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1 Samuel 15:12

12 Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”

Read 1 Samuel 15:12 Using Other Translations

And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.
And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, "Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal."
Early the next morning Samuel went to find Saul. Someone told him, “Saul went to the town of Carmel to set up a monument to himself; then he went on to Gilgal.”

What does 1 Samuel 15:12 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Samuel 15:12

And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning
Having had no sleep since the revelation of the will of God was made unto him, and therefore rose early, being in haste to converse with Saul about it:

it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel;
not to Carmel where Elijah offered sacrifice, for that was very remote from hence; but to Carmel, a city in the tribe of Judah, which lay in the way of Saul's return from Amalek, ( Joshua 15:55 )

and, behold, he set him up a place;
to divide his spoil in, as the Targum; or to encamp in, as Kimchi; or to build an altar on, as Jarchi, who takes it to be the same that Elisha after repaired; but, as before observed, this place was at a great distance from Mount Carmel where Elijah sacrificed. The word for a "place" signifies a hand; and, according to the Vulgate Latin version, it was a triumphal arch, and was perhaps an obelisk or pillar, a trophy or monument erected in memory of the victory he had obtained over the Amalekites. So Jerom says F1, when a victory was obtained, they used to make an arch of myrtle, palm, and olive branches, a sign of it; these trophies were sometimes of brass, sometimes of marble; some were only heaps of stones, others a remarkable tree with the branches cut off F2 so the pillar Absalom erected is called his hand, ( 2 Samuel 18:18 )

and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal;
he took a circuit, and moved in great pomp and parade, carrying the king of the Amalekites in triumph with him, and the spoil he had taken and reserves. To Gilgal be went, expecting to meet Samuel there, and offer up peace offerings to the Lord for the victory he had got.


FOOTNOTES:

F1 Heb. Trad. in lib. Reg. fol. 76. B.
F2 Vid. Alex. ab. Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 1. c. 22.
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