Dave Burnette's Commentary

1 Chronicles Chapter 10

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Ezra
Date Penned: (430 BC)
Overview: A History of God's Chosen People (c 1-29)
Theme: The Reign of David (c 10-29)
Message: The Death of Saul  (v 1-14)

1 Chronicles 10 Commentary 

(10:1) The Narrative Changes - The chronology of 1 Chronicles 1-9 covers Israelite history from Creation to the exile in Babylon (586 BC. At this point, the narrative goes back to the beginning of Israel's kingdom period, picking up with Israel's first king, Saul. First Chronicles 10 begins with Saul's death. To learn about his reign, read the book of 1 Samuel.

(10:10) The Pagan god of Dagon - Dagon, the most important god of the Philistines, was believed to bring rain and provide rich harvests. The Philistines had built temples to him when they had settled in the grain-producing land of Canaan. In times of drought, people begged Dagon for pity, possibly even to the point of sacrificing their children in his temples. In times of plenty, the temples hosted twisted forms of entertainment, such as the humiliation of captives (see Judges 16:23-30). But Dagon, like the other pagan gods, was powerless against the one true God (1 Samuel 5:1-7).

(10:11-12) Valiant Warriors - The actions of the valiant warriors who brought back and buried the bodies of King Saul and his sons should encourage us to respect our God-given leaders. Even when Saul was chasing David in an effort to kill him, David showed respect for Saul's position (1 Samuel 26). How easy it is to be critical of those in authority over us, focusing only on their weaknesses. We cannot excuse sin, but we should respect the positions of those in authority, whether at work, at church, or in government. First Thessalonians 542-13 gives instructions for honoring church leaders. Romans 13;-14 gives instructions for relating to government leaders.

(10:13-14) Saul's Disobedience - Saul's unfaithfulness was both active and passive; he not only did wrong but also failed to do right. He actively disobeyed God by attempting murder, ignoring his instructions, and seeking guidance from a medium. He passively disobeyed God by neglecting to ask him for guidance as he ran the kingdom. Obedience, too, is both passive and active. It is not enough just to avoid what is wrong; we need to actively pursue what is right.

(10:13-14) Saul's Lack of Faith - In the account in 1 Samuel 28, Saul asked the Lord for guidance but received no answer; this account says that he failed to ask God for help. The explanation for this apparent contradiction lies in understanding Saul's motives and the timing of his request to God. His frantic requests came only when he had tried everything his own way. He never went to God unless he had nowhere else to turn. When he finally asked, God refused to answer. Saul sought God only when it suited him, and God rejected him for his constant stubbornness and rebellion.

(10:14) David Follows the Lord - Throughout much of Saul's reign, David was forced to hide from him (1 Samuel 19-30). During this time David had opportunities to kill Saul (I Samuel 24; 26) and to assume the throne that God had promised him ( Samuel 16:1-13), but he trusted in God's promise that he would be king in God's good timing. It was not up to David to decide when Saul's reign would end. During this battle, God ended Saul's reign just as he had promised.

(10:14) Saul's Death - Why does this verse say that the Lord put Saul to death, when Saul took his own life (1 Samuel 31:3-4)? God had rejected Saul because of his stubbornness and rebellion ( Samuel 15:22-26) and had judged him for his sins ( Samuel 28:16-19). God arranged a defeat in battle so that Saul would die and his kingdom would be taken from his family. If Saul had not taken his own life, the Philistine soldiers would have killed him.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Ignoring God


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of 1 Chronicles with Chapter 10. In our text today we see the Reign of David as he becomes king of Israel. In chapters 1-9 of this book cover the Israelite history from creation to the exile of Babylon. At this point the narrative goes back to the beginning of Israel's kingdom period beginning with Saul's death. What catches my eye is how Saul ignored the Lord giving into his own jealousy towards David that ended in his suicide. He simply ignored God and followed after his own way which ended in his destruction and death. In making application we see so many following in the footsteps of Saul. They ignore God and do things their own way which ends in the same destructive results. How about you? Do you try to do things your own way instead of seeking the Lord? Let us learn from the life of Saul and our text today to seek the Lord 1st lest we follow the destructive path of those who have gone before us. 


1 Chronicles 10

1 Chronicles 10

 1Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.

 2And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.

 3And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.

 4Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

 5And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died.

 6So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together.

 7And when all the men of Israel that were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, then they forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

 8And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen in mount Gilboa.

 9And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people.

 10And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.

 11And when all Jabeshgilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,

 12They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

 13So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;

 14And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.