1 Samuel 8-10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Israel Demands a King
8 And it came about when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. 2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in Beersheba. 3 His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him, “Look, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint us a king to judge us [and rule over us] like all the other nations.” 6 But their demand [a]displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge and rule over us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being King over them. 8 Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have abandoned (rejected) Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9 So now listen to their voice; only solemnly warn them and tell them the ways of the king who will reign over them.”
Warning concerning a King
10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them for himself to his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint them for himself to be commanders over thousands and over fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his implements of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves shall be his servants. 18 Then you will cry out on that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you on that day [because you have rejected Him as King].”
19 Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20 so that we too may be like all the nations [around us], that our king may judge [and govern] us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 Samuel had heard all the words of the people and repeated them [b]to the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their [c]request and appoint a king for them.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go, each man to his own city.”
9 There was a man of [the tribe of] Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of influence and wealth. 2 Kish had a son named Saul, a choice and handsome man; among the sons of Israel there was not a man more handsome than he. From his shoulders and up he was [a head] taller than any of the people.
3 Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, had wandered off and were lost. Kish said to his son Saul, “Please take one of the servants with you and arise, go look for the donkeys.” 4 And they passed through the hill country of Ephraim and the land of Shalishah, but did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there and the land of the Benjamites, but they [still] did not find them.
5 When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, let us return, otherwise my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and become anxious about us.” 6 The servant said to him, “Look here, in this city there is a man of God, and the man is held in honor; everything that he says comes true. Now let us go there; perhaps he can advise us about our journey [and tell us where we should go].” 7 Then Saul said to his servant, “But look, if we go [to see him], what shall we bring to the man? For the bread from our sacks is gone and there is no gift to bring to the man of God. What do we have [to offer]?” 8 The servant replied again to Saul, “Here in my hand I have a quarter of a shekel of silver; I will give that to the man of God, and he will advise us as to [where we should go on] our journey [to find the donkeys].” 9 (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he would say, “Come, let us go to the seer”; for he who is called a prophet today was formerly called a seer.) 10 Saul said to his servant, “Well said; come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was living.
11 As they went up the hill to the city, they met some young women going out to draw water, and said to them, “Is the seer (prophet) here?” 12 They answered them, “He is; look, he is ahead of you. Hurry now, for he has come into the city today because the people have a sacrifice on the high place today. 13 As you enter the city you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat, for the people will not eat until he comes, because he must ask the blessing on the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. So go up now, for about now you will find him.” 14 So they went up to the city. And as they came into the city, there was Samuel coming out toward them to go up to the high place.
God’s Choice for King
15 Now a day before Saul came, the Lord had [d]informed Samuel [of this], saying, 16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him as leader over My people Israel; and he will save My people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have looked upon [the distress of] My people, because their cry [for help] has come to Me.” 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, “There is the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall rule over My people [as their king].” 18 Then Saul approached Samuel in the [city] gate and said, “Please tell me where the seer’s house is.” 19 Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer. Go on ahead of me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and in the morning I will let you go, and will tell you all that is on your mind. 20 As for your donkeys which were lost three days ago, do not be concerned about them, for they have been found. And for whom are all things that are desirable in Israel? Are they not for you and for all your father’s household (family)?” 21 Saul replied, “Am I not a Benjamite, of [e]the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And is not my family the smallest of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken this way to me [as if I were very important]?”
22 Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall [at the high place] and gave them a place [to sit] at the head of the persons—about thirty men—who were invited [while the rest ate outside]. 23 Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the [priests’] portion that I gave you, regarding which I told you, ‘Set it aside.’” 24 Then the cook lifted up the leg (thigh) with the meat that was on it [indicating that it was the priest’s honored portion] and placed it before Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been reserved [for you]. Set it before you and eat, because it has been kept for you until the appointed time, ever since I invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
25 When they came down from the high place into the city, Samuel spoke with Saul on the [f]roof [of his house]. 26 They got up early [the next day]; and at dawn Samuel called Saul [who was sleeping] on the roof, saying, “Get up, so that I may send you on your way.” Saul got up, and both he and Samuel went outside. 27 As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us so that he may pass by but you stand still now so that I may proclaim the word of God to you.”
Saul among Prophets
10 Then Samuel took the flask of oil and poured it on Saul’s head, kissed him, and said, “Has the Lord not anointed you as ruler over His inheritance (Israel)? 2 When you leave me today, you will meet two men beside Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah; they will say to you, ‘The donkeys you went to look for have been found. And your father has stopped caring about them and is worried about you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?”’ 3 Then you will go on further from there, and you will come to the terebinth tree of Tabor, and three men going up to [sacrifice to] God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a jug of wine. 4 They will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from their hand. 5 After that you will come to [g]the hill of God where the garrison of the Philistines is; and when you come there to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place [of worship] with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, and they will be prophesying. 6 Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you will prophesy with them, and you will be changed into another man. 7 When these signs come to you, do for yourself whatever [h]the situation requires, for God is with you. 8 You shall go down ahead of me to Gilgal; and behold, I will be coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days until I come to you and show you what you must do.”
9 Then it happened when Saul turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. 10 When they came to the hill [Gibeah], behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came on him mightily, and he prophesied [under divine guidance] among them. 11 Now when all who knew Saul previously saw that he actually prophesied now [by inspiration] with the prophets, the people said one to another, “What has happened to [Saul, who is nobody but] the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” 12 And a man from there answered, “But who is the father of the others?” So it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 When Saul had finished prophesying, he went to the high place [of worship].
14 Saul’s uncle said to him and to his servant, “Where did you go?” And Saul said, “To look for the donkeys. And when we saw that they were nowhere to be found, we went to Samuel [for help].” 15 Saul’s uncle said, “Please tell me, what did Samuel say to you?” 16 And Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.” But he did not tell him about the matter of the kingdom which Samuel had mentioned.
Saul Publicly Chosen King
17 Then Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah, 18 and he said to Israel, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘It was I who brought Israel up from Egypt, and I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and from all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ 19 But today you have rejected your God, who Himself saves you from all your disasters and distresses; yet you have said, ‘No! Set a king over us.’ Now then, present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your families (clans).”
20 And when Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. 21 Then he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by their families, and the family of Matri was chosen by lot. And Saul the son of Kish was chosen by lot; but when they looked for him, he could not be found. 22 So they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?” And the Lord answered, “He is there, hiding himself by the [i]provisions and supplies.” 23 So they ran and took him from there, and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 24 Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? For there is no one like him among all the people.” So all the people shouted and said, “Long live the king!”
25 Then Samuel told the people the [j]requirements of the kingdom, and wrote them in a book and placed it before the Lord. And Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home. 26 Saul also went home to Gibeah; and the [k]brave men whose hearts God had touched went with him. 27 But some [l]worthless men said, “How can this man save and rescue us?” And they regarded Saul with contempt and did not bring him a gift. But he ignored the insult and kept silent.
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