9:1–10:25-. King Given.

T  W¹  9:1,2. King designated.
    X¹  9:3-14. Asses lost.
   W²  9:15–10:13. King sought.
    X²  10:14-16. Asses found.
   W³  10:17-25. King appointed.

1000 B.C.

1 Samuel 9)

1: Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish (= a bow. Cp.14:51. 1 Chron.8:33; 9:39. For the difficulty of the genealogy, see note on 1 Chron.8:33), the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite (as was Saul of Tarsus [Phil.3:5]), a mighty man of power.
2: And he had a son, whose name was Saul (many points of resemblance and contrast with Saul of Tarsus. Name = Asked for: i.e. by man), a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the sons of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.

3-14. Asses Lost.

X¹  Y¹  p¹  3-. Kish. Asses lost.
         q¹  -3. His command.
          r¹  4. Obeyed by Saul.
    Y²  p²  5. Saul's servant.
         q²  6-10-. His advice.
          r²  -10. Taken by Saul.
    Y³  p³  11. Maidens of the city.
         q³  12,13. Their advice.
          r³  14. Taken by Saul.

3: And the asses of Kish Saul's father were lost (contrast David, who had charge over his father's "sheep", and "kept them" [16:11]; with Saul, who lost his father's "asses" 9:3]).

And Kish said to Saul his son, “Take now one of the young men with you (tradition says "Doeg". Cp.21:7), and arise, go seek the asses.” (unclean animals. Compare with David's "sheep", clean animals.)

4: And they passed through the hill country of Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalisha (= trebled land), but they found them not: then they passed through the land of Shalim (= foxes), and there they were not: and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they found them not.

5: And when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant that was with him, “Come, and let us return; lest my father leave caring for the asses, and be anxious (cp. Matt.6:25,27,28) for us.” (This man was going to be king and couldn't even find his own donkeys with both hands. Watch what happens to the People when they put their trust in man and not God.)

6-10-. Servant's Advice.

q²  s  6. The man of God. Statement.
     t  7. Objection.
    s  8,9. The man of God. Explanation.
     t  10-. Assent.

6: And he said to him, “Behold now, there is in this city a man of God (i.e. a prophet, because God's spokesman), and he is an honorable man; all that he says comes surely to pass: now let us go to that place; perhaps he can show us our way that we should go.” (The servant was even wiser than Saul. He, the servant said, "lets turn to God")

7: Then said Saul to his servant, “But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present (Heb. teshurah. Occurs only here. It is from shur, to behold. Hence, that which procures and secures an interview, or sight of the person sought. It was customary to bring a gift) to bring to the God's man: what have we?”

8: And the servant answered Saul again, and said, “Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver (approx. 1/8 oz.): which you can give to the man of God, to tell us our way.”
9: {Before-time (note the parenthesis) in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spoke, “Come, and let us go to the seer” (Heb. ro’eh = a seer of visions. Another name for seer was chozeh, which referred rather to spiritual apprehension of what was seen. In 1 Chron. 29:29 all three words occur in the same verse): for he that is now called a Prophet (Heb. nab’i = one who spoke for or was moved by God) was before-time called a Seer (of the hidden truth).}

10: Then said Saul to his servant, “Well said; come, let us go.”

So they went to the city where the man of God was.

11: And as they went by the ascent to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said to them, “Is the seer here?”

12: And they answered them, and said, “He is; behold, he is before you: make haste now, for he came to day to the city; for there is a sacrifice by the people to day in the high place (in Num.21:19 = Bamoth-Baal. Shiloh was now forsaken. No "place" within the meaning of Deut. 12. Cp. 1 Sam.7:10,17):
13: As soon as you all be come into the city, you all shall straightway find him, before he go up to the high place to eat: for the people will not eat until he come, because he does bless the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat that be bidden. Now therefore get you up; for about this time you all shall find him.”

14: And they went up into the city: and when they were come into the city, behold, Samuel came out opposite them (so as to meet them), for to go up to the high place.

9:15–10:13. King Sought.

W²  A  9:15-17. The anointing. Command.
     B  9:18-27. Reception by Samuel.
    A  10:1. The anointing. Obedience.
     B  10:2-13. Directions by Samuel.

15: Now the Lord had opened (or uncovered) the ear of Samuel one day before Saul came, saying,
16: “Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man out of the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be leader over My People Israel, that he may save My People out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon My People (the Aram. and Syr. read "the oppression". In that case the Fig. Ellipsis should be supplied after it, "of My People" being implied), because their cry is come to Me.”
17: And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, “Behold the man whom I spoke to you of! this same shall rule (or control, or restrain) over My People.”

18-27. Reception of Samuel.

B  u  18. Meeting of Samuel with Saul.
    v  19,20. Samuel's answer to Saul.
    v  21. Saul's answer to Samuel.
   u  22-27. Communication of Samuel.

18: Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate (Heb. "in the midst of the gate": i.e. the open place near the gate were judgment was given), and said, “Tell me, I pray you, where the seer's house is.”

19: And Samuel answered Saul, and said, “I am the seer: go up before me to the high place; (see not below) for you all shall eat with me to day, and tomorrow I will let you go, and will tell you all that is in my heart.”
20: And as for your asses that were lost three days ago, set not your mind on them (Heb. "heart" = do not regard them); for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on you, and on all your father's house?”


Synagogues are mentioned as existing in Old Testament times, Ps. 74:4, 8. The Heb. here is mo'ed, and in v. 8 it is rendered "synagogues" in the A.V. and R.V. (margin, "places of assembly"). AQUILA also, a reviser of the Septuagint (about A.D. 130), renders it synagogue.

Synagogues were in use from the earliest times, and Dr. John Lightfoot (Works, vol. v., p. 112) identifies them with "the high places" so often mentioned in Scripture in a commendable sense, as 1Sam. 9:19; 10:5. 1Kings 3:4, &c." These are to be distinguished from the 'high places' connected with idolatry and false worship (as 1 Kings 11:7 and 12:31. Jer. 7:31 and 19:5, &c.). How else could the "holy convocations" be held in accordance with Lev. 23:3, 4, &c.?

On the return from the captivity, laws were made to regulate their erection, constitution, and use.

The days of assembly were three : the Sabbath, the second day of the week (our Sunday sunset to Monday sunset), and the fifth day (our Wednesday sunset, &c.). The expression in Acts 13:42, which in the Greek = the Sabbath between, may therefore refer to one of these intervening days.

The officers of the Synagogue were : -

1. The Archisunagogos = the ruler of the Synagogue, having charge of its affairs, regulating the service, &c.

2. The Sheliach (or mal'ak) hazzibbor = the angel of the ekklesia, who was the constant minister of the Synagogue, to pray, preach, have charge of the law and appoint its readers. Hence he was called episkopos, or overseer. See notes on 1Cor. 11:10. Rev. 1:20.

21: And Saul answered and said, “Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? (very true, since the events recorded in Judg. 20:35) and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speak you according to this word?” (God uses whomsoever He chooses.)

22: And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the parlor, and made them sit in the chiefest place among them that were bidden, which were about thirty persons.
23: And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion which I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Set it by you.’ ”
24: And the cook took up the shoulder, and that which was upon it, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, “Behold that which is reserved! set it before you, and eat: for unto this time has it been kept for you since I said, ‘I have invited the People.’ ” So Saul did eat with Samuel that day. (This was the rightful portion for the priest. This act was symbolic of passing the ruler-ship to the monarch)
25: And when they were come down from the high place into the city, Samuel communed with Saul upon the top of the house. (A place of meditation.)
26: And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, “Up, that I may send you away.” And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad.
27: And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Bid the servant pass on before us” (he wanted to be alone with Saul), {and he passed on,} “but stand you still a while, that I may show you the word of God.” (Elohim = Creation relationship. First occurrence of this expression. "Word of Yahaveh" frequent from Gen.15:1)

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