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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

1 Samuel 10

Verses 1-16


Samuel’s prediction about Saul (9:1-10:16)

Saul, who became Israel’s first king, originally had no desire for political power and little interest in the spiritual ministry of Samuel. As the son of a wealthy landowner, he was more concerned about the loss of his father’s donkeys, and the worry he might cause his father by being away so long in search of them (9:1-5). This concern led him to seek help from Samuel. He thought that Samuel, with his ability to see visions and make predictions, could tell him where the donkeys were (6-14).
God revealed to Samuel that he had chosen Saul to be Israel’s king. Saul would save Israel from the Philistines, who had recently renewed their attacks (15-17). Samuel prepared Saul to receive this startling news by treating him with special honour at a sacrificial feast that was being held at that time (18-24).
The next day Samuel told Saul privately that God had chosen him to be king, after which Samuel anointed him in a brief, private ceremony (25-10:1). Samuel then predicted three things that would soon happen as proof to Saul that Samuel’s predictions always came true. Most important of these three events would be the coming of God’s special power upon Saul to change him from an ordinary Israelite farmer into a national leader. Saul would receive additional guidance by going to the shrine at Gilgal, where Samuel would pass on God’s directions to him (2-8).
When the Spirit of God first came upon Saul, he certainly behaved differently, but those who knew him were not impressed. They were surprised that a well respected young man like Saul should associate with religious extremists and behave in such an undignified manner (9-13). But Saul did not reveal what Samuel had told him about the kingship (14-16).


Verses 17-27


Saul made king (10:17-27)

Some time later, Samuel called a meeting of the leaders of all the tribes and families in Israel to select a king (17-19). The selection was made by a system of drawing lots that finally led to one man being chosen. Two people, a confident Samuel and a nervous Saul, knew through God’s previous private revelation who would be chosen (20-24).

After the selection had been made, Samuel announced publicly the rights and duties of a king (25; cf. Deuteronomy 17:14-20). Many of the people were delighted when they saw the appearance of the man who had been chosen king, but some doubted and mocked. Saul therefore made no immediate changes in the nation’s administration, but returned to his farm at Gibeah (26-27). (Gibeah became the administrative centre of Israel during Saul’s reign; see 11:4; 14:2; 15:34; 22:6; 26:1.)


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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 10". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/1-samuel-10.html. 2005.