1 Samuel 10:3 MEANING

1 Samuel 10:3
(3) Thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor.--The accurate translation of the Hebrew is "to the terebinth or oak of Tabor." There was evidently a history, now lost, connected with the "terebinth of Tabor." Ewald suggests that "Tabor" is a different form for Deborah, and that this historic tree was the oak beneath which Deborah, the nurse of Rachel, was buried (Genesis 35:8).

Going up to God to Beth-el.--This since the old patriarchal days had been a sacred spot. Samuel used to visit it as judge, and hold his court there annually, no doubt on account of the number of pilgrims who were in the habit of visiting it. These men were evidently on a pilgrimage to the old famous shrine.

Verse 3. The second sign was to be the presenting of an offering to him out of their sacrificial gifts by three men going on a pilgrimage to Bethel. He would meet them not in the plain of Tabor, but at the oak, elon, of Tabor. Many attempt to connect this elon-Tabor with the allon, or oak, under which Deborah, Rachel's nurse, was buried (Genesis 35:8), and suppose that Tabor is a corruption of the name Deborah. This is scarcely possible, and it is better to acknowledge that we know nothing of the site of this tree, except that it was on the road to Bethel. This was one of the places which Samuel used to visit as judge (1 Samuel 7:16); but these men were on a pilgrimage thither because since the days of Jacob it had been a sacred spot, and a chief seat of the old patriarchal worship, for which see 1 Samuel 9:12.

10:1-8 The sacred anointing, then used, pointed at the great Messiah, or Anointed One, the King of the church, and High Priest of our profession, who was anointed with the oil of the Spirit, not by measure, but without measure, and above all the priests and princes of the Jewish church. For Saul's further satisfaction, Samuel gives him some signs which should come to pass the same day. The first place he directs him to, was the sepulchre of one of his ancestors; there he must be reminded of his own mortality, and now that he had a crown before him, must think of his grave, in which all his honour would be laid in the dust. From the time of Samuel there appears to have been schools, or places where pious young men were brought up in the knowledge of Divine things. Saul should find himself strongly moved to join with them, and should be turned into another man from what he had been. The Spirit of God changes men, wonderfully transforms them. Saul, by praising God in the communion of saints, became another man, but it may be questioned if he became a new man.Then shall thou go on forward from thence,.... From Zelzah and Rachel's sepulchre there:

and thou shall come to the plain of Tabor; not that which lay at the bottom of the famous and well known mountain Tabor; for that was in the tribe of Zebulun, at a great distance from hence: but a plain, so called perhaps from the name of the owner of it:

and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel: the same with Luz, where Jacob built an altar, and called upon God; and so Elohimbethel here is the same with Elbethel, Genesis 35:6. Here was an high place as at Ramah, whither in those times, when there was no fixed place for worship, the tabernacle at one place, and the ark at another, the people went up to worship; and they might the rather choose this, because it was a place devoted to the worship and service of God by their father Jacob; so the Targum paraphrases it,"going up to worship God in Bethel;''so Josephus (c), they were going thither to pray, and, as it seems by what follows, to sacrifice: one carrying three kids; which were used in sacrifice, and were a pretty heavy load if carried far; though, according to Josephus (d), it was but one kid:

and another carrying three loaves of bread; for the minchah, the meat offering, or rather bread offering, Leviticus 2:4.

and another carrying a bottle of wine; for the drink offering, the fourth part of an hin of wine being required for each kid, Numbers 15:5. This bottle, Ben Melech says, was a bottle made of skin, a leathern bottle or bag, or a potter's vessel or pitcher; the Targum renders it, a flagon of wine.

(c) Antiqu. l. 6. c. 4. sect. 2.((d) lbid.

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