Bible: 1 Samuel 8-15
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
8:10 So Samuel spoke all the words of the
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
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
9:17 When Samuel saw Saul, the
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
10:3 “As 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
10:7 “When 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
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
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
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
Saul Comes to the Aid of Jabesh
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
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
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
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
12:6 Samuel said to the people, “The
12:9 “But they forgot the
12:12 “When 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
12:16 “So now, take your positions and watch this great thing that the
12:18 So Samuel called to the
12:20 Then Samuel said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. You have indeed sinned. 104 However, don’t turn aside from the
Saul Fails the Lord
13:1 Saul was [thirty] 107 years old when he began to reign; he ruled over Israel for [forty] 108 years. 13:2 Saul selected for himself three thousand men from Israel. Two thousand of these were with Saul at Micmash and in the hill country of Bethel; 109 the remaining thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin. 110 He sent all the rest of the people back home. 111
13:3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost 112 that was at Geba and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul alerted 113 all the land saying, “Let the Hebrews pay attention!” 13:4 All Israel heard this message, 114 “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel is repulsive 115 to the Philistines!” So the people were summoned to join 116 Saul at Gilgal.
13:5 For the battle with Israel the Philistines had amassed 3,000 117 chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven. 13:6 The men of Israel realized they had a problem because their army was hard pressed. So the army hid in caves, thickets, cliffs, strongholds, 118 and cisterns. 13:7 Some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan River 119 to the land of Gad and Gilead. But Saul stayed at Gilgal; the entire army that was with him was terrified. 13:8 He waited for seven days, the time period indicated by Samuel. 120 But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the army began to abandon Saul. 121
13:9 So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” Then he offered a burnt offering. 13:10 Just when he had finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel appeared on the scene. Saul went out to meet him and to greet him. 122
13:11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul replied, “When I saw that the army had started to abandon me 123 and that you didn’t come at the appointed time and that the Philistines had assembled at Micmash, 13:12 I thought, 124 ‘Now the Philistines will come down on me at Gilgal and I have not sought the
13:13 Then Samuel said to Saul, “You have made a foolish choice! You have not obeyed 126 the commandment that the
13:15 Then Samuel set out and went up from Gilgal 131 to Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin. 132 Saul mustered the army that remained with him; there were about six hundred men. 13:16 Saul, his son Jonathan, and the army that remained with them stayed in Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin, while the Philistines camped in Micmash. 133 13:17 Raiding bands went out from the camp of the Philistines in three groups. One band turned toward the road leading to Ophrah by the land of Shual; 13:18 another band turned toward the road leading to Beth Horon; and yet another band turned toward the road leading to the border that overlooks the valley of Zeboim in the direction of the desert.
13:19 A blacksmith could not be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines had said, “This will prevent the Hebrews from making swords and spears.” 13:20 So all Israel had to go down to the Philistines in order to get their plowshares, cutting instruments, axes, and sickles 134 sharpened. 13:21 They charged 135 two-thirds of a shekel 136 to sharpen plowshares and cutting instruments, and a third of a shekel 137 to sharpen picks and axes, and to set ox goads. 13:22 So on the day of the battle no sword or spear was to be found in the hand of anyone in the army that was with Saul and Jonathan. No one but Saul and his son Jonathan had them.
Jonathan Ignites a Battle
13:23 A garrison of the Philistines had gone out to the pass at Micmash. 14:1 Then one day Jonathan son of Saul said to his armor bearer, 138 “Come on, let’s go over to the Philistine garrison that is opposite us.” But he did not let his father know.
14:2 Now Saul was sitting under a pomegranate tree in Migron, on the outskirts of Gibeah. The army that was with him numbered about six hundred men. 14:3 Now Ahijah was carrying 139 an ephod. He was the son of Ahitub, who was the brother of Ichabod and a son of Phineas, son of Eli, the priest of the
14:4 Now there was a steep cliff on each side of the pass through which Jonathan intended to go to reach the Philistine garrison. One cliff was named Bozez, the other Seneh. 14:5 The cliff to the north was closer to Micmash, the one to the south closer to Geba.
14:6 Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised men. Perhaps the
14:8 Jonathan replied, “All right! 143 We’ll go over to these men and fight them. 14:9 If they say to us, ‘Stay put until we approach you,’ we will stay 144 right there and not go up to them. 14:10 But if they say, ‘Come up against us,’ we will go up. For in that case the
14:11 When they 145 made themselves known to the Philistine garrison, the Philistines said, “Look! The Hebrews are coming out of the holes in which they hid themselves.” 14:12 Then the men of the garrison said to Jonathan and his armor bearer, “Come on up to us so we can teach you a thing or two!” 146 Then Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up behind me, for the
14:13 Jonathan crawled up on his hands and feet, with his armor bearer following behind him. Jonathan struck down the Philistines, 148 while his armor bearer came along behind him and killed them. 149 14:14 In this initial skirmish Jonathan and his armor bearer struck down about twenty men in an area that measured half an acre.
14:15 Then fear overwhelmed 150 those who were in the camp, those who were in the field, all the army in the garrison, and the raiding bands. They trembled and the ground shook. This fear was caused by God. 151
14:16 Saul’s watchmen at Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin 152 looked on 153 as the crowd of soldiers seemed to melt away first in one direction and then in another. 154 14:17 So Saul said to the army that was with him, “Muster the troops and see who is no longer with us.” When they mustered the troops, 155 Jonathan and his armor bearer were not there. 14:18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring near the ephod,” 156 for he was at that time wearing the ephod. 157 14:19 While 158 Saul spoke to the priest, the panic in the Philistines’ camp was becoming greater and greater. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand!”
14:20 Saul and all the army that was with him assembled and marched into battle, where they found 159 the Philistines in total panic killing one another with their swords. 160 14:21 The Hebrews who had earlier gone over to the Philistine side 161 joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 14:22 When all the Israelites who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had fled, they too pursued them in battle. 14:23 So the
Jonathan Violates Saul’s Oath
14:24 Now the men of Israel were hard pressed that day, for Saul had made the army agree to this oath: “Cursed be the man who eats food before evening! I will get my vengeance on my enemies!” So no one in the army ate anything.
14:25 Now the whole army 163 entered the forest and there was honey on the ground. 164 14:26 When the army entered the forest, they saw 165 the honey flowing, but no one ate any of it, 166 for the army was afraid of the oath. 14:27 But Jonathan had not heard about the oath his father had made the army take. He extended the end of his staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb. When he ate it, 167 his eyes gleamed. 168 14:28 Then someone from the army informed him, “Your father put the army under a strict oath 169 saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food today!’ That is why the army is tired.” 14:29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has caused trouble for the land. See how my eyes gleamed 170 when I tasted just a little of this honey. 14:30 Certainly if the army had eaten some of the enemies’ provisions that they came across today, would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?”
14:31 On that day the army struck down the Philistines from Micmash to Aijalon, and they became very tired. 14:32 So the army rushed greedily on 171 the 172 plunder, confiscating sheep, cattle, and calves. They slaughtered them right on the ground, and the army ate them blood and all.
14:33 Now it was reported to Saul, “Look, the army is sinning against the
14:36 Saul said, “Let’s go down after the Philistines at night; we will rout 175 them until the break of day. 176 We won’t leave any of them alive!” 177 They replied, “Do whatever seems best to you.” 178 But the priest said, “Let’s approach God here.” 14:37 So Saul asked God, “Should I go down after the Philistines? Will you deliver them into the hand of Israel?” But he did not answer him that day.
14:38 Then Saul said, “All you leaders of the army come here. Find out 179 how this sin occurred today. 14:39 For as surely as the
14:40 Then he said to all Israel, “You will be on one side, and I and my son Jonathan will be on the other side.” The army replied to Saul, “Do whatever you think is best.”
14:41 Then Saul said, “O
14:43 So Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” Jonathan told him, “I used the end of the staff that was in my hand to taste a little honey. I must die!” 184 14:44 Saul said, “God will punish me severely if Jonathan doesn’t die!” 185
14:45 But the army said to Saul, “Should Jonathan, who won this great victory in Israel, die? May it never be! As surely as the
14:46 Then Saul stopped chasing the Philistines, and the Philistines went back home. 187 14:47 After Saul had secured his royal position over Israel, he fought against all their 188 enemies on all sides – the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. In every direction that he turned he was victorious. 189 14:48 He fought bravely, striking down the Amalekites and delivering Israel from the hand of its enemies. 190
Members of Saul’s Family
14:49 The sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malki-Shua. 191 He had two daughters; the older one was named Merab and the younger Michal. 14:50 The name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the general in command of his army was Abner son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. 192 14:51 Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son 193 of Abiel.
14:52 There was fierce war with the Philistines all the days of Saul. So whenever Saul saw anyone who was a warrior or a brave individual, he would conscript him.
Saul Is Rejected as King
15:1 Then Samuel said to Saul, “I was the one the
15:4 So Saul assembled 198 the army 199 and mustered them at Telaim. There were 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah. 15:5 Saul proceeded to the city 200 of Amalek, where he set an ambush 201 in the wadi. 202 15:6 Saul said to the Kenites, “Go on and leave! Go down from among the Amalekites! Otherwise I will sweep you away 203 with them! After all, you were kind to all the Israelites when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites withdrew from among the Amalekites.
15:7 Then Saul struck down the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to 204 Shur, which is next to Egypt. 15:8 He captured King Agag of the Amalekites alive, but he executed all Agag’s people 205 with the sword. 15:9 However, Saul and the army spared Agag, along with the best of the flock, the cattle, the fatlings, 206 and the lambs, as well as everything else that was of value. 207 They were not willing to slaughter them. But they did slaughter everything that was despised 208 and worthless.
15:10 Then the word of the
15:12 Then Samuel got up early to meet Saul the next morning. But Samuel was informed, “Saul has gone to Carmel where 209 he is setting up a monument for himself. Then Samuel left 210 and went down to Gilgal.” 211 15:13 When Samuel came to him, 212 Saul said to him, “May the
15:14 Samuel replied, “If that is the case, 213 then what is this sound of sheep in my ears and the sound of cattle that I hear?” 15:15 Saul said, “They were brought 214 from the Amalekites; the army spared the best of the flocks and cattle to sacrifice to the
15:16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Wait a minute! 215 Let me tell you what the
15:20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed 222 the
15:22 Then Samuel said,
as much as he does in obedience? 224
paying attention is better than 227 the fat of rams.
15:23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and presumption is like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the
he has rejected you as 228 king.”
15:24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have disobeyed what the
15:26 Samuel said to Saul, “I will not go back with you, for you have rejected the word of the
15:27 When Samuel turned to leave, Saul 233 grabbed the edge of his robe and it tore. 15:28 Samuel said to him, “The
Samuel Puts Agag to Death
15:32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me King Agag of the Amalekites.” So Agag came to him trembling, 238 thinking to himself, 239 “Surely death is bitter!” 240 15:33 Samuel said, “Just as your sword left women childless, so your mother will be the most bereaved among women!” Then Samuel hacked Agag to pieces there in Gilgal before the
15:34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, while Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. 15:35 Until the day he 241 died Samuel did not see Saul again. Samuel did, however, mourn for Saul, but the