View 1st Samuel 13 in the note window.
Saul and Jonathan's life - guard, ver. 1, 2.
Jonathan smites a garrison, and the people are called together,
ver. 3, 4.
The Philistines come up, and the Israelites are terrified,
ver. 5 - 7.
Saul sacrifices, ver. 8 - 10.
Is reproved by Samuel, ver. 11 - 14.
The people diminished, plundered, and disarmed, ver. 15 - 23.
3: Blew - That is, he sent messengers to tell them all what
Jonathan had done, and how the Philistines were enraged at it, and
therefore what necessity there was of gathering themselves together for
their own defence.
4: Saul - Perhaps contrary to some treaty.
5: Thirty thousand chariots, &c. - Most of them, we may suppose,
carriages for their baggage, not chariots of war, tho' all their allies were
joined with them.
6: Strait - Notwithstanding their former presumption that if they had
a king, they should be free from all such straits. And hereby God intended
to teach them the vanity of confidence in men; and that they did not one jot
less need the help of God now, than they did when they had no king.
And probably they were the more discouraged, because they did not find
Samuel with Saul. Sooner or later men will be made to see, that God
and his prophets are their best friends.
7: All the people - That is, all that were left.
8: Seven days - Not seven compleat days; for the last day was not
11: Camest not - That is, when the seventh day was come, and a good
part of it past, whence I concluded thou wouldst not come that day.
12: Supplication - Thence it appears, that sacrifices were
accompanied with solemn prayers. Forced myself - I did it against my own
mind and inclination.
13: For ever - The phrase, for ever, in scripture often signifies
only a long time. So this had been abundantly verified, if the kingdom had
been enjoyed by Saul, and by his son, and by his son's son; after whom
the kingdom might have come to Judah.
14: A man - That is, such a man as will fulfil all the desires of his
heart, and not oppose them, as thou dost. Commanded - That is, hath
appointed, as the word command is sometimes used: but though God threatened
but Saul with the loss of his kingdom for his sin; yet it is not
improbable, there was a tacit condition implied, to wit, if he did not
repent of this; and of all his sins; for the full, and final, and peremptory
sentence of Saul's rejection, is plainly ascribed to another cause,(1Sa 15:11,23,26,28,29), and 'till that second offence, neither the
spirit of the Lord departed from him, nor was David anointed in his
stead. "But was it not hard, to punish so little a sin so severely?" It
was not little: disobedience to an express command, tho' in a small matter,
is a great provocation. And indeed, there is no little sin, because there
is no little god to sin against. In general, what to men seems a small
offence, to him who knows the heart may appear a heinous crime. We are
taught hereby, how necessary it is, that we wait on our God continually.
For Saul is sentenced to lose his kingdom for want of two or three hours
20: Philistines - Not to the land of the Philistines, but to the
stations and garrisons which the Philistines retained in several parts
of Israel's land, though Samuel's authority had so far over - awed
them, that they durst not give the Israelites much disturbance.
In these, therefore, the Philistines kept all the smiths; and here they
allowed them the exercise of their art for the uses following.
22: Sword - It seems restrained to the six hundred that were with
Saul and Jonathan; for there were no doubt a considerable number of
swords and spears among the Israelites, but they generally hid them, as
now they did their persons, from the Philistines. And the
Philistines had not yet attained to so great a power over them, as
wholly to disarm them, but thought it sufficient to prevent the making of
new arms; knowing that the old ones would shortly be decayed, and useless.
There were likewise other arms more common in those times and places, than
swords and spears; to wit, bows and arrows, and slings and stones.