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I Samuel Chapter 10


Memory verses for this week:  Psa 116:15  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.


Introduction:  We continue our study on Samuel this week.   In last week’s lesson, we studied about Saul doing work for his father in seeking out the asses that had strayed away.   God used this excursion to bring Saul to the place where Samuel was that he might be appointed the first king of Israel.


I.                     Saul is Anointed King

1 Sam 10:1  Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?

1 Sam 10:2  When thou art departed from me to day, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel's sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee, The asses which thou wentest to seek are found: and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and sorroweth for you, saying, What shall I do for my son?

Samuel anoints Saul as king of Israel and declares that it was because the Lord had chosen him to be king.     Samuel was honored to anoint both the first and second kings of Israel.    When David was chosen to be the next king, it was Samuel who anointed him.     There were three signs to Saul showing that he was to be the king.   The first was in verse 2.   This first sign would occur when Saul arrived at the border of Benjamin at Zelzah which was near the tomb of Rachel.   He would find two men who would tell him that his father’s asses had been found and his father was now sorrowing for his son.   His father feared that evil had befallen Saul and his servant since he had been gone so long on his journey.

1 Sam 10:3  Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine:

1 Sam 10:4  And they will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hands.

1 Sam 10:5  After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:

The second sign would come when Saul reached the plain of Tabor where he would meet three men on their way to Bethel.   One would be carrying 3 kid goats, the second would be carrying 2 loaves of bread, and the last would be carrying a bottle of wine.   They would salute Saul and give him 2 loaves of bread which Samuel told Saul to accept.   This was their acknowledgment of his new position.    The third sign was in verse 5.   This would occur at the hill of God, where there was a garrison of Philistines occupying the land.   There he would meet a company of prophets carrying musical instruments and preaching.   At this point, the spirit of God would come upon Saul and he would prophesy.  

1 Sam 10:6  And the spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.

1 Sam 10:7  And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee.

1 Sam 10:8  And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and show thee what thou shalt do.

1 Sam 10:9  And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day.

We see that when the spirit of the lord came upon Saul, he turned into another man.   I believe this speaks of Saul being saved.   In verse 9 it says God gave him another heart.    Without being born again, we can not have fellowship with God and be used by God in spiritual leadership.  

2 Cor 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Saul had the ability to prophesy, and I believe God’s prophets were saved men, ones who had a different heart.   These signs God gave to Saul were for the purpose of convincing Saul that God had called him to be the king, and show him that God would use him to prophesy.     He was told in verse 7 that as God warranted, he would have him to prophesy more.    And he promised to be with Saul.   We as children of God have a promise that God will never leave us nor forsake us when we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Heb 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Heb 13:6  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

When Moses was leading the nation of Israel, he desired to have the presence of God with him as they journeyed to Canaan.

Exo 33:12  And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.

Exo 33:13  Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.

Exo 33:14  And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

Exo 33:15  And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.

Exo 33:16  For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

Exo 33:17  And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

In verse 8, Samuel instructed Saul to go down before him to Gilgal.  There he would meet with him and offer sacrifices to God.  He would give him further instructions when he arrived at Gilgal.


II.  The Prophets Meet Saul as the Spirit of God Comes Upon Him

1 Sam 10:10  And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.

1 Sam 10:11  And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?

1 Sam 10:12  And one of the same place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets?

The words that Samuel spoke to Saul came true.    When it is God’s word, you can be sure it will come to pass.   Saul prophesied just as Samuel had told him.    We are not told what he said, but it was accepted by those who heard him.   They question “Is Saul also among the prophets?”   It says this was spoken to the point that it became a proverb.  

1 Sam 10:13  And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.

1 Sam 10:14  And Saul's uncle said unto him and to his servant, Whither went ye? And he said, To seek the asses: and when we saw that they were no where, we came to Samuel.

1 Sam 10:15  And Saul's uncle said, Tell me, I pray thee, what Samuel said unto you.

1 Sam 10:16  And Saul said unto his uncle, He told us plainly that the asses were found. But of the matter of the kingdom, whereof Samuel spake, he told him not.

After Saul had preached his sermon, he went up to the high place.   This high place was evidently where the company of prophets had started.   Saul’s uncle met him.   He sought to settle his curiosity about what had befallen his nephew since he had last seen him.   He asked where he had been, and Saul told him he had been on a fruitless search for the lost asses and had come to Samuel.  Saul’ uncle inquires as to what Samuel had told him.   Saul for some reason told him only the part about how the asses had been found, but did not tell of the kingdom that he had acquired as king of Israel.


Matthew Henry said this about Saul receiving a new heart.

Those signs which Samuel had given him came to pass very punctually; but that which gave him the greatest satisfaction of all was this, he found immediately that God had given him another heart. A new fire was kindled in his breast, such as he had never before been acquainted with: seeking the asses is quite out of his mind, and he thinks of nothing but fighting the Philistines, redressing the grievances of Israel, making laws, administering justice, and providing for the public safety; these are the things that now fill his head. He finds himself raised to such a pitch of boldness and bravery as he never thought he should be conscious of. He has no longer the heart of a husbandman, which is low, and mean, and narrow, and concerned only about his corn and cattle; but the heart of a statesman, a general, a prince. Whom God calls to any service he will make fit for it. If he advance to another station, he will give another heart, to those who sincerely desire to serve him with their power  .[i]


III.  Samuel Calls the People Together

1 Sam 10:17  And Samuel called the people together unto the LORD to Mizpeh;

1 Sam 10:18  And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you:

1 Sam 10:19  And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.

So Samuel calls the people together into Mizpeh.   This was the city in the plains of Judah near Gilgal.   Samuel calls their attention to the facts about how God had brought them out of Egypt.   He accuses them of rejecting God and how they had desired an earthly king to reign over them.

1 Sam 10:20  And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken.

1 Sam 10:21  When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found.

Samuel called the people to present themselves by tribes and families.   By this process, the king the Lord wanted would be chosen.   When all the tribes had passed by in review, the choice would be the tribe of Benjamin.   When they came by, the family of Matri was taken.   From this family, the son of Kish would be chosen, who was Saul.    

1 Sam 10:22  Therefore they inquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither. And the LORD answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff.

1 Sam 10:23  And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.

1 Sam 10:24  And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.

1 Sam 10:25  Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.

Verse 22 said that Saul went and hid himself among the stuff.    I’m afraid that many times when God has a job for us to do, we don’t come forward and do it.   We may be found hiding behind all sorts of ‘stuff’.   We shouldn’t have to be sought out like Saul was, but should be like Isaiah and come boldly when the opportunity arises.

Isa 6:8  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

In Ezekiel, it spoke of a time when God needed men to make up the hedge, and he could not find any.   Today God wants men and women who have perseverance who will make up the hedge today.

Ezek 22:30  And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

When Saul came out, it was apparent that God had chosen this man as he stood a head above all the other men.    The people readily accepted their new king, and shouted “God save the king.”   It says Samuel wrote the things down in a book and laid it before the Lord.   At that point, Samuel sent the people away to their own homes.

J. Vernon McGee said when Samuel wrote these things down, he believed it was the first book of Samuel that he wrote.

“Then Samuel told” the children of Israel about “the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book.” On the basis of this we believe that Samuel wrote the first part of the book of 1 Samuel.   [ii]


IV.  Saul Goes Home

1 Sam 10:26  And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.

1 Sam 10:27  But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.

After Samuel’s command, Saul also went back to his home in Gibeah.   And with him went a band of men whose hearts God had touched.   If you want to accomplish something for God, you need to have a band of men with you who God has saved and anointed.   Great things can be accomplished when we have one mind, and that mind being the mind of Christ.    Note that there are always doubters when God chooses you for his work.  The children of Belial question whether Saul could save them.   They brought no presents, but Saul was wise and held his peace.    There will always be doubters, but we are to trust God and not  be worried by those who doubt God and his plan. 


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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]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

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