[1-Samuel 10:1] THEN SAMUEL TOOK A VIAL OF OIL, AND POURED IT UPON HIS
HEAD, AND KISSED HIM, AND SAID, IS IT NOT BECAUSE THE LORD HATH
ANOINTED THEE TO BE CAPTAIN OVER HIS INHERITANCE?
There is an opinion (Radak) that this anointing was done with
"Afarsimon" (balsam) oil and not with the olive oil with which the Tabernacle
utensils were anointed. Only Kings of the House of David were traditionally
anointed with olive oil used in the Temple service.
[1-Samuel 10:2] WHEN THOU ART DEPARTED FROM ME TO DAY, THEN THOU SHALT
FIND TWO MEN BY RACHEL'S SEPULCHRE IN THE BORDER OF BENJAMIN AT ZELZAH; AND
THEY WILL SAY UNTO THEE, THE ASSES WHICH THOU WENTEST TO SEEK ARE FOUND:
AND, LO, THY FATHER HATH LEFT THE CARE OF THE ASSES, AND SORROWETH FOR YOU,
SAYING, WHAT SHALL I DO FOR MY SON?
[1-Samuel 10:3] THEN SHALT THOU GO ON FORWARD FROM THENCE, AND THOU
SHALT COME TO THE PLAIN OF TABOR, AND THERE SHALL MEET THEE THREE MEN GOING
UP TO GOD TO BETHEL, ONE CARRYING THREE KIDS, AND ANOTHER CARRYING THREE
LOAVES OF BREAD, AND ANOTHER CARRYING A BOTTLE OF WINE:
<<BOTTLE OF WINE>>: Hebrew: "Nevel-Yayin", i.e. The dried out stomach
of a sheep filled with wine.
[1-Samuel 10:4] AND THEY WILL SALUTE THEE, AND GIVE THEE TWO LOAVES OF
BREAD; WHICH THOU SHALT RECEIVE OF THEIR HANDS.
[1-Samuel 10:5] AFTER THAT THOU SHALT COME TO THE HILL OF GOD, WHERE IS
THE GARRISON OF THE PHILISTINES: AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, WHEN THOU ART
COME THITHER TO THE CITY, THAT THOU SHALT MEET A COMPANY OF PROPHETS COMING
DOWN FROM THE HIGH PLACE WITH A PSALTERY, AND A TABRET, AND A PIPE, AND
A HARP, BEFORE THEM; AND THEY SHALL PROPHESY:
The Prophets would play music to make them happy and enable them to
reach spiritual enlightenment.
Happiness is conducive to the spirit of Prophecy (Ialmud, Shabbat 72),
cf. 2-Kings 3:15.
<<PSALTERY>>: Hebrew "Navel" which presumably derives from the root "HeVeL" meaning air, or hot air and therefore the word is related to a wind instrument. On the other hand "navel" also means the stomach of a sheep that was used to hold water or wine (see above, 1-Samuel 10:3). The bag-pipes are also based on the principle of blowing through a pipe into a sheep's skin. There are those who say that "Navel" means bag-pipe.
See the Brit-Am Commentary to Daniel 3:5.
The bag-pipes did originate in the Middle East area. On the other hand the term "Navel" in Second Temple Times may also have been applied to some kind of stringed instrument though in the light of present findings "bagpipes" appears the most probable.
[1-Samuel 10:6] AND THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD WILL COME UPON THEE, AND
THOU SHALT PROPHESY WITH THEM, AND SHALT BE TURNED INTO ANOTHER
[1-Samuel 10:7] AND LET IT BE, WHEN THESE SIGNS ARE COME UNTO THEE,
THAT THOU DO AS OCCASION SERVE THEE; FOR GOD IS WITH THEE.
[1-Samuel 10:8] AND THOU SHALT GO DOWN BEFORE ME TO GILGAL; AND,
BEHOLD, I WILL COME DOWN UNTO THEE, TO OFFER BURNT OFFERINGS, AND TO SACRIFICE
SACRIFICES OF PEACE OFFERINGS: SEVEN DAYS SHALT THOU TARRY, TILL I
COME TO THEE, AND SHEW THEE WHAT THOU SHALT DO.
[1-Samuel 10:9] AND IT WAS SO, THAT WHEN HE HAD TURNED HIS BACK TO GO
FROM SAMUEL, GOD GAVE HIM ANOTHER HEART: AND ALL THOSE SIGNS CAME TO PASS
[1-Samuel 10:10] AND WHEN THEY CAME THITHER TO THE HILL, BEHOLD, A
COMPANY OF PROPHETS MET HIM; AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD CAME UPON HIM, AND HE
PROPHESIED AMONG THEM.
[1-Samuel 10:11] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN ALL THAT KNEW HIM BEFORETIME
SAW THAT, BEHOLD, HE PROPHESIED AMONG THE PROPHETS, THEN THE PEOPLE SAID
ONE TO ANOTHER, WHAT IS THIS THAT IS COME UNTO THE SON OF KISH? IS SAUL
ALSO AMONG THE PROPHETS?
[1-Samuel 10:12] AND ONE OF THE SAME PLACE ANSWERED AND SAID, BUT WHO
IS THEIR FATHER? THEREFORE IT BECAME A PROVERB, IS SAUL ALSO AMONG THE
Saul had not been known previously as a prophet nor as someone upon
whom the gift of Prophecy could be expected to appear. On the other hands
many, probably most, prophets came from families that had not been
known previously as Prophetically-inclined. This became a popular saying:
"Is Saul also a Prophet" for someone who has become something that was not
expected of him; and a popular answer became, "Who is their (the
Prophets) father?" meaning that even those who were known as proficient in a
certain field usually at first had emerged from some other sphere that
was quite different.
[1-Samuel 10:13] AND WHEN HE HAD MADE AN END OF PROPHESYING, HE CAME TO
THE HIGH PLACE.
[1-Samuel 10:14] AND SAUL'S UNCLE SAID UNTO HIM AND TO HIS SERVANT,
WHITHER WENT YE? AND HE SAID, TO SEEK THE ASSES: AND WHEN WE SAW THAT THEY
WERE NO WHERE, WE CAME TO SAMUEL.
Family relationships were important to everyone in the Biblical period
but with the family of Saul this seems to be especially emphasized. Here
we have Saul working for his uncle. We saw above (1-Samuel 9:21) that
Saul had stated that his family clan was too small for the task offered him
as if it was taken for granted that if he did accept the position they
would have to play a major role. Later Yehonatan the son of Saul would play
an important role in fighting his wars and running his court and his
daughter Michal would marry David, his major general and the future king. Saul
was to be killed together with three of his sons and most of his relations
who were fighting alongside him (1-Chronicles 10:6). So too, David would be
obliged to hold the other sons of Saul guilty for the crimes of their
father (2-Samuel 21:6) against the Gibeonites possibly because they had
played an executive role in carrying them out. This theme could be
[1-Samuel 10:15] AND SAUL'S UNCLE SAID, TELL ME, I PRAY THEE, WHAT
SAMUEL SAID UNTO YOU.
[1-Samuel 10:16] AND SAUL SAID UNTO HIS UNCLE, HE TOLD US PLAINLY THAT
THE ASSES WERE FOUND. BUT OF THE MATTER OF THE KINGDOM, WHEREOF SAMUEL
SPAKE, HE TOLD HIM NOT.
He did not lie to him but rather omitted to tell everything.
[1-Samuel 10:17] AND SAMUEL CALLED THE PEOPLE TOGETHER UNTO THE LORD TO
[1-Samuel 10:18] AND SAID UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, THUS SAITH THE
LORD GOD OF ISRAEL, I BROUGHT UP ISRAEL OUT OF EGYPT, AND DELIVERED YOU OUT
OF THE HAND OF THE EGYPTIANS, AND OUT OF THE HAND OF ALL KINGDOMS, AND OF
THEM THAT OPPRESSED YOU:
[1-Samuel 10:19] AND YE HAVE THIS DAY REJECTED YOUR GOD, WHO HIMSELF
SAVED YOU OUT OF ALL YOUR ADVERSITIES AND YOUR TRIBULATIONS; AND YE HAVE
SAID UNTO HIM, NAY, BUT SET A KING OVER US. NOW THEREFORE PRESENT
YOURSELVES BEFORE THE LORD BY YOUR TRIBES, AND BY YOUR THOUSANDS.
The demand of the people for a king by reason of which Saul was to be
anointed was basically against the Divine Purpose that intended that
the true King come from David and continue from him. The time was not yet
ripe and David was too young and not ready. The people did not know all this
but had importuned for a monarch immediately. Saul was to be appointed over
them but only temporarily. He was as it were a guardian preparing the
kingship for its rightful owner. The very name "Saul" in Hebrew
connotes "borrowed" or "lent" and the Sages pointed out that this represented
the temporary quality of his rulership. The name of his clan, "Matri", can
[1-Samuel 10:20] AND WHEN SAMUEL HAD CAUSED ALL THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL TO
COME NEAR, THE TRIBE OF BENJAMIN WAS TAKEN.
[1-Samuel 10:21] WHEN HE HAD CAUSED THE TRIBE OF BENJAMIN TO COME NEAR
BY THEIR FAMILIES, THE FAMILY OF MATRI WAS TAKEN, AND SAUL THE SON OF KISH
WAS TAKEN: AND WHEN THEY SOUGHT HIM, HE COULD NOT BE FOUND.
<<THE FAMILY OF MATRI>>: This clan had emerged from the area of
Gibeon in the territory of Benjamin 1-Chronicles 8:29
"AND AT GIBEON DWELT THE FATHER OF GIBEON; WHOSE WIFE'S NAME WAS
MAACHAH" [1-Chronicles 8:29]
"AND IN GIBEON DWELT THE FATHER OF GIBEON, JEHIEL, WHOSE WIFE'S NAME
WAS MAACHAH" -Chronicles 9:35].
"AND HIS FIRSTBORN SON ABDON, AND ZUR, AND KISH, AND BAAL, AND NADAB"
"AND NER BEGAT KISH, AND KISH BEGAT SAUL, AND SAUL BEGAT JONATHAN, AND
MALCHISHUA, AND ABINADAB, AND ESHBAAL" [1-Chronicles 8:33].
Saul was related to Benjaminites who dwelt in Jerusalem (1-Chronicles
8:32). Yehudah Kiel ("Safer Divrei HaYamim", Daat Mikra, 1-Chronicles
8:29) says that Maacah the wife of the founder of the clan of Saul in Gibeon
apparently an important woman (otherwise her name would not have been
mentioned and emphasized even more than that of her husband who
1-Chronicles 8:29 is not mentioned thougfh his wife is but is
remembered as "Yehiel" in 1-Chronicles 9:35. Yehudah Kiel suggests that Maacah came
from Gilead of Manasseh where the name Maacah was of importance. This would
have linked the family of Saul to Gilead of Manasseh even before the Civil
War that resulted in two-thirds of the Banjaminites taking their wives from
Jabesh-Gilead in Manasseh (Judges 21:12). Later when the son of Saul
was made king (in opposition to David of Judah) he began his reign in
Gilead (2-Samuel 2:8-9). Gibeon the founder city of the clan of Saul had also
been settled by Levites (Joshua 18:25 21:17). I have so far not
succeed in clarifying which of the clans of Benjamin the clan of Matri (of Saul)
<<MATRI>>: The name may derive from "Matar" meaning "rain" or from a
mainly Aramaic root "N-T-R" connoting "guardian".
[1-Samuel 10:22] THEREFORE THEY ENQUIRED OF THE LORD FURTHER, IF THE
MAN SHOULD YET COME THITHER. AND THE LORD ANSWERED, BEHOLD HE HATH HID
HIMSELF AMONG THE STUFF.
<<STUFF>>: Hebrew "celim" meaning utensils and/or vessels.
[1-Samuel 10:23] AND THEY RAN AND FETCHED HIM THENCE: AND WHEN HE STOOD
AMONG THE PEOPLE, HE WAS HIGHER THAN ANY OF THE PEOPLE FROM HIS
SHOULDERS AND UPWARD.
[1-Samuel 10:24] AND SAMUEL SAID TO ALL THE PEOPLE, SEE YE HIM WHOM THE
LORD HATH CHOSEN, THAT THERE IS NONE LIKE HIM AMONG ALL THE PEOPLE?
AND ALL THE PEOPLE SHOUTED, AND SAID, GOD SAVE THE KING.
[1-Samuel 10:25] THEN SAMUEL TOLD THE PEOPLE THE MANNER OF THE KINGDOM,
AND WROTE IT IN A BOOK, AND LAID IT UP BEFORE THE LORD. AND SAMUEL SENT
ALL THE PEOPLE AWAY, EVERY MAN TO HIS HOUSE.
[1-Samuel 10:26] AND SAUL ALSO WENT HOME TO GIBEAH; AND THERE WENT WITH
HIM A BAND OF MEN, WHOSE HEARTS GOD HAD TOUCHED.
[1-Samuel 10:27] BUT THE CHILDREN OF BELIAL SAID, HOW SHALL THIS MAN
SAVE US? AND THEY DESPISED HIM, AND BROUGHT NO PRESENTS. BUT HE HELD HIS
The Sages said that this was a mistake on the part of Saul . As a
private person the quality of humility and self-effacement was a worthy one and
partly because of it he had been chosen. Nevertheless once the task had
been laid upon him he was responsible for the whole kingdom and the
prestige of the kingdom was embodied in his person. After he became
king, by not standing up for his own dignity it was as if he demeaned the
merit of everybody he was supposed to rule over.
Likewise, in our day to day life sometimes a person has to stand up for
his rights and command respect from others because of the position he holds
even though if left to himself he might otherwise prefer to let the
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