1 Samuel 14:46
Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place.
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(46) Then Saul went up from following the Philistines.—Saul recognised now that the fault which caused the oracle of the Urim and Thummim to keep silence was his, and not Jonathan’s. He seems quietly to have acquiesced with Ahijah’s evident reluctance to countenance a public pursuit; he drew off his forces then from the direction of the enemy, and went up, no doubt, to Gibeah; but the power of the Philistines for the time seems to have been utterly broken, and they retreated to their own districts along the sea coasts.

14:36-46 If God turns away our prayer, we have reason to suspect it is for some sin harboured in our hearts, which we should find out, that we may put it away, and put it to death. We should always first suspect and examine ourselves; but an unhumbled heart suspects every other person, and looks every where but at home for the sinful cause of calamity. Jonathan was discovered to be the offender. Those most indulgent to their own sins are most severe upon others; those who most disregard God's authority, are most impatient when their own commands are slighted. Such as cast abroad curses, endanger themselves and their families. What do we observe in the whole of Saul's behaviour on this occasion, but an impetuous, proud, malignant, impious disposition? And do we not in every instance perceive that man, left to himself, betrays the depravity of his nature, and is enslaved to the basest tempers.Give a perfect lot - The phrase is obscure, but the meaning is probably as in the margin. 45. the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not—When Saul became aware of Jonathan's transgression in regard to the honey, albeit it was done in ignorance and involved no guilt, he was, like Jephthah [Jud 11:31, 35], about to put his son to death, in conformity with his vow [1Sa 14:44]. But the more enlightened conscience of the army prevented the tarnishing the glory of the day by the blood of the young hero, to whose faith and valor it was chiefly due. Saul went up from following the Philistines; partly because he was discouraged by God’s refusing to answer him; and partly because his delays had given them occasion to secure themselves. Then Saul went up from following the Philistines,.... Returned home to his own city, finding that he could get no answer from the Lord, whether he should pursue further or not, and losing the time and opportunity of doing it, by examining into the affair of his son, and casting lots to find it out:

and the Philistines went to their own place; their country and cities, such of them as remained, who were not cut off by their own and the sword of the Israelites. Josephus (n) says, Saul killed about 60,000 of them. It seems to be the will of God that they should not now be utterly destroyed, that they might be a rod of correction in his hand, to chastise the people of Israel hereafter.

(n) Antiqu. l. 6. c. 6. sect. 5.

Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place.
Verse 46. - Saul went up, etc. Thus, as the final result of his self-will, Saul had to discontinue his pursuit of the Philistines, and their power, though weakened by the overthrow, remained unbroken. SUMMARY OF SAUL'S WARS, AND ACCOUNT OF HIS FAMILY (vers. 47-52). In order to find out the guilt, or rather the culprit, Saul proceeded to the lot; and for this purpose he made all the people stand on one side, whilst he and his son Jonathan went to the other, and then solemnly addressed Jehovah thus: "God of Israel, give innocence (of mind, i.e., truth). And the lot fell upon Saul and Jonathan (ילּכד, as in 1 Samuel 10:20-21); and the people went out," sc., without the lot falling upon them, i.e., they went out free.
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