Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 1 Samuel
Book: 1 Samuel
Chapter: 9

Saul is brought to Samuel. (1-10) Samuel told concerning Saul.
(11-17) Samuel's treatment of Saul. (18-27)

1-10 Saul readily went to seek his Father's asses. His
obedience to his Father was praise-worthy. His servant proposed,
that since they were now at Ramah, they should Call On Samuel,
and take his advice. Wherever we are, we should use our
opportunities of acquainting ourselves with those who are Wise
and good. Many will consult a Man of God, if he comes in their
way, that would not go a step out of their way to get Wisdom. We
sensibly feel worldly losses, and bestow much pains to make them
up; but how little do we attempt, and how soon are we weary, in
seeking the Salvation of our souls! If ministers could tell men
how to secure their property, or to get wealth, they would be
more consulted and honoured than they now are, though employed
in teaching them how to escape eternal misery, and to obtain
eternal Life. Most people would rather be told their fortune
than their duty. Samuel needed not their Money, nor would he
have denied his advice, if they had not brought it; but they
gave it to him as a token of respect, and of the value they Put
upon his office, and according to the general usage of those
times, always to bring a present to those in authority.

11-17 The very maid-servants of the City could direct to the
Prophet. They had heard of the Sacrifice, and could tell of the
necessity for Samuel's presence. It is No small benefit to live
in religious and holy places. And we should always be ready to
help those who are seeking after God's prophets. Though God had,
in displeasure, granted Israel's request for a King, yet he
sends them a Man to be Captain over them, to save them out of
the Hand of the Philistines. He does it, listening graciously to
their cry.

18-27 Samuel, that good Prophet, was So far from envying Saul,
or bearing him any ill-will, that he was the first and most
forward to do him honour. Both that Evening and early the next
morning, Samuel communed with Saul upon the flat roof of the
House. We may suppose Samuel now convinced Saul that he was the
person God had fixed upon for the government, and of his own
willingness to resign. How different are the purposes of the
Lord for us, from our intentions for ourselves! Perhaps Saul was
the only one who ever went out to seek asses, and literally
found a kingdom; but many have set out and moved their Dwellings
to seek riches and pleasures, who have been guided to places
where they found Salvation for their souls. Thus they have met
with those who addressed them as if aware of the secrets of
their lives and hearts, and have been led seriously to regard
the Word of the Lord. If this has been our case, though our
worldly plans have not prospered, let us not care for that; the
Lord has given us, or has prepared us for, what is far better.