Poole on 1 Samuel 7:13, 14: Ending the Philistine Menace

Verse 13:[1] (Judg. 13:1) So the Philistines were subdued, and they (1 Sam. 13:5) came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.



[And they appointed no more to come into the borders of Israel] Hebrew: and they shall no more add that they might come into the land:[2] that is, they did not thereafter attack the children of Israel (Vatablus). This is not without difficulty. For the Philistines invaded the Israelites in the beginning of the reign of Saul, 1 Samuel 13:5, 7; and again, 1 Samuel 17:1; etc.; and in all the days of Saul, 1 Samuel 14:52. See also 1 Samuel 31; 2 Samuel 8:1 (Mendoza). But they oppressed the Hebrews in such a way that they permitted to them neither arms, nor blacksmiths, 1 Samuel 13:19. So how is this true, that they did no more or longer add to come? עוֹד signifies yet, more, further, ἔτι, again, thereafter (Drusius). Responses: 1. That further sometimes denotes only a long time, but not perpetuity; as it is evident from Genesis 35:10;[3] 2 Samuel 7:10, it shall be agitated no more;[4] and yet it was agitated afterwards, 2 Kings 6:23[5] (Mendoza). Thus is was spoken of Zidon, thou shalt no more add that thou shouldest glory, Isaiah 23:12,[6] and of Tyre, thou shalt not be built,[7] although both cities were restored, etc., but after the passing of many days (Sanchez). Sometimes this is used of a brief bit of time, as in Proverbs 31:7, there shall be remembrance of his trouble no more[8] (Drusius). The sense is, therefore, that the Philistines for a long time refrained from attacking the land of Israel (Mendoza). 2. Often the Scripture denies that what happens less often, or without the same success, is going to be any longer. Thus in Genesis 35:10, thou shalt not be called any more Jacob; that is, not so frequently: and in 2 Kings 6:23, the Syrians came no more, that is, with like success. Otherwise they did come again. So in this place, the Philistines, because they came only after a long time, and seldom, and to no effect, are said to have returned no more (Sanchez). They did not continue to invade, that is, with a regular army, so that they might enlarge their territory; but they were content to watch what they had acquired by a military outpost (Junius, and from him Piscator, Malvenda). 3. That more is immediately defined by the following words, all the days of Samuel (Mendoza). [Of which it is to be spoken shortly.]


[And so the hand of the Lord was upon the Philistines] The hand of the Lord is said to be upon someone, either for good, as in 1 Kings 18:46; 2 Kings 3:15; 2 Chronicles 30:12. Or for ill, as in Judges 2:15; 1 Samuel 5:9; and this passage (Mendoza). And the stroke of the Lord (Jonathan); and the punishment of the Lord was severe (Arabic). The Israelites were over the Philistines (Vatablus).



[All the days of Samuel] Either, 1. As long as Samule lived (Vatablus, similarly Junius, Piscator, Malvenda, Arabic). But this is flase (Mendoza). Or, 2. While Samuel was in his vigor (Martyr), until he had grown old (Drusius). For then he was no longer able because of old age to travel to their cities, and admonish the people concerning their duty, as he had formerly done; therefore, they sinned, and the hand of the Lord was against them (Drusius, Martyr). Or, 3. As long as Samuel maintained the principate (Mendoza, similarly Osiander). Until the kingdom of Saul the Philistines did not dare to enter the borders of the Israelites with an army. But afterwards they grew strong again, as it appears from 1 Samuel 13:19 (Grotius). Objection: But if at that time only peace endured, it endured not at all, for Samuel governed for only twenty years before Saul, after which was this war, and the following peace. Response: Perhaps he speaks of a peace that flourished during those twenty years, with this one battle excepted. I say this, until another, more suitable response occurs (Mendoza). [Others reckon the times differently, concerning which there is to be a discussion hereafter.]


They came no more into the coast of Israel, that is, they came not with a great host, as now they did, but only molested them with straggling parties, or garrisons; as 1 Samuel 10:5; and they came not, to wit, all the days of Samuel, as it follows, that is, while Samuel was their sole judge, or ruler; for in Saul’s time they did come, 1 Samuel 13:5, 17; 14:52; 17:1, etc.


Verse 14:[9] And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.


[And the cities were given back, וַתָּשֹׁבְנָה] And they returned (Jonathan, Drusius). For שָׁב properly signifies this (Drusius). They were restored (Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus, Drusius), given back (Septuagint), brought back (Junius and Tremellius, Drusius), returned (Junius, Piscator); they returned, or restored (Syriac, Vatablus, Kimchi in Drusius), that is, הֵשִׁיבוּ, they caused to return. Thus elsewhere, שָׁב אֶת־שְׁבוּת, He restored the captivity, that is, the captives[10] (Drusius). Samuel either took these cities by force, as Josephus maintains, Antiquities 6:1: Or he received them, offered willingly by the Philistines, fearing the loss of their own, if they should retain those of others (Mendoza, similarly Sanchez).



[From Ekron unto Gath] Which is to be understood to the exclusion of the cities lying between. For Ekron and Gath also pertained to the Philistines long afterwards (Mendoza).


[And the borders thereof: and he liberated Israel from the hand of the Philistines (similarly the Syriac, Arabic)] How did he liberated, since the Philistines oppressed them to such an extent that they permitted them to have neither arms, nor blacksmiths? Response: The Hebrews were not so much liberated from them, as their power and audacity were suppressed, lest they should engage in new acts of plundering (Sanchez). [But they translate the Hebrew otherwise: וְאֶ֙ת־גְּבוּלָ֔ן הִצִּ֥יל יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מִיַּ֣ד פְּלִשְׁתִּ֑ים.] And the border of Israel they seized from the hand of the Philistines (Septuagint). And the border thereof Israel freed, or seized, from the hand of the Philistines (Pagnine, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, similarly Jonathan); border, that is, borders (Drusius, Mariana). Their borders, or boundaries: that is, their region (Vatablus): or the borders thereof (Vatablus, Drusius, Osiander), that is, the fields (Vatablus). Or the places lying next to those cities (Osiander). Others thus: with the borders thereof; and Israel freed (or seized [Munster]) them from the hand of the Philistines (Tigurinus, Munster).


The cities were restored to Israel by the Philistines, who, it seems, were frightened into this restitution by their dread of Samuel, and of the Divine vengeance. Objection: The Philistines had cities and garrisons in Israel’s land after this time; as 1 Samuel 10:5; 13:3. Answer: Either therefore those places were not any of these here mentioned; for it is not said that all their cities were restored, but only indefinitely the cities, and those limited to a certain compass, from Ekron to Gath; or some of the cities now restored by the Philistines, were afterwards retaken by them.


[And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites] That is, there was an abstention from all hostile acts, not by covenant, but by mutual fear (Grotius). But who then are the Amorites here? Response 1: The remaining Canaanites (thus Josephus in Malvenda). Which is to say, there was war only with the Philistines: for the remaining Canaanites were conducting themselves peacefully (Malvenda). The sense: Samuel not only broke the yoke of the Philistines, but also compelled the other neighboring peoples, who were generally wont to harass Israel in all ages, to abstain from wars (Tirinus out of Sanchez). But Amorites are put in the place of all Canaanites, both here and in Amos 2:9, 10. Either, 1. Because the Amorites were the strongest of the Canaanites, and their region fertile and prosperous, and difficult to conquer; just as other nations had their name from their principal region. Or, 2. Because that region, as first of all, met the Hebrews in armed opposition, and was, first of all, known and conquered.[11] Now, the first place that explorers happen upon often communicates its name to an entire province (Sanchez). Perhaps in the Philistine war the remnants of the Amorites brought help to them, who were not cherishing peace, when they saw the Philistines conquered (Drusius). But this is not found in the book; nor in Ecclesiasticus 46, in which this history is reproduced, and mention is made of the Tyrians, not the Canaanites.[12] Moreover, as war against the Amorites is not treated here, so it was not following, that peace with them was treated (Mendoza). Response 2: The Amories appear to have been put here in the place of the Philistines (Vatablus, Munster, thus Lapide, Mendoza, Malvenda). Who are called Amorites here, although they were not properly Canaanites; either because of the nearness and affinity contracted with the Canaanites (Mendoza); or because they had occupied those places of the Amorites, for which reason they were reckoned Amorites, that is, of the seven nations inhabiting the promised land[13] (Lapide).


There was peace; an agreement for the cessation of all acts of hostility. The Amorites, that is, the Canaanites, oft called Amorites, because these were formerly the most valiant and terrible of all those nations, and the first enemies which the Israelites met with, when they went to take possession of their land. They made this peace with the Canaanites, that they might be more at leisure to oppose the Philistines, now their most potent enemies.

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּכָּֽנְעוּ֙ הַפְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים וְלֹא־יָסְפ֣וּ ע֔וֹד לָב֖וֹא בִּגְב֣וּל יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַתְּהִ֤י יַד־יְהוָה֙ בַּפְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים כֹּ֖ל יְמֵ֥י שְׁמוּאֵֽל׃ [2] Hebrew: וְלֹא־יָסְפ֣וּ ע֔וֹד לָב֖וֹא בִּגְב֣וּל. [3] Genesis 35:10: “And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob (לֹֽא־יִקָּרֵא֩ שִׁמְךָ֙ ע֜וֹד יַעֲקֹ֗ב), but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.” [4] 2 Samuel 7:10: “Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more (וְלֹ֥א יִרְגַּ֖ז ע֑וֹד); neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any moreוְלֹֽא־יֹסִ֤יפוּ בְנֵֽי־עַוְלָה֙) לְעַנּוֹת֔וֹ), as beforetime…” [5] 2 Kings 6:23: “And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel (וְלֹֽא־יָ֤סְפוּ עוֹד֙ גְּדוּדֵ֣י אֲרָ֔ם לָב֖וֹא בְּאֶ֥רֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃).” [6] Isaiah 23:12a: “And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice (לֹֽא־תוֹסִ֥יפִי ע֖וֹד לַעְל֑וֹז), O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon…” [7] Ezekiel 26:14: “And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more (לֹ֥א תִבָּנֶ֖ה ע֑וֹד): for I the Lord have spoken it, saith the Lord God.” [8] Proverbs 31:7: “Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more (וַ֜עֲמָל֗וֹ לֹ֣א יִזְכָּר־עֽוֹד׃).” [9] Hebrew: וַתָּשֹׁ֣בְנָה הֶעָרִ֡ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר לָֽקְחוּ־פְלִשְׁתִּים֩ מֵאֵ֙ת יִשְׂרָאֵ֤ל׀ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מֵעֶקְר֣וֹן וְעַד־גַּ֔ת וְאֶ֙ת־גְּבוּלָ֔ן הִצִּ֥יל יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מִיַּ֣ד פְּלִשְׁתִּ֑ים וַיְהִ֣י שָׁל֔וֹם בֵּ֥ין יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וּבֵ֥ין הָאֱמֹרִֽי׃ [10] See, for example, Psalm 126:1; Job 42:10. [11] See Numbers 21:21-32. [12] Ecclesiasticus 46:13-20: “Samuel, the prophet of the Lord, beloved of his Lord, established a kingdom, and anointed princes over his people. By the law of the Lord he judged the congregation, and the Lord had respect unto Jacob. By his faithfulness he was found a true prophet, and by his word he was known to be faithful in vision. He called upon the mighty Lord, when his enemies pressed upon him on every side, when he offered the sucking lamb. And the Lord thundered from heaven, and with a great noise made his voice to be heard. And he destroyed the rulers of the Tyrians, and all the princes cf the Philistines. And before his long sleep he made protestations in the sight of the Lord and his anointed, I have not taken any man’s goods, so much as a shoe: and no man did accuse him. And after his death he prophesied, and shewed the king his end, and lifted up his voice from the earth in prophecy, to blot out the wickedness of the people.” [13] See Deuteronomy 7:1; Acts 13:19.