Bible: 1 Samuel 8-12

Israel Seeks a King

8:1 In his old age Samuel appointed his sons as judges over Israel. 8:2 The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second son was Abijah. They were judges in Beer Sheba. 8:3 But his sons did not follow 1  his ways. Instead, they made money dishonestly, accepted bribes, and perverted justice. 2 

8:4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and approached Samuel at Ramah. 8:5 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 3  us, just like all the other nations have.”

8:6 But this request displeased Samuel, for 4  they said, “Give us a king to lead us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 8:7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Do everything the people request of you. 5  For it is not you that they have rejected, but it is me that they have rejected as their king. 8:8 Just as they have done 6  from the day that I brought them up from Egypt until this very day, they have rejected me and have served other gods. This is what they are also doing to you. 8:9 So now do as they say. 7  But seriously warn 8  them and make them aware of the policies of the king who will rule over them.” 9 

8:10 So Samuel spoke all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 8:11 He said, “Here are the policies of the king who will rule over you: He will conscript your sons and put them in his chariot forces and in his cavalry; they will run in front of his chariot. 8:12 He will appoint for himself leaders of thousands and leaders of fifties, 10  as well as those who plow his ground, reap his harvest, and make his weapons of war and his chariot equipment. 8:13 He will take your daughters to be ointment makers, cooks, and bakers. 8:14 He will take your best fields and vineyards and give them to his own servants. 8:15 He will demand a tenth of your seed and of the produce of your vineyards and give it to his administrators 11  and his servants. 8:16 He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best cattle and your donkeys, and assign them for his own use. 8:17 He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will be his servants. 8:18 In that day you will cry out because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord won’t answer you in that day.” 12 

8:19 But the people refused to heed Samuel’s warning. 13  Instead they said, “No! There will be a king over us! 8:20 We will be like all the other nations. Our king will judge us and lead us 14  and fight our battles.”

8:21 So Samuel listened to everything the people said and then reported it to the Lord. 15  8:22 The Lord said to Samuel, “Do as they say 16  and install a king over them.” Then Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Each of you go back to his own city.”

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. 9:2 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.

9:3 The donkeys of Saul’s father Kish wandered off, 17  so Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go 18  look for the donkeys.” 19  9:4 So Saul 20  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.

9:5 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! 9:6 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. 21  Now let’s go there. Perhaps he will tell us where we should go from here.” 22  9:7 So Saul said to his servant, “All right, 23  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? 9:8 The servant went on to answer Saul, “Look, I happen to have in my hand a quarter shekel 24  of silver. I will give it to the man of God and he will tell us where we should go.” 25  9:9 (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.) 9:10 So Saul said to his servant, “That’s a good idea! 26  Come on. Let’s go.” So they went to the town where the man of God was.

9:11 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? 9:12 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. 9:13 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 27  this is the time when you can find him!

9:14 So they went up to the town. As they were heading for the middle of the town, Samuel was coming in their direction 28  to go up to the high place. 9:15 Now the day before Saul arrived, the Lord had told 29  Samuel: 9:16 At this time tomorrow I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin. You must consecrate 30  him as a leader over my people Israel. He will save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have looked with favor on my people. Their cry has reached me!

9:17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said, 31 Here is the man that I told you about! He will rule over my people.” 9:18 As Saul approached Samuel in the middle of the gate, he said, “Please tell me where the seer’s house is.”

9:19 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. 32  9:20 Don’t be concerned 33  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? 34 

9:21 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?

9:22 Then Samuel brought 35  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. 9:23 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.”

9:24 So the cook picked up the leg and brought it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel 36  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.

9:25 When they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof. 9:26 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. 9:27 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. 37  Samuel then said, 38  “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 39  head. Samuel 40  kissed him and said, “The Lord has chosen you 41  to lead his people Israel! You will rule over the Lord’s people and you will deliver them from the power of the enemies who surround them. This will be your sign that the Lord has chosen 42  you as leader over his inheritance. 43  10:2 When you leave me today, you will find two men near Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah on Benjamin’s border. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you have gone looking for have been found. Your father is no longer concerned about the donkeys but has become anxious about you two! 44  He is asking, “What should I do about my son?”’

10:3As 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 45  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. 10:4 They will ask you how you’re doing and will give you two loaves of bread. You will accept them. 10:5 Afterward you will go to Gibeah of God, where there are Philistine officials. 46  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. 10:6 Then the spirit of the Lord will rush upon you and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person.

10:7When these signs have taken place, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God will be with you. 47  10:8 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

10:9 As Saul 48  turned 49  to leave Samuel, God changed his inmost person. 50  All these signs happened on that very day. 10:10 When Saul and his servant 51  arrived at Gibeah, a company of prophets was coming out to meet him. Then the spirit of God rushed upon Saul 52  and he prophesied among them. 10:11 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?

10:12 A man who was from there replied, “And who is their father?” Therefore this became a proverb: “Is even Saul among the prophets? 10:13 When Saul 53  had finished prophesying, he went to the high place.

10:14 Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where did you go?” Saul 54  replied, “To look for the donkeys. But when we realized they were lost, 55  we went to Samuel.” 10:15 Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.” 56  10:16 Saul said to his uncle, “He assured us that the donkeys had been found.” But Saul 57  did not tell him what Samuel had said about the matter of kingship.

10:17 Then Samuel called the people together before the Lord at Mizpah. 10:18 He said to the Israelites, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘I brought Israel up from Egypt and I delivered you from the power 58  of the Egyptians and from the power of all the kingdoms that oppressed you. 10:19 But today you have rejected your God who saves you from all your trouble and distress. You have said, “No! 59  Appoint a king over us.” Now take your positions before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.’

10:20 Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. 10:21 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. 10:22 So they inquired again of the Lord, “Has the man arrived here yet?” The Lord said, “He has hidden himself among the equipment.” 60 

10:23 So they ran and brought him from there. When he took his position among the people, he stood head and shoulders above them all. 10:24 Then Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the one whom the Lord has chosen? Indeed, there is no one like him among all the people!” All the people shouted out, “Long live the king!

10:25 Then Samuel talked to the people about how the kingship would work. 61  He wrote it all down on a scroll and set it before the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people away to their homes. 10:26 Even Saul went to his home in Gibeah. With him went some brave men whose hearts God had touched. 10:27 But some wicked men 62  said, “How can this man save us?” They despised him and did not even bring him a gift. But Saul said nothing about it. 63 

11:1

Saul Comes to the Aid of Jabesh

64 

Nahash 65  the Ammonite marched 66  against Jabesh Gilead. All the men of Jabesh Gilead said to Nahash, “Make a treaty with us and we will serve you.”

11:2 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!

11:3 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.”

11:4 When the messengers went to Gibeah (where Saul lived) 67  and informed the people of these matters, all the people wept loudly. 68  11:5 Now Saul was walking behind the 69  oxen as he came from the field. Saul asked, “What has happened to the people? Why are they weeping?” So they told him about 70  the men of Jabesh.

11:6 The Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and he became very angry. 11:7 He took a pair 71  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 Lord fell on the people, and they went out as one army. 72  11:8 When Saul counted them at Bezek, the Israelites were 300,000 73  strong and the men of Judah numbered 30,000. 74 

11:9 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. 11:10 The men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you 75  and you can do with us whatever you wish.” 76 

11:11 The next day Saul placed the people in three groups. They went to the Ammonite camp during the morning watch and struck them 77  down until the hottest part of the day. The survivors scattered; no two of them remained together.

Saul Is Established as King

11:12 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! 11:13 But Saul said, “No one will be killed on this day. For today the Lord has given Israel a victory! 11:14 Samuel said to the people, “Come on! Let’s go to Gilgal and renew the kingship there.” 11:15 So all the people went to Gilgal, where 78  they established Saul as king in the Lord’s presence. They offered up peace offerings there in the Lord’s presence. Saul and all the Israelites were very happy.

12:1 Samuel said to all Israel, “I have done 79  everything you requested. 80  I have given you a king. 81  12:2 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. 12:3 Here I am. Bring a charge against me before the Lord and before his chosen king. 82  Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I wronged? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I taken a bribe so that I would overlook something? Tell me, 83  and I will return it to you!

12:4 They replied, “You have not wronged us or oppressed us. You have not taken anything from the hand of anyone.” 12:5 He said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and his chosen king 84  is witness this day, that you have not found any reason to accuse me.” 85  They said, “He is witness!

12:6 Samuel said to the people, “The Lord is the one who chose Moses and Aaron and who brought your ancestors 86  up from the land of Egypt. 12:7 Now take your positions, so I may confront you 87  before the Lord regarding all the Lord’s just actions toward you and your ancestors. 88  12:8 When Jacob entered Egypt, your ancestors cried out to the Lord. The Lord sent Moses and Aaron, and they led your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.

12:9But they forgot the Lord their God, so he gave 89  them into the hand of Sisera, the general in command of Hazor’s 90  army, 91  and into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 12:10 Then they cried out to the Lord and admitted, 92 We have sinned, for we have forsaken the Lord and have served the Baals and the images of Ashtoreth. 93  Now deliver us from the hand of our enemies so that we may serve you.’ 94  12:11 So the Lord sent Jerub-Baal, 95  Barak, 96  Jephthah, and Samuel, 97  and he delivered you from the hand of the enemies all around you, and you were able to live securely.

12:12When 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 Lord your God is your king! 12:13 Now look! Here is the king you have chosen – the one that you asked for! Look, the Lord has given you a king! 12:14 If you fear the Lord, serving him and obeying him 98  and not rebelling against what he says, 99  and if both you and the king who rules over you follow the Lord your God, all will be well. 100  12:15 But if you don’t obey 101  the Lord and rebel against what the Lord says, the hand of the Lord will be against both you and your king. 102 

12:16So now, take your positions and watch this great thing that the Lord is about to do in your sight. 12:17 Is this not the time of the wheat harvest? I will call on the Lord so that he makes it thunder and rain. Realize and see what a great sin you have committed before the Lord by asking for a king for yourselves.”

12:18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord made it thunder and rain that day. All the people were very afraid of both the Lord and Samuel. 12:19 All the people said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God on behalf of us – your servants – so we won’t die, for we have added to all our sins by asking for a king.” 103 

12:20 Then Samuel said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. You have indeed sinned. 104  However, don’t turn aside from the Lord. Serve the Lord with all your heart. 12:21 You should not turn aside after empty things that can’t profit and can’t deliver, since they are empty. 105  12:22 The Lord will not abandon his people because he wants to uphold his great reputation. 106  The Lord was pleased to make you his own people. 12:23 As far as I am concerned, far be it from me to sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you! I will instruct you in the way that is good and upright. 12:24 However, fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Just look at the great things he has done for you! 12:25 But if you continue to do evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”

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