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Poole on 1 Samuel 6:13: The Ark's Joyous Return

Verse 13:[1] And they of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.



[They were reaping wheat] Hebrew: the harvest of wheats[2] (Piscator), of wheat (Junius and Tremellius). The wheat harvest followed the barley harvest by the space of one month. It was lasting to the end of May, and Pentecost was closing it (Drusius). Therefore, since the Ark was in Philistia for seven months,[3] it was taken in the month of November (Menochius out of Sanchez).


[They saw the Ark] Which they were easily recognizing, 1. From its peculiar form. 2. Or from its covering, if it was covered, or from its splendor, if uncovered; since both within and without it was covered with golden plates (Sanchez).


[And they were glad when they had seen it (thus the Syriac, Arabic, Munster, Pagnine), לִרְאוֹת] To see (English); in seeing (Jonathan, Montanus, Piscator). Others: in inspecting it, uncovered contrary to the law, Numbers 4:5, whether it was uncovered by them, or by the Philistines (Junius). But in verse 19, mention is made of that curious inspection of the Ark, but by another expression, namely, to look in/on the Ark;[4] that is to inspect and carefully to consider the Ark (Piscator). Because of joy, because the Ark was restored to them so suddenly, and without price, and with such a miracle (Mendoza).

[1] Hebrew: וּבֵ֣ית שֶׁ֔מֶשׁ קֹצְרִ֥ים קְצִיר־חִטִּ֖ים בָּעֵ֑מֶק וַיִּשְׂא֣וּ אֶת־עֵינֵיהֶ֗ם וַיִּרְאוּ֙ אֶת־הָ֣אָר֔וֹן וַֽיִּשְׂמְח֖וּ לִרְאֽוֹת׃ [2] Hebrew: קְצִיר־חִטִּים. [3] 1 Samuel 6:1. [4] 1 Samuel 6:19a: “And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord (רָאוּ֙ בַּאֲר֣וֹן יְהוָ֔ה), even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men…”

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Feb 13, 2021

William Gurnall's Christian in Complete Armour: 'The more straits and difficulties thou conquerest to keep up thy communion with God, the more kindly it is taken of God. No friend is more welcome to us than he who breaks through many occasions to give us a visit. There is little cost, and so little love, in an idle man's visit—he that comes to see us because he hath nothing else to do. Mary was Christ's favourite, who trode the world under her feet, that she might sit at his feet. And the Bethshemites, who in their zeal—I confess their case is extraordinary—came out of their very harvest-field, where they were reaping, to offer a sacrifice to the Lord, 1 Samue…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Feb 13, 2021


Matthew Henry: 'How it was welcomed to the land of Israel: The men of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat-harvest, 1 Samuel 6:13. They were going on with their worldly business, and were in no care about the ark, made no enquiries what had become of it; if they had, it is likely they might have had private intelligence beforehand of its coming, and might have gone to meet it, and conduct it into their own border. But they were as careless as the people that ceiled their own houses and let God's house lie waste. Note, God will in his own time effect the deliverance of his church, not only though it be fought against by its enemies, but thoug…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Feb 13, 2021

Study 1 Samuel with Matthew Poole! www.fromreformationtoreformation.com/1-samuel

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