If thy father at all miss me
Or diligently inquires after me:
then say, David earnestly asked leave of me, that he might run to
Bethlehem his city:
the place of his birth, called the city of David, where he was born and had lived, ( Luke 2:4 ) ( John 7:42 ) , which was not far from Gibeah, and whither he could soon run; and which shows the haste he proposed to make, and his eager desire to be there, and which also is signified by his earnest and importunate request; for all this might be true, and no lie of David, framed for an excuse; and after he had hid himself some time in the field, until it was evening, he might go to Bethlehem, and return soon enough to meet Jonathan in the field at the time fixed by them on the third day:
for [there] is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family;
it was customary for the family of Jesse one day in a year, and as it should seem on a first day of the month, and perhaps the first day of the first month, or New Year's Day, to have an anniversary feast by way of gratitude and thankfulness for the mercies of the year past, and for the continuance of them for time to come; in which the family rejoiced together at the great goodness of God unto them, ( 1 Samuel 9:12 ) .