Now therefore let not my blood fall to the earth before the
face of the Lord
For should it be spilled, God, who is omniscient, will see it, and take notice of it; and being righteous, and to whom vengeance belongs, he will avenge it: some render it, "my blood shall not fall to the earth before the face of the Lord" F18; I am continually under his eye and care, and he will protect and defend me; and in vain is it for thee to pursue after me; I shall never fall into thine hands, though I may be obliged to quit my country, and go into an idolatrous nation, against my will:
for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea;
which leaps from place to place and is not easily taken: or this may denote what a mean, poor, weak, insignificant person David was; and how much it was below Saul to come out with an army of chosen men in pursuit of him; so the Targum,
``the king of Israel is come out to seek one that is weak or feeble:''as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains;
as kings for their delight used to do, as Abarbinel observes; but this being a business of pleasure, and this a bird of worth, some other is thought to be here intended. Indeed the is represented as worth no more than an "obolus", or five farthings, though fifty drachmas or drachms were ordered to be paid for one F19; the Septuagint renders the word an "owl": the word is "kore", and from the etymology of it one would think it was the raven or crow. Jarchi on ( Jeremiah 17:11 ) takes it to be the cuckoo, though here the partridge as others; Bochart F20 will have it to be the woodcock, snipe, or snite F21. Some choose to read the words,
``as the kore or partridge on the mountains hunts;''which, it is said, hunts and seeks after the nests of other birds, and sits on their eggs F22: see ( Jeremiah 17:11 ) ; so Saul hunted after David, though he could not take him; several naturalists F23 observe, that the partridge is very difficult to be taken by the hunter.
F18 (wmd lpy la) "non effundetur", Martyr. and to this sense are Syr. Ar. vers.
F19 Laert. l. 2. in Vita Aristippi.
F20 Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 1. c. 12. col. 81.
F21 (A snite is like a snipe, yet a different species of lark-like bird. Oxford English Dictionary. Editor)
F22 T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 140. 2. Jarchi & Abarbinel in loc.
F23 Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 8. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 33. Aelian. Hist. Animal. l. 3. c. 16.