1 Samuel 19 Study Notes


19:1-2 Jonathan made sure David knew about Saul’s plan. Ironically, Jonathan, as King Saul’s oldest son, had the most to gain by David’s death.

19:3 If David did not overhear the conversation between Jonathan and Saul from his hiding place, Jonathan would inform him later.

19:4-5 Jonathan spoke well of David and suggested that his father Saul should spare him for three reasons. First, David was innocent of any sin against Saul. Second, the Lord had used David to bring a great victory for all Israel. Third, killing David for no reason would make Saul guilty of shedding innocent blood.

19:6 The phrase As surely as the Lord lives was a common way of introducing an oath (1Kg 17:1).

19:7-8 It is not clear whether the expression served him as he did before denotes David’s lyre-playing or leading the military. Perhaps both are intended since both appear in the immediate context (vv. 8-9).

19:9 Holding a spear while sitting in his own palace may suggest Saul’s extreme paranoia. David was playing the lyre to soothe Saul’s tormented mind (16:23). On an evil spirit sent from the Lord, see note at 16:14.

19:10 David eluded Saul . . . and escaped, perhaps because he was more wary after the previous incident (18:10-11). He did not provide the king a second opportunity to strike him down, but fled to his home.

19:11 Michal discovered her father’s intentions to murder David and warned her husband that delay in fleeing would bring his death.

19:12 Again, a member of Saul’s family helped David escape Saul’s death sentence.

19:13-14 The household idol (Hb teraphim) was apparently large enough that it would appear as though David’s body lay on the bed under a garment. Such idols also could be smaller in size (Gn 31:19,34). No explanation is given for why such a thing was in David’s house.

19:15 Saul’s agents apparently did not want to challenge Michal’s word about David’s illness (v. 14), so they returned to the king without him.

19:16 The agents arrived at David’s house a second time, only to discover what Michal had done. By then, David had escaped.

19:17 When Saul challenged his daughter Michal about her deception, she replied that David had threatened to kill her if she did not cooperate. Saul could not prove she was lying since no witnesses were present.

19:18 David fled three miles to Samuel at Ramah. The prophet also feared of Saul (16:2), and the two of them went to Naioth, perhaps a designation of dwellings for prophets in Ramah (vv. 19,22).

19:19-21 As the king’s agents encountered a group of prophets prophesying with Samuel, God’s divine touch overrode their human intentions and they also started prophesying. This also happened with the next two groups that Saul sent (v. 21).

19:22 The large cistern at Secu is mentioned only here, but it may be alluded to in 9:11.

19:23 The Spirit of God overruled Saul’s intentions just as he had done with the king’s agents. The one who sought to kill God’s servant now spoke God’s praises.

19:24 The king laid aside his royal clothes, perhaps as a sign that he was soon to lay aside the kingship. He lay naked, an act of further humiliation for anyone, but especially for someone of such high rank. The proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets? (cp. 10:11), once again pointed to actions that were out of character for Saul.