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Bible Commentaries

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible
1 Samuel 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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Bibliography Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 9:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-samuel-9.html. 1870.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, December 16th, 2019
the Third Week of Advent
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