So Saul took the kingdom over Israel
Which seemed to be almost taken from him when he was shut up in Gibeah, and the Philistines ravaged his country at pleasure; but now, having obtained a victory over them, he recovered his kingdom, and reassumed his power and authority; or he was now strengthened in it, as Kimchi interprets it; the people seeing that he succeeded in his wars with their enemies, they readily submitted to his government without any hesitation, and obeyed his commands; so the Targum,
``Saul prospered in the kingdom over Israel;''and, according to Abarbinel, these words will admit of another sense, that whereas, after he was anointed and made king, he followed the herd, and attended rustic affairs; but now, after this victory over the Philistines, he took upon him the state and majesty of a king, and no more concerned himself with his farm and cattle, but betook himself wholly to regal and military affairs, as follows:
and fought against all his enemies on every side;
who invaded his kingdom from different quarters; he defended himself against them, and preserved his kingdom:
against Moab, and against the children of Ammon;
who lay to the east of him:
and against Edom;
which was on the southern border of his land:
and against the king of Zobah;
a part of Syria, which was to the north of the land of Israel, and was near Damascus, see ( 2 Samuel 8:3 2 Samuel 8:5 ) , and, according to Benjamin of Tudela F15, the same with Haleb, or Aleppo, There never were but two kings of it, Rehob and Hadadezer, who lived in the reigns of Saul and David, ( 2 Samuel 8:3 )
and against the Philistines;
who were on the western border of the land of Canaan:
and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them;
disturbed and disquieted them, and made them very uneasy; he terrified and distressed them; the Targum is, he "condemned" them, he treated them as wicked and ungodly persons, and punished them as such.
F15 Itinerar. p. 59.