top of page

Poole's on 1 Samuel 25:1-3: The Death of Samuel

[circa 1060 BC] Verse 1:[1] And (1 Sam. 28:3) Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and (Num. 20:29; Deut. 34:8) lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.


[They buried him in his own house] The sepulchers in that time were wont to be private. See Genesis 23:9; 50:5; Matthew 27:60 (Grotius). He died while Saul was pursuing David (Vatablus); and four months before the death of Saul, say the Hebrews in Seder Olam (Tirinus).


Buried him in his house, according to the manner of those times. See Genesis 23:9; 50:5; Matthew 27:60.


[He went down to the desert of Paran] To the southern borders of the tribe of Judah (Malvenda out of Junius, Menochius). Concerning Paran see Genesis 14:6 (Malvenda), and Habakkuk 3:3 (Menochius).


The wilderness of Paran, in the southern borders of the land of Judah, that so when occasion served, he might retire out of Saul’s dominions.


Verse 2:[2] And there was a man (1 Sam. 23:24) in Maon, whose possessions (or, business[3]) were in (Josh. 15:55) Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.



[There was a man in the wilderness of Maon, וְאִ֙ישׁ בְּמָע֜וֹן] And a man (understanding, a certain man was dwelling [Syriac, Pagnine]) in Maon (Montanus). The name of a place near the desert of Paran (Vatablus). Maon is part of the desert of Paran (Menochius). Concerning Maon and Carmel, see Joshua 15:55 (Junius).


[And his possession, וּמַעֲשֵׂהוּ] And his work (Montanus, Malvenda, Junius and Tremellius), or business (Piscator), that is, property of cattle: as it is evident from what follows. A Metonymy of adjunct, and a Synecdoche of genus. In the same signification מְלָאכָה/work is taken in Genesis 33:14[4] (Piscator). Work is put in the place of possession, or cattle (Munster): in the place of property, sheep and cattle, in which is the whole labor of man (Vatablus, similarly the Hebrews in Mariana). Or in the place of profit, and cultivation, as the Septuagint has it, ἐργασία/production: or, as the Chaldean has it, in the place of substance,[5] which is called work, because it is obtained and kept with work (Mariana). Whose wealth (Syriac, Pagnine, Vatablus); whose works (Tigurinus).


[In Carmel] This is a different one from the famous mount Carmel near the sea in the tribe of Asher, of which we treated in Joshua 12:22. This Carmel was in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:55 (Malvenda). This was a mountain, and on the mountain was a city. Here Saul erected a triumphal arch, 1 Samuel 15 (Lapide). Carmel and Maon are towns near the desert of Paran (Munster).


Maon; a place in or near to the wilderness of Paran. See 1 Samuel 23:24. Carmel; not that Carmel in Issachar, of which see 1 Samuel 15:12; 1 Kings 18:19; but another in the tribe of Judah, near unto Maon, as appears from Joshua 15:55.


[He was shearing his flock, etc., וַיְהִ֛י בִּגְזֹ֥ז אֶת־צֹאנ֖וֹ בַּכַּרְמֶֽל׃] And he was in shearing his flock in Carmel (Montanus). It happened (had happened [Pagnine]) that he was shearing, etc. (Munster, Tigurinus, Pagnine). And he was shearing, etc. (Dutch, English). He was [I place commas, so that the sense of the author might be evident], when his sheep were sheared, at Carmel (Junius and Tremellius). [The Syriac and Arabic enclose the third verse in parentheses, and connect the second verse with the fourth, in this manner, while he was shearing his sheep…verse 4, David had heard, etc.] Moreover, the more lively feasts were generally wont to be celebrated during shearing (Osiander).


Verse 3:[6] Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.


[Hard[7]] Inhuman. A Metaphor (Piscator, Vatablus).


[The worst, etc., וְרַ֥ע מַעֲלָלִ֖ים] Evil in deeds (Jonathan, similarly Pagnine, Munster), in pursuits (Septuagint), in manners (Syriac); possessed of evil pursuits (Tigurinus, Vatablus); given to evil actions (Junius and Tremellius).


[Now, he was of the stock of Caleb (thus Munster, Vatablus), וְה֥וּא כָלִבִּֽו׃] [The Masorah reads, כָלִבִּי.] And he was a Calebite (Montanus, thus Pagnine, Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius), of the house of Caleb (Jonathan). He was illustrious with respect to his genealogy; that is, just as many are proud of the grandeur of their ancestors, but do not imitate their virtues (Osiander). Nabal, like Caleb, was pertaining to the tribe of Judah, from which the ingratitude of the former toward David, a man of the same tribe, and deserving good from him, is indicated as greater (Menochius). [Others take it appellatively:] A man canine[8] (Septuagint, similarly the Arabic), rabid (Syriac). With the points changed, it signifies just like the heart[9] of him [כְלִבּוֹ]. And so he was hard and malicious, just like his heart (Mariana): that is, he was altogether degenerate in heart and actions. Some maintain that the י/Yod has degenerated into a ו/Vau, on account of some mystery: perhaps so that it might be indicated that he greatly degenerated from the manners of Caleb (Malvenda).


He was of the house of Caleb: This is added to aggravate his crime, that he was a degenerate branch of that noble stock of Caleb, and consequently of the tribe of Judah, as David was.

[1] Hebrew: וַיָּ֣מָת שְׁמוּאֵ֔ל וַיִּקָּבְצ֤וּ כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וַיִּסְפְּדוּ־ל֔וֹ וַיִּקְבְּרֻ֥הוּ בְּבֵית֖וֹ בָּרָמָ֑ה וַיָּ֣קָם דָּוִ֔ד וַיֵּ֖רֶד אֶל־מִדְבַּ֥ר פָּארָֽן׃ [2] Hebrew: וְאִ֙ישׁ בְּמָע֜וֹן וּמַעֲשֵׂ֣הוּ בַכַּרְמֶ֗ל וְהָאִישׁ֙ גָּד֣וֹל מְאֹ֔ד וְל֛וֹ צֹ֥אן שְׁלֹֽשֶׁת־אֲלָפִ֖ים וְאֶ֣לֶף עִזִּ֑ים וַיְהִ֛י בִּגְזֹ֥ז אֶת־צֹאנ֖וֹ בַּכַּרְמֶֽל׃ [3] Hebrew: וּמַעֲשֵׂהוּ. [4] Genesis 33:14: “Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle (הַמְּלָאכָה, the work) that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.” [5] Chaldean: וְנִכסוֹהִי. [6] Hebrew: וְשֵׁ֤ם הָאִישׁ֙ נָבָ֔ל וְשֵׁ֥ם אִשְׁתּ֖וֹ אֲבִגָ֑יִל וְהָאִשָּׁ֤ה טֽוֹבַת־שֶׂ֙כֶל֙ וִ֣יפַת תֹּ֔אַר וְהָאִ֥ישׁ קָשֶׁ֛ה וְרַ֥ע מַעֲלָלִ֖ים וְה֥וּא כְלִבּֽוֹ׃ [7] Hebrew: קָשֶׁה, hard, harsh, rough, rude, severe. [8]כֶּלֶב signifies dog. [9]לֵב signifies heart; כּ, like/as.

Recent Posts

See All

2 commentaires


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
22 juil. 2023


Matthew Henry: 'We have here a short account of Samuel's death and burial. 1. Though he was a great man, and one that was admirably well qualified for public service, yet he spent the latter end of his days in retirement and obscurity, not because he was superannuated (for he knew how to preside in a college of the prophets, 1 Samuel 19:20), but because Israel had rejected him, for which God thus justly chastised them, and because his desire was to be quiet and to enjoy himself and his God in the exercises of devotion now in his advanced years, and in this desire God graciously indulged him. Let old people be willing to rest themselves, though it loo…


J'aime

Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
22 juil. 2023

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

J'aime
bottom of page