Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Samuel 31:8, and had the luck to find Saul and possess himself of his crown and bracelet. He probably started off immediately to seek David, and invented the above story, possibly having heard from some Israelite prisoner an account of what really did happen.
the bracelet that was on his arm—the armlet worn above the elbow; an ancient mark of royal dignity. It is still worn by kings in some Eastern countries.
and rent them; on bearing of the death of Saul and Jonathan, see Genesis 37:34; from whence the Jews (l) gather, that a man is bound to rend his clothes for a prince, and for the father of the sanhedrim, since Saul, they say, was the prince, and Jonathan the father of that court:
and likewise all the men that were with him; rent their clothes also, in imitation of him; the same custom obtained among the Gentiles on mournful occasions (m).Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. on] “On” used as we now use “of.” Cp. 1 Samuel 27:11.2 Samuel 1:6-10), "I happened to come (נקרא equals נקרה) up to the mountains of Gilboa, and saw Saul leaning upon his spear; then the chariots (the war-chariots for the charioteers) and riders were pressing upon him, and he turned round and saw me, ... and asked me, Who art thou? and I said, An Amalekite; and he said to me, Come hither to me, and slay me, for the cramp (שׁבץ according to the Rabbins) hath seized me (sc., so that I cannot defend myself, and must fall into the hands of the Philistines); for my soul (my life) is still whole in me. Then I went to him, and slew him, because I knew that after his fall he would not live; and took the crown upon his head, and the bracelet upon his arm, and brought them to my lord" (David). "After his fall" does not mean "after he had fallen upon his sword or spear" (Clericus), for this is neither implied in נפלו nor in על־חניתו נשׁען ("supported, i.e., leaning upon his spear"), nor are we at liberty to transfer it from 1 Samuel 31:4 into this passage; but "after his defeat," i.e., so that he would not survive this calamity. This statement is at variance with the account of the death of Saul in 1 Samuel 31:3.; and even apart from this it has an air of improbability, or rather of untruth in it, particularly in the assertion that Saul was leaning upon his spear when the chariots and horsemen of the enemy came upon him, without having either an armour-bearer or any other Israelitish soldier by his side, so that he had to turn to an Amalekite who accidentally came by, and to ask him to inflict the fatal wound. The Amalekite invented this, in the hope of thereby obtaining the better recompense from David. The only part of his statement which is certainly true, is that he found the king lying dead upon the field of battle, and took off the crown and armlet; since he brought these to David. But it is by no means certain whether he was present when Saul expired, or merely found him after he was dead.
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