1 Samuel 10

Listen to 1 Samuel 10
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 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 4

  • [a]. Greek version reads over Israel. And you will rule over the ’s people and save them from their enemies around them. This will be the sign to you that the has appointed you to be leader over his special possession.
  • [b]. Hebrew Gibeath-haelohim.
  • [c]. Hebrew said, “Who is their father?”
  • [d]. This paragraph, which is not included in the Masoretic Text, is found in Dead Sea Scroll 4QSam .

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST SAMUEL 10

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