1 Samuel 9:18
Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, I pray you, where the seer's house is.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) In the gate.—The LXX. (Greek Version) here reads, “in the midst of the city.” It is not improbable that this is the original reading, it being very possible for a scribe to write the Hebrew word “gate” for “city.”

9:18-27 Samuel, that good prophet, was so far from envying Saul, or bearing him any ill-will, that he was the first and most forward to do him honour. Both that evening and early the next morning, Samuel communed with Saul upon the flat roof of the house. We may suppose Samuel now convinced Saul that he was the person God had fixed upon for the government, and of his own willingness to resign. How different are the purposes of the Lord for us, from our intentions for ourselves! Perhaps Saul was the only one who ever went out to seek asses, and literally found a kingdom; but many have set out and moved their dwellings to seek riches and pleasures, who have been guided to places where they found salvation for their souls. Thus they have met with those who addressed them as if aware of the secrets of their lives and hearts, and have been led seriously to regard the word of the Lord. If this has been our case, though our worldly plans have not prospered, let us not care for that; the Lord has given us, or has prepared us for, what is far better.That he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines, etc. - These words are not very easily reconcileable with 1 Samuel 7:13. It is possible that the aggressive movements of the Philistines, after the long cessation indicated by 1 Samuel 7:13, coupled with Samuel's old age and consequent inability to lead them to victory as before, were among the chief causes which led to the cry for a king. If this were so the Philistine oppression glanced at in this verse might in a general survey be rather connected with Saul's times than with Samuel's. 18-20. Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's house is—Satisfying the stranger's inquiry, Samuel invited him to the feast, as well as to sojourn till the morrow; and, in order to reconcile him to the delay, he assured him that the strayed asses had been recovered. In the gate; the gate, either, first, Of Samuel’s house. But he was come out thence before, 1 Samuel 9:14. Or rather, secondly, Of the city; for the word gate being put by itself, according to reason and common use, must be understood of the most eminent in its kind, which the gate of the city is. And through this gate Samuel seems now to have been passing to go to the high place, which probably was without the city; and there he makes a stand, to hear what these persons now approaching to him were about to speak. Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate,.... Either at the door of his own house, just as he was coming out of it, or within the gate of the city as Saul entered that, Samuel came to it, in order to go through it to the high place, which it is probable was without the city; wherefore it is very properly said that Samuel came out to meet them, 1 Samuel 9:14.

and said, tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's house is; one knows not which to wonder at most, the simplicity and humility of Samuel to be in so plain an habit, unattended by servants, and yet going to a public festival, so that he seemed to be no other than a common man, to be inquired of whereabout his house was; or the ignorance of Saul, who had lived so long in the world, and so near Samuel, and yet had never seen and knew not the chief magistrate in the nation, so famous both for his civil and religious character.

Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's house is.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. in the gate] Heb. “In the midst of the gate,” i.e. the gateway, where they would naturally halt to inquire for the Seer’s house.Verse 18. - In the gate. The same preposition is used here as that translated "into the city" in ver. 14. The contradiction which many commentators suppose that they find between the two verses arises from their not remembering that prepositions constantly lose their original meaning. Literally the preposition means in the middle, but its common meaning is simply within. So with us immediately has lost all reference to the middle, though derived from that word, and signifies directly, at once. Saul, then, and his servant were just going (it is a present participle) within the city when they meet Samuel coming out, and accost him in the very portal. As they were going up to the high place of the town, they met maidens coming out of the town to draw water; and on asking them whether the seer was there, they received this answer: "Yes; behold, he is before thee: make haste, now, for he has come into the town to-day; for the people have a sacrifice to-day upon the high place." Bamah (in the singular) does not mean the height or hill generally; but throughout it signifies the high place, as a place of sacrifice or prayer.
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