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1 Samuel 22:6 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him: now Saul was sitting in Gibeah, under the tamarisk-tree in Ramah, with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— When Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that [were] with him, (now Saul abode in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants [were] standing about him;)
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been discovered. Now Saul was sitting in Gibeah, under the tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing around him.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— When Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that [were] with him, (now Saul abode in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants [were] standing about him;)
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him. Now Saul was sitting in Gibeah under the tamarisk upon the height, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing by him.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And, when Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him—Saul, being seated in Gibeah under the tamarisk-tree in Ramah, with his spear in his hand, and all his servants stationed by him,—
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Saul heareth that David hath become known, and the men who [are] with him, and Saul is abiding in Gibeah, under the grove in Ramah, and his spear [is] in his hand, and all his servants standing by him.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And SauI heard that David was seen, and the men that were with him. Now whilst Saul abode in Gabaa, and was in the wood, which is by Rama, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— When Saul heard that Dauid was discouered, and the men that [were] with him: (now Saul abode in Gibeah vnder a tree in Ramah, hauing his speare in his hand, and all his seruants were standing about him.)
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Saul heard that David was discovered, and his men with him: now Saul dwelt in the hill below the field that is in Ramah{gr.Rama}, and his spear [was] in his hand, and all his servants stood near him.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— When Shaul heard that Dawid was discovered, and the men that [were] with him, (now Shaul abode in Givah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants [were] standing about him;)

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
When l שָׁאוּל 7586
{7586} Prime
Passive participle of H7592; asked; Shaul, the name of an Edomite and two Israelites.
heard 8085
{8085} Prime
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
that x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
Dwi דָּוִד 1732
{1732} Prime
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
was discovered, 3045
{3045} Prime
A primitive root; to know (properly to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively instruction, designation, punishment, etc.).
<8738> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 1429
and the men y582
[0582] Standard
From H0605; properly a mortal (and thus differeing from the more dignified H0120); hence a man in general (singly or collectively). It is often unexpressed in the English Version, especially when used in apposition with another word.
(0376) Complement
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
that x834
(0834) Complement
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
[were] with x854
(0854) Complement
Probably from H0579; properly nearness (used only as a preposition or adverb), near; hence generally with, by, at, among, etc.
him, (now l שָׁאוּל 7586
{7586} Prime
Passive participle of H7592; asked; Shaul, the name of an Edomite and two Israelites.
abode 3427
{3427} Prime
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry.
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
in Giv` גִּבעָה 1390
{1390} Prime
The same as H1389; Gibah; the name of three places in Palestine.
under x8478
(8478) Complement
From the same as H8430; the bottom (as depressed); only adverbially below (often with prepositional prefix underneath), in lieu of, etc.
a tree 815
{0815} Prime
From a root of uncertain signification; a tamarisk tree; by extension a grove of any kind.
in Rm רָמָה, 7414
{7414} Prime
The same as H7413; Ramah, the name of four places in Palestine.
having his spear 2595
{2595} Prime
From H2583; a lance (for thrusting, like pitching a tent).
in his hand, 3027
{3027} Prime
A primitive word; a hand (the open one (indicating power, means, direction, etc.), in distinction from H3709, the closed one); used (as noun, adverb, etc.) in a great variety of applications, both literally and figuratively, both proximate and remote.
and all x3605
(3605) Complement
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
his servants 5650
{5650} Prime
From H5647; a servant.
[were] standing 5324
{5324} Prime
A primitive root; to station, in various applications (literally or figuratively).
<8737> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 793
about x5921
(5921) Complement
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Samuel 22:6

_ _ Saul abode ... under a tree in Ramah — literally, “under a grove on a hill.” Oriental princes frequently sit with their court under some shady canopy in the open air. A spear was the early scepter.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Samuel 22:6-19

_ _ We have seen the progress of David's troubles; now here we have the progress of Saul's wickedness. He seems to have laid aside the thoughts of all other business and to have devoted himself wholly to the pursuit of David. He heard at length, by the common fame of the country, that David was discovered (that is, that he appeared publicly and enlisted men into his service); and hereupon he called all his servants about him, and sat down under a tree, or grove, in the high place at Gibeah, with his spear in his hand for a sceptre, intimating the force by which he designed to rule, and the present temper of his spirit, or its distemper rather, which was to kill all that stood in his way. In this bloody court of inquisition,

_ _ I. Saul seeks for information against David and Jonathan, 1 Samuel 22:7, 1 Samuel 22:8. Two things he was willing to suspect and desirous to see proved, that he might wreak his malice upon two of the best and most excellent men he had about him: — 1. That his servant David did lie in wait for him and seek his life, which was utterly false. He really sought David's life, and therefore pretended that David sought his life, though he could not charge him with any overt act that gave the least shadow of suspicion. 2. That his son Jonathan stirred him up to do so, and was confederate with him in compassing and imagining the death of the king. This also was notoriously false. A league of friendship there was between David and Jonathan, but no conspiracy in any evil thing; none of the articles of their covenant carried any mischief to Saul. If Jonathan had agreed, after the death of Saul, to resign to David, in compliance with the revealed will of God, what harm would that do to Saul? Yet thus the best friends to their prince and country have often been odiously represented as enemies to both; even Christ himself was so. Saul took it for granted that Jonathan and David were in a plot against him, his crown and dignity, and was displeased with his servants that they did not give him information of it, supposing that they could not but know it; whereas really there was no such thing. See the nature of a jealous malice, and its pitiful arts to extort discoveries of things that are not. He looked upon all about him as his enemies because they did not say just as he said; and told them, (1.) That they were very unwise, and acted against the interest both of their tribe (for they were Benjamites, and David, if he were advanced, would bring the honour into Judah which was now in Benjamin) and of their families; for David would never be able to give them such rewards as he had for them, of fields and vineyards, and such preferments, to be colonels and captains. (2.) That they were unfaithful: You have conspired against me. What a continual agitation and torment are those in that give way to a spirit of jealousy! If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked (Proverbs 29:12), that is, they seem to be so in his eyes. (3.) That they were very unkind. He thought to work upon their good nature with that word: There is none of you that is so much as sorry for me, or solicitous for me, as some read it. By these reasonings he stirred them up to act vigorously, as the instruments of his malice, that they might take away his suspicions of them.

_ _ II. Though he could not learn any thing from his servants against David or Jonathan, yet he got information from Doeg against Ahimelech the priest.

_ _ 1. An indictment is brought against Ahimelech by Doeg, and he himself is evidence against him, 1 Samuel 22:9, 1 Samuel 22:10. Perhaps Doeg, as bad as he was, would not have given this information if Saul had not extorted it, for had he been very forward to it he would have done it sooner: but now he thinks they must be all deemed traitors if none of them be accusers, and therefore tells Saul what kindness Ahimelech had shown to David, which he himself happened to be an eye-witness of. He had enquired of God for him (which the priest used not to do but for public persons and about public affairs) and he had furnished him with bread and a sword. All this was true; but it was not the whole truth. He ought to have told Saul further that David had made Ahimelech believe he was then going upon the king's business; so that what service he did to David, however it proved, was designed in honour to Saul, and this would have cleared Ahimelech, whom Saul had in his power, and would have thrown all the blame upon David, who was out of his reach.

_ _ 2. Ahimelech is seized, or summoned rather to appear before the king, and upon this indictment he is arraigned. The king sent for him and all the priests who then attended the sanctuary, whom he supposed to be aiding and abetting; and they, not being conscious of any guilt, and therefore not apprehensive of any danger, came all of them to the king (1 Samuel 22:11), and none of them attempted to make an escape, or to flee to David for shelter, as they would have done now that he had set up his standard if they had been as much in his interests as Saul suspected they were. Saul arraigns Ahimelech himself with the utmost disdain and indignation (1 Samuel 22:12): Hear now, thou son of Ahitub; not so much as calling him by his name, much less giving him his title of distinction. By this it appears that he had cast off the fear of God, that he showed no respect at all to his priests, but took a pleasure in affronting them and insulting them. Ahimelech holds up his hand at the bar in those words: “Here I am, my lord, ready to hear my charge, knowing I have done no wrong.” He does not object to the jurisdiction of Saul's court, nor insist upon an exemption as a priest, no, not though he is a high priest, to which office that of the judge, or chief magistrate, had not long since been annexed; but Saul having now the sovereignty vested in him, in things pertaining to the king, even the high priest sets himself on a level with common Israelites. Let every soul be subject (even clergymen) to the higher powers.

_ _ 3. His indictment is read to him (1 Samuel 22:13), that he, as a false traitor, had joined himself with the son of Jesse in a plot to depose and murder the king. “His design” (says Saul) “was to rise up against me, and thou didst assist him with victuals and arms.” See what bad constructions the most innocent actions are liable to, how unsafe those are that live under a tyrannical government, and what reason we have to be thankful for the happy constitution and administration of the government we are under.

_ _ 4. To this indictment he pleads, Not guilty, 1 Samuel 22:14, 1 Samuel 22:15. He owns the fact, but denies that he did it traitorously or maliciously, or with any design against the king. He pleads that he was so far from knowing of any quarrel between Saul and David that he really took David to have been then as much in favour at court as ever he had been. Observe, He does not plead that David had told him an untruth, and with that had imposed upon him, though really it was so, because he would not proclaim the weakness of so good a man, no, not for his own vindication, especially to Saul, who sought all occasions against him; but he insists upon the settled reputation David had as the most faithful of all the servants of Saul, the honour the king had put upon him in marrying his daughter to him, the use the king had often made of him, and the trust he had reposed on him: “He goes at thy bidding, and is honourable in thy house, and therefore any one would think it a meritorious piece of service to the crown to show him respect, so far from apprehending it to be a crime.” He pleads that he had been wont to enquire of God for him when he was sent by Saul upon any expedition, and did it now as innocently as ever he had done it. He protests his abhorrence of the thought of being in a plot against the king: “Be it far from me. I mind my own business, and meddle not with state matters.” He begs the king's favour: “Let him not impute any crime to us;” and concludes with a declaration of his innocency: Thy servant knew nothing of all this. Could any man plead with more evidences of sincerity? Had he been tried by a jury of honest Israelites, he would certainly have been acquitted, for who can find any fault in him? But,

_ _ 5. Saul himself gives judgment against him (1 Samuel 22:16): Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, as a rebel, thou and all thy father's house. What could be more unjust? I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there, Ecclesiastes 3:16. (1.) It was unjust that Saul should himself, himself alone, give judgment in his own cause, without any appeal to judge or prophet, to his privy council, or to a council of war. (2.) That so fair a plea should be overruled and rejected without any reason given, or any attempt to disprove the allegations of it, but purely with a high hand. (3.) That sentence should be passed so hastily and with so much precipitation, the judge taking no time himself to consider of it, nor allowing the prisoner any time to move in arrest of judgment. (4.) That the sentence should be passed not only on Ahimelech, himself, who was the only person accused by Doeg, but on all his father's house, against whom nothing was alleged: must the children be put to death for the fathers? (5.) That the sentence should be pronounced in passion, not for the support of justice, but for the gratification of his brutish rage.

_ _ 6. He issues out a warrant (a verbal warrant only) for the immediate execution of this bloody sentence.

_ _ (1.) He ordered his footmen to be the executioners of this sentence, but they refused, 1 Samuel 22:17. Hereby he intended to put a further disgrace upon the priests; they may not die by the hands of the men of war (as 1 Kings 2:29) or his usual ministers of justice, but his footmen must triumph over them, and wash their hands in their blood. [1.] Never was the command of a prince more barbarously given: Turn and slay the priests of the Lord. This is spoken with such an air of impiety as can scarcely be paralleled. Had he seemed to forget their sacred office or relation to God, and taken no notice of that, he would thereby have intimated some regret that men of that character should fall under his displeasure; but to call them the priests of the Lord, when he ordered his footmen to cut their throats, looked as if, upon that very account, he hated them. God having rejected him, and ordered another to be anointed in his room, he seems well pleased with this opportunity of being revenged on the priests of the Lord, since God himself was out of his reach. What wickedness will not the evil spirit hurry men to, when he gets the dominion! He alleged, in his order that which was utterly false and unproved to him, that they knew when David fled; whereas they knew nothing of the matter. But malice and murder are commonly supported with lies. [2.] Never was the command of a prince more honourably disobeyed. The footmen had more sense and grace than their master. Though they might expect to be turned out of their places, if not punished and put to death for their refusal, yet, come on them what would, they would not offer to fall upon the priests of the Lord, such a reverence had they for their office, and such a conviction of their innocence.

_ _ (2.) He ordered Doeg (the accuser) to be the executioner, and he obeyed. One would have thought that the footmen's refusal would awaken Saul's conscience, and that he would not insist upon the doing of a thing so barbarous as that his footmen startled at the thought of it. But his mind was blinded and his heart hardened, and, if they will not do it, the hands of the witness shall be upon the victims, Deuteronomy 17:7. The most bloody tyrants have found out instruments of their cruelty as barbarous as themselves. Doeg is no sooner commanded to fall upon the priests than he does it willingly enough, and, meeting with no resistance, slays with his own hand (for aught that appears) on that same day eighty-five priests that were of the age of ministration, between twenty and fifty, for they wore a linen ephod (1 Samuel 22:18), and perhaps appeared at this time before Saul in their habits, and were slain in them. This (one would think) was enough to satiate the most blood-thirsty; but the horseleech of persecution still cries, “Give, give.” Doeg, by Saul's order no doubt, having murdered the priests, went to their city Nob, and put all to the sword there (1 Samuel 22:19), men, women, and children, and the cattle too. Barbarous cruelty, and such as one cannot think of without horror! Strange that ever it should enter into the heart of man to be so impious, so inhuman! We may see in this, [1.] The desperate wickedness of Saul when the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him. Nothing so vile but those may be hurried to it who have provoked God to give them up to their hearts' lusts. He that was so compassionate as to spare Agag and the cattle of the Amalekites, in disobedience to the command of God, could now, with unrelenting bowels, see the priests of the Lord murdered, and nothing spared of all that belonged to them. For that sin God left him to this. [2.] The accomplishment of the threatenings long since pronounced against the house of Eli; for Ahimelech and his family were descendants from him. Though Saul was unrighteous in doing this, yet God was righteous in permitting it. Now God performed against Eli that at which the ears of those that heard it must needs tingle, as he had told him that he would judge his house for ever 1 Samuel 3:11-13. No word of God shall fall to the ground. [3.] This may be considered as a great judgment upon Israel, and the just punishment of their desiring a king before the time God intended them one. How deplorable was the state of religion at this time in Israel! Though the ark had long been in obscurity, yet it was some comfort to them that they had the altar, and priests to serve at it; but now to see their priests weltering in their own blood, and the heirs of the priesthood too, and the city of the priests made a desolation, so that the altar of God must needs be neglected for want of attendants, and this by the unjust and cruel order of their own king to satisfy his brutish rage — this could not but go to the heart of all pious Israelites, and make them wish a thousand times they had been satisfied with the government of Samuel and his sons. The worst enemies of their nation could not have done them a greater mischief.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Samuel 22:6

Spear — It seems, as an ensign of majesty, for in old times kings carried a spear instead of a sceptre.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Samuel 22:6

When Saul heard that David was (e) discovered, and the men that [were] with him, (now Saul abode in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants [were] standing about him;)

(e) That a great brute came on him.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
or, grove in a high place


1 Samuel 18:10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and [there was] a javelin in Saul's hand.
1 Samuel 19:9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with [his] hand.
1 Samuel 20:33 And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.
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