1Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjamite, a mighty man of #Or wealth or influencevalor. 2He had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people.
3Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Take now with you one of the servants, and arise, go search for the donkeys.” 4He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they did not find them.
5When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, and let us return, or else my father will cease to be concerned about the donkeys and will become anxious for us.” 6He said to him, “Behold now, there is a man of God in this city, and the man is held in honor; all that he says surely comes true. Now let us go there, perhaps he can tell us about our journey on which we have set out.” 7Then Saul said to his servant, “But behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? For the bread is gone from our sack and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?” 8The servant answered Saul again and said, “Behold, I have in my hand a fourth of a shekel of silver; I will give it to the man of God and he will tell us our way.” 9(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, “Come, and let us go to the seer”; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer.) 10Then Saul said to his servant, “Well said; come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.
11As they went up the slope to the city, they found young women going out to draw water and said to them, “Is the seer here?” 12They answered them and said, “He is; #Or beholdsee, he is ahead of you. Hurry now, for he has come into the city today, for the people have a sacrifice on the high place today. 13As 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 until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now therefore, go up for you will find him at once.” 14So they went up to the city. As they came into the city, behold, Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the high place.
God’s Choice for King
15Now a day before Saul’s coming, the Lord had #Lit uncovered the earrevealed this to Samuel saying, 16“About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over My people Israel; and he will deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me.” 17When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord #Lit answeredsaid to him, “Behold, the man of whom I spoke to you! This one shall rule over My people.” 18Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Please tell me where the seer’s house is.” 19Samuel answered Saul and said, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and in the morning I will let you go, and will tell you all that is on your mind. 20As for your donkeys which 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 household?” 21Saul replied, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the #So some ancient versions; Heb tribestribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me in this way?”
22Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who were invited, who were about thirty men. 23Samuel said to the cook, “#Lit GiveBring the portion that I gave you, concerning which I said to you, ‘Set it #Lit with youaside.’” 24Then the cook took up the leg with what was on it and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, “Here is what has been reserved! Set it before you and eat, because it has been kept for you until the appointed time, #Lit sayingsince I said I have invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
25When they came down from the high place into the city, Samuel spoke with Saul on the #Gr adds and they spread a bed for Saul on the roof and he sleptroof. 26And they arose early; and at daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the roof, saying, “Get up, that I may send you away.” So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street. 27As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Say to the servant that he might go ahead of us and pass on, but you remain standing now, that I may proclaim the word of God to you.”