1. There was a man from the tribe of Benjamin whose name was Kish. He was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a valiant Benjaminite.
2. Kish had a son named Saul, a handsome young man who had no equal among the Israelites, for he was a head taller than any of them.
3. It happened that the asses of Kish were lost. So he said to his son Saul, "Take one of the boys with you and go look for the asses."
4. They went all over the hill country of Ephraim and the land of Shalishah but did not find them. They passed through the land of Shaalim and the land of Benjamin, but the asses were nowhere to be found.
5. When they reached the land of Zuph, Saul said to his boy, "Let us go back, lest my father be more worried about us than about the asses."
6. But his servant said to him, "Look, there is a man of God in this city. He is a highly respected man. All that he says comes true. Let us see him for he may be able to help us find what we are looking for."
7. Saul replied, "But if we go, what can we bring him? We have no more bread in our sacks and we have no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?"
8. The servant answered, "I still have with me a quarter silver coin. I will give it to the man of God to tell us our way."
9. (Formerly, people in Israel who went to consult God, would say, "Come, let us go to the seer," for they did not speak of prophets, but of seers.)
10. And Saul said to his boy, "Well said! Come, let us go." So they went to the city where the man of God was.
11. As they went up the hill to the city, they met young girls coming out to draw water and asked them, "Is the seer here?"
12. The maidens answered, "The seer is straight ahead. He has just arrived because they have a sacrifice today on the high place.
13. As soon as you enter the city, you shall find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not eat until he comes because he must first bless the sacrifice, and then those who are invited may eat. Now go up; you will meet him immediately."
14. So they went up to the city and entered it, and saw Samuel coming out towards them on his way up to the high place.
15. The day before Saul came, Yahweh had already disclosed this to Samuel,
16. "Tomorrow, about this time, I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin and you shall anoint him to rule over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines for I have seen the affliction of my people and their cry has come to me."
17. So, when Samuel saw Saul, Yahweh told him, "Here is the man I spoke to you about! He shall rule over my people."
18. Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and said, "Tell me, where is the house of the seer?"
19. Samuel answered Saul, "I am the seer. Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you shall eat with me. In the morning, before you leave, I will tell you all that is in your heart.
20. As for your asses that were lost three days ago, do not worry about them for they have been found." Samuel added, "For whom is the first place in Israel? Isn't it for you and for all your father's kin?"
21. Saul answered, "I am a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel, and my family is the lowliest of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin. Why do you speak to me in this way?"
22. Samuel took Saul and his boy, brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of the table, before some thirty guests.
23. Then Samuel told the cook, "Bring in the portion which I asked you to put aside."
24. The cook brought in the leg with the tail portion and set it before Saul, saying to him, "This has been set aside for you. Please eat." So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
25. Then they went down from the high place and entered the city. On the terrace they prepared a bed for Saul where he lay down to sleep.
26. Early the next morning, Samuel called to Saul, "Get up, for I must send you on your way." Saul got up and began to walk down the street with Samuel.
27. As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell your servant to walk ahead. You stay here for a while and I shall give you a message from God."