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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. He had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he; he stood head and shoulders above everyone else.

Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, had strayed. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the boys 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.

When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the boy who was with him, “Let us turn back, or my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and worry about us.” 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.” Then Saul replied to the boy, “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?” The boy 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.) 10 Saul said to the boy, “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 girls coming out to draw water, and said to them, “Is the seer here?” 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. 13 As soon as you enter the town, you will find 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[a] my people, because their outcry has come to me.” 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.” 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?” 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?”

22 Then Samuel took Saul and his servant-boy 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 thigh and what went with it[b] and set them before Saul. Samuel said, “See, what was kept is set before you. Eat; for it is set[c] before you at the appointed time, so that you might eat with the guests.”[d]

So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 When they came down from the shrine into the town, a bed was spread for Saul[e] on the roof, and he lay down to sleep.[f] 26 Then at the break of dawn[g] 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 boy 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.”

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 9:16 Gk: Heb lacks the suffering of
  2. 1 Samuel 9:24 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. 1 Samuel 9:24 Q Ms Gk: MT it was kept
  4. 1 Samuel 9:24 Cn: Heb it was kept for you, saying, I have invited the people
  5. 1 Samuel 9:25 Gk: Heb and he spoke with Saul
  6. 1 Samuel 9:25 Gk: Heb lacks and he lay down to sleep
  7. 1 Samuel 9:26 Gk: Heb and they arose early and at break of dawn

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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