John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible
- The overthrow and death of Saul, verse 1-7.
- The triumph of the Philistines, verse 8-10.
- The men of Jabesh-gilead take down and bury the bodies of Saul and his sons, verse 11, 12.
- The reason of Saul's death, verse 13, 14.
The men of Israel fled, &c. - Thus princes sin and the people suffer for it. No doubt there was enough in them to deserve it. But that which divine justice had chiefly an eye to, was the sin of Saul. Great men should in an especial manner, take heed of provoking God's wrath. For if they kindle that fire, they know not how many may be consumed by it for their sakes.
His house - All his children, then present with him, namely, his three sons, for Ishbosheth and Mephiboshieth were not slain.
Temple of Dagon - If we give not God the glory of our successes, even Philistines will rise up in judgment with us and condemn us. Shall Dagon have so great a place in their triumphs, and the true God be forgotten in ours?
Seven days - Every day 'till evening, after the manner of the Jewish fasts.
The word - Against God's express command: which is a great aggravation of any sin. Familiar spirit - Which also was contrary to a manifest command, Leviticus 19:31.
Enquired not - He did in some sort, but not in a right manner, not humbly and penitently, not diligently and importunately, not patiently and perseveringly. Nor 'till he was brought to the last extremity. And then it was too late.