Samuel And Saul
SAMUEL judged lsrael all the days of his life.
He went from year to year on circuit to Bethel and Gilgal and Mizpeh and judged Israel in all these places.
But his home was in Ramah and there he judged Israel and built an altar unto the Lord.
When Samuel was old he made his sons Joel and Abiah judges over Israel.
But they did not walk in his ways, for they took bribes and delivered false judgments.
THE PEOPLE ASK FOR A KING
Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together
and came to Samuel in Ramah and said to him:"Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Give us a king to judge us, like all the other nations."
Their words displeased Samuel.
He prayed to the Lord and God answered, saying: "Listen to the voice of all the people, for it is not you that they have rejected, but me, that I may not reign over them.
And as they have forsaken me and served false gods ever since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even so do they unto you. So listen to their voice.
Nevertheless, make a solemn protest,and show them what kind of a king is going to reign over them."
So Samuel told the people what God had said to him.
And he said:"This is the kind of king who will reign over you.
He will take your sons to be his charioteers and his horsemen,
and to run before his chariots,
to till his ground and reap his harvests and to manufacture his weapons and his chariots.
He will take your daughters to be his cooks and bakers; your fields will he take and your best vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his servants.
And he will take a tenth part of your grain and of your vintage,
and give it to his officers and his servants.
He will take your menservants and your maidservants, your best young men and your donkeys, and put them to work for him.
And you will complain and mourn because of this king whom you have chosen,
but the Lord will not listen to you."
However, the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel.
They said: "No,we want a king like all the other nations,
a king to judge us and fight our battles."
Samuel listened and repeated what
they had said to the Lord.
And God said to him: "Give them their way and find them a king."
So Samuel said to the men of Israel:"All of you, go back to your own city."
Now there was a Benjamite called Kish, a man of power and standing,
and he had a son whose name was Saul.
Saul was the most handsome man of Israel,
and he stood head and shoulders above all others.
Kish had lost some of his donkeys, so he said to his son Saul: "Take one of
the servants with you, and go and look for my donkeys."
So Saul travelled across the Mount Ephraim and through the land of Shalisha and the land of Shalim and the land of the Benjamites,
but he found no trace of his father's donkeys.
When they came to the land of Zuph,
Saul said to his servant: "Come, let us go home, or my father will cease to think about his donkeys and begin to wonder about our own fate.
But in this city' there is a man of God, and he is an honourable man.
Let us go to see him, and perhaps he can show us which path to follow.
Only, if we do consult him, what shall we bring as a present?
For we have nothing left that is fit for a man of God."
Saul's servant said: "See, I have the fourth part of a shekel of silver.
We can give that to the man of God and he will tell us which way to go."
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