When thou art departed from me today
Not as soon as he was departed, for he had some few miles to go from Ramah to Rachel's grave near Bethlehem:
thou shalt find two men by Rachel's sepulchre, in the border of
Benjamin, at Zelzah;
the Jews move a difficulty here, that Rachel's sepulchre should be said to be in the border of Benjamin, when it was by Bethlehemephrath, in the tribe of Judah, ( Genesis 35:19 ) ( Micah 5:2 ) and which they solve by observing, that these men were now, at the time Samuel was speaking, by the grave of Rachel, but as they were coming on he would meet them at Zelzah, in the border of Benjamin F26; but there is no need of this, Rachel's grave was not at Bethlehem, but in, the way to it; and besides, as these two tribes were contiguous, and this city being on the borders of both, it might be said at one time to be in the border of Benjamin, and at another in the border of Judah, or in Judah, without any contradiction. Of Zelzah we nowhere else read, but it is plain it was near the sepulchre of Rachel, and perhaps nearer than Bethlehem. The Arabic geographer F1 speaks of Rachel's grave as in the midway between Jerusalem and Bethlehem; and says there were twelve stones upon it, and a stone arched vault over it; and the same is affirmed by Benjamin of Tudela F2, who makes it to be but half a mile from Bethlehem. Jarchi would have Zelzah to be the same with Jerusalem, which is not probable:
and they will say unto thee, the asses which thou wentest to seek are
as Samuel had before told Saul they were, ( 1 Samuel 9:20 )
and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses;
or had left all thoughts about them, and concern for them, not minding whether he heard of them or not, and this before they were found; or otherwise it would have been no strange thing to drop all thoughts about them, when they were found:
and sorroweth for you;
for Saul, and his servant; such was the anxiety and distress of his mind lest any evil should befall them, having been gone so long in quest of the asses, that he had as it were forgot them, and lost all care and concern about them, in comparison of his son and servant; but especially his sorrow rose high for his son, as follows:
saying, what shall I do for my son?
though he was concerned for his servant, yet most for his son; he might have another servant, and not another son, and Saul seems to be his only one, which made his grief for him the greater, see ( 1 Chronicles 8:33 ) ( 9:39 ) . Now as these were contingent events here foretold, as meeting with two men at a certain place described, the words related expressly they should say to him when he met them, and these exactly coming to pass, would most clearly prove Samuel to be a true prophet, and confirm Saul in the belief of what he had said and done to him concerning the kingdom. Another sign follows.
F26 Bereshit Rabba, sect. 82. fol. 71. 4. R. Isaiah, Jarchi, Kimchi, Abarbinel, & Abendana in loc.
F1 Chinat. 3. par. 5.
F2 ltinerar. p. 47.