1 Samuel 10:4
And they will salute you, and give you two loaves of bread; which you shall receive of their hands.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Samuel 10:4. They will salute thee, &c. — This may be considered as a third sign, or an appendix to the second. And it is the more remarkable, because this present, which they made him, was a figure of that honour which the people did him when he was declared their king.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.The plain of Tabor - It should be "the oak or terebinth"" of Tabor" (Judges 4:11 note). It has been ingeniously conjectured that "Tabor" is either a different form of "Deborah," or a corruption of it, and that the "oak," or "terebinth of Tabor," is the same as "Allon-bachuth," the oak under which Deborah was buried, and which lay "beneath Bethel" Genesis 35:8. The terebinth, where the three men came upon Saul, must have been at some point previous to that where the road leading northward from Jerusalem branches; when they reached that point they would go on with their offerings to Bethel, he would pursue his journey to Gibeah. 3. the plain—or, "the oak of Tabor," not the celebrated mount, for that was far distant.

three men going up to God to Beth-el—apparently to offer sacrifices there at a time when the ark and the tabernacle were not in a settled abode, and God had not yet declared the permanent place which He should choose. The kids were for sacrifice, the loaves for the offering, and the wine for the libations.

Two loaves of bread; two of those three designed for sacrifice, supposing they could easily procure a supply of other loaves at Beth-el. But the more strange the present was, the more fit it was for a sign of God’s extraordinary providence in Saul’s affairs. And they will salute thee,.... Not as king, of which they knew nothing, but in a common way; and though a stranger and unknown to them, yet finding their hearts disposed and affected towards him, would inquire of his welfare, and wish him all happiness, peace, and prosperity:

and give thee two loaves of bread; which was pretty much that they should give him two out of three, and leave but one for themselves, and especially if they were going to sacrifice; but perhaps they knew they could buy more bread at Bethel, and so were disposed to give two of their loaves to Saul, one for himself and another for his servant; though Kimchi thinks that these are not the same before called loaves; and indeed the word "loaves" is not in the text, but cakes of bread, which were lesser than loaves, and which they carried for their own use, besides three loaves of bread:

which thou shall receive of their hands; being sent out by Samuel early that morning without eating any food, and having travelled some miles, might become weary and faint, and which the three men might discern, and so had compassion on them, and relieved them; and Saul was not to refuse the offer of them, but take them at their hands, though he was anointed to be king; and this was to teach him humility, and to be kind to the poor and needy, and relieve them when he was in more elevated circumstances. All these actions also were contingent, and when they came to pass, as they did, must be still more confirming than the former sign.

And they will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hands.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. two loaves of bread] An unconscious act of homage to the newly-anointed king. As the representative of God he receives a share of the offerings intended for the sanctuary.Verse 4. - These pilgrims would salute Saul, i.e. give him the usual friendly greeting of travellers, and would then present to him, a stranger, two loaves of the bread intended for their offering at Bethel. By so doing, in the first place, they acknowledged him as their lord (see 1 Samuel 9:7; 1 Samuel 16:20), and, secondly, they indicated that the king would henceforth share with the sanctuary the offerings of the people. And Saul was to receive of their hands the present, as being now his due, for by anointing him Samuel had designated him as king. When the sacrificial meal was over, Samuel and Saul went down from the high place into the town, and he (Samuel) talked with him upon the roof (of the house into which Samuel had entered). The flat roofs of the East were used as placed of retirement for private conversation (see at Deuteronomy 22:8). This conversation did not refer of course to the call of Samuel to the royal dignity, for that was not made known to him as a word of Jehovah till the following day (1 Samuel 9:27); but it was intended to prepare him for that announcement: so that O. v. Gerlach's conjecture is probably the correct one, viz., that Samuel "talked with Saul concerning the deep religious and political degradation of the people of God, the oppression of the heathen, the causes of the inability of the Israelites to stand against these foes, the necessity for a conversion of the people, and the want of a leader who was entirely devoted to the Lord."

(Note: For הגּג על עם־שׁאוּל וידבּר the lxx have καὶ διέστρωσαν τῷ Σαοὺλ ἐπι τῷ δώματι καὶ ἐκοιμήθη, "they prepared Saul a bed upon the house, and he slept," from which Clericus conjectured that these translators had read לשאול וירבדו (וירבּדוּ or ויּרבּדוּ); and Ewald and Thenius propose to alter the Hebrew text in this way. But although וגו ויּשׁכּימוּ (1 Samuel 9:26) no doubt presupposes that Saul had slept in Samuel's house, and in fact upon the roof, the remark of Thenius, "that the private conversation upon the roof (1 Samuel 9:25) comes too early, as Saul did not yet know, and was not to learn till the following day, what was about to take place," does not supply any valid objection to the correctness of the Masoretic text, or any argument in favour of the Septuagint rendering or interpretation, since it rests upon an altogether unfounded and erroneous assumption, viz., that Samuel had talked with Saul about his call to the throne. Moreover, "the strangeness" of the statement in 1 Samuel 9:26, "they rose up early," and then "when the morning dawned, Samuel called," etc., cannot possibly throw any suspicion upon the integrity of the Hebrew text, as this "strangeness" vanishes when we take וגו כּעלות ויהי as a more precise definition of ויּשׁכּימוּ. The Septuagint translators evidently held the same opinion as their modern defenders. They took offence at Samuel's private conversation with Saul, because he did not make known to him the word of God concerning his call to the throne till the next morning; and, on the other hand, as their rising the next morning is mentioned in 1 Samuel 9:26, they felt the absence of any allusion to their sleeping, and consequently not only interpreted ידבר by a conjectural emendation as standing for ירבד rof, because מרבדּים רבד is used in Proverbs 7:16 to signify the spreading of mats or carpets for a bed, but also identified וישׁכמו with ישׁכבו, and rendered it ἐκοιμήθη. At the same time, they did not reflect that the preparation of the bed and their sleeping during the night were both of them matters of course, and there was consequently no necessity to mention them; whereas Samuel's talking with Saul upon the roof was a matter of importance in relation to the whole affair, and one which could not be passed over in silence. Moreover, the correctness of the Hebrew text is confirmed by all the other ancient versions. Not only do the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic follow the Masoretic text, but Jerome does the same in the rendering adopted by him, "Et locutus est cum Saule in solario. Cumque mane surrexissent;" though the words "stravitque Saul in solario et dormivit" have been interpolated probably from the Itala into the text of the Vulgate which has come down to us.)

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