1 Samuel 10

Listen to 1 Samuel 10

Saul Anointed King

1 1Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head 2and kissed him and said, "Has not the LORD anointed you to be prince over 3his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the LORD and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the LORD has anointed you to be prince[a] over his heritage.
2 When you depart from me today, you will meet two men by 4Rachel's tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will say to you, 5'The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now 6your father has ceased to care about the donkeys and is anxious about you, saying, "What shall I do about my son?"'
3 Then you shall go on from there farther and come to the 7oak of Tabor. Three men 8going up 9to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine.
4 And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand.
5 After that you shall come to 10Gibeath-elohim,[b]11where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down 12from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying.
6 13Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, 14and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.
7 Now when 15these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, 16for God is with you.
8 Then go down before me 17to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming to you to offer burnt offerings and 18to sacrifice peace offerings. 19Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do."
9 When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day.
10 When they came to 20Gibeah,[c] behold, a group of prophets met him, 21and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them.
11 And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, "What has come over the son of Kish? 22Is Saul also among the prophets?"
12 And a man of the place answered, 23"And who is their father?" Therefore it became a proverb, 24"Is Saul also among the prophets?"
13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.
14 25Saul's uncle said to him and to his servant, "Where did you go?" And he said, 26"To seek the donkeys. And when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel."
15 And Saul's uncle said, "Please tell me what Samuel said to you."
16 And Saul said to his uncle, 27"He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found." But about the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel had spoken, he did not tell him anything.

Saul Proclaimed King

17 Now Samuel called the people together 28to the LORD 29at Mizpah.
18 And he said to the people of Israel, 30"Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.'
19 31But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, 'Set a king over us.' Now therefore 32present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your thousands."
20 Then Samuel 33brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot.
21 He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its clans, and the clan of the Matrites was taken by lot;[d] and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found.
22 34So they inquired again of the LORD, "Is there a man still to come?" and the LORD said, "Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage."
23 Then they ran and took him from there. And when he stood among the people, 35he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward.
24 And Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see him 36whom the LORD has chosen? There is none like him among all the people." And all the people shouted, 37"Long live the king!"
25 Then Samuel told the people 38the rights and duties of the kingship, and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the LORD. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home.
26 Saul also went to his home 39at Gibeah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched.
27 But some 40worthless fellows said, "How can this man save us?" And they despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.

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.

Cross References 40

  • 1. 1 Samuel 9:16; 1 Samuel 16:13; 2 Samuel 2:4; 1 Kings 1:34, 39; 2 Kgs. 9:1, 3, 6
  • 2. [Psalms 2:12]
  • 3. Deuteronomy 32:9; Psalms 78:71
  • 4. Genesis 35:19, 20
  • 5. 1 Samuel 9:3, 4
  • 6. 1 Samuel 9:5
  • 7. Genesis 13:18
  • 8. [Judges 20:31]
  • 9. Genesis 28:22; Genesis 35:1, 3, 7
  • 10. ver. 10
  • 11. 1 Samuel 13:3, 4
  • 12. [1 Samuel 9:12]
  • 13. ver. 10; 1 Samuel 11:6; 1 Samuel 16:13; [Numbers 11:25; Judges 3:10; Judges 14:6, 19]
  • 14. ver. 10; 1 Samuel 19:23, 24
  • 15. Exodus 4:8; Judges 6:17; Luke 2:12
  • 16. Joshua 1:5; Judges 6:12
  • 17. 1 Samuel 11:14, 15; 1 Samuel 13:4
  • 18. 1 Samuel 11:15
  • 19. 1 Samuel 13:8
  • 20. ver. 5
  • 21. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 22. 1 Samuel 19:24; [Matthew 13:54, 55; John 7:15]
  • 23. [Isaiah 54:13; John 6:45]
  • 24. [See ver. 11 above]
  • 25. 1 Samuel 14:50
  • 26. See 1 Samuel 9:4-6
  • 27. 1 Samuel 9:20
  • 28. [1 Samuel 11:15]
  • 29. 1 Samuel 7:5, 6
  • 30. Judges 6:8, 9; [1 Samuel 12:8]
  • 31. 1 Samuel 8:7, 19; 1 Samuel 12:12
  • 32. Joshua 24:1
  • 33. Josh. 7:14, 16, 17
  • 34. See 1 Samuel 22:10
  • 35. 1 Samuel 9:2
  • 36. 2 Samuel 21:6
  • 37. 2 Samuel 16:16; 1 Kings 1:25, 39; 2 Kings 11:12; 2 Chronicles 23:11
  • 38. See 1 Samuel 8:11-18; Deuteronomy 17:14-20
  • 39. 1 Samuel 11:4
  • 40. 1 Samuel 2:12; Deuteronomy 13:13

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Septuagint; Hebrew lacks over his people Israel? And you shall.... to be prince
  • [b]. Gibeath-elohim means the hill of God
  • [c]. Gibeah means the hill
  • [d]. Septuagint adds finally he brought the family of the Matrites near, man by man

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.