Poole on 1 Samuel 10:13-16: Saul's Humble Return to Private Life

Verse 13:[1] And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.


[He ceased to prophesy] Not only from the act of prophesying (in this manner all often cease), but from the habit, in which Saul differs from them, Numbers 11:25. Those elders did not cease, they remained ever assigned to this function; Saul ceased, because he had not been divinely instituted for this function (Mendoza).


[He came to the high place] [They take it variously:] In Gibeah (Tirinus, Sanchez). Others: to the hill from which the Prophets had descended, verse 5; for in the height was the place of prayer and sacrifice (Lapide). The high place, that is, the shrine of the hill of God, concerning which verse 5 (Junius). Saul departed from them, and left there, whence those prophets had come; namely, unto the high place where sacred rites were performed, and oracles were returned (Martyr). He went up there before returning to his own, so that he might gather courage, and give thanks to God for so many gifts bestowed upon him (Lapide out of Tostatus and Hugo and Dionysius, similarly Mendoza, Piscator): and especially for the gift of prophesying; which the very words appear to indicate, since he is expressly said to have entered the high place, when he had ceased to prophesy (Piscator); and so that he might pray to God to prosper the kingdom to him (Martyr).


He came to the high place: Returning thither with the prophets, there to praise God for these wonderful favours, and to beg counsel and help from God in this high business.


Verse 14:[2] And Saul’s uncle said unto him and to his servant, Whither went ye? And he said, To seek the asses: and when we saw that they were no where, we came to Samuel.


[And Saul’s paternal uncle said] This was Ner, the father of Abner[3] (Tostatus and Hugo and Dionysius in Lapide). Perhaps he found him in the house of that high place (Drusius, similarly Vatablus, Mendoza); or certainly in the way to or from that. For it is likely that all his kinsmen, roused by the report of Saul prophesying, hastened to meet him (Mendoza); or he went into his own city, where his paternal uncle asked this of him. For Scripture is sometime wont to pass over certain things in this manner (Drusius almost out of Vatablus). But why does not his father himself ask? Perhaps, because he was not there; or, because he already knew (Mendoza).


Saul’s uncle, being there present, and observing this great alteration in his nephew.


[When we had not found them, וַנִּרְאֶ֣ה כִי־אַ֔יִן] And we saw that not (Montanus), understanding, were they (Tigurinus, similarly the Septuagint, Syriac, Munster, Junius and Tremellius), or were they found (Pagnine, Vatablus). The full expression is found in verse 21 (Vatablus).


Verse 15:[4] And Saul’s uncle said, Tell me, I pray thee, what Samuel said unto you.


Verse 16:[5] And Saul said unto his uncle, He told us plainly that the asses were found. But of the matter of the kingdom, whereof Samuel spake, he told him not.


[Concerning the word of the kingdom he did not reveal to him] Either, 1. out of humility and modesty (Drusius, Vatablus, Lyra). He blushed to speak this of himself, lest he should appear to boast (Carthusianus in Mendoza). Because he was afraid that it would not seem credible; so he prudently remained silent (Mendoza out of Josephus and Dionysius). 3. So that he might faithfully keep Samuel’s secret (Lyra, Tostatus, Lapide, Mendoza). 4. He feared the envy even of his kinsmen (Menochius out of Josephus and Tostatus). 5. He prudently allowed the matter to ripen; lest he make himself suspect of ambition (Grotius).


[Which Samuel had spoken, אֲשֶׁ֖ר אָמַ֥ר] Which he had said (Jonathan, Syriac, Pagnine, Montanus); or concerning which he had spoken (Munster, Tigurinus); which he had declared (Junius and Tremellius), understanding, that he should not reveal it to anyone: see 1 Samuel 9:26, 27 (Junius). But more simply it is he had said; that is, he had revealed the matter (Piscator).


But of the matter of the kingdom…he told him not: Partly, in obedience to Samuel, who obliged him to secrecy; partly, from a humble modesty which appeared in him, verse 22; and partly, in prudence, lest by an unseasonable publishing of it he should raise envy in some, disbelief and contempt in others, etc.

[1] Hebrew: וַיְכַל֙ מֵֽהִתְנַבּ֔וֹת וַיָּבֹ֖א הַבָּמָֽה׃ [2] Hebrew: וַיֹּאמֶר֩ דּ֙וֹד שָׁא֥וּל אֵלָ֛יו וְאֶֽל־נַעֲר֖וֹ אָ֣ן הֲלַכְתֶּ֑ם וַיֹּ֕אמֶר לְבַקֵּשׁ֙ אֶת־הָ֣אֲתֹנ֔וֹת וַנִּרְאֶ֣ה כִי־אַ֔יִן וַנָּב֖וֹא אֶל־שְׁמוּאֵֽל׃ [3] See 1 Samuel 14:50, 51. [4] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֖אמֶר דּ֣וֹד שָׁא֑וּל הַגִּֽידָה־נָּ֣א לִ֔י מָֽה־אָמַ֥ר לָכֶ֖ם שְׁמוּאֵֽל׃ [5] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר שָׁאוּל֙ אֶל־דּוֹד֔וֹ הַגֵּ֤ד הִגִּיד֙ לָ֔נוּ כִּ֥י נִמְצְא֖וּ הָאֲתֹנ֑וֹת וְאֶת־דְּבַ֤ר הַמְּלוּכָה֙ לֹֽא־הִגִּ֣יד ל֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֖ר אָמַ֥ר שְׁמוּאֵֽל׃

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