And in the days of Saul they made war with the Hagarites,
&c.] Not with the Hungarians, as the Targum, a people not then in being; but the Ishmaelites, so called because they descended from Hagar F19, Sarah's maid; the same that are placed by Pliny F20 and Ptolemy F21 in Arabia, near the Batanaeans, or inhabitants of Bashan; with those the Reubenites made war, in conjunction with the Gadites and half tribe of Manasseh, ( 1 Chronicles 5:18 1 Chronicles 5:19 ) , perhaps this war might be much about the time Saul relieved Jabeshgilead, and beat the Ammonites, ( 1 Samuel 11:1-14 ) by which the tribes on that side Jordan might be encouraged to it:
who fell by their hand;
were worsted and conquered by them:
and they dwelt in their tents;
in which the Arabians used to dwell, because of their flocks; hence some of them were called Scenites:
throughout all the east [land] of Gilead;
or rather throughout all the land of the Hagarites, which lay to the east of Gilead, as the Vulgate Latin version; or otherwise the land of Gilead itself was their original possession.
F19 So David de Pomis, Lexic. fol. 45. 4.
F20 Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28.
F21 Geograph. l. 5. c. 19.