Samuel took a small jar of oil and poured it over Saul's head and kissed him. "The LORD hereby anoints you leader of his people Israel," Samuel said. "You will rule the LORD's people and save them from the power of the enemies who surround them. And this will be the sign for you that the LORD has anointed you as leader of his very own possession:a2
When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel's tomb at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will tell you, ‘The donkeys you went looking for have been found. Now your father has stopped thinking about the donkeys and is worried about you. He's asking: What should I do about my son?'
Then, when you've gone on a bit farther, you will come to the oak at Tabor. Three men who are going to consult God at Bethel will meet up with you there, one carrying three young goats, one carrying three loaves of bread, and one carrying a jar of wine.
They will ask how you're doing and will offer you sacrificial bread,b which you should accept.
After that, you will come to Gibeath-elohim, which is a Philistine fort. When you enter the town, you will encounter a group of prophets coming down from the shrine preceded by harps, tambourines, flutes, and lyres. They will be caught up in a prophetic frenzy.
Then the LORD's spirit will come over you, and you will be caught up in a prophetic frenzy right along with them; it will be like you've become a completely different person.
Once these signs have happened to you, do whatever you would like to do, because God is with you.
Then go down to Gilgal ahead of me. I'll come down to meet you to offer entirely burned offerings and to make well-being sacrifices. Wait seven days until I get to you, then I'll tell you what you should do next."
And just as Saul turned to leave Samuel's side, God gave him a different heart, and all these signs happened that very same day.
When Saul and the boy got to Gibeah, there was a group of prophets coming to meet him. God's spirit came over Saul, and he was caught up in a prophetic frenzy right along with them.
When all the people who had known Saul saw him prophesying with the prophets, they said to each other, "What's happened to Kish's son? Is Saul also one of the prophets?"
One of the locals then asked, "And who is their leader?"c So it became a proverb: "Is Saul also one of the prophets?"
When the prophetic frenzy was over, Saul went home.d14
Saul's uncle said to him and to his young servant, "Where did you go?" "To look for the donkeys," Saul replied, "but when we couldn't find anything, we went to Samuel."
"Please tell me what Samuel told you," Saul's uncle said.
"He reassured us that the donkeys had been found," Saul answered. But Saul didn't tell his uncle what Samuel had said about the kingship.
Samuel summoned the people to the LORD at Mizpah.
Then he told the Israelites: "This is what the LORD God of Israel says: I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the Egyptians' power and from the power of all the kingdoms that oppressed you.
But today you've rejected your God who saved you from all your troubles and difficulties by saying, ‘No! Appoint a king over us!' So now assemble yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and clans."
Then Samuel brought all the Israelite tribes forward, and the tribe of Benjamin was selected.
Next Samuel brought the tribe of Benjamin forward by its families, and the family of Matri was selected. Samuel then brought the family of Matri forward, person by person,e and Saul, Kish's son, was selected. But when they looked for him, he wasn't to be found.
So they asked another question of the LORD: "Has the man come here yet?" The LORD said, "Yes, he's hiding among the supplies."
They ran and retrieved Saul from there, and when he stood up in the middle of the people, he was head and shoulders taller than anyone else.
"Can you see the one the LORD has chosen?" Samuel asked all the people. "He has no equal among the people." Then the people shouted, "Long live the king!"
Samuel then explained to the people how the monarchy should operatef and wrote it in a scroll and placed it in the LORD's presence. Then Samuel sent every person back to their homes.
Saul also went back to his home in Gibeah. Along with him went courageous men whose hearts God had touched.
But some despicable people said, "How can this man save us?" They despised Saul and didn't bring him gifts, but Saul didn't say anything. gNahash the Ammonite king had been severely oppressing the Gadites and the Reubenites. He gouged out everyone's right eye, thereby not allowing Israel to have a deliverer. There wasn't a single Israelite left across the Jordan River who hadn't had their right eye gouged out by the Ammonite king Nahash. But seven thousand people had escaped from the Ammonites' power and fled to Jabesh-gilead.