Whereas thou camest [but] yesterday
From Gath, or from an expedition he and his men had been on:
should I this day make thee, go up and down with us?
wander up and down from place to place with David, when he was but just come off a journey, weary and fatigued:
seeing I go whither I may;
where it will be most safe for me, I know not where; may be obliged to flee here and there, which would be very inconvenient to Ittai in his circumstances:
return thou, and take back thy brethren;
the six hundred men under him, and whom David could ill spare at this time, and yet, consulting their ease, advises to return to Jerusalem with them:
mercy and truth [be] with thee;
the Lord show mercy and kindness to thee, in that thou hast shown favour and respect to me, and make good all his promises to thee, who hast been true and faithful to me.