1 Samuel 9:2

1 Samuel 9:2

And he had a son whose name was Saul
Of this name was the great apostle of the Gentiles before his conversion, and was of the same tribe also; but very different in stature; he was a little man, this a large tall man, like his father perhaps;

a choice young man, and a goodly;
( 1 Samuel 2:1-10 ) of a goodly aspect, a comely man, tall and well shaped, in the prime of his age, a very agreeable person, one among a thousand:

and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than
he;
meaning not for the endowments of his mind, or his moral character and behaviour. There might be as good, or better men than he, on such accounts, but for his outward appearance, his bodily shape, and the dignity of his person:

from his shoulders and upwards he was higher than any of the people;
this description of him is enlarged upon and explained, to show that he was just such a person the people were desirous of having king over them, such an one as the nations about them had; and it was usual with the eastern people, and so with the Greeks and Romans, to choose persons to the highest offices of magistracy that made a personable appearance superior to others, and is what they often take notice of, as a recommendation of them as princes. Herodotus F12 reports of the Ethiopians, that they judged the largest of the people, and him who had strength according to his size, most worthy to be king. And the same writer observes F13, that among the many thousands of men of the army of Xerxes, there was not one who for comeliness and largeness was so worthy of the empire as Xerxes himself; so Ulysses, because of his height, was the more acceptable to the people of Corfu F14; so Alexander's captains, it is said F15, might be thought to be kings for their beautiful form, height of body, and greatness of strength and wisdom. Julius Caesar is said to be of high stature; and so Domitian {p}; Virgil F17 represents Turnus as in body more excellent than others, and by the entire head above them; and Anchises as walking statelier and higher than the rest F18; among the many encomiums Pliny F19 gives of Trajan, as to his outward form and appearance, this is one, "proceritas corporis", height of body, being higher than others; the Gentiles had a notion that such men came nearer to the deities, and looked more like them; so Diana is described as taller than any of the nymphs and goddesses F20. Solomon, according to Josephus F21, chose such young men to ride horses, and attend his person, when he himself rode, who were conspicuous for their height, and greatly above others.


FOOTNOTES:

F12 Thalia, sive, l. 3. c. 20.
F13 Polymnia, sive, l. 7. c. 187.
F14 Homer. Odyss. 8. ver. 20, 21.
F15 Justin. e Trogo, l. 13. c. 1.
F16 Sueton. Vit. Caesar. c. 45. Domitian. c. 18.
F17 Aeneid. l. 7. ver. 783, 784. & 9. ver. 29.
F18 Ib. l. 8. ver. 162.
F19 Panegyr. c. 4, 22.
F20 "Tamen altior illis ipsa dea est". Ovid. Metam. l. 3. fab. 2. ver. 180, 181.
F21 Antiqu. l. 8. c. 7. sect. 3.
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