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Poole on 1 Samuel 9:25-27: Samuel's Secret Communion with Saul

Verse 25:[1] And when they were come down from the high place into the city, Samuel communed with Saul upon (Deut. 22:8; 2 Sam. 11:2; Acts 10:9) the top of the house.

[And he spoke with Saul] Either concerning religion and piety (Rabbi Salomon in Martyr, similarly Lyra, Tostatus and Carthusianus in Mendoza). Or concerning the administration of the kingdom (Kimchi in Martyr, Tostatus in Mendoza). Thus Samuel sets up Saul; and he embraces him in love, as if he were his own son; and he wills his successor (whom others wish to be altogether worthless) to be better than himself (Martyr).

Samuel communed with Saul, concerning the kingdom designed to him by God, and his duty to expect it patiently, till God actually called him to it; and to administer it piously, and justly, and valiantly.

[Upon the top of the house] Hebrew: upon the roof[2] (Jonathan, Pagnine, Montanus, Tigurinus), so that they might converse familiarly. For the roofs of houses in that place were flat. See on Deuteronomy 22:8 (Malvenda out of Vatablus). This place was suitable for having conversations and prayers, Daniel 6:10; Acts 10:9 (Malvenda out of Junius).

The top of the house was flat, after the manner, Deuteronomy 22:8; and so fit for walking, and for secret prayers, Daniel 6:10; Acts 10:9, or any private and familiar discourses among friends.

Verse 26:[3] And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, Up, that I may send thee away. And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad.

Samuel called Saul to the top of the house a second time, to impart something more to him.

[Saying, Arise and I will send thee away[4] (thus the Septuagint, Syriac, Pagnine, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius)] But he had already said, when they had arisen in the morning. Response: Arise here is the language of one exhorting; just like age, go to, veni/come, eia, come on (Mendoza).

[קוּמָה] Up, which is to say, prepare thyself for the journey. Thus next, he arose, in the place of, he prepared himself for the journey (Vatablus).

That I may send thee away; prepare thyself for thy departure and journey. He and Samuel, abroad; Samuel accompanying Saul part of his way.

Verse 27:[5] And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while (Heb. to day[6]), that I may shew thee the word of God.

[Speak to the youth, that he pass on before us] Question: Why was secret counsel necessary? Responses: 1. So that Saul might afterwards understand that this whole matter was conducted by the counsel of God; and that, althought the matter was to be settled by lots, nothing was done rashly or by chance (Martyr). 2. Lest there be some tumult among the people, or a murmur be excited against Samuel; since the people might suspect that Samuel conferred the kingdom upon Saul, more out of his own will, than from the divine counsel: as it formerly happened in a like case, Numbers 16. Therefore, before the divine will concerning the choice of Saul was made known, it was necessary to conceal these things from the people (Mendoza).

Bid the servant pass on before us, that thou and I may speak privately of the matter of the kingdom; which Samuel hitherto endeavoured to conceal, lest he should be thought now to impose a king upon them as before he denied one to them; and that it might appear by the lot mentioned in the next chapter, that the kingdom was given to Saul by God’s destination, and not by Samuel’s contrivance.

[But stop thou for a while (thus the English, Syriac), עֲמֹ֣ד כַּיּ֔וֹם] Stand or halt, or stop for a time (Tigurinus, Munster), at present or now (Strigelius, Dutch, Junius and Tremellius), this very day (Pagnine, Piscator), that is, at this time (Piscator), or here (Jonathan), in this place (Arabic), or, according to the day, that is, at this very moment of the day; that is, of time, that is to say, now (Vatablus). Stand thou just like this day. Which expression serves for the truth of the matter (Drusius out of Kimchi). That is to say, Stand, doubt not; I shall say things altogether true (Mariana). Stop, so that thou mayest hear with reverence. See on Genesis 49:33;[7] Numbers 23:22[8] (Junius).

The word of God, that is, a message delivered to me from God, which now I shall impart to thee.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֵּרְד֥וּ מֵהַבָּמָ֖ה הָעִ֑יר וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר עִם־שָׁא֖וּל עַל־הַגָּֽג׃ [2] Hebrew: עַל־הַגָּג. [3] Hebrew: וַיַּשְׁכִּ֗מוּ וַיְהִ֞י כַּעֲל֤וֹת הַשַּׁ֙חַר֙ וַיִּקְרָ֙א שְׁמוּאֵ֤ל אֶל־שָׁאוּל֙ הַגָּ֣ג לֵאמֹ֔ר ק֖וּמָה וַאֲשַׁלְּחֶ֑ךָּ וַיָּ֣קָם שָׁא֗וּל וַיֵּצְא֧וּ שְׁנֵיהֶ֛ם ה֥וּא וּשְׁמוּאֵ֖ל הַחֽוּצָה׃ [4] Hebrew: לֵאמֹ֔ר ק֖וּמָה וַאֲשַׁלְּחֶ֑ךָּ. [5] Hebrew: הֵ֗מָּה יֽוֹרְדִים֙ בִּקְצֵ֣ה הָעִ֔יר וּשְׁמוּאֵ֞ל אָמַ֣ר אֶל־שָׁא֗וּל אֱמֹ֥ר לַנַּ֛עַר וְיַעֲבֹ֥ר לְפָנֵ֖ינוּ וַֽיַּעֲבֹ֑ר וְאַתָּה֙ עֲמֹ֣ד כַּיּ֔וֹם וְאַשְׁמִיעֲךָ֖ אֶת־דְּבַ֥ר אֱלֹהִֽים׃ [6] Hebrew: כַּיּוֹם. [7] Genesis 49:1, 2 may be intended. [8] Numbers 23:3 may be intended.

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