David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.” And the two of them made a covenant before the LORD. David remained at Horesh, and Jonathan went home.
Then the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is south of Jeshimon? Now come down, O king, according to all your heart’s desire to come down, and our part shall be to surrender him into the king’s hand.” And Saul said, “May you be blessed by the LORD, for you have had compassion on me. Go, make yet more sure. Know and see the place where his foot is, and who has seen him there, for it is told me that he is very cunning. See therefore and take note of all the lurking places where he hides, and come back to me with sure information. Then I will go with you. And if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.” And they arose and went to Ziph ahead of Saul.
Comment: The telling of history depends a lot on whose side you are. Here we have four people or groups of people with different views of what is happening.
- David knows that he is being hunted but also has the words of Samuel coming from God. Surely he will fluctuate between trust and fear. Meanwhile he will be very careful and have ‘spies’ watching to see who is in the neighbourhood.
- Those guarding David’s hiding place must have been uncertain as to Jonathan’s motive when they saw him coming. He was probably alone and David’s men would have heard of D & J’s friendship. Jonathan was running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. He knew the character of both Saul and David, and had strong motives to be true to both of them.
- The Ziphites knew that Saul was the king and David a fugitive. I’m guessing but I think that they saw an opportunity to get into favour with the king and maybe get some political handouts.
- Saul didn’t want to spend more time and energy than necessary but definitely wanted David dead. So he followed after these informants into Ziph-land but awaited further news as to exactly where David was to be trapped.
Prayer: Help me not to be two faced but honest and pure in my motives before You, O God.