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David overtakes and .
destroys the Amalekites. A. M. 2948. 14 We made an invasion upon 20 And David took all the flocks
A. M. 2948. B. C. 1056. An. Exod. Isr. the south of 'the Cherethites, and and the herds, which they drave
435. Anno ante upon the coast which belongeth before those other cattle, and said, I. Olymp. 280.
I. Olymp. 280. to Judah, and upon the south of This is David's spoil. m Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire. 21 And David came to the 9 two hundred
15 And David said 10 him, Canst thou bring men, which were so faint that they could not me down to this company? And he said, follow David, whom they had made also to Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither abide at the brook Besor : and they went kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my forth to meet David, and to meet the people master, and I will bring thee down to this that were with him: and when David came company.
near to the people, he 'saluted them. 16 And when he had brought him down, 22. Then answered all the wicked men, and behold, they were spread abroad upon all the men of Belial, of those that went with carth, eating and drinking, and dancing, David, and said, Because they went not with because of all the great spoil that they had us, we will not give them aught of the spoil taken out of the land of the Philistines, and that we have recovered, save to every man his out of the land of Judah.
wife and his children, that they may lead them 17 'And David smote them from the twilight away, and depart. even unto the evening of the pext day : and 23 Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my there escaped not, a man of them, save four brethren, with that which the Lord hath given hundred young men, which rode upon camels, us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the and fled.
company that came against us into our hand. 18 And David recovered all that the Ama 24 For who will hearken unto you in this lekites bad carried away: and David rescued matter ? but " as his part is that goeth down his two wives.
to the battle, sovshall his part be that tarrieth · 19 And there was nothing lacking to them, by the stuff : they shall part alike. neither small por great, neither sons ñor 25 And it was so from that day forward, daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that that he made it a statute and an ordinance for they had taken to them : P David recovered all. Israel unto this day. "Ver. 16; 2 Sam. viii. 18; 1 Kings i. 38, 44; Ezek. xxv. 16; r Or, asked them how they did ; Judg. xviii. 15.
Deut. xii. Zeph. ii. 5.-mm Josh. xiv. 13;* xv. 13. 11 Thess. v. 3. 13; Judg. xix. 22.
+ Heb. men
cu See Num. xxxi. 27; Josb. • Hob. their morrow. --- Ver. 8. Ver. 10.
xxii. 8; 2.Mácviii. 28. –" Heb. and fortcard, Verse 14. Upon the south of the Cherethites] Cal- and others, in order, the better to vindicate the characmet and others maintain, that the nn kerethi, which, ter of David. without the points, might be read Creti, were not only Verse 17, There escaped not a man of them] It is at this time Philistines, but that they were aborigines well known to every careful reader of the Bible, that of Crete, from which they had their name Cherethites the Amalekites were a proscribed people, even by God or Crelans, and are those of whom Zephaniah speaks, himself, and that in extirpating them it has been supchap. ii. 5:. Wo to the inhabitants of the sea-coasts, posed David fulfilled the express will of God. But the nation of the Cherethites. And by Ezekiel, chap. all this depends on whether he had an express commisxxv. 16: Behold, I will stretch out mine hand upon sion to do so, received from God himself, as Saul had. the Philistines, and will cut off the Cherethim. In Verse 20. And David took all the flocks] He and his 2 Sam. xv. 18 we find that the Cherethites formed men not only recovered all their own property, but they a part of David's guards.
recovered all the spoil which these Amalekites had South of Caleb] Somewhere about Kirjath-arba, taken from the south of Judah, the Cherethites, and or Hebron, and Kirjath-sepher; these being in the the south of Caleb. When this was separated from possession of Caleb and his descendants.
the rest, it was given to David, and called David's spoil. Verse 15. Swear unlo me). At the conclusion of Verse 22. Men of Belial] This is a common this verse, the Vulgale, Syriac, and Arabic add, that expression to denote the sour, the rugged, the severe, David swore to him. This is not expressed in the the idle, and the profane. Hebrew, but is necessarily implied.
Verse 23. That which the Lord hath given us] Verse 16. Out of the land of the Philistines] That He very properly attributes this victory to God; the these Amalekites were enemies to the Philistines is numbers of the Amalekites being so much greater than evident, but it certainly does not follow from this that his own. Indeed, as many fled away on camels as those whom David destroyed were enemies also. This, were in the whole host of David. I think, has been too hastily assumed by Dr. Chandler ). Verse 25. He made it a statute and an ordinance
He takes much spoil, and ·
CHAP. XXXI. shares it with different towns. A. M. 29-18. 26 And when David came to k 29 And to them which were in
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435. the elders of Judah, even to his in the cities of the Jerahmeel Anno ante 1. Olymp. 230. friends, saying, Behold a "present ites, and to them which were in
I. Olymp. 280. for you of the spoil of the enemies of the Lord; the cities of the < Kenites," : 27 To them which were in Beth-el, and to 30 And to them which were in Hormah, them which were in *souih Ramoth, and to and to them which were in Chor-ashan, and them which were in Jattir,
to them which were in Athach, 28 :And to them which were in z Aroer, and 31. And to them which were in Hebron, to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them and to all the places where David himself and which were in a Eshtemoa,
his men were wont to haunt: * Heb. blessing ; Gen. xxxiii. 11; chap: xxv. 27.
Josh. xix. a Josh. xv. 50. -b Chap. xxvii. 10. Judg. i. 16. -y Josh. xv. 48.- Josh, xiii. 16.
i. 17.- Josh. xiy. 13; 2 Sam. ii. 1. for Israel] Nothing could be more just and proper
The cities of the Jerahmeelites) See before, chap. than this law : he wlio stays at home to defend house xxvii. 10. and property, has an equal right to the booty taken by And-the cities of the Keniles] A very small tract those who go out to the war. There was a practice on the southern coast of the Dead Sea. of this kind among the Israelites long before this time; · Verse 30. Hormah] The general - name of those see Nam. xxxi, 27; Josh. xxi. 8; and the note on cities which belonged to Arad, king of Canaan ; and this latter verse.
were devoted to destruction by the Hebrews, and thence Unto this day.) This is another indication that called Hormah. See Num. xxi. 1-3. this book was composed long after the facts it com In Chor-ashan] Probably the same as Ashan in the memorates. See the hyp hesis in the preface. tribe of Judah : see Josh. xv. 42. It was afterwards
Verse 26. Unto the elders of Judah) These were ceded to Simeon, Josh. xix. 7. the persons among whom he sojourned during his exile, .To them which were in Alhach] Probably the and who had given him shelter and protection. Gra- same as Ether, Josh. xix. 7. titade required these presents.
Verse 31. To them which were in Hebron] This Verse 27. To them which were in 'Beth-el]. This was a place strongly attached to David, and David to was in the tribe of Ephraim.
it, and the place where he was proclaimed king, and South Ramoth] So called to distinguish it from where he reigned more than seven years previously Ramoth Gilead, beyond Jordan. This Ramoth belonged to the death of Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, who was, for to the tribe of Simeon, Josh. xix. 8.
that time, his competitor in the kingdom. In Jattir). Supposed by Calmet to be the same as David's having sent presents to all these places, Ether, Josh. xv. 42, but more probably Jaltir, ver. 48. not only shows his sense of gratitude, but-tħat the It was situated in the mountains, and belonged to Judah: booty which he took from the Amalekites-must have
Verse 28. In Aroer] Situated beyond Jordan, on been exceedingly great. And we learn from this also the banks of the river Arnon, in the tribe of Gad, that David sojourned in many places which are not
Siphmoth] Supposed to be the same with Shepham, mentioned in the preceding history; for these are all Num. xxxiv. 10, on the eastern border of the pro- said to be places where David and his men were wont mised land.
to haunt. Eshtemoa) Another city in the tribe of Judah. See Josh. xv. 50.
We are not to suppose that the transactions menVerse 29. Them which were in Rachal] . We know tioned here and in the preceding chapter took place not where this place was ; it is mentioned nowhere after Saul's interview with the woman of En-dor; they else in the Bible. Calmet conjectures that Hachilah, were considerably antecedent to this, but how long chap. xxiii. 19, may be the same place; here we we do not know. What is recorded in the following know David did conceal himself for some time, till the chapter must have taken place the next day after Saul Ziphites endeavoured to betray him to Saul. left En-dor.
CHAPTER XXXI. A battle in Mount Gilboa between Israel and the Philistines; in which the former are defeated, and Saul's
three sons slamn, 1, 2. Saul, being mortally wounded, and afraid to fall alive into the hands of the Philistines, desires his armour-bearer to despatch him ; which he refusing, Saul falls on his sword, and his armour-bearer does the same, 3-6. The Israelites on the other side of the valley forsake their cities, and the Philistines come and dwell in them, 7. The Philistines, finding Saul and his three sons among the slain, strip them of their armour, which they put in the house of Ashtaroth, cut off their heads, send the news to all the houses of their idols, and fasten the bodies of Saul and his three sons to the walls of Beth-shan, 8-10. Valiant men of Jabesh-gilead go by night, and take away the bodies ; burn them at Jabesh ; bury their bones under a tree; and fast seven days, 11-13.
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k Or, mock me.
In battle with the Philistines I. SAMUEL
Saul and his sons are slain
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Philistines, and fell down slain 6. So Saul died, and his three 1. Olymp. 280. in Mount · Gilboa.
sons, and his armour-bearer, and all his men, 2 And the Philistines followed hard upon that same day together. Saul and upon his, sons; and the Philistines 7 And when the men of Israel that were on slew a Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchi- the other side of the valley, and they that shua, Saul's sons.
were on the other side Jordan, saw that the 3 And the battle went sore against Saul, men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons and the farchers & hit him ; and he was sore were dead, they forsook the, cities, and fled ; wounded of the archers.
and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. 4 Then said Saul unto his armour-bearer, 8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when Draw thy sword, and thrust me through there- the Philistines came to strip' the slain, that with; lest i these uncircumcised come and they found Saul and his three sons fallen in thrust me through, and kabuse me. But his Mount Gilboa. armour-bearer would not ; ' for he was sore 9 And they cut off his head, and stripped afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and off his armour, and sent into the land of the m fell upon it.
Philistines round about, to publish it in the 5 And when , his armour-bearer saw that house of their idols, and among the people.
2. Chron x. l-12.-6. Or, wounded. - Chap. xxviii. 4. ** Heb. found him. So Judg. ix. 54. i Chap. xiv. 6; xvii. d Chap. xiv. 49; 1 Chron. viii. 33. e See 2 Sam. i. 6, &c. 26.
12 Sam. i. 14. m2 Samuel i. 10. 'Heb. shooters, men with bows.
D 2 Sam. i. 20.
that is, his armour-bearer's, i Chron. X. 4, 5. Now Verse 1. Now the Philistines foughi] This is the it is the established tradition of all the Jewish nation continuation of the aceount given in chap. xxix. that this armour-bearer was Doeg, and I see no reason
The men of Israel fled] It seems as if they were why it should be discredited ; and if so, then Saul and thrown into confusion, at the first onset, and turned his executioner both fell by that weapon with which their backs upon their enemies.
they had before massacred the priests of God. So : Verse 2. Followed hard upon Saul and upon his Britus and Cassius killed themselves with the same sons] They; seeing the discomfiture of their troops, swords with which they stabbed Cæsar ;' and Calippus vere determined to sell their lives as dear as possible, was stabbed with the same sword with which he staband therefore maintained the battle till the three bro-bed Dio." thers were slain.
Verse 6. And all his men) Probably meaning those Verse 3. He was sore wounded of the archers.] It of his troops which were his life or body guards : 'as is likely that Saul's sons were slain by the archers, to the bulk of the army, it fled at the commencement and that Saul was now mortally wounded by the same. of the battle, ver. 1. Houbigant translates, The archers rushed upon him, Verse 7. The men of Israel that were on the other from whom he received a grievous wound. He farther side of the valley) They appear to have been panicremarks, that had not Saul been grievously wounded, struck, and therefore fled as far as they could out of and beyond hope of recovery, he would not have the reach of the Philistines. As the Philistines poswished his armour-bearer to despatch him; as he might sessed Beth-shan, situated near to Jordan, the people have continued still to fight, or have made his escape on the other side of that river, fearing for their safety, from this most disastrous battle. Some of the versions fled also. render it, He FEARED the archers greatly ;- but this is - Verse 8. On the morrow) It is very likely that the by no means likely.
battle and pursuit continued till the night, so that there Verse 4. Draw thy sword, and thrust me through]. was no time.till the next day to strip and plunder the slain. Dr. Delaney has some good observations on this part Verse 9. And they cut off his head] It is possible of the subject : “Saul and his armour-bearer died by that they cut off the heads of his three sons likewise ; the same sword. That his. armour-bearer died by his for although only his head is said to be cut off, and his own sword is out of all doubt ; the text expressly'tells body only to be fastened to the walls of Beth-shan, yet us so; and that Saul perished by the same sword is we find that the men of Jabesh-gilead found both his sufficiently evident.' Draw thy sword, says he to him, body and the bodies of his three sons, fastened to the and thrust me through; which, when he refused, Saul, walls, ver. 12. says the text, took the sword, (a900 nx eth hachereb, Perhaps they only took off Saul's head, which they the very sword,) and féll upon it. What sword ? Not sent about to their temples as a trophy of their victory, his own, før then the text would have said so ; but, in when they sent the news of the defeat of the Israelites the plain natural grammatical construction, the sword through all their coasts, and at last placed it in the before mentioned' must be the sword now referred to, temple of Dagon, 1 Chron. X. 10.
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The men of Jabesh-gilead recover CHAP. XXXI. the bodies of Saul and his sons.
10 . And, they put his armour night, and took the body of Air . Exod. Isr. in the house of P Ashtaroth : and Saul, and the bodies of his sons,
9 they fastened his body to the from the wall of Beth-shan, 1. Olymp. 280. wall of: Beth-shan. : and came to Jabesh, and burnt
I. Olymp. 280. 11 s And when the inhabitants of Jabesh- them there. gilead heard of that which the Philistines 13 And they took their bones, and w buried had done to Saul,
them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted :12 · All the valiant men arose, and went all seven days.
Ch. xxi. 3. -P Judg. ii. 13.-92 Sam. xxi. 12.- Josh. u See chap. xi. 1-11; 2 Sam. ii. 4-7.2 Chron. xvi. 14; Ivi. 11; Judg. i. 27. Chap. xi. 3, 9, 11. - Or, concern- Jer. xxxiv. S; Amos vi. 10. -W2 Sam. ii. 4,5; xxi. 12, 13, 14.
* Gen. 1. 10..
Verse 10. They put his armour in the house of Ash and often outrageous; and these bád dispositions, untaroth] As David "had done in placing the sword of checked by proper application to the grace of God, Goliath in the tabernacle. We have already seen that became every day -more headstrong and dangerous. it was common for the conquerors to consecrate armour Through their violence he seems at times to have been and spoils taken in war, toʻthose who were the objects wholly carried away and deranged; and this deranges of religious worship.
ment appears to have been occasionally greatly exacer. --They fastened his body to the wall] Probably by bated by diabolical influence. This led him to take his means of iron hooks; but it is said, 2 Sam. xxi. 12, that friends for his foes; so that in his paroxysms he strove these bodies were fastened in the street of Beth-shan. to imbrue his hands in their blood, and more than once This may mean that the place where they were fast- attempted to assassinate his own son; and most causeened to the wall was the mair street or entrance into lessly and inhumanly ordered the innocent priests of . the city.
the Lord at Nob to be murdered. This was the worst Verse 11. When the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead act in his whole life. heard] This act of the men of Jabesh-gilead was an Saul was but ill qualified for a proper discharge of act of gratitude dye to Saul, who, at the very com- the regal functions. The reader will remember that mencement of his reign, rescued them from Nahash, he was chosen rather ‘as a general of the armies than king of the Ammonites, (see chap. xi. 1, &c.,) and by as civil governor. The administration of the affairs of his timely succours saved them from the deepest degra- the state was left chjefly to Samuel, and Saul led forth dation and the most oppressive tyranny. This heroic the armies to battle. act, with the seven days' fast, showed that they re As a general he gave proof, of considerable capatained a due sense of their obligation to this unfortunate city; he was courageous, prompt, decisive, and permonarch.
severing ; and, except in the last unfortunate battle in Verse 12. And Inurnt them there.). It has been de- which he lost his life, generally led his troops to victory. nied that the Hebrews burnt the bodies of the dead, Saul was a weak mạn, and very capricious ;, this is but that they buried them in the earth, or embalmed amply proved by his unreasonable jealousy against Dai hem, and often burnt spices around them, &c. These vid, and his continual suspicion that all were leagued fro doubt were the common forms of sepulture, but nei- against him. It is also evident, in his foolish adjuration ther of these could be conveniently practised in the pre- relative to the matter of the honey (see chap. xiv.) in sent case. They could not have buried them about which, to save his rash and nonsensical oath, he would Beth-shan without being discovered ; and as to embalm- have sacrificed Jonathan his son ! ing, that was most likely out of all question, as doubtless The question, "Was Saul a good king ?" has already the bodies were now tôo putrid to bear it. They there in effect been answered. He was on the whole a good fore burnt them, because 'there was no other way of man, as far as we know, in private life ; but he was a disposing of them at that time so as to do them honour ; bad king ; for he endeavoured to reign independently and the hones and ashes they collected, and buried un- of the Jewish constitution ; he in effect assumed the sader a tree or in a grove at Jabesh.
cerdotal office and functions, and thus even changed Verse 13. And fasted seven days.). To testify their what was essential to that constitution. He not only sincere regret for his unfortunate death, and the public offered sacrifices which belonged to the priests alone; calamity that had fallen upon the land.
but in the most positive manner went opposite to the
orders of that God whose vicegerent he was. Thus ends the troublesome, and I had almost said Of his conduct in visiting the woman at En-dor I the useless, reign of Saul. A king was chosen in op- have already given my opinion, and to this I must refer. position to the will of the Most High; and the govern- His desperate circumstances imposed on the weakness ment of God in effect rejected, to make way for this. of his mind; and he did in that instance an act which, king.
in his jurisprudential capacity, he had disapproved by Saul was at first a very humble young man, and con- the edict which banished all witches, &c., from Israel. ducted himself with great propriety; but his elevation Yet in this act he only wished to avail himself of the made him proud, and he soon became tyrannical in his counsel and advice of his friend Samuel. private conduct and in his political measures. His To the question, "Was not Saul a self-murderer. ?” natural temper was not good; he was peevish, fretful, I scruple not to answer, “ No." He was to all appear. VOL. II. ( 20 )
Remarks on the character
and conduct of Saul. ance mortally wounded, when he begged his armour-properly the cause of it, as he was mortally wounded bearer to extinguish the remaining spark of life; and before, and did it on the conviction that he could not he was afraid that the Philistines might abuse his body, survive. if they found him alive; and we can scarcely say how Taking Saul's state and circumstances together, I much of indignity is implied in this word ; and his fall- believe there is not a coroner's inquest in this nation ing on his sword was a fit of desperation, which doubt that would not have brought in a verdict of derangeless was the issue of-ą mind greatly agitated, and full ment; while the pious and the humane would everyof distraction. A few minutes longer, and his life where have consoled themselves with the hope that would in all probability havé ebbed out ; but though. God had extended mercy to his soul. this wound accelerated his death, yet it could not be l. *MILLBROOK, June 11, 1818.