Saul Anointed King

There was a prominent man of Benjamin named Kish(A) son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, son of a Benjaminite. He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man.(B) There was no one more impressive among the Israelites than he. He stood a head taller than anyone else.[a](C)

One day the donkeys of Saul’s father Kish wandered off. Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go look for the donkeys.” Saul and his servant went through the hill country of Ephraim(D) and then through the region of Shalishah,(E) but they didn’t find them. They went through the region of Shaalim(F)—nothing. Then they went through the Benjaminite region but still didn’t find them.

When they came to the land of Zuph,(G) Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come on, let’s go back, or my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”(H)

“Look,” the servant said, “there’s a man of God(I) in this city who is highly respected; everything he says is sure to come true.(J) Let’s go there now. Maybe he’ll tell us which way we should go.”(K)

“Suppose we do go,” Saul said to his servant, “what do we take the man? The food from our packs is gone, and there’s no gift to take to the man of God.(L) What do we have?”

The servant answered Saul: “Here, I have a little[b] silver. I’ll give it to the man of God, and he will tell us which way we should go.”

Formerly in Israel, a man who was going to inquire of God would say, “Come, let’s go to the seer,” for the prophet of today was formerly called the seer.(M)

10 “Good,” Saul replied to his servant. “Come on, let’s go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was. 11 As they were climbing the hill to the city, they found some young women coming out to draw water(N) and asked, “Is the seer here?”

12 The women answered, “Yes, he is ahead of you. Hurry, he just now entered the city, because there’s a sacrifice(O) for the people at the high place(P) today. 13 As soon as you enter the city, you will find him before he goes to the high place to eat. The people won’t eat until he comes because he must bless the sacrifice; after that, the guests can eat. Go up immediately—you can find him now.” 14 So they went up toward the city.

Saul and his servant were entering the city when they saw Samuel coming toward them on his way to the high place. 15 Now the day before Saul’s arrival, the Lord had informed Samuel,[c](Q) 16 “At this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel.(R) He will save them from the Philistines because I have seen the affliction of my people,(S) for their cry has come to me.” 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man I told you about;(T) he will govern my people.”

18 Saul approached Samuel in the city gate and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”

19 “I am the seer,” Samuel answered.[d] “Go up ahead of me to the high place and eat with me today. When I send you off in the morning, I’ll tell you everything that’s in your heart. 20 As for the donkeys that wandered away from you three days ago,(U) don’t worry about them because they’ve been found. And who does all Israel desire(V) but you and all your father’s family?”

21 Saul responded, “Am I not a Benjaminite(W) from the smallest of Israel’s tribes and isn’t my clan the least important of all the clans of the Benjaminite tribe?(X) So why have you said something like this to me?”

22 Samuel took Saul and his servant, brought them to the banquet hall, and gave them a place at the head of the thirty[e] or so men who had been invited. 23 Then Samuel said to the cook, “Get the portion of meat that I gave you and told you to set aside.”

24 The cook picked up the thigh(Y) and what was attached to it and set it before Saul. Then Samuel said, “Notice that the reserved piece is set before you. Eat it because it was saved for you for this solemn event at the time I said, ‘I’ve invited the people.’” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 Afterward, they went down from the high place to the city, and Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof.[f](Z)

26 They got up early, and just before dawn, Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get up, and I’ll send you on your way!” Saul got up, and both he and Samuel went outside. 27 As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us, but you stay for a while, and I’ll reveal the word of God to you.” So the servant went on.

Footnotes

  1. 9:2 Lit From his shoulder and up higher than any of the people
  2. 9:8 Lit a quarter of a shekel (about a tenth of an ounce)
  3. 9:15 Lit had uncovered Samuel’s ear, saying
  4. 9:19 Lit answered Saul
  5. 9:22 LXX reads 70
  6. 9:25 LXX reads city. They prepared a bed for Saul on the roof, and he slept.

Samuel Anoints Saul

There was a Benjamite,(A) a man of standing,(B) whose name was Kish(C) son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome(D) a young man as could be found(E) anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller(F) than anyone else.

Now the donkeys(G) belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.” So he passed through the hill(H) country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha,(I) but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys(J) were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them.

When they reached the district of Zuph,(K) Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying(L) about us.”

But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God;(M) he is highly respected, and everything(N) he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”

Saul said to his servant, “If we go, what can we give the man? The food in our sacks is gone. We have no gift(O) to take to the man of God. What do we have?”

The servant answered him again. “Look,” he said, “I have a quarter of a shekel[a] of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take.” (Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire(P) of God, they would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)(Q)

10 “Good,” Saul said to his servant. “Come, let’s go.” So they set out for the town where the man of God was.

11 As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw(R) water, and they asked them, “Is the seer here?”

12 “He is,” they answered. “He’s ahead of you. Hurry now; he has just come to our town today, for the people have a sacrifice(S) at the high place.(T) 13 As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must bless(U) the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Go up now; you should find him about this time.”

14 They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place.

15 Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel: 16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint(V) him ruler(W) over my people Israel; he will deliver(X) them from the hand of the Philistines.(Y) I have looked on my people, for their cry(Z) has reached me.”

17 When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “This(AA) is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.”

18 Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”

19 “I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart. 20 As for the donkeys(AB) you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire(AC) of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?”

21 Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe(AD) of Israel, and is not my clan the least(AE) of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin?(AF) Why do you say such a thing to me?”

22 Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and seated them at the head of those who were invited—about thirty in number. 23 Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.”

24 So the cook took up the thigh(AG) with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’” And Saul dined with Samuel that day.

25 After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof(AH) of his house. 26 They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. 27 As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 9:8 That is, about 1/10 ounce or about 3 grams

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