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?
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(11) What is this?—The natural expression of extreme surprise at the sudden change which had come over one so well known at Gibeah as Saul evidently was, shows us that this was his home. The words, “What is this that is come unto the son of Kish?” seem to tell us that the life hitherto led by Saul was a life very different in all respects to the life led by the sons of the prophets in their schools. It need not be assumed that the youth and early manhood of the future king had been wild and dissolute, but simply that the way of life had been rough and uncultured—a life spent in what we should call “country pursuits,” in contradistinction to the pursuit of knowledge and of higher acquirements. It is evident from the statement here and in the following verse that a considerable respect for these schools had already grown up among the people.

Is Saul also among the prophets?—In 1Samuel 19:23 we again find Saul, but under changed circumstances, under the influence of a Divine and coercing power, and uttering strange words, and singing hymns as one trained in the prophets’ schools. It was probably this recurrence of the same incident in the king’s life which gave rise to the saying, or proverb, which expresses amazement at the unexpected appearance of any man in a position which had hitherto been quite strange to him. “Is Saul among the preachers of Christ? Was a question of wonder asked by the friends of St. Paul” (Galatians 1:23).—Wordsworth.

1 Samuel 10:11. Is Saul also among the prophets? — A man never instructed, nor exercised in, nor inclined to these matters. It begat wonder in all those who knew his education, that he should, on a sudden, be inspired as those were, who were bred up in the school of the prophets. For, though it was in the power of God alone to bestow the gift of prophecy upon men, yet it would seem that commonly he endowed none with it, but such as were trained up in those studies which might dispose them for it.

10:9-16 The signs Samuel had given Saul, came to pass punctually; he found that God had given him another heart, another disposition of mind. Yet let not an outward show of devotion, and a sudden change for the present, be too much relied on; Saul among the prophets was Saul still. His being anointed was kept private. He leaves it to God to carry on his own work by Samuel, and sits still, to see how the matter will fall.Seven days shalt thou tarry ... - The appointment here made is not to be confounded with that mentioned in marginal reference. 9-11. when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart—Influenced by the words of Samuel, as well as by the accomplishment of these signs, Saul's reluctance to undertake the onerous office was overcome. The fulfilment of the two first signs [1Sa 10:7, 8] is passed over, but the third is specially described. The spectacle of a man, though more fit to look after his father's cattle than to take part in the sacred exercises of the young prophets—a man without any previous instruction, or any known taste, entering with ardor into the spirit, and skilfully accompanying the melodies of the sacred band, was so extraordinary a phenomenon, that it gave rise to the proverb, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" (see 1Sa 19:24). The prophetic spirit had come upon him; and to Saul it was as personal and experimental an evidence of the truth of God's word that had been spoken to him, as converts to Christianity have in themselves from the sanctifying power of the Gospel. What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? what means this strange and prodigious event? Saul; a man never instructed nor exercised in nor inclined to these matters; a man ever thought fitter to look to his father’s asses, than to bear a part in the sacred exercises of the prophets.

And it came to pass, that when all that knew him before time,.... As there must be many that personally knew him, and were acquainted with him, since Gibeah, the place he was near to, was his native place:

saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets; or praised among them, as the Targum, sung psalms and hymns with them:

what is this that is come unto the son of Kish? a rustic, a plebeian, that never was in the school of the prophets, or learned music, and yet is as dexterous at it as any of them:

is Saul also among the prophets? an husbandman, an herdsman that looked after his father's farms, fields, and cattle, and now among the prophets of the Lord, bearing his part with them, and performing it as well as any of them: this was matter of wonder to those who knew his person, family, and education; and so it was equally matter of admiration that Saul the persecutor, one of the same tribe, should be among the preachers of the Gospel, Acts 9:20.

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?
11. all that knew him beforetime] An indication that Gibeah was Saul’s home. Cp. 1 Samuel 10:14; 1 Samuel 10:26.

11, 12. Saul’s neighbours were astonished that the son of Kish, the plain citizen, undistinguished save by his stalwart form and handsome countenance, should suddenly appear as a prophet in the midst of the trained recipients of divine inspiration. But one of their fellow-townsmen reproved them by asking. But who is their father? Was the parentage of these prophets such as to lead us to expect them to be thus specially gifted? The prophetic inspiration comes from God, and may therefore be bestowed even upon the son of Kish. See Amos 7:14-15. Compare the astonishment of the people of Capernaum at the words and works of Christ (Matthew 13:54-57).

1 Samuel 10:11When those who had known Saul of old saw that he prophesied with the prophets, the people said one to another, "What has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?" This expression presupposes that Saul's previous life was altogether different from that of the disciples of the prophets.
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