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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - 1 Samuel 12:16-25

Two things Samuel here aims at:? I. To convince the people of their sin in desiring a king. They were now rejoicing before God in and with their king (1 Sam. 11:15), and offering to God the sacrifices of praise, which they hoped God would accept; and this perhaps made them think that there was no harm in their asking a king, but really they had done well in it. Therefore Samuel here charges it upon them as their sin, as wickedness, great wickedness in the sight of the Lord. Note, Though we... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 12:21

And turn ye not aside ,.... From his worship: for then; if they turned aside from that: should ye go after vain things ; idols, which are vanity, and less than vanity: which cannot profit nor deliver ; neither bestow good things on their votaries, nor deliver them from evils, or from the hands of their enemies for they are vain ; empty, useless, and unprofitable; an idol is nothing in the world, 1 Corinthians 8:4 . read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Samuel 12:21

After vain things - That is, idols; which he calls here התהו hattohu , the same expression found Genesis 1:2 . The earth was תהו tohu ; it was waste, empty, and formless: so idols; they are confusion, and things of naught, for an idol is nothing in the world, it is not the representative of any intelligent being. read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Samuel 12:16-25

The outward sign. The facts are— 1 . Samuel, to confirm his argument, calls for thunder and rain during the wheat harvest, thus imperilling their property. 2 . The people, awed by the event, entreat for his intercession. 3 . Samuel encourages hope on the ground of God's mercy, and promises to pray for and instruct them. 4 . He makes a final appeal, setting forth the blessed and sad alternative consequences. Samuel knew well with whom he had to deal; and, therefore, besides... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Samuel 12:21

For then should ye go after vain things. The word for is omitted in all the ancient versions, and the sense is complete without it: "And turn ye not aside after tohu," the word used in Genesis 1:1 , and there translated "without form." It means anything empty, void, and so is often used, as here, for "an idol," because, as St. Paul says, "an idol is nothing in the world" ( 1 Corinthians 8:4 ). So Isaiah ( Isaiah 44:9 ) calls the makers of idols vanity, Hebrew, tohu, i.e. empty... read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - 1 Samuel 12:19-21

1 Samuel 12:19-21. The Lord thy God Whom thou hast so great an interest in, while we are ashamed and afraid to call him our God. Fear not With a desponding fear, as if there are no hope left for you. But turn not ye aside After idols, as they had often done before, and, notwithstanding this warning, did afterward. Vain things So idols are called Deuteronomy 32:21, Jeremiah 2:5; and so they are, being mere nothings, having no power in them, no influence upon us, nor being of any use... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 12:1-25

Samuel’s farewell address (12:1-25)The people’s demand for a king was an insult to Samuel as well as to God. Samuel therefore called upon them to declare before God and before the king that he had been blameless in all his behaviour. He had given them no cause to be dissatisfied with his leadership (12:1-5).In the lengthy address that followed, Samuel reminded his hearers of all that God had done in giving Israel the land of Canaan for a homeland (6-8). He reminded them also that Israel’s... read more

Thomas Coke

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible - 1 Samuel 12:21

1 Samuel 12:21, &c. Vain things, which cannot profit— Samuel in these gentle terms dissuades them from idolatry, the practice of which was as useless to themselves as it was disgraceful to God. We have a fine instance in this chapter of the pleasing comfort, and satisfaction of heart, which those judges must enjoy who have conscientiously discharged their duty. How great must be their peace, when about to render up an account of their administration to GOD, the Judge of all! The... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - 1 Samuel 12:1-25

Samuel’s second warning to the people ch. 12The writer wrote chapters 12-15 very skillfully to parallel chapters 8-11. Each section begins with Samuel warning the people about the dangers of their requesting a king (chs. 8 and 12). Each one also follows with a description of Saul’s exploits (chs. 9-10 and 13-14) and ends with Saul leading Israel in battle (chs. 11 and 15). This parallel structure vividly sets off the contrast between Saul’s early success as Israel’s king and his subsequent... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - 1 Samuel 12:12-25

5. The confirmation of Saul as king 11:12-12:25This victory helped the Israelites perceive Saul as their king, with the result that they committed themselves to him. Samuel therefore gave the people a solemn charge in view of the change in government. read more

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