1 Samuel 8:1–9:27

Israel Demands a King

1 And it came about when Samuel was old that ahe appointed his sons judges over Israel.

2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in aBeersheba.

3 His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and atook bribes and perverted justice.

4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at aRamah;

5 and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now aappoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.”

6 But the thing was 1adispleasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And bSamuel prayed to the Lord.

7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for athey have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.

8 “Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.

9 “Now then, listen to their voice; ahowever, you shall solemnly 1warn them and tell them of bthe 2procedure of the king who will reign over them.”

Warning concerning a King

10 So Samuel spoke all the words of the Lord to athe people who had asked of him a king.

11 He said, “aThis will be the 1procedure of the king who will reign over you: bhe will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and cthey will run before his chariots.

12 aHe will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to 1do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.

13 “He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers.

14 aHe will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants.

15 “He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants.

16 “He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and 1use them for his work.

17 “He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants.

18 “Then ayou will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but bthe Lord will not answer you in that day.”

19 Nevertheless, the people arefused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us,

20 athat we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

21 Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, ahe repeated them in the Lord’s hearing.

22 The Lord said to Samuel, “aListen to their voice and 1appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

Chapter 9

Saul’s Search

1 Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was aKish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjamite, a mighty man of 1valor.

2 He had a son whose name was Saul, a achoice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel; bfrom his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people.

3 Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Take now with you one of the servants, and arise, go search for the donkeys.”

4 He passed through athe hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of bShalishah, but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of cShaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they did not find them.

5 When they came to the land of aZuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, and let us return, bor else my father will cease to be concerned about the donkeys and will become anxious for us.”

6 He said to him, “Behold now, there is aa man of God in this city, and the man is held in honor; ball that he says surely comes true. Now let us go there, cperhaps he can tell us about our journey on which we have set out.”

7 Then Saul said to his servant, “But behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? For the bread is gone from our sack and there is ano present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?”

8 The servant answered Saul again and said, “Behold, I have in my hand a fourth of a shekel of silver; I will give it to the man of God and he will atell us our way.”

9 (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, “Come, and let us go to the seer”; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called aa seer.)

10 Then Saul said to his servant, “Well said; come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.

11 As they went up the slope to the city, athey found young women going out to draw water and said to them, “Is the seer here?”

12 They answered them and said, “He is; 1see, he is ahead of you. Hurry now, for he has come into the city today, for athe people have a sacrifice on bthe high place today.

13 “As soon as you enter the city you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat, for the people will not eat until he comes, because ahe must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now therefore, go up for you will find him at once.”

14 So they went up to the city. As they came into the city, behold, Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the high place.

God’s Choice for King

15 Now a day before Saul’s coming, athe Lord had 1revealed this to Samuel saying,

16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and ayou shall anoint him to be prince over My people Israel; and he will deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines. For bI have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me.”

17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord 1said to him, “aBehold, the man of whom I spoke to you! This one shall rule over My people.”

18 Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Please tell me where the seer’s house is.”

19 Samuel answered Saul and said, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and in the morning I will let you go, and will tell you all that is on your mind.

20 aAs for your donkeys which were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And bfor whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s household?”

21 Saul replied, “aAm I not a Benjamite, of bthe smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the 1tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me in this way?”

22 Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who were invited, who were about thirty men.

23 Samuel said to the cook, “1Bring the portion that I gave you, concerning which I said to you, ‘Set it 2aside.’ ”

24 Then the cook atook up the leg with what was on it and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, “Here is what has been reserved! Set it before you and eat, because it has been kept for you until the appointed time, 1since I said I have invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.

25 When they came down from the high place into the city, Samuel spoke with Saul aon the 1roof.

26 And they arose early; and at daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the roof, saying, “Get up, that I may send you away.” So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street.

27 As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Say to the servant that he might go ahead of us and pass on, but you remain standing now, that I may proclaim the word of God to you.”

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