Ver. 1. You. He speaks with the authority of a prophet, (C.) and takes this opportunity to draw from the whole people a confession of his integrity, that the kings might follow the pattern which he had set them. H.
Ver. 2. Goeth, as your leader, according to your request. I am like a private man, (C.) willing to submit to his and the people's judgment, (H.) though it could not be required. M.
--- Grey-headed. This he might be at the age of sixty, which most chronologers allow him, (H.) as he had been at the head of affairs from his early years, in most difficult times. T.
--- With you. As soon as I heard of your complaints, I deprived them of their power, so that you cannot blame me from their misconduct. If they were guilty, they may stand their trial before the king. C.
Ver. 3. Anointed, "Christ," as the anointing of kings prefigured that of the Messias, which, in Hebrew, has the same import as the word cristoV has in Greek. C.
--- Wronged. Lit. "by calumny," or by any other mode of oppression. H.
--- Despise. Heb. "hide my eyes," through confusion. C.
--- Prot. "to blind my eyes therewith." H.
--- Sept. have read nalim, "shoes," instead of anlim. C.
--- "Have I taken from the hand of any one a preset, to render me favourable, so much as a shoe? (upodema, or latchet) answer against me," &c. H.
Ver. 6. Made, and appointed them to rule the people. Jerem. xxxvii. 15. Le Clerc.
--- Egypt. Sept. add, "is witness;" and some Latin copies have, "is present." C.
Ver. 7. Stand up, like people cited to the bar. Having undergone his own trial with applause, Samuel shews that the people will not come off so well at the tribunal of God, whom they had treated with greater disrespect, injustice, and ingratitude than they had himself, as he convinced them by an astonishing and terrible storm. H.
--- Kindness. Sept. "justice," as the same Heb. word implies both. God had treated his people with mercy and with justice (C.) alternately. H.
Ver. 9. Hasor. See Judg. iv. 1.
--- Moab. Jephte delivered the people from the hands of the Ammonites, who claimed all that country. Judg. xi. 15. Eglon had been slain by Aod, before the Chanaanites enslaved Israel. C.
AstarothAstaroth (Deut 1:4, etc.), capital of Og, king of Basan: Tell Astâra, in Hauran.
Ver. 11. Jerobaal and Badan. That is, Gedeon and Samson, called here Badan or Bedan, because he was of Dan. Ch. Chald. &c. W.
--- Others think that Jair, (Judg. x. 3. Junius, Usher,) or, according to the Sept. "Barac," are designated. Jair was a descendant of one Bedan, 1 Par. ii. 21. C.
--- But we do not read that Jair performed any great exploit. H.
--- Samuel. He speaks of himself as of any other man: as the interests of God were not to be betrayed by an unseasonable modesty. C.
--- Josephus only specifies Jephte and Gedeon. H.
--- The Israelites thought that they could dispose things better than God had done under the judges; and hence their sin is so often repeated. S. Greg. W.
Ver. 13. Desired. S. Aug. (in Ps. li.) considers this as a kind of sarcasm. C.
--- You will see what advantages you will derive from your choice. M.
Ver. 14. Of the Lord, causing him to look upon you and treat you with indignation. C.
--- Sept. "and do not contend with the mouth," or against the orders of the Lord, which cannot fail to excite his displeasure. M.
--- If you prove faithful under this new form of government, though it be less agreeable to God, he will still protect you. H.
Ver. 15. Fathers. Sept. "king," v. 25. Superiors (W.) are often styled fathers. Syr. &c. "as upon your fathers," (C.) which is adopted by the Prot. "as it was against," &c. H.
Ver. 17. Wheat-harvest. At which time of the year it never thunders or rains in those countries. Ch.
--- The wheat-harvest is towards the end of June. The usual seasons for rain are only spring and autumn. S. Jerom in Amos iv. 7, &c.
--- Thunder. Lit. "voices." Ps. xvii. 14. C.
--- See. Being fully convinced by the miracle, which declares the will of God in the clearest manner. Though God was pleased thus to manifest his displeasure, at the people's assuming to themselves the right of changing the established form of government, by insisting so much upon having a king at this time, we cannot hence infer, as Paine and some late seditious writers have done, that the regal power is in itself an evil. It might be contrary to a theocracy, and still might suit the manners of some nations better than any other form. To determine precisely what sort of government is best, would be an arduous task. We admire our own constitution; yet our ally, the prince of the Brazils, has lately forbidden any panegyric of it to be printed in his dominions. All innovations are, generally, attended with the most serious inconveniences. H.
Ver. 19. And Samuel, at whose prayer the Lord had sent such a storm, lest he should punish them as they deserved. But the prophet alleviates their fears, and teaches them to refrain from idolatry, and he will still continue to perform his duty in praying for them, and giving them good advice. Salien.
--- The fear of God is increased by that which the people shew for his servants.
Ver. 20. Following, as that would imply despair. To come boldly before him would argue presumption. Therefore, S. Mary Magdalene keeps at the feet of Jesus Christ. W.
Ver. 21. Vain and wicked idols. Heb. thohu, full of "confusion" and disorder.
Ver. 22. Sake. This motive often proved the salvation of Israel. Ex. xxxii. 12. The Scriptures wholly tend to impress upon our minds, a sense of our own weakness, and of God's infinite glory and perfection. C.
--- We may all say, "Our hope to rise is all from Thee---our ruin's all our own." Austin.
Ver. 23. The Lord. For a pastor to neglect instruction, is not only detrimental to the people, but injurious to God. H.
--- Way. None contributed more than Samuel to keep the people within due bounds, during the reign of Saul. C.
Ver. 25. Together. Sept. "shall be rejected." Saul soon experienced the effect of this prophetic menace; and the Jews were, at last, also cast away. H.