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CHAPTER 10 Sep. 27 
The Death of Saul
Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain on Mount Gilboa. 2The Philistines followed hard after Saul and after his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. 3The battle went hard against Saul, and the archers overtook him; and he was badly wounded by the archers. 4Then Saul said to his armour bearer, Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armour bearer would not; for he was terrified. Therefore Saul took his sword and fell on it. 5When his armour bearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell on his sword and died. 6So Saul died, and his three sons; and all his family died together. 7When all the men of Israel who were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook their cities and fled; and the Philistines came and lived in them. 8It happened on the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9They stripped him, and took his head, and his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines all around, to carry the news to their idols, and to the people. 10They put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the house of Dagon. 11When all Jabesh Gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul, 12all the valiant men arose 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. 13So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against Yahweh, against the word of Yahweh, which he didn’t keep; and also because he asked counsel of one who had a familiar spirit, to inquire, 14and didn’t inquire of Yahweh. Therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse.


10:4 Although the armour bearer was one of Saul’s men, in the anti-David camp, yet David’s example of not killing Saul must have deeply influenced him. We do make a difference. We have more influence upon others than we may think. It can be that an illiterate sister in a male dominated society can think that her attendance at church meetings cannot encourage anyone. It can be that the Christian stockbroker feels that it is impossible for him to influence those he works with. But we do have influence. We have become so humiliated by a shame based society that we can underestimate the value and power of our own personhood.
10:13 Against Yahweh, against the word of Yahweh- God and His word are here paralleled; for “the word was [and is] God” (Jn. 1:1). Our attitude to God’s word is our attitude to Him.
10:13,14 Just before his final fight with the Philistines, "Saul enquired of Yahweh (but) Yahweh answered him not" (1 Sam. 28:6), and therefore he went to a witch. But in God's final analysis of Saul, Yahweh says that He smote Saul because Saul sinned against God's word by not enquiring of God, but of a witch. But Saul did enquire of God (see 1 Sam. 14:27 s.w.; 28:6), but God didn't answer him (note how often in the records it is stated by contrast that David enquired successfully of Yahweh). The point is that although Saul prayed to God and enquired of His word on the surface, in his heart, he did nothing of the sort; and therefore his prayer and enquiry was reckoned never to have happened. And we must ask how much of our prayer and Bible study is seen by God as being only spoken and read on a surface level. This was exactly the problem of natural Israel. "They have not cried unto Me with their heart, when they howled (in prayer) upon their beds" (Hos. 7:14). "Though they called them to the Most High, none at all would exalt Him" (Hos. 11:7).