(249) (2:249) And when Saul marched out with his army, he warned: "Allah is going to put you to a test by the side of a river: whoso drinks of its water shall cease to be my companion: he alone shall be~my companion who does not quench his thirst with its water: one may, however, take except a few, drank their fill of it. *271 Afterwards when Saul, and those who had believed with him, crossed the river and advanced forward, the former said to Saul, "We have no power left this day to fight against Goliath and his hosts." *272 But those who believed that one Day they shall meet Allah, declared, "lt has often been that a small host has, by Allah's grace, overcome a big host: for Allah is with those who show fortitude."
*271). This may refer either to the river Jordan or to some other river or stream in that region. Saul wanted to take the Israelite army across the river. He was aware, however, that there was little moral discipline and restraint left in them. Hence he hit upon this device to distinguish the worthy from the worthyless. Those who could not endure thirst even for a short while, would not be expected to remain steadfast in their confrontation with an enemy at whose hands they had already taken a beating. *272). These were presumable the people who had shown their impatience on the bank of the river. (See the preceding note - Ed.)