2 Samuel 1:21

21 1"You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor fields of offerings![a] For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, not 2anointed with oil.

2 Samuel 1:21 Meaning and Commentary

2 Samuel 1:21

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


F20 afterwards; which has been refuted by travellers, particularly Borchard F21, who, speaking of this mountain, says, that as he was upon it, there was such a violent shower fell, that he was wet through his clothes; and in the year 1273, laying all night upon this hill, there was a great dew fell upon him:

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.

2 Samuel 1:21 In-Context

19 "Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult.
21 "You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor fields of offerings! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.
22 "From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.
23 "Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely! In life and in death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles; they were stronger than lions.

Cross References 2

Footnotes 1

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