1 Samuel 14:28
Then answered one of the people, and said, Your father straightly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eats any food this day. And the people were faint.
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(28) Then answered one of the people.—Most probably, in reply to Jonathan’s pointing out the plentiful supply of honey, and inviting the soldiers near him to refresh themselves with it. The words “and the people were faint,” at the close of the verse, should be rendered, and the people are faint; they were part of the speech of the soldier who was telling Jonathan of his father’s rash oath.

14:24-35 Saul's severe order was very unwise; if it gained time, it lost strength for the pursuit. Such is the nature of our bodies, that daily work cannot be done without daily bread, which therefore our Father in heaven graciously gives. Saul was turning aside from God, and now he begins to build altars, being then most zealous, as many are, for the form of godliness when he was denying the power of it.And the people were faint - Read, "are faint," the words are part of the man's complaint. 25. all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey—The honey is described as "upon the ground," "dropping" from the trees, and in honeycombs—indicating it to be bees' honey. "Bees in the East are not, as in England, kept in hives; they are all in a wild state. The forests literally flow with honey; large combs may be seen hanging on the trees as you pass along, full of honey" [Roberts]. One of the people, who came along with Saul, whose forces were now united with Jonathan’s. Then answered one of the people, and said,.... To Jonathan, who might direct and encourage the people to do as he had done, at least so he did by his example, if not by words; the latter is not improbable: and therefore one of the men that came along with Saul, and had now joined Jonathan, and who heard what Saul had said, replied:

thy father straitly charged the people with an oath; gave them a strict charge, with an oath or imprecation annexed to it:

saying, cursed be the man that eateth any food this day; that is, until the evening, as in 1 Samuel 14:24.

and the people were faint; which is either the observation of the writer of the book; or it may be the words of the man, imputing the faintness of the people to this adjuration of Saul restraining them from food; or as taking notice how strictly the people observed it, though they were hungry, faint, and weary.

Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food this day. And the people were faint.
28. straitly] i.e. strictly. Cp. Exodus 13:19; Joshua 6:1.

And the people were faint] Better, and the people are faint, or weary: words of the speaker, not a comment by the historian.Verse 28. - And the people were faint. There is great diversity of opinion whether this be part or not of the speech of the man who informed Jonathan of the oath forced on the people by Saul. It makes, perhaps, the better sense if regarded as the continuation of the history, and inserted to justify Jonathan's disapproval of his father's hasty command. The fight rendering is were weary, as in the margin and Judges 4:21. "And the Hebrews were with the Philistines as before (yesterday and the day before yesterday), who had come along with them in the camp round about; they also came over to Israel, which was with Saul and Jonathan." סביב means distributed round about among the Philistines. Those Israelites whom the Philistines had incorporated into their army are called Hebrews, according to the name which was current among foreigners, whilst those who were with Saul are called Israel, according to the sacred name of the nation. The difficulty which many expositors have found in the word להיות has been very correctly solved, so far as the sense is concerned, by the earlier translators, by the interpolation of "they returned:" תבוּ (Chald.), ἐπεστράφησαν (lxx), reversi sunt (Vulg.), and similarly the Syriac and Arabic. We are not at liberty, however, to amend the Hebrew text in this manner, as nothing more is omitted than the finite verb היוּ before the infinitive להיות (for this construction, see Gesenius, Gramm. 132, 3, Anm. 1), and this might easily be left out here, since it stands at the beginning of the verse in the main clause. The literal rendering would be, they were to be with Israel, i.e., they came over to Israel. The fact that the Hebrews who were serving in the army of the Philistines came over to Saul and his host, and turned their weapons against their oppressors, naturally heightened the confusion in the camp of the Philistines, and accelerated their defeat; and this was still further increased by the fact that the Israelites who had concealed themselves on the mountains of Ephraim also joined the Israelitish army, as soon as they heard of the flight of the Philistines (1 Samuel 14:22).
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