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9
1And there is a man of Benjamin, and his name [is] Kish, son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Bechorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, mighty of valour,
2and he hath a son, and his name [is] Saul, a choice youth and goodly, and there is not a man among the sons of Israel goodlier than he — from his shoulder and upward, higher than any of the people.
3And the asses of Kish, father of Saul, are lost, and Kish saith unto Saul his son, ‘Take, I pray thee, with thee, one of the young men, and rise, go, seek the asses.’
4And he passeth over through the hill-country of Ephraim, and passeth over through the land of Shalisha, and they have not found; and they pass over through the land of Shaalim, and they are not; and he passeth over through the land of Benjamin, and they have not found.
5They have come in unto the land of Zuph, and Saul hath said to his young man who [is] with him, ‘Come, and we turn back, lest my father leave off from the asses, and hath been sorrowful for us.’
6And he saith to him, ‘Lo, I pray thee, a man of God [is] in this city, and the man is honoured; all that he speaketh doth certainly come; now, we go there, it may be he doth declare to us our way on which we have gone.’
7And Saul saith to his young man, ‘And lo, we go, and what do we bring in to the man? for the bread hath gone from our vessels, and a present there is not to bring in to the man of God — what [is] with us?’
8And the young man addeth to answer Saul, and saith, ‘Lo, there is found with me a fourth of a shekel of silver: and I have given to the man of God, and he hath declared to us our way.’
9Formerly in Israel, thus said the man in his going to seek God, ‘Come and we go unto the seer,’ for the ‘prophet’ of to-day is called formerly ‘the seer.’
10And Saul saith to his young man, ‘Thy word [is] good; come, we go;’ and they go unto the city where the man of God [is].
11They are going up in the ascent of the city, and have found young women going out to draw water, and say to them, ‘Is the seer in this [place]?’
12And they answer them and say, ‘He is; lo, before thee! haste, now, for to-day he hath come in to the city, for the people hath a stated sacrifice in a high place.
13At your going in to the city so ye do find him, before he doth go up in to the high place to eat; for the people do not eat till his coming, for he doth bless the sacrifice; afterwards they eat, who are called, and now, go up, for at this time ye find him.’
14And they go up in to the city; they are coming in to the midst of the city, and lo, Samuel is coming out to meet them, to go up to the high place;
15and Jehovah had uncovered the ear of Samuel one day before the coming of Saul, saying,
16‘At this time tomorrow, I send unto thee a man out of the land of Benjamin — and thou hast anointed him for leader over My people Israel, and he hath saved My people out of the hand of the Philistines; for I have seen My people, for its cry hath come in unto Me.’
17When Samuel hath seen Saul, then hath Jehovah answered him, ‘Lo, the man of whom I have spoken unto thee; this [one] doth restrain My people.’
18And Saul draweth nigh to Samuel in the midst of the gate, and saith, ‘Declare, I pray thee, to me, where [is] this — the seer's house?’
19And Samuel answereth Saul and saith, ‘I [am] the seer; go up before me into the high place, and ye have eaten with me to-day, and I have sent thee away in the morning, and all that [is] in thy heart I declare to thee.
20As to the asses which are lost to thee this day three days, set not thy heart to them, for they have been found; and to whom [is] all the desire of Israel?’ is it not to thee and to all thy father's house?’
21And Saul answereth and saith, ‘Am not I a Benjamite — of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? and why hast thou spoken unto me according to this word?’
22And Samuel taketh Saul, and his young man, and bringeth them in to the chamber, and giveth to them a place at the head of those called; and they [are] about thirty men.
23And Samuel saith to the cook, ‘Give the portion which I gave to thee, of which I said unto thee, ‘Set it by thee?’
24(and the cook lifteth up the leg, and that which [is] on it, and setteth before Saul), and he saith, ‘Lo, that which is left; set [it] before thee — eat, for to this appointed season it is kept for thee, saying, The people I have called;’ and Saul eateth with Samuel on that day.
25And they come down from the high place to the city, and he speaketh with Saul on the roof.
26And they rise early, and it cometh to pass, at the ascending of the dawn, that Samuel calleth unto Saul, on the roof, saying, ‘Rise, and I send thee away;’ and Saul riseth, and they go out, both of them — he and Samuel, without.
27They are going down in the extremity of the city, and Samuel hath said unto Saul, ‘Say to the young man that he pass on before us (and he passeth on), and thou, stand at this time, and I cause thee to hear the word of God.’
9
Saul Meets Samuel
1There was a wealthy and influential man named Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin; he was the son of Abiel and grandson of Zeror, and belonged to the family of Becorath, a part of the clan of Aphiah. 2He had a son named Saul, a handsome man in the prime of life. Saul was a foot taller than anyone else in Israel and more handsome as well.
3Some donkeys belonging to Kish had wandered off, so he said to Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.” 4They went through the hill country of Ephraim and the region of Shalishah, but did not find them; so they went on through the region of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then they went through the territory of Benjamin, but still did not find them. 5When they came into the region of Zuph, Saul said to his servant, “Let's go back home, or my father might stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”
6The servant answered, “Wait! In this town there is a holy man who is highly respected because everything he says comes true. Let's go to him, and maybe he can tell us where we can find the donkeys.”
7“If we go to him, what can we give him?” Saul asked. “There is no food left in our packs, and we don't have a thing to give him, do we?”
8The servant answered, “I have a small silver coin. I can give him that, and then he will tell us where we can find them.”
9-11Saul replied, “A good idea! Let's go.” So they went to the town where the holy man lived. As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some young women who were coming out to draw water. They asked these women, “Is the seer in town?”
(At that time a prophet was called a seer, and so whenever someone wanted to ask God a question, he would say, “Let's go to the seer.”)
12-13“Yes, he is,” the young women answered. “In fact, he is just ahead of you. If you hurry, you will catch up with him. As soon as you go into town, you will find him. He arrived in town today because the people are going to offer a sacrifice on the altar on the hill. The people who are invited won't start eating until he gets there, because he has to bless the sacrifice first. If you go now, you will find him before he goes up the hill to eat.” 14So Saul and his servant went on to the town, and as they were going in, they saw Samuel coming out toward them on his way to the place of worship.
15Now on the previous day the Lord had told Samuel, 16“Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the tribe of Benjamin; anoint him as ruler of my people Israel, and he will rescue them from the Philistines. I have seen the suffering of my people and have heard their cries for help.”
17When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “This is the man I told you about. He will rule my people.” 18Then Saul went over to Samuel, who was near the gate, and asked, “Tell me, where does the seer live?”
19Samuel answered, “I am the seer. Go on ahead of me to the place of worship. Both of you are to eat with me today. Tomorrow morning I will answer all your questions and send you on your way. 20As for the donkeys that were lost three days ago, don't worry about them; they have already been found. But who is it that the people of Israel want so much?#9.20: who is it … much?; or who is to have the most desirable thing in Israel? It is you—you and your father's family.”
21Saul answered, “I belong to the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important one in the tribe. Why, then, do you talk like this to me?”
22Then Samuel led Saul and his servant into the large room and gave them a place at the head of the table where the guests, about thirty in all, were seated. 23Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, which I told you to set aside.” 24So the cook brought the choice piece of the leg and placed it before Saul. Samuel#9.24: Some ancient translations Samuel; Hebrew He (that is, the cook). said, “Look, here is the piece that was kept for you. Eat it. I saved it for you to eat at this time with the people I invited.”#9.24: Probable text I saved it … invited; Hebrew unclear.
So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25When they went down from the place of worship to the town, they fixed up a bed for Saul#9.25: One ancient translation they fixed up a bed for Saul; Hebrew he spoke with Saul. on the roof,#9.25: on the roof: At that time houses had flat roofs, and it was common for people to sleep on them. 26and he slept there.#9.26: Some ancient translations and he slept there; Hebrew and they got up early.
Samuel Anoints Saul as Ruler
At dawn Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get up, and I will send you on your way.” Saul got up, and he and Samuel went out to the street together. 27When they arrived at the edge of town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us.” The servant left, and Samuel continued, “Stay here a minute, and I will tell you what God has said.”