Ye mountains of Gilboa
On which fell Saul and his sons, and many of the people of Israel, ( 2 Samuel 1:6 ) ( 1 Samuel 31:1 ) ;
[let there be] no dew, neither [let there be] rain upon you;
which is not to understood as a real imprecation; for David would never curse any part of the land of Israel, for which he had so great a regard; but only as a poetical figure, expressing his concern for, and abhorrence of what happened on those mountains; much less did this in reality take place, as some have feigned, as if never dew nor rain descended on them
nor fields of offerings;
of heave offerings; the meaning is, that he could wish almost that those hills were not fruitful, and that they brought no fruit to perfection, so much as that heave offerings for the service of the sanctuary might be taken; which is expressive of great sterility and scarcity, see ( Joel 1:13 Joel 1:16 ) ;
for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away;
mighty men were obliged to cast away their shields and flee, which were greatly to their reproach and scandal, and to that of the whole nation: it was always reckoned very scandalous, and a great crime, even punishable with death, to cast away a shield, both with the Greeks and others F23: yea, also
the shield of Saul, [as though he had] not [been] anointed with oil;
as if he was not the anointed king of Israel, but a common soldier: or else this respects his shield, as if that was not anointed, as shields used to be, that they might be smooth and glib, and missile weapons, as arrows and others, might not pass through them, but slide off, see ( Isaiah 21:5 ) ; though Gersom gives a different turn, that Saul's shield being in continual use, needed not to be anointed, as those did which for a time had been laid aside. Abarbinel interprets these words thus, that he, who was the shield of the mighty, even Saul himself, was vilely cast away, or become loathsome; and that his shield was anointed, not with oil, but with the blood of the slain, and the fat of the mighty, connecting them with the words following.
F20 Cippi Heb. p. 34.
F21 Apud Hottinger not. in ib. see Bunting's Travels, p, 131.
F23 Isocrates de Pace, p. 364. Horat. Carmin. l. 2. Ode 7. Tacitus de Mor. German. c. 6. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 2. c. 13.