1 Samuel 15:33
(33) Samuel hewed Agag in pieces.--It has been suggested, with some probability, that these words refer to a peculiar form of putting to death, like the quartering in vogue during the Middle Ages.

Verse 33. - As thy sword hath made women childless. Agag's life had been spent in freebooting expeditions, in which he had shed blood ruthlessly, and so justice required his execution in requital of his deeds to others. Samuel hewed Agag in pieces. The verb occurs only here, and probably refers to some particular method of execution, like the quartering of the middle ages. Being in the Piel conjugation, it would mean not so much that Samuel put Agag to death himself as that he commanded it to be done.

15:32-35 Many think the bitterness of death is past when it is not gone by; they put that evil day far from them, which is very near. Samuel calls Agag to account for his own sins. He followed the example of his ancestors' cruelty, justly therefore is all the righteous blood shed by Amalek required. Saul seems unconcerned at the token of God's displeasure which he lay under, yet Samuel mourns day and night for him. Jerusalem was carnally secure while Christ wept over it. Do we desire to do the whole will of God? Turn to him, not in form and appearance, but with sincerity.And Samuel said, as thy sword hath made women childless,.... Or, "bereaved (s)" them, not of their children only, but of their husbands also, and so made them both childless and widows; by which it appears that he was a cruel prince, and justly died for his own barbarity and wickedness, as well as for the sins of his ancestors four hundred years ago:

so shall thy mother be childless among women; which was according to the law of retaliation, and what the Jews call measure for measure:

and Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal; either before the ark of the Lord, the symbol of the divine Presence; or before the altar, where Saul and the people had been sacrificing; this he did either himself, though an old man, or by others to whom he gave the orders; and which he did not as being the chief magistrate, and by virtue of his office, but acting as on a special occasion, at the command of God, and to show his zeal for him, and indignation at such a breach of his command. In what manner this was done, is not easy to say; he was not torn to pieces by the hand, without an instrument, as Baebius by the Romans (t); or sawn asunder, as some by Caligula (u); and as Isaiah the prophet is said to be by Manasseh, king of Judah, to which it is thought the apostle alludes, Hebrews 11:37. According to Ben Gersom, the word signifies he cleaved him, as wood is cleaved; or divided him into four parts, as Jarchi; perhaps he slew him with the sword, and then quartered him; that is, ordered it to be done.

(s) "orbavit", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, &c. (t) Flori Hist. l. 3. c. 21. (u) Sueton. in Vita ejus, c. 27.

1 Samuel 15:32
Top of Page
Top of Page