1 Samuel 9:13
As soon as ye be come into the city, ye shall straightway find him, before he go up to the high place to eat: for the people will not eat until he come, because he doth bless the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat that be bidden. Now therefore get you up; for about this time ye shall find him.
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(13) He doth bless the sacrifice.—It has been well remarked that we have here, in this note of the people’s conduct at the sacrificial banquet of “Raman of the Watchers,” a very early instance of the devout practice among the Hebrews of asking a blessing on meals.

9:11-17 The very maid-servants of the city could direct to the prophet. They had heard of the sacrifice, and could tell of the necessity for Samuel's presence. It is no small benefit to live in religious and holy places. And we should always be ready to help those who are seeking after God's prophets. Though God had, in displeasure, granted Israel's request for a king, yet he sends them a man to be captain over them, to save them out of the hand of the Philistines. He does it, listening graciously to their cry.Before he go up - By this phrase we see that the high place was in the highest part of the city. Like the "house of the god Berith" Judges 9:46, it was probably the citadel of Ramah. There was connected with the altar a room large enough for thirty people to dine in 1 Samuel 9:22. 11-13. as they went up the hill—The modern village, Er-Rameh, lies on an eminence; and on their way they met a band of young maidens going out to the well, which, like all similar places in Palestine, was beyond the precincts of the town. From these damsels they learned that the day was devoted to a festival occasion, in honor of which Samuel had arrived in the city; that a sacrifice had been offered, which was done by prophets in extraordinary circumstances at a distance from the tabernacle, and that a feast was to follow—implying that it had been a peace offering; and that, according to the venerable practice of the Israelites, the man of God was expected to ask a special blessing on the food in a manner becoming the high occasion. Ye shall straightway find him, at home and at leisure. To eat the relics of the sacrifices, according to the manner.

He doth bless the sacrifice, i.e. either, first, The meat left of the sacrifice, which is the matter of the following feast; as this is commonly understood. Or rather, secondly, The sacrifice itself. For what reason is there to depart from the proper signification of the word? For that the sacrifices under the law were accompanied with confession, or petition, or thanksgiving, may be gathered from divers places of Scripture, as Leviticus 5:5 16:21 Numbers 5:7 Luke 1:10. And who so proper to perform this work as Samuel, an eminent prophet? And the blessing of this sacrifice seems to have consisted both of thanksgiving, this being a thank-offering, and of prayer to God for his acceptance, Psalm 20:3.

Now therefore get you up with speed, lest he be set down before you come.

As soon as ye come into the city, ye shall straightway find him,.... By which it seems that the house of Samuel was at that end of it at which they entered; and with which agrees what is observed in the preceding verse, that "he was before them", his house was in sight of them:

before he go up to the high place to eat; intimating they would, if they made haste, come up to him before he got thither to sit down and eat with the people; for if they did not, they would not be able to see him and speak with him for some time, if on that day:

for the people will not eat until he come; partly out of affection and veneration for him, being their chief magistrate, as well as seer or prophet, and partly for the reason following:

because he doth bless the sacrifice; ask a blessing upon it, upon the meat of the peace offerings before it was eaten; for as this was usually done at every common meal, then much more at such a solemn festival as this. Jarchi gives us the form of blessing used on such an occasion,"blessed art thou, O Lord our God, the King of the world, who hath sanctified us by his commandments, and hath commanded us to eat the sacrifice:''and "afterwards they eat that be bidden"; for when a man offered his peace offerings, he not only had his family with him, but invited his friends, and the poor, and the fatherless, the strangers, and the Levites, to partake with him, see Deuteronomy 12:18, the number of the guests at this time, see in 1 Samuel 9:22.

Now therefore get ye up; ascend the hill as fast as ye can:

for about this time ye shall find him; that is, by the time they could get up the hill into the city they would find him coming out of his house to go to the sacrifice: or "as this day" (h); so sure as the day is, so sure shall ye find him.

(h) "invenietis cum tam certo quam certum est hunc diem esse", Drusius; so Jarchi.

As soon as ye be come into the city, ye shall straightway find him, before he go up to the high place to eat: for the people will not eat until he come, because he doth {h} bless the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat that be bidden. Now therefore get you up; for about this time ye shall find him.

(h) That is, give thanks and distribute the meat according to their custom.

13. he doth bless the sacrifice] Pronounces a blessing or thanksgiving over the sacrificial feast. Cp. Luke 9:16 with John 6:11; Matthew 26:26.

for about this time] Lit. “For as for him—now shall ye find him.” The pronoun is repeated for emphasis.

Verse 13. - As soon as... straightway. This is too forcible a rendering of the Hebrew particles, and makes the talk of these water-carriers even more garrulous than it is in the original. The latter word should be omitted, as they simply say that on entering the city Saul and his servant would easily find Samuel; for he would not go up to the feast till all was ready, nor would the people begin till he had arrived, because it was his office to bless the sacrificial banquet. The pious custom of asking a blessing on meals, our Lord's "giving of thanks," is inherited by us from the Jews. 1 Samuel 9:13"When ye come into the city, ye will find him directly before he goes up to the high place to eat." כּן not only introduces the apodosis, but corresponds to כּ, as, so: here, however, it is used with reference to time, in the sense of our "immediately." "For the people are not accustomed to eat till he comes, for he blesses the sacrifice," etc. בּרך, like εὐλογεῖν, refers to the thanksgiving prayer offered before the sacrificial meal. "Go now for him; yet will meet him even to-day." The first אתו is placed at the beginning for the sake of emphasis, and then repeated at the close. כּהיּום, "Even to-day."
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