1Samuel 10

 

1Samuel 10:1–27

Saul, the Prophet-King


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


These exegetical studies are not designed for you to read each and every word. For instance, the Hebrew exegesis is put into greyish tables, so that if you want to skip over them, that is fine. If you question a translation, you can always refer back to the appropriate Hebrew tables to sort it all out.

 

The intent is to make this particular study the most complete and most accurate examination of 2Samuel 15 which is available in writing. The idea is to make every phrase, verse and passage understandable; and to make application of all that is studied.


Outline of Chapter 10:

 

Introduction

 

       vv.    1–8        Samuel’s Prophecy Concerning Saul

       vv.    9–13      Samuel’s Prophecy is Fulfilled

       vv.   14–16      Saul and his Uncle

       vv.   17–25      Samuel Assembles Israel and Chooses a King by Lot

       vv.   26–27      Addendum: Saul Returns Home/Reaction of the Worthless

 

Addendum


Charts and Maps:

 

       v.      1           The Manuscript Time Line

       v.      3           The Movement of the Ark and the Tent of God Part 1

       v.      3           The Movement of the Ark and the Tent of God Part 2

       v.      3           Israel’s Religious Practices

       v.      5           The Absolute State and the Construct State

       v.      5           The Musical Instruments of 1Sam. 10:5

       v.      5           C. L. Seow on the Hithpael

       v.      6           The Bias of Various English Translations

       v.      7           Whatever Your Hand Finds...

       v.      8           The Pattern of Saul’s Calling

       v.     10           1Samuel 10:10b as Influenced by the Charismatics

       v.     10           1Samuel 10:10b as Influenced by the Hebrew

       v.     19           Three Possible Translations of 1Sam. 10:19a

       v.     20           Does Lâkad Really Mean to Take or to Choose by Lot?

       v.     24           Why Did God Choose Saul?

Addendum: What were the alternatives?

Application

What was the result of God allowing the will of the Israelites to supercede His own?

       v.     27           What Can we Take Away from 1Samuel 10?


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

Religious and Ceremonial Anointing

Netsîyb

The Location of Rachel’s Tomb

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

 

 

Tongues

 


——————————


An Introduction to 1Samuel 10


I ntroduction: “And they asked for a king and God gave them Saul, the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.” (Acts 13:21). 1Sam. 9 seemed to end abruptly. Samuel was about to speak to Saul the Word of God, and then the chapter stopped. However, the key to the division of the chapter here is Saul’s private and public coronation, which make up the two parts of 1Sam. 10. We begin this chapter with Samuel private anointing Saul as God’s chosen one, the king over Israel (vv. 1–8). Later, Saul will be publically proclaimed king in a ceremony which separates him from all Israel (vv. 9–27). Actually, this chapter is more complex than that, so let me break it down even more:


Samuel privately anoints Saul before God (v. 1). Samuel takes Saul's mind off these donkeys by telling him that they have been found and are safe and sound now (v. 2). God knows and Samuel probably knows that Saul is still somewhat nonplussed by all of this, so Samuel describes what will happen to Saul in the next few hours (vv. 3–7). Then, interestingly enough, it appears as though Samuel tells Saul what would happen to him in Gilgal, which will actually come to pass several years hence (v. 8). All that Samuel tells Saul comes to pass (v. 10) and Saul even prophesies (v. 11). All of this indicates that Saul is regenerated (v. 9). Now, interestingly enough, after all of this occurs, when Saul returns home, he speaks to his uncle rather than to his father about what had happened (vv. 14–16).


What now follows is the public coronation of Saul (vv. 17–27). Saul gathers the people at Mizpah and tells them by desiring a king, they have rejected God, the God Who delivered them from Egypt (vv. 17–19). Then Samuel goes through an elaborate ceremony of choosing a man out of a family out from the tribe of Benjamin (vv. 20–21). Although this is not completely clear, it appears as though this was done by lots, meaning that the outcome is by chance, yet determined by God. When they come to the name of Saul, he is not to be found, but he has hidden himself among the personal items which were stored in the back (vv. 21–22). Some men run to get Saul and bring him forth (v. 23a). Saul looks like a king, despite the fact that this entire event made him want to hide, and the people cheer at his selection (vv. 23b–24).


Samuel then sends everyone home and records in a book the ordinances of a king, and places this book before God (v. 25). Saul returns home as well, but this time he is accompanied by a small army of men who are apparently inspired to join up with him (v. 26). There is also a small contingent of those who think that Saul just cannot be the one to deliver them, and they refuse to bring him any tribute (v. 27).


Now, as I have mentioned many times, the separation of the chapters was added long after Scripture was first written. Even though we have some specific subject matter in this chapter, the separation of the two chapters still seems arbitrary and breaks up the flow of the narrative. The verse separation was also added after the fact, which has been a blessing and a cursing. When we need to find a particular passage, the separation into verses and chapters has made this much easier for us and has afforded us such excellent tools as the concordance. However, there are times when such a separation is disconcerting, as it is here. For whatever reason, those who separated the Bible into chapters and verses forget to check with me first. Chapter 10 picks up where 1Sam. 9 left off. Saul and Samuel are standing on the tell just outside the city’s gates and Samuel is about to reveal the Word of God to Saul. And then chapter 9 ended.


In 1Sam. 10, Samuel will reveal to Saul what will happen in his near future and then will reveal that the Spirit of prophesy will fall upon Saul. Saul will prophesy and this will amaze those of his hometown. Now, Samuel will call together a convocation of the people of Israel and present Saul as king. Saul, scared to death, shows up to his ordination, but then hides behind some things when he is called forward to lead Israel.


What will be nice in this chapter is, there will be very few differences between the Greek and the Hebrew. This continues a section where the Greek and Hebrew are generally in harmony, making the translation fairly easy for us.


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Samuel’s Prophecy Concerning Saul


Slavishly literal (as per the Hebrew):

 

Moderately literal:

And so takes Samuel a vial of the oil and so he pours [it] upon his head and so he kisses him and so he says, “Is not because Yehowah anointed you over His inheritance for a prince?

1Samuel

10:1

Then Samuel took a vial of oil and he poured [it] upon his [Saul’s] head and then he kissed him and said, “[Is it] not even Yehowah [Who] anoints you as crown-prince over His possession [and] over His people? You will govern the people of Yehowah and deliver them from the hands of their enemies round about. And this will be a sign to you that Yehowah has anointed you leader over His inheritance:

Then Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it upon Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Is it not Jehovah Who anoints you as ruler over His possession [or, inheritance], even over His people? You will govern the people of Jehovah and save them from the power of their enemies who are everywhere. This will be the confirming sign for you that Jehovah has anointed you the leader over His inheritance:


I want you to recall what Samuel has already told Saul—before he went to sleep, Samuel told Saul, “And for whom is all that is desired in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s household?” (1Sam. 9:20). What Samuel said, recall, was rather abstruse. Essentially, all that is desired in Israel is a king, a ruler, one man to stand for Israel. Samuel does not use that language—maybe he flat out has a tough time using the k-word. So, in the previous chapter, he couches the idea of kingship. Saul seems to understand what Samuel is talking about, and replies, “Am I not the least in my family, which is the least significant tribe in Benjamin, which is the smallest tribe in Israel?” And that is where they leave it. Saul goes to sleep in the guest bedroom, which is the roof; Samuel retires to his room. And Saul, as he begins to fall asleep, ponders what Samuel said. Did he understand Samuel correctly? All of Israel desires Saul and his family. That simply can’t mean what it seems to. By the time that Saul wakes up, he surely thinks that he either misunderstood what Samuel was saying, or that he dreamed part of it. However, on the next morning, Samuel becomes even more specific, although he still does not use the k-word. Despite not using the k-word, there will be no confusion as to what Samuel is saying in this verse.


First, let’s see what others have done here:


Ancient texts:

 

Vulgate (as per NKJV)           Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said: “Is it not because the Lord has anointed you commander over His inheritance? And you shall deliver His people from the hands of their enemies all around them. And this shall be a sign to you that God has anointed you to be a prince.

Masoretic Text                       And so takes Samuel a vial of the oil and so he pours [it] upon his head and so he kisses him and so he says, “Is not because Yehowah anointed you over His inheritance for a prince?

Septuagint                             And Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured [it] on his head, and kissed him, and said to him, “Has not the Lord anointed you for a ruler over His people, over Israel? And you will rule among the people of the Lord and you will deliver them out of the hand of their enemies; and this will be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you for a ruler over his inheritance:...

 

Significant differences:          The Peshitta essentially agrees with the Masoretic text. The Vulgate and the Septuagint add the fact that Saul would deliver the people of Israel and that Samuel is about to give Saul a sign that what he is telling him is the truth. This verse is missing from the Dead Sea Scrolls altogether (it was not left out; the manuscripts are simply incomplete or partially destroyed).

 

You will notice that the translations below are rather divided on whether this final sentence found in the LXX belongs in the actual text. This might also tell you about the translation that you use—if you find this additional sentence in your Bible, that means that your translation will often make use of the Greek Septuagint. If your Bible does not list this sentence, that means that it primarily follows the Hebrew text. The best Bible will include this sentence and indicate that is found in the Greek but not the Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

NJB                                        Samuel took a phial of oil and poured it on Saul’s head; he then kissed him and said, ‘Has not Yahweh anointed you as leader of his people Israel? You are the man who is to govern Yahweh’s people and save them from the power of the enemies surrounding them. The sign for you that Yahweh has anointed you as prince of his heritage is this:...

REB                                       Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it over Saul’s head; he kissed him and said, ‘The Lord anoints you prince over his people Israel. You are to rule the people of the Lord and deliver them from the enemies round about. You will receive a sign that the Lord has anointed you prince to govern his possession:...

TEV                                       Then Samuel took a jar of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head, kissed him, and said, “The Lord anoints you as ruler of his people Israel. You will rule his people and protect them from all their enemies. And this is the proof to you that the Lord has chosen you to be the ruler of his people:...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Complete Jewish Bible          Then Sh̓mu̓el took a flask of oil he had prepared and poured it on Sha̓ul’s head. He kissed him and said, “Adonai has anointed you to be a prince over his inheritance.

God’s Word™                         Samuel took a flask of olive oil, poured it on Saul’s head, kissed him, and said, “The has anointed you to be ruler of his people Israel. You will rule his people and save them from all their enemies. This will be the sign that the has anointed you to be ruler of his people.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Samuel took a flask of oil and poured some on Saul’s [Hebrew, his] head and kissed him, and said, “The Lord herewith anoints you ruler over His own people. [The Septuagint and Vulgate read: “...anoints you ruler of His people Israel, and you will govern the people of the Lord and deliver them from the hands of their foes roundabout. And this is the sign for you that the Lord anoints you.”]


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Then Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on his head, kissed him and said, “Has not the Lord anointed you a ruler over His inheritance?

NRSV                                    Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him; he said, “The Lord has anointed you ruler over his people Israel. You shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their enemies all around. Now this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you ruler over his heritage:...

Young's Updated LT              And Samuel takes the vial of the oil and pours on his head, and kisses him, and says, ‘Is it not because Jehovah has anointed you over His inheritance for leader?


What is the gist of this verse? Samuel anoints Saul by pouring oil upon his head, kisses him, and then indicates that God has made Saul ruler over Israel. The LXX and Vulgate add that Saul would deliver Israel from her enemies and that the verses which follow will be a sign to Saul that Samuel is a prophet and that all of this is true.


You will note that the Septuagint and the Vulgate are much longer than the Hebrew and you will further note that I followed the Hebrew for my slavishly literal translation (as is generally my habit) and my moderately literal rendering follows the Greek. Now, it is unlikely that both the Septuagint and the Vulgate became overly and almost identically creative at this point. I would reasonably guess that the latter half of the Hebrew fell off from this verse, probably due to wear and tear on the Hebrew manuscript itself. Recall that the Hebrew manuscripts were not that durable. It would not be unusual for a portion of Scripture to become unreadable, and this could have occurred as late as 600–700 a.d. The Greek and Latin also do a better job of tying v. 1 to v. 2. Young tends to lean toward the Hebrew and does not really engage in much textual criticism. The NASB also leans toward the Hebrew reading, although they often will include alternate readings from the Septuagint in the margins (and often they will neglect to mention the differences). It might be worth it to see on a chart when these things were produced:


The Manuscript Time Line

1000–900 b.c.*

When 1Samuel was originally written (or, at least the documents upon which the final manuscript was based).

250 b.c.

The Septuagint: when the translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into the Greek was done (this was the version of Scripture which the disciples primarily used). Some of the writings found among the Dead Sea Scrolls are portions of the LXX.

400 a.d.

The Vulgate: the Old and New Testaments are translated into the Latin by Jerome (prior to this time, there were Old and New Testament manuscripts in the Old Latin).

500 a.d.

The Original Masoretic Text: this goes back to when the Masorites began to first add vowel points. These are the manuscripts that we depend upon for our English Old Testament.

1000 a.d.

The Masoretic Texts which we actually use: when the Masorites would redo the manuscripts which had become worn, they would destroy the older manuscripts.

Now, in looking at this chart, you may think that it is a no-brainer; that is, whatever is found in the Septuagint should be taken as carrying greater weight than what is found in the Masorite Text. However, there are more considerations than simply age. Even though, older would seem to be better, the problem is that the Septuagint is a translation and it is a very uneven translation. There are portions of the Septuagint which would yield almost exactly what the ancient Hebrew would yield, when it comes to translating either into the English. However, there are many times that the Septuagint becomes a paraphrase, which means there will be words found in the Septuagint which were not originally found in the Hebrew. So, when considering which translation we should depend upon, we do so on a case by case basis.

*I’ve oversimplified the dates and have not gone into details of concerning these various sets of manuscripts (which, of course, do not agree even in themselves in all accounts). The point is, our English translations are primarily based upon Biblica Hebraica 3, which is based upon manuscripts from circa 1008 a.d. The Septuagint would be based upon manuscripts of 250 b.c. and earlier. Therefore, when the Septuagint disagrees with Biblica Hebraica 3, that should cause us to take notice.

One of the amazing things is, even though the book of Samuel shows a greater disparity between the Greek and the Hebrew than any other book, there are no fundamental doctrines which are threatened by this.


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1Samuel 10:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (חַקָל) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

pake (-) [pronounced pahk]

vial, flask

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6378 BDB #810

According to Edersheim, this word indicates a narrow-necked vessel from which the oil would come by drops. Footnote The related verb means to trickle.

shemen (ן∵מ∵ש) [pronounced SHEH-men]

fat, oil

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8081 BDB #1032


Translation: Then Samuel took a vial of oil... The word for vial is only found three times in Scripture (1Sam. 10:1 2Kings 9:1, 3). According to Edersheim, this word indicates a narrow-necked vessel from which the oil would come by drops. Footnote Its verbal cognate means to trickle. As we have said, it is unclear as to how much Saul thought about these things, about being proclaimed king. My personal guess is, he thought little about this, although was no doubt taken by Samuel, having not met the prophet before. That Samuel picks up an anointing vial of oil is no doubt giving Saul pause.


1Samuel 10:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâtsaq (קַצָי) [pronounced yaw-TSAHK]

to pour (out), to cast, to flow (out), to empty

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3332 BDB #427

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5920, #5921 BDB #752

rôsh (שאֹר) [pronounced rohsh]

head, top, chief, front, choicest

masculine singular construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #7218 BDB #910


Translation: ...and he poured [it] upon his [Saul’s] head... This should have been a shock to Saul. This prophet (whom Saul knew little about, but who is apparently the great prophet of Israel at this time) is suddenly anointing him with oil. There is no reason to think that this is some sort of hospitable gesture. My guess would be that Saul is kneeling before Samuel, as perhaps he was asked to do (since Saul is so tall, I don't imagine that both men did this while Saul was standing). We probably have the ceremonial vial which allows a drop at a time to come out. My guess is, we are talking about a few drops of oil, not unlike putting product in your hair (although this obviously has a spiritual meaning). The pouring upon the head is greatly significant, being associated with the commissioning of a great work of some sort; furthermore, anointing is generally associated with God and more specifically with God the Holy Spirit. That’s the short version. Before we go on, this would be a good place to examine the Doctrine of Religious and Ceremonial Anointing. That’s the long version.

 

Keil and Delitzsch comment: When Saul, therefore, was consecrated as king by anointing, the monarchy was inaugurated as a divine institution, standing on a par with the priesthood; through which henceforth the Lord would also bestow upon His people the gifts of His Spirit for the building up of His kingdom. As the priests were consecrated by anointing to be the media of the ethical blessings of divine grace for Israel, so the king was consecrated by anointing to be the vehicle and medium of all the blessings of grace which the Lord, as the God-king, would confer upon His people through the institution of a civil government. Through this anointing, which was performed by Samuel under the direction of God, the king was set apart from the rest of the nation as “anointed of the Lord” and sanctified as...its captain, its leader and commander. Footnote


You will recall that Samuel does not like any of this. He is opposed to appointing a king over Israel. He couldn’t quite say it the previous evening and even though Saul could infer the correct meaning from what Samuel had told him, it was still uncertain. However, suddenly, prior to Saul’s departure, Samuel anoints him with a king’s anointing. As we have seen, this sort of anointing had been used elsewhere for kings in the ancient world. The fact that the most notable prophet in all of Israel was doing the anointing was also very significant. Saul is not simply receiving some political endorsement to the end that he might run for a political office. He is receiving a king’s anointing.


1Samuel 10:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâshaq (קַשָנ) [pronounced naw-SHAHK]

to kiss, to touch, to have close contact with

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5401 BDB #676


Translation: ...and then he kissed him... This, of course, is another custom of the ancient world, one which I personally am glad has gone by the wayside. I don’t know whether this kiss is to be taken as significant or not; my impression was that one often received guests with a kiss and gave them a kiss at their departure. In any case, Samuel did not have a crush on Saul.


1Samuel 10:1d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

hă ( ֲה) [pronounced heh]

interrogative particle which acts almost like a piece of punctuation, like the upside-down question mark which begins a Spanish sentence. The verb to be may be implied.

Strong’s #none BDB #209

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

hă lô together expect an affirmative answer.

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

It would seem that these three together would have a special meaning. However, I am unable to unearth one from Gesenius.

mâshach (ח  ָמ) [pronounced maw-SHAHKH]

to smear, to anoint

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect; with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4886 BDB #602

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5920, #5921 BDB #752

nachălâh (ה ָל ֲחַנ) [pronounced nah-khuh-LAW]

inheritance, possession, property, heritage

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5159 BDB #635

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâgîyd (די̣גָנ)   [pronounced naw-GEED]

prince, crown-prince, leader, ruler, noble

masculine singular noun

Strong's #5057 BDB #617

 

Translation: ...and said, “[Is it] not even Yehowah [Who] anoints you as crown-prince over His possession... In this portion of v. 1, we have the conjunction kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee], which means when, that, for, because. However, kîy also has an intensifying force and is rendered so that, so even, even. At first, I was nonplussed by the use of the word kîy here, but this indicates that Saul is not simply being anointed by Samuel, but it is God who has anointed Saul as king over Israel. Little by little, these events compound. First Samuel, the prophet of Israel, anoints Saul; then he tells Saul that it is Jehovah God Who is anointing him.


The inheritance here is Israel. Actually, it is better understood in this context as God's possession. Israel belonged to God, so Saul was merely being temporarily entrusted with Israel.

 

What Samuel did was in the name of God—he anointed Saul as ruler over Israel in obedience to God’s wishes. You might want to note that, Samuel does not insert his own opinion at this point. "Look, Saul, I have to do this, but let me give you a piece of my mind: I think anointing a king is the stupidest thing these elders have ever suggested, and let me tell you why..." Samuel does not do that. He is obedient to God and his opinion, at this point, is irrelevant. On the other hand, you will note, Samuel still has not used the k-word. The most common word for king in the Old Testament is meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek], which refers to the ultimate ruler of the land, or one who is in line for that position. Strong’s #4428 BDB #572. Samuel instead uses nâgîyd, which means crown-prince.


At this point, there is additional verbiage from the Septuagint, which seems to be appropriate to this passage:


1Samuel 10:1e from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

epí (ἐπί) [pronounced eh-PEE]

to, towards; on, upon; at, by, before; over, against; to, across

preposition of superimposition; a relation of motion and direction with accusative case

Strong’s #1909

ton (τόν) [pronounced tahn]

the

masculine singular definite article in the accusative case

Strong’s #3588

laos (λαός) [pronounced lah-OSS]

people, people group, tribe, nation, all those who are of the same stock and language; of a great part of the population gathered together anywhere

masculine singular noun; accusative case

Strong's #2992

autou (αὐτο) [pronounced ow-TOO]

his, of him; for him, to him

3rd person masculine singular pronoun; genitive/ ablative case

Strong’s #846

Israêl (Ισραήλ) [pronounced is-rah-ALE]

transliterated Israel

Proper singular noun; masculine, Indeclinable

Strong’s #2474


Translation: ...[and] over His people? The Septuagint adds over His people, giving us: ...as ruler over His possession [or, inheritance], over His people? The Septuagint, which may be the most accurate at this point, makes it clear that God's possession is His people Israel.


1Samuel 10:1f from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

su (σύ) [pronounced sue]

you

2nd person singular pronoun; nominative case

Strong’s #4771

archô (ἄπχω) [pronounced ahr-KHOH]

to be chief, to lead, to rule, to govern

2nd person singular, future active indicative

Strong's #757

en (ἐν) [pronounced en]

in, by means of, with; among

preposition with the locative, dative and instrumental cases

Strong’s #1722

laos (λαός) [pronounced lah-OSS]

people, people group, tribe, nation, all those who are of the same stock and language; of a great part of the population gathered together anywhere

masculine singular noun; dative case

Strong's #2992

kurios (κύριος) [pronounced KOO-ree-oss]

lord, master; Lord; he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; the possessor and disposer of a thing; the owner; one who has control of the person; prince, chief, sovereign

masculine singular noun; in the genitive or ablative case

Strong's #2962

In the state: the sovereign, prince, chief, the Roman emperor; is a title of honour expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master; this title is given to: God, the Messiah.


Translation: You will govern the people of Yehowah... Samuel begins to outline Saul's responsibilities. As king, again, a term not used by Samuel yet, Saul would govern over the people of Israel, called the people of Jehovah here.


1Samuel 10:1g from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

su (σύ) [pronounced sue]

you

2nd person singular pronoun; nominative case

Strong’s #4771

sôzô (σώζω) [pronounced SOHD-zoh]

to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction

2nd person singular, future active indicative

Strong's #4982

auton (αὐτόv) [pronounced ow-TAHN]

him

3rd person masculine singular pronoun, accusative case

Strong’s #846

ek (ἐκ) [pronounced ehk]

out of, out from, from, of

preposition

Strong’s #1537

cheir (χείρ, χειροός, ἡ) [pronounced khīr]

hand; handwriting; primarily found in a figurative sense: by [or from] the power [might, activity, means, hand] of someone

feminine singular noun; genitive or ablative case

Strong's #5495

echthros (ἐχθρός) [pronounced ehkh-THROSS]

enemy, adversary, foe; hostile, hated, hating; from the verb to hate

masculine plural adjective, used as a substantive; genitive or ablative case

Strong's #2190

autou (αὐτο) [pronounced ow-TOO]

his, of him; for him, to him

3rd person masculine singular pronoun; genitive/ ablative case

Strong’s #846

kuklothen (κυκλόθεν) [pronounced kook-LOH-thehn]

around about, from all sides, all around

adverb

Strong's #2943


Translation: ...and you will deliver them from the hands of their enemies round about. Saul's second responsibility, one which the elders saw as being the most important is, he would provide a standing military to protect them from their enemies from without. This is not an unreasonable request, at least from the standpoint of human thinking. Israel then, as today, was surrounded by enemies. Obviously, not every single Gentile was looking to hurt Israel, but there were enough of them in all of the surrounding nations to make Israel's existence perilous. In the time of the judges, God used these Satan-inspired Gentiles to discipline Israel for going off course. Then, when Israel cried out to God, God would provide for them a Savior to lead them out of the hands of their enemies. Well, human viewpoint simply says, "Hey, we need a king and a standing army all the time. We cannot just sit around and wait to be persecuted by our enemies." Divine viewpoint tells us that, persecution came when God allowed it; God allowed persecution when the Jews got out of line—that is, began to worship other gods.


In any case, one of Saul's functions was to keep a standing army which would be used against Israel's longstanding enemies.


1Samuel 10:1h from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

touto (τοτο) [pronounced TOO-toh]

this, this one, this thing

intermediate demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular neuter form

Strong's #5124

soi (σοι) [pronounced soy]

you; to you; in you; by you

2nd person singular pronoun; locative, dative or instrumental case

Strong’s #4771

τό

the; this that

neuter singular definite article; accusative case

Strong’s #3588

sêmeíon (σημεον) [pronounced say-MY-on]

sign, mark, token, miracle

neuter singular noun; accusative case

Strong’s #4592

hóti (ὅτι) [pronounced HOH-tee]

that, because, since; as concerning that; as though

demonstrative or causal conjunction

Strong’s #3754

Hóti can also mean because (that), for (that), how (that), (in) that, though, why.

chriô (χρὶω) [pronounced KHREE-oh]

to anoint; to consecrate by anointing

3rd person singular, aorist active indicative

Strong’s #5548

se (σέ) [pronounced seh]

you

2nd person singular pronoun; accusative case

Strong’s #4771 (Strong's #4571)

kurios (κύριος) [pronounced KOO-ree-oss]

lord, master; Lord; he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; the possessor and disposer of a thing; the owner; one who has control of the person; prince, chief, sovereign

masculine singular noun; nominative case

Strong's #2962

epí (ἐπί) [pronounced eh-PEE]

to, towards; on, upon; at, by, before; over, against; to, across

preposition of superimposition; a relation of motion and direction with accusative case

Strong’s #1909

archôn (ἄρχων, ἄαχοντος, ὁ) [pronounced AHR-khohn]

ruler, commander, chief, leader

masculine singular noun; accusative case

Strong's #758


Translation: And this [will be] a sign to you that Yehowah has anointed you leader over His inheritance:... Now, you will note that I added to this most of what we find in the Septuagint: “[Is it] not even Yehowah [Who] anoints you as crown-prince over His possession as ruler over His possession, over His people? You will govern the people of Yehowah and deliver them from the hands of their enemies round about. And this will be a sign to you that Jehovah has anointed you leader over His inheritance:..." The Hebrew seems to jump from v. 1 to v. 2. Suddenly, Samuel is giving Saul a sign that God has anointed him king over Israel, so that Saul does not think Samuel to be some old crackpot prophet. In the Septuagint, this is a more natural flow, with Samuel telling Saul: “...these are your responsibilities as king and this is the sign to prove to you that God has anointing you king over Israel.” You will, of course, note that I used Yehowah or Jehovah in this portion of the verse from the Septuagint. There is no such usage in the Greek; however, the word used in the Greek (κύριος) typically translates the Hebrew word Yehowah.


I should point out that it is more likely that the Masorites were dealing with a poor manuscript than the Greek translators simply adding in some filler to make things come out smoothly. This makes the Greek the more likely text.


In the following six verses, Samuel will give Saul three signs, which will show that Samuel is guided by God and that his consecration of Saul is valid. This first sign is that Saul would encounter two men who would tell him that his donkeys have been found (v. 2).


In your departing the day from with me and you have come upon a pair of men with a tomb of Rachel in a territory of Benjamin in Zelzah and they have said unto you, ‘Have been found the donkeys which you had gone to seek and behold, has forsaken your father words of the donkeys and has been anxious for you [all] to say, “What will I do for my son?” ’

1Samuel

10:2

...after your departure today from me, you will come upon two men near the tomb of Rachel in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah [which possibly is equivalent to Zelah] and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went out to seek have been found and your father has therefore [lit., behold] forsaken the matter of the donkeys and has become concerned about you two [lit., you all], saying, “What will I do about my son?” ’

...after you leave here today, you will meet two men near the tomb of Rachel in the territory of Benjamin and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you had gone out to seek have already been found and your father has therefore no longer concerned about the donkeys. He is now, however, concerned about you, saying, “What should I do about my son?’ ”


In this verse, we have a quote within a quote within a quote. Here’s what others have done:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       In your departing the day from with me and you have come upon a pair of men with a tomb of Rachel in a territory of Benjamin in Zelzah and they have said unto you, ‘Have been found the donkeys which you had gone to seek and behold, has forsaken your father words of the donkeys and has been anxious for you [all] to say, “What will I do for my son?” ’

The Septuagint                      As you have departed this day from me, you will find two men by the burial place of Rachel on the mount of Benjamin, exulting greatly; and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys are found which you went to seek; and, behold, your father has given up the matter of the donkeys, and he is anxious for you, saying, “What will I do for my son?” ’

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences, apart from Zelzah, which is simply a difference of translating and transliterating.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

NJB                                        ...after leaving me today, you will meet two men near the tomb of Rachel, on the frontier of Benjamin...and they will say to you, The donkeys which you went looking for have been found, and your father has lost interest in the matter of the donkeys and is worrying about you and wondering, What am I to do about my son?”

TEV                                       When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah in the territory of Benjamin. They will tell you that the donkeys you were looking for have been found, so that your father isn’t worried any more about them but about you, and he keeps asking, ‘What shall I do about my son?’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Complete Jewish Bible          After you leave me today, you will find two men by Rachel’s Tomb, in the territory of Binyamin at Tzeltzah. They will tell you that the donkeys you were searching for have been found, and that your father has stopped thinking about the donkeys and is anxious over you and asking, ‘What am I to do about my son?’ ”

God’s Word™                         When you leave me today, two men will be at Rachel’s grave on the border of Benjamin at Zelzah. They’ll tell you, ‘We’ve found the donkeys you went looking for. You father no longer cares about them. Instead, he’s worried about you. He keeps asking, “What can I do [to find] my son?’ ”

JPS (Tanakh)                        When you leave me today, you will meet two men near the tomb of Rachel in the territory of Benjamin, at Zelzah, and they will tell you that the asses you set out to look for have been found, and that your father has stopped being concerned about the asses and is worrying about you, saying: ‘What shall I do about my son?’


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     “When you go from me today, then you will find two men close to Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys which you went to look for have been found. Now behold, your father has ceased to be concerned about the donkeys and is anxious for you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?” ’

Young's Updated LT              In your going today from me, then you have found two men by the grave of Rachel, in the border of Benjamin, at Zelzah, and they have said unto you, The asses have been found which you have gone to seek; and lo, your father has left the matter of the asses, and has sorrowed for you, saying, What do I do for my son?


What is the gist of this verse? First, after Saul leaves, he will meet two men by the grave of Rachel and they will tell him that the donkeys have been found and that now his father is worried about him.


1Samuel 10:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

Qal infinitive construct with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

The infinitive construct, when combined with the bêyth preposition, can often take on a temporal meaning and may be rendered when [such and such happens]. It can serve as a temporal marker that denotes an event which occurs simultaneously with the action of the main verb.

yôwm (םי) [pronounced yohm]

day; time; today (with a definite article)

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

׳îm (ם ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity; with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

Together, these prepositions mean: from with, beside, from being with, away from, far from, from among, from the possession of, from the custody of, from the house of, from the vicinity of, out of the power of, from the mind of.

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mâtsâ (א ָצ ָמ) [pronounced maw-TSAW]

to attain to, to find, to detect, to happen upon, to come upon, to find unexpectedly, to discover

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #4672 BDB #592

shenayim (ם̣י-נש) [pronounced sheNAH-yim]

two of, a pair of, a duo of

masculine plural numeral with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35

׳îm (ם ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

qebûwrâh (הָרבק) [pronounced keb-voo-RAW]

grave, tomb, sepulcher; burial

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #6900 BDB #869

Râchêl (ל̤חָר) [pronounced raw-KHALE]

ewe and is transliterated Rachel

feminine proper noun

Strong's #7354 BDB #932

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

gebûl (לב׃) [pronounced geb-VOOL]

border, boundary, territory

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1366 BDB #147

Bineyâmîyn (ןי.מָינ̣) [pronounced bin-yaw-MEEN]

transliterated Benjamin, it means son of [my] right hand

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1144 BDB #122

Spelled here Bineyâmîn (ן ̣מָינ̣) [pronounced bin-yaw-MIN].

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

Tseletsach (ח-צל∵צ) [pronounced tzele-TZAHKH]

possibly stumbling greatly; is transliterated Zelzah

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #6766 BDB #854

Assigning that particular meaning is really quite a stretch and is probably unwarranted.

This might be equivalent to...

Tsêla׳ (ע-ל̤צ) [pronounced TZAY-lahģ]

rib, side; limping, stumbling; transliterated Zelzah

masculine proper noun; found in Joshua 18:28 2Sam. 21:14

Strong’s #6762 BDB #854

See the discussion below:


Translation: ...after your departure today from me, you will come upon two men near the tomb of Rachel in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah [which possibly is equivalent to Zelah]... The first obvious difference between the Greek and the Hebrew is Zelzah, which is obviously a transliteration from the Hebrew. The JPS footnotes that the meaning is uncertain and the Septuagint gives it a meaning. More when we get to that portion of the verse.


The Tomb of Rachel is mentioned. You may recall that Rachel was the wife of Jacob that he loved, for whom he worked 14 years. She bore him two sons, Joseph and Benjamin, and she died while giving birth to Benjamin. She was buried on the way to Ephrath-Bethlehem (Gen. 35:19 48:7), which places her in the territory of Benjamin ( I am certain that had some effect on the assignment of that piece of land to the tribe of Benjamin). She was not buried in Ephrath-Bethlehem. We have already covered The Location of Rachel’s Tomb back in 1Sam. 9:12.

 

Now, apart from this passage, Zelzah is nowhere else found in Scripture. However, the NKJV points us back to Joshua18:28 in a footnote, suggesting that Zelzah may be equivalent to tsêla (ע-ל̤צ) [pronounced TZAY-lahģ], which is transliterated Zelah, which is found in Joshua 18:28 and 2Sam. 21:14. One could be an abbreviated form of the other; there could have been the confounding of the Hebrew letters ע (which is ׳ayin [pronounced ĢAH-yin]) and צ, (tsâdêy [pronounced tsaw-DAY]). Both cities are in the territory of Benjamin with some proximity to Ramah. The fact that Zelzah is found only here and not in the book of Joshua would also suggest that these are the same cities. The only problem with this theory is, in Joshua 18:25–28, Zelah and Ramah are separated by 7 cities. We would anticipate, by Samuel’s prophecy of 1Sam. 10:1–8 that they would have been closer together. In any case, Zelzah is a village near Ramah. This gives us: ...and you have come upon two men by the tomb of Rachel in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah [which possibly is equivalent to Zelah]...


You will note that the Septuagint leaves out at Zelzah altogether and has these two men rejoicing greatly instead. According to Keil and Delitzsch, this phrase in the Septuagint means in great haste. Similar verbs mean to decline, to deviate (no Strong's # BDB #854) and to limp, to stumble (Strong's #6760 BDB #854). However, these verbs are similar to Zelah, but not very similar to the word we have here (Zelzah). Furthermore, the only verb form that this could be even close to is a 2nd person feminine plural (and, I mean close to; it is not the same). Although others follow the lead of the LXX, e.g. Ewald, he has neither given any reason why the name of a place is unsuitable here, nor considered that the Septuagint rendering is merely conjectural. Footnote In other words, a proper name is what is the most likely reading, given the Hebrew text which we have. Anything else would be too much of a stretch—not only do we have no words which are similar enough, but there are no verb forms which this word matches. Therefore, in this instance, we follow the Hebrew's lead.


Now, you may be concerned that all of the names don’t come together as you think they should and you imagine, in part, because the line of Benjamin is such a mess that Scripture is not inspired. Not so. With regards to Zelah and Zelzah, there is no contradiction whether they are the same city or not. With regards to one city popping up out of nowhere and not being in Joshua’s list of cities, that is not a problem either. Joshua distributed these cities over 300 years ago. The suburb or the city that you live in wasn’t there 300 years ago. So, the fact that some cities died out and others grew up in their place—that is not a big deal over a period of 300 years. Furthermore, recall how the Philistines encroached so much on Benjamin’s neighbor, the tribe of Dan, that Dan was forced out of that area and they went far north. Benjamin was reduced to a size of 600 males in the book of the Judges, so we should expect that some cities died out and others emerged in the land of Benjamin. We should expect the line of Benjamin to be messed up as well because of the decimation of their tribe. My point is, I am not trying to solve some alleged contradiction here, as there is none. I am simply trying to zero in on what the text reads. The likely choice is, this is the name of a city or a hill or a particular location, which may or may not be equivalent to Zelah. Footnote


1Samuel 10:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

mâtsâ (א ָצ ָמ) [pronounced maw-TSAW]

to acquire, to be found, to be detected, to be discovered, to be present, to exist

3rd person plural, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #4672 BDB #592

âthôwn (ןתָא) [pronounced aw-THORN]

ass, she-ass, donkey

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #860 BDB #87

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bâqash (שַקָ) [pronounced baw-KAHSH]

seek, search out, desire, strive after, attempt to get, require, demand, ask, seek with desire and diligence

Piel infinitive construct

Strong’s #1245 BDB #134


Translation: ...and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went out to seek have been found... Now, note what Samuel did: he used the same verb twice in two consecutive sentences. I think the idea is that this will make an even greater impression upon Saul—people recall repetition more than they recall a thing being said once.


That Saul and his servant went out to find the donkeys was simply a ruse by God to get them to the city where Samuel was in order for Saul to be anointed the king over all Israel. Such a thing was completely unexpected by Saul and God had to warm him up to this idea. By the behavior which Saul will later exhibit, we can rest assured that if God had told Saul in the beginning why he was going to the city where Samuel was, Saul would have headed in the opposite direction (not uncommon behavior for a man chosen by God).


Application: The plans that we make for ourselves and God's plans may be entirely different. For instance, when I was teaching, I felt that I should be teaching primarily Pre-Calculus and Calculus courses. I had the proper background for it, which was equivalent to one person in my department and far superior to all others in my department. However, God chose for me not to teach those classes primarily; even though I was most qualified to teach them (and many of the teachers chosen to teach those classes were unqualified to teach those courses). It was simply what God chose, for a variety of reasons, not all of which I am aware of. In life, we sometimes end up doing one thing, which we see as a means to get to another; however, that is God's primary purpose. Or, we end up doing one thing, but God has something else for us to do, which is why he places us where he does. Saul and his servants were out looking for donkeys which they were not going to find. However, God wanted them out there so that He could lead them to Samuel. That was where Saul needed to go. After graduating, I had a specific city and school district in mind where I would teach; God instead put me 2500 miles away.


Application: I have harped on this before, and I will again. Believers are constantly wondering, what is God's will for my life; should I turn left at the stop sign? Go straight ahead? This is the simplest thing in the world. Be filled with the Holy Spirit; learn God's Word, and God will take care of putting you where He wants you. In my life, I cannot think of even a half dozen times where I was really concerned about what God's will was for my life; God made that clear time after time. After the fact, I know that I ended up in the right place at the right time.


1Samuel 10:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

nâţash (ש-טָנ) [pronounced naw-TASH]

to leave, to forsake; to permit

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #5203 BDB #643

âb (ב ָא,) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household or clan

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

dâbâr (רָבָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

words, sayings, doctrines, commands; things, matters, reports

masculine plural noun

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

 

âthôwn (ןתָא) [pronounced aw-THORN]

ass, she-ass, donkey

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #860 BDB #87


Translation: ...and your father has therefore [lit., behold] forsaken the matter of the donkeys... Or, ‘...furthermore, listen, your father has forsaken the matter of the donkeys...’ Obviously, if the donkeys have been found then there is no reason for Saul’s father to be concerned about them.


You see, Saul's mind has been on these donkeys and he believed that to be the purpose of his journey. Samuel the night before told him not to worry about the donkeys, and again, in prophecy, Samuel tells him not to worry. Then, when Saul runs into these two men, they will tell him that the donkeys have been found. Again and again, Saul's mind is taken off the donkeys. God did not send him on this journey to find a herd of donkeys. God sent him on this journey to be anointed king of Israel.


Now, also, bear in mind, that these are signs to Saul, to let him know that Samuel is not this crazy prophet with a beard spouting religious nonsense, but that what he says has purpose and is real.


1Samuel 10:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

dâag (ג-אָ) [pronounced daw-AHG]

to be anxious, to be concerned, to fear

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #1672 BDB #178

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...and has become concerned about you two [lit., you all],... Although Israel was relatively civilized, there were a lot of people who lived in Israel’s borders who were antagonistic toward the Israelites. Therefore, it was reasonable for Saul’s father to be concerned. There were also wild animals. So, Saul being gone for a few days caused his father some concern.


1Samuel 10:2e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

mâh (ה ָמ) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

׳âsâh (הָָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119


Translation: ...saying, “What will I do about my son?” ’ Saul’s father, Kish, is now concerned, and this is what he said about Saul: "What should I do about my son?"


Now, bear in mind that some of this prophecy is fairly simple—obviously, if Saul has been gone for some time now and the donkeys have been found already, then his father would be concerned. However, here is the kicker, Samuel has no way of knowing that Saul will meet up with these two men or where he will meet up with them, nor could he quote what they would say. The prophet of old gave near and far prophecies. The near prophecies validated his position as a prophet of God. That very day, Saul would realize that Samuel was truly a prophet; this was necessary because Saul, at that point in time, was not too interested in becoming the ruler of Israel. However, Samuel does not quit there. He possibly has eyes and ears throughout that area and may have come upon some of this information apart from his gift. He did not, but even after hearing this portion of the prophecy and having it fulfilled, Saul may still have doubts. So Samuel’s prophecy continues.


And you have gone from there and beyond and you have come as far as the oak of Tabor [or, an oak of a plain] and have come upon you there three men going up unto the Elohim Bethel, one carrying three kids [i.e., young goats] and one carrying a trio of rounds of bread and one carrying a skin of wine.

1Samuel

10:3

And you will go from there and beyond until you come to an oak on a mound [or, in the plains] [where] three men, [who] are going up to Bethel to [be with] God, will come upon you there. One is carrying three young goats, another is carrying three loaves of bread and one is carrying a skin-container of wine.

You will continue traveling from there until you come to an oak in the plains, and there you will run into three men who are going to Bethel to encounter God. One will be carrying three young goats, another will be carrying three loaves of bread and the third will be carrying a container of wine.


The second sign is that Saul will encounter three men who are going up to Bethel to commune with God. They will offer Saul some of what they are carrying (vv. 3–4). First, what others have done:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And you have gone from there and beyond and you have come as far as the oak of Tabor [or, an oak of a plain] and have come upon you there three men going up unto the Elohim Bethel, one carrying three kids [i.e., young goats] and one carrying a trio of rounds of bread and one carrying a skin of wine.

Septuagint                             And you will depart from there and you will go beyond that as far as the oak of Thabor , and you will find there three men going up to God, to Bæthel, one bearing three kids, and another bearing three vessels of bread, and another bearing a container of wine.

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

TEV                                       You will go on from there until you come to the sacred tree at Tabor, where you will meet three men on their way to offer a sacrifice to God at Bethel. One of them will be leading three young goats, another one will be carrying three loaves of bread, and the third one will have a leather bag full of wine.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Complete Jewish Bible          Go on from there, and you will come to the Oak of Tavor. Three men will meet you there on their way up to God at Beit-El. One of them will be carrying three kids, another three loaves of bread and a third a skin of wine.

JPS (Tanakh)                        You shall pass on from there until you come to the terebinth of Tabor. There you will be met by three men making a pilgrimage to God at Bethel. One will be carrying three kids, another will be carrying three loaves of bread, and the third will be carrying a jar of wine.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     “Then you will go on further from there, and you will come as far as the oak of Tabor, and there three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you, one carrying three kids, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a dug of wine.

Young's Updated LT              ‘And you have passed on from there, and beyond, and you have come in unto the oak of Tabor, and found you there have three men going up unto God to Beth-El, one bearing three kids, and one bearing three cakes of bread, and one bearing a container of wine,...


What is the gist of this verse? After meeting the two men, Saul will run into three men going up to Bethel. One is carrying 3 baby goats, another 3 cakes of bread and another a container of wine.


1Samuel 10:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

châlaph (ף ַל ָח) [pronounced chaw-LAHF]

to pass [on]; to pass through, to pierce through; to come on [up], to sprout up; to revive, to flourish; to pass by, to ignore; to change [clothing]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #2498 BDB #322

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâleâh (ה ָא׃לָה) [pronounced HAWLe-aw]

beyond, back, henceforth, hitherto, forward

adverb

Strong's #1973 BDB #229


Translation: And you will go from there... Samuel's prophecy continues. There is going to be so much information, that Saul will have to recognize that Samuel is a prophet.


1Samuel 10:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

׳ad (דַע) [pronounced ģahd]

while; until, so long as; even to; even that, so that

conjunction

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

êlôwn (ןל̤א) [pronounced AY-loan]

oak, terebinth, Footnote tall tree, a strong and hardy tree

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #436 BDB #18

Tâbôwr (רֹב ָ) [pronounced taw-BOHR]

mound; and is transliterated Tabor

proper noun location

Strong's #8396 BDB #1061


Translation: ...and beyond until you come to an oak on a mound [or, in the plains]... Here, we find the proper noun Tabor, which place is mentioned only here. Now, there is a Mount Tabor, found in several places in Scripture (Joshua 19:22 Judges 4:6, 12, 14 8:18 1Chron. 6:77 Psalm 89:12 Jer. 46:18 Hos. 5:1); however, Saul will not be anywhere near Mount Tabor. Tabor means the mound or, possibly, the plain, and this may simply refer to not a specific place that Saul knows about, but will recognize when he meets the three men. That is, he will meet the three men, and it will be at this oak which is out on a mount or a plain. This place is specifically known to God, but not necessarily to Saul or Samuel or even to the three men. However, once Saul gets to this place and runs into these three men, it will be obvious that this was the place to which Samuel was referring. Samuel hears this directly from God and Saul directly from Samuel. This gives us: “And you will pass through from there and beyond and you will come to an oak on the mound [or, plain]...” There are those who make a big deal out of just exactly which oak this is and whether or not it is the oak of Deborah (this would be Deborah, the personal nurse to Rachel in Gen. 35:8). Without going into any detail, let’s simply say that it is highly unlikely. Footnote


Anyway, the idea is, when Saul comes to this place, he will look around and recognize that this is where Samuel was talking about. We will probably never be able to go to a particular place and say, "Here is the place which Samuel told Saul about." The only thing which is important is, Saul would recognize it. The pieces of the puzzle would continue to come together. Let's see if I can offer you an analogous situation. I recall praying for something on several occasions and then forgetting about it. I got rather busy with my life. Then, one day, I looked around me, and my prayer had been answered. In fact, I was surprised as to how well my prayer was answered ever today, years later.


1Samuel 10:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mâtsâ (א ָצ ָמ) [pronounced maw-TSAW]

to attain to, to find, to detect, to happen upon, to come upon, to find unexpectedly, to discover

3rd person plural, Qal perfect; with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4672 BDB #592

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

shelôshâh (הָשֹלש) [pronounced shiloh-SHAW]

a three, a trio, a triad, a threesome

feminine numeral noun

Strong’s #7969 BDB #1025

ănâsîym (םי.שָנֲא) [pronounced uh-NAW-seem]; also spelled îyshîym (םי.שי ̣א) [pronounced ee-SHEEM]

men; inhabitants, citizens; companions; soldiers, followers

masculine plural noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

going up, ascending, coming up, climbing

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43

Bêyth-êl (ל̤אֿתי̤ב) [pronounced bayth-AYHL]

house of God; transliterated Bethel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1008 BDB #110


Translation:...[where] three men, [who] are going up to Bethel to [be with] God, will come upon you there. These three men are not looking for Saul and his servant; nor is Saul necessarily looking for them. They will just come upon one another there by an oak on a mound (or a plain). When Saul arrives there, it will all click. By the way, when you are in the plan of God, this will probably occur now and again—things will just click or fall into place. It will seem obvious. This will not happen all of the time. That is, in your life, there will be adversity; however, there will also be these times where it is clear that, God is guiding our steps and everything is falling into place.


I should also add, these three men are going in the direction of Bethel with Bethel as their final destination.

Comment

Since, Bethel is mentioned, it might be worth our while to follow the movement of the Ark and the Sacred Tent of God at this point. So that there is no confusion, the Tabernacle of God was really a fancy semi-permanent tent which Israel built out in the desert. Apparently by the time of Eli, there were several even more permanent out-buildings connected to the Tabernacle as well (for the priest's sleeping quarters, at least).

The Movement of the Ark and the Tent of God Part 1

Scripture

Place

Pertinent Notes

Ex. 19:1 25–27 30–31:11

The desert near Mount Sinai.

The Ark and the Tent of God were planned for by God and the directions for its structure were given to Moses.

Ex. 33

Apparently from the beginning of movement of Israel and onward.

There appears to be a prototype Tent of God which Moses and Joshua used in order to meet with God. It is possible that this is the actual Tent of God, however.

Ex. 33:6 34:1–4 35:10–38:31 40

At the foot of Mount Sinai.

The Tent was completed and erected twelve months after leaving Egypt (Ex. 40:2, 17 Num. 33:3).

Ex. 40:34–38 Num. 1:48–53 33

With Moses and the Israelites in their desert travels.

The Ark and Tent would have logically traveled with Moses and the Israelites the land to the Land of Promise. When the cloud of glory would lift up above the tent, then Israel would move out in the direction of the cloud. The Levites were in charge of the Tent of God.

Joshua 3

Crossing the Jordan River.

Although certainly both the Ark and the Tent crossed over the Jordan River with the Israelites, the Ark was in focus here.

Joshua 4:19 5:10 9:6 10:6, 43

Israel’s temporary headquarters at Gilgal

Although the Tent of God is not mentioned in these passages, we may reasonably infer that prior to the conquest of Israel, the Tent had to be somewhere. Being at Israel’s temporary camp in Gilgal is the only logical place for these things to be.

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There was a point in time when the Ark and the Tabernacle were separated—when Israel was at war with the Philistines, Eli was still alive, and his degenerate sons were involved in the sacrificial worship (1Sam. 4). The Ark will be taken into battle at this time and apparently not be placed back into the Tabernacle ever again. Therefore, I will pick up with the movement of these two holy things in the book of Joshua, where they are separated for the first time (to the best of our knowledge).

The Movement of the Ark and the Tent of God Part 2

The Ark

The Tabernacle

Scripture

Notes

Scripture

Notes

Joshua 6

The Ark was taken into battle when Israel invaded Jericho. This was by the order of God.

Joshua 4:19 5:10 9:6 10:6, 43

The Tent of God apparently remained in Gilgal (there is no reason for it to have moved).

None

It would be reasonable to assume that the Ark remained with the Tent of Meeting in Shiloh at this time.

Joshua 18:1 19:51

The Tent of Meeting was set up in Shiloh, a central location in Ephraim, after the land had been conquered.

Judges 20:26–28

The Ark of the Covenant was located in Bethel of Benjamin for a portion of the time of the judges (this was actually early on in the period of the judges).

None

Given that Phinehas ben Eleazar, grandson of Aaron ministered before the Ark, it is reasonable that the Tent was there in Bethel as well.

None

Again, we would assume the Ark and the Tent would be together, even during this time of great degeneracy.

Judges 18:31

For most of the period of the judges, the Tent was located in Shiloh.

1Sam. 1:3 3:3 4:1–4

Both the Ark and the Tent were located in Shiloh.

1Sam. 1:3 3:3

Both the Ark and the Tent were located in Shiloh.

1Sam. 4

The Ark of God is taken into battle against the Philistines in Ebenezer and captured by the Philistines

None

There is no indication that the Tent of God was moved from Shiloh.

1Sam. 5

Ashdod, then Gath and then Ekron (all cities of the Philistines).

None

There is no indication that the Tent of God was moved.

1Sam. 6

Beth-shemesh of Israel. The Israelites did not treat the Ark with proper reverence and, as a result, many Beth-shemites died.

None

There is no indication that the Tent of God was moved. It was probably still in Shiloh.

1Sam. 7:1–2

Kiriath-jearim, where the Ark apparently remained for a long period of time.

1Sam. 7:2 Psalm 78:60 Jer. 7:1, 12–15 26:4–6, 9

At some point in time, Shiloh was abandoned as the place of God; given the Israelite’s mixed success/failure against the Philistines during the time of Eli and Samuel, and given Israel’s success against the Philistines, beginning with Saul and continuing with David, it would be reasonable to suppose that this is the period of time that the Philistines destroyed Shiloh. Now I postulate that this destruction took place during the 20 year period alluded to in 1Sam. 7:2, if not immediately previous to this.*

*I covered this destruction of Shiloh in great detail in 1Sam. 7:2a, which was exegeted in 1Sam. 6.

Now, it is important, at this point, to note two things: (1) the Tent of God was not destroyed in Shiloh. In 2Chron. 1:3–4, Solomon will fetch the original Tent of Meeting from Gibeon. This means that, no matter what, the original Tent of Meeting survived the destruction of Shiloh and eventually was moved to Gibeon. (2) The Ark of God never returned to Shiloh (which may have been razed by the time the Ark was returned to Israel), but remained in the custody of Abinadab’s family from the time of Samuel until the time of David (1Sam. 7:1–2a 1Chron. 15:1, 12 16:1). So, the Tent of God moved at least once from Shiloh to Gibeon after the destruction of Shiloh and the Ark moved exactly twice from Beth-shemesh to Kiriath-jearim and from Kiriath-jearim to Beth-shemesh. Wherever else the Tent moved to in between Shiloh and Gibeon is a matter of speculation.

The Movement of the Ark and the Tent of God Part 2

The Ark

The Tabernacle

None

Still in Kiriath-jearim.

1Sam. 7:5–11

Samuel offers a burnt offering to God in Mizpah, after 20 years of oppression by the Philistines. Nowhere is the Tent of God mentioned.

None

Still in Kiriath-jearim.

1Sam. 10:3

Samuel tells Saul (Saul is not yet king over Israel) that he will run into three men who are going up to encounter God in Bethel. This would imply that the Tent of God was in Bethel at this time. However, bear in mind that in 1Sam. 9, Samuel presides over a sacrifice in his hometown of Ramah. Since the Tent of God cannot be in both places and since it certainly did not move from one to the other in this context, this allows for the possibility that the Tent was either in Bethel or Ramah or in neither place.

None

Still in Kiriath-jearim.

1Sam. 10:8 11:14–15

Samuel will declare Saul king over Israel before the Lord in Gilgal. Sacrifices will be offered. The Tent of God is not mentioned, but the ceremonies herein imply that it could be here.

Now, it should be obvious, particularly when we exegete v. 3 and v. 8 that the Tent of God could not be in Bethel and then Gilgal, because Samuel refers to these two places in almost the same breath. The Tent did not move overnight from one place to the other. The same holds true for Ramah and Bethel. Saul begins with Samuel in Ramah where a sacrifice is offered; then Saul travels to Bethel, where he will run into three prophets carrying three baby goats (obviously to be sacrificed). Therefore, we would not expect the Tent of God to be in Ramah and then in Bethel. What is the most reasonable suggestion is that Samuel chose not to set up the Tent of God again and he allowed the Ark of God to remain in Kiriath-jearim. Instead, Samuel set up altars in each of the four cities that he functioned as a judge in. So we would expect that he would offer sacrifices in Gilgal, Bethel, Mizpah and in Ramah. Now, with regards to Mizpah, Bethel, Ramah, Gilgal and Nob: there is no direct mention of the Tent of God; and with the first four, there is really no mention of the Levites or the priesthood of God. The passage to come concerning Nob almost definitely places the Tent in Nob, as David eats the consecrated bread there. If I were a betting man, I would bet that the Tent of God traveled from Shiloh to Nob to Gibeon during the time from Samuel to David (furthermore, I would guess that the tent was in some sort of retirement or in a state of moderate use only in an undisclosed location—perhaps Nob).

Although Samuel regularly and legitimately offers sacrifices to God on behalf of Israel, there is no mention of the Tent of God, the Ark of the Covenant or the Levites during the time of Samuel (i.e., during the time that he judges Israel). My thinking is, Samuel is so much a type of Christ that these things which speak of Christ are not needed and not used. Samuel, by himself, is like the 1st advent of Jesus Christ. Focus is now on him rather than on the Tabernacle of God or the Ark of God.

I should add that all of these cities are relatively close together. They are all found in central Israel, mostly in Benjamin. Shiloh, which is located in central Ephraim, is the furthest away (Ephraim is on the northern border of Benjamin).

The Movement of the Ark and the Tent of God Part 2

The Ark

The Tabernacle

1Sam. 14:18

In this passage, Saul requests that the Ark be brought to him. However, we have no indication that this order was obeyed—in fact, quite the opposite—while requesting the Ark, something else immediately happened, precluding obeying Saul’s request. Also, there is the additional problem of the reading in that passage. The Greek reads that Saul called for the ephod and not the Ark. In any case, if the Ark was removed from Kiriath-Jearim (which I doubt), it must have been returned to there.

None

The location of the Tent of God is still uncertain.

None

Still in Kiriath-jearim.

1Sam. 21:1–6 1Sam. 22:11–22

David will go to Nob, the city of the priests, and eat consecrated bread, implying that the Table of Showbread is there (which would imply that the Tent of God was there as well). It would seem to be incongruous to prepare these loaves of bread completely apart from Tabernacle worship. The ephod is also be found here, further indicating that the Tabernacle was set up and functioning in Nob, but without the Ark of God. Saul will later go to Nob and execute the priests for feeding David.

2Sam. 6–7 1Chron. 15:1–3, 12 16:1, 37 1Chron. 15:26

David fetches the original Ark from Kiriath-jearim, from the house of Abinadab (2Sam. 6:3–4), and brings it to Jerusalem. David does not bring the Tent of God, but pitches a tent for the Ark.

1Chron. 16:37, 39–40

At the time that the Ark was in Jerusalem, the Tent of God was incontrovertibly in Gibeon. My guess would be, that after Nob, Saul moved the Tabernacle to his home town, to better keep an eye on the priests (and he may have brought in his own priests). The reason for the Tent being in Gibeon is pure speculation on my part.

Although we are not told how the Tabernacle was taken to Gibeon, it is possible that Saul, in his paranoia, had it brought to Gibeon, near where he was, so he could keep an eye on things. Saul had previously killed all of the priests when the Tabernacle was in Nob. Saul may have brought the Tabernacle to Gibeon in sorrow for what he had done (he did appear to be bipolar). A new priesthood was instituted in Gibeon, since the only remaining priest was with David (a very young Abiathar). Although much of this is conjecture, it fits in well with the narrative of 1Sam. 21–22.

None

The Ark of God remained in Jerusalem.

1Kings 3:4 1Chron. 16:39 21:29

2Chron. 1:3

By implication and by direct statement, the Tent of God was in Gibeon and functioned as the Tent of God (i.e., it was not in storage). This was during the time of David and early on in the rule of Solomon.

This suggests that the “House of Yehowah” in 2Sam. 12:20, which appears to be in Jerusalem, is probably the tent wherein the Ark of God was kept (2Sam. 6–7). Although there is the alternative view that David went to Gibeon, in this verse, that is highly unlikely. 2Chron. 1:3–4 seems to be pretty unequivocal that Solomon brought the original Tent (Tabernacle) of God from Gibeon to Jerusalem.

We may wonder, after David brought the Ark into Jerusalem, why he did not logically bring the Tabernacle there as well. There are five possible reasons: although David had read the Law of Moses and knew that they were both originally together by design, he had plans to build a permanent Temple in Jerusalem, so there would be no reason for the Tabernacle. God told him his son would build the Temple instead, which gave David a reason not to bring the Tabernacle into Jerusalem. Secondly, David had been the cause for all of the priests to be killed by Saul in Nob, so he may have felt some guilt in that regard and did not want to mess with the Tabernacle again. Thirdly, a new High Priest had been appointed in Gibeon, so even though there was no animosity between the two High Priests (they appear to have exchanged responsibilities in 2Sam. 15); David simply allowed things to continue with the Ark and Tabernacle in two places. (4) With the Tabernacle in Gibeon and the Ark in Jerusalem (where it had been placed in a tent), this provided two areas of worship for the Jews with two sets of priests. (5) The Ark and the Tabernacle had never been together during David’s lifetime.

2Chron. 1:3–4

The Ark was already in Jerusalem, having been brought there earlier by David.

1Kings 8:4 2Chron. 1:3–4, 13

Solomon brought the original Tent of God, built by Moses, from Gibeon to Jerusalem

2Chron. 5:1

Solomon does not build another Ark of God, but moves the original from where David had it into the Temple.

2Chron. 2–7

Solomon builds the Temple for Jehovah in Jerusalem. He builds the furniture, and more of it, for the Temple.


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One area in which we are foggy is Israel’s religious life. As you see from the chart above, we are not completely certain as to when Shiloh was burned to the ground; we do not know how the Tent of God was rescued from there; we do not know if it was set up again or not; or how much longer after the razing of Shiloh that it was set up. Although we can reasonably determine the Tabernacle was set up in Nob, we do not know the circumstances behind it being taken to Gibeon (I suspect that Saul made this decision). Therefore, during this time period, we do not know exactly the religious ceremonies in which Israel took part. The best we can do is make a few conclusions:

Israel’s Religious Practices

1.    What is abundantly clear is that Israel, even after the destruction of Shiloh, had some cities which were associated with religion.

       a.    At some point in time during the judges (probably early on), the Ark of God was located in Bethel (Judges 20:27).

       b.    When Israel experiences some revival (ostensibly after the fall of Shiloh), Samuel gathers them at Mizpah for spiritual renewal, a new commitment to spiritual purity, sacrifices and intercession (1Sam. 7:3–9).

       c.     Samuel built an altar in his hometown of Ramah, which is obviously for the purpose of communion with God and intercession on behalf of Israel (1Sam. 7:17). Even though these two cities are mentioned seemingly in the same breath (they are found in the same chapter), the difference is that Mizpah was an area for assembly at the beginning of Samuel’s recognized ministry to Israel, whereas, later in life, Samuel established an altar in his own city. My point is, we do not necessarily have here two altars which existed coterminously (although, that is possible).

2.    Although the Bible is very specific with regards to times of the year for various worship feasts, it is not clear that these dates and specific sacrifices were ever properly observed.

       a.    What we note in the book of Judges is a distinct lack of mention of specific feast days and the observing thereof.

       b.    We have what appears to be a yearly observance by families of some feast in Shiloh in 1Sam. 1. However, it is never specified which feast this is; nor, do we know if this was one of three feasts where the men gathered. There are three feasts which require the gathering of the males of Israel, but it is unclear whether this was followed regularly. None of the feasts required the attendance of the families, although none forbade this attendance either. My point is that this yearly feast in Shiloh may or may not have corresponded to a specific feast as outlined in the book of Leviticus. The fact that it is never specified causes me to think that it is an amalgamated feast.

       c.     Eli’s sons obviously warped the concept of sacrifices, as they required meat be given to them prior to it being offered to God (1Sam. 2:12–17). If anything, they would have encouraged sacrifices in Shiloh and they would have encouraged them on a regular basis.

       d.    In the Mizpah example given, for instance, Israel is not necessarily observing any particular feast day. In fact, nothing which is recorded in 1Sam. 7 implies any particular feast day. It appeared more to be the fact that Israel realized, after several years, that they were in the spiritual dumpster, and that they turned to the only reasonable spiritual leader at that time, Samuel, for guidance.

3.    In the book of Judges, not only do we not find any mention of specific feasts and sacrifices, but the royal priesthood is mentioned but once. Phinehas ben Eleazar is consulted in Judges 20:28.

4.    One thing which stands out at the end of the book of Judges is that there are two Levites mentioned who are not living in any of the cities for the Levites (Judges 17:8–9 19:1). One even hires himself out as a personal family priest, for which there is no Scriptural authorization (Judges 17:8–13). It is clear that some Levites were not performing their duties as supporters of the priesthood and Tent of God.

5.    After 1Sam. 4, we never again read about the Ark of God being in the Tent of God. As we have studied in great deal, it appears as though the Ark of God, after it was returned by the Philistines, remained under the care of Eleazar ben Abinadab (1Sam. 7:1 2Sam. 6:4). The Ark of God was an integral part of the ceremonies on that Great Day of Atonement. This would clearly indicate that some of the Levitical Feasts were not practiced.

6.    Sacrifices continued to be offered; it is simply never clear whether they occurred in conjunction with any particular feast day (1Sam. 6:14 7:17 11:15).

7.    The Jews clearly did not observe the Sabbatical year (2Chron. 36:20–21 Jer. 34:13–18).

8.    Furthermore, those who functioned in the spiritual realm found themselves being compromised.

       a.    Eli was the High Priest (1Sam. 1:3, 9). However, his sons obliterated the meaning of sacrifice in 1Sam. 2:12–17.

       b.    Samuel, his successor, appears to be a priest, as he apparently offered sacrifices (1Sam. 7:17—I don’t recall him ever being called a priest; however, although there is implication that he might have been a Levite—see my exegesis of 1Sam. 1). He is known as both a man of God and as a prophet (1Sam. 9:6–9). He also functioned as a civil judge (1Sam. 7:15–16). His sons were corrupt as judges, as they took bribes (1Sam. 8:3–5).

9.    I believe that we can safely conclude that for hundreds of years, Israel did not observe all of her feast days properly.

10.  This is not difficult to understand, as we do not find an indication today that church services function as they should throughout the Church Age.


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1Samuel 10:3d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

echâd (ד ָח א) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; but it can also mean a composite unity; possibly particular

numeral adjective

Strong's #259 BDB #25

nâsâ (אָָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

shelôshâh (הָשֹלש) [pronounced shiloh-SHAW]

a three, a trio, a triad, a threesome

feminine numeral noun

Strong’s #7969 BDB #1025

gedîy (י.ד) [pronounced ge-DEE]

kid (as in a young goat)

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1423 BDB #152


Translation: One is carrying three young goats,... Or, One is carrying a three kids [or, young goats]... We have here 3 men who are going to worship God. They are going from where Saul meets them, at the oak of the mound, to Bethel. It is interesting that this one man is not leading 3 kids, but he is carrying them. That seems a little unusual to me. However, where they meet up, it might be best that these three kids are carried. These young goats would be sacrificed and they would be without spot or blemish.


1Samuel 10:3e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

echâd (ד ָח א) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; but it can also mean a composite unity; possibly particular

numeral adjective

Strong's #259 BDB #25

Often, when echâd is found twice in the same context, it means ...the one...and the other or one...and another.

nâsâ (אָָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

shelôshâh (הָשֹלש) [pronounced shiloh-SHAW]

a three, a trio, a triad, a threesome

feminine numeral noun

Strong’s #7969 BDB #1025

kikâr (רָ  ̣) [pronounced kik-KAWR]

a round, a round district, a round loaf, a round weight, a round talent

feminine plural construct

Strong’s #3603 BDB #503

lechem (םחל) [pronounced LEH-khem]

literally means bread; used more generally for food

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3899 BDB #536


Translation: ...another is carrying three loaves of bread... This one probably has 3 rounds of bread, which are prepared without leaven (I am assuming here, as we really don't know). This gives us an animal sacrifice the represent Jesus Christ; and the bread represents His body which is given for us.


1Samuel 10:3f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

echâd (ד ָח א) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; but it can also mean a composite unity; possibly particular

numeral adjective

Strong's #259 BDB #25

Often, when echâd is found twice in the same context, it means ...the one...and the other or one...and another.

nâsâ (אָָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

nêbel (ל∵ב̤נ) [pronounced NAYB-vel]

skin-bottle, skin, flask, vessel, earthen jar, pitcher, container; musical instrument (lyre, harp)

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #5035 BDB #614

yayin (ן̣י-י) [pronounced YAH-yin]

wine

masculine singular noun; pausal form

Strong’s #3196 BDB #406


Translation: ...and one is carrying a skin-container of wine. According to Gesenius, this container refers to a vessel of any sort used for liquids. What is in the skin-container is wine. This is clearly a word associated with alcohol, as this is the word used when Noah got drunk after the flood (Gen. 9), as well as what was drunk when Lot got drunk with his daughters (Gen. 39). This is what is forbidden to the Nazarite (Num. 6). Footnote If the wine is fermented, then it is possible that the bread has leaven as well. In any case, this gives us: One is carrying three young goats, another is carrying three loaves of bread and one is carrying a container of wine.


We do not expect to find wine associated with the worship, but unfermented grape juice; however, there is no indication that the worship of God followed any of the proper procedures. Furthermore, there were a few isolated situations where fermented wine (the word found here) was associated with an offering (Ex. 29:40 Num. 15:5–10 28:14). Footnote


Now, essentially, what is going to happen is that Saul will leave Ramah (Samuel’s hometown, where they were) and head towards Gibeah (his hometown). At the same time, there are some prophets traveling towards Bethel, which is one of the holy cities, so to speak, of that time period. Their paths will intersect near Rachel’s tomb at the Oak of Tabor.


And they have asked to you to peace and they have given to you a pair of breads and you have taken from their hand.

1Samuel

10:4

And they will ask you concerning your welfare and they will give to you two [pieces or loaves] of bread and you will take from their hand.

They will then greet you and give to you two loaves of bread, which you will take from their hand.


Let’s first see what others have done with this:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And they have asked to you to peace and they have given to you a pair of breads and you have taken from their hand.

Septuagint                             And they will ask you how you are doing, and they will give you two presents of bread and you shall receive them of their hand.

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

The Message                         They'll say, 'Hello, how are you?' and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

JPS (Tanakh)                        They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     ...and they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from their hand.

NKJV                                     “And they will greet you [ask about your welfare] and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall receive from their hands.

Young's Updated LT              ...and they have asked of you of welfare, and given to you two loaves, and you have received from their hand.


What is the gist of this verse? These three men would greet Saul and his servant and give them two pieces (possibly loaves) of their bread.


1Samuel 10:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâal (לַאָש) [pronounced shaw-AHL]

to ask [petition, request, inquire]; to demand; to question, to interrogate; to ask [for a loan]; to consult; to salute

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #7592 BDB #981

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shâlôwm (םל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LOHM]

completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safe, secure, tranquil, undisturbed, unagitated

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7965 BDB #1022

 

Translation: And they will ask you concerning your welfare... One of the words we find here is the masculine singular noun shâlôwm (םל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LOHM], which means completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safe, secure, tranquil, undisturbed, unagitated. The Septuagint and Young both get gold stars for rendering this correctly: And they will ask you concerning your welfare... The perfect tense is a prophetic perfect which assumes the occurrence or the completion of an event which has not yet come to pass. This is a the verbiage used when one person asks another, “How are you doing?” These guys will speak first and asked how Saul is doing.


1Samuel 10:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâthan (ן ַתָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shetayîm (ם̣יַ ׃ש) [pronounced sheTAH-yim]

two, two of, a pair of, a duo of

feminine numeral construct

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

lechem (םחל) [pronounced LEH-khem]

literally means bread; used more generally for food

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3899 BDB #536


Translation: ...and they will give to you two [pieces or loaves] of bread... Now, recall that Saul and his servant have run out of bread (1Sam. 9:7). Even though Saul and his servant ate well the previous day, by the time they meet up with these men, they will be hungry again. It is unclear whether they would be given two pieces of bread or whether two entire loaves (rounds) will be given to them.


1Samuel 10:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâqach (חַקָל) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

hand

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388


Translation: ...and you will take from their hand. This is all pretty minor, non-earth-shattering stuff. There are no lightening bolts which will strike Saul, no explosions; the bread won’t turn into snakes. Samuel is giving a very simple prophecy of some very simple things which will occur, which will indicate to Saul that Samuel is truly a prophet of God. The idea is that, if Samuel is accurate about the small stuff, he will also be accurate about the big stuff. You will note that what Samuel is predicting, although it is rather mundane, that it is also very specific. The next time you consult your palm reader or astrologist, ask them what events will take place 30 minutes from your leaving their place of business and see how well they do. This was what a prophet of God did. He prophesied of what would occur in the very near future, so that he could easily be checked out for veracity; then what he prophesied for farther off would be taken seriously. Saul will know by the end of that day that Samuel is unquestionably a prophet of God.


After so, you will come [to] Gibeath of the Elohim [or, the hill of the God] where there [are] garrisons of Philistines and it [lit., he] is as you come there [into] the city and you have met a band of prophets coming down from the high place and to faces of them, harp and tambourine and flute and lyre and they are prophesying.

1Samuel

10:5

Afterwards, you will come to Gibeath of God where there [is] the garrison [or, guards, officers] of Philistines and it will be as you come to the city that [or, then] you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place and before them [or, in front of them] [is] a harp, tambourine, flute and lyre; and they are [animatedly] speaking divine viewpoint [amongst one another].

Later on, you will come to Gibeath of God where there is the garrison of Philistines and it will come to pass as you enter into the city that you will meet a band of prophets who are coming down from the high place preceded by a harp, tambourine, flute and lyre; and they will be carrying one a very spirited conversation about Bible doctrine.


This fifth verse of 1Sam. 10 introduces the third sign and final sign delineated by Samuel: Saul would meet a group of prophets coming down from Gibeath (or, possibly from a high place) and Saul will become filled with the Spirit and he will converse with them on matters theological (vv. 5–6). With this verse, we become even more descriptive and precise. If what was described before seemed moderately generic, Samuel will continue his prophesy so that there is no doubt in Saul’s mind that Samuel is a prophet, a man of God.


But first, let’s see what others have done:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       After so, you will come [to] Gibeath of the Elohim [or, the hill of the God] where there [are] garrisons of Philistines and it [lit., he] is as you come there [into] the city and you have met a band of prophets coming down from the high place and to faces of them, harp and tambourine and flute and lyre and they are prophesying.

Septuagint                             And afterward you will go to the hill of God, where is the encampment of the Philistines; there [is] Namib the Philistine; and it will come to pass when you will have entered into the city, that you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the Bama; and before them will be lutes, and a drum, and a pipe, and a harp, and they will prophesy.

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences. In a couple places, the Greek transliterated rather than translated.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

NJB                                        After this, you will come to Gibeah of God (where the Philistine garrison is) and, when you are just outside the town, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place, headed by lyre, tambourine, pipe and harp; they will be in a state of ecstasy.

REB                                       Then when you reach the hill of God, where the Philistine governor resides, you will meet a company of prophets coming down from the shrine, led by lute, drum, fife, and lyre, and filled with prophetic rapture.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

JPS (Tanakh)                        After that, you are to go on to the Hill [or Gibeah] of God, where the Philistine prefects reside. There, as you enter the town, you will encounter a band of prophets coming down from the shrine, preceded by lyres, timbrels, flutes, and harps, and they will be speaking in ecstasy.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     “Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying.

NRSV                                    After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, at the place where the Philistine garrison is; there, as you come to the town, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the shrine with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre playing in front of them; they will be in a prophetic frenzy.

Young's Updated LT              ‘Afterwards you have come unto the hill of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is, and it comes to pass, at your coming in there to the city, that you have met a band of prophets coming down from the high place, and before them psaltery, and tabret, and pipe, and harp, and they are prophesying;...


What is the gist of this verse? Saul and his servant come to the hill of God, where there is also a garrison of Philistines soldiers established, and they will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place carrying musical instruments.


1Samuel 10:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

achar (ר ַח ַא) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind

preposition

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

kên (ן ֵ) [pronounced kane]

so, thus; upright, honest; rightly, well; [it is] so, such, so constituted;

properly, an active participle; used primarily as an adverb

Strong's #3651 BDB #485

Together, achar and kên mean after so (literally) or afterward, afterwards.

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

Gibe׳ath (ת-ע׃ב̣) [pronounced gibve-ĢAHTH]

hill; and is transliterated Gibeath

proper feminine noun

Strong’s #1394 BDB #149

This is simply the construct of the feminine noun for hill.

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43


Translation: Afterwards, you will come to Gibeath of God... If you will notice in the various translations which I have presented, we have a distinctive charismatic influence in some of the translations. These men are not simply prophesying (which means to speak the Word of God), but they are in this full-on state of ecstasy, in some sort of prophetic rapture—at least, according to some of the translations, one of which, you might be using. There are several translations which follow this view, which I will go into more detail on when we get to v. 10. However, to prepare you for the exegesis, there is nothing special in the verbiage found in this verse which indicates anything more than these prophets speaking divine viewpoint. If one wanted to insert that slant that these men are in some sort of ecstatic state of being, saying who knows what, then one would have to assume that the same thing occurred every time Isaiah prophesied to King Ahab, as the same Hebrew verbiage is used there.


Here we have the third geographical location which Saul and his servant come to. Here, it is called the Gibeath the Elohim, or the hill of God. Given that many of the ancient cities were built upon tells (essentially upon the ruins of previous occupations), this could be a proper noun as well as a common description given to a hill whereupon there was worship. What is likely is that Saul knows of where Samuel speaks; what is less likely is that Saul does not know of this place, but, when he comes to it, it will become clear to him that he is there. This particular designation is found only here, although some scholars identify this with Gibeah of Saul, which is the Gibeah of Judges 19:14 20:4, 10 1Sam. 11:4 13:2, 15 14:16 15:34 Isa. 10:29 (variously referred to as Gibeah of Benjamin, Gibeah of Saul, Gibeah of the Benjamites, or, simply, Gibeah). There is no reason to assume otherwise in this passage. No more traveling is alluded to; Gibeah is Saul’s home, where he would obviously stop. Gibeah is the next city south of Ramah, which is where Saul is right now. The previous two places mentioned, the tomb of Rachel and the oak of the plain, are not cities but landmarks which Saul and his servant would pass by to get to Gibeah. There is no reason to assume that there is some hill of God between Ramah and Gibeah where we find religious types descending and a garrison of Philistines. If we had that much going on, then it would simply be another city between Ramah and Gibeah (and no such city is alluded to here or anywhere else). Furthermore, given the short trip that Saul will be on (as seems to be testified to by this passage), the city of Gibeah is near where he and Samuel are standing right now. Furthermore, Saul will immediately meet his uncle (v. 14) and people who know Saul will comment to others who know Saul concerning his prophetic activity (vv. 10–12). All of this point to Saul's home town rather than to some essentially unpopulated hill in between the two cities.


Now, as for the designation Gibeah of Elohim vs. hill of God: personally, I would again lean toward this being essentially a proper noun, even if it began as a simple designation. The NIV Study Bible Footnote suggests that Samuel calling this city Gibeah of God is reminding Saul that this city, along with the rest of the land, belonged to God, and not to the Philistines, who had apparently made deep inroads into Israel. Even though the Philistines did not rule over what had been traditionally Israelite cities (1Sam. 7:14), they still had a strong military presence in Israel. They are said to have a military presence here and in Geba (1Sam. 13:3). This is not anything out of the ordinary or unusual. The United States, because we have a strong military force, has military bases and military air strips all over the world. We have embassies in hundreds and hundreds of cities throughout the world. The Philistines, at that time, were one of the greatest military forces in the ancient world. That they should have several military installations in Israel should not strike us as anything out of the ordinary.


Now, as to the spelling—you may astutely notice that I have transliterated this as Gibeath of Elohim whereas I continue to make reference to the city of Gibeah. The difference between the spellings is simple: Gibeah is in the absolute state and Gibeath is in the construct state. The construct state means, it is closely associated with the noun which follows (hence, the word of). You see, there is no word for of in the Hebrew language. So, when we want to show a relationship between two nouns (e.g., the son of Benjamin) we put the first noun in the construct state. Two examples are given below:


Absolute State

Construct State

Hebrew

Translation/

Transliteration

Hebrew

Transliteration/

Translation

Gibe׳âh (ה ָע ׃ב ̣) [pronounced gibve-ĢAW]

Gibeah

Gibe׳ath (ת  ׃ב ̣) [pronounced gibve-ģahth]

Gibeath or Gibeah of...

milechâmâh (ה ָמ ָח  ׃ל  ̣מ) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle

milechemeth (ת ∵מ∵ח  ׃ל  ̣מ) [pronounced mil-kheh-meth]

battle of...

The —âh ending is changed to —ath; the —âh ending is changed to —eth

In other words, Gibeah and Gibeath are simply different forms of the same noun.


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1Samuel 10:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

The two word ăsher + shâm can be rendered where, in what place, to what place when found together. Sometimes, the addition of the verb to be might be appropriate to smooth out the phrasing.

netsîyb (בי.צנ) [pronounced neTZEEBV]

pillar, prefect, garrison, post, outpost

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #5333 BDB #662

Pelishetîy (י. ש ̣ל) [pronounced pe-lish-TEE]

transliterated Philistines

masculine plural gentilic adjective (acts like a proper noun)

Strong’s #6430 BDB #814

 

Translation: ...where there [is] the garrison [or, guards, officers] of Philistines... Then Samuel makes it clear where this place is. The noun found here is netsîyb (בי.צנ) [pronounced neTZEEBV], which means pillar, prefect, garrison, post. Interestingly enough, this is the word used for pillar when Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt. In the MT, garrison is in the plural. It is singular in the Aramaic, Septuagint and Syriac. Strong’s #5333 BDB #662. Affixed to this is the plural gentilic adjective Philistines. This gives us: ...where there are garrisons [or, guards, officers] of Philistines... The REB suggests that this refers to a governor of the Philistines. Given the other accepted meanings (primarily the meaning of pillar), this is reasonable. It is possible that we have an ancient consulate here. Not far outside the city of Ramah, to the east, is the city of Geba, wherein there was a garrison of Philistines, as per 1Sam. 13:3. Whether this is the same detachment of soldiers or not is unclear. From my maps, it does not appear to be, as Gibeah is due south from Ramah, and Geba is due east. Therefore, it would have been less likely for Saul to head east and then south to go home. Furthermore, it is Gibeah where there was a garrison of Philistines. What is likely is that there were several garrisons of Philistines in this area.


At this time, it might be beneficial to examine this particular word in Doctrine of Netsîyb.


Now, I realize that for most of you, making a determination of just where exactly some ancient city is, is seemingly irrelevant to anything in your life. However, recall that one of the recent topics was the destruction of Shiloh and the determination of when it occurred. Recall that the people of Israel were whining to God about the Philistines. Here we are, in the territory of Benjamin, and we have a Philistine troops stationed right at the Hill of God. What the Philistines did was drive a wedge between northern and southern Israel. First they forced out the Danites (who took an area in the far north), and now the Philistines occupied an area further inland, in Benjamin. Shiloh would have been north of them and it is reasonable that they had already burned Shiloh to the ground. More to the point, Israel was occupied by her enemies. They did not just coexist, the Philistines had some sort of a presence, possibly even a military presence.


Let’s examine this and also go back to 1Sam. 7:13–14a: So the Philistines were subdued and they did not continue any more to enter into the territory of Israel; furthermore, the hand of Yehowah was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. And so the towns, which the Philistines had taken from Israel, were restored to Israel—from Ekron even as far as Gath—and Israel had rescued her territory from the hand of the Philistines. Recall that at that time, the Philistines not only occupied their territory on the southwestern shores of the Mediterranean, but they apparently had expanded their borders considerably, and they had driven a wedge between northern and southern Israel, burning down Shiloh, the holy city of Israel. The idea is that you attack the heart of a nation; just as the Arabic terrorists attacked the heart of the United States, New York City; so the Philistines had attacked and destroyed Shiloh. Israel suffered 20 years of Philistine aggression and gathered in 1Sam. 7 to renew their relationship with God. When the Philistines sought to curb this assembly, God pushed the Philistines back. Now, only for that period of time (say, 10–20 years), were the Philistines held to their traditional borders. Throughout most of Israel’s history (and all of her early history), there was enmity between Israel and Philistia. When Samuel was the undisputed spiritual leader of Israel, the Philistines were held back by God. However, Samuel, had relinquished some of his responsibilities to his integrity-challenged sons. He was about to hand over the primary authority over Israel to Saul. So, although Samuel has a place and function still within Israel, he is no longer Israel’s primary leader. The spiritual temperature of a people goes hand-in-hand with God’s blessing which goes hand-in-hand with their leadership. These people went from a spiritual high of 1Sam. 7:3–8, to demanding from Samuel that he appoint a king over them, which indicates that the nation as a whole lost this spiritual growth. What we should expect is that with Israel’s spiritual slide downward should come pressures from without along with substandard leadership. We don’t know if this pillar of Philistines had been long-established and dormant or whether it was a recently established presence. At the time of the writing of 1Sam. 7, when Samuel was the foremost spiritual and political leader, there was an established peace and the Philistines did not acquire additional footholds in Israel and they lost the territory which they had taken. This does not necessarily mean that they had no presence whatsoever in Israel nor does the passage in 1Sam. 7 mean that Israel never had any trouble with the Philistines again. We are simply looking at this from the perspective of the writer of that time. Footnote Also, what may be helpful to you is to look upon these Philistine guards (or pillar) as a consulate or an embassy. There was a military presence there; but we have a similar small military presence at some of our embassies. Despite the fact that the Philistines had been pushed back to their borders does not mean that there were no Philistines elsewhere in Israel nor does it mean that they did not make later inroads into Israel. What 1Sam. 7:13–14a tells us is, at the time that Samuel recorded this, the Philistines had been soundly defeated and they were no longer sending military expeditions into Israel to burn down cities or to take more territory. That situation did not last forever.


Let me suggest a scenario which is going to put a much different slant on this passage and especially on 1Sam. 13:1–4: it is possible that this pillar of Philistine simply refers to a group of Philistines who lived in this area. The Philistines obviously made great inroads into the Palestine area; and, although their military was soundly defeated and pushed back, this does not necessarily mean that every pocket of Philistines moved back to Philistia. In our country, particularly in the early and mid-20th century, we had pockets of racial groups who lived together in the same town. Most major cities had a little Italy or a Chinatown. Given the animosity between the Jews and the Philistines, we would expect those Philistines who lived outside of their particular coastal area would have gathered together in groups, particularly after their military had been defeated. This would seem reasonable, except that we have studied the Doctrine of Netsîyb, which would make this usage unlikely. That is, we do not simply have occupants or foreign workers or a little Philistia here; we have guards or soldiers or officers.


Now, the analogies which I see drawn by various teachers of the Word (and I mean that in the loosest form of the word), are often lame and distract from the meaning of the passage; therefore, I am often loathe to offer one of my own; however, here the Israelites are occupied to some degree by their enemies, the Philistines. It is important to recognize that, in this world, we are going to be in close proximity with our mortal enemies. We will have those who are inspired by Satan attacking us from close range. If you do not have this in your life, then you are lacking. We rarely go through this life without a great many obstacles and attacks; and, some of the greatest attacks will come from within—i.e., from other believers.


1Samuel 10:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

as, like, according to; about, approximately

preposition of comparison or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

Qal infinitive construct with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

Owen forgets to mention the suffix above.

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

Shâm actually has three sets of meanings: ➊ it is a preposition of place and means there. When preceded by a relative pronoun, it means where. After verbs of motion, it means to what place, to or toward [a particular place or point]. ➋ Shâm is also used of time and can be rendered at that time, then. ➌ Finally, it is used to mean therein, in that thing.

׳îyr (רי ̣ע) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #5892 BDB #746


Translation: ...and it will be as you come to the city... This simply means that Samuel is telling Saul what would happen as he enters into the city. He first clearly identified the city as Gibeah belonging to God, even though there were Philistine soldiers standing guard there.


1Samuel 10:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

This copulative actually has a variety of meanings and uses. To paraphrase Gesenius, frequently, it is put after verbs and sentences standing absolutely, especially those which imply time or condition and is reasonably rendered then. Footnote

pâga׳ (עַג ָ) [pronounced paw-GAHĢ]

to fall upon, to meet, to encounter, to reach

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #6293 BDB #803

chebel (לבח) [pronounced KHEB-vel]

rope, cord, bands; a measuring rope; a territory, lot, portion; a group [of things]

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #2256 BDB #286

nâbîy (אי̣בָנ) [pronounced nawb-VEE]

spokesman, speaker, prophet

masculine plural noun

Strong's #5030 BDB #611

yârad (ד ַר ָי) [pronounced yaw-RAHD]

to descend, to go down

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong’s #3381 BDB #432

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bâmâh (הָמָ) [pronounced baw-MAW]

a high place, elevation, height, mountain; fortress, castle; legitimate altar [built in a high place]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1116 BDB #119


Translation: ...that [or, then] you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place... Or, more completely: ...and it will be as you come to the city then you will come upon a band of prophets coming down from the high place... Now, we need to stop and think about something here. When we get into the prophecy of Samuel, the Hebrew is rather difficult. In order to make it flow, the less than common usages of some words are found. The sentence structure is more complex than the general writing of this book. This would suggest one of two things: (1) Samuel did not write the book of Samuel. (2) Samuel wrote this book, which is very simple Hebrew; however, when he prophesied, his vocabulary and sentence structure became more complex, reflecting the strong control of the Holy Spirit. I do not know which explanation is correct, but I lean towards prophecy from Samuel as coming from God and therefore being of a more complex structure and vocabulary. In any case, I don’t recall seeing anyone discuss this in any commentary. What is very unusual and stands out is that what Samuel writes (if indeed he wrote this) is much simpler than what he says. Generally, one’s speaking vocabulary is often significantly simpler than one’s written vocabulary, as a writer has more time to stop and ponder how he wants to phrase this or that. Given the specificity of this prophecy, it is reasonable to suppose that the Holy Spirit simply spoke straight through Samuel.


In the ancient world, the places of worship were often off in the mountains. This does not mean that we are dealing with idolatry. You will recall that Moses went up on Mount Sinai to commune with God. In a past generation or two, Christian camps were often held up in the mountains. There is nothing here to indicate that we are dealing with idolatry. However, the verb and the noun together signify that we are definitely dealing with an elevated area of worship.


1Samuel 10:5e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces countenance; presence

masculine plural noun (plural acts like English singular); with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean before them, before their faces, in their presence, in their sight, in front of them.

nêbel (ל∵ב̤נ) [pronounced NAYB-vel]

a portable harp, lute, guitar

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5035 BDB #614

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

tôph (ףֹ) [pronounced tohf]

timbrel, tambourine; it is sort of a drum or tambourine and it is generally held in the hands of dancing women

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #8596 BDB #1074

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

châlîyl (לי.ל ָח) [pronounced khaw-LEEL]

flute, pipe

masculine singular noun

Strong's #2485 BDB #319

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kînnôwr (ר ̣) [pronounced kin-NOHR]

hand-harp, lyre

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3658 BDB #490


Translation: ...and before them [or, in front of them] [is] a harp, tambourine, flute and lyre;... We have four musical instruments named. Rather than give you a rundown of the best guess as to what instruments are referred to here, I’ll just give you the words and their various translations:


The Musical Instruments of 1Sam. 10:5

Hebrew

nêbel (ל∵ב̤נ) [pronounced NAYB-vel]

tôph (ףֹ) [pronounced tohf]

châlîyl (לי.לָח) [pronounced khaw-LEEL]

kînnôwr (ר ̣) [pronounced kin-NOHR]

Strong’s and BDB Numbers

Strong’s #5035 BDB #614.

Strong’s #8596 BDB #1074.

Strong's #2485 BDB #319.

Strong’s #3658 BDB #490.

God’s Word™, NASB, NLT, NRSV, Owen.

harp

tambourine

flute

lyre

The Emphasized Bible

harp

timbrel

flute

lyre

Keil and Delitzsch

lyre

tambourine

flute

guitar

NIV

lyres

tambourines

flutes

harps

REB

lute

drum

fife

lyre

Septuagint

lutes

drum

pipe

harp

Young’s

psaltery

tabret

pipe

harp

We have a great deal more agreement than I was expecting.


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1Samuel 10:5f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hêmmâh (ה ָ ֵה) [pronounced haym-mawh]

they, those; themselves; these [with the definite article]

3rd person masculine plural personal pronoun

Strong’s #1992 BDB #241

nâbâ (אָבָנ) [pronounced nawb-VAW]

to prophesy, to speak divine viewpoint; to speak in an ecstatic state or frenzy; speaker can be true, false or heathen prophet

masculine plural, Hithpael participle

Strong’s #5012 BDB #612

This is not a word which requires us to assume that there is ecstasy, raving, or frenzy involved; the one speaking might be animated, but not necessarily out of his gourd. I included those definitions only because they were found in BDB.

 

Translation: ...and they are [animatedly] speaking divine viewpoint [amongst one another]. The verb here is the masculine plural Hithpael participle of to prophesy. The verb is nâbâ (א ָב ָנ) [pronounced nawb-VAW], which means to prophesy, to speak divine viewpoint. It is found in the Niphal (passive) stem and in the Hithpael (intensive reflexive) stem. Here, it is in the Hithpael, indicating that they are speaking to one another. There is no real reason to see this as ecstatic or a gibberish or even as them listing groups of events about to occur. They are simply speaking animatedly (intensive) amongst one another (reflexive) divine viewpoint. In other words, they are simply speaking in a very spirited way about divine viewpoint or Bible doctrine.


In front of them are apparently men carrying these four instruments and they are playing them (it appears as though the prophets are not carrying these instruments). This gives us: ...and in front of them a harp, tambourine, flute and lyre and they [themselves] are speaking divine viewpoint animatedly amongst one another. The Hithpael is what gives us the idea of what is occurring. As a reflexive, this means that the action of the verb is performed upon the subject of the verb. In other words, they are prophesying or speaking to one another. The Piel is generally an intensification of the verb, which accounts for their speech being excited and animated.


Now, just in case you wonder about the Hithpael, let me give it to you from C. L. Seow:

C. L. Seow on the Hithpael

(1) The primary use of the Hithpael is reflexive—the verb describes action on or for oneself. That is, the subject of the verb is also the object of the verb. However, this does not completely convey the reflexive use, as there are examples where the verb takes on another object. These verbs are known as tolerative—the subject allows an action to affect himself or herself (note that we do not have that here).

(2) Reciprocal use: Occasionally, the Hithpael denotes reciprocity; that is, they worked with one another, they looked at one another.

(3) The third use is known as iterative, which means that the Hithpael suggests repeated activity (he walked about, he walked to and fro, and turned back and forth).

(4) The fourth use is known as estimative: the verb indicates how one shows himself or regards himself, whether in truth or by pretense (he pretended to be sick, they professed to be Jews). Footnote

Here, we have the second use, where these prophets are prophesying to one another. Again, there is nothing in the language here which indicates that these men are in some sort of prophetic rapture or frenzy; nor the word to prophesy require one to be predicting the future. In other words, we do not have these men behaving like they are on drugs; we do not have these prophets predicting the future to one another. We simply have several theological students, as it were, have a spirited discussion about God’s truth. Footnote


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What we do not have here is a frenetic frenzied state of spiritual rapture. The language used here does not allow for it.

Whether you have personally been in such a discussion before does not or whether you think that you have been in some sort of divine state of rapture before is not the point. Whether you know people who talk theology or whether you know people who go into what they think are spiritual frenzies is not the point. What we do not have here is a frenetic frenzied state of spiritual rapture. The language used here does not allow for it. The impression that one gets of this passage from the NEB, REB, NRSV, NAB, NJB and the TEV is a completely slanted point of view which finds its basis in theological predisposition and not in Hebrew scholarship.


Now, we do not know the nature of the group of prophets or how they figure into God’s plan (other than as stated in Scripture). I tend to think that all of the spiritual activity in Israel is recorded in Scripture; however, passages like these indicate that I am wrong in this thinking. Just as we have theological seminaries throughout the world, there were apparently groups of prophets who also banded together in ancient Israel. This particular group is alluded to several times in this chapter (vv. 5–6, 10–13) as well as other similar groups later on in Scripture (1Sam. 19:20–25 1Kings 20:35 2Kings 2:3, 15 4:1 6:1 9:1 1Chron. 25:1). As we have discussed before, Samuel left out a lot of his communication with God; so we should not be surprised that his school of prophets would receive less print than we would like as well.

 

The NIV Study Bible notes say [these men] appear to have been small communities of men who banded together in spiritually decadent times for mutual cultivation of their religious zeal...[they appear to be involved in] an enthusiastic praising of God inspired by the Holy Spirit. Footnote


And has fallen upon you a Spirit of Yehowah and you have prophesied with them and you have been turned to a man another.

1Samuel

10:6

Then the Spirit of Yehowah will come upon you so that you will prophesy [or, speak divine viewpoint] with them and you will be changed into another man.

Then the Spirit of Jehovah will fall on you and penetrate your soul with the result that you will be spiritually transformed into another man and carry on a spirited theological discussion with them.


Here is what others have done:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And has fallen upon [or, penetrated you] you a Spirit of Yehowah and you have prophesied with them and you have been turned to a man another.

Septuagint                             And the Spirit of the Lord will come [literal Greek, leap] upon you and you will prophesy with them and you will be turned into another man.

 

Significant differences:          The difference of the first verb is probably one of translation on the part of the seventy.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The Spirit of the Lord will suddenly take control of you. You’ll become a different person and start prophesying right along with them.

NJB                                        The spirit of Yahweh will then seize on you, and you will go into ecstasy with them, and be changed into another man.

REB                                       The spirit of the Lord will suddenly take possession of you, and you too will be rapt like a prophet and become another man.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

JPS (Tanakh)                        The spirit of the Lord will grip you, and you will speak in ecstasy along with them; you will become another man.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man.

NKJV                                     “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.

NRSV                                    Then the spirit of the Lord you will be in a prophetic frenzy along with them and be turned into a different person.

Young's Updated LT              ...and prospered over you has the Spirit of Jehovah, and you have prophesied with them, and you have been turned to another man;...


What is the gist of this verse? Samuel further tells Saul that he will be taken by the Spirit and he would prophesy with this group of prophets and that he would be regenerated.


I want you to notice the difference between what Samuel prophesies in this verse as opposed to those which preceded it: Samuel tells Saul what he will do; in the previous verses, Samuel told Saul about other people that he would encounter and what they would be carrying and what they would look like and what they would do. However, here, Samuel tells Saul, “Now, this is what you are going to do.” And it is going to be completely outside the character of Saul. That is, he is going to do something which even Saul himself would not expect—he is going to discuss the Word of God with a group of prophets. You see, we know that Saul is not all that interested in theology. It was his servant who knew that Samuel lived in the town they were near. Saul apparently did not even know Samuel’s name, even though Samuel’s reputation as a prophet was nation-wide (see 1Sam. 3:19–21 7:15–17 8:4).


Saul will be impressed enough even prior to the prophecy here about his own behavior that he will trust in Jehovah the God of Israel. And then, what he will do will completely out of character for him; however, the key is, Saul will become a believer and God the Holy Spirit will come upon him and penetrate him.


1Samuel 10:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

tsâlach (חַל ָצ) [pronounced tsaw-LAHCH]

to come upon, to rush upon, to prosper, to be prosperous

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6743 BDB #852

Tsâlach means to go over, to go through [a river, for instance] when followed by an accusative. To prosper, to be prosperous generally followed by a lâmed preposition; to come upon, to rush upon generally followed by the prepositions ׳al or el. Barnes likens this verb more to a fire which breaks out and spreads, as the word is so used in Amos 5:6.

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5920, #5921 BDB #752

rûwach (ַחר) [pronounced ROO-ahkh]

wind, breath, spirit, apparition

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #7307 BDB #924

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: Then the Spirit of Yehowah will come upon you... Again, when it comes to the various English translations, you will notice that there seem to be two points of view here. One, espoused by REB, NRSV, NJB and others, is that the Spirit of God seizes Saul and he is whipped into this rabid frenzy; the other view is that the Spirit of God comes upon Saul, and he enters into this animated discussion with these prophets. Our natural inclination, when we see the verb to prophesy is that Saul is talking about some future events, but that is not specifically the meaning of this verb. To prophesy means to speak divine viewpoint (which occasionally includes prophecy). The literal translations (the KJV, NKJV, Young’s Translation, The Amplified Bible, The Emphasized Bible) all read almost identically here.


Let me go on a tangent here

The Bias of Various English Translations

When you take a theological stance, do not stand upon any of the translations which I list as paraphrases; furthermore, do not stand on the NRSV. If you are taking a strong theological stance about any controversial issue, then make sure that this stance is clearly backed up with Scripture by the NKJV, the NASB, The Amplified Bible or by Young’s translation. Do not quote Scripture from any of the paraphrases or even from the mostly literal Bibles (although the Tanakh and God’s Word™ are both quite good, on the whole). I recall listening to Gardner Ted Armstrong on The World Tomorrow and he was a damned good speaker, and he could look you in the eye and convince you of almost anything—and time and time again, even though he would say, “And you can read this in your own Bible” he would still reach for James Moffatt’s translation. Now you will note that there are two translations which I almost never quote from and two translations which I do not go to when trying to unravel a verse: James Moffatt’s translation and the New World Translation (the Jehovah Witness Bible). They have points of view and they are trying to get these points of view across. Let me add, when it comes to Christian mysticism (Christians being involved in goofy, mystic behavior of any sort) certain Bibles give credence to this by altering the meanings of certain words in their translation.

What I believe could be very helpful, at this point, would be to list the strong points, the characteristics and biases of many of the available translations:

Very literal, almost word-for-word translations, designed for serious and careful study:

KJV, NKJV, NASB, Young’s Literal Translation, The Emphasized Bible, The Amplified Bible.

The best Bible (in order of preference):

NKJV with Scofield Notes; NKJV with NIV notes; NASB with Scofield Notes; NASB with NIV notes. I don’t know if these even exist, but if I was to do it all over again, these would have been my choices for my primary Bible.

Other sources for very literal translations:

Keil and Delitzsch, in their commentary on the Old Testament, offer a translation as they exegete any given passage. Apart from being in Old English, the translation is generally very good. Barnes occasionally has a passage or two translated out—however, this is not throughout his commentary. Kenneth Wuest has a four volume set of commentaries on much of the New Testament, and included is a very literal rendering of most of the books of the New Testament. Finally, I have a book called The NKJV Greek English Interlinear New Testament and it has an interlinear word-by-word rendering of the New Testament, along with a slightly more free translation. The NKJV is printed along the side of the Greek in a different column.

Reasonably literal, orthodox, but relatively easy-to-read Bible translations:

NASB, NKJV, and The Amplified Bible.

Literate, accurate and relatively easy-to-read Old Testament translation (this is a better translation, in many ways, than, for instance, the CEV, NLT, REB):

Tanakh (JPS).

Modern English translation which is both easy to follow and yet reasonably accurate:

God’s Word™, NIV, The Amplified Bible.

Reasonably accurate, thought-for-thought translations

God’s Word™, REB, NEB, NAB, NJB, NIV. All of these translations have their own weaknesses.

Best reading Bible (either for reading to yourself or for reading aloud):

NLT, JPS (Tanakh), CEV, the Message, NAB, NJB.

Modern English translation with a conservative bias:

NASB, CEV, God’s Word™.

Very easy to read, easy to understand translations:

NLT, TEV, CEV.

Most pleasantly formatted or laid out:

CEV, NLT. The Open Bible (the NLT) has the most extras, which are also pleasantly laid out. However, in both cases, the quality of the extras is at times questionable.

Modern English translations which stray significantly from the original text (we might call these the more imaginative texts):

CEV, NLT, TEV. Note that, even though the CEV has a very conservative bias, it is not very close to the original.

Modern English translation with a fairly theologically liberal bias:

NEB, The Living Bible, Moffatt’s Translation.

Traditional Jewish order for the Old Testament:

The Complete Jewish Bible; the Tanakh.

Bibles in chronological order:

The Reese Chronological Bible (KJV); The Narrated Bible (NIV). On the plus side for Reese, there are dates on almost every page. On the negative side, these dates are, in some cases, way off. Also, I don’t know that I agree with its sequencing of the narratives. The Narrated Bible seems to flow, whereas Reese’s Chronological Bible seems to be more choppy; however, one very nice feature of Reese’s Bible is that the history of Israel and Judah are laid side-by-side, one occupying one column, the other occupying the other. In the Narrated Bible, Judah is covered for awhile, and then Israel, and then Judah again. For intensive study purposes, there is no clear favorite. For light studying, either would work. If you need dates, then Reese’s is for you. If you simply want to read the Bible through chronologically, then the Narrated Bible is the best choice.

Strongly recommended:

The Amplified Bible, God’s Word™, KJV, NASB, NKJV, NRSV, Young’s Literal Translation, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible.

Recommended as a second Bible:

Any of those directly above, NIV, REB, NEB, NJB, NAB, NLT.

Recommended if your reading skills are particularly weak or if your English is poor:

TEV, NLT, CEV.

Translations with part of all of the Apocrypha—not every printing of these translations will have the Apocrypha included (one of my NRSV’s has it; and two do not).

The NRSV, the REB, the NAB and the NJB.

The translation with the greatest number of footnotes on variant readings (however, these predate the Dead Sea Scrolls):

Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible.

The two translations which appear to make the most use of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

NRSV and NAB.

Translations which tend to follow the Septuagint as often as not:

Rotherham’s The Emphasized Bible, the NRSV, the REB, the NAB and the NJB. The TEV also tends to follow the Septuagint (but not as often as the others mentioned).

Translations which tend to tend to follow the Massoretic text almost exclusively:

The Complete Jewish Bible, the Tanakh, God’s Word™, the KJV, the NKJV, the NASB, the NIV and Young’s Translation.

Carry the imprimatur, which indicates that this translation is acceptable to the Catholic Church. Catholic Church scholars were involved in the translation and sponsorship of the REB.

NRSV, NAB, NJB.

Influenced by charismatics.

NAB, NJB, NRSV, REB, RSV, TEV.

Updated or supplanted versions:

ASV, KJV, NEB, RSV, The Living Bible.

Successors to above:

NASB, NKJV, REB, NRSV, NLT (or, The Open Bible).

Best footnote content:

Scofield’s KJV, NIV Study Bible

Best formatting of footnotes:

NLT, NIV Study Bible

Worst formatting for footnotes

NRSV

Very good information on LXX and Dead Sea Scrolls in footnotes

NRSV

Excellent information on the LXX and Dead Sea Scrolls in footnotes

none

Excellent information on LXX, Vulgate, and other ancient versions in footnotes

Rotherham’s The Emphasized Bible

Almost a total lack of footnotes

God’s Word™, Complete Jewish Bible, NAB, NJB, Young’s Literal Translation

Not recommended at all for any reason:

Moffatt’s Translation, the New World Translation (the Jehovah Witness Bible translation).

Let me add, while I am at it, information about the formatting of these various translations:

Poetry is distinguished from prose.

CEV, The Complete Jewish Bible, God’s Word™, the James Moffatt Translation, NAB, NASB (barely), NJB, NRSV, The Open Bible (NLT), REB, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible, TEV, Young’s Literal Translation (again, barely).

Written in true paragraph form.

CEV, The Complete Jewish Bible (barely), God’s Word™, NAB, NJB, NIV (barely), NRSV, The Open Bible (NLT), REB, TEV, Young’s Literal Translation (barely).

Written strictly verse by verse. Each new verse is formatted as a new paragraph.

The Amplified Bible (I have an old version from the 1960's), NASB, NKJV, KJV (wherein, the poetry is not generally distinguishable from prose—it depends a lot upon who packaged the KJV).

Verse numbering is unobtrusive.

The Complete Jewish Bible, CEV, NAB, NIV, NJB, NLT, NRSV, REB, TEV.

Verses are written on along the side rather than interspersing them as the divisions occur.

The Complete Jewish Bible (in the poetry sections only), the James Moffatt Translation, NEB, NKJV (in the poetry sections only), NRSV (in the poetry sections only).

Words not found in the original manuscripts but added to help with the understanding of the verse are distinguished.

God’s Word™, KJV, NASB, NKJV, Young’s Literal Translation.

Two verses are occasionally combined so that a better understanding of the passage can be achieved (that is, you cannot determine where one verse ends and the other begins).

CEV, the James Moffatt Translation, The Open Bible (NLT), TEV (very occasionally).

Verse order is changed with the intention of providing an easier to understand translation.

CEV, the James Moffatt Translation.

In my opinion, poetry should look like poetry and prose should look like prose. Even the proverbs should look different from poetry or prose. Prose should have groups of verses placed together in paragraph form. There is no distinguishing of verses in the original languages, so the idea of combining two or more verses is not a bad idea. The less obtrusive the verse numbering is, the better.

This chart was taken from my examination of the various English translations. This is the summative chart at the end of the study.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Let’s get back to the topic at hand. Our translation reads, so far: Then the Spirit of Yehowah will come upon you... Because we find a bias in some translations (one which indicates that Saul will go into a mystic state of some sort), we should discuss this further. Now, if Saul is not speaking of theological matters or if Saul is not speaking of future events, what would you suggest that he is saying? There are some who would suggest that Saul is in some sort of religious frenzy and that he is possibly speaking in tongues. This is an untenable suggestion for at least two valid reasons: (1) if some stranger walks up to several established prophets, does it make sense that he would gain credibility with them or with passers-by, by speaking in gibberish to them? Imagine, if you will, a class of Dallas Theological Seminary on Systematic Theology, and the guest speaker, Saul, wanders in and begins speaking in gibberish that no one understands—is that edifying? Will the people there believe that Saul is filled with the Holy Spirit and dispensing great information—albeit to people or beings which speak in this gibberish language? Most of the people would simply file out of the classroom, if it appeared that Saul might spend the entire class time speaking in this manner. Or they might play some computer games on their laptops. My point is, even though Saul speaking gibberish in a mystic state would no doubt make quite an impression on the prophets, it would not necessarily be a good one. (2) Secondly, 1Cor. 14 again and again sets up a contrast between speaking in tongues and prophesying (which is the word that we have here). At that time, the former was to be minimized and the latter was to be sought. Therefore, these would not be equivalent things and the word that is generally translated to prophesy should not be translated in such a way as to imply that Saul is speaking excited gibberish as the tongues movement sometimes does. Is this clear to you? The word to prophesy is used again and again in the Old Testament. There is no reason to translate this in some wacky way here, and then to translate it simply to prophesy in other passages. That is completely inconsistent, particularly given the benefit of hindsight where Paul so carefully distinguishes between tongues and prophecy. Saul will not be in any sort of ecstatic or mystic state when he meets these prophets, and any translation which implies this is improperly translating the Hebrew words found here and ignoring theological distinctions they should know about.


Now, what will Saul be talking about? Will Saul be speaking of future events? Well, although this is possible, would such prophesying impress the prophets? After all, unless he prophesies what was going to happen in the next two minutes, they had no way to check him until long after he was gone. Complete understanding of God’s plan and our place in this world is difficult enough, even with having access to dozens of Bibles. During that period of time, all that existed by way of Scripture was the Law, Job, Joshua and possibly Judges and Ruth. Very few people had any access to any of these sacred writings. Furthermore, even with unfettered access, their grasp of the significance of these writings would also be questionable. What I am saying is that they did not have the same kind of theological base to draw upon. Therefore, for someone to approach them and speak that which is obviously divine viewpoint would be affecting.


We do not have any details about the school of prophets which Samuel will oversee, apart from it being mentioned from time to time. We do not know a lot about these groups of prophets mentioned from time to time either. However, we need to understand the word to prophesy. Not only does it not mean to speak in some ecstatic state, it also does not mean that someone is going to be talking about the future all of the time. In fact, it is not inconceivable that someone could be called a prophet who never speaks of future events. A prophet spoke divine viewpoint. A prophet knew theology. A prophet understood much of the Law. It is possible and likely that some of these prophetic schools and some of these places of worship had some access to God’s Word, what existed at this time. The general population had very little access to His Word; however, I am sure that there was some availability of some sort (remember that the Law of Moses was inscribed on some rocks at Mount Ebal—see Deut. 11:18–20 27:1–4). Having access to Scriptures meant that these men could study and discuss the Word of God. Therefore, when Saul, who is known in his hometown as having limited interest in spiritual things, encounters these men, and he begins speaking with them about theological concepts—this will cause quite a stir in Gibeah.


A more difficult question is, in what frame of mind will Saul speak? That is, will his mind be clear and will he speak divine truth or will his mind be blank and will the Holy Spirit simply speak through him? That is, will he essentially channel divine viewpoint, and will he no more than a mouthpiece? Again, I tend to lean toward the more rational viewpoint that Saul will be a willing and knowledgeable participant in his spewing forth of God’s Word. That is, he will be conscious, his mind will be functioning normally, and he will not merely channel the words, but they will come from his mind as well as from his mouth. Now, quite obviously Saul did not have these thoughts prior to this meeting. That is, he was a spiritual illiterate prior to his meeting with Samuel. However, he will speak divine viewpoint from a well of knowledge that he did not previously possess. In the New Testament, there is a mention of the gift of knowledge. That is what we have, more or less, right here. Saul will be given mental admittance to God’s truth and he will speak from this newly acquired knowledge, which will appear to be planted in his brain. It will be as if Saul spent months and months studying the Law as it existed at that time.


We have a similar instance back in the time of Moses. At the time that God provided the quail for meat for the people of Israel, who were sick of manna, Moses appointed 70 men from the elders of Israel upon which God placed the Holy Spirit so that they could help bear some of Moses’ burden. They prophesied when the Holy Spirit was put upon them, although they only did it one time. Again, there are some Bibles which make this sound as though there was some sort of holy roller revival. What we had were seventy men who were able to speak divine viewpoint (see Num. 11:16–25).


Bear in mind that Saul will be in his hometown; just entering it, and he will run into these prophets. Saul is well-known and his lack of spiritual interest is well-known (he did not even know that he was near the city of Samuel or, apparently, Samuel’s name). So, the very fact that Saul will carry on a theological discussion is going to be the talk of the town.

 

The verb found here is the 3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect of tsâlach (חַל ָצ) [pronounced tsaw-LAHCH], which means to come upon, to rush upon, to prosper, to be prosperous. These two seemingly divergent meanings are related by the fact that when some people advance in life, they are prospering. A fuller listing of all the meanings of tsâlach according to BDB and Gesenius, are to penetrate, to rush, to advance, to come upon, to attack, to fall upon, to be successful, to prosper; it means to penetrate then advance. Barnes likens this more to a fire which breaks out and spreads, as the word is so used in Amos 5:6. This gives us: And the Spirit of Yehowah will fall upon you [or, penetrate you]... The verb chosen is pretty much the perfect choice. The Holy Spirit would fall upon Saul, it would penetrate Saul, then the Holy Spirit within Saul would cause Saul to advance and to prosper. I don’t know that there is another verb which can so aptly describe what the Holy Spirit will do to Saul.


1Samuel 10:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâbâ (אָבָנ) [pronounced nawb-VAW]

to prophesy, to speak divine viewpoint; to speak in an ecstatic state or frenzy; speaker can be true, false or heathen prophet

2nd person masculine singular, Hithpael perfect

Strong’s #5012 BDB #612

This is not a word which requires us to assume that there is ecstasy, raving, or frenzy involved; the one speaking might be animated, but not necessarily out of his gourd. I included those definitions only because they were found in BDB.

׳îm (ם̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767


Translation: ...so that you will prophesy [or, speak divine viewpoint] with them... For the past few centuries, almost anyone in the free world could put their hands on the Word of God and study and carry on a theological discussion with any pastor. In the ancient world, one could not go down to the local book store and pick up a Bible. Some priests—and we are talking a very small percentage here—had access to some of the Holy Scrolls. I suspect that these prophets had limited access to some of the Holy Scrolls. The king (whose position did not exist yet) was supposed to have a copy of the Law (at least the Law of Moses; one could imply that he should have the remainder of Scripture). So we will have these prophets of God walking down this hill speaking divine viewpoint, discussing the Law of God and Saul will join in this conversation speaking what is absolutely true and their spirits, being guided by the Holy Spirit, will recognize this. Saul will speak to them as though he has had God’s Word in his possession and that he has prayerfully studied it for years. Now, is it possible that they will all foretell various future events to one another? It is possible, but that is not necessary for this to all hold together. Again, we misunderstand the word to prophesy, which is better rendered to speak divine viewpoint.


1Samuel 10:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâphake ( ַפ ָה) [pronounced haw-FAHKe]

to turn oneself about; to be overthrown; to be turned, to be changed [mostly for the worst]

2nd person masculine singular, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #2015 BDB #245

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35

achêr (ר̤ח-א) [pronounced ah-KHEHR]

another, following, other as well as foreign, alien, strange

adjective/substantive

Strong’s #312 BDB #29

 

Translation: ...and you will be changed into another man. The verb here is the 2nd person masculine singular, Niphal perfect of hâphake ( ַפ ָה) [pronounced haw-FAHKe], which means to turn, to overturn, to convert, to change, to pervert; in the Niphal, it means to turn aside, to turn oneself, to change onself, to turn against, to be overturned, to be turned, to be changed. The latter two meanings are applicable when followed by a lâmed (as we have here) or by the accusative. It can mean being changed for the better or for the worse. We also have the masculine singular adjective achêr (ר̤ח-א) [pronounced ah-KHEHR], which means another as well as foreign, alien, strange. This portion of the verse reads: ...and you will be changed into another man. This means, Saul is regenerated; Saul is converted—he will become a believer.

 

Barnes explains: This is a remarkable expression, and occurs nowhere else. It describes the change in point of mental power and energy which would result from the influx of the Spirit of the Lord (v. 9). In the case of Samson it was a supernatural bodily strength; in the case of Saul, a capacity for ruling and leading the people of which before he was destitute, and which the Spirit wrought in him. (Cp Acts I.8; Isai. xi.1–4.) Footnote


It is possible that Saul had no natural leadership ability. When God chooses Saul by lot in front of Israel (vv. 17–22), and Saul went and hid behind some baggage. This simply tells us that the utilization of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is not unlike the filling of the Holy Spirit in the New. Saul gains the Holy Spirit at the beginning of this chapter and obviously loses the control of the Holy Spirit by the end.


The Holy Spirit was not given to every believer in the Old Testament. In fact, the Holy Spirit is given to very few believers in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit was given to Moses and to certain judges and to God’s prophets (not necessarily to everyone called a prophet, including those mentioned in this passage); and, we would reasonably suppose, God would give the Holy Spirit to the first king of Israel. Footnote

 

It appears as though Saul will become a believer at this point. However, there are those who disagree. McGee: Was Saul converted? Is this the verse the proof of his conversion? Certainly it is not a final proof. I do not believe that he was converted. If I sound like I am prejudiced against Saul, I will tell you why. It is not because of the material we have already covered concerning him but what is coming that makes me believe that Saul was not genuine, and certainly not genuinely converted at all.

 

Someone is bound to say, “But the Spirit of God came upon Saul and he was a different man.” Yes, but it does not say that he became a new man. After all, didn’t the Spirit of God come upon Balaam? And we have no proof that he was converted. What about Judas? Christ sent out twelve disciples, and we are told that all of them performed miracles. Did Judas perform miracles? Certainly he did. Would you say that Judas was converted? So let us withhold making a final decision about Saul. Footnote

 

Keil and Delitzsch apparently concur with McGee on this. This transformation is not to be regarded indeed as regeneration in the Christian sense, but as a change resembling regeneration, which affected the entire disposition of mind, and by which Saul was lifted out of his former modes of thought and feeling, which were confined within a narrow earthly sphere, into the far higher sphere of his new royal calling, was filled with kingly thoughts in relation to the service of God, and received “another heart.”  Footnote


Neither Keil, Delitzsch nor McGee want to allow for Saul being a believer. What is their problem? Why do they take that stance? They unfortunately base their view upon Saul’s behavior later in life. As Saul grows older, they want to see Saul grow spiritually; however, Saul will retrogress something fierce. Listen, Saul’s poor behavior to come does not mean that he is not regenerated. If you believe in Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God falls upon you and if you are changed or transformed, then you are a believer. This does not mean that you will lead a great Christian life; it does not even mean that you will live a mediocre Christian life—it means that you have the potential for greatness, and you may or may not do anything with that.


Let’s just take this down to the human realm for a minute. I knew a young man who was handsome, charming and funny, as well as intelligent. He got the girl, so to speak, and they had a marvelous little baby girl—and his life had potential written all over it. However, what he chose to do was to take drugs—hard drugs—and he traded everything that he had, including his charm and physical attractiveness, his beautiful wife and his baby girl, for getting high. He had great potential and he squandered it. Saul will do the same.


Now, Saul was really not a bad guy. However, he, like 99% of all Israel, was usually not filled with the Holy Spirit but more often subject to his old sin nature. Suddenly, right here, he will find himself filled with or controlled by the Holy Spirit, which situation will give him the ability to speak (and therefore, to know) divine viewpoint. You may recall a spiritual gift mentioned in the New Testament called the gift of knowledge—this is where a believer became aware of doctrine and divine viewpoint that he did not study in order to know. Saul suddenly has a wealth of spiritual knowledge, whereas, yesterday, he did not even know where the prophet Samuel lived.


I want to be clear on one thing here: Saul will become a believer in Jesus Christ when he meets these prophets.

And so there is no question about it, I want to be clear on one thing here: Saul will become a believer in Jesus Christ when he meets these prophets. Understand that we have the part of the conversation where Samuel tells Saul what will happen. However, somewhere in this conversation, more than what is recorded, Samuel tells Saul enough about Jehovah the God of Israel that God the Holy Spirit will make that real to Saul when he comes upon this final group of prophets. You see, Saul will first meet the two men near Rachel’s tomb and they will tell him that the donkeys have been found and that his father is worried about him. Then he will meet the three prophets with the kids, the bread and the wine and they will greet him and give him two pieces of bread. Finally, as he enters into his hometown, he runs into a group of prophets with musical instruments in front of him, and, at that point, he will believe in Jehovah the God of Israel (Jesus Christ). It all comes together for him and he realizes that Samuel is really a prophet, that he really knows what he is talking about, and, therefore, the God of Samuel is real, and Saul will believe that. Then God the Holy Spirit will come upon him and penetrate him and give him, temporarily, the gift of knowledge; and he will suddenly find himself able to discuss theological issues with these prophets—prophets whom, prior to this, Saul probably barely noticed.


I want you to notice something about this final prophecy which Samuel is giving Saul: at first, Samuel tells Saul what he will encounter and what these other people will say and do. However, here is where Samuel puts the icing on the cake: he tells Saul what he will do. He tells Saul that he will speak about theological things—now, that is impressive. However, more impressive than this is, Saul will believe in Jehovah Elohim first; then he will do what Samuel tells him he will do. That is, Saul does not begin doing what Samuel prophesies and then believes in Jesus Christ; he believe in Jesus Christ first. There is a correct order to things. Saul must believe in Jesus Christ in order to receive God the Holy Spirit; and he must believe in Jesus Christ first in order to be regenerated.


And it [lit., he] has been when they meet the signs the these to you, you will do to you that finds your hand that the Elohim [is] with you.

1Samuel

10:7

And when it is that these signs come to you, then you will do (with respect to yourself) whatever your hand happens upon, for God [is] with you.

When these signs occur before you, then you will act appropriately with respect to the situation.


The Hebrew continues to be difficult in this verse. Here is what others have done with it:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And it [lit., he] has been when they meet the signs the these to you, you will do to you that finds your hand that the Elohim [is] with you.

Septuagint                             And it shall come to pass when these signs shall come upon you, do whatever your hand will find, because God [is] with you.

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

NJB                                        When these signs have occurred, act as occasion serves, for God is with you.

REB                                       When these signs happen, do whatever the occasion demands; God will be with you.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):


 

JPS (Tanakh)                        And once these signs have happened to you, act when the occasion arises, for God is with you.

NIV                                        Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     “And it shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires; for God is with you.

NRSV                                    Now when these signs meet you, do whatever you see fit to do, for God is with you.

Owen's Translation                Now when meet these signs you do whatever finds your hand for God with you.

Young's Updated LT              ...and it has been, when these sings come to you—do for yourself as your hand finds, for God is with you.


What is the gist of this verse? Samuel tells Saul, when he realizes that all of these things are coming to pass as predicted, then he should act in accordance with his anointing.


1Samuel 10:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

Owen incorrectly lists this as BDB #81. Footnote

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person feminine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

ôth (תא) [pronounced oath]

sign, token, pledge, assurance

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #226 BDB #16

êlleh (ה  ֵא) [pronunced KEHLleh]

these, these things

demonstrative plural adjective with the definite article

Strong's #428 BDB #41

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: And when it is that these signs come to you,... Signs refers to those things which Samuel has just told Saul would come to pass. Samuel is making it clear to Saul by revealing his immediate future to him that all that Samuel is saying is true. The occurrence of the signs mentioned was to assure him of the certainty that God would assist him in all that he undertook as a king. Footnote Saul has been told in great detail what would happen to him and even what he himself would do. This gives all that Samuel says great credence.


1Samuel 10:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳âsâh (הָָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

ăsher (רשֲא) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

ăsher (רשֲא) [pronounced uh-SHER] is actually used in a number of different ways; it can mean that, so that, in that; for that, since; which; when, at what time; who; where, wherever; the fact that = how; in order that, because that, because; as, like as; yea, even, yea even; until that; then, so [in an apodosis].

mâtsâ (א ָצ ָמ) [pronounced maw-TSAW]

to attain to, to find, to detect, to happen upon, to come upon, to find unexpectedly, to discover

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #4672 BDB #592

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

hand

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388


Translation: ...then you will do (with respect to yourself) whatever your hand happens upon,... This is, of course, a colloquial expression. We find it in 2Sam. 7:3 1Chron. 22:7 28:2 2Chron. 6:7 Eccles. 9:10.


We find this and similar expressions throughout Scripture:

Whatever Your Hand Finds...

Scripture

Incident

“And it is, in the morning about the [time of the] rising of the sun; you will rise up early and you will spread out [in hostility] against the city. Then, observe, he and the people who [are] with him will be coming out to you and you will do to him according as your hand finds.” (Judges 9:33).

This saying which Samuel uses to Saul is quite interesting, as the first king is actually Abimelech, who ruled during the time of the judges, and we find the same phrase used with him. It is very likely that Samuel knew this and was making a reference back to this point in time. Explaining Judges 9 is not very easy, but this is written by Zebul, Abimelech’s right-hand man in Shechem to Abimelech, to encourage him to come to Shechem and to do whatever his hand finds, which here means kill those who oppose you when you ambush them. The end result was, Abimelech destroyed the city of Shechem, the city which was the first to support him as king over Israel. Samuel is possibly making the sly suggestion that Saul, in doing what seems to be his destiny, will destroy those who will support him as king.

“And when it is that these signs come to you, then you will do (with respect to yourself) whatever your hand happens upon, for God [is] with you.” (1Sam. 10:7).

The only other time this phrase is found previous to our passage is in Judges 9:33. The speaker is telling the listener, “...and when all of this comes to pass, then just do what you think is best.” However, in Judges 9:33, the end result will be that a whole city is completely destroyed. As I mentioned, perhaps this is Samuel’s implication to Saul.

“Ask your young men, and they will tell you: therefore let the young men find favor in your eyes; for we come in a good day. Please give whatever comes to your hand, to your servants, and to your son David” (1Sam. 25:8).

Although the verbiage here is quite similar, the idea is, David had provided protection for Nabal and his sheep, and that David’s men were asking for remuneration. This phrase was used here to ask for a fair compensation for the work done.

So Nathan told the king, "Go and do all that is on your heart, for the LORD is with you." (2Sam. 7:3).

David has just brought the Ark to Jerusalem and he tells Nathan, a prophet of God, that it does not seem right for him to live in a cedar house but the Ark is in a tent. Nathan tells him to do all that is on his heart. However, God speaks to Nathan that night and both passes along the Davidic covenant as well as tells David that Solomon would build a permanent house for Him (this is mentioned again in 1Kings 8:17 1Chron. 22:7 28:2 2Chron. 6:7).

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, where you are going. I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all. For man also doesn't know his time. As the fish that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, even so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly on them (Eccles. 9:10–12).

This refers to the man on this earth who is unregenerate. All he has is what he does on earth. The passage continues and explains that no man knows how much time he has left on this earth and that he might die at any point in time, completely unexpectedly. The idea is, if you have a project or an idea or a responsibility, then you should get after it, because there won’t be a second chance. This is also given from the viewpoint of one who is out of fellowship and looking at things from the point of view of an unbeliever, from the point of view of the man under the sun. Solomon observes: All happens alike to all; there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him who sacrifices, and to him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner. He who swears is as he who fears an oath (Eccles. 9:2).

It is interesting that, although this phrase whatever your hand finds seems to be a relatively neutral phrase, it is found in Scripture to be associated again and again with human viewpoint and with human volition which has very negative results.


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Both the hand and the heart are closely associated with a person’s volition. Perhaps we could express what Samuel is telling Saul with the more modern, “Then you will go with the flow, because God is with you.” Or, more accurately, “Do what you believe is best;


1Samuel 10:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43

׳îm (ם̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767


Translation: ...for God [is] with you. One item which we should deal with straightway is how this verse seems to draw to a conclusion the prophecy which Samuel gave to Saul, so that Saul would recognize that God really had chosen him as king over Israel. From vv. 2–6, we have the actual prophecies of what would come to pass immediately afterward, and these prophecies would give credence to the most amazing bit of information, that Saul will be Israel’s first king. I mention this, because in the next verse, we have another bit of what appears to be prophecy. However, since this verse closes out the prophecies of vv. 2–6, we do not need to confine ourselves to that interpretation.


Now, v. 7 applies to Saul for the next several months, whereas vv. 2–6 prophetically describe the next several hours. When the immediate prophecy comes to pass, the Holy Spirit will come upon Saul, and he is told not to fight it, but to simply continue where he is, talking to these prophets. That would be the near fulfillment of this verse, along with the proximate obedience of Saul. The NIV Study Bible gives us the command that Saul is to follow in the far future: Saul is to take whatever action is appropriate when the situation presents itself to manifest publicly his royal leadership. Footnote We have covered the Doctrine of the Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament back in Num. 11:25 and the full doctrine is here (HTML) (PDF). Samuel will give Saul more specific instructions in the next verse. I have personally been in various situations where I did not like where the situation appeared to be heading; however, I went along with it, realizing that I was in God’s plan and those things over which I had no control were in His hands. I was to do whatever was placed before me. Saul is told by Samuel to react the same way. He is to act appropriately with the situation. In 1Sam. 11, be have an invasion of Israel by the Ammonites. Saul leads Israel to victory against these Ammonites. This is what God placed before him, and Saul acted appropriately.


You know, you might better understand the Spirit coming upon Saul and His affect upon Saul if you examine Saul’s failure to maintain his fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The filling of the Spirit should not result in us being turned into zombie slaves. Our brain does not go into neutral and we do not simply act as an unfettered channel through which God speaks (and some cultic brands of Christianity believe that the Holy Spirit babbles through them) . Saul has no religious leanings—recall, his personal servant knew where Samuel resided and Saul apparently did not. At the end of this chapter, we will see that Saul has no natural leadership abilities. His name is called to lead Israel, and he goes and hides—not the normal response of a leader. He will speak the truth with these prophets in the next few verses; he will lead Israel both militarily and politically. These are areas where Saul is sorely lacking and areas that the Holy Spirit compensates for. The fact that Saul is at times a great and inspiring leader and at other times, a weak and vindictive man, indicates that he retains his free will and that he can turn off the Holy Spirit, just as we can through sin. What we do not observe in his behavior is an unthinking zombie who lacks free will.


If you have a child, you teach him or her right from wrong. You teach them proper behavior in social settings. You expect that, at some point in time, they can make decisions for themselves when various situations present themselves. You do not expect to raise a zombie child who obeys unthinking and apart from any expression of free will. Without free will, man cannot love nor can he have personal character. Our free will is important to God, because without it, we cannot love and we have no real personal character. Therefore, God protects our free will and there is no behavior wrought by the Holy Spirit which results in zombie-like behavior.


And you have gone down to my faces the Gilgal and, behold, I am going down unto you to cause to ascend ascending offerings, to slaughter slaughterings of peace [offerings] of peace. Seven of days you will be waiting [with confidence] until my coming unto you and I have instructed to you that which you will do.”

1Samuel

10:8

Then you will go down to Gilgal before me and, note, I am coming down to you to cause to ascend burnt sacrifices [and] to slaughter peace offerings. You will wait seven days until I come to you and I have shown you [or, make known to you] what you will do.”

Then you will go down to Gilgal ahead of me. Soon, I will come to offer up burnt sacrifices and to slaughter peace offerings. You will wait there for seven days until I come to you and show you what you need to do.”


First, what others have done:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And you have gone down to my faces the Gilgal and, behold, I am going down unto you to cause to ascend ascending offerings, to slaughter slaughterings of peace [offerings] of peace. Seven of days you will be waiting [with confidence] until my coming unto you and I have instructed to you that which you will do.”

Septuagint                             And you will go down in front of Galgal, and behold, I come down to you to offer a whole burnt offering and peace offerings; seven days you will wait until I will come to you, and I will make known to you what you will do.”

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Then you should go to Gilgal. I’ll come a little later, so wait for me. It may even take a week for me to get there, but when I come, I’ll offer sacrifices and offerings to the Lord. I’ll also tell you what to do next.

NAB                                       Now go down ahead of me to Gilgal, for I shall come down to you, to offer holocausts and to sacrifice peace offerings. Wait seven days until I come to you; I shall then tell you what you must do.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

JPS (Tanakh)                        After that, you are to go down to Gilgal ahead of me, and I will come down to you to present burnt offerings and offer sacrifices of well-being. Wait seven days until I come to you and instruct you what you are to do next.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     “And you shall go down before me to Gilgal; and behold, I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days until I come to you and show you what you should do.”

Young's Updated LT              ‘And you have gone down before me to Gilgal, and lo, I am going down to you, to cause to ascend burnt-offerings, to sacrifice sacrifices of peace-offerings; seven days you do wait till my coming in unto you, and I have made known to you that which you should do.”


What is the gist of this verse? Samuel tells Saul that he would go down to Gilgal before him and that he should wait seven days for Samuel to come and offer burnt offerings and tell him what to do next.


1Samuel 10:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yârad (ד ַר ָי) [pronounced yaw-RAHD]

to descend, to go down

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3381 BDB #432

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces countenance; presence

masculine plural noun (plural acts like English singular); with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean before me, before my face, in my presence, in my sight, in front of me.

Gilegâl (לָ ׃ל̣) [pronounced gile-GAWL]

sacred circle of stones and is transliterated Gilgal

proper noun, location with the definite article

Strong’s #1537 BDB #166


Translation: Then you will go down to Gilgal before me... This is a fairly difficult verse to explain. We jump from the near future—what would happen to Saul during the next few hours, to what may occur soon afterward (which fulfillment is not recorded) or to what may occur in several years (which fulfillment is recorded).


1Samuel 10:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

ânôkîy (י.כֹנָא) [pronounced awn-oh-KEE]

I, me; (sometimes a verb is implied)

1st person singular personal pronoun

Strong’s #595 BDB #59

yârad (ד ַר ָי) [pronounced yaw-RAHD]

to descend, to go down

Qal active participle

Strong’s #3381 BDB #432

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to cause to go up, to lead up, to take up, to bring up

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

׳ôlâh (ה ָלֹע) [pronounced ģo-LAW]

burnt offering, ascending offering

feminine plural noun

Strong #5930 BDB #750


Translation: ...and, note, I am coming down to you to cause to ascend burnt sacrifices... It is at this point that interpretation becomes difficult, and a great many fine exegetes differ as to the interpretation of this and the remainder of v. 8. V. 8 appears to find its fulfillment in 1Sam. 11:14–15. However, let me explain that: what we find here is just as much as an order to Saul as a prophecy for Saul. These are the things that will come to pass and should come to pass. Saul will need to go to Gilgal before Samuel; Samuel will arrive seven days later, and then he will offer up the proper sacrifices. You may think, so what? Here’s the prophecy and here’s the fulfillment; what’s the big deal? The big deal is that this appears to also line up prophetically with 1Sam. 13:8–10; in fact even more so, as Saul will wait seven days according to the appointed time (1Sam. 13:8a). So, let me lay it out for you: in 1Sam. 10:8, our passage, Samuel has already completed the immediate prophecy to Saul which will confirm to Saul that Samuel is not some crazy prophet, but telling him the truth. In this verse, Samuel sets up a precedent which Saul needs to follow. There are times that Saul will gather the people in GIlgal. He will go there with the people of Israel (that is implied) for a specific purpose, and Samuel will join them seven days later. Saul will follow this precedent exactly in 1Sam. 11:14–15, although no details are given to us (that is, the waiting for seven days for Samuel). However, Samuel is certainly there (1Sam. 12:1) and he offers up the proper sacrifices (1Sam. 11:15). The details which would allow us to match 1Sam. 10:8 with 1Sam. 11:14–15 are missing, but there is no real loss in that. The missing details do not mean that this is not the fulfillment. God the Holy Spirit did not inspire a prophecy which involved A, B and C and then, when the prophecy is fulfilled, He does not require the writer to always write down A, B and C. These things are all fulfilled, even though the writer may only mention B.


Now, several years later (my guess is that 5–10 years go by), Saul and his army are in dire straights. They are placed into serious conflict with the Philistines, who have them outnumbered and out-weaponed. Saul takes his troops to GIlgal and waits there seven days. The idea is that a precedent has been set. The precedent is set in our passage, 1Sam. 10:8; Saul goes with the people down to GIlgal and Samuel will get there within seven days to offer sacrifices to God. Does this occur more than two times? We don’t know. Does Saul send for Samuel this second time? We aren’t told. However, because we have the phrase according to the appointed time, we know that this is a fulfillment of a previous passage where there is a time element involved, which passage we are exegeting right now. What Saul is supposed to do is to wait for Samuel, and Saul does wait for awhile. Saul waits, but not long enough, and then he will usurp Samuel’s spiritual authority (all of which will be covered in great detail when we get to 1Sam. 13). That Saul has screwed up, this will be made crystal clear in 1Sam. 13:13–14. How did Saul screw up? He did not wait on Samuel and he assumed Samuel’s spiritual position. These transgressions are so great that Saul’s dynasty will end over it. How was Saul supposed to have known that he screwed up? The passage where we find ourselves right now. It is this passage which sets the precedent. It is just as much a passage to set the precedent as it is one of prophecy. Therefore, in this passage, Samuel is telling Saul the procedure to follow; and we will have at least one instance where Saul followed this procedure correctly (1Sam. 11:14–15) and one time when he did not (1Sam. 13:8–14). In any case, Gilgal appears to be a political center for Israel and there will be at least two times in the future that Israel will gather there in the next few years.


Now, listen, I am going down to you... Samuel is not just sending Saul up directionless to Gilgal. He will come to where Saul is, but after seven days (to be covered later on in this verse). The use of behold means that Samuel is really going to do this. Then we have the purpose of Samuel’s going down to Gilgal. Samuel will come there to cause burnt offerings to ascend to God.


1Samuel 10:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

zâbach (חַבָז) [pronounced zawb-VAHKH]

to slaughter [usually an animal for sacrifice]

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #2076 BDB #256

zebach (ח ַב ז) [pronounced ZEHB-vakh]

slaughtered animal [used in a sacrificial offering], slaughter, sacrifice, slaughtering, sacrificial animal

masculine plural construct

Strong's #2077 BDB #257

shelem (םל ש) [pronounced SHEH-lem]

peace-offerings, sacrifice for alliance or friendship

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #8002 BDB #1023

 

Translation: ...[and] to slaughter peace offerings. The noun here is the masculine plural noun shelem (ם ל ש) [pronounced SHEH-lem], which means peace-offerings, sacrifice for alliance or friendship. Since we find this word used nowhere else except with regards to specific offerings, it is reasonable to translate shelem as peace-offering. This word refers to prosperity, as in prosperity from God; to an alliance, as in an alliance with God; to an alliance, as in an alliance with God; and fellowship, because through the blood of our Lord, we have fellowship with God. This gives us: ...to cause to ascend ascending offerings; to slaughter slaughterings of peace (offerings)...


1Samuel 10:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shibe׳âh (הָעב̣ש) [pronounced shibve-ĢAW]

seven

numeral feminine construct

Strong's #7651 BDB #987

yâmîym (םי.מָי) [pronounced yaw-MEEM]

days, a set of days; time of life, lifetime; a specific time period, a year

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

yâchal (ל ַחָי) [pronounced yaw-KHAHL]

to expect, to wait in [or, with] trust and confidence, to hope in, to trust in, to place confidence in

2nd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #3176 BDB #403

׳ad (דַע) [pronounced ģahd]

while; until, so long as; even to; even that, so that

conjunction

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

Qal infinitive construct with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: You will wait seven days until I come to you... Then we have the phrase a seven of days. Although it could possibly belong to the previous phrase (i.e., Samuel will making various offerings for seven days), all the translators take this to go with the following verb, which is the 2nd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect of to expect, to wait in [or, with] trust and confidence, to hope in, to trust in, to place confidence in. This gives us: You will be waiting [with confidence] seven days until my coming to you... Saul has the full assurance of Samuel that this is the real deal and that Samuel will be there. Bear in mind that all Saul was doing was hunting down a few donkeys, and all of a sudden, this guy he has never met before is telling him what will happen in the next couple of days, and that he will be the king that all Israel is clamoring for. It is like a stranger walks up to you, describes in detail what would happen to you the next day, and then you are told that you will be elected president in the next election. Saul’s jaw has probably been unhinged and on the ground for most of this meeting. However, like the prophets of God, Samuel first gives Saul what will happen in the short term, so that his gift of prophecy is well-established, and then he tells him what will happen in the long term, which is what we are studying right now.


1Samuel 10:8e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yâda׳ (עַדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to cause to know, to make one know, to instruct, to teach

1st person singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ăsher (רשֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

êth + ăsher (רשֲא ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth-ash-ER] possibly mean that which; what. Taking eth as the identical preposition, together these could mean with that, with that which. Owen uses how in 1Sam. 2:22.

׳âsâh (הָָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793


Translation: ...and I have shown you [or, make known to you] what you will do.” This will be the pattern: when Saul needs Samuel’s guidance, then he will go down to Gilgal and he will wait for 7 days, and then Samuel will come and offer up peace offerings to God, and then, Samuel will make known what Saul needs to do next.


Now, quite obviously, Saul cannot be made king apart from his own volition. He will have to agree to this, which he will. However, as we will see, for a leader of men, he will have a tremendous amount of shyness.


Saul was called in a manner which parallels other callings into divine service. I took the pattern of this from Gnana Robinson, although I came to a substantially different conclusion. Footnote

The Pattern of Saul’s Calling

Scripture

Event

Scripture

Parallel Event

1Sam. 9:1–2a

The birthright of Saul is given.

1Sam. 1:1–2a, 19–20

The birthright of Samuel is given.

1Sam. 9:2 10:23

Saul’s physical attributes set him apart from the rest.

1Sam. 16:7, 12

David’s appearance is given as handsome. However, he would not have been anyone’s choice as a king based upon his physical attributes.

1Sam. 9:3–10

There is the involvement of a godly servant.


Gen. 41:8–14



2Kings 5:1–14

Joseph was called to interpret the dreams of pharaoh, based upon the recommendation of one of pharaoh’s servants.

Elisha hooked up with the king of Syria based upon the recommendation of a servant.

1Sam. 9:11–13

Young women girls drawing water played a part in Saul’s calling.

Gen. 24:10–53 (cp Gen. 29:1–11)



Ex. 2:16–21

Rebekah was chosen as Isaac’s wife-to-be based upon her behavior when she was out drawing water.

Moses met his first wife drawing water from a well.

1Sam. 9:19–20

Samuel is called by God through a prophet.

1Sam. 16:11–13

David was called by Samuel the prophet as well.

1Sam. 9:21

Saul abases himself and his family.

Ex. 4:10


Judges 6:15

Moses also calls God’s choice of him into question.

Gideon also abases himself and his family when called upon by God.

1Sam. 10:3–16

God gave Saul some affirming signs that his call was true.

Ex. 3:1–4:9


Judges 6:17–22


Jer. 1:11–15

God showed Moses in several ways that his calling was true.

God affirmed to Gideon his calling by signs.

God also confirmed Jeremiah’s calling with signs.

1Sam. 10:7, 10

The assurance of God’s presence.

Judges 6:16

Jer. 1:19

God assured Gideon and Jeremiah that He would be with them.

The key to a true leader is not any of these characteristics or situations which are stated, as many of God’s men had 2 or 3 of them, but not all. The key is the inner man, which only God can see (1Sam. 16:7).


If you are simply reading through this, or even following my exegesis, you may not realize that there is a problem here. The problem is that Samuel is prophetically giving Saul this run down and he tells Saul what is going to transpire in the next 24 hours; then he fast forwards to what appears to be several years later. What we would expect from reading these verses is the Saul would first have these three encounters, and then, as a result of realizing that Samuel is a man of God, he will go to Gilgal and wait seven days. However, this is not what transpires in the next several verses. Saul has these three encounters, just as we would expect, but then he goes to Mizpah. After Mizpah, we have Saul at war with Nahash the Ammonite, and then he went to Gilgal (which assembly is barely recorded in Scripture—1Sam. 11:14–15). We have several other things which occur, and then Saul goes back to Gilgal, according to the appointed time set by Samuel (1Sam. 13:8b), and he waits there seven days. Samuel, after nearly seven days, is a no-show.


I have given or implied some of the interpretations, but now let me give you what I believe the actual interpretation is. Samuel did not simply predict to Saul these three incidents and then order Saul to, several years in the future, to go to Gilgal. Samuel mapped out Saul’s life for the next several years. All of these things which are recorded in Scripture in the next few chapters, Samuel lays out for Saul right here—only it is not recorded. Only a portion of Samuel’s prophecy is recorded—the first three incidents that will assure Saul that Samuel knows what he is doing, and then the last prophecy (which was not a mandate, but a prophecy), at which time, Samuel will guide Saul once again. “At that time, I will tell you what to do.” In between what we read, Samuel probably also told Saul about his public appointment as king at Mizpah; that he would fight and defeat the Ammonites; that they would all go to Gibeah later to renew the kingdom; that Samuel would be confirmed; that war would break out with the Philistines; and, finally, that Saul would then go to Gilgal and he would wait seven days. Now, in reading 1Sam. 13:8, we find that Saul waits seven days, becoming inpatient, and then starts doing his own thing (acting as a priest). Do not take this as some kind of a failure of Samuel’s. Samuel did not tell Saul that he had to wait seven days and then he would be on his own. What we have here is a prophecy. Everyone interprets the first three things as prophetical and the last item as a mandate. However, the Hebrew does not require that. This simply continues the prophecy (much of which is not recorded)—i.e., Samuel tells Saul that he will wait seven days. Then, Saul begins acting of his own accord. At that time, Samuel will step back into Saul’s life and tell him what to do. So, again, the waiting seven days is not necessarily a mandate, but a part of the prophecy and something which may or may not set up a precedent. Whether Saul is told that he will fail is not revealed to us, and I believe he is not told that he will fail, as this probably occurs at least twice and maybe more times (1Sam. 11:14–15 13:7–8). The first time, everything is hunky dory and Saul does not mind waiting; the second time (the second recorded time), Saul is in a spot, and he is anxious, and he is not sure what to do, and he is under pressure, and he cracks.


Application: God is God—God has the same character whether we are experiencing prosperity or adversity in our lives. God can be depended upon, regardless of how we feel about the situation that we are in.


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Samuel’s Prophecy Is Fulfilled


And it [lit., he] was as his turning of his shoulder to go away from Samuel and so changes for him Elohim a heart another and so came in all the signs the these in the day the that.

1Samuel

10:9

And it happened as he turned his back to go away from Samuel that God changed for him [his] heart [into] another [heart] and all of these signs came to pass on that day.

Then, as Saul was turning to walk away from Samuel, God changed his heart. Furthermore, all of the signs spoken of by Samuel came to pass on that day.


You will recall how I have mentioned many times how simple the Hebrew was throughout most of this first part of the book of Samuel? Then I mentioned that the quotation of Samuel’s prophecy was much more difficult than the rest of the Hebrew. In this verse, we continue with Hebrew which is slightly more difficult than what we find elsewhere. Now, one possible explanation is simply improper use of the Hebrew or a more regional use of the Hebrew. Let’s see what others did with this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And it [lit., he] was as his turning of his shoulder to go away from Samuel and so changes for him Elohim a heart another and so came in all the signs the these in the day the that.

Septuagint                             And it came to pass when he was turned with his shoulder to depart from Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all these signs came to pass in that day.

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

NJB                                        As soon as he had turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart. And all these signs occurred that very day...

REB                                       As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God made him a different person. On that same day all these signs happened.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word™                         When Saul turned around to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s attitude. That day all these signs happened.

JPS (Tanakh)                        As [Saul] turned around to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all those signs were fulfilled that same day.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart [lit., for him another heart]; and all those signs came about on that day.

Young's Updated LT              And it has been, at his turning his shoulder to go from Samuel, that God turned in him another heart, and all these signs come on that day.


What is the gist of this verse? God changed Saul’s heart when he turned from Samuel, and the signs for him all came to pass on that day.


1Samuel 10:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

as, like, according to; about, approximately

preposition of comparison or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

pânâh (ה ָנ ָ) [pronounced paw-NAWH]

to turn, to go away from, to flee; to turn the back, to turn oneself [around, back]

Hiphil infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #6437 BDB #815

shechem (ם∵חש) [pronounced shekhem]

shoulder; upper part of back below neck; back; [elevated] track of land

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7926 BDB #1014

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

׳îm (ם ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

Together, these prepositions mean: from with, beside, from being with, away from, far from, from among, from the possession of, from the custody of, from the house of, from the vicinity of, out of the power of, from the mind of.

Shemûwêl (ל̤אמש) [pronounced she-moo-ALE]

which means heard of El; it is transliterated Samuel

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #8050 BDB #1028


Translation: And it happened as he turned his back to go away from Samuel... Our colloquialism is that one turns his back on someone to walk away from them. The Hebrew colloquialism is for one to turn their shoulder. The end result is the same and the colloquialisms are identical (which is why so many translations went with as he turned his back on Samuel).


1Samuel 10:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâphake ( ַפ ָה) [pronounced haw-FAHKe]

to turn [as a cake, a dish, one’s hand or side], to turn oneself; to turn back, to flee; to overturn, to overthrow [e.g., cities]; to convert, to change; to pervert, to be perverse

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #2015 BDB #245

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43

lêb (בֵל) [pronounced laybv]

heart, inner man, mind, will, thinking

masculine singular noun

Strong's #3820 BDB #524

achêr (ר̤ח-א) [pronounced ah-KHEHR]

another, following, other as well as foreign, alien, strange

adjective/substantive

Strong’s #312 BDB #29


Translation: ...that God changed for him [his] heart [into] another [heart]... Recall that my assertion has been that when Saul communicates with the prophets, it involves theological matters and information he does not channel but takes from a fount of knowledge which was not previously his. That God changed his heart in this verse would be indicative of giving Saul knowledge and information that he previously did not have. Footnote This parallels v. 6 where Saul is said to have been changed into another man by God. It is clear by this chapter that God never withheld anything from Saul. Saul was given a new heart (i.e., recall of spiritual information which he did not have before) and he was given the Holy Spirit. You would think, how could anyone who is given that much fail? But Saul will fail miserably in his life.


1Samuel 10:9c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ôth (תא) [pronounced oath]

sign, token, pledge, assurance

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #226 BDB #16

êlleh (ה  ֵא) [pronunced KEHLleh]

these, these things

demonstrative plural adjective with the definite article

Strong's #428 BDB #41

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

yôwm (םי) [pronounced yohm]

day; time; today (with a definite article)

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

that

masculine singular, demonstrative pronoun (with a definite article)

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214


Translation: ...and all of these signs came to pass on that day. The signs for Saul—the things which were to happen in the very near future and which things gave credibility to Samuel—all came to pass on that day. The pattern which Samuel establishes, of Saul going to Gilgal and waiting for him for seven days, that did not come to pass on that day (obviously, if he is going to wait for seven days, it cannot come to pass on that day).


I should point out that we will not see all of these things come to pass. Recall when I said a prophet might prophesy that A, B and C will take place? That is what Samuel did. He told Saul that he would meet two men near Rachel’s tomb, then he would meet three prophets at the oak of the plain who would give him some bread, and then he would run into a group of prophets coming down a hill at Gibeah. The only fulfillment which will be specifically recorded is C, Saul’s third encounter. A and B are merely summed up in this verse (all of these signs came to pass on that day).


And so they came there the Gibeath-ward [or, the hill-ward] and behold a band of prophets to meet them and so came mightily upon him a Spirit of Elohim and so he prophesied in their midst.

1Samuel

10:10

Then they came there to Gibeath [or, to the hill] and, [as Samuel said] [lit., behold], a band of prophets met him. Then the Spirit of God filled him and he spoke divine viewpoint [or, prophesied] among them.

Then they came to Gibeath and, just as Samuel had promised, they were met by a band of prophets. Suddenly, Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit and he prophesied in the midst of the prophets.


First, what others have done:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so they came there the Gibeath-ward [or, the hill-ward] and behold a band of prophets to meet them and so came mightily upon him a Spirit of Elohim and so he prophesied in their midst.

Septuagint                             And he comes there to the hill, and behold, a band of prophets opposite to him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied in the midst of them.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

REB                                       When they reached the hill there was a company of prophets coming to meet him, and the spirit of God suddenly took possession of him, so that he too was filled with prophetic rapture.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

JPS (Tanakh)                        And when they came there, to the Hill [or, Gibeah], he saw a band of prophets coming toward him. Thereupon the spirit of God gripped him, and he spoke in ecstasy among them.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     When they came to the hill [or, Gibeath] there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them.

NRSV                                    When they were going from there to Gibeah, a band of prophets met him; and the spirit of God possessed him, and he fell into a prophetic frenzy along with them.

Young's Updated LT              ...and they come in there to the height, and lo, a band of prophets to meet him, and prosper over him does the Spirit of God, and he prophesies in their midst.


What is the gist of this verse? Saul comes to Gibeah and meets this band of prophets, and the Spirit of God overtakes him and he prophesies among them.


1Samuel 10:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

gibe׳âh (ה ָע ׃ב ̣) [pronounced gibve-ĢAW]

hill; this same word is transliterated Gibeah

feminine singular noun with the definite article; with the locative hê

Strong’s #1389 BDB #148


Translation: Then they came there to Gibeath [or, to the hill]... Recall our discussion in v. 5—this should have been a place that Saul knew of, and therefore, it is likely that we are speaking of a proper noun. Affixed to this is the directional hê. Then they came there to the Gibeath. A definite article is used to indicate the city/place Gibeath about which Samuel spoke. This is Saul’s hometown. There is no reason to assume that Saul has taken any side trips or wandered off to the left or the right. He knows his father is concerned about him (v. 2), so we would expect Saul to go directly from Ramah to Gibeah in the shortest route possible.


1Samuel 10:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

chebel (לבח) [pronounced KHEB-vel]

rope, cord, bands; a measuring rope; a territory, lot, portion; a group [of things]

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #2256 BDB #286

nâbîy (אי̣בָנ) [pronounced nawb-VEE]

spokesman, speaker, prophet

masculine plural noun

Strong's #5030 BDB #611

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon; to call, to name [when followed by a lâmed]

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #7121 BDB #894


Translation: ...and, [as Samuel said] [lit., behold], a band of prophets met him. Saul has already met two sets of people, which meetings were not recorded. He ran into two men at Rachel’s tomb, and these two men apparently know Saul and his family and tell Saul that his father has found the donkey and is now concerned about Saul’s whereabouts.


1Samuel 10:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

tsâlach (חַל ָצ) [pronounced tsaw-LAHCH]

to come upon, to rush upon, to prosper, to be prosperous

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6743 BDB #852

Tsâlach means to go over, to go through [a river, for instance] when followed by an accusative. To prosper, to be prosperous generally followed by a lâmed preposition; to come upon, to rush upon generally followed by the prepositions ׳al or el.

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5920, #5921 BDB #752

rûwach (ַחר) [pronounced ROO-ahkh]

wind, breath, spirit, apparition

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #7307 BDB #924

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43

 

Translation: Then the Spirit of God filled him... The verb here is the 3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect of tsâlach (ח ַל ָצ) [pronounced tsaw-LAHCH] again, which means to come upon, to rush upon, to prosper, to be prosperous. This is followed by upon him which is followed by the subject of the verb, the Spirit of Elohim. And, what do you know, a band of prophets to meet him and then the Spirit of God came upon him... There were apparently groups of prophets throughout Israel who were organized into colleges. These were probably very similar to our seminaries today, and it is possible that these organizations also preserved the Word of God by copying it (I am guessing here). We will discuss this further when we get to 2Kings 2:3–5.


1Samuel 10:10d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâbâ (אָבָנ) [pronounced nawb-VAW]

to prophesy, to speak divine viewpoint; to speak in an ecstatic state or frenzy; speaker can be true, false or heathen prophet

3rd person masculine singular, Hithpael imperfect

Strong’s #5012 BDB #612

This is not a word which requires us to assume that there is ecstasy, raving, or frenzy involved; the one speaking might be animated, but not necessarily out of his gourd. I included those definitions only because they were found in BDB.

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

tâveke (ו ָ) [pronounced taw-VEKE]

midst, among, middle

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #8432 BDB #1063


Translation: ...and he spoke divine viewpoint [or, prophesied] among them. Then we have to the 3rd person masculine singular, Hithpael imperfect of to prophesy, to speak divine viewpoint followed by in their midst. I want you to notice that there is nothing in the Hebrew about going into a prophetic rapture or into some kind of a divinely controlled state. Recall what Paul wrote to the Corinthians concerning prophecy (which is the expression of divine viewpoint): If therefore the whole church should assemble together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you (I Cor. 14:23–25). When a person speaks intelligently, then believers and unbelievers are often moved. However, if someone simply speaks as if he is controlled by an outside force, and what he says is gibberish, then the unbelievers will mostly be looking for the nearest exit (this is the point that Paul is making).


The one thing that I think we can safely eliminate here is the idea that Saul spoke in tongues or in gibberish of some sort. Imagine, if you will, three or four theological graduate students walking through the campus having a spirited conversation and suddenly, a stranger comes into their midst and begins spouting gibberish. You are able to grasp, I hope, that they would not be very impressed by this. In fact, they would probably all excuse themselves and go their separate ways, figuring that the stranger cannot follow all of them. Nor are we speaking of Saul approaching these men, and he is caught up in some kind of prophetic rapture (whatever that is), speaking in ecstatic phrases to them. As Paul said to the Corinthian church, which was out of control in its worship services: The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets (I Cor. 14:32). If, on the other hand, one with no theological training whatsoever stepped into the midst of these prophets and spoke on their level, then they would certainly carry on a conversation with him. We will see that Saul is in his hometown. He is known here. Saul is also known to be bereft of spiritual knowledge (recall that Saul did not realize that he and his servant were near the city of Samuel—it was his servant who was aware of that). Footnote For Saul to suddenly mix in with a band of prophets and not just hold his own in a theological discussion, and to present nothing but divine viewpoint—that is quite impressive for a man who previously had essentially no spiritual knowledge, no theological training and no religious inclination. Let me emphasize this: there is nothing in the Hebrew language and nothing in the context that would suggest that Saul is saying anything other than what is intelligible to all; furthermore, there is no reason to think that Saul is speaking from some sort of trance or controlled state.


Because of the influence of the holy rollers in the 20th century (which was considerable), many of the major modern language Bible has Saul falling into a prophetic rapture, but this phrase is not found here.

1Samuel 10:10b as Influenced by the Charismatics

NAB

NJB

NRSV

REB

TEV

...he joined them in their prophetic state.

...he fell into ecstasy with them.

...he fell into a prophetic frenzy with them.

...he too was filled with prophetic rapture.

...he joined in their ecstatic dancing and shouting.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index

I left out the NASB and Young’s Literal Translation below, as these were covered previously.

1Samuel 10:10b as Influenced by the Hebrew

The Amplified Bible

CEV

The Emphasized Bible

God’s Word

NKJV

NLT

...he spoke under divine inspiration among them.

...and right there in the middle of the group he began prophesying.

...and he was moved to prophesy in their midst.

He prophesied with them.

...he prophesied among them.

...he, took, began to prophesy.

We will find the Bible similarly translated when we get to 1Sam. 19:20.


As you have seen throughout this chapter, we have two completely different scenarios taking place, depending upon which Bible you read. In one set of Bibles, we have Saul being whipped into this spiritual frenzy, and, in another, he simply prophesies among these prophets. Except for the CEV and the NLT in the second table above, the other translations are known for their faithfulness to the original languages. However, the CEV and the NLT chose to be accurate here. Footnote


Now there are several out there who do believe that the prophets were organized (if that is the right word for it) into groups who had irrational, ecstatic tendencies. Footnote Now, throughout Christian history, we have had various groups of believers and unbelievers who have exhibited irrational and ecstatic behavior. In fact, I have chronicled these groups in my Doctrine of Tongues, which is the most thorough examination of that phenomenon that I am aware of. That such groups existed prior to the incarnation is not out of the question. That such groups were of God is a whole other question. These appear in this context to be legitimate prophets, which, in my opinion, would exclude irrational and ecstatic behavior. Great enthusiasm is something that I have no problem with. However, when their will, personality, speech and other manifestations of their person is taken over by another entity, this is where I draw the line between being of God and being of Satan. When one falls into a trance-like state or a state of ecstasy or a state where he is no longer making conscious decisions, then I strongly question whether this is of God or not. Samuel heads a group of prophets in 1Sam. 19:20–21, where again some interpret the prophets in this passage as a group of ecstatics; however, there is nothing in the actual Hebrew which requires that sort of interpretation.


And so it [lit., he] is all knowing him from before and so they see and behold, with prophets he has prophesied, and so say the people a man unto his neighbor, “What this was to a son of Kish? [Is] also Saul in the prophets?”

1Samuel

10:11

So it was all [who] knew him previously saw and observed [lit., behold] he prophesied with the prophets. Therefore, the people said, each one to his acquaintance, “What is this concerning the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

It came about that all who knew Saul who observed him prophesying with the prophets, remarked to one another, “Who is this? The son of Kish? Is Saul now a prophet?”


The vocabulary and sentence structure continues to be difficult in this verse. Here is what others have done:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so it [lit., he] is all knowing him from before and so they see and behold, with prophets he has prophesied, and so say the people a man unto his neighbor, “What this was to a son of Kish? [Is] also Saul in the prophets?”

Septuagint                             And all that had known him before came, and saw, and behold, he [was] in the midst of the prophets; and the people said every one to his neighbor, “What [is] this that has happened to the son of Kis? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


In examining the translations below, note: with regards to the translations which were strongly influenced by charismatics, only the REB remained consistent at this point. In this verse, the NAB, NJB and NRSV all have Saul prophesying among the prophets (which is what we should find in their renderings of vv. 5, 6, 10 and 13). The vocabulary in all of these verses is the same.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Some people who had known Saul for a long time saw that he was speaking and behaving like a prophet. They said to each other, “What’s happened? How can Saul be a prophet?”

NJB                                        Seeing him prophesying with the prophets, all the people who had known him previously said to one another, ‘What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul one of the prophets too?’

REB                                       When people who had known him previously saw that he was rapt like the prophets, they said to one another, ‘What can have happened to the son fo Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?’

TEV                                       People who had known him before saw him doing this and asked one another, “What has happened to the son of Kish? Has Saul become a prophet?”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Complete Jewish Bible          When those who knew him from before saw him there, prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What’s happened to Kish’s son? Is Sha̓ul a prophet, too?”

JPS (Tanakh)                        When all who knew him previously saw him speaking in ecstasy together with the prophets, the people said to one another, What’s happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul too among the prophets?”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And it came about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now with the prophets, that the people said to one another, “What as happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

NRSV                                    When all who knew him before saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Owen's Translation                And when all who knew him before saw how with the prophets he prophesied and the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Young's Updated LT              And it comes to pass, all his acquaintance heretofore, see, and lo, with prophets he has prophesied, and the people say one unto another, ‘What is this [that] has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?’


What is the gist of this verse? People observe Saul accurately discussing theological information with this group of prophets and they ask one another, “Is Saul a prophet now?”


1Samuel 10:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

yâda׳ (עַדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to know, to perceive, to acquire knowledge, to become acquainted with, to know by experience, to have a knowledge of something; to see

Qal active participle with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

ethemôwl (למ ׃∵א) [pronounced ethe-MOHL]

 yesterday; and is used figuratively for recently, formerly

adverb

Strong’s #865 (and #8543) BDB #1069

shileshôwm (םש  ׃ל  ̣ש) [pronounced shil-SHOHM]

three days ago, the day before yesterday

adverb

Strong’s #8032 BDB #1026

Literally, min plus the two prepositions should be rendered from yesterday three days ago; figuratively, we might say the last couple of three days; it is idiomatic for at any time before, in the past, heretofore, before, from before.


Translation: So it was all [who] knew him previously saw... Or, And it was all [those] knowing him from before... Saul is in his hometown, Gibeah. He and his father are well-known in that area. After all, as we saw, two men as far away as Rachel’s tomb recognized Saul and knew his business. So, there is Saul hanging there with several prophets, and there are people all around who know Saul who can hear what they are discussing.


1Samuel 10:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

rââh (ה ָאָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction243[pronounced ]

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

׳îm (ם ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

nâbîy (אי̣בָנ) [pronounced nawb-VEE]

spokesman, speaker, prophet

masculine plural noun

Strong's #5030 BDB #611

nâbâ (אָבָנ) [pronounced nawb-VAW]

to prophesy, to speak divine viewpoint; to speak by divine power; to receive [and to pass on by speaking] prophecy

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect

Strong’s #5012 BDB #612

This is not a word which requires us to assume that there is ecstasy, raving, or frenzy involved; the one speaking might be animated, but not necessarily out of his gourd. I included those definitions only because they were found in BDB.


Translation: ...and observe [lit., behold] he prophesied with the prophets. This is what the people who knew Saul observed: they watch Saul prophesying with the prophets, meaning that they were all speaking divine viewpoint. The verb to prophesy is in the Niphal perfect. What appears to be the case is that to prophesy in the Hithpael refers to speaking amongst a group and in the Niphal is simply to the act of speaking divine viewpoint whether in a group or not. Now, the Niphal is traditionally known as the passive of the Qal stem, but it can also refer to an action in a state of progress or development; therefore we often add in the word being with the verb, or some other helping verb in order to indicate the progressiveness of the verb (which, here is antithetical to the perfect tense, which views the verb from an accomplished state). It can also stress the individual effect upon each member of the group. Here, the passive voice (Niphal stem) emphasizes the act of prophesy and the fact that it does not originate with Saul but with God. ...then they see, and, behold, with prophets he prophesies... I am certain that anyone who reads this thinks that I spend way too much translating from the Hebrew, and that I should just stick to the interpretation of the passage. There is a reason for this. I often will present a particular viewpoint, which should be borne out by the translation of the passage. You might also notice some serious inconsistencies with other translations. The NJB has Saul falling into ecstasy with the prophets in v. 10, and in this verse, he prophesies. If all you have to go on is the NJB, then you would never guess that there is only one word here, which is translated fell into ecstasy in v. 10 and prophesying in v. 11 (the NRSV does exactly the same thing). A charismatic (or even non-charismatic) who follows the NRSV or the NJB, does not know that the exact same verb is given very different renderings from one verse to the next. Even after reading my interpretation of a passage, if you disagree (and I don’t know how you could), you will at least have the underlying Hebrew which you can use to support your own (incorrect) position. Footnote


1Samuel 10:11c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

The wâw consecutive can also be rendered that, yet, therefore.

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

rêa׳ ( ַע ֵר) [pronounced RAY-ahģ]

associate, neighbor, colleague, fellow, acquaintance

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7453 BDB #945


Translation: Therefore, the people said, each one to his acquaintance,... People might normally talk about the weather. However, Saul found himself the topic of many water cooler discussions that day and in subsequent days.


1Samuel 10:11d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

mâh (ה ָמ) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

zeh (ה ז) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, thus

demonstrative adjective

Strong’s #2063, 2088, 2090 BDB #260

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Together, mâh, zeh and hâyâh mean what is this; how can this be; why is this [occurring]; possibly what's up with. I could not find this listed in Gesenius, so this is my most reasonable guess.

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Qîysh (שי .ק) [pronounced keesh]

transliterated Kish

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7027 BDB #885


Translation:...“What is this concerning the son of Kish? The gist of what these people said is this and what follows. When Saul is referred to as a son of Kish, this is somewhat of a slight. The inference is that everyone knew his father, his father is such and such a person, and Saul, being the son, is a little less than that. It is a depreciating phrase. “He’s only the son of a farmer.” That is, there is nothing in Saul’s background which would suggest that he is properly suited for what he is doing.


1Samuel 10:11e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hă ( ֲה) [pronounced heh]

interrogative particle which acts almost like a piece of punctuation, like the upside-down question mark which begins a Spanish sentence. The verb to be may be implied.

Strong’s #none BDB #209

gam (ם ַ) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

nâbîy (אי̣בָנ) [pronounced nawb-VEE]

spokesman, speaker, prophet

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #5030 BDB #611


Translation: Is Saul also among the prophets?” Saul is a tall, good-looking young man whom everyone knows. He is responsible, as we have seen in the matter of the donkeys and his concern for the donkeys. However, he is not known in his hometown for his theological expertise nor is he known for his interest in spiritual matters. The idea that he converses on an equal level with the prophets, who have had some theological training—that is front page news.


One thing that I should discuss is Jesus and His reception in Nazareth. The people of Nazareth pretty much had the same reaction to our Lord as these did to Saul. And coming to His hometown, He began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they became astonished , and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom, and these miraculous powers? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man receive all these things?” And they were offended by Him. However, Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his home town, and in his own household.” (Matt. 13:54–57). Footnote Jesus was raised in Nazareth, which is why He is called a Nazarene (He was probably born in Bethlehem and moved to Nazareth as a young child). Footnote The associations between Jesus and His spirituality as a young boy are generally in association with the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41–51). We do not know anything else about his childhood, but may infer that He performed no miracles (as his first miracle appears to have been performed at the wedding at Cana when he turns the water into wine—John 2:1–11) and that He did not often speak up in the synagogue in Nazareth as a boy. The difference is that Jesus began His ministry as a young adult outside of Nazareth. Saul was raised from a child to young adulthood in this city so, at the same age that Jesus was being tempted in the desert, Saul had revealed no spiritual abilities and absolutely no interest in theology. Again, as I have mentioned before, it was Saul’s servant and not Saul who realized that they were near the hometown of Samuel.


It seems to be fairly well accepted throughout the Christian community that there are various periods of time in our history when believers either speak in tongues or have God act or speak through them, meanwhile enjoying an ecstatic experience.

The next few thoughts I need to word very carefully. One of the things which I studied in college was called Christian Mysticism, which really referred to Catholic freaks, you might say. They might do anything from go into verbal trances to exhibiting the stigmata (blood coming from the hands, feet and/or head of the mystic). Throughout Christian history, there have also been holy rollers of various sorts—particularly in the past 100 years. It seems to be fairly well accepted throughout the Christian community that there are various periods of time in our history when believers either speak in tongues or have God act or speak through them, meanwhile enjoying an ecstatic experience. Edersheim writes: But this prophesying” must not be considered as in all cases prediction. In the present instance it certainly was not such, but, as that of the “elders” in the time of Moses (Numb. 11:25), an ecstatic state of a religious character, in which men unreservedly poured forth their feelings. The characteristics of this ecstatic state were entire separation from the circumstances around, and complete subjection to an extraordinary influence from without, when thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds were no longer un personal control, but became so to speak, passive instruments. Viewing it in this light, we can understand the use made of music, not only by true prophets, but even among the heathen. For the effect of music is to detach from surrounding circumstances, to call forth strong feelings, and to make us yield ourselves implicitly to their influence. In the case of the prophets at Gibeah and in that of Saul, this ecstatic state was under the influence of the “Spirit of Elohim.”  Footnote To be frank, I don’t know that I buy into this at all. Have I gone into trance-like states myself due to music or other influences? Certainly. Were these experiences religious and tied directly to God the Holy Spirit? I doubt it. One of the things which is emphasized in Scripture is free will. Free will might allow one to fall into such a state, but when in that state, free will is no longer involved. We are a body inhabited or controlled by something else. Now, such a state of mind is possible by all man, whether they are believers or unbelievers. We have millions of instances of those in meditation or in other states of mind of having such experiences. I recall going with a friend to the Asilomar and knocking on the door of a mutual female friend. Her quarters was a single room and she would have been 5 ft. from the door. It took her about 4 or 5 minutes to answer her door because she was in a state of meditation. She certainly heard the knocking and it registered

The problem...is, Christians are often illogical—and many times just outright stupid—so that when Paul uses logic to make a point, they completely misunderstand the logical flow of the argument.

in her brain somewhere, but she was slow to react because she was in a trance-like state. She was not indwelt by God the Holy Spirit; she was not a believer; this was not a conference for believers. But she was in an alternate state of mind. This is something that believers and unbelievers can both experience. Is it of God? Not necessarily. In fact, I would question whether such a mind state is ever from God. So, I do not know that it is prudent for us to identify these sorts of states of mind with God the Holy Spirit. The evidence in Scripture for such things is at best meager. We do not find situations where a prophet, priest or Apostle speaks of losing all control and God acting through his vessel while the person enjoys an ecstatic experience. For instance,