And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Agag, either out of foolish pity for the goodliness of his person, which Josephus notes; or for his respect to his royal majesty, in the preservation of which he thought himself concerned; or for the glory of his triumph: compare 1 Samuel 15:12.
All the people, to wit, the body of the people, but not every individual person, as hath been showed. Universal particles are commonly thus understood, as is confessed. Numbers 24:2. When this king fell into the hands of Saul, he did not put him to death, as he should have done, but preserved him; for what reasons, see in the following verse:
and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword; that is, all that came in his way, or fell into his hands; all between Havilah and Shur; all excepting those that made their escape, for we after read of Amalekites, and that in large bodies, 1 Samuel 27:8.And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. Agag] Agag perhaps means “fiery.” As the name is found in Numbers 24:7, it was probably an hereditary title, like Pharaoh among the Egyptians.
utterly destroyed all the people] All who fell into their bands. Some survived, and continued a guerilla warfare against the Israelites (1 Samuel 27:8, 1 Samuel 30:1; 2 Samuel 8:12). The last remnant of them was destroyed by a band of Simeonites in the reign of Hezekiah (1 Chronicles 4:43).Verse 8. - He took Agag. This was the official name of the Amalekite kings (see Numbers 24:7), as Pharaoh was that of the kings of Egypt. For its meaning we must wait till we know more about the language of this race. Agag, however, from ver. 32, seems to have been able to speak Hebrew. He utterly destroyed - i.e. put under the ban - all the people. They appear, however, again in 1 Samuel 27:8, and with so vast a wilderness in which to take refuge, it would be impossible really to exterminate a people used to lead a wandering life. Moreover, as soon as Israel began to lay hands on the spoil the pursuit would flag, as the cattle would be killed by over driving. Exodus 17:8). Samuel merely mentions this first outbreak of hostility on the part of Amalek towards the people of Israel, because in this the same disposition was already manifested which now made the people ripe for the judgment of extermination (vid., Exodus 17:14). The hostility which they had now displayed, according to 1 Samuel 15:33, there was no necessity for the prophet to mention particularly, since it was well known to Saul and all Israel. When God looks upon a sin, directs His glance towards it, He must punish it according to His own holiness. This פּקדתּי points at the very outset to the punishment about to be proclaimed.
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