New International Version
He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave.
King James Bible
And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.
Darby Bible Translation
And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet; and David and his men were abiding in the recesses of the cave.
World English Bible
He came to the sheep pens by the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were abiding in the innermost parts of the cave.
Young's Literal Translation
and he cometh in unto folds of the flock, on the way, and there is a cave, and Saul goeth in to cover his feet; and David and his men in the sides of the cave are abiding.
1 Samuel 24:3 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
The sheep-cotes - Caves in the rocks, in which it is common, even to the present time, for shepherds and their flocks to lodge. According to Strabo there are caverns in Syria, one of which is capable of containing four thousand men: Ὡν ἑν και τετρακισχιλιους ανθρωπους δεξασθαι δυναμενον; lib. xvi. p. 1096. Edit. 1707.
Saul went in to cover his feet - Perhaps this phrase signifies exactly what the Vulgate has rendered it, ut purparet ventrem. The Septuagint, the Targum, and the Arabic understand it in the same way. It is likely that, when he had performed this act of necessity, he lay down to repose himself, and it was while he was asleep that David cut off the skirt of his robe. It is strange that Saul was not aware that there might be men lying in wait in such a place; and the rabbins have invented a most curious conceit to account for Saul's security: "God, foreseeing that Saul would come to this cave, caused a spider to weave her web over the mouth of it, which, when Saul perceived, he took for granted that no person had lately been there, and consequently he entered it without suspicion." This may be literally true; and we know that even a spider in the hand of God may be the instrument of a great salvation. This is a Jewish tradition, and one of the most elegant and instructive in their whole collection.
David and his men remained in the sides of the cave - This is no hyperbole; we have not only the authority of Strabo as above mentioned, but we have the authority of the most accurate travelers, to attest the fact of the vast capacity of caves in the East.
Dr. Pococke observes: "Beyond the valley (of Tekoa) there is a very large grotto, which the Arabs call El Maamah, a hiding place; the high rocks on each side of the valley are almost perpendicular, and the way to the grotto is by a terrace formed in the rock, which is very narrow. There are two entrances into it; we went by the farthest, which leads by a narrow passage into a large grotto, the rock being supported by great natural pillars; the top of it rises in several parts like domes; the grotto is perfectly dry. There is a tradition that the people of the country, to the number of thirty thousand, retired into this grotto to avoid a bad air. This place is so strong that one would imagine it to be one of the strong holds of En-gedi, to which David and his men fled from Saul; and possibly it may be that very cave in which he cut off Saul's skirt, for David and his men might with great ease lie hid there and not be seen by him." - Pococke's Travels, vol. ii., part 1, p. 41.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
the sheepcotes. Caves in the rocks, in which it is still common for shepherds and their flocks to lodge. Dr. Pococke observes, `Beyond the valley [of Tekoa,] there is a very large grotto. which the Arabs call El- Maamah, a hiding place: the high rocks on each side of the valley are almost perpendicular; and the way to the grotto is by a terrace formed in the rock, which is very narrow. There are two entrances into it; we went by the farthest, which leads by a narrow passage into a very large grotto, the rock being supported by natural pillars; the top of it rises in several places like domes; the grotto is perfectly dry. There is a tradition, that the people of the country, to the number of
30,000, retired into this grotto, to avoid a bad air. This place is so strong, that one would imagine it to be one of the strong holds of En-gedi, to which David and his men fled from Saul: and possibly it may be that very cave in which he cut off Saul's skirt; for David and his men might, with good ease, lie hid there and not be seen by him.'
Travels, vol. ii. P.
LibraryLove for Hate, the True Quid Pro Quo
'And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the Lord said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. 5. And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had out off Saul's skirt. 6. And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Exile --Continued.
After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, "He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the palace."
1 Samuel 26:3
Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah facing Jeshimon, but David stayed in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul had followed him there,
For the director of music. To the tune of "Do Not Destroy." Of David. A miktam. When he had fled from Saul into the cave. Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
A maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer. I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
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