10 Then Samuel took a small container of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s 1 head. Samuel 2 kissed him and said, “The Lord has chosen you 3 to lead his people Israel! You will rule over the Lord’s people and you will deliver them from the power of the enemies who surround them. This will be your sign that the Lord has chosen 4 you as leader over his inheritance. 5 2 When you leave me today, you will find two men near Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah on Benjamin’s border. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you have gone looking for have been found. Your father is no longer concerned about the donkeys but has become anxious about you two! 6 He is asking, “What should I do about my son?”’
3 “As you continue on from there, you will come to the tall tree of Tabor. At that point three men who are going up to God at Bethel 7 will meet you. One of them will be carrying three young goats, one of them will be carrying three round loaves of bread, and one of them will be carrying a container of wine. 4 They will ask you how you’re doing and will give you two loaves of bread. You will accept them. 5 Afterward you will go to Gibeah of God, where there are Philistine officials. 8 When you enter the town, you will meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place. They will have harps, tambourines, flutes, and lyres, and they will be prophesying. 6 Then the spirit of the Lord will rush upon you and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person.
7 “When these signs have taken place, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God will be with you. 9 8 You will go down to Gilgal before me. I am going to join you there to offer burnt offerings and to make peace offerings. You should wait for seven days, until I arrive and tell you what to do.”
9 As Saul 10 turned 11 to leave Samuel, God changed his inmost person. 12 All these signs happened on that very day. 10 When Saul and his servant 13 arrived at Gibeah, a company of prophets was coming out to meet him. Then the spirit of God rushed upon Saul 14 and he prophesied among them. 11 When everyone who had known him previously saw him prophesying with the prophets, the people all asked one another, “What on earth has happened to the son of Kish? Does even Saul belong with the prophets?”
12 A man who was from there replied, “And who is their father?” Therefore this became a proverb: “Is even Saul among the prophets?” 13 When Saul 15 had finished prophesying, he went to the high place.
14 Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where did you go?” Saul 16 replied, “To look for the donkeys. But when we realized they were lost, 17 we went to Samuel.” 15 Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.” 18 16 Saul said to his uncle, “He assured us that the donkeys had been found.” But Saul 19 did not tell him what Samuel had said about the matter of kingship.
17 Then Samuel called the people together before the Lord at Mizpah. 18 He said to the Israelites, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘I brought Israel up from Egypt and I delivered you from the power 20 of the Egyptians and from the power of all the kingdoms that oppressed you. 19 But today you have rejected your God who saves you from all your trouble and distress. You have said, “No! 21 Appoint a king over us.” Now take your positions before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.’”
20 Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. 21 Then he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the family of Matri was chosen by lot. At last Saul son of Kish was chosen by lot. But when they looked for him, he was nowhere to be found. 22 So they inquired again of the Lord, “Has the man arrived here yet?” The Lord said, “He has hidden himself among the equipment.” 22
23 So they ran and brought him from there. When he took his position among the people, he stood head and shoulders above them all. 24 Then Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the one whom the Lord has chosen? Indeed, there is no one like him among all the people!” All the people shouted out, “Long live the king!”
25 Then Samuel talked to the people about how the kingship would work. 23 He wrote it all down on a scroll and set it before the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people away to their homes. 26 Even Saul went to his home in Gibeah. With him went some brave men whose hearts God had touched. 27 But some wicked men 24 said, “How can this man save us?” They despised him and did not even bring him a gift. But Saul said nothing about it. 25
11 Nahash 2 the Ammonite marched 3 against Jabesh Gilead. All the men of Jabesh Gilead said to Nahash, “Make a treaty with us and we will serve you.”
2 But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “The only way I will make a treaty with you is if you let me gouge out the right eye of every one of you and in so doing humiliate all Israel!”
3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Leave us alone for seven days so that we can send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. If there is no one who can deliver us, we will come out voluntarily to you.”
4 When the messengers went to Gibeah (where Saul lived) 4 and informed the people of these matters, all the people wept loudly. 5 5 Now Saul was walking behind the 6 oxen as he came from the field. Saul asked, “What has happened to the people? Why are they weeping?” So they told him about 7 the men of Jabesh.
6 The Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and he became very angry. 7 He took a pair 8 of oxen and cut them up. Then he sent the pieces throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, who said, “Whoever does not go out after Saul and after Samuel should expect this to be done to his oxen!” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they went out as one army. 9 8 When Saul counted them at Bezek, the Israelites were 300,000 10 strong and the men of Judah numbered 30,000. 11
9 They said to the messengers who had come, “Here’s what you should say to the men of Jabesh Gilead: ‘Tomorrow deliverance will come to you when the sun is fully up.’” When the messengers went and told the men of Jabesh Gilead, they were happy. 10 The men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you 12 and you can do with us whatever you wish.” 13
11 The next day Saul placed the people in three groups. They went to the Ammonite camp during the morning watch and struck them 14 down until the hottest part of the day. The survivors scattered; no two of them remained together.
12 Then the people said to Samuel, “Who were the ones asking, ‘Will Saul reign over us?’ Hand over those men so we may execute them!” 13 But Saul said, “No one will be killed on this day. For today the Lord has given Israel a victory!” 14 Samuel said to the people, “Come on! Let’s go to Gilgal and renew the kingship there.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal, where 15 they established Saul as king in the Lord’s presence. They offered up peace offerings there in the Lord’s presence. Saul and all the Israelites were very happy.
12 Samuel said to all Israel, “I have done 1 everything you requested. 2 I have given you a king. 3 2 Now look! This king walks before you. As for me, I am old and gray, though my sons are here with you. I have walked before you from the time of my youth till the present day. 3 Here I am. Bring a charge against me before the Lord and before his chosen king. 4 Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I wronged? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I taken a bribe so that I would overlook something? Tell me, 5 and I will return it to you!”
4 They replied, “You have not wronged us or oppressed us. You have not taken anything from the hand of anyone.” 5 He said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and his chosen king 6 is witness this day, that you have not found any reason to accuse me.” 7 They said, “He is witness!”
6 Samuel said to the people, “The Lord is the one who chose Moses and Aaron and who brought your ancestors 8 up from the land of Egypt. 7 Now take your positions, so I may confront you 9 before the Lord regarding all the Lord’s just actions toward you and your ancestors. 10 8 When Jacob entered Egypt, your ancestors cried out to the Lord. The Lord sent Moses and Aaron, and they led your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.
9 “But they forgot the Lord their God, so he gave 11 them into the hand of Sisera, the general in command of Hazor’s 12 army, 13 and into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10 Then they cried out to the Lord and admitted, 14 ‘We have sinned, for we have forsaken the Lord and have served the Baals and the images of Ashtoreth. 15 Now deliver us from the hand of our enemies so that we may serve you.’ 16 11 So the Lord sent Jerub-Baal, 17 Barak, 18 Jephthah, and Samuel, 19 and he delivered you from the hand of the enemies all around you, and you were able to live securely.
12 “When you saw that King Nahash of the Ammonites was advancing against you, you said to me, ‘No! A king will rule over us’ – even though the Lord your God is your king! 13 Now look! Here is the king you have chosen – the one that you asked for! Look, the Lord has given you a king! 14 If you fear the Lord, serving him and obeying him 20 and not rebelling against what he says, 21 and if both you and the king who rules over you follow the Lord your God, all will be well. 22 15 But if you don’t obey 23 the Lord and rebel against what the Lord says, the hand of the Lord will be against both you and your king. 24
16 “So now, take your positions and watch this great thing that the Lord is about to do in your sight. 17 Is this not the time of the wheat harvest? I will call on the Lord so that he makes it thunder and rain. Realize and see what a great sin you have committed before the Lord by asking for a king for yourselves.”
18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord made it thunder and rain that day. All the people were very afraid of both the Lord and Samuel. 19 All the people said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God on behalf of us – your servants – so we won’t die, for we have added to all our sins by asking for a king.” 25
20 Then Samuel said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. You have indeed sinned. 26 However, don’t turn aside from the Lord. Serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 You should not turn aside after empty things that can’t profit and can’t deliver, since they are empty. 27 22 The Lord will not abandon his people because he wants to uphold his great reputation. 28 The Lord was pleased to make you his own people. 23 As far as I am concerned, far be it from me to sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you! I will instruct you in the way that is good and upright. 24 However, fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Just look at the great things he has done for you! 25 But if you continue to do evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”