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1 Samuel 7

13 So the Philistines were subdued and they stopped invading Israel’s territory. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines.

14 The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to Israel, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

15 Samuel continued as Israel’s leader all the days of his life.

16 From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places.

17 But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also held court for Israel. And he built an altar there to the Lord.

1 Samuel 8

1

Israel Asks for a King

1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders.[a]

2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba.

3 But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah.

5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead[b] us, such as all the other nations have.”

6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord.

7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.

8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.

9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king.

11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.

12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.

13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.

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

15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.

16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use.

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

18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us.

20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord.

22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”
Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”

1 Samuel 9

1

Samuel Anoints Saul

1 There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin.

2 Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.

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

4 So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them.

5 When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”

6 But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”

7 Saul said to his servant, “If we go, what can we give the man? The food in our sacks is gone. We have no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?”

8 The servant answered him again. “Look,” he said, “I have a quarter of a shekel[d] of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take.”

9 (Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)

10 “Good,” Saul said to his servant. “Come, let’s go.” So they set out for the town where the man of God was.

11 As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water, and they asked them, “Is the seer here?”

12 “He is,” they answered. “He’s ahead of you. Hurry now; he has just come to our town today, for the people have a sacrifice at the high place.

13 As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Go up now; you should find him about this time.”

14 They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place.

15 Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel:

16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked on my people, for their cry has reached me.”

17 When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.”

18 Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”

19 “I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart.

20 As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?”

21 Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?”

22 Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and seated them at the head of those who were invited—about thirty in number.

23 Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.”

24 So the cook took up the thigh with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’” And Saul dined with Samuel that day.

25 After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of his house.

26 They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together.

27 As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”

1 Samuel 10
1 Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance?[e]

2 When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, “What shall I do about my son?”?’

3 “Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to worship God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine.

4 They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them.

5 “After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, timbrels, pipes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying.

6 The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.

7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

8 “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.”

8

Saul Made King

9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day.

10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying.

11 When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

12 A man who lived there answered, “And who is their father?” So it became a saying: “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

13 After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place.

14 Now Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where have you been?”
“Looking for the donkeys,” he said. “But when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.”

15 Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.”

16 Saul replied, “He assured us that the donkeys had been found.” But he did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about the kingship.

17 Samuel summoned the people of Israel to the Lord at Mizpah

18 and said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt and all the kingdoms that oppressed you.’

19 But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your disasters and calamities. And you have said, ‘No, appoint a king over us.’ So now present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans.”

20 When Samuel had all Israel come forward by tribes, the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot.

21 Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri’s clan was taken. Finally Saul son of Kish was taken. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found.

22 So they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?”
And the Lord said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the supplies.”

23 They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others.

24 Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.”
Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

25 Samuel explained to the people the rights and duties of kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the Lord. Then Samuel dismissed the people to go to their own homes.

26 Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.

27 But some scoundrels said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent.

1 Samuel 11

1

Saul Rescues the City of Jabesh

1 Nahash[f] the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead. And all the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty with us, and we will be subject to you.”

2 But Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel.”

3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you.”

4 When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all wept aloud.

5 Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked, “What is wrong with everyone? Why are they weeping?” Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said.

6 When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger.

7 He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, “This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out together as one.

8 When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and those of Judah thirty thousand.

9 They told the messengers who had come, “Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, ‘By the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will be rescued.’” When the messengers went and reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were elated.

10 They said to the Ammonites, “Tomorrow we will surrender to you, and you can do to us whatever you like.”

11 The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

11

Saul Confirmed as King

12 The people then said to Samuel, “Who was it that asked, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Turn these men over to us so that we may put them to death.”

13 But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.”

14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.”

15 So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.

1 Samuel 12

1

Samuel’s Farewell Speech

1 Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you.

2 Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day.

3 Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these things, I will make it right.”

4 “You have not cheated or oppressed us,” they replied. “You have not taken anything from anyone’s hand.”

5 Samuel said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.”
“He is witness,” they said.

6 Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your ancestors up out of Egypt.

7 Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence before the Lord as to all the righteous acts performed by the Lord for you and your ancestors.

8 “After Jacob entered Egypt, they cried to the Lord for help, and the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.

9 “But they forgot the Lord their God; so he sold them into the hand of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them.

10 They cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned; we have forsaken the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths. But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.’

11 Then the Lord sent Jerub-Baal,[g] Barak,[h] Jephthah and Samuel,[i] and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around you, so that you lived in safety.

12 “But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule over us’—even though the Lord your God was your king.

13 Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the Lord has set a king over you.

14 If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God—good!

15 But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.

16 “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!

17 Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call on the Lord to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the Lord when you asked for a king.”

18 Then Samuel called on the Lord, and that same day the Lord sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the Lord and of Samuel.

19 The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”

20 “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.

21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.

22 For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own.

23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.

24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

25 Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.”

1 Samuel 13

1

Samuel Rebukes Saul

1 Saul was thirty[j] years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty-[k] two years.

2 Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Mikmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes.

3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!”

4 So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.

5 The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand[l] chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven.

6 When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns.

7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.
Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear.

8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter.

9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering.

10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.

11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel.
Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash,

12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”

13 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.

14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

15 Then Samuel left Gilgal[m] and went up to Gibeah in Benjamin, and Saul counted the men who were with him. They numbered about six hundred.

15

Israel Without Weapons

16 Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah[n] in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Mikmash.

17 Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual,

18 another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboyim facing the wilderness.

19 Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!”

20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plow points, mattocks, axes and sickles[o] sharpened.

21 The price was two-thirds of a shekel[p] for sharpening plow points and mattocks, and a third of a shekel[q] for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.

22 So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.

22

Jonathan Attacks the Philistines

23 Now a detachment of Philistines had gone out to the pass at Mikmash.

1 Samuel 14
1 One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.

2 Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men,

3 among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left.

4 On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez and the other Seneh.

5 One cliff stood to the north toward Mikmash, the other to the south toward Geba.

6 Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”

7 “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”

8 Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us.

9 If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them.

10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has given them into our hands.”

11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.”

12 The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.”
So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.”

13 Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him.

14 In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.

14

Israel Routs the Philistines

15 Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.[r]

Footnotes:

a. 1 Samuel 8:1 Traditionally judges
b. 1 Samuel 8:5 Traditionally judge; also in verses 6 and 20
c. 1 Samuel 8:16 Septuagint; Hebrew young men
d. 1 Samuel 9:8 That is, about 1/10 ounce or about 3 grams
e. 1 Samuel 10:1 Hebrew; Septuagint and Vulgate over his people Israel? You will reign over the Lord’s people and save them from the power of their enemies round about. And this will be a sign to you that the Lord has anointed you ruler over his inheritance:
f. 1 Samuel 11:1 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls gifts. Now Nahash king of the Ammonites oppressed the Gadites and Reubenites severely. He gouged out all their right eyes and struck terror and dread in Israel. Not a man remained among the Israelites beyond the Jordan whose right eye was not gouged out by Nahash king of the Ammonites, except that seven thousand men fled from the Ammonites and entered Jabesh Gilead. About a month later, Nahash
g. 1 Samuel 12:11 Also called Gideon
h. 1 Samuel 12:11 Some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac; Hebrew Bedan
i. 1 Samuel 12:11 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac Samson
j. 1 Samuel 13:1 A few late manuscripts of the Septuagint; Hebrew does not have thirty.
k. 1 Samuel 13:1 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text (see Acts 13:21); Masoretic Text does not have forty-.
l. 1 Samuel 13:5 Some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac; Hebrew thirty thousand
m. 1 Samuel 13:15 Hebrew; Septuagint Gilgal and went his way; the rest of the people went after Saul to meet the army, and they went out of Gilgal
n. 1 Samuel 13:16 Two Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts Geba, a variant of Gibeah
o. 1 Samuel 13:20 Septuagint; Hebrew plow points
p. 1 Samuel 13:21 That is, about 1/4 ounce or about 8 grams
q. 1 Samuel 13:21 That is, about 1/8 ounce or about 4 grams
r. 1 Samuel 14:15 Or a terrible panic
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