The Meaning of 1 Samuel 22:17 Explained

1 Samuel 22:17

KJV: And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.

YLT: And the king saith to runners, those standing by him, 'Turn round, and put to death the priests of Jehovah, because their hand also is with David, and because they have known that he is fleeing, and have not uncovered mine ear;' and the servants of the king have not been willing to put forth their hand to come against the priests of Jehovah.

Darby: And the king said to the couriers that stood about him, Turn and put the priests of Jehovah to death; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not inform me. But the servants of the king were not willing to put forth their hand to fall on the priests of Jehovah.

ASV: And the king said unto the guard that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of Jehovah; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew that he fled, and did not disclose it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of Jehovah.

What does 1 Samuel 22:17 Mean?

Context Summary

1 Samuel 22:11-23 - The Slaughter Of David's Friends
The Apostle James says that "the tongue is set on fire of hell." Surely this was the case when Saul, encamped on the height above Gibeah, scattered his biting words like firebrands. They met with a ready response in Doeg's evil heart, and the two perpetrated one of the most atrocious tragedies of history.
This black act-the blackest of Saul's life-was not to be extenuated, although it executed the malediction, uttered long before in the days of Eli, against the latter's evil house. That Saul's footmen refused to execute the king's sentence should have made Him hesitate. Doeg's tale was true in its statement, but false in its implications.
There is nothing to alleviate the lurid horror of this incident, except David's welcome to Abiathar. Are not such words addressed by our Lord to all who escape to Him? "Abide with me" may be understood in the light of John 15:1-27. With Christ there is safeguard. "Your life is hid with Christ in God." Fear not, trembling soul; Christ stands surety for thee! See Psalms 52:1-9, where David predicts Doeg's fate, and contrasts it with his own happy lot. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Samuel 22

1  Companies resort unto David at Adullam
3  At Mizpeh he commends his parents unto the king of Moab
5  Admonished by Gad, he comes to Hareth,
6  Saul going to pursue him, complains of his servants' unfaithfulness
9  Doeg accuses Ahimelech
11  Saul commands to kill the priests
17  The footmen refusing, Doeg executes it
20  Abiathar escaping, brings David the news

What do the individual words in 1 Samuel 22:17 mean?

And said the king to the guards who stood about him Turn and kill the priests of Yahweh because also their hand [is] with David and because they knew when fled he and not did tell it - - to me But not would the servants of the king lift their hands to strike the priests of Yahweh -
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר הַמֶּ֡לֶךְ לָרָצִים֩ הַנִּצָּבִ֨ים עָלָ֜יו סֹ֥בּוּ וְהָמִ֣יתוּ ׀ כֹּהֲנֵ֣י יְהוָ֗ה כִּ֤י גַם־ יָדָם֙ עִם־ דָּוִ֔ד וְכִ֤י יָֽדְעוּ֙ כִּֽי־ בֹרֵ֣חַ ה֔וּא וְלֹ֥א גָל֖וּ אֶת־ [אזנו] (אָזְנִ֑י) וְלֹֽא־ אָב֞וּ עַבְדֵ֤י הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ לִשְׁלֹ֣חַ יָדָ֔ם לִפְגֹ֖עַ בְּכֹהֲנֵ֥י יְהוָֽה ס

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר  And  said 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
הַמֶּ֡לֶךְ  the  king 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: מֶלֶךְ 
Sense: king.
לָרָצִים֩  to  the  guards 
Parse: Preposition-l, Article, Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine plural
Root: רוּץ 
Sense: to run.
הַנִּצָּבִ֨ים  who  stood 
Parse: Article, Verb, Nifal, Participle, masculine plural
Root: הֻצַּב 
Sense: to stand, take one’s stand, stand upright, be set (over), establish.
עָלָ֜יו  about  him 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
סֹ֥בּוּ  Turn 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperative, masculine plural
Root: סָבַב  
Sense: to turn, turn about or around or aside or back or towards, go about or arou nd, surround, encircle, change direction.
וְהָמִ֣יתוּ ׀  and  kill 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hifil, Imperative, masculine plural
Root: מוּת  
Sense: to die, kill, have one executed.
כֹּהֲנֵ֣י  the  priests 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: כֹּהֵן  
Sense: priest, principal officer or chief ruler.
יְהוָ֗ה  of  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
כִּ֤י  because 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: כִּי 
Sense: that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since.
גַם־  also 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: גַּם  
Sense: also, even, indeed, moreover, yea.
יָדָם֙  their  hand  [is] 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct, third person masculine plural
Root: יָד  
Sense: hand.
דָּוִ֔ד  David 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: דָּוִד  
Sense: youngest son of Jesse and second king of Israel.
וְכִ֤י  and  because 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Conjunction
Root: כִּי 
Sense: that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since.
יָֽדְעוּ֙  they  knew 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: דָּעָה 
Sense: to know.
בֹרֵ֣חַ  fled 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: בָּרַח 
Sense: to go through, flee, run away, chase, drive away, put to flight, reach, shoot (extend), hurry away.
וְלֹ֥א  and  not 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adverb, Negative particle
Root: הֲלֹא 
Sense: not, no.
גָל֖וּ  did  tell  it 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: גָּלָה  
Sense: to uncover, remove.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
[אזנו]  - 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct, third person masculine singular
(אָזְנִ֑י)  to  me 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct, first person common singular
Root: אֹזֶן  
Sense: ear, as part of the body.
וְלֹֽא־  But  not 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adverb, Negative particle
Root: הֲלֹא 
Sense: not, no.
עַבְדֵ֤י  the  servants 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: עֶבֶד  
Sense: slave, servant.
הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙  of  the  king 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: מֶלֶךְ 
Sense: king.
לִשְׁלֹ֣חַ  lift 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Qal, Infinitive construct
Root: שָׁלַח  
Sense: to send, send away, let go, stretch out.
יָדָ֔ם  their  hands 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct, third person masculine plural
Root: יָד  
Sense: hand.
לִפְגֹ֖עַ  to  strike 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Qal, Infinitive construct
Root: פָּגַע  
Sense: to encounter, meet, reach, entreat, make intercession.
בְּכֹהֲנֵ֥י  the  priests 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: כֹּהֵן  
Sense: priest, principal officer or chief ruler.
יְהוָֽה  of  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
ס  - 
Parse: Punctuation