Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 24

Saul makes a judgement between himself and David

1 Samuel 24:16-19

In ancient Israel, the king was also the most important judge in the nation. So when David wanted to appeal against Saulís decision to kill him, he could only appeal to Saul. Nobody else had the authority to make a judgement in that matter.

We might imagine that Saul would be unable to make a fair judgement between himself and David. However, Saul listened carefully to Davidís speech. He thought about Davidís words. Saul decided that David was right. Saul knew that he (Saul) had acted wrongly.

Saulís words in 1 Samuel 24:17 may remind us of Judahís words in Genesis 38:26. Judah too had to make a judgement against himself. It would be hard for Saul to say such a thing; Saul was a proud man.

Saul was man who showed strong emotions. We have seen how he expressed fear (10:21-22), anger (11:6-7) and hate (19:9-17). On this occasion, he showed love towards David. He even called David his Ďsoní. That seems extraordinary; but Saul genuinely cared about the men who served him in a sincere and loyal manner (16:21). Saul admired such qualities. By his loyal attitudes, David had shown love towards Saul, although Saul did not deserve it. Saulís reaction was to show love towards David.

Saul even wept. Perhaps he wept because of the love that he now felt once again towards David. Perhaps he wept because of the way that he had ruined his own life by his jealous attitudes and cruel actions. His tears were a reaction to the great kindness that David had shown him. Saul could only expect his enemy to deal cruelly with him and to kill him. However, David had shown Saul love, and he had even given honour to Saul (see Matthew 5:43-48).

Next part: Saul declares that David will be Israelís next king (1 Samuel 24:20-22)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.