Larry Hunt's Bible Commentary

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I Samuel 24

Chapter 24

 

v. 4: David’s merciful reaction is difficult to explain.  David, not Saul, is the LORD’s anointed at this time.  When Samuel speaks to Saul in chapter fifteen, he says, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today,” and Samuel anoints David in chapter sixteen, so it seems that David had a right to kill Saul, and it does not seem that David had any specific injunction from God against killing Saul.  Consider also the fact that Saul’s helplessness here could easily be interpreted as a sign that God has delivered him up to David.  In addition to this, David would like for some vengeful act to be taken against Saul (v. 12); nevertheless, David does not harm him.  His conscience (v. 5) tells him not to, even though no other thing specifically does.   Apparently, as a man after God’s own heart, he did well to listen to his conscience.  I believe God honors David’s decision by having him presented nobly in this account and by answering David’s request (in v. 12) for judgment.

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