1. Samuel took a phial of oil and poured it on Saul's head; he then kissed him and said, 'Has not Yahweh anointed you as leader of his people Israel? You are the man who is to govern Yahweh's people and save them from the power of the enemies surrounding them. The sign for you that Yahweh has anointed you as prince of his heritage is this:
2. after leaving me today, you will meet two men near the tomb of Rachel, on the frontier of Benjamin . . . and they will say to you, "The donkeys which you went looking for have been found, and your father has lost interest in the matter of the donkeys and is worrying about you and wondering, What am I to do about my son?"
3. Going on from there, you will come to the Oak of Tabor, where you will meet three men going up to God at Bethel; one will be carrying three kids, one three loaves of bread and the third a skin of wine.
4. They will greet you and give you two loaves of bread which you must accept from them.
5. After this, you will come to Gibeah of God (where the Philistine garrison is) and, when you are just outside the town, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place, headed by lyre, tambourine, pipe and harp; they will be in a state of ecstasy.
6. The spirit of Yahweh will then seize on you, and you will go into ecstasy with them, and be changed into another man.
7. When these signs have occurred, act as occasion serves, for God is with you.
8. You will then go down, ahead of me, to Gilgal, and I shall join you there to make burnt offerings and to offer communion sacrifices. You must wait seven days for me to come to you, and I shall then reveal to you what you must do.'
9. As soon as he had turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart. And all these signs occurred that very day . . .
10. From there, they came to Gibeah: and there was a group of prophets coming to meet him! The spirit of God seized on him and he fell into ecstasy with them.
11. Seeing him prophesying with the prophets, all the people who had known him previously said to one another, 'What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul one of the prophets too?'
12. And one of the local people retorted, 'But who is their father?' Hence the origin of the proverb: Is Saul one of the prophets too?
13. When he came out of his ecstasy, he went into Gibeah.
14. Saul's uncle asked him and his servant, 'Where have you been?' 'Looking for the donkeys,' he replied, 'and when we could not find them anywhere, we went to Samuel.'
15. Saul's uncle said, 'Tell me please what Samuel said to you.'
16. Saul said to his uncle, 'He merely told us that the donkeys were already found,' but did not mention anything that Samuel had said about the kingship.
17. Samuel summoned the people to Yahweh at Mizpah
18. and said to the Israelites, 'Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, "I brought Israel out of Egypt and delivered you from the power of the Egyptians and of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you."
19. But today you have rejected your God, him who saves you from all your difficulties and troubles; and you have said, "No, you must set a king over us." Very well, take your positions before Yahweh, tribe by tribe and clan by clan.'
20. Samuel then made all the tribes of Israel come forward, and the lot indicated the tribe of Benjamin.
21. He then made the tribe of Benjamin come forward clan by clan, and the lot indicated the clan of Matri; he then made the clan of Matri come forward one by one, and the lot indicated Saul son of Kish, but when they looked for him, he was not to be found.
22. Again they consulted Yahweh, 'Has the man come here?' Yahweh replied, 'There he is, hiding among the baggage.'
23. So they ran and fetched him out and, as he stood among the people, he was head and shoulders taller than any of them.
24. Samuel then said to all the people, 'You have seen the man whom Yahweh has chosen, and that among the whole people he has no equal.' And all the people acclaimed him, shouting, 'Long live the king!'
25. Samuel then explained the king's constitutional position to the people and inscribed this in a book which he placed before Yahweh. Samuel then sent all the people away, everyone back to his home.
26. Saul too went home to Gibeah and with him went those strong men whose hearts God had touched.
27. But there were some scoundrels who said, 'How can this fellow save us?' These treated him with contempt and offered him no present.