Samuel Testifies his Integrity.
1-4. Samuel said unto all Israel—This
public address was made after the solemn re-instalment of Saul, and
before the convention at Gilgal separated. Samuel, having challenged a
review of his public life, received a unanimous testimony to the
unsullied honor of his personal character, as well as the justice and
integrity of his public administration.
5. the Lord is witness against you, and his
anointed is witness—that, by their own acknowledgment, he had
given them no cause to weary of the divine government by judges, and
that, therefore, the blame of desiring a change of government rested
with themselves. This was only insinuated, and they did not fully
perceive his drift.
1Sa 12:6-16. He Reproves the
People for Ingratitude.
7-16. Now therefore stand still, that I may reason
with you—The burden of this faithful and uncompromising
address was to show them, that though they had obtained the change of
government they had so importunely desired, their conduct was highly
displeasing to their heavenly King; nevertheless, if they remained
faithful to Him and to the principles of the theocracy, they might be
delivered from many of the evils to which the new state of things would
expose them. And in confirmation of those statements, no less than in
evidence of the divine displeasure, a remarkable phenomenon, on the
invocation of the prophet, and of which he gave due premonition, took
11. Bedan—The Septuagint reads
"Barak"; and for "Samuel" some versions read "Samson," which seems more
natural than that the prophet should mention himself to the total
omission of the greatest of the judges. (Compare Heb 11:32).
1Sa 12:17-25. He Terrifies
Them with Thunder in Harvest-time.
17-25. Is it not wheat harvest
to-day?—That season in Palestine occurs at the end of June or
beginning of July, when it seldom or never rains, and the sky is serene
and cloudless. There could not, therefore, have been a stronger or more
appropriate proof of a divine mission than the phenomenon of rain and
thunder happening, without any prognostics of its approach, upon the
prediction of a person professing himself to be a prophet of the Lord,
and giving it as an attestation of his words being true. The people
regarded it as a miraculous display of divine power, and, panic-struck,
implored the prophet to pray for them. Promising to do so, he dispelled
their fears. The conduct of Samuel, in this whole affair of the king's
appointment, shows him to have been a great and good man who sank all
private and personal considerations in disinterested zeal for his
country's good and whose last words in public were to warn the people,
and their king, of the danger of apostasy and disobedience to God.