1 Samuel 18:7

7 As they celebrated, the women sang: Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands.[a]

1 Samuel 18:7 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 18:7

And the women answered [one another] as they played
They sung vocally to their instruments, and that by turns, one rehearsing one line or verse in the song, and then the other another:

and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands;
which, if to be referred to the battle in the preceding chapter, as it commonly is, must be understood thus, that though Saul, in pursuit of the Philistines, slew many thousands of them, and David but one, even Goliath; yet the slaying of him was the occasion of slaying ten thousands, and therefore it is ascribed to him: but it seems rather that in some after battles David had been more prosperous and victorious than Saul, and therefore superior commendations are given him by the author of the song the women sung; which, however just it might be to give them, was not wise, since it served to irritate their king, as follows.

1 Samuel 18:7 In-Context

5 David marched out [with the army], and was successful in everything Saul sent him to do. Saul put him in command of the soldiers, which pleased all the people and Saul's servants as well.
6 As David was returning from killing the Philistine, the women came out from all the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing with tambourines, with shouts of joy, and with three-stringed instruments.
7 As they celebrated, the women sang: Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands.
8 Saul was furious and resented this song. "They credited tens of thousands to David," he complained, "but they only credited me with thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?"
9 So Saul watched David jealously from that day forward.

Footnotes 1

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