1 Samuel 8:4-20; 11:14-15

1 Samuel 8:4-20; 11:14-15
Ordinary B28


8:4 Then all the eldersI of IsraelII gathered togetherIII and came to SamuelIV at Ramah,V 

Notes on verse 8:4

I “elders” = zaqen. From the same as zaqan (beard or chin – the beard represents old age). This is old, aged, or elder.
II “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
III “gathered together” = qabats. This is to collect, assemble, heap, grasp, or gather.
IV “Samuel” = Shemuel. Related to “Israel” in v8:4. From shem (name, fame, renown; indicating something essential about a person; honor, authority, or character); {may be from sum (to put, place, set)} + el (see note II above) OR from shama (hear, call, consent, or consider; implies listening intelligently, giving attention; obedience and action are often implied) + el (see note II above).This is Samuel meaning either the “name of God” or “heard of God.”
V “Ramah” = Ramah. From rum (to be high, rise, exalt self, extol, be haughty; to rise literally or figuratively). This is Ramah, meaning height.

and said to him, “VIYou are oldVII and your sonsVIII do not followIX in your ways;X

Notes on verse 8:5a

VI {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
VII “are old” = zaqen. Related to “elders” in v8:4. From the same as zaqan (see note I above). This is to be old or grow old.
VIII “sons” = ben. This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
IX “follow” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
X “ways” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.

appointXI for us, then, a king to governXII us, like other nations.”XIII 

Notes on verse 8:5b

XI “appoint” = sim. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
XII “govern” = shaphat. This is to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, or govern. It can refer to God judging or to human judges. This is pronouncing a verdict in favor or against so it implies consequences or punishment. It can also mean to litigate or govern as one with authority.
XIII “nations” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.

6 But the thingXIV displeasedXV, XVI Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” Samuel prayedXVII to the Lord,XVIII

Notes on verse 8:6

XIV “thing” = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
XV “displeased” = ra’a’. This is to be evil, bad, afflict. Properly, it means to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces. Figuratively, it is to cause something to be worthless. It is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense – something that displeases, does harm or mischief, punishes or vexes.
XVI {untranslated} = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
XVII “prayed” = palal. This is to judge for oneself or in an official capacity. It can also mean to pray or make supplication, to entreat.
XVIII “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.

and the Lord said to Samuel, “ListenXIX to the voiceXX of the peopleXXI in all that they say to you; for they have not rejectedXXII you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 

Notes on verse 8:7

XIX “listen” = shama. Related to “Samuel” in v8:4. See note IV above.
XX “voice” = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.
XXI “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
XXII “rejected” = ma’as. This is to reject, refuse, despise, disdain, reject, or spurn. It can also be to disappear or melt away.

8 Just asXXIII they have doneXXIV to me, from the day I brought them upXXV out of EgyptXXVI to this day,

Notes on verse 8:8a

XXIII “just as” = kol + maaseh. Literally “according to all the works. Maaseh is from asah (to do, make, accomplish, become). This is a word – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced.
XXIV “done” = asah. Related to “just as” in v8:8. See note XXIII above.
XXV “brought…up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
XXVI “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.

forsakingXXVII me and servingXXVIII other gods,XXIX so also they are doing to you. 

Notes on verse 8:8b

XXVII “forsaking” = azab. To loosen, relinquish, permit, forsake, fail, leave destitute.
XXVIII “serving” = abad. This is to work, serve, or compel. It can describe any kind of work or service (including religious devotion).  Also, till or cultivate. Used causatively, it can mean to enslave or keep in bondage.
XXIX “gods” = elohim. Related to “Israel” and “Samuel” in v8:4. See note II above.

Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warnXXX them, and showXXXI them the waysXXXII of the king who shall reign over them.”

Notes on verse 8:9

XXX “solemnly warn” = uwd + uwd. Uwd is is to repeat, return, do again. This implies testifying something since that is a repetition. It can also mean to charge, admonish, protest, relieve, restore, or lift up. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
XXXI “show” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
XXXII “ways” = mishpat. Related to “govern” in v8:5. From shaphat (see note XII above). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.

10 So Samuel reported all the wordsXXXIII of the Lord to the people who were askingXXXIV him for a king. 11 He said, “These will beXXXV the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariotsXXXVI and to be his horsemen,XXXVII

Notes on verses 8:10-11a

XXXIII “words” = dabar. Same as “thing” in v8:6. See note XIV above.
XXXIV “asking” = shaal. This is to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request. It can also mean to demand.
XXXV “be” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v8:6. See note XVIII above.
XXXVI “chariots” = merkabah. From merkab (chariot, saddle, covering; any seat in a vehicle); from rakab (to ride an animal or in some vehicle; also, bringing on a horse). This is a chariot.
XXXVII “horsemen” = parash. From parash (to make distinct, separate, scatter). This is a horseman or a horse. It doesn’t refer to riding horseback, but with some kind of vehicle, a chariot-driver, cavalry.

and to runXXXVIII beforeXXXIX his chariots; 12 and he will appoint for himself commandersXL of thousands and commanders of fifties,

Notes on verses 8:11b-12a

XXXVIII “run” = ruts. This is to run or rush, divide quickly, bring swiftly. It can also refer to a footman or guard.
XXXIX “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XL “commanders” = sar. This is chief, leader, ruler, lord, official, governor, prince, military leader. It refers to someone at the top of a rank or class.

and some to plowXLI his groundXLII and to reapXLIII his harvest,XLIV

Notes on verse 8:12b

XLI “plow” = charash. This is to scratch, which implies etching or plowing. It can mean to manufacture regardless of materials used. Figuratively, it can be to devise or conceal. It can also have a sense of secrecy. Hence, being silent or left alone. It can also be speechless.
XLII “ground” = charish. Related to “plow” in v8:12. 3x in OT. From charash (see note XLI above). This is plowing – the season when one plows or the ground that is plowed.
XLIII “reap” = qatsar. This is to cut down, be short, reap, curtail. It is used especially for harvesting grass or grain. Figuratively, it can mean to be discouraged or grieve.
XLIV “harvest” = qatsiyr. Related to “reap” in v8:12. From qatsar (see note XLIII above). This is branch, harvest, one who harvests. Properly, this means severed, reaped. It is the crop being harvested, the time of harvest or the one who harvests. It can also be a bough.

and to makeXLV his implementsXLVI of warXLVII and the equipmentXLVIII of his chariots.XLIX 

Notes on verse 8:12c

XLV “make” = asah. Same as “done” in v8:8. See note XXIV above.
XLVI “implements” = keli. From kalah (to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed). This is something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument. Also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture.
XLVII “war” = milchamah. From lacham (to eat or feed on; figuratively, to battle as a kind of consumption/destruction). This is battle, war, fighting, or one who fights (i.e. a warrior).
XLVIII “equipment” = keli. Same as “implements” in v8:12. See note XLVI above.
XLIX “chariots” = rekeb. Related to “chariots” in v8:11. From rakab (see note XXXVI above). This is a vehicle, wagon, or chariot. It can be cavalry or an individual rider.

13 He will take your daughtersL to be perfumersLI and cooksLII and bakers.LIII 

Notes on verse 8:13

L “daughters” = bat. Related to “sons” in v8:5. From ben (see note VIII above). This is daughter, literal or figurative.
LI “perfumers” = raqqachah. 1x in OT. From raqach (to mix or blind spices with oil; to make an ointment, a perfumer or apothecary). This is a female wo makes perfumes or ointments.
LII “cooks” = tabbachah. 1x in OT. From tabbach (cook, guard, butcher); from tabach (to slaughter or butcher; of animals or people). This is a female cook.
LIII “bakers” = aphah. This is one who cooks or bakes – particularly one who cooks meat.

14 He will take the bestLIV of your fieldsLV and vineyardsLVI and olive orchardsLVII and give them to his courtiers.LVIII 

Notes on verse 8:14

LIV “best” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
LV “fields” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It is used to mean wild like a wild animal.
LVI “vineyards” = kerem. This is a vineyard, garden, vines, or a vintage.
LVII “olive orchards” = zayit. This is an olive, its tree or branch. It can also be Olivet.
LVIII “courtiers” = ebed. Related to “serving” in v8:8. This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.

15 He will take one-tenthLIX of your grainLX and of your vineyards and give it to his officersLXI and his courtiers. 

Notes on verse 8:15

LIX “take one-tenth” = asar. 9x in OT. From eser (ten or -teen). This is to tithe, to apportion a tenth of something.
LX “grain” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.
LXI “officers” = saris. Root is likely foreign and may mean castrate. So, this could be a eunuch, valet, or other kind of officer.

16 He will take your maleLXII and female slaves,LXIII and the best of your cattleLXIV and donkeys,LXV and putLXVI them to his work.LXVII 

Notes on verse 8:16

LXII “male” = ebed. Same as “courtiers” in v8:14. See note LVIII above.
LXIII “female slaves” = shiphchah. Root may mean to spread out – it would be the same root used in mishpachah, which means family or clan. This is maidservant, female slave, or female bondslave.
LXIV “cattle” = bachur. From bachar (to choose, appoint, try, excellent). This is choice, chosen, selected. It is a youth or young man Note – this word is spelled similarly to a word for cattle (baqar).
LXV “donkeys” = chamor. From chamar (to be red, blush). This is a male donkey.
LXVI “put” = asah. Same as “done” in v8:8. See note XXIV above.
LXVII “work” = melakah. From the same as malak (messenger, an angel, or a deputy; human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God; also supernatural messengers i.e. angels). Properly, this is a deputyship or some kind of work. It can also be the product that comes from labor.

17 He will take one-tenth of your flocks,LXVIII and you shall be his slaves.LXIX 18 And in that day you will cry outLXX because ofLXXI your king, whom you have chosenLXXII for yourselves; but the Lord will not answerLXXIII you in that day.”

Notes on verses 8:17-18

LXVIII “flocks” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
LXIX “slaves” = ebed. Same as “courtiers” in v8:14. See note LVIII above.
LXX “cry out” = zaaq. This is to cry or call out. It can be a call to assemble or gather together. By analogy, this could refer to a herald who announces a public gathering. It could also be a shriek from pain or danger.
LXXI “because of” = paneh. Same as “before” in v8:11. See note XXXIX above.
LXXII “chosen” = bachar. Related to “cattle” in v8:16. See note LXIV above.
LXXIII “answer” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.

19 But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, “No! but we are determined to haveLXXIV a king over us, 20 so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fightLXXV our battles.”LXXVI

Notes on verses 8:19-20

LXXIV “determined to have” = hayah. Same as “be” in v8:11. See note XXXV above.
LXXV “fight” = lacham. Related to “war” in v8:12. See note XLVII above.
LXXVI “battles” = milchamah. Same as “war” in v8:12. See note XLVII above.

11:14 Samuel said to the people, “Come,LXXVII let us go to GilgalLXXVIII and there renewLXXIX the kingship.”LXXX 

Notes on verse 11:14

LXXVII “come” = halak. Same as “follow” in v8:5. See note IX above.
LXXVIII “Gilgal” = Gilgal. From galgal (wheel, wagon, whirl, whirlwind; something that rolls); from galal (to roll, roll away, wallow, commit, remove; rolling in a literal or figurative sense). This is Gilgal – perhaps circle of stones.
LXXIX “renew” = chadash. 10x in OT. This is to renew or restore, to repair or rebuild.
LXXX “kingship” = melukah. From the same as melek (king). This is kingship, kingdom, reign. It can also mean royalty.

15 So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made SaulLXXXI king before the Lord in Gilgal. There they sacrificedLXXXII offeringsLXXXIII of well-beingLXXXIV before the Lord, and there Saul and all the IsraelitesLXXXV rejoicedLXXXVI greatly.

Notes on verse 11:15

LXXXI “Saul” = Shaul. Related to “asking” in v8:10. From shaal (see note XXXIV above). From shaal (to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request; can also mean demand). This is Saul or Shaul, meaning “asked of the Lord.”
LXXXII “sacrificed” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.
LXXXIII “offerings” = zebach. Related to “sacrificed” in v11:15. From zabach (see note LXXXII above). This is a slaughter – literally of an animal. So, it implies the act or the animals used in sacrifice. Further, it can mean offering.
LXXXIV “well-being” = shelem. From shalem (to make amends, finish, be safe, be friendly, to be complete or sound). This is a peace offering or a sacrifice of well-being. It was a voluntary offering given when one celebrated thanksgiving, alliance, or friendship.
LXXXV “Israelites” = ish + Yisrael. Literally “men of Israel.” Ish is perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind. Yisrael is the same as “Israel” in v8:4. See note II above.
LXXXVI “rejoiced” = samach. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to brighten up in a literal or figurative sense.

Image credit: “Israel Wants a King” by Amy & Carly of Fishnet Bible stories.

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