So I stood on him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was on his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Slew him.—This story is inconsistent with that given in 1Samuel 31:4-5, and was evidently invented by the Amalekite to gain favour with David. At the same time, he is careful not to carry the story too far, and asserts that Saul was only put to death at his own request, and after being mortally wounded. However, he must have been one of the first to find the body of Saul after his death, since he brought his crown and bracelet to David—a primâ facie evidence of the truth of his whole story. The offering of these emblems of royalty shows that the Amalekite recognised David as the future king, a recognition which most of the tribes of Israel were unwilling to make for a long time.2 Samuel 1:10. So I stood upon him and slew him — Saul, according to the true history, was afraid of being slain by the uncircumcised: and how was the matter mended by desiring to die by the hand of an Amalekite? And I took the crown that was upon his head — “Possibly the serious reader,” says Delaney, “may not think it an observation altogether unworthy of his regard, that an Amalekite now took the crown from Saul’s head, which he had forfeited by his disobedience in relation to Amalek.”1 Samuel 31:8, and had the luck to find Saul and possess himself of his crown and bracelet. He probably started off immediately to seek David, and invented the above story, possibly having heard from some Israelite prisoner an account of what really did happen.
the bracelet that was on his arm—the armlet worn above the elbow; an ancient mark of royal dignity. It is still worn by kings in some Eastern countries.I stood upon him, and slew him: it is most probable this was a lie, devised to gain David’s favour, as he supposed. For, 1. Saul was not killed by a spear, as he pretends, but by his sword, 1 Samuel 31:4.
2. It is expressly said that Saul’s armour-bearer, being yet living, saw that Saul was dead, 1 Samuel 31:5; which doubtless he would very thoroughly examine and know, before he would kill himself upon that account, as he did.
3. Saul’s death is manifestly ascribed to his own action, even to his falling upon his sword, 1 Samuel 31:4,5.
I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: this he addeth by way of caution and excuse, that it might be thought all act of necessity and kindness, and not of choice or ill will, that he killed Saul. But here also he betrays himself; for how could this be true, when Saul’s life was whole within him, as he had now said, 2 Samuel 1:9?
The crown that was upon his head; not that he then wore it; which would have exposed him too much, and that unnecessarily, to the rage of the Philistines; but that he used to wear it. It is not likely that he found it now actually upon Saul’s head, but that he met with it in some part of the camp, whither Saul had brought it to wear it when he saw fit.
Unto my lord; unto thee, whom, now Saul is dead, I own for my lord and king.
because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen; this is not consistent with what he had said before, both that he was leaning on his spear, and not fallen to the ground, and that his life was whole in him:
and I took the crown that was upon his head; which made him conspicuous, and therefore the Philistines aimed at him, and pressed hard after him, 2 Samuel 1:6; though some think that this was not on his head, but carried into the field of battle, ready to be put on if victory was on his side; and others say it was in the possession and care of Doeg, who at his death gave it to his son to carry to David, and thereby gain his favour:
and the bracelet that was on his arm; of gold no doubt, so Josephus (i); such as great personages used to wear, men as well as women, see Genesis 38:18, especially military men (k). Jarchi takes them to be the "totaphot" or phylacteries on the arm, which is not probable:
and have brought them hither unto my lord; as ensigns of royalty, fit only for a king, Saul's successor, as this person, by calling him lord, owned him to be, and thought by bringing those to him to be highly he neared and rewarded.So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. after that he was fallen] Not to be understood literally, of lying prostrate, but metaphorically, of defeat and disgrace. Cp.
“I am a poor fallen man, unworthy now
To be thy lord and master.”
Shakespeare, Hen. VIII. Act III. Sc. 2.
the crown] In all probability not the State-crown, but a light diadem, or fillet, worn round the helmet as the mark of royalty.
the bracelet] Armlets are still worn by Oriental sovereigns. Kings and distinguished warriors are represented on both Egyptian and Assyrian monuments as wearing highly ornamented bracelets or armlets. See Smith’s Dict. of the Bible, Art. Armlet, and Layard’s Nineveh and Babylon, II. 322.Verse 10. - After that he was fallen; Hebrew, after his fall; that is, his defeat; for Saul was standing and supporting himself with his spear. The crown, probably, was a narrow band of gold encircling the royal helmet. Bracelet. We read of "bracelets" in Numbers 31:50, in the enumeration of the spoil taken from the Midianites, and there too apparently they were the ornaments of warriors. In the Assyrian monuments chiefs are generally represented with ornaments upon their wrists and arms (see Layard, 'Nineveh,' etc., pl. 18).
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