Saul Chosen King
9 1 And there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjaminite, a mighty man of wealth. 2 And he had a son whose name was Saul, choice and comely; and there was not among the children of Israel a comelier person than he; from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.
3 And the asses of Kish Saul's father were lost; and Kish said to Saul his son, Take, I pray, one of the young men with thee, and arise, go seek the asses. 4 And he passed through mount Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they found [them] not; and they passed through the land of Shaalim, and they were not there; and they passed through the land of Benjamin, and they found [them] not. 5 They had come to the land of Zuph when Saul said to his servant that was with him, Come and let us return; lest my father give up the asses, and be anxious about us. 6 And he said to him, Behold now, a man of God is in this city, and the man is held in honour; all that he says comes surely to pass. Let us now go thither: perhaps he will shew us the way that we should go. 7 And Saul said to his servant, But if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and we have no present to give to the man of God: what have we? 8 And the servant answered Saul again and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver; that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way. 9 (In former time in Israel, when a man went to ask counsel of God, he said, Come and let us go to the seer; for he that is now called a Prophet was in former time 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 ascent to the city, they met maidens going forth to draw water; and they said to them, Is the seer here? 12 And they answered them and said, He is; behold, he is before thee: make haste now, for he came to-day to the city; for the people have a sacrifice to-day in the high place. 13 As soon as ye come into the city, ye shall straightway find him, before he goes up to the high place to eat; for the people eat not until he has come, because he blesses the sacrifice; afterwards they eat that are invited. And now go up; for this very day shall ye find him. 14 And they went up into the city. As they were coming into the midst of the city, behold, Samuel was coming out towards them, to go up to the high place. 15 Now Jehovah had apprised Samuel one day before Saul came, saying, 16 To-morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him prince over my people Israel; and he will save my people out of the hand of the Philistines; for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me. 17 And as Samuel saw Saul, Jehovah answered him, Behold the man of whom I spoke to thee! this man shall rule over my people.
18 And Saul drew near to Samuel in the midst of the gate, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's house is. 19 And Samuel answered Saul and said, I am the seer: go up before me to the high place, and ye shall eat with me to-day; and to-morrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thy heart. 20 And as for the asses that thou didst lose three days ago, set not thy heart on them; for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel [set]? Is it not on thee, and on all thy father's house? 21 And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjaminite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? and why dost thou speak such words to me? 22 And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the chamber, and gave them a place at the head of them that were invited; and they were about thirty persons. 23 And Samuel said to the cook, Bring the portion that I gave thee, of which I said to thee, Set it by thee. 24 And the cook took up the shoulder, and what was on it, and set [it] before Saul. And he said, Behold that which has been reserved! set it before thee, eat; for against the set time has it been kept for thee, since I said, I will invite the people. So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 And they came down from the high place into the city, and he spoke with Saul upon the roof. 26 And they arose early; and when it was about the dawning of the day, Samuel called to Saul on the roof, saying, Arise, that I may send thee away. And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, into the street. 27 As they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Tell the servant to pass on before us (and he passed on), but stand thou still now, that I may cause thee to hear the word of God.
10 1 Then Samuel took the vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because Jehovah has anointed thee prince over his inheritance? 2 When thou goest from me to-day, thou shalt meet two men by Rachel's sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say to thee, The asses are found which thou wentest to seek, and behold, thy father has dismissed the matter of the asses, and is anxious about you, saying, What shall I do for my son? 3 And thou shalt go on forward from thence, and shalt come to the oak of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God, to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three cakes of bread, and another carrying a flask of wine. 4 And they will ask after thy welfare, and give thee two loaves, which thou shalt receive of their hands. 5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where are the outposts of the Philistines; and it shall come to pass, when thou comest thither, into the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with lute and tambour and pipe and harp before them; and they themselves prophesying. 6 And the Spirit of Jehovah will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. 7 And it shall be, when these signs shall come to thee, thou shalt do as thy hand shall find; for God is with thee. 8 And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and behold, I will come down to thee, to offer up burnt-offerings, [and] to sacrifice sacrifices of peace-offerings: seven days shalt thou wait, until I come to thee and inform thee what thou shalt do.
9 And it was [so] that when he turned his back to go away from Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. 10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And it came to pass, when all that knew him before saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets? 12 And a man of that place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets? 13 And when he had ended prophesying, he came to the high place. 14 And Saul's uncle said to him and to his servant, Whither went ye? And he said, To seek the asses; and when we saw that they were nowhere, we went to Samuel. 15 And Saul's uncle said, Tell me, I pray thee, what Samuel said to you. 16 And Saul said to his uncle, He told us for certain that the asses were found. But of the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel had spoken, he told him not.
17 And Samuel called the people together to Jehovah to Mizpah. 18 And he said to the children of Israel, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all the kingdoms that oppressed you; 19 but ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your troubles, and have said unto him, [Nay,] but a king shalt thou set over us. Now therefore present yourselves before Jehovah by your tribes, and by your thousands. 20 And Samuel caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken. 21 And he caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, and the family of Matri was taken; and Saul the son of Kish was taken. And they sought him, but he was not to be found. 22 Therefore they inquired of Jehovah further, Will the man yet come hither? And Jehovah answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the baggage. 23 And they ran and fetched him thence; and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward. 24 And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom Jehovah has chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted and said, May the king live. 25 And Samuel told the people the right of the kingdom, and wrote it in the book, and laid it before Jehovah. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house. 26 And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and with him went the band, whose hearts God had touched. 27 But the children of Belial said, How should this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no gifts. But he was as one deaf.
Saul Defeats the Ammonites
11 1 And Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh-Gilead. And all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee. 2 And Nahash the Ammonite said to them, On this [condition] will I treat with you, that I thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel. 3 And the elders of Jabesh said to him, Allow us seven days, and we will send messengers into all the districts of Israel; and if there be no man to deliver us, we will come out to thee. 4 And the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told these words in the ears of the people. And all the people lifted up their voice and wept.
5 And behold, Saul came after the oxen from the field; and Saul said, What [aileth] the people that they weep? And they related to him the words of the men of Jabesh. 6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those words, and his anger was kindled greatly. 7 And he took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, Whoever comes not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen! And the fear of Jehovah fell on the people, and they came out as one man. 8 And he numbered them in Bezek, and the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. 9 And they said to the messengers that had come, Thus shall ye say to the men of Jabesh-Gilead: To-morrow ye shall have deliverance when the sun is hot. And the messengers came and informed the men of Jabesh-Gilead; and they were glad. 10 And the men of Jabesh said, To-morrow we will come out to you, and ye may do with us according to all that is good in your sight. 11 And it came to pass the next day that Saul set the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and smote Ammon until the heat of the day: and it came to pass that they who remained were scattered, and not two of them were left together.
12 And the people said to Samuel, Who is he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death. 13 But Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day; for to-day Jehovah has wrought deliverance in Israel. 14 And Samuel said to the people, Come and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there. 15 And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before Jehovah in Gilgal; and there they sacrificed peace-offerings before Jehovah. And there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced exceedingly.
Samuel's Address to the People
12 1 And Samuel said to all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened to your voice in all that ye said to me, and have made a king over you. 2 And now behold, the king walks before you; and I am old and grey-headed; and behold, my sons are with you; and I have walked before you from my youth up to this day. 3 Here I am: testify against me before Jehovah, and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I injured? or of whose hand have I received any ransom and blinded mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it to you. 4 And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, and thou hast not injured us, neither hast thou taken aught of any man's hand. 5 And he said to them, Jehovah is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found aught in my hand! And [the people] said, [He is] witness!
6 And Samuel said to the people, [It is] Jehovah who appointed Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. 7 And now stand still, that I may plead with you before Jehovah of all the righteous acts of Jehovah which he did to you and to your fathers. 8 When Jacob had come into Egypt, and your fathers cried to Jehovah, then Jehovah sent Moses and Aaron, and they brought your fathers forth out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place. 9 And they forgot Jehovah their God, and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10 And they cried to Jehovah and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken Jehovah, and have served the Baals and the Ashtoreths; and now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee. 11 And Jehovah sent Jerubbaal and Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies round about, so that ye dwelt in safety. 12 But when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said to me, Nay, but a king shall reign over us; when Jehovah your God was your king. 13 And now behold, the king whom ye have chosen, whom ye have asked for! and behold, Jehovah has set a king over you. 14 If ye fear Jehovah, and serve him, and hearken to his voice, and rebel not against the commandment of Jehovah, then both ye and the king also that reigns over you shall continue following Jehovah your God. 15 But if ye will not hearken to the voice of Jehovah, and if ye rebel against the commandment of Jehovah, then will the hand of Jehovah be against you, as against your fathers.
16 Now therefore stand and see this great thing which Jehovah will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not wheat-harvest to-day? I will call unto Jehovah, and he will send thunder and rain; and ye shall perceive and see that your wickedness is great which ye have done in the sight of Jehovah in asking for yourselves a king. 18 And Samuel called to Jehovah; and Jehovah sent thunder and rain that day. And all the people greatly feared Jehovah and Samuel. 19 And all the people said to Samuel, Pray to Jehovah thy God for thy servants, that we die not; for we have added to all our sins the wickedness to ask for ourselves a king. 20 And Samuel said to the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness; yet turn not aside from following Jehovah, and serve Jehovah with all your heart; 21 and turn ye not aside; for [it would be] after vain things which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. 22 For Jehovah will not cast away his people for his great name's sake; because it has pleased Jehovah to make you his people. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against Jehovah in ceasing to pray for you; and I will teach you the good and right way. 24 Only, fear Jehovah, and serve him in truth, with all your heart; for see how great things he has done for you. 25 But if ye do wickedly, ye shall perish, both ye and your king.