New Heart English Bible
1Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjamite, a mighty man of valor. 2He had a son, whose name was Saul, an impressive young man; and there was not among the children of Israel a better person than he. From his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.
3Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul's father, were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, "Take now one of the servants with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys." So Saul got up and took one of the servants of his father with him and went to look for the donkeys of his father Kish. 4He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they weren't there. Then he passed through the land of the Jaminites, but they did not find them.
5When they had come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, "Come, and let us return, lest my father stop caring about the donkeys, and be anxious for us." 6He said to him, "See now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is a man who is held in honor. All that he says surely comes to pass. Now let us go there. Perhaps he can tell us concerning our journey on which we have set out." 7Then Saul said to his servant, "But look, if we go, what shall we bring the man? For the bread is gone in our vessels, and there is no gift to bring to the man of God. What do we have?" 8The servant answered Saul again, and said, "Look, I have in my hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver. I will give that to the man of God, to tell us our way." 9(In earlier times in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he would say, "Come, and let us go to the seer"; for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.) 10Then Saul said to his servant, "Well said. Come, let us go." So they went to the city where the man of God was.
11As they went up the ascent to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said to them, "Is the seer here?" 12They answered them, and said, "He is. Look, he is ahead of you. Hurry now, for he has come today into the city; for the people have a sacrifice today in the high place. 13As soon as you have come into the city, you shall immediately find him, before he goes up to the high place to eat; for the people will not eat until he comes, because he blesses the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited eat. Now therefore go up; for at this time you shall find him." 14They went up to the city. As they came within the city, look, Samuel came out toward them, to go up to the high place.
15Now the LORD had revealed to Samuel a day before Saul came, saying, 16"Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man out of the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel; and he shall save my people out of the hand of the Philistines; for I have seen the suffering of my people, because their cry has come to me." 17When Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said to him, "Look, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall have authority over my people." 18Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, "Please tell me where the seer's house is." 19And Samuel answered Saul, and said, "I am he. Go up before me to the high place, for you will eat with me today. In the morning I will let you go, and will tell you all that is in your heart. 20As for your donkeys who were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them; for they have been found. And for whom does all Israel desire? Is it not for you, and for all your father's house?" 21Saul answered, "Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me like this?"
22Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the guest room, and made them sit in the best place among those who were invited, who were about thirty persons. 23And Samuel said to the cook, "Bring the portion which I gave you, of which I told you to set aside." 24The cook took up the thigh, and that which was on it, and set it before Saul. And he said, "Look, that which has been reserved. Set it before yourself and eat; because for the appointed time has it been kept for you, for I said, 'I have invited the people.'" So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
25When they had come down from the high place into the city, they prepared a bed for Saul on the roof, 26and he slept. And it happened about daybreak that Samuel called to Saul on the roof, saying, "Get up, that I may send you away." So Saul arose, and they went out, both of them, he and Samuel, outside. 27As they were going down at the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell the servant that he should pass on before us and cross over. But you remain here awhile, that I may make known to you the word of God."