1 Samuel 8:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah

King James Bible
Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,

American Standard Version
Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Then all the ancients of Israel being assembled, came to Samuel to Ramatha.

English Revised Version
Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah:

Webster's Bible Translation
Then all the elders of Israel assembled, and came to Samuel to Ramah,

1 Samuel 8:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Samuel's judicial labours. - With the calling of the people to Mizpeh, and the victory at Ebenezer that had been obtained through his prayer, Samuel had assumed the government of the whole nation; so that his office as judge dates from his period, although he had laboured as prophet among the people from the death of Eli, and had thereby prepared the way for the conversion of Israel to the Lord. As his prophetic labours were described in general terms in 1 Samuel 3:19-21, so are his labours as judge in the verses before us: viz., in 1 Samuel 3:15 their duration, - "all the days of his life," as his activity during Saul's reign and the anointing of David (1 Samuel 15-16) sufficiently prove; and then in 1 Samuel 3:16, 1 Samuel 3:17 their general character, - "he went round from year to year" (וסבב serves as a more precise definition of והלך, he went and travelled round) to Bethel, i.e., Beitin (see at Joshua 7:2), Gilgal, and Mizpeh (see at. 1 Samuel 3:5), and judged Israel at all these places. Which Gilgal is meant, whether the one situated in the valley of the Jordan (Joshua 4:19), or the Jiljilia on the higher ground to the south-west of Shiloh (see at Joshua 8:35), cannot be determined with perfect certainty. The latter is favoured partly by the order in which the three places visited by Samuel on his circuits occur, since according to this he probably went first of all from Ramah to Bethel, which was to the north-east, then farther north or north-west to Jiljilia, and then turning back went towards the south-east to Mizpeh, and returning thence to Ramah performed a complete circuit; whereas, if the Gilgal in the valley of the Jordan had been the place referred to, we should expect him to go there first of all from Ramah, and then towards the north-east to Bethel, and from that to the south-west to Mizpeh; and partly also by the circumstance that, according to 2 Kings 2:1 and 2 Kings 4:38, there was a school of the prophets at Jiljilia in the time of Elijah and Elisha, the founding of which probably dated as far back as the days of Samuel. If this conjecture were really a well-founded one, it would furnish a strong proof that it was in this place, and not in the Gilgal in the valley of the Jordan, that Samuel judged the people. But as this conjecture cannot be raised into a certainty, the evidence in favour of Jiljilia is not so conclusive as I myself formerly supposed (see also the remarks on 1 Samuel 9:14). כּל־המּקומות את is grammatically considered an accusative, and is in apposition to את־ישׂראל, lit., Israel, viz., all the places named, i.e., Israel which inhabited all these places, and was to be found there. "And this return was to Ramah;" i.e., after finishing the annual circuit he returned to Ramah, where he had his house. There he judged Israel, and also built an altar to conduct the religious affairs of the nation. Up to the death of Eli, Samuel lived and laboured at Shiloh (1 Samuel 3:21). But when the ark was carried away by the Philistines, and consequently the tabernacle at Shiloh lost what was most essential to it as a sanctuary, and ceased at once to be the scene of the gracious presence of God, Samuel went to his native town Ramah, and there built an altar as the place of sacrifice for Jehovah, who had manifested himself to him. The building of the altar at Ramah would naturally be suggested to the prophet by these extraordinary circumstances, even if it had not been expressly commanded by Jehovah.

1 Samuel 8:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the elders

Exodus 3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac...

Exodus 24:1 And he said to Moses, Come up to the LORD, you, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel...

2 Samuel 5:3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD...

Cross References
1 Samuel 7:17
Then he would return to Ramah, for his home was there, and there also he judged Israel. And he built there an altar to the LORD.

1 Samuel 8:10
So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking for a king from him.

1 Samuel 11:3
The elders of Jabesh said to him, "Give us seven days' respite that we may send messengers through all the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will give ourselves up to you."

2 Samuel 3:17
And Abner conferred with the elders of Israel, saying, "For some time past you have been seeking David as king over you.

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