Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 23

Saul tries to bless the Ziphites

1 Samuel 23:21-25

When the Ziphites (inhabitants of Ziph) offered to hand David over to Saul, Saul was very grateful. Saul even tried to bless them in the name of the Lord. That is, he asked God to show special kindness to them.

Saul should not have said such a thing. He knew that the Ziphites were helping him to carry out a wicked scheme. It is against Godís law to use his name in vain (in other words, to use Godís name in a manner that is not right and proper) - Deuteronomy 5:11. Neither Saul nor the Ziphites would gain any benefit when Saul blessed them in this evil manner. Godís judgement is always against people who do evil things.

Saulís reply means that the Ziphites had not yet given enough information for Saul to reward them. Saul already knew that David was in the region of Ziph (23:14-15). The Ziphites had only told Saul about a place where someone had recently seen David. That information was not good enough for Saul - David was moving his camp constantly.

So, Saul told the Ziphites to get more information about Davidís movements. They should use their knowledge of the local area and they should watch David constantly. If they did that, then there could be a good reward for them. Saul would pay them well for the right information.

So, the Ziphites began to watch David on Saulís behalf. With their help, Saul returned to the region to search for David. David and his men moved south from Ziph, that is, further into the desert. They moved into the desert near Maon. Maon was about 7 miles (10 kilometres) south of Ziph.

Next part: How God saved David from Saul at Maon (1 Samuel 23:26-29)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.