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1 Samuel 10:9-27

Context
Saul Becomes King

10:9 As Saul 1  turned 2  to leave Samuel, God changed his inmost person. 3  All these signs happened on that very day. 10:10 When Saul and his servant 4  arrived at Gibeah, a company of prophets was coming out to meet him. Then the spirit of God rushed upon Saul 5  and he prophesied among them. 10:11 When everyone who had known him previously saw him prophesying with the prophets, the people all asked one another, “What on earth has happened to the son of Kish? Does even Saul belong with the prophets?”

10:12 A man who was from there replied, “And who is their father?” Therefore this became a proverb: “Is even Saul among the prophets?” 10:13 When Saul 6  had finished prophesying, he went to the high place.

10:14 Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where did you go?” Saul 7  replied, “To look for the donkeys. But when we realized they were lost, 8  we went to Samuel.” 10:15 Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.” 9  10:16 Saul said to his uncle, “He assured us that the donkeys had been found.” But Saul 10  did not tell him what Samuel had said about the matter of kingship.

10:17 Then Samuel called the people together before the Lord at Mizpah. 10:18 He said to the Israelites, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘I brought Israel up from Egypt and I delivered you from the power 11  of the Egyptians and from the power of all the kingdoms that oppressed you. 10:19 But today you have rejected your God who saves you from all your trouble and distress. You have said, “No! 12  Appoint a king over us.” Now take your positions before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.’”

10:20 Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. 10:21 Then he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the family of Matri was chosen by lot. At last Saul son of Kish was chosen by lot. But when they looked for him, he was nowhere to be found. 10:22 So they inquired again of the Lord, “Has the man arrived here yet?” The Lord said, “He has hidden himself among the equipment.” 13 

10:23 So they ran and brought him from there. When he took his position among the people, he stood head and shoulders above them all. 10:24 Then Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the one whom the Lord has chosen? Indeed, there is no one like him among all the people!” All the people shouted out, “Long live the king!”

10:25 Then Samuel talked to the people about how the kingship would work. 14  He wrote it all down on a scroll and set it before the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people away to their homes. 10:26 Even Saul went to his home in Gibeah. With him went some brave men whose hearts God had touched. 10:27 But some wicked men 15  said, “How can this man save us?” They despised him and did not even bring him a gift. But Saul said nothing about it. 16 

1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “turned his shoulder.”

3 tn Heb “God turned for him another heart”; NAB, NRSV “gave him another heart”; NIV, NCV “changed Saul’s heart”; TEV “gave Saul a new nature”; CEV “made Saul feel like a different person.”

4 tc Two medieval Hebrew mss, the LXX, and the Syriac Peshitta have the singular “he” (in which case the referent would be Saul alone).

tn Heb “they”; the referents (Saul and his servant) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 tn Heb “And we saw that they were not.”

9 tc In the LXX and Vulgate the pronoun “you” is singular, referring specifically to Saul. In the MT it is plural, including Saul’s servant as well.

10 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

11 tn Heb “hand” (also later in this verse).

12 tc The translation follows many medieval Hebrew mss, the LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, and Vulgate in reading לֹא (lo’, “not”) rather than the MT לוֹ (lo; “to him”). Some witnesses combine the variants, resulting in a conflated text. For example, a few medieval Hebrew mss have לֹא לוֹ (lo lo’; “to him, ‘No.’”). A few others have לֹא לִי (li lo’; “to me, ‘No.’”).

13 tn Or “baggage” (so many English versions); KJV “stuff”; TEV “supplies.”

14 tn Heb “the regulation of the kingship.” This probably refers to the regulations pertaining to kingship given to Moses (see Deut 17:14-20).

15 tn Heb “sons of worthlessness” (see 2:12).

16 tc In place of the MT (“and it was like one being silent”) the LXX has “after about a month,” taking the expression with the first part of the following chapter rather than with 10:27. Some Hebrew support for this reading appears in the corrected hand of a Qumran ms of Samuel, which has here “about a month.” However, it seems best to stay with the MT here even though it is difficult.



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