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ESV — 1 Samuel 9

Saul Chosen to Be King

There was a man of Benjamin whose name was fKish, the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. And he had a son whose name was Saul, ga handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. hFrom his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.

Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul's father, were lost. So Kish said to Saul his son, “Take one of the young men with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys.” And he passed through ithe hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of jShalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then they passed through the land of Benjamin, but did not find them.

When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant1 who was with him, “Come, let us go back, klest my father cease to care about the donkeys and become anxious about us.” But he said to him, “Behold, there is la man of God in this city, and he is a man who is held in honor; mall that he says comes true. So now let us go there. Perhaps he can tell us the way we should go.” Then Saul said to his servant, “But if we go, nwhat 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 do we have?” The servant answered Saul again, “Here, I have with me a quarter of a shekel2 of silver, and I will give it to the man of God to tell us our way.” (Formerly in Israel, when a man owent to inquire of God, he said, “Come, let us go to the seer,” for today's “prophet” was formerly called a seer.) 10 And Saul said to his servant, “Well said; come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.

11 As they went up the hill to the city, pthey met young women coming out to draw water and said to them, “Is the seer here?” 12 They answered, “He is; behold, he is just ahead of you. Hurry. He has come just now to the city, because the people qhave a sacrifice today on rthe high place. 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 till he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now go up, for you will meet him immediately.” 14 So they went up to the city. As they were entering the city, they saw Samuel coming out toward them on his way up to the high place.

15 Now the day before Saul came, sthe Lord had trevealed to Samuel: 16 “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, uand you shall anoint him to be prince3 over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. vFor I have seen4 my people, because their cry has come to me.” 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, w“Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall restrain my people.” 18 Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Tell me where is the house of the seer?” 19 Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, 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 xAs for your donkeys that 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 house?” 21 Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjaminite, yfrom the least of the tribes of Israel? zAnd is not my clan the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”

22 Then Samuel took Saul and his young man and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited, who were about thirty persons. 23 And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Put it aside.’” 24 So the cook took up athe leg and what was on it and set them before Saul. And Samuel said, “See, what was kept is set before you. Eat, because it was kept for you until the hour appointed, that you might eat with the guests.”5

So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 And when they came down from the high place into the city, a bed was spread for Saul6 bon the roof, and he lay down to sleep. 26 Then at the break of dawn7 Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Up, that I may send you on your way.” So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street.

27 As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to pass 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] 9:5 Hebrew young man; also verses 7, 8, 10, 27
[2] 9:8 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
[3] 9:16 Or leader
[4] 9:16 Septuagint adds the affliction of
[5] 9:24 Hebrew appointed, saying, ‘I have invited the people’
[6] 9:25 Septuagint; Hebrew and he spoke with Saul
[7] 9:26 Septuagint; Hebrew And they arose early and at the break of dawn