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.