1 Samuel 22:7
Then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him, Hear now, ye Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds;
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(7) Hear now, ye Benjamites.—We have here a fair specimen of Saul’s manner of ruling in his later years. It is no wonder that the heart of the people gradually was estranged from one of whom in earlier years they had been so proud. The suspicious and gloomy king had evidently—we have it here from his own mouth—gradually given all the posts of honour and dignity to men of his own tribe and family, or to strangers like Doeg. “Hear now, ye Benjamites—so the “fidèles” were evidently men of his own favoured tribe; indeed, he refers to his own weak partiality as the reason why they of all men should be loyal. “Who but a Benjamite,” he says, “would only honour Benjamites?” Such a sovereign had surely forfeited his kingdom. The consequences of such a weak and shortsighted policy were plainly visible in the thin array he was able in his hour of bitter need to muster together on the fatal field of Mount Gilboa against his sleepless Philistine enemies. (See 1 Samuel 31)

22:6-19 See the nature of jealous malice and its pitiful arts. Saul looks upon all about him as his enemies, because they do not just say as he says. In Ahimelech's answer to Saul we have the language of conscious innocence. But what wickedness will not the evil spirit hurry men to when he gets the dominion! Saul alleges that which was utterly false and unproved. But the most bloody tyrants have found instruments of their cruelty as barbarous as themselves. Doeg, having murdered the priests, went to the city, Nob, and put all to the sword there. Nothing so vile but those may do it, who have provoked God to give them up to their hearts' lusts. Yet this was the accomplishment of the threatenings against the house of Eli. Though Saul was unrighteous in doing this, yet God was righteous in permitting it. No word of God shall fall to the ground.Ye Benjamites - Showing how isolated the tribes still were, and how for the most part Saul was surrounded by his own tribesmen only. 7, 8. Hear now, ye Benjamites—This was an appeal to stimulate the patriotism or jealousy of his own tribe, from which he insinuated it was the design of David to transfer the kingdom to another. This address seems to have been made on hearing of David's return with his four hundred men to Judah. A dark suspicion had risen in the jealous mind of the king that Jonathan was aware of this movement, which he dreaded as a conspiracy against the crown. Ye Benjamites; you that are of my own tribe and kindred, from whom David designs to translate the kingdom to another tribe, will he distribute profits and preferments amongst you

Benjamites as I have done, and intend still to do? will he not rather prefer those of his own tribe before you?

Then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him,.... He took this opportunity of addressing them in the following manner, upon the report of David being at the head of a certain number of men:

hear now, ye Benjamites; for Saul being of the tribe of Benjamin, his courtiers and his bodyguards chiefly, if not altogether, consisted of persons of that tribe; and therefore as they were under obligation to him, and ought to abide by him, and adhere closely to him, so it was the more ungrateful in them, as he thought, not to be concerned for his honour and interest:

will the son of Jesse give everyone of you fields and vineyards; as Saul had done, or was capable of doing, and would do if they were faithful to him; whereas it was not in the power of David, whom in contempt he calls the son of Jesse, to do it; and even should he ever be king, and in his power to make such donations, it cannot be thought he would give them to them, but to the favourites of his own tribe:

and make you all captains of thousands and captains of hundreds; which he now could not do, since he had with him but four hundred men in all; and should his army increase, and the kingdom come into his hands, so far would all of them be from being advanced to posts in the army, that it was probable none of them would, but those of his own tribe and party.

Then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him, Hear now, ye {f} Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds;

(f) You that are of my tribe and lineage.

7. ye Benjamites] Saul appeals to tribal jealousies. Will not David promote his own fellow-tribesmen rather than the Benjamites?

captains of thousands, &c.] The sarcasm of these words gains point, if we may suppose that Saul had just heard of the organization of David’s handful of men (1 Chronicles 12:16-18).

Verses 7, 8. - Ye Benjamites. Saul had evidently failed in blending the twelve tribes into one nation. He had begun well, and his great feat of delivering Jabesh Gilead by summoning the militia of all Israel together must have given them something of a corporate feeling, and taught them their power when united. Yet now we find him isolated, and this address to his officers seems to show that he had aggrandised his own tribe at the expense of the rest. Moreover, he appeals to the worst passions of these men, and asks whether they can expect David to continue this favouritism, which had given them riches and all posts of power. And then he turns upon them, and fiercely accuses them of banding together in a conspiracy against him, to conceal from him the private understanding which existed between his own son and his enemy. Hath made a league. Hebrew, "hath cut." This use of the formal phrase forsaking a covenant seems to show that Saul was at length aware of the solemn bond of friendship entered into by Jonathan with David. To lie in wait. To Saul's mind, diseased with that suspicion which is the scourge of tyrants, David is secretly plotting his murder. As at this day. I.e. as today is manifest (see ver. 13). 1 Samuel 22:7Murder of the Priests by Saul. - 1 Samuel 22:6. When Saul heard that David and the men with him were known, i.e., that information had been received as to their abode or hiding-place, he said to his servants when they were gathered round him, "Hear," etc. The words, "and Saul was sitting at Gibeah under the tamarisk upon the height," etc., show that what follows took place in a solemn conclave of all the servants of Saul, who were gathered round their king to deliberate upon the more important affairs of the kingdom. This sitting took place at Gibeah, the residence of Saul, and in the open air "under the tamarisk." בּרמה, upon the height, not "under a grove at Ramah" (Luther); for Ramah is an appellative, and בּרמה, which belongs to האשׁל תּחת, is a more minute definition of the locality, which is indicated by the definite article (the tamarisk upon the height) as the well-known place where Saul's deliberative assemblies were held. From the king's address ("hear, ye Benjaminites; will the son of Jesse also give you all fields and vineyards?") we perceive that Saul had chosen his immediate attendants form the members of his own tribe, and had rewarded their services right royally. גּם־לכלּכם is placed first for the sake of emphasis, "You Benjaminites also," and not rather to Judahites, the members of his own tribe. The second לכלּכם (before ישׂים) is not a dative; but ל tub merely serves to give greater prominence to the object which is placed at the head of the clause: As for all of you, will he make (you: see Ewald, 310, a.).
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