1 Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it over Saul’s head. He kissed Saul and said, “I am doing this because the LORD has appointed you to be the ruler over Israel, his special possession. 2 When you leave me today, you will see two men beside Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah, on the border of Benjamin. They will tell you that the donkeys have been found and that your father has stopped worrying about them and is now worried about you. He is asking, ‘Have you seen my son?’ 3 “When you get to the oak of Tabor, you will see three men coming toward you who are on their way to worship God at Bethel. One will be bringing three young goats, another will have three loaves of bread, and the third will be carrying a wineskin full of wine. 4 They will greet you and offer you two of the loaves, which you are to accept. 5 “When you arrive at Gibeah of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying. 6 At that time the Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person. 7 After these signs take place, do what must be done, for God is with you. 8 Then go down to Gilgal ahead of me. I will join you there to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. You must wait for seven days until I arrive and give you further instructions.” 9 As Saul turned and started to leave, God gave him a new heart, and all Samuel’s signs were fulfilled that day. 10 When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, they saw a group of prophets coming toward them. Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he, too, began to prophesy. 11 When those who knew Saul heard about it, they exclaimed, “What? Is even Saul a prophet? How did the son of Kish become a prophet?” 12 And one of those standing there said, “Can anyone become a prophet, no matter who his father is?” So that is the origin of the saying “Is even Saul a prophet?” 13 When Saul had finished prophesying, he went up to the place of worship. 14 “Where have you been?” Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant. “We were looking for the donkeys,” Saul replied, “but we couldn’t find them. So we went to Samuel to ask him where they were.” 15 “Oh? And what did he say?” his uncle asked. 16 “He told us that the donkeys had already been found,” Saul replied. But Saul didn’t tell his uncle what Samuel said about the kingdom. 17 Later Samuel called all the people of Israel to meet before the LORD at Mizpah. 18 And he said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, has declared: I brought you from Egypt and rescued you from the Egyptians and from all of the nations that were oppressing you. 19 But though I have rescued you from your misery and distress, you have rejected your God today and have said, ‘No, we want a king instead!’ Now, therefore, present yourselves before the LORD by tribes and clans.” 20 So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel before the LORD, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. 21 Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the LORD, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! 22 So they asked the LORD, “Where is he?” And the LORD replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” 23 So they found him and brought him out, and he stood head and shoulders above anyone else. 24 Then Samuel said to all the people, “This is the man the LORD has chosen as your king. No one in all Israel is like him!” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!” 25 Then Samuel told the people what the rights and duties of a king were. He wrote them down on a scroll and placed it before the LORD . Then Samuel sent the people home again. 26 When Saul returned to his home at Gibeah, a group of men whose hearts God had touched went with him. 27 But there were some scoundrels who complained, “How can this man save us?” And they scorned him and refused to bring him gifts. But Saul ignored them. [Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had been grievously oppressing the people of Gad and Reuben who lived east of the Jordan River. He gouged out the right eye of each of the Israelites living there, and he didn’t allow anyone to come and rescue them. In fact, of all the Israelites east of the Jordan, there wasn’t a single one whose right eye Nahash had not gouged out. But there were 7,000 men who had escaped from the Ammonites, and they had settled in Jabesh-gilead.]
1 About a month later, King Nahash of Ammon led his army against the Israelite town of Jabesh-gilead. But all the citizens of Jabesh asked for peace. “Make a treaty with us, and we will be your servants,” they pleaded. 2 “All right,” Nahash said, “but only on one condition. I will gouge out the right eye of every one of you as a disgrace to all Israel!” 3 “Give us seven days to send messengers throughout Israel!” replied the elders of Jabesh. “If no one comes to save us, we will agree to your terms.” 4 When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the people about their plight, everyone broke into tears. 5 Saul had been plowing a field with his oxen, and when he returned to town, he asked, “What’s the matter? Why is everyone crying?” So they told him about the message from Jabesh. 6 Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he became very angry. 7 He took two oxen and cut them into pieces and sent the messengers to carry them throughout Israel with this message: “This is what will happen to the oxen of anyone who refuses to follow Saul and Samuel into battle!” And the LORD made the people afraid of Saul’s anger, and all of them came out together as one. 8 When Saul mobilized them at Bezek, he found that there were 300,000 men from Israel and 30,000 men from Judah. 9 So Saul sent the messengers back to Jabesh-gilead to say, “We will rescue you by noontime tomorrow!” There was great joy throughout the town when that message arrived! 10 The men of Jabesh then told their enemies, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you can do to us whatever you wish.” 11 But before dawn the next morning, Saul arrived, having divided his army into three detachments. He launched a surprise attack against the Ammonites and slaughtered them the whole morning. The remnant of their army was so badly scattered that no two of them were left together. 12 Then the people exclaimed to Samuel, “Now where are those men who said, ‘Why should Saul rule over us?’ Bring them here, and we will kill them!” 13 But Saul replied, “No one will be executed today, for today the LORD has rescued Israel!” 14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us all go to Gilgal to renew the kingdom.” 15 So they all went to Gilgal, and in a solemn ceremony before the LORD they made Saul king. Then they offered peace offerings to the LORD, and Saul and all the Israelites were filled with joy.
1 Then Samuel addressed all Israel: “I have done as you asked and given you a king. 2 Your king is now your leader. I stand here before you—an old, gray-haired man—and my sons serve you. I have served as your leader from the time I was a boy to this very day. 3 Now testify against me in the presence of the LORD and before his anointed one. Whose ox or donkey have I stolen? Have I ever cheated any of you? Have I ever oppressed you? Have I ever taken a bribe and perverted justice? Tell me and I will make right whatever I have done wrong.” 4 “No,” they replied, “you have never cheated or oppressed us, and you have never taken even a single bribe.” 5 “The LORD and his anointed one are my witnesses today,” Samuel declared, “that my hands are clean.” “Yes, he is a witness,” they replied. 6 “It was the LORD who appointed Moses and Aaron,” Samuel continued. “He brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt. 7 Now stand here quietly before the LORD as I remind you of all the great things the LORD has done for you and your ancestors. 8 “When the Israelites were in Egypt and cried out to the LORD, he sent Moses and Aaron to rescue them from Egypt and to bring them into this land. 9 But the people soon forgot about the LORD their God, so he handed them over to Sisera, the commander of Hazor’s army, and also to the Philistines and to the king of Moab, who fought against them. 10 “Then they cried to the LORD again and confessed, ‘We have sinned by turning away from the LORD and worshiping the images of Baal and Ashtoreth. But we will worship you and you alone if you will rescue us from our enemies.’ 11 Then the LORD sent Gideon, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel to save you, and you lived in safety. 12 “But when you were afraid of Nahash, the king of Ammon, you came to me and said that you wanted a king to reign over you, even though the LORD your God was already your king. 13 All right, here is the king you have chosen. You asked for him, and the LORD has granted your request. 14 “Now if you fear and worship the LORD and listen to his voice, and if you do not rebel against the LORD ’s commands, then both you and your king will show that you recognize the LORD as your God. 15 But if you rebel against the LORD ’s commands and refuse to listen to him, then his hand will be as heavy upon you as it was upon your ancestors. 16 “Now stand here and see the great thing the LORD is about to do. 17 You know that it does not rain at this time of the year during the wheat harvest. I will ask the LORD to send thunder and rain today. Then you will realize how wicked you have been in asking the LORD for a king!” 18 So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day. And all the people were terrified of the LORD and of Samuel. 19 “Pray to the LORD your God for us, or we will die!” they all said to Samuel. “For now we have added to our sins by asking for a king.” 20 “Don’t be afraid,” Samuel reassured them. “You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the LORD with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him. 21 Don’t go back to worshiping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you—they are totally useless! 22 The LORD will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the LORD to make you his very own people. 23 “As for me, I will certainly not sin against the LORD by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the LORD and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you. 25 But if you continue to sin, you and your king will be swept away.”
37 The next day, after they had come down the mountain, a large crowd met Jesus. 38 A man in the crowd called out to him, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, my only child. 39 An evil spirit keeps seizing him, making him scream. It throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It batters him and hardly ever leaves him alone. 40 I begged your disciples to cast out the spirit, but they couldn’t do it.” 41 Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you and put up with you?” Then he said to the man, “Bring your son here.” 42 As the boy came forward, the demon knocked him to the ground and threw him into a violent convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit and healed the boy. Then he gave him back to his father. 43 Awe gripped the people as they saw this majestic display of God’s power. Jesus Again Predicts His Death While everyone was marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Listen to me and remember what I say. The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies.” 45 But they didn’t know what he meant. Its significance was hidden from them, so they couldn’t understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about it. 46 Then his disciples began arguing about which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus knew their thoughts, so he brought a little child to his side. 48 Then he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.” 49 John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group.” 50 But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.” 51 As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. 53 But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. 54 When James and John saw this, they said to Jesus, “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up ?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 So they went on to another village. 57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” 59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.” The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” 60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.” 61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” 62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”