Poole on 1 Samuel 9:15-17: God's Revelation of Saul to Samuel

Verse 15:[1] (1 Sam. 15:1; Acts 13:21) Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear (Heb. revealed the ear of Samuel;[2] 1 Sam. 20:2[3]) a day before Saul came, saying…

[He had revealed the ear, גָּלָ֖ה אֶת־אֹ֣זֶן וגו״] He had revealed (or had uncovered [Piscator]) the ear of Samuel (Pagnine, Montanus, Piscator, Septuagint, Drusius, Vatablus). It signifies the removal of a veil wherewith the ear would be covered. See Ruth 4:4[4] (Piscator). This expression occurs in 1 Samuel 20:2; 22:8.[5] It signifies by Metalepsis to signify something to someone. For, he that reveals or uncovers the ear desires it to be exposed, and ready to hear, not deaf and stopped up; but he that makes it ready, reveals something to it (Mendoza). To reveal the ear to someone is to indicate to him some secret, like things spoken into the eart (Vatablus in Tigurinus Notes). He reveals the ear, who discloses to some one what he wills to be done; likewise who advises one concerning a matter. See Job 36:10,[6] 15[7] (Drusius). He had revealed into the ear (Junius and Tremellius); he had foretold (or indicated [Tigurinus], or had revealed [Arabic]) to Samuel (Syriac).

In his ear, that is, secretly.

[One day before] So that he might prepare those things that were pertaining to an honorable reception of Saul (Mendoza out of Tostatus). But not earlier, lest perhaps he should prepare an immoderate feast (Mendoza).

A day before Saul came, that he might prepare himself for Saul’s reception.

Verse 16:[8] To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, (1 Sam. 10:1) and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have (Ex. 2:25; 3:7, 9) looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.

[I will send to thee] By the secret leading of the Spirit, with him thinking one thing, but doing another (Malvenda out of Junius).

I will send thee a man; I will by my secret providence so dispose of matters, and of the hearts of Saul and his father, that Saul shall come to thee, though with another design.

[And thou shalt anoint him] All Kings were anointed, even the impious ones; for, although the person of the King was profance, nevertheless there was a sacred dignity because of which he was to be honored (Mendoza).

[A captain, לְנָגִיד[9]] For a captain (Pagnine, Montanus); a prince (Septuagint); a king (Jonathan). A leader (Junius and Tremellius); that is to say, one that goes before, who in a time of war goes before the army (Junius). Formerly the King was ἡγεμὼν τῶν πρὸς τὸν πόλεμον, a leader of those to the battle: Aristotle’s Politics 3:14. Homer: —Ἀμφότερον βασιλεὺς τ᾽ ἀγαθὸς, κρατερός τ᾽ αἰχμητὴς, he was both a good king, and stout warrior. And Tacitus: however much other things might be dissembled, a general’s (add, or king’s) virtue belongs to a good captain[10] (Grotius). נָגִיד/captain is from נֶגֶד, in front of, before; that is to say, one in front of the battle standard, because subordinates set their faces continually before him, and regard him in all their needs (Drusius). It signifies one that lives in our sight (Piscator). It signifies rather a herald, a leader, a teacher