If your father at all misses me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.
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George Leo Haydock
Tribe. It might seem an effect of pride, not to accept of such invitations of the king, without some good excuse. Ovid speaks of feasts instituted for relations alone. (Fast. ii.) Proxima cognati dixere Charistia cari Et venit ad socios turba propinqua Deos. (Menochius)
Saul might pretend that his throwing his spear at David, was an effect of his distemper; and as the latter had returned to his palace after the first attempt, he might judge that he would do the like now, though he had so lately sought his life. David probably retired to Bethlehem, and returned the third day, when he bid adieu to Jonathan and to the court of Saul for ever, (ver. 21.; Calmet) though he saw Jonathan once more at Ziph, chap. xxiii. 16.