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When Samuel is about to anoint Saul he requests that the servant go ahead whilst they remain behind

KJV 1 Samuel 9 : 27

And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.

Immediately after bidding the servant to leave Samuel turns around and anoints Saul as king.

KJV 1 Samuel 10 : 1

Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?

Why did Samuel hide the anointing from the servant?

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  • Samuel simply wanted to be alone with Saul?
    – Dottard
    Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 21:20

1 Answer 1

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It would appear that the anointing was being hidden from everybody (for the moment), so keeping it from the servant would add to the security of the secret. When Saul meets his father, he says nothing about the content of the interview except "He told us plainly that the asses had been found" (1 Samuel ch10 v16). Since Samuel did not tell Saul to proclaim himself king, Saul may have taken that as an implied command to keep silent. The matter is kept hidden until Saul has been "chosen by the Lord" more publicly at a general assembly of the people (vv20-24). Perhaps a premature release of the news through gossip could have hindered general acceptance, giving men time to think about whether they agreed with the choice. See v27, "the worthless men who despised him".

In ch16, when the political minefield is more obvious, Samuel acts with the same secrecy in the anointing of David.

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