And in the days of Saul they made war with the
&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.