Add parallel Print Page Options

Saul Meets Samuel

There was a wealthy, influential man named Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. He was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, of the tribe of Benjamin. His son Saul was the most handsome man in Israel—head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land.

One day Kish’s donkeys strayed away, and he told Saul, “Take a servant with you, and go look for the donkeys.” So Saul took one of the servants and traveled through the hill country of Ephraim, the land of Shalishah, the Shaalim area, and the entire land of Benjamin, but they couldn’t find the donkeys anywhere.

Finally, they entered the region of Zuph, and Saul said to his servant, “Let’s go home. By now my father will be more worried about us than about the donkeys!”

But the servant said, “I’ve just thought of something! There is a man of God who lives here in this town. He is held in high honor by all the people because everything he says comes true. Let’s go find him. Perhaps he can tell us which way to go.”

“But we don’t have anything to offer him,” Saul replied. “Even our food is gone, and we don’t have a thing to give him.”

“Well,” the servant said, “I have one small silver piece.[a] We can at least offer it to the man of God and see what happens!” (In those days if people wanted a message from God, they would say, “Let’s go and ask the seer,” for prophets used to be called seers.)

10 “All right,” Saul agreed, “let’s try it!” So they started into the town where the man of God lived.

11 As they were climbing the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water. So Saul and his servant asked, “Is the seer here today?”

12 “Yes,” they replied. “Stay right on this road. He is at the town gates. He has just arrived to take part in a public sacrifice up at the place of worship. 13 Hurry and catch him before he goes up there to eat. The guests won’t begin eating until he arrives to bless the food.”

14 So they entered the town, and as they passed through the gates, Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the place of worship.

15 Now the Lord had told Samuel the previous day, 16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him to be the leader of my people, Israel. He will rescue them from the Philistines, for I have looked down on my people in mercy and have heard their cry.”

17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said, “That’s the man I told you about! He will rule my people.”

18 Just then Saul approached Samuel at the gateway and asked, “Can you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”

19 “I am the seer!” Samuel replied. “Go up to the place of worship ahead of me. We will eat there together, and in the morning I’ll tell you what you want to know and send you on your way. 20 And don’t worry about those donkeys that were lost three days ago, for they have been found. And I am here to tell you that you and your family are the focus of all Israel’s hopes.”

21 Saul replied, “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?”

22 Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and placed them at the head of the table, honoring them above the thirty special guests. 23 Samuel then instructed the cook to bring Saul the finest cut of meat, the piece that had been set aside for the guest of honor. 24 So the cook brought in the meat and placed it before Saul. “Go ahead and eat it,” Samuel said. “I was saving it for you even before I invited these others!” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.

25 When they came down from the place of worship and returned to town, Samuel took Saul up to the roof of the house and prepared a bed for him there.[b] 26 At daybreak the next morning, Samuel called to Saul, “Get up! It’s time you were on your way.” So Saul got ready, and he and Samuel left the house together. 27 When they reached the edge of town, Samuel told Saul to send his servant on ahead. After the servant was gone, Samuel said, “Stay here, for I have received a special message for you from God.”

Footnotes

  1. 9:8 Hebrew 1⁄4 shekel of silver, about 0.1 ounces or 3 grams in weight.
  2. 9:25 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads and talked with him there.

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

Bible Gateway Sponsors