1 Samuel 19
David hits the road, a fugitive
Saul plans to kill David1Saul wanted to kill David. So he discussed it with his officials and with his son Jonathan, who was David’s good friend.
2Jonathan told David. “My father Saul is looking for a way to kill you. Hide somewhere until tomorrow morning and stay alert. 3I’ll take a walk with my father in the field and will try to talk him out of doing this to you. I’ll let you know what he says.”
4Jonathan bragged up David to his father, King Saul. He said, “The king shouldn’t do anything wrong to David. He hasn’t done anything wrong to you. Everything he has done was to help you, not hurt you. 5He risked his life when he fought the Philistine champion. The LORD gave Israel a huge victory that day. You saw it. You cheered it. So, why would you murder this innocent man?”
6Saul took his son’s advice. And he promised, “As sure as the LORD lives, I’ll not kill David.” 7Jonathan told David about it and then brought him to Saul. David resumed his duties for the king.
Saul throws a spear at David again8War broke out again between Israel and the Philistines. David launched a crushing attack, and the Philistines ran away like before.
9Then a dark and depressing spirit  got the best of Saul. David played music to calm the king, who sat with a spear in his hand. 10Saul threw the spear at David, who managed to dodge it. The spear lodged in the wall, and David left, escaping into the night.
Michal helps David escape11Saul sent guards to watch David’s house that night. Saul wanted to kill him in the morning. David’s wife Michal told her husband, “If you don’t get away from here tonight, you’ll be killed in the morning.”
12Michal helped David escape down a high window. That’s how he got away. 13Michal took the statue of an idol  and put it in their bed. She covered it with David’s clothes and some blankets. And she topped the idol’s head with goat hair.
14When Saul told his men to go into the house and arrest David, his wife said, “He’s sick today.”
15The men took her word and reported back to Saul. He ordered them to turn right around and do it again—and to get it right this time. “Bring him here in a bed if you have to. I’m gonna kill him.”
16Saul’s men found the idol in bed, with goat hair on its head. 17Saul asked Michal, “Why did you betray me? You lied to me. You let my enemy slip away and escape.”
David escapes to Samuel18David fled to Samuel in the neighboring town of Ramah.  He told Samuel everything Saul had done to him. Then David and Samuel left Samuel’s house and stayed with a group of prophets camped in a Ramah field. 
19Someone told Saul, “David is at the prophet’s campground in Ramah.” 20Saul sent men to arrest David. When they got to the campground, a group of prophets were prophesying, with Samuel leading them. God’s Spirit took hold of Saul’s men, and they started prophesying, too. 21Saul’s men came back and reported what happened. Saul sent a second team of arresting officers. They ended up prophesying, too. Saul sent a third team, same results. Lots of prophesying.
22Finally, Saul went to Ramah himself. He stopped at a huge cistern  well at Secu,  the lookout point. He asked people there, “Where are Samuel and David?” Someone said, “At the prophet’s campground in Ramah.” 23On his way there, Saul was overtaken by God’s Spirit. He started prophesying right there on the trail, and then the rest of the way to the campground.
24Once Saul got to Ramah, still prophesying, he ripped his clothes off and kept prophesying right there in front of Samuel. He prophesied until he dropped to the ground. He lay there naked all day and all night. That’s why people say, “Has Saul joined the prophets?” 
More literally, an “evil spirit” (raʽ rûaḥ) See the note for 16:14.
The object is a teraphim, but it’s unclear what a teraphim is. “Teraphim” sounds plural, but in this case, it seems there’s just one statue-like object. Bible writers mention teraphim 15 times in the Jewish Bible, the Old Testament. And it’s usually in a bad context. They were family idols when Rachel stole them and fled from her father with her husband Jacob and their family (Genesis 31:19, 34-35). A fair question is, “What was it doing in David’s house?” We could blame it on Michal since she’s the one who used it. But it was David’s house, too. Perhaps there was a limit to his knowledge about Jewish law, given that his main jobs had been to protect sheep, and to kill lions, bears, and Philistines.
Ramah was about two miles north of Saul’s home in Gibeah. That’s in the opposite direction David may have thought Saul would go—to David’s hometown of Bethlehem.
More literally, they moved to naioth, a Hebrew word that means: dwellings, huts, camp. What follows in verse 20 and beyond suggests it was a camp or a community of prophets.
A cistern was a storage pit to collect rainwater or water hauled from a spring or a stream. It was often chiseled out of stone and lined with waterproof plaster. The Hebrew word here can mean more than that, though: bôr. It can mean: pit, well, cistern, and more.
Secu is a Hebrew word that means “watchtower” or a “lookout” area with a good view of the nearby land. The term is related to our idea of “security,” a word we get from a Latin variation: securus.
See the same question in 1 Samuel 10:11. In the context of this new setting, some Bible scholars say the writer probably expects the reader to say, “No, he’s not a prophet. He’s bonkers.”
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