And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The battle went sore against Saul.—Literally, was heavy upon (Samuel, “unto”) him, like a burden weighing him to the earth.
And the archers hit him.—Literally, And they that shoot with the bow came upon him; and he shuddered (Sam., “greatly”) before the shooters. “He shuddered or trembled” (Deuteronomy 2:25). The verb is properly to writhe, travail (Isaiah 23:4). Saul’s deadly terror was natural. He believed himself forsaken of God, and stood now, after a lost battle, beset by murderous foes, whom he could not reach. There was no chance of a fair hand to hand encounter. The Heb. word for “archers” is the same in both places in Sam. (môrîm); here a rarer form (yôrîm, 2Chronicles 35:23) fills the second place. The Philistines were from Egypt, and the bow was a favourite Egyptian arm. The hieroglyph for “soldier” (menfat) is a man with bow and quiver.1 Samuel 31:1-13 - the fastening of Saul's head in the temple of Dagon 1 Chronicles 10:10, and the burial of his bones, and those of his sons, under an oak 1 Chronicles 10:12. Otherwise the narrative differs from 1 Samuel 31:1-13 only by being abbreviated (see especially 1 Chronicles 10:6-7, 1 Chronicles 10:11-12), and by having some moral reflections attached to it 1 Chronicles 10:13-14. 1 Samuel 31:1. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers] R.V. the archers overtook him; and he was distressed by reason of the archers.Verse 3. - The archers hit him. The literal translation would be, the shooters, men with the bow, found him. The context makes it plain that the meaning is that the arrows of the pursuers rather than the pursuers themselves "found" him, and these made him argue all the rest. To this our Authorized Version has jumped by the one word "hit" him. It is evident from ver. 8 that the Philistines did not find the body of Saul to recognize it till next day. And he was wounded of the archers. The radical meaning of the verb (חוּל) is rather "to twist" (torquere) or "be twisted," "writhe" (torqueri). And the meaning here is in harmony with it, that Saul trembled from fear or writhed with the pain already inflicted of the arrows. Hence the parallel passage couples with this same verb, the adverb מְאֹך. 1 Chronicles 8:29-38, along with those of other families of the tribe of Benjamin, and is repeated here only to connect the following history of the kingship with the preceding genealogical lists. It forms here the introduction to the narrative of Saul's death in 1 Chronicles 10:1-14, which in turn forms the transition to the kingship of David. The deviations of this register from that in 1 Chronicles 8:29-38, show that it has been derived from another document in more complete preservation than that in 1 Chronicles 8, which had been handed down in connection with other genealogies of the Benjamite families, and had suffered considerably in its text. See the commentary on 1 Chronicles 8:29-38.
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