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9
Samuel Anoints Saul to Be Israel's Leader
1There was a man named Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. Kish was a very important person. He was the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror. Zeror was the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah from the tribe of Benjamin. 2Kish had a son named Saul. Saul was a handsome young man. There wasn't anyone like him among the people of Israel. He was a head taller than any of them.
3The donkeys that belonged to Saul's father Kish were lost. So Kish spoke to his son Saul. He said, "Go and look for the donkeys. Take one of the servants with you."
4Saul and his servant went through the hill country of Ephraim. They also went through the area around Shalisha. But they didn't find the donkeys. So they went on into the area of Shaalim. But the donkeys weren't there either. Then Saul went through the territory of Benjamin. But they still didn't find the donkeys.
5When Saul and the servant who was with him reached the area of Zuph, Saul spoke to him. He said, "Come on. Let's go back. If we don't, my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us."
6But the servant replied, "There's a man of God here in Ramah. People have a lot of respect for him. Everything he says comes true. So let's go and see him now. Perhaps he'll tell us which way to go."
7Saul said to his servant, "If we go to see the man, what can we give him? There isn't any food in our sacks. We don't have a gift for the man of God. So what can we give him?"
8The servant answered Saul again. "Look," he said. "I've got a tenth of an ounce of silver. I'll give it to the man of God. Then maybe he'll tell us which way to go."
9In Israel, prophets used to be called seers. So if a man wanted to ask God for advice, he would say, "Come on. Let's go to the seer."
10Saul said to his servant, "That's a good idea. Come on. Let's go and ask the seer." So they started out for the town where the man of God lived.
11They were going up the hill toward the town. Along the way they met some young women who were coming out to get water from the well. Saul and his servant asked them, "Is the seer here?"
12"Yes, he is," they answered. "In fact, he's just up ahead of you. So hurry along. He has just come to our town today. The people are going to offer a sacrifice at the high place where they worship. 13As soon as you enter the town, you will find him. He'll be there until he goes up to the high place to eat. The people won't start eating until he gets there. He must bless the sacrifice first. After that, those who are invited will eat. So go on up. You should find him there just about now."
14They went up to the town. As they were entering it, they saw Samuel. He was coming toward them. He was on his way up to the high place.
15The Lord had spoken to Samuel the day before Saul came. He had said, 16"About this time tomorrow I will send you a man. He is from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him to be the leader of my people Israel. He will save them from the powerful hand of the Philistines. I have seen how much my people are suffering. Their cry for help has reached me."
17When Samuel saw a man coming toward him, the Lord spoke to Samuel again. He said, "He is the man I told you about. His name is Saul. He will govern my people."
18Saul approached Samuel at the gate of the town. He asked Samuel, "Can you please show me the house where the seer is staying?"
19"I'm the seer," Samuel replied. "Go on up to the high place ahead of me. I want you and your servant to eat with me today. Tomorrow morning I'll tell you what's on your mind. Then I'll let you go. 20Don't worry about the donkeys you lost three days ago. They've already been found. But who are all of the people of Israel longing for? You and your father's whole family!"
21Saul answered, "But I'm from the tribe of Benjamin. It's the smallest tribe in Israel. And my family group is the least important in the whole tribe of Benjamin. So why are you saying that to me?"
22Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the room where they would be eating. He seated them at the head table. About 30 people had been invited. 23Samuel said to the cook, "Bring the piece of meat I gave you. It's the one I told you to put to one side."
24So the cook went and got a choice piece of thigh. He set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, "Here is what has been kept for you. Eat it. It was put to one side for you for this special occasion. We've saved it for you ever since I invited the guests." And Saul ate with Samuel that day.
25They came down from the high place to the town. After that, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of Samuel's house.
26The next day they got up at about the time the sun was rising. Samuel called out to Saul on the roof. He said, "Get ready. Then I'll send you on your way." So Saul got ready. And he and Samuel went outside together.
27As they were on their way down to the edge of town, Samuel spoke to Saul. He said, "Tell the servant to go ahead of us." So the servant went on ahead. Then Samuel continued, "Stay here awhile. I'll give you a message from God."
9
CHAPTER 9.
1Now I there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Cis, the son of Abiel, the son of Seror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphia, the son of a man of Jemini, valiant and strong.
2And he had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and goodly man, and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he appeared above all the people.
3And the asses of Cis, Sauls father, were lost: and Cis said to his son Saul: Take one of the servants with thee, and arise, go, and seek the asses. And when they had passed through mount Ephraim,
4And through the land of Salisa, and had not found them, they passed also through the land of Salim, and they were not there: and through the land of Jemini, and found them not.
5And when they were come to the land of Suph, Saul said to the servant that was with him: Come, let us return, lest perhaps my father forget the asses, and be concerned for us.
6And he said to him: Behold there is a man of God in this city, a famous man: all that he saith, cometh certainly to pass. Now therefore let us go thither, perhaps he may tell us of our way, for which we are come.
7And Saul said to his servant: Behold we will go: but what shall we carry to the man of God? the bread is spent in our bags: and we have no present to make to the man of God, nor any thing at all.
8The servant answered Saul again, and said: Behold there is found in my hand the fourth part of a sicle of silver, let us give it to the man of God, that he may tell us our way.
9Now in time past, in Israel when a man went to consult God he spoke thus: Come, let us go to the seer. For he that is now called a prophet, in time past was called a seer.
10And Saul said to his servant: Thy word is very good, come, let us go. And they went into the city, where the man of God was.
11And when they went up the ascent to the city, they found maids coming out to draw water, and they said to them: Is the seer here?
12They answered and said to them: He is: behold he is before you, make haste now: for he came to day into the city, for there is a sacrifice of the people to day in the high place.
13As soon as you come into the city, you shall immediately find him, before he go up to the high place to eat: for the people will not eat till he come: because he blesseth the victim, and afterwards they eat that are invited. Now therefore go up, for to day you shall find him.
14And they went up into the city. And when they were walking in the midst of the city, behold Samuel was coming out over against them, to go up to the high place.
15Now the Lord had revealed to the ear of Samuel the day before Saul came, saying:
16To morrow about this same hour I will send thee a man of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be ruler over my people Israel: and he shall save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked down upon my people, because their cry is come to me.
17And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him: Behold the man, of whom I spoke to thee, this man shall reign over my people.
18And Saul came to Samuel in the midst of the gate and said: Tell me, I pray thee, where is the house of the seer?
19And Samuel answered Saul, saying: I am the seer, go up before me to the high place, that you may eat with me to day, and I will let thee go in the morning: and tell thee all that is in thy heart.
20And as for the asses, which were lost three days ago, be not solicitous, because they are found. And for whom shall be all the best things of Israel? Shall they not be for thee and for all thy father's house?
21And Saul answering, said: Am not I a son of Jemini of the least tribe of Israel, and my kindred the last among all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then hast thou spoken this word to me?
22Then Samuel taking Saul and his servant, brought them into the parlour, and gave them a place at the head of them that were invited. For there were about thirty men.
23And Samuel said to the cook: Bring the portion, which I gave thee, and commanded thee to set it apart by thee.
24And the cook took up the shoulder, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said: Behold what is left, set it before thee, and eat: because it was kept of purpose for thee, when I invited the people. And Saul ate with Samuel that day.
25And they went down from the high place into the town, and he spoke with Saul upon the top of the house: and he prepared a bed for Saul on the top of the house, and he slept.
26And when they were risen in the morning, and it began now to be light, Samuel called Saul on the top of the house, saying: Arise, that I may let thee go. And Saul arose: and they went out both of them, to wit, he and Samuel.
27And as they were going down in the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul: Speak to the servant to go before us, and pass on: but stand thou still a while, that I may tell thee the word of the Lord.