corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

1 Samuel 8



Verses 1-22

The People demand a King

1. Judges] They would be subordinate to their father. When the son of a Judge was influential and popular, he might easily succeed to his father's position: cp. A bimelech in Judges 9:1.

5. Like all the nations] This was the sin of the people. God intended that they, unlike other nations, should be a peculiar people, governed directly by Himself.

6. Displeased Samuel] They had shown themselves forgetful of their relation to God and ungrateful to Samuel himself. But in spite of this, he simply leaves the decision with God.

7. For] Samuel was not to hesitate, for the matter was one which concerned God rather than himself.

8. Which they have done] LXX adds 'to me,' an addition which is required by the contrast with 'to thee.'

11. It does not follow that a Jewish king was actually like this description, but an Oriental despot was, and Israel had asked for a king like other nations. In later years, Hebrew monarchy sank very low, both in Judah and Israel: cp. the tone both of Hosea and of Ezekiel(Ezekiel 45:9; Ezekiel 46:18).

13. Confectionaries] RM 'perfumers': cp. Exodus 30:25.

15. Officers] Heb. 'eunuchs.'

Verses 1-52

See on 1 Samuel 9:1. There are clearly two accounts of the institution of the kingship. In 1 Samuel 8, the wish for a king is regarded as a sign of disloyalty to the real King, Jehovah, and, as such, Samuel protests against it. In 1 Samuel 9 - 1 Samuel 10:16, Jehovah himself chooses Saul to deliver his people from the Philistines: cp. Intro. § 2.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 8:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology