New Defender's Study Bible Notes
9:1 mighty man of power. The same Hebrew word was used to describe Boaz (Ruth 2:1).
9:12 the high place. Evidently Samuel, in making his circuit, would officiate at sacrifices offered by the people in various locations. This was not the prescribed Mosaic order, but this was a time during which the ark was no longer in the tabernacle at Shiloh. In fact, after the death of Eli, there is no further mention of the tabernacle at all until David eventually brought the ark to Jerusalem, providing a tabernacle for it there (II Samuel 6:17). It is possible that “high place” refers to Samuel’s home, Ramah, which also means “high place.” During this period in general, however, “the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days” (I Kings 3:2). This high place was in “the land of Zuph” (I Samuel 9:5), which was presumably the home region of Elkanah, Samuel’s father (I Samuel 1:1).
9:21 smallest of the tribes. The tribe of Benjamin had been almost obliterated earlier (Judges 20:46-48). However, Saul’s reference to his family was probably false modesty, intended to elicit Samuel’s favor.