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1 Samuel 9:4

4 So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them.

Read 1 Samuel 9:4 Using Other Translations

And he passed through mount Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalisha, but they found them not: then they passed through the land of Shalim, and there they were not: and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they found them not.
And he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then they passed through the land of Benjamin, but did not find them.
So Saul took one of the servants and traveled through the hill country of Ephraim, the land of Shalishah, the Shaalim area, and the entire land of Benjamin, but they couldn’t find the donkeys anywhere.

What does 1 Samuel 9:4 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Samuel 9:4

And they passed through Mount Ephraim
The mountainous part of that tribe, which lay contiguous to the tribe of Benjamin, where it might be supposed the asses had strayed to:

and passed through the land of Shalisha;
a tract in the tribe of Benjamin, so called from some illustrious person, prince, and duke of it; in it very probably was the place called Baalshalisha; ( 2 Kings 4:42 ) and which perhaps is the same Jerom calls F24 Bethshalisha; and says there was a village of this name in the borders of Diospolis, almost fifteen miles distance from it to the north, in the Tamnitic country; though Bunting F25 says it was situated in Mount Ephraim, eight miles from Jerusalem to the northwest:

but they found them not;
the asses, neither in Mount Ephraim, nor in the land of Shalisha:

then they passed through the land of Shalim
which some take to be the same with Salim, where John was baptizing, ( John 3:23 ) but Jerom says F26 it was a village on the borders of Eleutheropolis, to the west, seven miles distant from it:

and [there they] were not;
the asses could not be found there:

and he passed through the land of the Benjamites;
or rather of Jemini, which was in Benjamin, so called from a famous man of that name; for it cannot be thought they should pass through the whole tribe of Benjamin in one day. And, according to Bunting F1, from Gibeah, the native place of Saul, through the mountain of Ephraim, and the land of Shalisha, to the borders of Shalim, were sixteen miles; and from thence to Jemini, in the tribe of Benjamin, sixteen more:

but they found them not;
the asses.


FOOTNOTES:

F24 De loc. Heb. fol. 89. K.
F25 Travels of the Patriarchs p. 129.
F26 De loc. Heb. fol. 94. L.
F1 Travels of the Patriarchs p. 126.
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