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SAUL’S CURSE & SAUL’S ENEMIES
I Samuel 14:24-52
Victor M. Eskew
1. Outline the section:
i. NO FOOD (I Sam. 14:24)
ii. NO HONEY (I Sam. 14:25-26)
iii. NO KNOWLEDGE (I Sam. 14:27-30)
iv. NO RESTRAINT (I Sam. 14:31-35)
v. NO ANWER (I Sam. 14:36-44)
vi. NO EXECUTION (I Sam. 14:45-46
vii. NO PEACE (I Sam. 14:47-52)
2. Why were the men of Israel distressed? (I Sam. 14:24)
And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food…
A. Saul had forbidden the people from eating any food.
B. There may have been at least two reasons Saul gave this command.
1. FEAR: He was afraid the enemy would escape if his troops failed to keep fighting.
2. INGORANCE: He was trying to provide an incentive for the troops to fight as hard as they could.
C. LESSON: It is possible to hurt yourself rather than help yourself at times. In this case, Paul chose a poor method of motivating his troops. They needed their strength to fight. Without food, their strength would be diminished. (EX., disciplining the boys by writing sentences at the children’s home).
3. How long would the people be without food? (I Sam. 14:24)
…Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies.
A. Until evening
B. Until he was avenged of his enemies
4. T – F Some of the people disregarded Saul’s charge and ate food. (I Sam. 14:24)
So none of the people tasted any food.
5. What did the people find on the ground in the wood (I Sam. 14:25)
And all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey upon the ground.
A. Honey. Remember Canaan was “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exo. 3:8, 17).
B. Question: Why is it that when commands are given, they seem to be immediately challenged in some way?
6. Why didn’t any of the people eat the honey? (I Sam. 14:26)
And when the people were come into the wood, behold, the honey dropped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath.
A. The people feared the oath of the king.
B. In times past, Saul had used unconventional means to strike terror into the hearts of the people. They knew that he was a king who would carry out his oath.
7. T – F Jonathan had heard the oath of his father. (I Sam. 14:27)
But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath…
B. The text does not say where Jonathan was. His not hearing caused him to be ignorant of the king’s command.
8. T – F Jonathan ate the honey. (I Sam. 14:27)
He put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in a honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth…
9. What happened to Jonathan when he ate the honey? (I Sam. 14:27)
…and his eyes were enlightened.
A. His eyes were enlightened
1. Strong (215): to be luminous
2. BDB: to be or to become light, shine, to become bright, to become illuminated, to brighten
C. When a person is hungry and tired, it shows in the eyes. They are dark and droop. When food is taken, the countenance of the individual brightens. There is a glow and shine that was not present before. This was how Jonathan became.
10. What did the people do when they saw Jonathan eat the honey? (I Sam. 14:28)
Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food this day. And the people were faint.
A. They told Jonathan about the oath Saul made the people to take and how they were faint.
11. “Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land…” (I Sam. 14:29)
Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.
12. Define: troubled
A. Strong (5916): to roil water, disturb or afflict
B. BDB: to trouble, stir up, disturb
C. NOTE: The trouble was not sinful in nature. It was an affliction that he brought upon them. The trouble came through an unwise decision made on the part of their leader. Apparently, Saul had not thought about all of the consequences his decision would bring upon the people.
13. T – F The slaughter of the enemies would have greater had the people been able to eat of the
spoils. (I Sam. 14:30).
How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? For had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?
B. With more strength, the people would have been able to overcome more of their enemies.
C. LESSON: It is possible for leaders to make decisions that hinder rather than promote the cause for which they are fighting. Every leader needs to consider the consequences of their decisions before they make them.
14. “And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon (I Sam. 14:31).
A. This was a very fine valley.
B. The distance between the two cities was about 20 miles.
15. After the battle, how did the people feel? (I Sam. 14:31)
…and the people were very faint.
A. The people were very faint.
1. Strong (5888): to languish
2. BDB: to be faint, to be weary
16. Because they were so hungry, what did the people do? (I Sam. 14:32)
And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood.
A. They slew the livestock and began to eat both the meat and the blood.
B. This action was a violation of the Law of Moses (Lev. 19:26).
Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood…
It was also older than the Law (Gen. 9:4).
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
C. NOTE: Saul was the one who occasioned this sin. His decision was not sinful, but it led to sin being committed by the Israelites.
1. Remember Jonathan’s words: “My father hath troubled the land.”
2. We can be part of the cause of other’s sins.
17. What two words describe the actions of the people that day? (I Sam. 14:33)
Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the Lord, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, Ye have transgressed…
1. Strong (2398): to miss…hence, to sin
2. BDB: to sin, miss, miss the way, to wrong, to miss the mark, bring into condemnation
1. Strong (898): to act covertly
2. BDB: to act treacherously (unreliable, breaking a trust), faithlessly
18. What did Saul want rolled unto him? (I Sam. 14:33)
…roll a great stone unto me this day.
A. A great stone
B. Upon this stone the animals could be properly slain and the blood could be poured out upon the ground.
19. Where did Saul want the people to slay the animals? (I Sam. 14:34)
And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the Lord in eating with the blood. And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and slew them there.
A. Saul wanted the people to slay their animals at the site of the stone which he had set up.
20. What did Saul build at this place? (I Sam. 14:35).
And Saul built an altar unto the Lord…
A. An altar
B. The margin reads that Saul “began to build” the altar. Some (Barnes) do not believe that he completed the building of it.
21. T – F This was the second altar Saul had ever built to the Lord. (I Sam. 14:35)
…the same was the first altar that he built unto the Lord.
A. False. This was the first altar that he built
22. When did Saul want to attack to the Philistines? (I Sam. 14:36)
And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and spoil them until morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And they said, Do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee…
A. Since the Israelites had regained their strength, he wanted to attack the Philistines throughout the night.
23. Who said: “Let us draw near hither to God”? (I Sam. 14:36)
The said the priest, Let us draw near hither to God.
A. For some reason not mentioned in the Scriptures, Ahiah wanted to take counsel of God before resuming the battle.
24. What happened when Saul asked counsel of God (I Sam. 14:37)
And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day.
A. God did not answer him.
B. Question: Why did God fail to answer Samuel?
25. What did Saul assume because God did not answer him? (I Sam. 14:38)
And Saul said, Draw ye near hither, all the chief of the people: and know and see wherein this sin hath been this day.
A. Saul believed that there was sin in the camp. Therefore, God refused to answer.
B. See Joshua 7:10-12
26. What sentence did Saul put upon the one who had sinned (I Sam. 14:39)
For, as the Lord liveth, which saveth Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die. But there was not a man among all the people that answered him.
A. He shall surely die.
B. Saul’s rashness continues to display itself. Surely he did not ever think that Jonathan would be the one that would be exposed.
C. NOTE: Saul begins his statement showing his intense desire to get to the bottom of this matter and punish the crime. “As the Lord liveth.”
27. How did Saul divide the people? (I Sam. 14:40)
Then said he unto all Israel, Be ye on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. And the people said unto Saul, Do what seemeth good unto thee.
A. The people were on one side. Saul and Jonathan were on the other side.
B. Some of the people knew that Jonathan had eaten honey that day. They were probably relieved when this division came. Thus, they say: “Do what seemeth good unto thee.”
28. T – F Saul desired a perfect lot. (I Sam. 14:41)
Therefore Saul said unto the Lord God of Israel, give a perfect lot…
1. Strong (8549): integrity, truth
2. BDB: sound, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity…what is complete or entirely in accord with truth and fact (neuter adjective/substantive)
B. Again, Saul desires to find out the truth about this matter. Still the lot had not fallen upon his son.
29. Who was taken when the lot was cast the first time? (I Sam. 14:41)
…And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the people escaped.
A. Saul and Jonathan
B. I wonder what Saul was thinking at this time?
1. Have I done something wrong and will I have to die.
2. Has my son done something wrong and I must slay him?
30. Who was taken when the lot was cast the second time? (I Sam. 14:42)
And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken.
31. What did Jonathan admit that he had done? (I Sam. 14:43)
Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what thou hast done. And Jonathan told him, and said, I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine hand, and lo, I must die.
A. I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine hand.
32. T – F Saul refused to put his son to death. (I Sam. 14:44)
And Saul answered, God to so and more also: for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan.
33. Who saved Jonathan from death? (I Sam. 14:45)
And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground: for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not.
A. The people saved Jonathan
34. Why did the people refuse to allow Jonathan to die? (I Sam. 14:45)
A. Because Jonathan had wrought a great victory over their enemies that day.
35. T – F Jonathan was still put to death. (I Sam. 14:45)
A. False. Saul listened to the people and did not have Jonathan put to death.
B. There are two lines of discussion about this incident.
1. One sees Jonathan being guilty of violating a rash command of Saul and, therefore, was not deserving of death. The real guilty party was Saul for making such an oath upon the people. (Objection: Why didn’t God answer Saul about going to battle? Answer: His none reply was a reply. He did not want Israel to attack. He would not let Saul pursue his enemy out of sheer vengeance. Or, perhaps because the people were unclean they should not engage in battle until the next day).
2. Another line of reasoning sees Jonathan as guilty, but only guilty because of Saul’s error in giving such a command. The commendation of Jonathan, it is said, is in his defeat of the Philistines.
36. T – F After this incident, the battle between Israel and the Philistines ended. (I Sam. 14:46)
Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place.
A. True. At least it was true for a period of time (See I Sam. 14:52)
37. What five nations are listed as the enemies of Saul in I Samuel 14:47.
So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them.
A. Moab…..Ammon…..Edom…..kings of Zobah…..the Philistines
38. What other nation was also an enemy? (I Sam. 14:48)
And he gathered a host, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them.
39. List Saul children (I Sam. 14:49).
Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishui, and Melchishua: and the names of his two daughters were these; the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal.
A. Sons: 1) Jonathan
B. Daughters: 1) Merab
40. Who was Saul’s wife? (I Sam. 14:50)
And the name of Saul’s wife as Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz…
41. Who was the captain of the host? (I Sam. 14:50)
…and the name of the captain of his host was Abner, the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle.
42. T – F Abner was Saul’s uncle (I Sam. 14:50)
A. False. He was Saul’s cousin. He was the son of Saul’s uncle.
43. T – F Abner was the son of Ner, the brother of Kish. (I Sam. 14:51)
44. What kind of war was there with the Philistines all the days of Saul? (I Sam. 14:52)
And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul…
A. Sore war
45. Who did Saul take into his army when he saw him? (I Sam. 14:52)
…and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him.
A. Strong man
1. Strong (1358): powerful :- champion, chief, X excel, giant, man, mighty (man, one), strong (man), valiant man.
2. BDB: strong, mighty
3. These were men who possessed physical strength and might.
A. Valiant man
1. Strong (2428): a force whether of resources or virtue
2. BDB: strength, might, efficiency, wealth, ability
3. These were men that were strong in a number of ways: wealth, character, knowledge, etc.
SAUL’S SECOND SIN
I Samuel 15:1-15
Victor M. Eskew
1. Outline the section:
viii. I Samuel 15:1-3
ix. I Samuel 15:4-7
x. I Samuel 15:8-9
xi. I Samuel 15:10-11
xii. I Samuel 15:12-15
2. Who had sent Samuel to anoint Saul as king over Israel? (I Sam. 15:1)
3. What was Saul exhorted to hearken unto? (I Sam. 15:1)
4. What evil had Amalek done to Israel in the past? (I Sam. 15:2)
5. What words of I Samuel 15:3 speak of how Saul was to treat the Amalekites?
6. “…but slay both ____________ and _____________, _____________ and ______________, ______ and ______________, ________________ and ______________” (I Sam. 15:3).
7. Where did Saul number the people? (I Sam. 15:4)
8. How many troops did he have? (I Sam. 15:4)
9. T – F And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley (I Sam. 15:5)
10. Who did Saul tell to depart from the Amalekites? (I Sam. 15:6)
11. Why did he allow them to depart? (I Sam. 15:6)
12. T – F The Kenites wanted to stay and fight with the Amalekites. (I Sam. 15:6)
13. “And Saul smote the Amalekites from _________________ until thou comest to ____________, that is over against ____________________” (I Sam. 15:7)
14. Who was the only person of the Amalekites that was spared (I Sam. 15:8)
15. T- F Except for the king, Israel utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword (I
16. In addition to the king, what else did Israel spare? (I Sam. 15:9)
17. What type of animals were utterly destroyed by Saul and the people” (I Sam. 15:9)
18. In I Samuel 15:10, whose word came to Samuel?
19. “It _________________ me that I have set up Saul to be king…”(I Sam. 15:11)
20. Define: repenteth
21. What two things did God say Saul had done? (I Sam. 15:11)
22. “And it _________________ Saul; and he ______________unto the Lord all night” (I Sam. 15:11).
23. Define: grieved
24. Where was Samuel going to find Saul? (I Sam. 15:12)
25. What did Saul say to Samuel when Samuel came to him? (I Sam. 15:13)
26. How did Samuel respond to Saul? (I Sam. 15:14)
27. Who did Saul blame for sparing the best of the sheep and oxen? (I Sam. 15:15).
28. What did Saul say they intended to do with the sheep and oxen? (I Sam. 15:15)
29. “…and the rest we have __________________ _________________” (I Sam. 15:15)