[Shmuel Alef 24 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]

1 And it came to pass, when Saul [Sha'ul] was returned from following the Philistines [Pelishtim], that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi [Hinei, Dovid is in the midbar of Ein-Gedi].

2 Then Saul took 3 000 [Sha'ul took shloshet alafim] chosen men out of all Israel [kol Yisroel], and went to seek [search for] David [Dovid] and his men [anashim] upon the rocks of the wild goats [(the area known as) Wild Goat Rocks].


Saul reigned several years after David's nomination to the kingdom. They were years of chagrin, envy, and mortification to Saul. Naturally so to such a man. Had he been sensitive to the divine will, it would have been otherwise: for such a man would have recognised and acquiesced in the appointment of David with alacrity, and even zeal.

But a man who has not God before his eyes, but finds enjoyment in a position or occupation of honour in itself, is the man that is unfit to fill it for God, and certain to become the subject of consuming jealousy of others.

A man who seeks to do the will of God is not liable to be affected in this way: for it is his joy to see the work of God done, by whomsoever, so that it be the work of God, and not the work of the devil under a guise, as it is always liable to be in this age of the devil's supremacy-a mere ministering to self-gratification, instead of the doing of those things that are well-pleasing to God.

Saul was a merely natural man, and therefore he "eyed David from that day forward," and "sought to slay him." Saul's malady was aggravated by a divine interference with his tranquillity: "an evil spirit from Yahweh troubled him." In this is another glimpse of the visible hand of God at work-a negative and not blessed form of work for Saul, but almost the only form in which he was permitted to know it henceforward; for-

"When Saul enquired of Yahweh, Yahweh answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets," the divers manners in which he signified his mind supernaturally in that age (1 Samuel 28: 6).

Visible Hand of God Ch 23