There was an influential man of Benjamin named Kish son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, son of a Benjaminite.
He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man. There was no one more impressive among the Israelites than he. He stood a head taller than anyone else.
One day the donkeys of Saul's father Kish wandered off. Kish said to his son Saul, "Take one of the attendants with you and go look for the donkeys."
Saul and his attendant went through the hill country of Ephraim and then through the region of Shalishah, but they didn't find them. They went through the region of Shaalim-nothing. Then they went through the Benjaminite region but still didn't find them.
When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the attendant who was with him, "Come on, let's go back, or my father will stop [worrying] about the donkeys and start worrying about us."
"Look," the attendant said, "there's a man of God in this city who is highly respected; everything he says is sure to come true. Let's go there now. Maybe he'll tell us which way we should go."
"Suppose we do go," Saul said to his attendant, "what do we take the man? The food from our packs is gone, and there's no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?"
The attendant answered Saul: "Here, I have a piece of silver. I'll give it to the man of God, and he will tell us our way."
Formerly in Israel, a man who was going to inquire of God would say, "Come, let's go to the seer," for the prophet of today was formerly called the seer.
"Good," Saul replied to his attendant. "Come on, let's go." So they went to the city where the man of God was.
As they were climbing the hill to the city, they found some young women coming out to draw water and asked, "Is the seer here?"
The women answered, "Yes, he is ahead of you. Hurry, he just now came to the city, because there's a sacrifice for the people at the high place today.
If you go quickly, you can catch up with him before he goes to the high place to eat. The people won't eat until he comes because he must bless the sacrifice; after that, the guests can eat. Go up immediately-you can find him now."
So they went up toward the city. Saul and his attendant were entering the city when they saw Samuel coming toward them on his way to the high place.
Now the day before Saul's arrival, the Lord had informed Samuel,
"At this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over My people Israel. He will save them from the hand of the Philistines because I have seen [the affliction of] My people, for their cry has come to Me."
When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, "Here is the man I told you about; he will rule over My people."
Saul approached Samuel in the gate area and asked, "Would you please tell me where the seer's house is?"
"I am the seer," Samuel answered. "Go up ahead of me to the high place and eat with me today. When I send you off in the morning, I'll tell you everything that's in your heart.
As for the donkeys that wandered away from you three days ago, don't worry about them because they've been found. And who does all Israel desire but you and all your father's family?"
Saul responded, "Am I not a Benjaminite from the smallest of Israel's tribes and isn't my clan the least important of all the clans of the Benjaminite tribe? So why have you said something like this to me?"
Samuel took Saul and his attendant, brought them to the banquet hall, and gave them a place at the head of the 30 or so men who had been invited.
Then Samuel said to the cook, "Get the portion of meat that I gave you and told you to set aside."
The cook picked up the thigh and what was attached to it and set it before Saul. Then Samuel said, "Notice that the reserved piece is set before you. Eat it because it was saved for you for this solemn event at the time I said, 'I've invited the people.' " So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
Afterwards, they went down from the high place to the city, and Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof.
They got up early, and just before dawn, Samuel called to Saul on the roof, "Get up, and I'll send you on your way!" Saul got up, and both he and Samuel went outside.
As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell the attendant to go on ahead of us, but you stay for awhile, and I'll reveal the word of God to you." So the attendant went on.