26:2 Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand a chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.
(a) That is, of the most skilful and valiant soldiers. 26:6 Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the b Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to c Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.
(b) Who was a stranger, and not an Israelite. 26:8 Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not [smite] him the d second time.
(c) Who afterward was Davids chief captain.
(d) Meaning, he would make him sure at one stroke. 26:9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand e against the LORDS anointed, and be guiltless?
(e) That is, in his own private cause: for Jehu slew two kings at Gods appointment, ( 2 Kings 9:24 ). 26:15 And David said to Abner, [Art] not thou a [valiant] f man? and who [is] like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.
(f) Esteemed most valiant and fit to save the king? 26:17 And Saul knew Davids voice, and said, [Is] this thy voice, g my son David? And David said, [It is] my voice, my lord, O king.
(g) By this it appears, that the hypocrite persecuted David against his own conscience and contrary to his promise. 26:19 Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred thee up against me, let him h accept an offering: but if [they be] the children of men, cursed [be] they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve i other gods.
(h) Let his anger toward us be pacified by a sacrifice. 26:21 Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was k precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.
(i) As much as lay in them, they compelled him to idolatry because they forced him to flee to the idolaters.
(k) Because you saved my life this day. 26:23 The LORD render to every man his l righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into [my] hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORDS anointed.
(l) Thus he protests his innocency toward Saul, not defending his justice in the sight of God, in whose presence none is righteous, ( Psalms 14:3 Psalms 130:3 ). 26:25 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.