1There was a rich and influential man whose name was Kish. He belonged to the tribe descended from Benjamin. Kish was the son of Abiel and the grandson of Zeror. He was from the family of Becorath and from the clan of Aphiah.
2Kish had a son whose name was Saul. He was more handsome than any of the other Israeli men, and he was a head/foot taller than any of the other Israeli men.
3One day, some of Kish's female donkeys wandered off. So Kish told Saul, “Take one of my servants with you, and go and search for the donkeys!”
4So Saul did that. He took a servant, and they walked through the hilly area where the descendants of Ephraim lived, and then they went through the areas named Shalishah and Shaalim, and then they went through all the area where the descendants of Benjamin lived, but they could not find the donkeys.
5Finally, they came to the area of Zuph. Then Saul said to the servant, “Let's go back home. If we do not do that, my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”
6But the servant said, “I have another idea IDM. There is one of God's prophets who lives in this town. People respect him very much, because everything he predicts comes true. Let's go talk to him. Perhaps he can tell us where we can go to find the donkeys.”
7Saul replied to the servant, “If we go talk with him, we should give a gift to him, but what can we give to him? We have no more food in our sacks. Do we have anything else to give to him?”
8The servant replied, “Look at this! I have a small silver coin. I can give this to him, and then he will tell us where to go to find the donkeys.”
9Saul said, “Okay, let's go talk to him.” So they went to the town where the prophet lived. As they were going up the hill into the town, they met some young women who were coming out of the town to get some water from a well. One of them asked the women, “Is the seer in the town today?” They said that because previously, if people in Israel wanted a message from God, they would say, “Let's go to the seer,” and people who now are called prophets were at that time called ❛those who see ◄visions from God/all that God sees►. ❛
12The women replied, “Yes, he is in the town. In fact, he is walking on the road ahead of you. He has just arrived in the town, because the people are going to offer a sacrifice on the altar where the people gather to worship God.
13If you go quickly, you will have time to talk to him before he goes there. The people who have been invited will not start eating until he arrives there and ◄blesses/asks God to bless► the sacrifice.”
14So Saul and the servant entered the town. As they went through the gates, they saw Samuel as he was coming toward them, on the way to where people were going to offer sacrifices.
15On the previous day, Yahweh had told Samuel,
16“At this time tomorrow, I will send to you a man from the land where the descendants of Benjamin live. Pour olive oil on his head to indicate that he will be the leader of my Israeli people. I have seen that my people are suffering because the Philistine people are oppressing them, and I have heard my people as they have called out to me for help. The man whom you anoint will rescue my people from the MTY Philistine people.”
17When Samuel saw Saul, Yahweh said to him, “This is the man I told you about yesterday! He is the one who will rule my people!”
18Saul saw Samuel as he was sitting at the town gateway but he did not know that it was Samuel. He went over to him and asked him, “Can you tell me, where is the house of the man who sees ◄visions from God/all that God sees►?”
19Samuel replied, “I am that man. Go ahead of me with your servant to the place where the people make sacrifices. Both of you will eat with me today. Tomorrow morning I will tell you what you are wanting to know, and then I will send you home.
20Also, do not worry anymore about those donkeys that wandered away three days ago. ◄Someone has found them/They have been found►. But what you need to know is that it is you and your family that all the Israeli people are wanting!” RHQ
21Saul replied, “I am from the tribe of Benjamin RHQ. That is the smallest tribe in Israel RHQ! And my family is the least important family in our tribe! So why are you talking to me like this, about the Israeli people wanting me and my family?”
22Then Samuel brought Saul and the servant into the big dining room, and told them to sit at the head of the table, indicating that he was honoring them more than he was honoring the thirty people who had been invited.
23Then Samuel told the cook, “Bring to me the special piece of meat that I told you to set aside.”
24So the cook brought the leg and the meat that was on it, and set it in front of Saul, even though those portions were for only the priest to eat. Samuel said to Saul, “Start eating it. I told the cook to save this for you, so that you could eat it at this time, when all these people whom I invited are here.” So Saul and Samuel ate together.
25After they finished eating, they returned to the town. Then Samuel took Saul up to the flat roof of his house, and fixed a bed for him.
26As the sun was rising the next morning, Samuel called up to Saul, “Get up! It is time for me to send you on the road back home.” So Saul got up, and later Samuel and Saul left the house together.
27When they got to the edge of the town, Samuel told Saul to send his servant ahead. After the servant left, Samuel said to Saul, “Stay here for a few minutes, in order that I can give you a message I received from God.”