And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And enquired not of the Lord.—Saul had, in fact, enquired of Jehovah before resorting to the witch of En-dor, “but the Lord answered him not, neither by the dreams, nor by the Urim, nor by the prophets” (1Samuel 28:6). We shall not be reading a meaning of our own into the text if we say that Saul’s natural impatience (1Samuel 13:13) on this occasion betrayed him again; he at once despaired of help from his God, instead of seeking it with self-humiliation and penitence. His character is consistently drawn throughout the history. The sin that ruined the first king was essentially that which led to the final ruin of the nation, viz., unfaithfulness to the covenant-God. The same word characterises both. (Comp. 1Chronicles 10:13 with 1Chronicles 5:25; 1Chronicles 9:1.)
Therefore he slew him.—God acts through the instrumentality of His creatures. In this case He employed the Philistines, and the suicidal hand of Saul himself; just as He employed the Assyrian conquerors of a later age to be the scourge of guilty peoples (Isaiah 10:5-15), and raised up Cyrus to be His servant, who should fulfil all His pleasure (Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1-13).
Turned the kingdom unto David.—By means of the warriors of Israel (1Chronicles 12:23). This sentence shows that 1 Chronicles 10 is transitional to the history of David as king.1 Chronicles 10:14. Inquired not of the Lord — He did in some sort, but not in a right manner; not humbly and penitently, not diligently and importunately, not patiently and perseveringly; nor till he was brought to the last extremity, and then it was too late. 1 Chronicles 9:1. The "transgression" intended is probably the disobedience with respect to Amalek, recorded in 1 Samuel 15:1-9 (compare 1 Samuel 28:17-18). Inquired not of the Lord.
Object. Saul inquired of the Lord, 1 Samuel 28:6.
Answ. He did so, but not in a right manner, not humbly and penitently, not diligently and importunately, not patiently and perseveringly; but when God would not answer him speedily, he gives it over, and goes from God to the devil. Compare 1 Samuel 14:18,19. Such an inconsiderable and trifling inquiry as Saul made, is justly accounted to be no inquiry at all; as they are said not to eat the Lord’s supper, 1 Corinthians 11:20, who did eat it in a sinful and irregular manner. 1 Samuel 28:6 the Targum adds another reason of his death, because he killed the priests of Nob; but that is not in the text:
therefore he slew him; or suffered him to be slain:
and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse; translated the kingdom of Israel out of Saul's family, upon his death, into Jesse's, even unto David; for the sake of which observation this short account is given of the last end of Saul.And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. and inquired not of the Lord] Cp. 1 Chronicles 13:3. The Chronicler does not count inquiries made too late; cp. 1 Samuel 28:6 (Saul inquires of the Lord, but receives no answer).Verse 14. - And inquired not of the Lord. Saul seems to have, in point of fact, inquired in some sense (1 Samuel 14:37; 1 Samuel 28:5, 6, 15). But the probable meaning is that he did not inquire in the first instance (see vers. 3, 4); and when he did inquire, he did not await the reply solely and exclusively of Jehovah. Therefore he slew him (so see 1 Chronicles 2:3). David the son of Jesse. The compiler, having heretofore given so scrupulously whatever of genealogical fact he could, is now careful to use it. And he identifies the future chief hero of his history as him who had already been instanced (1 Chronicles 2:15), "son of Jesse."
1 Chronicles 10:8-10 and in the account of the burial of Saul and of his sons by valiant men of Jabesh, 1 Chronicles 10:11, 1 Chronicles 10:12, cf. the commentary on 1 Samuel 31:8-13. In the reflection on Saul's death, 1 Chronicles 10:13 and 1 Chronicles 10:14, a double transgression against the Lord on Saul's part is mentioned: first, the מעל (on the meaning of this word, vide on Leviticus 5:15) of not observing the word of Jahve, which refers to the transgression of the divine command made known to him by the prophet Samuel, 1 Samuel 13:8. (cf. with 1 Chronicles 10:8), and 1 Samuel 15:2-3, 1 Samuel 15:11, cf. 1 Samuel 28:18; and second, his inquiring of the אוב, the summoner of the dead (vide on Leviticus 19:31), לדרושׁ, i.e., to receive an oracle (cf. in reference to both word and thing, 1 Samuel 28:7).
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