1 Chronicles 10:4
Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
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(4) And Saul said.—So Abimelech (Judges 9:54).

Lest these uncircumcised come.—Sam. Adds “and thrust me through.” An inadvertent repetition there, or omission here, is possible. Or, we might say, Saul preferred death by a friendly stroke to the thrusts of insulting foemen.

And abuse me.—The Hebrew means, strictly, “to make a toy of,” “sport with.” “How I have made a toy of Egypt” (Exodus 10:2); and is used (Jeremiah 38:19) of insulting a fallen foe, as here.

Took a sword.—Literally, the sword—i.e., his sword.

10:1-14 The death of Saul. - The design chiefly in view in these books of the Chronicles, appears to be to preserve the records of the house of David. Therefore the writer repeats not the history of Saul's reign, but only of his death, by which a way was made for David to the throne. And from the ruin of Saul, we may learn, 1. That the sin of sinners will certainly find them out, sooner or later; Saul died for his transgression. 2. That no man's greatness can exempt him from the judgments of God. 3. Disobedience is a killing thing. Saul died for not keeping the word of the Lord. May be delivered from unbelief, impatience, and despair. By waiting on the Lord we shall obtain a kingdom that cannot be moved.The present chapter contains two facts not found in 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. 4. his armour-bearer would not; for he was sore afraid—He was, of course, placed in the same perilous condition as Saul. But it is probable that the feelings that restrained him from complying with Saul's wish were a profound respect for royalty, mingled with apprehension of the shock which such a catastrophe would give to the national feelings and interests. No text from Poole on this verse.

See Gill on 1 Samuel 31:1. Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
4. to his armourbearer] Cp. Jdg 9:54 (the death of Abimelech). One function of an armourbearer was to give the “coup de grâce” to fallen enemies (1 Samuel 14:13), but sometimes the same office had to be executed for friends.

and abuse me] i.e. wreak their cruel will upon me; cp. Jdg 1:6.

a sword] R.V. his sword.

Verse 4. - And abuse me. The main idea of the Hithp. of the verb here used is to satisfy the thirst of lust or cruelty. Saul probably feared not the abuse of mocking only, but that of torture. In the corresponding passage this verb is preceded by the clause, and thrust me through. His armour-bearer would not. He refused the request or bidding of Saul, no doubt mainly in respect of the fact that Saul was still "the anointed." We have a full description of both the loose arms and of the armour of the body in the case of the Philistine Goliath (1 Samuel 17:4-7). It is one of the world's surprising facts that the making of arms and armour, and the acquiring of skill in the using of them, should, as in fact all history attests, date from so early a period (Genesis 31:26; Genesis 34:25). As compared with the history and the fragmentary re. mains of classical antiquity, those of Scripture are remarkably scanty on this subject. The sword is the earliest mentioned in Scripture, carried in a sheath (1 Samuel 17:51; 2 Samuel 20:8; 1 Chronicles 21:27); though the Hebrew word is here different from that used in Samuel. It was slung by a girdle (1 Samuel 25:13), rested on hips or thigh (2 Samuel 20:8; Judges 3:16; Psalm 45:3), and was sometimes "two-edged" (Judges 3:16; Psalm 149:6). Then follows the spear in several varieties, as in 1 Samuel 17:7; 1 Chronicles 11:11; 1 Chronicles 20:5; 1 Chronicles 23:9. Again as a javelin (Joshua 8:14-25; Job 29:23; 1 Samuel 17:6, where in the Authorized Version it is called target, or gorget). Again as a lancet (1 Kings 18:28; 1 Chronicles 12:8, 24; 2 Chronicles 11:12; Nehemiah 4:13; Ezekiel 39:9). In addition to these three chief varieties of spear - the spear proper, the javelin, end the lancet - there is mention of two other weapons used at all events as the dart of a light kind would be used, in 2 Chronicles 23:10, and elsewhere, and in 2 Samuel 8:14, respectively. After sword and spear rank the bow and arrow (Genesis 21:20; 1 Samuel 31:3; 1 Chronicles 8:40; 1 Chronicles 12:2; Psalm 68:9; Psalm 120:4; Job 6:4) And lastly, the sling (Judges 20:16; 1 Samuel 25:29; 2 Kings 3:25), and a very strong weapon of the same kind mentioned in 2 Chronicles 26:15. The chief articles worn as bodily armour were the breastplate (1 Samuel 17:5, 38); the somewhat obscure habergeon, mentioned only twice, in no connection then of battle (Exodus 28:32; Exodus 39:23), the original name of which, tacharah, is found on Egyptian papyri of the nineteenth dynasty, - it seems to have been a species of doublet or corselet; the helmet (1 Samuel 17:5; ch. 26:14; Ezekiel 27:10); greaves (1 Samuel 17:6); two kinds of shield (1 Samuel 17:7, 41, compared with 1 Kings 10:16; 2 Chronicles 9:15); and lastly the article mentioned in 2 Samuel 8:7; 1 Chronicles 18:7; 2 Kings 11:10; 2 Chronicles 23:9; Song of Solomon 4:4; Jeremiah 51:11; Ezekiel 27:11; and of which we can say nothing certainly bearing upon its nature or its use, except that it was made of gold. Armour-bearers, then, the first distinct mention of whom we find in Judges 9:54, may well have been a necessity for kings and for the great. Joab had ten (2 Samuel 18:15). The word is not expressed as a compound in Hebrew, but as "one carrying (כֵלַים) arms." 1 Chronicles 10:4In 1 Sam his narrative forms the conclusion of Saul's last war with the Philistines. The battle was fought on the plain of Jezreel; and when the Israelites were compelled to retire, they fell back upon Mount Gilboa, but were hard pressed by the Philistines, so that many fell upon the mountain. The Philistines pressed furiously after Saul and his sons, and slew the latter (as to Saul's sons, see on 1 Chronicles 8:33); and when the archers came upon Saul he trembled before them (יחל from חוּל), and ordered his armour-bearer to thrust him through. Between המּורים and בּקּשׁת the superfluous אנשׁים is introduced in Samuel, and in the last clause מאד is omitted; and instead of מהמּורים we have the unusual form מן־היּורים (cf. 2 Chronicles 35:23). In Saul's request to his armour-bearer that he would thrust him through with the sword, וּדקרני (1 Samuel 31:4) is omitted in the phrase which gives the reason for his request; and Bertheau thinks it did not originally stand in the text, and has been repeated merely by an oversight, since the only motive for the command, "Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith," was that the Philistines might not insult Saul when alive, and consequently the words, "that they may not thrust me through," cannot express the reason. But that is scarcely a conclusive reason for this belief; for although the Philistines might seek out Saul after he had been slain by his armour-bearer, and dishonour his dead body, yet the anxiety lest they should seek out his corpse to wreak their vengeance upon it could not press so heavily upon him as the fear that they would take vengeance upon him if he fell alive into their hands. It is therefore a more probable supposition that the author of the Chronicle has omitted the word וּדקרני only as not being necessary to the sense of the passage, just as עמּו is omitted at the end of 1 Chronicles 10:5. In 1 Chronicles 10:6 we have וכל־בּיתו instead of the כּל־אנשׁיו גּם כליו ונשׂא of Samuel, and in 1 Chronicles 10:7 ישׂראל אנשׁי is omitted after the words נסוּ כּי (Samuel). From this Bertheau concludes that the author of the Chronicle has designedly avoided speaking of the men of Saul's army or of the Israelites who took part in the battle, because it was not his purpose to describe the whole course of the conflict, but only to narrate the death of Saul and of his sons, in order to point out how the supreme power came to David. Thenius, on the contrary, deduces the variation between the sixth verse of the Chronicles and the corresponding verse in Samuel from "a text which had become illegible." Both are incorrect; for כּל־אנשׁיו are not all the men of war who went with him into the battle (Then.), or all the Israelites who took part in the battle (Berth.), but only all those who were about the king, i.e., the whole of the king's attendants who had followed him to the war. כּל־בּיתו is only another expression for כּל־אנשׁיו, in which the כּליו נשׂא is included. The author of the Chronicle has merely abridged the account, confining himself to a statement of the main points, and has consequently both omitted ישׂראל אנשׁי in 1 Chronicles 10:7, because he had already spoken of the flight of the warriors of Israel in 1 Chronicles 10:1, and it was here sufficient to mention only the flight and death of Saul and of his sons, and has also shortened the more exact statement as to the inhabitants of that district, "those on the other side of the valley and on the other side of Jordan" (Samuel), into בּאמק אשׁר. In this abridgement also Thenius scents a "defective text." As the inhabitants of the district around Gilboa abandoned their cities, they were taken possession of by the Philistines.
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