1 Samuel 19

Saul Tries to Kill David

1 Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David
2 and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there.
3 I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”
4 Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly.
5 He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The LORD won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”
6 Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the LORD lives, David will not be put to death.”
7 So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.
8 Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.
9 But an evil[a] spirit from the LORD came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre,
10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.
11 Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.”
12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped.
13 Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.
14 When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, “He is ill.”
15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, “Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him.”
16 But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair.
17 Saul said to Michal, “Why did you deceive me like this and send my enemy away so that he escaped?” Michal told him, “He said to me, ‘Let me get away. Why should I kill you?’ ”
18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there.
19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”;
20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied.
21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied.
22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” “Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said.
23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth.
24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

1 Samuel 19 Commentary

Chapter 19

Jonathan reconciles his father to David, Saul again tries to slay him. (1-10) David flees to Samuel. (11-24)

Verses 1-10 How forcible are right words! Saul was, for a time, convinced of the unreasonableness of his enmity to David; but he continued his malice against David. So incurable is the hatred of the seed of the serpent against that of the woman; so deceitful and desperately wicked is the heart of man without the grace of God, ( Jeremiah 17:9 ) .

Verses 11-24 Michal's stratagem to gain time till David got to a distance was allowable, but her falsehood had not even the plea of necessity to excuse it, and manifests that she was not influenced by the same spirit of piety which had dictated Jonathan's language to Saul. In flying to Samuel, David made God his refuge. Samuel, as a prophet, was best able to advise him what to do in this day of distress. He met with little rest or satisfaction in Saul's court, therefore went to seek it in Samuel's church. What little pleasure is to be had in this world, those have who live a life of communion with God; to that David returned in the time of trouble. So impatient was Saul after David's blood, so restless against him, that although baffled by one providence after another, he could not see that David was under the special protection of God. And when God will take this way to protect David, even Saul prophesies. Many have great gifts, yet no grace; they may prophesy in Christ's name, yet are disowned by him. Let us daily seek for renewing grace, which shall be in us as a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Let us cleave to truth and holiness with full purpose of heart. In every danger and trouble, let us seek protection, comfort, and direction in God's ordinances.

Cross References 26

  • 1. S 1 Samuel 18:1
  • 2. 1 Samuel 18:9
  • 3. 1 Samuel 20:5,19
  • 4. 1 Samuel 20:12
  • 5. 1 Samuel 20:32; 1 Samuel 22:14; Proverbs 31:8,9; Jeremiah 18:20
  • 6. Genesis 42:22; 1 Samuel 25:21; Proverbs 17:13
  • 7. S Judges 9:17; S Judges 12:3
  • 8. S 1 Samuel 11:13; 1 Samuel 17:49-50; 1 Chronicles 11:14
  • 9. S Genesis 31:36; Deuteronomy 19:10-13; 1 Samuel 20:32; Matthew 27:4
  • 10. S 1 Samuel 16:21; 1 Samuel 18:2,13
  • 11. S Judges 9:23; 1 Samuel 16:14; 1 Samuel 18:10-11
  • 12. S 1 Samuel 10:5
  • 13. 1 Samuel 18:11
  • 14. Psalms 59 Title
  • 15. Judges 16:2
  • 16. S Joshua 2:15; Acts 9:25; 2 Corinthians 11:33
  • 17. S Genesis 31:19
  • 18. S Exodus 1:19; Joshua 2:4
  • 19. S 1 Samuel 7:17
  • 20. S Numbers 11:29; ver 11,14; John 7:32,45
  • 21. S Numbers 11:25
  • 22. S 1 Samuel 10:5; Joel 2:28
  • 23. 1 Samuel 10:13
  • 24. 2 Samuel 6:20; Isaiah 20:2; Micah 1:8
  • 25. 1 Samuel 15:35
  • 26. S 1 Samuel 10:11

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST SAMUEL 19

This chapter relates the dangers David was exposed unto through Saul's enmity at him, and his deliverance from them, as by the notice Jonathan gave him of his father's designs against him, and by his kind interposition on his behalf, 1Sa 19:1-7; by David's slipping out of Saul's presence, when he was about to cast a javelin at him, 1Sa 19:8-10; by Michal's letting him down through a window, when Saul sent messengers to kill him, and by deceiving them with an image laid in his bed in the room of him, 1Sa 19:11-17, and again by Samuel's protection of him at Naioth, whither David fled, and where Saul sent messengers after him, and at length came himself; and instead of laying hands on David, both he and the messengers were set a prophesying, 1Sa 19:18-24.

1 Samuel 19 Commentaries