1 Samuel 28:1-25, 30:1-13 1 Samuel 28:1-25, 30:1-13 1 Samuel 28:1-25, 30:1-13 1 Samuel 28:1-25, 30:1-13
1 Samuel 28
28:1 In those days the Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, “Understand that you and your men are to go out with me in the army.” 2 David said to Achish, “Very well, you shall know what your servant can do.” And Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.”
3 Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land. 4 The Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. 6 And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. 7 Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.”
8 So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.” 9 The woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?” 10 But Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” 11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.” 13 The king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming up out of the earth.” 14 He said to her, “What is his appearance?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage.
15 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams. Therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do.” 16 And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done to you as he spoke by me, for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David. 18 Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. 19 Moreover, the Lord will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me. The Lord will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.”
20 Then Saul fell at once full length on the ground, filled with fear because of the words of Samuel. And there was no strength in him, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night. 21 And the woman came to Saul, and when she saw that he was terrified, she said to him, “Behold, your servant has obeyed you. I have taken my life in my hand and have listened to what you have said to me. 22 Now therefore, you also obey your servant. Let me set a morsel of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength when you go on your way.” 23 He refused and said, “I will not eat.” But his servants, together with the woman, urged him, and he listened to their words. So he arose from the earth and sat on the bed. 24 Now the woman had a fattened calf in the house, and she quickly killed it, and she took flour and kneaded it and baked unleavened bread of it, 25 and she put it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they rose and went away that night.
1 Samuel 30:1-13
30:1 Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire 2 and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. 3 And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. 5 David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.” 9 So David set out, and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men. Two hundred stayed behind, who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor.
11 They found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. And they gave him bread and he ate. They gave him water to drink, 12 and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, his spirit revived, for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 And David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago.
Saul Asks To Talk with Samuel's Ghost
1-3 Samuel had died some time earlier, and people from all over Israel had attended his funeral in his hometown of Ramah.
Meanwhile, Saul had been trying to get rid of everyone who spoke with the spirits of the dead. But one day the Philistines brought their soldiers together to attack Israel.
Achish told David, “Of course, you know that you and your men must fight as part of our Philistine army.”
David answered, “That will give you a chance to see for yourself just how well we can fight!”
“In that case,” Achish said, “you and your men will always be my bodyguards.”
4 The Philistines went to Shunem and set up camp. Saul called the army of Israel together, and they set up their camp in Gilboa. 5 Saul took one look at the Philistine army and started shaking with fear. 6 So he asked the Lord what to do. But the Lord would not answer, either in a dream or by a priest or a prophet. 7 Then Saul told his officers, “Find me a woman who can talk to the spirits of the dead. I'll go to her and find out what's going to happen.”
His servants told him, “There's a woman at Endor who can talk to spirits of the dead.”
8 That night, Saul put on different clothing so nobody would recognize him. Then he and two of his men went to the woman, and asked, “Will you bring up the ghost of someone for us?”
9 The woman said, “Why are you trying to trick me and get me killed? You know King Saul has killed everyone who talks to the spirits of the dead!”
10 Saul replied, “I swear by the living Lord that nothing will happen to you because of this.”
11 “Who do you want me to bring up?” she asked.
“Bring up the ghost of Samuel,” he answered.
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed. Then she turned to Saul and said, “You've tricked me! You're the king!”
13 “Don't be afraid,” Saul replied. “Just tell me what you see.”
She answered, “I see a spirit rising up out of the ground.”
14 “What does it look like?”
“It looks like an old man wearing a robe.”
Saul knew it was Samuel, so he bowed down low.
15 “Why are you bothering me by bringing me up like this?” Samuel asked.
“I'm terribly worried,” Saul answered. “The Philistines are about to attack me. God has turned his back on me and won't answer any more by prophets or by dreams. What should I do?”
16 Samuel said:
If the Lord has turned away from you and is now your enemy, don't ask me what to do. 17 I've already told you: The Lord has sworn to take the kingdom from you and give it to David. And that's just what he's doing! 18 When the Lord was angry with the Amalekites, he told you to destroy them, but you didn't do it. That's why the Lord is doing this to you. 19 Tomorrow the Lord will let the Philistines defeat Israel's army, then you and your sons will join me down here in the world of the dead.
20 At once, Saul collapsed and lay stretched out on the floor, terrified at what Samuel had said. He was weak because he had not eaten anything since the day before.
21 The woman came over to Saul, and when she saw that he was completely terrified, she said, “Your Majesty, I listened to you and risked my life to do what you asked. 22 Now please listen to me. Let me get you a little something to eat. It will give you strength for your walk back to camp.”
23 “No, I won't eat!”
But his officers and the woman kept on urging Saul, until he finally agreed. He got up off the floor and sat on the bed. 24 At once the woman killed a calf that she had been fattening up. She cooked part of the meat and baked some thin bread. 25 Then she served the food to Saul and his officers, who ate and left before daylight.
1 Some time later the Philistines gathered their troops to fight Israel, and Achish said to David, “Of course you understand that you and your men are to fight on my side.”
2 “Of course,” David answered. “I am your servant, and you will see for yourself what I can do.”
Achish said, “Good! I will make you my permanent bodyguard.”
Saul Consults a Medium
3 Now Samuel had died, and all the Israelites had mourned for him and had buried him in his hometown of Ramah. Saul had forced all the fortunetellers and mediums to leave Israel.
4 The Philistine troops assembled and camped near the town of Shunem; Saul gathered the Israelites and camped at Mount Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was terrified, 6 and so he asked the Lord what to do. But the Lord did not answer him at all, either by dreams or by the use of Urim and Thummim or by prophets. 7 Then Saul ordered his officials, “Find me a woman who is a medium, and I will go and consult her.”
“There is one in Endor,” they answered.
8 So Saul disguised himself; he put on different clothes, and after dark he went with two of his men to see the woman. “Consult the spirits for me and tell me what is going to happen,” he said to her. “Call up the spirit of the man I name.”
9 The woman answered, “Surely you know what King Saul has done, how he forced the fortunetellers and mediums to leave Israel. Why, then, are you trying to trap me and get me killed?”
10 Then Saul made a sacred vow. “By the living Lord I promise that you will not be punished for doing this,” he told her.
11 “Whom shall I call up for you?” the woman asked.
“Samuel,” he answered.
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed and said to Saul, “Why have you tricked me? You are King Saul!”
13 “Don't be afraid!” the king said to her. “What do you see?”
“I see a spirit coming up from the earth,” she answered.
14 “What does it look like?” he asked.
“It's an old man coming up,” she answered. “He is wearing a cloak.”
Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed to the ground in respect.
15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me? Why did you make me come back?”
Saul answered, “I am in great trouble! The Philistines are at war with me, and God has abandoned me. He doesn't answer me any more, either by prophets or by dreams. And so I have called you, for you to tell me what I must do.”
16 Samuel said, “Why do you call me when the Lord has abandoned you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done to you what he told you through me: he has taken the kingdom away from you and given it to David instead. 18 You disobeyed the Lord's command and did not completely destroy the Amalekites and all they had. That is why the Lord is doing this to you now. 19 He will give you and Israel over to the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will join me, and the Lord will also give the army of Israel over to the Philistines.”
20 At once Saul fell down and lay stretched out on the ground, terrified by what Samuel had said. He was weak, because he had not eaten anything all day and all night. 21 The woman went over to him and saw that he was terrified, so she said to him, “Please, sir, I risked my life by doing what you asked. 22 Now please do what I ask. Let me fix you some food. You must eat so that you will be strong enough to travel.”
23 Saul refused and said he would not eat anything. But his officers also urged him to eat. He finally gave in, got up from the ground, and sat on the bed. 24 The woman quickly killed a calf which she had been fattening. Then she took some flour, prepared it, and baked some bread without yeast. 25 She set the food before Saul and his officers, and they ate it. And they left that same night.
The Witch of Endor
28:1 In those days the Philistines gathered their troops for war in order to fight Israel. Achish said to David, “You should fully understand that you and your men must go with me into the battle.” 2 David replied to Achish, “That being the case, you will come to know what your servant can do!” Achish said to David, “Then I will make you my bodyguard from now on.”
3 Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had lamented over him and had buried him in Ramah, his hometown. In the meantime Saul had removed the mediums and magicians from the land. 4 The Philistines assembled; they came and camped at Shunem. Saul mustered all Israel and camped at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was absolutely terrified. 6 So Saul inquired of the
8 So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothing and left, accompanied by two of his men. They came to the woman at night and said, “Use your ritual pit to conjure up for me the one I tell you.”
9 But the woman said to him, “Look, you are aware of what Saul has done; he has removed the mediums and magicians from the land! Why are you trapping me so you can put me to death?” 10 But Saul swore an oath to her by the
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out loudly. The woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!” 13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid! What have you seen?” The woman replied to Saul, “I have seen one like a god coming up from the ground!” 14 He said to her, “What about his appearance?” She said, “An old man is coming up! He is wrapped in a robe!”
Then Saul realized it was Samuel, and he bowed his face toward the ground and kneeled down. 15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul replied, “I am terribly troubled! The Philistines are fighting against me and God has turned away from me. He does not answer me – not by the prophets nor by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what I should do.”
16 Samuel said, “Why are you asking me, now that the
20 Saul quickly fell full length on the ground and was very afraid because of Samuel’s words. He was completely drained of energy, not having eaten anything all that day and night. 21 When the woman came to Saul and saw how terrified he was, she said to him, “Your servant has done what you asked. I took my life into my own hands and did what you told me. 22 Now it’s your turn to listen to your servant! Let me set before you a bit of bread so that you can eat. When you regain your strength, you can go on your way.”
23 But he refused, saying, “I won’t eat!” Both his servants and the woman urged him to eat, so he gave in. He got up from the ground and sat down on the bed. 24 Now the woman had a well-fed calf at her home that she quickly slaughtered. Taking some flour, she kneaded bread and baked it without leaven. 25 She brought it to Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they arose and left that same night.
The Witch of Endor
1 In those days the Philistines gathered their troops for war in order to fight Israel. Achish said to David, “You should fully understand that you and your men must go with me into the battle.”
Hannah Gives Birth to Samuel
1:1 There was a man from Ramathaim Zophim, from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah. He was the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives; the name of the first was Hannah and the name of the second was Peninnah. Now Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless.
3 Year after year this man would go up from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the
9 On one occasion in Shiloh, after they had finished eating and drinking, Hannah got up. (Now at the time Eli the priest was sitting in his chair by the doorpost of the
12 As she continued praying to the
15 But Hannah replied, “That’s not the way it is, my lord! I am under a great deal of stress. I have drunk neither wine nor beer. Rather, I have poured out my soul to the
17 Eli replied, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request that you have asked of him.” 18 She said, “May I, your servant, find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and got something to eat. Her face no longer looked sad.
19 They got up early the next morning and after worshiping the
Hannah Dedicates Samuel to the Lord
21 This man Elkanah went up with all his family to make the yearly sacrifice to the
23 So her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what you think best. Stay until you have weaned him. May the
So the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him. 24 Once she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with three bulls, an ephah of flour, and a container of wine. She brought him to the
Hannah Exalts the Lord in Prayer
2:1 Hannah prayed,
“My heart rejoices in the
my horn is exalted high because of the
I loudly denounce my enemies,
for I am happy that you delivered me.
2 No one is holy like the
There is no one other than you!
There is no rock like our God!
3 Don’t keep speaking so arrogantly,
letting proud talk come out of your mouth!
he evaluates what people do.
4 The bows of warriors are shattered,
but those who stumble find their strength reinforced.
5 Those who are well-fed hire themselves out to earn food,
but the hungry no longer lack.
Even the barren woman gives birth to seven,
but the one with many children withers away.
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
he humbles and he exalts.
8 He lifts the weak from the dust;
he raises the poor from the ash heap
to seat them with princes
and to bestow on them an honored position.
The foundations of the earth belong to the
and he has placed the world on them.
9 He watches over his holy ones,
but the wicked are made speechless in the darkness,
for it is not by one’s own strength that one prevails.
he thunders against them from the heavens.
He will strengthen his king
and exalt the power of his anointed one.”
11 Then Elkanah went back home to Ramah. But the boy was serving the
Eli’s Sons Misuse Their Sacred Office
12 The sons of Eli were wicked men. They did not recognize the
15 Even before they burned the fat, the priest’s attendant would come and say to the person who was making the sacrifice, “Hand over some meat for the priest to roast! He won’t take boiled meat from you, but only raw.” 16 If the individual said to him, “First let the fat be burned away, and then take for yourself whatever you wish,” he would say, “No! Hand it over right now! If you don’t, I will take it forcibly!”
17 The sin of these young men was very great in the
18 Now Samuel was ministering before the
22 Now Eli was very old when he heard about everything that his sons used to do to all the people of Israel and how they used to have sex with the women who were stationed at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 He said to them, “Why do you behave in this way? For I hear about these evil things from all these people. 24 This ought not to be, my sons! For the report that I hear circulating among the
26 Now the boy Samuel was growing up and finding favor both with the
The Lord Judges the House of Eli
27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the
30 Therefore the
The Call of Samuel
3:1 Now the boy Samuel continued serving the
2 Eli’s eyes had begun to fail, so that he was unable to see well. At that time he was lying down in his place, 3 and the lamp of God had not yet been extinguished. Samuel was lying down in the temple of the
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the
10 Then the
15 So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the
18 So Samuel told him everything. He did not hold back anything from him. Eli said, “The
The Ark of the Covenant is Lost to the Philistines
Then the Israelites went out to fight the Philistines. They camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines camped at Aphek. 2 The Philistines arranged their forces to fight Israel. As the battle spread out, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men in the battle line in the field.
3 When the army came back to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why did the
4 So the army sent to Shiloh, and they took from there the ark of the covenant of the
6 When the Philistines heard the sound of the shout, they said, “What is this loud shout in the camp of the Hebrews?” Then they realized that the ark of the
10 So the Philistines fought. Israel was defeated; they all ran home. The slaughter was very great; thirty thousand foot soldiers fell in battle. 11 The ark of God was taken, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas, were killed.
12 On that day a Benjaminite ran from the battle lines and came to Shiloh. His clothes were torn and dirt was on his head. 13 When he arrived in Shiloh, Eli was sitting in his chair watching by the side of the road, for he was very worried about the ark of God. As the man entered the city to give his report, the whole city cried out.
14 When Eli heard the outcry, he said, “What is this commotion?” The man quickly came and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes looked straight ahead; he was unable to see.
16 The man said to Eli, “I am the one who came from the battle lines! Just today I fled from the battle lines!” Eli asked, “How did things go, my son?” 17 The messenger replied, “Israel has fled from the Philistines! The army has suffered a great defeat! Your two sons, Hophni and Phineas, are dead! The ark of God has been captured!”
18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward from his chair beside the gate. He broke his neck and died, for he was old and heavy. He had judged Israel for forty years.
19 His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phineas, was pregnant and close to giving birth. When she heard that the ark of God was captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she doubled over and gave birth. But her labor pains were too much for her. 20 As she was dying, the women who were there with her said, “Don’t be afraid! You have given birth to a son!” But she did not reply or pay any attention.
21 She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” referring to the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, because the ark of God has been captured.”
The Ark Causes Trouble for the Philistines
5:1 Now the Philistines had captured the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 The Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the temple of Dagon, where they positioned it beside Dagon. 3 When the residents of Ashdod got up early the next day, Dagon was lying on the ground before the ark of the
8 So they assembled all the leaders of the Philistines and asked, “What should we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” They replied, “The ark of the God of Israel should be moved to Gath.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel.
9 But after it had been moved the
But when the ark of God arrived at Ekron, the residents of Ekron cried out saying, “They have brought the ark of the God of Israel here to kill our people!” 11 So they assembled all the leaders of the Philistines and said, “Get the ark of the God of Israel out of here! Let it go back to its own place so that it won’t kill us and our people!” The terror of death was throughout the entire city; God was attacking them very severely there. 12 The people who did not die were struck with sores; the city’s cry for help went all the way up to heaven.
The Philistines Return the Ark
6:1 When the ark of the
3 They replied, “If you are going to send the ark of the God of Israel back, don’t send it away empty. Be sure to return it with a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and you will understand why his hand is not removed from you.” 4 They inquired, “What is the guilt offering that we should send to him?”
They replied, “The Philistine leaders number five. So send five gold sores and five gold mice, for it is the same plague that has afflicted both you and your leaders. 5 You should make images of the sores and images of the mice that are destroying the land. You should honor the God of Israel. Perhaps he will release his grip on you, your gods, and your land. 6 Why harden your hearts like the Egyptians and Pharaoh did? When God treated them harshly, didn’t the Egyptians send the Israelites on their way? 7 So now go and make a new cart. Get two cows that have calves and that have never had a yoke placed on them. Harness the cows to the cart and take their calves from them back to their stalls. 8 Then take the ark of the
10 So the men did as instructed. They took two cows that had calves and harnessed them to a cart; they also removed their calves to their stalls. 11 They put the ark of the
13 Now the residents of Beth Shemesh were harvesting wheat in the valley. When they looked up and saw the ark, they were pleased at the sight. 14 The cart was coming to the field of Joshua, who was from Beth Shemesh. It paused there near a big stone. Then they cut up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the
17 These are the gold sores that the Philistines brought as a guilt offering to the
19 But the
21 So they sent messengers to the residents of Kiriath Jearim, saying, “The Philistines have returned the ark of the
7:1 Then the people of Kiriath Jearim came and took the ark of the
Further Conflict with the Philistines
2 It was quite a long time – some twenty years in all – that the ark stayed at Kiriath Jearim. All the people of Israel longed for the
5 Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the
7 When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered at Mizpah, the leaders of the Philistines went up against Israel. When the Israelites heard about this, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 The Israelites said to Samuel, “Keep crying out to the
10 As Samuel was offering burnt offerings, the Philistines approached to do battle with Israel. But on that day the
12 Samuel took a stone and placed it between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Up to here the
14 The cities that the Philistines had captured from Israel were returned to Israel, from Ekron to Gath. Israel also delivered their territory from the control of the Philistines. There was also peace between Israel and the Amorites. 15 So Samuel led Israel all the days of his life. 16 Year after year he used to travel the circuit of Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah; he used to judge Israel in all of these places. 17 Then he would return to Ramah, because his home was there. He also judged Israel there and built an altar to the
Israel Seeks a King
8:1 In his old age Samuel appointed his sons as judges over Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second son was Abijah. They were judges in Beer Sheba. 3 But his sons did not follow his ways. Instead, they made money dishonestly, accepted bribes, and perverted justice.
4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and approached Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons don’t follow your ways. So now appoint over us a king to lead us, just like all the other nations have.”
6 But this request displeased Samuel, for they said, “Give us a king to lead us.” So Samuel prayed to the
10 So Samuel spoke all the words of the
19 But the people refused to heed Samuel’s warning. Instead they said, “No! There will be a king over us! 20 We will be like all the other nations. Our king will judge us and lead us and fight our battles.”
21 So Samuel listened to everything the people said and then reported it to the
Samuel Meets with Saul
9:1 There was a Benjaminite man named Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. He was a prominent person. 2 He had a son named Saul, a handsome young man. There was no one among the Israelites more handsome than he was; he stood head and shoulders above all the people.
3 The donkeys of Saul’s father Kish wandered off, so Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go look for the donkeys.” 4 So Saul crossed through the hill country of Ephraim, passing through the land of Shalisha, but they did not find them. So they crossed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he crossed through the land of Benjamin, and still they did not find them.
5 When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come on, let’s head back before my father quits worrying about the donkeys and becomes anxious about us!” 6 But the servant said to him, “Look, there is a man of God in this town. He is highly respected. Everything that he says really happens. Now let’s go there. Perhaps he will tell us where we should go from here.” 7 So Saul said to his servant, “All right, we can go. But what can we bring the man, since the food in our bags is used up? We have no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?” 8 The servant went on to answer Saul, “Look, I happen to have in my hand a quarter shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God and he will tell us where we should go.” 9 (Now it used to be in Israel that whenever someone went to inquire of God he would say, “Come on, let’s go to the seer.” For today’s prophet used to be called a seer.) 10 So Saul said to his servant, “That’s a good idea! Come on. Let’s go.” So they went to the town where the man of God was.
11 As they were going up the ascent to the town, they met some girls coming out to draw water. They said to them, “Is this where the seer is?” 12 They replied, “Yes, straight ahead! But hurry now, for he came to the town today, and the people are making a sacrifice at the high place. 13 When you enter the town, you can find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people won’t eat until he arrives, for he must bless the sacrifice. Once that happens, those who have been invited will eat. Now go on up, for this is the time when you can find him!”
14 So they went up to the town. As they were heading for the middle of the town, Samuel was coming in their direction to go up to the high place. 15 Now the day before Saul arrived, the
17 When Samuel saw Saul, the
19 Samuel replied to Saul, “I am the seer! Go up in front of me to the high place! Today you will eat with me and in the morning I will send you away. I will tell you everything that you are thinking. 20 Don’t be concerned about the donkeys that you lost three days ago, for they have been found. Whom does all Israel desire? Is it not you, and all your father’s family?”
21 Saul replied, “Am I not a Benjaminite, from the smallest of Israel’s tribes, and is not my family clan the smallest of all the tribes of Benjamin? Why do you speak to me in this way?”
22 Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the room and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited. There were about thirty people present. 23 Samuel said to the cook, “Give me the portion of meat that I gave to you – the one I asked you to keep with you.”
24 So the cook picked up the leg and brought it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “What was kept is now set before you! Eat, for it has been kept for you for this meeting time, from the time I said, ‘I have invited the people.’” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
25 When they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof. 26 They got up at dawn and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get up, so I can send you on your way.” So Saul got up and the two of them – he and Samuel – went outside. 27 While they were going down to the edge of town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us.” So he did. Samuel then said, “You remain here awhile, so I can inform you of God’s message.”
Samuel Anoints Saul
10:1 Then Samuel took a small container of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head. Samuel kissed him and said, “The
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 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. 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
7 “When these signs have taken place, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God will be with you. 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.”
Saul Becomes King
9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed his inmost person. All these signs happened on that very day. 10 When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a company of prophets was coming out to meet him. Then the spirit of God rushed upon Saul 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 had finished prophesying, he went to the high place.
14 Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where did you go?” Saul replied, “To look for the donkeys. But when we realized they were lost, we went to Samuel.” 15 Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.” 16 Saul said to his uncle, “He assured us that the donkeys had been found.” But Saul did not tell him what Samuel had said about the matter of kingship.
17 Then Samuel called the people together before the
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
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
25 Then Samuel talked to the people about how the kingship would work. He wrote it all down on a scroll and set it before the
Saul Comes to the Aid of Jabesh
11:1 Nahash the Ammonite marched 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) and informed the people of these matters, all the people wept loudly. 5 Now Saul was walking behind the oxen as he came from the field. Saul asked, “What has happened to the people? Why are they weeping?” So they told him about 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 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
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 and you can do with us whatever you wish.”
11 The next day Saul placed the people in three groups. They went to the Ammonite camp during the morning watch and struck them down until the hottest part of the day. The survivors scattered; no two of them remained together.
Saul Is Established as King
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
12:1 Samuel said to all Israel, “I have done everything you requested. I have given you a king. 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
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
6 Samuel said to the people, “The
9 “But they forgot the
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
16 “So now, take your positions and watch this great thing that the
18 So Samuel called to the
20 Then Samuel said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. You have indeed sinned. However, don’t turn aside from the
Saul Fails the Lord
13:1 Saul was [thirty] years old when he began to reign; he ruled over Israel for [forty] years. 2 Saul selected for himself three thousand men from Israel. Two thousand of these were with Saul at Micmash and in the hill country of Bethel; the remaining thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin. He sent all the rest of the people back home.
3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost that was at Geba and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul alerted all the land saying, “Let the Hebrews pay attention!” 4 All Israel heard this message, “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel is repulsive to the Philistines!” So the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.
5 For the battle with Israel the Philistines had amassed 3,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven. 6 The men of Israel realized they had a problem because their army was hard pressed. So the army hid in caves, thickets, cliffs, strongholds, and cisterns. 7 Some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan River to the land of Gad and Gilead. But Saul stayed at Gilgal; the entire army that was with him was terrified. 8 He waited for seven days, the time period indicated by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the army began to abandon Saul.
9 So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” Then he offered a burnt offering. 10 Just when he had finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel appeared on the scene. Saul went out to meet him and to greet him.
11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul replied, “When I saw that the army had started to abandon me and that you didn’t come at the appointed time and that the Philistines had assembled at Micmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down on me at Gilgal and I have not sought the
13 Then Samuel said to Saul, “You have made a foolish choice! You have not obeyed the commandment that the
15 Then Samuel set out and went up from Gilgal to Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin. Saul mustered the army that remained with him; there were about six hundred men. 16 Saul, his son Jonathan, and the army that remained with them stayed in Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin, while the Philistines camped in Micmash. 17 Raiding bands went out from the camp of the Philistines in three groups. One band turned toward the road leading to Ophrah by the land of Shual; 18 another band turned toward the road leading to Beth Horon; and yet another band turned toward the road leading to the border that overlooks the valley of Zeboim in the direction of the desert.
19 A blacksmith could not be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines had said, “This will prevent the Hebrews from making swords and spears.” 20 So all Israel had to go down to the Philistines in order to get their plowshares, cutting instruments, axes, and sickles sharpened. 21 They charged two-thirds of a shekel to sharpen plowshares and cutting instruments, and a third of a shekel to sharpen picks and axes, and to set ox goads. 22 So on the day of the battle no sword or spear was to be found in the hand of anyone in the army that was with Saul and Jonathan. No one but Saul and his son Jonathan had them.
Jonathan Ignites a Battle
23 A garrison of the Philistines had gone out to the pass at Micmash.