March 28

1 Samuel 7:1 — 9:27

7 Accordingly the men of Kiriath-jearim came and brought the ark of Jehovah up and took it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and Eleazar his son was the one whom they sanctified to guard the ark of Jehovah.

2 And it came about that from the day of the Ark’s dwelling in Kiriath-jearim the days kept multiplying, so that they amounted to twenty years, and all the house of Israel went lamenting after Jehovah. 3 And Samuel proceeded to say to all the house of Israel: “If it is with all YOUR heart YOU are returning to Jehovah, put away the foreign gods from YOUR midst and also the Ashtoreth images, and direct YOUR heart unswervingly to Jehovah and serve him alone, and he will deliver YOU from the hand of the Philistines.” 4 At that the sons of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreth images and began serving Jehovah alone.

5 Then Samuel said: “Collect all Israel together at Mizpah, that I may pray in YOUR behalf to Jehovah.” 6 So they were collected together at Mizpah, and they went drawing water and pouring it out before Jehovah and kept a fast on that day. And they began saying there: “We have sinned against Jehovah.” And Samuel took up judging the sons of Israel in Mizpah.

7 And the Philistines came to hear that the sons of Israel had collected themselves together at Mizpah, and the axis lords of the Philistines got on their way up against Israel. When the sons of Israel heard of it, they began to be afraid on account of the Philistines. 8 So the sons of Israel said to Samuel: “Do not keep silent for our sakes from calling to Jehovah our God for aid, that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 Then Samuel took a sucking lamb and offered it up as a burnt offering, a whole offering, to Jehovah; and Samuel began calling to Jehovah for aid in behalf of Israel, and Jehovah proceeded to answer him. 10 And it came about that while Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines themselves drew near for battle against Israel. And Jehovah now caused it to thunder with a loud noise on that day against the Philistines, that he might throw them into confusion; and they got defeated before Israel. 11 At that the men of Israel sallied forth from Mizpah and went in pursuit of the Philistines and kept striking them down as far as south of Beth-car. 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Jeshanah and began to call its name Ebenezer. Accordingly he said: “Till now Jehovah has helped us.” 13 Thus the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel; and the hand of Jehovah continued to be against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 And the cities that the Philistines had taken from Israel kept coming back to Israel from Ekron to Gath, and the territory of them Israel delivered from the hand of the Philistines.

And there came to be peace between Israel and the Amorites.

15 And Samuel kept on judging Israel all the days of his life. 16 And he traveled from year to year and made the circuit of Bethel and Gilgal and Mizpah and judged Israel at all these places. 17 But his return was to Ramah, because there was where his house was, and there he judged Israel. And he proceeded to build an altar there to Jehovah.

8 And it came about that as soon as Samuel had grown old he made appointments of his sons as judges for Israel. 2 Now the name of his firstborn son happened to be Joel, and the name of his second Abijah; they were judging in Beer-sheba. 3 And his sons did not walk in his ways, but they were inclined to follow unjust profit and would accept a bribe and pervert judgment.

4 In time all the older men of Israel collected themselves together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him: “Look! You yourself have grown old, but your own sons have not walked in your ways. Now do appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing was bad in the eyes of Samuel inasmuch as they had said: “Do give us a king to judge us,” and Samuel began to pray to Jehovah. 7 Then Jehovah said to Samuel: “Listen to the voice of the people as respects all that they say to you; for it is not you whom they have rejected, but it is I whom they have rejected from being king over them. 8 In accord with all their doings that they have done from the day of my bringing them up out of Egypt until this day in that they kept leaving me and serving other gods, that is the way they are doing also to you. 9 And now listen to their voice. Only this, that you should solemnly warn them, and you must tell them the rightful due of the king who will reign over them.”

10 So Samuel said all the words of Jehovah to the people who were asking a king of him. 11 And he proceeded to say: “This will become the rightful due of the king that will reign over YOU: YOUR sons he will take and put them as his in his chariots and among his horsemen, and some will have to run before his chariots; 12 and to appoint for himself chiefs over thousands and chiefs over fifties, and [some] to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his war instruments and his chariot instruments. 13 And YOUR daughters he will take for ointment mixers and cooks and bakers. 14 And YOUR fields and YOUR vineyards and YOUR olive groves, the best ones, he will take and actually give to his servants. 15 And of YOUR fields of seed and of YOUR vineyards he will take the tenth, and he will certainly give [them] to his court officials and his servants. 16 And YOUR menservants and YOUR maidservants and YOUR best herds, and YOUR asses he will take, and he will have to use them for his work. 17 Of YOUR flocks he will take the tenth, and YOU yourselves will become his as servants. 18 And YOU will certainly cry out in that day by reason of YOUR king, whom YOU have chosen for yourselves, but Jehovah will not answer YOU in that day.”

19 However, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel and said: “No, but a king is what will come to be over us. 20 And we must become, we also, like all the nations, and our king must judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 And Samuel gave a hearing to all the words of the people; then he spoke them in the ears of Jehovah. 22 And Jehovah proceeded to say to Samuel: “Listen to their voice, and you must cause a king to reign for them.” Accordingly Samuel said to the men of Israel: “Go each one to his city.”

9 Now there happened to be a man of Benjamin, and his name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man mighty in wealth. 2 And he happened to have a son whose name was Saul, young and handsome, and there was no man of the sons of Israel that was handsomer than he; from his shoulders upward he was taller than all the people.

3 And the she-asses belonging to Kish the father of Saul got lost. So Kish said to Saul his son: “Take, please, with you one of the attendants and get up, go, look for the she-asses.” 4 And he went passing through the mountainous region of Ephraim and passing on through the land of Shalishah, and they did not find [them]. And they went passing on through the land of Shaalim, but they were not [there]. And he went passing on through the land of the Benjaminites, and they did not find [them].

5 They themselves came into the land of Zuph; and Saul, for his part, said to his attendant that was with him: “Do come, and let us return, that my father may not quit attending to the she-asses and actually become anxious about us.” 6 But he said to him: “Look, please! There is a man of God in this city, and the man is held in honor. All that he says comes true without fail. Let us go there now. Perhaps he can tell us our way that we must go.” 7 At this Saul said to his attendant: “And if we should go, what shall we bring to the man? because the bread itself has disappeared from our receptacles, and, as a gift, there is nothing to bring to the man of the [true] God. What is there with us?” 8 So the attendant answered Saul once more and said: “Look! There is a quarter of a shekel of silver found in my hand, and I shall have to give it to the man of the [true] God, and he will have to tell us our way.” 9 (In former times in Israel this was the way the man would have talked on his going to seek God: “COME, and let us go to the seer.” For the prophet of today used to be called a seer in former times.) 10 Then Saul said to his attendant: “Your word is good. Do come, let us go.” And they went their way to the city where the man of the [true] God was.

11 While they were going up on the ascent to the city, they themselves found girls going out to draw water. So they said to them: “Is the seer in this place?” 12 Then they answered them and said: “He is. Look! He is ahead of you. Hurry now, because today he has come to the city, for there is a sacrifice today for the people on the high place. 13 As soon as YOU men come into the city, YOU will directly find him before he goes up to the high place to eat; because the people may not eat until his coming, for he is the one that blesses the sacrifice. First after that those who are invited may eat. And now GO up, because him—just now YOU will find him.” 14 Accordingly they went on up to the city. As they were coming into the middle of the city, why, there was Samuel coming out to meet them to go up to the high place.

15 As for Jehovah, he had uncovered the ear of Samuel the day before Saul came, saying: 16 “Tomorrow about this time I shall send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you must anoint him as leader over my people Israel; and he must save my people from the hand of the Philistines, because I have seen [the affliction of] my people, for their outcry has come to me.” 17 And Samuel himself saw Saul, and Jehovah, for his part, answered him: “Here is the man of whom I said to you, ‘This is the one that will keep my people within bounds.’”

18 Then Saul approached Samuel in the middle of the gate and said: “Do tell me, please, Just where is the house of the seer?” 19 And Samuel proceeded to answer Saul and say: “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, and YOU men must eat with me today, and I must send you away in the morning, and all that is in your heart I shall tell you. 20 As regards the she-asses that were lost to you three days ago, do not set your heart on them, for they have been found. And to whom does all that is desirable of Israel belong? Is it not to you and to the whole house of your father?” 21 At this Saul answered and said: “Am I not a Benjaminite of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the most insignificant of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? So why have you spoken to me a thing like this?”

22 Then Samuel took Saul and his attendant and brought them to the dining hall and gave them a place at the head of those invited; and they were about thirty men. 23 Later Samuel said to the cook: “Do give the portion that I have given to you, of which I said to you, ‘Put it away by you.’” 24 At that the cook lifted off the leg and what was on it, and put it before Saul. And he went on to say: “Here is what has been reserved. Put it before yourself. Eat, because to the appointed time they have reserved it for you that you may eat with those invited.” So Saul ate with Samuel on that day. 25 Subsequently they went down from the high place to the city, and he continued speaking with Saul on the housetop. 26 Then they rose early, and it came about that as soon as the dawn ascended Samuel proceeded to call to Saul on the housetop, saying: “Do get up, that I may send you away.” So Saul got up and both of them, he and Samuel, went forth out of doors. 27 While they were descending by the edge of the city Samuel himself said to Saul: “Say to the attendant that he should pass on ahead of us”—so he passed on—“and, as for you, stand still now that I may let you hear the word of God.”