1 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.
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(14) Behold, Samuel came out against them.—“Saul comes before Samuel, bashfully pursuing his humble quest, in apparent unconsciousness of the power slumbering within him of aspiring and attaining to the highest place; the great seer receives him in a way quite different from all that he could have hoped or feared. At the moment of their meeting the seer has come forth from his house on the way to the solitary sacred heights of Ramah, the city of his residence, where he sacrifices on the altar to Jahveh, or is wont to partake of a sacred sacrificial repast with some of his closest friends. He at once desires to take Saul also with him, telling him beforehand how unimportant was the immediate object of his inquiries, and that the matter was already settled; but that for him and his whole house was reserved a very different and far better destiny in Israel. And though Saul, in his unassuming simplicity, would fain waive the honour which is obscurely hinted (so little does he yet know his better self), the holy man, more discerning, takes him with him to the sacrificial meal, which is already prepared; nay, assigns him the place of honour among the thirty guests before invited, while he is served with a portion of the sacrificial meat, put by, as it were, specially for him: for in like manner a portion other and higher than that of ordinary men had been long reserved for him by heaven.”—Ewald.

1 Samuel 9:14-15. Behold, Samuel came out against them — Met them directly in his way to the sacrifice. For so God, in his providence, had disposed things, as it follows in the next words. The Lord had told Samuel in his ear — That is, secretly, perhaps by a small, still voice. In the Hebrew it is, He revealed, or uncovered the ear of Samuel.

9:11-17 The very maid-servants of the city could direct to the prophet. They had heard of the sacrifice, and could tell of the necessity for Samuel's presence. It is no small benefit to live in religious and holy places. And we should always be ready to help those who are seeking after God's prophets. Though God had, in displeasure, granted Israel's request for a king, yet he sends them a man to be captain over them, to save them out of the hand of the Philistines. He does it, listening graciously to their cry.Before he go up - By this phrase we see that the high place was in the highest part of the city. Like the "house of the god Berith" Judges 9:46, it was probably the citadel of Ramah. There was connected with the altar a room large enough for thirty people to dine in 1 Samuel 9:22. 14. Samuel came out against them, for to go up to the high place—Such were the simple manners of the times that this prophet, the chief man in Israel, was seen going to preside at a high festival undistinguished either by his dress or equipage from any ordinary citizen. Samuel came out; out of his own house, just as they passed by.

And they went up into the city,.... Saul and his servant went up the hill to the city of Ramah: and

when they were come into the city; were within it, within the walls of it:

behold, Samuel came out against them; came out of a door of his house upon them, just as they came up: or "to meet them" (i); his way to the high place lay where they were coming; unless it can be thought he went out purposely to meet them, having, as in the following verse, an intimation, that about that time one from the tribe of Benjamin, who should be king, would come to him, and so made this his way, knowing that one coming from that tribe must come that way; but it seems most likely that this was his readiest way:

for to go up to the high place; or place of sitting down, or feasting, as the Targum; see Gill on 1 Samuel 9:12.

(i) "in occursum eorum", Pagninus, Montanus; "eis obviam", V. L. Tigurine version.

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.
14. and when they were come into the city] Rather, as they were coming into the midst of the city, behold Samuel was coming out to meet them. In the E. V. this verse apparently disagrees with 1 Samuel 9:18. The correct translation makes all clear. Saul and his servant ascend the hill. As they enter the city they meet Samuel “in the gate” (1 Samuel 9:18).

The Sept. reads “gate” here, and “city” in 1 Samuel 9:18, but the change is unnecessary.

The high place was either on the top of the hill on the slope of which the city stood, or on the adjacent hill from which the city had its name Ramathaim (“the two heights”). See note on 1 Samuel 1:1.

Against’ here = ‘opposite to,’ as in Genesis 15:10. So Tyndale in Genesis 32:1 has “Jacob saw the angels of God come against him.”

Verse 14. - When they were come into. More correctly, "As they were going into the city." This agrees with what is said in ver. 18, that Saul and Samuel met in the gateway. As Ramah occupied two hills, the Bamah would be on the summit of one, while the city probably nestled between them. 1 Samuel 9:14When they went into the town, Samuel met them on his way out to go to the high place of sacrifice. Before the meeting itself is described, the statement is introduced in 1 Samuel 9:15-17, that the day before Jehovah had foretold to Samuel that the man was coming to him whom he was to anoint as captain over his people. אזן גּלה, to open any one's ear, equivalent to reveal something to him (1 Samuel 20:12; 2 Samuel 7:27, etc.). אשׁלח, I will send thee, i.e., "I will so direct his way in my overruling providence, that he shall come to thee" (J. H. Mich. ). The words, "that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines; for I have looked upon my people, for their cry is come unto me," are not at all at variance with 1 Samuel 7:13. In that passage there is simply the assertion, that there was no more any permanent oppression on the part of the Philistines in the days of Samuel, such as had taken place before; but an attempt to recover their supremacy over Israel is not only not precluded, but is even indirectly affirmed (see the comm. on 1 Samuel 7:13). The words before us simply show that the Philistines had then begun to make a fresh attempt to contend for dominion over the Israelites. "I have looked upon my people:" this is to be explained like the similar passage in Exodus 2:25, "God looked upon the children of Israel," and Exodus 3:7, "I have looked upon the misery of my people." God's looking was not a quiet, inactive looking on, but an energetic look, which brought help in trouble. "Their cry is come unto me:" this is word for word the same as in Exodus 3:9. As the Philistines wanted to tread in the footsteps of the Egyptians, it was necessary that Jehovah should also send His people a deliverer from these new oppressors, by giving them a king. The reason here assigned for the establishment of a monarchy is by no means at variance with the displeasure which God had expressed to Samuel at the desire of the people for a king (1 Samuel 8:7.); since this displeasure had reference to the state of heart from which the desire had sprung.
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