And between the passages by which Jonathan sought to go over
unto the Philistines' garrison
One of which is called the passage of Michmash, ( 1 Samuel 13:23 ) and was that by which they went from Gibeah to Michmash; the other, which might be called the passage of Gibeah, was that by which they went from Michmash to Gibeah, and in effect was but one; and this was seized by the garrison of the Philistines, on that part of it which was towards Michmash; so that there was no way of access to the camp of the Philistines, which Jonathan therefore proposed to go over to and destroy, but his difficulties were very great:
there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other
not that there was on each side of the passage or passages to the right and left a cragged rock, between which men passed as they went from place to place; for the position of them in the next verse shows the contrary; but there was "the tooth of a rock" F12, as it is in the original text; or a promontory or prominence on the one side towards Michmash, which stood out like a tooth; and another promontory or prominence on that towards Gibeah; so that both must be gone over to get to the camp, the only passage being guarded by the garrison; and indeed it seems to me there was but one rock, and two precipices at the opposite parts of it, and which stood between the passages, which precipices must be climbed over:
and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh;
which, according to the Targum, the one signifies "lubrication", being smooth and slippery, and the other "treading", being more trodden and beaten: but Hillerus F13 derives both from clay, which seems not so agreeable to a rock; though in another place F14 he makes the former to have its name from whiteness, which is the colour of some rocks and clifts; and one should think the latter rather has its name from bushes, brambles, and thorns, that might grow upon it.
F12 (eloh Nv) "dens petrae", Pagninus, Montanus; "scopulus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F13 Onomastic. Sacr. p. 73, 82.
F14 Ibid. p. 43.