1 Samuel Chapter 7 to 9 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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7 The men of Kiriath Jearim came and took the Lord’s Holy Box.* They took the Lord’s Box up the hill to the house of {the priest,} Abinadab. They did a special ceremony to prepare Abinadab’s son, Eleazar, to guard the Lord’s Box. 2The Box stayed at Kiriath Jearim a long time. It stayed there 20 years.

The Lord Saves the Israelites

The people of Israel began to follow the Lord again. 3Samuel told the people of Israel, “If you are really coming back to the Lord—with all your heart—then you must throw away your foreign gods. You must throw away your idols of Ashtoreth.* And you must give yourselves fully to the Lord. You must serve only the Lord! Then the Lord will save you from the Philistines.” 4So the Israelites threw away their statues of Baal* and Ashtoreth.* The Israelites served only the Lord. 5Samuel said, “All Israel must meet at Mizpah. I will pray to the Lord for you.” 6The Israelites met together at Mizpah. They got water and poured it out before the Lord. {In this way, they began a time of fasting.} They did not eat any food that day and they confessed their sins. They said, “We have sinned against the Lord.” So Samuel served as a judge* of Israel at Mizpah. 7The Philistines heard that the Israelites were meeting at Mizpah. The Philistine rulers went to fight against the Israelites. The Israelites heard the Philistines were coming, and they became afraid. 8The Israelites said to Samuel, “Don’t stop praying to the Lord our God for us! Ask the Lord to save us from the Philistines!” 9Samuel took a baby lamb. He burned the lamb as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. Samuel prayed to the Lord for Israel. The Lord answered Samuel’s prayer. 10While Samuel was burning the sacrifice, the Philistines came to fight Israel. But the Lord caused loud thunder near the Philistines. This confused the Philistines. The thunder scared the Philistines, and they became confused. {Their leaders were not able to control them.} So the Israelites defeated the Philistines in battle. 11The men of Israel ran out of Mizpah and chased the Philistines. They chased them all the way to Beth Car. They killed Philistine soldiers all along the way.

Peace Comes to Israel

12After this, Samuel set up a special stone. {He did this to help people remember the things God did.} Samuel put the stone between Mizpah and Shen.* Samuel named the stone “Stone of Help.”* Samuel said, “The Lord helped us all the way to this place!” 13The Philistines were defeated. They did not enter the land of Israel again. The Lord was against the Philistines during the rest of Samuel’s life. 14The Philistines had taken some cities from Israel. But the Israelites won back those towns. Israel rescued those cities throughout the Philistine area, from Ekron to Gath. There was also peace between Israel and the Amorites. 15Samuel led Israel all his life. 16Samuel went from place to place judging the people of Israel. Every year he traveled around the country. He went to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah. So he judged and ruled the people of Israel in all these places. 17But Samuel’s home was in Ramah. So Samuel always went back to Ramah. Samuel judged and ruled Israel from that town. And Samuel built an altar to the Lord in Ramah.

Holy Box The Box of the Agreement, the box that contained the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments written on them and the other things that proved God was with the people of Israel during their time in the Sinai Desert. Ashtoreth The Canaanite people thought that this false goddess could make people able to have babies. She was their goddess of love and war. Baal The Canaanite people believed that this false god brought the rain and storms. They also thought that he made the land produce good crops. judge(s) Special leaders who had the work of leading, judging, and protecting the people of Israel before there were kings in Israel. Shen Or, “Jeshanah,” a town about 17 miles north of Jerusalem. Stone of Help Or, “Ebenezer.”

Israel Asks For A King

8 When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges* for Israel. 2Samuel’s first son was named Joel. His second son was named Abijah. Joel and Abijah were judges in Beersheba. 3But Samuel’s sons did not live the same way he did. Joel and Abijah accepted bribes. They took money secretly and changed their decisions in court. They cheated people in court. 4So all the elders (leaders) of Israel met together. They went to Ramah to meet with Samuel. 5The elders (leaders) said to Samuel, “You’re old, and your sons don’t live right. They are not like you. Now, give us a king to rule us like all the other nations.” 6So, the elders (leaders) asked for a king to lead them. Samuel thought this was a bad idea. So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7The Lord told Samuel, “Do what the people tell you. They have not rejected you. They have rejected me! They don’t want me to be their king! 8They are doing the same thing they have always done. I took them out of Egypt. But they left me and served other gods. They are doing the same to you. 9So listen to the people {and do what they say}. But give them a warning. Tell the people what a king will do to them! Tell them how a king rules people.” 10Those people asked for a king. So Samuel told those people everything the Lord said. 11Samuel said, “If you have a king ruling over you, this is what he will do: He will take away your sons. He will force your sons to serve him. He will force them to be soldiers—they must fight from his chariots and become horse soldiers in his army. Your sons will become guards running in front of the king’s chariot. 12“A king will force your sons to become soldiers. That king will choose which of your sons will be officers over 1,000 men and which will be officers over 50 men. “A king will force some of your sons to plow his fields and gather his harvest. He will force some of your sons to make weapons for war. He will force them to make things for his chariots! 13“A king will take your daughters. He will force some of your daughters to make perfume for him. And he will force some of your daughters to cook and bake for him. 14“A king will take your best fields, vineyards, and olive groves. He will take those things from you and give them to his officers. 15He will take one tenth of your grain and grapes. He will give these things to his officers and servants. 16“A king will take your men and women servants. He will take your best cattle* and your donkeys. He will use them all for his own work. 17And he will take one tenth of your flocks. “And you yourselves will become slaves of this king. 18When that time comes, you will cry because of the king you chose. But the Lord will not answer you at that time.” 19But the people would not listen to Samuel. They said, “No! We want a king to rule over us. 20Then we will be the same as all the other nations. Our king will lead us. He will go before us and fight our battles.” 21Samuel listened to the people and then repeated their words to the Lord. 22The Lord answered, “You must listen to them! Give them a king.” Then Samuel told the people of Israel, “{Fine! You will have a new king.} Now, all of you people go back home.”

judge(s) Special leaders who had the work of leading, judging, and protecting the people of Israel before there were kings in Israel.  cattle This is from the ancient Greek translation. The Hebrew has, “young men.”

Saul Looks for His Father’s Donkeys

9 Kish was an important man from the family group of Benjamin. Kish was the son of Abiel. Abiel was the son of Zeror. Zeror was the son of Becorath. Becorath was the son of Aphiah, a man from Benjamin. 2Kish had a son named Saul. Saul was a handsome young man. There was no one more handsome than Saul. Saul stood a head taller than any other man in Israel. 3One day, Kish’s donkeys became lost. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants and go look for the donkeys.” 4Saul went to look for the donkeys. Saul walked through the hills of Ephraim. Then Saul walked through the area around Shalisha. But Saul and the servant could not find Kish’s donkeys. So Saul and the servant went to the area around Shaalim. But the donkeys were not there either. So Saul traveled through the land of Benjamin. But he and the servant still could not find the donkeys. 5Finally, Saul and the servant came to the town named Zuph. Saul said to his servant, “Let’s go back. My father will stop worrying about the donkeys and start worrying about us.” 6But the servant answered, “A man of God* is in this town. People respect him. Everything he says comes true. So let’s go into town. Maybe the man of God will tell us where we should go next.” 7Saul said to his servant, “Sure, we can go into town. But what can we give to him? We have no gift to give the man of God. Even the food in our bags is gone. What can we give him?” 8Again the servant answered Saul. “Look, I have a little bit of money.* Let’s give it to the man of God.* Then he will tell us where we should go.” 9–11Saul said to his servant, “That is a good idea! Let’s go!” So they went to the town where the man of God was. Saul and the servant were walking up the hill toward town. They met some young women on the road. The young women were coming out to get water. Saul and the servant asked the young women, “Is the seer* here?” (In the past, people in Israel called a prophet a “seer.” So if they wanted to ask something from God, they would say, “Let’s go to the seer.”) 12The young women answered, “Yes, the seer* is here. He is just up the road. He came to town today. Some people are meeting together today to share in a fellowship offering at the place for worship.* 13So, go into town and you will find him. If you hurry, you can catch him before he goes up to eat at the place for worship. The seer blesses the sacrifice. So the people won’t start eating until he gets there. If you hurry, you can find the seer.” 14Saul and the servant started walking up the hill to town. Just as they came into town, they saw Samuel walking toward them. Samuel was just coming out of town on his way to the place for worship.* 15The day before, the Lord had told Samuel, 16“At this time tomorrow I will send a man to you. He will be from the family group of Benjamin. You must anoint* him and make him the new leader over my people Israel. This man will save my people from the Philistines. I have seen my people suffering. I have listened to the cries from my people.” 17Samuel saw Saul, and the Lord said to Samuel, “This is the man I told you about. He will rule my people.” 18Saul went up to a man near the gate to ask directions. This man just happened to be Samuel. Saul said, “Excuse me. Could you tell me where the seer’s* house is?” 19Samuel answered, “I am the seer.* Go on up ahead of me to the place for worship.* You and your servant will eat with me today. I will let you go home tomorrow morning. I will answer all your questions. 20And don’t worry about the donkeys that you lost three days ago. They have been found. Now, there is something that everybody in Israel is looking for and that something is you and your family!” 21Saul answered, “But I am a member of the family group of Benjamin. It is the smallest family group in Israel. And my family is the smallest in the family group of Benjamin. Why do you say Israel wants me?” 22Then Samuel took Saul and his servant to the eating area. About 30 people had been invited to eat together {and share the sacrifice}. Samuel gave Saul and his servant the most important place at the table. 23Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the meat I gave you. It is the share I told you to save.” 24The cook brought out the thigh* and put it on the table in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Eat the meat that was put in front of you. It was saved for you for this special time when I called the people together.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25{After they finished eating}, they came down from the place for worship* and went back to town. Samuel made a bed for Saul on the roof,* and Saul went to sleep. 26Early the next morning, Samuel shouted to Saul on the roof. Samuel said, “Get up. I will send you on your way.” Saul got up and went out of the house with Samuel. 27Saul, his servant, and Samuel were walking together near the edge of town. Samuel said to Saul, “Tell your servant to go on ahead of us. I have a message for you from God.” So the servant walked ahead of them.

man of God A prophet, a person that God sent to speak to the people. a little bit of money Literally, “1/4 shekel of silver.” This was about 1/10 ounce of silver. man of God A prophet, a person that God sent to speak to the people. seer Another name for a prophet. This shows that prophets often saw their message from God in some special way. place for worship Literally, “high place.” anoint To pour olive oil on a person’s head to show he was chosen by God to be a king, priest, or prophet. thigh This was probably the left thigh that was reserved for important guests. The right thigh was reserved for the priest that sacrificed the animal. This priest helped kill the animal and put the fat from the animal on the altar as a gift to God. Samuel made a bed for Saul on the roof This is from the Greek translation. The Hebrew has, “Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof.” In Israel the roofs were flat, and people used them like an extra room and for storing things.

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