Verses 1–4

David, as recorded in the foregoing chapter, had, by the great mercy of God, escaped the sword of the destroying angel. But our deliverances from or through diseases and dangers are but reprieves; if the candle be not blown out, it will burn out of itself. We have David here sinking under the infirmities of old age, and brought by them to the gates of the grave. He that cometh up out of the pit shall fall into the snare; and, one way or other, we must needs die. 1. It would have troubled one to see David so infirm. He as old, and his natural heat so wasted that no clothes could keep him warm, 1 Kgs. 1:1. David had been a valiant active man and a man of business, and very vehement had the flame always been in his breast; and yet now his blood is chilled and stagnated, he is confined to his bed, and there can get no heat. He was now seventy years old. Many, at that age, are as lively and fit for business as ever; but David was now chastised for his former sins, especially that in the matter of Uriah, and felt from his former toils and the hardships he had gone through in his youth, which then he made nothing of, but was now the worse for. Let not the strong man glory in his strength, which may soon be weakened by sickness, or at last will be weakened by old age. Let young people remember their Creator in the days of their youth, before these evil days come. What our hand finds to do for God, and our souls, and our generation, let us do with all our might, because the night comes, the night of old age, in which no man can work; and, when our strength has gone, it will be a comfort to remember that we used it well. 2. It would have troubled one to see his physicians so weak and unskilful that they knew no other way of relieving him than by outward applications. No cordials, no spirits, but, (1.) They covered him with clothes, which, where there is any inward heat, will keep it in, and so increase it; but, where it is not, they have none to communicate, no, not royal clothing. Elihu makes it a difficulty to understand how our garments are warm upon us (Job 37:17); but, if God deny his blessing, men clothe themselves, and there is none warm (Hag. 1:6), David here was not. (2.) They foolishly prescribed nuptials to one that should rather have been preparing for his funeral (1 Kgs. 1:2-4); but they knew what would gratify their own corruptions, and perhaps were too willing to gratify his, under colour of consulting his health. His prophets should have been consulted as well as his physicians in an affair of this nature. However, this might be excused then, when even good men ignorantly allowed themselves to have many wives. We now have not so learned of Christ, but are taught that one man must have but one wife (Matt. 19:5), and further that it is good for a man not to touch a woman, 1 Cor. 7:1. That Abishag was married to David before she lay with him, and was his secondary wife, appears from its being imputed as a great crime to Adonijah that he desired to marry her (1 Kgs. 2:22) after his father’s death.