1883 Haydock Douay Rheims Bible

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I Samuel 1:1 There was a man of Ramathaimsophim, of Mount Ephraim, and his name was Elcana, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliu, the son of Thohu, the son of Suph, an Ephraimite:

There. Hebrew, Septuagint, etc., "And there," etc. The books of Scripture are thus frequently connected. The authors present us with a series of events, without prefixing any title, or their own names, that our attention may be wholly fixed on what we read. The birth of Samuel being so miraculous, deserves to be recorded, as he was the last judge of Israel, and had so much to do under the first of their kings, whose election and misconduct brought a great change into the state of the commonwealth. (Calmet) --- Ramathaimsophim. Rama, or Ramatha, "a height," and the environs were occupied by the family of Suph, a descendant of Core; (1 Paralipomenon 6:29.) though the place did not properly belong to the Levites. It lay probably between Gabaa and Bethel, where Samuel spent much of his time, while he was judge, and obliged to be frequently absent from the tabernacle. (Calmet) --- Ragusinus and Prince Radzivil think it was afterwards called Arimathea, the birth-place of Joseph, and now Ramula. (Tirinus) (Chap. 2:11.) --- Ephraimite. He was of the tribe of Levi, (1 Paraliponmenon 6:34.) but is called an Ephraimites from dwelling in Mount Ephraim. (Challoner) --- So we read of Cretan Jews, Acts 2:11. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 1:2 And he had two wives, the name of one was Anna, and the name of the other Phenenna. Phenenna had children: but Anna had no children.

Phenenna. She was only of inferior dignity. At that time polygamy was lawful, (Menochius) as Moses insinuates, if he do not expressly allow it.
I Samuel 1:3 And this man went up out of his city upon the appointed days, to adore and to offer sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Silo. And the two sons of Heli, Ophni and Phinees, were there priests of the Lord.

Days, the three great festivals. His family accompanied him, though the law only lays an express injunction upon the males to attend. We find, however, that females did not neglect to come. (Calmet) --- Hosts. Hebrew (Tsebaoth) of "armies," both of angels and of Israel. God is attended by myriads of angels, and decides the fate of armies. (Haydock) --- This title has not appeared in the former books. The pagans took occasion from it to form their Jupiter Sabazius. (Calmet) --- Elcana might go up from the height of Ramatha to Silo, which was the highest mountain round Jerusalem of all in the holy land. (Adrichom.) (Tirinus)
I Samuel 1:4 Now the day came, and Elcana offered sacrifice, and gave to Phenenna, his wife, and to all her sons and daughters, portions:

Sacrificed, by the hand of the priests, (Menochius) who had the breast and right shoulder; the rest was given back to the person who had presented the fattened victim, that he might feast with his friends. (Calmet)
I Samuel 1:5 But to Anna he gave one portion with sorrow, because he loved Anna. And the Lord had shut up her womb.

With sorrow. Hebrew apayim, "of faces, indignation, (Calmet) sorrow;" (Menochius) or that was presented before him. Chaldean and many others translate, "a chosen:" (Calmet) Protestants, "a worthy portion." (Haydock) --- The shew-bread is called, "the bread of the face," because it stood before the Lord. Joseph sent to each of his brethren, "a portion of his faces," as the Hebrew expresses it; (Genesis 43:33.) or of such meat as was placed upon his table. In the East, the master of a family has all set before him, and he sends to each his portion, to the place where he is sitting. (Chardin, Perse.) --- Thus Elcana sent some more excellent, or "double," part to his beloved Anna, (Calmet) grieving inwardly that she had no children, to whom he might also send. (Haydock) --- By this distinction, he wished to alleviate the sorrow of his wife. (Menochius) --- Womb. Sterility was deemed a curse, and a mark of God's displeasure, with which women were often reproached. Hence Anna prays so earnestly that God would be mindful of her, ver. 11-19. The power of the Almighty, in giving children to the barren, is frequently mentioned, Genesis 28:13., and Psalm 112:9. (Calmet) --- Luke 1:25., etc. (Haydock)
I Samuel 1:6 Her rival also afflicted her, and troubled her exceedingly, insomuch that she upbraided her, that the Lord had shut up her womb:

Insomuch. Hebrew, "to make her fret, or rage; because the Lord," etc. (Calmet)
I Samuel 1:7 And thus she did every year, when the time returned, that they went up to the temple of the Lord: and thus she provoked her: but Anna wept, and did not eat.

Lord. Then they could hardly avoid being together on the road, and Anna was accustomed to pray earnestly (Menochius) to be delivered from her reproach. (Haydock)
I Samuel 1:8 Then Elcana, her husband, said to her: Anna, why weepest thou? and why dost thou not eat? and why dost thou afflict thy heart? Am not I better to thee than ten children?

I Samuel 1:9 So Anna arose after she had eaten and drunk in Silo: *And Heli, the priest, sitting upon a stool before the door of the temple of the Lord;

Year of the World 2848, Year before Christ 1156. Silo; either in some private house, or in the porch before the tabernacle. She complied with the entreaty of her husband. (Menochius) --- Stool. Hebrew, "Heli was sitting upon a throne, near the steps, leading to the palace of the Lord." It is also called the temple, or the house of God, though it was only a tent, Matthew 12:4., etc. Perhaps women were not allowed to go beyond the porch.
I Samuel 1:10 As Anna had her heart full of grief, she prayed to the Lord, shedding many tears,

I Samuel 1:11 And she made a vow, saying: O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt look down, and wilt be mindful of me, and not forget thy handmaid, and wilt give to thy servant a man-child: I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.

A vow; rightly trusting that her husband would give his consent, Numbers 30:7. --- Razor. Hebrew mora, "scissors." Septuagint, "iron." Some copies add, "he shall not drink wine, nor any intoxicating drink." In quality of Levite, Samuel was bound to serve the tabernacle from 25 or 30 years of age till he was 50, Numbers 4:2. Anna consecrates him to the Lord for life, and promises that he shall be a Nazarite, like Samson, and St. John the Baptist. The law prescribes no rules for these perpetual Nazarites, Numbers 6:3. Many of the ancients believe that Samuel always observed the prescriptions of Moses, and abstained from intoxicating liquors; though the Hebrew and Vulgate are silent on this head. We find that during his administration as Judge, he was not able to continue always near the tabernacle. (Calmet) --- When he came to years of discretion, he might depart if he thought proper, like other Levites. Had he been of another tribe, he must have been redeemed. (Worthington) --- Esther, Elcana, or Samuel, might have annulled this vow. (Salien, the year of the world 2900.)
I Samuel 1:12 And it came to pass, as she multiplied prayers before the Lord, that Heli observed her mouth.

Prayers, out of fervour; not through vain superstition and ostentation, as the Pharisees and pagans did, Matthew 23:14. Christ does not condemn many, or long prayers, since he prayed whole nights for our instruction, Luke 21:43., and 6:12., and 1 Thessalonians 5:17. --- Mouth. He tried, but could not hear what she said. (Calmet)
I Samuel 1:13 Now Anna spoke in her heart, and only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard at all. Heli therefore thought her to be drunk,

I Samuel 1:14 And said to her: How long wilt thou be drunk? digest a little the wine, of which thou hast taken too much.

Much. Heli's "son or servant," (paidarion, according to the Septuagint) addressed these words to Anna. Her going to pray immediately after a feast, instead of taking recreation, increased the suspicion. (St. Chrysostom, hom. 1.) --- Salien (the year before Christ 1153) observes the many instances of patience which Anna exhibits on this occasion. (Haydock) --- She teaches us not to answer the unjust reproaches of our superiors with haughtiness. (Du Hamel)
I Samuel 1:15 Anna answering, said: Not so, my lord: for I am an exceeding unhappy woman, and have drunk neither wine nor any strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord.

My lord. She gives him this title, though he had called her a drunken woman. (Haydock) --- Unhappy. Hebrew, "of a hard (or afflicted) spirit." See Canticle of Canticles 8:6. (Calmet)
I Samuel 1:16 Count not thy handmaid for one of the daughters of Belial: for out of the abundance of my sorrow and grief have I spoken till now.

Belial; "without restraint;" abandoned. (Haydock) --- Septuagint, "pestiferous." --- Sorrow. Hebrew, "meditation;" (Calmet) what preys upon my spirits. (Haydock)
I Samuel 1:17 Then Heli said to her: Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition, which thou hast asked of him.

Peace, with all blessings. (Menochius)
I Samuel 1:18 And she said: Would to God thy handmaid may find grace in thy eyes. So the woman went on her way, and ate, and her countenance was no more changed.

Eyes: that thou wouldst lay aside thy suspicions against my character, and pray (Calmet) that I may obtain so great a happiness. --- Changed. Hebrew, "no more," as it had been sad, and defaced with tears. (Haydock) --- She was now full of hope and joy. (Menochius) --- Septuagint, "her countenance fell not." She was not moved with anger or with jealousy, Genesis 4:6. (Calmet)
I Samuel 1:19 And they rose in the morning, and worshipped before the Lord: and they returned, and came into their house at Ramatha. And Elcana knew Anna his wife: And the Lord remembered her.

I Samuel 1:20 And it came to pass when the time was come about, Anna conceived and bore a son, *and called his name Samuel: because she had asked him of the Lord.

Year of the World 2849, Year before Christ 1155. About, at the expiration of the year, which term the ancients frequently allowed between the conception and the nativity, Genesis 18:10. --- Samuel. This name imports, asked of God. (Challoner) --- Some letters are omitted for the easier pronunciation, as the Hebrews would now write it, Saul-meel; (Calmet) or it may signify, "God placed him," sum-hal. (Tirinus) --- Shaal means, "to ask." But Vatable thinks that Anna retained only the first letter. (Menochius)
I Samuel 1:21 And Elcana, her husband, went up, and all his house, to offer to the Lord the solemn sacrifice, and his vow.

Vow, in consequence of his son's nativity. The sacrifice might be of precept, such as the paschal lamb, or for his wife's purification and the redemption of his first-born, as they could not attend in person. (Calmet) --- Hebrew, "the victim of days and his vow," which he had probably made in conjunction with Anna. (Menochius)
I Samuel 1:22 But Anna went not up: for she said to her husband: I will not go till the child be weaned, and till I may carry him, that he may appear before the Lord, and may abide always there.

Weaned. The mother of the Machabees weaned her children when they were three years old; (2 Machabees 7:27.) which Gallien asserts as the proper time, though Avicenna fixes upon two years. See Genesis 21:8. Iremellius translates, "till the child be grown up." But we must not allow any long term, since he was very young when he was presented to the Lord, ver. 24.
I Samuel 1:23 And Elcana, her husband, said to her: Do what seemeth good to thee, and stay till thou wean him: and I pray that the Lord may fulfil his word. So the woman staid at home, and gave her son suck, till she weaned him.

Word, by preserving the life of the child, (Calmet) and enabling him to serve according to our engagement. (Haydock) --- Word is often put for "a thing," in Hebrew. May God perfect his own work. (Menochius)
I Samuel 1:24 And after she had weaned him, she carried him with her, with three calves, and three bushels of flour, and a bottle of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord in Silo. Now the child was as yet very young:

Three calves. Septuagint, "a calf three years old," such as Abraham sacrificed, Genesis 15:9. We only find one offered up, ver. 25. --- Bushels. Hebrew epha, (Calmet) each of which contained three bushels or measures, Ruth 2:17. (Haydock) --- Bottle. Hebrew nebel, a large measure containing above 87 pints. (Calmet) --- The sacrifices seem to have been for thanksgiving, accompanied with an ephi for each calf, and with wine, Numbers xv., and Ezechiel 46:7.
I Samuel 1:25 And they immolated a calf, and offered the child to Heli.

I Samuel 1:26 And Anna said: I beseech thee, my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord: I am that woman, who stood before thee here praying to the Lord.

Liveth: a strong attestation. (Menochius) --- As sure as you live; or, may you enjoy a long and happy life. See 1 Kings 17:55., and 20:3., Daniel 3:9., and 2 Esdras 2:3.
I Samuel 1:27 For this child did I pray, and the Lord hath granted me my petition, which I asked of him.

I Samuel 1:28 Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord all the days of his life, he shall be lent to the Lord. And they adored the Lord there. And Anna prayed, and said:

Lent. This is equivalent to giving entirely. Anna presents her son to the Lord, to serve in his tabernacle as long as God shall think proper. He dispensed with his personal attendance, when he appointed him judge, 1 Kings 7:15. (Calmet) --- As much as depended on Samuel's mother, he was consecrated for ever. But he was at liberty to ratify the vow if he pleased. (Menochius) --- The expression, lent, seems to reserve the dominion of the thing, which Anna had entirely given up, so that we might translate the Hebrew, "Therefore I have him simply as one lent....he is a thing lent, which belongs to the Lord." (Calmet) --- They. Hebrew, "he worshipped the Lord there." Grabe found not these words in the Alexandrian copy, which by comparison of this chapter with the the Vatican edition, appears to be more accurate. Both omit this sentence: but it is found in the Aldine edition of the Septuagint Proleg., 1 Kings 4:The Targum adds, "and she prayed in the spirit of prophecy, and said." (Haydock)
I Samuel 2:0 The canticle of Anna. The wickedness of the sons of Heli: for which they are not duly corrected by their father. A prophecy against the house of Heli.

I Samuel 2:1 My heart hath rejoiced in the Lord, and my horn is exalted in my God: my mouth is enlarged over my enemies: because I have joyed in thy salvation.

Rejoiced. Septuagint and Chaldean, "been strengthened." Anna composed this canticle at the nativity of her son; or rather at his presentation in the tabernacle. She foretells the reign and glory of the Messias, and of his church. (St. Augustine, de C.[City of God?] 17:4.) --- Horn. The horn in the Scripture signifies strength, power, and glory: so the horn is said to be exalted, when a person receives an increase of strength or glory. (Challoner) --- So Horace (3 Ode, 21.) says, addis cornua pauperi. --- Enlarged. Chaldean, "I have opened my mouth, to speak great things against my enemies." She has Phenenna principally in view, and compares her present glory with her former distress. (Calmet) --- I may boast more on account of Samuel, than my rival can of her numerous offspring. (Menochius)
I Samuel 2:2 There is none holy as the Lord is: for there is no other beside thee, and there is none strong like our God.

Holy. This is frequently a title of God, the holy one of Israel, Isaias 1:4., and 5:19. He is essentially holy. --- Strong. Hebrew, "no rock like," etc. The rocks of Palestine were the common fortresses of the nation, having caverns to which the people fled for refuge. Hence God is often called a rock, (Calmet) as none can afford such protection. (Haydock) (Psalm 17:2., and Deuteronomy 32:15.)
I Samuel 2:3 Do not multiply to speak lofty things, boasting: let old matters depart from your mouth: for the Lord is a God of all knowledge, and to him are thoughts prepared.

Old. Hebrew hathak means also, "hard things." (Du Hamel) --- "Let arrogance come out of your mouth," to return no more. Yet most people supply the negation from the former member; "Let not arrogance or hard things." Chaldean, "blasphemy," etc. (Calmet) --- Cease to praise idols, as you have done. (Worthington) --- Use not the malevolent language to which you have been accustomed. --- Knowledge. The secrets of hearts are open to him. --- And to him. Hebrew, "and by him actions are weighed," as in scales; (Haydock) or, "thoughts (and actions) are not established." (Symmachus) The Syriac and Arabic also read the negation, "there are not pretexts before him;" or, "are not actions founded upon him?" Will he not execute what he has wisely designed, in spite of opposition? (Haydock) --- Septuagint, "and God prepares his thought;" (Calmet) (epitedeumata autou) or, "what is convenient for him." (Haydock) --- They have read lu, "of him," instead of la, "not," as they are authorized to do by the Keri, (or various readings in the margin) and by several Hebrew manuscripts. The Protestants think rightly, and suppose that la, "not," has been omitted, "Let not arrogancy;" because we find it in Chaldean, Septuagint, Syriac and Arabic versions. Lu is substituted for la, ver. 16. When some have been pressed with the argument of variations, called Keri, they have said that they were rather explanations of obscure words in the text: but is there any obscurity in lu, "to him," and la, "not;" or can they explain each other? Leusden answers in the affirmative, ver. 16! (Kennicott)
I Samuel 2:4 The bow of the mighty is overcome, and the weak are girt with strength.

Overcome. Hebrew, "broken." Septuagint, "he has weakened the bow," having deprived it of its elasticity.
I Samuel 2:5 They that were full before, have hired out themselves for bread: and the hungry are filled, so that the barren hath borne many: and she that had many children is weakened.

Many. Hebrew, "seven," which is often used in the same sense. Anna had never more than six children; (Calmet) whereas Phenenna had perhaps ten, 1 Kings 1:8., and 3:21. (Haydock) --- The Rabbins pretend that she lost one every time that Anna brought forth. But the text says nothing of the kind. It only insinuates at most, that she had no more. This admirably represents the state of the Synagogue, compared to the Christian Church. (St. Augustine, sup.) (Calmet; Worthington) --- The blessed Virgin conveys the same idea in other words, Luke 1:(Menochius)
I Samuel 2:6 *The Lord killeth and maketh alive, he bringeth down to hell, and bringeth back again.

Deuteronomy 32:39.; Tobias 13:2.; Wisdom 16:13.
Hell, (infernos,) "the lower regions." God calls us out of this world, or restores the dead to life, as he thinks proper. (Haydock) --- He easily makes the greatest prosperity succeed extreme distress, which is often denoted by death, hell, etc. So Seneca says, Mortis habet vices---Lentis cum trahitur vita gemitibus. The prodigal son is said to have come to life again, when his father received him, contrary to his expectations, Luke 15:24., and Psalm 29:4., etc. (Calmet)
I Samuel 2:7 The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich, he humbleth and he exalteth:

Exalteth. The same instances of God's power and providence are related, Psalm 112:7., and Luke 1:52. (Menochius) --- Hesiod (op.) says, "Jupiter easily gives or takes away power," etc.
I Samuel 2:8 He raiseth up the needy from the dust, and lifteth up the poor from the dunghill: that he may sit with princes, and hold the throne of glory. For the poles of the earth are the Lord's, and upon them he hath set the world.

World. The Hebrews represented the earth as resting on a firm basis, or on pillars, or turning on poles, Psalm 103:5., and Proverbs 8:25., etc. The magistrates of the earth may be also thus designated, as the world is entrusted to their care. God compares Jeremias to an iron pillar, Jeremias 1:18., and Apocalypse 3:12. (Calmet) --- The last sentence is omitted in the Septuagint.
I Samuel 2:9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; because no man shall prevail by his own strength.

Saints. Hebrew, "kind, merciful, pious ones;" (Calmet) those to whom he shews mercy, and who comply with his will in assisting others. Septuagint, "Granting their petition to those who ask him, and he has blessed the years of the just, because man is not strong by his own strength." (Haydock) --- Silent: condemned to death. Mox etiam Lemures animas dixere silentes. (Ovid, Fast. v.) Loca nocte silentia late. (Virgil, [Aeneid?] vi.) Unable to act as they had done, and ashamed of themselves, (Calmet) they seek for the most obscure retreat, where they may not behold the glory of those whom they have despised. They will pray that the hills would fall upon them, and hide them from the indignation of the Lamb. (Haydock)
I Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the Lord shall fear him: and upon them shall he thunder in the heavens: The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth, and he shall give empire to his king, and shall exalt the horn of his Christ.

Him. Septuagint, "The Lord will render his adversary weak. The holy Lord. Let not the prudent boast of his prudence," etc. (Haydock; which seems to be added from Jeremias 9:23., Calmet) "The Lord has mounted the heavens, and thundered. He judges the ends of the earth, and gives power to those who rule, as kings, over us," etc. (Haydock) --- Heavens. This prediction against the Philistines was exactly verified, 1 Kings 7:10. It denotes the protection which God grants to his servants, Psalm 17:8, 14. --- Christ. Chaldean, and the best interpreters, understand this of the Messias: "He will multiply the kingdom of his Messias." (Jonathan) --- Anna might also have David in view, who was one of his most express figures. (Calmet) --- But neither he, nor Solomon, ever ruled over all the earth, as Christ will, Psalm 2:18. (Worthington) --- Zachary seems to allude to this text, Luke 1:69. (Calmet) --- The empire of Christ rose from the smallest beginnings. (Menochius)
I Samuel 2:11 And Elcana went to Ramatha, to his house: but the child ministered in the sight of the Lord before the face of Heli the priest.

Ramatha. Hebrew Rama. Septuagint Alexandrian, "and they left him there before the Lord, and went away to Armathaim." (Haydock)
I Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Heli were children of Belial, not knowing the Lord,

The Lord, whom they denied by their works, Titus 1:16.
I Samuel 2:13 Nor the office of the priests to the people: but whosoever had offered a sacrifice, the servant of the priest came, while the flesh was in boiling, with a flesh-hook of three teeth in his hand,

Nor the office. The Vulgate repeats the negation from the preceding sentence. Others translate, "The priests' custom with the people was," etc., or, "the pretended right of the priests," etc. They neither performed their duty towards God, (Calmet) nor were they content with what the law authorized them to receive from the people. (Haydock) --- Servant, or son; perhaps Ophni or Phinees. --- Boiling. In the heroic times, the meat was never boiled, but roasted. (Athen. 1:10.; and Servius; though Hesiod asserts the contrary, ver. 748. (Calmet) --- Abulensis (q. 8.) observes that the person who offered the victim, boiled the parts which belonged to himself, as well as the priest's share. But, whereas in the peace-offerings, only the breast and the right shoulder fell to the priest, these rapacious men took whatever they pleased. (Menochius)
I Samuel 2:14 And thrust it into the kettle, or into the cauldron, or into the pot, or into the pan: and all that the flesh-hook brought up, the priest took to himself. Thus did they to all Israel that came to Silo.

Pan. Hebrew has also four terms, but their precise meaning cannot be determined. The vessels were of different forms, or intended for various uses.
I Samuel 2:15 Also before they burnt the fat, the servant of the priest came, and said to the man that sacrificed: Give me flesh to boil for the priest: for I will not take of thee sodden flesh, but raw.

Raw. Here are two other abuses. The fat ought first to have been burnt, in honour of the Lord; and the meat should have been boiled, in order that the priest might not be taken off from his sacred functions; as custom, it seems, had determined, though the law be silent on this head.
I Samuel 2:16 And he that sacrificed said to him: Let the fat first be burnt to-day, according to the custom, and then take to thee as much as thy soul desireth. But he answered, and said to him: Not so: but thou shalt give it me now, or else I will take it by force.

Desireth. The Laic gives an example of moderation and zeal, to which the priest might well have paid some deference. The former is willing to abandon his goods, provided the honour of God be not neglected. (Haydock)
I Samuel 2:17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was exceeding great before the Lord: because they withdrew men from the sacrifice of the Lord.

Lord. People, seeing that the law was not observed, refrained from presenting victims. (Menochius) --- They are but too apt to follow the bad example of their teachers. (Haydock) --- Hence God punishes the smallest faults of his ministers, with great severity, since they withdraw people from his service, by their scandalous behaviour, and are guilty of a more horrid sacrilege than those who laid violent hands on the Lord of majesty. (St. Bernard, ser. I.) Nothing brings a greater discredit on religion. (Calmet)
I Samuel 2:18 But Samuel ministered before the face of the Lord: being a child girded with a linen ephod.

Ephod. It was not, therefore, peculiar to priests, 2 Kings 6:14.
I Samuel 2:19 And his mother made him a little coat, which she brought to him on the appointed days, when she went up with her husband, to offer the solemn sacrifice.

Coat. Hebrew mehil, the outer garment. Hence it appears that the parents of the people consecrated to the Lord, furnished them with clothes, till they were able to serve the tabernacle, otherwise they would have been a burden to it. (Calmet)
I Samuel 2:20 And Heli blessed Elcana and his wife: and he said to him: The Lord give thee seed of this woman, for the loan thou hast lent to the Lord. And they went to their own home.

Lent. This was in reply to what Anna had said, 1 Kings 1:28. (Haydock) --- God always gives back with interest. (Menochius)
I Samuel 2:21 And the Lord visited Anna, and she conceived, and bore three sons, and two daughters: and the child Samuel became great before the Lord.

Lord. He behaved well in the tabernacle, (Calmet) notwithstanding the ill example of Heli's own sons. (Haydock)
I Samuel 2:22 Now Heli was very old, and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel: and how they lay with the women that waited at the door of the tabernacle:

Waited, like an army of guards, Exodus 38:8. The Rabbins pretend that these priests only sent away these women who came to be purified, and allowed them to return to their husbands before the appointed time, and thus caused the latter to offend. These authors are generally very fertile in discoveries. (Calmet) --- The virgins or widows gave themselves up to work for the tabernacle. (Menochius) --- The sons of Heli found an opportunity in the sacred practices of religion to gratify their passions. Perhaps some false pastors in the Church of Christ may have imitated their perversity. A man of the character of Mr. Crowley, a late deserter of the Catholic faith, judging of others by the corruption of his own heart, would hence insinuate that they all take these liberties, or at least that it is "a miracle," if they can admit females to confession, without yielding to such base temptations. If this be a miracle, we may confidently hope that wonders have not ceased, otherwise among his other malicious remarks, he would surely have adduced some proofs of his assertion, from the records of past ages. But in reality he seems to be little acquainted (though he pretends to have been converted by it, etc., and falsely asserts it is kept from laymen) either with history or with the Bible, having read perhaps little more than what his Catechism set before him; and this he boldly contradicts, as if he supposed that his "Thoughts" would have more weight than the decisions of the Fathers and of the whole Church. If he can find a professor of Maynooth, and another or two Irish priests, disposed to follow his example, (which we need not believe on his assertion) what would this prove? Yet Mr. Slack lays great stress on this man's authority, in his late defence of Wesley. (Letters to R. Campion, Esq. Whitby, 1811.) So ready are the enemies of the Catholic faith to scrape together every idle remark that may tend to defame the mother Church! So eager are infidels to reject the faith, on account of the misconduct of some of its degenerate professors! (Haydock) --- The best of fathers have often very profligate children, as the latter take pride in the honours of their family, and expect to obtain the same without trouble. (Grotius)
I Samuel 2:23 And he said to them: Why do ye these kinds of things, which I hear, very wicked things, from all the people?

People. They could not refrain from complaining of the iniquity of his children, how much soever they might revere him. Though he was not a witness himself of their abominations, such an uproar must have convinced him that they were guilty. (Haydock) --- The Fathers in general blame the lenity of the high priest, who ought not only to have rebuked, but also to have put a stop to the crying sins of his sons, by the utmost severity. (Calmet)
I Samuel 2:24 Do not so, my sons: for it is no good report that I hear, that you make the people of the Lord to transgress.

I Samuel 2:25 If one man shall sin against another, God may be appeased in his behalf: but if a man shall sin against the Lord, who shall pray for him? And they hearkened not to the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.

Who shall pray for him. By these words Heli would have his sons understand, that by their wicked abuse of sacred things, and of the very sacrifices which were appointed to appease the Lord, they deprived themselves of the ordinary means of reconciliation with God; which was by sacrifices. The more, because as they were the chief priests, whose business it was to intercede for all others, they had no other to offer sacrifice and make atonement for them. (Challoner) --- We need not, however, consider the words of Heli as an oracle of God. (Sanchez) --- In human transactions, a person would find more difficulty in obtaining pardon, when the judge himself had received the injury. Septuagint, instead of appeased, have "and they shall pray for him." (Menochius) --- Some may be found to plead his cause, but if he have offended the judge, who will undertake to be his advocate? What medicines shall be used, when those, which God has appointed, are trodden under foot? (Haydock) --- By persevering in such wickedness, no redress can be expected: and indeed, the infinite distance between God and man, would place an insuperable obstacle to a reconciliation, if Jesus Christ had not undertaken the cause even of the most desperate sinner. (Calmet) --- Because the Lord would slay them. In consequence of their manifold sacrileges, he would not soften their hearts with his efficacious grace, but was determined to destroy them. (Challoner) --- They had filled up the measure of their crimes; and, though God wills not the death of a sinner, they had treasured up to themselves wrath, which he will now display. We might also translate ci, "therefore," (Noldius; Osee 9:15, etc.) or "that." They would not be convinced that the threat of their father would be executed. (Schmid) (Calmet) --- Sins directly against God, and which hinder his service, are remitted with greater difficulty, though to all true penitents pardon is promised, Ezechiel xxxiii. God did not take away the free will of Ophni and Phinees, but left them to their own obstinacy, and justly punished them. See St. Augustine, contra Jul. 5:3. (Worthington) --- They had already rendered themselves unworthy of extraordinary graces. (Tirinus) (St. Thomas Aquinas, 1 p. q. 23, n. 3.)
I Samuel 2:26 But the child Samuel advanced, and grew on, and pleased both the Lord and men.

And men. Thus he is, in some degree, compared with our Saviour, Luke 2:52. When one minister prevaricates, God presently raises up another, so that he never abandons his Church. (Haydock)
I Samuel 2:27 And there came a man of God to Heli, and said to him: Thus saith the Lord: Did I not plainly appear to thy father's house, when they were in Egypt in the house of Pharao?

A man. His name is unknown. Some say it was Elcana, Samuel or an angel, etc. The Rabbins suppose that Phinees performed this office. But he was long ago dead, (Calmet) or he would still have enjoyed the high priesthood instead of Heli. --- Father's. Aaron was the chief both of the house of Eleazar and of Ithamar, and was selected by God to be his ambassador and priest. (Haydock) --- His posterity held the high priesthood till after the reign of Herod. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 2:28 And I chose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my sitar, and burn incense to me, and to wear the ephod before me: and I gave to thy father's house of all the sacrifices of the children of Israel.

Ephod, and all the pontifical attire. (Haydock) --- The high priest wore a different sort of ephod from that of other people. (Calmet) --- All the, etc. Even of the holocausts, the priests received the skin. (Menochius)
I Samuel 2:29 Why have you kicked away my victims, and my gifts which I commanded to be offered in the temple: and thou hast rather honoured thy sons than me, to eat the first-fruits of every sacrifice of my people Israel?

Away, by scandalizing the people, and causing them to neglect offering the appointed victims. (Haydock) --- To eat. Heli seems to have refrained from divesting his sons of their high office, that the riches of his family might not be impaired. (Calmet) --- Avarice is the root of many evils, and those who seek to become rich fall into many snares. Poverty soon overtook the descendants of Heli, while the immediate perpetrators of the wickedness were punished with death. (Haydock)
I Samuel 2:30 Wherefore thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: *I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should minister in my sight, for ever. But now saith the Lord: Far be this from me: but whosoever shall glorify me, him will I glorify: but they that despise me, shall be despised.

3 Kings 2:27.
Ever. God had promised the priesthood to Aaron's seed (Calmet) as long as the Jewish religion should subsist. (Haydock) --- He had also selected the branch of Eleazar, to recompense the zeal of Phinees; (Numbers 25:13,) and yet we find that the house of Ithamar had possession for a time of the high priesthood. We know not when or by what means by obtained it. The promises of God to them were surely only conditional; and some think that they only meant, that as He had permitted them to acquire this high dignity, so it was an earnest that he would not deprive them of it, unless they proved unworthy. But it is generally supposed that God had expressed his determination of this head. Heli, Achitob, Achias, Achimelech, and Abiathar, (Calmet) were the only pontiffs of the family of Ithamar. The last was obliged to resign to (Haydock) Sadoc, under the reign of Solomon, 3 Kings 2:27. Some suppose that Heli usurped this dignity, (Capel) when he entered upon the civil administration, as the people thought none more fit for the office, in a time of trouble. (Bertram.) --- Others think that the descendants of Eleazar forfeited this honour by their crimes or indolence, or because they were not of sufficient age. But this reason would not have excluded them for ever. The Scripture, therefore, insinuates that Heli was appointed by God, and that his descendants would have enjoyed his office, if they had not offended. (Calmet) --- These promises were of a conditional nature both to Phinees and to Heli, and Sadoc, ver. 35. See Numbers xxv., etc. (Haydock) --- God never changes. (Menochius)
I Samuel 2:31 Behold the days come: and I will cut off thy arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thy house.

Arm, strength or children. I will slay some; others I will reduce to extreme want. Some explain it of the ark, which was the protection of Israel. (Calmet) --- Old man, to govern. (Du Hamel) --- It is often a title of dignity. But the four succeeding pontiffs did not live long. In the course of little more than 100 years, the last was deposed. (Calmet)
I Samuel 2:32 And thou shalt see thy rival in the temple, in all the prosperity of Israel, and there shall not be an old man in thy house for ever.

Thy rival. A priest of another race. This was partly filled when Abiathar, of the race of Heli, was removed from the priesthood, and Sadoc, who was of another line, was substituted in his place. But it was more fully accomplished in the New Testament, when the priesthood of Aaron gave place to that of Christ. (Challoner) --- Some suppose that this rival was Samuel, in whom this prediction was partly fulfilled, though more completely in Christ. (Ven. Bede, q.) (Menochius) --- Heli saw not in person the exaltation of Eleazar's family. Hebrew and other version are very much embarrassed here. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "and thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel." (Haydock)
I Samuel 2:33 However, I will not altogether take away a man of thee from my altar: but that thy eyes may faint, and thy soul be spent: and a great part of thy house shall die, when they come to man's estate.

Spent. Hence we may learn to adore the depth of God's judgments, who knows how to punish both in life and death. --- Part. Septuagint, "the most exalted of thy house shall fall by the sword of men."
I Samuel 2:34 And this shall be a sign to thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, Ophni and Phinees: in one day they shall both of them die.

I Samuel 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, who shall do according to my heart, and my soul: and I will build him a faithful house, and he shall walk all days before my anointed.

Faithful often denotes what shall continue a long time, Isaias 33:16., and 55:3. (Calmet) --- But in the conduct of Sadoc, we find nothing reprehensible. (Menochius) --- This faithful priest pointed out the Christian priesthood, as the sequel shews. (Calmet) --- All days. He shall perform his office. (Haydock) --- Anointed, king Solomon. (Menochius) --- The priests of the new law ought always to have Christ in view. (Calmet)
I Samuel 2:36 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall remain in thy house shall come that he may be prayed for, and shall offer a piece of silver, and a roll of bread, and shall say: Put me, I beseech thee, to somewhat of the priestly office, that I may eat a morsel of bread.

Bread; like the poorest sort of people. (Menochius) --- Being degraded, they shall ask the other priests to offer sacrifice for them. Hebrew, "shall bend before him for a piece of silver, and for a morsel of bread." He shall humbly intreat to be employed as a priest, in order to get a livelihood. --- The piece of silver. Hebrew agorath, probably denotes the gerah, the smallest coin, or what was given for a day's wages. Agor means to hire, in Chaldean, Syriac, etc. Hence the Greek, agorazo, "I purchase." --- Office. The priests served in their turns; (1 Paralipomenon xxiv.) so that the descendants of Heli must have been entitled to a subsistence. But whether God punished them, by requiring that they should ask the high priest for this, as for a favour, or this was required of all the inferior priests before they could be employed, or whether, in fine, the descendants of Abiathar were reduced to the condition of Levites, or wholly degraded, we know not. See 4 Kings 23:9., and Ezechiel 44:10. (Calmet) --- They may petition for a part of the victims which fell to the share of the priests, (Menochius) and might be eaten by any that was not defiled. (Haydock)
I Samuel 3:0 Samuel is four times called by the Lord: who revealeth to him the evil that shall fall on Heli and his house.

I Samuel 3:1 Now *the child Samuel ministered to the Lord before Heli, and the word of the Lord was precious in those days, there was no manifest vision.

Year of the World 2861, Year before Christ 1143. Before. Chaldean, "in the days of Heli." The young Levite slept in an adjoining chamber, to wait on the high priest, not far from the sanctuary. --- Precious; that is, rare: (Challoner) as such things are generally more esteemed, (Haydock) which are granted to few. (Worthington) --- Some prophets had appeared under the former judges: but they were not so common as they were from the days of Samuel, till a little after the captivity. St. Peter ranks Samuel in the first place, Acts 3:24. (Calmet) --- Vision. No prophet was publicly recognized, to whom the people might have recourse. (Menochius)
I Samuel 3:2 And it came to pass one day when Heli lay in his place, and his eyes were grown dim, that he could not see:

I Samuel 3:3 Before the lamp of God went out, Samuel slept in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was.

Out, towards morning, (Calmet; Exodus 27:20.) when some of the lamps were to be extinguished. (Worthington) --- Samuel slept. Some would transpose these words to the end of the verse, as they think it improbable that Samuel should be in the place where the high priest himself could enter only once a year. (Vatable, etc.) --- But this change seems harsh and unnecessary, as Heli and Samuel might be in apartments contiguous to the holy place. (Sanctius; Menochius; Calmet) --- During the night none of the priests would be in the sanctuary, so that Heli might form a judgment that none of them had called Samuel. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 3:4 And the Lord called Samuel. And he answered: Here am I.

I Samuel 3:5 And he ran to Heli, and said: Here am I: for thou didst call me. He said: I did not call: go back and sleep. And he went and slept.

I Samuel 3:6 And the Lord called Samuel again. And Samuel arose and went to Heli, and said: Here am I: for thou calledst me. He answered: I did not call thee, my son: return and sleep.

I Samuel 3:7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither had the word of the Lord been revealed to him.

Him. He had not before an experimental knowledge of the manner in which God revealed his will to men. (Calmet)
I Samuel 3:8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose up and went to Heli.

I Samuel 3:9 And said: Here am I: for thou didst call me. Then Heli understood that the Lord called the child, and he said to Samuel: Go, and sleep: and if he shall call thee any more, thou shalt say: Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went, and slept in his place.

Heareth; ready to comply with whatever may be required. (Haydock)
I Samuel 3:10 And the Lord came, and stood, and he called, as he had called the other times, Samuel, Samuel. And Samuel said: Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.

Times, (secundò:) a second time, or repeatedly, or mentioning the name twice, (Menochius) as God does sometimes in urgent cases, Genesis 22:11. (Haydock)
I Samuel 3:11 And the Lord said to Samuel: Behold I do a thing in Israel: and whosoever shall hear it, both his ears shall tingle.

Tingle, through astonishment and fright, Jeremias 19:3., and 4 Kings 21:12.
I Samuel 3:12 In that day I will raise up against Heli all the things I have spoken concerning his house: I will begin, and I will make an end.

House, by the prophet, 1 Kings 2:27.
I Samuel 3:13 For I have foretold unto him, that I will judge his house for ever, for iniquity, because he knew that his sons did wickedly, and did not chastise them.

Wickedly. Septuagint, "were cursing God." This is one of the places which the Jews have corrected. (Du Hamel) --- Judge; or condemn and punish, Proverbs 19:29. (Calmet) --- Chastise them, not in words only, or in a soft manner, as he had done. Hebrew, "because his sons made themselves despicable, and he did not frown upon them." (Haydock) --- Ciha denotes, to correct with a wrinkled face. (Menochius) --- Aquila, "he did not look black at them," nor avert his eyes with horror. All this iniquity was done publicly, and in his presence; (Calmet) and he suffered his children to proceed without any restraint. It is not sufficient to reprove, when a father can correct. (Haydock)
I Samuel 3:14 Therefore have I sworn to the house of Heli, that the iniquity of his house shall not be expiated with victims nor offerings for ever.

Sworn. We read not of an express oath; (Calmet) but the denunciation of God was equivalent. (Haydock) --- Iniquity, or punishment. Nothing could withhold the indignation of the Lord, in correcting the sinner, though he would shew mercy eternally to the penitent. But he saw the obstinacy of these priests, and their unhappy end. The sacrifices of the old law always presupposed suitable internal sentiments, to grant the remission of sin; and even for the avoiding of the legal punishments, they must have been offered in a true spirit of religion, which these abandoned wretches despised and neglected. (Calmet) --- God threatens that he will punish their crimes for ever, as he abominates the contempt of priests. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 3:15 And Samuel slept till morning, and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel feared to tell the vision to Heli.

Slept. Hebrew and Septuagint, "laid himself down to sleep." For how could he take any rest after such terrible threats? (Calmet) particularly as light was beginning to appear, when he was called by God, ver. 3. --- Doors. Some walls had probably been built, to enclose the curtains of the tabernacle. A priest would have been employed to open the sanctuary. (Calmet)
I Samuel 3:16 Then Heli called Samuel, and said: Samuel, my son. And he answered: Here am I.

I Samuel 3:17 And he asked him: What is the word that the Lord hath spoken to thee? I beseech thee hide it not from me. May God do so and so to thee, and add so and so, if thou hide from me one word of all that were said to thee.

And so. Literally, "May God do these things to thee, and add these also." It is not certain that he mentioned the particular punishment, (Haydock) though it is most probable. The Scripture refrains from repeating them. (Grotius) --- Ruth 1:17. (Calmet)
I Samuel 3:18 So Samuel told him all the words, and did not hide them from him. And he answered: It is the Lord: let him do what is good in his sight.

Sight. Some of the Fathers think that these words proceeded from an habitual indifference, as he was not disposed to molest his sons any farther, let the consequences be what they might. (St. Gregory; St. Ephrem, etc.) --- But others believe, that Heli was actuated by the spirit of humanity and resignation, and saved his soul. (Calmet) See 1 Kings 4:18. --- Years. The author of the Concord. between the Books of Kings and of Chronicles, thinks Samuel was then 39. (Du Hamel)
I Samuel 3:19 And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and not one of his words fell to the ground.

Ground, unfulfilled. This may be understood of the words of the Lord, (Calmet) which Samuel had announced. His other predictions were constantly verified, so that he was justly regarded as a true prophet. (Haydock)
I Samuel 3:20 And all Israel, from Dan to Bersabee, knew that Samuel was a faithful prophet of the Lord.

Faithful. Hebrew Neeman, may be a title of dignity, or may signify that Samuel was confirmed and continued to be a prophet. (Calmet) --- According to, or by. God revealed his will to him by word, and not by visions. (Sanchez) --- Israel. The whole people suffered along with their leaders. (Haydock) --- They were concerned in the prediction which was denounced against the house of Heli. (Menochius) --- Septuagint, "and Samuel was entrusted to be the prophet of the Lord, to all Israel, from the ends of the earth to the ends: And Heli was very old, and his sons going went forward, and their way was wicked before the Lord." Thus they usher in the following catastrophe. (Haydock)
I Samuel 3:21 And the Lord again appeared in Silo, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Silo, according to the word of the Lord. And the word of Samuel came to pass to all Israel.

I Samuel 4:0 The Israelites being overcome by the Philistines, send for the ark of God: but they are beaten again: the sons of Heli are killed, and the ark taken: upon the hearing of the news Heli falleth backward and dieth.

I Samuel 4:1 And it came to pass in those days, *that the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight: and Israel went out to war against the Philistines, and camped by the Stone of help. And the Philistines came to Aphec,

Year of the World 2888, Year before Christ 1116. And. Hebrew inserts here the conclusion of the last verse, whence some would infer that Samuel told the Israelites to make war upon the Philistines. But as it turned out so ill, this would have tended to discredit him; and we find that the Philistines were the aggressors. --- Days. This war took place immediately after the threats denounced to Heli; (Sararius) or according to Usher, and the best chronologists, about 27 years after that event. (Calmet) --- The addition of the Septuagint seems to insinuate, that the sons of Heli persevered for a long time in their wicked course, 1 Kings 3:20. (Haydock) --- Josephus says that Phinees was his father's coadjutor. --- Salien observes that this must be considered as a fresh blot in the character of the latter, since he ought to have delivered the delinquents up to execution, Deuteronomy 21:21. Tirin[Tirinus], on the contrary, adduces the power of his sons, and the debilitated state of Heli, to excuse his neglect. (Haydock) --- Help. In Hebrew Eben-ezer; so called, from the help which the Lord was pleased afterwards to give to his people, Israel, in that place, by the prayers of Samuel, 1 Kings 7:12., (Challoner) about 21 years afterwards. --- Aphec, in the tribe of Juda, not far from Maspha.
I Samuel 4:2 And put their army in array against Israel. And when they had joined battle, Israel turned their backs to the Philistines, and there were slain in that fight, here and there in the fields, about four thousand men.

Here, etc. Hebrew, "in the field" of battle. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "in the ranks, in the field." (Haydock)
I Samuel 4:3 And the people returned to the camp: and the ancients of Israel said: Why hath the Lord defeated us to-day before the Philistines? Let us fetch unto us the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Silo, and let it come in the midst of us, that it may save us from the hand of our enemies.

Ancients; the commanders of the respective tribes. Heli was not able to lead on the people to battle, on account of his blindness and great age. --- Enemies. All nations attribute much to the exterior marks of religion. The Israelites had witnessed the victories which had been obtained while the ark was present, Josue 6:4. See Numbers 14:45. But they ought to have considered, that their infidelity rendered them unworthy of the divine protection; and that God was more displeased at their profanations, than at the indignity to which the sacred vessels would be exposed. He would know how to vindicate his own honour and glory. The symbols of religion were thus carried in the army, by the Persians, etc. (Herodotus vii.) --- The Romans regarded their standards as so many deities. (Halicar. vi.) See 2 Kings 6:21., and 2 Paralipomenon 13:8. (Calmet) --- The confidence which the Israelites placed in the ark was commendable, but their sins deserved to be punished. (Worthington) (Numbers 10:35.)
I Samuel 4:4 So the people sent to Silo, and they brought from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, sitting upon the cherubims: and the two sons of Heli, Ophni and Phinees, were with the ark of the covenant of God.

Ark. On this extraordinary emergency they thought it lawful. (Abulensis, q. 6.) --- They easily obtained the consent of Heli; and his sons went to take it down, and to attend it to the army, as he was incapable of doing duty. We know not what ceremonies were used, nor whether the brothers acted as high priests alternately. (Calmet) --- Cherubim. The Scripture often represents God in this manner, Exodus 25:22., Psalm 17:10., and Ezechiel 10:1. The commonality of the Jews attributed bodies to the angels, but to denote that they were not like those with which we are acquainted, they called them cherubim, or complex and unusual figures. (Calmet)
I Samuel 4:5 And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord was come into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, and the earth rang again.

I Samuel 4:6 And the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, and they said: What is this noise of a great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp.

I Samuel 4:7 And the Philistines were afraid, saying: God is come into the camp. And sighing, they said:

God: "Elohim." Septuagint, "these gods." They speak of the true God according to their false ideas. (Calmet) --- Sighing. Septuagint, "deliver us, O Lord, this day."
I Samuel 4:8 Woe to us: for there was no such great joy yesterday, and the day before: Woe to us. Who shall deliver us from the hand of these high Gods? these are the Gods that struck Egypt with all the plagues in the desert.

Joy. A few days ago the Hebrews were dismayed, now they shout for joy, as they did at the taking of Jericho. Hebrew and Septuagint, "it was not so heretofore." (Haydock) --- Gods. Hebrew may be rendered in the singular, with the Chaldean and Arabic. But the Septuagint and most commentators, explain it in the sense of the Vulgate. The title of high, (adirim) or magnificent, was given by the Philistines to Dagon, whom they styled Atergatis. (Calmet) --- Septuagint stereon, means, "stable, perfect," etc. (Haydock) --- Plagues, till they were overwhelmed in the Red Sea, which is surrounded with deserts. Some supply, "and (his people) in the desert." (Septuagint, Syriac, etc.) (Calmet)
I Samuel 4:9 Take courage, and behave like men, ye Philistines: lest you come to be servants to the Hebrews, as they have served you: take courage and fight.

Fight. To serve those whom they had lately oppressed, would be doubly afflicting. (Salien) --- If these people had seriously attended to the instructions, which they might have derived from the fall of others, they would surely never have exposed themselves to fight against the high God. But they looked upon him in no other light than their own contemptible idols. Homer often represents them as wounded, and conquered by mortal men.
I Samuel 4:10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was overthrown, and every man fled to his own dwelling: and there was an exceeding great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.

Footmen. They had no cavalry, (Calmet) as God seemed to discourage any. (Haydock) --- Even after Solomon's time, they had not many horsemen. (Calmet) --- The Israelites had before lost 4,000: now when they were full of confidence, and fought with valour, they behold 30,000 fall. The ark proved thus fatal to them. (Haydock)
I Samuel 4:11 And the ark of God was taken: and the two sons of Heli, Ophni and Phinees, were slain.

Slain. Abulensis (q. 17,) thinks they were fighting in defence of the ark, when they might have saved themselves by flight; so that he does not despair of their salvation. God permitted them to lose their lives in the exercise of a holy ministry, which they had so scandalously profaned. (Calmet)
I Samuel 4:12 And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Silo the same day, with his clothes rent, and his head strewed with dust.

Man. The Jews say that Saul carried these melancholy tidings, and that Goliah slew the sons of Heli. (Haydock)
I Samuel 4:13 And when he was come, Heli sat upon a stool over-against the way, watching. For his heart was fearful for the ark of God. And when the man was come into the city, he told it: and all the city cried out.

Stool. Hebrew cisse; "a throne or tribunal," where Heli sat to decide any controversies, and where he had blessed the mother of Samuel. (Calmet) --- God. He had great reason to fear that this was the day when his sons would perish, and he apprehended that the ark would be in danger. (Haydock)
I Samuel 4:14 And Heli heard the noise of the cry, and he said: What meaneth the noise of this uproar? But he made haste, and came, and told Heli.

I Samuel 4:15 Now Heli was ninety and eight years old, and his eyes were dim, and he could not see.

I Samuel 4:16 And he said to Heli: I am he that came from the battle, and have fled out of the field this day. And he said to him: What is there done, my son?

I Samuel 4:17 And he that brought the news answered, and said: Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter of the people: moreover thy two sons, Ophni and Phinees, are dead: and the ark of God is taken.

Taken. Every sentence expresses something more distressing to the aged judge and father; the flight and slaughter of his people, the ruin of his children, and the loss of the ark, which must have filled all Israel with a mortal gloom and terror, lest God should have abandoned them. So many dismal circumstances oppressing the heart of Heli, he fainted away, and falling backwards, expired. (Haydock) --- The Scripture takes notice of his great age, that we might not think that he killed himself in despair. (Salien)
I Samuel 4:18 And when he had named the ark of God, he fell from his stool backwards by the door, and broke his neck and died. For he was an old man, and far advanced in years: And he judged Israel forty years.

Named the ark, etc. There is great reason, by all these circumstances, to hope that Heli died in the state of grace; and by his temporal punishments, escaped the eternal. (Challoner) --- But many of the Fathers condemn him, and the Scripture says nothing of his conversion, or of that of his children, so that the matter is doubtful. (Calmet) --- Years. Hebrew, "and heavy." --- Forty. Septuagint, "twenty," in which they are followed by many Fathers. (Eusebius; Sulpit., etc.) --- Some reconcile the two texts by saying, that Heli and Samson judged together for twenty years. But the Septuagint is probably corrupted, as the other versions agree with the original. (Calmet)
I Samuel 4:19 And his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinees, was big with child, and near her time: and hearing the news that the ark of God was taken, and her father-in-law, and her husband, were dead, she bowed herself and fell in labour: for her pains came upon her on a sudden.

Sudden, through extreme affliction. (Menochius) --- Josephus says the child was only in his seventh month, but alive. Abulensis thinks he did not long survive his mother.
I Samuel 4:20 And when she was upon the point of death, they that stood about her said to her: Fear not, for thou hast borne a son. She answered them not, nor gave heed to them.

I Samuel 4:21 And she called the child Ichabod, saying: The glory is gone from Israel, because the ark of God was taken, and for her father-in-law, and her husband:

Ichabod. That is, Where is the glory? or, there is no glory. We see how much the Israelites lamented the loss of the ark, which was but the symbol of God's presence amongst them. How much more ought Christians lament the loss of God himself, when by sin they have drove him out of their souls? (Challoner) --- The ark is often called the glory of Israel, Isaias 64:21., and Psalm 25:8. Ichabod might remind the people that the greatest loss had been sustained by them, as well as by his family. His mother had both in view the ark, Heli, and Phinees, her husband, (Haydock) when she exclaimed, icabod, "Woe! or, Alas! the glory." (Mendoza) --- The Scripture does not mention Ophni's posterity. But besides this posthumous son, Phinees had one elder, who now succeeded Heli in the pontificate, (Chap. 14:3.; Josephus; Salien, the year of the world 2940, the year before Christ 1113,) while Samuel took possession of the civil administration, and almost totally eclipsed the glory of Achitob. Many of the Fathers have even looked upon him as the high priest. But he was only a Levite, though, by dispensation, he acted sometimes as an extraordinary priest. (St. Jerome, contra Jov. I., and in 1 Cor.) He reduced the people to a sense of their duty, and taught them to trust in the true God alone, and they would be protected, though deprived of the ark. This was also presently restored to them. (Haydock)
I Samuel 4:22 And she said: The glory is departed from Israel, because the ark of God was taken.

I Samuel 5:0 Dagon twice falleth down before the ark. The Philistines are grievously afflicted, wherever the ark cometh.

I Samuel 5:1 And* the Philistines took the ark of God, and carried it from the Stone of help into Azotus.

Year of the World 2888. Azotus, one of the five principal cities of the Philistines. It is astonishing that God permits these infidels to touch the ark, He who resented the conduct of Oza, and of the Bethsamites, with such severity. But the law regarded the Israelites, and the pagans were ignorant of it. (Calmet) --- The servant, who knows his master will, and does not obey, shall suffer many stripes; [Luke 12:47.] and those who have the happiness of professing the true religion, and dishonour it by their immorality, must expect to feel the heavy hand of the judge, much more than ignorant unbelievers. (Haydock) --- The Philistines could not suppose that they had gained a victory over God, since they knew he might be displeased with the conduct of his people; and they soon began to perceive that they had brought the greatest misfortunes upon themselves.
I Samuel 5:2 And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it into the temple of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.

Dagon is the same as Derceto, Atergatis, Venus, and the moon, (Calmet) and was represented like a woman, (Tirinus) as far as the waist, and a fish below. (Haydock) (Judges 16:23.) --- The ark was placed near the idol, out of respect; (Calmet) or as a trophy of the victory, which they attributed to Dagon. (Menochius) --- Thus they hung up the arms of Saul in the temple of Asteroth; (chap. 31:10,) and David placed the sword of Goliah in the tabernacle.
I Samuel 5:3 And when the Azotians arose early the next day, behold Dagon lay upon his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord: and they took Dagon, and set him again in his place.

Lord, as if to acknowledge his superiority. (Calmet) --- No sooner was the gospel preached, than the power of the idols began to decrease. (Ven. Bede) (Worthington)
I Samuel 5:4 And the next day again, when they rose in the morning, they found Dagon lying upon his face on the earth before the ark of the Lord: and the head of Dagon, and both the palms of his hands, were cut off upon the threshold:

Threshold. The idol is treated worse the second time. (Menochius)
I Samuel 5:5 And only the stump of Dagon remained in its place. For this cause neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that go into the temple, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Azotus unto this day.

The stump of, seems to be wanting in Hebrew. (Haydock) --- Only the lower part, which resembled a fish, (Dag) was left on its pedestal. --- Day. The Philistines themselves established this custom, which was a tacit confession of the imbecility of the idol, which they nevertheless continued to adore. The prophet Sophonias (Sophonias 1:9.) is supposed to accuse the Jews of imitating this superstition. The ancient Christians, out of respect, kissed the thresholds of the churches of the apostles and martyrs. (Prudentius in S. Romano.) --- The Persians still refrain from treading on those of certain mosques, which are covered with silver. (Tavernier 1:5.)
I Samuel 5:6 And the hand of the Lord was heavy upon the Azotians, and he destroyed them,* and afflicted Azotus and the coasts thereof with emerods. And in the villages and fields in the midst of that country, there came forth a multitude of mice, and there was the confusion of a great mortality in the city.

Psalm 77:66.
Emerods. The particular disorder which attacked them, (Psalm 77:66,) is very uncertain. Some say it was the dysentery, or the fistula, or the venereal disease, etc. Eusebius believes that it was in punishment of their incontinency. It was very painful, and sometimes proved mortal, ver. 12. Aristophanes assures us that the Athenians were punished with a shameful disorder, because they had not received the mysteries of Bacchus with due respect; and they were ordered, by the oracle, to make and carry aloft some obscene figures, before they could obtain a cure. (Acharn. 2:6.) --- And in, etc. The remainder of this verse is not found in Hebrew, Chaldean, Syriac, Arabic, etc., nor in many Greek and Latin copies. But it is conformable to the truth of history, since we read that figures of these animals were placed beside the ark, in memory of this event, 1 Kings 6:6. --- Mice, or rats. Such vermin have often obliged people to abandon their country. (Pliny, [Natural History?] 8:28.) --- Bellon. (II. 78,) testifies that he saw, near Gaza, such multitudes, as to depopulate whole fields; and, if Providence had not caused the birds, called boudres, to destroy them, the people could have had no harvest.
I Samuel 5:7 And the men of Azotus seeing this kind of plague, said: The ark of the God of Israel shall not stay with us: for his hand is heavy upon us, and upon Dagon, our god.

God. the ark was terrible to this idol, as the relics of St. Babylas were to Apollo. (Worthington)
I Samuel 5:8 And sending, they gathered together all the lords of the Philistines to them, and said: What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And the Gethites answered: Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about.

Lords, next in dignity to a king, like the Persian surena, Judges 3:3., and 16:5. --- About. Hebrew, "and they answered, let the ark....be carried unto Geth," in which sense the Septuagint seem to have taken it. But the Vulgate is more natural. Theodoret (q. 10,) concludes, that the people imagined the mortality proceeded from some natural cause; (Calmet) otherwise it would have been very absurd to give such advice, as the ark would spread the contagion throughout the country, by being removed. From Geth it was sent to Accaron, when the magistrates of the city objected to its being admitted, ver. 10. Jospehus says, however, that it visited all the five principal cities, as if to punish them for their impiety. (Haydock)
I Samuel 5:9 And while they were carrying it about, the hand of the Lord came upon every city with an exceeding great slaughter: and he smote the men of every city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. And the Gethites consulted together, and made themselves seats of skins.

Came upon, to punish, as on other occasions, to protect, Ezechiel 1:3., and 13:9. (Menochius) --- Parts. Literally, "Their lower intestines coming out, rotted," as [in] ver. 6. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "their malady was concealed." (Grotius) --- The emerods attacked them inwardly, with the most excruciating pains, for which they could find no remedy. --- Skins. The ancients knew no greater luxury. (Homer, Odyssey I., and iii.) The Hebrew, et., take no notice of this particular; and there are many other omissions in the Books of Kings, which have been supplied from the Septuagint. (Calmet) --- The skins were used instead of breeches, and to hold up the plaster and other medicines. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 5:10 Therefore they sent the ark of God into Accaron. And when the ark of God was come into Accaron, the Accaronites cried out, saying: They have brought the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people.

I Samuel 5:11 They sent therefore, and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines: and they said: Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return into its own place, and not kill us and our people.

I Samuel 5:12 For there was the fear of death in every city, and the hand of God was exceeding heavy. The men also that did not die, were afflicted with the emerods: and the cry of every city went up to heaven.

Die, at the sight of the ark, as the Bethsamites did afterwards. (Menochius)
I Samuel 6:0 The ark is sent back to Bethsames: where many are slain for looking through curiosity into it.

I Samuel 6:1 Now *the ark of God was in the land of the Philistines seven months.

Year of the World 2888.
I Samuel 6:2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying: What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? tell us how we are to send it back to its place? And they said:

Diviners. The priests generally pretended to a knowledge of magic, among the pagans. (Calmet)
I Samuel 6:3 If you send back the ark of the God of Israel, send it not away empty, but render unto him what you owe for sin, and then you shall be healed: and you shall know why his hand departeth not from you.

If, etc. The lords were already determined to send back the ark. But the priests knew that some still would not believe that it was the cause of their affliction. To convince all, they try an experiment, which would decide the matter; and in case the ark went back, some suitable presents must accompany it, as a propitiation (Haydock) for the sin which they would not (Menochius) then doubt had been incurred. (Haydock) --- Though God stands in need of nothing, all must acknowledge their dependence on him. The pagans always made some present, when they appeared before their idols or monarchs, and God requires the like testimony of submission, Exodus 23:15.
I Samuel 6:4 They answered: What is it we ought to render unto him for sin? and they answered:

I Samuel 6:5 According to the number of the provinces of the Philistines you shall make five golden emerods, and five golden mice: for the same plague hath been upon you all, and upon your lords. And you shall make the likeness of your emerods, and the likeness of the mice, that have destroyed the land, and you shall give glory to the God of Israel: to see if he will take off his hand from you, and from your gods, and from your land.

Provinces. Hebrew seranim, "lords." --- Emerods. Theodoret observes, that the tombs of the martyrs were adorned with figures of eyes, etc., in gratitude for their having procured redress for the afflicted. --- Israel, whose ark you have treated in an improper manner. (Calmet) --- You shall thus confess that He chastises, and grants health. (Menochius) --- Gods. Not only Dagon, but the other idols, were humbled, (Haydock) though the Hebrew word denotes also one god, or princes, etc.
I Samuel 6:6 Why do you harden your hearts, as Egypt and Pharao hardened their hearts? *did not he, after he was struck, then let them go, and they departed?

Exodus 12:31.
Hearts. Even these confess that obduracy proceeds from men; (Worthington) though Calvin would make God the author of it. (Haydock)
I Samuel 6:7 Now, therefore, take and make a new cart: and two kine that have calved, on which there hath come no yoke, tie to the cart, and shut up their calves at home.

New cart. It would have been deemed irreverent to use one that had been employed for other profane purposes, 2 Kings 6:3. --- Home. All these circumstances tended to prevent the ark from being conveyed home, (Calmet) unless Providence interfered.
I Samuel 6:8 And you shall take the ark of the Lord, and lay it on the cart, and the vessels of gold, which you have paid him for sin, you shall put into a little box at the side thereof: and send it away, that it may go.

Box. Hebrew argaz, (which the Septuagint retain; Haydock) means also "a purse or basket." (Calmet) --- Josephus ([Antiquities?] 6:1,) says, "the box was placed upon the ark." (Haydock) --- We do not read what became of these presents afterwards: but it is supposed that they were kept in the sanctuary till the time of the captivity. (Calmet)
I Samuel 6:9 And you shall look: and if it go up by the way of his own coasts, towards Bethsames, then he hath done us this great evil: but if not, we shall know that it is not his hand hath touched us, but it hath happened by chance.

Way. Josephus observes, that they stationed the kine at three lane ends; (Haydock) and, as we may infer from the Hebrew (ver. 12,) rather with their heads turned from Bethsames. But, by this conduct, did they not tempt God? Some believe that He inspired them on this occasion, (Estius) that even his enemies might be convinced, (Haydock) the grace of prophecy being frequently granted to wicked men, like Balaam: others believe that He gave success to their plan, though it was dictated by superstition. Even the devil sometimes speaks the truth. (Mendoza) (Calmet) --- People frequently use to pitch upon signs, to which God often assented, Proverbs 16:33., (Menochius) and Genesis 24:14. (Haydock)
I Samuel 6:10 They did therefore in this manner: and taking two kine, that had suckling calves, they yoked them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home.

I Samuel 6:11 And they laid the ark of God upon the cart, and the little box that had in it the golden mice, and the likeness of the emerods.

I Samuel 6:12 And the kine took the straight way, that leadeth to Bethsames, and they went along the way, lowing as they went: and turned not aside neither to the right hand nor to the left: and the lords of the Philistines followed them as far as the borders of Bethsames.

I Samuel 6:13 Now the Bethsamites were reaping wheat in the valley: and lifting up their eyes, they saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.

Wheat, about Pentecost, in May; so that the ark must have been taken in November. (Menochius)
I Samuel 6:14 And the cart came into the field of Josue, a Bethsamite, and stood there. And there was a great stone, and they cut in pieces the wood of the cart, and laid the kine upon it a holocaust to the Lord.

Bethsamite, not the renowned general. (Calmet) --- Stone, which served instead of an altar. (Menochius) --- Lord. Some pretend that the lords of the Philistines followed so far, and offered this holocaust, as the cart belonged to them: but the Bethsamites might suppose that they had abandoned their property, as well as the golden figures; and, as the city belonged to the priests, it is most probable that they would perform this office. Males indeed were to be offered in the tabernacle. But this was an extraordinary case; so that, if there were no priests, the sacrifice might be lawful (Calmet) by dispensation, as we see Samuel and Elias did the like. (Haydock) --- The kine and cart being consecrated to God, it was thought that they could not be turned to a more suitable purpose. (Calmet) --- The ark was also present, on account of which, sacrifices were offered in the tabernacle. The arguments of Abulensis, (q. 19,) who accuses the Bethsamites of sin on this account, are not therefore satisfactory. (Menochius)
I Samuel 6:15 And the Levites took down the ark of God, and the little box that was at the side of it, wherein were the vessels of gold, and they put them upon the great stone. The men also of Bethsames offered holocausts, and sacrificed victims that day to the Lord.

Vessels. Protestants less properly, "jewels of gold." (Haydock)
I Samuel 6:16 And the five princes of the Philistines saw, and they returned to Accaron the same day.

Day. It was distant about 18 miles. (Calmet) --- Provinces. Hebrew, "lords." Some think that only five images of each sort were inclosed in the box: others suppose that the people of each village presented a golden mouse, to satisfy their own devotion, and that they might not be infested with such vermin. Clarius thinks they also sent an equal number of the other images of the anus, 1 Kings 5. (Haydock)
I Samuel 6:17 And these are the golden emerods, which the Philistines returned for sin to the Lord: For Azotus one, for Gaza one, for Ascalon one, for Geth one, for Accaron one:

I Samuel 6:18 And the golden mice, according to the number of the cities of the Philistines, of the five provinces, from the fenced city to the village that was without wall, and to the great Abel (the stone) whereon they set down the ark of the Lord, which was till that day in the field of Josue the Bethsamite.

Abel. A stone or rock, on which the Jews say Abraham had offered sacrifice; (St. Jerome, Trad. T.[Tirinus?]) Hebrew, "or mourning," was so called afterwards, on account of so many being slain; (Menochius) so the place, to which the Egyptians accompanied the remains of Jacob, was styled "Abol," the mourning of Egypt, Genesis 50:11. (Haydock) --- The Septuagint read Abon, "the stone." All the towns belonging to the Philistines, as far as this place, sent each their golden images, or contributed towards those which were presented by the five lords. --- Which, ark, according to the Vulgate, though some would explain it of the stone. The ark might remain here for some time, and would probably have continued longer, if the people had not been so much afflicted. In the mean time, this record may have been written, as it was afterwards inserted in this book. (Calmet) --- Which, though of the feminine gender, is referred to stone, because Abol is of that description, (Menochius) and we find several such allusions to the Hebrew in our version. Protestants, "unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the Lord, which stone remaineth unto this day," etc. (Haydock; Vatable, etc.) --- Others think that the ark remained there till it was removed to Cariathiarim, 1 Kings 7:1. Malvenda says, the memory of the transaction was fresh till the author wrote; while others maintain, that the golden figures continued with the ark till that time. (Calmet) --- The Roman Septuagint omits the words till this day; and reads, "where they placed upon it (the stone) the ark....upon the stone in the field," etc. Then with the Alexandrian copy, and Procopius, etc., it subjoins 19. "And the sons of Jechonias did not approve, among the men of Bethsames, that they saw the ark of the Lord, and he slew of them 70 men, and 50,000 of the people." Theodoret suspects that they were more impious than the rest. But we might as well say that they shewed more (Calmet) reverence, as we may explain slew of them, to denote the two curious citizens, (Haydock) if any dependence could be had on this addition. (Calmet)
I Samuel 6:19 But he slew of the men of Bethsames, because they had seen the ark of the Lord, and he slew of the people seventy men, and fifty thousand of the common people. And the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten the people with a great slaughter.

Seen; and curiously looked into. It is likely this plague reached to all the neighbouring country, as well as the city of Bethsames. (Challoner) --- For we need not suppose that all these deaths took place in one day. The ark seems to have continued there for some time, ver. 18. Hebrew, "because they had looked into, or at the ark." (Haydock) --- It was unlawful, even for the Levites, to touch or to look at the ark uncovered; (Tirinus; Numbers 4:15, 20,) and the Hebrew expression into, is often taken in this sense, Proverbs 7:15., and 11:4. --- Men of rank. (St. Gregory, etc.) "Ancients," Chaldean. Some would suppose that only these 70 perished, and were of as much value as 50,000 of the common people: for they will not allow that the latter number was slain. Out of that number, 70 were made victims of the divine justice. (Tirinus; Sa) --- Bochart translates, "he slew 70 out of 50,000." The Syriac and Arabic read, "5070 men." Josephus only admits 70 who were slain, "because they dared to touch the ark with their profane hands, as they were not priests." Hebrew, "and he slew of the people 70 men, 50,000 men. (Calmet) --- Kennicott seems to suspect that a cipher has been added in the Hebrew at the end. Protestants, "50,000, and threescore and ten men." (Haydock) --- Some would insert aderant in the Vulgate, and 50,000 "were present." (Du Hamel) --- The Chaldean, Septuagint, etc., constantly retain these numbers, and we must not judge of God severity by our feeble reason. (Calmet) --- This decision is the most common. (Menochius) --- The people had indulged their curiosity, to see whether the Philistines had taken the tables of the law out of the ark, etc. (Serarius) --- As the ark was terrible to the infidels, so it was also to those true believers, who treated it with disrespect. (Worthington)
I Samuel 6:20 And the men of Bethsames said: Who shall be able to stand before the Lord this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us?

Us. These words may denote that they thought God too severe, or else, that they judged themselves unworthy of his presence. There is no proportion between an offence of God, and what the creature can do to make him satisfaction. (Calmet)
I Samuel 6:21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Cariathiarim, saying: The Philistines have brought back the ark of the Lord, come ye down and fetch it up to you.

Up. This is the import of the Hebrew. The Vulgate reducite, "bring it back," insinuates, that the Bethsamites desired the people of Cariathiarim to convey the ark to their city, on the road to Silo, where they probably thought it ought to be placed, in the tabernacle. But it seems God ordered it otherwise, and the ark was never restored to its former splendid station, surrounded with all the vessels and ornaments of the tabernacle. David made something similar, and place an altar before it, while the Mosaic tabernacle and altar were removed from Silo to Nobe, (chap. 21:1.) and afterwards to Gabaon, 2 Paralipomenon 1:5. Salien (the year of the world 3030) doubts not but they were thence translated to Solomon's temple, during the octave of the dedication, along with those of David, from Mount Sion, 2 Paralipomenon 5:2., and 8:3. Why the ark was not placed in this most magnificent abode, but removed from the stone of Abel to the houses of Abinadab, of Obededom, of David in Sion, till all the original ornaments, prescribed by God to Moses, with a still more splendid apparatus, met to adorn the temple of Solomon, we cannot easily explain. Perhaps it might be to render that event more glorious, and to represent the troubled state of the Jewish Synagogue, immediately preceding the appearance of the great Redeemer, who would establish a church without spot or wrinkle, shining brighter than the sun, and replenished with all heavenly graces. (Haydock) --- Cariathiarim is the same place as Cariathbaal, and Baala, (Josue 15:9, 60.) Baalim Juda, (2 Kings 6:2.) and Sedeiarim, about ten miles from Jerusalem. Gabaa was "a hill," (Calmet) belonging to the same city, where the house of Abinadab stood; (Haydock) and Nobe was also in the vicinity, while Silo was much farther north. (Calmet) --- The priests still remained, and offered sacrifice in the tabernacle, though occasionally some of them might come to offer extraordinary victims before the ark, in those private houses which were thus converted, as it were, into the holy of holies. Salien, the year of the world 2941, where he observes from St. Jerome, that the tabernacle was removed to Nobe about the same time as the ark was deposited at Cariathiarim; and no doubt both the translations were in consequence of the divine command, signified by the mouth of his prophet Samuel. (Haydock)
I Samuel 7:0 The ark is brought to Cariathiarim. By Samuel's exhortation the people cast away their idols and serve God alone. The Lord defeateth the Philistines, while Samuel offereth sacrifice.

I Samuel 7:1 And *the men of Cariathiarim came, and fetched up the ark of the Lord, and carried it into the house of Abinadab, in Gabaa: and they sanctified Eleazar, his son, to keep the ark of the Lord.

Year of the World 2888. In Gabaa. That is, on the hill, for Gabaa signifieth a hill. (Challoner) (1 Paralipomenon 13:6.) --- It was perhaps the citadel, (Haydock) or an elevated situation, such as were generally chosen for the temples both of the true and of false gods. (Calmet) --- Abinadab was a Levite of renowned virtue. (Menochius) --- The people of this city knew that the ark was a source of blessings to those who received it with respect; and, that the Bethsamites had been punished only for their irreverence. (Worthington) --- Samuel was first consulted before the people, in a body, undertook to remove the ark; and here he was probably recognized for the judge of Israel, in which character he henceforward appears, exhorting all to obey the Lord with sincerity. He appoints a general assembly at Masphath, to enter into a solemn covenant with the Lord, and to adopt means for recovering their liberty. We have only a very concise account of these important transactions, owing to the modesty of the author, which the Holy Spirit would teach us to imitate. (Calmet) --- Sanctified. Chaldean, "set over," (Menochius) prepared by suitable purifications, etc. (Calmet) --- Some think, that Eleazar received the priestly or the Levitical consecration, Numbers 8:7. We have no proof that he was of the family of Aaron, nor does his name occur in the genealogies of the Levites, as they are perhaps too short. Josephus ([Antiquities?] 6:2.) asserts that he was a Levite. (Calmet) --- But even a laic, like Obededon of Geth, might have been the guardian of the ark, as he would not have to touch it. (Salien, the year before Christ 1112) --- Eleazar had two brothers, who acted in the same capacity when David intended to remove the ark to Sion. At that time he was perhaps dead, or decrepit, as his father might be on this occasion. (Haydock) --- It is not improbable but they were of the race of Aaron. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 7:2 And it came to pass, that from the day the ark of the Lord abode in Cariathiarim, days were multiplied, (for it was now the twentieth year) and all the house of Israel rested, following the Lord.

Year. Some would date all the subsequent events from this period. But is it credible that Samuel should neglect for twenty years to make this exhortation to the people? and how will it be true, that God humbled the Philistines during the whole time (Calmet) of his administration, which perhaps (Haydock) only lasted so many years? (ver. 13.) (Calmet) --- It is more probable, therefore, that the power of the enemy was broken by the destruction caused by the presence of the ark, which kept them under due restraint for a long time; and when they attempted, once more, to molest the Israelites, they were entirely discomfited by a miraculous storm, at the prayer of Samuel, ver. 10. Salien (the year of the world 2960) allows, that this took place in the twentieth year since the ark came to Cariathiarim, in which year Samuel appointed his children judges at Bersabee, though he continued to act, and was judge for twenty-three years, (some say thirty-eight) and even under the reign of Saul had almost an absolute sway, as the prophet of the Lord. (Haydock) --- Rested: continued steadfast, (Santius) "cried unto," (Pagnin) "Looked (Haydock) or returned," Septuagint. "Lamented after the Lord," Hebrew. (Menochius) --- They were not soon induced to break this solemn covenant, Isaias 7:2. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 7:3 And Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying:* If you turn to the Lord with all your heart, put away the strange gods from among you, Baalim and Astaroth: and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.

Deuteronomy 6:13.; Matthew 4:10.
Saying. When the ark was translated, (Calmet) and on many other occasions, this was the theme of his discourse to the Israelites, pressing them to cease from doing evil, and to perform good works. (Haydock) --- Thus he preached every year in the different cities, ver. 16. (Lyranus) --- Astaroth. These were the principal idols of the country, (Salien; Judges 2:11.) under which all the others were included. (Menochius) --- Prepare. God lays this injunction upon us, to remind us of our liberty, and we beg that he would convert us, acknowledging the necessity of his grace. (Calmet) --- "God does not require impossibilities, but by his command, admonishes thee to do what thou canst, and to pray for what thou art not able to perform, and he assists thee, that thou mayst be able to perform it." (Council of Trent, session vi., 1 Kings 11.; St. Augustine, etc.)
I Samuel 7:4 Then the children of Israel put away Baalim and Astaroth, and served the Lord only.

I Samuel 7:5 And Samuel said: Gather all Israel to Masphath, that I may pray to the Lord for you.

Masphath lay south of Jerusalem, (Calmet) and was a convenient place for all to meet at. (Menochius) They came armed, and the Philistines (Calmet) suspecting their designs, proceeded to attack them. (Haydock)
I Samuel 7:6 And they gathered together to Masphath, and they drew water, and poured it out before the Lord, and they fasted on that day, and they said there: We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Masphath.

Lord, having purified themselves with it, Exodus 19:24. Others think that it was a kind of a protestation, that they were willing to perish if they proved faithless; (Sa) or a symbol that they rejected every vestige of idolatry, and every sin, with true repentance. (Sanctius) (Tirinus) --- Water was also the most ancient species of libation, before honey, and afterwards wine were adopted. (Porphyrius) --- Though the law did not prescribe it, there was no prohibition. On the last day of the feast of tabernacles, the people went to the pool of Silo to fetch water, and to pour it out in the temple, as a libation to the Lord; and it is thought that Jesus Christ alludes to this custom, John 7:24. (Lamy, Introd.) See 2 Kings 23:16. (Calmet) --- Fasted. They confess their sins and do penance, while Samuel sits as judge, (Salien) and had been endeavouring for twenty years to excite them to repentance, and to adhere to the one true religion. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 7:7 And the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Masphath, and the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard this, they were afraid of the Philistines.

I Samuel 7:8 And they said to Samuel: Cease not to cry to the Lord our God for us, that he may save us out of the hand of the Philistines.

Philistines. Those who distrust their own strength, and join true repentance with prayer, striving to interest the friends of God in their cause, may confidently hope for victory. (Haydock)
I Samuel 7:9 And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it whole for a holocaust to the Lord: and Samuel cried to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord heard him.

Sucking lamb. Any might be used, when eight days old, except for the paschal lamb, which must be older; a yearling, Exodus 23:9., and Leviticus 22:27. --- Offered it, either by the hands of the priests, or by dispensation, which authorized him to sacrifice out of the tabernacle. --- Whole, without blemish; (Ecclesiasticus 46:19.) or, not having time to divide it, according to the ritual, Leviticus 1:12. He consumed even the skin. (Salien) --- Septuagint, "with all the people."
I Samuel 7:10 And it came to pass, when Samuel was offering the holocaust, the Philistines began the battle against Israel: *but the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and terrified them, and they were overthrown before the face of Israel.

Ecclesiasticus 46:21.
Israel. The princes of the Tyrians had come to the assistance of the enemy; (Ecclesiasticus 46:21.; Calmet) but all in vain. The greatness of the army only increases the greatness of the carnage, when the Lord enters the lists. (Haydock) --- The sacred penman speaks with great modesty of this victory, which is nevertheless one of the most important recorded in Scripture. The Philistines could not recover themselves for 20 years; they found it necessary to restore the cities which they had taken, (Calmet) to relinquish the tribute, and to come to such conditions as Samuel imposed upon them. He suffered them, however, to keep possession of some strong holds, such as Gabaa, from which they were expelled by Jonathan. Salien says in the 22d year of Samuel, and the last of Achitob, the high priest, in the year of the world 2961.
I Samuel 7:11 And the men of Israel going out of Masphath, pursued after the Philistines, and made slaughter of them till they came under Bethchar.

Bethchar, "the house of the penetrator." Cor denotes the celestial fluid, which the Philistines probably supposed was discharged by the heavens, independently of the great Creator. Hence their punishment was very appropriate. (Parkhurst) --- The latter heathens always represented their Jupiter armed with thunder and lightning--- "The thunder roared aloud--- Th' affrighted hills from their foundation nod, And blaze beneath the lightning of the God; At one regard of his all-seeing eye, The vanquish'd triumph, and the victors fly." (Pope, Iliad 17:596.)
I Samuel 7:12 And Samuel took a stone, and laid it between Masphath and Sen: and he called the place The stone of help. And he said: Thus far the Lord hath helped us.

Sen, "the tooth," a craggy rock of that appearance. Syriac Bethjasan. (Calmet) --- Some take it to be the same with Bethchar. (Malvenda) --- It was before ignoble, (Salien) and the situation not known, till this monument was erected, with the inscription, Thus far, etc. --- Help; "Aben-ezer," mentioned before, 1 Kings 4:1. These religious monuments were not prohibited by the law, Leviticus 26:1. Samuel would take every precaution that they should not become objects of idolatry, as he was under the immediate influence of the Holy Spirit. (Calmet)
I Samuel 7:13 And the Philistines were humbled, and they did not come any more into the borders of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines, all the days of Samuel.

Any more, for a long time, (Menochius) during Samuel's administration; for we find them again attacking Saul, 1 Kings 13. This expression is often used to denote a cessation of some continuance, Isaias 23:12, 15., and 2 Kings 7:10.
I Samuel 7:14 And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel, were restored to Israel, from Accaron to Geth, and their borders: and he delivered Israel from the hand of the Philistines, and there was peace between Israel and the Amorrhites.

Geth, which two cities still continued in their possession. Others, which had fallen to the share of Dan, they gave up, which explains Judges 18:1, 31. --- Philistines. Here ended the forty years' servitude. (Calmet) --- Salien (the year of the world 2860) rather thinks that it terminated in the death of Samson, when it was judged expedient to entrust the reins of government into the hands of an old man, Heli, the high priest, as there was no need of an expert general, the heads of the Philistines being all destroyed, Judges 13:1. (Haydock) --- Amorrhites: the dispersed nations of Chanaan were all kept under. (Calmet)
I Samuel 7:15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life:

Life; as sole judge for twenty years, (Gordon; Du Hamel) and conjointly with Saul till he died, almost 100 years old, a year or two before the unfortunate king. Saul put him on a level with himself; (chap. 11:7.) and he continued to be regarded as the oracle of Israel ever since he was about forty years old; (Calmet) or he did not long survive the election of the new king, (Menochius) as Tirinus, Sanctius, etc., reduce his reign to two years, allowing thirty-eight to Samuel, so that both filled up the space of forty years, Acts 13:20. The life of Samuel, on this supposition, will not much exceed sixty, and he must have come into power in early life, 1 Kings 12:2. (Haydock) --- This verse is no proof that the present book was written long after Samuel's time. (Du Hamel)
I Samuel 7:16 And he went every year about to Bethel and to Galgal and to Masphath, and he judged Israel in the aforesaid places.

Places. Septuagint, "in all these holy places." Some take Bethel to mean the city, where the ark was, (Calmet) or the holy of holies, in the tabernacle, at Silo, etc. (Haydock) --- The northern tribes might meet him at Bethel; those on the east of the Jordan, at Galgala, of Benjamin; and the tribes of Juda, Simeon, and Dan, might have an opportunity of hearing the holy prophet, and decide their controversies, at Masphath. (Calmet) --- Thus Samuel gave an excellent instruction to pastors and governors, to watch over their people. (Haydock)
I Samuel 7:17 And he returned to Ramatha: for there was his house, and there he judged Israel: he built also there an altar to the Lord.

Ramatha; his native place. His high office would not allow him to remain always near the tabernacle, 1 Kings 1:11., and 28. (Calmet) --- Lord, by his direction, (Menochius) both to satisfy his own devotion, and that he might consult the Lord when the people wanted advice. (Calmet)
I Samuel 8:0 Samuel growing old, and his sons not walking in his ways, the people desire a king.

I Samuel 8:1 And* it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel.

Year of the World 2908, Year before Christ 1096. Old. Houbigant would translate, "when he was growing old," senesceret, as he supposes he was now nearly sixty, having judged about twenty-five years, and living another twenty as partner with Saul. (Prol. lxii.) See 1 Kings 7:15. (Haydock) --- Judges, as his delegates in the southern parts of the country. (Calmet) --- Josephus says one of them was stationed at Bethel. (Antiquities 6:3.)
I Samuel 8:2 Now the name of his first-born son was Joel: and the name of the second was Abia, judges in Bersabee.

In, or "as far as" Bersabee, from Dan, that is, throughout Palestine. (Calmet)
I Samuel 8:3 And his sons walked not in his ways: but they turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

Judgment. Samuel was not to blame, and hence he was not punished like Heli. (Menochius) --- However, the misconduct of the children of these two judges, in succession, (Haydock) gave occasion to the people to demand a king, who might not be tempted by bribes. (Worthington) --- It is surprising that most of the great men who are mentioned in history, had degenerate children. (Calmet) --- Such were some of David's sons, as well as Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, etc. (Haydock) --- Was it because their fathers were too much taken up with the affairs of state, to watch over the education of their children? or rather, because these young men confided too much on the merits of their family, and took no pains to tread in the footsteps of their parents? (Calmet) --- "We have here, says Josephus, a manifest proof that children do not always resemble their parents, but sometimes good men spring from the wicked; and on the contrary, the virtuous have an evil progeny."
I Samuel 8:4 Then all the ancients of Israel being assembled, came to Samuel to Ramatha.

I Samuel 8:5 And they said to him: Behold thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: *make us a king, to judge us, as all nations have.

Osee 13:10.; Acts 13:21.
Judge us, in a different manner from what had been hitherto done. (Haydock) --- By a crying ingratitude, they reject the government of a wise old man, who had rendered them the most signal services. Perhaps the power of Naas, king of the Ammonites, might afford them some pretext for acting as they did. (Calmet) --- As all, etc. They seem to prefer the dominion of kings, who ruled over the surrounding barbarous nations as they thought proper, (Haydock) before one who should be tied down to observe the laws, prescribed by God, (Menochius) in case the Israelites should wish to have a king, Deuteronomy xvii. (Haydock) --- In the East, monarchy was the most ancient form of government. (Tacitus, Hist. IV.; Just. I.) "Principio, imperium penes Reges erat."
I Samuel 8:6 And the word was displeasing in the eyes of Samuel, that they should say: Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed to the Lord.

Samuel. Nothing could be more disrespectful to him, nor more ungrateful to God, who had distinguished them from all other nations, and had taken the government upon himself, and appointed the judges as his lieutenants. The foolish Israelites wished to throw off this sweet yoke, and to be ruled in an arbitrary manner, like the infidels, as if God could not otherwise protect them from their enemies. --- Lord. Josephus says that he passed the night without food or sleep, and the Lord appeared to him. The will or petition "of the people, filled Samuel with great uneasiness, who on account of his innate justice, did not like the regal power, as being too exorbitant. He rather approved of an aristocracy, as more conducive to the welfare of the people." (Antiquities 6:4.) He means such an aristocracy as the Israelites had been accustomed to, under the guidance of men divinely commissioned, whence he elsewhere very properly styles it a theocracy, or "the government of God." (Haydock)
I Samuel 8:7 And the Lord said to Samuel: Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to thee. For they have not rejected thee, but me, that I should not reign over them.

Thee. "God, in anger, grants a person what he desires wrongfully." (St. Augustine) --- He permits the people to follow their own plans; and the Hebrews believe, that he gave them Saul to punish them, being well apprised of his proud and cruel nature. (Cuneus Rep.) (Calmet) --- Rejected, etc. The government of Israel hitherto had been a theocracy: in which God himself immediately ruled, by laws which he had enacted, and by judges extraordinarily raised up by himself: and therefore he complains that his people rejected him, in desiring a change of government, (Challoner) and wishing to appoint their own magistrates. The priests and judges had been commissioned by God, Exodus xix., and Deuteronomy xvii. (Worthington)
I Samuel 8:8 According to all their works, they have done from the day that I brought them out of Egypt until this day: as they have forsaken me, and served strange gods, so do they also unto thee.

Thee. He comforts Samuel, by observing that it was not so much any fault of his, as the people's habitual fickle temper, which made them seek for this change. (Menochius)
I Samuel 8:9 Now, therefore, hearken to their voice: but yet testify to them, and foretell them the right of the king, that shall reign over them.

The right. That is, the manner (mishpat) after which he shall proceed, having no one to control him, when he has the power in his hands. (Challoner) --- He intimates that the kings will frequently act in a tyrannical manner, ver. 11. (Menochius) --- But the holy Fathers observe, that herein they do what is unjust, and contrary to God's law. St. Gregory remarks, that Achab is punished for taking the vineyard of Naboth, (3 Kings xxi.) while David will not take a piece of ground belonging to Ornan, even for an altar, without first paying a just price for it, 1 Paralipomenon 21:25. Some of these rights or customs are prohibited to the king, Deuteronomy 17:16. It is true, kings enjoy great prerogatives above judges, but never contrary to the law. They cannot take their subjects' goods: but the latter are bound to contribute to the maintenance of government; and, if they refuse, may be compelled. If kings should be guilty of excesses, "yet them are not to be deposed by the people,....but must be tolerated with patience, peace, and meekness, till God, by his sovereign authority, left in his Church, dispose of them, which his divine wisdom and goodness often deferred to do, as here he expressly forewarneth, (ver. 18) because he will punish the sins of the people by suffering evil princes to reign," Job 34:30. (Conc. Later. C. 3:de hoeret.[Fourth Lateran Council, constitution iii., On Heretics?]) (Worthington) See St. Thomas Aquinas, 2. 2. q. 12. a. 2. --- We may here also remark, that the people petitioned for a king, yet God made the choice; and, when he proved rebellious, selected another by the hand of Samuel, though he permitted the former to enjoy his dignity till death, (chap. 13.; chap 31.) (Haydock) --- Grotius (Jur. 1:1., and 4.) maintains that Samuel here proposes the just rights of the king, and that the prince has a greater right to any one's personal property, for the public good, than he has himself. In effect, the eastern kings regarded their subjects as slaves. But those who governed the Hebrews were to follow a different conduct; and Samuel is so far from approving of what some of them would do, that he mentions their tyranny, in order to dissuade the people from what they so inconsiderately requested. (Calmet) --- The misconduct of rulers, is one of the most trying inconveniences to which a nation can be exposed. In such circumstances, "bear, says a pagan historian, (Haydock) with the luxury and avarice of those who hold dominion, as with other natural evils. There will be vices as long as men subsist, but neither will these continue for ever, and they are compensated by the intervention of better things or men." Meliorum interventu pensantur. (Tacitus) --- Grotius at last seems to conclude, (Sup. C. 4:p. 97) that the right of the king here specified is only apparent, in as much as it includes "the obligation of making no resistance." (Haydock)
I Samuel 8:10 Then Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people that had desired a king of him,

I Samuel 8:11 And said: This will be the right of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and put them in his chariots, and will make them his horsemen, and his running footmen, to run before his chariots,

Chariots; to be drivers, (Menochius) or will make them fight from them. --- Footmen, or guards. Xenophon places 4000 armed with bucklers before, and 2000 with lances all round the chariot of Cyrus. See 1 Kings 22:17.
I Samuel 8:12 And he will appoint of them to be his tribunes, and centurions, and to plough his fields, and to reap his corn, and to make him arms and chariots.

Centurions, or body-guards. (Menochius) --- These offices might be honourable, but at the same time disagreeable, when people were forced to accept of them, and to neglect their more pleasing agricultural employment. The multitude of officers increases the expenses of the prince, and falls heavy upon the people. (Calmet)
I Samuel 8:13 Your daughters also he will take to make him ointments, and to be his cooks, and bakers.

I Samuel 8:14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your best oliveyards, and give them to his servants.

Vineyards, as Achab did, though he first proposed to buy it.
I Samuel 8:15 Moreover he will take the tenth of your corn, and of the revenues of your vineyards, to give to his eunuchs and servants.

Tenth. God had already claimed one tithe, which he had abandoned to his sacred ministers. We do not read that the kings of the Hebrews ever claimed (Calmet) a second tithe precisely, (Haydock) though they might have done it by the example of other kings, Leviticus 27:30. Joseph had asserted the fifth part of the revenues of Egypt for its monarchs, Genesis 47:26. --- Eunuchs. Hebrew saris, denotes an officer of the court. It was not lawful for the Israelites to make any eunuchs, but they might employ foreigners.
I Samuel 8:16 Your servants also, and handmaids, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, he will take away, and put them to his work.

Goodliest, in strength (Calmet) and beauty. (Menochius) --- Solomon made his people work at his buildings, and David employed an officer in the fields, 1 Paralipomenon 27:26. Septuagint have read in a different manner, "He will tithe....your excellent droves of oxen." (Calmet) --- They also specify, "the tithe of asses for his work." (Haydock)
I Samuel 8:17 Your flocks also he will tithe, and you shall be his servants.

Servants, or slaves. The Hebrews enjoyed greater liberty than any of the nations in the East, yet they are styled slaves, 1 Kings 17:8. They were nearly on the same footing as the ancient Germans. "Each governed in his own place of abode. The Lord requires of them a quantity of corn, cattle, or clothing, and so far the slave obeys;" servus hactenus paret. (Tacitus, Germ.) The Hebrews were also bound to follow the king to battle. The Egyptians, Persians, etc., were under greater oppression. Herodotus (III. 31,) informs us, that when Cambyses designed to marry his own sister, his counsellors replied, that they found no express law to this effect; but there was another, "that the king of Persia may do whatever he please." The highest officers, and even his brothers, were styled, "slaves, Douloi, of the great king." (Aristotle, Mund.)
I Samuel 8:18 And you shall cry out in that day from the face of the king, whom you have chosen to yourselves. and the Lord will not hear you in that day, because you desired unto yourselves a king.

The face, privately; for even groans will not be free. (Menochius) --- The event justified this prediction, as most of the kings of the Hebrews ruled like tyrants, and what was worse, engaged their subjects in idolatry, and drew down the heaviest judgments upon them. (Calmet) --- Hear you, so as to deliver you from oppression, though he is always willing to hear those who truly repent. (Worthington)
I Samuel 8:19 But the people would not hear the voice of Samuel, and they said: Nay: but there shall be a king over us,

Over us. The populace is generally inconstant, and fond of changes. (Menochius)
I Samuel 8:20 And we also will be like all nations: and our king shall judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles for us.

Nations. We are neither better nor worse than the rest. What extravagance! for a people to abandon a state of happiness, and the dominion of God, and to prefer the service of a man! (Calmet) --- For us. This was the pretext, as Naas threatened them with war, 1 Kings 12:12. (Menochius)
I Samuel 8:21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.

I Samuel 8:22 And the Lord said to Samuel: Hearken to their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said to the men of Israel: Let every man go to his city.

I Samuel 9:0 Saul, seeking his father's asses, cometh to Samuel, by whom he is entertained.

I Samuel 9:1 Now* there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Cis, the son of Abiel, the son of Seror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphia, the son of a man of Jemini, valiant and strong.

Year of the World 2909, Year before Christ 1095. Abiel, who is also called Ner, 1 Paralipomenon 8:33. (Cajetan) --- Strong. Hebrew, "a mighty man of power," either of body, or of riches.
I Samuel 9:2 And he had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and goodly man, and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he appeared above all the people.

Goodlier, better proportioned, more handsome, (Haydock) as the daughters of men are styled good, or fair, Genesis 6:1. People seek for corporal advantages in those who command. The poets always represent their deities and heroes as taller than the rest of men. A king of Sparta was fined for marrying a little woman. (Aristotle, Polit. iv.) The Ethiopians give their highest offices to those who have the most engaging appearance. (Herodotus 3:20.) (Calmet) --- Little people may be elegant, but never majestic or perfectly beautiful. (Aristotle, Ethic. 4:3.) (Menochius) --- Choice, is taken in the same sense as goodly, and does not intimate that Saul was one of the elect. (Denis the Carthusian)
I Samuel 9:3 And the asses of Cis, Saul's father, were lost: and Cis said to his son Saul: Take one of the servants with thee, and arise, go, and seek the asses. And when they had passed through Mount Ephraim,

Asses. The greatest noblemen rode upon such, Judges 5:10. A prince of Esau fed asses, Genesis 30:24. Agriculture, and keeping sheep, were the employment of men of the first eminence in the heroic ages, as hunting and other equally laborious exercises are now in fashion. (Calmet)
I Samuel 9:4 And through the land of Salisa, and had not found them, they passed also through the land of Salim, and they were not there: and through the land of Jemini, and found them not.

Salisa, the ancient Segor, (Menochius) or rather a place 15 miles from Diospolis. (Eusebius) --- Salim, or Sual, not far from Galgal, 1 Kings 13:17.
I Samuel 9:5 And when they were come to the land of Suph, Saul said to the servant that was with him: Come, let us return, lest perhaps my father forget the asses, and be concerned for us.

Suph, where Ramatha, the birth-place of Samuel, was situated, 1 Kings 1:1. (Calmet)
I Samuel 9:6 And he said to him: Behold there is a man of God in this city, a famous man: all that he saith, cometh certainly to pass. Now, therefore, let us go thither, perhaps he may tell us of our way, for which we are come.

Famous. Chaldean, "honourable." Septuagint, "covered with glory." The observations of a servant may often claim attention. Saul seemed to be less acquainted with this extraordinary personage than his servant. (Haydock)
I Samuel 9:7 And Saul said to his servant: Behold we will go: but what shall we carry to the man of God? the bread is spent in our bags: and we have no present to make to the man of God, nor any thing at all.

What. Were they uninformed of the disinterestedness of Samuel? or did they think that he would sell his oracles? By no means. But the manners of the ancients were very different from ours, and people chose to shew their respect for God, the king, prophets, etc., by making them some present. People still never go to visit one another in Syria without something of the kind, as it would be deemed uncivil or cruel to act otherwise. See 3 Kings 14:1., and Micheas 3:11. --- Bread. They would have made a present of some. Saul received two loaves, 1 Kings 10:4. See 1 Kings 16:20. Hence we may form some idea of the beautiful simplicity of those ages. People were then forced to carry their own provisions, as there were no inns which supplied any. (Calmet) --- Present. Sportula means a little basket. (Haydock) --- But here it is taken for a present, as meat was commonly given. (Menochius) --- Cyrus sent his friends geese half eaten, from his own table, for greater distinction. (Xenophon) (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "what have we?" Syriac, "we have none of our provisions left." (Calmet)
I Samuel 9:8 The servant answered Saul again, and said: Behold there is found in my hand the fourth part of a sicle of silver, let us give it to the man of God, that he may tell us our way.

Silver. About seven-pence English. --- Stater, (Haydock) is put instead of Hebrew, "sicle." (Menochius)
I Samuel 9:9 Now in time past in Israel, when a man went to consult God, he spoke thus: Come, let us go to the seer. For he that is now called a prophet, in time past was called a seer.

A seer. Because of his seeing, by divine light, hidden things, and things to come, (Challoner) by inspiration. (Worthington) --- They had the things which they foretold so clearly in view. The Sybil cries out, Bella, horrida bella. Et Tiberim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. (Virgil)
I Samuel 9:10 And Saul said to his servant: Thy word is very good, come, let us go. And they went into the city, where the man of God was.

I Samuel 9:11 And when they went up the ascent to the city, they found maids coming out to draw water, and they said to them: Is the seer here?

Water, perhaps for the sacrifice. Thus Fab. Victor says, "Rhea, according to the established custom, by which young women went to draw water for the sacrifices, proceeded to the fountain in the grove of Mars." (Calmet)
I Samuel 9:12 They answered and said to them: He is: behold he is before you, make haste now: for he came to-day into the city, for there is a sacrifice of the people to-day in the high place.

A sacrifice. The law did not allow of sacrifices in any other place, but at the tabernacle, or temple, in which the ark of the covenant was kept; but Samuel, by divine dispensation, offered sacrifices in other places. For which dispensation this reason may be alleged, that the house of God in Silo, having lost the ark, was now cast off; as a figure of the reprobation of the Jews, Psalm 77:60, 67. And in Cariathiarim, where the ark was, there was neither tabernacle, nor altar. (Challoner) --- At least that of Moses was in the tabernacle. See 1 Kings 6:21. (Haydock) --- Samuel was just come up to the city, from a place called Naiot, where he instructed some of the prophets, 1 Kings 19:19. The maids point him out to Saul; and God, at the same time, reveals to his prophet, that the person who addressed him should be king. (Calmet) --- The high place. Excelsum. The excelsa, or high places, so often mentioned in Scripture, were places of worship, in which were altars for sacrifice. These were sometimes employed in the service of the true God, as in the present case: but more frequently in the service of idols, and were called Excelsa, which is commonly (though perhaps not so accurately) rendered high places; not because they were always upon hills, for the very worst of all, which was that of Topheth, or Geennom, (Jeremias xix.) was in a valley; but because of the high altars, and pillars, or monuments erected there, on which were set up the idols, or images of their deities; (Challoner) so that they might be called "the high things." (Haydock) --- Before Solomon built the temple, from the time that the tabernacle was deprived of the honour of having the ark, people immolated on such heights, 3 Kings 3:2. (Menochius) --- On one of these, at Ramatha, Samuel was going to offer a peace-offering, and to feast with the heads of the city, (Calmet) or perhaps of the nation, who were expecting the result of his consultation of the Lord, respecting their petition of a king. (Haydock)
I Samuel 9:13 As soon as you come into the city, you shall immediately find him, before he go up to the high place to eat: for the people will not eat till he come; because he blesseth the victim, and afterwards they eat that are invited. Now, therefore, go up, for to-day you shall find him.

The victim, begging the blessing, which was the office of the most honourable person at table, as he also gave thanks for all. (Calmet)
I Samuel 9:14 And they went up into the city. And when they were walking in the midst of the city, behold Samuel was coming out over-against them, to go up to the high place.

Midst. That is, simply in the city, or entering the gate, where Samuel met them, ver. 18.
I Samuel 9:15 *Now the Lord had revealed to the ear of Samuel the day before Saul came, saying:

Acts 13:21.
Ear, privately. (Calmet) --- Thus Jonathan promised to give David private information, 1 Kings 20:13. (Haydock)
I Samuel 9:16 To-morrow about this same hour I will send thee a man of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be ruler over my people Israel: and he shall save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked down upon my people, because their cry is come to me.

Ruler. Hebrew, Nagid, "Leader." Septuagint, "Archon." Chaldean, "King." The Israelites demanded a king, to lead them, and to fight for them; and Homer (Iliad iii.) gives this idea of the chief magistrate, "a good king and stout warrior," which Alexander so much admired. --- Philistines. They had been repressed by Samuel; but they had begun to gain the ascendancy, so as not to suffer the Israelites to have a blacksmith among them, etc. Saul gained some victories over them, and over the other enemies of his people, towards the beginning of his reign, (chap. 13.; chap 14.) (Calmet) --- To me. God threatened that he would not hear them, when they should grow weary (Haydock) of their king, 1 Kings 8:18. But he protects his people against the efforts of their foreign enemies. (Menochius) --- Oppression of the innocent cries to heaven for vengeance. (Worthington)
I Samuel 9:17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him: Behold the man, of whom I spoke to thee, this man shall reign over my people.

I Samuel 9:18 And Saul came to Samuel in the midst of the gate, and said: Tell me, I pray thee, where is the house of the seer?

Gate. Septuagint, "city." Chaldean, "within the gate," where business was transacted.
I Samuel 9:19 And Samuel answered Saul, saying: I am the seer; go up before me to the high place, that you may eat with me to-day, and I will let thee go in the morning: and tell thee all that is in thy heart.

Place, while Samuel retired, for a while, to his own house. He sends Saul to the assembly, (Calmet) where he would meet him to dine. (Haydock) --- Heart, or desirest to know. (Menochius)
I Samuel 9:20 And as for the asses, which were lost three days ago, be not solicitous, because they are found. And for whom shall be all the best things of Israel? Shall they not be for thee and for all thy father's house?

Best. The regal power, which all desired. Hebrew, "to or on whom is all the desire of Israel?" Any great felicity is called a desire, as the Messias, the spouse in the Canticle [of Canticles], 5:16. (Aggeus 2:8.) Septuagint, "to whom the beautiful things of Israel?"
I Samuel 9:21 And Saul answering, said: Am not I a son of Jemini of the least tribe of Israel, and my kindred the last among all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then hast thou spoken this word to me?

Jemini, or Benjamin, which was always one of the smallest tribes, and, since the unfortunate war, still more reduced; so that none of the other tribes could well take umbrage, or be filled with jealousy, when they saw a king selected from it. --- Last. Though all were equally noble, yet some families were more numerous, possessed greater riches, or had filled the posts of honour more frequently than others. Nothing can be more charming than the modesty of Saul on this occasion. (Calmet) --- Happy would he have been, had he continued always to cherish the like sentiments. (Haydock) --- He and his posterity might then have long enjoyed the regal dignity, 1 Kings 13:13. (Menochius)
I Samuel 9:22 Then Samuel taking Saul, and his servant, brought them into the parlour, and gave them a place at the head of them that were invited. For there were about thirty men.

At the head. Septuagint, "among the first of those....seventy men," which number Josephus also has instead of 30. Saul's servant was probably an Israelite, who had hired himself for a time. The first place, at the head of the table, was the most honourable, Luke 14:8. The king of Persia placed his most trusty friend at his left hand, and those of the highest dignity, in order at his right. (Cyropaed. vii., etc.) (Calmet)
I Samuel 9:23 And Samuel said to the cook: Bring the portion which I gave thee, and commanded thee to set it apart by thee.

I Samuel 9:24 And the cook took up the shoulder, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said: Behold what is left, set it before thee, and eat; because it was kept of purpose for thee, when I invited the people. And Saul ate with Samuel that day.

Shoulder. It was the left, (Menochius) as the right shoulder belonged to the priest, and laymen were not allowed to taste of it after it had been offered in sacrifice, Leviticus 7:32. Some suppose that Samuel had this right shoulder for his portion. But he was not a priest. (Calmet) --- This part was assigned to the most eminent man at table; and Josephus calls it "the royal portion." (Menochius) --- Hebrew, "the shoulder, and what was upon it, (or he held it up) and set it (the whole quarter) before Saul." Aquila, etc., translate "the thigh," left or reserved. Septuagint, "laid by." It was then the fashion to place large pieces of meat before those who were to be most honoured, Genesis 18:6. (Homer, etc.) --- People. Hebrew, "till now it has been kept for thee, I said, I have invited the people." He insinuates that he knew of his coming, though it seemed so accidental, even when he invited the company. Septuagint, "eat, for it is placed before thee, as a memorial, by the people, cut it in pieces." (Haydock) --- As the shoulder supports a burden, so the king was reminded to maintain the interests of the commonwealth. (Menochius)
I Samuel 9:25 And they went down from the high place into the town, and he spoke with Saul upon the top of the house: and he prepared a bed for Saul on the top of the house, and he slept.

House, probably giving him some instructions respecting his future dignity. --- As he, etc. This seems to be a second translation of the former sentence, taken from the Septuagint. It is omitted in several Latin manuscripts. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "and he went down from the Bama (perhaps "the steps" or high place, where the sacrifice and feast had been celebrated) into the city; and they made a bed for Saul, on the house top; and he lay down, (26) and when the day dawned, Samuel," etc. The roofs are flat in those countries, and such an airy situation would be most agreeable in such hot climates. (Haydock) --- The common people, generally, only spread a mat on the ground, and covered themselves with a sheet; to take their rest, either under a gallery, or in the open air. Homer places his strangers, with their upon the ground under the gallery, which was erected before the house. Aristophanes (in Vespis) mentions the custom of sleeping on the house top. See 2 Kings 16:22. (Calmet) --- Saul had not been educated with the greatest delicacy. (Menochius)
I Samuel 9:26 And when they were risen in the morning, and it began now to be light, Samuel called Saul on the top of the house, saying: Arise, that I may let thee go. And Saul arose: and they went out both of them: to wit, he and Samuel.

I Samuel 9:27 And as they were going down in the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul: Speak to the servant to go before us, and pass on: but stand thou still a while, that I may tell thee the word of the Lord.

Before us, and. Hebrew, ("and he passed on,") agreeably to his master's order. (Haydock)
I Samuel 10:0 Saul is anointed. He prophesieth, and is changed into another man. Samuel calleth the people together, to make a king: the lot falleth on Saul.

I Samuel 10:1 And *Samuel took a little vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said: Behold, the Lord hath anointed thee to be prince over his inheritance, and thou shalt deliver his people out of the hands of their enemies, that are round about them. And this shall be a sign unto thee, that God hath anointed thee to be prince.

Year of the World 2909, Acts 13:21. Vial, in the form of a lentil. (Pliny, [Natural History?] 18:12.) --- Oil. This anointing seems to have been peculiar to the kings, priests, and prophets of the Hebrews, who prefigured Jesus, the great anointed of God. (St. Augustine in Psalm xliv.) The custom was very ancient, Judges 9:8. It is thought that those kings, who succeeded their fathers by their birth-right, and without opposition, did not receive any unction. (Calmet) --- But the silence of Scripture is no proof on this head; and the Fathers seem to be convinced that the custom subsisted till Christ appeared. (St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, etc.) (Haydock) --- The Rabbins pretend that the sacred ointment was used for the kings of Juda, but not for those of Israel. It is not probable that it was used for either, Exodus 30:32., and 3 Kings 1:39. We read that Jehu was anointed king of Israel; (4 Kings 9:6,) and we may suppose that common oil was used, in his regard, as well as for the other kings. The perfume or balm of Judea, does not spot the garments on which it may fall. (Pliny, [Natural History?] 12:25.) It was poured on the head; the Rabbins say in the form of a crown, (Calmet) or cross. (Haydock) --- But this is uncertain. The ceremony has been preserved, with respect to Christian kings, who, according to Innocent I, should be anointed on the shoulders and arms, while prelates receive the unction on the head. --- Kissed him, out of respect, Psalm 2:12. (Calmet) --- Behold. Hebrew, "Is it not because?" etc. (Haydock) --- And thou....prince. All this is wanting in the Hebrew, etc. But it is conformable to the Vatican Septuagint; (Calmet) the Alexandrian has "to be prince over his people, over Israel? and thou shalt rule over the people of the Lord, and shalt save it from its enemies around;" as we have explained, 1 Kings 9:16. (Haydock) --- Saul was anointed with a small vessel, to signify that his kingdom should not subsist long; and with oil, to remind him of mercy, light, and health to his people. (St. Gregory) (Worthington)
I Samuel 10:2 When thou shalt depart from me this day, thou shalt find two men by the sepulchre of Rachel in the borders of Benjamin to the south, and they shall say to thee: The asses are found which thou wentest to seek: and thy father thinking, no more of the asses, is concerned for you, and saith: What shall I do for my son?

Rachel, near Bethlehem, Genesis 35:16. --- South. Septuagint or "mid-day." Hebrew Tseltsach, is very obscure. Some take it for a proper name. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "at Zelzah." Others for some musical instrument, as if these travellers were "dancing," as the Septuagint insinuate, and playing on musical instruments, like the prophets, ver. 5. It does not appear how Saul would come near Bethlehem, in his journey from Ramatha to Gabaa, unless Ramatha lay more to the south than it is represented, which it could not do, being in the tribe of Ephraim; so that we might translate the Hebrew, "Thou wilt find two men of Zelzelach, a place near the tomb of Rachel, on the borders of Benjamin, and they," etc.
I Samuel 10:3 And when thou shalt depart from thence, and go farther on, and shalt come to the oak of Thabor, there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine.

Thabor, very distant from the famous mountain (Calmet) in Zabulon. (Menochius) --- Bethel. Where there was at that time an altar of God; it being one of the places where Samuel judged Israel, (Challoner) and which had always been considered as a place of devotion, since Jacob had his vision, Genesis 28:19. It lay to the east of Gabaa, so that Saul might easily meet these pilgrims. (Calmet) --- Wine, for libations, as the other things were for a sacrifice and feast, as well as for presents to the officiating priests.
I Samuel 10:4 And they will salute thee, and will give thee two loaves, and thou shalt take them at their hand.

Hand. They would be very acceptable to Saul, who had none. The strangers might suppose that they could purchase more at Bethel. (Calmet)
I Samuel 10:5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is: and when thou shalt be come there into the city, thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place, with a psaltery, and a timbrel, and a pipe, and a harp before them, and they shall be prophesying.

The hill of God. Gabaa, in which there was also at that time, a high place or altar. (Challoner) --- The prophets were not molested by the infidels, in performing their devotions, as people consecrated to the Lord, who do not meddle with war, are privileged by the consent of nations. (Grotius, Jur. 3:11, 10) (Calmet) --- Prophets. These were men whose office it was to sing hymns and praises to God; for such in holy writ are called prophets, and their singing praises to God is called prophesying. See 1 Paralipomenon, alias 1 Chronicles 15:22., and 25:1. Now there were in those days colleges, or schools for training up these prophets; and it seems there was one of these schools at this hill of God; and another at Naioth in Ramatha. See 1 Samuel 19:20, 21, etc. (Challoner) --- The Jews say there were in every city of Judea congregations of this nature. They lived like monks, abstaining, for the most part, from marriage, though some had children, 4 Kings 4:1. They had a superior at their head, to whom God frequently revealed future things. The rest were instructed how to explain the prophecies, to compose and sing canticles. Some of them were inspired, like Saul, only for a time. It is supposed that Samuel instituted these colleges, and this is the first time we find them mentioned. (Calmet) --- They were of infinite service in preserving the true religion. (Haydock)
I Samuel 10:6 And the Spirit of the Lord shall come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be changed into another man.

Spirit of piety. (Menochius) --- Man. Thou shalt act, and entertain sentiments worthy of a great prince, (Calmet) and be no longer employed in rustic works. (Menochius) --- Cape regis animum et in istam fortunam, qua dignus es, istam continentiam profer. "Adopt the sentiments of a king, said the deputies of Alexander to Abdalonymus, but carry along with you this moderation, when you assume the dignity which you deserve to enjoy." (Curtius iv.)
I Samuel 10:7 When therefore these signs shall happen to thee, do whatsoever thy hand shall find, for the Lord is with thee.

Find. Undertake any enterprise, how difficult soever, which God may propose to thee. (Calmet)
I Samuel 10:8 And thou shalt go down before me to Galgal, (for I will come down to thee), that thou mayst offer an oblation, and sacrifice victims of peace: seven days shalt thou wait, *till I come to thee, and I will shew thee what thou art to do.

1 Kings 13:8.
Galgal. Here also by dispensation was an altar of God. (Challoner) --- To do. Saul went thither, after the victory which he had obtained over the Ammonites, when he was confirmed in his dignity, 1 Kings 11:14. But the mention of seven days, seems to indicate that Samuel is here speaking of that event, when the war against the Philistines was at hand, and Saul neglected to wait the appointed term, before he ventured to offer sacrifice, 1 Kings 13:8. (Calmet) --- Some think that Samuel engages always to meet him at Galgal, on any important business, within the space of seven days. (Serarius) --- Others translate, "I will be at Galgal with thee, and we will offer sacrifices, for seven days." (Calmet) --- Protestants, "I will come down to thee to offer burnt-offerings," etc., which is conformable to the Septuagint. Indeed Saul was probably blamed for offering the victims himself. (Haydock) --- Obedience was enjoined him to try his humility. (St. Gregory) (Worthington)
I Samuel 10:9 So when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave unto him another heart, and all these things came to pass that day.

I Samuel 10:10 And they came to the foresaid hill, and behold a company of prophets met him: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he prophesied in the midst of them.

I Samuel 10:11 And all that had known him yesterday and the day before, seeing that he was with the prophets, and prophesied, said to each other: What is this that hath happened to the son of Cis? is Saul also among the prophets?

Prophets. This proverb received a fresh confirmation, when Saul was going to seize David, and was forced by the Spirit to join with the college of prophets, in singing God's praises, 1 Kings 19:24. (Haydock) --- It may be applied to those who are unexpectedly raised to a high dignity, or enabled to speak or to do extraordinary things, like the apostles, when they spoke various languages etc. (Delrio adag. 178.) (Calmet)
I Samuel 10:12 And one answered another, saying: And who is their father? therefore it became a proverb: *Is Saul also among the prophets?

1 Kings 19:24.
Their father. That is, their teacher or superior. As much as to say, Who could bring about such a wonderful change as to make Saul a prophet? (Challoner) but the Lord, whose Spirit breatheth where he will, John 3:8. (Haydock) --- Septuagint, "Who is his father? is it not Cis?" The Jews seem to have been in a like consternation, when they observed respecting Jesus, who wrought such miracles, Is not this the carpenter's son? People are unwilling to reflect, that God can select his instruments and ministers from every profession, and make the tongues of infants eloquent. (Haydock) --- The spirit of prophecy is a gift of God, not of parents. (Menochius) --- But a prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, Matthew 13:57. (Haydock)
I Samuel 10:13 And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.

Place. Returning to his father's house, after the Spirit had ceased to inspire him, and the prophets had retired home. His relations, suspecting something more than common had been revealed to Saul by Samuel, began to ask him questions: but he had the prudence to keep (Calmet) his secret to himself, either in obedience to Samuel's injunction, when he sent the servant before, (Haydock) or out of humility, (Menochius) or to prevent the dangers of envy from his own kindred. (Josephus)
I Samuel 10:14 And Saul's uncle said to him, and to his servant: Whither went you? They answered: To seek the asses: and not finding them we went to Samuel.

I Samuel 10:15 And his uncle said to him: Tell me what Samuel said to thee.

I Samuel 10:16 And Saul said to his uncle: He told us that the asses were found. But of the matter of the kingdom of which Samuel had spoken to him, he told him not.

I Samuel 10:17 And Samuel called together the people to the Lord in Maspha:

Lord, who always presided over such assemblies. This was convened to elect a king, whom God pointed out by lots. Some assert that the ark, and the high priest, in his pontifical ornaments, were present. (Calmet) --- Adrichomius says Maspha was only three hours' walk from Cariathiarim. (Menochius)
I Samuel 10:18 And he said to the children of Israel: Thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians, and from the hand of all the kings who afflicted you.

I Samuel 10:19 But you this day have rejected your God, who only hath saved you out of all your evils and your tribulations: and you have said: *Nay: but set a king over us. Now therefore stand before the Lord by your tribes, and by your families.

1 Kings 8:19.
Families. Lots were first drawn to determine the tribe, then to find out which of the great families, and which house, was to give a king to Israel. (Haydock) --- See Josue 7:14. (Menochius) --- God was pleased thus to convince them that the election proceeded from him. (St. Gregory) (Worthington)
I Samuel 10:20 And Samuel brought to him all the tribes of Israel, and the lot fell on the tribe of Benjamin.

I Samuel 10:21 And he brought the tribe of Benjamin and the kindreds thereof, and the lot fell upon the kindred of Metri, and it came to Saul, the son of Cis. They sought him therefore, and he was not found.

Metri. We find none of this name, 1 Paralipomenon 8:1. It is probably a title which some of the great patriarchs of Benjamin had acquired by shooting, as Metri means "an archer or bowman." (Calmet)
I Samuel 10:22 And after this they consulted the Lord whether he would come thither. And the Lord answered: Behold he is hidden at home.

Home. Hebrew, "he hath hidden himself among the stuff," (Haydock) instruments, or baggage, at Masphath. He acted thus out of modesty, judging himself unfit for the exalted dignity, (Calmet) and shewed that he did not seek for it. (Menochius)
I Samuel 10:23 And they ran and fetched him thence: and he stood in the midst of the people, and he was higher than any of the people from the shoulders and upward.

Upwards. God condescended to gratify the desires of the people, who chiefly regarded the stature and corporal qualifications of their king. "Many nations are accustomed to look with veneration on a majestic person, and think none are capable of great exploits except those whom nature has made very handsome." (Curtius vi.) See 1 Kings 9:2. More civilized nations rather consider the qualities of the mind. Alexander, Agesilaus, etc., were not of a majestic stature.
I Samuel 10:24 And Samuel said to all the people: Surely you see him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people. And all the people cried and said: God save the king.

King. Our favourite song, "God save," etc., is an amplification of this sentiment. (Haydock)
I Samuel 10:25 And Samuel told the people the law of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord: and Samuel sent away all the people, every one to his own house.

Before the Lord. It seems that the ark was therefore present. This record of Samuel is lost, so that we cannot determine what laws he prescribed on this occasion. (Calmet) --- Josephus ( VI. 5.) says that he wrote and read in the hearing of all, and in the presence of the king, what evils would ensue under the regal government; and deposited the writing in the tabernacle, that the truth of the prediction might be ascertained. He probably alludes to the denunciation of tyranny, which had been made (chap. 8.), and which he says Samuel repeated on this occasion. But the prophet would also take a copy of the law of the kingdom, prescribed by Moses, (Deuteronomy xvii.) and deliver it to Saul, that he might make it the rule of his conduct, and not imitate the wicked customs of tyrants. (Haydock) --- The whole process of this memorable event he would also write down, (Menochius) as we read it at present in this chapter, placing it in the proper order, as a continuation of the sacred history which Moses and Josue had commenced; and like them, depositing the sacred volume beside the ark, or in the tabernacle. See Josue 24:26. (Haydock)
I Samuel 10:26 Saul also departed to his own house in Gabaa: and there went with him a part of the army, whose hearts God had touched.

Touched; to consider the appointment of Saul, as his act. Afterwards they retired home, and the new king returned to his wonted occupations. The army here denotes part of the assembly, as the young men came with their leaders ready, if called, to march to battle, Exodus 6:26., and Deuteronomy 20:9. (Calmet)
I Samuel 10:27 But the children of Belial said: Shall this fellow be able to save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents; but he dissembled as though he heard not.

Belial; seditious men, perhaps of the tribe of Ephraim, (Judges xii.) or of Juda, to whom the regal power seemed to belong, Genesis xlix. (Salien) --- Presents, in testimony of their submission. See Judges 3:15., and 3 Kings 4:21. The eastern kings still expect that ambassadors should bring noble presents, otherwise they deem themselves insulted. (P. Martyr.) --- Subjects dare not appear before their king, in Thrace, without some such offering. (Xenophon, Anab. vii., etc.) (Calmet) --- Not. He knew that the throne is established by mercy, Proverbs 20:28. Hence he chose to pardon these discontented people after he had obtained the victory, and was even solicited to make an example of them. (Salien, the year of the world 2962) --- Severity might have alienated the minds of many, as he was hardly yet confirmed in his dignity, and the war against Ammon was threatening. (Menochius)
I Samuel 11:0 Saul defeateth the Ammonites, and delivereth Jabes Galaad.

I Samuel 11:1 And *it came to pass about a month after this, that Naas, the Ammonite, came up, and began to fight against Jabes Galaad. And all the men of Jabes said to Naas: Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee.

Year of the World 2909. After this. So far is omitted in the Hebrew, etc., but we find it in most editions of the Septuagint and in Josephus. (Calmet) --- Fight. He had threatened an invasion before, and had perhaps (Haydock) attacked some of the tribes on the east side of the Jordan, and treated them with the same cruelty as he intended for those of Jabes, which was a city of the first consequence. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] 6:5.) --- Naas, "a serpent." There was a king of this country of the same name, in the days of David. The people had been quiet since Jephte had made such havoc among them, about ninety years before. (Judges xi.) (Calmet) --- Covenant. They were willing to pay him tribute. But it seems they had offered him some insult, which made the king resolve to punish them more severely. They make no mention of Saul, as they did not wish to let the king know of his election; (Salien) and perhaps had no great confidence in him, (Haydock) as he was not yet fully confirmed in his dignity, (Calmet) and had let a whole month pass without taking any measures for the deliverance of his country, though it was on that pretext that he was elected. (Haydock) --- They considered what had passed as of no consequence, 1 Kings 12:12.
I Samuel 11:2 And Naas, the Ammonite, answered them: On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may pluck out all your right eyes, and make you a reproach in all Israel.

Eyes: strange proposal! He would not render them quite blind, that he might not be deprived of their service. But he wished to render them unfit for war, (Calmet) as the buckler covers the left eye; (Josephus) and people who shoot with bow and arrow, keep it closed. (Calmet)
I Samuel 11:3 And the ancients of Jabes said to him: Allow us seven days, that we may send messengers to all the coasts of Israel: and if there be no one to defend us, we will come out to thee.

Days. We have examples of similar requests in history. (Grotius, Jur. 3:23.) See Judith 7:23.
I Samuel 11:4 The messengers therefore came to Gabaa of Saul: and they spoke these words in the hearing of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept.

Of Saul. Septuagint, "to Saul," which may remove the surprise of Abulensis, that the king is not mentioned. (Salien) --- Saul was absent at the time, so that they made known the threatening danger to the people.
I Samuel 11:5 And behold Saul came, following oxen out of the field, and he said: What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the words of the men of Jabes.

Field. So David fed sheep, even after he was anointed king. The ancients had very different sentiments of royalty from what we have. Their kings and great men did not esteem it beneath them to cultivate the earth. Several of them wrote on the subject. Jura dabat populis, posito modo praetor aratro, Pascebatque suas ipse Senator oves. (Ovid, Fast. I.) Many of the most eminent Roman generals were taken from the plough. (Calmet) --- Xenophon introduces the younger Cyrus, saying, "Many of these trees were planted with my own hands." (Cicero, Senect. 17.)
I Samuel 11:6 And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul, when he had heard these words, and his anger was exceedingly kindled.

Spirit of fortitude, prudence, and zeal. (Haydock)
I Samuel 11:7 And taking both the oxen, he cut them in pieces, and sent them into all the coasts of Israel, by messengers, saying: Whosoever shall not come forth, and follow Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen. And the fear of the Lord fell upon the people, and they went out as one man.

Oxen, with which he had been ploughing. --- Pieces. Hebrew does not say that he sent them; and Josephus intimates, that he only "hamstrung them, and sent messengers," etc. (Haydock) --- But such actions are far more impressive than words. See Judges 19:29., and Acts 21:10., etc. (Calmet) --- Samuel. Saul adds the name of the prophet, as the people had still great confidence in him, and he always acted as God's envoy. (Haydock) --- Oxen. He does not threaten capital punishment, but insinuates that both duty and interest require the presence of all. (Salien) --- Of the Lord; that is, a great fear: (Calmet) or, God moved the people to shew a ready obedience and reverence to their king's commands.
I Samuel 11:8 And he numbered them in Bezec: and there were of the children of Israel three hundred thousand: and of the men of Juda thirty thousand.

Bezec, where Adonibezec had reigned, (Judges 1.; Menochius) near the place where they crossed the Jordan, a little below Scythopolis, to go to Jabes, which was about thirty miles distant. (Calmet) --- Thousand. Josephus makes the army consist of 770,000, who were collected at Bala. Septuagint have 600,000 of Israel; and they agree with this author, in allowing also 70,000 to Juda alone. But this is a larger army than what came out of Egypt, and exceeds the limits of probability, unless all assembled, as the preceding verse seems (Haydock) to insinuate; (Menochius) and we find far greater numbers, 2 Paralipomenon 13:3, 17., if no (Haydock) error have there crept in. (Kennicott)
I Samuel 11:9 And they said to the messengers that came: Thus shall you say to the men of Jabes Galaad: To-morrow, when the sun shall be hot, you shall have relief. The messengers therefore came, and told the men of Jabes: and they were glad.

Hot. Josephus says, Saul "being seized with the divine spirit, ordered them to inform the citizens of Jabes, that he would come to their assistance on the third day, and rout the enemy before the sun arose." But the message of which the Scripture here speaks, (Haydock) was sent from Bezec. Saul, in effect, came upon the Ammonites unawares before it was light, gained a complete victory, (Calmet) and then pursued the fugitives till noon.
I Samuel 11:10 And they said: In the morning we will come out to you: and you shall do what you please with us.

To you, Naas, (Haydock) which they speak in irony, and that the enemy may be off his guard. (Calmet) --- We must thus deceive our passions, that we may not be blinded (Haydock) or slain by them. (St. Gregory, 5:1. in Reg.) (Worthington)
I Samuel 11:11 And it came to pass, when the morrow was come that Saul put the people in three companies: and he came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and he slew the Ammonites until the day grew hot, and the rest were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.

Camp. It was not then customary to throw up any fortifications, but only to place sentinels in all the avenues. --- Watch, which ended at sunrise. (Calmet)
I Samuel 11:12 And the people said to Samuel: *Who is he that said: Shall Saul reign over us? Bring the men, and we will kill them.

Wisdom 10:27.
Them. It seems there were but few discontented persons. (Salien) --- They address themselves to Samuel, who they knew had not regarded their request of a king with approbation, as if to give him a little mortification. But he makes a proposal of confirming the election with still greater solemnity, if they persevered in their resolution, (Haydock) as he intimated they might still recede, (Calmet) and be content with the former mode of government, as being far better. (Haydock)
I Samuel 11:13 And Saul said: No man shall be killed this day: because the Lord this day hath wrought salvation in Israel:

I Samuel 11:14 And Samuel said to the people: Come, and let us go to Galgal, and let us renew the kingdom there.

I Samuel 11:15 And all the people went to Galgal, and there they made Saul king, before the Lord in Galgal, and they sacrificed there victims of peace before the Lord. And there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced exceedingly

They made. Septuagint, "and there (again the prophet; Josephus) Samuel anointed Saul king." The same ceremonies as had been used before, except the casting lots, were here repeated, particularly the solemn anointing, (Salien) whence, in the following chapter, (ver. 3) Saul is styled the anointed. (Menochius) --- The Lord. His ark was probably present, and the priest to offer victims. (Salien, the year of the world 2963.)
I Samuel 12:0 Samuel's integrity is acknowledged. God sheweth, by a sign from heaven, that they had done ill in asking for a king.

I Samuel 12:1 *And Samuel said to all Israel: Behold I have hearkened to your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you.

Year of the World 2909. You. He speaks with the authority of a prophet, (Calmet) and takes this opportunity to draw from the whole people a confession of his integrity, that the kings might follow the pattern which he had set them. (Haydock)
I Samuel 12:2 And now the king goeth before you: but I am old and grey-headed: and my sons are with you: having then conversed with you from my youth until this day, behold here I am.

Goeth, as your leader, according to your request. I am like a private man, (Calmet) willing to submit to his and the people's judgment, (Haydock) though it could not be required. (Menochius) --- Grey-headed. This he might be at the age of sixty, which most chronologers allow him, (Haydock) as he had been at the head of affairs from his early years, in most difficult times. (Tirinus) --- With you. As soon as I heard of your complaints, I deprived them of their power, so that you cannot blame me for their misconduct. If they were guilty, they may stand their trial before the king. (Calmet)
I Samuel 12:3 *Speak of me before the Lord, and before his anointed, whether I have taken any man's ox, or ass: if I have wronged any man, if I have oppressed any man, if I have taken a bribe at any man's hand: and I will despise it this day, and will restore it to you.

Ecclesiasticus 46:22.
Anointed, "Christ," as the anointing of kings prefigured that of the Messias, which, in Hebrew, has the same import as the word christos has in Greek. (Calmet) --- Wronged. Literally, "by calumny," or by any other mode of oppression. (Haydock) --- Despise. Hebrew, "hide my eyes," through confusion. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "to blind my eyes therewith." (Haydock) --- Septuagint have read nálim, "shoes," instead of anlim. (Calmet) --- "Have I taken from the hand of any one a present, to render me favourable, so much as a shoe? (upodéma, or latchet) answer against me," etc. (Haydock)
I Samuel 12:4 And they said: Thou hast not wronged us, nor oppressed us, nor taken ought at any man's hand.

I Samuel 12:5 And he said to them: The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found any thing in my hand. And they said: He is witness.

I Samuel 12:6 And Samuel said to the people: It is the Lord, who made Moses and Aaron, and brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt.

Made, and appointed them to rule the people, Jeremias 37:15. (Le Clerc) --- Egypt. Septuagint add, "is witness;" and some Latin copies have, "is present." (Calmet)
I Samuel 12:7 Now, therefore, stand up, that I may plead in judgment against you before the Lord, concerning all the kindness of the Lord, which he hath shewn to you, and to your fathers:

Stand up, like people cited to the bar. Having undergone his own trial with applause, Samuel shews that the people will not come off so well at the tribunal of God, whom they had treated with greater disrespect, injustice, and ingratitude than they had himself, as he convinced them by an astonishing and terrible storm. (Haydock) --- Kindness. Septuagint, "justice," as the same Hebrew word implies both. God had treated his people with mercy and with justice (Calmet) alternately. (Haydock)
I Samuel 12:8 *How Jacob went into Egypt, and your fathers cried to the Lord: and the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, and brought your fathers out of Egypt: and made them dwell in this place.

Genesis 46:5.
I Samuel 12:9 And they forgot the Lord their God, *and he delivered them into the hands of Sisara, captain of the army of Hasor, and into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.

Judges 4:2.
Hasor. See Judges 4:1. --- Moab. Jephte delivered the people from the hands of the Ammonites, who claimed all that country, Judges 11:15. Eglon had been slain by Aod, before the Chanaanites enslaved Israel. (Calmet)
I Samuel 12:10 But afterwards they cried to the Lord, and said: We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served Baalim and Astaroth: but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.

I Samuel 12:11 *And the Lord sent Jerobaal, and Badan, and Jephte, and Samuel, and delivered you from the hand of your enemies round about, and you dwelt securely.

Judges 6:14.
Jerobaal and Badan. That is, Gedeon and Samson, called here Badan or Bedan, because he was of Dan. (Challoner) (Chaldean, etc.) (Worthington) --- Others think that Jair, (Judges 10:3.; Junius, Usher,) or, according to the Septuagint, "Barac," are designated. Jair was a descendant of one Bedan, 1 Paralipomenon 2:21. (Calmet) --- But we do not read that Jair performed any great exploit. (Haydock) --- Samuel. He speaks of himself as of any other man: as the interests of God were not to be betrayed by an unseasonable modesty. (Calmet) --- Josephus only specifies Jephte and Gedeon. (Haydock) --- The Israelites thought that they could dispose things better than God had done under the judges; and hence their sin is so often repeated. (St. Gregory) (Worthington)
I Samuel 12:12 But seeing that Naas, king of the children of Ammon, was come against you, you said to me: *Nay, but a king shall reign over us: whereas the Lord your God was your king.

1 Kings 8:19.; 1 Kings 10:19.
I Samuel 12:13 Now, therefore, your king is here, whom you have chosen and desired: Behold the Lord hath given you a king.

Desired. St. Augustine (in Psalm li.) considers this as a kind of sarcasm. (Calmet) --- You will see what advantages you will derive from your choice. (Menochius)
I Samuel 12:14 If you will fear the Lord, and serve him, and hearken to his voice, and not provoke the mouth of the Lord: then shall both you, and the king who reigneth over you, be followers of the Lord your God.

Of the Lord, causing him to look upon you and treat you with indignation. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "and do not contend with the mouth," or against the orders of the Lord, which cannot fail to excite his displeasure. (Menochius) --- If you prove faithful under this new form of government, though it be less agreeable to God, he will still protect you. (Haydock)
I Samuel 12:15 But if you will not hearken to the voice of the Lord, but will rebel against his words, the hand of the Lord shall be upon you, and upon your fathers.

Fathers. Septuagint, "king," ver. 25. Superiors (Worthington) are often styled fathers. Syriac, etc., "as upon your fathers," (Calmet) which is adopted by the Protestants, "as it was against," etc. (Haydock)
I Samuel 12:16 Now then stand, and see this great thing which the Lord will do in your sight.

I Samuel 12:17 Is it not wheat-harvest to-day? I will call upon the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain: and you shall know, and see that you yourselves have done a great evil in the sight of the Lord, in desiring a king over you.

Wheat-harvest. At which time of the year it never thunders or rains in those countries. (Challoner) --- The wheat-harvest is towards the end of June. The usual seasons for rain are only spring and autumn. (St. Jerome in Amos 4:7, etc.) --- Thunder. Literally, "voices," Psalm 17:14. (Calmet) --- See. Being fully convinced by the miracle, which declares the will of God in the clearest manner. Though God was pleased thus to manifest his displeasure, at the people's assuming to themselves the right of changing the established form of government, by insisting so much upon having a king at this time, we cannot hence infer, as Paine and some late seditious writers have done, that the regal power is in itself an evil. It might be contrary to a theocracy, and still might suit the manners of some nations better than any other form. To determine precisely what sort of government is the best, would be an arduous task. We admire our own constitution; yet our ally, the prince of the Brazils, has lately forbidden any panegyric of it to be printed in his dominions. All innovations are, generally, attended with the most serious inconveniences. (Haydock)
I Samuel 12:18 And Samuel cried unto the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day.

I Samuel 12:19 And all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel. And all the people said to Samuel: Pray for thy servants to the Lord thy God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for a king.

And Samuel, at whose prayer the Lord had sent such a storm, lest he should punish them as they deserved. But the prophet alleviates their fears, and teaches them to refrain from idolatry, and he will still continue to perform his duty in praying for them, and giving them good advice. (Salien) --- The fear of God is increased by that which the people shew for his servants.
I Samuel 12:20 And Samuel said to the people: Fear not, you have done all this evil: but yet depart not from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.

Following, as that would imply despair. To come boldly before him would argue presumption. Therefore, St. Mary Magdalene keeps at the feet of Jesus Christ. (Worthington)
I Samuel 12:21 And turn not aside after vain things, which shall never profit you, nor deliver you, because they are vain.

Vain and wicked idols. Hebrew thohu, full of "confusion" and disorder.
I Samuel 12:22 And the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because the Lord hath sworn to make you his people.

Sake. This motive often proved the salvation of Israel, Exodus 32:12. The Scriptures wholly tend to impress upon our minds, a sense of our own weakness, and of God's infinite glory and perfection. (Calmet) --- We may all say, "Our hope to rise is all from Thee---our ruin's all our own." (Austin.[St. Augustine?])
I Samuel 12:23 And far from me be this sin against the Lord, that I should cease to pray for you: and I will teach you the good and right way.

The Lord. For a pastor to neglect instruction, is not only detrimental to the people, but injurious to God. (Haydock) --- Way. None contributed more than Samuel to keep the people within due bounds, during the reign of Saul. (Calmet)
I Samuel 12:24 Therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in truth, and with your whole heart, for you have seen the great works which he hath done among you.

I Samuel 12:25 But if you will still do wickedly: both you and your king shall perish together.

Together. Septuagint, "shall be rejected." Saul soon experienced the effect of this prophetic menace; and the Jews were, at last, also cast away. (Haydock)
I Samuel 13:0 The war between Saul and the Philistines. The distress of the Israelites. Saul offereth sacrifice before the coming of Samuel: for which he is reproved.

I Samuel 13:1 Saul *was a child of one year when he began to reign, and he reigned two years over Israel.

Year of the World 2911, Year before Christ 1093. Of one year. That is, he was good, and like an innocent child, and for two years continued in that innocency. (Challoner) (St. Gregory) (Worthington) --- Israel. This verse is omitted in some copies of the Septuagint. It is extremely difficult to explain. Some translate Hebrew, "Saul was a son of one year old," etc. (Symmachus) Others, "Saul begot a son the first year of his reign, (Raban) Isboseth, who was 40 years old when his father died, after governing all that while. (Serarius) --- Syriac and Arabic, "In the first or second year of the reign of Saul....he chose," etc. Hardouin supposes that the people dated their years by his reign only so long. Some think that the Hebrew is imperfect; and an ancient interpreter has, "Saul was 30 years old, when he began," etc. (Calmet) --- The Rabbins and many commentators assert, that the reign of Saul lasted only two years. (Tirinus) --- But some of them explain this, as if he reigned alone only that term before he was rejected, when he could only be regarded as an usurper. Others, that he obtained the whole power for two years, after the death of Samuel. Usher concludes that, during the incursions of the Philistines, he could hardly be said to reign, and these commenced after he had been king two years. We might also translate, "Saul was the son of the year of his reign, (when he was confirmed at Galgal) and in the second year....he chose," etc. (Calmet) --- Perhaps the first translation, though somewhat mystical, may be the most literal, shewing that for one year Saul continued to act with the most engaging affability and moderation. But in the second he threw off the yoke, and was, in his turn, rejected by the Lord, as we shall soon behold. (Haydock) --- Scaliger seems to prefer allowing that the numeral letters have been omitted by some transcriber, and that we should read, Saul was 30 years old. This, and similar variations, he attributes to the compendious method of using numeral letters; (Kennicott) an inconvenience very frequently attending all manuscripts, both sacred and profane. (Taylor)
I Samuel 13:2 And Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel: and two thousand were with Saul in Machmas, and in Mount Bethel: and a thousand with Jonathan in Gabaa of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent back every man to their dwellings.

Dwellings, from Galgal (Salien) or from some other general assembly. (Calmet) --- These 3000 were to be the king's guards, supported at the expense of the nation, that the people might begin to feel one part of the royal prerogative. (Salien, the year before Christ 1089)
I Samuel 13:3 And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines which was in Gabaa. And when the Philistines had heard of it, Saul sounded the trumpet over all the land, saying: Let the Hebrews hear.

Land. As soon as the next cities had heard the alarm, they sounded the trumpet, and so the news was conveyed to the most distant parts, in a short time, Judges 3:27. --- Hebrews. Probably those "on the other side" of the Jordan, who presently came to the assistance of their brethren, ver. 7. (Osiander) --- It might also be the usual beginning of a proclamation. See Daniel 3:4. (Menochius) --- Septuagint and Aquila have a instead of r, in hibrim. "Let the servants (subjects) attend." (Aquila) "The slaves have rebelled," (Septuagint) meaning the Philistines, who ought to have been subject to Israel. (Haydock)
I Samuel 13:4 And all Israel heard this report: Saul hath smitten the garrison of the Philistines: and Israel took courage against the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Galgal.

Courage. Hebrew, "and Israel was in abomination (stinking) with the Philistines." See Exodus 5:21. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "despised as nothing the strangers." --- Were should be omitted, as the verb is active, clamavit, in the Vulgate and Septuagint, though the Protestants have "were called," etc. They shouted with alacrity, that Saul would lead them on to battle. (Haydock) --- Osiander thinks that they "exclaimed against him," for engaging them in this new war.
I Samuel 13:5 The Philistines also were assembled to fight against Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and a multitude of people besides, like the sand on the sea-shore for number. And going up they camped in Machmas, at the east of Bethaven.

Chariots. This number seems almost incredible, as the Philistines were but a contemptible nation, compared with various others which never brought so many chariots into the field. Zara, king of Ethiopia, in his army of a million men, had only 300, 2 Paralipomenon 14:9. Adarezer had 1000, and Sesac 1200 chariots, while Solomon could only boast of 1400. Hence the Syriac and Arabic read "3000;" and it is supposed that the Hebrew has im, at the end of shelosh, redundant. (Bochart, Capel, etc.) The number of horsemen would otherwise bear no proportion with the chariots. We must also observe, that under this name the Scripture denotes those who upon the chariots. They were drawn by two horses, and one man guided the horses, while another stood on the chariot; and in battle, eight other soldiers attended it. These remarks will tend to explain many difficult passages, in which we read of chariots being slain and hamstrung, which may be understood of the men and horses, 2 Kings 8:4., and 10:18. In one place we read 700, and in another 7000 chariot were slain, (1 Paralipomenon 19:18,) the latter number comprising the 10 attendants; so here, the Philistines might have 3000 chariots, which being each accompanied with ten men, might be counted as 30,000. (Calmet) --- Others think that there were 30,000 men fighting on chariots. (Lyranus; Salien) --- The Tyrians might have come to the assistance of their old friends, as 1 Kings 7:10. See 3 Kings 4:26. (Menochius) --- Number. Josephus specifies "300,000 infantry." (Haydock) --- Bethaven. Many copies of the Septuagint read, "Bethoron," more probably, as Bethel must have been on the east of Machmas, which lay north of Gabaa, chap 14:5. (Calmet) "over-against Bethoron on the south." (Grabe) (Haydock) --- Hebrew also, "having Bethaven on the east." Bethel was called Bethaven after the schism of Jeroboam, so that this name seems to have been substituted by a later writer, (Calmet) unless it might have had both names long before, Josue 18:12. (Haydock) --- This is not contrary to 1 Kings 7:13, as the Philistines had been quiet for a long time. Hebrew álom, properly denotes the term of a jubilee or 50 years. (Du Hamel)
I Samuel 13:6 And when the men of Israel saw that they were straitened (for the people were distressed), they hid themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in dens, and in pits.

Straitened, the people form the northern provinces, and provisions being cut off, by the immense army of the Philistines. (Calmet) --- Providence was pleased to convince the people that, though they had been able to muster so large a force against the Ammonites, at so short a warning, they must not depend on the efforts of their new king. (Haydock) --- He suffered many of the army to retire, as he sent away most of Gedeon's soldiers, that the whole glory of the victory might be attributed to him. (Salien) --- Dens. So the Chaldean. Some explain the Hebrew, "high places (Haydock) or towers." (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "ditches or holes." (Menochius) --- Bothrois. In that country there are many spacious caverns, (chap. 24.; Josue 10.) (Haydock)
I Samuel 13:7 And some of the Hebrews passed over the Jordan into the land of Gad and Galaad. And when Saul was yet in Galgal, all the people that followed him were greatly afraid.

Hebrews. Septuagint, "the people, who came over, (the river) crossed the Jordan." (Haydock) --- The title of Hebrews, "passengers," seems to be applied to those who lived on the east side of the river, (Calmet) though probably some others would seek for a retreat in that country, or even hide themselves in the regions of the Ammonites, out of which they had lately driven the inhabitants. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "the Hebrews passed over the Jordan, the land of," etc. (Calmet) --- Afraid. Septuagint in a sort of "ecstasy" of fear.
I Samuel 13:8 And he waited seven days, according to the appointment of Samuel, *and Samuel came not to Galgal, and the people slipt away from him.

1 Kings 10:8.
Of Samuel. Yet the prophet condemns his proceedings, either because he did not wait till the expiration of the seventh day, (Calmet; St. Ignatius, etc.; Salien) or because he ventured to offer sacrifice himself. (Lyra after Sulp. Severus, etc.) (Haydock) (Worthington) --- He had however the high priest with him; (chap. 14:3,) so that he might have performed this sacred function, at the request of Saul: and we do not find that the latter is accused of sacrilege. (Salien) --- The magnitude of the punishment is no proof of the nature of the transgression, as God often punishes, with great severity, sins which to us might appear venial. (Haydock) --- This is true, particularly with respect to those who first dare to transgress a positive command; (Numbers 15:32.; Menochius) as Saul seems to have done the injunction of the prophet, 1 Kings 10:8. The regal dignity was a gratuitous gift. (Salien) --- With a trembling heart, we must consider how he was rejected for neglecting to wait so short a time," (St. Gregory) when the circumstances seems to plead so strongly in his favour. How impenetrable are the judgments of God! and how punctually does he require his orders to be obeyed! (Calmet)
I Samuel 13:9 Then Saul said: Bring me the holocaust, and the peace-offerings. And he offered the holocaust.

I Samuel 13:10 And when he had made an end of offering the holocaust, behold Samuel came: and Saul went forth to meet him and salute him.

I Samuel 13:11 And Samuel said to him: What hast thou done? Saul answered: Because I saw that the people slipt from me, and thou wast not come according to the days appointed, and the Philistines were gathered together in Machmas,

I Samuel 13:12 I said: Now will the Philistines come down upon me to Galgal, and I have not appeased the face of the Lord. Forced by necessity, I offered the holocaust.

Lord, by sacrifices. --- Holocaust. Hebrew, "I forced myself therefore," etc. It is asked whether Saul offered sacrifice, or caused it to be offered by the priests. The text seems to assert that he did it himself. Samuel and David did the like; and we read that Solomon ascended to the brazen altar, at Gabaon, for the same purpose, 2 Paralipomenon 1:5. If it was lawful to erect altars out of the tabernacle, notwithstanding the divine prohibition, why might not individuals also offer sacrifice on certain solemn occasions? The Hebrew kings seem to have exercised some of the sacerdotal functions, particularly before the building of the temple; for afterwards we find one of their kings severely punished for presuming to offer incense, 4 Kings 15:5. (Calmet) --- Yet the proofs that they ever lawfully offered sacrifice, are not very satisfactory, as, in the Scripture language, a person is often said to do what he enjoins another to perform on his account; and if some prophets have acted in the character of priests, by divine dispensation, we need not extend the privilege to all who have dared to assume the like prerogative. The law is clear. It is the duty of all who do not regulate their conduct by it, to know that they have God's approbation. Their expressing no scruple on the occasion, proves nothing, no more than the sacred writer's omitting to stigmatize their proceedings. But here, if Saul really offered the holocaust, the words of Samuel, Thou hast done foolishly, convey a sufficient reproach: but if he did not, we must suppose that he blames the neglect of waiting the full term of days. (Haydock)
I Samuel 13:13 And Samuel said to Saul: Thou hast done foolishly, and hast not kept the commandments of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee. And if thou hadst not done thus, the Lord would now have established thy kingdom over Israel for ever:

Ever. He foresaw this want of obedience, and therefore promised the sceptre to Juda, Genesis xlix. (Menochius) --- God's foresight of sin, and preordination to punish it, does not take away free-will nor the possibility of a reward. (St. Augustine) (Worthington)
I Samuel 13:14 But thy kingdom shall not continue. *The Lord hath sought him a man according to his own heart: and him hath the Lord commanded to be prince over his people, because thou hast not observed that which the Lord commanded.

Acts 13:22.
Continue long. This seems to have been a threat, which Saul might still have escaped, if he had not proved disobedient again. St. Gregory says, "he might have been loosed from the bonds of his former disobedience;" prioris inobedientiae nexus enodaret. The second rebellion caused him to be entirely rejected, and the prophet was ordered to go and anoint David, (chap. 15.) (Salien)
I Samuel 13:15 And Samuel arose and went up from Galgal to Gabaa of Benjamin. And the rest of the people went up after Saul, to meet the people who fought against them, going from Galgal to Gabaa, in the hill of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people, that were found with him, about six hundred men.

Samuel. Piscator suspects that we ought to read Saul, as no mention is made of the prophet in the sequel of this war, and he is never consulted. (Calmet) --- Josephus says he returned home. (Haydock) --- But all the versions are conformable to the text: and Samuel went with the king and his 600 soldiers, to Gabaa, (Calmet) that he might not appear to retain any ill-will towards Saul, and that his followers might not be quite dispirited, as they knew that he had the thunderbolts of heaven in his hand; and if he was with them, they had nothing to fear from the myriads of their opponents. His presence was very seasonable, for they had to cut their way through the enemy. (Salien) --- And the....Benjamin. All this is omitted in Hebrew, Chaldean, and in many Greek and Latin copies. (Calmet) --- It is found in the Alexandrian and Vatican Septuagint. --- In the hill, is a translation of Gabaa, which alone occurs in those editions. (Haydock)
I Samuel 13:16 And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, were in Gabaa of Benjamin: But the Philistines encamped in Machmas.

I Samuel 13:17 And there went out of the camp of the Philistines three companies to plunder. One company went towards the way of Ephra to the land of Sual.

Plunder, seeing that the Israelites durst not come to an engagement. Jonathan took advantage of their absence, (chap. 14.) --- Land of Sual, "foxes," not far from the birth-place of Gedeon, Judges 6:11.
I Samuel 13:18 And another went by the way of Bethoron, and the third turned to the way of the border, above the valley of Seboim towards the desert.

Bethoron, the lower, to the north-west of Gabaa. --- Seboim was one of the cities which perished along with Sodom. (Calmet)
I Samuel 13:19 Now there was no smith to be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines had taken this precaution, lest the Hebrews should make them swords or spears.

Smith. The Philistines had taken these precautions before Samuel gained the victory over them, and he consented that the people should employ the Philistines as before, when he made peace with them; (Salien) or they had again begun to get the upper hand at the beginning of Saul's reign, as the Israelites had been long in the enjoyment of peace, and negligent. (Tirinus) --- Josephus extends this species of servitude only to the neighbourhood of Gabaa, and says the major part of Saul's 600 men "was destitute of arms, because that country had neither iron nor people to make arms." The immense army which had so lately discomfited the Ammonites, was surely not without weapons. But most of them had retired, (Haydock) and those who accompanied the king might rely chiefly on their expertness in using the sling, Judges 20:16. (Menochius) --- The brave men who came to join David, are praised on this account, as well as for shooting with bow and arrow, 1 Paralipomenon 12:2. Furious battles have been also fought with sharpened stakes, burnt at the end, (Virgil, Aeneid vii.) and with various implements of husbandry, of which the Hebrews were not deprived. In the defeat of Sisara, they had not a buckler nor a lance among 40,000 (Judges 5:8.; Calmet) as the Philistines had already begun to deprive the Israelites of such weapons. (Haydock) -- Other nations have since imitated their policy, 4 Kings 24:14. (Justin. 1:7.)
I Samuel 13:20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his ploughshare, and his spade, and his axe, and his rake.

All Israel, whom the Philistines had conquered, particularly the neighbouring tribes. (Calmet) --- They were obliged to go to the places where the enemy kept garrisons, (Menochius) as they did at Gabaa, Bethel, etc. --- Share. Septuagint, Syriac, etc., "scythe," or "sickle for corn;" theristerion. (Haydock) --- The original term, macharesha, may signify all sorts of implements. --- Spade. Hebrew is supposed to mean, "a coulter." Septuagint, "instrument," which the prophets often say will be turned into a sword, in times of war, Joel 3:15., and Micheas 4:3. --- Rake. The same generical term is used in Hebrew as was before translated a plough-share. Septuagint have "scythe;" drepanon. (Calmet)
I Samuel 13:21 So that their shares, and their spades, and their forks, and their axes, were blunt, even to the goad, which was to be mended.

Mended, by the Philistines. (Haydock) --- The Hebrew is variously translated. "Their implements were like saws; or, they had a file to sharpen the," etc. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "and the fruits were ready to be gathered. But the vessels (instruments for labour) were three sicles for a tooth, and the same price (or station, upostasis, a word used [in] ver. 23, in the latter sense) for an axe or a scythe;" as if the Philistines required three sicles for doing the smallest thing, when the harvest was at hand. (Haydock)
I Samuel 13:22 And when the day of battle was come, there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan, except Saul and Jonathan his son.

I Samuel 13:23 And the army of the Philistines went out in order to advance further in Machmas.

Further. Hebrew, "went out to the passage (Haydock) or defile of Machmas," leading to Gabaa. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "and there came out of the station of the strangers, to the other side (or beyond) Machmas," where they have been fixed, 1 Kings 6:11, 16. (Haydock)
I Samuel 14:0 Jonathan attacketh the Philistines. A miraculous victory. Saul's unadvised oath, by which Jonathan is put in danger of his life, but is delivered by the people.

I Samuel 14:1 Now it came to pass one day that Jonathan, the son of Saul, said to the young man that bore his armour: Come, and let us go over to the garrison of the Philistines, which is on the other side of yonder place. But he told not this to his father.

Day, while it was yet dark. (Josephus) --- This action would seem rash, and contrary to military discipline, which requires that the general should be apprised of any hazardous enterprise. (Calmet) --- But it is thought that Jonathan was directed by God, who granted him success. (Cornelius a Lapide) --- The Rabbins say, "every augury which is not like that of Eleazar and Jonathan, is null. If they had done ill,...God would not have heard them." (Kimchi)
I Samuel 14:2 And Saul abode in the uttermost part of Gabaa, under the pomegranate-tree, which was in Magron: and the people with him were about six hundred men.

Magron, a village between Gabaa and Machmas, Isaias 10:28. Hebrew reads "Remmon," which means "a pomegranate tree," and denotes a famous impregnable rock, with extensive caverns, where an equal number of men had formerly saved themselves, Judges 20:47. (Calmet) (Tirinus) (Menochius)
I Samuel 14:3 And Achias, the son of Achitob, brother to Ichabod, the son of Phinees, *the son of Heli, the priest of the Lord in Silo, wore the ephod. And the people knew not whither Jonathan was gone.

1 Kings 4:21.
Ephod; or was high priest, ver. 18. Achias is called Achimelech, 1 Kings 22:9. (Calmet) --- He had succeeded his father, Achitob, in the beginning of Saul's reign, after the former had held the dignity twenty-two years. (Salien, the year of the world 2962.)
I Samuel 14:4 Now there were between the ascents, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the garrison of the Philistines, rocks standing up on both sides, and steep cliffs like teeth on the one side, and on the other, the name of the one was Boses, and the name of the other was Sene:

I Samuel 14:5 One rock stood out toward the north, over-against Machmas, and the other to the south, over-against Gabaa.

I Samuel 14:6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bore his armour: Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised, it may be the Lord will do for us: because it is easy for the Lord to save either by many, or by few.

Uncircumcised. The Hebrews looked upon the Gentiles as unclean and they, in their turn, spoke of the Jews in the most contemptuous manner. (Calmet) --- It may. Literally, "if perchance." (Haydock) --- This does not express any doubt. The hero found himself impelled to undertake this work, but he knew not by what means God would crown it with success. He therefore prays to him in this manner, as Abraham's servant had done, Genesis 24:12. He does not tempt God no more than Gedeon and Moses, who begged that the Lord would manifest his will by miracles. (Calmet) --- Few. These words are often repeated, (2 Paralipomenon 14:11., and 1 Machabees 3:18,) and were verified, 1 Kings 17:47., and Judges 7:4. (Menochius)
I Samuel 14:7 And his armour-bearer said to him: Do all that pleaseth thy mind: go whither thou wilt, and I will be with thee wheresoever thou hast a mind.

I Samuel 14:8 And Jonathan said: Behold we will go over to these men. And when we shall be seen by them,

I Samuel 14:9 If they shall speak thus to us: Stay till we come to you: let us stand still in our place, and not go up to them.

I Samuel 14:10 But if they shall say: Come up to us: let us go up, because the Lord hath delivered them into our hands, this shall be a sign unto us.

This shall be a sign. It is likely Jonathan was instructed by divine inspiration, to make choice of this sign; otherwise, the observation of omens is superstitious and sinful. (Challoner) (Menochius) (Worthington)
I Samuel 14:11 So both of them discovered themselves to the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said: Behold the Hebrews come forth out of the holes wherein they were hid.

Philistines, probably on the northern rock, as they afterwards climbed up that on the south, (Calmet) where they had not been discovered. (Salien)
I Samuel 14:12 And the men of the garrison spoke to Jonathan, and to his armour-bearer, and said: Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said to his armour-bearer: Let us go up, follow me: *for the Lord hath delivered them into the hands of Israel.

1 Machabees 4:30.
A thing, making you pay dear for this temerity. Herodotus (v.) mentions, that the Peonians were commanded by the oracle not to attack the Perinthians, unless they were challenged. They did so, and gained a complete victory.
I Samuel 14:13 And Jonathan went up creeping on his hands and feet, and his armour-bearer after him. And some fell before Jonathan, others his armour-bearer slew as he followed him.

I Samuel 14:14 And the first slaughter which Jonathan and his armour-bearer made, was of about twenty men, within half an acre of land, which a yoke of oxen is wont to plough in a day.

Day. Varro, etc., allow 120 feet, Columella only 70, for a day's work, so that these twenty men were slain in the space of 60 or 35 feet. Louis de Dieu rejects all the other versions, and would translate the Hebrew "in almost the half of the length of a furrow, and in the breadth which is between two furrows in a field," so that the enemy would be very close together. Literally, "almost in the half of a furrow of a yoke of the field," which seems rather to be understood of the length, (Calmet) if indeed it have any meaning. Protestants are forced to help out the text: "within as it were a half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plough." (Haydock) --- But a whole acre was the usual allowance. (Menochius) --- Hallet observes, "the Septuagint read the Hebrew in a different manner, and have rendered the verse thus, 'That first slaughter was....of about twenty men, with darts, and stones, and flints of the field:' I suppose the read, Bétsim ubomáuth." Kennicott adds, and ubgomri, as the Arabs still use gomor, to denote "a small flint." (Golius) (Haydock)
I Samuel 14:15 And there was a miracle in the camp, in the fields: and all the people of their garrison, who had gone out to plunder, were amazed, and the earth trembled: and it happened as a miracle from God.

Miracle. Hebrew charada, "consternation or trembling," a panic fear, as the Philistines imagined that all the army of Israel had got into the camp. "In the terrors sent by demons, (or superior beings) even the sons of the gods flee away." (Pindar. Nem.) The earth quaked (Calmet) to increase the enemies' apprehensions, so that those who had gone out to plunder, hearing of the disaster, which report had greatly magnified, and all the people feeling this unusual and alarming motion of the earth, perceived that God was fighting against them, and trembled. (Haydock)
I Samuel 14:16 And the watchmen of Saul, who were in Gabaa of Benjamin looked, and behold a multitude overthrown, and fleeing this way and that.

Gabaa, where they were stationed to observe the enemies' motions, and to give notice of them to Saul, at Remmon, ver. 2. (Calmet) --- Overthrown. Hebrew, "melted down, (without courage) and they went crushing" one another is the narrow passes, (Haydock) and turning their arms against all they met. (Josephus)
I Samuel 14:17 And Saul said to the people that were with him: Look, and see who is gone from us. And when they had sought, it was found that Jonathan and his armour-bearer were not there.

Were not. Hebrew, "when they had numbered, behold Jonathan, etc., not" in the number. (Haydock)
I Samuel 14:18 And Saul said to Achias: Bring the ark of the Lord. (For the ark of God was there that day with the children of Israel.)

Ark. Septuagint, "the ephod." (Kimchi, etc.) --- Spencer follows the sentiment of the Rabbins, and explains it of a little box, in which the ephod and pectoral were placed, when they were brought to the army. But what need of this explication? (Calmet) --- How the oracle was given is uncertain. (Menochius)
I Samuel 14:19 And while Saul spoke to the priest, there arose a great uproar in the camp of the Philistines: and it increased by degrees, and was heard more clearly. And Saul said to the priest: Draw in thy hand.

Hand. He prayed with his hands extended. Saul believed that God had sufficiently intimated his will, by affording such a favourable opportunity. "The best of omens is to revenge our country's wrongs." (Hector. Iliad.) (Menochius) --- Optimis auspiciis ea geri, quae pro Reip. salute fierent, was the observation of Q. F. Maximus. Senect. (Calmet) --- Saul did not wait for God's answer, and therefore had nearly lost his son by a rash vow, and by too eager zeal. (Worthington)
I Samuel 14:20 Then Saul, and all the people that were with him, shouted together, and they came to the place of the fight: and behold every man's sword was turned upon his neighbour, and there was a very great slaughter.

I Samuel 14:21 Moreover, the Hebrews that had been with the Philistines yesterday and the day before, and went up with them into the camp, returned to be with the Israelites, who were with Saul and Jonathan.

Before; that is, for some time, as slaves. (Menochius) --- Having retired to their camp, to avoid the plunderers, (Calmet) they rose upon their oppressors, as Christian slaves have often done upon the Turks, when a galley has been engaged, and fallen into the hands of their friends. (Menochius) --- Camp. Hebrew adds, "round about," as if they guarded the baggage, (Piscator) or had retreated thither form the environs. (Calmet)
I Samuel 14:22 And all the Israelites that had hid themselves in Mount Ephraim, hearing that the Philistines fled, joined themselves with their countrymen in the fight. And there were with Saul about ten thousand men.

And there, etc. This is not found in Hebrew, etc., nor in many Latin copies. The Septuagint specify the number, (ver. 24) where it is not in the original. (Calmet)
I Samuel 14:23 And the Lord saved Israel that day. And the fight went on as far as Bethaven.

Bethaven. They pursued the stragglers thither, as well as to Aialon, ver. 31. (Haydock)
I Samuel 14:24 And the men of Israel were joined together that day: and Saul adjured the people, saying: Cursed be the man that shall eat food till evening, till I be revenged of my enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.

Together. Which interpretation is more natural (Calmet) than the Protestants "where distressed,...for Saul had adjured," etc. (Haydock) --- Septuagint, "And all the people was with Saul, about 10,000, and the war was spread through all the city in Mount Ephraim, and Saul was guilty of great ignorance that day, and he adjures (Haydock; or cursed) the people," etc. He saw not that he was acting against his own interest. The sequel does not evince that God approved of his conduct. But the people were to be taught not to make light of oaths, nor to neglect the curses which their rulers should denounce. (Calmet) --- Food. Literally, "bread," which comprises all sorts of food, honey, etc., (ver. 25.; Haydock) but not drink, which might lawfully have been taken, as thirst is more difficult to bear. (Menochius) --- Salien (the year of the world 2964) defends the conduct of Saul, and condemns Jonathan.
I Samuel 14:25 And all the common people came into a forest, in which there was honey upon the ground.

Ground. Even still travellers perceive the smell of honey very frequently in that country. (Maundrell) --- The people use honey almost in every sauce and in every repast. Virgin assures us, that "bees dwell in holes under ground, in hollow stones, and trees." (Georg. iv.) The Scripture frequently mentions honey flowing, Exodus 2:8., Psalm 70:17., and Job 20:17. Mella fluant illi, ferat et rubus asper amomum. (Virgil, Ec. iii.) Sanctius says, that in Spain, streams of honey may be seen on the ground; and Maldonet observes, that the countrymen get a livelihood by gathering it from the trees in Betica, or Andalusia.
I Samuel 14:26 And when the people came into the forest, behold the honey dropped, but no man put his hand to his mouth. For the people feared the oath.

I Samuel 14:27 But Jonathan had not heard when his father adjured the people: and he put forth the end of the rod, which he had in his hand, and dipt it in a honey-comb: and he carried his hand to his mouth, and his eyes were enlightened.

Enlightened. Extreme hunger and fatigue hurt the eyes, Jeremias 14:6. Sanctius saw a man who through fasting lost his sight, and recovered it again as soon as he had eaten. This is conformable to the observations of Hippocrates, and to nature. (Calmet) --- Tenebrae oboriuntur, genua inedia succedunt. Perii, prospicio parum. "Through hunger....I see but little." (Plautus.) (Haydock)
I Samuel 14:28 And one of the people answering, said: Thy father hath bound the people with an oath, saying: Cursed be the man that shall eat any food this day. (And the people were faint.)

I Samuel 14:29 And Jonathan said: My father hath troubled the land: you have seen yourselves that my eyes are enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey:

Land. Chaldean, "the people of the land." (Menochius) --- He speaks his sentiments freely. But we ought not to find fault, in public, with the conduct of the prince. (Calmet) --- The people might have eaten a little without stopping the pursuit, as they generally carried provisions with them, or might find some easily on the road, so as to run with fresh vigour, (See Josue x.) and make ample amends for the time that they had delayed. (Haydock)
I Samuel 14:30 How much more if the people had eaten of the prey of their enemies, which they found? had there not been made a greater slaughter among the Philistines?

I Samuel 14:31 So they smote that day the Philistines from Machmas to Aialon. And the people were wearied exceedingly.

Aialon, in the tribe of Dan. It might be about ten miles from Machmas.
I Samuel 14:32 And falling upon the spoils, they took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people ate them with the blood.

Blood, contrary to a two-fold law, Genesis 9:4., and Leviticus 17:14. The blood ought to have been carefully extracted and buried. (Calmet) --- This was another bad effect of Saul's rash oath. (Worthington)
I Samuel 14:33 And they told Saul that the people had sinned against the Lord, eating with the blood. And he said: You have transgressed: roll here to me now a great stone.

I Samuel 14:34 And Saul said: Disperse yourselves among the people, and tell them to bring me every man his ox and his ram, and slay them upon this stone, and eat, and you shall not sin against the Lord, in eating with the blood. So all the people brought every man his ox with him till the night: and slew them there.

With the blood, as you have done. (Menochius)
I Samuel 14:35 And Saul built an altar to the Lord: and he then first began to build an altar to the Lord.

First. Saul begins to exercise himself in acts of religion, which only belonged to a prophet, etc. He thought he might do so in quality of king, thus consecrating a monument of his victory to the God of armies. It was perhaps the very stone on which the oxen had been just before killed for the people. (Calmet)
I Samuel 14:36 And Saul said: Let us fall upon the Philistines by night, and destroy them till the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And the people said: Do all that seemeth good in thy eyes. And the priest said: Let us draw near hither unto God.

God, to consult him, whether the enterprise met with his approbation. Saul is too eager to follow his own prudence. (Haydock) --- He would not before wait for God's answer; (ver. 19) now he can get none. (Worthington)
I Samuel 14:37 And Saul consulted the Lord: Shall I pursue after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hands of Israel? And he answered him not that day.

I Samuel 14:38 And Saul said: Bring hither all the corners of the people: and know, and see by whom this sin hath happened to-day.

Corners, to the very last; or all the princes, Judges 18:9.
I Samuel 14:39 As the Lord liveth, who is the Saviour of Israel, if it was done by Jonathan, my son, he shall surely die. In this none of the people gainsayed him.

Gainsayed him, out of respect. Saul gives another proof of his precipitation, in swearing; and the people, by this silence, acquiesce, not suspecting that Jonathan could have offended in what he had done. (Calmet) --- One of them, at least, knew that he had transgressed the order of his father, ver. 28. But extreme necessity might plead his excuse. (Haydock) --- They might be silent through fear, or reverence, without giving their consent. (Salien)
I Samuel 14:40 And he said to all Israel: Be you on one side and I, with Jonathan, my son, will be on the other side. And the people answered Saul: Do what seemeth good in thy eyes.

I Samuel 14:41 And Saul said to the Lord: O Lord God of Israel, give a sign, by which we may know, what the meaning is, that thou answerest not thy servant to-day: If this iniquity be in me, or in my son Jonathan, give a proof: or if this iniquity be in thy people, give holiness. And Jonathan and Saul were taken, and the people escaped.

A sign, (judicium;) "pass sentence;" declare why, etc. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "give purity." Shew who is innocent. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "give the proofs" by the Thummim, which they seem to have read. (Calmet)
I Samuel 14:42 And Saul said: Cast lots between me, and Jonathan, my son. And Jonathan was taken.

Jonathan was taken. Though Jonathan was excused from sin, through ignorance of the prohibition, yet God was pleased on this occasion to let the lot fall upon him, to shew to all, the great obligation of obedience to princes and parents, (Challoner) the sacred nature of an oath, and at the same time to give Saul a warning not to swear rashly. (Calmet) --- How must he have been afflicted, when he saw that he had brought his beloved son into such danger! (Menochius)
I Samuel 14:43 And Saul said to Jonathan: Tell me what thou hast done. And Jonathan told him, and said: I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod, which was in my hand, and behold I must die.

I Samuel 14:44 And Saul said: May God do so and so to me, and add still more: for dying thou shalt die, O Jonathan.

Die. We may here admire the respect which the ancients had for an oath, without seeking for any modification; and the blindness of Saul, who condemns his son with as much haste as he had pronounced the curse, thinking thus to honour God. The thing surely required some deliberation, and he ought to have consulted the Lord about it. The action of Jonathan was not criminal, and the former silence of God did not prove that he deserved death. (Calmet) --- If it had, the people would never have been able to have rescued him, no more than the unhappy Achan, Josue vii. (Haydock) --- If Saul had been more enlightened, and more humble, he would have concluded that God was displeased at him, and not at Jonathan. (Calmet) --- Yet Cajetan and Serarius find fault with the latter. (Menochius)
I Samuel 14:45 And the people said to Saul: Shall Jonathan then die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? this must not be: As the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people delivered Jonathan, that he should not die.

The people, directed probably by the high priest, who pronounced the oath null. (Salien) --- Ground. He shall not be hurt. (Menochius) --- With God. He has been visibly "the minister of God's mercy." (Septuagint) --- Die. They obtained his pardon. They ought not to have permitted the king's oath to be put in execution, as it was so horribly unjust. (Grotius, Jur. 2:13, 6.) (Calmet)
I Samuel 14:46 And Saul went back, and did not pursue after the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own places.

I Samuel 14:47 And Saul having his kingdom established over Israel, fought against all his enemies round about, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and Edom, and the kings of Soba, and the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he overcame.

Soba, in the north. (Menochius) --- Rohob was the capital of another part of Coelosyria, (1 Paralipomenon 18:3.; 2 Kings 10:6.) --- Overcame. We are not to judge of the virtue of a man from his success in the world. (Calmet) --- Under the reign of Saul, the tribe of Ruben overcame the Agarites, 1 Paralipomenon 5:10, 18. (Salien, the year of the world 2965.)
I Samuel 14:48 And gathering together an army, he defeated Amalec, and delivered Israel from the hand of them that spoiled them.

Amalec. The particulars of this war will be given (chap. 15.), as it explains the cause of Saul's rejection, and David's advancement to the throne. (Salien)
I Samuel 14:49 And the sons of Saul, were Jonathan, and Jessui, and Melchisua: and the names of his two daughters, the name of the first-born was Merob, and the name of the younger Michol.

Sons, who accompanied Saul in his wars. Isboseth was too young. --- Jessui is called Abinadab, 1 Paralipomenon 8:33. (Calmet)
I Samuel 14:50 And the name of Saul's wife, was Achinoam, the daughter of Achimaas; and the name of the captain of his army was Abner, the son of Ner, the cousin-german of Saul.

Achinoam. After he came to the throne, he had Respha, 2 Kings 3:7. (Menochius)
I Samuel 14:51 For Cis was the father of Saul, and Ner, the father of Abner, was son of Abiel.

I Samuel 14:52 And there was a great war against the Philistines all the days of Saul. For whomsoever Saul saw to be a valiant man, and fit for war, he took him to himself.

I Samuel 15:0 Saul is sent to destroy Amalec: he spareth their king and the best of their cattle: for which disobedience he is cast off by the Lord.

I Samuel 15:1 And Samuel said to Saul: The Lord sent me to anoint thee king over his people Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the Lord:

Lord, in gratitude for so great an honour. (Haydock)
I Samuel 15:2 Thus saith the Lord of hosts: I have reckoned up all that Amalec hath done to Israel: *how he opposed them in the way when they came up out of Egypt.

Exodus 17:8.
Reckoned up. God speaks in a human manner, as if he had been reading the history of ancient times, Exodus 17:14. (Menochius) --- The Amalecites had treated Israel with inhumanity, above 400 years before. God's vengeance is often slow, but only so much the more terrible. (Calmet) --- Hebrew pakadti, I have visited, or will punish and remember.
I Samuel 15:3 Now therefore go, and smite Amalec, and utterly destroy all that he hath: spare him not, nor covet any thing that is his: but slay both man and woman, child and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

Destroy, as a thing accursed. (Haydock) --- Child. The great master of life and death (who cuts off one half of mankind whilst they are children) has been pleased sometimes to ordain that children should be put to the sword, in detestation of the crimes of their parents, and that they might not live to follow the same wicked ways. But without such ordinance of God, it is not allowable in any wars, how just soever, to kill children. (Challoner) --- The Israelites were now to execute God's orders with blind obedience, as he cannot be guilty of injustice. --- Nor covet....his, is omitted in Hebrew, etc. (Calmet) --- Amalec is stricken when the flesh is chastised---He is destroyed when we repress evil thoughts. (St. Gregory) (Worthington)
I Samuel 15:4 So Saul commanded the people, and numbered them as lambs: two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand of the men of Juda.

As lambs. This comparison is very common, Isaias 40:11., and Ezechiel 34:2. But many translate the Hebrew "in Telaim." St. Jerome reads Hebrew c, as, instead of b, in, with greater propriety. Septuagint and Josephus, "in Galgal," which in effect would have been the most proper place for rendezvous. (Calmet) --- Footmen. Vatican Septuagint, "400,000 ranks or standards, (Josephus, men) and Juda 30,000."
I Samuel 15:5 And when Saul was come to the city of Amalec, he laid ambushes in the torrent.

Amelac. The people dwelt in tents, and removed from one place to another. So in Ethiopia there are properly no cities, the place where the prince encamps is deemed the capital. (Calmet) --- Torrent. Hebrew, or "valley."
I Samuel 15:6 And Saul said to the Cinite: Go, depart, and get ye down from Amalec: lest I destroy thee with him. For thou hast shewn kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. And the Cinite departed from the midst of Amalec.

Egypt. See Judges 1:16., Exodus 18:12., and Numbers 10:31., and 24:21. Saul gave private instructions to the Cinite, who had been settled at Arad, and had mixed with Amalec, to depart. (Calmet)
I Samuel 15:7 And Saul smote Amalec from Hevila, until thou comest to Sur, which is over-against Egypt.

Sur. See Genesis 2:11., and 16:7., and 25:18., and Exodus 15:22. (Menochius) --- These people had occupied a great part of the country, from the Persian Gulf to Egypt. (Haydock)
I Samuel 15:8 And he took Agag, the king of Amalec, alive: but all the common people he slew with the edge of the sword.

I Samuel 15:9 And Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the flocks of sheep, and of the herds, and the garments and the rams, and all that was beautiful, and would not destroy them: but every thing that was vile, and good for nothing, that they destroyed.

Garments. Hebrew is commonly rendered, "fatlings." Septuagint, "eatables." (Calmet) --- Avarice seems to have actuated Saul, (Lyranus) or a false pity, (Josephus) or a desire to grace his triumph, ver. 12. (Glossa.) (Menochius)
I Samuel 15:10 And the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying:

I Samuel 15:11 It repenteth me that I have made Saul king: for he hath forsaken me, and hath not executed my commandments. And Samuel was grieved, and he cried unto the Lord all night.

Repenteth. God cannot change: but he often acts exteriorly as one who repents. He alters his conduct when men prove rebellious. (St. Justin Martyr, p. 22.) --- Grieved. Hebrew, "indignant." (Calmet) --- He was sorry to think that Saul would now lose his temporal, and perhaps his eternal crown. (Salien) --- "The choice of Judas and of Saul, do not prove that God is ignorant of future events, but rather that he is a Judge of the present." (St. Jerome in Ezechiel ii.)
I Samuel 15:12 And when Samuel rose early, to go to Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel that Saul was come to Carmel, and had erected for himself a triumphant arch, and returning had passed on, and gone down to Galgal. And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul was offering a holocaust to the Lord out of the choicest of the spoils, which he had brought from Amalec.

Arch. Here we behold what a change prosperity makes in the manners of those who before shewed the greatest humility. Saul erects a monument to his own vanity. Hebrew, "he has set him up a hand," (as Absalom did, 2 Kings 18:18.) or "a place" to divide the booty, (Jonathan) or "a garrison," to keep the country in subjection. (Calmet) --- Perhaps he erected the figure of "a hand," as an emblem of strength, and in honour of Benjamin, "the son of the right hand," of whose tribe he was. (Haydock)
I Samuel 15:13 And when Samuel was come to Saul, Saul said to him: Blessed be thou of the Lord, I have fulfilled the word of the Lord.

I Samuel 15:14 And Samuel said: What meaneth then this bleating of the flocks, which soundeth in my ears, and the lowing of the herds, which I hear?

Hear, and which manifestly prove, that God's order has not been put in execution. (Menochius)
I Samuel 15:15 And Saul said: They have brought them from Amalec: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the herds, that they might be sacrificed to the Lord thy God, but the rest we have slain.

Thy God. This was probably a falsehood, like the rest. (Salien)
I Samuel 15:16 And Samuel said to Saul: Suffer me, and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said to me this night. And he said to him: Speak.

I Samuel 15:17 And Samuel said: When thou wast a little one in thy own eyes, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the Lord anointed thee to be king over Israel.

Eyes. God rejects the proud, and gives his grace to the humble. See Luke 1:52. (Haydock)
I Samuel 15:18 And the Lord sent thee on the way, and said: Go, and kill the sinners of Amalec, and thou shalt fight against them until thou hast utterly destroyed them.

I Samuel 15:19 Why then didst thou not hearken to the voice of the Lord: but hast turned to the prey, and hast done evil in the eyes of the Lord?

I Samuel 15:20 And Saul said to Samuel: Yea, I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord, and have walked in the way by which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag, the king of Amalec, and Amalec I have slain.

Lord. Septuagint, "of the people."
I Samuel 15:21 But the people took of the spoils, sheep and oxen, as the first-fruits of those things that were slain, to offer sacrifice to the Lord their God in Galgal.

First-fruits, or the best. --- Slain. Hebrew, "of the anathema."
I Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said: *Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims, and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices: and to hearken rather than to offer the fat of rams.

Ecclesiastes 4:17.; Osee 6:6.; Matthew 9:13.; Matthew 12:7.
Rams. Can God be pleased with victims which he has cursed? (Haydock)
I Samuel 15:23 Because it is like the sin of witchcraft, to rebel: and like the crime of idolatry, to refuse to obey. For as much, therefore, as thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord hath also rejected thee from being king.

Obey. Hebrew, "Rebellion is the sin of divination or witchcraft, and resistance is iniquity, and the Theraphim." Symmachus, "the injustice of idols." Theraphim here designate idolatrous representations, Genesis 31:19. They were probably of Chaldean origin, in honour of the sun and fire, (Calmet) and were venerated like the Penates, and supposed to be the sources of prosperity, from the Arabic Taraph, "to give abundance." Hence Laban was so solicitous to recover what Rachel had taken away. (Louis de Dieu) --- By sacrifices we give our goods, or another's flesh is immolated; (Mor. 33:10.; Du Hamel) by obedience, we give ourselves to God. (St. Gregory) (Worthington)
I Samuel 15:24 And Saul said to Samuel: I have sinned, because I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words, fearing the people, and obeying their voice.

Voice: miserable excuse for a king, who ought to prevent the sins of his people! (Calmet) --- Saul's transgression seems less than David's; but the one repents, and the other proudly defends what he had done. (Du Hamel)
I Samuel 15:25 But now bear, I beseech thee, my sin, and return with me, that I may adore the Lord.

Bear, or take away. Pardon my fault. Do not expose me in public. --- The Lord, by offering sacrifices, ver. 31. (Calmet)
I Samuel 15:26 And Samuel said to Saul: I will not return with thee, because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.

I Samuel 15:27 And Samuel turned about to go away: but he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.

Rent: a dreadful prognostic that Saul was cast away. (Haydock)
I Samuel 15:28 And Samuel said to him: *The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to thy neighbour who is better than thee.

1 Kings 28:17.
I Samuel 15:29 But the Triumpher in Israel will not spare, and will not be moved to repentance: for he is not a man that he should repent.

Triumpher. Some suppose that he speaks ironically of Saul. A prince, like you, will not repent. (Calmet) --- But it more probably refers to God, who would not fail to execute his threats against the king. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "the victor in Israel will not lie, he will not repent." Septuagint, "and Israel shall be split in two, and the holy one of Israel shall not turn nor repent." Saul's rejection became now inevitable. (Calmet)
I Samuel 15:30 Then he said: I have sinned: yet honour me now before the ancients of my people, and before Israel, and return with me, that I may adore the Lord thy God.

Israel. He is wholly solicitous to shun disgrace in this world. (Haydock) --- His confession was not actuated by such contrition as that he might deserve to hear, the Lord has removed thy sin. He begins by falsehood; continues making idle excuses, and throwing the blame on others, and concludes, by shewing that he is more concerned for what his subjects may think and do against him, than for the displeasure of God. He boldly ventures to offer victims. But Samuel joins not with him in prayer, looking upon him as a person excommunicated; and he only attends that he may see the word of the Lord fulfilled, and Agag treated as he deserved. (Salien, the year of the world 2965.)
I Samuel 15:31 So Samuel turned again after Saul: and Saul adored the Lord.

I Samuel 15:32 And Samuel said: Bring hither to me Agag, the king of Amalec. And Agag was presented to him very fat, and trembling. And Agag said: Doth bitter death separate in this manner?

Trembling. Hebrew, "and Agag came to him delicately." Septuagint, "trembling," (Haydock) or walking with a soft step, or "with bands or chains;" mahadannoth. See Pagnin. (Menochius) --- Some think that he presented himself boldly, like a king, fearing nothing. (Vatable) --- Manner. Hebrew, "Surely the bitterness of death is past." I have obtained pardon from Saul. But the sense of the Vulgate seems preferable, as he must have perceived, from the looks of the prophet, that death was hanging over him. Hence others translate, "is pouring upon me," instead of, is past. Septuagint, "Is death thus bitter?" Chaldean, "I pray my Lord: the bitterness of death." (Haydock) --- O death! how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that hath peace in his possessions, etc., Ecclesiasticus 41:1. So Aristotle (Nicom. 3:6.) says, "Death is most terrible, (peras gar) for it is a passage," or separation, from all the things which could attach a man to this world. (Calmet) --- This catastrophe of Agag and Saul, had been long before predicted, Numbers 24:7. (Haydock)
I Samuel 15:33 And Samuel said: As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed him in pieces before the Lord in Galgal.

Pieces. Josephus adds, by the hand of others. (Menochius) --- But zeal put the sword into his own hand; and he imitated the Levites and Phinees, (Exodus 32:27.) to shew Saul how preposterous had been his pity, when the Lord had spoken plainly. (Calmet) --- Lord, as a sort of victim, Isaias 34:6. (Menochius)
I Samuel 15:34 And Samuel departed to Ramatha: but Saul went up to his house in Gabaa.

I Samuel 15:35 And Samuel saw Saul no more till the day of his death: nevertheless, Samuel mourned for Saul, because the Lord repented that he had made him king over Israel.

Saw Saul no more till the day of his death. That is, he went no more to see him: he visited him no more. (Challoner) --- He looked upon him as one who had lost the right to the kingdom, though he was suffered for a time to hold the reins of government, as a lieutenant to David. He might afterwards see Saul passing, but never to visit him, (Salien) or to consult with him about the affairs of state; (Menochius) nor perhaps did he even see him, when Saul came to Najoth, (chap. 19:19-24.) His spirit came to announce destruction to Saul, the night preceding the death of that unfortunate king, (chap. 38.) (Haydock) --- Repented. God is said, improperly, to repent when he alters what he had appointed. (St. Ambrose de Noe, ch. IV.) (Worthington)
I Samuel 16:0 Samuel is sent to Bethlehem, where he anointeth David: who is taken into Saul's family.

I Samuel 16:1 And *the Lord said to Samuel: How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, whom I have rejected from reigning over Israel? fill thy horn with oil, and come, that I may send thee to Isai, the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

Year of the World about 2934, Year before Christ 1070. How long. It seems his tears were not soon dried up, as he lamented the fall of one whom he had formerly so much admired, and perceived what evils would ensue. (Salien) --- He had hoped that the decree might have been revokable. But God now convinces him of the contrary, by ordering him to go and anoint a successor. --- Horn. Such vessels were formerly very common, and were used to contain liquor, and instead of cups, 3 Kings 1:39. (Horace, 2:Sat. 2.) The ancient silver cups, at Athens, resembled horns. (Athen. 11:7.) But the northern nations, particularly Denmark, etc., used horns to drink, as the Georgians still do. The rims are ornamented with silver, etc. (Pliny, [Natural History?] 11:37.) (Chardin) (Calmet) --- A fragile vile was not used, but a horn, to denote the duration and abundance of David's reign. (Rupert) (Menochius)
I Samuel 16:2 And Samuel said: How shall I go? for Saul will hear of it, and he will kill me. And the Lord said: Thou shalt take with thee a calf of the herd, and thou shalt say: I am come to sacrifice to the Lord.

Of the herd. Hebrew, "a heifer in thy hand." (Haydock) --- Females might be employed as peace-offerings, Leviticus 3:1. --- Lord. This was one, though not the principal reason. No one doubted but that he might lawfully offer sacrifice, at a distance from the tabernacle, as he was guided by God. The Jews allow that prophets have this privilege, and may dispense with the ceremonial law, (Grotius) when they act by God's authority, as we ought to believe they do, as long as there is no proof to the contrary. (Haydock)
I Samuel 16:3 And thou shalt call Isai to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou art to do, and thou shalt anoint him whom I shall shew to thee.

Sacrifice, to partake of the feast, (Menochius) which must be consumed in two days, or thrown into the fire, Leviticus 7:16. (Calmet)
I Samuel 16:4 Then Samuel did as the Lord had said to him. And he came to Bethlehem, and the ancients of the city wondered, and meeting him, they said: Is thy coming hither peaceable?

Wondered. Hebrew, "trembled," being full of consternation, (Haydock) as the prophet did not now stir much from home; and fearing lest he had some bad news to impart, or had incurred the king's displeasure, (Calmet) unless he came to punish some of the people at Bethlehem. (Menochius)
I Samuel 16:5 And he said: It is peaceable: I am come to offer sacrifice to the Lord, be ye sanctified, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Isai and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.

Sanctified, prepared by aspersions, washing, and continence, Exodus 19:14. What sorts of uncleanness excluded from the feast, are specified, Leviticus xxii. (Menochius) --- Samuel arrived in the evening, and announced that sacrifice would be offered the ensuing morning. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 16:6 And when they were come in, he saw Eliab, and said: Is the Lord's anointed before him?

Him. Hebrew, "surely the Lord's anointed is in his presence." This he spoke by his own spirit, judging from the comeliness of Eliab. (Calmet) --- But the beauty of Saul's body had concealed a deformed soul. (Haydock)
I Samuel 16:7 And the Lord said to Samuel: Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man: for man seeth those things that appear, *but the Lord beholdeth the heart.

Psalm 7:10.
Rejected, or not chosen. (Menochius) --- God had positively rejected this eldest son, as his pride seems to have been the greatest, 1 Kings 17:28. (Haydock) --- Heart. This is one of God's perfections. Glorified saints see man's heart in his light, for their own and our advantage, (St. Gregory, Mor. 12:11.; St. Augustine) as the prophets have sometimes done, 3 Kings xiv. (Worthington)
I Samuel 16:8 And Isai called Abinadab, and brought him before Samuel. And he said: Neither hath the Lord chosen this.

I Samuel 16:9 And Isai brought Samma, and he said of him: Neither hath the Lord chosen this.

I Samuel 16:10 Isai therefore brought his seven sons before Samuel: and Samuel said to Isai: The Lord hath not chosen any one of these.

Seven. David was absent. Isai had eight sons, 1 Kings 17:12. Yet only seven are mentioned, 1 Paralipomenon 2:13. Perhaps one of those whom he produced on this occasion, might be a grandson, or one is omitted in Chronicles [Paralipomenon]. (Calmet)
I Samuel 16:11 And Samuel said to Isai: Are here all thy sons? He answered: There remaineth yet a young one, who keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said to Isai: Send, and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

Young son, (parvulus,) "a little one;" (Haydock) or the youngest, who might be about 15, (Calmet) or 28. (Seder. olam. iii.) (Menochius)
I Samuel 16:12 He sent therefore and brought him. Now he was ruddy and beautiful to behold, and of a comely face. And the Lord said: Arise, and anoint him, for this is he.

Ruddy, like the spouse, Canticle of Canticles 5:10. Some explain it of his hair. So Alexander [the Great] is said to have had reddish or golden locks. --- Behold. Hebrew, "with the beauty of the eyes."
I Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, *and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward: and Samuel rose up, and went to Ramatha.

2 Kings 7:8.; Psalm 77:70.; Psalm 88:21.; Acts 7:46.; Acts 13:22.
Brethren. Some say, without informing him, (Calmet) or them, (Menochius) what the unction meant. If he told the brothers, he would no doubt take the necessary precautions to keep it secret, as the whole family would have been in imminent danger, if the transaction had come to the ears of Saul, ver. 2. Josephus says, that Samuel only informed Isai in private: and David's brothers treated him with no peculiar distinction. Whence it is inferred, that they had not been present when he was anointed. Some witnesses seem, however, to have been requisite, as the title of David to the regal dignity depended on this ceremony, and none were more interested than his own family to assert his pretensions. He now had a right to the kingdom, but not the possession; being like a son expecting his father's estate as his future right, of which, as yet, he cannot dispose. (Calmet) --- Came upon, to make him prosper. (Menochius) --- Hebrew, "came with prosperity; (Septuagint) impetuosity." God endued him with all those graces which might render him fit to command. (Calmet) --- So David prays himself, "with a princely spirit confirm me;" (Psalm 50:14.) or, strengthen me with a perfect spirit. Salien observes, that he did not now receive the spirit of charity, as if he had hitherto been in enmity with God, (chap. 13:14.) but he began to advance in virtue with more rapid strides, while Saul became every day more criminal and abandoned to the devil. (Haydock) --- David received the spirit of fortitude and of prophecy, of which Saul had formerly had some experience, when he was first elevated to that high dignity, 1 Kings 10. He was changed into a new man, and adorned with all that could render a king most glorious. Though he returned to his wonted occupations, the spirit of the Lord enabled him to destroy wild beasts, as in play, (Ecclesiasticus 47:3.) and to compose and sing many of those divine canticles [the Psalms] which we still admire. (Salien, the year of the world 2969.) --- Whether he composed all the Psalms, as St. Chrysostom endeavours to prove, (praef.) we shall examine hereafter. (Haydock)
I Samuel 16:14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.

From the Lord. An evil spirit, by divine permission, and for his punishment, either possessed or obsessed him. (Challoner) --- We no longer behold in Saul any generous sentiments. He falls a prey to melancholy, anger, suspicion, and cruelty. "He was seized with an illness, inflicted by the devil, says Josephus, ([Antiquities?] 6:9.) so that he seemed to be choking; nor could the physicians discover any other means of alleviating his distress, except by employing some person skilled in music.... David alone could bring the king to his right senses, by singing hymns with the sound of the harp. Wherefore Jesse consented that his son should remain with the king, since he was so much delighted with his company." (Haydock) --- The Jews, and many Christians, suppose that Saul's illness was melancholy, or "madness," as St. Chrysostom calls it. It was inflicted by an evil, or even by a good angel, as the minister of God's vengeance, (Exodus 11:4.; Calmet) who punished his former pride and rebellion, by reducing him to so mean a condition. (Haydock) --- St. Augustine and Ven. Bede suppose, that the evil spirit troubled him by God's permission. (Worthington)
I Samuel 16:15 And the servants of Saul said to him: Behold now an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

I Samuel 16:16 Let our lord give orders, and thy servants who are before thee, will seek out a man skilful in playing on the harp, that when the evil spirit from the Lord is upon thee, he may play with his hand, and thou mayst bear it more easily.

Easily. The effects which have been produced by music are truly surprising, if we may believe what the ancients have related. Our music may not at present be so striking, or we may keep a greater restraint upon our passions, and moderate the exterior demonstrations of our sentiments more than they did. (Calmet) --- But, in the present case, there was probably some miraculous interference. (Haydock) --- The disciples of Pythagoras lay a great stress on music, to calm the passions, (Quintil. 9:4.; Menochius) or to rouse them. (p. 439.) (Haydock) --- It may also frequently contribute to restore health. (Gallien, etc.) See 1 Kings 10:10., and 4 Kings 3:15. (Calmet) --- But God made it so efficacious here, to shew the virtue of David, and the injustice of Saul. (Worthington) --- Thus, by the prayers of the Church, the devil is expelled. (Theodoret) (Tirinus)
I Samuel 16:17 And Saul said to his servants: Provide me then some man that can play well, and bring him to me.

I Samuel 16:18 And one of the servants answering, said: Behold I have seen a son of Isai, the Bethlehemite, a skilful player, and one of great strength, and a man fit for war, and prudent in his words, and a comely person: and the Lord is with him.

Him. Some think that this took place before David's victory over Goliath; others believe, that David was only made armour-bearer to Saul, after that event. We must not disturb the order of the sacred historian without some cogent reason: and the courtiers might already have heard of David's prowess and virtue, of which he gave such evident proofs, after he was confirmed by the Holy Spirit, ver. 13. (Calmet)
I Samuel 16:19 Then Saul sent messengers to Isai, saying: Send me David, thy son, who is in the pastures.

I Samuel 16:20 And Isai took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid of the flock, and sent them by the hand of David, his son, to Saul.

Laden. So Chaldean. (Menochius) --- Literally, plenum, "full of." (Haydock) --- Septuagint, "a gomor," which they seem to have read instead of the Hebrew chamor, "an ass of bread," as Sosibius says, "he eats three asses' panniers of loaves." (Calmet) --- Protestants supply, "laden."
I Samuel 16:21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him exceedingly, and made him his armour-bearer.

Bearer. This was an honourable office. (Haydock) --- Cyrus had been employed by his grandfather Astyages in the same capacity, before he came to the empire. (Athen. xiv.) (Calmet)
I Samuel 16:22 And Saul sent to Isai, saying: Let David stand before me: for he hath found favour in my sight.

Sight. He had sent him back, as people of a melancholy temper are often hard to please; (Menochius) and before David married Michol, he did not remain with the king, but only came when his presence was deemed necessary. (Calmet)
I Samuel 16:23 So whensoever the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, David took his harp, and played with his hand, and Saul was refreshed, and was better, for the evil spirit departed from him.

Departed from him. Chased away by David's devotion. (Challoner) --- "The melody of David's harp, as some of the Fathers remark, represents that sweet and engaging demeanour, which should distinguish the peaceful ministers of the gospel,...whether they strive to allay the rage, or dispel the fears of a troubled mind." (Reeves) --- Nothing can equal the divine harmony of those sublime truths which are contained in the Psalms of David, and nothing can so powerfully contribute to drive away the spirit of pride from our hearts, and awaken them to the voice of heaven. (St. Augustine) --- Some of these truths might make some passing impression even on the mind of Saul; and the devil could not bear to hear the praises of God. (Haydock)
I Samuel 17:0 War with the Philistines. Goliath challengeth Israel. He is slain by David.

I Samuel 17:1 Now *the Philistines gathering together their troops to battle, assembled at Socho of Juda: and camped between Socho and Azeca, in the borders of Dommim.

Year of the World about 2942, Year before Christ 1062. Battle. They perhaps had heard of Saul's malady, (Salien) and bore a constant hatred to the Israelites during his reign, 1 Kings 14:52. --- Azeca, about 15 miles south of Jerusalem. --- Dommim, or Phesdommim, 1 Paralipomenon 11:13.
I Samuel 17:2 And Saul and the children of Israel being gathered together, came to the valley of Terebinth, and they set the army in array to fight against the Philistines.

Terebinth. Hebrew ela, "the oak." (Aquila)
I Samuel 17:3 And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.

Valley of the Terebinth, which St. Jerome seems to call Magala, ver. 20.
I Samuel 17:4 And there went out a man base-born from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Geth, whose height was six cubits and a span:

Base-born. Hebrew, "of two sons," or of obscure origin. (Cornelius a Lapide) --- His parents are no where specified, as Arapha is not, as some pretend, the name of his mother, but denotes that he was of the race of the Raphaim, 2 Kings 21:16. Some translate, a man who challenges to fight a duel, or one who comes into the midst as "a champion," to decide the cause of all the rest. Thus the Gaul defied the most valiant of the Romans, but was slain by M. Torquatus, Livy vii. Septuagint, "A strong man went out from the station," etc. Chaldean, "There came out from among them, out of the camp of the Philistines, a man named Goliath." But many able interpreters adhere to the Vulgate. --- Span, about 12.5 feet, so that he was taller than two common men. Those who call in question the existence of giants, will surely have nothing to object to this formal proof from Scripture. (Calmet) --- The Vatican Septuagint and Josephus read, however, "four cubits and a span," or near eight feet. (Kennicott) --- Some reduce his height to 11 feet 3 inches, or even to 9 feet 9 inches, English. (Haydock) --- His helmet weighed 15 pounds, avoirdupois; his collar, or buckler, about 30; the head of his spear (26 feet long) weighed about 38 pounds; his sword 4; his greaves on his legs 30; and his coat of mail 156: total, 273 pounds. (Button.) (Haydock) --- Goliath wa a figure of the devil, or of any arch-heretic, who provoketh the Church of God, but is slain by the humble with his own weapons. (Worthington)
I Samuel 17:5 And he had a helmet of brass upon his head, and he was clothed with a coat of mail with scales, and the weight of his coat of mail was five thousand sicles of brass:

Scales, like those of fishes. Septuagint insinuate, that it was armed with things resembling fish-hooks; alisidoton, hamata. --- Brass, which was used for the armour of the ancients. Plutarch (in Demetrio) speaks of a coat of mail weighing forty pounds: the usual weight was twenty pounds. (Lipsius) --- The strength of the giant must have borne proportion with his size. (Calmet)
I Samuel 17:6 And he had greaves of brass on his legs, and a buckler of brass covered his shoulders.

Legs, on the forepart, from the knee to the ankle. Vegetius observes, that the infantry wore such greaves of iron, only on one leg. (Calmet) --- Shoulders, when he marched. (Menochius) -- Some understand a dart, etc., but without any proof. (Calmet)
I Samuel 17:7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred sicles of iron: and his armour-bearer went before him.

Beam, which was of a very different construction from ours. Hostius concludes, that all the armour of Goliath must have weighed 272 pounds and 13 ounces, including the buckler and spear which his armour-bearer carried before him. Plutarch allows a talent, or 60 pounds, for the usual weight of a soldier's armour. Alcimus was remarked in the army of Demetrius, for having double that weight. --- Bearer. Hebrew, "one bearing a shield," or whose office it was to carry it, or any other part of the armour, when required. It would appear singular that the giant should have two bucklers, though David seems to specify two sorts, Psalm 34:2. This attendant might carry a large one, which would cover most part of the body, and was of service when a person had not to remove far from his place in battle. The buckler of Ajax was like a tower, and consisted of seven hides, covered with a plate of brass. (Homer, Iliad Z) (Calmet)
I Samuel 17:8 And standing, he cried out to the bands of Israel, and said to them: Why are you come out prepared to fight? am not I a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose out a man of you, and let him come down and fight hand to hand.

Out; exulting, Ecclesiasticus 47:5. (Menochius) --- Servants; I am free. (Haydock) --- Hand. Such combats were very common in ancient times. Paris and Menelaus, Hector and Ajax. The Horatii and Curiatii fought to decide the fate of contending nations. (Homer, Iliad g, and H.) --- (Livy 1:23.) (Calmet)
I Samuel 17:9 If he be able to fight with me, and kill me, we will be servants to you: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, you shall be servants, and shall serve us.

Us. It does not appear that this proposal was accepted or ratified by either party. The Israelites had still to pursue the enemy. (Estius)
I Samuel 17:10 And the Philistine said: I have defied the bands of Israel this day: give me a man, and let him fight with me hand to hand.

I Samuel 17:11 And Saul and all the Israelites hearing these words of the Philistine, were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

I Samuel 17:12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite, of Bethlehem Juda, before mentioned, *whose name was Isai, who had eight sons, and was an old man in the days of Saul, and of great age among men.

1 Kings 16:1.
Now, etc., to ver. 32. And when, is omitted in the Vatican Septuagint, which begins the latter verse thus, "And David said," as the Alexandrian copy does now the 12th, which leads Kennicott to suspect that the intermediate verses are an interpolation, formerly unknown to the Greek version. Houbigant includes these verses between crotchets, "that it may be understood that these are not of the same author as the rest, and that the sacred writer may not be accused of making useless repetitions." It has been observed in the last chapter, that David was the son of Isai, etc. "If, says he, this be omitted, there will be no vacuum in the context," as there is none in the Roman edition: (11) "they were greatly afraid. (32.) And David said to Saul," etc. As he had been appointed Saul's armour-bearer, it was very natural to suppose that he would be near the king's person on such an occasion, rather than feeding sheep. We find also, that he had a tent of his own, (ver. 54) which he could not have had, if he had only come to bring provisions to his brethren. The unaccountable conduct of Eliab, the timidity of all Israel for forty days, etc., will thus be avoided. Josephus is supposed to have given occasion to this embellishment, though he takes no notice of many of those particulars which excite the surprise of Pilkington, Kennicott, Aquila, etc., and Origen received them from the Jews as genuine. A Hebrew Bible, (1661) with marginal criticisms, by a Jew, includes these verses within parentheses, as interpolated, as well as from ver. 55 to 1 Kings 18:6, observing that, "the history consists at present of different and inconsistent accounts." The Syriac manuscript of Masius generally confirms the Vatican Septuagint (Morin) so that we conclude, that these verses are there asterisked on the authority of Origen, as not being in the original Greek, nor consequently in Hebrew. (ibid. p. 575.) --- Mentioned. Hebrew, "Juda, whose name....and the man went among men, an old man in the days of Saul." We have already observed that the Alexandrian Septuagint seems to promise a speech, but defers till ver. 32, thus, "And David said, the son of an Ephrathite. He was from," etc. (Haydock) --- Men. Chaldean, "He was an old man, whom they ranked among the young," as still vigorous. Jam senior, sed cruda seni viridisque senectus. (Calmet)
I Samuel 17:13 And his three eldest sons followed Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle, were Eliab, the first-born, and the second, Abinadab, and the third, Samma:

Battle. In these wars, all attended as much as possible, 1 Kings 16:10.
I Samuel 17:14 But David was the youngest. So the three eldest having followed Saul,

I Samuel 17:15 David went, and returned from Saul, to feed his father's flock at Bethlehem.

Bethlehem, the king being relieved from his malady. "The greatest men formerly kept sheep." Ex antiquis illustrissimus quisque pastor erat. (Varro 2:1.) In this profession, David found many opportunities of signalizing his courage against wild beasts. (Calmet)
I Samuel 17:16 Now the Philistine came out morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.

I Samuel 17:17 And Isai said to David, his son: Take for thy brethren an ephi of frumenty, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren,

Loaves. The soldiers at that time, and perhaps always among the Hebrews, lived at their own expense, as the tribute which was paid to the king was not sufficient to support large armies, ver. 25. (Calmet) --- St. Paul insinuates, however, that soldiers were paid, 1 Corinthians 9:7. (Haydock)
I Samuel 17:18 And carry these ten little cheeses to the tribune: and go see thy brethren, if they are well: and learn with whom they are placed.

Cheeses. Hebrew, "of milk." Septuagint, "pieces of soft cheese:" érts is no where else used to denote cheese. This was a present (Calmet) for (Hebrew) "the Chiliarch." --- Placed, who is their immediate officer. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "how they are mixed:" their company. Septuagint, etc., "what they stand in need of." Symmachus, "Thou shalt receive their pay." Syriac and Arabic, "what news." Others would translate, "their pledge," or bill of divorce to their wives, that, in case they be made prisoners for three years, the latter may be allowed to marry. (Trad. Heb.[Hebrew tradition?]) (Calmet)
I Samuel 17:19 But Saul, and they, and all the children of Israel, were in the valley of Terebinth, fighting against the Philistines.

Fighting, or ready to engage. (Haydock)
I Samuel 17:20 David, therefore, arose in the morning, and gave the charge of the flock to the keeper: and went away loaded, as Isai had commanded him. And he came to the place of Magala, and to the army, which was going out to fight, and shouted for the battle.

Magala signifies, "the circle, or chariots." The Arabs still place their waggons and baggage round the camp, or in a circle. (Calmet) --- It may also be a proper name. (Menochius)
I Samuel 17:21 For Israel had put themselves in array, and the Philistines who stood against them were prepared.

I Samuel 17:22 And David leaving the vessels which he had brought, under the care of the keeper of the baggage, ran to the place of the battle, and asked if all things went well with his brethren.

Brethren. This inquiry seems rather unseasonable, when all were shouting for battle. (Kennicott)
I Samuel 17:23 And as he talked with them, that base-born man, whose name was Goliath, the Philistine, of Geth, shewed himself coming up from the camp of the Philistines: and he spoke according to the same words, and David heard them.

Up, or proceeding into the vale. (Menochius) --- Camp. Hebrew, "ranks, or armies."
I Samuel 17:24 And all the Israelites, when they saw the man, fled from his face, fearing him exceedingly.

Exceedingly, though they had now heard him twice a-day for so long a time, (Kennicott) and came purposely to engage him and all the Philistine army. Perhaps he proceeded farther than usual. (Haydock)
I Samuel 17:25 And some one of Israel said: Have you seen this man that is come up, for he is come up to defy Israel. And the man that shall slay him, the king will enrich with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and will make his father's house free from tribute in Israel.

Tribute, and all public charges, which may be burdensome. (Calmet) --- It does not appear that these words are addressed to any one in particular, nor that the king had authorized such a declaration. (Haydock) --- Yet the people all persisted in the same declaration, so that a promise must have been made. (Menochius) --- It was never at least fulfilled. (Haydock) --- Christ having overcome the devil, receives the Church for his spouse. (Worthington)
I Samuel 17:26 And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying: What shall be given to the man that shall kill this Philistine, and shall take away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

I Samuel 17:27 And the people answered him the same words, saying: These things shall be given to the man that shall slay him.

I Samuel 17:28 Now when Eliab, his eldest brother, heard this, when he was speaking with others, he was angry with David, and said: Why camest thou hither? and why didst thou leave those few sheep in the desert? I know thy pride, and the wickedness of thy heart: that thou art come down to see the battle.

Battle. This speech is too insulting, even though David might seem to have given vent to the sentiments of his soul with too much ardour; particularly as Eliab knew that he had received the royal unction, (Calmet) if that were not kept a secret from him, 1 Kings 16:13.
I Samuel 17:29 And David said: What have I done? is there not cause to speak?

Sepak. Literally, "is it not a word" (Haydock) of no farther consequences? May I not speak my sentiments? (Calmet) as all others do. (Menochius) --- Is not the thing enough to excite the indignation even of the coldest person, to hear this monster insulting God's armies? The repeated inquiries of David, made people conclude that he was ready to fight the giant, (Haydock) though as yet he had made no such proposal, whence it seems more improbable that his words would be reported to the king. (Kennicott) --- Protestants, "Is there not a cause?" (Haydock) --- Have I not an order from my father to come? (Menochius)
I Samuel 17:30 And he turned a little aside from him to another: and said the same word. And the people answered him as before.

I Samuel 17:31 And the words which David spoke were heard, and were rehearsed before Saul.

I Samuel 17:32 And when he was brought to Saul, he said to him: Let not any man's heart be dismayed in him: I thy servant will go, and will fight against the Philistine.

Saul. Literally, "to him." But Hebrew and Septuagint have, "And David said to Saul," which makes the connection between this and ver. 11, more clear. (Haydock) --- In him, or on account of Goliath. (Menochius)
I Samuel 17:33 And Saul said to David: Thou art not able to withstand this Philistine, nor to fight against him: for thou art but a boy, but he is a warrior from his youth.

Boy, compared with the giant, (Haydock) or Saul, though David might be about 22 years old, (Salien) or near 30. (Tirinus) --- St. Augustine and Theodoret say only 14 or 16. (Menochius) --- He had not yet been in the wars. (Calmet)
I Samuel 17:34 And David said to Saul: *Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, **or a bear, and took a ram out of the midst of the flock:

Ecclesiasticus 47:3. --- ** or, for and.
I Samuel 17:35 And I pursued after them, and struck them, and delivered it out of their mouth: and they rose up against me, and I caught them by the throat, and I strangled, and killed them.

Them. He refers to two events, shewing his fortitude (Calmet) and generous disposition, which rendered him fit for command, as he was not afraid to expose his life to protect his charge. (Haydock) --- The pastoral care is an apprenticeship for the throne to him who is designed to be at the head of the mild flock of men, as hunting with dogs conducts to martial exploits. (Philo in Vita Mosis.) --- He who has overcome the spirit of pride and of carnal pleasures, signified by the lion and the bear, is able also to gain a victory over the devil. (Worthington)
I Samuel 17:36 For I thy servant have killed both a lion and a bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be also as one of them. I will go now, and take away the reproach of the people: for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, who hath dared to curse the army of the living God?

I will....Philistine. This is not in Hebrew or the Septuagint, and it is marked as an addition in the ancient manuscripts. (Calmet) --- Single combats, to prevent the spilling of more blood, may sometimes be authorized by public authority. (Grotius)
I Samuel 17:37 And David said: The Lord who delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David: Go, and the Lord be with thee.

I Samuel 17:38 And Saul clothed David with his garments, and put a helmet of brass upon his head, and armed him with a coat of mail.

I Samuel 17:39 And David having girded his sword upon his armour, began to try if he could walk in armour: for he was not accustomed to it. And David said to Saul: I cannot go thus, for I am not used to it. And he laid them off,

Armour. Hebrew, "he tried to go." Symmachus, "he went lame." Septuagint, "he laboured in walking once and twice." (Calmet) --- Salien supposes that the armour was not made for Saul, as he was much more bulky than young David. Yet we find that the latter could use the sword of the giant without difficulty. (St. Chrysostom, etc.) (Haydock)
I Samuel 17:40 And he took his staff, which he had always in his hands: and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them into the shepherd's scrip, which he had with him, and he took a sling in his hand, and went forth against the Philistine.

Smooth. Louis de Dieu translates broken "pieces of stones," as he pretends, contrary to the common opinion, that rough stones are more suitable for the sling. (Calmet) --- The learned Jew, whom we have cited above, (ver. 12,) and several others, have inferred from this verse, that David seems to have just come from the flock. But Kennicott justly observes, that slingers were of great service in the army; and the "vessel of shepherds," the bag or scrip, might well be used to obtain the stones; as the staff, makel, denotes a military weapon. (Taylor, Conc.) (Diss. 2:p. 555.) David was very expert in using these weapons, and the ordinary armour was encumbering to him. (Haydock) --- "Valour depends more on its own efforts than on armour," tegumentis. (St. Ambrose, Off. I.)
I Samuel 17:41 And the Philistine came on, and drew nigh against David, and his armour-bearer went before him.

I Samuel 17:42 And when the Philistine looked, and beheld David, he despised him. For he was a young man, ruddy, and of a comely countenance.

I Samuel 17:43 And the Philistine said to David: Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with a staff? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

Gods. Dagon or Baalim. (Menochius) -- Septuagint Alexandrian has, "idols." The beauty and accoutrements of David, made the rough warrior suppose that he was not coming to fight, but only to laugh at him and run away. (Haydock)
I Samuel 17:44 And he said to David: Come to me, and I will give thy flesh to the birds of the air, and to the beasts of the earth.

Earth. The heroes of modern days refrain from such compliments. Homer frequently describes his champions making long speeches in praise of their former exploits. David displays his piety and confidence in God. (Calmet)
I Samuel 17:45 And David said to the Philistine: Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, which thou hast defied.

I Samuel 17:46 This day, and the Lord will deliver thee into my hand, and I will slay thee, and take away thy head from thee: and I will give the carcasses of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air, and to the beasts of the earth: that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

I Samuel 17:47 And all this assembly shall know, that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for it is his battle, and he will deliver you into our hands.

Battle, whose armies thou hast defied, (ver. 45.; Haydock) or in general, He is the God of war, who grants victory to whom He pleases. (Calmet)
I Samuel 17:48 And when the Philistine arose, and was coming, and drew nigh to meet David, David made haste, and ran to the fight to meet the Philistine.

Arose. The Roman Triarii and the Gauls expected the hour of battle sitting. (Calmet)
I Samuel 17:49 And he put his hand into his scrip, and took a stone, and cast it with the sling, and fetching it about, struck the Philistine in the forehead, and he fell on his face upon the earth.

Forehead. "The soul....more probably resides in the callous body of the brain," (Eyre, Thesis 1797,) between the eyes. (Haydock) --- Earth, quite lifeless, (Salien) or unable to resist. (Menochius) --- The Balearic slingers scarcely ever missed their mark. (Livy, 8:4.) The Chaldean supposes that David hit the eye, which was not covered with brass: but the stone might penetrate or kill Goliath through his helmet. Even a buckler is not capable of withstanding their violence. (Diodorus, 5:207.) See Judges 20:16. (Calmet) --- Pride sits on the forehead, and manifests itself by impudent behaviour. We must destroy it by humility, and by the cross of Christ. (St. Augustine) (Worthington)
I Samuel 17:50 *And David prevailed over the Philistine, with a sling and a stone, and he struck, and slew the Philistine. And as David had no sword in his hand,

Ecclesiasticus 47:4.; 1 Machabees 4:30.
I Samuel 17:51 He ran, and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head. And the Philistines seeing that their champion was dead, fled away.

I Samuel 17:52 And the men of Israel and Juda rising up shouted, and pursued after the Philistines till they came to the valley and to the gates of Accaron, and there fell many wounded of the Philistines in the way of Saraim, and as far as Geth, and as far as Accaron.

I Samuel 17:53 And the children of Israel returning, after they had pursued the Philistines, fell upon their camp.

I Samuel 17:54 And David taking the head of the Philistine, brought it to Jerusalem: but his armour he put in his tent.

Tent, or the tabernacle of the Lord, which David erected in his honour, at Jerusalem, many years afterwards. (Jun. Piscator, etc.) The lower part of Jerusalem was already in the hands of the Israelites. He might place the armour for the present in the tent of his brethren. We find that the sword was deposited in the tabernacle, at Nobe. (Calmet) See ver. 12. (Haydock) --- The head was carried about to various cities. It would serve to strike terror into the Jebusites, at Jerusalem, and others. (Menochius) --- The Vatican Septuagint, etc., immediately subjoin, 1 Kings 18:6. Now, etc. Literally, "And the women dancing, came to meet David." (Haydock) --- These three last verses occur only in the Alexandrian manuscript, though Theodoret (q. 43,) seems to have read them. In some other Greek copies, there is a long addition respecting David's combat. See the New Hexapla. These verses are found, however, in Hebrew, Chaldean, etc. It is astonishing that Saul should not have known David. He was now more interested to be acquainted with his family, as he had engaged to give him his daughter in marriage. We must reflect that his malady might have impaired his memory, and David was still growing, so that a few months absence might produce a wonderful alteration, etc. (Calmet) --- Know not. Literally, "if I know." The different dress, in which David now appeared, gave rise to this ignorance. (Menochius) --- Abner was not surely affected with the same malady as the king, who was obliged to ask David who was his father. But courtiers easily forget those from whom they have no expectations. (Haydock) --- These strange proceedings make others conclude that this history is interpolated. (Kennicott) --- Huet maintains the contrary. (Du Hamel) --- Saul only enquires about David's parentage. (Mariana) (Tirinus)
I Samuel 17:55 Now at the time that Saul saw David going out against the Philistines, he said to Abner, the captain of the army: Of what family is this young man descended, Abner? And Abner said: As thy soul liveth, O king, I know not.

I Samuel 17:56 And the king said: Inquire thou, whose son this young man is.

I Samuel 17:57 And when David was returned, after the Philistine was slain, Abner took him, and brought him in before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand.

I Samuel 17:58 And Saul said to him: Young man, of what family art thou? And David said: I am the son of thy servant Isai, the Bethlehemite.

I Samuel 18:0 The friendship of Jonathan and David. The envy of Saul, and his design upon David's life. He marries him to his daughter Michol.

I Samuel 18:1 And* it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

Year of the World 2942. Soul. Pythagoras said, "that friendship is an equality, and one soul, and that the friend is another self." It would be difficult to find two souls more tender and generous than those of David and Jonathan. (Calmet) --- Josephus speaks of their friendship on another occasion, as these five verses are omitted in the Roman Septuagint, etc. (Kennicott)
I Samuel 18:2 And Saul took him that day, and would not let him return to his father's house.

I Samuel 18:3 And David and Jonathan made a covenant, for he loved him as his own soul.

For he, Jonathan. (Haydock) --- Soul. "Friends have one soul." (Arist.[Aristotle?] Mor. 9:8.)
I Samuel 18:4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the coat with which he was clothed, and gave it to David, and the rest of his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

Girdle, which perhaps was of great value, Job 12:18. He wished that David should lay aside his shepherd's dress, and appear like himself at court, that all might know how much he loved him. (Menochius)
I Samuel 18:5 And David went out to whatsoever business Saul sent him, and he behaved himself prudently: and Saul set him over the soldiers, and he was acceptable in the eyes of all the people, and especially in the eyes of Saul's servants.

Prudently, or with success. (Calmet) --- Especially. Hebrew, "also," which enhances his praise, as courtiers are but too apt to envy those who are taken from a low condition and set over them in the king's favour. David must have displayed great wisdom and moderation. (Haydock)
I Samuel 18:6 Now when David returned, after be slew the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with timbrels of joy, and cornets.

Philistine. Some explain this of some fresh achievement against that nation, (Malvenda; Worthington) but without reason. --- Dancing. Hebrew also playing on the flute, or on some such instrument of music. (Calmet) --- So Mary [Miriam] sung after the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea, Exodus 15:20., 2 Kings 1:20., and Judges 11:34.
I Samuel 18:7 And the women sung as they played, and they said: *Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

1 Kings 21:11.; Ecclesiasticus 47:7.
Sung. The chorus of their song is given. (Calmet) --- "The women sung, Saul slew his thousands; and the virgins answered, And David," etc. (Josephus) --- The death of Goliath was equivalent to the slaughter of thousands, as he had filled the whole army of Israel with dismay. (Haydock)
I Samuel 18:8 And Saul was exceeding angry, and this word was displeasing in his eyes, and he said: They have given David ten thousands, and to me they have given but a thousand, what can he have more but the kingdom?

A thousand. These women were guilty of an indiscretion, through excess of zeal, as it is always displeasing for the sovereign to hear any of his subjects preferred before him. (St. Chrysostom, hom. 1:de Saul.) --- The jealousy of Saul was the more excited, as he had been threatened with the loss of his kingdom, and perceived in David all the qualifications of a king. A malo principe tanquam successor timetur quisquis est dignior. (Pliny in Traj.) --- But was David responsible for what was spoken in his praise? (Calmet) --- The Vatican Septuagint omit what follows till ver. 12. "And Saul feared David, (13) and he removed," etc. The Alexandrian copy agrees with the Vulgate. (Haydock) --- Those who are proud, cannot bear the praises of others. (Worthington)
I Samuel 18:9 And Saul did not look on David with a good eye from that day and forward.

Eye. Septuagint, "and Saul suspected." (Haydock) --- Chaldean, "laid snares for David." (Calmet)
I Samuel 18:10 And the day after, the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of his house. And David played with his hand as at other times. And Saul held a spear in his hand,

Prophesied. Acted the prophet in a mad manner, (Challoner) like an enthusiast, (Calmet; 2 Kings 9:11.) or one possessed by the devil, as the Sybil was agitated by Apollo. Et rabie fera corda tument. (Virgil, Aeneid vi.) To alleviate his distress, David took up his harp. (Haydock) --- Spear. With this weapon he was generally armed, 1 Kings 19:10., and 26:7. "It was used as a diadem formerly, and the ancients adored spears as gods." (Justin. xliii.)
I Samuel 18:11 And threw it, thinking to nail David to the wall: and David stept aside out of his presence twice.

I Samuel 18:12 And Saul feared David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul himself.

I Samuel 18:13 Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him a captain over a thousand men, and he went out and came in before the people.

People, as their leader. Saul gave him an honourable, but dangerous office, to procure his destruction. This is frequently the manner in which men of superior talents have been treated, (Calmet) as Corbulo, Germanicus, and Agricola were by three Roman emperors. (Tacitus, Ann. ii., etc.)
I Samuel 18:14 And David behaved wisely in all his ways, *and the Lord was with him.

1 Kings 16:13.
I Samuel 18:15 And Saul saw that he was exceeding prudent, and began to beware of him.

Began. Septuagint, "he was filled with awe in his presence." Hebrew, "he was afraid of him," as he perceived that God protected him in all perils.
I Samuel 18:16 But all Israel and Juda loved David, for he came in and went out before them.

I Samuel 18:17 And Saul said to David: Behold my elder daughter Merob, her will I give thee to wife: only be a valiant man, *and fight the battles of the Lord. Now Saul said within himself: Let not my hand be upon him, but let the hands of the Philistines be upon him.

1 Kings 25:28.
And Saul. This and the two following verses are omitted in the Roman Septuagint, which subjoins, "and Michol, the daughter of Saul, loved David," etc. (Haydock) --- Wife. He had promised her already, (Menochius) if the verses in the preceding chapter be genuine. But why then had he delayed so long, and why does he require other conditions? The comparison made by the women, (ver. 7,) and the inconstant temper of Saul, might account for this. (Haydock) --- The Lord defends his people. As long as the Israelites followed the orders of God, their wars might justly be attributed to him; but not when they were waged to satisfy the cravings of ambition. (Calmet)
I Samuel 18:18 And David said to Saul: Who am I, or what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law of the king?

Life. What exploits have I performed deserving such an honour? or what offices have my relations yet enjoyed? (Calmet) --- David considers only his abject condition, and forgets his victories. (Haydock)
I Samuel 18:19 And it came to pass at the time when Merob, the daughter of Saul, should have been given to David, that she was given to Hadriel, the Molathite, to wife.

Wife. If this were the case, the character of Saul is rendered more despicable and perfidious. David never reclaims Merob, as he did Michol. (Haydock) --- All the children of the former were gibbeted, 2 Kings 21:9. The latter was given to David for his destruction, like Cleopatra (Daniel 11:17,) to Ptolemy. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 18:20 But Michol, the other daughter of Saul, loved David. And it was told Saul, and it pleased him.

Other, is not found in the Hebrew, Septuagint, etc. (Haydock) --- Some Latin copies read, "David loved Michol," (Calmet) as the Douay Bible translates; the authors living before the Popes had published their authentic editions. (Haydock) --- Both might be true. (Drusius)
I Samuel 18:21 And Saul said: I will give her to him, that she may be a stumbling-block to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be upon him. And Saul said to David: In two things thou shalt be my son-in-law this day.

Day. Hebrew, "In two thou shalt," etc. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "in the one of the twain," Merob or Michol. (Haydock) --- Saul had deceived him with respect to the first; but he promises that he shall have "the second," (Calmet) or two motives induced the king to make him this offer, the victory over Goliath, and the slaughter of 100 Philistines. (Menochius; Tirinus) --- The Septuagint omit this sentence, and read, "And the hand of the Philistines was upon Saul, and Saul commended," etc.
I Samuel 18:22 And Saul commanded his servants to speak to David privately, saying: Behold, thou pleasest the king, and all his servants love thee. Now, therefore, be the king's son-in-law.

I Samuel 18:23 And the servants of Saul spoke all these words in the ears of David. And David said: Doth it seem to you a small matter to be the king's son-in-law? But I am a poor man, and of small ability.

Ability, or riches. Septuagint, "without glory." (Haydock) See ver. 18.
I Samuel 18:24 And the servants of Saul told him, saying: Such words as these hath David spoken.

I Samuel 18:25 And Saul said: Speak thus to David: The king desireth not any dowry, but only a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. Now Saul thought to deliver David into the hands of the Philistines.

Dowry. Among the Hebrews, the man had to purchase his wife. --- Philistines. They were the nearest nation of those who were not circumcised; and thus Saul would prove that David had attacked them, which would greatly irritate them against him. (Calmet) --- Josephus specifies six hundred heads, (Haydock) falsely, (Horn) as he frequently disguises what might give his readers offence, as being either mean or incredible. (Calmet) --- Hundred is not specified in the original Hebrew copies, (Capel, 3:17,) and David gives 200, ver. 27. But Saul only stipulated for 100. See 2 Kings 3:14. (Calmet) --- Wife, "thinking it mean to be guilty of an untruth," etc., says Josephus; "yet his disposition was not altered. He resolved, therefore, to take away his life, and wished Jonathan and his most trusty servants to put his designs in execution." He then mentions the friendship of these two. But he takes no notice of the proffered marriage of Merob, and he seems not to have known that she was ever promised. See ver. 17., and 19., and 1 Kings 17:12. (Haydock)
I Samuel 18:26 And when his servants had told David the words that Saul had said, the word was pleasing in the eyes of David to be the king's son-in-law.

I Samuel 18:27 And after a few days David rose up, and went with the men that were under him, and he slew of the Philistines two hundred men, and brought their foreskins and numbered them out to the king, that he might be his son-in-law. Saul therefore gave him Michol, his daughter, to wife.

I Samuel 18:28 And Saul saw, and understood that the Lord was with David. And Michol, the daughter of Saul, loved him.

David. Of the subsequent verses, the Roman Septuagint has only the following words. "And all Israel lived him; (29) and Saul still continued to be in awe of him." The Alexandrian manuscript agrees with the Hebrew, only, instead of Michol, etc., it reads, "all Israel." If the contested passages were omitted, the history would be less perplexed. But we must wait for the decision of the Church in matters of this nature, and never decide to peremptorily. (Haydock)
I Samuel 18:29 And Saul began to fear David more: and Saul became David's enemy continually.

I Samuel 18:30 And the princes of the Philistines went forth: and from the beginning of their going forth, David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul, and his name became very famous.

Forth, probably to revenge the recent insult. (Calmet)
I Samuel 19:0 Other attempts of Saul upon David's life. He cometh to Samuel. Saul's messengers, and Saul himself, prophesy.

I Samuel 19:1 And Saul spoke to Jonathan, his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, the son of Saul, loved David exceedingly.

Jonathan. He was most interested, as David might be feared as a competitor; (Menochius) and, under the cloak of friendship, he might more easily destroy him. Saul was a stranger to the generous sentiments of his son, or he would never have made the proposal. (Haydock) --- Grotius compares him with Germanicus. (Calmet)
I Samuel 19:2 And Jonathan told David, saying: Saul, my father, seeketh to kill thee: wherefore look to thyself, I beseech thee, in the morning, and thou shalt abide in a secret place, and shalt be hid.

Morning. Septuagint add, "to-morrow." (Menochius)
I Samuel 19:3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art: and I will speak of thee to my father, and whatsoever I shall see, I will tell thee.

Field. Saul would come thither, or Jonathan would sound his father's disposition, and give David information in the place appointed. (Calmet) Hand, in danger. (Menochius)
I Samuel 19:4 And Jonathan spoke good things of David to Saul, his father: and said to him: Sin not, O king, against thy servant, David, because he hath not sinned against thee, and his works are very good towards thee.

I Samuel 19:5 And he put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought great salvation for all Israel. Thou sawest it and didst rejoice. Why therefore wilt thou sin against innocent blood, by killing David, who is without fault?

I Samuel 19:6 And when Saul heard this, he was appeased with the words of Jonathan, and swore: As the Lord liveth, he shall not be slain.

Slain. His inconstant temper might cause him to be moved with the expostulation of his son; but he presently relapsed, if he were ever sincere. (Calmet) --- The Scripture seems to insinuate that he was. (Menochius)
I Samuel 19:7 Then Jonathan called David, and told him all these words: and Jonathan brought in David to Saul, and he was before him, as he had been yesterday and the day before.

I Samuel 19:8 *And the war began again, and David went out, and fought against the Philistines, and defeated them with a great slaughter, and they fled from his face.

Year of the World 2944.
I Samuel 19:9 And the evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul; and he sat in his house, and held a spear in his hand: and David played with his hand.

Saul. His jealousy was again enkindled by the success of David. (Calmet) --- Hand, on music, to assuage the paroxysms of the king's fury. (Haydock)
I Samuel 19:10 And Saul endeavoured to nail David to the wall with his spear. And David slipt away out of the presence of Saul: and the spear missed him, and was fastened in the wall, and David fled, and escaped that night.

I Samuel 19:11 Saul therefore sent his guards to David's house to watch him, that he might be killed in the morning. And when Michol, David's wife, had told him this, saying: Unless thou save thyself this night, to-morrow thou wilt die:

Morning, fearing lest they might miss him in the night, (Salien) and perhaps desiring to see his execution, after he had been tried. (Josephus) --- The Philistines would not attack Samson at night. See Judges 16:2., and Exodus 14:20. The Parthians and Mahometans will do nothing at that time; moved perhaps by some superstitious notion. (Calmet)
I Samuel 19:12 She let him down through a window. And he went and fled away, and escaped.

I Samuel 19:13 And Michol took an image, and laid it on the bed, and put a goat's skin, with the hair at the head of it, and covered it with clothes.

Image. Hebrew Teraphim. Aquila, "figures." Symmachus, "idols." Some believe that David had idols in his house, as ornaments, or to treat them with ignominy. (Mercer.) --- But others cannot persuade themselves that he would keep such dangerous things. What Michol took, might therefore be some sacred representation, or a statue of some great man. (Genebrad.) (Kimchi; Maimonides) Or it might be some piece of wood, or clothes folded up, so as to make the guards believe that David was in bed. (Bochart, Anim. 1:2. 51.) See Genesis 31:19. (Calmet) --- They would not examine very narrowly. (Haydock) --- The Taraphim denote both idolatrous and sacred things, Osee 3:4. (Menochius) --- Skin. Vatican and Alexandrian Septuagint, "liver," still warm and in motion. (Tirinus) --- But they have followed a false reading, as well as Josephus and Aquila. (Calmet) --- Some have inferred that the hair of goats in that country is reddish, because it was designed to resemble David's hair, of the same colour. (Tirinus) --- This is, however, uncertain. The skin might form his pillow or coverlet. (Calmet)
I Samuel 19:14 And Saul sent officers to seize David; and it was answered that he was sick.

Sick. This is an officious lie. She tells another to excuse herself, ver. 17. The children of Saul strive to prevent their father's cruelty, by taking part with the innocent David. (Haydock) --- It is thought that David composed the 68th Psalm, Eripe, etc., on this occasion. (Calmet)
I Samuel 19:15 And again Saul sent to see David, saying: Bring him to me in the bed, that he may be slain.

I Samuel 19:16 And when the messengers were come in, they found an image upon the bed, and a goat's skin at his head.

I Samuel 19:17 And Saul said to Michol: Why hast thou deceived me so, and let my enemy go and flee away? And Michol answered Saul: Because he said to me: Let me go, or else I will kill thee.

I Samuel 19:18 But David fled and escaped, and came to Samuel in Ramatha, and told him all that Saul had done to him: and he and Samuel went and dwelt in Najoth.

I Samuel 19:19 And it was told Saul by some, saying: Behold David is in Najoth, in Ramatha.

Najoth. It was probably a school or college of prophets, in or near Ramatha, under the direction of Samuel. (Challoner) --- Chaldean, "in the house of doctrine." See 1 Kings 10:5. (Menochius)
I Samuel 19:20 So Saul sent officers to take David: and when they saw a company of prophets prophesying, and Samuel presiding over them, the Spirit of the Lord came also upon them, and they likewise began to prophesy.

Prophesying. That is, singing praises to God by a divine impulse. God was pleased on this occasion that both Saul's messengers and himself should experience the like impulse, that he might understand, by this instance of the divine power, how vain are the designs of man against him whom God protects. (Challoner) --- The messengers did not return. (Menochius) --- They were seized by the spirit only when they arrived at Najoth. But Saul felt the impression even at Socho, threw aside his garments, and began to act and to speak as one inspired. (Calmet)
I Samuel 19:21 And when this was told Saul, he sent other messengers: but they also prophesied. And again Saul sent messengers the third time: and they prophesied also. And Saul being exceeding angry,

I Samuel 19:22 Went also himself to Ramatha, and came as far as the great cistern, which is in Socho, and he asked, and said: In what place are Samuel and David? And it was told him: Behold they are in Najoth, in Ramatha.

I Samuel 19:23 And he went to Najoth, in Ramatha, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied till he came to Najoth, in Ramatha.

I Samuel 19:24 And he stripped himself also of his garments, and prophesied with the rest before Samuel, and lay down naked all that day and night. This gave occasion to a proverb: *What! is Saul too among the prophets?

1 Kings 10:12.
Naked. Divested of his regal ornaments, (Tirinus) though not in an indecent posture. People are said to be undressed, when they have not such clothes on as might be expected. Hesiod and Virgil say, Nudus ara, sere nudus; hiems ignava colono. "Plough and sow naked; choose a fine season for work, and rest in winter." (Haydock) See Micheas 1:8., and 2 Kings 6:20. --- Yet some assert (Calmet) that Saul was entirely undressed, as some pretended prophets and slaves go in the hot countries, Isaias 20:1. We are not to judge of the indecency of such behaviour from our own manners. Some copies read cecinit, (Calmet) and the Douay Bible has "and sang naked." (Haydock) --- Saul had not the gift of prophecy, like holy men, but only like Balaam's ass, for a time. (St. Augustine ad Simp. 2:1.) (Worthington) --- Prophets. This is something wonderful. (Menochius) --- The proverb was now confirmed, 1 Kings 10:11. (Calmet)
I Samuel 20:0 Saul being obstinately bent upon killing David, he is sent away by Jonathan.

I Samuel 20:1 But David *fled from Najoth, which is in Ramatha, and came and said to Jonathan: What have I done? what is my iniquity, and what is my sin against thy father, that he seeketh my life?

Year of the World 2944, Year before Christ 1060. To Jonathan, at Gabaa. He thought it no longer safe to remain at Najoth.
I Samuel 20:2 And he said to him: God forbid, thou shalt not die: for my father will do nothing great or little, without first telling me: hath then my father hid this word only from me? no, this shall not be.

Be. The recent machinations and orders of Saul had been concealed from his son, with whom he used to consult on all important matters. (Calmet) --- Perceiving, however, that Jonathan was unwilling to come into his measures, Saul, in his phrenzy, tried to destroy David. (Haydock) --- But Jonathan, forming his judgment of others by his own upright heart, relied on the oath of his father, (Calmet) and on the information he had lately communicated to him, when he desired David to be slain. (Menochius) --- Abulensis believes that the particulars of a preceding reconciliation have been lost, which Salien supplies, the year of the world 2973.
I Samuel 20:3 And he swore again to David. And David said: Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, and he will say: Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved. But truly as the Lord liveth, and thy soul liveth, there is but one step (as I may say) between me and death.

As I may say, is not in Hebrew. Septuagint, "the space between me and thy father is filled up, unto death." We can never more have any union, nor dwell together in safety. (Haydock)
I Samuel 20:4 And Jonathan said to David: Whatsoever thy soul shall say to me, I will do for thee.

Soul, is often put for desire, Psalm 26:12. (Calmet)
I Samuel 20:5 And David said to Jonathan: Behold to-morrow is the new moon, and I, according to custom, am wont to sit beside the king to eat: let me go then that I may be hid in the field till the evening of the third day.

To-morrow is the new moon. The neomenia, or first day of the moon, kept according to the law, as a festival; and therefore Saul feasted on that day; and expected the attendance of his family. (Challoner) (Numbers 10:10.) --- Moon. Literally, "calends," a Greek word, intimating that the people were informed, or "called" together, on that occasion; as many nations follow the lunar system in the regulation of the year. (Haydock) --- The Rabbins say that people were stationed on the highest hills to observe the first appearance of the moon, and to give notice of it. But for fear of a mistake, two days were observed, as here we see that Saul gave a feast for such a length of time. This, however, is very uncertain. David speaks without any reference to the watchmen, as of a thing well known to all. The reason of Saul's feasting two days, was because one of them was the sabbath. The following work-day David came to Nobe, (ver. 19,) and partook of the loaves which had been changed on the sabbath day, 1 Kings 21:6., and Leviticus 24:8. --- Sit. The custom of sitting at table seems to have been more ancient than that of lying. The Persians chiefly introduced the latter. They had very low tables, so that one of them was placed under the feet of Alexander, when he sat upon the throne of Darius, which was too high for him. (Curtius v.) Both customs frequently prevailed at the same time, Ecclesiasticus 9:12., and 31:12. Women probably always sat, as the Chaldean says Esther did, Esther 7:8. See Athen. 1:14. V. Max. 2:1. --- Day. The second of the month, after the sabbath was ended. (Calmet) --- Pezron thinks that both the last and first days of the month were festivals. (Du Hamel)
I Samuel 20:6 If thy father look and inquire for me, thou shalt answer him: David asked me that he might run to Bethlehem, *his own city: because there are solemn sacrifices there for all his tribe.

Luke 2:4.
Tribe. It might seem an effect of pride, not to accept of such invitations of the king, without some good excuse. Ovid speaks of feasts instituted for relations alone. (Fast. ii.) Proxima cognati dixere Charistia cari Et venit ad socios turba propinqua Deos. (Menochius) --- Saul might pretend that his throwing his spear at David, was an effect of his distemper; and as the latter had returned to his palace after the first attempt, he might judge that he would do the like now, though he had so lately sought his life. David probably retired to Bethlehem, and returned the third day, when he bid adieu to Jonathan and to the court of Saul for ever, (ver. 21.; Calmet) though he saw Jonathan once more at Ziph, 1 Kings 23:16.
I Samuel 20:7 If he shall say: It is well: thy servant shall have peace: but if he be angry, know that his malice is come to its height.

Height. Hebrew, "the evil is completed (or resolved upon) by him." (Haydock)
I Samuel 20:8 Deal mercifully then with thy servant: for thou hast brought me, thy servant, into a covenant of the Lord with thee. But if there be any iniquity in me, do thou kill me, and bring me not in to thy father.

Lord, the most durable and sacred, confirmed by the name of God. (Calmet) --- Kill. So Moses besought God to take away his life. A friend would put him to as little torture as possible. (Menochius) --- But David only means strongly to assert his own innocence. (Haydock)
I Samuel 20:9 And Jonathan said: Far be this from thee: for if I should certainly know that evil is determined by my father against thee, I could do no otherwise than tell thee.

Thee. Hebrew, "then, should I not tell thee?" (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "and if it reach not thy cities, I will inform thee."
I Samuel 20:10 And David answered Jonathan: Who shall bring me word, if thy father should answer thee harshly concerning me?

I Samuel 20:11 And Jonathan said to David: Come, and let us go out into the field. And when they were both of them gone out into the field,

I Samuel 20:12 Jonathan said to David: O Lord God of Israel, if I shall discover my father's mind, to-morrow, or the day after, and there be any thing good for David, and I send not immediately to thee, and make it known to thee,

After. Septuagint, "The Lord....has known that I will sift my father, as opportunity shall serve, thrice," or repeatedly. (Haydock)
I Samuel 20:13 May the Lord do so and so to Jonathan, and add still more. But if my father shall continue in malice against thee, I will discover it to thy ear, and will send thee away, that thou mayst go in peace, and the Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father.

Father, at the beginning of his reign. Jonathan foresees that David will be his father's successor. (Calmet) --- Hence he commends himself and family to his protection. (Menochius)
I Samuel 20:14 And if I live, thou shalt shew me the kindness of the Lord: but if I die,

Die. Hebrew literally, "If I live, thou shalt not shew me, etc....and if I die, (15) thou shalt not," etc. It seems there is a negation too much. Jonathan requests that David would shew mercy to him and to his family; or he is willing that neither should partake of his kindness, if he prove a traitor to his friend. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "And thou shalt not only, while yet I live, shew me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not: (15) But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever, no not when the Lord hath cut off," etc. (Haydock)
I Samuel 20:15 Thou shalt not take away thy kindness from my house for ever, when the Lord shall have rooted out the enemies of David, every one of them from the earth, may he take away Jonathan from his house, and may the Lord require it at the hands of David's enemies.

May he. It is a curse upon himself, if he should not be faithful to his promise. --- It. That is, revenge it upon David's enemies, and upon me, if I shall fail of my word given to him. (Challoner) --- The Hebrew and several Latin manuscripts stop at earth; and what follows, is not found in some Greek and Latin editions. (Calmet) --- Enemies. May God punish David's enemies, and me among the rest. (Menochius)
I Samuel 20:16 Jonathan therefore made a covenant with the house of David: and the Lord required it at the hands of David's enemies.

Enemies. This seems to be a second translation of the former sentence, with a small variation. --- Required may be expressed in the future, as an imprecation made by the two friends against those who should attempt to break the covenant, or to oppose David's reign. Septuagint omit this verse entirely, and translate the following, (17) "and Jonathan continued to swear to David, inasmuch as he loved him, because he loved the soul of the man who loved him." He had such an affection for David, that he extended his love to all his friends. Protestants, "so Jonathan made a covenant with....David, saying: Let the Lord even require it at," etc. (Haydock) --- He did so in due time, and the covenant between these two had its effect. (Calmet)
I Samuel 20:17 And Jonathan swore again to David, because he loved him: for he loved him as his own soul.

I Samuel 20:18 And Jonathan said to him: To-morrow is the new moon, and thou wilt be missed:

I Samuel 20:19 For thy seat will be empty till after to-morrow. So thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place where thou must be hid, on the day when it is lawful to work, and thou shalt remain beside the stone, which is called Ezel.

Morrow. Hebrew, "and after three days (Haydock; or, on the third day) thou shalt," etc. Syriac and Arabic, "Thou wilt be called for at table, at the third hour." (Calmet) --- Septuagint use the same word, trioseuseis, as in the following verse: "I will shoot thrice at wild beasts, with arrows, sending as far as Laarmattarai," so here they may insinuate that David must "wait three days," (Haydock) or come on each of these days, that he may not slip an opportunity. (Cajetan) --- Work. Le Clerc translates, "in the day of the business." Protestants, "where thou didst hide thyself when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel." Alexandrian Septuagint, "by this affair." Vatican [Septuagint], "Ergab," a word which Grabe admits instead of ergon, in his edition. (Haydock) --- Other copies, with the Syriac and Arabic, have simply, "near this stone," which Junius styles speculam, as if it were a butt or landmark, (Calmet) or a stone to shew the road, (Lyranus) or mile-stone, (Tirinus) which latter supposition is not probable, as David desired to be concealed. (Menochius) --- He would therefore choose some cavern, so as to be able to hear what Jonathan said, without being seen. (Haydock) --- this precaution was necessary for the safety of both. (Menochius)
I Samuel 20:20 And I will shoot three arrows near it, and will shoot as if I were exercising myself at a mark.

I Samuel 20:21 And I will send a boy, saying to him: Go and fetch me the arrows.

I Samuel 20:22 If I shall say to the boy: Behold the arrows are on this side of thee, take them up: come thou to me, because there is peace to thee, and there is no evil, as the Lord liveth. But if I shall speak thus to the boy: Behold the arrows are beyond thee: go in peace, for the Lord hath sent thee away.

I Samuel 20:23 And concerning the word which I and thou have spoken, the Lord be between thee and me for ever.

Ever. Let us always inviolably adhere to our covenant. (Haydock)
I Samuel 20:24 So David was hid in the field, and the new moon came, and the king sat down to eat bread.

Field, on the third day, having gone in the mean time to Bethlehem, ver. 6.
I Samuel 20:25 And when the king sat down upon his chair (according to custom) which was beside the wall, Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place appeared empty.

Arose, out of respect. Septuagint, "he had the precedence over Jonathan" alone, as the latter sat "on the king's right hand, and Abner on the left," Arabic. (Calmet) --- David's place was after Abner. (Menochius)
I Samuel 20:26 And Saul said nothing that day, for he thought it might have happened to him, that he was not clean, nor purified.

Purified, having perhaps touched some dead body, etc., Leviticus 11:24.
I Samuel 20:27 And when the second day after the new moon was come, David's place appeared empty again. And Saul said to Jonathan, his son: Why cometh not the son of Isai to meat neither yesterday, nor to-day?

To-day, which was the sabbath. (Calmet) --- On the new moons people did not travel far. (Menochius)
I Samuel 20:28 And Jonathan answered Saul: He asked leave of me earnestly to go to Bethlehem.

I Samuel 20:29 And he said: Let me go, for there is a solemn sacrifice in the city, one of my brethren hath sent for me: and now if I have found favour in thy eyes, I will go quickly, and see my brethren. For this cause he came not to the king's table.

Sacrifice. Hebrew, "my family hath a sacrifice," etc., ver. 5. (Haydock)
I Samuel 20:30 Then Saul being angry against Jonathan, said to him: Thou son of a woman that is the ravisher of a man, do I not know that thou lovest the son of Isai to thy own confusion, and to the confusion of thy shameless mother?

A man. Hebrew, "of an unjust revolt." Thou hast taken part against thy father. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "son of the perverse rebellious woman." Septuagint, "of the fugitive, (Haydock) or of those girls who go in quest of men." We must not suppose that Jonathan's mother was really of this description. Saul, in rage, wishes to affront his son, (Calmet) as some frantic parents call their children bastards, not reflecting that the reproach would fall upon themselves. --- Isai, as he styles him out of contempt, ver. 27. --- Mother. Hebrew, etc., "of thy mother's nakedness or shame." (Menochius) --- Instead of a crown, thou must expect ot be reduced to a private station, to the disgrace of my family. (Haydock)
I Samuel 20:31 For as long as the son of Isai liveth upon earth, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Therefore now presently send, and fetch him to me: for he is the son of death.

The son of death. That is, one that deserveth death, and shall surely be put to death. (Challoner) --- So people are often styled sons of perdition, of hell, of light, etc., (Calmet) when they are worthy of such things. (Haydock) --- All the crime of David, was his too exalted merit, which, under a jealous prince, is often fatal. Nec minus periculum ex magna fama, quam ex mala. (Tacitus, Agricola.)
I Samuel 20:32 And Jonathan answering Saul, his father, said: Why shall he die? what hath he done?

I Samuel 20:33 And Saul caught up a spear to strike him. And Jonathan understood that it was determined by his father to kill David.

I Samuel 20:34 So Jonathan rose from the table in great anger, and did not eat bread on the second day after the new moon. For he was grieved for David, because his father had put him to confusion.

Great. Literally, in the anger of fury." (Haydock) --- Him, either David or Jonathan. (Calmet) --- Indeed the crime of rebellion had been imputed to both. (Haydock) --- Jonathan was grieved on account of the affront and danger (Menochius) to which he had been publicly exposed, as well as for his friend, upon whose destruction he perceived that his father was now deliberately bent, and not merely during his fits of madness. --- Confusion. Septuagint, "because his father had completed his malice against him;" (Haydock) or, "had resolved to make an end of him." (Calmet)
I Samuel 20:35 And when the morning came, Jonathan went into the field according to the appointment with David, and a little boy with him.

I Samuel 20:36 And he said to his boy: Go, and fetch me the arrows which I shoot. And when the boy ran, he shot another arrow beyond the boy.

Another. The Hebrew, etc., do not express this distinctly; (Calmet) but we find, ver. 38, "the lad gathered up the arrows."
I Samuel 20:37 The boy therefore came to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot: and Jonathan cried after the boy, and said: Behold the arrow is there further beyond thee.

I Samuel 20:38 And Jonathan cried again after the boy, saying: Make haste speedily, stand not. And Jonathan's boy gathered up the arrows, and brought them to his master:

I Samuel 20:39 And he knew not at all what was doing: for only Jonathan and David knew the matter.

I Samuel 20:40 Jonathan therefore gave his arms to the boy, and said to him: Go, and carry them into the city.

Arms. Protestants, "artillery:" but the bow and arrow, etc., are meant. The boy was sent away under this pretext.
I Samuel 20:41 And when the boy was gone, David rose out of his place, which was towards the south, and falling on his face to the ground, adored thrice: and kissing one another, they wept together; but David more.

Place. Protestants, "out of a place towards," etc. (Haydock) --- Chaldean, "from the side of the rock Asha;" (or Ezel, ver. 19,) though the name is written rather differently in Hebrew. But this was the place appointed. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "from sleep,....and adored him,....and each bewailed his neighbour, to great perfection." (Haydock) --- More. Jonathan strove to comfort him, as he was leaving wife, friends, and all. (Menochius)
I Samuel 20:42 And Jonathan said to David: Go in peace: and let all stand that we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying: The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever.

Stand. This is not expressed in the text, which is left imperfect, (Haydock) to denote the anguish of the parting friends, (Menochius) very beautifully. (Salien) --- David did not exactly comply with this covenant, and his grandson lost half the kingdom, 2 Kings xix. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 20:43 And David arose, and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.

I Samuel 21:0 David receiveth holy bread of Achimelech, the priest: and feigneth himself mad before Achis, king of Geth.

I Samuel 21:1 And* David came to Nobe, to Achimelech, the priest: and Achimelech was astonished at David's coming. And he said to him: Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?

Year of the World 2944. Nobe. A city in the tribe of Benjamin, to which the tabernacle of the Lord had been translated from Silo. (Challoner) --- It was about 12 miles south-west of Gabaa. (Tudelensis.) --- There was another Nobe on the east side of the Jordan, to which Serarius thinks David was three days in travelling. But when David made that assertion, he wished to conceal the real state of his affairs, as he had not seen Saul since he was at Najoth, ver. 5. Nobe was afterwards accounted a sacerdotal city, ver. 19., and 2 Esdras 11:32. --- Achimelech, who is perhaps the same with Achia (chap. 14:3,) and Abiathar, Mark 2:32. --- With thee. He would not expose his men to the resentment of Saul, (Calmet) though he afterwards gave the priest to understand that he had some attendants, (ver. 2) as the gospel relates, Matthew 12:3. He dismissed them before he entered Geth. (Calmet)
I Samuel 21:2 And David said to Achimelech, the priest: The king hath commanded me a business, and said: Let no man know the thing for which thou art sent by me, and what manner of commands I have given thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.

The king, etc. This was an untruth, which David, like many other great men, might think lawful in such an emergency. But it is essentially evil. (Calmet) --- And such, which he deems it unnecessary to specify. Septuagint retain the Hebrew words, "Phelanni almoni." See Ruth 4:1.
I Samuel 21:3 Now therefore if thou have any thing at hand, though it were but five loaves, give me, or whatsoever thou canst find.

I Samuel 21:4 And the priest answered David, saying: I have no common bread at hand, but only holy bread, if the young men be clean, especially from women?

If the young men be clean, etc. If this cleanness was required of them that were to eat that bread, which was but a figure of the bread of life which we receive in the blessed sacrament [the Eucharist]; how clean ought Christians be when they approach to our tremendous mysteries? And what reason hath the Church of God to admit none to be her ministers, to consecrate and daily receive this most pure sacrament, but such as devote themselves to a life of perpetual purity. (Challoner) --- Women. God required this on many occasions, Exodus 19:15. Urgent necessity determined Achimelech to grant the loaves, as our Saviour intimates, though it is probable that he first consulted the Lord, 1 Kings 22:16. (Calmet) --- David perhaps went to Nobe on purpose to ask advice. (Menochius) --- We have here an example of a dispensation, and of the distinction between lay, or common, and holy bread. (Worthington)
I Samuel 21:5 And David answered the priest, and said to him: Truly, as to what concerneth women, we have refrained ourselves from yesterday and the day before, when we came out, and the vessels of the young men were holy. Now this way is defiled, but it shall also be sanctified this day in the vessels.

Vessels, that is, the bodies, have been holy; that is, have been kept from impurity: (Challoner) in which sense St. Paul uses the word, 1 Thessalonians 4:4. It also includes garments, arms, etc. All was to be clean. Septuagint, "my men are all purified." (Calmet) --- Defiled. Is liable to expose us to dangers of uncleanness, (Challoner) as we shall perhaps have to fight. (Haydock) --- Sanctified. That is, we shall take care, notwithstanding these dangerous circumstances, to keep our vessels holy; that is, keep our bodies from every thing that may defile us. (Challoner) --- The text is very obscure. Hebrew, "the way is impure, because to-day it shall be purified in the vessel." (Calmet) --- Protestants, "and the bread is in a manner common, yea though it were sanctified this day in the vessel." We might eat of it in a case of such necessity. (Haydock) --- Though laics be commonly debarred from tasting of it, we will partake of it with all due respect. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "the journey is (of a disagreeable nature, or) impure, therefore it will be rendered holy by my vessels," or arms, in the king's cause. (Haydock) --- He seemed to be going towards the infidel nations. (Menochius)
I Samuel 21:6 *The priest therefore gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there, but only the loaves of proposition, which had been taken away from before the face of the Lord, that hot loaves might be set up.

Matthew 12:3-4.
I Samuel 21:7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, within the tabernacle of the Lord: and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of Saul's herdsmen.

Within. Hebrew nehtsar, "detained, or assembles before the Lord." Theodoret thinks he was possessed; others believe he had made a vow, etc. --- Edomite. Some Greek copies read, a Syrian, as also 1 Kings 22:9. (Calmet) --- He had embraced the Jewish religion. (Menochius)
I Samuel 21:8 And David said to Achimelech: Hast thou here at hand a spear, or a sword? for I brought not my own sword, nor my own weapons with me, for the king's business required haste.

I Samuel 21:9 And the priest said: Lo here is the sword of Goliath, the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Terebinth, wrapped up in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take this, take it, for here there is no other but this. And David said: There is none like that, give it me.

This. Chaldean observes, he gave this sword "after he had consulted the Lord with the ephod." In a just war, the ornaments of the temples may be used. Pro republic î plerumque templa nudantur. (Seneca) (Grotius, Jur. 3:5, 2.) (Calmet) --- Tostatus believes that David would restore this sword, as soon as he had procured other arms.
I Samuel 21:10 And David arose and fled that day from the face of Saul: and came to Achis, the king of Geth:

Achis. He is elsewhere called Achimelech. This bold step was taken by God's order, (Salien) or secret impulse, as the high priest and Doeg knew not whither David had directed his course. (Haydock) --- Sanchez thinks David received no express declaration, as the event was not very prosperous. (Menochius) --- Many great men have taken refuge among their greatest enemies, as Themistocles, Alcibiades, and Coriolanus fled respectively to the Persians, Lacedaemonians, and Volscians, and were received with great respect. Indeed the acquisition of such men is equivalent to a victory. (Calmet) --- Though David might expect that his name would be hateful at Geth, as he had slain their great champion, etc., yet he had done it in an open manner, and had displayed the most heroic courage, so that the king and nobility might raise their thoughts above the vulgar sentiments of jealousy and revenge. (Salien) --- David only retired from the court of this king, to avoid the hatred of the courtiers; he returned again, and was kindly received, 1 Kings 27:1. (Calmet)
I Samuel 21:11 And the servants of Achis, when they saw David, said to him: Is not this David, the king of the land? Did they not sing to him in their dances, saying: *Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?

1 Kings 18:7.; Ecclesiasticus 47:7.
Land, equal to a king in glory. (Menochius) --- Perhaps they had heard of the rejection of Saul, and reflected that their own country belonged to him, according to the terms proposed by Goliath. (Calmet)
I Samuel 21:12 But David laid up these words in his heart, and was exceedingly afraid at the face of Achis, the king of Geth.

I Samuel 21:13 And he changed his countenance before them, and slipt down between their hands: and he stumbled against the doors of the gate, and his spittle ran down upon his beard.

Countenance. Hebrew, "sentiment, (Calmet) or, behaviour." (Haydock) --- Chaldean, "reason." He no longer acted as a prudent man, but like a fool. --- Down; not fainting, (Calmet) but like one in an epileptic fit. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "he feigned himself mad." Chaldean, "stupid." --- Stumbled. Hebrew, "wrote, or made figures upon." Septuagint, "beat the drum upon the gates of the city, and he was carried about, or acted the fool, in his hands, (parephereto en tais chersin, autou: Amama would have, auton, their) and he fell against the doors of the gate," etc. They seem to give a double translation. St. Augustine says, "we cannot understand how David could be carried in his own hands. But we understand how it was verified in Christ. For Christ was carried in his own hands at his last supper, when he gave, or commending, his own body, he said, This, etc., for he then carried his own body in his own hands." (In Psalm xxxiii. conc. i.) Ferebat enim illud corpus in manibus suis. Amama may laugh at St. Augustine's ignorance of Hebrew, but the holy doctor was at least a sincere Catholic. (Haydock) --- Beard. We find some wretched objects doing the same, Mark 9:17. The spittle was deemed infectious. Et illic isti qui sputatur, morbus interdum venit. (Plautus in Captivis.)
I Samuel 21:14 And Achis said to his servants: You saw the man was mad: why have you brought him to me?

I Samuel 21:15 Have we need of mad men, that you have brought in this fellow, to play the madman in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?

House. David had not rushed into the palace of his own accord, but wished to remain concealed. Some of the people however knew him, and would have him to enlist as one of the soldiers of Achis; (Menochius) or even designed to get him put to death, which made him have recourse to this expedient. Some of the saints have imitated him, to avoid worldly honours and dignities of the Church. (Haydock) --- Thus the conduct of Jesus Christ himself, was accounted foolishness by worldlings, Mark 3:21., Luke 23:11., and 1 Corinthians 1:23. (Ven. Bede) (Worthington)
I Samuel 22:0 Many resort to David. Doeg accuseth Achimelech to Saul. He ordereth him and all the other priests of Nobe to be slain. Abiathar escapeth.

I Samuel 22:1 David *therefore went from thence, and fled to the cave of Odollam. And when his brethren, and all his father's house, had heard of it, they went down to him thither.

Year of the World 2944. Odollam, about two days' journey from Geth, (Salien) nine miles east of Eleutheropolis, in the tribe of Juda. (Eusebius) (Calmet) --- Josue 12:15., and 2 Machabees 12:38. (Menochius) --- Thither, to avoid the fury of Saul, which fell so heavy upon the priests, ver. 16. The most warlike sons of Gad came hither also, to join David, 1 Paralipomenon 12:8. (Abulensis) (Salien, the year of the world 2973.)
I Samuel 22:2 And all that were in distress, and oppressed with debt, and under affliction of mind, gathered themselves unto him: and he became their prince, and there were with him about four hundred men.

Men. His title to the crown was incontestable, so that he might justly make war, particularly in his own defence, and receive those who flocked to him to screen themselves from the persecution of Saul, and from their debtors, whom they would thus enable themselves to repay in time, by the plunder which they would take from the enemy. David maintained the strictest discipline, and withheld his men from making any disturbance, always manifesting the greatest respect for the person of the king. (Calmet) --- The soldiers of Jephte were of the same description as these of David, Judges 11:3. (Haydock)
I Samuel 22:3 And David departed from thence into Maspha of Moab: and he said to the king of Moab: Let my father and my mother tarry with you, I beseech thee, till I know what God will do for me.

Of Moab, to distinguish it from the city of Benjamin, where Samuel had assembled the people; (Menochius) and perhaps also from the birth-place of Jephte, unless the Moabites had taken possession again of that part of Galaad. (Calmet) --- Saul had made war upon this king, so that he was more ready to protect David, who departing soon after, by the admonition of Gad, (ver. 5.; Calmet) left those who could not follow him under his care. In the mean time he lived on plunder, taken from the surrounding enemies, (Tostat) and was joined by 200 men from the tribes of Benjamin and of Juda, (1 Paralipomenon 12:16,) with Amasai, his nephew, by his sister Abigail, at their head. (Salien, the year before Christ 1079.)
I Samuel 22:4 And he left them under the eyes of the king of Moab, and they abode with him all the days that David was in the hold.

The hold. The strong hold, or fortress of Maspha. (Challoner) --- It signifies "a watch-tower." (Haydock) --- In this place the parents of David probably finished their days, as we find no farther mention of them. (Salien)
I Samuel 22:5 And Gad, the prophet, said to David: Abide not in the hold, depart, and go into the land of Juda. And David departed, and came into the forest of Haret.

Haret, west of Jerusalem. Septuagint read "the town of Haret," (Eusebius) or "Sarec." (Menochius) --- Rama, "the height," in Gabaa. (Calmet) --- God would not suffer David and his followers to continue long among the infidels, for fear of danger. (Menochius) --- The hero shews his ready obedience to the word of the unknown prophet, and is willing again to expose himself in the midst of Saul's dominions. (Salien)
I Samuel 22:6 And Saul heard that David was seen, and the men that were with him. Now whilst Saul abode in Gabaa, and was in the wood, which is by Rama, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him,

I Samuel 22:7 He said to his servants that stood about him: Hear me now, ye sons of Jemini: will the son of Isai give every one of you fields, and vineyards, and make you all tribunes, and centurions:

Jemini. Benjamites, my countrymen. Saul approaches them with being too little concerned about his interests, and falsely accuses his own son, who, it seems, had retired from court, after his father had attempted to kill him. But he shewed no signs of disloyalty. (Calmet) --- The king mentions the league between Jonathan and David, on suspicion, 1 Kings 20:23. (Menochius)
I Samuel 22:8 That all of you have conspired against me, and there is no one to inform me, especially when even my son hath entered into league with the son of Isai? There is not one of you that pitieth my case, nor that giveth me any information: because my son hath raised up my servant against me, plotting against me to this day.

I Samuel 22:9 And Doeg, the Edomite, who stood by, and was the chief among the servants of Saul, answering, said: I saw the son of Isai, in Nobe, with Achimelech, the son of Achitob, the priest.

Servants, or herdsmen, 1 Kings 21:7. Septuagint, "the Syrian, who was set over the mules of Saul." (Haydock) --- Informers are a set of men destructive to the public," says Tacitius, Hist. 1:4.
I Samuel 22:10 And he consulted the Lord for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath, the Philistine.

Consulted. Some think this was a falsehood, as it is not mentioned before. (Hugo) --- but Achimelech does not deny the fact, ver. 15. (Calmet)
I Samuel 22:11 Then the king sent to call for Achimelech, the priest, the son of Achitob, and all his father's house, the priests that were in Nobe, and they came all of them to the king.

I Samuel 22:12 And Saul said to Achimelech: Hear, thou son of Achitob. He answered: Here I am, my lord.

Achitob. He gives him no honourable title, no more than David, (ver. 7, etc.) out of disrespect. (Menochius)
I Samuel 22:13 And Saul said to him: Why have you conspired against me, thou, and the son of Isai, and thou hast given him bread and a sword, and hast consulted the Lord for him, that he should rise up against me, continuing a traitor to this day.

I Samuel 22:14 And Achimelech answering the king, said: And who amongst all thy servants is so faithful as David, who is the king's son-in-law, and goeth forth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thy house?

Faithful....and honourable, are titles given to people of great distinction at court, 1 Kings 9:6., Numbers 12:7., and Genesis 34:19.
I Samuel 22:15 Did I begin to-day to consult the Lord for him? far be this from me: let not the king suspect such a thing against his servant, or any one in all my father's house: for thy servant knew nothing of this matter, either little or great.

For him? We might read without an interrogation, "I have to-day begun...." (Chaldean) never suspecting that it would be disagreeable to the king. (Calmet) --- His character and his declarations, led me to conclude quite the contrary, so that I cannot lawfully be accused of any conspiracy. (Haydock)
I Samuel 22:16 And the king said: Dying thou shalt die, Achimelech, thou and all thy father's house.

I Samuel 22:17 And the king said to the messengers that stood about him: Turn, and kill the priests of the Lord, for their hand is with David, because they knew that he was fled, and they told it not to me. And the king's servants would not put forth their hands against the priests of the Lord.

Messengers. Hebrew, "runners." These officers remained at court and were people of great account, (Calmet) like the king's guards, 2 Kings 15:1., and 3 Kings 1:5. (Haydock) --- Lord, out of reverence, and being convinced of their innocence. (Menochius) --- The obedience which we owe to superiors is subordinate to that which we must always shew towards God and justice. (Calmet) --- Saul unjustly condemned them as the abettors of his competitor. (Worthington)
I Samuel 22:18 And the king said to Doeg: Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg, the Edomite, turned, and fell upon the priests, and slew in that day eighty-five men that wore the linen ephod.

Five. Josephus read "385." Septuagint, "305." --- Ephod. They all appeared in this dress, as they were priests. (Calmet) --- It was different from the sacred ephod. (Abulensis) --- Thus the posterity of Heli was almost entirely cut off, as God had threatened, 1 Kings 2:(Du Hamel; Tirinus)
I Samuel 22:19 And Nobe, the city of the priests, he smote with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and ox, and ass, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.

Sword. Saul, now abandoned God, acts against all law. He probably, on this occasion, destroyed the inhabitants of Gabaon, to make place for the tabernacle, which was removed hither. (Calmet) See 1 Kings 27:12. --- He might also appoint Achitob high priest, the father of Sadoc, who supplanted Abiathar, (1 Paralipomenon 22.; 1 Paralipomenon 16:29.) (Tirinus)
I Samuel 22:20 But one of the sons of Achimelech, the son of Achitob, whose name was Abiathar, escaped, and fled to David,

Escaped. He had perhaps remained at Nobe, to do duty. (Menochius) --- God was pleased to reserve him, (Calmet) to convey the sacred ornaments of the high priest to David. (Haydock) --- St. Bachiarius looks upon the slaughtered priests as martyrs. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 22:21 And told him that Saul had slain the priests of the Lord.

I Samuel 22:22 And David said to Abiathar: I knew that day when Doeg, the Edomite, was there, that without doubt he would tell Saul: I have been the occasion of the death of all the souls of thy father's house.

House. Literally, "I am guilty," etc. (Haydock) --- "Good people acknowledge a fault, where there is none." (St. Gregory) --- David was aware of the malicious temper of Doeg, but he could not prevent its evil effects, as he had applied to the high priest without perceiving that he was there. (Haydock) --- He received Abiathar at Ceila, which he had protected against the Philistines, (chap. 23.)
I Samuel 22:23 Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life, seeketh thy life also, and with me thou shalt be saved.

Saved. We will be as one soul. On this occasion David composed the 51st Psalm, Quid gloriaris, to reprobate the conduct of Doeg. (Salien) --- We may consider David as the fourth in order of the sacred writers, as he appears after Moses, Josue, and Samuel. (Haydock)
I Samuel 23:0 David relieveth Ceila, besieged by Philistines. He fleeth into the desert of Ziph. Jonathan and he confirm their former covenant. The Ziphites discover him to Saul, who pursuing close after him, is called away by an invasion from the Philistines.

I Samuel 23:1 And *they told David, saying: Behold the Philistines fight against Ceila, and they rob the barns.

Year of the World 2945, Year before Christ 1059. Barns. The floors were composed of earth and the dregs of oil, made into a sort of mortar, so that rain, mice, etc., could not hurt them. (Cato 91 and 129.) --- Hither the people of Ceila had gathered their corn, and the enemy came to plunder, or to spoil, according to custom, Judges 5:4., and 15:5. (Calmet) --- Ceila was about seven miles from Hebron, and as many from Eleutheropolis. (St. Jerome)
I Samuel 23:2 Therefore David consulted the Lord, saying: Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said to David: Go, and thou shalt smite the Philistines, and shalt save Ceila.

Lord, by the prophet Gad, (Salien; ver. 6.; Menochius) or by Abiathar, who brought the ephod along with him. David undertakes nothing without his advice.
I Samuel 23:3 And the men that were with David, said to him: Behold we are in fear here in Judea, how much more if we go to Ceila against the bands of the Philistines?

Judea, in the midst of the country, remote from the Philistines; and in a forest, where Saul cannot so easily attack us, as in a city.
I Samuel 23:4 Therefore David consulted the Lord again. And he answered and said to him: Arise, and go to Ceila: for I will deliver the Philistines into thy hand.

Again, in the presence of his soldiers. (Calmet) --- Thus Gedeon requested a double miracle of the Lord, to encourage his men. (Menochius)
I Samuel 23:5 David, therefore, and his men, went to Ceila, and fought against the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and made a great slaughter of them: and David saved the inhabitants of Ceila.

I Samuel 23:6 Now at that time, when Abiathar, the son of Achimelech, fled to David, to Ceila, he came down, having an ephod with him.

An ephod, or the ephod. That is, the vestment of the high priest, with the Urim and Thummim, by which the Lord gave his oracles.
I Samuel 23:7 And it was told Saul that David was come to Ceila: and Saul said: The Lord hath delivered him into my hands, and he is shut up, being come into a city that hath gates and bars.

Bars. This was what David's men apprehended. Saul thinks this is a fit opportunity for taking them all prisoners; and he supposes that God was on his side, though, after his repeated crimes, he had little reason to flatter himself with hopes of this nature. The wicked, however, easily delude themselves. (Haydock)
I Samuel 23:8 And Saul commanded all the people to go down to fight against Ceila, and to besiege David, and his men.

People, in the neighbourhood. It is hardly probable that all Israel should be put in motion to take a few men. (Calmet)
I Samuel 23:9 Now when David understood that Saul secretly prepared evil against him, he said to Abiathar, the priest: Bring hither the ephod.

Secretly. He might have pretended that the armament was against the Philistines. (Menochius) --- Ephod. Some say that David put it on. But this was the privilege of the high priest, who gave the answer to David's consultation, which he might perhaps repeat after him. (Calmet) --- He put on the rational to consult God, Exodus xxviii., and Leviticus viii. (Worthington)
I Samuel 23:10 And David said: O Lord God of Israel, thy servant hath heard a report, that Saul designeth to come to Ceila, to destroy the city for my sake:

I Samuel 23:11 Will the men of Ceila deliver me into his hands? and will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O Lord God of Israel, tell thy servant. And the Lord said: He will come down.

I Samuel 23:12 And David said: Will the men of Ceila deliver me and my men into the hands of Saul? And the Lord said: They will deliver thee up.

Up. God had only answered the first question before. He now informs David, that it is the intention of the men of Ceila to deliver him into the hands of Saul, who was preparing to attack their city, and that he would inevitably fall into his hands, (Calmet) if he did not retire. (Worthington) --- God sees contingent events with the same certainty as those which will really take place. (Haydock) --- The people of Ceila could not have justly delivered up the innocent David, but they might have insisted that he should quit their city, to save it from destruction; or they might have forced him. (Scholastic) (Tirinus)
I Samuel 23:13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose, and departing from Ceila, wandered up and down, uncertain where they should stay: and it was told Saul that David was fled from Ceila, and had escaped: wherefore he forbore to go out.

I Samuel 23:14 But David abode in the desert in strong holds, and he remained in a mountain of the desert of Ziph, in a woody hill. And Saul sought him always: but the Lord delivered him not into his hands.

Ziph, eight miles east of Hebron, (St. Jerome) towards the southern Carmel. (Eusebius) --- Abdias (ver. 3) takes notice of the clefts of the rocks of Edom. St. Jerome says, this mountain was "dark and cloudy." (Menochius)
I Samuel 23:15 And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life. And David was in the desert of Ziph, in a wood.

I Samuel 23:16 And Jonathan, the son of Saul, arose, and went to David, into the wood, and strengthened his hands in God: and he said to him:

In God exceedingly, reminding him of God's promises. (Calmet) --- He hoped to see David king, and himself next to him in power. (Haydock)
I Samuel 23:17 Fear not: for the hand of my father, Saul, shall not find thee, and thou shalt reign over Israel, and I shall be next to thee; yea, and my father knoweth this.

Next, in dignity; thy helper and associate. See Ecclesiastes 4:8, 11. --- This, our league, (Calmet) or the decree appointing David to be king. (Menochius)
I Samuel 23:18 And they two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood: but Jonathan returned to his house.

Lord, Gad or Abiathar being present. (St. Jerome) --- This is the third time they had confirmed their alliance, to satisfy their love. (Menochius)
I Samuel 23:19 *And the Ziphites went up to Saul, in Gabaa, saying: Lo, doth not David lie hid with us in the strong holds of the wood, in Mount Hachila, which is on the right hand of the desert.

1 Kings 26:1.
Hand, to the south. (Du Hamel)
I Samuel 23:20 Now therefore come down, as thy soul hath desired to come down: and it shall be our business to deliver him into the king's hands.

I Samuel 23:21 And Saul said: Blessed be ye of the Lord, for you have pitied my case.

I Samuel 23:22 Go, therefore, I pray you, and use all diligence, and curiously inquire, and consider the place where his foot is, and who hath seen him there: for he thinketh of me, that I lie craftily in wait for him.

Him, and therefore will be upon his guard. (Haydock) --- Syriac, "because I am told he is crafty." (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "because Saul said, lest this crafty man should exert all his art;" or, "lest he should be very cunning." (Haydock) --- Saul foreboded that he would again elude his pursuit. (Vatable)
I Samuel 23:23 Consider, and see all his lurking holes, wherein he is hid, and return to me with the certainty of the thing, that I may go with you. And if he should even go down into the earth to hide himself, I will search him out in all the thousands of Juda.

And if. Hebrew, "if he be in the land, I will." --- Thousands; the cities, or with all the troops. (Du Hamel)
I Samuel 23:24 And they arose, and went to Ziph before Saul: and David and his men were in the desert of Maon, in the plain at the right hand of Jesimon.

Maon, in Arabia Petrea, not far from Bersabee. (Calmet)
I Samuel 23:25 Then Saul and his men went to seek him: and it was told David, and forthwith he went down to the rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon: and when Saul had heard of it, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.

I Samuel 23:26 And Saul went on this side of the mountain: and David and his men were on the other side of the mountain: and David despaired of being able to escape from the face of Saul: and Saul and his men encompassed David and his men round about, to take them.

Other side, to the south. --- Despaired, without the divine assistance. (Salien) --- Hebrew nechpaz, "feared, or (Du Hamel) made haste to flee." Septuagint, "David was screened to depart." He used all possible precautions not to fall into Saul's hands, though he knew he should succeed him. He might still experience some fear of ill treatment. (Haydock)
I Samuel 23:27 And a messenger came to Saul, saying: Make haste to come, for the Philistines have poured in themselves upon the land.

I Samuel 23:28 Wherefore Saul returned, leaving the pursuit of David, and went to meet the Philistines. For this cause, they called that place the rock of division.

Division, as it alone had been between the two rivals. Saul was obliged to leave the place, though he and his men were in suspense what to do. (Calmet)
I Samuel 24:0 Saul seeketh David in the wilderness of Engaddi: he goeth into a cave, where David hath him in his power.

I Samuel 24:1 Then *David went up from thence, and dwelt in strong holds of Engaddi.

Year of the World 2946, Year before Christ 1058. Engaddi, below Jericho, on the west side of the Dead Sea. It was famous for rocks and caverns. (Calmet)
I Samuel 24:2 And when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, they told him, saying: Behold, David is in the desert of Engaddi.

I Samuel 24:3 Saul, therefore, took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went out to seek after David and his men, even upon the most craggy rocks, which are accessible only to wild goats.

Goats; an hyperbole. (Menochius) --- Hebrew, "upon the rocks of the wild goats." (Haydock)
I Samuel 24:4 And he came to the sheep-cotes which were in his way. And there was a cave, into which Saul went, to ease nature: now David and his men lay hid in the inner part of the cave.

Cotes. These were probably no other than the caverns, in which shepherds there secure themselves and their flocks, in the night, and from storms. (Tirinus) --- Some of them, in Syria, are so capacious as to contain 4,000 men, (Strabo xvi.) so that David might well remain unperceived by Saul, who did not enter so far. Polyphemus and Cacus dwelt in caverns, with their flocks. (Virgil, Aeneid viii.) --- Nature. Hebrew, "to cover his feet," which has the same import. Syriac and Arabic, "to rest, or sleep."
I Samuel 24:5 And the servants of David said to him: Behold the day, of which the Lord said to thee: I will deliver thy enemy unto thee, that thou mayst do to him as it shall seem good in thy eyes. Then David arose, and secretly cut off the hem of Saul's robe.

Eyes. This might have been spoken by Gad, or by Samuel; (Menochius) or they only mean that this is a most favourable opportunity. Some think that David ought to have embraced it, and put an end to these troubles, by the death of the usurper. But this was not the opinion of David; and God, who had promised him the throne, had not authorized him to lay violent hands on Saul. He might act on the defensive, but not be the aggressor. (Tirinus) --- Arose, with an intention to kill his unjust persecutor, ver. 11. --- Robe, to convince him how easily he might have taken away his life. (St. Augustine, de C. [City of God?] 12:6.) --- The noise of Saul's attendants hindered him from being perceived. Perhaps Saul might have put off his robe. (Menochius) --- St. Chrysostom observes, the David obtained more glory by sparing Saul than by killing Goliath. (Tirinus) --- Clemency makes a man like God. (Cicero)
I Samuel 24:6 After which David's heart struck him, because he had cut off the hem of Saul's robe.

Heart struck him; viz., with remorse, as fearing he had done amiss. (Challoner) --- A tender conscience is uneasy about things which are not sinful, while some stick at nothing. (Worthington) --- The action of David seemed disrespectful. (Calmet) --- "The subjects of kings adore the royal name as a divinity." (Curtius vii.) Regium nomen....pro deo colunt.
I Samuel 24:7 And he said to his men: The Lord be merciful unto me, that I may do no such thing to my master, the Lord's anointed, as to lay my hand upon him, because he is the Lord's anointed.

Anointed. He was chosen by God, and to be judge by him. (Calmet) --- Reges in ipsos imperium est Jovis. (Horace) --- David was not to mount the throne, till Saul was removed, by God's ordinance. (Worthington)
I Samuel 24:8 And David stopped his men with his words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul: but Saul, rising up out of the cave, went on his way.

I Samuel 24:9 And David also rose up after him: and going out of the cave, cried after Saul, saying: My lord the king. And Saul looked behind him: and David bowing himself down to the ground, worshipped,

I Samuel 24:10 And said to Saul: Why dost thou hear the words of men that say: David seeketh thy hurt?

I Samuel 24:11 Behold this day thy eyes have seen, that the Lord hath delivered thee into my hand, in the cave, and I had a thought to kill thee, but my eye hath spared thee. For I said: I will not put out my hand against my lord, because he is the Lord's anointed.

A thought to kill thee. That is, a suggestion, to which I did not consent. (Challoner) --- Hebrew, "and he spoke to kill thee, and he has pardoned thee; and he said, I will not," etc. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "and some bade me kill thee, but mine eye spared thee, and I said." Septuagint, "and I would not kill thee, and I spared thee, and said," etc. (Haydock)
I Samuel 24:12 Moreover, see and know, O my father, the hem of thy robe in my hand, that when I cut off the hem of thy robe, I would not put out my hand against thee. Reflect, and see, that there is no evil in my hand, nor iniquity, neither have I sinned against thee: but thou liest in wait for my life, to take it away.

Father. He had married Saul's daughter; (Menochius) and the king ought to be the common father of his people. (Haydock)
I Samuel 24:13 The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord revenge me of thee: but my hand shall not be upon thee.

Revenge me of thee; or, as it is in the Hebrew, will revenge me. The meaning is, that he refers his whole cause to God, to judge and punish according to his justice; yet so as to keep himself, in the mean time, from all personal hatred to Saul, or desire of gratifying his own passion, by seeking revenge. So far from it, that when Saul was afterwards slain, we find that, instead of rejoicing at his death, he mourned most bitterly for him. (Challoner) --- If it be lawful to seek redress from a magistrate, much more may we appeal to the Sovereign Judge! (Menochius)
I Samuel 24:14 As also it is said in the old proverb: From the wicked shall wickedness come forth: therefore my hand shall not be upon thee. After whom dost thou come out, O king of Israel?

Thee: the tree is known by its fruit. If therefore I have behaved in this manner, no longer trust the reports of others against me. (Calmet) --- The wicked, if left to themselves, will be their own tormentors. He may thus indirectly threaten Saul, as iniquity is often put for punishment. (Menochius) --- The wicked shall at last open their eyes, and be reclaimed. (Rabbins ap. Munster.) --- David entertained hopes that even Saul would now be convinced of his innocence. (Haydock)
I Samuel 24:15 After whom dost thou pursue? After a dead dog, after a flea.

Dog. This expression is still used to denote a contemptible person, 2 Kings 16:9. What honour can so great a king derive, from gaining the victory over a man unarmed? etc. (Calmet)
I Samuel 24:16 Be the Lord judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and judge my cause, and deliver me out of thy hand.

I Samuel 24:17 And when David had made an end of speaking these words to Saul, Saul said: Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept:

Voice. He was at such a distance, as not to be able to distinguish his features. --- Wept. The greatest reprobates may sometimes feel sentiments of compunction, so that we need not here doubt of Saul's sincerity. (Calmet) --- He might otherwise have turned upon David with his 3,000, and easily have seized his prey. (Haydock)
I Samuel 24:18 And he said to David: Thou art more just than I: for thou hast done good to me, and I have rewarded thee with evil.

I Samuel 24:19 And thou hast shewed this day what good things thou hast done to me: how the Lord delivered me into thy hand, and thou hast not killed me.

I Samuel 24:20 For who when he hath found his enemy, will let him go well away? But the Lord reward thee for this good turn, for what thou hast done to me this day.

I Samuel 24:21 And now as I know that thou shalt surely be king, and have the kingdom of Israel in thy hand:

I Samuel 24:22 Swear to me by the Lord, that thou wilt not destroy my seed after me, nor take away my name from the house of my father.

Father. David complied with this request as far as he was able: but, as God was resolved to punish the posterity of Saul, for the injury done to the Gabaonites, he was forced to give them all up, except Miphiboseth, the son of Jonathan. (Calmet) --- He could not promise to defend them, if they proved guilty.
I Samuel 24:23 And David swore to Saul. So Saul went home: and David and his men went up into safer places.

Places, knowing that no dependence was to be had on Saul. (Menochius) --- How blind and ungrateful must this king have been, thus to fight against the known designs of Providence, instead of endeavouring to reward and to make a friend of so great a person! (Haydock)
I Samuel 25:0 The death of Samuel. David, provoked by Nabal, threateneth to destroy him: but is appeased by Abigail.

I Samuel 25:1 And *Samuel died, and all Israel was gathered together, and they mourned for him, and buried him in his house in Ramatha. And David rose, and went down into the wilderness of Pharan.

Ecclesiasticus 46:23.
Year of the World 2947, Year before Christ 1057.; 1 Kings xxviii. Samuel died. The Rabbins say four months before Saul. (Seder, olam 13.) (Tirinus) --- Others believe about two years; and suppose that he was 98 years old, twenty of which he had been judge: (Calmet) Salien says 38, and that he lived seventy-seven years. (Menochius) --- On all these points the learned are divided, 1 Kings 7:15. They are more unanimous in praising (Haydock) the conduct of this most holy statesman. Grotius compares him with Aristides. (Calmet) --- But he Holy Ghost gives Samuel a far more glorious character, Ecclesiasticus 46:16., etc. (Haydock) --- Both he and his mother are figures of the two testaments. Anna becomes fruitful --- Samuel is substituted in the place of Heli. The sterility of Anna represents the incapacity of the Synagogue, to produce living and virtuous children. She bears Samuel, the figure of Jesus Christ, who reunites in his person the royal and the sacerdotal dignity. But under another point of view, Samuel, how perfect soever, must give place to the more perfect David, the glorious type of Jesus Christ, and thus the Synagogue, notwithstanding all her prerogatives, must yield to the Church. See St. Augustine, de C.[City of God?] 17:1, 4. Many of the ancients have looked upon Samuel as the high priest: but the generality have acknowledged that he was only a Levite, (Calmet) or an extraordinary priest, like Moses. (Haydock) --- All Israel, or many from every tribe, assembled to attend his funeral; (Tirinus) and all mourned for him, as they had done for Moses and Aaron. (Salien) --- House, or among his kindred, (Tirinus) in a place which he had chosen for his tomb. This is called the house of the wicked for ever; but the just raise their hopes much higher, and await a more splendid palace above, and a glorious resurrection. (Haydock) --- They would not bury Samuel in his dwelling-house, as it could not then be entered without incurring an uncleanness. (Calmet) --- His bones were translated with great respect to Constantinople, and a noble mausoleum was built for them by the emperor Justinian. (Procop. v.; St. Jerome, contra Vigil.) (Tirinus)
I Samuel 25:2 Now there was a certain man in the wilderness of Maon, and his possessions were in Carmel, and the man was very great: and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and it happened that he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.

Maon. Vatican Septuagint has the same word in the preceding verse, instead of Pharan. (Haydock) --- Possessions. Hebrew, "work." Cattle then formed the chief source of riches. Carmel and Maon were not far from Pharan, in Arabia. (Calmet)
I Samuel 25:3 Now the name of the man was Nabal: and the name of his wife was Abigail. And she was a prudent and very comely woman, but her husband was churlish, and very bad and ill natured: and he was of the house of Caleb.

Caleb, the famous companion of Josue. His name means, "a dog;" whence the Septuagint, "he was a Cynic." Josephus, "he followed the manners of the Cynics," who were remarkable for their impudence, like dogs. Caleb was of the same tribe as David, and ought to have been more favourable to him on that account, ver. 6. (Haydock)
I Samuel 25:4 And when David heard in the wilderness, that Nabal was shearing his sheep,

I Samuel 25:5 He sent ten young men, and said to them: Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and salute him in my name with peace.

I Samuel 25:6 And you shall say: Peace be to my brethren, and to thee, and peace to thy house, and peace to all that thou hast.

I Samuel 25:7 I have heard that thy shepherds that were with us in the desert were shearing: we never molested them, neither was there ought missing to them of the flock at any time, all the while they were with us in Carmel.

Molested them. This deserved some acknowledgment, as they might have done it with impunity. But David had also been of service to Nabal's men, as one of them told Abigail, ver. 16---21.
I Samuel 25:8 Ask thy servants, and they will tell thee. Now therefore let thy servants find favour in thy eyes: for we are come in a good day, whatsoever thy hand shall find give to thy servants, and to thy son David.

Good day, set aside for rejoicing, when the sheep were shorn, 2 Kings 13:24.
I Samuel 25:9 And when David's servants came, they spoke to Nabal all these words in David's name, and then held their peace.

I Samuel 25:10 But Nabal answering the servants of David, said: Who is David? and what is the son of Isai? servants are multiplied now a days who flee from their masters.

Masters. As if he had said, you and David are but fugitive slaves. (Calmet) --- He might also insinuate, that David encouraged such practices, 1 Kings 22:2. (Haydock)
I Samuel 25:11 Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and the flesh of my cattle, which I have killed for my shearers, and give to men whom I know not whence they are?

Water, under which name all sorts of drink are included. Nabal had plenty of wine, and was much intoxicated, ver. 36. Septuagint translate, "wine." Syriac and Arabic, "drink." --- Cattle. Hebrew, "victim," which is a term used both for sacred and profane feasts.
I Samuel 25:12 So the servants of David went back their way, and returning came and told him all the words that he said.

I Samuel 25:13 Then David said to his young men: Let every man gird on his sword. And they girded on every man his sword. And David also girded on his sword: and there followed David about four hundred men, and two hundred remained with the baggage.

I Samuel 25:14 But one of the servants told Abigail, the wife of Nabal, saying: Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness, to salute our master: and he rejected them.

Rejected them. Hebrew, "flew against them." Chaldean, "saw them with disgust."
I Samuel 25:15 These men were very good to us, and gave us no trouble: neither did we ever lose any thing all the time that we conversed with them in the desert.

I Samuel 25:16 They were a wall unto us, both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.

I Samuel 25:17 Wherefore consider, and think what thou hast to do: for evil is determined against thy husband, and against thy house, and he is a son of Belial, so that no man can speak to him.

Determined, and as if it had already taken place, 1 Kings 20:7.
I Samuel 25:18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves, and two vessels of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of dry figs, and laid them upon asses:

Raisins. Hebrew tsimmukim, "dried raisins," or clusters of an extraordinary size. Roger speaks of some gathered in the vale of Sorec, which weighed 25.5 pounds. (the year of the Lord 1634.) Septuagint, "a gomer of dry raisins." Syriac and Arabic, "a hundred cheeses." --- Cakes. Chaldean, "pounds." Hebrew is imperfect, two hundred....of figs. We must supply (Calmet) cakes, with the Protestants, etc., or pounds, with the Chaldean, (Haydock) as each of the cakes perhaps weighed so much. (Menochius)
I Samuel 25:19 And she said to her servants: Go before me: behold I will follow after you: but she told not her husband, Nabal.

Nabal. Knowing his churlish temper, and that he was drunk at this time, (ver. 36.; Haydock) she might be well excused from the ordinary laws which forbid a wife to dispose of her husband's property, without his consent. The emergency left no time for consultation. She gave a part to save the whole. (Calmet)
I Samuel 25:20 And when she had gotten upon an ass, and was coming down to the foot of the mountain, David and his men came down over against her, and she met them.

Foot. Hebrew, "in the obscurity," or road covered with trees. Septuagint, "in the shade." Chaldean, "on the side." David was descending from the mountains of Pharan, at the same time.
I Samuel 25:21 And David said: Truly in vain have I kept all that belonged to this fellow in the wilderness, and nothing was lost of all that pertained unto him: and he hath returned me evil for good.

I Samuel 25:22 May God do so and so, and add more to the foes of David, if I leave of all that belong to him till the morning, any that pisseth against the wall.

The enemies, is left out in some editions of the Septuagint. But David wishes all evils to himself, though, to avoid the ominous expression, he specifies his enemies, if he do not punish Nabal. --- Leave. David certainly sinned in his designs against Nabal and his family, as he himself was afterwards sensible, when he blessed God for hindering him from executing the revenge he had proposed. (Challoner) --- All. Chaldean, "any one who is come to the use of reason." Syriac and Arabic, "the least thing hanging upon the wall." I will destroy the guilty, and plunder all the valuable effects. (Calmet) --- But the Hebrew, Septuagint, etc., agree with the Vulgate and the meaning is, either that every man, or that every dog, and even the meanest things, should be enveloped in the general ruin. (Haydock) --- The manners of men vary, but those of dogs are always the same. Hence, it is more generally supposed that this expression (Calmet) denotes that even dogs shall be exterminated, and consequently other things for which Nabal would have a greater affection. (Haydock) --- Aurelian being irritated against the inhabitants of Thiane, swore, "I will not leave a dog in this town;" which all people explained as if he meant to leave nothing alive in it. But being afterwards moved with compassion at the distress of the people, he executed his threat literally, and killed all the dogs. (Vopisc.) See 3 Kings 14:10., and 15:29., and 21:21., and 4 Kings 5:6. (Bochart, Anim. 2:55.; Delrio, adag. 184.) (Calmet) --- The unhappy Geddes translates, "a dog," to avoid the indelicate allusion. It would have been well if he had allowed himself no greater liberties! (Haydock) --- The Hebrew mashtin, may denote a shepherd's or a mastiff dog. (Menochius)
I Samuel 25:23 And when Abigail saw David, she made haste and lighted off the ass, and fell before David, on her face, and adored upon the ground.

I Samuel 25:24 And she fell at his feet, and said: Upon me let this iniquity be, my lord: let thy handmaid speak, I beseech thee, in thy ears: and hear the words of thy servant.

Iniquity, or the punishment of this fault, ver. 28. (Calmet) --- She wishes to divest the mind of David from the consideration of her husband's incivility; and, after condemning it herself, insinuates that it would be unbecoming for a great king to mind so insignificant an enemy, ver. 28. (Haydock) --- Thus the emperor Adrian, and Louis XII, would not resent the affronts which they had received before they were raised to that high dignity. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 25:25 Let not my lord the king, I pray thee, regard this naughty man, Nabal: for according to his name, he is a fool, and folly is with him: but I, thy handmaid, did not see thy servants, my lord, whom thou sentest.

The king, is not in Hebrew, Septuagint, etc. David's title was not yet publicly acknowledged. (Calmet) ---But Abigail plainly alludes to it, ver. 28. (Haydock) --- Name. Nabal, in Hebrew, signifies a fool. (Calmet) --- Thus she extenuates his fault, by attributing it to a deficiency in understanding.
I Samuel 25:26 Now therefore, my lord, the Lord liveth, and thy soul liveth, who hath withholden thee from coming to blood, and hath saved thy hand to thee: and now let thy enemies be as Nabal, and all they that seek evil to my lord.

To thee. She felicitates David on not having put his design in execution. (Calmet) --- Theodoret thinks he might lawfully have done it; but others believe that the fault bore no proportion with the intended punishment. (Tirinus) --- As Nabal, devoid of sense. Abigail displays the eloquence of nature. (Calmet)
I Samuel 25:27 Wherefore receive this blessing, which thy handmaid hath brought to thee, my lord: and give it to the young men that follow thee, my lord.

Blessing, or present. (Menochius) See 2 Corinthians 9:5. (Calmet)
I Samuel 25:28 Forgive the iniquity of thy handmaid: for the Lord will surely make for my lord a faithful house, *because thou, my lord, fightest the battles of the Lord: let not evil therefore be found in thee all the days of thy life.

1 Kings 16:18.; 1 Kings 17:40.
House. Thy family shall long continue in the enjoyment of the royal power. Chaldean, "an established kingdom." (Haydock) --- Lord, as his general. --- Evil. Do no manner of injustice. Hebrew, "and evil hast not been found," etc. Hitherto thy life has been irreproachable. (Calmet)
I Samuel 25:29 For if a man at any time shall rise, and persecute thee, and seek thy life, the soul of my lord shall be kept, as in the bundle of the living, with the Lord thy God: but the souls of thy enemies shall be whirled, as with the violence and whirling of a sling.

Bundle. Such things are more secure than those which are loose. (Worthington) --- Of the living, or predestinate, over whom Providence watches in a particular manner. She seems to allude to the method of carrying pieces of silver in bundles, Proverbs 7:20. Chaldean, "the soul of my lord shall be in the treasury of the lives of the age, before the Lord God." (Calmet) --- It shall be preserved for length of days, like something most precious, (Haydock) while the wicked shall be in continual danger and anxiety, like a stone in a sling, Zacharias 9:15. By substituting c for b in Hebrew, the sense may be still more striking: "the soul of my lord shall be preserved like a living (precious, serviceable,) stone. But the soul of thy enemies shall be whirled in a sling." The Hebrews had a great esteem for slingers, so that this comparison would be sufficiently noble. A living stone is often mentioned both is sacred and in profane authors, 1 Peter 2:4. (Virgil, Aeneid 1:171.) Vivoque sedilia saxo.
I Samuel 25:30 And when the Lord shall have done to thee, my lord, all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have made thee prince over Israel,

Israel, a thing which all expected, and even Saul himself, 1 Kings 24:21.
I Samuel 25:31 This shall not be an occasion of grief to thee, and a scruple of heart to my lord, that thou hast shed innocent blood, or hast revenged thyself: and when the Lord shall have done well by my lord, thou shalt remember thy handmaid.

Scruple. Hebrew, "scandal," or sin, for David might defend himself, but ought not to attack or take revenge, like a king. (Grotius) --- Innocent. Many of Nabal's family were such, and even his fault did not deserve death. Hebrew, "shed blood without cause." (Calmet) --- Handmaid, who has suggested this good advice. (Menochius) --- David was so much pleased with her prudence and beauty, that he afterwards married her.
I Samuel 25:32 And David said to Abigail: Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me, and blessed be thy speech:

Speech. Hebrew, "advice, or wisdom." Septuagint, "conduct." (Calmet)
I Samuel 25:33 And blessed be thou, who hast kept me to-day from coming to blood, and revenging me with my own hand.

I Samuel 25:34 Otherwise, as the Lord liveth, the God of Israel, who hath withholden me from doing thee any evil, if thou hadst not quickly come to meet me, there had not been left to Nabal by the morning light, any that pisseth against the wall.

I Samuel 25:35 And David received at her hand all that she had brought him, and said to her: Go in peace into thy house, behold I have heard thy voice, and honoured thy face.

Face. I have been pleased with thy coming, and granted thy request. (Haydock) --- David had sworn with too much haste. (Calmet) --- "It is sometimes wrong to perform what has been promised, and to keep an oath." (St. Ambrose, Off. 1:C. ult.[last chapter])
I Samuel 25:36 And Abigail came to Nabal: and behold he had a feast in his house, like the feast of a king: and Nabal's heart was merry, for he was very drunk: and she told him nothing less or more until morning.

Morning. Admirable pattern of discretion, and how reprimands may be made with advantage. (Calmet) --- A medicine given at an improper time often does harm. (Pliny, [Natural History?] 17:27.) When a person said to Cleostratus, "Are you not ashamed to get drunk?" he replied, "Are you not ashamed to rebuke a drunken man?"
I Samuel 25:37 But early in the morning, when Nabal had digested his wine, his wife told him these words, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.

Stone. Stupified at the thought of the imminent danger to which he had foolishly exposed himself. So the poets represent Niobe as metamorphosed into a stone, at hearing of her children's death. (Tirinus) --- Josephus intimates that Nabal was killed by the malignant influence of the stars, sideratus. (Antiquities, 6:14.) Thus, says he, David "learnt that no wicked person can escape the vengeance of God, and that Providence does not neglect human affairs, and abandon them to chance."
I Samuel 25:38 And after ten days had passed, the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.

I Samuel 25:39 And when David had heard that Nabal was dead, he said: Blessed be the Lord, who hath judged the cause of my reproach, at the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil, and the Lord hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his head. Then David sent and treated with Abigail, that he might take her to himself for a wife.

Blessed be, etc. David praises God on this occasion, not out of joy for the death of Nabal, (which would have argued a rancour of heart) but because he saw that God had so visibly taken his cause in hand, in punishing the injury done to him; whilst, by a merciful providence, he kept him from revenging himself. (Challoner) (Psalm 57:10.)
I Samuel 25:40 And David's servants came to Abigail, to Carmel, and spoke to her, saying: David hath sent us to thee, to take thee to himself for a wife.

I Samuel 25:41 And she arose, and bowed herself down with her face to the earth, and said: Behold, let thy servant be a handmaid, to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.

Thy servant. She speaks to David's representatives, as if he had been present. (Haydock) --- The marriage was proposed probably a month or two after the death of Nabal; and Abigail followed the messengers, in a short time. (Menochius)
I Samuel 25:42 And Abigail arose, and made haste, and got upon an ass, and five damsels went with her, her waiting maids, and she followed the messengers of David, and became his wife.

I Samuel 25:43 Moreover David took also Achinoam of Jezrahel: and they were both of them his wives.

Took, or "had taken before," according to Josephus. Hence she is placed first, (Calmet) as the mother of David's first-born, Amnon, 2 Kings 3:2. (Menochius) --- Michol, whom he married first, had no children. (Haydock) --- Jezrahel, a city of Juda. (Menochius) (Josue 15:56.) --- There was another more famous place of this name is Issachar.
I Samuel 25:44 But Saul gave Michol, his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti, the son of Lais, who was of Gallim.

Phalti, or Phaltiel, 2 Kings 3:15. Saul violated all laws by so doing, and David took her back when he came to the throne, which he could not have done if he had given her a bill of divorce, Deuteronomy 24:4. (Calmet) --- Michol was not blameless in living thus with another man. (Menochius) --- The Rabbins say that a sword hindered Phalti from approaching her. (Horn in Sulp.) --- Gallim, a city of Benjamin, Isaias 10:30. (Calmet)
I Samuel 26:0 Saul goeth out again after David, who cometh by night where Saul and his men are asleep, but suffereth him not to be touched. Saul again confesseth his fault, and promiseth peace.

I Samuel 26:1 And *the men of Ziph came to Saul in Gabaa, saying: Behold David is hid in the hill of Hachila, which is over-against the wilderness.

1 Kings 23:19.
Year of the World 2947. Ziph. Having declared themselves so decidedly against David, they apprehended the utmost danger if he should ascend the throne. --- Hill. Hebrew, "Gabaa," as the Vulgate leaves it, ver. 3. It lay to the right hand of Ziph, (chap. 23:19,) or "of Jesimon." (Septuagint)
I Samuel 26:2 And Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having with him three thousand chosen men of Israel, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.

I Samuel 26:3 And Saul encamped in Gabaa Hachila, which was over-against the wilderness in the way: and David abode in the wilderness. And seeing that Saul was come after him into the wilderness,

I Samuel 26:4 He sent spies, and learned that he was most certainly come thither.

Certainly, or in a place strongly secured by nature. Septuagint, "well armed."
I Samuel 26:5 And David arose secretly, and came to the place where Saul was: and when he had beheld the place, wherein Saul slept, and Abner, the son of Ner, the captain of his army, and Saul sleeping in a tent, and the rest of the multitude round about him,

Tent, or covered chariot, such as the Scythians use in their marches, (Justin i.) or in a "royal tent." Septuagint lampene, (Pollux.; Menochius) "richly ornamented," (Lucifer of Cagliari) "in the midst" (Aquila) of his troops. (Calmet) --- David might see all was quiet from an eminence, or he might be informed by his spies. (Menochius)
I Samuel 26:6 David spoke to Achimelech, the Hethite, and Abisai, the son of Sarvia, the brother of Joab, saying: Who will go down with me to Saul into the camp? And Abisai said: I will go with thee.

Hethite. He had probably embraced the Jewish religion. --- Abisai was the son of Sarvia, David's sister, and made a great figure at court. (Calmet) --- David was directed by God to manifest his clemency (Menochius) and reverence for Saul in this perilous attempt. (Haydock)
I Samuel 26:7 So David and Abisai came to the people by night, and found Saul lying and sleeping in the tent, and his spear fixed in the ground at his head: and Abner and the people sleeping round about him.

I Samuel 26:8 And Abisai said to David: God hath shut up thy enemy this day into thy hands: now then I will run him through with my spear, even to the earth at once, and there shall be no need of a second time.

My. Hebrew, "the spear," which was fixed in the ground at Saul's pillow. Protestants, "let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear, even to the earth, at once, and I will not smite him a second time." (Haydock)
I Samuel 26:9 And David said to Abisai: Kill him not: for who shall put forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and shall be guiltless?

Guiltless. Saul was still his king, how wicked soever, and this title rendered his person inviolable. The eastern nations are very seldom guilty of rebellion, or of murdering their kings; a thing of which we find so many examples in the Roman, English, and French histories. (Calmet) --- A private man could not lay violent hands upon the king without a crime; and therefore David represses Abisai, and commits his cause to God, 1 Kings 24:13. (Menochius) --- He will not permit any one to destroy the life of the king, though he was already anointed to succeed him. (Worthington)
I Samuel 26:10 And David said: As the Lord liveth, unless the Lord shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go down to battle, and perish:

To die a natural death. Thus those who are slain, are said to die before their day, Psalm 54:28. Jesus was not taken, because his hour was not yet come, John 2:4., and 7:30. (Calmet) --- David waits with patience, that God might take off his adversary by sickness, old age, or the sword. (Menochius) -- He will not ascend the throne before the time appointed, and he will not kill Saul, except it be in battle, in his own defence. (Haydock)
I Samuel 26:11 The Lord be merciful unto me, and keep me that I never put forth my hand against the Lord's anointed. But now take the spear which is at his head, and the cup of water, and let us go.

I Samuel 26:12 So David took the spear, and the cup of water which was at Saul's head, and they went away: and no man saw it, or knew it, or awaked, but they were all asleep, for a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them.

Water, for refreshment, or for purifications. --- Lord. It is not necessary to have recourse to a miracle, (Calmet) though it must have been by a special providence that all continued in such a deep sleep, (Haydock) to give David an opportunity of manifesting his innocence. (Worthington)
I Samuel 26:13 And when David was gone over to the other side, and stood on the top of the hill afar off, and a good space was between them,

I Samuel 26:14 David cried to the people, and to Abner, the son of Ner, saying: Wilt thou not answer, Abner? And Abner answering, said: Who art thou, that criest, and disturbest the king?

I Samuel 26:15 And David said to Abner: Art not thou a man? and who is like thee in Israel? why then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to kill the king thy lord.

Israel. This was a cutting irony. (Calmet) --- Salien attributes to it the enmity which Abner bore to David for above seven years. (Menochius)
I Samuel 26:16 This thing is not good, that thou hast done: as the Lord liveth, you are the sons of death, who have not kept your master, the Lord's anointed. And now where is the king's spear, and the cup of water, which was at his head?

Death; i.e., you deserve to die. Such negligence was punishable with death, according to the Roman laws; et qui excubias. (Grotius)
I Samuel 26:17 And Saul knew David's voice, and said: Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said: It is my voice, my lord the king.

I Samuel 26:18 And he said: Wherefore doth my lord persecute his servant? What have I done? or what evil is there in my hand?

I Samuel 26:19 Now therefore hear, I pray thee, my lord the king, the words of thy servant: If the Lord stir thee up against me, let him accept of sacrifice: but if the sons of men, they are cursed in the sight of the Lord, who have cast me out this day, that I should not dwell in the inheritance of the Lord, saying: Go, serve strange gods.

Sacrifice, that he may be appeased; (Jonathan; Vatable) or rather, I am willing to fall a victim, (Menochius) and pray that thy sacrifice may be acceptable, and all thy designs against me succeed, Psalm 19:4. --- They are. The opposition of this sentence to the preceding seems to require "let them be," etc. What in effect did not those deserve who wished to make David adore false gods? (Calmet) --- Lord in the land of Israel. --- Gods. They said so, at least by their actions. (Menochius) --- All other countries were in a manner abandoned to idol-worship, so that a person could not dwell in them, without the most imminent danger. See 2 Kings 14:16., and Psalm 83:12. (Calmet)
I Samuel 26:20 And now let not my blood be shed upon the earth before the Lord: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as the partridge is hunted in the mountains.

Before, and contrary to the decrees of the Lord, (Haydock) who will be my avenger. --- Hunted, (persequitur) is here used in a passive sense; (Calmet) or it may be rendered, "as a partridge pursues" what it feeds upon. (Haydock)
I Samuel 26:21 And Saul said: I have sinned; return, my son David, for I will no more do thee harm, because my life hath been precious in thy eyes this day: for it appeareth that I have done foolishly, and have been ignorant in very many things.

Precious, and treated as such, with care and respect. See 4 Kings 1:14., Psalm 48:9., and Isaias 43:4. --- Ignorant. Yet Saul was inexcusable, 2 Kings 24:10, etc.
I Samuel 26:22 And David answering, said: Behold the king's spear: let one of the king's servants come over and fetch it.

It. He would not keep the spear, lest it might seem disrespectful.
I Samuel 26:23 And the Lord will reward every one according to his justice, and his faithfulness: for the Lord hath delivered thee this day into my hand, and I would not put forth my hand against the Lord's anointed.

I Samuel 26:24 And as thy life hath been much set by this day in my eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the Lord, and let him deliver me from all distress.

Set by. Literally, "magnified," or deemed very precious. (Haydock) --- Distress. These were the last words which David addressed to Saul; and they seem to have made a deep impression upon him. But as no dependance could be placed on Saul's most solemn promises, David resolved, by God's advice, to retire to the country of Geth. (Salien, the year of the world 2978)
I Samuel 26:25 Then Saul said to David: Blessed art thou, my son David: and truly doing thou shalt do, and prevailing thou shalt prevail. And David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

Prevail, and mount the throne. --- Place, Gabaa. (Menochius)
I Samuel 27:0 David goeth again to Achis, king of Geth, and obtaineth of him the city of Siceleg.

I Samuel 27:1 And *David said in his heart: I shall one day or other fall into the hands of Saul: is it not better for me to flee, and to be saved in the land of the Philistines, that Saul may despair of me, and cease to seek me in all the coasts of Israel? I will flee then out of his hands.

Year of the World 2947. Hands. God requires that we should act with prudence. (Du Hamel) --- David probably consulted the Lord, and sent ambassadors to Achis, before he went into his dominions, (Menochius) where he had been in such danger before. (Du Hamel)
I Samuel 27:2 And David arose, and went away, both he and the six hundred men that were with him, to Achis, the son of Maoch, king of Geth.

Maoch, or Maacha, 3 Kings 2:29. This king had perhaps seen David, when he counterfeited madness. But now he was convinced that, by granting him protection, he would greatly annoy Saul, and draw many brave men out of his dominions.
I Samuel 27:3 And David dwelt with Achis at Geth, he and his men; every man with his household, and David with his two wives, Achinoam, the Jezrahelitess, and Abigail, the wife of Nabal of Carmel.

Household. They were aware of the cruelty of Saul. The names of these valiant men are specified, 1 Paralipomenon 12:1., etc.
I Samuel 27:4 And it was told Saul that David was fled to Geth, and he sought no more after him.

I Samuel 27:5 And David said to Achis: If I have found favour in thy sight, let a place be given me in one of the cities of this country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?

Country, less peopled, and more remote from the sea. --- With thee. David was attended like a king, so that he wished to avoid giving umbrage to Achis, and, at the same time, keep his own men at a greater distance from the contagious morals of the idolaters.
I Samuel 27:6 Then Achis gave him Siceleg that day: for which reason Siceleg belongeth to the kings of Juda unto this day.

Day. This was written some time after the death of Samuel. --- Siceleg belonged at first to Juda, and was afterwards given to the tribe of Simeon, till it fell into the hands of the Philistines, and being restored by them to David, was considered afterwards as the property of the kings of Juda. It lay not far from Horma, Josue 19:4.
I Samuel 27:7 And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines, was four months.

Months. Hebrew, "days and four months." The former expression denotes a year; though some would have it, that David remained "four months and a few days" in the country. He probably continued so many months at Geth, (ver. 9, 11,) and about a year at Siceleg. (Calmet) --- Septuagint have "days, four months;" and Salien adopts that term. (Haydock) See 1 Kings 29:3. (Du Hamel)
I Samuel 27:8 And David and his men went up, and pillaged Gessuri, and Gerzi, and the Amalecites: for these were of old the inhabitants of the countries, as men go to Sur, even to the land of Egypt.

Pillaged Gessuri, etc. These probably were enemies of the people of God; and some, if not all of them, were of the number of those whom God had ordered to be destroyed; which justifies David's proceedings in their regard. Though it is to be observed here, that we are not under an obligation of justifying every thing that he did: for the Scripture, in relating what was done, doth not say that it was well done. And even such as are true servants of God, are not to be imitated in all they do. (Challoner) --- The nations of Chanaan, who inhabited as far as Egypt, and the Amalecites, who had escaped the arms of Saul, were devoted to destruction, Exodus xvii., etc. In such cases, any man might fall upon them, without any other formal declaration of war. (Calmet) --- There was another Gessuri of Syria, in the tribe of Manasses, across the Jordan. (Menochius) --- The country which these people inhabited, to the south of Palestine, was afterwards depopulated by the kings of Egypt and of Syria, in their continual wars, so that many of the cities which are mentioned in Scripture, were never known to profane geographers. (Calmet) --- St. Jerome, (Trad.) Sa, and others, think that David attacked some of the Philistines. But it is as probable at least that he would abstain from molesting them, who had so generously afforded him an asylum. Salien concludes, that he did not attack the other nations, (except the Amalecites, who were sufficiently marked out for destruction, Deuteronomy 25:19,) without consulting the Lord, by the high priest, as he was accustomed to do in every difficulty. (Salien, the year of the world 2979) (Menochius) --- They all dwelt in part of the land of Chanaan, (Worthington) which was sufficient. (Haydock)
I Samuel 27:9 And David wasted all the land, and left neither man nor woman alive: and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned and came to Achis.

Apparel. Saul alone had been ordered to destroy all the property of Amalec. (Abulensis)
I Samuel 27:10 And Achis said to him: Whom hast thou gone against to-day? David answered: Against the south of Juda, and against the south of Jerameel, and against the south of Ceni.

Jerameel, the son of Esron, inhabited the most southern parts of Juda. --- Ceni, or the Cinites, descendants of Jethro, (Calmet) who dwelt at Arad and the environs. The words of David might signify that he attacked these people of Israel, as Achis understood him; or that he made inroads upon those who dwelt to the south of them, which was really the case. (Haydock) --- At his return, he passed by Siceleg, where he left the spoil, carrying some of the choicest things, as a present, to Achis. (Menochius) --- But he suffered none of the human race to be carried away captive, lest any of them might disclose the true state of affairs to the king, who might have apprehended that the injured nations would make an attack upon his dominions. (Salien)
I Samuel 27:11 And David saved neither man nor woman, neither brought he any of them to Geth, saying: Lest they should speak against us. So did David, and such was his proceeding all the days that he dwelt in the country of the Philistines.

I Samuel 27:12 And Achis believed David, saying: He hath done much harm to his people Israel: Therefore he shall be my servant for ever.

Harm. Hebrew, "he hath made himself stinking (an object of horror) to his people." A strong expression used, Genesis 34:30., and Exodus 5:21. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "he is quite covered with confusion." Achis supposed that David had thus forfeited all his pretensions to dwell among, much less, to reign over Israel: so that he might keep him always in his service. (Haydock) --- In the mean time, Saul was exterminating the people of Gabaon, which brought a pestilence on Israel, 40 years after. (Theodoret) --- He perhaps supposed that the oath of Josue had not been yet put in execution, as it ought to be, herein indulging too much his cruel temper. (Salien)
I Samuel 28:0 The Philistines go out to war against Israel. Saul being forsaken by God, hath recourse to a witch. Samuel appeareth to him.

I Samuel 28:1 And *it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered together their armies, to be prepared for war against Israel: And Achis said to David: Know thou now assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to the war, thou, and thy men.

Year of the World 2949, Year before Christ 1055. Israel. God made use of the ill-will of the Philistines to punish Saul, and to make way for David to the throne. (Salien) --- Each of the five lords brought their armies into the field, where they were united. Achis, placing the greatest confidence in David, requires his attendance. (Calmet)
I Samuel 28:2 And David said to Achis: Now thou shalt know what thy servant will do. And Achis said to David: And I will appoint thee to guard my life for ever.

Do; or "can do." Thou wilt be convinced of my valour and fidelity. (Haydock) --- But could David lawfully fight against his brethren? or could he desert Achis in the heat of the engagement? His answer is ambiguous. (Calmet) --- He prudently committed his cause into the hands of Providence, resolved to do nothing contrary to his duty, and to abide by God's decision, in this critical juncture, so that Cajetan blames him unjustly. (Salien; Menochius; Tirinus) --- Guard. Septuagint, "captain of my body guard."
I Samuel 28:3 *Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel mourned for him, and buried him in Ramatha, his city. And Saul had put away all the magicians and soothsayers out of the land.

1 Kings 25:1.; Ecclesiasticus 46:23.
Samuel. His death is here recorded, as well as the abolition of magic, to explain what follows, when Saul, not being able to obtain an answer from God, as his prophet had been withdrawn in anger, had recourse to the devil. (Haydock) --- Land, while he reigned virtuously, (Menochius) according to the law, Leviticus 19:31., and Deuteronomy 18:11.
I Samuel 28:4 And the Philistines were gathered together, and came and encamped in Sunam: and Saul also gathered together all Israel, and came to Gelboe.

Gelboe. So that he occupied the parts south of the vale of Jezrahel, while the Philistines were encamped on the north, in the tribe of Issachar. (Menochius)
I Samuel 28:5 And Saul saw the army of the Plilistines, and was afraid, and his heart was very much dismayed.

Dismayed. It was so numerous, while his own conscience upbraided him with being at enmity with God, who increased his fears. (Salien)
I Samuel 28:6 And he consulted the Lord, and he answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by priests, nor by prophets.

Dreams. During which God often revealed his will. See Deuteronomy 13:3. --- Priests. Hebrew, "nor by Urim." It seems Saul had appointed some priests, and had fabricated a fresh ephod, with the Urim, etc., after the departure of Abiathar. (Calmet) --- But Salien calls this in question, and there might neither be priests nor prophets for Saul to consult. (Haydock) --- God despised a man, who had slain so many of his sacred ministers. (Menochius)
I Samuel 28:7 And Saul said to his servants: Seek me a woman that hath a *divining spirit, and I will go to her, and enquire by her. And his servants said to him: There is a woman that hath a divining spirit at Endor.

Leviticus 20:27.; Deuteronomy 18:11.; Acts 16:16.
Spirit. Hebrew, "an ob," or vessel distended, as such impostors seemed to swell at the presence of the spirit. Septuagint, "a belly talker." They endeavour to speak from that part. We read of some who, without magic, have possessed the art in great perfection, so as to deceive the company, and make them think that some one was calling them from a great distance; as was the case with one Farming in England, 1645. (Dickenson, C. 9.) --- Brodeus mentions that the valet of Francis I could thus counterfeit the speech of people deceased, and by these means prevailed upon a rich young woman to marry him, and a banker of Lyons to give him a large sum of money. James Rodoginus, a possessed person in Italy, 1513, could make articulate sounds from the hollow of his belly, when his lips and nostrils were closed up. The oracles of idols were generally given in a low tone, as if they proceeded from the earth. Submissi petimus terram et vox fertur ad aures. (Virgil) --- Those of Apollo were the most famous, and hence a divining spirit is called a Python. Saul must have been stupidly blind, thus to depend on what he had formerly banished with such care. (Calmet) --- He flattered himself that some would still be left, especially among the women, who are most addicted to superstition, as well as to religion. (Menochius) --- Endor was distant from Gelboe about four hours' walk. (Adrichomius) --- But Saul made a long circuit to avoid the enemy. (Salien, 5:20.)
I Samuel 28:8 Then he disguised himself: and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night, and he said to her: Divine to me by thy divining spirit, and bring me up him whom I shall tell thee.

Clothes, that he might not fill the woman or his army with dismay. (Calmet)
I Samuel 28:9 And the woman said to him: Behold thou knowest all that Saul hath done, and how he hath rooted out the magicians and soothsayers from the land: why then dost thou lay a snare for my life, to cause me to be put to death?

I Samuel 28:10 And Saul swore unto her by the Lord, saying: As the Lord liveth, there shall no evil happen to thee for this thing.

Thing. He adds this crime of swearing unjustly, to all the rest. (Saline[Salien?])
I Samuel 28:11 And the woman said to him: Whom shall I bring up to thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.

Samuel. Here we behold the antiquity of necromancy, which is a proof that people believed the soul's immortality; animas responsa daturas. (Horace, 1:sat. 8.) (Calmet) --- Protestants sometimes deny (Haydock) that souls appear again, contrary to this history and Matthew xvii. (St. Augustine) (Worthington)
I Samuel 28:12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice, and said to Saul: Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.

Woman. The Rabbins pretend that she was Abner's mother, (Calmet) which is extremely improbable, as he was of the tribe of Benjamin, and a man of such renown. (Salien) --- Theodoret follows their opinion, in supposing that the woman was startled, because Samuel appeared in a standing posture, and not with his feet upwards, or lying down on his back, as in a coffin, which they say (Calmet) is the usual manner of spirits appearing to people of her character. (Bellarmine, Purgat. 2:6.) --- She cried out, because he appeared before she had begun her incantations, and was arrayed like a priest, according to Josephus, (Haydock) in great majesty, or she pretended to see him, the better to impose upon the king; for some think that all was a delusion. (Calmet) --- Saul. This she learnt either from Samuel, (Josephus) or from her familiar spirit. (Menochius)
I Samuel 28:13 And the king said to her: Fear not: what hast thou seen? and the woman said to Saul: I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

Gods, or one venerable and divine personage. (Worthington) --- Elohim, is applied to Samuel for greater honour. It is a title given to the true God, to idols, and people in dignity. (Calmet)
I Samuel 28:14 And he said to her: What form is he of? And she said: An old man cometh up, and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul understood that it was Samuel, and he bowed himself with his face to the ground, and adored.

Understood that it was Samuel. It is the more common opinion of the holy fathers, and interpreters, that the soul of Samuel appeared indeed; and not, as some have imagined, an evil spirit in his shape. Not that the power of her magic could bring him thither, but that God was pleased for the punishment of Saul, that Samuel himself should denounce unto him the evils that were falling upon him. See Ecclesiasticus 46:23. (Challoner) --- The passage is decisive; (Tirinus) he slept and he made known to the king, and shewed him the end of his life, and he lifted up his voice from the earth, in prophecy, etc. Those who have called in question the reality of Samuel's apparition, seem not to have remembered this passage. (Haydock) --- Yet his soul was not united to his body, (Salien) nor was he adduced by the power of the devil, but (Du Hamel) by a just judgment of God, to denounce destruction to the wicked king. (St. Augustine, etc.) (Tirinus) --- The woman, beholding Samuel, fled out of the place, to Saul's companions, and left him alone with the king, ver. 21. --- Adored Samuel with an inferior honour, as the friend of God, exalted in glory. (Salien) --- That Samuel really appeared, is the more common opinion of the fathers. (St. Augustine, Cura. xv.) (Worthington)
I Samuel 28:15 And Samuel said to Saul: *Why hast thou disturbed my rest, that I should be brought up? And Saul said: I am in great distress: for the Philistines fight against me, and God is departed from me, and would not hear me, neither by the hand of prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayst shew me what I shall do.

Ecclesiasticus 46:23.
Up. To inform a person of something very terrible, is distressing; and though the saints deceased cannot partake in the afflictions of mortals, yet we read that "the angels of peace will weep, but they will approve of the just sentence of the judge" against the reprobate. (Haydock) --- The Scripture language conforms itself to the opinions of the people, who thought that such avocations disturbed the soul's repose. Hence the fathers at [the Synod of] Elvira (Canon xxxi.) forbid "the lighting of wax candles in church-yards during the day, for the spirits of the saints are not to be disquieted." Isaias (xiv. 9,) represents hell all in commotion, at the approach of the king of Babylon. These expressions are figurative. (Calmet) --- God does not encourage magical arts, on this occasion, but rather prevents their operation, as he did, when Balaam would have used some superstitious practices, Numbers xxiv. (Du Hamel)
I Samuel 28:16 And Samuel said: Why askest thou me, seeing the Lord has departed from thee, and is gone over to thy rival?

Rival. How vain is it to expect that a prophet can give an answer, when the Lord is silent! Hebrew, "is become thy enemy." (Haydock)
I Samuel 28:17 For the Lord will do to thee as he spoke by me, and he will rend thy kingdom out of thy hand, and will give it to thy neighbour David:

To thee. Hebrew, "to him." This was only a repetition of what Samuel had before denounced, 1 Kings 15:28. If the evil spirit spoke this, he was not guilty of falsehood, no more than [in] Matthew 8:29. (Calmet) --- But would he dare so often to repeat the name of the Lord? (Haydock) --- Could he know what would happen to Saul, etc., the next day? (Worthington)
I Samuel 28:18 Because thou didst not obey the voice of the Lord, neither didst thou execute the wrath of his indignation upon Amalec. Therefore hath the Lord done to thee what thou sufferest this day.

I Samuel 28:19 And the Lord also will deliver Israel with thee into the hands of the Philistines: and to-morrow thou and thy sons shall be with me: and the Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.

To-morrow. Usher supposes some days afterwards. But all might take place the day after this was spoken. (Calmet) --- Sons, except Isboseth, who enjoyed, for a time, part of his father's kingdom. (Haydock) --- With me. That is, in the state of the dead, and in another world, though not in the same place. (Challoner)
I Samuel 28:20 And forthwith Saul fell all along on the ground; for he was frightened with the words of Samuel, and there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no bread all that day.

Day, through excessive anguish. (Haydock) --- He fainted away; upon which his attendants and the woman rushed in. (Salien)
I Samuel 28:21 And the woman came to Saul, (for he was very much troubled) and said to him: Behold thy handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put my life in my hand: and I hearkened unto the words which thou spokest to me.

Hand, in the most imminent danger. See Judges 12:3.
I Samuel 28:22 Now therefore, I pray thee, hearken thou also the voice of thy handmaid, and let me set before thee a morsel of bread, that thou mayest eat and recover strength, and be able to go on thy journey.

I Samuel 28:23 But he refused, and said: I will not eat. But his servants and the woman forced him, and at length hearkening to their voice, he arose from the ground, and sat upon the bed.

I Samuel 28:24 Now the woman had a fatted calf in the house, and she made haste and killed it: and taking meal, kneaded it, and baked some unleavened bread,

Calf, destined for a victim or feast, Luke 15:23., and Proverbs 15:17. (Calmet) --- The generosity of this woman deserves commendation. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] 6:15.) (Haydock)
I Samuel 28:25 And set it before Saul, and before his servants. And when they had eaten they rose up, and walked all that night.

I Samuel 29:0 David going with the Philistines, is sent back by their princes.

I Samuel 29:1 Now *all the troops of the Philistines were gathered together to Aphec: and Israel also camped by the fountain, which is in Jezrahel.

Year of the World 2947. Aphec. Hence they proceeded to Sunam, and attacked Saul, near the fountain, which were all places in the vale of Jezrahel. The sacred writer thus leaves the two armies ready to engage, being intent on giving the particulars of David's history, and only relating the affairs of Saul, etc., in as much as they may refer to him. (Calmet) --- David had retired from the army of the Philistines before Saul went to Endor, and some of the tribe of Manasses went after him, and were present in the battle, in which the Amalecites were slain and plundered, 1 Paralipomenon 12:19. (Salien)
I Samuel 29:2 And the lords of the Philistines marched with their hundreds and their thousands: but David and his men were in the rear with Achis.

Thousands, making the troops pass in review, as the Hebrew insinuates. Their army seems to have been divided, in the same manner as that of the Israelites, each company of 10, 50, etc., having its respective officer, under the five lords. --- Were. Hebrew, "passed." David's band was connected with the troops of Achis, yet so that they might be easily distinguished by their dress, etc. (Calmet) --- The Roman Triarii, who were esteemed the bravest soldiers, occupied the rear. (Menochius) --- Josephus gives us to understand that Achis was the commander in chief. (Antiquities 6:14.) (Tirinus)
I Samuel 29:3 And the princes of the Philistines said to Achis: What mean these Hebrews? And Achis said to the princes of the Philistines: Do you not know David, who was the servant of Saul, the king of Israel, and hath been with me many days, or years, and I have found no fault in him, since the day that he fled over to me until this day?

Know David. It seems they were not unacquainted with him, since they knew that Achis had given him a place, (ver. 4,) or city. (Haydock) --- But they prudently judged that it would be very hazardous to employ him on this occasion. Providence thus brought him honourably out of the scrape, as he could not have remained even inactive, among the troops of the Philistines, without rendering himself suspected both to them and to his own people. (Calmet) --- Years. Abulensis thinks that Achis told an untruth, to persuade the lords that he had been long witness of David's fidelity. He might also allude to the first time, when he came to his court, or the four months specified [in] 1 Kings 27:9, might fall into different years. Septuagint, "he has been with us days, this is the second year." (Menochius) --- Syriac, "two years (Arabic, "one year," and some months." (Calmet) --- The true term was only four months. (Worthington)
I Samuel 29:4 *But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him, and they said to him: Let this man return, and abide in his place, which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest he be an adversary to us, when we shall begin to fight: for how can he otherwise appease his master, but with our heads?

1 Kings 27:8.; 1 Paralipomenon 12:19.
Adversary. Hebrew Satan, "a calumniator, enemy," etc. (Calmet) --- Tacitus (Hist. iv.) speaking of the Batavian corps, says, "which, being bribed, pretended to be faithful, that it might flee, and become more acceptable after it had betrayed the Romans in the heat of the engagement."
I Samuel 29:5 Is not this David, to whom they sung in their dances, saying: Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?

I Samuel 29:6 Then Achis called David, and said to him: As the Lord liveth, thou art upright and good in my sight: and so is thy going out, and thy coming in with me in the army: and I have not found any evil in thee, since the day that thou camest to me unto this day: but thou pleasest not the lords.

Lord. Hebrew Jehova. (Haydock) --- Achis speaks of the true God, as David was accustomed to do. (Salien) --- Perhaps he adored him, like his other gods; as the Israelites are accused of swearing by the Lord and by Melchom, Sophonias 1:5. --- The pagans often appealed to the gods of those with whom they were treating. (Calmet)
I Samuel 29:7 Return therefore, and go in peace, and offend not the eyes of the princes of the Philistines.

I Samuel 29:8 And David said to Achis: But what have I done, and what hast thou found in me thy servant, from the day that I have been in thy sight until this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?

King. He speaks thus that he might not increase the suspicions of the Philistines. (Menochius) --- In the mean time, God called him to fight against Amalec, and to defend his own property, which was actually, or the next day, taken from Siceleg; (Haydock) so that nothing could have been more desirable to him, than to be thus dismissed with applause. (Salien)
I Samuel 29:9 And Achis answering, said to David: I know that thou art good in my sight, *as an angel of God: But the princes of the Philistines have said: He shall not go up with us to the battle.

2 Kings 14:17.; 2 Kings 20.; 2 Kings 19:27.
Angel of God, equally incapable of any meanness. The pagans admitted the existence of good and of evil spirits. (Sanctius) This exaggerated compliment occurs, Genesis 33:10., 2 Kings 14:17., and 19:27.
I Samuel 29:10 Therefore arise in the morning, thou, and the servants of thy lord, who came with thee: and when you are up before day, and it shall begin to be light, go on your way.

Thy Lord. He may allude to Saul, (ver. 3,) or to himself, (chap. 5:8,) or to God, as David was under obligations to all three. (Haydock) --- Light, that none might know or be dejected, in the rest of the army. (Menochius)
I Samuel 29:11 So David and his men arose in the night, that they might set forward in the morning, and returned to the land of the Philistines: and the Philistines went up to Jezrahel.

I Samuel 30:0 The Amalecites burn Siceleg, and carry off the prey: David pursueth after them, and recovereth all out of their hands.

I Samuel 30:1 Now *when David and his men were come to Siceleg on the third day, the Amalecites had made an invasion on the south side upon Siceleg, and had smitten Siceleg, and burnt it with fire,

1 Paralipomenon 12:20.
Year of the World 2949. Day. It was distant from Aphec about 90 miles. --- Smitten, yet without killing any. (Calmet) --- We may adore a merciful Providence, which prevented these barbarians from treating David's men as he had treated theirs, 1 Kings 27:11. (Salien, the year before Christ 1074.) --- He would allow them to burn the city, etc., that David might be roused to execute the divine vengeance upon them. (Theodoret)
I Samuel 30:2 And had taken the women captives that were in it, both little and great: and they had not killed any person, but had carried them with them, and went on their way.

I Samuel 30:3 So when David and his men came to the city, and found it burnt with fire, and that their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives,

I Samuel 30:4 David and the people that were with him, lifted up their voices, and wept till they had no more tears.

Tears. Hebrew, "till they had no more power to weep." (Menochius) --- See Lamentations 2:11. Cicero exclaims, Hei mihi! consumptis enim lachrymis, infixus tamen haeret in corde dolor. (Phil. ii.)
I Samuel 30:5 For the two wives also of David were taken captives, Achinoam, the Jezrahelitess, and Abigail, the wife of Nabal of Carmel.

I Samuel 30:6 And David was greatly afflicted: for the people had a mind to stone him, for the soul of every man was bitterly grieved for his sons and daughters: but David took courage in the Lord his God.

Stone him, as the author of all their losses, because he had not left a sufficient garrison at Siceleg, and had irritated the Amalecites. Inconstant people! they thought that he was indebted to them for all that he possessed! (Calmet) --- David, without being too much dejected, sought out for an immediate remedy, and led them on to battle. Their ancestors had once threatened to stone Moses, Exodus xvii., etc. (Tirinus)
I Samuel 30:7 And he said to Abiathar, the priest, the son of Achimelech: Bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought the ephod to David.

To David. Some think that David put on the ephod; but this was the function of the high priest, who, according to Grotius, turned towards David, that he might see the brightness of the precious stones. See Exodus 28:30. By means of the priest David was enlightened. (Worthington)
I Samuel 30:8 And David consulted the Lord, saying: Shall I pursue after these robbers, and shall I overtake them, or not? And the Lord said to him: Pursue after them: for thou shalt surely overtake them and recover the prey.

I Samuel 30:9 So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and they came to the torrent Besor: and some, being weary, stayed there.

Besor is formed by the water falling from the mountains of Idumea, and discharges itself into the Mediterranean, below Gaza. (Calmet) --- Some take it to be the torrent of the desert, or the river of Egypt. Adrichomius makes it run from the mountains of Juda, so as to form the southern boundary of the tribe of Simeon. (Haydock)
I Samuel 30:10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred stayed, who, being weary, could not go over the torrent Besor.

Weary. Hebrew pigru, denotes those who are "lazy and dead." Septuagint, "some sat down on the other side of the torrent." Syriac and Arabic insinuate, to defend the passage. But why then do the rest complain? (Calmet) --- They acted irrationally, as David shewed afterwards. Some of the 600 might well be more exhausted than others, and these were selected to guard the baggage, ver. 24. This was only the third day since they left Aphec, ver. 1. (Haydock)
I Samuel 30:11 And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David: and they gave him bread to eat, and water to drink,

I Samuel 30:12 As also a piece of a cake of figs, and two bunches of raisins. And when he had eaten them, his spirit returned, and he was refreshed: for he had not eaten bread, nor drunk water three days and three nights.

Raisins. Hebrew tsimmukim. See 1 Kings 25:18. (Calmet) --- The soldiers very prudently took some provisions with them, as they were going into a desert country. (Menochius)
I Samuel 30:13 And David said to him: To whom dost thou belong; or whence dost thou come? and whither art thou going? He said: I am a young man of Egypt, the servant of an Amalecite, and my master left me, because I began to be sick three days ago.

Ago. His master's inhumanity was justly punished, and God provided for the safety of this poor slave, while he sent a guide for David. (Haydock)
I Samuel 30:14 For we made an invasion on the south side of Cerethi, and upon Juda, and upon the south of Caleb, and we burnt Siceleg with fire.

Cerethi, denotes the Philistines, (R. David. See ver. 16.; Haydock) who came originally from Crete, 2 Kings 15:18., and Ezechiel 25:16. (Calmet) --- They might be natives of some province of the Philistines, (Vatable) belonging to Gaza, (Menochius) or Geth. (Haydock) --- Caleb. Hebron and Cariath-sepher fell to his share. The enemy had a good opportunity to ravage all those places, as most of the soldiers were absent (Calmet) at Jezrahel. (Haydock)
I Samuel 30:15 And David said to him: Canst thou bring me to this company? and he said: Swear to me by God, that thou wilt not kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee to this company. And David swore to him.

Him. David did not require this slave to betray his master, for the latter had lost all his claim, and David had acquired it by relieving the distressed. Si herus negaverit servo suo alimenta, et alius suppeditet, sit occupantis. See Martyr. and the Roman laws. The Amalecites dwelt in tents, and the slave knew where they commonly lodged. (Calmet) --- Perhaps his master had told him where to meet him, in case he recovered.
I Samuel 30:16 And when he had brought him, behold they were lying spread upon all the ground, eating and drinking, and as it were keeping a festival day, for all the prey and the spoils which they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Juda.

Drinking. Hebrew adds, "and dancing," (Salien) in honour of their gods. (Menochius)
I Samuel 30:17 And David slew them from the evening unto the evening of the next day, and there escaped not a man of them, but four hundred young men, who had gotten upon camels, and fled.

Evening. Hebrew, "twilight," in the morning (Calmet) or evening. (Haydock) --- Some think that the pursuit lasted three days; others only from three till five in the evening. But David more probably slaughtered the intoxicated people, during the space of a whole day, from morning till evening. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "from the morning or evening star rising, apo eosphorou, till the afternoon, and on the following day," (Haydock) which commenced at sun-set. (Calmet) --- It was no battle, but flight and carnage. (Menochius)
I Samuel 30:18 So David recovered all that the Amalecites had taken, and he rescued his two wives.

I Samuel 30:19 And there was nothing missing small or great, neither of their sons or their daughters, nor of the spoils, and whatsoever they had taken, David recovered all.

All, excepting what had been eaten, or consumed with fire. (Menochius)
I Samuel 30:20 And he took all the flocks and the herds, and made them go before him: and they said: This is the prey of David.

And made. Hebrew, "which they drove before those things (or cattle," taken from the Amalecites. Haydock) "which were separated from those which David had recovered." Each one reclaimed what he had lost. Perhaps David's portion was placed by itself. (Calmet) --- Grotius thinks that, as the things taken in war cannot be reclaimed by the former proprietors, all was equally divided. See Selden, Jur. 6:16.
I Samuel 30:21 And David came to the two hundred men, who, being weary, had stayed, and were not able to follow David, and he had ordered them to abide at the torrent Besor: and they came out to meet David, and the people that were with him. And David coming to the people, saluted them peaceably.

I Samuel 30:22 Then all the wicked and unjust men, that had gone with David, answering, said: Because they came not with us, we will not give them any thing of the prey which we have recovered: but let every man take his wife, and his children, and be contented with them, and go his way.

Unjust. Hebrew Belial. See Deuteronomy 13:13. (Calmet) --- David saluted those who had remained at Besor, to shew that he approved of their conduct, unless we may attribute it to his great clemency. (Menochius)
I Samuel 30:23 But David said: You shall not do so, my brethren, with these things, which the Lord hath given us, who hath kept us, and hath delivered the robbers that invaded us into our hands:

I Samuel 30:24 And no man shall hearken to you in this matter. But equal shall be the portion of him that went down to battle, and of him that abode at the baggage, and they shall divide alike.

Alike. Nothing could be more just and prudent; as this decision prevents continual murmurs and inconveniences. Those who are left behind, are bound to defend the baggage at the hazard of their lives, and each man must obey the orders of the general. Hence all nations seem to have adopted similar regulations, though Achilles declaims against it. (Homer, Iliad i.) --- Coriolanus observes, that formerly the Romans brought all the spoil into the public treasury. (Halicar. vii.) --- The soldiers promised on oath to bring all they should take, and an equal division was made to the whole army. (Polyb. x.) --- The sick and absent also partook of the plunder. (Calmet) --- The same was observed by the Machabees, 2 Machabees 8:28. (Haydock)
I Samuel 30:25 And this hath been done from that day forward, and since was made a statute and an ordinance, and as a law in Israel.

A law. Custom, (Calmet) and a particular injunction, had long before made way for it, Numbers 31:27, (Haydock) and Josue 22:8. --- We might translate the Hebrew, "And this law had been observed in Israel from that day and before." David restored to its full vigour this ancient regulation. The Hebrews have no compound verbs, such as re-establish, re-build, etc., instead of which, they say, to establish, (Calmet) and build again. Thus, by the addition of adverbs, they can explain the same things. Protestants, "from that day forward he made it a statute," etc. (Haydock) --- It is not, therefore, unlawful to make new laws, provided they be conformable to those of God, Deuteronomy iv., and xii. (Worthington)
I Samuel 30:26 Then David came to Siceleg, and sent presents of the prey to the ancients of Juda, his neighbours, saying: Receive a blessing of the prey of the enemies of the Lord.

Neighbours. Hebrew, "friends;" some were at a distance, ver. 28. (Haydock) --- The number of presents shews the quantity of the spoil, and the generosity of David towards those who had formerly assisted him. (Calmet)
I Samuel 30:27 To them that were in Bethel, and that were in Ramoth to the south, and to them that were in Jether,

Bethel, "the house of God," as the priests had afforded him protection. (Haydock) --- It is not certain whether he speaks of a town of Ephraim, or of the cities where the ark and the tabernacle were now fixed. --- Ramoth, in the tribe of Simeon: (Calmet) there was another in the tribe of Gad. (Menochius) --- Jether, or "Jethira," (Eusebius) a priests' town, called Ether, Josue 15:42.
I Samuel 30:28 And to them that were in Aroer, and that were in Sephamoth, and that were in Esthamo,

Aroer, on the Arnon. David had sojourned among the Moabites. --- Sephamoth: perhaps Sephama, (Numbers 34:10,) though it was a great way beyond the Jordan. (Calmet) --- Abulensis assigns Sephamoth to Juda. (Menochius) --- Esthamo was in the same tribe, belonging to the priests, Josue 21:14.
I Samuel 30:29 And that were in Rachal, and that were in the cities of Jerameel, and that were in the cities of Ceni,

Rachal; perhaps the same with Hachila, 1 Kings 23:19., and 26:1. --- Jerameel. See 1 Kings 27:10. --- Ceni, a canton to the south of the Dead Sea.
I Samuel 30:30 And that were in Arama, and that were in the lake Asan, and that were in Athach,

Arama, or Horma. Numbers 21:3. --- Lake. Hebrew, "at Chor Aschan." It is called Asan, Josue 15:42., and 19:7. --- Athach, or Athar, Josue 19:7.
I Samuel 30:31 And that were in Hebron, and to the rest that were in those places, in which David had abode with his men.

Hebron, twenty miles south of Jerusalem. --- Rest. David remunerated all his old friends, which was the sure way to procure more. (Haydock) --- He was still uncertain what would be the event of the war between Saul and the Philistines; and desirous to make friends, who might smooth his way to the throne, according to God's appointment. (Salien)
I Samuel 31:0 Israel is defeated by the Philistines: Saul and his sons are slain.

I Samuel 31:1 And *the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in Mount Gelboe.

Year of the World 2949. Fled. They make but a feeble resistance, as God was not with them. (Haydock) --- The first onset was made by the archers, and Saul's three sons fell, while the king himself was dangerously wounded. (Calmet) --- The death of his sons would increase his anguish. (Menochius) --- He seems not to have told them of the divine decree, as he might deem it irrevocable and unavoidable, so that flight would have been of no service to them. (Haydock)
I Samuel 31:2 *And the Philistines fell upon Saul, and upon his sons, and they slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchisua, the sons of Saul.

1 Paralipomenon 10:2-3.
Jonathan. Ven. Bede, etc., doubt not of his salvation. (Salien)
I Samuel 31:3 And the whole weight of the battle was turned upon Saul: and the archers overtook him, and he was grievously wounded by the archers.

Overtook. Hebrew, "attacked, found, or hit him." He was running away. (Haydock) --- Wounded. Some translate Hebrew, "terrified," as they believe the words of the Amalecite, "my whole life is in me." But that wretch deserves no credit; and Saul would probably not take the desperate resolution of killing himself, till he saw there was no possibility of escaping. Septuagint, "the archers find him, and they wounded him in the lower belly." Theodotion, "in the part near the liver."
I Samuel 31:4 *Then Saul said to his armour-bearer: Draw thy sword, and kill me: lest these uncircumcised come, and slay me, and mock at me. And his armour-bearer would not: for he was struck with exceeding great fear. Then Saul took his sword, and fell upon it.

1 Paralipomenon 10:4.
Bearer. The Rabbins say he was Doeg. They were not yet come to a close engagement. --- Mock at me, as was then customary. See Josue 8:29., and Judges 1:7. He might recollect the treatment of Samson. (Calmet) --- Fear. "To spill the royal blood's a direful thing." (Homer)
I Samuel 31:5 And when his armour-bearer saw this, to wit, that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him.

With him. Thus to avoid a little shame and temporal punishment, they rushed into those which are inconceivably geat and eternal. (Haydock) --- The Jews in vain attempt to excuse Saul, as they deem suicide in such cases lawful, though in others they deprive those of burial, who have been guilty of it. (Josephus, Antiquities 6:14.) --- This author applauds the behaviour of Saul; and indeed, his courage called forth the praises of David. But even the pagans have deemed those no better than cowards, who have killed themselves to avoid misery. Rebus in adversis facile est contemnere mortem: Fortiter ille facit, qui miser esse potest. (Martial) The civil laws deny suicides the rites of burial, as they are also guilty of a crime against the state, which they deprive of their labours. They unjustly abandon what God has only committed to their care. Saul seems to have been afraid of receiving any insult himself, rather than to have been desirous of preventing the blasphemies of the infidels against God, as the Jews pretend. He gave no signs of repentance, and the spirit of God pronounces his condemnation. So Saul died for his iniquities, because he transgressed; (Calmet; Hebrew and Septuagint, in his iniquities, by which he prevaricated. Tirinus)...and moreover consulted also a witch, and trusted not in the Lord: therefore he slew him, 1 Paralipomenon 10:13, 14. Saul prefigured those, who having yielded to temptations, persist and die in their evil ways. (St. Gregory) (Worthington)
I Samuel 31:6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armour-bearer, and all his men that same day together.

His men. 1 Paralipomenon 10:6., his house fell together. The hopes of his family were at an end, (Haydock) though Isboseth, Abner, and some few survived him, (Menochius) who had fled, (Calmet) or had not been in the engagement. (Haydock)
I Samuel 31:7 And the men of Israel, that were beyond the valley, and beyond the Jordan, seeing that the Israelites were fled, and that Saul was dead, and his sons, forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came, and dwelt there.

Beyond, or about "the passage" or fords of the Jordan, as the Hebrew means. (Menochius) --- The Philistines did not pursue after them, as God set bounds to their ambition. It might otherwise have proved very fatal to his people, who were now so much divided and terrified. In the parallel passage, in Chronicles, it is only said, When the men....that dwelt in the plains (of Jezrahel) saw this, they fled, 1 Paralipomenon 10:7. The Philistines seized the abandoned cities, particularly Bethsan, (ver. 10.; Haydock) which had been retained by the Chanaanites in the days of the judges, and which David took back, Judges 1:27., and 3 Kings 4:12.
I Samuel 31:8 And on the morrow the Philistines came to strip the slain, and they found Saul and his three sons lying in Mount Gelboe.

I Samuel 31:9 And they cut off Saul's head, and stripped him of his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the temples of their idols, and among their people.

Head, as David had treated that of Goliath, 1 Kings 17:54.
I Samuel 31:10 And they put his armour in the temple of Astaroth, but his body they hung on the wall of Bethsan.

Astaroth. The like custom was observed by the Hebrew, (chap. 21:9,) and by the Greeks and Romans, (Calmet) to acknowledge that victory was granted by God. The Philistines insulted Saul's body, and blasphemed the true God, as much as if they had taken the king alive. He only avoided the mortification of hearing them while he was forced to attend to the furies below. --- Body, with those of his three sons, ver. 12. (Haydock) --- Saul's head was hung up in the temple of Dagon, at Azotus; (1 Paralipomenon 10:10,) his body was suspended on the wall or street of Bethsan; (2 Kings 21:12,) or in the most public place, near the gate of the city.
I Samuel 31:11 *Now when the inhabitants of Jabes Galaad had heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,

2 Kings 2:4.
Jabes, in gratitude for the deliverance which he had procured for them, 1 Kings 11:11. (Calmet) --- They are also deserving of praise for shewing mercy to the dead, as well as for their bravery. (Worthington)
I Samuel 31:12 All the most valiant men arose, and walked all the night, and took the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, from the wall of Bethsan: and they came to Jabes Galaad, and burnt them there:

Burnt them, or the flesh, reserving the ashes and bones to be buried, as was customary among the Greeks (Homer, ps.) and Romans: -----Sed caenam funeris hoeres Negliget iratus quod rem curtaveris; urnae Ossa inodora dabit. (Persius. vi.) See Amos 6:10. Jonathan insinuates, that they burnt over the bodies aromatic spices.
I Samuel 31:13 And they took their bones, and buried them in the wood of Jabes: and fasted seven days.

Wood. 1 Paralipomenon 10:12., under the oak. --- Days, at their own option. David fasted one day, (Calmet) as he did for Abner. (Salien) --- There was no obligation of mourning for the kings, though it is probable that those near the royal city, would shew this mark of attention to the deceased monarch. See Jeremias 34:5., and 2 Paralipomenon 35:25. The usual term of mourning was seven days, Ecclesiasticus 22:13. (Calmet) --- It is very difficult to ascertain the length of Saul's reign. Sanctius and Tirinus allow him only 2 years; Petau 12; Calvisius 15; Salien 18; Bucholeer, and probably Josephus 20, though most copies of the latter have 38; St. Augustine, Serarius, Usher, etc., 40, which is the term mentioned [in] Acts 13:20. But most chronologers suppose that the time of Samuel's administration is there also included. (Haydock) --- Sulpitius thinks that Saul only "reigned a very short time," as "the ark was brought to Cariathiarim before he appeared on the throne, and was removed by David, after it had been there twenty years."