Verses 47–52

Here is a general account of Saul’s court and camp. 1. Of his court and family, the names of his sons and daughters (1 Sam. 14:49), and of his wife and his cousin-german that was general of his army, 1 Sam. 14:50. There is mention of another wife of Saul’s (2 Sam. 21:8), Rizpah, a secondary wife, and of the children he had by her. 2. Of his camp and military actions. (1.) How he levied his army: When he saw any strong valiant man, that was remarkably fit for service, he took him unto him (1 Sam. 14:52), as Samuel had told them the manner of the king would be (1 Sam. 8:11); and, if he must have a standing army, it was his prudence to fill it up with the ablest men he could make choice of. (2.) How he employed his army. He guarded his country against the insults of its enemies on every side, and prevented their incursions, 1 Sam. 14:47, 48. It is supposed that he acted only defensively against those that used to invade the borders of Israel; and whithersoever he turned himself, as there was occasion, he vexed them, by checking and disappointing them. But the enemies he struggled most with were the Philistines, with whom he had sore war all his days, 1 Sam. 14:52. He had little reason to be proud of his royal dignity, nor had any of his neighbours cause to envy him, for he had little enjoyment of himself after he took the kingdom. He could not vex his enemies without some vexation to himself, such thorns are crowns quilted with.