And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And Saul also went home to Gibeah.—Saul departed for the present to his own home. We may conclude that his fellow citizens, proud of the honour conferred on one of themselves, were among his earliest devoted attendants. The young hero, however, as we shall see, had not long to wait for an opportunity of displaying his prowess, and of rallying the hearts of the people generally firmly to his standard.
A band of men.—Among these early friends. doubtless, were to be found the names of the distinguished men whom we hear of later surrounding Saul. The highest prudence and sagacity marked all the early period of the reign of the first king. Slow to take offence, we shall see from the next verse how Saul and his valiant adherents busied themselves in conciliating the disaffected, and in preparing for a decisive action against the enemies who were on all sides harrying the land. An opportunity (see the history in the next chapter) soon presented itself of showing that the choice of a king had been wisely made.1 Samuel 10:26. Saul went home to Gibeah — Not being actually inaugurated into his kingdom, he thought fit to retire to his former habitation, and to live privately till he had an occasion to show himself in a more illustrious manner. There went with him a band of men — A company, probably, of stout, valiant men, of great resolution, who went as his guard, to afford him safe and honourable conduct to his house, although, as it appears, not to abide with him there, which would not have suited his present circumstances. Whose hearts God had touched — Who were moved by a divine influence to do their duty in this instance. Thus the Holy Scriptures teach us to acknowledge God to be the author of all the good that is in us, or done by us.1 Samuel 10:27).
there went … a band of men, whose hearts God had touched—who feared God and regarded allegiance to their king as a conscientious duty. They are opposed to "the children of Belial."To Gibeah: not being actually inaugurated into his kingdom, he thought fit to retire to his former habitation, and to live privately till he had an occasion to show himself in a more public and illustrious manner, which he speedily obtained.
And there went with him a band of men, to give him safe and honourable conduct to his house, though not to abide with him there, which did not suit with his present circumstances.
Whose hearts God had touched, i.e. either
1. Disposed or inclined to this work; or,
2. Affected or renewed by his grace and good Spirit working upon their hearts; those that feared God and made conscience of their duty; for they are opposed to the children of Belial in the next verse. These, though they did not desire a king, as the generality of the people did, yet when God had given them a king, they were most forward to pay him that reverence and obedience which they owed him; both which proceeded from the same principle, that they were in both cases guided by God’s will; which was, that they should not desire a king in their circumstances; and yet they should obey him, when God had set a king over them.
and there went with him a band of men; an army, or part of one they seem to be military men, at least men of strength, valour, and courage; gallant men, who, in honour to their king elect, freely offered themselves to be his body guard, however, until he was come to his house at Gibeah; the Targum is only, "some of the people"And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)26. there went with him a band of men] Or, the valiant men. Saul was escorted home by those who accepted him as the choice of Jehovah, butVerses 26, 27. - Saul did not at once enter upon his duties, but went home to Gibeah, and there went with him, not a band of men, but the host, or the force, i.e. those brave men whose hearts God had touched. Whatever was noble and valiant accompanied him, to take counsel for the nation's good; but the children of Belial, i.e. worthless, good for nothing creatures (see 1 Samuel 1:16; 1 Samuel 2:12), despised him. In the A.V. the antithesis between the force, the strength and bravery that went with Saul, and the worthlessness which rejected him, is lost by the mistranslation of both words. The Septuagint, on the contrary, strengthens it by rendering "sons of strength" and "pestilent sons." As there was a garrison in the district of Gibeah, this proceeding was likely to embroil Saul with the Philistines, and probably was so intended. They brought him no presents. Apparently, therefore, the people did bring him presents; and as these would chiefly consist of food, they would be useful only for maintaining a body of men. This, too, would scarcely escape the notice of so watchful an enemy, and yet until Saul smote one of their garrisons they did nothing; but then, forthwith, they invaded Israel so promptly, and with such overwhelming numbers, as seems to prove that they had been busily making preparations meanwhile to maintain their empire. He held his peace. Literally, "was as one that is deaf." Had Saul not controlled his anger, a civil war would have been the result, and the lordly tribes of Ephraim and Judah might have refused a king chosen from the little tribe of Benjamin. In fact, Judah never does seem to have given a hearty allegiance to Saul. The Septuagint, followed by Josephus, offers a not improbable different reading, which involves but a very slight change in the Hebrew. Uniting the words with the next chapter, they translate, "And it came to pass, after about a month, that Nahash the Ammonite," etc. The Vulgate has both readings.
1 Samuel 7:9) according to their tribes and families (alaphim: see at Numbers 1:16); "and there was taken (by lot) the tribe of Benjamin." הלּכד, lit. to be snatched out by Jehovah, namely, through the lot (see Joshua 7:14, Joshua 7:16). He then directed the tribe of Benjamin to draw near according to its families, i.e., he directed the heads of the families of this tribe to come before the altar of the Lord and draw lots; and the family of Matri was taken. Lastly, when the heads of the households in this family came, and after that the different individuals in the household which had been taken, the lot fell upon Saul the son of Kish. In the words, "Saul the son of Kish was taken," the historian proceeds at once to the final result of the casting of the lots, without describing the intermediate steps any further.
(Note: It is true the Septuagint introduces the words καὶ προσάγουσι τὴν φυλὴν Ματταρὶ εἰς ἄνδρας before ויּלּכד, and this clause is also found in a very recent Hebrew MS (viz., 451 in Kennicott's dissert. gener. p. 491). But it is very evident that these words did not form an integral part of the original text, as Thenius supposes, but were nothing more than an interpolation of the Sept. translators, from the simple fact that they do not fill up the supposed gap at all completely, but only in a very partial and in fact a very mistaken manner; for the family of Matri could not come to the lot εἰς ἄνδρας (man by man), but only κατ ̓ οἴκους (by households: Joshua 7:14). Before the household (beth-aboth, father's house) of Saul could be taken, it was necessary that the גּברים (ἄνδρες), i.e., the different heads of households, should be brought; and it was not till then that Kish, or his son Saul, could be singled out as the appointed of the Lord. Neither the author of the gloss in the lxx, nor the modern defender of the gloss, has thought of this.)
When the lot fell upon Saul, they sought him, and he could not be found.
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