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[374] On the next day, when the Philistines came to strip their enemies that were slain, they got the bodies of Saul and of his sons, and stripped them, and cut off their heads; and they sent messengers all about their country, to acquaint them that their enemies were fallen; and they dedicated their armor in the temple of Astarte, but hung their bodies on crosses at the walls of the city Bethshun, which is now called Scythepolls. But when the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead heard that they had dismembered the dead bodies of Saul and of his sons, they deemed it so horrid a thing to overlook this barbarity, and to suffer them to be without funeral rites, that the most courageous and hardy among them (and indeed that city had in it men that were very stout both in body and mind) journeyed all night, and came to Bethshun, and approached to the enemy's wall, and taking down the bodies of Saul and of his sons, they carried them to Jabesh, while the enemy were not able enough nor bold enough to hinder them, because of their great courage. So the people of Jabesh wept all in general, and buried their bodies in the best place of their country, which was named Areurn; and they observed a public mourning for them seven days, with their wives and children, beating their breasts, and lamenting the king and his sons, without either tasting meat or drink 1 [till the evening.]

1 This way of speaking in Josephus, of fasting "seven days without meat or drink," is almost like that of St. Paul, Acts 27:33, "This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried, and continued fasting, having taken nothing:" and as the nature of the thing, and the impossibility of strictly fasting so long, require us here to understand both Josephus and the sacred author of this history, 1 Samuel 30:13, from whom he took it, of only fasting fill the evening; so must we understand St. Paul, either that this was really the fourteenth day that they had taken nothing till the evening, or else that this was the fourteenth day of their tempestuous weather in the Adriatic Sea, as ver. 27, and that on this fourteenth day alone they had continued fasting, and had taken nothing before that evening. The mention of their long abstinence, ver. 21, inclines me to believe the former explication to he the truth, and that the case was then for a fortnight what it was here for a week, that they kept all those days entirely as lasts till the evening, but not longer. See Judges 20:26; 21:2; 1 Samuel 14:24; 2 Samuel 1:12; Antiq. B. VII. ch. 7. sect. 4.

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