The Message

1 Samuel 9

Saul—Head and Shoulders Above the Crowd

11-2 There was a man from the tribe of Benjamin named Kish. He was the son of Abiel, grandson of Zeror, great-grandson of Becorath, great-great-grandson of Aphiah—a Benjaminite of stalwart character. He had a son, Saul, a most handsome young man. There was none finer—he literally stood head and shoulders above the crowd!

3-4 Some of Kish’s donkeys got lost. Kish said to his son, “Saul, take one of the servants with you and go look for the donkeys.” Saul took one of the servants and went to find the donkeys. They went into the hill country of Ephraim around Shalisha, but didn’t find them. Then they went over to Shaalim—no luck. Then to Jabin, and still nothing.

When they got to Zuph, Saul said to the young man with him, “Enough of this. Let’s go back. Soon my father is going to forget about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”

He replied, “Not so fast. There’s a holy man in this town. He carries a lot of weight around here. What he says is always right on the mark. Maybe he can tell us where to go.”

Saul said, “If we go, what do we have to give him? There’s no more bread in our sacks. We’ve nothing to bring as a gift to the holy man. Do we have anything else?”

8-9 The servant spoke up, “Look, I just happen to have this silver coin! I’ll give it to the holy man and he’ll tell us how to proceed!” (In former times in Israel, a person who wanted to seek God’s word on a matter would say, “Let’s visit the Seer,” because the one we now call “the Prophet” used to be called “the Seer.”)

10 “Good,” said Saul, “let’s go.” And they set off for the town where the holy man lived.

11 As they were climbing up the hill into the town, they met some girls who were coming out to draw water. They said to them, “Is this where the Seer lives?”

12-13 They answered, “It sure is—just ahead. Hurry up. He’s come today because the people have prepared a sacrifice at the shrine. As soon as you enter the town, you can catch him before he goes up to the shrine to eat. The people won’t eat until he arrives, for he has to bless the sacrifice. Only then can everyone eat. So get going. You’re sure to find him!”

14 They continued their climb and entered the city. And then there he was—Samuel!—coming straight toward them on his way to the shrine!

15-16 The very day before, God had confided in Samuel, “This time tomorrow, I’m sending a man from the land of Benjamin to meet you. You’re to anoint him as prince over my people Israel. He will free my people from Philistine oppression. Yes, I know all about their hard circumstances. I’ve heard their cries for help.”

17 The moment Samuel laid eyes on Saul, God said, “He’s the one, the man I told you about. This is the one who will keep my people in check.”

18 Saul came up to Samuel in the street and said, “Pardon me, but can you tell me where the Seer lives?”

19-20 “I’m the Seer,” said Samuel. “Accompany me to the shrine and eat with me. In the morning I’ll tell you all about what’s on your mind, and send you on your way. And by the way, your lost donkeys—the ones you’ve been hunting for the last three days—have been found, so don’t worry about them. At this moment, Israel’s future is in your hands.”

21 Saul answered, “But I’m only a Benjaminite, from the smallest of Israel’s tribes, and from the most insignificant clan in the tribe at that. Why are you talking to me like this?”

22-23 Samuel took Saul and his servant and led them into the dining hall at the shrine and seated them at the head of the table. There were about thirty guests. Then Samuel directed the chef, “Bring the choice cut I pointed out to you, the one I told you to reserve.”

24 The chef brought it and placed it before Saul with a flourish, saying, “This meal was kept aside just for you. Eat! It was especially prepared for this time and occasion with these guests.”

Saul ate with Samuel—a memorable day!

25 Afterward they went down from the shrine into the city. A bed was prepared for Saul on the breeze-cooled roof of Samuel’s house.

26 They woke at the break of day. Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get up and I’ll send you off.” Saul got up and the two of them went out in the street.

27 As they approached the outskirts of town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell your servant to go on ahead of us. You stay with me for a bit. I have a word of God to give you.”

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Traditional)

撒母耳記上 9

掃羅尋驢

1有一個便雅憫人名叫基士,很有威望,是亞斐亞的玄孫、比歌拉的曾孫、洗羅的孫子、亞別的兒子。 他的兒子掃羅年輕英俊,在以色列人中無人能比,高出其他人一個頭。 一天,基士丟失了幾頭驢,他就對兒子掃羅說:「你帶一個僕人去找驢吧。」 他們找遍了以法蓮的山區、沙利沙地區、沙琳地區和便雅憫地區,都找不著。

最後,他們來到蘇弗,掃羅對僕人說:「我們還是回家去吧,恐怕我父親不再為驢擔心,反而為我們擔心。」 但僕人答道:「且慢,這城裡有一位上帝的僕人,很受人敬重,他所說的都會應驗。我們去找他吧,也許他會告訴我們該到哪裡去找驢。」 掃羅答道:「如果去,我們有什麼可以送給他呢?我們袋裡的食物也吃完了,我們還有什麼可以送給上帝的僕人呢?」 僕人說:「我這裡還有三克銀子,我們可以送給上帝的僕人,請他告訴我們去哪裡找驢。」 從前在以色列,如果人們要求問上帝,他們會說:「讓我們去找先見吧。」當時「先知」被稱為「先見」。 10 掃羅說:「好,我們去吧。」於是,他們前往上帝僕人住的城。 11 他們走上山坡,正要進城的時候,遇見一些少女出來打水,就問:「先見在這裡嗎?」 12 她們答道:「他在這裡,就在你們前面。你們快去吧,他今天剛到城裡來,因為今天人們在邱壇獻祭。 13 你們一進城,就會在他上邱壇吃祭物之前遇見他。因為他不來,人們不能吃,他要先為祭物祝謝後,人們才可以吃。你們現在上去吧,一定會遇見他。」 14 他們就趕往城內,剛走進城,就看見撒母耳迎面而來,要上邱壇去。

15 在掃羅來的前一天,耶和華已經啟示撒母耳說: 16 「明天這個時候,我會從便雅憫境內差遣一個人到你這裡,你要膏立他做我以色列子民的首領,他會從非利士人手中把我的子民拯救出來,因為我已聽到我子民的呼求,我要施恩給他們。」

17 撒母耳看見掃羅的時候,耶和華就對他說:「這就是我對你說的那個人,他將統治我的子民。」 18 掃羅來到在城門口的撒母耳面前,問道:「請你告訴我先見住在哪裡?」 19 撒母耳答道:「我就是先見。你先上邱壇去,今天你要和我一起吃飯。明天早上我會送你上路,並把你想知道的事告訴你。 20 不要再掛念三天前丟失的驢了,已經找到了。以色列人所仰慕的人是誰呢?不是你和你父親全家嗎?」 21 掃羅答道:「我來自以色列最小的便雅憫支派,我的家族在便雅憫支派中最小,你何出此言?」

22 撒母耳帶著掃羅和他的僕人來到一個大廳,讓他們在請來的三十位客人中坐上座。 23 撒母耳對廚師說:「把我交給你的那份祭肉拿來。」 24 廚師就拿來那塊腿肉,擺在掃羅面前。撒母耳說:「這是為你留的,請吃吧。這是我在請客人時特意為你留的。」於是,掃羅和撒母耳一起吃飯。 25 他們從邱壇下來,回到城裡後,撒母耳把掃羅帶到屋頂上談話。 26 次日黎明時分,撒母耳呼喚屋頂上的掃羅:「起來吧,我該送你上路了。」於是掃羅起床後,與撒母耳一起往外走。 27 他們來到城邊的時候,撒母耳讓掃羅吩咐僕人先走。僕人離去後,他對掃羅說:「你在這裡留一會兒,我要把上帝的話告訴你。」