How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Samuel 14:30. How much more if the people had eaten freely — They would have been able to pursue them more swiftly, and to have done greater execution upon them, than they could when they were faint. Thus men, by their rashness, hinder what they most desire.Joshua 7:25, and gave its name to the valley of Achor. This additional reference to Joshua is remarkable (compare 1 Samuel 14:24).
for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines? the people would have had more strength to smite them, and would have pursued them with greater ardour and swiftness, and so have made a greater slaughter among them than they had; he intimates that Saul's end would have been better answered by suffering the people to eat, than by forbidding them.How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verses 30, 31. - For had there not been now a much greater slaughter? This clause is really an indicative: "For now the slaughter of the Philistines is not very great." Nevertheless, the pursuit was continued as far as the pass of Aijalon, and though, owing to the increasing weariness of the people, but few of the Philistines were overtaken, nevertheless it would compel them to throw away their arms, and abandon all the booty which they had collected. For very faint the Hebrew has very weary, as in ver. 28. 1 Samuel 14:24. The men of Israel were pressed (i.e., fatigued) on that day, sc., through the military service and fighting. Then Saul adjured the people, saying, "Cursed be the man that eateth bread until the evening, and (till) I have avenged myself upon mine enemies." יאל, fut. apoc. of יאלה for יאלה, from אלה, to swear, Hiphil to adjure or require an oath of a person. The people took the oath by saying "amen" to what Saul had uttered. This command of Saul did not proceed from a proper attitude towards the Lord, but was an act of false zeal, in which Saul had more regard to himself and his own kingly power than to the cause of the kingdom of Jehovah, as we may see at once from the expression וגו נקּמתּי, "till I have avenged myself upon mine enemies." It was a despotic measure which not only failed to accomplish its object (see 1 Samuel 14:30, 1 Samuel 14:31), but brought Saul into the unfortunate position of being unable to carry out the oath (see 1 Samuel 14:45). All the people kept the command. "They tasted no bread." ולא־טעם is not to be connected with ונקּמתּי as an apodosis.
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