1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on Saul’s head. And kissing Saul, Samuel said, “Yahweh has anointed you to rule over and to lead his people Israel. And this will be Yahweh’s sign to you that he has anointed you. 2 After we part today, you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah, in the territory of Benjamin. They will say to you: ‘The asses you were looking for have been found. But your father is now worried about you, and what may have happened to you.’ 3 When you go on to the oak of Tabor, you will meet three men going up to see God at Bethel. One will be carrying three kids; another, three loaves of bread; and another, a skin of wine. 4 They will greet you and give you two loaves of bread which you are to accept from them. 5 After that, you will come to Gibeath-elohim where the garrison of the Philistines is. At the entrance of the city, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place, and a choir with harp, tambourine, flute and lyre going before them. They will be in a trance as the prophets used to be. 6 Then the Spirit of Yahweh will seize you. You shall prophesy with them and become another man.
7 Now when these signs are fulfilled, do whatever seems good to you for God is with you. 8 You shall go down to Gilgal ahead of me, and I shall join you there to offer burnt offerings and peace offerings. Wait there seven days until I come and tell you what you have to do.”
9 As soon as Saul parted from Sam uel, God transformed him into a different person and all the signs Samuel mentioned to Saul were fulfilled that day. 10 Upon entering Gibeah, a band of prophets met Saul; then the Spirit of God seized him and he began to prophesy with them.
11 Those who knew him and saw him prophesying with the prophets asked one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also one of the prophets?” 12 One of them exclaimed, “And who is his father!” This, therefore, became a saying, “Is Saul also one of the pro phets?” 13 When Saul finished prophesying, he arrived with them at the sanctuary.
14 Saul’s uncle asked him and his boy, “Where did you go?” Saul answered, “To look for the asses. When we could not find them, we went to Samuel.” 15 His uncle said, “Please, tell me what Samuel told you.” 16 Saul replied, “He merely told us that the asses had been found.” But Saul did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about the kingship.
Saul is elected king
17 After that, Samuel called the peo ple together before Yahweh at Mizpah. 18 He then spoke to the Israelites, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: I brought Israel out of Egypt and I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from all the kingdoms oppressing you. 19 But you have this day rejected your God who saves you from all your calamities and your distress. You have said, ‘No! Give us a king to rule over us.’ So now present yourselves before Yahweh, grouping yourselves into tribes and clans.”
20 Then Samuel made all the tribes of Israel come near him and when they cast lots, the tribe of Benjamin was chosen. 21 He made the families of the tribe of Ben jamin come near him, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. He made the members of the family of Matrites come near him, and the lot fell to Saul, son of Kish. They looked for him but could not find him. 22 So they asked Yahweh again, “Did the man come here?” Yahweh answered, “He has hidden himself among the baggage.” 23 They ran to fetch him and when Saul stood among the people, they saw that he was a head taller than the others. 24 Samuel spoke and said, “Do you see the one Yahweh has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
25 Samuel then told the people the rights and duties of the king. He wrote all these in a book and presented it before Yahweh. Then Samuel sent all the people home. 26 Saul himself went home to Gibeah with these valiant men whose hearts God had touched. 27 Some evil people, however, remarked; “How can this man save us?” And they ignored Saul and brought him no gift.