And [when] thou hast stayed three days
From court, either at Bethlehem, which seems most probable, or in some other place incognito; however, not in the field he proposed to hide himself in, where he could not continue so long for want of food:
[then] thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place
didst hide thyself;
which makes it clear that he did not continue there during that time, but went elsewhere; from whence he was to come in haste at the expiration of three days, to the place he first hid himself in, and which was fixed upon to meet at:
when the business was [in hand];
when the affair was discoursed of, about getting knowledge how Saul was affected to David, and of informing him of it; or "on the day of work" F24; or business, on a working day, as the Septuagint; and so the Targum, on a common day; when, as the Vulgate Latin, it was lawful to work on it; and such was the day when Jonathan and David conversed together about the above affair; it being the day before the new moon, or first day of the month, on which day they used not to work: Some render it, "thou shalt three times go down" F25 to that place; and the sense is, that he should come on the morrow, and if he found not Jonathan there, he might conclude that as yet he knew nothing of his father's mind, and therefore should come the day following that; and if he found him not then, to come on the third day, that so he might be on the spot, let him come on which day he would:
and shalt remain by the stone Ezel;
which, because it signifies "going", the Jewish commentators generally understand it as a sign to direct travellers which way to go; but one would think this should be an improper place for David to be near, since it must be where two or more ways met, and so a public frequented place; others think therefore it had its name from David and Jonathan often going thither, to discourse with each other; the Septuagint calls it Ergab; and so the place where Jonathan, the son of Saul, exercised himself by shooting darts, is called by Jerom F26; it is said by Josephus F1 to be an hundred fifty furlongs (about nineteen miles), from Jerusalem, and from Jordan sixty, (about eight miles).
F24 (hvemh Mwyb) "in die operis", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; "die profesto", Tigurine version.
F25 (dam drt tvlv) "tertiabis, descendes valde", Montanus; "descendes ter, [vel] tertiabis descendere", Castalio; so Patrick.
F26 De loc. Heb. fol. 91. C.
F1 Apud Adrichem. Theatrum T. S. p. 17.