1 Samuel 25:1

1 And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.

1 Samuel 25:1 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 25:1

And Samuel died
In the interval, when Saul and David were parted, and before they saw each other again; according to the Jewish chronology F7, Samuel died four months before Saul; but other Jewish writers say F8 he died seven months before; Abarbinel thinks it was a year or two before; which is most likely and indeed certain, since David was in the country of the Philistines after this a full year and four months, if the true sense of the phrase is expressed in ( 1 Samuel 27:7 ) ; and Saul was not then dead; and so another Jewish chronologer F9 says, that Saul died two years after Samuel, to which agrees Clemens of Alexandria F11; and according to the Jews F12, he died the twentieth of Ijar, for which a fast was kept on that day:

and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him;
his death being a public loss, not only to the college of the prophets, over which he presided, but to the whole nation; and they had reason to lament his death, when they called to mind, the many good offices he had done them from his youth upwards; and when the government was in his hands, which was administered in the most prudent and faithful manner; and after that they had his wise counsel and advice, his good wishes and prayers for them; and the rather they had reason to lament him, since Saul their king proved so bad as he did, and at this time a difference was subsisting between David and him:

and buried him in his house at Ramah;
where he lived and died; not that he was buried in his house, properly so called, or within the walls of that building wherein he dwelt; though the Greeks F13 and Romans F14 used to bury in their own dwelling houses; hence sprung the idolatrous worship of the Lares, or household gods; but not the Hebrews, which their laws about uncleanness by graves would not admit of, see ( Numbers 19:15 Numbers 19:18 ) ; but the meaning is, that they buried him in the place where his house was, as Ben Gersom interprets it, at Ramah, in some field or garden belonging to it. The author of the Cippi Hebraici says {o}, that here his father Elkanah, and his mother Hannah, and her two sons, were buried in a vault shut up, with, monuments over it; and here, some say F16, Samuel's bones remained, until removed by Arcadius the emperor into Thrace; Benjamin of Tudela reports F17, that when the Christians took Ramlah, which is Ramah, from the Mahometans, they found the grave of Samuel at Ramah by a synagogue of the Jews, and they took him out of the grave, and carried him to Shiloh, and there built a large temple, which is called the Samuel of Shiloh to this day:

and David arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran;
on hearing of the death of Samuel, there to indulge his mourning for him; or rather that he might be in greater safety from Saul, being further off, this wilderness lying on the south of the tribe of Judah, and inhabited by Arabs, and these called Kedarenes; and now it was that he dwelt in the tents of Kedar, ( Psalms 120:5 ) .


F7 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 13. p. 37.
F8 In Kimchi & Abarbinel in loc.
F9 Juchasin, fol. 11. 1.
F11 Stromat. l. 1. p. 325.
F12 Schulchan Aruch, par. 1. c. 580. sect. 2.
F13 Plato in Mino.
F14 Servius in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 6. p. mihi, (?) 1011.
F15 P. 30.
F16 Heldman apud Hottinger in ib.
F17 Itinerar. p. 52.

1 Samuel 25:1 In-Context

1 And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.
2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
3 Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.
4 And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep.
5 And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:
The King James Version is in the public domain.