1 Samuel 10


‘Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, ‘Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance? When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, ‘What shall I do about my son?’ ‘Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to worship God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine. They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them. ‘After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, timbrels, pipes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you. ‘Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.’ 1 Samuel 10:1-8

Samuel took some olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, the use of olive oil was common for anointing someone who was to be king, Exodus 28:41 / 1 Kings 19:16. Here we find Samuel anointing Saul privately, later the anointing of a king would become more official and more of a public affair, 1 Samuel 10:17-25 / 1 Samuel 11:14-15. The kissing was a testimony of Samuel’s sincere friendship and affection for Saul, 1 Samuel 9:25-27.

Notice it’s the Lord who does the anointing, if anyone wanted to represent God, then the anointing must first come from God Himself. In other words, unless God has anointed someone, they couldn’t become king without God’s approval.

Notice also that the inheritance is God’s inheritance, this is because Israel as a nation belonged to God. He was the One who gave birth to her, Exodus 4:22-23, He was the One who delivered out of Egypt, Deuteronomy 26:8, and He was the One who brought them into the Promised Land, Joshua 1:1-6. In other words, if it wasn’t for God, Israel as a nation would never have existed in the first place.

The Signs Given To Saul

1. Saul would meet two men near the tomb of Rachel who would give him word that the donkeys had been found.

2. Saul would meet three men at the great tree of Tabor going up to worship at Bethel, and they would give him two loaves of bread.

The two loaves of bread were a supply of provisions from God for Saul and his servant because they had already run out of food, 1 Samuel 9:7.

Coffman suggests that there were two things indicated by this gift of bread which evidently had been intended as a sacrifice at Bethel. 1. It was a token of the tribute that all of Israel would pay to their king, and 2. it indicated that Henceforth Saul would share with the sanctuary the offerings of the people.

3. Saul would meet a procession of prophets, playing instruments of music and prophesying, 1 Samuel 13:3 / 2 Samuel 8:6 / 1 Chronicles 11:16 / 1 Chronicles 18:13 / 2 Chronicles 17:2 / 1 Kings 4:19.

4. The Spirit of the Lord would come powerfully upon Saul, Judges 3:10 / Judges 11:29.

5. Saul himself would prophesy.

Samuel prophesied these signs and tells Saul they will happen the very moment he departs from him. The purpose of these signs was to confirm to Saul that God had indeed chosen him to lead His people and become Israel’s first king.

Saul Made King

‘As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying. When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, ‘What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?’ A man who lived there answered, ‘And who is their father?’ So it became a saying: ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’ After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place. Now Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, ‘Where have you been?’ ‘Looking for the donkeys,’ he said. ‘But when we saw they were not to be found; we went to Samuel.’ Saul’s uncle said, ‘Tell me what Samuel said to you.’ Saul replied, ‘He assured us that the donkeys had been found.’ But he did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about the kingship.’ 1 Samuel 10:9-16

All of the signs that Samuel prophesied concerning Saul came to fulfilment. The Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul and he began to speak forth the Word of God just as the other prophets were speaking forth the Word of God.

We notice that the prophets were speaking on behalf of God to the people, this was a prophet’s role. We also note that there are now more prophets in Israel, they probably came from the prophet training school, which was led by Samuel, 1 Samuel 10:5 / 2 Kings 2:3 / 2 Kings 2:15 / 2 Kings 4:38.

It’s clear that those who knew Saul, the son of Kish, were amazed that he could prophecy among the other prophets.

‘Samuel summoned the people of Israel to the LORD at Mizpah and said to them, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt and all the kingdoms that oppressed you.’ But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your disasters and calamities. And you have said, ‘No, appoint a king over us.’ So now present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and clans.’ When Samuel had all Israel come forward by tribes, the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri’s clan was taken. Finally Saul son of Kish was taken. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. So they inquired further of the LORD, ‘Has the man come here yet?’ And the LORD said, ‘Yes, he has hidden himself among the supplies.’ They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people, he was a head taller than any of the others. Samuel said to all the people, ‘Do you see the man the LORD has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.’ Then the people shouted, ‘Long live the king!’ Samuel explained to the people the rights and duties of kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the LORD. Then Samuel dismissed the people to go to their own homes. Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched. But some scoundrels said, ‘How can this fellow save us?’ They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent.’ 1 Samuel 10:17-27

Although Samuel anointed Saul privately, 1 Samuel 10:1, Samuel now performs a very public coronation of Saul. He goes on to remind the people of how God worked amongst them as their King. If anything, this would remind them of everything God has done for them in the past, whilst at the same time, they should really question why they wanted a physical king in the first place, if they already had a King, that is God Himself.

It’s clear that when Samuel anointed Saul as their earthly king, they were rejecting God as their heavenly King, they were rejecting the One who rules in heaven.

Presenting themselves before the Lord by tribes was the procedure used for casting lots, Joshua 7:16 / Jonah 1:7 / Acts 1:16. The lot is tossed into the lap, but the decision is wholly from the Lord, Proverbs 16:33. Inquiring of the Lord was usually done using the Urim and Thummim, Exodus 28:20 / Numbers 27:21 / 1 Samuel 22:10 / 1 Samuel 28:6 / 1 Samuel 30:8.

It’s interesting to note that ‘Saul hid himself’, probably because of his humility, 1 Samuel 9:21, it’s a shame that his humility won’t last very long and will be replaced with arrogance and pride. The people shout, ‘long live the king’, this was a way of accepting Saul as their king, they would now honour him and be loyal to his every command.

However, some were against Saul being anointed, they were the sons of Belial. As far as they were concerned, when they looked at Saul, they didn’t see a king, the good news is that Saul managed to stay in control of himself, despite them despising him.

It was never a part of God’s plan for Israel to have a physical king, but He allowed them to have one. When the people saw that Saul was anointed by God, they knew they had to obey their new king, if they disobey their new king, they are disobeying God Himself.

Notice that Saul went to his hometown of Gibeah, this was the town which had been destroyed in the civil war against Benjamin, Judges 19:20. This was the place which served as Saul’s headquarters when Israel was at war with the Philistines.

Go To 1 Samuel 11


"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."