Shmuel Bais 1

1 Now it came to pass after the mot Sha’ul, when Dovid was returned from the slaughter of Amalek, and Dovid had abode two yamim in Tziklag;
2 It came even to pass on Yom HaShlishi, that, hinei, an ish came out of the machaneh from Sha’ul with his clothes torn, and adamah upon his rosh; and so it was, when he came to Dovid, that he fell to the ground, and prostrated himself.
3 And Dovid said unto him, From where comest thou? And he said unto him, Out of the machaneh Yisroel am I escaped.
4 And Dovid said unto him, How went the matter? Tell me now. And he answered, That the people are fled from the milchamah, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Sha’ul and Yonatan bno are dead also.
5 And Dovid said unto the na’ar that told him, How knowest thou that Sha’ul and Yonatan bno are dead?
6 And the na’ar that told him said, As I happened to be upon Mt Gilboa, hinei, Sha’ul leaned upon his khanit; and, hinei, the chariots and ba’alei haparashim followed hard after him.
7 And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Hineini.
8 And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amaleki.
9 He said unto me again, Stand, now, over me, and slay me; for shavatz (death through agony) is come upon me, because my nefesh is yet still in me.
10 So I stood over him, and slaughtered him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen; and I took the nezer (crown, diadem) that was upon his rosh, and the etzadah (bracelet, band) that was on his zero’a, and have brought them here unto adoni.
11 Then Dovid took hold on his clothes, and made the kri’ah on them; and likewise all the anashim that were with him;
12 And they mourned, and wept, and did a tzom until the erev, for Sha’ul, and for Yonatan bno, and for the Am Hashem, and for Bais Yisroel; because they were fallen by the cherev.
13 And Dovid said unto the na’ar that told him, From where art thou? And he answered, I am ben ish ger, an Amaleki.
14 And Dovid said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine yad to destroy Hashem’s moshiach?
15 And Dovid called one of the ne’arim, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he struck him so that he died.
16 And Dovid said unto him, Thy dahm be upon thy rosh; for thine own peh hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain Hashem’s moshiach.
17 And Dovid lamented with this kinah (lamentation) over Sha’ul and over Yonatan bno;
18 Also he bade them teach the Bnei Yehudah: The Keshet. Hinei, it is written in the Sefer HaYasher:
19 The glory of Yisroel is slain upon thy high places; how are the Gibborim fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gat, proclaim it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the banot Pelishtim rejoice, lest the banot ha’arelim triumph.
21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no tal, neither let there be matar, upon you, nor fields of terumot; for there the mogen Gibborim is defiled, the mogen of Sha’ul, as though he had not been mashiach (anointed) with shemen.
22 From the dahm of the slain, from the chelev of the Gibborim, the keshet Yonatan turned not back, and the cherev Sha’ul returned not empty.
23 Sha’ul and Yonatan were beloved and gracious in their lives, and in their mot they were not parted; they were swifter than nesharim, they were stronger than arayot.
24 Ye banot Yisroel, weep over Sha’ul, who clothed you in scarlet, with fineries, who put on ornaments of zahav upon your apparel.
25 How are the Gibborim fallen in the midst of the milchamah! O Yonatan, thou wast slain on thine heights.
26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Yonatan; very pleasant hast thou been unto me; thy ahavah was wonderful to me, passing ahavat nashim.
27 How are the Gibborim fallen, and the k’lei milchamah (weapons of war) perished!

Shmuel Bais 1 Commentary

Chapter 1

This book is the history of the reign of king David. It relates his victories, the growth of the prosperity of Israel, and his reformation of the state of religion. With these events are recorded the grievous sins he committed, and the family as well as public troubles with which he was punished. We here meet with many things worthy of imitation, and many that are written for our warning. The history of king David is given in Scripture with much faithfulness, and from it he appears, to those who fairly balance his many virtues and excellent qualities against his faults, to have been a great and good man.

Tidings brought to David of the death of Saul. (1-10) The Amalekite is put to death. (11-16) David's lamentation for Saul and Jonathan. (17-27)

Verses 1-10 The blow which opened David's way to the throne was given about the time he had been sorely distressed. Those who commit their concerns to the Lord, will quietly abide his will. It shows that he desired not Saul's death, and he was not impatient to come to the throne.

Verses 11-16 David was sincere in his mourning for Saul; and all with him humbled themselves under the hand of God, laid so heavily upon Israel by this defeat. The man who brought the tidings, David put to death, as a murderer of his prince. David herein did not do unjustly; the Amalekite confessed the crime. If he did as he said, he deserved to die for treason; and his lying to David, if indeed it were a lie, proved, as sooner or later that sin will prove, lying against himself. Hereby David showed himself zealous for public justice, without regard to his own private interest.

Verses 17-27 Kasheth, or "the bow," probably was the title of this mournful, funeral song. David does not commend Saul for what he was not; and says nothing of his piety or goodness. Jonathan was a dutiful son, Saul an affectionate father, therefore dear to each other. David had reason to say, that Jonathan's love to him was wonderful. Next to the love between Christ and his people, that affection which springs form it, produces the strongest friendship. The trouble of the Lord's people, and triumphs of his enemies, will always grieve true believers, whatever advantages they may obtain by them.

Chapter Summary


This book, in many copies of the Hebrew Bible, is carried on without any new title put unto it; the reason of it is, because, by some, this, with the preceding, has been reckoned but one book: hence the Jews say {a}, Samuel wrote his book, not his books; in others it is called Samuel Second; and by the Vulgate Latin the Second Book of Samuel, which we call the Second of Kings; though why his name should be put to it at all I see not, since it neither concerns him, nor could it be written by him, being an history of events after his death. The Greek version calls it the Second of Kings; and the Syriac version, the Second Book of the Kings of Israel; whereas there is but one king of Israel it makes mention of, and of whose actions only it is an history; and therefore with greater propriety it is called, as the Arabic version, the Book of David the Prophet, of whose reign, from the beginning to the end of it, it gives an account: wherefore Isidore {b} thinks it was written by David; and if so, it has this mark of simplicity and integrity, that the writer does not spare himself, nor conceal his own faults, and particularly that very capital one, the affair of Bathsheba, and also his numbering of the people; but it is most probable that it was written by Nathan and Gad {c}, see 1Ch 29:29; but whoever was the penman of it, there is no doubt to be made of its being written by inspiration, or that it is canonical; which has never been questioned, since there stands in it a famous prophecy concerning the building of the temple by a son of David, which had an exact accomplishment, 2Sa 7:12,13; as well as of the family of David, for a great while to come, which also was fulfilled, 2Sa 7:19; and an eminent passage concerning the Messiah, the son of David, and of his divine sonship, 2Sa 7:14; quoted by the Apostle Paul in proof of it, Heb 1:5. It contains an history of about forty years, for so long David reigned, seven years and six months in Hebron, over Judah, and thirty three years in Jerusalem, over all Israel and Judah; and this book relates his last words.

{a} T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 14. 2. {b} Origin. l. 6. c. 2. {c} Alting. Theolog. Hist. loc. 2. p. 86.


This chapter contains an account of the death of Saul and Jonathan, as related to David by an Amalekite, 2Sa 1:1-10; of the sorrow he and his men were filled with at the news of it, 2Sa 1:11,12; of his order to put to death the messenger that brought the tidings, for his concern in the death of Saul, according to his own testimony, 2Sa 1:13-16; and of a lamentation composed by David on this occasion, 2Sa 1:17-27.

Shmuel Bais 1 Commentaries

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