|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:24-35 Saul's severe order was very unwise; if it gained time, it lost strength for the pursuit. Such is the nature of our bodies, that daily work cannot be done without daily bread, which therefore our Father in heaven graciously gives. Saul was turning aside from God, and now he begins to build altars, being then most zealous, as many are, for the form of godliness when he was denying the power of it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon,.... Michmash was the place where the camp of the Philistines was when Jonathan first attacked them, and from whence they fled, and they were pursued by the Israelites that day as far as Aijalon. There was a city of this name in the tribe of Dan, famous for the moon standing still in a valley adjoining to it, in the time of Joshua, Joshua 10:12 and another in the tribe of Zebulun, Judges 12:12, but they both seem to be at too great a distance to be the place here meant, which rather seems to be Aijalon in the tribe of Judah, 2 Chronicles 11:10 according to Bunting (z), it was twelve miles from Michmash:
and the people were very faint; as they might well be, with pursuing the enemy so many miles, and doing so much execution among them, without eating any food.
(z) Travels of the Patriarchs, &c. p. 127.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
31-34. the people were very faint. And the people flew upon the spoil—at evening, when the time fixed by Saul had expired. Faint and famishing, the pursuers fell voraciously upon the cattle they had taken, and threw them on the ground to cut off their flesh and eat them raw, so that the army, by Saul's rashness, were defiled by eating blood, or living animals; probably, as the Abyssinians do, who cut a part of the animal's rump, but close the hide upon it, and nothing mortal follows from that wound. They were painfully conscientious in keeping the king's order for fear of the curse, but had no scruple in transgressing God's command. To prevent this violation of the law, Saul ordered a large stone to be rolled, and those that slaughtered the oxen to cut their throats on that stone. By laying the animal's head on the high stone, the blood oozed out on the ground, and sufficient evidence was afforded that the ox or sheep was dead before it was attempted to eat it.
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