1 Samuel 10

Samuel anoints Saul

1 Then Samuel took a jar of oil and he poured the oil over Saul's head. He kissed Saul. He said:

‘The Lord has anointed you as the leader of his people. 2 After you leave me today, you will meet two men. They will be near the place where Abraham buried Rachel's dead body. This is on the edge of Benjamin's land at Zelzah. The men will say:

10:1‘his people’ means the people of Israel.

“Someone has found the donkeys that you were looking for. Your father has stopped thinking about his donkeys. Now his mind is full of trouble. He continues to ask, ‘What can I do about my son?’”’

3 ‘Then you will go on from there until you reach the big tree at Tabor. Three men will meet you there. They are going to the town called Bethel to worship God. One man will carry three young goats. Another man will have three loaves of bread. The third man will have a leather bag full of wine. 4 They will speak to you and they will offer you two loaves of bread. You must accept the bread. 5 Then you must go to the place for worship at the town called Gibeah. A camp of Philistine soldiers is there. Near to the town, you will meet some prophets. They will be coming down from the place for worship. They will be making music with their harps, tambourines, flutes and lyres. And they will be prophesying. 6 The Spirit of the Lord will give his power to you. And you will prophesy too. You will become a different person inside. 7 All these things will happen. Then do whatever you need to do. God is with you.

8 Go in front of me to the town called Gilgal. I will certainly come down to you there. And I will burn sacrifices and I will give fellowship offerings to God. You must wait for seven days. Then I will come. And I will tell you what you should do.’

9 Saul left Samuel and went on his journey. When Saul was leaving, God made him a new person inside. And everything happened in the way that Samuel had spoken. 10 They arrived at Gibeah and a group of prophets met them. The Spirit of God came strongly on Saul. He prophesied with the prophets. 11 Some people there had known Saul for a long time. They saw him when he was prophesying. They asked each other, ‘What has happened to the son of Kish? Has Saul really become a prophet?’

12 A man who lived there asked, ‘Who is the leader of these prophets?’ So it became a proverb: ‘Has Saul really become a prophet?’ 13 When Saul stopped prophesying he went up to the place for worship.

14 Saul's father's brother asked Saul and his servant, ‘Where have you been?’ Saul said, ‘We were looking for the donkeys. We could not find them so we went to visit Samuel.’

15 Saul's father's brother said, ‘What did Samuel say to you?’

16 Saul said, ‘He told us that someone had found the donkeys.’ But Saul did not tell his father's brother that Samuel had talked about the kingdom.

Saul becomes the first king of Israel

17 Samuel sent a message to all Israel's people. He said that they must meet with the Lord at Mizpah. 18 He said to them, ‘This is a message from the Lord, the God of Israel. The Lord says, “I led you Israelites out from Egypt. I saved you from Egypt's people. And I saved you from other people that made you their slaves.” 19 God saved you from all your troubles and from people who hurt you. Now you have refused to obey your God. You said, “No. We want a king to rule us.” So, come and stand in front of the Lord. Stand together in your tribes and as families.’

20 Each tribe went towards Samuel. God chose the tribe of Benjamin. 21 Each family group from the tribe of Benjamin went to him. And God chose the family group of Matri. Then God chose Saul, son of Kish, from the family of Matri. They looked for Saul but nobody could find him. 22 So they asked the Lord, ‘Has Saul come here yet?’ And the Lord said, ‘Yes, but he is hiding among the luggage.’

23 So they ran to Saul and they brought him out. When Saul stood with the people, you could see his head and shoulders above everyone else's head. 24 Samuel said to all the people, ‘Here is the man that the Lord has chosen. There is nobody like him among all the people.’ Then the people shouted, ‘We ask God that the king will live for a long time.’

25 Samuel explained to the people all that a king should be. And he explained all that a king should do. He wrote everything in a scroll. He put the scroll in the holy place in front of the Lord. Then Samuel caused the people to go to their own homes. 26 Saul went to his home at Gibeah. A group of brave men went with him. They went with Saul because God caused them to want to do that. 27 There were some other men who caused trouble. They said, ‘We do not think that this man can save us.’ They did not honour Saul. And they did not bring him any gifts. But Saul did not say anything.