The Meaning of 1 Samuel 23:9 Explained

1 Samuel 23:9

KJV: And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.

YLT: And David knoweth that against him Saul is devising the evil, and saith unto Abiathar the priest, 'Bring nigh the ephod.'

Darby: And when David knew that Saul devised mischief against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring the ephod.

ASV: And David knew that Saul was devising mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.

What does 1 Samuel 23:9 Mean?

Context Summary

1 Samuel 23:1-14 - Success And Safety Under God's Guidance
We learn here that those who are called to walk in the maze of human life need to look constantly upward for direction. "It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Our eyes need to be fixed constantly on the Lord. "Lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." We have no priestly ephod to direct us. But if we roll the responsibility of our way on God and wait for Him, the conviction of His plan will steal into our hearts, and this will be corroborated by the advice of experienced friends and the trend of circumstances.
The recompense of the people of Keilah for David's noble interposition on their behalf was very base, and warns us not to trust in human safeguards, which are so liable to be broken down. The only place of absolute security is in God. Blessed are they whose life is "hid with Christ in God"! David knew that, and in these sad and difficult days, when he was hunted as a partridge on the mountains, he was composing some of his most helpful psalms. See Psalms 11:1-7; Psalms 54:1-7; Psalms 57:1-11. In our own troubled times, how good it is that we should listen to the sweet music of the eternal world which surrounds this one and in which the harried soul may have its abiding-place. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Samuel 23

1  David, enquiring of the Lord by Abiathar, rescues Keilah
7  God showing him the coming of Saul, and the treachery of the Keilites,
13  he escapes from Keilah
14  In Ziph Jonathan comes and comforts him
19  The Ziphites discover him to Saul
25  At Maon he is rescued from Saul by the invasion of the Philistines
29  He dwells at En Gedi

What do the individual words in 1 Samuel 23:9 mean?

And when knew David that against him Saul plotted evil and he said to Abiathar the priest bring here the ephod -
וַיֵּ֣דַע דָּוִ֔ד כִּ֣י עָלָ֔יו שָׁא֖וּל מַחֲרִ֣ישׁ הָרָעָ֑ה וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ אֶל־ אֶבְיָתָ֣ר הַכֹּהֵ֔ן הַגִּ֖ישָׁה הָאֵפֽוֹד ס

וַיֵּ֣דַע  And  when  knew 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: דָּעָה 
Sense: to know.
דָּוִ֔ד  David 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: דָּוִד  
Sense: youngest son of Jesse and second king of Israel.
כִּ֣י  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: כִּי 
Sense: that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since.
עָלָ֔יו  against  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.
שָׁא֖וּל  Saul 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: שָׁאוּל  
Sense: a Benjamite, son of Kish, and the st king of Israel.
מַחֲרִ֣ישׁ  plotted 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Participle, masculine singular
Root: חָרַשׁ 
Sense: to cut in, plough, engrave, devise.
הָרָעָ֑ה  evil 
Parse: Article, Adjective, feminine singular
Root: רַע 
Sense: bad, evil.
וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙  and  he  said 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
אֶבְיָתָ֣ר  Abiathar 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֶבְיָתָר  
Sense: priest, son of Ahitub (Ahimelech), faithful to David, but later rebelled with Adonijah.
הַכֹּהֵ֔ן  the  priest 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: כֹּהֵן  
Sense: priest, principal officer or chief ruler.
הַגִּ֖ישָׁה  bring  here 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Imperative, masculine singular, third person feminine singular
Root: נָגַשׁ  
Sense: to draw near, approach.
הָאֵפֽוֹד  the  ephod 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֵפֹד  
Sense: ephod.
ס  - 
Parse: Punctuation