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One Samuel Ten

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

1 Samuel 10:1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?

hath anointed thee. This anointing was private, intended merely to assure Saul that God had chosen him as Israel's first earthly king. His public investiture as king is described in 1 Samuel 10:24, and firmly established in 1 Samuel 11:14-15.

1 Samuel 10:2 When thou art departed from me to day, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel's sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee, The asses which thou wentest to seek are found: and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and sorroweth for you, saying, What shall I do for my son?

1 Samuel 10:3 Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine:

1 Samuel 10:4 And they will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hands.

1 Samuel 10:5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:

1 Samuel 10:6 And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.

prophesy with them. This experience, somewhat parallel to the New Testament doctrine of regeneration (note 1 Samuel 10:9) and baptism of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-5; 1 Corinthians 12:13) was God's testimony to Saul that, despite his humble background and circumstances (1 Samuel 9:21), he had truly been called to be king of Israel. Specifically, Saul's calling was manifested by one of the gifts of the Spirit, the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 13:2), not as a permanent endowment but as an assurance that God was with him.

1 Samuel 10:7 And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee.

1 Samuel 10:8 And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and show thee what thou shalt do.

1 Samuel 10:9 And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day.

1 Samuel 10:10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.

company of prophets. This “company of prophets” was probably the beginning of what later came to be known as the “school of the prophets” (actually this term is not found in Scripture, though there are several references to what seems to be an organized body of “sons of the prophets”—note, e.g., 2 Kings 2:15). These men—presumably first organized and trained by Samuel—seem to have had a ministry of music (1 Samuel 10:5), as well as prophesying (receiving and conveying divine messages to the people). The New Testament gift of prophecy was important also in the early church, but ceased when it was no longer needed with the completion of the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 13:8).

1 Samuel 10:11 And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?

1 Samuel 10:12 And one of the same place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets?

1 Samuel 10:13 And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.

1 Samuel 10:14 And Saul's uncle said unto him and to his servant, Whither went ye? And he said, To seek the asses: and when we saw that they were no where, we came to Samuel.

1 Samuel 10:15 And Saul's uncle said, Tell me, I pray thee, what Samuel said unto you.

1 Samuel 10:16 And Saul said unto his uncle, He told us plainly that the asses were found. But of the matter of the kingdom, whereof Samuel spake, he told him not.

1 Samuel 10:17 And Samuel called the people together unto the LORD to Mizpeh;

1 Samuel 10:18 And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you:

1 Samuel 10:19 And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.

1 Samuel 10:20 And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken.

1 Samuel 10:21 When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found.

was taken. The people had desired a king, but would yet need to agree on who that should be. Even though Samuel knew God had designated Saul, he apparently felt it wise to assume God would confirm the selection publicly by this lottery method.

1 Samuel 10:22 Therefore they inquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither. And the LORD answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff.

1 Samuel 10:23 And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.

1 Samuel 10:24 And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.

God save the king. This same public invocation was used to proclaim Solomon king (1 Kings 1:34), and has often been appropriated at the coronation of monarchs ever since.

1 Samuel 10:25 Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.

manner of the kingdom. This phrase probably refers to Samuel's earlier warning of what a king would come to be like after he had consolidated his power (1 Samuel 8:11-18).

wrote it in a book. Samuel laid up “before the Lord” his written account, implying that his writings, like those of Moses, were to be kept in the tabernacle, probably in the Ark of the Covenant.

1 Samuel 10:26 And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.

God had touched. Anyone who is truly called to do a work for God will surely, as night follows day, encounter opposition from the “children of Belial” (1 Samuel 10:27)—that is, “worthless men”—who will “despise him.” At the same time, there will also be raised up “a band of men whose hearts God had touched” to encourage and assist and support him in the work.

1 Samuel 10:27 But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.