Ver. 1. Aphec. Hence they proceeded to Sunam, and attacked Saul, near the fountain, which were all places in the vale of Jezrahel. The sacred writer thus leaves the two armies ready to engage, being intent on giving the particulars of David's history, and only relating the affairs of Saul, &c. in as much as they may refer to him. C.
--- David had retired from the army of the Philistines before Saul went to Endor, and some of the tribe of Manasses went after him, and were present in the battle, in which the Amalecites were slain and plundered. 1 Par. xii. 19. Salien.
AphecAphec 1- (Josh 12:18; N.W. Juda): poss. Merj-Fikieh (Conder). 2- (Josh 19:30, etc.; Aser). 3- (1Sam 4:1; Benjamin): perhaps Qastûl. 4- (1 Sam 29:1; Issachar): El-'Afûleh, N.W. of Zerâ 'în. 5- (1Ki 20:26, etc.) Assyr.: Apqu: prob. Fîq, E. of the Lake of Tiberias. --- Aphec. A place of this name was in the tribe of Aser, another in that of Juda. --- Aphec, beyond Antilibanus, from which city the Israelites could not drive the Chanaanites. Judg. i. 31. Here the kings of Syria assembled their forces to attack the people of God, 1 K. xx. 26. Profane authors speak of the temple of Venus Aphachitis, who appeared in the eyes of the superstitious to shed tears. The city lay between Biblus and Heliopolis. Zozimus, i. 58. Euseb. (laud. Const.) Macrobius i. 21. --- Aphec, belonging to the tribe of Aser, though it does not appear that they ever obtained possession of it. Jos. xix. 30. A subterraneous fire and earthquake have caused the city to sink; and a lake, nine miles in circumference, now occupies its place. The ruins may still be discerned in its waters. It is about two hours walk from the plains of Balbec, (Paul Lucas. Levant i. 20.) at the foot of Libanus. The waters must be very thick and bituminous, if what is related by the ancients be true; namely, that the presents, offered to the Aphacite goddess, were tried by them, and deemed agreeable to her, if they sunk; as wool would do, while tiles, and often metals, would swim. C. --- Adrichomius places this Aphec on the great plain of Esdrelon, not far from Jezrahel. M
Ver. 2. Thousands, making the troops pass in review, as the Hebrew insinuates. Their army seems to have been divided, in the same manner as that of the Israelites, each company of 10, 50, &c. having its respective officer, under the five lords.
--- Were. Heb. "passed." David's band was connected with the troops of Achis, yet so that they might be easily distinguished by their dress, &c. C.
--- The Roman Triarii, who were esteemed the bravest soldiers, occupied the rear. M.
--- Josephus gives us to understand that Achis was the commander in chief. Ant. vi. 14. T.
Ver. 3. Know David. It seems they were not unacquainted with him, since they knew that Achis had given him a place, (v. 4,) or city. H.
--- But they prudently judged that it would be very hazardous to employ him on this occasion. Providence thus brought him honourably out of the scrape, as he could not have remained even inactive, among the troops of the Philistines, without rendering himself suspected both to them and to his own people. C.
--- Years. Abulensis thinks that Achis told an untruth, to persuade the lords that he had been long witness of David's fidelity. He might also allude to the first time, when he came to his court, or the four months specified C. xxvii. 9, might fall into different years. Sept. "he has been with us days, this is the second year." M.
--- Syr. "two years (Arab. "one year,") and some months." C.
--- The true term was only four months. W.
Ver. 4. Adversary. Heb. Satan, "a calumniator, enemy," &c. C.
--- Tacitus (Hist. iv.) speaking of the Batavian corps, says, "which, being bribed, pretended to be faithful, that it might flee, and become more acceptable after it had betrayed the Romans in the heat of the engagement."
Ver. 6. Lord. Heb. Jehova. H.
--- Achis speaks of the true God, as David was accustomed to do. Salien.
--- Perhaps he adored him, like his other gods; as the Israelites are accused of swearing by the Lord and by Melchom. Soph. i. 5.
--- The pagans often appealed to the gods of those with whom they were treating. C.
Ver. 8. King. He speaks thus that he might not increase the suspicions of the Philistines. M.
--- In the mean time, God called him to fight against Amalec, and to defend his own property, which was actually, or the next day, taken from Siceleg; (H.) so that nothing could have been more desirable to him, than to be thus dismissed with applause. Salien.
Ver. 9. Angel of God, equally incapable of any meanness. The pagans admitted the existence of good and of evil spirits. Sanctius. This exaggerated compliment occurs, Gen. xxxiii. 10. 2 K. xiv. 17. and xix. 27.
Ver. 10. Thy Lord. He may allude to Saul, (v. 3,) or to himself, (C. v. 8,) or to God, as David was under obligations to all three. H.
--- Light, that none might know or be dejected, in the rest of the army. M.