1 Samuel 24:14

14 Who has the king of Israel come after? What are you chasing after? A dead dog? A flea?[a]

1 Samuel 24:14 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 24:14

After whom is the king of Israel come out?
&c.] From his court and palace, with an army of men, and at the head of them: after whom dost thou pursue?
with such eagerness and fury: after a dead dog;
as David was in the opinion, and according to the representation of his enemies, a dog, vile, mean, worthless, of no account; a dead dog, whose name was made to stink through the calumnies cast upon him; and if a dead dog, then as he was an useless person, and could do no good, so neither could he do any hurt, not so much as bark, much less bite; and therefore it was unworthy of so great a prince, a lessening, a degrading of himself, as well as a vain and impertinent thing, to pursue after such an one, that was not worthy of his notice, and could do him neither good nor harm: after a flea?
a little contemptible animal, not easily caught, as it is observed by some, and when caught good for nothing. David, by this simile, fitly represents not only his weakness and impotence, his being worthless, and of no account, and beneath the notice of such a prince as Saul; but the circumstances he was in, being obliged to move from place to place, as a flea leaps from one place to another, and is not easily taken, and when it is, of no worth and value; signifying, that as it was not worth his pains to seek after him, so it would be to no purpose, he should not be able to take him.

1 Samuel 24:14 In-Context

12 "May the Lord judge between you and me, and may the Lord take vengeance on you for me, but my hand will never be against you.
13 As the old proverb says, 'Wickedness comes from wicked people.' My hand will never be against you.
14 Who has the king of Israel come after? What are you chasing after? A dead dog? A flea?
15 May the Lord be judge and decide between you and me. May He take notice and plead my case and deliver me from you."
16 When David finished saying these things to him, Saul replied, "Is that your voice, David my son?" Then Saul wept aloud

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