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And they answered them, and said, He is; behold, he is before you: make haste now, for he came to day to the city; for there is a sacrifice of the people to day in the high place:

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

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).

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