Adam Clarke Commentary
2 Samuel 1
An Amalekite comes to David, and informs him that the Philistines had routed the Israelites; and that Saul and his sons were slain, 2 Samuel 1:1-4. And pretends that he himself had despatched Saul, finding him ready to fall alive into the hands of the Philistines, and had brought his crown and bracelets to David, 2 Samuel 1:5-10. David and his men mourn for Saul and his sons, 2 Samuel 1:11, 2 Samuel 1:12. He orders the Amalekite, who professed that he had killed Saul, to be slain, 2 Samuel 1:13-16. David‘s funeral song for Saul and Jonathan, 2 Samuel 1:17-27.
A man came out of the camp - The whole account which this young man gives is a fabrication: in many of the particulars it is grossly self-contradictory. There is no fact in the case but the bringing of the crown, or diadem, and bracelets of Saul; which, as he appears to have been a plunderer of the slain, he found on the field of battle; and he brought them to David, and told the lie of having despatched Saul, merely to ingratiate himself with David.
I am an Amalekite - Dr. Delaney remarks that an Amalekite took that crown from off the head of Saul, which he had forfeited by his disobedience in the case of Amalek.
The crown - and the bracelet - The crown was probably no more than a royal fillet or diadem, both being the ensigns of royalty. It is sometimes customary in the East for a sovereign prince to give a crown and bracelets, when investing others with dominion or authority over certain provinces. Had Saul these in token of his being God‘s vicegerent, and that he held the kingdom from him alone?
Thy blood be upon thy head - If he killed Saul, as he said he did, then he deserved death; at that time it was not known to the contrary, and this man was executed on his own confession.
David lamented - See this lamentation, and the notes on it at the end of this chapter, 2 Samuel 1:21 (note).
The use of the bow - The use of is not in the Hebrew; it is simply the bow, that is, a song thus entitled. See the observations at the end, 2 Samuel 1:21 (note).
As though he had not been - In stead of בלי (beli), Not, I read כלי (keley), Instruments.
Anointed with oil - See the observations at the end.
19. (Hatstsebi Yishrael al bamotheycha chalal); (Eych naphelu gibborim);
The three last verses in this sublime lamentation have sense and sound so connected as to strike every reader.
Quomodo ceciderunt Fortes!
Montes Gilboani super vos
Sine sanguine Militum,
Saul et Jonathan
Prae aquilis veloces!
O Jonathan, super excelsa tua Miles!
Mulierum exuperans amorem!
In 2 Samuel 1:21 I have inserted כלי (keley) for בלי (beli). Dr. Delaney rightly observes that the particle בלי (beli) is not used in any part of the Bible in the sense of quasi non, as though not, in which sense it must be used here if it be retained as a genuine reading: The shield of Saul as though it had not been anointed with oil.
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