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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - 1 Samuel 13:1-7

We are not told wherein it was that the people of Israel offended God, so as to forfeit his presence and turn his hand against them, as Samuel had threatened (1 Sam. 12:15); but doubtless they left God, else he would not have left them, as here it appears he did; for, I. Saul was very weak and impolitic, and did not order his affairs with discretion. Saul was the son of one year (so the first words are in the original), a phrase which we make to signify the date of his reign, but ordinarily it... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 13:3

And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba ,.... Not the same with Gibeah of Benjamin, as Jarchi; for it can hardly be thought that Jonathan should place himself with his thousand men where the Philistines had a garrison; or that if this was the same with that in the preceding verse, that it should be called by another name in this; but Gibeah and Geba were two places, as Kimchi observes, both indeed in the tribe of Benjamin, and it is very probable not far from one... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Samuel 13:3

Jonathan smote - He appears to have taken this garrison by surprise, for his men had no arms for a regular battle, or taking the place by storm. This is the first place in which this brave and excellent man appears; a man who bears one of the most amiable characters in the Bible. Let the Hebrews hear - Probably this means the people who dwelt beyond Jordan, who might very naturally be termed here העברים haibrim , from עבר abar , he passed over; those who are beyond the... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Samuel 13:1-7

The great antagonism. The facts are— 1 . Saul, entering on the military organisation of his kingdom, forms a select force under the command of himself and Jonathan. 2 . The defeat of the Philistine garrison by Jonathan is announced to all Israel. 3 . This first success arouses the hostility of the Philistines, who threaten Israel with overwhelming numbers. 4 . The effect of this display of force is to dishearten the followers of Saul who waited at Gilgah The presence of the... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Samuel 13:3

In Geba. By this garrison the Philistines commanded the further end of the defile, and they had also another outpost beyond it near Gibeah itself ( 1 Samuel 10:5 ). Probably neither of these garrisons was very strong, and Saul may have intended that Jonathan should attack them while he held the northern end of the pass, which would be the first place assailed by the Philistines in force. As regards the word translated garrison, attempts have been made to render it pillar, and to... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - 1 Samuel 13:3

This was the first act in the war of independence, and probably the first feat in arms of the young hero Jonathan. read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - 1 Samuel 13:3-4

1 Samuel 13:3-4. Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines The Philistines, though subdued by Samuel at Eben-ezer, and driven out of the country, yet still retained possession of some strong-holds. Saul blew the trumpet That is, he sent messengers to tell them all what Jonathan had done, and how the Philistines were enraged at it, and therefore what necessity there was of gathering themselves together for their own defence. Israel heard that Saul had smitten, &c. Perhaps... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 13:1-14

13:1-15:35 SAUL’S EARLY VICTORIESPreparing to fight the Philistines (13:1-14)Israel’s regular army consisted of two divisions, one under the command of Saul, the other under the command of Saul’s son Jonathan. Other fighting men were called to join the army when needed. Such a need arose when Jonathan attacked a Philistine camp, and the Philistines replied by sending a large army to attack Israel (13:1-6a).In a time of national emergency, Saul was apparently to go to Gilgal, where he was to... read more

Robert Jamieson; A. R. Fausset; David Brown

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - 1 Samuel 13:3

3, 4. And Jonathan—that is, "God-given." smote the garrison of the Philistines . . . in Geba—Geba and Gibeah were towns in Benjamin, very close to each other (Joshua 18:24; Joshua 18:28). The word rendered "garrison" is different from that of 1 Samuel 13:23; 1 Samuel 14:1, and signifies, literally, something erected; probably a pillar or flagstaff, indicative of Philistine ascendency. That the secret demolition of this standard, so obnoxious to a young and noble-hearted patriot, was the feat of... read more

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