Then said Saul to the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armor bearer were not there.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Then said Saul . . .—When this panic which was taking place in the Philistine army was reported to King Saul, he naturally inquired as to what had caused it, knowing that he, as general-in-chief, had given no directions to any of his men to attack the enemy. In the little Israelitish force, when the roll was called, it was soon discovered who was missing.1 Samuel 14:19 (margin) rendered tumult. It must have the same meaning here. The sentence is obscure and probably corrupt; perhaps it means, "and behold the tumult! and it went on" (increased) "melting away and beating down." Saul probably supposed that not only Jonathan, but also some considerable number of his army, was gone, and that by them that slaughter was made.
number now, and see who is gone from us: for he concluded that this agitation and confusion in the host of the Philistines were occasioned by an enterprise of some of his men, who by some stratagem or another had thrown them into this disorder:
and when they had numbered: which was soon done, being but six hundred men in all:
behold, Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there; from whence it might be inferred, that this commotion the Philistines were in was occasioned by an onset of theirs on the outer guards or sentinels of their garrison or army, which had alarmed them.Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. Number now] The word denotes a muster or parade of the troop for inspection.Verses 17, 18. - Number now. On hearing from the watchmen that fighting was seen on the other side of the ravine, Saul commands the roll to be called, that he may learn who has made the attack, and finds only his son and the armour bearer missing. Uncertain what their absence might mean, he said unto Ahiah, Bring hither the ark of God. The Syriac, Vulgate, and Chaldee support this reading, but the Septuagint has ephod, and there can be no doubt that this is the right reading; for the verb rendered. Bring hither is never used of the ark, but only of the ephod; nor was the ark used for making inquiry of God, but the ephod with the breastplate inserted in it. The rest of the verse is a gloss added by some scribe struck at this strange mention of the ark, which we know was still at Kirjath-jearim. It is itself corrupt and ungrammatical, being, "For the ark of God was in that day and the children of Israel." Still both the reading ark and the gloss are very ancient, being found in the versions, except the Septuagint, as above.
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