So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark(A) of the Lord. They brought it to Abinadab’s(B) house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the Lord. The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim(C) a long time—twenty years in all.

Samuel Subdues the Philistines at Mizpah

Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord.(D) So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning(E) to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid(F) yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths(G) and commit(H) yourselves to the Lord and serve him only,(I) and he will deliver(J) you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.

Then Samuel(K) said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah,(L) and I will intercede(M) with the Lord for you.” When they had assembled at Mizpah,(N) they drew water and poured(O) it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” Now Samuel was serving as leader[a](P) of Israel at Mizpah.

When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid(Q) because of the Philistines. They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying(R) out to the Lord our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” Then Samuel(S) took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him.(T)

10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the Lord thundered(U) with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic(V) that they were routed before the Israelites. 11 The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.

12 Then Samuel took a stone(W) and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer,[b](X) saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

13 So the Philistines were subdued(Y) and they stopped invading Israel’s territory. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines. 14 The towns from Ekron(Z) to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to Israel, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.(AA)

15 Samuel(AB) continued as Israel’s leader(AC) all(AD) the days of his life. 16 From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel(AE) to Gilgal(AF) to Mizpah, judging(AG) Israel in all those places. 17 But he always went back to Ramah,(AH) where his home was, and there he also held court(AI) for Israel. And he built an altar(AJ) there to the Lord.

Israel Asks for a King

When Samuel grew old, he appointed(AK) his sons as Israel’s leaders.[c] The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah,(AL) and they served at Beersheba.(AM) But his sons(AN) did not follow his ways. They turned aside(AO) after dishonest gain and accepted bribes(AP) and perverted(AQ) justice.

So all the elders(AR) of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah.(AS) They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king(AT) to lead[d](AU) us, such as all the other nations(AV) have.”

But when they said, “Give us a king(AW) to lead us,” this displeased(AX) Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: “Listen(AY) to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected,(AZ) but they have rejected me as their king.(BA) As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking(BB) me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know(BC) what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

10 Samuel told(BD) all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take(BE) your sons and make them serve(BF) with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.(BG) 12 Some he will assign to be commanders(BH) of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your(BI) fields and vineyards(BJ) and olive groves and give them to his attendants.(BK) 15 He will take a tenth(BL) of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[e] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer(BM) you in that day.(BN)

19 But the people refused(BO) to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want(BP) a king(BQ) over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations,(BR) with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated(BS) it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen(BT) to them and give them a king.”

Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”

Samuel Anoints Saul

There was a Benjamite,(BU) a man of standing,(BV) whose name was Kish(BW) son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome(BX) a young man as could be found(BY) anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller(BZ) than anyone else.

Now the donkeys(CA) belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.” So he passed through the hill(CB) country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha,(CC) but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys(CD) were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them.

When they reached the district of Zuph,(CE) Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying(CF) about us.”

But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God;(CG) he is highly respected, and everything(CH) he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”

Saul said to his servant, “If we go, what can we give the man? The food in our sacks is gone. We have no gift(CI) to take to the man of God. What do we have?”

The servant answered him again. “Look,” he said, “I have a quarter of a shekel[f] of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take.” (Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire(CJ) of God, they would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)(CK)

10 “Good,” Saul said to his servant. “Come, let’s go.” So they set out for the town where the man of God was.

11 As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw(CL) water, and they asked them, “Is the seer here?”

12 “He is,” they answered. “He’s ahead of you. Hurry now; he has just come to our town today, for the people have a sacrifice(CM) at the high place.(CN) 13 As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must bless(CO) the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Go up now; you should find him about this time.”

14 They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place.

15 Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel: 16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint(CP) him ruler(CQ) over my people Israel; he will deliver(CR) them from the hand of the Philistines.(CS) I have looked on my people, for their cry(CT) has reached me.”

17 When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “This(CU) is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.”

18 Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”

19 “I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart. 20 As for the donkeys(CV) you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire(CW) of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?”

21 Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe(CX) of Israel, and is not my clan the least(CY) of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin?(CZ) Why do you say such a thing to me?”

22 Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and seated them at the head of those who were invited—about thirty in number. 23 Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.”

24 So the cook took up the thigh(DA) with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’” And Saul dined with Samuel that day.

25 After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof(DB) of his house. 26 They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. 27 As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”


  1. 1 Samuel 7:6 Traditionally judge; also in verse 15
  2. 1 Samuel 7:12 Ebenezer means stone of help.
  3. 1 Samuel 8:1 Traditionally judges
  4. 1 Samuel 8:5 Traditionally judge; also in verses 6 and 20
  5. 1 Samuel 8:16 Septuagint; Hebrew young men
  6. 1 Samuel 9:8 That is, about 1/10 ounce or about 3 grams

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah(A)(B)

18 Once when Jesus was praying(C) in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”

19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist;(D) others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”(E)

20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”(F)

Jesus Predicts His Death

21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.(G) 22 And he said, “The Son of Man(H) must suffer many things(I) and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law,(J) and he must be killed(K) and on the third day(L) be raised to life.”(M)

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.(N) 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.(O) 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them(P) when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.(Q)

27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

The Transfiguration(R)

28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James(S) with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.(T) 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure,[a](U) which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy,(V) but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master,(W) it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)

34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen;(X) listen to him.”(Y) 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.(Z)

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  1. Luke 9:31 Greek exodos

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