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Before CHRIST

Before CHRIST

+ Heb. Be still.

c1 Mac. 4. 30.

A divine terror seizeth the Philistines. I. SAMUEL.

Sauls unadvised adjuration 9 If they say thus unto us, + Tarry 17 Then said Saul unto the

peoabout 1087, until we come to you; then we will ple that were with him, Number now, about 1087.

stand still in our place, and will not and see who is gone from us. And
go up unto them.

when they had numbered, behold,
10 But if they say thus, 'Come up Jonathan and his armourbearer were
unto us; then we will go up: for not there.
c the Lord hath delivered them into 18 And Saul said unto Ahiah,
our hand: and this shall be a sign Bring hither the ark of God. For
unto us.

the ark of God was at that time with
11 And both of them discovered the children of Israel.
themselves unto the garrison of the 19 q And it came to pass, while
Philistines: and the Philistines said, Saul talked unto the priest, that the
Behold, the Hebrews come forth out || noise that was in the host of the || Or, tumult.
of the holes where they had hid Philistines went on and increased :
themselves.

and Saul said unto the priest, With12 And the men of the garrison draw thine hand. answered Jonathan and his armour 20 And Saul and all the people bearer, and said, Come up to us, and that were with him f assembled them- + Heb. were we will shew you a thing. And selves, and they came to the battle : cogether. Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, and, behold, every man's sword was a Jude. 22.2. Come up after me: for the LORD against his fellow, and there was a 23. hath delivered them into the hand of very great discomfiture. Israel.

21 Moreover the Hebrews that
13 And Jonathan climbed up upon were with the Philistines before that
his hands and upon his feet, and his time, which went up with them into
armourbearer after him: and they fell the camp from the country round
before Jonathan; and his armour- about, even they also turned to be
bearer slew after him.

with the Israelites that were with Saul
14 And that first slaughter, which and Jonathan.
Jonathan and his armourbearer made, 22 Likewise all the men of Israel

was about twenty men, within as it which had hid themselves in mount || Or, half a were || an half acre of land, which a Ephraim, when they heard that the yoke of oxen might plow.

Philistines fled, even they also fol-
15 And there was trembling in lowed hard after them in the battle.
the host, in the field, and among all 23 So the Lord saved Israel that
the people: the garrison, and the day: and the battle passed over unto
spoilers, they also trembled, and the Beth-aven.
earth quaked: so it was † a very great 24 | And the men of Israel were

distressed that day : for Saul had ad-
16 And the watchmen of Saul in jured the people, saying, Cursed be
Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, the man that eateth any food until
behold, the multitude melted away, evening, that I may be avenged on
and they went on beating down one mine enemies. So none of the peo-
another.

ple tasted

any food.

furrow of an acre of land.

+ Heb. a

trembling of trembling:

God.

10. this shall be a sign unto us.] This shall be a to mean the ark of the covenant which contained the watchword to us, presaging our certain victory. Bp. tables of the Decalogue, but another ark or chest, which Hall. Hence it appears, that the undertaking of Jona- was made for the conveniency of carrying about the than proceeded wholly from a Divine instinct, which sacred ephod with the Urim and Thummim, that they had suggested to him what is contained in this and the might be able to consult God on any sudden emergency. foregoing verse, as a sign of what they were to do. Dr. Dr. Berriman. Wells.

23. the battle passed over unto Beth-aven.] These 15. - and the earth quaked :] Some think there was words seem to imply that the fight continued till they a real earthquake, which increased their fear; but it came to this place, which lay westward from Michmash, may be no more than a metaphorical expression for the chap. xiii. 5; and there the Philistines threw down their great tumult into which they were thrown. Bp. Pa- arms, and fled as fast as they could to their own country. trick.

Bp. Patrick. 16. the multitude melted away,] The multitude of 24.--for Saul had adjured] As Saul's intention in the Philistines grew less and less, from the confusion making this adjuration was good, namely, to execute into which they were thrown. Dr. Wells.

vengeance on the enemies of God and his people; so 18.

Bring hither the ark of God.] The ark men- the matter of the obligation was not in itself unlawful, tioned here, as also at 2 Sam. xi. 11, is understood not if he had not been so rigorous in the exclusion of food,

Before CHRIST

hand.

altar he began to build unto the LORD.

hindereth the victory.

CHAP. XIV. The people restrained from eating blood. 25 And all they of the land came

33 Then they told Saul, saying, chekerst about 1087, to a wood; and there was honey upon Behold, the people sin against the about 1087, the ground.

Lord, in that they eat with the 26 And when the people were blood. And he said, Ye have || trans- ! Or, dealt come into the wood, behold, the gressed : 'roll a great stone unto me ousty. honey dropped; but no man put his this day. hand to his mouth : for the people

34 Ånd Saul said, Disperse yourfeared the oath.

selves among the people, and say 27 But Jonathan heard not when unto them, Bring me hither every his father charged the people with man his ox, and every man his sheep, the oath : wherefore he put forth the and slay them here, and eat; and sin end of the rod that was in his hand, not against the Lord in eating with and dipped it in an honeycomb, and the blood. And all the people brought put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes every man his ox + with him that + Heb. in his were enlightened.

night, and slew them there. 28 Then answered one of the 35 And Saul built an altar unto people, and said, Thy father straitly the Lord: † the same was the first + Heb. that charged the people with an oath, altar that he built unto the LORD. saying, Cursed be the man that eat 36 9 And Saul said, Let us go

eth any food this day. And the down after the Philistines by night, | Or, weary, people were || faint.

and spoil them until the morning, 29 Then said Jonathan, My fa- light, and let us not leave a man of ther hath troubled the land: see, I them. And they said, Do whatsopray you, how mine eyes have been ever seemeth good unto thee.

Then
enlightened, because I tasted a little said the priest, Let us draw near
of this honey.

hither unto God.
30 How much more, if haply the 37 And Saul asked counsel of
people had eaten freely to day of the God, Shall I go down after the Phi-
spoil of their enemies which they listines ? wilt thou deliver them into
found ? for had there not been now the hand of Israel ? But he answer-
a much greater slaughter among the ed him not that day.
Philistines ?

38 And Saul said, Draw ye near
31 And they smote the Philistines hither, 'all the + chief of the people : f Judg. 20. 2.
that day from Michmash to Aijalon : and know and see wherein this sin
and the people were very faint.

hath been this day.
32 And the people flew upon the 39 For, as the Lord liveth, which
spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and saveth Israel, though it be in Jona-

calves, and slew them on the ground: than my son, he shall surely die. e Lev. 7. 26. and the people did eat them with But there was not a man among all the blood.

the people that answered him.

corners.

& 19. 26. Deut. 12. 16.

without any exception for cases of necessity, and in began eating the animals while there was some natural obliging the people to it under pain of an accursed warmth in them, and the possibility of life remaining. death, which was a punishment far exceeding the fault. Dr. J. Clarke. Poole.

33. — roll a great stone unto me this day.] He desires 25.-- there was honey upon the ground.] Which them to roll a great stone unto him, for the purpose of dropped from the hollow trees or the clefts of rocks, building an altar, as is related at ver. 35, in order that where bees make their combs in that country, as they they might slaughter their animals on it before God, do sometimes on the ground. Wild honey was so and under his own view; or else that the blood of the copious there, and flowed so plentifully, that it gave animal slaughtered might sooner run off, by its head occasion to the hyperbolical expression in the book of hanging from the stone ; for, before, they had been Job, chap. xx. 17, of brooks or torrents of honey and slaughtering their animals on the level ground, by butter. Bp. Patrick.

which means the blood was so long in running off, that, 27.- and his eyes were enlightened.] He received in the impatience of their hunger, they could not wait new strength, by which all his senses were cheered and for it.—"This day,” means “ now,"

" at this time." revived. Bp. Hall.

Poole's Syn. Critic. 32. did eat them with the blood.] For want of 35. — built an altar unto the Lord :] To offer sacripatience to dress their provisions in due form, they ate fices of peace offerings, and to give thanks to God for their flesh, half boiled and half roasted, with the blood this great victory; though others think it was a monunot duly drained from it, contrary to the express in- ment in the form of an altar, in remembrance of the junction of their law, Lev. vii. 26; xix. 26; Deut. xv. Divine mercy in the late deliverance. Bp. Patrick. 23; xii. 16. Pyle. It seems probable, that on this oc 38. — wherein this sin hath been] From God's not casion the people, in their haste to satisfy their hunger, regarding his supplication, he concluded that some

Before CHRIST

Before CHRIST about 1087.

the innocent.

forth.

caped.

Jonathan taken by lot.

I. SAMUEL.

Saul's strength and family. 40 Then said he unto all Israel, Israel out of the hands of them that about 1087, Be ye on one side, and I and Jona- spoiled them.

than my son will be on the other side. 49 Now the sons of Saul were
And the people said unto Saul, Do Jonathan, and Ishui, and Melchi-
what seemeth good unto thee. shua: and the names of his two

41 Therefore Saul said unto the daughters were these ; the name of || Or, Shew LORD God of Israel, || Give a the firstborn Merab, and the name

perfect lot. And Saul and Jonathan of the younger Michal : Heb. went were taken : but the people t es 50 And the name of Saul's wife

was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahi-
42 And Saul said, Cast lots be- maaz: and the name of the captain
tween me and Jonathan my son. of his host was Abner, the son of
And Jonathan was taken.

Ner, Saul's uncle.
43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, 51 And Kish was the father of
Tell me what thou hast done. And Saul; and Ner the father of Abner
Jonathan told him, and said, I did was the son of Abiel.
but taste a little honey with the end 52 And there was sore war against
of the rod that was in mine hand, and, the Philistines all the days of Saul :
lo, I must die.

and when Saul saw any strong man,
44 And Saul answered, God do or any valiant man, he took him unto
so and more also: for thou shalt surely him.
die, Jonathan.

CHAP. XV.
45 And the people said unto Saul,
Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought 1 Samuel sendeth Saul to destroy Amalek. 6
this great salvation in Israel? God

Saul favoureth the Kenites. 8 He spareth
forbid: as the LORD liveth, there

Agag and the best of the spoil. 10 Samuel

denounceth unto Saul, commending and exshall not one hair of his head fall to cusing himself, God's rejection of him for the ground; for he hath wrought with

his disobedience, 24 Saul's humiliation.
God this day. So the people res-

32 Samuel killeth Agag. 34 Samuel and
cued Jonathan, that he died not.
Then Saul went up from fol

AMUEL also said unto Saul, about 1079. Philistines : Phi · The LORD sent me to anoint a Chap. 9. 16. listines went to their own place. thee to be king over his people, over

47 q So Saul took the kingdom Israel : now therefore hearken thou over Israel, and fought against all his unto the voice of the words of the enemies on every side, against Moab, LORD. and against the children of Ammon, 2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, and against Edom, and against the I remember that which Amalek did kings of Zobah, and against the Phi- to Israel, ”how he laid wait for him Exod. 17. listines: and whithersoever he turned in the way, when he came up from himself, he vexed them.

Egypt | Or,

48 And he ll gathered an host, and 3 Now go and smite Amalek, and wrought mighlily.

smote the Amalekites, and delivered utterly destroy all that they have,

Saul part.

8. Numb, 24.

20.

sin had been committed, which had provoked his dis- for inadvertently incurring the curse, had not the people pleasure. Bp. Patrick.

interfered in his favour. Dr. Hales. 41. - Give a perfect lot.] The word “lot” is not in 52. he took him unto him.] That is, he chose the the original: but the Hebrew words signify give perfect, best men for strength and courage to be his guards, and that is, declare who is innocent. Bp. Patrick.

to be preferred in the army. Pyle. 45. So the people rescued Jonathan,] By their petition to Saul, and also by earnest prayers to God, who Chap. XV. ver. 3. go and smite Amalek, &c.] This perhaps signified to the high priest that He approved heavy sentence was pronounced against the Amalekites the people's desire, and annulled Saul's oath as rash long ago, Exod. xvii. 14; and renewed at the entrance and inconsiderate. Dr. Wells.

of the Israelites into Canaan, with a charge not to forget Saul's conduct on this memorable day was rash and it, Deut. xxv. 19: the order is now given to put it in impolitick in the extreme. Instead of trusting in the execution. Bp. Patrick. It may justly be esteemed a Lord to avenge him of his enemies, like his pious son question of some difficulty, whence it might come to Jonathan, he cursed any of the people who would eat pass that God should give so very severe a command. food until the evening, that nothing might interrupt There certainly cannot happen any case, wherein it the slaughter : but he "troubled the land” thereby, for would be justifiable for any mortal power, upon his own the people, growing faint with hunger, were forced to authority, to take upon to deal in such a manner with transgress; and Jonathan would have suffered death any enemy whatever. But God, who is the supreme

Before CHRIST about 1079.

Before CHRIST

second sort.

He destroyeth the Amalekites.
CHAP. XV.

Agag is spared.
and spare them not; but slay both the Amalekites alive, and utterly de-
man and woman, infant and suckling, stroyed all the people with the edge about 1079,
ox and sheep, camel and ass.

of the sword. 4 And Saul gathered the people 9 But Saul and the people spared together, and numbered them in | Agag, and the best of the sheep, and Telaim, two hundred thousand foot of the oxen, and || of the fatlings, and I or, of the men, and ten thousand men of the lambs, and all that was good, and Judah.

would not utterly destroy them: but
5 And Saul came to a city of every thing that was vile and refuse,
|| Or, fought. Amalek, and || laid wait in the that they destroyed utterly.
valley.

10 | Then came the word of the
6 And Saul said unto the Ken- Lord unto Samuel, saying,
ites, Go, depart, get you down from 11 It repenteth me that I have
among the Amalekites, lest I destroy set up Saul to be king: for he is
you with them: for ye shewed kind- turned back from following me, and
ness to all the children of Israel, hath not performed my command-
when they came up out of Egypt. ments. And it grieved Samuel ;
So the Kenites departed from among and he cried unto the LORD all
the Amalekites.

night.
7 And Saul smote the Amalekites 12 And when Samuel rose early
from Havilah until thou comest to to meet Saul in the morning, it was
Shur, that is over against Egypt. told Samuel, saying, Saul came to

8 And he took Agag the king of Carmel, and, behold, he set him up

Author and Lord of all, and who has an unquestioned 7.- from Havilah &c.] That is, the whole extent of right to take away that life which He Himself at first the country of Arabia, of which Havilah was the bounfreely gave, and who alone can without errour judge dary on the north-east, and Shur on the south-west. Bp. when a nation has filled up the measure of their ini- Patrick. quity, and who in the life to come can without respect 9. - spared Agag, &c.] In this Saul disobeyed the of persons distinguish equitably the case of every indi-commandment of God, and followed his own fancy and vidual person, which in the exemplary severity of a affection, being either struck with admiration of the national judgment was not proper to be distinguished personal appearance of Agag, or else intending to lead here; He may, very consistently with justice and equity, him in triumph. Bp. Patrick. Here Saul was guilty command such universal judgments to be inflicted, when of two very great faults : 1st, of covetousness, in preand where He thinks fit : there being in reality no dif- serving for himself the best of all those spoils which ference whether He commands a whole nation, without God had expressly commanded to be utterly destroyed ; distinction of persons to be destroyed in war, as in the 2ndly, of vanity and ostentation, in taking Agag the present case of Amalek and thatof the nations of Canaan; king of Amalek alive, and bringing him with him in or whether He consumes them by a flood, as at the uni- triumph, when God had peremptorily commanded him versal deluge; or by fire from heaven, as in the case of to destroy them all. Dr. S. Clarke. Sodom ; or by a sudden earthquake, or by pestilential 11. It repenteth me that I have set up &c.] Meaning, diseases, or by a natural death. All these things in the that He had resolved to cast him down from the throne. hand of God, who ruleth over all, and who hath an un- Repentance in God implies only a change in his dispendoubted

power and right over that life which He Him-sation towards his creatures : it is ascribed to God when self gave, and who in the world to come can make that He alters his course and method of dealing, and treats exact distinction of persons, which there is no necessity a person as if He indeed repented of the kindness He should be made here; in his hand, I say, all these things had shewed him. Bp. Patrick. God speaks as a man, are equally proper instruments of justice; and without to make Himself understood of men. Wogan. See all question He may destroy a wicked nation by what notes at Gen. vi. 6. means He Himself thinks fit. Dr. S. Clarke. The and hath not performed my commandments.] This severity of this sentence has given offence to infidels and very king Saul, but a little time before would have put false philanthropists; but without any just ground. The his brave son Jonathan to death only for taking a little Amalekites had all along shewn the most determined honey, contrary to his command. Behold here the and inveterate hostility towards the Israelites, by way- pride and impiety of man's heart, full of resentment, laying them, and prematurely attacking them, and join if his own unreasonable will be not in all things coming their enemies, Deut. xxv. 18 ; Numb. xiv. 43; Judg. plied with, and quite negligent and forgetful of the holy ii. 13, &c. : and, besides, were great sinners themselves, will of God! Whereby he plainly honours himself far i Sam. xv. 18; but they were not cut off till their ini- above his Maker, expecting the greatest deference to his quity had come to the full, as was the case of the de- own word, while at the same time he pays little or no voted nations in general, Gen. xv. 16; and after a res reverence to that of the Most High. Reading. pite of more than 400 years from the time when their 12. - came to Carmel,] Not the famous mountain sentence was first pronounced, Exod. xvii

. 8 ; of which so called, but a city in the south part of the tribe of they could not be ignorant, but which they might have Judah, mentioned" Josh. xv. 55, which seems to have averted by repentance. They were therefore fit objects given name to the territory round it. Eusebius and of the vengeance of the righteous Judge of all the earth, St. Jerome mention, that there was in their time a town to be inflicted by the sword of the Israelites, the execu- called Carmelia, ten miles from Hebron to the east, in tioners of his decrees. Dr. Hales.

which the Romans kept a garrison, which might very

Before CHRIST

+ Heb. they

them.

God's rejection of Saul

I. SAMUEL.

for his disobedience. CHRIst a place, and is gone about, and pass- | destroy the sinners the Amalekites, about 1079. ed on, and gone down to Gilgal. and fight against them until † they be about 1079,

13 And Samuel came to Saul : consumed.
and Saul said unto him, Blessed be 19 Wherefore then didst thou not consume
thou of the LORD: I have performed obey the voice of the Lord, but didst
the commandment of the LORD. fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in

14 And Samuel said, What mean the sight of the LORD?
eth then this bleating of the sheep in 20 And Saul said unto Samuel,
mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the
which I hear?

LORD, and have gone the way which
15 And Saul said, They have the Lord sent me, and have brought
brought them from the Amalekites : Agag the king of Amalek, and have
for the people spared the best of the utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice 21 But the people took of the
unto the LORD thy God; and the rest spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of
we have utterly destroyed.

the things which should have been
16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto
Stay, and I will tell thee what the the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
Lord hath said to me this night. 22 And Samuel said, Hath the
And he said unto him, Say on. Lord as great delight in burnt offer-

17 And Samuel said, When thou ings and sacrifices, as in obeying the
wast little in thine own sight, wast voice of the LORD ? Behold, c to © Eccles. 5.
thou not made the head of the tribes obey is better than sacrifice, and to Hos. 6 6.
of Israel, and the Lord anointed hearken than the fat of rams.
thee king over Israel ?

23 For rebellion is as the sin of 18 And the Lord sent thee on a t witcheraft, and stubbornness is as + Heb. journey, and said, Go and utterly iniquity and idolatry. Because thou

Matt. 9. 13. & 12. 7.

divination.

well be the same with the Carmel here mentioned. Dr. The meaning is, that a virtuous and good life is better, Wells.

not only than Jewish rites and ceremonies, but better - he set him up a place,] Meaning either that he even than the best of any other worship that is paid to encamped there for the night, or that he erected a tri- God, either on earth or in heaven. Nevertheless, as the umphal arch in celebration of his victory. Dr. Wells. one ought above all things to be done, so the other

13. Blessed be thou of the Lord :) A form of sa- ought not by any means to be left undone; nay, the lutation, wishing him all happiness from God; who worshipping Him is part of that very obedience, and a had ordered him to undertake this service. Bp. Pa- means to enable men to perform more acceptably the trick.

other parts of their obedience to Him. Dr. S. Clarke. I have performed &c.] It might seem from this In the case of sacrifice, and all other ritual observances, confident address to the Prophet, that Saul expected it was the inward principle of humble and dutiful obepraise and not reproof for what he had done; but, as dience which made them acceptable : the outward obappears from the Prophet's answer, while the sinner servance, when separate from that, is vain and insignineither saw nor heard his sins, they cried aloud in the ficant. Dr. Berriman. There can be no excuse for ears of God. We cannot but notice here the strange swerving from the precise rule which God hath preblindness of a carnal and worldly heart; we are all too scribed to us; nor must we propound a religion out of apt, like Saul, to mistake a part for the whole of our the good purposes and intentions of piety and devotion, duty, and even to pride ourselves in such a partial obe- for our convenience, while for the present we decline a dience, as if it was uniform and complete. Wogan. fundamental point of our religion, obedience to what

15. - the people spared] This was a mean excuse, He has commanded. We are not judges what is to be to throw all the blame upon the people, when he him- preserved, or which is the way of preserving. It may self was principally in fault, and when he had it in his be God thinks it fit that our estates, liberties, and lives, power to govern the people better. Bp. Patrick. As should be sacrificed to his truth, and for the defence of one sin naturally draws on another, Saul having first it; and then, the redeeming either by artifices or comtransgressed in the principal action, falls into other con- pliances is no less than sacrilege. What He hath detinual provocations. On Samuel's coming to meet him, termined shall be destroyed or utterly lost to us, must ver. 13, he first presumptuously declares that he had not be kept for sacrifices; and what He hath appointed obeyed the commandment of the Lord. When the for sacrifice to Him, must not be preserved to ourselves. falsity of this declaration was immediately laid open, Lord Clarendon. by the spoils which he had taken being present before 23. rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, &c.] The him, he endeavours to transfer the fault from himself word we here render“ witchcraft," signifies the followto others, ver. 15, as if what the people did was not done ing of divinations and enchantments, which were superby his direction and authority. This being too apparent stitions forbidden with the severest penalties under the to be denied, he next adds an excuse drawn from a pre- law, and were justly looked upon as a renouncing of tence of religion ; which was as much as to say, we God, in having recourse to other real or imaginary have disobeyed the commandment of God in order to powers in opposition to Him. When therefore a crime serve Him. Dr. S. Clarke.

is said to be “ as the sin of witchcraft," the meaning is, 22. - Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, &c.] that it is a fault of so deep a die, of so heinous and pro

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