Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 21

Doeg from Edom

1 Samuel 21:7

Samuel had warned Israelís people that a king would take the best things in the country for himself (8:14-17). He would make himself rich, and they would be his slaves.

Before he was king, Saul was just a farm worker on his fatherís farm. Now he had so many sheep that he needed to appoint a powerful man to be in charge of his shepherds (the men who looked after the sheep).

That man was Doeg. As we shall see in 1 Samuel 22:18-19, Doeg was a very powerful and cruel man.

Doeg was from Edom. Edom was a nation on the east side of Israel. Its people were relatives of Israelís people. They established a strong nation long before Saul ruled (Genesis 36:31-43).

At one time, Saul fought a war against Edom. We have no details of that war, but 1 Samuel 14:47 mentions it. Perhaps that was when Saul brought Doeg back from Edom.

Doeg was in Nob because he was unable to leave that place. He had to remain there, in front of God. That seems a strange statement, and it is hard to explain.

People have offered various explanations. Nob was the town where the chief priest lived. Godís sacred tent called the tabernacle was there. Clearly, the correct explanation has a connection to those facts.

One idea is that, perhaps, Doeg had a skin disease. If so, Doeg may have to wait 7 days for a priest to examine it (Leviticus 13:4). However, those were rules for Israelís people and Doeg was a foreigner. Also, that would happen in a separate place, not at Godís house.

Our guess is that Saul sent Doeg to inquire of God about some matter. Perhaps, as in 1 Samuel 14:37, God gave no answer that day, so Doeg had to wait for his answer.

Next part: The sword of Goliath (1 Samuel 21:8-9)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.