top of page

Poole's Outline of 1 Samuel 21:7-9: David and the Sword of Goliath

Verse 7:[1] Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was (1 Sam. 22:9; Ps. 52 title) Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.

[Intus/within (but to be read tentus/held (Serarius) in the Tabernacle, נֶעְצָר֙ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה] Detained (who was delayed [Pagnine], was keeping himself [Vatablus, Munster], had shut himself up [Arabic]) before the Lord (Syriac, Munster, Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius, Septuagint, Piscator). This is said, either, because he was vexed by some demon or illness. For the Hebrew term indicates the tightening and pressure of temptation and threats (Theodoret in Nobilius): or, so that he might offer sacrifices, and hear the law of God (Munster), under the pretext of prayer (Mariana); so that he might be at leisure for religion (Osiander); so that he might worship (Vatablus); or, for the observance of the Sabbath (Malvenda out of Junius). Or, so that he might discharge his vow (Arabic, Junius, Malvenda, Osiander), whereby he had bound himself to prayer for a certain time in the holy place (certain interpreters in Menochius). This is the nature of hypocrites. They wish to be constant in Houses of Worship and to appear holy (Martyr).

Detained; not by force from others, but by his own choice; he fixed his abode there for that day; either because it was the sabbath day, on which he might not proceed in his journey, or other business; or for the discharge of some vow; or to beg direction and help from God in some great business. Before the Lord, that is, at the tabernacle.

[Doeg, an Edomite[2]] He was an Edomite, either, 1. By habitation, not race; that is, who had dwelt, or was yet dwelling, in Edom (Vatablus, similarly Martyr). Thus Uriah was called a Hittite,[3] and Obed-edom a Gittite,[4] from the regions where they sojourned (Martyr). Or, 2. An Edomite by race, but a Hebrew proselyte by religion (Menochius, similarly Junius, Piscator). Or, 3. An Adamite, from the town of Adam, Joshua 3:16.[5] But I prefer the former (Junius).

An Edomite; either, 1. By his habitation and conversation among those people for some considerable time, as for the same reason Uriah is called the Hittite, and Obed-edom the Gittite: or rather, 2. By his birth and nation; but he was proselyted to the Jewish religion, or took it up for sinister ends, being advanced, as here we read, to a place of trust and preferment, possibly upon this occasion.

[The mightiest of the herdmen (thus Pagnine, Montanus, Syriac),אַבִּ֥יר הָרֹעִ֖ים] The chief (master [Jonathan], greatest [Arabic, Vatablus], powerful prefect [Tigurinus]) of the herdmen (Vatablus). Who was put in charge of Saul’s entire livestock (Osiander).

Verse 8:[6] And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thine hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.

[My arms I have not brought with me] Arms were wanting to him, either because, having been sent away by his wife through a window,[7] he was not able to spring out conveniently with arms (Sanchez out of Lyra); or because David had gone down into the field to hide; but, if he had carried his arms with him, he had given place for suspicion (Tostatus).

I have neither brought my sword, etc.: He left his weapons behind him, that he might with less suspicion remove from place to place, and hide himself from Saul and his spies.

[For the word of the king was pressing (thus Pagnine, Syriac, Arabic, Junius and Tremellius), כִּֽי־הָיָ֥ה דְבַר־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ נָחֽוּץ׃] It was hastened (Montanus, Tigurinus, similarly the Septuagint, Jonathan), or hurried (Vatablus, Malvenda); it was to be hastened (Munster). It was urging me to depart as soon as possible (Munster, Vatablus). The business or mandate of the king was urging (Vatablus). נָחוּץ is found nowhere else. They explain it from related words, as has been said; others take it for לָחוּץ, contracted, pressed down; or contracting, pressing down (Malvenda).

The king’s business required haste; the message came to me when I was unarmed, and the business required so great expedition that I could not go home to fetch my weapons.

Verse 9:[8] And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in (1 Sam. 17:2, 50) the valley of Elah, (1 Sam. 31:10) behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.

[Behold, here is the sword of Goliath] In 1 Samuel 17, David placed the arms of Goliath in his tent. Afterwards, as it is probable, he, moved by religious devotion, hung them in the tabernacle (Estius).

[Behind the Ephod [similarly almost all interpreters], that is, behind that place in which the Ephod was stored; that is, the Priestly garments (Vatablus, thus Menochius, Lapide), אַחֲרֵ֣י הָאֵפוֹד֒] Some render it otherwise: after he sought to the Ephod for him (Jonathan); after he had put on the mantle (Junius and Tremellius), that is, after he, having put on the mantle, had consulted God concerning these requests of David (Junius, thus Piscator, Glassius, Willet, Rabbi Salomon in Glassius). That it is to be taken in this way, is taught by the following history in the chapter, verses 10, 13, 15. See a similar expression in Deuteronomy 24:20, 21, thou shalt not glean after thee,[9] that is, after thou hast shaken out, or gathered (Junius, Piscator); likewise in Genesis 24:67[10] (Piscator). It is Synchysis,[11] or a trajection of words, and a mixture, in the words conjoined. Others call is ἐμπλοκὴν/interweaving, or μετάθεσις/metathesis/ transposition, or ὑστέρωσιν/inversion. Thus is Song of Solomon 1:5, I am black, but comely…as the tents of Kedar; where those words, as the tents of Kedar, are not able to be connected with comely, for they were unattractive, as scorched with heat, black, and foul; but rather with black. See similar things in Genesis 13:10; Exodus 12:15; Deuteronomy 32:5 (Glassius’ “Grammar” 748). Thus in this place Junius and Tremellius join אַחֲרֵ֣י הָאֵפוֹד֒, after the Ephod, with the beginning of the verse in this manner, to whom the Priest said, after he had put on the mantle, the sword of Goliath, etc. It is confirmed out of 1 Samuel 22:10, where Doeg says, and he enquired of Jehovah for him (Glassius out of Rabbi Isaiah,[12] Willet).

Behind the ephod, that is, behind that holy place allotted for the keeping of the sacred or priestly garments; all which are here comprehended under the ephod; which, as the chief of the kind, is put for all the rest. Here it was laid up as a sacred monument of God’s power and goodness, and that famous victory, related 1 Samuel 17.

[Give it to me] That sword was given to God; but, with necessity urging, it was able to be removed from there, no less than the loaves to be eaten (Menochius, thus Sanchez out of Tostatus). Seneca[13] in his Controversies, For the welfare of the republic the temples are stripped. See also other things alleged in Concerning the Law of War and Peace 3:5:2, and in the notes. Add the section on “Sacred Matter”, “Institutions concerning Diverse Things”, and what things were said by us in that same book in 20:23. Iolaus[14] in Euripides’ Heracles takes arms from a temple, Ἐστ᾽ ἐν δόμοισιν ἔνδον, etc., it is in the temple within, etc. (Grotius). Thus the Kings of the Jews were forced to buy peace from the Kings of Syria, etc., with those vessels of the Temple given;[15] nor were they consequently rebuked by the Prophets. Moreover, David was going to have this sword as a sacrament in a certain way: whereby he would call to mind the blessing of God, and confirm his hope. Yet, because of that sword, the Priests were killed; and David, if any Philistines had recognized it, cast himself into the gravest danger. Thus even holy men are able to be deceived sometimes, and to take poor measures for themselves and others (Martyr). From this passage I observe two things, 1. that David was of a powerful and large frame, and, I add, of a more advanced age than many suppose, for whom this sword was not difficult to handle. 2. What things are dedicated to God are of greater use to us, than what things we retain for ourselves. This sword brought more to David than the other arms that he was able to have at home (Sanchez).

There is none like that; because it not only served him for his use, for he was a strong and tall man, and one that could wield that sword, as we saw, 1 Samuel 17, but was also a pledge of God’s favour to him, and a great encouragement to his faith.

[1] Hebrew: וְשָׁ֡ם אִישׁ֩ מֵעַבְדֵ֙י שָׁא֜וּל בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא נֶעְצָר֙ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה וּשְׁמ֖וֹ דֹּאֵ֣ג הָאֲדֹמִ֑י אַבִּ֥יר הָרֹעִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר לְשָׁאֽוּל׃ [2] Hebrew: דֹּאֵ֣ג הָאֲדֹמִ֑י. [3] See 2 Samuel 11:3. [4] See 2 Samuel 6:10, 11; 1 Chronicles 13:13. [5] Joshua 3:16: “That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam (בָאָדָם), that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.” [6] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר דָּוִד֙ לַאֲחִימֶ֔לֶךְ וְאִ֛ין יֶשׁ־פֹּ֥ה תַֽחַת־יָדְךָ֖ חֲנִ֣ית אוֹ־חָ֑רֶב כִּ֣י גַם־חַרְבִּ֤י וְגַם־כֵּלַי֙ לֹֽא־לָקַ֣חְתִּי בְיָדִ֔י כִּֽי־הָיָ֥ה דְבַר־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ נָחֽוּץ׃ [7] 1 Samuel 19:12. [8] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר הַכֹּהֵ֗ן חֶרֶב֩ גָּלְיָ֙ת הַפְּלִשְׁתִּ֜י אֲשֶׁר־הִכִּ֣יתָ׀ בְּעֵ֣מֶק הָאֵלָ֗ה הִנֵּה־הִ֞יא לוּטָ֣ה בַשִּׂמְלָה֮ אַחֲרֵ֣י הָאֵפוֹד֒ אִם־אֹתָ֤הּ תִּֽקַּח־לְךָ֙ קָ֔ח כִּ֣י אֵ֥ין אַחֶ֛רֶת זוּלָתָ֖הּ בָּזֶ֑ה וַיֹּ֧אמֶר דָּוִ֛ד אֵ֥ין כָּמ֖וֹהָ תְּנֶ֥נָּה לִּֽי׃ [9] Deuteronomy 24:20, 21: “When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again (לֹ֥א תְפָאֵ֖ר אַחֲרֶ֑יךָ, thou shalt not go over after thee): it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward (לֹ֥א תְעוֹלֵ֖ל אַחֲרֶ֑יךָ, thou shalt not glean after thee): it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.” [10] Genesis 24:67: “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death (וַיִּנָּחֵ֥ם יִצְחָ֖ק אַחֲרֵ֥י אִמּֽוֹ׃, and Isaac was comforted after his mother).” [11]Synchysis is an intentional disruption of normal word order to prompt deeper consideration of meaning. [12] Isaiah ben Elijah di Trani the Younger was a thirteenth century Italian Rabbi, grandson of the great Talmudist, Isaiah ben Mali di Trani the Elder. Rabbi Isaiah the Younger wrote commentaries on Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, and perhaps others. His commentaries are characterized by sober, literal exegesis. [13] Lucius Annæus Seneca, or the Elder (c. 54 BC-c. 39 AD) was a Roman rhetorician. [14] In Greek mythology, Iolaus was a Theban hero, and the nephew of Heracles, accompanying him on some of his Labors. [15] See, for example, 2 Kings 18:15, 16.

41 views3 comments

Recent Posts

See All

댓글 3개

Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
2023년 4월 10일

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening: '"Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength."—Isaiah 26:4

Seeing that we have such a God to trust to, let us rest upon him with all our weight; let us resolutely drive out all unbelief, and endeavour to get rid of doubts and fears, which so much mar our comfort; since there is no excuse for fear where God is the foundation of our trust. A loving parent would be sorely grieved if his child could not trust him; and how ungenerous, how unkind is our conduct when we put so little confidence in our heavenly Father who has never failed us, and who never will. It were well…


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
2023년 4월 10일

Matthew Henry: 'Two things David begged of Ahimelech, bread and a sword.

He wanted a sword. Persons of quality, though officers of the army, did not then wear their swords so constantly as now they do, else surely David would not have been without one. It was a wonder that Jonathan did not furnish him with his, as he had before done, 1 Samuel 18:4. However, it happened that he had now no weapons with him, the reason of which he pretends to be because he came away in haste, 1 Samuel 21:8. Those that are furnished with the sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith cannot be disarmed of them, nor need they, at any time, to…


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
2023년 4월 10일

Study 1 Samuel in detail with the Illustrious Matthew Poole!

bottom of page