The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The First Book of Kings
Chapter 9
There was a Benjamite in those days called Cis, descended through Abiel, Seror and Bechorath from Aphia, strong and vigorous, as a man of Benjamin should be;
and he had a son named Saul, a fine figure of a man, none finer in Israel; he was a head and shoulders taller than any of his fellow-countrymen.
There were some asses belonging to Cis that had gone astray; and he bade Saul go out on his travels, taking one of the servants with him, and look for them. All through the hill-country of Ephraim they went,
and all through Salisa, without finding them; through Salim, and still no trace of them; through the country of Benjamin itself, and still no news heard of them.
When they reached the Suph country, Saul turned to his companion; Come, said he, let us go home; my father will have ceased to care about the asses, and be anxious over us instead.
But he answered, There is a servant of God dwelling in this city, a man greatly honoured; no prophecy of his but manifestly comes true. Let us make our way there, and ask if he can give us news about this errand of ours.
And if we make our way there, answered Saul, what then? What offering can we make to this servant of God? No bread left in our wallets, not even a basket of food to offer! We have no present to make.
I have a quarter of a shekel by me here, the other answered; some return to make for God’s guidance on our errand.
(In those days, the Israelites used to speak of going to consult the seer, meaning by the seer what we now call a prophet.)
And at that Saul agreed that his plan was best; Come, said he, let us be on our way.

So they made for the city where God’s servant dwelt;
and as they were climbing up the hill that led to it they met some maidens who were coming out to draw water, and asked whether the seer was to be found there.
He is, they answered, and not far forward on the road. Hasten after him; a public sacrifice on the sacred hill has brought him here to-day,
look for him as soon as you enter the city, before he goes up to take part in the feast. The people must await his coming before they can eat; he blesses the victim first, and then the guests will sit down. Up with you at once; this is the time when you will find him.
So up they went into the city, and as they entered it, there was Samuel coming out towards them, on his way to the sacred hill.

The day before Saul’s coming, the Lord warned Samuel privately,
At this time of day to-morrow I am sending a man of Benjamin on an errand to thee. He it is thou must anoint to be the king of my people Israel; he is to deliver them from the power of the Philistines. Their plaints have not gone unheard, nor unheeded.
And now, when Saul first met his eyes, the Lord told Samuel, This is the man of whom I spoke to thee; this is to be the ruler of my people.

There, then, in the gateway Saul came up to Samuel, and said, Pray shew me where it is that the seer lives.
I am the seer thou speakest of, was his answer; go up before me to the hill-top, where you shall eat at my side. To-morrow I will send thee on thy way, and tell thee all thou wouldst know.
As for the asses that were lost three days since, put thy mind at ease, they have been found already. And here is all the best that Israel has to give, waiting for whom? For thee, and for thy father’s kin.
For me, answered Saul, a man of Benjamin, the smallest of Israel’s tribes, sprung from a clan that is named last among the clans of Benjamin? What means this greeting thou hast given me?

But now Samuel took Saul and his companion with him, and led them into the dining-hall, where he gave them the highest place among the company that was bidden there, some thirty men;
and told the cook, Bring out the portion I gave thee, with orders to keep it by thee separate from the rest.
So the cook bore in a shoulder, and put it before Saul; Here, Samuel told him, is the provision we made for thee; sit down to it and eat thy fill; it was put aside for thee on purpose, when I invited my company. Saul, then, was Samuel’s guest that day;
together they went down from the hill into the city, and together they held converse on the house-top. There, on the house-top, Saul lay down and slept;
waking early, at the first coming of the light, Samuel called out to him, Rise up, it is time I sent thee on thy way. Rise up he did, and together he and Samuel went out;
and when they reached the edge of the city on their downward journey, Samuel said, Bid thy servant pass on before us, and do thou wait here a little; I have a message to give thee from the Lord.