|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:10-23 Repentance in God is not a change of mind, as it is in us, but a change of method. The change was in Saul; He is turned back from following me. Hereby he made God his enemy. Samuel spent a whole night in pleading for Saul. The rejection of sinners is the grief of believers: God delights not in their death, nor should we. Saul boasts to Samuel of his obedience. Thus sinners think, by justifying themselves, to escape being judged of the Lord. The noise the cattle made, like the rust of the silver, Jas 5:3, witnessed against him. Many boast of obedience to the command of God; but what means then their indulgence of the flesh, their love of the world, their angry and unkind spirit, and their neglect of holy duties, which witness against them? See of what evil covetousness is the root; and see what is the sinfulness of sin, and notice that in it which above any thing else makes it evil in the sight of the Lord; it is disobedience: Thou didst not obey the voice of the Lord. Carnal, deceitful hearts, like Saul, think to excuse themselves from God's commandments by what pleases themselves. It is hard to convince the children of disobedience. But humble, sincere, and conscientious obedience to the will of God, is more pleasing and acceptable to him than all burnt-offering and sacrifices. God is more glorified and self more denied, by obedience than by sacrifice. It is much easier to bring a bullock or lamb to be burned upon the altar, than to bring every high thought into obedience to God, and to make our will subject to his will. Those are unfit and unworthy to rule over men, who are not willing that God should rule over them.
Verse 16. - Stay. Samuel will hear no more. Long as he had striven for him in prayer (ver. 11), he now feels that Saul has fallen too low for recovery to be possible. This night. It is plain from this that Samuel had not gone to meet Saul at Carmel, but on receiving information of his movements had proceeded straight to Gilgal, distant from Ramah about fifteen miles.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Samuel said unto Saul, stay,.... Stop a little, do not be in haste to be gone, as he might seem to be, fearing a reproof, and that something would be said to him not very agreeable; or "suffer" (c) me, that is, to speak, give me leave to say a few words; for Saul being a king, Samuel treats him as such, and asks audience of him, or leave of him to deliver what he had to say to him:
and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said to me this night; and since it was not anything from himself, but from the Lord, he had to say, he might expect the rather to be heard, and especially since it was what had lately, even that very night, been told him:
and he said unto him, say on; he gave him leave, perhaps hoping he should hear something said in his praise, commending him for what he had done in destroying the nation of Amalek, see Luke 7:40. There is a double reading of this clause, the Cetib or textural reading is, "and they said unto him"; meaning Saul, and the elders with him; the Keri, or marginal reading is, which we follow, "and he said unto him"; meaning Saul, as Kimchi notes.
(c) "permitte", Pagninus, Montanus; "sine me", V. L. so Abarbinel.
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