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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

1 Samuel 11

Verses 1-15

1 Samuel 11. Saul Delivers Jabesh-gilead and Is Made King.— (J) continues the ancient narrative, sequel to 1 Samuel 10:16. Putting aside 1 Samuel 11:12-14, inserted by an editor to connect this chapter with the Deuteronomic document, the rest shows clearly that the writer knew nothing of any previous public appointment of Saul to be king: when the messengers come to Gibeah, they do not ask for Saul, and no one thinks of him until he himself intervenes. 1 Samuel 8 is probably a later addition; the reference to Judah, before David comes upon the scene, and the exaggerated numbers, are not characteristic of the earlier documents in Samuel.

1 Samuel 11:1-10 . About a month after Saul’ s interview with Samuel, Nahash, king of Ammon, attacks Jabesh-gilead, which offers to submit on conditions. This is met by a proposal that they should allow their right eyes to be put out. They obtain seven days’ respite to seek help and send messengers throughout Israel. When Saul hears, he is possessed by the Spirit of God, and summons the Israelites to follow him to the rescue: they respond, and Saul sends word that he will relieve the city. In order to lull the Ammonites into false security, the men of Jabesh promise to surrender unconditionally the next day.

1 Samuel 10:27 ; 1 Samuel 11:1 . But he held his peace. Then Nahash: read, with LXX, “ And it came to pass after about a month, that Nahash.”

1 Samuel 11:1 . Jabesh-gilead: see Judges 21:8.

1 Samuel 11:4 . Gibeah: Joshua 15:57.

1 Samuel 11:7 . Cf. Judges 19:29.— and after Samuel: an addition; Samuel does not appear in this episode.

1 Samuel 11:8 . Bezek: Khirbet Ibzik, W. of Jordan, nearly opposite Jabesh-gilead.

1 Samuel 11:11-15 . Saul surprises and routs the Ammonites. [Here the editor again introduces Samuel into the story.] The people install Saul king at the sanctuary at Gilgal, with sacrifices— the equivalent of a modern coronation service.

1 Samuel 11:11. morning watch: last of the three divisions of the night.

1 Samuel 11:15 . peace offerings: Exodus 20:24.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 11". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/1-samuel-11.html. 1919.