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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
1 Samuel 10



Verses 1-27

Saul is anointed King by Samuel

1. LXX is probably right in reading at the end Of this v. 'and this is the sign that the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain' (RV 'prince') 'over his inheritance.'

2. Rachel's tomb] was not far from Bethlehem (Genesis 35:19-20).

3. Plain] RV 'oak.'

5. The hill of God] The word is really 'Gibeah,' which was Saul's own home. It is here called 'God's Gibeah' because Samuel had established a school of the prophets there. Cp. the common term for a prophet, 'man of God' (e.g. 1 Kings 17:18). They shall prophesy] RV 'they shall be prophesying,' lit. acting as prophets. Music was a recognised means of promoting the exaltation of spirit necessary for inspiration (2 Kings 3:15).

6. Be turned into another man] fitted for his new career: see 1 Samuel 10:9.

8. This command appears to have been given during the Philistine war narrated in 1 Samuel 13 : cp. 1 Samuel 13:8. Here it interrupts the connexion.

9. Another heart] The heart is not, with the Hebrews, opposed to the head, as with us. The term is used for the general bent both of mind and character. Saul has a new conception of himself and of his life given to him. This is quickly followed by a sudden outburst of 'prophesying,' here obviously used in the sense of ecstatic exaltation of utterance. Saul's liability to be carried out of himself (like his namesake of Tarsus) is also made clear in his fits of melancholic brooding and sudden passion (op. 1 Samuel 18:10-11, where for 'prophesied 'RM reads 'raved'). See also Intro. §7.

11. Is Saul also among the prophets?] i.e. has he joined a school of the prophets? He was not the sort of young man to adopt such a life. Another explanation of the saying is given in 1 Samuel 19:24.

12. Who is their father?] Prophecy did not descend from father to son, so that there was no reason for surprise in finding the son of Kish among the prophets.

17. At this point the other narrative is resumed (see on 1 Samuel 8:1).

19. Thousands] The word may very possibly mean simply 'families': cp. 1 Samuel 10:21. We can hardly imagine this to mean that the whole Hebrew population of Palestine was present.

20. The Hebrews considered that in elections by lot, the decision was made by God (Joshua 7:18; Proverbs 16:33).

22. Stuff] i.e. the baggage: cp. 1 Samuel 16:11.

25. The manner of the kingdom] This was a legal document intended to bind both king and people, and probably to guard against the abuses mentioned in 1 Samuel 8. The power of the Hebrew monarch was, in some respects, narrowly limited.

26. A band of men] Probably the original text was 'the men of valour,' in contrast to 'the worthless men' of 1 Samuel 10:27. Note the simplicity and absence of ceremonial in the new royalty: cp. 1 Samuel 11:4 and Intro. § 7.

27. See intro. to 1 Samuel 11.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 10:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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