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Highlights of 1 Samuel 10-13 > Theocratic Ministry School

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Study information for Theocratic Ministry School

Bible reading: 1 Samuel 10-13 (8 min.)


1 SAMUEL 10:1


“Samuel then took the flask of oil and poured it out on Saul’s head. He kissed him and said: “Has not Jehovah anointed you as a leader over his inheritance?”

*** ia chap. 8 p. 73 par. 19 He Endured Despite Disappointments ***
1 Sam. 10:1,

*** ia chap. 8 p. 73 par. 19 He Endured Despite Disappointments ***
19 How, though, did Samuel obey? In a resentful, perfunctory way? Did he allow disappointment to poison his heart, letting bitterness take root? Many a man might respond that way in such a situation, but not Samuel. He anointed Saul and acknowledged that the man was Jehovah’s own choice. He kissed Saul, a sign of welcome and submission to the new king.

*** w11 1/1 p. 27 He Endured Despite Disappointments ***
How, though, did Samuel obey? In a resentful, perfunctory way? Did he allow disappointment to poison his heart, letting bitterness take root? Many a man might respond that way in such a situation, but not Samuel. He anointed Saul and acknowledged that the man was Jehovah’s own choice. He kissed Saul, a sign of welcome and submission to the new king.

*** w11 1/1 p. 27 He Endured Despite Disappointments ***


1 SAMUEL 10:2


“When you leave me today, you will find two men near the tomb of Rachel in the territory of Benjamin at Zelʹzah, and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to look for have been found, but now your father has forgotten about the donkeys and is worried about you. He is saying: “What should I do about my son?”’”

*** it-2 p. 727 Rachel ***
Rachel’s grave site “in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah” was still known in Samuel’s time, some six centuries later. (1Sa 10:2) The traditional location of the grave lies about 1.5 km (1 mi) N of Bethlehem. This, however, would place it in the territory of Judah, not Benjamin. Therefore others suggest a location farther N, but any attempt at being precise is useless today.

1 SAMUEL 10:21


“Then he had the tribe of Benjamin draw near by its families, and the family of the Matʹrites was selected. Finally Saul the son of Kish was selected. But when they went to look for him, he was nowhere to be found.”

*** it-1 p. 20 Abiel ***
(Thus, while “the family of the Matrites” is mentioned at 1 Samuel 10:21 as including Kish and Saul, the name of Matri does not appear in the accounts we are considering, nor in the rest of the Bible.)

1 SAMUEL 11:1


“Then Naʹhash the Amʹmon•ite came up and camped against Jaʹbesh in Gilʹe•ad. All the men of Jaʹbesh said to Naʹhash: “Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.””

*** it-1 p. 93 Ammonites ***
According to the Greek Septuagint, about one month after Saul’s being designated king of Israel, King Nahash of Ammon besieged the city of Jabesh in Gilead, demanding the city’s surrender, with the cruel requirement that its men could have peace only by each one’s allowing his right eye to be bored out. (See NAHASH No. 1.) Learning of the siege, Saul proved his merit as king, marshaling the Israelite forces and routing the Ammonites. (1Sa 11:1-4, 11-15) Samuel’s later statement reveals that it was the growing menace of the Ammonites under Nahash that ultimately provoked the Israelites’ request for a king.—1Sa 12:12.

*** it-2 p. 461 Nahash ***
In a Dead Sea scroll, designated 4QSama and believed to be from the first century B.C.E., the following information is inserted just before 1 Samuel 11:1: “[Na]hash, king of the children of Ammon, sorely oppressed the children of Gad and the children of Reuben, and he gouged out a[ll] their right eyes and struck ter[ror and dread] in Israel. There was not left one among the children of Israel bey[ond the Jordan who]se right eye was no[t put o]ut by Naha[sh king] of the children of Ammon; except that seven thousand men [fled from] the children of [A]mmon and entered [J]abesh-Gilead. About a month later . . .” (Bible Review, 1985, Vol. 1, No. 3, p. 28) Basically the same information is given by Josephus.—Jewish Antiquities, VI, 68-70 (v, 1).

1 SAMUEL 11:2


“Naʹhash the Amʹmon•ite said to them: “I will make it with you on this condition: that all your right eyes be bored out. I will do this to humiliate all Israel.””

*** w95 12/15 pp. 9-10 The Ammonites—A People That Repaid Kindness With Hostility ***
King Nahash made a surprise attack on the Israelite city of Jabesh-gilead. When the men of that city sued for peace, Nahash the Ammonite made this outrageous demand: “On this condition I shall conclude it with you, on the condition of boring out every right eye of yours.” Historian Flavius Josephus claims that this was done partially as a defensive measure, so that “when their left eyes were covered by their shields, they might be wholly useless in war.” Yet, the real purpose of this heartless ultimatum was to make a humiliating example of these Israelites.—1 Samuel 11:1, 2.

*** it-1 p. 789 Eye ***
In order to humiliate and to shatter the power of their enemies, some ancient nations followed the cruel practice of blinding prominent men among the captured enemy.—Jg 16:21; 1Sa 11:2; 2Ki 25:7.

1 SAMUEL 11:7


“So he took a pair of bulls and cut them into pieces, and he sent these into all the territory of Israel by the hand of the messengers, who said: “Whoever does not follow Saul and Samuel should expect this to be done to his cattle!” And the fear of Jehovah fell upon the people, so that they came out with one accord.”

*** it-1 p. 650 Dread ***
Also the evidence of divinely inspired courage and strength may bring about a wholesome dread and an obedient response. Thus, when King Saul forcefully appealed to the Israelites to join in the defense of Jabesh-gilead, they were filled with “the dread of Jehovah” and responded “as one man.”—1Sa 11:7.

1 SAMUEL 11:8


“Then he counted them in Beʹzek, and there were 300,000 Israelites and 30,000 men of Judah.”

*** it-1 p. 307 Bezek ***
1. The site at which Judah and Simeon defeated 10,000 Canaanite and Perizzite troops under Adoni-bezek. (Jg 1:3-7) Some identify this Bezek with that of 1 Samuel 11:8 (No. 2 below), which is in an extreme northern location in relation to Jerusalem and the territory occupied by Judah and Simeon. Such a view would require the assumption that Adoni-bezek came S to join other Canaanite forces but was met by Judah and Simeon, was chased N to Bezek, and was defeated there. The context, however, seems to indicate a place in the general area of Jerusalem. In view of these circumstances, Bezek, the city of Adoni-bezek, is tentatively located in the Shephelah region at the site of Khirbet Bezqa, about 5 km (3 mi) NE of Gezer.

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