1 Samuel 31:2
And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul's sons.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons.—“The details of the battle are but seen in broken snatches, as in the short scene of a battle acted upon the stage, or beheld at remote glimpses by an accidental spectator. But amidst the showers of arrows from the Philistine archers, or pressed hard even on the mountain side by their charioteers, the figure of the king emerges from the darkness. His three sons have fallen before him; his armourbearer lies dead beside him.”—Stanley: Jewish Church, Lect. 21

And the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchi-shua, Saul’s sons.—But while, in his own record of the national disaster, the compiler or historian, in his stern sorrow, expunges every detail, and represses every expression of feeling, he gives us in the next chapter (2Samuel 1:1-27) the stately elegy, in the beautiful moving words which the successor to the throne wrote on the death of the first king and his heroic son. Without comment he copies into his record the hymn of David on Saul and Jonathan, just as he found it in the Book of Jashar (the collection of national odes celebrating the heroes of the Theocracy). “There David speaks of the Saul of earlier times—the mighty conqueror, the delight of his people, the father of his beloved and faithful friend—like him in life, united with him in death.” (Stanley).

“Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives

And in their death they were not divided.

Than eagles they were swifter, than lions more strong.”

(2Samuel 1:23.) From the lost Book of Jashar.

Nothing is known of the two younger princes who fell fighting here by their father’s side, sword in hand against the enemies of their country.

The hero Jonathan and his two brave brothers, as far as we can gather from the scanty details of the battle after the army was routed in the valley of Jezreel, retreated (fighting all the while) to the hill of Gilboa. There, it seems, they made the last stand with the fideles of the royal house of Saul (1Samuel 31:6), and there, no doubt defending the king to the last, they fell.

1 Samuel 31:2. The Philistines slew Jonathan — David’s dear friend; God so ordering it for the further exercise of David’s faith and patience; and that David might depend upon God alone for his crown, and receive it solely from him, and not from Jonathan; who, doubtless, had he lived, would have speedily settled the crown upon David’s head. There was also a special providence of God in taking away Jonathan, (who, of all Saul’s sons, seems to have been the fairest for the crown,) for preventing divisions, which might have happened among the people concerning the successor: David’s way to the crown being by this means made the more clear. Abinadab — Called also Ishui, 1 Samuel 14:49. Ish-bosheth was not here, being possibly at home for the management of affairs there. Thus the prediction of Samuel was fulfilled: but who can forbear dropping a tear over the faithful, the amiable, the excellent Jonathan? “There are few characters among men more lovely or more extraordinary than his: fortitude, fidelity, magnanimity! a soul susceptible of the most refined friendship, and superior to all the temptations of ambition and vanity! and all these crowned with the most resigned submission to the will of God.” — Delaney.

31:1-7 We cannot judge of the spiritual or eternal state of any by the manner of their death; for in that, there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked. Saul, when sorely wounded, and unable to resist or to flee, expressed no concern about his never-dying soul; but only desired that the Philistines might not insult over him, or put him to pain, and he became his own murderer. As it is the grand deceit of the devil, to persuade sinners, under great difficulties, to fly to this last act of desperation, it is well to fortify the mind against it, by a serious consideration of its sinfulness before God, and its miserable consequences in society. But our security is not in ourselves. Let us seek protection from Him who keepeth Israel. Let us watch and pray; and take unto us the whole armour of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.Hebron - Now El-Khulil (see Genesis 23:2). Hebron was a city of refuge Joshua 20:7, and one of the cities of the Kohathites Joshua 21:11. It lies twenty miles south of Jerusalem. CHAPTER 31

1Sa 31:1-7. Saul Having Lost His Army at Gilboa, and His Sons Being Slain, He and His Armor-bearer Kill Themselves.

1. Now the Philistines fought against Israel—In a regular engagement, in which the two armies met (1Sa 28:1-4), the Israelites were forced to give way, being annoyed by the arrows of the enemy, which, destroying them at a distance before they came to close combat, threw them into panic and disorder. Taking advantage of the heights of Mount Gilboa, [the Israelites] attempted to rally, but in vain. Saul and his sons fought like heroes; but the onset of the Philistines being at length mainly directed against the quarter where they were, Jonathan and two brothers, Abinadab or Ishui (1Sa 14:49) and Melchishua, overpowered by numbers, were killed on the spot.

The Philistines slew Jonathan, David’s dear friend; God so ordering it for the further exercise of David’s faith and patience; and that David might depend upon God alone for his crown, and receive it solely from him, and not from Jonathan; who doubtless, had he lived, would have speedily settled the crown upon David’s head, which would have in some sort eclipsed the glory of God’s grace and power in this work. There was also a special providence of God in taking away Jonathan, (who of all Saul’s sons seems to have been the fairest for the crown,) for the preventing divisions, which have happened amongst the people concerning the successor; David’s way to the crown being by this means made the more clear.

Abinadab, called also Ishui, 1 Samuel 14:49. Ish-bosheth was not here, being possibly at home, for the management of public affairs there.

And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul,.... Stuck to him, pushed him close, bore hard upon him in that part of the army where he was having a design upon his person:

and upon his sons; who were with him:

and the Philistines slew Jonathan; who is mentioned first, being the eldest son, and perhaps first slain; and this was so ordered by the providence of God, that David's way to the throne might be more clear and easy; for though Jonathan would not have opposed him himself, yet the people, fond of him, would, at least many of them, been for setting him on the throne; and though he would have refused it, knowing David was the Lord's anointed, and have made interest for him, this would have looked as if he had made him king, and not the Lord:

and Abinadab and Malchishua, Saul's sons; these also were slain; former of these is called Ishui, 1 Samuel 14:49; Ishbosheth either was not in the battle, being left at home, as unfit for war, or to take care of the kingdom; or else he fled with Abner, and others, and escaped, and who was to be a trial to David.

And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul's sons.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. Saul’s sons] See 1 Samuel 14:49. There is a tragic pathos in the simplicity of the account. Cp. 1 Samuel 31:6.

1 Samuel 31:2The Philistines followed Saul, smote (i.e., put to death) his three sons (see at 1 Samuel 14:49), and fought fiercely against Saul himself. When the archers (בּקּשׁת אנשׁים is an explanatory apposition to המּורים) hit him, i.e., overtook him, he was greatly alarmed at them (יחל, from חיל or חוּל),

(Note: The lxx have adopted the rendering καὶ ἐτραυμάτισαν εἰς τὰ ὑποχόνδρια, they wounded him in the abdomen, whilst the Vulgate rendering is vulneratus est vehementer a sagittariis. In 1 Chronicles 10:3 the Sept. rendering is καὶ ἐπόνεσεν ἀπὸ τῶν τόξων, and that of the Vulgate et vulneraverunt jaculis. The translators have therefore derived יחל from חלל equals חלה, and then given a free rendering to the other words. But this rendering is overthrown by the word מאד, very, vehemently, to say nothing of the fact that the verb חלל or חלה cannot be proved to be ever used in the sense of wounding. If Saul had been so severely wounded that he could not kill himself, and therefore asked his armour-bearer to slay him, as Thenius supposes, he would not have had the strength to pierce himself with his sword when the armour-bearer refused. The further conjecture of Thenius, that the Hebrew text should be read thus, in accordance with the lxx, המּררים אל ויּחל, "he was wounded in the region of the gall," is opposed by the circumstance that ὑποχόνδρια is not the gall or region of the gall, but what is under the χόνδρος, or breast cartilage, viz., the abdomen and bowels.)

and called upon his armour-bearer to pierce him with the sword, "lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and play with me," i.e., cool their courage upon me by maltreating me. But as the armour-bearer would not do this, because he was very much afraid, since he was supposed to be answerable for the king's life, Saul inflicted death upon himself with his sword; whereupon the armour-bearer also fell upon his sword and died with his king, so that on that day Saul and this three sons and his armour-bearer all died; also "all his men" (for which we have "all his house" in the Chronicles), i.e., not all the warriors who went out with him to battle, but all the king's servants, or all the members of his house, sc., who had taken part in the battle. Neither Abner nor his son Ishbosheth was included, for the latter was not in the battle; and although the former was Saul's cousin and commander-in-chief (see 1 Samuel 14:50-51), he did not belong to his house or servants.

Links
1 Samuel 31:2 Interlinear
1 Samuel 31:2 Parallel Texts


1 Samuel 31:2 NIV
1 Samuel 31:2 NLT
1 Samuel 31:2 ESV
1 Samuel 31:2 NASB
1 Samuel 31:2 KJV

1 Samuel 31:2 Bible Apps
1 Samuel 31:2 Parallel
1 Samuel 31:2 Biblia Paralela
1 Samuel 31:2 Chinese Bible
1 Samuel 31:2 French Bible
1 Samuel 31:2 German Bible

Bible Hub






1 Samuel 31:1
Top of Page
Top of Page