #373

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

meôd (דֹא  ׃מ) [pronounced me-ODE]

exceedingly, extremely, greatly, very

adverb

Strong’s #3966 BDB #547


Translation: ...and because his deeds [have been] extremely beneficial to you. Jonathan adds to his explanation. It is not simply that David hasn’t sinned against Saul but that what David has done has benefitted the king greatly. Saul’s directive to kill David makes little sense—in no way can David be construed of as an enemy of Saul’s. In fact, he is one of Saul’s greatest allies.


I want you to recall that David would be a challenge to Jonathan for the throne. Jonathan is one of the persons who is in line for the throne; however, if David becomes king, Jonathan would lose all claims to the throne. Also recognize that Jonathan has already heard Saul’s realization that the people favor David over his father (1Sam. 18:7–8, 14–16). Jonathan, no doubt, has already considered the fact that David may become king over Israel. However, Jonathan has a sense of integrity and places friendship above any personal ambition that he might have. Jonathan understands that God’s will is God’s will, and that there is no reason to run counter to God—his own father is a prime example of this.


Application: Your personal ambition should never ever supplant personal integrity. I can almost guarantee that you will be tested on this.


And so he places his soul in his palm and so he strikes down the Philistine and so does Yehowah a deliverance great to all Israel. You saw and so you rejoice—and to why do you sin in blood innocent to kill David for nothing?”

1Samuel

19:5

He risked his life [lit., he placed his soul in his palm] and struck down the Philistine, and Yehowah [through him] delivered [lit., made a great deliverance for] all Israel. You saw [this] and you [still] rejoice so why do you [now] sin against innocent blood, [desiring] to kill David without cause?”

David risked his life when he faced down and killed that Philistine; and Jehovah effected a great deliverance for all Israel through him. You yourself saw this with your own eyes and Israel even today rejoices over this victory—so why do you desire to kill David and thus sin against an innocent person?”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         And he put his life in his hand, and struck down the Philistine, and the Lord has brought about a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why therefore wilt you sin against innocent blood, by killing David, who is without fault?.

Masoretic Text                       And so he places his soul in his palm and so he strikes down the Philistine and so does Yehowah a deliverance great to all Israel. You saw and so you rejoice—and to why do you sin in blood innocent to kill David for nothing?”

Septuagint                             And he put his life in his hand, and struck the Philistine, and the Lord brought a great deliverance; and all Israel saw and rejoiced; why then do you sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?”

 

Significant differences:          The primary difference is, Saul saw and rejoiced in the Latin, Hebrew and Syriac concerning David’s victories; in the Greek, it is Israel which saw and rejoiced.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The next morning, Jonathan reminded Saul about the many good things David had done for him. Then he said, “Why do you want to kill David? He hasn’t done anything to you. He has served in your army and has always done what’s best for you. He even risked his life to kill Goliath. The Lord helped Israel win a great victory that day, and it made you happy.” [The CEV combined vv. 4–5, so I have presented them both here].

NLT                                        Have you forgotten about the time he risked his life to kill the Philistine giant and how the Lord brought a great victory to Israel as a result? You were certainly happy about it then. Why should you murder an innocent man like David? There is no reason for it at all!”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         He risked his life and killed the Philistine Goliath, and the Lord gave all Israel a great victory. When you saw it, you rejoiced. Why then should you sin by shedding David’s innocent blood for no reason?”

JPS (Tanakh)                        He took his life in his hands and killed the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great victory for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then should you incur the guilt of shedding the blood of an innocent man, killing David without cause?”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     “For he took his life in his hand and struck the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great deliverance for all Israel; you saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood, by putting David to death without a cause?”

Young's Updated LT              ...yea, he puts his life in his hand, and strikes down the Philistine, and Jehovah works a great salvation for all Israel; you have seen and have rejoiced, and why do you sin against innocent blood, to put David to death for nothing?”


What is the gist of this verse? In v. 5, Jonathan continues his compelling argument on behalf of David. Saul observed that David risked his own life and killed Goliath, by the deliverance of God; which act delivered all of Israel. Saul himself observed and rejoiced at this victory. Therefore, Jonathan asks his father, “Why would you sin against an innocent person and execute David for no reason?”


1Samuel 19:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

sîym (םי ̣) [pronounced seem]; also spelled sûwm (ם) [pronounced soom]

to put, to place, to set, to make

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7760 BDB #962

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

nephesh (שפ נ) [pronounced NEH-fesh]

soul, life, living being, desire

feminine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #5315 BDB #659

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

kaph (ףַ) [pronounced kaf]

palm, hollow or flat of the hand, sole of the foot; bowl, spoon

feminine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3709 BDB #496

These nouns are tied together because of the fact that they are concave.

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâkâh (ה ָכ ָנ) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Pelishetîy (י. ש ̣ל) [pronounced pe-lish-TEE]

transliterated Philistine

masculine singular gentilic adjective (acts like a proper noun) with the definite article

Strong’s #6430 BDB #814


Translation: He risked his life [lit., he placed his soul in his palm] and struck down the Philistine,... Recall the Goliath came out and challenged Israel for 40 days and no one, including Saul, was willing to face him (1Sam. 17). David put his own life at risk when he faced (and killed) this Philistine.


David’s fight with Goliath is legend. Those who know little or nothing about Scripture know something about David and Goliath. For 40 days, Goliath paraded his huge personage before all of Saul’s army, asking for them to send out but one man to do battle, to settle the war between the Israelites and the Philistines. For 40 days, no man came forward from the ranks of Israel. And then when David brought supplies to his brothers, he hears this Philistine rag on Israel’s army, he hears what Saul will do for the man who defeats Goliath, and he stands up to the giant.


1Samuel 19:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

teshûw׳âh (הָעש ) [pronounced te-shoo-ĢAW]

deliverance, salvation

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8668 BDB #448

gedôlôwth (תלֹד) [pronounced ge-doh-LOHTH]

great things, mighty things, immutable things, significant things, astonishing things; proud things, impious things

feminine singular adjective

Strong’s #1419 BDB #152

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

Yiserâêl (ל ֵא ָר  ׃  ̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: ...and Yehowah [through him] delivered [lit., made a great deliverance for] all Israel. Jonathan recognizes that it was God who, through David, delivered Israel. Had not David been willing to risk his life, Israel could be enslaved to the Philistines. The only portion of Jonathan’s argument which is recorded is the more general statement of the previous verse and the more specific statement of this verse. We know that David has been on at least four tours of duty in the armed forces (1Sam. 18:5, 13–14, 27 19:8). Because there is little emphasis given to these tours of duty, we have no idea as to how long David has been a soldier for Saul. No doubt Jonathan brought up specific instances of David’s heroism in battle (bearing in mind that he was careful not to reintroduce Saul to the painful times when the people appeared to sing David’s praises over his).


The words used here are very specific, intending to bring Saul back to something which he himself said several decades previous. Saul had just led his army so that they were victorious over the Ammonites and he said this: “Not a man will be put to death this day, for today, Jehovah has accomplished deliverance in Israel.” (1Sam. 11:13). Jonathan is attempting to bring his father back to a period of time prior to his mental illness.


1Samuel 19:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

sâmach (ח ַמ ָ) [pronounced saw-MAHKH]

to rejoice, to be glad, to be joyful, to be merry

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #8055 BDB #970

Owen lists this as a 3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect verb; however, it could either be a 2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect or a 3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect.

Israel, by the way, takes on a 3rd person masculine singular verb.


Translation: You saw [this] and you [still] rejoice... This phrase jumps out at you. Jonathan is giving this narrative as to why Saul is out of line for trying to kill David; and between each point, he says and so. However, here, Jonathan simply says: “You observed this yourself!” It’s like Jonathan slapped Saul in the head to get his attention. Jonathan uses a perfect tense and follows this with the imperfect tense of to rejoice; “...you saw [this] [a completed action in the past] and you [continue to] rejoice [an act which is ongoing].” The imperfect tense means that this is an incomplete action. Saul is still rejoicing over David’s victories even to this day.


In Jonathan’s mind, he cannot understand at all what his father Saul is thinking. How can Saul have observed David’s victories—victories which he still celebrates—and yet desire to kill David. This does not fit into Jonathan’s brain.


1Samuel 19:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mâh (ה ָמ) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

Lâmed + mâh can be rendered why, for what reason, to what purpose, for what purpose, indicating an interrogatory sentence.

châţâ (א ָט ָח) [pronounced khaw-TAW]

to sin, to miss, to miss the mark, to violate the law, to err; to do wrong, to commit a transgression

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #2398 BDB #306

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

dâm (ם ָ) [pronounced dawm]

blood, often visible blood

masculine singular noun

Strong's #1818 BDB #196

nâqîy (י ̣קָנ) [pronounced naw-KEE]

acquitted, clean, cleared, free from, unpunished, innocent

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #5355 BDB #667

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to put to death, to execute

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

chinnâm (םָ ̣ח) [pronounced khin-NAHM]

gratuitous, freely, for nothing; without cause, undeservedly

substantive/adverb

Strong’s #2600 BDB #336


Translation: ...so why do you [now] sin against innocent blood, [desiring] to kill David without cause?” Jonathan makes his point with a rhetorical question. He is not asking Saul to explain his reasons—he is making is clear as to why Saul is completely out of line. Saul’s intent is to kill David (the infinitive often speaks of intent and purpose); in doing so, Saul would be sinning against innocent blood.


This 5th verse takes things up a notch. Not only has David never done anything remotely against Saul (v. 4), but Saul and all Israel have benefitted because of David’s very activities. David is a selfless, national hero who pulled Saul’s bacon out of the fire. “Now you want to kill David because he saved you? How much sense does that make?” Jonathan asks his father.


You will note that there is a lot less formality here, as Jonathan reaches a crescendo in his argument. There is no carefully couched language; Jonathan is not carefully avoiding stepping on Saul’s toes. He lays it on the line and pulls no punches. He does not call his father an idiot, although that would have been apropos.


And so hearkens Saul to a voice of Jonathan and so swears Saul, “A life of Yehowah if he is killed.”

1Samuel

19:6

Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan and he [lit., Saul] swore, “The life of Yehowah if he is assassinated.”

Saul listened intently to Jonathan, and then swore to him, “My life is God’s if he is assassinated.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         And when Saul heard this, he was appeased with the words of Jonathan, and he swore, “As the Lord liveth, he shall not be slain.”

Masoretic Text                       And so hearkens Saul to a voice of Jonathan and so swears Saul, “A life of Yehowah if he is killed.”

Peshitta                                 And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan his son; and Saul swore, saying, “As the Lord lives, he will not be put to death.”

Septuagint                             And Saul hearkened to the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swore, saying, “The Lord lives if he dies.”

 

Significant differences:          Although the oath requires some sorting out, there are no fundamental differences. The Latin and Syriac reasonably interpret the meaning of the oath.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Saul agreed and promised, “I swear by the living Lord that I won’t have David killed!”

TEV                                       Saul was convinced by what Jonathan said and made a vow in the Lord’s name that he would not kill David.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Saul listened to Jonathan, and he promised, “I solemnly swear, as the Lord lives, he will not be killed.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        Saul heeded Jonathan’s plea, and Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death!”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan, and Saul vowed, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.”

Young's Updated LT              And Saul hearkens to the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swears, “Jehovah lives—he does not die.”


What is the gist of this verse? Saul listens to the passionate argument of his son, and swears that he will not try to kill David.


1Samuel 19:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâma׳ (ע ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

to listen, to hear, to listen intently, to listen and obey, to listen and act upon, to listen and give heed to, to hearken to, to be attentive to, to listen and take note of, to listen and be cognizant of

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

qôwl (לק) [pronounced kohl]

sound, voice, noise; loud noise, thundering

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6963 BDB #876

Yehôwnâthân (ןָטָנהי) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN]

alternate spelling; transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3083 (& #3129) BDB #220


Translation: Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan... Saul did have his lucid moments. He was not a raving lunatic all of the time. God sent this evil spirit to torment and trouble him, but it was not something which could not be controlled. Here Saul is having a very clear, unperturbed time with Jonathan, and he listens intently to what Jonathan has to say, with the intention of following Jonathan’s advice.


We, unfortunately, do not have a word like shâma׳ in the English language. They did in Old English: to hearken. It was more than simply listening to what someone else had to say. It often meant to listen intently and then to act upon the advice, direction or mandates of the speaker. Saul respects and loves his son Jonathan probably more than Jesse loves his son David. He recognizes Jonathan’s logic, and can pose no counter argument.


1Samuel 19:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâba׳ (ע ַב ָש) [pronounced shawb-VAHĢ]

to swear, to imprecate, to curse, to swear an oath, to take a solemn oath, to swear allegiance

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect

Strong's #7650 BDB #989

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

chay (י ַח) [pronounced KHAH-ee]

living, alive

adjective construct

Strong's #2416 BDB #311

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

îm (ם ̣א) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to be executed, to be killed, to be assassinated

3rd person masculine singular, Hophal imperfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

The Hophal is the passive of the Hiphil.


Translation: ...and he [lit., Saul] swore, “The life of Yehowah if he is assassinated.” Few translators render this literally, as it would cause many readers to be nonplused. The idea is that Saul is swearing on his own life that David would not be assassinated. This sounds great, but, unfortunately, Saul is not a man to keep his word. He either lied or stretched the truth, when the actual truth would have put him in a bad light (1Sam. 13:10–14 15:9–21). Saul has made foolish oaths and did not keep them (1Sam. 14:24, 27, 43–45). So, even though Saul is probably saying this in all sincerity, it means very little. It reminds me of a roommate that I had once—he was willing to promise anything and he always was able to find an excuse. His word and sincerity were meaningless (and he knew how to appear sincere). But whatever came out of his mouth could be depended upon to be a lie, an excuse or a meaningless promise. He had no personal integrity. I have had specific tenants like this as well; they would make sincere promises, and very possibly believe these promises themselves; but they would rarely if ever follow through. This is Saul. The best that we can hope for is a short reprieve (a fact which Jonathan may or may not be aware of).


Application: The principle is this: for there to be any connection between what a person says and does depends entirely upon their own personal character. I have known parents to trust the words of their son or daughter even when their children lied right to their face. This does not build character in your son or daughter for you to believe everything they say. You raised them. You spend more time with them than anyone else (I hope). Therefore, you should know whether they have any personal integrity or not. And if you don’t know, you need to find out. When a child makes their first statement of truth to you, where there is a meaningful outcome depending upon whether they are telling the truth or not, then you need to make sure that they are telling you the truth. You need to know your child at a very early age and be able to determine whether they can be trusted or not. And, periodically you need to check this out, because kids change.


Application: Some things are easy: if a child promises to do something, do they follow through? Do you have to hassle them in order to get them to follow through? Do they make promises simply to put off doing something indefinitely? To teach a child the importance of standing by what he or she says is a fundamental lesson of growing up. It does not matter how screwed up today’s society is—you still need to teach your child that their word is their bond; that what they say should be something everyone else can depend upon.


And so calls Jonathan to David and so he makes known to him all the words the these. And so brings Jonathan David unto Saul and so he is to his faces as yesterday, three days ago.

1Samuel

19:7

Then Jonathan called to David and made known to him all these words. So Jonathan brought David to Saul and he was in his presence as before.

Then Jonathan called to David and he made known to him all that was said. So Jonathan brought David back to Saul and David was in the presence of Saul as he had been before.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so calls Jonathan to David and so he makes known to him all the words the these. And so brings Jonathan David unto Saul and so he is to his faces as yesterday, three days ago.

Septuagint                             And Jonathan called David, and told him all these words; and Jonathan brought David in to Saul, and he was before him as in former times.

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Jonathan called to David and told him what Saul had said. Then he brought David to Saul, and David served in Saul’s army just as he had done before.

NLT                                        Afterward Jonathan called David and told him what had happened. Then he took David to see Saul, and everything was as it had been before.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Jonathan told David all of this. Then Jonathan took David to Saul. So David was returned to his former status in Saul’s court.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all this. Then Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he served him as before.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Then Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these words. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as formerly.

Young's Updated LT              And Jonathan calls for David, and Jonathan declares to him all these words, and Jonathan brings in David unto Saul, and he is before him as before.


What is the gist of this verse? Once Saul and Jonathan had parted, Jonathan called for David (as he was in the same general area) and then told him all that Saul had said. Then Jonathan brought David back into the palace and things were as they were before.


1Samuel 19:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

Yehôwnâthân (ןָטָנהי) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN]

alternate spelling; transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3083 (& #3129) BDB #220

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâgad (ד ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHD]

to make conspicuous, to make known, to expound, to explain, to declare, to inform, to confess, to make it pitifully obvious that

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5046 BDB #616

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

bvâr (ר ָב ָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

words, sayings, doctrines, commands; things, matters, reports

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

êlleh (ה  ֵא) [pronunced EEHL-leh]

these, these things

demonstrative plural adjective (with the definite article)

Strong's #428 BDB #41


Translation: Then Jonathan called to David and made known to him all these words. Apparently David was out of earshot, although he was probably in the same general area where Jonathan and Saul spoke to one another. Jonathan summoned David and told him the exchange that he and his father had had.


1Samuel 19:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to take in, to bring, to come in with, to carry

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

Yehôwnâthân (ןָטָנהי) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN]

alternate spelling; transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3083 (& #3129) BDB #220

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: So Jonathan brought David to Saul... Jonathan assumed that it was safe, and he brought David to his father in the palace. He had temporarily established peace between David and Saul. This is not unlike the temporary peace which is established now and again between Israel and the Palestinians today.


1Samuel 19:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (םי̣נ ָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM

face, faces

masculine plural noun (plural acts like English singular) with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean upon the face of, before, before the face of, in the presence of, in the sight of, in front of. When used with God, it can take on the more figurative meaning in the judgment of.

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ethemôwl (למ ׃∵א) [pronounced ethe-MOHL]

 yesterday; and is used figuratively for recently, formerly

adverb

Strong’s #865 (and #8543) BDB #1069

shileshôwm (םש  ׃ל  ̣ש) [pronounced shil-SHOHM]

three days ago, the day before yesterday

adverb

Strong’s #8032 BDB #1026

Together, this preposition and two adverbs mean as before, previously, formerly.


Translation: ...and he was in his presence as before. This is more than David is simply standing before Saul; he has his old position back as palace musician and he functions in the palace just as he had done before (see 1Sam. 16:21 18:2, 10b). So, for a time, David enjoyed some peace in the palace of Saul.


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David Fights the Philistines


And so is added the war to be and so goes out David and so he fights in the Philistines and so he strikes in them a striking great and so they flee from his faces.

1Samuel

19:8

And when war [broke out] again [lit., and so the war is added to be], David went out and fought the Philistines. He assaulted them with [such a] great slaughter that they fled from him.

War broke out again with the Philistines. David went out and fought them, assaulting them with such force that they retreated from him.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so is added the war to be and so goes out David and so he fights in the Philistines and so he strikes in them a striking great and so they flee from his faces.

Septuagint                             And there was again war [lit., war added to be] against Saul; and David did valiantly, and fought against the Philistines, and struck them with a very great slaughter, and they fled from before him.

 

Significant differences:          There are some significant differences in the text, but not in the overall meaning. Only in the Greek do we have this war as being against Saul; the phrase and he went out is not found in the Greek either.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The next time there was a war with the Philistines, David fought hard and forced them to retreat.

NLT                                        War broke out shortly after that, and David led his troops against the Philistines. He attacked them with such fury that they all ran away.

REB                                       When hostilities broke out again and David advanced to the attack, he inflicted such a severe defeat on the Philistines that they fled before him.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         When war broke out again, David went to fight the Philistines. He defeated them so decisively that they fled from him.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Fighting broke out again. David went out and fought the Philistines. He inflicted a great defeat upon them and they fled before him.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     When there was war again, David went out and fought with the Philistines and defeated them with great slaughter, so that they fled before him.

NRSV                                    Again there was war, and David went out to fight the Philistines. He launched a heavy attack on them, so that they fled before him.

Young's Updated LT              And there adds to be war, and David goes out and fights against the Philistines, and strikes down among them—a great striking down, and they flee from his face.


What is the gist of this verse? When war against the Philistines broke out again, David went to fight against them, defeating them and causing them to retreat.


1Samuel 19:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâçaph (ף ַס ָי) [pronounced yaw-SAHPH]

to add, to augment, to increase, to multiply; to add to do = to do again

3rd person feminine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #3254 BDB #414

milechâmâh (ה ָמ ָח  ׃ל  ̣מ) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

The verb to be in the construct often carries with it a temporal meaning, e.g., when [he] was, while [he] was

The Greek adds that this war is against Saul.


Translation: And when war [broke out] again [lit., and so the war is added to be],... The verb âçaph means that this is a reoccurrence. The Philistines and the Israelites had many wars with one another. Apparently, fighting stopped for a short time and then it broke out again. The use of the verb to be is a temporal use, marking the time that this occurred.


1Samuel 19:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâtsâ (א ָצ ָי) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go out, to come out, to come forth

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

The Greek lacks the phrase and he goes out but David is found in the Greek as the subject of the next verb.

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâcham (ם ַח ָל) [pronounced law-KHAHM]

engage in battle, engage in war, to wage war; to fight, to battle

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect

Strong’s #3898 BDB #535

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

Pelishetîy (י. ש ̣ל) [pronounced pe-lish-TEE]

transliterated Philistine

masculine plural gentilic adjective (acts like a proper noun) with the definite article

Strong’s #6430 BDB #814


Translation: ...and David went out and fought the Philistines. This indicates to us that our understanding of the last portion of the previous verse is correct. David was restored to his former status. Recall that he held two positions with regards to the royal palace: when there was no war, he was the palace musician (1Sam. 16:21, 23 18:10 19:9); when war broke out, he was a commanding general (1Sam. 18:5, 13, 30 19:8). He apparently functioned as the former for an unspecified time and now as the latter.


1Samuel 19:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâkâh (ה ָכ ָנ) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #none BDB #88

makkâh (ה ָ ַמ) [pronounced mahk-KAW]

a blow, a wounding, a wound, a slaughter, a beating, a scourging

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4347 BDB #646

gedôlôwth (תלֹד) [pronounced ge-doh-LOHTH]

great things, mighty things, immutable things, significant things, astonishing things; proud things, impious things

feminine singular adjective

Strong’s #1419 BDB #152


Translation: He assaulted them with [such a] great slaughter... David apparently went to war with great and renewed vigor. He was in no hurry to become king. He was a patriot and was more than willing to face down the threats to his country’s security. His attack on the Philistines was vicious and decisive.


1Samuel 19:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

The wâw consecutive can also be rendered so, that, yet, therefore. There are times when the wâw consecutive simply carries the action along and we do not need an English translation in order to indicate that.

nûwç (סנ) [pronounced noose]

to flee, to flee from, to escape, to depart, to hasten quickly [away]

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5127 BDB #630

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

pânîym (םי̣נ ָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM

face, faces

masculine plural noun (plural acts like English singular) with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, mipânîym mean from before your face, out from before your face. However, together, they can also be a reference to the cause, whether near or remote, and can therefore be rendered because of, because that.


Translation: ...that they fled from him. The Philistines retreated. They suffered so many casualties at the hands of David and his men that they ran from him.


You may wonder, if the Philistines lost again and again to the Israelites, why did they continue to fight them? Hatred; pure and simple hatred. As long as there is a Jew in the Middle East, there will be no peace. They are hated by too many people. They are God’s people, so we should expect that Satan would foment hatred against them. Until the Philistines are almost completely destroyed, they will always war against the Jews. It is in their blood, you might say. I recall getting into a fight with this kid from down the street and I felt as though I had beaten him enough to walk away. However, he would not let me walk away. He kept coming at me and coming at me. I don’t recall how things ended, but I didn’t think this fight would ever end. He would not give up. These are the Philistines. They will come back, and they will come back, and they will come back—no matter how many times they are defeated.


It is very possible that this victory of David’s was the act which sets Saul off again in the next verse. As we recall, Saul previously became jealous of David when women attributed more Philistine deaths to David than to him (1Sam. 18:7). Therefore, even though this victory was a victory for Saul as well, it could have easily set off his rage once again.


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Saul Makes a Direct Attempt on David’s Life/David Eludes Saul


And so is a spirit of Yehowah evil unto Saul and he in his house is staying and his spear in his hand and David is playing in a hand.

1Samuel

19:9

Later [lit., and] an evil spirit of Yehowah came [lit., is] to Saul as [lit., and] he is sitting in his house with [lit., and] a spear in his hand while [lit., and] David was playing [a lyre] with [his] hand.

Later on, a distressful spirit from God came to Saul while he was sitting in his house with a spear in his hand; David was also there playing music.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so is a spirit of Yehowah evil unto Saul and he in his house is staying and his spear in his hand and David is playing in a hand.

Peshitta                                 And an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand; and David played the harp in his presence.

Septuagint                             And an evil spirit of God was upon Saul and he was sleeping in his house, and a spear [was] in his hand, and David was playing on the harp with his hands.

 

Significant differences:          There is a minor disagreement of the verb (is it staying, sitting or sleeping?); it can mean staying or sitting in the Hebrew. Also, the word harp is specifically mentioned in the Syriac and Greek. As is most often the case, the differences in the text has no affect upon the overall meaning.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       One night, David was in Saul’s home, playing the harp for him. Saul as sitting there, holding a spear, when an evil spirit from the Lord took control of him.

NLT                                        But one day as Saul was sitting at home, the tormenting spirit from the Lord suddenly came upon him again. As David played his harp for the king,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

JPS (Tanakh)                        Then an evil spirit of the Lord came upon Saul while he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was playing [the lyre].


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Now there was an evil spirit from the Lord on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was playing the harp with his hand.

Young's Updated LT              And a spirit of sadness from Jehovah is unto Saul, and he is sitting in his house, and his javelin in his hand, and David is playing with the hand,...


What is the gist of this verse? Even though Saul has sworn to Jonathan that he will not harm David, an evil or distressing spirit of God comes to him while he is sitting in his house with a spear, listening to David playing music.


1Samuel 19:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

rûwach (ַחר) [pronounced ROO-ahkh]

wind, breath, spirit, apparition

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #7307 BDB #924

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

râ׳âh (הָעָר) [pronounced raw-ĢAW]

evil, misery, distress, disaster, injury, iniquity, aberration, that which is morally reprehensible

feminine singular adjective

Strong’s #7451 BDB #949

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: Later [lit., and] an evil spirit of Yehowah came [lit., is] to Saul... We have reasonably assumed that God has allowed demonic spirits to influence Saul. However, this is done is such a way as not to violate Saul’s free will. You may ask how can that be? Would that not automatically violate his free will? Let’s say you were placed in a room with 3 extremely knowledgeable Jehovah’s Witnesses, and they presented or argued their points of doctrine. Would such a scenario violate your free will? Of course not! Now, they might even convert you, but that says something about you, not about your free will being switched on and off. It is your weakness or your predispositions which would allow their doctrines to influence you. God has already promised us that He would not test us beyond what we could bear. Keeping your free will and self-determinism in tact under those conditions is a matter of your personal character and understanding of God’s Word.


Keil and Delitzsch make a mention of a spirit of Yehowah in contrast to a spirit of Elohim, as found in 1Sam. 16:15 18:10. I also saw a special the other night called Who Wrote the Bible, and the theory that the Old Testament was pretty much a compilation of certain writers, two of which are called the Elohist and the Yahwist, because they often wrote parallel stories, both sets of which would be found in Scripture, and what stands out in all of these pairs of stories is that one author uses Elohim and the other Jehovah. The person who presented this viewpoint said that, when this occurs again and again in Scripture; parallel incidents, both recorded, and one using the name Elohim and one using the name Jehovah, it becomes obvious that there must be two different writers who wrote about the same thing and whose stories were later combined. Footnote The differences in the stories simply refers to a difference of perspective or viewpoint (and of course, to human error). Although I have covered this much earlier in Scripture (see the Doctrine of Documentary Hypothesis in my Introduction to Exodus); let’s just briefly look at this theory with regards to this passage. Here we have two incidents; Saul attempts to pin David to the wall with a spear; however, it appears that in the first instance, he is plagued by a spirit of Elohim and in the second instance, he is plagued by a spirit of Jehovah. Sounds just like it fits the pattern of those who believe in Documentary Hypothesis (which claims that the Pentateuch is a compilation of several writers, none of whom is Moses, and none of whom wrote during the time of Moses). Here, in this verse, we do only have one reference to this evil spirit, and it is called an evil spirit from Jehovah. However, a few verses later in this chapter, when God the Holy Spirit falls upon Saul’s messengers and upon Saul, He is called the Spirit of God. In 1Sam. 16:14–15, we have a reference to both an evil spirit from Jehovah and an evil spirit from Elohim. In fact, there is no reason to assume that we have different writers here (the Yahwist and the Elohist writing every other verse); what it appears to be is that an evil spirit of Jehovah is equivalent to an evil spirit of Elohim. One is just a synonym for the other. The Holy Spirit is also referred to with both designations in the same context (see 1Sam. 10:6, 10). It takes little more than a precursory glance to recognize that, at least in this case, such a theory of the Elohist and the Yahwist is a lame theory which does not hold up, even under the most superficial scrutiny.


1Samuel 19:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

he, it

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #none BDB #88

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

For some reason, this noun is in the construct form, which means that it should be connected to the noun which follows—however, this is not followed by a noun. The difference between this and the construct form is a matter of a few vowel points. The construct form is bêyth (תי̤ב) [pronounced bayth]. I do not have an explanation for this.

yâshab (ב ַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

inhabiting, staying, dwelling, sitting

Qal active participle

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

chănîyth (תי.נֲח) [pronounced khuh-NEETH]

spear

feminine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #2595 BDB #333

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388


Translation: ...as [lit., and] he is sitting in his house with [lit., and] a spear in his hand... Obviously, the Philistine menace has been dealt with. They have been pushed back to their territory and they have not moved recently against Israel. Saul, a commander-in-chief of the armed forces now has some downtime, and he has chosen to spend this time sitting around the palace listening to some music. He is fiddling with his spear. As a teacher, I might have spoken to the students while absent-mindedly fiddling with a marker in one hand. Saul, as a king, would absent-mindedly fondle his spear (or javelin).


1Samuel 19:9c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

nâgan (ן -גָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHN]

to touch, to play a stringed instrument, to strike strings

Piel participle

Strong’s #5059 BDB #618

The Greek and Syriac insert a harp at this point.

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun

Strong's #3027 BDB #388


Translation: ...while [lit., and] David is playing [a lyre] with [his] hand. We have an interesting contrast. While Saul fiddles with his spear, David fiddles with his musical instrument. David is multi-faceted. He might be considered one of the first Renaissance men (long before the Renaissance). When war was over, he had no problems of readjustment. He didn’t turn to drink; he didn’t live in the streets; he was able to relax and play music. David had a great many talents, and one of them was to be able to take down time and enjoy it.


What we have here is a poetic contrast between these two men. Saul is sitting (Qal active participle) in his home with a javelin in his hand; and David is playing (Piel active participle) with a musical instrument in his. David was able to relax; Saul was not. David was clear-headed; Saul was not. This literary contrast between the two men is found in many chapters of 1Samuel.


And so seeks Saul to strike in the spear in David and the wall, and so he slips away from faces of Saul and so he strikes the spear in the wall. And David fled and so he is delivered the night that.

1Samuel

19:10

Saul sought to pin [lit., strike] David with the spear to [lit., and] the wall, but David eluded Saul [lit., slipped away from Saul] and he stuck the spear into the wall. Then David fled and was delivered in that night.

Saul tried to pin David to the wall with his spear, but David dodged him and the spear stuck in the wall. Then David fled, and was delivered that night.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so seeks Saul to strike in the spear in David and the wall, and so he slips away from faces of Saul and so he strikes the spear in the wall. And David fled and so he is delivered the night that.

Septuagint                             And Saul sought to strike the spear into David and David withdrew from the presence of Saul; and he drove the spear into the wall; and David retreated and escaped.

 

Significant differences:          That Saul wants to pin David to the wall is not found in the Greek. David’s name is found thrice in the Latin and Greek; twice in the Hebrew and Syriac. The Greek also places the final phrase with the next verse. Again, the affect upon the overall meaning is minimal.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear, but David dodged, and it stuck in the wall. David ran out of the house .

NAB                                       Saul tried to nail David to the wall with the spear, but David eluded Saul, so that the spear struck only the wall, and David got away safe.

NLT                                        Saul hurled his spear at David in an attempt to kill him. But David dodged out of the way and escaped into the night, leaving the spear stuck in the wall.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Saul tried to nail David to the wall with his spear. But David dodged it, and Saul’s spear struck the wall. David fled, escaping └from Saul┘ that night.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he eluded Saul, so that he drove the spear into the wall. David fled and got away.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And Saul tried to pin David to the wall [lit., strike David and the wall] with the spear, but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, so that he struck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.

Young's Updated LT              ...and Saul seeks to strike with the javelin through David, and through the wall, and he frees himself from the presence of Saul, and he strikes the javelin through the wall; and David has fled and escapes during that night.


What is the gist of this verse? Saul tries to pin David to the wall with his spear, but David dodges him and escapes into the night.


1Samuel 19:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bâqash (ש ַק ָ) [pronounced baw-KAHSH]

to seek, to search, to desire, to strive after, to attempt to get, to require, to demand, to ask, to seek with desire and diligence

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1245 BDB #134

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâkâh (ה ָכ ָנ) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong #5221 BDB #645

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

chănîyth (תי.נֲח) [pronounced khuh-NEETH]

spear

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2595 BDB #333

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

qîyr (רי .ק) [pronounced keer]

the wall [of a city], a wall; a place fortified with a wall [i.e., a fortress]; a side

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7023 BDB #885


Translation: Saul sought to pin [lit., strike] David with the spear to [lit., and] the wall,... As we have already seen, Saul has little by way of personal character. When he knows that he has done wrong, he will rarely ever own up to his failures—he instead tries to rationalize his actions. He has made a vow to his own son that he would not harm David. His son reasoned with him, explaining why David was not a threat to him and that David has actually been a great ally and supporter. However, Saul has allowed himself to become influenced by this evil (or distressing) spirit, causing him to want to kill David again. What he seeks to do here is to pin David to the wall with his spear, a repeat of a previous attempt (1Sam. 18:10–11).


You have no doubt heard the saying, “You are your own worst enemy.” This is Saul. With David, Saul does not need to go to battle himself; he can enjoy complete peace in his palace. He can depend upon David’s loyalty and reticence to assume the throne. David is a great husband to Saul’s daughter and a great friend to Saul’s son. Saul could not ask for a better man than David to have his back. Yet, because of his hatred and jealousy, Saul will attempt to kill David. These attempts upon David’s life only work against Saul; yet he is determined to kill David.


Application: We all have our enemies. Those who pursue the Word of God will always have those who are looking to bring them down. However, I can guarantee you that you will do more harm to your own spiritual growth and to your own walk with God than anyone else will. When it comes to your life, your finances, your relationships—no one can better sabotage these than you, and no one will sabotage them more than you will. You certainly know that when you try to give your sons and daughters direction, it is not to deprive them of fun, but to guide them to a better existence. These are God’s laws. He is not looking to decrease the joy that you get out of life by issuing restraints against all that we might think is fun; God will increase your joy when you obey His Word. He knows that laws of the universe; He wrote the laws of the universe; so when God says do this and don’t do that; we ought to obey him, if only out of self-interest.


1Samuel 19:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

pâţar (ר-טָ) [pronounced paw-TAHR]

to split, to cleave; to cause to burst out; to let go free, to let out, to slip away, to depart

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6362 BDB #809

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

pânîym (םי̣נ ָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM

face, faces

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, mipânîym mean from before your face, out from before your face. However, together, they can also be a reference to the cause, whether near or remote, and can therefore be rendered because of, because that.

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: ...but David eluded Saul [lit., slipped away from Saul]... The idea here is that David dodges out of the way of the spear (which becomes apparent in the next phrase).


1Samuel 19:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâkâh (ה ָכ ָנ) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

chănîyth (תי.נֲח) [pronounced khuh-NEETH]

spear

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2595 BDB #333

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

qîyr (רי .ק) [pronounced keer]

the wall [of a city], a wall; a place fortified with a wall [i.e., a fortress]; a side

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7023 BDB #885


Translation: ...and he stuck the spear into the wall. Saul is the subject, as spear is a feminine noun and the verb is a masculine singular. The addition of this phrase, telling us that Saul strikes the wall with the spear, lets us know that Saul didn’t become postal, and David slipped out before anything took place. This tells us that Saul struck the wall with his spear, indicating that David was probably there and deftly moved out of its way.

 

Freeman tells us: According to an ancient Asiatic custom, when a dart was thrown at a freedman, and he escaped from it by flight, he was thereby absolved from all allegiance to his master. Thus Saul by his murderous fury gave complete liberty to David, whose subsequent acts of war against the king could not be considered rebellion. From that hour, he was no longer a subject of King Saul. Footnote


1Samuel 19:10d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

nûwç (סנ) [pronounced noose]

to flee, to flee from, to escape, to depart, to hasten quickly [away]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #5127 BDB #630


Translation: Then David fled... This marks an important event, which stands out in the Hebrew. In the Hebrew, the subject generally follows the verb; however, here is precedes the verb (as we do in the English) and the perfect verb stands out in a sea of imperfect verbs. For those who go blank when I begin making references to Hebrew grammar, suffice to say that this little phrase stands out from the rest of the verse. The reason is that this marks the point in time when David becomes a fugitive. Since Saul brought him to the palace several years previous, that has been his work place during peace times. He had been assigned to Saul, first as a musician, and later as an armor bearer. This marks Saul’s third direct attempt on David’s life, causing David to realize that he cannot continue be around Saul. Who knew when Saul will go off his meds and try to stick him with a javelin in the night?


There is another reason that this particular verb stands out—it is a bit of irony that David, in v. 8, put the Philistines to flight; and here, Saul puts him to flight. Footnote


1Samuel 19:10e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mâlaţ (ט ַל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAHT]

to be delivered; to deliver oneself, to escape; to go away in haste

3rd person masculine singular, [often a reflexive meaning in the] Niphal imperfect

Strong’s #4422 BDB #572

BDB offers a fairly different set of meanings for the Niphal. Instead, they suggest to slip away, to slip through [or past]; to escape; to be delivered.

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

layelâh (ה ָל  ׃י ַל) [pronounced LAY-law]

night; nightly, at night, in the night, during the night

masculine singular noun with the definite article; this word can take on adverbial qualities

Strong’s #3915 BDB #538

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

that

masculine singular, demonstrative pronoun (with a definite article)

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

These final two words are better placed with the verse that follows (see the Septuagint).


Translation: ...and was delivered in that night. Although Gesenius tells us that this final verb can be used in the reflexive sense, there is no reason to do that here. Even though God is not mentioned in this verse, we can rest assured that God watched over David, and made certain that no harm would come to him.


Originally, I was not going to include the final two words with this sentence. They do sound better placed with the next verse (see the CEV, JPS and LXX below). However, v. 11 begins with a wâw consecutive, which is what we would expect the sentence to begin with. We often begin our sentences with prepositional phrases, e.g. in that night; however, it was rare for this to be done in the Hebrew. What was much more common was beginning a sentence with a wâw consecutive, which more or less continues the action.


When we compare this phrase to Psalm 59:7a, where these soldiers return in the evening, we might think that there is a contradiction. However, that is not the case. It is reasonable to suppose that it is still day and the escape mentioned here is David’s final escape, which would be accomplished that night. That final escape is elaborated on below in the next few verses (and it is very common in Hebrew to give the overall picture first, and then to go back and fill in many of the details).


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Saul Sends Assassins to David’s Home/Michal Helps David Escape


And so sends Saul messengers unto a house of David to watch him and to kill him in the morning. And so makes known to David Michal his wife, to say, “If not you delivering [from danger] your soul the night, tomorrow you are killed.”

1Samuel

19:11

Saul then sent assassins [lit., messengers] to David’s house to keep watch [on] him and to kill him in the morning. Michal, his wife, made [this] known to David, saying, “If you don’t deliver your soul [from danger] tonight, tomorrow, you will be killed.”

Saul then sent assassins to David’s house to keep watch on him with the purpose of killing him the next morning. His wife Michal told David about this, saying, “You must save yourself tonight, or tomorrow, they will kill you.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so sends Saul messengers unto a house of David to watch him and to kill him in the morning. And so makes known to David Michal his wife, to say, “If not you delivering [from danger] your soul the night, tomorrow you are killed.”

Septuagint                             And it came to pass in that night that Saul sent messengers to the house of David to watch him, in order to slay him in the morning; and Melchol, David’s wife, told him, saying, “Unless you save your life this night, tomorrow you will be slain.” Note that the phrase that night is placed with this verse in the Greek (along with some additional words). Contextually, this seems to make more sense.

 

Significant differences:          The LXX has a few additional words and brings that night over from the previous verse. The Hebrew, Latin and Syriac are almost identical.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                              Saul sent guards to watch David’s house all night and then to kill him in the morning.

Michal, David’s wife, told him, “If you don’t escape tonight, they’ll kill you tomorrow!”

NLT                                        Then Saul sent troops to watch David’s house. They were told to kill David when he came out the next morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t get away tonight, you will be dead by morning.”

TEV                                       That same night Saul sent some men to watch Davids’ house and kill him the next morning. Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t get away tonight, tomorrow you will be dead.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Saul sent messengers to watch David’s house and kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, advised him, “If you don’t save yourself tonight, you’ll be dead tomorrow!”

JPS (Tanakh)                        That night Saul sent messengers to David’s home to keep watch on him and to kill him in the morning. But David’s wife Michal told him, “Unless you run for your life tonight, you will be killed tomorrow.” [In the JPS Bible, that night is part of v. 10, but part of this sentence—see the Greek rendering below].


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Then Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him, in order to put him to death in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be put to death.”

Young's Updated LT              And Saul sends messengers unto the house of David to watch him, and to put him to death in the morning. And Michal his wife declares to David, saying, “If you are not delivering your life tonight, tomorrow, you are put to death.”


As you have no doubt noticed, the translations seem to be split pretty evenly on the placement of that night. It’s not really that even of a split. Let’s list just who follows which placement.

Where Does Each Translation Place that night?

Placement

Text

At the end of the final sentence in v. 10

The Masoretic (Hebrew) text; The Complete Jewish Bible, The Emphasized Bible, God’s Word™, KJV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV, Young’s Literal Translation.

In v. 10, but as a part of the first sentence in v. 11

JPS, NJB, REB.

In v. 11 as a part of the first sentence in v. 11

The Septuagint (Greek translation); CEV, NAB, TEV.

In vv. 10 and 11

The Amplified Bible.

Generally speaking, the Complete Jewish Bible, the KJV, the NKJV, the NASB and Young will follow the Masoretic text (The Amplified Bible generally does as well). Those more likely to follow alternate texts are: Rotherham’s The Emphasized Bible, the NRSV, and the REB. Obviously, this is not a generalization that we can strictly hold to. In every instance that I am aware of, the majority of translations will follow the MT rather than the LXX.

If the MT is incorrect in this situation, then the wâw consecutive was misplaced as well.


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What is the gist of this verse? Saul sends his officers to David’s home to arrest him. Michal, his wife, convinces David to leave that very night.


1Samuel 19:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for, to send forth, to send away, to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

maleâke ( ָא ׃ל ַמ) [pronounced mahle-AWCHe]

messenger or angel; this word has been used for a prophet (Isa. 42:19) priest (Mal. 2:7)

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #4397 BDB #521

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shâmar (ר ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAR]

to keep, to guard, to watch, to preserve

Qal infinitive construct with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #8104 BDB #1036

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to put to death, to execute

Hiphil infinitive construct with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

bôqer (ר∵קֹ) [pronounced BOH-ker]

morning

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #1242 BDB #133


Translation: Saul then sent assassins [lit., messengers] to David’s house to keep watch [on] him and to kill him in the morning. Although Jonathan had reasoned with his father and convinced him that David was a loyal subject, Saul allowed the distressing spirits from God to talk him out of this notion. He tried to kill David himself on three occasions, and tried to set him up to die in battle on at least two other occasions, but failed. Here, Saul sends some of his most loyal men to David’s house. They were to stand watch on the house for that night, with the purpose of killing David the next morning (the infinitive is often used to indicate purpose or intent).


A reasonable question is, if David was so popular, how could Saul find men who would be willing to kill him? David was popular and he was popular with most, if not all of Saul’s servants. However, there are often men who feel passed over, who feel as though David took their position when he moved up in the ranks. There are those who are jealous, and Saul possibly sought these kinds of men out. It could be clear to them that, if David took the throne of Israel, then they would be out of a job. It is just as reasonable that Saul threatened the lives of anyone who did not choose to obey his orders. After all, Saul is the king, and capable of doing almost anything, as his officers recognize.


There are clues in this passage and in Psalm 59 that tells us a few details about these men, which indicates that they were reticent about attacking David. In Psalm 59:6, they are compared to dogs that prowl around the city growling. This indicates that they gathered first outside David’s home and they talked loud enough for David and Michal to hear them. It is possible that this was done on purpose, at least by a couple of these men. It is reasonably that they did not like this particular assignment, and that the talking could have been an argument about the assignment, or intentional loud talking so that David was aware that they were outside his home.


By the way, when we complete v. 12, then we will examine Psalm 59.


1Samuel 19:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâgad (ד ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHD]

to make conspicuous, to make known, to expound, to explain, to declare, to inform, to confess, to make it pitifully obvious that

3rd person feminine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5046 BDB #616

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

Mîykal (ל-כי.מ) [pronounced mee-KAHL]

possibly means brook or stream and is transliterated Michal

feminine proper noun

Strong’s #4324 BDB #568

îshshâh (ה ָֹ ̣א) [pronounced eesh-SHAWH]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #802 BDB #61


Translation: Michal, his wife, made [this] known to David,... Michal was a fairly intelligent woman. She also had her contacts in the palace, since she is the king’s daughter. She either knew about the men on the outside, or knew that Saul would try this sort of attempt on David’s life. She knew enough to warn David. My guess is that she saw the men outside, knew that they were from Saul, and warned David. It is possible that someone from the palace found a way to warn her. This explains their behavior in the next couple verses.


1Samuel 19:11c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

îm (ם ̣א) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

êyn (ןי̤א) [pronounced ān]

nothing, not, [is] not; not present, not ready; expresses non-existence, absence or non-possession; there is no

particle of negation; substantive of negation with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #369 BDB #34

mâlaţ (ט ַל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAHT]

to cause to escape, to deliver [from danger]; to lay eggs [the eggs slip out]

Piel participle

Strong’s #4422 BDB #572

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

nephesh (שפ נ) [pronounced NEH-fesh]

soul, life, living being, desire

feminine singular noun with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5315 BDB #659

layelâh (ה ָל  ׃י ַל) [pronounced LAY-law]

night; nightly, at night, in the night, during the night

masculine singular noun with the definite article; this word can take on adverbial qualities

Strong’s #3915 BDB #538

mâchâr (רָח ָמ) [pronounced maw-KHAWR]

 literally, tomorrow; but figuratively can stand for in time to come, in the future, later on, down the road (chronologically speaking)

adverb of time

Strong’s #4279 BDB #563

attâh (הָ-א) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to be executed, to be killed, to be assassinated

Hophal participle

Strong's #4191 BDB #559


Translation: ...saying, “If you don’t deliver your soul [from danger] tonight, tomorrow, you will be killed.” Her warning to David was to get out now, while he could. She either knew or reasonably figured that if David did not get out of town that night, that he would be killed the next day.


Recall that none of this has to occur in exact chronological order. It is possible that David went straight home after Saul lunged at him with the javelin, told his wife, and she told him then and there to get out. It could be that the assassins even came to his house after Michal warned David. She was a bright woman who knew her father; therefore, it would not be a tremendous stretch for her to figure out that David’s life was still in danger. Given the fact that this psalm shows up in the title of a psalm, this indicates that David knew that there were men sent by Saul watching his house. The psalm is entitled: For the choir director, set to Al-tashbeth. A Mikhtam of David, when Saul sent [men], and they watched to house in order to kill him (rather a long title). If the men weren’t there yet, then this psalm might have been entitled: For the choir director, set to Al-tashbeth. A Mikhtam of David, when Michal let David out the window (see the next verse). This would indicate that Michal figured out that her father was going to try to kill David. David comes home from the palace, said, “Your father tried to kill me again, in front of everyone, in the palace.” She either encouraged him at that time to leave, or, this was discussed, she looks out through the keyhole (they did exist in the ancient world), and sees men from the palace standing out near their front door. David and Michal recognized these men from the palace outside their house. Given what Michal says here, my guess is that she saw them first. I doubt that she went out to see these men, as they would have attempted to enter into her home at that point.


In any case, it is interesting that it is Michal who convinces David to leave Gibeah. David doesn’t come home, tell Michal that her father tried to kill him, and then add, “Pack your things, honey, we need to get out of here.” Or even, “Michal, dear, I think I’m going to take it on the lamb.” Michal was more aware of the danger (perhaps she had even spoken to Jonathan) and she recognized that this was a crisis point that Saul had reached and that no one was going to be able to reason with him. Given what follows, her instinct appears to be right on target.


Application: We will find out in 2Samuel that Michal has a spiritual life far inferior to David’s; however, what she suggests here is completely right and insightful. Don’t be afraid to take advice from other people. Sometimes God puts people in your life for specific reasons. Sometimes God puts them there to test you, and sometimes He places them there to guide you. If you have any sort of spiritual discernment, then you should be able to determine who is who.


And so lets down Michal David through the window and so he departs and so he flees and so he is delivered.

1Samuel

19:12

Therefore Michal let David down through the window and he departed, fleeing, and escaped.

Therefore, Michal let David down through the window, and he departed and fled, escaping.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so lets down Michal David through the window and so he departs and so he flees and so he is delivered.

Septuagint                             So Melchol lets David down by the window, and he departed, and fled, and escaped.

 

Significant differences:          None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       She helped David go through a window and climb down to the ground. As David ran off,...

NLT                                        So she helped him climb out through a window, and he escaped.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         So Michal lowered David through a window, and he ran away to escape.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Michal let David down from the window and he escaped and fled.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     So Michal let David down through a window, and he went out and fled and escaped.

Young's Updated LT              And Michal causes David to go down through the window, and he goes on, and he flees, and escapes.


What is the gist of this verse? Michal lets David down through a window (a wall of their house was probably a city wall, and they were probably on the second floor). David leaves the city and escapes Saul.


1Samuel 19:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

The wâw consecutive can also be rendered so, that, yet, therefore. There are times when the wâw consecutive simply carries the action along and we do not need an English translation in order to indicate that.

yârad (ד ַר ָי) [pronounced yaw-RAHD]

cause to go down, cause to come down, to bring down

3rd person feminine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #3381 BDB #432

Mîykal (ל-כי.מ) [pronounced mee-KAHL]

possibly means brook or stream and is transliterated Michal

feminine proper noun

Strong’s #4324 BDB #568

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ba׳ad (ד ַע ַ) [pronounced BAH-ģad]

by, near; because of; behind, after; about, round about; between [two things], through; into, among; pro, for; away from, behind; on behalf of

generally a preposition of separation or nearness

Strong's #1157 BDB #126

Even though ba׳ad is covered in roughly half a page in both BDB and Gesenius, it still has a great many meanings (and only some of their material overlapped). With verbs of falling, letting down, leaning forward so as to look out, it means through, out through (lit., away from) a window, etc. With verbs of shutting, it means to shut behind, after, up or upon. It can be used as follows: to seal up; to hedge about; to fence round about. It has metaphorical uses: on behalf of, for the sake of, on account of. This preposition can denote nearness, as in by, near; between [two things]; into, among; pro, for (in the sense of exchanging).

challôwn (ןַח) [pronounced khal-LOWN]

window

masculine/feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2474 BDB #319


Translation: Therefore Michal let David down through the window... Given the weather of Israel, homes certainly had windows to let a breeze through. This would probably mean that if David and Michal lived near the palace, that they were in the wall of the city (if this was a walled city), and that David was let down through a window on the outside wall. This would indicate that in any case, they were on a second floor.


We know everything about the palace of Solomon and nothing about the palace of Saul. We don’t know if he simply had a large home constructed or whether he had a walled city (or walled palace) built. We are never told this. My guess is that either the city of Saul or a very small portion of it was walled. Within these walls were the royal residence and additional homes and buildings. Michal and David likely lived in one of these homes, where the wall of the city also functioned as a wall of their home. There would be a window high up in this wall. It is through this opening that David would have been let down, putting him outside the walls, outside the protection of the city. However, the guards from Saul would have all been inside the walls, outside David’s front door, standing guard there.


We have three similar incidents in Scripture where believers were let out through a window to escape. Paul was let down through a window in the city wall in a basket to evade the ethnarch of Damascus (Acts 9:19–25 II Cor. 11:33). Back when Joshua was entering the Land of Promise, he sent spies into the land into Jericho, and they were helped by Rahab. In order to help them get out of the city without being noticed, she let them down through the window to the outside, as her domicile was a part of the city wall (Judges 2:15). And we have this incident with David.


1Samuel 19:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bârach (ח-רָ) [pronounced baw-RAHKH]

to go through, to flee

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1272 BDB #137

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mâlaţ (ט ַל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAHT]

to be delivered; to deliver oneself, to escape; to go away in haste

3rd person masculine singular, [often a reflexive meaning in the] Niphal imperfect

Strong’s #4422 BDB #572

BDB offers a fairly different set of meanings for the Niphal. Instead, they suggest to slip away, to slip through [or past]; to escape; to be delivered.


Translation: ...and he departed, fleeing, and escaped. David departs from this life as a servant to Saul, never to return to it again. He flees the city and escapes from Saul’s intent to kill him.


This incident helps us to balance our respect for established authority (and Scripture is clear that we should respect and obey the authorities, for God put them in their places of authority). David doesn’t turn himself into Saul because he’s a Christian and Saul has decided that he should arrest him. This is because David has broken no laws. Therefore, evading the authorities is acceptable behavior. Now, don’t misapply this—if you commit a crime, then you are responsible for that action, and you would turn yourself in. However, in this case, the lines drawn are spiritual. David is a healthy, growing believer; Saul is a believer in reversionism, Footnote with authority which far exceeds his ability to properly administer it. David is motivated by God’s Word; Saul is motivated by evil spirits given access to him by God. Therefore, this is a situation which allows David to evade the authorities. It is also God’s will that David leave his household and escape the city. How do we know that? Let me answer that with a question: what’s in David’s bed (see v. 13)? That is problematic. David cannot continue to live in a house where there are religious idols.


We should stop here and examine Psalm 59.


And so takes Michal the teraphim and so she puts [it] in the bed and a pillow of goats she put at his heads and so she conceals in the garment.

1Samuel

19:13

Michal took the teraphim and placed [it] on the bed and she placed a pillow of goats’ [hair] at the head and conceal [this] with a garment.

Michal took the teraphim and placed it in David’s bed, with a pillow of goats’ hair at the head, all covered by a blanket.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so takes Michal the teraphim and so she puts [it] in the bed and a pillow of goats she put at his heads and so she conceals in the garment.

Septuagint                             And Melchol took images [Heb., teraphim; probably such images as were put on monuments], and laid them on the bed, and she put the liver [כבד liver, has evidently been read here for כיבר a quilt, or perhaps a pillow] of a goat by his head, and covered them with clothes. Footnote

 

Significant differences:          The differences are noted in the Greek text; the problem here is, mistaking to the word quilt (or, pillow) for liver.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Michal put a statue in his bed. She put goat hair on its head and dressed it in some of David’s clothes.

NJB                                        Michal then took a domestic image, laid it on the bed, put a tress of goats’ hair at the head of the bed and put a cover over it.

NLT                                        Then she took an idol [Heb., teraphim], and put it in his bed, covered it with blankets, and put a cushion of goat’s hair at its head.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Then Michal took some idols, laid them in the bed, put a boat-hair blanket at its head, and covered the idols with a garment.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And Michal took the teraphim [household good-luck image] and laid it in the bed, put a pillow of goats’ hair at its head, and covered it with a bedspread.

NASB                                     And Michal took the household idol [Heb., teraphim] and laid it on the bed, and put a quilt of goats’ hair at its head, and covered it with clothes.

Young's Updated LT              And Michal takes the teraphim and lays it on the bed, and the mattress of goats’ hair she has put for his pillows, and covers with a garment.


What is the gist of this verse? Michal decides that it is necessary to disguise the fact that David has sneaked out of town, and she places a house idol (possibly two or more) in his bed. She puts a pillow at the top of the bed and covers this over with a garment.


1Samuel 19:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (ח ַק ָל) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take from, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize, to take possession of; to send after, to fetch, to bring; to receive

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

Mîykal (ל-כי.מ) [pronounced mee-KAHL]

possibly means brook or stream and is transliterated Michal

feminine proper noun

Strong’s #4324 BDB #568

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

terâphîym (םי.פָר ) [pronounced teraw-PHEEM]

household idol, a kind of idol, an object of reverence, and a means of divination, often transliterated teraphim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8655 BDB #1076


Translation: Michal took the teraphim... The short explanation is that teraphim are household idols, and, as such, forbidden by God. This might be a good time to examine, the Doctrine of Teraphim. And, in case you don’t look it up, below I will provide a summary of this doctrine.




Summary of the Doctrine of Teraphim

 

1.    Teraphim are religious images and that they are sometimes consulted for guidance; and that they possibly acted as household protectors. It is not clear whether teraphim is strictly plural or whether it is used like the word Elohim (which can mean God or gods). These “images,” teraphim (see Judges 17:5; 18:14; etc.), were usually small (v. 34) human figurines, occasionally larger, often made of wood (1 Sam. 19:13-16). Near Eastern excavations have brought them to light in profuse numbers, made of wood, clay, and precious metals. Some represent male gods, but the majority are figurines of female deities 2 to 3 in. in length. They were used as household gods or were carried on the body as protective charms. Since most of them represent nude goddesses whose sexual features are accentuated, they were probably thought to promote fertility.

2.    We find teraphim in pretty much every time period of the history of Israel. We find them in the time of the judges, in the time of the patriarchs, during the formation of the monarchy, during the late monarchy, and in the post-exilic period. One might say that they are almost as pervasive in Israel’s society as the picture of Jesus or the statues of Mary are in our society.

3.    As found in Scripture:

       a.    Laban had them and his daughter Rachel stole them from him. The importance of these teraphim is that they perhaps acted almost like a last will and testament; that is, the person in possession of them is figured to be entitled to the estate of the person to whom they originally belonged. That is, Rachel did not necessarily take these to worship, but to insure her inheritance from her father Laban. It is possible that she took the images because of their relationship with fertility. Gen. 31

       b.    In the book of Judges, a man of Ephraim named Micah builds himself a shrine and makes and ephod and teraphim. Then he goes out and hires a priest to be his personal household priest. From this passage, we know that there is a religious significance to these teraphim. An ephod, by the way, would be used to predict the future or to suggest a particular course of action. Some Danites who decide to seek some land further north, happen across Micah’s house and speak to his personal priest (they apparently recognized his voice). He gives them what they believe to be good information, so when they return to the area of Micah’s home, they steal his religious artifacts and his priest. It is again clear by this passage that the teraphim have religious significance and that household idols (or, household idol) is probably a very reasonable English rendering of teraphim. This particular group of Danites then set up their own northern shrine to the gods.

       c.     In 1Sam. 15:23, Saul disobeyed God and had allowed at least the king of the Amalekites to live, and he saved out the best of their livestock. Samuel chewed him out, saying, “Is [it] pleasing to Yehowah with burnt offerings and sacrifices as listening [and obeying] the voice of Yehowah? Observe, listening [and obeying is] more than sacrifice; [it is more] pleasing to given attention [to His word is] more than the fat of rams. For the sin of divination [is] rebellion and iniquity and teraphim [is] being stubborn; since you reject the Word of Yehowah, He rejects you from [being] king.” Samuel equates the sin of divination with rebellion and iniquity; he equates the use of teraphim with being stubborn. He is saying that one is no better than the other. This passage along with Zech. 10:2 tell us that God took a very dim view of such idols (along with direct statements, e.g., Ex. 20:4–5).

       d.    In 1Sam. 19:13, Michal uses teraphim to put into David’s bed so that it appears as though he is sleeping there. This means that, in David’s household, they kept teraphim, or idolatrous household idols. It suggests that the teraphim was relatively large (or, that there was more than one). The implied difference in size from what we saw in the book of Genesis is easily explained, as she is the daughter of the king. This suggests that God allowed Saul to drive David from his own home because idolatry was practiced there.

       e.    At this point, we may have to extrapolate and speculate somewhat. Back in 1Sam. 15, Saul was beginning to become more and more negative toward God. He flat out disobeyed God’s clear and direct orders and Samuel tells him that disobedience is the same as idolatry. This would suggest to me that Saul was not an idolater at the time. However, given the fact that Michal had a household idol or two, that would indicate that Saul possibly began incorporating these as part of a self-protection plan, seeing has how he had been rejected by Jehovah, the God of Israel. His own use influenced his daughters and at least one of his daughters also had household idols, as we see here (it would have made less sense for her to go out and find some to use on a moment’s notice).

       f.     300 years later, Josiah removes the mediums, spiritists, teraphim, idols and all other abominations from the land of Judah. 2Kings 23:24

       g.    The prophets speak negatively of these teraphim. Ezek. 21:21 Hosea 3:4 Zech. 10:2. Hosea even suggests that Israel’s idolatry would keep Israel from functioning as a national entity for a long time.

4.    Our conclusions is simply that these were household figurines or idols which could have been used for protection, illness, guidance; and that they may be related to inheritance. The Bible clearly indicates that these were idolatrous and there are several instances where God caused various believers to separate from places and circumstances where these images were.


 


Douglas points out that the teraphim could have been placed next to the bed (the preposition would allow for that), with the idea that it had some sort of a curative property. Footnote This alternate view would put David in bed sick, so that he could not come to the door or entertain visitors.


The reasonable question is, what is David doing with household idols? First of all, these idols probably belong to his wife, Michal, and, very likely, they were a gift. Saul found himself estranged from the God of Israel, so he probably aligned himself with some other gods to protect himself and his family from Jehovah God. He passed along these teraphim as gifts to his daughters. It does not matter that Saul was at one time aligned with Jehovah God. His behavior has been quite unusual, so having idols is not any further out there than his attempts to kill David. That Saul’s daughter would possess these idols is not a great surprise either. David, however, was out of line to allow these things into his house; he no doubt allowed it as a compromise.


David is in a situation where he will have to flee his house. He won’t be going back there. I think that God is separating him from this sort of idolatry, so that his dependence will be upon God, and that there will be no compromise in his spiritual life (having images like these is a compromise). Recall that this was possibly one reason that Abraham was brought out west away from his family and way from the land of Ur.


1Samuel 19:13b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

sîym (םי ̣) [pronounced seem]; also spelled sûwm (ם) [pronounced soom]

to put, to place, to set, to make

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7760 BDB #962

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

miţţâh (הָ ̣מ) [pronounced mit-TAW]

couch, bed

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4296 BDB #641

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kebîyr (רי.ב) [pronounced keveer]

a pillow; something netted, like a quilt or fly-net

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3523 BDB #460

׳êz (ז̤ע) [pronounced ģayz]

she-goat; in the plural, it can mean goats’ hair

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5795 BDB #777

sîym (םי ̣) [pronounced seem]; also spelled sûwm (ם) [pronounced soom]

to put, to place, to set, to make

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #7760 BDB #962

meraăshôth (תֹשֲא-ר מ) [pronounced merah-uh-SHOHTH]

place at the head, at the head of [anyone or anything]; head-place; pillow, bolster [a long, cylindrical pillow or cushion]

feminine plural noun sometimes used as a preposition; here with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4763 (and #4761) BDB #912


Translation: ...and placed [it] on the bed and she placed a pillow of goats’ [hair] at the head... Obviously the bed was being set up to appear as though David were there sleeping. Some have suggested that the pillow of goat’s hair was placed to look as though this were David’s hair. I don’t think so. The goats’ hair was probably the stuffing of the pillow. I don’t know if there is a way to tan a goat’s hide and retain the hair (which would be the only way that the hair would be on the outside).


I have to admit that I wondered, when I read this, why does Michal go to the trouble of making it appear as though David is in bed? I first assumed that Michal worried that Saul’s men might even come into their house. If David appears to be asleep in his own bed, this might buy him some time. That is, if someone from Saul does come into their house, Michal might be able to keep them from arresting David, claiming that he is sick and in bed. Furthermore, as Michal is Saul’s daughter, it is unlikely that the assassins would kill David right there in their house. Therefore, they would probably try to get David out of the house. If David is in ill in bed, then they might not take him (this is her plan, anyway). However, my mind was thinking of a house such as I live in. I’ve got a kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom, and only a small portion of the house could be seen from the front door. David and MIchal’s bed was probably visible from the front door. When these men knocked on the door and Michal answered, they could probably see the bed that David and Michal shared. Therefore, it had to appear at night as though there was someone in that bed when Michal answered the door.


1Samuel 19:13c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

kâçâh (ה ָסָ) [pronounced kaw-SAWH

to cover, to clothe, to conceal; to spread over, to engulf; to overwhelm

3rd person feminine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #3680 BDB #491

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

beged (ד∵ג∵) [pronounced BEH-ged]

treachery; garment, clothing

masculine singular noun with the definite article, pausal form

Strong’s #899 BDB #93


Translation: ...and conceal [this] with a garment. The idol and the pillow of goat’s hair were covered over so that it appeared as though David was in his bed sleeping. This ruse was to allow David as much time as possible to escape. He needs to get away from the city.


And so sends Saul messengers to take David and so she says, “Is sick he.”

1Samuel

19:14

So Saul sent messengers to seize David, but she said, “He is sick.”

Saul sent his messengers to seize David, but she said, “He is sick.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         And Saul sent officers to seize David; and it was answered that he was sick.

Masoretic Text                       And so sends Saul messengers to take David and so she says, “Is sick he.

The Septuagint                      And Saul sent messengers to take David; and they say that he is sick.

 

Significant differences:          Although, it is unclear just who says Saul is sick; however, obviously, Michal tells Saul’s servants this, and then they tell this to Saul.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The next morning, Saul sent guards to arrest David. But Michal told them, “David is sick.”

NLT                                        When the troops came to arrest David, she told them he was sick and couldn’t get out of bed.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         When Saul sent messengers to get David, Michal said, “He’s sick.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        Saul sent messengers to seize David; but she said, “He is sick.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     When Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.”

Young's Updated LT              And Saul sends messengers to take David, and she says, “He is sick.”


What is the gist of this verse? The messengers come to take David with them; however, Michal puts them off, saying that David is too sick to go anywhere.


1Samuel 19:14a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for, to send forth, to send away, to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

maleâke ( ָא ׃ל ַמ) [pronounced mahle-AWCHe]

messenger or angel; this word has been used for a prophet (Isa. 42:19) priest (Mal. 2:7)

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #4397 BDB #521

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâqach (ח ַק ָל) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take from, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize, to take possession of; to send after, to fetch, to bring; to receive

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: So Saul sent messengers to seize David,... This tells us that Saul was not about to kill David in the household of his daughter. However, these messengers were going to grab up David. It is not clear whether they were to kill him outside somewhere, or to bring him back to Saul. However, they had watched David’s home throughout the night and apparently banged on the door first thing the next morning.


1Samuel 19:14b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

In the Greek, this is a 3rd person, masculine plural.

châlâh (ה ָל ָח) [pronounced chaw-LAW]

to be worn down in strength, to be weak, to be infirm; to be sick, to become sick; to be pained

Qal active participle

Strong’s #2470 BDB #317

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

he, it

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214


Translation: ...but she said, “He is sick.” Michal tells these messengers of Saul that David is ill and is not going anywhere. As mentioned, it is possible that the teraphim was placed near the bed, which would indicate that they were thought to have curative powers. However, it is more likely that it was in the bed, taking the form of a person. Here, Michal lies to the authorities much the same as Rahab did in Joshua 2:5. Again, when the actions and dictates of the government become such that their public policy is to commit crimes against the people, we are apparently given some leeway by the Word of God to save ourselves in these situations.


And so sends Saul the messengers to see David to say, “Bring him in the bed unto me to kill him.”

1Samuel

19:15

Then Saul sent the messengers [back] to see David, saying, “Bring him in the bed to me to kill him.”

When the messengers returned to him empty-handed, Saul sent them back to see David with their own eyes, saying, “Bring him back to me in the bed so that I can kill him.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


I realize that going through the Hebrew is sometime tedious. However, note here that, even though over half of the translations above tells us that Saul’s intention is to personally execute David, that is not how the Hebrew reads.


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         And again Saul sent to see David, saying, “Bring him to me in the bed, that he may be slain.”

Masoretic Text                       And so sends Saul the messengers to see David to say, “Bring him in the bed unto me to kill him.”

Peshitta                                 And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.”

Septuagint                             And he sends to David, saying, “Bring him to me on the bed, that I may slay him.”

 

Significant differences:          Saul says that he will kill David in the Greek and Syriac; who will actually kill David is not specified in the Latin or Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Saul sent the guards back and told them, “Get David out of his bed and bring him to me, so I can have him killed.”

NLT                                        “Then bring him to me in his bed,” Saul ordered, “so I can kill him as he lies there!”

REB                                       Saul, however, sent them back to see David for themselves. ‘Bring him to me, bed and all,’ he ordered, ‘so that I may kill him.’

TEV                                       But Sauls ent them back to see David for themselves. He ordered them, “Carry him here in his bed, and I will kill him.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Then Saul sent the messengers back to see David themselves. Saul told them, “Bring him here to me in his bed so that I can kill him.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        Saul, however, sent back the messengers to see David for themselfs. “Bring him up to me in the bed,” he ordered, “that he may be put to death.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Then Saul sent messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me on his [lit., the] bed, that I may put him to death.”

Young's Updated LT              And Saul sends the messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up in the bed unto me,” —to put him to death.


What is the gist of this verse? The messengers have obviously returned to Saul and he sends them back to bring David in his bed so that he can kill him (or to observe David’s execution).


1Samuel 19:15a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for, to send forth, to send away, to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

maleâke ( ָא ׃ל ַמ) [pronounced mahle-AWCHe]

messenger or angel; this word has been used for a prophet (Isa. 42:19) priest (Mal. 2:7)

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4397 BDB #521

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: Then Saul sent the messengers [back] to see David,... I can just see the messengers when they returned to Saul empty-handed. He probably said, “You idiots Don’t you understand my orders? I didn’t send you to check on David’s health—I sent you to bring him back to me so that I can kill him. Who gives a crap how he feels? I’m going to kill him! That is irrespective of any disease he might have. Get your butts back there and bring him to me, no matter how he feels!” Obviously, none of this is recorded; even the return of the messengers to Saul is not recorded. However, what we do find in this verse is the repetition of the sign of the direct object. If you have morons that you are giving directions to, you might have to spell out each and every thing that they are to do, otherwise, they’re going to return to you empty-handed because David doesn’t feel very well. “Boss, you didn’t tell us what to do if he was sick.” Some people give their directions more slowly; some emphasize the overall idea. The repetition of the sign of the direct object, even though this is in the narrative, indicates that Saul gave his directions again, more slowly, more clearly; and then, at the end, he will give his underlings a mission statement, so that they can, regardless of the circumstances, refer back to the mission statement to figure out what they have to do.


But, so that you understand the human interaction involved here, these lackeys of Saul’s aren’t necessarily morons. They understand Saul’s intent. They aren’t idiots. David is a very well-respected man; furthermore, he has shown himself to be a tremendous warrior. What these men are probably doing is stalling, out of respect for David; or out of fear of David. Michal could have said, “David is in the shower now” or “David just got an important call on his cell and can’t come out right now.” Any excuse, and these men would have gone back to Saul for further direction.


1Samuel 19:15b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to cause to go up, to lead up, to take up, to bring up

2nd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperative

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated mark of a direct object

affixed to 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

miţţâh (הָ ̣מ) [pronounced mit-TAW]

couch, bed

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4296 BDB #641

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: ...saying, “Bring him in the bed to me... I am certain that we are only given the gist of what Saul said. He certainly told his messengers that they are going to bring David to him, no matter how sick he is. “Even if you have to carry him to me in his bed!” is probably the sense of this phrase. So David is being brought back to the palace no matter what.


1Samuel 19:15c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to put to death, to execute

Hiphil infinitive construct with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4191 BDB #559


Translation: ...to kill him.” Then Saul gives his messengers the mission statement: “To kill him!” The infinitive expresses purpose, which is the intention of a mission statement. It is short and to the point; relatively easy to understand. When in doubt, they are to refer back to this mission statement.


It is not clear, from the Hebrew, whether Saul wanted to be the one who killed David, or whether he would defer to his staff to carry out this deed. Saul would probably have another person do the actual killing, as he did to the priests in Nob (1Sam. 22). However, the implication of bringing David to him, to kill in him the morning (v. 11), implies that Saul wanted to at least watch David being killed; and obviously, Saul will give the orders.


And so comes in the messengers and behold the teraphim unto the bed and a pillow of the goats’ hair at his head.

1Samuel

19:16

So the messengers went in and saw [lit., behold] the teraphim in [or, near] the bed with a pillow of goats’ hair at the [lit., his] head.

So the messengers went into David’s house and saw the teraphim in the bed with a goat hair pillow at the head of the bed.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so comes in the messengers and behold the teraphim unto the bed and a pillow of the goats’ hair at his head.

Septuagint                             And the messengers come, and, behold, the images were on the bed, and the goat’s liver at his head.

 

Significant differences:          We have exactly the same problem in this verse as we had back in v. 13—the Hebrew word for pillow (or, quilt) was misread (or miscopied).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       When the guards went in, all they found in the bed was the statue with the goat hair on its head.

NLT                                        But when they came to carry David out, they discovered that it was only an idol in the bed with a cushion of goat’s hair at its head.

REB                                       When they came, there was the household god on the bed and the goat’s-hair rug at its head.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The messengers came, and there in the bed were the idols with the goat-hair blanket at its head.

JPS (Tanakh)                        When the messengers came, they found the household idol in the bed, with the net of goat’s hair at its head.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     When the messengers entered, behold, the household idol [Heb., teraphim] was on the bed with the quilt of goats’ hair at its head.

Young's Updated LT              And the messengers come in, and lo, the teraphim are on the bed, and the mattress of goats’ hair, for his pillows.


What is the gist of this verse? The soldiers go to David’s bed, pull back the covers (probably a garment), and discover that David is not there.


1Samuel 19:16a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

maleâke ( ָא ׃ל ַמ) [pronounced mahle-AWCHe]

messenger or angel; this word has been used for a prophet (Isa. 42:19) priest (Mal. 2:7)

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4397 BDB #521

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

terâphîym (םי.פָר ) [pronounced teraw-PHEEM]

household idol, a kind of idol, an object of reverence, and a means of divination, often transliterated teraphim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8655 BDB #1076

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

miţţâh (הָ ̣מ) [pronounced mit-TAW]

couch, bed

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4296 BDB #641


Translation: So the messengers went in and saw [lit., behold] the teraphim in [or, near] the bed... Although it is possible with the bêyth preposition that the teraphim is (are?) near the bed, but that would only be mentioned in this verse if it (or, they) were actually in the bed. If the teraphim were near the bed, that would have been pertinent only to David allegedly being sick. Therefore, it would have possibly been mentioned prior to this, but not necessarily now. However, being that the teraphim are mentioned here, that would suggest that they are in the bed to act as David’s body. Footnote


1Samuel 19:16b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kebîyr (רי.ב) [pronounced keveer]

a pillow; something netted, like a quilt or fly-net

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3523 BDB #460

׳êz (ז̤ע) [pronounced ģayz]

she-goat; in the plural, it can mean goats’ hair

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5795 BDB #777

meraăshôth (תֹשֲא-ר מ) [pronounced merah-uh-SHOHTH]

place at the head, at the head of [anyone or anything]; head-place; pillow, bolster [a long, cylindrical pillow or cushion]

feminine plural noun sometimes used as a preposition; here with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4763 (and #4761) BDB #912


Translation: ...with a pillow of goats’ hair at the [lit., his] head. First of all, there is no reason to be grossed out by the pillow of goat’s hair. I have down pillows, which is made from the under feathers of birds (heck if I know what kind). So having a pillow made out of certain parts of an animal is not unexpected nor would it necessarily be gross. This obviously acted as David’s head (which was covered up). The 3rd person masculine singular suffix refers to David’s, as in the head of David’s bed.


And so says Saul unto Michal, “To why thus have you deceived me and so you send off my enemy and so he escapes?”


And so says Michal unto Saul, “He said unto me, ‘Send me off; to why I kill you?’ ”

1Samuel

19:17

Then Saul said to Michal, “Why have you thus deceived me and set free my enemy so that he escapes


Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Set me free; for what purpose [or, why] would I kill you?’ ”

Then Saul asked Michal, “Why have you deceived me? You have set my enemy free and he has escaped.”


Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go or I will have to kill you.’ ”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         And Saul said to Michol, “Why have you deceived me so, and let my enemy go and flee away?” And Michol answered Saul, “Because he said to me, ‘Let me go, or else I will kill you.’ ”

Masoretic Text                       And so says Saul unto Michal, “To why thus have you deceived me and so you send off my enemy and so he escapes?”

 

And so says Michal unto Saul, “He said unto me, ‘Send me off; to why I kill you?’ ”

Septuagint                             And Saul said to Melchol, “Why have you thus deceived me, and allowed my enemy to depart, and he has escaped And Melchol said to Saul, “He said, ‘Let me go, and if not, I will kill you.’ ”

 

Significant differences:          The final phrase is a little difficult in the Hebrew. Apart from that, the texts are in agreement.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       “Why have you tricked me this way?” Saul asked Michal. “You helped my enemy get away!” She answered, “He said he would kill me if I didn’t help him escape!”

NLT                                               “Why have you tricked me and let my enemy escape?” Saul demanded of Michal.

“I had to,” Michal replied. “He threatened to kill me if I didn’t help him.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                                Saul asked Michal, “Why did you betray me by sending my enemy away so that he could escape?”

Michal answered, “He told me, ‘Let me go! Why should I kill you?’ ”

JPS (Tanakh)                        Saul said to Michal, “Why did you play that trick on me and let my enemy get away safely “Because,” Michael answered Saul, “he said to me: ‘Help me get away or I’ll kill you.’ ”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     So Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped And Michal said to Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I put you to death?’ ”

Young's Updated LT              And Saul says unto Michal, “Why thus have you deceived me—that you send away my enemy, and he is escaped And Michal says unto Saul, “He said unto me, ‘Send me away; why do I put you to death?’ ”


What is the gist of this verse? When Saul confronts Michal, instead of standing up for David, she tells her father that he threatened her in order to get away.


1Samuel 19:17a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Mîykal (ל-כי.מ) [pronounced mee-KAHL]

possibly means brook or stream and is transliterated Michal

feminine proper noun

Strong’s #4324 BDB #568

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mâh (ה ָמ) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

Lâmed + mâh can be rendered why, for what reason, to what purpose, for what purpose, indicating an interrogatory sentence.

kâkâh (הָכָ) [pronounced KAW-kaw]

thus, so

adverb

Strong’s #3602 BDB #462

râmâh (הָמָר) [pronounced raw-MAW]

to beguile, to deceive, to mislead, to deal treacherously with, to betray

2nd person feminine singular, Piel perfect with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #7411 BDB #941


Translation: Then Saul said to Michal, “Why have you thus deceived me... Again, there is a portion of the narrative which is missing—Saul did not accompany his officers to David’s home. Therefore, Michal was taken back by Saul’s officers to do the explaining. This gets them off the hook and diverts Saul’s attention. They no doubt felt that they were in a difficult situation, given their demanding, psychotic employer on the one hand and David on the other. It was the sort of assignment that could not possibly go right (at least in their own minds). However, God worked out things so that Saul’s potential wrath for his officers was deflected by their bringing in Michal.


Saul expects his daughter to give up her own husband to his homicidal whims. He takes it personally that she has obviously deceived him, given that she told his messengers that David was ill and that they found the teraphim on the sickbed rather than David.


1Samuel 19:17b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send off, to send away, to dismiss, to give over, to cast out, to let go, to set free, to shoot forth [branches], to shoot [an arrow]

2nd person feminine singular, Piel perfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

âyabv (בַי ָא) [pronounced aw-YABV]

enemy, the one being at enmity with you; enmity, hostility

Qal active participle with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #340 BDB #33

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

The wâw consecutive can also be rendered so, that, yet, therefore. There are times when the wâw consecutive simply carries the action along and we do not need an English translation in order to indicate that.

mâlaţ (ט ַל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAHT]

to be delivered; to deliver oneself, to escape; to go away in haste

3rd person masculine singular, [often a reflexive meaning in the] Niphal imperfect

Strong’s #4422 BDB #572


Translation: ...and set free my enemy so that he escapes?” Saul tells Michal exactly what she has done. She set free Saul’s enemy and he has escaped. Whereas this wrath was a result of his psychotic condition, Saul was prepared to take this out on his officers. However, their bringing Michal in got them off the hook and put her in a difficult place.


1Samuel 19:17c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Mîykal (ל-כי.מ) [pronounced mee-KAHL]

possibly means brook or stream and is transliterated Michal

feminine proper noun

Strong’s #4324 BDB #568

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

he, it

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send off, to send away, to dismiss, to give over, to cast out, to let go, to set free, to shoot forth [branches], to shoot [an arrow]

2nd person feminine singular, Piel imperative with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mâh (ה ָמ) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

Lâmed + mâh can be rendered why, for what reason, to what purpose, for what purpose, indicating an interrogatory sentence.

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to put to death, to execute

1st person singular, Hiphil imperfect, with a 2nd person feminine singular suffix; pausal form

Strong's #4191 BDB #559


Translation: Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Set me free; for what purpose [or, why] would I kill you?’ ” Michal did not really think anything through here. She is just the opposite of Saul in this way. Saul would have had a million reasons lined up for whoever wanted to know. Michal pretty much said the first thing that came into her head. We know this because of the Hebrew. Her explanation, after she says “He said to me...” we have four words, three of which Saul just used a second ago. She takes her cue from Saul and answers using the exact same words that he spoke to her (she does use the imperative mood instead of the indicative). It is as though she says the first thing that popped into her head. She knows that Saul is out to kill David; so she uses that as her explanation. It may seem stilted in the English, and it is possible that it is stilted in the Hebrew, indicating that she stumbled with these few words. However, the idea is that David threatened her, so she had to allow him to go.


What Michal claims that David said is an example of erotesis—it is a question, but not given to elicit information, but to make a statement of some sort. Here, what is being conveyed is a prohibition: i.e., Let me not have to kill you! This sort of figure of speech is extremely important, as there are 2274 questions found in the 929 chapters of the Old Testament and 1024 questions found in the 260 chapters of the New (almost 4 questions per chapter). Footnote Therefore, in the cases where the question is not posed in order to gather some piece of information, then we need to examine just what the purpose of the question was.


I want you to get the picture here, as some details are left out of the narrative. The officers had been sent to David and Michal’s home to seize David. Since there was no David, and his bed was made to look as though he were still there and asleep, they drag Michal to Saul. After all, they don’t want to return to Saul empty-handed once again. Saul’s anger would have been taken out on them. So, they bring in Michal, which deflects Saul’s anger to her. So, with the officers right there, and Saul interrogating his own daughter, she tells Saul and the officers that David made her help him escape and threatened her life if she did not. This may help to explain why Saul was able to muster three sets of officers to go and get David later in this chapter. No doubt, some of the officers later told their peers, “I was there. Michal told the king that David threatened her. I heard her with my own ears!” We know that Michal is lying, but to another officer who was not there, this sounds like proof-positive that David is dangerous to the kingdom of Israel.


Prior to this, most of these officers went to get David half-heartedly. He was a popular man; he was brave; and some, if they did not serve under him, knew others who did. So getting David in the first place was an unpleasant task. However, to hear that he threatened Michal—that’s different. That would have struck a nerve with these men, many of whom had probably seen Michal grow up.


First of all, this really does not explain her behavior in any way, shape or form. David has fled, the teraphim are in the bed, and all she had to do when the messengers arrive was to point and say, “He went thataway.” So had Saul given this any amount of thought, he would have thought, “This isn’t right.” But Michal is his daughter; he is indulgent; and he is not going to give much thought to this explanation. Furthermore, he is more concerned about David and killing him than he is about his daughter.


Secondly, take note that Michal is not in any danger herself. She knows that Saul is probably not going to harm her. Certainly, the fervor of her father was more fixated on her now than anyone else (had she not been brought to Saul, it would have ben directed toward the soldiers instead. Certainly Saul was angry and frustrated and took this out on her, and the mood was tense. But it is unlikely that he would hurt her, regardless of what she said. Michal’s natural instinct, still, is to lie. She is not going to take a chance. She will be certain to deflect Saul’s anger against her toward David. Now, recall that her father Saul is exactly the same way. It is his natural inclination to bend the truth in such a way as to make himself look good. You will recall in two conversations with Samuel that Saul carefully said just the right things to indicate that he had not done anything wrong and that he was obeying God’s orders, just as Samuel did. Michal has learned this from her father and she will say whatever she needs to so that she does not appear to be at fault for anything that she has done. Michal may know enough about Saul to worry that she might be in danger; so, just in case, she lies.


Finally, note the difference between Jonathan and Michal. They both helped David escape from their father, but Jonathan stood up to him and laid it out to Saul why he was wrong and that David was his friend and an asset; Michal only potentially fuels the fire of Saul’s hatred by saying that David threatened her. What normal father wouldn’t go crazy over that? The answer, by the way, is Saul, because he already is a little crazy and his focus is not that of an altogether normal father. It is unlikely that his anger and hatred of David increased at all (regardless of what he might have said to Michal in answer— “Why that rat bastard; I’ll kill him!”


In all of this, we get a vivid portrait of this family. Jonathan is a man who has the capacity to love; he stands by his love and he stands by his friends, regardless of the cost. He is a man of incredible faith, who is willing to step aside for God’s will. Michal, on the other hand, has a more superficial love—David was famous, a great warrior, a good looking young man. There was no depth to her love for him. It was like falling in love with a movie star; they are attractive, they’re rich, and they are held in high esteem. Those who fall in love with movie stars fall in love with the trappings and have no idea as to their character. David was, to some extent, not unlike a modern-day movie star. He was attractive and held in high esteem; and these trappings made him attractive to Michal. David would have been willing to die for his wife Michal; Michal is not even willing to stand up for her husband and tell the truth. She is not willing to back him up if it is inconvenient for her. She is, at best, spineless before her father. At worst, she is superficial and lacks the capacity to love. Saul himself is impulsive, paranoic and delusional; he is driven by his mental illness.


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David Goes to Samuel in Ramah/Saul Attempts to Have David Arrested There


And David has fled and so he escapes. And so he comes unto Samuel the Ramah-ward and so he makes know to him all that had done to him Saul. And so he goes, he and Samuel; and so they dwell in Naioth.

1Samuel

19:18

David fled and escaped. He went to Samuel in Ramah [lit., towards the Ramah] and he made known to him all that Saul had done to him. Therefore, he and Samuel departed and they [temporarily] lived in Naioth.

David was able to escape Saul. He went to Samuel, who lived in Ramah, and he told Samuel all that Saul had done to him. Therefore, he and Samuel departed and temporarily moved to Naioth.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And David has fled and so he escapes. And so he comes unto Samuel the Ramah-ward and so he makes know to him all that had done to him Saul. And so he goes, he and Samuel; and so they dwell in Naioth.

Septuagint                             So David fled and escaped and came to Samuel to Armathaim, and he tells him all that Saul had done to him. And Samuel and David went and dwelt in Navath in Rama.

 

Significant differences:          The Greek and Syriac tell us that Naioth is in Ramah. This is not found in the Latin or Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Meanwhile, David went to Samuel at Ramah and told him what Saul had done. Then Samuel and David went to Prophets Village [or, “Naioth”] and stayed there.

NAB                                       Thus David got safely away; he went to Samuel in Ramah, informing him of all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to stay in the sheds.

NJB                                        David, having fled and made his escape, went to Samuel at Ramah and told him exactly how Saul had treated him; he and Samuel went and lived in the huts.

REB                                       Meanwhile David made good his escape, and coming to Samuel at Ramah, he described how Saul had treated him. He and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David escaped and went to Samuel at Ramah. He told Samuel everything Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to the pastures and lived there.

JPS (Tanakh)                        David made good his escape, and he came to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. He and Samuel went and stayed at Naioth.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Now David fled and escaped and came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth.

Young's Updated LT              And David has fled, and is escaped, and comes in unto Samuel to Ramath, and declares to him all that Saul had done to him, and he goes, he and Samuel, and they dwell in Naioth.


What is the gist of this verse? David does escape Saul. He goes to Samuel, who still lives in Ramah, and he tells Samuel all that Saul has done to him. They both temporarily move to [the village of...?] Naioth.


1Samuel 19:18a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

bârach (ח-רָ) [pronounced baw-RAHKH]

to go through, to flee

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #1272 BDB #137

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mâlaţ (ט ַל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAHT]

to be delivered; to deliver oneself, to escape; to go away in haste

3rd person masculine singular, [often a reflexive meaning in the] Niphal imperfect

Strong’s #4422 BDB #572


Translation: David fled and escaped. This simply tells us that, because of the head start that David got, because of Michal, David was able to get far enough away from town (probably Gibeah), that Saul did not send out a patrol to look for him. This would have all taken place at night, and, by the time Saul’s messengers went back and forth and by the time Saul had interrogated his daughter, too much time had passed for them to have any reasonable hope of finding David in the dark, having no idea which way he fled.


1Samuel 19:18b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028

Râmâth (ת ָמָר) [pronounced raw-MAWTH]

height, high place; transliterated Ramah

feminine noun used primarily as a proper noun with the definite article; and with the directional hê here

Strong’s #7413 BDB #928

Also spelled Râmâh (הָמָר) [pronounced raw-MAW].


Translation: He went to Samuel in Ramah [lit., towards the Ramah]... You will recall that Samuel’s principle residence was Ramah. This is where he was born. Even though he was raised as a Nazarite in the Tabernacle of God, he did not lose contact with his parents. We went over this in 1Sam. 2. Whereas a cultist will try to separate himself from every vestige of his former life, Samuel apparently made an attempt to connect with his potential life and family. That Samuel lived in Ramah was well-known to the Jewish population.


It has been, by the way, some time since we last looked in on Samuel. He cut off his ties with Saul back in 1Sam. 15:35, a verse which states: Samuel did not add again to see Saul until the day of his death, for Samuel was in mourning concerning Saul. Yehowah also lamented that he made Saul king over Israel. We last observed Saul when he anointed David as crown prince back in 1Sam. 16:1–13. A lot has happened since then; however, Samuel did not simply retire. As we will see, he founded his own seminary.


1Samuel 19:18c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâgad (ד ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHD]

to make conspicuous, to make known, to expound, to explain, to declare, to inform, to confess, to make it pitifully obvious that

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5046 BDB #616

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all, the entirety, every

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

Together, kôl ăsher mean all whom, whomever, all whose, all where, wherever.

׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: ...and he made known to him all that Saul had done to him. Recall that Samuel had come to David and anointed him as the new king of Israel. David did not seek out this position and it came to him as rather a shock. His family members were also shocked. Recognizing that Saul’s behavior was related to his being anointed king over Israel (and it is not clear whether David knew that Saul knew); David goes for spiritual guidance. He knows that he cannot rise in revolt against Saul, regardless of how wigged-out Saul is.


David obviously trusts Samuel completely and tells him everything. David was in a position with very few options. His father-in-law wanted to kill him; his family was never too thrilled with him. Although David doesn’t know it, his own wife has betrayed him. David knows that Samuel is spiritually straight. Samuel has a relationship with God and, given the circumstances, David realizes that he needs some guidance.


Now, understand that David is not simply pouring out his problems on Samuel, so that Samuel can commiserate with him. David is not looking for sympathy. He does not need a shoulder to cry on. What he needs is guidance. Furthermore, the fact that he had a household idol or two (the teraphim), also tells us that David needed a little guidance. David tells what has happened because he is asking, “What do I do now, coach?”


1Samuel 19:18d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

he, it

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028


Translation: Therefore, he and Samuel departed... Samuel knows what has been going on with Saul. Although it might not be public knowledge that Saul is trippin’, those in the palace know this (which is why David was brought into the palace in the first place); so obviously, this information is going to find its way outside of the palace; particularly to influential people like Samuel. Samuel recognizes that David is in a vulnerable position; and that he is as well, by being associated with David. Therefore, it at first appears that Samuel and David leave Samuel’s residence, because this would be where Saul might come to look for David. Furthermore, we are not told whether God guided them here, or whether they acted on their own common sense, but, as we will see, that isn’t necessary yet (besides, communications from God are not generally a daily occurrence—or even a weekly occurrence—even for God’s prophets).


1Samuel 19:18e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâshab (ב ַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

to remain, to stay, to inhabit, to sit, to dwell

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

nâvôyth (תיֹוָנ) [pronounced naw-VOYTH]

pasture, meadow; habitation of a shepherd; and is transliterated Naioth

proper noun; location

Strong’s #5121 BDB #627

First of all, this proper noun occurs only in this context (chapters 19–20). It is spelled in at least 3 different ways in this context. In the spelling above, we have the very uncharacteristic cholem followed by a yohd. Whereas, one can easily put together the very modern and common Jewish sound oy from these two, it is unusual in the ancient Hebrew (off the top of my head, I don’t know of another occurrence of these two letters together in this order as a diphthong). With regards to its possible meanings: it does not match any of those nouns exactly. BDB calls it abode of the prophets (more as a designation rather than a definition or Hebrew equivalent). With reference to the English transliteration: Hebrew words do not string this many vowels together.

The notes of the NIV Study Bible suggest Naioth means “habitations or “dwellings.” The term appears to designate a complex of houses in a certain section of Ramah where a company of prophets resided. Footnote


Translation: ...and they [temporarily] lived in Naioth. Naioth is only mentioned in the context of these two chapters, so we know little or nothing about it. More than likely, this is a small village, not too far removed from Ramah. However, Samuel did not take David to Naioth to hide out. Naioth is not some sufficiently obscure village so as not to attract Saul’s attention. As we will see in this chapter, no one from Saul’s command will have any difficulty finding Naioth. Saul will know in the next verse where David is.


Here is what you need to understand: David had teraphim in his own house. That was a problem, regardless of what the teraphim belonged to. David needs some concentrated spiritual guidance, so Samuel is going to haul David to his seminary. In other words, Samuel recognizes that David does not need a good hiding place at this point. He does not need an army. What he needs is God’s Word.


Application: One of the things which Thieme often stressed in Bible class is, sometimes when you are faced with a multitude of problems and pressures, your first choice should not necessarily be for action to solve these problems. Your first choice should often be Bible class. Your first choice should be to sit still and get some spiritual guidance. Samuel doesn’t give David a list of things he needs to do. He does not suggest the best hiding place. He doesn’t even necessarily counsel David here. He takes David to his seminary so that David can get some guidance. When you have come to the end of your rope, always remember: inaction may be your best action; as long as you combine that with taking in Bible doctrine.


I wouldn’t be surprised if David didn’t show up, tell Samuel what had been going on to date, and then ask, “Which way should I go? North, east, west, south? How far should I go? Should I gather together an army of the people? Should I go about and foment revolution?” Samuel tells him, “This is what you need to do: you are going to come with me to Bible class and you’re going to sit your butt down in a pew and listen.” And note: David goes with him.


And so he was made known to Saul, to say, “Behold, David [is] in Naioth in the Ramah.”

1Samuel

19:19

But it was made known to Saul, saying, “Listen, David [is] in Naioth near Ramah.”

However, it was made known to Saul that David was to be found in Naioth in the Ramah area.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so he was made known to Saul, to say, “Behold, David [is] in Naioth in the Ramah.”

Septuagint                             And it was told Saul, saying, “Behold, David [is] in Navath in Rama.

 

Significant differences:          None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:


 

EV                                  Someone told Saul, “David is at Prophets Village in Ramah.”

NAB                                       Word was brought to Saul, ‘David is in the huts at Ramah.’

NJB                                        When Saul was told that David was in the sheds near Ramah,...

NLT                                        When the report reached Saul that David was a Naioth in Ramah,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         When it was reported to Saul that David was in the pastures at Ramah,...

JPS (Tanakh)                        Saul was told that David was at Naioth in Ramah,...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And it was told Saul, saying, “Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.”

Young's Updated LT              And it is declared to Saul, saying, “Lo, David is in Naioth in Ramah.”


What is the gist of this verse? Word is brought to Saul that David is in Naioth, which is probably a suburb of Ramah.


In this verse and the previous, you have noted several translations of the word Naioth; therefore, it might be good to see why these translators chose this or that translation.

Various Interpretations of Naioth

Interpretation

Translations

Rationale

Naioth

Amplified Bible, Emphasized Bible, JPS, LXX, NASB, NLT, NRSV, REB, TEV, Young’s LT.

When dealing with a noun that shows up nowhere else, and which sounds like it is a reference to a specific place, then it is normal to interpret this as a proper noun. The word found here is nâvôyth (תיֹוָנ) [pronounced naw-VOYTH], which could mean pasture, meadow; habitation of a shepherd; and is transliterated Naoith. Recall that there are inherent spelling problems with this word, even as a proper noun. Strong’s #5121 BDB #627.

hut

NAB

There is the adjective nâveh (הוָנ) [pronounced naw-VEH], which means dwelling, abiding. Strong’s #5116 BDB #627. The cognate verb (Strong’s #5115) means to dwell, to inhabit (we don’t have a cognate noun in Scripture, which does not mean that one doesn’t exist).

pasture

God’s Word™

The Hebrew word nââh (הָאָנ) [pronounced naw-AW] means pastures, meadows. Strong’s #4999 BDB #627. This is also a possible meaning for the word named above.

Prophet’s Village

CEV

The Hebrew word nâveh (הוָנ) [pronounced naw-VEH] means area [or region] of habitation; abode of a shepherd, abode of shepherd’s flocks, habitation. I don’t know exactly where they got the idea that this could be interpreted as Prophet’s Village, except, of course, from the verses which follow, which indicate that this is the seminary which Samuel ran. Strong’s #5116 BDB #627.

sheds

NJB

In taking any of the three words directly above, it is easy to see how they came up with huts as a possible rendering.

Here’s the deal: first of all, Naioth is spelled more like a construct, if it is, in fact, not a proper noun. However, in vv. 18–19, it is not placed in such a way as to suggest being a construct (it would have to be followed immediately by another noun). In this verse, it sounds as though there is a specific place in mind: it is Naioth near Ramah, which indicates more than some pastures or huts. Although I will grant you that one could still look at this as a reference to pastures in Ramah, the problem then becomes the spelling of the word, which is in the construct form without occupying that sort of position in the text.


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1Samuel 19:19a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâgad (ד ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHD]

to be made conspicuous, to be made known, to be expounded, to be explained, to be declared, to be informed

3rd person masculine singular, Hophal imperfect

Strong's #5046 BDB #616

The Hophal is the passive of the Hiphil (causative stem) and the rarest of the seven stems. There is never a hint of reflexive in this stem and the agent of the verb is often not given in the immediate context. Most grammar books call it simply the causative passive stem.

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55


Translation: But it was made known to Saul, saying,... Saul obviously had his men out looking for David and it is possible that he was offering a monetary reward for information leading to the capture of David. Even though David was quite popular with the people, this does not mean that there were not those who placed their own interests above his. Given a reason, some would tell where David was. Some may have even seen this as their patriotic duty. Saul obviously has the ability to spread rumors, and David could have been accused of sedition. In any case, someone did come to Saul with the following information.


1Samuel 19:19b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

nâvôyth (תיֹוָנ) [pronounced naw-VOYTH]

pasture, meadow; habitation of a shepherd; and is transliterated Naioth