And the prophet Gad said unto David
Who either accompanied him in his exile, or was sent unto him on this account, being one of the company of the prophets, over whom Samuel was president, ( 1 Samuel 19:20 ) ;
abide not in the hold, depart, and get thee into the land of Judah;
this seems to confirm it that the hold David was in was not the cave of Adullam, because that was in the tribe of Judah; but rather some hold in the land of Moab, which he is directed by the prophet to leave, and go into the country of Judah, his own tribe, where Saul would not be so forward to pursue him, and where he would be among his friends, and in the way, upon Saul's death, to be anointed king over Judah; besides, appearing more openly would show the innocence of his cause, and his confidence in the Lord, more than to lurk about in a foreign land:
then David departed;
from "Mizpeh" in "Moab"; or, however, from the hold in which he was:
and came into the forest of Hareth;
where he would have places and opportunity enough to hide himself as he saw fit. Jerom F1 speaks of a village called Arath, where David abode, to the west of Jerusalem. Kimchi says this was a dry barren place, but for the sake of David it was made by the Lord a well watered and fruitful one.