1 Samuel 14:20 MEANING

1 Samuel 14:20
(20) Assembled themselves.--In the margin of the English Version we find "were cried together," that is, "were assembled by the trumpet call." The Syriac and Vulg., however, more accurately render the Hebrew shouted, that is, raised the war-cry of Israel.

Every man's sword was against his fellow.--The statement in the next verse (21) explains this. Profiting by the wild confusion which reigned now throughout the Philistine host, a portion of their own auxiliaries--unwilling allies, doubtless--turned their arms against their employers or masters. From this moment no one in the panic-stricken army could rightly distinguish friend from foe. In such a scene of confusion the charge of Saul, at the head of his small but well-trained soldierly band, must have done terrible execution. Shouting the well-known war-cry of Benjamin, it penetrated wedge-like into the heart of the broken Philistine host.

Verse 20. - Saul and all the people... assembled themselves. Margin, were cried together, i.e. summoned by trumpet note. The Syriac and Vulgate, however, make the verb active, and translate, "And Saul and all the people with him shouted and advanced to the battle." Discomfiture. Rather, "dismay," "consternation," as in 1 Samuel 5:9.

14:16-23 The Philistines were, by the power of God, set against one another. The more evident it was that God did all, the more reason Saul had to inquire whether God would give him leave to do any thing. But he was in such haste to fight a fallen enemy, that he would not stay to end his devotions, nor hear what answer God would give him. He that believeth, will not make such haste, nor reckon any business so urgent, as not to allow time to take God with him.And Saul, and all the people that were with him, assembled themselves,.... The six hundred men that were with him, unless we can suppose the 1000 that had been with Jonathan in Gibeah were here still, see 1 Samuel 13:2.

and they came to the battle; to the field of battle, the place where the army of the Philistines had lain encamped:

and, behold, every man's sword was against his fellow; taking one another for Hebrews, or treacherous and disaffected persons; so that, though the Israelites had neither swords nor spears, they needed none, for the Philistines destroyed one another with their own swords; and there was a

very great discomfiture; noise, tumult, confusion, slaughter, and destruction.

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