I Samuel Chapter 9

"Saul seeks to find the Asses [1-14]. "
"The king sought, anointed and received [15-27]."
"Reception by Samuel [18-27]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

I Samuel 9:1 "Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of Power."

The Benjamites were the smallest of all the tribes at this time, because of the war that took place against the Benjamites by all the other tribes of Israel. This was discussed in the Book of Judges chapters nineteen and twenty, when the Levite was passing through the Bethlehem-judah with his concubine, and stopped in Gibeah for the night. While in the home of an old man that took them in, the entire population of men from the town came and wanted to sodomize the Levite priest. Instead of giving the Levite to the men of Gibeah, they gave the old man's daughter and the Levites concubine, who had their way with the women, and left the concubine dead on the door step.

When the Levite returned home, he parted the remains of the concubine into twelve parts, and sent those parts to all the tribes of Israel, and this created hatred for the town of Gibeah, to where all Israel went to war against the sodomites of Gibeah. When the rest of the tribe of Benjamin heard of the action taken against their brothers in Gibeah, they sided with the men of Gibeah, and from that war there remained only six hundred men left of the tribe of Benjamin left alive.

It was from this war that the rest of the tribes decided that they would have to rebuild their brother's tribe [the Benjamites], or Benjamin would just not exist any more. There was an annual dance that took place, and the advise to the Benjamites was to lie in the bushes, and when the families came to the dance, the men of Benjamin would jump out of the bushes, take a daughter to themselves, and whisk her off to the land of the Benjamites to be his wife. It was from these six hundred men that the stock of Benjamin grew to the point that it was at the time of Samuel, some four or five generations later.

This is why the tribe of Benjamin was looked at as the least, and why their numbers were so few, as compared to the rest of the tribes. Just as Saul was a Benjamite, so was the Apostle Paul, as recorded in Acts 13:21. It was from the tribe of Benjamin that Israel would have their first king.

I Samuel 9:2 "And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: for his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people."

Saul was a very large man, and there was no one in Israel bigger than Saul. Saul looked like a king should look. Saul had everything on his side that was necessary to step into this new job. The people are begging for a king, and God is going to give them Saul to fill their desires.

I Samuel 9:3 "And the asses of Kish Saul's father were lost And Kish said to Saul his son, "Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses."

David was the contender of Saul's throne, yet David loved Saul and would never take the life of Saul, for David knew that Saul was God's anointed. David was the keeper of sheep, which was a clean animal which is a representative of our People of the tribes of Israel; while Saul was the keeper of asses, which is an unclean animal. It is a good animal for labor, but not for food. Stop and think of this message that God is giving us in the use of animals as applied to the first two men that shall rule over Israel.

On a higher level, those that have the eyes to see, can appreciate the humor and the way that God is making obvious that Saul is a looser from the very start.

I Samuel 9:4 "And he passed through mount Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalisha, but they found them not: then they passed through the land of Shalim, and there they were not: and he passed through the land of the Benjaminites, but they found them not."

Saul and this servant that went with him to find the asses, passed through the land of the foxes [land of Shalim in the Hebrew], and they went throughout all the land of the Benjaminites, and Saul simply could not find those asses. God hid the asses so that Saul and this servant would eventually cross the path of the judge and prophet Samuel.

I Samuel 9:5 "And when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant that was with him, "Come, and let us return; lest my father leave caring for the asses, and take thought for us."

"The land of Zuph" is to say the land of honeycombs. They had been gone to long, and now Saul is beginning to think of what Saul's father is thinking back home. Saul wasn't the one being concerned for their well being, but it was the servant that is speaking here. Even the servant had more sense than Saul.

I Samuel 9:6 "And he said unto him, "Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go."

This is the servant that knew of Samuel, not Saul, for the servant is telling this to Saul and trying to convince Saul to seek out Samuel for advice. It wasn't Saul that was thinking of seeking God's help, it was the servant's thought to seek God for help.

I Samuel 9:7 "Then said Saul to his servant, "But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: that we have?"

It was part of the custom, that if you went to a man of God for help, that you brought a gift with you to repay him for his help, to help provide for the priest's family. At least Saul knew these customs.

I Samuel 9:8 "And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have here at hand the forth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way."

I Samuel 9:9 "(Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to enquire of God, thus he spake, "Come, and let us go to the seer:" for he that is now called a prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)"

The "Seer" named here is the name for a Prophet of God. It is the same in the Greek as in the Hebrew tongue. The Prophet is a "Seer" of the hidden truth from God.

I Samuel 9:10 "Then said Saul; to his servant, "Well said; come, let us go." So they went unto the city where the man of God was."

So here we have two men in the service of Kish, wandering around for the past two days trying to find these lost asses, and these two didn't have a clue where they were. They simply were not to bright. This is the man that God is going to give Israel as their king and he can't even find this donkey that wandered through his father's fence. This shows you what any man will do for you, when you put your trust in man. This is a simple way to make a statement that we should never forget. You will fail when you put your trust in any man, and take you focus off God and His ways. Learn to trust your Heavenly Father. Saul didn't even have the knowledge to go to God to find these beasts.

This applies to our everyday lives also, when you want to be successful. Do you know how and when to approach the Father for help? Father will help you in all your problems and needs, in family matters, as well as the job on those little matters that seem small.

I Samuel 9:11 "And as they went up the hill to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said unto them, "Is the seer here?"

Remember that as Judge of all Israel, Samuel had to travel through all the tribes of all the lands of Israel. He was a circuit rider that dealt with the spiritual matters of the high priest, as well as those of Judge over all Israel. It was only a matter of time that Samuel would have to pass through this town.

I Samuel 9:12 "And they answered them, and said, "He is; behold, he is before you: make haste now, for he came to day to the city; for there is a sacrifice of the People to day in the high place:"

These women at the well are telling Saul that this is their lucky day, Samuel is here and you will have to hurry into the town to see him, for shortly Samuel will be at the feast sacrifice in the high place. You only went to the sacrifice if you were invited, and bid to come and enter.

I Samuel 9:13 "As soon as ye be come into the city, ye shall straightway find him, before he go up to the high place to eat: for the People will not eat until he come, because he doth bless the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat that be bidden. Now therefore get you up; for about this time ye shall find him."

God works in many ways, and His timing is perfect. Here Saul had been wandering for several days looking for these donkeys, and he just happened to stumble into this village where Samuel happened to be on his circuit ride. Do you think it was an accident? Read on and you will see.

I Samuel 9:14 "And they went up into the city; and when they were come into the city, behold Samuel came out against them, for to go up to the high place."

Samuel was right there were the women at the well told Saul and the servant that Samuel would be. The two men met there in the city just as Samuel was to go up to the high place for the sacrifice.

I Samuel 9:15 "Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying,"

God told Samuel the day before Saul arrived at the city that this would happen. It was completely under God's control, and revealed to Samuel that Saul was the man appointed by Him to rule over Israel."

I Samuel 9:16 "To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over My People Israel, that he may save My People out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon My People, because their cry is come unto Me."

In the end Saul never saved the Israelites from the Philistines.

I Samuel 9:17 "And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, "Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over My People."

God is giving the people exactly what they wanted, a man to rule over them. A man that is no more than an ass keeper that can't even find his donkey, and he even had to have the servant tell him to seek wisdom from God to find his directions.

I Samuel 9 :18 "Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate and said, "Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's house is."

The gate of the city is where judgment takes place.

I Samuel 9:19 "And Samuel answered Saul, and said, "I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me to day, and to morrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart."

I Samuel 9:20 "And as for thine asses that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them; for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on thee, and on all thy father's house?"

Samuel is telling Saul, don't worry about the asses for they have been found, and son the people of Israel are wanting a king and you are it. You are the one that will make all Israel happy.

I Samuel 9:21 "And Saul answered and said, "Am not I a Benjaminite, of the smallest of the tribes? and my family the least of all the families of the tribes of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?"

Saul knew that his family was very low in the community, and that he was just not capable to reign as a king. However God uses whomever He pleases to fulfil His purposes. Even though it is God's choice for the people, doesn't mean that it was a good day for the people. This donkey chaser is about the last person that you would want ruling over you, one that has no sense of direction to even find his way home.

I Samuel 9:22 "And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the parlour, and made them sit in the chiefest place among them that were bidden, which were about thirty persons."

The leaders of the community were all here for the feast, and here came Samuel and this ass keeper into the meeting to partake of the sacrifice with them.

I Samuel 9:23 "And Samuel said unto the cook, "Bring the portion which I gave thee, of which I said unto thee, 'Set it by thee.' "

Samuel is going to make a statement here through the cook. The portion that he has ordered for Saul is a special part of the sacrifice animal.

I Samuel 9:24 "And the cook took up the shoulder, and that which was upon it, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, "Behold that which is left! set it before thee, and eat: for unto this time hath it been kept for thee since I said, 'I have invited the People.' So Saul did eat with Samuel that day."

There is a lot said in this verse that must be understood. The portion that is left for the Levitical priest, and their families portion is the shoulder of the animal, and a brisket. This is the rightful protion for the priest is the portion that Samuel saved for Saul to eat. In this statement that Samuel is showing these leaders of the community, is that the Judgeship is passing on from the priest to the next king of Israel. Israel is about to enter into a monarchy, and Saul will be the first king of all Israel. Saul will be the next Judge of Israel once his is made king. The one thing is Saul's favor is that Soul would always listen to Samuel and try to keep him happy.

I Samuel 9:25 "And when they were come down from the high place into the city, Samuel communed with Saul upon the top of the house."

The High place is where the prophet or priest would be, while the gate of the city is where the judgment court takes place. Samuel took Saul aside and had a talk with him as to what God had revealed to him.

I Samuel 9:26 "And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, "Up, that I may send thee away." And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad."

The spring of the day is the morning. In the morning Samuel and Saul had another talk, and after the talk both Samuel and Saul left the town.

I Samuel 9:27 "And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, "Bid the servant pass on before us," (and he passed on) "But stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God."

As Samuel and Saul are walking out of the city, Samuel told Saul to send the servant ahead, for I want to say something to you in private. Samuel was going to tell Saul all the things that God showed him concerning Saul being king, to document to Saul that what he was saying was from God. Samuel wanted Saul to know absolutely that God's will was in this and they were not just playing spiritual games. Samuel would reveal to Saul some events that would come to pass on his return home, that would give Saul assurance in his mind that God was with him, and all that Samuel revealed to him would come to pass.

It becomes a lot easier for someone to follow instructions given by God, when they are assured that those instructions came from God in the first place. When God is behind what you are doing, there simply is no chance to your end ever, for you know it will come to pass. If God be for you, who can be against you, of course not one, for God is in control. This is why Saul as a weak man could get the courage that was necessary for him to have to be king. Even though in the end, Saul was a miserable failure as a king.

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