Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Samuel 28:5

When Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Familiar Spirits;   Samuel;   Saul;   Thompson Chain Reference - Host;   Righteous-Wicked;   Saul, King of Israel;   Worldly;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Fear, Unholy;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Endor;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Samuel;   Saul, king of israel;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Descent into Hell (Hades);   War, Holy War;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Prayer;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Magic;   Saul;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Divination;   Saul;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Death;   En-Dor;   Eschatology;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Descent into Hades;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Necromancer;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Magic;   Saul;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - War;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Samuel, Books of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Endor, the Witch of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

When Saul saw - He saw from the superiority of his enemies, from the state of his army, and especially from his own state towards God, that he had every thing to fear.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-samuel-28.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines,.... From the mountains of Gilboa, where he had pitched his camp:

he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled; on sight of the numbers of them, and thinking perhaps of the death of Samuel, and of the loss of David; who was now among the Philistines, and might possibly fight against him, and for the Philistines, of which he might be informed; however, he was not with him, and his conscience might accuse him of various sins he had been guilty of, for which he might fear the Lord would now reckon with him.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-samuel-28.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.

He trembled — Had he kept close to God, he needed not fear all the armies of the Philistines.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:5". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-samuel-28.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Samuel 28:5 And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.

Ver. 5. He was afraid.] "The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness surpriseth the hypocrites": and they run away, if they could tell whither, with these words in their mouths, "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" [Isaiah 33:14] God himself answereth in the next word. [Isaiah 33:15] "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly," &c. But Saul was none such; and therefore in his extreme fear he runneth from God to the witch, and from the witch to the sword’s point.

And his heart greatly trembled.] Those that cannot fear for love, shall once tremble for fear: and God shall laugh when such a one’s fears cometh. [Proverbs 1:26]

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-samuel-28.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Saul saw the host from Mount Gilboa, 1 Samuel 31:1.

His heart greatly trembled; partly, from the greatness and resoluteness of the host of the Philistines, who were the aggressors; partly, from the loss of David, who might have been of great use to him at this time; partly, from the conscience of his own manifest guilt, and just expectation of Divine vengeance oft threatened, and now in all likelihood to be inflicted upon him.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:5". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-samuel-28.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

5. He was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled — He was a skilful and far-sighted general, and he felt that the Philistines had every probability of victory. He was also probably deeply affected with the feeling that Jehovah had forsaken him. Jehovah’s Spirit came not now mightily upon him as in former years; no cunning player on the harp was with him to charm away the evil spirit.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-samuel-28.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Samuel 28:5. His heart greatly trembled — When he saw their numbers, their orders, and their appointments, he judged himself to be greatly overpowered, and fell into great terror upon the prospect. Had he kept close to God he needed not to have feared all the armies of the Philistines.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:5". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-samuel-28.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Dismayed. It was so numerous, while his own conscience upbraided him with being at enmity with God, who increased his fears. (Salien)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-samuel-28.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.

And when Saul saw ... he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. There is in this description of Saul's emotions a paranomasia, play on the name of the place, which was called 'the well or spring of Harod,' from the fear and trembling which once at that spot seized the army of Gideon (Judges 7:3).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-samuel-28.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(5) He was afraid.—There is no doubt that Saul was discouraged when he viewed the enemy’s ranks from the eminence of Gilboa. They were far more numerous than he had expected. But the real reason of his trembling must be looked for in the consciousness that God had forsaken him. Many of the well-known Israelite warriors had, during the late events, taken service with his dreaded rival, David, and David, he knew, was now the vassal of Achish, a Philistine king. We may imagine Saul, the forsaken of God, as be stood on the white chalk hill of Gilboa, gazing on the long lines of Philistine tents pitched on the opposite hill of Shunem, wondering if his old friend was there, with his mighty following, in the division of Gath.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-samuel-28.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.
he was afraid
Job 15:21; 18:11; Psalms 48:5,6; 73:19; Proverbs 10:24; Isaiah 7:2; 21:3,4; Isaiah 57:20,21; Daniel 5:6
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 28:20 - sore afraid;  Ezekiel 20:31 - and shall;  Acts 9:6 - trembling

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-samuel-28.html.