1 Samuel 11:15
(15) And there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal.--We must not understand with the LXX. Version that Saul was anointed afresh at Gilgal. The Greek Version reads, "and Samuel anointed Saul king there." The Gilgal convention was nothing more than a solemn national confirmation of the popular election at Mizpeh. The words "before the Lord," imply the presence of the Ark, or of the high priest with the mystic Urim and Thummim. Bishop Wordsworth understands the words "they made Saul king" to signify that after this "the people would not allow him any longer to lead a private life, but they made him to assume the royal state and authority to which he had been appointed by God."

Verse 15. - They made Saul king. This is not to be interpreted, with the Septuagint, of a second anointing of Saul, but of his confirmation in the kingdom by the unanimous voice of the nation, whereas the first election of him at Mizpah had met with opposition. Before Jehovah. I.e. with religious ceremonies conducted by Samuel and the high priest. The difference between Saul's election at Mizpah and the confirmation of it at Gilgal is much the same as between the first proclamation or' a king and his coronation. The latter is the nation's acknowledgment of his sovereignty, and the solemn consecration of him to his high office. Peace offerings were tokens of joy and gratitude, and were followed by a feast. At this there was great rejoicing, because the king whom they had desired had so quickly proved himself worthy to be their head.

11:12-15 They now honoured Saul whom they had despised; and if an enemy be made a friend, that is more to our advantage than to have him slain. The once despised Saviour will at length be acknowledged by all as the Lord's own anointed king. As yet, upon his mercy-seat, he receives the submission of rebels, and even pleads their cause; but shortly, from his righteous tribunal, he will condemn all who persist in opposing him.And all the people went to Gilgal,.... Agreed to the motion, and marched along with Saul and Samuel thither:

and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal; that is, they declared him to be king there; he was inaugurated into, and invested with his office, otherwise it was God only that made him king, who only had the power of making one, see Acts 2:36. Josephus says (e) that Samuel anointed him with the holy oil; and so the Septuagint version here renders it,"and Samuel anointed Saul there to be king;''and it is not improbable, that as he privately anointed him, he did it publicly also; if not at the election of him, then at this time; and it is observable, that in the next chapter, and not before, he is called the Lord's anointed. Now this was "before the Lord"; in this place; this being, as Abarbinel observes, a sanctified place, where the tabernacle and ark of God had been; and he supposes it probable that the ark was brought hither; but it was enough that the people and congregation of the Lord were here, and who, when assembled in his name, his presence was with them:

and there they sacrificed sacrifices of peace offerings before the Lord; where an altar was built, and on which they offered these peace offerings by way of thanksgiving, partly for the victory obtained over the Ammonites, and partly for the renewal of the kingdom to Saul, and their unanimity in it, as well as to implore and obtain future peace and prosperity:

and there Saul, and all the people of Israel, rejoiced greatly; they in their king, and he in the good will of his people, and both in the great salvation God had wrought for them.

(e) Ut supra, (Antiqu. l. 6. c. 5.) sect. 4.

1 Samuel 11:14
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