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Poole's on 1 Samuel 26:21-25: Saul Convicted (again)

Verse 21:[1] Then said Saul, (1 Sam. 15:24; 24:17) I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was (1 Sam. 18:30) precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.


[Return] To thy old place and order (Sanchez).


[My soul was precious] My life, which thou hast spared as a precious thing, and thou hast not willed to destroyed it (Menochius).


[I have acted foolishly, and I have been ignorant in too many things] Princes are troubled by a want of the truth, when among their courtiers, who stand about them, there is a competition of flattery (Menochius).


[הִסְכַּ֛לְתִּי וָאֶשְׁגֶּ֖ה] I have acted foolishly and have erred (Montanus).


I have played the fool, etc.: He not only confesseth, but aggravateth his fault, because his conscience was fully convinced, though his heart was not changed.


Verse 22:[2] And David answered and said, Behold the king’s spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.


[Behold the King’s spear, etc.] He returns the spear, lest he should appear to retain it as the spoil of an enemy; but he does not trust Saul, for good reason suspecting that, as at other times, he would return to his native disposition (Menochius).


Verse 23:[3] (Ps. 7:8; 18:20) The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’S anointed.


[The Lord recompense, etc.] He shall return. For, it is able to be either a pronouncement, or a wish. Since Saul had no Tribunal above himself, David appealed to God (Martyr).


[According to his righteousness] That pronoun is able to be referred both to the righteousness of God and ours. It is of God, because it proceeds from Him; ours, because it is exercised by us (Martyr). According to the righteousness of his own cause (Junius, Malvenda). Righteousness/justice here is the will of rendering to each his own (Martyr).


[And faithfulness] That is, constancy in duty (Junius, Malvenda). Faithfulness here is that whereby we stand firmly to pacts and promises (Martyr).


The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: I desire that God would deal no otherwise with me than I have dealt with thee.


[He hath delivered thee into my hand (thus Munster, Tigurinus), בְּיָד] Into hand (Pagnine); into hand to me (Junius and Tremellius).


Verse 24:[4] And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.


Verse 25:[5] Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still (Gen. 32:28) prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.


[Doing thou shalt do, and being able thou shalt be able,גַּ֚ם עָשֹׂ֣ה תַעֲשֶׂ֔ה וְגַ֖ם יָכֹ֣ל תּוּכָ֑ל] Also in doing thou shalt do, and also in prevailing thou shalt prevail (Pagnine, Montanus, similarly the Septuagint). And thou shalt do (Tigurinus, English, Strigelius) (understanding, great things [English]), and thou shalt altogether bring them to perfection (Tigurinus, similarly Strigelius, Castalio), thou shalt still prevail (English). Thou shalt do illustrious works, and thou shalt exert power with great strength (Vatablus). God shall give to thee strength and success (Osiander). Thou hast now done an illustrious work (thou hast completed the work [Syriac]), and hast overcome (Arabic).


David went on his way; knowing Saul’s unstable and deceitful heart, he would not trust to any of his professions or promises, but kept out of his reach.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּאמֶר֩ שָׁא֙וּל חָטָ֜אתִי שׁ֣וּב בְּנִֽי־דָוִ֗ד כִּ֠י לֹֽא־אָרַ֤ע לְךָ֙ ע֔וֹד תַּ֠חַת אֲשֶׁ֙ר יָקְרָ֥ה נַפְשִׁ֛י בְּעֵינֶ֖יךָ הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה הִנֵּ֥ה הִסְכַּ֛לְתִּי וָאֶשְׁגֶּ֖ה הַרְבֵּ֥ה מְאֹֽד׃ [2] Hebrew: וַיַּ֤עַן דָּוִד֙ וַיֹּ֔אמֶר הִנֵּ֖ה הַחֲנִ֣ית הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ וְיַעֲבֹ֛ר אֶחָ֥ד מֵֽהַנְּעָרִ֖ים וְיִקָּחֶֽהָ׃ [3] Hebrew: וַֽיהוָה֙ יָשִׁ֣יב לָאִ֔ישׁ אֶת־צִדְקָת֖וֹ וְאֶת־אֱמֻנָת֑וֹ אֲשֶׁר֩ נְתָנְךָ֙ יְהוָ֤ה׀ הַיּוֹם֙ בְּיָ֔ד וְלֹ֣א אָבִ֔יתִי לִשְׁלֹ֥חַ יָדִ֖י בִּמְשִׁ֥יחַ יְהוָֽה׃ [4] Hebrew: וְהִנֵּ֗ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֙ר גָּדְלָ֧ה נַפְשְׁךָ֛ הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֖ה בְּעֵינָ֑י כֵּ֣ן תִּגְדַּ֤ל נַפְשִׁי֙ בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה וְיַצִּלֵ֖נִי מִכָּל־צָרָֽה׃ [5] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֙אמֶר שָׁא֜וּל אֶל־דָּוִ֗ד בָּר֤וּךְ אַתָּה֙ בְּנִ֣י דָוִ֔ד גַּ֚ם עָשֹׂ֣ה תַעֲשֶׂ֔ה וְגַ֖ם יָכֹ֣ל תּוּכָ֑ל וַיֵּ֤לֶךְ דָּוִד֙ לְדַרְכּ֔וֹ וְשָׁא֖וּל שָׁ֥ב לִמְקוֹמֽוֹ׃

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Oct 12, 2023

William Guthrie's Christian's Great Interest: 'Hypocrites may have a great deal of profession. (1) They may talk of the law and gospel, and of the covenant: as the wicked do—"What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?" [Psalm 50:16.] (2) They may confess sin openly to their own shame, as King Saul did—"Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David; for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly." [1 Samuel 26:21.] (3) They may humble themselves in sackcloth, with Ahab—"And it came to pass, when Ahab hear…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Oct 12, 2023


Jonathan Edwards' Religious Affections: 'How far was Saul brought, though a very wicked man, and of a haughty spirit, when he (though a great king) was brought, in conviction of his sin, all in tears, weeping aloud, before David his own subjectóone whom he had for a long time mortally hated, and openly treated as an enemyócrying out, "Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil!" [1 Samuel 24:17] And at another time, "I have sinned, I have played the fool, I have erred exceedingly," 1 Samuel 24:16-17 and 1 Samuel 26:21. And yet Saul seems then to have had very little of the influences of the Spirit of God…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Oct 12, 2023


Matthew Henry: 'Here is, I. Saul's penitent confession of his fault and folly in persecuting David and his promise to do so no more. This second instance of David's respect to him wrought more upon him than the former, and extorted from him better acknowledgements, 1 Samuel 26:21. 1. He owns himself melted and quite overcome by David's kindness to him: "My soul was precious in thy eyes this day, which, I thought, had been odious!" 2. He acknowledges he has done very wrong to persecute him, that he has therein acted against God's law (I have sinned), and against his own interest (I have played the fool), in pursuing him as an enemy who would have been one o…


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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Oct 12, 2023

Study 1 Samuel in detail with Matthew Poole! www.fromreformationtoreformation.com/1-samuel

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