1 Samuel 15:6
And Saul said to the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for you showed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) And Saul said unto the Kenites.—The Kenites, like the Amalekites, were a nomad race of Arabs, but seem to have been ever friendly to the Israelites. This kindly feeling sprang up soon after the departure from Egypt, and was, no doubt, in the first instance owing to the fact of Hobab, the father-in-law of Moses, belonging to this people.

1 Samuel 15:6. Saul said unto the Kenites — A people descended from, or nearly related to, Jethro, who anciently dwelt in rocks near the Amalekites, (Numbers 24:21,) and afterward some of them dwelt in Judah, (Jdg 1:16,) whence it is probable they removed (which, dwelling in tents, they could easily do) and retired to their old habitation, because of the wars and troubles wherewith Judah was annoyed. Ye showed kindness — Some of your progenitors did so, and, for their sakes, all of you shall be spared and kindly treated. You were not guilty of that sin for which Amalek is now to be destroyed. When destroying judgments are abroad, God takes care to separate the precious from the vile. It is then especially dangerous to be found in the company of God’s enemies. The Jews have a saying, Wo to a wicked man and to his neighbour.15:1-9 The sentence of condemnation against the Amalekites had gone forth long before, Ex 17:14; De 25:19, but they had been spared till they filled up the measure of their sins. We are sure that the righteous Lord does no injustice to any. The remembering the kindness of the ancestors of the Kenites, in favour to them, at the time God was punishing the injuries done by the ancestors of the Amalekites, tended to clear the righteousness of God in this dispensation. It is dangerous to be found in the company of God's enemies, and it is our duty and interest to come out from among them, lest we share in their sins and plagues, Re 18:4. As the commandment had been express, and a test of Saul's obedience, his conduct evidently was the effect of a proud, rebellious spirit. He destroyed only the refuse, that was good for little. That which was now destroyed was sacrificed to the justice of God.Telaim - Probably the same as "Telem" Joshua 15:24, one of the uttermost cities of Judah, toward the coast of Edom. The name means "lambs," and was probably so called from the numerous flocks.

Two hundred thousand ... - A wonderful contrast with the six hundred men who composed his whole army before 1 Samuel 13:15, and a proof how completely for a time the Philistines had been driven back. The separate mention of the men of Judah shows how little union there was between Juduh and Ephraim even at this time; a circumstance which throws light upon the whole after history.

6. Kenites—(See on [243]Jud 1:16). In consequence, probably, of the unsettled state of Judah, they seem to have returned to their old desert tracts. Though now intermingled with the Amalekites, they were not implicated in the offenses of that wicked race; but for the sake of their ancestors, between whom and those of Israel there had been a league of amity, a timely warning was afforded them to remove from the scene of danger. The Kenites; a people descending from or nearly related unto Jethro, who anciently dwelt in rocks near the Amalekites, Numbers 24:21, and afterwards some of them dwelt in Judah, Judges 1:16, whence it is probable they removed, (which, dwelling in tents, they could easily do,) and retired to their old habitation, because of the wars and troubles wherewith Judah was annoyed.

Ye showed kindness; some of your progenitors did so, Exodus 18:12 Numbers 10:31, and for their sakes all of you shall fare the better. You were not guilty of that sin for which Amalek is now to be destroyed. And Saul said unto the Kenites,.... Who were of the posterity of Jethro the father-in-law of Moses, or related to him; why Josephus (x) calls them the nation of the Sicimites, who dwelt in the midst of the land of Midian, I know not:

go, depart, get ye down from among the Amalekites; for though some of these people came with Israel into the land of Canaan, and were first at Jericho, and then came into the wilderness of Judah, Judges 1:16 and were in other tribes also; yet as they removed from place to place, and from country to country, for the convenience of their flocks and herds, they dwelling in tents, might come into the country of Amalek and pitch there, and as they chose to dwell in rocks, and the caverns of them, to be near their flocks and herds in the valleys, they are called upon to get down from thence, see Numbers 24:21.

lest I destroy you with them; they dwelling among the Amalekites, might perish with them; and especially as the Amalekites, upon their being routed, would naturally flee to the rocks, hills, and mountains, where these people had their tents, they would be in the greater danger of being destroyed with them, unless they removed:

for ye showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt; as Jethro, by the advice he gave to Moses to appoint proper officers in Israel, and Hobab, by being eyes to the people, in conducting them through the wilderness, and accompanying them to the land of Canaan:

so the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites; took the advice of Saul, and removed and pitched their tents, elsewhere.

(x) Ut supra, (Antiqu. l. 6. c. 7.) sect. 3.

And Saul said unto the {c} Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed {d} kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.

(c) Which were the posterity of Jethro, Moses father in law.

(d) For Jethro came to visit them, and gave them good counsel, Ex 18:19.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. the Kenites] This tribe, as may be inferred from the fact that Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, the priest of Midian (Exodus 3:1), is called a Kenite in Jdg 1:16, was an offshoot from the Midianites. The services done to Israel by Jethro and his son Hobab (Exodus 18; Numbers 10:29-32) led to a firm alliance. The Kenites accompanied the Israelites on their march as far as Jericho (Jdg 1:16), and then went and dwelt among the Amalekites in the desert to the south of Judah. They are mentioned again in 1 Samuel 27:10, 1 Samuel 30:29, as the friends of Israel. Famous among the Kenites was Jael, whose husband Heber had migrated into northern Palestine (Jdg 4:11); and the Rechabites who belonged to this tribe (1 Chronicles 2:55) long preserved the nomad habits of their ancestors (Jeremiah 35:7-10).Verse 6. - Saul said unto the Kenites. Not while he was lying in ambush in the torrent bed, but after smiting Ir-Amalek. The Kenites were always friendly to the Israelites, but seem, like the Amalekites, to have been a Bedouin nation, ever wandering about without a settled home. In Abraham's time they were a powerful people (Genesis 15:19), but, for some reason or other, broke up into small tribes, some, as those here spoken of, choosing the wilderness of Judah for their home (Judges 1:16), others living far to the north in Naphtali (Judges 4:11, 17), others among the rocks of Arabia Petraea. Of these last we know but little, but the rest continued to be on friendly terms with David (1 Samuel 30:29). The statement, "and the war was hard (severe) against the Philistines as long as Saul lived," merely serves to explain the notice which follows, namely, that Saul took or drew to himself every strong man and every brave man that he saw. If we observe this, which is the true relation between the two clauses in this verse, the appearance of abruptness which we find in the first notice completely vanishes, and the verse follows very suitably upon the allusion to the general. The meaning might be expressed in this manner: And as Saul had to carry on a severe war against the Philistines his whole life long, he drew to himself every powerful man and every brave man that he met with.
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