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III. Samuel, the Last of the Judges.
Samuel 7:3-6. 3 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your heart, then put away the strange gods and the Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. 4 Then the children of Israel did put away the Baalim and the Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.
5 And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray for you unto the LORD. 6 And they gathered together to Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpah.
27. ISRAEL'S VICTORY OVER THE PHILISTINES.
i Samuel 7:7–12. 7 And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. 9 And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a whole burnt offering unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD answered him. 10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great 'thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten down before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Beth-car. 12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and called the name of it · Eben-ezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.
28. SUMMARY STATEMENT OF SAMUEL'S WORK AS JUDGE.
I Samuel 7:13-17. 13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more within the border of Israel: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the border thereof did Israel deliver out of the hand of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites. 15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 And he went from year to year in circuit to Beth-el, and Gilgal, and Mizpah ; and he judged Israel in all those places. 17 And his return was to Ramah, for there was his house; and there he judged Israel: and he built there an altar unto the LORD.
a Or, "direct." 6 Heb." voice." cl. e., " The stone of help.” d It is to be remembered that this is a very meagre statement of Samuel's work as judge. One needs to look well at the words, and even beneath them, to gain a clear conception of what Samuel's influence and power meant to Israel.
BOOK SECOND. The Reign Of Saul.
PART I. ESTABLISHMENT BY SAMUEL OF SAUL AS FIRST KING
29. THE PERSISTENT DEMAND OF THE PEOPLE FOR A KING.
i Samuel 8:1-22. i And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel ; and the name of his second, Abijah: they were judges in Beer-sheba. 3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgement.
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah: 5 and they said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways : now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not be king over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, in that they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. 9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice : howbeit thou shalt protest solemnly unto them, and shalt shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
1o And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. 11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: he will take your sons, and appoint them unto him, « for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and they shall run before his chariots : 12 and he will appoint them unto him for captains of thousands, and captains of fifties; and he will set some to plow his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and the instruments of his chariots. 13 And he will take your daughters to be bconfectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. 14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his seryants. 16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest d young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks: and ye shall be his servants. 18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you ; and the LORD will not answer you in that day. 19 But the people refused to hearken unto the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us ; 20 that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles, 21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD. 22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.
a Or, "over his chariots, and over his horses.” Or, “perfumers." See Exodus 30:25. Or, “eunuchs." d The Sept. has, "herds."
30. SAMUEL MEETS SAUL, WHO IS DESTINED BY JEHOVAH TO BE
KING OVER ISRAEL.
I Samuel 9:1-25. i Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjamite, a mighty man of * valour. 2 And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a young man and a goodly : and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people. 3 And the asses of Kish Saul's father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses. 4 And he passed through the hill country of Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they found them not: then they passed through the land of Shaalim, and there they were not : and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they found them not. 5 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 take thought for us. 6 And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is a man that is held in honour; all that he saith cometh surely to pass : now let us go thither ; peradventure he can tell us concerning our journey whereon we go. 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 to bring to the man of God: what have we? 8 And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have in my hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way. 9 (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said, Come and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.) 10 Then said Saul to his servant, Well said ; come, let us go. So they went unto the city where the man of God was. II As they went up the ascent to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said unto them, Is the seer here? 12 And they answered them, and said, He is; behold, he is before thee: make haste now, for he is come to-day into the city; for the people have a sacrifice to-day in the high place: 13 as soon as ye be come into the city, ye 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 doth bless the sacrifice ; and afterwards they eat that be bidden. Now therefore get you up; for at this time ye shall find him. 14 And they went up to the city; and as they came within the city, behold, Samuel came out against them, for to go up to the high place.
15 Now the LORD had revealed unto Samuel a day before Saul came, saying, 16 To-morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be d prince over my people Israel, and he shall save my people out of the hand of the Philistines : for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me. 17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said unto him, Behold the man í of whom I spake to thee! this same shall have authority over my people. 18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's house is. 19 And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer; go up before me unto the high place, for ye shall eat with me to-day: and in the morning I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart. 20 And as for thine asses that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them; for they are found. And y for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for thee, and for all thy father's house? 21 And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel ? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou to me after this manner? 22 And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the guest-chamber, and made them sit in the chiesest place among them that were bidden, which were about thirty persons. 23 And Samuel said unto the cook, Bring the portion which I gave thee, of which I said unto thee, Set it by thee. 24 And the cook took up the thigh, and that which was upon it, and set it
a Or, "wealth.” 6 Or, “ choice." cHeb. "uncovered the ear of Samuel." d Or,“ leader." e Heb. "answered him," for, " of whom I said unto thee, This same," etc. g Or, “on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on thee, and on all," etc. h Heb, "tribes." i Or, “shoulder."
1 Samuel 9. before Saul. And Samuel said, Behold that which hath been reserved ! set it before thee and eat; because, unto the appointed time hath it been kept for thee, . for I said, I have invited the people. So Saul did eat with Samuel that day. 25 And when they were come down from the high place into the city, "he communed with Saul upon the housetop.
31. SAUL IS PRIVATELY ANOINTED BY SAMUEL.
1 Samuel 9: 26–10:1. 26 And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called to Saul on the housetop, saying, Up, that I may send thee away. And Saul arose, and they went out, both of them, he and Samuel, abroad. 27 As they were going down at the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still at this time, that I may cause thee to hear the word of God. Then Samuel took the vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not that the LORD hath anointed thee to be prince over his inheritance ?
32. THE SIGNS OF THE DIVINE CONFIRMATION.
I Samuel 10:2-16. 2 When thou art departed from me to-day, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel's sepulchre, in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee, The asses which thou wentest to seek are found : and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and taketh thought for you, saying, What shall I do for my son ? 3 Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the coak of Tabor, and there shall meet thee there three men going up to God to Beth-el, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine : 4 and they will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hand. 5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines : and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a timbrel, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall be prophesying : 6 and the spirit of the LORD will come mightily upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. 7 And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee. 8 And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings : seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come unto thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do. 9 And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart : and all those signs came to pass that day.
10 And when they came hither to the hill, behold, a band of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came mightily upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied with the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets ? 12 And one of the same place answered and said, And who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets ? 13 And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.
14 And Saul's uncle said unto him and to his servant, Whither went ye? And he said, To seek the asses: and when we saw that they were not found, we came to Samuel. 15 And Saul's uncle said, Tell me, I pray thee, what Samuel said unto you. 16 And Saul said unto his uncle, He told us plainly that the asses were found. But concerning the matter of the kingdom, whereof Samuel spake, he told him not.
a Heb. “saying.” The Sept, has, "they spread a couch for Saul on the housetop, and he lay down. And it came to pass," etc. cor, y terebinth.” & Or, skin." 'e Or, "Gibeah," Heb, " it shall come to pass, that when these signs," etc. Heb." do for thee as thine hand shall find." Th Heb. "turned.”
33. THE CHOICE OF SAUL BY LOT AT MIZPAH.
I Samuel 10: 17-21. 17 And Samuel called the people together unto the LORD to Mizpah; 18 and he said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all the kingdoms that oppressed you : 19 but ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saveth you out of all your calamities and your distresses; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands. 20 So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken. 21 And he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by their families, and the family of the Matrites was taken a : and Saul the son of Kish was taken; but when they sought him, he could not be found.
34. THE INSTALLATION OF SAUL AS KING.
Samuel 10:22-25. 22 Therefore they asked of the LORD further, Is there yet a man to come hither? And the LORD answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff. 23 And they ran and fetched him thence; and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward. 24 And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people ? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.
25 Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in d a book, and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.
35. SAUL'S BRIEF RETIREMENT TO PRIVATE LIFE.
I Samuel 10:26, 27. 26 And Saul also went to his house to Gibeah; and there went with him the host, whose hearts God had touched. 27 But certain isons of . Belial said, How shall this man save us ? And they despised him, and brought him no present. But he held his peace.
PART II. SAUL'S REIGN UNTIL HIS REJECTION. 36. A GENERIC ACCOUNT OF THE WHOLE OF SAUL'S REIGN.
I Samuel 14:47-52. 47 Now when Saul had taken the kingdom over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines : and whithersoever he turned himself, 'he vexed them. 48 And he did valiantly, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them.
49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishvi, and Malchi-shua: and the names of his two daughters were these; the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal : 50 and the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahiinaaz: and the name of the captain of his host was Abner the son of Ner, Saul's uncle. 51 kAnd Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.
52 And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any mighty man, or any valiant man, he 'took him unto him.
a The Sept, adds, "and the family of the Matrites was brought near man by man.” 6 Or, “Is the man yet come hither?" c Heb. "Let the king live." d Or, the." e Or, " men of valour," for, "base fellows." gl. e., "worthlessness." h Or, " But he was as though he had been deaf." i Or," he put them to the worse." The Sept. has," he was victorious." kAccording to some ancient authorities, “ And Kish the father of Saul and Ner. ... were the sons of Abiel.” Heb. “gathered."