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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

1 Samuel 31

 

 

Verses 1-13

1 Samuel 31. Battle of Gilboa.—Cf. p. 285, and 2 Samuel 1:6-16*.

1 Samuel 31:1-7. Israel was routed, Saul's sons slain, and he himself in danger of being taken prisoner. To avoid this he fell upon his own sword.

3. he was greatly distressed: perhaps read, with LXX, "he was wounded by the archers."

1 Samuel 31:4. and thrust me through (second occurrence): omit with 1 Chronicles 10:4. What Saul fears is not mutilation after death, but being taken alive, and, like Samson, being made to provide sport for the Philistines.

1 Samuel 31:7. they that were beyond Jordan: omit with 1 Chronicles 10:7.

1 Samuel 31:8-13. The Philistines announced their victory by sending Saul's head round their land, "to carry the tidings to their idols and to the people" (1 Chronicles 10:9 and LXX). They put his armour in the "House of Ashtaroth," i.e. the temple of Astarte (p. 299), and fastened the bodies of Saul and his sons outside the wall of Bethshan (Judges 1:27*). The men of Jabesh-gilead (1 Samuel 11:1-11) went by night, brought them away, and buried them. [Robertson Smith (RS2, p. 373), says, "Saul's body was burned possibly to save it from the risk of exhumation by the Philistines, but perhaps rather with a religious intention, and almost as an act of worship, since his bones were buried under the sacred tamarisk at Jabesh."—A. S. P.]

1 Samuel 31:10 b. Ch. alters this into "and fastened his head in the house of Dagon," and omits "from the wall of Beth-shan" in 1 Samuel 31:12. The S. text is the more correct.

1 Samuel 31:12. burnt them there: many read "and lamented for them there," because burning was "incompatible with the established custom of Israel," SBOT. But ICC prefers to retain the present text, otherwise why "bones" in 1 Samuel 31:13? 1 Chronicles 10:12 omits the clause.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 31:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/1-samuel-31.html. 1919.

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