Saul Chosen to Be King

There was a man of Benjamin whose name was (A)Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of [a]power. And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. (B)From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.

Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. And Kish said to his son Saul, “Please take one of the servants with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys.” So he passed through the mountains of Ephraim and through the land of (C)Shalisha, but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shaalim, and they were not there. Then he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they did not find them.

When they had come to the land of (D)Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, let (E)us return, lest my father cease caring about the donkeys and become worried about us.”

And he said to him, “Look now, there is in this city (F)a man of God, and he is an honorable man; (G)all that he says surely comes to pass. So let us go there; perhaps he can show us the way that we should go.”

Then Saul said to his servant, “But look, if we go, (H)what shall we bring the man? For the bread in our vessels is all gone, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?”

And the servant answered Saul again and said, “Look, I have here at hand one-fourth of a shekel of silver. I will give that to the man of God, to tell us our way.” (Formerly in Israel, when a man (I)went [b]to inquire of God, he spoke thus: “Come, let us go to the seer”; for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called (J)a seer.)

10 Then Saul said to his servant, [c]“Well said; come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.

11 As they went up the hill to the city, (K)they met some young women going out to draw water, and said to them, “Is the seer here?”

12 And they answered them and said, “Yes, there he is, just ahead of you. Hurry now; for today he came to this city, because (L)there is a sacrifice of the people today (M)on the high place. 13 As soon as you come into the city, you will surely find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now therefore, go up, for about this time you will find him.” 14 So they went up to the city. As they were coming into the city, there was Samuel, coming out toward them on his way up to the high place.

15 (N)Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear the day before Saul came, saying, 16 “Tomorrow about this time (O)I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, (P)and you shall anoint him [d]commander over My people Israel, that he may save My people from the hand of the Philistines; for I have (Q)looked upon My people, because their cry has come to Me.”

17 So when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, (R)“There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall reign over My people.” 18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, “Please tell me, where is the seer’s house?”

19 Samuel answered Saul and said, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and tomorrow I will let you go and will tell you all that is in your heart. 20 But as for (S)your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not be anxious about them, for they have been found. And [e]on whom (T)is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on you and on all your father’s house?”

21 And Saul answered and said, (U)Am I not a Benjamite, of the (V)smallest of the tribes of Israel, and (W)my family the least of all the families of the [f]tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?”

22 Now Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall, and had them sit in the place of honor among those who were invited; there were about thirty persons. 23 And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion which I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Set it apart.’ ” 24 So the cook took up (X)the thigh with its upper part and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, “Here it is, what was kept back. It was set apart for you. Eat; for until this time it has been kept for you, since I said I invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.

25 When they had come down from the high place into the city, [g]Samuel spoke with Saul on (Y)the top of the house. 26 They arose early; and it was about the dawning of the day that Samuel called to Saul on the top of the house, saying, “Get up, that I may send you on your way.” And Saul arose, and both of them went outside, he and Samuel.

Saul Anointed King

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.” And he went on. “But you stand here [h]awhile, that I may announce to you the word of God.”

Samuel Anoints Saul

10 Then (Z)Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, (AA)and kissed him and said: “Is it not because (AB)the Lord has anointed you commander over (AC)His [i]inheritance? When you have departed from me today, you will find two men by (AD)Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin (AE)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 (AF)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 (AG)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 [j]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 (AH)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 (AI)from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; (AJ)and they will be prophesying. Then (AK)the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and (AL)you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. And let it be, when these (AM)signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for (AN)God is with you. You shall go down before me (AO)to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. (AP)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 [k]gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. 10 (AQ)When they came there to the hill, there was (AR)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? (AS)Is Saul also among the prophets?” 12 Then a man from there answered and said, “But (AT)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 (AU)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 (AV)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 (AW)to the Lord (AX)at Mizpah, 18 and said to the children of Israel, (AY)“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 (AZ)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 [l]clans.”

20 And when Samuel had (BA)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 (BB)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, (BC)he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 24 And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him (BD)whom the Lord has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?”

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

25 Then Samuel explained to the people (BF)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 (BG)to Gibeah; and valiant men went with him, whose hearts God had touched. 27 (BH)But some (BI)rebels said, “How can this man save us?” So they despised him, (BJ)and brought him no presents. But he [n]held his peace.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 9:1 wealth
  2. 1 Samuel 9:9 Lit. to seek God
  3. 1 Samuel 9:10 Lit. Your word is good
  4. 1 Samuel 9:16 prince or ruler
  5. 1 Samuel 9:20 for whom
  6. 1 Samuel 9:21 Lit. tribes
  7. 1 Samuel 9:25 So with MT, Tg.; LXX omits He spoke with Saul on the top of the house; LXX, Vg. afterward add And he prepared a bed for Saul on the top of the house, and he slept.
  8. 1 Samuel 9:27 now
  9. 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.
  10. 1 Samuel 10:4 ask you about your welfare
  11. 1 Samuel 10:9 changed his heart
  12. 1 Samuel 10:19 Lit. thousands
  13. 1 Samuel 10:24 Lit. May the king live
  14. 1 Samuel 10:27 kept silent