Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 10

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.

Now the Philistines fought against Israel. The details of this chapter have no relation to the preceding genealogies, and seem to be inserted solely to introduce the narrative of David's elevation to the throne of the whole kingdom. The parallel between the books of Samuel and Chronicles commences with this chapter, which relates the issue of the fatal battle of Gilboa almost in the very same words as 1 Samuel 31:1-13.

Verse 2

And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 3

And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.

The archers hit him, and he was wounded. The Hebrew words may be thus rendered: 'The archers found (attacked) him with the bow, and he was in pain from the archers.' He was not wounded, at least dangerously, when he resolved on committing suicide. The deed was the effect of sudden terror and overwhelming depression of spirits (Calmet).

Verse 4

Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

His armour-bearer ... was sore afraid. He was, of course, placed in the same perilous condition as Saul. But it is probable that the feelings that restrained him from complying with Saul's wish were a profound respect for royalty, mingled with apprehension of the shock which such a catastrophe would give to the national feelings and interests.

Verse 5

And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 6

So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together.

Saul died ... and all his house - his sons and courtiers who were here engaged in the battle. But it appears that Ishbosheth and Mephibosheth were kept at Gibeah on account of their youth.

Verses 7-9

And when all the men of Israel that were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, then they forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 10

And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.

Put his armour in the house of their gods. It was common among the pagan to vow to a national or favourite deity, that, in the event of a victory, the armour of the enemy's king, or of some eminent leader, should be dedicated to him as an offering of gratitude. Such trophies were usually suspended on the pillars of the temple. Thus Virgil ('AEneid,' 11:, 5) describes the temple in which King Latinus received the messengers of Aeneas:

`Hung on the pillars all appears A row of trophies, helmets, shields, and spears, And solid bars, and axes keenly bright, And naval beaks, and chariots seized in fight.'

(See Tacitus, 'Annales,' 2:, 22; Curtius, 8:, 1. cf. 3:, 288; Ovid, 'Ars Armator.,' 2:, 744.)

Fastened his head in the temple of Dagon - (see the note at 1 Samuel 5:2.) This temple continued until it was destroyed in the time of the Maccabees ( 1Ma 10:82-85 ). The trunk or headless corpse was affixed to the wall of Beth-shan (1 Samuel 31:10).

Verse 11

And when all Jabesh-gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 12

They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons - (see the note at 1 Samuel 31:12.) And buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh. The tree, which was called [ haa'eeshel (H815)] the tamarisk, is said here to be [ haa'eelaah (H424)] the oak. 'This discrepancy,' says Wilton ('Negeb,' pp. 195,

195), 'although formidable at first sight, is obviated by a consideration of the primary meaning of Elah. Derived from a root which imports strength, it generally denotes "the tree" or "the strong tree," while it applies specifically to the principal or characteristic tree of the particular region referred to.'

Verse 13

So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;

Saul died for his transgression - in having spared the king of the Amalekites, and taking the flocks of the peoples as spoil, as well as in having consulted a Pythoness. Both of these acts were great sins; the first as a violation of God's express and positive command, and the second as contrary to a well-known statute of the kingdom (Leviticus 19:31).

Verse 14

And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

And inquired not of the Lord. He had done so in form (1 Samuel 28:6), but not in the spirit of a humble penitent, nor with the believing confidence of a sincere worshipper. His inquiry was in fact, a mere mockery, and his total want of all right religious impressions was manifested by his rushing from God to a wretched impostor in the service of the Devil.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/1-chronicles-10.html. 1871-8.
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