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Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 12

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes

Verse 2

My sons are with you - Possibly, however, a tinge of mortified feeling at the rejection of himself and his family, mixed with a desire to recommend his sons to the favor and goodwill of the nation, is at the bottom of this mention of them.

Verse 3

His anointed - i. e., king Saul. The title Messiah, Χριστὸς Christos, unctus, or anointed, had been given to the High Priests (Leviticus 4:3 : compare also 1 Samuel 2:10, 1 Samuel 2:35); but this is the earliest instance of an actual king of Israel bearing the title of God’s Christ, and thus typifying the true Messiah or Christ of God.

Any bribe - literally, a “ransom,” the fine paid by a criminal in lieu of bonds or death Exodus 21:30, applied to the bribe paid to an unjust judge to induce him to acquit the guilty. (Compare Amos 5:12.)

To blind ... - See the margin. The phrase is used of one who averts his eyes, as refusing assistance, or as showing contempt, or, as here, as winking at what is wrong.

Verse 6

Advanced - In the sense of appointing them to their office. It is, literally, “made” (see the margin; 1 Kings 12:31; Hebrews 3:2). Samuel’s purpose is to impress the people with the conviction that Yahweh was their God, and the God of their fathers; that to Him they owed their national existence and all their national blessings, and that faithfulness to Him, to the exclusion of all other worship 1 Samuel 12:21 was the only safety of the newly-established monarchy. Observe the constant reference to the Exodus as the well-known turning-point of their national life (see 1 Samuel 4:8; 1 Samuel 6:6).

Verse 9

According to the present arrangement of the Book of Judges, and the common chronology, the oppression of Sisera must have occurred about 200 years after the entrance into Canaan. But Samuel here places it as the first great servitude, before that under Eglon king of Moab, or that from which Shamgar delivered them. And this is in accordance with the internal evidence of the Book of Judges itself. It is also the order of Judges 10:11, except that there the Ammonites Judges 3:13 are placed before the Philistines.

Verse 11

Bedan - No such name occurs among the Judges who delivered Israel. Some versions and commentators read “Barak,” the form of the letters of both words being in Hebrew somewhat similar.

And Samuel - There is nothing improper or out of place in Samuel mentioning his own judgeship. It had supplied a remarkable instance of God’s deliverance 1 Samuel 7:12-15; and, as it was the last as well as one of the very greatest deliverances, it was natural he should do so. The passage in Hebrews 11:32 is quite as favorable to the mention of Samuel here as to that of “Samson,” which some propose to read instead of “Samuel.”

Verse 17

Wheat harvest - Between May 15 and June 15. Jerome’s testimony (that of an eye-witness) “I have never seen rain in the end of June, or in July, in Judaea” is borne out by modern travelers.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/1-samuel-12.html. 1870.
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