1 Samuel 31:10

10 They placed his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths, and they fastened his body to the wall of the city of Beth-shan.

1 Samuel 31:10 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 31:10

And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth
A temple dedicated to their deities, called by this name; of which (See Gill on Judges 2:13); Nothing was more common with the Gentiles than to place in their temples the arms they took from their enemies, as is strongly expressed by Homer F9 and Virgil F11; and indeed the Jews did the same, as appears by the sword of Goliath being laid up in the tabernacle, ( 1 Samuel 21:9 ) . Here also the Heathens F12 hung up their own arms when the war was ended:

and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan;
which Josephus F13 says is the same which in his time was called Scythopolis, from the Scythians that possessed it, before called Nysa, according to Pliny {n}: it was given to the tribe of Manasseh, but they could not drive out the inhabitants of it, so that it was always in the possession of others, ( Joshua 17:11 ) ( Judges 1:27 ) ; where it is called Bethshean; to the wall of the city they fastened the body of Saul with nails, as it is commonly understood; but it is more likely they hung it on a gibbet without, and near the walls of the city; so the Targum, they hung his body; or, as Josephus F15, they crucified it there; and so they did also the bodies of his sons, as appears from ( 1 Samuel 31:12 ) .


F9 (teucea sulhsav) , Iliad. 7. ver. 83.
F11 "Multaque praeterea sacris in postibus arma" Aeneid. 7. ver. 183. So Persius, Satyr. 6. ver. 45.
F12 Messal. Corvin. de August. Progen.
F13 Ut supra, (Antiqu. l. 6. c. 14.) l. 8.
F14 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 18. Vid. Solin. Polyhistor. c. 49.
F15 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 6. c. 14. l. 8.)

1 Samuel 31:10 In-Context

8 The next day, when the Philistines went out to strip the dead, they found the bodies of Saul and his three sons on Mount Gilboa.
9 So they cut off Saul’s head and stripped off his armor. Then they proclaimed the good news of Saul’s death in their pagan temple and to the people throughout the land of Philistia.
10 They placed his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths, and they fastened his body to the wall of the city of Beth-shan.
11 But when the people of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,
12 all their mighty warriors traveled through the night to Beth-shan and took the bodies of Saul and his sons down from the wall. They brought them to Jabesh, where they burned the bodies.
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