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

find them.

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.