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The Battle Near Mount Gilboa
v. 1. Now, the Philistines fought against Israel, in the Plain of Jezreel, 1 Samuel 31; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain, wounded and killed, in Mount Gilboa, where they were trying to make their escape.
v. 2. And the Philistines followed hard after Saul and after his sons, clinging to their footsteps, intending, above all, to put them out of the way. And the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul.
v. 3. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers, literally, "he trembled for the archers," he was seized with a sudden terror as they gradually closed in upon him.
v. 4. Then said Saul to his armor bearer, Draw thy sword and thrust me through therewith, lest these uncircumcised, a common name for the heathen, as not being partakers of the covenant of Jehovah, come and abuse me, insult him, make mockery of him as a vanquished enemy. But his armor-bearer would not, for he was sore afraid; he dreaded the vengeance of the Lord upon him in case he would lay his hand upon the anointed king of the nation. So Saul took a sword and fell upon it, committing suicide, dying the death of a coward.
v. 5. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword and died, following the bad example of his sovereign.
v. 6. So Saul died, and his three sons and all his house, his near relatives and the members of his household, died together.
v. 7. 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, out in the open country, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them, establishing their outposts in the very midst of the country of Israel. Thus the wrath of the Lord overtook Saul, because he had forsaken His precepts and insisted upon going his own way. God will not be mocked, as many a scoffer has found out to his sorrow.
The Triumph of the Philistines
v. 8. And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, to make the customary plunder of personal belongings, that they found Saul and his sons fallen in Mount Gilboa.
v. 9. And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, to whom they attributed this victory, and to the people.
v. 10. And they put his armor in the house of their gods, in the temple of Astarte, as trophies of the great victory, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon, their chief god, while the trunk was affixed to the wall of Beth-shan, 1 Samuel 31:10.
v. 11. And when all Jabesh-gilead, the inhabitants of the city east of Jordan, which owed so much to Saul, heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,
v. 12. they arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, from the wall of Beth-shan, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days, in token of mourning. Cf 1 Samuel 31:11-13.
v. 13. So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, 1 Samuel 13:13, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it, 1 Samuel 28:1;
v. 14. and enquired not of the Lord, namely, after sound repentance; therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David, the son of Jesse. Rejecting the Word of God is equivalent to rejecting the Lord Himself and is followed by the same punishment. A professed Christian who seeks the advice of the modern necromancers and fortune-tellers by that fact sets aside his Christian faith, sinning against the Second Commandment.
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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 10". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany