1 Samuel 9:9
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.)

Berean Study Bible
(Formerly in Israel, a man on his way to inquire of God would say, “Come, let us go to the seer.” For the prophet of today was formerly called the 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.)

New King James Version
(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he spoke thus: “Come, let us go to the seer”; for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.)

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

NASB 1995
(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.)

NASB 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.)

Amplified Bible
(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he would say, “Come, let us go to the seer”; for he who is called a prophet today was formerly called a seer.)

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.

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.

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.)

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Because from the first in Israel, thus had a man said whenever he was going to inquire from God: “Come, let us go unto the Seer”, because a Prophet of today in former times was called a Seer

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Now before time in Israel every one in going to enquire of God said, Come and let us go to the seer; for the people beforetime called the prophet, the 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.

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.)

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.)

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.)

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.--

Literal Standard Version
Formerly in Israel, thus said the man in his going to seek God: “Come and we go to the seer.” For the “prophet” of today is formerly called “the 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.)

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.'

Additional Translations ...
Context
Saul Chosen as King
8The servant answered him again. “Look,” he said “I have here in my hand a quarter shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God, and he will tell us our way.” 9(Formerly in Israel, a man on his way to inquire of God would say, “Come, let us go to the seer.” For the prophet of today was formerly called the seer.) 10“Good,” said Saul to his servant. “Come, let us go.” So they set out for the city where the man of God was.…

Cross References
Genesis 25:22
But the children inside her struggled with each other, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?" So Rebekah went to inquire of the LORD,

1 Samuel 9:10
"Good," said Saul to his servant. "Come, let us go." So they set out for the city where the man of God was.

2 Samuel 24:11
When David got up in the morning, a revelation from the LORD had come to Gad the prophet, David's seer:

2 Kings 17:13
Yet through all His prophets and seers, the LORD warned Israel and Judah, saying, "Turn from your wicked ways and keep My commandments and statutes, according to the entire Law that I commanded your fathers and delivered to you through My servants the prophets."

1 Chronicles 9:22
The number of those chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds was 212. They were registered by genealogy in their villages. David and Samuel the seer had appointed them to their positions of trust.

1 Chronicles 21:9
And the LORD instructed Gad, David's seer,

1 Chronicles 26:28
Everything that had been dedicated by Samuel the seer, Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner, and Joab son of Zeruiah, along with everything else that was dedicated, was under the care of Shelomith and his brothers.


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 it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD.

Judges 1:1
Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?

a Seer

2 Samuel 24:11
For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,

2 Kings 17:13
Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.

1 Chronicles 26:28
And all that Samuel the seer, and Saul the son of Kish, and Abner the son of Ner, and Joab the son of Zeruiah, had dedicated; and whosoever had dedicated any thing, it was under the hand of Shelomith, and of his brethren.









(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.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
(Formerly
לְפָנִ֣ים ׀ (lə·p̄ā·nîm)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 6440: The face

in Israel,
בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל (bə·yiś·rā·’êl)
Preposition-b | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3478: Israel -- 'God strives', another name of Jacob and his desc

a man
הָאִישׁ֙ (hā·’îš)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 376: A man as an individual, a male person

on his way
בְּלֶכְתּוֹ֙ (bə·leḵ·tōw)
Preposition-b | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 1980: To go, come, walk

to inquire
לִדְר֣וֹשׁ (liḏ·rō·wōš)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 1875: To tread, frequent, to follow, to seek, ask, to worship

of God
אֱלֹהִ֔ים (’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

would say,
אָמַ֤ר (’ā·mar)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 559: To utter, say

“Come,
לְכ֥וּ (lə·ḵū)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine plural
Strong's 1980: To go, come, walk

let us go
וְנֵלְכָ֖ה (wə·nê·lə·ḵāh)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive imperfect Cohortative - first person common plural
Strong's 1980: To go, come, walk

to
עַד־ (‘aḏ-)
Preposition
Strong's 5704: As far as, even to, up to, until, while

the seer,”
הָרֹאֶ֑ה (hā·rō·’eh)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 7203: A seer, a vision

for
כִּ֤י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

the prophet
לַנָּבִיא֙ (lan·nā·ḇî)
Preposition-l, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 5030: A spokesman, speaker, prophet

of today
הַיּ֔וֹם (hay·yō·wm)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 3117: A day

was formerly
לְפָנִ֖ים (lə·p̄ā·nîm)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 6440: The face

called
יִקָּרֵ֥א (yiq·qā·rê)
Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7121: To call, proclaim, read

the seer.)
הָרֹאֶֽה׃ (hā·rō·’eh)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 7203: A seer, a vision


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OT History: 1 Samuel 9:9 In earlier times in Israel when (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa)
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