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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

1 Samuel 13

Verses 1-23

There is some difficulty concerning the opening sentences of this chapter. Some words seem to be omitted, which make it difficult to place the events recorded in their chronological setting. The Authorized Version reads, "Saul reigned one year, and when he had reigned two years. . . ." The Revised Version reads, "Saul was (thirty) years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years over Israel." The American Revision reads, "Saul was (forty) years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years over Israel." Quite evidently at some point in the work of transmission, a word was omitted.

The rest of the chapter, and, indeed, the whole of the following chapter gives us the account of the wars he waged. He first created an army of 3,000 men. The Philistines, who looked on the Hebrews as easy prey, for they were practically without arms, gathered themselves together to attempt to break the power of the chosen people. The enormous strength of the enemy filled the Israelites with fear, and they scattered, hiding themselves in caves and thickets, in rocks, and coverts, and pits.

It was under these circumstances that Saul's self-dependence manifested itself in his offering of sacrifice in the absence, and without the instruction, of Samuel. If such an action does not appear to be very serious, it must be remembered that its peril lay in its manifestation of Saul's insubordination to the will and appointment of God in the smallest matters.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 13". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". 1857-84.