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And the people of Kiriath-jearim came and took up the ark of the Lord and brought it to the house of Abinadab on the hill. They consecrated his son, Eleazar, to have charge of the ark of the Lord.(A)

From the day that the ark was lodged at Kiriath-jearim, a long time passed, some twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented[a] after the Lord.

Samuel as Judge

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 Astartes from among you. Direct your heart to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.”(B) So Israel put away the Baals and the Astartes, and they served the Lord only.

Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.”(C) So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the Lord. They fasted that day and said, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the Israelites at Mizpah.(D)

When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines.(E) The Israelites said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, and pray that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines.”(F) So Samuel took a sucking lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord; Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him.(G) 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.(H) 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them down as far as beyond Beth-car.

12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah[b] and named it Ebenezer,[c] for he said, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”(I) 13 So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel; the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.(J) 14 The towns that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath, and Israel recovered 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.(K) 16 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; he administered justice there to Israel and built there an altar to the Lord.(L)

Israel Demands a King

When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel.(M) The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second was Abijah; they were judges in Beer-sheba. Yet his sons did not follow in his ways but turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice.(N)

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah(O) and said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.”(P) But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” Samuel prayed to the Lord,(Q) and the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen 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.(R) Just as they have done to me[d] from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only, you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”(S)

10 So Samuel reported 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 to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots,(T) 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.(U) 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 courtiers.(V) 15 He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. 16 He will take your male and female slaves and the best of your cattle[e] and donkeys and put them to his work. 17 He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And on that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you on that day.”(W)

Israel’s Request for a King Granted

19 But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, “No! We are determined to have a king over us, 20 so that we also may be like other nations and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.”(X) 21 When Samuel heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 22 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and set a king over them.” Samuel then said to the Israelites, “Each of you return home.”(Y)

Saul Chosen to Be King

There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish son of Abiel son of Zeror son of Becorath son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth.(Z) He had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the Israelites more handsome than he; he stood head and shoulders above everyone else.(AA)

Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, had strayed. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the young men with you; go and look for the donkeys.” He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of Benjamin, but they did not find them.(AB)

When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the young man who was with him, “Let us turn back, or my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and worry about us.”(AC) But he said to him, “There is a man of God in this town; he is a man held in honor. Whatever he says always comes true. Let us go there now; perhaps he will tell us about the journey on which we have set out.”(AD) Then Saul replied to the young man, “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?”(AE) The young man answered Saul again, “Here, I have with me a quarter shekel of silver; I will give it to the man of God, to tell us our way.” (Formerly in Israel, anyone who went to inquire of God would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” for the one who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.)(AF) 10 Saul said to the young man, “Good; come, let us go.” So they went to the town where the man of God was.

11 As they went up the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water and said to them, “Is the seer here?”(AG) 12 They answered, “Yes, there he is just ahead of you. Hurry; he has come just now to the town because the people have a sacrifice today at the shrine.(AH) 13 As soon as you enter the town, you will meet him before he goes up to the shrine to eat. For the people will not eat until 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 town. As they were entering the town, they saw Samuel coming out toward them on his way up to the shrine.

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 ruler over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines, for I have seen the suffering of[f] my people, because their outcry has come to me.”(AI) 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.”(AJ) 18 Then Saul approached Samuel inside the gate and said, “Tell me, please, where is the house of the seer?” 19 Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer; go up before me to the shrine, 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 donkeys that were lost three days ago, give no further thought to them, for they have been found. And on whom is all Israel’s desire fixed, if not on you and on all your ancestral house?”(AK) 21 Saul answered, “I am only a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel, and my family is the humblest of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin. Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”(AL)

22 Then Samuel took Saul and the young man and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited, of whom there were about thirty. 23 And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion I gave you, the one I asked you to put aside.” 24 The cook took up the upper thigh[g] and set it before Saul. Samuel said, “See, what was reserved is set before you. Eat, for it was kept for you for this appointed time, so that you might eat with the guests.”[h]

So Saul ate with Samuel that day.(AM) 25 When they came down from the shrine into the town, a bed was spread for Saul[i] on the roof, and he lay down to sleep.[j](AN) 26 Then at the break of dawn[k] Samuel called to Saul upon the roof, “Get up, so that I may send you on your way.” Saul got up, and both he and Samuel went out into the street.

Samuel Anoints Saul

27 As they were going down to the outskirts of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the young man to go 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.”


  1. 7.2 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. 7.12 Gk Syr: Heb Shen
  3. 7.12 That is, stone of help
  4. 8.8 Gk: Heb lacks to me
  5. 8.16 Gk: Heb young men
  6. 9.16 Gk: Heb lacks the suffering of
  7. 9.24 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  8. 9.24 Cn: Heb time, saying, I have invited the people
  9. 9.25 Gk: Heb and he spoke with Saul
  10. 9.25 Gk: Heb lacks and he lay down to sleep
  11. 9.26 Gk: Heb and they arose early and at break of dawn

Peter’s Declaration about Jesus

18 Once when Jesus[a] was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”(A) 19 They answered, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.”(B) 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah[b] of God.”(C)

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

21 He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone,(D) 22 saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes and be killed and on the third day be raised.”(E)

23 Then he said to them all, “If any wish to come after me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.(F) 24 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.(G) 25 For what does it profit them if they gain the whole world but lose or forfeit themselves?(H) 26 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.(I) 27 Indeed, truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”(J)

The Transfiguration

28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus[c] took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.(K) 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking about his exodus, which he was about to fulfill in Jerusalem.(L) 32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep, but as they awoke they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.(M) 33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us set up three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah,” not realizing what he was saying.(N) 34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen;[d] listen to him!”(O) 36 When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.(P)

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  1. 9.18 Gk he
  2. 9.20 Or The Christ
  3. 9.28 Gk he
  4. 9.35 Other ancient authorities read my Beloved