1 Samuel 10

1 Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it out on Saul's head,[a] kissed him, and said, "Hasn't the Lord anointed you ruler over His inheritance?[b]
2 Today when you leave me, you'll find two men at Rachel's Grave[c] at Zelzah in the land of Benjamin. They will say to you, 'The donkeys you went looking for have been found, and now your father has stopped being concerned about the donkeys and is worried about you, asking: What should I do about my son?'
3 "You will proceed from there until you come to the oak of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one bringing three goats, one bringing three loaves of bread, and one bringing a skin of wine.
4 They will ask how you are and give you two [loaves[d] of] bread, which you will accept from them.
5 "After that you will come to the Hill of God[e] where there are Philistine garrisons.[f] When you arrive at the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place prophesying. They will be preceded by harps, tambourines, flutes, and lyres.
6 The Spirit of the Lord will control you, you will prophesy with them, and you will be transformed into a different person.[g]
7 When these signs have happened to you, do whatever your circumstances require[h] because God is with you.
8 Afterwards, go ahead of me to Gilgal. I will come to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice fellowship offerings. Wait seven days until I come to you and show you what to do."
9 When Saul turned around[i] to leave Samuel, God changed his heart,[j] and all the signs came about that day.
10 When Saul and his attendant arrived at Gibeah, a group of prophets met him. Then the Spirit of God took control of him, and he prophesied along with them.
11 Everyone who knew him previously and saw him prophesy with the prophets asked each other, "What has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?"
12 Then a man who was from there asked, "And who is their father?"[k] As a result, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" became a popular saying.
13 Then Saul finished prophesying and went to the high place.
14 Saul's uncle asked him and his attendant, "Where did you go?" "To look for the donkeys," Saul answered. "When we saw they weren't there, we went to Samuel."[l]
15 "Tell me," Saul's uncle asked, "what did Samuel say to you?"
16 Saul told him, "He assured us the donkeys had been found." However, Saul did not tell him what Samuel had said about the matter of kingship.

Saul Received as King

17 Samuel summoned the people to the Lord at Mizpah
18 and said to the Israelites, "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'I brought Israel out of Egypt, and I rescued you from the power of the Egyptians and all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.'
19 But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your troubles and afflictions. You said to Him, 'You[m] must set a king over us.'[n] Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans."
20 Samuel had all the tribes of Israel come forward, and the tribe of Benjamin was selected.
21 Then he had the tribe of Benjamin come forward by its clans, and the Matrite clan was selected.[o] Finally, Saul son of Kish was selected.[p] But when they searched for him, they could not find him.
22 They again inquired of the Lord, "Has the man come here yet?" The Lord replied, "There he is, hidden among the supplies."
23 They ran and got him from there. When he stood among the people, he stood a head taller than anyone else.[q]
24 Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see the one the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among the entire population." And all the people shouted,[r] "Long live the king!"[s]
25 Samuel proclaimed to the people the rights of kingship.[t] He wrote them on a scroll, which he placed in the presence of the Lord.[u] Then, Samuel sent all the people away, each to his home.
26 Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, and brave men whose hearts God had touched went with him.
27 But some wicked men said, "How can this guy save us?" They despised him and did not bring him a gift, but Saul said nothing.[v][w]

1 Samuel 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

Samuel anoints Saul. (1-8) Saul prophesies. (9-16) Saul chosen king. (17-27)

Verses 1-8 The sacred anointing, then used, pointed at the great Messiah, or Anointed One, the King of the church, and High Priest of our profession, who was anointed with the oil of the Spirit, not by measure, but without measure, and above all the priests and princes of the Jewish church. For Saul's further satisfaction, Samuel gives him some signs which should come to pass the same day. The first place he directs him to, was the sepulchre of one of his ancestors; there he must be reminded of his own mortality, and now that he had a crown before him, must think of his grave, in which all his honour would be laid in the dust. From the time of Samuel there appears to have been schools, or places where pious young men were brought up in the knowledge of Divine things. Saul should find himself strongly moved to join with them, and should be turned into another man from what he had been. The Spirit of God changes men, wonderfully transforms them. Saul, by praising God in the communion of saints, became another man, but it may be questioned if he became a new man.

Verses 9-16 The signs Samuel had given Saul, came to pass punctually; he found that God had given him another heart, another disposition of mind. Yet let not an outward show of devotion, and a sudden change for the present, be too much relied on; Saul among the prophets was Saul still. His being anointed was kept private. He leaves it to God to carry on his own work by Samuel, and sits still, to see how the matter will fall.

Verses 17-27 Samuel tells the people, Ye have this day rejected your God. So little fond was Saul now of that power, which soon after, when he possessed it, he could not think of parting with, that he hid himself. It is good to be conscious of our unworthiness and insufficiency for the services to which we are called; but men should not go into the contrary extreme, by refusing the employments to which the Lord and the church call them. The greater part of the people treated the matter with indifference. Saul modestly went home to his own house, but was attended by a band of men whose hearts God disposed to support his authority. If the heart bend at any time the right way, it is because He has touched it. One touch is enough when it is Divine. Others despised him. Thus differently are men affected to our exalted Redeemer. There is a remnant who submit to him, and follow him wherever he goes; they are those whose hearts God has touched, whom he has made willing. But there are others who despise him, who ask, How shall this man save us? They are offended in him, and they will be punished.

Footnotes 23

  • [a]. 2 Kg 9:1-3
  • [b]. LXX adds And you will reign over the Lord's people, and you will save them from the hand of their enemies all around. And this is the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you ruler over his inheritance.
  • [c]. Gn 35:19-20
  • [d]. DSS, LXX read wave offerings
  • [e]. Or to Gibeath-elohim
  • [f]. Or governors
  • [g]. 1 Sm 10:10
  • [h]. Lit do for yourself whatever your hand finds
  • [i]. Lit turned his shoulder
  • [j]. Lit God turned to him another heart
  • [k]. Gn 45:8; Jdg 17:10
  • [l]. 1 Sm 9:4-6
  • [m]. Other Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Vg read You said, 'No, you . . .
  • [n]. 1 Sm 8:19
  • [o]. LXX adds And he had the Matrite clan come forward, man by man.
  • [p]. Jos 7:16-18
  • [q]. Lit people, and he was higher than any of the people from his shoulder and up
  • [r]. LXX reads acknowledged and said
  • [s]. 1 Kg 1:25,34,39
  • [t]. 1 Sm 8:11-17
  • [u]. Dt 17:18-20
  • [v]. DSS add Nahash king of the Ammonites had been severely oppressing the Gadites and Reubenites. He gouged out the right eye of each of them and brought fear and trembling on Israel. Of the Israelites beyond the Jordan none remained whose right eye Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had not gouged out. But there were 7,000 men who had escaped from the Ammonites and entered Jabesh-gilead.
  • [w]. Lit gift, and he was like a mute person

Chapter Summary


In this chapter we read of Saul's being anointed king by Samuel, 1Sa 10:1, and of certain signs given as confirming the same, which should come to pass, and did, before Saul got to his father's house, 1Sa 10:2-13, of his arrival at his father's house, and of what passed between him and his uncle there, 1Sa 10:14-16, of Samuel's calling all Israel together at Mizpeh, and of the election of Saul by lot to be king, and of his being declared such, 1Sa 10:17-25, and of his return to his city, being respected by some, and despised by others, 1Sa 10:26,27.

1 Samuel 10 Commentaries