The Ultimate Commentary On 1 Samuel - Albert Barnes - ebook
Opis

We are to read the Bible in order to understand God’s message to us. He speaks to us in plain language but there are times we need a helping hand in what we read.Commentaries are not just for preachers or seminary students. They are for us all.The Ultimate Commentary Collection is designed to bring you a variety of thoughts and insights from theologians of high renown and reputation. Their study of the Bible is of great help to us.We are presenting to you the studies and thoughts of 6 of the Church’s greatest minds:Albert Barnes – John Calvin – Adam Clarke – Matthew Henry – Charles H. Spurgeon – John Wesley.Their commentaries will help you understand, enjoy and apply what God’s word says to you.In addition to these commentaries you will also find all of Spurgeon’s sermons on this particular book of the Bible.This volume is The Ultimate Commentary On 1 Samuel

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Contents

MAIN CONTENTS

1 Samuel Contents

Chapter Eight - Bible Study Guide

Chapter Nine - Other Publications

Main Contents

CHAPTER ONE

1 Samuel

1 Samuel Contents

1 SAMUEL CONTENTS

Chapter Two - Albert Barnes

Chapter Three - Adam Clarke

Chapter Four - Matthew Henry

Chapter Five - Charles H. Spurgeon

Chapter Six - Sermons Of Spurgeon

Chapter Seven - John Wesley

1 Samuel Contents

Chapter Eight - Bible Study Guide

Chapter Nine - Other Publications

Main Contents

CHAPTER TWO

Albert Barnes

1 Samuel Contents

1 SAMUEL CONTENTS

1 Samuel Introduction

1 Samuel Chapter 1

1 Samuel Chapter 2

1 Samuel Chapter 3

1 Samuel Chapter 4

1 Samuel Chapter 5

1 Samuel Chapter 6

1 Samuel Chapter 7

1 Samuel Chapter 8

1 Samuel Chapter 9

1 Samuel Chapter 10

1 Samuel Chapter 11

1 Samuel Chapter 12

1 Samuel Chapter 13

1 Samuel Chapter 14

1 Samuel Chapter 15

1 Samuel Chapter 16

1 Samuel Chapter 17

1 Samuel Chapter 18

1 Samuel Chapter 19

1 Samuel Chapter 20

1 Samuel Chapter 21

1 Samuel Chapter 22

1 Samuel Chapter 23

1 Samuel Chapter 24

1 Samuel Chapter 25

1 Samuel Chapter 26

1 Samuel Chapter 27

1 Samuel Chapter 28

1 Samuel Chapter 29

1 Samuel Chapter 30

1 Samuel Chapter 31

1 Samuel Contents

Chapter Eight - Bible Study Guide

Chapter Nine - Other Publications

Main Contents

1 Samuel Introduction

1 SAMUEL INTRODUCTION

Introduction to Samuel

The double name of these Books, the first and second book of samuel, as they are called in the printed Hebrew Bible, and the first and second book of kings, as they are called in the Vulgate, well marks the two principal features which characterize them. They contain the record of the life and ministry of samuel, the great prophet and judge of Israel, and they also contain the record of the rise of the kingdom of Israel. If again the Books of Samuel are taken as forming one history with the Books of Kings (the present line of division between 2Samuel and 1Kings being an arbitrary one), then the division into four Books of Kings is a natural one. But if these books are looked upon rather as an isolated history, then the name of Samuel is properly affixed to them, not only because he stands out as the great figure of that age, but because his administration of the affairs of Israel was the connecting link, the transitional passage, from the rule of the judges to the reign of the kings, distinct from each, but binding the two together.

The important place to be filled by Samuel in the ensuing history is seen at once in the opening chapters of the book which bears his name. Further, the fact that Samuel‘s birth of her that had been barren is represented in Hannah‘s song as typical of the triumphs of the Church and of the Kingdom of Christ, is another indication of the very distinguished place assigned to Samuel in the economy of the Old Testament, borne out by the mention of him in such passages as Psalm 99:6; Jeremiah 15:1; Acts 3:24. Though however, Samuel‘s personal greatness is thus apparent, it is no less clearly marked that his place is one not of absolute but of relative importance. When we view the history as a whole, the eye does not rest upon Samuel, and stop there, but is led on to the throne and person of David as typical of the Kingdom and Person of Christ. An incidental mark of this subordination may be seen in the fact that the Books of Samuel are really a continuation of the Book of Ruth; a Book which derived its significance from its containing a history of David‘s ancestors and genealogy. Clearly, therefore, in the mind of the sacred historian, the personal history of Samuel was only a link to connect DAVID with the Patriarchs, just as the subsequent history connects David himself with our Lord JESUS CHRIST.

But a still more remarkable and conclusive proof of the same subordination may be found in the circumstance, that it is only the closing years of Saul‘s reign of which any account whatever is given in this Book. For after having related a few facts connected with the beginning of Saul‘s reign, the historian passes over some 20 or 30 years Acts 13:21 to relate an occurrence in the last quarter of Saul‘s reign, God‘s rejection of Saul from the kingdom, and His choice of “a man after His own heart” to be king in Saul‘s room 1 Samuel 13:13-14.

The contents of the Books of Samuel consist mainly of three portions,

(1) the history of Samuel‘s life and judgeship from 1 Samuel 16:1 to the end of the second Book; this latter portion not being completed until 1 Kings 2:11.

The sources from which the narrative is derived, were probably:

(1) the Book of Jasher 2 Samuel 1:18;

(2) David‘s Psalms 1 Chronicles 27:24;

(4) the Book of Samuel the Seer;

(5) the Book of Nathan the Prophet;

(6) the Book of Gad the Seer 1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29;

(7) the national collection of genealogies.

Those sections which give full details of the sayings and doings of Samuel, are conjectured to be extracted from “the Book of Samuel the seer” (e. g. i - xii). Those sections which contain narratives in which Nathan bears a part 2 Samuel 22:5; 24; etc., are pretty certainly from the Book of Gad the Seer. We seem to see extracts from the Chronicles of the kingdom in such passages as 1 Samuel 13:1; 1 Samuel 11:1-11, 1 Samuel 11:15; 1 Samuel 14:47-52; 2 Samuel 2:8-11; 2 Samuel 3:1-5; 2 Samuel 5:4-16; 8; 2 Samuel 20:23-26; 2 Samuel 21:15-22; 23:8-39; while the song of Hannah 1 Samuel 2:1-10, the elegy on the death of Abner 2 Samuel 3:33-34, and the two Psalms 2 Samuel 23:1-7, may as well as the elegy on Saul and Jonathan, be taken from the Book of Jasher.

It is difficult to decide when the final arrangement of the Books of Samuel, in their present shape, was made. The series of historical books from Judges to the end of 2Kings is formed on one plan, so that each book is a part of a connected whole. This would point to the time of Jeremiah the prophet, as that when the whole historical series from judges to kings inclusive was woven into one work. In his use of the work of contemporary writers, the final compiler left out large portions of the materials before him.

The chief quotations and resemblances from the Books of Samuel in the New Testament are found in the writings of Luke and Paul. The title THE CHRIST (“the anointed”), given to the Lord Jesus Matthew 1:16; Matthew 2:4; Matthew 16:16; Luke 2:26; John 1:20, John 1:41; John 20:31; Acts 2:30, is first found in 1 Samuel 2:10; and the other designation of the Saviour as the SON OF DAVID Matthew 9:27; Matthew 15:22; Matthew 21:9, Matthew 21:15; Matthew 22:42, is derived from 2 Samuel 7:12-16. In these books are passages which occur in duplicate elsewhere, chiefly in the Books of Chronicles and Psalms; and a careful comparison of these duplicate passages throws great light upon the manner in which the sacred historians used existing materials, incorporating them word for word, or slightly altering them for the sake of explanation, as seemed most expedient to them. It illustrates also the errors and fluctuations of scribes in transcribing manuscripts, especially in regard to proper names.

For these duplicate passages, and also on the chief quotations from other books in the Old Testament, consult the marginal references. The style of the Books of Samuel is clear, simple, and forcible, and the Hebrew remarkably pure and free from Chaldaisms. The chief difficulties are the geographical statements of 2 Samuel 23:1-7; and the account of the mighty men which follows it, 1 Samuel 8:1, 1 Samuel 8:5Acts 13:212 Samuel 5:440

ALBERT BARNES COMMENTARY CONTENTS

1 Samuel Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1

Verse 1

Ramathaim-zophim may signify “the two hills 1 Samuel 9:11-13 of the watchmen,” so called from its being a post from which the watchmen looked out. But since Zuph is the name of the head of the family, it is more probable that Zophin means the Zuphites, the sons of Zuph (see Zophai, 1 Chronicles 6:26), from whom the land about Ramah was called “the land of Zuph,” 1 Samuel 9:5.

There is reason to believe that Elkanah - an Ephrathite, or inhabitant of Bethlehem 1 Samuel 17:12; Rth 1:2 and of the territory of the tribe of Ephraim 1 Kings 11:26 - the father of Samuel, represents the fifth generation of settlers in Canaan, and therefore that Samuel was born about 130 years after the entrance into Canaan - four complete generations, or 132 years - and about 40 years before David.

Verse 2

He had two wives - Compare Genesis 4:19. This was permitted by the law Deuteronomy 21:15, and sanctioned by the practice of Jacob 1 Chronicles 4:5, Shaharaim 1 Chronicles 8:8, David 1 Samuel 25:43, Joash 2 Chronicles 24:3, and others.

Hannah - i. e. “Beauty or charm,” is the same as “Anna” Luke 2:36.

Peninnah - i. e. “a Pearl,” is the same name in signification as “Marqaret.”

The frequent recurrence of the mention of barrenness in those women who were afterward famous through their progeny (as Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel) coupled with the prophetic language of Hannah‘s song in 1 Samuel 2, justifies us in seeking a mystical sense. Besides the apparent purpose of marking the children so born as raised up for special purposes by divine Providence, the weakness and comparative barrenness of the Church of God, to be followed at the set time by her glorious triumph and immense increase, is probably intended to be foreshadowed.

Verse 3

It is likely that during the unsettled times of the Judges Judges 21:25 the attendance of Israelites at the three Festivals Exodus 34:23; Deuteronomy 16:16 fell into desuetude or great irregularity, and this one feast (see the marginal reference), which may have coincided with the Feast of Pentecost or tabernacles, may have been substituted for them.

The Lord of Hosts - This title of Yahweh which, with some variations, is found upward of 260 times in the Old Testament, occurs here for the first time. The meaning of the word “hosts” is doubtless the same as that of “army” Daniel 4:35 and includes all the myriads of holy Angels who people the celestial spheres 1 Kings 22:19. It is probably with reference to the idolatrous worship of the Host of heaven that the title the “Lord of Hosts” was given to the true God, as asserting His universal supremacy (see Nehemiah 9:6). In the New Testament the phrase only occurs once James 5:4.

And the two sons … - It should be, “and there the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the Lord,” i. e. performed the functions of priests, in the old age of Eli 1 Samuel 4:18, who is represented 1 Samuel 1:9 as sitting on a seat in the temple. The reading of the Greek Version “Eli was there, and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, priests of the Lord,” is quite unnecessary, and indeed destroys the sense. The information here given concerning the sons of Eli is followed up in 1 Samuel 2:12 ff.

Verse 5

A worthy portion - Probably as in the margin. Naturally she would have had a single portion of the sacrifice (compare 1 Samuel 9:23), but because of his love to her he gave her a double portion, enough for two people (compare Genesis 43:34).

Verse 7

And as he did so … - It should rather be “And so she did year by year, as often as she went up to the House of the Lord, so she provoked her.” Though the verb is masculine, Peninnah must be the subject, because as often as SHE went up follows. The Vulgate has “they went up.”

Verse 9

After they had eaten … - Rather, “after she had eaten and after she had drunk,” which is obviously right. Hannah, in the bitterness of her spirit, could not enjoy her feast, and so, after eating and drinking a little, she arose and went to the temple, leaving her husband and Peninnah and her children at table, where she still found them on her return 1 Samuel 1:18.

Upon a seat … - Rather, “upon the throne,” the pontifical chair of state 1 Samuel 4:13, which was probably set at the gate leading into the inner court of the tabernacle.

The temple of the Lord - The application of the word temple to the tabernacle is found only here, 1 Samuel 3:3; and Psalm 5:7; and the use of this word here is thought by some an indication of the late date of the composition of this passage.

Verse 11

vows are characteristic of this particular age of the Judges. (Compare Judges 11:30; Judges 21:5; 1 Samuel 14:24.) For the law of vows in the case of married women, see Numbers 30:6-16; and for the nature of the vow, see the marginal references.

Verse 15

See 1 Samuel 1:2 and note. She means that wine was not the cause of her present discomposure, but grief of heart.

Verse 18

A beautiful example of the composing influence of prayer. Hannah had cast her burden upon the Lord, and so her own spirit was relieved of its load. She now returned to the family feast, and ate her portion with a cheerful heart. Acts 2:46-47.

The word “sad” is not in the Hebrew text, but it fairly supplies the meaning intended.

Verse 20

Samuel - i. e. heard of God, because given in answer to prayer. The names “Ishmael” and “Elishama” have the same etymology.

Verse 22

Until the child be weaned - Hebrew mothers, as elsewhere in the East, usually suckled their children until the age of two complete years, sometimes until the age of three.

Verse 26

As thy soul liveth - This oath is unique to the Books of Samuel, in which it occurs six times, and to the Books of Kings, in which however, it is found only once. See the note to 1 Samuel 1:11.

ALBERT BARNES COMMENTARY CONTENTS

1 Samuel Chapter 2

CHAPTER 2

Verse 1

The song of Hannah is a prophetic Psalm. It is poetry. and it is prophecy. It takes its place by the side of the songs of Miriam, Deborah, and the Virgin Mary, as well as those of Moses, David, Hezekiah, and other Psalmists and prophets whose inspired odes have been preserved in the Bible. The special feature which these songs have in common is, that springing from, and in their first conception relating to, incidents in the lives of the individuals who composed them, they branch out into magnificent descriptions of the Kingdom and glory of Christ, and the triumphs of the Church, of which those incidents were providentially designed to be the types. The perception of this is essential to the understanding of Hannah‘s song. Compare the marginal references throughout.

Verse 2

Any rock … - The term rock as applied to God is first found in the song of Moses (see Deuteronomy 32:4 note), where the juxtaposition of rock and salvation in 1 Samuel 2:15, “he lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation,” seems to indicate that Hannah was acquainted with the song of Moses.

Verse 5

See an instance in 1 Samuel 2:36. See, too, in Ezekiel 13:19, another example of hire paid in bread.

Ceased - i. e. were at rest, did no work. The general sense is expressed by the translation of the Latin Version, “they were filled.”

Verse 10

He shall give strength … - This is a most remarkable passage, containing a clear and distinct prophecy of the Kingdom and glory of the Christ of God. (Compare Luke 1:69-70).

Verse 11

The word “minister” is used in three senses in Scripture:

(1) of the service or ministration of both priests and Levites rendered unto the Lord Exodus 28:35, Exodus 28:43:

(2) of the ministrations of the Levites as rendered to the priests, to aid them in divine Service Numbers 3:6:

(3) of any service or ministration, especially one rendered to a man of God, as that of Joshua to Moses Numbers 11:28.

The application of it to Samuel as ministering to the Lord before Eli the priest accords “most exactly” with Samuel‘s condition as a Levite.

Verse 12

Sons of Belial - See the marginal reference note. The phrase is very frequent in the books of Samuel. In the New Testament, Paul contrasts Christ and Belial, as if Belial were the name of an idol or the personification of evil 2 Corinthians 6:15. This probably led to the use of the term “Belial” in the the King James Version, instead of expressing its meaning, which is “mischief, wickedness.”

Verse 13

The Law of Moses defined exactly what was to be the priest‘s portion of every peace offering Leviticus 7:31-35, as it also gave express directions about the burning of the fat Leviticus 7:23-25, Leviticus 7:31. It was therefore a gross act of disobedience and lawlessness on the part of Hophni and Phinehas to take more than the Law gave them. Incidental evidence is afforded by this passage to the existence of the Levitical law at this time.

Verse 17

The offering of the Lord - Minchah, here in the general sense of “gift or offering” to God (compare Malachi 1:10-11; Malachi 3:3). In its restricted sense, it is used of the meat offerings, the unbloody sacrifices, and is then coupled with bloody sacrifices, sacrifices of slain beasts. (See 1 Samuel 2:29.)

Verse 18

Girded with a linen ephod - This was the usual dress of the priests. It does not appear whether Levites wore an ephod properly. Possibly it was a mark of Samuel‘s special dedication to the Lord‘s service that he wore one. (See the marginal reference). The ephod was sometimes used as an idolatrous implement Judges 8:27.

Verse 19

A little coat - The robe of the ephod was also one of the garments worn by the High Priest (see Exodus 28:31 note). This pointed mention of the ephod and the robe as worn by the youthful Samuel, seems to point to an extraordinary and irregular priesthood to which he was called by God in an age when the provisions of the Levitical law were not yet in full operation, and in which there was no impropriety in the eyes of his contemporaries, seeing that nonconformity to the whole Law was the rule rather than the exception throughout the days of the Judges.

Verse 21

See the marginal references. The words “before the” Lord have special reference to his residence at the tabernacle.

Verse 22

Women that assembled - Or, “Served.” See the marginal reference and note. Probably such service as consisted in doing certain work for the fabric of the tabernacle as women are accustomed to do, spinning, knitting, embroidering, mending, washing, and such like.

Verse 25

The sense seems to be, If one man sin against another, the judge shall amerce him in the due penalty, and then he shall be free; but if he sin against the Lord, who shall act the part of judge and arbiter for him? His guilt must remain to the great day of judgment.

Because the Lord would slay them - There is a sense in which whatever comes to pass is the accomplishment of God‘s sovereign will and pleasure, and all the previous steps, even when they involve moral causes, by which this will and pleasure are brought about, are in this sense also brought about by God. How this truth, which reason and revelation alike acknowledge, consists with man‘s free will on the one hand; or, when the evil deeds and punishment of a sinner are some of the previous steps, with God‘s infinite mercy and love on the other, is what cannot possibly be explained. We can only firmly believe both statements,

(1) that God hath no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, and that He willeth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live;

(2) that the sins and the punishments of sin are accomplishments of God‘s eternal purpose (compare the marginal references, and Isaiah 6:9-10; Mark 4:12; Romans 9:15). It may be explained by saying that in the case of Hophni and Phinehas God‘s will to kill them was founded upon His foreknowledge of their impenitence; while from another point of view, in which God‘s will is the fixed point, that impenitence may be viewed in its relation to that fixed point, and so dependent upon it, and a necessary step to it.

Verse 26

And the child Samuel … - The account of our Lord‘s growth Luke 2:52 is very similar; “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” The literal version of the passage before us is, “The child Samuel advanced and grew and was good (or acceptable), both with the Lord, and also with men.”

Verse 27

A man of God - See Judges 13:6 note. The sudden appearance of the only prophet of whom mention is made since Deborah, without name, or any notice of his country, is remarkable.

Verse 28

An ephod - The High Priest‘s ephod, in which was Urim and Thummim.

Did I give … - The bountiful provision made by God for His priests is mentioned as the great aggravation of the covetousness of Eli‘s sons (compare 2 Samuel 12:7-9).

Verse 29

Wherefore kick ye - See the marginal reference. The well-fed beast becomes unmanageable and refractory, and refuses the yoke, and bursts the bonds Jeremiah 5:5. So the priests, instead of being grateful for the provision made for them, in their pampered pride became dissatisfied, wantonly broke the laws of God which regulated their share of the offerings, and gave themselves up to an unbridled indulgence of their passions and their covetousness.

Honourest thy sons above me - What restrained Eli from taking vigorous action to vindicate God‘s honor, was his unwillingness to lose for his sons the lucrative office of the priesthood. He was willing to rebuke them, he was grieved at their misdeeds, but he was not willing to give up the wealth and plenty which flowed into his house from the offerings of Israel.

Verse 30

Be it far from me - The phrase so rendered is a favorite one in the Books of Samuel, where it occurs ten or eleven times. It is variously rendered in the King James Version, “God forbid,” and “Be it far from me, thee, etc.” Literally, “Be it an abomination to me.”

Verse 31

I will cut off thine arm … - A strong phrase for breaking down the strength and power, of which the arm is the instrument in man (compare Zechariah 11:17). See 1 Samuel 2:33.

Verse 32

The original text is rather obscure and difficult of construction, but the King James Version probably gives the sense of it. The margin gives another meaning.

In all the wealth … - The allusion is particularly to Solomon‘s reign, when Zadok was made priest instead of Abiathar, 1 Kings 2:26-27. (See 1 Kings 4:20 ff) The enormous number of sacrifices then offered must have been a great source of wealth to the priests 1 Kings 8:63-66.

Verse 33

The meaning is explained by 1 Samuel 2:36. Those who are not cut off in the flower of their youth shall be worse off than those who are, for they shall have to beg their bread. (Compare Jeremiah 22:10.)

Thine eyes … thine heart - For a similar personification of the tribe or family see Judges 1:2-4.

Verse 35

Zadok is meant rather than Samuel. The High Priesthood continued in the direct descendants of Zadok as long as the monarchy lasted (see 1 Chronicles 6:8-15).

Mine anointed - in its first sense obviously means the kings of Israel and Judah Psalm 89:20; Zechariah 4:14. But doubtless the use of the term MESSIAH ( ΧριστὸςChristos ) here and in 1 Samuel 2:10, is significant, and points to the Lord‘s Christ, in whom the royal and priestly offices are united (Zechariah 6:11-15: see the marginal references). In this connection the substitution of the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec for the Levitical may be foreshadowed under 1 Samuel 2:35 (see Hebrews 7).

Verse 36

A piece - The word is only found here; but is thought to be connected in etymology and in meaning with the “Gerah,” the smallest Hebrew coin, being the twentieth part of the shekel. The smallness of the sum asked for shows the poverty of the asker.

ALBERT BARNES COMMENTARY CONTENTS

1 Samuel Chapter 3

CHAPTER 3

Verse 1

See the margin reference note. Josephus says that Samuel‘s call to the prophetic office happened when he had just completed his twelfth year (compare Luke 2:42).

Was precious - (or rare) The song of Hannah, and the prophecy of the “man of God” (1 Samuel 2:27 note), are the only instances of prophecy since Deborah. Samuel is mentioned as the first of the series of prophets Acts 3:24.

No open vision - Better rendered, “There was no vision promulgated or published.” (Compare 2 Chronicles 31:5.)

Verse 2

The passage should be rendered thus: “And it came to pass at that time that Eli was sleeping in his place; and his eyes had begun to grow dim; he could not see. And the lamp of God was not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was; and the Lord called Samuel, etc.” Eli‘s old age and dimness of sight is probably mentioned as the reason why Samuel thought Eli had called him. Being a blind and feeble old man, he was likely to do so if he wanted anything, either for himself, or for the service of the temple.

Verse 7

Did not yet know the Lord - i. e. in His supernatural communication, as follows at the end of the verse. The text rendering of this verse is better than that of the margin.

Verse 10

A personal presence, not a mere voice, or impression upon Samuel‘s mind, is here distinctly indicated. (Compare Genesis 12:7 note; Revelation 1:1; Revelation 22:16.)

Verse 11

More accurately, “the which whosoever heareth both his ears shall tingle.” This expressive phrase occurs again twice (marginal references) with reference to the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. It is remarkable that Jeremiah repeatedly compares the destruction of Jerusalem with the destruction of Shiloh (Jeremiah 7:12, Jeremiah 7:14; Jeremiah 26:6, Jeremiah 26:9; Compare Psalm 78:60-64).

Verse 12

When I begin … - literally, as in the margin: meaning, I will go through with the performance from first to last.

Verse 13

Made themselves vile - Rather, “have cursed themselves,” i. e. brought curses upon themselves.

He restrained them not - In the sense of punishing. He did not remove them from their office, which he ought to have done.

Verse 14

See the marginal references. The sin of the sons of Eli could not be purged by the appointed sacrifices of the Law. In blessed contrast with this declaration is the assurance of the New Testament 1 John 1:7; Acts 13:39.

Verse 15

Opened the doors - We learn thus incidentally the nature of some of Samuel‘s duties. This duty was quite Levitical in its character. In the interval between Josh and David, when the tabernacle was stationary for the most part, it may have lost something of its “tent” character, and among other changes have had doors instead of the hanging.

Samuel feared to show Eli the vision - Here was Samuel‘s first experience of the prophet‘s cross: the having unwelcome truth to divulge to those he loved, honored, and feared. Compare the case of Jeremiah Jeremiah 15:10; Jeremiah 17:15-18; Jeremiah 20:7-18.

Verse 18

It is the Lord … - Compare the devout submission of Aaron Leviticus 10:3, and of Hezekiah 2 Kings 20:19. And, for the highest conceivable submission to the will of God, compare Luke 22:42.

Verse 20

From Dan … - See Judges 20:1 note.

Verse 21

The state described in 1 Samuel 3:7 was henceforth reversed. Samuel now knew the Lord, and the Word of the Lord was revealed unto him.

ALBERT BARNES COMMENTARY CONTENTS

1 Samuel Chapter 4

CHAPTER 4

Verse 1

Some attach the opening words to the close of 1 Samuel 7:5.) But this is not the natural interpretation of the words, which seem clearly to belong to what went before.

The mention of the Philistines connects the narrative with Judges 13:1, and seems to have terminated in the days of Samuel 1 Samuel 7:13-14 in about the 20th year of his judgeship 1 Samuel 7:2; and since it had already begun before the birth of Samson Judges 13:5, and Samson judged Israel for 20 years “in the days of the Philistines” Judges 15:20, it seems to follow that the latter part of the judgeship of Eli and the early part of that of Samuel must have been coincident with the lifetime of Samson.

Eben-ezer - (or, the stone of help) The place was afterward so named by Samuel. See the marginal references. “Aphek,” or the “fortress,” was probably the same as the “Aphek” of Joshua 12:18. It would be toward the western frontier of Judah, not very far from Mizpeh of Benjamin, and near Shiloh 1 Samuel 4:4.

Verse 3

In the evening of the defeat of the Israelites the elders held a council, and resolved to send for the ark, which is described in full, as implying that in virtue of the covenant God could not but give them the victory (compare Numbers 10:35; Joshua 3:10).

Verse 4

The people sent - The expression is very indicative of the political state so frequently noted by the writer of the Book of Judges, “In those days there was no king in Israel.”

Verse 6

Of the Hebrews - This was the name by which the Israelites were known to foreign nations (compare Exodus 1:15; Exodus 2:6).

Verse 8

This is a remarkable testimony on the part of the Philistines to the truth of the events which are recorded in the Pentateuch. The Philistines would of course hear of them, just as Balak and the people of Jericho did Numbers 22:5; Joshua 2:10.

With all the plagues … - Rather, “with every kind of plague” equivalent to “with utter destruction.

Verse 12

Runners who were swift of foot, and could go long distances were important and well-known persons (compare 2 Samuel 18:19-31). There seem to have been always professional runners to act as messengers with armies in the field (2 Kings 11:4, 2Kings 11:6,2 Kings 11:19, the King James Version “guards”).

Earth upon his head - In token of bitter grief. Compare the marginal references.

Verse 15

Dim - Rather, “set.” The word is quite different from that so rendered in 1 Samuel 3:2. The phrase seems to express the “fixed” state of the blind eye, which is not affected by the light. Eli‘s blindness, while it made him alive to sounds, prevented his seeing the ripped garments and dust-besprinkled head of the messenger of bad news.

Verse 18

A comparison of 2 Samuel 18:4, explains exactly the meaning of the “side of the gate,” and Eli‘s position. His seat or throne, without a back, stood with the side against the jamb of the gate, leaving the passage through the gate quite clear, but placed so that every one passing through the gate must pass in front of him.

Forty years - This chronological note connects this book with that of Judges. (Compare Judges 3:11, etc.) It is an interesting question, but one very difficult to answer how near to the death of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the High Priest, Eli‘s forty years of judgeship bring him. It is probable that at least one high priesthood intervened.

Verse 21

Is departed - Properly, “Is gone into captivity.”

Verse 22

The lesson of the ruin brought upon Churches by the covetousness and profligacy of their priests, which is here taught us so forcibly, and which has been again and again illustrated in Jews and Christians, is too solemn and important to be overlooked. When the glory of holiness departs from what should be a holy community, the glory of God‘s presence has already departed, and the outward tokens of His protection may be expected to depart soon likewise. (Compare Ezekiel 10:18; Ezekiel 11:23; Revelation 2:5.) But though particular congregations may fall, our Lord‘s promise will never fail his people Matthew 28:20.

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1 Samuel Chapter 5

CHAPTER 5

Verse 2

They brought it into the house of Dagon (see the marginal reference) in order to enhance the triumph of the gods of the Philistines over the God of Israel. (Compare 1 Samuel 31:9; Judges 16:23; Isaiah 37:12.)

Verse 5

This custom still existed among the worshippers of Dagon so late as the reign of Josiah (see the marginal reference).

Verse 6

Emerods - A corruption of “hemorrhoids.” It is mentioned Deuteronomy 28:27 among the diseases with which God threatened to punish the Israelites for disobedience.

Verse 8

The “lords” (see Judges 3:3) were very unwilling to give up their triumph, and, with the common pagan superstition, imagined that some local bad luck was against them at Ashdod. The result was to bring the whole Philistine community under the same calamity.

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1 Samuel Chapter 6

CHAPTER 6

Verse 2

The word for “priest” here is the same as that used for the priests of the true God; that for diviners is everywhere used of idolatrous or superstitious divining. Three modes of divination are described Ezekiel 21:21-22, by arrows, by teraphim, and by the entrails of beasts. (Compare Exodus 7:11; Daniel 2:2).

Verse 3

Send it not empty - See the marginal references. The pagan idea of appeasing the gods with gifts, and the scriptural idea of expressing penitence, allegiance, or love to God, by gifts and offerings to His glory and to the comfort of our fellow worshippers, coincide in the practical result.

Verse 4

It was a prevalent custom in pagan antiquity to make offerings to the gods expressive of the particular mercy received. Thus, those saved from shipwreck offered pictures of the shipwreck, etc., and the custom still exists among Christians in certain countries.

The plague of the mice is analogous to that of the frogs in Egypt. The destructive power of field-mice was very great.

Verse 7

A new cart … kine on which there hath come no yoke - This was so ordered in reverence to the ark, and was a right and true feeling. See Mark 11:2; Matthew 27:60. For the supposed special virtue of new things, see Judges 16:7, Judges 16:11.

Verse 9

Bethshemesh was the first Israelite town they would come to, being on the border of Judah. (See the marginal reference.)

Verse 12

Lowing as they went - Milking cows had been chosen on purpose to make the sign more significant. Nature would obviously dispose the cows to go toward their calves; their going in an opposite direction was therefore plainly a divine impulse overruling their natural inclination. And this is brought out more distinctly by the mention of their lowing, which was caused by their remembering their calves.

And the lords … - This circumstance of the five satraps of the Philistines accompanying the ark in person both made it impossible for the Israelites to practice any deceit (compare Matthew 27:63-66), and is also a striking testimony to the agitation caused among the Philistines by the plagues inflicted on them since the ark had been in their country.

Verse 13

The whole population was in the field. The harvest work was suspended in an instant, and all the workmen ran to where the ark was.

Verse 14

A great stone - (Compare Genesis 28:18; Judges 13:19). This great stone was probably used as an altar on this occasion, and the kine stopping at it of their own accord was understood by the Bethshemites as an intimation that they were to offer sacrifices on it to the Lord God of Israel, who had so wonderfully brought back the ark from its captivity.

And they clave the wood of the cart … - A similar expedient was resorted to by Araunah 2 Samuel 24:22, and by Elisha 1 Kings 19:21.

Verse 15

The word “Levites” here probably means priests Exodus 4:14, sons of Levi, since Bethshemesh was one of the cities of the priests Joshua 21:13-16. The burnt offering of the kine was not in any sense the offering of the men of Bethshemesh, but rather of the Philistine lords to whom the cart and the kine belonged. But the Bethshemites themselves, in token of their gratitude for such a signal mercy, now offered both burnt offerings and sacrifices, probably peace offerings, and doubtless feasted together with great joy and gladness (see 1 Kings 8:62-66; Ezra 6:16-17). There is nothing whatever in the text to indicate that these sacrifices were offered otherwise than in the appointed way by the priests.

Verse 18

The great stone of Abel … - Probably so called from the “lamentation” described in 1 Samuel 6:19.

Verse 19

Fifty thousand and three score and ten - Read “three” score and “ten”, omitting “fifty thousand”, which appears to have crept into the text from the margin. It is not improbable that in their festive rejoicing priests, Levites, and people may have fallen into intemperance, and hence, into presumptuous irreverence (compare Leviticus 10:1, Leviticus 10:9). God had just vindicated His own honor against the Philistines; it must now be seen that He would be sanctified in them that come near Him Leviticus 10:3. It is obvious to observe how the doctrine of atonement, and its necessity in the case of sinners, is taught in this and similar lessons as to the awesome HOLINESS of God.

Verse 21

Kirjath-jearim - See Joshua 9:17 note. It has been thought that there was a high place at Kirjath-jearim (the hill, 1 Samuel 7:1), the remnant of its old pagan sanctity when it was called Kirjath-Baal, “the city of Baal” (see Joshua 18:14; 2 Samuel 6:2); and that for this reason it was selected as a proper place to send the ark to..

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1 Samuel Chapter 7

CHAPTER 7

Verse 1

This verse belongs more properly to 1 Samuel 6. Abinadab and his sons were probably of the house of Levi. The catastrophe at Bethshemesh must inevitably have made the Israelites very careful to pay due honor to the ark in accordance with the Law: but to give the care of the ark to those who were not of the house of Levi would be a gross violation of the Law.

Verse 2

And all the house of Israel lamented … - The occupation of the country about Shiloh by the Philistines 1 Samuel 7:3 was partly the reason for the ark being kept so long at Kirjath-jearim. But another reason seems to have been the fall of the Israelites into idolatry, which made them neglect the ark, and brought upon them this Philistine servitude; probably the last 20 years of the Philistine oppression described in Judges 13:1, which is there expressly connected with Israelite idolatry. Now, probably, through the exhortations of Samuel, coupled with the chastening of the Philistine yoke, the Israelites repented and turned again to the God of their fathers.

Verses 3-5

Compare the marginal references. Twenty years of Samuel‘s life had passed away since the last mention of him 1 Samuel 4:1. Now he appears in the threefold character of prophet, Judge, and the acknowledged leader of the whole people. His words were an answer to a profession of repentance on the part of Israel, the practical proof of which would be the putting away all their false gods. (Compare Judges 6:10 note.)

Will pray for you … - So Moses prayed for the people at Rephidim Exodus 17:11-12; and for Miriam Numbers 12:13; so Elijah prayed at Carmel 1 Kings 18:36, 1 Kings 18:42; so Ezra prayed at the evening sacrifice Ezra 9:5; so the High Priest prayed for the house of Israel on the Day of Atonement; and so does our Lord Jesus Christ ever live at God‘s right hand to make intercession for us.

Verse 6

Two rites are brought together here which belong especially to the Feast of Tabernacles and the Day of Atonement, respectively, namely, drawing and pouring out water, and fasting. Hence, some think that Samuel chose the Feast of tabernacles, and the fast which preceded it, as the occasion for assembling the people. Others explain the pouring out water as the pouring out the heart in penitence as it were water; or, as a symbolic act expressing their ruin and helplessness 2 Samuel 14:14; or as typifying their desire that their sins might be forgotten “as waters that pass away” Job 11:16.

And Samuel judged - This seems to denote the “commencement” of Samuel‘s Judgeship civil and military, as having taken place at Mizpeh on this occasion. As civil Judge he did exactly what Moses did Exodus 18:13-16; as military Judge he did what Othniel, Ehud, Barak, and Gideon had done before him, organized and marshalled the people for effectual resistance to their oppressors, and led them out to victory.

Verse 7

This implies a united invasion by the whole Philistine force. Hence, the terror of the Israelites. (Compare Judges 15:11.)

Verse 9

Samuel‘s preparation for intercessory prayer, namely, the offering up an atoning sacrifice, is most significant (compare Luke 1:9-10). The term here used for a “lamb” does not occur in the Pentateuch; indeed it is only found besides this place in Isaiah 65:25. The offering is in accordance with Leviticus 22:27.

The Lord heard him - Better as in margin. The “answer” was not simply the granting the asked-for deliverance, but the great thunder 1 Samuel 7:10, which was “the voice of the Lord,” the same voice with which the Lord answered Moses Exodus 19:19; Psalm 99:6.

Verse 11

Beth-car - This place is nowhere else mentioned. It seems to have stood on a hill overhanging the road from the Philistine territory to Mizpeh, and close to Ebenezer, 1 Samuel 4:1.

Verse 12

Shen was a tooth-pointed or sharp-pointed rock (see 1 Samuel 14:4), nowhere else mentioned and not identified.

Verse 13

All the days of Samuel - Not (as in 1 Samuel 7:15), all the days of his life, but all the days of his “government”, when as Judge he ruled over Israel, before they asked for a king.

Verse 14

This shows the vigour and success of Samuel‘s government. He seems not only to have expelled the Philistines from the interior of the Israelite country, but to have attacked them in their own land, and taken from them the cities, with the adjacent territory, which properly belonged to Israel, but which the Philistines had taken possession of. In this war the Amorites, finding the Philistines worse masters than the Israelites, made common cause with Samuel, and assisted the Israelites in their wars against the Philistines.

Verse 15

Samuel judged Israel … - The repetition of the phrase in 1 Samuel 7:16-17, in connection with Samuel‘s circuit, is a proof that it is his civil judgeship which is meant. The military leadership of course belonged to Saul, when he became king.

Verse 16

Gilgal - It is uncertain whether Gilgal in the valley of the Jordan, or the modern Jiljulieh, the Gilgal of 2 Kings 2:1; 2 Kings 4:38, be meant; but far more probably the former (see 1 Samuel 11:14 and note).

Verse 17

And there he built an altar - Whether this altar was in connection with the tabernacle or not we have no means of deciding, since we are in complete ignorance as to where the tabernacle was at this time, or who was High Priest, or where he resided. It is quite possible that Samuel may have removed the tabernacle from Shiloh to some place near to Ramah; and indeed it is in itself improbable that, brought up as he was from infancy in the service of the tabernacle, he should have left it. At the beginning of Solomon‘s reign we know it was at Gibeon, close to Raimah 1 Kings 3:4; 2 Chronicles 1:3, 2 Chronicles 1:6. If the tabernacle had been at Shiloh at this time, it is likely that Shiloh would have been one of the places at which Samuel judged lsrael. But Shiloh was probably waste, and perhaps unsafe on account of the Philistines.

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1 Samuel Chapter 8

CHAPTER 8

Verse 1

This verse implies a long period, probably not less than 20 years, of which we have no account except what is contained in the brief notice in 1 Samuel 7:13-17. The general idea conveyed is of a time of peace and prosperity, analogous to that under other Judges.

Verse 2

The mention of Beer-sheba, on the extreme southern frontier of Judah, as the place where Samuel‘s sons judged Israel is remarkable. It was probably due to the recovery of territory from the usurpation of the Philistines 1 Samuel 7:14.

Verse 6

See the margin which implies that the thing spoken of caused anger, indignation, or some revulsion of feeling (see Genesis 21:11-12). The answer of the Lord 1 Samuel 8:7 shows that Samuel‘s personal feelings had been hurt. They were soothed by being reminded of the continued ingratitude of the people to God Himself, upon whom, in fact, a greater slight was put by this very request for a king “like all the nations,” than upon Samuel (compare Matthew 10:24; John 15:18, John 15:20). For a comment on this transaction, see Hosea 13:9-11; Acts 13:21-22.

Verse 12

This organization was as old as the time of Moses Numbers 31:14; Deuteronomy 1:15, and prevailed among the Philistines also 1 Samuel 29:2. The civil and military divisions were identical, and the civil officers were the same as the captains of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, in time of war.

To ear his ground - literally, “to plow his plowing.” “To ear” is an old English word, now obsolete, for to plow.

Verses 14-18

See illustrations in marginal references; 1 Kings 5:13-18; 1 Kings 12:4.

Verse 20

Fight our battles - It appears from 1 Samuel 12:12, that the warlike movements of Nahash had already begun to excite alarm.

Verse 22

A repetition for the third time 1 Samuel 8:7, 1 Samuel 8:9 of the expression of God‘s will in the matter, marks Samuel‘s great unwillingness to comply with the people‘s request. Besides the natural aversion which he felt to being thrust aside after so many years of faithful and laborious service, and the natural prejudice which he would feel at his age against a new form of government, he doubtless saw how much of the evil heart of unbelief there was in the desire to have a visible king for their leader, instead of trusting to the invisible Lord who had hitherto led them. But God had His own purpose in setting up the kingdom which was to be typical of the kingdom of His only begotten Son.

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1 Samuel Chapter 9

CHAPTER 9

Verse 1

The genealogy of Saul is here given as far as Aphiah (“Abiah,” 1 Chronicles 7:8), who was of the house of Becher the son of Benjamin Genesis 46:21. “Kish” 1 Chronicles 9:35-39 was the son of “Ner” the son of “Jehiel,” (or, “Abiel” here and 1 Samuel 14:51), the first settler (“father,” 1 Chronicles 9:35) at Gibeon, or Gibeah of Saul, and who married “Maachah,” a daughter or granddaughter of Caleb. If so, it is obvious that the names of several generations are omitted between Kish and Abiel, and among them that from which the family of Matri 1 Samuel 10:21 was called.

Verse 4

The land of Shalisha was somewhere near Gilgal, i. e., Jiljulieh. It is thought to derive its name from “three” (Shalosh) wadys which unite in the wady of Karawa. The situation of Shalim is not known: its etymology connects it more probably with the land of Shual 1 Samuel 13:17, apparently round Taiyibeh, which was about nine miles from Gibeah.

Zuph - 1 Samuel 9:5, see 1 Samuel 1:1 note.

Verse 7

Presents of bread or meat were as common as presents of money. (Compare Ezekiel 13:19; Hosea 3:2.)

Verse 8

The fourth part of a shekel - In value about sixpence. Probably the shekel, like our early English silver coins, was divided into four quarters by a cross, and actually subdivided, when required, into half and quarter shekels.

Verse 9

This is manifestly a gloss inserted in the older narrative by the later editor of the sacred text, to explain the use of the term in 1 Samuel 9:11, 1 Samuel 9:18-19. It is one among many instances which prove how the very letter of the contemporary narratives was preserved by those who in later times compiled the histories. We cannot say exactly when the term “seer” became obsolete. See the marginal references.

Verse 13

Before he go up - By this phrase we see that the high place was in the highest part of the city. Like the “house of the god Berith” Judges 9:46, it was probably the citadel of Ramah. There was connected with the altar a room large enough for thirty people to dine in 1 Samuel 9:22.

Verse 16

That he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines, etc. - These words are not very easily reconcileable with 1 Samuel 7:13. It is possible that the aggressive movements of the Philistines, after the long cessation indicated by 1 Samuel 7:13, coupled with Samuel‘s old age and consequent inability to lead them to victory as before, were among the chief causes which led to the cry for a king. If this were so the Philistine oppression glanced at in this verse might in a general survey be rather connected with Saul‘s times than with Samuel‘s.

Verse 21

The tribe of Benjamin, originally the smallest of all the tribes Numbers 1:36, if Ephraim and Manasseh are reckoned as one tribe, had been nearly annihilated by the civil war recorded in Judges 20. It had of course not recovered from that terrible calamity in the time of Saul, and was doubtless literally much the smallest tribe at that time. Nothing could be more improbable, humanly speaking, than that this weak tribe should give a ruler to the mighty tribes of Joseph and Judah.

Verse 22

The parlour - The “hall” or “cell” attached to the chapel on the high place, in which the sacrificial feast was accustomed to be held. (Compare 1 Chronicles 9:26.)

Verse 24

The shoulder and its appurtenances - would give the sense accurately. The right shoulder was the priest‘s portion in the Levitical sacrifices. Probably it was Samuel‘s own portion in this case, and he gave it to Saul as a mark of the highest honor.

Verse 26

To the top of the house - “On the top.” The bed on which Saul slept was on the top of the house. It is very common in the East to provide extra sleeping accommodation by placing a tent or awning on the house-top.

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1 Samuel Chapter 10

CHAPTER 10

Verse 1

Is it not because … - Samuel answers Saul‘s tacit or expressed wonder, by telling him why he did as he did. (Compare 1 Samuel 9:21.)

Verse 2

How should Saul know that what Samuel said was the word of the Lord? Samuel gives him a sign, “Thou shalt find two men,” etc. (Compare Judges 6:36-40; Isaiah 7:11-14; John 6:30; Mark 11:2; Mark 14:13, etc.)

Zelzah - A place absolutely unknown.

Verse 3

The plain of Tabor - It should be “the oak or terebinth”” of Tabor” (Judges 4:11 note). It has been ingeniously conjectured that “Tabor” is either a different form of “Deborah,” or a corruption of it, and that the “oak,” or “terebinth of Tabor,” is the same as “Allon-bachuth,” the oak under which Deborah was buried, and which lay “beneath Bethel” Genesis 35:8. The terebinth, where the three men came upon Saul, must have been at some point previous to that where the road leading northward from Jerusalem branches; when they reached that point they would go on with their offerings to Bethel, he would pursue his journey to Gibeah.

Verse 5

Hill of God - Rather, “Gibeah” of God, and so in 1 Samuel 10:10. Two things are clear; “one” that Saul had got home when he got to Gibeah of God, for there he found his uncle, and no further journeying is so much as hinted at, and the same word “Gibeah” describes his home at 1 Samuel 10:26. The “other” that there was a high place at Gibeah just above the city, from which he met the company of prophets “coming down.” Hence, it is obvious to conclude that the name “Gibeah of God” (which occurs nowhere else) was sometimes given to Gibeah of Saul on account of the worship on its high place, or, possibly, that the name “Gibeah of God” described the whole hill on a part of which the city Gibeah stood.

Where is the garrison of the Philistines - It seems strange that Samuel should give this description of Gibeah to Saul, who must have been so well acquainted with it. Possibly they may be explanatory words inserted by the narrator with reference to 1 Samuel 13:2.

Musical instruments were the accompaniments of the prophetic song 1 Chronicles 13:8; 1 Chronicles 25:3. The “Psaltery” is a kind of lyre with ten strings, in the shape of an earthen wine bottle (נבלnebel whence νάβλαnabla ) which was something like a sugar-loaf or a delta. The tabret is a kind of drum or tambourine, or timbrel, usually played by dancing women (Exodus 15:20; Judges 11:34. Compare Jeremiah 31:4). The pipe חלילchâlı̂yl literally the “bored” or “pierced” instrument) is a kind of flute used on occasions of joy and mirth Isaiah 5:12; 1 Kings 1:40; Psalm 68:25. The “harp” כנורkı̂nnôr whence the Greek κινύρα kinurawas a stringed instrument, and that played upon by David 1 Samuel 16:16; 1 Samuel 19:9; Psalm 43:4; Psalm 57:8.

Verse 6

Will come upon thee - The word rendered “come,” means to “come” or “pass upon,” as fire does when it breaks out and spreads Amos 5:6; hence, it is frequently used of the Spirit of God passing upon anyone. (See Judges 14:19; Judges 15:14; below 1 Samuel 10:10; 1 Samuel 11:6; 1 Samuel 16:13.)

Shalt be turned into another man - This is a remarkable expression, and occurs nowhere else. It describes the change in point of mental power and energy which would result from the influx of the Spirit of the Lord 1 Samuel 10:9. In the case of Samson it was a supernatural bodily strength; in the case of Saul a capacity for ruling and leading the people of which before he was destitute, and which the Spirit worked in him. (Compare Acts 1:8; Isaiah 11:2-4.)

Verse 8

Seven days shalt thou tarry … - The appointment here made is not to be confounded with that mentioned in marginal reference.

Verse 12

But who is their father - This is a very obscure phrase. If by “father” be intended the head or leader (compare 1 Chronicles 25:6; 2 Kings 2:12) of the prophets, the question means: “What kind of leader can they have to admit such a person as Saul into the company?” Some versions read “Who is his father?” in the sense: “Who would have expected Kish to have a son among the prophets?” (Compare Matthew 13:54-55.)

Verse 14

From the order of the narrative, and the mention of Saul‘s servant, it looks as if Saul found his uncle at the high place. Perhaps some solemnity similar to that mentioned in 1 Samuel 9:19 was going on at this time, in which the prophets had been taking part.

Verse 19

For the use of “thousand” as equivalent to “family,” see 1 Samuel 23:23; Judges 6:15 margin. In Numbers 1:16 it may mean whole tribes.

Verse 20

Caused … to come near … was taken - The Hebrew phrases are exactly the same as in Joshua 7:16-17, where the King James Version renders the first has “brought.”

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Verse 21

The family of Matri - This name occurs nowhere else among the families of Benjamin, or in the genealogy of Saul. (See 1 Samuel 9:1 note.)

Verse 22

Among the stuff - Rather, “the baggage.” The assembly was like a camp, and the baggage (impedimenta) of the whole congregation was probably collected in one place, where the wagons were arranged for protection.

Verse 25

The manner of the kingdom - i. e., the just prerogative of the kingdom, the law, or bill of rights, by which the king‘s power was limited as well as secured. It is not improbable that what Samuel wrote was simply a transcript of Deuteronomy 17:14-20, which he “laid up before the Lord,” i. e., placed by the side of the ark of the covenant with the copy of the Law (see Deuteronomy 31:26). It would be ready for reference if either king or people violated the “law of the kingdom.”

Verse 26

A band of men - Rather, “the host,” “men of valor,” There seems to be an opposition intended between the “valiant men” and the “children of Belial” (1 Samuel 10:27).

Verse 27

Presents - The מנחהmı̂nchāh was the token of homage and acknowledgment from the subject to the sovereign, and from the tributary nation to their suzerain. (See 2 Samuel 8:2, 2 Samuel 8:6; Judges 3:17-18; 1 Kings 4:21; 2 Kings 17:4, etc.; Psalm 72:10; Isaiah 16:1.) Saul dissembled his resentment, and waited for the favorable tide which soon came with the invasion of Nahash.

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