1 Samuel 14:5
The forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah.
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14:1-15 Saul seems to have been quite at a loss, and unable to help himself. Those can never think themselves safe who see themselves out of God's protection. Now he sent for a priest and the ark. He hopes to make up matters with the Almighty by a partial reformation, as many do whose hearts are unhumbled and unchanged. Many love to have ministers who prophesy smooth things to them. Jonathan felt a Divine impulse and impression, putting him upon this bold adventure. God will direct the steps of those that acknowledge him in all their ways, and seek to him for direction, with full purpose of heart to follow his guidance. Sometimes we find most comfort in that which is least our own doing, and into which we have been led by the unexpected but well-observed turns of Divine providence. There was trembling in the host. It is called a trembling of God, signifying, not only a great trembling they could not resist, nor reason themselves out of, but that it came at once from the hand of God. He that made the heart, knows how to make it tremble.(The southern cliff was called "Seneh," or "the acacia," and the same name still applies to the modern valley, dotted by acacias. The northern cliff was named "Bozez" or "Shining." The valley runs nearly due east, and the northern cliff is of ruddy and tawny tint, crowned with gleaming white chalk, and in the full glare of the sun almost all the day. (Conder.)) 4. between the passages—that is, the deep and great ravine of Suweinit.

Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines' garrison—a distance of about three miles running between two jagged points; Hebrew, "teeth of the cliff."

there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side … Bozez—("shining") from the aspect of the chalky rock.

Seneh—("the thorn") probably from a solitary acacia on its top. They are the only rocks of the kind in this vicinity; and the top of the crag towards Michmash was occupied as the post of the Philistines. The two camps were in sight of each other; and it was up the steep rocky sides of this isolated eminence that Jonathan and his armorbearer (1Sa 14:6) made their adventurous approach. This enterprise is one of the most gallant that history or romance records. The action, viewed in itself, was rash and contrary to all established rules of military discipline, which do not permit soldiers to fight or to undertake any enterprise that may involve important consequences without the order of the generals.

No text from Poole on this verse.

The forefront of the one was situate northward, over against Michmash,.... The northern precipice of this rock was towards Michmash, where the Philistines lay encamped, and where was the passage of Michmash the garrison went into and possessed:

and the other southward, over against Gibeah; the southern precipice faced Gibeah, and both precipices were to be got over before he could get to the garrison, these lying between the two passages; the one at one end, called the passage of Michmash, the other at the other, which might be called the passage of Gibeah.

The forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah.
5. the forefront of the one, &c.] Lit. The one crag (lit. tooth) was a pillar on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba. The Sept. omits “a pillar.”

Verse 5. - Was situate, etc. The word thus translated is that rendered pillar in 1 Samuel 2:8, and the verse should possibly be translated, "And the one tooth (or crag) was a rocky mass on the north over against Michmash, and the other was on the south over against Geba" (not Gibeah, as the A.V.; see 1 Samuel 13:16). But the word is omitted in the versions, and may be an interpolation. 1 Samuel 14:5In 1 Samuel 14:4, 1 Samuel 14:5, the locality is more minutely described. Between the passes, through which Jonathan endeavoured to cross over to go up to the post of the Philistines, there was a sharp rock on this side, and also one upon the other. One of these was called Bozez, the other Seneh; one (formed) a pillar (מצוּק), i.e., a steep height towards the north opposite to Michmash, the other towards the south opposite to Geba. The expression "between the passes" may be explained from the remark of Robinson quoted above, viz., that at the point where he passed the Wady Suweinit, side wadys enter it from the south-west and north-west. These side wadys supply so many different crossings. Between them, however, on the north and south walls of the deep valley, were the jagged rocks Bozez and Seneh, which rose up like pillars to a great height. These were probably the "hills" which Robinson saw to the left of the pass by which he crossed: "Two hills of a conical or rather spherical form, having steep rocky sides, with small wadys running up behind so as almost to isolate them. One is on the side towards Jeba, and the other towards Mukhmas" (Pal. ii. p. 116).
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