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1 Samuel 9:11–12:18

11 As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to drawq water, and they asked them, “Is the seer here?”

12 “He is,” they answered. “He’s ahead of you. Hurry now; he has just come to our town today, for the people have a sacrificer at the high place.s 13 As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must blesst the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Go up now; you should find him about this time.”

14 They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place.

15 Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel: 16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anointu him rulerv over my people Israel; he will deliverw them from the hand of the Philistines.x I have looked on my people, for their cryy has reached me.”

17 When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “Thisz is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.”

18 Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”

19 “I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart. 20 As for the donkeysa you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desireb of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?”

21 Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribec of Israel, and is not my clan the leastd of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin?e Why do you say such a thing to me?”

22 Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and seated them at the head of those who were invited—about thirty in number. 23 Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.”

24 So the cook took up the thighf with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’ ” And Saul dined with Samuel that day.

25 After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roofg of his house. 26 They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. 27 As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”

10 Then Samuel took a flaskh of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointedi you ruler over his inheritance?a j When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb,k at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, ‘The donkeysl you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worriedm about you. He is asking, “What shall I do about my son?” ’

“Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to worship God at Betheln will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine. They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread,o which you will accept from them.

“After that you will go to Gibeahp of God, where there is a Philistine outpost.q As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophetsr coming down from the high places with lyres, timbrels,t pipesu and harpsv being played before them, and they will be prophesying.w The Spiritx of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changedy into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whateverz your handa finds to do, for God is withb you.

“Go down ahead of me to Gilgal.c I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait sevend days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.”

Saul Made King

As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changede Saul’s heart, and all these signsf were fulfilledg that day. 10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirith of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying.i 11 When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What is thisj that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”k

12 A man who lived there answered, “And who is their father?” So it became a saying: “Is Saul also among the prophets?”l 13 After Saul stopped prophesying,m he went to the high place.

14 Now Saul’s unclen asked him and his servant, “Where have you been?”

“Looking for the donkeys,o” he said. “But when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.”

15 Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.”

16 Saul replied, “He assured us that the donkeysp had been found.” But he did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about the kingship.

17 Samuel summoned the people of Israel to the Lord at Mizpahq 18 and said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt and all the kingdoms that oppressedr you.’ 19 But you have now rejecteds your God, who savest you out of all your disasters and calamities. And you have said, ‘No, appoint a kingu over us.’v So now presentw yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans.”

20 When Samuel had all Israel come forward by tribes, the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. 21 Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri’s clan was taken.x Finally Saul son of Kish was taken. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. 22 So they inquiredy further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?”

And the Lord said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the supplies.”

23 They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head tallerz than any of the others. 24 Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the Lord has chosen?a There is no one likeb him among all the people.”

Then the people shouted, “Long livec the king!”

25 Samuel explainedd to the people the rights and dutiese of kingship.f He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the Lord. Then Samuel dismissed the people to go to their own homes.

26 Saul also went to his home in Gibeah,g accompanied by valiant menh whose hearts God had touched. 27 But some scoundrelsi said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts.j But Saul kept silent.

Saul Rescues the City of Jabesh

11 Nahasha k the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead.l And all the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treatym with us, and we will be subject to you.”

But Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I will make a treaty with you only on the conditionn that I gougeo out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgracep on all Israel.”

The eldersq of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescuer us, we will surrenders to you.”

When the messengers came to Gibeaht of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all weptu aloud. Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked, “What is wrong with everyone? Why are they weeping?” Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said.

When Saul heard their words, the Spiritv of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger. He took a pair of oxen,w cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel,x proclaiming, “This is what will be done to the oxen of anyoney who does not follow Saul and Samuel.” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out together as one.z When Saul mustereda them at Bezek,b the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and those of Judah thirty thousand.

They told the messengers who had come, “Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, ‘By the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will be rescued.’ ” When the messengers went and reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were elated. 10 They said to the Ammonites, “Tomorrow we will surrenderc to you, and you can do to us whatever you like.”

11 The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions;d during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonitese and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

Saul Confirmed as King

12 The people then said to Samuel, “Whof was it that asked, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Turn these men over to us so that we may put them to death.”

13 But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today,g for this day the Lord has rescuedh Israel.”

14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgali and there renew the kingship.j15 So all the people went to Gilgalk and made Saul kingl in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.

Samuel’s Farewell Speech

12 Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listenedm to everything you said to me and have set a kingn over you. Now you have a king as your leader.o As for me, I am old and gray, and my sonsp are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed.q Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkeyr have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribes to make me shut my eyes? If I

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Hebrew; Septuagint and Vulgate over his people Israel? You will reign over the Lord’s people and save them from the power of their enemies round about. And this will be a sign to you that the Lord has anointed you ruler over his inheritance:

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Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls gifts. Now Nahash king of the Ammonites oppressed the Gadites and Reubenites severely. He gouged out all their right eyes and struck terror and dread in Israel. Not a man remained among the Israelites beyond the Jordan whose right eye was not gouged out by Nahash king of the Ammonites, except that seven thousand men fled from the Ammonites and entered Jabesh Gilead. About a month later, 1Nahash

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