1 Samuel 12:9 MEANING

1 Samuel 12:9
(9) And when they forgot the Lord their God.--The idolatry of Israel, and the immorality and shame less wickedness which ever attended it, was simply an act of rebellion against the pure government of the invisible King, and was punished by the withdrawal of the Divine protection. The instances which are here adduced of the people being given up into the hands of strange hostile nations are prominent ones, quoted as they occurred to him, without any careful attention being paid to the order of events and times, which was here not necessary for the course of his argument. Three leading nations out of the neighbouring peoples are mentioned by him as having been allowed, in consequence of Israel's rebellion against the Eternal, to oppress and harass, for a season, the tribes of God's inheritance--the Canaanites, the Philistines, and the Moabites.

Captain of the host of Hazor.--Hazor is mentioned as the capital city of the Canaanites in Joshua 11:1; Joshua 11:10; Joshua 11:13, &c., and again as a royal residence in Judges 4:2. Sisera is specially named as the well-known commander of the army against which Israel fought, and as the victim of the sanguinary but patriotic deed of fury of Jael.

Into the hand of the Philistines.--These "Ph?nicians," who literally dwelt among the Israelites, were most formidable foes to the chosen people for a long series of years. We have before compared their many strongholds and fastnesses to those robber nests which in the stormy middle ages disturbed the peace, and were the scourge of the commerce and trade, of Central Europe. It was owing especially to these Philistines that for so long a period such slow progress in wealth and the arts of civilisation was made in Israel. The advance of the Hebrew nation, from the days of Samuel, who first really checked these Philistine robbers, was singularly rapid. In an almost incredibly short period, from being a poor, half-barbarous people, the Israelites became a highly cultured, wealthy, and powerful nation. In great measure this strangely rapid progress was owing to the complete subjugation of the Philistines under the rule of Samuel, Saul, and David.

The king of Moab.--The king referred to here is Eglon, who was slain by Ehud. (See Judges 3)

Verse 9. - When they forgat Jehovah their God. The theocracy, as we have seen (1 Samuel 10:18), was a moral government, under which idolatry and the immorality attendant upon it, as being rebellion, were punished by Jehovah's withdrawing his protection, and the consequent subjection of the nation to foreign rule. It was the repeated sin, therefore, of the people which made Israel's history so checquered. Sisera (Judges 4:2), the Philistines (Judges 3:31), and Eaton, king of Moab. (Judges 3:12), are mentioned as three of the earlier oppressors of Israel, but are given here in the reverse order to that found in the Book of Judges.

12:6-15 The work of ministers is to reason with people; not only to exhort and direct, but to persuade, to convince men's judgments, and so to gain their wills and affections. Samuel reasons of the righteous acts of the Lord. Those who follow God faithfully, he will enable to continue following him. Disobedience would certainly be the ruin of Israel. We mistake if we think that we can escape God's justice, by trying to shake off his dominion. If we resolve that God shall not rule us, yet he will judge us.And when they forgat the Lord their God,.... The worship of the Lord their God, as the Targum; that is, they fell into idolatry, which is a plain instance and proof of forgetfulness of God; for such that neglect his worship, and serve idols, may be truly said to forget him:

he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor; who was general of the army of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor, Judges 4:2, where they are said to be sold into the hands of Jabin, here into the hands of Sisera; because it is highly probable he was sent against them by Jabin, and subdued them, as he afterwards was sent by him, when they rebelled against him, and were delivered out of his hand:

and into the hand of the Philistines: as they were in and before the times of Samson, Judges 13:1.

and into the hand of the king of Moab; as in the times of Ehud, Judges 3:14, the exact order of these things is not observed:

and they fought against them; the king of Moab, Sisera, and the Philistines, and overcame them, and so they fell into their hands.

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