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Study information for Theocratic Ministry School
Bible reading: 1 Samuel 23-25 (8 min.)
1 SAMUEL 23:6
“Now when A•biʹa•thar the son of A•himʹe•lech ran away to David at Keiʹlah, he had an ephʹod with him.”
*** it-1 p. 18 Abiathar ***
Only Abiathar escaped. He fled to David, himself a fugitive, evidently at Keilah, several miles to the SW. David, feeling a certain personal responsibility for the tragedy, told Abiathar: “I well knew on that day, because Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would without fail tell Saul. I personally have wronged every soul of the house of your father. Just dwell with me. Do not be afraid, for whoever looks for my soul looks for your soul, for you are one needing protection with me.”—1Sa 22:12-23; 23:6.
Abiathar now traveled with David during the remainder of his outlawed state and served as priest for David’s forces. First Samuel 23:6 shows that Abiathar had brought with him an ephod, and while the priests in general wore an ephod of linen (1Sa 22:18), verses 9-12 of chapter 23 indicate that this was apparently the ephod of Abiathar’s father, the high priest, containing the Urim and Thummim.
*** it-1 p. 736 Ephod, I ***
The ephod that Abiathar the priest carried from the sanctuary at Nob to David’s camp was likely the ephod of the high priest, since Doeg had killed Abiathar’s father, High Priest Ahimelech, and the underpriests with him. (1Sa 22:16-20; 23:6) David had Abiathar bring the ephod near so that he could inquire of Jehovah as to what course of action to take.—1Sa 23:9-12; 30:7, 8.
1 SAMUEL 23:9
“When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to A•biʹa•thar the priest: “Bring the ephʹod here.””
*** it-2 p. 1143 Urim and Thummim ***
David called upon Abiathar to employ the Urim and the Thummim when Abiathar, after escaping the slaughter of the priests of Nob in which his father died, came to David with the ephod. Apparently this was the ephod of the high priest.—1Sa 22:19, 20; 23:6-15.
1 SAMUEL 23:17
“He said to him: “Do not be afraid, for my father Saul will not find you; you will be king over Israel, and I will become second to you; and my father Saul also knows that.””
*** w93 12/1 p. 24 par. 19 Happy Are the Humble ***
So how did Jonathan respond when, in the course of events, it was apparent that Jehovah was blessing David and that he, not Jonathan, would succeed Saul as king of Israel? Did Jonathan feel jealous or envious? Not at all! Because of his great love for David, he could say, as we read at 1 Samuel 23:17: “Do not be afraid; for the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you yourself will be king over Israel, and I myself shall become second to you; and Saul my father also has knowledge to that effect.” Jonathan’s great love for David caused him humbly to accept what he perceived to be God’s will as to who was to succeed his father as king of Israel.
1 SAMUEL 23:19
“The men of Ziph later went up to Saul at Gibʹe•ah and said: “Is not David hiding near us in the places difficult to approach at Hoʹresh, on the hill of Hach•iʹlah, which is south of Je•shiʹmon?”
*** it-1 p. 1030 Hand ***
Directions. The Hebrew expressions for “right hand” (Heb., ya•minʹ) and “left hand” (Heb., semoʼlʹ) are also translated “south” and “north,” respectively (Ge 14:15; Ps 89:12), since directions were reckoned from the standpoint of a person facing the E. Hence, S would be to his right.—1Sa 23:19, 24.
1 SAMUEL 23:29
“Then David made his way up from there and stayed in the places difficult to approach at En-gedʹi.”
*** it-1 p. 728 En-gedi ***
Not only this abundant growth but also the inaccessibility of the region made En-gedi an ideal hideout for David when he was being pursued by King Saul. Thus the Bible speaks of certain “places difficult to approach at En-gedi.” (1Sa 23:29) Modern-day visitors have similarly depicted the dangerous and precipitous rocky passes in that area.
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