|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:17-27 Samuel tells the people, Ye have this day rejected your God. So little fond was Saul now of that power, which soon after, when he possessed it, he could not think of parting with, that he hid himself. It is good to be conscious of our unworthiness and insufficiency for the services to which we are called; but men should not go into the contrary extreme, by refusing the employments to which the Lord and the church call them. The greater part of the people treated the matter with indifference. Saul modestly went home to his own house, but was attended by a band of men whose hearts God disposed to support his authority. If the heart bend at any time the right way, it is because He has touched it. One touch is enough when it is Divine. Others despised him. Thus differently are men affected to our exalted Redeemer. There is a remnant who submit to him, and follow him wherever he goes; they are those whose hearts God has touched, whom he has made willing. But there are others who despise him, who ask, How shall this man save us? They are offended in him, and they will be punished.
Verses 26, 27. - Saul did not at once enter upon his duties, but went home to Gibeah, and there went with him, not a band of men, but the host, or the force, i.e. those brave men whose hearts God had touched. Whatever was noble and valiant accompanied him, to take counsel for the nation's good; but the children of Belial, i.e. worthless, good for nothing creatures (see 1 Samuel 1:16; 1 Samuel 2:12), despised him. In the A.V. the antithesis between the force, the strength and bravery that went with Saul, and the worthlessness which rejected him, is lost by the mistranslation of both words. The Septuagint, on the contrary, strengthens it by rendering "sons of strength" and "pestilent sons." As there was a garrison in the district of Gibeah, this proceeding was likely to embroil Saul with the Philistines, and probably was so intended. They brought him no presents. Apparently, therefore, the people did bring him presents; and as these would chiefly consist of food, they would be useful only for maintaining a body of men. This, too, would scarcely escape the notice of so watchful an enemy, and yet until Saul smote one of their garrisons they did nothing; but then, forthwith, they invaded Israel so promptly, and with such overwhelming numbers, as seems to prove that they had been busily making preparations meanwhile to maintain their empire. He held his peace. Literally, "was as one that is deaf." Had Saul not controlled his anger, a civil war would have been the result, and the lordly tribes of Ephraim and Judah might have refused a king chosen from the little tribe of Benjamin. In fact, Judah never does seem to have given a hearty allegiance to Saul. The Septuagint, followed by Josephus, offers a not improbable different reading, which involves but a very slight change in the Hebrew. Uniting the words with the next chapter, they translate, "And it came to pass, after about a month, that Nahash the Ammonite," etc. The Vulgate has both readings.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Saul also went home to Gibeah,.... His native place, where was his father's house, to which he retired; where were no royal palace, or princely court, nor any of the ensigns of kingly majesty; and whither it does not appear that he was followed by the nobility or princes of the tribes, only accompanied by a few men, as next observed:
and there went with him a band of men; an army, or part of one they seem to be military men, at least men of strength, valour, and courage; gallant men, who, in honour to their king elect, freely offered themselves to be his body guard, however, until he was come to his house at Gibeah; the Targum is only, "some of the people"
whose heart God had touched; and inclined to show honour and respect to their king; the Targum describes them,"men that feared to sin, and in whose hearts the fear of God was put.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. And Saul also went home to Gibeah—near Geba. This was his place of residence (see Jud 20:20), about five miles north of Jerusalem.
there went … a band of men, whose hearts God had touched—who feared God and regarded allegiance to their king as a conscientious duty. They are opposed to "the children of Belial."
1 Samuel 10:26 Parallel Commentaries
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