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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

1 Samuel 8

Verses 1-22


The People demand a King

1. Judges] They would be subordinate to their father. When the son of a Judge was influential and popular, he might easily succeed to his father’s position: cp. A bimelech in Judges 9:1.

5. Like all the nations] This was the sin of the people. God intended that they, unlike other nations, should be a peculiar people, governed directly by Himself.

6. Displeased Samuel] They had shown themselves forgetful of their relation to God and ungrateful to Samuel himself. But in spite of this, he simply leaves the decision with God.

7. For] Samuel was not to hesitate, for the matter was one which concerned God rather than himself.

8. Which they have done] LXX adds ’to me,’ an addition which is required by the contrast with ’to thee.’

11. It does not follow that a Jewish king was actually like this description, but an Oriental despot was, and Israel had asked for a king like other nations. In later years, Hebrew monarchy sank very low, both in Judah and Israel: cp. the tone both of Hosea and of Ezekiel(Ezekiel 45:9; Ezekiel 46:18).

13. Confectionaries] RM ’perfumers’: cp. Exodus 30:25.

15. Officers] Heb. ’eunuchs.’

Verses 1-22


The People demand a King

1. Judges] They would be subordinate to their father. When the son of a Judge was influential and popular, he might easily succeed to his father’s position: cp. A bimelech in Judges 9:1.

5. Like all the nations] This was the sin of the people. God intended that they, unlike other nations, should be a peculiar people, governed directly by Himself.

6. Displeased Samuel] They had shown themselves forgetful of their relation to God and ungrateful to Samuel himself. But in spite of this, he simply leaves the decision with God.

7. For] Samuel was not to hesitate, for the matter was one which concerned God rather than himself.

8. Which they have done] LXX adds ’to me,’ an addition which is required by the contrast with ’to thee.’

11. It does not follow that a Jewish king was actually like this description, but an Oriental despot was, and Israel had asked for a king like other nations. In later years, Hebrew monarchy sank very low, both in Judah and Israel: cp. the tone both of Hosea and of Ezekiel(Ezekiel 45:9; Ezekiel 46:18).

13. Confectionaries] RM ’perfumers’: cp. Exodus 30:25.

15. Officers] Heb. ’eunuchs.’

Verses 1-52

See on 1 Samuel 9:1. There are clearly two accounts of the institution of the kingship. In 1 Samuel 8, the wish for a king is regarded as a sign of disloyalty to the real King, Jehovah, and, as such, Samuel protests against it. In 1 Samuel 9 - 1 Samuel 10:16, Jehovah himself chooses Saul to deliver his people from the Philistines: cp. Intro. § 2.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 8". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/1-samuel-8.html. 1909.