1 Samuel 14:30
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.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.Hath troubled - The same word as was applied to Achan Joshua 7:25, and gave its name to the valley of Achor. This additional reference to Joshua is remarkable (compare 1 Samuel 14:24). 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]. No text from Poole on this verse. How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found?.... That is, had they been, allowed eat freely of the provisions, of bread, wine, &c. they found in the enemy's camp, they would have been much more refreshed and strengthened than it could be supposed he was with eating a little honey; if that had had such an effect upon him, of what service would a full meal have been to the people?

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. Saul's precipitate haste. - 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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