Samuel Anoints Saul

10 Then (A)Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, (B)and kissed him and said: “Is it not because (C)the Lord has anointed you commander over (D)His [a]inheritance? When you have departed from me today, you will find two men by (E)Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin (F)at Zelzah; and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys which you went to look for have been found. And now your father has ceased caring about the donkeys and is worrying about (G)you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?” ’ Then you shall go on forward from there and come to the terebinth tree of Tabor. There three men going up (H)to God at Bethel will meet you, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. And they will [b]greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall receive from their hands. After that you shall come to the hill of God (I)where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down (J)from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; (K)and they will be prophesying. Then (L)the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and (M)you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. And let it be, when these (N)signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for (O)God is with you. You shall go down before me (P)to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. (Q)Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you should do.”

So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God [c]gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. 10 (R)When they came there to the hill, there was (S)a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And it happened, when all who knew him formerly saw that he indeed prophesied among the prophets, that the people said to one another, “What is this that has come upon the son of Kish? (T)Is Saul also among the prophets?” 12 Then a man from there answered and said, “But (U)who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb: “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 And when he had finished prophesying, he went to the high place.

14 Then Saul’s (V)uncle said to him and his servant, “Where did you go?”

So he said, “To look for the donkeys. When we saw that they were nowhere to be found, we went to Samuel.”

15 And Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me, please, what Samuel said to you.”

16 So Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the donkeys had been (W)found.” But about the matter of the kingdom, he did not tell him what Samuel had said.

Saul Proclaimed King

17 Then Samuel called the people together (X)to the Lord (Y)at Mizpah, 18 and said to the children of Israel, (Z)“Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all kingdoms and from those who oppressed you.’ 19 (AA)But you have today rejected your God, who Himself saved you from all your adversities and your tribulations; and you have said to Him, ‘No, set a king over us!’ Now therefore, present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your [d]clans.”

20 And when Samuel had (AB)caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was chosen. 21 When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was chosen. And Saul the son of Kish was chosen. But when they sought him, he could not be found. 22 Therefore they (AC)inquired of the Lord further, “Has the man come here yet?”

And the Lord answered, “There he is, hidden among the equipment.”

23 So they ran and brought him from there; and when he stood among the people, (AD)he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 24 And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him (AE)whom the Lord has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?”

So all the people shouted and said, (AF)“Long[e] live the king!”

25 Then Samuel explained to the people (AG)the behavior of royalty, and wrote it in a book and laid it up before the Lord. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house. 26 And Saul also went home (AH)to Gibeah; and valiant men went with him, whose hearts God had touched. 27 (AI)But some (AJ)rebels said, “How can this man save us?” So they despised him, (AK)and brought him no presents. But he [f]held his peace.

Saul Saves Jabesh Gilead

11 Then (AL)Nahash the Ammonite came up and [g]encamped against (AM)Jabesh Gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, (AN)“Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.”

And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, “On this condition I will make a covenant with you, that I may put out all your right eyes, and bring (AO)reproach on all Israel.”

Then the elders of Jabesh said to him, “Hold off for seven days, that we may send messengers to all the territory of Israel. And then, if there is no one to [h]save us, we will come out to you.”

So the messengers came (AP)to Gibeah of Saul and told the news in the hearing of the people. And (AQ)all the people lifted up their voices and wept. Now there was Saul, coming behind the herd from the field; and Saul said, “What troubles the people, that they weep?” And they told him the words of the men of Jabesh. (AR)Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused. So he took a yoke of oxen and (AS)cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, (AT)“Whoever does not go out with Saul and Samuel to battle, so it shall be done to his oxen.”

And the fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out [i]with one consent. When he numbered them in (AU)Bezek, the children (AV)of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. And they said to the messengers who came, “Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh Gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have help.’ ” Then the messengers came and reported it to the men of Jabesh, and they were glad. 10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do with us whatever seems good to you.”

11 So it was, on the next day, that (AW)Saul put the people (AX)in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

12 Then the people said to Samuel, (AY)“Who is he who said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ (AZ)Bring the men, that we may put them to death.”

13 But Saul said, (BA)“Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today (BB)the Lord has accomplished salvation in Israel.”

14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go (BC)to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king (BD)before the Lord in Gilgal. (BE)There they made sacrifices of peace offerings before the Lord, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

Samuel’s Address at Saul’s Coronation

12 Now Samuel said to all Israel: “Indeed I have [j]heeded (BF)your voice in all that you said to me, and (BG)have made a king over you. And now here is the king, (BH)walking before you; (BI)and I am old and grayheaded, and look, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my childhood to this day. Here I am. Witness against me before the Lord and before (BJ)His anointed: (BK)Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any (BL)bribe with which to (BM)blind my eyes? I will restore it to you.”

And they said, (BN)“You have not cheated us or oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man’s hand.”

Then he said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, (BO)that you have not found anything (BP)in my hand.”

And they answered, “He is witness.”

Then Samuel said to the people, (BQ)It is the Lord who raised up Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt. Now therefore, stand still, that I may (BR)reason with you before the Lord concerning all the (BS)righteous acts of the Lord which He did to you and your fathers: (BT)When Jacob had gone into [k]Egypt, and your fathers (BU)cried out to the Lord, then the Lord (BV)sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place. And when they (BW)forgot the Lord their God, He sold them into the hand of (BX)Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, into the hand of the (BY)Philistines, and into the hand of the king of (BZ)Moab; and they fought against them. 10 Then they cried out to the Lord, and said, (CA)‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord (CB)and served the Baals and [l]Ashtoreths; but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve You.’ 11 And the Lord sent [m]Jerubbaal, [n]Bedan, (CC)Jephthah, and (CD)Samuel,[o] and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you dwelt in safety. 12 And when you saw that (CE)Nahash king of the Ammonites came against you, (CF)you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when (CG)the Lord your God was your king.

13 “Now therefore, (CH)here is the king (CI)whom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And take note, (CJ)the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you (CK)fear the Lord and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the Lord your God. 15 However, if you do (CL)not obey the voice of the Lord, but (CM)rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers.

16 “Now therefore, (CN)stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes: 17 Is today not the (CO)wheat harvest? (CP)I will call to the Lord, and He will send thunder and (CQ)rain, that you may perceive and see that (CR)your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking a king for yourselves.”

18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and (CS)all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.

19 And all the people said to Samuel, (CT)“Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves.”

20 Then Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; (CU)yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And (CV)do not turn aside; (CW)for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. 22 For (CX)the Lord will not forsake (CY)His people, (CZ)for His great name’s sake, because (DA)it has pleased the Lord to make you His people. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord (DB)in ceasing to pray for you; but (DC)I will teach you the (DD)good and the right way. 24 (DE)Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for (DF)consider what (DG)great things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, (DH)you shall be swept away, (DI)both you and your king.”

Saul’s Unlawful Sacrifice

13 Saul [p]reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, Saul chose for himself three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in (DJ)Michmash and in the mountains of Bethel, and a thousand were with (DK)Jonathan in (DL)Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent away, every man to his tent.

And Jonathan attacked (DM)the garrison of the Philistines that was in (DN)Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Then Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!” Now all Israel heard it said that Saul had attacked a garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel had also become [q]an abomination to the Philistines. And the people were called together to Saul at Gilgal.

Then the Philistines gathered together to fight with Israel, [r]thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen, and people (DO)as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude. And they came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of (DP)Beth Aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people (DQ)hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the (DR)land of Gad and Gilead.

As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. (DS)Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. So Saul said, “Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might [s]greet him.

11 And Samuel said, “What have you done?”

Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, 12 then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.”

13 And Samuel said to Saul, (DT)“You have done foolishly. (DU)You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 (DV)But now your kingdom shall not continue. (DW)The Lord has sought for Himself a man (DX)after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have (DY)not kept what the Lord commanded you.”

15 Then Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of [t]Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people present with him, (DZ)about six hundred men.

No Weapons for the Army

16 Saul, Jonathan his son, and the people present with them remained in [u]Gibeah of Benjamin. But the Philistines encamped in Michmash. 17 Then raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies. One company turned onto the road to (EA)Ophrah, to the land of Shual, 18 another company turned to the road to (EB)Beth Horon, and another company turned to the road of the border that overlooks the Valley of (EC)Zeboim toward the wilderness.

19 Now (ED)there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears.” 20 But all the Israelites would go down to the Philistines to sharpen each man’s plowshare, his mattock, his ax, and his sickle; 21 and the charge for a sharpening was a [v]pim for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to set the points of the goads. 22 So it came about, on the day of battle, that (EE)there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son.

23 (EF)And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.


  1. 1 Samuel 10:1 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; LXX people Israel; and you shall rule the people of the Lord; LXX, Vg. add And you shall deliver His people from the hands of their enemies all around them. And this shall be a sign to you, that God has anointed you to be a prince.
  2. 1 Samuel 10:4 ask you about your welfare
  3. 1 Samuel 10:9 changed his heart
  4. 1 Samuel 10:19 Lit. thousands
  5. 1 Samuel 10:24 Lit. May the king live
  6. 1 Samuel 10:27 kept silent
  7. 1 Samuel 11:1 besieged
  8. 1 Samuel 11:3 deliver
  9. 1 Samuel 11:7 Lit. as one man
  10. 1 Samuel 12:1 listened to
  11. 1 Samuel 12:8 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; LXX adds and the Egyptians afflicted them
  12. 1 Samuel 12:10 Images of Canaanite goddesses
  13. 1 Samuel 12:11 Gideon, cf. Judg. 6:25–32; Syr. Deborah; Tg. Gideon
  14. 1 Samuel 12:11 LXX, Syr. Barak; Tg. Simson
  15. 1 Samuel 12:11 Syr. Simson
  16. 1 Samuel 13:1 Heb. is difficult; cf. 2 Sam. 5:4; 2 Kin. 14:2; see also 2 Sam. 2:10; Acts 13:21
  17. 1 Samuel 13:4 odious
  18. 1 Samuel 13:5 So with MT, LXX, Tg., Vg.; Syr. and some mss. of LXX three thousand
  19. 1 Samuel 13:10 Lit. bless him
  20. 1 Samuel 13:15 So with MT, Tg.; LXX, Vg. add And the rest of the people went up after Saul to meet the people who fought against them, going from Gilgal to Gibeah in the hill of Benjamin.
  21. 1 Samuel 13:16 Heb. Geba
  22. 1 Samuel 13:21 About two-thirds shekel weight

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