|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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But the children of Belial said,.... Wicked, dissolute, lawless persons; men without a yoke, as the word signifies, who did not care to be under the yoke of government, at least not under the yoke of Saul; and these might be men of wealth, and of larger tribes, and better families than Saul was of, and therefore envied him, and thought themselves better for government than he was; and in a jeering scornful manner said:
how shall this man save us? whose family is so mean, and whose tribe is so small, that they can give but little assistance to deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, the Philistines and Ammonites; intimating, that a king ought to have been of a rich family, and a large tribe, and a prince in it, whose interest and influence were great, not only in his own tribe, but in others, which would enable him to engage in war with an enemy, and protect the people; but what, as if they should say, can be expected from "this man?", this mean contemptible man, of no birth nor fortune, brought up in an obscure manner, and altogether inexpert in things civil and military?
and they despised him; on account of the above things, not only in their hearts, but spared not to speak out, and use opprobrious language, and with which their actions and conduct agreed:
and brought him no presents; as others did, and as it was usual when a king came to the throne; nor were any visits made unto him, in token of their subjection to him, and complacency in him, and by way of congratulation of him, see 1 Kings 4:21 the Targum is, they did not salute him, or ask of his welfare:
but he held his peace, or "was as one that is deaf and dumb" (o); took no notice of what they said, as if he was deaf and heard it not, and was as silent as if he had been a dumb man, which showed his wisdom and prudence; for had he taken notice of them, he must have punished them, and he judged it more advisable to use lenity and mildness, and not begin his reign with contention and bloodshed.
(o) "et fuit veluti surdus", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; "fuit quasi obmutescens", Drusius; "veluti tacens aut silens", so some in Vatablus; so the Targum.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents—In Eastern countries, the honor of the sovereign and the splendor of the royal household are upheld, not by a fixed rate of taxation, but by presents brought at certain seasons by officials, and men of wealth, from all parts of the kingdom, according to the means of the individual, and of a customary registered value. Such was the tribute which Saul's opponents withheld, and for want of which he was unable to set up a kingly establishment for a while. But "biding his time," he bore the insult with a prudence and magnanimity which were of great use in the beginning of his government.
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