1 Samuel 10:1
Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?
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(1) Then-Samuel took a vial of oil.—The vial was a narrow-necked vessel, from which the oil flowed in drops. It was, of course, no common oil which the prophet used on this momentous occasion, but the oil of holy ointment, the sacred anointing oil which was used at the consecration of the priests, and also of the Tabernacle and the sacred vessels. (See Exodus 29:7; Exodus 30:23-33, &c.) The solemn anointing took place in the ceremony of consecration in the case of some, but not of all, the Hebrew sovereigns. We hear of it at the accession of David, Absalom, Solomon, Joash, Jehoahaz, And Jehu. In cases of regular succession the anointing was supposed to continue its effect—that is, the regular succession needed no new anointing. Hence it is that only the above named kings are mentioned as having been anointed, all founders of dynasties or irregularly advanced to the throne. (See Erdman in Lange here.)

And kissed him.—Rather as a customary sign of reverential homage than as a mark of affection, which at that early date of their acquaintance it was hardly possible to assume that the old man felt for the younger. (Compare Psalm 2:12 : “Kiss the son, lest he be angry”: that is, “Do homage, O ye kings of the earth, to Him who is your anointed King.”)

The Lord hath anointed thee.—Samuel replies to the look and gesture of extreme astonishment with which the young Saul received the anointing and the kiss with these words: “Do you mutely ask me why I pay you this formal homage? why I salute you with such deep respect? Is it not because you are the chosen of the Eternal? Are you still incredulous respecting your high destiny? See now, as you go on your way home, you will meet with three signs; they will prove to you that what I do, I do not of myself, but in obedience to a higher power.”

1 Samuel 10:1. And poured it upon his head — We do not read of any order of God, given for the anointing of kings. But it was the usual rite in the designation, as of prophets and priests, so also of kings, as appears from the parable of Jotham, recorded Jdg 9:8, and delivered two hundred years before this time. By using this ceremony Samuel signified the pouring forth of the gifts and graces of God’s Spirit upon Saul, to fit him for the administration of his office. These sacred unctions then used, pointed at the great Messiah, or anointed One, the King of the church, and High-Priest of our profession, who was anointed with the oil of the Spirit without measure, above all the priests and princes of the Jewish Church. Kissed — As a testimony of his sincere friendship and affection to him. His inheritance — That is, over his own peculiar people. Whereby he admonisheth Saul, that this people were not so much his, as God’s; and that he was not to rule them according to his own will, but according to the will of God. This sudden and unexpected elevation of Saul to the royal dignity was a thing not easy to be believed, and therefore Samuel gives him three or four signs in the following verses to assure him that God called him to this high office, and to confirm his faith in the divine appointment.

10:1-8 The sacred anointing, then used, pointed at the great Messiah, or Anointed One, the King of the church, and High Priest of our profession, who was anointed with the oil of the Spirit, not by measure, but without measure, and above all the priests and princes of the Jewish church. For Saul's further satisfaction, Samuel gives him some signs which should come to pass the same day. The first place he directs him to, was the sepulchre of one of his ancestors; there he must be reminded of his own mortality, and now that he had a crown before him, must think of his grave, in which all his honour would be laid in the dust. From the time of Samuel there appears to have been schools, or places where pious young men were brought up in the knowledge of Divine things. Saul should find himself strongly moved to join with them, and should be turned into another man from what he had been. The Spirit of God changes men, wonderfully transforms them. Saul, by praising God in the communion of saints, became another man, but it may be questioned if he became a new man.Is it not because ... - Samuel answers Saul's tacit or expressed wonder, by telling him why he did as he did. (Compare 1 Samuel 9:21.) CHAPTER 10

1Sa 10:1-27. Samuel Anoints Saul, and Confirms Him by the Prediction of Three Signs.

1. Then Samuel took a vial of oil—This was the ancient (Jud 9:8) ceremony of investiture with the royal office among the Hebrews and other Eastern nations. But there were two unctions to the kingly office; the one in private, by a prophet (1Sa 16:13), which was meant to be only a prophetic intimation of the person attaining that high dignity—the more public and formal inauguration (2Sa 2:4; 5:3) was performed by the high priest, and perhaps with the holy oil, but that is not certain. The first of a dynasty was thus anointed, but not his heirs, unless the succession was disputed (1Ki 1:39; 2Ki 11:12; 23:30; 2Ch 23:11).

kissed him—This salutation, as explained by the words that accompanied it, was an act of respectful homage, a token of congratulation to the new king (Ps 2:12).Samuel anointeth Saul, 1 Samuel 10:1; confirms him by prediction of three signs, 1 Samuel 10:2-8. Saul prophesies, 1 Samuel 10:9-13. He cometh to his uncle; telleth him what Samuel had said concerning the asses, but concealeth the matter of the kingdom, 1 Samuel 10:14-16. Samuel assembleth the people at Mizpeh, 1 Samuel 10:17-20. Saul is chosen king by lot; but hideth himself; is discovered by God. His stature, 1 Samuel 10:21-23. Samuel presents him to the people, who receive him with shouting, 1 Kings 10:24. Samuel writeth the manner of the kingdom in a book, 1 Kings 10:25. God inspires the people with reverence towards Saul; but the children of Belial despise him, 1 Samuel 10:26,27.

This was the usual rite in the designation, as of priests and prophets, so also of kings, as 1 Samuel 16:1131 Kings 1:39 2 Kings 9:1,3,6; whereby was signified the pouring forth of the gifts of God’s Spirit upon him, to enable him for the administration of his office, which he might expect, and should receive upon the discharge of his duty.

And kissed him; partly in token of that reverence which he did owe, and that subjection which he and all the people were shortly to perform to him, whereof kissing was a sign, as Genesis 41:40 1 Kings 19:18; and partly as a testimony of his sincere friendship and affection to him, and how far he was from envying his successor in the supreme dignity.

Over his inheritance, i.e. over his own peculiar people; whereby he admonisheth Saul that this people were not so much his as God’s; and that he was not to rule and manage them according to his own will and pleasure, but according to the will and mind of God.

Then Samuel took a vial of oil,.... Out of his pocket very probably, which he brought along with him on purpose for the use he made of it: this, as the Jews (y) say, was not the anointing oil that was in the tabernacle, which was at another and distant place, and with which only the kings of the house of David were anointed; but common oil, or, as they say, oil of balsam; and this was not an horn, but a vial, which held a small quantity, and was brittle; and they observe that Saul and Jehu, who were anointed with a vial, their reigns were short, whereas David and Solomon, who were anointed with a horn, their reigns were long; and as oil is a symbol of the gifts and graces of the Spirit, it may denote a smaller measure conferred on Saul than on David and Solomon:

and kissed him; congratulating him on the dignity he was raised to, and in reverence and respect to him, because of the high office he was arrived to; and as a token of subjection and homage, and to testify his well pleased in his being king, and that he readily, willingly, and with pleasure resigned the government to him:

and said, is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? the people of Israel, so called, Deuteronomy 32:9 and which is observed here to show, that though Saul was anointed king over them, they were the Lord's possession still, and he was accountable to him for his government and usage of them, over whom he was to be a captain, leader, and commander, to go before them, and fight their battles for them, of which his being anointed with oil was a token; and therefore it is said, "is it not?" or dost thou not see by this? or knowest thou not, as R. Isaiah supplies it, that this is of the Lord? for it was the Lord that anointed him, or Samuel by his orders; and such questions as these, as Kimchi observes, are for the greater confirmation of what is spoken; and if Saul had any doubt upon his mind, as perhaps he might because of his meanness, and the high honour designed hereby, not only this question is put, but three following signs are given him, whereby he might be assured of the truth of it.

(y) T. Bab. Horayot, fol. 11. 2. & 12. 1.

Then Samuel took a vial of {a} oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?

(a) In the Law this anointing signified the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which were necessary for those who would rule.

1 Samuel 10:1. a vial of oil] Rather, “the vial of oil.” The word rendered vial (i.e. phial or flask) occurs again only in the account of the coronation of Jehu, in 2 Kings 9:1; 2 Kings 9:3 (E. V. box). The definite article in the original may perhaps indicate the holy anointing oil used for the consecration of priests (Exodus 30:23-33).

and kissed him] In token of reverence and homage to his royal dignity. Cp. Psalm 2:12.

Is it not because the Lord] Lit., “Is it not the case that Jehovah” = Surely Jehovah, &c.

hath anointed thee] The rite of anointing (a) signified the consecration of the king to the service of God; (b) was the outward sign of the gift of the Spirit to qualify him for his office (1 Samuel 10:9-10, 1 Samuel 16:13, cp. Acts 10:38); (c) marked his person as sacred and inviolable (ch. 1 Samuel 26:9; 2 Samuel 1:14).

The title “the Lord’s anointed” (Sept. Χριστὸς Κυρίου, cp. Luke 2:26), designating the theocratic King as the Vicegerent of Jehovah, is characteristic of the books of Samuel and the Psalms. It never occurs in Kings, when the true idea of the kingdom had been lost.

Priests (Exodus 40:15; Leviticus 8:12), prophets in some cases (1 Kings 19:16), and kings, were consecrated by anointing, and formed partial types and foreshadowings of The Messiah (derived from the Hebrew word Mâshîach = anointed, through the Greek form Μεσσίας), i.e. the Anointed one, the Christ, who united in Himself all three offices of Prophet, Priest, and King.

According to Jewish tradition, anointing was only necessary when a new dynasty came to the throne or the succession was disputed. Hence we only find mention of it in the case of Saul; David (ch. 1 Samuel 16:3; 2 Samuel 2:4; 2 Samuel 5:3); Absalom (2 Samuel 19:10); Solomon (1 Kings 1:39); Joash (2 Kings 11:12); Jehoahaz, who was not the eldest son of Josiah (2 Kings 23:30); Jehu (2 Kings 9:3).

The ceremonies of this first recorded coronation are still observed in England. The anointing is performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the kiss of homage is given by the Archbishop, bishops, and premier peer of each rank for the rest of his order.

The Sept. reads “Hath not the Lord anointed thee to be ruler over his people Israel? And thou shalt rule the people of the Lord, and thou shalt save them out of the hand of their enemies. And this shall be the sign unto thee that the Lord hath anointed thee to be ruler over his inheritance. When, &c.” The Vulgate also contains the greater part of this addition, which seems to be required to connect 1 Samuel 10:1-2. Its omission in the Hebrew may be accounted for by what is called Homoeoteleuton. When two sentences end with the same words, the scribe’s eye is liable to catch the second instead of the first, so that he omits the intervening words.

his inheritance] Cp. Deuteronomy 32:9; Psalm 78:71, &c.

Verse 1. - A vial of oil. Hebrew, "the vial of oil," because it was that same holy oil with which the priests were anointed (Exodus 29:7). Throughout Holy Scripture the office of king appears as one most sacred, and it is the king, and not the priest, who is especially called Messiah, Jehovah s anointed (1 Samuel 2:10, 35; 1 Samuel 12:3, 5; 1 Samuel 16:6, etc.), because he represented the authority and power of God. And kissed him. I.e. did homage to him, and gave him the symbol and token of allegiance (see Psalm 2:12). Is it not?.... A strong affirmation often takes the form of a question, especially when, as probably was the case here, surprise is manifested. Saul, on whom the occurrences of the previous day must have come as strange and unintelligible marvels, was no doubt still more embarrassed when one so old and venerable, both in person and office, as Samuel solemnly consecrated him to be Israel's prince (see 1 Samuel 9:16), and gave him the kiss of fealty and allegiance. Samuel, therefore, answers Saul's inquiring looks with this question, and, further, gives him three signs to quiet his doubts, and convince him that his appointment is from God. 1 Samuel 10:1Samuel then took the oil-flask, poured it upon his (Saul's) head, kissed him, and said, "Hath not Jehovah (equivalent to 'Jehovah assuredly hath') anointed thee to be captain over His inheritance?" הלוא, as an expression of lively assurance, receives the force of an independent clause through the following כּי, "is it not so?" i.e., "yea, it is so, that," etc., just as it does before אם in Genesis 4:7. נחלתו, (His (Jehovah's) possession, was the nation of Israel, which Jehovah had acquired as the people of His own possession through their deliverance out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 9:26, etc.). Anointing with oil as a symbol of endowment with the Spirit of God; as the oil itself, by virtue of the strength which it gives to the vital spirits, was a symbol of the Spirit of God as the principle of divine and spiritual power (see at Leviticus 8:12). Hitherto there had been no other anointing among the people of God than that of the priests and sanctuary (Exodus 30:23.; Leviticus 8:10.). When Saul, therefore, was consecrated as king by anointing, the monarchy was inaugurated as a divine institution, standing on a par with the priesthood; through which henceforth the Lord would also bestow upon His people the gifts of His Spirit for the building up of His kingdom. As the priests were consecrated by anointing to be the media of the ethical blessings of divine grace for Israel, so the king was consecrated by anointing to be the vehicle and medium of all the blessings of grace which the Lord, as the God-king, would confer upon His people through the institution of a civil government. Through this anointing, which was performed by Samuel under the direction of God, the king was set apart from the rest of the nation as "anointed of the Lord" (cf. 1 Samuel 12:3, 1 Samuel 12:5, etc.), and sanctified as the נגיד, i.e., its captain, its leader and commander. Kissing was probably not a sign of homage or reverence towards the anointed of the Lord, so much as "a kiss of affection, with which the grace of God itself was sealed" (Seb. Schmidt).

(Note: The lxx and Vulgate have expanded the second half of this verse by a considerable addition, which reads as follows in the lxx: οὐχὶ κέχρικέ σε κύριος εἰς ἄρχοντα ἐπὶ τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ Ἰσραήλ καὶ σὺ ἄρξεις ἐν λαῷ κυρίου, καὶ σὺ σώσεις αὐτὸν ἐκ χειρὸς ἐχθρῶν αὐτοῦ κυκλόθεν, καὶ τοῦτό σοι τὸ σημεῖον ὅτι ἔχρισέ σε κύριος ἐπὶ κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ εἰς ἄρχοντα. And in the Vulgate: Ecce, unxit te Dominus super haereditatem suam in principem, et liberabis populum suum de manibus inimicorum ejus, qui in circuitu ejus sunt. Et hoc tibi signum, quia unxit te Deus in principem. A comparison of these two texts will show that the lxx interpolated their addition between הלוא and כּי, as the last clause, ὅτι ἔχρισέ σε κύριος ἐπὶ κληρονομίαν αυτοῦ εἰς ἄρχοντα, is a verbal translation of יהוה משׁחך כּי לנגיד על־נחלתו. In the Vulgate, on the other hand, the first clause, ecce unxit - in principem, corresponds word for word with the Hebrew text, from which we may see that Jerome translated our present Hebrew text; and the addition, et liberabis, etc., was interpolated into the Vulgate from the Itala. The text of the Septuagint is nothing more than a gloss formed from 1 Samuel 9:16-17, which the translator thought necessary, partly because he could not clearly see the force of כּי הלוא, but more especially because he could not explain the fact that Samuel speaks to Saul of signs, without having announced them to him as such. But the author of the gloss has overlooked the fact that Samuel does not give Saul a σημεῖον, but three σημεῖα, and describes the object of them in 1 Samuel 10:7 as being the following, namely, that Saul would learn when they took place what he had to do, for Jehovah was with him, and not that they would prove that the Lord had anointed him to be captain.)

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