And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until you come to Shur, that is over against Egypt.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)From Havilah until thou comest to Shur.—The Havilah here alluded to cannot be now identified. Shur, which signifies “wall,” probably refers to the wall which crossed the north-east frontier of Egypt, extending from Pelusium, past Migdol, to Hevo. Ebers suggests that this wall gave to Egypt the name of “Mizraini,” the enclosed, or fortified.1 Samuel 15:7-8. To Shur — That is, from one end of their country to the other; he smote all that he met with: but a great number of them fled away upon the noise of his coming, and secured themselves in other places, till the storm was over. Destroyed all — Whom he found. Now they paid dear for the sins of their ancestors. They were themselves guilty of idolatry and numberless sins, for which they deserved to be cut off. Yet, when God would reckon with them, he fixes upon this as the ground of his quarrel.
7-9. Saul smote the Amalekites—His own view of the proper and expedient course to follow was his rule, not the command of God.1 Samuel 13:6 14:22.
from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt; having routed them in the valley, or in whatsoever place the battle was fought, he pursued them from one end of their country to the other; from Havilah, which lay to the northeast, to Shur, which lay to the southwest, and destroyed all that came in his way between those two points, see Genesis 25:18.And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. from Havilah until thou comest to Shur] The region occupied by the Ishmaelites is described in the same terms in Genesis 25:18. Havilah is supposed to be a district of Arabia, but its position cannot be fixed with any certainty. Shur is repeatedly mentioned in connexion with the route from Palestine to Egypt, and appears to be the part of the Arabian desert bordering on Egypt. See Genesis 16:7; Genesis 20:1; Exodus 15:22; 1 Samuel 27:8. Shur means wall, and the name may have been derived from the wall which anciently defended the north-eastern frontier of Egypt.
over against Egypt] In front of Egypt, looking towards it from Palestine; or, eastward of Egypt.Verse 7. - From Havilah until thou comest to Shur. Hebrew, "from Havilah as thou goest towards Shur." It seems impossible that this Havilah can be the northwestern portion of Yemen, called Chawlan, and identified with the Havilah of Genesis 10:7, 29, as this would make Saul smite them from southeast to northwest. Shur, which means wall, is, as Wellhausen (Text 1 samuel 9:7) observes, originally the name of the wall which ran from Pelusium past Migdol to Hero, and which gave to Egypt, as Ebers thinks, its name Mizraim, the enclosed or fortified. Shur is again mentioned in 1 Samuel 27:8 as indicating the direction towards Egypt of the region occupied by the Amalekites. Havilah, which means circle, must have been some spot on the route to the isthmus of Suez, lying on the edge of the wilderness to the south of Judah, where Saul commenced his foray. Beginning thus upon the borders of Judaea, Saul continued his devastations up to the limits of Egypt. 1 Samuel 11:15, but to 1 Samuel 10:1.
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