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.

1 Samuel 14:42When they proceeded still further to cast lots between Saul and his son (הפּילוּ, sc., גּורל; cf. 1 Chronicles 26:14; Nehemiah 11:11, etc.), Jonathan was taken.

(Note: In the Alex. version, vv. 41 and 42 are lengthened out with long paraphrases upon the course pursued in casting the lots: καὶ εἶπε Σαούλ, Κύριε ὁ θεὸς Ἰσραήλ τί ὅτι οὐκ ἀπεκρίθης τῷ δούλῳ σου σήμερον; ει ̓ ἐν ἐμοὶ ἢ ἐν Ἰωνάθαν τῷ υἱῷ μου ἡ ἀδικία; κύριε ὁ θεὸς Ἰσραήλ δὸς δήλους· καὶ ἐἀν τάδε εἴπῃ δὸς δὴ τῷ λαῷ σου Ἰσραήλ, δός δὴ ὁσιότηατ, καὶ κληροῦται Ἰωνάθαν καὶ Σαούλ καὶ ὁ λαὸς ἐξῆλθε. V. 42: Καὶ εἶπε Σαοὑλ, βάλλετε ἀνὰ μέσον ἐμοῦ καὶ ἀνὰ μέσον Ἰωνάθαν τοῦ υἱοῦ μου· ὃν ἂν κατακληρώσηται Κύριος ἀποθανέτω. Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ λαὸς πρὸς Σαούλ, οὐκ ἔστι τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο. Καὶ κατεκράτησε Σαοὺλ τοῦ λαοῦ, καὶ βάλλουσιν ἀνὰ μέσον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀνὰ μέσον Ἰωνάθαν τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ, καὶ κατακληροῦται Ἰωναθαν. One portion of these additions is also found in the text of our present Vulgate, and reads as follows: Et dixit Saul ad Dominum Deum Israel: Domine Deus Israel, da indicium! quid est quod non responderis servo tuo hodie? Si in me aut in Jonathan filio meo est iniquitas, da ostensionem; aut si haec iniquitas est in populo tuo, da sanctitatem. Et deprehensus est Jonathas et Saul, populus autem exivit. The beginning and end of this verse, as well as v. 42, agree here most accurately with the Hebrew text. But the words from quid est quod to da sanctitatem are interpolated, so that תמים הבה are translated twice; first in the words da indicium, and then in the interpolation da ostensionem. This repetition of the same words, and that in different renderings, when taken in connection with the agreement of the Vulgate with the Hebrew text at the beginning and end of the verse, shows clearly enough, that the interpolated clauses did not originate with Jerome, but are simply inserted in his translation from the Itala. The additions of the lxx, in which τάδε εἶπῃ is evidently only a distortion of ἡ ἀδικία, are regarded by Ewald (Gesch. iii. p. 48) and Thenius as an original portion of the text which has dropped out from the Masoretic text. They therefore infer, that instead of תמים we ought to read תּמּים (Thummim), and that we have here the full formula used in connection with the use of the Urim and Thummim, from which it may be seen, that this mode of divine revelation consisted simply in a sacred lot, or in the use of two dice, the one of which was fixed upon at the outset as meaning no, and the other as meaning yes. So much at any rate is indisputable, that the Septuagint translator took תמים in the sense of thummim, and so assumed that Saul had the guilty person discovered by resorting to the Urim and Thummim. But this assumption is also decidedly erroneous, together with all the inferences based upon it. For, in the first place, the verbs הפּיל and ילּכד can be proved to be never used throughout the whole of the Old Testament to signify the use of the Urim and Thummim, and to be nothing more than technical expressions used to denote the casting of a simple lot (see the passages cited above in the text). Moreover, such passages as 1 Samuel 10:22, and 1 Samuel 2:5, 1 Samuel 2:23, show most unmistakeably that the divine oracle of the Urim and Thummim did not consist merely in a sacred lot with yes and no, but that God gave such answers through it as could never have been given through the lots. The Septuagint expansions of the text are nothing more, therefore, than a subjective and really erroneous interpretation on the part of the translators, which arose simply from the mistaken idea that תמים was thummim, and which is therefore utterly worthless.)

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