1 Samuel 21:7

7 Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the LORD; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.

Read 1 Samuel 21:7 Using Other Translations

Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.
Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD. His name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul's herdsmen.
Now Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief herdsman, was there that day, having been detained before the LORD .

What does 1 Samuel 21:7 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Samuel 21:7

Now a certain man of the servants of Saul [was] there that
When David came to Nob, and asked bread of the priest, and had it, which this man was an eyewitness of, ( 1 Samuel 22:9 1 Samuel 22:10 ) ;

detained before the Lord;
either because it was sabbath day, and so he might not travel, at least no more than two thousand cubits; or by some vow of his, which he was obliged to stay and perform; or on account of some impurity he had contracted, which he came to be cleansed from; or this detention was voluntary, in order to offer sacrifice to the Lord, or pray unto him, or to study the law of God in the tabernacle, pretending to be a very religious man:

and his name [was] Doeg, an Edomite,
being by birth an Idumean, but a proselyte to the Jewish religion; or he was of the seed of Israel, but because he had dwelt in Edom, he was called an Edomite, as Kimchi thinks; just as Uriah is called for a like reason the Hittite:

the chiefest of the herdmen that [belonged] to Saul;
Saul had his herds and men to look after them, and this man was set over them all, to see that they faithfully discharged their trust. The same officer the Romans called the praefect, or master of the cattle F11; (See Gill on 1 Chronicles 27:29), and (See Gill on 1 Chronicles 27:31); though this man was not only over the king's cattle, but over those that kept them; and was in the same office as Phorbas was, under Laius king of Thebes F12, and Melanthius in Homer F13, and Faustulus to Amulius F14: but Abarbinel is of opinion that this is to be understood not of the keepers of herds and flocks, but of the shepherds or rulers of the people; and that this man was set over all the other magistrates and rulers of the people, hence said to be "set over the servants of Saul", ( 1 Samuel 22:9 ) ; and so Jarchi calls him "Ab Beth Din", or father of the sanhedrim, or great court of judicature; who was detained in the tabernacle to learn the law there, that he might be the better qualified for his office; but Kimchi interprets it as we do, the chief of the keepers of the herd, and both the Septuagint and Josephus F15 say that he fed the king's mules.


F11 Vid. Pignorium de servis, p. 539.
F12 Senecae Oedipus, Act. 4. v. 815, 816, 839.
F13 Odyss. 20. ver. 21.
F14 Aurel. Victor. orig. Gent. Roman.
F15 Antiqu. l. 6. c. 12. sect. 1.
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