Saul Chosen King
9 1 Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel , the son of Zeror , the son of Becorath , the son of Aphiah , the son of a Benjamite e , a mighty man of valor . 2 He had a son whose name was Saul , a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel ; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people .
3 Now the donkeys of Kish , Saul's father , were lost . So Kish said to his son Saul , "Take now with you one of the servants , and arise , go search for the donkeys ." 4 He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah , but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shaalim , but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of the Benjamites , but they did not find them. 5 When they came to the land of Zuph , Saul said to his servant who was with him, "Come , and let us return , or else my father will cease to be concerned about the donkeys and will become anxious for us." 6 He said to him, "Behold now , there is a man of God in this city , and the man is held in honor ; all that he says surely comes true. Now let us go there , perhaps he can tell us about our journey on which we have set out." 7 Then Saul said to his servant , "But behold , if we go , what shall we bring the man ? For the bread is gone from our sack and there is no present to bring to the man of God . What do we have ?" 8 The servant answered Saul again and said , "Behold , I have in my hand a fourth of a shekel of silver ; I will give it to the man of God and he will tell us our way ." 9 (Formerly in Israel , when a man went to inquire of God , he used to say , "Come , and let us go to the seer "; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer .) 10 Then Saul said to his servant , "Well said ; come , let us go ." So they went to the city where e the man of God was.
11 As they went up the slope to the city , they found young women going out to draw water and said to them, "Is the seer here ?" 12 They answered them and said , "He is; see , he is ahead of you. Hurry now , for he has come into the city today , for the people have a sacrifice on the high place today . 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 until he comes , because he must bless the sacrifice ; afterward e those who are invited will eat . Now therefore, go up for you will find him at once ." 14 So they went up to the city . As they came into the city , behold , Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the high place . 15 Now a day before Saul's coming , the Lord had revealed e this to Samuel saying , 16 "About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin , and you shall anoint him to be prince over My people Israel ; and he will deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines . For I have regarded My people , because their cry has come to Me." 17 When Samuel saw Saul , the Lord said to him, " Behold , the man of whom I spoke to you! This one shall rule over My people ."
18 Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said , "Please tell me where the seer's house is." 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 in the morning I will let you go , and will tell you all that is on your mind . 20 " As for your donkeys which 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 household ?" 21 Saul replied , " Am I not a Benjamite , of the smallest of the tribes of Israel , and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin ? Why then do you speak 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 were invited , who were about thirty men . 23 Samuel said to the cook , "Bring the portion that I gave you, concerning which I said to you, 'Set it aside .' " 24 Then the cook took up the leg with what was on it and set it before Saul . And Samuel said , "Here is what has been reserved ! Set it before you and eat , because it has been kept for you until the appointed time , since I said I have invited the people ." So Saul ate with Samuel that day . 25 When they came down from the high place into the city , Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof . 26 And they arose early ; and at daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the roof , saying , "Get up, that I may send you away ." So Saul arose , and both he and Samuel went out into the street . 27 As they were going down to the edge of the city , Samuel said to Saul , "Say to the servant that he might go ahead of us and pass on, but you remain standing now , that I may proclaim the word of God to you."
10 1 Then Samuel took the flask of oil , poured it on his head , kissed him and said , "Has not the Lord anointed you a ruler over His inheritance ? 2 "When you go from me today , then you will find two men close to Rachel's tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah ; and they will say to you, ' The donkeys which you went to look for have been found . Now behold , your father has ceased to be concerned about the donkeys and is anxious for you, saying , "What shall I do about my son ?"' 3 "Then you will go on further from there , and you will come as far as the oak of Tabor , and there three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you, one carrying three young goats , another carrying three loaves of bread , and another carrying a jug of wine ; 4 and they will greet e you and give you two loaves of bread , which you will accept from their hand . 5 "Afterward e you will come to the hill of God where e the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city , that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp , tambourine , flute , and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying . 6 "Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily , and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man . 7 "It shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires , for God is with you. 8 "And you shall go down before me to Gilgal ; and behold , I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings . You shall wait seven days until I come to you and show you what you should do ."
9 Then it happened when he turned his back to leave e e Samuel , God changed his heart ; and all those signs came about on that day . 10 When they came to the hill there , behold , a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily , so that he prophesied among them. 11 It came about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now with the prophets , that the people said to one another , "What has happened to the son of Kish ? Is Saul also among the prophets ?" 12 A man there e said , "Now, who is their father ?" Therefore e it became a proverb : " Is Saul also among the prophets ?" 13 When he had finished prophesying , he came to the high place . 14 Now Saul's uncle said to him and his servant , "Where did you go ?" And he said , " To look for the donkeys . When we saw that they could not be found , we went to Samuel ." 15 Saul's uncle said , "Please tell me what Samuel said to you." 16 So Saul said to his uncle , " He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found ." But he did not tell him about the matter of the kingdom which Samuel had mentioned .
17 Thereafter Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah ; 18 and he said to the sons of Israel , " Thus says the Lord , the God of Israel , 'I brought Israel up from Egypt , and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the power of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.' 19 "But you have today rejected your God , who delivers you from all your calamities and your distresses ; yet you have said , 'No , but set a king over us!' Now therefore, present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans ." 20 Thus Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near , and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. 21 Then he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families , and the Matrite family was taken . And Saul the son of Kish was taken ; but when they looked for him, he could not be found . 22 Therefore they inquired further of the Lord , "Has the man come here yet ?" So the Lord said , "Behold , he is hiding himself by the baggage ." 23 So they ran and took him from there , and when he stood among the people , he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward . 24 Samuel said to all the people , "Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen ? Surely there is no one like him among all the people ." So all the people shouted and said , " Long live the king !" 25 Then Samuel told the people the ordinances of the kingdom , and wrote them in the book and placed it before the Lord . And Samuel sent all the people away , each one to his house . 26 Saul also went to his house at Gibeah ; and the valiant men whose hearts God had touched went with him. 27 But certain worthless men said , "How can this one deliver us?" And they despised him and did not bring him any present . But he kept silent .
Saul Defeats the Ammonites
11 1 Now Nahash the Ammonite came up and besieged e Jabesh-gilead e ; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash , "Make a covenant with us and we will serve you." 2 But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, "I will make it with you on this condition, that I will gouge out the right eye of every one of you, thus I will make it a reproach on all Israel ." 3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, "Let us alone for seven days , that we may send messengers throughout the territory of Israel . Then, if there is no one to deliver us, we will come out to you." 4 Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and spoke these words in the hearing of the people , and all the people lifted up their voices and wept .
5 Now behold , Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen , and he said , "What is the matter with the people that they weep ?" So they related to him the words of the men of Jabesh . 6 Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul mightily when he heard these words , and he became very angry e . 7 He took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces , and sent them throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers , saying , " Whoever does not come out after Saul and after Samuel , so shall it be done to his oxen ." Then the dread of the Lord fell on the people , and they came out as one man . 8 He numbered them in Bezek ; and the sons of Israel were 300,000 e e , and the men of Judah 30,000 e . 9 They said to the messengers who had come , "Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh-gilead e , 'Tomorrow , by the time the sun is hot , you will have deliverance .' " So the messengers went and told the men of Jabesh ; and they were glad . 10 Then the men of Jabesh said , " Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good to you." 11 The next morning Saul put the people in three companies ; and they came into the midst of the camp at the morning watch and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day . Those who survived were scattered , so that no two of them were left together .
12 Then 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 , " Not a man shall be put to death this day , for today the Lord has accomplished deliverance in Israel ." 14 Then Samuel said to the people , "Come and let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there ." 15 So all the people went to Gilgal , and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal . There they also offered sacrifices of peace offerings before the Lord ; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly .
Samuel's Address to the People
12 1 Then Samuel said to all Israel , "Behold , I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me and I have appointed a king over you. 2 "Now , here is the king walking before you, but I am old and gray , and behold my sons are with you. And I have walked before you from my youth even to this day . 3 "Here I am; bear witness against me before the Lord and His anointed . Whose ox have I taken , or whose donkey have I taken , or whom have I defrauded ? Whom have I oppressed , or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? I will restore it to you." 4 They said , "You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man's hand ." 5 He said to them, "The Lord is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day that you have found nothing e in my hand ." And they said , "He is witness ."
6 Then Samuel said to the people , "It is the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt . 7 "So now , take your stand , that I may plead with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous acts of the Lord which He did for you and your fathers . 8 " When Jacob went into Egypt and your fathers cried out to the Lord , then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron who brought your fathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place . 9 "But they forgot the Lord their God , so He sold them into the hand of Sisera , captain of the army of Hazor , and into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab , and they fought against them. 10 " They cried out to the Lord and said , 'We have sinned because we have forsaken the Lord and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth ; but now deliver us from the hands of our enemies , and we will serve You.' 11 "Then the Lord sent Jerubbaal and Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel , and delivered you from the hands of your enemies all e around , so that you lived in security . 12 "When you saw that Nahash the king of the sons of Ammon came against you, you said to me, ' No , but a king shall reign over us,' although the Lord your God was your king . 13 "Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen , whom you have asked for, and behold , the Lord has set a king over you. 14 " If you will fear the Lord and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the Lord , then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God . 15 " If you will not listen to the voice of the Lord , but rebel against the command of the Lord , then the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers .
16 "Even now , take your stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes . 17 " Is it not the wheat harvest today ? I will call to the Lord , that He may send thunder and rain . Then you will know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the Lord by asking for yourselves a king ." 18 So Samuel called to the Lord , and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day ; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel . 19 Then all the people said to Samuel , " Pray for your servants to the Lord your God , so that we may not die , for we have added to all our sins this evil by asking for ourselves a king ." 20 Samuel said to the people , "Do not fear . You have committed all this evil , yet do not turn aside from following the Lord , but serve the Lord with all your heart . 21 "You must not turn aside , for then you would go after futile things which can not profit or deliver , because they are futile . 22 "For the Lord will not abandon His people on account of His great name , because the Lord has been pleased e to make you a people for Himself. 23 "Moreover , as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way . 24 " Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart ; for consider what great things He has done for you. 25 " But if you still do wickedly , both you and your king will be swept away ."