I Samuel 9
We closed I Samuel 8 with the people refusing the Judges that Father gave the Israelites and also rejecting Father in favor of wanting a man to rule over them. Father through Samuel, reminded them what He had told Moses to tell their forefathers when He brought them up out of their bondage to the Egyptians and to the edge of the Promised Land in Deuteronomy 17; that a man--unlike Father--will not be fair or righteous; and, when he comes into power - he will corrupt his ways, and you - the people, won't like it. The people refused to listen, so Father told Samuel to tell them that He would give them exactly what they desired. Samuel then sent all the people home to their own cities.
It's in this Chapter that Father will indeed select their first man to rule over them and his name is Saul. So let's get right to it and read what Father has to say:
9:1-10:25 KING GIVEN. (Repeated Alternation.)
9:1-2 King designated.
I Samuel 9:1 Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish (a bow), the son of Abiel (father of strength, i.e. strong, or father (that is possessor) of God), the son of Zeror (a bundle, or a parcel (as packed up)), the son of Bechorath (primogeniture, or - first born), the son of Aphiah (refreshed or breeze), a Benjamite, a mighty man of power. -> We run into a little difficulty when we try to fully recon the genealogy of this family or any of the Israelite families for that matter - case in point: Here, I Samuel 9:1, Saul's father's name is "Kish"; however, when we compare this lineage with I Chronicles 8 we find Saul's father's name to be "Ner." You can see the difficulty, so, we can correctly conclude that there are three different genealogies of the house of Saul. We place the facts, (1) that persons often had two names - much like we use a "nickname" today - (v9:34, Judges 6:32 and following); and (2) that the same name recurs in the same family, against the assumption that the opposite is the case. It is this assumption which creates the difficulties in "reconciling" I Samuel 9:1; 14:51 and I Chronicles 8:33; and 9:35 and following. See the Companion Bible, the note at I Chronicles 8:33, Page 542 for a clearer picture.
It is interesting to note that Israel's first man king came from this lineage. Remember back in Judges 19 and 20 that the Tribe of Benjamin was almost completely wiped out because of their lack of standing against the sodomites of the land of Gibeah where they - the Benjamites were living. I guess they thought like much of our liberal countrymen today that "they should be able to have sex with and marry whomever they please." There was a Levite who was passing through the land back to his homeland and stopped in Gibeah for the night, as he sat and his concubine on a bench an older man came by and told them that they would not be safe on the bench all night, and sure enough, not long after the warning by the older man, along come the sodomites and want to "know" the Levite. The older man invites the Levite and his concubine into his home for the night and the sodomites - not satisfied, come a knocking on the old man's door saying for him to send the Levite out; the old man refused their demand and offers instead his daughter and the Levite's concubine. They - the sodomites, take the Levite's concubine and abuse her all night so that in the morning when the Levite goes to awaken her so they can continue on their way, the concubine was dead. The Levite returns home - bringing his concubine's body with him, he then cuts her into twelve pieces - one for each of the twelve Tribes of Israel, and send a body part to each of the Tribes. The realization as to what was taking place in Gibeah came to light and all the Tribes gathered to go to war against Gibeah - all that is except the tribe of Benjamin who continued to stand with Gibeah. The war was on and the inhabitants of Gibeah were destroyed and most - all except 600 men of the tribe of Benjamin were also destroyed. The women and children tribe of Benjamin were also slaughtered and the rest of the Tribes of Israel realized that the Tribe would perish if they didn't intervene - so they held their annual "dance" and allowed - they could not willingly give their daughters to the men of Benjamin, their daughters to be taken by the men of Benjamin so that the Tribe could continue on. It was from these six hundred men that the stock of Benjamin grew to the point that it was at the time of Samuel, some four or five generations later.
This is why the tribe of Benjamin was looked at as the least, and why their numbers were so few, as compared to the rest of the tribes. Just as Saul was a Benjamite, so was the Apostle Paul, as recorded in Acts 13:21. It was from the tribe of Benjamin that Israel would have their first king.
I Samuel 9:2 And he had a son, whose name was Saul (asked or desired), a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people. -> He=Kish.
Saul=There are many points of resemblance and contrast between this Saul and the Apostle Saul - both of them were appointed and anointed by - Father.
Saul looked every bit like a man king should look: he was an extremely large man and there was no one in Israel bigger than Saul (almost makes one wonder if he was a gibbor); he had everything on his side that was necessary to step into his new position - the people were "asking" for a king, and so Father gave them Saul to fill their "desires".
9:3-14 Asses lost.
9:3-14 ASSES LOST. (Extended Alternation.)
9:3 Kish: Asses lost.
9:3 His command.
I Samuel 9:3 And the asses of Kish Saul's father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, "Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses." -> The first two men kings of Israel will tend to and care for their father's cattle; and from this we can also see an interesting contrast: Saul must go and seek his father's lost asses - an unclean animal which is excellent for labor while at the same time unfit for consumption, David on the other hand kept and had charge of his father's sheep a clean animal which was representative of the House of Israel - our forefathers.
In the future, David will be the contender of Saul's throne, and yet David loved Saul and would never take the life of the first man king of Israel - for David knew that like himself, Saul too was Father's anointed.
Now, stop and think of this message which Father is giving us in the use of these animals as applied to the first two men that shall rule over Israel. On a higher level, those that have the eyes to see, can appreciate the humor and the way that Father is making obvious that Saul though the first king of the House of Israel - he is a looser from the very start, while David will be the king in which all the other kings of Israel - except Christ, will be compared against.
9:4 Obeyed by Saul.
I Samuel 9:4 And he passed through mount Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalisha (trebled land), but they found them not: then they passed through the land of Shalim (foxes, or the land of foxes), and there they were not: and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they found them not. -> Saul and his servant were searching through all the land looking for his father's asses; however, everywhere they looked, they did not find them. Of course, Father's hand is in this as He is leading Saul to where He wants him to be.
9:5 Saul's servant.
I Samuel 9:5 And when they were come to the land of Zuph (honeycomb), Saul said to his servant that was with him, "Come, and let us return; lest my father leave caring for the asses, and take thought for us." -> Take thought=Be anxious, with which we can compare with Matthew 6:25, 27, 28, 31 and 34.
So here we have the first man king of the House of Israel and he cannot find his own "ass(es)", can you see what Father is trying to show us here?
9:6-10 His advice.
9:6-10 SERVANT'S ADVICE. (Alternation.)
9:6 The man of God. Statement.
I Samuel 9:6 And he said unto him, "Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go." -> Man of God=God's man: i.e. a prophet because he is Father's spokesman.
Saul's servant knows that they are close to where Samuel lives and he recommends to Saul that they seek him out and hear what he has to say, for he'll surely be able to tell them where Saul's asses are.
I Samuel 9:7 Then said Saul to his servant, "But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?" -> Present=In the Hebrew, this is H8670 - teshûrâh, pronounced - tesh-oo-raw', and means: From H7788 in the sense of arrival; a gift: - present.. So in other words, it was customary of the time that if you went to a man of God for help, you brought along a gift in order to pay him for his assistance or to "hear his word." The gift went to help provide for the priest's family. Saul was knowledgeable the customs of his day, the problem was that he didn't have anything to offer Samuel.
9:8-9 The man of God. Explanation.
I Samuel 9:8 And the servant answered Saul again, and said, "Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way." -> Shekel=See the Companion Bible Appendix 51. II. 5. for clarification of the shekel.
That I will give=The Septuagint reads: "which thou canst give."
I Samuel 9:9 (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to enquire of God, thus he spake, "Come, and let us go to the seer:" for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.) -> (Before time...)=Note the parenthesis in this verse.
Seer=In the Hebrew this is ro'eh - a "seer of visions", another name for seer was "chôzeh" which referred rather to spiritual apprehension of what was seen. So, the "Seer" named here is the name for a Prophet of God. It is the same in the Greek as in the Hebrew tongue - the Prophet is a "Seer" of the hidden truth from God.
So what are we to take away from this that Father is trying to show us? What is the lesson in this for us? Here we have two men wandering around for the past several days trying to find these lost asses, and these two didn't have a clue where they were. Did they at any point turn to Father and seek His assistance? No, they continued on in their search aimlessly wandering around thinking – they might be here, or they might be there and then when they couldn't find them – they decide to turn to another – man – Samuel. Father wants us to turn to Him and confer with Him in our daily lives. Likewise also, we should never put our trust in a man, for we will fail when we lean on and trust in ourselves or another man; never, take your focus off of Father – seek Him and put your trust in Him and His ways. This applies to everything we do, if we want to be successful. Do you know how and when to approach the Father for help? Father will help you in all your problems and needs, in family matters, as well as the job on those little matters that seem small.
9:10 Taken by Saul.
I Samuel 9:10 Then said Saul to his servant, "Well said; come, let us go." So they went unto the city where the man of God was. -> Saul tells his servant that he likes and agrees with his suggestion, so the two men set off to find Samuel.
9:11 Maidens of the city.
I Samuel 9:11 And as they went up the hill to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said unto them, "Is the seer here?" -> We learned as we read in - I Samuel 7:15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. [7:16] And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. -> that Samuel was a circuit rider, caring for the needs of the people both judicially as well as Spiritually. So it was only a matter of time that he would arrive in the city that Saul and his servant enter into, and perhaps they might even happen to find him right off—which they do.
9:12-13 Their advice.
I Samuel 9:12 And they answered them, and said, "He is; behold, he is before you: make haste now, for he came to day to the city; for there is a sacrifice of the people to day in the high place: -> Here we see Father's hand at work; as this is no coincidence that Samuel arrives in the city on the same day Saul and his servant enter into it looking for him.
I Samuel 9:13 As soon as ye be come into the city, ye shall straightway find him, before he go up to the high place to eat: for the people will not eat until he come, because he doth bless the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat that be bidden. Now therefore get you up; for about this time ye shall find him." -> The young ladies tell Saul and his servant that sure enough, Samuel will come to their city this very day, that they must hurry, for as soon as he arrives, the people want him to Bless their meal which they have made for his arriving that day, and then they can begin their feast.
Bidden=Notice that not just anybody or everybody can attend this feast, you have to be invited to attend.
9:14 Taken by Saul.
I Samuel 9:14 And they went up into the city: and when they were come into the city, behold, Samuel came out against them, for to go up to the high place. -> Out against=Opposite, so as to meet them. Samuel was right where the women at the well had told Saul and his servant that Samuel would be. The three men met there in the city just as Samuel was to go up to the high place for the sacrifice.
9:15-10:13 KING SOUGHT. (Alternation.)
9:15-17 Anointing. Command.
I Samuel 9:15 Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying, -> Don't read over this important statement: the day before Saul and his servant arrived, Father had come to Samuel and told him that there would be someone arriving there the next day and to be watching for them.
Let's listen to what Father actually told Samuel:
I Samuel 9:16 "To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over My People Israel, that he may save My People out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon My People, because their cry is come unto Me." -> I shall send thee a man. Saul never even suspected that Father's hand was upon him and his servant directing them to the city where they would encounter Samuel. Remember, Saul had wanted to return home to his father and tell him that they could not find his asses and they therefore quit.
That he may save My People out of the hand of the Philistines. This never comes to pass, for it will be many, many years after Saul's death that the Israelites will still be fighting the Philistines. We're still fighting them today. Remember, the Philistines are the Palestinians.
I Samuel 9:17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said unto him, "Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over My People." -> When Samuel saw Saul. The very moment Samuel's eyes beheld Saul, Father spoke to him and told him that this was the man He had told him of who would be the first man king of the House of Israel.
Father was going to give the people exactly what they wanted: a man to rule over them; a man that was no more than an ass keeper, who cannot even find his own asses. A man who even had to have his servant tell him to seek the wisdom of Father in order to find his lost animals. It wasn't Saul who said "let's seek Father's guidance in this matter." Prayerfully, in the future he will seek Father's counsel in his leading of Father's People.
9:18-27 Reception by Samuel.
9:18-27 RECEPTION BY SAMUEL. (Introversion.)
9:18 Meeting of Samuel with Saul.
I Samuel 9:18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, "Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's house is." -> In the gate. This is the open place near the gate where judgment was handed down. Notice Saul doesn't even know the one who sits in the judgment seat is also the prophet of YHVH. This is something he should have known: that the judge and the spiritual leader are one in the same; it was the same in all Israel.
9:19-20 Samuel's answer to Saul.
I Samuel 9:19 And Samuel answered Saul, and said, "I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me to day, and to morrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart. -> For ye shall eat with me today=Saul was just bidden to the feast by Samuel.
And will tell thee all that is in thy heart, this is to prove to Saul that Samuel is indeed a prophet of YHVH, to remove any doubt that he may have had concerning Samuel.
He—Samuel—is about to give Saul a little taste in the next verse:
I Samuel 9:20 And as for thine asses that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them; for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on thee, and on all thy father's house?" -> Mind=Heart, in other words, do not regard them, or “ease your pack down and take your mind off of them.”
Is it not on thee=The people of Israel are wanting a king, and you young man are he, you are the one that will make all Israel happy.
9:21 Saul's answer to Samuel.
I Samuel 9:21 And Saul answered and said, "Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?" -> The smallest of the tribes=Since their actions of Judges 19 and 20, yes the Tribe of Benjamin was the smallest of the twelve tribes. Saul knew that his family was very low in the community, and that he was just not capable to reign as a king; however, Father uses whomever He pleases to fulfill His purposes and His plans. Even though Saul is Father's choice for the people; it doesn't mean that it was a good day for the people - for this donkey chaser is about the last person that you would want ruling over you, one that doesn't even have the sense of direction to find his own way home.
So to me=According to this word.
9:22-27 Communication of Samuel.
I Samuel 9:22 And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the parlour, and made them sit in the chiefest place among them that were bidden, which were about thirty persons. -> Only thirty people - all the leaders of the communities, had been invited to this feast and now Saul is sitting at "the head of the table" amongst them, I'm sure there are some who aren't too pleased with this.
I Samuel 9:23 And Samuel said unto the cook, "Bring the portion which I gave thee, of which I said unto thee, 'Set it by thee.' " -> Samuel knows that Saul is Father's anointed and as such he had previously gone to the cook and told him to slice off a larger portion - the shoulder, and set it aside. When the cook came out to serve the meal, Samuel told him to now bring that shoulder portion out and set it in front of Saul.
I Samuel 9:24 And the cook took up the shoulder, and that which was upon it, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, "Behold that which is left! set it before thee, and eat: for unto this time hath it been kept for thee since 'I said, I have invited the People.' " So Saul did eat with Samuel that day. -> There is much said in this verse which has to be understood. Remember, the portion which is left for the Levitical priests and their families is the shoulder of the animal, and a brisket. So, with Samuel now giving this priest's portion to Saul, Samuel—the high priest and judge—is showing these leaders of their communities that the leadership and Judgeship is passing from the high priest onto the king of Israel. In doing so, Samuel is showing these leaders that Israel is now changing over from a theocracy to a monarchy and it is Saul who will be the first king of Israel.
I Samuel 9:25 And when they were come down from the high place into the city, Samuel communed with Saul upon the top of the house. -> After the feast had ended, Samuel and Saul, the high priest and the soon-to-be king, come down from the high place and enter into the house reserved for the Circuit Judge. Beings it still in the heat of the day, Samuel takes Saul up to the roof to sit and talk with him some more. I'm sure that he was passing on much of the information concerning all the Tribes and how to properly judge and lead them, along with some other things.
I Samuel 9:26 And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, "Up, that I may send thee away." And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad. -> Spring of the day. In other words, during the early morning hours as the sun was just beginning to warm the day.
Samuel was already up and about and when Saul got up, Samuel then calls him up to the roof where he was sitting. Samuel wants to pass on to Saul a few last minute things before they both part company.
I Samuel 9:27 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, "Bid the servant pass on before us," (and he passed on,) "but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God." -> As they were edging toward the city limits, Samuel turns to Saul and tells him to send his servant ahead because he wants to privately tell Saul something. He is about to tell Saul all the things that Father had shown him concerning Saul being the first man king of Israel, this was to document to Saul that what he was telling him was indeed from Father. Samuel wanted Saul to know absolutely that Father's hand was in this and this was His plan. Samuel would reveal to Saul some events that would come to pass on his return home, which would give Saul assurance in his mind that Father was with him, and all that Samuel revealed to him would come to pass.
It becomes a lot easier for someone to follow the instructions given by Father when they are assured that those instructions came from Him in the first place. When Father is with you in all that you do, you know things will be well with you – for as it is written in Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? -> The answer of course is, no one, for Father is in control of all things. This is why Saul, as a weak man, could get the courage that was necessary for him to be king, even though in the end, he was a miserable failure as a king.