1Samuel (NAB) 1
1 1 There was a certain man from Rama-thaim, Elkanah by name, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.2 He had two wives, one named Hannah, the other Peninnah; Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless.3 This man regularly went on pilgrimage from his city to worship the LORD of hosts and to sacrifice to him at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were ministering as priests of the LORD.4 When the day came for Elkanah to offer sacrifice, he used to give a portion each to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters,5 but a double portion to Hannah because he loved her, though the LORD had made her barren.6 Her rival, to upset her, turned it into a constant reproach to her that the LORD had left her barren.7 This went on year after year; each time they made their pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the LORD, Peninnah would approach her, and Hannah would weep and refuse to eat.8 Her husband Elkanah used to ask her: "Hannah, why do you weep, and why do you refuse to eat? Why do you grieve? Am I not more to you than ten sons?"
9 Hannah rose after one such meal at Shiloh, and presented herself before the LORD; at the time, Eli the priest was sitting on a chair near the doorpost of the LORD'S temple.10 In her bitterness she prayed to the LORD, weeping copiously,11 and she made a vow, promising: "O LORD of hosts, if you look with pity on the misery of your handmaid, if you remember me and do not forget me, if you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the LORD for as long as he lives; neither wine nor liquor shall he drink, and no razor shall ever touch his head." 12 As she remained long at prayer before the LORD, Eli watched her mouth,13 for Hannah was praying silently; though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli, thinking her drunk,14 said to her, "How long will you make a drunken show of yourself? Sober up from your wine!"15 "It isn't that, my lord," Hannah answered. "I am an unhappy woman. I have had neither wine nor liquor; I was only pouring out my troubles to the LORD.16 Do not think your handmaid a ne'er-do-well; my prayer has been prompted by my deep sorrow and misery."17 Eli said, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."18 She replied, "Think kindly of your maidservant," and left. She went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and no longer appeared downcast.
19 Early the next morning they worshiped before the LORD, and then returned to their home in Ramah. When Elkanah had relations with his wife Hannah, the LORD remembered her.20 She conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him. 21 The next time her husband Elkanah was going up with the rest of his household to offer the customary sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vows,22 Hannah did not go, explaining to her husband, "Once the child is weaned, I will take him to appear before the LORD and to remain there forever; I will offer him as a perpetual nazirite."23 Her husband Elkanah answered her: "Do what you think best; wait until you have weaned him. Only, may the LORD bring your resolve to fulfillment!" And so she remained at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.24 Once he was weaned, she brought him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and presented him at the temple of the LORD in Shiloh. 25 After the boy's father had sacrificed the young bull, Hannah, his mother, approached Eli26 and said: "Pardon, my lord! As you live my lord, I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD.27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request.28 Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD." She left him there;
2 1 and as she worshiped the LORD, she said: "My heart exults in the LORD, my horn is exalted in my God. I have swallowed up my enemies; I rejoice in my victory.
2 There is no Holy One like the LORD; there in no Rock like our God.
3 "Speak boastfully no longer, nor let arrogance issue from your mouths. For an all-knowing God is the LORD, a God who judges deeds.
4 The bows of the mighty are broken, while the tottering gird on strength.
5 he well-fed hire themselves out for bread, while the hungry batten on spoil. The barren wife bears seven sons, while the mother of many languishes.
6 "The LORD puts to death and gives life; he casts down to the nether world; he raises up again.
7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich, he humbles, he also exalts.
8 He raises the needy from the dust; from the ash heap he lifts up the poor, To seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage. He gives to the vower his vow, and blesses the sleep of the just. "For the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he has set the world upon them.
9 He will guard the footsteps of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall perish in the darkness. For not by strength does man prevail;
10 the LORD'S foes shall be shattered. The Most High in heaven thunders; The LORD judges the ends of the earth, Now may he give strength to his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed!"
11 When Elkanah returned home to Ramah, the child remained in the service of the LORD under the priest Eli.
12 Now the sons of Eli were wicked; they had respect neither for the LORD13 nor for the priests' duties toward the people. When someone offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged fork, while the meat was still boiling,14 and would thrust it into the basin, kettle, caldron, or pot. Whatever the fork brought up, the priest would keep. That is how all the Israelites were treated who came to the sanctuary at Shiloh.15 In fact, even before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man offering the sacrifice, "Give me some meat to roast for the priest. He will not accept boiled meat from you, only raw meat."16 And if the man protested to him, "Let the fat be burned first as is the custom, then take whatever you wish," he would reply, "No, give it to me now, or else I will take it by force."17 Thus the young men sinned grievously in the presence of the LORD; they treated the offerings to the LORD with disdain.
18 Meanwhile the boy Samuel, girt with a linen apron, was serving in the presence of the LORD. 19 His mother used to make a little garment for him, which she would bring him each time she went up with her husband to offer the customary sacrifice.20 And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, as they were leaving for home. He would say, "May the LORD repay you with children from this woman for the gift she has made to the LORD!"21 The LORD favored Hannah so that she conceived and gave birth to three more sons and two daughters, while young Samuel grew up in the service of the LORD.
22 When Eli was very old, he heard repeatedly how his sons were treating all Israel (and that they were having relations with the women serving at the entry of the meeting tent). 23 So he said to them: "Why are you doing such things?24 No, my sons, you must not do these things! It is not a good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading about you.25 If a man sins against another man, one can intercede for him with the LORD; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they disregarded their father's warning, since the LORD had decided on their death.26 Meanwhile, young Samuel was growing in stature and in worth in the estimation of the LORD and of men.
27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him: "This is what the LORD says: 'I went so far as to reveal myself to your father's family when they were in Egypt as slaves to the house of Pharaoh. 28 I chose them out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priests, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the ephod before me; and I assigned all the oblations of the Israelites to your father's family. 29 Why do you keep a greedy eye on my sacrifices and on the offerings which I have prescribed? And why do you honor your sons in preference to me, fattening yourselves with the choicest part of every offering of my people Israel?'30 This, therefore, is the oracle of the LORD, the God of Israel: 'I said in the past that your family and your father's family should minister in my presence forever. But now,' the LORD declares, 'away with this! for I will honor those who honor me, but those who spurn me shall be accursed.31 Yes, the time is coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your father's family, so that no man in your family shall reach old age.32 You shall witness as a disappointed rival all the benefits enjoyed by Israel, but there shall never be an old man in your family.33 I will permit some of your family to remain at my altar, to wear out their eyes in consuming greed; but the rest of the men of your family shall die by the sword.34 You shall have a sign in what will happen to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: both shall die on the same day.35 I will choose a faithful priest who shall do what I have in heart and mind. I will establish a lasting house for him which shall function in the presence of my anointed forever.36 Then whoever is left of your family will come to grovel before him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread, and will say: Appoint me, I beg you, to a priestly function, that I may have a morsel of bread to eat.'"
3 1 During the time young Samuel was minister to the LORD under Eli, a revelation of the LORD was uncommon and vision infrequent. 2 One day Eli was asleep in his usual place. His eyes had lately grown so weak that he could not see.3 The lamp of God was not yet extinguished, and Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was.4 The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, "Here I am."5 He ran to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me." "I did not call you," Eli said. "Go back to sleep." So he went back to sleep.6 Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli. "Here I am," he said. "You called me." But he answered, "I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep."7 At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD, because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.8 The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, "Here I am. You called me." Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.9 So he said to Samuel, "Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" When Samuel went to sleep in his place,10 the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, "Samuel, Samuel!" Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
11 The LORD said to Samuel: "I am about to do something in Israel that will cause the ears of everyone who hears it to ring.12 On that day I will carry out in full against Eli everything I threatened against his family.13 I announce to him that I am condemning his family once and for all, because of this crime: though he knew his sons were blaspheming God, he did not reprove them.14 Therefore, I swear to the family of Eli that no sacrifice or offering will ever expiate its crime."15 Samuel then slept until morning, when he got up early and opened the doors of the temple of the LORD. He feared to tell Eli the vision,16 but Eli called to him, "Samuel, my son!" He replied, "Here I am."17 Then Eli asked, "What did he say to you? Hide nothing from me! May God do thus and so to you if you hide a single thing he told you." 18 So Samuel told him everything, and held nothing back. Eli answered, "He is the LORD. He will do what he judges best."
19 Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.20 Thus all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba came to know that Samuel was an accredited prophet of the LORD.21 The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh; he manifested himself to Samuel at Shiloh through his word,
4 1 and Samuel spoke to all Israel. At that time, the Philistines gathered for an attack on Israel. Israel went out to engage them in battle and camped at Ebenezer, while the Philistines camped at Aphek.
2 The Philistines then drew up in battle formation against Israel. After a fierce struggle Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who slew about four thousand men on the battlefield.3 When the troops retired to the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why has the LORD permitted us to be defeated today by the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the LORD from Shiloh that it may go into battle among us and save us from the grasp of our enemies."4 So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the LORD of hosts, who is enthroned upon the cherubim. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were with the ark of God. 5 When the ark of the LORD arrived in the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth resounded.6 The Philistines, hearing the noise of shouting, asked, "What can this loud shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?" On learning that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp,7 the Philistines were frightened. They said, "Gods have come to their camp." They said also, "Woe to us! This has never happened before.8 Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods that struck the Egyptians with various plagues and with pestilence. 9 Take courage and be manly, Philistines; otherwise you will become slaves to the Hebrews, as they were your slaves. So fight manfully!"
10 The Philistines fought and Israel was defeated; every man fled to his own tent. It was a disastrous defeat, in which Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers.11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were among the dead.
12 A Benjaminite fled from the battlefield and reached Shiloh that same day, with his clothes torn and his head covered with dirt.13 When he arrived, Eli was sitting in his chair beside the gate, watching the road, for he was troubled at heart about the ark of God. The man, however, went into the city to divulge his news, which put the whole city in an uproar.14 Hearing the outcry of the men standing near him, Eli inquired, "What does this commotion mean?"15 (Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes would not focus, so that he could not see.)16 The man quickly came up to Eli and said, "It is I who have come from the battlefield; I fled from there today." He asked, "What happened, my son?"17 And the messenger answered: "Israel fled from the Philistines; in fact, the troops suffered heavy losses. Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are among the dead, and the ark of God has been captured."18 At this mention of the ark of God, Eli fell backward from his chair into the gateway; since he was an old man and heavy, he died of a broken neck. He had judged Israel for forty years.
19 His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was with child and at the point of giving birth. When she heard the news concerning the capture of the ark and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband, she was seized with the pangs of labor, and gave birth.20 She was about to die when the women standing around her said to her, "Never fear! You have given birth to a son." Yet she neither answered nor paid any attention.21 (She named the child Ichabod, saying, "Gone is the glory from Israel," with reference to the capture of the ark of God and to her father-in-law and her husband.)22 She said, "Gone is the glory from Israel," because the ark of God had been captured.
5 1 The Philistines, having captured the ark of God, transferred it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.2 They then took the ark of God and brought it into the temple of Dagon, placing it beside Dagon.3 When the people of Ashdod rose early the next morning, Dagon was lying prone on the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they picked Dagon up and replaced him.4 But the next morning early, when they arose, Dagon lay prone on the ground before the ark of the LORD, his head and hands broken off and lying on the threshold, his trunk alone intact.5 For this reason, neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter the temple of Dagon tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this very day; they always step over it.
6 Now the LORD dealt severely with the people of Ashdod. He ravaged and afflicted the city and its vicinity with hemorrhoids; he brought upon the city a great and deadly plague of mice that swarmed in their ships and overran their fields. 7 On seeing how matters stood, the men of Ashdod decided, "The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for he is handling us and our god Dagon severely."8 So they summoned all the Philistine lords and inquired of them, "What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?" The men of Gath replied, "Let them move the ark of the God of Israel on to us."9 So they moved the ark of the God of Israel to Gath! But after it had been brought there, the LORD threw the city into utter turmoil: he afflicted its inhabitants, young and old, and hemorrhoids broke out on them.10 The ark of God was next sent to Ekron; but as it entered that city, the people there cried out, "Why have they brought the ark of the God of Israel here to kill us and our kindred?"11 Then they, too, sent a summons to all the Philistine lords and pleaded: "Send away the ark of the God of Israel. Let it return to its own place, that it may not kill us and our kindred." A deadly panic had seized the whole city, since the hand of God had been very heavy upon it.12 Those who escaped death were afflicted with hemorrhoids, and the outcry from the city went up to the heavens.
6 1 The ark of the LORD had been in the land of the Philistines seven months2 when they summoned priests and fortune-tellers to ask, "What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us what we should send back with it."3 They replied: "If you intend to send away the ark of the God of Israel, you must not send it alone, but must, by all means, make amends to him through a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and will learn why he continues to afflict you." 4 When asked further, "What guilt offering should be our amends to him?", they replied: "Five golden hemorrhoids and five golden mice to correspond to the number of Philistine lords, since the same plague has struck all of you and your lords.5 Therefore, make images of the hemorrhoids and of the mice that are infesting your land and give them as a tribute to the God of Israel. Perhaps then he will cease to afflict you, your gods, and your land.6 Why should you become stubborn, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh were stubborn? Was it not after he had dealt ruthlessly with them that the Israelites were released and departed?7 So now set to work and make a new cart. Then take two milch cows that have not borne the yoke; hitch them to the cart, but drive their calves indoors away from them.8 You shall next take the ark of the LORD and place it on the cart, putting in a box beside it the golden articles that you are offering, as amends for your guilt. Start it on its way, and let it go.9 Then watch! If it goes to Beth-shemesh along the route to his own territory, he has brought this great calamity upon us; if not, we will know it was not he who struck us, but that an accident happened to us."
10 They acted upon this advice. Taking two milch cows, they hitched them to the cart but shut up their calves indoors.11 Then they placed the ark of the LORD on the cart, along with the box containing the golden mice and the images of the hemorrhoids.12 The cows went straight for the route to Beth-shemesh and continued along this road, mooing as they went, without turning right or left. The Philistine lords followed them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh.13 The people of Beth-shemesh were harvesting the wheat in the valley. When they looked up and spied the ark, they greeted it with rejoicing.14 The cart came to the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite and stopped there. At a large stone in the field, the wood of the cart was split up and the cows were offered as a holocaust to the LORD.15 The Levites, meanwhile, had taken down the ark of God and the box beside it, in which the golden articles were, and had placed them on the great stone. The men of Beth-shemesh also offered other holocausts and sacrifices to the LORD that day.16 After witnessing this, the five Philistine lords returned to Ekron the same day.17 The golden hemorrhoids the Philistines sent back as a guilt offering to the LORD were as follows: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, and one for Ekron.18 The golden mice, however, corresponded to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, including fortified cities and open villages. The large stone on which the ark of the LORD was placed is still in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite at the present time.
19 The descendants of Jeconiah did not join in the celebration with the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh when they greeted the ark of the LORD, and seventy of them were struck down. The people went into mourning at this great calamity with which the LORD had afflicted them.20 The men of Beth-shemesh asked, "Who can stand in the presence of this Holy One? To whom shall he go from us?"21 They then sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, "The Philistines have returned the ark of the LORD; come down and get it."
7 1 So the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim came for the ark of the LORD and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, appointing his son Eleazar as guardian of the ark of the LORD.
2 From the day the ark came to rest in Kiriath-jearim a long time-twenty years-elapsed, and the whole Israelite population turned to the LORD.
3 Samuel said to them: "If you wish with your whole heart to return to the LORD, put away your foreign gods and your Ashtaroth, devote yourselves to the LORD, and worship him alone. Then he will deliver you from the power of the Philistines."4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtaroth, and worshiped the LORD alone.5 Samuel then gave orders, "Gather all Israel to Mizpah, that I may pray to the LORD for you."6 When they were gathered at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out on the ground before the LORD, and they fasted that day, confessing, "We have sinned against the LORD." It was at Mizpah that Samuel began to judge the Israelites.
7 When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered at Mizpah, their lords went up against Israel. Hearing this, the Israelites became afraid of the Philistines8 and said to Samuel, "Implore the LORD our God unceasingly for us, to save us from the clutches of the Philistines."9 Samuel therefore took an unweaned lamb and offered it entire as a holocaust to the LORD. He implored the LORD for Israel, and the LORD heard him.10 While Samuel was offering the holocaust, the Philistines advanced to join battle with Israel. That day, however, the LORD thundered loudly against the Philistines, and threw them into such confusion that they were defeated by Israel.11 Thereupon the Israelites sallied forth from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, harrying them down beyond Beth-car.12 Samuel then took a stone and placed it between Mizpah and Jeshanah; he named it Ebenezer, explaining, "To this point the LORD helped us."
13 Thus were the Philistines subdued, never again to enter the territory of Israel, for the LORD was severe with them as long as Samuel lived.14 The cities from Ekron to Gath which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to them. Israel also freed the territory of these cities from the dominion of the Philistines. Moreover there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.15 Samuel judged Israel as long as he lived.16 He made a yearly journey, passing through Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpah and judging Israel at each of these sanctuaries.17 Then he used to return to Ramah, for that was his home. There, too, he judged Israel and built an altar to the LORD.
8 1 In his old age Samuel appointed his sons judges over Israel. 2 His first-born was named Joel, his second son, Abijah; they judged at Beer-sheba.3 His sons did not follow his example but sought illicit gain and accepted bribes, perverting justice.
4 Therefore all the elders of Israel came in a body to Samuel at Ramah5 and said to him, "Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us."6 Samuel was displeased when they asked for a king to judge them. He prayed to the LORD, however,7 who said in answer: "Grant the people's every request. It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king.8 As they have treated me constantly from the day I brought them up from Egypt to this day, deserting me and worshiping strange gods, so do they treat you too.9 Now grant their request; but at the same time, warn them solemnly and inform them of the rights of the king who will rule them."10 Samuel delivered the message of the LORD in full to those who were asking him for a king.11 He told them: "The rights of the king who will rule you will be as follows: He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses, and they will run before his chariot.12 He will also appoint from among them his commanders of groups of a thousand and of a hundred soldiers. He will set them to do his plowing and his harvesting, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots.13 He will use your daughters as ointment-makers, as cooks, and as bakers.14 He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his officials.15 He will tithe your crops and your vineyards, and give the revenue to his eunuchs and his slaves.16 He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best oxen and your asses, and use them to do his work.17 He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves.18 When this takes place, you will complain against the king whom you have chosen, but on that day the LORD will not answer you."
19 The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel's warning and said, "Not so! There must be a king over us.20 We too must be like other nations, with a king to rule us and to lead us in warfare and fight our battles."21 When Samuel had listened to all the people had to say, he repeated it to the LORD,22 who then said to him, "Grant their request and appoint a king to rule them." Samuel thereupon said to the men of Israel, "Each of you go to his own city."
9 1 There was a stalwart man from Benjamin named Kish, who was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite.2 He had a son named Saul, who was a handsome young man. There was no other Israelite handsomer than Saul; he stood head and shoulders above the people.
3 Now the asses of Saul's father, Kish, had wandered off. Kish said to his son Saul, "Take one of the servants with you and go out and hunt for the asses."4 Accordingly they went through the hill country of Ephraim, and through the land of Shalishah. Not finding them there, they continued through the land of Shaalim without success. They also went through the land of Benjamin, but they failed to find the animals.5 When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, "Come, let us turn back, lest my father forget about the asses and become anxious about us."6 The servant replied, "Listen! There is a man of God in this city, a man held in high esteem; all that he says is sure to come true. Let us go there now! Perhaps he can tell us how to accomplish our errand."7 But Saul said to his servant, "If we go, what can we offer the man? There is no bread in our bags, and we have no present to give the man of God. What have we?"8 Again the servant answered Saul, "I have a quarter of a silver shekel. If I give that to the man of God, he will tell us our way." 9 (In former times in Israel, anyone who went to consult God used to say, "Come, let us go to the seer." For he who is now called prophet was formerly called seer.) 10 Saul then said to his servant, "Well said! Come on, let us go!" And they went to the city where the man of God lived.
11 As they were going up the ascent to the city, they met some girls coming out to draw water and inquired of them, "Is the seer in town?"12 The girls answered, "Yes, there-- straight ahead. Hurry now; just today he came to the city, because the people have a sacrifice today on the high place. 13 When you enter the city, you may reach him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not eat until he arrives; only after he blesses the sacrifice will the invited guests eat. Go up immediately, for you should find him right now."14 So they went up to the city. As they entered it, Samuel was coming toward them on his way to the high place.15 The day before Saul's arrival, the LORD had given Samuel the revelation:16 "At this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin whom you are to anoint as commander of my people Israel. He shall save my people from the clutches of the Philistines, for I have witnessed their misery and accepted their cry for help."17 When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the LORD assured him, "This is the man of whom I told you; he is to govern my people."
18 Saul met Samuel in the gateway and said, "Please tell me where the seer lives."19 Samuel answered Saul: "I am the seer. Go up ahead of me to the high place and eat with me today. In the morning, before dismissing you, I will tell you whatever you wish.20 As for the asses you lost three days ago, do not worry about them, for they have been found. Whom does Israel desire ardently if not you and your father's family?"21 Saul replied: "Am I not a Benjaminite, of one of the smallest tribes of Israel, and is not my clan the least among the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why say such things to me?"22 Samuel then took Saul and his servant and brought them to the room, where he placed them at the head of the guests, of whom there were about thirty.23 He said to the cook, "Bring the portion I gave you and told you to put aside."24 So the cook took up the leg and what went with it, and placed it before Saul. Samuel said: "This is a reserved portion that has been set before you. Eat, for it was kept for you until your arrival; I explained that I was inviting some guests." Thus Saul dined with Samuel that day. 25 When they came down from the high place into the city, a mattress was spread for Saul on the roof,26 and he slept there. At daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the roof, "Get up, and I will start you on your journey." Saul rose, and he and Samuel went outside the city together.
27 As they were approaching the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell the servant to go on ahead of us, but stay here yourself for the moment, that I may give you a message from God."
10 1 Then, from a flask he had with him, Samuel poured oil on Saul's head; he also kissed him, saying: "The LORD anoints you commander over his heritage. You are to govern the LORD'S people Israel, and to save them from the grasp of their enemies round about. "This will be the sign for you that the LORD has anointed you commander over his heritage:2 When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel's tomb at Zelzah in the territory of Benjamin, who will say to you, 'The asses you went to look for have been found. Your father is no longer worried about the asses, but is anxious about you and says, What shall I do about my son?' 3 Farther on, when you arrive at the terebinth of Tabor, you will be met by three men going up to God at Bethel; one will be bringing three kids, another three loaves of bread, and the third a skin of wine.4 They will greet you and offer you two wave offerings of bread, which you will take from them.5 After that you will come to Gibeath-elohim, where there is a garrison of the Philistines. As you enter that city, you will meet a band of prophets, in a prophetic state, coming down from the high place preceded by lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps. 6 The spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will join them in their prophetic state and will be changed into another man.7 When you see these signs fulfilled, do whatever you judge feasible, because God is with you.8 Now go down ahead of me to Gilgal, for I shall come down to you, to offer holocausts and to sacrifice peace offerings. Wait seven days until I come to you; I shall then tell you what you must do."
9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. That very day all these signs came to pass....10 When they were going from there to Gibeah, a band of prophets met him, and the spirit of God rushed upon him, so that he joined them in their prophetic state. 11 When all who had known him previously saw him in a prophetic state among the prophets, they said to one another, "What has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?"12 And someone from that district added, "And who is their father?" Thus the proverb arose, "Is Saul also among the prophets?"13 When he came out of the prophetic state, he went home.14 Saul's uncle inquired of him and his servant, "Where have you been?" Saul replied, "To look for the asses. When we could not find them, we went to Samuel."15 Then Saul's uncle said, "Tell me, then, what Samuel said to you."16 Saul said to his uncle, "He assured us that the asses had been found." But he mentioned nothing to him of what Samuel had said about the kingship.
17 Samuel called the people together to the LORD at Mizpah18 and addressed the Israelites: "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'It was I who brought Israel up from Egypt and delivered you from the power of the Egyptians and from the power of all the kingdoms that oppressed you.'19 But today you have rejected your God, who delivers you from all your evils and calamities, by saying to him, 'Not so, but you must appoint a king over us.' Now, therefore, take your stand before the LORD according to tribes and families."20 So Samuel had all the tribes of Israel come forward, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen.21 Next he had the tribe of Benjamin come forward in clans, and the clan of Matri was chosen, and finally Saul, son of Kish, was chosen. But they looked for him in vain.22 Again they consulted the LORD, "Has he come here?" The LORD answered, "He is hiding among the baggage."23 They ran to bring him from there; and when he stood among the people, he was head and shoulders above all the crowd.24 Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see the man whom the LORD has chosen? There is none like him among all the people!" Then all the people shouted, "Long live the king!"25 Samuel next explained to the people the law of royalty and wrote it in a book, which he placed in the presence of the LORD. This done, Samuel dismissed the people, each to his own place. 26 Saul also went home to Gibeah, accompanied by warriors whose hearts the LORD had touched.27 But certain worthless men said, "How can this fellow save us?" They despised him and brought him no present.
1Samuel (NAB) 1