|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-9 The sentence of condemnation against the Amalekites had gone forth long before, Ex 17:14; De 25:19, but they had been spared till they filled up the measure of their sins. We are sure that the righteous Lord does no injustice to any. The remembering the kindness of the ancestors of the Kenites, in favour to them, at the time God was punishing the injuries done by the ancestors of the Amalekites, tended to clear the righteousness of God in this dispensation. It is dangerous to be found in the company of God's enemies, and it is our duty and interest to come out from among them, lest we share in their sins and plagues, Re 18:4. As the commandment had been express, and a test of Saul's obedience, his conduct evidently was the effect of a proud, rebellious spirit. He destroyed only the refuse, that was good for little. That which was now destroyed was sacrificed to the justice of God.
Verse 7. - From Havilah until thou comest to Shur. Hebrew, "from Havilah as thou goest towards Shur." It seems impossible that this Havilah can be the northwestern portion of Yemen, called Chawlan, and identified with the Havilah of Genesis 10:7, 29, as this would make Saul smite them from southeast to northwest. Shur, which means wall, is, as Wellhausen (Text 1 samuel 9:7) observes, originally the name of the wall which ran from Pelusium past Migdol to Hero, and which gave to Egypt, as Ebers thinks, its name Mizraim, the enclosed or fortified. Shur is again mentioned in 1 Samuel 27:8 as indicating the direction towards Egypt of the region occupied by the Amalekites. Havilah, which means circle, must have been some spot on the route to the isthmus of Suez, lying on the edge of the wilderness to the south of Judah, where Saul commenced his foray. Beginning thus upon the borders of Judaea, Saul continued his devastations up to the limits of Egypt.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Saul smote the Amalekites,.... Engaging in battle with them, he overcame them, and beat them, and slew great numbers of them:
from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt; having routed them in the valley, or in whatsoever place the battle was fought, he pursued them from one end of their country to the other; from Havilah, which lay to the northeast, to Shur, which lay to the southwest, and destroyed all that came in his way between those two points, see Genesis 25:18.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1Sa 15:7-9. He Spares Agag and the Best of the Spoil.
7-9. Saul smote the Amalekites—His own view of the proper and expedient course to follow was his rule, not the command of God.
1 Samuel 15:7 Parallel Commentaries
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