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I Samuel Chapter 09

Memory verses for this week:  Psa 100:5  For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.


Introduction:  We continue our study on Samuel this week.   In last week’s lesson, we studied about Israel demanding to have an earthly king like the other nations.   This upset Samuel, but God told him that the people had not rejected him, but had turned from God.  Samuel sought the Lord’s will in the matter, and God told him to give the people their desire.

I.                     Saul Given a Job by his Father

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.

1 Sam 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.

We begin the lesson this week finding the man that God would choose as Israel’s first king being about the work of his father.    Saul was a man not afraid to work, even a menial type of work.   God gives many examples in the bible about men who started in small places and went to great responsible positions.   We are told to do whatever we do heartily as unto the Lord.   If you have a job that isn’t very challenging or a boss who is hard to work for, you can find a lot of peace and contentment by working for God rather than that person.   When we please the Lord, things will seem to always work out very well for us.

Col 3:22  Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

Col 3:23  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Col 3:24  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Saul is from the small tribe of Benjamin, a small and apparent weak tribe.   Paul tells us in I Corinthians that God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound those which are mighty.

1 Cor 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1 Cor 1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

1 Cor 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.

During the period of the judges, Benjamin was almost exterminated by war from the other tribes.   The main story is over in Judges Chapter 19 – 21 where we studied about the Levite and his concubine.   This was the woman that some of the Benjamites killed, and the Levite cut her up and sent her to the other tribes causing a great uprising of the people.  


The man God had chosen to be the first king of Israel was the son of Kish.   His lineage is traced back four generations before him in verse 1.   Verse 2 says that Saul was a man who was choice and goodly.    We are warned to not look on the outward appearance of man, but to look at people the way God does.   The problem we have is that we can’t see the heart of man, where God can.

1 Sam 16:7  But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

In verse 3, Kish sends Saul out to seek his asses.   They searched all through the mountains of Ephraim, which stretched from Benjamin across Ephraim to Manasseh which was west of Jordan.

1 Sam 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 Benjamites, but they found them not.

1 Sam 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.

They then searched through the land of Shalisha, across the mountains on the western slope toward the Mediterranean Sea.  As they searched, they went through Shalim, which was north of the mountain chain.    They headed back through the tribe of Benjamin and came to Zuph, the land of Samuel.   After these extensive futile efforts, Saul tells the servant that they should head home because they had been gone so long his father would soon be worried about them.


II.   Saul and His Servant Goes to Samuel for Advice

1 Sam 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 show us our way that we should go.

1 Sam 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: what have we?

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

Saul’s servant suggests that they go and seek advice from the man of God.   Perhaps he would know a better way for them to pass.   This seems a bit strange that the man who God had chose to become the King of Israel is told to inquire of the man of God.    It was customary to bring a gift when inquiring of a prophet.    Some present was normally given, and Saul states that they have nothing to give to the man of God.   The servant says that they had a fourth part of a shekel of silver.   This would be about 20 to 25 cents in our day and time.  


1 Sam 9:9  (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire 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.)

1 Sam 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.

We are told in verse 9 that the earlier title of a prophet was known to be a “Seer”.  They were called this because they had a divine gift in the ability to see into the future or the ability to see through a mystery. 

1 Sam 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?

1 Sam 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:

1 Sam 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.

When Saul and his servant arrive, they meet some young girls who were going to the town well for water.   This was a custom in the Old Testament time that carried over into the New Testament times.

Gen 24:12  And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham.

Gen 24:13  Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:

Gen 24:14  And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master.


John 4:6  Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

John 4:7  There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink


The King James Study Bible said there were 3 terms for prophet in these verses.

Three terms for prophet occur in these verses: Seer, which stresses the reception of God’s message; Prophet, which emphasizes that the messenger is truly called of God to pronounce His word to the people; and man of God, which underscores the messenger’s relationship to God (see the note on 2:27). Other terms include: “messenger of the Lord,” which reminds the prophet of his task of bearing God’s word and “servant of the Lord,” which underscores his task before God as called to serve . [i]

III.   Saul and His Servant Meet Samuel

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 9:15  Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying,

1 Sam 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.

As the women had told Saul, Samuel was about to go up to the high place to do sacrifice.   Samuel was already expecting Saul because God had told him the previous day that he would send a man from the tribe of Benjamin.   This man was to be anointed the king over Israel.   It says in verse 16 that the Lord’s purpose was that Saul might save the people of Israel out of the hands of the Philistines.


J. Vernon McGee pointed out that God did answer Israel’s request.

Many times God answers our request when it is not the best thing for us. When we keep crying to the Lord for whatever it is we want, finally He does for us what He did for Israel—He grants our request. When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they cried for meat. God gave them meat, but He sent “leanness unto their souls.” That is why prayer should be made in the name of Christ, which means that it must be according to His will and for His glory. All requests should hinge on that very important matter.  [ii]


1 Sam 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.

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

1 Sam 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.

God spoke to Samuel as Saul approached that this was the man who God had chosen to reign over His people.   Saul did not know who the prophet was, and asks Samuel where the seer’s house could be found.  God’s hand was involved in all of this to bring Saul in contact with Samuel.   Samuel explains that he is the seer, and that Saul would eat with him that day.    Saul had no idea what God had directed Samuel to do but he was agreeable to Samuel’s instructions.  In our own lives, we may not understand all of the things God brings into our lives, but we need to have a humble heart and be willing to do as God would have us to do.

1 Sam 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?

1 Sam 9:21  And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?

Samuel informs Saul that he did not be concerned about his father’s asses since they had been found.   The long journey he and the servant went on was no doubt to bring him to this place at this time.  Samuel then tells Saul all the desire of Israel was about to be put on him.  Saul questions this in speaking that he was a Benjamite, of the smallest tribe of Israel   His family was not an important family, but one of the least.   “Wherefore then speakest thou to me?”   Even though Saul did not seem to have ambition to be the King of the Jews, he no doubt was God’s choice, and would be the king of Israel.  

IV.   Samuel Brings Saul to a Meeting

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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 seemed to immediately take a liking to Saul.   He brings Saul and his servant to the parlor and set them in chiefest place where they were bidden with about 30 other guests.   Samuel brings him there and bids him honor as a king.

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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 show thee the word of God.

Samuel had a banquet feast cooked for Saul.   He introduces Saul to the guests and as the new king that God had chosen to lead the nation of Israel.  They came down from the high place into the city and Samuel communed with Saul on the top of the house.     Before Samuel sent Saul away, he showed him the word of God.   Nothing should ever be more important to the child of God than the word of the Lord.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]Thomas Nelson, Inc., King James Version Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1988  by Liberty University.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.