1. Among the men of Benjamin was a man called Kish son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah; a Benjaminite and a person of rank.
2. He had a son called Saul, a handsome man in the prime of life. Of all the Israelites there was no one more handsome than he; he stood head and shoulders taller than anyone else.
3. Now since the donkeys belonging to Kish, Saul's father, had strayed, Kish said to his son Saul, 'My son, take one of the servants with you and be off; go and look for the donkeys.'
4. They went through the highlands of Ephraim, they went through the territory of Shalishah, and did not find them; they went through the territory of Shaalim but they were not there; they went through the territory of Benjamin and did not find them.
5. When they reached the territory of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, 'Come on, let us go back or my father will stop worrying over the donkeys and start being anxious about us.'
6. The servant, however, replied, 'Look, there is a man of God in this town, a man who is held in honour; everything he says comes true. Let us go there, then; perhaps he will be able to show us the way that we should take.'
7. Saul said to his servant, 'But if we do go, what can we take to the man? The food in our sacks is finished, and we have no present to offer the man of God. What else have we got?'
8. The servant spoke up again and said to Saul, 'Look, I happen to have a quarter of a silver shekel; I shall give that to the man of God, for him to tell us which way to go.'
9. In Israel, in olden days, when anyone used to go to consult God, he would say, 'Come on, let us go to the seer,' for a man who is now called a 'prophet' used to be called a 'seer' in olden days.
10. Saul then said to his servant, 'Well said! Come on, let us go.' And they went off to the town where the man of God was.
11. As they were going up the slope to the town they came across some girls going out to draw water, and said to them, 'Is the seer there?'
12. The girls replied, 'He is. He arrived a moment or two ahead of you. You had better hurry: he has just come to town because the people are having a sacrifice today on the high place.
13. You can catch him as soon as you go into the town, before he goes up to the high place for the meal. The people will not eat until he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; after that, the guests will start eating. If you go up now, you will find him straight away.'
14. So they went up to the town and, as they were going through the gate, Samuel came out towards them on his way to the high place.
15. Now, Yahweh had given Samuel a revelation the day before Saul came, saying,
16. 'About this time tomorrow, I shall send you a man from the territory of Benjamin; you are to anoint him as prince of my people Israel, and he will save my people from the power of the Philistines; for I have seen the misery of my people and their cries of anguish have come to me.'
17. When Samuel saw Saul, Yahweh told him, 'That is the man of whom I said to you, "He is to govern my people." '
18. Saul accosted Samuel in the gateway and said, 'Tell me, please, where the seer's house is.'
19. Samuel replied to Saul, 'I am the seer. Go up ahead of me to the high place. You must eat with me today. Tomorrow, when I let you go, I shall tell you whatever is on your mind.
20. As regards your donkeys, however, which strayed three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And for whom is the whole wealth of Israel destined, if not for you and for all the members of your father's family?'
21. To this, Saul replied, 'Am I not a Benjaminite, from the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And is not my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why are you saying a thing like this to me?'
22. Samuel then took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of the guests, of whom there were about thirty.
23. Samuel then said to the cook, 'Serve the portion which I gave you and told you to put on one side.'
24. The cook then picked up the leg and the tail and put it in front of Saul, saying, 'This is for you. This is what was left. Make a good meal . . .' That day, Saul ate with Samuel.
25. They came down from the high place into the town. A bed was made for Saul on the roof and he lay down there.
26. At dawn, Samuel called to Saul on the roof, 'Get up, and I shall send you on your way.' Saul got up, and Samuel and he went outside together.
27. They had walked as far as the end of the town when Samuel said to Saul, 'Tell the servant to go on ahead of us, but you stand still for a moment, so that I can make known to you the word of God.'