1 Samuel 30:11
And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water;
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(11) An Egyptian.—The Amalekites, as above stated, were a nomad race; their wanderings would have taken them to the frontiers of Egypt, hence the probability of their having Egyptian slaves in their tribe. The savage nature of these untamed sons of the desert has been already commented upon when the war of extermination with Amalek was discussed. They seem to have been a ruthless, cruel race, the scourge of the desert, and of the people dwelling near its borders. From the narrative, they had evidently many camels in their force (1Samuel 30:17), so the abandonment of the sick slave, left, without food or water, to die of hunger, was a needless act of barbarity on their part.

30:7-15 If in all our ways, even when, as in this case, there can be no doubt they are just, we acknowledge God, we may expect that he will direct our steps, as he did those of David. David, in tenderness to his men, would by no means urge them beyond their strength. The Son of David thus considers the frames of his followers, who are not all alike strong and vigorous in their spiritual pursuits and conflicts; but, where we are weak, there he is kind; nay more, there he is strong, 2Co 12:9,10. A poor Egyptian lad, scarcely alive, is made the means of a great deal of good to David. Justly did Providence make this poor servant, who was basely used by his master, an instrument in the destruction of the Amalekites; for God hears the cry of the oppressed. Those are unworthy the name of true Israelites, who shut up their compassion from persons in distress. We should neither do an injury nor deny a kindness to any man; some time or other it may be in the power of the lowest to return a kindness or an injury.Besor - Thought to be the stream of the Wady Sheriah which enters the sea a little south of Gaza. 11-15. they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David—Old and homeborn slaves are usually treated with great kindness. But a purchased or captured slave must look to himself; for, if feeble or sick, his master will leave him to perish rather than encumber himself with any additional burden. This Egyptian seems to have recently fallen into the hands of an Amalekite, and his master having belonged to the marauding party that had made the attack on Ziklag, he could give useful information as to the course taken by them on their return. They found an Egyptian, whom by his habit they guessed to be a soldier that had been engaged in that expedition.

They made him drink water; partly out of humanity and compassion to a perishing creature; and partly in prudence, that by him they might learn the true state of their enemies And they found an Egyptian in the field,.... As they passed along, lying there, having been sick, and was half starved, almost dead:

and brought him to David; to know what was to be done with him; being in the habit of a soldier, they concluded he might be one of the company they were in pursuit of; but whether they should kill him, or make use of him for intelligence and as a guide, could they bring him to himself, they knew not, and therefore brought him to David:

and gave him bread, and he did eat, and they made him drink water; both which they had with them for their own use; had he been an Amalekite, and not an Egyptian, they might not have relieved or spared him, but must have destroyed him at once; see Deuteronomy 25:19.

And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him {f} bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water;

(f) God by his providence both provides for the needs of the poor stranger, and made him a guide to David to accomplish his enterprise.

11. bread] Food: what it was is specified in the next verse: a piece of fig-cake and two lumps of raisins. See on 1 Samuel 25:18. The Sept. (B) omits the raisins.Verses 11, 12. - An Egyptian, the slave, as we read in ver. 13, of some Amalekite, left in the field, in the open common, to perish. He had become faint and could not travel as fast as they did, and so was left behind with no supplies of food, for he had eaten nothing for three days and three nights. The Amalekites had thus a start of at least this time, or even more, as this slave would probably have carried some food away with him from Ziklag. 1 Samuel 30:1-4 form one period, which is expanded by the introduction of several circumstantial clauses. The apodosis to "It came to pass, when," etc. (1 Samuel 30:1), does not follow till 1 Samuel 30:4, "Then David and the people," etc. But this is formally attached to 1 Samuel 30:3, "so David and his men came," with which the protasis commenced in 1 Samuel 30:1 is resumed in an altered form. "It came to pass, when David and his men came to Ziklag ... the Amalekites had invaded ... and had carried off the wives ... and had gone their way, and David and his men came into the town (for 'when David and his men came,' etc.), and behold it was burned ... . Then David and the people with him lifted up their voice." "On the third day:" after David's dismission by Achish, not after David's departure from Ziklag. David had at any rate gone with Achish beyond Gath, and had not been sent back till the whole of the princes of the Philistines had united their armies (1 Samuel 29:2.), so that he must have been absent from Ziklag more than two days, or two days and a half. This is placed beyond all doubt by 1 Samuel 30:11., since the Amalekites are there described as having gone off with their booty three days before David followed them, and therefore they had taken Ziklag and burned it three days before David's return. These foes had therefore taken advantage of the absence of David and his warriors, to avenge themselves for David's invasions and plunderings (1 Samuel 27:8). Of those who were carried off, "the women" alone expressly mentioned in 1 Samuel 30:2, although the female population and all the children had been removed, as we may see from the expression "small and great" (1 Samuel 30:3, 1 Samuel 30:6). The lxx were therefore correct, so far as the sense is concerned, in introducing the words καὶ πάντα before בּהּ עשׁר. "They had killed no one, but (only) carried away." נהג, to carry away captive, as in Isaiah 20:4. Among those who had been carried off were David's two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail (vid., 1 Samuel 25:42-43; 1 Samuel 27:3).
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