Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 22

Abiathar escapes to David

1 Samuel 22:20-23

There was probably much confusion in Nob when Doeg attacked it. However, one young man, Abiathar, managed to think clearly. At once, he entered the house of God and he took the ephod (23:6). (The ephod was a special long shirt that only the chief priest wore. In it were the sacred objects called URIM and THUMMIM that the chief priest used to inquire of God.)

Abiathar realised that he could not go anywhere in Israel safely. He was the son of Ahimelech, whom Doeg had killed. Saul would be looking for Abiathar too, in order to kill him. So Abiathar went to David.

At the death of a chief priest, his son became the next chief priest. So, Abiathar became the chief priest. He was clearly quite young when he began to carry out the duties of a chief priest. More than 40 years later, he would still be serving as chief priest. Even then, he did not die, but Solomon removed his authority (1 Kings 2:26-27).

Abiathar told David the terrible news about how Saul had ordered the deaths of Israelís most important priests. It was this incident that caused David to write Psalm 52. We can see from that Psalm that Davidís trust in God was becoming much stronger.

After a serious incident, most people try to avoid any responsibility for it. David did not do that. David accepted the blame, and he even told Abiathar why. David knew the character of both Saul and Doeg. David had acted foolishly because he put the priests in danger.

David explained those facts to Abiathar in a completely honest and sincere manner. Then, he urged Abiathar to stay with him. They were both in danger now. However, David considered it his duty to keep Abiathar safe.

Next part: David inquires of God about Keilah (1 Samuel 23:1-2)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.