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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

1 Samuel 30

Introduction

CHAPTER 30

:-. THE AMALEKITES SPOIL ZIKLAG.

Verse 1

1. Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag—While the strength of the Philistine forces was poured out of their country into the plain of Esdraelon, the Amalekite marauders seized the opportunity of the defenseless state of Philistia to invade the southern territory. Of course, David's town suffered from the ravages of these nomad plunderers, in revenge for his recent raid upon their territory.

Verse 2

2. they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away—Their conduct seems to stand in favorable contrast to that of David ( :-). But their apparent clemency did not arise from humane considerations. It is traceable to the ancient war usages of the East, where the men of war, on the capture of a city, were unsparingly put to death, but there were no warriors in Ziklag at the time. The women and boys were reserved for slaves, and the old people were spared out of respect to age.

Verse 3

3. David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire—The language implies that the smoke of the conflagration was still visible, and the sacking very recent.

:-. BUT DAVID, ENCOURAGED BY GOD, PURSUES THEM.

Verse 6

6. David was greatly distressed—He had reason, not only on his own personal account ( :-), but on account of the vehement outcry and insurrectionary threats against him for having left the place so defenseless that the families of his men fell an unresisting prey to the enemy. Under the pressure of so unexpected and widespread a calamity, of which he was upbraided as the indirect occasion, the spirit of any other leader guided by ordinary motives would have sunk;

but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God—His faith supplied him with inward resources of comfort and energy, and through the seasonable inquiries he made by Urim, he inspired confidence by ordering an immediate pursuit of the plunderers.

Verse 9

9. came to the brook Besor—now Wady Gaza, a winter torrent, a little to the south of Gaza. The bank of a stream naturally offered a convenient rest to the soldiers, who, through fatigue, were unable to continue the pursuit.

Verse 11

11-15. they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David—Old and homeborn slaves are usually treated with great kindness. But a purchased or captured slave must look to himself; for, if feeble or sick, his master will leave him to perish rather than encumber himself with any additional burden. This Egyptian seems to have recently fallen into the hands of an Amalekite, and his master having belonged to the marauding party that had made the attack on Ziklag, he could give useful information as to the course taken by them on their return.

Verse 14

14. the Cherethites—that is, the Philistines (Ezekiel 25:16; Zephaniah 2:5).

Verse 15

15. Swear unto me by God—Whether there was still among these idolatrous tribes a lingering belief in one God, or this Egyptian wished to bind David by the God whom the Hebrews worshipped, the solemn sanction of an oath was mutually recognized.

:-. AND RECOVERS HIS TWO WIVES AND ALL THE SPOIL.

Verse 16

16. they were spread abroad upon all the earth—Believing that David and all his men of war were far away, engaged with the Philistine expedition, they deemed themselves perfectly secure and abandoned themselves to all manner of barbaric revelry. The promise made in answer to the devout inquiries of David (1 Samuel 30:8) was fulfilled. The marauders were surprised and panic-stricken. A great slaughter ensued—the people as well as the booty taken from Ziklag was recovered, besides a great amount of spoil which they had collected in a wide, freebooting excursion.

Verse 21

21. David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint that they could not follow—This unexpected accession of spoil was nearly proving an occasion of quarrel through the selfish cupidity of some of his followers, and serious consequences might have ensued had they not been prevented by the prudence of the leader, who enacted it as a standing ordinance—the equitable rule—that all the soldiers should share alike (see Numbers 31:11; see on Numbers 31:11- :).

Verse 26

26. when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil to the elders of Judah—This was intended as an acknowledgment to the leading men in those towns and villages of Judah which had ministered to his necessities in the course of his various wanderings. It was the dictate of an amiable and grateful heart; and the effect of this well-timed liberality was to bring a large accession of numbers to his camp ( :-). The enumeration of these places shows what a numerous and influential party of adherents to his cause he could count within his own tribe [1 Samuel 30:27-9.30.31].

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 30". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/1-samuel-30.html. 1871-8.