For several months after the incident in 1 Samuel chapter 24, Saul allowed David to live peacefully in southern Judah. David had remarried, and his men had found work as guards there. It seemed as if Saul had forgotten his anger towards David.
Then the inhabitants of Ziph (called Ziphites), who caused trouble for David in 1 Samuel 23:19-20, began to cause trouble for him again. Ziph was near to Maon, where Nabal had lived (25:2). It is likely, therefore, that the inhabitants of Ziph were relatives of Nabal. Perhaps they were now angry with David about what had happened to Nabal. Or perhaps they were angry that David had married Abigail, Nabalís widow.
These men went to Saul, and they reminded him about his anger towards David. They told him where David was now living. They urged Saul to come and to kill David.
Saulís usual army had 3000 men, as 1 Samuel 13:2 and 1 Samuel 24:2 show. These men were the skilled soldiers who were constantly fighting on Saulís behalf (14:52). Saulís decision to bring this army into the region was a very serious matter for David. David could see that he would be unable to remain in Israel (27:1). It was too dangerous for David to be there when Saulís attitudes could change so quickly. At their last meeting, Saul had been friendly towards David (24:16-20). Now the inhabitants of Ziph had persuaded Saul to become Davidís enemy again (26:19).
David had no desire to fight Saul or his army. Instead, David was thinking about how he and his men could safely leave Israel.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.