1 Samuel 9:6
And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) A man of God.—When Saul determined to give up the search for his father’s asses, he was in the neigh. bourhood of the city of Samuel the seer—“Raman of the Watchers.” The servant points out to him the tower of the then famous residence of the seer and judge, Samuel. “Will you not ask him,” suggests the servant, “about the missing beasts?”—the young countryman, in the simplicity of his heart, thinking the occasion of the loss of his master’s asses a sufficient one to warrant an intrusion upon the prophet-judge of Israel. The relation, however, between Samuel and the people must have been of a very close and friendly nature, else it would never have occurred, even to a simple countryman—as probably then Saul’s servant was—to have sought the advice of one so great as Samuel in such a matter. It says, too, much for the old prophet’s kindly, unselfish disposition that his name was thus loved and honoured, even in the secluded farms of the Land of Promise.

An honourable man.—Better rendered, one held in honour.

1 Samuel 9:6. A man of God and an honourable man — One of great reputation for his skill and faithfulness. Acquaintance with God and serviceableness to the kingdom of God make men truly honourable. He can show us our way — The course we should take to find the asses. He saith peradventure, because he doubted whether so great a prophet would seek, or God would grant him, a revelation concerning such mean matters; although sometimes God was pleased herein to condescend to his people, to cut off all pretence or occasion of their seeking to heathenish divination.

9:1-10 Saul readily went to seek his father's asses. His obedience to his father was praise-worthy. His servant proposed, that since they were now at Ramah, they should call on Samuel, and take his advice. Wherever we are, we should use our opportunities of acquainting ourselves with those who are wise and good. Many will consult a man of God, if he comes in their way, that would not go a step out of their way to get wisdom. We sensibly feel worldly losses, and bestow much pains to make them up; but how little do we attempt, and how soon are we weary, in seeking the salvation of our souls! If ministers could tell men how to secure their property, or to get wealth, they would be more consulted and honoured than they now are, though employed in teaching them how to escape eternal misery, and to obtain eternal life. Most people would rather be told their fortune than their duty. Samuel needed not their money, nor would he have denied his advice, if they had not brought it; but they gave it to him as a token of respect, and of the value they put upon his office, and according to the general usage of those times, always to bring a present to those in authority.The land of Shalisha was somewhere near Gilgal, i. e., Jiljulieh. It is thought to derive its name from "three" (Shalosh) wadys which unite in the wady of Karawa. The situation of Shalim is not known: its etymology connects it more probably with the land of Shual 1 Samuel 13:17, apparently round Taiyibeh, which was about nine miles from Gibeah.

Zuph - 1 Samuel 9:5, see 1 Samuel 1:1 note.

6. there is in this city a man of God—Ramah was the usual residence of Samuel, but several circumstances, especially the mention of Rachel's sepulchre, which lay in Saul's way homeward [1Sa 10:2], lead to the conclusion that "this city" was not the Ramah where Samuel dwelt.

peradventure he can show us our way that we should go—It seems strange that a dignified prophet should be consulted in such an affair. But it is probable that at the introduction of the prophetic office, the seers had discovered things lost or stolen, and thus their power for higher revelations was gradually established.

A man of God; a prophet, as that phrase is used, 1 Samuel 2:27 Joshua 14:6 Judges 13:6.

An honourable man; one of great reputation for his skill and faithfulness.

All that he saith cometh surely to pass; his declaration of things secret or future are always certain, and confirmed by the event.

Our way that we should go; the course we should take to find the asses. He saith

peradventure, because be doubted whether so great a prophet, would seek, or God would grant him, a revelation concerning such mean matters; although sometimes God was pleased herein to condescend to his people, to cut off all pretence or occasion of seeking to witches or heathenish divination. See 1 Kings 14:2 2 Kings 1:3.

And he said unto him,.... That is, the servant of Saul:

behold, now, there is in this city a man of God; a prophet of the Lord, as the Targum; such were called men of God, because not only partakers of the grace of God, but of extraordinary gifts, which qualified them for the office of prophets. The city near to which they now were was Ramah, the place where Samuel lived, and he is the man of God here meant:

and he is an honourable man; of great esteem among men for his wisdom and knowledge, integrity and faithfulness, and particularly for his gift of prophecy, being a true prophet of the Lord; so the Targum,"and he is a man that prophesies truth,''and that made him honourable, and gave him great credit:

all that he saith cometh surely to pass; as his prophecies concerning Eli's family, and other things, which were well known to have had their accomplishment, and this had gained him universal esteem, see 1 Samuel 3:19,

now let us go thither; being very near it, within sight of it, insomuch that the servant could point at it, and say "this city", as in the preceding part of the verse:

peradventure he can show us our way that we should go; to find the asses; he was not certain he could or would, but thought it possible and probable he might.

And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honorable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can show us our way that we should go.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. in this city] Pointing to the town on a hill in front of them.

a man of God] See note on 1 Samuel 2:27.

he is an honourable man] Lit., the man is highly esteemed.

all that he saith, &c.] Cp. 1 Samuel 3:19.

peradventure] Derived from per, “by,” and adventura, late Latin for “that which is about to happen,” “chance,” = “perchance,” “perhaps.”

our way that we should go] Rather, our way upon which we have come: i.e. shew us which way to go to attain the object of our journey. Cp. Genesis 24:42.

It seems strange that Saul apparently knows nothing about Samuel. But the days of Samuel’s greatest activity were long past, and he had for some time been living in comparative retirement: while “up to this point Saul had been only the shy and retiring youth of the family, employed in the common work of the farm,” and knowing little of the political or religious movements of the time.

Verse 6. - In this city. Probably Ramathaim-zophim, i.e. Ramah, Samuel's dwelling place and property. Confessedly, however, Saul's route hither and thither in search of lost cattle is very obscure, and it is difficult to reconcile this identification with the statement in 1 Samuel 10:2, that Rachel's sepulchre lay on the route between this city and Gibeah of Saul. Nevertheless, Ramah was certainly in the land of Zuph, whence too it took its longer name (see on 1 Samuel 1:1); and it is remarkable that Jeremiah (1 Samuel 31:15) describes Rachel's weeping as being heard in Ramah. It seems extraordinary that Saul should have known nothing of Israel's chief ruler, and that his servant was acquainted with him only in his lower capacity as a person to be consulted in private difficulties. He describes him, nevertheless, as an honourable man, or, more literally, an honoured man, one held in honour. 1 Samuel 9:6When Saul proposed to return home from the land of Zuph, his servant said to him, "Behold, in this city ('this,' referring to the town which stood in front of them upon a hill) is a man of God, much honoured; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now we will go thither; perhaps he will tell us our way that we have to go" (lit. have gone, and still go, sc., to attain the object of our journey, viz., to find the asses). The name of this town is not mentioned either here or in the further course of this history. Nearly all the commentators suppose it to have been Ramah, Samuel's home. But this assumption has no foundation at all in the text, and is irreconcilable with the statements respecting the return in 1 Samuel 10:2-5. The servant did not say there dwells in this city, but there is in this city (1 Samuel 9:6; comp. with this 1 Samuel 9:10, "They went into the city where the man of God was," not "dwelt"). It is still more evident, from the answer given by the drawers of water, when Saul asked them, "Is the seer here?" (1 Samuel 9:11), - viz., "He came to-day to the city, for the people have a great sacrifice upon the high place" (1 Samuel 9:12), - that the seer (Samuel) did not live in the town, but had only come thither to a sacrificial festival. Moreover, "every impartial man will admit, that the fact of Samuel's having honoured Saul as his guest at the sacrificial meal of those who participated in the sacrifice, and of their having slept under the same roof, cannot possibly weaken the impression that Samuel was only there in his peculiar and official capacity. It could not be otherwise than that the presidency should be assigned to him at the feast itself as priest and prophet, and therefore that the appointments mentioned should proceed from him. And it is but natural to assume that he had a house at his command for any repetition of such sacrifices, which we find from 2 Kings 4 to have been the case in the history of Elisha" (Valentiner). And lastly, the sacrificial festival itself does not point to Ramah; for although Samuel had built an altar to the Lord at Ramah (1 Samuel 7:17), this was by no means the only place of sacrifice in the nation. If Samuel offered sacrifice at Mizpeh and Gilgal (1 Samuel 7:9; 1 Samuel 10:8; 1 Samuel 13:8.), he could also do the same at other places. What the town really was in which Saul met with him, cannot indeed be determined, since all that we can gather from 1 Samuel 10:2, is, that it was situated on the south-west of Bethlehem.
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