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One Chronicles Ten

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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1 Chronicles 10:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.

1 Chronicles 10:2 And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.

1 Chronicles 10:3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.

1 Chronicles 10:4 Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

took a sword. This account of Saul's death closely agrees with the account in 1 Samuel 31:3-6, and may even have been copied from it. However, it seems to conflict with the account given by the young Amalekite who told David that he had slain Saul (2 Samuel 1:2-10). Apparently, the attempted suicide by Saul had not quite succeeded, so what his armor-bearer was afraid to do, the Amalekite did without hesitation. Or, perhaps, he merely told David he had slain Saul, thinking thereby to gain favor with David. In either case, his presumption cost him his own life (2 Samuel 1:14-16).

1 Chronicles 10:5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died.

1 Chronicles 10:6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together.

1 Chronicles 10:7 And when all the men of Israel that were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, then they forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

his sons were dead. The sons mentioned here were those slain in the battle (1 Chronicles 10:2). A fourth son, Ishbosheth, did rule for five years after Saul's death.

1 Chronicles 10:8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen in mount Gilboa.

1 Chronicles 10:9 And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people.

1 Chronicles 10:10 And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.

1 Chronicles 10:11 And when all Jabeshgilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,

1 Chronicles 10:12 They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

1 Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;

familiar spirit. The Lord can exact severe penalties upon those who reject His word in favor of guidance from the occult sciences. The increasing modern return to reliance on “spirit-guides” and similar so-called New Age concepts (which are not new at all, but merely a reversion to ancient evolutionary pantheism) will eventually reap terrible judgments (Revelation 9:20, 21).

1 Chronicles 10:14 And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

inquired not. This statement seems at first to contradict that of 1 Samuel 28:6, which notes that, “when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not.” The problem is, however, that two different Hebrew words are involved. In 1 Chronicles 10:14, the word translated “inquired” is darash, conveying the idea of “earnestly seeking.” This Saul did not do. What he did was to “inquire” (Hebrew shaal) which suggests only that he asked in fear, without repentance or real faith. This kind of prayer the Lord does not honor.

he slew him. Whether Saul died by his own hand or by the hand of the Amalekite, it was really by the hand of the Lord.