How the Israelite's First King was Chosen

As Samuel grew older, he became the next judge ruling over the Israelites. He told the Israelites to quit worshiping false gods and return to the true God. They gathered at Mizpah to worship God. When the Philistines heard that the Israelites were there they sent an army to attack them. But Samuel prayed to God, and he sent a storm against the Philistines. They ran away and the Israelites chased them and killed them. After that The Israelites had peace for many years. When Samuel grew older, he made his two sons judges. But they were not good judges like their father. They would decide a case in favor of the person who would pay them the most money. So the people came to Samuel and asked for a king, like the peoples around them had. Samuel was angry, but God told him to give them a king, but it must be the man whom God chose.

Now there was a rich man in the tribe of Benjamin named Kish who had a son named Saul. Some of Kish's donkeys wondered off, so he sent his son Saul with a servant to look for them. For three days they looked but they could not find them. Then Saul said, "Lets go back home." But since they were near the city where Samuel lived, the servant said, "Let's go and ask the prophet. I have a coin we can give him." So they went to the town where Samuel lived. Now the day before, God had told Samuel, "Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the tribe of Benjamin whom I had chosen to be king." When Samuel saw Saul, God told him, "This is the man." So when they met Samuel, he said to Saul, "Both of you are to eat with me today. Don't worry about the donkeys. They have been found. But who is it that the Israelite people want? It is you."

The next morning as they started to leave, Samuel told Saul, "Send your servant on ahead; I will tell you what God has said." When the servant left, Samuel took a jar of olive oil and poured it over Saul's head, and said, "God anoints you ruler over His people, the Israelites." But when Saul went home, he didn't tell his family what Samuel had said.

Then Samuel had the Israelites gather at the town of Mizpah. To pick a king he had each tribe come forward and God chose the tribe of Benjamin. Then from the tribe of Benjamin, God chose the family of Matri. And from Matri's family, Saul was chosen. They looked for him, but could not find him, because he was hiding. But God told Samuel, "He is hiding behind the supplies." When they found him and had him stand up, they saw that he was taller than anyone else. Samuel said, "Here Is the man that God has chosen." And the people shouted, "Long live the king." Then everyone went home, but some strong men when home with Saul, because he was now king.

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