1 Samuel 2:1-11 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
2 Hannah also prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the Lord;
2 “There is none holy like the Lord,
9 “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones;
Eli’s Wicked Sons
11 Then Elka′nah went home to Ramah. And the boy ministered to the Lord, in the presence of Eli the priest.
12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they had no regard for the Lord. 13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14 and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself.[a] So they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but raw.” 16 And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.” 17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord; for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.
The Child Samuel at Shiloh
18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy girded with a linen ephod. 19 And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elka′nah and his wife, and say, “The Lord give you children by this woman for the loan which she lent to[b] the Lord”; so then they would return to their home.
21 And the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.
Prophecy against Eli’s Household
22 Now Eli was very old, and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. 24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. 25 If a man sins against a man, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father; for it was the will of the Lord to slay them.
26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men.
27 And there came a man of God to Eli, and said to him, “Thus the Lord has said, ‘I revealed[c] myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh. 28 And I chose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me; and I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. 29 Why then look with greedy eye at[d] my sacrifices and my offerings which I commanded, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves upon the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’ 30 Therefore the Lord the God of Israel declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me for ever’; but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me; for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31 Behold, the days are coming, when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity which shall be bestowed upon Israel; and there shall not be an old man in your house for ever. 33 The man of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep out his[e] eyes and grieve his[f] heart; and all the increase of your house shall die by the sword of men.[g] 34 And this which shall befall your two sons, Hophni and Phin′ehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day. 35 And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind; and I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed for ever. 36 And every one who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread, and shall say, “Put me, I pray you, in one of the priest’s places, that I may eat a morsel of bread.”’”
Samuel’s Calling and Prophetic Activity
3 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.
2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim, so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place; 3 the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down within the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!”[h] and he said, “Here I am!” 5 and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6 And the Lord called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for thy servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 And the Lord came and stood forth, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for thy servant hears.” 11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel, at which the two ears of every one that hears it will tingle. 12 On that day I will fulfil against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 And I tell him that I am about to punish his house for ever, for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God,[i] and he did not restrain them. 14 Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering for ever.”
15 Samuel lay until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16 But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he said, “Here I am.” 17 And Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him.”
19 And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord. 21 And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord. 4 1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.
The Ark of God Captured
Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines; they encamped at Ebene′zer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek. 2 The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who slew about four thousand men on the field of battle. 3 And when the troops came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord put us to rout today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that he may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.” 4 So the people sent to Shiloh, and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phin′ehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
5 When the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded. 6 And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, “What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” And when they learned that the ark of the Lord had come to the camp, 7 the Philistines were afraid; for they said, “A god has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before. 8 Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who smote the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness. 9 Take courage, and acquit yourselves like men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; acquit yourselves like men and fight.”
10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his home; and there was a very great slaughter, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 And the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phin′ehas, were slain.
Death of Eli
12 A man of Benjamin ran from the battle line, and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes rent and with earth upon his head. 13 When he arrived, Eli was sitting upon his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told the news, all the city cried out. 14 When Eli heard the sound of the outcry, he said, “What is this uproar?” Then the man hastened and came and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes were set, so that he could not see. 16 And the man said to Eli, “I am he who has come from the battle; I fled from the battle today.” And he said, “How did it go, my son?” 17 He who brought the tidings answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has also been a great slaughter among the people; your two sons also, Hophni and Phin′ehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” 18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backward from his seat by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.
19 Now his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phin′ehas, was with child, about to give birth. And when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed and gave birth; for her pains came upon her. 20 And about the time of her death the women attending her said to her, “Fear not, for you have borne a son.” But she did not answer or give heed. 21 And she named the child Ich′abod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”
The Philistines and the Ark
5 When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they carried it from Ebene′zer to Ashdod; 2 then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. 3 And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. 4 But when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off upon the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. 5 This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.
6 The hand of the Lord was heavy upon the people of Ashdod, and he terrified and afflicted them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory. 7 And when the men of Ashdod saw how things were, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us; for his hand is heavy upon us and upon Dagon our god.” 8 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” They answered, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be brought around to Gath.” So they brought the ark of the God of Israel there. 9 But after they had brought it around, the hand of the Lord was against the city, causing a very great panic, and he afflicted the men of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out upon them. 10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. But when the ark of God came to Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought around to us the ark of the God of Israel to slay us and our people.” 11 They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, that it may not slay us and our people.” For there was a deathly panic throughout the whole city. The hand of God was very heavy there; 12 the men who did not die were stricken with tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
The Ark Returned to Israel
6 The ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months. 2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us with what we shall send it to its place.” 3 They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but by all means return him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why his hand does not turn away from you.” 4 And they said, “What is the guilt offering that we shall return to him?” They answered, “Five golden tumors and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines; for the same plague was upon all of you and upon your lords. 5 So you must make images of your tumors and images of your mice that ravage the land, and give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps he will lighten his hand from off you and your gods and your land. 6 Why should you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? After he had made sport of them, did not they let the people go, and they departed? 7 Now then, take and prepare a new cart and two milch cows upon which there has never come a yoke, and yoke the cows to the cart, but take their calves home, away from them. 8 And take the ark of the Lord and place it on the cart, and put in a box at its side the figures of gold, which you are returning to him as a guilt offering. Then send it off, and let it go its way. 9 And watch; if it goes up on the way to its own land, to Beth-she′mesh, then it is he who has done us this great harm; but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us, it happened to us by chance.”
10 The men did so, and took two milch cows and yoked them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. 11 And they put the ark of the Lord on the cart, and the box with the golden mice and the images of their tumors. 12 And the cows went straight in the direction of Beth-she′mesh along one highway, lowing as they went; they turned neither to the right nor to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after them as far as the border of Beth-she′mesh. 13 Now the people of Beth-she′mesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and when they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, they rejoiced to see it. 14 The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth-she′mesh, and stopped there. A great stone was there; and they split up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord. 15 And the Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the box that was beside it, in which were the golden figures, and set them upon the great stone; and the men of Beth-she′mesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices on that day to the Lord. 16 And when the five lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned that day to Ekron.
17 These are the golden tumors, which the Philistines returned as a guilt offering to the Lord: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ash′kelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron; 18 also the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both fortified cities and unwalled villages. The great stone, beside which they set down the ark of the Lord, is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth-she′mesh.
The Ark at Kiriath-jearim
19 And he slew some of the men of Beth-she′mesh, because they looked into the ark of the Lord; he slew seventy men of them,[j] and the people mourned because the Lord had made a great slaughter among the people. 20 Then the men of Beth-she′mesh said, “Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God? And to whom shall he go up away from us?” 21 So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kir′iath-je′arim, saying, “The Philistines have returned the ark of the Lord. Come down and take it up to you.” 7 1 And the men of Kir′iath-je′arim came and took up the ark of the Lord, and brought it to the house of Abin′adab on the hill; and they consecrated his son, Elea′zar, to have charge of the ark of the Lord. 2 From the day that the ark was lodged at Kir′iath-je′arim, a long time passed, some twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.
Samuel as Judge
3 Then Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ash′taroth from among you, and direct your heart to the Lord, and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So Israel put away the Ba′als and the Ash′taroth, and they served the Lord only.
5 Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” 6 So they gathered at Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah. 7 Now when the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 And the people of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry to the Lord our God for us, that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 So Samuel took a sucking lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord; and Samuel cried to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. 10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel; but the Lord thundered with a mighty voice that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion; and they were routed before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, as far as below Beth-car.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jesha′nah,[k] and called its name Ebene′zer;[l] for he said, “Hitherto the Lord has helped us.” 13 So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel rescued their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites.
15 Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 And he went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all these places. 17 Then he would come back to Ramah, for his home was there, and there also he administered justice to Israel. And he built there an altar to the Lord.
Israel Demands a King
8 When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 The name of his first-born son was Jo′el, and the name of his second, Abi′jah; they were judges in Beer-sheba. 3 Yet his sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain; they 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, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint for us a king to govern us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8 According to all the deeds which they have done to me,[m] from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9 Now then, hearken to their voice; only, you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”
10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking a king from him. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; 12 and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your menservants and maidservants, and the best of your cattle[n] and your asses, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
Israel’s Request for a King Granted
19 But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No! but we will have a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Hearken to their voice, and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”
Saul Chosen to Be King
9 There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abi′el, son of Zeror, son of Beco′rath, son of Aphi′ah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth; 2 and he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he; from his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.
3 Now the asses of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to Saul his son, “Take one of the servants with you, and arise, go and look for the asses.” 4 And they[o] passed through the hill country of E′phraim and passed through the land of Shal′ishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Sha′alim, but they were not there. Then they passed through the land of Benjamin, but 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 go back, lest my father cease to care about the asses and become anxious about us.” 6 But he said to him, “Behold, there is a man of God in this city, and he is a man that is held in honor; all that he says comes true. Let us go there; perhaps he can tell us about the journey on which we have set out.” 7 Then Saul said to his servant, “But if we go, what can we bring the man? For the bread in our sacks is gone, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What have we?” 8 The servant answered Saul again, “Here, I have with me the fourth part of a shekel of silver, and I will give it to the man of God, to tell us our way.” 9 (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he said, “Come, let us go to the seer”; for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.) 10 And Saul said to his servant, “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, they met young maidens coming out to draw water, and said to them, “Is the seer here?” 12 They answered, “He is; behold, he is just ahead of you. Make haste; he has come just now to the city, because the people have a sacrifice today on the high place. 13 As soon 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 till he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those eat who are invited. Now go up, for you will meet him immediately.” 14 So they went up to the city. As they were entering the city, they saw Samuel coming out toward them on his way up to the high place.
15 Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel: 16 “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of Philistines; for I have seen the affliction of[p] my people, because their cry has come to me.” 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall rule over my people.” 18 Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate, and said, “Tell me where is the house of the seer?” 19 Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer; go up before me to the high place, for today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind. 20 As for your asses that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s house?” 21 Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my family the humblest of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”
22 Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited, who were about thirty persons. 23 And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Put it aside.’” 24 So the cook took up the leg and the upper portion[q] and set them before Saul; and Samuel said, “See, what was kept is set before you. Eat; because it was kept for you until the hour appointed, that you might eat with the guests.”[r]
So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 And when they came down from the high place into the city, a bed was spread for Saul[s] upon the roof, and he lay down to sleep. 26 Then at the break of dawn[t] Samuel called to Saul upon the roof, “Up, that I may send you on your way.” So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street.
Samuel Anoints Saul
27 As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to pass on before us, and when he has passed on stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God.”
10 Then Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their enemies round about. And this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you to be prince[u] over his heritage. 2 When you depart from me today you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will say to you, ‘The asses which you went to seek are found, and now your father has ceased to care about the asses and is anxious about you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?”’ 3 Then you shall go on from there further and come to the oak of Tabor; three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three kids, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. 4 And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand. 5 After that you shall come to Gib′eath-elo′him,[v] where there is a garrison of the Philistines; and there, as you come to the city, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. 6 Then the spirit of the Lord will come mightily upon you, and you shall prophesy with them and be turned into another man. 7 Now when these signs meet you, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you. 8 And you shall go down before me to Gilgal; and behold, I am coming to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”
9 When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all these signs came to pass that day. 10 When they came to Gib′e-ah,[w] behold, a band of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came mightily upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And when all who knew him before saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” 12 And a man of the place answered, “And who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.
14 Saul’s uncle said to him and to his servant, “Where did you go?” And he said, “To seek the asses; and when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.” 15 And Saul’s uncle said, “Pray, tell me what Samuel said to you.” 16 And Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the asses had been found.” But about the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel had spoken, he did not tell him anything.
Saul Proclaimed King
17 Now Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah; 18 and he said to the people of Israel, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ 19 But you have this day rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses; and you have said, ‘No! but set a king over us.’ Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your thousands.”
20 Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. 21 He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the family of the Matrites was taken by lot; finally he brought the family of the Matrites near man by man,[x] and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found. 22 So they inquired again of the Lord, “Did the man come hither?”[y] and the Lord said, “Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage.” 23 Then they ran and fetched him from there; and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 24 And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
25 Then Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship; and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home. 26 Saul also went to his home at Gib′e-ah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched. 27 But some worthless fellows said, “How can this man save us?” And they despised him, and brought him no present. But he held his peace.
Saul Defeats the Ammonites
11 Then Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Ja′besh-gil′ead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you.”