Saul needed to gain the support of his officials and his army commanders to fight against David. He was aware that David was a popular man in Israel. It seemed likely that many important people in Israelís government and army were Davidís friends.
By this time, David was leading a group of 400 men. Many of those men were capable and brave soldiers. They had joined David because they had troubles in Israel. Probably, many of them had suffered because of Saulís anger. However, David always insisted that they must remain loyal to Saul and to Israel (24:7).
Saul gave this important and powerful speech to his officials from the tribe of Benjamin. The tribes were the 12 large family groups in Israel. The tribe of Benjamin was Saulís tribe; many of his most important officials came from it.
Saul wanted to get a powerful reaction from those men. So, he accused them. They were plotting with David against him, he said. They were not loyal to Saul; they were looking for an opportunity to kill him. None of this, of course, was true. Saul said these things to make his officials afraid. They needed to prove that they were loyal to Saul; otherwise Saul could kill them, or he could remove them from their important jobs.
Saul reminded his officials how much they had benefited from his rule. He had made them wealthy and important. He had given them fields and vineyards (fruit gardens). They had become commanders in the army. It was Saul, not David, who gave them these things. Saul had shown special kindness to men from his own tribe. If David were king, he would give wealth and honour to other men, instead of them.
So, Saulís officials must support Saul.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.