Samuel Appoints Saul
1Samuel took a jar of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head. He kissed Saul and said, “The Lord has appointed you to lead his people. 2After you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb on the border of Benjamin at Zelzah. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you were looking for have been found. But now your father has stopped thinking about his donkeys and is worrying about you. He is asking, “What will I do about my son?” ’
3“Then you will go on until you reach the big tree at Tabor. Three men on their way to worship God at Bethel will meet you there. One man will be carrying three goats. Another will be carrying three loaves of bread. And the third will have a leather bag full of wine. 4They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you must accept. 5Then you will go to Gibeah of God, where a Philistine camp is. When you approach this town, a group of prophets will come down from the place of worship. They will be playing harps, tambourines, flutes, and lyres, and they will be prophesying. 6Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you with power. You will prophesy with these prophets, and you will be changed into a different man. 7After these signs happen, do whatever you find to do, because God will help you.
8“Go ahead of me to Gilgal. I will come down to you to offer whole burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. But you must wait seven days. Then I will come and tell you what to do.”
Saul Made King
9When Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart. All these signs came true that day. 10When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, Saul met a group of prophets. The Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied with the prophets. 11When people who had known Saul before saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What has happened to Kish’s son? Is even Saul one of the prophets?”
12A man who lived there said, “Who is the father of these prophets?” So this became a famous saying: “Is even Saul one of the prophets?” 13When Saul finished prophesying, he entered the place of worship.
14Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where have you been?”
Saul said, “We were looking for the donkeys. When we couldn’t find them, we went to talk to Samuel.”
15Saul’s uncle asked, “Please tell me. What did Samuel say to you?”
16Saul answered, “He told us the donkeys had already been found.” But Saul did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about his becoming king.
17Samuel called all the people of Israel to meet with the Lord at Mizpah. 18He said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I led Israel out of Egypt. I saved you from Egypt’s control and from other kingdoms that were troubling you.’ 19But now you have rejected your God. He saves you from all your troubles and problems, but you said, ‘No! We want a king to rule over us.’ Now come, stand before the Lord in your tribes and family groups.”
20When Samuel gathered all the tribes of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin was picked. 21Samuel had them pass by in family groups, and Matri’s family was picked. Then he had each man of Matri’s family pass by, and Saul son of Kish was picked. But when they looked for Saul, they could not find him. 22They asked the Lord, “Has Saul come here yet?”
The Lord said, “Yes. He’s hiding behind the baggage.”
23So they ran and brought him out. When Saul stood among the people, he was a head taller than anyone else. 24Then Samuel said to the people, “See the man the Lord has chosen. There is no one like him among all the people.”
Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
25Samuel explained the rights and duties of the king and then wrote them in a book and put it before the Lord. Then he told the people to go to their homes.
26Saul also went to his home in Gibeah. God touched the hearts of certain brave men who went along with him. 27But some troublemakers said, “How can this man save us?” They disapproved of Saul and refused to bring gifts to him. But Saul kept quiet.