1 Samuel 14:32
And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood.
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(32) And the people flew upon the spoil . . . —No doubt, had the men of Israel not been so faint for want of food, and utterly weary, many more of the Philistine host would have fallen: as it was, vast spoil was left behind in the hurried flight; but it was the beasts that the conquerors greedily seized, their hunger was so great. “The moment that the day, with its enforced fast, was over, they flew, like Mussulmans at sunset during the fast of Ramazan, upon the captured cattle, and devoured them, even to the brutal neglect of the Law forbidding the eating of flesh which contained blood.”—Stanley. (See Leviticus 17:10-14; Leviticus 19:26.)

1 Samuel 14:32. The people flew on the spoil — Like ravenous birds. They were so faint and hungry that in the evening, when the pursuit was given over, they seized upon and devoured what was eatable of the spoil, and had not patience to wait the killing and draining of the blood from the beasts, in the manner it ought to have been done according to the law. But did eat them with (or rather in) the blood — Thus they who made conscience of obeying the king’s commandment, for fear of the curse, made no scruple of transgressing God’s command.

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.Aijalon. - The modern Yalo. It lies upon the side of a hill to the south of a fine valley which opens from between the two Bethhorons right down to the western plain of the Philistines, exactly on the route which the Philistines, when expelled from the high country about Michmash and Bethel, would take to regain their own country. Aijalon would be 15 or 20 miles from Michmash. 31-34. the people were very faint. And the people flew upon the spoil—at evening, when the time fixed by Saul had expired. Faint and famishing, the pursuers fell voraciously upon the cattle they had taken, and threw them on the ground to cut off their flesh and eat them raw, so that the army, by Saul's rashness, were defiled by eating blood, or living animals; probably, as the Abyssinians do, who cut a part of the animal's rump, but close the hide upon it, and nothing mortal follows from that wound. They were painfully conscientious in keeping the king's order for fear of the curse, but had no scruple in transgressing God's command. To prevent this violation of the law, Saul ordered a large stone to be rolled, and those that slaughtered the oxen to cut their throats on that stone. By laying the animal's head on the high stone, the blood oozed out on the ground, and sufficient evidence was afforded that the ox or sheep was dead before it was attempted to eat it. The people flew upon the spoil, to wit, at evening, when the time prefixed by Saul was expired.

With the blood; not having patience to tarry till the blood was perfectly gone out of them, as they should have done. See Genesis 9:4 Leviticus 17:14 Deu 12:16. So they who seemed to make conscience of the king’s commandment for fear of the curse, make no scruple of transgressing God’s command.

And the people flew upon the spoil,.... Like a swift and ravenous bird, as the eagle, and which seems to have its name in Greek from this word, see Isaiah 46:11. When the evening was come, and they were free from the oath of Saul, and being extremely hungry, faint, and weary, they were even ravenous for food and with the greatest haste and eagerness laid hold on what came first to hand:

and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground; and there they lay in their blood, which in such a position would not run out freely as when slain and hang up:

and the people did eat them with the blood; they were so hungry they could not stay the dressing of them, but ate them raw with the blood in them, not being squeezed or drained out, at least not half boiled or roasted. Some of the Jewish Rabbins (a) are of opinion(a) See Jarchi in loc.

And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood.
32. the people did eat them with the blood] As soon as it was evening, the fasting people flew upon the spoil to satisfy their hunger, and in doing so transgressed the primeval prohibition (Genesis 9:4), which was re-enacted in the Mosaic law (Leviticus 17:10-14), and observed in the early days of the Christian Church (Acts 15:20).

Verse 32. - The people flew upon the spoil. The written text has, "And the people set to work upon the spoil, and took sheep," etc., but as the sentence is not very grammatical the kri has corrected it from 1 Samuel 15:19. The versions have either "greedily desired," or "turned themselves unto." The people who had waited until evening, when the oath forced upon them by Saul was over, then in their hunger broke the law doubly: first in killing calves with their dams on the same day (Leviticus 22:28), and secondly, more seriously, in so killing them "on the ground" that the blood remained in the carcase. The law enjoined the utmost care in this respect (ibid. 17:10-14), but the people were too weary and hungry to trouble about it. 1 Samuel 14:32They therefore "fell voraciously upon the booty" - (the Chethibh ויּעשׂ is no doubt merely an error in writing for ויּעט, imperf. Kal of עיט with Dagesh forte implic. instead of ויּעט, as we may see from 1 Samuel 15:19, since the meaning required by the context, viz., to fall upon a thing, cannot be established in the case of עשׂה with על. On the other hand, there does not appear to be any necessity to supply the article before שׁלל, and this Keri seems only to have been taken from the parallel passage in 1 Samuel 15:19), - "and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground (ארצה, lit. to the earth, so that when they were slaughtered the animal fell upon the ground, and remained lying in its blood, and was cut in pieces), and ate upon the blood" (הדּם על, with which הדּם אל, "lying to the blood," is interchanged in 1 Samuel 14:34), i.e., the flesh along with the blood which adhered to it, by doing which they sinned against the law in Leviticus 19:26. This sin had been occasioned by Saul himself through the prohibition which he issued.
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