1 Samuel 15:4

4 So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah.

Read 1 Samuel 15:4 Using Other Translations

And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.
So Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand men on foot, and ten thousand men of Judah.
So Saul mobilized his army at Telaim. There were 200,000 soldiers from Israel and 10,000 men from Judah.

What does 1 Samuel 15:4 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Samuel 15:4

And Saul gathered the people together
Or "made them to hear" F18, by the sound of a trumpet; or by sending heralds into all parts of the land to proclaim the above order of the Lord, and summon them to come to him, perhaps at Gilgal; so the Septuagint version, and Josephus F19:

and numbered them in Telaim;
thought to be the same with Telem, a place in the tribe of Judah, ( Joshua 15:24 ) , the word signifies "lambs"; hence the Vulgate Latin version is,

``he numbered them as lambs;''

and the Jews F20 say, because it was forbid to number the children of Israel, which was the sin of David; therefore every man had a lamb given him, and so the lambs were numbered, by which it was known what was the number of the people; and the Targum says, this was done with the passover lambs, it being now the time of the passover; but the numbering here made was not of the people of the land in general, and so there was no occasion of such a precaution, only a numbering and mustering of the army when got together and rendezvoused in one place: the sum of which is here given,

two hundred thousand footmen and ten thousand men of Judah;
which last were reckoned separately, as distinct from the other tribes of Israel, to show their obedience to Saul, who was of another tribe, though the kingdom was promised to theirs; but R. Isaiah observes, that the reason why so few of the men of Judah came, in comparison of the other tribes, was, because they envied the government being in one of the tribe of Benjamin, when they thought it should have been in one of theirs; the number is greatly increased in the Septuagint version, which makes the whole to be 400,000, and 30,000 men of Judah; and so Josephus F21.


F18 (emvyw) "audire fecit", Vatablus, Drusius.
F19 Antiqu. l. 6. c. 7. sect. 2.
F20 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 22. 2. Jarchi in loc.
F21 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 6. c. 7. sect. 2.)
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