The First Book of Samuel

Chapter 9

Saul despairing to find his father's donkeys, 1-5, by the counsel of his servant, 6-10, and direction of young women, 11-14, according to God's revelation, 15-17, comes to Samuel, 18. Samuel entertains Saul at the feast, 19-24. Samuel, after secret communication, brings Saul on his way, 25-27.

1 Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a mighty man of power. 2 And he had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome young man. And there was not among the children of Israel a more handsome person than he was. From his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.

3 And the donkeys of Kish, Saul's father, were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, "Now take one of the servants with you and arise and go seek the donkeys." 4 And he passed through mount Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalisha, but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shalim, and they were not there. And he passed through the land of the Benjaminites, but they did not find them.

5 And when they had come to the land of Zuf, Saul said to his servant who was with him, "Come, and let us return, lest my father cease caring for the donkeys and be anxious for us." 6 And he said to him, "Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honorable man. All that he says surely comes to pass. Now let us go there. It may be that he can show us our way that we should go." 7 Then Saul said to his servant, "But behold, if we go, what shall we bring to the man? For the bread is spent in our vessels and there is not a present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?" 8 And the servant answered Saul again and said, "Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver. I will give that to the man of God to tell us our way." 9 (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spoke: "Come, and let us go to the seer." For he who is now called a Prophet was formerly called a Seer.) 10 Then Saul said to his servant, "Well said. Come, let us go." So they went to the city where the man of God was.

11 And as they went up the hill to the city, they found young women going out to draw water and said to them, "Is the seer here?" 12 And they answered them and said, "He is. Behold, he is before you. Make haste now, for he came today to the city, for there is a sacrifice of the people today in the high place. 13 As soon as you enter the city, you will immediately find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes because he blesses the sacrifice. And afterward, those who are invited will eat. Now therefore, go up, for about this time you will find him." 14 And they went up into the city. And when they had come into the city, behold, Samuel came out to meet them, to go up to the high place.

15 Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying, 16 "Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man out of the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be captain over my people Israel so that he may save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have looked upon my people because their cry has come to me." 17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said to him, "Behold the man of whom I spoke to you! This one shall reign over my people." 18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate and said, "Tell me, I pray you, where the seer's house is." 19 And Samuel answered Saul and said, "I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today. And tomorrow I will let you go and tell you all that is in your heart. 20 And as for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on you and on all your father's house?" 21 And Saul answered and said, "Am I not a Benjaminite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And is my family not the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me in this manner?"

22 And Samuel took Saul and his servant, brought them into the chamber, and made them sit in the chief place among those who were invited, who were about thirty persons. 23 And Samuel said to the cook, "Bring the portion which I gave you, of which I said to you, 'Set it by you.'" 24 And the cook took up the shoulder and that which was upon it and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, "Behold that which is left! Set it before you and eat, because it has been kept for you for the appointed time, for I said, 'I have invited the people.'" So Saul ate with Samuel that day.

25 And when they had come down from the high place into the city, Samuel communed with Saul upon the top of the house. 26 And they rose early, and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, "Arise so that I may send you away." And Saul arose, and the both of them went out—he and Samuel—abroad. 27 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, "Bid the servant pass on before us"—and he passed on—"but stand still a while so that I may show you the word of God."


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Samuel, Chapter 9[➚]


[v.21] - Saul's reply to Samuel is very similar to Gideon's reply to the angel of the Lord. God chooses from the least to rule the greatest in order to bypass man's traditions. See the comment for Judges 6:15. Reference, Luke 9:48.