Exegetic Homilies

By Saint Basil; Sister Agnes Clare C. D.P. Way | Go to book overview

HOMILY 16

A Psalm of David When He Changed His Countenance before
Abimelech and Being Dismissed by Him Went Away
1
(ON PSALM 33)

THE SUBJECT OF THE PSALM draws us to two premises. Both the actions of David in Nobe, the city of the priests, and those in Geth at the home of Achis, the king of the foreign nations, seem to be in agreement with the inscription. For, he changed his countenance when he conversed with Abimelech, the priest, concealing his flight and pretending to be zealous to perform the royal command and, then, took the loaves of proposition and the sword of Goliath. Moreover, he also changed his countenance when, seized in the midst of the enemy, he perceived that they were conversing with each other and preparing for vengeance. Scripture says: 'The servants of Achis said to each other: Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to him in their dances, saying: David has slain his tens of thousands, and Saul his thousands? And David,' it says, 'was exceedingly afraid at the face of Achis, and he changed his countenance before them.' 2

Now, how is it that the inscription names Abimelech, but history mentions Achis, as king of the Gethites? We have some such reason as this that comes to us from tradition, namely that the kings of the foreign peoples had the common

____________________
1
Cf. 1 Kings 21.
2
1 Kings 21.11-13.

-247-

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Exegetic Homilies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Fathers of the Church - A New Translation *
  • The Fathers of the Church - A New Translation *
  • Exegetic Homilies *
  • Contents *
  • Introduction vii
  • Homily 1 3
  • Homily 2 21
  • Homily 3 37
  • Homily 4 55
  • Homily 5 67
  • Homily 6 83
  • Homily 7 105
  • Homily 8 117
  • Homily 9 135
  • Homily 10 151
  • Homily 11 165
  • Homily 12 181
  • Homily 13 193
  • Homily 14 213
  • Homily 15 227
  • Homily 16 247
  • Homily 17 275
  • Homily 18 297
  • Homily 19 311
  • Homily 20 333
  • Homily 21 341
  • Homily 22 351
  • Indices *
  • General Index 363
  • Index of Holy Scripture 375
  • The Fathers of the Church *
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