How Samuel Found A Leader
There was a rich Benjamite named Kish, who lived at Gibeah. He had a son
named Saul, a man full grown and handsome; no one among the Israelites
was more handsome than he. From his shoulders and upward he was taller
than any of the people.
Now the asses of Kish, Saul's father, were lost. So Kish said to Saul,
"Take one of the servants with you and go, look for the asses." They
went through the highlands of Ephraim and the land of Shalishah, but did
not find them. Then they crossed into the land of Shaalim, but the asses
were not there. They also went through the land of Benjamin, but did not
They had come into the land of Zuph when Saul said to his servant who
was with him, "Come, let us go back, that my father may not stop
thinking of the asses and be anxious about us." The servant answered
him, "There is a man of God in this town who is held in honor; all that
he says is sure to come true. Now let us go there; perhaps he can tell
us the way we should go."
Saul said to his servant, "But, suppose we go, what shall we take to the
man, for the bread is gone from our sacks, and there is no present to
take to the man of God? What have we?" The servant answered Saul again
and said, "See, I have with me a quarter of a silver shekel. Give it to
the man of God that he may tell us our way." Then Saul said to his
servant, "Your advice is good; come, let us go." So they went to the
town where the man of God was.
As they were going up to the town, they met young women going out to
draw water and said to them, "Is the seer here?" They answered them, "He
is there; he is before you. Make haste, for he has just come into the
town, for the people have a sacrificial feast to-day at the sacred place
on the hilltop. As soon as you come to the town, you will find him
before he goes up to the high place to eat, for the people will not eat
until he comes, for he blesses the sacrifice, and then the guests eat.
Therefore go up now, for at this time you will find him."
So they went up to the town, and when they came inside the gate, Samuel
was just coming out toward them to go up to the high place. Now Jehovah
had told Samuel the day before Saul came, "About this time to-morrow I
will send you a man out of the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint
him to be a prince over my people Israel. He shall deliver my people
from the power of the Philistines; for I have seen the suffering of my
people, because their cry has come to me."
When Samuel saw Saul, Jehovah told him, "This is the man of whom I spoke
to you! He it is who shall rule over my people." So when Saul met Samuel
in the gate, and said, "Tell me, if you will, where the seer's house
is," Samuel answered Saul, "I am the seer; go up before me to the high
place, for you shall eat with me to-day; and in the morning I will let
you go and will tell you all that is in your mind. As for your asses
that were lost three days ago, do not trouble yourself about them for
they have been found. And to whom belongs all that is best in Israel?
Does it not belong to you and to your father's house?" Saul answered and
said, "Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel,
and is not my family the least of all the families of the tribe of
Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me in this way?"
But Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall and
made them sit at the head of the guests (who were about thirty in
number). Samuel also said to the cook, "Bring the part which I gave you
and told you to put aside." So the cook took up the leg and what was on
it and placed them before Saul. Then Samuel said, "See what has been
kept for you! Set it before you and eat, for it was kept for you until
the appointed time, that you might eat with the people whom I have
invited." So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
After they came down from the high place into the town, they spread a
bed for Saul on the roof, and he lay down. Then at daybreak Samuel
called to Saul on the roof, saying, "Rise, that I may send you away." So
Saul rose, and he and Samuel went out into the street. As they were
going out of the town, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell the servant to go on
before us, but you stand here that I may tell you the message from God."
Then Samuel took the flask of oil and poured it on Saul's head, and
kissed him and said, "Has not Jehovah anointed you to be a prince over
his people Israel? You shall rule over Jehovah's people and deliver
them from the power of their enemies on every side. This is the sign
that Jehovah has anointed you to be a prince over his own people: when
you go from me to-day you shall find two men at Rachel's tomb; and they
will say to you, 'The asses that you went to seek are found, and now
your father is thinking no more about the asses but is worrying about
you, saying, "What shall I do for my son?"' Then you shall go on from
there and come to the oak of Tabor. There three men going up to God at
Bethel will meet you, one carrying three kids, another carrying three
loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. They will greet
you and give you two loaves of bread which you shall take from their
hand. After that you shall come to Gibeah. As you come to the city you
will meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place with a
lyre, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them, while they
prophesy. Then the spirit of Jehovah will come suddenly upon you, and
you shall prophesy with them, and shall be changed into another man.
When these signs come to you, do whatever you can, for God is with you."
So when Saul turned away from Samuel, God gave him a new heart, and all
those signs came to pass that day.
Saul's uncle also said to him and to his servant, "Where did you go?" He
said, "To seek the asses; and when we saw that they were not to be
found, we went to Samuel." Saul's uncle said, "Tell me what Samuel said
to you." Saul replied, "He told us that the asses were surely found."
But Saul did not tell him that Samuel had said he should become the
After about a month, Nahash, the Ammonite, came up and besieged Jabesh
in Gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, "Make terms with us
and we will serve you." But Nahash, the Ammonite, said to them. "On this
condition will I make terms with you: that I bore out the right eye of
each of you, and so bring disgrace upon all Israel." The elders of
Jabesh said to him, "Let us have seven days in which to send messengers
through all the land of Israel. Then, if there are none to save us, we
will come to you."
So the messengers came to Gibeah where Saul lived and told the facts in
the hearing of the people, and they all set up a loud wail. Just then
Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen, and he said, "What is
the trouble with the people that they are wailing?" Then they told him
what the men of Jabesh had said. When he heard it, the spirit of Jehovah
came suddenly upon him and he became very indignant. He took a pair of
oxen, cut them in pieces, and sent them through all the land of Israel
by messengers, who said, "Whoever does not come out after Saul and after
Samuel, the same shall be done to his oxen!"
Then a terror from Jehovah fell upon the people, and they all gathered
together. And Saul said to the messengers who came, "Say to the men of
Jabesh in Gilead, 'To-morrow by the time the sun grows hot help shall
come to you.'"
So the messengers went and told the men of Jabesh, and they were glad.
Therefore the men of Jabesh said to the Ammonites, "To-morrow we will
come out to you, and you shall do to us whatever you please." So on the
following day, Saul divided the people into three divisions; and they
went into the midst of the camp early in the morning, and fought against
the Ammonites until noon. The Ammonites who stayed behind were so
scattered that not two of them were left together.
Then all the people went to Gilgal and there in the presence of Jehovah
made Saul their ruler, and they offered sacrifices there to Jehovah; and
Saul and all the men of Israel were very happy.
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