And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings to their idols, and to the people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And when they had stripped him.—Better, and they stripped him, and carried off his head, &c. Samuel, “and they cut off his head, and stripped his armour off.” With the phrase “carried off his head,” comp. Genesis 40:19, “Pharaoh will lift thy head from off thee,” where the same Hebrew verb is used (yissâ).
And sent (Saul’s head and armour) to carry tidings unto their idols.—The verb bassēr is used of good and bad tidings, especially of the former, as in 2Samuel 18:19-20.
Unto their idols.—Samuel, “house of their idols.” But the LXX. reading there is the same as here, τοῖς εἰδώλοις. The expression of Samuel looks original, though it may have been copied by mistake from 1Chronicles 10:10. Note the strictly local conception of deities implied in this act of the Philistines; as if their idols could neither see nor hear beyond their own temples. (Comp. 1Kings 20:23; 1Kings 20:28; Psalm 94:9.)2 Samuel 2:8-15; 2 Samuel 3:6-15; 2 Samuel 4:1-12). The phrase is perhaps an abbreviation of the expression in the parallel passage of Samuel 1 Samuel 31:6. 1 Samuel 31:1. And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. And when they had stripped him, they took] R.V. And they stripped him, and took.
to carry tidings unto their idols] In Samuel, “to publish it in the house (or houses) of their idols”; cp. 1 Samuel 31:10. The news was published by the exhibition of trophies of the victory in the Philistine temples. The reading in Chron. is inferior.Verse 9. - And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armour. Some comparing this with the parallel (1 Samuel 31:9), "They cut off his head, and stripped off his armour," say "our author" leaves the beheading unmentioned! It is certainly sufficiently implied. To carry tidings unto their idols. This sentence is more clearly explained, and brought into rather unexpected and perhaps unwished accord with the most modern of our ecclesiastical habits, when in the parallel as above, we find "to publish it in the house of their idols "as the form of expression. 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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