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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

1 Kings (1 Samuel) Chapter 23

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23:1

sa1 23:1

The Philistines, &c. - Probably it was the departure of God and David from Saul, that encouraged the Philistines to make this inroad. When princes begin to persecute God's people and ministers, let them expect nothing but vexation on all sides.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23:4

sa1 23:4

Enquired again - Not for his own, but for his soldiers satisfaction.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23:6

sa1 23:6

Ephod - With the Ephod, the high - priest's Ephod, wherein were the Urim and the Thummim, which when Ahimelech and the rest of the priests went to Saul, were probably left in his hand. This gave him the opportunity both of escaping, whilst Doeg the butcher was killing his brethren, and of bringing away the Ephod, which Saul now was justly deprived of.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23:11

sa1 23:11

The Lord said - From this place it may appear that God's answer by Urim and Thummim, was not by any change in the colour or situation of the precious stones in the breast - plate of the Ephod, but by a voice or suggestion from God to the high - priest. He will - He purposeth to come, if thou continuest here. For still as David's question, so God's answer, is upon supposition.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23:16

sa1 23:16

And strengthened - He comforted and supported him against all his fears, by minding him of God's infallible promises made to him, and his singular providence which hitherto had and still would be with him.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23:17

sa1 23:17

Next to thee - Which he gathered either from David's generosity, and friendship to him; or from some promise made to him by David concerning it. So that the whole imports thus much; I do not look to be king myself (as by my birth I might expect,) but that thou shalt be king (God having so appointed) and I but in a secondary place inferior to thee.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23:18

sa1 23:18

Made a covenant - They then parted, and never came together again, that we find, in this world.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23:19

sa1 23:19

Ziphites - Who were of David's own tribe tho' for this their unnatural carriage to him, he calls them strangers, Psa 54:3.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23:25

sa1 23:25

A rock - That is, into a cave which was in the rock; where at first he might think to hide himself, but upon farther consideration he removed from thence upon Saul's approach.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23:27

sa1 23:27

A messenger, &c. - The wisdom of God is never at a loss for ways, and means to preserve his people.

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23:28

sa1 23:28

Called, &c. - That is, The rock of divisions, because there Saul was separated, and in a manner pulled asunder from David, who was now almost within his reach.

Next: 1 Kings (1 Samuel) Chapter 24