And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)What can he have more but the kingdom?—In this foreboding utterance of Saul there was involved not only a conjecture which the result confirmed, but a deep inward truth: if the king stood powerless before the subjugators of his kingdom at so decisive a period as this, and a shepherd boy came and decided the victory, this was an additional mark of his rejection.—V. Gerlach, quoted in Keil.
Some years had passed since he first heard from the lips of his old prophet-friend the Divine sentence of his rejection from the kingdom. In that sad period he had doubtless been on the look-out for the one destined by the Invisible King to be his successor. This dread expectation of ruin and dethronement had been a powerful factor in the causes which had led to the unhingement of Saul’s mind. Was not this gifted shepherd boy—now the idol of the people—the future hope of Israel?1 Kings 2:22. "A kingdom (says Camden) brooketh no companion, and majesty more heavily taketh injuries to heart." And moreover. this will not rest here, they will certainly give him the kingdom; they will translate the crown from me to him. Or thus, And moreover, the kingdom certainly belongs to him, i.e. I now perceive that this is the favourite of God, and of the people; this is that man after God’s own heart, to whom Samuel told me that God would transfer my kingdom.
and he said, they have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they ascribed but thousands; and so had given more honour to an inferior officer than to the commander-in-chief, more to a subject than to a sovereign:
and what can he have more but the kingdom? there is nothing left out of their song, and nothing remains to be given him but that; some think that Saul knew, by the prudent behaviour of David, and the favour he was in with God and men, and by these commendations of the women, that the kingdom would be his; and that the words of Samuel were true, and would be confirmed, that the kingdom would be rent from him, and given to his neighbour better than he. This clause, with 1 Samuel 18:9, is left out of the Greek version, according to the Vatican copy.And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verses 8, 9. - What can he have more? etc. Literally, "And there is beside for him only the kingdom. Though many years had passed since Samuel pronounced Saul's deposition, and the choice of another in his place (1 Samuel 15:28), yet it was not a thing that a king could ever forget. No doubt he had often looked out for signs of the person destined to be his successor; and now, when he had stood powerless before the enemy, a shepherd boy had stepped forth and given him the victory. And this stripling, taken to be his companion in arms, had shown so great qualities that the people reckoned him at ten times Saul's worth. Had Saul been the high-minded man he was when appointed to the kingdom (1 Samuel 11:13), he would have thrust such thoughts from him. But his mind had become cankered with discontent and brooding thoughts, and so he eyed David from that day and forward. In many nations the eye of an envious man is supposed to have great power of injury. Here it means that Saul cast furtive glances at David full of malice and ill will. 1 Samuel 18:1 the writer commences with the love of Jonathan to David, and then after that proceeds in 1 Samuel 18:2 to observe that Saul took David to himself from that day forward; whereas it is very evident that Saul told David, either at the time of his conversation with him or immediately afterwards, that he was henceforth to remain with him, i.e., in his service. "The soul of Jonathan bound itself (lit. chained itself; cf. Genesis 44:30) to David's soul, and Jonathan loved him as his soul." The Chethibh ויּאהבו with the suffix ו attached to the imperfect is very rare, and hence the Keri ויּאהבהוּ (vid., Ewald, 249, b., and Olshausen, Gramm. p. 469). לשׁוּב, to return to his house, viz., to engage in his former occupation as shepherd.
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