1 Samuel 11:14
Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there.
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(14) Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal.—This was the well-known sanctuary of that name, and was selected as the place of solemn assembly, no doubt, because it was in the now royal tribe of Benjamin. It is situated in the Jordan Valley, not far from Jericho, and has been the scene of many of the most striking events in Israelitic history.

And renew the kingdom there.—There had been, as Samuel and Saul well remembered, many murmurings on the occasion of the original royal election at Mizpeh. Then the people had by no means unanimously accepted as sovereign the Benjamite who was now crowned with the glory of a splendid success. The seer, with striking generosity to one who superseded him in his position as judge, again presented the hero Saul to Israel as their anointed king.

1 Samuel 11:14. Then said Samuel — While the people were together by Jabesh- gilead. Come, and let us renew the kingdom — That is, confirm our former choice, and more solemnly and unanimously inaugurate Saul for our king. Herein Samuel’s great prudence and fidelity to Saul appeared. He suspended the confirmation of Saul at first, while the generality of the people were disaffected, and now, when he had given such eminent proof of his princely virtues, and when the people’s hearts were eagerly set upon him, he takes this as the fittest season for that work.

11:12-15 They now honoured Saul whom they had despised; and if an enemy be made a friend, that is more to our advantage than to have him slain. The once despised Saviour will at length be acknowledged by all as the Lord's own anointed king. As yet, upon his mercy-seat, he receives the submission of rebels, and even pleads their cause; but shortly, from his righteous tribunal, he will condemn all who persist in opposing him.Let us go to Gilgal - i. e., to Gilgal by Jericho, where was a famous sanctuary, in the tribe of Benjamin. 1Sa 11:12-15. Saul Confirmed King.

12-15. the people said …, Who is he that said, Shall Saul reign over us?—The enthusiastic admiration of the people, under the impulse of grateful and generous feelings, would have dealt summary vengeance on the minority who opposed Saul, had not he, either from principle or policy, shown himself as great in clemency as in valor. The calm and sagacious counsel of Samuel directed the popular feelings into a right channel, by appointing a general assembly of the militia, the really effective force of the nation, at Gilgal, where, amid great pomp and religious solemnities, the victorious leader was confirmed in his kingdom [1Sa 11:15].

Then; whilst the people were together by Jabesh-gilead, wherein Samuel’s great prudence and fidelity to Saul is evident. He suspended the confirmation to Saul at first, whilst the generality of the people were disaffected and discontented at the meanness of his person; and now when he had given such eminent proof of his princely virtues, and when the people’s hearts were unanimously and eagerly set upon him, he takes this as the fittest season for that work.

Let us go to Gilgal: this place he chose, both because it was near, and, to most of them, in the way to their homes; and because thither the Israelites on this side, and beyond Jordan, might more easily resort; and because it was famous for public conventions there kept, and particularly for the covenant there renewed by Joshua between God and the people.

Renew the kingdom there, i.e. confirm our former choice, to prevent all such seditious expressions and actions as we had experience of at the former election.

Then said Samuel to the people,.... Agreeing to what Saul had said, and in order to put them off from demanding the lives of the offenders, and willing to take them while they were in a good disposition:

come, and let us go to Gilgal; which was the nearest place to them, on the other side Jordan, from which they now were, and where the children of Israel first encamped when they passed over Jordan, where the tabernacle and ark first were, and an altar was built, and where meetings used to be held on certain occasions; all which might be reasons why Samuel proposed to go to this place. According to Bunting (d), this place was thirty six miles from Jabeshgilead:

and renew the kingdom there; that is, recognize Saul, own and declare him king of Israel.

(d) Ut supra. (Travels of the Patriarchs, &c. p. 126.)

Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there.
14. Then said Samuel] From this verse to 1 Samuel 12:22 is the Haphtarah or lesson from the Prophets appointed to be read in the Synagogue in conjunction with the history of Korah (Numbers 16).

to Gilgal] See note on 1 Samuel 7:16.

renew the kingdom] Which had been founded in the national assembly at Mizpah (1 Samuel 10:25).

Verse 14. - Let us go to Gilgal. The famous sanctuary (1 Samuel 7:16) of that name, situated lower down, in the Jordan valley, near Jericho. It was not far from Jabesh-Gilead, and naturally the victorious host would move from the field of battle to the nearest religious spot to consecrate their king. 1 Samuel 11:14Samuel turned this victory to account, by calling upon the people to go with him to Gilgal, and there renew the monarchy. In what the renewal consisted is not clearly stated; but it is simply recorded in 1 Samuel 11:15 that "they (the whole people) made Saul king there before the Lord in Gilgal." Many commentators have supposed that he was anointed afresh, and appeal to David's second anointing (2 Samuel 2:4 and 2 Samuel 5:3). But David's example merely proves as Seb. Schmidt has correctly observed, that the anointing could be repeated under certain circumstances; but it does not prove that it was repeated, or must have been repeated, in the case of Saul. If the ceremony of anointing had been performed, it would no doubt have been mentioned, just as it is in 2 Samuel 2:4 and 2 Samuel 5:3. But ימלכוּ does not mean "they anointed," although the lxx have rendered it ἔχρισε Σαμουήλ, according to their own subjective interpretation. The renewal of the monarchy may very well have consisted in nothing more than a solemn confirmation of the election that had taken place at Mizpeh, in which Samuel once more laid before both king and people the right of the monarchy, receiving from both parties in the presence of the Lord the promise to observe this right, and sealing the vow by a solemn sacrifice. The only sacrifices mentioned are zebachim shelamim, i.e., peace-offerings. These were thank-offerings, which were always connected with a sacrificial meal, and when presented on joyous occasions, formed a feast of rejoicing for those who took part, since the sacrificial meal shadowed forth a living and peaceful fellowship with the Lord. Gilgal is in all probability the place where Samuel judged the people every year (1 Samuel 7:16). But whether it was the Gilgal in the plain of the Jordan, or Jiljilia on higher ground to the south-west of Shiloh, it is by no means easy to determine. The latter is favoured, apart from the fact that Samuel did not say "Let us go down," but simply "Let us go" (cf. 1 Samuel 10:8), by the circumstance that the solemn ceremony took place after the return from the war at Jabesh; since it is hardly likely that the people would have gone down into the valley of the Jordan to Gilgal, whereas Jiljilia was close by the road from Jabesh to Gibeah and Ramah.
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