And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The mountain.—Conder, in his Tent Life in Palestine, identifies this spot with high probability. Indeed, his whole book is most instructive and trustworthy, and to the reader interested in these scenes in the life of David, as well as in those other many events which have taken place in the Storied Land, his book will form an admirable guide.
and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; he fled on one side of the mountain, while Saul was pursuing him on the other, and hastening to get round unto him:
for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them; he took methods by dividing his troops, and sending them different ways, to surround David and his men, and had very near effected it.And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)26. compassed … round about] i.e. encompassed, surrounded. Cp. Psalm 5:12.
The treachery of the Ziphites forms a striking contrast to Jonathan's treatment of David. They went up to Gibeah to betray to Saul the fact that David was concealed in the wood upon their mountain heights, and indeed "upon the hill Hachilah, which lies to the south of the waste." The hill of Ziph is a flattened hill standing by itself, of about a hundred feet in height. "There is no spot from which you can obtain a better view of David's wanderings backwards and forwards in the desert than from the hill of Ziph, which affords a true panorama. The Ziphites could see David and his men moving to and fro in the mountains of the desert of Ziph, and could also perceive how he showed himself in the distance upon the hill Hachilah on the south side of Ziph (which lies to the right by the desert); whereupon they sent as quickly as possible to Saul, and betrayed to him the hiding-place of his enemy" (v. de Velde, ii. pp. 104-5). Jeshimon does not refer here to the waste land on the north-eastern coast of the Dead Sea, as in Numbers 21:20; Numbers 23:28, but to the western side of that sea, which is also desert.
1 Samuel 23:20 reads literally thus: "And now, according to all the desire of thy soul, O king, to come down (from Gibeah, which stood upon higher ground), come down, and it is in us to deliver him (David) into the hand of the king."
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