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Poole's on 1 Samuel 25:10-13: Nabal's Scorn, and David's Wrath

Verse 10:[1] And Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, (Judg. 9:28; Ps. 73:7, 8; 123:3, 4) Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master.

[Who is David?] The question of one scornful (Piscator); as in Exodus 5:2, Who is the Lord? (Sanchez).

Who is David? what relation or obligation have I to David?

[Who is the son of Jesse?] Thus he contemptuously calls him (Menochius).

[Today the servants fleeing their masters have increased,הַיּוֹם֙ רַבּ֣וּ עֲבָדִ֔ים הַמִּתְפָּ֣רְצִ֔ים אִ֖ישׁ מִפְּנֵ֥י אֲדֹנָֽיו׃] Increasing today are the servants that are separating themselves one by one, etc. (Munster). They have increased, etc., that is to say, today David has so increased, who is the servant of Saul, that he dares to set himself in opposition to his King (Lapide). But these things not only have regard to David, but also to his companions (Sanchez, similarly Martyr). רָבַב (uniformly increscere, to increase, among the Latin) signifies growth, not only in quantity and number, but also in quality and dignity; whence a teacher or doctor is called רַב/ Rab: that is to say, today the meanest servants, etc., have increased, that is, arrogate to themselves Royal airs, so that they imperiously exact victuals from others, as if from tributaries and subjects (Sanchez). Today many (multiplied [Montanus, Vatablus]) are servants that separate themselves individually from the faces of their masters (Pagnine). Servants withdrawing, etc. (Septuagint), dividing themselves, etc. (Montanus); that have revolted, etc. (Syriac); that flee, and abscond, etc. (Jonathan); that have rebelled, etc. (Arabic), remove themselves, etc. (Vatablus), detach themselves, etc. (Tigurinus, Piscator); that is, they run away. A Metaphor from refractory horses, that break themselves free from their bounds, and run away (Piscator). That, bursting forth, defect, etc. (Junius and Tremellius), that is, that break through the bounds of their duty, opposing their magistrate, as if streams were rushing backwards. A Metaphor from overflowing rivers (Junius). Or more aptly from brigands, or robbers, that break through laws and rights (Montanus). The sense: Today the servants that because of their scandals, or the money of another, flee are many, etc. (Sanchez).

There be many servants now a days that break away; hereby he taxeth both David, as one revolted from and risen up against Saul his lord and master; and his soldiers as runagates from their masters and creditors, etc. See 1 Samuel 22:2.

Verse 11:[2] (Judg. 8:6) Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh (Heb. slaughter[3]) that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?

[Shall I then take away my bread, etc.?וְלָקַחְתִּי ] And shall I take away, etc.? (Pagnine, Syriac); more specifically, should I take, etc.? (Junius and Tremellius). And should I take, etc.? (Piscator); or should I take, or not, etc.? (Piscator, Arabic); that is, think ye this to be equal? (Piscator). Others join it to what precedes, with a parenthesis interposed, in this way, And who is the son of Jesse (there are many servants today, etc.) that I should take away bread, etc.? (thus Vatablus in the Tigurinus Notes).

[And my waters] I would prefer my water. But let us not be surprised that water is held to be so precious by Nabal; for that region is sandy, and was not abounding in wells. See on Genesis 21:25; 26:15 (Piscator). But the Septuagint has wine here; the Syriac and Arabic, and my drink.] By waters here is understood any drink; just as by cooking, all food in addition to bread (Munster, similarly Mariana).

My water; he speaketh thus, either because in those hot and dry parts water was scarce and precious; or water is here put for any kind of drink, as bread is oft taken for all sorts of meat.

[And the flesh of cattle that I killed, etc., וְאֵת֙ טִבְחָתִ֔י] And my victim (Pagnine, Montanus, Septuagint), that is, food, etc. (Vatablus); my feast (Mariana out of Jonathan). When they were offering sacrifices, they were also preparing feasts (Mariana). My slaughtered flesh (Junius and Tremellius); my slaughter (Piscator); my cooking (Munster).

Verse 12:[4] So David’s young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings.

Verse 13:[5] And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred (1 Sam. 30:24) abode by the stuff.

Gird ye on every man his sword; having resolved and sworn to revenge himself of Nabal, as is expressed, verses 21, 22. By the stuff. See 1 Samuel 17:22; 30:24.

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּ֙עַן נָבָ֜ל אֶת־עַבְדֵ֤י דָוִד֙ וַיֹּ֔אמֶר מִ֥י דָוִ֖ד וּמִ֣י בֶן־יִשָׁ֑י הַיּוֹם֙ רַבּ֣וּ עֲבָדִ֔ים הַמִּתְפָּ֣רְצִ֔ים אִ֖ישׁ מִפְּנֵ֥י אֲדֹנָֽיו׃ [2] Hebrew: וְלָקַחְתִּ֤י אֶת־לַחְמִי֙ וְאֶת־מֵימַ֔י וְאֵת֙ טִבְחָתִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר טָבַ֖חְתִּי לְגֹֽזְזָ֑י וְנָֽתַתִּי֙ לַֽאֲנָשִׁ֔ים אֲשֶׁר֙ לֹ֣א יָדַ֔עְתִּי אֵ֥י מִזֶּ֖ה הֵֽמָּה׃ [3] Hebrew: טִבְחָתִי. [4] Hebrew: וַיַּהַפְכ֥וּ נַעֲרֵֽי־דָוִ֖ד לְדַרְכָּ֑ם וַיָּשֻׁ֙בוּ֙ וַיָּבֹ֔אוּ וַיַּגִּ֣דוּ ל֔וֹ כְּכֹ֖ל הַדְּבָרִ֥ים הָאֵֽלֶּה׃ [5] Hebrew: וַיֹּאמֶר֩ דָּוִ֙ד לַאֲנָשָׁ֜יו חִגְר֣וּ׀ אִ֣ישׁ אֶת־חַרְבּ֗וֹ וַֽיַּחְגְּרוּ֙ אִ֣ישׁ אֶת־חַרְבּ֔וֹ וַיַּחְגֹּ֥ר גַּם־דָּוִ֖ד אֶת־חַרְבּ֑וֹ וַֽיַּעֲל֣וּ׀ אַחֲרֵ֣י דָוִ֗ד כְּאַרְבַּ֤ע מֵאוֹת֙ אִ֔ישׁ וּמָאתַ֖יִם יָשְׁב֥וּ עַל־הַכֵּלִֽים׃

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