And he took a yoke of oxen, and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever comes not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.
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George Leo Haydock
Oxen, with which he had been ploughing.
Pieces. Hebrew does not say that he sent them; and Josephus intimates, that he only "hamstrung them, and sent messengers "(Haydock)
But such actions are far more impressive than words. See Judges xix. 29., and Acts xxi. 10. (Calmet)
Samuel. Saul adds the name of the prophet, as the people had still great confidence in him, and he always acted as God's envoy. (Haydock)
Oxen. He does not threaten capital punishment, but insinuates that both duty and interest require the presence of all. (Salien)
Of the Lord; that is, a great fear: (Calmet) or, God moved the people to show a ready obedience and reverence to their king's commands.