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1 Samuel 28:20 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Then Saul fell straightway his full length upon the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then Saul immediately fell full length upon the ground and was very afraid because of the words of Samuel; also there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all day and all night.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Then Saul fell immediately all along on the earth, and was exceedingly afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Saul fell straightway his full length on the earth, and was sore afraid because of the words of Samuel; and there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no bread all the day nor all the night.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then Saul hastened, and fell prostrate—the whole length of him—to the earth, and was sore afraid, at the words of Samuel, and indeed, no, strength, was left in him, for he had not eaten food all the day and all the night.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Saul hasteth and falleth—the fulness of his stature—to the earth, and feareth greatly because of the words of Samuel; also power was not in him, for he had not eaten bread all the day, and all the night.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And forthwith Saul fell all along on the ground; for he was frightened with the words of Samuel, and there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no bread all that day.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel, & there was no strength in him: for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor al the night.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Saul instantly fell at his full length upon the earth, and was greatly afraid because of the words of Samuel; and there was no longer any strength in him, for he had eaten no bread all that day, and all that night.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Then Shaul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Shemuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Then l שָׁאוּל 7586
{7586} Prime
שָׁאוּל
Sha'uwl
{shaw-ool'}
Passive participle of H7592; asked; Shaul, the name of an Edomite and two Israelites.
fell 5307
{5307} Prime
נָפַל
naphal
{naw-fal'}
A primitive root; to fall, in a great variety of applications (intransitively or causatively, literally or figuratively).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
straightway 4116
{4116} Prime
מָהַר
mahar
{maw-har'}
A primitive root; properly to be liquid or flow easily, that is, (by implication); to hurry (in a good or bad sense); often used (with another verb) adverbially promptly.
z8762
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
all y4393
[4393] Standard
מְלֹא
m@lo'
{mel-o'}
From H4390; fulness (literally or figuratively).
along 6967
{6967} Prime
קוֹמָה
qowmah
{ko-maw'}
From H6965; height.
x4393
(4393) Complement
מְלֹא
m@lo'
{mel-o'}
From H4390; fulness (literally or figuratively).
on the earth, 776
{0776} Prime
אֶרֶץ
'erets
{eh'-rets}
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
and was sore 3966
{3966} Prime
מְאֹד
m@`od
{meh-ode'}
From the same as H0181; properly vehemence, that is, (with or without preposition) vehemently; by implication wholly, speedily, etc. (often with other words as an intensive or superlative; especially when repeated).
afraid, 3372
{3372} Prime
יָרֵא
yare'
{yaw-ray'}
A primitive root; to fear; morally to revere; causatively to frighten.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
because of the words 1697
{1697} Prime
דָּבָר
dabar
{daw-baw'}
From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially a cause.
x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
of ml שְׁמוּאֵל: 8050
{8050} Prime
שְׁמוּאֵל
Sh@muw'el
{sehm-oo-ale'}
From the passive participle of H8085 and H0410; heard of God; Shemuel, the name of three Israelites.
and x1571
(1571) Complement
גַּם
gam
{gam}
By contraction from an unused root meaning to gather; properly assemblage; used only adverbially also, even, yea, though; often repeated as correlation both... and.
there was x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
no x3808
(3808) Complement
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
strength 3581
{3581} Prime
כֹּחַ
koach
{ko'-akh}
From an unused root meaning to be firm; vigor, literally (force, in a good or a bad sense) or figuratively (capacity, means, produce); also (from its hardiness) a large lizard.
in him; for x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
he had eaten 398
{0398} Prime
אָכַל
'akal
{aw-kal'}
A primitive root; to eat (literally or figuratively).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
no x3808
(3808) Complement
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
bread 3899
{3899} Prime
לֶחֶם
lechem
{lekh'-em}
From H3898; food (for man or beast), especially bread, or grain (for making it).
all x3605
(3605) Complement
כֹּל
kol
{kole}
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
the day, 3117
{3117} Prime
יוֹם
yowm
{yome}
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
nor all x3605
(3605) Complement
כֹּל
kol
{kole}
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
the night. 3915
{3915} Prime
לַיִל
layil
{lah'-yil}
From the same as H3883; properly a twist (away of the light), that is, night; figuratively adversity.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

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Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Samuel 28:20-25

_ _ We are here told how Saul received this terrible message from the ghost he consulted. He desired to be told what he should do (1 Samuel 28:15), but was only told what he had not done and what should be done to him. Those that expect any good counsel or comfort otherwise than from God, and in the way of his institutions, will be as wretchedly disappointed as Saul here was. Observe,

_ _ I. How he sunk under the load, 1 Samuel 28:20. He was indeed unfit to bear it, having eaten nothing all the day before, nor that night. He came fasting from the camp, and continued fasting; not for want of food, but for want of an appetite. The fear he was in of the power of the Philistines (1 Samuel 28:5) took away his appetite, or perhaps the struggle he had with his own conscience, after he had entertained the thought of consulting the witch, made him to nauseate even his necessary food, though ever so dainty. This made him an easy prey to this fresh terror that now came upon him like an armed man. He fell all along on the earth, as if the archers of the Philistines had already hit him, and there was no strength in him to bear up against these heavy tidings. Now he had enough of consulting witches, and found them miserable comforters. When God in his word speaks terror to sinners he opens to them, at the same time, a door of hope if they repent: but those that apply to the gates of hell for succour must there expect darkness without any glimpse of light.

_ _ II. With what difficulty he was persuaded to take so much relief as was necessary to carry him back to his post in the camp. The witch, it should seem, had left Saul alone with the spectre, to have his talk with him by himself; but perhaps hearing him fall and groan, and perceiving him to be in great agony, she came to him (1 Samuel 28:21), and was very importunate with him to take some refreshment, that he might be able to get clear from her house, fearing that if he should be ill, especially if he should die there, she should be punished for it as a traitor, though she had escaped punishment as a witch. This, it is probable, rather than any sentiment of kindness, made her solicitous to help him. But what a deplorable condition had he brought himself to when he needed so wretched a comforter! 1. She showed herself very importunate with him to take some refreshment. She pleaded (1 Samuel 28:21) that she had obeyed his voice to the endangering of her life, and why therefore should not he hearken to her voice for the relieving of his life? 1 Samuel 28:22. She had a fat calf at hand (and the word signifies one that was made use of in treading out the corn, and therefore could the worse be spared); this she prepared for his entertainment, 1 Samuel 28:24. Josephus is large in applauding the extraordinary courtesy and liberality of this woman, and recommending what she did as an example of compassion to the distressed, and readiness to communicate for their relief, though we have no prospect of being recompensed. 2. He showed himself very averse to it: He refused, and said, I will not eat (1 Samuel 28:23), choosing rather to die obscurely by famine than honourably by the sword. Had he laboured only under a defect of animal spirits, food might have helped him; but, alas! his case was out of the reach of such succours. What are dainty meats to a wounded conscience? As vinegar upon nitre, so is he that sings songs to a heavy heart, so disagreeable and unwelcome. 3. The woman at length, with the help of his servants, overpersuaded him, against his inclination and resolution, to take some refreshment. Not by force, but by friendly advice, they compelled him (1 Samuel 28:23), and of no other than such a rational and courteous compulsion are we to understand that in the parable, Compel them to come in, Luke 14:23. How forcible are right words, when men are pressed by them to that which is for their own interest! Job 6:25. Saul was somewhat revived with this entertainment; so that he and his servants, when they had eaten, rose up and went away before it was light (1 Samuel 28:25), that they might hasten to their business and that they might not be seen to come out of such a scandalous house. Josephus here much admires the bravery and magnanimity of Saul, that, though he was assured he should lose both his life and honour, yet he would not desert his army, but resolutely returned to the camp, and stood ready for an engagement. I wonder more at the hardness of his heart, that he did not again apply to God by repentance and prayer, in hopes yet to obtain at least a reprieve; but he desperately ran headlong upon his own ruin. Perhaps, indeed, now that rage and envy possessed him to the uttermost, he was the better reconciled to his hard fate, being told that his sons, and Jonathan among the rest, whom he hated for his affection to David, should die with him. If he must fall, he cared not what desolations of his family and kingdom accompanied his fall, hoping it would be the worse for his successor. Emou thanontos gaia michthet puriI care not if, when I am dead, the world should be set on fire. He begged not, as David, “Let thy hand be against me, but not against thy people.”

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Samuel 28:20

Fell — As if the Archers of the Philistines had already hit him, and there was no strength in him, to bear up against these heavy tidings: especially, as we cannot doubt, but all his past sins were now brought to his remembrance and what authority has any man to affirm, that he felt no contrition all this time? Altho' it did not seem good to the holy ghost, to leave it upon record?

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Samuel 28:20

Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore (i) afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

(i) The wicked when they hear God's judgments, tremble and despair, but cannot seek for mercy by repentance.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
fell straightway:
Heb. made haste and fell with the fullness of his stature

sore afraid:

1 Samuel 28:5 And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.
1 Samuel 25:37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became [as] a stone.
Job 15:20-24 The wicked man travaileth with pain all [his] days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor. ... Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle.
Job 26:2 How hast thou helped [him that is] without power? [how] savest thou the arm [that hath] no strength?
Psalms 50:21-22 These [things] hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether [such an one] as thyself: [but] I will reprove thee, and set [them] in order before thine eyes. ... Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear [you] in pieces, and [there be] none to deliver.
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1S 25:37; 28:5. Jb 15:20; 26:2. Ps 50:21.

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