|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
31:1-7 We cannot judge of the spiritual or eternal state of any by the manner of their death; for in that, there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked. Saul, when sorely wounded, and unable to resist or to flee, expressed no concern about his never-dying soul; but only desired that the Philistines might not insult over him, or put him to pain, and he became his own murderer. As it is the grand deceit of the devil, to persuade sinners, under great difficulties, to fly to this last act of desperation, it is well to fortify the mind against it, by a serious consideration of its sinfulness before God, and its miserable consequences in society. But our security is not in ourselves. Let us seek protection from Him who keepeth Israel. Let us watch and pray; and take unto us the whole armour of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Verses 1, 2. - The Philistines fought. Literally it is a participle present, "the Philistines are warring," as if it were a mere resumption of 1 Samuel 28:1. In the battle fought on the day following Saul's visit to the witch the Israelites were defeated, and fell in large numbers slain in Mount Gilboa, either because the Philistines had attacked them there, or because, after fighting in the valley of Jezreel, they had made on its steep ridges their last defence. Among those thus slain were the three sons of Saul mentioned in 1 Samuel 14:49, where see note.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now the Philistines fought against Israel,.... Being come to Jezreel where Israel pitched, 1 Samuel 29:1; they fell upon them, began the battle:
and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines; at the first onset, as it should seem:
and fell down slain in Mount Gilboa; which was near, and whither fleeing they were pursued and slain, at least great numbers of them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1Sa 31:1-7. Saul Having Lost His Army at Gilboa, and His Sons Being Slain, He and His Armor-bearer Kill Themselves.
1. Now the Philistines fought against Israel—In a regular engagement, in which the two armies met (1Sa 28:1-4), the Israelites were forced to give way, being annoyed by the arrows of the enemy, which, destroying them at a distance before they came to close combat, threw them into panic and disorder. Taking advantage of the heights of Mount Gilboa, [the Israelites] attempted to rally, but in vain. Saul and his sons fought like heroes; but the onset of the Philistines being at length mainly directed against the quarter where they were, Jonathan and two brothers, Abinadab or Ishui (1Sa 14:49) and Melchishua, overpowered by numbers, were killed on the spot.
1 Samuel 31:1 Parallel Commentaries
1 Samuel 31:1 NIV
1 Samuel 31:1 NLT
1 Samuel 31:1 ESV
1 Samuel 31:1 NASB
1 Samuel 31:1 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible