1 Samuel 14:42
And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken.
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14:36-46 If God turns away our prayer, we have reason to suspect it is for some sin harboured in our hearts, which we should find out, that we may put it away, and put it to death. We should always first suspect and examine ourselves; but an unhumbled heart suspects every other person, and looks every where but at home for the sinful cause of calamity. Jonathan was discovered to be the offender. Those most indulgent to their own sins are most severe upon others; those who most disregard God's authority, are most impatient when their own commands are slighted. Such as cast abroad curses, endanger themselves and their families. What do we observe in the whole of Saul's behaviour on this occasion, but an impetuous, proud, malignant, impious disposition? And do we not in every instance perceive that man, left to himself, betrays the depravity of his nature, and is enslaved to the basest tempers.Give a perfect lot - The phrase is obscure, but the meaning is probably as in the margin. 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. God so ordered the lot; not that he approved Saul’s execration, 1 Samuel 14:24, or his oath that the transgressor should die, 1 Samuel 14:39, nor that he would expose Jonathan to death; (for he designed so to rule the hearts of the people, and of Saul also, that Jonathan should not die;) but because he would have the whole matter brought to light; partly, that Saul’s folly might be chastised, when he saw what danger it had brought upon his eldest and excellent son; partly, that Jonathan’s innocency might he cleared; and partly, to stablish the authority of kings and rulers, and the obedience which subjects owe to all their lawful commands. And Saul said, cast lots between me and Jonathan my son,..... Which showed his regard strict justice, and that he had no consciousness of guilt in himself, and should not spare his own son if found guilty:

and Jonathan was taken: the lot fell upon him, which was so directed, that his ignorance of his father's charge and oath might appear; and that the affection of the people might be discovered; and that a regard is to be had to the orders and commands of princes, and obedience to be yielded to them in all in which conscience is not concerned, though they may be grievous; and to bring Saul to a sense of rashness in making such an oath, which brought his own son into so much danger.

And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken.
42. And Saul said, &c.] Again the Sept. text is fuller. “And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son: whomsoever the Lord taketh by lot, let him die. And the people said unto Saul, This thing shall not be. And Saul prevailed over the people, and they cast lots between him and Jonathan his son, and Jonathan was taken.” The omission in the Heb. text may be accounted for by homoeoteleuton (1 Samuel 10:1. note), the words for my son and his son being almost identical.After the people had strengthened themselves in the evening with food, Saul wanted to pursue the Philistines still farther during the night, and to plunder among them until the light (i.e., till break of day), and utterly destroy them. The people assented to this proposal, but the priest (Ahiah) wished first of all to obtain the decision of God upon the matter. "We will draw near to God here" (before the altar which has just been built).
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