The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible1 Samuel 13:1
Saul reigned one year…
"Or the son of a year in his
reigning" F19; various are the senses given of these words: some
interpret them, Saul had a son of a year old when he began to reign,
Ishbosheth, and who was forty years of age when his father died,
(2 Samuel 2:10) , others, who understand the words of Saul himself, think
there is an "ellipsis" or defect of the number, and that it may be
supplied, that Saul was the son of thirty or forty years, or whatsoever
age he may be supposed to be at when he began his reign; others take
the words in a figurative sense, that he was like a child of a year old,
for purity and innocence; so the Targum,
``as the son of a year, in whom there are no faults, so was
Saul when he reigned;''
or he was but a year old, reckoning from the time he was turned into
another man, and had another heart, which was immediately after he was
anointed king at Ramah by Samuel; or he was but a year old with respect
to his kingdom: the inauguration of a king is "natalis imperil", the
birthday of his kingdom, and therefore the words are well enough
rendered by us, "Saul reigned one year"; which is to be reckoned either
from his unction at Ramah, or rather from his election at Mizpeh, to
the renewal of the kingdom at Gilgal:
and when he had reigned two years over Israel;
which the Jewish
chronologers F20 make to be the whole of his reign, which is not
probable, considering the many things done in his reign, the many
battles he fought with all his enemies on every side of him, and his
long persecution of David; and there were no less than three
high priests in his reign; Josephus says F17 he reigned eighteen
years in the lifetime of Samuel, and twenty two years after his
death, in all forty; which agrees with (Acts 13:21) . Some interpret
it he reigned two years well, and the rest in a tyrannical way; or
that at the end of two years, when David was anointed, the kingdom was
not reckoned to him, but to David; and to this purpose Dr. Lightfoot
writes, that he had been king one year from his first anointing by
Samuel at Ramah, to his second anointing by him at Gibeah (Gilgal I
suppose he means); and he reigned after this two years more, before
the Lord cast him off, and anointed David; and the time he ruled after
that was not a rule, but a tyranny and persecution F18; but the sense
Ben Gersom gives is best of all, that one year had passed from the
time of his being anointed, to the time of the renewal of the kingdom
at Gilgal; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, then he did
what follows, chose 3000 men… In the first year of his reign was
done all that is recorded in the preceding chapter; and when he had
reigned two years, not two years more, but two years in all, then he
did what is related in this chapter.
F19 (wklmb lwav hnv Nb) "filius anni Saul in regnando ipsum", Montanus.
F20 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 13. p. 35. Juchasin, fol. 11. 1.
F17 Antiqu. l. 6. c. 14. sect. 9.
F18 Works, vol. 1. p. 55.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 13:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=1sa&chapter=013&verse=001>. 1999.