1 Samuel 9:9
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
(Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, "Come, let us go to the seer," because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)

New Living Translation
(In those days if people wanted a message from God, they would say, "Let's go and ask the seer," for prophets used to be called seers.)

English Standard Version
(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he said, “Come, let us go to the seer,” for today’s “prophet” was formerly called a seer.)

New American Standard Bible
(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, "Come, and let us go to the seer"; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer.)

King James Bible
(Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Formerly in Israel, a man who was going to inquire of God would say, "Come, let's go to the seer," for the prophet of today was formerly called the seer.

International Standard Version
(Previously in Israel, a person would say when he went to inquire of God, "Come on! Let's go to the seer!" because the person known as a prophet today was formerly called a seer.)

NET Bible
(Now it used to be in Israel that whenever someone went to inquire of God he would say, "Come on, let's go to the seer." For today's prophet used to be called a seer.)

New Heart English Bible
(In earlier times in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he would say, "Come, and let us go to the seer"; for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.)

GOD'S WORD® Translation
(Formerly in Israel, when a person went to ask God [a question], he would say, "Come, let's go to the seer," because a person we now call a prophet used to be called a seer.)

JPS Tanakh 1917
Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said: 'Come and let us go to the seer'; for he that is now called a prophet was beforetime called a seer.--

New American Standard 1977
(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, “Come, and let us go to the seer”; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer.)

Jubilee Bible 2000
(Beforetime in Israel when anyone went to enquire of God, he spoke thus, Come, and let us go to the seer, for he that is now called a Prophet was called a Seer before.)

King James 2000 Bible
(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spoke, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was formerly called a Seer.)

American King James Version
(Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spoke, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)

American Standard Version
(Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said, Come, and let us go to the seer; for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now in time past, in Israel when a man went to consult God he spoke thus: Come, let us go to the seer. For he that is now called a prophet, in time past was called a seer.

Darby Bible Translation
(In former time in Israel, when a man went to ask counsel of God, he said, Come and let us go to the seer; for he that is now called a Prophet was in former time called a Seer.)

English Revised Version
(Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said, Come and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)

Webster's Bible Translation
(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spoke, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was formerly called a Seer.)

World English Bible
(In earlier times in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said, "Come, and let us go to the seer;" for he who is now called a prophet was before called a Seer.)

Young's Literal Translation
Formerly in Israel, thus said the man in his going to seek God, 'Come and we go unto the seer,' for the 'prophet' of to-day is called formerly 'the seer.'
Study Bible
Saul Chosen as King
8The servant answered Saul again and said, "Behold, I have in my hand a fourth of a shekel of silver; I will give it to the man of God and he will tell us our way." 9(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, "Come, and let us go to the seer"; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer.) 10Then Saul said to his servant, "Well said; come, let us go." So they went to the city where the man of God was.…
Cross References
Genesis 25:22
But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to inquire of the LORD.

1 Samuel 9:10
Then Saul said to his servant, "Well said; come, let us go." So they went to the city where the man of God was.

2 Samuel 24:11
When David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,

2 Kings 17:13
Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets."

1 Chronicles 9:22
All these who were chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds were 212. These were enrolled by genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer appointed in their office of trust.

1 Chronicles 21:9
The LORD spoke to Gad, David's seer, saying,

1 Chronicles 26:28
And all that Samuel the seer had dedicated and Saul the son of Kish, Abner the son of Ner and Joab the son of Zeruiah, everyone who had dedicated anything, all of this was in the care of Shelomoth and his relatives.

1 Chronicles 29:29
Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the chronicles of Samuel the seer, in the chronicles of Nathan the prophet and in the chronicles of Gad the seer,

Isaiah 30:10
Who say to the seers, "You must not see visions"; And to the prophets, "You must not prophesy to us what is right, Speak to us pleasant words, Prophesy illusions.

Amos 7:12
Then Amaziah said to Amos, "Go, you seer, flee away to the land of Judah and there eat bread and there do your prophesying!
Treasury of Scripture

(Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spoke, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)

enquire

Genesis 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If …

Judges 1:1 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children …

a Seer

2 Samuel 24:11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came to …

2 Kings 17:13 Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all …

1 Chronicles 26:28 And all that Samuel the seer, and Saul the son of Kish, and Abner …

1 Chronicles 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are …

2 Chronicles 16:7,10 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said …

Isaiah 29:10 For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and …

Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not …

Amos 7:12 Also Amaziah said to Amos, O you seer, go, flee you away into the …

(9) Beforetime in Israel.--This verse was evidently inserted in the original book of memoirs of the days of Samuel by a later hand. Three special words are found in the Divine writings for the inspired messengers or interpreters of the Eternal wilt; of these, the title seer (roeh) was the most ancient. It is the title, evidently, by which Samuel in his lifetime was generally known. "Is the seer here?" we read in this passage; and "Where is the seer's house?" and "I am the seer." As time passed on, the term, in the sense of an inspired man of God, became obsolete, and the word chozeh, "a gazer." on strange visions, seemed to have been the word used for one inspired. The title nabi--prophet--began to come into common use in the time of Samuel, to whom the term is not unfrequently applied. The word nabi, or prophet, is found in nearly all the Old Testament books, from Genesis to Malachi, though rarely in the earlier writings. This note was inserted by some scribe who lived comparatively later (perhaps in the time of Ezra), but who must have been a reviser of the sacred text of very high authority, as this "note" has come down to us as an integral part of the received Hebrew text. The reason of the insertion is obvious. The title roeh--seer--as time passed on, no longer belonged exclusively to "a man of God." The scribe who put in this expression was desirous of pointing out that when Samuel lived it was the word always used for a prophet of the Lord. In those early days it had not deteriorated in meaning.

Verse 9. - Beforetime, etc. This verse is evidently a gloss, written originally by some later hand in the margin, in order to explain the word used for seer in vers. 11, 18, 19. Inserted here in the text it interrupts the narrative, and is itself somewhat incomprehensible. The Septuagint offers a very probable reading, namely, "for the people in old time used to call the prophet a seer," i.e. it was a word used chiefly by the common people. Prophet, nabi, is really the older and established word from the beginning of the Old Testament to the end. The word roeh, used in this place for seer, is comparatively rare, as a popular word would be in written compositions. It refers to that which is seen by the ordinary sight, to waking vision (see on 1 Samuel 3:1, 10), whereas the other word for seer, chozeh, refers to ecstatic vision. Roeh is used by Isaiah, ch. Isaiah 30:10, apparently in much the same sense as here, of those whom the people consulted in their difficulties, and they might be true prophets as Samuel was, or mere pretenders to occult powers. The present narrative makes it plain that roeh was used in a good sense in Samuel's days; but gradually it became degraded, and while chozeh became the respectful word for a prophet, roeh became the contrary. Another conclusion also follows. We have seen that there are various indications that the Books of Samuel in their present state are later than his days. Here, on the contrary, we have a narrative couched in the very language of his times; for the writer of the gloss contained in this verse was displeased at Samuel being called a roeh, but did not dare to alter it, though taking care to note that it was equivalent in those days to calling him a nabi. Before time in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God,.... To ask doctrine of him, as the Targum, to be taught by him, to have his mind and will in any affair of moment and importance; which was usually done by applying to some man of God, eminent for grace and piety, and a spirit of prophecy:

thus he spake, come, and let us go to the seer; a man used to say to his friend, when he wanted some instruction or direction, let us go together to such an one, the seer, and ask counsel of him what is proper to be done in such an affair:

for he that is now called a prophet was before called a seer; for though these names are used freely of the same persons, both before and after this time; yet now the more common appellation which obtained was that of a prophet; custom, and the use of language, varied at different times, though the same was meant by the one and the other; such men were called seers, because of the vision of prophecy, because they saw or foresaw things to come; and they were called prophets, because they foretold what they saw, or delivered out their predictions by word of mouth. This verse is put in a parenthesis, and is commonly supposed to be the words of the writer of this book: hence some draw an argument against Samuel being the writer of it, as Abarbinel does, who concludes from hence that it was written by Jeremiah, or some other person long after Samuel, or that this verse was added by Ezra; but as this book might be written by Samuel in the latter part of his life, he might with propriety observe this, that in his younger time, and quite down to the anointing of Saul king, both when there was no open vision, and afterwards when there was scarce any that had it but himself, he was used to be called the seer; but in his latter days, when there were many that had the vision of prophecy, and there were schools set up, it was more common to call them prophets; though perhaps these are the words of Saul's servant, spoken to encourage Saul to go to the man of God, and inquire of him, since in former times, as he could remember, being perhaps an old servant, or he had heard his parents so say, that such men used to be called seers, because they saw what others did not, and declared and made others to see what they did; and therefore there was a probability that this man of God, who was a seer, might show them the way they should go to find the asses. 9. seer … Prophet—The recognized distinction in latter times was, that a seer was one who was favored with visions of God—a view of things invisible to mortal sight; and a prophet foretold future events.9:1-10 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.
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