6[1 -9] The Chest of Yahweh was in the country of the Philistines seven months. The Philistines called for their preachers and fortune tellers, saying, “What should we do with the Chest of Yahweh? Show us how to send it back to where it belongs.” They answered, “If you send the Chest of the God of Israel back, don’t send it back empty; but go back it to God with a sin offering, of course; then you’ll be healed, and it will be known to you why God’s hand hasn’t lifted from off you.” Then they said, “What should be the sin offering which we’ll go back to God?” They answered, “Make five golden sores, and five golden mice, according to the number of the leaders of the Philistines because one disease was on you all, and on your leaders. So make likenesses of your sores, and of the mice that hurt the land; and you’ll give glory to the God of Israel, who will remove this trouble from you and your gods, and from your land. So why are you stubborn, as the Egyptians and Ruler of Egypt was so stubborn? When God had done amazing things to them, didn’t they let the people go, and they left? So now make a new cart, and take two milk cows, which have never been yoked; and tie the cows to the cart, and bring their calves home from them; and take the Chest of Yahweh, and lay it on the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which you send God for a sin offering, in a box beside it; and send it away, that it may go. If it goes toward its own border to Beth Shemesh, then God has done us this great evil; but if not, then we’ll know that it’s not God’s hand that troubled us; it was only a coincidence.”
[10-12] So they did this, and took two milk cows, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home; and they put the Chest of Yahweh on the cart, and the box with the golden mice and the likenesses of their sores. The cows took the straight road toward Beth Shemesh; they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and didn’t turn aside right or left; and the leaders of the Philistines followed them to the border of Beth Shemesh.
[13-15] The people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat crop in the valley; and they looked up, and saw the Chest, and were happy to see it. The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and stood there where there was a great stone; and they split the wood of the cart, and offered up the cows for a burnt offering to Yahweh. The Levites took down the Chest of Yahweh, and its box, in which the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone; and the people of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices the same day to Yahweh.
[16-18] When the five leaders of the Philistines had seen it, they went back to Ekron the same day. These are the golden sores which the Philistines sent back for a sin offering to Yahweh, one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron; and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five leaders, both of protected cities and their outskirts, all the way to the great stone where they set down the Chest of Yahweh, which stone is still there today in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.
[19 -21] God punished the people of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the Chest of Yahweh, and killed 50,070 men; and the people mourned, because Yahweh had killed the people with a great slaughter. The people of Beth Shemesh said, “Who is able to face Yahweh, this holy God? and to whom will God go up from us? They sent messengers to the people of Kiriath Jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the Chest of Yahweh; come down and get it.”
7[1 -6] The people of Kiriath Jearim came and got the Chest of Yahweh, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and dedicated Eleazar, his son, to keep the Chest of Yahweh. The Chest stayed in Kiriath Jearim for 20 long years; and all the house of Israel cried after Yahweh. Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you go back to Yahweh with all your heart, then put away the false gods and the fertility goddess Ashtaroth from among you, and turn your hearts to God, and serve Yahweh only; who will save you out of the hand of the Philistines. Then the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and served Yahweh only. Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I’ll pray for you to Yahweh.” So they gathered together at Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out before Yahweh, and fasted on that day, saying, “We’ve sinned against Yahweh.” Samuel judged the people of Israel in Mizpah.
[7 -11] When the Philistines heard that the people of Israel were gathered together at Mizpah, the leaders of the Philistines went up against Israel. When the people of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. The people of Israel said to Samuel, “Don’t stop praying to Yahweh our God for us, to save us out of the hand of the Philistines. ” So Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a whole burnt offering to Yahweh; and Samuel prayed to Yahweh for Israel; and Yahweh answered him. As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines came to fight against Israel; but Yahweh sent a great thunder on the Philistines that day, and confused them so much that they were fought down before Israel. The people of Israel went out of Mizpah, and chased the Philistines, and fought them, until they came to Beth Kar.
[12 -17] Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and called it Ebenezer, saying, Up to now has Yahweh helped us. So the Philistines were defeated, and they didn’t come within the border of Israel anymore; and the hand of Yahweh was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were given back to Israel. From Ekron to Gath and its border, Israel took back from the Philistines. There was peace between Israel and the Amorites. Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. He went each year in a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all those places. He go backed to Ramah, where his house was; and he judged Israel and built an altar to Yahweh there.
8[1 -6] When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. Now his firstborn was named Joel; and his second was named Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. His sons didn’t keep his ways, but turned aside after money, and took bribes, and didn’t do what was right Then all the elders of Israel gathered together, and came to Samuel to Ramah; and they said to him, “See, you’re old, and your sons don’t keep your ways; now make us a ruler to judge us like all the nations.” But it made Samuel unhappy when they said, “Give us a ruler to judge us,” so Samuel prayed to Yahweh.
[7 -9] Yahweh said to Samuel, “Listen to what the people say in what they tell you, because they’ve not rejected you, but they’ve rejected Me, that I shouldn’t be ruler over them. According to all the things they’ve done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even to today, they’ve left Me, and served other gods, so they do also to you. So listen to them; but warn them solemnly and show them how the ruler will rule over them.”
[10 -18] So Samuel told all the words of Yahweh to the people who asked for him to give them a ruler. He said, “This will be how the ruler who will rule over you; he’ll take your sons, and appoint them to him, for his war vehicles, and to be his riders; and they’ll run before his war vehicles; and he’ll appoint them to him for captains of thousands, and captains of fifties; and he’ll set some to plow his ground, and to harvest his crops, and to make his instruments of war, and the instruments of his war vehicles. He’ll take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. He’ll take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves and give them to his workers. He’ll take a 10th of your seed, and your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his workers. He’ll take your male and female workers, and your best young men, and your donkeys, and put them to work. He’ll take a 10th of your flocks; and you’ll be his workers. You’ll cry out in that day because of your ruler whom you have chosen; and Yahweh won’t answer you in that day.
[19 -22] But the people refused to listen to Samuel; and they said, No; but we want a ruler over us, that we may also be like all the rest of the nations, and that our ruler may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. Samuel heard all the words of the people, and told them to Yahweh. Yahweh said to Samuel, Listen to them, and make them a ruler. Samuel said to the people of Israel, “Go to your cities.”
9[1 -3] Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, son of Abiel, of Zeror, of Becorath, of Aphiah, of a Benjamite, a brave warior. He had a son, whose name was Saul, an extraordinary young man; and there wasn’t anyone better than him among all the people of Israel. From his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people. The donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. Kish said to Saul,his son, “Take one of the workers with you, and go look for the donkeys.”
[4 -10] He passed through the hill country of Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they didn’t find them; then they passed through the land of Shaalim, and they weren’t there either; and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they didn’t find them. When they had come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his worker who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, in case my father stops caring for the donkeys, and worries about us. He said to him, “See now, there’s in this city a follower of God, and he’s held in great honor; what he says comes true; now let’s go there and see if he can tell us where to go on our journey.” Then Saul said to his worker, “But if we go, what will we bring him? The bread is gone in our bags, and there isn’t a present to bring to the follower of God; what do we have?” The worker answered Saul again, saying, See, I have in my hand a quarter of a silver dollar; that I’ll give to the follower of God, to tell us which way to go.” (In earlier times in Israel when anyone went to ask of God, he said, Come and let’s go to the seer because those who are now called a preacher (prophet) was before called a Seer.) Then Saul said to his worker, Good idea; come, let’s go. So they went to the city where the follower of God was.
[11-17] As they went up the road to the city, they found young girls going out to draw water, saying to them, “Is the preacher here? They answered them, saying, “He is; see, he’s coming to you; quickly now, for he has come into the city because the people have a sacrifice in the Place of Worship today; as soon as you get into the city, you’ll find him, before he goes up to the Place of Worship to eat; the people won’t eat until he comes, because he blesses the sacrifice; and afterward those who are invited eat. So go quickly, because you’ll find him there now.” They went up to the city; and as they came into the city, Samuel came out toward them, to go up to the Place of Worship. Now Yahweh had told Samuel a day before Saul came, “Tomorrow, about this time, I’ll send you a man out of the land of Benjamin, and you’ll anoint him to be ruler over My people Israel; and he’ll save My people out of the hand of the Philistines because I’ve looked on My people, and I hear their cries.” When Samuel saw Saul, Yahweh said to him, “See, the one of whom I told you! He’ll rule over My people.
[18 -21] Then Saul came to Samuel in the gate, saying, “Tell me, please, where is the preacher’s house?” Samuel answered Saul, saying, “I’m the preacher; go up before me to the Place of Worship, for you’ll eat with me today; and in the morning I’ll let you go, and will tell you what’s in your heart. As for your donkeys who were lost three days ago, don’t worry about them because they’ve been found. And whom does Israel want? Isn’t it you, and all your father’s house?” Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest family group of Israel? And my family, the least of all the family groups of Benjamin? Why then do you say this to me?”
[22 -27] Samuel took Saul and his worker, and brought them into the guest room, and made them sit in the best place among those who were invited who were about 30 people. Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the part which I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Set it by you.’” The cook took up the thigh, and what was on it, and set it before Saul. Samuel said, “See, what has been saved for you! Set it before you and eat; because it been kept for you for this time, for I said, I’ve invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. When they were come down from the Place of Worship into the city, he talked with Saul on the housetop. They got up early; and about dawn, Samuel called to Saul on the housetop, saying, “Get up, that I may send you away.” Saul got up, and both of them went out, both he and Samuel. As they were going down at the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell your worker to go on before us (and he went on), but you stay here, that I may tell you the word of God.”
10[1 Then Samuel took the bottle of oil, and poured it on his head, and kissed him, saying, “Yahweh has anointed you to be ruler over the people of God. When you’ve left from me today, then you’ll find two men by Rachel’s tomb, in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they’ll tell you, ‘The donkeys which you went to look for are found; and your father has stopped caring for the donkeys, and is worried you, saying, ‘What should I do for my child?’’” Then you’ll go on from there, and you’ll come to the oak of Tabor; and you’ll meet there three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine; and they’ll speak to you, and give you two loaves of bread, which you’ll take from them. After that you’ll come to the hill of God, where the fortress of the Philistines is; and when you come there to the city, you’ll meet a band of preachers coming down from the Place of Worship with a psaltery, a tambourine, a pipe, and a harp with them; and they’ll be preaching; and the Spirit of Yahweh will come over you strongly, and you’ll preach with them, and you’ll be turned into another man. When these signs have come to you, do as the occasion will serve you because God is with you. You’ll go down before me to Gilgal; and I’ll come down to you to offer burnt offerings, and to make sacrifices of peace offerings; wait seven days, until I come to you, and show you what to do.”
[9-12] When he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all those signs happened that day. When they came to the hill, a band of preachers met him; and the Spirit of God came over him strongly, and he preached with them. When all who knew him before saw that he preached with the preachers, then they said to each other “What’s this that has come to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the preachers? One of the same place answered, “Who is their father?” So it became a saying, “Is Saul also among the preachers?”
[13-21]When he had finished preaching, he came to the Place of Worship. Saul’s uncle said to him and his worker, “Where did you go?” He answered, “To look for the donkeys; and when we couldn’t find them we went to Samuel. Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me, please, what Samuel said to you.” Saul said to his uncle, “He told us clearly that the donkeys were found. But about the matter of the nation, of which Samuel said, he didn’t tell him. Samuel called the people together to Yahweh to Mizpah; and he said to the people of Israel, Yahweh, the God of Israel, says, “I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I freed you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all the countries that abused you; but today you’ve rejected your God who saves you out of all your disasters and your troubles; and you’ve said to Me, No, but set a ruler over us. So now present yourselves before Yahweh by your family groups, and by your thousands. So Samuel brought all the family groups of Israel up, and the family group of Benjamin was chosen. He brought the family group of Benjamin up by their families; and the family of the Matrites was chosen; and Saul of Kish was chosen; but when they searched for him, they couldn’t find him.
[22-27] So they asked of Yahweh further, “Has the man come here yet?” Yahweh answered, “See, he has hidden among the baggage.” They ran and fetched him there; and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders up. Samuel said to all the people, “You see him whom Yahweh has chosen, that there’s no one like him among all the people?” All the people shouted, saying, “Long live the ruler.” Then Samuel told the people how the nation would be ruled, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before Yahweh. Samuel sent all the people home. Saul also went to his house to Gibeah; and the troops whose hearts God had touched went with him. But certain worthless fellows said, “How will this man save us?” They hated him, and didn’t bring him a present, but Saul didn’t say anything.