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1 Samuel 31:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain on mount Gilboa.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Now, as, the Philistines, were fighting against Israel, the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell slain, in Mount Gilboa.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And the Philistines are fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel flee from the face of the Philistines, and fall wounded in mount Gilboa,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gelboe.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Nowe the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell downe slaine in mount Gilboa.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the Philistines fought with Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and they fall down wounded in the mountain in Gilboa{gr.Gelbue}.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Now the Pelishtim fought against Yisrael: and the men of Yisrael fled from before the Pelishtim, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Now the Plitm פְּלִשׁתִּים 6430
{6430} Prime
פְּלִשְׁתִּי
P@lishtiy
{pel-ish-tee'}
Patrial from H6429; a Pelishtite or inhabitant of Pelesheth.
fought 3898
{3898} Prime
לָחַם
lacham
{law-kham'}
A primitive root; to feed on; figuratively to consume; by implication to battle (as destruction).
z8737
<8737> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 793
against Yi$rl יִשׂרָאֵל: 3478
{3478} Prime
יִשְׂרָאֵל
Yisra'el
{yis-raw-ale'}
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
and the men y582
[0582] Standard
אֱנוֹשׁ
'enowsh
{en-oshe'}
From H0605; properly a mortal (and thus differeing from the more dignified H0120); hence a man in general (singly or collectively). It is often unexpressed in the English Version, especially when used in apposition with another word.
x376
(0376) Complement
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
of Yi$rl יִשׂרָאֵל 3478
{3478} Prime
יִשְׂרָאֵל
Yisra'el
{yis-raw-ale'}
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
fled 5127
{5127} Prime
נוּס
nuwc
{noos}
A primitive root; to flit, that is, vanish away (subside, escape; causatively chase, impel, deliver).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
from before 6440
{6440} Prime
פָּנִים
paniym
{paw-neem'}
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
the Plitm פְּלִשׁתִּים, 6430
{6430} Prime
פְּלִשְׁתִּי
P@lishtiy
{pel-ish-tee'}
Patrial from H6429; a Pelishtite or inhabitant of Pelesheth.
and fell down 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
slain 2491
{2491} Prime
חָלָל
chalal
{khaw-lawl'}
From H2490; pierced (especially to death); figuratively polluted.
in mount 2022
{2022} Prime
הַר
har
{har}
A shortened form of H2042; a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively).
Gilb` גִּלבֹּעַ. 1533
{1533} Prime
גִּלְבֹּעַ
Gilboa`
{ghil-bo'-ah}
From H1530 and H1158; fountain of ebullition; Gilboa, a mountain of Palestine.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Samuel 31:1

_ _ 1 Samuel 31:1-7. Saul having lost his army at Gilboa, and his sons being slain, he and his armor-bearer kill themselves.

_ _ Now the Philistines fought against Israel — In a regular engagement, in which the two armies met (1 Samuel 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 (1 Samuel 14:49) and Melchishua, overpowered by numbers, were killed on the spot.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Samuel 31:1-7

_ _ The day of recompence has now come, in which Saul must account for the blood of the Amalekites which he had sinfully spared, and that of the priests which he had more sinfully spilt; that of David too, which he would have spilt, must come into the account. Now his day has come to fall, as David foresaw, when he should descend into battle and perish, 1 Samuel 26:10. Come and see the righteous judgments of God.

_ _ I. He sees his soldiers fall about him, 1 Samuel 31:1. Whether the Philistines were more numerous, better posted, and better led on, or what other advantages they had, we are not told; but it seems they were more vigorous, for they made the onset; they fought against Israel, and the Israelites fled and fell. The best of the troops were put into disorder, and multitudes slain, probably those whom Saul had employed in pursuing David. Thus those who had followed him and served him in his sin went before him in his fall and shared with him in his plagues.

_ _ II. He sees his sons fall before him. The victorious Philistines pressed most forcibly upon the king of Israel and those about him. His three sons were next him, it is probable, and they were all three slain before his face, to his great grief (for they were the hopes of his family) and to his great terror, for they were now the guard of his person, and he could conclude no other than that his own turn would come next. His sons are named (1 Samuel 31:2), and it grieves us to find Jonathan among them: that wise, valiant, good man, who was as much David's friend as Saul was his enemy, yet falls with the rest. Duty to his father would not permit him to stay at home, or to retire when the armies engaged; and Providence so orders it that he falls in the common fate of his family, though he never involved himself in the guilt of it; so that the observation of Eliphaz does not hold (Job 4:7), Who ever perished being innocent? For here was one. What shall we say to it? 1. God would hereby complete the vexation of Saul in his dying moments, and the judgment that was to be executed upon his house. If the family must fall, Jonathan, that is one of it, must fall with it. 2. He would hereby make David's way to the crown the more clear and open. For, though Jonathan himself would have cheerfully resigned all his title and interest to him (we have no reason to suspect any other), yet it is very probable that many of the people would have made use of his name for the support of the house of Saul, or at least would have come in but slowly to David. If Ishbosheth (who was now left at home as one unfit for action, and so escaped) had so many friends, what would Jonathan have had, who had been the darling of the people and had never forfeited their favour? Those that were so anxious to have a king like the nations would be zealous for the right line, especially if that threw the crown upon such a head as Jonathan's. This would have embarrassed David; and, if Jonathan could have prevailed to bring in all his interest to David, then it would have been said that Jonathan had made him king, whereas God was to have all the glory. This is the Lord's doing. So that though the death of Jonathan would be a great affliction to David, yet, by making him mindful of his own frailty, as well as by facilitating his accession to the throne, it would be an advantage to him. 3. God would hereby show us that the difference between good and bad is to be made in the other world, not in this. All things come alike to all. 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.

_ _ III. He himself is sorely wounded by the Philistines and then slain by his own hand. The archers hit him (1 Samuel 31:3), so that he could neither fight nor fly, and therefore must inevitably fall into their hands. Thus, to make him the more miserable, destruction comes gradually upon him, and he dies so as to feel himself die. To such an extremity was he now reduced that, 1. He was desirous to die by the hand of his own servant rather than by the hand of the Philistines, lest they should abuse him as they had abused Samson. Miserable man! He finds himself dying, and all his care is to keep his body out of the hands of the Philistines, instead of being solicitous to resign his soul into the hands of God who gave it, Ecclesiastes 12:7. As he lived, so he died, proud and jealous, and a terror to himself and all about him. Those who rightly understand the matter think it of small account, in comparison, how it is with them in death, so it may but be well with them after death. Those are in a deplorable condition indeed who, being bitter in soul, long for death, but it cometh not (Job 3:20, Job 3:21), especially those who, despairing of the mercy of god, like Judas, leap into a hell before them, to escape a hell within them. 2. When he could not obtain that favour he became his own executioner, thinking hereby to avoid shame, but running upon a heinous sin, and with it entailing upon his own name a mark of perpetual infamy, as felo de sea self-murderer. Jonathan, who received his death-wound from the hand of the Philistines and bravely yielded to the fate of war, died on the bed of honour; but Saul died as a fool dieth, as a coward dieth — a proud fool, a sneaking coward; he died as a man that had neither the fear of God nor hope in God, neither the reason of a man nor the religion of an Israelite, much less the dignity of a prince or the resolution of a soldier. Let us all pray, Lord, lead us not into temptation, this temptation. His armour-bearer would not run him through, and he did well to refuse it; for no man's servant ought to be a slave to his master's lusts or passions of any kind. The reason given is that he was sorely afraid, not of death, for he himself ran wilfully upon that immediately; but, having a profound reverence for the king his master, he could not conquer that so far as to do him any hurt; or perhaps he feared lest his trembling hand should give him but half a blow, and so put him to the greater misery.

_ _ IV. His armour-bearer who refused to kill him refused not to die with him, but fell likewise upon his sword, 1 Samuel 31:5. This was an aggravating circumstance of the death of Saul, that, by the example of his wickedness in murdering himself, he drew in his servant to be guilty of the same wickedness, and perished not alone in his iniquity. The Jews say that Saul's armour-bearer was Doeg, whom he preferred to that dignity for killing the priests, and, if so, justly does his violent dealing return on his own head. David had foretold concerning him that God would destroy him for ever, Psalms 52:5.

_ _ V. The country was put into such confusion by the rout of Saul's army that the inhabitants of the neighbouring cities (on that side Jordan, as it might be read) quitted them, and the Philistines, for a time, had possession of them, till things were settled in Israel (1 Samuel 31:7), to such a sad pass had Saul by his wickedness brought his country, which might have remained in the hands of the uncircumcised if David had not been raised up to repair the breaches of it. See what a king he proved for whom they rejected God and Samuel. They had still done wickedly (it is to be feared) as well as he, and therefore were consumed both they and their king, as the prophet had foretold concerning them, 1 Samuel 12:25. And to this reference is had long after. Hosea 13:10, Hosea 13:11, “Where are thy saviours in all thy cities, of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? I gave thee a king in my anger, and took him away in my wrath; that is, he was a plague to thee living and dying; thou couldst expect no other.”

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the Philistines:

1 Samuel 28:1 And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. And Achish said unto David, Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy men.
1 Samuel 28:15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
1 Samuel 29:1 Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which [is] in Jezreel.

fell down:

1 Samuel 12:25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.
1 Chronicles 10:1-12 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. ... 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.

slain:
Heb. wounded

Gilboa:
Eusebius and Jerome place this mountain six miles west from Bethshan, where was a large place called Gelbus. The natives still call it Djebel Gilbo.
1 Samuel 28:4 And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa.
2 Samuel 1:21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, [let there be] no dew, neither [let there be] rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, [as though he had] not [been] anointed with oil.
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1S 12:25; 28:1, 4, 15; 29:1. 2S 1:21. 1Ch 10:1.

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