View 1st Samuel 31 in the note window.
Israel overthrown, and Saul, his three sons, his armour - bearer
and all his men slain, ver. 1 - 6.
The Israelites forsake their cities, ver. 7.
The camp plundered and the dead bodies insulted, ver. 8 - 10.
But rescued by the men of Jabesh - Gilead, ver. 11 - 13.
2: Jonathan - David's dear friend; God so ordering it for the
farther exercise of David's faith and patience; and that David might
depend upon God alone for his crown, and receive it solely from him, and not
from Jonathan; who doubtless, had he lived, would have speedily settled
the crown upon David's head. There was also a special providence of
God, in taking away Jonathan, (who of all Saul's sons, seems to have
been the fairest for the crown) for preventing divisions, which might have
happened amongst the people concerning the successor: David's way to the
crown being by this means made the more clear. Abinadab - Called also
Ishui, (1Sa 14:49).
Ishbosheth was not here, being possibly at home for the management of
8: Saul and his three sons - "The scripture, as Mr. Henry well
observes, makes no mention of the souls of Saul and his sons, what
became of them after they were dead: secret things belong not to us."
9: Cut off his head - As the Israelites did by Goliath,
and fastened it in the temple of Dagon, (1Ch 10:10).
Idols - To give them the glory of this victory. And by this respect
shewn to their pretended deities, how do they shame those, who give not
the honour of their achievements to the living God?
12: Took the body, &c. - This they did, not only out of a concern,
for the honour of Israel, and the crown of Israel, but out of
gratitude to Saul, for his zeal and forwardness to rescue them from
13: Fasted - To testify their sorrow for the loss of Saul, and
of the people of God; and to intreat God's favour to prevent the utter
extinction of his people. But you must not understand this word of
fasting strictly, as if they eat nothing for seven whole days; but in
a more large sense, as it is used both in sacred and profane writers; that
they did eat but little, and that but mean food, and drank only water for
that time. This book began with the birth of Samuel, and ends with the
death of Saul: The comparing these together will teach us to prefer the
honour that comes from God, before all the honours of the world.