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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - 1 Samuel 5:1-5

Here is, I. The Philistines? triumph over the ark, which they were the more pleased, the more proud, to be now masters of, because before the battle they were possessed with a great fear of it, 1 Sam. 4:7. When they had it in their hands God restrained them, that they did not offer any violence to it, did not break it to pieces, as the Israelites were ordered to do by the idols of the heathen, but showed some respect to it, and carefully carried it to a place of safety. Whether their curiosity... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 5:4

And when they arose early on the morrow morning ,.... For the same purpose as before; unless they had any curiosity to indulge, to see whether the ark and Dagon agreed better together, if they had any suspicion that the former mischance was to be attributed to some variance and disagreement between them: behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord : again, and in a worse condition than before: and the head of Dagon, and both the palms of his hands,... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Samuel 5:4

Only the stump of Dagon was left - Literally, Only דגן dagon (i.e., the little fish) was left. It has already been remarked that Dagon had the head, arms and hands of a man or woman, and that the rest of the idol was in the form of a fish, to which Horace is supposed to make allusion in the following words: - Desinat in piscem mulisr formosa superne "The upper part resembling a beautiful woman; the lower, a fish." All that was human in his form was broken off from... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Samuel 5:1-5

Foreshadowings. The facts given are— 1 . The Philistines, acting on polytheistic principles, place the ark in their heathen temple, thus ascribing to it Divine honour, and yet indicating its inferiority to Dagon. 2 . During the night their god Dagon falls to the ground. 3 . Supposing the fall to be the result of some unaccountable accident, they replace their god, and on the next day find him even broken to pieces. 4 . The event is memorialised by the establishment of a... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Samuel 5:3-4

On the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of Jehovah. I.e. he was in the attitude of adoration, and instead of triumphing over Jehovah, he was prostrate, as if compelled to worship. But his priests perhaps thought that it was an accident, and so they set the image in its place again. They also, we may be sure, took due precaution against any one entering his temple by stealth; but when early on the second morning they came with anxious minds to see... read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - 1 Samuel 5:4-5

1 Samuel 5:4-5. Behold Dagon was fallen &c. Which showed that his former fall was not by chance, but by the power of God, before whom he could not stand. The head of Dagon, and both his hands, were cut off The head is the seat of wisdom; the hands the instruments of action; both are cut off, to show that he had neither wisdom nor strength to defend himself or his worshippers. Thus the priests, by concealing Dagon’s shame before, make it more evident and infamous. The stump Hebrew, ... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 5:1-12

The ark returns (5:1-7:1)Although God used the Philistines to judge Israel, he would not allow them to dishonour him. He showed that the capture of the ark did not mean that he was inferior to the Philistine god Dagon (5:1-5). Wherever the ark went it brought trouble to the Philistine people. A plague of mice seems to have spread a painful and deadly disease throughout the country, bringing widespread suffering and death (6-12; cf. 6:5).The Philistines felt fairly certain that the ark was the... read more

E.W. Bullinger

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes - 1 Samuel 5:4

only . . . Dagon . The hands and feet being gone, only Dagon (the fish part) remained. read more

James Burton Coffman

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible - 1 Samuel 5:4

THE LORD REPEATS THE MESSAGE WITH EMPHASIS"But when they arose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left to him.""The received text here has `only Dagon was left,' which is manifestly impossible."[13] To remedy this ` impossibility' the text was emended in all the versions to read,' only the trunk of Dagon was left. However,... read more

Thomas Coke

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible - 1 Samuel 5:4

1 Samuel 5:4. Only the stump of Dagon was left to him— In the Hebrew it is, only Dagon remained to him; where Dagon, says Houbigant, is taken for the principal part of his statue, or the trunk of his body. Kimchi says, nothing but the form of a fish remained to him. Thus the Lord shewed that there was no God besides him. His ark, though taken captive and carried into a strange land, threw down their idol twice; thereby demonstrating that the Israelites were not overthrown for want of any power... read more

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