Samuel promises to meet Saul within seven days at Gilgal

1 Samuel 10:8 NIV

8 “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.”

In the meantime Nahash the Ammonite king besieges the men of Jabesh and gives them a seven day ultimatum.The men of Jabesh sends a distress call to Saul who eventually rescues them.This confrontation seems to last several days.(1 Samuel 11)

Again king Saul has another confrontation with the Phillistines and waits for Samuel for seven days before he goes ahead with the sacrifices(1 Samuel 13)

Samuel finally pitches up at Gilgal and confronts Saul who by then had offered the sacrifices.Could the above events have taken place within the prescribed seven days

1 Samuel 13:8 NIV

8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.

Did Samuel pitch up within the seven days or there is a chronological issue here?

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    I don't understand what you don't understand here. Samuel said he'd be there in seven days. Saul got impatient and couldn't wait till the end of the day, when Samuel did arrive.
    – curiousdannii
    Mar 11 '20 at 1:38

According to Ellicott, 1 Samuel 10:8 happened years earlier.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) And he tarried seven days.—When was this “set time” appointed? It seems difficult at first to refer back to the day of Saul’s mysterious prophetic consecration (1Samuel 10:8), which took place at least some three or four years—perhaps much longer—before the event here related, especially as we know that Saul and Samuel had been together on one occasion certainly at Gilgal in the meantime (1Samuel 11:14-15);

Still, it foreshowed/warned what was going to happen in 1 Samuel 13:8

and yet the extraordinary solemnity of the warning of the seer at the time of the anointing at Ramah evidently pointed to some event which should in the future happen at Gilgal, and which would be a most important epoch in King Saul’s career. All these conditions are satisfied in the meeting between the prophet and the king, here related. It is best, then, to understand this event as the one alluded to on the day of anointing at Ramah, and to conclude that this grave warning and positive direction had been repeated, probably more than once, since then by the seer to the king.

More precisely, on the appointed day:

Saul, we read, waited seven days, but before the seventh expired, gave up waiting, and offered the sacrifice without the seer, and thus, as Josephus says, “he did not fully obey the command.” His faith failed him under pressure at the last, and he acted on his own responsibility, quite irrespective of the positive command of God.

Any way you slice it, It is certain that Saul sinned.

If you want a second opinion, here is Barnes' Notes on the Bible:

Had appointed - This appointment has of course nothing whatever to do with that made years before 1 Samuel 10:8, the keeping of which is expressly mentioned at the natural time 1 Samuel 11:15. But Samuel had again, on this later occasion, made an appointment at the end of seven days. It seems to have been as a trial of faith and obedience, under which, this time, Saul unhappily broke down.


According to the scriptures, yes, he arrived with he said. Seven days

  • 1
    Hi Daniel, welcome to BHSE. Please take the Site Tour to learn more about how to provide good Questions and Answers on the site. This Answer has been flagged as low-quality and is likely to be removed.
    – Steve Taylor
    Mar 9 '20 at 15:42
  • One key point within our tour is that regarding questions and answers, we'd like to see Biblical text to analyze. Thanks. Mar 12 '20 at 15:53

Saul was told to wait 7 days. He still should be waiting at the end of the 7th day. Samuel could’ve come on 8th n not break his instructions to Saul. I believe Samuel came in late afternoon of 7th. Saul wasn’t willing to wait, much less obey the prophets word

  • Welcome and thanks for your contribution! Could you flesh out your answer a bit more with scriptural references. Also when you get a chance, please visit the Tour to see how the site works.
    – agarza
    Feb 21 at 17:05
  • 'I believe Samuel came ...' is not an hermeneutical approach. Could you substantiate please.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 23 at 15:23

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