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Adam Clarke Commentary

1 Chronicles 10


A fatal battle between the Israelites and Philistines in Gilboa, in which Saul is mortally wounded, and has three sons slain, 1 Chronicles 10:1 -6. The Israelites being totally routed, the Philistines, coming to strip the dead, find Saul and has three sons among the slain; they cut off Saul's head, and send it and his armor about the country to the idol temples; and then fix them up in the house of Dagon, 1 Chronicles 10:7 -10. The men of Jabesh-gilead come by night, and take away the bodies of Saul and has three sons, and bury them in Jabesh, 1 Chronicles 10:11 , 1 Chronicles 10:12 . The reason of Saul's tragical death; the kingdom is transferred to David, 1 Chronicles 10:13 , 1 Chronicles 10:14 .

Verse 1

Now the Philistines fought against Israel - The reader will find the same history in almost the same words, in 1 Samuel 31:1 -13, to the notes on which he is referred for every thing important in this.

Verse 6

So Saul died - and all his house - Every branch of his family that had followed him to the war was cut off; his three sons are mentioned as being the chief. No doubt all his officers were slain.

Verse 11

When all Jabesh-gilead heard - For a general account of the principles of heroism and gratitude from which this action of the men of Jabesh-gilead proceeded, see the note on 1 Samuel 31:11 , 1 Samuel 31:12 .By the kindness of a literary friend, I am enabled to lay a farther illustration of this noble act before the reader, which he will find at the conclusion of the chapter.

Verse 13

Saul died for his transgression - See the concluding observations on the first book of Samuel 1 Samuel 31:13 (note)).

Verse 14

Inquired not of the Lord - On these two last verses the Targum speaks thus: "And Saul died for the transgression by which he transgressed against the Word of the Lord, and because he did not keep the commandment of the Lord when he warred against the house of Amalek; and because he consulted Pythons, and sought oracular answers from them. Neither did he ask counsel from before the Lord by Urim and Thummim, for he had slain the priests that were in Nob; therefore the Lord slew him, and transferred the kingdom to David the son of Jesse."A Literary friend furnishes the following remarks: -

1 Chronicles 10

  1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
  2 And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.
  3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.
  4 Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
  5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died.
  6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together.
  7 And when all the men of Israel that were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, then they forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.
  8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen in mount Gilboa.
  9 And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people.
  10 And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.
  11 And when all Jabeshgilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,
  12 They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
  13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;
  14 And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

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