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Full text of "A critical and exegetical commentary on the books of Samuel"

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SAMUEL 

r HENRY PRESERVED SMITH 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY 
MORRISON AND GIBB LIMITED 

FOR 

T. & T. CLARK, EDINBURGH 

MEW YORK: CHARLES SCRIBNER's SONS 



First Impression . . 1899 

Second Impression . . 1904 

Third Impression . . 1912 

Fourth Impression . , 195! 



The International Critical Commentary 



CRITICAL AND EXEGETICAL 
COMMENTARY 



ON 



THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL 



BY 



HENRY PRESERVED SMITH 

PROFESSOR OF BIBLICAL HISTORY AND INTERPRETATION 
IN AMHERST COLLEGE 



Edinburgh: T. & T. GLARK, 38 George Street 



TO MY WIFE 

lima fHarneale Stau'tfj 

WHOSE CONFIDENCE AND AFFECTION HAVE BEEN MY HELP 
IN THIS AS IN ALL MY WORK 

AND TO THE MEMORY OF OUR BELOVED 

Nealc 

SO EARLY CALLED TO HIGHER SERVICE THAN WE 
ARE YET PERMITTED TO RENDER 



MAY 16 1964 



PREFACE. 



The plan and purpose of this series of commentaries are so 
well illustrated by the volumes that have preceded this — the one 
on Deuteronomy by Professor Driver and the one on Judges by 
Professor Moore — that further statement would be superfluous. 
In preparing the present number of the series I have constantly 
had occasion to admire the work of these predecessors, and I 
shall be gratified if the present volume shall be found worthy 
of a place by the side of theirs. 

The historical importance of the Books of Samuel must be 
evident to the least attentive reader. In them we have the only 
sources of information concerning the origin of the monarchy in 
Israel. How much this implies will be seen if we suppose the 
names of Samuel, Saul, and David blotted out of our history of 
Israel. Besides the direct information which we receive from 
their narrative, these books throw great light upon the manners, 
customs, and religion of Israel, not only for the period of which 
they professedly treat, but also for the times in which the various 
authors lived and wrote. 

An understanding of these books is therefore a first necessity 
to the scholar who would correctly apprehend the history of 
Israel. Such an understanding is not so easy to attain as appears 
upon the surface. For one thing, the Hebrew text has come 
to us much corrupted in transmission — imperfect to a greater 
degree than that of any other part of the Old Testament, with 
perhaps one exception. The difficult and delicate task thus 
thrown upon the exegete will appear to the careful student of 



Vlll PREFACE 

this volume. In the second place, these books present peculiar 
problems for the so-called higher criticism. Nowhere are the 
phenomena of a complex literary process more obvious, and yet 
nowhere are these phenomena more difficult to interpret. 

The expositor is encouraged in the face of these difficulties 
by the fact that excellent work has already been done in both 
these departments of study. The criticism of the text was 
seriously undertaken (though with inadequate apparatus) by 
Thenius in 1842, and since that time the problem has been 
attacked by Wellhausen, Klostermann, Driver, and Budde. In 
the department of the higher criticism so much cannot be said. 
Yet even here the books before us have had as much attention 
as any part of the Old Testament, except the Pentateuch and 
the Book of Isaiah. 

Originality can hardly be claimed by one who follows in such 
a train. I can only claim that I have carefully considered every 
suggestion of my predecessors and have tried to judge it on its 
merits. With regard to the text, the emendations of Thenius and 
Wellhausen have become a part of exegetical tradition. 

In my anxiety to be helpful to the beginner I have sometimes 
explained that which the more advanced student will find to be 
sufficiently clear in itself. So far as I know, I have passed no 
difficulty by in silence. That the consideration of many passages 
results in a non liquet will probably not be found surprising. 

The preparation of the commentary, after being begun, was 
interrupted for about two years by causes beyond my control. 
For the greater part of the time in which I was engaged upon 
it, no good library was within my reach. My friend Professor 
Briggs and the librarians of Union, Lane, and Hartford Theo- 
logical Seminaries generously relieved this difficulty by granting 
me the use of a number of volumes — a courtesy which it gives 
me pleasure here to acknowledge. 

Amhekst, Mass., July 20, 1898. 



CONTENTS 



* 

PAGE 

Introduction xi-xxxix 

§ I. The Title xi 

§ 2. Contents xii 

§ 3. Composition of the Book xv 

§ 4. Analysis of 1 Sam. i.-xv xvi 

§ 5. Analysis of 1 Sam. xvi.-2 Sam. i xxii 

§ 6. Analysis of 2 Sam. ii.-xxiv xxvi 

§ 7. The Text and Versions xxix 

§ 8. Religious Ideas xxxiii 

§ 9. Commentaries xxxvii 

Commentary 1-393 

Appendix 395~4 10 

Index 411-416 

Abbreviations 416-421 



INTRODUCTION. 



§ i. The Title. 



The two books are one book in Hebrew manuscripts. The 
division into two was first made by the Greek translators or by 
the Greek copyists. As we know from classic writers, the rolls on 
which Greek and Latin works were written were of certain con- 
ventional sizes. Biblical books (Samuel, Kings, Chronicles) were 
divided into two in order to conform to this rule of the trade. 
The division passed over into the Latin Bible, but invaded the 
Hebrew copies only with the first Rabbinical Bible of Bomberg.* 
The original state of the case is still indicated, in editions of 
the Hebrew, by the Massoretic summary which gives the number 
of verses only at the end of the second book, thus treating the 
two as one. In this summary we find also the phrase Book of 
Samuel used, and are told that the middle verse is the one num- 
bered by us i S. 2% A . Origen is quoted by Eusebiusf as affirm- 
ing specifically that the first and second Books of the Kingdoms 
form one book among the Hebrews, and that this bears the name 
of Samuel. A Greek MS. also remarks % at the close of i S. that 
Aquila following the Hebrews does not divide but makes the two 
one book. Jerome in the Prologus Galeatus (printed in the 
authorized editions of the Vulgate) names as third in the list of 
the Prophets, Samuel, quern nos Regum primum et secundum dici- 
mus. With this agrees the Talmud, which names Judges, Samuel, 
Kings, § as though each were but a single book. 

* Published at Venice, 1516. Cf. Ginsburg, Introduction to the Massoretico- 
Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible (1897). 

t Hist. Eccles. VI. 25, as cited by Kl. 

X Field, Hexap. Orig. I. p. 543. 

§ The passage (Baba Bathra, 14 a) is translated in Briggs, Biblical Study (1883), 
p. 175 ff., and Briggs, General Introduction to the Study of Holy Scripture (1899), 
p. 252 f. 



Xll INTRODUCTION 

The title of the book (or books) is in the Hebrew Canon 
Samuel, apparently because Samuel is the leading character in 
the earlier chapters. The name is unfortunate, as Samuel ceases 
to be prominent after the middle of the first book, and David 
occupies the narrator's whole attention from that point on. The 
infelicity is removed by the Greek translators who count the two 
books as First and Second Books of the Kingdoms, the two fol- 
lowing counting Third and Fourth of the series. The Latin 
adopted a modification of this form, counting four books of Kings 
(Regum). In at least one printed edition of the Hebrew text, 
this name has been introduced by the side of the other. 

In the more accurate editions of the Hebrew text 2 S. has no heading, and 
is separated only by a space of three words' breadth from the preceding book. 
The note at the end of 2 S. begins tatDP'IfiDI *pttB D13D, the verses of the 
two books together being reckoned 1506. The edition which introduces 
d^Vdhd (*>jb>) ptr*n -\qd along with ('3) 'X Snid^ is the edition of Plantin, 
1680. In @ we find (SaatKetwv Trpwrr], Sevrepa, represented in some Latin 
MSS. by Regnorum instead of Regum. In <S Keth&ihA dashmuHl nebhiya. 

§ 2. Contents. 

The Books of Samuel form a part of the continuous history of 
Israel which begins with the conquest of Canaan and ends with 
the Exile, or, if we include the Pentateuch as is apparently the 
design of the collectors of the books, which begins with the Crea- 
tion and ends with the Exile. This part of the history is, how- 
ever, less closely connected with the Book of Judges, which 
precedes, than with the First Book of Kings, which follows. For, 
while there is every reason to believe that the Philistine oppres- 
sion, from which Samson began to deliver Israel, is the same 
which afflicted the people in the time of Samuel, we have no 
certain means of deciding how long a time had elapsed from the 
death of Samson until the events narrated in 1 S. 1 ; while at the 
conclusion of 2 S. the unfinished life of David is immediately 
continued in the opening chapters of 1 K. 

The period covered by these books may be estimated at about 
a hundred years. It was evidently one of the most important 
centuries in the life of Israel, for in it was effected the transition 
from the tribal form of government (if government it may be 



CONTENTS Xlll 

called) to the settled monarchy of David. At the opening of the 
period the prominent figures (Eli, Samuel) are classed by the 
author with the heroes of the Book of Judges. Saul is the first 
who attempts to cement the people together by the monarchy. 
Although his experiment ended in disaster, there is no reason to 
doubt that his failure paved the way for David's success. In the 
long struggle against the Philistine oppressor the nation realized 
its own unity, learned its own strength, and prepared to play its 
part in the history of the world. What light we have upon this 
time of storm and stress, of heroic struggle and high achievement, 
comes from the Books of Samuel. 

In accordance with what has just been said, the subject-matter 
divides itself readily under the three heads : Samuel, Saul, and 
David. But as the three are contemporaneous for some years, the 
sections overlap, and the transition period of Saul falls within 
the time allotted to Samuel on the one hand or to David on the 
other. Such seems to have been the mind of the author (or final 
redactor) of the Books, to whom Saul was of minor importance. 
This is sufficiently indicated by the fact that Samuel is the real 
authority after Saul is anointed, and that so soon as Saul is 
rejected David is anointed. To the theocratic view, the history 
belongs to Samuel and to David, and its two sections are i S. 1-15, 
the life of Samuel; and 1 S. 16-2 S. 24, the life of David. The 
life of David, however, consists of two well-marked sections, the 
first, the period of struggle, is described in 1 S. 16-2 S. 1 ; 
the second, his reign over Israel, occupies 2 S. 2-24. 

The plan of the Book is of course the plan of the final editor. The remarks 
just made concerning the minor importance of Saul apply to the view of this 
editor alone. For it is evident that the work embodies documents whose view 
of Saul is much more favourable. To the earlier writer Saul is one of the 
heroic figures in the history of Israel, and this writer would doubtless have 
made the story of Saul equally important with the story of David. The manner 
in which his work is now interrupted by sections of a different tenor makes it 
difficult to form a distinct scheme of the Book. But the following schedule 
will show the subjects treated : 

A. 1 Samuel 1-15. The Life of Samuel. 

/~7- Samuel as fudge. 

i x -4 la . Birth, consecration, and call. 
4 ib-22, The house of Eli. 



XIV INTRODUCTION 

5 1 -7 1 . The capture and return of the Ark. 
7 2-17 . Deliverance from the Philistines. 

8-12. Election of a King. 

8. The people's demand. 

9, io. Saul is secretly anointed and then publicly chosen. 

11. Saul's victory over Ammon. 

12. Samuel's farewell address. 

13-15* Saul's Early Reign. 

13. 14. Defeat of the Philistines. 
15. Disobedience and rejection. 

B. 1 Samuel 16-2 Samuel i. Saul and David. 

ib 1 -? i 1 . David at the Court. 
i6 1-13 . The secret unction. 
i6 14-23 . The service of Saul. 
17 1 — 18 6 . The encounter with Goliath. 
18 6 - 30 . Saul's jealousy. 
19. Attempts upon David's life. 
20 1 -2i 1 . David's flight. 

2i 2 -26. David an Outlaw Captain. 
2 1 2 - 10 . The help of the priest. 
2i 11 -22 5 . The escape made good. 
226-23. Murder of the priests. 

23. Saul seeks David. 

24. David spares Saul. 

25. David and Nabal. 

26. David spares Saul. 

2J-2 S. i. David as Vassal of Achish. 

27. David takes service. 

28. Saul's extremity. 

29. David's rejection from the Philistine army. 

30. Burning of Ziklag. 

31. The battle of Gilboa. 

2 S. 1. Information of Saul's death, 

C. 2 Samuel 2-24. David the King. 

2-4. In Hebron. 
2 1 ~3 1 . The civil war. 
3 s - 5 . David's family. 
3 6 - 3y . Death of Abner. 
4. Assassination of Isbbaal. 



COMPOSITION OF THE BOOK XV 

$-24, In Jerusalem. 

5. Capture of Jerusalem. 

6. Transfer of the Ark. 

7. The Messianic promise. 

8. Sundry wars. 

9. Meribbaal. 

10-12. The Ammonite war and David's adultery. 

13. Amnon's crime and Absalom's revenge. 

14. Absalom's recall. 
15-19. The usurpation. 
20. Sheba's revolt. 

2i 1-14 . The Gibeonites avenged. 

21 15 - 22 . Sundry exploits. 

22 1 -23 7 . Two Psalms. 

23 s-39 . Catalogue of the chief warriors. 

24. The pestilence. 

§ 3. Composition of the Book. 

As is now well known, the Hebrew historians whose works have 
come down to us made free use of previously existing documents. 
Their method is abundantly exemplified in the Books of Chroni- 
cles, where we are able to compare the result and the sources. 
Where the earlier documents, or sources of compilation, have 
perished, as is the case in the books we are now considering, the 
demonstration is not so striking. But even here the phenomena 
are sufficiently plain, and enable us to say with practical certainty 
that the method was the same. The first thing that attracts our 
attention in reading the story of Samuel and David is the obvious 
duplication of certain incidents. Two denunciations of Eli's course 
are related, either one of which abundantly answers the author's 
purpose. There are two accounts of Saul's rejection, and the 
second makes no allusion to the earlier. The two (or three) 
accounts of Saul's appointment as king are probably another 
example. Two accounts of David's coming to court have long 
given trouble to the harmonist. We have two sets of negotiations 
for Saul's daughter, the later being ignorant of the earlier one. 
There are at least two accounts of David's flight from court, two 
of his having Saul in his power, two of his seeking refuge with 
Achish, two of the death of Saul. The difficulty of working these 
into one history increases with each additional incident. The 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

simplest way to account for them is to suppose that they are real 
duplicates, — variant accounts of the same series of events, put 
together by a compiler who wished to preserve for us whatever 
he found of interest in both (or all) his sources. 

Equally convincing is the difference in style and point of view, 
which is noticed as we pass from one section to another. In one 
place Samuel appears as the theocratic ruler of the people, com- 
parable to Moses, and to Moses alone among the heroes of Israel. 
He administers the government as the representative of Yahweh. 
The whole people gather at his call, and he rebukes and com- 
mands with more than kingly authority. In another place he is 
the seer of a small town, respected as one who blesses the sacrifice 
and presides at the local festival, but known only as a clairvoyant, 
whose information concerning lost or strayed property is reliable. 
Even thus he is unknown to Saul, whose home is only a few miles 
away. With this difference of view goes a difference of political 
theory. In one account Saul is chosen as king by God, is wel- 
comed by Samuel, is assured that God is with him and encour- 
aged to act as he finds opportunity. His election by God is an 
act of grace ; for God has looked upon the affliction of his people, 
and now promises that Saul shall deliver them from the hand of 
the Philistines. But in other sections of the narrative the desire 
of the people for a king is an act of rebellion against Yahweh. 
Their act is an act of apostasy parallel to all their rebellions of 
earlier times. No wonder; for to this narrator the Philistine 
oppression has already been relieved by Samuel. By spiritual 
weapons these enemies have been vanquished so that they come 
no more into the territory of Israel, and even surrender the terri- 
tory which they had taken away. So great a discrepancy, not in 
details of the narrative only, but also in the whole view of the 
same period, is not conceivable in one author. It can be accounted 
for only on the hypothesis that various works have been combined 
in one. 

§ 4. Analysis of 1 Samuel i.-xv. 

As already remarked, these chapters form a distinctly marked 
section of the work before us. Within this section we can easily 
select certain paragraphs which have a common tone. In these 



ANALYSIS OF i SAMUEL I.-XV. xvii 

Samuel appears as the theocratic ruler of Israel. The most strik- 
ing instance is chapter 7 3ff -. In this section Samuel's influence 
suffices to make the people put away their false gods as by 
a common impulse. At his command they gather at Mizpah. 
Their assembly is a religious convocation. The Philistine attack 
finds the people apparently undefended. But the prevailing 
prayer of Samuel is stronger than earthly weapons. Throughout 
the chapter, Samuel reminds us of Moses. Like the great Law- 
giver, Samuel rebukes the people, judges them, intercedes for 
them. Their victory over the enemy is due to his prayers, as 
the victory over Amalek in the Wilderness is due to the upraised 
hands of Moses. 

The parallel continues in the next chapter (ch. 8). Here the 
people rebel against their prophet, and in so doing rebel against 
Yahweh himself. Their action is as ungrateful as was their mur- 
muring in the Wilderness. Their hearts are incorrigible. Even 
the fact that Samuel's sons do not walk in his ways is not allowed 
to mitigate their guilt. The position of Samuel as Yahweh's 
vicegerent is impregnable. 

The continuation of the story is io 17 " 25 . The choice of a king 
by lot follows immediately on the people's demand. In handling 
the lot Samuel appears not exactly as another Moses, but at least 
as another Joshua. Like Joshua also he delivers a farewell address, 
now contained in chapter 12. This originally followed at once on 
the election of Saul. Its resemblance to Jos. 24 is obvious. In 
it Samuel still appears as the executive officer of the theocracy. 
He holds up to the people their revolt against Yahweh, and con- 
vinces them that they have sinned in asking a king. The convic- 
tion leads tc uo attempt to undo what has been done, and people 
and king are allowed to go on on sufferance. But they are sol- 
emnly warned that, if they do ill, they and their king will perish. 

The forebodings which thus cast their shadows over Saul's 
inauguration are realized in chapter 15. Although Samuel has 
resigned the supreme power, the king is still subject to his order ; 
and he commands Saul to exterminate the Amalekites. Saul obeys 
only in part, and for his sin is peremptorily deposed — de jure 
deposed, for the prophet consents to pay him outward honour. 
But. to the author's view, the experiment with Saul has turned out 



XV1U INTRODUCTION 

a failure; and Samuel pronounces the divine sentence to this 
effect. 

The common tone of these chapters will be admitted by the 
attentive reader, and their contrast with the sections now inter- 
polated between them will scarcely be denied. And, reading 
them in connexion, we discover that they form an unbroken nar- 
rative. Their author told in them all that he cared to tell of the 
life of Saul. But we naturally suppose that he told more of Samuel, 
who was to him the important figure. And it is altogether likely 
that he introduced him at an earlier stage of life than that in which 
he here appears — already at the height of his power. It is not 
improbable, therefore, that the account of Samuel's birth and 
youth form part of the same document. And in the account of 
this which we find in i there is nothing inconsistent with the sup- 
position that it is a part of the same history. With this we 
naturally take the call of the prophet as narrated in 3. As the 
text now stands, chapter 4 belongs in the same connexion, for it 
is the sequel of 3. 

Provisionally, then, we may restore a life of Samuel which was 
once a separate document and which embraced what we now read 
as chapters 1, 3, 4, 7 3 " 17 , 8, io 17-25 , 12, 15. I will designate it Sm. 
We next examine the parts which do not belong to this source, 
and our attention is attracted by (^-io 16 . This is a continuous, 
and, for the most part, homogeneous, narrative, contrasting re- 
markably with the one we have been examining. It begins like 
a separate book, introducing persons hitherto unknown. When 
Samuel appears, it is in a very different character from the one he 
wears in Sm. This story has little of the theological character of 
the other account, though the author shows piety of another 
stamp. Chapters n, i3 2 -i4 52 , agree so well in their tone with 
9, 10, that we have little difficulty in joining them together. As 
in the other case, they belong to a single document, and are 
apparently continuous.* This document is a life of Saul, as truly 
as the other is a life of Samuel, and we may call it SI. 

There are considerable portions which have not yet been as- 



* Some minor sections, which do not at first sight agree with the context in 
which they are found, will be considered later. 



-ANALYSIS OF i SAMUEL I.-XV. XIX 

signed to either of our two sources. The most marked in its indi- 
viduality is the account of the Ark in the country of the Philistines, 
5 1 -7 1 . It contains no references to Samuel or Saul, so that we are 
quite at a loss to place it. Our only clue is that it presupposes 
the capture of the Ark, the account of which is now contained 
in 4. We therefore put it in Sm., but its individuality is so 
marked that we may suspect it to have been embodied in that 
document from some source now lost to us. Chapter 2, which 
next claims our attention, is made up of several distinct para- 
graphs. First is Hannah's Psalm. This is now universally con- 
ceded to be an independent composition inserted in the text from 
some poetical collection like our own Book of Psalms. We next 
find an account of the wickedness of Eli's sons, 2 12 " 17 , followed 
by a panegyric of Samuel 18 " 21 . The next four verses take up 
Eli's sons again, while v. 26 recurs to Samuel. Finally, we have a 
denunciation of Eli (2 27 ~ 36 ) by an anonymous man of God who 
reminds us of the similar character in 1 K. 13 1 . 

By experiment we discover that the paragraphs concerning Eli's 
sons and the weakness of their father, with the message of the 
man of God, can be put together without the references to Samuel. 
But the references to Samuel do not stand together (if taken by 
themselves), and seem to have been inserted into the other 
account when it was already complete. The case is not like that 
of the references to Eli in chapter 1, for those references are so 
wrought into the narrative that we cannot suppose them ever to 
have been independent of it, nor it ever to have existed without 
them. The riddle will be solved if we suppose that Sm. took 
from an earlier source the account of the wickedness of Eli's sons, 
the rebuke of the anonymous prophet, and the account of the 
capture and restoration of the Ark. This material he wrought 
into his life of Samuel in the usual method of the Hebrew 
historiographer. 

The analysis given above, so far as the separation of the documents is con- 
cerned, is the one now the common property of criticism. The only point at 
which I have ventured to diverge from my predecessors is in regard to the 
denunciation of punishment contained in 2 27-3(5 . This is generally taken to be 
a sheer intrusion made by a very late hand, after the virtual completion of our 
present Book. The argument is, that it duplicates chapter 3 and takes away 



XX INTRODUCTION 

its point. The truth in this is that 4 is the sequel either of 2 27-36 or of 3. One 
of the two denunciations is superfluous. But I find it more probable that an 
author in writing the life of Samuel should add 3 to the denunciation already 
in the text, than that one should put 2 s7-36 into a text which already has the 
message to Samuel. The author of Sm. must give the honour to Samuel even 
if he found the anonymous already there. And that the anonymous is pre- 
supposed is evident from 3 12 , for in this verse Yahweh says : In that day I will 
execute upon Eli all that I have spoken against his house. The palpable refer- 
ence is to what the man of God has said in the preceding chapter. 

The earlier document which I here postulate consists of 2 12 17 - 22 - 25 - 27_36 4 tt ~7 1 . 
It also contained originally some further account of Eli and of Shiloh which 
the author could not use. One indication of this is the fact that Eli steps 
upon the scene in I 8 without introduction. As a Philistine oppression of forty 
years is known to the author of Judges (13 1 ), from which Samson only began 
to deliver Israel (Jd. 13 s - 25 ), it is not unlikely that this Eli document was once 
read in that connexion. The argument that 2 27 - 36 is of later date than the 
context has no weight in the face of the difficulty we meet in assigning a defi- 
nite date to either of our documents. 

So far as Saul is concerned, the two narratives which we have 
separated cover the same ground. Each has an account of his 
election, both make Samuel the instrument of his anointing, each 
gives an exploit of his, each narrates his rejection. They must 
have existed as separate histories before they were combined in 
our present text. Of the two, SI. is evidently the older document. 
It is more primitive in its religious ideas. It has a near and clear 
view of the personages and of the progress of events. We may 
class it with the stories of Gideon, of Jephthah, and of Samson, 
which form the groundwork of the Book of Judges. The other 
account, so far as it is original with the author whom we call Sm., 
is less concrete. It idealizes persons and events. It is dominated 
by a theological idea. It is, in fact, in line with the latest redac- 
tor of the Book of Judges, who embodied the Deuteronomistic 
theory of history in the framework of that book. There is reason 
to suppose, therefore, that Sm. designed to replace the older his- 
tory by one of his own which would edify his generation. This 
design and this method are indications of a comparatively late 
date — perhaps in or after the Exile. 

The historical method which joins together two or more documents, narrat- 
ing the same events or treating the same subject, is so well illustrated in the 
Pentateuch that I need not stop to argue the probabilities in its favour in the 



ANALYSIS OF i SAMUEL I.-XV. XXI 

Books of Samuel. The original independence of the document which we 
have called SI. accounts for the insertion of one section which has puzzled the 
critics. I refer to 13 s " 15 ", the first account of Saul's rejection or of the breach 
between him and Samuel. The paragraph is an evident duplicate of 15 and 
its insertion in the completed book is unaccountable. Yet the critics generally 
assume that it is a late insertion by an editor or scribe to whom Saul's rejection 
in 15 came too late. As the reason why the other events of Saul's life are 
duplicated is that they are narrated once in each document, there is a pre- 
sumption that the same is true in this case. The section 138-15* was si.'g 
account of Saul's rejection and was inserted into his history before Sm. was 
written. The argument is briefly : (1) that this section was closely inwoven 
into SI. by the preparatory verse io 8 . This could hardly be called the method 
of a mere interpolator; (2) historical fidelity called for some account of this 
kind. The fact was notorious that Saul's kingdom did not endure. This was 
as well known to the writer of SI. as it is to us. Though far from the prag- 
matism of Sm. he would yet find the reason for this in the will of Yahweh and 
his prophet; (3) this account is as mild as it well could be. It does not blame 
Saul but leaves us in doubt whether he was really at fault. In this respect, 
certainly, the paragraph does not show dependence on 15, where a high- 
handed act of disobedience is narrated. The gentler treatment of Saul would 
naturally come earlier in time; (4) only by supposing this to have preceded 
can we account for the geographical location of 15. As is well known, the 
centre of Samuel's public activity, according to Sm., is Mizpah. It is here 
that he calls the people together on solemn occasions, and it is here that Saul 
would most naturally bring the people for his festivities. Why then do we 
find the festivities and the rejection of 15 at Gilgal? Only because the author 
had before him an account which already made Gilgal the site.* 

It remains to inquire whether either of the two documents was 
complete in itself, or whether one or the other contained more 
than the life of a single hero. The probability is in favour of each 
one's being part of a larger history. The life of David was so 
important in the eyes of any Israelitic writer (we may feel sure) 
that the life of Saul or of Samuel would be treated as an intro- 

* In order to show the state of the discussion I have here assumed that the 
paragraph in question is exactly 138-15^ which is its extent according to the analysis 
of Wellhausen, Budde, and others. The exact boundaries of the insertion how- 
ever are not absolutely certain, as the reader will see by turning to the exposition 
in the body of the book. I myself think it begins with vA It should be remarked 
also that though the section was in the history of SI. before it was joined to Sm., it 
is nevertheless an addition to the earliest text of SI. It fits so badly in its present 
context that it shows itself to be an insertion. My only contention is that it is an 
early insertion. 



XX11 INTRODUCTION 

duction to the story of David. This is confirmed by the phe- 
nomena before us. Chapter 15, which is as far as we have traced 
Sm., is continued in 16 1 " 13 , while 14 52 certainly prepares the way 
for i6 14ff . The paragraph i4 47-51 is indeed a concluding summary 
such as we find elsewhere at the end of an important reign or 
period. But it is probable that the author of SI. would at least 
give us some account of his hero's death. As he has no more 
exploits to tell, it is not improper for him to insert his summary 
here. Still it is possible that these verses are a later insertion or 
have been transferred hither from some other place. 

Redactional alterations, made to fit the documents together, 
are not numerous. The most marked is 1 i 12 " 14 where the proposi- 
tion to renew the kingdom is a concession to the other document. 
Some other minor alterations or insertions will be considered in 
the course of the exposition. 

This is the place to consider whether the two streams of narra- 
tive so plainly discernible in 1 Sam. 1-15 belong to the Penta- 
teuchal (Hexateuchal) authors commonly known as J and E. 
The affirmative has been maintained by recent critics.* The 
document which I have called Sm. these scholars identify with E, 
and the other history they attribute to J. Repeated examination 
of the points of resemblance has failed to convince me of the 
identity which is claimed. Details may be left until we come to 
the exposition ; but here it may be allowed to say that Sm. shows 
quite as many resemblances to D, or the Deuteronomic school, 
as it shows to E. For SI. it seems enough to say that its affini- 
ties seem to be with the stories that form the basis of the Book 
of Judges rather than with the traditions of the Patriarchs told us 
by J. 

§ 5 . Analysis of 1 Samuel xvi-2 Samuel i. 

The problems presented by this section of the history are more 
complicated than those just considered. The confusion and in* 

* The theory that the Pentateuchal sources extend into the historical books is as 
old as Gramberg's Kritische Geschichte (1830) and was elaborated by Schrader in 
the eighth edition of De Wette's Einleitung (1869). It has recently been revived 
by Budde and Cornill, with the qualified approval of Professor Moore {Judges, p. 
xxxiii f.). A judicious review of the arguments of Bu. and Co. is given by Kittel, 
SK. 1891, p. 44 ff. 



ANALYSIS OF i SAMUEL XVL-2 SAMUEL I. XX111 

consistencies of the narrative, and the evident duplicates which it 
contains, show that it is composite. But as Saul and David appear 
in both accounts, and as Samuel is in the background, it is more 
difficult to separate the documents. Chapter 16 encourages us 
to make a beginning, for it introduces David to us twice. In the 
first half of the chapter he is a shepherd boy not old enough to 
be called to the family sacrifice. In the second half he is a war- 
rior of experience and of approved valour. The two sections 
cannot come from the same hand, and each of them fits admirably 
to one of the two documents we have traced hitherto. For vv. 1 " 13 
are the logical sequel to 15 (Sm.) ; since the rejection of Saul 
must be followed by some provision for his successor. The other 
account 16 14 " 23 continues 14 52 (SI.), as has already been pointed 
out. 

The first definite clue in what follows seems to be 18 13 where 
we read that Saul removed David from his presence (lDtffi) by 
giving him a command of troops engaged in service away from 
the court. This points back to 16 21 where David had been made 
his armour-bearer; 18 6 " 13 therefore belongs with i6 14-23 . It did 
not follow immediately on that paragraph, however, because the 
song of the women 18 6 which is the occasion of Saul's distrust 
must have been preceded by some exploit of David's which called 
forth the eulogy. Such an exploit is indeed found in 17. But 
that chapter agrees more nearly (in its representation of David's 
youth) with the other document. We must assume that the 
original paragraph has been omitted, or else that it has been 
worked over so that we no longer recognize it.* 

The chapter now under consideration gives an account of two 
of Saul's daughters, each of which Saul offers to David as a wife. 
The two accounts are evidently independent, and one of them 
shows reference to Sm. It is natural to find in the other iS 20-298 
a continuation of SI., with which it agrees in representing Saul as 
hoping to get David out of the way by the hand of the Philistines. 
In this hope he is disappointed and the marriage takes place. 
The account concludes with the statement that Saul feared David 

* The question whether the recension of <E is to be preferred to that of H in 17 
and 18 will be discussed in the commentary. The presumption is in favour of the 
shorter text, which is that of <E. 



XXIV INTRODUCTION 

still more. This would properly introduce one of the attempts 
upon David's life. Among several that offer themselves, the one 
which fits most naturally in the story is 19 11 " 17 where Saul sets 
guards about the house of David. The night in which this took 
place is the wedding night, a time when David would be least 
suspicious. The evident sequel is the flight to Nob, 21 2 " 10 , and 
the conclusion to this is the massacre of the priests 22 1 2,6 ~ 23 . 

The most striking duplicate in what follows is 23 19 -24 23 com- 
pared with 26. It is altogether probable that one of these should 
be assigned to each of our documents. If so, 26 is the one which 
belongs with SI. because in it David appears as the daring warrior 
who invades the enemy's camp. The intervening matter offers 
23 1 * 14 which seems to belong in the same stream. The story of 
Nabal in 25 and the account of David's service with Achish 27. 
29. 30 also go well in this connexion. 2 S. 1 seems to be the 
continuation of the same document. 

Without denying the subjective nature of such an analysis, I 
venture to think that we have a consistent narrative in the sec- 
tions thus put together, to wit: 16 14 - 23 I8 6 " 13 - 2 °- 29a 19 11 - 17 2I 2 " 10 
2 2 i. 2.6-23 2 y-i4 2 j. 2 g 2 ^ 2 y .jo. 2 S. i. What is left is not so 
homogeneous, though for the most part the fragments fit together 
fairly well. It makes David, the shepherd lad secretly anointed 
by Samuel, come to the camp of Saul where he slays the Philistine 
champion. His introduction to Saul is followed by Jonathan's 
pledge of friendship (18 1 - 5 ). Saul, on the other hand, is his 
enemy at once and tries to pin him to the wall (i8 14 ~ 16 ) — the evi- 
dent reference to 16 14 " 23 does not necessarily prove the coherence 
of the two paragraphs. We had reason to believe in the earlier 
period that Sm. was dependent to some extent on SI. The same 
seems to be true here. The evil spirit which SI. made the occa- 
sion of introducing David to the court, becomes in Sm. the divine 
inciter of Saul against David. Yahweh is with David to protect 
him, while Saul is the incarnation of all villainy. So in i8 17-19 , 
Merab is promised to David, being his by right on account of the 
defeat of Goliath, but taken from him by a flagrant breach of 
faith, and given to another. Soon after, Saul orders Jonathan to 
slay David, but a temporary reconciliation is effected, i8 30 -i9 7 . 
But at the next exhibition of prowess Saul tries again to murder 



ANALYSIS OF I SAMUEL XVI.-2 SAMUEL I. XXV 

David with his own hand, 19 8 " 10 . David escapes and comes to 
Samuel at Ramah, where he is miraculously saved from Saul's 
various attempts to take him, 19 18 " 24 . This, it should be noticed, 
is a duplicate account of what we have in io 10 " 12 , and as that be- 
longs to SI., this is naturally attributed to Sm., where we have 
already placed it. The natural continuation is 21 11 " 16 , David's 
flight to Achish, with which we may perhaps connect 22 3 " 5 . It 
has already been pointed out that 23 19 -24 26 belongs in this 
document. Its tone agrees with this, for David is saved by an 
interposition of Providence, 23 26 , and his enemy is delivered 
into his hand by the same power. The distinct recognition of 
David's kingly future on the part of Saul, 24 21 " 23 , seems to point 
in the same direction. Further, 23 15 " 18 should perhaps be taken 
with this narrative, though it may be a later interpolation. Samuel 
appears for the last time in 28, where, although dead, he plays the 
part assigned to him in the earlier chapters of this source, and his 
message is vindicated in 3 1 , the story of Saul's despair and suicide. 
Reading continuously 16 113 iy 1 -:^ 5 (in the text of (3) i8 14-19 
iS*-*9 M 19 18 - 24 21 11 - 16 22 s - 5 2 3 11 -24 26 28. 31 we shall find no in- 
superable objection to considering them one history. We have 
thus accounted for all our text except 20 (including 21 1 ). This 
seems impossible to fit into either of our sources. It is the ac- 
count of Jonathan's device for sounding his father and acquaint- 
ing David with the result. In the composite text it comes after 
Saul's repeated attempts upon David's life, when it is simply ludi- 
crous to have Jonathan deny that David is in danger. But it is 
equally out of place in either of the separate sources. In one it 
comes immediately after David's flight to Samuel, which, with 
Saul's pursuit, must have been known to all the world. In the 
other it would follow David's escape from his own house, in con- 
nexion with which Saul's animus must have been revealed to the 
court and to his own immediate family. The only place where it 
would seem possible is after Saul's first manifestation of hostility, 
which is the first attempt with the spear, 18 9 " 11 . But when we 
place it here we are at once brought into difficulty by the fact 
that at the end of the interview David leaves the court for good 
— which contradicts the subsequent tenor of both documents. 
There seems to be nothing left except to suppose we have here 



XXVI INTRODUCTION 

a fragment from another source. The obvious purpose of the 
story is to prepare for David's treatment of Jonathan's son Merib- 
baal (Mephibosheth) in 2 S. 9 and it is possible that that story and 
this originally stood in connexion. It should be noted that in 
this chapter there is an assumption that it was not safe for David 
to be seen with Jonathan, something which is not intimated in 
either of our sources. 

Here, as in the analysis of 1-15, 1 cannot claim originality in discovering 
the paragraphs which belong together. Earlier critics, however, have been 
obliged to assume a number of fragmentary insertions which do not seem to 
me probable. In claiming that the book is made up of two fairly continuous 
histories, I do not mean to assert that these are not themselves composite. 
There is every probability in favour of this being the case. It is perhaps suf- 
ficient for the present to show the first stage of the critical process. There is 
evidently much yet to be done. Some minor interpolations will be discussed 
in the commentary. 

§ 6. Analysis of 2 Samuel ii.-xxiv. 

The narrative here shows few duplicate sections such as we 
meet in the earlier book. It is now generally conceded that we 
have in 9-20 a block of homogeneous matter from an old and 
well-informed source. It reaches a period with the description 
of David's court in 20 23-26 . A similar description is given in 
8 16 " 18 . It seems natural to suppose that in the latter place the 
paragraph was intended to serve the same purpose as in the 
earlier ; and, in fact, chapter 8 is a compendium of David's wars, 
designed to take the place of the more extended history in 9-20. 
Chapters 5 and 7 seem to belong with 8, for their author empha- 
sizes the religious ideas of Israel's unity and of David's significance 
with reference to the Messianic hope. The tone of these chapters 
would agree with Sm., while there seems no objection to making 
9-20 a part of SI. Chapters 2-4 will then belong with the latter, 
while 6 represents matter belonging to both. At least, it is 
impossible to suppose either to have lacked an account of the 
capture of Jerusalem such as is here given. 

The curious appendix, 21-24, contains pieces of widely different 
origin. The two calamities recounted in 21 1 " 14 and 24 seem to 
belong together, and to have been originally continuous. Between 



ANALYSIS OF 2 SAMUEL II.-XXIV. XXVH 

them was first inserted an old catalogue of exploits and of heroes, 
2I i5-22 23 s - 39 . This was in turn rent asunder by the two Psalms, 
22 and 23 1 - 7 . It is possible that some of this material belongs to 
the documents already separated, and there seems no internal 
reason why we should not make 21 1 - 14 and 24 a part of the history 
from which came 9-20. But how they came to be dislocated 
from the main body is difficult to say. It should be noted that 
the whole section, 21-24, separates what belongs together, for 
1 Kings 1 is the original continuation of 1 Sam. 20. 

Spinoza in the Tradatus Theologico-Politicus sets forth the theory that all 
the books from Genesis to Kings are the work of a single historian. He does 
not discuss the Books of Samuel in detail, but probably held that they (like 
the Pentateuch) contain fragments of different dates. Richard Simon likewise 
does not discuss the composition of these books in detail, but is content to 
assert that the historical books of the Bible are all compiled from ancient 
records by way of abridgment. He cites the opinion of Abarbanel that 
Samuel and Kings were compiled by Jeremiah out of the records of Samuel, 
Nathan, Gad, and other prophets or public writers who lived before him. He 
also quotes other opinions to the same effect, and remarks that there are in 
these books several ways of speaking which clearly demonstrate that the last 
collection was not made until a long time after most of these prophets had 
lived.* 

The first attempt at detailed analysis of the Books of Samuel seems to have 
been made by Eichhorn, in whose Introduction f we find a comparison of the 
matter common to 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles. This he supposes to be taken 
from a common source, a compendious life of David. He further points out 
that 1 S. 24 and 26 are duplicates, and that i6 14-23 and i7 xl -32 are inconsistent. 
The last-mentioned paragraph he strikes out of the text, on the ground of its 
omission by <§. He points out also that 1 S. 1-3 and 7 are later than the 
adjacent matter. 

Eichhorn's hypothesis of a brief life of David which furnished the matter 
common to Samuel and Chronicles was ably refuted by De Wette in his Bet- 
trdge (II. p. 14 ff.). The same scholar J gives the evidence of compilation, 
beginning with the contradiction between i6 14-23 and 17"*". He adds that 
these last are not consistent with 1731-40.54. Besides other inconsistencies, he 
points out the duplicate nature of 23 19 -24 23 and 26, recognizes that 2 S. 21-24 
is an appendix, and that the poetic sections are inserted from a book of songs. 

* Richard Simon, A Critical History of the Old Testament, translated into 
English by H. D., London, 1682 ; pp. 4, 22, 62. 

t Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Fiinfte Auflage, Gottingen, 1823, III. pp. 
464-533- 

X In his Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Vierte Auflage, Berlin, 1833. 



xxviii INTRODUCTION 

He does not make a thoroughgoing analysis, and contents himself with refut- 
ing Bertholdt, whose work is now antiquated. 

Gramberg * with genuine critical insight calls attention to the resemblance 
between the pragmatism of I S. 7 and that of the framework of the Book of 
Judges. He also recognizes that 1 S. and the early part of 2 S. consist of two 
narratives which relate the same events in different ways. He disentangles 
the two documents, beginning with 1 S. 9 and following them through 16. 
From that point on, his analysis is not so successful. 

Ewald f divides the historical books Judges to 2 Kings among six different 
authors. He supposes the earliest materials to have been statistical, like 2 S. 
23 s - 39 , and that these were taken from the public records — it is unfortunate 
that he should class with them 1 Chr. ii 10 - 4 * and 12 1 - 22 . Next to these was a 
narrative, near the events in point of time, which embraced such sections as 

1 S. 13. 14 and 30 26 - 31 . Then came an extended work, the Prophetical Book 
of Kings, which is the source of a large part of the material in Samuel and 
Kings (down to 2 K. 10). Another writer, of less vigorous style, covered the 
same period — a specimen of his work is 1 S. 5-8, and another is 1 S. 31. 
Later fragments inserted into the history are 1 S. 12. 15-17. 24. 26. 28. The 
work thus compiled was Deuteronomically edited, brief insertions indicating 
the point of view of the editor, like 1 S. 8 3 - 4 and parts of 12. The final 
redactor lived in the Exile, but the changes made by him in our books were 
slight, the insertion of 1 S. 2 27ff - being the only one mentioned. 

The analysis made by Schrader J assigns the greater part of the books to 
two writers whom he distinguishes as the theocratic and the prophetic narrator, 
and whom he identifies (as already mentioned) with the two authors of the 
Pentateuch now generally known as E and J. The details of his analysis 
however do not bear examination, as he classes together sections palpably 
inconsistent. 

The problem was taken in hand afresh by Wellhausen. § With great clear- 
ness of vision he separates the two main sources of 1 S., though he is not 
always positive concerning the intricacies of 19 and 20. In 2 S. he makes 6. 
9-20 parts of a life of David, while pointing out the various elements which 
are put together in the rest of the Book. His conclusion is that the bulk of 

2 S. is a literary unit, and that 1 S. i4 52 -2 S. 8 18 is another literary unit, " in 
which however the continuous thread is frequently interrupted by foreign 
matter. These later insertions are doubtless supplements which attach them- 
selves to the older connexion, or put a new elaboration in the place of a 



* Kritische Geschichte der Religionsideen des Alten Testament, Berlin, 1830, 
p. 71 ft 

t Gesch. des Volkes Israel*, I. pp. 193-244; ETr. I. pp. 133-168. 

\ In De Wette's Einleitung, Achte Auflage, 1869. 

§ In his edition of Bleek's Einleitung, the fourth, published in 1878. This sec- 
tion is not contained in the later editions of Bleek, but is reprinted in the book 
entitled Composition des Hexateuchs und der historiscken Bitcher, Berlin, 1889. 



THE TEXT AND VERSIONS XXIX 

genuine member of the older document." In i S. 1-14, finally, he unites 
three pieces which belong to each other but which have not sprung from the 
same point of view (Comp. p. 265). 

Budde * marks an advance by showing how complete each of the two docu- 
ments in 1 S. 1-14 is in itself. He seems to exaggerate however in declaring 
that neither can be shown to be dependent on the other. In the second half 
of I S. he finds the continuation of the same two histories but with consider- 
able supplementary insertions, and he follows the two documents down to 
2 S. 7. As already remarked, he believed them to be identical with the Pen- 
tateuchal sources E and J, having come to this conclusion independently of 
Schrader.f 2 S. 8 he supposes to be a compendious conclusion to the history 
of David designed to replace 9-20, which an editor sensitive to David's repu- 
tation left out of the history, but which one with more historic sense afterwards 
reinserted. This scholar's textual and higher criticism is embodied in his 
edition of the text. J The student will readily convince himself that the analy- 
sis in this book is not always correct, that the colouring is sometimes certainly 
wrong, and further, that his rearrangement of the chapters in 2 S. creates a 
book which in fact never had any earlier existence. But the work is never- 
theless indispensable, and a distinct advance on anything which had been 
done before. 

Kuenen (I/CCP.) comes to substantially the same conclusion with Well- 
hausen. A careful statement of the phenomena is given by Driver, LOT K \ 
pp. 172-185. While agreeing with Budde that one of the two sources shows 
affinity with E, he points out the considerable differences between the other 
and J. Cornill (Einleitung*) seems to add little to the results of his prede- 
cessors. 

§ 7. The Text and Versions. 

All existing copies of the Hebrew Bible represent a single 
recension of the text. Extravagant views of the integrity and 
perfection of this text prevailed among Jewish scholars, and 
passed over into the Church. These views were formulated into 
a dogma in at least one instance ; and, with few exceptions, 
Protestant scholars were dominated by them down to the present 
century. The integrity of the Massoretic text was mildly ques- 



* Die B lie her Richter und Samuel, 1890. 

t Budde's book was preceded by a study entitled " Saul's Konigswahl und 
Verwerfung," ZATW. 1888. Cornill treated the same subject under the title "Ein 
Elohistischer Bericht uber die Entstehung des Israel. Konigtums," ZKWKL. 
1885, an d in the Konigsberger Studien, 1887, and Z.ATW. 1890. His discussion 
seems to have been of material help to Budde. 

% Part 8 of Haupt's SBOT. Baltimore, 1894. 



XXX INTRODUCTION 

tioned by Cappel, and roughly attacked by Morin ; but these are 
only the exceptions that prove the rule. The true state of the 
case with reference *to the Books of Samuel has been recognized 
for about half a century. The text of these books in the current 
Hebrew recension is more corrupt than the text of any other part 
of the Old Testament, unless it be the Book of Ezekiel. From 
what has been said of Hebrew MSS. and editions, it will be seen 
that variations of these among themselves give little help in the 
work of emendation. In some few instances, however, the MSS. 
show a better reading than is found in the printed copies. 

The greater part of this commentary was prepared on the basis of Baer's 
edition (Lipsiae, 1892), with frequent reference to the editions of Jablonski, 
1699, and Michaelis, 1720. In the final revision I have carefully gone over the 
edition of Ginsburg (London, 1894). I have also noted the various readings 
of De Rossi in his Variae Lediones Veteris Testament^ Parma, 1785. Gins- 
burg gives a large number of corrections in his margin, taken apparently 
from the versions. I have in no case depended upon these, though in a few 
instances they have called my attention to a reading whose possibility had not 
occurred to me. 

In the absence of light from the MSS., we must seek the help 
of the ancient versions. And among these the Greek easily takes 
the first place, owing to its age and to the fact that it had a Hebrew 
original very different from the one known to us. If we had (3 in 
its earliest form, it would be equivalent to a Hebrew codex of the 
first Christian century, or even of earlier date. Unfortunately the 
copies of (3 now in our possession have suffered manifold cor- 
ruption. Logically, we should wait until their faults have been 
removed, and the uncorrupt original has been restored, before 
proceeding to the correction of the Hebrew text. 

For this we cannot wait, as such an edition is not likely to be 
published for many years to come. Until it appears, we may pro- 
visionally make use of the material at hand. Various editions of 
(3 are known to us, and with due care they may help us to valu- 
able improvements in our text. The copies most accessible to us 
are based with a greater or less degree of accuracy on the cele- 
brated Codex Vaticanus ( B ). Excessive claims have sometimes 
been made for this MS., as though it transmitted the original 
Septuagint, or were free from Hexaplar influence. These claims 



THE TEXT AND VERSIONS XXxi 

cannot be substantiated. Codex B represents one recension of 
the text of &, and one recension only. But from the number 
of MSS. which are generally found agreeing with it, we may con- 
clude that it represents that type with considerable fidelity. 

A second group is represented by the Codex Alexandrinus ( A ) . 
That this also represents a recension — that is, a form of the text 
modified by the work of an editor — must be evident to every 
reader. For, on comparison of A with B , the former is seen to 
have been systematically corrected by a Hebrew copy resembling 
the one now current. Typical of a third group is the edition of 
Lagarde ( L ). This also has been frequently corrected by a 
Hebrew copy or by one of the other Greek translations.* But 
with almost equal frequency, this copy has retained the earlier 
reading along with the correction. 

The great divergence of these several types of text shows the 
complexity of the problem which confronts the editor of the 
Septuagint. For the corrector of the Hebrew it is not quite so 
serious. It allows him to argue that where these three copies 
agree they represent a very early type of text. Where they agree 
in a reading different from that preserved in J^, this reading 
deserves to be considered on its merits, as if it were the read- 
ing of a very ancient Hebrew copy. Internal probability should 
decide between them. 

We may go farther than this. Where our Greek copies differ 
among themselves, we may assume that the variation has arisen 
in one of two ways, — either there has been corruption of one or 
more by the ordinary accidents of Greek transmission, or else one 
or two have been corrected by a Hebrew copy. The skilful critic 
will be able to distinguish the cases. And in any case he may 
consider the reading most remote from the present Hebrew as a 
possible variant of the autotype. To ascertain the weight of 
probability in each particular case is undoubtedly a delicate busi- 
ness. But it is along these lines that criticism must proceed. 
Preceding commentators have worked along these lines, and have 

* In the Books of Samuel it shows no special affinity with the fragments of 
Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion that have come down to us. Its agreement 
with the current text of & is remarked by Dr. and others. Cf. Stockmayer in 
ZATW.Xll. p. 218 f. 



XXXii INTRODUCTION 

made many undoubted improvements in the text. Their argu- 
ments and results have been attentively considered in the present 
work. 

Hexaplar diacritical marks have been preserved for us in only a 
few instances in the Books of Samuel. The same is true of the 
readings of the ancient Greek versions attributed to Aquila, Sym- 
machus, and Theodotion. For these I have depended on Field, 
Hexaplorum Origenis quae Super sunt, London, 1875. 

The most complete apparatus for <g is the well-known edition begun by 
Holmes and continued by Parsons (HP.), Oxford, 1798-1827. The Books of 
Samuel (Kings) are contained in the second volume of this work. I have con- 
sulted it on all difficult passages. Repeated attempts to group the MSS. as 
presented in this work have given no results in which I have confidence, and I 
have fallen back upon the rule formulated above. My citation of @, there- 
fore, must be taken to mean only that ©A.BL agree in a particular reading. 
The text of B is reproduced in Swete's Old Testament in Greek, I. Cambridge, 
1887, with some corrections by Nestle in the appendix to Vol. II. The varia- 
tions of A are given in the margin of the same edition. The edition of 
Lagarde (which the editor supposed to represent the recension of Lucian) 
is entitled, Librorum Veteris Testamenti Canonicorum Pars Prior, and was 
published ir Gottingen, 1883. 

The translation of the Bible into Latin made by Jerome (3L) 
has little independent value for the correction of the text. The 
standard edition of the Roman Catholic Church does indeed fre- 
quently depart from the meaning of the current Hebrew. But 
careful examination shows that this is due to contamination from 
the preceding Latin version, or versions, made from Greek proto- 
types. When Jerome's own work is cleared from these admixt- 
ures it is found to represent a copy closely resembling J^. In 
preparing this commentary I have examined H by means of the 
apparatus given in Vercellone's Variae Lectiones (Rome, 1864), 
and have cited as H only what is confirmed by such examination. 

The readings of the Old-Latin (I) sometimes throw light on the 
Greek text from which they are derived. I have therefore exam- 
ined the fragments contained in Sabatier's Bibliorum Sacrorum 
Latinae Versiones Antiquae (1743), and also those given by Ver- 
cellone from the margin of a codex of Leon — Codex Gothicua 
Legionensis. 

The Syriac version known as the Peshitta has apparently under- 



RELIGIOUS IDEAS OF THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL XXX111 

gone a revision under ecclesiastical authority. Its testimony to 
a Hebrew original is therefore open to suspicion — for the im- 
portance of the Greek Old Testament in the Church influenced 
the revisers, if not the translators, of & Where this version dif- 
fers materially from J^ we cannot be sure that the variation is not 
due to Greek influence. The difficulty of using this translation in 
criticism of the Hebrew is enhanced by the state of its own text. 
The only printed edition within reach is that of Lee, which was a 
reprint of the Syriac part of Walton's Polyglott, which in its turn 
was taken from the Paris Polyglott, resting finally upon a single 
MS. — of late date and slender authority. The edition published 
at Oroomiah in connexion with a rendering in Modern Syriac dif- 
fers very slightly from that of Lee, and it is not yet certain that it 
can be called an independent witness. Where I have adduced a 
reading of £ I mean the edition of Lee. In a few instances this 
testimony seems to have some value.* 

The other translation which throws light upon the text is the 
Jewish Aramaic version known as the Targum (2T). It conforms 
in general to the type of Hebrew current among us. But not in- 
frequently it shows an apprehension of the text different from that 
embodied in the Massoretic punctuation, and occasionally it 
tacitly corrects even the consonants of the traditional copies. I 
have collated the edition of Lagarde, which reproduces the old 
and good Codex Reuchlinianus , and which was published in 1872. 

§ 8. Religious Ideas of the Books of Samuel. 

In turning our attention to the religious ideas expressed or 
implied in the Books of Samuel, we are first impressed by the 
variety of view in different parts of the work. In some places 
we have a glimpse of the most primitive stage of Israel's religion. 
An instance of this is the treatment of the Teraphim (1 S. 19). 
We cannot doubt that this was an image in human form and that 

* The need of a critical edition of & is great. But there is no evidence that such 
an edition will influence our view of the Hebrew text to any considerable extent. 
On the editions and MSS. the reader may consult an article by Rahlfs in ZATW. 
IX. pp. 161-210, and the volume by Barnes, An Apparatus CriHcus to Chronicles, 
Cambridge, 1897. 



XXXIV INTRODUCTION 

it was an object of worship. It is mentioned as being in the house 
of David, with no explanation of its coming there and with no 
betrayal of surprise. We are warranted in inferring that it was a 
part of the ordinary furniture of the Israelite house. The author 
of the story had no idea that the use of such an image was contrary 
to the command of Yahweh, or that it was inconsistent with com- 
plete loyalty to him. The worst enemy of Saul never accused him 
of being anything but a true worshipper of Yahweh, and David is, 
if possible, even more free from suspicion. To understand the 
position of the author we must remember that the prophet Hosea 
also mentions the Teraphim, without special remark, as coexisting 
with the worship of Yahweh, Hos. 3 4 . 

The narrative we are considering reminds us of another passage, 
Gen. 31 1930 - 35 (E), where Rachel steals the Teraphim of her 
father. Here also the presence of the Teraphim in the family 
of Israel gives the author no offence. Yet we can hardly avoid 
seeing that he views them with something of contempt. They 
are carried off by a woman, and when they must be concealed 
they are ignominiously thrust under her camel saddle and sat 
upon. This author has a touch of sarcasm in his tone, from which 
the narrator in Samuel is free. The story of David and Michal 
therefore represents an earlier stage of thought than that of E. 

It is rather striking that the only other reference to the Tera- 
phim in Samuel is at the opposite pole of religious thought. In 
this (1 S. 15 22 ) the Teraphim are classed with idolatry and witch- 
craft as an abomination to Yahweh. 

We shall probably not be wrong in seeing a survival of pre- 
prophetic religion in the account of the witch of Endor (1 S. 28). 
The narrative, however, does not stand in the same relation to 
its material as in the case just considered. The author condemns 
necromancy (at least as we now read) and makes Saul in his 
better days to have cut off its devotees from the land. But 
through the story we are able to see the spiritistic ideas which 
once prevailed in Israel. The spirits of the dead are classed with 
the gods. They possess superhuman knowledge. They can be 
induced by magical means to reveal the secrets of the future. 
This was once religion. From the time of Isaiah it was distinctly 
proscribed. 



RELIGIOUS IDEAS OF THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL XXXV 

That Yahweh is the God of Israel is the faith of all parts of the 
Old Testament. In the older parts of our book however this is 
taken in the literal sense — his jurisdiction does not extend be- 
yond the land of his people. David says in evident good faith 
(i S. 26 19 ) : They have driven me forth from union with the 
heritage of Israel, saying: Go, serve other gods ! According to 
this, the exile is no longer under the protection of his own god, 
but is obliged to seek help from the gods of the land where he 
sojourns. There is here no trace of the later conviction that 
Yahweh is the only God, and that the gods of the nations are 
naught. 

But, as in the case already considered, the diversity of view in 
different parts of the Book is so marked as to constitute contra- 
diction. In the Deuteronomic sections there can be no doubt 
that the author has the exclusive view, according to which the 
gods of the nations are no gods. This is in fact distinctly asserted 
in one passage (1 S. 12' 21 ), which however may be a late expan- 
sion of the text. The way is prepared for this universalism by 
the account of Dagon before the Ark. Here the god of the 
Philistines is not regarded as a nonentity, but his inferior power 
when brought into conflict with Yahweh is made evident. 

No stress can be laid upon the use of the name Baal in proper 
names, as it proves only the appellative application of the title 
{Lord) to Yahweh. Nor, in the present state of the narrative, 
can we argue conclusively that the ephod used in consulting the 
oracle was an image of Yahweh. It is in the representation of 
the character of Yahweh, that we see the primitiveness of Israel's 
religion at this time. Yahweh is a God inscrutable in his actions 
— a God of moods we might almost call him. He instigates Saul 
against David for no reason of which the latter is conscious. Yet 
by inhaling the fragrance of a sacrifice, it is probable that he may 
be placated and thus his good humour be restored. At a later 
time he instigates David to commit a sin, apparently in order that 
he may punish him, just as he hardened the hearts of Eli's sons 
in order that he might destroy them. 

Yahweh may be pleased by extraordinary efforts or by extraor- 
dinary self-denial. For this reason, Saul adjures the people to 
abstain from food the whole day, confident that he will be granted 



XXXVI INTRODUCTION 

a victory. Unfortunately the sequel was not, in this case, a happy 
one, because the injunction was violated. But this does not make 
the adjuration less meritorious in itself considered. 

Nevertheless Yahweh is a righteous God. He watches over 
oaths and vows, and punishes their violation. This is curiously 
illustrated in the case just alluded to. Saul's adjuration is unwit- 
tingly violated by Jonathan. Yahweh is wroth and refuses to 
answer when approached in the use of the oracle. He unerringly 
points out the offender and would apparently insist upon his death. 
It is something extraordinary that the people interfere and ransom 
Jonathan. Another instance of Yahweh's vindicative justice is 
given in the matter of the Gibeonites. Israel has sworn to spare 
them. But Saul in his zeal for Israel breaks the covenant. Blood 
therefore rests upon himself and upon all his house. Yahweh 
becomes the avenger, and the blood is purged by the death of 
seven descendants of Saul "before Yahweh." Thus (as in the 
case of Eli's house also) the iniquities of the fathers are visited 
upon the children. 

Yahweh is a God who reveals himself to his people. Even the 
individual (it would appear) may seek an omen from casual things, 
as did Jonathan from the words of the Philistines. But more dis- 
tinctly the divine will is revealed in certain appointed ways. One 
of these is the Urim and Thummim which we may identify with 
the sacred lot. The oracle given by the Ephod probably ex- 
pressed itself in the same way. Most distinctly, Yahweh speaks 
to (and through) his prophets, sometimes apparently by dreams, 
sometimes in waking visions. He sends the Spirit also, which 
produces extraordinary effects in those who are seized by it. They 
experience exaltation of feeling so that they join in religious 
dances, rave, fall down in a cataleptic state. In other cases, the 
Spirit drives to deeds of heroic courage, or prepares the Anointed 
of Yahweh for his work as a ruler ; and again it produces morbid 
jealousy, melancholy, and deeds of frenzy. 

The extermination of the enemies of Israel is a religious duty, 
for they are the enemies of Yahweh also. The method of dealing 
with them is set forth in the account of Saul and Amalek. The 
objects of attack are solemnly dedicated to Yahweh, so that to 
leave any alive is to commit sacrilege. We can hardly be wrong 



COMMENTARIES XXXV11 

in supposing that their extermination was pleasing to him, as the 
"devotion" of Israel was pleasing to Chemosh. The author of 
chis section of our history is possessed by the idea of the author 
of Deuteronomy — to leave the enemies of Yahweh alive is sinful. 
It is some relief to think that his history is here the reflection of 
his idea. 

The pragmatism which shows itself in the Book of Judges is 
carried over into the first section of i Samuel. This is a philoso- 
phy of history, according to which when Israel was faithful to 
Yahweh it was prospered and kept in safety. When it forgot him 
it was delivered over to the power of its enemies. Thus the Phil- 
istine oppression comes because the people have forsaken Yahweh 
and served Baal and Astarte. When they repent and seek their 
God, he delivers them by the hand of Samuel. As an expression 
of belief in the justice of God in dealing with the nations, this 
view deserves all respect. The mechanical way in which it is 
carried out, however, gives a one-sided view of the course of 
Israel's history. 

§ 9. Commentaries. 

Among the Fathers, Theodoret possesses considerable acumen, 
and his Questiones in Libros Regum (Migne, Tom. 80) will always 
be of value. The commentary of Procopius of Gaza is now 
proved to have been mainly taken from Theodoret.* The Ques- 
tiones Hebraicae in Libros Regum printed in Jerome's works are 
known to be spurious. They are occasionally interesting however 
for their embodiment of Jewish tradition. 

The merits of the Rabbinical commentators Rashi (Isaaki), 
Kimchi (Kamchi) and Levi ben Gerson are perhaps less conspicu- 
ous in their treatment of the Books of Samuel than elsewhere, 
because of their dependence on the traditional text. Besides 
these, which are contained in Buxtorf 's Rabbinical Bible, I have 
consulted Abarbanel in the edition of 1686, and the portions of 
Tanchum's Arabic commentary published by Haarbriicker (1844). 

Among the Roman Catholic expositors I know only Cornelius 
a Lapide, in the edition of Venice, 1 700, and those who are cited 
by Poole in his Synopsis, or by Schmid in his commentary. 

* Cf. Eisenhofer, Procopius von Gaza, Freib. 1897. 



XXXV111 INTRODUCTION 

Among the Protestant scholars of the seventeenth century a 
high place must be accorded to Sebastian Schmid of Strasburg. 
His commentary on the Books of Samuel (two volumes, quarto, 
1687, 1689) is a monument of solid and judicious learning. 
The author shares the prejudice of his time in favour of the 
received text, and the theological questions which he discusses at 
length have to us lost a large part of their interest. But, so far 
as the text on which he comments is uncorrupt, the author's judg- 
ment is sound, and much that is of value in recent conservative 
commentaries is derived from him. Among Reformed theo- 
logians Clericus (Le Clerc) is much esteemed. His commentary 
on Samuel appeared in 1 708. The often suggestive Annotationes 
of Grotius are embodied in the Biblia Illustrata of his Lutheran 
opponent Calov. Of this I have used the second edition (1719). 

The questions of textual criticism which have come to the front 
in recent years were first fairly discussed by Thenius. He under- 
took systematically to correct the text by comparison of the ancient 
versions. His commentary forms part of the Kurzgefasstes Exc- 
getisches Handbuch* Thenius sometimes goes too far in his 
preference for the reading of (3, but this should not make us 
undervalue his really pioneer work. The next step was taken by 
Wellhausen in his Text der Bucher Samuelis ( 1 8 7 1 ) . The author's 
well-known brilliancy and balance are manifest in this early work, 
and all succeeding commentators are indebted to it. The only 
criticism to be made upon it is that it is not always sufficiently 
appreciative of the work accomplished by Thenius. Keil alone, 
of recent expositors, holds on to a conception of the Hebrew 
text inherited from the seventeenth century, and his commentary 
(second edition, 1875) refuses to recognize the most evident gains 
of recent scholarship. The exposition of Erdmann in Lange's 
Bibelwerk is accessible in an English translation (1877). The 
author can hardly be said to be in advance of Keil, but his Ameri- 
can editor (Professor Toy) has enriched the work with notes which 
show a scholarship abreast of the times. The great work of Reuss, 
La Bible, Traduction Nouvelle (Paris, 1874), contains in its first 



* The first edition was published in 1842 ; the second in 1864 ; a third, edited by 
Lohr, has just appeared (1898). 



COMMENTARIES xxxix 

volume a lucid translation of the historical books, with brief but 
luminous notes. The translation and notes of Klostermann are 
always original and ingenious. His treatment of the text is free 
from bias and often suggestive. The majority of his conjectural 
emendations, however, have not commanded general assent. His 
work is a part of the Kurtzgefasster Kommentar of Strack and 
Zockler, and was published in 1887. Budde's Richter und Samuel 
(1890) has already been alluded to. It contains valuable notes 
on the text. The edition of the text in SBOT. by the same 
author also deserves mention here as well as among the introduc- 
tory works. 

In English the only help to the understanding of this part of 
the Bible which deserves mention is Driver's Notes on the Hebrew 
Text of the Books of Samuel (1890). The book has a valuable 
introduction on Hebrew palaeography, and discusses with great 
fulness questions of textual criticism. As the author confesses his 
frequent dependence on Wellhausen, so I do not hesitate to avow 
that I have frequently adopted an explanation from him. 

In addition to the books mentioned, I have had constantly by 
me Kittel's translation in Kautzsch's Heilige Schrift des Alte?i 
Testaments. I have examined also a number of programmes, 
dissertations, and pamphlets, some of which will be referred to in 
the notes. 

A list of abbreviations will be found at the end of the volume. 



A COMMENTARY ON THE BOOKS OF 
SAMUEL. 



A COMMENTARY ON THE BOOKS OF 
SAMUEL. 



i SAMUEL I.-XV. THE LIFE OF SAMUEL DOWN TO 
THE REJECTION OF SAUL. 

As the final redactor of the Books regarded it, this section 
makes one division of his work. The legitimate rule of Samuel 
was succeeded by the legitimate rule of David ; Saul played but 
a subordinate part. That this was not the mind of one of his 
sources is evident from what has been said in the Introduction 
(see above p. xviii). 

I. 1-IV. l a . Samuel's birth and call. — Hannah, the child- 
less wife of Elkanah, grieves over her privation and prays for a 
son. Her prayer is answered, and in accordance with the vow 
made in her prayer she dedicates her son to the service of Yahweh. 
He is therefore brought to the sanctuary at Shiloh when yet a boy. 
Here his behaviour is in marked contrast to that of the hereditary 
priests, the sons of Eli. While yet a lad (as it would seem) he 
becomes a prophet by the divine call, and the first revelation 
which he receives is a denunciation of punishment on Eli for his 
indulgence of his sons. This revelation is followed by others, 
which establish Samuel's reputation as a prophet throughout 
Israel. 

The piece begins like the stories appended to the history of the 
Judges, Jd. 17 1 19 1 (cf. 13 2 ). The place to which it introduces 
us is Shiloh, where we find the Ark of God under the guardianship 
of Eli and his family, and where there is a temple for it. The 
time is not far from that commemorated by the story of Samson, 
as the Philistines are the prominent enemies of Israel. Probably 

3 



4 l SAMUEL 

the author of the Book of Judges had in mind the story of Eli or 
of Samuel, or even of Saul, when he credited Samson with only 
the beginning of deliverance (Jd. 13 5 ). Shiloh appears as the 
sanctuary of Israel in the Book of Joshua in at least one passage 
ascribed to JE (18 8 " 10 ) as well as in others of later date, also in 
Jd. 18 31 in an insertion which is classed with E. The prominence 
given to this sanctuary in our present account makes it probable 
that the various documents are in some way connected. 

Our account, however, is not a unit. It has received at least 
one insertion from an extraneous source in the Song of Hannah. 
Again, the warning of Eli by an anonymous man of God (2 s7 " 88 ) 
unpleasantly duplicates the message revealed to Samuel in the 
next chapter. One of the two is superfluous. Against the opinion 
of most critics which sees in 2 s7 " 36 a barefaced insertion, I have 
given reasons above (Introduction, p. xix f.) for supposing that it 
was already a part of the account of Eli's sons which the author 
used in writing the life of Samuel. 

That the earlier part of 1 Sam. properly belongs in the period of the Judges 
has often been pointed out. That there was ever a separate book of Judges 
which included 1 Sam. 1-12 cannot be certainly asserted. Graf* claims that 
Jd. 17 18 19-21 and 1 Sam. i~7 2a are from the same source. But no one 
seems to have followed him in this, and the character of the documents is 
quite dissimilar. If the assertion had been limited to Jd. 17 18 and 1 Sam. 
3-6, more could be said in its favour. Graf also points out that the speech 
of Samuel in 1 Sam. 12 marks the close of the period of the Judges, as Joshua's 
farewell address marks the close of the period of conquest. To this Kuenen f 
adds the obvious argument that both Eli and Samuel are called Judges, 1 Sam. 
4I8 715-17. The latter passage, however, uses the term judge in a different sense 
from that which it has in the Book of Judges. That at some time Eli was 
counted among the Judges of Israel is possible. But it seems impossible to fit 
both him and Samuel into the scheme of the author of the present Book of 
Judges. At the same time it must be admitted that the point of view of the 
author of 1 Sam. 7 2 - 17 was very similar to his. \ 

1-18. Hannah's prayer. — The story introduces us at once to 
the principal characters : There was a man of the Ramathites, a 

* Gesch. BB. p. 98. I have not seen the dissertation De Templo Silonensi to 
which he refers, 
t HCO*. I. p. 337. 
+ Cf. Bu, RS. p. 201, Ki. GH. II. pp. 29-32. 



I. 1-3 5 

Zuphite of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah"] 
cf. similar openings, Jd. 13 2 , 1 S. 9 1 . There has possibly been 
conflation in the description. That he was a Ramathite would 
be enough to indicate that he was of the hill country of Ephraim, 
without the addition of those words. Ramah is a common Old 
Testament name, designating at least eight different places. Four 
localities have been identified with the Ramah of Elkanah and 
Samuel. These are Beit Rima thirteen miles northeast of Lydda, 
Ram Allah nine miles north of Jerusalem, Er-Ram four miles 
nearer that city, and Neby Samwil about four miles northwest of 
it. The first of these seems too near the Philistine territory, the 
last two are in Benjamin. The Biblical data are not sufficient to 
decide the question with certainty, but my own mind inclines to 
Ram Allah as having the probability on its side. Zuph occurs 
again as the name of the district in which Saul finds the home of 
Samuel, 9A The genealogy given seems to leave no doubt that 
Elkanah was an Ephraimite by blood. — 2. As in some other 
cases where a man had two wives, sorrow was caused by the fact 
that one was blessed with children, while the other had no child — 
so we should read here with (3. She would not have grieved, 
had she had even one. The case of Rachel before the birth of 
Joseph will occur to every one. The name Hannah corresponds 
to the English name Grace, and Peninnah means Coral or Pearl. 
— 3. Elkanah used to go up year by year to 7vorship and to sacri- 
fice to Yahweh Sebaoth in Shiloh~\ the institution of the pilgrimage 
is apparently as old as the existence of shrines. That Elkanah 
went o?ice a year seems to point to a time when the three yearly 
festivals were not yet regarded as obligatory. The divine name 
Yahweh Sebaoth occurs in Samuel eleven times, and all seem to 
belong to the later strata of the book. The meaning of the name 
has been much discussed. To our conception Yahweh is appropri- 
ately called God of the hosts of heaven, understanding by the hosts 
either the stars or the angels. But to the earlier thought of Israel, 
the angels were unknown. God of the armies of Israelis favoured 
by the fact that niKS¥ does designate these armies in many pas- 
sages (Ex. 7 4 12 17 Num. i 3 , al.). It should be noted, however, that 
Amos, the earliest writer to whom we can trace the appellation, 
seems to have been especially impressed by the fact that Yahweh 



6 i SAMUEL 

uses the armies of the heathen for the accomplishment of his ends, 
Am. 3 13f - 4 13 5 15 . He is therefore God of the nations, not of 
Israel alone. Shiloh is the modern Seilun, and its situation is 
described in Jd. 21 19 as north of Bethel, east of the road which 
goes up from Bethel to Shechem. There was a yearly festival there 
in the time of the judges, Jd. 2i 19ff -. In order to an understanding of 
what follows, the narrator adds : And Eli and his two sons, Hophni 
and Phinehas, were there priests to Yahweh~\ the text is that of 0. 

1. OTiDnn-fD] The pointing makes the name of the place Ramathaim. 
This name (that is, the dual form, later Arimathaea) does not appear else- 
where in the Old Testament, but even in this same account (v. 19 ) is given as 
a singular. We., TBS., p. 35, therefore supposes an attempt made in this 
instance to substitute a more modern form for the older, which, however, did 
not extend beyond this single case. It seems simpler with Kl. to point D*no%l, 
for which we may cite »no*vi 1 Chr. 27 27 . — D^fiis avoiri] is grammatically 
impossible. For the second word we have 2ei0d 4§ B , which indicates suffi- 
ciently that the D has come from the following word. % seems to feel the 
difficulty in the received text, for it renders noj "••vdVdd. The restoration 
of We. is now generally adopted, as above. — dht] <© renders SNDmi, but 
1 Chr. 6 19 seems to go back to $%. — >moN] seems to have been originally 
equivalent to Ephraimite, Jd. 12 5 1 K. II 26 . In this place, however, @ has iv 
Na<reij3 E0pdt/>t, so that the original may have been DnsN *\XL J3 as suggested 
by We. — 2. nnx] a number of MSS. have nnsn. — onm pit] oik ffv iraidlov 
<g seems more forcible. — 3. nS^i] the perfect with Waw Consecutive is used 
of customary action, Dr., Tenses^, § 120; Dav., Syntax, § 54; Konig, Syntax, 
367 h. — WjTD Nim tpiNn] ® B has simply 6 AvOpwiros; the shorter text has the 
presumption in its favour. — non^ o^d] Ex. 13 10 Jd. n 40 21 19 , cf. Kon., 
Syntax, 266 a. mN3X mm — besides the Bible Dictionaries the student may 
consult ZATW. VI. p. 17; PRE?, article Zebaoth; Smend, Alttest. Religions- 
geschichte, p. 185 ff. On the pronunciation of the name of Israel's God, 
ZA TW. III. p. 280 f., IV. p. 21 ff. — ^jnw W] 'HXel kqX oi dvo viol avrov <g. 
It is necessary that Eli should be mentioned because he appears in the imme- 
diate sequel. There is every reason to adopt the reading of (5 therefore. 
Even if Eli had been mentioned in some preceding part of this history now 
lost, it would be quite as appropriate to mention him here as to mention his 
sons alone. The change to |§ may possibly have been made to shield Eli 
from the blame afterwards pronounced upon his sons. We. and Dr. decide 
against (5, while Bu. supposes that the original was simply ps *9f oem. The 
name Phinehas is said to mean negro in Egyptian (Lauth, ZDMG. XXV. 
P- 139)- 

4-8. The point of interest is the behaviour of Hannah. The 
author, therefore, means to say that on one occasion Hannah 



I. 3-8 7 

wept and could not eat. But the connexion is broken by a long 
sentence, which gives an account of Peninnah's habitual scornful 
treatment of her rival. The result is awkward, and we must con- 
cede the possibility that the text has been interpolated. As it 
stands, we must make a long parenthesis : // came to pass on one 
occasion that Elkanah sacrificed {now he used to give portions to 
Peninnah and her children, but to Hannah one portion though he 
loved her, and her rival would vex her . . .) and she wept and 
would not eat. The words are plain enough in themselves, with 
the exception of D^BK, which will be discussed in the critical note. 

— 6. The received text asserts that her rival vexed her, taunting 
her with her barrenness. The expression is somewhat confused, 
however, and it is noticeable that (3 in its primitive form only 
asserts that she (Hannah) was greatly troubled. There is reason 
to suspect the text. — 7. The received text must mean : So he 
would do year by year] making Elkanah the subject. In this case 
we must (by a change of the points only) read : as often as he 
came up to the house of Yahweh. The next clause is either an in- 
terpolation or corrupt. Conjecturally we may read : But Han- 
nah covered her face and wept and would not eat. — 8. Elkanah 
endeavours to comfort her : Why wilt thou weep and wilt not eat, 
and why does thy heart reproach thee ?"] The rhetorical question 
is followed by another : Am I not better to thee than ten sons /] 
The answer would have been in the affirmative, but it was for his 
sake that she wished children, so the attempt at consolation 
rather opened the springs of grief afresh. 

4. The author begins njpSx m?M Dvn wi as though he were going to relate 
what happened on one particular occasion. He then drops into the frequen- 
tative tense jrui as though what followed was a common experience, and this 
is kept up until the end of v. 7 , where we find roam which would naturally 
connect with ram. The result is an obscure sentence, and 4§ unfortunately 
gives little help. — ovn *>n>i] i S. 14 1 2 K. 48-1118 Job i 6 . There seems no 
reason to separate the phrase from others like N>nn rips *nn, cf. also cnnm tvi 
1 S. 20 24 , Ges. 26 126^. — jrui] one is tempted to change to |JW, which is 
apparently favoured by <§. But this would involve change of the following 
verbs. — mmiai rnjirV^i] <g B has simply koX to?s vloh avrrjs, which is original. 
The expansion of such phrases by a scribe is too common to call for remark. 

— 5. D^dn] is impossible; irXV 6rt <S B points to >d - Dcn, cf. Num. 13 28 Dt. 
15 4 Jd. 4 9 Am. 9 8 , where it evidently means nevertheless. It is awkward, how- 



8 i SAMUEL 

ever, to say : Nevertheless he loved Hannah and Yahweh had shut her womb. 
We expect the author either to say only one portion (n-oV) in contrast to 
Peninnah, or else to say that he distinguished her in some way as : he gave 
her a portion before them. The latter alone would be accounted for by the 
following "o. There is reason to suppose, therefore, that the corruption is 
incurable in the present state of our knowledge: Kara irpbauirov (f§ L ; tristis 
IL seem to be attempts to render the text of pj. — -pna & gives a good sense, 
but cannot be got out of the present text, and it is difficult to suppose that this 
translator had another reading before him. Bu. supposes that the original 
may have been don id. But the point of the narrative is that Hannah wept 
because of the contrast between herself and her co-wife, not because of any- 
thing in her husband's mien. — 6. The verse is removed by Bu. to the margin 
of his text as a later insertion, but without sufficient reason. As it stands we 
must render and her rival provoked her. — mx] the co-wife, as is shown with 
abundant learning by Lagarde, Mitthei lunge n, I. 1 25 ff. In this place, however, 
<g B renders /caret tt\v d\tyiv aiiTrjs, evidently reading nmxo. This would join 
very well to the preceding clause of (g B . ' For the Lord had not given her a 
son like her rival? But, on the other hand, it does not join well with what fol- 
lows. A further difficulty is made by nDjnn, an abnormal form, Ges. 26 § 22 s. The 
verb in the Hiphil is always to thunder, in the Qal to roar (Ps. 96 11 ). The 
word is probably corrupt here, as neither of these meanings is appropriate. 
After maya we expect mention of the cause of Hannah's grief — nninn "napa 
would give a good sense. <§ B seems to have read nr TOpa. — 7. Wjp] must have 
Elkanah in mind as the actor, which indeed he was. There seems to be no 
reason for changing to rwjrn (Dr.). The finSp which follows must be rthSp of 
course, though 3L seems to favour arhy; n^a] should be no. The words 
nsani njDjjan p make a difficulty by their abrupt change of subject. It is not 
unlikely therefore that run is represented in the last three letters of the first 
verb. Kl.'s proposal to read njn Dsm, and Hannah covered her face in sign 
of grief, is attractive. 65 seems to have read opm, /cat $$vfui. With nn 
nnSy cf. DnNX hd I S. 18 80 . 8. After njn <& introduces /cat elirev abrcp T5ou 
iyib, Kvpie ' /cat elirev airy. This is entirely appropriate, but if original it is diffi- 
cult to see how it was lost. For nnS <3 has : ri i<rrl <tql 6tl, which has no claim 
to be more original, but probably goes back to a variant Hebrew text. — yv 
•paS] TV7TT61 <re 7) Kapdta <rov, which indicates "psS -p\ This is more appro- 
priate, for 'sh JTV is used of the heart that hardens itself against its neighbour, 
Dt. 15 10 . Hannah no doubt reproached herself with her shortcoming, though 
it was not voluntary. Her husband exhorts her not to blame herself, which is 
precisely what she was doing — her heart smote her is the natural expression 
in the case. 

9-11. The vow. — Hannah presents herself before Yahweh : 
She rose after they had eaten, and stood before Yahwefi] the read- 
ing is that of (3. The condition of things is described in the fol- 



I. 9-1 r 9 

lowing clause : Eli the priest was sitting at the time on his chair 
at the door posts of the temple of Yahweh] the structure seems to 
have been a solid building, otherwise it could not be called a 
temple ; the same word is afterwards applied to the temple of Sol- 
omon, i K. 6 5 . — 10. She was greatly distressed] lit. bitter of soul, 
cf. 2 K. 4^, where it is said of the woman who has lost her only 
son that her soul is bitter. — 11. The prayer culminates in a vow : 
Yahweh Sebaoth ! If thou wilt indeed look upon the affliction of 
thy maidservant and wilt give thy maidservant a man child, then I 
will give him to Yahweh all the days of his life~] she means that he 
should become a temple servant, a nethin, Num. 8 19 . A vow is a 
promise to give something to Yahweh, or to perform something 
for him, in case he grants a prayer. An example is Jacob's vow, 
Gen. 28 20 " 22 (E) : If Yahweh God will be with me and protect me 
on this journey . . . then this stone shall be to me a house of God, 
and all that thou shall give me I will tithe for thee. The devotion 
of human beings in this way is illustrated by Jephthah, and is pre- 
supposed in the elaborate provisions of the law for redemption, 
Lev. 27. Our author does not seem to be troubled by the ques- 
tion whether Hannah had a right to make a vow of this kind with- 
out the consent of her husband. The point which most interests 
us is that the author cannot have thought of Samuel (or Elkanah) 
as a Levite, for in that case the vow would have been unmeaning. 
But that he also loses sight of the ancient regulation that every 
male that opens the womb is already the property of Yahweh, 
seems evident. The statement in the text : a razor shall not 
come upon his head reads like a later addition. But it is readily 
accounted for by the view of a scribe that Samuel was to be a 
Nazirite — a lifelong Nazirite like Samson. (3 carries the like- 
ness to Samson further by adding : and wine and fermented 
liquor he shall not drink'] cf. Jd. 13 5 . And wilt reme?nber me~\ 
reads like a reminiscence of Gen. 30 22 , where God remembers 
Rachel in giving her a son. 

9. nWa rhm nns njn oprn] the last word is unnecessary, and difficulty is 
found in accepting nSsN, because she had not eaten. The latter is somewhat 
relieved by reading dSsn with @. The objection that she finds the family still 
at their meal in v. 18 is hardly cogent in view of the state of the text there. 
Still it is not impossible that there has been scribal expansion. We. points 



IO i SAMUEL 

nSiio, which is possible, only 1 should take a letter from the preceding word 
n?ran Sdx nnx = after the eating of the boiled flesh, 2 13 . The conjecture of 
Kl. nyshz hSdn nnns rum, which is adopted by Bu., seems too remote from 
any external testimony. It seems necessary, however, to insert with @ 3Pnm 
mm >:d^ (Th., We., al.). — 3«n . . . »Sjn] a circumstantial clause, nnrc is else- 
where used in the plural, and should, perhaps, be so pointed here, with <§. — 
10. roan nzjji] the emphatic adverbial infinitive. The imperfect tense indi- 
cates continued action : she kept weeping bitterly. — 11. ^dentin mirrrN^i is 
superfluous and is also lacking in <S B ; we may disregard it. — o^jn jn?] does 
not occur again. That she means a male child is evident. 

12-18. Eli's rebuke, followed by a blessing. — As Hannah 
prolonged her prayer, Eli, who saw the movement of her lips, but 
heard no sound, took her for a drunken woman] that excess 
in wine was not an infrequent concomitant of religious feasts seems 
indicated by the readiness with which the suspicion is entertained 
here. For the construction cf. Job 13 24 : why dost thou reckon 7ne 
thine enemy ? — 14. The rebuke : How long wilt thou show thyself 
drunken] seems to emphasize the disgracefulness of the spectacle. 
Put away thy wine and go from the presence of Yahweh] the 
second half is found in (3 only, but seems to be original. In (3 
Eli's servant is made to utter the rebuke, an evident attempt to 
shield the priest from the charge of harshness. — 15. Hannah 
repels the charge : No, my Lord; an afflicted woman am I, and I 
have not drunk wine or intoxicating drink] the two are often men- 
tioned together. But I poured out my soul before Yahweh, cf. Ps. 
62 9 {pour out the heart) , 42 s . — 16. Do not take thy servant to be a 
vile woman] lit. a daughter of belial. The corresponding phrase 
sons of belial is frequent and evidently means vile men, Jd. 19 22 , 
1 Sam. 2 12 . The derivation of the word belial, however, is obscure, 
and recent discussions are inconclusive. The Greek translators 
render men of belial, or sons of belial, by adjectives like vile, un- 
godly, senseless, contrary. A satisfactory Hebrew etymology has 
not been found. The older commentators propose without yoke, 
for which they cite Jer. 2 20 . Other conjectures, that rises no more 
(after falling), that profits not, are equally precarious. The word 
is possibly a foreign word, but the Babylonian derivation does not 
as yet seem unequivocally established. For on account of the 
greatness of my grief have I continued until now. The soft answer 
turns away wrath. — 17. Eli not only dismisses her in peace, but 



I. 12-18 II 

adds a prayer that her petition may be granted. — 18. Her prayer 
is that she may stand well with hint] lit. find favour in his eyes, 
a frequent Old Testament phrase. The historian adds : So the 
wo??ian went her way, and her face was no more sad~\ for the text 
see the critical note. 

12. rvni] is possible, as one of the rare cases of the perfect with weak 
1 (so Dr., Notes, and Tenses 21 , § 133). But it is more likely that it is the 
mistake of a scribe who thought the verb continued the preceding sen- 
tence. Restore vm (Bu.). — y?*nnS nronri] the main verb expresses the 
idea which we express adverbially : she prayed much. Similar cases are 
mpjfj 3W : he did well ; nWJfS VJO : he did quickly. "hy\ introduces the 
circumstantial clause : she continued praying while Eli was observing her 
mouth. — 13. n\~i rum] the casus pendens : As for Hannah, she was speak- 
ing in her heart ; only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard] * 
the whole sentence is explanatory of what Eli was observing. The name of 
Hannah is here omitted by <6£ BL . — nasrm] resumes the story introduced by 
the tpi at the beginning of v. 1 ' 2 . — maw] on the form of the adjective, Ges. 26 
§ 84 b, 24. — 14. fnarwn] one of the few cases of the old feminine ending, 
Ges. 26 § 47 0. — T*?JfD] (3 substitutes kcii wopevov (/ecu tiirekde L ) £k Trpoa&irov 
Kvplov. The clause seems to me one likely to be changed, to avoid the seem- 
ing identification of Yahweh with the Ark. — 15. nrrnrp] harsh of spirit 
seems impossible. Most modern scholars have adopted Th.'s emendation to 
DV TWp : 7) (TKK-qpa i]p.{pa <&, cf. Job 30' 25 , where cv TWp is one in misfortune. 
— *W] fruit-wine or cider, cf. Benziger, Hebr. Arch'dologie, p. 96. — 16. bu 
*3I»S . . . pr] would naturally mean do not give . . . into the power of, which 
cannot be correct. What Hannah desires is that she may not be reckoned to 
be a vile woman. In this sense we find pj followed by d, and we should 
probably emend to H33, throwing out yeS. Kl.'s > d l ' does not occur with this 
verb, and Dr.'s i is also without parallel. Cf. Gen. 42 30 , D^JHM Unx |mi : 
and look us for spies. — ^*>3] is an obscure word, cf. BDB. s.v., Moore on 
Judges 19 22 , Baudissin in PRE? II. p. 548 f., Cheyne, in the Expositor, 1895, 
and in the Expository Times, June, 1897, with Baudissin's reply, ibid., Nov. 
1897, an d Jensen's remarks, ibid., Apr. 1898. — *0jO1 <mr] (3 seems to have 
found but one of the two words, probably *TWP which was not definite enough 
for a Hebrew scribe, so that an explanatory word was added. — 'mat] decid- 
edly less forcible than £kt{to.i«x @, probably *n3"1Mn. — 17. 'pS» for "jrrVlW, 
cf. Ges. 26 § 23 c. — 18. Sosm] is lacking in seven Hebrew MSS., and although 
this is rather a slender basis on which to erect a theory, I suspect the word to 
be an insertion. The sense is perfectly good without it, as is seen in the 
translation given above. It is a question whether the author would have said 
she went her way if he meant simply that she returned to the chamber imme- 

* © L adds here : But the Lord heard her. The example is instructive as show- 
ing how a text grows. 



12 i SAMUEL 

diately adjoining the temple. The text of <H : and came into the chamber and 
ate with her husband and drank will be a further expansion. If original, we 
cannot account for its abbreviation. — !V?"iWmS ppjsi] koX to irpbauirov avTrjs 
ov <rvveTreo-ep (g. The only parallel cited for |^ (Job g 27 ) is of doubtful integrity. 
It seems better therefore to correct nS"vn to n^oj, which is quite in accord 
with Hebrew usage. 

19-28. The prayer answered, and the vow performed. — 

The division between this and the preceding is artificial. The 
narrative continues without a break. After paying their respects 
at the temple the next morning the family returned to their home 
in Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife] cf. Gen. 4 1 . 
And Yahweh remembered her] as he remembered Rachel Gen. 
30 22 . — 20. And it came to pass at the end of a year that she bare 
a son] about the time of the yearly festival. And called his name 
Samuel; For from Yahweh 1 have asked him'] the last words evi- 
dently give her reason for the choice of this name. The etymology 
does not bear out the intention. — 21. At the usual time Elkanah 
went up to Shiloh to offer the yearly sacrifice] as we have heard 
nothing of his vow, which is added in the received text, the words 
are probably the insertion of a scribe. — 22. Hannah excuses her- 
self from the present journey in the words : When the boy is weaned 
then I will bring him] for two years she would keep him at home, 
for this was the usual time, and is still the case in the East, cf. 
Koran, 2 233 . Some commentators have thought it impossible that 
the boy could be actually delivered to the priest at so early an 
age, and have tried to interpret the verb weaned in a figurative 
sense. But this seems uncalled for. Then we shall see the face 
of Yahweh, and he shall dwell there forever] where the last clause 
means of course all his life. — 23. Elkanah consents, adding : 
Only Yahweh establish thy word] a wish that their lives may be 
spared to do as she purposes. — 24. At the time set, she brought 
him up with a three year old bullock] an unusually valuable sacri- 
fice. The received text has three bullocks by an error of transcrip- 
tion. And an ephah of flour and a skin of wine] the abundance 
of provision was in order to invite many to " eat and drink and 
rejoice before Yahweh " with them. The ephah of flour is Gideon's 
offering also, Jd. 6 19 . "The quantity according to the smallest 
computation was over a bushel " (Moore) . — 25. After sacrificing 



I. 19-28 13 

the bullock they brought the lad to Eli"] that the whole family was 
present is quite in accord with the fitness of things. — 26. She 
recalls herself to his remembrance : By thy life, Sir, I am the 
womati that stood near thee here to pray to Yahweh / — 27. The 
answer to her prayer ; Concerning this boy I prayed and Yahweh 
granted what I asked] lit. my request which I asked of him. — 
28. The return she proposes to make : Now I, on my part, have 
given him to Yahweh. All the days that he shall live he is givtn to 
Yahweh] is Hannah's devotion of her son only a revival of the 
ancient law which claimed all the first born for Yahweh? At the 
end of the verse J^ adds and he bowed to Yahweh. If this refers 
to Samuel, it seems appropriate enough. It is, however, lacking 
in (§ B , which inserts a clause not found in J^ at the end of the 
Song which follows. The probable explanation is that the Song 
was inserted in the two texts at different points. The original text 
seems to have said, after Hannah's presentation of the lad, so she 
left him there and went to Ramah. The Song was inserted in J^ 
between the two halves of this sentence ; in (3 it comes before the 
first half. 

20. D>D>n ntDpnS] similarly rvvn nfipnS Ex. 3422 2 Chr. 24 28 .* — run wn 
-6n] (S puts icai crwiXa^eu at the end of v. 19 . The word has been interpo- 
lated in both recensions. Before O, <3 and % insert and she said; a case of 
explicative expansion. — pnSw nwo o] as Kimchi sees, the theory of the 
author is that hnvov is a contraction of Vnd Swb\ But such contraction is 
unheard of elsewhere. There is an exegetical tradition in favour of htytOV 
as the original form of the word, but, as shown by Dr. (Notes, in loc), this 
also is without analogy. The most natural derivation, making it mean, Name 
of God, is attributed to St. Gregory by Schm. — 21. mrnxi] Jewish tradition 
sees in this a vow made for the birth of a son. But the only vow of which the 
narrative gives us any knowledge is Hannah's vow. There is reason to sup- 
pose the words an addition to the original text therefore. The tendency to 
such expansion is seen in ® here, which reads, ko! tAs ei>xas avrov k<xI ird<ras 
rets Se/cdras ttjs 777s avrov. — 22. SoJP -*;■] a parallel case is Jd. 16 2 , so that 
there is no need to insert ou/c ava^aoixai @ L . — nN-m] apparently intended 
by the punctuators as a Niphal. It is better to read it as the Qal imperfect 
on account of 'jfi'nH which follows — perhaps the well-known cohortative 
with weak 1 : / will bring him up that we may see the face of Yahweh. — 
23. rwnit] must be understood of some promise. The only one of which 

* According to these passages we should expect the singular nepn here, and the 
> is, in fact, omitted in many MSS. 



14 i SAMUEL 

we have record is Eli's wish that Hannah should have a son — which might 
be construed as a word of Yahweh. But this is already fulfilled in the birth 
of Samuel. It seems better therefore to read "p:n with @ rd £!-e\ddv e/c rod 
(TTdfiards <rov. — 24. rvahv ansa] h /j.6<txV Tpteri^ovri <S = tt>S&»D ifl3; cf. 
Gen. 15 9 . The reading of <@ is to be restored. At the end of the verse "\yim 
-\yj is unintelligible; nai t6 irauSapiov per' avrQv <S is superfluous, though <S L 
helps it by reading /ecu darfKdov for OTMani. In the present state of our 
knowledge we must be content to omit the words; the boy was young is an 
impossible rendering, and besides, the sentence is superfluous. Dr. conjectures 
that the words noy nyjm belong at the end of v. 25 , and he is followed by Bu. 
— 25. I see no reason for departing from the received text. The consent of 
Eli was necessary to make the act valid, and it was entirely appropriate that 
both parents should present the lad at the sanctuary, though the mother takes 
the leading part. If we are to change at all, we must read fy Sn Tjwn dn Nam 
nop nyjni. — 26. *rw *3] a phrase claiming the favourable notice of the one 
addressed, Jd. 6 15 . — 28. For the dj correlativum (Th. after Clericus) cf. 
Gen. 20 5 , wrnu she for her part. S*iwn is to encourage a person to ask 
by granting his request, then to give without a previous request. — ."vn -crx] 
seems impossible : Ti "WH seems indicated by @&J5 and is found in one 
codex. — mmS D2> wipm] some MSS. have wimt>n. The whole clause is lack- 
ing in <5£ BA which give a substitute at the beginning of 2 11 . It is represented 
in (g L in both places. 



II. 1-10. The song of Hannah. — The author or the final 
redactor here puts into the mouth of Hannah a song of praise. 
Careful examination shows that it has no particular reference to 
her circumstances. The assertion that the barren has borne seven 
while the prolific mother grows faint is made only as an example 
of God's sovereign dealings with his creatures. Possibly this 
couplet may have drawn the editor's attention, and made him 
think the psalm appropriate for this place. But this sentence, 
with the rest of the composition, is too general to give us light 
on the situation of the author. The expressions used are those 
common to the songs gathered in the Psalter. Like many of 
them, it voices the faith of the pious in Yahweh as ruler over the 
destinies of men. 

The structure of the poem is very simple. Four stanzas may 
be marked off: (1) The believer's doxology; (2) Warning to 
the arrogant ; (3) Yahweh's government ; (4) Confidence for 
the future. The metre regularly shows three accents to a line, 
except in one or two instances, where the text is probably at fault. 



II. i-s 15 

A translation is given by Professor Briggs in his Messianic Prophecy (N.Y., 
1886), p. 124 f., and with critical notes in the Presbyterian Revieiv, 1885, 
p. 1 1 2 f. 

1-2. The opening stanza is one of praise, expressive of the 
singer's state of mind in view of Yahweh's glory. 

Glad is my heart in Yahweh, 

My horn is exalted in my God, 

My mouth is enlarged over my enemies, 

For I rejoice in thy salvation. 

There is none holy like Yahweh, 

For there is none righteous like our God, 

And there is no rock besides thee. 

1. nDNm run SScnm] <S B has simply koX elirev, which is enough. — pSy] 
io-Tepeddij @ may go back to yon; but as this verb with aS might convey the 
meaning of obstinacy (cf. Dt. 2 30 ), it seems better to adhere to J§. '/he 
elevation of the horn and the widening of the mouth are familiar figures 
in Hebrew poetry, Ps. 92 11 Is. 57*. The second nirra should doubtless be 
"in^jo with <S and 28 MSS. — 2. The second member is "jnSa pN *o. Evi- 
dently something has been lost; and as @ has Skcuos, we cannot do better 
than to insert it. But having followed <t§ in this, it seems better to go with 
it also in the interchange of *|nSa and lrnSso. The parallelism is thus 
improved. For TO, cf. Ps. 18 32 . 

3-5. Warning to the opposers. 

Do not speak haughtily, 
Or let arrogance come from your mouth, 
For a God of knowledge is Yahweh, 
And a God who weighs men's deeds. 

The bow of the mighty is broken, 
And the weak are girded with might. 
Those who had plenty do lack, 
But the famished inherit the land. 
For the barren has borne seven, 
And the mother of many languishes. 

3. The first member is unmanageably long. It seems probable, therefore, 
that nain >ain are duplicates, and that the same is true of the double nn^j. 
It answers every purpose to read nnai nann hx. For pnj?, cf. Ps. 31 19 . — 
nijn Sn] Job 36*. The plural is probably emphatic, and might be rendered 
all-knowing (Briggs). — mSS? uanj wSl] et les crimes ne passent pas impunis 
(Reuss) is hardly justified. At least the Tvhhp should be described, in order 
that we may understand that crimes are meant. The Qre, reading i s i (also 



I 6 i SAMUEL 

in the text in some copies), makes a possible sense: And by him actions are 
weighed. But (3, reading kclI debs eroifx&fav eTriTrjdevfiaTa avrov, makes us 
suspect the original to have been rvhhy fsh Sni (SS). — 4. a>nn] Th. and 
Dr. cite Is. 2i 17 in favour of the reading. But it seems simpler to correct 
to r\r\n: ^<r04vr)a-e <§. — 5. H38>j] hire themselves out would be appropriate, 
but the verb is nowhere found in this stem, and nDn, suggested by <g, is 
preferable. — V?nn] needs something to complete the sense. Briggs takes 
■}-; from the beginning of the next verse, and translates keep holiday forever. 
But in order to mean keep holiday, the verb needs something to complete 
the sense — cease from labour. Reifmann, cited by Dr., proposes *oy iSnn, 
which is adopted by Bu. : rraprjKav yrjp (3 does not seem to help us, but 
habitaverunt \ points to irap^K-qo-av, which is also confirmed by the Armenian 
(according to HP). I have, therefore, ventured to restore y~\x wn% cf. Ps. 
25 18 . — -!?] could undoubtedly be spared. j$ omits, but (@> represents it by 
8tu — hSScn] Ges> § 55 d. 

6-8. Yahweh's government. 

Yahweh kills and gives life, 
Brings down to Sheol and brings up. 
Yahweh makes poor and makes rich, 
Brings low and also sets on high. 

He raises the poor from the dust, 
From the dung-hill he raises the needy, 
To make him sit with nobles of the people, 
And gives him in possession a glorious throne. 
[For to Yahweh belong the pillars of the earth, 
And he has set the world upon them]. 

6. The second half is synonymous with the first — Sheol the abode of the 
dead. — 7. *1 N ] is represented by kuI alone in © : et %. — 8. "n and jvon 
are parallel, Ps. 72 13 . — rWKD] Many codd. have net^NDi, which is also the 
reading of (53L. The DBVH is the mound of rubbish which accumulates near 
an Oriental town. Beggars often spend the night upon it in default of a 
lodging. — c^hj] dvvaa-ruu XaQv <3 B : dvpaa-rup Xaou (£ L , evidently reading 
DJT»anj, which seems more vigorous. The couplet in brackets is not found 
in <§, and is therefore probably not original. In place of it we find : 5iSoi)s 
ei>xv p T V ^X°^ v Vi Kai evXdyrjcrev irr\ diKalov, which seems an endeavour to 
adapt the psalm more nearly to Hannah's circumstances. 

9, 10. The confidence of the believer. 

The feet of his friends he will guard, 
But the wicked shall perish in darkness, 
(For not by strength is a man mighty). 



II. 6-12 17 

Yahweh will shatter his enemies, 

Upon them he will thunder in the heavens. 

Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth; 

He will give strength to his king, 

And will exalt the horn of his anointed. 

9. <3 omits the first two members of the verse. These seem, however, 
more in accord with the context than the third. — 10. w] read nn; with 
{*§. — one] is confirmed by <&, but is of course to be taken collectively: 
vanb Qre. — iSy] vhy Qre. Bu. proposes jvS>% which would not be out of 
place. In this verse <g inserts six lines from Jer. g 22f -. For W in line 3 
@ has simply auro's. — irv^o] as a title of the king (and we can hardly under- 
stand it otherwise here) this word is another indication of comparatively 
late date. 

11. The verse is the conclusion of the account of Samuel's 
dedication and originally read : And she left him there before 
Yahweh and tvent to Ramah ; but the boy continued ministering 
to Yahweh in the presence of Eli the priest. 

11. koX KartXiirev atirbv inet ivAriov Kvpiov (5 is represented in pj by the 
last three words of I 28 . It is scarcely possible to doubt that <g has the original, 
and that its proper place is here. — nnmn njpSx -|S^] can scarcely be original, 
as Hannah has been the prominent character in what precedes. We should 
read nnD"Vl "jSm or FinDtn idSm. The words ln^'Sj; are lacking in <S B and 
superfluous. — mro] is often used of priestly service. 

12-17. The corruption of the existing priesthood. — The 

author describes the conduct of Eli's sons in a manner to point 
the contrast afforded by Samuel, and also to prepare for the catas- 
trophe that is to overtake their house. The crime of which they 
are accused is arrogance in demanding a share of the sacrifice 
and in not contenting themselves with the portions assigned by 
custom or by law. 

The paragraph separates itself so neatly from what precedes 
and follows, that we naturally suppose it to belong to an older 
document which the author of the life of Samuel wove into his 
narrative. 

12. The sons of Eli were wicked men] the phrase used, sons 
of be Hal, is parallel to daughter of belial used in i 16 . We must be 
careful not to assume that belial was at this time a proper name. 
Whatever its origin, it denotes extreme depravity. They knew not 



1 8 i SAMUEL 

YahweK\ in any such sense as would lead them to do his will, 
nor the pries fs due from the people] this clause from the next 
verse seems to belong here. — 13, 14. Whenever a man sacrificed, 
the pries fs servant would come, at the boiling of the flesh, with his 
three-pronged fork in his hand, and would strike it into the pot or 
the pan or the kettle] the method could scarcely be more offensive. 
All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself ~\ by 
the hand of his servant, that is. This violence was not exercised 
in isolated cases only, but was practically universal — to all Israel 
that came to sacrifice to Yahweh in Shiloh. — 15. Worse is to follow : 
Moreover, before they burned the fat, the priests servant used to 
come and say to the offerer : Give roasting-flesh for the priest — he 
will not take boiled flesh from thee, but raw~\ this amounted to 
sacrilege, as nothing ought to intervene between the presentation 
of the offering and the burning of the part belonging to Yahweh. 
The expostulation of the worshipper to this effect only led to 
fresh insult : Should the offerer say : They are going to burn the fat 
at once, then take whatever you please, he would reply : No / You 
shall give it at o?ice or I will take it by force. — 17. The greatness 
of the sin consisted in this, that these priests despised the offerings 
of Yahweh. 

13. nN oiimn BDTDi] <3 had find jron BDtPDi; this is confirmed by 9 MSS. 
and seems preferable. The nearest parallel is Dt. 18 3 — riND D^njn BBPD. 
It is extremely difficult to decide whether this clause belongs with the preced- 
ing verse or whether it should begin a new sentence : the custom of the priest 
. . . was that his servant would come. The decisive consideration is the use 
of the phrase in Dt. 18 3 , where it certainly means the due of the priests from 
the people. On this account it belongs with the preceding, though we expect 
an dn to precede BOPD. For own v^v We. and Dr. read d*jp wSp. — 14. nani 
doubtless should be the pointing, with ©. Instead of four vessels <3 has but 
three. — ia] should be corrected to V? with <&%&. — nSpa Dtr] the tautology 
is relieved by <5£ B dvo-at icvpLy iv ZrjXibfj,, and this should be restored. It is 
not certain that DP should be retained with this reading (Kl., Bu.). — 15. aj] 
evidently introduces the climax. — np»] XtijSw 4§&. The reading of $? seems 
more likely to be original. — 16. ids' 1 )] as pointed by |H would describe a 
single case. It seems better to point nps 1 '} and to understand it as stating a 
hypothesis. — vSn is not represented in (5. — h JFCt.~\ nS Qre and in 19 codd., 
besides (5%. — , nnpS] is justified by analogy, cf. Dr. Tenses, 9 § 1367; but it 
is smoother to change to v-TipSi (Kl.). — 17. nin> WTW, which is inserted in 
different places in different recensions of (3, is possibly not original, as it is 



II. 1 2-21 I Q 

superfluous and may have crept in from the next verse. — DWMn] lacking 
in (3, seems to be an insertion intended to lighten the categorical assertion 
that the priests treated the offerings with contumely. 

18-21. The narrative returns to Samuel who continued serving 
Yahzveh] lit. the face of Yahweh, which means Yahweh himself. 
Samuel is described as a lad girded with a linen ephod~\ where 
the ephod is evidently a priestly garment, 22 18 2 S. 6 14 . Bau- 
dissin* points out that linen garments were worn by the Egyptian 
priests. Direct influence cannot be proved. — 19. And his mother 
used to make him a little robe~\ no English word exactly corre- 
sponds to the Hebrew. The garment was worn over the tunic. 
There seems no reason to find fault with the statement on the 
ground that as the boy grew it would no longer be a little robe. 
The narrator has the earlier years especially in mind. Doubtless 
the cloth was spun and woven by his mother, as well as the robe 
cut and sewed by her. — 20. The blessing of Eli : Yahzveh repay 
thee with seed from this woman for the gift which she gave to 
Yahweh~\ the received text is obscure, but the reference must be 
to i 28 , where Hannah expressly says she has given him to Yahweh. 
21. And Yahweh visited Hannah'] as he did Sarah, Gen. 21 1 , so 
that she gave birth to three sons and two daughters] in addition to 
Samuel. But the lad Samuel grew up in the presence of Yahweh. 

19. pp ^jJDl] the ^"s was the outer garment worn by well-to-do people. 
It was usually sleeveless, as we may judge from the emphasis laid upon 
those with sleeves. For pp Kl. proposes pro, cotton, which, however, occurs 
nowhere in Biblical Hebrew. — 20. D8"] would perhaps answer our pur- 
pose. But diroriaat <f§ B indicates thtr> as does avraTroddxrei <g L . — Ssc 
mm 1 ?] cannot be right, though the attempt is made to translate it, which 
one asked of Yahzveh. But there is no reason for the indefinite verb here : 
Eli would certainly have said n^Ntr or vhvco and would also have used JD. 
On the basis of I 28 we naturally restore sib'ltpn (Bu.). <J£ has exp^cas which 
is evidently nVwn, cf. Ex. 12 36 . But it seems unfair to give the merit to Elka- 
nah. — icpcS oVm] better to make the suffix plural as in some codd.; @ 
however makes the verb singular. — 21. "ips"^] seems without motive : -tps>i 
<SIJ5 should be restored. — -inm] is lacking in (§ B , cf. I 20 , which shows how 
easily such insertions are made. After iSm insert 11;' <g B . 



* Geschichte des Alttestamentlichen Priesterthums, Leipzig, 1889, p. 70, referring 
to Herodotus, II. 37. Compare, also, Nowack, Hebr. Archaologie, II. p. 116. 



20 i SAMUEL 

22-25. Eli's ineffectual rebuke. — The paragraph joins di- 
rectly to v. 17 , and, as already indicated, was probably part of a 
source which treated the sin and punishment of Eli's sons without 
reference to Samuel. — 22. Although Eli was a very old man, yet 
he used to hear what his sons were doing] the reference is to the 
sins already laid to their charge. The impurity predicated of them 
in the second half of the verse was not in the mind of the original 
author. — 23. The rebuke : Why will you do the like of these things 
which I hear from the mouth of all the people f\ this, which is an 
abbreviated text, seems to convey all that he meant to say. — 
24. No, my softs ! Not good is the report which I hear . . . the 
people of Yahweh] the text is suspicious, and perhaps originally 
contained a prohibition. — 25. The motive is the difficulty of 
finding a mediator when Yahweh is the offended party : If a ma?i 
sin against a man, God will mediate'] cases of this kind could be 
brought before God as umpire, and the oracle would decide 
between the parties. But if against Yahweh one sin, who shall 
act as mediator ? No higher power exists to whom the case can 
be submitted. The conclusion is, that the offended party will 
take his revenge. The expostulation was fruitless, for Yahweh 
was minded to slay them], and on that account incited them to 
sin, as he afterwards incited David to take the census, 2 S. 24 1 . 

26. Samuel is again brought in, in contrast. He kept growing 
larger and better in the estimation of Yahweh, and in the estima- 
tion of men. 

22. hs] is lacking in <g BL . The second half of the verse brings as an 
additional accusation against the priests that they used to lie with the women 
zvho ministered at the gate of the Tent of Meeting^ the sentence is suspicious; 
first, because it is lacking in <S B . In the second place the original narrator 
has stated his accusation above and this should have been made a part of that 
accusation. Finally, the whole narrative, except in this verse, is ignorant of 
women who ministered and of the Tent of Meeting as established at Shiloh. 
The language is borrowed from the Priestly document of the Pentateuch, 
Ex. 38 s . For these reasons the half verse is to be regarded as a late inter- 
polation (We., Kl., Dr., Bu.). — 23. D">jn DonavnN] is lacking in <S B and 
difficult to construe: for I hear of your evil dealings (RV.) cannot be the 
meaning. It seems better to leave the words out. — psd] iic arbfiaTos <S is 
more vivid. — rvix oyn] is impossible. The nVx has come in by false duplica- 
tion of the following Sn. <*£ has avplov which perhaps represents dtiVn; but 



II. 22-26 21 

notice the phrase nvr> dj? at the end of the next verse. — 24. }?d&> "OJN na>N 
Dn2>'D] seems unintelligible : which I hear the people circulating @C would 
require D>'n to be expressed before the participle : You make the people trans- 
gress would require the addition of onx, and the same is true of Kimchi's pro- 
posal : You make the people forsake [the sanctuary]. If a word of this kind 
can be used here at all, it is better to correct to Dmsyn or Dmasn, ye lead 
astray. But "?M at the beginning of the verse suggests a negative command, 
in which case there has been radical corruption. — 25. i^fli] as the direct 
object is without analogy we may read lS V?fli; We., Bu., al., point iSSfli. — 
26. ^-ui] is lacking in <S B . 

27-36. The Threat of Punishment upon Eli. — An unnamed 
prophet comes to Eli and rehearses the benefits he and his house 
have received from Yahweh. The ingratitude with which he has 
treated his benefactor is pointed out, and the removal of his house 
from the priesthood is foretold, with the consequent impoverish- 
ment of his descendants. 

The piece reminds us of similar sections elsewhere, Jd. 6 7ff - i K. 
i3 lff -, where a prophet is sent with a rebuke, and of others, Jd. 2 1 " 5 
io 11 " 16 , where Yahweh himself (or his Angel) delivers the rebuke. 
All such sections are of comparatively late date, and the present 
one is no exception. The only question which is raised concern- 
ing it is whether it is an insertion made after the narrative of 
Samuel's life was completed. In answering this we need to note 
that the account of the priests' wickedness, ending at i 25 , might 
be continued perfectly well by the account of the capture of the 
Ark beginning at 4 1 . The oldest historian would then have left us 
to draw the moral ourselves. It seems on the whole probable 
that this was the case. But an editor, not content with this form 
of the story, inserted our section on purpose to point out the 
lesson. This may very well have been done before the story 
of Samuel was inserted in the narrative, as the author of that 
story had abundant reason to tell us of his hero's call even if 2 27-36 
were already in his text, while the interpolator would have no 
motive to insert 2 27-36 if 3 was already a part of the history. 

We. (Comp., p. 239 f.) treats this section as an interpolation into the narra- 
tive similar to the Song of Hannah, though of earlier date, "yet scarcely older 
than Deuteronomy and the reform of Josiah." Bu., J?S. p. 200, thinks the 
section in place but " Deuteronomistically recast/' with which Cornill agrees 
EinleitingS, p. 99; and Driver takes substantially the same view, LOT. 6 , 



22 i SAMUEL 

p. 174. I can see no evidence of the recasting, and if the piece is not much 
later than Josiah, there is no reason why it may not have existed before the 
incorporation of the story of Samuel into this context. 

27. A man of God~\ the phrase is frequently used of a prophet, 
especially in the Books of Kings ; it is twice used of an angel, 
Jd. 13 6 ' 8 , in a passage ascribed to J. by Prof. Moore, once applied 
to Moses in Deuteronomy (33 1 , E), and once also in Joshua (14 6 , 
a passage Deuteronomistically coloured). Thus saith Yahweh] 
is a standing phrase in the prophetic books. / certainly revealed 
myself to thy father's house, while they were in Egypt, servants to 
the house of Pharaoh"] the father's house was probably the clan 
of Levi. Parallel to this election by Yahweh as a reason for obe- 
dience, is the frequent argumentation from his choice of Israel as 
his people. — 28. And I chose him fro?n all the tribes of Israel as my 
priest, to offer on my altar, to burn sacrifices and to bear an ephod~\ 
whether we should translate to bear an ephod, or to wear an ephod 
depends upon the meaning of the word ephod, concerning which 
this passage leaves us wholly in the dark. And I gave thy father's 
house all the offerings of the sons of Israel for food] the last two 
words are omitted by J^, but found in (3. They seem necessary 
to the sense, for the point of the rebuke is that Eli's sons were 
dissatisfied with the provision made for them. It seems clear 
that the writer has in mind either the tribe of Levi or the house 
of Aaron which was chosen to the priesthood in Egypt, and that 
therefore he lived before the descent of Zadok (who displaced the 
descendants of Eli) was traced either to Levi or to Aaron.* — 
29. Why then dost thou look with an evil eye on my sacrifices and 
on my offerings and dost honour thy sons above me, in fattening 
them with the first-fruits of all the offerings of Israel my people? 
The Hebrew text is obscure and this restoration is only pro- 
visional. It seems to express the mind of the writer — that Eli 
allowed his sons to seize as their own the portion that belonged 
of right to God. — 30. A change of purpose is declared: I had 
thought that thy house and thy clan should continue in my presence 
forever] lit. should walk to and fro before me. The figure is that 

* Cf. Baudissin, Geschichte des Alttcstamentlichen Priesterthums , Leipzig, 1889, 
p. 197 f. 



II. 27-36 23 

of a courtier who lives in his sovereign's favour, basks in the light 
of his countenance. But now, saith Yahweh, far be it from me \ 
for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me 
shall be lightly esteemed. — 31. The prediction to which this leads 
up : / will cut off thy seed] a man has hope in the survival of his 
posterity, long after he himself is gone. So that there shall not be 
an old man in thy family'] premature death is a sign of the divine 
displeasure. — 32. And thou shall look, being in straits and with 
envious eyes, upon all with which I favour Israel] as a punish- 
ment for the present greedy behaviour. The text must be con- 
fessed to be very uncertain. — 33. And the man of thine whom 1 
do not cut off from my altar shall be spared in order to consume his 
eyes and to starve his soul, and all the increase of thy house shall 
die by the sword of men] one is tempted to see a reference to the 
slaughter of the priests by Saul. — 34. An earnest of the calamity 
should be the death of Eli's sons : on the same day both shall die. — 
35. In contrast with Eli there shall be a faithful priest : All that is 
in my heart and in my desire he will do, and I will build him an 
enduring house] that is, a continuous posterity, cf. 2 S. 7 11 , Yahweh 
makes known to thee that Yahweh will build thee a house. This 
priest, in person or in his descendants, shall walk before mine 
Anointed for all time] lit. all the days. The Anointed is of course 
the king of Israel, and the writer seems to look back upon a long 
line of kings. There can be no doubt therefore that the faithful 
priest is Zadok, who was made priest by Solomon in place of 
Abiathar (Eli's great-grandson). This is expressly stated to be 
the fulfilment of the prophecy, 1 K. 2 27 . The family of Zadok 
maintained themselves in the sanctuary of Jerusalem until the 
final destruction of the temple. — 36. Eli's family shall be so 
reduced as to seek the menial offices of the sanctuary for the 
pittance that might thus be earned. And the one that is left of thy 
house shall come to do him obeisance for a bit of money or a loaf 
of bread] the contrast is between the regularly installed priesthood 
which lives of the altar, and the hangers-on of the sanctuary who 
are willing to earn an occasional penny or an occasional meal by 
menial services. The ambition of the latter is to be put into one 
of the priests' places in order to eat a morsel of the bread of Yahweh] 
the state of things is that which we find after the reform of Josiah, 



24 i SAMUEL 

when the priests of the Bamoth were obliged to content them- 
selves with what subordinate places there were in the service of the 
Jerusalem sanctuary. 

27. n^jjn] the interrogative n is out of place, for it would call for a 
negative answer. It has come on to this word by duplication of the next pre- 
ceding letter. — njne no 1 ?] might in connection with onrna mean belonging 
to the house of Pharaoh. But <g is probably right in inserting SovXwv; read, 
therefore, 'D n^aS onay. — 28. nnai] as an infinitive absolute representing a 
finite verb, the word might pass. But it is simpler to restore inaxi with (&3L. 
The scribe probably thought he was going to begin the verse with Tnna inai 
corresponding to vnSjj nSjj above; jvhjh seems to stand for rvhyrh or 
to be corrupted from it. — nNtrS] probably niw^l with (3%. At the end of 
the verse et's fiptbcnv @ should be restored. — 29. nnV] prefix l with (g. — 
layan] the verb occurs only Dt. 32 15 , where it means to kick. But whether it 
would take a in the meaning to kick at is not certain. <g evidently read D>an 
which makes good sense. — pjflB >n*W nrs] is unintelligible in this context: 
avcudei 6(p8a\fj.cp <3 may represent p>'D l8 9 (Kl.). This makes good sense, 
and we must suppose *n»tt "WH inserted to help out the unintelligible ]y;d 
after the pyn had become mutilated. — aasnan^] may be conjecturally 
altered to oris NnanS, for it is Eli's indulgence to his sons that is rebuked : 
£vev\oyel<rdai <& would be T^anS. For ">a;?S we should perhaps read wyh 
(Bu.) although it is equally good simply to leave off the h as a duplicate 
of the preceding letter. — 30. thdn -hen] only the second word is indicated 
by <&. The contrast may be between Yahweh's former declaration and his 
present one. But it seems more forcible to make idn denote the thought 
of his mind, as frequently. — rnnrom] is frequent in the prophets. — 
31. rflftt] to o-Trtpfia aov (g. The latter alone seems to be justified by the 
concluding words of the verse (contra Dr., KL). jnrrw should be made to 
conform to the word just discussed. — 32. The verse, down to "jmaa, is 
omitted by (g B , whence some have supposed it not original. But the omis- 
sion can be accounted for by homeoteleuton, and the verse is represented in 
most MSS. of (3 and also in I. But to make sense of it is another matter. — 
pj?D nx ntoam] is nonsense; Kl. is probably right in seeing a reference to 
the ftJJB which we have changed to pyc above (very possibly the form may 
have been QPO). In that case, the simplest correction will be to read pyDi 
instead of p>?D. For TO" I have ventured, in so desperate a passage, to put 
a^N. — 33. T^P] rea< * *W <S- — amtVl] is pointed as a Hiphil with the 
n dropped. The reference to Dt. 28 65 is so evident, however, that the correc- 
tion to aiN-nS seems obvious. — y^c:] read KPiti <3. — wwm cannot mean 
cum ad virilem aetatem venerit %. Read with (§ D">b>jn aina. — 34. »JDrrVn 
Dmo] is superfluous and perhaps a gloss. — 35. ]vm nu] cf. 25 28 . — 36. Sa] 
is lacking in <S B and superfluous. — onS— oai] also lacking in <5 B . — ow> j <& u 
adds rod Kvpiov, confirmed by i, and doubtless original. 



II. 36-HI. 3 25 

III. 1-21. The revelation to Samuel. — Samuel while sleep- 
ing in the sanctuary hears a voice calling him. Supposing that it 
is Eli, he waits upon him thrice. Eli at last perceives the nature 
of the call and instructs the lad how to reply. The sequel is a 
revelation of Yahweh's determination to destroy the house of Eli. 
On hearing the message the aged priest resigns himself to the di- 
vine will. The significance of the revelation is that it opens Sam- 
uel's career as a prophet, and his reputation soon becomes known 
throughout Israel. 

The chapter seems to be a unit. Doubts have been expressed 
as to the originality of u " 14 ; but these seem not to be well 
founded. The necessity of the account in a life of Samuel is evi- 
dent. The fact that this section duplicates the warning of the 
anonymous man of God in the preceding chapter does not make 
it the less necessary that Samuel should be accredited as a 
prophet. And no more appropriate credential could be found 
than a prediction of the destruction of the house of Eli. The 
tone and style agree well with ch. i. 

1-10. Samuel hears a voice calling him in the night, and the 
voice proves to be the voice of Yahweh. The account opens with 
a restatement of Samuel's position in the temple service, and 
then tells us that the word of Yahweh was rare in those days, 
there was no . . . vision] the qualifying word may mean public 
or widespread, but there is reason to suppose that the original 
reading is lost. — 2, 3. After the opening clause, the thread of 
the narrative is interrupted to describe the condition of things at 
the time when the event took place, and is resumed in v. 4 . So 
the sentence is : It came to pass in that day, when Eli . . . that 
Yahweh called Samuel. The circumstantial clause is compli- 
cated ; three of its items tell of the condition of things at the mo- 
ment, the other gives us information of the state of Eli's physical 
vision. It is difficult to see how this clause bears on the present 
history. But taking the text as it stands we may render by insert- 
ing a parenthesis : When Eli was lying in his place {now his eyes 
had begun to grow dim, he could not see) and the lamp of God had 
not yet gone out, Samuel also was lying in the Temple of Yahweh 
where the Ark of God was. But the originality of the words in pa- 



26 I SAMUEL 

renthesis is difficult to maintain. The other items are important for 
the picture they present of the sanctuary. It is evident that Eli and 
Samuel slept in adjoining rooms, if not in the same room. Samuel, 
at least, lay in the apartment in which the Ark stood. The dif- 
ference between this arrangement and that provided in the tradi- 
tional Tabernacle is evident. That a lamp should burn all night 
before Yahweh is in accordance with the fitness of things. The 
early Israelites in providing Yahweh a dwelling were careful to 
furnish it with articles of use and luxury according to their ideas. 
Of any typical or symbolical meaning such as later attached itself 
to this furniture we find no trace in our narrative. We may as- 
sume, however, that the lamp burned all night in the sanctuary, 
as was later expressly provided, Ex. 27 21 , cf. 2 Chr. 13 11 , and 
therefore that the time of Samuel's call was in the early morning. 
The sanctuary is here called a temple as in i 9 . The sleeping of 
an attendant near the Ark, as a servant sleeps near the monarch 
so as to serve him, seems to show preexilic custom, but how it 
shows this account to be pre-Deuteronomic * I do not see. The 
belief that sleepers in the sanctuary receive revelations in dreams 
was common in antiquity and seems not yet to have died out, as 
there are traces of it among the Moslems to the present time. 
The Ark of God is here mentioned for the first time. It is evi- 
dently the same which was afterwards transferred to his citadel by 
David, and which was the sacred object in the Temple of Solomon. 
But we have no description of it by an early writer. See below, 
on 4 3 . — 4. The text must be restored at this point, where we ex- 
pect the most detailed account, so as to read : Yahweh stood and 
called: Samuel ! Samuel 7 The repetition of the name is one of 
the marks of E among the Pentateuchal documents, Gen. 22 11 46 s 
Ex. 3 4 . — 5. Answering what he supposed was the call of Eli, 
Samuel is bidden to return to his place. — 6. Yahweh calls again : 
Samuel! Samuel! with the same result as before. — 7. The re- 
mark that Samuel did not yet know Yahweh, and the word of Yah- 
weh had not yet been revealed to him, is added to explain how it 
was that he did not recognize the voice of the speaker. — 8. At 
the third experience Eli perceived that Yahweh was calling the 



* As affirmed by Kittel, GH. II. p. 33. 



III. 3-10 27 

lad. — 9. Hence his instruction : Go and lie down ; and if one 
call thee thou shalt say ; Speak / for thy servant is listening. As 
the subject is left indefinite in the clause and if one call thee, it is 
probable that the name of Yahweh was not mentioned in what 
follows. Eli will let the lad discover who the speaker is. — 
10. When the call comes again, Samuel replies as he has been 
directed. 

This single passage is not enough to give us an Old Testament 
doctrine of revelation. But it conveys with great clearness its 
author's conception. He does not describe a dream, because he 
makes Samuel rise and run to Eli after each call. He conceived 
of the prophet as hearing a voice physically audible. This voice 
enunciated in articulate words the message which the prophet was 
to receive. The experience is therefore not parallel to that of 
Jacob, who saw and heard God in a dream. 

1. yisj] seems to give no good meaning, jnb, which We. substitutes, is 
too violent in meaning for this place, though it is possible that the ] has come 
from the preceding word. — 2. rrp] should be read with the Qre. — nvia iVnn] 
We. seems to be wrong in insisting that the second word cannot be an infini- 
tive, on the ground that a V would be required. Cf. nn 'tin Dt. 2 2531 , hnx 
Y?"U Jos. 3 7 . It is better, therefore, to point mnp. — nS] should perhaps 
be nVi (<£). — 3. dtj is usually construed with the imperfect tense as here, 
Dr., Tenses 3 , 27 /3. — 4. mp»l] In v. 10 we read that Yahweh stood and called 
as before. It seems necessary, therefore, that the opening account should 
contain this particular, and so we find in <J5 Ti acch KaricrTi] icai ii«i\e<re Kvpios. 
The omission of 3**n*l may be accounted for by its anthropomorphism. That 
it was not omitted below only shows, what we know from other passages, that 
a correction of this kind is rarely carried far. — 'jmidbHjk] should be SN>£ti> 
7MXDV as below, and here also in <S>. — 5. ^n] the regular answer when one's 
name is called. — 6. Dp»l] is lacking in <g BL . By its omission we lose 
nothing, and the second call is made uniform with the first. — 7. D"«D] 
iSovXeve irpiv r\ (§ L seems to be a case where a Greek editor tried to make 
sense out of a text he did not understand.* — >m] should be pointed as an 
imperfect after cna (Bottcher, followed by Th.). — 9. yhn] <S l adds 6 kciXlov, 
which is a correct interpretation of the writer's meaning. — mm iai] <g B has 
simply X<£\et, which is what Samuel actually says in v. 10 . It seems to me 
more likely that the name is a later insertion than a later omission. — 
10. Dj?D3~Dj?03] cf. Jd. J.6 20 . From what has already been said it is evident 
that the narrative cannot be made to illustrate the incubation common among 

* The reading, however, is found in I serviebat antequam, Cod. Goth. Leg. apud 
Vercellone. 



28 I SAMUEL 

Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. But there is probably a similar idea at the 
basis; namely, that the sanctuary is a favourable place to receive revelations. 
Cf. Seyffert, Dictionary of Classical Antiquity, p. 435, Friedlander, Darstel- 
lungen aus d. Sittengesch. Roms*, III. p. 571 ff. 

11-14. The message. — The contents are of such a nature that 
Samuel could no longer be in doubt as to the personality of the 
speaker : Behold I am about to do a thing in Israel such that the 
ears of every one that hears it shall ring] cf. 2 K. 21 12 Jer. 19 3 , 
both describing the effect of news of calamity. The verb is used 
once of the trembling of the lips from fear (Hab. 3 16 ). — 12. In 
that day I will fulfil upon Eli all that I have spoken against his 
house from beginning to end] lit. beginning and ending; the ad- 
verbial infinitives express the completeness of the punishment. — 
13. And thou shall tell hint] a slight change from the received 
text — that I will punish his house forever for the guilt of his sons, 
in that his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not rebuke 
them'] the text has been purposely obscured to shield the reader 
from pronouncing the words blaspheming God, but the original has 
fortunately been preserved in (3. — 14. Therefore have I sworn to 
the house of Eli that the guilt of the house of Eli shall not be ex- 
piated] the technical term can best be translated thus, though 
Hebrew and Greek ideas of expiation must not be confused. By 
sacrifice or by offering forever] the expression seems to be made 
very general in order to emphasize the impossibility of placating 
the offended deity by any of the methods known to the ritual. In 
ordinary cases of his anger he might be appeased by smelling an 
offering, 26 19 . 

It has been supposed by some that the revelation to Samuel 
was originally of a different tenor, predicting the doom of Shiloh 
and appointing Samuel as Eli's successor. But the reasons ad- 
vanced to sustain this thesis are not convincing, and the tone of 
the verses seems quite homogeneous with the rest of this docu- 
ment. The fact that there is an allusion in v. 12 to the preceding 
message to Eli has already been pointed out, as has the bearing of 
this fact upon the comparative age of the whole chapter. 

11. rwf\ on the use of the participle in divine announcements, cf. Dr., 
Tenses*, §135, 3> — -12. ha] in the first occurrence at least we should read 
*?#. The interchange of the two prepositions is so common as scarcely to call 



in. 11-18 29 

for remark. — 13. iS THjni] cannot mean for I have told him (RV.), but 
must be and I will make knoivn to him. This seems unnecessary, and the 
conjecture of Kl. (adopted by Bu.) that we should read if? ivuni is taken 
as the basis of the translation above ; for the object of this revelation is to 
warn Eli of the impending doom of his house. — fljja] the construct, govern- 
ing the clause which follows, is doubtless possible, Ges. 20 §130^. It seems 
awkward here, however, and the word is left out by Bu. on conjecture. As it 
seems better to have some authority, I prefer to emend according to <g AB which 
reads V12 ]v;2 but omits jn*~"WX. — D«iS D*¥?pD] cannot mean made themselves 
vile, AV., or bring a curse upon themselves, RV. All the analogies are in 
favour of dtiSn D'^pD which was read by <&. The passage is one of those 
altered by the scribes (Jiqqune sophertvt), cf. Geiger, Urschrift und Ueberset- 
zungen, p. 271. — nna] is used in the sense of restrain only here, so that there 
may be an error of the text. — 14. jntw] is regularly followed by cs giving the 
oath a negative force, or by nS"dn where the force is affirmative. — *\s:n>] this 
stem is found here only, but there can be no doubt of the meaning. The Piel 
is the technical term for removing by a ritual act anything which is offensive in 
the sight of God and would therefore make his worshippers unacceptable to 
him, cf. Dr., Deuteronomy, p. 425, BDB., s.v. 

15-18. The message delivered. — Samuel lay until the morn- 
ing, when he rose and opened the doors of the house of Yahweh~\ 
a part of his regular work as servant of the sanctuary. That he 
was afraid to make the vision known is easily understood. — 
16, 17. Eli's adjuration, so may God do to thee and more too, if 
thou conceal from me a word of all that he spoke to thee'] induces 
a response. The formula so may God do to thee is an imprecation 
originally connected with the ceremony of slaying an animal at the 
taking of an oath. The parties pray that the fate of the victim 
may be theirs. The fact that the formula is used only in Samuel 
and Kings is an argument against attributing these books to the 
Pentateuchal authors E and J, who had abundant opportunity to 
use the expression in their histories. The omission of the subject 
of the verb shows Eli's dread of the divine sentence. At Samuel's 
report, the old man resigns himself: It is Yahweh, let him do what 
is good in his sight] compare David's expression in 2 S. 15 26 . 

15. After npan, add "ip33 D3«m which has fallen out of f^ on account of the 
resemblance of ipan and y>23; it is preserved by <&. The doors here men- 
tioned are another evidence that the House of Yahweh was not a tent. — 
16. Snic^-dn] some MSS. have Ttr*?*. — 18. udd] <& h adds pij/xa (= ~m), 
which seems necessary to the sense. — wya] the Qre substitutes vrjD as 



30 I SAMUEL 

usual. With the phrase the good in his eyes, compare the right in his eyes, the 
evil in his eyes. Strictly parallel with the present passage are Gen. 16 6 19 8 
(both J) and Jd. 19 24 (late). But we find awni *itt»n once in Dt. (6 18 ) and 
awrrSsj in Jd. io 15 (E). Exactly like the text are 1 S. I 28 i 4 8 6.40 2 s. 192s, 
representing both the main streams of narrative from which our history is 
made up. 

III. 19-IV. l a . The sequel is, that Samuel becomes widely- 
known as a prophet. The verses are, however, not necessary to 
the connexion, and may be an editorial insertion. 

19. As Samuel grew up he continued to enjoy the favour of 
Yahweh. Yahweh was with him and let none of his words fall to 
the ground] that is, he confirmed them, so that they were not 
useless. — 20. And all Israel knew, from Dati to Beersheba] cf. 
Jd. 20 1 2 S. 3 10 17 11 ; that Samuel was authenticated as a prophet 
of Yahweh"] the evident idea of the author is that the people came 
to the sanctuary to consult the prophet. — 21, IV. l a . The verse 
as it stands is tautological. By the change of a single word, we 
get an excellent continuation of the preceding : And Israel again 
appeared in Shiloh because Yahweh revealed himself to Samuel, 
and the word of Samuel came to all Israel] the sanctuary had 
been deserted because of the wickedness of Eli's sons, and because 
God did not reveal himself to them. All this was changed by the 
establishment of Samuel as prophet. At the end of this paragraph 
(3 adds : (and Samuel was established as a prophet from o?ie end 
of the land to the other) but Eli was exceeding old and his sons 
kept on doing worse and worse before Yahweh] what is here in 
parenthesis is duplication of 20b , but the rest is possibly original. 

19. For S>fln] <g may have read Sdj, cf. Jos. 21* 8 2 K. io 10 . — 21. Bu. 
proposes to interchange this verse and the following, partly on the ground of 
<&, and partly because that order seems more natural. The difficulty, however, 
is caused by ns-n 1 ? nin^ p|D , n which, as it now stands, only says that Yahweh 
appeared again in Shiloh, and thus duplicates the second half of the verse. 
By the single change of nirv to taw the difficulty is avoided, and the verses 
fall into a natural order. — rwviS is an unusual form for an infinitive construct, 
but occurs Jd. 13 21 , cf. Ges. 26 75 c, Stade, Gram. 622 b. — mm lana nWa] 
is lacking in (51 and probably later expansion. — IV. la. The division into chap- 
ters has cut off this clause from the paragraph to which it belongs. The addi- 
tion adopted above is found in the MSS. of (3, apparently without exception. 



Ill, JO-IV. 2 31 

IV. l b -VII. 1. War with the Philistines ; defeat of Israel 
and capture of the ark; the experiences of the Philistines 
with the ark and its return to the land of Israel. 

The three chapters form a closely connected whole. They 
show no trace of acquaintance with Samuel, but form a natural 
continuation of the history of Eli and his sons. They are now 
generally supposed to belong to an older stratum of the narrative 
than that which has preceded. In spite of their unity of scope, 
there are indications that they are from a composite history like 
that of JE. 

IV. l b -22. The great disaster. — The author tells us of the 
first repulse in few words. The original opening of the account, 
however, is mutilated in ^ by the same cause which made the last 
words of 3 21 illegible. Restoring the reading from (3, we get : 
And it ca?ne to pass in those days that the Philistines gathered for 
war against Israel^ the Philistines appear as the oppressors of 
Israel in the time of Samson. We know very well that they occu- 
pied the great maritime plain from Joppa southwards to the bordei 
of Egypt. They appear as a confederacy of five cities, each with 
a chief magistrate (in some places called a king) bearing the title 
of Seren. That they were immigrants was known to Amos (g 7 ), 
who derives them from Caphtor. Cf. Dt. 2^ Jer. 47*. At the 
opening of this campaign the Israelites camped at Ebenezer. 
According to 7 12 the place did not receive the name until later. 
But the historical accuracy of that account is open to question. 
The Philistine camp was at Aphek, probably the same with the 
Aphek in Sharon of Jos. 12 18 ((©). Sharon was the natural con- 
tinuation of the Shephela. The place cannot now be certainly 
identified. — 2. When battle was joined, Israel was smitten before 
the Philistines^ and their loss is put at four thousand men in the 
ranks in the field. This calls attention to the fact that the Israel- 
ites did not flee, but suffered heavy loss while holding their 
ground. 

IV. 1. Having given the first clause to the preceding paragraph, we find 
this one beginning with NX", which gives no explanation of the reason why 
Israel went out. This is supplied by <S which begins koI iyeu^Bij iv reus 
i]/x£pais iKelpais ical <rvvadpol£ovTcu &\\6<pv\oi. ets tt6\€jaov iirl 'Itrpa^X. This is 



32 I SAMUEL 

now generally adopted as the original beginning of the section. It seems to 
he found in all MSS. of <3. — D^r^^s nsipSj should probably be DHKTpS <S. 
On the Philistines, Ebers, Aegypten und die Biicher Mosis (1868), pp. 130- 
237; Max-Muller, Asien und Europa (1893), pp. 387-390. — TTyn pNn] can- 
not be right. The first word must be ns (We.). — pax] We. (Comp., p. 254) 
identifies this with the Aphek of 29 1 I K. 20 26 2 K. 13 17 . Cf. Buhl, Geog., 
p. 212. — 2. n$op L ' wypi] cf. 2 S. io 9 - 10 . — tmni] gives no suitable sense here : 
/ecu €K\ivev (3 points to Dm (adopted by We. al.). It should be noticed, how- 
ever, that nsj is nowhere used of a battle, so that the emendation is doubt- 
ful; rpm would give a good meaning and would easily be corrupted into PBTU, 
cf. 2 S. 2 17 . — Sk-is"] prefix t:'>N with <g (Bu.). 

3-11. The bringing of the Ark to the camp does not deliver 
the Israelites; on the contrary the Ark itself falls into the 
hands of the enemy. — As usual the Sheikhs determine what is to 
be done. They recognize that Yahweh has smitten them~\ the de- 
feat of course could not be because their God was less powerful 
than the deities of the enemy. Let us bring to us from Shi/oh the 
Ark of our God that he may go out in the midst of us and save us 
from our enemies. The Ark was taken into battle on other occa- 
sions, as in the Ammonite war, 2 S. n 11 . The cry which was 
raised when the Ark set out at the head of the people was (Num. 
io 35 ) : Rise, Yahweh, and let thine enemies be scattered, and let thy 
haters flee before thee — a war-cry on the face of it. That the 
Ark went before the people at the invasion of the country and the 
siege of Jericho (Jos. 3, 4) is significant in the same connexion. 
The present account identifies Yahweh and the Ark very closely, 
but it does not describe the sacred object. From the name we 
infer that it was a chest, for the same word is used of the sarcoph- 
agus of Joseph, Gen. 50 26 , and of the box set by the side of the 
altar to receive the money contributions of the worshippers, 2 K. 
12 10 . The author of Deuteronomy (io 3 ) describes it so far as to say 
that it was of acacia wood, and made to contain the two tables of 
the Covenant. Hence his name for it is Ark of Yahweh 's Cov- 
enant, and this usage prevails in Deuteronomistic passages in 
other books. The priestly writer of Ex. 25 gives us the exact 
dimensions, and covers it with gold after his manner. He also 
makes it contain the tables of the Law which he calls the Testi- 
mony. So that his name for it is Ark of the Testimony. He also 
gives an elaborate description of its lid or cover, to him the most 



iv. j-i i 33 

important part of the sacred object, something of which we do 
not hear in earlier writers. Jeremiah alludes to it once under the 
name given it by the Deuteronomist, but in terms which show 
that he attached no great importance to it, Jer. 3 16 . The com- 
moner name in the historical books is Ark of Yahweh or Ark of 
God. In some cases this designation has been obscured by inter- 
polation, a scribe having inserted the word Covenant to conform 
to his own usage, as is illustrated in the passage before us. 

3. mn> nna pns] tijv Kifiurbp rod deov rjfxQv <JI B ; both readings are com- 
bined in © L . The original is evidently ijtiVx ji-in, for which a scribe substi- 
tuted the Deuteronomic phrase. We must judge in the same way of the 
insertion of nna in v. 4 (twice) and in v. 5 . So far the revision was car- 
ried and then given up. In all these cases the testimony of <3 B is against the 
insertion. The problem of the nomenclature of the Ark is, however, some- 
what complicated. No less than twenty-two various designations are found 
for it. Of these, nn:a jnx with its expansions, are Deuteronomistic, and 
nnj?n \rm belongs to P. The original name must have been simply mn> jnN, 
for which might be substituted DVt 1 ?* piN or wtbtm |rw. The only one of 
these used in the Hexateuch is nvr> fnn, which occurs in Jos. 3, 4, 6, and 
7, always in the narrative of JE, and (curiously) in both elements, J and E. 
The occurrence of dmSnh jvin in the present chapter would, therefore, militate 
against its assignment to either of the Hexateuchal sources. 

It remains to notice, however, that the interchange of the two names in 
the chapters before us cannot well be explained except on the ground of two 
different hands having been concerned in the composition of the narrative. 
The facts are as follows : 

1. mm nna jnN in vv. 3 - 6 is the result of interpolation, as already noted, 
and so is OTiS^n nn:a jnx, which occurs in v. 4b . 

2. Vina" tiSn jns which is used in 5 7 - 8 - 10 - u 6 8 , in the mouth of the Philis- 
tines is the natural expression for them to use. 

3. mm ;n« is used 4 6 ; it then gives place to otiS^-i prw, but is resumed 
5 3 - 4 , interrupted by 5 10 , but again resumed in 6 1 , being used throughout the 
rest of the chapter and in 7 1 , which belongs with it. 

4. otiSs jrm is used only once (4 11 ) ; but OTiS^n jns characterizes 4 18 - 
5 2 , in which it occurs eight times. It recurs again twice in 5 10 . 

The verse 5 10 can well be spared and is probably an insertion. The section 
4.11-22 forms a distinct section of the narrative, being concerned with the recep- 
tion of the news by Eli and the effect upon him and his house. Nothing 
stands in the way of our assigning it to a different hand from the one that 
wrote the rest of the account. The two verses 5 L 2 are, in part, a necessary 
introduction to what follows. But they are over full, and probably have suf- 
fered redactional accommodation to their present place. 

Notice that Nan should be nxm, which was read by @. 
D 



34 i SAMUEL 

4, The proposition is adopted and the Ark is brought from 
Shiloh ; and also the two sons of Eli with the Ark of God] they 
would naturally accompany it, but the author calls attention to 
their presence because their fate is involved. If this were part of 
the document which makes Samuel so prominent, his name would 
certainly have been mentioned here either to explain his escape 
or to account for his absence. — 5. When the Ark reached the 
camp all Israel shouted a great shout and the earth resounded] cf. 
Jos. 6 5 - w (E). — 6. The Philistines inquire the cause of this noise of 
shouting in the camp of the Hebrews] so the Israelites are named 
ordinarily by foreigners. They ascertain that the Ark of Yahweh 
has come to the camp. — 7. The fear of the Philistines is motived 
by the thought : These are their gods ; they have come to them to 
the camp] the text is that of (& B . Woe to us, for it has not bee?i 
thus heretofore] indicates that the palladium had not usually been 
taken to war in this period. — 8. The question of desperation : 
Who shall deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods ? is fol- 
lowed by the historical reason : These are the gods which smote the 
Egyptians with every sort of plague and with pestilence] the received 
text has with every sort of plague in the wilderness. This might be 
condoned in the mouth of the Philistines, but it would hardly occur 
to an Israelitic writer to impute the inaccuracy to them. — 9. Take 
courage] Jd. 20 22 ; and be men] lit. and become men if you never 
were men before. In case of defeat they could expect only to 
become slaves of the Hebrews ; as they have been slaves to you. 
10. The result was the courage of despair on the part of the 
Philistines, so that in the battle which ensued Israel was defeated, 
and fled each to his tents] 2 S. 18 17 19 9 . The slaughter in Israel 
is given as thirty thousand footmen] cf. Jd. 20 2 1 S. 15 4 2 S. io 6 . 
— 11. The climax : The Ark of God was taken and the two sons 
of Eli died] so the sentence pronounced by Samuel was executed. 

4. The Ark is here called in f$ 0*31311 ati" msos mnvnna n*w of which 6» B 
omits nna and nisox. The presumption is in favour of the shorter form, and it 
is probable that aonDi 3*1 also is a later insertion, for no reason can be given 
why the author should so describe Yahweh here, cf. 2 S. 6 2 . — wn] is inappro- 
priate. The word DW is not represented in @. — Bin proposed by Kl. would not 
be out of place. But on the testimony of <g it seems better to read simply 
the ). The names Hophni and Phinehas read like an afterthought. — 5. Una] 



iv. 4 -«5 35 

is to be omitted, with <&. — anni] on the form Ges. 26 § 72 h, who makes it 
Oal. — 6. n;n?n Hyp] cf. npyxn 'yip v. 14 . — no] on the pointing, Ges.' 26 § 37 f. 
— 7. The speech of the Philistines varies somewhat in the different recensions 
of (3, and all differ from |$. The latter has simply dtiVn K3. But it must be evi- 
dent that DJV.lSn is the appropriate word. As this is rendered by <g we naturally 
adopt it, and with it the context as translated above. The reading of <g L ovtos 6 
debs avTwv seems to be a correction of the phrase in <!§ B . — jo] should be read 
W2 with <& B . — U*? mn] <& adds e£e\ov rjfxas, Kvpie, arjp.€pov, which is of course 
impossible in the mouth of the Philistines. If original, it is part of a speech 
attributed to the Israelites, which it is now impossible to reconstruct. — VcnN 
cr^p] cf. Ex. 5 7f - 1 S. 14 21 19 7 . — 8. Di-v-ixn] arepewv <g B seems to render on-ONn, 
which is more appropriate, so Cappellus, Notae Criticae, p. 433. — -ansa] has 
been supposed to indicate a tradition which made the Egyptians follow the 
Israelites into the desert and there to be smitten by the plagues. But the text 
is uncertain, (§ reading /ecu £v ttj eprjyn^. This is of course ungrammatical, but 
may conceal nanai as conjectured by We. and adopted by Dr., Bu., al. — 
9. The two imperatives are continued by two perfects with waw consecutive, 
Dr., Tenses*, § 112. — annnSji] <S seems to render oinsnSji. — 10. ltnS'l] as 
(5 B omits the Philistines, it is altogether probable that both parties are thought 
of as subjects — they fought. — 11. The names Hophni and Phinehas read 
again as if an afterthought. 

12-21. The effect of the tidings. — There ran a Benjamite 
from the ranks'] Rabbinical tradition makes him to have been Saul, 
who had rescued the tables of the Law from the hands of Goliath. 
With his clothes rent and earth on his head] the usual signs of 
grief, 2 S. i 2 15 32 . — 13. The verse is difficult to understand. 
The received text ( Qre) makes Eli sit by the side of the road, 
watchitig] the road would naturally be the one leading to the 
scene of battle. Yet the fugitive apparently comes first to the 
town and afterwards to Eli. A change of pointing would make 
Eli's station to be beside the Mizpah road, but this does not relieve 
the difficulty. We are forced therefore to read with (3 by the side 
of the gate watching the road] where the gate is evidently the gate 
of the sanctuary, at which he was accustomed to sit, i 9 . Though 
he was blind, his mind was intent upon the road along which news 
must come —for his heart was trembling for the Ark of God. 
The bearer of tidings comes first to the town, which shrieks at the 
news. — 14. Eli hears the outcry before the messenger reaches him, 
but the latter does not delay — he hastened and came and told Eli. 
— 15. The verse, which speaks of his age and blindness, inter- 



j6 i SAMUEL 

rupts the narrative and is apparently a redactional insertion. If 
original, it belongs after the first clause of v. 14 . — 16. I am he that 
is come from the ranks'] the speaker takes for granted that some 
one was expected. — 17. To Eli's question the answer is given in 
four particulars : Israel fled before the Philistines ; there was a 
great slaughter of the people ; thy tivo sons are dead ; and the Ark 
of God has been captured] the four form an ascending scale to 
Eli, reaching the climax in the capture of the Ark. — 18. When 
the messenger me?itioned the Ark] the special object of Eli's solici- 
tude, the old man fell from his seat backward by the side of the 
gate, and his neck was broken, and he died] the author adds in ex- 
planation that the man was old and heavy. The additional re- 
mark : he had judged Israel forty years is evidently designed to 
bring Eli into the same class with the Judges whose story is given 
in the Book of Judges. 

12. pouan*!!] is possible, but more natural is W8U3 ON, which is 
favoured by <*£.— 13. -p] t, Qre and some MSS., is undoubtedly correct. 
It seems unnecessary to change to TO or yh, however, as is done by some 
commentators. — hdxd *pi] would naturally be interpreted the Mizpah road. 
But the punctuators give us n|*D, which is confirmed by @. This version, 
however, reads irapb. ttjv irvXrjv o-Kovevcav r^v 656v = Tnn nexD fpvn t, which 
is restored by Th. — 14. ]V2n is the confused noise made by a crowd of people. 
— 15. The verse is expanded in <& by the repetition (substantially) of the 
greater part of v. 14 . This indicates that its original place was different from 
the one in which we now find it; and, as a rule, such dislocations are proof of 
later insertion. For ninety-eight years (S> has ninety. — nnp prjn] for which the 
Orientals give lDp Qre, seems harsh in spite of the parallels adduced by Dr. 
Notes. The confusion of n and 1 is so easy that it seems better to restore the 
plural here. Cf. I K. 14 4 . Twelve codd. read nop wjn here. — 16. If the 
preceding verse be omitted, we may also omit "hyrh* trwn with <g AB . For 
the first nyqran (3 seems to have read njnnn. — 17. naoon] the original mean- 
ing was one that made another change colour, therefore a bringer of important 
tidings, whether good or bad. In actual Hebrew usage it generally means a 
bringer of good tidings. For >:sh read »JBD with 16 MSS. and probably <S. 
The successive stages of the disaster are emphasized by dji. The names of 
the two sons are omitted by © BIj . — 18. nww] some MSS. have rvsma. 
The two prepositions are not infrequently confused. — *v ip:i] can hardly be 
right. Probably an original TO was corrupted into iya, and then the -p was 
inserted in the endeavour to make sense : ix^vos <!5 AB , ^/um <S L else- 
where represent TO or ti~Sn, Ps. 141 6 1 S. 19A — inpnan] here only. It means 
the neck as dividing (pie) the head and trunk. 



iv. i5-v. i 37 

19. The effects in the family of Eli are set forth. His daugh- 
ter-in-law, the wife of Fhinehas, was with child'] the phrase used 
here does not occur elsewhere : it seems to mean pregnant and 
near the time of childbirth. The news of the capture of the Ark 
and the death of her father-in-law brought on the pangs of labour. 

— 20. At the moment of her giving birth, the women standing 
about her said to her; fear not, for thou hast given birth to a son] 
a message which should give her comfort in her sorrow. But she 
neither answered nor heeded] lit. set her heart, Ex. f 3 Prov. 2 ^. 

— 21, 22. The account is over-full, probably by conflation, 22 
being almost an exact duplicate of a part of 21 . Leaving out the 
latter we get : And they called the boy Ichabod, saying; the glory 
from Israel is taken captive — because of the capture of the Ark of 
God and because of her father-in-law and her husband] the sub- 
ject is the women standing about her, for she was already uncon- 
scious. 

19. nSS mn] the nearest parallel is Is. 26 17 : rrhS anpn mn m On the 
form nSS, Konig, Gram. I. p. 402, Ges. 26 § 69 m. The form here may be a 
simple scribal error, no parallel to the contraction having been pointed out 
except nns for mmt. After npVrHj* we should expect pd^, which should there- 
fore probably be restored for no. Still an infinitive may have been intended, 
6 MSS. read no *?ki. With nnx cf. Is. 21 3 . hy "|eru is found in the sense of 
being poured suddenly upon, Is. 60 6 . — 20. nniD nyoi] in itself gives good 
sense, but the reading of <S /ecu iv t<£ Kaipcf) avrrjs airoOvrjo-icei : TVXD RPJDl which 
seems to fit the case better. — 21. KTpni] the subject evidently cannot be the 
mother, for she was already unconscious; so that we must suppose the subject 
is indefinite — one called. The verb is feminine because the writer has in 
mind the women standing about. — 1)33 in] Inglorious is the evident intention 
of the writer — &8o£la (Josephus). The only instance that can be cited for 
is as an equivalent of fN is Job 22 80 , where the text is doubtful. <g seems to 
point to *w as the first member. — Sn] should probably be hy. — 22. The 
verse is omitted (on grounds already stated) by We., and is put into the 
margin by Bu. 

V. 1-12. The devastation wrought by the Ark. — First, the 
god of the Philistines is smitten : then they themselves suffer. 
The trophy is brought from Eben-ha-ezer to Ashdod] one of the 
five chief cities of the Philistines. It lay near the coast about 
midway between Joppa and Gaza. A village on the site still 
bears the name Esdud, The tautology in this verse and the next 



38 i SAMUEL 

indicates that this was originally the conclusion of the preceding 
section. After the account of the family of Eli the author adds : 
But as for the Philistines, etc. He then begins his specific ac- 
count of the fortunes of the Ark. — 2. As we should expect in the 
case of so remarkable a trophy, they brought it to the temple of 
Dagon and set it up by the side of Dagon~] the national god of the 
Philistines if we may argue from his prominence here. The 
temple here alluded to existed until the time of the Maccabees, i 
Mace, io 83 *"- n 4 . 

The nature and attributes of Dagon are wholly unknown. He 
is a god of the Philistines in whose honour a great feast is held, 
Jd. 16 23 . According to Schrader, COT. I. p. 170, the name is 
found in Assyrian. If the name be Semitic, it may be related 
either to n fish or to jn corn. The adoration of a fish-god in 
Syria is well attested, and on the other hand the god of corn 
would be at home in the fine grain-growing land of the Shephela. 
For Beth- Dagon (two places of the name are mentioned in the 
Old Testament) Jerome gives us domus tritici, while for Dagon 
he allows piscis tristitiae (OS. pp. 25, 32). Isaaki and Kimchi 
suppose that the figure of Dagon was half man and half fish. 
The combination with Atargatis (Derketo) is uncertain, see 
Moore's note on Jd. 16 23 , Baudissin in PRE*. II. p. 171, Movers, 
Phonizier, I. p. 590. For the god of the harvest Sanchuniathon is 
cited by Movers. Cf. Wellhausen, Skizzen, III. p. 170, n. 2. 

3. The next day, the Ashdodites rose, and came to the house of 
Dagon and looked~\ the latter clause is lacking in $fy, but is prob- 
ably original. They found Dagon prostrate on his face on the 
ground~\ cf. Jd. 3 s5 , Gen. 1 7 3 - 17 ; the narrator evidently means that 
Dagon was doing obeisance to Yahweh. Without learning the 
lesson of Yahweh's superiority, the Ashdodites raised their god 
and returned him to his place. — 4. The next lesson was a severer 
one. The following morning they not only find him prostrate, but 
the head of Dagon and his hands were cut off upon the threshold, 
only his trunk was left of him~\ the received text has only Dagon 
was left, which is manifestly impossible. — 5. The narrator traces 
a peculiar custom of the worshippers at this temple to this event 
— therefore the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of 



v. i-6 39 

Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod until 
this day, but step over it~] the last words are not in J^ but seem to 
be original. The threshold, having been the resting place of the 
hands and head of Dagon, is consecrated, so that it must not be 
touched. We find every one who leaps over the threshold (or 
upon the threshold') alluded to, Zeph. i 9 , but we cannot be sure 
that there is any connexion between the passages, or that the 
custom is the same in the two cases. Various threshold cere- 
monies are cited by Schm. p. 132. 

1. On the location of Ashdod, Robinson, BR 2 . II. p. 2>Z\ GASmith, Geog? 
p. 192. — 2. ur^i] elsewhere of setting upright as Gen. 30 38 Jd. 8 27 . It seems 
to imply that worship was to be offered to the captive God as well as to 
Dagon. — 3. mnDD] is lacking in @ B , which, however, reads /ecu zi<j7\h9ov ets 
oIkov kaydtv, /ecu eldou lacking in J^. Probably <& is right in both respects, 
the mnOC can be spared here though it is needed in v. 4 . — ^dj] the participle 
describes the state of the idol. — TO*S] would mean before it, which is super- 
fluous. V3trhy should be restored, following (3 (We). — mp^] /ecu ijyeipav 
<g points to )0 , |">" 1 ), which alone is in place. — 13VM] Kal Kar^ar^aav (gj 
indicates \TW\ which, however, would scarcely be followed by lDipD 1 ?. At 
the end of the verse <§ AB I add a sentence taken from v. 6 , but which here 
interrupts the sequence. — 4. lSDiyi] <*S seems to have read HD*3OT »a »?w, 
adopted by Bu. But the wording in <3 may be due simply to free transla- 
tion. — vjflV] should doubtless be vjd -1 ?;? as above. — fin p-\~] irXrjp tj pdx^ 
ActYt&j> O : Dagon solus truncus 3L. The emendation 1i| for pji is due to 
Lagarde, Prophetae Chald. p. li. % has n>au and J5 Jim hdcji; and Ew„ 
GVI Z . II. p. 586 (English Trans. II. p. 415), had already proposed to insert 
f)U or n»W before JU1. We. suggests vn, which does not seem natural 
without some explanation. — 5. At the end of the verse <& adds : 6ti virepftai- 
vovres vireppalvovcriv. We. admits that this is correct description, but re- 
fuses to admit the words to the text, because we cannot account for their 
omission. To which the obvious reply is, that the archetype of ffy was evi- 
dently illegible in many places and so very possibly here. 

To the references concerning Dagon given above may be added Scholz, 
Goizendienst und Zauberwesen bei den alten Hebrdern, Regensburg, 1877, 
pp. 238-244. His endeavour to identify Dagon with various fish-gods should, 
however, be viewed with reserve. 

6-12. A plague breaks out in the city and follows the Ark 
wherever it is carried. — 6. And the hand of Yahweh was heavy 
on the Ashdodiles~\ a phrase elsewhere used of oppression by a 
ruling caste or people, Jd. i 35 . And he wasted them'] in Hos. 2 14 
the same verb is used for destroying the vines and fig trees ; and 



40 i SAMUEL 

smote them with tumours'] we can hardly go astray in seeing a 
description of the bubonic plague. The same word is used 
Dt. 28 27 in connexion with the boil of Egypt, cf. Driver, Dt, p. 310. 
At the end of the verse $% adds epexegetically Ashdod and her 
borders, probably a late insertion. — 7. Let not the Ark of the God 
of Israel remaiti with us, for his hand is severe upon us~\ cf. the 
hand of a severe master, Is. 19 4 . — 8. A council of the Tyrants of 
the Philistines is held. These officers bear a special title. 
Whether they were kings (as Jeremiah calls them, 25 20 ) or more 
like the Suffetes of the Carthaginians cannot now be determined. 
It does not appear that Achish, king of Gath, was also a Seren. 
The conclusion : To Gath let the Ark of Israel go around] Gath, 
one of the chief cities of the Philistines, cannot now be identified. 
— 9. But when the Ark was brought to Gath the hand of Yahweh 
was heavy upon them, and he smote the men of the city both small 
and great, and tumours broke out upon them] the rendering of the 
last clause is conjectural only, as the verb used occurs only here. 
But it is evident that the plague is the same as the one described 
above. — 10. The Ark is next sent to Ekron, but the people cry 
out at its coming j They have brought the Ark of the God of Israel 
to me to slay me and my people] the pronouns represent the speech 
of each individual man. For Ekron (3 has Ashkelon in this verse. 
Ekron was nearest of the Philistine cities to the land of Israel. — 
11. Another council of the chiefs is called, and the people pray : 
Send away the Ark of the God of Israel that it may return to its 
place] only thus can they hope to escape extermination. The 
author adds in explanation : For there was a deadly panic] the 
word is used of the tumult of a routed army, Dt. j 23 , Is. 22 s , J^ 
adds : the hand of God was exceeding heavy there, but (3 asserts 
that the panic was violent when the Ark of God came there. Pos- 
sibly both forms are later expansions of the text. — 12. The tumult 
was caused not merely by fear of death, but by actual suffering : 
The men who did not die were smitten with tumours, and the cry 
of the city went up to heaven] cf. Ex. 2 s3 . 

6. D>*?fij;a] The word D^VfiJJ occurs only in this passage and in Dt. 28 27 , 
though the singular occurs as a proper name Say. The root seems to mean 
to swell, and so the word would appropriately be used of any tumour or boil. 
In later Hebrew it seems to have hgtaapplied only to haemorrhoids, and to 



V. 6-12 4 1 

have become a vulgar word. No other reason can be given for the Massoretic 
substitution of anna in the Qre, than that the latter was a more decent name 
for the same affliction. The copies of @ show much variation icai ii-ifccrev avrois 
els ras vavs B : kclI i£e'l3pa<ra,v ets ras pctus avrdv L . The ships seem out of place 
here, so that we are unable to accept this reading. <§ L has, along with the 
rendering just quoted : /cat iirdral-ev avrobs els ras Zdpas avruv, which shows 
the earliest meaning given to D'Vfiy, cf. It et percussit in secretiori parte 
natium. Josephus has the same idea when he says : " they died of dysentery, 
a sore disease and one that brought the most painful death; before their soul 
could be released by an easy death they brought up their bowels eaten away 
and destroyed by the disease." The same interpretation of dV?BJJ may have 
been in the mind of the author of Ps. 78 66 ; cf. also <g B in its rendering of Dt. 
28 27 els T7)v tSpav. Whether j>aOs in the passage before us ((&) is equivalent 
to fSpa, as supposed by Schleusner, must be decided by a Greek scholar. — 
rofoajTOltl TnawnN] is evidently superfluous, and, as it is not rendered by 
(&, we may safely omit it. 

@ in its turn has an addition : ical ixiaov ttjs x<*>P as o-^ttjs dvecpiija-av p.ties ' 
Kai iye"v€To vtivxvais davdrov p,eyd\r} ev rrj w6\ei. The mention of mice here 
is consistently carried on by similar additions in v. 10 (lacking in <5I L but con- 
firmed by I) and in 6 1 . In 6 4 - n - 18 the mice appear also in $?. It is evident 
that we must choose one consistent recension — either adopting (g throughout 
or else striking out the mice altogether. In favour of the latter alternative is 
the general rule that the shorter text is more likely to be original; secondly, 
the text of |^ reads with perfect smoothness up to the point where the golden 
mice are first mentioned, and where they are mentioned they read like inter- 
polations; and thirdly, the explicit assertion in 6 4 one plague was upon you all, 
could not have been made in this form if the author had known that two 
plagues had been sent. I conclude on these grounds that the mice, wherever 
they appear, are the result of late redactional insertion. — 7. nasi] seems to 
be a mistake for nDX"*!. The phrase Skic" ihSn jvin is appropriate in the 
mouth of the Philistines, as has been remarked above. — 8. Ss] is lacking in <f§. 
— ">nD] is evidently the native name, Jos. 13 3 Jd. 3 3 . Conjectures as to their 
powers are found in Stark, Gaza, p. 136 ff. — nj] cf. GAS., Geog. p. 194 f. — 
aDi] We also speak colloquially of coming around to a place even where no cir- 
cuit is necessary. @ adds ets Ytdda at the end of the verse. — 9. i.hn i3Dn nnN] 
@ seems to have read i3Dn nnN or inN son nnN, but the construction of % is 
not without analogies. — -ind rhw nmnD n^3 nin^-T Tim] is confused, and 
Kl. (followed by Bu.) proposes to omit mm -<\ It seems to me more prob- 
able that the words ind nSru nniriD are secondary. The panic is here prema- 
ture. — nntt"i] the verb is found only here. The corresponding Arabic 
word means to have a cracked eyelid. — 10. It has already been pointed out 
that the verse is possibly an intruder. — papy] on the site, cf. Robinson, 
BR" 1 . II. 228; GAS. Geog. p. 193; Buhl, Geog. p. 187. — i3Dn] rl direarpi- 
yf/are ® is more animated, and perhaps original. — 11. atwi] <g points *??. 
For PiD-nDinD has only noma and is perhaps right, for a death-dealing 



42 I SAMUEL 

panic would hardly be accurate — ma might arise from duplication of the 
two letters just preceding. — h-ijd] is abruptly introduced; we should expect 
njDni or n-OD id. & omits T and connects maa with RDVlp. For the rest 
of the verse, also, <J| has a different reading : cos daijXdey Kipurbs 0eoO 'lap. 
^*et. This may have arisen by the corruption of t> imo maa into piN JO?, or 
the reverse may have taken place. But the sense is complete at "vj?n without 
either of the additions. — 12. This verse joins very well on to the preceding 
in the shorter form that has been suggested. For WO-ltS "VPH DMMfcfll : ical ol 
fcDfres /ecu ovk airodavovres (§. — DTOWl] nDMMPfl 17 codd. (DeR.). 

VI. 1-VII. 1. The return of the Ark. — The Philistines after 
taking council as to the proper method, send the Ark back to its 
own country with a votive offering. The returning palladium is 
received at Beth Shemesh, but there also works disaster. It is 
therefore transferred to Kirjath Jearim, where it finds a resting 
place. 

The section is evidently connected with what precedes. But it 
is possible that we have not the complete narrative. We look for 
the conclusion of the account concerning Ekron (or Gath, if Ekron 
is not original), but instead are simply told how long the Ark was 
in the field of the Philistines. The actors who consult the necro- 
mancers here are not the Tyrants who had been called to help the 
Ekronites, but the people as a whole. While therefore we con- 
cede the coherence of the narrative in its general features, we 
must admit that these differences point to its composite nature. 
With them coincides the change from the hand of God 5 12 , to the 
Ark of Yahweh, 6 1 . 

1. The Ark of Yahweh was in the field of the Philistines'] David 
dwelt in the field of the Philistines while in possession of Ziklag 
2 f- n , so that we cannot here claim the field as the open country 
in distinction from the cities, cf. Jd. 5 4 . At the end of the verse 
(3 adds : and their land swarmed with mice, which is adopted by 
Bu. as a part of the text. Reasons against this have been given 
above. — 2. The Philistines seek advice from the priests and the 
divine?-s~\ who, as conversant with divine things, would know how 
to placate the offended deity. The diviners are elsewhere coupled 
with the soothsayers or the prophets, Is. 3 s Jer. 2f 29 s . Balaam 
is called a diviner Jos. 13 22 . Micah speaks of the priests as giving 
an oracle, and the prophets as divining (3 11 ). In Arabic also the 



VI. i-5 43 

kahin (the same word is in Hebrew the priest} is a diviner. Tell 
us with what we shall send it to its place] the demand shows that 
they expect to offer a present of some kind. — 3. The reply em- 
phasizes the need of the trespass offering: If ye are sending the 
Ark away] the participle treats the future action as already begun 
in the intention of the actors, cf. Jer. 31 8 , Is. 65 17 . You must not 
send it away empty] the phrase is elsewhere used of sending one 
away with empty hands, Job 22° Gen. 31 42 Dt. 15 13 . What is 
meant is at once explained : for you shall surely repay him a repa- 
ration^ the verb is used of giving back or taking back what has 
been wrongfully taken away, Gen. 14 16 20 7 2 S. g 7 . The transi- 
tion is easy to the requiting of a wrong either by punishment, 
Jd. 9 57 , or by reparation, Ex. 21 34 . The endeavour of the Philistines 
is to recompense Yahweh for the wrong done him. The remainder 
of the verse as it stands in J^ says : then you shall be healed and it 
shall be known to you why his hand does not turn from you] which 
must be interpreted as meaning that the hand of Yahweh would 
be heavy upon them so long as they refused this acknowledgment. 
But the text may not be sound. To the question as to the nature 
of the required present the answer is : the number of the Tyrants 
of the Philistines, five golden tumours, for one plague was upon you 
and your Tyrants'] the bearing of this upon the question of the 
mice which are here introduced (as golden mice) by J^ has already 
been noted. It should be remarked that Budde, who is large- 
hearted enough to admit the mice in v. 1 , finds it impossible to 
retain them here. In fact, they and the tumours cannot both have 
been original in this place. They are, besides, lacking in (g. 

The ingenious hypothesis of Hitzig should be noticed : that the mice were 
symbols of the pestilence, so that the votive offerings were five golden mice 
simply, and the misunderstanding of this led to the confusion in the text. 
Wellhausen came to the same conclusion independently of Hitzig. There 
seems to be no Hebrew analogy to strengthen this supposition, and it seems 
pretty certain that if the earliest author of this account had known of the 
assumed symbolism he would have indicated it in some way. 

5. And you shall [thus] give glory to the God of Israel] recog- 
nizing his power as God, Jer. 13 16 . Perchance he will lighten his 
hand] which had been heavy upon them. The first half of the 
verse, which duplicates the preceding verse, is best omitted. — 



44 i SAMUEL 

6. The priests exhort the Philistines not to be obstinate in their 
opposition to Yahweh, putting their exhortation in the form of 
rhetorical questions : Why will you harden your hearts'] after the 
manner of the Egyptians, who furnish a frightful example : lit. 
make your hearts heavy. The same verb is used Ex. 8 11, ■ g M (J) . 
Was it not after he made sport of them that they let them go ?] the 
subject of the first verb is Yahweh, cf. Ex. io 2 (J). — 7. Instruc- 
tions as to the proper way of sending the Ark back to its people. 
A new cart should be made, for one that had been used would 
have been already profaned. The animals to draw the cart were 
to be two milch cows upon which the yoke had not co?nc~] they 
were to be unbroken, for the same reason that the cart must be 
new. Th. calls attention to the fact that the red heifer must be 
one that had never been yoked, Num. 19 2 , and cites from Ovid: 
nullutn passa jugum. In order to test the will of Yahweh the 
cows were to be yoked to the cart, but you shall leave their calves 
behind them in the house] so that the natural inclination of the 
mothers would keep them from going away. — 8. They are to 
place the Ark on the cart : and the golden objects which you shall 
have repaid him as a reparation] the construction shows that the 
matter, being determined upon, is certain to be done — you shall 
place in a box at its side] the word translated box occurs only in 
this account. — 9. The behaviour of the cattle would show 
whether Yahweh wished to return to his own land : Jf it goes on 
the way to its own border, to Beth Shemesh, then he has done us 
this great harm] the identification of Yahweh and the Ark is com- 
plete and we might equally well translate : If he goes on his way 
to his own border, etc. But if not, then we shall know that it 
was not his hand that smote us — it was an accident that came to 
us] the way is left open in case the behaviour of the Ark should 
not be what they expect. Beth Shemesh was probably the nearest 
Israelite town to Ekron. It was counted to Judah, 2 K. 14 11 
Jos. 15 10 , and lay on one of the natural roads from the Shephela to 
the hill country. 

1. After DMPin koX i&frvep ij yij airuv fivas <&. — 2. On the kind of divina- 
tion practised by the DDp we have light in Ezek. 21 26 . Cf. also Stade, GVI. I. 
p. 505; Wellhausen, Skizzen, III. p. 1261*.; Driver on Dt. 18 10 . — ijjnin] with 
two syllables written defective to prevent the accumulation of vowel letters, — 



VI. 6-9 45 

no?] on the pointing Ges 26 . § 102 -£. — 3. DTikrD] we should add c - n with 7 
MSS. <&S (Dr.). — DJMt] the meaning of the word seems sufficiently evident 
from the examples given above. We may add Gen. 26 10 , where Abimelech 
says that Isaac had nearly brought upon him a fine. In the legal system the 
trespass-offering is an endeavour to compensate Yahweh for infringement of 
his rights, cf. BDB. s. v. DTK. — iNcnn] as the priests were not yet certain that 
Yahweh was the sender of the plague (cf. vs. 9 ) the assurance seems premature 
that they should be healed. One is tempted to read imn or uron. For onS JHW, 
<S renders /ecu ££i\a<rdri<r€Tai v/xiv and then reads the rest as a question : why 
should not his hand turn from you ? This is favoured by the tense of the 
verb. But the probability does not seem sufficient to establish the reading of 
<S rather than f$. — 4. 3fi? •'Soy] anr naap WWII which is added by $?, is lacking 
in © and therefore suspicious. — dVdS] some MSS. dijSd 1 ? : 4§& represent simply 
DoV. — 5. The half verse (down to }nNn) duplicates the preceding verse and is 
therefore superfluous. The sense is perfectly good without it, and part of it 
is lacking in (&. We. regards it as a gloss. — ixw >n t ?N k ?] t<£ Kvpiip (S may be 
original, having been changed so as not to have the most sacred name in the 
mouth of the uncircumcised. — 6. WjJJnn] the verb in this stem seems to mean 
he amused himself with another, or at the expense of another. Saul fears that 
the Philistines will amuse themselves by torturing him, 31*, cf. Jer. 38 19 . The 
anthropomorphism need cause no surprise in view of such a passage as Ps. 2 4 . — 
7. v&y inp] does not seem to occur elsewhere without designation of the mate- 
rial. — nSjy] as the vehicle had two wheels, the word is properly rendered cart. 
The word is used Gen. 45 19 , where it designates the • wagon ' used for the trans- 
port of persons, and Num. 7 3 , where it designates the vehicle on which the vari- 
ous parts of the Tabernacle (though not the most sacred) are to be carried. It 
recurs in the account of the transfer of the Ark to Jerusalem in the time of 
David. According to Erman {Life in Ancient Egypt, p. 491) the word was 
adopted in Egyptian as the name of the baggage wagon (or cart) drawn by oxen, 
in distinction from the chariot drawn by horses. — niSjj] is the participle of h)y 
to give suck, cf. Is. 40 11 . — ids] the verb is used of harnessing to the chariot, 
Gen. 46 29 2 K. 9 21 . — p is used of the young of animals, Job 39* and elsewhere. 
— nno] the house of the family is also the home of the cattle. — 8. Vn] is so 
evidently a mistake for Sn that we wonder at any one's making it. The inter- 
change is frequent in precisely those books which have a badly transmitted text, 
so that it is to be attributed to careless scribes rather than to the authors. It 
is in fact difficult to believe that the two words could be confused, so long as 
Hebrew was a living language. Cf. BDB. s. v., note 2. — ^a] is a word of very 
wide meaning; implements, instruments, vessels, ornaments are all included 
under it. — Dnavn] the perfect indicates that in intention they have already 
given the recompense. — rrwa] pointed with the article, which, however, may 
mean no more than the box which was necessary for the purpose. On the other 
hand, the punctuators may have supposed the nns a necessary part of every cart. 
The word is generally taken to mean box or chest, though some suppose a bag 
intended. Bochart makes it a Philistine word, Hierozoicon, II. 36. The versions 



46 i SAMUEL 

evidently have no more light than we, B iv flifiari fiepex86v, where the last 
word is probably an attempt to transfer the Hebrew word, iv difiari being the 
translation, di/xa represents ru^JJEi in Lev. 24° and elsewhere, and something 
might be said in favour of setting the votive offerings in a row by the side of the 
Ark. But the evidence is not sufficient to assure us of a variant reading here. 
j$ KHUT3 evidently has the root \r\ in mind and makes the sense put them in 
reveretice by its side, for which some might argue. But if the author wished to 
give a warning of this kind he would connect it with the handling of the Ark, 
not with the votive offerings alone. It should be noted that the word tjin occurs 
in vs. 11 - 15 both of which are late insertions into the narrative. — hxd] the Torah 
roll was also to be put by the side of the Ark, Dt. 31 26 . — 9. h\11 -pi] in the 
direction of his own territory, cf. Ex. 13 17 Num. 21 33 I S. 13 18 . On the site 
of Beth Shemesh, the modern Ain Shems, cf. GAS. Geog. p. 219, Lagarde, 
OS. p. 237; Rob. BR*. II. p. 233 ff. 

10. The advice adopted ; the cart is made and the kine are 
yoked. — 11. And they placed the Ark of Yahweh on the cart] 
the rest of the verse seems to be a late insertion. The variations 
in the text of (3 show that different attempts were made to con- 
form its text to J^. The interest of the original narrator is in the 
behaviour of the cattle, and he passes over the subordinate mat- 
ters. — 12. And the kine took a straight course on the Beth She- 
mesh road ; in the highway they went, lowing as they went, and 
did not turn to the right hand or the left~\ the apparent redun- 
dancy is due to the author's desire to make the miracle plain. 
The lowing of the kine shows their natural desire to return to 
their calves. The Tyrants followed as far as the Beth Shemesh 
line. — 13. At this time the people of Beth Shemesh were 
engaged in harvesting the wheat in the valley up which the Ark 
came. At such times the whole village goes forth to the field. 
They lifted up their eyes and saw"] a form of detailed description 
common in Hebrew. And came rejoicing to meet if] should be 
read with (3. — 14. The Ark came to the field of Joshua the Beth- 
shemshite and stood still] this is an important item, as the stop- 
ping indicated the will of Yahweh as to his abiding place. For 
the next clause we should probably read : and they set there a 
great stone] as an altar, and they split the wood of the cart and 
offered the kine as a burnt- offering to Yahweh] an appropriate 
welcome. Araunah also offers the implements of the oxen for 
wood, and the oxen themselves as sacrifices, 2 S. 24 s2 . — 15. The 



vi. io-i8 47 

verse is superfluous, lf> joins directly to u . The Ark has already 
been lifted from the cart — this we know because the cart has been 
burnt. The burnt offering has been offered. The only reason for 
the verse is found in the mention of the Levites. A late editor or 
scribe could not reconcile the free handling of the Ark by the 
men of Beth Shemesh with the legal prescription, and therefore 
inserted the Levites. These are utterly foreign to our whole nar- 
rative up to this point. Yet they alone (on the later theory) were 
empowered to touch the sacred things, not only the Ark but the 
chest and its contents. Hence the insertion. It is possible also 
that the author did not like the great stone, and so made it in this 
verse only the pedestal for the Ark. — 16. The five Tyrants 
having seen their object attained returned to Ekron the same day. 
— 17. The verse (with 18a ) is another late insertion, a recapit- 
ulation after the method of the Priestcode and the Chronicler. 
It is free with its gold, according to the precedent set by these 
writers, for it is doubtful whether the original author contem- 
plated golden mice for all the cities, towns, and hamlets of the 
Philistines. — 18. The first half should be omitted with the pre- 
ceding verse. The rest seems to affirm : Witness is the great 
stone by which they set the Ark of Yahweh ; to the present day it is 
in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemshite'] other memorial stones, 
Gen. 3 1 52 Jos. 24 127 . 

11. Sn] for hy as so often. — onnno . . . unun n*o] the half verse is not 
objectionable on the ground of Hebrew style as is shown by Dr., Notes. But 
comparison of the copies of <§ shows so many variations, in the words and in 
their arrangement, that we must suppose the original (§ to have been supple- 
mented in various ways to bring it into harmony with |§. onnns in the text 
is also an indication of interpolation, for the original narrative has D^sy as the 
name of the plague; though some MSS. here conform to the usage elsewhere, 
reading DH^DJ in the Kt. We. strikes out all but rJTOtn pni; Bu. remands the 
whole to the margin. — 12. The construction is not free from difficulty. — 
nj-\a"i] older form of the third person feminine plural, Ges 26 . § 47 /6; Bottcher 
sees in it a dual, Lehrbuch, § 931 B. The form is Qal with assimilation of the *. 
This stem, however, means to be straight or to be right, whereas to go in a 
straight path is expressed in Hebrew by a Piel or Hiphil, Prov. 9 15 15 21 . It 
does not seem violent therefore to change here to njnB^i, though analogous 
verbs are followed by the direct object or by the infinitive with *?, cf. Ex. 8 24 
2 S. 15 14 . Possibly "p"0 is an error for pti which we expect. — HUH n^Dca] 
the one highway implies that various others were within reach. A dSdd is a 



48 I SAMUEL 

road made by throwing up the earth. — i>*ji y?n] the adverbial clause describ- 
ing continuous action, Gen. 8 5 12 9 Jos. 6 9 2 S. 3 16 .^13. WBV no is here put 
for the inhabitants and followed by the plural, cf. Hos. 5 s , px no i^>in. — 
ix-pi DmrjrnK ixci] the phrase occurs in the Hexateuch several times, always 
in JE, but in both J and E, e.g., Gen. 13W.H (J) 3I io.i2 (g), also in Jd. 19" 
(assigned to J) 2 S. i8 2 ± Jer. 3" if } Is. 49 18 60* Zech. 5 15 . The prophetic 
passages are all in the imperative, in which the detailed expression is easily 
accounted for. — niso 1 ?] ets oltolvt^o-iv aur^s <& points to inx-ipS which should 
be restored, cf. Jd. 19 3 (We.). — 14. OEM DC iDpni] kclI i<rT-r)<rav inei irap y 
avrrj (!5 B evidently renders nay dc itdjw. It is not impossible that the 
original had both verbs : it stayed and they placed there by it = wcjni nnym 
M2'j DB>, and that one verb dropped from one recension and the other from 
the other — or is do DC an original DC KWi which became illegible? — 
nSru px] it is conjectured by Bu. that the stone was set up as a maccebah. 
But the immediate context favours an altar. The proximity of the Ark and 
the necessity of offering sacrifices in its honour argue for an altar. Doubtless 
a macceba would be set up as soon as the dwelling of Yahweh should be 
arranged. A case strictly parallel does not occur. Jacob's stone was a 
macceba according to E (Gen. 28 1822 ), but it was destined to mark a per- 
manent sanctuary, and the same is true of the macceba in Gilead, Gen. 31 46 
(E). A memorial stone was raised by Joshua, 24 26f -, and the same was 
done by Samuel at Ebenezer according to a late passage, 1 S. 7 12 . Saul's 
altar, 14 33 , is more like the account in our text than any other mention of a 
stone. Various heaps of stones are mentioned as memorials, but present no 
close resemblance, at least in the recension of the Old Testament which is in 
our hands. — 15. The glossatory character of the verse is pointed out by We. 
— Sx] 16 MSS. have hy which alone is in place. — 17. nnta] is evidence of 
interpolation, as already shown. — 18. Sax Hgi] makes no sense. The meadow 
(if it were allowable to translate so) in which the Ark rested could not be one 
of the villages of the Philistines. For Six read px, with (3, and point the 
other word ijn as was first suggested by We. The emendation is accepted by 
so valiant a defender of the traditional text as Keil. The insertion of the 
article before px seems to be unnecessary. 

19. The verse affirms that Yahweh smote some of the people. 
The received text seems to give as a reason that they looked upon 
the Ark. There is, however, no other indication that this author 
thought it sinful to look upon the Ark. Had he thought so, he 
would have shown what precautions were taken by the Israelites 
before the battle to prevent this profanation, and would for this 
cause have aggravated the plague sent upon the Philistines. (S 
has a whole clause which has fallen out of f^ and which relieves 
the difficulty : The sons of Jeconiah did not rejoice with the men 



vi. 19-vn. i 49 

of Beth She mesh when they looked upon the Ark of Yahweh'] by- 
adopting this we avoid the awkward repetition of the word trans- 
lated and he smote, which in J^ comes at the beginning of the 
verse, as well as at the beginning of the next clause : And he 
smote among them seventy men] the anger of Yahweh was not 
always easy to account for. Such an occasion for it as the 
indifference of the sons of Jeconiah is not stranger than some 
others of which we have a record. To the seventy men, the 
present text adds ungrammatically fifty thousand men — doubtless 
a gloss. The various attempts to explain the words scarcely 
deserve attention. The oldest is that of the Targum, which 
renders seventy men of the elders and fifty thousand of the con- 
gregation. Kimchi represents the traditional interpretation to 
be seventy men, of the worth of fifty thousand. Kimchi's own 
theory is that asyndetically the expression means simply fifty thou- 
sand and seventy men. — 20. The people ask two questions, the 
first indicative of their fear — who is able to stand before Yahweh 
this holy God? The holiness of Yahweh is his apartness from the 
world. This makes it impossible to approach him except after 
special ceremonial preparation, and his displeasure is fatal to 
those who approach him without that preparation (consecration). 
The question of the Beth-Shemshites shows their despair of meet- 
ing Yahweh's requirements. They regard his presence as a con- 
stant source of danger to them. The second question is a prac- 
tical one : To whom shall he go up from us ?] the verb indicates 
that some place in the hill country was to be chosen. — 21. The 
place chosen is Kirjath Jearim. The name evidently means City 
of Thickets. It is mentioned in Jos. 15 9 , where it is identified 
with Baalah ; in Jos. 15 60 it is called Kirjath Baal, cf. 18 14 . Euse- 
bius * places it ten (or nine) miles from Jerusalem on the road to 
Lydda. It is not yet certainly identified with any existing site. 
Probably the name Kirjath Baal indicates that the town was 
already a sanctuary. On this account the men of Beth Shemesh 
chose it as the place of the Ark, and the people of Kirjath Jearim 
found it natural that they should have such an offer made them. 
— VII. 1. They therefore came and brought up the Ark, and 

* OS. 234, 95 and 271, 40. 



5Q i SAMUEL 

brought it to the house of Abinadab'] of whom we know nothing 
further. The house was situated on the hill on which the town 
was built. To provide an appropriate attendant, they consecrated 
Eleazar his son to keep the Ark~] nothing is said of his belonging 
to the priestly family or tribe. 

19. yti] anticipates unpleasantly the next clause : ical ovk ^<rfxivi<rap ol vloi 
'lexoviov @. As the Greek verb does not occur elsewhere in the Old Testa- 
ment, we are left to surmise its original. Kl.'s conjecture irpj:>> >j3 nn nSi is 
probably correct (adopted by Bu.), cf. Ex. 18 9 Ps. 21 7 . — o>?3] should be cor- 
rected to nro with <&. — v>k t)bx D'*on] the words are a late insertion, appar- 
ently unknown to Josephus, and recognized as a gloss by Keil. Whether 
they were a marginal note, intended to remind the reader of the later plague 
(2 S. 24) where seventy thousand fell, cannot be determined. — V?3Nmi] 
Gen. 37 s4 Ex. 33* (E). nhw fiao nan occurs Jos. io 10 Jd. ii 83 (also ascribed 
to E). — 20. On the idea of holiness, cf. WRSmith, Religion of the Semites, 
p. 135, Smend, Alttestamentliche Religionsgeschichte, p. 333, Duhm's Commen- 
tary on Isaiah, I 4 . — 21. On the site of Kirjath Jearim, Moore on Jd. 18 12 , 
GAS. Geog. p. 226. The essay of Poels, Le Sanctuaire de Kirjath- Jearim 
(Louvain, 1894), is a harmonistic attempt to identify Kirjath Jearim, Gibeon, 
Gibeah, and Mizpah, and so to show that the law of a single sanctuary was in 
force in the time of Samuel. 

VII. 2-17. Samuel delivers the people. — During the time of 
the sojourn of the Ark at Kirjath Jearim, Samuel turns the atten- 
tion of the people to the need of repentance. At his exhortation 
they put away the strange gods. A great assembly is called at 
Mizpah, where the people openly confess their sins. The Philis- 
tines take occasion to invade the country, but at Samuel's prayer 
Yahweh interferes and throws them into confusion; so they 
become an easy prey to Israel. The victory, which is commem- 
orated by a memorial stone, is so complete that the Philistines do 
not invade the country again all the days of Samuel. Samuel is 
established as supreme magistrate of the people. 

The contradiction between the statements here made and what 
we know of the actual history is complete. The conquests of 
Saul and David are here attributed to Samuel, who occupies the 
position of the theocratic ruler — comparable only to Moses. The 
author's theory of history is like that of the Deuteronomistic 
editor of the Book of Judges — if possible more mechanical than 
his. The people are enslaved because they have worshipped 



VII. i-3 5* 

strange gods. No sooner do they return to Yahweh than he 
returns to them and delivers them. The deliverance is accom- 
plished by a miraculous intervention. No human warrior (like 
the Judges) is needed. For this reason we may assume that the 
section is even later than the pragmatic framework of the Book of 
Judges. That it is later than the preceding chapters of the life of 
Samuel seems evident. The call of Samuel, at any rate, is 
designed to establish him as a prophet rather than as judge and 
ruler. That this chapter was composed with a view to what pre- 
cedes seems, however, plain enough j and equally plain that it 
was originally designed to ignore Saul altogether. 

In Jer. 15 1 we find Yahweh saying: "Though Moses and Samuel should 
stand before me, my soul would not be towards this people." Co. (Einl*. p. 
99) argues that Jeremiah has our present account in mind and the reasoning 
is adopted by Bu. (RS. p. 178) and Dr. (LOT*, p. 178). The coordination 
of Moses and Samuel is undoubtedly striking. But Jeremiah's conception of 
them seems to be that they were prophets like himself — for it is his own 
intercession which is rejected and the rejection justified by the mention of his 
predecessors. The passage does not prove more than the existence of a tradi- 
tion of Samuel's pvophetic activity. The present narrative seems to represent 
a more advanced stage of theocratic theory. 

2. The intention of the verse is evidently to say that from the 
time of the Ark's return the people received a new impulse. 
Unfortunately the main verb is obscure and probably corrupt. 
We should probably read : From the day the Ark dwelt at Kirjath 
Jearim all the house of Israel turned after Yahweh] the inserted 
clause : the days were many and became twenty years is probably 
secondary. — 3. If with all your hearty the clause is put first for 
emphasis. The passages in which it occurs are comparatively late, 
Dt. n 13 13 4 Jos. 22 5 1 Sam. 12 24 Jer. 29 13 Joel 2 12 . You are [now] 
returning to Yahweh'] the expression betrays the same conception 
which is contained in the phrase strange gods which follows, cf. Dt. 
31 16 Jer. 5 19 Jos. 24 20 . The Ashtaroth seem an afterthought here, 
as in some other passages. The word is the plural of the name 
which in the Old Testament is vocalized (probably wrongly) as 
Ashtoreth. The well-known goddess of the Canaanites (properly 
Astarte) is elsewhere associated with Baal. An Astarte of the 
Philistines is mentioned 1 Sam. 31 10 . And prepare your heart 



52 i SAMUEL 

towards Yahweh your God'] a late formula, 2 Chr. 12 14 20 33 30 19 
Ezr. 7 10 . And serve him'] that is worship him, in this sense the 
word is Deuteronomic. 7JW /*<? ;;/ay deliver you] the form of 
the verb indicates that this is the purpose of the preceding imper- 
atives. — 4. The preaching is effectual : The Sons of Israel put 
away the Baals] the word is used as equivalent to the foreign 
gods above. — 5. Samuel announces a general assembly at Mis- 
pah] doubtless the same place afterwards occupied by Gedaliah 
as the capital of the country, Jer. 40. It is identified, since Rob- 
inson, with Neby Samwil, a prominent hill five miles north of Jeru- 
salem. The place is a sanctuary (or the sanctuary) also in Jd. 
20 1 . — 6. The assembly engages in public expression of sorrow 
for sin : They drew water and pou7-ed it before Yahweh] a rite 
not elsewhere mentioned. It must be symbolical of contrition. 
Fasting, which is the second observance mentioned, is elsewhere 
expressive of sorrow. We have sinned in relation to Yahweh] Dt. 
i 41 Jd. io 10 . That Samuel judged the people in Mizpah is prob- 
ably to be taken in the sense in which other rulers are said to 
judge. He heard the cause of the oppressed and secured their 
rights. 

2. rw ontpp vrm own 13-vi] the only way we can fit the words into 
the present text is by making them a parenthesis, and even then it is more 
natural to say "m ttl D'Dvn. It seems that the whole sentence is a gloss, 
not merely row an^; vrni (Bu.). Possibly, however, it is a corruption of 
something which cannot now be recovered. <3 h iv dp-fjvrjis confirmed by I, and 
may point to some statement about Shiloh. — inn] gives no suitable mean- 
ing. The verb means to lament for the dead, Mic. 2 4 Ez. 32 18 . But the return 
of Yahweh could not be an occasion for such mourning. @ AB has iir4(3\e\f/ev, 
(g L Kal iiri<TTpe\p€, both which point to Ufin. % conjectures only, as is shown 
by Dr., and J53L seem to have read inn (Cappel, Critica Sacra, p. 364). It 
seems best, with Ew., Bu., to adopt the reading of <&. — 3. DD3aS"Saa"DN] 
the phrase occurs in D frequently, usually with the addition of trsj Snai. On 
the literary usage which shows aaS (not 3S) to be the form characteristic of 
E, D, and Deuteronomistic editors, cf. BDB., s. v. — -ojn inform WDn] the 
phrase occurs Gen. 35 2 Jos. 24 s3 Jd. io 16 , all which are assigned to E 2 by 
recent editors, cf. also 2 Chr. 33 15 . — "ojn ^nSx are gods of foreign countries, 
like "Qjn *J3 men of foreign countries. — 4. D^JDn] cf. Jd. 2 1113 , where 
also the Baals and Astartes are the gods and goddesses of the heathen, see 
Moore's note. On Baal, Baudissin in PRE?. II. p. 323 ff., WRS., Rel. Sent. 
p. 92 ff. The god and goddess are mentioned together by Eshmunazar in his 
inscription, 1. 18. On Astarte, Baudissin, PRE*. II. p. 147 ff., and of the 



vii. 3-12 53 

older literature, Selden, De Diis Syris, II. 2. — 5. nriflXDn] the name, which 
means the watchtower , generally has the article. On the identification, cf. 
Robinson, BR 1 . I. p. 460, Buhl, Geog. p. 168. — 6. WDsn] @ adds on the 
ground. Such phrases are easily inserted, and therefore suspicious. — oa>] 
lacking in 6=S must be exscinded for the same reason. 

7. The Philistines heard that Israel had assembled] the oppor- 
tunity for plundering an unwarlike company was not to be lost. 
Josephus correctly understands that the people had come without 
arms. — 8. Israel has recourse to spiritual weapons : Do not be 
silent, so as not to cry to Yahweh thy God~\ cf. Ps. 28 1 Job 13 13 ; 
thy God (3 seems more appropriate than our God $%. Several 
MSS. of (3 add at the end of the verse : And Samuel said : Far 
be it from me to refrain from crying to Yahweh my God for you. 
— 9. In his worship Samuel took a sucking lamb] no emphasis 
is to be laid (as some have supposed) on the comparative insig- 
nificance of the offering. A lamb of the first year is enjoined as 
the regular burnt offering in Ex. 2Q 38ff - Lev. 23 12 Num. 6 14 . And 
offered it as a whole burnt offering to Yahweh~] the burnt offering 
is the present with which one approaches the divine king. To 
Samuel's prayer, Yahweh answers by audible voice, as is more 
fully set forth in the next verse, cf. Ex. 19 19 . — 10. While Samuel 
was engaged in offering the burnt offering, the Philistines advanced 
to the attack. But Yahweh thundered with a great voice that day 
against the Philistines and routed them'] cf. Jd. 4 15 and its poetical 
parallel, 5 2021 . In the present passage the interference of Yahweh 
is so pronounced that the rout begins before any active effort is 
made by Israel. At the battle of Bethhoron, where Yahweh routed 
the Canaanites by casting great stones from heaven upon them 
(Jos. io 11 ), the Israelites were an armed force, as they were at 
the Kishon. The interference of Yahweh for his people by 
thunder and lightning is a not uncommon feature of poetic the- 
ophanies, 2 S. 22 14 1 S. 2 10 Is. 66 6 . Cf. also Ps. 68 34 77 19 . — 11. The 
people had only to pursue the flying foe, which they did till below 
Beth Car] the place is nowhere else mentioned, and the text 
has possibly suffered. — 12. A memorial stone is set up between 
Mizpah and Yeshana] see the note on 6 13 . The name Yeshana 
here is restored from (3 and 5b. The name in J^ is probably cor- 
rupt. What follows in J^ makes, further, a double difficulty, for 



54 J SAMUEL 

it says simply : Hitherto has Yahweh helped us, whereas it was 
not only to this point that Yahweh had helped them, but beyond 
it ; and, moreover, there is no declaration concerning the object 
of setting up the stone. Conjectural emendation gives us : This 
is a witness that Yahweh has helped us, which alone is appropriate 
in the context. — 13. The Philistines were subdued and came no 
more into the border of Israel'] the extravagance of the statement 
is evident. — 14. The cities which the Philistines had taken from 
Israel were restored, from Ekron to Gath~] these two were nearest 
the territory of Israel. The author evidently means to include 
Ekron and Gath in the list of those restored. The territory of 
these was also recovered, and there was peace between Israel and 
the Amorite] that is, the Canaanitish peoples. — Samuel's reign 
(as we may call it) lasted as long as he lived. — 16. His custom 
was to go about to the principal places, — Bethel, Gilgal, and 
Mizpah, all known as sanctuaries, — and administer justice. — 
17. He officiated also at Ramah, his home, and there he built an 
altar to Yahweh] the author does not take the view of the Priest- 
code as to the legitimacy of one sole altar. .To the Deuteronomic 
view the one legitimate sanctuary was not chosen until the time 
of Solomon. 

7. li'spnn] with pluperfect force. — Sn] is doubtless to be read or under- 
stood as S>, which is the proper word when a hostile attack is described. — 
8. PJ7TD] for the force of the preposition cf. his eyes were dim from seeing, i.e., 
so as not to see, Gen. 27 1 . — 9. rh'S\ a rare and apparently late word, Is. 40 11 
65 s5 . — VrVjPl is doubtless to be read, with the Qre. — h^hs] describes the burnt 
offering as wholly consumed upon the altar, Dt. 33 10 Lev. 6 15f . — 10. SsiD'i' vm 
nSj-'D] cf. the similar construction 2 K. 13' 21 19 37 . — DDn>l] the verb is used of 
'striking with panic terror' (Moore on Jd. 4 15 ). — 11. "O H>3; ST reads Beth 
Sharon; $£> has Beth Yeshan as in v. 12 ; Kl. suggests Beth Horon. — 12. f2>n] 
the word is appropriate for a sharp rock or peak. In connection with Mizpah 
we rather expect the name of a town, and this is given by <5<S who read rwn, 
evidently the Benjamite town mentioned 2 Chr. 13 19 . This reading is adopted 
by Graetz (Gesch. der Juden, I. p. 157) followed by most recent expositors. — 
njrnj,*] is not explicit enough, whether the njn be taken of space or time. 
Wellhausen seems first to have discovered that the first word must be ny. He 
therefore restores '3 nvi ny, for which Bu. substitutes »3 Tin nTj, which seems no 
improvement. — 13. vim] cf. Jd. 3 30 u 33 . — N12S -ny ttDVlfo] 1586 Jd. 13 21 . 
— 14. njacm] there is no other instance of the active voice with cities as 
the subject; perhaps we should read njatt'ini which is favoured by @, cf. 



vii. 12-viii. 55 

Jer. 27 16 . — From Ekron to Gath~\ @ B has from Ashkelon to Azob. In Azob 
We. sees an allusion to Zeph. 2 4 . — 15. Bfltf»i] the allusion to the function of 
the judge as described in the Book of Judges is palpable. This author de- 
scribes the activity in detail in what follows. — 16. Y 7 '" 11 ] of customary action, 
Dav., Syntax, §54 R, 1. — !W3 JW »"1D] is heavy, but is supported by Zech. 
14 16 . 22D is used of going about to various places in order, 2 Chr. 17 9 . — 
"m Sd DM Strwrit] is tautological. It is probable that the scribe had in mind 
the SN-KS"~nN of the verse below and inserted it here. — niDipcn] ® had 
D*3npDn, which may possibly be original (Cappel, Notae Criticae, p. 434). — 
17. vo'y~\ the pausal form seems unexplained, Ges 26 . § 29 i, note. 

VIII. The demand for a king. — In Samuel's old age he 
makes his sons judges, but they do not follow his example in 
their administration of the office. The people thereupon demand 
a king. The demand is offensive to Samuel and also to Yahweh, 
who describes it as rebellion against him and as in line with the 
people's customary depravity. Without hope of converting them, 
but as a testimony against their folly, Samuel describes the man- 
ner in which the king is likely to carry on his office. As was 
expected, the people persist in their demand, and Samuel is com- 
manded to accede to it. The account as it now stands concludes 
with the dismission of the people, but was originally continued by 
the choice of a king by lot as now read in io 17 " 27 . 

The section is homogeneous down to m and directly continues 
the preceding account. It is also of late date. In fact, it is 
hardly conceivable that the conception of the monarchy as essen- 
tially evil and in itself a revolt from the theocracy could have 
arisen before the fall of Jerusalem. For, however bad the indi- 
vidual kings of the house of David might be, there was always a 
hope (well illustrated by Isaiah) that the ideal government would 
come to view in the reign of a righteous king. The phrase 
manner of the kingdom used in this passage has reminded most 
critics of the similar phrase in Deuteronomy (17 14 " 20 ), and some 
have argued that this passage was anterior to that. But on com- 
parison it is seen that the abuses held up by Samuel here are not 
touched upon in Deuteronomy. Nothing is there said about 
impressing the people for forced labour and taking their property 
without compensation, which are the evils here made prominent. 
Had the author of Deuteronomy known our passage, he could 
hardly have refrained from legislating against these abuses. And 



56 i SAMUEL 

it cannot be argued, on the other hand, that our author, if later, 
would have shown his dependence on Deuteronomy, for the 
abuses there forbidden — multiplying horses, taking many wives, 
and accumulating treasure — could not be effective as an argu- 
ment with the people. 

Stade places the section later than Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Wellhausen 
gives the argument summarized above in favour of a date posterior to the 
Judaic monarchy (Comp. p. 246). Bu. argues for priority of this as compared 
with Deut. (J?S. p. 184), and is followed by Co. at least in the earlier editions 
of his Einleitimg. 

1-5. The occasion of the demand. — When Samuel became 
old, he appointed his sons judges for Israel. — 2. That both should 
be settled at Beersheba is surprising, and two places were proba- 
bly named originally. Josephus gives one in Bethel and one in 
Beersheba. — 3. The common experience of Orientals was illus- 
trated : they turned aside after gain and took bribes and wrested 
justice~\ so far there seems ground for the complaint of the peo- 
ple. — 4. The Sheikhs act for the people, as in 4 3 Num. 16 25 . — 
5. The desire for a king is here motived by the maladministration 
of justice. In v. 20 it is due to a desire for a leader in war. 

6-9. The demand is sinful. — The view of the author is evi- 
dently that the theocracy is the divinely appointed constitution 
for Israel, and that the substitution of another form is treason to 
God. He does not seem to recognize that Samuel was chargeable 
with fault in not correcting the abuses of his sons' government, 
nor does he tell us how Yahweh would give them relief. Yahweh's 
prejudgment is on the side of Samuel, whose anger he shares. — 
7. The grievance of Samuel is adopted by Yahweh : Hearken to 
the voice of the people according to what they keep saying - ] the tense 
implies importunity. For it is not thou whom they have rejected, 
but it is I whom they have rejected from being king over them] the 
pronouns are made emphatic by their position. — 8. The main 
sentence says : Like all the deeds they have done to me . . . have 
they done to thee. Parenthetically the deeds are described : they 
have forsaken me and served other gods] Jd. 2 13 io 13 1 K. q 9 
(apparently Deuteronomistic) . — 9. The people are, however, to 
be left without excuse : Thou shalt solemnly testify] Gen. 43 s 



vni. 1-17 57 

Jer. ii 7 — the method of the king who shall rule over them] that 
is, his customary behaviour. Yahweh will allow him, perhaps 
authorize him, so to act. 

1. D*V is used of appointing officers, Dt. 17 15 2 S. 8 14 . — 2. The statement 
of Josephus cited above {Ant. VI. 32) is adopted by Graetz and Ewald. — 
3. UVO Kt, WVW Qre. There seems no reason for preferring the latter ex- 
cept that usage is on the side of the plural. — lan] turned aside from its 
proper course, Dt. 16 19 . psa is generally used of unrighteous gain, Ex. 18 21 
jer. 6 13 . — 4. S3] is lacking in <g B , which reads &p8pes for ypr. — 6. lain yin] 
Gen. 2I 11 - 12 (E) 1 S. 18 8 2 S. u 25 - 27 .— Storm] cf. Jer. 32 16 42*. — 7. For 
•)VH SjS we should perhaps read nt^io with @. — *3] assigns a reason why 
Samuel should not hesitate — it was not a personal concern. — 8. wy] <S 
adds »V, which is adopted by most recent commentators. — uaipl] specifies the 
acts intended by Vfff, 

10-18. The king's method. — Samuel repeated all the words 
of Yahweh to the people who were asking of him a king] as though 
he had one in his possession. — 11. This is the way of the king 
who shall rule over you : Your sons he will take and place in his 
chariots and among his horsemen, and they shall ru?i before his 
chariots] the runners before the chariot continue in the East 
down to the present day, and their office is an honourable one. 
— 12. And he shall make them captains of thousands and captains 
of hundreds] reading with (&. The author counts on very small 
military ambition in Israel, a view which would argue for a late 
date. The people would also be forced to plough and reap for the 
king, and to make his arms and his chariot furniture. — 13. The 
women would not be exempt from conscription, but would be 
compelled to serve as perfumers] perhaps we should read as 
embroiderers with % ; and as cooks and as bakers] of which the 
king's kitchen would need many. — 14. Oppression will affect 
not only persons but also property ; fields and vineyards will be 
seized and given to the king's servants. — 15. Heavy taxes will be 
laid : Your grain fields and your vineyards he will tithe and give 
the proceeds to his eunuchs and to his servants] the Oriental thinks 
of the king as wealthy enough to dispense with such methods of 
raising money, which are therefore hated and resented. — 16. He 
would exact the service of their slaves and their best cattle] so 
is to be read. — 17. The tithing will be extended to sheep and 
goats; and the Israelites will be slaves instead of freemen. — - 



58 i SAMUEL 

18. The result : You shall cry out in that day on account of the 
king which you shall have chosen for yourselves] the sting is in 
the fact that their misery will be self-inflicted. For this reason 
also, Yahweh will not answer. 

10. "iDfroi] is not frequent with the accusative, as here. — 11. mi] for 
which <J5 seems to have read D*n% is doubtless original. — 12. DW^l] the peri- 
phrastic infinitive is illustrated by Dr., Tenses' 6 , § 206 and and Dav., Syntax, 
§ 94, R. 4. It should be noted that several of the examples cited are of suspicious 
integrity, the ) having arisen by duplication of a preceding \ In the present 
case, however, the reading seems to be confirmed by <S. We assume an ellipsis 
of vn, the full form being won vrv. Captains of fifties in |^ is replaced by cap- 
tains of hundreds in <&, while & has both, and adds and captains of tens. <g 
seems original. — 13. rimjrV?] preparers of unguents, of which the Orientals 
are notoriously fond. 5$ seems to translate PKOfH?, which would be equally ap- 
propriate. — riinaak] the cook is also the butcher. — 14. viaj?S] Graetz con- 
jectures (Gesch. der Juden, I. p. 164) that we should read v:a s , as the servants 
are spoken of in the next verse. There is, however, no external evidence for the 
reading. — 16. osmmi] koX ra fiovudXia vfiQv @, pointing to Bonpai, which 
is undoubtedly original. The correction was made by Cappellus (Critica 
Sacra, p. 247). — VOI»SdS n^i] the only parallels are Lev. 7* 24 Ez. 15 5 . We 
should expect iroN^ca rnB>j?S, cf. 1 K. 5 30 9 23 . The unusual construction led a 
scribe to substitute nrjr% which was read by (g. — 17. jns is small cattle in dis- 
tinction from neat cattle (ip3). — 18. <S adds at the end of the verse : Because 
you chose a king for yourselves. This is at least correct interpretation. 

19-22. The expostulation was fruitless : The people refused to 
Sis ten to the voice of Samuel and said : No ! But a king shall be 
over us~] this obstinacy is parallel to their treatment of Moses. — 
20. The reason here assigned for their desire is the example of 
foreign nations. Our king shall fudge us] possibly in the sense 
of vindicating them, or of delivering them from their enemies. 
But as the account begins with the miscarriage of civil justice, the 
author may have this still in mind. The administration of justice 
was always a prominent function of the king. Fighting his peo- 
ple's battles was also his work. This author seems to forget that 
Samuel had secured them peace. — 21, 22 a . When the report of 
the people's continued demand is brought to Yahweh, he con- 
sents to gratify them : Hearken to their voice and make a king 
rule over them. — 22 b . The half verse is a later insertion. The 
original account joined io 17 directly to 8 22a . The compiler was 



viii. i8-ix. 2 59 

obliged to dismiss the people to their homes, in order to insert 
the following incident taken from another source. 

19. On the Dagesh in nS cf. Ges. 26 , § 20g, and Baer's dissertation De pri- 
marum vocabulorum literarum dagessatione prefixed to Liber Proverbiorum, 
ed. Baer et Delitzsch (1880). Some MSS. have h in the text, while <g seems 
to have read vh I s . — 20. UQMPl] on the force of the verb cf. Moore's note on 
Jd. 3 10 . — irnorrVo] is given by Ginsburg. Many editions and MSS. have 
unw^D. For the phrase go out before us cf. Jd. 4 14 . — 22. roScni] is the 
perfect with waw consecutive continuing the imperative. The second half 
of this verse, in which Samuel dismisses the people to their homes, is 
inserted to allow the inclusion of the following account in the narrative. The 
document we have just read originally made Samuel at once call an assembly 
at Mizpah, where a king is chosen by lot. This is recognized by most recent 
scholars. 

IX. 1-X. 16. The adventure of Saul. — Saul, the son of Kish, 
is sent by his father to seek the asses which have strayed. He 
does not find them, but comes into contact with Samuel, who 
anoints him (secretly) as king over Israel. 

After what has been said in the Introduction, it is needless to 
point out that we have here the beginning of a separate docu- 
ment, — a life of Saul, — which differs in all respects from the 
one we have just been considering. It is the earliest and most 
reliable of the sources which relate the origin of the monarchy 
in Israel. 

1-4. Introduction of Saul, and occasion of the journey. — 

There was a man of Gibeah of Benjamin] so we should probably 
read. The place should be mentioned at the outset. Kish is 
described as a man of some position in the community : a mighty 
man of valour is more than the Hebrew intends to say. — 2. He 
had a son named Saul in the prime of life and goodly] the words 
do not imply that he was in his adolescence ; and the same may 
be said of his position in the household, it does not imply im- 
maturity. So long as his father lived he would be under his 
authority, and there is no necessary contradiction between the 
language used here and the later account, according to which 
Saul had a son already grown. The name of Saul is probably 
abbreviated from a longer form meaning Asked-of-God. The 
clause at the end of this verse is probably a late insertion. — 



60 1 SAMUEL 

3. The asses belonging to Kish have strayed, and Saul is sent 
with one of the servants to seek them. — 4. Correcting the num- 
ber of the verbs by the versions, we get : They passed through ML 
Ephraim and crossed into the land of Shalisha and did not find 
them, and they crossed into the land of Shaalim and they were not 
there, and they crossed into the land of Benjamin and did not 
find them] the districts of Shalisha and Shaalim are not identified. 

1. po»-f3D] the fact that he was a Benjamite is related again at the end 
of the verse, and We.'s conjecture that we should read pn^a nyajD is plau- 
sible. — lyoi C"N~p] is not without analogy, at least ymi ^>n is found 2 S. 
20 1 Est. 2 5 . But it is unusual to terminate a genealogy by saying son of a 
Benjamite. It is probable that p is the error of a scribe who expected to 
continue the genealogy. — Syi -naj] the phrase seems to mean no more than 
a man well to do; cf. BDB., s.v. ^n. — 2. "Ui 1D3JMD] the clause recurs in 
io 23 , where it is entirely appropriate (at Saul's first appearance in public). 
Here it seems to have come in from there by a late hand (Bu.). — 3. nunitn] 
the she-asses seem to have been especially prized, Job I 3 . — wph~] cf. Dav., 
Syntax, § 28, R. 5. — nj] after the imperative softens the command. — 
-inNTiN] is unusual, perhaps a scribal error; but a precisely similar instance is 
found Num. 16 15 . nnx is pointed in both cases as a construct and might be 
regarded as made definite by this relation, Konig, Syntax, § 288 f.; cf. also 
Dav., Syntax, 72, R. 4. — wnjfl is used of servants not infrequently. At the 
end of this verse ® L & add : and Saul arose and took one of the servants of his 
father and went to seek the asses of Kish his father — one of the rather numer- 
ous instances of agreement of (§ L with $$. — 4. The verbs which are partly 
singular and partly plural in |^ should be all plural as in 0. For Shalisha and 
Shaalim the versions give a confusing variety of equivalents, but none which 
help us to a better text. A Baal Shalisha is mentioned in the region of Sama- 
ria 2 K. 4 42 . Shaalim has been conjectured to be an error for Shaalabim 
mentioned in connection with Beth Shemesh, Jd. I 35 1 K. 4 9 . It seems easier 
to combine with the hyw pN of 13 17 . 

5. The verse indicates that they had planned further search 
when Saul suddenly proposes to abandon the effort : They had 
come into the land of Zuph~\ a. part of Benjamin — when Saul said 
. . . : Let us return, lest my father cease thinking of the asses and 
be anxious about us] the verb means to have fears, Jer. 1 7 s 38 19 
42 16 Is. 57 11 . — 6. The servant has a different idea: There is a 
man of God in this city ; and the man is honoured, all that he 
says surely comes true] the title man of God is frequent in the 
account of Elijah and Elisha. The commendation of the seer is 



IX. 3-io 6 1 

to induce Saul to apply to him for an indication : Perchance he 
may tell us the way on which we came out'] the journey is not yet 
complete, and we may yet be rightly directed. What they want 
is guidance in order to complete the mission on which they have 
started. — 7. Saul objects that to approach a great man a present 
is necessary, and this is not at hand : And suppose we go, what 
shall we bring the man ? The question is raised which confronts 
them if they agree to carry out the plan of the servant. The 
bread is gone frotn our sacks'] this would suffice if there were any, 
cf. io 4 . The rest of the verse is obscure. — 8. The servant 
relieves the difficulty. He has a quarter of a shekel of money] a 
small coin containing about sixty grains of silver, but proportion- 
ately much more valuable then than now. And thou shalt give it 
to the man of God] a slight change of the text is necessary, as 
Saul must be the giver. — 9. The verse tells us that the prophet 
of to-day was formerly called a seer. It interrupts the connexion 
here, however, and seems to be a marginal note which has crept 
into the text. — 10. The objection being met, Saul consents : 
And they went to city where the man of God was] the city is 
intended by the editor to be Ramah. The original account, how- 
ever, may have named another place. 

5. tftt] cf. i 1 . connects it fancifully with nsx and translates : the land 
in which was the prophet. — 6. RJ-fljn] cf. Gen. I2 11 I K. 22 18 ; the phrase 
invites favourable consideration of the proposition which follows. — For the 
imperfects of repeated experience cf. Dav., Syntax, § 44 a, Dr., Tenses 8 , § 33 a. 
— 7. njm] the case at first sight seems to be one where we should expect. 
p if. But cf. BDB. sub voce. — rmtrn] occurs only here; the versions are 
at a loss, and the word is possibly corrupt. Cappellus (JVotae Criticae, 
p. 435) supposes <& to have read rniwn. We expect and we have nothing elst 
to bring. But this cannot be got out of the text. — unn hd] also is abrupt 
and awkward (some Hebrew editions have hdi). I therefore suspect corrup- 
tion too deep-seated to be healed. — 8. \nroi] <& seems to have read nrui, 
but it is better to correct to innji (Kl.), which will more readily account for 
the corruption. — 9. In v. 6 Samuel has been called dtiSn b»n, on which see 
the note to 2 27 . The verse now before us calls him a Seer (nso), a word used 
twice by Isaiah (28 7 30 10 ), elsewhere only in this passage and in Chronicles 
(1 Chr. 9 22 26 28 29 s9 , dependent on the account before us, and 2 Chr. 16 710 
where it is applied to Hanani). The rarity of the word led a scribe to insert 
this verse as an explanation, which, however, has fallen into the wrong place; 
it belongs after v. 11 . The conception of the prophet (noj) which it betrays 



62 I SAMUEL 

is that of a clairvoyant to whom one may come for the discovery of lost arti- 
cles. On the bearing of the gloss on questions of criticism cf. Briggs, Higher 
Criticism of the Hexateuch 2 , p. 150. — d^jbS] occurs Dt. 2 10 . — Nip 1 ] the 
tense indicates what was customary in the past. 

11. As they were going up the ascent of the city'] cf. 2 S. 15 30 , 
they met maidens coming out to draw water] the usual duty of the 
young women of the village, as we see from the case of Rebecca 
Gen. 24 15f - One well or spring supplied the whole village. — 
12. To the inquiry of Saul whether the Seer is here, they answer : 
He is / Behold he is before you. Just now he came to the city. 
The rest of the verse explains the situation more distinctly : For 
the people have a sacrifice today on the Bamah] at this period of 
Israel's history each town had its sanctuary on a hill in the vicin- 
ity. Hence the name high-place. This one had a building for 
:he accommodation of the worshippers. — 13. As soon as you 
come to the city you shall find him, before he goes up to the Bamah 
to eat] the sacrifice is a feast — "the essential rite was eating the 
flesh of the victim at a feast in which the god of the clan shared 
by receiving the blood and fat pieces " (BDB). The importance 
of Samuel is such that the people will not eat until he comes, for he 
is to bless the sacrifice] it should be noted, however, that blessing 
the sacrifice is not a priestly function, and there is no ritual neces- 
sity for Samuel's presence. — 14. The two strangers follow the 
advice ; but as they come into the city gate Samuel comes out 
towards them on his way to the Bamah. — 15. The verse is a 
digression, showing how Samuel had been prepared for the inter- 
view : Yahweh had told Samuel] lit., had uncovered his ear, cf. 
2Q i2f. 22 8.!7 2 g ? 27 __ 16> About this time to-morrow] Ex. 9 18 (J) 
1 K. 19 2 20 6 . Thou shall anoint him prince over my people Israel] 
the word translated prince (TJ3) is not used in Hexateuch or 
Judges, but is found several times in Samuel and Kings, 1 S. io l 
13 14 25 30 2 S. 5 2 6 21 7 8 1 K. i 35 , etc. It is also found in Chronicles, 
which is probably influenced by the earlier books, and in some 
other late passages. The passages in Samuel seem to belong to 
the same stream of narrative, except 2 S. f. And he shall save 
my people from the hand of the Philistines] the sentence is a 
direct contradiction of 7 llff -. For I have seen the affliction of my 
people] the text of <§>. The evident view of the author is that 



ix. H-2I 63 

the king is a gift of God, and not that there is sin in asking 
such a gift : For their cry is come to me] Ex. 3*. We may note 
that anointing is a rite of consecration for things, as Jacob's mac- 
cebah, Gen. 31 13 (E), the Tabernacle, Ex. 40 9 (P), as well as per- 
sons, 1 K. 19 16 (prophets). There is no reason to suppose the 
significance any different in the case of kings. — 17. When Sam- 
uel saw Saul Yahweh answered him] that is, the question raised in 
his mind : Behold the man of whom I said to thee : He shall rule 
over my people. — 18, 19. Saul questions Samuel : Where is the 
house of the Seer? Samuel replies to the intent of the question 
rather than its form : / am the Seer : go before me to the Ba?nah] 
he politely gives Saul precedence. In the morning I will dismiss 
thee'] the guest goes away with the permission of his host. All 
that is in thine heart] implies that Saul had more questions to 
ask than those about the asses ; moreover, this one is answered at 
once, without waiting for the morrow. — 20. Saul's mind is set at 
rest concerning the asses that strayed now three days ago] and 
more important matters are hinted at : To whom belong the de- 
sirable things of Israel? Is it not to thee and to thy father's house? 
The meaning cannot be called certain. But it does not seem out 
of place that Saul's ambition should be raised to the office within 
his reach. — 21. Saul's answer shows becoming modesty: Ami 
not a Benjamite, of the least of the tribes of Israel, and is not my 
clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin ? The asser- 
tion (put in the form of a question) must not be taken too lite- 
rally. Saul's father, as we have already seen, was a man of stand- 
ing in the community. 

11. Q>hy nan] the circumstantial clause, Dav., Syntax § 141. In some 
cases the clause is followed by rum, which is read by <S L here. — n?:j] in 
this place as Ex. 24 14 (E). — 12. nnD TJflS] why they should hasten is not 
clear. As pointed out by Lagarde (Anm. zur Griechischen Uebersetz d. Pro- 
verbien, p. iii) <{£ read 03UfiS, which he supposed to imply that nnn was made 
up of the final letter of otid^ and the first two of nNnn. This last word, how- 
ever, is not represented in @, and it seems better to read KW ddudS (Bu.). — 
DWi»a] better orro, with <S (We.) cf. Gen. 25 31 1 Sam. 2 16 . — 13. pmnK] 
some MSS. and edd. prefix 1. — DWia] the form we have restored above. On 
the repetition of the accusative cf. Dr., Tenses 3 , § 197. 6. Of the examples 
cited, 2 K. 9 27 seems the only exact parallel. — 14. nx> . . . D^fo] the partici- 
ples indicate the flow of events — they were just coming into the city gate 



64 i SAMUEL 

when Samuel met them, "pyn -pro was conjecturally emended to nptt>n *pna 
by Th., and the emendation is adopted by most moderns, being confirmed by 
v. 18 . The received text makes no difficulty, as the village was probably small 
and compact and the two men would soon reach the centre of it. But as it is 
necessary to read alike in the two verses it seems better to restore ^pm here 
than "Vj?n in v. 18 (Kl.). — 15. rh)i] with pluperfect force, Dr., Tenses 2 -, § 76, 
06$.; Dav., Syntax, § 39 c. — 16. *>DjrnN *rmn] <3K read •>£? yjmH ww\ 
which is evidently original, cf. Ex. 3 7 (E) 2 K. 14 26 . On the meaning of the 
verb rWD cf. an article by Meinel, ZA TW. XVIII. p. 1 ff. — 17. »n"U3H "VMt] ^»- 
cerning whom I said ; a similar expression in v. 23 Gen. 3 17 Jd. 7*. — nxj^] the 
verb nowhere else has the meaning to rule. It means to shut up (the heav- 
ens) Dt. 11 17 , to restrain (an animal) 2 K. 4 24 , /# check (one's words) Job 4 2 . 
But such a meaning seems inappropriate here, and we must suspect the text. 
Kl. proposes If" on the ground of &p£ei <g AB : KaT&p&t. <g L , cf. Jd. Q 22 Is. 
32 1 . — 18. Snidiptin] the verb is generally found with Sx, — unless Num. 4 19 
be an exception, — and this preposition should probably be restored here. — 
n? _, >N] seems to imply that the object sought is in the immediate vicinity, cf. 
1 K. 13 12 . — 19. (& has I am he instead of / am the Seer. — snfam] the pre- 
ceding verb is in the singular, addressed to Saul alone, so that we should 
restore rtasi here. — 20. d^dti] We. and Bu. omit the article. But as the 
prophet has in mind the particular three days which have just elapsed, the 
article seems in place. Cf. Lev. 25 21 : it shall produce a crop sufficient for the 
three years — D'JZtfl cScV — where we must understand the three years you 
have in mind, for they have not been described. — 20. So] is omitted both 
times by ©. — men] the two possible translations are represented in the desire 
of Israel (AV.) and [all] that is desirable in Israel (RV.). The latter is 
favoured by (3 and adopted by Kl., Dr., Ki., and by the analogy of Hag. 2 7 , 
where, however, we should read a plural (and so possibly here). — 21. *JBpe] 
occasional instances occur of an ancient construct ending in ' (Jd. 20 12 cited 
by We.) ; such a form may be represented in the second HM*» (instead of 
bop). "The construction with j» is sometimes virtually a superlative." 
Dav., Syntax, § 34, R. 4. 

22-25. Saul is Samuel's guest. — The room into which they 
are brought is apparently a hall built for the express use of wor- 
shippers at the Bamah, in their sacrificial feasts. Saul and his 
servant are given the place of honour at the head of the guests. 
The simplicity of manners is indicated by the equal treatment 
of Saul and his servant. There were present about thirty men, 
probably the heads of families or the freemen of the village. — 
23. Saul's coming had been anticipated, as we see by Samuel's 
command to the cook : Bring the portion which I gave to thee, 
concerning which I said to thee s Set it by thee~] in Arabia also it 



IX. 22-25 $5 

was customary to set aside a choice portion for an honoured 
guest.* — 24. In obedience to the command the cook lifted the 
leg and the rump] the choice part of the sacrifice, and the one 
still regarded as the portion of honour by the fellahin. The rest 
of the verse is obscure and apparently corrupt. It says : Behold 
what is left] but it is almost certain that the guests had not begun 
the meal until Samuel appeared. And the clause : For it was kept 
for thee to the time appointed, saying, the people I have called] 
is nonsense. With due reserve I propose below an emendation 
which gives the sense : Behold, the meal is served 7 Eat 7 For to 
the appointed time we have waited for thee to eat with the guests] 
if this, or something like it, were the original reading, we see that 
Samuel had directed the villagers to wait for his coming, which 
was of course politeness to his guest. — 25. x\fter the feast, they 
came from the Bamah to the city, and they spread a bed for Saul 
on the roof, and he lay down] the text of the last clause J^ is here 
also unintelligible (in this context), and must be corrected by (3. 
For sleeping on the roof, we have abundant examples in modern 
Oriental life, though no other Old Testament example has come 
under my observation. The verse-division should include the first 
word of the following verse with this. 

22. nnDcS] the hdj^S is a chamber in a palace, Jer. 36 12 , or in the temple, 
Jer. 35 2 "*; one was also in use at Shiloh according to 1 Sam. I 18 <S. — 
awnpn] those invited, the guests. — DMpSm] w<rel e^do/x^KOvra <&. The larger 
number is the less likely to be original. — 23. roto 1 ?] cf. 8 13 . — njcn] 1*. — 
tmOM "ib>n] as in v. 17 . — 24. rvSyn] the intention is to read the preposition 
*hp with the article and pronominal suffix. No other instance of such a con- 
struction has been pointed out (Dr., Notes) ; and if the construction were allow- 
able, it would not be appropriate here, for pvvn is, of course, the leg with 
the flesh upon it. The slight change into rvhvtn seems first to have been 
proposed by Geiger, Urschrift, p. 380, and has everything to commend it. 
The reading is apparently suspected by the Talmud, for the Gemara asks 
(Aboda Zara, 25 11 ) : What was it that was upon the leg? to which Rabbi 
Johanan answers, it was the leg and the rump. Other passages from Talmud 
and Midrash are cited by Dr. The parallel in the custom of the fellahin of 
to-day is noticed by Nestle, Marginalien und Mater alien, p. 13. If n^Nn 
was the original reading, as accepted by We., Bu., Dr., Brown (Lexicon), we 
can see a reason for the mutilation of the word, for the Tvh* was to be burned 

* Wellh., Skizzen, III. p. 114. 



66 i SAMUEL 

upon the altar. The editors supposed it impossible for Samuel to be ignorant 
of this " Mosaic " ordinance. Kl. proposes mSnn, which seems to have no 
superiority to the reading just considered. The difficulty of the rest of the 
verse is admitted. The people do not ordinarily eat until Samuel comes, much 
less would they proceed without him when he had made preparations for a 
guest; IKPjil therefore cannot be right. — »nmp oj?n "idnS] seems absolutely 
unintelligible in the context. For •»n>np . . . ijnaV >2 <8> gives 8ti els fiaprvpiov 
Tideiral <roi irapa roi/s &\\ovs • aird/civ^e (G§ L has TrapaTtdeacd <roi iraph. rod 
XaoO). This is better than f^, but, as pointed out by Dr., y\p, which we 
should assume as the original of aTroicvlfr (so Ew. and We.), is not used in 
biblical Hebrew in the sense of taking food; and after Saul has been exhorted 
to eat, it is superfluous to add fall to. The conjectures of the commentators 
scarcely call for attention, except that of Bu., who restores at the end "f? noe> 
P*mpn dj; Sdn 1 ?. More radical treatment seems to be necessary. What we 
expect is a polite invitation to Saul as the guest of honour to begin the meal, 
because the guests were waiting his lead. First, then, it seems necessary to 
read "ttiwn for 1M8W), ixv being flesh prepared for the table, Ex. 21 10 Ps. 78 20 . 
Samuel says : Behold the meat is set before thee, as we should say, the meal is 
served. For "|S"niD» I would substitute "jS UVtK f we have waited for thee, in 
which case 1pm would be the time to which Samuel and the other guests had 
agreed to wait for the expected stranger. — pr\ ay SdnS I adopt from Bu. in 
place of the useless »nmp oyn nDN 1 ?. — 25. iddb^i iXVthjf hiway -dto] is 
evidently out of pint, for they certainly did not rise in the morning until after 
Samuel called Saul, which follows; /ecu SUaTpiaaav t<$ 2aoi>\ iirl t<£ ddpari. 
teal iKoc/x-^dTj <§ evidently represents aar*1 nn hy hwvh n^n^i. The text is 
corrected accordingly by recent expositors from Schleusner down. Keil alone 
hardens his heart. 

IX. 26-X. 8. Saul is anointed by Samuel. — He also receives 
signs confirmatory of the prophetic commission, and is encour- 
aged, after the signs shall have been fulfilled, to act according to 
his own judgment. At the rising of the daw?i Samuel called to 
Saul on the roof~\ for the time of day cf. Gen. 19 15 32 s5 ■■* Jos. 6 15 . 
The original text seems to have added only : and they went out 
into the street] all three together, as is evident from the next 
verse. — 27. They were going down in the edge of the city when 
Samuel said~] the construction is similar to v. 11 . Say to the lad 
that he pass on] the addition of J^ : and he passed on breaks the 
connexion, and must be exscinded. But thou stand here that I 
may tell thee the word of God] which for the present concerns 
Saul alone. — X. 1. The vial of oil is described by the same word 
which is used in the description of another prophet's anointing of 



IX. 26-X. 3 67 

a king, 2 K. 9 1 3 . And poured it upon his head] the act of anoint- 
ing could not be more clearly described. And kissed him] an evi- 
dence of personal affection, for kissing is nowhere an act express- 
ive of fealty to a king; the kissing of an idol 1 K. 19 18 Hos. 13 2 
can hardly be called parallel. A part of Samuel's words have fallen 
out of f^, and the whole must be restored as follows : Has not 
Yahweh anointed thee as prince over his people Israel? And thou 
shall reign over the people of Yahweh and shall save them from the 
hand of their enemies round about. And this shall be the sign 
that Yahweh has anointed thee over his heritage as prince] it is 
possible that theological prejudice has had something to do with 
the mutilation of the text, for, to the later view, Saul did not act- 
ually save Israel from their enemies. — 2. As Saul has no reason 
for delaying longer, we may suppose that the signs which follow 
occur on the road from Ramah to Gibeah (Saul's home). Unfor- 
tunately we are not able to identify either Ramah or the other 
points mentioned, except Bethel. When thou goestfrom me to-day 
thou shall meet two men at the tomb of Rachel in the boundary of 
Benjamin'] the boundary here mentioned must be the boundary 
between Ephraim and Benjamin, for the district of Zuph was in 
Ephraim. It is impossible therefore to identify the Tomb of 
Rachel here mentioned with the traditional site south of Jeru- 
salem. As Jeremiah hears Rachel weeping for her children in 
Ramah (31 15 ), and as her children are Joseph and Benjamin, we 
naturally suppose her tomb located in the boundary of their 
respective territories. To make Samuel's home in Judah in order 
to bring Saul home by the traditional Tomb is to violate all the 
probabilities. The next word is unintelligible. The men would 
tell him : Thy father has dismissed the matter of the asses and is 
anxious for you, saying : What shall I do for my son ?] the state 
of things anticipated by Saul, 9 s . — 3. The second sign : Thou 
shall pass on thence and come to the Oak of Tabor] supposed by 
some to be identical with the tree of Deborah, between Ramah 
and Bethel, Jd. 4 5 . This can hardly be called probable. The 
grave of Deborah (Rebecca's nurse) is also put in this region by 
Gen. 35 s and associated with it is an oak — the Oak of Weeping. 
In the number of sacred trees which once abounded in the 
country, there is no need to merge these three into one. The 



68 i SAMUEL 

three men he should meet going up to God at Bethel, the ancient 
sanctuary, would have their offerings with them : one carrying 
three kids, one carrying three baskets of bread '] the reading is con- 
jectural, based on the paucity of the three loaves in $fy. Twenty 
loaves are easily carried by a man, 2 K. 4 42 , and would be no 
more than the equivalent of the skin of wine borne by the third 
member of the party. — 4. The men should be so impressed by 
Saul's bearing that they would salute him and give him two loaves, 
an earnest of the backsheesh to be paid later to the king. — 

5. The third sign : Afterwards thou shalt come to Gibeah of God~\ 
apparently the full name of Saul's home, for he goes directly to 
his house after meeting with the prophets. Where is the Resident 
of the Philistines'] evidently the same mentioned in 13 3 , though 
the location there given is Geba. And it shall be at thy coming 
thither thou shalt meet a band of prophets coming down from the 
Bamah with a lyre and tambourine and flute and harp before 
them zvhile they engage in prophesying] it must be evident that we 
have here a company of dervishes engaged in their religious exer- 
cises. The enthusiastic nature of these exercises is evident from 
the later narrative and from the parallel account, 19 18 " 24 . — 

6. And the Spirit of Yahweh will rush upon thee] the same verb 
is used to describe the enthusiasm which seized the earlier heroes 
of Israel, Jd. 14 6 , etc. And thou shalt prophesy with them and be 
turned into another man] it is worth remarking that in the later 
account, 16 13 , the Spirit comes as a result of the anointing. The 
verb used to describe the transformation effected in Saul is the 
same found in Ex. 7 15 (E), where the rod is changed into a ser- 
pent and Ex. 7 1720 (E), where the waters are turned into blood. 
— 7. The coming to pass of the signs will justify Saul in doing 
whatever the occasion demands] cf. Jd. g 33 — for he will be sure of 
the divine help. — 8. The verse is an evident interpolation into 
the earliest narrative, but not necessarily late. It commands Saul 
to go down to Gilgal and to wait there seven days for Samuel. 

26. |D*33Nl] is a corruption of 3Dtt"\ originally the conclusion of the pre- 
ceding verse. — ni^j] some copies have hV??3 (Ginsb.). — njjn] Qre is 
doubtless correct. — onw] lacking in @, is superfluous. Probably the origi- 
nal text was without explicit subject (Bu. omits ^itiDPI mn following We.). 
pn is whatever is outside the house. — 27. "^ri] gives the purpose of the 



X. 3-8 6g 

command. — ^ay^] is superfluous and is lacking in <SJ5. — dto] it seems un- 
necessary to tell him to stand this very minute, whereas in contrast to the pass- 
ing on of the servant it would be natural to tell him to stand here. We should 
probably emend to Df?n with Kl. — X. 1. For kissing the king, Gen. 41 40 
and Ps. 2 12 might be cited, but the text in both is suspicious. — -|nrD- , o ton] 
the construction is apparently smooth. But as in the next verse Samuel goes 
on to give the signs which are to come to pass, it is evident that something is 
missing. (§ inserts after sSn the sentence given above, and this is adopted as 
original by Th., We., Kl., Dr., Bu., Ki., and Ginsb. (margin). It has dropped 
out by homeoteleuton. — in s ru] cf. 26 19 2 S. 14 16 21 3 Jer. 16 18 . — 2. We 
have assumed that Samuel's home was at Ramah, though this document no- 
where so affirms. If the assumption be correct, Ramah can hardly be identi- 
fied with Er-Ram, which is only three miles away from Gibeah. GASmith 
suggests Beit Rima on the western edge of Mt. Ephraim, while Ew. (GV/ S . 
III. p. 31, E. Tr. III. p. 21) puts it at Ram Allah, about ten miles north of 
Jerusalem. The tradition which puts Rachel's tomb near Bethlehem seems 
to go back to Gen. 35 19 (E) 48 7 (J), but must be later than Jeremiah, as 
shown above. The present text of Genesis seems to be interpolated in these 
two passages. — nxSxs] is intended to contain the name of a place — in 
Zelzach. But the definition is already precise enough. The name of the 
place from which the men were coming would be appropriate, in which case 
from Zelah, the burial place of Kish in a later passage 2 S. 21 14 , might be 
conjectured. (3 has a confused variety of readings, one of them possibly 
going back to dtY?s', leaping; which is adopted by Ew. in grosser Eile ; an- 
other (<§ L ) seems to reproduce nnns meridie %. — jx-n] should probably be 
pointed as the participle (Bu.). — 3. noSm] the verb is used of the quick 
motion of the whirlwind, Hab. I 11 , once apparently of transgressing the com- 
mandment, Is. 24 s . It does not seem especially appropriate here, therefore, 
and the text may not be sound. — mn ]V?n] the conjecture which identi- 
fies this with the Palm of Deborah is due to Ew. (GVI. III. p. 31, E. Tr. III. 
p. 21). — nnjD] for reasons given above, the conjecture of Kl. mSo is plau- 
sible and adopted by Bu., but ^Srs seems more likely, cf. 9 7 . — 4. onS-Tip] 
dvo dTrapxas &priov (g evidently had niD3, probably a corruption of an original 
HfCD. — 5. Sx] found in the current editions is lacking in almost all MSS. 
(De Rossi) and omitted by Ginsb. — oxj] we should read 2^: with <&%. 
The word means (1) ait officer or prefect ; (2) a garrison of soldiers ; (3) a 
pillar. As Jonathan smote the one in question it seems most likely to have 
been a single officer stationed by the Philistines as representative of their 
authority. — >n>i] the form is unexpected; Dr. compares 2 S. 5 24 where also 
a divine message is given. But there the message is a command and natu- 
rally employs the jussive, which is inappropriate here. It seems necessary, 
therefore, to correct to rvm. The verb j?jq means he came suddenly upon 
something. — Son] a string, but, as we use band, not necessarily a company 
»n single file. — in omc^] the whole is a circumstantial clause. The names 
of the musical instruments here mentioned are translated, as nearly as may 



70 i SAMUEL 

be, in the foregoing. An elaborate discussion is found in Weiss., Die Musi- 
kalische Instrumente in d. Heiligen Schr. des Alien Testamentes, Graz. 1895. 
— 7. Bu. inserts *>3 before "vr.x on the ground of (&. But this does not 
seem necessary. — 8. That the verse does not belong to the original narrative 
should be evident. It flatly contradicts the preceding command to Saul, to 
act according to his own judgment and the leadings of Providence. It ev^ 
dently prepares for the paragraph 13 8 - 15 which also is an interruption to the 
flow of the narrative. The interpolation is recognized as such by We. (Comp. 
245, 248), Stade (GVf. I. p. 211), Co., Bu. I have given reasons in the 
introduction for thinking the insertion not so late as is generally supposed. — 
Seven days shalt thou wait . . . then I will tell thee~\ on the construction cf. 
Moore, Judges, p. 350. 

9-16. The return of Saul. — The author condenses his account, 
dwelling only on the third of the three expected signs. Possibly 
the narradve was once fuller. He now says that as Saul turned 
to go from Samuel God gave him another understa?iding~\ the 
words do not seem inappropriate here, though they do not ex- 
actly correspond to the place of Saul's ( conversion ' in the pre- 
diction, v. 6 . It is psychologically quite comprehensible that the 
impulse should anticipate the predicted order of events. — 10. He 
came thence to Gibeah~\ seems to be the correct reading. The 
rest of the verse is sufficiently clear from v. 5 . — And he played the 
prophet in the midst 0/ them'] the verb is apparently denominative. 
— 11. The result in the minds of the people is: that every one 
who knew him in times past and saw him raving with the proph- 
ets said each to his fellow : What now has come upon the son of 
Kish? The Hebrew sentence is awkward, and perhaps should 
be emended, but the general sense is clear. The question is 
repeated in another form : Is Saul also among the prophets'] the 
implication is that his former life had been of a very different 
kind from theirs. — 12. The first clause is perfectly plain in 
meaning in itself considered, but entirely unintelligible in this 
context : And a man from there answered and said : And who is 
their father? As generally interpreted, the question is intended 
to say : the son of Kish is as much to be expected among them as 
any one else ; prophetic inspiration does not depend upon parentage. 
But this is so patent a fact that it seems needless to call attention 
to it. The question what has happened to the son of Kish? does 
not mean that Saul's parentage was such that he could not be 



X. 9-i6 71 

expected to prophesy, but that his known individual character 
was such that his prophesying was a surprise. On this theory the 
question who is their father is indeed pia quidem vox sed quae 
ipsi questioni non satisfecit (Schm.). Such an answer could 
hardly be composed by our author. The original reading seems 
to be lost. Because of this incident a proverb circulated in the 
form : Is Saul also among the prophets ? The Rabbinical expos- 
itors see in the question of v. 11 an expression of surprise that the 
son of so lowly a man as Kish should be found in such distin- 
guished company. The reverse is more likely, for Kish has been 
described as a well-to-do man, and it is evident from some pas- 
sages in the historical books that the prophets did not stand high 
in the estimation of the people. — 13. After a time Saul ceased 
prophesying and went down to the house'] on the reading see 
the note below. — 14. Saul's uncle asks about the journey. — 

15, 16. His further question as to Samuel's word only brought 
out the reply : Why I he told us that the asses were found. 

9. mm] should be ^mi. The scribe was misled by the preceding series of 
verbs (Dr.). — VWO] Jer. 48 s9 is the nearest parallel. — nami] Zeph. 3 9 , 
cited by Dr., protects the verb here (contra Kl.). — 3 1 ?] our word heart hardly 
expresses the idea, which is that his mind was illuminated, cf. BDB. s.v. — 
10. DP waM] Kal epxerat i/ceWev @. As the servant has been lost sight of for 
some time @ seems to be correct. But if we adopt DPS it seems clear that 
something has dropped out. — 11. lyTP"^ wi] the nearest parallel seems to 
be 2 S. 2 23 where we have torrS:) tpi followed by TTDjni in the apodosis. But 
the point is here not that all who knew him saw him, but that all who knew 
him and saw him asked the question. It seems better and more vigorous 
therefore to make IDIOl begin the apodosis and omit oyn with %. For the 
construction cf. Nu. 21 8 , where however the other tense is used. — nrnD] on 
the form of the question BDB. s.v. nr. — 12. ttPD] seems to have been read 
one by <5£. — DPl»3«] waTrjp aiirov (Q5& \ seems to give no help. 8 interprets : 
and who is their master ? — which seems as irrelevant as the ordinary transla- 
tion. — 13. nsan] As Saul met the prophets coming from the Bamah he 
would probably not go on thither but to his home. We. therefore conjectures 
m-on. There he would meet his uncle who appears in the next verse. — 
14. The uncle on the father's side would have almost a father's claim. — 

16. mjn -un] the adverbial infinitive strengthens the verb : he told us, sure ! 
The second half of the verse is relegated to the margin by Bu. perhaps cor- 
rectly. It really adds nothing to the sense. — 'Ctt> nos *vpn] is lacking in <J| B . 

On the meaning of noj. — The word is obscure and we can do little 
more than note the bounds of our ignorance. The word does not seem to be 



J2 i SAMUEL 

Hebrew in its origin, as the verb exists only in the denominative forms. It is 
however a good Semitic form, like Tip a harvester, "vpe an overseer. As 
these examples show, nouns of this form usually describe a person who devotes 
himself steadily to the particular action indicated by the root. The only clue 
to the root meaning of *oj is in Arabic where it means: (i) he uttered a low 
voice or sound, (2) he was elevated, (3) he went from a land to another land. 
Hoffmann (ZATW. III. p. 87) explains (2) to be he rose into view, he comes 
from another region, where we cannot see him, into our own. He therefore 
supposes the sos: to be one who rises [is roused] from his sluggishness under 
the influence of a divine inspiration. This seems rather forced, however, and 
as the organs of supernatural communication notoriously chirp, or mutter, or 
give forth a murmuring sound, it seems most likely that the nabi was originally 
the mutlerer. Later we find Saul jojhd under the influence of an evil spirit, 
where the utterance of inarticulate sounds would probably be one of the 
phenomena. The prophet is elsewhere called insane — jura — where also 
the utterance of incoherent sounds is probably one of the symptoms, 2 K. 9 11 
Jer. 29 26 . The account of the nebiim in the text reminds us strongly of the 
priests of the Syrian goddess described by Lucian. The • prophets ' of Baal, 
also, rave about the altar, 1 K. 18 29 . 

17-27. The public choice and anointing of Saul. — Samuel 
calls the people to Mizpah and by the sacred lot selects a king. 
The lot falls upon Saul who is found after some search and anointed. 
He is received by some with enthusiasm while others are indifferent. 

The account continues 8 22 * 1 directly. Having expostulated with 
the representatives of the people at Ramah, Samuel is finally 
directed to yield to their desires. He therefore (in this para- 
graph) calls an assembly of the whole people to the sanctuary at 
Mizpah. If the whole intervening story is left out, the narrative 
is without a break. The style is homogeneous ; Mizpah is the 
place of assembly here and in 7 j the author here, as in 8, ex- 
presses the idea that the monarchy is a rejection of Yahweh. 

Our paragraph seems to be homogeneous down to 25a . After this, we may 
suspect that the dismission of the people to their homes is intended to prepare 
the way for 11 — the original continuation of 25a being 12*. I find no reason 
for suspecting 17-19^ w jth Cornill, or a,ft , with Budde. The evidences for a 
comparatively late date are the same here as in other parts of the same docu- 
ment. In accordance with his general theory Bu. derives the paragraph 
from E. 

17. A general assembly of the people is called at Mizpah as 
in 7. The reason for the choice of Mizpah may be the same that 



X. i 7 -2 4 73 

influenced the author of Jd. 20. — 18. Yahweh again reproaches 
the people with ingratitude : I brought you up from Egypt and 
delivered you from the hand of Egypt, and from the hand of all 
the kingdoms that were oppressing you] the construction is unusual, 
and it is possible that the passage has been interpolated. — 19. 
Their sin is rejection of Yahweh : who has been your saviour] the 
same word is used of the judge, Jd. 3 15 . The author has the idea 
which is illustrated in the occurrence described in 7 7 " 14 . And ye 
said : No! but a king shall thou place over us] the reference is 
evidently to 8 19 . In order to the fulfilment of their desire he 
commands them to station themselves before Yahweh (who would 
choose among them) : by your tribes and by your thousands] the 
thousand is a subdivision of a tribe Jd. 6 15 . — 20, 21. The choice 
is made by the sacred lot, each tribe coming by its representatives 
before the oracle and receiving the answer yes or no, until the 
proper one is found. The account is parallel to Jos. 7 16 " 18 , where 
however there are four stages instead of three. In the first stage 
the tribe of Benjamin is taken. This tribe was brought by its 
clans and the clan of the Matrite was taken] the name occurs 
nowhere else, and some have supposed an error. One of the 
sons of Benjamin in Gen. 46 21 is Beker, which may be the original 
here.* We should now insert with (3 : and he brought near the 
clan of Matri man by man] the clause has fallen out of J^ but is 
necessary to the sense. Kish would represent the household now 
chosen. Among his sons the name of Saul finally came out, but 
the man himself was not to be found. — 22. To the question : 
Did the man come hither ?] the oracle replied : He is hidden in 
the baggage] out of modesty of course. Slight changes in the text 
of this and the following verse will be noted below. — 23. One 
ran and fetched him thence and as he stood among the people he 
was taller than all the people from his shoulder upward] a head 
taller, as we should say. A Lapide quotes from the Aeneid: 
cunctis altior ibat (of Anchises), and: toto vertice supra est (of 
Turnus), and similar language from Pliny concerning Trajan. 
Before the invention of firearms, personal strength was essential 
in a leader, as indeed it is still among the Arabs. f — 24. At the 

* E\v., G r/3. in. p . 33 (E. Tr. III. p. 23) . t Doughty, II. p. 27 sq. 



74 i SAMUEL 

presentation to the people, they shout : May the king live / the 
usual greeting to a ruler, 2 S. 16 16 1 K. i 2531 2 K. n 12 . The 
Emir of Hayil in Central Arabia is saluted with : O, long of days ! 
and his subjects in speaking of him say : God give him long 
life ! * Whether this account originally added that Samuel anointed 
Saul is not certain, but this is rendered probable by the language 
of 15 1 . — 25 a . Samuel recited before the people the custom of the 
kingdom and wrote it in a book and deposited it before Yahweh"] it 
seems impossible to understand this of anything else than the 
custom of the king already recited in 8 9 " 18 . This was threatened 
as the penalty of the people's choice. As they have persisted in 
their choice, the threat will be carried out. The document is laid 
up before Yahweh as a testimony, so that when they complain of 
tyranny they can be pointed to the fact that they have brought it 
upon themselves. 

25 b -27. The original document seems to have joined 12 1 (Sam- 
uel's farewell) directly to 25a . The rest of this chapter is inserted 
to give room for 1 1 in which Saul appears still as a private citizen. 
In the theory of the editor he did not assume kingly power at 
once, because the people did not recognize him, or at least a 
considerable part did not recognize him, as king. When Samuel 
dismissed the people there went with Saul only the brave men 
whose heart God had touched] the phrase does not occur else- 
where (Jer. 4 18 is different) but the meaning is sufficiently evident. 
But the base nun] lit. sons of belial, Jd. 19 22 , said; How shall 
this fellow save us f] with a touch of contempt in the form of 
the question. In consistency they brought him no present'] cf. o 7 . 
There is no thought as yet of fixed taxes. The two words at the 
end of this verse in J^ belong to the next section. 

17. pjnt\| the Hiphil only here, but p'JRfl is found in the meaning he called 
out the warriors, 2 S. 20 5 Jd. 4 10 - 13 . — 18. nn> nnNTiu] the usual beginning 
of a prophetic speech as 2 27 . — ^Syn] of the deliverance from Egypt, usual 
in E but not confined to him. — D^nSn niaSonn] the disagreement in gender 
may be accounted for by supposing the participle to be construed ad sensum. 
But I suspect the original had only niaSnon which a scribe found too sweeping 
and tried to correct by insertion. The verb ynh is used Jd. 2 18 4 s al., usually 

* Doughty, II. pp. 55, 226. 



x. 24-xi. 75 

in Deuteronomistic passages. — 19. BTpMt] of the people's rejection of Yah- 
weh 8 7 Num. n 2j cf. 14 31 (late^). — V?] in the received text is replaced by nS 
by the Qre and in a number of MSS., as well as in <&&WL. — nm> >:sh ns>nn] 
Jos. 24 1 . — 20. 2ipM] exactly as in Jos. 7 17 . — 21. OTTOPC^JT/..' vnriDB>DS Qre. As 
the next verse begins with 1 the original may have been simply ninca'D 1 ? (<£). 
After H33P, <& AB adds: Kai irpo<rayov<Tiv ttjv <pv\r)v Marrapet eij AvSpas, <& L 
has an equivalent, but does not agree verbally. Probably a clause of this sig- 
nificance has dropped out of "fa — so all recent scholars suppose. — 22. V?N8«i] 
Kai iirrjpuTrjaev Sa/iov^X <& B & Probably the original was simply Snpm. For 
the next clause B"K oSn -\v; son, <3 B has: ei Zpxcrai dvrjp evravda. This 
alone corresponds to the answer which follows, and we restore (with Th., al.) 
tt"Nn uS.t ion. The baggage of an army is D^jn, 17 22 25 13 . — 23. ix-pi] read 
the singular with <&; the unexpressed personal subject with the singular is 
appropriate here. — 24. □rnjon] with daghesh dirimens Ges. 26 § 22 s. — la] (3 
reads »?, but '3 "VU is found i6 8 - 9 - 10 2 S. 6 21 Dt. 18 5 21 5 . — Bpn fwaf] to iraaiv 
vp.lv <g. The case is difficult to decide; 03*733 is perhaps more likely to have 
been changed (under the influence of the OJpHys which precedes and follows) 
than the reverse. — i;"vi] Kai eyvuvav (& B ; the Hebrew seems to be original. 
Before v;*n Bu. inserts by conjecture "jSc*? mn-'sn, while Co. would apparently 
insert the same words at the end of the verse. It is possible, however, that 
this author supposed Saul not to have been anointed, and that the allusion in 
15 1 is an interpolation. The command to Samuel in 8 22 says nothing of 
anointing. — 26. Snn] the army is out of place here; read ^m ys with <S 
(Th., al.). — M^ D»h*?M jwwk] no similar phrase has been pointed out. — 
27. n?] is used in contempt, 21 16 25 21 2 S. 13 17 , cf. BDB. s.v. — B*VTO3 vm] 
the words are a corruption of two which originally opened the following 
paragraph. 

Chapter XI. The Ammonite invasion, the part taken by Saul, 
and the effect on his fortunes. — Nahash the Ammonite besieges 
Jabesh Gilead, and the people offer to submit to him. But he 
will put scorn upon them and upon all Israel, by putting out every 
man's right eye. His contempt for Israel is seen in the confi- 
dence with which he allows the Jabeshites to seek help from their 
kinsmen. The messengers come to Gibeah, where the people are 
moved to pity, but also to despair. Saul alone is aroused by the 
message, and by the Spirit of God, to heroic measures. At his 
peremptory summons the people march to the relief of the 
beleaguered city. The Ammonites are taken completely by sur- 
prise, and the deliverance is equally complete. In recognition 
of Saul's kingly qualities, the people make him king at Gilgal with 
religious rejoicing. 



76 I SAMUEL 

The piece is a part of the narrative which we left at io 16 . The 
tone is entirely different from that of io 17 " 27 . The author is in 
ignorance of the public appointment of Saul as king. The mes- 
sengers from Jabesh come to Gibeah, not to seek Saul, but to 
appeal to the people. No one thinks it necessary to send for 
Saul to the field. He comes home at the regular time, and then 
has to inquire before he is told what is the matter. More com- 
plete disregard of what is related as having taken place at Mizpah 
could not be imagined. On the other hand, the entire consonance 
of this chapter and ^-io 16 is evident, and the author seems to 
have foreshadowed this event when he says : do as the occasion 
serves, for God is with thee (io 7 ). 

The resemblance between this passage and some of the early 
narratives of the Book of Judges is plain. The integrity of the 
piece has suffered in vv. M " 14 , as will be shown. 

1-3. The invasion and the terms offered. — // came to pass in 
about a month] the reading is that of (3. — Nahash the Ammonite] 
he is called later, king of the Bne Amnion. The name means 
Serpent, cf. 2 S. 17 25 and Nahshon, Ex. 6 23 . This Nahash lived 
until some time after David was settled in Jerusalem, 2 S. io 2 . 
The Ammonites were kindred of Israel (Gen. 19 31 - 38 ), but always 
troublesome neighbours, cf. Moore on Jd. 1 1 4 . In the theory of 
the Israelitic writers they occupied the desert east of Gilead, 
Dt. 2 1(i_25 - 37 , but they are represented as claiming the territory 
as far as the Jordan. Probably they were not scrupulous about 
an ancestral title, but like the Bedawin of the present day asserted 
themselves wherever they had the power. — And besieged Jabesh 
Gilead] lit. enca?nped upon. But where the Bedawin encamp 
upon a territory they destroy it ; and while unable to undertake a 
formal siege, they quickly reduce a walled town to submission by 
depriving it of supplies, 2 K. 25 1 . Jabesh is mentioned Jd. 21 1 
S. 3 1 11 2 S. 2 45 2 1 12 and in Chronicles. It is placed by Eusebius 
six miles from Pella on the road to Gerasa, and is now generally 
identified with Ed-Deir on the Wady Yabis, which appears to 
preserve the ancient name. The men of Jabesh are willing to 
become tributaries. — Make terms with us that we may serve thee] 
the Bedawin frequently reduce the towns of the oases to the con- 



xi. i-3 77 

dition here in mind, receiving a percentage of all crops. The 
case of Khaibar when it surrendered to Mohammed is in point. 
The covenant here asked is evidently imposed by the stronger 
party, cf. Jos. 9 ; but it naturally binds him to cease from further 
molestation when it has once been ratified. — 2. The reply of 
Nahash : On this stipulation I will make terms with you : the 
boring out of every man's right eye~\ lit. by boring out for you every 
right eye. Josephus supposes the intention to be to make them 
unfit for war. But the Bedawy's motive is probably no deeper 
than the pleasure of insulting an enemy : Thereby I will put igno- 
miny on all Israel] the disgrace of Jabesh would be a gibe in the 
mouth of all Israel's enemies, cf. 1 7 10 . — 3. A respite of seven 
days is asked : That we may send messengers through all the terri- 
tory of Israel, and if there be none to save us we will come out to 
thee. At the end of the verse (g L adds that they sent out the 
messengers, but such complementary insertions are not infrequent. 

1. Kcu iyev/idrj u>s perk fMrjva @ AB ; Kal iytvero /ierd p.r}va rj/xepQp <S L 
evidently represents a variant of mnD3 *W which is found in $% at the end 
of the preceding verse and there supposed to mean : and he was like one 
holding his peace, that is, in reference to the scoffs of the crowd. But it is 
difficult to see why the author should make a comparison when it would be 
more natural to say directly and he held his peace. The reading of @ is restored 
in the form tmvoi tim by Th. and adopted by most later scholars. The form 
v*rtD3 is possible, as we see from Gen. 38 s4 vhvDS, but as the p is superfluous 
I think bhh idd more probable. On the identification of Jabesh Gilead, Eu- 
sebius in OS. 268; Moore, fudges, p. 446, who cites the recent authorities. 
— ruta uS-ma] the usual formula, Jos. 9 15 24 25 2 S. 5 3 2 K. 1 1*. The term 
seems to have originated in the cutting apart of a victim, cf. WRSmith, Rel. 
Sent. pp. 297, 461 ; Doughty, II. p. 41 ; Valeton in ZA TW. 12, p. 227 ff.; and 
Kraetschmar, Die Bundesvorstelling im AT. (1896). — 2. run] apparently 
the 3 of price. After ddS 13 MSS. and (!£ BL add rm But the omission 
makes no difficulty. — ddV *np:a] 4v r£ 4£opv%ai vfiQv <g BL . That they should 
do the mutilating themselves would be a refinement of cruelty. But the Bed- 
awy might not so regard it. — ipj is used of the ravens picking out the eye, 
Prov. 30 17 ; the Piel in the same sense Jd. 16 21 . — rpncri] <£ AB seems to omit 
the suffix. — *?:)] omitted by <g B . — 3. ^pr] AvSpes (3; the latter is favoured 
by Bu. on the ground of v. 1 . But the conformity is more likely to be the result 
of correction by a scribe than the dissimilation. — Mb *pn] cf. 2 K. 4 27 . The 
protasis with ps"DN) is followed by perfect with waw consecutive as in Ex. 22 2 
Num. 27 9 . The fact that pit has a participle under its government does not 
make the sentence different from those cited. — ywm'] with the accusative, 
as in 14 39 Jd. 6 3G . 



78 i SAMUEL 

4-7 a . The reception of the message by Saul. — The mes- 
sengers came to Gibeah of Saul] the town seems to have gone by 
this name later, Is. io 29 . There were several other towns which 
bore the name Gibeah. (3 has, to Gibeah to Saul, which is contra- 
dicted by what follows. — The people wept aloud~\ Jd. 2 4 21 2 i S. 
30 4 2 S. 1 3 s6 . — 5. Saul was Just coming after the oxen from the 
field] as already noticed, the messengers made no inquiry for Saul, 
no care was taken to send for him, no special attention was paid 
to him when he came in sight, but he was left to find out the 
cause of the commotion by questioning the people. All this 
shows that it was not on account of Saul that the messengers came 
to Gibeah. — 6. And the Spirit of Yahweh~\ so is probably to be 
read with (3 and some MSS. of f^, favoured also by fc — And 
his wrath became very hot] in Jd. 14 19 also the Spirit of Yahweh 
is the efficient cause of wrath. — 7 a . And he took a yoke of oxen 
and cut them in pieces'] the verb is used of cutting up a sacrificial 
victim, 1 K. 18 2333 and elsewhere; in one instance it describes 
the cutting up of a human body Jd. 19 29 20 6 . In this latter case 
also the pieces are sent throughout all Israel. The threat con- 
veyed is : Whoever comes not forth after Saul, so shall his oxen 
be treated] Ewald's theory that the oxen were slain as a sacrifice 
is without support in the text. The clause, and after Samuel, is 
probably a later insertion. 

5. *o] is apparently the participle. — npa] is the ploughing cattle, so that 
Saul had been tilling his field. Classic parallels for the king cultivating his 
own fields are given in Poole, Synopsis. — 6. nSxm] the same verb in io 6 . — 
ovi^n] some MSS. have mrp which is favoured also by <S. v:e"'2 Kt., lyra'D 
Qre ; the latter is more vigorous. — Snidk> nnxi] is a redactional insertion 
(Co.). 

7 b -ll. The deliverance. — A terror from Yahweh fell upon the 
people and they gathered as one man] the terror was a terror of 
Yahweh in that he sent it. Its object was Saul ; the people were 
afraid to disobey. For they gathered (3, they went out is given by 
J^. — 8. Bezek, the place of muster, is identified with Khirbet 
Ibzik, " thirteen miles northeast from Shechem on the road down 
to Bethshan" (G. A. Smith, Geog. p. 336). The location is well 
suited to be the starting-point in this expedition, being nearly 
opposite Jabesh Gilead. The enormous numbers — the Bne 



XI. 4-1 1 79 

Israel 300,000 and the men of Judah 30,000 — are to be judged 
like similar data elsewhere, cf. Jd. 20 2 . — 9. And he said'] Saul is 
the subject ((3) : To-morrow deliverance will come to you when the 
sun grows hot] Saul had detained the messengers until he could 
give a definite answer. The people of Jabesh naturally rejoiced 
at receiving the assurance. — 10. To keep the besiegers in false 
security, the men of Jabesh promise to come out to them on the 
next day : And you shall do to us whatever you please] lit. accord- 
ing to all that is good in your eyes, cf. 3 18 14 8640 2 S. io 12 Jd. 19 24 . — 
11. The morrow began at sunset of the day on which the message 
was sent, so the army doubtless marched all night as Josephus says. 
Saul divided his troops into three columns as did Gideon, Jd. 7 16 , 
and Abimelech Jd. q 43 . The advantage of attacking on different 
sides at the same time is obvious. — And they came into the midst 
of the camp] the attack was not discovered until the Israelites 
were already in the midst of the scattered camp. The morning 
watch is mentioned also Ex. 14 24 ; the night was divided into 
three watches, notice the ?niddle watch, Jd. 7 19 . — And they smote 
Ammon until the heat of the day a?id there was . . .] the word is 
probably corrupt. What we expect is a statement that there was 
a great slaughter or a great panic. They scattered and there we?'e 
not left two together. 

Note. — The reason for rejecting the numbers in v. 8 is that in the time of 
Deborah the total fighting strength was 40,000 men, Jd. 5 8 , and under great 
stress Barak was able to bring only ten thousand into the field. There is no 
reason to suppose that Israel had greatly increased since that time; the 
Philistine oppression indicates the reverse. The later account of Saul's cam- 
paigns makes the impression that he at no time commanded a large force. On 
the other hand, the ease with which numbers' increase in size on paper is seen 
from <S here which doubles the 300,000 of |£, while Josephus raises it to 
700,000. 

7b. inpi] does not give a bad sense, but as <3 renders ip>'XM, this is restored 
by We., al.; the phrase nns Z">X3 is used with verbs meaning to gather, Jd. 20 1 
Ezra 3 1 Neh. 8 1 ; nowhere with ns\ — 8. A Bezek is mentioned in Jd. 1* 
where it would be supposed to be in Judah. (§ seems to have read in 
Ramah, which however was early corrupted to Bamah or Bala (I). The 
identification of our Bezek with Khirbet Ibzik is as old as the fourteenth 
century, cf. Moore on Jd. I 5 . — 9. riDim] koX elirev <& AB is apparently correct. 
— ^m] onD Qre fixes the point of time more exactly. — 10. rai nw* nbKMj 
(g adds to Nahash the Ammonite and something of the kind seems necessary. 



80 i SAMUEL 

Hut I suspect the original reading to have been only Vtvh r\DW\ and that the 
second word was corrupted to "C'jx. For aton-Va?, (H AB gives simply to ayadov, 
and the shorter reading is to be preferred. — 11. DVPm] of the divisions of the 
army, Jd. 7 16 934.43 j s. 13!?. On the double accusative, Dav., Syntax, § 76. 
For Amnion (& gives sons of Amnion which accords with almost uniform usage. 
— D»"WWn] can be construed (cf. io 11 2 S. 2 23 ), but it is extremely awkward. 
Some relief is given by changing vm to Din, but the corruption is probably 
deeper. 

12-15. The installation of Saul. — The people demand Saul 
as king, and, going down to Gilgal, they celebrate a feast of coro- 
nation — except that we hear nothing of a crown. 

The paragraph has been worked over to fit the present com- 
posite narrative. Samuel probably had no place in the original 
document — the related section, (^-io 16 , makes him only the seer 
of a single town. There is no reason why he should accompany 
Saul to the war or why he should officiate at his public recogni- 
tion. But in vv. 12-14 we find Samuel acting as leader and recog- 
nized authority. There is reason to suppose, therefore, that these 
verses in their present shape are the redactional bonds between 
the two streams of narrative. Verse 15 , on the other hand, may 
be a fragment of the original narrative, but something must have 
stood between it and v. 11 . 

12-15. The evidences of adaptation to the present situation found in vv. 12-14 
are emphasized by We. (Com/>. p. 243) and Stade (GVI. 1. p. 212). The three 
verses are regarded as an interpolation by Co. (Eint s . p. 100), and Bu. (J?S. 
p. 173). Driver specifies only v. 14 as redactional (Z07' 6 . p. 176). 

12. Who is he who says : Saul shall not reign over us f\ the 
negative is omitted in the current Hebrew, but found in @j&& as 
well as some MSS. — 13. And Saul said] the traces of a reading 
and Samuel said are of no value. Saul's magnanimity is the 
point of the reply. — Not a man shall be put to death] the verb 
in this form is generally used of inflicting death as a penalty. — 
14. Samuel proposes to go to Gilgal and reneiv the kingdom 
there] there is no reason to suppose that the Gilgal here men- 
tioned is any but the well-known sanctuary in the Jordan valley, 
not far from Jericho (Jos. 4 19, " Jd. 2 1 ). The word renew the king- 
dom is a palpable allusion to the preceding account, and therefore 
redactional. On the other hand, Gilgal seems to belong to the 



xi. 12-xii. 8 1 

main stratum, for otherwise the people would have been invited 
again to Mizpah. — 15. They made Saul king] the verb is the 
same used in S 22 . — There before Yahweh in Gilgal~\ the repeated 
mention of Gilgal seems superfluous, but is perhaps intended to 
bring out the importance of the occasion. — They sacrificed there 
sacrifices, peace offerings] the phrase sacrifices of peace offerings 
is more common. The rendering peace offerings is conventional, 
as the original meaning of th.e word is unknown. It designates 
the offerings in which the greater part of the flesh forms a sacrifi- 
cial meal. The rejoicing before Yahweh is a prominent element 
in early worship. 

12. ihw SiNir] may possibly be a question without the interrogative particle, 
but of the examples cited as parallel some, at least, do not belong here. Either 
the n or the negative has dropped out; and as the latter has external authority 
(J&&K) it seems best to restore it. Kl.'s conjecture : Rather let Sheol rule 
over us! may be cited as a curiosity. — 13. Sinc] Sa/xouTjX <H B is a mere cleri- 
cal error. — 14. Gilgal in this passage might be supposed to be the Gilgal in 
Mt. Ephraim, 2 K. 2 1 . But elsewhere in the Books of Samuel the Gilgal in the 
Jordan valley is intended. So in io 8 where nw is appropriate only to the 
lower site, cf. 13 12 . The name (usually written or pointed with the article) 
means the circle and designated a circle of sacred stones, a cromlech, cf. Dr. 
on Dt. 11 30 , Moore on Jd. 2 1 . For the location we have Jos. 4 19 - *, Eusebius 
OS. p. 243, Baedeker Pal 2 , p. 167. — tr'inji] the Piel seems to occur in late 
passages. Kl. tries to make it mean let us inaugurate the kingdom, so 
avoiding reference to the earlier anointing. But this is not supported by any 
other passage. — 15. xh&y\ @ reads: /ecu ex/ 3 "^" 2a/xou7?\ iicei [rbv Saoi>\] 
ci'j /Sao-iX&i. The shorter text seems original. — oidVc] may be the offerings 
which show the undisturbed relations which exist between God and the wor- 
shipper, Stade, G VI. I. p. 496. <& inserts /ecu' before the word here. 

XII. Samuel's farewell address. — Samuel addresses the peo- 
ple, protesting his integrity during a long career. The people 
bear him witness. He then reviews Yahweh's dealings with Israel 
from the time of Moses, and enumerates their backslidings, the 
punishments which had followed, and the deliverances which 
came when they cried to Yahweh. In spite of this experience 
they had not trusted Yahweh in the recent danger from Nahash, 
but had demanded a king. If they and their king should fear 
Yahweh, it might yet be well. But if they should be rebellious, 
king and people would be destroyed. In evidence of the truth 



82 i SAMUEL 

of his words he offers a miracle, and Yahweh sends it in the shape 
of a thunderstorm, though the season is wheat harvest. The 
people are terrified, and confess that the demand for a king is 
another in their list of sins. Samuel encourages them that Yahweh 
will not reject them, but repeats his warning against defection. 

The contrast in thought and style between this section and the 
preceding is obvious, and equally obvious is its resemblance to 
7, 8, and io 17-24 . Outside the Books of Samuel the nearest paral- 
lel is Jos. 24 — Joshua's farewell address. The present chapter 
seems to be less original than that, and is possibly framed after it 
as a model. The thought and language remind us of the frame- 
work of the Book of Judges, and there is no violence in the sup- 
position that this address once closed the account of the period 
of the Judges, as Joshua's farewell address closed the account of 
the conquest of Canaan. In this case the author who set forth 
his scheme of history in Jd. 2 n ~3 6 , and repeated it in Jd. io 6 " 18 , 
closed his book (or this section of the history of Israel) with this 
chapter as a retrospect. 

On the relation between this section and the framework of the Book of 
Judges, see Moore, Judges, p. xxiii. Graf's theory that this was the closing 
section of the pre-Deuteronomic Judges seems disproved by the style and 
vocabulary, as does Bu.'s (J?S. p. 182) that it belongs to E 2 which he puts 
before 650 B.C. The question is important enough to warrant a somewhat 
detailed examination of the usage of the section. We should first notice that 
Bu. strikes out a number of clauses as Deuteronomistic expansions. But there 
seems to be no evidence for such a working over of the chapter as this would 
imply. Leaving these in the text we note the following affinities : 1. Ti;?ctt> 
oaSipa] frequent in D. — 2. d^jd 1 ? -jVnnD] Gen. 48 15 (E). — 3. rwro] frequent 
in Sam. and Psalms. — *np*jf| Lev. 19 13 Dt. 24 14 28 29 , frequent in Ezek. and 
the second Isaiah. — »ran] in connexion with pvy in Dt. 28 38 Am. 4 1 and in 
many confessedly late authors. — 1D3 npb~] Num. 35 31f - (P) Am. 5 12 . — d^jw 
ipj] Lev. 20*.— 4. TOWD] Gen. 39 23 40 15 (J) Num. 22 38 (E) Dt. 13 18 .— 
5. mm tj~\ occurs nowhere else, but nearly parallel are those passages in 
which a sacred object is made witness to a declaration, as Jos. 22 27 (P) 
Gen. 31 44 (JE). — 6. iwyj of appointing men to a work, 1 K. 12 81 2 K. 21 6 
Is. 28 16 Eccl. 2 8 . — Moses and Aaron] usually associated in P and Chr., 
nowhere in the historical or prophetical books except here — Moses, Aaron, 
and Miriam stands by itself (Mic. 6 4 ). — rh*jr\~\ of the deliverance from Egypt 
in E, D, Hos. 12 14 Jer. 16 14 23 7 al. and in redactional passages. — 7. VUPJin] 
Ex. 14 18 (J) 1 S. io 19 . — riDBBW] in this sense Jer. 2 85 Ezek. 20 35f - Joel 4 2 and 
other late passages. — mm niptx] Jd. 5 11 and, with a different shade of mean- 



XII. i-j S3 

ing, Mic. 6 5 . — 8. D*W8 3pT W] ^en. 46 s Ex. i 1 (both P). — mm-SK ipp?Mj 
a standing phrase of the Deuteronomistic redactor of Jd.; cf. I S. 7 8 - 9 8 18 . — 
BW«n] Lev. 23 43 Ezek. 36"-*— 9. no "ODm] Jd. 2 14 3 8 4 2 io 7 . — 10. wan 
U3?p »a] Jd. io 10 . 2r; is used of forsaking the true God, Jd. io 10 - 13 Dt. 28 20 
3 1 16 Jer. 16 11 and often in Kings. — D^an] Jd. 2 11 , cf. 2 13 where the Ashtaroth 
are brought in as here. — 11. Da^M me] 2 K. 17H — 3O0D D3f»3»K] Dt. I2 1} 
25 19 Jos. 23 J Jd. 2 14 8 3i .— noa ia-".m] Dt. 12 10 . — 12. dddSd mrm] Is. 33 22 43 15 - 
— 14. mnvrwi wwra*] Dt. 6 2 - 13 io 20 Jos. 24 14 . — nvn *fl-nn non] Num. 20 24 
27 14 (P) Dt. i 26 - 43 9 23 1 K. 1321.26, — is. Dj;3 nirn -p nnv-i)] Ex. 9 3 (J) Dt. 2 15 
Jd. 2 15 1 S. 7 13 . — 16. WVjh W*] Dt. i 30 4 34 29 1 Ex. 7 20 (E). — 17. nV?p frw] 
Ex. 9 23 (E). — ^HW? onMB»p ntt'x] the infinitive with V, specifying more nearly 
what is meant by a preceding noun, is found Gen. 18 19 (R) Dt. 9 18 Jd. 9 53 (E) 
2 S. 13 16 1 K. 16 19 Neh. 13 7 .— 19. -iya Twin] Gen. 20 7 (E) Dt. 9 20 , frequent 
in Jer. — 20. nmtD mDrrSs] 2 K. 18 6 2 Chr. 34 s3 . — 21. inr] notoriously a 
late word, applied to false gods in Is. 41 29 . — tyjn*"«k] Is. 44 10 Jer. 2 8 al. — 
22. mm 90»] Jd. 6 13 Is. 2 6 Jer. 12 7 Ps. 94 14 . — Ittr TO^a] cf. Jos. 7 9 Is. 48 s 
Ezek. 20 9 - 14 - 22 . — mm S> N in] 2 S. 7 29 and the parallel 1 Chr. 17'- 7 Job 6 9 .— 
To make you a people for himself] does not occur elsewhere in this exact 
wording, but the idea is frequent in Dt. — 23. Tina tfwwn] Ps. 25 s 27 11 32 s . 
— 24. The first half of the verse is nearly the same as Jos. 24 14a . — With all 
your heart] Jer. 29 13 Joel 2 12 , frequent in Dt. with the addition and with all 
your soul. — D3DJ? 'njn] Ps. 126 23 . — 25. i;nn ;nn] 1 Chr. 21 17 . — lsDn] 
Gen. 19 1317 1 S. 26 10 27 1 Num. 16 26 . 

It must be evident that the passage shows dependence on Dt. and acquaint- 
ance with Jer., Ezek., and possibly later writers. The identification with E 2 
does not therefore seem well grounded, and Graf's theory also falls to the 
ground. That the author is acquainted with 1 1 is seen from his allusion to 
Nahash. 

1-5. Samuel resigns his office. — He opens his speech by stat- 
ing the situation : / have hearkened to your voice . . . and have 
appointed a king over you: Now, behold! the king is walking 
before you] the king is thought of as a shepherd walking before 
his flock. A paraphrase is Num. 2 7 l6f - (P). The kingless people 
are sheep without a shepherd. The Homeric parallel is well 
known. — But as for me I am old and gray a?id my sons are 
among you] already mature men who show that their father is 
advancing in years. Any other reason cannot be imagined for 
the mention of the sons here. — And I have walked before you 
fro?n youth until this day] as Saul is now to do — the people 
walk at the heels of the leader, 25 s7 . — 3. A challenge as to his 
own fidelity : Here am If Testify against me] the phrase is 
generally used of a witness who testifies to a crime. The ques- 



84 i SAMUEL 

tions which follow are, perhaps purposely, cast in rhythmical form 
with assonance at the end : 

Eth shor mi lakdhti 
Wa-hamor mi lakdhti 
We-eth mi 'ashdkti 
Eth ?7ii raffdthi 
U-miyyad mi lakdhti kdpher. 

The tendency of the prophets to cast their oracles in poetic form 
is illustrated elsewhere. The questions all refer to judicial hon- 
esty, which has always been rare in the East. Frequent enact- 
ments and exhortations in the Old Testament testify to the venality 
of the judges in Israel. Samuel asks : Whose ox have I taken t 
Or whose ass have I taken ? He then puts the more general 
questions : Whom have I oppressed ? Whom have I maltreated ? 
The verbs are elsewhere joined to describe the oppression of the 
weak by the powerful. Or from whose hand have I taken a gift, 
that I might blind my eyes with it? The different reading of 
will be discussed below. The verb meaning blind is found Lev. 20 4 
2 K. 4 27 Is. i 15 Ezek. 2 2 26 . That a gift blinds the clear-sighted is 
declared Ex. 23 s , cf. Dt. 16 19 . Testify against me, and I will resto?-e 
it to you ! Such seems the best reading. And I will answer you, 
which has been proposed, does not seem appropriate, and would 
require an additional word. — 4. The people acquit Samuel, in 
the words which he himself has used. — 5. He solemnly concludes 
his attestation by making Yahweh and the king witness : Yahweh 
is witness and his a?ioi?ited is witness'] the king as the anointed of 
Yahiveh meets us in several instances in the later history. Doubt- 
less the anointing has consecrated the king so that he is appropri- 
ately introduced in this connexion. — That ye have not found in 
my hand anything] that would be a cause of accusation. — And 
they said: He is witness] confirmatory of what Samuel has just 
said. The assertion is made of Yahweh only, who is the principal 
person. 

1. *b amen"' NPM SdS] is superfluous, but this author is diffuse throughout. 
— 2. -J^nno] is lacking in &. — ^Ni] is somewhat emphatic — Saul is now 
your leader, but I for my part have been your leader a long time. — 3. *a Up ] 
Ex. 20 18 Num. 35 80 Dt. 19 16 . Before each clause of the second couplet @ 
inserts the conjunction or ( = 1). — 13 U»P D^Jflin] seems to be perfectly good 



XII. 3-9 85 

Hebrew. <S AB reads kclI vir6ht)fxa ; airoKpldrire kclt 4/j.ov. As pointed out by 
Cappellus (Critica Sacra, p. 265), this must represent »3 u>* wiyi). This is 
adopted as original by Th., We., Dr., Ki., and has influenced Sirach (46 19 ), 
as pointed out by Schleusner, Thesaurus, s.v. virSb-q/na (the reading is found 
in the newly discovered Hebrew fragments). A shoestring is proverbial for a 
thing of little worth, Gen. 14 23 , as it is in Arabic (Goldziher in Jour. Assyr. 
VII. p. 296). But the coordination D*S;jl TM for a bribe even a pair of shoes 
seems strange. We should expect at least 2^?i o, or D'^JM nsi (Kl.). For 
this reason it seems best to retain |^. It has been supposed that the pair of 
shoes in Am. 2 6 is a symbol of transfer of real estate, in which case D^JUI ~\D3 
might mean gifts of money or deeds of real estate ; and this may be the origin 
of the Syriac text of Sirach quoted by Dr., gift or present. After 12 t? we 
may, however, restore »3 ir; (Bu.), the phrases being so much alike that 
one was easily lost; I is conflate. — 5. At the end of the verse i~nm Kt. would 
be possible, but to the solemn adjuration we should expect the whole people 
to reply. The margin of the Massoretic edition, therefore, emends to riDIOl, 
which is found in the text of some editions, and is represented in (SJ$1L{£. 

6-12. The historical retrospect. — Samuel recites the benefits 
received from Yahweh and the people's ingratitude in return. 
The beginning of the paragraph is obscure from corruption of 
the text. We find in J^ only Yahweh who appointed Moses and 
Aaron, which is then left without predicate. Fairly satisfactory 
is the reading of (3 : Witness is Yahweh, though it may not be 
the original. — Who appointed Moses~\ is the accepted transla- 
tion, though who wrought with Moses is possible, and is perhaps 
favoured by the following verse. — 7. And now take your stand 
that I may plead with you concerning all the just deeds of Yahweh"] 
this, the text of J^, seems to give a good sense. The expanded 
text of (&, that I may plead with you and make known to you 
(generally adopted), seems to be secondary. The reading of J^ 
is supported by Ezek. 1 7 20 . — 8. The historical sketch proper now 
begins, taking the sojourn in Egypt as the starting-point : When 
Jacob came to Egypt the Egyptians oppressed them'] the second 
clause has dropped out of J^, but is preserved in t&. — And your 
fathers cried to Yahweh and Yahweh sent Moses and Aaron to 
bring out your fathers, and made them dwell in this place] this is 
to be preferred to and they made them dwell %fy, M which is just 
what Moses and Aaron did not make them do" (Dr.). — 9. The 
deliverance was followed by ingratitude : They forgot Yahweh their 
God, and he sold them into the hand of Sisera] the phrase is often 



86 i SAMUEL 

used of God's delivering over his people into the power of their 
enemies. It is evidently connected with the prophetic view of 
Israel as Yahweh's spouse whom for her adulteries he sold into 
slavery. The list of oppressors here, Sisera, the Philistines, the 
king of Moab, does not pretend to follow the order of the Book 
of Judges. — 10. The repentance and confession, followed by a 
prayer for forgiveness, make use of the language of Jd. io 10 . On 
the Baals and the Astartes, cf. above, f. — 11. Yahweh had sent 
as deliverers Jerubbaal and Barak and Jephthah and Samuel"] 
Barak is adopted from (3 instead of the Bedan of J^, a name not 
otherwise known except in the genealogical list i Chr. 7 17 . As 
the present passage is wholly dependent on the Book of Judges, 
it is unlikely that it has preserved for us the name of a deliverer 
otherwise unknown. Rabbinical ingenuity has identified Bedan 
with /air, Jd. io 3 , and Samson. The introduction of Samuel into 
the list occasions no surprise, for the author makes him no whit 
below the greatest of the judges j and the very point of the argu- 
ment is that they had just rebelled against him. There is, there- 
fore, no reason for changing the text at this point. — And delivered 
you from the hand of your enemies round about and you dwelt in 
security] almost exactly as in Dt. 1 2 10 . The point of view is pal- 
pably the same as that of 7 13 . — 12. The author is so dominated 
by his idea that he represents the attack of Nahash as the occa- 
sion of the demand for a king : You saw that Nahash king of 
Amnion came against you] Bu. thinks the words a later insertion, 
but they seem necessary to the sense. — And you said to me : No / 
but a king shall rule over us, when Yahweh your God is your king] 
the point of view distinctly affirmed. 

6. mm] so isolated cannot be right : \4ymp fidprvs Kvpios & represents 
mm "\y nsxS which is now generally adopted. J5 has Yahweh alone is God 
and <!£ L adds 6 6e6s to Kvpios. It is possible therefore that the original was 
DTi^Nn Klh mm which is more appropriate to this fresh start in the speech. — 
ns TVtjf] the verb is unusual in the sense of appointing to a work, but the 
combination occurs just below of wording with one. The rendering of % : 
who did great things by the hand of Moses is probably only a paraphrase. — 
7. mp-urSj riN] <S prefixes koX awayyeKw v/juu on the ground of which most 
recent editors insert tnh mpjNi. But the case seems to be one in which the 
more difficult reading should be retained. The plus is lacking in I {Cod. Goth. 
Leg. apud Vercellone). — 8. onxo] <S adds kcl\ iraittivuxTtv avrovs Alyvirros = 



XII. 9-17 87 

onxs DJ]7M which is probably original (Dr., al.), as the omission can be ac- 
counted for by homeoteleuton. On the other hand Jacob and his sons <J|, 
instead of the simple Jacob, seems to be a scribe's expansion. — wxim] as the 
emphasis is laid upon Yahweh's activity all through, i^yayeu <3 AIj may be 
right. More attractive however is the simple change of pointing to WXY*1 
(We.) which makes the verb subordinate to the preceding. — Ott'twV] here 
the singular is decidedly to be preferred (We.), supported by <f§&. — 9. For 
Hazor 1& has Jabin king of Hazor, adopted by We., Bu. The latter is in 
accordance with Jd. 4 7 , but the other is not so entirely without analogy as We. 
supposes; cf. I K. 2 32 . — 10. "ttMOl Kt.: read visnm Qre and versions. — 
nnn»j;n] to?s UKaeaiv <& as in J 3 - 4 . — 11. ^jWy] as Jd. 8 29 ; Deborah is read 
here by % which inserts Gideon later. — j-a] has given the exegetes much 
trouble. $ renders it JVPDC'on the theory that it represents p p, as is given 
by some of the Rabbinical expositors and set forth by Pseudo-Hieronymus in 
his Questiones (Hier. Op. Ed. Vallarsi, III. 814). Barak <!§& which is read 
by most recent scholars (including Keil) is the most suitable name. Ew. 
(GVI 3 . II. p. 514, Engl. Tr. II. p. 364) revived an old conjecture mentioned 
by Clericus and Michaelis that Abdon is the original name (cf. Jd. 12 13 ). — 
•mod;?] Samson <g L j$ which is adopted by Kl., owes its place to the theory 
that Samuel would not put his own name here. But the writer found in 
Samuel the climax of the address, and there is no reason for changing the 
text or supposing ^nis-'Tni to be a later insertion (Bu. and apparently Dr.). — 
ns;}] the accusative of condition, Dav. Syntax, § 70 b. — 12. DOJ^n Ddti^n mrm] 
the clause is lacking in <@L The view which it expresses is found also in Jd. 
8 2 * (cf. Moore's note) and 1 S. 8 7 . 

13-18. The threat of punishment upon people and king in 
case they turn aside from Yahweh, and its attestation by a miracle. 
— 13. And now] frequently marks a turn in the discourse or 
draws a conclusion from what precedes, Jos. 24"- * Jd. 9 16 . Be- 
hold the king which you have chosen] the received text adds which 
you asked, lacking in (SP. Even without it the verse is overfull. 
And behold 7 Yahweh has set over you a king] the desire has been 
fulfilled. — 14. The promise in case of obedience : If you fear 
Yahweh . . . then you shall live] on the reading see the critical 
note. — 15. The alternative threat uses the same expressions : 
hearken to the voice, rebel against the mouth. The penalty threat- 
ened is : then the hand of Yahweh will be against you and your 
king to destroy you] the text of f^ has and against your fathers 
which is absurd. — 16. In confirmation of the prophet's word 
the people are to see the great thing which Yahweh is about to 
do] namely, send a thunder-storm in summer. — 17. Is it not 



88 i SAMUEL 

wheat harvest to-day f\ the wheat is ripe after the barley, the first 
of which is cut at Passover. In this season rain rarely falls in 
Palestine.* / will call upon Yahweh and he will send thunder and 
rain~\ lit. voices and rain. The thunder is the voice of Yahweh, 
Ps. 18 14 29 s . The result will be their conviction of the great sin 
they had committed in asking a king. — 18. The event was as 
Samuel had predicted. At his prayer the voices and the rain 
came : and all the people feared Yahweh and Samuel. 

13. orhwff ntPN] omitted in <!£ B but represented in <S AL with a i prefixed, 
as is the case in many MSS. of f^. The words are an insertion made to 
counteract the impression that the people themselves had elected the king. 
The shorter text is noted by Capp. Notae Criticae, p. 436, and is adopted by 
most recent critics. — njm] the 1 is omitted by 9 MSS. (DeR.) and &, but the 
latter is free in its treatment of the conjunctions. — 14. The text of |^ is usu- 
ally taken as "a protasis ending with an aposiopesis" (Dr. Notes) : If ye fear 
Yahweh . . . and follow . . . after Yahweh your God — the conclusion is 
left to the thought of the hearer. But the protasis is unconscionably long, and 
there is no such reason for the abrupt breaking off as we readily discover in 
Ex. 32 32 (Moses' impassioned intercession). To begin the apodosis with amm 
is grammatically the correct thing to do, but it makes an identical proposition : 
if you fear Yahweh . . . then you will follow Yahweh. <5 L feels the difficulty, 
for it adds at the end of the sentence ko\ eleAelVcu v/uas, which, however, has 
no other authority. We. gives amm as the reading of certain Hebr. MSS. and 
in one recension of 2D we find jiinm, though DeR. denies the manuscript au- 
thority and finds that of the version slight. As a conjecture the reading rec- 
ommends itself, even without any external authority. I have therefore adopted 
it, omitting the clause dutiVk mm -\nx, which was probably added after the 
corruption to omm had taken place (so Kl.). That the people may live is 
frequently given as the end of obedience, Dt. 4 1 Am. 5 14 . — 15. ddvujoi] is 
evidently unsatisfactory: kclI 4tt\ rbv franco, vfiwv <S£ B is what we require. 
But <§ L is probably right in adding ^oXodpfdaai ifxas = DD-paNnV, for this alone 
could give rise to the corrupt reading. The text of <g L is adopted by KL, Bu. 
Tanchum and Kimchi make D5VOK31 mean and upon your kings, but this is 
forced. CS translate : as it was upon your fathers, and are followed by EV. 
— but this does violence to the Hebrew. — 16. nryrpi] is used for variety, 
nn;n having been twice used. — 17. i>?m] the imperative expressing the conse- 
quence of the preceding verb, cf. Gen. 20 7 , Konig, Syntax, 364 i. — mx^ 1 ?] 
where we should say in asking. This construction is not uncommon in 
Hebrew, cf. Konig, Syntax, ap2x. The clause which ye have done in the eyes 
of Yahweh is lacking in j$. — 18. n«n] is differently placed in f^ and (&, and 



* Jerome, in his commentary on Amos 4", is cited by Clericus, but he says only 
that he has never seen rain in the latter part of June or in July. 



XIT. r 7 -25 89 

therefore suspicious. We have had occasion to notice that such words are of 
easy insertion. 

19-25. The people's confession and Samuel's concluding ex- 
hortation. — The people, in fear of death because of this crowning 
sin, beseech Samuel's intercession : Pray for thy servants to Yah- 
weh thy Goo 7 ] that Samuel stands in a special relation to Yahweh 
is evident from the language. — 20. He encourages them : Ye, 
indeed, have dofie this evil, only do not turn aside from following 
Yahweh~\ 2 Chr. 25 s7 34 s3 . — 21. And do not turn aside after the 
nothings'] the word must be taken collectively on account of the 
verbs which follow : Which do not profit and do not deliver, for they 
are nothing] the language is that of Second Isaiah. — 22. They 
have reason to be hopeful : For Yahweh will not cast away 
his people for the sake of his great name] for the verb cf. Jd. 6 13 : 
and now Yahweh has cast us off. That Yahweh will save his peo- 
ple for his name's sake is a comparatively late conception, Jos. 7° 
(P). That his reputation will suffer if he rejects them is evident : 
For Yahweh has undertaken to make you a people for himself] on 
the main verb cf. Moore, Judges, p. 47. — 23. The prophet will do 
his part : For my part — far be it from me that I should sin against 
Yahweh, that I should cease to pray for you] to neglect his media- 
torial opportunity would be to sin against both parties. — 24. The 
condition is that they should serve Yahweh with steadfastness : 
For you see what a great thing he has wrought in your presence] 
not for you, as in EV. The reference is to the miracle just wit- 
nessed. - — 25. In case of persistence in evil they and their king 
shall be destroyed; the verb is used of being killed in battle 1 S. 
26 10 27 1 and probably looks forward to Saul's death at Gilboa. 

19. Hjn] teal Kanias r)fxa>u <§ L ; we expect rather rxm njnn. — 20. So] is 
lacking in © L . — 21. o] is entirely meaningless (We., Dr.) and is not rep- 
resented in the versions. A scribe may have written nns'D under the influ- 
ence of the preceding verse and afterwards tried to make it fit here by chang- 
ing the first letter to "o. — 22. ivtp] juravit 3L indicates n^s-, but no change 
is necessary. — 23. -ojn □)] the casus pendens, Dr. Tenses*, § 196, Dav. Syn- 
tax, § 106. — jd h nS-'Sn] is a common construction : it is too profane a thing 
for me to do, cf. Jos. 24 16 . — -p*ia Dan* vnw] cf. Ps. 25 s - 12 32 s Prov. 4 11 . 

— -p-u] should probably be pointed with the article (Kl., Bu.). — 24. wv] 
on the form Stade, Gram, in, 2. — 24. With all your heart; <S prefixes and. 

— in-) "o] in 6)f5f re <& = DmN-i o, is certainly smoother. 



90 i SAMUEL 

XIII. and XIV. The revolt against the Philistines and the 

first successful attack. — Jonathan, Saul's son, opens the war for 
independence by slaying the resident of the Philistines. The 
enemy immediately invade the country and take up a strong posi- 
tion whence they ravage the land. Saul's force melts away until 
he has only six hundred men left and does not feel able to attack. 
At this juncture, Jonathan with his adjutant makes a foolhardy 
assault upon a detached post of the Philistines. His success 
throws their main camp into confusion. The commotion is visible 
to Saul who, without waiting for the answer of the oracle (which 
he has begun to consult), musters his men and leads them against 
the foe. He is reenforced by deserting Hebrews from the Philis- 
tine camp, and the day is spent in pursuing and plundering. 
The success is less pronounced than it might have been, because 
Saul lays a taboo on the eating of food. Thereby the people 
become too faint for successful pursuit, and, when the day ends, 
fall upon the captured cattle in such haste as to eat with the 
blood. Saul therefore commands a large stone to be used as 
an altar, and the animals are slain at it without further ritual 
offence. 

The sequel is unexpected to Saul, for, on consulting the oracle 
with reference to a night attack, he receives no reply. He under- 
stands that Yahweh is angry because of the violation of the taboo. 
The guilty party is sought by the sacred lot and discovered to be 
Jonathan. He confesses that he ate a little honey in ignorance 
of his father's objurgation, and avows his willingness to die. But 
the people intervene and redeem him. There is by this time no 
thought of further warfare, and the campaign terminates without 
decisive advantage to either side. 

This is the main narrative. It is interrupted (besides minor 
interpolations) by two digressions; one (13 4 " 15 ) gives us at Gilgal 
an interview between Samuel and Saul in which the latter is in- 
formed of his rejection; the second (13 1 *" 22 ) describes the dis- 
armed condition of Israel. At the end of the section (14 47 " 51 ) we 
find a general summary of Saul's activity which may have been 
added by a later hand. Aside from these, the story is clear and 
connected, and we have no difficulty in identifying it as a part of 
the life of Saul which began in g l -io lG . 



XIII. 1-3 9 1 

There is substantial unanimity in the analysis,* and in the connexion of the 
main stream of the narrative with the earlier account of Saul's election. The 
reason for regarding the sections separated above as of later date than the rest 
of the story, lie on the surface, but will be pointed out in detail in the course 
of the exposition. The student may be referred to We., Comp. pp. 246-248, 
Pro/ 3 , pp. 266-272; Stade, G VI. I. p. 215 ff.; Kuenen, IICO-. pp. 371, 381; 
Budde, J\S. pp. 191 f., 204-208, and his text in SBOT.; Cornill, EinlK p. 
97 f., ZATW. X. p. 96 f.; Kittel, Gil. II. p. 28 (the results in his translation 
in Kautzsch, USA!'.); Driver, LOT", p. 175; W. R. Smith, 07/C 2 . p. 134. 

1. The verse as it stands in J^ is meaningless and evidently 
a late insertion. — 2. There seems no difficulty in connecting this 
verse directly with n 15 . As soon as Saul was made king he re- 
cruited an army of three thousand men : and two thousand were 
with Saul in Michmash and in Mount Bethel~\ we naturally sup- 
pose each place garrisoned with a thousand. Michmash still bears 
its ancient name, and is a village on the north side of a narrow val- 
ley south of which lies Geba. The location is given by Eusebius 
and Jerome as nine miles from Jerusalem near Ramah. The sides 
of the wady on which it is located are still very steep. Bethel, now 
Beitin, the well-known sanctuary, was, like Michmash, a strong- 
hold. Both were occupied by armies in the Maccabean wars. 
The two places are mentioned together, Ezr. 2 27f - Neh. 7 31 n 31 . 
— And the rest were with Jotiathan his son in Geba 0/ Benjamin'] 
the confusion of Gibeah and Geba is so obvious in this chapter 
that I have corrected to the one form throughout. Geba was the 
village just across the pass from Michmash, and the two together 
must be held in order to command the pass. For the location cf. 
Is. io 29 which, however, makes evident that in Isaiah's time Geba 
and Gibeah of Saul were two different places, for after Michmash 
it mentions in order Geba, Ramah, and Gibeah of Saul. That 
Geba is intended in our narrative is evident from its mention in 
the immediate sequel. After the choice of his soldiers, Saul dis- 
missed the rest of the people to their homes. — 3. Jonathan smote 
the Resident of the Philistines] the verb seems to imply that it 
was a person, not a trophy or pillar, that was smitten. The rest 
of the verse : And the Philistines heard; and Saul blew the 
trumpet in all the land, saying: Let the Hebrews hear!] puts the 

* I should state that I have differed from the consensus in regard to the extent 
of the insertion which ends at v. 15 *. 



92 i SAMUEL 

name Hebrews in Saul's mouth, which cannot be correct. The 
clause and the Philistines heard presents a further difficulty be- 
cause Saul's blowing of the trumpet should follow immediately 
on Jonathan's deed. For the last two words of the verse <3 
renders the slaves have revolted in which the verb at least seems 
to be original. But in this form, or in the form the Hebrews have 
revolted, the clause must represent the report that came to the 
Philistines. We are tolerably safe in restoring therefore : and the 
Philistines heard [the report] saying: The Hebrews have revolted^ 
the intermediate clause will then be suspicious, as a probably late 
insertion. It is in fact superfluous, and the original narrative 
probably described a prompt movement of the Philistines upon 
Michmash, making Saul retreat to Geba, where we find him with 
six hundred men in v. 16 . This original datum has been expanded 
into the exaggerated statement of v. 5 . 

1. The verse as given in pj can mean only one thing: Saul was a year old 
when he began to reign and he reigned two years over Israeli 'his is palpably 
absurd. The earliest endeavour to give the words a sense seems to be re- 
corded in % : Saul was innocent as a child a year old when he began to reign. 
This is followed by Theod., and the earlier Rabbinical tradition, including the 
spurious Jerome in the Questiones. Isaaki thinks it possible to render in the 
first year of Saul's reign . . . he chose. RLbG. supposes that a year had 
passed since his first anointing. Tanchum however knows of interpreters 
bold enough to assume that a number has dropped out of the text. This has 
very slight Greek authority on its side, as two MSS. of HP read Saul was 
thirty years old. The whole verse is lacking in the most important MSS. of 
@ ( A is defective here) and is therefore suspicious. The suspicion is not 
relieved by noticing that the sentence is cast in the form of the chronological 
data found in later parts of the history. It seems tolerably evident that a 
scribe, wishing to make his chronology complete, inserted the verse without the 
numbers, hoping to be able to supply these at a later date, which however he 
was unable to do. This applies both to the years of Saul's life and to the years 
of his reign, for D>Jtt> »n«n cannot be correct, and not improbably vwn is cor- 
rupt duplication of the following word (We.). Extended discussion of the 
verse in the older expositors, Cornelius a" Lapide, Schm., Pfeiffer (Dubia Vex- 
ata) have now only an antiquarian interest. The whole verse should be 
stricken out. — 2. d^oSn] should be followed by u»n as indicated by <&&. On 
Michmash, cf. Baedeker, Palestine 2 , p. 119, Furrer in Schenkel's Bibel Lexi- 
kon, IV. p. 216. Mount Bethel occurs only here according to j|§. On the 
now generally accepted identification of Bethel with Beitin cf. Moore, Judges, 
p. 42. The importance of the two places here mentioned is noted by 



xiii. 3 93 

GASmith, Geog? pp. 250, 290. As Jonathan has not been mentioned before, 
the addition his son made by ,S has much in its favour. — po*M n>'2J3] in re- 
gard to the place here intended, we may note that Jonathan's deed in the next 
verse is performed at Geba. Moreover, the possession of Geba is important 
to him who would control the road leading up from the Jordan valley. In 
v. 1 ' Saul and Jonathan are occupying Geba, which nevertheless is called 
Gibeah of Benjamin in 14 10 . It seems evident that Geba is intended through- 
out this narrative. In the time of Isaiah however as already noted, Gibeah 
of Saul was distinguished from Geba. — YbtVfh E"H] the phrase dates back to 
the time when the people were nomads or at least tent-dwelling fellahin. — 
3. *pi] the verb is used nearly always of smiting living beings, once of strik- 
ing the rock, Ex. 1 7°. But Jonathan would do more than strike a pillar, tro- 
phy, or triumphal monument; he would overthrow it, for which some other 
verb would be used; Am. 9 1 , which is cited as an example of this verb used for 
the overthrow of columns, is obscure and probably corrupt. This reasoning 
leads to the conclusion that t?i is an officer or a garrison. — a^t^Se i;*r;-'>i 
Bna;n . . .] is one of the cruces criticorum. The somewhat violent treat- 
ment advocated above proceeds on the theory that for the words ons;-,-) 1;::" ■ 
r\d€TT)Ka<Tiv ol SovAol (3 we should restore cn:;n yjz'q (Bu.). If so the words 
(with or without -ex--) should follow immediately on D*n»Sfl (Bu.). But in 
that case the intermediate clause is suspicious. The full reason for its omis- 
sion will be seen only after considering the next verse. 

4-15 a . That this paragraph (at least the main part of it) is 
from a different source is universally conceded. It is characterized 
by having Gilgal as its scene instead of Geba. But Saul's move- 
ment from Geba to Gilgal would be, from the military point of 
view, an insane step. The highlands were Israel's stronghold. 
To recover them when once abandoned would be practically im- 
possible. In v. 16 we find Saul and Jonathan still in Geba with 
their small force. The journey to Gilgal and back is made only 
to accommodate the compiler. The change of scene is accom- 
panied by a remarkable change of tone in the narrative. In the 
opening verses Saul and Jonathan act as real rulers of the people. 
In the following chapter they continue to act in the same way, 
with no apparent consciousness that their kingdom has been 
rejected. In the intervening paragraph Samuel appears as the 
theocratic authority, and Saul is rebuked for having acted inde- 
pendently. Even when he has waited seven days in accordance 
with Samuel's injunction, and when the cause of Israel is in jeop- 
ardy because of the delay, he is chided for taking a single step 
without Samuel's presence and consent. 



94 i Samuel 

The paragraph has usually been supposed a duplicate of ch. 1 5 
and dependent upon that. It seems to me more probable that 
this is the earlier and therefore the original, the first reason being 
that it is more closely knit with the older narrative. Besides the 
phenomena of v. 4f ", it is distinctly prepared for in io 8 . Only by 
supposing this to be the earlier narrative can we account for Gilgal 
as the scene of 15. For the author of that chapter assuredly 
would have made Samuel depose Saul at Mizpah, the sanctuary 
where he chose him, had he not found another locality specified 
by history. It hardly seems likely, moreover, that an author who 
knew the impressive and implacable narrative of 15 would feel any 
obligation to compose the one before us. On the other hand, as 
we have seen, the narrative of which 15 is a part was composed 
to replace this one, and the author had every reason to duplicate 
this section as he duplicated other scenes of the older story. It 
would be desirable to him also (as he is much more distinctly a 
preacher than the earlier author) to make clear the reason of Saul's 
rejection, which is, to say the least, only obscurely set before us 
in the present narrative. 

If it be taken as proved that we have here a separate document, 
the question arises: Exactly where does it begin? Its lower 
limit is evidently 15a . But the upper limit is not so plain. It is 
generally assumed to be 7b as we find in Budde's text. To this 
there seem grave objections. In the first place the gathering of 
the people is already said to be at Gilgal in v. 4 . This, to be sure, 
may be corrected to Geba, or omitted. But Gilgal, as a place of 
mustering the whole people, seems too natural so to be set aside. 
Again we have the enormous numbers of the Philistines in v. 5 , 
which clearly do not comport with the main narrative — in which 
Saul operates with only six hundred men, and puts the enemy to 
flight. In fact the author, having gathered all Israel, is obliged 
to make them disperse to the caves and dens and carry with them 
a large part of Saul's standing army. That this could be sup- 
posed possible before a single skirmish had taken place does not 
seem credible in the author who exalts the valour of Jonathan. 
To this we may add that the Gilgal of v. 4 is confirmed by the 
opening words of 7b which do not say that Saul came down to 
Gilgal, but that he was still there. For these reasons I suppose 



kttl. 4-6 95 

that the original narrative told : that Jonathan smote the resident 
of the Philistines and that the Philistines heard of the Hebrew 
revolt ( 3 ) ; that the Philistines came up in force ( 5a ) ; and then 
that Saul mustered the force at his command and found it to be 
six hundred men ( 15b ) . The promptness with which the Philis- 
tines acted was such that there was no time to call out the militia. 

4-7. The situation of the people. — Probably the clause we 
have cast out of v. 3 may be prefixed here : Saul blew the trumpet 
in all the land ( 4 ) and all Israel heard saying: Saul has smitten 
the Resident of the Philistines] it is probably not hypercritical to 
see in the change from Jonathan to Saul an evidence of change 
of author. — And also Israel has made itself of ill odour with the 
Philistines'] cf. Gen. 34 30 Ex. 5 21 2 S. io G 16 21 . That Gilgal is the 
place of muster to this author has already been noticed, and cor- 
rection or excision of the word is unnecessary. — 5. The force of 
the Philistines is given as thirty thousand chariots for which (@ L <§> 
have three thousand. This is favoured by Bochart and others, 
but is still absurdly large. Egypt only mustered six hundred 
chariots, Ex. 14 7 , and other notices show that this was the scale 
for large armies. But our author is prodigal of numbers. Syrian 
experience later showed that chariots could not be used in the 
hill country of Palestine. — And people] that is foot soldiers, like 
the sand which is on the shore of the sea for multitude] cf. Jd. 7 12 
2 S. 1 7 11 . The Arab's hyperbole is similar : ' like the sand of the 
desert.' — They came up and camped in Michmash, east of Beth 
Aven] Michmash lies about southeast from Bethel, which by a 
stretch of the imagination might be described as it is described in 
the text. Beth Aven seems to be a scribe's distortion of Bethel. 
In any case, the author who had just spoken of Michmash and 
Bethel together (v. 2 ) would hardly have felt it necessary to be so 
explicit here. — 6. And the men of Israel saw that they were in 
a strait for they were hard pressed] the diffusiveness shows the 
writer's difficulty in accounting for the unaccountable dispersion 
of the people. — And the people hid themselves in caves and in 
holes and in rocks and in tombs and in pits] the list is an amplifi- 
cation of what we find in 14 11 , where however the sarcastic remark 
of the Philistines does not imply that this elaborate statement nas 



96 i SAMUEL 

preceded. — 7. And much people'] the reading is conjectural — 
crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gitead] well-known 
districts in the possession of Israel. — But Saul was yet in Gilgal 
. . .] the latter part of the verse cannot now be restored with any 
certainty. 

4. 1JH3V] is lacking in 55 which joins 7*H*^"731 to the preceding verse. — 
PM2j] to give intense provocation, 2 S. IO 6 l6 21 . — ^JWn] k<x\ ave^rjaau <& B is 
apparently inner Greek corruption of aveBorjo-av which is found in several 
MSS. (HP). — ^hin] supported by the versions, is exscinded by Bu., changed 
into nnpain by Co. (ZKIV. 1885, p. 123). — 5. Bochart's reduction of the 
chariots to three thousand, in which he includes the baggage wagons (Hiero- 
zoicon, Pars. I. Lib. II. Cap. IX.), though only a halfway measure, is adopted 
by We., Dr., al. — jin n*a] <g has Beth Horon, & has Bethel. Nearly all the 
passages in which the name occurs have a suspicious text. Certainly the 
author who just wrote w \N~n , o would have no motive to use a different form 
here; {ox Beth Aven is another name for Bethel. — 6. un] Bu. corrects to 
nsn on the ground of <&, which, however, can hardly be taken so literally in a 
case like this. — 3>n B>JJ "o] omit DJJfl with We., al. ; (§ B has on arevws avry 
/xt] -npoadyeiv aurou. It is possible that the text is corrupt, though what 
Hebrew original is implied by <& B is hard to discover. The verb IMJ is used 
of an overseer's driving his slaves. — [mini] is doubtless a corruption of 
pnnai as first suggested by Ew. — DTinx] the word is used (as pointed out by 
Dr.) in the inscriptions of Medain Salih, for sepulchres hewn in the rock. — 
7. na; onj;i] teal ol 5»aj3cuWres SU&rjaav (3- I am not certain that the 
suggested reading 7 DnaJN is not correct. But as the participle in such cases 
usually follows the verb, I have followed Bu. in adopting Kl.'s conjecture, 
n:; 21 o;'i. We. proposed d^2-;v n:;i which was syntactically improved by 
Dr. into nnajJU najPX The final clause of the verse cannot be correct. Nor 
does We.'s emendation of inns to innxo on the basis of @ L meet the diffi- 
culty. The flight of the people has already been described; what we now 
want to know is who remained. Kl. conjectures mriN rpvi DJWi which is 
favoured by %. I should prefer inns tvh o>n but do not feel certain that 
either is correct. 

8-15 a . Saul's rejection. — He waited in Gilgal seven days for 
the appointed time which Samuel had set~\ the reference is to io 8 
where, as we have already seen, Samuel directs him to go down 
to Gilgal and wait seven days for his coming. When Samuel did 
not appear the people scattered away fro?n km] as we should 
expect, especially in a levy of undisciplined troops without com- 
missary. — 9. Saul orders the offering to be brought and himself 
offered the burnt offering] war was initiated with religious cere- 



XIII. 7-15 97 

monies, as is indicated by the phrase consecrate war Jer. 6 4 , al. — 
10. As Saul finished the ceremony Samuel came and Saul went 
out to greet hint] with the customary : Blessed be thou ! is inti- 
mated by the word used, cf. 2 K. 4 29 . — 11. To Samuel's question : 
What hast thou done ? he replies : / saw that the people were 
scattering away from me, and thou didst not come at the appointed 
term and the Philistines were gathering at Michmash] everything 
seemed to call for prompt action; "non solum se excusat sed 
omnes, quotquot potest, accusat." * — 12. And I said~\ he means 
he said to himself : Now will the Philistines come down to me to 
Gilgal and the face of Yahweh I have not appease ul] by a gift, P.s. 
45 13 ; the phrase is also used of approaching Yahweh with entreaty, 
Ex. 32 11 1 K. 13 6 . — And I constrained myself] elsewhere in the 
sense of restraining one's emotions, Gen. 43 31 45 l Is. 42 14 . The 
intimation is that he would have waited still longer, but the circum- 
stances forced his hand. — 13. The reply of Samuel : Thou hast 
acted foolishly / If thou hadst kept the commandment of Yahweh 
thy God which he commanded thee, then would.Yahweh have estab- 
lished thy kingdom over Israel forever] for changes in the pointing 
of JH see the critical note. — 14. But now] adversatively as in 
2 30 cf. 24 21 , thy kingdom shall not stand. That the language and 
behaviour of Samuel are less stern and damnatory here than in 1 5 
will be generally conceded ; the fact makes for the priority of this 
account. — Yahweh has sought out a man according to his heart] 
the divine purpose is already a fixed fact. — And Yahweh has set 
him as Leader over his people] still the consecutive tense, in view 
of the divine purpose. — 15 a . The verse as it stands in J^ tells us 
of Samuel's going up to Geba. But as we hear nothing more of 
him there, this is evidently a mistake. A clause has fallen out by 
homeoteleuton which is preserved in (3 and which should be 
restored as follows : And Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal 
and went his way, and the rest of the people went after Saul to 
meet the men of war and came from Gilgal to Geba of Benjamin] 
the eye of the scribe fell upon the second Gilgal instead of the 
first. 

What was Saul's sin in this matter is nowhere expressly set down, 

* Mendoza, cited in Poole's Synopsis. 



Q8 i SAMUEL 

and it is difficult to discover anything in the text at which Samuel 
could justly take offence. The original command was to wait 
seven days, and this Saul did. In the circumstances he might 
well plead that he had been too scrupulous. It would not be im- 
pertinent to ask why Samuel had waited so long before appearing. 
No reason is given for his delay, and in the mind of the narrator 
there seems to have been no reason except that Samuel wished to 
put Saul to the test. It cannot be said that Saul usurped priestly 
prerogatives in offering with his own hand. The narrator would 
certainly have let us know this had it been his conception. What- 
ever may have been the priestly rights at this time, we may well 
suppose that the author thought of Saul as no more intruding 
upon them than did David and Solomon when they sacrificed. 
The language of Samuel's rebuke speaks of disobedience to a 
command of Yahweh, which however can only be the command of 
io 8 which Saul literally obeyed. The only conclusion to which we 
can come is that the author glorifies the sovereign will of Yahweh 
who rejects and chooses according to his own good pleasure. 
Samuel is the embodiment of this sovereign will. The straits of 
the commentators are evident. Keil interprets Samuel's language 
not as a rejection of Saul, but as an announcement of the brevity 
of his reign. But this is contrary to the sense. Ewald says : 
" The ruler who prematurely and out of mere impatience lays his 
hand on that from which he should have refrained, trifles away his 
real power and his best success." * But the condemnation of Saul 
as acting * prematurely ' and ' out of mere impatience ' is not war- 
ranted by anything in the text. Clericus also is obliged to read 
something into the text : " Forte citius aequo Sacra facturus, 
contemptim de Samuele aut cogitavit aut etiam loquutus est." 
Thenius also frames hypotheses for which there is no warrant in 
the narrative. 

8. Srvi] is intended to be Piel, a not uncommon form, Stade, Gram. 
p. 278. It seems unnecessary to change to Sin Qre. ypm is an appointed 
time or place, cf. in ijnbS 20 35 . — S^irtr n^s] is impossible; we must either 
strike out ~\vn with £ or insert a word; "MSH is inserted by Th.. We., Bu. on 
the ground of <S&; DB» is preferred by Kl., Dr., and might easily have been 
lost before ^KID*. 6 Hebr. MSS. insert IB*; 5 insert DP (DeR.), cf. Ex. 9A 

* Ew M G VI*. III. p. 46, E. Tr. III. p. 32. 



XIII. i 5 -i7 99 

pen] c f. 2 S. 20 23 . — 9. nSjjm] out of the several animals that were offered, 

the 'ola was the one specially set apart for Yahweh. — 10. njm . . . \rhss] 
marks the appearance of Samuel just as the burnt offering was completed. — 

II. "o] is probably to be taken as »a recitaiivum (Dr.), but it may also an- 
swer Samuel's unspoken question as to why Saul had acted as he had. — xcj] is 
probably to be pointed so (Bu.), cf. v. 8 , from which we see that the verb is 
po. — 12. »mSn nV mm ijai] the sentence is generally used of conciliating 
God. — 13. nV] is the pointing of the received text, but we should quite cer- 
tainly read nS, that is ni% proposed by Hitzig (as stated by We. who, how- 
ever, gives no reference, apparently depending upon Th., who gives Zeller, 
Theol.Jahrb. 1843, II. 278 ff.). The particle h in a hypothesis contrary to 
reality, is followed in the apodosis by nry »3, as here, in Num. 22 s9 1 S. 14 80 
Job 6 2 . Dr. inclines to retain the pointing of JK, cf. also Dav., Syntax, § 131, 
r. 2. — nny] has lost its temporal force and become logical (Dav.). For : the 
commandment of Yahweh thy God which he commanded thee, we find in @ my 
commandment which Yahweh commanded thee. — 14. trpi] on the use of this 
tense, Dr., Tenses 9 , §§ 13, 14, Dav., Syntax, § 41. — V?] the dative of advan- 
tage, Dav., Syntax, § 101, R. 1 b. — laaSa] the only exact parallel seems to be 
Jer. 3 15 , but cf. 2 S. 7 21 . — mjjS tnwn] 25 30 2 S. 6 21 , the verb is used of ap- 
pointing -the Judges 2 S. 7 11 , cf. Num. 27 19 . — 15. The plus of 6 is already 
noted by Mendoza (in Poole's Synopsis). — Sj^jrrp] according to @l (from 
which the words passed into the current recension of IL) we should add : 
SjSjh p 1K3M nonScn ay n*opS hwv nn« rhy ayn nmi -cm 1 ? "iS>i. The cor- 
rection is adopted by all recent scholars (except Keil). Probably S>"»i of |^ is 
not original (not represented in @) and was inserted after the loss of this 
sentence. In addition to the commentaries on this passage, the reader may be 
referred to Graetz, Gesch. d. Juden, I. p. 175, and Ew., GVI Z . p. 45, E. Tr. 

III. p. 32. 

15 b . The half verse tells us that Saul numbered the people that 
were with him, about six hundred men. As we find the same 
number given in 14 2 , it is possible that it is an insertion here. 
We are even tempted to suppose the whole sentence an effort of 
the redactor to fit together the two discordant sections of his 
narrative. 

16-18. The Philistine raid. — The first verse describes the 
condition of things which followed Jonathan's first stroke. The 
Philistines were in virtual possession of the country. The Hebrews 
only maintained themselves in one post : Saul and Jonathan his 
son, and the people that were with them, were abiding in Geba of 
Benjamin] the addition made by (3 seems uncalled for. — 17. The 
Philistine policy is to reduce the people to submission by devas- 



IOO I SAMUEL 

tating the country far and wide. The plunderers were in three 
divisions : One division turned to the Ophrah road~\ apparently 
the Ophrah mentioned among the towns of Benjamin, Jos. 18 28 . 
It was identified by Robinson * with Taiyibeh, five miles northeast 
of Bethel. The location would suit the present narrative. The 
land of Shual seems to be nowhere else mentioned. — 18. The 
second band turned west from Michmash towards Beth Horon, 
a well-known town west of Michmash. As the Philistine force 
came from the west, there seems no reason why they should send 
foragers out in that direction. But perhaps the author thinks of 
them as having come up by a more northerly road. The third 
band went eastward : toivards the hill which overhangs the valley 
of Zeboini] the description points to one of the heights which 
overlook the Ghor. The author thinks of a Philistine force settled 
at Michmash which employed itself in punishing the country, not 
looking for serious opposition. The valley of Zeboim is of course 
one of the wadys of which the region is full. A place, Zeboim in 
Benjamin, is mentioned after the exile, Neh. n 34 . Verse 18 is 
continued directly by v. 23 ; what is between is a later insertion. 

16. After pfl'Ji, <& B adds ko.1 ckKcuov, which is adopted by Graetz (Gesch. 
I. p. 175) and Kl. But it is hardly likely that the little band of soldiers 
would so give way to grief before they had tried conclusions with the enemy. 
— 17. FWWDn] the verb is used of laying a land waste, as the Bedawin do by 
pasturing cattle on the growing crops, Jd. 6 4 , or, more seriously, by cutting 
down the fruit trees, a custom forbidden in Dt. 20 19f - as it is by Arabic common 
sense. — DMMn njpV^] accusative of condition, Dr., Notes, Dav., Syntax, § 70, 
R. 1. — nns] where we should expect "»nsn. A similar instance is found in 
I 2 , cf. Konig, Syntax, § 334 s. — ruD>] the tense shows repeated action. The 
land of Shual is combined by Th., Erdm., with the land of Shaalim 9*. Rob- 
inson's identification of Ophrah is accepted by GASmith, Geog. p. 291, Note I, 
but rejected by Dillmann {Num. Lev. Jos. p. 551 f.) on the ground that it is too 
far north for a Benjamite town. But it is not unlikely that the author in Jos. 
(P) made it a Benjamite town because he found it in this Benjamite history; 
cf. also Buhl, Geog. p. 177. — 18. Siajn] To/See & points to nyajn, and, as We. 
remarks, it is only a hill that can be said to overhang a valley. — D^axn \j] 
Hyena Gorge is still the name ( Wady abu Duba') of a valley north of Wady 
Kelt according to Ges., WB 12 ., but Buhl ( Geog. p. 98) makes it one of the side 
valleys of the latter, or even the Wady Kelt itself. — n-ainn] is omitted by & 
and looks like an explanatory insertion. 

* BR*. I. p. 447. 



XIII. 17-22 10 1 

19-22. The lack of arms in Israel. — The paragraph intends 
to represent Israel as having been disarmed by the Philistines, but 
its wording is obscure owing to corruption of the text. The 
disarmament is nowhere indicated in the rest of the narrative, 
and as the four verses can be cut out without injuring the con- 
nexion, we are safe in assuming that they are an interpolation. 
Schmid, who feels the inconsistency of this with the rest of 
the narrative, supposes the disarmament confined to Gibeah and 
its vicinity. 

19. There was no smith in all the land of Israel ; for the Phil- 
istines said : Lest the Hebrews make sword or spear] the motive 
is expressed in the words of the actors, as in Gen. 32 21 42* 2 S. 16 3 
18 18 . — 20. The result was that all Israel was compelled to go to 
the land of the Philistines : that every man might sharpen his 
ploughshare and his coulter and his axe and his pickaxe] work 
necessary to the peasant. Most recent scholars give the oxgoad 
as the fourth instrument. But however formidable the spike in 
the end of the oriental oxgoad may be, it can scarcely be sup- 
posed that it must be taken to the smith to be sharpened. The 
author of the verse meant to name those tools which need to be 
set and tempered by the smith. — 21. The verse is admitted to 
be hopelessly corrupt by Th., We., Dr., Bu., Ki. What we expect 
is either a further account of the oppressive regulations, or else 
a consequence such as is drawn in v. 22 . The former is in the 
mind of the Greek translators when they say (as it would seem) 
that the price of the smith's work on each tool was three shekels. 
The latter is the conjecture of Jerome who speaks of the bluntness 
which affected all the tools of the farmer on account of the diffi- 
culty of getting them sharpened. A third conjecture is found in 
2T and has passed over into the English version in the form : yet 
they had a file for the mattocks. But this is as impossible to get 
out of the text as either of the others. — 22. The results of the 
Philistine policy : So it came to pass in the day of the battle of 
Michmash, that none of the people with Saul and Jonathan had 
either sword or spear — but Saul and Jonathan had them] the 
original narrative seems to know nothing of this when it gives Saul 
a standing army of three thousand men. 



102 i SAMUEL 

23. The verse takes up the account of the Philistine position. 
In v. 17f the plunderers are described. Here we are told that the 
garrison, or the permanent guard left in the camp, pushed for- 
ward to the edge of the pass of Michmash. 

19-22. The secondary nature of the paragraph is recognized by We., Comp. 
p. 248, Bu., RS. p. 205 (he includes v. 28 ), Co., Einl z . p. 97, and Ki. in 
Kautzsch, HSA T. — 19. ann] is used of a worker in wood, stone, or metal; 
tcktuv <ri8-f)pov <& may point to hni tnn (cf. Is. 44 12 ), or it may be simply an 
attempt to render the word as the context requires. — "idn] is changed to v\dn 
by the Qre unnecessarily. — 20. D^ncVflTJ] the conjecture of Dr. Weir (given 
by Dr.) that we should read dticSd nxiN is confirmed by <&K. — ca^S] to beat 
out, as the blacksmith does in reforging worn tools. Of the four implements 
here mentioned, the first and third seem to be tolerably certain, though tradi- 
tion, as represented by the versions, is not uniform, nirnna is most natu- 
rally the ploughshare, though <£ AB has the sickle, with which j$ agrees, while 
% renders oxgoad. — ins] should be pointed ^nx according to the form in 
Is. 2* (Mic. 4 3 ) Joel 4 10 . Beyond the fact that it is a tool of some kind, we 
cannot go with certainty. (5 gives aKevos simply; Symmachus translates 
<rKa<piov, which is the mattock (Procop. Gaz. Com. in loco). The passages in 
Isaiah and Joel speak of beating the nx into a sword, or vice versa. This 
would fit the coulter, a knife fastened to the plough-beam to cut the sod before 
the ploughshare turns it. But we do not know whether the Hebrew plough 
had such an appendage. j$ renders ploughshare, and % the pin of the yoke. — 
DYIp is quite certainly the axe, Jd. 9 48 . The fourth tool differs (in the received 
text) from the first by the pointing only. This identity is suspicious, and we 
probably have the mistake of a scribe to deal with. But what we should 
restore is doubtful. We. and others propose U3TT, influenced by the occur- 
rence of this word in v. 21 and the rendering dpciravov <&, which word occurs 
also in v. 21 ©, though p-n is nowhere else so rendered. But in the confusion 
of the text of v. 21 , it is difficult to allow much weight to the argument; for 
until we know what that verse means, we cannot be sure that it gives the same 
list of tools with this. The versions give the further choice of the mattock 
(Sym.), the spade J5, the adze ff, rpioSovs (Aq.), sarculum 3L, and the axe 
(Ar.). To such variety it may be impertinent to add the conjecture of Ew. 
(GVI Z . III. p. 47, E. Tr. III. p. 33), who reads ixnn, though his translation, 
the threshing sledge, will hardly do. According to Hoffmann (ZATW. II. 
p. 66), yi-\n is the stonemason's pick, from which we may conjecture that the 
pickaxe would be called by the same name. This is an indispensable tool to 
the peasant in a rocky country like Palestine, and could scarcely be kept in 
shape without the services of a blacksmith. I have therefore ventured to 
insert it in my translation of the verse. — 21. The difficulties of the verse 
seem to be insurmountable. — d^d mixen Pimm] is ungrammatical, and unintel- 
ligible even if we try to correct the grammar. — jwSp vhvb)'] is without analogy 



XIII. 23-XIV. i 103 

in Biblical Hebrew (on both phrases, cf. Dr., Notes). — a^nSi] coordinated 
as it is (or seems to be) with names of tools, makes no sense. For the open- 
ing clause we find kciI %v 6 rpuyrjTbs eroifios rod 6(pi(eiv & = poj "PXpn >m 
"Wp 1 ?, which is not very remote from f^. But this promising beginning is left 
incomplete. If we were told that when the harvest was ready to reap the Phil- 
istines came up and plundered it, or that the war broke out, we could fit the 
statement into this context. But what <& actually adds is : ra tie o-Keti-q ?ju rpeTs 
aluAoi els tou btiovra, which is supposed to mean that the tariff fixed for the 
tools was three shekels apiece, though it takes violent treatment to get this 
meaning from the words. The final clause in @ moreover, which affirms that 
the same arrangement held for the axe and the sickle, is superfluous. Th., 
reading D^sn ~pxan, translates and. the sharpening of the edges (for the plough- 
shares and the spades) was three shekels apiece. But the meaning proposed 
for "vxan and for D^n is without authority, and the meaning apiece for ftp 1 ? 
is also unparalleled. Retusae itaque erant acies vomerum % is an attempt 
to make sense out of the text of $?, but is contrary to grammar, and pro- 
vides no suitable preface to the final clause usque ad stimulum corrigendum. 
Another attempt is made by 1&, which apparently supposes m^cn to mean 
a file, for it translates : and they had a file to sharpen the dulness of the 
iron tools. J5 also has the file (if, indeed, Itrwi n^dic be the file), though 
it understands that the Hebrews in their necessity used their large files for 
ploughshares (?) and for other tools. This is more fully developed by Ar., 
which says in so many words: they fashioned the broad file into a pruning- 
hook, and took pegs from the harrows for picks. These differences of interpre- 
tation show the impossibility of making sense of the text as it stands, or even 
of finding a plausible emendation. The final clause p-nn awfrl seems to 
connect most naturally with vvhi of the preceding verse. But the sentence 
is long and awkward unless we assume with Toy (in Erdm.) that the verse is 
mainly an erroneous duplication of the preceding. For this hypothesis there 
is some colour in the repetition of several of the same words. But when 
written in parallel lines, the correspondence is not very striking. — p"nn] for 
the pointing, cf. Stade, Gram. 52 a. — 22. mm] should probably be made 
vtn. After nonfrfi (on the face of it a construct form) we should probably 
insert rojD with <f§ (Ew.). Toy proposes to read itddd instead of nDrV?D: in 
the day of Michmash would naturally mean in the day of the battle of Mich- 
mash. — 23. 3XD means in 14 the soldiers who were in occupation of the camp, 
in distinction from those who went out on the various expeditions. Here 
however it may mean the outpost which was thrown forward to protect the 
main camp from surprise. — *>3PD] it is unnecessary to change the pointing to 
"*T»a with Ewald. What is meant is the pass from the highlands to the Jordan 
valley, which ran down the wady. The village of Michmash lay a little back 
from the ravine; the Philistine outpost was stationed on its very edge. 

XIV. 1. Jonathan proposes an attack. — The main stream of 
the narrative here recurs, and tells of Jonathan's proposal to his 



104 * SAMUEL 

adjutant. A digression is made to describe the scene more exactly. 
— // came to pass on that day] that is, the particular day of which 
we are to speak, as in i 4 — that Jonathan ben Saul said to his 
armour-bearer] it is proper that Jonathan should be given his full 
name at the beginning of so important a paragraph. The name 
does not imply that he has not been mentioned before, cf. 23 16 . 
The armour-bearer was the man chosen by a leader or prominent 
officer to be his trusty attendant, aid, adjutant, armiger, or squire. 
Jonathan proposes a surprise of the enemy's post, but does not 
let his father know, doubtless fearing to be forbidden the fool- 
hardy attempt. — 2. The situation is described : first, with refer- 
ence to Saul, who was sitting in the uttermost part of Geba] so 
we must read, to be consistent, under the pomegranate tree which 
is in the threshing-floor] for the reading, see the critical note. 
The force with him was the six hundred men already mentioned. 
— 3. An important member of the camp is the priest who has 
charge of the sacred lot. He is mentioned here in order to 
prepare us for the part he is afterwards to take. — Ahijah ben 
Ahitub, brother of Ichabod] the mention of Ichabod is possibly 
the work of the redactor. Ahimelech ben Ahitub, mentioned in 
the later history, may be the same as this Ahijah, the names being 
synonymous. The priest is described as bearing the ephod] in 
the correct text of v. 18 we learn that Saul commanded the ephod 
to be brought, cf. also 23 s 30 7 . In these cases the ephod can 
hardly be the priest's garment. Beyond the fact that it was the 
instrument of the oracle, however, we know nothing about it. 
The description of things in Saul's camp closes with the state- 
ment : the people did not know that Jonathan and his armour- 
hearer had gone] they were therefore surprised when the commo- 
tion made itself visible in the opposing camp. — 4. The locality 
of the exploit is described to us : Between the ravines by which 
Jonathan sought to cross] that is, side valleys running into the 
main wady. As we can readily see, these would leave projecting 
points, two of which are now described : a tooth of rock on one 
side and a tooth of rock on the other] cf. Job 39 28 and the well- 
known Dent du Midi. The names of the two rocks in question 
were Bozez and Seneh. We may conjecture that Bozez, the shin- 
ing, was the one facing the south, Seneh, the thorny, the one facing 



xiv. 1-5 105 

the north.* — 5. The description is completed by the statement 
that one rock was on the north in front of Michmash, the other on 
the south in front of Geba\ each hill is denned by the village 
nearest to it, to which it served as a fortification. Notice that J^ 
has Geba here. 

1. Dvn Tvi] the same expression I 4 , cf. Ges. 26 § I26j. — v*?3 Ntrj] Abime- 
lech had such an attendant and so apparently had Gideon, Jd. 9 54 7 10 . — 
"0>'ft] Num. 32 19 Jos. 22 7 Jd. 7 25 . The passages show that the word means 
simply beyond. — r*?n] cf. Dr. in BDB. sub voce, with his reference, Wright, 
Comp. Gram. p. 117. — n?3jn nxpa] as Geba is the town overlooking the pass, 
it must be meant here. For rwpa describing a position on the outskirts of the 
town cf. 9 27 . — jwnn] evidently a well-known tree, jruo is meant by f^ as a 
proper name, and in fact there is a Migron not far away, Is. io 28 . But as it 
lies north of Michmash it will not answer our author's purpose. The versions 
make a proper name of the word here, but do not agree in the form. As the 
location is already given with some exactness a proper name is superfluous. On 
this account We. proposes yvsz with the meaning of pj a threshing-floor. A 
threshing-floor is usually located on a bare open hill and so would be excellent 
for Saul's purpose — to prevent surprise and keep watch of the enemy's move- 
ments. — 3. rpns] in 21 2 22 9 we find the priest at Nob called *pD<nN and he 
also is a son of Ahitub. It is not unlikely therefore that the two names 
designate the same individual, the original iSo^ns having been changed to 
avoid the suggestion of Molech. The identification is cited by Schm. from 
Sanctius. On the assumed meaning my brother is Yahweh, or brother of 
Yahweh, cf. Jastrow, JBL. XIII. p. 101 ff., and Barton, ibid. XV. p. 168 ff. 
Keil is at pains to calculate the age of Ahijah to show that he could have had 
a son old enough to accompany David after Saul's massacre of the priests. — 
noo-sx] 'Ia>xa#*?A @ AB . — Dnrs] is written DfUfi I 3 (by the occidentals only). 
Nestle {Am. Jour. Sem. Lang. XIII. p. 173) follows Lauth in supposing the 
name (borne also by a son of Aaron) to be Egyptian and to mean negro. — 
"lias n^j] there seems to be no clear instance where Mrj means to wear an 
article of dress. In Ex. 28 12 - 29 however it describes the High Priest as bear- 
ing (or wearing) the names on the breastplate. The use of KS>J would there- 
fore be against the theory that the ephod was an article of clothing. On the 
other hand, Samuel and David are girded with an ephod (2 18 2 S. 6 14 ) which 
would indicate that it could be worn. See Moore on Judges 17 5 , with the 
extended list of authorities there given. — 4. nnajron] on the daghesh cf. Stade, 
Gram. § 317. The form is construct, governing the clause which follows, 
Ges. 26 § 130c; Daw, Syntax, §25. «% however connects the first two words 
of the verse with the preceding : the people did not know that Jonathan had 
gone to the pass. — -oynn] occurs only here and with nrn seems superfluous; 



* So GASmith, Geog. p. 250. 



106 i SAMUEL 

one of the two words is omitted by <g. — vxd] the attractive conjecture of 
GASmith as to the meaning of the word goes back apparently to Gesenius, 
Thesaurus, p. 229 : appellativa significatio videtur splendens. Later lexicons 
take no notice of this. The form in (3 is BaCcd or Bale's. — nip] is thus 
pointed by Ginsburg; the editions vary. The word is doubtless the same 
with n;D, the thorn, as for example, the burning bush Ex. 3 s - 4 , cf. Dt. 33 16 . 
The word has been transferred from Arabic to English in the name of the 
medicinal senna; <g has Zeuvadp. The two names are rendered by £, Slip- 
pery and Inaccessible. — 5. It is a question whether prco gives a suitable 
sense. Besides this passage it is used in 2 8 only, and there it is used of the 
pillars which support the earth. But it will hardly do to say of a hill that it is 
a column on the north. In modern Hebrew p)S is the peak or summit of a 
hill (Levy, NHWB.). But what is required here is a word like 11X3, which 
however seems to be applied specifically to cities or walls. As p«D is not 
represented in <S, it may be an intruder corrupted from the pfiJD which fol- 
lows. Were it original we should expect it to be repeated in the second half 
of the verse. It is exscinded by Th., Dr., Bu.; while Kl. goes his own way as 
usual. With 'D Sid defining a location, compare Ex. 34 s Dt. 4 46 . 

6-12. Jonathan suggests an omen. — The account takes up 
the speech of Jonathan, which was interrupted by the digression 
concerning the scene of the exploit. He first proposes to go 
against the enemy, and receives a hearty assurance of support 
from his squire. He then reveals his plan, which is, that they 
show themselves at the bottom of the valley. They would then 
notice the words used by the Philistines, and take from them a 
sign to indicate whether they should go further or stand still. 
The older commentators are confident that Jonathan, in propos- 
ing this test of the divine will, as well as in making the expedition, 
was acting under divine inspiration. See the question discussed 
at length by Schmid. 

6. Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised~\ 
the Philistines are frequently so stigmatized, Jd. 14 3 i5 ls 1 S. 18 24 " 27 
3 1 4 2 S. i 20 . Jonathan's hope of doing something is a hope in 
God : Perchance Yahweh will act for us~\ there seems no reason 
to question the construction. — For Yahweh finds no hindrance to 
his saving power in the many or the few~\ that is, whether many 
be opposed, or few be on his side. — 7. By emendation we get : 
Do all to which thy heart inclines : behold, I am with thee; as thy 
heart so is my heart~\ the text of J^ is awkward, and it is doubtful 



XIV. 6-12 107 

whether it will bear the meaning given it in EV. — 8-10. Indica- 
tion of the divine will is to be found in the conduct of the enemy : 
See we will cross over to the men, and show ourselves to them] by 
coming into the open at the bottom of the ravine, where the 
Philistine sentinels would see them. — 9. If they say thus to us: 
Stand still until we can reach you ! then we will stand still in our 
place] the mind of the enemy to attack might be a reason for 
caution. But we can hardly say that the challenge to come up 
was a sign of cowardice, as is affirmed by Th. : ironiam ex con- 
sternato animo profectam esse existimamus, Schm. — 10. If, on 
the other hand, the Philistines should invite them to come up, 
they would make the attempt : for in that case God will have 
given them into our hand] we cannot help seeing in this the arbi- 
trary selection of an omen. The nearest parallel is the sign prayed 
for by Abraham's servant, whereby he might know the predestined 
wife of Isaac, Gen. 24 14 . — 11. The Philistines discover the advent- 
urers, and say to each other : See ! Hebrews are coming out of the 
holes where they hid themselves !] the expression does not neces- 
sarily presuppose the account in 13 6 . — 12. The Philistines then 
cry out to Jonathan and his armour-bearer : Come up to us that 
we may tell you something ! The light language is simply a chal- 
lenge, probably a banter. It is not necessary to inquire what the 
speakers expected to tell the strangers. The words used do not 
admit of being understood : we will show you how to fight. 
Jonathan accepts the omen, and calls to his armour-bearer to 
climb up after him, adding : For Yahweh has given them into the 
hand of Israel] the victory is, in the divine purpose, already 
obtained. 

6-12. In this paragraph, except 12b , we find the name of the hero spelled 
JTOVP whereas elsewhere in these two chapters we have jrui\ The fuller form 
reappears in 18-20 and in 2 S. The change of form just here may be explained 
by supposing this paragraph the work of a different hand. The incident is 
one which might be interpolated by a pious scribe who wished to magnify 
Jonathan's faith and dependence on God. But it is skilfully wrought into the 
narrative and cannot well be spared. For a discussion of the names which 
begin with vr> and v see Bonk in ZATW. XI. pp. 125-156. 

6. n-opji] <S omits the 1. — ">Sin] expresses a hope, as in Gen. 32 21 . — 
uS mm nirp] has an analogy in Jd. 2 7 ; the object nrjflD is contained in the 
verb: perchance Yahweh will do a deed for us (Schm.). Some have ques- 



108 i SAMUEL 

tioned whether the text is sound, and Kl. propose? to emend to vh rt£M\ 
But this seems unnecessary. — iwjm] the noun occurs nowhere else, but the 
verb is not infrequent in the meaning to shut up, to keep back. — Bpoa in 3-o] 
is logically connected with iisyc — 7. The received text is awkward, and it 
is a question whether it can be translated, rvsi certainly does not belong in 
a sentence where it must be made to mean go on. <g seems to have had 
another text : iroiei irav b iav ij KapSia <rov iKK\ivr) would represent WH ^3 nrj 
V? naj pa*?, and this preserves the natural meaning of nsj, cf. Jd. 9A This 
text, suggested by Ew., has been accepted by most recent scholars. — P^d] 
(& adds KapUa fxov, which also is generally accepted since Ew. — 8. on:;] 
the participle is used of action in the immediate future and is carried on by 
U^m — 9. For K2-, be still, cf. Jer. 47 s , and, of the sun's standing still, Jos. 
io 12f . For U)PJ>n <J5 has aira-yyeiKu/jLev, perhaps reading ij-rjn. — ljinnn] in 
our tracks is a colloquial equivalent, cf. Ex. i6 29 Jd. 7 21 . — 10. ncto] +irpbs 
7)fxas <& with which S> agrees. But no great stress can be laid upon the 
evidence for so easy an insertion. — IT 1 ??] irphs thiols is the rendering of @, 
as in v. 12 where pj has win, which should probably be read here. — lrva] a 
number of codd. have u>T3, but cf. Gen. 43 21 Dt. 32 s7 . — fin] the 1 is lack- 
ing in <&J52L and may have come from erroneous duplication of the preceding 
letter. — 3n3^] in the mouth of the Philistines as elsewhere; here without the 
article : some Hebrews, not the Hebrews as in (g. According to We., Hitzig 
conjectured cnm;', mice. — 12. nassn] is doubtless to be corrected to arsn, 
the form elsewhere used in this narrative. 

13-16. The attack. — When Jonathan and his armour-bearer 
accept the challenge, the garrison is thrown into confusion, and 
the confusion soon becomes a panic. — 13. The two Hebrews 
climb up on their hands and on their feet. We must suppose that 
while climbing the cliff they were hidden from the view of the 
post at the top ; otherwise there would have been no surprise. — 
And they turned before Jonathan and he smote thent] this is the 
reading of (3 and on the whole the better, though the case is 
particularly difficult to decide. J^ reads : and they fell before 
Jonathan. In any case, Jonathan felled them to the ground, and 
his armour-bearer kept despatching them after him~\ notice the 
force of the participle. — 14. The first slaughter^ distinguished 
from the general carnage which came with the panic. The latter 
part of the verse is obscure. What we expect is either a com- 
parison with some similar event : ' like Gideon's slaughter of 
Midian ' for example, or else a definite location of the deed : * in 
the field which lies before Michmash,' or something like that. 
(3 finds an account of the weapons used ; j$ gives a comparison 



XIV. 13-16 109 

of the activity of the heroes with that of the day labourer. A 
satisfactory text does not seem yet to have been constructed. — 
15. The terror aroused by Jonathan's onset spread to the whole 
force of the Philistines and became a panic. The force was 
divided (as noted above) into the garrison and the raiders. The 
account seems to assume that these latter were returning to the 
camp when they met the flying garrison ; or else the attack was in 
the early morning when the raiders had not yet set out. — So there 
came a terror in the camp and in the field . . . and even the 
plunderers trembled] the intervening clause is difficult to place. 
— And the earth quaked] is evidently to be taken literally ; Yah- 
weh intervened directly to increase the fear, which thus became 
a divinely sent panic] lit., a terror of God. — 16. The commotion 
was so great that Saul's sentinels in Geba saw : And behold a 
tumult tvas surging hither and thither] the remarkable thing was a 
mob moving purposelessly to and fro in its mad impulse. 

13. jnjv y©S lSflii] seems a little too abrupt. We expect the attack or 
the terror to be asserted. @ enables us to restore D3>i pjv yfiS UCi. Ew. 
seems to have been the first to adopt part of this, though he makes it mean 
they looked him in the face, being paralyzed by fear. As Jonathan was " swifter 
than an eagle," there seems no difficulty in supposing that the Philistines started 
to flee, but were quickly overtaken. — 14. The verse is perfectly plain down 
to tt"N. After that it is now generally considered to be hopelessly corrupt. 
Tradition is represented by in media parte jugeri quam par bourn in die arare 
consuevit %, and this has passed into the modern versions. But the objections 
to it are of the most serious kind. 'Xn33 has a combination of prepositions 
very rare, occurring in only two expressions, both defining a point of time 
(Dr., Notes) ; nj^D in the ratzmng furrow occurs in one late passage, Ps. 129 3 
Kt., where the text is not above suspicion. It is difficult, moreover, to see how 
Jonathan could slay twenty men in half a furrow, which indeed is nonsense. 
If it said as in a furrow, we should think of the slain as lying along in a row. 
In late Hebrew njyo is said to mean the amount of ground which a plough- 
man takes in hand at one time, Ges., HWB 12 ., referring to Wetstein in Delitzsch, 
Psalmen 3 , which I have not seen, also Levy, NHWB. The Arabic usage is 
readily traced; ma'na is simply the intention, as is hjjjd in Hebrew, and so 
applied to the task which a man sets himself or intends to do. But to suppose 
that the word now applied by the fellahin to their task of ploughing had 
the same application in Biblical Hebrew is too violent. Nor are the diffi- 
culties yet over, ids is undoubtedly a yoke of oxen, and then possibly as 
much land as a yoke of oxen can plough in a day — an acre, roughly speak- 
ing. Is. 5 10 , which is usually urged fo* this meaning, is not free from difficulty. 



110 i SAMUEL 

But assuming it provisionally, we cannot yet make an intelligible sentence : as 
in half a furrow (?) an acre of field is redundant and ungrammatical. The 
versions testify to the corruphon, but unfortunately without helping to correct 
it. <J§ L has iv fioAlari Kal iv irerpofiSKois Kal ev K^x^a^t tov veSLov, with which 
I agrees ( Cod. Goth. Leg?) ; <J£ AB omits from this Kal iv irerpofiSKois, which 
Th. (followed by We.) had already conjectured to be a gloss. The reason- 
ing of We. is plausible, though the testimony of I shows that the insertion 
must have been early. <& seems to have had at least r\-yvr\ . . . ooxro, 
and between came niX3 or mao; it should be noted that "nx is nowhere 
used of stones as a weapon, but it is more likely than \2* to be the original of 
"\m. If we restore mvft ma we should translate among the rocks of the field, 
which would not be out of place. On the basis of % we might restore rena 
mrn IDS \inj:n like hewers of stone, or like drivers of oxen in the field. 
The repeated blows of a man hewing stone would not be an inappropriate 
comparison, and possibly the Syrian ploughmen urge on their oxen wfth 
violent blows; but the language seems rather obscure. Ew. tries to translate 
|^, making it mean that the slaughter was 'like a yoke (?) of land being 
ploughed ■ (GVP. III. p. 48, E. Tr. III. p. 34). But the figure does not seem 
to fit. The reader who is interested in defending tradition may, as usual, con- 
sult Keil. — 15. The text is not easy to interpret, though so smooth in appear- 
ance : There came a terror on the camp in the field and upon all the people] 
but why should a distinction be made between the camp in the field and all the 
people? The people here meant are the people of the Philistine camp, and 
the sentence is redundant. Or if we divide so as to read, on the camp, both on 
the field and on all the people, why should the camp be summed up under these 
two heads? <3 seems to have read rnrai runna both in the camp and in the 
field, as if to distinguish between the fortified (?) camp and the open coun- 
try. So much is adopted by Kl., Bu., and may pass in default of something 
better. For the next clause, <g connects as follows : and all the people, both 
garrison and raiders trembled, and this again may pass; but we must certainly 
strike out hdh-dj which now becomes intolerable. @ B reads Kal avrol ovk 
fjOeXov iroieiv, with which we can do nothing; and I suspect the verse has 
been freely interpolated. Perhaps the original was only rnnna n-nn Tim 
ddh-dj mn nTv^ani rrrrai. With y\nr\ nim compare Am. 8 8 Joel 2 10 ; the 
verb is used of the mountains, 2 S. 22 8 Is. 5 25 . Th. and Keil try to under- 
stand the words here of the commotion produced by the panic, but this is 
rationalistic weakening of the author's meaning. — otiSn mnnS] cf. the 
divinely sent fear, dtiSn nnn, which came upon the Canaanites, Gen. 35 s . — 
16. D^flxn] the sentinels regularly stationed on the walls of a city, 2 S. 13 34 
18 24 . — ny:n] Geba should be read, as heretofore. — prnn] <g renders njnnn. 
But as pnn is the less common word, it is to be preferred; and it seems to 
give an excellent sense here, cf. Jd. 4 7 and v. 19 in this chapter. The first n, 
however, is a duplicate, and we should read pan njni. What they saw was a 
tumult surging. — o^ni "jW| is impossible, and to be corrected according to (5 
oSm oSn. For jidj We. suggests the meaning surge, commended by Dr. 



XIV. 1 7-20 III 

17-23. The discomfiture of the Philistines. — On discovering 
the state of the enemy's camp, Saul inquires who is missing from 
his own force. He then takes the first steps towards ascertaining 
the will of Yahweh. But before the reply of the oracle is given, 
the state of the enemy so obviously invites attack, that the king 
marches forth without waiting further. At the scene of battle he 
finds the Philistines fighting each other. The Hebrew slaves from 
their camp join with him, and he is reenforced by the Israelites 
who have been in hiding. The result is a decided victory. 

17. Saul says to the soldiers : Search] the verb is used of 
inspecting the troops, 13 15 , and also of inquiring for one absent, 
20 6 : And see who is gone from us~\ the result is to show the 
absence of Jonathan and his attendant. — 18. The text of (£, 
which is to be adopted unconditionally, reads : And Saul said to 
Ahijah ; Bring hither the Ephod, for he carried the Ephod that 
day before Israel] similar language is used in other cases where 
the Ephod is consulted, 23 s 30 7 . We. supposes that the remark 
concerning Ahijah cannot be by the author of v. 3 . But the expla- 
nation of the general situation there need not prevent the reminder 
here, where there is particular occasion for it. The text of %fy 
inserts the Ark of God here. Historically we could hardly object 
that the presence of the Ark at Kirjath Jearim would decide against 
this text, because our author may not have known of its detention 
at Kirjath Jearim. But the Epho' 1 is elsewhere the means of giv- 
ing the oracle, and if original here may have been displaced by a 
scrupulous scribe who was aware of its dangerous resemblance to 
an image. — 19. The answer of the oracle is not yet given, when 
Saul sees the necessity of immediate action. The state of the 
Philistine camp gives plain enough indication of the will of God : 
While Saul was yet speaking, the tumult kept on increasing] on the 
text see the critical note. The act of consulting the oracle fell 
into two parts ; the king (or other inquirer) asked a question ; the 
priest gave the answer of Yahweh. In the case before us Saul 
interrupted his own question, saying to the priest : Draw back thy 
hand f] that is, the hand which was stretched out to take the lot. 
The verb is the same used of drawing up the feet into the bed, 
Gen. 49 33 . — 20. Saul and his men march to the scene : Then 



112 i SAMUEL 

Saul and all the people with him raised the war cry\ such is the 
natural interpretation of the words. When they came to the camp 
of the Philistines : the sword of each was turned upon his fellow, 
an exceeding great confusion^ as in the camp of Midian where also 
friend was taken for foe, Jd. 7 22 . — 21. The appearance of Saul 
with an orderly band of soldiers gave disaffected allies of the 
Philistines a rallying point : The Hebrews who were on the side 
of the Philistines heretofore, who had come with them into the camp, 
they also turned to be with Saul~\ Schm. compares the case of 
David who followed Achish to Gilboa. — 22. The noise and the 
news spread rapidly, and all the men of Israel who were in hiding 
in the hill country of Ephraini\ although occupied by the tribe 
of Benjamin, the district bore the name of Ephraim. — They also 
pursued them in the battle~\ joining with the forces of Saul. — 
23. The author sums up the day's work, before proceeding to a 
more detailed account of one episode : So Yahweh delivered Israel 
that day and the battle went beyond Beth Horon\ a well-known 
town on the western edge of the highlands. The name is cor- 
rected on the basis of (^ L . Beth Aven, the reading of J^, seems 
unsuitable. 

17. T N ] denies the presence of the subject, Gen. 37 s9 Ex. 2 12 . — 18. rwjn 
DTlSltn ]1"in] the difficulty in retaining the words is prima facie a historical 
one. The Ark had been settled at Kirjath Jearim, and if brought to Saul we 
should have been told of the transfer. Graetz speaks of a tradition to the 
effect that there were two arks (Gescfi. d. Juden, I. p. 160) and supposes that 
one was made to supply the loss of the other. But the tradition probably arose 
from a desire to save the historicity of this passage. Even if we suppose this 
author not to know of the detention of the Ark at Kirjath Jearim, it remains 
true that we nowhere else hear of it in connexion with Saul, and the presump- 
tion is therefore against it here. The second difficulty is that, so far as we 
know, the Ark was not used in consulting the oracle. All the indications, 
therefore, point to the correctness of (3 irpoadyaye rb 4<pov5. The Rabbinical 
commentators are aware that the Urim and Thummim are intended (Isaaki 
and Kimchi in toe). For the rest of the verse we must also adopt the reading 
of (3, because $% is evidently the worse and at its close unintelligible. Nin "o 
^TWM ^joS Ninn or 3 "naiwi ne>j is an exact translation of <3 and gives a perfectly 
good sense. It is adopted in substance by all recent expositors. Dr., fol- 
lowed by Bu., prefers N£>j Pl*n instead of the simple XV) and *i2 "0D 1 ? for ua?. 
His reason in the latter case is that bnv ""joS is bald and against the usage of 
Hebrew prose. On this it is sufficient to remark that Vmt»i *J3 ijo 1 ? is found 
in the books Joshua, Judges, and Samuel four times, and that all four (Jos. 4 1 ' 2 



XIV. 20-23 113 

g.32 io 12 j^ g28) come from a redactional hand; whereas "jinm ^uh occurs in 
six places besides this (Jos. io 10 n 6 20 35 I S. 7 10 2 S. io 15 - 19 ) representing three 
different documents. This verse is one of those in which Keil concedes the 
superiority of 0. — 19. nan v] tne vef b should be pointed as an infinitive, cf. 
Jd. 3' 26 Ex. 33 22 ; the more usual construction is "did -r; >rm. For the tense in 
"I 1 -"", cf. Dr., Tenses*, § 127 a; but the emendation to iSn (Kl.) is attractive. 

— 211 ffvi] "double absolute object, the second being an adjective " (Moore, 
on Jd. 4 24 ), cf. 2 S. 5 10 18 25 , Dav., Syntax, § 86, R. 4.— 20. p>n] here 
pointed as a Niphal; but this is used of the people who are summoned to war, 
not of the leader who summons them. For the latter we find the Hiphil, 
Jd. 4 10 - 13 2 S. 20 4 - 5 . If we point |59Pi however, we must change Soi to Vdtn. 
But the people had already been mustered, in order to discover who was miss- 
ing, and it was not necessary to call them together. With all due reserve, 
therefore, I have pointed pjmi and suppose the shout of those who go into 
battle to be intended — though the verb is nowhere else used in that sense. 
<S A has aueBorjae for which BL have ave&ri. — ncinc] is used of the panic pro- 
duced in the Philistine cities by the plague, 5 9 . — 21. The verse division is 
disregarded by <2> which makes the tumult to be Hebrezvs against Philistines. 

— onsym] ko) ol Sov\oi (&. The latter is plausible, for the slaves of the 
Philistines might well take advantage of such an opportunity. On the other 
hand, it is pretty certain that the camp would contain a large number of 
Hebrews impressed for the purpose of carrying away the booty, or who were 
seeking to ingratiate themselves with the enemy. Such Hebrews might well 
be contrasted, as here, with the Israel with Saul. For vr\ it is almost neces- 
sary to read vn -ex with Ew., cf. Dr., Notes. — □?:>?] is not represented in <&. 

— an :raD] should be emended to djj 1220 (Th.) with <&&. — 22. C"n] is not 
represented in <g, and the sense is good without it. — lpa-pi] is abnormally 
pointed, cf. Stade, Gram. § 529 a, Ges. 26 § 53 n.; the same form is found in 
31 2 (1 Chr. io 2 ). There seems to be no doubt that a Hiphil is intended, 
Jd. 18 22 20 45 2 S. i 5 (lacking 1 as here). — 23. pirno] was corrected by Th. 
to \-\t\ no, and the conjecture is confirmed by <JI L I. 

24-35. Saul's taboo and Jonathan's violation of it. — Saul 
lays a curse upon the eating of food before sundown. The people 
are mindful of the execration and go fasting, though thereby they 
grow faint. The only exception is Jonathan who, because of his 
absence from the main body of troops, is not informed of the 
adjuration, and eats of some honey which he finds. On being 
informed, he condemns his father's act as having weakened the 
people. At sunset the famished people rush upon the spoil and 
eat without due care to separate the blood from the flesh. Saul, 
informed of this, orders a great stone to be taken for an altar and 
at this the animals are slain. 
1 



1 14 t SAMUEL 

The paragraph is obscure in places owing to the state of the text 
— possibly because later editors could not reconcile themselves 
to the religious views which lie at the basis of the narrative. It 
seems plain that Saul's purpose was to impose what is known in 
other religions as a taboo. As the confusion of the enemy showed, 
Yahweh was already working. Saul desired a continuance of his 
favour. The extraordinary privation laid upon the people was to 
secure this. Fasting is in itself one means of placating the divinity. 
And Yahweh as the God of Battles had a special claim upon the 
booty. It was in fact sacred, and it would be unsafe for individual 
Israelites to appropriate it until the first fruits had been set apart 
for Yahweh. If the people had set out (as is likely) without sup- 
plying themselves with provisions from their own stores, there 
would be all the more need of special precautions. 

So far from Saul's vow being rash, ill-advised, or arbitrary, 
therefore, we see that it was the logical expression of his careful- 
ness for divine things. From the practical point of view, Jonathan 
was no doubt right. The success of the day would have been 
greater without this extraordinary precaution. But this was a 
mere worldly consideration — Saul was moved by care for religion 
which would not take account of lower advantages or arguments. 
That he was entirely justified by the light of the times is probable ; 
for the author has no hesitation in narrating Yahweh's confirma- 
tion of the curse by his offended silence after its violation. The 
supposition that Saul was moved by fear lest the troops should be 
detained by the booty is inadequate to account for the form of 
the objurgation. It is not taking booty that is the object of the 
curse, but eating food of any kind. 

24. The introductory clause must be taken from <£, which 
describes the situation as it was during the day, and therefore 
before the conclusion just reached. — So Israel was with Saul 
about ten thousand men and the fighting was scattered over all the 
hill country of Ephraint] on the reading, see the critical note. — 
And Saul vowed a vow in that day, and Saul laid an oath on the 
people~\ the restoration is partly conjectural. If it be correct, the 
author does not condemn Saul ; he only gives the facts as else- 
where. Other cases of the vow, Jd. n 301 * Gen. 28 20 - 22 . A vow 



XIV. 24-29 115 

of abstinence is attributed to David, Ps. 132 21 r . Saul's vow is 
imposed upon the people in the form of a curse, saying ; Cursed 
is the man who shall eat food until evening and [until'] I avenge 
myself on my enemies] the older commentators (followed by Keil) 
saw in the form of the oath — my enemies — an overweening desire 
for personal revenge ; but this is foreign to the author's idea. 
The Philistines were Saul's enemies because they were enemies 
of Israel. Another example of a curse assumed by the people as 
a whole is found in Jd. 21 18 . The result of this one was that none 
of the people tasted food, though they were tempted. — 25, 26. The 
text has suffered and cannot be certainly restored. Recent authori- 
ties agree in making it mean : And there was honey \or honeycomb] 
on the face of the ground ', and the people came to the honeycomb 
whence the bees had gone, but no one put his hand to his mouth, 
for the people feared the oath of Yahweh] the sense is obviously 
that the people were steadfast in the midst of special temptation. 
But the sentence is awkwardly constructed, and we may well 
doubt whether the ingenuity of the critics has yet recovered the 
original text. Why the bees should have deserted the comb, we 
are left to conjecture. That the Philistines had made spoil of 
honey and had thrown it away is possible, but the author would 
have told us if he had known this to be the fact. — 27. Jonathan, 
having been absent from the army, had not heard when his father 
adjured the people] he therefore ate of the honey, dipping the end 
of his club in it. The refreshment experienced is described in 
the words, and his eyes were lightened] the eyes of the weary man 
do not see clearly — the world grows dark before him. — 28. One 
of the people answered] that is, spoke as the occasion suggested, 
telling Jonathan of the oath. The last two words in the verse 
as they stand in J^ — and the people were weary — disturb the 
sense, whether they be attributed to the author of the narrative 
or to Jonathan. We should emend so as to read : and the people 
testified, that is, accepted the oath ; or «lse in another way, joining 
to the beginning of the next verse, making it read : So he left off, 
and said. A third possibility is to strike the words out as a gloss. 
— 29. Jonathan gives his opinion of his father's action and its 
effects on the people : My father has brought disaster on the land] 
relatively, he means. For the verb used here cf. Moore, Judges, 



II 6 I SAMUEL 

p. 301. Jonathan's opinion is based on his own experience : See 
how I am refreshed, just because I tasted a bit of honey / The 
refreshment is again presented as a clearing of the eyes from their 
dulness. — 30, 31. The two verses belong together and their 
sense is : If only the people had eaten today of the spoil of their 
enemies the slaughter of the Philistines would have been great and 
the people would have smitten the Philistines from Michmash to 
Aijalon] this cannot, to be sure, be got out of the present text. 
An alternative would be to make Jonathan's speech end (though 
abruptly) with v. 30 , and to throw out the greater part of v. 31 . That 
the pursuit actually extended to Aijalon, as apparently asserted in 
J^, we have no reason to believe, for such a success would have 
been all that the most sanguine could expect. Aijalon (the 
modern Yalo) lay below Beth Horon well down towards the 
Philistine plain. The last three words of the verse are plain 
enough of themselves, but not easy to fit in the present context. 
— 32. The famished people rushed upon the booty] as a bird of 
prey rushes upon the quarry. The booty in such raids consists 
largely of cattle, and these the people slew to the earth wherever 
they happened to find them. The consequence was that they ate 
with the blood] the blood was the part of Yahweh, and for man to 
eat it was sacrilegious. This idea runs through the history of Israel 
and is embodied in the various prohibitions of the Law, Dt. 12 16 
Lev. 19 26 . — 33. Word is brought to Saul that the people are sin- 
ning against Yahweh in eating with the blood] the definition of 
the sin leaves nothing to be desired, and Saul at once takes active 
measures against the sacrilege : Roll hither a great stone] the only 
way in which this would correct the evil would be by making the 
stone an altar on which the blood could be poured. As we know 
from Arabic heathenism, the original Semitic sacrifice was the 
application of the blood (without fire) to the altar or sacred 
stone.* — 34. Those present are ordered to disperse among the 
people and command them : Let each man bring to Yahweh his 
ox or his sheep and slay it here] on the original reading, see 
below. The method was successful : All the people brought each 
what he had in his hand, to Yahweh and slew it there] another 

* Cf. WRSmith, Kinship, pp. 223, 311. 



XIV. 29-35 "7 

slight change in the reading is adopted here. We also may speak 
of having an animal or a herd in hand. — 35. So Saul built an 
altar to Yahweh~\ cf. 7 17 . The only reason for the statement in 
this connexion is that the altar was the stone just mentioned. 
With it he made a beginning of his altar-building to Yahweh, cf. 
Gen. io 8 . The author has it in mind to tell of other altars built 
by Saul, but his narrative is now lost. 

24. Ninn ova iwj ^MWWHtl] is an unexpected opening to the new para- 
graph. ti'Jj, 13 6 , is used to describe the straits in which the people found 
themselves under the Philistine invasion. But we are here in the midst of 
the deliverance, and although the deliverance was less complete than it might 
have been, the people could hardly now be described as oppressed by a task- 
master, or driven away, or crowding each other, which are the only meanings 
to be got out of the verb. Saul's vow, though it increased the weariness, 
could hardly be said to oppress the people, and if the author had meant to 
connect this assertion with the vow he would have constructed his sentence 
differently. <3 has an entirely different reading : Kal 'l<rpa$]\ -l\v /ucto 2aov\, 
wad 8fKa x'A.ic£8€s avfipwv, Kal tip 6 ir6\eixos hieatrapp.4vos els 6\7)v r^v ir6\iv kv 
T<p opei 'Efpdi/x (S L with which AB agree nearly. This gives an admirable 
opening for the new paragraph, and one that would not readily occur to re- 
dactor or scribe. It had probably become illegible in the archetype of J^ and 
a scribe substituted a phrase suggested by 13 6 , returning to the oppression of 
the people as the new point of departure. With We., it is proper to suppose 
that every city has come in by duplication — "VJ? Sou from in Vaa. The scat- 
tered fighting would be in the open country rather than in the towns. The 
impossibility of ffi was discovered by Ew. (from Th. ?) who besides adopting 
4§ emends |§ by conjecture. The reading of (g is also adopted by Th. with 
the silent correction of •vp to "\y\ The retranslation of <& AB by We. is adopted 
by Dr., Bu., al. I have chosen the Israel with Saul d L rather than all the 
people with Saul<& XB , because it probably refers to the Israel with Saul of v. 22 . 
Et erant cum Saul quasi decern millia virorum, found in the authorized edition 
of It, is no part of Jerome's translation but has crept in from I. The narra- 
tive is continued in ^ by : Kal Saoi/A. rjypSrjaep Hyvoiav p.eydArjv iv rr} rjfiepa. 
ene'ivr) confirmed by I. Since We. this has been supposed to represent ^iNtrn 
Ninn dvd njjtt> mv. But it is not certain that the author could so have ex- 
pressed himself. As confessed by We., njjc occurs only in the Hexateuch 
and Eccles. It is besides a technical term conveying a distinction not empha- 
sized before the Priestcode; nor is it certain that njjti> is the original of the 
Greek word found here which represents in various passages six different 
Hebrew words. In this uncertainty the conjecture of Kl. adopted by Bu. 
becomes attractive, to wit: that the original Greek phrase was: Kal 2,ctov\ 
Tfiyvtaev ayveiav. Bu. restores in his text no -mn hwv\ citing Num. 6 lff -. But, 
as he himself says, usage would favour *nj YU hwt} (or better "HJ *twt iti) 



Il8 i SAMUEL 

cf. 2 S. 15 8 Is. 19 21 . — Swi] is pointed as if from hn>, he behaved foolishly. But 
this does not agree with the context, so that we should read $w\ from r\hn : 
he caused the people to swear, like jpaari below. — E"Nn nnN] Dt. 27 15 Jer. II 8 . 

— TiDpji] generally with 3, as in 18* 25 Jd. 15 7 ; with p Is. I 24 . In the latter 
case the vengeance is a satisfaction taken from the enemy. On the tense cf. 
Dr., Tenses*, p. 134. — 25. The text is corrupt, probably beyond restoration. 

— "\p2 1x3 pNrrSsi] is impossible, whether we understand "iy> of a forest or 
of a honeycomb, for the simple reason that ynsn is never used for the people 
of the land;* — parr 1 ?:)!] may be a corruption of oyrrS:)) though it is difficult 
to see how a scribe could make this mistake here. If so, the words will be a 
duplicate of the Djrn-Ss in the preceding verse; © koX iraaa tj 77} riplcra seems 
to duplicate the whole preceding clause except the negative, and this is repre- 
sented in I. The only thing which is in place is a statement that all the land 
produced honey or that all the land flowed ivith honey. But none of the 
efforts to put this into the text are satisfactory. We., Bu., Dr., Ki. leave out 
the whole clause, making the verse consist only of mtpn iiD'hy FW1 njp\ and 
there was honeycomb on the face of the field. This is perhaps the best that can 
be done. — 26. eon T|Sn njni] must be intended to mean and there was a flow 
of honey ; but ^Sn in the only other passage in which it occurs means a way- 
farer, 2 S. 12 4 . The change of pointing to ^Sn (Th.) is now generally 
adopted, and as its consequence the further emendation of boi to roi, its 
bees, evidently the original of \a\S>v <&. That the honey was deserted of its 
bees made it especially tempting to the hungry people. It is not yet ex- 
plained, to be sure, why the bees should have deserted their post. J^D is to 
be read a^D with 4§&, cf. v. 27 (Kl.). — n^acn] perhaps to be corrected to 
mrp rip:? with <@>. — 27. my] the nomen unitatis of Ijn is ff^, njNnrn Kt. : 
nnNm Qre ; the latter is evidently to be preferred, cf. ns v. 29 . — 28. Dj;n rjjrn] 
can mean only : the people were exhausted, a statement that interrupts the 
sense, whether supposed to be spoken to Jonathan, or an explanation by the 
author. If anything is in place here it is something completing the informa- 
tion given, like D>*n Tjm, the people testified \.o the oath when Saul laid it upon 
them, perhaps by saying amen. Or we might read o>'3 ipi, and he called the 
people to witness, that is, Saul did (cf. 1 K. 2 42 ), when he laid the objurgation 
upon them. Something like this seems to have been the idea of Josephus 
(Ant. VI. VI. 3), when he says that Jonathan did not hear the curse nor the 
approbation the multitude gave it. (3 reads j?t>), an easy corruption of "iy>i. 
The two words are thrown out, as a marginal gloss which has crept into the 
text, by We., al. Another reading suggested by Josephus is ojttO *(V\ he left 
off eating, which would be entirely in place at the beginning of the next sen- 
tence. © also connects its koX typw ['IwvaOdv] with the following. — 29. 1D>] 
Gen. 34 30 Jos. 6 18 f 5 Jd. n 86 .— ini] read nxn with © (We.). — 30. »J 1*] 
emphatic introduction to what follows, making a climax : ' I have been re- 

* Dr. points to one instance, 2 S. 15 23 : all the land was weeping aloud. But 
there also it is doubtful whether the text is sound. 



XIV. 24-34 "9 

freshed by eating a little honey; how much more if the people had eaten 
would they have been refreshed.' He changes the construction, however, and 
instead of saying * they would have been refreshed ' states the consequence of 
the refreshment ' there would have been great slaughter.' — nnjl *o] intro- 
duces the apodosis after wb. But in this case we must omit the xi which 
follows, and in this we have the authority of <g. The change to nSh makes an 
awkward sentence. Or possibly n 1 ? represents the affirmative particle of which 
we have traces elsewhere. — h^d] read noon <g, notice the n which precedes. 

— 31. The first half of the verse is difficult as it stands, because it seems to 
speak of a success such as even Jonathan would approve. But the narrator 
would hardly contradict himself so directly. The only way of fitting the words 
into the context is to throw out Ninn ova (or correct it to ovn) and make the 
sentence a part of Jonathan's speech: and they ivould have smitten the Philis- 
tines [to-day] from Michmash to Aijalon. The only alternative seems to be 
to throw out the whole clause (We., Comp. p. 248). (& relieves us of the diffi- 
culty so far as to omit Aijalon and to read PD3D3 for ipdodc. But the narrator 
hardly supposes the whole day's fighting to be confined to Michmash. Bu. 
adopts this, and also adopts from Kl. Th'hn ip for njSis. But in this case it 
would be better to take over the whole of Kl.'s conjecture Ttrhn -\y PDVfl ons. 
The insecurity of our footing must be obvious. On the site of Aijalon, Robin- 
son, BR 2 , III. p. 145, GASmith, Geog. pp. 210, 250 f., Buhl, Geog. p. 198 who 
refers to Guerin, Judee, I. 290. Cf. also Moore, Judges, p. 53 f. — uyn *ij?>i] 
pointed as if from «py, cf. Jd. 4 21 , the more usual form is «yr», and we should 
probably point »jp»l. The clause resumes the narrative. — 32. cjm Kt. : fijm 
Qre is doubtless to be preferred, cf. 15 19 . Kl. defends the Kt. deriving it from 
my a rare verb of uncertain meaning; kou ltt\l$n <H B points to 0*1 which favours 
the Qre, which is also directly rendered by <§ L . The verb is perhaps denomina- 
tive from B»p a bird of prey. SStt> Kt.: SStrn Qre, again to be preferred. — ~U3na>M 
nrwj cf. nxix noos 2 S. 2 22 . — D*vH?Jf] is probably the original phrase, Lev. 
19 26 Ex. 12 8 , and D*wVn v. 34 is to be corrected accordingly. DTffnH proposed 
by Th. is not superior though we can hardly call it un-Hebraic, cf. Lev. 17 10 . 

— 33. i-pjm] the undefined subject is o^-pjon. — D'M8n] on the pointing Ges. 26 
§ 74 i. D"»ton is given by Ginsburg as the Qre. — SdnS] for this gerundial con- 
struction cf. Dav., Syntax, §93, other examples are I2 17 - 19 19 5 20 20 . — omja] you 
deal treacherously does not seem to be the verb called for. 6> finds the name of 
a place Gittaim, of which we have no other trace in this region. Perhaps ohmd^ 
would be in place. Kl.'s reconstruction is too ingenious. — ovn] must be cor- 
rected to oSn with (3 (Th.). — 34. This command is evidently directed to those 
immediately about the king and strengthens the case for on\JoS in the preced- 
ing verse. For »V* : ivTavQa <3; Kl. conjectures mm Sn for which much may be 
said and I have adopted it. — n?3] can hardly be upon this stone ; more proba- 
bly in this place. — DrV?3Ml] seems wanting in <& and is in fact superfluous. — 
H*3 mp tt"N] we should expect the sheep to be added as above; read ion k»k 
n>3 with @ (Th., al.). — rhhrt] lacking in <*| B , inserted by @ L at the end of 
the verse. Kl. followed by Bu. corrects to mmS, which is, in fact, what we 



120 i SAMUEL 

need. Some reader zealous for the Law changed it as in $?, while another 
left it out as in (3. — 35. The appropriateness of this addition to the narrative 
is apparent only if we identify the altar here spoken of with the great stone 
already mentioned. Had the author meant to make it something additional 
he would have said Saul built there an altar (as is actually rendered by &). 
The building of altars is a mark of piety in the patriarchs, Gen. 8 20 12" 13 18 
26 25 (all J) and 35 7 (E). We have no reason to interpret otherwise in the 
case of Saul. The supposition that the altar was built as a monument — non 
cultus causa, honoris ergo — is excusable in Schm., but hardly so in Keil. — 
inx] must be circumstantial : with it he began the building of altars. — nuaS 
nam] the plural of the noun is not required, cf. Gen. io 8 : he was the first 
to become a tyrant, and probably Gen. 9 2a : Noah was the first husbandman. 

36-46. The penalty of the broken taboo. — Saul proposes to 
renew the attack on the Philistines, but at the priest's suggestion 
first seeks counsel of Yahweh. The oracle is silent ; whereupon 
Saul concludes that the vow laid upon the people has been broken, 
and he takes measures to discover the guilty party. The sacred 
lot is cast first between Saul with his house on one side, and the 
people on the other j then between Saul and his son. Jonathan 
is discovered to be the guilty person, and is condemned to death 
by Saul. But the people, recognizing that the victory of the day 
is owing to Jonathan, revolt against the decision and ransom him. 
This closes the incident. 

The section is the necessary conclusion of what precedes. 
There the vow has been registered and its violation recorded. 
Jonathan confesses his guilt in the terms already used in describ- 
ing his unwitting trespass. In fact, the culmination of the story 
is found in Saul's Brutus-like sentence of his own son, and in 
Jonathan's noble willingness to die. The older commentators were 
much exercised by the question whether Jonathan was really bound 
by an adjuration of which he was ignorant. In the sense of the 
Biblical writer, he was so bound. Nor can we seriously question 
that, to the Biblical writer, the reason for Yahweh's refusal to 
answer Saul was his anger at Jonathan's transgression — though 
the commentators have ingeniously avoided this conclusion, and 
have tried to shift the guilt from Jonathan to Saul. 

36-46. Doubts have been expressed as to the section being a part of the 
original narrative, and it is true that v. 35 reads like the conclusion of a chapter 
in the history. But the account of the vow of Saul and of Jonathan's trans- 



XIV. 36-41 121 

gression is not complete without the present sequel. If necessary to choose, 
it would be better to strike out v. 35 than to dispense with 36 " 46 . We., who 
holds this to be foreign to the genuine context (Com/>. p. 248), is well answered 
by Bu. (J?S. p. 206). 

36. Saul makes a proposition : Let us go down after the Philis- 
tines by night and smite them] reading with Bu. ; the received text, 
let us plunder among them, is weak. The people agree, but the 
priest advises consultation of the oracle : let us draw near hither 
to God] Ex. 16 9 Zeph. 3 2 . The initiative of the priest may be 
accounted for by his knowledge of the transgression. The emen- 
dation of the text to make Saul the subject is arbitrary, though 
Josephus gives the initiative to the king. — 37. Saul asks of God 
in the customary form — here a double question, but one that 
admits only the answer yes or no, cf. 30 8 . From the form of the 
question it is probable that the oracle answered by the sacred lot. 

— But he did not answer him that day] how the priest discovered 
Yahvveh's refusal to answer, we are not told. — 38. Saul, with his 
usual promptness, takes immediate steps to discover the occasion 
of the divine wrath. He issues the order : Come hither, all the 
cornerstones of the people 7] the chief men are called by this name 
Jd. 20 2 Is. 19 13 . — And know and see wherein is this sin to-day] or 
more probably in whom is this sin. Abstractly considered, the 
fault might be in a thing as well as in a person, but as Saul's 
measures look towards the discovery of a person, it is natural that 
he should express himself accordingly. — 39. Saul solemnly pro- 
tests that the offender shall not be spared : By the life of Yahweh 
who delivers Israel'] that is, who is habitually Israel's deliverer ; 
though it be I or Jonathan my son, he shall be put to death] the 
conjectural reading represented here will be defended in the criti- 
cal note. The silence of the people shows that they appreciate 
the gravity of the situation. — 40. Arrangements are made for 
casting the lot by the division of all present into two parties. On 
one side are the people at large, on the other Saul and Jonathan, 
they being the only members of the royal family who are present. 
The arrangement, proposed by Saul, is consented to by the people. 

— 41. The sacred lot is cast in accordance with Saul's prayer pre- 
served for us in : And Saul said: Yahweh, God of Israel, why 
hast thou not answered thy servant this day ? If the guilt be in 



122 i SAMUEL 

me or in Jonathan my son, Yahweh, God of Israel, give Urim ; but 
if thus thou say : It is in my people Israel; give Thummim. The 
arguments for adopting this text are : ( i ) the improbability of its 
being invented by a late author; (2) the difficulty of making 
sense of the received text ; (3) the loss by homeoteleuton is very 
probable ; (4) the word fittf! alone would not suggest the inser- 
tion ; (5) only by supposing something of this kind to have been 
originally in the text, can we account for the statement that Saul 
and Jonathan were taken. If, as these considerations make ex- 
tremely probable, this is a part of the original text of Samuel, it 
is one of the most important contributions of (3 to the restoration 
of that text, and to our knowledge of Hebrew antiquity. The 
Urim and Thummim were known by name to the post-exilic 
writers, but the method of their use had been forgotten. The 
only early references are 1 S. 28 s where Urim is mentioned as one 
method of revelation, and Dt. 33 s where Urim and Thummim are 
attributed to the tribe of Levi. The present text describes them 
more exactly than any of these. Urim and Thummim were two 
objects used in the lot — perhaps stones of different colours — one 
of which gave the affirmative, the other gave the negative answer 
to a question put in the form already indicated. In this case : 
Saul and Jonathan were taken and the people escaped. — 42. The 
text seems to have suffered here also : And Saul said: Cast 
between me and Jonathan my son; and Jonathan was taken] the 
abruptness of the statement is contrary to analogy. (3 again comes 
to our help and may plead the presumption that the same cause 
which mutilated the preceding verse affected this also. It reads : 
And Saul said: Cast between me and Jonathan ! Whom Yahweh 
shall take shall die. And the people said to Saul: It shall not be 
so ! But Saul prevailed over the people, and they cast the lot 
between him and Jonathan his son, and Jonathan was taken] the 
added feature of the protest of the people is too original to be a 
Greek expansion of the text. — 43. Jonathan confesses in response 
to his father's question : / did indeed taste a bit of honey with the 
end of the staff which I carried. Here I am I I am ready to die] 
the last words are not a complaint at his fate, but express a heroic 
willingness to meet it. So Josephus correctly understands it : 
" Jonathan was not dismayed at this threat of death, but submit- 



XIV. 41-46 123 

ting nobly and magnanimously, he said : I do not ask you to spare 
me, Father ; death is all the sweeter to me, coming in connexion 
with your piety and after a brilliant victory." * Jonathan's spirit 
is comparable to that displayed by Jephthah's daughter, Jd. n 36 . — 
44. Saul pronounces the sentence, confirming it by an oath : So do 
God to me and so again — thou shalt die, Jonathan /] the impreca- 
tion as in 3 17 . — 45. The people interfere and deliver Jonathan: 
Shall Jonathan die who has wrought this great deliverance for 
Israel? Jonathan's bold attack upon the enemy was the beginning 
of the victory, and without it the victory would not have been ob- 
tained. By the life of Yahweh, there shall not fall a hair of his 
head~\ i K. i 52 , cf. 2 S. 14 11 . — For he has wrought with God] the 
sense is, apparently, that if God was so well pleased with Jonathan 
as to give him the victory, he cannot now require his death. As this 
is a non sequitur, possibly the text has been obscured. — The people 
ransomed Jonathan] by substituting one of themselves — so Ew. 
and We. suppose. Driver points out that ransom by an animal 
substitute was allowed by comparatively early laws, Ex. 1 3 13, 15 34 20 , 
so that we cannot be absolutely certain. — 46. Of further pursuit 
there could be no thought. Hence Saul went up from pursuing 
the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own country'] the 
narrative reaches a pause with this verse, but the same document 
is continued in v. 52 . 

36. nraj] on the form, Ges. 26 § 67 dd\ Stade, Gram. § 137 a, 584 <r. This 
verb, however, is not the one we expect here, as Saul evidently means more 
than plundering, for he does not want to leave one remaining. As @ renders 
the same word we are thrown upon conjecture; and of the various conjectures 
the simplest is nail (Bu.), cf. n 11 Jos. n 14 . — -inpj] pointed as a jussive (a 
rare instance), Dr., Tensed, § 50, Obs.; Ges. 26 § 48^, note 2, 109^; cf. 
2 S. 17 12 . The space after WJ7, remarked in the Massoretic note, is probably 
a trace of a different verse division. — "in pjn idxii] Bu. proposes to restore 
TiflNn ns nSn nanpn jroS -\dn ,, i (making Saul the subject), constructed after 
the analogy of the restored v. 18 . But <& agrees with |^, and the sense is good. 
If any change is needed, the clause might be stricken out, with j$. Against 
its originality may be urged mp (instead of cjj, used elsewhere in this narra- 
tive). — 37. injy] <g L adds Kvpios. — 38. ii?J] the form occurs three times; 
recession of the accent on account of the following monosyllable ( ? cf. Ges. 26 
66 c). <*£ seems to have read wjn. — nuc] <pv\ds <5£ L . — nDa] probably to be 

* Joseph., Antiq. VI. VI. 5. 



124 ■ SAMUEL 

emended to >D2 with 4§, Th., We., Bu., Kl., Dr., Ki. — 39. wmn] the dis- 
tinction made by the punctuators between >n and m in such expressions is arti- 
ficial, and intended to disguise the fact that men swore by the life of Yahweh, 
cf. 20 3 , 2 S. 15 21 , where the two forms are found side by side. — ij£"] is con- 
fessedly a difficult form. It occurs Dt. 29 14 , where the analogy of UPM in the 
second half of the verse suggests that we should point mz>\ also 1 S. 23 28 
Est. 3 8 . In the present passage Th. proposes to read nyy, on the ground 
that the antecedent is DMOn, and this seems confirmed by awoKptdi) <§, which 
would represent rujp. But the analogy of the following verses suggests that the 
original was in *a p», a combination that might give rise to $? if one or two 
letters became illegible. This is the conjecture of Kl., and a is quite in place 
as the beth essentiae. — 40. "Oj; 1 ?] els 5ou\eiav (3 is an obvious error, but shows 
a Hebrew original. — 41. Vn] is an erroneous insertion, mm being part of the 
vocative. — D"»Dn njn] all attempts to make sense of the words as they stand 
are vain : Give a perfect (lot) would be impertinent ; show the right does vio- 
lence to the words. The text of <3, apparently best preserved by <J£ L , retrans- 
lated into Hebrew gives: in »a DM Dm -|-o;rnN rnjy nS hdV ^nib" tpn mm 
D">Dn ran pyn dj?d nDNn no dni oniN r\2r\ hx-\v> m^N mm ppn ya mjva. The 
only difficulty with this is, that the eye of a scribe would not be so likely to 
mistake the second run for the first, as if the same word preceded both. The 
reading of B in the second half of the verse is confused, but it supplies Sn-\E" 
before the second njn, so that the probable reading was Snt^ nsyra, instead of 
the simple DJ73 given above. After Ewald, who directs in general to ' complete 
the text from the LXX' (GVI? III. p. 51, E.Tr. III. p. 36), this reading is 
accepted by Th., We., Dr., Bu., Ki. We. conjectures Vnt^" -|cy:j ue» dni as the 
opening of the second half of the sentence, and is followed by Dr., Bu., Ki. 
Absolute conformity of the two parts of the prayer is, however, not necessary, 
and ncNn no dn seems more vivid, and therefore more likely to be original. 
Keil, followed by Erdm., argues against the whole insertion, and so does Kl. — 
42. The plus of <§ in this verse is contained, with slight variations, in ABL , 
and is testified by the asterisk of Origen. one of the few cases in which the 
Hexaplar signs have come down to us in the Books of Samuel. The retro- 
version of Bu. needs no correction unless (with L and Hex.) we read nm nano 
instead of nm nain. (For k. KaTanpar^at 2. rov \aov either oynn . . . p?mi, 
cf. 17 60 , or nyo fumi, Dt. 22 25 .) Insert therefore after »ja the words ns>N n» 
pai u>a lme^i Dya Sinc p?mi nm naio mm nV Sinp-Sn oj?n nnN>) niD> mm nom 
U3 ]nn\ The resemblance between >:2 m:i> and )ja mjv accounts for the 
omission. The emendation, made by Th., is rejected by We., on the ground 
that to interrupt the decision of Yahweh is irreligious and the uncertainty 
intolerable. But the people may well have seen that the result could be only 
the loss either of Jonathan or of Saul, and have been willing rather to bear 
the wrath of Yahweh than to face this certain loss. The emendation is ac- 
cepted by Kl., Bu.; not noticed by Dr. and Ki. — 43. »nDJW djno] the adver- 
bial infinitive throws emphasis upon the root idea of the verb ' I tasted a little 
honey.' As it is here a confession of transgression, in which there was no 



XIV. a 7 -5I 125 

question of less or more, we should probably understand it to be an out-and- 
out affirmation, and not intended to contrast tasting with eating, as though in 
mitigation. — ^jn] 4£ L and it read turn. — 44. rivy no] must have after it »V, 
as indicated by <&1LJ5. The omission was probably made from superstitious 
dread on the part of the scribe who would not write an imprecation upon 
himself (We., who cites 25 22 , where an imprecation upon David has been 
obscured for the same reason). So the Arab writer changes a denunciation 
of the person present (in his narrative) to a denunciation of 'the remote.' 
The formula is found in 3 17 . At the end of the verse pjv |^ : a^pov @ AB ; 
<rr)/xepov lwadav <g L . The unusual place of the vocative is an argument 
against f^, and it might also be pleaded that the determination of Saul to 
placate the deity at once is something that should be brought out. But the 
pathos of the sentence is greater as read in |^, and the change to Dvn more 
likely than the reverse. The case is a difficult one to decide, but on the whole 
3^ has the advantage (so We., Bu., Kl.). — 45. n;<ia»n] would be sufficient 
without qualification, as is felt by &, which reads simply : who hath wrought 
deliverance for Israel. — nS^n] is lacking in <g B . The insertion is easily 
accounted for by the context (Kl., Bu.), and superfluous. — on] is used in 
oaths with the negative sense. — mjrrD] the use of fD is explained by Dr., 
Notes, p. 91. It would not be extravagant hyperbole (to the Oriental mind) 
to take it as partitive : ' There shall not fall [even a fraction] of a hair.' — 
Twp o^n^s dj; "o] should mean in this context : for on the side of God he wrought. 
The construction is, however, awkward, and <& had a different text : '6ti eXeov 
0€ov iiroi-qaeu <g L : on 6 Aabs tov dcov eiroitiaev <g AB . One of these is prob- 
ably corrupted from the other, and possibly both go back to the pronunciation 
oy for DJ?. For God will be gracious this day is nearly what we require : »3 
ovn otV?n BTU\ Kl. proposes cnVx Dm "O — for the mercy of God hath made 
this day. But it is difficult to justify this by the facts, for this day is not the 
day of the battle but the day following. — ham] means they ransomed: koX 
irpo<rr)vl;aTo <§ would point to SSs>i. There can scarcely be a doubt that $? is 
original. 

47-51. Summary of Saul's activity. — The paragraph is a 
summary such as we find in 2 S. 20 23 " 26 . The latter paragraph 
seems to have been originally the conclusion of one history of 
David. It should be noted that our section does not make any 
chronological attempt, such as we find in the framework of the 
Books of Kings For this reason we should probably date it early, 
as compared with other redactional insertions. The author's idea 
of Saul's conquests also points to a time before the figure of David 
had received the prominence which it has in the greater part of 
the historical books. Not improbably this section was the conclu- 
sion of the life of Saul, from which came chapters 9. 10. 11. 13. 14 



120 I SAMUEL 

in their original form. In this case it may have stood after 16 23 , 
from which place it was removed by the editor who wished to 
conclude the account of Saul's successes before going on to relate 
his rejection. 

47-51. As to the character of the section, the critics are agreed; as to its 
age there is some difference of opinion. The similar closing formula for the 
life of Samuel (7 1W ') reminds us of those we find in the Book of Judges. In 
regard to David we have like data given 2 S. 3 2-5 and 5 la ~ 16 , both which give 
the names of David's family, as well as 2 S. 20 23 - 26 which originally closed an 
account of David's life. For Solomon also we can point out a much more 
extended panegyric, but one which is in substance equivalent to our section, 
in 1 K. 4 1 ~5 14 . There seems to be no inherent improbability in the supposition 
that such a panegyric was composed by the author who has just given the 
account of Saul's piety (cf. Kuenen, HCO 1 . p. 381). The theory of We. 
( Comp. 247) is that the panegyric marks (in the mind of the editor) the close 
of Saul's rightful reign, and this is adopted by Co., Einl*. p. 100. This is 
probably the reason for the insertion of the section in his place. But we can 
hardly suppose that an editor who knew no more of Saul's successes than is 
contained in what has preceded, and who moreover regarded him as rejected 
of Yahweh, could write such a panegyric. The resemblance to the ■ prag- 
matic ' sections of the Book of Judges affirmed by Bu. {RS. p. 206 f.) seems 
less marked than he would make it. Bonk {De Davide, p. 53, and ZATW. 
XL p. 143) finds here a fragment from a source which has not appeared up to 
this point — a history of the family of Saul. Ki. (GH. II. p. 29) declares for 
an independent but late source, cf. also Dr., L07 % . p. 173. 

Properly there are two paragraphs, — one giving a summary of 
Saul's wars, the other containing the names of his family. — 47. So 
Saul took the kingdom over Israel and fought on all sides against 
all his enemies'] the enemies of Israel seem to be in the author's 
mind. The enumeration of them gives the same names which we 
find in the account of David's wars, 2 S. 8 and elsewhere : Moab 
and the Bne Ammon, and Edom and Beth Rehob] as (3 author- 
izes us to read. — The king of Soba~] seems also natural, as in (3, 
rather than the kings of Soba £f. Beth Rehob and Soba were 
both Aramaean states in the Lebanon region. Rather curiously 
the Philistines come last in the list. — And wherever he turned 
he was victorious] on the emendation, see the critical note. — 
48. Especial mention of the expedition against Amalek : And he 
gathered an army and smote Amalek] the translation rather forces 
the text. In case it is not accepted, we must join the opening 



XIV. 47-5* 127 

clause with the preceding, making it read : And wherever he turned 
he was victorious and did valiantly. The next sentence will then 
be : And he smote Amalek and delivered Israel from the hand of 
his plunderer] it is evident that the author has present stress 
rather than a historic occasion in mind as furnishing a motive for 
Saul. This shows the difference between his point of view and 
that of chapter 15. — 49. The family of Saul is brought before 
us : first, his sons : Jonathaii and Ishbaal~] so we are authorized 
to correct, the name in J^ having been mutilated for religious 
reasons. The first name means Yahweh gave ; the second, Man 
of the Lord, Baal having been used quite innocently for Yahweh 
in this period. The third also contains a name of Yahweh 
(Melek), though the second element is obscure. All three testify 
to the piety of Saul. Of the daughters' names Merab is obscure, 
Michal possibly the same which appears elsewhere as Michael. — 
50. His wife was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz] the names occur 
elsewhere. The general of the army was Abner, who plays a more 
prominent part after the death of Saul than before. He was son 
of Ner, uncle of Saul. As the word translated uncle is of some- 
what wide meaning, the author proceeds to define more exactly. 
— 51. Kish the father of Saul and Ner the father of Abner were 
sons of Abiel~\ so we read on conjecture. 

52. The verse joins closely to v. 46 , and prepares the way for 
16 14 , where David is received into Saul's staff. — The war was 
severe against the Philistines all the days of Saul] the author 
guards against the impression that the late indecisive campaign 
was the only one. — And whenever Saul saw any powerful man 
or any vigorous man, he would attach him to himself] as in the 
case of David which follows. 

47. idV TMtri] the order of the words indicates the opening of a new sec- 
tion. After Edom ® L adds : koX els rbu $ai6pow$i, evidently intending the 
Beth Rehob mentioned in connexion with Sobah, 2 S. io 6 . The name has 
been corrupted in 6 B to &aide<bp. The text is emended to conform to @ L by 
Kl., and the emendation is adopted by Bu. — "oSou] the singular number was 
found by <!£ and is doubtless original. — jwv] seems to give no proper sense 
in this connexion, though We. compares Syr. 3*n. Hebrew usage allows 
only the meanings to convict of guilt, or to act wickedly. <*£ io-d^eru points to 
ft* which was nrst suggested by Cappellus (Critica Sacra, p. 261), and is 



12$ i SAMUEL 

now generally adopted. — 48. Wl Pjm] and he wroughc mighty deeds as in 
Num. 24 18 Dt. 8 18 . Both % and C understand the expression to mean he 
gathered an army and this is a more appropriate introduction to the mention 
of Amalek. ivn f3p occurs I K. 20 1 , and it is possible that 71 &yi may be 
interpreted in this sense, cf. Ezek. 28*, thou didst acquire might. — inDi'] cf. 
23 1 Jd. 2 14 with Moore's note. — 49. 'W*] occurs also Gen. 46 17 and is evi- 
dently a corruption of t*8" (vcn) s= mrp £"N. This is the equivalent of Ish- 
baal which has been altered in the other direction into Ishbosheth. The actual 
name was Ish baal — the man of the Lord. The identity of the name in the 
text with Ishbosheth was affirmed by Ewald (G Ff*. III. p. 148, E. Tr. III. 
p. 108), who also reconstructed vtn from (g. The exact state of the case was 
demonstrated by We., who is followed by Dr. (with some reserve), Bu., Ki. 
@ L adds teal 'EurPdaA at the end of the list. — fW^hb] MeAx«re55i @ L . In- 
stead of three sons, four are ascribed to Saul in 31 2 (where three are slain) 
and 1 Chr. 8 33 9 39 . — *?o>d] MeAx<^ <S and ^SfrB & would point to SnoSe, cf. 
G. 46 17 . — 50. The first two names are compounded with hn (brother) like so 
many which have come down to us. — njox] occurs elsewhere in the shorter 
form 1J3X. — 51. Vs-ON-p] should obviously be read l >n>:jn~\j3 as is indicated 
by Josephus, and pointed out by Th. (followed by Kl., Dr., Ki., Bu.). Only 
thus do we get what belongs here, for that Kish was the father of Saul is 
already known to us, and that Ner was a son of Abiel throws no light on the 
situation unless we know who Abiel is. 

52. nx-n] the tense indicates what was repeatedly or habitually done, Dr., 
Tenses 3 , §§ 120, 148, 1. With incDN , >i the author falls back into the narrative 
tense, having the particular instance in mind rather than the frequent repeti- 
tion. 

XV. The rejection of Saul. — The word of Yahweh is brought 
by Samuel to Saul, commanding the extermination of Amalek on 
the ground of what that people did to Israel in the Desert. Saul 
therefore gathers an army, and makes the campaign. But he 
succumbs to the temptation of the booty, and himself spares the 
king of Amalek. besides conniving at the people's taking the best 
of the spoil for themselves. Samuel is divinely informed of the 
disobedience, goes to meet Saul, and rebukes him. Giving no 
weight to the king's excuses, he formally announces that Yahweh 
has rejected him. Saul confesses his sin, but Samuel persists in 
his sentence ; and when his garment rends in the grasp of Saul, 
he interprets the event as a sign of the divine decision to take 
away the kingdom. Nevertheless he consents to pay outward 
respect to the king, bowing with him in worship. Samuel then 
calls for Agag, whom he puts to death before Yahweh. 



XV. 129 

The first thing that strikes us in reading this account is, that it 
makes no mention of an earlier rejection of Saul. The author 
does not intimate that this is a second test. There is no hint that 
he supposes Saul to have repented of his former sin — a repent- 
ance such as the earlier commentators postulated, in order to 
harmonize the two accounts. This chapter, like 13 4 " 15 , reads as if 
it were the only account of Saul's rejection. But the common 
features are striking. Gilgal is the scene of both. In each, Saul 
receives a command from Samuel. In each he disobeys (though 
the exact manner of the disobedience in 13 4 - 15 is obscure) ; in 
each he is informed that his kingdom is taken from him ; in each 
the kingdom is said to have been given to another. The conclu- 
sion is obvious : though the two accounts are taken from two sep- 
arate documents, and though each formed, in the history of which 
it was a part, the sole account of the rejection of Saul, yet they 
are derived from a common tradition, or one is dependent on the 
other. 

Of the affiliations of the present section we can have no doubt. 
It belongs with chapters 1-3. 7. 8. io 17 " 25 . 12. The position of 
Samuel is the same as in those sections. Although retired, he is 
still the organ of the theocratic administration. Saul is still under 
obligation to obey his commands. Disobedience to Samuel is 
disobedience to God, and is punished by deposition. This iden- 
tity of view is accompanied by resemblance of language. God is 
Yahweh Sabaoth (15 2 , cf. i 311 ). There is distinct reference to 
the people's coming up out of Egypt (15 6 8 8 io 18 ) ; Samuel cries 
to Yahweh (15 11 7 9 12 8 ) ; Saul, like the people, is reproached with 
having rejected the word of Yahweh (15 23 8 7 ). Other similarities 
will show themselves in the detailed examination of the passage. 
We must suppose the story to belong with the chapters already 
named. Taking them as forming a single history, we see that this 
is really the climax. The document gives a life of Samuel, in 
which Saul has a prominent part to be sure, but a part which 
serves to set off the glory of Samuel. The author reckons Samuel 
as one of the divinely appointed judges. Saul's election was a 
mistake from the beginning. The real succession passed to David. 
The rebellious demand for a king was acceded to only under a 
protest on the part of Yahweh and his prophet. An unhappy 



130 i SAMUEL 

issue was looked for from the start. Nor was it long delayed. 
The very first time that Saul was put to the test he failed. 

We might, indeed, suppose that the author originally gave more 
of Saul's exploits than have been preserved to us. But, as he has 
already ascribed the Philistine victory to Samuel, he probably had 
little else to give. In fact, his interest in Saul was not such as to 
make him give more. As we have already seen, he was probably 
dependent on the other (and earlier) document. His account of 
Saul's rejection is a free reconstruction and expansion of 13 8 " 15 , 
designed to take the place of that narrative, and to make it teach 
a theocratic lesson. 

XV. The critical questions are treated in the works already frequently 
cited. I confess my inability to see why this chapter should be made ' inter- 
mediate between the two streams of narrative already considered' (We., 
Cornp. p. 248, Dr., LOT 6 , p. 178, Ki., GH. II. p. 25). The character and 
position of Samuel as here portrayed agree closely with his picture as drawn 
in the life of Samuel, chapters 7. 8. 1 2, unless it is easier to unmake a king 
than to make him, which will hardly be asserted. So far from " occupying a 
position midway between prophets like Elijah or Elisha and those like Amos 
or Hosea" (Ki.), Samuel as here represented is more autocratic than any of 
these. No one of them, even in the stories which are told of them, ever stood 
out so distinctly and frankly the superior of a king of Israel, as is the case 
with Samuel in the section before us. The section agrees fully in this respect 
with 7. 8. and 12. 

The majority of critics draw a sharp line between this and the following 
chapter (i6 1-13 ). The reason is not apparent. On the contrary, the logical 
sequence of this chapter is found in that paragraph. Saul is rejected in order 
that David may be anointed. It may be said that Samuel's fear of Saul in the 
second section is inconsistent with the autocratic position which he here occu- 
pies. But it should be remembered that the motive of the author in making 
Samuel dissimulate is to account for the secresy of the transaction. He knew 
that no hint of an anointing of David appears in any other document. To 
account for this fact, he must make Samuel keep his errand secret. The 
obvious device was to make his concealment motived by fear of Saul. 

1-3. The command and its motive. — Samuel comes to Saul 
with the Word of Yahweh. The hostility of Amalek shown in the 
Wilderness is yet unpunished. Saul is therefore to devote them 
to utter destruction. The historicity of the incident is open to 
grave doubts. Saul's kingdom was over Benjamin, and there he 
had all he could do to keep back the Philistine attack. Judah 



XV. i-3 131 

was separated from him by the Jebusite fortress, and its loyalty 
could never have been very warm. The claim on Amalek was 
outlawed by some centuries. So far from this people being exter- 
minated by Saul, they were engaged in active feud with David 
very soon after the supposed attack by Saul. Finally, no trace 
of this attack has survived in any passage of the Old Testament 
except the one before us. — 1. The command seems to follow 
immediately on the farewell address of Samuel in 1 2. It begins 
with the statement : Me did Yahweh send to anoint thee~] the pro- 
noun is put first for emphasis. The statement is made in order 
to call attention to Samuel's right to command. — Now hear the 
sound of the words of Yahweh - ] the circumlocution is chosen to 
avoid anthropomorphism, and shows a comparatively late date. — 
2. Thus saith Yahweh Sebaoth~\ a standing formula with the 
prophets. This divine name has already been met in the account 
of Samuel's life, i 3 - u 4 4 , cf. also 1 7 45 . — I have resolved to punish] this 
seems to be the only way in which we can understand the words ; 
the translation / remember seems not justified by usage. Amalek 
was a clan of Bedawin inhabiting the Wilderness of the Wander- 
ing. They inhabited also the Negeb, Nu. 13 29 . — What Amalek 
did to Israel, in that he opposed him in the way when he came 
up out of Egypt] the construction is difficult, but the historical 
reference is evident. In Ex. 17 8 - 16 we find that Amalek made 
war with Israel in Rephidim. Again, they opposed Israel's en- 
trance to Canaan from the south, Num. 14 45 . In Deuteronomy 
also (25 17 " 19 ) we find Amalek stigmatized as having met Israel in 
the way and having cut off their weary and faint stragglers. The 
phrase in the way would indicate that the present account depends 
upon Deuteronomy. Further instances of hostility between Ama- 
lek and Israel are found in Jd. 7 12 and in David's life, 1 S. 30. 
The comparatively late text 2 S. 8 12 speaks of their spoil having 
been consecrated by David, so that the present account can hardly 
have been known to the author of that verse. Had the vow 
recorded in Ex. 17 14 been in this writer's mind he would have 
made some reference to it. — 3. Go and smite Amalek and devote 
him and all which belongs to him] such solemn devotion to 
Yahweh (and therefore to destruction) is well known from Dt. 7 2 
20 lr , where it is commanded as the duty of Israel in dealing with 



132 i SAMUEL 

the Canaanites, and from Jos. 6 21 , where it is described as actually 
carried out. By this act of consecration, a city or nation with all 
its property became Yahweh's. Indestructible objects of value 
(gold and silver) came into the treasury of the sanctuary, Jos. 6 19 
Everything else must be destroyed, including the human beings, 
as is made clear by this verse : And do not spare him, but slay 
man and woman, child and babe, ox and sheep, camel and ass~\ so 
at Jericho the ban covered man and woman, youth and aged, ox 
and ass, Jos. 6 21 ; cf. Dt. 20 16 , where Israel is forbidden to leave 
alive anything that breathes. That Mesha devoted the Israelites 
to Chemosh in the same way is expressly said by himself {Inscrip- 
tion, 1. 17). 

1. The verse fits well on to the end of ch. 12, and Bu.'s supposition that it 
has been expanded is unnecessary. The solemn reminder would be especially 
appropriate if the commission were the first with which the new made king 
was charged. — *mt] is emphatic by position. — rf?»] is inexact, for in none 
of the documents was Samuel sent to anoint Saul. But we can probably not 
insist on verbal accuracy in our author. — T^dV] Jd. 9 15 2 S. 2 4 . — lDjrSy] is 
lacking in (g B , whereas Smr* - ^? is not represented in © L . — nan VipS] Dt. 
412 ,j25 # — 2. THpr)] this tense is quite justified in the meaning / have deter- 
mined to do thus, Dr., Notes, referring to Jd. 15 8 , and Tenses*, § 13. The attempt 
to make the verb here mean / remember AV. or I have [mentally] marked RV. 
Erdm., Keil, is based (as alleged) upon Ex. 3 16 Jer. 23 2 Ps. 8 5 . But examina- 
tion shows that none of the passages sustain the assumed meaning. The 
oldest tradition for this passage is voiced in the rendering vvv e/c5iK?J<ra>, or 
pvv 4k8ik(o <& and is undoubtedly correct. With sound feeling Schm. ren- 
ders : visitare constitui. — pVDJj] is connected with Edom in the genealogy, 
Gen. 36 1216 . Balaam predicted their destruction, Num. 24 20 . — V? w~ m <tr>N] is 
supposed to mean how he laid wait for him AV., or how he set himself against 
him RV. But the supposed parallels 1 K. 20 12 Ezek. 23 24 both have Sj> and 
both have an object supplied by <&. 2 K. io 24 seems similar to our text, but 
there iS is dative of advantage and the verb has an object expressed; n*r, 
which is urged as an analogon, also requires S>', Ps. 3 7 . It is probable that 
airi]VTT]<T€v <S points to a different reading, though what it is, is difficult to 
make out. Dt. 25 18 has "p"Q fp n^N, but this is not sufficiently explicit for 
our passage. For the verb here Kl. suggests ptr. If conjectures be in order, 
I would change to lS nx "v.rx, the crime being aggravated (as Dt. more ex- 
plicitly states) by the fact that it was committed when he (Israel) was in 
trouble. But I have not ventured to introduce this into my translation, as the 
reasons for choosing it are not decisive. — onxno inVya] Gen. 13 1 (J) Ex. 
17 3 (E) Num. 2 1 5 (J) 32 11 (P). The imperative "|S is followed by the per- 
fect consecutive as is customary. — DnD"vm] the plural is unexpected and we 






XV. 4-8 133 

should probably restore imr\rtrn as read by <&, making the next word rwi in- 
stead of DM (We.). The verb seems to occur nowhere in Samuel except in 
this chapter. It is used by all the Pentateuchal sources. — ^cnn] Dt. 13 9 
Ex. 2 6 . — JWt "ty B"nc] cf. 22 19 Jos. 6 21 . For tjj (Ginsb.) many editions 
have i>'i. 

4-9. Saul's disobedience. — This consists in making important 
exceptions to the completeness of the destruction. — He first 
called out the people and mustered them in Telam~\ a town in the 
south of Judah, Jos. 15 24 . The number given, two hundred thou- 
sand footmen, is to be judged like similar data elsewhere. The 
ten thousand, the men of Judah, seem to be an afterthought. — 
5. And he came to the city of Amalek] the absence of a name for 
the city shows the author's vagueness of geographical knowledge. 
Cities there can hardly have been in that desert region, though a 
fortified village might by courtesy be so denominated. The read- 
ing cities (3 is plainly incorrect. Only one engagement is thought 
of. — And lay in wait in the wadi~\ a favourite move in Hebrew 
strategy, Jos. 8 2 Jd. 20 29 . — 6. The Kenites whom Saul warned were 
old allies of Israel, represented in one document as the tribe of 
Moses' father in law, Jd. 4 11 . After sharing the desert wanderings 
of Israel and entering Palestine, they preferred the nomad life in 
the Negeb, where they dwelt with Amalek according to the origi- 
nal text of Jd. i 16 . The author does not seem to have questioned 
whether the warning to the Kenites would not frustrate the pur- 
pose of Saul in regard to Amalek. The reason of Saul's consider- 
ate treatment of the Kenite is given in his message to them in the 
circumstantial clause : cum tu tamen misericordiam feceris cum 
omnibus filiis Israelis (Schm.). The Kenites withdrew as warned. 
— 7. And Saul smote Amalek from — ] the name of the place is 
now lost ; Havilah, which is given by our documents, is impossi- 
ble. — As far as Shur which is before Egypt] " Shur is originally 
the wall which ran from Pelusium through Migdol to Hero" 
(We.) .* — 8. And he took Agag the king of Amalek alive'] cf. Jos. 
S 23 . — But all the people he slew with the sword] lit. consecrated 
according to the mouth of the sword, cf. Moore on Jd. i 23 . — 

* The description of this wall, or line of fortifications, is given by Wiedemann, 
Herodot's Zweites Btich (Leipzig, 1890), p. 88, with references to Diodorus Siculus 
and the Egyptian sources. 



134 " SAMUEL 

9. Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the small and 
large cattle, the fallings and the lambs'] a slight emendation of the 
received text is necessary. The wealth of Amalek must have been 
mainly in cattle. The motive of Saul in sparing Agag (pride, hope 
of ransom, an ill-timed emotion of pity, respect of persons) was 
much discussed by the older commentators (cf. Schm., Quaestio 
VI. ad Cap. XV.). An Agag is mentioned Num. 24', where he is 
made the symbol of great exaltation, but it is not yet clearly made 
out whether there is a reference to this passage. On the vile 
and refuse which were destroyed, see the critical note. 

4. j?d&")] the Piel is used only here and 23 s , where also Saul calls out the 
people to war. In both places it is possible that we should point a Hiphil, 
1 K. 15 22 Jer. 50 29 5 1 27 . — D'tttaa] the name of a place is no doubt intended 

— quasi agnos % is, of course, impossible. But iv FaKyaAois (3 is not appro- 
priate. Most recent critics find in the text only an orthographic variation 
of D^to a town mentioned Jos. 15 24 . For two hundred thousand we find four 
hundred thousand <J|. The ten thousand of Judah are omitted by <J5 L , but 
increased to thirty thousand by <g B . — 5. "vy] irSAewv (§. — 3-vi] is intended 
for 3*WP1 (£vr)5pev<Tep ©) as is seen by Kimchi and Schm. Kautzsch (Ges. 26 
§ 68 i) takes it to be Hiphil, but 3"W occurs nowhere else in this stem. — 
6. nn nD -oS] <3 omits m, perhaps correctly. On the daghesh in rn cf. 
Ges. 26 20g. — Y^OP] as we expect the author to be consistent, it seems best 
to restore p*?DJ> here, the form which we find at the end of the verse. — :)MK] 
should probably be pointed (Lag., Proph. Chald. p. li), cf. Gen. 18 s324 1 S. 
12 25 . This is much more forcible than the received pointing. — ?a] is super- 
fluous and therefore suspicious — lacking in (S BL . — U*p] should certainly be 
]>p or wpn, probably the latter, because that form is elsewhere used in this 
passage; We., Bu., Ki., choose pp. — 7. fl?nn] elsewhere the name of some 
point or district in Arabia. It occurs once in a phrase similar to the one in 
the text — from Havilah to Shur, Gen. 25 18 . It there bounds the territory 
of the Ishmaelites, of which Havilah should be the eastern boundary. It 
would consequently be far from the scene of Saul's exploit. Still there is a 
possibility that our author, whose geography is not very distinct, borrowed the 
whole phrase from Genesis. We. conjectures Telam to be the original read- 
ing. But this does not commend itself, because Saul had advanced beyond 
Telam when the attack was made. Glaser (as cited by BDB. sub voce) pro- 
poses to read riVon which is mentioned 1 S. 23 19 26 L 3 . But this hill in the 
Desert of Judah was hardly a part of the Amalekite territory. Non liquet. 

— tip l^a] c f« 2 7 8 (where oSao seems to have stood in connexion with it). — 
% !trhy~\ in front of is frequently used of the east side, and would be appropri- 
ately so understood here. — 8. D>'n] may mean the soldiery (Ki.), but as there 
is no record of any human being being spared except Agag, it is better to 



xv. 9-12 135 

make it general. — aimc 1 ? onnn] Jos. 6 21 cf. Dt. 13 16 . — 9. ato^D] only in 
the Book of the Covenant, Ex. 22*, and P, Gen. 47 s - u . — DnPDrn] is supposed 
to be the lambs of the second birth. The word is, however, a mistake for 
0»JOm (Th., We., Dr., Bu., Ki.), and the adoption of this carries with it the 
erasure of Sj? which follows, tmam (PJDVfl defines the best of the cattle. Kl. 
proposes women and children for which there is no support. a no, as delica- 
cies, Dt. 32 14 . tfDia © is adopted by Ew. jjx here and MM in Nu. 24* are 
the same name. From the reference in Numbers we conclude that an Agag 
had been an object of terror or of admiration to the Israelites — it should be 
noted, however, that @ ABL has Gog there. — las] Ex. io 27 (E), Dt. 2 80 io 10 
1 S. 31 4 . — ddj) n?3Ej] is impossible. The first word is a monstrum (Dr.) 
caused by the stupidity of a scribe. The second is apparently for ddnd:, for 
we require a feminine form. Part of this original was wrongly spaced and 
formed part of the word which $% now reads as nns, the n being duplication 
from the following word. The true text is therefore nDNEji n?2j roN^a ^31 
with omission of hdn. The word hskSd is used for property in general, Ex. 
22 7 - 10 (E), and for cattle Gen. 33 14 . We may compare nSys used for flocks 
Is. 40 10 . Trumbull came to the conclusion (independently of We.) that Shur 
is the frontier fortification of Egypt, and the same is the view of Brugsch, 
as cited by Buhl and Socin (Ges. WB 12 . sub voce) . 

10-23. The prophet's rebuke. — Samuel, divinely informed of 
Saul's transgression, goes to seek him, and meets him at Gilgal. 
Saul at first declares that he has carried out the commandment of 
Yahweh. When convicted by circumstantial evidence, he throws 
the blame on the people. The prophet cuts his protestations 
short, and when Saul attempts further argument, pronounces the 
final word of rejection. — 10. The word of Yahweh came to Samuel] 
the context implies that it was in a vision of the night. — 11. / 
repent that I made Saul king] Gen. 6 6 - 7 (J). The dogmatic 
attempt to explain the anthropomorphism may be read in Schm., 
Quaestio VII. Yahweh does not explain the nature of his emo- 
tion, but goes on to give its occasion : For he has turned from 
following me and has not carried out my command] lit. my word; 
the Hebrew has my words, but the reference is to one particular 
revelation. — And Samuel was angry] there seems to be no 
reason for changing the text. The violent emotion of the Ori- 
ental at the frustration of his hopes must not be judged by our 
standard of propriety. — And cried to Yahweh all night] in pro- 
test and expostulation. Schm. compares Moses' grief for Israel. 
— 12. The entreaty fails to change the purpose of Yahweh, and 



136 i SAMUEL 

Samuel starts in the early morning to deliver his message. He is 
told : Saul came to Carmel~\ the Carmel in Judah, well known 
from the history of David. It lay nearly south of Hebron, and 
would be in Saul's path. — And behold he has set up a trophy\ the 
noun means a 7twnument in 2 S. 18 18 . The words and turned and 
passed by are difficult to understand in this connexion. Probably 
there is some confusion in the text. — And went down to Gilgal~] 
must conclude the information concerning Saul's movements. 
The object of going to Gilgal was evidently to offer thank offer- 
ings, as indeed (3 asserts. — 13. Blessed be thou of Yahweh~\ the 
form of the salutation shows that it was originally a prayer. Saul's 
sweeping claim — I have fulfilled the word of Yahweh — is in flat 
contradiction to Yahweh's revelation to Samuel, v. 11 . The author's 
purpose is to paint Saul as one hopelessly hardened in sin. The 
older commentators note his hypocrisy, turn in excusando, turn 
in confitendo et poenitendo (Schm.). — 14. Samuel at once con- 
victs him by present phenomena : Then what is this bleating of 
sheep in my ears, and this lowing of cattle which I hear ? The 
inconsistency was palpable. — 15. Saul's confession of the fact is 
so frank as to be impudent, and equally offensive is his intimation 
that the religious purpose in view was sufficient justification : 
From Amalek I brought them : for the people spared the best of the 
sheep and the oxen to sacrifice to Yahweh thy God~\ the designa- 
tion may possibly intimate that Samuel was to profit by the sacri- 
fice. Still, as he does not appear to be a priest, much emphasis 
can hardly be laid upon this ; and it is more natural to suppose 
that the author betrays here his theory that Yahweh was the God 
of Samuel, but hardly the God of Saul. — 16. Samuel cuts the 
speech short : Stop f and let me tell thee what Yahweh said to me 
this night~\ in our mode of speaking it would be last night. — 
17, 18. Receiving permission to proceed, Samuel begins his re- 
buke : Art thou not, though little in thine own eyes, chief of the 
tribes of Israel? The question seems to be a rebuke of Saul's 
self-confessed subservience to the people. The next clause be- 
longs with v. 18 , which should read : And Yahweh anointed thee 
king over Israel and sent thee a journey. The close collocation 
favours the view already advanced that in this document the com- 
mand was given immediately after the coronation. — Go and 



XV. 12-23 137 

exterminate the sinners, Amalek, and fight against them until they 
are completely destroyed] 2 S. 22 s8 1 K. 22 11 . Amalek is called 
sinners because of the ancestral offence against Israel. — 19. The 
situation has thus been described : the rebuke follows in the form 
of a question : And why didst thou not obey the voice of Yahweh, 
and didst swoop upon the booty, and didst that which is evil in the 
eyes of Yahweh ?~\ Jd. 2 11 3 7 . 21. Saul's further protest only con- 
victs himself. He now calls what was spared the firstfruits of 
that which was devoted, which is of course an absurdity. — 
22, 23. The reply of Samuel is rhythmical in form : 

Does Yahweh delight in offerings and sacrifices 

As in obedience to the voice of Yahweh ? 
Behold, obedience is better than sacrifice, 

And to hearken than the fat of rams. 
For rebellion is the sin of soothsaying, 

Obstinacy is the iniquity of Teraphim. 
Because thou hast rejected the word of Yahweh, 

He has rejected thee from ruling over Israel. 

The passage is a summary of later Jewish theology, cf. Ps. 50 9 51 18 . 
The author's remoteness from the times of Saul is evident from 
the horror with which he views the Teraphim. His verse seems 
to have been trimeter in construction, though transmission has 
obscured the original reading in some cases. 

11. toSdh] 8 22 12 1 . — nrmD ap] Num. 14* 3 32 15 (P) Jos. 22 16 - 18 (P).— 
D*pn nS n:n] Dt. 27 s6 Jer. 34 18 . — nim] is emended to ■»*! by Bu., Ki., fol- 
lowing a suggestion of Dr.; <J5 has ual rjOvfirjae which Dr. supposes to point 
to nOM. But it should be noted that in two other passages, 2 S. 6 8 and its 
parallel* 1 Chr. 13 11 , nm is rendered in the same way. In these passages 
David is said to have been angry at Yahweh's breaking out upon Uzzah, in 
which we find a close analogy to the present experience of Samuel. — pjfPl] of 
crying to God in distress, Ex. 2 23 (P) Jd. f 6 6 (D) I S. f 12 8 . — 12. nVow] 
25 2 - 5 - 7 - 40 , mentioned as one of the cities of Judah, Jos. 15 55 . The place would 
lie near Saul's road from the Negeb to Gilgal. The ruins still bear the name 
Kurmul (GASmith, Hist. Geog. p. 306 note). — 3TO3 fljm] is wrong, because 
it implies that Saul is still engaged at the work. Read Tvn rum with (3 
(which had even 2Pi), We., Dr., Bu. — t] of the pillar of Absalom 2 S. 18 18 , 
and of a memorial of some kind Ex. 17 16 (if the text is sound), cf. Is. 56 s . — 
2Dm] is in place only if, with @, we make Samuel the subject — then he turned 

* The parallel passage weighs as much for the usage of @ as if it were inde- 
pendent of the other. 



138 i SAMUEL 

about — for Saul certainly did not need to turn. But what the context requires 
is a continuation of the information about Saul, for Samuel wants to know 
where he now is. aDn has come in by mistake and should be omitted. The 
text of (5 has suffered here from the confusion of the names Saul and Samuel, 
as is evident from @ B which reads : and it was told Saul that Samuel came to 
Carmel (corrected in AL ). For T3JP1 aDM: ko.\ airearpeipe rb apfxa [outou] <g. 
At the end of the verse <& reads : and he came down to Gilgal to Saul, and 
behold he offered a burnt offering to the Lord, the firstfruits of the spoil which 
he brought from Amalek. But, as remarked by We., this can hardly be origi- 
nal, as Samuel would take some notice of the sacrifice. — 13. "h nriN -jna] 
23 21 2 S. 2 5 Ruth 2 20 . — 14. n?n] defines the Sip of course. — 15. otoan] 
fjveyica (f§ is more forcible and I have adopted it. — -wn] is impossible to 
reproduce except by a causal particle, cf. Davidson, Syntax, p. 198. Of the 
examples cited there, only Gen. 30 18 1 K. 3 19 2 K. 17 4 seem to hold, and it 
should be remembered that even in such cases ncN does not define the cause 
as *a would. — UDinn] should be corrected to >nDinn according to (SI. — 
16. ipn] desine garrire multum, Schm. In Dt. 9 14 it expresses God's desire 
not to hear entreaty or intercession from Moses. — iidnm Kt.~\ is doubtless to 
be corrected to 1DW1 with the Qre. — 17. The translation of the text as it 
stands is attempted above. As the sentence is somewhat involved (for 
Hebrew) there is room for suspicion as to the correctness of transmission. 
@ L seems to have expanded, influenced by Saul's own confession of his 
humble station in 9 21 , reading : Art thou not [too] small in thine own eyes to 
be ruler, coming from the tribe of Benjamin, the least of the tribes of Israel? 
Yet Yahweh anointed thee king over all Israel ; where the contrast is between 
Saul's own tribe and all Israel. This, however, is artificial and far-fetched for 
an occasion like this. (§ B seems to find a sarcastic question in the words : 
Art thou not small in his eyes, O Ruler of the tribes of Israel? Yet Yahweh 
anointed thee, etc. In the uncertainty, and as ffi might have given rise to the 
other readings, it seems safest to adhere to the received text. — 18. mm] is 
superfluous if the sentence really begins with ^HPOn. — nnoinm] confirms the 
text adopted in v. 8 . — D»K8m] (g adds els i/U* — dpn onta"^] can hardly be 
correct. (3 seems to have had DDK imSa ~\y which would do. But it seems 
simpler to omit the last word as an erroneous repetition (We., Dr., al.). — 
19. BpTl] see on 14 32 . — "m jn n cym] a standing Deuteronomistic phrase. 
— 20. *V£>n] as equivalent to >a recitativum, cf. Dr., Notes, and Ges. 26 157 c; 
but pN is conjectured by Bu. — 21. rwN"i] elsewhere of the firstfruits of 
vegetable products, Ex. 23 19 34 s6 Num. 15 20 Dt. 18 4 . — 22. yonn] 1 S. 18 25 ; 
the word is found in late writers. — pDPa] where the comparison would be 
fully expressed by jroraa, Such an ellipsis needs no justification. 2Vtrprbi 
= (&. The 1 is lacking in |§. Grammatically speaking there is an ellipsis of 
3W in the last clause. — nirv Sipa] «£ and <g L render tSipa, not being con- 
strained by the metre. — 23. The verse is obscure, and the versions do not 
give much help. The writer intends to say, evidently, that Saul's sin is as bad 
as the soothsaying and idolatry for which the heathen are condemned. His 



xv. 2 4 139 

sin is nD — rebellion against the command of God, for which Ezekiel rebukes 
Israel, cf. Num. 17 25 Dt. 31 27 . This sin is compared with the soothsaying 
from which (ideally) Israel is free Num. 23 s3 , but which was rife in the time 
of Jeremiah (14 14 ), Ezek. 21 26 , cf. Dt. 18 10 . The second member of the verse 
must be parallel with this. — □>Dini jini] cannot therefore be right. The guilt 
of idolatry is what we require, and this would be D*»inn ny for which we may 
claim Symmachus 77 avo/j.ia ruv ciSdKwv. — ixon] pausal form of a Hiphil, 
which, however, occurs nowhere else. The Qal means to urge one with per- 
sistent entreaty, Gen. io, 3 - 9 33 11 Jd. 19 7 . It is difficult to get from this any 
meaning that will fit our passage. A too insistent entreaty of God was not 
Saul's fault. <3 seems to have read !Pfin. The natural parallel to no would 
be a derivative of mD if we may judge by Dt. 21 18 Jer. 5 23 . Perhaps we might 
assume mno, cf. mD Dt. 13 6 . Or, on the ground of Jos. 2222, inn would be in 
place. In fact several words suggest themselves, but none that would easily 
be corrupted to 1JB.1, Sym. rb aTreideTv, cf. Field. Kl. suggests jn yen; but 
this destroys the rhythm. — "f? BD ] at the end of the verse is abrupt, and as (3 
adds M 'laparfK, we should probably restore Sman S;\ Ew. suggests )S, which 
would agree better with the metre (GVI*. III. p. 55, E. Tr. III. p. 39). 

24-31. Saul confesses his sin, and asks forgiveness. In his 
earnestness he lays hold of the prophet's tunic, which rends, so 
that Samuel uses the incident to point his sentence of rejection. 
Nevertheless, at Saul's further entreaty, he consents to join out- 
wardly in worship. 

There is some doubt whether the paragraph is by the author of 
the foregoing. It expressly contradicts the assertion of Yahweh's 
repentance, compare v. 29 and v. 11 . Its representation of Samuel's 
outward loyalty to Saul, even after his rejection, seems inconsistent 
with the picture drawn in the earlier part of the chapter. By its 
omission we miss nothing of importance from the narrative, and 
the dramatic effect is heightened because the slaying of Agag 
follows directly on Samuel's oracle. 

24-31. That the paragraph is an interpolation seems first to have been 
suggested by Stade (GVI 2 . I. p. 221). The suggestion is adopted by Bu. both 
in RS. and in his edition of the text. The arguments are that the section is 
wholly superfluous and can be left out without disturbing the consistency of 
the narrative, and that it contradicts the assertion of v. 11 that Yahweh repented 
of having made Saul king — contrast the categorical statement that he is not a 
man that he should repent (v. 29 ). 

24. Saul's confession : / have sinned, for I have transgressed 
the command of Yahweh and thy word~\ is not to be taken as 



140 i SAMUEL 

hypocritical. The author means to teach that the most sincere 
repentance is of no avail when God has made his final decision. 
Christian commentators (Schm., for example), with New Testa- 
ment ideas of confession and forgiveness, are obliged to suppose 
that the repentance here was feigned or insincere. Saul's excuse 
that he feared the people is the same already intimated, though it 
has not been explicitly stated. — 25. Now forgive my sin] cf. 
Gen. 50 17 , where Joseph's brothers ask his forgiveness for the 
injury done to him, and Ex. io 17 , where Moses is asked by 
Pharaoh to forgive his sin against Yahweh. The latter is evidently 
the model for the present writer. Samuel stands quite on the level 
of Moses. It is, perhaps, because the text seems to favour the 
Roman Catholic practice of confession that Schmidt paraphrases : 
aufer, nempe apud Deum deprecando. In Saul's further petition 

— and turn with me that I may worship Yahweh — it is implied 
that Samuel's presence is necessary to the validity of the service. 

— 26, 27. The request is refused, and the sentence of rejection 
repeated. As Samuel turns to go away, Saul seizes the skirt of 
his robe to detain him, but it rends. The met I was the outer 
of the two garments ordinarily worn by the well-to-do. — 28. The 
apparent accident is made the occasion of a renewed sentence : 
Yahweh has rent thy kingdom from thee and given it to thy neigh- 
bour who is better than thou] cf. 28 17 . The scene reminds us of 
Ahijah and Jeroboam, 1 K. n 29 " 31 . — 29. Moreover the Victor of 
Israel will not lie nor repent, for he is not man that he should 
repent] cf. Num. 23 19 . The contradiction to v. 11 is doubtless re- 
moved by the remark of Clericus that in one case the language is 
anthropopathic, in the other ' theoprepic' But the Hebrew author 
was hardly so theologically schooled j and it remains improbable 
that the same writer should express himself anthropopathically in 
v. 11 , and find it necessary to correct the anthropopathism a few 
verses later. — 30, 31 . Saul entreats for consideration before the 
elders of the people and before Israel] and the request is granted. 
The author is willing to leave him the semblance of the kingly 
ofrlce for the time being. 

24. mm-">o] for the command of Yahweh Num. 3 16 , al. The full expres- 
sion nirv ">B"nN Sap Num. 14 41 , 22 18 (E). — T n:n ] the singular, which is repre- 
sented in ©, is more appropriate. Tt was a single message which Saul had 



XV. 24-3S M* 

disobeyed. On VI for a command of God cf. BDB. s.v. II. 2. — 25. mnnaw] 
should probably be pointed with the cohortative ending. — 26. "pD nvnc] 
would perhaps favour the pointing ^jVoa in v. 23 . — 27. ^?*^D"*p3] 24*- 5 . — 
jnpM] koX hUppy\^ev avr6 &. But the scene is more impressive if human 
agency is kept in the background. — 28. Ww* msScD] for which t^v 
fiaaiKeiav aov airb lapar]A ©. The last two words are later addition to the 
text of (§ (We.), which therefore had "JPSVDO in their text, and this is so much 
more forcible, and at the same time so much more likely to be expanded into 
f$, that we must think it to be original; cf. also 1 K. 1 1 11 . — 29. "?m«n nxj dji] 
was read by <& and Israel shall be rent in two, apparently = bn-\vr> nsn> dji, 
and this is accepted by Graetz (Gesch. d. Juden, I. p. 187). But a prophecy 
of the division of the kingdom is wholly out of place here. We are obliged 
therefore to retain the text of |§. nxj in one passage apparently means victory 
(SS. referring to 1 Chr. 29 11 ), and in this place Jerome gives triumphator. 
This tradition is the best within our reach. We. decides for the Faithful One ; 
Dr. for the Glory ; Ki. leaves a blank in his translation; Kl. emends freely and 
gets : though we two were to protest to him, yet God is upright. 

32-34. The fate of Agag. — The original continuation of the 
narrative, after the prophetic oracle v. 23 , is found here, if what has 
been advanced concerning vv. 24 " 31 is correct. — 32. Samuel orders 
Agag to be brought. — And Agag came to him trembling, and 
Agag said: Surely death is bitter] the rendering is only provi- 
sional, as the meaning of one important word is uncertain, and the 
text has apparently suffered. — 33. The justice of Agag's fate is 
asserted by Samuel : As thy sword has bereaved women, so shall 
thy mother be bereaved above women] it is scarcely necessary to 
explain the hyperbole by saying (as some have done) that Agag's 
mother was bereaved of her son and her monarch at one stroke. 
The most bereaved of women may be applied to any one sorely 
bereaved. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before Yahweh in 
Gilgal] in fulfilment of the ban. The act is strictly in line with 
the law, Lev. 2 7 28f . It is the evident view of the author that Yah- 
weh was pleased with the completion of the herem at his sanctuary. 
It is somewhat remarkable that nothing further is said of the fat- 
lings and lambs which the people had brought. — 34, 35. Samuel 
goes to his home in Ramah, and Saul to his in Gibeah. — And 
Samuel saw Saul no more until the day of his death] the contra- 
diction to 1 g 23 is obvious and shows the difference of the sources. 
— For Samuel grieved over Saul] the reason for not seeing him 
is that the grief would be thereby stirred afresh. The last clause 



142 I SAMUEL 

of the verse, if it belongs here, must mean : though Yahweh 
repented] and conveys a slight censure of Samuel. Probably, 
however, it is a late insertion intended to round out this story. 

32. ninyn] must be an accusative expressing the manner in which Agag 
came. This might be confident or defiant or cringing or cowardly. It is im- 
possible to determine which is intended by the Hebrew word. The root 
occurs in one passage (Neh. o/ 25 ) as Hithpael, meaning they lived luxuriously. 
So we might suppose here that Agag came daintily, as one who had fared 
delicately; a$p6s (Sym.) , pinguissimus %, and curb rpv<pepias (Aq.) point to this 
meaning, the latter indicating nnj?D; so MplftD & Aside from the intrinsic 
improbability of a Bedawy chief being a luxurious liver, we must object to this 
that it is a matter of minor importance. As the last clause of the verse shows, 
the mental state of the captive is the important matter. <g therefore has a 
claim on our attention when it gives Tpe/mccv which might come from f§ by a 
change of pointing, first suggested by Lagarde {Proph. Chald. p. li) n^ijJD, 
from -lyc, to totter ; he came totteringly would convey the idea of great fear, 
and, as I am inclined to think, would be in accordance with the mind of this 
writer, to whom Samuel was the imposing and even terrible embodiment of 
the divine will. Others by metathesis make the word equivalent to mjjru, 
in fetters (late Hebrew) — so Kimchi, followed by Gratz {Gesch. d. Juden, I. 
p. 187). This is favoured by the curious i^'Avaddod <S L , which might well 
represent nnjyp. If this meaning be adopted, it will be better to suppose the 
original nijpa. The meaning cheerfully (Ew.) can scarcely be got from the 
word, nor can the reason he gives — " the ancients held it to be a bad omen 
when the sacrificial victim held back from the altar" — be verified in Hebrew 
antiquity. The whole clause is lacking in %. Schm. combines two of the 
meanings already considered : virum delicatum et, quod concurrere solet, timi- 
dum mortis. Kl. substitutes win for jjx and makes the clause mean held 
in chains. — ninn— id "id ps] the versions, except 31, seem to have omitted 
id, whose resemblance to id is such that duplication is easy. For pM <£ 
seems to have had pn. For the rest of the clause iriKpbs 6 ddvaros 6> and 
similarly & and %. We. objects that this makes of that which is peculiar in 
the narrative something quite trivial. But if it was the author's design to 
impress the lesson of the herem and its awful character, he would quite as 
appropriately make Agag lament his fate, as to make him self-confident or 
defiant. The savage courage of Zebah and Zalmunna in meeting death, and 
the arrogant temper of Adonibezek (Jd. 8 18 I 7 ) would not adorn the tale, 
where such a lesson is to be drawn. — 33. *idn] <J5 l adds viov 'Aa-rjp, which is 
confirmed by \ filius doloris (Cod. Leg.). As an nSM is found in the time of 
Esau (Gen. 36 s1 - 3°), and as Amalek is brought into the same genealogy (Gen. 
36 12 - 16 ), it does not seem impossible for Agag to be addressed as 'Son of 
Aser,' and the reading may be original. — p|DS"i] occurs in this place only. 
The meaning is agreed upon by the versions and the commentaries. Possibly 
we should read j?D2"i, cf. Jd. 14 6 , which, however, signifies to tear in pieces with 



XV. 35-XVI. 143 

the hands. The change is advocated by Graetz (Gesch. d. Juden, I, 188), 
and suggested, with a query, by Dr. — 34. That Samuel's home is at Ramah 
is in accord with I 1 . — 35. That Samuel mourned for Saul is taken up in the 
next chapter, and the statement here prepares the way for that. But the final 
clause "ui Dm mm does not fit well in this connexion. It is evidently a 
circumstantial clause, and in 16 1 is entirely in place. Here it must mean 
though Yahweh had rejected him, which may be justified by analogy, but would 
imply blame of Samuel. The connexion is better if it be stricken out. Budde 
begins the next section with it, but this does not seem natural. 



1 SAMUEL XVI.-2 SAMUEL I. SAUL AND DAVID. 

In the present arrangement of the Books of Samuel this is the 
second great division of the history. The introduction of David 
marks an epoch. There is no reason to doubt, however, that the 
same sources continue, for the death of Saul must have been re- 
lated by both the authors who have given so much attention to 
his life. That various documents are combined in the history as 
it stands must be evident from the numerous discrepancies and 
duplicate accounts. Not improbably more than the two which 
have furnished the preceding history may be discovered here. 

XVI. 1-13. The anointing of David. — Samuel is sent to 
Bethlehem, where, among the sons of Jesse, he is divinely directed 
to the choice of the right one, and anoints him as king. The ten- 
dency of the critics has been to make the section a late insertion. 
But several things indicate that it is the direct continuation of the 
preceding narrative. There seems to be nothing in the style or 
language which requires us to separate them. The rejection of 
Saul should logically be followed by the designation of his suc- 
cessor. In this author's view, the people should have a theocratic 
ruler. Saul was no longer such ; Samuel had retired. It seems 
impossible that the people should be left shepherdless. To this 
must be added the prominence which David had (in the later 
view) as a ruler especially chosen of Yahweh. It can hardly be 
supposed that this choice would not be made known in his youth. 
From the point of view of chapter 15, there is everything to make 
this section the natural continuation of that. Nor can I see that 
the position of Samuel is any different. His fear is introduced 
only to account for the secrecy of his movements. 



144 * SAMUEL 

1. The word of Yahweh comes to Samuel : How long aost thou 
grieve over Saul, when I have rejected him from ruling over Israel? 
The circumstantial clause is quite in place here. — Fill thy horn 
with oil~\ as though the particular horn used in anointing Saul 
were to be used again. Possibly the author is influenced by the 
later conception of an anointing horn as part of the sacred fur- 
niture, as Solomon is anointed with the horn of oil taken from 
Yahweh's tent, i K. i 39 . — And come, I will send thee to Jesse the 
Bethlehemite~\ the name Jesse (Yishshai) belongs to this man alone 
in the Old Testament. Its etymology is obscure. Bethlehem, a 
well-known Judahite town five miles south of Jerusalem, still flour- 
ishes under its old name. — I have looked me out a king] Gen. 22 s 
41 33 2 K. io 3 . — 2. Samuel's objection is put in the form of a 
question : How shall I go, since Saul will hear of it a?id kill me ? 
The older commentators are somewhat exercised by Samuel's 
timidity in the face of a direct divine command, and extenuate it 
on the ground of natural human infirmity (Schm.). The narrator 
was more concerned to account for the privacy of the transaction. 
Hence the subterfuge : Take in thy hand a calf and say : To sac- 
rifice to Yahweh am I come] the casuistry of the commentators 
attempts to justify Samuel's reticence, on the ground that he told 
one of the reasons for which he came. — 3. And invite Jesse to 
the sacrifice — / will tell thee what thou shall do — and anoint 
whom I shall point out to thee. — 4. The command is carried out, 
and at Samuel's approach, the elders of the city came tre?nbling to 
meet him'] Samuel had the word of Yahweh, and therefore dis- 
posed of life and death : videtur fuisse consternatio orta ex impro- 
viso adventu tanti viri (Schm.). Hence their question : Does thy 
coming betoken good, O Seer? 1 K. 2 13 . As Samuel's coming could 
hardly bring war, but might bring calamity, the translation peace 
is not appropriate. — 5. Giving a reassuring answer and stating 
the ostensible object of his coming, he adds : Purify yourselves 
and rejoice with me at the sacrifice] which was of course a feast, 
9 13 . The purification required was removal of ceremonial defile- 
ment. Samuel himself prepared (consecrated) Jesse and his sons, 
and invited them to the sacrifice] the ritual observances necessary 
in such case were, of course, best known to a priest-prophet. 
What follows seems to take place at the lustration, and we hear 



xvi. i-i 3 145 

no more of the sacrifice.- — 6. When they came in order before 
him (as appears from the later verses), he was pleased with the 
eldest, Eliab, and said to himself: Surely in the presence of Yahweh 
is his anointed] 12 3 . A dialogue went on in the consciousness 
of the prophet. His own choice was moved by personal attrac- 
tions, but Yahweh looked deeper. — 7. Look not at his person or 
the height of his stature] though this had been emphasized (in 
the other document) in the case of Saul. — For I have rejected 
hint] so far as the particular question now before us is concerned. 

— For not as man sees doth God see] the text is emended after 
(3. — For man looks at the appearance, but Yahweh looks at the 
heart] the contrast is between bodily and mental endowments. — 
8, 9. A similar sentence is passed on Abinadab and Shammah. — 
10. So Jesse made his seven sons pass before Samuel] namely, the 
seven who were in the house, only to discover that Yahweh had 
not chosen these. — 11. To Samuel's inquiry whether all had come, 
Jesse confesses : There is still the youngest, and he is a shepherd 
7vith the flock] 17 84 . Samuel asks that he be sent for: for we 
will not begin the sacrifice until he come hither] the text is not 
altogether certain. — 12. Jesse, in accordance with the command, 
sent and brought him : And he was ruddy, a youth of fine eyes 
and goodly appearance] nearly the same description is repeated 
17 42 . Samuel receives the command to anoint him. — 13. So he 
was anointed, and the Spirit of Yahweh came upon David from 
that day onwards] as had been the case with Saul, 10" 10 . David 
has not been mentioned by name until this point. This is prob- 
ably intentional, to heighten the effect. The narrative ends with- 
out further account of the proposed sacrifice, only adding after 
the anointing : Samuel arose and went to Ramah. 

1. ~\rfrvx -|Si] generally we find "^ followed either by another imperative, 
or by a finite verb with 1. But cf. "inpx nj naS Num. 23 27 ; "JSJPH n^h Num. 
24 14 . »«r», 'Uaaat is found also in the form »r»H (perhaps man of Yahweh) * 

— »n*m] in this sense in E (passages are cited above). — 2. JflMn] the perfect 
with waw consecutive continues the imperfect in any of its senses, so after 
particles which give a contingent sense, Dr., Tenses 3 , § 115, Davidson, Syntax, 
§ 53 b, and the examples there cited, especially 2 S. 12 18 . The pisqa in the 

* But »p seems to be one element of the name wan, 26 s , etc. Hommel com- 
pares I-shai with I-chabod, I-thamar and I-ezer {Altisrael Ueberlieferung, p. 116). 
L 



*46 i SAMUEL 

middle of the verse indicates (as usual) a different mode of verse division. 

— np3 nSjj;] Dt. 21 3 Is. 7 al . The expression indicates that nS.iy might be 
used of the young of other animals (? the camel). — TV3J cf. 14 34 . — 
3. raru] is a mistake for mi 1 ? which is used with mp*l v. 5 (erroneous antici- 
pation of the ran in the latter verse). — tVn ncx— v£>n] perhaps whom I shall 
command thee, cf. mm h -ien *3 2 S. 16 11 . — 4. mNip 1 ? . . . mmi] the con- 
struct™ pregnans as often, Jd. 14 5 15 14 1 S. 21 2 . — TOHM] might be justified as 
the indefinite one said; but as the elders are a distinct and limited body, it is 
probable that we should read the plural, with the versions and 30 MSS. (DeR.). 

— o 1 ?^] read thvn. At the end of the verse <& adds 6 ^Keirwu, that is fjmn, 
which can be construed here only as a vocative. The insertion by a scribe is 
hardly probable, while the omission by one who thought the title not digni- 
fied enough for Samuel is supposable. — 5. icnpnn] the regular term for pre- 
paring oneself for approaching God, Jos. 3 5 . — roT3 tin on^oi] Kal eixppdvd-nTe 
^uct' i/xov ar)(xepov <g AB : et state mecum et jocundimini \ (Cod. Leg.). As $% 
is entirely commonplace and (5£ AB is more vigorous, I have followed Th., al., 
in adopting the latter. — BHp^i] is used of Moses when he consecrated the 
priests, Ex. 28 41 (P), but also when he prepared the people for the special 
presence of God, Ex. 19 14 (E); cf. also 1 S. 7 1 . — 6. The names of the three 
sons here mentioned are repeated 17 13 . — idn^i] the verb is frequently used 
in the sense of saying to oneself, thinking. — "jn] is strongly asseverative. — 
7. mine] all that appears to the eye. — man nam ttk] the ellipsis is too 
harsh and we must suppose a fault in the text. We., Dr., Bu. emend, after <£, 
to dtiSn nxm mxn nwv too. Th. had proposed the same except that he 
retained ir*. He is now followed by Ki., with the translation : God does not 
regard what man regards. This is defensible, but if part of (g is taken, the 
presumption is in favour of the whole. — D^ryS] is difficult, because it does not 
occur elsewhere in this sense — though nearly so in Lev. 13 5 Num. n 7 (?) 
cf. Lev. 13 55 cited by Dr. It must be contrasted with i"j-fr; as the latter 
must mean (Yahweh looks) at the inner man (cf. BDB. s.v.) we need an 
expression meaning at the outer man ; ds irpSacoirov © may be only an attempt 
to render $?, but invites us to substitute 0"09^, for which, however, there is no 
analogy. — 8. :nj"2N] the same name occurs 7 1 . — 9. nstp] is apparently the 
same with njw, 2 S. 13 3 . — 10. vj3 npa>] means his seven sons, not seven 
of his sons, which would be differently expressed. It is therefore inaccurate. 
■Via followed by 3 seems to be Deuteronomic, Dt. f 14 2 18 5 1 S. io 24 . — 
11. icnn] supply mnyV as in Jos. 3 17 4 11 (JE). — -inp] seems to be lacking 
in <g and the sense is good without it (Bu.). — njm] is probably an abbrevi- 
ated spelling of injm, though, as the subject immediately precedes, it is not 
absolutely necessary that the suffix be expressed. — jxxri njn] not pasturing 
the flock but acting as shepherd with the flock. — 3D:] KaraKXidw/uLCv <S AB ; 
auatcMdu/uev <S L ; discumbemus IL As ava.K\i<ris seems to represent 3DD in 
Cant. I 12 it is not certain that L had a different reading: KaraK\ivoixai more- 
over does not anywhere render 2V\ As 2DD is used of going about the altar 
as a part of the sacrificial worship, Samuel may mean we will not begin the 



XVI. H-23 147 

sacrifice until he come. J5 seems to interpret at?** — 12. W*9 PfiTqp] is im- 
possible in spite of runs ns^-oj?, 17 42 . In both passages we must restore o^;" 
20 22 as was seen by Graetz and, independently of him, by Krenkel, ZA TW. 
II. p. 309. Kl. proposes ~\y& "Oidin, red-haired. — >Nn] for rtmc, here only. 
— 13. ntem] perhaps chosen with conscious reference to io 10 . The accession 
of the spirit in the case of Saul was, however, spasmodic. The idea of the 
author seems to be that with David it was constant. — in] so written in 
Samuel and Kings; in Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah "vn. The meaning 
of the name is unknown. Cf. BDB. s.v. — royai] of time as 30 25 . 

14-23. The first account of David's coming to court. — Saul is 
tormented by a divine visitation, apparently mental perturbation. 
Music being a known remedy, his courtiers recommend him to 
seek a skilful harper. On his approval of the plan, David is 
mentioned by one of the courtiers, and Saul sends for him. Com- 
ing to court, David speedily establishes himself in the favour of 
the king. 

The affliction of Saul is ascribed to an evil spirit from Yahweh 
in v. 14 , the remainder of the account has the Spirit of God, twice 
with the adjective evil (w. 15 - 16 ), once in the current text without 
qualification. The difference in the use of the divine name prob- 
ably shows that v. 14 has been modified by the redaction. The rest 
of the paragraph is homogeneous except a slight insertion in v. 19 . 

It is difficult to discover the exact idea of the Spirit of God in 
the mind of this author. There seems to be no trace of a belief 
in the existence of evil spirits, in our sense of the word, throughout 
the earlier period of Hebrew literature. And if the belief existed, 
the spirits could hardly be called evil spirits of God. In an instruc- 
tive passage of the later history, 1 K. 22 19 " 23 , we find the Spirit 
offering to be a spirit of deceit in the mouth of the prophets. 
From this we conclude that the Spirit thought of as the agency 
of evil was the same Spirit which stirred up men to good, and 
it is not improbable that the adjective evil is a later insertion 
in the account before us. The author's conception is certainly 
very different from that of v. 13 in which the Spirit seems to be 
viewed as the constant endowment of a consecrated person. 

14-23. In 14 52 the author remarks that whenever Saul saw a valiant man 
he attached him io himself. This cannot be the conclusion of the history of 
Saul, and there is every probability that it was intended to introduce the history 
of David. The original connexion with the passage before us, however, has 



I48 i SAMUEL 

been obscured. In the body of the paragraph, Saul's affliction is ascribed to 
avnVx nn. The original narrative must have used the same term at the first 
mention of the trouble. But we now find in v. 14 , mm n«D njrrnn, and as the 
opening part of that verse expressly declares that the Spirit of Yahweh had 
departed from Saul (with evident reference to his coming upon David, v. 13 ) 
we conclude that v. 14 has been composed for its present place. The critics 
are not agreed; Ku. {//CO 2 , p. 384 cf. p. 388) supposes something cut out for 
the insertion of is 1 -^ 18 . Bu. (XS. p. 214) and Co. (Einl*. p. 102) find 16 14 
the direct continuation of 14 52 . Ki. supposes that this is the beginning of a 
new document — a life of David. 

14. As now read, the verse says that the Spirit of Yahweh de- 
parted from Saul and an evil spirit from Yahweh troubled him'] the 
verb means fell suddenly upon or startled. The affliction mani- 
fested itself in sudden or unreasoning fits of terror. Both mental 
and physical disease (but especially mental) were ascribed to the 
agency of evil spirits until very recent times, even in the most 
enlightened communities, cf. Schm. I. p. 549, Nevius, Demon 
Possession (1896). The wording of this verse may show that 
the author had such an idea, though, of course, he did not think 
of an organized kingdom of Satan, such as meets us in later times. 
He is careful, in fact, to show that this agent (or agency) was 
entirely subject to Yahweh by defining it as he does. The Arab 
idea that an insane person is possessed by a jinn is nowhere dis- 
tinctly expressed in the Old Testament. Besides the lying spirit 
in the mouth of Ahab's prophets, we may cite here the evil spirit 
sent by God between Abimelech and his subjects in Shechem, Jd. 
9 23 . Possibly the spirit of jealousy mentioned in Num. 5 14 may 
be brought into the same category. The term used in the rest of 
this account shows a different conception. — 15, 16. Saul's ser- 
vants propose a remedy for his affliction : An evil spirit of God is 
troubling thee ; let thy servants speak, and they will seek a man 
skilful in playing the lyre~\ the instrument is one of those most 
frequently mentioned in the Old Testament. Music is associated 
with benign possession (by the spirit of God) in the case of the 
Prophets, io 5 2 K. 3 15 . Here it is expected to procure relief from 
obsession. A similar belief was held by the Greeks and Latins.* 



* Ut ostendit Pythagoras apud Senecam, Schm. p. 551 citing Serarius, " qui 
addit plures autores atque exemplaria." 



XVI. H-23 149 

— 17. Saul assents, saying: Look out for me a man who plays 
well and bring him to me~\ the king puts the qualification in some- 
what higher terms than the courtiers. — 18. One of the attendants 
mentions David as the very man for the place — a musician, a 
man of valour, a soldier, judicious in speech, and a man of pres- 
ence, and Yahweh is with him'] the panegyric is the recommenda- 
tion of a friend at court, and must not be taken too literally. But 
it certainly implies that David had already had some experience 
in war, and had attained to man's estate. No supposition will 
enable us to harmonize this statement with the earlier part of this 
chapter, and with some parts of 17. — 19. The result is that Saul 
sends messengers to Jesse, saying : Send me David thy son] that 
he is described as being with the flock is probably an afterthought 
of a scribe, though it was not by any means derogatory to a grown 
man to take charge of the flocks, as is seen in the cases of Moses 
and Jacob. — 20. Obedient to the message, Jesse took te?i loaves 
of bread and a skin of wine and a kid] the modest present of a 
farmer to his king, and sent them by the hand of David his son to 
Saul] it was not good form to approach the king without a pres- 
ent. — 21, 22. David was taken into Saul's service and Saul 
loved him and he became one of his armour-bearers] the king 
surrounded himself with a body-guard of these squires. With the 
consent of his father, David was thus a permanent member of the 
court. — 23. And when the spirit of God came upon Saul, David 
would take the lyre and play, and Saul would breathe freely, and 
would be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him. 

14. lnnyai] the perfect with waw consecutive has frequentative force. — 
hit> riND njn~nn] the spirit is nowhere else described with so much circum- 
spection. In Samuel we find both mm nn (io 6 ) and dtiSn nn. The MSS. 
vary in 1 1 6 . In one instance % has n>*-» mrr» nn where @ found D>rnN. The 
tendency of the scribes to substitute D^nSx for the more sacred name makes 
it probable that in this case (S is secondary. Both nyn dtiSn nn and mm nn 
ryi seem to me to be ungrammatical, and I suspect that the original was 
simply D\-nx nn throughout this paragraph. — 16. yish yizy U21M Nncs^ 
Wp3>] is hardly possible (as is shown by We., Dr., and acknowledged by Bu.) 
though retained by Kl., and Ki., with a slight change. <S B has elirdraxrav Sr] 
ol SovXoi aov iv<6m6u <rov Kal Cwn^o-Taxrav which should probably be restored. 
S> omits after nj v. 15 to UTIH NriDN> v. 16 . Probably the translators did not 
have uj*w, as the omission then becomes a clear case of homeoteleuton. — 



150 i SAMUEL 

|»D jm] is in v. 18 pj yv. As there is no reason why the expression should 
vary in so short a space we should probably read \u yv in both cases, and 
this is favoured by <g. On the 1U3 cf. Benzinger, Hebr. Archaol. p. 274. — 
DVlSltJ is lacking in @ B j$. — rr>3 pj] 18 10 19 9 , the variant of <g (^ shall play on 
his lyre) is the substitution of a more obvious word. — 17. \xh 3*B^D] Is. 23 16 
Ez. 33 32 Ps. 33 3 . — h wito] cf. h >n^m v. 1 . — 18. nm |Uji] discriminating 
in speech. — "i«h K"Ni] generally we find nan nD% Gen. 39°. But in English 
we also speak of a man of presence instead of a man of good presence. — 
1DJ7 mm] the meaning is that he is prospered in what he undertakes, io 7 
Jd. i 22 ; cf. Gen. 39 s . — 19. }NS3 t^n] is regarded as a harmonistic insertion 
by Bu. and Co. (£inl 3 . p. 102). The objection to it is that Saul has nowhere 
been told that David is with the flock. — 20. zrh m^n] is contrary to analogy. 
Bread is always counted in loaves, and we should doubtless (with We., Dr.) 
correct to uni r\-\y;, which is found in the parallel, 1 7 17 . ma>y was first cor- 
rupted to "»p which is represented in <g AB , and then as that was seen to be 
absurdly small mEn was substituted. <&^ has expanded the text as has I — 
asinum, et imposuit super gomor panis (Cod. Leg.) — and this has been taken 
by Bu. into his text in the form DnS xwa vhp DB"1 "wen. But this is one of the 
frequent cases in which the longer text is suspicious. — 21. vjd 1 ? idjw] ex- 
presses the fact that David became one of the king's personal attendants, 
1 K. 12 8 . — 23. dtiSx nn] is corrected in all the versions to njn rm or nn 
njn dtiSn. I suppose ^ to be original, as the more difficult reading, and more 
likely to be emended by a scribe. — Sinb>S nni] Job 32 21 , where Elihu declares 
that he must relieve himself by speech. The word would therefore favour <5Ts 
understanding of Saul's malady as accompanied by fits of suffocation. But cf. 
nnn, Ex. 8 11 . — riynn nn] can doubtless be justified by parallel instances, cf. 
Dr., Notes, p. 45 (on 6 18 ). But I suspect the whole last clause to be a late 
addition, the sense being complete without it. 

XVII. l-XVIII. 5. The single combat of David with Goliath. 
— The familiar story need not here be rehearsed. We may pass 
at once to the critical problems which it presents. The first fact 
which claims attention is that a large family of Greek MSS., rep- 
resented by (& B , omit considerable sections of the narrative, to 
wit, 17 12 - 3141 i7 55 -i8 5 . The critics are still divided on the question 
which recension is original. Wellhausen in his study of the text 
decided for ©, because harmonistic omissions imply a critical in- 
sight which we cannot suppose in the translators. This argument, 
though afterwards given up by We. himself, is still good. The 
universal rule in such cases is that the presumption is against 
the longer text. The argument is strengthened in this case by 
the phenomena observed in chapter 1 8, where also some sections 



XVII. i-XVIII. 5 151 

are omitted by (£ B . In that chapter it is generally agreed that 
the omission leaves a continuous, and therefore original, text. 
The probability that the same causes have been at work in the 
two contiguous chapters is very strong. In the present chapter, 
the shorter text is perfectly consistent with itself, and the omis- 
sions do not leave any appreciable hiatus. Whether the omitted 
sections also form a continuous narrative, as is claimed by Cornill, 
may, however, be doubted. Yet they have the appearance of parts 
of an independent document which has lost something in being 
fitted into another text. 

We have had two accounts of David in the preceding chapter. 
Our first thought is that the two documents are continued in the 
present story, and that the lines of cleavage are indicated by the 
differences in the text. In fact, the omitted sections show affin- 
ity with 16 1 " 13 . In both, David is the shepherd lad, the youngest 
of his father's sons. The natural sequence of the anointing by 
Samuel, is an exploit which will bring David to the notice of the 
people. More difficulty is encountered in making 1 7 1 " 11 - 32 ~ 40 - 42_54 
continue 16 1 *" 23 . In the account of David's coming to court, he 
is described as already an experienced warrior, while in our 
chapter he is called by Saul a youth. This objection is not 
perhaps decisive ; Saul might well call a younger man by this 
term, even though he had already reached years of discretion. 
Nor can we say that David's inexperience in the use of armour 
of proof is altogether inconsistent with what is said in 1 6 18 . Even 
an experienced warrior might not be familiar with that sort of 
armament. And again, the use of the sling is not a sign of youth 
or inexperience. The weapon used by the Benjamites who could 
sling at a hair without missing, Jd. 20 16 , and who are evidently 
regarded as a formidable corps, was not a plaything. 

But when all is said, the incongruity of this account with what 
precedes is marked. Saul appears as a timid and irresolute man. 
The whole impression made by David is different from the de- 
scription of him we have just had. The style of the narrator is 
more diffuse and less vivid than the parts of the Saul document 
which we have studied. For these reasons it seems impossible to 
make the identification proposed. Yet we need an account of an 
exploit on the part of David to account for Saul's outbreak of 



152 i SAMUEL 

jealousy. The author who makes him Saul's favourite armour- 
bearer in 1 6, and then makes Saul plot against him in 18, must 
give a motive for the change of mind. He must, at least, make 
David very successful in battle and so arouse the king's jealousy. 
The fact that Goliath was slain by Elhanan 2 S. 21 19 would weigh 
somewhat against the present form of this narrative. The natural 
conclusion is that in place of this chapter there was originally (as 
a continuation of 16 23 ) a brief account of David's prowess against 
the Philistines. This was later replaced by the present circum- 
stantial story, which, however, was first circulated without the addi- 
tions which we find in Jfy as compared with (£. 

On the critical questions the reader may consult, besides the usual authori- 
ties, W. R. Smith, OT/C 2 . pp. 120-124, 431-433; Cornill in the Konigsberger 
Studien, I. pp. 25-34; and Bonk, De Davide Israelitarum Rege (Disserta- 
tion, 1 891), pp. 17-27. All these authors agree that the recension of <& has 
not arisen by omissions from that of |^, but that a different document has 
been inserted in |§. WRS. argues for the original coherence of the narrative 
of <g with 16 14 - 23 , which I have not brought myself to assert. Yet there is 
nothing to prevent our supposing that there once stood here a brief account 
of David's exploit which did continue i6 14-23 . 

1-11. Fresh attack by the Philistines. — The enemy invade 
Judah. The situation is described, the point of importance being 
the presence of a champion who challenges Israel. — 1. The 
Philistines gathered their forces for war] a similar opening is 
found 28 1 . — A fid gathered at Shocoh~\ identified as "a strong 
position isolated from the rest of the ridge " west of Bethlehem, 
still bearing the name Shuweikeh. An invasion of Judah in order 
to attack Saul is hardly probable, and an early author would make 
the Judahites call upon Saul for help. The invading army camped 
between Shocoh and Azekah~\ mentioned in Jos. 15 35 in connexion 
with Shocoh. From its name it seems to have been a stronghold, 
cf. Jer. 34 7 . — In Ephes-Dammim\ as the situation is sufficiently 
described by the names of Shocoh and Azekah, this redundant 
statement is suspicious. On the conjecture which emends it to 
on the brink of the waters see the critical note. — 2. Saul with his 
army camped in the Valley of E la h~] or of the Oak, cf. 21 10 . The 
present name Wady es-Sant resembles the ancient one in that 
Sant is also a tree. — And arrayed the battle to meet the Philis- 



xvii. i-8 153 

tines] 4 2 2 S. io° 10 . — 3. And the Philistines were standing on the 
hill on this side, and Israel was standing on the hill on that side, 
and the valley was between them] this is evidently meant to de- 
scribe the situation at the time of the duel, and favours the 
shorter text, in which David's attack follows at once upon the 
challenge ; whereas in the section inserted by J^ the challenge 
was repeated morning and evening for forty days. — 4. And there 
came out from the ranks of the Philistines a champion] this is the 
only word we can use — the Hebrew term is obscure. — Whose 
name was Goliath of Gath] according to 2 S. 21 22 he belonged to a 
family of giants. His height — six cubits and a span — would be 
at the smallest computation about ten English feet. — 5-7. He 
was formidable not only by his size, but also by reason of his 
armour. The defensive armour is all of bronze — helmet and 
breastplate of scales] like the scales of a fish, plates overlapping 
each other and allowing free movement ; whose weight was five 
thousand shekels of bronze] say a hundred and fifty pounds avoir- 
dupois. — And bronze greaves upon his feet] there seems to be no 
doubt of the meaning, though the word for greaves occurs no- 
where else. — Atid a bronze javelin betweefi his shoulders] the 
text is somewhat doubtful. A javelin was carried between the 
shoulders, at least sometimes, as Bochart shows from Homer 
(citation in Keil and Dr.). But the bronze seems to indicate a 
defensive weapon, and some Rabbinical authorities conjectured 
a back plate. — 7. And the shaft of his spear was like a weaver's 
beam] in size, 2 S. 21 19 1 Chr. n 23 ; and the head of the spear was 
six hundred shekels of iron. The principal object of the descrip- 
tion is to show how impregnable the man seemed to be. Added 
to the enormous weight of his panoply, was his helper and squire 
— and one carrying the shield went before him. — 8. The cham- 
pion, having stepped forward from the ranks, stood and cried out 
to the ranks of Israel] it was, and is, the Arab custom for the 
warrior to vaunt his own prowess and to satirize his enemies, as a 
challenge to single combat. In this case the challenge is based 
upon the uselessness of a general engagement when the single 
combat would settle the whole matter ; Why do you come out to 
form the line of battle? Am not I a Philistine, and you servants 
of Saul? He offers himself as a sample of his nation. Choose a 



154 1 SAMUEL 

man and let him come down to me ! The Israelites standing on 
the slope were above him. — 9. The whole issue will be staked 
on the duel — If he be able to fight with me and smite me, then we 
will become your servants^ and conversely. — 10. In conclusion 
the champion renews the challenge : / have taunted the ranks of 
Israel to-day — give me a man that we may fight together^ the 
challenge becomes a taunt, when no one is brave enough to 
accept it. It is possible, however, that some abusive language 
has been left out. — 11. The only result in the ranks of Israel is 
fear, amounting almost to a panic. That the situation could not 
last forty days is evident. In the original narrative David, already 
a member of Saul's body-guard, steps forward at once and accepts 
the challenge — v. 32 is the immediate continuation of this verse. 

1. The verse continues the preceding narrative as well as it joins to any of 
the preceding sections. — ornjno 'fl iodnm] cf. d.-pjhd pn 'd raapM, 28 1 . The 
second iadnm is suspicious and may indicate that the text has been made up 
from two documents. — raw] 2ax&>0 <§• As Eusebius speaks of two villages, 
upper and lower, it is possible that the plural is original (We. who refers 
to Euseb. Onom. under 2,oi<x<*>). Two separate places with this name are 
mentioned in Joshua 15 3548 . One of them was near Hebron, the other in the 
Shephela. Probably the latter is intended here. Ruins still bear the name 
Shuweikeh (Baed., Palestine? p. 161, GAS., Geog. pp. 202, 227). — D>cn D0N3] 
on the reading of certain MSS. of <5, Lagarde {Uebersicht, p. 76) restores 
D*0fl iflDU, cf. Buhl, Geog. p. 193 note. The overfulness of the text favours 
this, or something like it, and Buhl ( Geog. p. 90) is inclined to adopt it, though 
it seems doubtful whether there was water enough in the wady to justify the 
language. Pas-Dammivi occurs 1 Chr. 11 13 as the scene of a battle fought by 
David and his men. Possibly the text here is conflate. — 2. On the Wadi es- 
Sant, Buhl, Geog. p. 18. — hSn] terebinth or oak, cf. Moore, Judges, p. 121/ 
with the references there given. — 3. nmpS *py, to draw up the line of battle, 
usually without nonSc. The language of the account reminds us of the 
description of Michmash (n?n as 14 4 ). — 4. runnc] the army has already 
been described as standing in order of battle, and it is plain that we should 
read nnjrtSD with 6 (Th., We., Dr., Kl., Bu., Ki.). Where <g L got its dupli- 
cate translation e'/c iravrbs tov \aov rrjs irapard^us is not clear. — avjarre^N] 
has not been satisfactorily explained. (§ has av))p 8ui>clt6s, % vir spurius. 
The Hebrew is generally interpreted as the man of the interspace between two 
armies. But the space between two armies is not two spaces — except in the 
probably rare case where a watercourse divides it. There is, therefore, no 
reason for the dual. It is doubtful whether Josephus can be cited for this 
interpretation, though he describes Goliath as standing between the two 
armies. Kimchi in this interpretation (cited by Dr. and also by Schm.) 



XVII. 8-1 1 155 

voices Jewish conjecture. Earlier Jewish tradition is represented by 3L and a 
fragmentary Targum (cited by Dr. from Lag.) according to which the words 
mean one born of mixed race — the Targum adds that he was the son of Sam- 
son and of Orpah the Moabitess. Kl. conjectures »rw% heavy armed. — JT'Sj] 
names of men have the feminine form not infrequently in Arabic. For six 
cubits @ has four, which hardly makes the giant large enough to carry his 
armour. — 5. P£>nj] some alloy of copper. As remarked by We., |^ is con- 
sistent in making the defensive armour of this material, and the offensive 
of iron. — 6. W&pvp] also of the scales of the 'great dragon' Ezek. 29*. — 
ntsru] bronze and iron 4§. — nnxci] should be pointed as a plural, KvrjfuSes 
<g — Th., We., al. — jito] aanls <S everywhere except in this chapter translates 
either po or njv. Kl. conjectures TVD, which, however, is always a bowl or pan. 
Possibly this clause has been interpolated from v. 45 . — 7. pm] Kt. is doubtless 
to be corrected to yyi Qre. — "njc] occurs only in the phrase of the text. Cf. 
Moore, Proc. Am. Or. Soc. 1889, p. 179, and Judges, p. 353. — njx] seems to 
have been the large shield, in distinction from the smaller pc. — 8. TitpScn] for 
which <g has bX \6<pv\os without the article. The latter seems more vivid, as 
though the champion in assumed modesty said : I am one of many, make trial 
of me and judge of the rest by the result. — m] is unintelligible. Restore 
r\r\i with the versions, cf. 1 K. 18 25 (Dr. and Weir). — 9. The regular hypo- 
thetical sentence beginning with an imperfect and carried on by a perfect with 
waw consecutive, Davidson, Syntax, § 130 a. — 10. Trnn] can mean only 
I have insulted ox taunted, and must describe what the giant has already done. 
As the preceding verses contain only the challenge to fight, we must suppose 
that the unaccepted challenge was itself an insult, as indeed it was. But there 
may have been some abusive language in the original document which a 
scribe left out as blasphemous. — 11. wm] a strong word. They were broken 
in spirit, were dismayed, cf. Dt. I 21 31 8 Jos. I 9 . 

12-31. David's coming to camp. — The narrative goes back 
to the family of Jesse at Bethlehem. The three sons who are 
named in 16 6 " 9 are here said to have gone to the army. David, 
the youngest, is called from the flock by his father to carry sup- 
plies to his brothers. He comes to the camp just as the Philis- 
tine utters his customary challenge. Inquiring more particularly 
about the promised reward, he is taken to Saul, who consents to 
his fighting. 

The paragraph is lacking in (£ B and is marked with an asterisk 
in some MSS. It is inserted in A and in L , but the differences are 
such as to warrant us in saying that the two translations are made 
by different hands. In the case of A also, the translator does not 
appear to be the one from whom we have the rest of the Book. 



156 i SAMUEL 

12-16. The household of Jesse is described so far as is neces- 
sary to the present purpose. Jesse himself is too old to go to the 
war, and David is regarded as too young. Three of the sons are 
in the ranks. What has become of the other four is not told. — 

12. And David was son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah 
whose name was Jesse, and who had eight sons. The man was in 
the days of Saul an old man, advanced in years] such is apparently 
the intention of the ungrammatical or corrupt Hebrew. The ad- 
jective Ephrathite as applied to inhabitants of Bethlehem is found 
only here and in Ruth i 2 . — 13, 14. The three sons, whose names 
are given, had gone afterSaul~] the tautology of the verses is in- 
tolerable. — David was the youngest] as already told. — 15. The 
verse is a plain attempt to harmonize this account with 16 14 " 23 . As 
it stands it can mean only that David's custom was to go to and 
fro between his home and the court. The improbability is obvi- 
ous, and the contradiction with 1 6 22 is not yet removed. — 
16. Another harmonistic verse, intended to give David time to 
reach the camp. As Bethlehem is only a few miles from Shocoh 
the author has been too generous : The Philistine drew near morn- 
ing and evening and took his stand, forty days. 

The present form of this paragraph seems to be due to the 
redactor. It cannot have continued 16 1 " 13 directly, but seems to 
be dependent on that. There would be no difficulty in making 
the author of i6'~ 13 speak briefly of the Philistine invasion and 
add : the three oldest sons of Jesse went after Saul to the war, con- 
tinuing by v. 17 . 

12. n?n] if it be grammatical, the word must qualify David : and this 
David, son of an Ephrathite. But even then the sentence does not give a 
clear construction. The word is omitted by Sb, and was differently read by 
<g AL — probably these point to an original Nin which would be in place. — 
D'WIta so] is unmeaning. The synonym of \pi is D*D'3 *o which should 
probably be restored here. (JBr L ,S seem to point to DWP3 so against which 
nothing can be said, except that it occurs nowhere else. Dr., following Hitzig, 
strikes out so as erroneous duplication of the two letters which follow. Kl. 
conjectures nortStsn >&)H2 top of which there seems to be a hint in & — 

13. "oSn . . . eW] is redundant and impossible. One of the two verbs must 
be stricken out, and the last one is actually omitted by <S L J5. 

17-19. The mission of David. — He is commanded by his 
father: Take to thy brothers this epha of parched corn] parched 



xvii. 12-23 *57 

corn is ears of wheat or barley plucked just before they are ripe, 
and roasted or singed in the fire. It is still eaten in Palestine, 
and is especially fitted for provision for travellers or soldiers, cf. 
2 S. 1 7 s8 . The epha is something over a bushel. The army had 
of course no regular commissariat. To this provision were added 
ten of the round flat loaves of the fellahin. — And bring them in 
haste'] 2 Chr. 35 13 . — 18. David was also to take ten cheeses to 
the captain of the thousand, to ask his brothers of their welfare, 
and to take their pledge. What this means is uncertain, and no 
emendation yet suggested improves upon the text. Possibly some 
token had been agreed upon which they should send home in 
place of a letter. — 19. Jesse concludes his command by indi- 
cating the locality in which they were to be found. 

17. nrn cnS] read n?n anSn, the n has been lost after mvy (Dr., Bu.). — 
18. 3Vm *rvi] although not found elsewhere, plainly means cheeses. Nothing 
else made of milk would be appropriate. Ancient tradition, as represented in 
the versions, agrees with this. — DH31?] o<xa av xp^C a}<J ' lv (y*4irg) (5 A may 
point to Dnrtt = their need, as was pointed out by Cappellus, Critica Sacra, 
p. 286, whereas et cum quibus ordinati sunt 3L would favour aroip. But npn 
would agree with neither of these. — 19. That the verse is part of Jesse's 
speech is seen by Schm. and most of the recent commentators. Kl. dissents. 

20-25. David's visit to the camp. — Rising early in the morn- 
ing, he left the flock in the hand of the keeper] cf. v. C2 . After his 
journey of about twelve miles, he came to the entrenchment just as 
the army was going forth to line of battle and shouting the war- 
cry] lit. shouting in the battle. But the battle was not joined. 
The picture of the two armies going through this parade forty 
days in succession, only to hear the swelling words of Goliath, is 
ludicrous. — 22. On discovering the situation, David put off the 
vessels] bags or baskets, we may suppose, into the hand of the 
keeper of the baggage, and ran to the ranks] the eagerness of a 
lad to see the battle needs no comment. The boys among 
Mohammed's followers at Medina wept when they were pro- 
nounced too young to go to war. As he had been commanded, 
he came and asked his brothers of their welfare] cf. v. 18 . — 23. The 
champion appears * and speaks according to these words] the words 

* Notice that the champion's name is given in full, as if he had not been named 
before. 



1^8 i SAMUEL 

given above. — 24. And David and all the men of Israel heard, 
and when they saw the man, they feared greatly and fled before 
him. The received text puts the effect before the cause. The 
language implies that the ranks were thrown into confusion. — 
25. The universal talk was to this effect : Have you seen this 
man ? To insult Israel he has come up. The king will greatly 
enrich the man who shall smite him. He will give him his daughter 
also, and will make his fathers house free in Israel] exempt from 
exactions of service or of property. 

20. 1D8>] is used of a keeper of sheep nowhere else. — Ntt"i] without the 
object is not common, and one is tempted to correct to j?D">i. — nVj^cn] the 
same word (without the accusative ending) 26 5 - 7 . <S A has crTpoyyvAwais 
here, which means something round or rounded — an entrenchment around 
the camp? The Hebrew word is usually supposed to mean a wagon-barri- 
cade. But we never hear of wagons in Saul's army, and the hill country in 
which he marched was exceedingly unfavourable to them. — Kpn] by omitting 
the article we get a good circumstantial clause, as was already seen by Tanchum. 
— ncn^D^] may have been originally nnn^nS (Th.). — 21. ■pym] the femi- 
nine with a collective subject, cf. 2N1D \-ini, 2 S. 8 2 . — 22. ra>i] here in the 
sense of putting off from one. — whi'] a word of wide signification — the things 
which he had with him. — 1DWj the guard left with the camp equipage. — 
mvi] is lacking in © L ^3L. — 23. n:nD Him] cf. Dr., Tenses*, § 166. nnpea 
Kt. is evidently a scribe's error for nimj?»D Qre. — nSsn ona-o] the reference 
is to the words given in v. 8 . The present account, if once an independent 
document, had a similar speech of Goliath either here or as a part of its intro- 
ductory paragraph. — in j?dc>)] should, perhaps, be joined with v. 24 , in which 
case a \ should be prefixed to oroma, so (g L understands. — 24. *ihd . . . lDri] 
the two clauses are in the wrong order (logically), and I have therefore re- 
versed them, with (J5 L . But the whole verse accords ill with v. 25 , and may be 
a late insertion. — 25. !?mr^ E"n] is to be taken collectively. It was not one 
man who was sent out with the offer of reward, but the reward was a matter 
of common fame. — on'MVl] Ges. 26 22 s. — nSyn] is lacking in £ and super- 
fluous. — nSy] is better pointed in the perfect tense. 

26-31. David's desire to meet the Philistine. — He inquires 
more particularly of the reward to be given, and thus brings upon 
himself a rebuke from his brother. — 26. Two questions are 
reported, — the first concerns the reward : What shall be done to 
the man who shall smite yonder Philistine and take away reproach 
from Israel? The insult of the champion lies as a burden upon 
the people until it is removed by the acceptance of the challenge. 



XVII. 14-3! 159 

David's estimate of the champion is manifested in a second ques- 
tion : For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he has dared 
to insult the soldiers of a living God? The Philistines alone 
among the neighbours of Israel are stigmatized as uncircumcised, 
Jd. 14 3 15 18 1 S. 14 6 . The language of the question is taken from 
v. 36 . The people reply according to the word just reported. — 
28. His brother Eliab heard the question, and was angry and 
questioned him : Why is it that thou hast come down ? With 
whom hast thou left that morsel of a flock ? The questions imply 
blame, which is now directly expressed : I know thy self-will and 
the evil of thy heart, for to see the battle hast thou come] the wil- 
fulness of a headstrong boy. — 29. The first half of David's reply 
is plain enough. The second half is more difficult : Was it not but 
a word?] which is generally accepted, is not satisfactory. David 
did cherish the intention, for which he was rebuked by his brother ; 
and it would be an evasion for him to plead that as yet he had 
done nothing but ask a question. Is it not a matter of impor- 
tance ? seems to be what we need, and probably the Hebrew will 
bear that interpretation. — 30, 31. The earnestness of David is 
shown by his refusing to debate the matter with his brother, and 
turning to another quarter, where his inquiries are answered as 
before. His words — evidently those expressing contempt for the 
Philistine champion — were heard and reported to Saul, who took 
him to himself. Perhaps we should read and they took him and 
brought him before Saul. 

26. rSn] may have a somewhat contemptuous force. — rpn] with the force of 
a subjunctive perfect; I have given a free translation. — D"n DviVn] Dt. 5 28 . — 
27. nrn -0-0] is used to avoid repetition. — 28. njnn jnxh toyn] the sense is evi- 
dent, though we cannot say in English the fragment of those sheep. — pirl is 
the unrestrained impetuousness of a headstrong boy. — 29. Nin nan fcVn] was 
it not but a word (from % through Kimchi to most modern interpreters) 
would require the limitation in Hebrew as well as in English. Was it not a 
command of my father? which is Luther's idea, should also be more distinctly 
expressed. Is it not an affair? would certainly be an allowable translation 
for the passage. Nonne res vera istud (Schm.) is substantially the same, and 
hat es denn keinen grund? (Kl.) shows a similar apprehension. Kl. refers to 
Am. 6 13 . — 31. innpn] we should expect another expression, either he called 
him, or they brought him before Saul, <S L has : they took him and brought him 
before Saul. 



160 i SAMUEL 

32-39. David volunteers to meet the Philistine. — The sec- 
tion joins immediately to v. 11 , as any one may convince himself 
by reading them together : Saul and all Israel heard these words 
of the Philistine and were terrified and feared exceedingly. But 
David said to Saul : Let not my Lord's courage sink within him! 
I will go and fight this Philistine. It is difficult to conceive a 
better connexion. And although the general tenor of the narra- 
tive is against its direct coherence with i6 14-23 , this particular open- 
ing is quite in harmony with the picture of David there presented. 
— 32. A slight correction of the text is needed, and the transla- 
tion already given is on this basis. — 33. Saul objects that David 
is a youth and he a man of war from his youth. The language is 
not necessarily inconsistent with i6 18 , for to a seasoned warrior 
like Saul, David's comparative youth is in evidence. Still, it 
hardly seems likely that the author of i6 18 would have put the 
objection in just this form. — 34. David gives a chapter from his 
experience : Thy servant was keeping sheep for his father] this 
again is not inconsistent with i6 18 because the verb allows us to 
date the experience some distance in the past. — And the lion 
and also the bear would come, and take a sheep from the flock] 
the occurrence was repeated more than once. The two animals 
mentioned are well-known enemies of the flock. — 35. In such a 
case, I would go out after him and smite him and deliver it from 
his mouth. The tenses indicate that this also was a repeated 
experience. And if he rose up against me, then J would seize him 
by the chin and smite him and slay him. — 36. The application to 
the case in hand : Both lion and bear did thy servant slay, and this 
uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them. The next clause 
is like the conclusion of v. 26 . — 37. The concluding sentence of 
David's speech is a profession of faith : Yahweh who delivered me 
from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver 
me from the hand of this Philistine. The evidence of confidence 
is sufficient to convince Saul, who gives his consent with a prayer 
that Yahweh will be with David. — 38. Saul's loan of his armour 
is comprehensible, even if David were already an experienced 
soldier ; for the occasion was no common one, and the king had, 
of course, the best armour. — He clothed David with his garments] 
is the author playing upon David's coming elevation to the throne ? 



XVII. 32-39 l6 I 

Besides the helmet of bronze J^ has a coat of mail, which is not 
confirmed by <§P. — 39. David girded his sword over the coat~\ 
his own sword is the natural meaning, so that in the opinion of 
the author he was already a warrior. Thus armed he made a vain 
attempt to walk, for he had not proved them] that is, these equip- 
ments. In contrast with the heavy-armed Philistine, his strength 
lay in ease and rapidity of movement. The armour was, therefore, 
given up. 

32. d-is] 6> renders ^jin, which is appropriate, especially when we remember 
that David is in Saul's service (Th., We., al.). — rhtf\ refers to Saul himself, 
cf. Jer. 8 18 . It is difficult to find any other English rendering than within him, 
though the conception is, doubtless, that the heart weighs upon the discour- 
aged man. — 34. rorr] might be used if David had just come from the flock, 
but it more naturally applies to a state which he has quitted some time in 
the past. — joi] must be frequentative. — artfTOitl] is impossible, ann qs*, 
suggested by Graetz (Gesch. d.Juden, I. p. 197) on the ground of®, is appro- 
priate, and probably original. It may indicate that the Syrian bear was a 
more formidable enemy than the Syrian lion — even the bear, nr, found in 
some editions, is only a modern error for rw. — 35. The tenses continue those 
in the preceding verse, except opn, which is supposed by Davidson, Syntax, 
54, R. 1, to be chosen to express a vigorous supposition. In fact, a break in 
the consecution is needed because we can hardly suppose that the animal 
always stood against him. — 36. an.TDJ] must be made aTtfTTiH dj to be 
grammatical. — cnc] @ adds : Shall I not go and smite him and remove 
reproach to-day from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised [that he should 
taunt the ranks of a living God] ? The whole is modelled after v. 26 . Possibly 
this verse originally ended with one. — 37a. in idnm] superfluous, to our 
notion, but quite in accordance with Hebrew usage, which thus introduces 
concluding sentences of speeches. It is, therefore, original, though omitted 
by (S B (retained by We., Dr., Bu., Ki.). The break in the sense is indicated 
by the space in the middle of the verse. In fact, a new paragraph begins with 
the second half verse. — 38. nc] a plural in form, but as a singular no is 
attested by 2 S. io 4 , it is possible that this is intended here; so <5i understood. 
The garment intended is worn by warriors or officials, Jd. 3 16 (Ehud), 2 S. io 4 
(David's ambassadors), 1 S. 18 4 (Jonathan), 2 S. 20 8 (Joab). Kl., therefore, 
supposes that it was a coat of defence (made of leather?); the /xavSvas <S was 
of sheepskin. But this is not certain. There seems no way of interpreting 
the language except to suppose that the author makes Saul recognize David's 
superior worth, and virtually abdicate to him by clothing him in the kingly 
garment. A later paragraph has the same idea when it makes Jonathan 
exchange garments with David, thus figuratively putting him in his place. — 
•pji] is the wrong tense, and is omitted by <S B . Kl. supposes the original to 
have been ]nv no. — tf3ip] is written j?aiD elsewhere, and by a number of MSS. 



1 62 i SAMUEL 

is so given here. — ]V~\v ihn boSm] found in $% is omitted by <S B , and is prob- 
ably a late interpolation. — 39. TOfrS Snm] is impossible, ixoiriaaev <S B ren- 
ders nVm, cf. Gen. 19 11 , they wearied themselves to find the door, that is, they tried 
unsuccessfully to find it. The emendation is suggested by Schleusner, Novus 
Thesaurus (1820), and independently of him by several others (Dr., Notes). 
With this meaning of the verb, @ is consistent in adding o7ra£ koX Sis. 'How 
@ L came to ex^aive does not appear. — in didm] should probably be read 
onDM with (d B , for David had been clothed by others, who would also take 
the garments off (<& L omits David's name, though it has the verb in the 
singular). 

40-54. The duel. — David goes out with the weapon to which 
he is accustomed — the sling — taking pains to provide suitable 
stones. After an exchange of speeches, he hits the target so suc- 
cessfully that the giant falls prostrate, and is despatched. The fall 
of the champion is followed by the rout of the Philistine army. 

40. David took his club in his hand] a very ancient weapon, 
and still effective among the Bedawin. One of David's soldiers 
used it successfully against an Egyptian champion, 2 S. 23 21 . — 
And chose five smooth stones from the bed of the stream and put 
them in his scrip] the word is probably a technical term for the 
slinger's box or bag, in which he carried his ammunition. — And 
[took] his sling] a well-known and formidable weapon, Jd. 20 16 . 
— 41. The verse is lacking in (3 ; and as it breaks the connexion, 
we may disregard it. — 42. The Philistine looked and saw David 
and despised him, because he was a youth] the rest of the descrip- 
tion is identical with that given in 16 12 . — 43, 44. The Philis- 
tine's contempt and self-confidence : Am I a dog, that thou comest 
against me with a club ?] that he adds imprecations by his gods is 
only what we expect. With the threat to give David's flesh to the 
birds of heaven and to the beasts of the field, cf. Dt. 28 26 Is. 18 6 
Jer. 15 3 . — 45-47. David's reply begins with an allusion to the 
Philistine's superiority in arms, as compared with the club to 
which he has made scornful allusion. Yet as contrasted with the 
sword and spear and javelin, David feels himself armed with the 
name of Yahweh Sebaoth, God of the ranks of Israel which thou 
hast insulted this day] the Massoretic division of verses is wrong, 
and the words this day belong here. David's confidence overtops 
that of the Philistine : And Yahweh will deliver thee into my hand 



XVII. 40-54 1 63 

and I will cut off thy head, and will give thy carcase and the car- 
cases of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of heaven and to 
the beasts of the earth~\ the boast of the giant is thrown back at 
him. The result : all the earth shall know that Israel has a God~\ 
something of which the heathen are not yet convinced. The 
immediate lesson to those present is indicated : all this congrega- 
tion shall know, that not by sword and spear doth Yahweh save, 
for the battle is Yahweh's] to dispose of according to his own 
sovereign will. — 48-49. There are indications that one of the 
accounts here made the battle somewhat prolonged, David ad- 
vancing and retreating according as the giant moved about in the 
field. In the recension of 0, however, the intention is to let 
David finish the duel by a single blow, and this is consistently 
carried out in what follows. Read therefore : And the Philistine 
rose and came to meet David ~\ joining immediately to what fol- 
lows : And David put his hand into the bag and took thence a stone 
and slang it~\ every movement is of importance to the historian 
in a time like this — and smote the Philistine in the forehead] & 
paraphrases by saying between the eyes. The force of the blow is 
seen in the fact that the stone sank into his forehead] so that, 
stunned, he fell on his face to the earth. — 50. The verse is lack- 
ing in (& B , and breaks the connexion. — 51. And David ran and 
stood over the Philistine and took his sword and killed him'] in 
this, which is the original form of one text, it was David's sword 
which he used, and this agrees with the mention of his sword 
above, v. 39 . With the cutting off of their champion's head, the 
Philistines realized the situation and fled. — 52. The men of Israel 
and fudah rose and raised the war-cry] the mention of Israel and 
Judah separately has some colour here, because the battle was on 
Judahite territory. The pursuit extended to the entrance of Gath] 
so is to be read, and to the gates of Ekron] so that the corpses 
were strewed all the way from Sharaim] in the vicinity of the 
battlefield to Gath and to Ekron. — 53. The pursuit was followed 
by plundering the camp of the enemy. — 54. The conclusion of 
the account is evidently unhistorical. 

40-54. The account is overfull, and is apparently the result of conflation. 
The omissions of (3 show this, but are not as complete a guide to the original 
documents as in the early part of the chapter. — 40. iSpn] in 2 S. 23 21 the 



164 * SAMUEL 

weapon is called ft$P. The oxgoad of Shamgar was essentially the same 
weapon. — 6"W« D^jnn iVoj] is evidently a gloss intended to explain t3ip*?% a 
word which occurs nowhere else (We., Bu.). — eipTOl] he would not have 
distributed the stones in two receptacles. The l is therefore certainly wrong 
(omitted by J5@ L ). Omission of the preceding clause makes the sense clear. 
It should be remarked however that (f§ seems to have read aipS 1 * 1 ? iS tz>n = 
(the shepherd's bag) which he had for a yalkut (cartridge box). — ma Xf^P\\ 
goes back to the verb at the beginning of the verse. I suspect that the earliest 
text had only vro ^y^p^ V?pD dh yn npn. — 41. The whole verse is lacking in 
<S B , the last clause lacking in @ 243 . It reads in |§ : and the Philistine kept 
coming nearer to David, and the man bearing the shield was before him. It 
is at least too early in the narrative, for the mention of the man with the shield 
is appropriate only when David is about to sling the stone. It emphasizes the 
difficulty he had in his attack. Probably the verse is a fragment of the same 
document, which is omitted by (3 elsewhere. — 42. rcmo n&~pp utrotlj is 
borrowed from the description in i6 12 , even to the textual error of dj? for dS;\ 
That David was a youth is sufficient reason for the Philistine's contempt, the 
rest is superfluous. — 43, 44 are duplicates. One of the two speeches is suffi- 
cient to introduce David's reply, and this is apparently v. 43 . In the feeling 
that David should reply to both, <g B or its original inserted at the end of 48 , 
Kal elnev Aavio ovxh «M' ^ X € ' l P w kw6s. — »^k] takes the place of -hy. The 
plural n^?pD3 is out of place; read nVjjpa. — rrvtra nDrn] is more commonly 
pan '2, which 21 MSS. (DeR.) have here, but cf. Joel I 20 . — 46. rnn wn] is 
connected with the preceding by (JI2L, and this involves the reading yuDi for 
■pjD*. This is obviously correct (Th.), though rejected by We., Bu. That, 
the fate of Goliath will be decided this day is plain without the express state- 
ment, both texts moreover have nm DW1 later in the verse. — runs "Ufi] is 
defensible, taking -ud collectively. But with (3 we should probably read fUfl 
njnn nan, so Th., We., Bu. — y\nn rnn] instead of the rnrn nona of v. 44 . — 
VTlJ as pointed, must give the purpose of the victory : that all the earth may 
know. It would be possible, however, to point ijh^, in which case the verb 
would simply carry on the narrative, cf. Ex. 14 418 (P) Is. 49 2 ». — ^n-^S] 
@J5!L seem to have read !»rW3, — 47. ^1^7^ is a late word, cf. Jd. 20 2 . — 
n&rfrop nin^S] seems not to occur elsewhere. — 48. Dp^a r\>r\^\ would seem 
to intimate that as often as the giant endeavoured to come to close quarters, 
David gave back, at the same time plying him with stones from the sling. An 
indication of the same view is seen in the HD-iyon near the end of the verse, 
for this would naturally mean the ranks of Israel. The whole second half of 
the verse from Vie*i is lacking in <g B , which also reads at the beginning ko\ 
aviary. The shorter form thus presented is consistent with what follows, and 
I have adopted it. — 49. p«] is expanded into nnN px by Bu., following <£ L , 
but this seems unnecessary. — ]2Kn paom] @ adds ota rys Ke<pa\alas, which is 
favoured by We, and adopted by Bu. It seems doubtful whether one could 
say that the stone sank through the helmet, while it is entirely proper to say 
that it sank into the forehead. — 50. The verse is evidently the concluding 



XVII. 55 165 

remark of one of the documents. So David was stronger than the Philistine 
with the sling and with the stone, and smote the Philistine and slew him , though 
there was no sword in the hand of David~\ the last clause is not an introduc- 
tion to what follows (Th.), but emphasizes the simplicity of the shepherd boy's 
armament. Like the rest of this document, it is lacking in <§ B . — 51. noVtCM 
m?ne] is lacking in <!I B , and evidently a redactional insertion intended to 
bring the verse into harmony with the preceding. — 52. DVHpSfirmi*] diriau) 
avrQv <J£ B , either form may be an afterthought, as the sense is good without 
either. — n\j *]Ni3— »y] as the name of a town is expected we should read 
PJ ^NU ~\'j with the original of (S> BL . — ?i"W] is doubtless correct as compared 
with Askalon of®. — on;^] is evidently intended to be a proper name; and 
a town of this name is mentioned (Jos. 15 36 ) in immediate connexion with 
Shocoh and Azekah, therefore probably to be found in the vicinity of the 
battlefield. In order to make sense we must emend (with Kl.) to qnpr "|"nD, 
or better nnJHB'D ^3, — that the wounded fell all the way from the battlefield 
to the two cities is information which is quite in place. The conjecture of 
We., adopted by Bu., which reads any^n -p-i (with (&), and understands by it 
the roadway in the gates of the two cities, falls to the ground on considering 
V\ which follows. The wounded might fall in the gateway at the cities, but 
not to the cities. — 53. pS-ic] the verb is found with nns also, Gen. 31 36 (E). — 
54. s^'i-v] is so evidently out of place here that we are forced to consider 
the clause an insertion of a late editor, in which case we shall regard the 
whole verse with suspicion. The mention of David's tent, however, is per- 
fectly in accord with the narrative, 16 14 - 23 , which makes him a member of 
Saul's staff. 

XVII. 55-XVIII. 5. David's introduction to the court. — Saul 
professes complete ignorance of David and instructs Abner to 
make inquiries. Abner brings the young hero to the king, and 
Jonathan is especially drawn to him. A firm friendship is ce- 
mented between the two young men, and David is taken into the 
king's service. 

The most ingenious harmonists have not succeeded in reconcil- 
ing this paragraph with i6 14-23 . As it is lacking in the original 
form of (3, it must be judged like vv. 12-31 above. 

55. The narrative goes back a little : And when Saul saw 
David going forth to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, the 
general of the army : Whose son is the lad, Abner ? There is no 
reason to take the question in any but the literal sense. It implied 
Saul's entire ignorance of David. The inquiry for his father was 
equivalent to asking, who is he? The attempt of Keil to show 
that Saul's question did not imply ignorance of David is entirely 



1 66 i SAMUEL 

futile, and is refuted moreover by Abner's confession, which was : 
By thy life, O king, I do not know~\ the Bedawy still swears by the 
life of the person addressed. — 56-58. Abner is commanded to 
make inquiry, and when David returned from smiting the Philis- 
tine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with the Philis- 
tine's head in his hand] where he answered Saul's question. That 
there was a more extended conversation which is not reported 
seems implied by the following verse. 

XVIII. 1. When David had finished speaking with Saul, the 
soul of Jonathan was bound up with the soul of David] cf. Gen. 
44 30 (J). The manifestation of Jonathan's love is seen in the 
covenant, v. 3 . — 2. Saul takes David into his service, and did not 
allow him to return to his father's house~\ the parallel is i6 22 . — 
3. And Jonathan made a covenant with David] in the following 
Jonathan alone acts, and hence the slight conjectural change here 
adopted is desirable. The covenant between the two is also de- 
scribed C 2 3 18 )> where Jonathan recognizes David as the future king, 
and stipulates that himself shall be prime minister. A covenant 
of brotherhood was made by Mohammed between the Fugitives 
and the Helpers. Each Meccan was made brother to a Medinan, 
and the bond was regarded as closer than blood brotherhood. 
Something of the kind is intended here. — 4. In making the cove- 
nant, Jonathan stripped himself of the cloak which he had on] the 
garment mentioned is one worn by the well-to-do ; and gave it to 
David, and his accoutrements also, including his sword and his 
bow and his girdle] the simple shepherd lad is thus fitted to shine 
at court. — 5. Saul gave David a command in the army, in which 
he showed good capacity — such is the order of the clauses in (§ L . 
So far from the promotion being offensive to the older soldiers, 
it pleased all the people and also the servants of Saul] his court 
officials. There seems no reason to dissociate this verse from the 
rest of the paragraph, as is done by Bu. The first clause of v. 6 is 
transitional, as is shown by its being lacking in (& B . The redactor, 
by this clause, returns from the digression concerning David's pro- 
motion to the main stream of the history. 

XVII. 55-XVHI. 5. The paragraph is lacking in <g B etc -. The attempts to 
harmonize the accounts are numerous. Schmid supposes that 16 14 - 23 belongs 



XVII. 55" xvm - 5 167 

chronologically after this. But consideration of that account shows that 
David was there unknown to Saul, which could not have been the case after 
the conflict with Goliath. — 55. niN-01] cf. airai at the opening of v. 67 . — 
nf»D~p] on the force of nr in such a question, cf. BDB. s.v. (4). — fWO***n] 
by the life of ihy soul, cf. 20 3 . — "V^n] is the vocative with the article — a 
common construction. — dn] after oaths, is negative. — 57. no Tt^Sfln spnii] 
a circumstantial clause. — XVIII. 1. There seems to be some confusion in 
this and the following verse. That Saul took him seems to belong with v. 5 , 
and v. 2 interrupts the account of Jonathan's friendship, begun in v. 1 . The 
form of the sentence, in . . . C3J1, also makes a difficulty. As it stands, it 
would naturally mean : When David ceased speaking {since Jonathans soul 
was bound up in the soul of David), then Jonathan loved him. This, of course, 
is impossible. There is reason to suspect, therefore, that the parenthetical 
clause is an interpolation; and the explicitness of the last clause is an argu- 
ment in the same direction. — ■dhn'o] is probably a mistake for lrons-ii, the 
regular form, which is substituted by the Qre. — 3. mi] is objected to by We., 
and omitted by Ki. (in Kautzsch). Bu., in his text, changes to inS, which 
relieves the difficulty. The received text may be due to the tendency to make 
David prominent, which manifests itself in (§ L , where we find David the king. 
It should be noted, however, that h nna mo usually means to prescribe terms 
as a conqueror does to the conquered, Jd. 2 2 Dt. J 2 I S. 1 1 1 . On the meaning 
of the word ivna cf. Moore on Jud. 2 20 and reff. — 4. ^jrarrnH] is what would 
be the second accusative in an active form of the verb, cf. Dav., Syntax, 74 c. 
— mm] seems to include the weapons which follow. The girdle is much es- 
teemed among the Orientals. — 5. The order of the clauses adopted above 
from <S L seems the only natural one. It is possible, however, that there has 
been corruption or interpolation of the verse. Kl. proposes to read : And 
David came out, clothed with atl that he [Jonathan] had put upon him, and 
brought him back to the men of war, and it pleased all the people and the ser- 
vants of Saul. Something like this may have been the original text, showing 
how fully Jonathan adopted the young warrior* — S'w] is justified by Dr., 
Notes, but ^"otPM, suggested by We., certainly makes better sense. After npi 
we need to be told whither David went. The theory of Bu. (J?S. 219), that 
this verse (as it stands in f^) belongs with 16 23 , seems to be refuted by the 
fact that there is no reason for David's promotion, unless it be some feat of 
arms. That he successfully played the harp would be an argument in favour 
of keeping him in the vicinity of the king, instead of giving him a command 
in the field. The verse seems therefore to belong in its present environment. 

XVIII. 6-30. Saul's jealousy of David. —The eulogies of the 
women who greet the returning army, rouse the jealousy of Saul. 
He therefore removes David from service near his person, and 
appoints him over a band of soldiers in the field. David's activity 
and discretion are such that his hold on the people increases, which 



1 68 i SAMUEL 

increases also Saul's fear. Michal, the younger daughter of Saul, 
falls in love with David, and Saul makes this an occasion for expos- 
ing David to new dangers. David's success adds to the king's 
dislike, which now becomes a settled hatred. This is the main 
stream of the narrative, which is preserved to us in the text of (& B . 
It is interrupted in J^ by inconsistent insertions. One of these 
(vv. 1011 ) tells of Saul's attempt to murder David. Another (vv. 17-19 ) 
gives the account of an unfulfilled promise of Saul to give his older 
daughter to David. Leaving these out, we find a consistent and 
well-planned story, of whose unity there can be no doubt. It 
belongs with 16 14 " 23 . The plus of ^ consists, in all probability, 
of fragments of another document, though their coherence is not 
so marked as in the case of the sections omitted by (3 in the pre- 
ceding chapter and the early part of this. As already pointed 
out, the consistency of the text of (3 here is an argument for the 
originality of the same text in 1 7. 

6-30. On the critical questions there is considerable disagreement. We. 
( TBS.) remarks on the consistency of the text of <S B . Bu., in his text, assigns 
12-19 to E, the rest of the chapter (except minute fragments) to J. I agree 
that the main narrative is connected with 16 14 - 23 . But I cannot account for 
the text of G B , except by supposing that it represents one document and that 
the omissions represent another. 

6-16. The original narrative seems to have consisted of 6b ~ 8 ' 1, 9 ' 
i2a.i3-i6^ f or tri j s j s a jj t h at j s represented in one recension — that 
of (& B . The interpolated section tells of Saul's attempt to transfix 
David with the javelin, an outbreak which comes too early here. 
A similar attempt is related farther on in the narrative. 

6. The first part of the verse has already been remarked upon. 
The paragraph originally began : And the dancing women came 
out from all the cities of Judah~] this would appropriately continue 
the account of the death of Goliath or any similar story. — To 
meet Saul the king] the prominence which David has in the history 
leads (& B to read : to meet David. The women of the Bedawin 
still dance out with singing to meet the warriors returning from a 
foray.* — With timbrels and with rejoicing and with cymbals] the 
zeugma is awkward, and possibly the second word is corrupt. 



* Doughty, Travels in Arabia Leserta, 1. p. 452. 



xviii. 6-15 169 

The timbrel [tambourine] was the instrument most frequently 
carried by the women when dancing, Ex. 15 20 Jd. n 34 . — 7. The 
women sang antiphonally, as is still the custom in Eastern festivals : 

Saul slew his thousands, 
And David his myriads. 

— 8. The incident was unpleasant to Saul] as we can well under- 
stand : To David they give the myriads and to me the thousands. 

— 9. The result : Saul kept his eye on David from that day on- 
ward^ in suspicion and dislike. 

[The interpolation vv. lon is a duplicate of iq 91 "' and is here cer- 
tainly out of place. It tells that on the morrow the evil spirit of 
God came upon Saul and he played the prophet within the house 
while David was playing as was his custom. And Saul had the 
spear in his hand, and he raised the spear, saying to himself: I 
will smite it through David into the wall. But David moved away 
from before him thrice. Saul's murderous impulse manifested itself 
in a similar attempt at a later stage of the history. There it is in 
place, because he had exhausted his indirect means of getting 
David out of the way.] 

12, 13. Originally the verses read : And Saul feared David 
and removed him from being near him, and made him captain of a 
thousand ; and he went out and came in at the head of the soldiers'] 
the meaning is obvious, and the connexion is good in itself, as 
well as with v. 9 . Saul's suspicion grew into fear, and he would no 
longer trust David in personal attendance (as armour-bearer, 16 21 ) 
on himself. But, not wishing to insult the people's favourite, he 
gave him a post of honour which was also one of danger, keeping 
him on service in the field. The connexion is broken in the 
received text by the insertion of the loss of the Spirit (so we must 
interpret 12b ) as a motive for Saul's fear ; such a motive is here 
incongruous and unnecessary. — 14. The result of the move was 
only to bring out David's virtues more conspicuously. — In all his 
ways David showed wisdom, and Yahweh was with him] to pros- 
per him; compare the case of Joseph, Gen. 39I — 15. On per- 
ceiving this, Saul's fear was heightened — he stood in dread of him. 



170 i SAMUEL 

— 16. In contrast with this was the affection of the people : But 
all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out, and came 
in before them. 

6. Tit^Son . . . 2itto] is coloured by Bu. as belonging to a different document 
from ONiaa tpi. In fact, one of the two verbs is superfluous. It would be 
equally easy to suppose DN132 the insertion of a scribe. The text of <{£ B 
adopted above seems entirely to meet the necessities of the case. — a^'jn] 
at x o P*v° va ' al ® — possibly combining DMPjn with nyVnorv, which comes later. 
But a change from niSSnnn is explicable, in case of a scribe who thought that 
word applicable to professional dancing women, and who wished to avoid 
making them the subject here, cf. Jd. 2i 23 . — iw*?] (or impS Qre) seems not 
represented in <5 B . — nriDttoi] the collocation seems awkward to us. We. cites 
I Chr. 13 8 as parallel; but the parallel is not exact. The trbv is mentioned 
nowhere else. — 7. mpTWDn] is lacking in (g B . — 'a nun] is generally to smite 
among, 6 19 Num. 33*. The only exceptions that I find are this verse and the 
citations of it in 21 12 29A — veS&a] should be read, with the Qre. — 8. VP1 
pj'jb jn"0 "ind Six^S] is, doubtless, expanded from the simpler text, which is 
represented in <g Sixty *rpa yv\ niaa-i should doubtless be niaain <§, to 
correspond with o^Ssn (We., Bu.). — roiScn -|N if? nijn] is lacking in <g B — 
9. fij?] to be read \>y t with the Qre. The verb occurs here only. Being a 
denominative, the form is probably intended to be a Poel participle (so Dr.), 
for i^po. There are a few examples of such shortened forms. — 10, 11. The 
verses are lacking in the same MSS. of <&, which are without 17 12 - 31 . They 
contain another version of 19F. There Saul's attempt is continued, even after 
David has once escaped. Here the attempt has no noticeable consequences, 
and everything goes on as if it had not been made. — mnnc] must refer to 
the day after the triumphal entry. But this was too early for Saul's jealousy 
to have reached such a height, and David certainly would not have entertained 
thoughts of becoming the king's son-in-law after such an exhibition of hatred. 
— Kajrm] the verb in this form ordinarily means to prophesy. The man pos- 
sessed by the evil spirit acts in the same way as the man possessed by the 
good spirit — videtur spiritum hunc malum imitatum esse, ut simiam, Spiritum 
Sanctum, et ex Saule ineptum prophetam fecisse, Schm. p. 621. — rronm] the 
lance which was the insignium of the chieftain, as is still the case with the 
Arabs. — 11. Sta'o] is pointed as though from Svo, which occurs in 20 38 , with 
the meaning to hurl. But here the spear seems not to have been actually 
hurled, and we should probably point SiiJS from Sioj, he lifted up — <S LA £, 
Th., al. — hds] is perhaps to be pointed nsx, with %. — 12. <& B has only the 
first clause of the verse, and, as in the other cases, represents the original text. 
The other clause — because Yahweh was with him while he had departed 
from Saul — is an insertion on the basis of the verse 16 14 , which is itself an 
editorial construction. Yahweh and the spirit of Yahweh are interchangeable, 
Jd. 16 20 . — 14. SdS] read S:n with the versions (Th.), and read also nan with 
the Qre. 



XVTTI. 16-19 171 

17-19. David and Merab. — Saul offers his older daughter, 
Merab, to David in marriage, on the vague condition that he be 
courageous and fight the enemies of Yahweh. The king was 
really moved in this by the hope that David would fall in battle. 
When this did not prove to be the event, he unscrupulously broke 
his word and gave his daughter to another. 

The section is one of those lacking in (& B , and we naturally 
connect it with the others. In one of these we find that Saul's 
daughter was to be the reward of the man who should smite the 
Philistine champion, 1 j 25 . It is natural to suppose that the pres- 
ent paragraph is intended to show how Saul failed to carry out 
that offer. With this agrees the manner in which this section 
opens. Saul proposes his daughter without any evident occasion, 
unless it be that David has a claim on her already ; there is no 
question of a price to be paid. It seems evident, therefore, that 
this story is the sequel of 17 25 . On the other hand, it is quite 
irreconcilable with the following paragraph, which recounts David's 
marriage with Michal. As we shall see, the proposition there made 
is quite a new thing, and the form in which it is made shows entire 
ignorance of a previous similar proposal such as we have now 
before us. 

17. Saul takes the initiative and offers Merab to David, with 
the stipulation (if such it can be called) : Only be a valiant 
man, and fight the battles of Yahweh~\ for the last phrase, cf. 25 28 
and the title 'Book of the Battles of Yahweh,' Num. 21 14 . In 
this proposition, Saul's real thought was : Let not my hand be upon 
him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him\ as is set forth 
also in the bargain struck for Michal. — 18. David's reply is mod- 
est : Who am I, and what is my father's clan in Israel, that I 
should be son-in-law to the king? It was the part of a gentle- 
man to depreciate his own worth. Similar language is used by 
Saul himself when the kingly dignity is offered him. — 19. The 
appointed time came, but she was given to Adriel the Mehola- 
thite~\ in the received text the same man is mentioned, 2 S. 21 8 , 
but as the husband of Michal. The historical uncertainty is 
obvious. Saul's action as here represented is, of course, a deadly 
affront. 



l?2 i SAMUEL 

17-19. Budde and Kittel make the paragraph a part of the same document 
which immediately precedes. It seems to me that v. 20 continues v. 16 . The 
contrast between Saul's fear of David and the people's love of him (v. 16 ) 
is heightened by the fact that even Saul's daughter loved him (v. 20 ). — 
17. rV?njn], like Leah, Gen. 29 16 , for which we find n-voan 1 S. 14 49 . Merab 
is mentioned only in this passage, and in I4 49 in $%. She is put in place of 
Michal (perhaps correctly) by @ L in 2 S. 21 8 . — ^rrp^>] 14 52 2 S. 2 7 .— ick] 
said to himself, as not infrequently. — 18. ox PTIWM3 "n *»di] the hayy or Arab 
kindred group " was a political and social unity, so far as there was any unity 
in that very loosely organized state of society." The ti was therefore the same 
as the rvrwrc, and <§ L has only one of the two words here. We. and others 
suppose the original to have been ^n, which was afterwards explained by the 
insertion of ox nriD^r;, and then misunderstood by the punctuators. I prefer 
to read on ti »B1 with <& L . The mention of one's father in such a connexion 
is natural, especially to an oriental. — 19. nffnpa] a time seems to have been 
set, Schm. 622. 'jump is an Aramaic equivalent of ^xnt;*, Jer. 36 26 , — God 
is my help seems to be the meaning of the word (Nestle, Am. Jour. Sem. 
Lang. XIII, p. 173). In 2 S. 21 8 this Adriel is called Son of Barzillai. — 
VrVnon] a native of Abel Afeholah, a place in the Jordan valley, cf. Jd. 7 22 with 
Moore's note. 

The same phenomenon shows itself here as in some earlier cases; two 
accounts are so similar that we suspect them to be variants of the same origi- 
nal. In this case the proposal of Merab is another form of the story of Michal. 
And as the former puts Saul's behaviour in a worse light than the latter, it is 
probably designed to take its place in the document which we have already 
seen to be prejudiced against Saul. 

20-30. David marries Michal, Saul's daughter. — The account 
shows no knowledge of the preceding paragraph. Michal is called 
the daughter of Saul, without reference to any other. Her affection 
for David comes to Saul as a welcome occasion to bring David 
into danger. He opens negotiations indirectly. All these indi- 
cations point to the independence of the narrative. The step 
taken is the second of Saul's attempts to overthrow David, the 
first having been to give him service in the field, v. 13 . 

20. Michal loved David, and when they told Saul, the matter 
was right in his eyes'] 2 S. 17 4 . — 21. The reason was that he 
thought to make use of her as a snare, or, more properly, as a 
bait, to lure him on to his destruction, so that the hand of the 
Philisti?ie should be upon hint] as above, v. 17 . The remainder of 
the verse is an interpolation. — 22. It would be unbecoming in 



XVIII. 20-30 173 

the king to make advances. He therefore commands his servants : 
Speak to David privately] after giving a favourable account of 
David's standing with the people, they were to advise : now be- 
come son-in-law to the king] the verb is used elsewhere of inter- 
marrying with families or tribes, Dt. f. — 23. David objects his 
lack of the qualifications : Is it an easy thing, in your estimation, 
to become son-in-law to the king when I am poor and of no reputa- 
tion ? cf. v. 18 . — 24, 25. When the reply was reported to Saul, he 
instructed his courtiers to meet the material objection, which was 
that David was too poor to pay the usual price for a king's daugh- 
ter : The king has no desire for a price] the word is regularly used 
of the price paid by a man for a wife. Our word dowry conveys a 
wrong impression. Marriage by purchase can be traced in many 
regions. For example, coemptio seems to have been one method 
of marriage among the Romans. Old Testament examples are 
familiar, as Jacob, who paid the price in service. A sum of money 
is supposed to be given in the Book of the Covenant, Ex. 22 16 . 
But the king's desire is for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines. 
If the Philistines alone were uncircumcised among the inhabitants 
of Palestine, the kind of trophy chosen is explicable. The osten- 
sible object was : to be avenged on the king } s enemies ; the real 
purpose was to cause David to fall by the hand of the Philistines. 
— 26, 27. The proposition was acceptable to David, who rose and 
went, he and his men, and smote among the Philistines a hundred 
men] which the received text has made two hundred ; and brought 
their foreskins and paid them in full to the king in order to become 
son-in-law to the king. The king had, therefore, no pretext for 
further delay, and gave him Michal, his daughter, to wife. The 
original continuation of this verse seems to be 19 11 . What follows 
here is an account of the mental, or moral, state of Saul, with a 
renewed panegyric of David. — 28. And Saul saw that Yahweh 
was with David, and that all Israel loved him] the double favour 
(of Yahweh and of the people) increased Saul's dread. Vv. 281 * 29b - 30 
are lacking in # B . See the critical note. — 29. The climax of 
the chapter is here reached — So Saul feared David yet more. — 
30. A panegyric of David, such as we have had to superfluity. It 
simply says that as often as the Philistines made their incursions 
David acted wisely above all the servants of Saul, and his name 



174 « SAMUEL 

was exceeding precious. It is intended to point the contrast 
afforded by Saul's conduct, as related in the following verse. 

20. Sd>d] the name appears as MeAxo* m 4£ and as W»afro in J5. It is 
possible therefore that the form is contracted (or mutilated) from SnsSd. 
Olshausen (Gr. § 277 f.) supposed it to be another form of hxyn. — 21. i^piD 1 ?] 
Ex. io 7 . The second half of the verse is an evident interpolation and is lack- 
ing in @ B aL . It breaks the sense, for Saul would not first make the proposition 
to David and afterwards insinuate it by his servants. As it stands, the sentence 
can only be an attempt to harmonize this narrative with the account of Merab. 
But what the editor meant by it is difficult to discover. The important word is 
2>nao, which can only mean on two conditions (shalt thou be my son-in-law), 
Pseudo-Hier Questiones. But what the two conditions are is not told, and this 
moreover would not harmonize the two accounts. We should expect something 
like the Jewish interpretation by two (so @ A ) i.e. , by a double tie, or by one 
of the two (so &). But the former would be ironical, and the latter leaves the 
main word unexpressed. We are forced therefore to leave the problem un- 
solved. Kl. supposes DTUtp:) = in two years, but this does not help the real 
difficulty. @ L has iv ra?s Svud/xeaiv (in virtute I), which probably represents 
only a conjecture. — 22. toSa] of what is done stealthily, 24*. — jnnnn] one is 
tempted to translate propose yourself as son-in-law, which the form would 
certainly bear. But this could not be carried through the passage, cf. v. 27 . — 
Y?n:a] probably shows the real force to be ally yourself by marriage with the 
king. — 23. rfrpi] is the exact opposite of 1212, Is. 3 5 . — 25. -inns] cf. Schm. 
p. 623; on Arab customs WRS. Kinship, p. 78. Greek examples are cited by 
Driver and Nestle (Marginalien, p. 14, citing 77. 9, 141 ff. 283 ff.). — *a] some 
good Hebrew MSS. have on »a in the text — and this is the reading of the 
Babylonian school (Cappellus, Critica Sacra, p. 190; Baer, p. 118). — ntSn^] 
We. refers to Dillmann, Lex. Ethiop. s.v. Josephus gives six hundred heads 
as the price, in order not to offend the taste of his Gentile readers. — 26. nSi 
D>D>n inSd] is lacking in <& B , inserted in <S A after the first word of the next 
verse. It is an interpolation, intended to magnify David's zeal (We., Dr.). — 
27. DTiMD] is another change of the same sort. 61 has one hundred, which is 
confirmed by 2 S. 3 14 . in after xs^ is lacking in <g %. — dinVd^i] should 
probably be read dnSdm, David being the subject. He alone could pay in 
full to become the king's son-in-law. The change to the plural was made to 
avoid the disagreeable picture of David presented by the word, one especially 
offensive to later ritual ideas — for which reason also it was omitted by <S B 
(We.). 

Repeated consideration of the natural connexion of the narrative, forces 
me to the conclusion expressed above, that in the original story Saul's attempt 
to murder David in his house (i9 llff ) was made on his wedding night. Other- 
wise we have an incident, whose character stamps it as original, which we can- 
not fit into the history. In case this be correct, we should probably join 19 11 to 
18 27 by taking two words from the end of 19 10 , and reading wrei rhba *rtn. 



xviii. 2o-xix. 2 175 

28. jm] lacking in @ BL , is superfluous. — vinanK SiNtp-na Sd>di] can be 
translated only parenthetically : ' Saul saw that Yahweh was with David (while 
Michal, Saul's daughter, loved him) and he feared.' But the effect is not 
harmonious, and we should doubtless restore the reading of <g AB Sn-iE" So »31 
onn (@ L combines the two texts). This gives an additional reason for Saul's 
fear, which is what we expect. — 29. «idnm] the Qre substitutes »|0W; the 
difference is only one of spelling. — n-V? for NT'S, cf. Ges. 26 , § 69 n. The latter 
part of 28 and the whole of 29f - are lacking in (g B ; they point out, superfluously, 
the contrast between Saul's attitude and that of David. The original opening 
of 19 1 may have been : And Saul was hostile to David, which is now read in 
18 2 *. 

Chapter XIX. Saul's attempts upon David. — The chapter is 
made up of four sections, which cannot be reconciled with each 
other. 

1-7. Temporary conciliation of Saul. — Saul gives orders to 
slay David. Jonathan, after warning David, intercedes for him 
with success and brings him again before Saul. 

The connexion of the paragraph is not plain. It appears to be 
another version of the story contained in 20 1 " 39 . Its object is to 
account for David's continuance at court after Saul's hatred had 
become so pronounced. 

1-7. The opening of the chapter would follow very well any of the state- 
ments of Saul's hatred contained in the preceding chapter. If the account is 
secondary, as compared with 20 1 - 39 , we should probably refer it to the later 
of our two documents. Its object here is to show why David is still found at 
court after Saul's hatred has become so pronounced. In this view of it, we 
might make v. la - join immediately to I8 29 *- — Saul feared David yet more, 
and gave orders to kill him. The rest of the section would be an attempt to 
reconcile this command with the following paragraph, in which David is still 
the king's harper. That v. la - is by a different hand from what follows, is made 
probable by the difference in the form of Jonathan's name. 

1. Saul commanded Jonathan, his son, and all his officers to 
put David to death - ] the writer seems not to have mentioned Jon- 
athan's friendship for David earlier. Here he introduces it : Yet 
Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted in David exceedingly. — 2. Jona- 
than warns David : My father is seeking to put thee to death; now 
beware, in the morning] the conversation is supposed to take place 
in the evening. — Hide thyself and remain in a secret place] this 
is the natural order, though not that of the received text. — 



176 i SAMUEL 

3. The proposition of Jonathan is : / will go out and stand by the 
side of my father in the field where thou art] so that David would 
overhear, and be informed without a direct communication from 
Jonathan, for which there might be no opportunity. The last 
clause of the verse : and whatever I see I will tell thee~\ does not 
seem to bear this out, and there may be interpolation. — 4. Jona- 
than's panegyric is little calculated to soothe Saul's jealousy, and 
represents the author's view rather than that of Jonathan. The 
first point is : [David] has not been at fault in regard to thee, and 
his actions towards thee are exceeding good] this is appropriate to 
the object. — 5. The next is not so certain to make a favourable 
impression: And he risked his life~\ 28 21 Jd. 12 3 ; and smote the 
Philistine, and Yahweh wrought a great deliverance] by him, as 
# L rightly interprets. The deliverance was in fact a reason for 
Saul's favour rather than his anger. Whether he was in a frame 
of mind to apprehend this, is not so certain. Still at the time he 
had rejoiced, as Jonathan reminds him. — And why wilt thou sin 
in the matter of innocent blood in slaying David without cause ? 
25 31 1 K. 2 31 . — 6. The plea was effectual and Saul gave his oath : 
By the life of Yahweh, he shall not be put to death. — 7. There- 
upon Jonathan called David] the evident implication is that he 
was not far away, as was planned in vv. 2, 3 . — And Jonathan 
brought David to Saul and he was in his presence as heretofore] 
instead of being obliged to hide from him. 

1. jnjv] in the rest of the chapter we find pjin\ The form here may be 
due to a scribe. But elsewhere we observe considerable constancy in the 
urage of the different documents. — voy] of the officers of the king, as else- 
where. — 2. on] is lacking in (f| B . But more probably it alone was expressed 

originally. ipaa] is lacking is j$. — -ipm roa»i] belongs after DK3TU1 and 

this order seems to be indicated by <&, as was pointed out by We. The w. 2 - 3 
are supposed by Co. and Bu. to be an interpolation. In fact the sense is good 
without them. But if the whole paragraph has arisen under the influence of 
20 1 " 39 , these verses belong to it; and if, on the other hand, that chapter is an 
expansion of this paragraph it is probable that the hiding here was the feature 
on which the author's mind took hold. Bu. proposed at first to strike out only 
• % , while Ki. ascribes the whole of v. 3 to the redactor. — 3. The verse seems 
inconsistent with itself, as the only object of Jonathan's speaking with Saul 
in the field would be to avoid the necessity of communicating with him after- 
wards. And yet this communication is promised in the second half of the 
verse. — hd m*ni] cf. no >rm = whatever it may be, 2 S. 18 22 . — 4. Wjrc] is 



XIX. 3-io 177 

supposed by Dr. to be a singular. There seems no reason however why 
Jonathan may not make his affirmation general — to the effect that all David's 
actions are blameless. — y?~3iB] the words seem to be transposed; possibly 
the second is an insertion, as it is not represented in (§ BL . — 5. idoo] % trans- 
lates 'and he put his life in thy hands.' — nw] @ L adds 8c' ai/rov, which is at 
least correct sense (represented also in &). — wi m*n Sana"""?:) 1 ?] teal iras 
'l(rpaT]\ dSov /col 4xdpy<rav <£ (with slight variation) = no»M «n tn isu The 
decision between the two is not easily made. On the one side, the statement 
that Israel rejoiced at David's success seems calculated to stir up Saul's anger. 
But this is true of nearly all Jonathan's speech, and the reading of <g is quite 
in line with the rest of the speech. On the other side, the following 7VQfr\ is 
more forcible if connected directly with the statement of Saul's earlier attitude. 
For this reason I retain ^. — 6. ^pa ppvi] in the sense of hearing favourably 
Num. 2 1 3 (J) Dt. 2 1 18 Jd. 20 13 . — 7. pjirp ^"iPi] the subject is omitted by 
S6 BL 31. The repetition of Jonathan's name three times in the same verse 
is in fact surprising, and shows the desire of the author (or perhaps the desire 
of a scribe) to call especial attention to Jonathan's nobility of character. 

8-10. Saul attempts David's life. — The incident is a duplicate 
of that related in i8 10f -, and the two accounts are possibly variants 
of one original. On the other hand, Saul seems there simply to 
have lifted the spear without throwing it, and it may be the idea 
of the author that David was saved by an unintentional turning 
away — led by the Spirit of God. It is possible therefore that the 
two accounts are intended to represent two successive attempts 
of the same kind, separated by the reconciliation 19 1 " 7 . In both 
cases Saul's hatred is motived by David's success against the 
Philistines. — 8. And there was war again] intimates that such 
had been the case before. As the account stands, the reference 
must be to the war in which Goliath was slain. — 9. The evil 
spirit is here called (in J^) the evil spirit of Yahweh, contrary to 
the usage of other passages. The emendation suggested by (3 
which brings them into conformity, is now generally adopted. 
The circumstances of the attack are given : While he was silting 
in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was playing 
with his hand. — 10. This time the frenzied king sought to pin 
David to the wall with the spear] if the account is by the same 
hand with the earlier parallel, i8 10 - u , we may say that it was the 
fixed idea recurring to the madman. — But David slipped away 
from SauVs presence, so that he smote the spear into the wall] the 
language is different from that used above. That David fled and 



178 i SAMUEL 

escaped is too strong language to use, if he simply went to his 
own house. 

8-10. I cannot pretend to solve the riddle propounded by the interweaving 
of texts here. It seems to me probable however that one document gave the 
following order of events: (1) David's conquest of the Philistines; (2) Saul's 
first attempt with the spear; (3) Saul's command to Jonathan, followed by the 
temporary reconciliation; (4) the second attempt with the spear, followed by 
David's flight. 

9. njn nin> nn] cf. the note on 16 14 (We., Dr., Bu., Ki. agree in the emen- 
dation here). — w*33 Nim] a circumstantial clause. — -co] read no with four 
Hebrew MSS. and @, so Th., We., al. — 10. n^pai] is lacking in <g BL , so that 
the meaning would be to smite David zvith the spear. The grotesque idea 
of pinning David to the wall is more likely original, in the account of a man 
possessed. — ibsm] apparently broke away from what he was doing. — taSci dj] 
cannot refer to David's escape from the immediate danger, which is sufficiently 
described by "WDM. The words evidently mean that he left the court and city 
altogether. — Nin rtW?a] belongs with the next verse. 

11-17. The siege of David's house. — Saul sets watchmen 
about David's house, intending to kill him in the morning. Michal 
warns him of his danger and assists him to flee. She then supplies 
his place in bed with the Teraphim. Saul sends messengers to 
take David, and they bring back word that he is ill in bed. There- 
upon he orders him to be brought as he is, and the deception is 
discovered. 

The paragraph should begin with : and it came to pass that 
night from the end of v. 10 . The first question is : what night is 
meant? No reference has been made to a night at all. But the 
most natural interpretation is that David's wedding night is in- 
tended. Psychologically this is also what we should expect. 
Saul's growing fear has led him to promise David his daughter in 
marriage, in the hope that the price to be paid may bring David 
into danger and, in fact, remove him by death. The result has 
been only to increase David's reputation and Saul's fear. The 
crisis comes when the hated parvenu actually takes his bride to 
his house. This will be the time to strike ; David will be unsus- 
picious, his friends will have dispersed after the marriage feasting. 
Dramatically nothing could be more effective. To this should be 
added that the discrepancy with the preceding paragraph is as 
marked as could be conceived. In that section David has already 



XIX. io-i7 179 

1 fled and escaped.' In this he is unsuspicious of the king until 
warned by his wife. 

11-17. The considerations urged above are perhaps sufficient to show the 
probability of the connexion of this passage with i8 27 . That the account is 
old is conceded, but which document furnished it is not agreed upon by the 
critics. Co. is uncertain; Bu. puts it with E and makes it continuous with the 
preceding. Ki. also makes it continuous with the preceding. 

11. And it came to pass that night~\ according to our construc- 
tion the night of taking possession of the bride ; that Saul sent 
messengers to the house of David to watch it, so as to kill him in 
the morning. David was so unsuspicious that he had to be warned 
by his wife : If thou do not deliver thy life to-night, to-morrow 
thou shall be slain] the fact that David is utterly unprepared for 
the information argues for the connexion suggested above. — 
12. The escape was effected in that she let David down through 
the window] similar instances are Jos. 2 15 , and the case of Paul in 
the New Testament, Acts o 25 . In 2i 2ff - we find David coming to 
the priest at Nob without arms and without attendants, which can 
be accounted for only by this verse. — 13. In order to delay the 
discovery of David's flight, and so give him an opportunity to get 
away, Michal contrives to deceive the messengers. — She took the 
Teraphim] the household god, which is evidently presented as in 
human form ; and placed it on the bed] a plain couch, probably 
a rude frame covered with leather; and a cloth of goafs hair for 
his pillow] the translation is only a conjecture. — And covered it 
with the garment] which regularly served for that purpose. The 
Israelite probably covered his head with a garment when sleeping, 
as is still done by the Arabs. — 14. In the morning * Saul sent mes- 
sengers to take David and they thought him to be ill] the stratagem 
was effective, so far as the first report of the messengers was con- 
cerned. — 15. And Saul sent to the house of David] as we may 
conjecturally restore the reading : saying: bring him on the couch 
to me that I may slay him. — 16, 17. The ruse is discovered, and 
Saul expostulates with his daughter : Why hast thou deceived me 
thus ? Her answer is a false plea, that her life had been threatened. 

* Lohr calls attention to the fact that to enter the house of another in the night 
is contrary to oriental morals. 



180 i SAMUEL 

11. The verse should begin Ninn rtW?a wi reading with ®, so Th., We., 
al. The two words Nin rb^hs are in f^ connected with the preceding verse. 
Although precedents are found for Nin rtS^a, it is better to read KWi '3 as a 
n may have easily dropped out on account of the recurrence of the same 
letter. — tfwanfet] is an example of the reverse error. The initial 1 has been 
duplicated from the preceding word (omitted by (5). — "]»»flj-nN qVdd] cf. 1 K. 
I 12 . — 13. O^nnn] cf. Z WT. 1881, 170 ff. KevoTcufxa & seems to imply ances- 
tral images. The word is found always in the plural, but is here quite clearly 
applied to a single image ; and this image is apparently of the natural human 
size. On the word cf. Moore on Jd. 17 5 with the references there; cf. also the 
Lexx. with reff. and Schm. pp. 652, 659. — riBorH?*] one of the numerous cases 
where S;? and Sx are confused. — tod] occurs only in this passage and is not yet 
explained satisfactorily. (3 read -\22, and Josephus expands this into a statement 
that Michal put a goat's liver into the bed, the palpitation of which (it being 
freshly killed is supposed) made the messengers of Saul think David was gasp- 
ing with his illness. The objection is that Michal could hardly need such a 
device even if she had a freshly killed goat in the house. The reading of |^ 
might readily be changed to -im by a scribe unfamiliar with the word 1*33, The 
cognate words maa, a sieve, and 133D, a metal network, as well as 1330, 2 K. 
8 15 , seem to indicate for this word something woven of goat's hair, ony nyn% 
Ex. 26 7 , is the goat's hair covering of the Tabernacle. The common interpre- 
tation of the present passage is that Michal put a mosquito net over the head 
of the image; so Schm. p. 653, Ew., G VI s . III. 107 f., E. Tr. III. p. 77. But is 
a net of this kind ever made of goat's hair? It seems more probable that she 
put a cushion as a pillow. nitrsiD is used of the pillow, Gen. 28 11 - 18 . In 1 S. 
26 and 1 K. 19 6 VHCmD means at his head, a phrase which would not naturally 
be used of a net put over the head. Whatever Michal used here was therefore 
probably placed as a pillow <§. A living man would not need such, being 
accustomed to sleep on his arm. The Teraphim would lie too flat unless its 
head were supported by something of the kind.* But again, the image would 
be destitute of hair, and there is still a possibility that she took a bundle of 
goat's hair and made it simulate David's hair; so some of the Rabbis; cf. 
Schm. p. 653. All this shows the uncertainty that must attach to any transla- 
tion. — 14. -idnoi] but if the mere word of Michal was to be taken, there was 
no need of the elaborate precautions already related. We should read rVBIPI 
with <H AB , making the messengers the subject. They came to take him, but 
seeing the bed thus arranged : they said to themselves, he is ill. — 15. ... nStPM 
in] if the messengers had once seen David, as we have just supposed, it was 
superfluous to send them to see him again. Besides, as we learn from the 
latter part of the verse, their object was to fetch him; msn 1 ? is therefore cer- 

* From the analogy of 1 S. 26, we might conjecture that she put a skin of water 
at the head of the bed, a sick man being feverish and thirsty; so ndj 2T, and Kim- 
chi, apud Schm. p. 653. But there are several familiar words for waterskin, and we 
can think of no reason why so rare a word should be used in this case. 



xix. iS-2o 181 

tainly wrong, and I propose to change it to no s , or no^N. <& AB has only 
teal airoareWa iirl rhv AaveiS, which also would meet the requirement. — 
17. imDN nnV] on the idiomatic use of nc 1 ? to convey a threat, cf. Dr., Notes. 
The original continuation of this account seems to be 21 2 , where David 
comes to Nob to get provisions for further flight. 

18-24. David's miraculous protection. — David flees to Ramah, 
where Samuel presides over a choir of prophets. Saul sends for 
him repeatedly, but the Spirit of God comes upon the messengers 
so that they can do nothing but prophesy. At last Saul comes 
himself and has the same experience. Hence arises the proverb. 

The section is a late adaptation of io 10-13 , which explains the 
origin of the proverb by Saul's experience at the outset of his 
career. The present writer adapts the story to David's life, mak- 
ing its point his miraculous preservation from Saul's persecution. 
In its emphasis of the divine care, it reminds us of the account 
i8 llf - where we suppose the original meaning to have been that 
David turned from Saul's attempt because Yahweh was with him. 
Because of this resemblance, we may conjecture that this para- 
graph was originally the sequel to the second attempt with the 
spear — 19 8 " 10 . 

18-24. The critics agree that this piece is late, but are at a loss as to its con- 
nexions. The theory advanced above gives its probable antecedent, whereas 
its later continuation may plausibly be assumed to be David's flight to Achish, 
2i llff -. The appearance of Samuel shows the general stream of narrative to 
which the story must be reckoned. 

18. But David fled and escaped"] resumes the narrative of 
David's fortunes, after the diversion made by Michal's stratagem. 
— And came to Samuel at Ramah~\ Samuel's home. The theory 
of the author is that Samuel would be able to protect David. 
After an interview, in which he told Samuel of his experiences 
with Saul, he and Samuel went and dwelt in . . .] the place in- 
tended can no longer be made out. That it was some special 
building in Ramah is the most probable conjecture — perhaps the 
cloister (coenobium) of the prophets. Such a dwelling or settle- 
ment existed at Gilgal in the time of Elisha, 2 K. 6 1 " 7 . In 1 S. 
io 5 it is implied that the prophets dwelt in the vicinity of the 
sanctuary, and the sanctuary would be the proper place to seek the 
supernatural protection which is here described. — 19, 20. Saul is 



1 82 I SAMUEL 

informed of the fugitive's place of sojourn and sends messengers 
to take him : And they saw the company of prophets prophesying 
with Samuel standing over them] the religious exercises here de- 
scribed are evidently of the enthusiastic character of those in 
io 510 . And the spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, 
and they also prophesied] the contagion affected them, so that 
they were unable to carry out the king's command. — 21. This 
was repeated with a second and with a third company of satellites. 
— 22. At last, SauVs anger was aroused and he also went to 
Ramah~\ the opening of the verse is supplied from <&. — In his 
progress, he came to the cistern of the threshing-floor which is on 
the height, and asked: Where are Samuel and David '/] the text is 
restored according to i&. — 23. On being told, he went thence, 
and the Spirit of God came upon him also and he marched along 
prophesying until he came to . . .] the place mentioned is the 
same already named in v. 18 . — 24. The manifestations in Saul, as 
in the others, are of an extravagant character : He stripped off his 
clothes and prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day 
and all that night. The resemblance to the ecstasy of the der- 
vishes is striking. The proverb to which this gives rise has already 
been mentioned. The surprise which it expresses is far more in 
place in the earlier narrative than here, where Saul's possession 
has become a fixed fact. 

18. thtM ma thi] as it stands may be the original conclusion of the pre- 
ceding narrative (Bu.). — niua Kt.\ nvja Qre] the word is entirely unknown. 
<& adds here in Ramah, as ffy does in vv. 20 - 22 **-. But the addition there is 
necessary; here it is not, and the reading of & is the result of conformity. 
The Kethib is presumably to be pointed mu, but no such word occurs else- 
where. A word n\j from a root meaning to dwell or to sit quiet is found, and 
in 20 1 this word is written nvu (by Baer only), which would be the plural of 
mi. <g seems to have read nua (iv 'Aua0 BL , corrected into h Navidd in A ). 
As pointed out by Dr. nu " denotes in particular a pastoral abode," 2 S. 7 8 . 
That Samuel and David should have taken refuge in the sheepfolds is impos- 
sible to suppose. In 2 S. 15 25 David says to Zadok : " If I find favour in the 
eyes of Yahweh, he will bring me back and show me his dwelling" where the 
word nu seems to designate the tent in which Yahweh dwelt. As the prophets 
in io 5 come down from the Bama (which was the sanctuary) it does not seem 
remote to suppose the original here was mm nu or mm ma which has been 
purposely obscured to conceal the fact that there was a sanctuary at Ramah 
(a fact which the later time could not rightly estimate). The precarious 



XIX. 20-XX. 1 83 

nature of the definitions given in this passage is well exposed by Driver in his 
Notes. For completeness I may add that Josephus gives a proper name 
raApovdd (Ant. VI. 221 = VI., XI. 5) ; the early Jewish tradition is represented 
by frosSiN no of %\ and that & has rur. — 20. nti] cannot be right and 
must be changed to in~pi with <£. — npnS] is an unknown word. <&% seem 
to have read brp or rkttp (cf. Hoffmann, ZATW. III. 89). — n^Naj] is lacking 
in @ B but is necessary to the sense. — jxj icy] the two words together are 
impossible, and must be explained as the error of a scribe who wrote nay from 
memory, and afterwards inserted the correct word 3XJ. Kl., followed by Bu., 
proposes nxjn on the basis of *j*Sd %. But it must be remembered that & 
throughout has the idea that Samuel was a rabbinical teacher, and its inter- 
pretation must be taken with allowance; moreover nxja occurs only in Ezra, 
Chronicles, and the superscriptions to the Psalms (and Hab. 3). — 22. "j^i 
mrrsi] Kal idufxudrj bpyri 'S.aovX, Kal iiropevdt) Kal avros <& (with slight varia- 
tion). The touch seems natural, and the loss of a single clause is not difficult 
to account for. — Srun iinjj] is ungrammatical. Restore \~uri -na *ip with 
<S BL , and for vvi read *bbo (lv t$ 2e0ei 6 B , £v 2e0t @ L ). The »BT or bare- 
topped hill was the proper place for a threshing-floor. Kl. conjectures (with 
slight ground) the threshing-floor on which Samuel was accustomed to sit in 
judgment. — The second idn>i means one said, as frequently. — ns-a] is here 
superfluous and probably to be omitted, with Bu. Saul is already in the 
immediate vicinity of Ramah when he makes the inquiry. — 23. □£>] error for 
DPO (iicudev (g AB lacking in L ). — K3jmi Y? n ] I have no hesitation in restor- 
ing the regular K3jnm "f?n which we should expect here. — 24. ni.tdj] is 
omitted in both instances by <g BL , in the second instance only by &. One of 
the two can well be spared, and, if either, the latter. The older commentators 
(Theod.) saw in the stripping off of the clothes a sign of the loss of the 
kingdom. 



XX. 1-XXI. 1. David's flight. — David complains to Jona- 
than of Saul's purpose to kill him. Jonathan reassures him, but 
offers to test his father's state of mind in any way David may sug- 
gest. David proposes to absent himself from the court under the 
plea of a family sacrifice. If Saul condones the breach of eti- 
quette, they will know that all is well. If not, David's forebodings 
will be justified. The result is as David anticipated. Jonathan 
communicates the result of his test by a sign agreed upon, without 
personal communication with David. By grace of the redactor 
however they have a final interview, vv. 40- * 2 . 

It is evident that the piece does not agree with what immedi- 
ately precedes. The hostility of Saul is as yet known only to 
David. Even Jonathan is ignorant of it. This points to a time 



1 84 1 SAMUEL 

before David's journey to Raman, before the attempt frustrated by 
Michal, before even Jonathan's former intercession with his father. 
Had the author known of an earlier attempt at reconciliation, he 
would have made at least a passing allusion to it here. The diffi- 
culty into which we are brought by attempting to classify the para- 
graph with either of the two main sources of our narrative must be 
obvious. Yet it can hardly have been a stray leaflet which some 
scribe inserted after the double story was already completed. It 
has a bearing at least upon the life of David, for it prepares the 
way for his treatment of Jonathan's son Meribbaal. In the pres- 
ent state of our knowledge this is as much as we can say. 

XX. 1-XXI. 1. On the critical questions consult the usual authorities and 
what is said above in the Introduction, § 5. As to the integrity of the piece 
itself, we may note that vv. 40_42 contradict the plain implication of what pre- 
cedes — that it was dangerous for David and Jonathan to communicate 
directly. These verses are probably a later insertion. The rest of the chapter 
seems sometimes overfull and may have been interpolated. Budde's ex- 
cision of vv. 4-17 as redactional however has not commanded any large meas- 
ure of assent. Bonk gives a detailed analysis, which also lacks probability. 
Verses 11_17 may be from a different source from the rest of the chapter. 

1-10. The first clause is the redactional suture. According 
to the rest of the verse David came and complained to Jonathan 
of the conduct of Saul. The older commentators, who accepted 
the historicity of the account as it stands, were much puzzled to 
account for David's behaviour. Why should he expose himself to 
further danger after having such unmistakable evidence of Saul's 
hostility as the preceding chapter furnishes? And how could 
Jonathan be so ignorant of Saul's temper after so public an exhi- 
bition? Attempts at conciliation (Schm., al.) are compelled to 
explain away the obvious force of language. David's complaint 
shows that Saul is not conceived of as having shown open hostil- 
ity : What have I done ? What is my guilt, and what my sin 
before thy father, that he is seeking my life ? — 2. Jonathan re- 
assures David (or tries to reassure him) : Far be it! Thou shalt 
not die. My father does not even a small thing without letting me 
know, and why should my father hide this from me ? Not so / 
Jonathan's complete ignorance of Saul's state of mind could not 
be more strongly expressed. — 3. David's reply suggests the rea- 



xx. i-s 1 85 

son of Jonathan's ignorance : Thy father well knows that I am in 
favour with thee] the standing phrase, elsewhere translated have 
found grace in thine eyes. Saul's thought is : Let not Jonathan 
know this, lest he be pained] possibly the original reason was lest 
he make it known or something equivalent. Nevertheless, by the 
life of Yahweh and by thy life~\ so the Bedawy swore " his tale was 
truth by the life of Ullah and by his son's life." * — There is, as it 
were, a step between me and death'] either another step forward 
would plunge him into destruction, or else death was so close 
upon his track that in another step it would overtake its victim. 
— 4, 5. To Jonathan's question: What dost thou desire that I 
do for thee ? David replies with his proposal : To-morrow is the 
New Moon. But I shall not sit with the king to eat bread] the 
plain implication is that David was expected at the king's table. 
His absence would be noted — evidence enough that there had 
been no open breach. The New Moon was a festival from the 
earliest times. To the present day the Arab of the desert greets 
the new moon with devout ejaculations, and the women 'chant 
their perpetual refrain of a single verse, and dance for an hour or 
two.'f We have every reason to suppose that the observance 
goes back to a time when the moon was an object of worship. 
The reason why David would not be at the table : But thou shall 
let me go and I will hide myself in the field until evening] the po- 
liteness of David is manifested in asking Jonathan's permission. — 
6. If thy father miss me, then thou shall say : David asked leave 
of me] it is doubtful whether Jonathan were empowered to act in 
the king's stead. But David designedly chooses to feign such a 
breach of etiquette as the king would easily condone if he were in 
a good mood. The permission was asked (ostensibly), to run to 
Bethlehem his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the 
clan] like Elkanah's, 2 19 . — 7. If Saul should condone the slight : 
then it is well with thy servant] as to his standing with the king. 
Otherwise, know that evil is determined upon by him] that is, by 
Saul, cf. 25 17 . — 8. David pleads the agreement already made 
between Jonathan and himself. Thou shall deal kindly with thy 



♦Doughty, Travels in Arabia Deserta, I. p. 53. 
t Doughty, i.e., I. pp. 366, 455. 



1 86 I SAMUEL 

servant because into a bond sanctioned by Yahweh thou hast brought 
thy servant^ an agreement with divine sanctions between the two 
is described 18 3 , and another was made later, 23 18 . If there be 
guilt in me, do thou slay me — to thy father why shouldst thou bring 
7ne ? The strength of conviction shows itself in the form of the 
protest. — 9. Jonathan gives renewed assurance of his willingness 
to serve his friend : Far be it! If I know at all that evil is deter- 
mined by my father to come upon thee, surely I will tell thee~\ such 
must be the meaning, although the present text expresses it awk- 
wardly if at all (cf. the note). — 10. David asks: Who will tell 
me if thy father answer thee harshly ?~] the question implies that it 
would not be safe for Jonathan to meet David personally. The 
answer is given in v. 18f - What comes between is not a part of the 
earliest narrative. 

1. flBia . . . m^n] is called the redactional suture above. It is possibly 
however the original beginning of the account of David's flight to Achish, 
where it would fit excellently instead of 2i lla . — jruim *uh "i&tOI iom] is 
rendered in <3 as though it were "U3H*1 jnjirp W? *om, which is logically better. 
Possibly however the division between the two documents is between the two 
verbs, so that the original connexion was fruim ^sh 1DKM bVdm dj in\ — 
2. 7\Vp"k Kt. : rwymh Qre. The former intends to begin if my father had 
done, but this is not suitable to the present context. We must therefore choose 
the Qre — my father will not do. — in ?ru inn] is lacking in <S B and may 
have fallen out by scribal mistake of the second nan for the first. As the 
shorter text makes good sense however, I have retained it. — »JTM n?j^] cf. 12 - 13 
and 9 16 . — rux? fN] a strong expression — there is nothing of this. — 3. j?a«p>i 
m;'] as We. says, David has not sworn as yet, and does not swear now. <£ has 
only ytr% which is all we need; -n;? is a scribal expansion perhaps duplicate 
of in, and the duplication of its p gave rise to the reading of $f . The second 
idn>i] means says to himself, as often. — 3SJP~J|>] the author of this passage 
would seem to make Saul careful lest David should get information, rather 
than lest Jonathan should be grieved, and traces of an original reading with 
this force are found in <3 B , which has /xrj ov /SouAtjtoj, which would represent 
nxyi Jfl (We.). (S L has, with the same idea, oiroos /xfy avayyciXri t<£ AaviS. It 
is difficult to suppose however that yp was the verb here unless we read 70 
i*j?v, lest they take counsel together, and we are obliged to decide for |^, as 
slightly more probable. — dSini] strongly adversative to Jonathan's assertion 
that there was no reason for David's suspicion. — t,£>dj »m nm>~^n] cf. 14 39 
and BDB. s.v. ti. The »3 is "O recitativum. — y^o:)] the like of a step (Dr.) ; 
yva occurs here only — the verb in one passage; <3 seems to paraphrase. 
— 4. nDNrrnn] does not seem the word we need: ri iiridvfxe? (3 points to 
m«n r»D, which exactly fits the place. In that case we should point rwjwi, 



XX. 8-10 1 87 

that I may do. — 5. cnn] is frequently joined with the Sabbath as a day 
of religious observance, 2 K. 4 28 Is. I 13 Am. 8 5 . It was adopted by the 
Levitical legislation, Num. io 10 28 u ~ 15 ; cf. Dillmann, Exodus und Levit., 
p. 578 f., Benzinger, Hebr. Arch., § 69, Muss-Arnolt, JBL. 1892, pp. 73 f., 
160 ff. — atPN"3B» "OJNi] is generally rendered / should certainly sit. But 
if David had meant that on that day he was confidently expected at the 
king's table, he would have expressed himself unambiguously to that effect. 
4§ inserts a negative and this reading (jcn nS 3*n "ojni) has been gener- 
ally adopted since We. — rwStrn] is not expressed in © BL and is, in fact, 
superfluous. David did not know that he must remain in hiding until the 
third day. The word must therefore be dismissed. The only question is 
whether we should not also throw out the whole clause, which might easily be 
inserted by a scribe, in anticipation of what actually followed. — 6. ipfi] first, 
to inspect in order to see whether any is missing (13 15 14 17 ), then to discover 
that some one is missing. — Snpj] with the proper Niphal force — asked for 
himself, Ges. 26 51 e. — onS-no] for which 6» read Dff?TH3 ty (adopted by 
We., Bu.). — 7. h mrv mrrotn] koX iav (rnX-ripus awoKpid^ <roi <& (with slight 
variations). The latter seems on the whole more likely to have been substi- 
tuted for the former than the reverse, it being more in conformity with what 
actually took place, v. 10 (We.). — 8. Sy] should evidently be ny with <Jfj$2T. 
(We., Dr., Bu.). — nv-P nna] seems to be used nowhere else of a covenant 
between men, such as is alluded to here, but cf. Ex. 22 10 . — nrnD 1 ?] is ren- 
dered as a negative (which it is in intention) by J52L. — 9. The difficulty is 
with the last clause of the verse : "jS -pjn nns nSi. It is possible to make the 
whole verse (from DK) an oath with the imprecation suppressed — so We. 
But in this passage, where the feeling is so strong, it would be unnatural to 
leave out so important a part of the asseveration. It is also possible to make 
the last clause an interrogation: If I know . . . shall I not tell thee? (Dr.) 
The difficulty would be relieved if we had instead of nS an emphatic particle 
like pN. Such a particle exists in the form of S in Arabic and it is possible 
that it existed also in Hebrew. There are some traces of it aside from the 
present passage, as Ex. 8 22 , which is closely parallel to this : If we sacrifice, 
. . . surely the Egyptians will slay us. I have mislaid the reference to the 
article (in JAOS, if I remember correctly) in which the identification of this 
n 1 ? with the Arabic la was made, a few years ago. At the end of the verse (J5 L 
adds «Is ras ir6\eis <rov, which is also found, though differently placed, in <5f AB . 
The addition is difficult to account for; perhaps rWK was read nns and was 
then supplemented by an adverbial clause inserted. Kl.'s adoption of the 
reading will hardly command assent. — 10. no in] idu (5 represents ox, which 
is doubtless original. A scribe took DvS to be an abbreviation of two words, 
which he therefore restored. The received text might perhaps be justified by 
analogies (We., Dr.) but it seems simpler to correct it. 

11-17. Jonathan's entreaty. — Jonathan gives renewed assur- 
ance of his fidelity and takes occasion to predict David's future 



1 88 i SAMUEL 

accession to the throne. With this in view, he entreats David's 
kindness for himself, or, in case he should not survive, for his 
children. The section interrupts the main thread of the narra- 
tive, and is characterized by a different tone. Instead of Jona- 
than's being the superior and David the suppliant, their position 
seems reversed. 

11. The proposition of Jonathan is that they should go out into 
the field, where they would be free from observation. This propo- 
sition contradicts the plain intent of the main narrative, according 
to which it would be dangerous for them to be seen going together 
to the field. — 12, 13. By somewhat radical treatment of the text 
we restore Jonathan's promise as follows: Yahweh, God of Israel, 
is witness that I will sound my father about this time to-?norrow, 
and if he be well disposed towards David, then I will send for thee 
to the field; but if there be evil — God do so to Jonathan and more 
also if I bring the evil upon thee ; but I will uncover thine ear and 
will let thee go, and thou shall go in peace. The two alternatives 
are plainly put and the imprecation is joined with the appropriate 
one. The consciousness of the author that the latter alternative 
would be realized, shows itself in the concluding clause : And 
Yahweh be with thee as he has been with my father/ — 14, 15 a . The 
mention of David's future brings a request that his grace may be 
extended to Jonathan and his descendants. The writer has in 
mind the later account of David's treatment of Jonathan's son. — 
And if I am yet alive, thou shall show me the kindness of Yahweh ; 
But if I should die, thou shall not withdraw thy compassion from 
my house forever] the two alternatives are completely stated, 
showing that the remainder of the verse belongs with what fol- 
lows. — 15 b , 16. Should David forget the covenant, God would 
be the avenger : But if, in Yahweh' s cutting off the enemies of 
David from the face of the ground, Jonathan should be cut off with 
the house of Saul, then Yahweh will require it at the hand of David] 
Jonathan is here put for the house of Jonathan and David for the 
house of David. The emphasis laid upon this matter makes us 
suspect that the house of Jonathan feared the ruling dynasty for a 
long time. — 17. Jonathan continued to give assurances to David, 
because with tender love he loved him, cf. i8 3 . 



XX. ii-i7 t89 

12, 13. The text has suffered in transmission, partly because the sentence 
is unusually long. As it stands, it is impossible to call it good Hebrew. 
After in we must restore i£, which has fallen out by reason of its similarity to 
in; so J5 mDj, while @ olSeu points to JTV, a corruption of the same original. 
Read therefore: Witness is Yahweh, cf. I2 5 . — nwfam] is superfluous here 
as in v. 5 , having been put into the text to make the promise conform to the 
event. — njm] should be pi equivalent to DM); it is so read in &, while <g L 
gives both : Kal ISov, eav. — rM"M>l] the x"? must be the same emphatic parti- 
cle used above in v. 9 , here as there in the apodosis. — "prxTX »n>"?Jl] is lack- 
ing in <3, which substitutes els ayp6v ( AB ) or els rb ireZiov. The latter seems 
more appropriate, for if Saul's mood was discovered to be good, Jonathan 
could send openly to the field and fetch David. At the beginning of v. 13 <g L 
has Kal eav Kanbv if, which at any rate gives an appropriate meaning. I sup- 
pose the words njn axi mtrn] to have become illegible and to have been filled 
out by a scribe with a phrase from v. 13 , which fits in the context. — Vx ata" >a 
>3M] is unintelligible; @ AB on avoiaw, <J£ L eav /at) avoiaw. Both point to SON 
for on and with M'2M we must here read (in an oath) ex. The original ox 
xox was miswritten "ox-^x, with which something had to be supplied. The 
original reading of Jonathan's oath I take therefore to be : hxw vnh* nim ny 
nrjp na t> jn pi : rrwn "f? rhv* tx x^i in Vx aw pi nno nj?a tax nx npnx *a 
■pVp jn n ™ nux on t\Hfl nai |TW^ oviSx. — 14. The received text is here 
also corrupt. — ax xSi] is a duplication. xSi was written, and then, to make 
clear that x> was not meant, 2 x was added. — n2>?n~NS)] is represented by 
Kal iroiT)<reis (& B , Troiriarjs <§ L , showing that we should read again the emphatic 
particle in the apodosis. — mrv ion] cf. 2 S. 9 3 . The third M*?l should be read 
x->i and begin the next verse. — 15. The first half of the verse, taken with the 
two preceding words, makes good sense. But the second half must be dis- 
connected, and made the beginning of a third sentence. — nnana xSi] will 
barely admit of connexion with the preceding (Dr.), but is better in every 
way when read nnana M*tt. & omits e»n, perhaps rightly. — 16. ma*"!] el 
e^apd^aerat <S L , rightly pointing rn*>» and connecting with the preceding x 1 ". 
Where (§ B gets ebpeQrivai is difficult to say. — pjin>] rb ovo/j.a rod 'Iwvaddv 
(5 B , the latter is adopted by Dr., Bu., but does not seem to improve the sense. 
— "W ma~o>?] airb rod oXkov AaveiS © AB , on the ground of which We., Dr., 
restore DJ7D. But what Jonathan requests is not that his house may continue 
with the house of David (as its dependants) but that it may not be cut off by 
them, which would not be expressed by DJHD. <J5 L pera rov oXkov %aov\ has 
some claims to be regarded therefore as original. — "in »3»M *vd] cannot be 
right, as is evident; read in to. In some other cases »3*M is inserted to 
avoid an imprecation on David. There is also a trace in one MS. of <g that 
the word was doubtful. — 17. in~nx jparrfc] Jonathan's love is no reason for 
his adjuring David. We are compelled therefore to read "rhx patspS with <@J. 
The main object of the interview was that Jonathan might assure David on 
oath that he would not betray him to Saul. — lnx inanxa] has arisen by dupli- 
cation of the following words. It is lacking in <& B . 



190 i SAMUEL 

18-23. Jonathan describes more distinctly his plan for ac- 
quainting David with the state of Saul's mind. — 18. The verse 
goes back to 10 , in which David had inquired about the means of 
communication. First, a sketch of the situation : To-morrow is 
New Moon and thou shalt be missed, when thy seat shall be vacant'] 
the sentence is no doubt tautological and perhaps the text has 
suffered. — 19. What is intended by the opening of the verse is 
not clearly made out. David's course, however, is marked out 
for him : Thou shalt come to the place where thou didst hide the 
day of . . .] the day intended is no longer intelligible. — And 
shalt sit down by the side of yonder stone heap] the nature of the 
stone heap is not defined. — 20. The general sense of the verse 
must be that Jonathan will choose some object by the side of 
David's hiding place as a mark at which to shoot. But it is im- 
possible to construe the present text, and the evidence of the 
versions does not enable us to reconstruct it in better shape. — 
21. And I will send the boy] which one takes to recover the 
arrows when shooting at a mark: Go find the arrow/] the man- 
ner in which the boy is to be directed to the arrow is the token 
for David. — If I say to the boy: The arrow is this side of thee, 
pick it up! — then, come ! for it is well for thee, there is nothing 
the matter, by the life of Yahweh] the sign is plain, and one that 
naturally suggests itself. — 22. But if I say to the lad: The arrow 
is beyond thee — then go ! for Yahweh sends thee away] the discov- 
ery of the mind of Saul will be an indication of God's will concern- 
ing David's course. — 23. Jonathan's final word of confirmation : 
And as for the word which we have spoken, thou and I, Yahweh is 
witness between me and thee forever] Yahweh is a party to such 
solemn engagements, as we see in the case of Jacob and Laban, 
Gen. 3 1 50 . 

18. npc id] is suspicious. But no better reading suggests itself. — 19. r\vSv\ 
inn Tin] gives no appropriate sense. (3 substitutes npcn for *nn, which is 
adopted by We., Dr., Bu., but does not seem satisfactory. That David 
would be more missed on the third day than on the second is true. But 
there was no reason to suppose that Saul's mind would not be discovered 
on the day following the interview. David should not wait until the third day 
to come to the place where he was to hide. I suspect that nrWl at any rate 
(and perhaps the whole clause) is an insertion of the same hand which forced 
the third day into vv. 5 12 ; nNai Tin ?ni is what we expect. — nvyzn ova] the 



XX. 18-23- t9l 

day of the deed is wholly unknown to us. There must be a reference to some 
former hiding on the part of David. But the only account of such a hiding 
preserved to us is in 19 3 , Jonathan's former intercession for David. On gen- 
eral grounds, we have already decided that that account was not known to the 
author of this narrative. It is difficult moreover to see how the day of that 
intercession could be called the day of the deed. We. supposes a reference to 
Saul's attempt with the spear (and refers to Job 3s 11 ). But David did not 
hide himself that day, so far as we know. We are in fact wholly in the dark. 
The versions — ttjs ipyaaias (g L , rfj ipyaai/jir) <& AB , qua operari licet IL, N^m 
1R, see in the word a designation of a working day in distinction from the 
festival day of the New Moon. But it is doubtful whether n^nn would be 
used to mark such a distinction — mijay would be more natural. — S?xn pxn] 
if correct can be only a proper name. But as pointed out by Th. <& (rb 
ipyaB eVetVo <g B , t<£ \iOcp eKeiuep ^ L ) read both here and in v. 41 the word mx, 
which would naturally mean a heap of stones, cf. the proper name Argob in 
Bashan, Dt. 3* 1 K. 4 13 . We. therefore restores r*?n miNn S*n, which is gen- 
erally adopted. — 20. mm vrti Dixnn ntrSt? \jni] would naturally mean : and 
I will shoot the three arrows by the side of it. But why three arrows ? The 
later account speaks of only two, and it was not certain in advance that more 
than one would be needed. The three arrows are spoken of as if already 
mentioned, which is not the case. This half of the verse, moreover, in this 
wording does not fit the remaining words — to send for me to a goal. If this 
means anything it makes a complete tautology when taken with the preced- 
ing. <§ reads T\vhv as a verb — and I zvill triple the arrozvs, or and I ivill use 
three arrows, which does not seem to give any help. We., followed by Dr., 
Bu., reconstructs CXH3 tyStrx >jni = and I on the third day [will shoot] with 
arrows, which, if we can make v^v mean to do on the third day, somewhat re- 
lieves the difficulty, though the sentence is still awkward, and does not fit well 
with he latter part of the verse. I cannot help thinking that Kl. is on the 
right track in seeing in mix a corruption of hn-in. In that case Jonathan in- 
tended to say: '/ will choose something near the stone heap as a mark at 
which to shoot.' But the original text is not discoverable. — 21. ~iyjn] the 
boy, whom he would naturally have with him in practising archery. — nxd i 1 ?] 
the omission of idnS is unusual. Possibly the original was simply nxdS, which 
has been expanded under the influence of v. 36 where we have nxd jn. — O^nn] 
should probably be the singular in both instances. — nN3)] must begin the apo- 
dosis, corresponding to "f? in the next verse. But in this case the 1 is abnor- 
mal and we should either read nxai, or else with <3 AB omit the 1. The latter 
alternative is favored by the parallel in the next verse, the 1 might readily 
have come from the end of the preceding word. — n:n] is sufficient of itself 
without the addition of an adjective (evil) made by the versions. — 22. Dixnn] 
the singular should be restored here also with <J|. The particular arrow which 
should give the sign was the one in Jonathan's mind all through the speech. 
The mistake of f§ is probably because the form "«xn (which occurs as an 
undoubted singular in v. 36 ) was taken for an abbreviated plural, the usual 



I Q2 1 SAMUEL 

singular being yn. — 23. It seems necessary to insert nj? (/uLaprus <&') after 
nw, or else to point the last two words of the verse thxT^li cf. v. 12 as 
amended above. 

24-34. The discovery of the mind of Saul. — We may sup- 
pose that the interview just described took place in the evening. 
The new moon had already been seen, so that the next day 
(properly, the day had begun with the sunset) was the festival. 
— 24. David hid himself, and the festival day came, and the king 
sat at the [sacrificial] meal to eat. The time of day is not given. 
But, from the fact that Jonathan waited until the next morning 
(after the second day) to carry his tidings to David, we may sup- 
pose it was late in the day. — 25. The king's table companions 
were only three. The king sat on his seat, as usual, by the wall, 
and Jonathan was opposite, and Abner sat by the side of Saul, and 
David's seat was vacant. The simplicity of the royal table is 
evident. — 26. The absence of David was not remarked upon at 
this time, the king supposing a ritual reason : For he said to him- 
self: It is an accident : he is not clean because he has not been 
cleansed^ the festival being a religious one, no one could eat of 
the meal without being ritually purified. If David had neg- 
lected the proper rite of preparation, he had a sufficient excuse 
for absence from the table. — 27. The second day matters came 
to a crisis. Why has not the son of Jesse come to the table, either 
yesterday or to-day ? The known friendship of the two men made 
it probable that Jonathan would be informed. — 28. Jonathan 
makes the excuse agreed upon : David begged of me leave to run 
to Bethlehem. — 29. Specific report of what David said in his 
request : Let me go, I pray, for we have a clan sacrifice in the city, 
and that was what my brother commanded me. The appearance 
of the brother instead of the father has led to the supposition that 
David's father was dead. Possibly we should read my brethren 
(with (&), and understand it of the members of the clan in gen- 
eral. Jonathan would then make the impression that David was 
invited by the clan to be present at the festival, undoubtedly a 
reason why he should seek to go, but not one that would conciliate 
Saul. In Jonathan's further report of David's words is another 
infelicity : Let ??ie slip away that I may see my brethren / The 
words must suggest to Saul that David was trying to escape from 



XX. 24-34 193 

him. — 30. The wrath of Saul flames out upon his son : Son of a 
rebellious slave girl 7 Universal custom abuses a man by throwing 
opprobrium upon his parents. The son of a slave girl was of 
mean lineage ; and in case the mother were rebellious, her son 
might be suspected of being a bastard. Saul's anger did not 
allow him to reflect on the injustice of his abuse. Do I not know 
that thou art a companion of the son of Jesse, to thine own shame 
and to the shame of thy mother's nakedness ? To revile a man by 
the nakedness of his mother is still common among the Orientals 
(Doughty, I. p. 269). That a man may disgrace the womb that 
bore him is evident enough. But Saul in his excitement puts the 
thought into coarse language. — 31. The reason for the anger is, 
that David is a rival for the throne : For as long as the son of Jesse 
lives upon the earth, thy kingdom shall not be established] the suc- 
cession would naturally fall to Jonathan as the most capable, and 
probably the oldest of the sons of Saul. In the correct feeling 
that Jonathan will know where David is, Saul orders him to send 
and take him, adding : for he is doomed to death~\ cf. 2 S. 1 2 5 . — 
32, 33. At Jonathan's question why this should be, Saul's rage 
gets beyond control : And Saul raised the spear at him to smite 
him] as he had attacked David. — So Jonathan knew] more evi- 
dence could scarcely be expected, that it was determined by his 
father to put David to death. — 34. And Jonathan rose from the 
table in hot wrath and did not eat bread on the second day of the 
month because his father had reviled him] the result of the inquiry 
was not simply the discovery of Saul's purpose towards David, but 
had brought unexpected insult to himself. 

24. nnVrr 1 ?}?] is probably right. The sitter at the low Oriental table is 
decidedly above the food. The Qre recommends Sn, but the change is un- 
necessary. <§ seems to have found jrrVtt'n S>\ — 25. ^pn jemd-Sn] is rendered 
by irapa rbv to?xov <£f L , and "\ipn Vx is quite sufficient. — Dp*l] why Jonathan 
should stand while the others sit is not clear. Kal irpoeQdao-ev <& B , ko\ irpo^Qa- 
<T€j/ abr6v @ L , point to Dip, cf. 2 S. 22 6 2 K. 19 32 , which means to confront, 
generally in a hostile sense, but not necessarily so, Ps. 21 4 . The reading 
0-ip>i in this place, suggested first (so far as I know) by Ewald, G VI s . III. 
in, E. Tr. III. p. 80, is now generally adopted. — 26. mpo] various accidents 
might make one ritually unclean. — nvto nV - ^] is tautological. The pointing 
yfr, suggested by <g (We.), relieves the difficulty to a certain extent only, 
but seems the best we can do. — 27. *J»n ti'inn p-vidc] is impossible. We 
o 



194 * SAMUEL 

must have either ttnnn mn»D, or else ^pn ovn. 4§ has both, inserting ovn. 
Probably the original was only ttnnn nnnnn. — onSn] for the table, as in v. 2 *. — 
28. hx&} Snpj] implies an urgent request. — onS n>:ny] I cannot persuade 
myself that the sentence is complete without a verb such as is supplied by (J5 L 
dpafielv, or (§ B iropevdrjvai, or by % SpdS, though the difference may show 
that the translators did not have either one in the text; yh seems to be the 
simplest. After Bethlehem <8i% add his city. — 29. nw Nini] the unusual 
order is perhaps due to an error. <& seems to have read simply iixm. — 
niONi] expressing the purpose of the request should be pointed nN-iNi. — 
30. nmnn niyj] is made up of two words otherwise unheard of. Lagarde 
(Millheil, I. p. 236 f.) makes the best of the present text, which might mean 
one gone astray from discipline. It seems better however, on the basis of (g, 
to restore mjH (or myj) instead of niyj. Only, as a man cannot be the son 
of more than one woman, the plural of (3 is not allowable. The natural 
phrase would be ffVVQ nnyj. A reflection on the chastity of Jonathan's mother 
is evidently intended, and -no is used of Israel's rebellion against Yahweh (and 
adultery with other gods) , showing that it would convey such a reflection. If 
myj is original, we might suppose nmon to be a gloss intended to explain 
its meaning — son of perverseness would fit the sense. — pV nnN nn:i] the verb 
does not go with the preposition; <& points to nan or -an (adopted by Th. al.). 
— 31. intafjOl nnN] the nnN does not agree well with the meaning of the verb. 
It is lacking in (g^, and has evidently come in by the error of a scribe, who 
in writing pn took it for the second person, and naturally put down nnN as its 
subject. Saul was not afraid for Jonathan personally, but for his succession to 
the throne. — niD-ja] already he is marked out by death as one of its chil- 
dren, cf. did tt"N, 1 K. 2™. — 33. l H0*l] as in the earlier case (18 11 ) should 
probably be pointed Stej], iirrjpev <S AB . — N>n nSa] the lack of agreement is 
obvious. <SS» reads as in vv. 7 - 9 . But the particular evil is here defined in the 
clause nvrnN n*>cnS. It will be sufficient therefore to correct w>n rhs to nnSs, 
with We. al. — 34. 'tSn axpj *o] is lacking in <g B and is unnecessary. The 
wrath was fully accounted for by Saul's insulting language. — lcSsn] <rwtr4- 
\ecrev cV avrSv <S B has arisen under the influence of nnSn, above. Here the 
absolute vhf nSp seems harsh, and f§ is to be retained. 

35-39. The warning given. — As already agreed upon, Jonathan 
acquaints David of his danger. On the next morning : Jonathan 
came into the field to the rendezvous with David, and ^as agreed, he 
brought a young lad with him. — 36. Jonathan starts the boy to 
find an arrow, and then, while he is running, shoots another to fly 
beyond him. — 37. So when the lad came to the place of the [first] 
arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad and 
said: Is not the arrow beyond thee ?~\ this is in exact accordance 
with the agreement as worded above. — 38. Jonathan gives an 



XX. 35-41 1 95 

additional message : Hasten quickly, do not stop / The words 
spoken to the boy were intended for David's ear. So Jonathan's 
lad gathered the arrows and brought them to his master. — 39. The 
writer reminds us that the lad did not know anything of the real 
matter in hand, but only Jonathan and David knew it. This was 
evidently the conclusion of the incident, except that he added 
what we now find in 21 1 : David rose from the place where he 
was concealed and departed, while Jonathan came into the city. 

35. nym 1 ?] the appointment naturally included both place and time. — 

36. rorm] is to be corrected to the singular as above. Jonathan shot a 
single arrow, and while the lad was running for it, he shot "•xnrrriN, the par- 
ticular arrow on which so much depended, so as to pass beyond the boy. — 

37. NiSn] the whole line from this word to "i>?jn in the next verse has fallen 
out of <§ L . Possibly it made just a line in some early manuscript. A part of 
the omission is supplied however after the word cttjs — TOJHX — 38. mnn 
nirin] cf. Driver's note. — ^nn Kt.~\ to be read as a plural (Qri). — tan] 
should be pointed Nan with (g^ and the margin of B . 

40-42. The verses give the account of a final interview, with 
renewed expressions of affection. They stultify the whole preced- 
ing account, however, and must be regarded as an interpolation. 
If it was so dangerous for Jonathan and David to be seen together 
before Saul's mind was fully known, it was more so after the open 
breach between him and his son. Jonathan's return to the city 
without his arms, after sending back the lad, would be an invita- 
tion to suspicion. The interview is moreover without a purpose. 
The solemn agreement had been made. The leave had been 
taken. Two seasoned warriors cannot be supposed to have so 
little steadiness of purpose that they must have one more embrace, 
even at the risk of their lives. For these reasons we must regard 
the paragraph as no part of the narrative just considered. Nor 
does it agree with any earlier part of the book. Its allusions to 
what took place in w. 35-39 are unmistakable. We must therefore 
regard it as an editorial expansion, pure and simple. 

40. The first thing is to get rid of the boy, and he is therefore 
sent with Jonathan's weapons to the city. — 41. David then arose 
from the side of the stone heap] mentioned above as his hiding- 
place, and fell with his face to the ground, and prostrated himself 
three times'] the occasion would not seem to admit of such exag- 



196 I SAMUEL 

gerated politeness. — And each kissed his friend and each wept 
with his friend until . . .] a point of time seems to have been 
given, but is not now discoverable. — 42. Jonathan dismisses 
David with a reminder of their covenant : As to what we two 
have sworn, in the name of Yahweh, Yahweh will be between me 
and thee, and between my seed and thy seed forever. The Bedawy 
also says : There is none between us but Allah (Doughty, I. p. 267). 

XXI. 1. As already remarked, this verse is the conclusion of 
this narrative, and must have stood after 20 39 . 

40. Non] is lacking in © L , and is in fact superfluous. — 41. 2Jjn Ssnd] 
from the side of the South Country is of course impossible. Read 2Jnsn Sxnd 
corresponding to the emendation in v. 19 (so (3, and £ also has wp niS p 
here). — S*un -nT-iy] until David exceeded (EV). But why David's vic- 
tory in so curious a contest should be mentioned is impossible to conceive. 
(3 has nothing to represent "*n, so that We. proposes b"Un ip; but this 
nowhere means a great deal, which is the only sense we can give it here. 
Kl. rightly remarks that what we expect is a point of time, and proposes 
Shj dv t;, which however does not seem sustained by usage. — 42. nDN 4 ?] 
is the erroneous insertion of a scribe who supposed the words of the oath 
were to follow. — XXI. 1. Dp^] the subject seems necessary, and David is 
correctly added by @. 

XXI.-XXVI. David an outlaw captain. 

XXI. 2-10. David comes to Nob, where his appearance 
startles the priest. He excuses his lack of provision and of 
followers, and receives the sacred bread and also the sword 
of Goliath. 

The brief narrative is well told. The natural question is whether 
it fits on to any of the preceding sections. The surprise of the 
priest indicates that David was accustomed to travel with a 
retinue. This is appropriate for a man who had attained promi- 
nence as a captain, and who had become the king's son-in-law. 
The condition in which he presents himself — without weapons 
and without food — is unusual, even for the ordinary traveller. 
This is inconsistent, not only with David's usual course, but even 
with the representations of the chapter just studied. For in that 
chapter David had ample time to furnish himself for the flight 
which he suspected would be necessary. The condition in which 



XX. 4I-XXI. 4 197 

he appears before the priest is the natural sequel of only one 
preceding section, and that is the one where David is hastily let 
down through the window of his house at a time when guards 
were already posted, when there might be danger in the gleam 
or clash of weapons, and when in the sudden terror, bread would 
not be thought of. These reasons seem to justify the connexion 
immediately with 19 17 . 

2. The verse connects well with icj 17 or 19 1811 , which may be 
the original : And David fled and escaped the night of his wed- 
ding, and came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest"] Nob was a sanct- 
uary, as is evident from the continuation of this account. It 
was within the immediate jurisdiction of Saul, or he could not 
have dealt with it so summarily. A town of the name is located 
in Benjamin by Nehemiah (n 32 ), and the same is intended by 
Isaiah in his picture of the progress of an invading enemy from 
the north (Is. io 32 ). From the latter passage, we learn that the 
town was in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem. This situation 
would answer all the needs of our passage. David would natu- 
rally make his way southward from Gibeah so as to reach his own 
clan. He would stop for supplies at the first town in which he 
might have friends. Nob lay immediately on the way to Beth- 
lehem, and in his flight (late at night) he would reach it by the 
early dawn. Ahimelech the priest came trembling to meet David. 
In 16 4 the Sheikhs of Bethlehem tremble at the spiritual autocrat. 
Here the priest takes the same attitude in presence of the secular 
authority. The difference in the point of view is obvious. The 
priest is surprised at the way in which David comes. — Why art 
thou alone, and no man with thee ?~\ the evident implication is, 
that David was usually accompanied by an escort. — 3. David 
invents an excuse, to the effect that he is on a pressing errand 
from the king, and one that requires secrecy : The king com- 
manded me a ?natter to-day, and said to me : Let no man know 
anything of the matter upon which I send thee] the natural infer- 
ence is that he must not attract attention by travelling with a 
company. He intimates however that the troops had a rendezvous 
appointed : And the young men I have appointed to meet me at 
a certain place. — 4. The haste of the departure is pleaded as a 



198 i SAMUEL 

reason for asking provision : And now if there be within thy reach 
five loaves of bread, give it me, or whatever may be at hand. — 
5. The priest's objection to giving what bread he has, is : There 
is no common bread within my reach, though there is sacred bread~\ 
the latter, being consecrated, must be handled by consecrated 
persons only. This did not originally mean that only the priests 
could eat it. Like the sacrifices, it could probably be eaten by 
worshippers duly prepared liturgically. As a safeguard, such per- 
sons usually partook of the consecrated food within or near the 
sanctuary. But there seems to be no reason in the nature of 
things why it should not be taken away, if only proper care was 
exercised. — If only the young men have kept themselves from 
woman] they might eat it, is the natural conclusion of the sen- 
tence. As is abundantly clear from the Pentateuchal legislation, 
as well as from Arabic usage, the sexual act renders one unfit for 
any sacred ceremony until the proper purification has been under- 
gone. — 6. The obscurity of David's reply is probably due to our 
ignorance of the author's conception of holy and profane. In 
any case he gives assurance on the particular point of inquiry : 
But women have been kept from us as always when I go on an 
expedition. As war was a sacred work, abstinence from everything 
profane was David's habit in all his campaigns. — And the arms 
of the young men were consecrated] at starting, as we suppose 
was the custom in Israel, from the expression consecrate war, 
Jer. 6 4 Mic. 3 s . David makes his assurances so strong that he 
even says (to all appearance) that if the bread were common 
bread, it would become consecrated by contact with the conse- 
crated vessel in which he proposed to carry it. The exact words 
in which he originally embodied this declaration are unfortunately 
lost to us. — 7. The plea was effectual, and the priest gave him con- 
secrated [food] for there was no bread there except bread of the 
presence removed front before Yahweh, to place hot bread there, the 
day it was taken away. According to later custom this was done 
once a week, Lev. 24 s . — 8. The verse is evidently designed to 
prepare for Doeg's betrayal of David later, 22 9 . Some have there- 
fore supposed it to be an interpolation. But the later passage seems 
to presuppose this one. Doeg the Edomite, who is described as 
Saul's muleherd, was kept at the sanctuary by some religious (cere- 



XXI. 4~io 199 

monial) obligation. — 9. David asks further for spear or sword 
since he has left his own weapons behind : For the king's business 
was urgent^ is his pretext. — 10. The priest tells of the sword 
of Goliath, whom thou didst slay in the valley of Elah~\ the lan- 
guage is used to indicate that David had a better title to the 
sword than had any one else. It had been deposited by David 
in the sanctuary, and was now wrapped in a mantel, behind the 
ephod~\ the last phrase is omitted by (3, perhaps because of dis- 
like of the ephod, which here cannot be a garment or a breast- 
plate. At David's desire, the sword is given him. 

2. raj] with an unusual form of the (locative) accusative ending, Ges. 26 , 
90 •; Stade, 132 (p. 102). Jerome (according to Buhl, Geog. p. 198) locates 
Nob in the vicinity of Lydda. But there would seem to be no reason why 
David should go westward, and into the country of the Philistines. Perhaps 
Jerome was moved by the following account of David's coming to Achish. 
But that is from a different document. The same line of argument is followed 
by Schm. (p. 719 f.) to refute those who suppose David to have fled across the 
Jordan to ru: (cf. Jd. 8 11 ). — -|Sd>hn] There seems to be no doubt that the 
second half of the name is one of the names of Yahweh cf. Moore on Jd. 8 31 . 
We find an PWK, 14 3 , who officiated as Saul's priest, and he is probably the 
same with our Ahimelech. (5 AB has Abimelech here. — in n*o,"v?] <g AB reads 
VM/Opb, which would be natural — but on that very account $% must be taken 
to be original. — 3. pian yVaTiN*?] <g AB has jnab simply. — -on] (3 adds 
<yf]fxepou, which is appropriate and forcible. The day began with the evening. 
The command being received at or after sundown, to be carried out at once 
would plausibly explain David's appearance in the early morning at Nob. — 
ncixa] seems to be omitted by (S AB . With the negative it has the force of 
at all — here let no man know at all of the matter, Ges. 26 , \yj c. — -prm "Win] 
is redundant — perhaps a scribe's expansion. — tijhv] might possibly be a 
Poel form (Ges. 26 , 55 b\ Stade, 465). But the meaning is not so good as if 
we had »P*ijP, which should probably be restored; <{§ dia/j.enapTvpr]/j.ai points to 
^myn, which was read as if from -n>\ But the form might equally be from 
"y?\ If the original reading were Tnj?> it might give rise to both »njTW and 
>mj?n. Kl. proposes vnpi), Ex. 29 42 Job 2 11 . — *>jdSn •'jSo] 2 K. 6 8 . — 4. 2»-nD] 
does not consist with the definite number of loaves asked for. We are 
compelled therefore to read wox with (& LA , el elaiv («i has dropped out 
of <j£ B owing to its resemblance to the beginning of the next word). — 
Nxojn in] is a concise way of saying, or whatever thou canst find. — 5. Sn] 
is the opposite of cnp. Of course we cannot judge the act of Ahimelech by 
the later legislation which commanded that the bread of the presence should 
be eaten by the priests only, and only in the sanctuary, Lev. 24 9 . There is no 
evidence in this narrative that the priest did not take all the precautions 



200 I SAMUEL 

necessary. — ruin""™"] the Sn is probably erroneous duplication of the preced- 
ing Vn. — 6. Confessedly a difficult verse, and one in which the versions give 
us little help. For the religious ideas which lie at the basis of David's assur- 
ances, cf. WRS. Religion of the Semites, pp. 365, 436. — Ott>Sa> Snro] cannot 
mean that the privation has lasted three days (AV., cf. RV.), nor that it has 
lasted about three days which would have been differently expressed. It 
expresses a comparison : as yesterday and the day before, i. e., as in former 
times. David claims that his custom has always been to take care for ritual 
purity on all his expeditions and that this is no exception. — vm] must carry 
on the description of what took place at the start : Women were taboo . . . 
and the equipments of the young men were consecrated. This fully meets the 
priest's scruples, and is emphasized in what follows. — Sn yn Nim] is unin- 
telligible. David can hardly mean that he is upon a peaceable (and therefore 
common) journey, for this is aside from the main purpose. There seems to be 
no way of fitting the clause into the context, and the text is probably unsound. 
From the clause which follows, we conclude that David meant to say that even 
common bread would become consecrated by contact with the already conse- 
crated vessels of his followers. Possibly the change of fn to -on might 
enable us to get this meaning : Sn -on Nim = and were it a common thing, 
nevertheless it would become consecrated in the vessel (in which it will be car- 
ried) cf. @ L which favours this construction, though it retains "pi. — >o «]Ni] 
would probably bear the construction just suggested; @ B seems to have read 
*3 only, while (§ L neglects the words altogether. — ^Soa] 5to to o-Kevrj fiov @ 
perhaps gives the original meaning. — 7. DnDicn] the plural is probably due to 
the accretion of a D from the beginning of the next word (We.). — 8. nxyj] as 
the root is used above for that which is religiously forbidden (taboo) , we may 
suspect that it means here, kept by a taboo, or in accordance with later custom, 
kept by a vow (so Schm. who compares the law of the Nazirite, Num. 6, but 
this does not require a sojourn in the sanctuary). — D^jnn ion] vcfxoov rhs 
T)lii6vovs (& is restored by Lagarde (BN. p. 45, note) as on^n h^2H, and as 
•V2N is not used of a chief, the latter (which is the more difficult reading) 
should probably be adopted. Graetz suggests D-'xnn ion (Gesch. der Juden, 
I. 183), adopted by Dr., Bu., Ki. — 9. r\srw pxi] The form p* occurs 
nowhere else. The punctuators wished to distinguish it from px and perhaps 
to identify it with on. <& has ?5e el tanv ivravda, which We. supposes to indi- 
cate ns it"n rw\ t though he finds the interchange of n and J unusual. As the 
two letters are not unlike in the old alphabet we need not deny the possibility 
of one being mistaken for the other. But if the original were ds we may 
suppose (5£ to have avoided the aposiopesis by inserting f5e. I had already 
suspected the original to be nc tr "W, and where is there, before I saw Klos- 
termann's conjecture to the same effect. It is to this question that Ahimelech 
replies. — "pnj] a supposed passive participle from )»nj. Kl. conjectures 
fWUi decisive, strict, Dan. 9 26 . More probable is yiNj (from }"\x), or trinj. 
— 10. The Valley of Elah is a reference to I J 2 or to the original account 
from which that has been expanded. — nsb>] is the passive participle. — 



XXI. n-i6 201 

rnja] * s pointed in many editions nt} but this is incorrect. At the end of the 
verse add /cot eScoKey avir]v avrcp (&. 

11-16. David at the court of Achish. — David escapes to the 
court of Achish king of Gath. There he becomes an object of 
suspicion, and feigns madness, whereby he preserves his life, and 
is allowed to go. 

The paragraph is fitted into the narrative so that it seems to 
follow naturally on the preceding. On closer inspection we see 
that it does not. The opening verse indicates that David's flight 
was directly from the presence of Saul. In the presence of the 
Gittites, moreover, it would be an insane thing to carry the sword 
of Goliath. The linguistic marks of so short a piece are scarcely 
sufficient to identify it. It may be conjectured however that it 
originally followed the account of David's sojourn at Ramah 

(i 9 «). 

11. Achish king of Gath is the same who was David's overlord 
in his later career. The present account seems to be an attempt 
to explain away the facts of history. — 12. The servants (that is, 
officers) of Achish arouse his suspicions : Is not this David, the 
king of the land?'] the conception of the author who could put 
the question into the mouth of the Philistines at this date is 
naively unhistorical. Was it not to this man that they sang in 
dances saying : Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten 
thousands ? It is curious however that Goliath's fellow-citizens 
should not adduce the death of their hero as a part of the charge 
against David. — 13, 14. As David reflected on these words he 
feared, and disguised his understanding, and raved in their hands, 
and drummed on the doors, and let his spittle run down upon his 
beard~\ all signs of a maniac. Ewald cites the similar behaviour 
of Ulysses, and of Arabic and Persian heroes ; Schm. mentions 
Brutus and Solon. — 15, 16. The king has no relish for this sort 
of company : You see a madman, but why should you bring him to 
me ? Am I in lack of madmen that you should bring this to rave 
at me ? Shall this come into my house ? From the implied 
assertion that Achish already had madmen enough, some have 
imagined that the members of his household were thus afflicted 
(Schm. p. 719, who cites no authorities). 



202 i SAMUEL 

11-16. The opening verse : David rose and fled that day from the presence 
of Saul, points to something earlier than the interview with Ahimelech. This 
verse, if originally following that interview, should read : And David went 
thence. That the general style of this section is similar to that of 19 18 - 24 is 
indicated by Bu., who prints the two in the same colour. I venture to think 
the point of view the same. In both, David is delivered without the aid of 
his prowess. Providence is his guide in both, and his escape, really miracu- 
lous in one case, is little short of that in the other. And if that account 
shows resemblance to i6 1-14 by the position it gives Samuel, this betrays a sim- 
ilar connexion by calling David king of the land. — 11. B"3tt] 'Ayxovs <&. 
— 12. lfiStO and 13312 are written as in 18 7 . — 14. wi] the form has 
perhaps preserved the original third radical. Else, it is a clerical error for 
nje^i or {8*1 (Stade, 493 a; Ges. 26 , 60 d, y$bb). The verb is used of chang- 
ing one's clothes, 2 K. 25 s29 , and in the Hithpael, of disguising one's self, 
1 K. 14 2 . DPP is the taste or flavour of a thing, applied figuratively to the 
character of a nation (Moab), Jer. 48 11 , and to the understanding of a person, 
1 S. 25 s3 . The difficulty with the phrase here used (and in the form vn}P3 
)Dj?t3~ns Ps. 34 1 dependent on this passage) is that one does not change his 
understanding as he does his clothes. This is felt by (f| which renders Kal 
T)\Xo[u(j€v rb npSiTwirou avrov. It is impossible to prefer this to the more 
difficult reading of |^, but there is reason to suppose the obscurity due to 
early corruption of the text. The exegetical feeling of Schmidt (who adheres, 
of course, to the Massoretic text) leads him to see that the change of one's 
understanding is attributable to God alone. In fact, it is possible that God 
(or Yahweh) was the original subject here, so that the parallel with the deliv- 
erance at Ramah was once more striking than it now is. — SSnrm] either 
feigned himself mad, or raved under the influence of fear, Jer. 25 16 . The 
next clause has a double translation in <g. — OT'l] vm Qre, is supposed to 
mean make marks, as we say scribble. But (& Kal iTVfxitavi&v renders p|n>i, as 
was pointed out by Cappellus, Critica Sacra, p. 261. Possibly in>i is only 
a phonetic spelling of *imi, Ew. G VI*. III. p. 1 16, E. Tr. III. p. 83. — 15. njn] 
one is tempted to restore jn — if you see a madman, why should you bring 
him to me? — pntpn tf'N] cannot be the man is mad (AV., cf. RV.), but the 
words must be the object of the verb. — 16. TOti] probably originally "iDnn 
(Kl.). — nrns] used in contempt as io 27 . — iSj?] implies that the experience 
was burdensome to him. 



XXII. 1-XXVI. 25. David as an outlaw. — The various locali- 
ties in which he hid himself are mentioned, and the failure of Saul 
to seize him is shown. We have duplicate accounts of David's 
sparing Saul when he had him in his power. There are also other 
indications of compilation. But the separation of the documents 
is difficult, owing to the nature of the material. In any case, the 



XXII. i-4 203 

narrative consists of a string of adventures, each of which forms a 
unit of itself. 

XXII. 1-5. David collects a troop of followers, and brings his 
father and mother into a place of safety. — 1. The opening words 
would connect fairly well with 21 1 21 10 or 21 16 . From the general 
tone of the narrative, they agree better with 21 1 than with the 
others. After the signal given by Jonathan, therefore, David went, 
as was most natural, to his own clan, where he found safety in the 
stronghold of Adullam~\ the cave, which has become traditional, 
originated in the error of a scribe. Adullam is one of the 
Canaanite towns whose kings are said to have been conquered 
by Joshua, Jos. 12 15 . It is mentioned in the Shephela, between 
Jarmuth and Shocoh, Jos. 15 35 ; in 2 Chr. 11 7 it comes in immedi- 
ate connexion with Shocoh, and in Neh. n 30 it is one of the 
towns of Judah. These indications point to a location on the 
western edge of Judah and favour the identification with the pres- 
ent Aid-el- Ma ('/d-el-Mi/e, Buhl), twelve miles west by south from 
Bethlehem. The Judahite warrior probably already had friends 
there, and he was joined by his own clan. With David outlawed 
they would not be safe. — 2. In possession of a stronghold, he 
soon became head of a band of soldiers or bandits : There gath- 
ered to him all the oppressed] those rendered desperate by the 
demands of their masters, and every one who had a creditor] a 
brutal exactor of debts who would not hesitate to sell the debtor's 
family into slavery, 2 K. 4 1 ; and every embittered man] according 
to 30 6 men who were angry because of some grievance. The case 
of David is similar to that of Jephthah (Jd. n 3 ). The energetic 
man who is outlawed easily gathers such a force. They numbered, 
in David's case, four hundred men ; at a later stage of the history 
we find six hundred, 30 9 . — 3, 4. The verses are an interpolation, 
or at least from a different source. They tell how David entrusted 
his father and his mother to the king of Moab. The account has 
been found plausible on the ground that Ruth the Moabitess was 
an ancestress of David. But the fact that a young woman had 
married into the tribe of Judah, renouncing her own gods and 
leaving her father's house, would constitute a precarious title for 
her great-grandson in claiming protection. The Mizpeh of Moab 



204 1 SA MUEL 

here mentioned is not named again and cannot be identified. On 
the reading of David's request — Let my father and my mother 
dwell with thee — see the critical note. — 5. The unexpected 
introduction of Gad the prophet shows that the verse is by a 
different hand from the one that wrote L 2 , and from the one that 
wrote 3 - 4 . The purpose for which he comes is to warn David not 
to remain in Mizpeh, which being foreign ground is unclean, but 
to come to the land of Judah. In consequence of this advice 
David came to the Wood of Her eth. The location is unknown. 

1. ohx; mjJD] is also found 2 S. 23 13 (and 1 Chr. n 15 , which is dependent 
upon it). In both cases, the word is followed by a reference not to a rvyna 
but to a mxo (cf. v. 4 ). On this account We.'s correction to PTXO here and in 
2 S. 23 13 is now generally accepted, cf. 23 14 . A cave might also be fortified 
as a stronghold, as were the caves in Galilee in the time of Herod. The 
tradition which identifies the cave of Adullam with the immense cavern of 
Khareitun is traced to the twelfth century of our era only (Baedeker, Pales- 
tine 2 -, p. 133). On the name Adullam cf. Lagarde, BN. p. 54 (from 'adula, to 
turn aside). — 2. pnxo] of the straits of the inhabitants of a besieged city, 
Dt. 28 53 Jer. 19 9 . — 3, 4. Of the two theories concerning the relation of the 
verses to the Book of Ruth, it seems to me more likely that these are the 
original than the reverse (cf. Nestle, Marg. p. 14 and reff.). The Rabbinical 
conceit that David's father, mother, and brothers were slain by the Moabites 
after being entrusted to them (Schm. p. 743) has no foundation in the Biblical 
text. — KS*] does not suit the following Don**. We should probably restore 
3S« as is read by & : maneat IL might be adduced as having the same force, 
but it probably goes back to yivtaQwaav <& which We. would adopt (appar- 
ently reading >rp). (Th. prefers either vm or 3«" to the reading of $%.) Kl.'s 
attempt to retain H'i\ changing D3DK to ddiSx, is opposed by the following ip. 

— Dnnx] irapa aoi <S B , ixera aov <J§ L have the singular, which is to be preferred. 

— »V~WJP"nD] probably in the sense what God will do on my behalf, cf. 14 6 
25 30 . — onji)] pointed by the Massorites as though from nru, read by (S as 
though from Dm, is really intended for anTi, from nu (We. confirmed by 
Dr., who cites % and $ in favour of the reading). — n-mna] favours the read- 
ing mixD above. J5 however has nflX£:j here and in the following verse. — 
5. Gad the prophet is so called in only one other passage, 2 S. 24 11 , and there 
the title seems to be a late insertion. Elsewhere he is David' 's Seer, 2 S. 24 11 
(and the parallel 1 Chr. 21 9 ), 2 Chr. 20/ 25 . He belongs in the later history but 
not here. We should at least be told how he came to be with David. The 
object of his introduction is to get David by divine command from some place 
outside Judah back into his own country. Abiathar had not yet come down 
with the ephod; the oracle is therefore imported by a prophet. As Adullam 
was reckoned to Judah it is probable that for rnvoa here we should read 



XXII. 4-8 205 

nsxcs (Bu. following Kl.)» — "W.] a rough region covered with thickets. <S 
reads here "vp. — rnn] possibly an Aramaizing form of ann, 23 15 (We. follow- 
ing a conjecture of Ewald, GVI Z . III. p. 123). <8£ reads (rapei* or aa/nx- 

6-23. The vengeance of Sanl upon the priests. — Saul learns 
that Ahimelech has aided David. The priest is therefore sum- 
moned and questioned. He admits the act, but denies evil 
intent. But Saul is not satisfied and, at his command, the whole 
priestly clan is hewn down in cold blood. Only one — Ahime- 
lech's son — escapes, perhaps because he was left behind in the 
journey to Gibeah. He flees to David with the ephod. David 
receives him and promises him protection. 

6-23. As the section is plainly the sequel of 2i 2-10 , there is no objection to 
supposing it originally continuous with that. We must however suppose that 
v. 6 has been fitted to the present connexion. In fact the first half of the verse 
is irrelevant. The fact that David and his men were known has nothing to 
do with Saul's vengeance on the priests. The paragraph would be sufficiently 
introduced by 6b . The object of the author is evidently to show how the 
priestly oracle came to be with David instead of with Saul. 

6. And Saul heard that David and his men were known] the 
author does not tell us how they were made known, and Saul in 
his speech betrays no knowledge of David's whereabouts. What 
moves his wrath is that none of his officers has told him of Jona- 
than's friendship for David, not that David has recruited a force 
of men. These considerations justify us in making this clause a 
redactional insertion. — Saul was sitting in Gibeah under the 
Tamarisk] perhaps a well-known tree like the Palm under which 
Deborah sat to administer justice, Jd. 4 5 . The locality is further 
described as on the Bamah (according to (3) or sanctuary. Here 
he sat in state with his spear in his hand] in place of a sceptre. 
So the Argive kings and others (Sanctius cited by Schm.). — 
7, 8. Saul appeals to his courtiers : Hear, O Benjamites / The 
son of Jesse also will give you fields and vineyards, and will make 
you captains of thousands and captains of hundreds t an ironical 
exclamation. ' It appears that you expect to gain as much from 
David who is of Judah, as you have already received from me who 
am of your own clan ! ' The absurdity of such an expectation is 
manifest. Yet it is only on this ground that their behaviour can 



206 I SAMUEL 

be explained : For all of you have conspired against me, and no 
one tells me when my son enters into a bond with the son of Jesse, 
and none of you has pity upon me and tells me that my son has 
abetted my servant against me as an enemy, as you see to be the 
case~\ a good statement of Saul's theory, only it is really an accu- 
sation against Jonathan rather than against David. — 9. The part 
of informer is taken by Doeg the Edomite who was standing by 
the officers of Saul, though he was not one of the regular attend- 
ants at court. — 10. After telling that he saw David come to Nob 
he adds that Ahimelech asked Yahweh for him] as to the pros- 
perity of his journey. The preceding narrative says nothing of 
this, but the truth of the charge seems to be admitted by Ahime- 
lech. He tells also of the provision given David, as well as of 
the sword of Goliath, though the latter is thought to be a later 
insertion. 

6. DHEWO] should be corrected to DipjNm on account of the following ipn 
(Kl., Bu.). — Sti'xn] evidently a tree of some kind. But as the word occurs 
only three times, the species is uncertain. That this was a sacred tree is not 
improbable. Kl. conjectures that the enigmatical &povpa of <g represents an 
intentional substitution of rrvw the cursed for the original name. — nn-o] 
might be on the height. But @ has h fiajxa, which is the word for the village 
sanctuary or high place, cf. 9 12 . — 7. *JVF ^ja] the plural of \FD^ p as in Jd. 
19 16 . — dj] Num etiam dabit quern admodum ego feci? (Schm.) The second 
odSj 1 ? must be an error. Read cd*?oi with <J£ B . — 8. Saul says substantially 
the same thing twice over, unless we suppose the two counts to state progres- 
sive degrees of guilt : Jonathan first enters into a close agreement with 
David, and then stirs him up to enmity against Saul. — nSn] no one is sick for 
me sounds strangely, and we shall doubtless read Sen, cf. 23 21 ; the emenda- 
tion, suggested by Graetz,* is now generally adopted. — D>pn] is generally used 
of Yahweh's raising up either helpers or enemies, cf. 1 K. n 23 . — msS] is 
rendered by <S both here and v. 13 as though it were y>vh, which is probably 
to be restored. mx would imply that David was lying in wait for Saul, which 
even Saul's fancy could hardly find probable. — n?n ova] implies that the 
actual state of things was known to the courtiers. — 9. ^inh] 6 'S.vpos (& B . — 
Sy 2x^3 is to be interpreted like the similar phrase in v. 7 . Doeg, in any case, 
could not be said to be placed over the servants of Saul for these onaj; were 
the high officials. (3 reads here 6 Kadeo-TrjKhs {6 Kadeo-Tdfj.evos) iirl ras riixi6vovs. 
The question comes whether we should have an explanation of Doeg's office 
or of his presence at court. The latter seems to be more probable. The 
author informs us that Doeg whose office would not naturally bring him to the 

* According to Bu. Books of Samuel (SBOT.), but he gives no reference. 



XXIT. 8-17 207 

council of state was standing by the officers of Saul. This makes it probable 
that his office had been described before, and favours the originality of 21 8 . 
-V 3Xj, it may be remarked, is nearly always used of literal standing. — 
10. mn>3 V? -L >Ntt"i] by means of the sacred oracle. That the consultation of 
the oracle was lawful to the king alone, is a conceit of the Jewish expositors. 
— h jnj 11 'J 2"\n nxi] is suspicious from the repetition of the words iS jnj. 
It is therefore marked as secondary by Bu. in his text, and Co. agrees with him. 
The verse is very short however without this clause, and the reference to the 
sword in v. 13 protects at least so much here. Not impossibly the original had 
only V? JTU aim rrvxi. 

11. Saul summoned Ahimelech and all his clan, the priests who 
were in Nob, and they came. — 12, 13. At Saul's address, Ahime- 
lech answers obediently : Here am I, my Lord! Saul then makes 
his accusation : Why have you conspired against me, thou and the 
son of Jesse, in that thou gavest him bread and a sword and didst 
ask God for him, that he might stand against me as an enemy as 
is now the case ? If Saul knew that it was the sword of Goliath, 
he would pretty certainly put the statement into the accusation. 
— 14. Ahimelech's answer is a defence of David : And who 
among all thy servants is like David, trusted, and the king's son- 
in-law, and chief over thy subjects, and honoured in thy household? 
The panegyric would be little calculated to quiet Saul's anger, but 
it shows Ahimelech's honesty of intention. — 15. Precedent more- 
over is on Ahimelech's side : Is this the first time I have asked 
God for him ? The fact is not denied, but the intention of con- 
spiracy — far be it from me ! In his consciousness of innocence, 
he prays that no guilt may be laid to the charge of himself or his 
father's house. That these were under suspicion is manifest from 
their being summoned before the king. — 16. To Ahimelech's 
protestation of ignorance and innocence Saul replies only with a 
sentence of death on him and his whole clan. ' De innocentia tua 
tecum nolo disputare, volo autem ut morte moriaris ; haec mea 
voluntas est pro ratione ' (Schm.). — 17. Saul commands the run- 
ners standing about him] the body guard of the king ran before 
his chariot. They also acted as executioners. — Turn about and 
slay the priests of Yahweh] we may picture the runners standing 
near the king, the body of priests a little further back. In giving 
the reason for his command, Saul accuses the priests of complicity 
with David, giving no credence to the protest of Ahimelech : For 



208 I SAMUEL 

their hand also was with David] indicates that he has others in 
mind as well as they — perhaps Jonathan only. The soldiers 
refuse to carry out the command, owing to the sacred character 
of the accused. — 18. Doeg was less scrupulous, and at the king's 
command he turned and slew the priests'] Jd. 8 21 15 12 2 S. i 15 . The 
victims were eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod] the char- 
acteristic garment of the priest 2 18 . — 19. The verse tells that 
Saul put the city of the priests to the sword in language closely 
similar to the ban pronounced upon Amalek, 15 3 . For this reason 
it is supposed by some to be an interpolation, and in fact it could 
easily be spared from the narrative. We have no further informa- 
tion concerning the fate of Nob ; and there is no parallel to the 
wiping out of an Israelite city by Israelites, except in the very 
late account of the destruction of Benjamin, Jd. 20 and 21. 

13. iSn] vSs Qre is doubtless correct. — Sinem] the infinitive absolute 
continuing a finite verb, cf. Dav. Syntax, 88 a. — iVx] another instance of 
the confusion of Sx and Vp. The latter alone is in place with Dip in the hos- 
tile sense. — 3ixS] must correspond with the word adopted in v. 8 ; read there- 
fore 2>nS. A licr-in-ivait does not stand against any one; he lurks for him. 
— 14. jnjTDro Sn idi] and who turns aside to thine obedience makes no sense 
in this connection. nD is only another spelling for "W as is indicated by &pxwv 
<§; njraro is the abstract for the concrete — the subjects of the king, Is. n 14 
2 S. 23 s3 (where however the text is doubtful). — 15. inVnn dvti] is somewhat 
difficult. It is necessary to read as a question, and the interrogative has prob- 
ably dropped off before n, unless we can suppose ovnn to become DWi for 
euphony. But what does the priest mean by asking : Did I begin to-day to 
ask ? The only plausible explanation seems to be that he means : / have been 
accustomed to consult the oracle for David on his other expeditions, with your 
knowledge and consent ; therefore you cannot charge me with it as a crime in 
this instance. — S02] read h"Si\ <3&. — 17. dj] is lacking in 18. — u?n] >j?n 
Qre is doubtless correct. — 18. The name of the Edomite is here written jm 
instead of jni. In pronunciation the two were probably alike. — 12 niBN npj] 
must mean wearing a linen ephod, <S omits -a.* — 19. The similarity of the 
language to 15 3 is evident. Editorial insertions of this kind are not uncom- 
mon, so that Bu. and Co. are probably right in making the verse to be of 
that class. — :nn ^sV] at the end of the verse is lacking in <f§ and superfluous. 

* In addition to what was said above (on 2 18 ) about linen as the material of 
priestly garments in Egypt, it may be noted that in Babylon also the priests and 
scribes wore linen clothing. This is pointed out by Gunkel, Archiv ftir Religions- 
wissenschaft, I. p. 297. « 



XXII. I7-XXIII. 209 

20, 21. One son of Ahimelech escaped, whose name was Abia- 
thar. His only refuge was with David, and to him he went, and 
told him that Saul had slain the priests of Yahweh~] the commen- 
tators suppose that Abiathar was left in charge of the Oracle, while 
the other priests answered Saul's summons. There is nothing of 
this in the text however, and it is rather surprising that the Oracle 
is not mentioned in connexion with Abiathar here, and first comes 
into view in 23 s . — 22. David is not surprised at the news: / 
knew that day, because Doeg was there, that he would certainly 
tell Saul. He therefore accuses himself as accessory : / am guilty 
of the lives of thy clan. — 23. He encourages Abiathar to stay with 
him and not fear ; for whoever seeks thy life must also seek my life~] 
restoring the probable order of the words. — For thou art a deposit 
with me~\ the article deposited with one for safekeeping was sacred, 
and, as we know from an Arabic story, it was defended to the last 
by the one to whom it was entrusted. 

20, 21. Th* evident point of this narrative is to show how the priest came 
to be with David instead of with Saul. But to the older view the priest was 
nothing without the Ephod. There is reason to suspect therefore that the 
original account of the slaughter of the priests inserted here the words : and 
brought the Ephod with him. The scruples of the later writer omitted the ref- 
erence to the Ephod, whereupon it was inserted in 23 s . — nnox] on the name 
cf. BDB. and reff. — 22. The somewhat awkward sentence must be rendered 
as above. Omitting DP with <& AB , we might also omit the second »3 and get 
simply *vji in jmi >d which would be smoother. — vod] must be corrected 
to Ton with @J5 Th. and most recent scholars (cf. Dr. Notes). — wo'Vaa] <S b 
omits Sd, whereas @ L inserts it before no. — 23. *WM and yyo: have become 
transposed in f§. What David should say for the encouragement of Abiathar 
is not : he who seeks my life is also seeking yours, but : whoever seeks your life 
must first take mine. 

XXIII. 1-29. Saul seeks David. — David delivers Keilah from 
the Philistines. Saul purposes to besiege him there. David, 
warned by the Oracle, leaves the city and dwells in the wilder- 
ness. The natives inform Saul, who makes another effort to capt- 
ure him. At the critical moment however Saul is called away by 
a Philistine invasion. Between the two attempts, Jonathan visits 
David and encourages him, and the two make a bond of friendship. 

The original thread of the narrative has been disturbed by the 



210 i SAMUEL 

intrusion of the scene with Jonathan, and there are some minor 
fragments which seem to be interpolated. 

1. The verse seems to connect well with 2 2 2 . There David 
was in the stronghold of Adullam with four hundred men. Here 
he begins to use his power for the relief of his own people when 
oppressed by the Philistines. David is told ; the Philistines are 
fighting against Keilah~\ a town which is reckoned to Judah, 
Jos. 15 44 , though David's men had a different notion. If the 
identification with the present Kila be correct, the place lay only 
three miles south of Adullam. — And they are plundering the thresh- 
ing-floors^ a favourite act of robbery in a freebooting society. The 
treasure of the fellahin is easiest carried off at the time of thresh- 
ing. Later it is apt to be hid in pits or stored in the strongholds. 

— 2. David asked of the Oracle : Shall I go and smite these 
Philistines? The author does not deem it necessary here to 
explain how the Oracle came to be with David, and this is an 
argument against the originality of v. 6 , at least in the place in 
which it now stands. The answer to the question is an affirma- 
tive. — 3. David's men however object. In other cases we find 
them not easy to control. — Behold we are afraid here in Judah~\ 
the distinction between Judah and the territory of Keilah is per- 
plexing. Possibly Keilah was tributary to the Philistines, so that 
David's men thought of it as Philistine territory. On the other 
hand Keilah, like Carmel, may have been reckoned to Caleb or 
one of the other clans not yet absorbed in Judah. How much 
more if we go to Keilah against the army of the Philistines / The 
argument is a fortiori. — 4. David therefore repeats his inquiry 
of the Oracle and receives a direct command and a promise : 
Rise, go down to Keilah, for I give the Philistines into thy hand. 

— 5. In accordance with the command, David and his men we?it 
to Keilah and fought against the Philistines, and drove away their 
cattle'] which they had brought in order to carry off the plundered 
grain. (SP inserts they fled before him before the last clause. In 
any case, he delivered the inhabitants of Keilah. 

6. The verse is obviously displaced. Designed as it is, to show 
how David could consult Yahweh, it ought to come earlier. Or, 
if the author supposed the former response to have been given in 



XXIII. I-I2 211 

some other way than by the Ephod, then the proper place for this 
verse is later, after v. 9 . The text has suffered in transmission, but 
may be plausibly restored so as to give the following meaning : 
And when Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David, he came down 
to Keilah with the Ephod in his hand] Keilah was the place to 
which he came down and he brought the Ephod, — these are data 
supplementary to the account of the slaughter of the priests. 

1. rh*yp] cf. Buhl, Geog. p. 193, who refers to the Tell-el-Amarna letters, 
ZDPV. XIII. 142; Gueiin, /udee, III. 341 ff; GAS., Geog. p. 230.— 2. "f?lin] 
the direct question is put to the Oracle as in the cases already noted. — 

3. 'an nmyD" 1 ™] is perhaps an expansion. The original form of @ seems to 
have read simply to Keilah of the Philistines (pointed out by We.). The fact 
that niS^jno does not correctly describe a plundering expedition need not 
weigh very heavily. David's men would naturally state the case strongly. — 

4. jnj] the participle is used of the immediate future, as frequently. — 5. vb>jni 
Qre, is to be preferred. <6£ L makes the order this : he fought, they fled, he 
slew, and drove off the cattle. — 6. The commentators all remark on the im- 
possibility of rva TV iflN. The simplest explanation of it seems to be that 
the first two words have been transposed. By inserting a 1 we get a fairly 
good sense : ITO tisni TV rhyp. This is the actual text of <g L and it calls 
attention to the fact that the place at which Abiathar found David was 
Keilah, and that the Ephod which is commanded a little later is the one from 
Nob. 

7. Saul on hearing of David's place of sojourn said to himself: 
God has sold him into my hand, for he has entrapped himself in 
coming into a city of doors and bars'] the king with a superior 
force would shut him in his cage as Sennacherib boasted after- 
wards that he had done to Hezekiah. — 8. The royal summons 
was sent out and the whole people mustered to besiege David and 
his men. — 9. David on hearing of the muster of the militia knew 
that it was against him] and not the Philistines as was ostensibly 
given forth (we may suppose) that Saul was carving out an evil] 
and he therefore prepares to consult God. — 10. David recites 
the occasion of his anxiety. — 11. The text of % is evidently in 
disorder. The question at the opening of the verse receives no 
answer and is repeated later. Omitting it, we get : Will Saul 
come down as thy servant has heard? Yahweh, God of Israel, tell 
thy servant/ To this question an affirmative answer is given. — 
12. The second question — Will the burghers of Keilah give me 



212 i SAMUEL 

and my men into the hand of Saul? — also receives an affirmative. 
— 13. David and his men left Keilah, and wandered hither and 
thither] in consequence of which Saul abandoned his expedition. 
The ingratitude of the men of Keilah is the subject of animad- 
version by Schm., but the better part of valour is discretion, and 
the town may not have been able to stand a siege. Whether it 
owed allegiance to Saul however may well be doubted. — 14. The 
verse reads like a summing up of the history, so far as relates to 
this part of David's life. It may have concluded the account of 
his wanderings in one of the documents : So David dwelt in the 
Wilderness] the Wilderness of Judah is meant, overhanging the 
western shore of the Dead Sea. — And Saul sought him continu- 
ally, but Yahweh did not give him into his hand. The allusion to 
the Wilderness of Ziph is an intrusion. 

7. 133] gives no meaning proper to this context : Deus abalienavit men- 
tern ab eo (Schm., p. 773) is without parallel. W2L and the Jewish expositors 
make the word mean to deliver over, but without support. (3 has irerrpaKev, 
evidently reading m \x s a verb often used of God's handing over his own into 
the power of their enemies, Dt. 32 30 Jd. 2 14 3 8 1 S. 12 9 . It is safer to restore 
this word, for which we have direct evidence, than to conjecture something 
else. For "\ip Bu. adduces the following -udj, which however, as Dr. points 
out, argues the other way. If 1DD were a good Hebrew word it would 
exactly fit the place. — miai otVi] the two gates locked by one great bar 
across them. Probably small towns had but one entrance. — 8. y wi] cf. 
15 4 . — "TO*?] a few MSS. have "nxS. But "m* is the proper word for besieging 
a fortress. — 9. E'nno] the verb occurs in the Qal, Prov. 3 s9 6 U , in the sense 
of planning, as here. Saul was brewing evil is an English equivalent. Still 
it is possible that the text is not sound. — 10. "v>'S] for the direct object. Dr. 
cites a few instances, but possibly "vyn should be read. — 11. no 'p'2 •'jTUD^n] 
is in place in v. 1 ' 2 where we find it repeated. A part of it is lacking in <J5 so 
that the conjecture of We. is probable — that the whole was lacking in @, but 
that owing to another error of that text '"J-udti was inserted later. J5 omits 
all but the one question : Will the Burghers of Keilah deliver me and my men 
into the hand of Saul? The reading of We. is adopted by Bu., who however 
inserts nnjn from <S. A scribe got the second question in the wrong place, 
and left it there without erasure. From TV at the end of the verse <J| B omits 
to the last word of v. 12 ; a clear case of homeoteleuton; the eye of the scribe 
fell upon the second nvr> -idnm instead of the first. <§ L has inserted the miss- 
ing words though retaining the wrong reply to the first question. — 13. "WW 
nito] where <S has about four hundred. It is difficult to decide between 
them. <J5 may have been conformed to the statement in 22 2 . — ic»X3 wSnrm 
i3Vnn>] a genuine Semitic expression, cf. Koran 53 16 : "Then covered the 



XXIII. 12-19 213 

Sidra tree that which covered it." — 14. ipfunoa ina aa»i] is superfluous, 
and in fact contradicts the immediately preceding clause. Without this, the 
verse concludes an account of David's wandering. The clause originally stood 
at the opening of the next adventure, v. 19 . 

15-18. Jonathan's visit. The verses are a distinct insertion. — 
15. David feared because Saul had come out to seek hint] the 
sentence can refer only to some particular expedition of Saul, and 
therefore does not fit the immediately preceding statement which 
affirms Saul's continuous persecution. No more does it belong 
after v. 13 , which tells that David escaped. — And David was then 
in the wilderness of Ziph~\ the name still survives in Tell Ziph 
(GAS. Geog. p. 306; Buhl, Geog. p. 163), south from Hebron. 
Whether the Horesha of this passage is identical with Khoreisa, 
as suggested by Conder, is not certain. — 16. Jonathan came to 
Horesha and encouraged David in God~\ by assurances of the 
divine protection. — 17. Not only should David be protected 
from Saul, but he should also attain the kingdom, Jonathan con- 
tenting himself with the second place. — 18. The covenant made 
is parallel to the two already spoken of, 18 3 20 8 . 

15. The verse seems based on 26 s . The author of the secondary account 
took a hint from the second clause of that verse, and built upon it a further 
instance of Jonathan's fidelity. — K"w] is intended (Ew., GVI Z . III. p. 127, 
E. Tr. III. p. 92). David's fear is the proper introduction to Jonathan's con- 
solation. — Wtna] other cases of the preposition with the He locale are cited 
by Dr. In the following verse however rntnn seems quite clearly to be a 
proper name (so Kl., Bu., Ki.). Wooded heights do not exist in the Wilderness 
of Judah and probably never did exist there. The identification with Khoreisa 
seems to be adopted by GASmith and Buhl. Kl. supposes it to be the same 
with the mn -\p, 22 5 . — 16. wn* p?mi] cf. Jer. 23 14 Ezek. 13 22 Job 4A — 
17. rWpS] cf. 2 Chr. 28 7 Esth. io 3 . 

19-29. A narrow escape. — The Ziphites offer to conduct Saul 
to David. Saul therefore comes with a large force and has David 
and his men within his grasp. But at the critical moment he is 
called away by an invasion of the Philistines. The story is a local 
legend designed to explain the origin of the name given to one 
of the rocks in the region. 

19. The verse continues 14a in its original form. The second 
half, however, is superfluous, and restoring the connexion we 



214 « SAMUEL 

should read : David dwelt in strongholds in the Wilderness of 
Ziph, and the Ziphites came to Saul and said : Is not David hid- 
ing himself in our region in strongholds ? Had they given the 
exact location, as now defined in the rest of the verse, it would 
have been unnecessary for Saul to urge them to discover David's 
hiding-place. — 20. And now according to thy heart's desire to 
come down, O king, come down ; and it shall be our part to deliver 
him into the hand of the king] possibly David's presence was bur- 
densome, as it was felt to be by Nabal. — 21. Saul expresses his 
gratitude because they have taken compassion on him. — 22. He 
exhorts them : Give attention still, and know the place where his 
foot rests / The text cannot be called certain. According to J^, 
a reason is added : For I am told he is very cunning. — 23. The 
exhortation of the preceding verse is repeated in substance and 
Saul concludes : Then J will go with you, and if he be in the land, 
I will search him out among all the thousands ofjudah. — 24. The 
Ziphites went in advance of Saul at a time when David and his 
men were in the Wilderness of Maon] the place is mentioned 
along with Carmel and Ziph in Jos. 15 55 , and still bears the name 
Main. As the next verse tells that David on hearing of Saul's 
incursion went and dwelt in the Wilderness of Maon, there is 
reason to suspect the integrity of the text. — In the Arabah to the 
south of Jeshimon] is in fact sufficiently explicit. — 25. David 
went down to the crag which is in the Wilderness of Maon. The 
idea seems to be that he fled down the mountain side without 
attempting a defence. — 26. Saul was in hot pursuit — David was 
going in hasty flight from Saul, and Saul and his men were about 
to fly upon David and his men, to seize hold of them] the providen- 
tial interference came just at the right moment. — 27, 28. Saul is 
called off by the news of a Philistine invasion, and the place 
receives the name : Rock of Divisions. — 29. The verse forms 
the transition to the following. Engedi is a well-known oasis in 
the wilderness of Judah, on the west shore of the Dead Sea. 

19. As the verse stands it gives David's location tautologically : in strong- 
holds, in Horesha, in the Hill of Hachila] but the indefinite strongholds is the 
only word which fits the situation, and it, as well as Saul's reply, is contradicted 
by the more exact locations whkh follow. These also seem inconsistent with 
each other unless we suppose Horesha to be located on the Hill of Hachila, 



XXIII. I9-2Q 215 

which is unnatural. We are obliged therefore to strike out as later insertion 
all that follows nnXD3. The last clause was put in under the influence of 26 1 
and nsnn was inserted to reconcile this with the preceding. The location of 
the Hill of Hachila here however is given as south of the desert, whereas in 
26 1 it is apparently east of it; cf. v. 14 (We.). — nS-onn] occurs only here and 
in 26 li3 (Glaser restores it by conjecture in 15 7 for nS^in); some copies have 
nSon. — pwewi] is used of the Desert of Judah here and 26 1 - 3 , cf. Num. 21 20 . 
For a description cf. GAS., Geog. p. 313; also Robinson, BE 2 . I. p. 500 f. — 
20. din-^dS] elsewhere PW "wa. Here we should expect Sdj. For ufri (JjJ seems 
to have read \yfy* connecting it with what precedes, u^jn would be the regu- 
lar form to express what we need in this context. — 21. anVrn] confirms the 
emendation made in 22 s . — 22. U*an] supply aS, 1 Chr. 12 14 . The ellipsis does 
not occur elsewhere however, and perhaps we should read u*an, De Rossi, 
with 6 MSS. Some editions prefix \ — ism lyn] one of the two words is 
superfluous, and <g B has only iyn. The words ots> injo va are inappropriate; 
Saul is not concerned with the particular man who shall discover David but 
with the discovery only. Besides, we should at least emend >d to Vtt. (3 has 
iv rax** £kc?, on the ground of which Th. following a hint of Ew. reads mncn 
— ' where his fleeting foot may be.' But the adjective is uncalled for. Ki. 
reads n-\no as an adverb : know quickly, but the order of the words renders 
this impossible. What the sense requires is a participle defining the condition 
of the subject — where his foot is staying. The original may have been n^jnc, 
cf. Is. 34 14 , or pi^nc, Ps. 91 1 . But there is reason to suspect that the corrup- 
tion is deeper, and that Saul really said : spy out (iSji) his resting-place cun- 
ningly, because he is very sly. Something like this seems required by the 
concluding part of the verse. — "\en "o] for one says is perfectly good Hebrew. 
But it is surprising that Saul should give David's character by hearsay, so that 
this part of the verse also seems to have suffered in transmission. (J| reads 
ov efrreTe (efrrciTe) connecting with what precedes: hasten where you say 
(he is), adding lest he play you a trick. — 23. The verse is so nearly a repeti- 
tion of the preceding, that Kl. takes it to be an insertion from a different 
document. More probably it has been expanded by a scribe. <g B omits 
PDJ"Sn . . . Sdd, and what remains gives a satisfactory sense. — jisj'Sn] prob- 
ably we should read hy (as so often). They were to return resting on a cer- 
tainty. — pj?o] identified by Robinson. The village lies not far south of 
Carmel. In this place <§ L has rf) eV^/cc^ and Houbigant * conjectures there- 
fore pj?oa\ But as the Ziphites were active in the matter, the Wilderness of 
Maon is appropriate enough. — no-\^3] must mean in the valley of the Dead 
Sea. As the Jordan valley is called the Arabah, and the same valley extends 
south of the Dead Sea, this makes no difficulty. On Jeshimon cf. Num. 21 20 
23 s8 and Dillmann's note. — 25. vpzh] read wpih with <31LW (Th.). — :jb»i] 
is inappropriate. (5 had -)&x which is evidently original (Th.). — 26. Sinc] 
add vrjNi with ©. — ronj] cf. 2 K. 7 15 Kt. David was putting himself into a 

* Cf. Josephus, Ant. VI. 280 (Niese, II. p. 54), h T jj 2i>ioeo? iprjfi<f. 



2l6 i SAMUEL 

panic in getting away. — Dna;] which is used of protecting, Ps. 5 13 , seems 
inappropriate here, so that the conjecture of Kl. who reads onoj; is acceptable. 
— 28. f\T*ai] on the Daghesh (Baer and Ginsb.) cf. Ges. 26 22 s. — npSron yVo] 
the expositors are divided between the interpretations Rock of Divisions and 
Rock of Escape. The latter would be more appropriate if pin could mean 
to escape ; but this seems not to be the case. — 29. The division of chapters 
and verses differs in the different editions, and Baer begins the next chapter 
with this verse — as do the majority of editions in circulation. Engedi still 
bears the name Ain Jidi, Robinson, BR 2 . I. p. 504, GAS. Geog. p. 269. For 
the older authorities, Reland, Palaestina, p. 763. 

XXIV. 1-22. David's magnanimity. — Saul comes into David's 
power, but is spared and recognizes the generosity of his enemy. 
The incident is similar to the one narrated in 26. In both cases 
Saul is at the mercy of David, and in danger of being slain except 
for David's restraint of his men. In both, David's motive is rev- 
erence for the Anointed of Yahweh. In the second of the two 
accounts, David makes no allusion to having spared Saul before, 
and Saul is equally silent. We have reason to think, therefore, 
that we have two versions of the same story. It is natural to sup- 
pose that one belongs with each of the two documents which 
make up the bulk of the narrative already considered. Almost the 
only clue to the relation of one of these stories to the other is 
that in this chapter Saul is brought into David's power, whereas in 
26 David takes upon himself the danger of going into the enemy's 
camp. The slight preponderance of probability seems to me to 
be on the side of the latter representation (chapter 26) as more 
original. 

1. As remarked above, the editions vary in the division of chap- 
ters. The only ones which agree with Ginsburg in making the 
dividing line the space which indicates a Parasha, are the very cor- 
rect edition printed at Mantua 1742, and those printed by Plantin. 
I have followed this notation with the idea that Ginsburg's edition 
is likely to be widely current. — 2. The force of three thousand 
men which Saul took with him reminds us of the standing army 
which he recruited at the beginning of his career, 1 f. The Wild- 
goafs Crags, on the face of which he sought David, are not yet 
identified, but the ibex {bedn) is still found in the region. — 
3. The sheep folds to which Saul came were possibly caves with a 
rough stone wall about the entrance, such as are still found in the 



XXIV. i-7 217 

Wilderness of Judah. Into one of these caves Saul went to relieve 
himself, cf. Jd. 3 24 , where the same euphemism is used as here. 
This cave, however, was the one in which David and his men had 
taken refuge. They would naturally be unseen by Saul as he came 
in from the daylight. We need not insist that the whole of David's 
force was in the one cave. — 4-7. The narrative does not follow 
the natural order, and is perhaps interpolated. — 4. David's men 
remind him of a promise of God : This is the day of which Yah- 
weh said: Behold I give thine enemy into thy hand, arid thou shall 
do to him as thou pleasest. No such promise is recorded in the 
preceding narrative. The author probably had in mind later pro- 
phetic declarations. According to the present text, David, without 
replying to his men, secretly approached the king, and cut off the 
skirt of his mantle. — 5. The feeling that his action was an indig- 
nity gave him a twinge of conscience. — 6. The verse continues 
the conversation between David and his men with no reference to 
the skirt. — 7. So David restrained his men] the exact verb 
intended is doubtful, see the critical note. 

2. O^yn] cf. Buhl, Geog. p. 97 note. <& L has rrjs dtjpas rwv i\a<pwv, 
which possibly points to o^jnn -m. — 3. "|DnS] Ginsb. gives yorh as the 
reading of the Massora. The phrase here used is found in only one other 
passage, but the meaning seems clear. A call of nature is the only adequate 
reason for the King's going alone and unattended into a cave. <f| also 
speaks euphemistically, but Aq. rendered airoKevuaai (Theod. Questiones) , and 
Josephus describes Saul as iireiy6ixevos vnb twv Kara <pvaiv, with which com- 
pare ut purgaret ventrem IL, and n^nix *\iyxh & Only J5 (which makes Saul 
sleep) breaks the consensus of the ancient authorities. — to-ps] indicates 
a cave with branching recesses. — o-ott"] describes the position in which 
David's men were at Saul's entrance — they were sitting down in the recesses 
of the cave (Dr.). — 4-7. According to the received text the order is as fol- 
lows: (1) David's men point out his opportunity; (2) David rises and cuts 
off Saul's skirt; (3) he repents of it; (4) he then replies to his men; (5) he 
restrains them from bloodshed. This is obviously an unnatural order, and Co. 
and Bu. rearrange the clauses in the order 4a - 6 - 7a - 4b - 5 - 7b . The narrative then 
reads smoothly enough. But it is difficult to see how the dislocation took 
place. It cannot be intentional, for there is no motive for it; the accidents 
of transmission do not generally work in this way. It seems simpler to sup- 
pose that the corruption has come in as so often by interpolation. The earlier 
account made no mention of David's cutting off Saul's skirt. The fact that 
Saul had been in David's power was sufficiently evident by their having been 
in the cave together. A later writer wanted more tangible evidence and so 



2l8 I SAMUEL 

introduced the incident of the skirt. Verse 7 joins directly to 4a , and what 
is between has been inserted. Verse n is inserted by the same hand and is 
as readily spared as 4b_6 . — 4. "WH ovn] it would be grammatically correct to 
translate : this is the day when Yahweh says, in which case Yahweh speaks 
by his providential delivery of Saul into David's hand, and there is no refer- 
ence to a prediction made at an earlier time. But it is unnecessary to de- 
scribe Yahweh as speaking by such a providence, and the following words 
jry "OJN run are in the regular prophetic form. I have therefore supposed 
such a reference here. The other view is defended by Dr., Notes. "p^M Qre, 
is correct. — 5. f|J3"riN] should have the article or be defined by a genitive. 
Th. proposes to insert ^JtQK (3 however reads rrjs SnrAoidos avrov instead 
of hwv^? ir*, and the latter is suspicious from its conformity to v. 4 . Restore 
therefore fayo qjD rx. — 6. IWWD *S nV*r»] so in 26 11 1 K. 21 3 . — 7. powi] 
the verb means to rend or tear, Jd. 14 6 . Even if we suppose a figure of 
speech, the action described by such a figure is too violent for the situation. 
@ Kai eirei<rei> may point to pgpjl as conjectured by Cappellus (Critica Sacra, 
P- 33°) J ^ might also represent BJW*1 which would be appropriate here. Bu. 
proposes Jtton, citing 2$ 2G - M which are not strictly parallel. 

8. The verse division should be made to include the last clause 
of the preceding : And when Saul rose from the cave and went 
on the road, David arose after him and went out. As Saul turned 
at his call, David did the customary obeisance by prostration. — 

9. David's expostulation assumes that Saul is under the influence 
of evil advisers who slanderously say : David seeks thy hurt — 

10. In contrast to this is the present experience : To-day thine 
eyes see that Yahweh gave thee into my hand in the cave, but I 
refused to kill thee~\ and the refusal is motived by his relation to 
Saul as his lord and as the Anointed of Yahweh. — 11. David 
calls attention to the skirt as evidence ; I have not sinned against 
thee though thou art aiming at my life, to take it"] repayment of 
evil with good. As already shown the verse must stand or fall 
with 4b_6 . — 12. He leaves his cause in the hands of God, reiter- 
ating his refusal to lay his hand upon Saul. — 13. The introduction 
of such a proverb as we here find is particularly infelicitous, for it 
intimates that the wickedness of Saul would be his destruction. 
There is good ground therefore for suspecting the verse to be an 
interpolation. — 14. The unworthiness of Saul's effort is seen in 
the insignificance of the object. David compares himself to 
a dead dog, cf. 2 S. 9 s , or to a flea. — 15. A prayer for vindication 
at the hands of Yahweh. 



XXIV. 8-21 219 

8. p'nnx] should apparently be mn* as read by <J| AB , and we should 
possibly omit Ni"-! with <S B . The reading of <J5 L is considerably shorter than 
either of the others — ko.1 iffiAde AavtS e'/e tov (nrr)Aaiov oiria-co 'XaovA Acyoou 
omitting from one 6iri<rca to the other. — 10. fl»p i*n] Saul's eyes had not 
seen anything in the cave, but the appearance of David made clear what his 
situation had been. We should retain the text therefore, instead of changing 
to yv;2 nao with $£>. — isni] is irregular as pointed out by Th., We., Dr. 
The emendation to jncni suggested by We. on the ground of teal ovk rj&ouAriOriv 
commends itself. Ki. adheres to ^ translating man sprach mir zu, but the 
tense is wrong. 3L reads 1D>0 = and I thought to kill thee ; but it is scarcely 
possible that David would confess an intention of this kind. — DITTO] evidently 
requires Ty to be expressed as is actually done by 1L. On the ground of (3 
however we may restore Dnxi (We.) ; the similarity of n and n in the old- 
Hebrew alphabet is remarked upon by Ginsburg, Introd. p. 291. — 11. »3*l] 
is curiously connected by (JH L with the preceding: he is the Anointed of 
Yahweh and my father. (3 B reads simply koI 15ov rb irrepvyiov. The diffuse - 
ness of this verse is an argument for its later insertion. What David wished 
to impress was sufficiently evident without so many words. — JWt] only here 
and Ex. 21 13 . It there means to intend a thing. — 13. The proverb of the 
ancients here introduced seems to mean that the destruction of the wicked will 
come from themselves — ' his violence shall come down upon his own head.' 
A reader might find this appropriate to Saul and insert it in the margin, 
whence it came into the text. We can hardly suppose the original author, 
who makes David show such deep respect for Saul, to put such an intimation 
into David's mouth. — Wipo] should probably be plural — the following word 
begins with c. — "p] should be )3 which form alone is appropriate to the 
proverb. — 14. The exaggerated humility with which David here speaks 
seems to me secondary, as compared with the vigorous language of 26 20 . 
— 15. >jt2Da»i] in the meaning of freeing from one's enemies, as was done 
by the liberators of Israel in the Book of Judges. 

16. Saul, overcome with emotion, wept aloud in oriental fash- 
ion. — 17. Saul confesses that David is more righteous, in that he 
has repaid good for evil. — 18. The present example is conspicu- 
ous proof : To-day thou hast done great good to me in that Yah- 
weh shut me up into thy hand and thou didst not kill me] all 
David's acts towards Saul had been good, but this was the greatest. 
— 19. Such an act is almost unheard of — what man will find 
his enemy and send him on a good path ? Saul therefore predicts : 
Yahweh will reward thee good for the good deed which thou hast 
done to me. — 20. Saul confesses his conviction that David is to 
come to the kingdom. — 21. He therefore adjures David not to 
cut off his seed after him ; and that thou wilt not destroy my name 



220 i SAMUEL 

from my clati\ the blotting out of one's name by the destruction 
of his children was the gravest calamity, 2 S. 14 7 . — 22. With 
David's compliance the interview ended ; Saul went to his house 
and David and his men went up to the stronghold. 

16. in . . . idn^] is suspected by Bu. and is in fact doubtful. The same 
words occur in 26 17 where they are in place and are followed by David's 
answer. — 18. n*o Kt.~\ JWW Qre. — mjni] the conjectural emendation of 
Kl. to rVruni is accepted by Bu., Ki., and gives a much better sense : To-day 
thou hast done the greatest thing which thou hast done to me in the way of good, 
namely (t^n n«) : Yahweh delivered me into thy hand, etc. — 19. ^^ l 7tt» , '] is 
usually assumed to be a question and Dr. compares Ezek. I5 5b . It seems easier 
however to emend with Kl., reading *D1 instead of *3i (cf. 3L quis enini), 
striking out bmk. Otherwise we must assume an anacoluthon : When a man 
finds his enemy and sends him on a good path — Yahweh will rezuard thee. 
The author in this case intended to say: Yahzveh will reward him, but 
changed the construction. — nrn crn nnn] is possible, but the following clause 
is difficult. We should probably read nrn awn nnn with Kl. — 20, 21. These 
verses with the first three words of ' 22 are coloured by Bu. as a very late inser- 
tion (cf. RS. p. 229). The idea of this author however that David was to 
come to the kingdom might readily express itself by the mouth of Saul in 
this way. 

XXV. 1. This notice of the death of Samuel has no connexion 
with what precedes or with what follows, but is duplicated in 28 s . 
It may have followed immediately on 19 18 " 24 in a life of Samuel. 
The history as thus reconstructed told of David's preservation by 
the Spirit of Prophecy which fell upon Saul, and added that soon 
after that experience Samuel died, so that David took refuge in 
the Wilderness. Samuel was buried in his house, cf. 1 K. 2 s * 
(perhaps also 2 K. 21 18 originally). Though other specific state- 
ments to this effect are not found, it is possible that burial in one's 
house was not uncommon. The fact that the sepulchres of the 
kings of Israel were in the palace (Ezek. 43 7 " 9 ) would favour this 
view. There is a statement to the effect that the alleged bones 
of Samuel were transferred to Constantinople, a.d. 406. — The 
wilderness of Paran to which David \6 said to have gone is the 
extreme southern end of the Arabah. The historical improbability 
of David's going so far into the wilderness is not a sufficient reason 
for changing the text. 

1. Schmid cites Serarius and Sanctius concerning the translation of Sam- 
uel's bones to Constantinople lie himself of course rejects that which the 



XXIV. 2I-XXV. 3 221 

credulous and superstitious accept. — \-\xd Tano] known as the seat of Ish- 
mael, Gen. 2i 21 and one of the stations of the Wandering, Nu. io 12 I2 lt} . 
On the ground of Madv 4§ B most editors are disposed to emend to pjJD here. 
But the change to this from the other on the ground of the next verse is 
more probable than the reverse. 

XXV. 2-44. David and Nabal. — David takes the occasion of 
a festival, to ask a contribution from a wealthy Calebite named 
Nabal. His messengers are churlishly sent away empty, and David 
in his wrath vows to destroy the man and his family. Nabal's wife 
Abigail, on being informed of the way in which the messengers 
have been treated, suspects that mischief is brewing. Hastily tak- 
ing a generous present she rides to meet David whom she pacifies. 
A few days later Nabal dies and David makes Abigail his wife. 

The story presents a vivid picture of life in the land of Judah. 
It seems to be drawn from the source from which in subsequent 
chapters we have David's family history. The interest of the 
author is not in David's method with the wealthy sheep owners, 
but in the way he got a wife, and in the kind of wife he got. The 
connexion with what goes before is not plain, but as there is no 
trace in it of the persecution by Saul, we may suppose that it 
once followed directly on 23 14 , where the author disposes of Saul 
(so far as his history is concerned) by remarking that he sought 
David continually but that God did not deliver him into his hand. 
The close of the narrative joins directly to 27 1 . 

2-13. The provocation. — The situation is described : There 
was a man in Maon\ a locality already mentioned 23 s4 ; whose 
business was in Carmel~\ the only business which can be carried 
on in the region is that of the shepherd. Carmel, still bearing 
the name Kurmul, is directly south of Ziph. Nabal was wealthy 
in flocks, and at this particular time he was engaged in shearing 
his flocks at Carmel~\ the sheep shearing was a festival, like the 
harvest and the vintage. At such a time a large hospitality was 
customary ; the Sheikhs of the Bedawin still count on the gener- 
osity of the sheep masters (Robinson, BR 2 . I. p. 498). — 3. The 
characters of the man and his wife are contrasted : The woman 
was sensible and comely, but the man was rough and ill behaved~\ 
as is borne out by the story. By race he was a Calebite, of the 



222 I SAMUEL 

clan which possessed Hebron and the surrounding country. Ap- 
parently the clan still counted itself independent of Judah. — 
4, 5. David heard in the wilderness — perhaps in Horesha, 23 15 

— and sent ten men with a demand for protection money. The 
demand was entirely correct in form, bearing David's greeting 

— ask him of his welfare in my name. — 6. The greeting is set 
forth at large, though the introductory words are obscure. — 

7. The basis of a claim is found in David's behaviour. He 
had refused to exercise the right of the strongest : Thy shep- 
herds were with us, and we did not jeer at the?n~\ that the soldiers 
in such circumstances should refrain from provoking a conflict 
by biting words was an extraordinary instance of self-control. — 
And nothing of theirs was missing] scarcely less remarkable. — 

8. David's messengers appeal to the testimony of Nabal's own 
men, and to the fact that they have come on a feast day, and 
ask a presenter thy son David. — 9. The messengers deliver the 
message in the name of David. — 10. Nabal's reply is an insult- 
ing one : Who is David? And who is the Son of Jesse ? Many 
are the slaves in these days who break away, each from his master] 
the justice of the taunt in relation to many of David's followers 
gave it its sting. — 11. Sarcastic reply to the request: And I 
must take my bread and my wine and my flesh, which I have slain 
for my shearers, and give it to men of whom I do not know whence 
they are! The answer is sufficiently plain. — 12, 13. David's 
messengers bring their report, and David prepares to avenge the 
insult. Four hundred men are to go with him and two hundred 
remained with the baggage] an arrangement made also at a later 
time, 30 10 . 

2. tt»Ni] we expect wx w% and a case analogous to the text is difficult to 
discover. JWjna is used of the flocks and herds, the shepherd's work, as it is 
used of the crops — the work of the farmer, Ex. 23 16 . Similarly rhpD of the 
shepherd's flock, Is. 40 10 . — Sms] on the site, Robinson, BR?. I. p. 495 f., GAS., 
Geog. p. 306, Buhl, Geog. p. 163. — Shj] of great wealth, like Barzillai 2 S. 19 33 . 

— 3. S^j] the word is not quite such a nickname as we think from the transla- 
tion fool. It means reckless (cf. Is. 32 s ), and might be accepted as a compliment 
by a man like Nabal. — S\P3N] <8> tries to make the word more euphonious by 
softening it to Abigaia. — r\v?\ Is. 19 4 2 S. 3 39 . "dSd Kt. : ttSa Qre. The 
former is possibly an attempt to be witty — he was like or the name was like 
(Kl.) his heart ; with an allusion to the well-known proverb ' as he thinketh in 



XXV. 3-i8 223 

his heart.' The Qre is doubtless right. (g 6.v9puiros kvp ik6s . On the clan 
Caleb cf. Moore, Judges, p. 30. — 6. w] is unintelligible. The punctuators 
intend it to represent ''rtN 1 ? j to my brethren. But Nabal alone is addressed, so 
that we should at least make it a singular, to my brother. Even then the sen- 
tence is awkward and there is reason to suspect corruption, especially as the 
following 1 is superfluous. The versions seem to have had no different read- 
ing. I suspect that nj is a corruption of V? (or n^) and that in vrh we have 
the ti or clan, to which I would join the 1 from the next word, making Dmom 
1VTO1 X7 : and you shall say to him and to his clan. The whole sept would be 
gathered for the shearing. Houbigant suggests : nnH tin V? no omcNi. " R. 
Sal. et R. Levi: sic fiat tibi post annum incolumi. D. Kimchi : sic fiat tibi 
per omnem vitam. Et pro se citat Chaldaeum. Magis placet Tremellius, qui 
vertit post Luther: Et dicite ei, si incolumis est. Forte sic: Et dicetis sic: 
Vivo (h. e. Deo vivo vitae nostrae Domino te commendo) : ut tu sit salvus." 
Schm. p. 827. The embarrassment of the commentators is evident. — 7. nS] 
read n^i with (H3TJ5. The 1 at the end of the preceding word is the occasion 
of the error. — DUD*?y»] on the pointing cf. Ges. 2s 53/. — 8. 31B or] else- 
where of a festival, Esth. 8 17 and also in post-Biblical Hebrew. Cf. also 
a>aiB onjne, Zech. 8 19 . — ua] with loss of the n, Ges. 26 , 720. — "paSl TiajJ 1 ?] 
(5 has only t« vi<p cov, which seems most appropriate. — 9. imri] most 
naturally means and rested from their weariness. Undoubtedly a considerable 
journey in the desert is presupposed, so that we may retain the reading. <{§ 
reads Dp*1 and connects with the following, <3 h giving the right order : icai 
av€Trri$ri<T€ "Na&aA kcu aireKpl9r]. From the character given to Nabal we might 
expect some manifestation of anger, cf. 20 34 , so that much may be said for this 
reading. — 10. Dna;] the article is necessary and is found in <&. — D^onon] 
perhaps, as Kl. suggests, who play the robber. — 11. VD*D] is scarcely possible. 
Water was indeed a scarce commodity in the desert. But David hardly ex- 
pected his men to bring it to him from Nabal. Read with (g »j«. Abigail 
did in fact take wine as part of her present. 

14-19. Abigail's prompt action. — She was informed by one 
of the shepherd lads : David sent messengers from the Wilderness 
to greet our master and he flew at them~\ with insulting words. — 
15, 16. The claim of David as to his forbearance towards Nabal 
and his protection of the flocks is verified. His men had been 
a wall to the flocks against marauders. — 17. The situation is 
critical, for evil is determined upon our master] cf. 20 9 . All de- 
pends upon Abigail, for it is impossible to approach Nabal : he is 
such a son of Belial that one cannot speak to him] the evil temper 
of the man makes him a terror to his household. — 18. The hint 
was sufficient and the prudent woman took from the abundant 
stores provided for the shearers a substantial present for David. 



224 i SAMUEL 

Besides bread and wine, there were five roasted sheep] Gen. 18 78 , 
five measures of parched grain] 1 7 17 , a hundred bunches of raisins 
and two hundred cakes of figs'] that the bunches of raisins were 
counted is evident from 2 S. 16 1 . — 19. The present was sent on 
before, as in the case of Jacob's meeting with Esau, to make a 
favourable impression. 

14. *vjn] had told while the messengers were returning to David. — — \yi 
DnyjnD ins] is redundant. (3 omits i>'j. (<J5 L has a double translation 
of DnpjnD). The conjecture of Kl. adopted by Bu. is attractive (reading 
D^jniiD). — ona ayi] means he flew upon them as the bird of prey swoops 
upon its victim. Whether this fits the context is doubtful, for the anger of 
Nabal could scarcely be compared to the eagerness of a rapacious bird. All 
endeavours to correct the text are however unsatisfactory; koX 4£cK\ivev a7r' 
avruv G§ implies odd JO" 1 ). But Nabal had used insulting words as well as 
turned from them. J5& seem to render Dna Bp»\ cf. Ps. 95 10 = and he was 
disgusted at them. But it was Nabal's expression of his feeling (not the feeling 
itself) that gave offence. Of the conjectures, perhaps the best is ona Bjnn 
= and he kicked at them, cf. 2 29 Dt. 32 15 (Tanch. cited by Th.). — 15. unyfB 
me>3] (3 prefixes koi and joins to the next verse. But the close of that verse 
again gives a time determination, so that we must retain the reading of |§. — 
17. IPJ"W"Vf«] the preposition should evidently be Sj?. — ianc] the p of com- 
parison : he is more wicked than that one can speak to him ; too wicked to speak 
to. — 18. "?\naH and nwjf may show only the ease with which 1 and 1 are inter- 
changed, but there is reason to suppose that both are remains of forms once 
current, cf. Ges. 26 24 b'j^v. — D^nd] according to Benzinger {Archaeol, p. 183 f.) 
the seah was about twelve litres. The name still survives among the Bedawin 
though the size of the measure has shrunk, Doughty, II. p. 113. <8 seems to 
have read ephas here. — nam] Ka\ ySfiop eV @. We might expect raisins to 
be measured rather than counted, but the reading of |^ is protected by 2 S. 16 1 . 
We. conjectures that the translators read K«»M here and rendered Kal ySfxov 
which is found in one codex (HP 236). — 19. Saj] lacking in (S B , should 
probably be stricken out. 

20. There was no time to spare : She was riding on the ass t 
and coming douun the side of a hill while David and his men were 
coming down towards her, and she met them] came upon them 
unexpectedly is the natural interpretation. — 21. Before the meet- 
ing David had said : Only for nought did I guard all that belongs 
to this fellow in the Wilderness, so that nothing of his was missing. 
— 22. As the text stands we read : God do so to the enemies of 
David and more also ! But, as was already seen by Kimchi, it 
should be God do so to David! A scribe could not think of 



XXV. 1 8-29 225 

David as forswearing himself, and so inserted a word which makes 
the imprecation mean just the opposite of what the original narra- 
tor said. A Lapide thinks that David used the language more 
vulgi, as if most men hesitate to utter imprecations on themselves. 
This however is not the case, and the parallel which he urges 
(Dan. 4 16 ) does not hold. The oath was to the effect that David 
would not leave alive of Nabal's household a single male — the 
not very refined description is used also in 1 K. 14 10 16 11 21 21 
2 K. 9 8 . — 23. At the meeting, Abigail alighted hastily in order 
to show respect, cf. Jd. i 14 , and fell upon her face before David] 
the customary obeisance to a superior. — 24. And she fell at his 
feet and said: Upon me be the guilty 2 S. 14 9 . In dissuading 
David from carrying out his oath, she would take the responsi- 
bility. So Rebecca assumes the curse which Jacob anticipates, 
Gen. 2 7 13 . — Let thy maid speak in thine ears'] her humility is in 
strong contrast with the arrogance of Nabal. — 25. Let not my 
Lord give any attention to that good-for-nothing man! The reason 
is that his depravity has, in a sense, deprived him of judgment : 
His name is Reckless, and recklessness dwells with him] as his con- 
stant companion. We might paraphrase : " His name is Brutus 
and he is a brute." This is all that can be said — for herself 
she can plead ignorance of David's embassy. — 26. If the verse 
belongs here it is a prediction that David's enemies shall become 
like Nabal — equally foolhardy we may suppose — and so run into 
destruction. — 27. She prays that her present may be given to 
the young men who accompany David. — 28. She asks David's 
indulgence, on the ground that his future success is assured, since 
he fights the wars of Yahweh. The argument is that the suc- 
cessful man can afford to be magnanimous. The secure house 
promised to David is his dynasty. — 29. And should a man rise 
up to pursue thee and to seek thy life, then shall the life of my 
Lord be bound in the bundle of the living, in the care of Yahweh 
thy God] the precious things are not left loose to be lost or 
destroyed, but are carefully wrapped up and kept together, usu- 
ally in the inner compartment, under the eye of the careful 
housewife. The reader will recall the ten pieces of silver of 
the Gospel parable. The idea is the same expressed later in 
the declaration that the righteous are written in the book of the 

Q 



226 i SAMUEL 

living, that is among those destined by God to long life. The 
exact contrast is in the second half-verse : But the life of thine 
enemies he shall cast away with a sling] a modern Jewish im- 
precation is : may his life be bound in a bag full of holes, and 
thus quickly lost. The older commentators found in the two 
expressions allusions to the future state of the righteous and the 
wicked. But it is misleading to translate nephesh by the word 
soul with our definition of that word. Abigail's view evidently 
does not reach beyond the present life. — 30, 31. The declara- 
tion which follows is to the effect that David will be happier in 
future days, if he now restrains himself from taking vengeance on 
Nabal : When Yahweh shall have done what he has promised . . . 
then thou wilt not have this as a qualm and as a reproach of heart, 
that thou hast shed blood for nought, and that thine own hand has 
delivered thee] instead of waiting for the deliverance promised by 
God. When that time comes, he will remember Abigail with 
gratitude for her present action. — 32-34. David's reply is a full 
recognition of the providential nature of her mission, as well as a 
tribute to her discretion. By her action she has kept him back 
from walking into blood-guiltiness. Had she not acted, the 
extermination of Nabal's house would have been complete. 

20. rvni] has arisen erroneously from the following *on. The tense is 
wrong as well as the gender. Read simply N>m (Bu.). — nnDs] in the shade 
of the mountain does not seem satisfactory. ~\W2 1& gives a good meaning — 
on the side — but we have no other trace of a Hebrew word ipd in this sense. 
IL has ad radices montis. — 21. *|n] in the restrictive sense: only to be de- 
ceived have I done this. — nrS] is used contemptuously as elsewhere. — 
22. in o^nS] makes the whole imprecation nonsense. Kimchi says it is 
a euphemism for TnS. Clericus, following Abarbanel, makes the meaning to 
be: may God give David^s enemies the wealth of Nabal ', but this is quite con- 
trary to the uniform sense of d^hSn n^y ro. There seems to be no doubt that 
the alteration was made to save David from false swearing, or possibly to 
save the reader from imprecating a saint. — "Vp3 fnu'c] has been much dis- 
cussed. The question is whether David means that he will not leave alive 
a single male, or that he will not leave alive even a dog. The latter is favoured 
by Isaaki, Kimchi, and A Lapide, as it was earlier by Procopius of Gaza, and 
it is adopted by Schm. But it would hardly occur to an oriental to extermi- 
nate the dogs about his enemy's village, however natural it may be for a 
Roman emperor to threaten the dogs of a besieged city (as was done by 
Aurelian in a case cited by Clericus from Bochart). The other interpretation 



XXV. 29-34 227 

which makes the words describe every male of the threatened family seems to 
agree with the passages where the phrase occurs, in all which it is accom- 
panied by words which apply to men and not to animals. Objections which 
have been based upon oriental customs seem not to have a basis in fact. The 
Targum in translating jnn jtp seems to understand all who have reached years 
of discretion, while some expositors have taken the phrase in the opposite 
sense of young boys, others interpreting of the lowest slaves. The question is 
discussed at length by Bochart, Hierozoicon, I. II. 55. — 23. mjfi-ty in '•snS] 
the phrase has been confused by a scribe; restore rPCN _L >}? "\ ""jfiV (We.). — 
24. ^om] is lacking in <S B which makes the clause begin with the preceding 
WWW : and she prostrated herself on the ground at his feet. Repeated pros- 
trations are in order however, and I have retained |^ (Kl., Bu. read with <& : 
v^jn Sp y~\i< inncni). — ^103] emphatic repetition of the pronoun, Davidson, 
Syntax, § 1. — pj?n] at the first blush it seems as if Abigail means to assume 
Nabal's guilt. But the parallels, 2 S. 14 9 Gen. 27 13 , show that the blame 
which might fall upon the person addressed is assumed by the speaker, as 
the Arab still says : may I be thy ransom ! — n3im] the conjunction is omit- 
ted by (g&E, and the construction is quite as good without it. <£ omits the 
last three words of this verse and the opening words of the next, reading 
only : let thy maid speak in thine ears concerning this man Nabal. As it is 
difficult to see why a translator should thus shorten the text, it is possible that 
we have here the earlier form of the sentence. — 25. 'jjpVan] lacking in %. — 
Sjp'jan ^ m n] 2 S. 16 7 , cf. 20 1 . — Saj'Sy] lacking in <H B , is more likely to be 
inserted than to be omitted by a scribe. — 26. The verse does not fit in the 
context and is not clear in itself. It contains an oath of Abigail's, but to what 
does she swear? The most natural connexion would be with what precedes: 
Thy servant did not know . . . by the life of Yahweh ! The strong assurance 
that Yahweh had kept David back from bloodshed might perhaps be in place, 
though the same theme is treated again in v. 31 where it is more appropriate. 
But even then the concluding part of the verse is enigmatic. Nabal was not 
yet dead or stricken in any way. The wish that David's enemies should 
become like Nabal is entirely premature. Besides this, the use of "WM instead 
of ^3 is awkward and probably points to interpolation. I suspect the original 
form of the sentence to have been : S3J3 vn> . . . 0*013 N13D -|j?jd "iipn wn >n 
'Ul T3>n. This was inserted in the text by a scribe who did not find Abigail's 
language vigorous enough, and was itself interpolated by the insertion of the 
current y&oi »m which required the second mn\ — 27. nro in the same sense 
Gen. 33 11 Jd. I 15 1 S. 3d 26 . — N>3n] read nioan. — 28. The expressions put 
into Abigail's mouth are the evident sentiments of one who knew David's 
later career. It is not improbable that this extended speech is expanded from 
a simpler form. — JDR1 n*3j] 2 s5 2 S. 7 16 1 K. n 88 (all late passages). — Plonks 
mm] 18 17 . — td*c] cf. 1 K. i 6 Job 27 s . —29. Dp'l] read Dpi — hypothetical 
(cf. Dr. Notes). — rnrp nN] the bundle is thought of as containing the pre- 
cious things which the master of the house keeps in his immediate care — 
with him. — j? u, pn rp "pro] we should expect the 3 of comparison and then jo. 



228 I SAMUEL 

Still it is possible that the sling is thought of as the means of casting away — 
cast away using the holder of the sling, or sling away with a sling. — 30. "pxi 
•*xh] 13 14 . — 31. npisS] the general intent of the passage is clear, though 
this word occurs only here. Either -]h or »rwS is superfluous, and one must 
be stricken out. — "[DtrSi] read *]D&>S with <Q and five Heb. MSS. — ytyinSi] 
add -p with @. That one's own hand should save him, is a standing phrase, 
Jd. 7 2 . — 34. Tsam] a mongrel form, having both the preformative of the 
imperfect, and the ending of the perfect, cf. Ges. 26 76^, Nestle in ZATW. 
XIV. p. 319. The latter author supposes the form intended to give the reader 
his choice of two forms; Dr. suggests that it has been influenced by the 
following TiN-ip 1 ?, which seems to me more probable. — 35. ym Nirxi] the 
phrase is used in a bad sense, to describe the perversion of justice by favourit- 
ism. It seems to mean to give any one pleasure by granting his request, and 
so to make the downcast face look up. 

36-44. The outcome. — Not long after this, Nabal is smitten by 
an act of God, and Abigail becomes David's wife. — 36. Abigail 
comes home and finds her husband in no condition to receive an 
important communication — He had a banquet like a king's and 
Nabal 1 s heart was merry within him, and he was excessively 
drunken] the effect is heightened by the contrast between his 
hilarity and the danger from which he had just escaped, and also 
by the contrast between the present revelling and the coming blow. 

— 37. In the morning, when he had somewhat recovered from 
his debauch, the news was told him. — At the shock his heart died 
within him and he became stone] a stroke of paralysis is the natural 
explanation. — 38. Ten days later, Yahweh smote Nabal with a 
second stroke which was fatal. — 39. David recognizes that God 
has intervened : Blessed is Yahweh who has pleaded the case of 
my insult received at the hand of Nabal] a quarrel between men 
of the same blood should be referred to an arbitrator. One ele- 
ment of David's rejoicing is that Yahweh has so promptly assumed 
this office, the other is that he has kept back his servant from evil] 
that is, from violating customary law by shedding Israelitic blood. 

— 40. David woos Abigail. Marriage of a widowed person soon 
after bereavement is still common in the East. — 41. She is will- 
ing to be the lowliest of his servants — a maid to wash the feet of 
his slaves. — 43. The account of Abigail is finished, but the 
author adds further information concerning David's family. First, 
David took Ahinoam ofjezreel, not the northern city of the name, 



XXV. 36-XXVI. 229 

but one in Judah. — 44. In the second place, Michal, his first 
wife, had been given to PalH ben Laish, of Gallitn. Saul re- 
garded David's flight as a desertion of his wife, which brought her 
back under her father's power. 

37. Instead of saying when the wine had gone from Nabal, <S renders 
when Nabal had recovered from the wine. — 38. d>dv"i] should perhaps be 
D»D\ though the writer may have in mind the ten days (which actually elapsed 
in this case) as a known period. — 39. Vaj t»d] is connected with 31 by 
Driver. The other construction Sjj *vd tnein (preferred by Dr. Weir) seems 
to me more vigorous. — wtr\2 nw 3Mpn] as in the case of Abimelech, Jd. 9 s6 . 
— yj-ONS -OTi] seems to be parallel to Cant. 8 8 . In the latter however it 
evidently means to speak to a maiden's guardian for her hand. Abigail 
seems to have had the disposal of her own person. — 42. roVnn] the first n 
has arisen by erroneous duplication. She and the ten maids who followed her 
did not ride — she rode and they walked by her side. — 43. Ahinoam was 
also the name of Saul's wife, 14 50 . — SNjnnn] a Jezreel in Judah is men- 
tioned Jos. 15 56 in the same group with Maon, Carmel, and Ziph. — 44. There 
is no intimation that Saul was guilty of aggression in resuming the right to 
give his daughter to another husband. — ^bSd] is hwu^D in 2 S. 3 15 . — a^V] 
in 2 S. tyiS, is rendered 'Afiels in <g B and Icods in <g L . — D'-Vjd] the only Gal- 
lim mentioned elsewhere, Is. io 30 , is evidently in Benjamin. @ B has 'Poju/xa 
and <S L ro\id9. 

XXVI. Saul in David's power. — Saul, at the suggestion of the 
Ziphites, again seeks David. When he is in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood, David goes into the camp at night. The whole army is 
overcome by deep sleep, but he refuses to allow his companion, 
Abishai, to slay Saul. To show what the situation has been, he 
carries away the king's spear and cruse of water. Arrived safely 
at a distance from the camp, he calls to Abner and reproaches 
him with neglect of duty. Saul recognizes David's voice and at 
David's expostulation confesses his wrong, after which each goes 
his way. 

The section is obviously parallel to 24. And as there is here no 
reference to David's repeated acts of magnanimity, there is reason 
to think that both accounts go back to the same original. With 
this agrees the fact that the Ziphites are active in both. We have 
no hesitation, therefore, in assuming that one of them stood in 
one of the two histories of the period, the other in the other. 
Budde assigns this to E, the other (chap. 24) to J. Of the two, 



230 I SAMUEL 

the present one seems to me to be nearer the event, and therefore 
to belong to the older of the two documents. The nearest his- 
torical parallel is Gideon's visit to the camp of the Midianites, 
Jd. 7 9 " 15 , which is assigned by competent authorities to J. 

XXVI. The identification of the narrative with E seems in this instance 
especially precarious. Budde (I?S. 228) gives only the following marks: 
o ,k ?Jnn which he does not allow to be a mark of E in 2 S. 15 10 ; hr;i2 which 
occurs in this sense only once — 17 20 ; nwNiD 19 13 but also 1 K. 19 6 , which 
can hardly be attributed to E; David's standing on the top of the mountain 
like Jotham, Jd. 9 7 , in a section whose authorship is doubtful — to say noth- 
ing of the fact that so commonplace a phrase can hardly weigh much in an 
argument; nnnx DVlVtf, which is also common in D; »S jnn which occurs in 
J, Gen. 43 6 Ex. 5 22f -; and, finally, Saul's confession, which can scarcely be called 
characteristic. The combined force of these indicia cannot be very great. 
They would probably be outweighed by the single word nD-nn which is char- 
acteristic of J, Gen. 2 21 15 12 . Cf. also nib U3 v. 16 , found in 20 81 2 S. 12 5 neither 
one of which is E. 

1. The Ziphites bring Saul knowledge of David's whereabouts : 
Is not David hiding himself on the hill of Hachilah on the face of 
the Desert~\ the eastern front of the Desert, where it breaks down 
towards the Dead Sea is probably intended. The same locality is 
mentioned 23 19 in our present text. — 2. Saul's force here con- 
sists of three thousand men as in 24 s . — 3, 4. On discovering that 
an invasion was on foot, David sent out spies, and knew that 
Saul had come to~\ some particular spot whose name is now lost. 
— 5. He was able to make out the place where Saul was lying 
with the people camping about him. — 6. David asks his two 
companions : Who will go down with me to Saul, to the camp f\ 
Abishai his nephew volunteers. — 7. When they came into the 
camp, Saul was lying asleep in the . . . and his spear was struck 
into the earth at his head. The lance standing upright is still the 
sign of the Sheikh's quarters among the Arabs. Doughty, I. p. 22 1 . 
WRSmith, Kinship, p. 271. — 8. Abishai wishes to avail himself 
of the opportunity : Let me smite him with his spear into the 
earth] meaning to strike the spear through him into the earth. 
There may be a designed reminiscence of Saul's purpose to pin 
David to the wall, 18 11 19 10 . One blow would be all that was 
needed. — 9. David forbids him: For who can lay his hand on 
the Anointed of Yahweh and be innocent?] the reverence for the 



XXVI. I-I2 231 

king is the same as in 24 s ; there more pronounced if anything. 
— 10. David's intention is to leave Saul in the hand of God — 
either Yahweh shall smite him] by a direct stroke, as in the case 
of Nabal, or his day shall come and he shall die] in accordance 
with a decree already fixed, or he shall go down into battle and 
meet hh- end. In any case, David refuses to take the matter into 
his own hand. — 11. Repeating his refusal, he directs Abishai to 
take the spear and the jug of water. — 12. With these trophies, 
David and his lieutenant went their way, and no one saw, and no 
one ktiew, and no one awoke, for all of them were asleep, for a 
deep sleep from Yahweh had fallen upon them] like Adam's uncon- 
sciousness, Gen. 2 21 . 

1. On reviewing 23 19 and its relation to the present verse it seems to me 
not unlikely that the two were originally identical. That is : this account was 
originally in direct sequence to 23 18 , and has now been displaced by the 
fuller (double) story contained in 23 19 -24 23 . — n^an] a number of Heb. MSS. 
have iV^an, and J5 seems to have read nSim. — 4. paj _k ?N] the name of a 
place is expected, as was already evident to Schm. who translates ad certum 
{locum). <& AB has 4k KeeiAa, @ L els 2e/c€Ao7, neither of which will do. Pos- 
sibly we should read iroj Sn — to the point just in front of him. — 5. <& AB 
omits the clause Sww . . . m<1 by homeoteleuton. — *?.>}?£] occurs also 17 20 , 
but what is meant is unknown. @ has here Xafiw^mf, a covered chariot. It is 
perhaps no objection to this that it would not fit 17 20 . But the fact that 
Abishai wants to pin the king to the ground shows that he was not sleeping 
in a chariot or on a couch. in3*3D Kt. : W30D Qre both here and in v. 7 . 
— 6. flPl] David answers his own thought. — "iSdtin] one of the numerous 
foreigners who joined David's force — a Hittite like Uriah. On the Hittites 
cf. Moore on Jd. 3 3 . — *P*3M] from the analogy of other proper names, the 
second member of the word should be the name of a god. — my-w] the sister 
of David, according to I Chr. 2 16 . If this be correct, we can account for the 
designation of her sons by her name (rather than that of their father) only by 
supposing that their father was a foreigner, and the marriage was one of those 
in which the wife remained in her own clan and the children were counted to 
that clan, cf. 2 S. 17 25 . — 8. •p-'N Qre is to be preferred. — pK31 rmna] as 
pointed out by Krenkel (ZATW. II. p. 310) we should read pwa ITOU for 
the fact that Saul's own spear was to be used is important. The conjunction 
is not read by <3%, while j$ renders y-wa ytn n?n rvjn. — 9. nVr »d] should be 
followed by the reverse tense, not by npj) as here. A ' seems to have fallen 
out after >o (cf. Dr., Notes) — this is favoured by @. — 10. dn 13] cannot be 
the adversative particle, nor can it introduce the substance of the oath after 
!W ti for it would give a meaning the reverse of what David intends. The 
♦3 therefore must introduce the substance of the oath, which is stated in three 



232 I SAMUEL 

possibilities, of which DH indicates the first, the others following with in. — 
12. »nrn"10] as suggested by We., a p has probably fallen out before this 
word, the preceding word ending with the same letter. The unusual termi- 
nation is probably a corruption of the suffix — read lPtrxnEC striking out h)W. 
The received text seems to be defended in Ges. 26 87 s. 

13. David went across and stood upon the top of a mountain 
far away] the power of the orientals to make their voices heard 
at a long distance has often been remarked by travellers. — 
14. David calls Abner, making the greater impression upon Saul 
by not directly addressing him. The reading of (& B for Abner's 
answer is, therefore, to be preferred : Who art thou that callest? 
David had not called the king at all. — 15. Having got Abner's 
attention, David reads him a lesson : Art not thou a man ? And 
who is like thee in Israel? Why then hast thou not kept guard 
over thy Lord the king? For there came one of the people to 
destroy the king, thy Lord ! The sarcastic questions put the state 
of the case with startling vividness. — 16. Pronouncing them 
deserving of death for their neglect, he calls attention to the fact 
that the king's spear and water vessel are missing. This is evi- 
dence enough of the truth of what he is saying. — 17. Saul recog- 
nizes David's voice, and the recollections called up by the sound 
are expressed in his words : Is this thy voice, my son David? 
Evidently the old affection has been touched. — 18. Having got 
a hearing, David expostulates freely : Why is it that my Lord is 
pursuing his servant? The further questions are in reality asser- 
tions of his innocence. — 19. Discussion of the cause of the king's 
enmity follows. David can account for it only on the theory that 
external influences have wrought upon the mind of the king. 
These may be human or superhuman. On the one hand : If 
Yahweh has instigated thee against me] as he afterwards instigated 
David against Israel, 2 S. 24 1 . The wrath of Yahweh against 
David is conceived of as the cause of Saul's action. The theolo- 
gians are compelled to explain Yahweh's causation as permissive, 
Satan being the real instigator, as in 1 Chr. 21 1 . Let him inhale 
an offering] the sacrifice ascending in smoke was appropriated by 
the deity through the sense of smell. Thus when angry he was 
placated, as in the time of Noah, Gen. 8 21 (J.). But if they bt 
men, cursed be they before Yahweh] the imprecation will fall upon 



XXVI. i 3 -2 5 233 

them and punish them. For they have now driven me from union 
with the inheritance of Yahweh, saying: Go serve other gods ! 
The inheritance of Yahweh is the territory of Israel. Yahweh can 
be served only in his own land. The exile is compelled to serve 
the gods of the land in which he sojourns, Jer. 5 19 . — 20. David 
prays that his blood may not be shed away fro?n the presence of 
YahweJi] where it would not be avenged, for Yahweh is the 
avenger of wrong done to his servants. The reason for the 
prayer is that he is helpless against the superior might of Saul : 
For the king of Israel is come out to seek my life, as the eagle hunts 
the partridge on the mountains^. This emended reading gives a 
sense more in accord with the context than the traditional 3^. — 
21. Saul confesses his wrong and invites David to return. I have 
done foolishly and have erred exceedingly. — 22. David does not 
notice the invitation, but only says : Behold the spear, O king / 
Let one of the young men come over and take it. — 23, 24. Final 
repetition of the prayer : May Yahweh reward each one's right- 
eousness and fidelity^ in such a way that David's life may be 
treated as generously as he had treated Saul's life. — 25. Saul 
prophesies David's success in general terms. There is no distinct 
allusion to the kingdom like the one in 24 21 . 

13. nnn] the particular mountain which was adapted for his purpose. — 

14. iScn-Ss n*nf>] 6 Ka\a>u (& B : 6 KaK&vfxe; tis el, ai>; <S L . The shorter 
form is to be preferred. It was supplemented by a scribe who realized that 
the calling to Abner would affect Saul : qui clamas et inquietas regem 3L. — 

15. Sn mna>] we should read bjf as in the next verse. — 16. niD -,, j3] cf. 20 81 
2 S. 12 5 . — nnss-riNi] is corrected by Bu. to nnex *m, But it seems not un- 
likely that the governing force of the first ix was in the writer's mind so that 
he could use the accusative particle, Davidson, Syntax, 72, Rem. 4. — 
17. ,L, ip] 8ov\6s <tou <g AB . "The more courtly is less original" (We.). 
— 19. noPDnn] the verb is rare, but there seems to be no doubt as to the 
meaning, cf. the Niphal in Is. 14 1 . — 20. ins c;ns] is the same phrase used 
in 24 15 . There it is in place after the question after whom, etc. But here the 
thought is not the insignificance of David, but his helplessness. <g AB reads 
»VM, which is also favoured by DK, which is ungrammatical in the present text. 
— TOO] the conjecture of Kl. who reads TM3 has everything in its favour. 
Only thus is the comparison fully expressed. — xnpn] the partridge is named 
from its loud clear note.* — 22. mjnn A?.] the Qre demands nvin, making 

* Readers of Ginsburg's text will be puzzled by the word pdnS near the opening 
of v. 20 . It is a purely clerical error, the copyist having duplicated the word just 



234 l SAMUEL 

^Son the genitive. But the Ktib may be retained, making ""i^sn the vocative. 
— 23. to] is doubtless to be corrected to no with the versions. 

1 Samuel XXVII.-2 Samuel I. David as Vassal of the Phil- 
istines. 

XXVII. l.-XXVIII. 2. David enters the service of Achish, 
King of Gath. — Despairing of safety in the way in which he has 
been living, David resorts to Achish and is received by him. 
Finding life in the capital not to his taste, he begs a town for 
himself, which he may hold as an outpost of the kingdom. He 
receives Ziklag, and when settled there carries on constant warfare 
with the Bedawin. By representing that his raids are carried on 
against the Judahite clans, he gives his chief the impression that 
he has entirely estranged himself from his people. The confi- 
dence of the king is thereby so strengthened that when the Philis- 
tines muster their forces for an invasion of Israel, Achish summons 
David to follow and makes him the guardian of his person. 

The paragraph evidently knows nothing of David's having once 
attempted to join the court of Gath, 21 11 " 16 . It is remarkable for 
its silence concerning the oracle and the warning given to David 
to remain in the land of Judah, 22 s . It presupposes the marriage 
with Abigail, unless the mention of her in v. 3 be an interpolation. 
It does not seem directly to continue 26, for David's experience 
there related was calculated to encourage rather than to discourage 
him. The only part of the preceding narrative which would natu- 
rally lead up to this is 23 19 " 28 , where David is nearly captured by 
Saul and escapes only because Saul is called away by an invasion 
of the Philistines. 

1. David said to himself: Now I shall be destroyed some day 
by the hand of Saul ; the only good thing is that I should escape to 
the land of the Philistines. There, of course, he would be out of 
his enemy's reach ; Saul would therefore despair of him and not 
seek him further. Schm. finds this move of David's a result of 
carnal lack of faith. — 2. He therefore went with his band to 



above in the next line, instead of giving nmx which belongs here. The new and 
ostensibly most correct edition of the text ha? thus added a serious blunder to the 
list already known to us — and this in spite of the modern advantages of proof- 
reading. 



XXVII. i-7 235 

Achish ben Maoch, king of Gath] the accession of such a band 
would be welcome to a ruler whose territory was open to inroads 
from the Bedawin. We may readily suppose that David did not 
take this step without previous negotiations. — 3. At first they 
resided in Gath itself, each with his house'] the band was already 
becoming a clan. The number of people thus brought to Gath 
might be inconvenient to the king. — 5. David represents to 
Achish the desirability of his having another residence in one of the 
towns of the open country] he might readily plead the advantage 
of such a situation in guarding the frontier. His own interest was, 
no doubt, to prevent amalgamation of his men with the Philis- 
tines. His language conveys the impression that it was too high 
an honour to dwell in the immediate vicinity of the king. — 6. Zik- 
lag is mentioned among the towns of Judah, Jos. 15 31 , and again 
in the list of Simeon, Jos. 19 5 . The indications are not sufficiently 
definite to enable us to identify the site. The second half of the 
verse tells us that Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah until 
this day. As we have no other instance of the phrase kings of 
Judah in the Books of Samuel, we may regard this sentence as an 
interpolation. It implies that Ziklag would naturally belong to 
the northern kingdom (as Beersheba did), but was kept by the 
family of David, whose title dated from the donation of Achish. 
— 7. The time of David's sojourn is four months according to 
(3, a year and four months according to f^. Both seem too 
short according to Achish's own statement, 29 s . 

The section *** (according to We. 7 " 12 ) is in contradiction with 
the preceding, in that Gath is its scene. It is therefore thought 
by some to be an interpolation. On the other hand, the verses w 
may be the interpolation. Their excision leaves the narrative 
free from difficulty. But they are the necessary preparation for 
30, so that we must suppose them a part of the document from 
which that chapter is taken. 

1. hsdn] cf. 26 10 . — nnN-Dv] seems not to be used in this sense elsewhere, 
but is confirmed by <g . — *o] we expect DH »3, and on the ground of @ we may 
assume that the original was b^cn on »3 in which the loss of on is easily ac- 
counted for. — ijdd] is not represented in @ AB and can well be spared. — 
2. rnMU**9t] TfTpaic6(rioi (g B . — 3. rnSnnDn] better read the masculine form 
to agree with Ssj (<g). — 4. ^Dv] read rp> with the Qre. — 6. JiSpx] the 



236 I SAMUEL 

identification proposed by Conder (cited by Buhl, Geog. p. 185) seems to have 
no sufficient ground. — 7. The verse is said by Bu. (XS. p. 231) to be mis- 
placed. It is possibly an interpolation like the most of such data. ©IL read 
four months, and the aw may have arisen by duplication of the two letters 
preceding. <& A renders tl i1j»*W "»D\ which shows how the reading might arise. 
That four months is too short a time for the actual duration of David's sojourn 
is evident, but so is a year and four months. — D^D" 1 ] for a year, Jd. 17 10 2 S. 14 26 . 
Objection to the coherence of W with the rest of the chapter is raised by 
Stade, GVL I. p. 252 and by We., TBS. p. 140 (who includes v. 7 ), cf. Comp. 
p. 253. The defence of the verses is undertaken by Kamphausen, ZATW. 
VI. p. 85 f., and he is supported by Kittel. The two parts of the chapter cer- 
tainly do not fit well together, though both seem historically probable. The 
natural supposition is that we have two sources combined. 

8. When settled in his new quarters, David made raids upon 
the Gizrites and the Amalekites\ the Geshurites seem to have come 
into the received text by mistake. The Gizrites, being Canaan- 
ites, and the Amalekites, being Bedawin, were legitimate prey for 
both Philistine and Israel. But, owing to the location of Gezer, 
it seems better to substitute the Perizzites for the Gizrites in 
the text. — For these tribes dwell in the land which stretches from 
Telam in the direction of Shur to the land of Fgypt] for justifica- 
tion of the reading, see the critical note. — 9. And David would 
smite the land] habitually is implied in the form of the verb; 
and not leave alive man or woman] the method is too well 
known to excite surprise. That he returned to Ac his h seems 
to make Gath the starting point of the raids. — 10. To the ques- 
tion of Achish : Where have you raided to-day ? David would 
return a misleading answer : Against the Negeb of Judah, or 
against the Negeb of the Jerachmeeliie, or against the Negeb of the 
Kenite~] the Negeb is the southern district of Palestine, bordering 
on the desert. David names Judah and two related clans — his 
friendly relations with them are indicated by his gifts, 30 29 . 
Jerachmeel is, in fact, reckoned as one of the clans of Judah in 
1 Chr. 2 9 42 . — 11. The first part of the verse is really a paren- 
thetical remark, explaining how David was not detected. The 
main narrative is taken up in the concluding portion : Thus did 
David, and such was his custom all the days which he dwelt in the 
country of the Philistines. — 12. The result was that Achish trusted 
David, thinking that he had broken finally with Israel and would 



XXVII. 8-XXVIII. 2 237 

be his perpetual vassal. — XXVIII. 1. The previous narrative 
evidently leads up to the expression of confidence given by Achish 
when he commands David : Be sure that thou shalt go out with 
?ne to the camp, thou and thy men. That the occasion was em- 
barrassing to David we may well believe. — 2. His reply is 
designedly ambiguous. The author, who makes him so careful 
to spare Israel in his raids, certainly did not suppose that he 
would take part in the battle on the Philistine side. Achish 
understands David to promise great deeds, and says : Therefore 
[in case the promise is kept] / will make thee keeper of my head 
forever] that is, captain of the bodyguard. 

8. n"um nitton] the Geshurites certainly do not belong here, and the 
second word is unheard of elsewhere. The Qre substitutes num which 
would perhaps do, as Gezer was Canaanitish down to the time of Solomon, 
1 K. 9 16 . But I suspect ">non (Dt. 3 5 ) to be original — notice the resem- 
blance of ) and fi in the older alphabet. (S B has only one of the two names. 
Against Gezer is to be urged its location, too far north for David's forays 
(cf. Moore, Judges, p. 48). — njn] must refer to the tribes just mentioned. 
The feminine plural in such cases is unusual but not unintelligible. — dVijtd] 
does not fit in this context. We., Dr., correct to oSan following a hint 
given by ten MSS. of <J£ (HP.). Telam, as shown above (on 15 4 ), was a 
place on the southern border of Judah. — 9. nam] the tense indicates repeated 
or habitual action, whereas 3£»i calls attention to what took place in each 
single instance. — 10. Vn] should apparently be jn which is found in some 
MSS. of |§ and sustained by <&{£, whereas @IL seem to render ••d ^n or >d Sjr. — 
11. wp ro -idnS] it is highly unnatural to make in WJ TO the speech of the 
supposed fugitive and what follows the statement of the narrator. This "\dnS 
should be stricken out, and the whole half verse made the narrator's state- 
ment. This is supported by It. Kl. supposes the first half of the verse to be 
a gloss, and this is not improbable. — 12. tt^fon] Gen. 34 30 Ex. 5 21 . — Sk-hpo] 
some MSS. and editions have SlPVPN — XXVTII. 2. p 1 ?] lacking in 2L, should 
perhaps be emended to pN, though David's thought may be : because of this 
expression of confidence. For WW read nnp with OIL — ^vwh -\E£>] the 
equivalent in @, apx^ronaro^Xa^ is the title of the chief of the bodyguard 
at the court of the Ptolemies, cf. Deissmann, Bibelstudien (1895), P* 93- 

XXVIII. 3-25. Saul's fate pronounced. — Saul in fear of the 
Philistines seeks divine guidance, but receives none by the ap- 
pointed means of grace. In his despair he seeks out a necro- 
mancer, though he had formerly exterminated such from Israel, so 
far as was in his power. Informed of one, he visits her, and she 



238 i SAMUEL 

calls up the shade of Samuel. But the spirit only denounces the 
punishment in store for Saul. Overcome by the sentence, Saul 
falls prostrate to the earth, but is roused and induced to break his 
fast by the woman whose guest he is. 

The section breaks the connexion of the narrative and is un- 
doubtedly from another document. What that document is can 
scarcely be doubtful from the position given to Samuel. Although 
dead, he appears as the same instrument of Yahweh's will who 
appointed and dethroned Saul. The last scene in Saul's life is the 
last appearance of Samuel. There is no need therefore to suppose 
vv. 1718 , which allude directly to Saul's disobedience, to be later 
interpolation. In a sense, the picture presented by chapter 15 is 
not complete without this sequel. 

3-25. The position of Samuel in this document is sufficient to identify it as 
a part of the history from which chapter 15 is taken. The secondary nature 
of v. 17f - is indicated by Bu. in his edition of the text, but can hardly be main- 
tained when the connexion with 15 is seen. It is also unfortunate that Bu. 
should displace the section, ranging it between 30 and 31. As part of a dif- 
ferent document it must break the connexion wherever it is placed, and we 
have no evidence that as a part of the Books of Samuel it ever occupied any 
but its Massoretic position. The reason urged is that the geographical situa- 
tion is more advanced here than in chapter 29. But this ignores the fact that 
this account was written with the scene of Saul's death in mind, and that it 
intended to ignore the history in which it is now imbedded. On the critical 
questions cf. Stade's review of Bu. (ThLZ. 1896, col. 8). We. calls attention 
to the resemblance to 15 (Com/>. p. 254). 

3. The verse prepares for the following narrative by telling, 
first, that Samuel was dead — and so could not be consulted by 
Saul except by calling up his shade. The language — Samuel 
had died and all Israel had mourned for him and had buried him 
in Ramah his city — is in substance a repetition of 25 1 . The next 
statement explains the difficulty Saul had in finding the means 
of communicating with the shades — he had removed the talismans 
and necromantic charms from the land. This was in accordance 
with the Deuteronomic law, Dt. 18 11 . That the magical or idola- 
trous apparatus is intended, rather than the persons who made use 
of them, will be evident on considering the passages in point. 
That the persons also were not spared is probably true. 



XXVIII. 3 239 

3. vi*JW] is superfluous; n»J« is read by <glL and 4 MSS. of f^. The 
word seems to represent WW3S of 25 1 , for which it was substituted in the trans- 
fer, to avoid scandal. — nusn] the word has generally been understood of 
the familiar spirits who are (as alleged) subservient to the soothsayers; the 
derived meaning is supposed to be the necromancers who make use of such 
spirits. The Hebrew Lexicon of BDB. makes 2 in always mean either necro- 
mancer or necromancy. Neither definition seems to fit all the cases. Not to 
speak of the difficulty in supposing the same word to designate both the spirit 
and the medium, or both the necromancer and his art, I would urge, first, the 
feminine form of the word, which makes it doubtful whether it can be referred 
to necromancers. It can hardly be claimed that these were so uniformly 
women that the gender of the word represents that fact. More significant is 
the fact that in the majority of cases 31s is classed not with persons, but with 
things — objects of idolatrous or superstitious practices. Thus in the familiar 
passage in Isaiah (8 19 ) : and when they say : Seek the TO3H and the D*Jjni who 
chirp and mutter, the contrast is drawn between these and God, and the most 
natural interpretation makes them some sort of idol. Again we are told 
(Is. 19 s ) that Egypt shall seek the idols (a^Sx) and the (TOM and the pun 
and the D>JJH% where it is certainly not violent to interpret all the words as 
designating objects of the same class. The author of Kings (2 K. 23 s4 ) tells 
us that Josiah destroyed the man and the D^JfT and the Teraphim and the 
idols and the abominations — the last three are certainly objects of devotion, 
and the verb used ("^a) is more appropriate to the destruction of these than 
to the slaying of men. More significant is the assertion (2 K. 21 6 ) that 
Manasseh made (njyy) an im and a tyv which could be said only of a talis- 
man or fetish. There seems to be no passage which is inconsistent with this. 
Dt. i8 10f - commands: There shall not be in thee . . . a diviner, a soothsayer 
or an enchanter or a sorcerer or one who binds spells, or one that asks 31N or 
*JJH% or one that inquires of the dead, where the 3iN h#V (not the 2m itself) 
is parallel with the soothsayers and enchanters. Should it be objected that 
a fetish cannot speak, we may reply that the Teraphim are declared to speak 
falsehood (Zech. io 2 ), a case which clearly refutes the objection. Many idols 
and fetishes are supposed to give revelations to their devotees. The prohi- 
bition to go a whoring after the PUU and the d>jj?"p (Lev. 20 6 ) is entirely in 
accord with my supposition, and so is the sentence pronounced upon man or 
woman with whom is an 21N (Lev. 20 27 ). Not much stress can be laid upon 
Jewish tradition in this matter, but it is significant that the Talmud makes a 
din Spa one who asks the skull of a dead man (the citation is given by Levy, 
NHWB. s.v. 3ix), and in another place the Teraphim of Laban are said to 
give him knowledge of the future, and to consist of a human head (that of 
Adam) cut off and preserved by means of spices (the citation from Elias Levita 
in Selden, De Diis Syris, Syntagma I. Cap. II.). In the same connexion may 
be mentioned the j?)"p of Rabbinical tradition, which is defined to be an ani- 
mal (or bird) whose bones the soothsayer took in his mouth, and they gave 
responses of themselves (Levy, s.v.). Bearing in mind the widespread use 



240 i SAMUEL 

of parts of the human body in magical rites, it does not seem too bold to con- 
jecture that the 21N was a human skull (the root possibly means to be hollow} 
which was prepared by superstitious rites for magical use. The owner of such 
a talisman would be prepared to divine by it. The 31N rh$2 of this chapter 
would then be the sister of the ir«W rhyi of Nah. 3*; the figurative use of 
the latter phrase does not interfere with the parallel. — D^j?"pn] always men- 
tioned in connexion with 21N, are something of the same nature. The reader 
may consult Driver on Dt. 18 11 with his references; Noldeke in ZDMG. 
XXVIII. p. 667; Stade, G VI. I. pp. 425, 504; Konig, Offenbarungsbegriff des 
Allen Testamentes (1882), II. p. 1 50. 

4. The Philistine camp was at Shunem, at the west foot of the 
ridge now called Jebel Dahi. Saul mustered his forces on Gilboa, 
a ridge running southeast from the eastern end of the great plain. 
The Philistines easily commanded the plain, the Israelites rallied 
on the hills. — 5, 6. Saul, terrified at the sight of the enemy's 
force, asked of Yahweh, but Yahweh did not answer him, either 
by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets'] all three are recognized 
methods of divine communication in the Old Testament. The 
Chronicler regards Saul's recourse to the necromancer as a refusal 
to seek Yahweh, 1 Chr. io 14 , and therefore a part of the sin for 
which he is slain. But this is not the mind of the present writer, 
to whom Saul is a man driven to desperation by the failure of 
every attempt to ascertain the will of Yahweh. — 7. In this strait 
the king inquires for a woman who possesses a talisman of sufficient 
power to summon the dead. The universality of the belief that 
the shades can be summoned by the one who possesses the means 
needs no comment. Endor (the fountain of Dor) still bears its 
ancient name and is a poor village on the slope of Jebel Dahi. A 
description of the locality is given by Stanley.* — 8. Saul, for very 
obvious reasons, disguised himself, cf. 1 K. 22 30 . Coming to the 
woman he makes his request : Divine for me by the talisman and 
bring up for me the one whom I shall say] the power of the 
woman to do what she was asked seems not to be doubted by the 
narrator. — 9, 10. In view of Saul's treatment of the necroman- 
cers, the woman suspects that her guest is laying a snare for her 
life] expecting to inform against her. Saul reassures her by an 
oath : no guilt shall come upon thee for this thing. — 11, 12. Saul 

* Sinai and Palestine, p. 337. 



xxviil. 4-15 241 

demands Samuel : And the woman saw Samuel and cried out with 
a loud voice~\ the more sober Protestant commentators see that it 
is unreasonable to suppose the souls of the departed subject to 
such calls, and therefore suppose the Devil to assume the form of 
the one invoked. But this is contrary to the assertion that the 
woman saw Samuel. For the method of the necromancer, which 
the narrator probably pictured with fidelity, it may be worth while 
to note that she alone saw the form, while Saul heard the voice. 
The first effect of the apparition on the woman was to reveal the 
identity of her guest : Why hast thou deceived me, when thou 
art Saul? The connexion of Samuel and Saul in earlier life is 
assumed to be known to her. — 13. To Saul's question she 
replies : / saw a god coming up out of the earth] the worship 
of the Manes probably survived in Israel to a comparatively late 
date, so that her words must be taken in their literal sense. — 
14. On further inquiry she describes the apparition as an old man 
coming up and he is wrapped in a cloak'] such as Samuel wore in 
his lifetime. Before the spirit, unseen by him, Saul prostrates 
himself in reverence. 

4. Shunem, which is mentioned also Jos. 19 18 2 K. 4 8 (cf. also the Shu- 
nammite, I K. I 3 ), still bears the name Sulem, Buhl, Geog. p. 217, who also 
mentions Endor. — UHDp] on the form, Ges. 26 46 e. Methods of divination 
among the heathen Arabs are described by We., Skizzen, III. pp. 126 ff., 135 ff. 
— 9. ■'JjHvi] the plural should be restored; the final letter has been lost in 
the following r. — 10. TV] the Daghesh is intended to guard the pronun- 
ciation of the emphatic letter, Ges. 26 20 h. — 13. D^Vp t^nt dti^n] the plural 
participle would seem to indicate more than one ghostly figure. But only one 
is described in what follows, and we must suppose the agreement grammatical 
instead of logical. Similar instances of dtiSx with a plural adjective are found 
Jos. 24 19 (E) Dt. 5 23 1 S. 1726.^ etc. — 14. |pt] opdtov <g seems to represent 
*|p? (We.). To this reading we may perhaps trace the Rabbinical conceit, 
referred to by Schm., that Samuel appeared standing upright, while in ordi- 
nary cases the shades present themselves feet upwards. The Greek exposi- 
tors, to judge by Nestle's specimen {Marginalien, p. 15), saw in the word 
a declaration of Samuel's vigorous appearance. 

15. The dialogue is begun by Samuel : Why hast thou disturbed 
me in bringing me up? The shades are at rest and prefer to 
remain so. Only on very rare occasions does Sheol itself rouse 
them, Is. 14 9 . The urgency of his situation is Saul's excuse ; / 



242 I SAMUEL 

am in great straits, and the Philistines are warring against me, 
and God has turned from me and does not answer me more, either 
by prophets or by dreams] the absence of Urim here is perhaps a 
sign that it was not originally in v. 6 . — So I have called thee, to tell 
me what I shall do~\ consultation of the oracle is in order to right 
action, as we have seen in the case of both Saul and David. — 
16. Samuel refuses to answer the important question : And why 
dost thou ask me, when Yahweh has turned from thee and become 
thine enemy ? Reason enough why Samuel should refuse to help. 

— 17, 18. The guilt of Saul in the matter of Amalek. The 
account of Saul's rejection in c. 15 would not be complete without 
this sequel. The punishment there denounced is here reaffirmed 
and declared to be close at hand. — 19. The verse seems over- 
full. The first clause may be omitted with advantage. Correcting 
the remainder by (3 B we get : And to-morrow thou and thy sons 
with thee shall fall, and Yahweh will give the camp of Israel into 
the hand of the Philistines. — 20. The message was heart-breaking 
enough ; and Saul was overcome, and fell at full length upon the 
earth. The fainting fit was accounted for partly by physical 
exhaustion — he had not eaten bread all the day and all the 
night'] it may be supposed that morning was now approaching. 

— 21, 22. The woman, coming to the prostrate Saul, appreciates 
the amount of his mental disturbance. She pleads her obedience 
to his request, even at the risk of her life, as a reason why he 
should now listen to her : and let me set before thee a ?norsel of 
meat, and eat thou that thou mayest have strength and make thy 
journey] a very sensible proposition. — 23. Saul at first refused, 
but his servants, as well as the woman, urged him. At length he 
rose from the earth and sat upon the couch] one of the four articles 
of furniture in the ordinary house. — 24, 25. The woman had a 
fatted calf in the house] and she also baked unleavened cakes for 
the entertainment of her guests. The similar description of Abra- 
ham's hospitality will occur to every one. 

15. nmpKl] the pointing is anomalous and perhaps designed to allow the 
choice between NnpNi and rnpsi (Nestle, Marginalien, p. 15). — 16. "pj?j 
is misspelled for *px, probably by a scribe to whom the Aramaic form was famil- 
iar, or who wished to disguise the unpleasant thought that Yahweh could be 
one's enemy; @ (xeTa rod irArjo-iov aov points to -|jn DJ? which is adopted by Th. 



XXVIII. I5-XXIX. i 243 

and others, and favoured by $, But Saul's rival is mentioned later; here we 
expect an allusion to Saul's complaint that he is in straits. — 17. V?] may be 
read as a dative of advantage. But it is better to restore *jS with five MSS. 
of $?, <§ AB , and 2L. — 19. Either the first clause or the last is superfluous. As 
Samuel would more naturally conclude what he has to say of Saul before pass- 
ing on to the fate of Israel, I have omitted the opening clause of f$ (We., 
Dr.). Stade, on the other hand, retains a and omits c . — '•Dj?] shall be with 
me would seem to require the verb; <& AB found vhsi "pj? which is restored 
by Th. — 20. "OTDm] seems to be the wrong verb. Perhaps by pointing -pom 
with Kl. we can retain it. Comparison of © here and in v. 21 shows that it has 
the same verb in both places; We. therefore restores Sna*l here, conforming 
it to the other. But the argument seems precarious. — 23. «mm] the con- 
text requires mm. — Sn] should be Sy with some MSS. — 24. ^awSjp] 
a calf tied up in the house like the lambs which are stilled " crammed " by the 
women in Syria. — lnjjni] for maxm, Ges. 26 6Sh. 

XXIX. 1-XXX. 31. David's homeward march, the capture of 
Ziklag by the Amalekites, and the recovery of the spoil. — 

When the Philistine troops are mustered, the attention of the 
chiefs is drawn to David and his band. They inquire of Achish 
why he is there, and receive assurances of his fidelity. But they 
regard his presence as a danger, so that David, in spite of his 
protestation of fidelity, is sent away. Returning home, he finds 
that the Amalekites have taken revenge for his former incursions 
by attacking the undefended Ziklag and capturing its inhabi- 
tants, whom they have carried off as slaves. The spirit of mutiny 
shows itself among David's men, but he promptly finds them 
occupation in the pursuit of the enemy. His success is com- 
plete ; besides recovering what has been carried away he takes 
great store of booty. This he uses to secure the attachment of 
the Sheikhs in the neighbouring districts. 

The piece is a unit. Its interest in the fortune of David and in 
his legislative decision is plain. We may ascribe it without hesita- 
tion to the source which later gives us such copious details of 
David's life. 

1. The camp of the Philistines was at Aphek, a locality uniden- 
tified, but which must have lain in the plain of Esdraelon. The 
Philistines probably wished to secure their possession of the Great 
Plain, and their communication with the Jordan valley, where we 
find them later in possession of Beth-shean, 31 10 . — Israel camped 



244 " SAMUEL 

at the fountain in Jezreel] the phraseology implies that Jezreel is 
not the town, but the valley. It is probable however that Saul 
occupied the town, which lies just at the foot of Gilboa. He 
would thus command the entrance to the valley, and would have 
the high ground in his rear. — 2. The Tyrants of the Philistines'] 
each with his army, were marching by, by hundreds and by thou- 
sands] referring to the troops in their different companies. There 
seems to have been a review by the generals, in which David 
marched in the rearguard with Achish. — 3. The generals ask 
what are these Hebrews ?] discovering their characteristic dress 
or arms. Achish replies in two particulars. David was first an 
escaped servant of Saul, who would not want to return to his 
harsh master. Secondly, he was a tried dependent of Achish : 
who has been with me these two years and I have not found any 
fault in him from the day he fell to my lot until now. The double 
guarantee would seem to be sufficient. — 4. The suspicious fears 
of the generals break out in an angry demand : Send back the 
man to the place where thou hast stationed him] as thy vassal ; 
lest he be an enemy in the camp] who will put hindrances in the 
way of our success, and plot for our ruin. On a former occasion 
the Hebrews in Philistine service had gone over to the enemy, 
14 21 . — With what should this fellow make himself acceptable to his 
Master? Is it not with the heads of these men ?] pointing to the 
Philistine soldiers. This is their reply to the plea that David is a 
runaway slave. — 5. The fact of David's former success against 
the Philistines is an argument against his fidelity now. The 
absence of any allusion to Goliath shows that the exploit of Chap- 
ter 1 7 was unknown to the author of this section. 

1. On the locality cf. Miller, Least of All Lands, cited by GAS., Geog. p. 401. 
Aphek is apparently the last station of the Philistines before advancing against 
Saul's position at Jezreel, v. 11 . This would naturally be somewhere in the 
great plain of Esdraelon. This Aphek cannot therefore be Aphek in Sharon. 
— 2. \no] the native name of the Philistine rulers, 5 s , of whom Achish was 
one. — 3. The ontp I take to have been the military commanders in distinc- 
tion from the D>jno, or civil rulers. The latter indeed marched to the war 
and led their troops. But there must have been some sort of general staff. — 
o-w nriN Din> nr] is extremely indefinite — some days or some years would 
hardly be the reply of a man who knew the situation : rjnepas tovto Seirtpoy 
tros <S5 AB ; ^5tj tievTepov tros o-f)/j.tpop <& L agree in making the time two years. 



xxix. i-i i 245 

which would be simply DtfUV n? (adopted by Bu.). — V?dj] add »S* with 
<SJ2>®IL — 4. The second dticSs nr is lacking in &&%. — nonSna] read 
njnDO with ®. The change was made under the influence of the preceding 
ncnSoa (Kl.). Nestle (Marg. p. 15) calls attention to the contrast between 
the Satan here and the angel of God a little later; and also to the former 
experience of the Philistines with the Hebrews in their camp. 

6. Achish breaks the news to David : By the life of Yahweh"] 
this oath is not unnatural in the mouth of a Philistine when he is 
speaking to an Israelite. — Thou art upright and it is right in my 
eyes that thou shouldst go out and in in the camp] like any of the 
officers, 18 15 . — But thou art not approved by the Tyrants] the 
voice of the majority must be decisive. — 7. Achish seems to fear 
David's anger, as he asks him not to do evil in the eyes of the 
Tyrants. — 8. David utters a suspicion that Achish himself finds 
fault with him : What have I done . . . that I may not go and fight 
against the enemies of my Lord the king ? What David's real plan 
was is not disclosed. The author probably did not suppose he 
would fight against Israel. — 9. He receives renewed assurance 
that he is blameless as an angel of God in the sight of Achish. — 
10. The command to depart at dawn the next day is repeated in 
detail, for we should read with (3 : Now rise early in the morning, 
thou and thy me?i who came with thee \_and go to the place where 
I have stationed thee, and put no evil design in thy heart, for thou 
art good in my sight] but rise early in the morning and you shall 
have light, and go] the clause in brackets has fallen out of J^. 
It is assumed by Achish that the high-spirited warrior will feel 
insulted and be tempted to take revenge. — 11. David therefore 
rose early to return to the land of the Philistines, but the Philistines 
went up to Jezreel. 

6. "ps's] (3 prefixes /ecu, meaning: not only thou but also thy going out. It 
cannot be denied that $% would be smoother if it read -|riNS anai nriN >y;2 ntt». 
But <S does not seem to have the better reading. — 9. "•ny-p] probably should 
be njn\ — dtiSn ^Sdd] in the two other instances of the comparison, we find 
o^rrVNn 'dd which should perhaps be restored here, 2 S. 14 17 19 28 . The words 
are lacking in <g B perhaps because they were thought to be incongruous with 
Achish's nationality. — 10. The Hebrew, as it stands, puts two exhortations to 
rise early in the morning in immediate succession. The clause in <g which 
stands between them relieves the awkwardness. It is adopted by Th., We., 
Dr., Bu , Kl., Ki. As the cause of its loss, we can only conjecture that it filled 



246 i SAMUEL 

just a line or just two lines in the archetype. For y:iH *"l3jn which does not 
seem natural in the mouth of Achish, I restore "jnyji nnN with <g L . The same 
recension reads at the end of the omitted clause &s &yyt\os dcov, which is 
perhaps original (adopted by Kl.). 

XXX. The narrative is continuous with what precedes, follow- 
ing the fortunes of David. — 1. When he and his men got home 
they found that the Amalekites had invaded the Negeb and had 
smitten Ziklag and burnt it with fire~\ the Bedawin had watched 
the departure of David and his men. — 2. They had not followed 
David's method of warfare, for they had killed no one but had 
carried captive the women and all that were in it, from small to 
great] the fighting men were with David. The captives were prob- 
ably destined to the Egyptian slave market. — 3, 4. Finding the 
city burned, and their families carried away, David and his men 
wept aloud until there was in them no more power to weep] the 
fountain of tears was exhausted ; consumptis enim lachrymis in- 
fixus tamen pectori haeret dolor* — 5. As it stands, the verse is 
a supplementary notice that should have come in at the end of 
v. 2 . Probably it is a gloss. — 6. David was in great straits'] 
Gen. 32 s Jd. 2 15 ; for the people proposed to stone him~] popular 
indignation easily turns against the ruler in case of calamity. — 
For the soul of every one was embittered] 2 K. 4^, where extreme 
grief is thus described. But the allied phrase bitter of soul is 
used also of angry men, Jd. 18 25 2 S. 17 8 . In this case, the grief 
turned to anger. — But David took courage in reliance on Yahweh 
his God] as is shown by his prompt action. — 7, 8. Command- 
ing Abiathar to bring the Ephod, he asks : Shall I pursue this 
band? Shall I overtake them ?] the double question is really one ; 
it were vain to pursue unless he could overtake. The answer was 
affirmative : Pursue, for thou shall surely overtake and shall surely 
rescue. 

XXX. 1. \*>Sc;'i] cf. v. 18 , doubtless to be read pVojn with @. — 2. na"WN] 
as it stands, refers to the women. But as we have later the express assertion 
that they had not killed a man, we should probably insert here with <S Sdtni 
(Th.) which would include the old men and boys. — 3. nonB> rum] the same 
construction in v. 16 . — 5. The verse is supposed to be a gloss by Bu., and can 

* Cicero, cited by Sanctius, Schm. p. 964. 



XXX. 1-17 247 

in fact well be spared. — 6. nxni] Ges. 26 67 p. The masculine form is used 
elsewhere except in Jd. io 9 , cf. Davidson, Syntax, § 109. — U3] read V)2 with 
the Qre, cf. v. 22 . — "ui prnrpi] the clause reads like a later insertion; it is 
not exactly duplicated anywhere else. — 7. Abiathar occurs 22 20 23 s , probably 
from the same document. — 8. r )" nN ] might be construed as the hypothetical 
introduction to the real question: if I pursue, shall I overtake? But <t§ reads 
interrogatively, and the answer *|-n favours that reading — restore therefore 
t]-r\xn (We.). — -n-un] cf. 1 K. n 24 2 K. 5 2 6 23 , and elsewhere, of marauding 
banditti as here. 

9. David and his men came to the Wadi Besor. The name 
occurs only in this passage, and, as we have no knowledge of 
David's objective point, it is impossible now to identify this ravine. 
— 10. And there remained behind two hundred men who were too 
exhausted to cross the Wadi Besor, and David and four hundred 
men pursued] the two halves of the verse have been transposed 
by mistake. — 11. The party found an Egyptian, known by his 
dress or his features, whom they brought to David, and to whom 
they gave food. — 12. After giving him water, they gave him a 
cake of figs'] cf. 25 18 . For a starving man this would be enough. 
— His spirit returned to him] he had been in appearance lifeless 
from his long fast. — 13. To David's question concerning himself 
he replies : I am an Egyptian lad, servant to an Amalekite, and 
my master abandoned me, because I fell sick, three days ago. — 
14. His account of the expedition : We raided the Negeb of the 
Cherethite] a clan of the Philistines, Zeph. 2 5 . — 15. The captive 
on being asked to act as guide, consents on condition that David 
will swear not to kill him, or to deliver him to his master. — 
16. Led by the slave, they come upon the enemy spread over the 
face of the country, eating and drinking and dancing] very possi- 
bly in a religious feast — on account of all the great spoil which 
they had taken. — 17. And David smote them from twilight to 
evening] the attack was sudden and soon decided, and the success 
was complete : None escaped except four hundred young men who 
rode upon the camels and fled. 

9. wan] conjecturally identified with Wadi Gazze (by Guerin, fudee, 
II. p. 213) * or with its branch Wadi Sheri a (by Buh\,Geog. p. 88). — annum 
liny] can only mean in its present connexion that the rest (besides the six 
hundred) stayed behind at Ziklag. But it is a constant feature of the tradi- 

* I owe the citation to BDB. sub voce. 



248 I SAMUEL 

tion that David had only six hundred men with him, so that there were none 
to stay at Ziklag. We must treat the clause as an intruder (We.). Ew. 
(GVf 8 . III. 144, E.Tr. III. p. 105) proposes to insert a clause — four hundred 
passed over, and the rest stayed. But the next verse is then redundant. — 
10. The order is perverse, and the two halves of the verse should be trans- 
posed (We.). — )-ud] only here and v.* 21 . The context indicates the meaning, 
cf. "UB a corpse from its limpness. — 11. nJO~VI»] it would be more logical 
to describe him here as faint or starving, and to leave his race to be discov- 
ered later (Kl.). — DOS &"urm] it seems superfluous to tell us here that they 
gave him food, and then to add later that they gave him figs. However, we 
may account for the clause as a general statement — they brought him to 
David and gave him food — to be followed by the details. — 12. D'pDS Wl] 
lacking in (§ B , and not improbably the insertion of a scribe. It would not 
do to give a starving man much food at one time. — 13. vwhtt orn] 3 MSS. 
of |§ add d^d"» which seems necessary, cf. 9 20 . — »14. 2Jj] the verb used is 
followed by Sx in v. 1 , and the preposition should be inserted here (We.). — 
\--on] the people so named are dwellers on the shore according to Zephaniah, 
who also associates them with the land of the Philistines as does Ezekiel 
(25 16 ). Elsewhere they are mentioned with the DViSfl as making up David's 
body guard, 2 S. 8 18 . Cf. E. Meyer, Gesch. des Alterth. I. p. 367. <S L has x°PP >l 
here, reminding us of a similar confusion in $f in 2 S. 20 23 : <g B x<>A0e/. — 
mvyh "WN-Sitt] the difference in the form of expression indicates that the 
phrase was inserted by a scribe who was surprised that Judah should not be 
mentioned. The Negeb of the Pelethite and the Negeb of Caleb would 
be enough territory for one raid. — 15. At the end of the verse 4§ L £> agree in 
adding : and he sware to him. — 16. O'-Jjn] the circuit of the sanctuary made 
at the feasts was undoubtedly a dance. That the Bedawin were here dancing 
before their gods, is the most natural interpretation of the scene. Arabic 
parallels are given by We. Shizzen, III. p. 106, with which compare Noldeke's 
comments in ZDMG. XLI. p. 719. — 17. in D3>i] © seems to have had N3"> 
D3M tn D!tSn which is adopted by Bu. But in such cases the shorter clause 
has the presumption in its favour. — ftWlD] it is still disputed whether the 
morning or evening twilight is intended. In the majority of cases ijm is cer- 
tainly the early evening when the breeze begins to stir, and there seems no 
reason to interpret otherwise here. The enemy were wholly taken by surprise 
and seem to have made no serious resistance. To suppose that David spent 
the whole day in slaughter is difficult. — DmroV] adds to the difficulty, for 
interpreted in the natural sense it would extend the slaughter over two whole 
days. The form moreover is abnormal. The D can hardly be the pronominal 
suffix, and the adverbial ending is equally out of place. The text is probably 
corrupt. & seems to have or to conjecture onnnND. The Bible Commentary 
suggests onincS; We. oonnnS (adopted by Bu.); Kl. oniric Saa. 

18, 19. David rescued all that had been carried away, nothing 
was missing'] 2 S. 1 7 s2 . — 20. The meaning of the obscure verse 



XXX. 18-25 2 49 

must have been that, in addition to recovering his own, David 
captured a large amount of other property. — 21. On the return, 
the two hundred who were left behind came to meet them, 
and saluted them. — 22. The baser men among those who had 
marched in the pursuit propose to keep all the booty for their own 
company : Because they did not go with us~\ the present text reads 
with me — we will not give them of the booty which we rescued] 
the term booty shows that no previous title was to be recognized. 
All they would give would be : to each man his wife and his chil- 
dren that they may lead them away and depart. — 23. David 
vetoes the proposition : Do not do so after Yahweh has [wrought'] 
for us and preserved us. Injustice is a sin against God, and in 
this case the ingratitude is especially conspicuous. — 24. The 
language of David continues in the couplet : 

As the portion of the one who goes down into battle, 

So is the portion of the one who remains with the baggage. 

Early statutes (enactments or regulations) were put in rhythmical 
form for better retention in memory. The original couplet has 
here been increased by the added words : They shall share alike. 
— 25. The author adds that from that time on they made it a 
statute and a precedent in Israel. David's decision in the matter 
became the precedent (fcBtrfc) ; it was a statute when he made it 
a general rule. Cf. Briggs, Higher Criticism of the Hexateuch 2 , 
p. 248 f. 

18. The two wives seem to be an afterthought, as in v. 6 . — 19. SWdi] 
seems to belong before D>J3"ijn, and this is the order in @. Possibly however 
a word has fallen out; we should expect: o^a— ipi D^PJ JB. — 20. The verse as 
it stands is unintelligible. Its object must be to tell us that in addition to the 
recovery of his own possessions David took a large amount of other booty : 
ante pecus suum quod liberaverant duxerunt greges et armenta quae abstu- 
lerunt Amalekitis, as Kimchi is rendered by Schmid. But this is not ex- 
pressed by the present text. We.'s restoration, accepted by Dr., Bu., Ki., 
makes the people, out of gratitude, resign all the sheep and oxen to David as 
his share. But this is contrary to what follows, where the two hundred share 
in the booty with the others. I suspect the original to have been something 
like this: in SSa> nr dj on^sh phny unj -vpk npam jnxh SrrnNi. — 21. dis^m] 
should probably be D^tt"!, David being the natural subject, <5£2L — Snipm] on 
the other hand is read as a plural by <gj$. The men left behind would be the 
ones to ask for the welfare of those who had gone into the battle (We.); for 



250 I SAMUEL 

onS we should probably read nS (= iS). — 22. So] is lacking in &. — *DJ7] the 
singular form is no doubt thoroughly idiomatic. But if we retain it we should 
apparently change both jru and y*?xn to correspond. It is easier therefore to 
read UDJ> with 8 MSS. of f$, and with @£>1L. — 23. "trH nx ^na] <@> undoubt- 
edly reads ~iw>N nnN which is to be preferred, because it makes all that follows 
a reason for the dissuasion. But in that case jru is left without an object and 
must be replaced by another verb, as WJJ, 14 6 . — 24. -nin] of the Ktib is 
only a scribe's error. — 25. S&ntt" i ?] Smro found in some copies and editions 
seems a little better here. — nm nvn ip] a frequent phrase, especially in late 
writers. It naturally implies that a considerable time had elapsed since the 
events narrated. 

26. David uses the booty at his disposal to win the hearts of 
Judah. Mohammed's procedure after the battle of Honein will 
occur to every one. — He sent of the booty to the elders of Judah 
and to his kinsmen] reading with (&. The enumeration of towns 
follows. All of them seem to have been in the South Country, 
none north of Hebron. — 27. Bethel, as pointed out by We., the 
same with the Bethuel of 1 Chr. 4 30 , there mentioned in connexion 
with Hormah and Ziklag; cf. also Bethul, Jos. 19 4 (also with 
Hormah). Ramoth-Negeb one of the cities of Simeon, Jos. 19 8 . 
Jattir, Jos. 15 48 21 14 (with Eshtemoa). — 28. Aroerwas originally 
mentioned in Jos. 15 22 . The name still attaches to a ruin east- 
southeast of Beersheba. Siphamoih seems to be mentioned no- 
where else. Eshtemoa, Jos. 15 50 2 r 14 identified by Robinson. — 
29. For the unknown Racal of $ we should probably read 
Carmel on the basis of (3. — The cities of the Jerachmeelite and 
the cities of the Kenite~\ 27 10 . — 30. Hormah Jd. i 17 Num. 21 3 . 
For Bor-Ashan we should probably restore the well-known Beer 
Sheba whose absence is inexplicable. — 31. Hebron, the chief 
city of Judah, could not be left out when all the places were re- 
membered where David had sojourned, he and his men. 

26. iny-V?] koX ro7s nXriffiov avrov <!l seems preferable; <& pman 1 ?! has the 
conjunction like <J£. — 27. Ssmaa] written as one word by Baer; in Gins- 
burg's text two words connected by the Maqqeph. The name occurs in 
@ B also in Jos. 15 30 (^D3 |^) just before Hormah. In our passage ® has 
Baidaovp which is favoured by Ew. and Th. For Ramoth <g BL Rama; in 
Jos. 19 8 where |$ has nni, <55 L has Pad/movO. — nno] iv Te6d6p <3 B goes back 
to nnjn. Both names are found in the lists of Joshua (15 4248 19 7 21 14 ). Cf. 
ZA TW. VI. p. 6. — 28. ijnp is the name of more than one place. The pres- 
ent one should be in the Negeb, and a ruin is pointed out in this region 



XXX. 26-XXXI. 3 251 

called Ar'ara (Buhl, Geog. p. 183). In Jos. 15 22 we now find irqnj for which 
<g B has 'ApovrfK. Probably "gnjl should be restored there (cf. Dillmann's 
Commentary and Bennett's text in SBOT.). P>Mftr of Ginsburg and the 
common editions is written niDJMP by Baer. In this verse <S B has one name 
more than |^, inserting 'A/xfiaSei which may be a corruption of 'Aporjp (We.). 
It does not seem to be a sufficient basis on which to restore nj~pj? (Ew.). 
@ L seems to have read pp n>' from v. 29 . For niDet? : 2a<pei <g B . ynntPN, cf. 
Buhl, Geog. p. 163. — 29. The verse is extended in <g B perhaps by duplication 
from the preceding. It agrees with <3 h in giving the name Carmel, which 
Ewald substitutes for Son. For the Kenite, (3 has the Kenezite. Kenaz was 
a clan of Judah, Jd. I 13 , but the parallel 1 S. 27 10 seems to decide for the 
Kenite here. — 30. Hormah, cf. Moore on Jd. i 17 . — pt yn aa in the early 
editions according to Baer; in many recent ones (Jablonski, etc.) 'jr-nm. In 
<§ it is represented by Beersheba. The absence of so prominent a place as 
Beersheba is remarkable and the name is perhaps original. \Vp however is 
the name of a town in Judah, Jos. 15 42 19 7 . *]np occurs nowhere else in f^. 
It is suggested by Buhl (Ges. J/WB 12 .) that it is the same with V»p noticed 
above, which is twice named in connexion with \vy. I should substitute 
Arad, Jd. I» The MSS. of 6 differ widely. 

XXXI. The death of Saul. — Two accounts are given of the 
death of Saul. In the one before us he is hard pressed in battle, 
and, in despair, commits suicide. In the other (contained in 
2 Sam. i 1 " 10 ), he begs an Amalekite camp follower to slay him, 
and thus meets his end. The two accounts seem independent, 
and it is natural to suppose that they represent the two different 
streams of tradition. In that case the chapter before us continues 
the narrative of 28. It is, in fact, the natural sequel of that 
chapter. For in that the shadow of the coming defeat already 
falls. As there predicted, Saul sees Israel defeated and his sons 
slain ; and commits suicide in his sense of abandonment by Yah- 
weh. It confirms this to notice that 2 S. 1 naturally continues the 
history we have just followed, culminating in David's distribution 
of the booty to Judah. Chapter 31 is unnecessary to that narra- 
tive, and in fact breaks the thread. 

1. The account opens abruptly : The Philistines fought against 
Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and fell 
down slain upon Mount Gilboa~] Israel was frequently defeated 
in the plains. In this case the battle was fought on their own 
ground — the high places. — 2, 3. Three sons of Saul were slain, 



252 i SAMUEL 

and the fighting pressed hard upon Saul; the archers got him in 
range and he was wounded] the text is not certain. — 4. Saul's 
command to his armour-bearer : Draw thy sword and run me 
through with it~\ the case of Abimelech Jd. 9 s4 is closely parallel. 
There, it was to escape death at the hands of a woman. Here, it 
is lest these uncircumcised come and make sport of me~] amuse 
themselves with the helpless but conscious warrior, Jd. 19 25 . The 
armour-bearer refused because he was much afraid] whether the 
author means that he was in too great a panic to heed the com- 
mand, or that he had too great reverence for his lord cannot be 
made out with certainty. The latter seems more probable. Saul 
then took his own sword and fell upon it] one of the very rare 
instances of suicide in the Old Testament. In view of it, the 
older commentators discuss the question of Saul's final salvation, 
generally with an unfavourable verdict.* — 5. The armour-bearer 
would not survive his master. — 6. The tragic element is pointed 
out in the fact that Saul and his sons and his armour-bearer died 
together. — 7. The result was that the inhabitants of the cities 
in the Jordan valley deserted their cities, and the Philistines took 
possession of them. The recovery of the original text is difficult. 

XXXI. The question of the place of the story can be fully considered only 
when we come to the following chapter. For the text we now have an 
additional source in the Chronicler who embodies this chapter in his work 
(1 Chr. io 1 " 12 ). 

1. o^onSj] Chr. lon^j which should probably be restored. The author of 
Sam. changed to the participle to indicate that while David and his men were 
pursuing the Amalekites, the Philistines were fighting. — >tt»jx lDri] B»*K DPI C. 
which is more idiomatic. — 2. tp3"W] H 22 - — nx ] ^nx C. It is a question 
whether the original author did not write b*. The verb is generally used with a. 
The names of Saul's sons show some variation in (3. — 3. Sn] read Sy C. <!§&. 

— D'PJM omen] seems impossible and C. leaves out d^pjn. But TWp2 onion 
is redundant, and nvps cannot be connected with inisxD*>i. Dr. proposes 
n2>pa onion DHMM meaning some of the archers, comparing Gen. 37 28 1 S. 25 10 . 
It seems simpler to strike out nrpa DMMH as a gloss designed to define onion. 

— Dniono nNO Vm] omn-p Srvi C. The words are generally taken to mean 
he feared the archers exceedingly. But we should expect ij|>0 if that were the 
meaning. <& takes Stv>\ to be from SSn, Ka\ iTpav/jLartadr] AB , k at eTpavfiaTiaav L , 
and this gives a better sense, for the words of Saul to his armour-bearer are 

* Schmid, p. 988. 



xxxt. 3-13 253 

the words of a man sore wounded. — oniDno] eis to viroxovhpia <& would in- 
dicate tt>cn2 or D*jr»X — 4. The second »lTp*n is lacking in C. doubtless 
rightly. What Saul dreaded was that he should be alive to be mocked, not 
that they should mutilate his body after his death. — 5. no] seems impossible 
to reconcile with the following chapter. — 6. For vhs ncji C. has mo Sm, an 
intentional exaggeration. — WMirSa dj] lacking in C. <£ B , is a similar exagger- 
ation. — 7. ^jn] C. s^n-So. For p-vn na>»a -\aw pDj?n najn* C. has simply 
PQP3 IVH, and this may be original, though it is difficult to see how it could 
give rise to the present text. Probably we should read pDJH n>'3 (Kl.). — 
>irwn "Wn] is omitted by C. who was willing to throw the blame upon Saul 
alone. — onpn] read Btrnp with C. and 0. 

8. The next day the Philistines came to strip the slain and 
found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa~] the battle 
had probably lasted until evening. — 9. They sent the head of 
Saul through the country of the Philistines to bring good news to 
their idols and the people] perhaps the original author wrote to 
their gods and the people. — 10. His armour, as a trophy, came 
naturally into the house of Ash tore th~] where this was we are not 
told. — And his corpse they exposed on the walls of Bethshan] a 
city in the Jordan valley at the entrance of the side valley which 
comes down from the Great Plain. It still bears the name Beisan. 
— 11. The men of Jabesh Gilead, who had special reasons for 
remembering Saul with gratitude (n 1-11 ), undertook to remove 
the disgrace. — 12. All the men of courage rose up and marched 
all night, and took the corpses of Saul and his sons from the wall 
of Bethshan and brought them to Jabesh and burnt them there~\ 
although this was not Israelitish custom, there seems to be no 
sufficient reason for departing from the received text. — 13. The 
bones were buried under the tamarisk tree] probably one well 
known; and they fasted seven days'] in expression of their grief. 

8. ntrSc] omitted by C. — 9. C. has a free reproduction of the first clause. 
— no] C. has nN which is doubtless correct, and which seems also to be im- 
plied by <{£. — 10. nrmwt] the singular form alone is in place. C. substitutes 
OOTiSm. For lppn read Wp>1 (Lag. Anm. zur Griech. Uebersetz. d. Proverbien, 
p. iiii), cf. 2 S. 2I 6 - 9 . The Chronicler, thinking of the head and armour being 
sent to Philistia, changes the last clause to : and they stuck up his skull in the 
house of Dagon. On Bethshan, Moore, Jd. I 27 and reff. — 11. vSn] lacking 

* It is impossible to suppose that the Israelites beyond the Jordan deserted their 
cities. The example of Jabesh Gilead is enough to show this. 



254 2 SAMUEL 

in <& B C. — 12. rhhtrhl >oS>i] lacking in C. which also changes the wording 
of the rest of the verse to accord with its own omission of Bethshan, v. 10 . — 
wom] read dwom 4£ C. — uv odn lB*vb»l] is lacking in C. On account of the 
lack of precedent, Bu. proposes to read DP onS "pcdm. The mourning how- 
ever should be mentioned in connexion with the fasting at the end of the 
next verse. And the separate mention of the bones which follows (note inpM) 
is inexplicable with the proposed reading. — 13. i-op 1 *) . . . inpii] C. has only 
napn. For tawn, C. has nSsn, a more general word, or perhaps less ob- 
noxious (if Vex is a sacred tree, as seems probable). The Hebrew name is 
reproduced in the modern Arabic name athl, applied to the Tamarisk, cf. Post. 
Flora of Syria (1896), p. 166. 

2 Sam. I. 1-27. David's reception of the news of Saul's 
death. — An Amalekite brings news to Ziklag and gives a circum- 
stantial account of the death of Saul, in which he claims to have 
been instrumental. David and his men mourn for the death of 
Saul and his men, and the messenger is put to death for having 
laid hands on the Anointed of Yahweh. In addition to these 
marks of grief, David composes an Elegy which is inserted in the 
text, having been taken from the Book of Jashar. 

The historical part of the chapter contains a separate and inde- 
pendent account of the death of Saul. In I. 31 we are told ex- 
pressly that Saul met his death by his own hand. Here the 
Amalekite finds him suffering from extreme fatigue, but without 
a wound, v. 9 . It seems impossible to reconcile the two accounts. 
The easiest hypothesis is that the Amalekite fabricated his story. 
But the whole narrative seems against this. David has no inkling 
that the man is not truthful, nor does the author suggest it. The 
natural conclusion is that we have here a document different from 
the one just preceding. It strengthens our conviction to notice 
that this narrative, with a very slight change in v. 1 , continues the 
account of David's experience at Ziklag without a break. It is 
highly dramatic that after David's severe contest with Amalek, an 
Amalekite should bring him the news of Saul's death. For this 
writer, whose chief interest was in David, the story contains all 
he cared to tell of the last days of Saul. 

Budde in his text separates v. 5 as a late insertion and vs.*" 11, 13 ~ 16 
as belonging to a different document. He succeeds thus in pro- 
ducing a continuation of I. 31. But where the exscinded frag- 
ments belong it is impossible to see. They continue nothing that 



I. i-io 255 

precedes, and they prepare for nothing that follows. They may 
be a mere editorial embellishment, but such a hypothesis should 
not be urged if we can get along without it. 

1. The ambiguity of the data shows that the verse has been 
remodelled to make it connect this chapter with what precedes. 
The original author evidently made David remain in Ziklag two 
days after his return from smiting the Amalekites. The editor 
inserted the reference to the death of Saul. — 2. On the third day 
there came a man] the Rabbinical commentators make him to 
have been Doeg, or his son, or the son of Agag. — With his clothes 
rent and earth upon his head] like the other bearer of bad tidings, 
1 S. 4 12 . — 3, 4. On hearing that the man has escaped from the 
camp of Israel, David asks him : Hou> was the affair .?] cf. 1 S. 4 16 . 
The reply is similar to that of the messenger at Shiloh : The people 
flea from the battle, and many of the people fell, and Saul and 
fonaihan his son are dead] the climax is reached in that in which 
the hearer is most interested. — 5. David asks particularly con- 
cerning the death of Saul and Jonathan : How dost thou know 
that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead? — 6. As already pointed 
out, the reply contradicts the account already given of the death 
of Saul : / happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and Saul was leaning 
on his spear, and the chariots and horsemen drew near him] in 
3 1 3 it was the archers who got him in range. — 7. And he looked 
behind him and saw me] Saul had been facing the enemy but now 
looked about for help. — 8. After calling the stranger, Saul says : 
Who art thou ? To which the stranger makes the reply : / am 
an Amalekite. The contradiction has thus become more glaring ; 
Saul instead of appealing to his squire, who must have been near 
his person, finds only one person within call. Instead of shrink- 
ing from the abuse of the Philistine, he is willing to give himself 
to be despatched by an equally despised enemy, an Amalekite. — 

9. Saul's prayer : Stand over me, I pray, and slay me, for dizzi- 
ness has seized me] the exhaustion of a man worn out with fight- 
ing. The following clause is obscure ; see the critical note. — 

10. So I stood over him and slew him for I knew that he could 
not live after he had fallen] an apology for his deed on the part 
of the murderer. He also took Saul's crown and his armlet] sev- 



256 z SAMUEL 

eral such are pictured on the arms of Assyrian monarchs.* For 
the custom of kings to go into battle in their regalia, notice the 
account of Jehoshaphat and Ahab in i K. 22 30 where Ahab's dis- 
guising himself is an exception to the rule. — And brought them 
to my lord here] does not expressly state that the bearer regarded 
David as the legitimate successor, but seems to imply it. — 
11, 12. David and his men mourn for Saul and Jonathan and for 
the house of Israel, with the customary signs of grief — rending 
the clothes, fasting, and weeping. — 13. To David's question con- 
cerning his origin, the messenger replies : / am the son of an 
Amalekite sojourner] one who had taken up his residence in 
Israel where he had the protection accorded to a client, but was 
not in full citizenship. Of proselytes as we understand the word, 
i.e., converts to the true religion, there is no trace in this early 
period. — 14. David's question shows his indignation at any one's 
(we may suppose a fortiori at a stranger's) putting out his hand 
to destroy the anointed of Yahweh] the sanctity of the king made 
such an act sacrilege. The assassins of Ishbaal received similar 
treatment to that recorded here, 4 10f , and for the reason here indi- 
cated. — 15, 16. David has him slain by one of his soldiers and 
justifies the act in the words : Thy blood be upon thy head because 
thine own mouth testified against thee] the guilt of the man's 
death rests upon himself because he deserves to die. Otherwise 
it would rest upon David, cf. the case of Abner, 3 28 and also 1 K. 

2 32. 33. 37^ 

1. The natural construction of the verse as it stands is to make W 2C ITU 
a circumstantial clause and therefore parenthetical : ' It came to pass after the 
death of Saul (David meanwhile had returned from smiting Amalek) that 
David abode two days in Ziklag.' But it is doubtful whether this expresses 
the sense of the author. What he means is that after returning from Amalek, 
David abode two days in Ziklag before the message came. The infelicity of 
the text shows editorial adaptation to the present context. The original begin- 
ning of the verse was probably in W nns vm simply. In this case, there is 
no reason why it may not have continued 30 31 . — pSryn] should be *p*?opn 
(so 6 MSS.) with % or phop with (SiL. — 2. For Doeg as the messenger, Schm. 
refers to Isaaki, and for the son of Agag to Auctor Antiq. Bibl. qui /also 
Philo fuisse dicitur. Doeg is also given by Pseudo-Hieronymus, Questiones. 
— d?d] is read by @ D>'D, but $ is preferable (We.). — 4. Dj— kpn] another 

* Nestle, Margin alien, p. 16. 



I. 10-16 257 

case of "KPK in the sense of O, I S. 15 20 , c(. Davidson, Syntax, § 146, R. 2. — 
nD»i] is omitted by <S L j&, perhaps rightly; <g B inserts: nal anedaveu ko\ 2aouA. 
— 6. vmpj N^PJ] evidently the two forms are intended to be from the same 
root, cf. 20 1 . — D*trtfin *Vp3i] we read nowhere else of masters of the horsemen, 
and @ omits 'hpa here, unless ol iirirdpxc" covers both words. Everywhere else 
we find D»«nu joined with apt. Possibly some one started to write D**n ^ja 
(Gen. 49 23 ) and afterwards discovered D'VM in his text. — in,->:nn] strictly 
means that they had already overtaken him. — 8. nD*oi Kt. : ^dni Qre. The 
latter is necessary. — 9. *Vp] implies that Saul had sunk down — which ought, 
however, to be distinctly expressed. — ptt>n] occurs nowhere else, and the 
meaning is doubtful : <tk6tos dewov <S possibly a corruption of <tkot68ivos = 
dizziness* The same idea seems to be expressed by Kritt <% (cf. Nestle, Mar- 
ginalien, p. 16 and reff.) : angustiae 1L, lOT'm & suppose Saul overcome by 
terror. Modern interpreters are represented by Th. who renders cramp, and 
Kl. who accepts giddiness. Schmid supposes the sentence to mean my 
armour prevents me, i.e., from carrying out my purpose to kill myself. This 
interpretation is due to the theory that Saul had attempted suicide, but the 
sword had been turned aside by his coat of mail, so that the blow was not 
fatal. — VU 1 iy~ k ?:T'o] is unusual. It is supposed to be by hypallage for 
^'flj SiT-njT'o (Ges. HlVB l2 .s.v. *?::). But the only analogies cited are Job 27 s 
and Hos. 14 3 , the latter of which has a corrupt text. It is doubtful moreover 
whether the sense supposed — for yet my life is whole within me — is appro- 
priate. I think more likely that Saul means to give a reason for his dizziness, 
in which case we might suppose >£>dj nnS:> *3 : for my strength is consumed, 
that is, / am utterly exhausted, cf. Ps. 84 s , where, to be sure, the soul is con- 
sumed with desire. Graetz ( Gesch. d. Juden, I. p. 224) proposes to read Si 
for *?3. — 10. iSdj] on the pointing cf. Ges. 26 61 b; the word must mean Saul's 
falling to the earth, showing that he had sunk down in his exhaustion. — ~uj] 
of the royal crown 2 K. n 12 . — myxNi] occurs only here and Num. 31**, but 
myx, Is. 3 20 , is another form of the same word. We. and Dr. propose to read 
mpxn here also, as the article seems required by the following "Wit, Nestle's 
objection that the king may have worn several bracelets does not remove the 
difficulty, for one of his bracelets would not be expressed by the construction 
in the text. — 11. P*U33 Qre, is sustained by the following plural suffix. — 
12. -W* '3 hp mrv dj? Sjn] is tautology and is relieved by <& which reads for 
the first clause and over the people of Judah. But probably even then one 
clause is an interpolation. — 13. *u] cf. Bertholet, Die Stellung der Israeliten 
und der Juden zu den Fremden (1896), pp. I, 29. — 16. For "pc-i the Qre 
commands *pt as in I K. 2 37 . The Kthib however is justified by 2 S. 3 28 . 
Cf. u roi, Lev. 20 9 , etc., and U) tm, Ezek. 33 s . 

17-27. David's dirge. — The author here inserts a poem on 
the death of Saul and Jonathan which he ascribes to David, and 

* Trendelenburg, cited by Schleusner, Nov. Thesaurus, V. p. 62. 
S 



258 2 SAMUEL 

which he avowedly takes from a book older than his own. The 
composition is just what it purports to be — a lament on the death 
of Israel's heroes. How are the mighty fallen is the refrain at the 
end of the opening tristich, which recurs also within the poem, 
and again at the close. After announcing his theme, the author 
deprecates the spread of news which will cause the enemy to 
rejoice. He then pronounces a curse upon Mount Gilboa, the 
scene of so cruel an event. With v. 22 he takes up the panegyric 
of the departed warriors — swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. 
He exhorts the daughters of Israel to lament over Saul, whose 
generosity they had often experienced in the distribution of the 
booty. And in conclusion he gives vent to his own personal 
bereavement in the loss of Jonathan. 

There seems to be no reason to doubt the genuineness of the 
poem. One negative reason in its favour seems to be of over- 
whelming force : it has no religious allusion whatever. The strong 
current of tradition which early made David a religious hero, ren- 
ders it improbable that any one should compose for David a poem 
which contains no allusion to Yahweh, to his relation to Israel, or 
to his care for Israel's king. A similar argument is the absence 
of any allusion to the strained relations which had existed between 
Saul and David. That David should show true magnanimity in 
the case is not surprising. But it would hardly be human nature 
for an imitator not to make at least a veiled allusion to David's 
experience at the court of Saul and during his forced exile. With 
these negative indications we must put the absence of any positive 
marks of a late date. There seems to be absolutely nothing in 
the poem which is inconsistent with its alleged authorship. 

The text of the poem has unfortunately suffered in transmission, 
and in some parts it cannot be restored with certainty. For the 
most part it is written in verses of four accents. Its logical divi- 
sions are indicated in the outline already given. 

17-27. A translation is given by Herder, Geist der Ebr'dischen Poesie, 
3 Aufl. (Leipzig, 1825), II. p. 289 f. Justi inserts also in this edition his 
own translation, with a reference to his Nationalgesange der Hebraer as well 
as his Blwnen althebr'discher Dichtkunst, neither of which I have seen. 
Translations are given also by E. Meier, Poet. Nationallitcratur d. Hebr. 
p. 123; Ewald, Dichter des Alien Bundes, I. p. 149 f.; Graetz, Gesch. d. 



I. 17-18 259 

Juden, I. p. 224 f.; Stade, GVL I. p. 259; GASmith, Geog. p. 404 f. The 
consensus of recent scholars is in favour of the genuineness of the poem. 

17. David sang this dirge'] as he sang a dirge over Abner, 3 s3 ; 
the same phrase Ezek. 32 16 . — 18. The first half-verse is perfectly 
plain so far as the words are concerned, but in their present place 
they are wholly incongruous : And he said to teach the children of 
Judah the bow. In the first place if the author meant that David 
commanded something he would have said so. Secondly, the 
information that he commanded to teach the use of the bow (AV.) 
is irrelevant. The song of the bow (RV.) is equally out of place 
unless it means this song, which some indeed suppose. But it is 
a strange procedure for the author to tell us that David com- 
manded to teach the song of the bow without letting us know that 
this means the song before us. And why did he not say simply 
this song or this dirge, which would have been perfectly clear? 
We can do nothing with the text as it stands, and the efforts of 
the commentators only bring the difficulty more clearly into relief. 
The versions give only slight help. The word rendered bow is 
omitted by (£. But this does not heal the difficulty. The only 
thing certain seems to be that the half-verse represents the open- 
ing words of the dirge with the introductory phrase : And he said. 
By a conjecture which will be discussed in the critical note,* I 
suppose the next following words to have been : Weep, O Judah / 
The second half of the verse : Behold it is written in the Book of 
Jashar] is a marginal note which has crept into the text. The 
Book of Jashar is mentioned Jos. io 13 , and was possibly also cited 
in the original of 1 K. 8 13 , in both cases as authority for a poetical 
quotation. 

18. nvp mvn >ja noM? nn^i] there is no reason why the author should 
not say W\ if he meant that David commanded something. We expect also 
rcpnTN instead of the simple nrp. But the great difficulty is the irrelevancy 
of the passage in this connexion — between the announcement of the dirge 
and the dirge itself. The Jewish expositors do not see the difficulty. Isaaki 
says simply : " David said, now that the mighty men of Israel have fallen, it is 
necessary that the Children of Judah learn war and draw the bow." Kimchi 
supposes that David encouraged his followers by reminding them that Judah 
was armed with the bow. Among Christian commentators, Grotius interprets 
that the song was to be sung during the martial exercises of the soldiers; 
which of course has no foundation in the text. Schm. translates -»djoi 



260 2 SAMUEL 

inscripsitquc, and makes the rest of the clause a title, similar to the titles of 
the Psalms. These ingenious examples show the impossibility of making any- 
thing of the present text. The versions seem to have had what we have, except 
that 65 omits ntrp; but this leaves us pretty much where we were before. 

Ew. conjectures t»p for TWp translating, he commanded to teach the children 
of Israel accurately. Conceding that this translation is possible, it does not 
relieve the main difficulty, and the same is true of Th.'s emendation of the 
same word to 2Vp for which he cites Is. 21 7 . GASmith changes to ntrp and 
regards the whole clause as a gloss. But why should a glossator get it into 
his head that David not only sang the nyp but that he had it taught? Such 
pains is unexampled, and the glossator can have supposed it possible only 
because there was already corruption of the text of which he had to make 
sense. Perles (Analekten zur Textkritik, p. 21) thinks nvp the result of 
abbreviation, Sinp nj*p having been shortened to 'Vp and then read nvp. He 
also supposes these words an insertion. We. has a theory to account for rep. 
He thinks a glossator explained DWWl in v. 6 by putting in the margin *hyz 
nrpi and that one half of the gloss crept into v. 6 and the other half into this 
verse, which may have stood in the corresponding line of the second column 
of the page. This is more ingenious than convincing. 

Of all the authors I have found, Klostermann is the only one who seems to 
have made a start towards the right solution. He sees and says that "lowi 
must introduce the poem; and as soon as this is pointed out, every one must 
recognize the correctness of the observation. Whatever we do with the rest 
of the verse, this must have been the original force of idnm — it immediately 
preceded the text of the poem. The second half of the verse is therefore a 
later insertion, which indeed its wording makes very probable. The words 
following "iDKM represent the opening verse of the dirge. Kl. (followed by 
Bu. in his text) supposes the original reading to have been rwp iriifn *M 
which Kl. translates : Receive, O Judah, cruel tidings. But it is doubtful 
whether this is good Hebrew. 

It is altogether probable that the word now represented by ^2 was origi- 
nally parallel to the '3Xjn which (as we shall see) must be restored in the 
next verse. But if so the natural emendation is >33. An entirely appropriate 
opening of the dirge would be 

After "03 had become corrupted to *ja the other words may have been inserted 
to make some sort of sense. On the other hand, according to the measure 
which prevails throughout the poem, we should expect six words in this couplet 
instead of four, and the two words which we still find there may be corrupt 
representatives of the two which we desire. But, as to their original form, I 
have not any probable conjecture to offer. 

19. The received text has : The Gazelle is slain, or : The beauty 
is slain'] but either word is inappropriate. The gazelle is a fleet 



I. 19-21 261 

but shy animal, distinguished for a grace and beauty which we 
think of as feminine. Saul and Jonathan are later said to be 
swifter than eagles. But the eagle hastes to the prey, while the 
gazelle flees from the pursuer. One comparison is as inappropri- 
ate as the other is apt. Nor is the abstract beauty any better, for 
the word here used is never used of the glory which is given by 
strength. (S> found a verb, and following its hint so far as to 
restore a verb here we may read : Grieve, O Israel ! The next 
following words must then be made a clause by themselves : On 
thy heights are the slain. It is too long for the metre in the 
present text. The refrain — How are the mighty fallen / — recurs 
below, as has been already pointed out. 

19. *3*n] is defended by Dr., though he finds it a little singular. In fact 
the word is nowhere used with reference to a man, and it would be strange if 
Saul's beauty were made his characteristic here, when we nowhere else hear 
of it. His manly strength indeed we might find it well to mention, but this 
would not be the term chosen. The flower of Israel's army might perhaps be 
described as here, though even this is without analogy. The gazelle is, of 
course, out of the question. Asahel is indeed compared to one of the gazelles, 
2 18 , but we are expressly told that the point of the comparison is his swiftness 
of foot. <g AB OT-fiKwaov and <g L aKpi&aaai both seem to render ">3^'n. On the 
ground of this, Kl. conjectures »3Wn which commends itself; the feminine 
form being chosen because Israel is the mother of the fallen heroes, ^nna 
should be pointed to agree with this. — SSn] rendered as a plural by <S!L, is 
collective. 

20. Tell it not in Gatii, make it not known in the streets of Ash- 
kelon\ representative Philistine cities. The paronomasia of the 
first clause is repeated in Mic. i 10 . — 21. Mountains of Gilboa / 
May no dew descend; and may no rain fall upon you, ye fields of 
death ! For the conjecture on which this translation is based see 
the note. The common text is unintelligible. — For there was 
cast away the shield of heroes, the shield of Saul not anointed 
with oil~\ the shield instead of being polished and cared for by 
its owner is left to rust or rot in the field. The text however is 
not free from difficulty. 

21. jnSja nn] is suspicious because Gilboa was the name of the mountain 
ridge itself, not of the district. We should probably read yaSjn i~\n, favoured 
by <g L it. Kl. proposes to restore jnSj >ann be desolate, Gilboa ! — an extremely 
attractive conjecture. Sor^H seems to require a verb, p^ irevoi <§ L : ^ Kara&rj 



262 2 SAMUEL 

<S AB ; insert therefore "m The Arab poet also prays that no dew or rain may 
fall on the place where the heroes have fallen (We., Skizzen, I. p. 139). — 
monn -Hiri] is unintelligible : fields of offerings have no place in the context, 
the 1 is useless, and the form HB> suspicious. (£ L opt) Qo.v6.tov is probably right 
in reading the last three letters as the word niD. In that case, the simplest 
expedient is to restore the accredited ntW and to put the article for the two 
letters not accounted for — man nni? is not very remote from the text and 
gives a satisfactory sense. Bu. conjectures nioin mw referring to Jd. 9 31 
which is however itself corrupt (cf. Moore on the passage). It would be 
better to read rwjn with Jer. 14 14 Kt.; fields of deceit fit the context fairly 
well, and the same meaning is got by Kl. who proposes mm nna>; GASmith 
reads hlOVTO nci; Graetz makes PYDTOi na>, equivalent to mt£> »eno Jd. 5 18 . 
The variety of suggestions (and the number might easily be increased) shows 
the difficulty of the reading. — rrtPD >Sa] is usually understood to apply to the 
shield, in which case we should read rwn which is found in 23 Heb. MSS. 
and some early editions. We. independently conjectured this to be the true 
reading. Graetz proposes rps»D ^f2 : the weapon of the anointed. % makes 
the words refer to Saul quasi non unctus, and this was adopted in AV. The 
reference to the shield was understood by <&, and by some of the Rabbinical 
expositors. Budde makes a new verse begin with this clause, translating : Not 
anointed with oil, but with the blood and fat of slain warriors, lies now the 
shield of Saul upon the battlefield. See the note on the next verse. 

22. Saul has been introduced by the mention of his shield in 
the preceding verse. This leads up naturally to a panegyric of 
him and his heroic son. The devouring sword of Saul is paralleled 
with the equally insatiable bow of Jonathan : From the blood of 
the slain, from the fat of heroes, the bow of Jonathan turned not 
back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty~\ the figure seems 
entirely appropriate ; and there seems, moreover, no reason to 
change the order of the clauses. 

22. onaj aSrra o^Sn Dtn] as noticed above, Bu. (and similarly Kl.) makes 
these words define the contrast between Saul's shield as it now lies, and its 
former state — instead of being carefully oiled and polished, it is smeared with 
the blood and fat of the slain. But with fDlWi we should certainly expect 0"O, 
and the change to another preposition is inexplicable. While we might allow 
the blood to smear the shield, it is hard to picture the fat of the slain as part 
of the polluting medium. On the other hand, the usual figure of the sword as 
a devouring monster certainly allows us to think of it as satiated with the fat 
as well as the blood of its victims. Retention of the usual connexion and 
order of the clauses therefore seems to be more satisfactory than any change 
yet suggested. — .ntrj] an unusual spelling. The commoner form jidj is found 
in some MSS. 



I. 22-25 263 

23. The two heroes shared a common fate: Saul and Jona- 
than, the belovea and the lovely] cf. Cant. i 16 . — In life and in death 
they were not divided'] this seems to be the natural connexion and 
sense of the passage. — They were swifter than eagles] the speed 
of the bird of prey is noted elsewhere, Hab. i 8 . The vehemence 
of its attack is the point of the comparison, cf. Jer. 4 13 . — They 
were stronger than lions] Jd. 14 18 . 

23. ninx] this seems to be the usual plural for n«, and does not mean 
lionesses as distinguished from lions. 

24. The women of Israel are reminded of their loss and called 
upon to weep over Saul. As the women took the lead in public 
festivities on joyful occasions, so it was they who lamented the 
fallen when there was ceremonial mourning. They had special 
reason when a warlike prince had fallen, for from his hand they 
had received the spoil of the enemy : who clothed you with scarlet 
and fine linen. The two articles of luxury belong together, 
Luke 16 19 . For the golden jewels with which he decked them, cf. 
Jer. 4 30 . 

24. H33 with Sn is not common, but cf. Ezek. 27 81 . We should perhaps 
read hy with 10 MSS. — &:~\y 0>] with dainties is the natural meaning of the 
words, but the construction is harsh, and % is obliged to insert doS Soidi. It 
seems better to emend with Graetz (Gesch. d.Juden, I. p. 192) reading dtid op, 
cf. Jd. 14 12 Is. 3 23 . nj? is collective as in Ex. 33 s . 

25. The lament over the fallen is followed by David's expres- 
sion of personal bereavement. Repeating the refrain : How are 
the mighty fallen in the battle, he makes special mention of Jona- 
than. Unfortunately, this half of the verse is hopelessly corrupt. 
The received text gives : Jonathan on thy heights is slain. But 
the pronoun must refer to Israel in order to make sense, and 
Israel has not been mentioned since the opening distich. No one 
of the various conjectures which have been brought forward seems 
free from difficulty. 

25. If the first half of the verse stood alone we might suppose it to contain 
the lament which the women are to chant. For this reason Kl. emends by 
changing the words ncnScn "pro into none hi vonm a variant of which he 
supposes now to stand at the end of the dirge (where <S L reads imOvfi-nrd for 
ncnSD). But if this be original, it is hard to account for the corruption. 



264 2 SAMUEL 

Graetz corrects jruw to "ymer* which would give a good sense in itself consid. 
ered. But the opening of v. 26 would then be very abrupt. We. points out 
that several Greek codd. read els ddvarov irpavfxari(jd7\{s) (@ L adds 4fioi) 
which would allow us to restore nhh'n mrs 1 '. Kl. goes further, suggesting : 
•>jn n^n iri)D3, in thy death I too am wounded, while Bu. reads in his text 
SSn -|niD3 *aV, my heart is wounded in thy death. The last is less remote 
from the received text, but none can be regarded as convincing. 

26. A burst of grief at the recollection of what Jonathan's 
friendship had been. It seems necessary to disregard the accents 
and arrange the words as a tristich : 

I am in anguish for thee, my brother, Jonathan ! 
Thou wert delightsome to me — exceedingly wonderful i 
Thy love for me was beyond the love of women. 

We thus conform to the metre of the rest of the composition. 
The love of women which the poet has in mind may be supposed 
to include both the love of the bride for her husband and the love 
of the mother for her son. — 27. The refrain is here completed 
by the additional clause : And the weapons of war perished / 
The parallelism suggests that the weapons of war are Saul and 
Jonathan themselves (Dr. from Ewald). 

26. nnitVfi]] on the form as here pointed cf. Ges. 26 75 00. The text may 
not be sound, but no acceptable emendation has yet been proposed. Kl. 
points out that the termination would cause us to read nnsSoj, thou wert 
wonderful, an emphatic repetition of nop, and although this is without 
analogy, so far as I discover, it is probably the best we can do with the 
present text. Bu.'s hnSd: taken adverbially would require the ind to follow. 
— 27. ncn^nn] iTn6v/j.rjrd is found in <£ L as noted above. It seems to be 
taken from Theodotion (cf. Field, Hex. Origenis) . 

The following translation is designed simply to embody the results of the 
foregoing inquiry. 

I. 

18. Weep, OJudah! 

19. Grieve, O Israel ! 

On thy heights are the slain; 
How are the mighty fallen ! 

II. 

20. Tell it not in Gath; 

Publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon ! 
Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice; 
Lest the daughters of *h a . 'mcircumcised be glad. 



I. 26-11. I 265 

21. Mountains of Gilboa ! May no dew descend 
Nor rain upon you, fields of death ! 

For there was cast away .the shield of heroes, 
The shield of Saul not anointed with oil, 

22. From the blood of the slain, 
From the fat of heroes, 

The bow of Jonathan turned not back, 
And the sword of Saul returned not empty. 

23. Saul and Jonathan, the beloved and the lovely i 
In life and in death they were not divided. 
They were swifter than eagles, 

They were stronger than lions. 

24. Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul ! 

Who clothed you with scarlet and fine linen, 
Who put golden jewels upon your clothing. 

25. How are the mighty fallen 
In the midst of the battle ! 

III. 
Jonathan 

26. I am distressed for thee, Jonathan, my brother ! 
Thou wert delightsome to me — exceeding wonderful ! 
Thy love to me was beyond the love of women. 

27. How are the mighty fallen, 

And the weapons of war perished ! 



2 SAMUEL II.-XXIV. DAVID THE KING. 

This is the third part of the Books of Samuel, as now con- 
structed. The composite nature of the history has been indicated 
in the Introduction, as has the fact that the main source continues 
into 1 Kings. 

Chapters II.-IV. The Kingdom of Hebron. — The account 
seems to continue immediately the story broken off (for the in- 
sertion of the Dirge) at i 16 . 

II. l-4 a . David becomes king of Hebron. — After this, that 
is, after receiving the news of Saul's death, David asked of 
Yahweh~\ 1 S. 23 s 30 8 . In the account here given, David's first 



266 2 SAMUEL 

question is in the usual direct form, the second asks for a specific 
name. But probably the name was obtained by a process of 
exclusion like that used in discovering a person by lot. Hebron 
was in fact indicated by its position, and the oracle could hardly 
go astray. It was the well-known chief city of Judah, or rather of 
Caleb, Jd. i 10 - 20 Jos. 15 13 . The writer counts it to Judah, Caleb 
having already become a clan of that tribe. David went up to it 
from Ziklag which lay lower down. — 2, 3. David brought up his 
household and his men with their families, and they dwelt in the 
citadel of Hebron] the received text has : in the cities of Hebron, 
which can hardly be correct. — 4. And the men of Judah came 
and anointed David there as king over the house of Judah~\ the 
sovereignty would not be legitimate unless confirmed by the 
Sheikhs of the clans. How much choice they had in the matter 
is difficult to say. The master of a devoted band of seasoned 
soldiers was a dangerous man to reject. On the other hand, the 
public defence was likely to be well attended to by such a man, 
and David had always been well disposed towards his own people. 
That he continued to acknowledge the suzerainty of Achish seems 
almost certain, from the fact that the Philistines allowed him to 
extend his kingdom so far as he did. 

1. The name \r\ir\ possibly means confederacy, and the other name given 
to the city — Kirjath-Arba — may indicate the fact that the town was originally 
settled by various clans who made an alliance; cf. Moore on Jd. i 10 with his 
references. The cohabitation of various Arab tribes in Medina is a parallel 
instance. GASmith {Geog. p. 318) thinks the ancient city lay on a hill to the 
northwest of the present site. — 3. vcjni] the suffix is superfluous; read 
DMWKrtl with <S B . It is possible that the text of 2 - 3 was originally shorter. — 
pnsn nj?3] is supposed to mean in the towns in the district of which Hebron 
was the centre. These dependent places however are called elsewhere onxn, 
or else the daughters of the chief city, and there is no clear parallel to ny 
fnan. It seems better therefore to read pnan "PJJ2 and take -py in its primary 
sense of fort or citadel, cf. 5 7 - 9 . There is no reason why David's procedure at 
Hebron should differ from that at Jerusalem. 

4 b -7. David's message to the Gileadites. — The fragment ob- 
viously presupposes 1 S. 31, and seems to continue that narrative 
directly, for 31 18 is abrupt in its ending and requires something 
further. In that case, this document had an account of David's 
anointing. — 4. The Hebrew as it stands does not make sense. 



II. i-7 267 

They told David of the men of Jabesh Gi/ead, which is probably 
the intention of the author, would require a different order. — 

5. David blesses them because they had done this kindness to their 
lord. The burial of the dead is an act of piety. — 6. In addition 
to invoking Yahweh's blessing on them, David promises : / also 
will do you good because you have done this thing] the text must 
be emended in a single word. — 7. The times call for courage on 
their part : For your lord Saul is dead and me the house of Judah 
have anointed king over them'] so that I am kept at a distance from 
you for the present, seems to be the implication. 

4b. The sentence, as it stands, is incomplete : They told David, saying ; 
The men of Jabesh Gilead who buried Saul. Precisely as in English, a predi- 
cate should follow; but the present text leaves us in the lurch. The English 
version : The men of Jabesh Gilead were they that buried Saul would require 
the insertion of ncn at least. <g L translates as if it had ncn instead of *v^N; 
<S B transfers "WW, making it follow ienS, while £ omits "Mr K. Bu. does the 
same on conjecture but does not profess to regard the resulting text as origi- 
nal. Kl. proposes to read mN -i ?; for icnS, cf. Gen. 26 s2 . I should think 
ni32>-riN equally appropriate — they told David the names of the men. But 
the insecurity of our footing is evident. — 5. •cjn] <£ b has 7]yov/j.evovs (f)y€/j.6- 
vas L ) representing *Vjf3, cf. Jd. 9 61 ((§ A ). For run "\Dnn <g A ( B is lacking 
here) has rb eAeoy rod deou which is perhaps original; @ L omits nrn. — 

6. HN?n mvjn] seems difficult. If it refer to the present embassy (perhaps 
with a gift) we should expect the verb to be in the other tense. Kl. makes 
n!S>j?N a cohortative : let me show you this friendliness. But a king would 
hardly take this tone. It is best therefore to change rwn to nnn as is done 
by We. (Dr., Bu.). — 7. DJi] naturally introduces a reason of the same kind 
with that which had preceded, and this can only be that the administration of 
Judah keeps David just now from coming to the assistance of Gilead. 

II. 8-IV. 12. The reign of Ishbaal. — Ishbaal, the only surviv- 
ing son of Saul, becomes king over North Israel. The chief sup- 
port of his throne is Abner, Saul's general. In the war carried 
on between the two Israelitish powers, David is the gainer. Ish- 
baal hastens his own downfall by his resentment at Abner's 
encroachments on the prerogative. Abner agrees to deliver the 
kingdom to David, but is murdered in blood revenge by Joab. 
Ishbaal, deprived of his chief officer, falls by the hand of assassins. 
But when these come to David expecting a reward, they are treated 
as the murderer of Saul had been treated. 



268 2 SAMUEL 

The piece is homogeneous, except some brief interpolations 
which will be noticed in the course of the exposition. The most 
extensive is 3". The document from which the section is taken 
seems to be the same from which we have the full account of 
David's reign in 9-20. 

8-11. Abner places Ishbaal on the throne. — The opening part 
of the paragraph is necessary to the understanding of what follows. 
Not so with 10a and n , two chronological statements such as else- 
where belong to the final redaction of the book. — 8. The verse 
follows 1 S. 3 1 13 . After the death of Saul, we naturally inquire 
what became of his kingdom. As fitted to the present place it 
tells us that Abner had taken Ishbaal and brought him over to 
Mahanaini] the name Ishbaal has been mutilated to Ishbosheth to 
suit the squeamishness of the scribes. Mahanaim, an ancient 
sanctuary, was later David's refuge when driven out of his capital. 
It is mentioned in connexion with Jacob's wanderings, immediately 
after the treaty with Laban, Gen. 32 s . This account brings it into 
connexion with the Jabbok, and from 2 S. 18 23 we infer that it 
cannot have been far from the Jordan valley. It is not yet clearly 
identified in any modern site. — 9. Ishbaal's kingdom included 
nearly all Israel — all north of Jerusalem and all east of the Jor- 
dan : Gileady the well-known transjordanic district, and the Ashe- 
rite, north of the Great Plain, Jd. i 31f , and Jezreel, and Ephraim, 
and Benjamin, and [in fact] all Israel. The original narrative 
continued by adding 10b : only the house of Judah followed David. 
The extent of Ishbaal's kingdom is confirmed by the fact that the 
battle, an account of which follows, was fought at Gibeon, and 
further by the fact that a late writer would have reduced its pro- 
portions and have given more of it to David. The Philistine 
occupation of the country was maintained to an extent sufficient 
to secure their sovereignty, and it is probable that both Ishbaal 
and David were their tributaries.* That their vassals should 
weaken each other by war was, of course, according to the wish 
of the Philistines. — 10. The first half-verse is an endeavour to 
introduce a scheme of chronology, like 1 S. 13 1 . The data are 
suspicious. Ishbaal could hardly have been forty years old, and 



* Cf. Kamphausen, " Philister und Hebraer," in the ZA TW. VI. pp. 43-97. 



II. 8-1 1 269 

it seems altogether likely that he reigned more than two years. — 
11. Another insertion possibly occasioned by ld& , as though the 
redactor in speaking of the length of Ishbaal's reign felt it neces- 
sary to add something concerning David. It could hardly escape 
notice however that the two verses are inconsistent. The reign of 
Ishbaal virtually coincided in length with David's reign at Hebron. 
The hypothesis that Abner was five years in reconquering the ter- 
ritory of Saul is untenable, for in any case Ishbaal must count his 
reign from the death of Saul, whose legitimate successor he was. 
On the other hand, that five years elapsed after the death of Ish- 
baal before the tribes acknowledged David, is contrary to all the 
indications of the narrative. The length of David's Hebron reign, 
as given here, coincides with the datum in 5 s , and we have no 
reason to doubt its correctness. 



8. ntP3-&"N] The man of shame would be no name to give a son, espe- 
cially a king's son. There can be no doubt that the original name is preserved 
to us in the form tyaPN, 1 Chr. 8 33 9 39 . We find traces of the original form 
in some MSS. of (5£ and I in this passage also. The reluctance of the later 
Jews to pronounce the name Baal led to the substitution of pra for it, even 
in proper names. Another method was taken with this name in I S. 14 49 . 
As we see from Jerubbaal, the name Baal was, in the early period of Israel's 
history, applied without scruple to Yahweh, cf. Moore, Judges, p. 195. — 
Cjnn] £k rrjs Trape/x&oKrjs (& : per castra %. That a proper name is intended 
is certain. A number of transjordanic names have the (apparent) dual end- 
ing: Eglaim, Kirjathaim, and others. For the location we may note that 
Jacob passed Mahanaim before he reached Penuel on his way from Syria to 
Canaan, and that Penuel lay at the fords of the Jabbok. Josh. 1326-30 ma kes 
Mahanaim a point on the boundary line of Gad and the eastern Manasseh. 
But none of these indications are sufficient to identify the exact spot. Mahne 
or Mihne mentioned by Buhl (Geog. p. 257) from Seetzen and Merrill {Across 
the Jordan, p. 433 fif.) seems to lie too far from the Jordan valley to meet the 
requirements of 2 S. 18. — 9. *"Wltn] of a clan of this name we have a trace 
in Gen. 25 s . But they were evidently Bedawin and not likely to come under 
Ishbaal. The Israelite tribe n;j\Nn seems to fit the case. Th., following Ew., 
adopts mwri, which is supported by £ and some MSS. of %. It seems 
doubtful however whether the Geshurites, who had a king of their own at 
about this time, 3 3 , could have been under Ishbaal. The tribe of Asher is 
found in this verse by Pseudo-Hieronymus, Questiones in Libros Regum. 
Notice the way in which ^x and h? are used together in this verse. The 
original writer must have used hy throughout. — 10, 11. The authorities are 
pretty well united in the supposition that 10a - n are redactional insertions. 



270 2 SAMUEL 

12-17. The battle of Gibeon. — One of the battles between 
the soldiers of the two Israelite monarchs is related in detail. 
The reason for the choice of this particular one is its bearing on 
the later history — in its sequel. It is commonly assumed that 
Abner was the aggressor. But as the battle took place on Ben- 
jamite territory, where if anywhere IshbaaPs claim was valid, it 
seems more probable that David's men were acting on the offen- 
sive. David was seeking to extend his kingdom to the north of 
Judah. His piety towards Saul would not necessarily cause him 
to spare his successor. The account of the battle proper is very 
brief. 

12. Abner and the servants of Ishbaal"] that is, the standing 
army whose quarters were at the capital. — Gibeon was a well- 
known Canaanite city whose inhabitants had a treaty with the 
Israelites until the time of Saul. By the extermination of the 
Canaanite stock, Saul made the city Benjamite. A village on 
the ancient site still bears the name el- Gib. — 13. And Joab the 
son of Zeruiah~\ who here appears for the first time as David's 
General, and the servants of David went out~\ from Hebron as <3 
correctly interprets. — And met them at the pool of Gibeon] a large 
reservoir which still exists. — 14. Abner's proposition for a tourna- 
ment is acceded to by Joab. Individual combats frequently pre- 
cede the general engagement in oriental warfare. — 15, 16. The 
tournament was held, with twelve champions for each side. Ex- 
actly what took place is not easy to make out, but the result was 
that they fell dead together. As in so many other cases the inci- 
dent was commemorated by naming the place. The field was 
called the Field of the Enemies. — 17. The battle which was thus 
introduced was exceedingly severe. But the result was in favour 
of David's men. The king himself does not seem to have been 
present. 

12. njj?3j] Ta&adb <!I A . The place is five miles west of north from Jerusa- 
lem, cf. Robinson, BR 2 . I. p. 455 f. — 13. axv] Yahweh is father, cf. ■?*' n 
and zwh*. — iN!f] (3 adds fa Xe&pwv, adopted by Bu., but the insertion is 
more likely than the omission. — ov^jom] does not necessarily mean (as Kl. 
supposes) that the meeting was unexpected, cf. Ex. 4 27 . — nrv] is superfluous, 
and in fact impossible, after the suffix in dibmci. Probably it is a corruption 
of some word defining the circumstances — Kl. suggests D^n, camping. — rirp 



II. 12-23 271 

, . . rro] as in I S. 14*. — 14. ipna^i] used nowhere else of fighting. It 
seems plain however that the proposition was to have a combat of picked men 
as a prelude to the main battle. — 15. nayi] " of the individuals passing in 
order before the teller" (Dr.). — t^N^i] omit the 1 with <&&. — 16. A difficult 
verse. The interpretation must proceed from -»rv iVd>i which most naturally 
means they fell all together ; i.e., the champions fell dead, not the two armies 
came into conflict as is supposed by Kl. The clause "ui prrvi will then describe 
the action of the champions in the tournament : Each took hold of the head 
of his fellow. But who is meant by his fellow ? We most naturally suppose 
it to be his next neighbour of his own party. But as this gives no suitable 
sense we are compelled to make injn refer to each one's antagonist. The 
next clause is difficult in either case : and his sword in the side of his fellow. 
A verb seems required, as iprrp) could not in itself mean that he struck his 
sword into his fellow, defixit gladium IL. I suspect the corruption to be in 
e>N-i3 as is alleged by KL, though I cannot accept his emendation. After a»N 
<S inserts rp x fl p' 1 probably correctly. — onxn] might be of the sharp knives 
as is perhaps intended by the punctuation. The conjecture that (3 tuv 
£iripov\a>v goes back to nnxn, first broached by Schleusner, and accepted by 
Ew. and others, does not seem well founded. 'Eirl&ovKos nowhere occurs for 
-ix (or mx) but generally for |DS% once for -\x. There is no question of plotters 
or liers-in-wait, but of determined enemies, which would be onxn. 

18-23. The death of Asahel ; a single incident of the battle, 
important for the prominence of the actors and for its sequel. — 
18. The three sons of Zeruiah, nephews of David, were foremost 
in the fight. Joab and Abishai have appeared in the earlier narra- 
tive. Asahel seems to have been the youngest. He is described 
as swift of foot like one of the gazelles which are in the field~\ the 
gazelle lives in the open country. Swiftness was a prime qualifi- 
cation for the ancient warrior, cf. what is said of Saul and Jona- 
than, i 23 . — 19. Asahel's ambition was content with no less a prey 
than Abner himself whom he followed steadily. — 20. Abner, 
overtaken by his pursuer, but conscious of his own superiority, 
is unwilling to fight with him. He first assures himself that it is 
Asahel as he supposed. — 21. He then counsels him to be content 
with an antagonist of lesser rank : Seize one of the young men and 
take his spoil~\ trophy enough, without aspiring to the conquest 
of the general. — 22. Abner makes a second attempt to dissuade 
his pursuer : Why should I smite thee to the ground? And how 
[in that case] could I lift up my face to Joab thy brother?] Abner 
fears the blood feud which must follow. — 23. The only resource 



272 2 SAMUEL 

was to strike : And Abner smote him with a backward stroke in 
the abdomen, and the spear came out at his back, and he fell there 
and died in his place. The remainder of the verse seems to be 
an erroneous supplement, inserted as a reminiscence from the 
similar passage 20 12 where alone such a standing still of the people 
is in place. 

18. Syrupy] similar names are inwy and rvtyy. A similar n in -nxmo Num. 
I 10 , dox the plural of >2H; the same word is used of the mature gazelle in 
Arabic. — 19. pxp.vVjj] where we should expect ■?». But ip is repeated in 
v. 21 . — 21. "f> naj] the dative of advantage is frequent in such connexion, as 
in T*? "VO of the following verse. — tfwVn] that which was stripped from the 
slain. It was the natural law of war that the arms of the slain belonged to 
the slayer. Such was Mohammed's ruling in his campaigns. The arms of 
the hostile general would confer especial renown on their captor. — 22. "pjo 
>jd xvx] a duplicate translation of <3 B goes back to hjd nr -j\xi — obviously 
the poorer text. — 23. n^nn r*ma] is supposed to mean with the butt of the 
spear. It is doubtful however whether DVtfW is so used, and it is further 
doubtful whether the butt of the spear was ever so sharp that it would go 
through a man, as here described. We. recognizes the difficulty, but has no 
solution. Kl. proposes to read n'jTOH which might describe the blow of a 
man delivered backward, without turning to face his pursuer, but, of course, 
with the point of the (reversed) spear. This is adopted by Bu. The conclud- 
ing part of the verse disturbs the connexion and is regarded as an interpolation 
by Kl., Bu. It also contradicts the account which follows. 

24-111. 1. Conclusion of the battle. — A final stand is made 
by the Benjamites, but when the attack is about to be made Abner 
appeals for clemency, so that Joab draws off his men. — 24. The 
pursuit lasted until sundown when the contending parties reached 
the Hill of Ammah, mentioned nowhere else and unidentified. 
The author endeavours to give the exact location, but we are unable 
to follow him. — 25. There the Benjamites collected behind Abner 
and made themselves a phalanx\ a close knot like the bunch of 
hyssop, Ex. 12 22 . That this was on the hill already mentioned is 
evident, though not asserted in the present text. — 26. Abner's 
appeal : Shall the sword devour forever ? Dost thou not know 
that the sequel will be bitter f] is directed to the consciousness of 
common blood in the pursuers. The Bedawin still shrink from 
the extermination of a clan, even in bitter feuds. — How long wilt 
thou refrain from commanding the people to turn from the pursuit 



II. 23-111. I 273 

of their brethren ? The question is in effect a cry for quarter. — 

27. Joab, though ruthless, is not altogether without conscience. 
He would have kept up the pursuit all night unless Abner had 
spoken, but now he will relent. — 28. He therefore gives the sig- 
nal and the fighting is stayed. — 29. Abner and his men marched 
in the Arabah all that night and crossed the Jordan and went 
through the whole Bithron] or Ravine, doubtless the proper name 
of one of the side valleys up which Mahanaim was situated. — 
— 30. At the muster of Joab's troops, there wei-e missing nineteen 
men besides Asahel] who receives special mention on account of 
his prominence. — 31. The loss on Abner's side — 360 men — 
shows that the experienced warriors of David were opposed in the 
main by untried men. Saul's old soldiers (of his body-guard) had 
perished with their master. — 32. The next day was occupied in 
the march to Bethlehem, where Asahel was duly buried in the sep- 
ulchre of his father, and Joab continued his march through the 
night so that day dawned upon them in Hebron. — HI. 1. Con- 
cluding notice of this paragraph : The war was prolonged . . . 
but David kept growing stronger, while the house of Saul kept 
growing weaker. 

24. The hill is described as -pn nu Ufi-Vfc where n\) is obscure and prob- 
ably corrupt : @ B has Tai which might represent N\} or "»;?. We. supposes n\i 
to have arisen by the erroneous duplication of the two preceding letters to- 
gether with n from "pin so that he restores "\n »jfl Sy which is adopted by 
Bu. He also proposes to read 13103 for 131c. He thus locates the hill east 
of the road in the wilderness of Gideon. Nothing better has been proposed, 
but it is remarkable that after so complete a rout, the forces had got no further 
than the wilderness (or pasture land) of Gibeon. The original reading was 
probably different. — 25. nns n^2j] as the mention of the Hill of Ammah is 
superfluous unless the rally took place upon it, we should probably restore 
here TOM rnjpj with Ki., Bu. — 26. WWH3] I have ventured to read njnnNn 
with B J \ — -ip] the 1 is omitted by $£>%, but not by <& as We. asserts. Hoto 
long dost thou not command, where we should say : How long dost thou refrain 
from commanding? — 27. nSjn] the verb is used of giving up the siege of a 
city, Jer. 37 s - 11 , cf. Num. 16 2427 . In this place (3 ace/87? seems to have read 
rhp; but the analogy of hypothetical sentences elsewhere favours |^. — 

28. The plain intimation is that the whole force was within hearing of the 
commander's horn. — 29. idS'o] the same verb with an accusative of the coun- 
try traversed (as here) is found Dt. I 19 2 7 . — 30. npj»»l] cf. 1 S. 20 18 . — SNnirjn] 
is connected with the next verse by <g B (or by the editor). It does not seem 

T 



2 ?4 2 SAMUEL 

natural to make Asahel prominent in this way, to the ignoring of Joab and 
Abishai, who must have been equally active in the combat. — 31. yjittr] it is 
difficult to make out whether the author wishes to make two classes of the 
soldiers of Abner and the men of Benjamin. Probably not, in which case we 
should read without i as <B does. — ipd] is incomprehensible, perhaps a mar- 
ginal gloss which has crept into the text. <§ L omits it (so j$ which inserts pd 
at the end of v. 30 ), while (S B represents irixc. — 32. an 1 ? no] for which 9 
MSS. (DeR.) have -h n>aa and @ has iu B. — III. 1. run*] cf. Ez. 12 22 
Jer. 29 28 . The word seems better than nann which was read by ®. 

III. 2-5. David's family. — Before taking up the event which 
brought Israel into David's hands, the compiler inserts the names 
of the sons born to him in Hebron. They were six, from as many 
wives. — Amnon the first born, afterwards notorious, was the son 
of Ahinoam mentioned above, 1 S. 25**. — Chileab, the son of 
Abigail, bears a name which reminds us of his mother's blood. — 
Absalom's mother was a daughter of Talmai king of Geskur, a 
small Aramaic kingdom, 15 8 . — Adonijah is well known in the later 
history, whereas Shephatiah is not again heard of. The same is 
true of Ithream, the son of Eglah, who is curiously described in 
the received text as the wife of David. This cannot be original, 
as all the others were equally wives of David. From the analogy 
of Abigail, we expect here the name of her former husband, but 
possibly the description was of a different kind. 

2-5. The paragraph is placed by Bu. after 8 14 and is followed in his text 
immediately by 5 13 " 16 . It is in fact probable that the notices of David's family 
belong together. Whether they ever stood at the end of 8 14 is doubtful. — 
2. nS>i] for which Qre proposes xhv\ The Kt. is probably for nS*2» cf. 
similar instances in Piel, Ges. 26 69 u. — 3. ivh^\ may have some connexion 
with the tribe Caleb. — VmkV] the form varies between hxo* and W»l*. — 
nv^j] is brought into connexion with Aram, not only 15 8 , but also I Chr. 2 28 . 
It is contiguous to Bashan Josh. 12 5 . — 4. mjin @ L has 'Opvia; <& B 'Opvei\. — 
5. in ntra] for which 1 Chr. 3 8 has 1TUPM, is uncalled for. The name of a 
former husband would be in place. It is difficult to see how such a name 
could be replaced by David's, and it is possible that the woman was David's 
relative within the degrees afterwards regarded as prohibited, his half-sister 
for example. Such a marriage was regarded as regular so late as the time 
of the Elohistic author of the life of Abraham (Gen. 20 12 ), and would have 
given no offence in the time of David. Read therefore fn Pint. The sins 
of Jerusalem as enumerated by Ezekiel (22 11 ) include the humbling of one's 
sister, showing that such marriages were entered into down to the time of the 
Exile. 



III. 2-8 27S 

6-39. Abner's negotiation with David and his death.— 

Abner quarrels with his king on account of a concubine of Saul. 
He opens negotiations with David looking to the transfer of 
Israel's allegiance. To this end he visits Hebron. An agreement 
is reached in the absence of Joab. This officer, on learning of 
what has been done, recalls Abner and puts him to death in 
revenge for the death of Asahel. David shows by his lament for 
Abner, that he has no part in the murder. 

The section seems to be generally regarded as homogeneous ; 
only Bonk characterizes 12 ~ 16 as an interpolation. In fact the story 
is over full and there is reason to suspect that two accounts have 
been wrought into one. Verse 12 would join well to v. 1 . But the 
division comes more naturally after v. 19 than after v. 16 . One of the 
two accounts made Abner send to David by the hand of messen- 
gers ; the other made him come in person. In the former docu- 
ment his motive was simply the conviction that David was the man 
of the future. The other gave the quarrel with Ishbaal as the 
occasion. 

6-11. The quarrel with Ishbaal. — Abner was conscious of 
his own power, and trespassed upon the prerogative of the mon- 
arch. — 6. While the war was going on, Abner was overbearing in 
the house of Saul] as is shown by the instance which follows. — 
7. Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah~\ cf. 21 8 . The 
custom of men of wealth and station to take wives of the second 
rank is abundantly illustrated from the time of Abraham down. — 
And Abner took her] missing in Jf, is necessary to the sense. It 
is preserved in (§ L . Ishbaal protested : Why didst thou go in to 
my father's concubine ? He was fully in the right. The son inher- 
ited his father's wives with the rest of the estate. Abner invaded 
the rights of the king as truly as if he had seduced any one of 
Ishbaal's wives. To indicate assumption of the throne, Absalom 
takes possession of his father's concubines, 16 21 , and the request 
of Adonijah for Abishag rouses the wrath of Solomon on the same 
grounds which provoke Ishbaal here. Arabic custom to the time 
of Mohammed is well known, and the same seems to have pre- 
vailed in Judah down to the Exile, cf. Ezek. 22 10 . — 8. The reply 
of Abner is not a justification of his act but an assertion of his 



276 2 SAMUEL 

merits : Am I a dog's head, I, who keep showing kindness to the 
house of Saul . . . and who have not delivered thee into the hand 
of David, that to-day thou findest fault with me about a woman ? 
The text is not altogether sound, but the thought is sufficiently 
clear. — 9, 10. Abner swears to accomplish what Yahweh has 
sworn to David — to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, 
and to establish David's throne over Israel and over Judah from 
Dan to Beersheba] 1 S. 3 20 . — 11. The weak Ishbaal was not able 
to make any reply. 

6. The first clause is an appropriate introduction to what follows. If it 
immediately followed v. 1 it would be superfluous, but that it did so follow is 
not certain. — pinnn] the parallel cases of the verb with 3 would favour the 
meaning strengthened himself in the house of Saul, that is, fortified his cause 
by dependence upon the house of Saul, 1 S. 30 6 . But the weakness of the 
house of Saul is against this rendering. It seems necessary therefore to inter- 
pret the words of Abner's arrogance towards the king whose throne was sup- 
ported by him — Abner regebat domus Saul IL — 7. fUlfna] an Edomite clan 
bore the name rvx, Gen. 36 24 . Before -icn^i <S l inserts nal eKafiriv avrrjv 
'ABevv/ip, and after the same word @ inserts the name of the king, as do &3L 
and a few MSS. of |^. On the son's marrying the wife of his father cf. 
W. R. Smith {Kinship and Marriage, p. 89 f.), who calls attention to Well- 
hausen's restoration of 1 Chr. 2 24 , an emendation adopted by Kittel, in his 
edition of Chronicles (SBOT.). Wellhausen's emendation is in his disserta- 
tion De Gentibus et Familiis Judaeis (1870), p. 14, n. 1. Cf. also Driver on 
Dt. 23 1 (= 22 3J ). — 8. 3^3 s^frnn] the expression is not used elsewhere, but 
seems intelligible without supposing a contemptuous reference to the clan 
Caleb. — mvnb "Wit] must qualify a*??, taking the place of an adjective — Am 
I a Judahite dog 's head '? But the construction of what follows is thus ren- 
dered more difficult, and there is reason to suspect that mirr^, which is not 
represented in (S, is not original. Its insertion may be the work of a scribe 
who interpreted the preceding word as referring to the tribe of Caleb as 
though Abner asked: Am la Calebite captain, that is, a turbulent freebooter ? 
Omitting mini 1 ? we get a fairly good sense. — ntryN] in the frequentative 
sense. The house of Saul is defined so as to include his brothers and his 
comrades. It is unnecessary to insert ) before vnN"Vx, as is done by some 
MSS. of |$, by (3 and IL. The guilt of a woman (genitive of the object) is 
evidently regarded as a trifle. We should read hpn with @, so We., Bu., al. — 
9. iS-nr^N] + eV T77 ijfiepz ravrrj <S is adopted by We. and others, though the 
sense seems good without it. 

12-19. The return of Michal. — Abner sends messengers to 
David to treat for the submission of all Israel. David will enter 



III. 8-17 277 

on the negotiation only on the condition of the return of Michal 
his wife. She is therefore brought back, and Abner speaks to the 
elders of Israel with a view to making David king. 

12-19. As remarked above, the section does not altogether agree with 
what follows. In v. 21 Abner promises that he will go and gather all Israel, 
and they will make an agreement with David. It looks therefore as if 
Abner's visit (v. 20 ) was the opening of negotiations, and there is no room for 
12-w The latter is another representation of Abner's action, into which the 
narrator inserted the account of the return of Michal. This also presents 
difficulties. In v. 13 David stipulates that Abner shall bring her back. In v. 14 
he sends for her to Ishbaal. In v. 16 Abner accompanies her as far as Bahurim, 
but apparently not to Hebron. It is not unlikely that this account (vv. 14-16 ) 
was originally continued in such a form as to make Abner's visit to David the 
conclusion of the journey with Michal. 

12. Abner sent messengers to David offering to turn all Israel 
to him, if David would make a definite agreement with Abner. 
The contents of the agreement are not told, but we may suppose 
that it included personal advantages to Abner, as well as immunity 
for past opposition. On some difficulties in the text, see the criti- 
cal note. — 13. David stipulates first of all that Abner should 
bring Michal when he comes to see him. The prohibition of the 
Law, which forbade a man to take back a wife who had been 
married to another, seems to have been unknown, cf. Deut. 24 1 " 4 . 
The scrupulosity of the Jews is shown by the Rabbinical fancy 
that Paltiel had not consummated his marriage with Michal. — 
14. David sends messengers to Ishbaal with the demand : Give 
me my wife Michal, whom I bought for a hundred foreskins of 
the Philistines^ the reference to 1 S. I8 25 - * is obvious, but the pas- 
sage knows nothing of David's paying double the price demanded 
by Saul. — 15. Ishbaal sends and takes her from her husband, 
Paltiel ben Laish~\ to whom she was given by Saul, 1 S. 2$". — 
16. Her husband followed her weeping as he went as far as Bahu- 
rim, a place near Jerusalem, 16 5 . Probably it was the last Ben- 
jamite village on the road they were travelling. Here at Abner's 
command he turned back. — 17. The account should naturally 
tell of the completion of Michal's return. But it breaks off and 
tells of Abner's activity among the elders of Israel. In the pres- 
ent connexion we most naturally translate : And Abner's word 



278 2 SAMUEL 

had been with the Sheikhs of Israel'] the implication is that he 
had taken measures to change the allegiance of Israel before his 
journey. — 18. After reminding them that they had already some 
leanings towards David he adds the promise of God : Now act / 
For Yahweh has said to David : By the hand of David my servant 
will I deliver my people Israel. It is idle to inquire what particular 
promise is referred to. — 19. The prominent mention of Benjamin 
is due to the fact that, as the tribe of Saul, it would be the most 
difficult to move. 

12. -idnV pK ^rh idnS mnn] is unintelligible and certainly corrupt. <g L 
has simply els Xe&pkv \4yuv which looks like a conjectural emendation. 
(S B has els ©aiAa/j. ov 9jv irapaxpvpz Aeywv, but what this represents is difficult 
to say. That David was in Telam at the time seems to be the intention, 
though elsewhere (J§ renders this name by Te\e/u. The other versions seem to 
have had the received text before them. All are compelled (like the modern 
expositors who try to make sense out of this text) to translate as though y-\n 
could stand for pxn which is not the case. If Abner had meant to ask whose 
is the land? insinuating in manu mea est terra ut ad te transfer am,* he must 
have said pKfi vch. Even if this were the reading, the following ickS would 
be unaccountable. Of the proposals to emend the text, Kl.'s deserves mention. 
He supposes the original to have been -idnS nsiN >dS nrh Tinn Vn"ie» n>3 hs, 
all the house of Israel is under my hand to give to whom I please zvhen I 
say. The sentence would be an appropriate introduction to what follows. — 
13. ^dV~dn »3] is redundant, and ^sb is lacking in <@f, which also reads ~H2n, 
adopted by Th., al. On the Rabbinical theory of Paltiel's self-control cf. 
Schm. The text gives no indication that he was not Michal's rightful 
husband. David asserts his claim as one who had paid the purchase price, 
and to this extent he had suffered wrong. — 15. r»»] the reading iir*M on the 
basis of (3 is now generally adopted. The omission of the suffix may have 
been made intentionally by some legalistic scribe to disguise the fact that 
Paltiel is called her husband. — ^fcot^fl] the fuller form of the name which 
appears as '•bVd I S. 2^ u . — cnS] r»S Qre agrees with the form found else- 
where. — 16. anna] elsewhere mentioned as on the road from Jerusalem to 
the Jordan valley, 17 18 . — 17-19. The verses anticipate the account which 
follows. The intimation that the people had already for some time been 
seeking David as king and the reference to the promise of Yahweh, indicate 
a later hand than that to which we owe the main narrative. — y&nn] is to be 
changed to ytrix with 40 MSS. and the versions. — ij^n-dj] must mean that, 
besides sending messages and messengers, Abner went in person to Benja- 
min and to David — wholly superfluous in view of what follows. 

* Sanctius apud Schm., p. 111. 



III. 17-25 279 

20, 21. As the narrative now stands, the verses form the con- 
clusion of Abner's negotiation with David. Abner with a suitable 
escort came to David at Hebron, and David made a feast to Abner 
and to the men who were with him] the feast was an occasion for 
drinking rather than eating and is so named, like avfnrocnov. 
Abner agrees definitely : / will gather all Israel to my Lord and 
they will make an agreement with thee] by their Sheikhs or heads 
of the clans. The monarchy is established by consent of the 
tribes. So in the time of Rehoboam we find the tribes negotiat- 
ing with the heir to the throne, before acknowledging him. — 
And thou shall rule over all which thou desirest. The aspiration 
of David could hardly be less than the rule over all Israel. The 
promise of Abner seems to imply no more than that he will set 
about influencing the tribes, with the expectation of bringing them 
into allegiance to David. 

20. D^'jsh] there seems no reason why we should not point with the 
article, which is in fact required by the following T8Ht. Read DMMkVi with Bu. 
— 21. nsipM] <& seems to have added nj which however is not called for. — 
nns "|HN lniDM] Kal Sia0-f}o-o/j.ai /act' avrov Sia9^Kr]v, <S B : Kal Siadijaofxai fiera 
<rov Siadrfuriv (§ L . The reading of |^ seems the best, for Abner's promise 
looked to what afterwards occurred, 5 3 . — ^js] can hardly be with all the con- 
ditions that shall please thee (Th.), but over all the people that thou desirest. 
The main thing was that David should be acknowledged as king. 

22-27. The murder of Abner. — Joab, David's general, was 
absent on an expedition when Abner made his visit. Not improb- 
ably David had so planned it. But the servants of David, that is, 
the mercenaries, and Joab came from the raid] in which they 
were then engaged, and brought with them great spoil. The booty 
of the surrounding tribes makes the revenue of such a monarchy 
to a considerable extent. The renewed assurance that David had 
dismissed Abner and he had gone in peace is intended to bring 
out more distinctly Joab's vindictiveness. — 23. The information 
given to Joab does not indicate that Abner was planning to dis- 
place him. It was simply to the effect that the king had let Abner 
go in peace. By tribal morality, David as kinsman of Asahel was 
bound to take blood revenge as much as Joab himself. — 24. This 
is the first point of Joab's expostulation with David — that he did 
not smite Abner while he had him in his power, — 2$. The second 



280 2 SAMUEL 

ascribes to Abner treacherous motives : Dost thou not know Abner 
the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee~\ under pretence of 
friendly negotiation J and to know thy going forth and thy coming 
in, and to know all thou art doing ?~\ in order to make a later 
attack upon the person of the king. Joab was unable to conceive 
of Abner as anything but an enemy of Judah. The freedom with 
which Joab expostulates shows the position which he occupied 
both as kinsman and as officer of David. — 26. Joab, without 
David's knowledge, promptly sent messengers after Abner and they 
brought him back from the Cistern of ' Sir ah] unknown to us except 
from this passage. — 27. Abner turned back, doubtless under the 
impression that the king had sent for him, and Joab turned him 
aside to the side of the gate to speak to him quietly] the ostensible 
purpose is given without comment. — And he smote him there in 
the abdomen] cf. 2 23 . So he died for the blood of Asahel the 
brother of Joab. The curious thing is not that Joab should take 
blood revenge, but that Abner should be so unsuspicious. We can 
account for his conduct only by supposing that he had a distinct 
safe conduct from David. 

22. H2~] as generally recognized, the true reading is (PMa (Ginsb. gives 1N3 
in the margin) the o having disappeared in the c of the next word. — :n] is 
omitted by (S L and is in fact superfluous; how much booty they brought with 
them does not concern us here. — 24. fhr(] throws emphasis on the fact that 
Abner had been allowed to go away at all. (J£ has eV elp-fivrj conforming to the 
clause in v. 23 . — 25. <& and £ read niSi at the beginning of the verse and this 
word is probably to be restored (Th.). — "\j2N _ nx] tV Kaxiav ' A&fvp-rip <& is 
attractive (Kl.). — "|Ni:a£] is changed by the punctuators to "in^d for the sake 
of the paronomasia. — 26. rnDn] is called by Josephus Brjarjpa. The transla- 
tion of Josephus in Bohn's Library speaks of 'A in Sarah near Hebron, of 
which I find no other trace. — 27. For -pn read yv> with <S (Th.). — trcnn] 
always elsewhere we find jrcnn hx which is found here also in 13 MSS. and is 
favoured by <g. — vnx] is awkward, so that Bu. restores 2NV tin with <& B . 
I suspect however that row is an intrusion. The sense is perfectly good 
without it. 

28-32. David declares his innocence of the crime. — 28. / 
and my kingdom are innocent before Yahweh] who avenges those 
slain without cause, Ps. 9 13 . — 29. Let it come upon Joab and upon 
all his clan] the imprecation strictly interpreted would affect David 
himself, but the following clauses show that David is thinking of 



III. 25-34 281 

Joab's descendants. Among these he prays that there may 
always be one that has an issue and one that is a leper] two dis- 
eases which involve continual defilement ; and one that holds the 
spindle] effeminate and unfit for manly occupations. — 30. An 
editorial note or later interpolation excusing the deed of Joab : 
But Joab and Abishai had lain in wait for Abner because he had 
killed Asahel. Strictly speaking, it contradicts v. 27 , where Joab 
alone is the slayer. — 31, 32. As further evidence of his innocence, 
David commands all the people to show the customary signs of 
mourning, rending the clothes and putting on haircloth. He him- 
self honoured the dead by following the bier, and by weeping at 
the grave. 

28. mm oj,*d] one is free from an obligation, Gen. 24 s , or from the guilt 
incurred by violation of it, Nu. 5 31 , or from the one who has a claim based on 
the obligation or the violation, Jud. 15 3 . In this case Yahweh has the claim, 
for innocent blood cries to him for vengeance. The double \0 — I am inno- 
cent towards Yahweh of the blood — does not seem to occur elsewhere. The 
original reading of <g was 1 !W?a instead of mm aye. — U31D] <S L represents 
*D1 which it makes the beginning of v.' 29 . — 29. V?n>] the verb is used twice 
of the tempest, as whirling upon the head of its victims, Jer. 23 19 30 23 , and 
once of the sword Hos. u 6 . It does not seem appropriate to the blood which 
is the subject here; @ L omits the verb altogether and it is possible that it read 
simply mm elsewhere used in similar context. — Sni] read Sjn with 10 MSS. 
and the versions. — "|Sd2 pnnc] as shown by Dr., it is better to adhere to the 
established meaning of "i^o, a spindle. In contrast with the warrior Joab, an 
effeminate descendant would be a curse. Still, a cripple who supports himself 
by a staff or crutch seems more suitable in this context, and it is possible that 
the text has suffered. According to Theodoret, Aquila read one blind, per- 
haps because a blind man feels his way with his staff. — 30. The verse inter- 
rupts the narrative, and can be understood only as a later insertion. For vnm 
read imx as suggested by Ew. (GVI 3 . III. p. 160, Eng. Tr. p. 117) on the 
basis of <g. — 31. D*pr] the clothing of mourners. Schwally (ZATW. XI. 
p. 1 74) compares the ihrim of the Moslem, which however is not of haircloth. 
— noon] the couch on which a man lay was also used as a bier. 

33-39. The burial of Abner. — David expressed his grief in 
an impromptu dirge : 

33. Must Abner die as dies the fool? 

34. Thy hands were not bound, 

Thy feet were not brought into fetters : 

As one falls before ruthless men, thou didst fall. 



282 2 SAMUEL 

The fool brings an early death upon himself by his reckless 
conduct, Prov. 7 22f . Abner had not even the honour of being 
made a prisoner of war, or of suffering death after being overpow- 
ered in battle. — 35. After the burial, the people came to cause the 
king to eat bread while it was yet day. David showed that he was 
in earnest in mourning by swearing not to taste anything until 
sundown, when of course a new day began. — 36, 37. All the 
people took notice and knew that David had no part in the matter 
and were pleased. His relationship to Joab laid him open to sus- 
picion. — 38. Know you not that a prince and a great man has 
fallen to-day in Israel 7] reason enough for mourning. — 39. As 
the verse now stands, it contains David's confession of his own 
weakness and inability to punish Joab. Such a confession so 
early in his career seems improbable. The original reading, 
which can be restored only conjecturally, seems to have said 
that although Abner was uncle and high official of a king, the sons 
of Zeruiah had treated him as harshly as they would a common 
man. Tribal morality being on their side, David did not attempt 
to punish them, but contented himself with a prayer that Yahweh 
would requite the doer of evil according to his evil. 

33. modn] the verbal form is infinitive. — S:n] the name of Nabal is ren- 
dered by (3. But the death of Abner could not be compared in any way with 
the death of Nabal. — 34. D*nmj] of a pair of bronze fetters as in Jd. i6 21 . — 
"'Qjo] is probably to be pointed as a participle (Kl.). — 35. nron 1 ?] cf. 13 5 . 
The verb occurs only in the document of which this chapter is a part. — 
36. ^33] © reads So, making it the subject of the preceding 3»*1 and omitting 
2V4 at the end of the verse. This is favoured also by <§ and IL, and is 
preferred by We., who is obliged, however, to strike out DJJIfHra »J*JJ3 also. 
Would it not be better to strike out the whole half verse as a gloss? — 
38. ^mi] 7 9 ; for "mil W however, (g B has Sru ir. For Snt^o J5 and some 
MSS. of $% have Snt^t. — 39. *p] the word means tender in years, or deli- 
cately nurtured, Gen. 33 13 Dt. 28 s *. Neither meaning is appropriate to David, 
who was certainly a mature man and who had been brought up in hardship. 
It is moreover difficult to connect the word with what follows : tender though 
anointed king is perhaps possible, but how does it apply to the situation? 
Following a suggestion of We., Bu. emends to "|^DD nan ~p, too tender and 
lowly for reigning. But it is not likely that David would openly express this, 
even if it were his thought. (5 L makes the clause apply to Abner and trans- 
lates avyyevris na\ Kadiardfjievos virb rod fSa<Ti\€ws, and with this agree many 
MSS. of (3, only reading Ko.Q«Trafi4vos. The original would apparently be 



in. 34-iv. 4 283 

Y?dS *vpa> lift Nini, though he were relative and officer of a king {yet these sons 
of Zeruiah were too strong for him is the continuation, reading UDC for ^dd). 
For other conjectures see Kl. 

IV. 1-12. The assassination of Ishbaal. — The death of 
Abner removed the main support of the throne at Mahanaim. 
Two of the king's officers therefore seize an opportunity, when 
the king is unguarded, to murder him. They bring his head 
to Hebron in the hope of reward. But David treats them as he 
had treated the confessed assassin of Saul. 

The piece is an evident continuation of the preceding narrative 
and is homogeneous except for a single (or double) interpola- 
tion, 2b " 4 . 

1. When the son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, 
his hands were limp'] he lost courage ; and all Israel was throwti 
into confusion] showing that Abner was not only the stay of the 
king, but also the administrator of the kingdom. — 2. Ishbaal had 
two captains of guerilla bands whose names were Baana and 
Rechab. The fact that in 5 they are mentioned in the reverse 
order indicates that the present clause is part of the redactional 
note. They are described as sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of 
the Benjamites] Beeroth was a city of the Gibeonites, Jos. 9 17 , but 
is reckoned to Benjamin Jos. 18 25 . According to Robinson it 
occupied the site of the present El-Bireh, nine miles north of 
Jerusalem. An editor or scribe now explains why a Beerothite 
should be called a Benjamite. But he does not tell us why 
Beeroth should not be reckoned to Benjamin. The fact which 
he finds surprising seems natural to us. — 3. The Beerothitesy?^/ 
to Gittaim] also a city of Benjamin, Neh. 1 i 33 , and have been cli- 
ents there until this day] they did not attain full citizenship. If 
the author means that this is the way in which they came to be 
Benjamites, he has expressed himself obscurely. On the other 
hand, if he means that though Benjamites, they preferred clientage 
in another clan to their blood right, we must suppose this Gittaim 
to be somewhere else than in Benjamin. — 4. The verse is another 
interpolation. The design seems to be to show how reduced was 
the house of Saul — the heir to the throne was a cripple. After 
the battle of Gilboa his nurse fled in such trepidation that the 



284 2 SAMUEL 

child fell from her arms and became lame. The correct form of 
his name, preserved in Chronicles, is Meribbaal. In the text of 
Samuel it has been purposely mutilated to Mephibosheth. — 
5. The two assassins came to the house of Ishbaal while he was 
taking his noon sleep — the siesta which is general in hot coun- 
tries. — 6. As it stands in ^ the verse is superfluous and perplex- 
ing. The very different reading of (3 is now generally adopted : 
And the doorkeeper of the palace was cleaning wheat, and she grew 
drowsy and slept; so Rechab and Baanah his brother slipped in] 
the modest establishment of Ishbaal afforded only a maid servant 
as porter, and she was obliged to do other work while keeping the 
door. — 7. Ishbaal was lying upon his bed in his sleeping room] 
and therefore an easy victim. The murderers cut off his head 
and, with this evidence, travelled the road of the Arabah all night. 
— 8. They present the head of their murdered king to David 
with the remark : Yahiveh has avenged thee on Saul and his seed] 
the apparent hypocrisy which made Yahweh a partner in their 
bloody crime called forth the indignation of the older expositors. 
But such language is second nature to an oriental. — 9, 10. David's 
reply is a reference to a precedent : As for the one who told me, 
saying: Saul is dead — though I regarded him as a bringer of 
good tidings — / seized him and slew him in Ziklag to give him the 
reward of good tidings. The sense is clear : Even though the 
tidings of Saul's death were welcome to David, that did not hinder 
him from punishing the messenger. — 11. How much more when 
wicked men have slain a righteous man in his house and upon his 
bed ; shall I not seek his blood at your hand and destroy you from 
the land? Otherwise the land itself would suffer on account of 
unavenged blood. — 12. The murderers are put to death, their 
hands and their feet cut off and hung up over the pool at Hebron, 
where they would be seen by all the city, and the head of Ishbaal 
is buried in the tomb of Abner his relative, so that he is joined to 
his kin in his burial. 

1. SiNt2>-p] is proper without the insertion of Sj?3CN made by 0&. — "U3N] 
the addition of "U~p, made by We. and Bu., is not favoured by the best MSS. 
of (5. — 2. SiNtt>~p] is here impossible and we must insert SyatPN 1 ? with <S. 
The identification of Beeroth and El Bireh is objected to by Buhl (Geog. 
p. 173) on the ground that Jos. 9 17 indicates a place southwest of Gibeon, and 



IV. 4-V. 285 

that Eusebius locates it (OS. p. 233) on the road to Nicopolis. But cf. Rob- 
inson, BR 1 . I p. 452; Baedeker, Palestine 1 , p. 212. — ty] is evidently for *?*. 
— 3. WTQM] the meaning seems to be that though the Beerothites were reck- 
oned to Benjamin, yet they preferred to become clients at Gittaim rather than 
to retain their blood rights. But as Benjamites could hardly become clients 
of Benjamites (at Gittaim), we suspect the true state of the case to have been 
that the Beerothites, originally Canaanites, sought protection at Gittaim and 
thus were reckoned to Benjamin. Bertholet (Stellung d. Israeliten, p. 47) 
supposes the clientage sought because of Saul's attack on the Gibeonites, in 
which case the murder of Ishbaal was an act of revenge. — 4. The second 
half of the verse is removed by Bu. and inserted after 9 3 , but it is doubtful 
whether it belongs there. — nCtt'SO] the name has been changed like nttO~a»N 
to avoid pronouncing the word Baal. We find ^a 3'"W5, I Chr. 8 34 9 40 , and 
along with it ^a'nc, 9 40 . From the analogy of Jerubbaal we naturally inter- 
pret tya unc, Baal is a warrior. This was changed by the ingenuity of the 
scribes to ntWflC, who puffs at the shameful thing (We. TBS. p. 31; other 
conjectures are cited by Nestle, Israelitische Eigennamen, p. 120 f.). <£ B calls 
him Mefi<pifi6<Td€, the name which it has also for Ishbaal, whereas <& L has 
Mcfx<pi&da\. This indicates that the name has undergone two transforma- 
tions; first it was made Mephibaal and then Mephibosheth. — 5. nnnsn jjdcd] 
& has, curiously, the sleep of kings. — 6. The opening word as pointed in Jft 
is unintelligible; the repetition of the subject towards the close of the verse 
is unmotived; and the whole verse anticipates the following account. Wel- 
come relief is given by <J| which introduces an entirely new feature; ical iSov 
7) Oupwpbs tov oXkov eKadaiptv irvpovs xal ivvcrra^u Kal eKaOevSev (nal u7n>a>0-ei/ L ). 
This is adopted as original by Ew., Th., We., and later commentators, though 
they differ somewhat in the retroversion : p">m ajni onan nVpD n^an m>'^ njrn 
is given by We. and adopted by Dr., Bu., whereas Kl. rejects both texts and 
constructs a new one on conjecture. — it^cj] generally means to slip away, to 
escape. The only analogy for the sense required here is I S. 20 29 , and even 
there it is doubtful whether the writer had not the usual meaning in mind. — 
7. The second lyNrrx is omitted by @ L 3t. — 10. >:>] introduces the sub- 
stance of the oath. — iTj?a] ivumSv /ulou © is probably original. The point is 
that the Amalekite was punished in spite of the nature of his tidings. — 
V? ♦nn'J WU] can be justified; but (since We.) irM is generally thought to be 
an erroneous insertion; the clause is then sarcastic. — 11. pns'tt'iNTN] is 
unusual though not entirely without parallel, Ex. 21 28 Nu. 21 9 , cf. Davidson, 
Syntax, 72 R. 4, Ges. 26 117^. — nVh] is lacking in <3, but the question is more 
vigorous than the direct assertion. 

V.-XXIV. David's rule over all Israel. 

V.-VIII. The establishment of the kingdom. — The tribes 
make David king, and he establishes his capital at Jerusalem. 
He is attacked by the Philistines but conquers them. His next 



286 2 SAMUEL 

step is to bring the Ark from Baale-Judah. The progress is inter- 
rupted by an untoward incident, but after some delay the palla- 
dium is safely settled in a tent pitched for it. David proposes to 
build a house for Yahweh but is forbidden, though he receives a 
promise for his own house. The next chapter contains an account 
of several successful wars, closing with a summary which evidently 
marks the conclusion of a section of the narrative. 

In this division of the book various hands are discernible, as 
will appear in the course of the exposition. 

V. 1-5. David is anointed king over all Israel, and the length 
of his reign is given. The anointing is a natural sequel of the 
preceding narrative. But the speech of vv. L2 seems later than 
the simple statement of v. 3 . — 1. All the tribes of Israel came to 
David] by their representatives, claiming kinship with him. — 
2. Moreover, they recognize that he had been the actual leader 
while Saul was king; and further, Yahweh had promised that 
David should shepherd the people. — 3. All the Sheikhs came to 
Hebron] as they were already there in v. 1 , it is probable that this 
is a different document. — And the king made an agreement with 
them'] cf. 3 21 . We may conjecture that there was some definite 
understanding of rights and duties on both sides. — And they 
anointed David as king over Israel] the Chronicler adds : accord- 
ing to the word of Yahweh by the hand of Samuel. But this 
agrees with v. 2 rather than v. 3 . — 4, 5. One of the chrono- 
logical data frequent in the Books of Kings. This seems to 
be late, as it is not copied by the Chronicler who appropriates the 
rest of the chapter. There is, however, no improbability in the 
numbers, as David evidently had a long reign, and the life he led 
would make him an old man at seventy. 

1-5. All that is required by the narrative is v. 3 which alone I suppose to 
be from the earlier document. The vv. 1-3 are repeated substantially in I Chr. 
ii 1-3 . — 1. Snt£» ^str -1 ?:) Nt3'l] Chr. has Sn-^ is Vttp'l because the people 
were in his view a homogeneous whole. — nrwi] is lacking in Chr. and 3L, 
whereas noHS is omitted by ©. — 2. \?hf\ lacking in Chr. — n>xid nn^n] Kt. 
corrected in the margin to ^xinn n^n, which is of course correct; notice 
(N)oon which follows. — 4. d^-in] the versions and 17 MSS. have d^u-ini. 
. — 5. e>Ss>i dmpS* @ l thinks it necessary to make the exact sum of forty years, 
and puts 32 years and six months here. 



V. i-8 287 

Budde removes vv. 4 - 5 from this position and inserts them in connexion 
with 3 3 ~ 5 , 5 13-16 after 8 14 . But it is clear that this does not restore a text that 
ever existed. These verses are a redactional insertion, but they never stood 
in any other connexion than their present one. In fact they are in place at 
the beginning of David's reign over Israel. 

6-16. The capture of Jerusalem. — David captures the for- 
tress of Jerusalem and makes it his capital. His prosperity is evi- 
denced by the attention of the king of Tyre and by the increase 
of David's harem. 

The section is an apparent unit, but does not fit well in the 
present context, for the attack of the Philistines, v. 17 evidently 
came before the capture of Jerusalem. The union of all Israel 
under a single crown was in fact sufficient reason for the Philis- 
tines to bestir themselves. Probably the campaign of the Phil- 
istines made David feel the necessity of possessing Jerusalem. 
While in the hands of the Canaanite, this city really cut his king- 
dom in two. When he took it, it became the natural capital of 
the country, and its strength in the Jebusite period was equally 
marked after David took possession of it. 

6. The king and his men] his regular soldiers are evidently 
intended, went to Jerusalem against the Jebusite, the inhabitant of 
the land] the same phrase is used elsewhere of the Canaanite 
(Gen. 50 11 ) and the Amorite (Jos. 24 18 ). The remainder of the 
verse is obscure. Apparently, the Jebusites say to David : Thou 
shall not come in hither for the blind and the lame shall keep thee 
back] but this cannot be got out of the present text, and no 
emendation that is convincing has yet been suggested. There is 
no reason for taking the blind a?id the lame in any but the proper 
sense. In derision, the walls were manned by cripples. The 
explanatory clause : meaning that David cannot come hither, is 
unnecessary and probably a later insertion. — 7. David took the 
stronghold of Zion] undoubtedly the eastern ridge of the two now 
covered by the city of Jerusalem. — 8. Another case of corrup- 
tion. As it stands, the verse seems to give the reason why the 
blind and the lame are shut out of the sanctuary. But this clause 
is perhaps an afterthought. Two theories are held as to the first 
half of the verse. One makes it give the city over to sack, the 
other makes it a command to spare the lame and the blind. 



288 2 SAMUEL 

Neither is satisfactory. From the form of the introductory phrase, 
the verse should contain a reflection of David on his successful 
capture of the city. — 9. David dwelt in the fortress'] which he 
had just taken, and built it round about from Millo] the fortifica- 
tion or retaining wall mentioned also among the works of Solomon 
i K. 9 15 , and rebuilt by Hezekiah, 2 Chr. 32 s . — 10. Concluding 
remark — David kept on growing great and Yahweh was with him. 

6. Budde ingeniously prefixes 6 1 to this verse, and thus makes David levy 
thirty thousand troops for the siege of Jerusalem. But there is no reason to 
suppose that any such number was necessary. The Jebusites confided in the 
strength of their citadel, and this was captured by the bravery of a few led by 
Joab. This would indicate that David's band of trusty veterans did the greater 
part of the work. The Chronicler indeed makes David and all Israel the 
subject, but this can hardly weigh. — d*?b»w] here as elsewhere is made a dual 
by the punctuators, with no apparent reason. The city is named in the Tell- 
el-Amarna tablets which show that it was a dependency of Egypt before the 
Israelite invasion of Palestine; cf. Winckler's edition, 180 2546 183 14 . The 
Jebusites are named as one of the nations of Canaan, but seem to have pos- 
sessed no more territory than the city of Jerusalem, omyn yrD.TCN »a = 
but the blind will have removed thee, is inappropriate. The tense is wrong, 
the verb should be plural, and -pdh is not used of repulsing an enemy. We.'s 
emendation, TVD"?, meets two of the objections but not the third. It has been 
proposed therefore to correct to m>on — the English Version tacitly does so 
— with the meaning except thou have removed (Kl.), which is faultless so far 
as the form of the verb is concerned, but would naturally be followed by 
the accusative sign. I suspect that the adversative dn o is not original and 
that the conjunction is "o. The yvDn on then represents a verb with the 
object — say fnn X&S& or -pttTTfr; avTea-rrtaav <!§ would favour the latter. 
The blind and the lame are taken by some of the Rabbinical expositors to 
mean the gods of the Jebusites, an interpretation suggested by Ps. 1 15 5 - 7 (on 
the theory that it was composed by David). Another conceit of the same 
kind sees in the blind and the lame, images of Isaac and Jacob, on which the 
Jebusites had written the covenant made by Abraham with Abimelech their 
ancestor (?), on which covenant they relied for protection (so Levi ben 
Gerson). Equally forcible is the theory of a modern scholar that the blind 
and the lame " are the dreaded guardian spirits, the protecting deities of Jeru- 
salem, called thus either by the people or by the late scribes of Judea, while 
in fact they were the ' watchers ' = D,vyjj and the otidid, ' threshold crossers 
or leapers' of the Jebusites" (Kohler in Am. Jour. Theol. I. p. 803). It is 
enough to notice that the words must have the same sense here and in v. 8 . 
The Chronicler omits all after the first run, perhaps by homeoteleuton. — 
7. jvs] later a poetical name for Jerusalem itself. Robinson's identification 
of Zion with the southwestern quarter of modern Jerusalem is now generally 



V. o-i6 289 

given up. — in "vp N^n] is superfluous along with v. 9b . — 8. "'Da^ naD" 1 ?^] 
naturally means whoever smites a Jebusite, and we expect as the apodosis either 
a permission to take his spoil, or the promise of a reward for the deed, or the 
threat of punishment. Neither one can be got out of s\yii j?jm, though the 
form of the verb is correct, -njx occurs in only one other passage and is not 
certain even there. In later Hebrew the word means a canal or pipe, and so 
it has been interpreted, here of the eaves-trough of the citadel, or of the sewer 
under the city, as though David offered a reward for whoever should smite the 
Jebusite and get up to the pinnacle of the castle, or, on the other hand, for 
whoever should climb up through the sezver or reach the moat. The precarious 
nature of the proposed interpretation is obvious, and is emphasized by the 
fact that the sentence so construed is left incomplete, and that the lame and 
the blind who follow are equally without intelligible connexion. By reading 
j?:m Ewald makes the storming party cast into the moat the lame and the 
blind who defended the walls. The Chronicler departs from the text of this 
verse, perhaps because he found it unintelligible. Conjectures of Th., Kl., Bu. 
give no real help. (£5 sees in nm a dagger, Aquila a watercourse, and Sym- 
machus a battlement. — inj£>] for which Qre W& : @ B ndl tovs luaovt/ras. — 
man] (85 interprets correctly when it renders olnov nvpiov. — 9. p* 1 )] read 
r\w\ with (S> (We.). — NiSnn] the word occurs in the name of a fortress (?) 
Beth-Millo, Jd. 9 6 . — nnoi] may be and inwards, Millo being the external 
limit of his building, or towards the house which would naturally be the sanctu- 
ary, as in v. 8 . 

11. And Hiram king of Tyre] the prominent commercial city 
of the Phoenicians ; sent messengers to David] it is altogether 
probable that the Philistines were the common enemy of both 
parties. The superiority of the Phoenicians as builders is well 
known from the history of Solomon. — 12. David knew] appar- 
ently by the evidence of the Phoenician embassy. The natural 
conclusion is that the embassy came soon after his occupation of 
Jerusalem. The chronology makes it doubtful whether Hiram 
came so early to the throne, but this may be the fault of the chro- 
nology. — 13. The increase of the harem increases the prestige 
of an oriental ruler. — 14. From the occurrence of the name Solo- 
mon, who was born some years after the occupation of Jer., we 
conclude that this list gives the name of all David's sons known 
to the author. — 16. Eljada was originally Baaliada, as we discover 
from the parallel in Chronicles, and as is indicated also by (&. 

11. D*vn] probably a shortened form of a-vriN. According to Josephus 
(Ant. VIII. 3, 1) Hiram's eleventh year was the year of Solomon's accession, 
which would of course be inconsistent with an embassy early in David's reign. 



290 2 SAMUEL 

i'he artisans sent by Hiram were probably his slaves. — vpj lacking in <g B , is 
in fact superfluous. — 12. Ntfp] is active — Yahweh had exalted his kingdom, 
nitrj, that is, a Niphal, is read by (g and Chr. — 13. ptjtuto] omitted by Chr. 
The action of David shows no acquaintance with the Deuteronomic law, Dt. 
1 7 17 . The Rabbinical ingenuity which interprets the law as forbidding more 
than eighteen wives, and which shows that David had just that number, is set 
forth in Schmid, p. 222. — ofam'S] TV3 1 Chr. 14 3 . — 14-16. The list of 
David's sons is repeated in 1 Chr. 3 5ff - and I4 4ff -. By duplicating th&h* and 
inserting njj (duplicate of jsj) the number is there increased to thirteen in- 
stead of eleven. prta is fvbya in both places in Chr.; BaaXei/udd <g B and 
Baa\i\ad <5U L show that the same form was once found in the present passage. 

17-25. Two battles with the Philistines. — In two encounters 
David defeats the Philistines. The time is before the capture of 
Jerusalem, so that we have here an insertion from another docu- 
ment. — 17. The occasion was that they had anointed David king 
over Israel] the Philistines might readily suppose that David was 
growing too powerful. His behaviour indicates that he had not 
given them direct provocation. — He went down to the stronghold] 
the verb makes it sufficiently plain that the citadel of Zion is not 
intended. — 18. The Philistines came and plundered (Jd. 15 9 ) in 
the Valley of Rephaim] now generally identified with the valley 
that extends southwestward from Jerusalem. — 19. David asks 
counsel of the oracle and receives a favourable answer. — 20. Yah- 
weh has broken down my enemies before me like the breaking of 
waters'] through a dam. Baal Perazim is possibly referred to as 
Mount Perazim Is. 28 21 . — 21. They left their gods'] as we should 
probably read, and David and his men carried them away. 

17. rnixnn Vn tvi] although the citadel of Jerusalem has been called a 
rrnxD v. 9 , it cannot be intended here. If this incident were later in time than 
the capture of Jerusalem, David would not have needed to go to that strong- 
hold, for he resided there. Usage does not allow us to say, either, that one 
went dQwn to Jerusalem. The allusion must therefore be to one of his earlier 
resorts, perhaps Adullam. — 18. cnq-h] rwv Tirdvuv <S. Robinson, who 
makes the identification (BJ? 2 . I. p. 219), gives no reasons except the declara- 
tion of Josephus. The location however answers the needs of Jos. 15 8 18 16 , 
and would be a natural route for the Philistines, cf. Buhl, Geog. p. 91. — 
19. nSyxn] confirms what was said about the stronghold. — 20. 'pa] of the 
breaking down of a wall, 2 Chr. 24' Ps. 8o 13 . Vya frequent in the names of 
places, the town being named from its patron deity, as modern names are 
often taken from the patron saint or his church. — 21. Dinx;] for which Chr. 
has DrnnSs. The latter, which was also read by <S here, is doubtless original 



V. I7-VI. r 291 

A late scribe hesitated to call the idols gods. The Chronicler adds that David 
burned them with fire, and a similar addition is made by <*| L . But this seems 
to have been an addition to accord with the views of later times. 

22. A similar situation, perhaps a part of the same campaign. 

— 23. In answer to his inquiry he is directed not to make a direct 
attack. — Go about to their rear and come upon them opposite the 
Balsams'] the word is treated like a proper name. — 24. Specific 
directions giving an omen : And it shall be when thou hearest the 
sound of marching in the tops of the balsams, then thou shall act 
promptly, for then Yahweh will have gone forth before thee to smite 
the camp of the Philistines'] it is scarcely possible to suppose that 
the incident is not based upon the sanctity of the trees in ques- 
tion. — 25. David's obedience was rewarded with a victory and 
he smote the Philistines from Geba] the place is doubtful, to Gezer] 
in the border of the Philistine territory. 

23. 3Dn] the Hiphil is uncalled for and we may either read a Niphal, or, 
with Dr., strike out the n as erroneous duplication from the preceding word. 

— d^nos] d^ndoh Chr. : Don &. Some derivative of noa is indicated by rov 
KAavdjAwvos (S, so that the Bochim of Jd. 2 5 was in the mind of both transla- 
tors. But the location does not seem suitable. — 24. *|j?DtPa] "ipdiw is preferred 
by Qre. — rnj?x] the article should probably be prefixed with Chr. — jnnn] 
look sharp is our colloquial equivalent. — 25. >ojd] airb rafiadv <£ agrees with 
pjUJQ Chr. But both Geba and Gibeon are too far from the valley of Rephaim 
for the pursuit to begin at either one. The mention of Gibeon and Perazim 
together by Isaiah does not prove anything as to these two events. — "in] on 
the location cf. GASmith, Geog. p. 215 f. 

VI. 1-23. The bringing np of the Ark. — David attempts to 
bring the Ark to the citadel, but an untoward incident prevents 
the accomplishment of his purpose for a time. After three months 
a second attempt is made, this time with success. David's reli- 
gious zeal, or its violent expression, brings upon him a rebuke from 
his wife Michal, and this results in a permanent estrangement. 

There seems no reason to question that the story belongs to the 
main narrative of the life of David. The Chronicler, who borrows 
it, makes considerable changes in the opening section, to accord 
with his point of view. 

1. David gathered the warriors of Israel, thirty thousand in 
number. As Yahweh is a God of War such an escort is appropri- 



292 2 SAMUEL 

ate. Numerical data however are generally open to suspicion. — 
2. They went to Baal JudaK\ the name indicates that it was a 
seat of the worship of Yahweh. The present narrative does not 
necessarily presuppose the account of the Ark in i S. The Ark 
is described as that which is called by the name of Yahweh Sabaoth 
who thrones upon the Cherubim~\ cf. i S. 4 4 . The whole clause 
however looks like a later insertion (We.). — 3. They made the 
Ark of God ride on a new cart] a new cart so as to avoid the 
possibility of defilement. The method was evidently the same 
used by the Philistines. The house of Abinadab from which they 
took it is described as on the hill, cf. i S. 7 1 . — And Uzzah and 
Ahio the sons of Abinadab were driving the cart] the last word 
of the verse, with the first six words of the next verse, is erroneous 
duplication. — 4. The verse is confused by the error just noted, 
but seems originally to have said that Uzzah walked by the side of 
the Ark while Ahio went before it. — 5. David and all the house 
of Israel were dancing before the Ark~\ in religious exaltation, with 
all their might; and with songs and with harps and with lyres and 
with drums and with rattles and with cymbals'] the instruments 
intended correspond approximately to those still used.* — 6. They 
came to the threshing-floor of Nachon] the location is unknown. — 
And Uzzah stretched out his hand to the Ark of God and took hold 
of it for the oxen stumbled] or shook it (cf. (3 below) . The 
stumbling of the oxen would shake the cart and threaten to make 
the Ark fall to the ground. — 7. And the wrath of Yahweh was 
kindled against Uzzah] as though he were affronted by the action, 
and God smote him there] there seems to be no reason for the 
change of the divine name, and the text may have been interpo- 
lated. — And he died there in the presence of God] for the reading 
see the note below. The question why Uzzah should be smitten 
was not a puzzle to the older commentators, so much as the ques- 
tion why everybody else was not involved in the same fate. For 
the whole transaction was contrary to the provisions of the Law 
which gives specific instructions for the transport of the Ark. The 
Ark was first to be covered by the priests (Num. 4 5b ) ; it was then 

* Some ancient oriental musical instruments are figured (from the Assyrian 
monuments) in Wellhausen's translation of the Psalms (SBOT. N. Y., 1898), 
Appendix, entitled " Music of the Ancient Hebrews." 



VI. i-io 293^ 

to be taken up and carried by the Levites (4 15 ) . The palpable 
violation of these provisions would seem to be a reason why the 
whole procession should come to grief. But the fact is, as now 
generally conceded, that the method of David shows his ignorance 
of the Levitical regulation. Uzzah gave offence by his too great 
familiarity in laying hold suddenly of the sacred emblem. This 
is all that is implied in the text. The wrath of Yahweh was but 
momentary, as is evinced by his treatment of Obed-Edom. — 
8. The temper of Yahweh was reciprocated by David who was 
angry that Yahweh had brought destruction upon Uzzah~\ literally, 
had broken a breach, such as gives a city into the hands of the 
enemy. — 9. The unaccountable conduct of Yahweh when David 
was preparing him a new residence and new honours, gave rise to 
fear as well as anger. David's question : How shall the Ark of 
Yahweh come to me f] is the expression of his fear to have it come 
at all, not an inquiry as to the best way of bringing it. — 10. He 
was not willing to remove the Ark of Yahweh to the city of David~\ 
to the citadel. It was to all appearance already within the town 
of Jerusalem. — He turned it aside to the house of Obed-Edom the 
Gittite] one of several Philistines in David's service. 

1. Bu. prefixes this verse to 5 6 , making the gathering of all Israel to be for 
the purpose of taking Jerusalem. He then makes v. 2 follow directly on 5 12 , 
as though David's bringing up of the Ark was because he knew that Yahweh 
had established him as king over Israel. The present section however reads 
well as it stands, the people of v. 2 referring evidently to the young men of 
Israel of v. 1 . *idii for ^Dttn, cf. Dr. and Schm. — -np] is superfluous and 
probably an erroneous insertion. For 30,000 <S has 70,000. — 2. ^pac] 
would naturally define the people with David as the burghers of Judah, and 
is so understood by <£. But in that case we have no indication of the place 
where they were to find the Ark. That place is called by the Chronicler nSpa, 
so that it is easy to correct here to irw tya, the » having been duplicated 
(We.), or to rmro nkjEL Both 1 Chr. 13 6 and Jos. 15 identify the place with 
Kirjath Jearim. — at? DT] one of the two words is superfluous, lacking also in 
©. — 3. r\ym -i&>n] is possibly corrupt, as it seems unnecessary to describe 
the location so exactly, and it is omitted by Chr. — ntj?] here is for n?j?. — 
vn*o] is naturally read as vnN or rnx. But it seems strange that his brother 
should not be named as well as Uzzah. itis, as another form of in>nN, is a 
possible proper name so that I have retained it. — ntinn nSjyn] is an obvious 
case of disagreement, and it seems clear that the eye of the scribe wandered 
from rhx97\, which he had just written, to nSjy early in the verse so that he 



294 2 SAMUEL 

repeated n?9J3 . . . msnn before he discovered his mistake. — D^nSxri jnx op] 
makes no sense, either with what precedes or without it. We are compelled 
to suppose that in his confusion over his error the scribe omitted something. 
What is needed is simply an affirmation that Uzzah walked by the side of the 
Ark. — 5. DMFna' ^y S:o] is unintelligible — cypress trees certainly have no 
place here, and to make the words mean with all manner of instruments made 
of fir wood (EV.) is to insert the main idea into the text. Nor is it known 
that fir (or cypress) wood was used in the manufacture of musical instruments. 
With most recent editors, therefore, we should correct to the reading of Chr. 
— Dn\r31 v; Sba — the first two words occur again in v. 14 . <J£ has a double 
translation, one half of which confirms this restoration, the other half consists 
of the words which represent IJT^ia in v. 14 . DWJUD seem to be sistra (the 
word is rendered aeiarpois by Aq. and Sym. according to Field), instruments 
used in the worship of Isis. — 6. jidj] evidently a proper name; the endeavour 
of some of the commentators to make it mean indefinitely, a certain threshing- 
floor, is not sustained by usage, nor is Th.'s interpretation fixed or permanent 
in distinction from a temporary floor used only for a particular field or during 
one season. Whether Nachon is the correct name, or whether we should read 
two with Chr., or NoSajS with 6> B , cannot be determined. <f£ L reads Opva rod 
'U0voaiov, an evident correction, intended to make the Ark select its perma- 
nent abode thus early. — nS^-n] requires n* pn which is read by all the 
versions and by Chr. (which however changes the order of what follows) but 
has accidentally dropped out of |§. — user] is a rare word and the passages 
in which it occurs throw little light upon its meaning here. In 2 K. g 33 it is 
used transitively of throwing a person out of a window. It would be natural 
to interpret here therefore the oxen cast it down. But the object would pretty 
certainly be expressed if this were the meaning. Another meaning of the 
verb is to release a debt, and we might conjecture that the oxen slipped, losing 
their foothold. Bochart (Hicrozo. I. II. Cap. 37) cites Arabic analogy which 
would make the verb mean were mired. (3 irepieaira<rev avrrfv seems to find 
the object expressed — itoatf — and so with K *«"IWD. Calcitrabant 3L seems 
to be a conjecture only. — Dv-iSxn] after the n vr expressed above is superflu- 
ous. — SarrVj;] is lacking in <g B and therefore suspicious. There is no Hebrew 
word Sb> known to us : hH ry irponereia <S L : super temeritate 3L : pro igno- 
rantia \ : »Snwh hy 8 seem to go back to a common source which interpreted 
the word by the Aramaic. The present tendency (We., Dr., Bu., Ki.) is to 
regard the phrase as the mutilated remains of the words of the Chronicler : 
'Nn by rv n*?B> T.PN by. More likely they represent an attempt to give the 
exact location, now unintelligible. Kl. conjectures aSm by which he supposes 
to mean on the side beam of the cart on which Uzzah sat. But this is pre- 
carious. — otiSn jnx dj?] for which Chr. has dvtSn "^d 1 ? as has @ L . The latter 
is probably original, for it would be more likely to be corrected into the other 
phrase. <S B combines the two readings. — 8. mp*l] must be • impersonal ' 
as in similar instances — one called the place, etc. — 10. din— oy] the second 
part of the name is probably the name of a god, and the whole corresponds to 



VI. ii-i6 295 

nnaj;. That the man was a Gittite, and therefore a Philistine, is purposely 
ignored by the Chronicler, who takes pains to enroll him as a Levite and put 
him among the doorkeepers. Of course, as a follower of David and a resident 
in the land of Israel, he was a worshipper of Yahweh. 

11-19. The second attempt. — 11. During the three months 
of the Ark's sojourn, Yahweh blessed Obed-Edom and all his 
house'] whether with riches or with children we are not told, 
probably with both. — 12. The blessing conferred upon Obed- 
Edom is the reason why David renews his effort. This is con- 
cealed by the Chronicler, who supposes David to have a fixed 
purpose during all the three months. (S> L correctly interprets 
when it inserts : and David said : I will turn the blessing to my 
house. — 13. When the bearers of the Ark had marched six paces'] 
and it was thereby evident that Yahweh was willing to go, he 
sacrificed an ox and a fatling] David is undoubtedly the subject. 
The change from the cart to the shoulders of men was prompted 
by the fact that the cart had proved unfortunate on the previous 
occasion. This author shows no suspicion that the former was 
the legal, or even the traditional, method. Practical considera- 
tions may also have weighed, for the ascent to the citadel was 
probably steep and possibly winding. There is no indication that 
more than one sacrifice was made during the progress. — 14. And 
David was dancing] the word occurs only in this passage and 
seems to mean whirling, like the devotional dancing of the der- 
vishes. — And David was girded with a linen ephod] such as the 
priests wore, i S. 2 18 . We should probably think of this as a strip 
of cloth like the izar of the Moslem. Religious vestments are 
survivals of earlier costume. The scantiness of this dress, as con- 
trasted with the long robe appropriate to a king, is the ground of 
Michal's contempt. — 15. The procession continued with shouting 
and the sound of trumpet] as we might say with shouting and 
blare. Making a loud noise was an act of worship as late as the 
time of the Psalmist. — 16. The verse is designed to prepare for 
the scene at home, v. 20 *"-. As it breaks the thread of the narrative, 
and is introduced awkwardly, it is perhaps a redactional insertion. 
Correcting the opening word, the verse says : And the Ark of 
Yahweh was coming i?ito the city of David when Michal the 
daughter of Saul looked through the window and saw King 



296 2 SAMUEL 

David leaping and whirling, and she despised him in her heart~\ 
the dignity of a king had been no better observed by Saul when 
he lay down naked in the company of the prophets. But this she 
chose to forget. — 17. The successful conclusion: They set the 
Ark in its place, in the tent which David had pitched for it~\ 
and the rites of sacrifice were observed. — 18. At the conclusion 
of the sacrifices David blessed the people in the name of Yahiveh~\ 
that he acted as priest seems evident. — 19. David distributed to 
the people bread, raisins, and (apparently) other victuals. 

11. The conjectures of the Rabbis on the blessing of fruitfulness conferred 
upon Obed-Edom are given by Schm., p. 277. The Chronicler inserts here 
the account of Hiram's embassy, of David's family, and of the preparation 
of the Levites for the coming procession. — 12. dtiSn.-i] + Kai dire AavlS 
'EiriaTptyw rrjv evAoylav els rbu oJkov jxov <J§ l which is represented also in I 
(Cod. Germ. 7 apud Sabatier, et Cod. Leg. Goth, apud Vercellone). It may 
be original, having been omitted by f^ on account of its frank egoism. — 
13. For the first clause (3 has : and there were with him [or with them] seven 
bands. The reading seems to have arisen by corruption of |^. — 14. "\3T3D] 
the word occurs only here and v. 16 ; Chr. omits it in his reproduction of this 
verse and substitutes prvtD for it at its second occurrence. It was either obso- 
lete in his time, or he thought it undignified. — 15. rro] is omitted by <§ L ,S 
and 3 MSS. of f$. — 16. rr»ni] is certainly the wrong tense, as the Chronicler 
shows by correcting it to vm. Even with the correction, the verse reads awk- 
wardly; it is unnecessary also, for Michal's remarks are self-explanatory and 
the situation need not be described in advance. — tide] this stem occurs here 
only, the Qal in Gen. 40, 24 only. — 19. b»ndS] is sustained by some analogous 
passages, 1 Chr. 27 s3 Ex. n 7 Jer. 51 62 . — ns^x] is entirely unknown. The 
versions only conjecture, as is shown by Dr., and no suitable emendation has 
yet been suggested, cf. also Lag. Mittheilungen, I. p. 213 ff. 

20. On David's return to his house, his wife Michal greets him 
with the sarcastic exclamation : How glorious was the king of 
Israel as he exposed himself to-day to the eyes of his servants 1 
maids / The comparison which follows indicates that it was inde- 
cent exposure which moved her wrath. — 21, 22. The retort re- 
minds her of the fallen fortunes of her family : Before Yahweh I 
was dancing; Blessed be Yahweh who chose me above thy father 
and above all his house ! The change in the text will be defended 
below. The words to command me as prince over the people of 
Yahweh seem intended to point the contrast between Abigail's 
appreciation and Michal's contempt. The last clause of v. 21 be- 



VI. I6-VII. 297 

longs with the following verse : And I will sport before Yahweh, 
and will be yet more lightly esteemed than this, and will be lowly in 
thine eyes. But of the maids of whom thou hast spoken I shall 
surely be held in honour] the king trusts the sense of the common 
people to understand his religious zeal. As for Michal's opinion 
he does not value it. — 23. The natural understanding is that 
the estrangement was the reason for Michal's childlessness — not 
that she was stricken with barrenness by Yahweh, as some have 
supposed. 

20. voj? mncN] would be the lowest maidservants, cf. the phrase a servant 
of servants. — nV?jj rnSjro] two forms of the infinite construct. Probably one 
is an erroneous insertion; else conflation of two readings has taken place. — 
D^p-in] is used of wild and reckless men from whom, of course, decency can- 
not be expected. @ seems to have read D'Tjrvi, but we have no evidence of 
a class of dancers in Israel who could give point to such a comparison. — 
21. mm ^dS] needs to be completed by an affirmation of some kind, which 
we find in <& which reads : opx^l^ofiai • ev\oyrjTbs Kvpios. If this were original 
we see how the scribe omitted the words, his eye falling upon the second mm 
instead of the first. It seems probable therefore that we should restore the 
whole, reading nvn -|na np-\D ojn mm >:sh. The participle npiD seems the 
most natural form. — lUj tx msS] cf. I S. 25 30 . — 22. »n*?p3l] (3 reads »nSui 
which is perhaps original. — , J , > , 3] read with <g T*P 3 » f° r this alone gives the 
appropriate sense. — 23. That Michal was stricken with barrenness by God is 
said by Schmid to be communis sententia. But there is in the text no indica- 
tion of a divine judgment. — iS" 1 ] the Orientals read 1S1. 

VII. 1-29. The promise. — David is exercised by the thought 
that Yahweh has only a tent, while the king himself dwells in a 
house. He lays this before Nathan with the evident purpose of 
building a temple, if the prophet should approve. The latter at 
first consents but afterwards is directed to veto the plan. But the 
message is accompanied with a promise on God's part to build 
David a house, that is, to establish his dynasty forever. The 
conclusion of the account gives David's prayer of gratitude, which 
becomes a prayer of intercession for Israel. 

The chapter bears marks of a comparatively late date. It shows 
what we know as the Messianic expectation, which pictured the 
perpetual rule of the house of David. But this expectation was 
not fully formulated until the time of the Exile, when the loss of 
their dynasty made the pious Israelites value it the more. Various 



298 2 SAMUEL 

expressions in the text show at least Deuteronomistic influence, so 
that we are warranted in making the chapter a part of the Exilic 
redaction. 

VII. Cornill (Eint 3 . p. 104) contents himself with the seventh century as 
the date of the chapter, and this is also Budde's idea. The former says : " The 
destruction of the people and its dynasty seems to lie outside the horizon." 
But it is a question whether the Exile was ever regarded by believing Israelites 
as a destruction either of people or dynasty. An unequivocal allusion to the 
capture of the city is indeed not found. But some expressions seem at least 
to hint at it. 

1, 2. When David had taken possession of his house"] apparently 
the new one built by the Phoenicians : Yahweh moreover had 
given him rest round about from all his enemies] the circumstan- 
tial clause indicates that this author did not dwell much upon the 
successive wars which filled the greater part of David's reign. 
The verse is continued immediately by the following, and is 
incomplete without it — then David said to Nathan] the court 
prophet who appears several times in the history. — / dwell in a 
house of cedar while the Ark of God dwells in a curtain] the 
statement of the fact which the king finds unbecoming, is enough 
to indicate the purpose he has formed. — 3. The prophet encour- 
ages David to do as he has planned. — 4. This was however not 
the mind of God : it came to pass the same night that the word of 
Yahweh came to Nathan] the revelation coming in the night is 
probably to be understood as a dream. — 5. The question : Shalt 
thou build me a house to dwell in ?] is equivalent to a negative. 
It is so reproduced by Chr. $$. — 6. The reason is that such a 
procedure would be contrary to precedent. Yahweh had never 
dwelt in a house : but I have sojourned in a tent and in a taber- 
nacle] the Mosaic Tabernacle is not necessarily intended. — 7. No 
command had ever been given for the building of a house nor had 
one of the Judges of Israel been reproached for not building it. 

1. *3*lHy3D aoDD i"?-iTjn] Dt. 12 10 25 19 Jos. 23 1 . The Chronicler omits 
the second half of the verse, possibly because he wishes to locate the promise 
in the early part of David's reign. He also changes 38W3 into 3«m "M8>lt3 
with the intention of making this the immediate sequel of the bringing up of 
the Ark. — 2. pj] doubtless a shortened form of rvj-ij or Snjpj, cf. also 
T?D~fnj 2 K. 23 11 . — 4. nin*»~-on »fhi] 1 S. 15 10 ; the phrase is frequent in 



VII. i-io 299 

Jeremiah and Ezekiel. — 5. nnxnj nnw n 1 ? Chr. The former is probably origi- 
nal because the change from it to the other reading is more probable than the 
reverse. — 6. {301331 Snxa] $ renders only pa>D3. Chr. has hr\a hn hnxv 
pi^DDi which should evidently be completed by adding pa>D Sx. On the 
whole, it seems better to retain the text, as it might be expanded into the 
reading of Chr., while the reverse process is hardly likely. p£>D is used of 
the tent of Korah, Num. 16 24 , and of the dwellings of the Bedawin, Ezek. 25*. — 
7. Ti-an i3in] seems more vigorous if we point ljnn — have I at all spoken ? 
It is so rendered by 4§. — V3r] is to be corrected to ^tos'^ Chr., for it was the 
Judges who had been commanded to shepherd Israel, cf. v. 11 . 

8-16. The prophet is sent with a message of promise to David, 
prefaced by a recital of the benefits heretofore conferred upon 
him. The oracle shows traces of the rhythmical structure so fre- 
quent in prophetic composition, though it cannot be made strictly 
metrical without emending the text in many places. — 8, 9. First 
the rehearsal of Yahweh's benefits : 

Thus saith Yahweh Sebaoth 

I took thee from the pasture 

To be chief over my people ; 

And I was with thee wherever thou didst go 

To destroy thine enemies before thee. 

The remainder of the verse does not fit well in the context. As 
it stands, it begins the promise : And I will make thee a name, like 
the name of the great in the earth. But it seems more logical to 
begin the promise with the next verse. — 10. The verbs must refer 
to the future : 

And I will give a place to my people Israel, 

And will plant them and they shall dwell in their place ; 

And they shall no more be disquieted 

And violent men shall no more oppress them. 

So far, we come out fairly well with the metre. But the two clauses 
now added : As in former times, from the day when I set judges 
over my people Israel, cannot be forced into a couplet. It does 
not seem violent to suppose them an addition to the original text. 
The author of the verse ignores the fact that David had already 
been given rest from his enemies, and we must suppose that in his 
time the national existence was again threatened. According to 



300 2 SAMUEL 

the received text, the promise to David now begins. But it is 
difficult to make sense of the present wording : And I will give 
thee rest from all thine enemies, and Yahweh will make known to 
thee that Yahweh will make thee a house. The objections to this 
are obvious. The change of person is without motive ; the repe- 
tition of the name Yahweh is superfluous j it is to tell this very 
thing that the prophet has come. What we expect is something 
like this : And now thus saith Yahweh : Thou shall not build me 
a house, but I will build thee a house. For this is the point of the 
whole message. For various attempts to improve the text, see 
the critical note. — 12. The metre changes and the flow of the 
words is better : 

And it shall be when thy days are filled out, 
And thou shall lie down with thy fathers. 
That I will raise up thy seed after thee, 
Which shall come forth of thy body, 
And I will establish his kingdom. 

This explains the sense in which Yahweh is to build a house for 
David. The filling out of one's appointed days is parallel to Gen. 
29 21 . One's children come forth from his bowels, an expression 
which is softened by Chr., but which occurs Gen. 15 4 . — 13. The 
verse alludes to David's desire to build a temple, and promises 
that Solomon shall fulfil that desire. But as David's seed in the 
preceding verse means his whole dynasty, and as the dynasty is 
also the subject of what follows, this verse distinctly breaks the 
connexion and must be regarded as an interpolation. — 14. This 
continues the main thought : 

I will be to him a father, 

And he shall be to me a son ; 

When he goes astray 

I will correct him with the rod of men, 

And with stripes of the sons of Adam. 

The opening words are applied to Solomon 1 Chr. 22 10 28 s . But 
the idea is adopted in many Messianic passages, as Ps. 2, to 
express the relation existing between Yahweh and the Messiah. 
The rod of men is such as men use for each other — -not such as 
the divine anger would naturally choose, for that would annihilate 



VIT. 10-17 301 

the object of the chastisement. — 15. The verse gives renewed 
assurances : 

And my kindness will I not turn from him, 
As I turned it from him who was before thee. 

Our text inserts the name of Saul, but this is an interpolation. — 
16. The promise is for all time to come : 

Thy house and thy kingdom shall stand firm, 

Forever in my sight, 

Thy throne shall be established forever. 

Cf. 1 S. 2 s5 25 s8 1 K. 2 45 . — 17. Up to this point we have heard 
the commission which Nathan received. The present verse simply 
adds that he carried it out. 

A study of this passage in its relation to the general subject 
of Messianic prophecy is given by Prof. Briggs in his Messianic 
Prophecy (1886), p. 126 ff. 

8. JNXn -iriND nijn-p] @ B has simply Ik rrjs ixdvtyas ra>v irpoBdruv. For 
•^nxD some MSS. have nnKD. — Smrv^Jj] we should probably omit Sj7 with 
some MSS., %%. — 9. tcj;)] does not fit in the context, as it is in the wrong 
tense. It might be allowed however to read the preceding verb as the mood 
of purpose, pointing nnnani and translating: And I was with thee in order 
to cut off thine enemies, and then to make this continue that construction — 
and in order to make thee a name. But parallels are not frequent, and it 
seems simpler to suppose an expansion of the original text. — Sru] should be 
stricken out with Chr. <S B . — 10. VNitt" 1 ?] read S*ne« with some MSS., &. — 
n^jnja] cf. 3 s4 . — 11. pSi] read \xh with @ B . For -\h Ew. proposes b, and 
to correspond makes yaw into ra>N (GVI z . III. p. 179, E.Tr. III. p. 132). 
This is accepted by We., Dr., Bu., and is necessary if the clause belongs with 
what precedes. But in the evident corruption of the rest of the verse, this is 
not certain. — mn> -|S *i\jni] is difficult. It can be understood only in the 
sense : and Yahweh will tell thee. But the prophet is sent for the purpose 
of telling him now and the future is out of place. Chr. reads "|S -uni, which 
<S saw to be nS-UN), and I will magnify thee. This goes well enough with 
what precedes, but the transition to what follows is awkward. What we 
expect is an explicit introduction of the promise on the part of the prophet, a 
phrase like and now, thus saith Yahweh. The most plausible reading yet sug- 
gested seems to be Bu.'s "p "vjd »jjm with omission of mn\ Even thus the hurt 
seems only slightly healed, mrp at the end of the verse is corrupted from rwn 
at the opening of the next verse. — 12. rrrn should introduce the verse as in 
Chr. and ©. — inSd>] inSd Chr. is equally good, and perhaps more likely to be 
changed into our reading than the reverse. — 13. The verse is regarded as a 



302 2 SAMUEL 

later insertion by We. (Comp. p. 257) and Bu. — iroSco nd^] Chr. and <5 
have ixD3. — 14. The latter half of the verse is omitted by Chr., who probably 
applied it to the Messiah and would not admit that he could go astray. — 
15. niDi] should be "VDN according to Chr., (Si&lL. — vrvDn *nj»n Sixtr DJHD 
-pjoSn] Chr. has simply -pjflS rvn nw»0 and as we can think of no reason why 
he should hesitate to mention Saul in this connexion, we must suppose he 
shows the text of the passage as he read it, and that the present reading is 
due to scribal expansion; <Q moreover found 13>K0 although it has *m»Dn. 
Three stages of the text are therefore represented in Chr., @, f§. — 16. "j.-oSddi] 
is supposed by Prof. Briggs to be an interpolation. — Tlth] cannot be right, 
and should be changed to »J|>S with <SJ5 — Chr. changes the wording of the 
whole verse. — "[NDo] the conjunction is prefixed by S&% and also by @, which 
however reads his throne as it does his house and his kingdom. — 17. |vrn] 
Tim is preferred by Chr. 

18. David's gratitude is shown by his appearing in the imme- 
diate presence of Yahweh. Sitting is not the usual attitude of 
prayer in the Old Testament, and has caused the commentators 
some perplexity. But that the oriental mind does not see anything 
inappropriate in it is proved by the Mohammedan ritual where it 
is one of several postures, as it is in the worship of some orders of 
dervishes, and in that of the Copts. The prayer begins with an 
implied confession of unworthiness : What am I, and what is my 
house, that thou hast brought me thus far? — 19. So far as the 
verse is intelligible, it says : And this was little in thine eyes, my 
Lord Yahweh, and thou hast [now] spoken concerning thy servant 
for distant times. The remaining clause which reads : And this 
is the instruction of man, O Lord Yahweh, gives no adequate sense 
in the present connexion. It cannot mean : and this is the man- 
ner of man, or : and is this the manner of man ? Conjectural 
emendation has got no farther than to show that the original may 
have read and hast shown me the form .... — 20. And ivhat 
shall David say more to thee, seeing that thou knowest thy servant, 
O Lord Yahweh ? The heart of the worshipper is known to God 
without much speaking. — 21. To glorify thy servant hast thou 
promised, and according to thy heart hast thou done, in showing 
thy servant all this greatness^ this translation is based on a recon- 
structed text. ■— 22. The author glides into general expressions of 
praise, not especially appropriate to David's situation. — Therefore 
thou art great~\ the logical conclusion from Yahweh's dealings with 



VII. i8-2 9 303 

his people. — 23. The confused sentence seems originally to have 
read : And who is like thy people Israel ; \is there~\ another people 
in the earth which a god went to redeem for himself as a people ', to 
make himself a name, and to do for them great and terrible things, 
in driving out a people and its gods before his people ? As remarked 
by Geiger,* on whom later scholars depend, the scribes found even 
the supposition that another god could do what Yahweh had done, 
offensive or unthinkable, and so endeavoured to make the whole 
refer to Israel; hence the confusion. — 24. A contrast between 
Yahweh and the false gods who had not elected a people : But 
thou didst establish thy people Israel as a people for thyself "forever] 
the well-known covenant relation. — 25. Prayer that Yahweh 
would carry out the word spoken to David. — 26. That thy name 
may be great forever] that Yahweh acts for his name's sake is a 
frequent thought in the later books of the canon. — In that men 
say : Yahweh Sebaoth is God over Israel] seems to be the mean- 
ing of the next clause, which however may be scribal expansion. 
— 27. Because of the revelation made to him, David has found 
courage to pray this prayer. — 28, 29. The theme is repeated in 
slightly varying language, an indication of how much the heart of 
the author was concerned for the house of David. — Thou art God 
and thy words are faithfulness] the abstract noun for the adjective. 

18. 3Je»l] the unusual attitude has occasioned prolix discussion on the part 
of the commentators, as may be seen in Schm. p. 350 f. — uva "'Dt] cf. 1 S. 
18 18 1 Chr. 29 14 . — 19. prrraV] is used of distant times in the past 2 K. 19 26 , 
here of distant times in the future. — oixn mm rsn] the sentence seems to 
have been unintelligible to the Chronicler, who replaces it with mn^ »jmmi 
nV^Dn ctn.-i, which however is equally obscure. The versions seem to have 
no other text unless % (join) reads runs for mm. The mystery of the incar- 
nation was found here by Luther : this is the manner of the man who is God 
the Lord, a rendering which is defended by Calov, but rejected by the sound 
sense of Schm. The latter scholar however does not succeed in his own ren- 
dering, nor can the paraphrase of Grotius : familiariter mecum agis quomodo 
homines hominibus agere solent be justified by Hebrew usage. On the basis 
of the reading in Chr., Ewald (GFf s . III. p. 180, E. Trans. III. p. 132) con- 
jectures the text to have been nVyn 1 ? dinh -nro »jn»tvn, and hast made me look 
upon the ranks of men onwards. But "Wl in this meaning is not found else- 
where, and the author could hardly have expressed this sense in wording so 

* Urschrift und Uebersetzungen, p. 288. 



304 2 SAMUEL 

obscure. We. gets substantially the same meaning by restoring nm *iW%m 
mxn, and hast shown me generations of men. But it was not the generations 
of men that interested David so much as the generations of his descendants, 
and this he would have brought out distinctly. Bu. adopts We.'s conjecture, 
adding d 1 ?^ of his own motion (suggested by nSynn Chr.). Oettli in his com- 
mentary on Chr. suggests din miro >jn\s-n, und siehst mich an so gutig als 
w'drest du meinesgleichen. But would this Hebrew sentence express this 
meaning ? I suspect that the corruption is beyond cure, but that *jmni is a 
part of the original and that it was followed by "wr, possibly with the suffix; 
and hast shown me thy beauty Lord Yahweh would be appropriate in the con- 
text, and Dix may be erroneous duplication of the following \nx. — 21. I3?a 
-oi] "psjj iaj?3 Chr. : Sia top- 5ovA6v <tou <& b . The originality of "pap seems 
established, and Nestle (Marginalien, p. 16) restores man *pay -ta:i L > follow- 
ing an indication given by Chr. in the verse preceding. — nVmn] as shown by 
Dr., the word does not fit in the present position, and I have adopted his trans- 
position (from Reifmann). — 22. nV"U p'S;?] eueKev rod /j.eya\v6r)val <re <S L 
joined with the preceding verse. The reading of <g L is at least equally good. 
— &rh* mm] Kvpie, nvpi4 /xov <g points to mm *rw which we find elsewhere 
in this chapter. — 23. Sk-i^d] S*ns» Chr. <f§. The a comes from the end of 
the preceding words, ZA TW. VI. p. 212. — nnx] &\\o (3 evidently "VW. For 
laSn Chr. has "pn confirmed by the following iS and also by @ B . <g L on the 
other hand has carried through an emendation reading naSn and "ft. — Di^] 
oy Chr. © and C — dwSi] owh Chr. <g. — lS] -|S Chr. and <g. — oaS n^ri] 
omitted by Chr. — oaS] pnS {£ with which agrees 3t, whereas £$ renders i s . 
For rhrvtn read niSnj with Chr. — t^inS] V\h Chr. and <g. — *pjj] although 
the authorities agree, must be changed to ttJJT. The next clause is contained 
in the versions, but seems to be an insertion, in the line of the other changes 
made. Still it is possible that the original author at the end of his long sentence 
resumed the direct address. — vnSxi] is omitted by the Chronicler, to whom 
the false gods were naught. The extent of the change made in the verse is 
shown by the number of variants just given. The original text as we pick it 
out of this material was: fr-nrwh Wtb* y?n ntt>x y-iNa nnx mj S*na»> yofi *ti 
vnSxi nj ids? "2bto tnh pikiwi niSij on? nwjhy dv h w\vh nyh. — 24. *p piaro] 
trim Chr. — 25. npjn] <& B seems to have read nn^i, joining the clause to the 
following verse. — 26. <J£ B omits from ncxS. It looks as if the verse had been 
expanded, for the first half is optative while Jt2J mm of the last clause can 
hardly be so understood. Is not this a case where the Chronicler made an 
insertion which afterwards affected the text of Samuel ? — 27. nnx-o] is lack- 
ing in (g B . — iaV*nn] is absent from Chr. The phrase aV"nn nxd seems to 
occur nowhere else. — 29. "pai Sxin] with coordination of the verbs, instead 
of subordination of the second, the construction found in I S. 12 22 and in the 
parallel to the present passage, 1 Chr. 17 27 . Cf. Davidson, Syntax, 83. 

VIII. 1-18. David's wars. — David conquers in succession the 
Philistines, Moab, Zobah, Damascus, and Edom. The brief 






vin. i-s 305 

account of these wars is supplemented by a list of his officials. 
The chapter is apparently from a document other than the one 
which gives us Ch. 10, for the wars here enumerated are, in part 
at least, the same recounted there. The tone of the whole chap- 
ter is the tone of a summary — the author would give us a brief 
sketch of David's wars and pass on to something more important. 

1. David s?note the Philistines and subdued them'] Dt. g 3 Jd. 4 23 , 
cf. Jd. 3 30 . The author adds that he took something from the 
hand of the Philistines, but what he took cannot now be made out 
with certainty. — 2. And he smote Moab and measured them off 
with a line making them lie down upon the earth] two-thirds (of 
the males we may suppose) were thus put to death. The question 
as to the cruelty of this proceeding seems to be raised unneces- 
sarily, when we consider how frequently the whole population was 
' devoted ' in war. The Chronicler however seems to have had 
some compunctions in this case, for he leaves out the notice. The 
tribute afterwards exacted is disguised under the name of a pres- 
ent, as so often in oriental governments. As in the time of Mesha, 
it probably consisted of sheep and wool, 2 K. 3 4 . This writer 
seems to have no knowledge of David's obligation to Moab, as 
indicated in 1 S. 22 s . — 3. The next conquest was that of Hada- 
dezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah] a small Aramaean kingdom in 
the neighbourhood of Damascus, cf. 1 S. 14 47 1 K. n 23 . Accord- 
ing to 2 S. io 6 the provocation was given by Hadadezer's aiding 
the Ammonites against David. — When he went to lay his hand 
upon the River] the phrase to lay hand upon recurs Ezek. 38 12 . The 
River is, here as elsewhere, the Euphrates. Whether David or 
Hadadezer is the subject is not clear, but probably David. The 
fact that David never actually possessed so much territory does 
not prove that this author did not believe him to have possessed 
it. — 4. The original seems to have said that David captured a 
thousand chariots and slew twenty thousand footmen. As chariots 
were of no use in the hill country of Palestine, he hamstrung the 
chariot horses, leaving only a hundred] for purposes of state we 
may suppose. — 5. Syria of Damascus for the Syrians of Damas- 
cus. The country north of Palestine seems to have been cut up 
into a number of petty kingdoms. Damascus, a well-known city 



306 2 SAMUEL 

of great antiquity, was always an important place. The aid of the 
Damascenes is given to Zobah because they are threatened with a 
common danger. — 6. David reduced them to the position of 
tributaries, putting garrisons in their country. — 7. David took 
the golden shields} the meaning is not altogether certain, which 
were on the officers of Badadezer] an addition to the verse in <8 
identifies them with those carried off by Shishak i K. 14 26 . — 
8. And from Tibhath and from Berothai~\ places not certainly 
known to us, David took much bronze~\ copper mines seem to have 
been worked in the region of Lebanon. (3 and Chr. add that this 
bronze was used by Solomon for the vessels of the Temple — an 
addition to be judged like that to v. 7 . 

1. riDND iTiCTiK] the bridle of the cubit is obscure. From its being taken 
from the hands of the Philistines we infer that it was some tangible posses- 
sion, probably a piece of territory, rwjai ru pn Chr. would therefore be en- 
tirely in place. The reason for suspecting it, is the difficulty in supposing so 
easy a phrase corrupted into the reading of f§. The versions give no help : 
tV a<pu}pi<Tixevqv <&, possibly reading trVton or tajlj rhv xoAtfbv rov vdpayu- 
yiov Aq. points to the text we have : tV i^ovaiav rod <p6pov Sym. is the origi- 
nal of frenum tributi (?Dcn jno) 3L: nhdn ppn 3E represents the tradition 
known to Aq. : ncj nm % seems to be a proper name. The expositors have 
generally felt it necessary to find an equivalent for Gath and its dependent 
towns given us by Chr. They have done this by making hdn equivalent to on 
as sometimes used in Hebrew for a city {metropolis). The Bridle of the 
Metropolis would then conceivably have been the citadel which commanded 
the town and so commanded the district. But it is difficult to see why so 
figurative a phrase should be used in a prose passage. On the other hand, 
from the fact of the bridle or rein denoting power (as the leading string some- 
times in English) some have concluded that David is here represented as tak- 
ing the suzerainty from the hand of the Philistines, either that he assumed the 
supreme power over them or else that he threw off their yoke. Why this again 
should be so obscurely expressed, it is impossible to see. The older com- 
mentators are excerpted by Pole. Among the recent scholars Ewald (GV/ S . 
p. 202, E. Trans. III. p. 148) decides for the Philistine sovereignty over Israel, 
which David wrested from them. Keil supposes the metropolis to be meant, 
so that the phrase is equivalent to Gath, whose king he supposes to be over- 
lord of the Philistines,* and in this he is followed by Erdm. whose American 
editor however leaves the meaning undecided. Th. conjectures the border ; 
We. retains the text, which he supposes to mean the authority over the 

* Isaaki discovered that the only one of the Philistine cities which had a king 
was Gath. 



VIII. 5-S 307 

metropolis, in which he is followed by Dr., while Bu. leaves a blank in his 
text. — 2. ^ro] is put in the plural by <g B . — aarn] on the use of the ad- 
verbial infinitive cf. Davidson, Syntax, 87. — Vann nSdi] the contents of one 
line : <£ gives the proportion two and two, and % gives it one and one. — 
3. I t J Hi n ] Chr. has nrjmn and (3 'A8pad(ap. Some MSS. have the same form 
in this chapter. The name is evidently similar to "HJ^K, "Hyatt, and "\r;r, and 
the first element is the name of the god Hadad. That it is Hadad and not 
Hadar seems evident from the names Benhadad I K. 15 18 , and Hadadrimmon 
Zech. 12 11 , as well as from the Aramaic and Assyrian parallels. Cf. BDB. 
and reff., especially Baethgen, Beitr'dge zur Semit. Religionsgeschichte, p. 67 ff ., 
also Schrader COT. p. 190 f. The god Hadad (Add*) is met in the Tell-el- 
Amarna Tablets ( Winckler, 149 14 150 7 ), in Arabia (We, Skizzen, III. p. 51), 
and apparently in Edom, Gen. 36 s5 . — am] <8£ 'Paa/3 ('Paa^) reminds us of 
Rahab, Jos. 2 1 and rram, 1 Chr. 23 17 . — mix] known as Subit to the Assyri- 
ans according to Meyer, Gesch. d. Altertums, p. 347, and Schrader, CO T. I. 
p. 171. The Chronicler is probably mistaken in locating the battle at Hamath 
which is too far north. — vr» 3>a>m] is objected to by Th., Dr., as meaning 
necessarily to bring back the hand where it had once been. But the pas- 
sage in Ezekiel (38 12 ) seems to show that it may denote simply extending 
one's power, for Gog, who is there addressed, had not yet possessed the coun- 
tries which he was expecting to plunder. (3 iirio-Tijcrai does not imply that 
the translators read }>wb with Chr., cf. Is. I 26 <g. — inja] is sufficiently explicit 
without the addition of ms (Qre, Chr. and <!£). — 4. DWU) nwwyan *iSn] 
as the chariots are alluded to immediately after, it is probable that they were 
mentioned here. Chr. and @ agree in DMEHfi D^sSn nyaen aoi I^K, the first 
part of which meets the requirements of the case. The 7000 horses or horse- 
men are out of proportion to the chariots, so that probably the text is corrupt. 
It is surprising that if David took the foot soldiers prisoners we should not 
be told what he did with them, which is another reason for supposing that the 
original text is lost. npj? as in Arabic : he cut the hock tendon of an animal 
thus making it useless for riding. — 33in] must here mean the chariot horses. 
— 5. *om] the country is thought of as feminine. — 6. doxj] cf. 1 S. 13 3 . — 
7. >toSp] x^'Swyas © would apparently make them bracelets or armlets. None 
of the passages in which the word occurs can be said to be decisive, but the 
identification in d£ with the DUJD of I K. 14 26 would favour shields. In Ez. 27 11 
the same word is rendered by <& quivers which Symmachus has in the present 
text, whereas Aquila has here collars, cf. Field's note, Hexap. Origenis, I. 
p. 558. — ^N] read ty. — oS^w] + KaiX eAajSej/ avra ^ovaaKel/j. kt\. nearly all 
MSS. of @ and I. The addition is in line with some other notes which have 
found their way into the text of <t§, and is probably not original. — 8. n^c] 
Chr. nroSD : @ L MareBaK (of which <3 B Ma<r0d.K is probably a corruption) 
seems to confirm the reading of Chr. — Tnsm] pDDi Chr. : ko.1 4k rwv e/cAcKraiv 
@ perhaps reading mroDi. The name here reminds us of Beirut. — -\ne] 
+ "ui o^-nN hd 1 ?^ r\vy na Chr., contained also substantially in @ and I. The 
interest of the Chronicler in all things that pertain to the Temple accounts for 



308 2 SAMUEL 

his insertion of the sentence, and it has probably come from Chronicles into 
the Greek of Samuel. 

9. Tou, king of Hamath] an important city on the Orontes, 
probably capital of the Hittite kingdom. — 10. Hadoram his 
son] seems to be the more probable form of the name. The 
dignity of the ambassador shows the degree of honour paid by the 
mission. — To greet David and to congratulate him"] for his suc- 
cess, for Hadadezer had been an enemy of Tou] probably seeking 
to establish an independent kingdom in a country once tributary 
to Hamath. The ambassador brought an appropriate present of 
jewels and objects of art. — 11. These also the king dedicated to 
YahweK] quite in accord with antique custom. — 12. From 
Edom] is probably to be read. The other countries named in 
the verse we have already met. 

9. *jm] with Chr. we should probably read y;p : <g B Sovov, Thou %; but 
®acl (S^. — 10. D-\r] in which the first element might be the name of 
Yahweh. Chr.. however has Dinn and <S 'UBSovpdu which confirms Chr. to a 
certain extent, for <g B has 'lSovpadfx in Chr. — iyn mcnSc b»n] cf. "pDn s n wo* 
Is. 41 12 (Ezek. 27 10 is different). — 11. dj] indicates that other things had 
been spoken of as dedicated, which is not the case in our narrative. It is not 
unlikely therefore that this and the following verse are a late insertion (Bu.). 
— 12. [HMO] DTWO Chr. and <3% besides 11 MSS. of ^. As Aram is covered 
by the last clause of the verse, and as Edom belongs with Moab and Ammon, 
we should correct the text here accordingly. The fact that the conquest of 
Edom is narrated later, is only another evidence that these verses are an inser- 
tion from another document. 

13. The verse is obscure, and as the Chronicler makes the first 
part of it refer to Abishai instead of David, we cannot be sure 
what he read. That the account refers to Edom seems quite cer- 
tain. By slight emendation we may get : And David made a 
name on returning, in that he smote Edom, in the Valley of Salt] 
the location is brought into connexion with Edom again in 2 K. 
14 7 Ps. 60 2 . — 14. The treatment of Edom was the same as that 
of Aram. The remark that Yahweh delivered David wherever he 
went is evidently intended to conclude this account of his wars. 

13. mono lsao] but the reputation was not made on his return but by the 
smiting. <g connects B* "in wjm with what precedes and then goes on : ko) 
h t£ avaKoifjnrTeiv avjhv indra^ev = nan ta*31 The difficulty in supposing 
this to be original arises from the simplicity of nan which could hardly be cor- 



VIII. g-1 8 3^9 

rupted into miana I suspect therefore that we should read imana iara. 
Others have conjectured that a clause has fallen out after arm. Gratz ( Gesch. 

I. p. 255) makes a conflate text from this and the Chronicler. Th. inserts 
ohn nx t»i which is adopted by Erdm. and Keil, cf. also Kohler ( Gesch. A T. 

II. p. 288) who calls this the common hypothesis. We. adopts the reading of 
<g. _ D nx] read DTOt with Chr. 6&, 6 MSS. of % 

15-18. The administration. — David himself acted as chief 
executive and constantly administered judgment and justice to all 
his people. In connexion with what follows this can mean only 
that David acted as chief justice, and was accessible to the people 
as a monarch should be. — 16. Joab was over the army, and 
Jehoshaphat son of Ahiludwas the Recorder^ hardly the Chronicler 
who wrote the annals of the reign ; more likely the king's Monitor 
who kept him informed of the course of public business. — 
17. The priests here mentioned are evidently regarded as officers 
of the court. Zadok is not mentioned earlier, but Abiathar, whose 
name we should read in the second place, was the companion of 
David's wanderings, 1 S. 22 20 . Sousa seems to have been the 
name of the scribe. — 18. And Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over 
the Cherethites and the Pelethites~] that is, the body-guard. — And 
David's sons were priests^ there seems no reason to change the 
plain meaning of the word. 

16. *V3TD] on the meaning of the word cf. Jacob, " Beitrage ttt einer Ein- 
leitung in die Psaltnen," ZATW. 1897, P» 7& — 17. \>rv* is called here -p 
aiBTiN. Possibly the genealogy is based on the succession. We.'s conjecture, 
which leaves Zadok without a father, is not supported by any document. The 
same may be said of the transposition of inoN-p "^cnx which however seems 
necessary, for Abiathar acted as priest until the reign of Solomon. — -jSDTm] 
T^don Chr. is perhaps based on the difficulty just noted. — nntp] 'Aad 6 B : 
%f>aias <S L : HMP 20 26 (where we find 'Irjffovs <S B : ^.ovcrd © L ) : *VW I Chr. 
18 16 . The reading MVWr accounts most naturally for all the variations. Per- 
haps we should make the next word noiDn. — 18. 'mam] read with the paral- 
lel Tnsn by. @ in order to make sense inserts av/j.$ov\os. The endeavour to 
retain the received text, by taking 1 in the sense of dj? (Kimchi, Schm.), is 
unsuccessful. The Cherethites are known to us as Philistines from 1 S. 30 14 . 
The Pelethites who are mentioned only in connexion with the Cherethites 
cannot be certainly identified. That they constituted the body-guard of the 
king is apparently the mind of the Targum which translates archers and 
slingers. Cf. Josephus, Ant.YIl. II, 8. The Rabbinical expositors show their 
lack of historical sense when they find here the Sanhedrim or the Urim and 



310 2 SAMUEL 

Thummim (Isaaki and Kimchi cite this from our Rabbis but do not themselves 
approve it). More excusable is the theory of Jewish expositors that two clans 
of Israelites are intended (Isaaki, Kimchi, LbG.). But I S. 30 14 Ezek. 25 16 
Zeph. 2 5 seem conclusive as to the Philistines. We hear also of Gittites in 
David's service, and the custom of enlisting foreigners for the king's body- 
guard has prevailed down to recent times in many countries, for obvious 
reasons. — d^hd] the traditional exegesis has difficulty in supposing David's 
sons to be priests in the proper sense, for by the Levitical code none could be 
priests except descendants of Aaron. For this reason the Chronicler changes 
his text, substituting "i^nn yh D^Ptnn. Cf. also av\dpxai @. But there is no 
reason for departing from the plain meaning of our text. 

IX. -XX. David's court life. — We come now to a homogene- 
ous and continuous narrative of David's experiences from the time 
when he was firmly settled on the throne until near the close of his 
life. The author is evidently well informed and has an interest in 
presenting the history without bias. That he was not very remote 
in time from the events which he narrates is evident. The unity 
and integrity of the section, except some minor interpolations, is 
generally conceded. 

IX. 1-13. David's fidelity to Jonathan. — David inquires 
whether Jonathan has left any children. He learns of one son 
whom he brings to court and makes his companion, besides re- 
storing to him the family property. 

1. The opening of the verse is lost, or misplaced. Perhaps it 
should be taken from 7 1 : // came to pass when David was estab- 
lished in his house, that he said : Is there left of the house of Saul 
any to whom I may show kindness for the sake of Jonathan ? The 
question is as appropriate after the death of Ishbaal as after the 
revenge of the Gibeonites. — 2. Information is sought from a 
servant of the house of Saul, apparently a feudal dependent, whose 
name was Ziba. — 3. The king puts the question even more dis- 
tinctly than at first : Is there not a man belonging to the house of 
Saul?~\ and he avows his object more distinctly : that I may show 
the kindness of God~\ that to which he was bound by his solemn 
engagement, cf. 1 S. 20 14 . Ziba informs him of a son of Jonathan 
who was lame. — 4. To the king's further question Ziba says that 
he is in the house of Machir son of Ammiel, hi Lo-Debar] a. man 
of wealth and prominence, as we gather from 1 ^. The place was 



IX. i-i3 3ii 

beyond the Jordan, probably not far from Mahanaim. — 5, 6. In 
response to the king's command Meribbaal] on the name see the 
note on 4 4 , came to David and fell upon his face] the customary 
act of obeisance. — 7. Meribbaal has reason to fear, but is re- 
assured by David, who not only gives a general promise of kind 
treatment, but a specific one : I will restore to thee all the land of 
Saul thy father] whether this property was in possession of David 
as successor in the kingdom, or whether it had been seized by 
some one else, we are not told. Besides this, Meribbaal was made 
a member of the king's household : thou shall eat at my table con- 
tinually] this special mark of favour is the more noteworthy on 
account of Meribbaal's physical imperfection. — 8. The recogni- 
tion is sufficiently humble to satisfy even an oriental : What is thy 
servant that thou shouldst turn thy face to a dead dog such as 
I am f\ the man had doubtless been made to feel that he was a 
useless member of the family, and was all the more grateful for 
kind treatment. — 9, 10. David arranges that Ziba shall cultivate 
the land and bring its produce to Meribbaal for his support — 
presence at court would rather increase than diminish his ex- 
penditure. The extent of the estate is indicated by the force 
needed to cultivate it — Ziba's fifteen sons and twenty servants. — 
11. Ziba promises to obey all that the king commands. The 
second half of the verse cannot be correct as it stands. It seems 
originally to have been, in the form preserved by (3, the author's 
concluding remark : So Meribbaal ate at David's table like one 
of the sons of the king. 

12, 13. The verses seem to be an appendix, giving further 
information as to the line of Saul. It was represented by Merib- 
baal's son Micha. The glossator feels that he must again assure 
us that Meribbaal ate continually at the king's table though he was 
lame in both feet. 

1. By an ingenious conjecture, Kl. prefaces this chapter with 2I 1 " 14 , and 
this is adopted by Bu., so that in his edition we read the account of the 
famine and the consequent vengeance of the Gibeonites on the house of Saul, 
and then the story of David's remembrance of his obligation towards Jonathan. 
At first view this seems natural, and the impression is strengthened by the fact 
that we have an unusual p nnx at the end of 2i 14 which is easily made 
?3 Tm Tm and appropriately introduces 9 1 . But on reflection the probability 



312 2 SAMUEL 

of this being the original order is reduced. It seems doubtful whether David 
would wait until the evidently late date of 21 before making inquiry for the 
family of Jonathan. Budde, in order to his theory, is obliged to strike out 21 7 
which otherwise seems entirely in place. Finally, it is difficult to see how 
2 1 1-14 if it were ever the prelude to this chapter came to be dislocated. For 
these reasons it is not safe to accept the reconstruction here in mind; and we 
are compelled to seek another connexion for this chapter. By striking out 
the insertions from another document we find 9 1 following immediately on 
o^ 28 . At the first blush this seems not to be appropriate. David's quarrel with 
Michal would seem to stir up any but good thoughts towards the house of 
Saul. On the other hand we must remember that the author may have in- 
tended to show that the foolish words of a woman could not make David 
forget his obligations to Jonathan. And it would be psychologically probable 
that the unsympathetic behaviour of Michal should recall the contrasted char- 
acter of Jonathan her brother, and so put David on the thought of Jonathan's 
family. If this be the original order, it is probable that the opening phrase 
of 7, liraa *f?nn aa» >a irm once formed the introduction to the present sec- 
tion. — 2. "pap] it is not necessary to add the pronoun, as is done by @ B . — 

3. dtiSn non] cf. mm ion 1 S. 20 14 . It is difficult to suppose the meaning to 
be kindness such as God shows. More probably, it is the kindness imposed by 
God in the obligation of the oath. At the end of this verse, Bu. inserts 4 4b 
which gives the cause of the lameness. It is doubtful however whether the 
verse ever stood here, as the brevity of Ziba's answers seems characteristic. — 

4. nan V?] AaSajSap <g, is called in 17 27 -\:n n 1 ? and (as it appears) in Jos. 
13 26 is called naV?. — 6. nra^co] 4 4 . The mutilation of the name has been 
already commented on. — Wtnani] in <g L placed before "raw. — 8. ^srhv"] 1 S. 
20 29 cf. Jud. I 7 and Moore's note. — 10. "pmt-pV] els top oIkov rod Kvpiov 
<tov <& L is an attractive emendation; with it goes Ka\ <pdyovrai for bsm. By 
adopting this we avoid the awkwardness of |$. That the family of Meribbaal 
should eat of the produce of his land is quite in order. — 11. The sentence 
1J1 ntraioDi is entirely unintelligible as a part of Ziba's response to the king. 
The change of •"jnSc to mensam tuam made by some MSS. of 3L would allow 
us to interpret it as a part of Ziba's answer. But in his mouth it is wholly 
superfluous. It seems best therefore to restore the reading of <5£ AB iw\ rijs 
rpairefyis AavelS (toD fSa<ri\ect>s <§ L ), and regard the sentence as a remark of the 
author. Such a remark is the natural conclusion of the account, and what fol- 
lows must be an afterthought. — 12. nd^o] the spelling makes it difficult to 
suppose the name contracted from VP3»B. It seems to be of the same form 
with sa^x v. 2 , cf. also H'vy 20 26 . Jastrow (JBL. XIII. p. 112) cites Jerome's 
suggestion that the name signifies humilitas, from jm. — 13. /_ i TO nDo Nini] 
the fact that we have a change from cSji hdj of v. 3 is additional evidence that 
these two verses are a later addition. 

X.-XII. The Ammonite war and David's adultery. — On 

occasion of a change in the throne of Amnion, David sends an 



x. i-4 313 

embassy to the new monarch. Their reception is anything but 
agreeable, and the insult offered in the ambassadors to their 
monarch is naturally followed by war. The war is made more 
serious by the engagement of the Syrians on the side of Ammon. 
Joab successfully repulses the Syrians and lays siege to Rabbath 
Ammon. David remains in Jerusalem, where, under sudden 
temptation, he commits adultery with the wife of Uriah, one of 
the knights of his army. In order to conceal his crime he 
sends for Uriah, and after consulting him about the state of the 
army, sends him to his house. Uriah however refuses to indulge 
in luxuries not suited to a soldier, and twice spends the night in 
the open air. The straits into which David is brought lead him 
to order the indirect murder of Uriah. His commands are car- 
ried out by Joab, and he takes Bathsheba as his wife. The birth 
of her son is followed by a visit from the prophet Nathan, who 
rebukes David for his sin and announces the punishment. In 
truth the son born of adultery is taken ill, lingers awhile and dies. 
The author also tells us of the birth of Solomon from the same 
mother. The siege of Rabba is concluded by David in person. 

The section is suspected of expansion in the Nathan speeches, 
and shows some indications of compilation from two sources. 

X. 1-5. The insult. — Nahash, king of the Children of Ammon, 
is the same we have met above, iS.ii 1 . As we do not know the 
length of Saul's reign, nor at what time in the reign of David his 
death took place, it is impossible to predicate extraordinary length 
of his life. — 2. David, recognizing what Nahash had done for 
him, sent to condole with Hanun concerning his father. Possibly 
Nahash, as an enemy of Saul, had given aid to David in his early 
struggles. — 3. The princes of Ammon, with Bedawish scorn for 
the peasant king, provoke the suspicions of their chief : Dost thou 
think that David is honouring thy father that he has sent bearers 
of condolence ? The interested motive is found in the office of 
these messengers as spies. David's treatment of Moab and Edom 
gave colour at least to the suspicion of his ambitious designs. — 
4. With the lack of seriousness so often seen in a youthful prince 
(as in the case of Rehoboam) Hanun was ready to act upon these 
suspicions. He took the messengers and shaved half their beard'] 



3H 2 SAMUEL 

the person of an ambassador should be inviolate. Moreover the 
beard is held in especial honour in the East : and cut their robes 
in two to their buttocks'] the long flowing robes of the ambassa- 
dors were thus reduced to less than decency required. — 5. The 
news reached David and he judiciously advised them to remain at 
Jericho, the frontier city, until the growth of their beards should 
allow them to return without being subject to annoyance. 

1. pop ^2 "jVd] the Chronicler prefixes vn: which we should certainly 
expect at the beginning of the account. Chr. (19 1 ) on the other hand omits 
pjn. It seems to me the name is required in both cases. <JI however has the 
same text with |^. — 2. 1*3»H?m] ion hy Chr. is more in accord with usage, 
cf. Jer. 16 7 . — 3. Is David honouring thy father in thine eyes ?~\ the meaning 
is : Does it seem to thee that David is doing this for his alleged purpose ? On 
the participle, Dr. Tenses*, § 135, 4. — Tyrm* V n "»W3] as the fortified 
city was of great importance, it is here put in the foreground. Chr. makes a 
general reference to the land. — 4. Instead of half their beards, (3 puts their 
beards. — DTWirW*W] the shameful nakedness of captives is described in the 
term WWOT Is. 20 4 . — 5. dp:j&>i] the regular consecution after the impera- 
tive, Davidson, Syntax, § 55 a. 

6-14. The opening of the war. — The Ammonites saw that 
they had made themselves of bad odour with David] as we readily 
conceive. — They therefore hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob] a. 
city in the Lebanon (Antilebanon) region, Num. 13 21 , near Dan 
Jd. 18 28 . Zobah is known to us from 8 3 . It is possible that 
Hadadezer was originally mentioned in this verse as he is there. 
Maacah another small kingdom in the same region, Dt. 3 14 Jos. 
13 11 . Tob is probably the country mentioned in Jd. n 3 , but has 
not been identified. — 8. The Ammonites formed their order of 
battle before the gate — we naturally suppose the gate of Rabbah 
— while the Syrians drew up by themselves in the open country] 
Joab was thus between two fires. — 9. Discovering this, he felt 
that the defeat of the Syrians was the important point, and with a 
picked force he threw himself upon them. — 10. The bulk of the 
army he put under the command of Abishai, and they drew up 
facing the Children of Ammon. — 11, 12. Joab encourages his 
brother with the promise of mutual help, and exhorts him to show 
himself strong for the sake of our people and for the cities of our 
God] the latter phrase is unusual. — 13, 14. The plan was that 



X. 4-14 315 

Joab should make the first attack while Abishai held the Ammon- 
ites in check. The onset was successful j the Syrians fled : The 
Ammonites saw that the Syrians had fled, and they fled and 
entered the city] they had kept a place of retreat open. The 
conclusion of the verse : And Joab returned from the Ammonites 
and came to Jerusalem] marks the close of this campaign. 

6. nvo v^N^j] cf. i S. 13 6 . 1 Chr. 19 6 substitutes -en oy HMOPn. Moore 
{Judges, p. 399) conjecturally identifies Beth Rehob with Paneas. The fact 
that Hadadezer is mentioned in v. 16 without any introduction favours Budde's 
theory (RS. p. 250) that he was originally named in this verse, and further 
probability is given by the mention of the king of Maacah. — die] can hardly 
be Taiyyibeh in Gilead (GASmith and Buhl). The small number of troops 
sent from Maacah leads We. to suppose wx tfix to be an interpolation and 
he thus gets the king of Maacah and Ishtob. Kl. makes a further change by 
striking out the conjunction, and so finds the name of the king to be Ishtob. 
There seems however no sufficient reason for departing from the text. The 
Chronicler makes the unheard-of force of 32,000 chariots and the king of 
Maacah and his people. He also adds that the allies came and camped before 
Medeba which is adopted without sufficient reason by KL; v. 8 is decidedly 
against it. — 7. onajn K3*rH?a] we might perhaps allow the apposition : the 
army, the heroes. But this is an unusual construction, and here especially 
suspicious because all the army naturally means the militia in distinction from 
the veteran force of Dnaj. Chr. has omsjn nux S3 which is evidently intended 
for all the army of heroes, though the punctuators perversely read X3V. <§> L also 
has iraaav tt)u aTpanav t&v dvuaTwv with which agree S6MM* I suspect how- 
ever that either N^xn or Dnajn is a later insertion. Gratz conjectures *osn 
trnaim. The subsequent account shows that more than the standing army 
was engaged. — 8. "ypV7\ nns] *vj?n nno Chr. <5I L . Such substitutions are not 
uncommon. — 9. Sn-«J"3 nwa] the construct before a preposition undoubt- 
edly occurs, Davidson, Syntax, 28, R. I, but as the Chronicler has Sioe"3 ~nna 
it seems proper to correct our text accordingly. <S L seems to point to ya "nna 
^mr whereas 4§ B renders Sntz" mm. — 10. i'^on] here only, in Samuel. — 
•pjri] the plural is found in Chr. and <g B , but is not necessary. It would 
be proper in English also to say Abishai drezv up before the Ammonites. — 
12. U*n*?n nj?] occurs nowhere else and is inappropriate here, for the cities of 
Yahweh were not in danger. There is ground therefore for Kl.'s conjecture 
(adopted by Bu.) that the Ark of our God originally stood here. The Ark 
went with the army on a subsequent campaign as we know. — 13, 14. The 
account is very brief and was probably once fuller. 

15-19. A second campaign. — Our present text contains the 
account of an effort on the part of the Syrians to retrieve them- 
selves. The paragraph breaks the sequence of the narrative how- 



316 2 SAMUEL 

ever, and is possibly from another source. There seems no room 
for it in the time at our disposition, and the bringing in of the 
Syrians from beyond the river shows a conception of the situation 
different from anything we have met above. 

15, 16. The consciousness of defeat caused the Syrians to take 
joint measures — they gathered together, and Hadadezer sent and 
brought out the Syrians beyond the River] the Euphrates is meant. 
The face of the narrative indicates that his authority extended 
into Assyria, unless we suppose that he simply applied for assist- 
ance to the king of that country. — They came to Helarn] the 
place, which is mentioned again in the next verse, is unknown. — 
17. David musters all Israel and takes the offensive. — 18. The 
result was a decisive defeat for the Syrians. It is difficult to 
suppose that the clause he slew seven hundred chariots is original, 
though perhaps it may be justified by the analogy of 8 4 where 
David is said to have hamstrung all the chariots. The enormous 
number of 40,000 horsemen is suspicious, especially in view of the 
fact that this author does not speak of footmen at all, while Chr. 
has 7000 chariots and 40,000 footmen. — 19. This verse, by speak- 
ing of all the kings, servants of Hadadezer, implies that Hadadezer 
was chief ruler, having subject monarchs. This is in contradiction 
to 8 9 where his sovereignty is limited by the kingdom of Hamath. 
— They made peace with Israel] cf. Jos. io 1,4 . 

15-19. The later insertion of the paragraph is affirmed by Winckler ( Gesch. 
Israels, p. 139). More exactly, he believes that v. 19b joins directly to v. 14 . — 
16. The presence of Hadadezer, which has not been intimated before, is 
another argument for the separate origin of the paragraph. The current 
editions of the text have Hadarezer here, as in Chr. But the Mantua edition 
of 1742 (with the Minchath Skat), Baer, and Ginsburg have Hadadezer as 
elsewhere in Samuel. — dVti] rendered their army by Thenius is doubtless the 
same proper name which occurs just below — so (&&1&. If Cornill is correct 
in restoring the same name in Ezek. 47 16 , it was on the boundary line between 
the territories of Hamath and Damascus. On the other hand, it has been 
identified by Hoffmann (Phon. Inschriften, p. 39) with Aleppo (Haleb). For 
"pvz> Chr. has "\qw. — 17. hdnSp] a different spelling of the name. It is 
omitted by Chr. — 18. .nnii] the objects of this verb seem always to be things 
that have life — the vine Ps. 78 47 is no exception. The 7000 chariots of the 
Chronicler are in line with some other exaggerations of his. — Smrvn* )C s £"i] 
as in Jos. io 1 4 , whereas Chr. substitutes D? for HK, like 1 K. 22 46 . The clause 



X. i 5 -XI. s 317 

and they feared to deliver the Ammonites seems superfluous after the Syrians 
have become subject to Israel, and was possibly the original conclusion of v. 14 . 

XL 1-5. David's sin. — The author has enclosed the account 
of David's sin between portions of the history of the Ammonite 
war, 11 1 being continued by 12 26 . The time and the circumstances 
agree so well, that we must suppose him to follow the actual order 
of events. — 1. The time seems to be fixed at a year after the 
embassy to Hanun. The return of the season was a fitting time 
to refresh the king's memory of the insult. Joab and the army 
therefore laid waste the Ammonites in the well-known method of 
oriental warfare, where the growing crops are eaten off by the 
invaders. The campaign in this case was more than a raid, for 
the Israelites laid siege to Rabba the chief city of Ammon. The 
ruins (or town, it has recently received a Circassian colony, ac- 
cording to GASmith, Geog. p. 20) still bear the name Amman; 
cf. Burckhardt, Travels in Syria, p. 356; Baedeker, Palestine 2 , 
p. 185 f The site is about twenty miles east of the Jordan, east 
by north from Jericho. The siege of a walled town was a tedious 
matter, so that David can hardly be blamed for remaining at 
Jerusalem. — 2. One afternoon David arose from his siesta and 
walked on the roof of the palace] which, being on the highest 
point of the city, commanded a view of the courts of the sur- 
rounding houses. Thence he saw a woman bathing. — 3. To his 
inquiry one said : Is not this Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam] ac- 
cording to 23 s4 he was a son of the well-known Ahitophel ; the 
wife of Uriah the Hittite~] one of the foreigners in David's service. 
— 4. David sends for her and gratifies his passion, for she was 
cleansed from her impurity] the remark is added to show why 
conception followed. — 5. She relied upon the king to find a way 
out of the difficulty. 

1. D'onSdh] is vocalized as though it were coScn and so read by Chr. 
(1 Chr. 20 1 ) and the versions. The clause is then supposed to mean eo 
tempore quo solent reges ad bella procedere %. But if this be the meaning, it 
is obscurely expressed, for the ad bella, which gives the point, is not repre- 
sented in %%. The interpretation seems especially unfortunate, in that the 
example of David shows that kings did not regularly go out to war, but some- 
times sent their armies. We might suppose indeed that there is a covert con- 
demnation of David for not doing as kings (on this theory) usually do. But this 



3lS 2 SAMUEL 

seems far fetched. The supposition of Kimchi therefore claims attention which 
is that the time designated is the season of the year when the kings [of Syria] 
made their invasion. If however we go so far, it is better to accept the Kiib 
□"OnVdh and understand at the season of the year when the messengers of David 
first went forth. This interpretation was suggested by Gratz ; Gesch. d. fuden, 
I. p. 254) and is adopted by Kl. — 2. laatPD tyo] it is assumed that he usually 
took an afternoon sleep. — -jVnrpi] Gen. 3 s . — Bathsheba is called in 1 Chroni- 
cles, 3 5 , Sn^dj? na jn^-na, where the 3 has been softened into 1,* and the two 
elements of the name DySx have been transposed. — nniN] we naturally 
interpret the name as meaning Yahweh is my light. If that be the sense, we 
may suppose that the Hittite adopted a new name or modified his old one, on 
entering David's service. On such names, cf. Jastrow, JBL. XIII. p. 122. — 
4. nnxctOD nanpnD nth] cannot mean and she purified herself by ablution after 
coition, which would require ttnpnni. The participle indicates what had just 
been accomplished by the bath at her house — ritual cleansing after the peri- 
odic sickness (Isaaki, Kimchi). That such a time was favourable to concep- 
tion was known to the Arabs at an early day, cf. WRSmith, Kinship, p. 276. 
The conceit of the Rabbis that David's men divorced their wives before going 
on a campaign, is a device to minimize David's guilt. 

6-13. The attempt at concealment. — David sent to the army 
for Uriah. — 7. And when Uriah came, David asked about Joab 
and the army and the war, as if he had sent for him in order 
to be informed about the campaign. — 8. At the end of the 
interview, David commands : Go to thy house and wash thy feet'] 
refresh thyself after thy journey. — And there followed him a por- 
tion from the king] Gen. 43 s4 . — 9. But Uriah lodged at the gate 
of the palace with his lord's servants, that is, the body-guard. — 
10, 11. Uriah, on being questioned, gives the chivalrous answer : 
The Ark and Israel and Judah are camping in booths, and my 
lord Joab and my lord's servants are camping in the open fields, 
and I should go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my 
wife / The statement of the supposition is enough to show its 
absurdity. But he adds his oath. It is altogether probable that 
women were taboo to soldiers in active service, 1 S. 21 6 . This is 
the only intimation that the Ark was carried in David's campaigns, 
but from the fact that the priests start to carry it in the train which 

* On the other hand it is possible that jna>, which we find in some other proper 
names, is the original form ; notice Shua, Abishua, Elishua, and fehoshua. These . 
names seem to indicate that ym was the name of a divinity, and this would account 
for the change. 



XI. 6-2i 3^0 

leaves Jerusalem at Absalom's invasion, taken in connexion with 
this passage, we may infer that the practice was not uncommon. — 
12. Another attempt must be made, so Uriah is kept another day. 
— 13. This time the king invited him and he ate in his presence 
and drank, so that he made him drunk] in the hope that the wine 
would cause him to forget his resolution. But the sturdy soldier 
was not so to be overcome : In the evening he went out to lie on 
his couch with the soldiers] egregius sane miles et constantissimus 
(Schm.). 

6. After 3KT»"Sn (3 inserts ienS perhaps correctly, though the presumption 
is in favour of the shorter text. — 7. ncnVDn diS^Si] seems a little odd. But it 
shows how jyhv had taken a very wide meaning. — 8. *|St:n niOPC] the hing's 
present in this case was, no doubt, a dish from the royal table. — 9. So] lack- 
ing in (S B , is superfluous. — 10. Uriah's house lay at a lower level than that 
of the king, hence his going down to it is spoken of. — 11. moo] are rude 
shelters, huts or booths, made of branches of trees. For an instance of devo- 
tion among Mohammed's followers similar to that of Uriah, 1 may be allowed 
to refer to my Bible and Islam, p. 19. — "]£>dj to -pn] is tautological, and 
perhaps one of the phrases is an error for mrp >n. — 12. mriEDi] is by most 
recent expositors connected with what follows, in agreement with @ L . But I 
cannot see the necessity. Only two nights are spoken of. The principal 
meal was in the evening, as we gather from v. 8 . There is no reason why 
David should not invite Uriah that day. — 13. K"V>m] continues the narrative 
without pause : Uriah remained . . . and the king invited him. 

14-27. The murder. — Despairing of accomplishing his object, 
David plans the death of Uriah. — 14, 15. He writes a letter in 
which he commands Joab : Set Uriah in face of the heaviest fight- 
ing and retreat, leaving him in the lurch, that he may be smitten 
and die. — 16. Joab, in posting the besiegers, set Uriah where he 
knew there were valiant men] according to the command given. 
— 17. A sortie was made and there fell some of the soldiers of 
David, and Uriah the Hiftite died also] the device was successful 
at the first attempt. — 18, 19. Joab sends a verbal report. He 
anticipates that the general news will not be pleasing to the king. 
Possibly the king's prudence had before this come into conflict 
with Joab's rashness. — 20, 21. Joab is made to put a somewhat 
extended speech in the mouth of David, which reflects the opinion 
of the narrator rather than that of Joab or of David. There 
seems no reason to suppose however that the verse is a later inter- 



320 a SAMUEL 

polation. Our author may well have been acquainted with the 
story of Abimelech, which belongs to one of our oldest documents. 
The example of his death may have been proverbial among He- 
brew soldiers, and have given a rule concerning the attack on 
walled towns. These are only possibilities, but, so far as they go, 
they favour the originality of 21a . Did not a woman throw a mill- 
stone upon hi?n from the wall? cf. Jd. g 53 . Joab realizes that the 
news of Uriah's death will appease the king and, according to 3^, 
takes no special care to disguise the fact from the messenger. @ L 
has here the whole of the messenger's reply as given in 23f> , which 
does in fact disguise the main point ; see the critical note. — 
22. The text of f^ has been shortened to avoid repetition. This 
is in accordance with the taste of a later time. The older writers 
did not hesitate to repeat themselves. Restore therefore in accord- 
ance with (§ : And the messenger of Joab went to the king in Jeru- 
salem, and came and told David all that Joab commanded him, all 
the news of the war. And David } s anger burned against Joab, 
and he said] there follow the exact words anticipated by Joab, 
which need not be repeated. — 23. The reply of the messenger : 
The men were bold against us and came out to us in the field, and 
we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. — 24. Continuation 
of the account : The soldiers of David in the heat of the pursuit 
came within range of the archers on the wall, and there died of 
the king's servants about eighteen men, and also thy servant Uriah 
the Hittite is dead~\ thus expressed, the mention of Uriah comes 
quite naturally, as he was a prominent soldier. The eighteen ?nen 
are given in only one recension of (&, but seem to be original. — 
25. David is relieved by this statement, and he commands the 
messenger to encourage Joab : Let not this matter displease thee, 
for the sword devours thus and thus] so we must translate on the 
ground of Jd. i8 4 i K. 14 5 . The meaning seems to be : now one 
and now another falls, so that this is only the common experience. 
At the end of the verse the received text has and strengthen him, 
that is, encourage Joab. The word is possibly a scribe's after- 
thought. — 26. The woman observed the usual period of mourn- 
ing for her husband.* — 27. As soon as this was over, David sent 

* Seven days according to Schwnllv, 7 A T\Y. 1892 153. 



XI. 2I-XII. 321 

and brought her to his house, and she became his wife. Marriage 
very soon after the death of a consort is common in the East, so 
that this haste did not violate the conventions. The case of Abi- 
gail is similar. The last clause of the verse : But the thing which 
David had done was evil in the eyes of Yahweh belongs with what 
follows. 

15. on] here apparently used like Uf». But the original may have been 
Nan (Kl.) : eiadyaye @ B . — 16. -ncso] not in observing the city, but in keep- 
ing guard over it, which was the work of the besiegers. We hear nothing 
of battering-rams or mines, so that we conclude the city was to be reduced by 
starvation. — n*y?H?H] -pprrnN which is found in some MSS. seems better, but 
'n-Sy would be better still. — 21. neov] another instance of the mutilation 
of a name because it contained the word Baal. <g L has 'Upo&odA which 
<S B has corrupted to 'Upofiod/j.. — msNi] Instead of the brief reply Uriah also 
is dead, <J5 L inserts here the whole explanation of the situation as given in 
«■ 24 : the men were bold against us, etc. The case is similar to that in v. 22 , 
where <S inserts David's speech as Joab expected him to make it. The argu- 
ments for the originality of the plus here seem to be the same as there, except 
that the outward attestation is weaker. On the whole the probability seems 
to be on the side of <S L . — 22. For "|M7D?i : 6 ayyeAos 'laafi irpbs rbv @acrt\ea 
(Is 'lepov<ra\-fiiJ. (f§. — 3NV] irdvTa to ^"fi/xara rod noKefiOv. Kal £dvp.<i)Qr) AavtlS 
wpbs 'lwd$ ktA. <&. The genuineness of this additional matter is recognized 
by Th., We., Dr., Bu., Kl., Ki. — 23. xpby nsj] can hardly be so strong as 
prevailed over us. The garrison had made a sally. That they had mustered 
up courage to do this is the point of the story. — an>Sy n-riji] seems to mean 
we drove them back : <rvvrj\d<rafjL€t/ 4§ lj . Possibly the original reading was dif- 
ferent, but if so it cannot certainly be recovered. We should expect at least 
onnnN. — 24. cn-mdh in-pi] confusion of rt and rw, cf. Ges. 26 , 75 rr. — 
"iSnn napo] © L adds uati &vhpes Se/ca Kal 6ktu>. It is difficult to see why any 
one should insert the words if they were not original, while a scribe who was 
concerned with the fate of Uriah alone might leave them out. — 25. ns-n - ;^] 
grammatically the nominative to jrr ; but the speaker has in mind the logical 
force of the phrase, in which "O^n is the object of the emotion indicated in 
the verb, Ges. 26 , 117/, Davidson, Syntax, 72 R 4. — vipim] comes in awk- 
wardly after the command to Joab, and is lacking in <g L as well as a number 
of MSS. 

XII. l-15 a . The rebuke of Nathan. — The prophet, being sent 
to David by Yahweh, puts his conduct before him by recounting a 
feigned case of trespass. David is convicted of sin and professes 
repentance. He is assured of forgiveness, but at the same time 
the evils which are to come upon him for his sin are predicted. 



322 2 SAMUEL 

It is doubtful whether the piece is of the same origin with what 
precedes and follows. If we leave it out, we get a very good con- 
nexion, joining n 2 ™ directly to i2 15b : The thing was evil in the 
sight of Yahweh, and Yahweh smote the child which the wife of 
Uriah bore to David. There is nothing unreasonable in supposing 
that the early narrative was content with pointing out that the 
anger of Yahweh was evidenced by the death of the child. A later 
writer was not satisfied with this, but felt that there must be a 
specific rebuke by a direct revelation. It is possible also that the 
incident of Nathan has itself been worked over, as will be seen in 
the course of the exposition. 

1. Nathan appears ostensibly with a case for the king's judg- 
ment, a flagrant case of oppression of the poor by the rich. — 
2, 3. The rich man had many sheep and cattle, but the poor man 
had nothing but one little ewe latnb which he had bought; he fed 
it and it grew up with him and with his children] such pet lambs 
are frequently seen in the houses of the poor in Syria. 7/ used to 
eat of his morsel and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom] the 
preciousness of the single pet made it, in fact, like a daughter. — 
4. The occasion of the tragedy was the coming of a traveller. 
The duty of hospitality is imperative. But the rich man spared 
his own, and took the lamb of the poor man and prepared it for 
the man who had just come] similar cases were doubtless common 
enough, and a part of the king's work is to judge the cause of the 
oppressed. — 5. The statement of the case was enough: By the 
life of Yahweh the man that did this is worthy of death] it does 
not appear that David would actually sentence him to death, i S. 
20 31 26 16 . — 6. And he shall restore the lamb sevenfold] reading 
with (g B . 

1. jru] <S£> and 3 MSS. of ffi add nojh. The insertion of such explicative 
words is generally secondary, but at the opening of this section the word 
seems necessary. After V? <§ L adds: 'A-rrdyyeiKou 5Vj /xot r\)v Kpiaiv Tavryv, 
which is represented also in I, whence it passed over into many MSS. of %. 
It is not necessary to the sense (as is affirmed by Kl.) and can be explained 
as a scribe's insertion, though it is adopted by Ew. and Kl. — trto] another 
case of irregular insertion of s. — 2. "viryS] There seems to be no reason for 
this punctuation; the article is necessary to the sense, as we see from mjl of 
the next verse. — 3. n>m] as in Is. 7 21 . — ^oNn] the tense in this and the two 
following verbs expresses customary action. — 4. "|Sn] as We. points out, the 



xii. i-H 3 2 3 

parallel is close to the use of out word visit — there came a visit to the rich 
man . — "vjyjjn bmjo] there are cases enough of the anarthrous noun in such 
a phrase to justify the punctuation. — ni^S] the same verb is used of Abra- 
ham's preparing a calf for his guests, Gen. 18 7 . — 6. D^nya-m] ktrrairXaalova 
(gB ai. # r phe change to ^ was made to bring David's ruling into line with the 
law of theft, Ex. 21 37 (Th.) . — hvn-ah -wh Sjn] Schill proposes (ZATW. XI. 
p. 318) to change nS to h' t making the sense: and spared his own. The 
received text however seems to make fairly good sense. 

7. The application : Thou art the man] for the sake of dis- 
tinctness (3 adds who has done this. But the shorter text is more 
vigorous. The following speech sets forth the obligation imposed 
by Yahweh's benefits. David was the rich man. — 8. I gave thee 
thy master's house and thy master's wives into thy bosom] we have 
no other indication that David possessed the harem of Saul. But, 
according to the law of succession, they were his by right. And 
if this were too little I would add as much again] the reference is 
evidently to the wives, first from the form of the pronoun, secondly 
because it was the abundance in wives which formed the contrast 
between David's wealth and Uriah's poverty. — 9, 10. Why hast 
thou despised Yahweh] the giver of so much good, in doing that 
which was evil in his eyes'] Yahweh is the protector of the op- 
pressed. The logical ending of the question is the last clause of 
v. 10 : and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife ? 
This is the crime that is set forth in the parable. The present 
text has been expanded by a double reference to the murder 
of Uriah, and by the threat that the sword shall not turn from 
David's house forever, an inappropriate prediction. — 11. The 
prophetic discourse takes a fresh start, denouncing a punishment 
in kind : / will take thy tvives before thine eyes and will give them 
to thy neighbour] the evident reference is to Absalom's conduct 
in taking possession of his father's concubines. — 12. The pun- 
ishment should be as public as the crime had been secret. — 

13. David, convicted by the prophet's presentation, confesses his 
guilt. He is assured : Yahweh has caused thy sin to pass away] 
it is misleading to translate has forgiven. The sin rested upon 
David and would work death for him. Yahweh took it away so 
that he should not die, but it wrought the death of the child. — 

14. Nevertheless, because thou hast scorned Yahweh in this thing, 



324 2 SAMUEL 

the child that is born to thee shall surely die] the text has been 
altered to avoid reading an offensive expression. — 15 a . The 
visit of Nathan, or rather the account of it, is concluded. 

7. a^Nnj <j irorfiaas rovro is added by <&. — nirv -icnto] Bu. supposes these 
words with what follows to the word U'Jfa in v. 9 , to be a later expansion, so 
that the original connexion was : Thou art the man ! Uriah the Hittite hast 
thou slain. But this spoils the parable. It was not the murder that was the 
point of the parable, but the rape of the neighbour's darling. It is indeed 
explicable that this should be lost sight of in a measure when the author inter- 
poses a rehearsal of Yahweh's benefits. Had he proceeded at once to the 
specification of the crime, he would have put the adultery in the foreground. 
But while this accounts for the order of the clauses in the text, it would not 
justify omission of the adultery from the accusation. — 8. -pj-ix po'.in] to. 
iravTa tov nvpiov <rov @ l : "]no rus &. It is possible that there was originally 
a reference to Michal, the daughter of Saul, as is supposed by Kl. — n>:rnN 
mvw ^n-w] as njru at the end of the verse palpably refers to the wives of 
David, there is strong reason to think that <S has here preserved the original 
reading, the daughters of Israel and Judah. David had not been slow to take 
of these as wives and concubines. Geiger classes this among the intentional 
changes of the scribes, and We.'s protest seems to be based on modern rather 
than ancient feeling. — 9. '" tai pn] probably we should read '« hn with <S L 
and Theodotion (Nestle). At the conclusion of the speech we expect the 
crime which is set forth in the parable to be most prominently mentioned. 
The received text gives however : Uriah thou hast slain with the sword, his 
wife thou hast taken as thy wife, and him thou hast slain with the szvord of 
the Ammonites. This is confusing from its double mention of the murder, as 
well as its reversal of the true order. As the next verse comes back to the 
crime with the emphasis upon the rape, I suspect that verse to have preserved 
to us the original ending of this one in the words "m npm, which would be the 
proper continuation of v. 9 after w$2. — 11, 12. The punishment here threat- 
ened does not seem to be within the plan of the original author of this section. 
He saw the punishment of David's sin in the death of the child. This was 
inflicted even after David's repentance. It is surprising therefore that after 
the repentance this punishment (Absalom's insult) should not be alluded to. 
Either it also should be made a part of the exemplary chastisement, or it 
should be remitted. The inconsistency of the present recension is obvious, 
and I suspect that vv. 1L 12 are a later insertion. The original train of thought 
dealt somewhat mildly with David : he had indeed taken his neighbour's 
wife, and by his own judgment deserved death; but his repentance secured his 
reprieve; the sentence was commuted to the death of the child. This was too 
mild for a later editor, who worked over W as already shown. — 14. rxs; 
m.T> ":rN~nN] The verb nowhere means cause to blaspheme. The only sense 
appropriate here is indicated by the »jn?a of v. 10 . The insertion of o'N was 



XII. 14-24 325 

made to prevent repetition of an apparently blasphemous phrase in the public 
reading (Geiger, Urschrift, p. 267), cf. a similar instance 1 S. 25 251 . 

15 b -25. The death of the child. — The well-known account 
needs but little comment. As already indicated, the half verse 15b 
seems to have joined originally to 1 1 27 : Yahweh was displeased 
with the thing which David had done, and smote the child . . . 
and it became sick. — 16. David does not show any indication 
that the doom of the child had been pronounced by the prophet : 
David besought God for the boy and fasted strictly] the afflicting 
oneself was to move the pity of Yahweh. During all the time of 
the illness, he came in and lay on the earth] we naturally suppose 
in sackcloth as (@ L reads, and we naturally suppose also that it was 
before Yahweh, though this is rendered doubtful by v. 20 . 17. His 
courtiers, the elders of his house, stood over him as he lay on the 
ground to raise him up] the Sheikhs of the family naturally had 
large influence with the king. — 18. On the seventh day the crisis 
of the disease was reached, and the child died. — And the officers 
of David were afraid to tell him] by a very natural course of 
reasoning : how shall we say : the child is dead, so that he will 
do some harm ?] something desperate, as we may paraphrase. — 
19. The effect was not what they anticipated : David saw that his 
courtiers were whispering together and perceived that the child was 
dead. — 20. The fact that he came to the house of Yahweh and 
worshipped after changing his clothes indicates that his fasting 
had not been there. — 21. The officers find his conduct strange : 
While the child was yet alive thou didst fast and weep, but when 
the child died thou didst rise up and eat bread] the fullest expres- 
sion of grief (fasting and weeping) generally comes when death 
has occurred. — 22. The explanation is that by fasting and weep- 
ing he hoped to move Yahweh : Who knoweth whether Yahweh 
will have mercy and so the child will live ?] where we should say 
in English : whether Yahweh may not have mercy. — 23. But the 
event has declared itself: Why is it that I should fast? Am I 
able to bring him back ? I am journeying to him, but he will not 
return to me] some sort of continued existence in Sheol seems to 
be implied. — 24. Bathsheba bears a second child who receives 
the name Solomon. Whether the name means the peaceful is im- 



326 2 SAMUEL 

possible to say. From this narrative we should rather conjecture 
recompense, the child which replaces the one taken away. — 

25. The verse should include the last two words of v. 24 : And 
Yahweh loved him and sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet 
and called his name Jedidiah~\ that is : the Beloved of Yahweh. 
The phrase at the end of the verse is probably to be corrected 
to : by the ivord of Yahweh. 

16. N3i] the tense indicates his constant custom during this period. — 
33ttn jSi] <S B has only one of the two verbs, whereas <J5 L (with a number of 
Greek MSS.) has koX inddevoev iv canny = pra f>\ The same reading is 
probably that of I because Ambrose gives in cilicio jacuit (cited by Sabatier), 
and the Codex Legionensis has et dormivit in cilicio. This ancient attesta- 
tion makes the reading important, and its internal probability is evident. — 
21. ti "Vj»n "wapa] is retained by Dr. who translates on account of the child 
when alive. We. had however acutely conjectured that the original reading 
was 71 "npa, and this is confirmed by <g L and C, as well as by the following 
verse. — 22. \jjrv] the correction of the Qre ("'Jjni) is unnecessary, as re- 
marked by Dr. — 24. N-\pM] N-ipni Qre is unnecessary. — 25. w "ttajD] can 
hardly be correct. We must read mm -o-q with <§ L and one Hebrew edition 
(Cappel, Crilica Sacra, p. 265). J5IL add iani(. 

26-31. The account of the siege of Rabba is resumed. — 

26. Joab takes the water city] apparently a fortification built to 
protect the fountain which still flows at Amman. — 27, 28. Joab, 
in sending the news, prefers that his king should have the glory : 
Gather the rest of the people and camp against the city and take it, 
lest I take the city and it be called by my name] as Jerusalem had 
received the name City of David. — 29. The advice is carried 
out, and David captures the city. — 30. And he took the crown 
of Milcom] the chief god of the Ammonites, from his head, and 
the weight of it was a talent of gold] the weight is sufficient to 
show that it could be worn only by a statue. — And upon it was a 
precious stone and it (the stone) came upon David's head] a par- 
allel in the crown of the Delian Apollo is cited by Nestle (Afar- 
ginalien, p. 17). The name of the god is disguised by the 
punctuators partly from reluctance even to pronounce the name 
of the abomination, partly from unwillingness to admit that 
David's jewel had once been contaminated by contact with the 
idol. — 31. There has been some controversy over this verse, the 
question being whether David tortured his captives, or whether 



XII. 24-XIII. i 327 

he put them at hard labour. For the former might be argued 
that he had received special provocation, both in the insult offered 
his ambassadors and in the obstinate resistance to the siege. But 
the theory cannot be consistently carried through without straining 
the meaning of the words. The most probable interpretation is 
that he brought out the people and set them at the saws and the 
picks and the axes and made them work at the brick-moulds^ their 
lot, which could be compared to that of the Israelites in Egypt, 
was to the Bedawy, and scarcely less so to the peasant, the most 
wretched that could be conceived. 

26. nyhtsn "v>] is called just below d^dh -vy, which should be restored 
here. Rabba itself was the royal city. On the interchange of n±>c and d>d 
cf. We. Cheyne conjectures ooSd "V* meaning the citadel, Ex. Times, 1898, 
p. 144. — 30. ddSo] is vocalized as though it meant their king. But the 
crown of 130 pounds' weight could never have been worn by a man, and the 
king would certainly not have sat in state while David approached and took 
the crown. It seems quite certain therefore that the idol of the Ammonites is 
meant, whose name is given as tiaS? I K. II 5 . <& has here MeAxoA, MeAxo/u> 
MoAx^m an d other forms, in the various MSS., while @ L conforms to the read- 
ing of the punctuators. — psi] Chr. has fan nai which I have adopted, as it is 
confirmed by J53T here. The received text would assert that the whole crown 
was placed on David's head. — 31. Dtt"i] i Chr. 20 3 has "W*1 which means he 
sawed them. But while he might saw them with saws, the other instruments 
here mentioned would be without an appropriate verb. The reading has crept 
into <g L . — pboa oniN -payni] is unintelligible. The Ktib is probably right in 
reading p*?ca. The pSo is however not the brick kiln but the wooden form 
in which the clay is pressed into shape. We are compelled in accordance 
with this to change -vjyn into "vapn with Chr. So Gratz (Gesch. I. p. 256), 
and Hoffmann, ZATW. II. p. 53m 

XIII. 1-XIV. 33. The violation of Tamar and the conse- 
quences. — The story is well known; the violation of his sister is 
avenged by Absalom and he is obliged to flee the country. By a 
device of Joab the king is induced to pronounce in favour of his 
recall. The history throws much light upon the social condition 
of the people. It is from the old and good source from which we 
have so much of David's history, and it has suffered comparatively 
little in transmission. 

1-7. A stratagem is suggested by Jonadab whereby Tamar will 
be brought into the power of her brother. — 1. Tamar, own sister 



328 2 SAMUEL 

to Absalom, was beautiful like her brother. — And Amnon son 
of David] the author so describes him to show that he was only 
a half brother to Tamar. From 3 2 we learn that he was the oldest 
son. — 2. And Amnon was so distressed that he grew sick~\ on 
account of the apparent hopelessness of his passion — for she was 
a virgin] so that he thought it impossible to make any approaches. 

— 3. Jonadab his cousin and intimate friend was a very wise man, 
though in this case his wisdom was put to base uses. — 4. The 
inquiry : Why art thou thus weak, O Prince, morning by morn- 
ing? On hearing the cause the adviser has a device ready. — 
5. Amnon was to feign himself sick and when the king should 
visit him, to say : Let Tamar my sister come and give me to eat 
and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat from 
her hand] the sick fancy was likely to be indulged by the king. 

— 6. At the visit Amnon asks specifically that Tamar may make 
two cakes for him. — 7. The expected result came about. David 
commanded Tamar : Go to the house of thy brother Amnon and 
prepare him food] we suppose that each of the adult sons of the 
king had his own establishment ; Amnon's house and servant are 
mentioned in this account. 

1. juon] proper names not infrequently end in p; Gideon, Abdon, Eglon, 
and others are examples, cf. Konig, Lehrgebaude, II. p. 153. 2. niSnnn 1 ?] is 
. used just below in the sense of feigning oneself sick. It is therefore strange 
to find it used here in another meaning, and it is possible that the text has 
suffered. Ew. proposes to read niSnnnS = to grow weak, and Kl. SVnnn 1 ? = to 
become insane. The latter is attractive. The reason given why Amnon 
despaired of any attempt is that she was a virgin; the implication being that 
the virgin had less freedom than the married woman or widow. — 3. It is 
somewhat surprising to find Jonadab called a wise man. — anjv] <S L calls him 
Jonathan which is the name of another son of Shimeah, 21 21 . — 5. Snnm] it 
is not necessary in this passage to read SSnnni (Kl.) ; the capricious appetite 
of a sick man would claim the indulgence of the king quite as readily as the 
delirium of one who feigned himself mad. — 6. The request for two heart- 
shaped cakes is not intended as a play on the situation. 

8. Tamar came to the house, and took dough and kneaded it 
and made cakes as he looked on, and baked the cakes] all as 
Amnon had desired. — 9. The verse interrupts the narrative and 
makes insoluble difficulties. It is probably therefore an interpo- 
lation. — 10. At Amnon's command she brings the food to him 



XTTT. 1-21 329 

in the inner room. The house probably had only a public room 
and a chamber. — 11. He solicits her to unchastity. — 12. She 
refuses : Do not force me, my brother] Jd. i(y*,for it is not so done 
in Israel] the implication is that such practices were known 
among the Canaanites. — 13. The clear-minded maiden sees the 
character of the deed, and its consequences both to herself and 
to him : As for me, whither could I carry my shame ? And thou 
shouldst become as one of the fools i And yet she would not refuse 
an honourable life with him : Now speak to the king, for he will 
not withhold me from thee"] it is impossible to suppose that this is 
a subterfuge, an attempt to gain time. It must have plausibility 
even if it were only that. We are forced to conclude that marriage 
with a half-sister was allowed in Israel at this time, as is indeed 
evident from Ezek. 22 11 , cf. what was said above, on 3 s . — 14. He 
overpowered her and accomplished his purpose. — 15. The deed 
was followed by a revulsion of feeling : the hatred with which he 
hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her] 
he therefore bids her begone. — 16. The sense has been best pre- 
served to us in (& h which reads : And she said : No, my brother; 
for greater is the second wrong than the first which thou didst me, 
in sending me away. The received text can be translated only by 
violence. — 17. The sentence begins with the last words of 16 : 
And he would not listen to her, but called his lad that served him 
and said; Put this wench fo?'th from my presence] the language is 
the language of contempt and injury. — 18. The verse originally 
told only that the servant obeyed the order. — 19. Tamar put 
ashes on her head and rent the long-sleeved tunic which she wore, 
and put her hand upon her head] all signs of intense grief, cf. 
Est. 4 1 2 K. 5 8 Jer. 2 s7 . — 20. Absalom meets her and perceives 
the trouble : Has Amnon thy brother been with thee ?] possibly 
Amnon's reputation was not of the best. The family ties how- 
ever prevent summary vengeance ; there is nothing for it but 
silence : Now, my sister, be silent, for he is thy brother; do not lay 
this thing to heart ! The sooner we can forget the family dis- 
grace, the better. So Tamar dwelt, a desolate woman, in the 
house of Absalom her brother. — 21. Although David was angry, 
yet he did not vex the soul of Amno?i his son [by chastisement], 
for he loved him, because he was his first-born] the sentence, 



330 2 SAMUEL 

which is necessary to the sense, must be completed from <&, a 
part having fallen out of J^. — 22. Absalom, though filled with 
hatred for Amnon from that time on, did not betray his feeling in 
any way. 

8. Stioni] the verb generally means to boil. — 9. rvwon] occurs only here. 
Kl. followed by Bu. proposes to read mefwrnH *opm, and she called the 
servant, cf. v. 17 . But in any case, there is a contradiction* between this and 
the following verse. Whoever placed the cakes before Amnon, it is clear 
that if they were already there he could not command them to be brought to 
him. That he himself (the sick man) moved into the chamber after they had 
once been put before him is improbable, and is not intimated in the text. 
The simplest supposition is that this verse has been inserted by some one who 
supposed that it was necessary to clear the room. — 12. na>p] Gen. 34?; the 
tense indicates customary action. Sins of this kind are elsewhere called nSaj 
as here. — 14. 13 p?m cf. 1 S. 17 50 . — nns] should be pointed nm: noy 
3 MSS. : /ter' aurrjs <&. — 16. miN _l ?N] is not found elsewhere. miN hy 
occurs with the meaning because of. But this requires to be completed by 
the following words; and while we might suppose such a sentence as: and 
she said to him because of this great evil, we are at a loss to continue. There 
seems no doubt therefore that the text is corrupt and that we should restore 
■o tin •?« with <3H (We., Dr., Bu.). The presumption being thus in favour 
of © L we should probably adopt its further reading : /xeydKri v naKia r) 4crxo.ru] 
vnep tV irpuT7]v, though some propose to read mnxD nwn njnn ThvM which 
is a little nearer f$. — 17. wwo nyj"nN] as the verb which follows is plural 
it is not improbable that we should read vn$} : @ has rb iraiSdptov avrov 
rbv irpoiarr]K6ra rov oXkov. pnt is contemptuous and **?J7D intimates that her 
presence was burdensome to him. — 18. The first half verse is explanatory of 
the term D^Ds njro in v. 19 . It interrupts the narrative here, and is probably a 
marginal gloss which has been inserted in the wrong place. — dS^d] should 
be a^iyo (We.). The whole verse is lacking in $. Vyji is incorrect, it should 
be Vyri. — 19. ncs] for putting on the head in grief IBP is more common, cf. 
Ez. 27 30 . o^Dijn njna is here rendered rbv x iT <*> va T ^ v Kapmwri* by <& B , but 
these words are given as the rendering of Aq. by Theod. : t. x- ** k*r p* ymXmr6p 
@ L seems to be the true reading of <3. Josephus combines the two : having 
sleeves and reaching down to the ankles. — 20. prcN which occurs nowhere 
else has been conjectured to be a diminutive of contempt. The analogies in 
Hebrew are so uncertain that it seems safer to assume a mere clerical error. 
Kl. conjectures 0j2Nn : has indeed thy brother been with thee. — TCDBN] 
xvpevovcra (J§ B seems to omit the conjunction, <S L has a duplicate translation. 
— 21. The verse is incomplete in f$, while <& has an apt conclusion: ko.1 ovk 
i\vTrr\<re rb npevfia 'A/ulv<i>v rov vlov avrov, '6ri aydva avr6v, '6ri irpa>r6roKOs avrov 



* As pointed out by Stade, ThLZ. 21, 6. 



xni. 2i- 3 i 33i 

fiv, adopted by Th. and others. The occasion of its omission is its beginning 
with toi like the next verse. — 22. It is a question whether the mention of 
Absalom's hate belongs here. His motive for silence would seem to be rather 
a desire that his designs should not be suspected. 

23-29. Absalom avenges his sister's wrong. — 23. Two years 
later, Absalom had shearers ; the sheep shearing was a time of 
feasting, cf. i S. 25* ; in Baal Hazor near Ephraim\ the place 
has been identified with some probability about 20 miles north of 
Jerusalem. To the festival he invited all the sons of the king. — 
24. The invitation is made to include the king and his officers. 

— 25. The king declines, lest the multitude be burdensome to 
Absalom, and on being urged gives him his blessing as an indica- 
tion that enough has been said. — 26. Then if not, let Amnon my 
brother go with us~] the request seems to have aroused some sus- 
picion. — 27. On further urging, all the princes were allowed to 
go. — 28. Absalom made a feast like the feast of a king\ a clause 
accidentally lost from |^. The servants were ordered to kill 
Amnon as soon as he was under the influence of the wine. — 
29. The order was carried out, and all the king's sons rose and 
each mounted his mule and fled. That Absalom intended to 
secure the throne for himself by massacring all competitors 
would be a not remote inference. 

23. "Van S572, cf. Buhl, Geog. p. 177. — ons*rDj?] the preposition indicates 
that a place is intended and not the tribe. <S L Yocppain indicates that the first 
letter should be >. And as we know of an Ephron in Benjamin, we may 
restore it here. — 24. The invitation is here made more extensive than is inti- 
mated in the preceding verse. This, with the almost incredible naivete with 
which Absalom insists upon the presence of Amnon, makes me suspect that 
vv. 24 " 27 are a later expansion of the account. — 25. pci] 1 S. 28 23 (Bu. -ison). 

— W*a*l] can be intended only as a termination of the interview, which is 
prolonged only because Absalom modifies his request. — 26. nVi] is to be 
understood as in 2 K. 5 17 . Similar construction in the affirmative form (s>m) 
are Jd. 6 13 2 K. io 15 (We.). It is not necessary therefore to point n^v, though 
that also would make good sense (Th.). The mention of Amnon alone here, 
when in fact all the sons went, emphasizes the incongruity of these verses with 
the main narrative. — 28. We must insert with <g "i^Dn nrr#D3 nrwn diSbon rjpi 
(Th.). The words have been lost by homeoteleuton. 

30. Rumour exaggerated the calamity, reporting that Absalom 
had slain all the princes, without exception. — 31. The king rent 



332 2 SAMUEL 

his clothes and threw himself on the ground, and all his officers who 
were standing by him rent their clothes] lor the slight emendation 
of the text see the critical note. — 32. Jonadab was in the coun- 
sel of Absalom, or else shrewd enough to suspect the true state of 
the case : Let not my Lord think they have slain all the young men, 
the king's sons, for Amnon alone is dead~\ this he was able to 
conclude from Absalom's mien, from the day of the violation of 
Tamar. — 33. The conclusion drawn by Jonadab is that Amnon 
alone is dead. — 34. The opening words are corrupt beyond res- 
toration. What we expect is a temporal phrase such as : While 
Jonadab was yet speaking, continued by the statement : the watch- 
man lifted up his eyes. The rest of the verse has in J^ lost a sen- 
tence which is preserved in (d. Restoring it we read : The 
watchman lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, much people 
were coming \_on the Beth-Horon road, on the descent; and the 
watchman came and told the king, saying : I see men co??iing~\ from 
the Beth-Horon road on the side of the hill~\ the words in brackets 
were omitted by a scribe, owing to similarity of ending to what 
precedes. The watchman being on the tower, it is necessary 
that he should come and tell the king. — 35. Jonadab sees in this 
the confirmation of what he has said. — 36. The arriving party 
and those who had been looking for them join in loud lamenta- 
tion, cf. Jd. 2 1 2 — 37, 38. The text is confused. First, we have 
a statement of Absalom's flight, then we are told that the king 
mourned for his son continually, then we are told again of Absa- 
lom's flight. Besides this, a perpetual mourning is contradicted 
by v. 39 which speaks of David's being comforted. The accepted 
solution of the difficulty is to throw out *■ as a later insertion and 
arrange the rest in the following order : And he mourned for his 
son continually. But Absalom fled and went to Talmai, son of 
Ammihud, king of Geshur, and was there three years] the emenda- 
tion originated with Bottcher and is adopted by We., Dr., *Bu. 
On the other hand, Kl. supposes the continually \_all the days'] to 
refer to the three years of Absalom's banishment and therefore 
puts : and the king mourned for his son all that time after v. 38 . 
It is possible that neither conjecture has restored the original. 
Absalom's mother was a daughter of Talmai, 3 3 . — 39. The verse 
forms the transition to what follows. Emending by (S> L we read : 



XIII. 31-39 333 

And the spirit of the king longed to go out to Absalom his son, for 
he was comforted for the death of his son Amnon. 

31. onja tjnp OOSJ wajrSoi] means: while all his servants stood with rent 
clothes. But as pointed out by Th. (We., Dr.) this is not to the point. 6 B 
renders orv-ua nx ijnp vhp D'3Sjn majrSai which fits the rest of the verse. — 
32. iSon-ija] is superfluous and probably an insertion. — ^^n '3X »»"7jr , 3 
HD'tf] is obscure: for on the mouth of Absalom it was set — his death is to be 
supplied if we retain the text. But Absalom had not betrayed his intention in 
speech, even if we can accept TO*P as a passive participle. It seems more 
likely that rvam is a noun meaning a scowl (as argued by We., Dr.), or that it 
is a corruption. Ginsburg reads now. Ew. proposes riDBV : — enmity. Even 
in this case we should expect 'ifi~Sp instead of >o~Sp. According to oriental 
custom Absalom would show his anger in his face, even when trying to avoid 
an open quarrel. — 34. DiSttox m:ri] confirmed by ©, is nevertheless difficult 
to place. The most plausible thing to do if the words are to be retained is to 
make them the conclusion of Jonadab's address : Amnon alone is dead and 
Absalom has fled (so that he will not inflict further damage). But even thus 
the statement is unnecessary. The words may have crept in by a simply stupid 
error of a scribe whose thought anticipated v. 37 . But it is more probable that 
they are a corruption of something which can only be conjectured. A plausi- 
ble conjecture is that of Kl., adopted by Bu. in the shape diSjp vnx nn* 1 !. My 
own conjecture is that the author wrote n:nD "tip xim or something equivalent. 
The report of the murder cannot have long preceded the coming of the 
princes. — D*3?n] after this word, <S has preserved for us a line, also originally 
ending with 0"oSn which has fallen out of Jif. It is restored by Th., We., Dr., 
Bu., KL, in substantially the same form, to wit : noxn xan moa o^nn "p-tt 
D^S-i wm* *n*m idnm iSdV wu The second D"oSn is not represented in (3, 
but it was probably in the original $? because without it the following fno is 
harsh, and its presence alone fully explains the error of the scribe. For "p-iD 
innx it is evident that @ had a>jnn -pnc, <£ B 4k rijs 6Sov rrjs 'npwp^v (Zwpdifx 
<@ L ). The Beth-Horon road comes down from the north. — 37, 38. On the 
restoration cf. Dr. who (following We.) supposes that a scribe erroneously 
began the paragraph with mw . . . Digram and then discovered that he had 
omitted "m SaxnM. He inserted the omitted words, and then to get a proper 
connexion repeated ®* in a shortened form.* -nrvDj? Kt. is made wo? Qre, 
which is favoured by <g. — 39. -]bnn in Sam] cannot be construed. @ L evi- 
dently read r?cn nn Sam. For nSo in the sense to be consumed with desire, 
cf. Ps. 84 s 143 7 . It does not seem to be necessary to change nxxS (Bu. reads 
nx"V?, Kl. nx^S) — for the king's longing might easily be described as a long- 
ing to go out to Absalom, though his pride would not let him go. 



* It is possible that originally David was said to mourn over both his sons — the 
dead and the banished. 



334 



2 SAMUEL 



XIV. 1-11. Juab devises a fictitious case by which to appeal to 
the king. He knew that the king's heart was towards Absalom. 
— 2. He sent to Tekoah, a town in Judah, and took thence a wise 
woman] probably one already known to him by reputation. He 
directs her to play the mourner : Put on mourning garments, and 
do not anoint thyself, and become like a woman now many days 
mourning for one dead. — 3. In this plight she was to present 
herself as a suppliant for justice before the king. — 4. And the 
Tekoite woman came, and after the customary prostration cried : 
Help, O king, help I — 5. To the king's question : What ails thee? 
she replies : Verily I am a widow, and my husband is dead] a 
pleonasm which may well be excused in the circumstances. — 
6. The case is this : the family being reduced to two brothers, 
these two quarrelled in the field when there was no one to interfere 
and one smote the other and killed him. — 7. The result is the 
probable extirpation of the family, for : The whole clan has risen 
up against thy servant and say: Deliver up the smiter of his 
brother, that we may slay him for the life of his brother whom he 
has killed, and we will destroy the [only] heir. In the flow of her 
speech the woman gives the result as part of the purpose of the 
avengers. The procedure is quite in accordance with clan cus- 
tom, and yet the result will be a calamity : They will quench my 
remaining coal so as not to leave my husband name or remnant 
on the face of the ground. Extremum jus extrema injuria. The 
extinction of a family is dreaded as one of the chief misfortunes. 
— 8. David gives a promise to see that the woman and her son 
are protected. — 9. She is not satisfied with this : Upon me, my 
lord the king, be the guilt and upon my father's house ; and the 
king and his throne shall be innocent] the insinuation is that David 
has simply put her off with a promise, because he does not wish 
to involve himself — his defence of the guilty son would make him 
partaker of the guilt. — 10. David makes a more distinct decree, 
empowering the woman to bring her prosecutors into the royal 
presence : Him that speaks to thee, bring before me and he shall 
not touch thee again. — 11. This is enough if only it can be made 
sure, and the petitioner therefore asks an oath : Let the king name 
Yahweh thy God, not to let the avenger of blood destroy, and they 
shall not exterminate my son. The king swears accordingly : By 



XIV. i-i S 335 

the life of Yahweh a hair of thy son shall not fall to the ground] 
the object of this importunity is to make sure that David's mind 
is fully made up, before the application is made to the case of 
Absalom. 

1. diVsson -1 ?;;] the interchange of by and Sn has already been remarked. 
With by we should expect a verb; reading Ss we get a tolerable sense. — 
2. nppn] the location was recovered by Robinson (BR. 2 I. p. 486), two 
hours south of Bethlehem. — 4. -\DNni] of most editions is a careless scribe's 
mistake for {om, which is found in 40 MSS. of |§, as in (J5J5E3L. At the end 
of the verse <S£ adds a second njrcnn, which seems original (Th.). — 5. S^n] 
as in 1 K. I 48 . — 6. i:ri] ought of course to be the singular. A scribe had in 
mind the phrase they strove one with another, in which case the plural would 
be allowable. — -inNrrnN] rbv a3ie\(pov avrov ffi* is attractive and perhaps 
original. — 7. n-PD;rji] for which j$ renders as though it found nw»1, is sup- 
ported by (g and is probably correct (We., Dr. al.). — 10. mjom] for mnjorn, 
and therefore to be read vnsoni (We.). — 11. -priSs] Oebv avrov <g B . The 
more difficult is to be preferred. — nonnn] the pointing is difficult to account 
for. Kl. conjectures nd-hd, which fits the sense. 

12-20. The application. — The woman first asks and receives 
permission to say a word. — 13. Her rebuke of the king is ex- 
pressed in a question : And why dost thou devise against the people 
of God a thing like this — and the king in speaking this word is as 
one guilty — in order that the king may not bring back his ban- 
ished? The people of God are in her own case ; the heir is likely 
to be cut off. David in his treatment of Absalom is devising 
against them just what the Thekoites were devising against the 
plaintiff in the case alleged. — 14. The first half of the verse is 
plain : For we die and are as water spilled upon the ground which 
cannot be gathered"] the point is that Amnon is dead and cannot 
be brought back by any harshness towards Absalom. The rest of 
the verse is entirely obscure. Conjecturally the conclusion is an 
exhortation to the king not to keep his banished son in perpetual 
banishment. The conjecture of Ew., accepted by most recent 
scholars, makes the whole second half of the verse mean : And 
God will not take away the life of him who devises plans not to 
banish from him a banished one. But it can hardly be said that 
this is much encouragement to David. — 15. The woman excuses 
herself for appearing before the king : For the people made me 
afraid. She still talks as though her suit were the main purpose 



336 2 SAMUEL 

of her visit. — 16. For the king will hear, to deliver his servant 
from the hand of the man who seeks to destroy me and my son 
from the heritage of Yahweh] this is a part of the reflection which 
induced her to come before the king. — 17. The woman con- 
cludes her speech : The word of my lord the king will be a com- 
fort literally, a resting place. The reason is the wisdom of the 
king : for like the angel of God is my lord the king to hear good 
and evil'] and to discern between them, is of course implied. — 
And Yahweh thy God be with thee] is evidently her parting bless- 
ing. — 18. The king does not let her go until his curiosity is satis- 
fied on one point, and so asks her not to conceal that one thing. — 
19. The question concerns the agency of Joab, and the answer is 
an admiring testimony to the king's shrewdness : By thy life, my 
lord the king, I cannot turn to the right or the left from all that 
my lord the king has spoken. His question contains an affirmation, 
and the affirmation is correct. — 20. In order to change the face 
of the affair] that is, the affair of Absalom — did thy servant Joab 
this thing] an excuse for Joab and his instrument. The final 
compliment to the wisdom of the king is intended to say that his 
decision is certain to be right. 

13. -oim] pointed as though a Hithpael, with assimilation of the n, Ges. 2G , 
§ 54 c. The last clause is explanatory of rw?3 (We., Dr.), which refers to the 
case of the woman herself as just alleged. @ L (following Theodotion) had a 
different text, which however cannot be restored with certainty. — 14. mco 
pidj] <§ L makes the point more plain by rendering on r4dfr}K€u 6 vl6s <rov, 
meaning Amnon. — pju dti^n Kr»"lAl] the clause as it stands is incompre- 
hensible. Taken with what follows, it might be forced to mean : and God 
does not take away life, but devises plans that his banished be not banished from 
him (so substantially RV.). In this case the long suffering of God, in not 
taking away the sinner until he has had opportunity to repent, would be set 
forth as an example to David. The objections are obvious. The assertion 
that God does not take away a life before doing so and so is entirely too sweep- 
ing. Common observation shows that this is not his rule. Moreover, the 
statement that God devises devices that his banished be not banished is obscure 
and without Old Testament analogy. The most obvious conjecture is to read 
rr'^rn for yvr^ and, joining it with the preceding, render And God does not 
take away a soul and then return it, that is : death is irrevocable. We are 
then left without a connexion for what follows. 4§ B omits n^ : koI X-hntyerai 
o titos \puxv v , Kal \oyi(6/jiei>os rov t£a)crai air 1 avrov e£ea><r / ueVoi', which does not 
give any help. (g L which seems to have the translation of Theodotion (Field) 



xiv. i6-2 4 337 

gives us : not ovk 4\wl(*i cir' avry yfyvxh, which connects well with what pre- 
cedes — and no one hopes for it (? the water, some MSS. have avrwv). This 
evidently substitutes dh'Vn or vSn for the dtiSn of |§ and makes vqi the subject 
of the verb. In view of the difficulty we find in understanding the received 
text, this seems acceptable. On the same authority the last clause means: 
Yet the king devises a plan to keep away from him one banished! (The excla- 
mation is an intimation that this ought not to be), reading ^Son for ti^dV, and 
VTXh for m\ We. objects to the phrase banish a banished one, but it does not 
seem difficult. Ew. changes 2vm in the received text to 3J*in, and is followed 
by We., Dr., Bu., Ki. — 15. -ib>n] omitted by two MSS. of % is in fact 
redundant. But the author is reproducing the speech of a woman of the 
people. — \hn Y?Dn] is not the usual order and '•jin is lacking in <S L . — 
16. tt"Nn] add cpuon with <S (Th. al.). — dtiSn] <g L {£ seem to have read 
mni, which is better. — 17. *]nnos>] restore n&>Nn with <g B , for this is evidently 
the concluding part of the woman's speech. — nnjo s ] a resting place, some- 
thing in which one may feel secure. — otiSkh -jnSod] we rind the same com- 
parison in 19 28 , where also the point is the ability to discern the right, cf. v. 20 
njnS. — 19. £>n~dn] usually taken to be for C"~dn in the meaning it is not 
possible. The form however is unusual — the text is suspicious in the only 
other case of its occurrence, Mic. 6 10 . The conjecture of Perles (Analeklen 
zur Textkritik des Alten Testamentes, p. 30) is therefore plausible, that we 
should read 3)B>n, for which also <S rvED may be cited. 

21-24. Absalom is brought back but not received at court. — 

21. Joab, as a high officer of the court, was standing by the king 
during the woman's plea. David turns to him and says : Behold 
I have done this thing] the thing asked is granted, and so in pur- 
pose is already accomplished. — 22. Joab expresses his thanks in 
language that shows how much the matter lies on his heart. Why 
Joab should have such an interest in Absalom is not apparent. — 
23, 24. Joab brings Absalom back, but the king commands : Let 
him turn aside to his own house, and my face he shall not see] the 
return was therefore not a restoration to the favour of the king. 

21. »nvp] the Qre in some editions is HMtpp and so 20 codd. in DeRossi. 
But the best editions point according to the consonantal text. — 22. r«3~] the 
Qre perversely commands "pay, which is found in 16 codd., but not sustained 
by the versions. 

25-27. The author or the redactor inserts a panegyric of Absa- 
lom's personal beauty, and an account of his family. The latter 
contradicts 18 18 , and the whole breaks the connexion of the narra- 
tive. There seems no reason however to put the paragraph at a 
z 



338 2 Samuel 

very late date, unless it be the mention of the standard weight as 
the royal weight ; and this seems difficult to date exactly. The 
fact of Absalom's personal beauty may have been a matter of early 
tradition. The author emphasizes a similar fact in the case of 
Adonijah i K. i 6 . — 25. No man in Israel was so praiseworthy 
as Absalom ; from the sole of his foot to his crown there was no 
blemish in him] David also seems to have had great personal 
beauty. — 26. The main sentence is : and when he shaved his 
head, he would weigh his hair, two hundred shekels by the king's 
weight] the shaving of the head had some religious signification, 
as we see in the Nazirites. The specification of the king's weight 
points to a time when Assyrian or Babylonian measures had begun 
to be used in Palestine (We.). The main sentence is interrupted 
by a parenthesis telling that the shaving of the head took place 
once a year. — 27. The verse gives Absalom three sons and a 
daughter. The harmony of this with i8 18 is secured by supposing 
that all the sons died in infancy. But if this were so, the author 
would have mentioned it here. (3 adds at the end of the verse 
that Tamar became the wife of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, and 
bore to him Abia (Abiathar, in (§P). 

25. ns-- is omitted by <& B , and S3 by 4£ L , while j5 omits both. As the 
shorter text has the presumption in its favour and as SVnS Sn-upo C"N gives a 
perfectly good sense we should probably read so, throwing out both the 
inserted words. — SS~iS] in the sense to be praised is good Hebrew, cf. Dav. 
Syntax § 93. <5£ however may have found V?nc, which it read SSnc. — 26. On 
the construction see Dr. Notes. For 200 shekels, Th., followed by Koehler 
( Bibl. Gesch. des A. T. II. p. 345), conjectures twenty; <& L has 100. — 27. inn] 
Moaxa €£ L I (Cod. Leg.). The addition at the end of the verse is found in 
nearly all MSS. of <3 and in I. It apparently comes from 1 K. 15 2 , where 
Abijah's mother is called Maacah daughter of Absalom. 

28-33. Absalom secures recognition at court. — After dwelling 
in Jerusalem two years without seeing the face of the king, Absa- 
lom sent for Joab to send him to the king] evidently to expostulate 
concerning the situation. Joab, however, was not willing to come 
even after a second summons. He probably felt that he had done 
enough in procuring Absalom's recall. — 30. Absalom's imperious 
temper shows itself in the means taken to secure Joab's attention. 
He said to his servants : see Joab's field next to me where he has 



xiv. 25-xv. i 339 

barley ; go and set it on fire] the standing grain when fully ripe 
burns readily, as is seen in the experiment of Samson with the 
foxes. At the end of the verse (or at the beginning of the next) 
(31 insert : And the servants of Joab came to him with rent clothes 
and said: the servants of Absalom have set the field on fire. The 
sentence may be original. — 31, 32. To Joab's question, Absalom 
thinks it sufficient answer to say that he had sent for him. The 
king's son treats Joab as a servant. He will send to the king the 
message : Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better 
for me still to be there] the half recognition which he has received 
is more galling than exile. Without further explanation of his 
arson, he goes on : And now let me see the face of the king, and 
if there be guilt in me, let him kill me. — 33. The appeal made by 
Joab was successful, and Absalom was received by his father, who 
kissed him in token of full reconciliation. 

30. rmxmi] for which the Qre commands mrnani. The form mxtn seems 
to occur nowhere else, so that the Ktib here is most easily accounted for by- 
supposing it to be the blunder of a scribe, cf. Ges. 2G § 71. The insertion of 
<5l is accepted by Th., Kl. ; rejected by We., Bu. The transition is abrupt 
without it, and its omission may be accounted for by homeoteleuton, so that 
the probability is rather in its favour. 

XV. l.-XIX. 44. The usurpation of Absalom. — After due 
preparation, Absalom has himself anointed king at Hebron. At 
his approach to the capital, David retires to the Jordan valley. 
Absalom is for some time in possession of the capital, while David 
finds support in transjordanic Israel. By a decisive battle, the 
cause of Absalom is lost, he himself being slain. The grief of the 
king at the loss of his son is as great as if he had lost his king- 
dom. The feeling between Judah and Israel breaks out again in 
the return of the monarch, and the sequel is the rebellion of 
Sheba ben Bichri. 

This is one of the most vivid pieces of narrative in the Old Tes- 
tament, and evidently belongs to an old and well informed source. 
This source is apparently the same from which we have had the 
account of Amnon and Absalom which immediately precedes. 

XV. 1-6. Absalom plays the demagogue. — First he assumes 
the state befitting the heir apparent : He procured a chariot and 



340 a SAMUEL 

horses and fifty men to run before him] the chariot was an unac- 
customed luxury. The fifty retainers would form a body-guard 
for the young prince. In the absence of precedent for the settle- 
ment of the throne, such preparations indicated that the prince 
was putting himself forward with a claim to the succession. We 
have no evidence that David had as yet made any provision in 
favour of Solomon. Primogeniture has never been the rule in the 
East, and Absalom, being of royal blood on both sides, may well 
have regarded himself as the best fitted for the throne. — 2. Ab- 
salom now made it his habit to rise early and stand at the gate] 
of the city, the place of public concourse. — And every man that 
had a case to come before the ki?ig for judgment Absalom would 
call to himself] and show interest in him, first by asking him 
about his home. — 3. Then came an insinuation that the king 
was careless about the administration of justice : Thy pleadings 
are good and right, but there is no one to hear thee on the part of 
the king] we may suppose that the man was encouraged to state 
his case before this was said. — 4. Suggestion that Absalom him- 
self had the interest of justice at heart : Oh, that one would make 
me judge in the land, and to me should come every man who has a 
case, and I would give him justice ! The public good is repre- 
sented as his main interest. — 5. He would not allow the custom- 
ary obeisance, but would place men on the level of friendship : 
When a man came near to do obeisance he would put out his hand 
a?id take hold of him and kiss him. — 6. The result is not surpris- 
ing : He stole the understanding of the men of Israel] he deceived 
them, cf. Gen. 31 20 . 

1. vjsS ex-*] such runners formed a part of royal state in very early times, 
and have continued to the present in the East. — 2. r^KnrSa] should probably 
be tt"N Sd: iras aviip @. The answers of the men would be different; the 
author puts a general answer for the different specific ones : Thy servant is 
from one of the tribes of Israel ; as if he had said: the man answered : I am 
from this or that tribe. — 4. , jw~ , e] cf. the expression jn*~H3 also expressing 
a wish, Jer. 8' 23 . — bopdi] is lacking in <g L 2L. — 6. 3V*flH 'N ajii] cannot 
mean he won their affection, but must be interpreted by the similar phrase, 
Gen. 31 20 , where the only meaning allowable is Jacob deceived Laban. So 
Absalom stole the brain of Israel, befooled them. The heart is the seat of the 
intellect, cf. BDB. s.v. 2ih and aS, and especially Delitzsch, System dtr Bibl. 
Psychologies (1861), p. 248 f. where the parallels are cited. 



XV. i-i* 



341 



7-12. The usurpation. — The site chosen is Hebron where we 
may suppose there was more or less dissatisfaction at the removal 
of the capital to Jerusalem. The time seems to be four years 
after Absalom's restoration to favour. The pretext was a vow 
made to the Yahweh of Hebron. — 8. For thy servant vowed a 
vow when I dwelt in Geshur in Aram saying : If Yahweh bring 
me back to Jerusalem, I will serve Yahweh in Hebron] the near- 
est parallel seems to be the vow of Jacob Gen. 28 20 " 22 (E), and 
like that, this vow calls for personal appearance before God with 
sacrifice, Gen. 35 1 " 7 . It is evident, as in the case of Baal, that the 
Yahweh of a particular place assumed a distinct personality in the 
common apprehension. Although the Ark was at Jerusalem, David 
did not find it strange that Absalom should want to worship at 
Hebron. The Yahweh of Hebron would be the special God of 
Judah. — 9. David gives the desired permission. — 10. At the 
time of his departure Absalom sent emissaries into all the tribes 
of Israel, saying: When you hear the sound of the trumpet, then 
say: Absalom has become king in Hebron. It is evident that 
much more elaborate preparation was made than appears on 
the surface of this concise narrative. The signal was expected 
to go from village to village, and enough men were distributed to 
declare the coronation an accomplished fact. — 11. Besides his 
own party, Absalom took two hundred 7nen from Jerusalem who 
were invited] as guests to the festival. — These went in their in- 
nocence] being ignorant of the plan. But as members (we may 
suppose) of the leading families they would be hostages in Absa- 
lom's hands, or if convinced, as they might easily be at Hebron, 
that Absalom's cause was the winning one, they would exert a 
powerful influence in his favour. — 12. As it stands, the verse 
does not fit the context. It says that Absalom sent Ahithophel 
from his city, but whither (which is here the most important 
point) we are not told. There is authority for correcting to : 
Absalom sent for Ahithophel, or to: Absalom sent and brought 
Ahithophel. But from the later narrative we conclude that Ahith- 
ophel was the soul of the rebellion, and we have reason to suspect 
therefore that the original text contained something to the effect 
that Ahithophel fomented the conspiracy from Giloh, while Absa- 
lom was carrying on the sacrificial feast at Hebron. This alone 



342 2 SAMUEL 

would account for the fact that the conspiracy was strong and the 
people with Absalom kept increasing in number. 

7. r\iv D*J»"W] has given the scholars trouble. The Rabbinical expositors 
count from the time when the Israelites demanded a king (Isaaki, Kimchi), 
or from David's first anointing by Samuel (LbG.), or again from the slaying 
of the priests at Nob (Pseudo-Hier.), as though the rebellion were a punish- 
ment for David's deception. The natural reckoning would be from the coro- 
nation of David at Hebron (Cler.), but it is unlikely that the usurpation took 
place in the last year of David's life, The most obvious way out of the diffi- 
culty is to correct the forty to four, which is favoured by <g L , Josephus, Theod., 
and, if we may judge from the MSS. of %, also by I. — 8. 2 > £"'] is erroneous 
duplication of the verb which follows. The punctuators try to make the best 
of it by reading 3W>% which however cannot be the adverbial infinitive of 2VP. 
For the latter, which is read by 0, we must restore awn or 3W (Th. al.). At 
the end of the verse @ L adds eV Xe/3pu>v, which seems necessary (adopted by 
KX, Bu.), and which may have been left out because it emphasizes the dis- 
tinctness of the Yahweh of Hebron. — 10. d^Sj^d] generally spies, but here a 
little broader in meaning. — 11. na'T^a 1]TV nSi] a strong expression — they 
did not know anything of the matter. — 12. 'N"nx uhvSH nStt"i] it is evident 
that this is wrong. The only emendation suggested by the versions is to read 
'3N sopM or mp»i '2X nW*1 which are supported by various Greek Codices; 
or else to insert mN^i with J5. Neither one seems to go far enough, for it 
remains inexplicable that Ahithophel should not be invited until the very last 
moment. The reconstruction of Kl. lacks probability. — »A»JP] from nS\> like 
»jSvn from ph*V. Gilo is enumerated among the towns of the hill country 
of Judah. It is not yet certainly identified, but a Beit Jala and a fata exist 
in the vicinity of Bethlehem, Buhl, Geog. p. 165. 

13-16. David, taken by surprise, flees the city. The first news 
he receives is that the heart of the men of Israel has gone after 
Absalom] there must have been widespread dissatisfaction to 
justify the report, or even to make it plausible to David. — 
14. The citadel in which he had established himself could not 
protect him — evidently he feared disaffection in his household. 
It is perhaps not without reason that (d L reads : lest the people 
come upon us. That David wished to spare the city the horrors 
of a siege (Kl.) is not indicated in the text. It seems rather that 
he was convinced that his only safety was in flight. — 15. The 
officials of the court consent. — 16. So the king went out and all 
his household with him] literally, at his feet. The only exception 
was ten concubines who were left in charge of the house. 



xv. 12-22 343 

14. "yw ?d] nh cpedar) 6 \a6s <S L . — 15. "|n3P run] is sustained by ©, 

though we rather look for a verb; £ adds p"Op. 

17, 18. The text has suffered, but we are able to make out that 
the king and all the people who followed him went out and stood at 
Beth Merhak~] a place otherwise unknown, possibly the last house 
on the Jerusalem side of the Kidron wadi. The reason for the 
king's making a halt here is that he might inspect his party. 
They defile before him : all his officers and the Cherethites and the 
Pelethites~\ the veteran body-guard. With them was a recent re- 
cruit, Ittai the Gittite, who was apparently once mentioned here, 
as he is addressed by David in the next verse. He was, we may 
judge, a soldier of fortune who had just enlisted in David's service 
with a band of followers. There is no analogy in Hebrew antiq- 
uity for regarding him as a Philistine hostage.* — 19. David gen- 
erously advises Ittai to seek his fortune with the new king, rather 
than with himself (who could hardly offer much in the way of pro- 
motion) : Why wilt thou also go with us ? Return and dwell with 
the king, for thou art a stranger and an exile from thy place~\ one 
seeking a home and who thought he had found it. — 20. Yesterday 
was thy coming, and to-day shall I make thee wander with us ? 
The question, which is indicated by the inflection of voice, is rhe- 
torical. The hardship of such a course is indicated in the circum- 
stantial clause which follows : when I am going hither and yonder] 
literally; when I am going where I am going; David himself did 
not know where, cf. i S. 23 13 . He therefore advises : Return and 
take thy brethren with thee, and Yahweh show thee kindness and 
faithfulness] David's thoughtfulness for others shows itself in this 
incident, at a time when he might be excused for consulting his 
own interest. — 21. Ittai solemnly declares: Wherever my lord 
the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there will thy ser- 
vant be! — 22. At this protestation of fidelity David commands 
him to march on, so he marched by with a train which embraced 
his men and their families. 

17. cj?n] two codd. have voy and this is also the reading of <S B . The 
original seems to be $% which means the people of the household. — pmon no] 
the house of Distance might possibly be the furthest house from the centre 

* Which is Thenius' hypothesis, retained by Lohr, Th*, p. 17a, 



344 2 SAMUEL ^ 

of the city. But this is precarious. The reading of <S seems to have been 
-a-tnn r\% which however has been corrected in the chief MSS., cf. Field, 
Hex. Orig. I. p. 569. — 18. The text of @ has suffered by conflation but its 
fulness does not help to restore the true reading. The difficulty with fif is 
that it makes all the Gittites to have followed David from Gath. Had the 
author meant to say that the troops were those who had followed David from 
Ziklag he would have said so. The sudden introduction of Ittai in the next 
verse seems to prove that he was once mentioned here, and the consequence 
is easily drawn, that these Gittites were his men. For DtfwVai therefore, Bu. 
with Kl., Ki., following a hint of We., proposes to read *r\Fl »nu >pjn *rss. 
The objection to this is that it makes these Gittites a force of six hundred men. 
But the Cherethites and Pelethites were only six hundred in number, and it is 
unlikely that a fresh band of the same size would be enlisted while the veterans 
were faithful. Ew. (GVI 3 . III. p. 243, E. Tr. III. p. 179) changes mun into 
onajn which does not relieve the sudden introduction of Ittai in the next verse. 

— 19. -pipcS] might perhaps stand : an exile as to thy place ; but the versions 
seem to have read "JOTpCD, <S«£1L and one Hebr. cod., whereas % inserts hva. 

— 20. <S B has a double translation of the opening part of the verse. One 
part of this seems to have read with the interrogative nso Sinnn. "\y\itt Kt., 
is doubtless to be corrected to the Qre. : "lyjN, unless we go further and read 
ypjN. At the end of the verse pent -ion are unattached and we should doubt- 
less insert with <§ "fop TWjp mm which fell out after the preceding -jdj? (Th.). 

— 21. dn *3 is not in place, nor is the DM alone, which in an oath has a nega- 
tive force. Nothing is left to us but to suppose that a scribe made a blunder 

— as was already discovered by the punctuators. — 22. ^ton] cf. Ex. io 10 . <S L 
inserts the hing here through a misapprehension of Ittai's position (as leader). 

23. The condition of things at the particular moment when the 
Ark appeared was this : All the people were weeping with a loud 
voice, while the king stood in the Kidron wadi, and the people passed 
by before him on the road of the Wilderness Olive'] the Kidron is 
the well known valley east of Jerusalem. The road taken was 
probably the one on the south slope of the Mount of Olives, the 
same which is still travelled to Jericho and the Jordan valley. — 
And behold Zadok . . . bearing the Ark of God] the present text 
inserts and all the Levites with him. But as the Levites are un- 
known to the Books of Samuel, this is obviously a late insertion. 
Probably the original was Zadok and Abiathar. They now set 
down the Ark to allow the people to pass by. As the Ark went 
on the campaigns of David, it was a natural thought to take it at 
this time. — 25. The king commands the Ark to be taken back : 
If I find favour in the eyes of Yahweh, he will bring me back and 



XV. 23-^0 345 

will show me it and his dwelling. — 26. If on the other hand 
Yahweh has no pleasure in him, he resigns himself to the divine 
will. — 27, 28. At the same time, David is not unmindful of the 
advantage of having friends in the city : Thou art returning to the 
city in peace and with you are your two sons, Ahiniaaz thy son and 
Jonathan the son of Abiathar ; see, I am going to delay at the fords 
of the Wilderness until word comes from you to inform me. — 
29. The Ark is accordingly returned to its place. 

23. The text has suffered. The central point seems to be Snja -oj? which 
is suspicious, for the road did not (probably) follow the course of the wadi, 
but crossed it. In the following, also, the king seems to be still reviewing his 
company. We.'s conjecture that we should read ^nja ncj? is therefore gener- 
ally adopted and has much to recommend it. We have further two assertions 
that the people were passing along, one of which is superfluous, and I have 
therefore stricken out the first onaj? ayn-Sji. Again, for *»"Sjj we should 
read rjs *jjf with <g L , and finally "O-icrTnN -m is an impossible expression and 
must have been T3T0?1 PM "pi : Kara r^u olibv ttjs i\alas rrjs fa rrt ip-nfiy G L 
probably represents this, and it is not necessary to reconstruct literally "pi 
lanca WM Pvn as is done by Dr., Bu. — 24. ins D^n ^i] is easily accounted 
for, as the insertion of a later scribe, whose point of view was that of the 
Chronicler. A similar insertion is nna which betrays itself by its difference 
of position in the MSS. of @. — cn^n] Kvpiov <g B which also adds anb Baiddp 
which if original can only represent W3D. The verb lpj*1 is probably for 
U*m. The enigmatical nnox *?pi may possibly mean and Abiathar offered 
(sacrifices) as David had done on another journey of the Ark. But we should 
expect the object to be expressed, and as the words are omitted by @ L , they 
are probably due to an attempt to readmit the displaced Abiathar into the 
text. — 25. "vj?'" 1 ] <S L adds lCpDU ari adopted by Bu. But it is not necessary 
to the sense, and insertion is more likely than omission. — >jNnni] 6\pop.at <§ L . 
— 27. nNnn] is obscure. It is taken by Ew. as an address to Zadok, as if he 
were a seer, which does not appear to be the fact. © B reads ini which is sus- 
picious from its recurrence at the beginning of v. 28 . We. supposes an insertion 
PNnn jnafl which has been corrupted into the present text. It is impossible to 
decide with certainty. For nstP, I am inclined to read 20 (the participle) — 
the n having come from the following word. — 28. "\3^Dn niup] is probably 
correct. The Qre substitutes 'Dfl minya which is tautological. <f£ L finds a 
reference to the same Wilderness Olive mentioned above. — 29. »3tr»l] prob- 
ably 3:^1 <S B , the Ark being the subject. 

30. David now takes up his march, going up the ascent of 
Olivet with his head covered and his feet bare, both signs of grief. 
The people also covered their heads and went up, weeping as they 



346 2 SAMUEL 

went. — 31. On hearing of the defection of Ahithophel, David 
prays : Turn the counsel of Ahithophel to foolishness, O Yahweh ! 
As remarked above, Ahithophel, the grandfather of Bathsheba, 
had a special reason to seek the destruction of David. — 32. As 
David was coming to the hill top where one worships God~\ sanctu- 
aries on the hills are too well known to need remark. — There 
met him Hushai the Arkite the friend of David, with his tunic 
rent and earth upon his head~\ the place or family from which he 
got his name is unknown. — 33, 34. David sees in Hushai an 
instrument for counteracting the influence of Ahithophel : If thou 
go with me, thou shall be a burden to me ; but if thou return to the 
city and say to Absalom : I am thy servant, O king . . . then thou 
canst bring to nought for me the counsel of Ahithophel'] the sen- 
tence is a little complicated by the length of the speech which 
Hushai is to make to Absalom. The apparent sense of it is : Thy 
servant will I be, O king; thy father's servant was I formerly, 
and now I am thy servant. But as the Hebrew is awkward, it is 
possible that the text has suffered. (3 certainly read something 
quite different in part of the sentence : Thy brothers have gone 
away and the king thy father has gone away after \_them] ; now I 
am thy servant, O king! let me live ; I have been thy father's servant 
heretofore, and now I am thy servant. — 35, 36. David instructs 
Hushai to keep Zadok and Abiathar informed, and to send word 
by their sons as has already been planned, cf. v. 28 . — 37. As a 
result of this advice, Hushai returns to the city, reaching it about 
the time of Absalom's arrival. 

30. r^xi a^N ion] we find Dtpjn icn in Jer. 14 8 where al^o it is a sign of 
grief. — 31. nm] read "inSi with ® L and 3 MSS. of |§. It is unnecessary 
however to change the verb to *un (Bu.). — 32. "OiNn] d apx^Taipos Aaueid @ 
as in 16 16 . The original (5 was 6 'Apxl ercupos Aaue/5, of which we have traces 
in a few MSS. The friends or boon companions of the king were a special 
class of courtiers, as it would seem. The Arkites are mentioned Jos. 16 2 
between Luz and Ataroth. — 34. The difficulties with the received text in the 
middle of the verse are these : mns is in an unusual position and separated 
by "rSnn from its subject "ox; both ">jni have the ) of the apodosis which is 
certainly extreme (Dr.) ; and the clause *pay '•jxi repeats the first. At the 
opening we should expect a salutation of the king. <3 has (with slight varia- 
tions) : 5i(XT]\v8a<Tiv oi a5eA<pol <rov, Kal 6 fiaatKcbs Kar6in<TBev fiov St€\^\v9fv 
d warrip &ov to which it adds the reading of ^ in a second translation, only 



XV. 3I-XVI.-6 347 

rendering rwm by ia.a6v fie £ri<rai. It is not impossible that the original had 
some such reference as this : thy brother has passed away, and the king t/iy 
father has passed away after him (Kl.). The assumption that David was as 
good as dead