1 Samuel 13:16
And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin: but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.
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(16) Gibeah of Benjamin.—Saul and his son, uniting their sadly diminished forces, entrench themselves at Geba, in a strong position at the end of a pass, whence they could watch the movements of the Philistines. Their small number forbade any idea of an attack on the enemy.

The English translators wrongly here substitute “Gibeah of Benjamin” for “Geba of Benjamin,” probably led astray by the mention of Gibeah in the preceding verse.

13:15-23 See how politic the Philistines were when they had power; they not only prevented the people of Israel from making weapons of war, but obliged them to depend upon their enemies, even for instruments of husbandry. How impolitic Saul was, who did not, in the beginning of his reign, set himself to redress this. Want of true sense always accompanies want of grace. Sins which appear to us very little, have dangerous consequences. Miserable is a guilty, defenceless nation; much more those who are destitute of the whole armour of God.Samuel arose - Saul could not return to his own station at Michmash, seeing it was occupied by the Philistines; so, perhaps by Samuel's advice (since, according to the text, he preceded him there), he effected a junction with Jonathan at Gibeah. Some would read "Saul" instead of "Samuel." 15, 16. Samuel … gat him … unto Gibeah … and Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah—Saul removed his camp thither, either in the hope that, it being his native town, he would gain an increase of followers or that he might enjoy the counsels and influence of the prophet. No text from Poole on this verse.

And Saul, and Jonathan his son,.... Who were now joined to their men, on Saul's coming to Gibeah:

and the people that were present with them; the six hundred men before numbered: abode in Gibeah of Benjamin; being perhaps a strong fortified place, not choosing to go forth to meet the army of the Philistines, so vastly superior to them:

but the Philistines encamped at Michmash; the old quarters of Saul before he went to Gilgal, 1 Samuel 13:2.

And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin: but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.
16. in Gibeah of Benjamin] Heb. in Geba of Benjamin. The positions of 1 Samuel 13:2-3 are now reversed, the Philistines occupying Michmash on the northern side of the valley, Saul and Jonathan holding Geba on the southern side.

Verse 16. - In Gibeah of Benjamin. This is an arbitrary change of the A.V. (in company with the Septuagint and Vulgate) for Geba, which is the word in the Hebrew text. Our translators no doubt considered that as Gibeah of Benjamin occurs in the previous verse, this must be the same place. But our greater knowledge of the geography of the Holy Land enables us to say that Geba is right; for, as we have seen, it was at one end of the defile, at the other end of which was Michmash; and here alone could the small army of Saul have any chance of defending itself against the vast host of the Philistines. However much we may blame Saul's disobedience, he was a skilful soldier and a brave man, and his going with his little band to the end of the pass to make a last desperate stand was an act worthy of a king. 1 Samuel 13:16Disarming of Israel by the Philistines. - The following account is no doubt connected with the foregoing, so far as the facts are concerned, inasmuch as Jonathan's brave heroic deed, which brought the Israelites a splendid victory over the Philistines, terminated the war for which Saul had entreated the help of God by his sacrifice at Gilgal; but it is not formally connected with it, so as to form a compact and complete account of the successive stages of the war. On the contrary, the 16th verse, where we have an account of the Israelitish warriors and their enemies, commences a new section of the history, in which the devastating march of the Philistines through the land, and the disarming of the Israelites by these their enemies, are first of all depicted (1 Samuel 13:17-23); and then the victory of the Israelites through Jonathan's daring and heroic courage, notwithstanding their utter prostration, is recorded (1 Samuel 14:1-46), for the purpose of showing how the Lord had miraculously helped His people.

(Note: From this arrangement of the history, according to which the only two points that are minutely described in connection with the war with the Philistines are those which bring out the attitude of the king, whom the nation had desired to deliver it from its foes, towards Jehovah, and the way in which Jehovah acted towards His people, whilst all the rest is passed over, we may explain the absence of any closer connection between 1 Samuel 13:15 and 1 Samuel 13:16, and not from a gap in the text. The lxx, however, adopted the latter supposition, and according to the usual fashion filled up the gap by expanding 1 Samuel 13:15 in the following thoughtless manner: καὶ ἀνέστη Σαμουὴλ καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ἐκ Γαλγάλων· καὶ τὸ κατάλειμμα τοῦ λαοῦ ἀνεβη ὀπίσω Σαοὺλ εἰς ἀπάντησιν ὀπίσω τοῦ λαοῦ τοῦ πολεμιστοῦ· αὐτῶν παραγενομένων ἐκ Γαλγάλων εἰς Γαβαὰ Βενιαμὶν καὶ ἐπεσκέψατο Σαοὺλ, κ.τ.λ. For there is no sense in εἰς ἀπάντησιν ὀπίσω, and the whole thought, that the people who were left went up after Saul to meet the people of war, is unintelligible, since it is not stated whence the people of war had come, who are said to have met with those who had remained behind with Saul, and to have gone up with him from Gilgal to Gibeah. If, however, we overlook this, and assume that when Saul returned from Gilgal to Gibeah a further number of fighting men came to him from different parts of the land, how does this assumption agree with the account which follows, viz., that when Saul mustered the people he found only six hundred men, - a statement which is repeated again in 1 Samuel 14:2? The discrepancy remains even if we adopt Ewald's conjecture (Gesch. iii. 43), that εἰς ἀπάντησιν is a false rendering of לקּרב, "to the conflict." Moreover, even with the Alexandrian filling up, no natural connection is secured between 1 Samuel 13:15 and 1 Samuel 13:16, unless we identify Geba of Benjamin with Gibeah, as the Septuagint and its latest defenders have done, and not only change the participle ישׁבים (1 Samuel 13:16) into the aorist ἐκάθισαν, but interpolate καὶ ἔκλαιον after "at Geba of Benjamin;" whereas the statement of the text "at Geba in Benjamin" is proved to be correct by the simple fact that Jonathan could only attempt or carry out the heroic deed recorded in 1 Samuel 14 from Geba and not from Gibeah; and the alteration of the participle into the aorist is just as arbitrary as the interpolation of καὶ ἔκλαιον. From all this it follows that the Septuagint version has not preserved the original reading, as Ewald and Thenius suppose, but contains nothing more than a mistaken attempt to restore the missing link. It is true the Vulgate contains the same filling up as the Septuagint, but with one alteration, which upsets the assertion made by Thenius, that the repetition of the expression הגּלגּל מן, ἐκ Γαλγάλων, caused the reading contained in the Septuagint to be dropped out of the Hebrew text. For the text of the Vulgate runs as follows: Surrexit autem Samul et ascendit de Galgalis in Gabaa Benjamin. Et reliqui populi ascenderunt post Saul obviam populo, qui expugnabant eos venientes de Galgala in Gabaa in colle Benjamin. Et recensuit Saul, etc. Jerome has therefore rendered the first two clauses of 1 Samuel 13:15 in perfect accordance with the Hebrew text; and the addition which follows is nothing more than a gloss that has found its way into his translation from the Itala, and in which de Galgala in colle Benjamin is still retained, whereas Jerome himself rendered הגּלגּל מן de Galgalis.)

1 Samuel 13:16

The two clauses of this verse are circumstantial clauses: "But Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were with him, were sitting, i.e., tarrying, in Geba of Benjamin (the present Jeba; see at 1 Samuel 13:3); and the Philistines had encamped at Michmash." Just as in 1 Samuel 13:2-4 it is not stated when or why Saul went from Michmash or Geba to Gilgal, but this change in his position is merely hinted at indirectly at the close of 1 Samuel 13:4; so here Saul's return from Gilgal to Geba with the fighting men who remained with him is not distinctly mentioned, but simply taken for granted as having already occurred.

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