The Agora
Bible Commentary
1 Chronicles

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1 Chronicles 10

1Ch 10:1

Vv 1-14: The death of Saul at the hands of the Philistines. The book of Chronicles dismisses the whole of the reign of Saul in one ch. No mention of any of his activities. Chronicles is concerned with the line of David. Hence Saul is passed over so quickly.

1Ch 10:6

ALL HIS HOUSE DIED TOGETHER: 1Sa 31:6 says, "all his men", ie those who immediately surrounded him in the battle. There were others, both of his sons and his troops, that managed to survive (2Sa 2:8; 21:8).

1Ch 10:7

THE PHILISTINES CAME AND OCCUPIED THEM: Now the Philistines were living in the very heartland of Israel (the valley of Jezreel). Cp 1Ch 22:18: by the end of David's reign there was "rest on every side"; David had retaken these lands, and reorganized the kingdom (1Ch 27:1,25).

1Ch 10:11

Vv 11,12: The men of Jabesh Gilead had been delivered by Saul (1Sa 11:1-13); this explains their valiant actions.

1Ch 10:12

JABESH: Sig "dried up, withered". Saul = the natural kingdom, which failed.

1Ch 10:13

SAUL DIED BECAUSE HE WAS UNFAITHFUL TO THE LORD: "This shows the nature of unforgivable sin. It is a matter of heart. No sin is any worse than any other in the sense that the smallest sin leaves us in need of God's grace. It is certain that the sins which are recorded of David would prevent his entry into eternal life, were it not for the grace of God. So we have to conclude that it is not the presence or absence of sin which affects our salvation, but the attitude of humility and contrition which God requires, which was not present in Saul" (PC).

1Ch 10:14

INQUIRE: What looks to be a contradiction may be explained by recourse to the meaning of the underlying Hebrew words. In 1Ch 10:14, we are told that Saul "did NOT inquire of the LORD", whereas in 1Sa 28:6, we are told that he DID "inquire". The explanation is fairly simple: (1) The word translated "inquire" in 1Ch 10:14 is "darash", which signifies "to follow after, and especially to worship". (2) The word translated "inquire" in 1Sa 28:6 is "shaal", which signifies "to request, or (even) to demand" (incidentally, it is related to the meaning of the name "Saul").

So, Saul did "inquire" of the LORD in making requests or demands (1Sa 28:6), but he did NOT "inquire" of the LORD in the sense of truly seeking after Him (1Ch 10:14)! [However, Saul DOES "seek out diligently" (the Hebrew "darash") the witch of Endor: 1Sa 28:7! Now there's a sad commentary.]

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