9:11 As they were going up the ascent to the town, they met some girls coming out to draw water. They said to them, “Is this where the seer is?” 9:12 They replied, “Yes, straight ahead! But hurry now, for he came to the town today, and the people are making a sacrifice at the high place. 9:13 When you enter the town, you can find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people won’t eat until he arrives, for he must bless the sacrifice. Once that happens, those who have been invited will eat. Now go on up, for 1 this is the time when you can find him!”
9:14 So they went up to the town. As they were heading for the middle of the town, Samuel was coming in their direction 2 to go up to the high place. 9:15 Now the day before Saul arrived, the Lord had told 3 Samuel: 9:16 “At this time tomorrow I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin. You must consecrate 4 him as a leader over my people Israel. He will save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have looked with favor on my people. Their cry has reached me!”
9:17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said, 5 “Here is the man that I told you about! He will rule over my people.” 9:18 As Saul approached Samuel in the middle of the gate, he said, “Please tell me where the seer’s house is.”
9:19 Samuel replied to Saul, “I am the seer! Go up in front of me to the high place! Today you will eat with me and in the morning I will send you away. I will tell you everything that you are thinking. 6 9:20 Don’t be concerned 7 about the donkeys that you lost three days ago, for they have been found. Whom does all Israel desire? Is it not you, and all your father’s family?” 8
9:21 Saul replied, “Am I not a Benjaminite, from the smallest of Israel’s tribes, and is not my family clan the smallest of all the tribes of Benjamin? Why do you speak to me in this way?”
9:22 Then Samuel brought 9 Saul and his servant into the room and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited. There were about thirty people present. 9:23 Samuel said to the cook, “Give me the portion of meat that I gave to you – the one I asked you to keep with you.”
9:24 So the cook picked up the leg and brought it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel 10 said, “What was kept is now set before you! Eat, for it has been kept for you for this meeting time, from the time I said, ‘I have invited the people.’” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
1 tc The MT has “him” (אֹתוֹ, ’oto) here, in addition to the “him” at the end of the verse. The ancient versions attest to only one occurrence of the pronoun, although it is possible that this is due to translation technique rather than to their having a Hebrew text with the pronoun used only once. The present translation assumes textual duplication in the MT and does not attempt to represent the pronoun twice. However, for a defense of the MT here, with the suggested translation “for him just now – you will find him,” see S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 72-73.
2 tn Heb “to meet them.” This may indicate purpose on Samuel’s part. The next sentence indicates that the meeting was by design, not just an accident.
3 tn Heb “uncovered the ear of.”
4 tn Heb “anoint.”
5 tn Heb “responded.”
6 tn Heb “all that is in your heart.”
7 tn Heb “do not fix your heart.”
8 tn Heb “and all the house of your father.”
9 tn Heb “took and brought.”