1 Samuel 26:25
Then Saul said to David, Blessed be you, my son David: you shall both do great things, and also shall still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.
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(25) Thou shalt both do great things.—“Saul is here again ‘among the prophets,’ and foretells David’s exaltation and victory. Vicisti Nazarene!’ was the exclamation of Julian.”—Bishop Wordsworth.

1 Samuel 26:25. Blessed be thou, my son David — Saul perceived that it was in vain to contend any longer against David, whom he saw God intended for great things. And so strong was his conviction now of this, as well as of his own sin and folly, that he could not forbear blessing him, foretelling his success, applauding him, and condemning himself, even in the hearing of his own soldiers. And this, it seems, was their last interview. After this they saw each other no more. 26:21-25 Saul repeated his good words and good wishes. But he showed no evidence of true repentance towards God. David and Saul parted to meet no more. No reconciliation among men is firm, which is not founded in an cemented by peace with God through Jesus Christ. In sinning against God, men play the fool, and err exceedingly. Many obtain a passing view of these truths, who hate and close their eyes against the light. Fair professions do not entitle those to confidence who have long sinned against the light, yet the confessions of obstinate sinners may satisfy us that we are in the right way, and encourage us to persevere, expecting our recompence from the Lord alone.If the Lord have stirred thee up - The meaning is clear from the preceding history. "An evil spirit from God troubling him" was the beginning of the persecution. And this evil spirit was sent in punishment of Saul's sin 1 Samuel 16:1, 1 Samuel 16:14. If the continued persecution was merely the consequence of this evil spirit continuing to vex Saul, David advises Saul to seek God's pardon, and, as a consequence, the removal of the evil spirit, by offering a sacrifice. But if the persecution was the consequence of the false accusations of slanderers, then "cursed" be his enemies who, by their actions, drove David out from the only land where Yahweh was worshipped, and forced him to take refuge in the country of pagan and idolaters (compare Deuteronomy 4:27; Deuteronomy 28:36). 25. So David went on his way—Notwithstanding this sudden relenting of Saul, David placed no confidence in his professions or promises, but wisely kept at a distance and awaited the course of Providence. David went on his way; knowing Saul’s unstable and deceitful heart, he would not trust to any of his professions or promises, but kept out of his reach. Then Saul said to David, blessed be thou, my son David,.... He desired God to bless him, and pronounced him blessed himself, believing he would be a happy and prosperous man:

thou shall both do great things; he had done great things already, in slaying Goliath, obtaining victories over the Philistines, and escaping the hands of Saul, and keeping out of them with so small a force; and he should do greater things yet:

and also shalt still prevail; against Saul and all his enemies; the Targum is,"even in reigning thou shalt reign, and even in prospering thou shalt prosper;''he believed he would be king, so he had said before, 1 Samuel 24:20,

so David went on his way: to the wilderness again very probably, putting no trust and confidence in Saul, knowing how fickle and unstable he was:

and Saul returned to his place; to Gibeah, where his palace was.

Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his {m} place.

(m) To Gibeah of Benjamin.

25. to his place] i.e. to his home. Cp. 1 Samuel 2:20.Verse 25. - Thou shalt both do, etc. Better, "Thou shalt both do mightily, and thou shalt surely prevail." The words are very general as compared with those in 1 Samuel 24:20, 21, where Saul expressed his conviction that David Would be king, and intrusted his family to his care. The poverty of sentiment here, and the mere vexation expressed in ver. 21, justify Keil's remark that Saul's character had deteriorated in the interval, and that he was more hardened now than on the previous occasion. And so they parted - David still leading the life of a fugitive, for Saul's return in ver. 21 was the most evanescent of good purposes, while the king went back to his place, his home at Gibeah.

When Saul heard David's voice (for he could hardly have seen David, as the occurrence took place before daybreak, at the latest when the day began to dawn), and David had made himself known to the king in reply to his inquiry, David said, "Why doth my lord pursue his servant? for what have I done, and what evil is in my hand?" He then gave him the well-meant advice, to seek reconciliation for his wrath against him, and not to bring upon himself the guilt of allowing David to find his death in a foreign land. The words, "and now let my lord the king hear the saying of his servant," serve to indicate that what follows is important, and worthy of laying to heart. In his words, David supposes two cases as conceivable causes of Saul's hostility: (1) if Jehovah hath stirred thee up against me; (2) if men have done so. In the first case, he proposes as the best means of overcoming this instigation, that He (Jehovah) should smell an offering. The Hiphil ירח only means to smell, not to cause to smell. The subject is Jehovah. Smelling a sacrifice is an anthropomorphic term, used to denote the divine satisfaction (cf. Genesis 8:21). The meaning of the words, "let Jehovah smell sacrifice," is therefore, "let Saul appease the wrath of God by the presentation of acceptable sacrifices." What sacrifices they are which please God, is shown in Psalm 51:18-19; and it is certainly not by accident merely that David uses the word minchah, the technical expression in the law for the bloodless sacrifice, which sets forth the sanctification of life in good works. The thought to which David gives utterance here, namely, that God instigates a man to evil actions, is met with in other passages of the Old Testament. It not only lies at the foundation of the words of David in Psalm 51:6 (cf. Hengstenberg on Psalms), but is also clearly expressed in 2 Samuel 24:1, where Jehovah instigates David to number the people, and where this instigation is described as a manifestation of the anger of God against Israel; and in 2 Samuel 16:10., where David says, with regard to Shimei, that God had bade him curse him. These passages also show that God only instigates those who have sinned against Him to evil deeds; and therefore that the instigation consists in the fact that God impels sinners to manifest the wickedness of their hearts in deeds, or furnishes the opportunity and occasion for the unfolding and practical manifestation of the evil desire of the heart, that the sinner may either be brought to the knowledge of his more evil ways and also to repentance, through the evil deed and its consequences, or, if the heart should be hardened still more by the evil deed, that it may become ripe for the judgment of death. The instigation of a sinner to evil is simply one peculiar way in which God, as a general rule, punishes sins through sinners; for God only instigates to evil actions such as have drawn down the wrath of God upon themselves in consequence of their sin. When David supposes the fact that Jehovah has instigated Saul against him, he acknowledges, implicitly at least, that he himself is a sinner, whom the Lord may be intending to punish, though without lessening Saul's wrong by this indirect confession.

The second supposition is: "if, however, children of men" (sc., have instigated thee against me); in which case "let them be cursed before the Lord; for they drive me now (this day) that I dare not attach myself to the inheritance of Jehovah (i.e., the people of God), saying, Go, serve other gods." The meaning is this: They have carried it so far now, that I am obliged to separate from the people of God, to fly from the land of the Lord, and, because far away from His sanctuary, to serve other gods. The idea implied in the closing words was, that Jehovah could only be worshipped in Canaan, at the sanctuary consecrated to Him, because it was only there that He manifested himself to His people, and revealed His face or gracious presence (vid., Psalm 42:2-3; Psalm 84:11; Psalm 143:6.). "We are not to understand that the enemies of David were actually accustomed to use these very words, but David was thinking of deeds rather than words" (Calvin).

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