1 THERE WAS a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of wealth and valor.
2 Kish had a son named Saul, a choice young man and handsome; among all the Israelites there was not a man more handsome than he. He was a head taller than any of the people.
3 The donkeys of Kish, Saul's father, were lost. Kish said to Saul, Take a servant with you and go, look for the donkeys.
4 And they passed through the hill country of Ephraim and the land of Shalishah, but did not find them. Then they went through the land of Shaalim and the land of Benjamin, but did not find them.
5 And when they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant, Come, let us return, lest my father stop worrying about the donkeys and become concerned about us.
6 The servant said to him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, a man held in honor; all that he says surely comes true. Now let us go there. Perhaps he can show us where we should go.
7 Then Saul said to his servant, But if we go, what shall we bring the man? The bread in our sacks is gone, and there is no gift for the man of God. What have we?
8 The servant replied, I have here a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give that to the man of God to tell us our way–
9 (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he said, Come, let us go to the seer, for he that is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.)
10 Saul said to his servant, Well said; come, let us go. So they went to the city where the man of God was.
11 As they went up the hill to the city, they met young maidens going out to draw water, and said to them, Is the seer here?
12 They answered, He is; behold, he is just beyond you. Hurry, for he came today to the city because the people have a sacrifice today on the high place.
13 As you enter the city, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not eat until he comes to ask the blessing on the sacrifice. Afterward, those who are invited eat. So go on up, for about now you will find him.
14 So they went up to the city, and as they were entering, behold, Samuel came toward them, going up to the high place.
15 Now a day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel in his ear,
16 Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be leader over My people Israel; and he shall save them out of the hand of the Philistines. For I have looked upon the distress of My people, because their cry has come to Me.
17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, There is the man of whom I told you. He shall have authority over My people.
18 Then Saul came near to Samuel in the gate and said, Tell me where is the seer's house?
19 Samuel answered Saul, I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today, and tomorrow I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind.
20 As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not be thinking about them, for they are found. And for whom are all the desirable things of Israel? Are they not for you and for all your father's house?
21 And Saul 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 clans of Benjamin? Why then do you speak this way to me?
22 Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the guest room [at the high place] and had them sit in the chief place among the persons–about thirty of them–who were invited. [The other people feasted outside.]
23 And Samuel said to the cook, Bring the portion which I gave you, of which I said to you, Set it aside.
24 And the cook lifted high the shoulder and what was on it [indicating that it was the priest's honored portion] and set it before Saul. [Samuel] said, See what was reserved for you. Eat, for until the hour appointed it was kept for you, ever since I invited the people. So Saul ate that day with Samuel.
25 When they had come down from the high place into the city, Samuel conversed with Saul on the top of the house.
26 They arose early and about dawn Samuel called Saul [who was sleeping] on the top of the house, saying, Get up, that I may send you on your way. Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out on the street.
27 And as they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us–and he passed on–but you stand still, first, that I may cause you to hear the word of God.