David was staying at Horesh, which was a few miles south of Hebron. The name ĎHoreshí means a forest. Although only a little rain falls in that area, some trees still managed to grow there. That is why the place is called both a Ďforestí and a Ďdesertí. At this time, Davidís men had only just begun to move into the dry areas of the country. Later they would move further into the desert.
In the meantime, however, they clearly considered that the forests were good places to hide (compare 1 Samuel 22:5).
David had to hide, because Saul was again trying to kill him. With a group of soldiers, Saul was searching across the region to try to find David. However, God was protecting David. So, Saul was unable to find David.
Saulís latest efforts to catch David were secret. Originally, David knew nothing about them; probably he did not even know that Saul was in the same region. David discovered that while he was at Horesh. However, Saul still could not find David.
We may ask what Jonathan was doing at this time. Clearly, he had not joined Saulís men to search with him for David. For many years, Saul had told Jonathan about all his (Saulís) secret plans (20:2). That stopped when Saul began to make plans to kill David. Saul was aware of Jonathanís friendship with David, so he kept these plans secret from Jonathan (20:3).
Jonathan had discovered Saulís plans and he told David. Then Jonathan returned to Saulís town, Gibeah (20:42). Later, Saul told his officials that Jonathan was encouraging David to plot against Saul (22:8). Clearly, that was untrue. However, it shows us that Saul and Jonathan did not have a good relationship at this time. Jonathan still cared about David. In fact, although Saul could not find David at Horesh, Jonathan found David there.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.