First Samuel 26

General Abner

  • Saul’s General
  • Saul’s Cousin (Saul’s father, Kish, and Abner’s father, Ner, where brothers.)
  • Abner was with Saul when David was introduced to him before Goliath battle (1 Sam. 17:55-58)


General Joab

  • David’s General
  • Joab’s mother, Zeruiah, was David’s older sister.
  • Joab’s two brothers where:
    • Abishai (oldest)
    • Asahel (youngest) 1 Chr.2:16



  • First appears in 1 Sam. 26
  • 2 Sam. 16:9 Abishai wants to kill Shimei for cursing and throwing stones at David.
  • 2 Sam. 18:2 Abishai is over 1/3 of David’s army during Absolom’s rebellion. (Joab and Ittai each had 1/3.
  • 2 Sam. 23:18 kills 300 men with his spear and was the chief of David’s Thirty mighty men.
  • 2 Sam. 21:16 Abishai killed Ishbi-Benob, a descendant of Rapha (a giant) who had trapped David when he was an older man.  Abishai rescued David by killing the giant Ishbi-Benob.


In chapter 24 David restrained himself when he had the chance to kill Saul

In chapter 26 David put himself in a position to kill Saul.


David will rebuke Abishai for wanting to kill Saul.  David will rebuke Abner for not protecting Saul.




6-12 David and Abishai in Saul’s Camp

  • Ahimelech the Hittite mentioned only here is on of the large number of mercenaries joining David
  • “Deep Sleep” brought on by the Lord
  • The Spear of Saul
    • Saul always appears with a spear
    • Tried to kill David and Jonathan with it
    • Abishai desires to kill Saul with his own spear stuck in the ground by Saul
  • Abishai

o         Sees this as an opportunity of deliverance from God

o         Often in scriptures wants to solve the problem by killing someone

o         Confident about his own strength. “. . .pin him to the ground with one thrust. . .I won’t strike him twice.”


·          Cutting Saul’s robe was a sign of taking his authority as king.

·          Saul’s spear symbolized death. Saul’s water jug symbolized life.


13-16 David rebukes Abner

·          David’s question seems to indicate it took awhile to wake up Saul and his troops: “Aren’t you going to answer me?”

·          David challenges Abner with three questions:

o         You’re a man, aren’t you?

o         Who is like you in Israel?

o         Why didn’t you guard your lord the king?

·          Conclusion: “As surely as the lord lives, you. . .deserve to die.”


17-25   A Conversation between Saul and David

·          Saul addresses David as “my son” in the first (17), middle (21), and last (25) verse.

·          David addresses Saul as “my lord the king” and as “my father” in chapter 24.  Here in chapter 26 he only calls him “my lord the king.” (17, 19) probably because:

o         Michal has been taken from him

o         Saul has already conceded the crown to David in chapter 24:20

·          In verse 19 David claims his innocence and gives two reasons why Saul is pursuing David:

o         The Lord incited Saul. . . . . so David asks that God accept an offering

o         Men have lied to Saul about David. . . . . may they be cursed before the Lord.

·          Driven from the Lord’s inheritance is a reference from being driven from the land of Israel.

·          Forced to “serve other gods” is understood when it is considered that Israel worshipped their God in their land.  To leave the land meant to leave the god of  that land.

·          In verse 20 David points out the ridiculousness of the greatest man in Israel chasing a “bird” in the wilderness. 

·          A partridge was a great runner with great speed when chased.   But the partridge would eventually become exhausted, stop running and be easily knocked down by the hunters stick.

·          Saul’s final words to David are “May you be blessed, . . . you will do great things and surely triumph.”



Chapter 27 David goes to live with the Philistines.