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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

1 Samuel 31

Introduction

1Saul, having lost his army, and his sons slain, he and his armour-bearer kill themselves.
7The Philistines possess the forsaken towns of the Israelites.
8They triumph over the dead carcases.
11They of Jabesh-gilead recovering the dead bodies by night, burn them at Jabesh, and mournfully bury their bones.

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.
the Philistines
28:1,15; 29:1
fell down
12:25; 1 Chronicles 10:1-12
slain
Heb. wounded. Gilboa. Eusebius and Jerome place this mountain six miles west from Bethshan, where was a large place called Gelbus. The natives still call it Djebel Gilbo.
28:4; 2 Samuel 1:21
Reciprocal: Leviticus 26:17 - ye shall be; 1 Samuel 7:13 - against; 1 Samuel 28:19 - the Lord; 2 Samuel 1:4 - the people; 2 Samuel 1:6 - mount; 2 Samuel 1:23 - they were; 2 Samuel 4:4 - when the tidings; 2 Samuel 21:12 - in Gilboa; 1 Chronicles 13:2 - left; 1 Chronicles 17:8 - have cut off; Psalm 44:10 - Thou; Psalm 60:1 - scattered; Psalm 63:10 - They shall fall; Psalm 75:3 - earth; Psalm 78:9 - The children; Psalm 141:6 - When their judges; Proverbs 24:22 - their; Hosea 13:11 - General

Verse 2

And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul's sons.
followed
14:22; 2 Samuel 1:6
Jonathan
13:2,16; 14:1-14,49; 18:1-4; 23:17; 1 Chronicles 8:33; 9:39
Saul's sons
Exodus 20:5; 2 Kings 25:7
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 20:16 - Let the Lord; 1 Kings 14:1 - the son; 1 Chronicles 10:1 - the Philistines fought; Psalm 35:8 - into; Proverbs 17:13 - General

Verse 3

And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.
went sore
2 Samuel 1:4; Amos 2:14
archers hit him
Heb. shooters, men with bows, found him.
Genesis 49:23; 1 Kings 22:34
Reciprocal: Judges 8:21 - Rise thou; 1 Chronicles 10:3 - went; Psalm 7:16 - General; Psalm 21:8 - General; Psalm 64:8 - all that; Proverbs 17:13 - General

Verse 4

Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
Draw
Judges 9:54; 1 Chronicles 10:4
uncircumcised
14:6; 17:26,36; 2 Samuel 1:20; Jeremiah 9:25,26; Ezekiel 44:7-9
abuse me
or, mock me. he was sore.
2 Samuel 1:14
Saul
2 Samuel 1:9,10; 17:23; 1 Kings 16:27
a sword
Eth hacherve, rather, "the sword," i.e., his armour- bearer's, who, according to the Jews, was Doeg; and if so, then Saul and his executioner fell by the same sword with which they massacred the priests of God.
Reciprocal: Judges 14:3 - uncircumcised; 1 Samuel 31:9 - cut off; 1 Kings 16:18 - and burnt the king's house; 2 Kings 6:33 - this evil is of the Lord; Psalm 7:16 - General; Psalm 9:5 - destroyed; Psalm 34:21 - they; Psalm 37:15 - sword; Psalm 119:96 - I have seen; Proverbs 24:16 - but; Jeremiah 38:19 - mock; Matthew 27:5 - and departed; Acts 16:27 - he drew; 2 Corinthians 4:8 - not in despair

Verse 5

And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.
1 Chronicles 10:5
Reciprocal: Judges 8:21 - Rise thou; Judges 9:54 - Draw thy; 2 Samuel 1:10 - slew; 2 Samuel 17:23 - and hanged; 1 Kings 16:18 - and burnt the king's house; Psalm 119:96 - I have seen; Matthew 27:5 - and departed; Acts 16:27 - he drew

Verse 6

So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.
4:10,11; 11:15; 12:17,25; 28:19; 1 Chronicles 10:6; Ecclesiastes 9:1,2; Hosea 13:10,11
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 26:10 - he shall descend; 2 Samuel 7:9 - cut off; Acts 13:22 - when

Verse 7

And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.
they forsook the cities
13:6; Leviticus 26:32,36; Deuteronomy 28:33; Judges 6:2
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 14:22 - hid themselves; 2 Samuel 2:7 - let your; 2 Samuel 4:3 - General; 1 Chronicles 10:7 - then they; 2 Chronicles 13:19 - took cities; Psalm 9:6 - thou hast; Psalm 144:14 - no breaking in

Verse 8

And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa.
to strip
1 Chronicles 10:8; 2 Chronicles 20:25
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 1:19 - beauty

Verse 9

And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people.
cut off
4; 17:51,54; 1 Chronicles 10:9,10
to publish
Judges 16:23,24; 2 Samuel 1:20
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 4:7 - took his head; Daniel 1:2 - and he

Verse 10

And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.
they put
The Philistines placed the armour of Saul in the temple of Ashtaroth as a trophy of victory, and a testimony of their gratitude, in the same manner as David placed the sword of Goliath in the tabernacle.
21:9
Ashtaroth
Judges 2:13
Bethshan
Joshua 17:11; Judges 1:27; 2 Samuel 21:12-14
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 4:12 - Bethshean; 1 Chronicles 7:29 - Bethshean; 1 Chronicles 10:9 - took; 1 Chronicles 10:10 - their gods; Daniel 1:2 - and he

Verse 11

And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul;
Jabesh-gilead
11:1; 2 Samuel 2:4
of that
or, concerning him, that which, etc.
Reciprocal: Judges 21:8 - Jabeshgilead; 2 Samuel 21:12 - the bones of Saul; 1 Chronicles 10:11 - when

Verse 12

All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.
burnt them there
2 Chronicles 16:14; Jeremiah 34:5; Amos 6:10
Reciprocal: Joshua 17:11 - Manasseh; 2 Samuel 2:7 - let your; 1 Kings 4:12 - Bethshean

Verse 13

And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
their bones
Genesis 35:8; 2 Samuel 2:4,5; 21:12-14
fasted seven
Genesis 50:10 Reciprocal: Psalm 32:3 - When; Psalm 108:11 - who hast

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 31". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/1-samuel-31.html.