|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:16-23 The Philistines were, by the power of God, set against one another. The more evident it was that God did all, the more reason Saul had to inquire whether God would give him leave to do any thing. But he was in such haste to fight a fallen enemy, that he would not stay to end his devotions, nor hear what answer God would give him. He that believeth, will not make such haste, nor reckon any business so urgent, as not to allow time to take God with him.
Verse 23. - Over unto Beth-aven. Hebrew, "the battle passed Beth-aven," i.e. no rally was made there. In ver. 31 we read that the pursuit continued as far as Aijalon. For Beth-aven see on 1 Samuel 13:5. SAUL'S RASH COMMAND (vers. 24-35).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So the Lord saved Israel that day, &c. And a wonderful salvation it was, that two men should throw such a vast army into confusion, which issued in the utter rout and destruction of them; this only could be of the Lord, to whom it is justly ascribed, and was the effect of his sovereign good will and pleasure, and of his unmerited goodness; a free favour bestowed on an undeserving prince, who had behaved ill to his prophet at Gilgal, and now to him and his high priest at Gibeah:
and the battle passed over unto Bethaven; the men of battle or war; those that made war, as the Targum, these pursued and went as far as Bethaven, or rather "passed Bethaven" (q); they not only, went as far as that, but "from" it, as Ben Gersom and Abarbinel interpret it; they passed that place, and went on from thence in pursuit of the Philistines; for their camp at Michmash was eastward from this place, and had it on the east, 1 Samuel 13:5.
(q) "transiit Bethaven", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "vel, beliatores transierunt Bethaven", Pagninus, Vatablus, Drusius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. So the Lord saved Israel that day: and the battle passed over unto Beth-aven—that is, "Beth-el." It passed over the forest, now destroyed, on the central ridge of Palestine, then over to the other side from the eastern pass of Michmash (1Sa 14:31), to the western pass of Aijalon, through which they escaped into their own plains.
1 Samuel 14:23 Parallel Commentaries
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