1 Samuel 9

1 There was a wealthy and influential man named Kish. He was from the tribe of Benjamin. He was the son of Abiel and grandson of Zeror. He belonged to the family of Becorath, a part of the clan of Aphiah.

2 He had a son named Saul. Saul was a handsome young man in the prime of life. Saul was a foot taller than anyone else in Israel and more handsome as well.

3 Some donkeys belonging to Kish wandered off. He said to Saul: »Take one of the servants with you and look for the donkeys.«

4 They went through the mountains of Ephraim and the region of Shalishah, but did not find them. They went on through the region of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then they went through the territory of Benjamin, but still did not find them.

5 When they came to the territory of Zuph, Saul told his servant who was with him: »Let us go back, or my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and worry about us instead.«

6 The servant responded: »There’s a man of God in this city, a highly respected man. Everything he says is sure to happen. Let us go there. Maybe he will tell us which way we should go.«

7 Saul said: »How can we talk to the prophet when I do not have anything to give him? We do not even have any food left in our sacks. What can we give him?«

8 »I have a small piece of silver,« the servant answered. »We can give him that. Then he will tell us where to look for the donkeys.«

9 Formerly in Israel, when a person went to ask God a question, he would say: »Come; let’s go to the seer.« This is because a prophet used to be called a seer.

10 Saul told his servant: »That is a good idea! Come on let us go.« They went to the city where the man of God was.

11 Going up the hill to the city they met girls coming out to get water. They asked the girls: »Is the seer here?«

12 The girls answered: »He is there ahead of you. Hurry! He just went into the city today since the people are offering a sacrifice at the worship site.

13 »As you go into the city, you can find him before he goes to the worship site to eat. The people will not eat until he comes. He blesses the sacrifice. Then those who are invited may eat. You should be able to find him now.«

14 Saul and his servant went to the city. Samuel was coming toward them as they entered. He was on his way to the worship site.

15 Jehovah revealed the following message to Samuel before Saul came:

16 »This time tomorrow I will send you a man from the territory of Benjamin. Anoint him to be ruler of my people Israel. He will save my people from the Philistines. I have seen my people suffering and their cry has reached me.«

17 Samuel noticed Saul. Jehovah told him: »There is the man I told you about. This man will govern my people.«

18 Saul approached Samuel inside the gateway. He said: »Please tell me where the seer’s house is.«

19 Samuel replied: »I’m the seer. Go ahead of me to the worship site. You will eat with me today. In the morning I will let you go after I tell you all that is on your mind.

20 »Do not trouble yourself about the donkeys that were lost three days ago. They have been found. Who will have all that is desirable in Israel? Will it be you and your father’s family?«

21 Saul replied: »I am a man from the tribe of Benjamin. It is the smallest tribe of Israel. My family is the most insignificant of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin. Why are you saying such things to me?«

22 Samuel brought Saul and his servant to the banquet hall. They sat down at the head of thirty guests.

23 Samuel said to the cook: »Bring me the portion of the sacrificial meat that I gave you and told you to set aside.«

24 The cook picked up the leg and thigh and laid it in front of Saul. Samuel said: This was set apart for you. Eat it. When I invited people to the feast, I set it aside for you. So Saul ate with Samuel that day.

25 They left the worship site for the city. They spread blankets and Saul slept on the roof.

26 At dawn Samuel called to Saul on the roof: »Get up! It is time for me to send you away.« Saul got up, and both he and Samuel went outside.

27 As they traveled toward the city limits, Samuel told Saul: »Have the servant go ahead of you.« He went ahead. »You stay here, and I will tell you God’s word.«