1Samuel 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?
Continuing narrative from the last chapter…
Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him declaring that the LORD had anointed him as the leader of His people. Samuel’s kiss was an acknowledgement of God’s choice and a sign of respect toward Saul as that choice.
Because I know Saul’s future as revealed in scripture, I can say: If only Saul had remembered that he was to serve the LORD God of Israel as his king and the people as God’s people.
1Samuel 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?
1Samuel 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:
1Samuel 10:4 And they will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hands.
1Samuel 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:
1Samuel 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.
Samuel then told Saul what would happen to him on his journey home. He would encounter two men by Rachel’s tomb (near Bethlehem, Genesis 35:19 “And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.”) on the border of Benjamin’s territory at Zelzah. These men would inform him that his donkeys had been found and that his father was really worried about what might have happened to Saul.
When he continued on his way and got to the plain of Tabor, he would meet three men on their way to worship God in Bethel. One of the men would be carrying three young goats, one carrying three loaves of bread and another carrying wine. The men would greet him as a friend and give him two of the loaves of bread.
When Saul got to the hill of God where a garrison of Philistines was encamped, he would meet a company of prophets as he entered the city. Clarke provides this note on “the hill of God”: “The Targum says, "The hill on which the ark of the Lord was.” Note: The Targum is the Aramaic Jewish translation of the scripture.
Samuel said that the prophets would be coming down from the high place, the place of worship, playing musical instruments and prophesying. The Spirit of the LORD would come upon him at that time and he would begin to prophesy with them. This would result in Saul becoming a different man.
This last part made me think of how the Holy Spirit indwells the believer who has been born again to new life.
1Samuel 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.
1Samuel 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 shew thee what thou shalt do.
Samuel told Saul that when all these things came to pass, he was to act according to what he thought best and God would be with him—essentially, would empower and strengthen him. Saul was to go to Gilgal and wait for Samuel to come and offer burnt offerings and peace offerings on his behalf. He was to wait seven days for Samuel to come and tell him what to do.
1Samuel 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.
1Samuel 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.
Saul left Samuel and all came to pass exactly as he had foretold. It sounds like God changed his heart right after he left Samuel and before the Spirit came over him. After encountering the prophets and experiencing the Spirit of God come upon him, he prophesied.
1Samuel 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?
1Samuel 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?
1Samuel 10:13 And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.
Those who knew Saul and saw him prophesying among the prophets wondered what had come over the son of Kish. They wondered if he was also prophet.
The CJB helps a little with verse 12: Someone in the crowd answered, “Must prophets’ fathers be special?” So it became an expression — “Is Sha’ul a prophet, too?”
When Saul had finished prophesying, he came to the place of worship.
1Samuel 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.
1Samuel 10:15 And Saul’s uncle said, Tell me, I pray thee, what Samuel said unto you.
1Samuel 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.
Evidently, Saul’s uncle was there; and he asked Saul where he had been. Saul told him that he had gone to find the donkeys and had sought Samuel’s help when they couldn’t find them. His uncle wanted to know what Samuel had told him. Saul replied that Samuel had told him that the donkeys had been found but told him nothing else.
1Samuel 10:17 ¶ And Samuel called the people together unto the LORD to Mizpeh;
1Samuel 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:
1Samuel 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.
Samuel called all the people of Israel to assemble at Mizpeh. They must have been anticipating this call, after their last meeting with him.
Samuel gave them a message from the LORD God of Israel. God reminded them that He had delivered them from Egypt and other enemies that had oppressed them. Still they had chosen to reject “your God” as their king. In spite of all He had done for them, they insisted on having a human king.
After those words of rebuke, Samuel called for the tribes to present themselves before the LORD by thousands.
1Samuel 10:20 And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken.
1Samuel 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.
1Samuel 10:22 Therefore they enquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither. And the LORD answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff.
1Samuel 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.
After the tribes had been assembled, Samuel chose the tribe of Benjamin. When the tribe of Benjamin presented themselves by family, the family of Matri was chosen and Saul the son of Kish singled out; however, Saul could not be found. They sought the LORD’s guidance yet again, and He revealed that Sual had hidden himself among the “stuff,”—the Hebrew, “implements, utensils, vessels, weapons, etc.” There must have been a designated storage area identified by this direction, so they were able to quickly find him and bring him before Samuel. As he stood before them, he was neck and head taller than everyone else.
I can understand how the Urim and Thummim could be used or lots cast for yes and no answers. I would think He would had to have given Samuel a word of knowledge to reveal Saul’s hiding place.
1Samuel 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.
1Samuel 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.
Samuel announced to the people that the LORD had chosen Saul as their king pointing out that there was none like him among the people. The people shouted their approval saying, “May the king live” or “Long live the king.” (better translations from the Hebrew)
Samuel went on to explain to the people how the kingdom should function; he then wrote down those instructions on a scroll and “laid it up before the LORD.” This probably meant with or near the ark in the tabernacle.
I would assume his instructions included those given to Moses.
Deuteronomy 17:14–20 “When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.”
Samuel then sent everyone back home.
1Samuel 10:26 And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.
1Samuel 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.
Saul returned home to Gibeah. He was joined by a group of men whose hearts God had touched to do so.
There was a group of ungodly, wicked men that did not approve the choice of Saul. They refused to honor him in any way. Saul held his tongue—implied, but noted who they were.