And there was trembling in the host in the field
Belonging to Michmash, where the army lay encamped:
and among all the people;
the inhabitants of Michmash, or that attended the army, and furnished them with provisions, trafficking with them; the common people, as distinguished from the soldiers:
those that were in it, who did not sally out, but perceiving a great slaughter made of their outer scouts, were seized with a panic:
and the spoilers they also trembled;
who had been about the country, ravaging and plundering it, and were returned with their booty; see ( 1 Samuel 13:17 )
and the earth quaked;
the inhabitants of it thereabout, or the earth itself literally; a real earthquake was caused at the same time, which increased the terror:
so that it was a very great trembling;
both with respect to the numbers that were affected with it throughout the camp and garrison, and the causes of it; the terrible apprehension they had of a large army just ready to rush upon them; the earth quaking and opening in various places, threatening to swallow them up; and perhaps suspicions of treachery among themselves, they consisting of various nations, and some among them Hebrews; hence they fell upon and slew one another, ( 1 Samuel 14:20 1 Samuel 14:21 ) , or "a trembling of God" F21; either in the same sense to which we translate it, as cedars of God, flame of God that is, large and great ones; or which came from God; it was he that sent this trembling among them, struck their minds with fear and dread, so that they were in the utmost consternation, and knew not what to do, nor which way to take, and had no heart to oppose the enemy, and defend themselves.
F21 (Myhla tdrxl) "in trepidationem Dei", Montanus, Drusius, Vatablus.