1 Samuel 14:23
(23) So the Lord saved Israel . . .--The identical words used at the Red Sea, after the deliverance of the people from Egypt. So the battle rolled westward through Beth-aven, past city and village, over Mount Ephraim. It was a decisive victory, crushing in its results to the Philistines, who were driven back so effectually as not to re-appear till the close of Saul's reign. The king was now at liberty to develop the military character of the people; and till the disaster which closed his life and reign, his various campaigns against the idolatrous nations who surrounded Israel generally appear to have gone on from victory to victory.

Verse 23. - Over unto Beth-aven. Hebrew, "the battle passed Beth-aven," i.e. no rally was made there. In ver. 31 we read that the pursuit continued as far as Aijalon. For Beth-aven see on 1 Samuel 13:5. SAUL'S RASH COMMAND (vers. 24-35).

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.So the Lord saved Israel that day, &c. And a wonderful salvation it was, that two men should throw such a vast army into confusion, which issued in the utter rout and destruction of them; this only could be of the Lord, to whom it is justly ascribed, and was the effect of his sovereign good will and pleasure, and of his unmerited goodness; a free favour bestowed on an undeserving prince, who had behaved ill to his prophet at Gilgal, and now to him and his high priest at Gibeah:

and the battle passed over unto Bethaven; the men of battle or war; those that made war, as the Targum, these pursued and went as far as Bethaven, or rather "passed Bethaven" (q); they not only, went as far as that, but "from" it, as Ben Gersom and Abarbinel interpret it; they passed that place, and went on from thence in pursuit of the Philistines; for their camp at Michmash was eastward from this place, and had it on the east, 1 Samuel 13:5.

(q) "transiit Bethaven", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "vel, beliatores transierunt Bethaven", Pagninus, Vatablus, Drusius.

1 Samuel 14:22
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