1 Samuel 13:9
And Saul said, Bring here a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.
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(9) Bring hither a burnt offering to me.—It has been supposed by many that the greatness of the sin of Saul consisted in his offering sacrifice with his own hand, but not a hint of this is anywhere given us. It is more than probable that the sacrifice which was offered so prematurely in the absence of the seer of God was performed by the hand of Ahiah the priest, who, no doubt, was in attendance on the king. No unlawful assumption of priestly functions, as in the case of King Uzziah (2Chronicles 26:18), is anywhere charged on Saul.

13:8-14 Saul broke the order expressly given by Samuel, see ch.There is a difference of opinion among commentators whether Saul himself offered the sacrifices prepared for Samuel, thus entrenching upon the priest's office; or whether he ordered the priests to sacrifice, as Solomon did. In the latter case his sin consisted in disobeying the word of God, who had bidden him wait until Samuel came. And this is, on the whole, the more probable; since Samuel's rebuke says nothing of any assumption of priesthood, such as we read in the case of Uzziah 2 Chronicles 26:18. 1Sa 13:9-16. Saul, Weary of Waiting for Samuel, Sacrifices.

9-14. Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings—Saul, though patriotic enough in his own way, was more ambitious of gaining the glory of a triumph to himself than ascribing it to God. He did not understand his proper position as king of Israel; and although aware of the restrictions under which he held the sovereignty, he wished to rule as an autocrat, who possessed absolute power both in civil and sacred things. This occasion was his first trial. Samuel waited till the last day of the seven, in order to put the constitutional character of the king to the test; and, as Saul, in his impatient and passionate haste knowingly transgressed (1Sa 13:12) by invading the priest's office and thus showing his unfitness for his high office (as he showed nothing of the faith of Gideon and other Hebrew generals), he incurred a threat of the rejection which his subsequent waywardness confirmed.

Either himself; or rather by the priest, as Solomon is said to offer, 1 Kings 3:4. Compare 1 Samuel 1:3. And Saul said,.... Being impatient, and seeing the people deserting him apace, and unwilling to engage in a battle without first sacrificing to God, and imploring his help and assistance:

bring hither a burnt offering to me; that is, a creature for a burnt offering, a bullock, sheep, goat, or lamb:

and peace offerings; which also were either of the herd, or of the flock:

and he offered the burnt offering; either he himself, or by a priest. In this unsettled time, while the tabernacle, altar, and ark, were at different places, and not yet fixed, it is thought that such who were not priests might offer, and that in high places, and where the tabernacle and altar were not.

And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.
9. Bring hither a burnt offering, &c.] “Bring hither to me the burnt-offering and the peace-offerings,” which were ready, awaiting Samuel’s arrival.

he offered the burnt offering] The same phrase is used of David (2 Samuel 24:25), and Solomon (1 Kings 3:4), and probably does not mean that they actually performed the sacrifice themselves, If they did do so, it must be inferred that it was lawful for the king to act as priest. At any rate there is no hint here that Saul’s sin consisted in the usurpation of priestly functions.Verse 9. - A burnt offering, etc. The Hebrew has the definite article, the burnt offering and the peace offerings, which were there ready for Samuel to offer. He offered. Not with his own hand, but by the hand of the attendant priest, Ahiah, who was, we know, with him. Possibly, nevertheless, the Levitical law was not at this period strictly observed. "And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was at Geba," probably the military post mentioned in 1 Samuel 10:5, which had been advanced in the meantime as far as Geba. For Geba is not to be confounded with Gibeah, from which it is clearly distinguished in 1 Samuel 13:16 as compared with 1 Samuel 13:15, but is the modern Jeba, between the Wady Suweinit and Wady Fara, to the north-west of Ramah (er-Rm; see at Joshua 18:24). "The Philistines heard this. And Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the whole land, and proclamation made: let the Hebrews hear it." לאמר after בּשּׁופר תּקע points out the proclamation that was made after the alarm given by the shophar (see 2 Samuel 20:1; 1 Kings 1:34, 1 Kings 1:39, etc.). The object to "let them hear" may be easily supplied from the context, viz., Jonathan's feat of arms. Saul had this trumpeted in the whole land, not only as a joyful message for the Hebrews, but also as an indirect summons to the whole nation to rise and make war upon the Philistines. In the word שׁמע (hear), there is often involved the idea of observing, laying to heart that which is heard. If we understand ישׁמעוּ in this sense here, and the next verse decidedly hints at it, there is no ground whatever for the objection which Thenius, who follows the lxx, has raised to העברים ישׁמעוּ. He proposes this emendation, העברים ישׁמעוּ, "let the Hebrews fall away," according to the Alex. text ἠθετήκασιν οἱ δοῦλοι, without reflecting that the very expression οἱδοῦλοι is sufficient to render the Alex. reading suspicious, and that Saul could not have summoned the people in all the land to fall away from the Philistines, since they had not yet conquered and taken possession of the whole. Moreover, the correctness of ישׁמעוּ is confirmed by ישׁמעוּ ישׂראל וכל in 1 Samuel 13:4. "All Israel heard," not the call to fall away, but the news, "Saul has smitten a garrison of the Philistines, and Israel has also made itself stinking with the Philistines," i.e., hated in consequence of the bold and successful attack made by Jonathan, which proved that the Israelites would no longer allow themselves to be oppressed by the Philistines. "And the people let themselves be called together after Saul to Gilgal." הצּעק, to permit to summon to war (as in Judges 7:23-24). The words are incorrectly rendered by the Vulgate, "clamavit ergo populus post Saul," and by Luther, "Then the people cried after Saul to Gilgal." Saul drew back to Gilgal, when the Philistines advanced with a large army, to make preparations for the further conflict (see at 1 Samuel 13:13).
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